Gloranthan Everway

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Vanilla Everway

Everway is an extremely innovative role playing game. Its main features are the use of cards as randomisers, instead of dice, the use of Hermetic elements to describe characters, and its concentration on the inner voice of a character rather than its actions.

I would like to apply Everway mechanics to Gloranthan role-playing, but there are problems with this (see below). In the meantime, here is my take on the cards that define the various realms in and around the Zola Fel valley:

Region Cards
Prax

Virtue: Summer (Energy)
Fault: The Peasant reversed (Lack of Vision)
Fate: Law (Order / Treachery)
Usurper: Wakboth (Chaos / Chaos Defeated)

Sun County

Virtue: The Soldier (Duty)
Fault: The King reversed (Tyranny)
Fate: The Cockatrice (Corruption / Recovery)
Usurper: The Temple (Social Order / Social Disorder)

Pavisites

Virtue: Spring (New Growth)
Fault: Striking the Dragon's Tail (Underestimating the Challenge)
Fate: Fertility (Growth / Decline)
Usurper: The Troll (Violence / Harmony)

Pavic Orlanthi

Virtue: The Fool (Freedom)
Fault: The Eagle reversed (Thoughtlessness)
Fate: The Phoenix (Rebirth / Destruction)
Usurper: The Hearth (Kin / Kinstrife)

Lunars

Virtue: The Priestess (Understanding Mysteries)
Fault: The Satyr (Indulgence)
Fate: The Fish (The Soul Prevails / Hedonism)
Usurper: The Moon (Learning / Teaching)

Useful Links

Good starting points for Everway are:

Gloranthan Everway

While I think that the Everway mechanics have a great potential, and can lead to more colourful role-playing, there are major problem with applying Everway directly to Glorantha. For a start, the elements have different meanings in Glorantha from their meanings in Western Hermetic thought.

Everway Element Meaning Gloranthan Equivalent
Fire Physical action Storm, Sea?
Air Intellect, perception Fire/Sky
Water Intuition, emotion Darkness
Earth Resilience Earth

And this is only true where the God Learners have been and made it true! For other cultures, such as the Praxians, the Everway elements are completely up the spout.

This means that it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to get players to understand the myths behind their actions if all the resonances between PC and world are completely different from the resonances between player and game.

There's a further problem with applying Everway to cultures like the Praxians. There are implicit assumptions in Everway that the PCs will be exploring agrarian cultures, with egalitarian and meritocratic government, and that this is a Good Thing. But this doesn't fit other cultures. Sun County is based on the principle that egalitarianism is a Bad Thing, and everyone (rulers and ruled) agree. And why should Praxians be concerned with the harvest being brought in during the autumn, when they don't have either harvests or autumns!

It is for these reasons that I have decided to develop my own version of Everway. In fact, I'll need versions, as each culture will have a different mindset which will need to be reflected in its own rule mechanics. At present, I'm only in the beginning stages of this process, but I'll be posting my notes here as they develop.

Another approach was taken by John Hughes, who developed a Tarot deck for the Far Point Orlanthi (and see parts 2, 3, 4, and 5). It's much more like a traditional Tarot deck than the Everway Fortune Deck.

Loren Miller's MythoPoet's Manual was another great resource.

Praxian Everway

The first stage of this was to develop a metaphysical structure for the culture, in the form of the elements and meanings for that culture. Funnily enough, I started work on Praxians. You can read my thoughts on how Praxians see the world and its elements.

I have also written up the Praxian fortune deck. Of course, the Praxians wouldn't use cards -- they'd use entrails, thrown bones, the flight of birds across the sky, or somesuch to divine the future. But cards are useful for the players.


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