Bell Digest v930417

Date: Sat, 17 Apr 93 17:15:18 +0200
From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Subject: The RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 17 Apr 1993

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From: (Clay Luther)
Subject: Re: The RuneQuest Daily, Fri, 16 Apr 1993
Message-ID: <>
Date: 16 Apr 93 06:05:56 GMT

> In response to Adam (
> Adam writes:
> "The point is, that AH expects to find errata in there products. "

I write software for a living, but I expect to find bugs in my
products once in a while.

Clay Luther                    
Software Engineer                        Vortech Data, Inc.
(214) 994-1377                           Fax (214) 994-1310

I dunno.


From: (Jeff Okamoto)
Subject: Re: The RuneQuest Daily, Fri, 16 Apr 1993
Message-ID: <>
Date: 16 Apr 93 16:42:15 GMT

> From:
> Subject: Response to Adam's "Flame"
> Books can only be so big before they cost $40 or break their spines, or 
> both.

There is a kind of binding called "lay-flat" binding.  It allows a
(thick) book to be laid open and stay open without damaging the
binding.  The computer book company O'Reilly and Associates is using
this binding for all their books.  Their prices didn't go up after
they switched to this binding.

> From: (Mark S. c/o Tom Yates)
> Subject: Flames and Society
> Also,
> as an aside, I'd like to air my hunch that the Seven Mother
> aren't "healed" or "corrupted" Lightbringers, but rather a cheesy
> way to fit as many Lunar gods as possible into Cults of Prax.

In my opinion, the Lunar philosophy is a derivative of the Solar
mythology, with the one added twist being that all people *can* become
gods.  The Red Goddess did it, the Seven Mothers did it, you can too!



From: carlf@Panix.Com (Carl Fink)
Subject: all sorts of stuff
Message-ID: <199304161713.AA29477@sun.Panix.Com>
Date: 16 Apr 93 09:13:46 GMT

Andrew Bean writes:

>I've always wondered about the logic of barbarians likeing to go on
>war parties or cattle raids. If only 10% died then it would only take 
>10 years to kill off all the able bodied males (assuming it is not a 
>geometric progression). Does this mean that in fact casualties from 
>raids etc were very low and thus they did do a lot of raiding. Or was 
>the number of raids low eg only every couple of years and we have 
>been overdoing our estimates of barbarians willingness to fight. 
>Comparisons to historical pre-fire-arm data would
>be interesting if anyone knows any figures.
Um, you are assuming that nobody gets born?
Tom Zunder writes: 
>If combat special options exist, why not others, including a set to
>accurately create the special knowledge of a martial artist?
That was what we had in mind - what makes you think we listed every
possible special option? 
> One final point RUNEQUEST TWO IS GOD sorcery belongs only to those
>such as Crag Spider and Delecti.

And Greg Stafford...but he doesn't count, does he?

Carl Fink, C.FINK4(GEnie), or CF427620I@LIUVAX.BITNET
  "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our
  inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter
  the state of facts and evidence"     --      John Adams


From: (Burton Choinski)
Subject: RQ-IV suggestion
Message-ID: <9304161746.AA10676@vino>
Date: 16 Apr 93 17:46:06 GMT

I recently had the fun time of helping two new people make characters.
As I rattled off the primary, secondary and negative stats for the
skill modifiers, their eyes glazed over and I got "huh?" looks.

Why not just present the info in formula manner?:

   Agility: DEX + STR - SIZ - 10
   Communication:  INT + POW/2 + APP/2 - 20
   Knowledge:      INT + POW/2 - 15
   Magic:          INT + POW + DEX/2 - 25
   Manipulation:   INT + DEX + STR/2 - 25
   Perception:     INT + POW/2 + CON/2 - 20
   Stealth:        DEX + INT/2 - SIZ/2 - POW/2 - 5

In all cases, round towards 0 (so -1.5 becomes -1, +3.5 becomes 3)
      -- Burton


From: 100116.2616@CompuServe.COM (David Hall)
Subject: RQ Digest
Message-ID: <930416181713_100116.2616_BHB39-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 16 Apr 93 18:17:14 GMT

Andrew Bean writes:

>Sorry that I don't have time to read the RQIV draft myself but could
>someone who has, please comment on whether it looks like the proposed
>combat system is getting more or less complicated and time-consuming?

I reckon it's more complicated and more time-consuming, like most of RQ4.

Cattle raids. I always saw Sartarite cattle raids as a relatively
non-lethal activity. It's a lot more lucrative to ransom someone, and
thus avoid a blood-feud. You can almost always trust other Orlanthi to
follow the correct ransom procedures so fighting to the death is a bit
silly, even for a Storm Bull. Also, often whole raids are decided on a
single combat of clan or tribal champions.

