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Skyrealms of Jorune : a stronger motivation and a stronger ethos

vini_lessa

Registered User
Validated User
Skyrealms of Jorune : Lets fix it

Just stumbled on this fascinating world. Having read various reviews and discussions about the game, mainly this excelent "Lets read.." by Grymbok, I feel the consensus is that the setting is great but lacks a central motivation, a sense of purpose by the players. Here are some nice excerpts that resume the issue..

[the intro adventure] is very mundane. It doesn't seem to me to be very representative of what I think Jorune is. I'm possibly not being fair here - there's enough of this kind of thing throughout the book to reasonably conclude that maybe Andrew Leker's Jorune really is about this kind of street-level interaction in a city which could be a real Earth city in many ways. It's just that having been implored to "Leave My World Behind", I expect to be doing something other than carrying an egg from one warehouse to another, and being ambushed on a canal path as I do so.
my main stumbling block, is finding something compelling to carry a story for me in Jorune... What I want is the essence of Jorune to play with - so far, I'm still scratching my head on this one.
I think that potentially skyrealms are a massive red herring as they stand. The idea of unexplored skyrealms is basically equivalent to having unexplored islands... So I feel that possibly to make skyrealms an integral part of the Jorune experience we need to go the other way and make them inhabited, rather than floating dungeons. I think that as the game stands, the essence of Jorune is just "being there"

So, it seems the "tauthing" process (quest for citizenship, Athenian-style) is a nice attempt by the author to introduce new players, but it lacks something to really distinguish the setting´s essence from what already exists in the market and to justify the motto "Leave your world behind". And even if you follow the idea, then you gain drennship and... now what?

So, I challenge the RPGnet overmind to come up with ideas to put a stronger sense of purpose into the setting, and also ideas to making the game more unique in essence. I really liked Grymbok´s idea to make the skyrealms the focus of such purpose, and I think we could start from there. But any idea is appreciated really.


I even came up with one already:

- maybe the subterranean crystal sheets responsible for creating the skyrealms began developing a repulsion for earth-tec over the centuries. Now there are a lot of skyrealms containing old earth ships, bases, satellites and other remainings that could contain knowledge that permit humans to "know thyself" better than ever before (and maybe permit a big leap in techological advance). As soon as the human kingdoms discover this fact, there would be a big Skyrealms-exploring-racing that could shatter the status of human-planet relation (and potentially uncover the means to attest the existance - or even making contact - to your species legendary homeworld, Earth). This could make the game more unique giving it an Age of Exploration-vibe (the skyrealms would be the americas and africas, aimed for big expeditions, resource gathering outposts and even habitation colonies), at the same time giving the characters a "quest for identity"-vibe.
 
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smascrns

New member
Banned
Re: Skyrealms of Jorune : Lets fix it

So, it seems the "tauthing" process (quest for citizenship, Athenian-style) is a nice attempt by the author to introduce new players, but it lacks something to really distinguish the setting´s essence from what already exists in the market and to justify the motto "Leave your world behind". And even if you follow the idea, then you gain drennship and... now what?

So, I challenge the RPGnet overmind to come up with ideas to put a stronger sense of purpose into the setting, and also ideas to making the game more unique in essence. I really liked Grymbok´s idea to make the skyrealms the focus of such purpose, and I think we could start from there. But any idea is appreciated really.
Well, as always it really depends on how the players are going to deal with the setting. There are two standard ways to add that sense of purpose and that fit two approaches to Jorune:

The complete newbies. It's the first time the players are going to enter Jorune, and they know nothing about it. In this case the focus should be on exploration. They are going to discover Jorune, a bit at a time. A good way to handle the game is by focuzing on trade, politics, migrations, etc., anything that forces the characters to move and deal with the unknown.

More experienced players that know Jorune. In this case what's needed is a big enemy. Maybe a completely unknown species coming from a distant solar system is coming to invade Jorune. The only way to fight them is for all peoples living in Jorune to come to terms and use their respective forces (Isho, Earth-tech, whatever).

There you have it, exploration or the big fight, pick what suits your groop.
 

Kagemusha

Takeda Shingen's monkey
Validated User
I agree that there needs to be a two tiered approach to a Jorune Campaign. One for newbs to break them in gently into the setting, and one for experienced Joruni's who want something special.

The current Tauther campaign, is to my mind somewhere in between, and feels rather dull and mundane.

One idea I have been toying with, for experirnced Joruni's, is to incorporate some ideas from Pendragon. Make Drennship, the equivalent to Knighthood and increase the status a couple of levels. The players would then begin as Tauther on the eve of becoming Drenn and working for Burdoth as a whole. They are assigned a town or villages to patrol, and will be responsible for the safety of the people living there.

This opens up, Earth-Tec and allows for a 'Dogs in the Vinyard' approach.

There is a Facebook page called 'Shambo in the Shenters' which has a similar discussion to this thread. Have a look.

My main issue is starting a newb game, to get people interested and showcase Jorune without boring the pants of them. An idea I had, was either to start them off in the earth Colony days to give them a flavour of the world, or have a hidden stasis pod with colonists thaw out in the wilderness and have them make there way to civilisation.
 

Morfedel

100% GM, 5% player
Validated User
Ah, Jorune. I owned every edition of that game. It broke my heart when they finally gave up on it and let it die.
 

