Bell Digest v940122p2

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 22 Jan 1994, part 2
Content-Return: Prohibited
Precedence: junk


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From: sandyp@idcube.idsoftware.com (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: re: RQ Daily
Message-ID: <9401211822.AA03788@idcube.idsoftware.com>
Date: 21 Jan 94 06:22:47 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2865

re: Morokanth cannibalism

So far I have heard nothing to sway me into a belief in kinder  
gentler morokanth. One of the major themes of my own Gloranthan  
campaigns is that reality and personal prejudice is ALWAYS able to  
override cult dogma, except in a very few instances (like breaking  
geases). IMHO, cult dogma is there to reinforce already-existing  
beliefs and practices, not to oppress and hamper the populace. If the  
Dara Happans all suddenly switched to the worship of Orlanth, there  
would still be mucho tension between the valley people and the hill  
people. No doubt in a few generations the "valley Orlanth" and  
"mountain Orlanth" would evolve apart into two separate faiths with  
radically different practices (much as the Pent Yelm worshipers and  
the Dara Happa Yelm worshipers have almost nothing in common). 


In like manner, I think that the obvious resemblances between herd  
men and humans would tend to help morokanth to lump us all together,  
insofar as food goes. I still stick to my theory of the morokanth  
Waha food pyramid, wherein morokanth eat humans who eat herd beasts  
who eat the grass. Think of the logic here -- in the contest  
determining who ate who, why is it that humanity apparently got  
something like 9 tries at the game. (There are rhino men, high llama  
men, sable men, impala men, bison men, and used to be long-nose,  
nose-horn, and plains elk men; plus presumably the proto-herd men had  
a stab at it, winding up the only losers) This doesn't make sense.  
Why didn't the bison, impalas, etc. get 9 tries each? The morokanth  
answer, as I see it, is that the humans only had one try, and they  
beat the herd beasts, so got to eat them all but the morokanth, who  
beat the humans. 


Joerg Baumgartner asks:
>How do the pygmie tribes of Prax and the normal-sized humans (I know  
>that Bison and Rhino riders tend to be larger than Sables or Zebras,  
>but the difference is neglectible compared to Impala or Bolo Lizard  
>riders) interact and interbreed? I mean, do slave female humans  
>among the Impala get impregnated, and counted as tribe members  
>afterwards? and vice versa with slave female pygmies among the human  
>tribes? And can the "sodomy" between humans and herd men produce  
>offspring, and will that be man or beast?

The pygmy folk of Prax rarely marry into the other peoples, largely  
because of this problem. In my own campaign, I play that the pygmy  
size genes are slightly dominant over the "big" genes, so that the  
child of a pygmy and a "big people" will be closer to the pygmy's  
size. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the pygmy folk also used  
"folk" medicine to try to stunt the growth of children that they fear  
will grow too big. 


I play that matings between human and herd men are fertile, and the  
offspring's nature can be either (tending towards the mother's side,  
though). In practice, when I've had a human/herd man mating in my own  
campaign, I've had the child turn out to be whatever fits the current  
adventure best. 


Geoff Gunner asks: 

>RQ Con sounds really good.  Shall sulk for ages now.  Want one in  
>the UK. Bah.

You have one. As one of the few attendees to both Convulsion of the  
Trillion Tentacles and RQ-Con USA, I think they were both excellent.  
Home of the Bold was much smoother in the second running, but that  
was to be expected, as the directors (I believe) had never before run  
a live action game so large. I'm sure that When the West Was One will  
be even better.

>Is there something in Sandy's history that he's hiding ? 


Yes. 


Iza Young asks:

>On a similar note, it sounds as if rules for Vormainian Color Magic  
>are available ...  Is this true, and how may I get these? 


a) Wait till my house is built and I can gather together my records,  
(b) make up your own, or (c) badger me until I try to put together a  
pathetic remnant of them from memory. 


Colin Watson sez: 

>By convention I allow shield-cover to protect even against missile  
>crits (as if the shot had been "parried": ie. some of the damage  
>gets through but a lot of it is soaked up by the shield AP).

Ditto.

Dave Dunham (still whining about horse archers) sez: 


>>(but first I said) The question is: what defeats horse archers?  
>>Historically, I believe the answer is fortifications and light or  
>>medium cavalry.

