Bell Digest vol02p04.txt

Subject: "Do I get to check my power?",  Volume 2,  Number 4

This issue:
	Editorial policies			(Andrew Bell)
	Re: RQ rules, questions			(Jeff Okamoto)
	Everybody trying to pick the lock	(Mark Abbott)

Also issued:
	RQ Supplement,  Volume 2,  Number 1
		Dragons in the Dark


Subject: Editorial policies

From: 	(Andrew Bell)

I just thought a quick note on my loosely defined policies might be in order.

I reserve the right to edit articles a bit.  All I ever do is correct some
spelling and punctuation errors,  eliminate big .sigs,  and occasionally
reformat things for 80 columns.  I really can't conceive of it ever being a

Articles should be fairly relevant to RuneQuest or other Chaosium games.  The
only reason for this is that otherwise I might have to spend much more time
editing the Digest.  I don't mind the occasional non-RQ-specific thing,  I
just don't want volume to get massive and directed away from RQ.  Certain
"general" articles are very RQ-relevant,  such as Joel Rives' "On the Limiting
of Power" last issue.

I suspect that within the next month or two I will start a zine for general
frp articles.  Unless anyone objects,  I will include all you folks as
subscribers at no extra charge :-)

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled Digest.


From: Jeff Okamoto 

Subject: Re: RQ rules, questions

> From: thompson@rb-dc1 (John Thompson)

> Subject: RQ rules, questions

> Quickdraw 	Enchantment	Cost: 1 POW

> This causes the weapon to be drawn and place in the wielder's hands
> immediately, without incurring the 3 SR delay. It will also pick up
> the weapon if it no more than one meter away, or put the weapon back
> to its sheath.  Only the caster can acheive this benefit: if the owner
> is killed, the enchantment is worthless, and must be re-engraved.

This seems to be too ambiguous.  What do you do to invoke it?  Use
magic points?  What if someone else is holding the weapon?  With what
STR does the enchantment pull it with?

[I agree.  In fact,  I didn't realise I'd already put John's article in 2#2
and was about to put it in 2#4,  with some comments of mine because I thought
it was unclear.  (Sorry if it sounds like we're picking on you, John.)

I figured there could be two versions:

Quickdraw (teleport)    Enchant        Cost: 2 POW

A weapon with this enchantment on it will teleport into its owner's hand
upon mental command from a distance of up to a meter away, thus avoiding the
3 SR penalty for drawing a weapon.  It will also sheathe itself upon command,
into the last sheath it was placed in.
    Each additional point of power will double the range.  This can be done
later,  but a successful enchant roll must be made each time.

Quickdraw (flight)      Enchant        Cost: 1 POW

a weapon with this enchantment on it will fly into its owner's hand (the
hilt,  not the blade) at a rate of 10 meters/strike rank upon mental command.
It does not cause significant damage to objects in its path.  If it is in the
grasp of another being,  the owner must make a magic points versus strength
roll to free the weapon.  Each attempt takes one strike rank,  and there must
be 3 SR between attempts.  Each additional point of power put into the
enchantment will double the range.  This can be done after the original
enchantment,  but a successful enchant roll must be made each time.

I don't suppose you really need to limit this spell to weapons,  but I would
add the limit of it takes an additional point of POW for each 3 enc beyond
the first.  ("Holy flying troll mauls,  Batman!")  It should not work on
living things. - AB]

But worst of all, if I can see it (Second Sight) and know that it
exists, I'll simply attack the weapon to damage it.  Snap, and you
can't Repair an enchantment....

> Modifications:

> Magic Point Matrix Enchantment

> I recommend giving out a d6 of storage here.

In the latest Errata, MPME gives 1D10 of MP storing per point of POW.
[Any idea where one can get this errata? - AB]

> Magic Spirit Binding Enchantment

> This really isn't fair -- A shaman can easily learn the spell, he
> summons the spirit that knows the spell and obliterates it.

Enclosed is an article that I wrote back when I thought I had time
to write in APA 'zines.

Spirits and You

Spirits are fascinating creatures.  They are beings from the other side
(also known as the spirit plane) which have no physical form on this
side (the mundane plane).  All that they have is their mind, ie, the
characteristics of INT and POW.

Many of them can be useful for any magician whether shaman, sorcerer,
or priest.  Different spirits can be used as magic point reservoirs,
as spell casters, or as spell holders (power, magic, and intellect
spirits respectively).  Others may be able to cure diseases, some can
cause them.  But to make use of any of them, they must generally be
bound into an Enchantment (although some spirits can be held in a
shaman's fetch).

Creating the Enchantment is easy, taking only a ceremony to make.  But
getting the spirit that will eventually reside in the enchantment is
more difficult.  The spirit must be summoned from the spirit plane and
forcibly put into the enchantment.

This procedure is easiest for priests, who can use their Rune spells
to both Summon and Command the spirit into the enchantment.  Sorcerers
have it a little bit harder.  They must expend magic points to summon,
and then expend more to cast a Dominate spell on the spirit.  In both
cases, the magician must match their magic points against the spirit's
to place the spirit into the magic item.