From: roger_nolan@NeXT.COM (Roger Nolan 3rd Party)
Subject: RE : Chaos 'n' Armies 'n' Stuff / RQ2
Message-ID: <9304162003.AA07258@oz.NeXT.COM>
Date: 16 Apr 93 06:03:38 GMT (L.P. Williams) and others write: 

>REPRINT RUNEQUEST 2 ...drone...

Well, it was nice, but only in comparison to D&D etc. There were lots
of nasty bits, ENC was always a kludge. All the 5% increase stuff
translated to "roll a d20 and multiply it by five to see if you hit",
there were no good economic info, very little Glorantha in general the
rules, just a map of prax and Sartar and the Black Fang Brotherhood as
I remember. Pavis was a very shoddy piece of work, the big rubble was
interesting in parts, but not very useful, The Puzzle Canal? Come on,
what a load of bollocks! Anyone remember Plunder? That was useful in
my campaign...  "You kill the trolls and upon searching the bodies you
find that one of tham is carrying Tora's hammer!" I think not. The
only good bits were Cults of Prax, Cults of Terror, Borderlands and
TrollPak - most of which are either still in print or, if not (and if
I read AH right) soon to be back, in one form or another.

I suggest that you try and get hold of a RQ4 manuscript before you
damn it. Forget RQ3, everyone knows that it was a mistake. But even so
it was better in a lot of ways...I even like sorcery, well the idea if
not the execution.

Look to the future of RuneQuest, not the past.

And,whilst I'm at it, I think that your StormBull got off very lightly
- these guys are 100% psychos, they are not like the other herders,
they are mad bad and dangerous to know. Check out the article in TORM
6 (I think, the Chaos issue) where a LhankM initiate hangs out with
some of these guys for a while, Most of them are in physical pain
where they are *near chaos* (Ie. sense chaos skill), imagine the
effect if you were chaotic yourself. I would guess that a stormbull
initiate with a chaos feature would get a guaranteed DI but his god
would "accidentally" kitake all his POW. Dunno about a Storm Kahn



From: roger_nolan@NeXT.COM (Roger Nolan 3rd Party)
Subject: Weather
Message-ID: <9304162004.AA07301@oz.NeXT.COM>
Date: 16 Apr 93 06:04:41 GMT

Does anyone know where the best surf in Glorantha is?



Subject: An Idea for a Weapon
Message-ID: <>
Date: 16 Apr 93 14:42:41 GMT

The Firearrow spell can be quite useful, cast on rocks etc., but has
anybody ever used it on a flask of oil? With the thickness of the
flask determining howe quickly the missile is consumed. Depending upon
the type of oil in the flask you could possibly produce a small
explosion or just a shower of burning oil.

My GM starting mumbling about the Mostali Firebomb brigade and lack of
game balance. I can see his point, i.e. How much damage do you want to
do?  It could possibly be 3d6(Firearrow) + 2d6(Small
Explosion)/1d4(Target covered in flaming oil). It is feasible to throw
3 bottles of oil per round.

It all comes down to how excactly does Firearrow work? Does it contain
the object within the spell consuming it, so if the object starts
changing shape (the oil starts spreading out)the spell disallows it.
Is the object immediately consumed upon release? If so can you delay
the activation of the spell, until the object is almost hitting the

RQ2 had the object being slowly consumed over the melee round after
the object was fired. RQ3 has the object being consumed immediately
upon release (I think!).



From: STEVEG@ARC.UG.EDS.COM (Entropy needs no maintenance)
Subject: Re: The RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 15 Apr 1993
Message-ID: <01GX27D5IPMA001WQ0@UG.EDS.COM>
Date: 15 Apr 93 18:18:52 GMT

Re's "flamefest"

>> The point is, that AH expects to find errata in there products.

The corresponding phrase in my line of work is the First Law of
Cybernetic Entomology ("There's always another bug").  And even if the
product was 100% "correct" so far as the producer is concerned, it is
always possible that the consumer regards parts as misfeatures, if not
outright mistakes.

It depends how glaring the problems are : if it's "yet another Lankhor
Mhy initiate w/o a 90% knowledge", it's annoying but corrected with a
stroke of the pen.  When one is buying something like e.g. _River of
Cradles_, one is sub-contracting out some of the GM chores - *but not
all of them* - inevitably things have to be tweaked to fit (where one
has had to improvise a detail and a later source contradicts it; where
the players & their characters have a different mix of skills &
playing styles and take the plot-lione off the rails by half-way

>> 1) Issaries write-up in Cradles, where did the Rune-Lord status go to?

