Bell Digest vol05p09.txt

Subject:  Confessions of a RuneLord,  Volume 5,  Number 9


First Distribution:  January 21,  1991

This issue:
	Retrint Campaign Stuff				(Paul Reilly)
	Character Generators and Vampires		(Mike Dawson)
	Adventure Plots					(Mike Dawson)
	Sorcery Spell Difficulty Levels			(Michael Norrish)
	Tales of the Reaching Moon			(David Gadbois)
	More Sorcery					(Paul Reilly)

Ed's note: Could you folks give your articles more descriptive titles than
"Article for the RQ Digest"?

From: (Paul Reilly)

Subject: Retrint Campaign Stuff

  Hi.  I have a bunch of stuff  for a campaign set in Retrint, in Fronela,
at about the time that the Syndic's Ban is thawing.  The trick of the
campaign is that this allows the game-master to sort of "lift the veil"
(or Miasma, in these notes) for one region at a time, as he is ready.

  Retrint is a Blank Land, so this stuff is not really publishable without
severe adaptation, so people should feel free to use it in their own
campaigns if they like, but not to publish it.

  The campaign is going really well, with more enthusiasm from the players
than from me (the GM).  I will send the initial handout I gave to them
(formatted for LaTeX) and people should feel free to kick it around and
tell me what they think.  The initial group of characters were all squires
of one Sir Lothar, a military trainer in the Barony of Ashford, which has
been isolated by the Ban (which they call the Miasma) for about a century.
If people want to see more,  the following file is just the tip of the

\setstretch {1.35}
\title{  The Barony of Ashford}
\author{Paul A. Reilly}

  The Barony was founded in 1427 S.T. (? check Fronela chronology) when
Robert the Wolf was given a land grant by his uncle, King Jacob of Loskalm.
  Robert came up the Red River to its headland.  He was armed with the
land grant, thirty knights and squires, his wizard Peter, and the Sword of
Knowledge.  He discovered Orlanthi squatters on "his" land, organized into
five clans each of which centered on a large village.  One clan led the
heaviest resistance.  In thirty days he conquered four of the villages in
his new domain and burned the fifth, founding the town of Ashford in its
place.  There he built the Grey Keep, still the Baron's seat in Ashford.

  The Baronial charter gives a minimum of ten knights to the feudal service
of the Kingdom of Loskalm.  Thus, when Loskalm goes to war, the Barony must
send ten knights if asked.  All knights must defend the Barony itself if
attacked, of course.
  Currently the Barony only maintains ten knights, some of whom don't meet
the old standards.  These are the Baron, the Four Lords, two household
knights of the Baron, and a household knight for each of the Lords except
Edwin, whose fief has grown too swampy to support an extra knight.

\subsection {The Baron and his Desmesne}
  The current Baron is Robert the Bold.  With no enemies to fight, he has
grown  somewhat fat and cultivates an appreciation of the finer things in
life.  He is fond of music and composes poetry.  Four times a year he rides
the domain, visiting each of the centers, and occasions a big party.  At
the end of Dark season, his vassals must come to his court, where they
prepare to celebrate Sacred time according to Malkioni rituals.
  Robert maintains a small court at the Grey Keep, including about thirty
guards, two household knights, his family and servants, and the sorceror
known as Stone. Robert maintains the forms of Hrestoli Malkionism, but the
Church has grown somewhat lax over time and the tendency is for sons to
follow fathers, although they pay some attention to the Four Stages of
Training.  Thus Robert has sorcerous, warrior, and farmer training and his
sons are in Knight or Farmer stage, except for Geoffrey (the second son)
who graduated early to Sorceror.
  Note that Robert himself is a second son, but his older brother couldn't
hack Sorceror training under Stone, whose winning personality matches his

  Ashford is a large town now (POP 10?) and the center of the barony.  Each
of the four villages has grown into a small town and is the seat of the
countryside around.  Each town has a Lord.

  Robert the Bold rules Ashford with a gentle hand.  People are happy and
prosperous for the most part, but certain types of crime are on the rise
recently;  especially poaching, excessive woodcutting, overuse of common
pasture, etc.  Robert has his enforcers crack down on these abuses because
he and his advisers realize that they can only lead to a land where no-one
has enough to eat.
  The town of Ashford is dominant economically here and the craft guilds
are a major influence in the town.

