Bell Digest v931015p2

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To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Fri, 15 Oct 1993, part 2
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From: (Mike Strong)
Subject: Faith
Date: 14 Oct 93 16:57:54 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1999

In-Reply-To: <9310140615.AA12803@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM>

Colin Watson (on Cults)
>I never accept cult write-ups as Truth; rather they are what the 
>religion would have you believe. Maybe 90% truth and 10% wishful

In principle I tend to agree with this, but would go further; I don't 
think there is even 90% truth in the mythos and history of a cult. If 
there were to be 90% truth then you lose an important element of cult 
membership, that of *faith*. And cults that are based on a simple (or 
complex) set of beliefs are much more interesting both from a referees 
point of view, and from a players.

(on resurrection)
> should be in the domain of Death gods (I don't see resurrection 
as healing, I see it as power over Death,[])...

Trouble is that this 'inversion' argument leads to the possibility of 
Chalana Arroy having, say, Sever Spirit - which does not seem right at 
all to me. I'm not keen on resurrection myself, and keep it's use (very) 
limited in my campaigns. Even in circumstances in which the players have 
ready access to a CA with re-usable resurrection (which certainly is 
not always going to be the case), the CA ought to be reluctant to use 
the spell. Why? Well, because the spirit of the dead character has gone 
to join his/her god, and nobody really wants to interfere with that 
unless *absolutely* necessary. Player characters need to fear death (or, 
in the case of Humakti, respect it) and too much resurrection spoils 
this. To be honest, the same is true of healing. If a there is too much 
of it about, players will be less reluctant to get involved in fights 
simply because they know that they can get healed afterwards. The answer 
is to maintain a balance and this is, in the end, what the GM is for.




From: (Chris Pearce)
Subject: Various thoughts--CA, borders
Message-ID: <>
Date: 14 Oct 93 08:40:47 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2000



Do herbivores eat elves?

Wanton slaughter

Clay Luther:

>Bloodletter methodically slew every tainted child in the village, shutting out
>the screams of their mothers.  He told himself "I am saving all creation today

Graeme Lindsell replies:

 I can guess what you've just been GMing. I won't name the scenario for fear
of spoilers, but how many people did massacre the children and/or the village?
When we played we found we couldn't do it, though it was poor roleplaying:
I'm sure that our characters would have had no trouble.

I reply:

Of the four characters involved (Bloodletter, a Storm Bull initiate;
Naiya, a Chalanna Arroy initiate; Antonius, an unaligned sorceror; and
Garent, Lokarnos and Yelmalio initiate), only Bloodletter was up to
the task of decapitating small babies and tossing their bodies on a
roaring fire. The healer, tending malnourished and injured villagers
in the temple, tried to put the slaughter out of her mind.

Bloodletter would have continued his slaughter with that of the villagers
themselves, but Naiya made it clear that if he did so, he would
have to start with Naiya herself. Naiya plans to lead a mass exodus to
the CA shrine at Horngate. The village's herd animals should be an
ample bribe for Wahaza-at-Midnight of Sable Tribe.

We're in the middle of this scenario. Bloodletter repelled a mass
attack, but even he is not sure that he could survive another. We've
pieced together some of the mystery, but unfortunately the main
culprit, who could answer most of our questions, is in a state of
mental shock.

As the player of Garent said: "Jeez, Clay, this one is *grim*"

Chalanna Arroy

A mystery contributor writes:

Nonetheless, many of these find devout followers.
These deities include: Issaries, Chalana Arroy, Lhankor Mhy, Eurmal,
Yinkin, Humakt, Elmal, Kolating, Urox, Boneman the Smith, and others."
Chalana Arroy probably isn't feared, but she's a third-tier deity, behind
Orlanth and Ernalda at the top, and the "unusual, but totally acceptable
.. Odayla the Hunter; Mahme the Earth Fire; Eninta, goddess of childbirth;
Minlinster the Brewer, and so on."

Naiya replies:

Though I wonder if it is heresy to talk of the gods in such a manner, I
will discuss your topic with you, for, though my knowledge of these things
is meager, I would be remiss not to share my gleanings with others.

Though no gods can rival great Orlanth's might, of those whom he counts
among his friends, his companions on the Lightbringer's Quest he holds
in highest esteem. The Lightbringers Quest occurred when Orlanth decided to
descend into the Under.. oh, I can see that you already know about that.

In any case, while gods and goddesses such as Mahome and Odayla are
certainly important, in our culture the Lightbringers can still be said to
be more important--the tribal council is traditionally formed of
the sons and daughters of the Lightbringers and substitutions occur only
when there is no suitable Lightbringer priest available. I know of many
villages where the healer is given a voice on the council--and a good thing,
too, for if not for a voice of compassion in the affairs of the tribe,
who can say how many more wars would have been senselessly fought?
How many more feuding families might have slaughtered each other
without a merciful arbiter?

