Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#101 Postby SableFox » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:10 pm

It is interesting that the only significant criticism of the product is one illo. I presume that means that the authors, mappers and illustrator did an excellent job on the product :-)

I personally believe that the mercenary companies could produce badges similar to those illustrated. I think they would be through appliqué of material for the main colour blocks with embroidered details. I suspect the average soldier's badge would not be quite so well done as the illustrations show, being cruder or less bright (cloth dyed with intense colors is expensive and rare imo).

The overall cloth texture is intended to invoke the medium (cloth, and not, say, painted wood or cast metal) and does not imply the authors or artist are stating that advanced printing technique abound on Harn (though I imagine some wood-block printing is used). I'd like to have seen each badge individually drawn to show a stitched construction; but that takes time and effort, and if time is being volunteered FoC at the last minute then perhaps we ought not to expect too much.
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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#102 Postby Gothmog » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:24 am

I liked the product. All in all another fine piece of work, one that will be used. As for the badges... it's a non issue for me. They look fine and I have no problem using them. There was a mention of content and that it did not touch deep enough on the culture of the common man or something like that. Yeah.. a bit more could of been said about it, to get a feeling on what the masses think and go through, especially the religious climate, but it's nothing that will keep me awake at night or prevent me from buying further products. It's not like my players really care about what the common man thinks anyway. :roll:

I give the product a 9/10! And the only reason I did not give it a 10 is so the writers would not have to buy new, larger hats. :roll: :lol:
Ok, let me get this straight. These guys come in, trash the place, slap Agrik & Larani around, and the most intelligible thing they said was "Zog!"?

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#103 Postby pokep » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:32 am

Some of us are just following their grandma's advice about what to say if you can't say anything nice. :(

I've been increasingly distressed by the way the kingdom modules have gone lately, and Rethem just extends the trend. As far as I can tell, the population of each kingdom is about forty - no one below the status of baron or bishop seems to exist. Religion only exists to provide an excuse for a fight. For culture we get names of cattle breeds and statements about the crumbliness of the cheese. And for economics, we learn that Rethem's great industrial center is a farm village . . . population: 400. :roll:

Unless all your gaming revolves around baronial intrigue, the kingdom modules are useless. And even for that, the modules are flat and unimaginative - the NPC have little personality, their motives are entirely too rational, their conflicts too direct. There are no surprises. I feel like I'm reading the introduction to a board game, not a FRPG milieu.

My grandma is telling me to shut up now. Sorry for the rant.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#104 Postby Aghori » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:07 am

john wrote:Stay tuned for your slaves - especially Menekai, Omnis, and Shostim.
Thanks for the high rating!

My questions were not really answered in the writeup of these towns. The fact that there are breeding villages for slaves needs much more explanation IMO. This issue should have been adressed in the society section.
Regards,
R.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#105 Postby pokep » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:25 am

Aghori wrote:
john wrote:Stay tuned for your slaves - especially Menekai, Omnis, and Shostim.
Thanks for the high rating!

My questions were not really answered in the writeup of these towns. The fact that there are breeding villages for slaves needs much more explanation IMO.


That's an understatement. I'm not sure what annoys me more - the dubious economics of the idea, or the over-the-top caricatures it supports.

Oops. Grandma is yelling at me again.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#106 Postby bbailey » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:10 am

I agree that the economies and culture of the various kingdoms would be interesting things to read about and that the kingdom modules (original or recent) don't go into these in a lot of detail. But I also recognize that there are constraints on what all can be reasonably covered. My hope is that those people in the Hârn community who are expert in these areas step up and fill in the gaps. Thonahexus or any other fanon avenues would be perfect for this kind of contribution.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#107 Postby gallusgames » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:12 am

bbailey wrote:I agree that the economies and culture of the various kingdoms would be interesting things to read about and that the kingdom modules (original or recent) don't go into these in a lot of detail. But I also recognize that there are constraints on what all can be reasonably covered. My hope is that those people in the Hârn community who are expert in these areas step up and fill in the gaps. Thonahexus or any other fanon avenues would be perfect for this kind of contribution.

Absolutely - go for it pokep.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#108 Postby Aghori » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:43 am

bbailey wrote:I agree that the economies and culture of the various kingdoms would be interesting things to read about and that the kingdom modules (original or recent) don't go into these in a lot of detail. But I also recognize that there are constraints on what all can be reasonably covered. My hope is that those people in the Hârn community who are expert in these areas step up and fill in the gaps. Thonahexus or any other fanon avenues would be perfect for this kind of contribution.


