Bell Digest vol05p03.txt

Subject:  Missed My POW Gain Roll By One Again,  Volume 5,  Number 3

First Distribution:  August 20,  1990

This issue:
	More New Sorcery				(Andrew Bell)
	HeroQuest Rules Note			(Andrew Bell/Steve Maurer)
	Trollpaks compared				(Henk Langeveld)
	Conjunction trip report				(David Gadbois)

I've had a request for PostScript character sheets:  has anyone done any
of these for RuneQuest?  If so,  send 'em in and I'll make them a Digest

From:  (Andrew Bell)

Subject:  More New Sorcery

Notes on the Steal Spell spell:
A spell can be stolen from any target and placed on any other target.
The normal rules of overcoming someone with magic apply,  so the new
target may resist the spell if he/she does not wish to be affected,  and
defensive magic works normally if the target is not the caster of the
Steal Spell spell.  A spell can be stolen without being retargetted,
in which case the magic simply disappears.

Sorcerers who possess the Stygian sorcery spell See Rune Magic can steal
Rune Magic spells that they see.  A stolen spell is "cast" by the act of
stealing it;  the stealer cannot hold it and cast it later.  Only one
spell can be stolen by any given Steal Spell spell,  although as many
uses as the target has can be stolen.  If the sorcerer manages to steal
multiple spells at the same time that work in concert,  for example most
magic and the Extension spell,  he or she can apply the two spells to the
new target (which can be the original owner) together.  The original owner
of the spell cannot pray to regain the spell until the spell's duration

Note that ritual magic cannot be stolen.  Any sorcerer who steals a spell
that taints its caster with chaos will get a chaos taint if he or she
retargets the spell at anyone.

Yet another new spell:

ranged,  temporal,  passive

This spell allows the caster to act as a magic point source for the target.
If this spell is successfully cast,  the target can freely draw on the
caster's magic points as long as he or she stays within range of the caster.

This spell is frequently the first spell taught by sorcerers to their
apprentices and students,  generally without cost.  Typically,  the student
or apprentice must keep this spell in mind as long as he or she is in the
service of a master.


From: (Andrew Bell)/ (Steve Maurer)

Subject:  HeroQuest Rules Note

Steve Maurer's HeroQuest rules include one unexplained (but reasonable)
change from the normal RuneQuest rules.  In Steve's rules,  the titles of
Adept and Magus are switched,  which makes sense:  the definition of an
Adept is an expert,  while Magus merely means wizard.  This explains the
seeming anomaly in Steve's Will computation system:

The lines

                +6      For being a Rune Lord / Sorcerer
                +8      For being a Rune Lord-High Priest / Adept

are analogous to

		+6      For being a Rune Lord / Adept
		+8      For being a Rune Lord-High Priest / Magus

if you are using the normal RuneQuest titles.


From: henkl@Holland.Sun.COM (Henk Langeveld)

Subject:  Trollpaks compared

In this article I would like to compare the two editions
of the Trollpak supplement for RuneQuest.  When the original
Trollpak was published in 1982, it soon became my favourite
roleplaying supplement.  And not me alone, it prompted many
others to revive the saying "monsters have feelings too".

After a long wait, it has finally re-appeared, but in a
slightly different packaging.  Whereas the original
pak included Into Uzdom (adventures), the major Troll
Gods and their cults, and the Sazdorf clan,  these now
have to be purchased separately.  They are now called
Troll Realms, Troll Gods, and Haunted Ruins.  I think
that the Troll ball rules come with either Troll Realms
or Haunted Ruins.  Maybe somebody else can shine some
light on this matter.

There is a lot of new material in Troll Gods, however,
and it's really worth the money to get this. The Jonstown
Compendium excerpt is very special.  The Cults book deals
with fifteen major cults: Annila*, Aranea, Argan Argar,
Arkat* (a Hero cult of course!), the Black Sun*, Gorakiki,
Himile*, Kyger Litor, Mee Vorala*, Moorgarki*, Subere*,
Xentha*, Xiola Umbar, Zong the Hunter,  and Zorak Zorang.
The book concludes with am item on some important spirit cults.
(Cults marked with an * are new in Troll Gods,  Zong used to
be just Hunter in old Trollpak.)

Trollpak itself contains little that is new.  The contents are:
Book 1: Uz Lore.	- Mythos, History and Geography.
Book 2: Book of Uz.	- Playing Trolls.
Book 3: Munchrooms.	- two party scenario.
Troll character sheets, with permission to copy for personal use.
A new and more detailed map of Dagori Inkarth.
Thunderbreath Gobbleguts Restaurant Menu
			- The Finest in Troll Cuisine.

Uz Lore is almost identical to the original.  Even the
line up of different Troll Types contains the same error as
first: The trolls and human are drawn against a background
of shaded bars, each one foot wide, to indicate the creatures'
length.  However, a foot is said to be 35 cm long, which is
almost 5 cm too long.  I wonder, did they use a Troll's foot?

Book 2, the Book of Uz, contains all the RQ3 stuff.  The first
chapter sees character generation for RQ3 rules, including
new occupation tables.  Troll Monsters is one page of stats on
troll-type monsters,  there is a section on the Troll Military,
and there's a copy of the Kyger Litor Cult description, just
in case you didn't buy Troll Gods or Elder Secrets.  Yes, I've
got all three, so I''ve got three identical write-ups for KL.
There are stats for Giant Arthropods.  This used to be the
Giant Insect section, but they've found a biology textbook since
then.  The section on Troll Encounters was moved from the
adventures book.  Also the Troll data from the RuneQuest
Companion are now included in this book.

