March 12, 2014

Hari Ragat: Epic Frameworks


What’s a nekkid guy in a lionskin doing in a Hari Ragat post?! Well this guy happens to be Hercules, and he’s got a lesson for would-be Hari Ragat players.  I’ve been thinking of how to introduce the game more easily and attractively to players who may never have heard of the milieu or its inspirations, so I’m looking for common denominators. I found them in Greek mythology.

Now Greek mythology’s pretty common knowledge the world over; if you’re a product of a modern educational system with an English curriculum, you’ve very likely had to read up on some of the Greek tales by this time. And even if you’ve not, you’ve very likely seen some of the recent sword-and-sandal fantasies like Clash of the Titans*, and/or will see the upcoming Hercules with The Rock in the title role.

How am I tying this to Hari Ragat? By using the Greek heroes to define adventure and campaign types. There are three basic kinds of stories you can play out in Hari Ragat, which I’ll name the Herculean, the Achillean, and the Odyssean. These story types, by the way, map very closely to the main character Roles offered for Hari Ragat, the Hunter, the Warrior, and the Corsair, in that order. Not that the other character types can’t join the ‘signature’ adventures of the others, but you can expect the indicated types to do best in these adventures.

Herculean Adventures
Herculean adventures occur against the backdrop of a fragile new settlement, with the heroes struggling to tame the dangers of the wild and the supernatural monsters of the wild. Opponents can include giant snakes, giant crocs, nagas (the serpentine dragons of the setting), headhunters, and most specially giants.

Achillean Adventures
Achillean adventures occur against the backdrop of bloodfeud or war, perhaps with subthemes of dynastic struggle and questions of honor. Opponents will be mostly other Vijadesans, with the occasional foreign ally or summoned monster. Another possibility is fighting off a foreign invasion.

Odyssean Adventures
Odyssean adventures are picaresque explorations of the milieu, with a blend of nautical and wilderness challenges plus social challenges, just as Odysseus spent time alternately fighting storms, then slaying Cyclopses, then impressing the socks off the Phaeacians.

Odyssean adventures can give the greatest variety of things to do, and the fullest experience of what Hari Ragat is. This is where players get to participate in Courtship Tournaments, attend or throw royal feasts, go on long trade or diplomatic missions, and so on. One possible epic scenario is to go on an embassy to the capital of the Wu Long Empire, a very long and danger-fraught journey indeed.

Odyssean adventures are best for players who’ve already gone through simpler scenarios first, or are willing to bone up on the milieu before play.

*Bonus XP to you if you saw the 1981 version and preferred it!!!

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