Bell Digest v940812p1

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To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Fri, 12 Aug 1994, part 1
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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

More details on the RuneQuest Daily and Digest can be found
after the last message in this digest.


Subject: Levy
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Aug 94 11:25:13 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5616 (ian i. gorlick) writes:

>Back to Michael Morrison's message.  Trained farmers are commonest where there 
>is a free levy.  I think that most of the experience was got during the period 
>of call-up, though.  If you lived, you knew how to fight.

I don't think so. The Danish mediaeval levy, which is the only one I am
familiar with, was not called out this often. The period of most levy
activity was the when Valdemar the Great won his epithet by suppressing
the Wendic pirates. He called up a quarter levy every year for a decade.
This could have been kept up indefinitely without anyone having to go
twice. Any havnebonde that is, the officers probably went many times.


From: henkl@aft-ms (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: Variant Rune Magic
Message-ID: <9408110843.AA00311@yelm.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 11 Aug 94 09:43:18 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5617

Jens Haeusser supports both the shared pool of RunePoints, although
phrased differently, and the idea of an initiates first POW sacrifice
actually being a sacrifice for the divine spell Worship()...

>I also use this in determining when a character can learn a particular
>spell. In general, the character also has to succeed in a related skill
>before they can sacrifice for the spell (ie Haaven had to prove himself
>worthy by demonstrating a successful sword attack before learning

Yes, more role-playing opportunity...

Hey Sandy, do you think this is more fun to play?
Henk	|	Henk.Langeveld@Sun.COM - Disclaimer: I don't speak for Sun.
oK[]	|	Single Point of Change, Multiple Points of Reference


Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 11 Aug 1994, part 1
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Aug 94 08:48:47 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5618

Devin Cutler here:

Klaus writes:

"How a spell matrix will help you kill the bat
Enchant 280 points of Bless Thunderstone into a matrix.
With a major temple of Orlanth to work with, this could
take anywhere from 20 to 100 years, but is well worth
it. The matrix takes a full year to recharge, but you
can only cast the spell once a year anyway. (I assume
that you can not usually stack spells from several
matrixes, and that only one person at a time can work
on recharging a matrix.) You can now produce one
thunderstone per year, at the cost of one POW. This
stone will do 280d6 of damage once, reduced by armor
but without having to overcome the MP of the target.

I, having read Elder Secrets, know that one of these
will kill the bat. The priest have not read ES, but
will probably think it obvious that 2 will do the
job. Let's make 4 just in case. Any leftovers will
be useful against any new monster the empire enlists."

Of course, through spies and sympathizers, the Lunars find out an enlist
their blue moon assassins to thwart the project. 

Nils writes regarding Baroshi:

"Nice idea with the male earth warrior cult. I'm not quite sure the
runes are appropriate. Earth is, of course, probably as Dust. But
Law is a western rune, hardly known in Snake Pipe Hollow. Mastery
seems a bit strong for a new godling. However I don't really have
a good suggestion of what to have instead."

I agree now with Law, but Mastery still seems appropriate if you buy the fact
that the godling was born solely to master Chaos, and that he DID master
Termain Osboropo. 

"Why Enchant Amber? The spell is OK,
but is amber that strongly associated to earth?"

Baroshi, in SPH, has a piece of crackling, glowing amber that HE uses as a
weapon, and it drains Con and this item is really


Devin Cutler


From: (N. Smith)
Subject: Bless Crops
Date: 11 Aug 94 11:18:21 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5619

	Ernalda's Bless Crops Spell description includes (roughly) the 
phrase "as much land as a man can plow in a day". This implies that the 
spell is cast on the plowshare and thus the matix-laden wagon travelling 
around the countryside all day is a bad idea. Also, spells would probably 
only be cast in the first hour of the working day, and only on days when 
the weather and soil conditions are goodfor ploughing, to maximise effect.
	These limitations, plus the number of spells available, would 
mean castings are performed on the basis of political/personal/cult 
worth, the order of priorities varying with different priests.

