Bell Digest v930209

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 93 16:50:52 +0100
From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Digest Subscriptions)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Subject: The RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 09 Feb 1993

This is an semi-automated digest, sent out once per day (if any
messages are pending).  Replies will be included in the next issue

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The RuneQuest Daily is a spin-off of the RuneQuest Digest and deals
with the subjects of Avalon Hill's RPG and Greg Stafford's world of
Glorantha.  			 Maintainer: Henk.Langeveld@Sun.COM


From: (Dicks M)
Subject: Re: The RuneQuest Daily, Fri, 05 Feb 1993
Message-ID: <>
Date: 8 Feb 93 16:24:15 GMT

The way I've always treated the block is that it acts just like
normal truestone (stores magic, compulsion to cast if you touch it,
etc), but that it's just too big to become set. The Stormbulls have
built a temple at the base of the Block and,when someone is feeling
particularly pious, he goes and touches it (after getting express
permission from the High Priest so that the temple spirits don't
attack him) and casts his magic. So what's to stop other people going
to a different part of the Block, touching it (assuming they're not
chaotic and so don't get burnt), and casting all that lovely
magic?????? well that's what those 1500 Warriors are for......

This does help explain why the 'forces of chaos' have never succeeded
in taking the Block and freeing the Devil. I mean, they must want to,
after all, can you imagine the Stormbull cultists holding back if
their god was under- -neath that thing?????

- Arganth

From: (Brandon Brylawski)
Subject: Re: The RuneQuest Daily, Mon, 08 Feb 1993
Message-ID: <>
Date: 8 Feb 93 16:29:38 GMT writes:
>What are the runic associations of the various metals anyway?
>	Lead		:: darkness
>	Quicksilver	:: water
>	Copper		:: earth
>	Yelm		:: fire
>	Bronze		:: air

> and more or less clearly:
>	Silver		:: air and/or moon

>but what about Iron?  (death? stasis?)  Aluminium?  (water, or heat?) ...

I have always understood aluminum and quicksilver (mercury) to be the
same metal, prepared differently, with aluminum having neutral
buoyancy in water as well. Is Bronze really associated with the Air? I
thought bronze was from god bones and had no specific association.
Silver is an interesting metal, as it is airlinked, but this
association was also usurped by the red Goddess, just as she usurped
her place in the air. Iron I have always viewed as non-rune associated
as well, as it is to a degree synthetic, a made product of dwarves,
and not natural. It could be associated with stasis as it is so hard,
but stasis has other odd connotations that Orlanthi, for instance,
might not favor.

The use of Rune-metals in the games I have played is not merely one of
finding the stuff and enchanting it. Wearing Rune-metal is displaying
an affiliation, a badge in many cultures, while wearing iron is a
declaration of high status, power, and fighting ability. In most of
the societies in these worlds, wearing a metal one hasn't "earned"
through status or deeds is an error, ranging from an impropriety to a
mortal insult to a capital offense.  Sort of like wearing a military
uniform without being a soldier, or misrepre- senting your rank while
wearing same. That's why the primary wearers of rune- metals are rune
ranks; they wish to be known as what they are and proclaim their
status where they go.

Brandon Brylawski


From: (Clay Luther)
Subject: Everything Greg Stafford says is wrong.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 8 Feb 93 05:20:01 GMT

After basically forbidding my players to read to unfortunately dull
but informative "King of Sartar", I was asked by them "why?"

"Because," I said, "the first sentence in the book spoils everything."

They inquired further.

"Well," I replied, "it's like this.  What I have here is a *history*
of the events that are about to occur, starting in about 2 years,
relative to yourself.  Now, if I assume these events are in fact
moderately accurate of at least some of the events that are to occur
in those years, then I'd have to say that letting you read this book
would spoil the entire sense of future in the game."

"You mean," my quickest player replied, "that events in Glorantha are
predestined to occur?"

I nodded slightly, unsure of a proper answer.

"And," continued the player, "our heroes have no real chance to become
true Gloranthan heroes and have their names hailed by future

The Sartarite Storm Bull player piped up, "You mean that *I* cannot even
*hope* to be the hand that destroys the Evil Empire?  I was so looking
forward to that."

"It's good to want things..." I said lightly, hiding my grimace. "You must
realize that destroying the Empire would be a difficult thing to do, let
alone doing it single-handedly.  I don't think anyone could do that.  Even
Orlanth, a god, can't do that."

"I bet that Argrath guy mentioned on the cover does it." said another
player.  "Single-handed, too."

"Yeah, that'd be just like Stafford, the jerk.  All the glory goes to
his pet heroes, and nothing is left on the plate for us to except slim
pickings." said another.

A mutual "bummer" was muttered by my eight players.  A silence fell
over the group as their prospects of gaining True Gloranthan Heroism
sank into their sea of disappointment.

