Bell Digest vol04p12.txt

Subject:  I Woulda Made a Great Rune Lord,  Volume 4,  Number 12

First Distribution:  June 3,  1990

This issue:
	RQ II vs. III and re: Sorcerous Familiars	(Jeff Okamoto)
	New Sorcery					(Paul Reilly)

Ed's note:  From now on,  I promise to spell "sorcerer" correctly...

Does anyone out there have a copy of the "Dragons in the Dark" supplement?
I apparently mention it in the back issue index,  but have no copy of it
anywhere any more.

From:  Jeff Okamoto 

Subject:  RQ II vs. III and re: Sorcerous Familiars

>Subject:  Spell Trading for Erotocomatose Lucidity,  Volume 4,  Number 10

>Subject:  RuneQuest 2, RuneQuest 3 and Glorantha
>The old RQ (2) was a system based around a world, Glorantha.

>I believe that RQ3 is an inferior game (note the word game, not
>system) to RQ2.

Other people have expressed similar opinions on RQ3.  Without starting
up a flame-fest, in my opinion as a playtester of RQ3, the game system
is better than RQ2 in some ways, and slightly worse in others.

RQ3 evolved for two reasons.  One was to fix the rules.  It may or may
not have succeeded in that role.  The second was to remove Glorantha
from the game system.  RQ1 and RQ2 were VERY heavily tied to/with
Glorantha.  RQ3 was intended to be more universal.

>From:  gharris@unc.BITNET
>Subject:  Sorcerous Familiars
>[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?

I believe there is no upper limit.  But then again, how often does a
normal, unbound spirit floating on the spirit plane get a POW check?-)

>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?

Good question.  Have you tried contacting the Chaosium to find out?

[Every time I sit down to write such a letter,  I forget the questions
that I've come up with... --ACB]

>   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]

Another good question.

>From: (Eric Jablow)
>Subject:  Re: Losing shamans, possessing spirits, and thrown fetches

>This should provide the road back to the
>mundane plane that the Shaman takes to travel back.

I believe it is mentioned in the rules that a shaman, provided he/she
is not already in spirit combat can simply pop back to his/her body.
This, however, ends the ritual of going out on the spirit plane.
Then again, it may have been only a house rule.



From: (Paul Reilly)

Subject: New Sorcery

  In our continuing quest for more interesting campaigns, we have come across
some changes to Sorcery and some new spells.
  The first spell to be discussed is the grossest (sorcery) spell:
Damage Boosting
  This spell was discovered to be just too gross in extensive playtesting.  We
changed it to: Damage Boosting "stores" an amount of Death Rune Magic in
something which already contains an aspect of the Death Rune. (I.e., a weapon,
fist, etc. - not a Farmer's Almanac, but perhaps a WWII Diary...)  This Death
magic goes into the target along with the "regular" Death carried by the
weapon and the spell is used up.  Any number of Damage Boosts may be stored
in a single weapon, but they "come out" one at a time, starting with the Boost
of greatest Intensity.

  Even with this much, much weaker version, players still wanted the spell as
one of their first spells - hence the old Damage Boost was way out of line with
the other sorcery spells.

New Spells:

Set Phase to A (Ranged; Temporal, Passive)
  This spell sets the phase of an object to Phase A.  This has little effect
on the object except that while the spell is in effect, it is completely
intangible to objects of Phase B.  (I have not yet decided whether the objects
out of phase with each other are "unreal" to each other - i.e. can't be seen,
sensed, or possibly affected by magic.  Probably just intangible - consider the
case of sound waves.)
  Each point of intensity allow the object to cover one SIZ point of an object.
  The Object must be a single object, but may be a "symbolic" object - e.g. a
doorway painted on a stone wall counts as the weight of the stone making up the
area demarked by the doorway.  A single flagstone in a floor can count as a
single object - useful in disposing of unwanted visitors.  A person with all
carried equipment would count as a single object, but if he dropped one thing
he was carrying, the "object" would be "broken" and the spell would end.
  If cast on an unwilling target, the sorcerer must overcome the target's magic
points with his own.

Set Phase to B
  Exactly like Set Phase to A except that the phase is set to B.  Objects in
phase B are intangible to objects in Phase A and vice-versa.
  Phase A and B are individual to a given sorcerer as there is a freedom
corresponding to O(2) in phases.  Sorcerers in Mindlink or similar contact can
coordinate their phases.
  To keep track, one could call a second sorcerer's Phases C and D, for

Note on Set Phase Spells:  These unusual spells can be quite powerful if used
creatively.  In my campaign, they are Exotic.  They were invented by the God
Learners, and in the Third Age have been largely forgotten except by the

A few Nysalori sorcerers know these spells, mostly in Carmania.  The occasional
library might have one of these spells, largely useless by itself.
  The Arkati in my campaign use this spell to access secret underground halls
with no physical entranceway.

