Bell Digest v930508p1

(Message rqd:9)
Date: Sat, 8 May 93 17:15:17 +0200
Message-Id: <9305081515.AA09797@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM>
From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 08 May 1993, part 1
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Subject: Re: Crunchy Magic with Extra Flavor
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 May 93 15:42:46 GMT

  Sometimes when playing RQ we find that magic, represented mechanically
in the game system, has los something of its 'mystic' flavor.  When
describing a scene involving magic, I'd like to have a little more
'atmosphere'.  But we don't to write a Whole New Magic System - the
current mechanics work, and the current system is more-or-less locked in
by the expenditure Avalon Hill, Chaosium, and the players have put
into their current set of books.

 That being said, I'd like to propose some optional ideas for enhancing
the 'atmosphere' when describing a scene with magic.  I invite comments.
I think that these provide more 'flavor' to the magic system without 
necessitating the headache of a Big Rules Change:

Laws of Magic

  There are many Laws of Magic (see P.E.I. Bonewitz, Fraser, etc.) but I
will discuss only a few here:

 Similarity:  Things which share properties (such as appearance) are magically
"connected" and magic which affects one may affect the other. Examples:
portraits, dolls representing the person, a scale from a dragon.

 Contagion:  Things once in contact remain (magically) in contact.  Clothes,
personal possesions, etc.  

  Best targetting aids are parts of the target, which use both Similarity and

  Names:  Names have power over the entities they represent.  Entities
(according to most magicians) have True Names which are intrinsic to 

  Runic Concordances:  The Runes channel the power of the primal forces
represented by them.  Many sorcerors consider this merely a special case
of the Law of Names, but these Names (of the Celestial Court powers) are
so important in Gloranthan sorcery that it is worth quoting it as a separate

  Evocation & Invocation
  Again, these are sometimes lumped under Names - basically calling on
Beings to change either the environment (Evocation) or yourself (Invocation).
Obviously used by divine magicians, but also by shamans and (perhaps 
surprisingly to the uninitiated) sorcerors, who often call on the Saints.

Using the Laws in the Game.
  These Laws are used in spell design (esp. Runic Concordances) and casting
but are most obvious in Ritual Magic.  Each type of magician emphasizes
different Laws - some primitives, for example, almost never use the Runes.

    If someone wants to work out a system of bonuses for various Laws,
  they could.  I'd suggest instead that we assume that the magician's
  Ritual skills are based on  the effects of various
  Laws: then all this is subsumed in the game system
  by use of the ritual skills (Ceremony, Enchant and Summon) .  Use of this   
  skill would include having handy things you are likely to need, such as
  a ritual dagger or the shrunken heads of your ancestors or enemies.
  One might give a special bonus for various special items - such as the
  body of the person whose Ghost you want to Summon.  Items normally
  available to the magician (names of spirit species - needed to Summon
  (Species) at all, materials for spell diagrams or simple fetishes, etc.)
  are assumed to be necessary for normal functioning of the skills.  Magicians
  trapped away from their usual materials will receive a substantial 
  penalty on trying to use ritual skills.  


  While preparing for a spell, caster uses the Laws. Examples:

  A primitive hunter prepares for a difficult shot on a bird by casting
  Sureshot.  Since he really wants this to work, he ups his chances by several
  rounds of Ceremony.  He selects an arrow fletched with feathers of the
  same type of bird (Similarity), kisses it, asks Rathor or whoever to
  make his shot work (Evocation), whispers the name of the type of Bird
  to the arrow (Names - this guy is an animist, so he believes the arrow
  itself has a spirit).

  A priestess of Chalana Arroy prepares to attempt to Resurrect a
  fallen warrior loyal to Orlanth.  This involves Ceremony to prepare
  for the resurrection and the ritual itself involves Summoning his Spirit.
  She heals the warrior and bathes him (i.e. removing the blood & body
  wastes to make him more Similar to his living self.)  Resurrection is
  a difficult magic, so the head start on Similarity and Contagion from
  having his body there is necessary just to do the spell at all.   The
  priestess covers his body with appropriate Runes, including some representing
  his name and the names of the Gods involved in his healing.  This
  would include not only Chalana the Healer and the warrior's god (Orlanth)
  but also Issaries (the Orlanthi psychopomp) and Ty Kora Tek (haglike
  Queen of the Dead, who will resist this guy being pulled from her
  clutches unless properly appeased.  She will surround the body with things
  he lived with, and things representing Life - flowers, etc.  If his
  friends or relatives could be there it might help.  They will be instructed
  to remember him as boisterously alive, perhaps each telling a story.
  Mentioning his death in this session would be VERY BAD LUCK and might
  queer the ritual - lowering the chances of the Resurrection.  In a game,
  PCs could get to Orate about their dead friend, with successes perhaps
  adding a few percent to the ritual's chances and fumbles subtracting.
    (Similarity, Contagion, Names, Evocation, Invocation, Runes)

  To Summon an elemental - have that element handy, use the Elemental Runes,
  Summon a Ghost:  Ideally, have the body of the deceased present for
	maximum connectivity - otherwise, write the name on a paper,
	use a portrait, etc.  

