Subject: Broohaha, Volume 3, Number 4 First distribution: March 25, 1989 This issue: Semi-completed Heroquest: The Hero Plane (Steve Maurer) --- HEROQUEST rules for Variant RQ.... Author: Steve Maurer Copyright(C) 1989 Steve Maurer (permission to copy for personal non-profit use is hereby granted, as long as this copyright notice is included in the text. All other rights reserved.) NOTE: THIS IS NOT A CERTIFIED VERSION OF GLORANTHA. I HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CHAOSIUM, OR ANY OF ITS STAFF. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - THE HERO PLANE (The God-Time) The God Time is a very weird place, even for a Gloranthan. It is both the history of Glorantha, and yet also runs somewhat concurrently with time within Time. You can think of Heroquesting as a very magical, and very weird form of time-travel. In this text, Hero plane, God Plane, and God-time and the are used interchangeably. However there is a subtle distinction between them. The Hero Plane is everywhere beyond Time. The God-Plane is the place in the Hero Plane where the various gods reside (their respective domains); these are called the Heavens (or Hells -- for gods you don't like). The God-Time is the furthest 'back' the Hero plane goes, the mythical time before wars or Chaos invaded; to enter the God-Time, a Hero must fight through both the Lesser and Greater Darkness, and the Chaos wars. The Child Time Time is the god(dess) who now orders the universe. The power of time is such that even the gods cannot individually oppose him/her. Time is also called Compromise, or "The Compromise". Time's function is fourfold: First (and foremost) Time prevents Gods from fighting. Gods, even eternal enemies, may only act in accordance to the rules set forth when s/he was born. The rules are set in God-tongue, and thus not understandable by mortals, but they can be roughly translated to: o No direct fighting. o No cursing or harming those who do not worship you (but you may send a minor curse on those who spurn you). o No claiming the souls of spirits that are not yours. o No helping worshipers unless called upon. The more you are called upon, the more you can help. But even when you can help, you may only help your worshiper, not harm another. This is the basis of RuneSpells. It is perfectly all right for a god to "help his/her worshiper" by giving the worshiper a part of the god's abilities -- even if these abilities are used to hurt others. In fact, this practice was common even before the child Time came into existence. Time's second function is to order the universe, to make sure that events happen in sequential fashion. To allow only cause and effect, and outlaw effect-and-cause. Thus all augury magic is useless in Glorantha, except for the occasional glimpses that Arachne Solara (Time's mother) may give. Time's third function is to insure that the powers and curses which were in effect at Time's birth are still in effect, and to give each of the great powers places in Glorantha all their own. In simpler terms, this means that Time is responsible for all "natural processes": the seasons, the process of birth, growth, and death, that weakness and death results if mortals do not eat (even if they do not exert themselves), that creatures descended from the gods conquered by the air gods must breathe air or die, that those descended from gods who were killed must always meet inevitable death. All these "processes" Time enforces. Note that "natural processes", are sanctioned by Time. They are not, under the rules of The Compromise, a direct interference. If a creature foolishly challenges one of Valind's blizzards during the time allotted to that god, then Valind is not responsible for any harm which comes to the creature. Note also, that even these "natural processes" may be opposed, by those strong enough to oppose them. Time, like all gods, is not immune to change. Time's final function is to provide a direct communication between the gods and the world within time. With a few exceptions, a worshiper may ask for divine aid, no matter where he is. The Absence of Time The reason why it is important to know the rules of Time is that Time does not exist on the Hero Plane. NONE of the Laws of Time work on the Hero Plane automatically. Each must be specifically invoked. This means: o If you personally meet a god, and the god doesn't like you, the god can smunch you into tiny little bits. (Or do other things that are much worse). o "Natural Processes" do not occur, unless someone specifically wills it. You can be smunched into tiny little bits, but you will not die unless Death is specifically applied to you (or you will Death upon yourself). By passing beyond Time, you pass before Death (Death knows this, and often tries to block the paths of which he is aware). Your need to breathe, eat, and sleep is diminished to almost nothing. Fire does not burn (unless it wants to), ice does not freeze you (unless it wants to). All natural powers/events still may occur (and many of them do), but only because someone (or thing) invokes them against you. Many deserts, for instance, are a part of the realm of the god of Thirst -- so in them thirst will incapacitate you. o You cannot ask for Divine Intervention, unless you are actually at the feet of your "present" god (who knows you). On the other hand, your God isn't restricted from giving you all the help you need. o You do not regain Temporary POW ("Magic Points") naturally. This is another "natural process", Time is responsible for. Luckily, it is relatively easy to regain Temporary POW for some cultists. o All magic you have in effect before you go onto the Hero Plane usually disappears in the ritual which sneaks by Time. If it doesn't, then it only lasts only for it's subjective time. o All magic with a Duration, that is actually cast on the Hero plane remains in effect permanently (until you exit). o