\section{The Four Lords}

  The political structure of the Barony includes a central area directly
ruled by the Baron and four subordinate area, ruled under him by the Four
Lords.  Note that due to the general decay in society after nearly a century
of isolation that only two of the four are fully qualified Hrestoli Lords;
the other two are "mere" knights who went in for cultic ties instead of
becoming Adepts.

\subsection {Lord James of the Lookfar March}
  Lord James Greybeard is the only fanatical fighting noble in the barony.
He rules the Lookfar March of the Barony.  His device carries an eagle as
its charge, but he tends to wear the Wolf badge as a sign of loyalty.  He is
pushing sixty and inherited a sense of the danger of the outside world from
his father, and is adamant in "preparing" for the day that the Syndic's Ban
fades.  His domain is up in the hills, and his wealth is in cattle rather
than farming, as the soil is rocky.  Higher up on the slopes are a few
shepherd families, under his protection but not in official fealty to him.
He is unique among the Four Lords in having a stone-walled manor house on
top of a hill, rather than a motte and bailey or just a fortified wooden
manor house.  This is called the Aerie.  Much of his domain includes wooded
hills, and James enjoys hunting therein.  Falconry is kept alive here; it has
faded throughout the rest of the Barony.  While James is Hrestoli by choice,
his area is strongly Orlanthi and his oldest son is a "special" initiate at
the Orlanth minor temple at Ravenhill.  Sir James officially disapproves of
this paganism, but it does get the support of the hill people...
  Note that James is a fully qualified Knight, Farmer, and Sorceror.

  The principal town of the Lookfar March is Glowstone.  Centuries ago this
was a center of the Yelmalio cult, which always kept at least one initiate at
the Glowstone Temple until the rise of the Miasma.  The cult declined greatly
after the Second Age when the God Learners took the Glowstone for evil

\subsection{Lord Mark of Redhall}
  Lord Mark of Redhall is a florid man, once a warrior, but now given to
strong drink.  He spends most of his energy chasing blond servant girls,
going to ceadhlidhs, (sp?) and arguing with his family.  A potentially great
warrior, he has fallen apart under the stress of inactivity.  His wife,
Moira, has little to do with him nowadays and concentrates on raising strong
children, of whom she has four male and five female.  An acolyte of Uleria,
she uses the Reproduce  spell to help ensure healthy children and fine herds
according to a lottery system, without charging (although a donation to the
Temple is appreciated.)  If she is having affairs, she is very discreet.
  Mark's oldest son, also named Mark, has a fiery disposition but has more
self-discipline than his father, probably due to his mother's influence.  He
may be the finest swordsman in the Barony after Sir James.  He is certainly
the champion of spear-casting, having won the javelin competition at the
Fair for two years running.  He is qualified to begin Sorceror training but
has not yet done so.
  The wealth of Redhall is based on both its farms and its craftspeople.
Lord Mark continues his father's policy of light taxes on craftsmen,
encouraging them to settle at and around Redhall.  The best redsmiths are
here, paying no taxes but happy to give Mark and his family free work to
insure that they keep this privilege.  Redhall also has the best horses in
the barony, a roan-colored breed not unlike mustangs.
  One of Lord Mark's loyal Knights is Sir Lothar, famed for his justice.  He
lives frugally himself but supports his family as well as most knights.  His
greatest passion is for horse-raising and his personal steed, Windsong, is
reputed to be the fastest distance horse in the Barony.
  Sir Lothar also is charged with "breaking in" many of the first-year
squires who come for training.  Some go on to have successful careers in the
military or in administration.
  Sir Lothar's oldest son and presumptive heir, Theudoric, is fostered out to
Lord Mark's household.

\subsection{Sir Brian of Asrelia's Dun}
  Sir Brian of Asrelia's Dun is the wealthiest of the Four Lords, and is
almost wholly descended from the native people of the Barony.  He pays only
the merest lip service to the word of Malkion, showing up only at the one
required annual church service; in fact, he is an initiate of Ernalda and is
rumored to be an acolyte.  Many people suspect him of collusion with the
Abbess of Asrelia's Lynn in diverting wealth to the church that "rightfully"
should go to the Baron.  Brian is a desultory warrior, but when at
tournaments appears with an axe, which some see as a religious or political
statement.  He is the youngest of the Lords, succeeding his father who died
of gout and fat-related illnesses at an early age.  Brian has black hair and
black eyes, and habitually sports a quirky half-smile, as if he knows
something other people don't. He is well-liked by the people but viewed with
suspicion by the other nobles.  His family is close-knit and very loyal to
each other, without the squabbles usual among the noble class.
  Asrelia's Dun was so named in the Second Age, when a ruby strike was made
here.  It eventually played out, but left a town in its wake.  Brian wears
the torc of the chief of original clan who ruled here before the Malkioni
invasion, and whom his Malkioni ancestor (one of Robert the Wolf's
lieutenants) married into.  He also wears a ruby pectoral, made with rubies
from the original strike, which is rumored to have magical properties.