    Pretty obvious how to use this - a Detect Water matrix made from the
  root of a water-seeking tree, etc.  Spirit Magic foci should be fashioned
  as objects appropriate to their peculiar magic, etc.

    I would say that Primitives might well 'enchant' things by finding them.
   Good examples of this are the oppossum rib cage and the pouch of eyeballs
   mentioned in the Rathori sections of Players Book: Genertela.
   More on this later - I will try to do an article sometime on Primitive
   Magic after I re-read "The Way of the Shaman" and various Joseph Campbell

I also offer a sorcery spell that I am working on.  I designed it to inject
more of the 'classic' magical ideas into RuneQuest - e.g., don't let your
enemies get ahold of your nail parings, etc.!  Note that I expect people
to be using the decription of Multispell from the RQ Errata that was
posted a while back - if you don't have this, let me know & I will send
it to the list.

  Coming Soon:  New Sorcery Spell using these Laws - Sympathetic Targetting,
or How Do You Do that Voodoo that You Do So Well?

 - Paul Reilly


From: (Jason Proctor)
Subject: Re: Glorantha mimics Earth
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 May 93 09:53:21 GMT

                       Subject:                               Time:5:45 pm
  OFFICE MEMO          Re>Glorantha mimics Earth              Date:7/5/93
> do any armies march skyclad (stark staring naked) into combat?
In nice warm Prax, perhaps, but as for Dagori Inkarth or Balazar, well, it's
enough to chip the ends off your pointy bits...


From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Elf Reproduction
Message-ID: <930507182252_100270.337_BHB60-2@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 7 May 93 18:22:53 GMT

Extract from the RuneQuest Daily, Thu 06 May 1993:

> From:
> Subject: huh?

>> From: (Adrian Brownlow)
>> Subject: Elf Reproduction
>> How do elves reproduce?

> I thought it had something to do with one elf casting a divine
> spell of some kind on a female elf.

Y'know, that's how the elves think *we* reproduce!  Don't anybody tell them 


PS: Three cheers to Arganth for the best contribution on this topic to 


Subject: Release dates...
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 May 93 18:37:22 GMT

When is Shadows comming out in Britain? I have mine on order and 
still haven't got my copy yet......sigh.(Or do I have a crap supplier?)


From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Loskalm: Idealistic Isolationists
Message-ID: <930508094532_100270.337_BHB26-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 8 May 93 09:45:32 GMT

for Mark Sabalauskas:

Hey, this IS good!  Dismissing my suggestions (perhaps somewhat 
cavalierly), you've picked another model for Loskalm that I have no trouble 
agreeing with: the United States of the Fifties!  Doesn't grate with me at 
all.  Sure, I'd not deny that Americans in that period were "generally nice 
people"; that the country was "a nice place".  It was very clean and tidy 
too, young people were polite to their parents, the music was jolly nice, 
birds sang in the mornings, everyone smiled a lot more than they do today, 
and there certainly weren't any Godless Jonatings under the beds.

But what was going on behind the scenes?  _That's_ what campaigns in 
Loskalm would be discovering.  "Adventures in Paradise" don't work very 
well, while Crusades go better if you have to fight messy wars against Real 
People rather than genocidal campaigns against a bunch of cardboard 
cut-outs.  As always in RuneQuest, your players should face the gap between 
ideology and reality, and work out what they really stand for.

Hrestoli progressive idealism is like pre-Nixon Democracy.  As the police 
force here in the UK keep saying, "It only takes one rotten apple to spoil 
the barrel"  (though they seem to have rather more...).  Y'know, I'm 
knocking the Hrestoli in order to save their souls: I can think of nothing 
more dispiriting than a totalitarian ideology, accepted by all, which 
denies the possibility of natural human behaviour.  Too much like the 
Nazis' "Strength through Joy," or whatever: all those blond, blue-eyed 
Loskalmi peasants striving in the towns and fields towards the common good 
of all...

The hunt for the "Nameless Man" and his baneful influence becomes like the 
McCarthy era Commie-baiting ("are you now, or have you ever been, possessed 
by the Evil One?") -- taking that "witch hunt" metaphor back to its roots.  
Anybody here expecting the Hrestoli Inquisition?

