the BGs discussion continues to stay alive

From: David Cake <>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 17:38:51 +0800

>With the Babeester Gor cult, you end up with a very small number
>of very elite warriors who have no personal lives.

        Actually, according to the rules the Babeestor Gor tend less towards having a hard core of the elite than most other cults, because it is a lot easier to qualify to be an acolyte of Babeestor Gor than it is to become a Sword or Storm Khan or Death Lord of whatever, and you are not required to be a master of multiple combat skills in order to do so.

        Personally, I think the only reasons that the Babeester Gor cult according to the rules is not the foremost warrior cult of Glorantha are nowhere indicated in the cult description. The main reason they are not the most feared warriors is that most of their members are human females, so they are not as individually imposing as members of comparable cult. The reasons they are not the most effective fighting force (by a long way) is that they are almost entirely close-in infantry, and are also not well trained to fight in battlefield conditions. And the reason that their rune levels are not the most feared is that they are not common, and seldom attack those who are not criminals (as compared to, say, Death Lords who attack just about anyone and so are notorious, and Swords who are probably involved in most conflicts in Theyalan societies, and so are famous).

Further nitpicks with Sandy
>George Harris:
>>Attack twice, and Babs' attack (which you can't parry) comes before
>your second.
> Why are you attacking her one-on-one? Are you some kind of
>idiot? Gang up on her.

        If you assume you outnumber them, you can almost always win in RQ Combat. Which means it is a silly assumption to make in a comparison. For that matter, if the BGs outnumber anyone else, they will win as well. (Plus anyway, Sandy, the main argument against your Storm Bull comparison still stands - the spells you pick as the best Storm Bull choices are also possessed by the BGs, and may not be their best choices. A compelling argument for superiourity, hey?)

>Note that missile weapons, magic,
>elementals, etc. are effective as hell even when you don't have superior

        And, of course, the BGs get the most combat effective elementals too!

And as for the Slash vs Truesword comparison
> Yes, but that's exactly my point. Slash ISN'T better than
>Truesword, point for point. It's just another spell.

        You are right, of course, in some ways, but wrong in others. A one point slash is marginally worse than an average Truesword (getting you an extra d6, whereas the average Truesword probably gets you an extra 1d8+1). However, the point of comparing the 8d6 slash vs the truesword is still valid in some other ways, as well, because a Humakti simply can't keep boosting their damage up and up like the BGs can. The stackability is another argument that, while a group of BGs is not necessarily better than an equivalent group of any other cult (though they may be), the toughest BGs are tougher individually than any of the other combat cults (and acolytes and such are a relatively large %age of the cult).

>>Well, unless she's cast Berserk, which makes her immune to
>mind-affecting magic...
> If she's Berserk, her vaunted Great Parry is no longer of
>concern, and you can substitute the words "Sever Spirit", "Lightning",
>"Sun Spear" etc. for "Mindblast" at your leisure.

        A Sunspear or Thunderberbolt quite likely won't bring down someone who is Berserk, especially with a Shield 4 up. Sure, they will be seriously hurt, but probably not killed outright. A Sever Spirit will, but for everyone but Humakt its a one use magic. Furthermore, the same arguments could be applied against every other fighting cult which uses Berserk... but for the Storm Bulls or Death Lords, Berserk is their one big trick, while for the BGs its an option (Great Parry being another), plus the BGs can combine Berserk with Invigorate and Axe Trance (which gives them a good off-hand attack for that second attack).

        The BGs have a significant advantage in that they all have effective magic, but may have very different effective magic. You can be pretty sure that the Storm Khan or Death Lord will Berserk. But the BG might Berserk, or might use Great Parry, or might use gnomes. Harder to counteract.

>Babeester Gor warriors are, in fact, notoriously weak
>vs. magic-, missile-, or chaos-wielding foes, a weakness not shared by
>all combat cults.

        Babeestor Gor has access to the best elementals, and I have a niggling feeling they get Fear as well? They can deal out the bad magic at range if they want too. They aren't particularly well equipped to fight Chaos, but who is except Storm Bull or Trolls? Just because they don't have anti-chaos specific powers doesn't mean they are notoriously weak against it. And I suspect they do get relatively poorly in missile combat, but thats for non-rules reasons.

I said that the BGs are much better of post-Berserk than a Storm Bull because they have Invigorate, and Sandy said
> Storm Bull is an Ally of both Ernalda & Chalana Arroy, hence has
>plenty of access to all the spells he needs.

        Hey, sure they can be patched up so they don't die, but thats a weak attempt to change the subject, Sandy. A Storm Bull can't be ready to fight again any time straight after Berserking, while a BG can. Add to that that the BGs are allied to Ernalda too, and the CA spell the Storm Bulls get is only useful against Chaos, and its still looking like the BGs have a huge advantage there.

>>Add to that that it is an awful lot easier to become a priestess of BG
>than it is to become a Storm Khan
> Giving up marriage, being forced to eat jerked penises, and
>seriously scarifying your body are easy?

        And giving up polite society to hang out with berserks, being regarded as an uncouth unwashed murderer, and being forced to race off into danger at the slightest rumour of chaos is, just for example? And once you have made those hard choices, the BG can be an acolyte relatively quickly (so at least gets some payback in power and respect), the Storm Bull needs to spend many years honing his fighting skills, years the majority of them don't survive (or survive only through liberal application of healing magics).

        In conclusion again, there are lots and lots of reasons why Babeestor Gor isn't the most dangerous or feared or effective warrior cult in Glorantha. However, none of these reasons are anywhere mentioned in the cult description, and most of them are social or as a result of effectiveness of BGs as a battlefield (rather than individual) force. And even taking into account those reasons, the BGs rate right up there as a fighting cult. As a result, the BGs probably ARE the most dangerous and effective fighting cult for a PC member.

        Which just underlines one of the most important things about gaming - - if you want to keep balance in your game, do so. Relying on the rules to do so is futile. The BGs are merely the most obvious example in Glorantha.



End of The Glorantha Digest V5 #211

WWW at

Powered by hypermail