Re: literacy

From: Andrew Larsen <aelarsen_at_Q4nur8zZ7fEP5AWcfSaUa35tLYYwEMK7qCcIJealVKORhCGAqe-rHvDtz695La03YHL>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 13:47:33 -0500

This has always been one of the things that struck me as feeling false about Sartarite culture. The notion that the Lhankor Mhytes were highly literate and act like modern scholars (rooting around in archives that are badly in need of the Dewey Decimal system) is a very early element of RQ, and by now deeply fixed in our understanding of Glorantha. But to me it always seemed very much at odds with the rest of Sartarite culture, and something that reflected the 'generic medieval Europe' of 1980's fantasy gaming. The Sartarites have always seemed to me a pre-literate culture, so that Lhankor Mhy magic should focus more on oral tradition, memorization, and so on, whereas Lunar and Dara Happan scholar magic should focus more on written documents. I realize this will never change (and certainly treating the Lhankor Mhytes as pedantic bookworms in search of the great hero to alphabetize their library provides a lot of fun), but it's always just felt off to me.

Andrew E. Larsen
On Apr 18, 2012, at 8:13 AM, David Cake wrote:

> Half a HeroQuest rules question, but its really a Glorantha question.
> I didn't see any mention of literacy for any professions other than Sage. Professions that might be thought to imply literacy like lawspeaker and skald instead contain strong implications of not requiring (or involving) literacy, such as mentioning memorisation of key knowledge or explicit references to oral tradition.
> So, should we assume that all characters that are not sages and have not explicitly claimed otherwise to be literate, are totally illiterate?
> (though for my game purposes, I going to make the assumption that knowledge of Tradetalk includes at least minimal literacy in that language - I've been using quite a bit of older material to pad out my campaign, and too many adventures from earlier supplements seem to make the assumption of literacy )
> Cheers
> David

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