Bell Digest v930311

Date: Thu, 11 Mar 93 21:20:37 +0100
From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Digest Subscriptions)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Subject: The RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 11 Mar 1993

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The RuneQuest Daily is a spin-off of the RuneQuest Digest and deals
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From: (Roger_Nolan 336)
Subject: RE: White Wall / Lunars
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Mar 93 10:50:58 GMT

>This flyer is in common circulation in Dragon Pass / Prax amongst
>Orlanthi after the events below.

It's just a pity none of the Orlanthi can read.  :-)

Whilst we are on the subject of Lunar characters, does anyone have a
strange mix of races/religions in ther group? Our current group boasts
a Dark Troll, a couple of Yelmalian loonies and a couple of Lunars -
the lunars acting as peace makers (and message parsers) between the
Troll and the sad old Yelmalians. I have also played a Scorpion Man,
but this was in a non-Glorantha campaingn where Scorpion men (easily
the best Glorantha monster) were not quite as despised as their
Gloranthan relations.

Anyone out there played Broos? Ogres? Walktapi!?



From: (Peter Wake)
Subject: Re: The RuneQuest Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Mar 93 16:11:10 GMT

With regard to spells over four points:

>> Even as things stand a good Humakti might have one spell: bladesharp.
>> If he decides that bladesharp 14 is better than a mix of smaller point
snip snip
>  Well, under the current rules the Humakti will have a very hard time 
>defeating the spell spirit (average POW 28).

This seems like a mistake: Spell Spirits have a 3d6 POW roll and a
limitation that POW must equal or exceed the points in the spell.
There are no POW 28 spell spirits in the current rules (or is there
something in the errata?)  As a consequence 18 is the biggest spell
that anyone can have, but it seems to be the only limit (apart from
the INT to fit it in).

It is easy to defeat spell spirits, pay the priest to cast Spirit
Block on you.  It's on the common divine magic list, available to most
cults.  Smacks of Jrusteli practice to me though.  The spirit might
refuse to enter combat under such conditions.  On the other hand the
purpose of the whole ritual is to teach the spell, and in the case of
divine magic it's a cult spirit doing the teaching, it expects to be
beaten.  It's all a matter of taste (IMHO).

On another tack:

>> But how does this represent a problem?  The answer isn't "low level
>> character's get creamed" by any chance is it?  Correct me if I'm
>> wrong.
>The point is that whatever the level of the combatants, anything that trickles
>damage through when parrying is a one-hit stopper should the parry fail.  The
>problem is the same whether we're talking low vs low OR high vs high.  My
>concern was the effect of mixing the styles of the armour worn (or trading off
>dodge vs. armour&parry), not the combatant skill.  The 2D8+2D6 could have been
>done by a beginner dark troll character.

But why should there be combats where damage trickles through.  The
nature of real combat is that you spend a lot of time not being hit,
evading and parrying and then you make a slip and you get hit, and it
hurst and if you were fighting for real it would all be over.  I think
it's a bit D&Dish to have combats where people take a few scratches
every round and finally get worn down by attrition.

>At low level (30-40%) you can expect expect parries to fail so can pitch the
>damage at the static (worn+magic) armour.  At mid levels (60-70%) doing so
>means two times in three a hit dings; or if you pitch at the shield parry, one
>time in three you have sudden death.  Unfortunately, as the starting dark
>troll alluded to above goes to show, sudden death can lurk just around the

What's this about pitching damage.  Are you saying that damage should
be fiddled so that players get injured a little bit in every combat?
Is there a point to this.  If anything it trivialises combat.  The
point of RQ combat was always that death lurked round any corner and
that a single trollkin could get lucky.  This was more realistic than
certain other games and made wise PCs more likely to consider non
violent solutions to problems.  Perhaps RQ is not really the game for
people who want attrition combat.  The only attrition in RQ is of
magic points.  Of course you can fiddle the rules how you like to make
RQ more like D&D but I don't think that there is a *PROBLEM* inherent
in the combat system in that respect.  (-: It's a feature not a bug

>One of the few things I liked about RQ3 was the restriction of the spell lists
>- players actually have to think a little when they can't all just pull out
>the obvious spell and blast away.  Restricting Befuddle and removing Harmonise
>(RQ's answer respectively to Sleep & Charm Person) reduced the prevalence of
>the one-hit takedowns that also gave POW ticks.

This is a good point.  I like the restricted spells for lots of
campaigns, but if I want the RQ2 *feel* I ignore it.  There is also a
precednece in published material to selectively ignore it.  Check out
Troll Realms where the PCs can learn Issaries magic as a reward.

>> The GM doesn't have to give them away.  A priest, sorceror, or shaman can
>> make them, and a non-adventuring priest who just keeps his pow at 11 or
>> thereabouts can make 2-3 Pow spirit binders or an Int spirit binder every
>> year.  And if you adventure and get POW checks...

This is what I was on about when I said that POW has become too
important in RQ3.  Character 'power' is now to tightly tied to making
POW gain rolls to enchant magic items.  It turns the experience system
into a crap shoot dependant on one roll per adventure.

Adventuring PCs can make a new item every few adventures with
reasonable chances of success.  This means that huge quantities of
magic points can flood into your campaign.  I impose a variation on
the old RQ2 bound spirits limit (CHA/3) but I use POW/5 (after all
POW=CHA now).  This stops PCs dropping their POW down low to get easy
gain rolls too.  I assume others have different solutions.  Another
point is that bound spirits are vulnerable to control by others.  If
the item is visible the spirit can be controlled by anyone with the
right spell.  Exploitation of this produces an environment where PCs
put lots of conditions on their items which soaks up POW and limits
the numbers that they make.

