Rune Dice for MoLaD

From: <buserian>
Date: Sat Jun 16 18:28:37 2007

Hey All,

Since I can do it off the top of my head, I figured I'd send the "plan" for the rune dice. These are definitely inspired by Chester Hendrix and his "Pantheons" card/dice game, developed WAY back in the early 80s. It is a pretty fun game -- uses the Gloranthan archetypes and runes, but not the actual deities. I never quite agreed with Chester on some of the details of the cards or the dice (primarily the colors assigned to certain runes), but he definitely was on the right track with the game and the dice.

Anyway, as I envision it there would be five or perhaps six rune dice in the game: 1 Elemental, 1 Form, 2 Powers, and 1 or 2 Conditions (the second of which might have sub-elemental runes as conditions, possibly -- I don't have notes for that where I can find them).

Oh, yeah -- note that these dice were developed PRE-HeroQuest. It is entirely possible that if I think about these in more detail, I will modify the dice to include some HQ concepts, like perhaps including a World Die. Not sure how desireable that would be, but I can see some possible uses. It would depend on how the _game_ developed, not on any desire to include HQ-style Core Runes. (For example, the 5 Movements might actually be VERY useful, suitably modified to fit the game.) So, anyway, the core 5 or 6 dice are here, but that could change in future. Hey, what did you guys expect from me, constancy? I'm not one of the Pharaoh's lackeys, you know! :)

Elemental Rune Die
1 Darkness
2 Water
3 Earth
4 Air
5 Earth
6 Man

Yes, "Man" is considered the sixth element in MoLaD. This is a VERY long-standing idea that applies both to the Sixth of God Forgot and also to the mythology in old notes.

Form Rune Die
1 Chaos
2 Dragonewt
3 Plant
4 Beast
5 Man
6 "Spirit" (aka Otherworld Entity)

Yes, "Man" is also a Form. This is, for me, a revelation that I made about 10 seconds ago. I think this is crucial to some of the magic for MoLaD -- like certain other runes, the Man Rune is more likely to appear on the dice. Now, if you don't like this, "Man" could be replaced by a second "Spirit" rune on the Form Die (that is what my old notes have, frex). But I think "Man" is best represented twice in the dice.

Power Rune Die #1
1 Life
2 Death
3 Harmony
4 Disorder
5 Truth
6 Illusion

Power Rune Die #2
1 Life
2 Death
3 Mobility
4 Stasis
5 Luck
6 Fate

(Note -- Life would be on the pip opposite Death, etc.)

Condition Rune Die #1
1 Law
2 Chaos (possibly a different version, such as Void, can't recall for sure)
3 Mastery
4 Mastery
5 Magic
6 Magic

Condition Rune Die #2
1 Communication (aka the Issaries rune)
2 Cycle (aka "Moon")
3 Luck
4 Fate

Yes, Luck and Fate (like Man, Life, Death, and possibly Moon) should appear on the rune dice more than once each. They are critical concepts in the magic of MoLaD. I view Luck as a sort of Wild Card -- you could probably use a single Luck Rune to meet any rune in terms of _required_ runes. (I.e., you can't use it as Moon to get an effect of 5 instead of 4, but you can use it as Moon if the ritual requires a single Cycle rune to WORK, without increasing the effectiveness of the ritual.) Not sure about Fate, but it might be the opposite -- it always adds 1 to the effectiveness of a ritual, without ever meeting any specific runic requirement. (Thus, it couldn't be the single Moon rune required to give the ritual its minimum effectiveness of 1, but if you already had 1 Moon rune, it could give you an effectiveness of 2 for the ritual.) Haven't really thought about this too much, but these seem to work pretty well, IMO. And sorry, I can't recall what runes would go in slots 5 and 6 on this die -- don't have access to the proper materials right now, and no time to try to dig them out of the attic or the piles in my office. :(

Now, off the top of my head, I can easily create a World Die and a Movements Die (not sure what is best to call the latter one in MoLaD). In the interest of magical numbers, if both a World Die and a Movements DIe were included, Condition Rune Die #2 would be removed, replaced by the Movements Die. In other words, Cycle is NOT on the dice three times! Anyway, off the top of my head, as I said:

World Die (maybe called the Magic Die)
1 Balanced World (aka Inner World, Mundane World, etc.) 2 Balanced World (aka Inner World, Mundane World, etc.) 3 Sorcery World
4 Divine World
5 Spirit World
6 Hero Planes

Movements Die/Action Die
1 Balance (aka Cycles, aka Moon)
2 Communication (aka the Issaries Rune)
3 Theft
4 Destruction
5 Recreation (aka Healing)
6 Cycles (aka Moon, aka Balance)

Of course, if the Five Movements are included, Balance would be included two times, for Balance purposes. Now, the exact form of the rune might NOT be as the Moon Rune -- I would prefer that it be a different form, but that it be identical to the Moon Rune of the Lunars. Or maybe two different runes, one for Cycles, one for Balance, only the latter different in form. But, it is a Lunar secret that the Moon/Cycles rune and the Balance rune are in fact the same thing, and thus JarEel had more power than expected when she snuck into the Year King ritual and killed Belintar. Yeah, I think that works best -- not sure what _form_ of rune is best for Balance, however -- I will check Greg's old MoLaD notes, where he had a lot of different forms of the "classic" RQ runes.

Anyway, hope you all find this interesting. Whether or not the GAME of MoLaD includes such concepts, each of the runes would be inscribed into the dice in different colors -- Earth, Life, and Plant would all be green; Death, Chaos, and Darkness would all be black; etc. Now, I do NOT think MoLaD would include rules to use these colors, but they would simply be there, enticing with their mystery. Anyone who wanted to could build in additional rules using the colors -- for example, if you wanted to do a Blue ritual, you could use any blue rune to meet the requirements
(Water and Mobility are blue); obviously, Black and Green rituals (and
less obviously, Red rituals) would be the easiest to perform, because there are more runes of that color than any other. And, of course, the runes on the rune cards would also be in the appropriate colors. Except for a few, where the applicable rune would be in a different color (for example, the Tide Master card would have a Moon rune, but of course it would be Blue, not Red). Stuff like that, unstated in the game itself, would lend itself very easily to house rules and expansion articles, and would be fun without people having to argue about the rules being unbalanced or wrong. See, I anticipate my usual disagreements with Daniel! :)



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