[Glorantha] Sartar is boring

vini_lessa

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There, I said it. I had to take it off my chest.

Ahh... I'm feeling much better now. :D

But really, is it just me that find Sartar boring? I was introduced to Glorantha through the awesome King of Dragon Pass, which makes you brave this forbidden land to survive with your family. It's an interesting premise, it involves this misterious place, misterious beings and threats. Now fast forward some centuries ahead and the place has become this dull Gaul-like nation facing subjugation by this Rome-like empire. There is a war in the horizon that pits the good (us) vs the bad (them) and that's it. Boring.

Ironically, all other setups I've read always sounded much more interesting to me: Prax as depicted in Pavis/Rubble and Borderlands, Balazar from Griffin Mountain, Dorastor from Land of Doom, Dagori-Inkarth (?) from Trollpak, even the Second Age with it's God Learners vs Dragonkin conflict. I can't put my finger on it, but it seems those places have more built-in multi-sided political conflicts or were simply more... exotic overall? Just by hearing those places' names evoke fantastic vistas in my mind. While hearing about Sartar all I think is "Gaul vs Rome".

Someone else shares this impression?
 
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Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
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I couldn't agree more. For being the core of Glorantha and the "Crucible of the Hero Wars," Sartar is the part of it that interests me the least. There's a couple of factors involved. First, a lot of the texture tends to be overshadowed by the all-encompassing bigness of the Hero Wars. Sartar is all about Orlanthi versus Lunars, which leads into my second point. I find the Lunars and the Red Goddess to be the most fascinating part of Glorantha, and content focused on Sartar unrelentingly casts them as the villains of the piece. It doesn't help that I really don't like Orlanth either.
 

jsnead

Social Justice Dragon
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"We're very tired of the Orlanthi" comes up fairly often, yes.
Yep, me too. I find the Lunars somewhat interesting, but what I'm really interested in is the 2nd age - I think both the EWF and the Godlearners are awesome and fascinating, but I'm also far more interested in civilized highly urban cultures that are pushing the edge of what's possible &/or a good idea and far less interested in barbarians interested in preserving their way of live, their honor, or whatever.
 

21st Century Moose

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Cattle raids and tribal initiations - yes, it's not exactly riveting stuff. Classic RQ (and therefore classic Glorantha play) was however all about Prax. The hefty focus on Sartar is a relatively recent development.
 

CK!

Creator of Things
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Classic RQ (and therefore classic Glorantha play) was however all about Prax. The hefty focus on Sartar is a relatively recent development.
This is true, right?

I ask because I came to Glorantha via Hero Wars, and everything was focused on Sartar (and a little bit of adjacent lands). As a guy who is all over Icelandic Sagas, Greek, Persian and Irish Epics I plugged directly into the culture and found it fascinating. The tension between the mundane concerns of cattle raids and family strife mixed with these cosmic conflicts really enticed me. (That's me. I'm not trying to convince anyone otherwise!)

But when I started digging around the RuneQuest 2 material (RQ2, Cults of Prax, Pavis, Big Rubble, and Griffin Mountain) I was surprised to discover... I wasn't in Sartar anymore.

It kind of startled me!
 

Dillon_Burke

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At the last GENCON Runequest seminar I went to, Chaosium explained that in moving the timeline for the next version of Runequest forward they were getting away from the "Braveheart" era and allowing more complexity in the setting, e.g. PC parties will be able to contain Lunar and Orlanthi PCs without everyone feeling like they have to murder each other.
 

Midnight Sun

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This is true, right?

I ask because I came to Glorantha via Hero Wars, and everything was focused on Sartar (and a little bit of adjacent lands). As a guy who is all over Icelandic Sagas, Greek, Persian and Irish Epics I plugged directly into the culture and found it fascinating. The tension between the mundane concerns of cattle raids and family strife mixed with these cosmic conflicts really enticed me. (That's me. I'm not trying to convince anyone otherwise!)

But when I started digging around the RuneQuest 2 material (RQ2, Cults of Prax, Pavis, Big Rubble, and Griffin Mountain) I was surprised to discover... I wasn't in Sartar anymore.

It kind of startled me!
Originally, RQ2 was about Dragon Pass and Prax, with most of the material focused on Prax. Sure, the maps showed a lot of Sartar besides, but there wasn't a great deal written about it...eh, maybe Trollpak a bit. Griffin Mountain followed that, adding in the Elder Wilds. Then, when Avalon Hill took over with RQ3, they tried to go generic and it didn't work particularly well. Afterwards, AH redid a lot of the original campaign packs and added Dorastor. It wasn't really until the 2000's that things started going Sartar-centric, although Greg had been writing a fair bit about it for years before that.
 
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Corvo

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Slight tangent, but it's related.

What kept me away from Glorantha is the whole cult and initiation thing.
For some reason, I find that thing incredibly... dull? uninteresting?
The thing that -in a politheistic world- it's crucial to be dedicated to a specific god somehow kills my interest.

Someone else like me? I'm asking because I cannot really understand why I'm feeling like this, either.
 
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