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To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Mon, 21 Jun 1993, part 1
Precedence: junk
Status: O

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

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RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Henk Langeveld)


From: (charles gregory fried)
Subject: Dead Gods
Date: 19 Jun 93 17:46:21 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1121

Greg Fried here.

Thanks all for the feedback on the death of gods!
You were right to flame me a little with Yelm.  I suppose saying that his
worshipers "carry on quite merrily" despite his death was a poor choice of
words.  What i was trying to get at (putting aside Yelm himself for the
moment) is that a god can die and still his cult can exist.  Why?  Because as
you and Steve G. and Tom Z. have nicely illuminated, Godtime does not equal
Nowtime!  What puzzled me was what happens, what ruptures, with the god's
mythic death?  How does it affect cultic practice and magic?  The answer is,
the death of the god does NOT cut worshipers off from him, but it may subtely
or not so subtely affect what magic the god can grant and what kind of
worldly status the cult enjoys.  A god's death is a defeat in some area; he
or she stands to lose dominion over a certain realm.  
Thanks for that reminder/insight -- that Chaos is to the gods what death is
to (RL) mortals.  
Here's a related question:
Does Glorantha have room for more Sun gods other than Yelm?  In my admittedly
pseudo-Gloranthan campaign (which I pretend is in the East Isles), the Sun
never rose in the Golden Age.  He just appeared as a star in the center of
the sky and grew and grew and grew!  This expansion of the solar imperium
really offended and frightened other gods.  Some even accused him of searing
at the fabric of the cosmos, allowing the first of Chaos to seep in.  When he
was killed, the Sun fell from the center of the Sky to the center of the
World -- down Magasta's Pool (creating it?), to be imprisoned in the black
pits of Hell.  Here's where I get really heretical: among the gods who go on
the quest to redeem the Sun in the Moon!  Together, the Sun and Moon conceive
a child, Yalem.  Yalem incarnates his father's fiery orb, but also his
mother's cyclical nature.  It is Yalem, not the Sun, ho rises in the Dawning,
and Yalem (thanks to the Moon's cyclical rhythm) who sets at dusk.  With the
Dawning of Yalem comes the birsth of Time.  I don't think this is bad for the
East Isles, a supposedly solar region, and "Land of the Rising Sun"
OK.  Now burn me at the stake.  (Oops: read "IS the Moon" 7 lines up.  Any
thoughts on her color for such a myth?)
My solution for the short Gloranthan year has been to add two more weeks to
each season: Fate Week and Luck Week.  In RQ2 at least, these were bona fide
Power runes too, along with all the other matched pairs that make up the
weeks.  I never  understood why they were left out.  So are we both missing
on centaur plumbing.  My guess is, they have two stomachs (kinda like cows!).
In their human torso, they can digest meats and other human only food.  In
the horse stomach, they can digest grasses (centaurs must have massive
PS: the add of two weeks per season means: five ten week seasons plus sacred
time = a 52 week year.  Pretty darn Earth-like!
On way too much stacked Rune magic:
Did I ever mention my solution to this?  When someone wants to stack beyond
one point, take the square of the sought for magic.  Eg, Shield 2 = 4; Shield
4 = 16.  Have the character 'overcome' this number in a POW resistance roll. 
If s/he succeeds, s/he gets the new stacked spell level.  If s/he fails, she
loses that point of POW!  This will seriously disincline people from seeking
out stackings above 4!  Extension 27 (like someone mentioned way back) would
be unthinkable.  If you find this too severe, you might allow a permanent up
front sacrifice of POW as a way to improve chances of success.  (Eg, I want
Shield 5.  Sacrificing 1 POW up front, I make it a Shield 4 for the purposes
of overcoming it -- a 16 is easier than a 25.  This up front sacrifice is
over and above all other points of POW needed to gain the spell.)  Just an

GF out.


From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Up and Down
Message-ID: <930619184926_100270.337_BHB63-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 19 Jun 93 18:49:27 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1122

Rob Mace writes:

(re: Chaos invasions in the North lifting the Sky Dome)

> This seems a bit strange.  Up is associated with Sky/Fire so it
> should be hotter and down is associated with Darkness/Cold so it
> should get colder.