>Forts will do it, but are hardly an option for the caravan under  
>attack.

Not so. Let's not forget the disadvantages of the horse archers --  
they are lightly-armored, generally crappy in melee, and they cannot  
really conceal their attacks or launch effective ambushes (they're on  
animal-back and usually fighting on the plains, after all). 


Since the caravan almost always has plenty of advance warning, all  
they need to do is the traditional Wild West trick -- form the wagons  
into a laager and hide beasts and non-combatants inside. The horse  
archers are reduced to riding around the outside while those within  
shoot at them from the comparative security of the wagons. 


This isn't a perfect defense, of course, and sufficient numbers of  
nomads will overwhelm it, but I bet you'll beat off plenty of  
attacks. 


Other effective nomad-beaters, accessible to many PCs: 


Shamans can launch attack spirits at the horses (NOT the riders). A  
possessed horse is a fairly fearsome opponent, and IMO you at least  
need a riding roll each round to maintain control while the horse is  
in spirit combat. 


Sorcerers can cast spells with much greater range than an arrow.  
Again, probably targeting horses is easier than the riders. 


Lunar magicians can use their own specialty magic to greatly extend  
the range on spirit magic spells. This culls out some of the nomads  
before they even get within range. 


Carl Fink hurls down the gauntlet: 

>  Sandy, can you name a non-cannibal culture that hasn't  
>degenerated? It is in the nature of human cultures to degenerate.

Sure. Japanese. European. Islamic. Eskimo. The !Kung Bushmen seem to  
have retained their society for at least a thousand years (when they  
were pushed into the Kalahari by the expanding Negroid race). I'm not  
arguing that the European, Japanese, Islamic, or even Eskimo cultures  
don't contain flaws, but even anti-European sociologists feel that  
the most deadly threats to our civilization are holdovers from the  
olden days, not new decadence. For instance, the Western Way of war  
served us well from the ancient Greeks up into the rather dismal age  
of Imperialism. But that same style of war in World War I destroyed  
Europe as the world's leading center of society. Nationalism as a  
force has been important to Europe since the Hundred Years' War. But  
look at the harm it's causing in Russia and the Balkans. 


In any case, the degeneration common to cannibal cultures is far more  
extreme and much much faster than that observed in more conventional  
societies. The trend for cannibal states is that they become much  
more violent and vicious; religious and social life suffers, and they  
start killing their own population. It is, of course, possible that  
some of these ill effects are actually the result of neighboring  
societies refusing contact with the cannibals -- but they refuse such  
contact because the cannibals are eating them! The whole process only  
takes a few generations. Read the story of the plane crash in the  
Andes, and see how fast the survivors went from shame and guilt at  
eating their own dead from gleefully rooting through rotting entrails  
like pigs for the tastiest bits. 


Hmm. Got a little didactic on that last one. And it doesn't look like  
it has much application to RQ, either. Well, I'll watch myself more  
carefully in the future. 


Sandy

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From: Convulsion94@snail.demon.co.uk (Convulsion94)
Subject: Convulsion94
Message-ID: 
Date: 21 Jan 94 22:06:35 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2866

Hi All,

Well it seems that RQ Con was a success and Geoff Gunner said:

>RQ Con sounds really good. Shall sulk for ages now.  Want one in the UK. Bah. 

Well Cinderella you shall go to the ball... Have you sent your cash to David 
Hall for CONVULSION 94 in Leicester, UK.

By my calculations all nearly all of the places should have gone by now, fill us 
in David...

Many of the guests who were at RQ Con will be there along with many others and 
hopefully many of you out on the Digest.

And don't forget we've got the new freeform "How the West was One".

David

David Scott - Programme Co-ordinator
Convulsion94@snail.demon.co.uk


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From: guy.hoyle@chrysalis.org
Subject: MISSING DIGES
Message-ID: <9401211104.A1688wk@chrysalis.org>
Date: 21 Jan 94 10:04:36 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2867


I also failed to recieve Part 1 of the 20 Jan Daily. Will/can this be reposted?


