RE: Cults

From: Sandy Petersen <>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 18:23:04 -0600

George Harris
>If we're comparing the relative effectiveness of warriors in different
cults, then they should be compared in similar >situations; a BG priestess is no more helpless than a Humakt Sword or ZZ Deathlord when ganged up on.

        Yes she is, because her spells tend to be useful only when boosted to high levels. Humakti & ZZ don't rely on their subordinates for their fighting prowess. Therefore, a BG priestess tends to have much weaker assistants than the Humakti or ZZ - hers have had to learn Mindlink, give her their Slashes, spend their MPs on her behalf, etc.

        Her cult emphasizes a focus on an individual with great powers, while Humakt, ZZ, & Storm Bull rely on a mass of skilled warriors.

        Comparing them one-on-one is as unfair as comparing a Chalana Arroy priestess to an Eiritha cultist.
>if you insist on comparing one vs. five, how about a BG preistess with
8d6 Axe attack vs. one Humakt Sword >with five uses of Truesword?

        The one Humakti Sword casts his 5 Trueswords on each of 5 different swords. 1 pt of Truesword is absolutely superior to 1 pt of Slash. If you face a situation where numbers are useful, the Sword is better. If you are in a position that a single person is more useful, then the BG priestess has a significant edge. George gets down to the bottom line:
>Anything that another cult can do, Babs can do as well.

        Storm Khans have access to sylphs, which are more valuable than gnomes for most purposes. Storm Khans are better against chaos. Storm Khans get access to special magic spirits more easily than BG does. (Here I'm referring to the Heart of the Bull, Hooves of the Bull, Testicles of the Bull, etc.) Also, the allied cults of the Khans are superior to those of BG in many ways.

        Deathlords get good attack spells (Fear, Sever Spirit, frex) plus the dynamite Seal Wound spell.

        Orlanthi have an extremely fine spell array (Teleport, Thunderstone, Lightning, Darkwalk, etc.) and a host of terrific allies - the only cults comparable to Orlanth in the quality and variety of allied cults are Yelm and Pamalt; with the Red Goddess a runner-up.

        Humakti get gifts, which can be a significant bonus so long as no one takes advantage of a geas. They're better against undead, and can't get turned into Undead. They have a cool attack spell (Sever Spirit). They have numerous defenses against treachery (Oath, Detect Truth).

        Wachaza has good attack spells and access to two types of elementals.

        Golden Bow kicks butt. Two-handed axe wielders tend to be infantry. My money's on the horse archers.

        Seven Mothers gets help from chaos, has excellent attack spells, and tend to be reinforced by the "third most skilled magicians in Glorantha" (after the Malkioni & Kralori).  

Babeester Gor has no attack spells, weak allied cults (insofar as combat goes, that is), are very specialized and rare, and tend to be heavily under the thumb of a bunch of pacifistic earth priestesses.

I like BG a lot, but I consider her one of the _less_ flexible cults in Glorantha, not one of the most. If you're going on a combat-only mission in which you plan to fight humanoids, I would say that she is one of the finest religions to have on your side. But anything else and she's somewhat out of her element.

        The RQ2 Slash will not work properly in RQ3. You see, the slash is supposed to be inferior to the impale, and the impale was itself lessened in RQ3. In fact, the RQ3 impale is identical to the RQ2 slash.

        My campaign treats a slash as "maximum weapon damage" not counting damage bonus. It counts a crush as "maximum damage bonus". If you have no damage bonus, I add 1 to the damage done so you get something. If you have a negative damage bonus, then of course Crush is useful for you (since it's never worse than -1).

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