Yeah.  What they mean is, the Sky Dome tilted up so that its heat was 
further away from the world in the north, while bits of its 'burningness' 
spilled onto the world in the south.  And it's been that way ever since.  
Mythically, your associations are quite correct.  Explaining this is 
tricky.  I hope I've managed it here.



From: (johnjmedway)
Subject: Areas of Interest
Message-ID: <>
Date: 19 Jun 93 19:30:35 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1123

Re: the debate over sorcery in RQ4:

>>  From: (Curtis Shenton)
>>  Subject: Sorcery, God Learners, and Lunars
>>  Date: 16 Jun 93 02:36:08 GMT
>>  > From:
>>  > Subject: Sorcery (yawn!)
>>  > 
>>  > 
>>  > This isn't the first time I have made the suggestion, but I think that 
>>  > the sorcery rules should be completely dropped from the RQ4 book.  
>>  > Sorcery rules cannot be successfully presented without their social 
>>  > context, as the RQ3 experience shows, and to do the social context 
>>  I hate this idea! Heck while we're at it why not drop divine and spirit
>>  magic too since we can't really do them justice in the space provided? I

No offense, Curtis, but that seems like a pretty juvenile argument.

The current Avalon Hill area of interest seems to be Prax, Dragon Pass and 
hopefully north from there (to the horribly underdeveloped Lunars). There may 
be a few sorcerors in that region, but there are hundreds of thousands of 
spirit magic users, and thousands of divine magic users in this region.

I agree with that area of interest. I have never played in the West, nor the 
East. I have never been in a Gloranthan game involving a sorceror. I do not
care about compatibility with exceedingly forgettable AH supplements which 
contain sorcerors.

>>  think a later supplement is a great idea. In fact I'd like to see a
>>  Sorceror's Pack(first since we know the least about them), and then a
>>  Shaman's Pack and a Priest's Pack. But I think RQIV has to have core

I aggree that there should be a whole pile of stuff about the West. The
key point is LATER. If RQ4 is another chop job, then there won't be a "later".
Spirit Magic and Divine Magic are almost universal. Lunar magic should be
expanded and expounded upon, because of its centrality, before the laundry
list of the many more esoteric sorcery magic shools are covered.

Personally I think that each major sorcery school should have it's own rules.
Bollocks to the unified field theory. If it doesn't fit everywhere, don't put
it in the core rules!

Lost attribution to this:
>>  I posted a suggestion to Oliver Jovanovic a while back asking if, given 
>>  that RQ4 is meant to focus on Dragon Pass + Prax + Holy Country + Lunar 
>>  Empire (and apparently *NOT* the West, which the Gang of "X" seem to have 
>>  taken against), it made any sense to have Sorcery in the rules.  I 
>>  suggested replacing it with an expanded and improved description of Lunar 
>>  Magic -- covering the stuff they teach in the various sororities of the 
>>  Lunar Colleges, plus bits on Illumination, Cycles, Glowlines, etc.  And 
>>  examples of that old Battlefield Magic that RQ players have been wanting 
>>  since the year dot.  That would undeniably be more interesting and useful 
>>  than a soulless rehash of Sorcery, and the Lunars can be found in strength 
>>  in all the areas beneath the RQ4 umbrella.

I agree with this viewpoint wholeheartedly.

A survey question:
What do you want, and in what order, from AH?

My list:

	1. Lunar Pack
	2. Prax Pack ( the nomad tribes, not just the Zola Fel area )
	3. Holy Country Pack
	4. Sartar/Dragon Pass Pack
	5. Pent Pack

I did not include RQ4 rules, as I'm referring more to areas of development.
As for Cults, release them with the appropriate background/scenario pack 
(a la River of Cradles). Later, release a mondo cult anthology. Later = when
the game has become popular and stable enough.

|  |  Landmark Graphics Corp  |  512.292.2325  |


Subject: Sorcery, Sorcery, Sorcery (yawn)
Message-ID: <>
Date: 21 Jun 93 10:17:31 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1124

SORCERY (yawn)

Carl Fink writes:

>It is once more suggested that we leave sorcery out of the 
>basic rules.  This violates the First Commandment we set up when 
>we started out:  Thou Shalt Not Ruin Existing Characters.  That is, it 
>would become impossible to keep running existing sorcerors.