\subsection{Sir Edwin of Morwena's Dike}
  Sir Edwin of Morwena's Dike is the least lucky of the Four Lords. His first
wife, Margaret, and his four oldest children were killed in a boating
accident on Lake Morwen.  His youngest daughter, Edwina, survived and is now
a lovely nineteen. She has not married and some think that she is overly
attached to her father.  She gets her mother's land.  Her twin, Hardred, is
the oldest surviving son, and heir apparent, now aged 18.  They have two
brothers; the elder is Morgan, a handsome rake.  The youngest surviving son,
Michael, is now a squire in training with Lothar of Springhaven.
  Edwin remarried recently, to a girl of peasant stock named Gwendolyn.  She
is a black-haired beauty, contrasting strongly to Lord Edwin's straw-colored
hair and short gray  beard.  They spend a lot of time alone and are thought
to be a little strange.  Edwin was very emotional in his youth but now has
an almost glacial exterior; it is hoped that Gwendolyn will bring him back
to human warmth.
  Edwin is an initiate of Heler, God of Rain, but in the past two years has
retained a Hrestoli chaplain.  He became an initiate after his family was
killed in a storm; people find this inexplicable, as he loved them deeply; of
all the nobles, he was the only one whose romantic love for his wife was
gossiped about.

  Morwena's Dike was originally established as a border post of the kingdom
of Loskalm in the Second Age, to guard against the foul creatures and
phenomena of the Dilis Swamp. The town grew up as people were attracted to
the army's money and the protection of the fort.  It is the least wealthy of
the four marches of the barony, but on Lake Morwen is the island of Asrelia's
Lynn, site of Lynn Abbey.  The Abbey is one of the two centers of the earth
cults in the barony; here the "nuns" of Asrelia maintain a school for girls
and keep the wealth and record of the cult.  No man is allowed on the island
except for special ceremonies, and few know what really goes on here.  Even
those women who leave the mainstream of the cult and go on to ordinary life
will not talk about their experiences here.

\section  {Cults}

\subsection {Ernalda and Associated Cults}
  The greatest power in the land is actually the earth cult rather than the
civil government.  Note that in this area the cult follows the progressive
model detailed in the attached Variant Rules.
    The cult of Ernalda is the single most important cult in the barony.  The
warrior cults have lost membership due to a lack of enemies, leaving Ernalda
the only deity with several functioning major temples.  Membership is high
due to Ernalda's fructifying powers and her appeal to women.
  The main Ernalda temple in Ashford is more richly appointed than the Grey
Keep, and has more attendants.  This is a major temple of Ernalda and has
shrines to the other earth deities, which can amount to minor temples in the
cases of Frona, Voria, and Eiritha.
  The high priestess of the Ernalda cult is Marissa of Wolverton, a village
headman's daughter who has risen to one of the most powerful positions in
the barony.  She recognizes only the Abbess of Asrelia's Lynn as a superior.
The Baron is careful to maintain his friendship with her, and it is rumored
that they were lovers when he was a young knight and she a beautiful

  The Earth cult organization actually runs a type of socialist economy
inside of or around the feudal economy; with the spells they have available
they can control the harvest and use this ability to redistribute wealth
from the rich to the poor, a necessary function in a small closed economy.
If they simply charged market value for their services they would soon own
everything but the cult has chosen a policy of staying away from this power,
as the men would become depressed and sullen if their toys were taken away.

\subsection {Orlanth and Minor Cults}
  Speaking of which, the other major cult in the Barony is that of Orlanth.
Barely squeaking along with enough initiates for a major temple, the cult is
in danger of dropping down to minor status like so many others.  With no Wind
Lords and only a few Wind Voices, the cult's major appeal is two-fold: they
can actually control the weather to some extent (although the naturally fine
farming weather in the area makes this less useful than it might be); and,
men like to have a club.  Historically, the Orlanth cult was strong before
the Malkioni nobles took over, and now is a respectable old cult with little
real power.
  Associated with the Orlanth temple are shrines or minor temples of the
Lightbringer deities, and of Heler, Mastakos, and other associate deities.
Somewhere, probably in the city of Ashford, is a temple of Eurmal mostly
patronized by children and teenagers.  Most people would like it to go away,
but it has persisted despite (or because of) virtually all parents forbidding
their children to have anything to do with the renegade cult.
  A few other cults have minor temple status, such as Odayla the Hunter and
the Red River God.  Others boast only a shrine or two, such as Xentha,
Flamal, Kolat ( the god of the Seven Winds), Gustbran, and Rustler, a local

  Many people in the barony are initiates of no cult; some are Malkioni, some
don't qualify for their cult of choice, and some simply don't care to join.

