Re: "Don't mention the gyrda!"

From: L C <lightcastle_at_vDulYUgt5rxnNYw1z_2iXCgVn9NQ2MAkh0XgCuGgAiBl_w6SNQ1ZGE9_2xc8PVHn>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 22:12:19 -0400

John Hughes wrote:
> Gedday Comrades
> I am typing very slowly so as not to confuse people.

Appreciated, I'm sure. *smile*

> "Don't mention the gyrda!" is of course the latest variant on a
> time-honoured Gloranthan adage, "Don't mention the women".

Having just wandered back, I mostly ignored this thread because it seemed just another argument about terminology. Looking back, I am inclined to agree with you.

> 'Gyrda' is a term used several times in Thunder Rebels, and not just
> by me. It's in the glossary.

Yup. Right there on page 10.

> However, it is obviously outre and
> totally beyond the conception of most beginning roleplayers, along
> with other such difficult terms as 'cottar', 'godar' 'jarl' and 'dice'.
> While KISS is a noble goal in design, meaningful talk about its
> implementation can only be meaningful in specific contexts and about
> the broader question of what Glorantha is *about* as a genre and a
> world, how and why it developed, what works and what doesn't, what
> rewards creative effort and what merely confounds. And there are
> many, many examples from all of these categories. KISS (and its
> cousin MGF) can easily come back to bite those who advocate it too
> forcefully. It is usually applied selectively, sometimes as an excuse
> for other motivations. What is selected for simplification and what
> is not is always instructive.

Absolutely. I think this plays into the tension you mention below.

> I think Ian's two pronged approach is the way to go here.
> By way of balance, let me throw up another adage:
> I'd write it out as a Heortling triad, but I don't want to scare off
> the newbies, or the more nervous oldies.

(I'm trying not to grin evilly.)

> If I wanted flavourless, juvenile generic boys-own fantasy, I have
> plenty of choices, many with much better support than Glorantha. I
> could always port the ducks ... Glorantha may be an eighties ghetto,
> but its a wonderful, flawed, idiosyncratic and deeply detailed ghetto
> that I love. Mostly.

I don't even consider it an 80s ghetto. It might be a ghetto of some sort, but I find little that is specifically 80s about it.

> Its partially horses for courses of course. I plead guilty to having
> a person-centred, story-centred, rich-textured approach which
> occasionally throws up new words or concepts. I have literary
> pretensions that sneak in from my other roleplaying activities as a
> systemless designer. I'm more interested in humans than heroes, in
> everyday life than king lists, in emotions rather than power. Our
> community is broad enough and open enough to include all sorts of
> approaches. Or at least, it used to. Glorantha has a reputation as a
> richly developed world. It also has a reputation as a world of lists
> and turgid, unreadable source documents, all structure and no story.
> Perhaps the answer lies in teasing out the implications of these two
> contrasting readings.

Hear hear.

> If we want to implement KISS thoroughly, may I suggest a few equally
> pertinent issues to consider, apart from purifying the holy writ from
> *gasp* fan contributions. (And I'm hoping, seriously, that some of
> these have been picked up for HQ2).

When HQ2 comes out, I suspect I will be playing it in all kinds of worlds other than Glorantha. I am hoping my return to the world of the employed will let me get to writing for Glortantha, hopefully in the HQ2 mode, however.

> * the incredibly convoluted magic realms system, which adds very
> little to actual play.

Since the three-world system and the fact individual powerful entities having "true" and "misapplied" ways of worship is supposedly important in some storyline way, I still hope that gets discussed some day. In the meantime, for the most part, I allow concentration but in a more limited form and I have basically scrapped misapplied worship completely as the kind of thing that should not be reinforced as "true" by the system.

> * the incredibly convoluted cult/subcult system.

See, I don't mind this as long as it is tied to a given religion and it's particular wackiness. I just don't want it as any kind of systematic issue for divine magic.

> * Translating the Stafford Library into grammatical English. (Or even
> just English. :))

Having never read any of it, I cannot comment.

> * Replacing copies of Daughters of Darkness at conventions with
> copies of the Entekosiad. The world will thank us.

Don't even know what this is referring to. (Well, I know of the Entekosiad.)

> That one of the few terms for women of power is the one to get picked
> for Jeff's ideological purity drive makes me, not for the first time,
> wonder. His non sequitur response about Jesse Byock not only
> confounds, it confuses. Of course there is discussion about the term
> 'gyda/gyrda' and its meaning. But equally, the same sources tell us
> that 'godar' as described in Gloranthan sources (and in RQ Vikings)
> didn't exist either. maybe they shouldn't appear in COS? KISS.
> Normally this sort of discussion would go to the Digest, where it
> would die an unlamented death. But the Digest went away. And sorry
> Jeff, last time I checked, Glorantha was a fantasy world. History
> inspires, history textures, history gets stolen from. But history
> doesn't dictate. Surely you understand this?
> Glorantha has always worked because of a number of tensions. One of
> the main ones is that between Greg's highly idiosyncratic,
> protective, very personal vision and the demands of a playable RPG
> world. At times the marriage has been very strained. I invite you to
> think about the tensions, and suggest it may reveal as much.

Indeed, I think that tension is one that had dictated much. Personally, while I would enjoy contributing to Glorantha the game if that option stays open, I wouldn't play in it because I like players defining the world they play in.

> Genre, as always, is everything.
> I'm gonna scribble some thoughts about this. More reasonably soon.
> Techy? You bet.

Just a bit. :)


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