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From: ANDERSJC@howdy.Princeton.EDU
Subject: RuneQuest-Con
Message-ID: <50327A22D13@howdy.princeton.edu>
Date: 21 Jan 94 21:24:41 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2868

We had a wonderful time at RuneQuest-Con; I especially enjoyed Home
of the Bold.  Is there any way of getting the real
names to match the characters in HotB (and their e-mail addresses if
available) so we can contine to correspond with our fellow
adventurers?  (Hey, Subatei, if you don't get mail from me
it bounced).

Things the Lunars Did Wrong:

1.  Making a big deal about No more than Seven People May Assemble at
Any One Time, and then encouraging the entire populace to gather in
one spot every day to listen to the news.  Some people may have
listened; the rest of us were busy negotiating, scheming, and hearing
the REAL news.

2.  Blatantly obvious spies who shall remain nameless.

3.  Announcing their plans in carrying voices while Grazelanders (for
example) are having a conference not far away.  I didn't have to
listen to the Provost (Subatei did), so I could listen to them
instead ... and then suddenly felt faint and went outside for air, so
I could buttonhole the nearest Geo's regular and send a warning about
the next raid.

Unfortunately, my GM/husband runs much more efficient Lunars ...


Janet Anderson (Berta Featherpenny) (and I still hate that name!)




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From: alex@dcs.gla.ac.uk
Subject: Demons, pointer equality, and 
Message-ID: <9401212309.AA29031@keppel.dcs.gla.ac.uk>
Date: 21 Jan 94 23:09:07 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2869

From: Alex Ferguson.

About this Demoness Eater of Horses doodette, I'm rather vague on who she
is, in a mythographic sense.  Is she:

a)  A Godtime entity, not worshipped, and left out of the compromise, and
    receiving no worship in Time until `dug up' by the Lunars.  (Like the
    crimson bat, I think, and possibly some others.  (The Goddess herself?))

b)  A diety of some foe of the Pentans.  (Trolls?)

c)  An Evil God of the Pentans, receiving propiatory worship, Ritual
    Opposition type worship, or some such.

d)  A demigod of some stripe

e)  Some of the above.

f)  None of the above.  Please specify. [______________________________]

I hereby vote for e).  (To wit, d) and c), in about that order.)

> Has anyone noticed the strange similarities between the religions of the
> Dwarfs and the Malkioni?

This could be argued, but I'm not concinved they are _that_ similar.  But
it leads me onto what I was about to post, to wit:

When is a god not a god?  Or rather, when is sie someone else?

Or less cryptically, when are two similar dieties actually the same one?
This has been discussed on the list before, but consider this wrinkle:
if two gods have identical, or near identical, attributes (but different
names, and possibly modes of worship), are they then _necessarily_ the same?

No, I here you all cry, since at the least, Ernalda and Dendara are different,
since the Goddess Switch failed.  But did it?  We have only the word of anti-
GL propaganda that it did.  Extra credit: regardless of whether it did or
not, did they ever get switched _back_?  To illustrate this isn't a clear-cut
question, note that while most published references claim the Switch was a
disaster, one (in _G:CotHW_ I think(??)) claims it was done with no ill-
effects.  Find and Burn, I hear you Arkati

I think this is an interesting question, since it hss powerful implications
for the nature of divinity in G.  If gods are distinguished only by their
manifest atrributes, it's evidence that they are essentially human (/sapient)
constructs.  If they can be distinct, when by Ockham's Razor they wouldn't be,
it suggests they have an independant existance, at least to some degree.

Furthermore, it provides me with lots of opportunities to make nerdishly
god-learner-like jokes about Object Identity, the Pauli Exclusion Principle,
and annoying stuff like that.

How many Chaosium staffers does it take to change a light bulb?

I like the new writeup on Niceguy/Badguy.  In particular, the Choose
Your Own Path to illumination aspect.  But they should have gone further.

Becoming Illuminated.
So, there's a fixed set of riddles, and the chance is still linked to a skill,
but the question isn't?  What gives?  Anyone saying `game balance' will be
thwapt.  Methods of illumination must surely differ by school, at the very
least by espousing different subsets of the questions, and more likely by
having alternative ones.