\subsection  {The Church of the Invisible God}
  The Hrestoli Church is fairly strong in Ashford, having a few hundred
worshippers in the central area and scattered worshippers elsewhere. Its
two main strengths: its worshippers are nobles, some of the merchants, and
most of the guild craftsmen, and it has two powerful wizards, Stone and
  Stone is the court wizard of Baron Robert.  No-one knows the full extent of
his powers, but they are certainly considerable.  He has been court wizard
since the current Baron's grandfather came to power, regaining the Baron's
seat from the Falcon dynasty.  He lives a rigid example of a correct Malkioni
life, exemplifying virtues such as Temperance and Chastity.  Stone lives up
to his name; he has chiseled clean-shaven features, a granite-colored
crew-cut, stony eyes, and a stony expression.  He is rumored to have a heart
of stone. He has three apprentices, Peace, Love, and Harmony.  Don't cross

  Theophilus is the spiritual leader of the Hrestoli.  He has wispy white
hair and a vague manner.  He stutters slightly and tends to get lost.
Nonetheless, he is beloved by his congregation and popular even with the
rival pagan cultists, as he is such a nice man.  He teaches classes in the
church school and tutors the children of the nobility in sorcery when
appropriate.  His former students would die to defend him.  He is getting
old, and his apparent successor is Sister Agape, whom he took in as a student
when she was orphaned at the age of six.  Some people have tried to suggest
that Stone succeed Father Theophilus, in order to avoid a woman primate, but
no-one has suggested it to him twice.

\section  {History of Ashford and surrounding areas.}

  By now you are beginning to get an idea of the Barony.  The land itself is
fertile and generous if not ill-used, and includes hills, the Red River
valley (where the best farmland is), forest, a bog, etc.  The original
inhabitants of the God's Age were elves and various Hsunchen tribes, with a
few other races mixed in.  Prominent in folk stories are deer, foxes, and
boars as talking forest characters; thus we may deduce the Hsunchen tribes
were probably (possibly?) related to these animals.

\subsection{Before the Miasma}

  Before Time

  In the Storm Age the land was frozen and even covered by glacial ice.
Trolls moved in from the Underworld and established a kingdom under Gharkor,
a Mistress Race troll descended from Subere.  The Hsunchen and elves were
pushed back; the Elf forest were eaten back by trolls and later Chaos,
leaving only the core areas of Winterwood and Erontree, remnant of the
formerly vast forest.  In the Chaos Wars, the grip of the Ice was broken by a
fire-oriented deity, now dead.  His blood may have formed the famous ruby
mine of Asrelia's Dun,
exhausted in the Second Age by the God Learner's mining techniques.
Strangely, the Hsunchen experienced a resurgence in the Great Darkness, as
the glaciers had been pushed back.  Many thankfully turned to the worship
of Lodril, the god of volcanic heat, who helped them in this epoch by keeping
the land from icing over again.  There are still some places in the Barony where
steam or heat come from the ground; shrines to Lodril are often built in these
places, known as "saunas".  The center of heat was in what is now the Dilis
Swamp, lost to the corruption of Chaos.
  Chaos worked subtly as well as grossly in the Dark Age; some tribes were
corrupted.  Echoes of these effects still plague the forests but are unknown
in the Barony.

  After the Dawn

  Becoming dominant after the Dawn are the Theyalans.  The Orlanthi colonized
the "underpopulated" area, dominating the local Hsunchen tribes.  Their
descendants form the bulk of the modern population.  They worshipped Orlanth and
Ernalda in the classic barbarian pattern and attached much importance to cattle
and their ownership.  Farming was definitely second class and the local
population were used as thralls, losing most of their ancient culture and magic
in the process.   Retrint briefly achieved Fronela-wide prominence
as the home of Varganthyr the Unconquerable Knight, who united Hsunchen and
Orlanthi and allied with the reawakened Gharkor and other horrors.  He was
destroyed, along with the troll kingdom of Gharkor, in the Gbaji wars.  Talor
the Laughing Hero was the leader of the Malkioni who defeated the unholy
alliance.  He is still the most prominent local Malkioni warrior-saint,
eclipsing the faithless Arkat in the hearts of the people.

