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Confess All to the Unspoken Word!



This list isn't definitive, isn't ordered, and may be updated at any time without notice.

1. Ducks, Ducks and More Ducks

Self-explanatory, really. For years, RuneQuest was stigmatised as "that game where you can play a duck", putting it neatly into the same drawer as Bunnies and Burrows. Nowadays, we're meant to call them "Durulz", as if that takes the curse off it. Anyhow, ducks aren't nearly as funny as baboons.

2. The Elmal/Yelmalio Business

Ridiculous. Less than a year after Sun County is published, Greg Stafford over-reacts to his earlier oversights and, while trying to create an Orlanthi sun god, inadvertently ret-cons Yelmalio out of existence. Excitable types leap on the bandwagon and stretch the single dubious source for this (a parochial account about the decline of the Elmal cult in Sartar) to support some loopy time-travelling theory about the recent invention of the Sun Dome Temple, apparently based on weird elf shit. Do they look elvish in Sun County? Does King of Sartar tell us anything particularly authoritative about Prax?

3. Waiting for "Next Year"

Apart from the natural stultifying effect of waiting forever for non-existent product releases (see "What Never Was" in the Meints Index to Glorantha), there's the added irritant of being asked to delay work on amateur or home-grown products (Tarsh War, Soldiers of the Red Moon, the Greydog Campaign) until the "next" game makes it out (whether it's coming from Avalon Hill, Chaosium, Stratelibri, Issaries, or whoever).

This hate is, of course, linked to the latest incarnation of the "official policy on fan publications", together with the website policy, Duck Point Press, the various Approval schemes, and other stiflers of creativity.

4. The Secret of the God Learners

Nobody in Glorantha today knows it. No major Gloranthan culture has ever known it. Nobody has deduced it from all the published Gloranthan sources. And Gloranthans live in Glorantha, worship Gloranthan gods and use Gloranthan magic without knowing the Secret. So what makes it so bloody important?

(Anyway, it doesn't work any more.)

This heading includes the interminable "nature of the gods" debate, which usually boils down to a GM wanting to know, absolutely for certainly sure, which One True Explanation of Gloranthan myth is correct, so he can tell his players, bin all the others, and laugh at everyone who got it "wrong".

5. Time-Travelling Myth-Mucking HeroQuests

I hate all this time-travel sci-fi malarkey (freaks at the Nights of Horror, origins of Belintar, Elmal/Yelmalio, Feldichi artifacts, you name it). It'll look like a pun if I say it's anachronistic, but in a world of living mythology, who needs all this guff?

And I hate people who treat mythology as a Nintendo beat-em-up game. I hate people who unilaterally decide that their God "got it wrong" or "should be tougher", and think that this is how Glorantha works. We're meant to be our Gods' worshippers, not their personal trainers!

6. Newbie Mega-Theorists

We all love newbies, of course: they're what keeps Glorantha alive! But... every now and then somebody new arrives in town with a Theory of Everything in their hand, and proceeds to tell us why their new theory explains Glorantha better than anyone else has ever been able to. Fur flies. Flames descend. Hoary old arguments lurch into unnatural life. In the aftermath, nobody is much wiser; and none of the theories I've seen has ever been generally accepted.

But because somebody new has tried to contribute something to the shared world we've all been developing for 20+ years (even if it was something wrong-headed and destructive and demonstrably incorrect), all of us old-timers end up looking like evil recalcitrant bastards, squishing newbies purely for the fun of it. But what are we meant to do? Bin all of our established Gloranthan consensus every time someone new to the world has a "brainwave"?

7. Scientific Literalists, Flat-Earthers and Other Reductionists

Mr. Logic says: "Since Glorantha is a flat world with a bulge in the middle, everything must lean at funny angles in the East and West. Because sylphs can carry rocks, Gloranthan fortifications need reinforced geodesic roofs. As the sun rises from the Gates of Dawn, these must logically be located at least a hundred million miles away. Given that the Orlanthi despise dogs and goats, there can't be any dogs or goats in Orlanthi lands. As there is iron in human blood, it must be toxic to trolls." Et bloody cetera.

Add to this one the 294-day year, and the mostly useless article about "Time" from the Glorantha Book.

8. Deliberate Obscurantists

Usually this one hits in the West, one of my old stamping-grounds. It seems to have something to do with a pervasive anti-Christian feeling in the gaming community. Anyhow, it goes like this:

"Gloranthan cultures should never be modelled on real-world cultures. OK, so the Lunars are like Graeco-Roman Byzantine Islamic Soviet Englishmen, and the Sartarites are like Celtic Viking Anglo-Saxons, and the Praxians are like American Indian Aboriginal Bedouin, and that's all right. But to suggest that the Gloranthan West, a land of Knights and Castles and Bishops and Churches, Kings and Popes and Tournaments and Chivalry, Monotheism and Wizards and Holy Writ and Feudal Dues, should ever be considered as looking even vaguely 'mediaeval' -- well, for me, that destroys Glorantha!"

9. Hysterical Knee-Jerkers and RQ2 Grognards

"All Lunars are Chaos! Everything published since 1984 is Evil! And anyway, RQ3 left out the Blade Venom rules! We hate Avalon Hill for publishing manuscripts by Greg Stafford and Sandy Petersen, long after Chaosium would otherwise have folded. We judge books by their covers (and their interior art)! We didn't buy Gods of Glorantha or World of Glorantha on a point of principle. We don't support fanzines, or conventions, or Issaries, Inc. And now, everyone treats us as if we're ignorant!"

You know who you are...

10. Working with Greg

To amend an old saying: "Never work with children, animals, or Californian Arkati Shaman-Publishers." - Your index to all the best Gloranthan websites

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Confess All to the Unspoken Word!

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