Well, I think, these aspects should be part of the kingdom module. Inventing something radically new like slave farms needs an explanation in canon. This seems to be an integral part of the kingdom and the way it works. For me that is more important than knowing the exact numbers of warriors each noble can field (which is also nice to have, but...). Anyway, the writers opted against it (space restrictions, but why?). Now I wish, somebody could do a fanon article about one of these slave breeding manors.

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R.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#109 Postby AxelSchudak » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:13 pm

Seems that we really need a thread on the technology level of Hârn somewhere.

It seems that "Geographica Kethîra" comes closest, or is another forum more adequate? If nobody hints me to somewhere else, I will carry the debate over there tomorrow. I also replied to Richard in his blog - I will no longer debate printing technics and the medieval usage of unit insignias in this Rethem feedback.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#110 Postby Krazma » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:18 pm

I think a technology discussion would be appropriate for Geographica Harnica or Mangai Square. If it's more of a rant, you might want to consider Warferrets.

On the other hand, you might put together a short fanon article on Textilecraft and ask Peter to post it on Lythia.

Either way, good luck.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#111 Postby Rothesay » Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:43 pm

Two things -

One is I will not engage in a technology discussion which attempts to place Harn definitively. I say this not because my pHarn is one of the most advanced (it is being basically a 14th century construct) but because I don't believe GMs should be so constrained.

Two, Pokep, when I was an undergraduate, one of my history professors referred to the concept of the 'political nation.' Essentially, this was the group of people who mattered politically. In the 19th century English context in which she was speaking, this was about 5000 people. In a Harnic copntext, 400 seems about right.

It might jar our modern sensibilities, but I don't actually think much has changed. It is appropriate for a castle, city, or manor to discuss the lower levels of society, but I believe a kingdom module should focus on those who influence events on a kingdom level.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#112 Postby Peter the skald » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:50 pm

Two, Pokep, when I was an undergraduate, one of my history professors referred to the concept of the 'political nation.' Essentially, this was the group of people who mattered politically. In the 19th century English context in which she was speaking, this was about 5000 people. In a Harnic copntext, 400 seems about right.


And it would be kind of wrong to to have a kingdom module description without the earls and barons etc described :D The kingdom modules are what they are and do it well...it shows the movers and the shakers and the potential takers....

However; I would like cultural information/other folk background..having just the political nation is unedifying for the big picture. I would not really expect this in the kingdom module however...maybe a son of kingdoms????
Plots and schemes are the same thing..

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#113 Postby Krazma » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:18 pm

Peter the skald wrote:However; I would like cultural information/other folk background..having just the political nation is unedifying for the big picture. I would not really expect this in the kingdom module however...maybe a son of kingdoms????


Personally, I like the idea of exploring the cultural information within other articles. I don't think an article entitled "Culture" or even "Rethemi Culture" would be all that useful. On the other hand, an article that combined the areas of the former Corani Empire and discussed how the various cultural groups within came about and evolved to their present state would be an interesting read. Rethem, Kanday, and Tharda are all more recent entities than their respective component cultural groups, and some of those cultural groups may overlap current political boundaries, so why treat it as exclusive to one kingdom? Granted, that might work for a few groups, but it would lead to inconsistent treatment, I think.

It seems to me that you could broadly define Hârnic cultures as three types: western (those descended in some form or another from the Corani Empire), eastern (those shaped largely by the Migration Wars), and northern (the non-tribal, non-Hârnic, Jara and the "invader" Orbaalese culture. (Tribal cultures could be similarly categorized, but each already has a "way of life" section, which I think is largely the type of information people are looking for in the civilized areas.) Each of these types could be further divided, of course (the evolution of Rethem having taken a different turn than in Kanday or Tharda, for instance), but the origins would be similar.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#114 Postby gallusgames » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:07 am

Surely the role of the Kingdom Modules is to provide the big picture scaffolding within which GMs can create their games. The court, nobility and the churches are the tapestry against which player-level events happen. What a 'Kingdom' has to do is give a flavour of the place but most importantly develop lots of potential plot hooks ... and just plots ... against which and within which players can act.

I don't think a Kingdom Module can cover the sort of cultural issues being sought above; certainly the original ones didn't even attempt that. You got a very broad brush view based on their history and the nature of the churches that prospered and the Gm was left to make of the rest what (s)he would.

The new Kingdoms have added detail to the tapestry but they are what they are - a snapshot of current movers and shakers and their relationships. We're not writing real history here - we're contributing to a well developed gameworld designed - I hope - so that GMs and groups of players can have fun in it. There are caricatures galore and power blocks to influence, and risk being crushed by. Enjoy it for what it is ... or write the social and cultural studies articles yourself as 'Rethem 69+'.