   When the Malkioni rulers moved in, the area which is now the
Barony was ruled by five or six Orlanthi clans with shifting dominance.
Further up in the hills were more clans that remained unconquered; the Hrestoli
Kings were interested in the rich valley farming land rather than trying to
conquer obstreperous Orlanthi.  As the Kings of Loskalm extended their domain,
the tolerance they had learned from the God Learners kept them from imposing
Malkioni religion on the Orlanth worshipping tribes.  Civil relations with the
clan leaders and quick military response to their cattle raids resulted in a
mostly cordial trading relationship, with the highlanders chiefly exporting wool
in exchange for the river valley manufactures and bronze ingots. The highlanders
preferred to keep to their old ways as much as possible.

  At the end of the second age, the Loskalmi kingdom, which had conquered most
of Fronela, was shaken apart by the climactic events of the overthrow of the
God Learners.  The Orlanthi and other barbarians united briefly under Syranthir
Forefront to throw off the foreign yoke, but the alliance collapsed before the
devilish foreigners could be driven into the sea as originally planned.

  In the Third Age, Loskalm reorganized and began to expand again into some of
its old territories.  They never enjoyed their former success however, perhaps
because of the memory of their association with the hated Jrusteli empire.
They reconquered Junora and Gharkor as far as Timms and the Barony of Ashford,
but internal dissension and external opposition combined to stall their advances
in the last decades before the Miasma.  Ashford was their last stable
territorial acquisition.

  Shortly before the Miasma rose, the Count of Hungerford rebelled, in
collusion with an enemy city-state.  Ashford and the Free City of Kors were cut
off from the main body of North Loskalm and they prepared to either march to war
or to receive it.  This didn't happen while the rebellious original rebellious
Count was alive; he was too smart to push a war he must lose.  Then his son
succeeded him, with grandiose ideas of becoming King of Loskalm by military
force.  He prepared for war, and issued strange threats and demands.  Then
the Miasma came, cutting off contact with the outside world.  Thus the Barony
of Ashford was spared a war, but isolated from the outside world.  Some people
thought that this was a strange attack, basing this belief on the crazy threats
that the Count of Hungerford had recently made.  Most simply didn't know what
was happening, with their uncertainty breeding fear.

\subsection{After the Miasma}
  The Baron at that time, Edward, acted decisively.  He imposed martial law on
the panicked inhabitants, and laid down several Rules to keep until such time as
the Ban is lifted.  These concern many areas, but the most important are the
Rules about land and resource use and about education.  He spotted two dangers:
that the Barony might not be truly self-sufficient and that over time, vital
skills would be lost.  Thus he made a Rule that the land must be husbanded
carefully, preserving river, forest, and farm from degradation.  He imposed the
Salt Ration and the Rule of Lost Bronze.  In the area of education, he summoned
the wise men of the barony and the craftsmen, who laid down a list of skills
and knowledge that had to be preserved.  He collected the Great Baronial Library
and funded the making of a copy to be kept at Asrelia's Lynn.  He created the
Craft Guilds, including the Sword Guild, to preserve all important skills,
even those with no practical use under the Ban (such as Tradetalk and foreign
languages.)  He is revered almost as a founder of the country, but he also
laid down the Rule of Loyalty, that when the Ban comes down the Barony would
retain its loyalty to the King of Loskalm or his legitimate successor.
He foresaw a danger that the Barony would come to think of itself as an
independent entity, and be embroiled in warfare when it came out.

  He also fostered the attitude that the Miasma was just a barrier, that the
outside world still existed, and that someday it would come down.  Even if this
is not true, it helps to keep civilization going.  However, the man in the
barnyard thinks little about the world outside the barony; only scholars,
dreamers and the frustrated few would-be travelers born with an itch in their
feet do.

 People and Places
  Note: POP is given in Pendragon terms.

  Central Barony
  Ashford	POP 10
   Ashford is the eponymous capital of the Barony of Ashford.  In its center
are found several buildings of importance: the Malkioni church, the Ernalda
temple, the Orlanth temple, the Grey Keep (the seat of baronial government),
various Guild halls, and the Stone Tower.
  Malkioni church:
  Resident priest: Father Theophilus

\section {Creating a Character from the Barony}
  For this campaign, I am trying a few rules variants.  Feel free to comment
on them or make suggestions of your own.