Grymbok

Licensed to Ill
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My rough thinking which I was alluding to when I started talking about inhabited skyrealms was a "pulp Jorune" heavily influenced by Skies of Arcadia and Flash Gordon, with lots of Jaspian crystal schooners, air pirates, and cities in the sky. As I said towards the end of Let's Read, to my mind if you're going to fill your game with multiple animal-men races and a pseudo-mystical energy force, it's probably best to just embrace the fact you're a pulp game and go for it.

However, that would be going quite a long way from canonical Jorune.

An idea I had a few years back for starting of a campaign with Jorune novices was to have the PCs all begin the campaign waking up amnesiac on a skyrealm. Then you could go through the process of the players learning about Jorune at the same time the PCs re-learnt things. And again it puts a skyrealm right at the heart of the action from day one (my philosophy is that, much like the eponymous dragons in D&D, skyrealms don't need to be in every Jorune campaign, but they should be something common enough that anyone who's played the game for any length of time has seen one).
 

vini_lessa

Registered User
Validated User
One idea I have been toying with, for experirnced Joruni's, is to incorporate some ideas from Pendragon. Make Drennship, the equivalent to Knighthood and increase the status a couple of levels. The players would then begin as Tauther on the eve of becoming Drenn and working for Burdoth as a whole. They are assigned a town or villages to patrol, and will be responsible for the safety of the people living there.

This opens up, Earth-Tec and allows for a 'Dogs in the Vinyard' approach.
Really nice idea.

About the DitV approach, what would be a good ideology/code for the Drenns to uphold?

More experienced players that know Jorune. In this case what's needed is a big enemy
Maybe the Red Shanta ? (from Sholari James site)

- - -

One thing I keep having difficult is to visualize the overall aesthetics of the main human society in Jorune (Ardroth ?). Sometimes it seems iron-age (with sandals and spears and city-states), and other times it seems medieval (with chainmails and longswords and feudal lords). On top of this you add some earth-tec aesthetics (like modern-day uniforms, clothes and gear) and you end with a huge headache. :eek:

(and somehow it brings me memories from my youth playing Phantasy Star on Sega Master System :D ).
 
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Kagemusha

Takeda Shingen's monkey
Validated User
Really nice idea.

About the DitV approach, what would be a good ideology/code for the Drenns to uphold?



Maybe the Red Shanta ? (from Sholari James site)

- - -

Taking the Pendragon / Ditv approach. I'd like a mix of the two, to make the game more about the players and their self interest in maintaining / protecting their power base. no intentions of being dynastic at this stage.

The Drenn, to paraphrase Starship Troopers, would make the safety of mankind their personal concern. Not everyone is ready for such responsibility and drennship is not handed routinely. In the wilds and outside of Ardoth, a Drenn is sometimes the only one that can impart Justice.

This then ties in to the insiduos enemy, the Lamorri. These were thought destroyed a long time ago, but this is not so. Many went into slumber or became one with their machines. Now they are awaking and sending dreams out to those who would listen. The weak minded are the easy targets for them. Where these people hear the Call of the Lamorri, they begin organising themselves into cults in a hope to resurrect their dark masters. The Drenn's are tasked to over see the Law, protect people from enemy incursions, locate and protect Earth Tec sites, offer assistance to Thriddle when required, fight contraband, investigate ancient ruins and to report and investigate Skyrealms. Where cult activity is detected, the members need to be rooted out.

This approach, brings in aspects of Call of Cthulhu / Delta Green which I feel work well with the Lamorri threat.

This is not canon so YJMV.
 

Vagabond

Whoah, um, like, you know
Validated User
One thing I keep having difficult is to visualize the overall aesthetics of the main human society in Jorune (Ardroth ?). Sometimes it seems iron-age (with sandals and spears and city-states), and other times it seems medieval (with chainmails and longswords and feudal lords). On top of this you add some earth-tec aesthetics (like modern-day uniforms, clothes and gear) and you end with a huge headache. :eek:

(and somehow it brings me memories from my youth playing Phantasy Star on Sega Master System :D ).
As discussed in Grymbok's massive "Let's Read" thread, think of Jorune in general as
analogous to Greece in it's heyday or Empirical Rome. There is very little in the way
of "chainmail", more sandals, city-states, and swords of various design. Greece
and Rome both shared the concept of only citizens owning land, and having slaves
who were protected by law to some degree. Rome had the concept of freedmen who
were able to attain citizenship, while Greece lumped freed slaves in with foreigners
and citizens from other city-states who were granted local residency. This is more
in line with Jorune than feudalism. Then you chuck in the extremely rare modern
Earth-Tec (I don't recall modern clothing or uniforms noted anywhere, either in art
or description, in the canon material - Earth-Tec armor yes, but again, it is very
rare).

Anyway, as discussed in that thread, Jorune is more pre-Iron Age with some
anachronisms from modern/future tech tossed in, but really, not that much.

Ian
 

smascrns

New member
Banned
As discussed in Grymbok's massive "Let's Read" thread, think of Jorune in general as
analogous to Greece in it's heyday or Empirical Rome.
And when one takes out the sandals one can always drift to Idealistic Rome or even Metaphysical Rome! (Sorry Ian, but I couldn't resist.)
 
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