I don't see how this necessarily follows.  Of the minority of RQ 
campaigns that are actually using sorcery,  very few people seem 
to be happy with the official RQ3 rules and are instead using their 
own variant versions.  If RQ4 comes out without the new sorcery 
rules, what's there to stop them keeping on playing with whatever 
sorcery rules they're using now?  And I bet even after "Sorcery-Pak" 
comes out, no matter what is done to sorcery, some games will keep on 
using their variants.

So, rather than making it "impossible to keep running existing 
sorcerers", it will in fact be very easy: just use whatever 
rules (whether RQ3 or a variant) you're using now until "Sorcery-Pak" 
comes out.

And the Gang of "X" still hasn't addressed the point of my original 
posting: that is, there are a lot of others bugs to iron out of RQ4 
before it's due for the presses next year, without opening the 
Pandora's Box that is sorcery.

Meanwhile Nick Brooke posted: 

>...given that RQ4 is meant to focus on Dragon Pass + Prax 
>+ Holy Country + Lunar Empire ...  I suggested replacing it [sorcery]
>with an expanded and improved description of Lunar Magic -- covering 
>the stuff they teach in the various sororities of the Lunar Colleges, 
>plus bits on Illumination, Cycles, Glowlines, etc.  And examples 
>of that old Battlefield Magic that RQ players have been wanting 
>since the year dot.  That would undeniably be more interesting and 
>useful than a soulless rehash of Sorcery, and the Lunars can be 
>found in strength in all the areas beneath the RQ4 umbrella.

I second this motion!!!

Some people (Joerg B., Curtis S.) are not keen on the idea of the 
RQ4 rules coming out in several volumes: Joerg gave us the TSR 
example of multiple rulebooks.  Personally, I can't see any 
problem with this. You *will* be able to RQ with the RQ4 book, 
even if its missing sorcery, unlike say only having ADnD Player Handbook
and wanting to play a game of DnD.

To close, I find Ken Rolston's recent comments on the sorcery debate 
very intriguing:

>Of course, I hardly wish to discourage energetic theorizing about
>global Glorantahn sorcerous metaphysics. It just isn't a priority for
publishing in the near future -- not because it wouldn't be cool
>and interesting, but because i doubt a consensus could be reached 
>on it without knowing a LOT more about other Gloranthan cultures 
>than I do.

"Global Gloranthan sorcerous metaphysics" - by this, does Ken mean the 
sort of "simplified, generic look at sorcery" that the sorcery chapter 
in the RQ4 rulesbook would have to be? 

And, as a postscript, David Hall writes:

>I have serious problems with unaligned sorcerers! Mostly I want 
>to burn them, and I think I'm not alone in Glorantha.

Right on Dave!  You bring the kindling, I'll bring the matches...


Subject: Ogres
Message-ID: <>
Date: 21 Jun 93 10:18:43 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1125

> From: (Mark S. c/o Tom Yates)
> Subject: Misc. Comments

>                  Finula and Paul's Ogre Writeup
>....flaw of describing a race, or cult, or secret society so superior
>that they should have long ago taken over the known universe.

I'm inclined to agree (and also with the comments that it needs 
to be less scientific and "more Gloranthan").  I would like to 
see more negative aspects of ogres built in to such a write-up, 
to counterbalance the superhuman aspects and explain why they 
haven't taken over the world.  Rather than ideal master races, 
cults, secret societies, military formations, or whatever, I find 
it far more interesting to read about such models that are *imperfect* 
for some reason.  Take the Nochet Lhankor Mhy Library, as described 
in TALES #4 (if any of you can remember back that far).  It could have 
written up as a perfect filing system, but would it have been as much 
fun to read?  I doubt it.  In this case it's far more interesting to 
have built-in imperfections: precious volumes hidden away in factional 
caches, books lost but whose existence somewhere on the shelves can be 
proved by divination, etc. than to read about a Gloranthan "Dewey 
decimal" system.