  All characters will be human.  The Barony has two main racial stocks and
a number of minor ones.  All are of the Warerran race group. The first major
race is descended of the aboriginal inhabitants, now mostly peasants and fishers.
It would be appropriate to choose an Earth cultist of this stock; or a non-cultist. These are the descendants of the Hsunchen who once inhabited this area and while
"short and non-descript" describes them adequately, occasionally  a pig-faced
farmer or a girl with the grace of a deer crops up, showing nearly pure genes in
action.  You can choose a character with appropriate animal affinities, but be
warned that these people have lost their original culture and do not have access
to Hsunchen magic.
They have +1 to CON and DEX and -1 to SIZ and APP.
  The other major race is that of the blond and brunette Theyalans who moved in
during the First and Second Ages.  These are pretty much standard human types.
They have +1 to SIZ.
  The most important minor racial stock is that of the Malkioni conquerors;
many of the nobles show Western characteristics.  They have +1 APP.

  Each player may choose one stat to be 18.  All the rest are randomly rolled
according to RQ III rules, but with the racial mods above.
  No two players may choose the same stat to be 18 until seven characters have
already been generated.  Order of choice is by high die roll among people
choosing characters at the same time; otherwise, in order of character

  Advantages and Disadvantages
  (In this campaign I used advantages and disadvantages from the GURPS game to
encourage people to personalize their characters.  This worked really well and
generated some characters with real personalities quite distinct from each other
and from their players, and instigated a lot of fun.  One character (Ragnar) was
all of Gullible, Overconfident, and Unlucky, which was a lot of fun.  He was the
first to die; his player stayed in character as the hapless squire investigated
the mysterious Black Rock of Chaos, even though the player could see doom

  Players may choose ads and disads for their characters from the GURPS list or
may consult me about others they might want to make up.  Status and wealth can
be chosen at high levels.  Consult me about effects in the RQ IV game system.

  Players have ten "free" points to spend on advantages.  Players may choose
up to thirty points of mental disadvantages and forty total points of
disadvantages.  Five points of quirks are also allowed.  Thus a total of
fifty-five points are available to psychotic cripples... (Note to old
players:  Rutger Redbeard must have been created on this system...)

New advantage: Subjects.
  People choosing high Status or Wealth or Military Rank can actually have NPC's
to obey them if they choose Subjects.  Take the base ten log of the number of
Subjects, round up, and multiply by five to find the number of character
points the Subjects cost.
  Example:  Lord James has between 100 and 1000 subjects.  He must pay 15
character points for them.  His brother, of equal wealth and nearly equal
status, pays for these advantages, but not for Subjects.
  Example II:  Margaret Thatcher pays 40 character points for Subjects.
Elizabeth Windsor pays none.  In another century, these numbers might have
been reversed.

  Ask me about any advantage you can think of that you might like.  I can
stretch points or rules if it looks like it would make the game more interesting.
Glorantha has a lot of scope for weird advantages, like Runic Ties.

  I would encourage at least some Status.

\section {Rogues Gallery:}
  These were the initial characters.
\subsection{Existing PC's and their Social Matrix}

Gemma (Julie):
  Family:	Related to Gyrenn
  Liege:	Marissa of Wolverton.
Leonidas (Dow):
  Father:	Household knight of the Baron
  Liege:	Squired to Lothar of Springhaven
  Religion:	Hrestoli Malkioni (Knight stage)

Ragnar (Boris):
  Father: 	Orlanthi Clan Chief, prob. Raven clan (under James Greybeard)
  Liege:	Squired to Lothar of Springhaven
  Religion:	Orlanthi lay member (now Primal Chaos initiate - oops)
  Quotes:	"That's a bad rock.  I wouldn't touch it if I were you."

Jarek (Nils):
  Father: 	Orlanthi clan "warrior" - mostly herds now.
  Liege:	Squired to Lothar of Springhaven
  Religion:	Orlanthi Initiate,  Wind Lord track

Bruce (Finula):
  Father: Head Cattle Herdsman of Springhaven
  Liege:	Squired to Lothar of Springhaven
  Religion:	Storm Bull Initiate
  Distinguishing Features:	Burned-off foot soles, burn scars on hands,
		permanent bovine expression, horned helmet and huge leather
  Personality Notes:	Kill chaos.  Protect herd.  Find mate.
  Quotes:	"Huh." - response to sophisticated questions.
		"Have a heart.  It's for you."  - wooing talk
		"Kill chaos."
 		"Are you chaotic?"

