Bell Digest v940825p3

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From: mcarthur@fit.qut.edu.au (Robert McArthur)
Subject: Re: Dragon Pass regimental magic in RQ and other terms
Message-ID: <199408250212.MAA25007@ocean.fit.qut.edu.au>
Date: 25 Aug 94 22:12:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5860

> 
> Tim Minas in Status: O
> 
> >    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?
> 
> Not exactly. There is no combination of ordinary RQ personal magic which 
> reproduces the fight of the regimental spirits (in case of magicians 
> detachable, for some other units fighting back in defense only, mostly 
> just offering passive defense). Neither do the (unsatisfying IMO) RQ3 
> spirit combat rules, not even if we revive the RQ2 common divine spell 
> Discorporation. The only spirit or elemental type remotely resembling 
> this attack form are Annilla's Selenes, and I wouldn't make them 
> even Lunar common issue combat spirits.
> 
> >    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. 
> 
> Yes, this exotic magic (and several others) can be explained as Rune 
> Magic stacked beyond any individual's limit.
> 
> >    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.
> 
> And they are the only elemental counter in the game. In Nomad Gods the 
> Whirlvishes might count as such, too, but that's it with regular elementals 
> in the DP-like games.
> 
> >    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. 
> 
> Such as? Please detail this (in private mail), to give one example, and 
> the exact mechanic involved.
> 
> >    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.
> 
> I disagree. Argrath's spirit magician regiments are working the same way 
> as do the Exile, Dragonewt or Lunar units (apart from the cyclical 
> effects). Ipso facto only spells equally available to all these cultures 
> would be usable - which would reduce the choice to common divine magic. 
> The alternative would be a different system. Since we know aobout 
> regimental spirits, I think this would be the way to go. If this is 
> true, maybe the Malkioni would use physical magic instead, not being 
> big in the spirit department.
> 
> >    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.
> 
> There aren't any temple defenses either, although I feel that temples 
> ought to have immobile spirits as temple defenses. Something along the 
> lines X - X - 8 - 0 in DP terms.
> 
> >    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. 
> 
> Then how do you explain that magicians may detach their spirit to protect 
> a different stack?
> 
> >    Remember that both sides are pretty well prepared for this war,
> 
> The Lunars aren't really prepared. The Dragon awakened took out their 
> most effective Solar magicians from among those who fought at Pennel 
> Ford where they only had been thwarted by Harrek's divine powers.
> 
> > 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.
> 
> I see no indications of elementals fighting, except for the sylphs. They 
> use the physical magic rules, so this is not your average magicians' 
> spirit.
> 
> >    Second up: Rune spell renewal.
> 
> My take on it: Spells cast during a worship ceremony are automatically 
> regained the next day. Make your magicians' attack a communal worship...
> 
> -- 
> --  Joerg Baumgartner   joe@sartar.toppoint.de
> 
> ---------------------
> 


---------------------

From: jmedway@zycor.lgc.com (johnjmedway)
Subject: Wyters and Sorcerors and Shamans, Oh My!
Message-ID: <199408250639.BAA07609@cs.utexas.edu>
Date: 24 Aug 94 20:40:07 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5862

re: T.J.Minas@soton.ac.uk (T.J.Minas) in X-RQ-ID: 5789
[position on DP magic deleted for brevity]

You've partitioned the magicians by allegiance. The primary partition
should be by mechanism, which does not yield the same results. After the
first splitting, I end up with the sets of what I call "Intrinsic Magic"
users, Divine Physical Magic (and agents), Sorcerous Physical Magic (and
agents), and Wyters.

Intrinsic Magic:
----------------
Almost all regiments or other large "units" have some kind of magical
abilities. There are enough spirit magic dabblers and initiates who realize
that "one use" may as well be now, and rune lord/priest/muckitymucks in any
decent unit that there may very well be some Sun Spears, Lightning Bolts,
etc., cast in battle.

Most of their effort will go toward lasting effects, such as Protection,
bladesharp, etc. After all the "hoplite scrum" in which many of these folks
will find themselves can be a longish gruelling fight. A few quick shots
before closing will not necessarily be of as much benefit, especially if
the targeting is uncoordinated.

Essentially it implies essentially no ability to project coordinated force,
at any distance greater than normal spirit or divine magic range, which on
the field isn't very impressive. Essentially I view it as alternately
acting as skirmisher-style harassing fire or boosting of normal attacks
and defenses.

These include at least all of the DP units with a '0' for the RF, which can
 use "DSM", and should be found among almost all of the lists. I'd argue
this  should include quite a number more.


Physical Magic and Physical Agents:
-----------------------------------

These are either sorcerors from the Moon, Carmania or other icky places, or
are as Tim suggested a whole big gob of elemental summoning and
controlling spells from divine magic users.

Divine magic users get screwed in a campaign, as can happen to the Storm
Walkers, because of the problem regenerating the Rune
Spells/RunePower/whatever. This should also happen to the Storm Walkers,
Wind Children, and any other unit relying upon divine magic, (such as the
Dara Happan Solar magicians which Joerg mentioned) whether or not they have
or use some exotic attack.

Sorcerors, such as the Crater Makers are probably restricted to one use of
the meteor swarm per game for one or more of:
1) play balance
2) need a ceremony to recharge a whole helluva lot of MP matrices

The effects are much the same: a physical attack for which neither
Intrinsic Magic, nor a Wyter, provides an effective, wide-spread  defense.