Chalanna Arroy's compassion served Orlanth well on his quest, and it serves
our people well, also. The makeup of the tribal council demonstrates how
our people value it.

Chalanna Arroy

Godzilla's home boy writes:

Any questions on this pitiable creature, it's pathetical followers, ie,
dieties in general?

Naiya replies:

You seem to be an angry individual. Can you not see that by rebuking compassion
you are harming yourself? It is no wonder that sorcerors are to be 
feared if their studies strip them of the gentler passions. I forgive


Graeme A Lindsell (resurrection in Glorantha):

I'm afraid I won't be much help in this 'cos I don't like resurrection in
principle.  For starters, I think it should be in the domain of Death gods 
(I don't see resurrection as healing, I see it as power over Death, so I 
don't see why CA gets it at all). I think Death cults would only use it 
in *exceptional* circumstances.

Naiya replies:

I don't understand. Don't you recall the journey the Lady made to the
Underworld? Even before Orlanth began his quest, Chalanna Arroy was
questing. The Flesh Man was broken, you see, and the Lady was disturbed
that she did not know what ailed him. She had heard that the Breath of Life
could cure many ailments, even the final ailment, and so she sought.

The Lady saved all of the Lightbringers during the Quest, when they
came upon a fearsome and powerful demon. Orlanth would have wrestled him,
but it was clear that the demon would have broken Orlanth into two pieces.
Issaries would have given the demon baubles to appease him, but the demon
saw no reason to accept what he could take by force. Eurmal would have
blinded the demon, but the demon was almost as wily as Eurmal and could
not be fooled by his tricks. Only Chalanna Arroy saw that the demon's
heart was broken into seven pieces. She could not fix the heart, which
the demon had broken itself... any creature who rules with fear is in turn
ruled by it... but she when showed the demon her mirror, the demon saw
in its broken heart the source of its pain and hate and anger. The demon
was so grateful that it allowed the seven to pass, and it was so
grateful to the Lady that it gifted her with the Breath of Life, which
it had stolen from Genert's Garden.

Ever since, Chalanna Arroy has treasured her gift carefully, and ever since,
grateful recipients of Chalanna Arroy's minstrations have gladly given
up their most precious belongings.


Rich Staats writes:

Second, one could use the system from RQ II where 
the character losses a certain percentage of skills and spells each day 
the character is dead.

Naiya replies:

I was talking with the High Healer about this very subject. It seems that
the spirit of the deceased stays near its body for seven days before
it enters the heart space on its journey to be judged. Once the spirit
has departed to the underworld, I wonder whether even the powerful
Lifebreath ceremony will return the spirit to its former home. After all,
Daka Fal is not likely to rescind judgement simply because the spirit
has been called back. And, of course, Urox chases the spirits of
slain Storm Bulls into the judgement halls, if they died destroying
creatures of Chaos, which Urox hates. I think perhaps Storm Bulls must
be returned to life quickly, if at all. And Humakt does not allow the
spirits of his followers to hear the call.

I have had the privilege of calling a spirit back exactly once. 
Reverend Sa'ar of Zola Fel once loaned me an enchanted piece of driftwood
into which a piece of the Breath of Life had been trapped. Using this
relic, I returned to life the body of a newtling named Gudetchya who
had been burned seriously by the touch of a gorp. I had to sing for
the entire day before his spirit responded. I think perhaps the pain of
his burns, which were beyond my skill to heal, made him loath to
return to his body. Yet he did return... and at the moment his spirit
returned to his body, the scent of the air was that fresh smell which follows
a rainstorm. The old High Healer, Lady preserve her wherever she is now,
said that the experience was still more transcendent when the breath that
returned the spirit was not that of an object, but your own.

Rick Staats:

Third, make resurrection more expensive in direct ways.  For example, 
require the character to perform a *MAJOR* service for the healers; 
afterall, the healers are bringing the PC back from the dead! 


Doesn't everyone do this? Oh, not everyone, you're right. Sigh. Though
Bloodletter always shows his deep gratitude for the Lady's gifts, Garent
rarely even acknowledges them, though the cult has used many powerful
miracles for his sake. I think it's because Garent is from Sun Dome that
he is so ingrateful--I have noticed that there is scarce humor in Sun Dome.
I think that the only reason the Sun Dome Hospital and Pavis Hospital
continue to aid Garent so is that, without Garent's knowledge, I donate
much of my income to the temple in Garent's name. He is my friend, after
all, and he seems, well, so helpless. I wish he would be more grateful, 


Fourth, have the healers be a bit discriminating about who is resurrected. 


