Bell Digest v940820p4

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From: T.J.Minas@soton.ac.uk (T.J.Minas)
Subject: DP Magic, Rune spells (again!!) general bibble...
Message-ID: <199408191431.PAA03193@mail.soton.ac.uk>
Date: 19 Aug 94 14:31:32 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5789

Once more unto the Breach, dear friends!

   OK, first up, Dragon Pass magical units/effects: 3 main groupings here, they
are a) The Lunar units; b) The Sartar Magical union; and c) The Independents
magical units. 
   a) The Lunars. With access to all the elementals except Sylphs, Lunar magic,
Sorcery, and strange Lunar Divine spells, these units are easy to see in RQ
terms. They are bands of cooperating initiates in the Red Goddess cult, or
special Lunar Cults (eg Crater Makers), who can be sorcerors, Shamans, Rune
Priests, or whatever combination of these they want. Anyone REALLY want me to
expand on that?
   b) The Sartar units. Exanmple 1: The Stormwalkers. These are a collection of
priests of Orlanth and various other storm/air/rain deities (Heler, Vadrus,
Valind? etc) and Elementals and Spirits of the appropriate type. Their special
ability is to call a flood, which I posit they do by casting huge amounts of
Increase Cloud Cover and then Rain spells as necessary. This, of course, burns
up their Rune magic for the period of the game, thus "removing" their spirit. 
   Example 2: The Windchildren. These really are a group of Windchild priests
etc of Orlanth/storm deities. Remember that windchildren have an innate +50
bonus to control Sylphs, hence their spirit counter (The Sylphs) literally is
a whole buch of Sylphs.
   Example 3: The Tribal magicians (Flash Jak, And-jay, Krise). These are a load
of Shamans, Orlanthi acolytes and priests from the Pol-joni or other nomad
tribes. They use lots of spirits and a few elementals. 
   c) The Independents. The earth shaker's Cult. Unsurprisingly, a load of Maran
Gor priests with all the cult special spells, as well as plenty of gnomes.
Their special ability again "uses up" their spirit, ie they have cast their
divine magic for the period of the game.

   A few notes when looking at all this. The Units with spirits (ie true
Magician units) tend to come from elemental cults using elementals and very
powerful spells that affect the weather/land etc. The weird collections of
people that Argrath managed to arrange into his magical units are a real bunch
of strange guys, as it says somewhere, crazed priests, wandering monks,
outlawed sorcerors etc. Argrath's leadership abilities and conciliation has
obviously allowed some saner minds to work out interesting combinations of how
to combine all these effects.
   Note that there is no suggestion of a Solar magical unit (the Sun Dome
Templars have no spirit), and whilst some of the Lunar units may have Solar
priests, I submit that they do not rely on Sunspear etc. Ditto the Humakti. The
Swordbrothers unit gets to use Defensive Spirit magic, but I doubt that that
really includes much Sever Spirit etc. Such spells probably add more to the CF
of a unit, rather than its MgF.
   Generally, I think the MgF represents the level of Battle Magic available to
units, their POW and level of stored MPs, availability of spells like Shield
etc. Magician units are unusual because they can project their attack across
a significant distance, usually via discorporation, sorcery (Or Lunar magic)(or
even a proposed Divine spell of Ranging!?) and elementals and spirits. 
   Remember that both sides are pretty well prepared for this war, and so have
been sacrificing for the spells they need, making matrices and binding
enchantments, summoning spirits and elementals to their bindings etc for quite
a while before hand. Then you control a spirit, mindlink with it, send it off
to scout around and find the enemy, then use its senses to cast your spells at
the targets. To deliver elementals to distant targets, use birds (your
familiars?) to carry the binding enchantments nearby, then release the
elementals and control them via the senses of your familiar etc.
   
   Second up: Rune spell renewal. A couple of related points here, first,
Sanctify. Like all Ritual spells, this lasts 1 hr/pt, just long enough to cast
a Worship (X) spell if you are away from home, or to do things like cast Spell
teaching (which can only be done in a Sanctified or Holy area). It's not really
that useful a spell, a temple, IMO, becomes automatically "Sanctified" once it
is established with a Worship service dedicating the Temple to the appropriate
deity. Remember, Praxian tribes have no fixed temples, and probably make do
with a totemic object as the focus (kind of like a drumhead battlefield
service, where the drums serve as the altar), and their priests cast Sanctify
and the worship occurs. Then, as long as the "altar" remains in place, that
area is a temple to Waha (say) until the tribe moves on, and the altar is
disassembled. So, although the priests Sanctify ran out after an hour or two,
the area remains "Holy" to Waha until the tribe moves.
   Second point here, on regaining your spells. IMO (and this is an impression
gained from reading the rules and from a discussion with Sandy Petersen a few
years ago) if the temple you are praying at doesn't offer the spell you want,
you can't regain it there. IE it's no use praying at your Humakti shrine to
regian your Sever Spirit, all it's got is Truesword and Worship Humakt! This
is another argument against Rune Power, by the way. It also limits CA
Resurrections. AND means that if, whilst out adventuring, you cast Sanctify and
Worship deity to try and regain some Rune Spells, sorry, you have a Site (in
terms of temple size) which offers no spells thus you can't renew any. Of
course, you DID manage to attend a Worship ceremony on your God(esse)s HHD in
difficult circumstances, so He/She/It will probably look favourably upon you.

   Third up: Issaries/Etyries/Genert. I guess this is mostly for Sandy. How
come, if the priest in CoP was Etyries, he had to fulfil an Issaries curse? Is
this God Learner monomything imposing equality of Etyries and Issaries? Or real
proof that Etyries is a daughter of Issaries, and thus bound by his strictures?
Or what? Any answers, anybody?

   A final comment: Whoever said everything had to be on dice rolls? MGF rules,
remember? So, to whoever it was (sorry, didn't note your name) complaining
about our 3 heroes coming back off adventure, and only 2 of them regaining
their spells at the HHD ceremony (because the 3rd guy failed his roll), why are
you making them roll? If you (as GM, and therefore their deities representative
in the region) fell they deserve their spells back, let them have them back.
After all, the POW x 3 roll is an abstraction to represent the deities
attention etc. (Remember, when you become a Priest, you are supposed to make
a POW x 3 roll, the "Test of Holiness"? That's a GM call, really, many times
I would expect a GM to be able to judge if a player really deserved to become
a priest or not, rather than have him roll lucky (or unlucky!) dice)

   Enough! Bye all

                       Tim Minas (I do not want to be God Learnered with Tim
Leask!)

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X-RQ-ID: Extro

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