19 September 2012

T&T: New French-Language Edition - Spell Glossary (Part Two)

This is a companion post to the 7 September post.

Should an English-speaking person try and use a French-language T&T supplement, here's the French-to-English spell glossary:

Abeilles porte-malheur    2    Unlucky Bees
Abracadabra    1    Hocus Focus
Allez, hop !    4    Upsidaisy
Allez, Va-t'en (AV)    1    Oh Go Away (OGA)
Antidote    4    Too-Bad Toxin (TBT)
Autométamorphose    8    Imafrawg
Bénédiction du dieu troll    5    Trollgod's Blessing
Bien fermer    1    Lock Tight
Bling-bling    1    Sparkle
Bon esprit    5    Dear Lord
Bouge pas ! (BP)    1    Hold That Pose (HTP)
Bouge-moi    10    Blow me to…
Bouge-toi    11    Blow you to…
Ça c'est de la barbe !    1    That's a Natty Beard (TNB)
Casse    5    Breaker Breaker
Confusion    3    Befuddle
Conjuration    3    Dis-Spell
Contrôle des esprits    2    Spirit Mastery
Coup du sort    8    Patterns of Fate (PoF)
Coup dur    2    Whammy
Coupe le cordon    11    Cut the Cord
Crème de la Kremm (CdK)    1    Crème de la Kremm (CdK)
Debout les morts ! (DLM)    1    Dem Bones Gonna Rise (DBGR)
Déflecteur de magie    5    Resist Magic
Démon invisible    12    Invisible Fiend
Double vue    5    Second Sight
Double-double    4    Double-Double
Drelin    2    Ding-a-Ling
Ékremmage    1    Suppress Kremm
Envol    3    Fly Me
Et on reprend couleur    6    Blue Shirt of Life (BSL)
Exométamorphose    9    Yerafrawg
Exorcisme    12    Banishing
Expertise    3    For What It's Worth (FWIW)
Explosion de puissance infernale (EPP)    10    Hellbomb Burst (HB)
Fais dodo    3    Rock-a-Bye
Feu à volonté    3    Fire at Will
Feu follet    1    Will-o-Wisp
Flaire magie    1    Detect Magic
Fluide glacial    2    Dura-Spell Battery
Guérison    3    Healing Feeling
Guimauve Infâme    3    Slush-Yuck
Indic    3    Find Person
Invocation    12    Summoning
Invocation de l'eau    1    Call Water
Invocation du feu    1    Call Flame
Lame de Vorpal    1    Vorpal Blade
Lame infaillible    2    Unerring Blade
Langue universelle    10    Wizard Speech
Maximus    11    Bigger is Better
Méduse    9    Medusa
Mini-portion (PP)    10    Smaller is Smarter
Mirage    2    Mirage
Mur invisible    7    Invisible Wall
Nécromancie    12    Nefarious Necromancy
Nuage de malheur (NDM)    3    Devoted Rain Cloud (DRC)
Œil de chat    2    Cateyes
Œil omnipotent    2    Omnipotent Eye
Pains de glace    3    Freeze Please
Passe-passe    5    Zingum
Patauge    2    Glue You
Pentagramme protecteur    4    Protective Pentagram
PES    5    ESP
Pieds ailés    2    Little Feets
Planque    2    Hidey Hole
Prends-Ça (PC)    1    Take That You Fiend! (TTYF)
Prise rapide    3    Hard Stuff
Prof    1    Teacher
Protège-moi    3    Shield Me
Puissance explosive    3    Blasting Power
Pygmalion    9    Pygmalion
Qui est là ?    1    Know Your Foe
Qui va là ?    1    Who's There?
Raclée    7    Zappathingum (ZapT)
Radiesthésie    2    Find Object
Remaniement    12    Omniflex
Renaissance    13    Born Again
Revers de fortune (RdF)    6    Reversal of Fortune (RoF)
Sang-Dragon    8    Zapparmor (ZapA)
Smog    4    Smog
Sort Mortel n°9 (SM9)    9    Death Spell #9 (DS9)
Souffle bobo    2    Poor Baby
Source mortelle    9    Mortal Source
Tiens, le voilà (TV)    1    Oh There It Is (OTh)
Toc toc    1    Knock Knock
Toqué    4    Dum-Dum
Vérole mentale    5    Mind Pox
Vision animée    6    Porta-Vision
Visions mystiques    6    Mystic Visions
Voyage astral    11    Ghostly Going
Zizanie    3    Firestorm of Protest (FOP)
Zombi    8    Zombie Zonk

18 September 2012

Yay! Second Age Gloranthan Travelogue in the Works!

Pete Nash of BRP Rome and RuneQuest 6 fame is working on a "field guide"-like bestiary for Second Age Glorantha written in the manner of the real world bestiaries of yore. Rather than paraphrasing his post from the Moon Design forum, I'll simply re-post it over here:

For those of you who have an interest in Gloranthan monsters, the good news is that the Bestiary has been finished for quite a while now. In fact I completed it more than a month ago, but due to the release of Pavis and my own hectic workload for RuneQuest 6, I haven’t gotten round to posting anything about it.