I have heard that in the grand cities to the west that sometimes Healers
will not use the gifts given by the Lady to aid those in need, because
they might be called to use those gifts upon the powerful rulers of such
cities. Somehow, I think this practice would not please the Lady.


I promised a while back to post a summary of a show I had seen which
provided an example of what occurs along cultural borders. I hoped that
it would prove helpful in adjudicating what occurs a places like Pavis where
many cultures abut. Here is the first half.


I posted a while back and asked what happens along cultural borders
in multicultural areas like Pavis. 

In any case, I recently saw part of a show on the Discovery channel that
addressed this issue. The show concerned how the culture of a primitive tribe 
of Indians in Brazil, the Kayapo, had changed since they began interacting
with the Brazilian culture.

First, let's look at what I know of the original culture.

In the Kayapo culture, as in most other cultures, men and women have
distinct cultural niches. This division of labor shows up in several places
within the culture.

One obvious way is in the physical separation of unmarried men (bachelors)
from the rest of the tribe. When a young male undergoes puberty, he must take
up residence in the bachelor's tent. The bachelor's tent is always in the
exact center of the village. All other buildings in the village are arranged
in a wide circle around the bachelors tent, which forms the focus of the
circle. The bachelor's tent serves as a place where adolescents are taught
how to become men, and it also serves as a men's club for the men of the
tribe. When a bachelor gets a girl pregnant (typically in illicit
late night rendezvous), he then moves into her house and becomes her husband.
He must defer to her parents in allthings. Until he has his first child,
he is not permitted even to speak to his mother-in-law--and it seems it is
even longer before he can speak to his father-in-law.

In the Kayapo culture, men do all the public speaking. Oration is considered
a high art among the Kayapo. Women, apparently, do not speak in public, at
all. At least I never saw a woman speaking to any of the researchers. Women
have their prized skill, though, that of keening. Keening is a high wailing
which is altered in varied ways under varied circumstances. Women keen when
the hunters return from a hunt, and they keen during other rituals.

Women do go on hunting trips, though they never hunt. Rather, their job is
to set up camp. Men hunt, and when they are on a hunt, they divide into
their three status groups: adolescents, older bachelors, and elders.

When a child reaches a certain age, he goes through a naming ceremony, where
he is endowed with his "beautiful name." The naming ceremony lasts several
weeks. The tribe holds four naming ceremonies a year. In the naming ceremony,
members of the tribe don elaborate woven straw costumes and take the roles
of mythical personages in an elaborate dance. In the center of a circle,
two dancers, dressed head to toe as armadillos, perform a circling dance.
Later, the armadillos are accosted by many monkeys, who throw stones at them,
but the dancers fend the attackers off. Far to the side, the children
are guarded by their godparents, who wear the man-sized inscrutable bolo
masks. The children are escorted back into their houses by the bolo masks
every evening.

Another ceremony is the test of manhood, the striking of the wasps. In this
ceremony, men prove their manhood by climbing a trellis to a wasps nest.
There they must thrust their hand into the wasps nest and then climb down
the trellis before they are overcome with the pain. When they reach the
bottom, the women beat them about the head with reeds and keen loudly. 

The Kayapo culture underwent a great change, however, when gold was
discovered on their tribal lands.


I'll post the rest when I can...
Chris Pearce --
How do you say delicious?                          How do you say delovely? 
How do you say delectable, define?             How do you say - deGORgeous? 
How do you say dewith-it?                            How do you say Delite?


From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Storm Bull Weapons
Message-ID: <931014182906_100270.337_BHB34-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 14 Oct 93 18:29:06 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2001

for Mike Leseth:

> I just started playing RQ this fall and I am enjoying it very much.

Wonderful news!

> I'm running a Praxian Nomad (Bison Rider) Storm Bull Initiate.

Not such good news (for those with a sense of smell); but anyway...

> Is there a cult weapon for Storm Bull, or can they use any weapon?

Praxian Storm Bulls would probably prefer to use their tribal weapons, but 
the Axe is a very good choice (elemental associations with defending the 
earth), and sure to be appreciated by your Storm Khan. If he's a prejudiced 
reactionary bigot from the Bison Tribe, he might insist on your using 
tribal weapons only -- but as that includes the Axe, you should have no 

Yeah, lots of Storm Bullies I've met use axes. And they're none too keen on 
hard-and-fast rules (apart from "Kill Chaos!", that is...). You'll do fine.

For the record, the Praxian tribal weapons are:

att & par: 1H Sword, Mace, or Axe (25);
att only: Lance (30), Javelin (20);
par only: Target Shield (25).

att & par: 1H Spear, Sword, Mace, or Axe (20);
att only: Lance (30), Javelin (25);
par only: Target Shield (20).

att & par: Shortsword or Dagger (20);
att only: Composite Bow (35), Darts (25).

