Subject: Spell Trading for Erotocomatose Lucidity, Volume 4, Number 10 First Distribution: May 30, 1990 This issue: RuneQuest 2, RuneQuest 3 and Glorantha (Jamie O'Shaughnessy) Sorcerous Familiars (George Harris) Re: Losing shamans, possessing spirits, and thrown fetches (Eric Jablow) Ed's note: Hmm, 'spell' thinks reformated is spelled with 1 t. English readers may also want to put 'u' back into words like 'armor' and 'color'... --- From: oshaughj%project4.computer-science.manchester.ac.uk@NSFnet-Relay.AC.UK Subject: RuneQuest 2, RuneQuest 3 and Glorantha I have been a player of RuneQuest for many years now and recently a GM. I have always been interested in the world of Glorantha just as much, if not more, than the actual role-playing game itself. I have only 'really' played RQ2. I have a few RQ3 books and boxes but as 'yet' I have never played/GMed it properly. Since the change from 2 to 3 I have been most disappointed. I feel the quality of the RPG has deteriorated, Some rules may have been improved, but the level of quality has fallen somewhat in my opinion. The old RQ (2) was a system based around a world, Glorantha. You may say that the actual game was not based around Glorantha and Glorantha was supplied as a model world to play RuneQuest in. I disagree. The whole RQ system is supported by Glorantha, if you take Glorantha away you may as well play D&D (boy am I unpopular now!!!). In RuneQuest you play characters who must live and adventure in GLORANTHA. They try to succeed in their cults and become Rune level (Lord/Priest), etc. If you play RQ without Glorantha you play it without the cults and thus without a real motive. You may say that you have devised a world of your own with Gods, magic, etc. in it which can replace Glorantha. Good, you have used the system well but I doubt whether it will be as extensive as Glorantha. In this case I guess RQ3 would be better to use rather than RQ2 because it is well suited to that kind of environment. I feel since the introduction of RQ3 RuneQuest has been diluted to be used in almost any setting. You may say this is good but I will remind you once again that originally RQ is a RPG to be played in Glorantha. Taking the game of RQ outside Glorantha takes out all the interesting points of the game. This is not to say RQ is a bad system. It is probably the best RPG system ever devised. Everyone has rules they don't like about it but the good thing is that it is so easy to change the rules to suit your desires. Imagine doing that to D&D or Traveller. It is also a very simple system to play/learn. Some systems get over complicated in the 'realism' and are difficult to make flow as a game should do. RQ is not like that. Anyway, back to the original point. I believe that RQ3 is an inferior game (note the word game, not system) to RQ2. I like some rules a great deal. The armor points of weapons is very good compared to RQ2. The magic system is inferior. The cults are inferior. Elder races - especially Trolls have been destroyed compared to what they where in RQ2. Learning from experience has been 'improved' though it is not perfect. Some skills are better, some are pathetic. I think some people at Avalon Hill/Chaosium (not the original designers) are responsible for the generality of RQ3 in order to make it sell better. - economics - it stinks!! I guess a lot of people switched to RQ3 from 2 because of the lack of availability of products. I currently own a great deal or RQ2 stuff but I still need: Borderlands, Big Rubble, a couple of Soloquests, Apple Lane, Plunder, and a couple of other things. I too have resorted to buying RQ3 material and trying to convert it for use with 2. I will in time convert myself to a middle ground of RQ2.5 but to do this I will need to rewrite the Sorcery rules. If anyone has done this I would love to see your efforts. --- From: gharris@unc.BITNET Subject: Sorcerous Familiars I have a question about something which I think would come up fairly often, but doesn't seem to have been covered in the rules or the errata. Consider the following situation: A sorceror dominates a creature that is complete except for the lack of permanent pow (say, a mummy). He then performs the Create Familiar (Pow) ritual, & sacrifices n points of permanent Pow to create that characteristic for the Mummy. At some later time, the Mummy casts Hinder at some being whose magic points fall in the range [n-8,infinity]. The Mummy consequently gets a Pow check. What is the chance that the Mummy's Pow will increase? Possi- bilities include treating the familiar as you would an allied spirit, & having it always have a 5% chance, or arbitrarily setting its 'species' max Pow at some multiple of n greater than or equal to one. Does anyone have any ideas that might seem reasonable, or reasons to prefer one approach to the others? George Harris [I believe there is a comment in Into the Troll Realms that implies all subservient spirits have a 5% chance of increasing their power if they succeed in an overcoming roll, although that begs the question: do they have no upper limit? If they do, what is that limit? Furthermore, power is not the only problem. Suppose a person with an allied spirit knows some sorcery. What is the allied spirit's casting chance, and what is its chance of increasing its skill if it successfully casts that spell? Moreover, can an Allied Spirit or other bound spirit learn sorcery skills like Intensity, or can an allied spirit bound into a creature train in skills? If so, does it follow the normal research rules? Can it be trained? --ACB] --- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Eric Jablow) Subject: Re: Losing shamans, possessing spirits, and thrown fetches >> is by Eric (reformated slightly) > is by George W Harris