Wherever all the other RuneLords went e.g. Eiritha Herd Ladies.  Since
RQ3 gives away 100+% skills to any long-surviving Tom, Dick or Harry,
RuneLords lose their unique feature...

>> I am lucky to have a GM who has been playing for 12 years and has most of
>> the RQ2 stuff.

Agreed; while it may in part be nostalgia, I feel that the first time
around stuff was better done; especially with cults separated from
area sourcebooks+adventures.  And even the more uninspired old
adventure stuff like Bug Rubble seemed fresher than the ho-hum
material in _Sun County_ & _Cradles_.

>> I could go on about GoG and what a waste of paper that was,

But I don't agree with this.  If we hadn't had all that broad (albeit
shallow) coverage, we'd not know anything "official" about any of the
cults that weren't in _Cults of Prax_ or _Cults of Terror_ [and we
wouldn't have had interesting debates about whether or not Babeester
Gor rune magic is gross or not :-)].  While I'd like to see long forms
of many of the cults in GoG, it covered much less than half the names
of Gloranthan deities that I had noted down.

Remember - we know little outside Wyrm's Footnotes 13 and a few
mentions in _KoS_ of the minor cults of the Orlanth/Ernalda religion
(due to all the fascination with Steve Perrin's Pavis/dungeon campaign
& its spinoffs in Ghod-forsaken Prax in the published supplementary
material, to the detriment of the rest of the world - evene Greg's
Sartar material has only seen the light in Wyrm's Footnotes & _KoS_),
little enough that setting a game in Sartar is a major exercise of
making it up on the fly.  Short forms of Barntar, Heler. Minlister,
Yinkin & all the other minor cults would be a lot better than the
current nothing.

And again, we can say the same (redoubled, in spades) about the Lunar
society & its cults, let alone places more far afield.

>> If I had enough money I would like to buy the rights to RQ2 from AH or
>> whoever owns the rights and print it. I know it would sell.

I'm sure it would; while it may be buggy, it's simple and unified in
concept & RQ3 added too much new buggy material rather than fixing the

>> Does anybody know if the original material published in the
>> early eighties will ever be published, ie The Big Rubble, The Original
>> Cradle adventure, etc. ?

Of the former, bits have appeared (the map in the cover of Cradles) &
I expect other bits will appear in more of this year's releases, in
the same way that substantial bits of the Pavis box appeared in
Cradles.  As for the cradle scenario, while the original one was set
at a time when the characters had gotten gross enough that they could
take on the whole Lunar Army & go out in a blaze of Glory, the Cradles
book firmly sites it as a couple of years in the past; so I doubt that
it will ever see the light of day outside samiszdat distribution (Doug Bonar) supplies a typo that makes the mind

>> Together with Loren's Fight Fair (Fight Dirty) and Marital Arts skills,

Giving one a choice of what to do with blows below the belt, no doubt

MAB@SAVAX750.RUTHERFORD.AC.UK (Mystic Musk Ox) on ploughsharp...
>> Nice idea...but as you have to recast it every 5 mins, that is a lot
>> of magic points

Oh well, another nice idea down in flames...

>> an acre is the amount of land one man can plough in one day

yes, and is also one furlong (furrow length) by one chain.

>> an example of how ordinary people might have their lives changed by
>> widespread use of magic...If the magic was there before the culture, that
>> is going to cause BIG differences.

Welcome to the rolling technomagic debate.  I seem to run across it
about every other year in one fan forum or another, and it's never
reached much of a conclusion except to say that we don't have enough
solid information about cultural evolution in the abstract.  However,
for the purposes of the game, we all tend to assume something
quasi-historical, with a veneer of magic, and ignore the fact that the
situation isn't self-consistent.

staats@Athena.MIT.EDU on skill checks:-
>> I like the successful experience aspect of the skill improvement system.

No doubt a man whose players never have problems with always getting
skill checks & never converting them into added %ages (one of the
sources of player pressures that forced me back to that *other* game
for fantasy settings).  If I ever had the chance to try running RQ
rather than talking Glorantha, I'd use a negative karma system - any
non-fumble failure of a checkable skill in checkable circumstances
would give an immediate fixed reward (between 0.1 and 1%, exact value
TBD, and probably dependent on perceived skill difficulty).

However, if your players will live with the suggestion of having to
fail a skill multiple, rather than the skill, it seems a reasonable
suggestion.  The effect will be to stagnate a *N skill at 100/N%
(compared with the RQ4(2.0) idea of tuning the gain/check by skill
difficulty, which merely stretches the time to 100%).

I had considered the concept of making most skills improve through
training/study, but having played in one such game, I found the effect was
drive the players into seeking enough finances to see them through a desired
study program, and the mercantilised game isn't always to everyone's taste.