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Author Topic: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)  (Read 2248 times)

Angry Goblin

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Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« on: September 11, 2022, 07:59:02 AM »
Hey guys, I have been hanging out on the forum for a while and finally got myself to register a profile.

This post is mostly intended for Glorantha veterans who have a bigger picture of the game world than I.

Recently, I have been motivated about the Runequest Glorantha. I used to play Runequest a few times
in the 90´s and early 2000´s. Even participating in a few LARP events set in Glorantha and playing
one shots in RPG events. I never got too deep in the lore of it, until now. I have owned Glorantha
game material for a long time, though it has mostly just been gathering dust, if anything else.

Anyhow, now that I have started reading the game material with an intent (and have also ran a few
sessions, both in Sartar and Sun County) Glorantha has started to rub me the wrong way, so to say.
Don´t get me wrong, I absolutely love some of the ideas in the game world and absolutely abhor the
others.  The prevalence of feminism and matriarchal power is just unbearable to me for I see TTRPG´s
as just about the only good escapes from this misandry in society and culture. I see it as kind of SJW
before SJW was a thing in RPG´s. Though, like mentioned earlier, I do see a huge potential in Glorantha,
if tweaked heavily. My problem rises from that since the mythology of it is so vast, small changes in the
early mythology might cause a snowball effect in later years.

I thought about posting this on the official Chaosium forum, though I decided against it for I would have
likely been banned from it due to their SJW/feminist/LTBTQ agenda, so I posted it here instead.

To counter what I see as a problem, I have pondered on several things:

1) Playing in Dara Happan culture, where Yelm is still the boss and/or Orlanth never overcame him and
    Yelm´s men did sell Ernalda to troll slavers, what would that entail? Has anyone done this? There doesen´t
    seem to be a lot of game material to cover this and I don´t  know where to start. Any ideas?

2) What if Genert did not have daughters, but sons, whom form the Genertela and thus maybe minimizes the
    the need for feminine Earth cults and their priestesses.

3) Does the game really need Feathered Horse Queen to grant the kingship to a ruler of Dragon Pass?
    And if not, then what do you see as happening to the game world if FHQ´s never existed?

3) Vingans, Maran Gorians, Kallyr Starbrow, Leika Black Spear and other female warrior groups and
    individuals, are they really essential in your oppinion?

4) Do the Uz/Troll culture need to be matriarchal, and if not, how to go about it? I mean, Only Old One/Ezkankekko,
    Arkat the Troll and so forth, which basically were big bosses in not only Uz society but beyond, were
    not female, which in my reasoning, kind of lessens the need for matriarchal power structure. What
    if Kyger Litor was male instead, what would that entail?

5) It´s easy to do away with all the non-binary sexes and ways of marriage but would this cause any
    problems?

6) It seems to me that almost all gender roles are twisted in the starting cultures of the core book. I mean in just
    about all of them, women are the rational ones and males the emotional ones. I mean, it would basically mean
    that "women" are the ones with testosterone dominancy ja "males" the ones with estrogene dominancy. Wouldn´t
    that basically mean that in time, the genetic makeup of the gender are on a collision course with the chromosomes.
    Yes, I know, it´s a fantasy game, though I still see this as silly, I mean that would basically mean that males give
    birth and nurture the children and women are the warriors and earners, right?

Anyway, I know I had some other things in mind but I can´t come up with anything more. I´d love to hear your
thoughs on these, thanks!

Crawford Tillinghast

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2022, 08:40:26 AM »
Hey guys, I have been hanging out on the forum for a while and finally got myself to register a profile.


5) It´s easy to do away with all the non-binary sexes and ways of marriage but would this cause any problems?

Well...what about Androgeus?  If there is somebody non binary him/her/it would be at the top of the list.

Personally, I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.  The place is Bronze Age.  There are going to be Paternal and Maternal cults and cultures.  It's your Glorantha:  Change whatever you don't like, tell people that what they heard might not be quite true, and if they are total grognards about changing the story, invite them to leave or run there own Glorantha (or both).

Angry Goblin

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2022, 09:09:56 AM »
Hey guys, I have been hanging out on the forum for a while and finally got myself to register a profile.


5) It´s easy to do away with all the non-binary sexes and ways of marriage but would this cause any problems?

Well...what about Androgeus?  If there is somebody non binary him/her/it would be at the top of the list.

Personally, I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.  The place is Bronze Age.  There are going to be Paternal and Maternal cults and cultures.  It's your Glorantha:  Change whatever you don't like, tell people that what they heard might not be quite true, and if they are total grognards about changing the story, invite them to leave or run there own Glorantha (or both).

