Re: Whether to have metaplot or not (was Guide to Glorantha)

From: Kevin McDonald <kpmcdona_at_...>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2012 16:20:21 -0500

I still don't understand what is so special about 1621 ST that everything about the timeline beyond that should be a mystery. I don't think knowledge of the Third Age ruined many games set in Mongoose's 2nd age setting.

Lots of people run games set in different time periods and it works just fine. The key is that if an adventure is going to directly interact with historic figures and events then the GM and players need to agree that
"future history" isn't an immutable truth that can't be changed through

Maybe my more forgiving attitude is because I see a difference between
"future history" and "meta-plot". The former involves big events over
relatively long periods of time. The latter involves detailed NPC interactions over a relatively short period of time and is revealed through a series of linked supplements. For example, I would be pissed if it were revealed in a future supplement that Minaryth Purple was secretly in love with Jar Eel and been working all along to help the Lunars win. IMHO GMs should be aware of the motivations for the major NPCs and not have this sort of thing pulled out of thin air.

My point of view may also be colored by the type of game I typically run. I rarely if ever run published adventures, so what I consider to be meta-plot abuse isn't an issue. The adventures that I "write" (Actually about 95% improvisation) typically take place in a relatively short window of time - a couple of months at maximum. Thus, "future history" is rarely used as anything other than the history and current conditions of the date that the adventure starts.

I am also very tolerant of being "gregged". I don't worry that new "future history" is going to render my game somehow obsolete. After all, even setting games in 1621 isn't proof against being contradicted by new supplements. Glorantha is as much an artistic project as it is a game setting, and sometimes the needs of the former are allowed to trump the needs of the latter. IMHO this has made Glorantha more of a living breathing place, which ultimately benefits the game aspect.

-Kevin McD

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