It is difficult to come up with a good conclusion.  If you're
new to RQ, and don't have the original Troll Pak, you will need
Troll Pak for more info on Troll culture.  If you want to let
Trolls be player characters, you also need Troll Gods.  By then
you only have about two thirds of the original Troll Pak, as
you're still missing Troll Realms and Haunted Ruins.  I think
you will end up paying three times as much as for the original
Trollpak, while the only added value consists of the extra cults
in Troll Gods, the new color map, the character sheets, and the

If you've still got the old Troll Pak, just buy Elder Secrets
Troll Gods, and eventually Troll Realms and Haunted Ruins.
Don't buy the RQ3 Trollpak!  The only things you'll miss are
the character sheets, the stats for the giant arthropods, the
adapted list of Troll war gangs and the annotated encounter
table.  An item of human interest appears at the end of the
Book of UZ: the Designers' Notes by Greg Stafford and Sandy

Still, Uz is a great people, and I am glad they're here again.


From:  David Gadbois 

Subject: Conjunction trip report

Conjunction I was held in New Hall College, Cambridge, on July 27-29.
The guest of honor was Greg Stafford.  There were a number of very
good panel discussions, the usual movies, an auction (the Glorantha
encyclopedia went for 290 pounds), a reading of Griselda stories by
Oliver Dickinson, an SCA tournament, and a keynote speech by Stafford.
It was not much of a gaming con due to a lack of space and preparation
-- I got to play in only one RQ scenario.

Stafford had much to say about Glorantha and seemed very encouraged
that there was so much interest in it.  He went into some detail about
the plans for the HeroQuest game that shed quite a bit of light on the
mythical structure of Glorantha.  I shall try to put together a
posting describing what he had to say.

David Hall hosted the Eat at Geo's food tasting.  Prizes were awarded
in each of three categories: Savory, Sweet, and Weird.  I made a list
of some of the entries:

    stuffed Aldryami in runner skin (dolmadas),
    fried runner brains (meatballs),
    Caladra and Aurelion (a messy goo with fruit and yoghurt),
    chocolate-garlic brownies (No kidding.  They were nasty.),
    Aldrya's sweet spinach tart (a strawberry and spinach pie),
    Newtling tail cake,
    powdered Mostali cake,
    blood worms,
    Trollkin blood pie,
    Troll mushrooms,
    Elf cakes (a specialty of the Traders' Tavern in Pavis),
    Dwarf niblets,
    Weretiger claws,
    Tusker milk cheese (goat cheese),

    and my personal favorite,

    Powzie (190 proof Polish grain alcohol made into a garlic and
    cinnamon liquor)

One of the most fun events of the con was the Miskatonic University
class reunion party.  1990 is the 300th anniversary of the founding of
the august university as well as the 100th anniversary of the birth of
H.P. Lovecraft.  Events included a insane laughing contest, an
invocation of the great slimy one himself, a pinata bashing, a
spelling bee, and a scream of terror contest.  It was a blast.

Info gleamed at the con:

o The Avalon Hill situation is not very good right now.  It seems that
they and Chaosium haven't talked for over a year now, and Stafford
himself has not worked on RuneQuest in a couple of years.  (The stuff
becoming available now has been in the pipeline for a couple of
years.)  However, AH are supposedly getting serious about RuneQuest
and plan to hire an new editor to handle FRP games.  Stafford
recommended writing to them asking about contributions -- it may make
them get on the ball.  It turns out that there are several groups
working on scenario packs, including Sartarpak and Pentpak, so there
may be some new RQ material in a few years :-(.

o Chaosium is now publishing an irregular newsletter called "Ab Chaos."
The first issue is available now.  It has info about Chaosium history,
their current staff, planned projects, and other stuff.  To get a
copy, send them a long SASE with the number of the issue you want in
the lower right corner.  You can send SASEs for future issues if you
want.  Their address is:

	Chaosium Inc.
	950A 56th St.
	Oakland, CA 94608

o I saw copies of two fanzines that looked interesting.  I am not sure
if either is still being published.  Both are pretty amateurish.  The
first, "Pavic Tales," is devoted to RuneQuest.  The address I have for
it is:

	60 Browning Close
	Popley 1
	Basingstoke, Hants, RG24 9DQ

The other, "Misers Hoard" is a general interest FRP rag but does have
some RQ material.  Contact:

	Richard Osborne
	47 Trent Avenue
	Upminster, Essex
	[Sorry, I didn't get the postal code]

o An amazing factoid: 50% of sales RuneQuest-related material is in the
French marker.  This info comes from Fabrice Lamidey, the guy who does
French translations of RQ material.  On a related note, the French
fanzine "Broos" is still being published irregularly.  For info,
contact Lamidey at

	190 rue de la Convention
	75015 Paris

o There are two companies that may be doing reprints of RQ material.
Clash of Arms may do a reprint, ala Dragon Pass, of Nomad Gods.  I
don't have an address for them, but they are said to advertise in most
of the gaming magazines.  Another company, Apple Lane Publishing, may
do reprints of Wyrms Footnotes articles under the name of Wyrms
Footprints.  These are not yet available, but you may want to write to
them to prod them to action.  Their address is:

	Apple Lane Publishing
	3901 Piedmont Av.
	Oakland, CA 94611

o John Dallman and David Hall have put together a small biography called
"The New Stafford Compendium," which lists Stafford's known
publications.  It sells for #1.50 (one pound fifty) and is available
from David Hall.  The address is:

	21 Stephenson Court
	Osborne Street
	Slough, Berkshire, SL1 1TN

o I met a couple of Digest subscribers at the con (Hi Henk!) and found
a couple of people with net access who were interested in subscribing.
I hope they can fill in any information I have left out or gotten
completely wrong.

--David Gadbois


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