3 Oct 2008

Humakti on the Marsh Edge : Intro

Dogs in the Vineyard, Glorantha style

We started playing my DitV variant last week, which I originally ran at Tentacles Fumble 2008.

When I started reading about DitV, I imagined Humakti PCs fitting with the play style so I was quite keen to give it a go. Humakti have a strong honour code and an interestingly stark outlook on life, but their values are rarely challenged in RuneQuest. Besides, death magic wielding teenagers with family issues is just too tempting to ignore.

I didn't want a thinly disguised Utah setting, so rather than make an exact Dogs parallel I chose an area where Humakt is very prominent (near Delecti's Marsh) and where a number of taboos and superstitions would develop over death. And, rather than a list of religious strictures I have laid down some flavoursome local customs to help highlight how the people think, and some religious restrictions, which could be seen as unworldly or overly pious by outsiders or non-cultists.

I have maintained the idea of being sent away for training. In this case a military training and initiation camp, which gives us plenty of options for accomplishment conflicts. I also wanted to really focus in on the community level, so the game is set in the characters' home village, and plays on the fact that the characters have been away and will not be sure if it's the village that has changed or their own mindset. A year having taboos and injunctions force fed to young minds is bound to confuse and change perspectives.

Death Magic replaces Gunfire, and conveniently Humakti would consider wielding a sword death magic. Cult Runes replaces Coat, The Unquiet Dead replaces Demons and Necromancy replaces Sorcery. This is not to say that the whole area is crawling with necromancers so much as in a Humakti world view necromancy would include any magic or practice that deliberately contravenes their black and white attitude to death (at least in this game which I acknowledge has an extreme interpretation).

I will post a story overview and also focus in on some of the key conflicts. I am recording the game for this purpose but the recordings will not be published as I would not gain permission to record if I was to do so. I do find the reflective insights that spring from being able to listen back after a few days invaluable. The nuances of what people say are often missed in the moment, including the effects of my own wording on the game. Listening back to the tricky parts and thinking 'how could I have made that better' is a great way to reflect and learn for me.