Bell Digest v940808p2

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Mon, 08 Aug 1994, part 2
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From: (johnjmedway)
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 Aug 94 08:18:29 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5519

>>  From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
>>  Date: 3 Aug 94 09:51:37 GMT
>>  X-RQ-ID: 5424
>>  might become unvoluntary adventurers. Voluntary adventurers probably
>>  are criminals by heart.

There are always the idle rich, which can lead to wanderers, looking for
adventure and excitement. It's just that these folks won't be worth hiring
(even if they are for hire).

>>  From: (Colin Watson)
>>  Subject: Re: Rune Spell Recovery
>>  X-RQ-ID: 5455
>>  First I'd like to state that I think Divine magic is the *least* broken of the

And I think it is the *most* broken. (Haven't we been through this a couple
of times before?) Perhaps Sandy's or a similar plan would be more acceptable
than David Cheng's excellent Rune Power system which I tend to use. (David:
now that I've plugged it again, can I have my RQCon booklet? 8)  ).

The current system operates directly against initiates spreading the magic
and power of their god(esse)s. Making the recover non-automatic, as you
suggest makes qquite a lot of sense. Whether POW*5 or ceremony? I'd make
it ceremony or cult lore combined with ceremony.

(David Dunham and others will probably rail against an "improper" use of
"Ceremony" like this. Problem is that the skill is badly named/defined.
If it's ceremony, as in religious ceremony, it's ok. If it's merely spell
augmentation, then it ought to be renamed.)

>>  The logical extension of this is to allow everyone (initiates and priests)
>>  to roll recovery for *all* their spells each Holy Day. Priests will naturally
>>  recover a large proportion of their spells 'cos they have good Ceremony

Also rewards initiates, et al., for toeing the line, being on the tenure track,
and being good initiates.

>>  From: (Loren Miller)
>>  Subject: what do folks think of a runequest newsgroup?
>>  X-RQ-ID: 5458
>>  I'm thinking of sticking my neck into it again. The runequest mailing lists
>>  and digests clearly have a large enough audience to justify a newsgroup for
>>  runequest and glorantha. However, is a runequest newsgroup a thing that we,
>>  the runequest fans, will want to use?

Fine for me, but ... (there's always a "but")...

How well are usenet newsgroups gatewayed (obviously not the correct form of
the infinitive "to gateway", but whatever) to CI$, AOL, and the other online
services? If it's not pretty well done, we'll split our population.

It does have the advantage of advertising itself, though.

>>  From:
>>  Subject: The way to a man's stomach...
>>  X-RQ-ID: 5463
>>       Creme fraiche is a dairy product with the consistency of
>>  yogurt, but it's not sour.  It is sold in gourmet stores in
>>  larger cities in the U.S. (and some smaller ones: Fowler's of Durham, N.C.,

I miss Fowler's. When my wife went to Duke, I made a point of visiting that
store whenever in town. Wine as far as the eye could see. Sigh...

>>       Also, don't forget a good marriage.  (I obviously don't get
>>  to play Pendragon enough.)

Knew I forgot something. Actually, that's what the one "adventurer" in
my last group was after. (And of course, her dad's $).

>>  From: (Mr. Ennui)
>>  Subject: HlHelp a poor newbie!
>>  X-RQ-ID: 5464
>>      I know I'm commiting a horrid faux-pas by sending a message that
>>  doesn't involve socialogical/philosophical/phychological/military history
>>  ramblings and a lot of big words, but I beg leniance :)

Oh my god! Who let this sort of crap in! (kidding, of course)

>>      I'm a newcomer to RQ and the world of Glorantha.  The first
>>  product I bought aside from the rulesbook is River of Cradles.

All IMHO, of course:

"Adventurers": Well, if you've been reading the daily you know my position.
Unfortunate choice of term, I'd say.

"Sentient monsters": They're not *just* monsters. They're *cultures* and
peoples. RoC didn't have enough space, nor the most interesting ones to
give the concept justice, though. Look at Trollpak, Troll Gods,... Hmm,
make that *read* Troll Gods. Don't *look* at it - the art's is shameful.

