Episdode 70: Rats and Gargoyles by Mary Gentle (cities pt. 2)

Rats and Gargoyles by Mary Gentle

Rats and Gargoyles by Mary Gentle

Show Notes

Intro 00:07 // Synopsis 05:30 // Commentary 36:05 // Bleed 36:05 // Magic 39:09 // Magicians, Runequest and Mage: The Ascension 41:01 // Dialect 47:14 // Resources 53:45 (Yates, Agrippa, Authentic Thaumaturgy)

Music Credits

Music is by Chris Zabriskie: chriszabriskie.com // bandcamp // free music archive

Samples: “Is that you or are you you?” from Reappear // “Cylinder Nine” from Cylinders // “Take off and shoot a Zero” from Stunt Island // “Another version of you” from Thoughtless

4 thoughts on “Episdode 70: Rats and Gargoyles by Mary Gentle (cities pt. 2)

  1. Silent Legions is interesting but it requires a lot more bookkeeping than I’m usually prepared to do. I mostly use a variant of AWE’s fronts to keep track of where things are.

    I wondered what you thought about any sword play in Mary Gentle, given that she was a practitioner herself (http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/intmg.htm)

    I’ve also got the Bonewits. I was a Man in Black, partly because the reward programme was very generous and allowed me to get most of the 3rd edition. I think it was a bit too strict on the rules for my liking. And also he annoyed many fellow practitioners who really didn’t see it as authentic.

    My current game has 4 kinds of magic, similar in some ways to my Viriconium game which used Nexus (proto Feng Shui). I’m very into correspondences but I see it as a very loose canon, not so much a system. Some players really buy into it, and some just look for bonuses. It’s difficult to know what’s going to be popular until you run it past them.

    I was also a big fan of RQ3 but haven’t played it in 25 years. I think you get perilously close to God Learner secrets in your analysis. But constraints I’ve found to be key in the creation of fiction, be that written or created together through play.

    • Re: swordplay — I remember the confrontation between Plessiez and the Hyena near the end, and thinking that it was nicely visceral, even if difficult to follow. This is my main issue with any portraying of swordplay in writing. Writing is often personal and subjective and lyrical. But swordplay is a science; it can be viewed objectively, and the more you know about it the more you question what the author is actually saying. This is the root of the problem with Sword Forum in the early noughties — lots of people getting really annoyed with each other trying to explain sword fighting over the internet. But when we met face to face we usually understood immediately what we were trying to say.

      But the bigger problem with writing down sword stuff is there are so few people in the world who actually care what is accurate. And for that matter, what accuracy you’re talking about. Historical? Technical? Even the experts have different priorities.

      The one thing I did find interesting was the historical accuracy in the weapons — clearly the Rats are the new school of rapier fencers and musketeers, whilst the Hyena adopt the earlier, and arguably English weapons of the medieval period. This is at the heart of the disagreement between Saviolo and Silver (and I’ve heard the distinctions are actually played out in Romeo and Juliet)

    • Also, regarding God Learners — I had to look that up. Hard to believe, I have no background with Gloranthan RQ, it was all Alternate Earth from the GW releases. I think I know what you mean but I’ll have to do more research

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