Thanks for the reply.

In all honesty, Androgeus and IRL Bronze Age are not my main concern here, for I don´t
intend to make my Glorantha in the image of our world in a sense of maternal cults, but mostly as an escape from
our world as mentioned in the original post. I also have a regular group of players with same values as I, so the concern
regarding the binarism and what not is mostly on how it would affect the game world instead of how it would
be seen by HC Glorantha fanboys.

ForgottenF

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2022, 09:48:45 AM »
I'm far from an expert on Glorantha, but I suspect you would probably be better off just not using the current version of the setting, rather than trying to edit the wokeness out of it. I did a brief read-through of the "Runequest & Glorantha" corebook not that long ago, and it might be the single most woke RPG book I've ever read. So you'd probably have to change a lot. In my experience, selectively editing an existing setting tends to confuse players, as they have to remember when reading the book which things are canon and which aren't. If I were you, I would do one of three things:

1. Get a hold of an older (hopefully less woke) Glorantha sourcebook, and then tell your players "We're using the rules from the new book, but the lore from the old one"
2. Find another setting to run. If you want an extremely un-woke setting which is at least heavily inspired by the bronze age, you could look at converting material from the Tales of Gor RPG, but there's also been plenty of Runequest settings published over the years.
3. Just homebrew your own bronze-age fantasy setting.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2022, 10:06:49 AM by ForgottenF »

Angry Goblin

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2022, 10:07:41 AM »
I'm far from an expert on Glorantha, but I suspect you would probably be better off just not using the current version of the setting, rather than trying to edit the wokeness out of it. I did a brief read-through of the "Runequest & Glorantha" corebook not that long ago, and it might be the single most woke RPG book I've ever read. So you'd probably have to change a lot. In my experience, selectively editing an existing setting tends to confuse players, as they have to remember when reading the book which things are canon and which aren't. If I were you, I would do one of three things:

1. Get a hold of an older (less woke) Glorantha sourcebook, and then tell your players "We're using the rules from the new book, but the lore from the old one"
2. Find another setting to run. If you want an extremely un-woke setting which is at least heavily inspired by the bronze age, you could look at converting material from the Tales of Gor RPG, but there's also just been plenty of Runequest settings published over the years.
3. Just homebrew your own bronze-age fantasy setting.

Thanks for the reply.

You are right, I do have to change a lot, though I am ready for it, for like mentioned in the original post, I do love parts of the lore very much. My
group of players are in favor of changing the lore (even if one of them is a Glorantha GM himself and runs it mostly in vanilla) though they did
mention that they would rather roleplay the changes in lore than just be dictated by the GM, fx. they would rather defend Yelm and kick
the ass of Orlanth, than just be told that "this is how it went". It would involve quite high-powered campaign though.

1) I do have a quite a pile of older Glorantha sourcebooks, though the situation lore-wise is pretty much the same, even if not as "in your face".
2) I already run Hârn, which is not woke to say the least. Tales of Gor is new to me, seems to be pulpy in nature, I will check it out.
3) Yeah, that is an option, though I would assume it would take even larger effort and time than converting an existing one  :(

ForgottenF

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2022, 01:25:25 PM »

1) I do have a quite a pile of older Glorantha sourcebooks, though the situation lore-wise is pretty much the same, even if not as "in your face".

That's a pity. I've tried to get into Glorantha a few times, and even though on paper its full of elements I should love, something about it has always bumped me. Maybe that's what it was.

2) I already run Hârn, which is not woke to say the least. Tales of Gor is new to me, seems to be pulpy in nature, I will check it out.
Gor is much more in the realm of sword-and-planet/soft-sci fi than it is of fantasy, but I find it hits the tone of a bronze or iron age adventure setting better than most other worlds that try it. I will warn you that the setting comes with a bit of baggage of its own (there's been some controversy around the sexual politics of the author), but if it intrigues you, I'd recommend that you give the first novel, "A Tarnsman of Gor", a try. It'd probably be a cheaper starting place than the RPG book, it's an extremely solid science fantasy adventure, and it'll give you a pretty good idea of the setting. If you like it, then there's like 30 books out there you can read (plus the RPG line). If not, then you can trade the book in and move on having lost almost nothing.

3) Yeah, that is an option, though I would assume it would take even larger effort and time than converting an existing one  :(

Yes and no, I would say. Yes, in that writing up a whole homebrew world with the kind of detail that Glorantha now has would probably be an unfeasibly large undertaking.