(IMHO) manufacture of items is not God Learner behaviour in the spirit
of Greg Stafford's writings - look at the Lunar sorcery batallions.
The mass produced swords of the clanking city were just that: made by
some sort of machine in big numbers.  What we're looking at here is an
individual crafter - two or three a year would hardly be mass
production, Chippendale made more items a year in his workshops and
they were hardly mass production (and he had many employees).  Still
you can call almost anything you want a God Learner thing, if you want
to stop it in your campaign, and there's nothing wrong with that.
It's always wise to keep a tight rein of POW gain rolls though.

Re: RQ4 (do we want it?)

The changes of RQ3 almost killed RQ.  Now we have a RQ4 on the
horizon.  Will the game muatate wildly again?  Why can't we have a
smooth continuum of small changes like CoC.  Why does AH (and Ken
Rolston) believe that anyone wants RQ4?  Is it because there have been
som amny compalints about RQ3.  Don't they realise that RQ4 will propt
more complaints.  RQ3 if fighting nostalgia and it can never seem
better than RQ2 to those who remember those early days (or even RQ1
which was a bit smelly really) because you can't beat nostalgia.  Take
a look at RQ2 and you'll see most things improved.  What got worse was
the presentation and clarity.  I'd like to see that return.  If RQ4
appears people will still say RQ2 was better regardless of what it's
like.  I'd rather see some new background material than more rules.
I've got enough rules as it is.  RQ is not cut out to compete with the
Hero system or Toon, it will never be universal or very simple.  What
makes RQ is the quality and flavour of the background and that's where
AH should concentrate.

I think that a few small fixes and hole fillers are required, that
clarification of some rules would be useful but I don't want any big
changes, especially to combat!  Combat is mostly fixed now, RQ2 combat
was badly bug ridden.  I'd like some clarification on how magic
effects Special/Critical/Fumble chances and that's about it.  In the
magic section I'd like to see a few changes to the Shaman rules,
preferably in the direction of RQ2.  The RQ3 Shaman rules are
terrible.  Shamans outgross sorcerors anyday.  Anyone want me to
explain why?  Don't tempt me.  I don't want to see sorcery dissappear,
I like it much as it is.  Some improved rules on magical scrying would
be nice (very important to sorcerors) and one or two sorcery spells
need examination but apart from that magic seems OK to me.  Even Axe
Trance isn't the danger that it seems (all it does in practice is
raise critical and impale chances like Ki skills).  Still I wouldn't
allow it in my campaign.  It and the other Babeester Gor special
divine magic spells are all gross and probably ought to be changed.
Great Parry and Axe Trance make you almost invincible.  I don't think
that the sort of changes I want to see justify the title RQ4.

Other people have voiced complaints about varrious things but largely
they seem to want fixes not new rules.  Do I have the right idea about
this?   The TotRM questionaire should shed some light on this.
Peter Wake

You should have heard the groans and sighs or misery and disbelief
when Ken Rolston suggested RQ4 at Convulsion '92 in Leicester.


From: (Thom Baguley)
Subject: RE: Initiation Rites
Message-ID: <9303102218.AA13517@Sun.COM>
Date: 10 Mar 93 09:35:38 GMT

>   Has anyone done anything with cult/society initiation rituals? I'm
>planning a run (this friday) for a starting group (one RQ/Glorantha 
>player), where I plan to run the initiation of a bunch of teenagers into 
>Sartarite society. While I've got some ideas, I'm just wondering if 
>anyone else had done this. 

There is a section in the Apple Lane scenario pack (RQ2 or 3) that
describes such a rite of passage. It should be easy to elaborate on.
For more detail you might consider looking at anthropological and
historical sources (depending on your library access and time).


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From: MAB@SAVAX750.RUTHERFORD.AC.UK (Mystic Musk Ox)
Subject: RE: The RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 06 Mar 1993
Message-ID: <9303111610.AB17999@Sun.COM>
Date: 11 Mar 93 13:11:00 GMT

RE: Godlearners manufacturing magic items.

Perhaps it is just a case of:

Any sufficiently primitive form of magic is indistinguishable from technology

(apologies to A.C.Clarke)


Subject: Initiation Rites
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Mar 93 10:48:42 GMT

I can remember reading somewhere, was it Griffin Mountain, about an
initiation rite, where all the (Could of been Apple Lane) youths were
placed into a large combat circle with all the villagers surrounding
the circle, cheering, making bets and pushing people back into combat
if they stepped out of the circle.

The whole idea was to give the youths a taste of combat. This was
overlooked by a Earth priestess and also a Humakti runelord (or

The combatants fought until they fell or were deemed to have earned
the right to stop combat. All injuries/deaths were healed/resurrected
after the initiation ceremony in time for the feast celebrating the
combatant's entry into manhood/womanhood.

Seems appropriate for a barbaric nation. One thing to point out, Most
weapons were allowed, but no armour! Then again somebody aged 15-16
would probably only have about 30-40 proficiency in a weapon.

One thing that might be considered, is wether or not somebody acted

Hitting somebody from behind would definitely be frowned upon. Might
even have some eggs thrown at them.etc...

Ganging up on somebody or grouping together would naturally be

From a player point of view, stress the fact this is an honourable
event, if not religious in significance. BUT if they behave in a way
unbefitting the event, let them have a CHA loss for the local area.