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Date: Fri, 28 May 93 17:15:15 +0200
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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, Fri, 28 May 1993, part 1
Precedence: junk
Status: OR

The RuneQuest Daily and RuneQuest Digest deal with the subjects of
Avalon Hill's RPG and Greg Stafford's world of Glorantha.

Send submissions and followup to "RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM",
they will automatically be included in a next issue.  Try to change the
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RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Henk Langeveld)


Subject: Re: Sorcery, part 1
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 May 93 15:23:22 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 887

RQ  Sorcery - Paul Reilly

  I think most of us agree that there are severe problems with the RQ III
Sorcery system.   I would like people's opinions on what a new Sorcery 
System for RQ IV should be like.  Of course, if you like the system as
it stands you should also speak up in its defense.  In my opinion, a
major rewrite would be desirable.  However,  I don't know whether any really
major changes can be promulgated at this point.  (Due to requiring 
compatibility with already published material, etc.) then we should look 
at incremental fixes.  More on some possible such fixes in another article.

  What do we want from a Sorcery System?

  For Glorantha, we want sorcery to reflect Western culture and religion
in much the same way that cults and shamanism reflect polytheistic and
primitive cultures respectively.  I feel that the existing systems for
those cultures do a fairly good job and with the changes suggested in the
RQ IV draft and a little embellishing by the GM and players one can impart
a magical feel to the game.

  For non-Gloranthan games we want the magic system to resonate with our
stories and legends, thus imparting the right "feel" to magic, and to fit
logically in the world-system of the game  Luckily this is not incompatible 
with Gloranthan requirements above because of the strong similarities
between Gloranthan and Earth myths and legends.

  For story purposes, magic should enhance the story without overwhelmingly
dominating everything.  When magic is totally dominant, the story gets
so far away from the real world that we lose the ability to identify well
with the characters.

  Game balance is also important, to make sure that the game will be fun,
and also to present a self consistent universe.  People living in a world
will exploit the rules they live under as soon as they can.  Thus in our
world we shifted from tension powered weapons to gun because the cost
benefit ratio was favorable.  Similarly Gloranthan sorcerors will act in
accord with their own self interest.  To produce the kind of society
we want, people exploiting the rules should do the kinds of things Gloranthans
do.  Thus people join cults out of religious feeling and to get benefits.
PENDRAGON does an excellent job of this, where rules-driven behavior and
genre behavior are virtually identical due to clever rules design.  RQ II
did a good job with Cults of Prax, etc.

  My proposal is that we should treat Glorantha as a "real world" and then
try to model the magic of that world with our game systems.  This involves
the difficult tasks of reverse engineering and reasoning backwards, from
effect to cause.

 Problems with RQ III Sorcery

  How do Gloranthan sorcerors act?  In the supplements we see an order of
Wizards who serve religious roles, who study Lores, and who maintain
intricate spells carefully crafted by them.  And their are a few extremely
powerful sorcerors.  There seems to be a limited amount of magic that can
be done in one area - in the cult system this is modelled by temples.

  Sorcerors love Runes, according to some of the published material.  
We are told of Death Rune magic, Fire magi, etc.
But there is no real system to encourage people to act in accordance with
these Runes.  A sorceror with Treat Wounds is just as likely to have
Animate Fire as he is to have Regenerate.

  In many stories as well as in Glorantha, Wizards seem to be innately
conservative people who don't necessarily throw around lots of magic.

  Let's reason forward from the RQ III Sorcery rules.  Assuming these
represent the laws of nature for magic, how will people behave?  First,
let's assume that there are several to many competing kingdoms, etc.
Thus, regardless of cultural pressures within the society, those societies
that make the best use of the Sorcery rules will tend to outcompete the
others, all other factors being equal.  On an individual basis sorcerors
who make the most effective use of their magic will be the most successful
and be able to train more apprentices, thus their practices will spread.

   The most impact will be made by long-duration spells.  Here we get
to a critical variable:  the number and Intensity of spells that a
sorceror can have running at once.

  With even a low Duration skill, a sorceror with plenty of time can afford
a few misses in order to get long duration spells running.  These spells
can be maintained for long periods.  Effectively, they are a way of storing
magic which is better than any other available to the sorceror.  Even
an Apprentice can have hundreds of spells running at once.

