Greetings, all -
I'm not exactly a newbie, but it's been an awful long
time since I posted. I blame my company's shift to
Mime-encoding - I was too embarassed to post directly.
I'm posting this via a web email account; I trust it
won't look too horrible, my apologies if it does.
In any case, I'm writing for background advice. I'd
like to run a demo session at the upcoming Dundracon
in the bay area, but unfortunately I don't like any of
the precanned scenarios for HW (sorry, folks). So I
thought I'd develop my own, but I'd like to check my
assumptions with this group, as I'm frankly not a very
experienced Glorantha GM (or whatever the title is).
First, the scenario overview. I have a great fondness
for Lunars, so I'm planning on setting this in the
empire. The story is as follows: the characters are
members or employees of a reasonably successful
trading family, which is sponsored by another, more
powerful family. The players' family (let's call it
'PF') has a strong rival in their city; this rival is
sponsored by the rival of PF's sponsor (if you follow
me). PF is awaiting an important shipment, the
non-arrival of which will cause severe economic
problems. The shipment, naturally, doesn't arrive.
Initial story: search by the PF will find the remains
of the shipment, destroyed somewhere outside of the
city. The attackers can be tracked back to be an
unknown group of highway brigands; who can be found to
have given it to a mysterious figure; who then put it
in the rivals warehouse before they're found dead.
Questions for everyone -
- the hierarchy of patronage is important to this
plot. The player's family, being powerful in their
city, would sponsor less fortunate people in their
city; they in turn are sponsored by another family in
the capital. I base this view on the patronage system
in Rome, in which people had to turn to their patrons
for representation in the courts, protection against
violence, etc. I'd like to know how relevant this is
to the Empire; and whether it's more true of a
particular culture in the empire (DH, Pelorian,
Carmanian, modern Lunar, etc) than another.
- likewise the structure of the trading family is
interesting. what with the dart wars, etc, I would
imagine that any important LE family would be at least
somewhat militarized. I would imagine that even a
trading family would have a small fighting force, with
a commander, plus some skilled magicians, etc. I find
myself thinking of the positions in (please forgive
me) Dune, where the family had a weaponmaster, a
mentat/magician, etc. Is this view fairly accurate?
If so, some specific questions:
- what percentage of a trading house could reasonably
expected to be skilled fighters? 15%? 25%?
- what background might these fighters have - trained
in-house? or cashiered soldiers?
- for a moderately large house, what magicians could
be expected to belong to it or be employed by it?
Obviously Irripi Ontor, Lokarnos, and related cults,
but what others? Yanafal Tarnils seems too martial;
perhaps Annilla would be appropriate? What about
carmanian sorcerors, etc?
- What name sources should be used? It seems that
Carmanians would be Turkish, Dara Happan Latin,
Pelorian Egyptian - is that vaguely correct? (this
is, btw, one of the best things about Pendragon - the
name lists - that would be great to copy in the
forthcoming player handbooks).
And now, some specific scenario-design questions:
- Where should this be set? It should be an
important city (to give me a chance to have some fun
with everything that goes on there), but not glamour
or one of the Tripolis, as the players' family
shouldn't be so important in a large city. This is
tied perhaps to the next question:
- What is launching this 3rd family into action?
Presumably something has changed in the city to make
it a more useful market. Perhaps the conquest of
Esrolia, etc, make trading towards the south more
- What would be important for them to expect? I was
thinking (to go back to an earlier topic) that this
would be an iron shipment, perhaps coming from the new
mines in the Von Hills. So having the 3rd family at
least partially block that supply route would make the
southern route from Gembourg that much more valuable.
Thanks to everyone in advance. I'm sure I'll have
more questions about this in the future, but that's
probably enough to load the digest with for now!
If anyone would like to be a more detailed reviewer
for the scenario once I write it up, please let me
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