Pick any four available weapons @ (25); no 2H melee weapons, crossbows, 
shuriken or other absurdities.

Source: "Player's Book: Genertela" (in the "Glorantha" boxed set).

Hope this helps; any other questions I'll be glad to have a go at.

BTW, Dan Barker played an Impala "Storm Buck" cultist a while back, which 
made a very pleasant change from the usual (as Impalas are pygmies, and 
pygmy berserkers are easier to handle). He came out with some great cult 
slogans: "You can't pass the Buck" and "The Buck stops here" both seemed 
entirely in keeping with the Face Chaos Rune spell and the cult's secondary 
Runic associations...


PS: Paul H: loved the Seven Mothers quiz (*almost* full marks!) and your 
Aldryami speculations; please could you post that Yelmic quiz?


From: (Carlson, Pam)
Subject: Chalana Arroy
Message-ID: <>
Date: 14 Oct 93 20:46:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2002

RE: Chalana Arroy Resurrecting Everybody in Sight

Don't forget that the Resurrection spell requires the caster to overcome the 
recipient in spirit combat , dragging  their reluctant souls back to life. 
 Unless the C.A. clergy have lots of  spirit combat  enhancing spells, this 
won't always be easy.  I also agree with whoever brought up the RQ2 point 
about losing skills, spells, and even stats while dead.  (Unless maybe 
TyKoraTek has a divine Preservation spell of some sort?)
Does anybody else have a problem with  the way Heal spells wipe out all 
traces of major trauma?  I have a hard time convincing my players that if 
their leg's just  been  crushed and healed  they might not feel like running 
a marathon for a least six hours.

In order to simulate shock & trauma without having to deal with the 
cumbersome fatigue rules (does ANYBODY use those?), I adopted a  new rule: 
 anybody  (PC, NPC) who gets hit for double in a location in one blow is out 
of the  current combat for good.  They can crawl under a rock, heal 
themselves, heal others, or possibly ride away, but none of this leaping up 
after a couple of Heal 3's and rejoining the fray.   I do allow a CON X 1 
roll, as in being heroic, and a Heal Body  can also restore combat 
capability.  (Divine magic is heady stuff!)
This rule provides the added bennies of shortening combat and making it a 
tad easier to capture characters alive.  Surprisingly, all of my players 
like this rule.

Another RQ ref I know feels this rule is too major a departure from standard 
RQ, but then I'm still running "RQ2 With Modifications".  Anybody have any 



From: (charles gregory fried)
Subject: POW
Date: 14 Oct 93 21:10:11 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2003

Greg Fried here.

People have asked me about my very non-standard ideas on POW, so I will now
pass them on.  Please keep your grains of salt handy!

FIrst of all, I assume that in a magical world such as Glorantha, POW is
important indeed.  I use POW for a number of things that aren't standard and
which I won't go into here.  [I also call POW 'WILL' and MP 'POW', but let's
not complicate the vocabulary...]  POW is what allows truly great entities to
remold the very fabric of the cosmos.

In my campaign, then, most players start with POW 3d*4*.  Almost no one and
nothing gets a POW much above 20; gods may get up around 30 (though I have
had no opprotunity to play test this out!).  THis assumes an extreme log.
curve for POW.  MP is another story.  A God may have gobs of MP.

So what about resistence rolls.  Here I get WAY off standard rules.  The
basic idea is this: the attacker and defender both roll d20 and add their
POW.  Whoever gets higher wins.  (The rules change somewhat for spirit
combat, but let's keep this simple.)  This roll is further complicated by,
for lack of a better term, one's metaphysical affiliation.  I use the
following scale:

lay/unaffiliated -- initiate -- acolyte -- Rune Lord/Rune Priest -- High
Priest/Rune Lord-Priest -- hero -- super-hero -- godling -- god -- greater

This scale requires the GM to exercise some discretion.  An initiate may be a
'hero', after all, and where does a shaman fit on the scale, or an
Illuminate, or Magus.  But this is no great problem.  This is what the scale
does to the resistance roll:

If two opponents are separated by one position on the scale, then the higher
one rolls POW + the better of two d20 rolls.

IF they are separated by two positions, the higher one rolls POW + d10+10.

If they are separated by three, then POW + d100.

Four, then POW + d1000, etc.  Though I have never had occasion to go to this

SOmeone today cited the example of two entities of POW 100; one cast two 5
POW spells, and now has a 5% chance of overcoming thereafter.  In  my system,
your POW does not go down until your MP go below your POW (right away for
most PCs....), and you are still likely to have a shot at someone
metaphysically in your league.

This is the bare bones.  I now stand ready for the slings and arrows of
outrageous fortune!