Glorantha: Genertela is a land and peoples survey. It's necessary, and
pretty good. It doesn't have much Gloranthan *spirit*, but neither does
it have much *junk*. It has the spirit and pizazz of an encyclopaedia.

Gods of Glorantha has shorter, less meaningful cult descriptions than the
long-form ones in RoC. It doesn't go much into the theology or ecology of
the religions. Nevertheless, it is pretty handy, as it covers a lot of
ground. Same spirit and pizazz as above.

Sun County is *great*. It has all of the tone, mood, feel, flavor, etc.,
you need for the region. Yelmalio cult, outsider's views, a festival...

Shadows on the Borderlands can be more "adventurer"-stuff, though the main
scenario can be played with your brains, rather than swords.

Dorastor is a mixed up pile of pretty OK material on the homesteaders and
the history of the region, with some *completely* unplayable junk on a whole
stack of crittters which make the Crimson Bat look tame and sane.

I'd pass on Strangers in Prax (Sorry MOB & Co.). The first section seems
too much like an Avengers/X-Men comic book for my tastes (they even fly
and have capes). The second part is adventuring with Captain Ahab, and
the last is a self-running demo program on Sorcery, with a little cultural
material thrown in.

>>  From: (Bryan J. Maloney)
>>  Subject: Beer, from a brewer's perspective.
>>  X-RQ-ID: 5484
>>  Furthermore, a bewildering variety of herbs have been used to flavor ales.
>>  (Read:  Virtually any herb or spice on the entire planet in some place or
>>  another.)

Including whole serrano peppers put into the bottles of Ed's Original Cave Creek
Chili Beer. I'd say "original" is right. I suppose it's an acquired taste.

>>  So, why did hops end up becoming so popular?  They do act as a preservative.
>>  They permit brews to be shipped long-distance.  They cover up for some lack

I ask again, what about Imperial Pale Ale shipped from Furthest to Corflu.
Just like the India Pale Ale - highly alcoholic, and hopped to hell and back.
A great way to poison your brain in a hot climate (like, say Texas!).

As for other good hot weather brain poisons: What does it take to make tonic?
What else would the Lunars mix with their gin?

|  |  Landmark Graphics Corp  |  512.292.2325  |
|         "We are, after all, professionals." - Hunter S. Thompson        |


From: (Paul Reilly)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Sun, 07 Aug 1994, part 2
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 Aug 94 18:48:37 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5520

  Paul Reilly here.  Ian Gorlick writes:

>How do the Talars maintain their power among the Malkioni? ....
>Help! I can not rationalize the continuing dominance of the talars. Can anyone

  I have thought about this a lot.  Let me put it this way:  How do the 
politicians and managers maintain their high position in Western society?
The military could overthrow them by main force.  They do not understand
the basic machines that provide the economic and miltary power of our 
society - our scientists and engineers do that.  They do not contribute
directly to primary production.  Teachers and the media could conspire to
overthrow them by reeducating the populace against them...

  Basically, the Talars are, IMO, "people people".  How do you overthrow 
someone with 2000% Human Lore and 2000% Fast Talk and Oratory (Brithini
Talars).  Even without this cockamamie example, you can see how it works.
They manage the other classes.  They own the money, make the decisions, etc.
They are careful to keep their guards and court wizards loyal, and use
divide and conquer on any festering pockets of revolt.

 - Paul


Subject: Nothing on hummingbirds
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 Aug 94 23:52:20 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5521

Steve Harmsworth (Viridian Demon) says:
>    So what the Shaman wants to do is gather POW spirits. 
>Having got one, he returns with it (in his Fetch).  He can then
>conduct a Ritual Enchantment to create an MP Matrix using up all
>the POW of the POW spirit to do so (and contributing nothing
>himself).  The shaman is thus able to create MP Matrixes at no
>cost to himself except for time! 
>    What have I missed?  What do you change/do to prevent this? 

