Bell Digest v930914p1

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 14 Sep 1993, part 1
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Sender: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM
Precedence: junk

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: (Carl Fink)
Subject: worlds, spirits, world-spirits
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Sep 93 22:04:42 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1636 (Colin Watson) writes:

R>This is a question that's bothered me for a while: What can a Priest do
 >about possession? Say, he is covertly possessed by a spirit; can the Priest
 >do *anything* about it? It seems (in RQIII rules) only shamans can perform
 >exorcisms. Does the Priest have to crawl to the nearest tame shaman?

R>The same question goes for sorcerors too. I can't imagine sorcerors
 >consorting with shamans (or vice versa), but I guess they'd have to if they
 >got possessed.

  Well, the easy thing is to summon a healing spirit to evict the
possessing spirit.

staats@MIT.EDU (Richard C. Staats) writes:

R>The world is lozenge shaped I thought, i.e. bulges out at the center.
 >That way, you have the same effect you do on a spherical world.

  Actually, see _World of Glorantha_.  It's _concave_, leaning _down_ to
Magasta's Pool.  If a ship doesn't use oar or sails, it slides downward
until sucked into the Pool.


From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Carry On, Columbus
Message-ID: <930911120456_100270.337_BHB46-2@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 11 Sep 93 12:04:56 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1637

Columbus Mercartor raves:

> In order to prove this I plan a great journey of circumnavigation
> around the world.  Once I find an agreeable captain, the boat shall
> set sail from Nochet and travel east, only to appear at some indeter-
> minate time in the west. Many sailors fear that they would sail off 
> the edge of the world, despite my assurances.  But when the ship
> undoubtedly appears again on the western horizon, its mast will be 
> seen first, not because light "bends" as Clement Longhair would have 
> it, but because the world is round, not flat!

You are *mad*. Stark, staring mad. What will have happened, if your ill- 
conceived expedition does indeed return as you expect, is this:

As your captain (hopefully accompanied by your good self) sails beyond the 
Eastern Empire of Vithela, he will be caught up in the great encircling 
current of Sramak's River and *swept* around the far North of the world 
(where the River flows beyond Valind's Ice Palace) to reenter it along the 
Banthe Current. Thus he will have sailed off the Eastern edge of the world, 
around it widdershins to the North, and reentered from the Western edge. If 
his crew have successfully fended off the offended Altinae, Hollri, and 
other denizens of the Northern Edge of the Outer World, that is.

Alternatively, you could set your course along the Sky River, sailing up 
through Heaven itself to descend by the far side of the Sky Dome. Though in 
view of your heresies against True Light, I fear your course would be 
rudely interrupted by Star Captains incensed at your blasphemous rantings.

Light clearly "bends", tending towards its heavenly home. Rays of Light are 
akin to arrows or javelins. And the path of an arrow or javelin plainly 
curves downwards -- down and not up because the arrow is of a gross 
material substance and not of celestial light. An arrow enhanced by 
Speedart tends more nearly to the horizontal -- that is, adopting a flat 
path (I make this clarification because you, Columbus, would presumably 
assume the horizontal path to be curved!) -- as it is charged with more 
Light energies.

Even Dormal only sailed as far as Luathela. Your hypothetical captain would 
undertake a voyage many times as lengthy, and for what reward? Your own 
Academic renown? Your madness has taken you beyond the bounds of reason. I 
weep for a fellow sage sunk so low, and cannot help wonder what Sin against 
Knowledge brought the Brain Flayers to your cranium. Yet all the same, I 
wish you luck in finding a captain mad enough to take you and your fervid 
scribblings beyond the Eastern Edge of the World, never to return. With any 
luck, you could be departed before the Matriarch's Guard unman you for 
heresies against Our Broad-Bosomed Mother of the Four Corners.

	-- Carpocrates the Orthodox, Sage of Truth

Interesting Spirits

I am rather taken by Greg Fried's "interesting spirits" which affect the 
personality of their "binders", and by David Dunham's proposals for simple 
Personality Trait rules to reflect this. Both seem to be Good Things, 
tending towards a more animist view of Spirit Magic. Both also harmonize 
with my opinion that the Spirit Magic casting chance should be based on a 
relevant Personality Trait, rather than POW. If I ever write good rules for 
these, I'll be sure to let you know.

David Dunham writes:

>> Tosti Runefriend ("He's got a big fetish"), the well-known Viz 
>> character. 

> Well-known? (I did add all the Dragon Pass people to my Big List of
> Personalities, but I don't know anything about most of 'em.)