  The number of spells running at once depends on the effective Free INT of
the sorceror and on the amount of Power available to him, ie. magic points
per day.

Let's compare a Priest with an Apprentice Sorceror.  The Apprentice
will have trained his Enchant to 50% and have Ceremony of 17%.  He will
 have 10 points of Enchantment and the Priest 15 points of Rune Magic.
The Apprentice paid his master to Summon some spirits with his savings.

Apprentice, INT 16, Pow 12:
1 Int 4 Int Spirit (2 points)
1 Damage Boost + Duration 4 matrix (5 points)
3 Power spirits, total power 33. (3 points)

Knows Binding Enchantment, Matrix Enchantment, Regenerate, Mystic Vision
(Used to know Damage Boosting but forgot it when he made the matrix)

  When not using his other spells he can cast Damage Boost with Intensity
+ Duration = 21 twice a day.  Asuming average rolls on his spells he will
usually have a couple of MP's left.  Let's say he sells or gives his friends 
mostly Damage Boost 6.  He can constantly maintain  448 Damage Boost 6's.  He
can reserve one DB 11 for himself and still maintain 416 DB 6's.  If he
was working for an army he could maintain 1792 DB 4's.  And this guy is
just a minor sorceror, equivalent in investment of Power and Training
to a village Acolyte of Ernalda.  He  has no skills over 50%.
With every additional two points of Power invested in Power spirits he
can double this output.  Each point in bigger matrices would double the
number of spells he could maintain at the same intensity.
It is this doubling that causes the runaway effect.

  So if we use these rules _all_ western armies should be made up of 
people with enhanced stats and damage boost on all their weapons.  You might say that these people don't have the social organization to pull this off.
Well, if even one of the city-states of Ralios adopts this appproach then
the others had better copy it or be conquered.  Otherwise we get back
the Dark Empire.

  If there is anything like 1% Adept Sorcerors then even peasants will have
enhanced Strength and Constitution and armies will be truly superhuman.

  This picture does not seem to coincide with the picture in the Genertela
Box or any other supplement, except perhaps for the Brithini.  Even these
people seem to not practice this level of sorcery; we are told that each
Horali has several sorcerors enhancing him, implying that there is a limited
number of spells that each Zzaburi can maintain.

  If you have GM'd or played extensively with sorcerors in your campaign,
you know that once they get their INT freed and a power spirit or two,
you will get an explosion of enhanced stats, Damage Resistance, Spell 
Resistance, etc.  And all sorcery using cultures should have the same.

  I think that consistency is good, and that we should keep the Gloranthan
culture as described and chuck the Duration skill as we know it.  I think
that this should be replaced with a statistic that tells us the total
number of magic points that the sorceror can have out in spells, or some
similar mechanic.  Further, I think that the use of Runes should be
explicitly present in our model of Gloranthan sorcery since they are
supposed to be fundamental to the world.  I think that the Laws of Magic
(Similarity, Contagion, etc. can be included implicitly as part of the
spell design but should be mentioned as something for GMs to consider
when describing magical ceremonies, etc.

  If we decide to keep the existing system as is then there are several
patches on particularly broken Sorcery spells.  Through playtest we have
discovered that casting spells through Sense Projections while reckoning
range from the Projection point is a Bad Idea.  We should allow these
spells to be used for targetting but Range should still be reckoned from
the sorceror, otherwise these spells can be used for intercontinent

  If we redesign the system we should look at Range as well.  This works
ok but would it be better to have interposing features such as oceans, 
mountains, running water, or the Dead Place count against it?


From: (Brian Hebert)
Subject: Idle Curiosity
Message-ID: <32619.hebert@uclink.Berkeley.EDU>
Date: 27 May 93 16:03:38 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 888

How many subscribers are there to this digest?  Could that figure be added
to the automatic header?