     What you have missed is page 55 of the Magic Book, where it
says "Enchanting requires that the enchanter permanently lose
something in order to effect the permanent change--usually the
loss is current POW."  If you look at POWer spirits, page 36 of
the Creatures Book, it says "The master of a bound power spirit
can use the spirit's magic points to power his own spells."  
     Your use of the spirit's POW is an abuse which is contrary
to the rules.  Nothing needs to be changed to prevent this abuse.
     What needs to be changed is the whole "POW spirit, spell
spirit, magic spirit, etc." taxonomy.  I favor a view in which
there are spirits of persons, places, and things, any of which
can be placed in an enchantment, and the type of the enchantment
tells you what you can get from the spirit: just MP, or spell-
casting, or spell storage, or send-the-spirit-out-to-do-

Re: Gloranthan avatar
     After thinking about this, I think I'd be a Humakti.  Today
is always a good day to die.

Re: laying down beers
     The only beer that is currently made which is really
suitable for storage over 1 year is Thomas Hardy's Ale, an "old
ale."  I've tasted it at 2 years, when it was really too young. 
I have a bottle that is eight years old, and I'll probably give
it a little while yet.  At 18 years, it is fully mature, and it
should last until 21.  This stuff is very thick and high in
alcohol.  If it weren't, it'd be disgusting after that long in
the bottle.  I imagine the best you could hope for with
conventional brews is that you'd get malt vinegar.
     Samiclaus, another high-octane fuel, is lagered from one
Christmas to the next.  
     Both Thomas Hardy's Ale and Samiclaus benefit from modern
brewing techniques.  Not to say that such laying-down would be impossible in
premodern times, just that it'd require knowledge which didn't exist in
comparable times in the real world.
     Oh, and the reason that the Rheinheitsgebot doesn't mention
yeast is that no one knew what it was when the law was written. 
This foam just appeared on the wort.  Either it was airborne (as
is still practiced with Belgium's Kriek) or it was transferred
from the last batch through dosing it (as with yogurt or
sourdough bread starter today) or through using tools covered
with the stuff from the last batch.  Before microscopes, nobody
really understood it.  Some brewers called it "God is Great."

Allahu akbar!


From: (Scott Haney)
Subject: Butterflies
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 Aug 94 14:47:41 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5522

Most butterflies have very short lifespans *as butterflies* because they can consume
proteins only while in larval form.  As adults, they consume only sugars, and they
die pretty early because they can't digest proteins.

There are several species that CAN consume vegetable proteins, and these are quite
long-lived (for butterflies).  I think that a two-year lifespan is extremely rare, 
however, so you'd have to play that a butterfly ally has a divinely enhanced


Scott Haney                        |  I'm not an actor, but I 
                                   |  portrayed one in a play.   |  
olivia!  |


From: (David Dunham)
Subject: scenarios; shamans; clash of cultures; TWH; rune magic
Message-ID: <>
Date: 8 Aug 94 00:12:49 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5523

I've seen several compliments to "Gaumata's Vision" lately, so out of sheer
grouchiness, I have to say it's yet another scenario I couldn't use. In
fact, I've only used one of the "RQ Renaissance" scenarios, because they
all assume way too much about the adventurers. I was GMing for almost all
Grazer PCs, and it would have been much work to try to fit the adventure to

The only adventure I could run was "Melisande's Hand," because there was
one Storm Bull worshipper among them (and a Magasta worshipper rolled up
for the occasion).

It took another GM starting a new campaign to make use of the Riskland
campaign -- why on earth would any Grazelander start farming? (Or any
established Orlanthi adventurer, for that matter.)

This is not to slam Mike Dawson or Ken Rolston or anyone else involved (I
do think the quality of the scenarios is high), but just to remind folks
who write scenarios for publication that you need to consider that players
who have long-running adventurers may not want to create new ones just to
experience your cool scenario.