  Grandmother:	Village Witch somewhere in Redhall sector.
  Liege:	Squired to Lothar of Springhaven
  Religion:	Primitive.
  Distinguishing Features:	Burned-off foot soles, burn scars on hands,
		permanent cauterized wounds: Death Rune on abdomen
		Harmony Rune on chest
  Quotes:	"Of course it's OK - it isn't REAL!"

  Father:	Edwin of Morwena's Dike
  Liege:	Squired to Lothar of Springhaven
  Religion:	Hrestoli Malkioni (Knight stage)
  Distinguishing Features:	Extremely Handsome, burn scars on hands,
		permanent cauterized wound: Law Rune on chest
  Personality Notes: Bound to Chivalric Virtues.
  Parent's Occupations and Previous Experience

\subsection{Important NPCs}
  Random rolling on the Barbarian or Civilized table is the default.
  You can pretty much pick what you what if you pay for appropriate Status.
  Remember that this is a Hrestoli land, if you want a Malkioni character,
you go through the appropriate stages.  Lord's children are given accelerated
training, however, and will progress more quickly.

  Wolverton: A village in
  I plan to start everyone as teenagers, and run very sparsely until their
early twenties, winding up with about five or six years of occupation experience
when we get to the major scenario.  Pay five character points per extra year of
occupational experience you want.



From: (Mike Dawson)

Subject: Character Generators and Vampires

I have made a rough version of a RQ character generator for Hypercard on the
Macintosh.  Currently it is very beta, but it does create characters with
base skills, and (hopefully) soon will generate professions too. It does
this for all the major races. This should be port-able to IBMs & such
through a program called PLUS, which runs Hypercard stacks and also runs on

I am guessing that you don't have Deluxe RQ, because it seems like you are
not familiar with Sorcery.  RQIII doesnUt make it clear, but my guess is that
there are 2 kinds of vampires, and they can be very similar:

Vampire I is a creation of the Vivamort cult, much as in Cults of Terror.
They  are not forbidden from learning sorcery, and often do so.( Sort of
Chalana Arroy's evil twin...)

Vampire II is a sorcerous creation by an evil chaos wizard, using Create
Vampire. They could end up joining Vivamort.

If you aren't familiar with Cults of Terror, Vivamortists got rune spells by
draining them from normals who have rune magic, or by sacrificing some of
their own MP potential.  This is related to species max.


From: (Mike Dawson)

Subject: Adventure Plots

(Harry the Dirty Dog)

Les Brooks is a friend of mine who co-wrote Tournament of Dreams.  Years ago
he sat down with a friend of his, and tried to come up with all the
different plots that are possible, in their most basic terms.  The list went
something like this:

Steal something
Get something back from a thief
kidnap someone
rescue someone
make something
kill someone
find something
hide something
catch someone

If I recall correctly, the list was only about 29 items long, to define all
of the plots that are possible.

Now, I know that this isn't exactly what you were looking for.  You're
talking more about Halikiv trolls raid a caravan passing through the area
and kidnap a princess of Delela on the way to her wedding sort of a thing.
The problem I see with this is that most campaigns are set somewhere
specific, and GOOD scenario ideas are also set somewhere specific.  I
suppose if the idea was good enough, it might tempt someone to start a
campaign somewhere new, but it seems to me that is really the job of
campaign packs, with their depth of information.

[My only counter-comment is that if a scenario pack already exists,
adventures that can be integrated into that environ will be useful.
Thus adventures set in Apple Lane, Griffin Island, Skyfall Lake,  and the
locations of the RQ II packs will be useful to a reasonably wide audience.
Alternatively,  people who have been running for a while may have a set
that's equivalent to a scenario pack -- the Retrint campaign stuff above
may be a good example of this. -Ed]

That's one of the places I'm heading with this. Rather than specific
scenario ideas, I would love to see a background info exchange. For all the
Gloranthan material out there, twice as much still wouldn't be enough.
Material should be presented in the same format as used by Chaosium, but
aside from that I don't know what to say.  How about it?  We get a million
rules variants, monsters and spells---how about some articles discussing
anything like the following:

Malkioni philosophy
Gloranthan festival days
Ralian guild structure
What happens on High Holy Days in the cult of (X)
Troll poetry
What my father/mother told me for non-rokari, Yelmists, Pentans, Teshnans,
mermen, Grazelanders, Tusk Riders, scorpionmen, Kingdom of War-ites, you
name it....