No, in that you can work up the broad strokes of a world (tone, tech level, major factions, rough geography etc.) in an afternoon, and then build the rest out through the game. That might end up being less work than having to go line-by-line through a Glorantha sourcebook and figure out what edits you want to make, and then having to go back through and figure out what additional changes have to be made due to knock-on effects of the ones you've already made.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2022, 01:30:31 PM by ForgottenF »

Lynn

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2022, 02:13:55 PM »
Is all of the feminism new or was it baked into the game from the start? I played a little of the first edition but its been so long I don't recall it then, other than the female associated cults. That and the Dragon Pass computer game (which while rather retro in style, is an interesting deep dive into the Orlanthi culture stuff).
Lynn Fredricks
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spon

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2022, 05:16:43 PM »
Glorantha has always been somewhere where you can have your own interpretation of the lore - especially early on when so much was undefined. So it's no wonder that the latest writers are putting their own spin on the lore.
As to being f*inist/SJW, there's always been room in the game for playing that sort of game, but it was never so "up front" as it seems these days. But it really doesn't matter. There's so much that is so NOT that way inclined you can have endless fun.
For example, Broos worship the god of rape. If that's not "triggering", I don't know what is. But it also gives you a clear enemy that everyone can hate, so Broos are cool (to me).
The real secret to Glorantha is that it is complex - you can find almost any culture you want, and the cultures actually matter. So there are sexist cultures, non-sexist cultures, cultures that treat sex as holy, cultures that promote "gender roles", cultures that ignore them, all sorts. It's all there, and these cultures interact with one another. You can have a game that feels real, but it's a fantasy world. It's even got racism built into the rules (-10 cha when interacting with other races, at least in the original rules).
YGMV was Greg's way of saying, "If you don't like something that's been published, don't worry, your game can be different and no one can tell you 'You're doing it wrong' whilst pointing at the rulebook." If you want to run a game free from modern day interpretations of history, go for it. Glorantha will let you do it.
 

jhkim

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2022, 06:16:21 PM »
Is all of the feminism new or was it baked into the game from the start? I played a little of the first edition but its been so long I don't recall it then, other than the female associated cults. That and the Dragon Pass computer game (which while rather retro in style, is an interesting deep dive into the Orlanthi culture stuff).

A lot of the things that Angry Goblin is complaining about are present in the material at least as of 3rd edition published by Avalon Hill in 1984, and I'm pretty sure they were there in earlier editions. Goddesses are often important, like the Red Goddess who had shaken things up in recent times, or Cult of Ernaldi, which was the example cult in 3rd edition. Trolls were always matriarchal.

I'd leave open whether these qualify as feminism. To my mind, they reflect pretty well a lot of Bronze Age ideas rather than being modernist.

Lynn

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2022, 06:32:22 PM »
A lot of the things that Angry Goblin is complaining about are present in the material at least as of 3rd edition published by Avalon Hill in 1984, and I'm pretty sure they were there in earlier editions. Goddesses are often important, like the Red Goddess who had shaken things up in recent times, or Cult of Ernaldi, which was the example cult in 3rd edition. Trolls were always matriarchal.

I'd leave open whether these qualify as feminism. To my mind, they reflect pretty well a lot of Bronze Age ideas rather than being modernist.
Thanks, that's sort of what I thought. It always seemed to me that Runequest / Glorantha's strength and weakness came from the same place - a depth that could be 'unfathomable.'

As to being f*inist/SJW, there's always been room in the game for playing that sort of game, but it was never so "up front" as it seems these days. But it really doesn't matter. There's so much that is so NOT that way inclined you can have endless fun.
For example, Broos worship the god of rape. If that's not "triggering", I don't know what is.

Is that still in the present  game?
Lynn Fredricks
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spon

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2022, 09:27:42 AM »
As to being f*inist/SJW, there's always been room in the game for playing that sort of game, but it was never so "up front" as it seems these days. But it really doesn't matter. There's so much that is so NOT that way inclined you can have endless fun.
For example, Broos worship the god of rape. If that's not "triggering", I don't know what is.

Is that still in the present  game?
[/quote]
Not sure, I'll have to check, but it's in MY game, YGMV :-) It's still in the wiki, but not on the Deliath page, so maybe it's been "Gregged". From the books I have, it looks like it's not mentioned when Thed is mentioned in passing, but I haven't found a write up of Thed or her cult yet. AFAIR, it was only mentioned in "printed" RQ2 in Cults of Terror.

Angry Goblin

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2022, 02:27:00 AM »

1) I do have a quite a pile of older Glorantha sourcebooks, though the situation lore-wise is pretty much the same, even if not as "in your face".

That's a pity. I've tried to get into Glorantha a few times, and even though on paper its full of elements I should love, something about it has always bumped me. Maybe that's what it was.