Steve Harmsworth asked about shamans. #1, PC shamans are as close to
imbalancing as anything. All other PCs will soon end up with their full INT
of spirit magic. My main advice is, try to avoid them. Or give them lots of
cultural duties to perform which take all their time. [I've been remiss in
this in my playtest campaign, partly because I wanted to try out new shaman

Shamans are also as boring as Netrunners in most cyberpunk games*. They do
all this specialized stuff that nobody else can participate in, soaking up
lots of the GM's time. (RQ4 drafts had ideas for making shamanism more
abstract, which is a good thing. The basic idea is that shamans are looking
for a spirit, and all you really care about is how long it takes them to
find it.)

>He can then conduct a Ritual Enchantment
>to create an MP Matrix using up all the POW of the POW spirit to do so

Shamans can't coerce a spirit to put POW into an enchantment (what
mechanism would they use?). Anyway, I rule that the POW in an enchantment
must come from the enchanter. (Which limits the characters who want to give
POW to an enchanter and have him provide the expertise.) This is at least
implied by the RQ3 rules.

>Do you severely restrict access to these spells (including access to
>spells on the Spirit Plane)?

Yes. I've used approaches like rolling for spell spirits on the Daka Fal
table (from River of Cradles). You frequently don't find the spell spirit
you're looking for. Also, most spell spirits you find are small; I might
roll something like d6 1-3=1 point, 4-5=2 point, 6=3 point spell. To find
larger spells, you need to leave the Frontier Region.

A while ago, Kevin Rose e-mailed me with the following:

>The problem that Prax etc has is that it is the plains indians vs the
>settlers, and the indians saying "Lance and club was good enough for
>grandpa, it's good enough for me.  I don't need no stinking winchester."
>Didn't happen then, it wouldn't happen in Prax.

This has been a nagging problem for quite some time. For example, when I
ran Griffin Island, it was hard coming up with convincing arguments for why
the clan elders all refused to use the cool stuff the foreigners had (some
of the adventuring group consisted of foreigners, who'd brought their
crossbows). It usually boiled down to, "Look at Ockless. That shows what
happens when you adopt foreign ways. Don't be fooled by citadels like Nidik
which haven't yet sunk so low." But at least in the short run, a crossbow
is lots better than a javelin.

I realize that on Earth, when two cultures meet, the less technologically
advanced one usually loses. This can take a while (there are still Eskimos
and Bushmen, tho I know the former use rifles and gasoline). But this is
kind of boring -- reminds me of the Traveller game where we shot hostile
natives with our laser carbines from 1 km away.

I suspect one explanation for why the "less advanced" culture doesn't
immediately adopt the technology of the "more advanced" is poverty -- they
can't afford manufactured metal goods. But this is boring too -- who wants
to play a member of a culture who's not only backward but also poor?

Does Glorantha's magic help somehow? In some ways, it might make the
collapse even faster -- as soon as the Griffin Island [or Griffin Mountain]
Votanki start adopting foreign ways, their own spirits become weaker, and
they have no choice but to become foreigners and worship foreign gods. It
appears that this happened to many Hsunchen, who now worship Orlanth.
Perhaps the spirit of the land itself gets involved?

Anyone have good references for Earthly culture clash? I keep meaning to
read Brian Fagan's book.

Devin Cutler e-mailed me for information on The Wild Hunt, the long-running
APA which has had RQ information. My reply:
It's still semi-active, tho it may be dying (Peter Maranci's Interregnum is
either the usurper or the heir apparent). Back issues are presumably
available, but may take time digging in the editor's basement (the current
issue is 186!). Contact Mark Swanson,

On rune spell recovery, here's the rule I came up with for PenDragon Pass:

Regaining Divine Magic
Initiates can regain one point of rune magic on High Holy Day if they make
three of the cult's five virtue rolls. If they make four of the rolls, they
regain the use of two points of rune magic, and if they make all five, they
can regain four points.

