New Spells, Thieves, Head Hunting, HeroQuests

From: Simon Phipp <>
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 01:14:00 +0000

Philip Hibbs has posted some new spells.

[I'll have to try and
subscribe again to the rules digest - what is its address (anybody - please email me direct rather than through the Gloranthan Digest).]

As a long-standing high level player/GM I am all for new spells/effects but believe in a small thing called balance. All these spells, with the possible exception of Annihilation, are far too powerful for Spirit Magic and are not in any way similar in power to the Fireblade spell as stated. I personally would put all these spells as one or two point Divine Spells, even Annihilate.

Any spell which reduces the effectiveness of armour or which takes 5 rounds to heal with a First aid roll is far beyond the realms of Spirit magic.

I suppose the first part of Darkmaul isn't too bad, but the second part makes it too powerful.

Zephyrstone is flawed in the fact that a sling user holds a number of  bullets in one hand whilst loading and loosing the sling, thus the reload time is simply the time taken to pass the bullet fromhand to sling, thus negating the effectiveness of the zephyrstone.

Bowslow should affect a single missile as Spirit Magic and all missiles as divine Magic.

Hailstorm is multimissile, as far as I can tell.

Mighty Blow is better than True (Weapon) in all cases except critical hits.

Red Blade and Red Shield give effects that I would only place on Special Items gained through HeroQuesting.

Sorry if this should really appear on the Rules Digest, but if something makes ME think it is too powerful then normal people should never, ever use it!!


Joerg Baumgartner writes about thieves etc.
> I guess that some of the best Dart
> Competition mercenaries are Krarshti.
- -...
> (Somehow the idea of Yelmic patriarchs engaging in
> Dart Competitions doesn't feel right, but feel free to convince me
> otherwise...)

Surely Dart Competitions can also involve honourable duels, poetry competitions, clan warfare and other such means. To restrict them to single warriors throwing silver darts at other people is a little silly. Anyway, if a clan can hire Harrek in the Dart Wars then anything goes.

Andy Staples:

> I came across a reference to Orlanthi head-hunting on one of the articles on
> Loren's web-site (David Cake's Killing People Dead). Superb article, but where
> has this idea of Orlanthi taking heads come from? Is there a published item
> about it, or is it just part of the continual Celtification of Orlanthi?

An interesting angle (well I thought it was interesting) - Tien was beheaded by Storm Bull's Son who then faffed around for a bit until Tien's headless corpse killed him and took his head to replace his own, thus beginning Than's and Thanatar's head-hunting tendencies. What was Storm Bull's Son doing? I think that he had beheaded Tien and was taking the head as a trophy in the grand tradition of the Storm Tribe. Thus, Orlanthi head-hunting would be part of a greater cultural phenomenon of Storm Head-hunting and Thanatari head-hunting is a derivation through Tien's little accident. What I could never work out was why didn't Tien take his own head back? Maybe he was a bit confused, or maybe Storm Bull's Son had already put the head into a little bag marked SWAG and Than could not find it.

Looking at the discussions on changing Humakt, it looks to me that one of the problems that we have is that everyone has their own views of the HeroQuest rules and structures and that most of these views contradict everyone else's views. What we really need is a consensus of opinion on how certain things work.

For instance, if somebody changes a HeroQuest during the God Time what effect does this have?
Does it:
(a) Change the nature of the Deity so that the new changes are taken on board by the whole cult?
(b) Open up a new aspect of the Deity that others may access in some form.
(c) Allow the new form of the Deity to be worshipped by a subcult. (d) Allow the new powers to be accessed through a new Hero of the cult.
(e) Change the HeroQuest so that others following naturally perform your HeroQuest
(f) Set up a new HeroPath in GodTime alongside the old Path so that others may follow either the new or old path.

Personally, I am of the opinion that changing a HeroQuest in GodTime does the following:

  1. A new HeroPath is created in GodTime which others may follow without changing. The person who created the new Path may teach the new HeroQuest.
  2. If the new HeroPath is radically different from the old one, the Path may result in a subcult being formed and worship would be directed to the founder of the path as a Cult Hero.
  3. A Deity is defined by the HeroPaths associated with that Deity, so a changed or new HeroPath will change the nature of the Deity somewhat. However, if the Old Path is very strong and the New Path is very weak, then few people will see the new changes and few will be able to access these changes.

If a Deity has had a new HeroPath created for it which changes its nature substantially, these changes may not be seen or felt for a while, until the new HeroPath is walked by many people. One way to stop a Deity being changed is to strengthen the Old Path by continued HeroQuests, thus making the Old Path more important to the Deity. Another way is to act as opponents on the New Path - this does not weaken the Deity it only weakens the new powers or form of the deity.

It is good to see the Digest again. Hopefully I can make the time to contribute.

My Web Site is still knocking around on GeoCities, but I can't remember the address - I always look on a Links Page to get onto it. I will be updating it within the next couple of months - adding more Dorastor stuff, a series on the People of Glorantha and other odds and ends. If you haven't visited it - check it out, it isn't bad really.


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