And, sure, Meriatan would be right at home in SAC: try Jack D. Ripper for 
size.  Remember that one effect of the Ban is that Loskalmi can't really 
identify with or understand people who live differently any more.  
("Relative cultural isolation tends to do that to you..." -- William C 
Robertson, RQD 6 May 93: no offence meant, but your quote was too apposite 
to miss!).  So he directs his Crusade against people he doesn't understand, 
killing them to save their souls (their "essence"?) from the pollution of 
War.  If you can read the Meriatan quote in the Genertela Book without 
retching, you have a stronger stomach than I do.

OK, have I convinced you that we have a common frame of reference and can 
continue to communicate, yet?  (Though a breakdown of communication in 
Fronela would have an apposite feel to it...).  As I said to Carl the other 
day, there's nothing wrong with believing the propaganda of any Gloranthan 
faction: if your pro-Hrestoli feelings help you run a Hrestoli campaign, 
good on you!
for Paul Reilly:

May you eternally bask in the light of the Red Moon!
	(That's a blessing, not a curse).
When I've met you, I'll write a Cheng in your praise.

The "Orlanthi god of Smiths" is Gustbran the Bonesmith, one of the three 
Lowfires (Lodril's sprogs).  He's called Workfire or Bonfire, and was 
mentioned in WF 6 p.26, WF 10 p.25, and WF 13 p.4.  Not a family member, 
though: he just does odd jobs for Orlanth and any other god who visits his 
Forge.  Presumably he's a cripple like Hephaestus and Weyland: apparently 
the proportion of arsenic in early Bronze mixes would have done for the 
smiths' health, even if the rulers didn't have them hamstrung...


Nick Brooke.

	"Better White Than Red"
(attributed to Argrath, first of the White Emperors)


Subject: Greetings
Message-ID: <>
Date: 8 May 93 12:37:06 GMT

What would be AH's view on producing my own little wee adventure packs? 

By this I mean, if I went and put some stuff together. Printed it out on a 
quality laser printer, added maps etc, and then advertised through say the 
classified ads within a roleplay magazine and described it as a Runequest
orientated adventure. Would AH mind?Or is all I have to do is not mention 
Runequest? Has anybody done anything like this before?

In particular, I want to put together a booklet full of random adventures that
can be transportable to any pplace within Glorantha with a little bit of 



Subject: Soldiers of the Red Moon
Message-ID: <>
Date: 9 May 93 09:19:59 GMT

RE: Graeme Lindsell
" Re: Yarnafil Tarnils and Humakt: I thought I saw a comment 
in an older digest that MOB was working on a package called
"Soldiers of the Red Moon", that would contain an expanded
Seven Mothers write-up with emphasis on Yarnafil Tarnils. 
Could MOB comment?

Yes, I am working on a scenario pack for Ah by this name (it was originally
called "Somewhere in Sartar" and began life as a RQ II tournament long, long
ago).  The work will feature a write-up of YT, and Lunar regimental magic
(when we say the Lunar regiments have espirit de corps we really mean it 
literally!).  SoRM will also feature detail on the Lunar army.  Expect it
on your gamestore shelves sometime before the turn of the century, but
hopefully a lot earlier!

On the topic of SoRM, I intend to feature in it a short section called
"Lunar Tunes", a selection of Lunar Army marching songs.  Already got one
that is a real beaut, but I'm always looking for more?  Anyone 
interested?   They can be rip offs of real songs, but should be serious,
not parodies (eg. I'm not looking for "By the Light of the Silvery (Reddy)
Moon" type songs, but something along the lines of "Men of Storm Bull" in
ToTRM #8, which was based on "Men of Harlech".


Subject: Man on the Moon
Message-ID: <>
Date: 9 May 93 09:23:56 GMT

Mark S.
        As an aside, the Pentians must have the most advanced
technology in Glorantha.  After all, if they can put a man on
the moon... :-)

Very droll.  I'd like to use this in the "Rumours" of ToTRM #11.  Ok?


Subject: An ad about RQ in a White Wolf mag
Message-ID: <>
Date: 9 May 93 09:31:31 GMT

G'day all,
On a rare trip into the city the other day (I was actually on strike, marching
in a protest rally against our new "fascist" state government, but that's
another newsgroup... :-(  and I took the opportunity to duck into a gamestore.
Couple of copies of King of Sartar (at A$30 a throw), and one HAUNTED RUINS,
 but no other RQ at all - no RoC, not even a Sun County dammit!  If they
ain;t in the shops, no ones gonna buy it!  Anyway, what I'm sending in about
is in a copy of White Wolf (number 30-something) I saw an ad for some sort of
RQ source-pack.)  It wasn;t official AH, I don;t know what it was.  I didn't
buy the mag (hey, I was on strike) so I couldn;t get the details.  Anyone
know what this is all about?  Anyone bought it?  Heck, did anyone out there
write it?