2) I already run Hârn, which is not woke to say the least. Tales of Gor is new to me, seems to be pulpy in nature, I will check it out.
Gor is much more in the realm of sword-and-planet/soft-sci fi than it is of fantasy, but I find it hits the tone of a bronze or iron age adventure setting better than most other worlds that try it. I will warn you that the setting comes with a bit of baggage of its own (there's been some controversy around the sexual politics of the author), but if it intrigues you, I'd recommend that you give the first novel, "A Tarnsman of Gor", a try. It'd probably be a cheaper starting place than the RPG book, it's an extremely solid science fantasy adventure, and it'll give you a pretty good idea of the setting. If you like it, then there's like 30 books out there you can read (plus the RPG line). If not, then you can trade the book in and move on having lost almost nothing.

3) Yeah, that is an option, though I would assume it would take even larger effort and time than converting an existing one  :(

Yes and no, I would say. Yes, in that writing up a whole homebrew world with the kind of detail that Glorantha now has would probably be an unfeasibly large undertaking.

No, in that you can work up the broad strokes of a world (tone, tech level, major factions, rough geography etc.) in an afternoon, and then build the rest out through the game. That might end up being less work than having to go line-by-line through a Glorantha sourcebook and figure out what edits you want to make, and then having to go back through and figure out what additional changes have to be made due to knock-on effects of the ones you've already made.

Yes, you are right. I think I will just run a campaign set in Dara Happa before Lunar takeover or something :D I get away with less needless work.

Angry Goblin

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2022, 02:35:23 AM »
Is all of the feminism new or was it baked into the game from the start? I played a little of the first edition but its been so long I don't recall it then, other than the female associated cults. That and the Dragon Pass computer game (which while rather retro in style, is an interesting deep dive into the Orlanthi culture stuff).

Thanks for the reply.

I guess that´s up to intepretation whether it is "feminism" or not, but basically in way too many (opinnion) Genertelan and Pamaltelan cultures men, even kings etc. have only the amount of power allowed by females, like fx. Feathered Horse Queen chooses (and thus controls) the King of Dragon Pass, who ever that is in any timeline. Red Goddess is above the emperor of Lunar Empire. Notchet is the largest/richest city governed by a Queen and feminine Earth cult. And these are only couple of examples.

Angry Goblin

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2022, 02:41:47 AM »
Glorantha has always been somewhere where you can have your own interpretation of the lore - especially early on when so much was undefined. So it's no wonder that the latest writers are putting their own spin on the lore.
As to being f*inist/SJW, there's always been room in the game for playing that sort of game, but it was never so "up front" as it seems these days. But it really doesn't matter. There's so much that is so NOT that way inclined you can have endless fun.
For example, Broos worship the god of rape. If that's not "triggering", I don't know what is. But it also gives you a clear enemy that everyone can hate, so Broos are cool (to me).
The real secret to Glorantha is that it is complex - you can find almost any culture you want, and the cultures actually matter. So there are sexist cultures, non-sexist cultures, cultures that treat sex as holy, cultures that promote "gender roles", cultures that ignore them, all sorts. It's all there, and these cultures interact with one another. You can have a game that feels real, but it's a fantasy world. It's even got racism built into the rules (-10 cha when interacting with other races, at least in the original rules).
YGMV was Greg's way of saying, "If you don't like something that's been published, don't worry, your game can be different and no one can tell you 'You're doing it wrong' whilst pointing at the rulebook." If you want to run a game free from modern day interpretations of history, go for it. Glorantha will let you do it.

Thanks for the reply.

Well said, the game world is rich indeed and allows for all kinds of campaigns. I guess the main problem is, when/if I change one thing, how does it affect the big picture. I am not so deeply familiar with Glorantha to do it well.

Angry Goblin

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Re: Your Glorantha Will Vary (Patriarchal Glorantha)
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2022, 02:43:43 AM »
Is all of the feminism new or was it baked into the game from the start? I played a little of the first edition but its been so long I don't recall it then, other than the female associated cults. That and the Dragon Pass computer game (which while rather retro in style, is an interesting deep dive into the Orlanthi culture stuff).

A lot of the things that Angry Goblin is complaining about are present in the material at least as of 3rd edition published by Avalon Hill in 1984, and I'm pretty sure they were there in earlier editions. Goddesses are often important, like the Red Goddess who had shaken things up in recent times, or Cult of Ernaldi, which was the example cult in 3rd edition. Trolls were always matriarchal.

I'd leave open whether these qualify as feminism. To my mind, they reflect pretty well a lot of Bronze Age ideas rather than being modernist.

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, it seems that the main plotline has been around for a long time.