The adventures and supporting articles posted as Peran:Heart of Darkness (http://www.lythia.com/2010/12/heart-of-darkness/) and Afarezirs: Root of All Evil (http://www.lythia.com/2011/05/afarezirs-the-root-of-all-evil/) gave me a chance to flesh out some cultural details hinted at in theKubora, Peran and Afarezirs articles. Some of you will like the direction I take with them, some of you won't. Equally, some of us will lap up Rethem 69+, others will see it as too constraining and 'not in the spirit of my pHarn'.

This is, though, a remarkably democratic community. By writing even a single page of additional material you influence the whole. Canon will never fill all the gaps, and nor should it. Take the questions posed in this thread and go write the answers. They can never be the 'right' answers because we all have a different view of Harn; but they will contribute to shaping the answers me come up with when we need to in our games.

Think of the Kingdoms as 'enablers' not the 'final word'.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#115 Postby pokep » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:17 am

I agree, gallusgames, with the sentiment.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#116 Postby Mikael Hegardt » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:43 pm

gallusgames wrote:
TheRealMe wrote:I must say that I had NO problem with the merc badges. NONE. Frankly, I am somewhat mystified as to why some folks think is it such a big deal. It's not like these badges are a vital part of the Rethem product. If you hate them so much, ignore them or tear the pages out.


What a refreshing change.


Totally agree with both of you.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#117 Postby Munin » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:48 am

Krazma wrote:
Peter the skald wrote:However; I would like cultural information/other folk background..having just the political nation is unedifying for the big picture. I would not really expect this in the kingdom module however...maybe a son of kingdoms????


Personally, I like the idea of exploring the cultural information within other articles. I don't think an article entitled "Culture" or even "Rethemi Culture" would be all that useful. On the other hand, an article that combined the areas of the former Corani Empire and discussed how the various cultural groups within came about and evolved to their present state would be an interesting read. Rethem, Kanday, and Tharda are all more recent entities than their respective component cultural groups, and some of those cultural groups may overlap current political boundaries, so why treat it as exclusive to one kingdom?


I have already written this article: Thardic Culture :D

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#118 Postby rexalan » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:02 am

Mr. Munin,
This is the most impressive piece of game world writing I have ever encountered!
Truly amazing! I will be mining it for ideas, inspiration and as the standard for my own game world.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#119 Postby Sir Sur » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:22 pm

I start on thread: I liked the new Rethem and found all the information interesting and useful. Then I also think that it lacked some parts of very basic knowledge that I am still confused about: how has the heritage of the Corani Empire influenced modern day Rethem? For example, I understand that there are slaves, but to what extent? How does the slavery workout compared to the more modern (?) invention of serfdom in the quite recently feodalized Rethem?

And some praise: I enjoy the illustrations, portraits especially but also mood pictures. The badges have been discussed in detail and I would just like to add that I think the Mercenaries take their imagery from a tradition of Heraldry and draw on the same aspects: they need to be readily recognizable during battles etc. Mercenaries would also be mimicking the nobility as most others, therefore the pictures used should be heraldic in spirit although not following the rules: the would not be achievements but as close to the real thing as the mercs would go without being prosecuted.
I also think that the texts are well written and interesting in what they cover.

I can´t help myself from pondering how to make a boardgame like Here I Stand out of the Rethem module: it is very suited for this and maybe that is my critique: very geared towards amount of soldiers each noble has.

And then off Topic: Munin that was great for Tharda and the west! Did you write anything similar for Rethem or other kingdoms?
Last edited by Sir Sur on Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#120 Postby gallusgames » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:43 am

Munin wrote:I have already written this article: Thardic Culture :D

This is excellent stuff - a very interesting, and logical, take on the divergence from a common root of Kanday and Rethem.

Of course some of those old 'Corani Values' are still present in the heart of Kanday. Don't tell me those Laranian hypocrits (sorry, churchmen) don't solicit the occaisional extra fee for services rendered!

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#121 Postby pokep » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:02 am

gallusgames wrote:Absolutely - go for it pokep.


Challenge accepted.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#122 Postby jchokey » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:04 am

Just stumbling into this thread now.....

Munin: That article on Thardic culture is great!
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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#123 Postby Munin » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:41 pm

Thanks! I have another related one on the History of the Senate that is a companion piece. By necessity the two cover some of the same topics, but you might find it interesting as well.

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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#124 Postby Shawn Bond » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:54 pm

The Kingdom of Rethem module makes mention of slavery (as do Tharda and Orbaal), but there's blessed little actual documentation of detail. I think a Slavery article is long overdue.

And no, I won't write one. I'm still working on my Gargun FFF articles. :D
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Re: Kingdom of Rethem module: impressions and feedback

#125 Postby APrewett » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:39 pm

Gargun have Friends!!!


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