One final comment about the ogres: they reminded me very much 
indeed of the Ringworld Vampires.



Subject: Going Batty
Message-ID: <>
Date: 21 Jun 93 10:20:04 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1126

Re: MOB & the Crimson Bat (from

> I'd love to hear the aguments used to convince the Crimson 
>Bat Cultist that they ought to stop over at some other town. "Oh, our 
>folks are weak of body and soul ever since the disentery outbreak. We're 
>hardly worth devouring. You should choose the fat people of a better 
>place to suck the life force from."

The background to the situation was as follows.  As you may recall, 
there were two interlinked Lunar noble families in the campaign - the 
parvenu Raynors and the decadent Whydeds.  The Raynors had just 
launched a minor "dart war" to take over Joranit city when news of 
the Bat came.  The Raynors had to keep order in the city (and pay 
all the back taxes) before the Emperor would recognize their actions, 
and it was implied to the PCs that if the Bat came, the populace 
would probably revolt again, putting collection of the Emperor's 
taxes in serious doubt.

With the red glow on the horizon, the PCs rode out as an official 
Joranit delegation to welcome the glorious crimson steed of the 
goddess - and convince the Bat cult to pass by neighbouring 
rival city Elz Ast instead (meanwhile, Elz Ast were also sending 
a delegation, to convince the Bat of the opposite - to stopover 
in Joranit).

The PC group somehow got split up (can't remember how), but two of 
the more depraved PCs (the eminently burnable unaligned sorcerer and 
an Irrippi Ontor) got captured by agents of the Bat cult out scouring 
the countryside for Bat fodder.  So as not to become Bat Food 
themselves, they said they wanted to join the cult and led them to 
the Elz Ast delegation, who were bushwhacked before they could say who 
they were and then, er, "presented" to the Bat!  The PCs then had to 
go through with it, and were enrolled as initiates of the Crimson Bat!

Meanwhile, the other PCs tried to convince Rob-in, the stuttering 
High Priest of the Bat to go to Elz Ast, but without success.  Not 
even the two new initiates could convince him.  Finally, a plot 
device saved the day, when decrepit old Sir Arapiles Whyded (Jaxarte's 
dad) rode out to meet the Bat, and Rob-in, his old school chum who 
he hadn't seen in years.  They were last seen seated on the Bat's 
back and heading east towards Elz Ast, chatting about the good old 

(In order to leave the cult, you must have served 20 years or be 
permanently crippled.  Both PCs wanted to leave the Bat cult soon 
after joining, and managed to convince the High Priest after Sir 
Arapiles's intervention.  However, they still had to be "permanently 
crippled".  This was accomplished by the Bat licking them into its 
mouth, chewing for a few seconds, and spitting them out.  It was a 
long and slow recovery, even with Healing spells.  The sorcerer 
then had the "little bats" after him for a long while because he 
nicked a crystal belonging the cult).


Subject: Daka Fal Shamans
Message-ID: <>
Date: 21 Jun 93 11:02:17 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1127

>In Jaxarte in TOTRM 5, Raus has a priest in his entourage, who I presume
>is a Daka Fal shaman. No?

Well, yes. I don't know why, but I've always assumed that Daryli Godspeaker,
Raus's shaman from BORDERLANDS was a Daka Fal priest (they were priests
in RQ2).  Long ago when I first played BORDERLANDS, my GM said he was, it
seemed logical, and its stuck.  Now, looking in BORDERLANDS, I note that
Daryli's cult is deliberately made vague.  Maybe Raus, as head of the
family, is the shaman instead?  (Though personally, I prefer the idea
of a family priest who handles that side: Raus is too busy being an
important nobleman).  

Civilized societies do have their shamans too,
they just don't go round with chicken bones stuck through their noses 
or wearing dirty skins...