Re: Epic NPCs and their stats

From: Mark Galeotti <markgaleotti_at_4iJrHAnW5eN7oSxOQbsSpwoaYoEVAUt2v_iKf9kXeFua_Tun9-M4nyZtFZUA1lk>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 18:47:33 -0000

But do you really need stats for that? I'd hate for 'I make JarEel think I'm the best thing since sliced moonbread' to be a roll rather than a piece of roleplaying.

With the liberating freedom of having nothing to do now with the actual commissioning or production of MD stuff, let me say that I think Rick, if anything, underplays the likely furore which would follow any general attempt to stat up many of the VIPs of canon Glorantha. Having a benchmark 'this is a standard Heortling thane, this is a Dara Happan hoplite' series of ability levels is handy, but the further up the food chain one goes, the less useful having some established stats seem to me to be. Let's say some MD book gives the official stats, so that Harrek has Kill Anything 20W6, JarEel Elegantly Deadly 20W5 and Ethilrist I'll Kill You First 20W4. For a start, it opens up the usual roundabout debates we know and, um, love on the various Glorantha fora as to whether they are too low, too high or not in the correct order. Secondly, they won't make a blind bit of difference. Why? Because anyone who wants them to be different will change them. After all, it's not as though those who want these stats have in the past shown any reluctance to pick and choose from canon -- and given the spirit of YGWV, nor should they.

More to the point, I really don't get how having stats really advances anything. A book of descriptions of key figures, that I might like to see, with plot hooks for how you could end up opposing them, working for them, saving them or being saved, etc. Ideas, yes. But numbers? No one has yet really explained to me how that helps and does anything more than confine creativity and create grounds for more destructive bickering.

Where it is organic and necessary to stories, sure. If your scenario entails trying to outsmart Androgeus, then you may need to know his/her stats, and so I'm sure the Bumper Book of Argrath will contain many of the VIPs -- like the Pendragon Campaign.

All the best


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