So to help out Jeff, I thought I’d write a bit about the book and the design concept behind it.

When Jeff first approached me with the concept of writing a Bestiary I was somewhat wary. My enthusiasm was jaded by the work I’d previously put into Monster Island, which due to certain circumstances I ultimately did not submit to Mongoose. Jeff’s irrepressible enthusiasm however, soon got me to change my mind. What he envisioned was not yet-another splat book full of characteristics and combat skills, but something in homage to the Sandy Petersen’s Field Guide publications.

For those of you who have never seen one of these Petersen’s Field Guides, they are stat-less but very evocative descriptions of the weird creatures of the Dreamlands and Cthulhu Mythos, supplemented with stunningly beautiful, full page art. After Jeff posted me his own personal copy to wet my appetite, I was hooked and began to think about how the text of the book should be presented.

Since Jeff knows that I’m an armchair classicist, he suggested I write the book as if it the author was a Second Age God Learner, in the style of Herodotus, Pliny and Aelian. That is to say, philosophical discourses well peppered with entertaining anecdotes. That sealed the deal and I agreed to write a Gloranthan Bestiary, with Jeff’s proviso that I come up with a truly insane explanation of Jack-o-bear ecology.

I had foolishly imagined that tossing this off would be a matter of six week or so of solid writing. Yet the more I considered just what exactly should be included in the book, the deeper my anxiety about the level of research would be required. I quite literally sat around for a couple of days considering the different approaches I should take.

There are, as with any work which has to fit into a huge body of established lore, issues concerning accepted canon. Glorantha has several ways of sidestepping this problem, not least the fact that there are very few objective truths in the world. However, a book which simply regurgitates the same old myths and information which have been published a dozen times before, won’t win it any fans — no matter how good the art!

To make this a worthwhile purchase then, I would have to create new material or present known knowledge in an exotic or wildly misinterpreted way. That is a dangerous path however, especially if my imagination took things so far into left field that even Greg would baulk.

So I came up with an idea I pitched back to Jeff. I would deliberately exaggerate the theories and observations of the God Learner author (after all, that’s what makes reading Pliny fun), then Jeff and Greg could append footnotes decrying everything recorded as wrong, in the most sanctimonious style of Minaryth Purple, the Third Age Lhankor Mhy scholar transposing the work. This would not only avoid messy editorial revisions, but also add to the whole entertainment.

My next thought was how to come up with so much material. With an average of 1,500ish words required per creature, I was going to run out of ideas pretty quickly and the text would indeed descend into bland psuedo-scientific categorisations. I flipped back through some of the early RQ2 publications and decided what was needed was a on-running narrative, in the style of Biturian Varosh. Not only would this ease the creative workload, but it would allow the bestiary to become more akin to a compiled travelogue.

Thus, with those two concepts in mind I began to sketch out the epic explorations of Danakil Thesager, early God Learner naturalist, explorer and exile of Jrustela. I decided his records would present creatures in the order he encountered them, which would preserve the timeline of the anecdotes. I then looked at Gloranthan history to search out the most famous events which occurred during the early empire, so that the narrative could provide brief eye witness accounts.

This took several more weeks of planning, but I finally decided on beginning in 823 with the expedition against the Umaliath fireberg and ending in 843. During that time Danakil would unwittingly embark on several Heroquests, participate in the Too Tall Battle and even witness the destruction of Duke Dorvis at Ezel — and these would not even be the most spectacular events he would have a hand in. At the conclusion of his journey he would have circumvented the world, visiting most of the major land masses and written about an awful lot of creatures.

Thus it began. I re-read all my books written by famous 19th and early 20th century British explorers. Watched lots of Ray Harryhausen movies. Delved deep into certain forbidden tomes of the Stafford Library.

Now nearly 100,000 words later, we have the epic and sadly fragmentary accounts of a God Learner explorer whose light hearted, almost comedic experiences, slowly change from wonder, to astonishment, incomprehension and finally growing horror. We see his thoughts and attitudes evolve as his grasp of myth grows and we see how his Runic Sight colours his opinions. There’s also a lot of fun stuff about all the creatures he meets too — and yes, he does come up with an explanation of Jack-o-bear ecology.

Are his wild tales true? Did he accidentally awaken the Faceless Statue, sail the Worm Sea on a mile wide raft of living Timinits and witness the greatest monster of Loral Island? Are Aldryami really carnivorous, do Mostali actually exist? Was there a fundamental objective truth to his reports which has been revised out of existence with the re-weaving of Arachne Solara’s web? That is for the reader to decide and for me to shut up about...

07 September 2012

T&T: New French-Language Edition - Spell Glossary (Part One)

It is extremely nice and helpful to have a French-langage edition of Tunnels & Trolls. It is particularly handy to introduce the younger generation to role-playing games, since they usually do not master the English language well enough [although I did start with the Holmes Basic Set myself at age 12...]