"And I was beginning to like RQ..." said the Storm Bull, "I coulda
beena contenda!"

"The One True Path Syndrome!  Damn, I *hate* that in games." said the
first player to speak.

I had to do something.  Damage control.  Something.  Things were
unravelling faster that Wakboth's Girdle.

"Well," I ventured, "this is a *history* many hundreds of years hence
and it is a rather single-sided opinion."

Silence and glares.

"And, uh, well, I think Stafford is writing a completely contradictory
Lunar version of the same history."

"Meaning," began an increasingly angry Storm Bull player (who's
personality is remarkably *like* what I'd imagine a real Storm Bull's
to be like) "that there's a non-zero possibility that the Lunar Empire
doesn't get destroyed?"

"Um, well, I suppose."

"Well, shit...depressing..."

And mutually again, "Bummer."

This wasn't working.

"Well," I admitted, "in our real history, the Visigoths might have
declared the end of Roman Empire to be when they sacked Rome, though
I'd think the Romans would say it continued much longer after that."

They seemed to respond favorably to that line of thinking.  Maybe I
hit upon something.

"And, well, I'll admit that Argrath does, according to this book, have
a major impact upon history in the region."

Ooops, I lost them again.

"But!" I hastily added, "This could all be bullshit!" I said thumping
the book.

"Eh?" said the Storm Bull looking up.

"Yeah, it *could* be bullshit, you know.  Argrath was some weanie,
see.  Some greasy spineless asshole who was just lucky enough somehow
get his name substituted in the history books as the person who
performed these heroic acts."

"But what about the Hero Plane and Gloranthan Myth." piped up the
Quick Player.  "Wouldn't Argrath leave a 'stamp' in Myth that future
heroquesting could use to confirm the actions of Argrath, sort of like
Mythic Carbon Dating?"

I shrugged.  "I don't know, but it sounds reasonable."

"Then that would mean, assuming the historians would try to do such a
thing, that they could confirm Argrath's actions."

"Well, maybe, but I don't think so.  The book pretty much makes it
clear that they are using what'd we consider normal historical
research techniques.  In fact, I get the opinion that they don't
really know how to heroquest, or even believe it could happen.
Heroquesting's become Myth."

"Ahhh," savored the Storm Bull player, "then that history *could* be a
pack of lies reading the Necronomicon in Taylors,
100% bull!"

"Or," I said, "the history could just be wildly inaccurate.  Argrath
could have been several people.  After all, he did live for an
extraordinary long time - a few hundred years or so.  Why not make
Argrath several people making up a single Mythic being that future
heroquesters would see and emulate.  A macromyth, if you will."

The players thought on this for a moment.

"You mean then," said the Storm Bull player, "that there is a non-zero
chance that I could be the Argrath-person who defeats the Lunar

"Sure," I smiled, "It seems equally possible."

"And I could be the Argrath-person that becomes King of Sartar?" said
another player.

"Of course.  You could all do something as Argrath-person which later
becomes Argrath-Myth."

"Everything Stafford says is wrong then, isn't it?" said the Quick


Clay W. Luther                       
Software Engineer                             Vortech Data, Inc
Office (214) 994-1377                        Fax (214) 994-1310

Well, it had been 987 years in outer space time when I got back.
Couldn't seem to find any of my friends to tell my interesting
stories to.


Subject: Yinkin / Shadow Cat
Message-ID: <9302081810.AA22225@megrez.crd.Ge.Com>
Date: 8 Feb 93 18:10:13 GMT

Has anyone ever seen a write-up on Yinkin (Shadow Cat), brother of
Orlanth?  If so, where can I find a copy?  Perhaps it is a dead cult,
but it sounded interesting in the related literature (e.g., Orlanth
background in "River of Cradles").  Thanks.


From: carlf@Panix.Com (Carl Fink)
Subject: Quicksilver and enchantment
Message-ID: <199302082240.AA08979@sun.Panix.Com>
Date: 8 Feb 93 12:40:49 GMT

>Carl Fink:
>>  In any case, the initiate who says 
>> "Fire!" would presumably run to a priest and be assigned penance before
>> Monrogh attacks.
>That's a good point.  But do you play it that way in general?  I would
>think that some, eg Humakt, would take place immediately, at least for
>serious offenders.  Does the offender at least always become Inactive?
>Does (s)he lose the use of Gifts for the duration?

Um, we were talking about minor offenses before.  For a serious
offender, Monrogh might be appropriate.