But the shaman seems to get the short end of the stick in summoning
spirits.  To control a spirit via the Control spell, the spirit must
be reduced to zero magic points via spirit combat.  But, for the shaman
to engage the spirit in spirit combat, he must Discorporate, which takes
a ceremony of at least an hour's duration.  And while he is performing
this ceremony, the spirit will be doing whatever it needs to escape the
shaman.  He can of course use his fetch to defeat the spirit, but if his
fetch is already holding spirits, then the loss of even a few magic
points may mean the release of a spirit from the fetch.

Though they have the ability to Discorporate and roam the spirit plane
in search of a spirit, they never know what they will find out there
next.  It may be the desired spirit, or it may be a malevolent wraith or
hellion, bent on destroying the shaman.

The rules say that it is best for magicians to cooperate when summoning
and binding spirits.  But shamans tend to be loners, not willing to
trust one another.  The same can be said of sorcerers.  Priests seem to
have it the easiest, for they would willingly cooperate with a fellow
priest of the same cult.  I realize that these are somewhat
stereotypical, but I think you see my point.  Shamans have it rough.

And now for a bit of fun...

Famous Duck Deities

Here is a list of some of the more famous duck deities:


The only surviving triplet (his brothers Dueymakt and Looeymakt having
been lost in the Underworld), Hueymakt became famous as the duck's
Death god.  His temples are often hiring halls for duck mercenaries,
but potential customers are warned that marching ducks and non-ducks at
the same cadence will result in the ducks being left far behind.

Ducka Fal

The first of the duck shamans, he teaches ducks to worship their
ancestors.  He provides as one of the cult special divine spells,
"Access Moonie."

Storm Bill

The Storm Bill is the god of berserks.  He is the Desert Wind, the raw
power of righteous purifying rage.  His primary purpose is to prevent
the rise of the Devil, or any associated form of Chaos.  This deity
helps the ducks to fight Chaos by calling out his famous challenge,
"Yoo hoo!"

Zorquack Zoran

Zorquack Zoran represents the mindless explosion of fear and frenzy
against both law and chaos which finds its only justification and
satisfaction in unlimited stupidity.

Ty Kora Quack

Ty Kora Quack is the goddess of the duck Underworld.  She rules the dead
and is worshiped by those who preprare the dead for burial and who
prepare the sick and dying for death.  Their secret cult phrase is
"You're a dead duck."


A horrible Chaos monster, the Son of the Devil.  He is known to
terrorize ducks by merely uttering the words, "Be vewy, vewy quiet.
I'm hunting ducks.  Huh-huh-huh-huh-huh-huh-huh."


The famous duck trickster, he is known by all ducks.  He is especially
famous for his rivalry with the lesser known deity Bugsbunny Gor and for
his bill, with which he performed many amazing tricks.

    -Jeff Okamoto

[All born from the Cosmic Egg,  no doubt.  And don't forget Bagegg, god of
Scorpionducks,  or the famous hero Arquack Hueymaktson... - AB]


From: (+Mark Abbott)

Subject: Everybody try to pick the lock

One thing I do, albeit not terribly formal, is to let the first person
who tries unknowingly have an effect on the difficulty of the task for
the next person.  My that sounds incoherent.  Example:  Calli, Orlanth
Initiate tries to pick a lock and fails.  (Calli's fair to middling at
lockpicking)  I ask Calli's player how badly she failed.   Since the lock
was clearly too complex for her, how badly she failed will give me
some idea as to just how hard the lock really is.  In other words, if
she missed by 5%, the lock is slightly tougher than normal.  If she
missed by 40%, the lock is quite difficult.  So, when the next PC
tries, I mentally apply a modifier to his/her roll.  If the PC makes
his/her skill, I ask how far under the skill he/she rolled.  If the
roll + my mental modifier is greater than the PC's skill, the PC fails
to pick the lock.  If the roll + my mental modifier is less than the
PC's skill, the PC picked the lock.

Clearly, this is just a guideline, not a system, but it does help the
"let's everybody try and pick the lock".  Also, this obviously is only
for the run of the mill lock.  Special locks will have special modifiers
which I've assigned before the game starts.

On a different topic, how many of you use computers to help you gm and
how do you use them?  Our 4 local gms all use a program I wrote a couple
of years ago for the Macintosh.  It has two uses:  1. it keeps track of
who goes when in melee,  2. it makes certain skill rolls where I don't
want the players to be rolling the dice, ie Spot Hidden, Worldlore,
Track, etc.  We have found that having the players not roll the dice
on some skills really adds.  No more "I specialed my Worldlore, what
do I know?" while somebody else says "I fumbled, what misinformation do
I have?".  I just look at the results of the rolls, and tell each player
what info his character has.

We also have programs to compute bonuses and to run long training or
practice sessions (for those times when you hole up with a good teacher
for all of Storm Season).



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