	Also, the spell does not seem to encourage good Ernaldan 
behaviour. Plant crop, do nothing and you are still guaranteed at minimum 
an average harvest. May I humbly suggest this be changed to
	"doubles the yield which would otherwise have occurred".
	This gives those who care for their crops more potential benefit since 
a yield of 2*5 units is much better than one of 2*3 units.

	This puts another layer into the casting priorities - pious 
initiates who care for the soil, the body of the Goddess, get better 
yields and thus will be higher on the list. Of course, this has nothing 
to do with the fact that a 10% tithe of 2*5 units is greater than 10% of 
2*3 units....

Footnote:- 1 acre = 4840 square yards:-
 "the amount of land which a man with two oxen could plow in a day. 40 
rods long and 4 rods wide where the rod, a pole used to drive the oxen, was 
5.5 yards long".
	The AA Book of the Countyside (that famous reference work!)
(However, KoS states that an Orlanthi Carl must have an ox team of 8 
oxen, which will plow 80 acres in two seasons. Perhaps the oxen get a lot 
of holidays?)


From: (Jon Green)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 11 Aug 1994, part 2
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Aug 94 10:45:34 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5620

Jens Haeusser (X-RQ-ID: 5610):

> I've been playtesting a version of Rune Magic that seems to work fairly
> well.  In it, an Acolyte/Priest sacrifices POW to gain knowledge of a
> specific spell, but they can cast divine magic from a pool of both their
> total POW sacrificed and the divine spells they know. Note that stackable
> spells can only be cast up to the level that they are sacrificed for.
> For example Fladwyn, Sword of Humakt, in becoming a Sword has sacrificed
> POW to gain knowledge of Truesword, Shield 3, Detect Truth, Sever Spirit
> (3), Heal Wound and Soul Sight. He thus has a pool of 10 points of divine
> magic and 6 different spells. Without regaining any divine magic through
> prayer, he could cast any of those 6 spells in any combination of up to 10
> POW. [Section omitted]
> This system allows a little more flexibility in how a character casts their
> divine magic. As well, it encourages players to take as many different Rune
> Spells as they can, because they aren't as limited in the number of times
> they can cast a single spell (no more taking 7 Heal Wounds... =)
Maybe I misunderstood things, but I always viewed Divine Magic as a pact 
between the person (read, "Funnel") and the God, whereby the person donates
some of their life-force to the God and, in reward, gets to draw on a little
of the God's knowledge and power at a later date.  Thus the Priest (say) does
not have "knowledge" of a Divine spell, nor is it "theirs" - what they *do*
have is a solemn agreement to be able to call in that favour at a later date.

Yes, the mechanism whereby a Divine spell is sacrificed for specifically *is*
limiting.  It's meant to be.  You're drawing on the most powerful source of
mundane change available in Glorantha - the Gods.  By picking and choosing
which Divine spell you want to cast from a list, and drawing from some "pool"
of POW in order to power it, you become a *far* more dangerous thing for both
the mundane and the Divine.  The Gods and the Priests limit the abilities of
people to sacrifice for certain Divine spells to limit just that risk.  Can
you imagine the destruction that could be caused by a crazed, part-senile
Humakti priest with a pool of 42 POW to call on, and unlimited access
therefore to 14xSever Spirit?

Maybe the ability to call on a God for an arbitrary Divine spell, given 
sufficient sacrificed POW, could be the subject of a pretty high-level,
high-risk HeroQuest - but that seems almost a God Learner kind of act:
to manipulate the Gods, rather than call upon their favour?



From: (ian i. gorlick)
Subject: talars in power
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Aug 94 04:01:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5622

Bryan J. Maloney in RQ-ID: 5579 
I do not underestimate the power of legitimacy. I happen to be a monarchist 
myself. ( Canada is a monarchy, for the information of those who have 
forgotten.) My loyalty to the queen is based upon a life-long tradition of 
acceptance of that office. However it is not an overwhelming loyalty. Were the 
monarch to behave in the disreputable fashion of a number of recent Canadian 
politicians, then that tradition would not sustain my loyalty. I would be 
inclined to favour the coronation of a new monarch rather than the attempt to 
restructure Canada into a republic, but the mere fact that the monarch has 
legitimate title does not mean that she/he must be tolerated. 