>OK, point(s) taken.  However, I'm not aware of many cases of children
>called Jesus Christ, or The Prophet Mohammed, which would be more analogous
>to this cases.
Um, "Christ" is a title, meaning roughly "Annointed One" or "Chosen
One".  "The Prophet" is clearly a title as well.  Mexican kids named
"Jesus" are named with their deity's name, just as a kid named
"Yamsur" (or "Orlanth") is.
Alex ( writes:
>What are the runic associations of the various metals anyway?
Aluminum (American spelling) is the same metal as quicksilver, in
>Enchantment and POW sacrifice: must it be the caster who supplies the POW
>for an enchantment?
Yes.  Any reference in other sources which lets anyone but the caster
sacrifice POW for an enchantment is incorrect.


From: (Tom Zunder)
Subject: Mobility Spirit Magic and Lokarnos
Date: 8 Feb 93 21:51:00 GMT

I'm willing to accept that Yelmalio acolytes could have got their
Mobility spells from Lokarnos, but that again implies far greater
cross co-operation than the rules currently imply.

Also how does Duke Raus suport a family ancestor cult with just him
and his daughter. Okay all the deadies are initiates too, but is Raus
a shaman?  I read Borderlands once but can't remember.

Finally. Ritual magic and sorcery. Do you have to train in the spell
and your casting chance is either your skill in the spell or
Ceremony/Summon/Enchant or whichever is lower OR do you just have to
spend 50 hrs and BINGO you can use your ritual magic skill? I presume
the former but I thought I'd really better check.


From: dustin@ocf.Berkeley.EDU (Dustin Tranberg)
Subject: non-Glorantha supplements
Message-ID: <>
Date: 8 Feb 93 14:55:18 GMT

> (Rob Mace)
> The problem I see with doing non-Gloranthan supplements is that
> they will not generally fit into ones non-Gloranthan world.  I don't
> want to see a bunch of non-Gloranthan supplements that don't fit
> in a world I use.  Just look at the ones that have been done.
> How many of these fit into your non-Gloranthan worlds?  How well
> do they fit with each other?
> As long as you are doing some of your RQ gaming in Glorantha the
> Gloranthan supplements will be relavent.
> So until we reach a time when non-Gloranthan supplements would
> not reduce the number of Gloranthan supplements published I
> don't want to see them done.

I have to disagree with you, Rob.  First, I do think that there are
more people than myself who love RQ, but aren't so fond of Glorantha.
Yeah, I know, heresy, heresy.  I think that there are excellent
reasons for producing non-Glorantha supplements.  Firstly, I think
that strength lies in diversity.  I *like* that RQ3 rules are usable
for lots of campaign universes.  (Heck, I even have a notion in the
back of my head to use it for a post-holocaust system 'cause it's
gritty but playably fast.)

The Vikings supplement was extremely well-researched and useful to me,
and I would welcome anything else set in Fantasy Earth that came out.
(I haven't looked at Land O'Ninja, being a Eurocentric gamer.)  But
that SINGLE supplement that fit my needs was extremely helpful.

To shut out all other game worlds in order to create more material for
the one world (Glorantha) which has received 80% of the effort so far?
Ouch.  Yes, Glorantha's popular.  That's fine.  Glorantha should
probably even get most of the $ and effort.  But please don't shut out
the rest of us.



From: (Ghost Dancer)
Message-ID: <9302091138.AA14556@Sun.COM>
Date: 9 Feb 93 11:36:00 GMT

During a coffee break in the RQ game I was running last night I was
discussing the problems of skill increases with a couple of other
experienced players/GMs.  It was generally felt by all of us that the
idea of skill increases only occuring after an adventure is somewhat
hard to explain in real terms. Although it is reasonable to assume
that a character can benefit from skill use retrospectively it is also
reasonable to expect that use of a skill in a stressful situation
could also be of some immediate benefit. The suggestion that was made
was that whenever a character scores a critical success with a skill
an immediate skill increase roll can be made, the premise being that
they suddenly try something new and it works really well so they then
try it again and find that it is a new and worthwile technique.

It was suggested that once one of these immediate increase rolls has
been taken any outstanding increase chances would be wiped clean and
the character would once again have to use the skill to have a chance
of gaining another increase chance.

We did try to implement this rule during the remainder of the game but
nobody rolled and crits after that point so it was never tested. I
realise that this would mean that high skill characters would be
making a lot more increase rolls but then their chance of increasing
would quickly diminish, where as low skill characters would get less
extra increase rolls but at a greater chance of gaining an increase. I
think that a lot depends on the style of adventures you run, if like
me you tend to run ongoing games with very few clear scenario end
points then this system may help to prevent characters waiting long
periods before they can attempt to gain from the battle they had on
the first day.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this sort of a system?
  /! \  Alternative
 /-!-/  Realities                   Jarec
/  ! \  Games Club                  e-mail: SPB1@VMS.BTON.AC.UK


From: ade@insignia.UUCP (Adrian Brownlow)
Subject: Fun with Hazia
Message-ID: <>
Date: 9 Feb 93 02:28:18 GMT

I take it that Hazia is much the same as opium and so can be eaten
etc. Has anyone tried brewing beer with it?

