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, Fri, 24 Jun 1994, part 1 Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM Content-Return: Prohibited Precedence: junk X-RQ-ID: Intro This is the RuneQuest Daily Bulletin, a mailing list on the subjects of Avalon Hill's RPG and Greg Stafford's world of Glorantha. It is sent out once per day in digest format. More details on the RuneQuest Daily and Digest can be found after the last message in this digest. --------------------- From: email@example.com (Sandy Petersen) Subject: amazing secrets revealed Message-ID: <9406231936.AA02887@idcube.idsoftware.com> Date: 23 Jun 94 07:36:53 GMT X-RQ-ID: 4781 I mentioned that just before Slontos was destroyed, the mother goddess of the area went Chaotic. Nicky replies >Why does Chaos always get the blame? 'Tis the best destroyer, I guess. I wasn't implying that Slontos was destroyed by Chaos -- just that I thought the Goddess Switch might have been there because of outre activities on the part of the local Land Goddess. Have you read Greg's story titled (I think) "Just Before The End", in which slime deer and other terrible nasties make their appearance, along with an interesting hero who fights his opponents by using ropes and throwing spikes. >To me Loskalm, with it's rigid internal structure and large standing >army, seems closer to Prussia than the KoW does. You're thinking of the later Prussia of the Napoleonic Wars. I submit that "rigid internal structure" is more a feature of the Austria, Russia, and France of the time than of Prussia. Graeme Lindsell: > Like I say, people with "bad guy: kill without moral qualm" written >on their shields aren't that interesting to me. Why does having the KoW be tough and dangerous make them into Orcs? I haven't said anything too strenuous about having the KoW be bad, just that I (A) plan to have Loskalm be Good, and (B) plan to have the KoW overrun it. I fail to see how this makes me some kind of ex-D&Der and suggest you are reading stuff into my postings that I did not intend. You claim to dislike Black and White roleplaying, preferring shades of gray. I have nothing against shades of gray, and my campaign is infused with same. But I also don't mind having a few dark tones of black here and there in it. If the world is only gray, then I find it hard to run any sort of mock-heroic campaign in which the PCs are able to accomplish anything triumphant. And I like the PCs to occasionally do something rather noble. My ultimate plan for the KoW is that as the Hero Wars progress and everything goes to hell, the KoW plays a rather important role which is _not_ evil (though their conquest of Loskalm I plan to play up as bad, because it's more fun for the PCs). I can't go more into it because a couple of my players read this rag. Cullen O'Neill >In your version of things would the individualists would be more >willing to risk their lives? No. Probably less so. The individualists have already become aware of the existence of their personality before they fell into heresy. Their awareness has bred fear of death, and the fear of death has impelled them to search for a way in which their personality need not be destroyed in case of death. Individualism is the answer. Normal dwarfs would consider an Individualist dwarf to already be malfunctioning before he'd ever gone all the way to Individualism -- merely considering Individualism shows that the dwarf has become self-aware, fearful of death, and probably showing other traits tending to make him less a cog of the machine. >PS: Does your interpretation differ from Greg's also? I know he's a >notorious dwarf-hater. Dunno. Greg hates dwarfs, and I, too hate the non-heretic dwarfs (make great foils in the campaign, too -- no, Graeme, they're not villains). Lots more needs to be written on them, tho. Philip Juffs >1.The Pike Phalanx does not have to supported on its flacks to be >effiective. For example the Swiss had virtually no cavalry but still >managed to make mincemeat out of a lot of other peolple for a while. >Admitadly they were exceptionally well disaplined. The Swiss did not have a phalanx -- their pike units were organized in an entirely different manner than the Macedonians. Also, the Swiss had auxiliary troops on their flanks in all battles except the very early ones which were fought in the mountains against hapless Austrian chivalry -- in effect the mountains and forests guarded their flanks. Note that a Macedonian phalanx could not have fought in such locations -- it's wide and thin, easily broken up in rough terrain, while a Swiss unit was a narrow-fronted brick of men, actually longer than it was wide. But the Swiss were very vulnerable to artillery fire. Not that Glorantha has artillery fire, but I don't think it has Swiss pikemen-equivalents either. Nor do I think there is an equivalent to the Roman legion anywhere. And I believe that only the Sun Domers are the equivalent of the Alexandrian phalanxes. When the Roman legions fought Pyrrhus of Epirus, who had well-trained competent hoplites, the Romans frequently lost. However, Pyrrhus normally was "only" able to slaughter about 2-3 times as many men as he lost, which is pretty terrible for an ancient battle, in which you'd normally expect a kill-to-loss ratio of 10 or even 100 to 