If you believe that the talars always provide good, competent, efficient, and 
successful government to all their people, then you can believe that their 
legitimacy will be respected and never challenged. I don't believe that anyone 
can be that consistently successful. When their government conflicts with the 
desires of the governed, then there will arise the desire to oust or control the 
talars. If a reasonable fraction of the governed favour this, and enough of the 
rest are ambivalent, then the talars will fall. 

The legitimacy of their office does provide a lot of inertia against political 
change. But when the forces of change become strong enough, then things will 
move. Especially when there are such a large number of states, I would expect 
some of them to have experienced an overthrow. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I have come to the conclusion that the talars 
have been overthrown at various times in various states. The existing histories 
have probably just skipped over most of these events, as the new talars would 
feel that such discussion tended to bring their legitimacy into question. 


From: (ian i. gorlick)
Subject: Women's Int, Arkat's Father, & Disease
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Aug 94 04:02:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5623

(Alison Place here, not Ian Gorlick)

Re:  Women's INT, Arkat's father, disease
My, what a lovely response to my crack about women's intelligence.  Mr. 
Petersen, you are a gentleman.  I have noticed this dearth of women in gaming 
for years, but then, who hasn't?  Now that I'm married to a GM, I am also 
noticing the distinct category of GM's wife, as in, "She just plays because the 
GM's her husband.  You know, not a real gamer."  Out of mild curiosity, is there 
any idea how many women do subscribe or write to the daily?  I've seen Michelle 
Ringo, and Janet Anderson, and I think that that's all.  Are females really so 
tremendously scarce as that in Runequest?

Arkat's father
Klaus writes (X-RQ-ID 5565) that the Brithini say that Arkat's father was just 
some ordinary barbarian.  That may well be so, but I do remember distinctly from 
RQ-Con that Greg's reading from his old material said that Arkat the Wonder 
Child was one of a Brithini super-soldier's children and carefully raised with 
the rest of them.  At least, that's what his old friend and fellow child (they 
were then in their forties) related about their early time together.  I've 
unfortunately forgotten the narrator's name, but I do believe that I remember 
that Greg said that the narrator was still alive in the Third Age.  I'm sure 
that someone else can fill in the details.

Disease spirits
This may be one of those topics that was done to death years ago, and if so, 
could someone please forward the essence of the discussion.  I have wondered for 
years about the genesis and spread of diseases.  Is Mallia the source for  all 
diseases?  Are all diseases caused by spirits?  Is there any way to create 
either a spirit of disease or of healing?  I know the RQ3 rules for the things, 
and as a biologist always found them dissatisfying, since contagion is allowed, 
but not explained.  Has anyone come up with anything?

Alison Place


From: henkl@aft-ms (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: The Blue wizard gets gregged!
Message-ID: <9408111435.AA02181@yelm.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 11 Aug 94 15:35:09 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5625

>The Sun debate.
>Joe speaks
>>It is my hobby to argue against the universality  etc of Yelm as the True Sun
>A devils advocate huh?  

Hi guys, can you take this argument off-line for a couple of days and
post the results?
Henk	|	Henk.Langeveld@Sun.COM - Disclaimer: I don't speak for Sun.
oK[]	|	Single Point of Change, Multiple Points of Reference


Subject: Deer (Henk, please forward)
Message-ID: <>
Date: 12 Aug 94 06:02:33 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5626

One of my players has a Damali PC from Pralorela, and I've been doing some
thinking about the various deer hsunchen. These are the three types, from
the Players Book.