* In my cyberpunk game, which used Pendragon mechanics, netrunning was
almost always abstracted. The netrunner player enjoyed this, especially
when she played in someone else's campaign, where netrunning went by the
"dungeon-crawl" rules.


From: (David Baur)
Subject: Re:  Shaman & Ritual Magic
Message-ID: <9408080338.AA15932@Sun.COM>
Date: 7 Aug 94 12:38:18 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5524

RE> Shaman & Ritual Magic                                     8/7/94   8:34
Greetings from the Desert,

     Just stopped in before going away for a while and Steve Harmsworth's
message just stuck out as I was compressing the last two day's mailings to
single day files for later reading.

Steve Harmsworth

     Steve Harmsworth is having Player Shaman problems in his 6 Aug posting
(X-RQ-ID: 5490).  Having played and GM'd Shaman in RQ I see you have 2
problems, (1) Your player is figuring out that a prepared Shaman is truely
powerful and (2) How to play with the rules to his/her own benefit and take
advantage of a GM not familiar in an area.
>Consider the Shaman ... his POW is 16, his Fetch has POW 15.  He has 
>access to Spirit Screen 5 and MP Matrix Enchantment spells.

     Seems like your shaman has been at it a while to have a fetch so high. 
Of course your Shaman also has a 31% daily chance of having a spirit noticing
the shaman's fetch on the spirit plane (this can sometimes catch an
unsuspecting Shaman and maybe lower his/her MP for the day.

     As to the relative ease of finding and picking on the spirit plane's
frontier region, this is where they can pick up some baby spirits that are
uesfull.  Of course the better spirits that know the good stuff and are
smarter, more powerful and gerrnerally more usefull are on the next two
levels in.  Likewise, you can occationally have a more powerfull spirit
slumming on its way to do something, or another Shaman coming in that's more
powerfull on its way in to a deeper level.  After all, those tables are the
usual encounter, but it does not mean that you can't have something more
powerful there once and a while.

>So what the Shaman wants to do is gather POW spirits.  Having got one, 
>he returns with it (in his Fetch).  

     So far, so good, but he did use MP to cast his original ceremony to 
travel to the spirit plane, thus lowering his reserve.

> He can then conduct a Ritual Enchantment to create an MP Matrix using 
> up all the POW of the POW spirit to do so (and contributing nothing 
> himself).  The shaman is thus able to create MP Matrixes at no cost to
> except for time!

     Beg pardon, but how did he just squeeze blood from a rock?  He can get
to use the MP from the power spirit, but he can't reduce the POW unless the
shaman also knows a sorcerous tap or something similar.  How did the shaman
con the spirit to cast the ritual spell, thus having the spirit create a MP
matrix.  The Shaman only indirectly has access to the spirit's POW by
syphoning off the MP.  The Power spirit doesn't know the spell anyway -
they're not too bright. :) 
     In summary, the player just scammed you by getting something for
nothing.  If the shaman is casting the spell, then the shaman is losing the
POW, not the spirit, nor the fetch.  I have a couple characters who also
would wish it works that way.

> It gets worse ... ritual spells are Common Divine magic, and as the Shaman
> a Shaman/Priest of Daka Fal, he should be able to get hold of any of the
> spells easily.  Once he's sacrificed for a divine ritual spellonce ,
> is easy.  

     If you have been reading several of the recent postings, you may find
that renewing the Divine Magic is not so easy (And I'm chickening out and
just going to refer you to reread those postings in the last week or so -

     I hope this solves your problem.  Good Luck!!


From: (John Strauss)
Subject: heroquest
Message-ID: <199408080506.BAA33661@Hopper.itc.Virginia.EDU>
Date: 7 Aug 94 21:06:18 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5525

I poked around on soda for heroquest info and didn't spot

I am interested in collecting together what we have on the
topic so far. I need to decide on the "look and feel" for my
campaign's heroquesting.

Please email me indexes, articles, or point me in the right
directions. Thanks in advance for your help. May Issaries and
Lankhor Mhy bless your days.

John Strauss