1. Apparently the Roman legion, while not reliably able to defeat a phalanx, was able to cut its losses vs. same -- when the Romans beat the phalanxes, the loss ratio was back up to 10-1 or so. Hence, though the Roman Empire didn't outnumber Pyrrhus's manpower source, they lost lots less guys when they lost a battle, and still killed the enemy in heaps when they happened to win. As times became more modern, battles started getting more even -- and both sides started taking heavy losses. I believe that Glorantha is more like this -- with both sides suffering terribly even in victory. This sad situation is because of the use of magic. > I recently ran a game where a Broo shaman had possed an allosaur >with a view to mating it with some of his tribe.Can anyone give me >rational why this sort of thing doen't happen more often? (1) You have to find an allosaur first, and then keep it within sight until your shaman has finished his hour-long (or whatever) ritual to discorporate. (2) You have to beat the allosaur in the spirit combat. (3) You have to successfully mate with the damn thing (which, even for a broo, is probably not trivial). (4) you have to wait for eons until the allosaur fetus "comes to term" -- probably your tribe is nowhere within sight of the allosaur by that time, so the poor li'l allosaur-broo is all alone in the middle of the wilderness with an angry, seriously-injured allosaur right next to it. (5) the baby allosaur-broo, even IF it survives the period right after birth (which is probably when most of them buy it), must show enough traits of its "mother" to be a keen big monsters instead of just a normal-sized broo with scales and a Bite Attack. Remember, you're not assured of getting a giant lizard broo -- this is chaos we're dealing with. Are those reasons enough for why it don't happen more often. Even bison and other large animals are rare for broos, because in order to make sure that the offspring is "raised right", the "mothers" need to be kept somewhere near the broos -- in a corral or something -- until they give birth. Bison, rhinos, and allosaurs are all a pain to keep and tend. Goats, sheep, and herd men are comparatively easy. Remember that the vast majority of wild broos (those born with no other adult broos nearby) die within minutes of their birth, stomped by a mortally-injured parent, killed by a shepherd, etc. Only rare exceptions survive, which is why there aren't entire brigades of Bison Broo plaguing the landscape. Mr. S. W. Jones: >do the hyena's have a over-spirit (cats- Yinkin, dogs- Brother >Dog etc.). Is this spirit anything to do with Genert? Did the >Hyena's exist before Genert died and fed on him or were the born >from him? Okay. The hyenas have an over-spirit. He is named Hyena. He existed before Genert died. Genert either created him specifically to eat his (Genert's) body after death, so Chaos couldn't get it, or else he simply appointed Hyena to the job (my sources conflict). >Storm Bull, hmm, okay- his iron horns- where did he get them, Storm Bull's iron horns may (A) be an poetic embellishment of his worshipers or (B) he got them through an unwritten action early in the Gods War in which he either pillaged iron from the Mostali, found it lying around somewhere, or had the horns specially-made for him by a still-friendly band of Mostali. >are the Morokanth associated with the Darkness rune, or is it just >that people think they are because of their eating habits and >nocturnal activities. Yes, they're associated with the Darkness Rune. Yes, it's because of their eating habits and nocturnal activities. Bit of which came first, the chicken or egg, but there you are. >how do Morokanth sneeze and do they say atishoo Whaat? This is certainly the weirdest question I've seen yet on the Daily. I feel incompetent to answer it, certainly. Stephen Stair: >According to Chalana Arroy's writeup in "Gods", Chalana Arroy >initiates are sworn to protect from harm beings that they have >"slept", EXCEPT when that being is chaotic. This is true, but there are two large groups of exceptions to this rule (which may outnumber the adherents). One are CA initiates from Peloria, which tend to treat Chaos rather gently. The other are CA initiates who believe that not protecting Chaos beings that are slept, while not technically a violation of cult rules, is bad. These CA healers feel that Letting a chaos being be killed that you've slept isn't bad because he's killed, it's bad because you've extended your protection and then withdrawn it. This latter process is considered spiritually enervating. Colin Watson complains: >I confess I don't know enough about the demise of the God Learners. >If we knew "why" then maybe we could start to explain "how". >But we can't know "why". We don't need to know "why" to understand "how". Trust me. I DO know "why". Here's my understanding of the "how", which I'm sure will be expanded upon by the pedants of RQ in this very daily. THE GOD LEARNERS' STICKY END The God Learners, at first, were Heroquesters. They went everywhere on the heroplane, and learned all the ropes. They also developed a certain mindset -- the gods were expressed as collections of Runes, spells, and POW. In a sense, they approached the world of Glorantha just like a minimaxer. They _were_ minimaxers. Scientific ones, but minimaxers. To learn more about the hero plane, they did many experiments. The Goddess Switch, Temple of All Trickster, and other such are well-recorded. Other, more successful, projects of theirs are still around today (Caladra & Aurelion, the suppression of Teleos, etc.) In the process of their learning, they eventually discovered a most powerful secret -- a "trick" if you will that they were able to use to do amazing magical feats. Few could withstand the God Learner magic in warfare. Certainly the Waertagi could not. Now, as they continued their heroquesting and experimentation, they gradually began performing the equivalent of destroying the ozone layer -- as heroquest paths were destroyed forever, or merged with others, so the Godplane began to alter. The Godplane is a complex place, and the God Learners were unable to predict the exact results of their actions (just as Western civilization was unable to predict that one effect of widespread DDT use was the near-extinction of many bird populations). In the end, the Godplane was rendered unstable. After a while, it "shifted" on its own, moving back to a new, stable position. The entire nature of the universe was changed. One of the changes was that the God Learner Secret was no longer possible to exist. Yet it still existed. The universe reacted by sending the Gift Carriers to expunge every single vestige of the now-impossible God Learner Secret. It was part of natural law, like gravity. That is one reason that the destruction was so complete -- the God Learners themselves acted as weak points in the universal fabric that attracted "antibodies", which proceeded to wipe them out. THE MONOMYTH One of the God Learner "secrets" was that the Monomyth was/is TRUE! They found that when they went on an Orlanthi heroquest in which he slew the sun, they could "jump tracks" at the Solar contest, and now go along the Yelm side of the quest. There's been a lot of spouting about how there are different aspects of reality in Glorantha, and the Sun God is "Elmal" for the Orlanthi and the "Sun Dragon" for the Kralori, etc. but the God Learner usage of creative heroquesting demonstrated the essential unity of Gloranthan myth and made sense out of the jungle of fairy tales and legendry that had existed up to that time. Now that the God Learners are all gone, the Monomyth is gradually disassembling, and the once-useful unity is degrading back into the myth-jungle that existed before Arkat's time. The reassertion of local beliefs that occurred at the end of the Second Age (re: the destruction of the False Dragon Ring and the Six-legged Empire) also played its part in the Monomyth's break-up. Devin Cutler mentions in passing: >Trowjang - Amazon society......with male slaves for breeding most >likely There are no male "breeder" slaves in Trowjang, or any males of any type at all, except temporary prisoners or visitors. It's _all_ female (heterosexual). They breed with their god, who visits every single one of them once a year on a special sacred night. This arrangement suits them fine, as apparently sex with him is 294 times as good as with a normal man. >You will have to somehow explain to me how, in a Glorantha where >Chalanna Arroy has a reusable Resurrection, charges only what the >recipient can afford (donations actually), and is willing to heal >almost anyone, Resurrection is not widely available? Fine. I'll go through the numbers again. This is a prime example of Magic Ecology 'Tis like this, Devin. Picture a typical city (like, say, Boldhome) out in the middle of nowhere with, say, 10,000 happy inhabitants and an average lifespan of 50 years (generous, for a world as hag-ridden and dangerous as Glorantha). Maybe 1% of the Adult Population are CA initiates (a generous number, considering that much less than 1% of Earth's population are full-time doctors or nurses). Figure 30% of the population are children. This means there are 70 Chalana Arroy healers in our hypothetical city. Of this number, maybe 2 will be High Healers, with reusable Rune magic. If the High Healers spend one out of every four days doing NOTHING but praying for the re-use of their Resurrection spells (they get one back every 3 days), then they can resurrect 45-50 people a year between them. I think 1 day in 4 for Resurrect is pretty damn generous, considering that other spells must be prayed for, too, plus cult ceremonies performed, plus tending the sick and wounded, plus accompanying those dang adventuring parties. Our hypothetical city has 200 deaths a year, of which probably around 70 or so are "natural deaths" i.e., not worth resurrecting, because the victim died of old age. This still leaves us 130 or so This means that the healers can only bring back to life LESS THAN HALF of all the dead brought to them! NOTE: while DI can also resurrect, and a few other cults have one-use Resurrection (Daka Fal, Yelm, Eiritha), the incidence of these must be minimal. Also, you must note that sometimes, by happenstance, a dead person will be brought to the healers when they do not currently have use of Resurrect, because they've just used it and must pray for more. Tough luck, eh? In any case, the healers have GOT to perform some type of triage. Then the question is, whether a given deadster