Any Rune Magic that you use on the Hero plane is gone permanently. Time does counts the spell as being uncast, and your god (once you get back onto the normal plane) is not allowed to replenish it. (If you manage to meet your god on the Hero Plane, you can get all your Rune Magic back). o Elementals can't be summoned unless you are in their primal plane. However, Elementals stay around forever until they are "killed". While in their primal plane, they must be spiritually killed, as they can simply remanifest any body which has been destroyed. o The one exception to the loss of Rune Magic, is that magic which is stored in Truestone while inside Time, may be regained inside Time. The spell may be cast on the Hero Plane. This is one of the many reasons why Truestone is so valuable (in addition to it's holy significance to most cults). o You do not have to (nor can you, unless you concentrate on it) strictly obey the laws of causality. If a group of Heros on the Hero Plane split up and then rejoin, it is expected that each group will remember different subjective time than others (much like relativity, actually). Typical Heroquests take many years of subjective time (sometimes hundreds). o Because causality doesn't always exist, you may run across "earlier versions" of Gods, Heros, or other creatures. The god that you worship may not recognize you unless you go to his final resting place ( basically where the god is "now" ). In general, the further back in God-Time it is, the harder it is to get there. o You may eat portions of the enemies you defeat, not only deriving sustenance, but gaining a portion of their power. The more you try to eat however, the more difficult it is to "digest" the power. In addition, if you eat too much, you may become more like what you just ate, than what you are yourself. This can happen even to the gods ( Lodril is a classic example ). This form of power acquisition is shunned by most (except for creatures of Darkness and of Chaos). o Time actively works to prevent those who would contravene the compromise from entering the world. When attempting to exit the Hero Plane, Time will extract a toll. For every heroic ability, you must spend temporary-POW points (ranging from 50-temp points for a small ability, on up into the thousands). You need not supply these temp-POW points yourself. Worshipers may supply them for you. o The track that you take through the Hero Plane is never washed away by time. Paths not only travel between PLACES, but also travel between particular EVENTS. You may follow a path made by another, and it will follow to all events that person found (including ambushes, treasures, etc.) However see the caveat on this below.... Rules Before Time Even before Time, the Universe enforced a few rules which not even the gods had the power to change. The most important is that an event cannot happen more than once (can't be reversed). What happens happens. This has several effects: o You can never meet yourself. o You can't change the history of the gods. For example, you may not go back and try to jump in front of Orlanth's killing blow against Yelm. What happens if you do, is that you find an echo of the original event, and "become" one of the players in it. This, Sorcerors call a "re-enactment", or a "shadow" of the event. If you in the course of the re-enactment, you DO manage to change bad "history" then you do not suffer the curse associated with the act; if you re-enact a triumph, then you get some echo of what the originator of the path received. Following the various gods this way is called "walking in a gods footsteps", and is one of the most common forms of Heroquest. Many cults make a big mystic thing out of this, saying you BECOME your god. But as any Sorceror or Shaman will tell you, that's simply wrong. The Universe doesn't prevent people who don't worship a god from following the god's path, but as matter of practicality, only the god's cultists do. Not only are they the only ones who know their god's paths and it's dangers, but often the rewards are something that would be prized only by a cultist of that god. It is VERY dangerous to walk an unknown path, for not only do many lead to certain destruction, but many others lead to rewards you do not want. (The God Learners resolved to discover the paths of various Gods and Heros, and abused them -- earning the emnity of nearly everyone). o If you make your own path, you will not become part of any re-enactment. This is far far more dangerous than following a known path, but can also lead to greater rewards. o If something bad happens to you on the Hero plane, you can't later try to stop it from happening (not even a god can do that). The BEST you can do, is try to repair what has been done, but again this usually requires another Heroquest to find a cure. It is usually beyond the scope of the gods. ( Hero Plane curses and blessings are usually permanent. ) o Even in their present state, the Gods are not immune to change. If you decide to go where the god is "now", and take him or her on in one-on-one combat (and you win -ha-ha-) then you may injure the god (and perhaps derive some benefit). You may persuade a god to do something, or may teach a god some new craft. This is the way to become a "hero of the cult". Gods, in general, are far more tolerant of Heros than they are of any other cultist. Simply meeting your god is often a way of freeing yourself of a god's minor restrictions (not curses!). o If you are destroyed by some forms of Chaos on the Hero Plane, even the memory of you may be removed from the world. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The RuneQuest(tm) mailing list is a courtesy of Andrew Bell. All opinions and material above are the responsibility of the originator, and copyrights are held by them. RuneQuest is a trademark of Chaosium, Inc. 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