From: Michael Norrish 

Subject: Sorcery Spell Difficulty Levels

A Proposal for the addition of levels to the RQ Sorcery system.

As they stand, RuneQuest the sorcery rules do not allow for the existence of
more or less difficult spells. All spells are equally difficult to learn.
This, to my mind, is something of a liability. Just imagine the comparable
situation in a game like AD&D; a first level magic-user able to learn a wish
spell straight off.  In RuneQuest this would be just like saying that the
undoubted complexities of the more powerful spells like Immortality could be
learned just as easily as the simplest light spell.

To get around this, I would suggest the introduction of a spell-level scheme.
In this way, all the spells of the RQ universe would be given a level. The
higher the level,  the more difficult it is for a given sorcerer to learn it.
However, once we introduce a spell level it becomes necessary to also
introduce a comparable stat for the sorcerer. Perhaps, for example, there
should be a "Learn Spell" skill. Personally, I think this is a mistake as it
would be quite possible for a sorcerer who was otherwise weak in magic to be
able to learn quite mighty spells.
I would create instead the concept of learning level. This would be equal to
the highest level of spell that the sorcerer had at least 200 skill points
in.  {I.e. if a sorcerer knew 4 6th levels spells at 50%, but also knew a
7th level spell to 80% he would still be of learning level 6}. A novice
apprentice would have a learning level of 0.
With these two statistics, it is then possible to derive a formula for the
chance of success when a sorcerer sits down to learn a spell.
I suggest this: 50+(20*(SorL-SpeL)). Where SorL is the sorcerer's learning
level and SpeL is the spell's difficulty level.
If the person learning the spell had someone helping him who knew the spell
to at least 35% then the student should get some bonus (maybe +15%).
Obviously these figures could be fiddled if someone objected violently to the
formula above but I feel this is a relatively balanced set up.

Any comments welcome as I intend to use this system when I GM my first RQ
 Michael Norrish (


From: David Gadbois 

Subject: Tales of the Reaching Moon

[The periodic free advertizement -Ed.]

Tales of the Reaching Moon is a RuneQuest fanzine published by David
Hall in the U.K.  I am distributing it for him in North America.  It
features Gloranthan material, scenarios, stories, and gossip.  There
have been four issues so far, and number five is due out in a couple of
months.  Reader submissions are gladly accepted.  The (new) price is
$2.50 per issue.  Please contact me for information on subscriptions or
Australian and European distributors.


From: (Paul Reilly)

Subject: More Sorcery

  More Sorcery spells (feel free to comment on effectiveness ratings)

Standard Malkioni Blessings:

Bless Plow
  Each point of intensity in this spell increases the effectiveness of a plow
by 1%; i.e., the area that can be plowed in a given time with the Blessed plow
is increased by 1%, all other factors being equal.
  Note : Perhaps 1% is too small...  but maybe not.  Comments invited.
Axe Blessing
  Very similar to Bless Plow; hundreds of such blessings exist.

Bless Marriage (Ceremony)
  Forms a permanent link between two married people.  The officiating Malkioni
priest uses his Ceremony skill to form the link; he uses his sorcery skills to
manipulate it.  Either, both, or neither of bride and groom may add POW into
the ritual.
  Rumor has it that such marriages have a greater chance of success.  Bride and
groom gain a bonus on dealing well with each other, such as a 1% bonus per
point of intensity on Communication skills with each other, such as Speak Own
and Courtesan.
  If neither spouse donates POW into the ritual, the spell expires at the end
of its normal duration.  These "term marriages" are frowned on in most of the
West (with the notable exceptions of Aronalit and Carmania).
  If either of the participants in the ritual donates a point of POW into the
link, a permanent life-long bond is formed, not unlike Apprentice Bonding.  The
spouse of the donor gets a "feel" for the safety and well-being of the other
and may issue a "gentle call" to the donor.  Both may donate POW but in
Western culture the bride is usually the only POW donor in the ritual, as she
is subordinate to her husband.  In Carmania double donation is not uncommon;
neither are "zero-POW" term marriage that expire at the duration of the spell
(often 1 yr, sometimes 20 years if children are a major consideration).

  Brithini normally only marry to produce children.

Enhance Fertility
  Adds 5%  (?) to the yearly conception chance per point of intensity while
the duration lasts.  Can be cast on men or women.

Suppress Fertility
  The reverse of Enhance.

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