Powers of Illuminates.
1.  Secret knowledge.  Hm.  I'm skeptical about this being as common as it's
    cracked up to be.  For one thing, I don't think most Arkati believe this,
    or choatics who become `cynically' enlightened.
2.  Sense Illumination.  Should be more keyed to `school' of illumination.
    Otherwise, there would be no doubt about whether the Near Ones etc
    were illuminates.  Similarly, should give clues as to _which_ school
    the target belongs to.
4.  Ignore Cult Restrictions.  5.  Ignore Spirits of Reprisal.  I've never
    really liked these, or come to that, understood them.  Explanations?

Other quibbles.  Illumination should tie into chacacter traits, and passions
doubly so.  Don't ask me for details.  And it should certainly _affect_ them.

And: it's still too easy.  Okay, it's as hard as gamesmaster fiat makes it,
but given the presumed existance of proselytising Riddlers, willing to
ask all their questions repeatedly until everyone `gets it', why isn't
anyone who wants it?

[A: All seven: they form a Lightbringer's Ring, heroquest back in time so that
    they replace it as soon as the old one failed.]

Heroquesting, opposition, the godplane.  Why does heroquesting potentially
involve time-travel, or communication with the past/future?  The only thing
I can think of is the `Timeless' quality of the GP.  But it isn't
_unchanging_: the 1st age GP is not the same as the 3rd, hence they aren't
the same `place', and so you can't get there from here.  I vote this should
be Gregged at once.  Someone bring me a pair of thumbscrews to Leicester.

[A2: None: Greg rewrites history so that it never blew in the first place.]

Alex.


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From: paul@phyast.pitt.edu (Paul Reilly)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 20 Jan 1994, part 2
Message-ID: <9401212315.AA26441@minerva.phyast.pitt.edu>
Date: 21 Jan 94 23:15:14 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2870


>these guys _on_?  "They believe that Orlanth _is_ the Invisible God."
  

  My version of IO agrees with this: Orlanth is the Breath of the Creator.  It
was he who brought the revelations of Solace to Malkion and Joy to Hrestol.

  The cult, firmly within the Empire, presents itself to Lunar authority as
a Lunar/Healed cult: Orlanth is the Breath of the Creator, being Healed by
the Red Goddess.  We know that the Count of Worion encourages this cult
among his knights; it seems to me that he would get stepped on by the Lunars
if the cult did not at least pay lip service to the Lunar Way.

 - Paul Reilly`

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From: paul@phyast.pitt.edu (Paul Reilly)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 20 Jan 1994, part 2
Message-ID: <9401212318.AA26444@minerva.phyast.pitt.edu>
Date: 21 Jan 94 23:18:05 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2871


  Yara Aranis:

  Remember that her mother is Gorgorma, goddess of Shadow and Earth.  The
Shadow Rune is related to Darkness, thus Terrify Horse seems appropriate:
combines the Fear associated with Darkness with the Madness associated with
YA's grandmother, the Red Moon.

  Yara's father is the Red Emperor, does anyone know much about the flavor of 
his powers?

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From: carlf@panix.com (Carl Fink)
Subject: Dayzatar
Message-ID: <199401220350.AA13739@panix.com>
Date: 21 Jan 94 17:50:57 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2872

sandyp@idcube.idsoftware.com (Sandy Petersen) writes in part:

R>I have a complete writeup of Dayzatar (buried in a hard-to-get
 >place). I don't think he has any subcults -- heroes and spirits that
 >want to get associated with the distant uncaring sky do so by contact
 >with Ourania, his more-accessible spouse.
                                    ~~~~~~

  Ourania is his daughter, right?  Mistress of Heaven, Goddess of Truth?

  (What I'd really like to know is how she relates to Lhankor Mhy's
"Light of Knowledge".)


Lorn Miller writes:

>...I'm still trying to figger out how Carmanian society works, and
>which of the sources on Carmanian religion is correct---do folks
>worship cults as implied by the Genertela player's book or are they
>Malkioni as implied by the GM's book?

  Both.  They're heretical Malkioni who worship the Invisible God and
also pagan gods.


 Belief in the precognitive powers of an Asian pastry is really no wackier
 than belief in ESP, subluxation, or astrology, but you just don't hear
 anyone preaching Scientific Cookie-ism.     --Penn and Teller
   Carl Fink              carlf@panix.com          CARL.FINK (GEnie)
                                                               

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