Re: The Glorantha Digest V8 #368

From: Topi Pitkanen <>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 16:37:02 +0300 (EEST)

> > 1. Can you run a heroquest backwards?
Yes. Suppose. Depends, what you mean by it. Eurmali do it anyway.

> > 2. If so, how?

One performs the quest doing "backstitching manouvre". Last things are done first without full knowledge of first things.

> > 3. What would be the result of such an action?
The results would be similar to the forward version of the quest. (But for the love of god - allways add emotion, depth or funkiness)

A vague analogy of shooting shotgun backwards lurks in my brain... Luckily I'm not aware of any mostali heroquests, so I'm not afraid.

To me backward heroquests do not strike as reverse heroquests or anti(dote)heroquests. Maybe they sometimes are that too, but thinking forexample Yelmalio worshipper un-loosing firepowers on the Gold-fo-Hill or Mortals "un-dying" after Story Sword quest makes my head hurt.

What could they be then? One answer could lie in *timelesness* of myth-time. Heroquests and corresponding myths tell a story usually in chapters, in certain order that we usually assume to be chronological. This is propably wrong. But it may also give us best possibility to understand and indeed heroquest the myths. Backward quests might be those in which the "artificial" chronological structure might be broken or bent.

So running a heroquest backwards or - like I'd prefer - awkwards would be re-arranging the order of events in the myth-story. This would in most cases result in shitloads of troubles for potential heroquestors. Straight heroquests are allready difficult as they are. Questors try to hang on to the mythic railroad of their choice as hard as they can. Because if questors deviate from their known myths they are easily lost in the vast gods world.   

Heroquesters on an awkward quest would have difficulties in performing because of increased amount of uncertainty how to act. I suppose identification challenges could also become a real pain. Sometimes it would be difficult recognising the mythic situation, and thereby the best course of action. Imagine Humakt the Champion Quest and Humakt not sure how many times Orlanth has asked the Sword. Other times they migt end up in a situation that would require knowledge from "chronologically earlier" part of the quest. Frex Orlanth on his quests solves a problem according to advice from Ernalda, which you the questor haven't heard yet, what do you do?

Results of awkward heroquest would be re-enactment of the results of the myth. They might differ somewhat from those normally expected due to different perspective, unchronological understanding. (Effects to questors psyche&mental condition are another matter...) I presume that results of heroquests are allways subject to great individual variation. I think it's an important point that each creation of a myth is unique in it's way.  

Some heroquests could very well meet this way to play them out. Certain Eurmal-quests propably MUST be done this way. Green Age? I imagine I could run something very familiar like Gringle's Pawnshop in MGF scenario version (baboons!) awkwardly or backwardly. But also some very serious games could benefit from less chronological approach. It works in certain movies, it's fine in rpg.

Lastly what is Myth? Hero's Path? Quest? Forward,Backward,Awkward? It shouldn't be too easy an answer. So these thoughts are insufficient.

"Any worldwiew that isn't strange is automatically false."

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