Re: Status of Mongoose RQ publications' Glorantha content

From: Greg Stafford <glorantha1_at_Y043u0eykHbqWzvFbMnrMrofo3q0ZThFlYV9ehMALF66kr7864TiuEgXVRzzNmrNc>
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2010 04:44:08 -0800

I hope he group will forgive my late entry into this field.

On Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 3:06 PM, L C <> wrote:

> Kevin McDonald wrote:
> >
> > Part of the discussion, I suppose, should be what we mean by "canon"
> > in the first place. Is it something that the community decides, or
> > licensed publishers, or Issaries, or what?

Please do forgive my presumption here, but until I am cold int he grave, the official word on what is canon is up to me. Officially, it is whatever is published. Although some of the material by Mongoose made me start to reconsider that.

Fair question. I'm actually more concerned with the guiding vision of
> how they want to progress than the details of canon.
> For instance, 2nd Age MRQ seems to have chosen Second Age because they
> were freeing themselves with lots of blank space.

Speculation when actual sources of information are available only leads to error.
In fact, I insisted they do Second Age because I thought it would be helpful for the authors to not have to read everything published to remain out of conflict. I did think that they would at least read the *relevant *material.

> They seem now to be
> announcing they are coordinating with Moon Design to have a certain
> amount of feedback and consistency between the two visions.

Yes, and let us sing praise for it.

> What choices are being made from the point of view "the rules inform the
> world" vs "the world informs the rules".

This is a decision that can be urged but not forced.

My perspective is that this is a game, and no game (or book or essay) can
capture the true essence of Glorantha, nor is it supposed to. The game is to
have fun--MGF. It's gotta be playable, or it is garbage. The rules are the
actual interface with the world here, and so anything that interferes with a smooth play, or with fun, should be sanded down to make the rules work that way. Otherwise we end up with a million petty rules for each little thing to do.

"The Orlanthi are the Good Guys and the Lunars are the Bad Guys" vs "All
> the Cultures think they are the Good Guys and we aren't taking a position."

These are not very different from each other, actually.

"There is an overarching magic system because it is easier to model with
> rules" or "Each culture will have its own magic system designed from
> scratch."
> That sort of thing.

Your desire is understood.
I am not convinced that the game designers need to do that at all. A work of art must stand by itself, and if it raises more questions then it is a good work of art. Its not a text book to lay everything out or you--that is impossible. We (writers, designers) hope it will be complete, with a beginning, middle and end; and be sufficient unto itself; and fit within the Big Picture.

> Personally, I think everything published - officially licensed or
> > otherwise - should be respected to some degree. Defining exactly what
> > extent that should be is, IMHO, a lost cause. Clearly an article that
> > says the Godlearners actually worshiped the god of cute puppies
> > instead of the Invisible God would not be received with open arms. On
> > the other hand, if someone decided that the Pelandans worship Turos
> > and Oria instead of Lodril and Ernalda, and backed it up with cool
> > mythlets and stories, then that might be received somewhat more
> > warmly. :)

Pelandans do worship Turos and Oria.

Certainly. (Actually, don't the Pelandans worship other gods completely
> than the Dara Happan/Orlanthi crew?)

They also worship some gods that are also found in the DH and Orlanthi pantheons.

 > I suppose the difference is that one change undermines lots
> > of existing material for no good reason and the other enhances and
> > extends what has been written. It is up to the community to decide
> > which is which, though.

the community always does that--it is how quality is gauged. It is up to individual authors to decide if they will use a part of the canon in their game which they do not agree with.

What is definitely true, though, is that
> > Glorantha would be much less interesting if, say, authors felt
> > constrained to continue saying that Pelandans really do worship Lodril
> > and Ernalda because Avalon Hill (IIRC) said they did.
> >

Yea, but if someone gets that published as canon in opposition to what is there, then when I will write something about it and everyone who contributed to the new interpretation will be crying about being Gregged.

Or not. Deciding that's a set fact and then explaining why can be
> tremendously interesting. If Moon Design decided to go that route, who's
> to gainsay them? People who want to split from that will know they are
> splitting, but can choose to split with eyes wide open.


Greg Stafford
Game Designer

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