brought before them is "worthy" of being healed. I bet it's not on a First Come First Served basis. For one thing, heaps of deaths in the city have got to be things like children run over by carts, etc. I bet children are heaps higher on the priority list than a dead adventurer, who is probably a murderous robber anyway. Anyway, Devin, you can see that there is plenty of basis for saying that there is no Resurrection available for a particular death. On the other hand, it IS there, so you can let the PCs use it. It's a matter of personal taste in campaign style. But clearly a gamemaster is more than justified in denying resurrection as a regular thing in his campaign. I'd like to suggest that both Nick and Devin consider cooling off for a day or two. To me, their discussion seems in places to be degenerating into considerations of and attacks on one another's background and training for the ministry. Keith asks: >Is there a source (or could someone tell me) what are all the known >Runes? I'd also like to know who the sources are for each rune. Okay. Here goes for all the Runes listed in Gods of Glorantha. First off, I'm assuming you know all the Runes from the Glorantha Book (in the RQ III Box). These "extra" Runes don't necessarily have a source. Here's the rest of 'em: COLD: owned by Valind. Represents: Cold without darkness. In the bad old days there was also an Ice Rune. This is no longer considered to be a "true" Rune (whatever that is), and would probably be represented in modern Third Age Glorantha as Cold, or possibly Cold combined with Water. COMMUNICATION: owned by Argan Argar and Dormal. Aka known as the Issaries Rune, at least among the Orlanthi. Represents: trade, language, interchange DRAGON: owned by Godunya. Use only in the far east. Represents: dragon magic. This is in contrast to the Dragonewt Rune, which the Kralori dragonewts consider to be quite a different thing. EARTH, BENIGN: owned by Voria, for one. Represents: the giving, generous Earth. It is a "full" Earth Rune, however, unlike the Shadow or Heat Runes, which on some level represent a partial form of the parent Runes (though this partial possession actually _increases_ the god's possibilities and nature in many cases). EARTH, MALIGN: owned by Babeester Gor. Represents: the grasping, bloody Earth. Also a "full" Earth Rune. You get one or the other, not both. The Source for the Earth Rune is Ernalda (or Dendara, for some folks), but even though she has only Benign Earth Runes, she is still Source for the Malign Earth. At least, so say most folks. Note that the Gata "cult" Runes are sometimes displayed as a pair of Earth Runes, one benign and the other malign. FATE: owned by Ty Kora Tek. Represents: Fate. The opposite of Luck, and often considered to be a Power Rune. Sometimes used by folks who are either completely oppressed and wretched or by triumphantly ruling elites -- in either case, the Fate cult explains how the users got that way. The Veldang often worship cults possessing the Fate Rune, and Artmal himself now possesses that Rune, IMO. HEAT: owned by Lodril. Represents: Heat without Light. Useful for trolls, which can't take light, but can sometimes withstand heat. HUNGER: owned by Krarsht. Represents: undeath, destruction of life. This is a chaotic Rune. At least, I don't know of any non-chaos cults which possess it. LUCK: owned by Asrelia. Represents: chance. A common misconception is that this represents "good" luck only. Rather, it is Fortuna -- sometimes you win, but sometimes you _must_ lose, if you worship a god centering on this Rune. At Chaosium we used to get literally dozens of cults with the Luck Rune, every one of them possessing a spell which let you get good luck. Greg's (and my) theory was that any luck-oriented spell might possibly give you good luck today, but only at the expense of really bad luck tomorrow. LIGHT: owned by Dendara & Yelmalio. Represents: Light without Heat. It is a "semi-elemental" Rune tied to the Sky Rune. It is not necessarily a sign of a crippled god -- but is often used instead as emblem that the god in question is an "honorary" sky god. Dendara, Lokarnos, and Nysalor all have the Light Rune, and it is an honorable mark for them. Yelmalio's Light Rune is because he was crippled, tho. PAMALT: owned by Pamalt. Represents: Pamalt's special power. This is a sort of artificial Rune invented by the God Learners to describe Pamalt's powers that seemed to transcend the other Runes. It is based on a native Doraddi sigil. SHADOW: owned by Gorgorma. Represents: Darkness without Cold. It is another semi-elemental. Like the Light Rune, it can represent a god's "insignia" and tendencies, rather than showing Godtime crippling. Barron Chugg: >What Malkionism needs is a good, crusading female saint, one that >could have broken down the Brithini ideal and opened the castesto >women (Saint Michelle? I'm sold. St. Michelle 'tis, at least in my campaign. I'll try to sell Greg on it, too. I suggest that St. Michelle's special invocation act to "sanctify" a Rokari woman so that she can fully participate in war, magic, rulership, or whatever her caste is. The women-bashing comments previously attributed to the Rokari can now be comments which refer to only "most" women (i.e., those who don't have Michelle as their patron).