Damali          Deer            Kralorela, Pralorela
Pralori         Elk             Fronela, ?Pralorela
Uncolings       Reindeer        Fronela

I'll get to the questionmark soon. So what are these animals actually? (I'm
using the Latin names here only for convenient reference. The Gloranthan
equivalents may differ from their Terran namesakes, but we've been given no
reason to think that).

Latin           USA             Europe           Description

Dama dama       (none)          Fallow Deer      Brown with white spots
Alces alces     Moose           Elk              Big heads, broad antlers
Cervus sp       Elk             Wapiti           Large red forest deer
Rangifer sp     Caribou         Reindeer         Big domestic tundra deer

OK. It seems obvious that Damali have the Fallow Deer as a totem (the name
is a giveaway), though it might well be the Axis Deer (a related species)
in Kralorela. The Uncolings are likewise easily placed, though whether
their totem is the domesticated Lapp reindeer or the wilder caribou is up
for debate.

The problem is with the Pralori. I assumed that US conventions held, and
their totem was the American elk, a giant race of the European red deer
(stats in the Creatures Book, ditto for Fallow Deer). But Martin Crim's
excellent writeup of the Hykim cult states that the Pralor totem "resembles
the Old World elk, not the New World wapiti", ie; the Pralori elk is a

Now I personally have some problems with that. 1) Pralorela is not the
right country for a moose. Fallow deer come from Mediterranean, and
reindeer from the frozen north, so they are rightly placed on Glorantha,
but moose should be found in an ecological Canadanalogue. Rathorela? Ice
Bay? Thrice Blessed? 2) As Martin points out a few lines later in his
writeup, Pralori and Damali are often confused. It's hard to confuse a
moose with a deer. 3) Moose are funny-looking. 4) I like the idea of a
nested set of deer species, and want to emphasize the kinship of the deer
peoples in my campaign (see below).

I'm sure Sandy can illuminate us here. Here's what I do in my campaign, for
what it's worth.

Pralorela used to be inhabited by elk (wapiti) people in the Cold Days, but
now only Damali live there. Pralori live further north, in Erontree, and
Uncolings further north again, around Winterwood and the tundra. All three
trace their ancestry back to the Great Deer folk, a now-vanished beast
people whose totem was the Megaloceros, a.k.a the Irish Elk/European Giant
Deer (vernacular names again...) Most of you would have seen Megaloceros
antlers in museums - they have a 12 foot span or so. It looks like a red
deer on steroids, six feet high at the shoulder.

The deer people have had their forests cut down and their lifestyles torn
apart by civilised folk with metal and money. I have the Damali in
particular resembling the 19th century Maori, as a major trade route flows
right through their lands. Young people defect to the towns, clans compete
for trading rights, settlers wanting land and timber play one clan against
the other, and so on. As a reaction against the inroads of civilisation,
the shamans of the three deer peoples have embarked on a lengthy ritual to
revive the Great Deer Spirit and revitalise their followers.

I have no idea what will happen. Great Deer might still exist in Pamaltela.
They might prove to be the Great Trolls of the Hsunchen. The whole thing
might spark fanatic Ghost Dance or Hau Hau cults amongst the otherwise
peaceful hsunchen. The Great Deer might return, but historically were open
country animals and might prefer to live on the cultivated plains. The
ritual might have to be performed in an ancient holy pace, now a city in
Ralios. Whatever, there's enough travelling and ritual to fill up the rest
of the campaign if I let it.

Comments, anyone?

BTW, the Damali player has just been told by a wandering prophet that the
world will end next Dark Season. That's the date I've scheduled Kaxterplose
to be sacked by Harrek. Anyone interested in my version of Kaxterplose?
Given that Slontos is due to be Gregged, it's almost certainly without any
official basis, but I like it.