Has anyone heard of the Henkl cult (a minor hero of Lhankor Mhy)?  He offers
the following special rune spell to his followers:

Temporal, Non-stackable, Reusable                                    1 POW

A specialized form of mindspeech, it allows the user, without regard to
distance, to leave mental messages in a specific portion of the spirit plane
associated with the shrine of Henkl where the spell was acquired.  Anyone
casting this spell can also "receive" all of the messages which have been
left there since their last contact.  This is one of the most efficient
forms of long distance communication on Glorantha. The fact that it is
available only to Henkl devotees (who are reknowned for the arcane
impracticality of their interests) has limited its social and historical
impact (but the cultists love it!).  ;')

I could go on about the sectarian divisions amongst the Henkli (physicists
vs. anthropologists, Nostalgics vs. Utilitarians, etc.) but do I need to?


Seriously though, as a relatively new subscriber, I want to thank everyone
for the effort which is put into this Digest.  It really shows and is much
appreciated.  (It also reinforces my vain prejudices about the nature and
quality of RQ players as a subset of FRP gamers in general.)  Three Cheers!

-- Brian


From: (Tom Zunder)
Subject: Play Kites Brithini POW gain Melisande
Date: 27 May 93 20:18:41 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 889

I have played in Prax, Holy Country and am going to Sartar, dull eh?

I have also run Dagori Inkarth and the Shadow Plateau and the Blue Moon,
not so dull eh?

POW gain. You may think this dull but i think that the current criteria
for POW gain should stay plus the idea that criticalling any kind of magic
roll will allow for a POW gain and that performing cosmically important
acts will allow POW gain. I would have said that priests should get
automatic POW gain at the High Holy Day and initiates get a POW gain roll,
but that for Life aspected cults attending to a birth might allow a POW
gain roll, for a Death cultist some form of slaughter (dependent on the
god) might yield one. In other words, magical activity and/or acts which
significantly support one's Rune or the Compromise.

POW gain should be either 1d3 or 1d6, 1-3 =1, 4-5 =2, 6 =3.

It's never come to my attention but I presume the Orlanthi fly kites a lot?

Simlarly, having been reading the Titus/Gormenghast books, I feel that the
Brithini are likely to be addicted/tied to endless meaningless rituals,
to following books of "Laws" on a mindless and decaying cycle of
nothingness. The Gormenghast chant of "No Change" should be a Brithini one,
into battle.

Garhound. Darth Jophayn, a PC Yelmalio, near Light Son status one, with
Jarst Daro second. One of my PCs had the celibacy geas, oops, and the other
cheated so abysmally he almost got disqualified. Darth, an honourable guy,
settled with Melisande, altho he got roped into the events on the Cradle
a season later. Having remained incognito, he returned to her rather than
go to sea, only for her to be kidnapped by Blue Moon trolls and taken there
thru a wormhole. Having rescued her and explored a strange Blue Moon temple
on the very strange Blue Moon (did you know that evrything there is Blue?)
he returned thru the workhole to Garhound. Peace followed until exactly
one year later, Godday, Earth Week, Earth season, when his twin girls were
born to a very proud wife.

He is now unsure as to whether they'll settle in Garhound with the in-laws
or take Solanthos Ironpike's offer of a posting in Pavis. He needs to talk
to Melisande when she's feeling a bit better. Oh yes, I'll fake this years

                                                   How Illuminating!


From: 100116.2616@CompuServe.COM (David Hall)
Subject: Queen Deezola
Message-ID: <930527201239_100116.2616_BHB49-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 27 May 93 20:12:39 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 890

Favourite of nobles and poets. The spells she knows are Regrow Limb, 
Resurrect, Sustain Life (a sort of stasis that allows wounded or sick 
individuals from bleeding to death or dying of infection), Prevent Decay 
(prevents dead flesh from rotting) and Protect Location (one at random 
depending on the moon phase). She also knows earth magic. I'm not sure if 
this includes Heal Body and Restore Strength - it would make some sense 
that she only knows the latter. 

Her spells give quite a few pointers to the methods and ritual that the 
Seven Mothers used to liberate the Red Goddess...

Still no news on the hard disc.


From: henkl@glorantha (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: curiosity
Message-ID: <9305272303.AA07300@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 28 May 93 03:03:31 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 891

> Subject: curiosity
> Date: Thu, 27 May 93 17:07:34 CDT
> How many people subscribe to the RQ Digest (approximately)?
About 300...

Henk	|	Henk.Langeveld@Sun.COM - Disclaimer: I don't speak for Sun.
oK[]	|	RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM


Subject: help
Message-ID: <>
Date: 28 May 93 16:55:27 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 892