My PCs tried to dump it in Sor Els birthday beer to stonk out all the
Lunar officers in Pavis. Perhaps they shouldn't have got caught
painting Orlanth Runes on the Seven Mothers Temple. .....One
Crucifiction Later...... No! Sor El ,, that most bonevolent ruler
needed scouts for dangerous work..

Time for the Lunar penal battalion @ last step. 

Are there any references to Lunar penal battalions? If not it seems
they could be a groovy plot device.

Ade ... Wing it!


From: (Shannon Appel)
Subject: RuneQuest Programs
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 Feb 93 18:08:50 GMT

If you're interesting in sharing RuneQuest programs with everyone, and
they're just too big to send to the list, I'd suggest the following

* Upload the program to in pub/runequest/upload
  [or pub/runequest/incoming -- I forget which I called it]
* Send me mail on that machine (ie explaining
  what the program is, what machines it runs on, who wrote it, etc

* Send a piece of mail to the RQ Digest, announcing the upload,
  and explaining what it is

* When I log on, I'll move stuff to an appropriate directory, like

Hopefully, this will be adequate for Dan Mazina's character generation
program, and anything else that might be out there.

If you _do_ upload programs, make sure you use binary mode, or else
the program will get corrupted.  Ditto for downloads.


	[Thanks Shannon, your service is much appreciated. -HL]


From: STEVEG@ARC.UG.EDS.COM (Entropy needs no maintenance)
Subject: The Fall of the Red Empire, GodLearners, Metals, Heresy
Date: 8 Feb 93 16:35:26 GMT

> The feel of KoS is that Glorantha becomes scientific/secular and modern
> in the Age of Illiteracy. I don't like the idea of that at all.

Charitably, one could interpret some of the remarks along this line as
reeferring to the final cataclysm of the Hero Wars as having
established an even more rigorous Compromise that limited the gods
even further - perhaps in order to prevent anything like the Red Moon
happening again.

What I don't care for are the few teasing hints of the 4th age
culture.  Not enough to be any use; just enough to constrain any
semi-official looks at the future.

And to think back in summer '90 Greg was still claiming he didn't know
how thw Hero Wars turned out (when it was plain since '78 that the
good guys would win against the creeping Red Menace).

aside :- given what happened to this world's Red Empire, how about a
perestroika and collapse alternate history for the 17th century ST!

> Outsiders call these people /lay members/, though the use of this term is
> discouraged as probably  being of God-Learner origin.

The GodLearner attribution seems to be the party line whenever
reference is made to a term defined in the RQ2 rules, especially silly
in this case as the term is perfectly good English, not gamespeak!

> What are the runic associations of the various metals anyway?

RQ2 had

		Lead : Dark
		Quicksilver/aluminium : Sea
		Copper : Earth
		Gold : Sky
		Tin : Air
		Silver : Moon

RQ3 has Silver : Air; and no Lunar metal, nor affiliation for tin.

I prefer the RQ2 affiliations (Tin being associated with Jupiter and
Silver with the Moon in this-world astrology) so have amended all my
material accordingly, and would junk aluminium as being too much a
post-Enlightenment material.

I'd keep quicksilver much as we know it.  Enchanting it will be what
is required to make it hold a form - though it will still be liquid
within that form (insert any interesting armour rules you want)

The origin of iron as given in DW24 suggests that its runic affinity
must be Death (being designed by the Mostali to kill those pesky elves
and trolls).

> Enchantment and POW sacrifice

A specific case of the general gripe about POW in RQ3.

>Yelorna: are we going to get a revised/reprinted write-up for RQ3?

I don't know, but here's one for AD&D2 + Complete Priest's Handbook

Priest's alignment - Neutral Good
Minimum stats - WIS 10, CHA 13

Proficiencies - As Darkness god; plus recommended proficiency - Riding
	      - crossovers Priest & General
	      - may specialise in any bow

Weapons, armour & shields - As moon goddess.

Granted Powers - infravision, Unicorn friendship (includes being able to
determine if an area is guarded by a unicorn)

Spells - Major access to All, Divination, Charm, Guardian and Sun
       - Minor access to Necromantic, Healing, Protection and Elemental(Fire)
       - Detect Silver, Detect Gold (level 1)
       - Conjure Fire Elemental (level 5)

The above was part of a conversion exercise I did after noting that a priest
character who'd taken the Barbarian culture and the cult of Strength acted
just like a Storm Bull might... In fact the only changes I'd make to the cult
of Strength to make it a Storm Bull equivalent would be:-

Priest's alignment  - Chaotic (err.... disorderly) neutral;
Spells	- delete FlameStrike; insert Conjure Air Elemental.