Wyters
------
These are the communal spirits which I remember Joerg first mentioning.
Essentially the entire unit sacrifices power into this mega-fetch-thing,
and it acts as at least an equivalent of the Intrinsic Magic listed above
(these are the RF=0 units from DP).

The real value is only understood when it is a wyter from a magician unit.
This implies training and coordination, so that the wyter becomes a strike
weapon, not just an umbrella. The wyter attacks the other units spirit or
spirits, and if victorious starts munching on the troops with spirit spells
and spirit attacks.

These are essentially the only way for *large-scale* coordinated spirit
magic at any range. The collection of familiars flying/crawling/slithering
along could fairly easily be shot to pieces, as they are independant, and
independantly defended, targets. (Remember your bat has to get within
disruption range to cast his spells on the enemy. How many HP does he
have?) Also, that's a helluva big mindlink spell.

Wyters are something RQ cannot even attempt to describe in any real way.


-----
Joerg Baumgartner in X-RQ-ID: 5808

jb>>   Not exactly. There is no combination of ordinary RQ personal magic which
jb>>   reproduces the fight of the regimental spirits (in case of magicians
jb>>   detachable, for some other units fighting back in defense only, mostly
jb>>   just offering passive defense). Neither do the (unsatisfying IMO) RQ3
jb>>   spirit combat rules, not even if we revive the RQ2 common divine spell
jb>>   Discorporation. The only spirit or elemental type remotely resembling
jb>>   this attack form are Annilla's Selenes, and I wouldn't make them
jb>>   even Lunar common issue combat spirits.

Agreed. These are not properly handled by the low-level magic rules in RQ.
Just as other cooperative rituals, such as Bless Crops, don't seem to work
quit right.


jb>>       Example 3: The Tribal magicians (Flash Jak, And-jay, Krise). These are a load
jb>>   ...
jb>>   Such as? Please detail this (in private mail), to give one example, and
jb>>   the exact mechanic involved.

And forward it to me, too.


jb>>   I disagree. Argrath's spirit magician regiments are working the same way
jb>>   as do the Exile, Dragonewt or Lunar units (apart from the cyclical
jb>>   effects). Ipso facto only spells equally available to all these cultures
jb>>   would be usable - which would reduce the choice to common divine magic.

That doesn't seem like a good assumption. At the abstract scale of DP, or
even closer in, in a miniatures game, the differences between the effects
of Shimmer v. Protection v. Dullblade on you oppponent just don't show up.
There's no reason to suggest that the spells must be common. Without the
special effects, how much difference is there between a Lightning Bolt
barrage, or a Sun spear barrage.


jb>>   The alternative would be a different system. Since we know aobout
jb>>   regimental spirits, I think this would be the way to go. If this is
jb>>   true, maybe the Malkioni would use physical magic instead, not being
jb>>   big in the spirit department.

That makes perfect sense, though I hadn't even thought about how the West
fights their battles. They may also simply boost their knights, as it may
be more cost-effective.


jb>>   The Lunars aren't really prepared. The Dragon awakened took out their
jb>>   most effective Solar magicians from among those who fought at Pennel
jb>>   Ford where they only had been thwarted by Harrek's divine powers.

Pennel Ford? Tell me more!


jb>>   I see no indications of elementals fighting, except for the sylphs. They
jb>>   use the physical magic rules, so this is not your average magicians'
jb>>   spirit.

Also remember the discussion from last fall: The DP counter mix isn't
everything. By Nick's calculations, the Lunars had quite a bit more than is
in the mix, though it is assumed that much of it was busy elsewhere.

There should be more to the LCM, just as there was more to the standard
mix. Not necessarily in the same proportion, though. (Crater-makers are
*not* all that useful in a police action, not unless you want another
Beirut, that is.)

Though your calculations showed the Esrolians & Co. to be even more massive
than the Lunars, we should not expect to find any real magic units there.
Except the guys who focused the Pharoah's energies on building The Wall.

Sidenote #1: Anybody got a better name to use instead of "Intrinsic"?

Sidenote #2: What additional physical magics and/or exotic effects would
be reasonable to assume existed in the Empire or the West? (I am assuming
that the DP counter mix is essentially all there is for the Sartarites.)



-----
Nick Brooke in X-RQ-ID: 5798

nb>>   David, MOB: Peebles the Cat has Xenohealed.

What was wrong with Peebles?


nb>>   ___________________________
nb>>   Sultans and Satraps, oh my!
nb>>
nb>>    Molari Slor is shown at what is the extreme end of the Oraya Sultanate
nb>>    (or Satrapy - how and why did the name get changed?)
nb>>
nb>>   Apocryphally, Greg realised he had been "using the wrong name" for fifteen
nb>>   years, felt embarrassed by his mistake, and changed it.

He Gregged himself. Nice.


nb>>   I like both Sultans (oriental decadance) and Satraps (Carmanian nobility),
nb>>   so I did some work reconciling the two. Here's my own personal belief:

Nicely done rehabilitation of "Sultan" deleted.

Thanks Nick. Now I can use Sultanate again, and not feel guilty.
(I guess I'm one of the conservative Old Sun Party types.)



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