Monday, December 14, 2009

Why I love and hate Glorantha

Today I was moving around some of the piles of gaming fanzines I have collected. Glorantha is a game world where most of the interesting things for a long time was published in fanzines, and not by a regular rpg publisher. It's happened a few times before, Warhammer FRP is another good example. Now I found my copies of the Pavis and Big Rubble Companion volumes III and V. Naturally (I am a crazy completist) I felt that maybe it was time to try to track down copies of volume I, II and IV.

For those of you who didn't knew about this wonderful little creation I'd suggest you visit the excellent site Ian Thomson have created in support of the magazine. There you will also find the reason I hate Glorantha.

Did you notice where Ian wrote about his stuff being superseded by Greg's latest thinking on the matter? That drove me nuts. Gobs of cool and gameable stuff was produced, and often with a dash of humour. Much later it would become clear that Greg had been thinking about it, and it would be declared false on a panel at a Glorantha convention or in a much later product from Issaries which usually looked far less like a professionally produced product than the fanzine where the idea first appeared.

Now, Glorantha is Greg's creation, and it is his to do with as he feels like. But, for someone who just wanted to play a game, and not wanting to run into "canon conflicts" with other gamers it was a mess. I have nothing against Greg personally, I have never met him, but this aspect of him as the Creator grated on me. Some Glorantha fans have made it a verb, so to contradict an old fact is now known as Greging. I sometimes, depending on mood, find that hilarious. sometimes I just groan.

The world Greg created contains some very evocative stuff, like the tragedy of the hero Arkat, and the very strange and truly alien trolls. I love that guy Arkat! One of these days I will just try to ignore the hundreds and hundreds of pages of stuff on Glorantha I have on my shelves and just game the hell out of it. I hope.
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