Anyway, even though French-speaking people now have a French-language edition of Tunnels & Trolls, most published adventures are in English. This is not a problem since there aren't that many technical terms, and you needn't be a genius to understand which English term corresponds to which French one.

Spells, however, are quite a different matter. The English-language spells have zany names, whereas the French-language ones are much more serious. Compare Yerafrawg with Exométamorphose...

I hence provide a useful English-to-French glossary of spell names. French-speaking T&T players can refer to it whenever they are using an English-language T&T adventure or publication. Enjoy!

Banishing    12    Exorcisme
Befuddle    3    Confusion
Bigger is Better    11    Maximus
Blasting Power    3    Puissance explosive
Blow me to…    10    Bouge-moi
Blow you to…    11    Bouge-toi
Blue Shirt of Life (BSL)    6    Et on reprend couleur
Born Again    13    Renaissance
Breaker Breaker    5    Casse
Call Flame    1    Invocation du feu
Call Water    1    Invocation de l'eau
Cateyes    2    Œil de chat
Crème de la Kremm (CdK)    1    Crème de la Kremm (CdK)
Cut the Cord    11    Coupe le cordon
Dear Lord    5    Bon esprit
Death Spell #9 (DS9)    9    Sort Mortel n°9 (SM9)
Dem Bones Gonna Rise (DBGR)    1    Debout les morts ! (DLM)
Detect Magic    1    Flaire magie
Devoted Rain Cloud (DRC)    3    Nuage de malheur (NDM)
Ding-a-Ling    2    Drelin
Dis-Spell    3    Conjuration
Double-Double    4    Double-double
Dum-Dum    4    Toqué
Dura-Spell Battery    2    Fluide glacial
ESP    5    PES
Find Object    2    Radiesthésie
Find Person    3    Indic
Fire at Will    3    Feu à volonté
Firestorm of Protest (FOP)    3    Zizanie
Fly Me    3    Envol
For What It's Worth (FWIW)    3    Expertise
Freeze Please    3    Pains de glace
Ghostly Going    11    Voyage astral
Glue You    2    Patauge
Hard Stuff    3    Prise rapide
Healing Feeling    3    Guérison
Hellbomb Burst (HB)    10    Explosion de puissance infernale (EPP)
Hidey Hole    2    Planque
Hocus Focus    1    Abracadabra
Hold That Pose (HTP)    1    Bouge pas ! (BP)
Imafrawg    8    Autométamorphose
Invisible Fiend    12    Démon invisible
Invisible Wall    7    Mur invisible
Knock Knock    1    Toc toc
Know Your Foe    1    Qui est là ?
Little Feets    2    Pieds ailés
Lock Tight    1    Bien fermer
Medusa    9    Méduse
Mind Pox    5    Vérole mentale
Mirage    2    Mirage
Mortal Source    9    Source mortelle
Mystic Visions    6    Visions mystiques
Nefarious Necromancy    12    Nécromancie
Oh Go Away (OGA)    1    Allez, Va-t'en (AV)
Oh There It Is (OTh)    1    Tiens, le voilà (TV)
Omniflex    12    Remaniement
Omnipotent Eye    2    Œil omnipotent
Patterns of Fate (PoF)    8    Coup du sort
Poor Baby    2    Souffle bobo
Porta-Vision    6    Vision animée
Protective Pentagram    4    Pentagramme protecteur
Pygmalion    9    Pygmalion
Resist Magic    5    Déflecteur de magie
Reversal of Fortune (RoF)    6    Revers de fortune (RdF)
Rock-a-Bye    3    Fais dodo
Second Sight    5    Double vue
Shield Me    3    Protège-moi
Slush-Yuck    3    Guimauve Infâme
Smaller is Smarter    10    Mini-portion (PP)
Smog    4    Smog
Sparkle    1    Bling-bling
Spirit Mastery    2    Contrôle des esprits
Summoning    12    Invocation
Suppress Kremm    1    Ékremmage
Take That You Fiend! (TTYF)    1    Prends-Ça (PC)
Teacher    1    Prof
That's a Natty Beard (TNB)    1    Ça c'est de la barbe !
Too-Bad Toxin (TBT)    4    Antidote
Trollgod's Blessing    5    Bénédiction du dieu troll
Unerring Blade    2    Lame infaillible
Unlucky Bees    2    Abeilles porte-malheur
Upsidaisy    4    Allez, hop !
Vorpal Blade    1    Lame de Vorpal
Whammy    2    Coup dur
Who's There?    1    Qui va là ?
Will-o-Wisp    1    Feu follet
Wizard Speech    10    Langue universelle
Yerafrawg    9    Exométamorphose
Zapparmor (ZapA)    8    Sang-Dragon
Zappathingum (ZapT)    7    Raclée
Zingum    5    Passe-passe
Zombie Zonk    8    Zombi