Mike Dickison


From: (Dave Cordes)
Subject: Do I have to Pray for it?
Message-ID: <9408111538.AA26444@Sun.COM>
Date: 11 Aug 94 00:37:10 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5627

CL QM-SMTP gw                 Do I have to Pray for it?
>>Colin Watson says:
>>Hm, I kinda assumed that the "1 point per day" rule didn't actually
>>necessitate praying 24hrs per day. I assumed the priest did other useful
>>stuff around the temple during that time; and that the restriction on
>>recovery was just the limit of how much Divine magic it was physically
>>possible to garner in one day.

That seems to be the intent in the RQIII book 2 - Magic Book.  Page 28
"Reusable spells may be remembered by spending one day per point of spell in
an appropriate temple."

It does not say that you have to be praying.  You could theoretically be
scrubbing floors, changing candles, chasing initiates of the opposite
(same??) sex, etc.  However a more conservative RW structured church
upbringing says that if you want something from God you should pray for it.

Along those lines our group been discussing Sandy's proposed Divine Spell
Renewal rules.  So far we are doing alot of head butting over it (No, we're
not a group of Broos).  We have a few nits, that we are working out among
ourselves, that are mostly based on opinions of how much a PC should be
allowed to get away with.  However the one main concern that bothers us (well
really me)  is that our game style tends to involve long adventures or
quests.  Sometimes dragging us through a wide variety of places and
situations.  Yes, we are the dreaded "Adventurers".  And no we have never
found an Adventerures Hall or Guild in any town.  We have never been warmly
accepted or greated with a ticker tape parade.  The general population tends
to basically ignore us (accept for taking our money).  We do not barge into
town looking for trouble or a fight.  We are usually looking for information.
Which we always have to pay for, one way or another.  We are basically good
guys who want to do whats right.  Our reasons for continuing on the quests
vary from character to character.  They range from being on a Misson from
God.  To 'They are my friends, of course I'll help'.  To 'I was bored, the
town sucked and so far hanging around with these guys has been interesting
and semi-profitable (at least enough to buy ale at the
     Whew, boy did I get off the track.  Back to my problem with Sandy's
Divine spell renewal.  Under these game conditions and with Sandy's rules,
why would any Runelord ever agree to go on a quest into a land where they
don't know if there are any temples of their faith.  If the adventure is
going to take more than a few weeks they run the risk of missing a holy day. 
And missing a holy day means no spells.  And based on what I've been reading
in the dailys, most of you seem to believe that it also puts you on the fast
track to excommunication.
      The way we have been playing has been that an initiate was not
condemned for missing a holy day service if they attempted to get to a
temple, and failing that, took that day off while traveling, and spent it in
prayer.  A Runelord could, if he found himself too far away from a temple,
cast his worship spell and hold his own service on the spot (I like this
concept because it encourages the Runelord to try and recruit his friends). 
A wandering initiate who is caught away from home and uses his divine spells
was no worse off then if he was at home.  Because we so far have not played
that they were in any way renewable for initiates.  However I do like that

I like Sandy's suggestions, except that a Runelord/Priest should also be able
to get his spells back through prayer at times other than Holy days.  If you
make Worship an automatic renewable spell then a Traveling Priest/Runelord
could find a secure place cast his worship spell and spend however long he
needed to get his spells back (or at least a few of them).  This would allow
the church to send the runelords out on Missions from God without severly
reducing their chance to succeed.  


From: (charles gregory fried)
Subject: RunePower
Date: 11 Aug 94 16:07:32 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5628

Greg Fried here (I'm back!).

One way to revise David Cheng's RunePower system so that Chalana Arroy cannot
cast Resurrections as fast as they can pray is the following: just like there
are reusable and one-use spells, why can't there be "poolable" and
"non-poolable" spells?  The non-poolable spells would have to be
sacrificed for as per RQ2-3 rules.  The rationale for this would be
that some spells are so important/powerful that the god required more
control over how they are used.  Sever Spirit would be another
candidate for the non-poolable status.

BTW, I know I missed the chat about Convulsion, but I want to say it
was great to meet all the Brits on their home territory (and not a few
Yanks, Italians, and Finns, too!)!  Hats off to the organizers!