Sympathetic Targeting (Ritual Ceremony; Ranged, Instant)
  This spell must be used in a Multispell with another to have an effect on the
target.  It allows a sorcerer to cast a spell on a target he has never seen if
he has appropriate materials or symbols relating to the target.
  The Targeting spell is cast while in contact with something connected to the
Target by association.  The better the connection is, the less Intensity is
needed to target the spell.  In addition to the requisite Intensity, both the
Sympathetic Targeting spell and any spells "carried" with it in a Multispell
must have sufficient Range to reach the target.
  The gamemaster must carefully gauge the relatedness of the sympathetic object
to the spell's  target in order to figure out the required Intensity.  A sample
table follows; feel free to adjust up or down according to the flavor and game
balance requirements of your own campaign.

 Procedure for Use:
  The Intensity of the Targeting spell must overcome a special Resistance  to
  "Standard" Resistance is 40 points.  This is used when you can identify a
particular target but lack further sympathetic linkages.  An example
would be an NYPD sorcerer attempting to assassinate  The Big Boss of a drug
running gang with no further information.
  This spell has not yet been playtested, so feel free to make numerical
changes in required intensity.
  If the spell's Intensity fails to overcome the Targeting Resistance three
things can happen:
  1.  On a normal failure, the spell can go off into the blue, with no known
effect.  The magic points in all the spells Multispelled together are lost.
The sorcerer does not know the Targeting failed without checking.
  2.  On a fumble: If the targeting information is ambiguous, the spell may
go to the wrong target.  Example:  An IRA sorcerer gets hold of a glass used at
a state dinner by Margaret Thatcher.  He targets a Venom through the glass,
using Margaret's public name.  Sadly, the dishwasher who handled it after the
PM was also named Margaret and she dies in her bed.  If you want to be cruel,
let the sorcerer spend only one magic point and "know" that he had a critical
success - up to about 5% of the time on a fumble.
  3. On a fumble, if you don't have another good Target, the spell can rebound
on the caster.

On a critical success, the Targeting works, and only one magic point is spent.
The sorcerer knows that the spell worked.

  Sample Resistance to Intensity Modifiers

  True Name of Target -20
  Public Name of Target -10, or -2 in addition to Secret or True Names
  Secret Name -15, or -3 in addition to True Name
  Permanent Body Part (Blood, Toe, etc.) -20 if fresh, losing 1/month to -10
  Temporary Body Part (Hair, Nails, etc.) -10 if fresh, losing 1/month to -5
  Additional parts: -2  for first, -1 each for more.
  Phlegm& Other ejecta 			-8 if fresh, down to -3
  Well-used Clothing, Spectacles, etc.: -6 if fresh, losing 1/month to -2
  Once-used Clothing, Etc.		-5 if fresh, losing 1/day to -1
  Powerful contact item (sword which wounded someone, lover, etc.)
		-8, losing 1/month down to -4
  Personal Possession		Varies with emotional investment,
				usually -1 to -5  (a favorite much-read
				paperback might be -6, a ten-year car -8)
  Relative		-20 for identical twin, -10 for parent/sibling, -5 for
			uncles, aunts, etc.)
  Picture or Doll	-3 for a normal Craft success, -6 for a special, -12
			for a critical (normally incorporating hair, clothing,
			etc, so only one chance.)

  Example:  Dufus the mage has an arch-rival, Fufur.  Dufus wounds Fufur with
an arrow and recovers the arrow after the battle.  He constructs a Targeting
doll, incorporating the arrow sticking into the doll's chest.  This is within
a week after the battle, and Dufus writes both "Fufur" and Fufur's childhood
name, "Snookums", on the doll.  He makes a regular success on his Sculpt Wax
Roll.   He is within 10 kilometers of Fufur's fortress (Range 10) and can
Multispell several attack spells with the Targeting spell.
  Resistance to Targeting:
  Standard	+40
  Secret Name 	-15
  Fresh Blood	-20
  Public Name	-2
  Arrow		-8
  Total		-5

  Thus Dufus must overcome a difficulty of -5 to Target his spells.  To make
sure, he  casts an Intensity 5 Range 10 Sympathetic Targeting multispelled
with a Venom 8, Venom 7, Palsy 6, Neutralize Magic 4 (on spell defenses), and
Smother 3, each with Range 10, for a total of 93 magic points*.

 * House Ruling on Multispell is that each additional spell has 1 less free INT
available to use on it than the last one.

 Example 2:
  Using a Public Name, a wax doll with hair and nails, a little shirt made
out of an old shirt of the target, and a cigarette butt discarded by the
target for the doll's mouth.  The doll is crafted with a normal success.

 Standard 	+40
 Name		-10
 2-month Old Shirt  -4
 Cigarette Butt -4  (Includes a little saliva)
  Hair		-10
  Nails		-2

 Total		+10

  Thus the Intensity of the Targeting must overcome a Resistance of 10.

Note:  The most common spell to Multispell with Sympathetic Targeting is
(Sense) Projection.  Once you get the Projection up, you can cast another spell
"through" it, or another Projection now that you've seen the place.

- Paul A. Reilly

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