>> Perhaps the fetch gets a last ditch attempt to drive off the >> possessing spirit. If the fetch is defeated, the body is >> taken over. If the fetch wins, the spirit goes back to the >> Spirit Plane. >Actually, since the fetch is technically possessing the shaman's >body in his absence, the spirit would have to drive the fetch out, >if the spirit could manifest on the mundane plane, which i contest. Fetches aren't ordinary spirits, in RQ3. An apprentice shaman "Summons" a fetch to him, but the fetch is actually a part of the shaman's spirit, given INT and POW and independence by the weird rituals and vision-quests of the apprentice. When the shaman travels on the spirit plane, and the fetch takes over the shaman's body, remember that the fetch naturally belongs there. Also, look at the Waha "Fix Intelligence" Divine Spell in Gods of Glorantha. If a Shaman is subjected to that Spell, his Fetch immediately takes over the body, and the Fetch can't leave it. The fetch needs an active shaman inhabiting his own body in order to leave it. If the Shaman is disabled, stunned, or enslaved, I would assume the fetch cannot leave. >> Spirit bothering to fight off the losing shaman's fetch. I >> would allow a Spell Spirit to attack; it's mindless anyway, >Sorry, spell spirits cannot initiate spirit combat, which it would >have to do to overcome the fetch. >> and it wouldn't know any better. Spell Spirits usually do not initiate Spirit Combat spontaneously, but they can initiate Spirit Combat. After all, the Spellteaching Divine Magic Ritual consists of a Priest summoning a spell spirit and ordering it to attack the initiate wishing to learn a spell. The Spirit is under orders, but it is, in fact, initiating the Combat. My thought is that the Spell Spirit, having been aroused into a mindless fury by the Shaman, stays in its fury, and goes after the Shaman's body. Why and how it gets there is another matter. >One thing that needs to be addressed is how the spirit in question >*gets* to the shaman's body. The spirit combat is taking place on the >spirit plane, & when the combat is over, you would *still* be on the >spirit plane. Returning to the shaman's body thence is a non-trivial >task . . . Well, let's reduce this to a simpler case. Suppose the Shaman had won all his combats on the spirit plane, or even that he had done nothing there. How does he get back? It's a long trip. I hate to drag in terms from AD&D, but one is useful here, that of the "Astral Cord". Let's assume that there is a spiritual connection between the Shaman and his Fetch, a cord connecting them, a pathway symbolized by the Mindlink they have. This should provide the road back to the mundane plane that the Shaman takes to travel back. Now, suppose that the Shaman loses a spirit combat. The winning spirit envelops the Shaman. He perceives the pathway. Possibly, he follows it to the mundane plane, where he encounters the Fetch. Alternatively, he remains on the Spirit plane, enslaving the Shaman. Or, he breaks off contact. >> Things get somewhat tense for the shaman and his fetch. The >> fetch cannot expel the possessor; perhaps it can Mindspeak a >> companion, or perhaps . . . > Why not? actually, the fetch was there *first*, and would have to >be expelled before the spirit could possess anything. & even presup- >posing that a spirit *did* possess the shaman's body, well, a fetch can >discorporate & attack in spirit combat, so why can't it do that here? >However I think (I know, who cares what I think) that the victorious >spirit would just have control *on the spirit plane* of the shaman's >magic point-less spirit, while the shaman's fetch would be back home in >the shaman's body. This does leave the shaman in quite a fix, which >is a good reason for a shaman to know Spirit Screen 10. It would be >possible for another shaman to attempt to find the offending spirit >somewhere on the spirit plane & wrest the first shaman's spirit from >it, but how he would do this I don't know. In RQ2, when a spirit possessed a body, the original spirit was displaced. In RQ3, a possessing spirit can suppress the original owner, so that two spirits will be in the same body. If we treat the Shaman as being lost on the Spirit plane, and a denizen of the spirit plane comes after the Shaman's body, then the alien spirit will only have to beat the fetch to suppress it; if it wins, the alien spirit will hold the fetch in the shaman's body. The fetch won't have the chance to discorporate. In either case, the connection between the Shaman and his Fetch is weakened. Remember, Mindlinks are temporarily broken by Spirit Combat (a RQ2 rule, I think), and the losing Shaman should be stunned for a while whatever happens. There's still a connection; otherwise the Shaman would be dead. It can be followed by an appropriately prepared spirit. The difficulty is that this will take some time, and the Shaman's spirit might get into worse trouble in the interim. Spirit Screen 10 is a useful spell, but the shaman had better cast it before Spirit Combat begins. Otherwise he must succeed with two Concentration rolls (3 * INT %), as the spell takes 10 + DEX SR to cast, and this is more than one round. He must also succeed with his Spellcasting roll, and so his chance of casting the spell is at most (INT 18, POW >=19, ENC 0) 54% * 54% * 95% = 27.702 %. All in all, I'd try another defense method. Another shaman would find the "offending" spirit by looking at the pathway from the Fetch to the Shaman with Second Sight, and following the track. Of course, it may be hard to follow. If and when he catches up to the offending spirit, he attacks it. If he wins, he can release its thralls. But why do you call it an offending spirit? Look at it from its point of view. Who knows, perhaps they can negotiate? How do we introduce such techniques to RQ3? We'd need the equivalent of Tracking, Scan, and Search for Spirit Plane travellers. How do we characterize a place so featureless as the Spirit Plane? What terrain does it have? What landmarks? I doubt we'll be able to fully describe this situation until we describe the Spirit Plane fully. Fortunately, we are talking about a situation that will rarely come up. --- 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. Send submissions, mailing list changes, requests for old article lists, etc. to: email@example.com ...!mcnc!unc!bell Request old articles by volume number and issue number.