Probably nobody does unless they make it up for themselves. I asked Greg 
about the Dragon Pass counters a few years ago, and learned that little was 
known about any of them. But that capering loon Tosti has always endeared 
himself to me -- the most useless man in the Sartar Magical Union (I don't 
count jumpin' Flash Jak and his nomad Pol-joni friends).

Almost as sad a case as Aristos the Philosopher ("I used to be famous, you 
know..."), the entirely-forgotten Independent Master of Magic.

One of these years I'll write up my Brown Eagle Warlocks scenario - just as 
soon as I work out what's in it...



From: (Pete c/o Tom Yates)
Subject: Gloranthan Basics
Message-ID: <9309111556.AA27691@Sun.COM>
Date: 11 Sep 93 16:00:03 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1638

* Chris Cooke wrote:

> the most daunting aspect to getting started is the HUGE amount of
> information available.  My solution was to just keep it simple.  

	That's a bloody good point, and one I'd forgotten. RQ is
in some ways an extremely daunting system; the mass of history
available is probably more than any newcomer to the system would
feel comfortable with. 

	That doesn't mean that there shouldn't be more Gloranthan
material produced, but perhaps while everyone is talking about
RQLite it wouldn't be a bad idea to think about some Glorantha
Lite, too.

	When I started playing Glorantha, the other players just told
some of the basic information about the world: Storm Bulls as 
berserkers, the Waha battle cry, vegetable Elves and omnivorous
Trolls...a sort of oral first-grade primer of Glorantha. If they'd
dropped a mass of books in front of me I'd probably have decided
that RQ and Glorantha were too much work -- and that was back when
Cults of Prax and Cults of Terror were the only non-scenario
supplements out. Nowadays that stack would be considerably higher!

	All this material and information about Glorantha is great,
but I'd say more thought has to be given to introducing new players
to Glorantha/RQ. One way to do that would be to issue some good but
simple adventure supplements, *without* the now-standard section
of history and area information. 

	On the other hand, there may not be much point. I can't
think of a single way to induce new players to try RQ; posters
and publicity don't seem to work, though the Invisible God knows
that Avalon Hill hasn't really done much in that area. Even
TV commercials would be ineffective, I suspect -- though if anyone
has solid information about that, I'd like to hear about it.

	No, I suspect that the only way to bring new people into RQ
is to have them join already-established RQ groups. Which means that
those who read this Digest, for example, would have to make a strong
effort to recruit new players -- a sort of "novice rule" situation
(the "novice rule"  of the IFGS LRP organization requires at least
one inexperienced player participate in every game -- I don't know
if it's enforced).

	But that would be extremely difficult to do. Can anyone
think of any other way to expand the base of RQ players?

Peter Maranci                                          Malden, Massachusetts      or      or
"Hey! Your Tien fell in my Atyar!"  "Well, your Atyar got in my Tien!"
Thanatar -- two great Chaos Gods that go great together!


From: 100116.2616@CompuServe.COM (David Hall)
Subject: Random Comments
Message-ID: <930911193608_100116.2616_BHJ27-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 11 Sep 93 19:36:08 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1639

Howdy all!

Praxian Nomads
I talked to Sandy Petersen about this when I stayed with him. The 
impression I got was that Prax is the holy land for the nomads, most (85 - 
95%) live in the Wastes. Every 14 - 21 years a clan will visit Prax in 
pilgimage, as a part of its nomadic wanderings. 

The nomads who were at the Battle of Moonbroth were from some of the clans 
that just happened to be in or near Prax at the time. Other clans in the 
Wastes might have different views on the Lunars. A common view would be not 
to worry since the Lunars will most likely be gone the next time they visit 
Prax - like most other invaders. 

Nomadic tribes can eat their own tribal animals. However, they much prefer 
to eat other tribes animals - which they steal. For a warrior to marry 
requires a bride-price of another tribes animal, and only those warriors 
who have stolen animals from each of the great tribes may join the clan 
As Lewis pointed out, things are slightly different with Rhinos. 

Sandy's plan for Praxpak involved the PC's being initiated into a clan that 
was on a pilgimage to Prax from the Wastes. 

I reckon David Scott is right and Ralzakark is a part of Nysalor (or 
Gbaji). I suspect the other Ralzakark is too, and Vostasador the 
Replicator. Which part they are may explain their nature and motivations. 
Ralzarkark is no doubt collecting other parts. Maybe he'll put himself 
together one day - but will he have all the right parts? 

Arkat was Gbaji - he was the Deceiver. At least that's what the worshippers 
of Nysalor say!

Harrek = The Wolf Bear?
Hmm... strikes me as being too simplistic. Harrek is probably more likely 
to sack the shrine of Dorasta rather than save it! 

The uncharted European market

I'm not sure it really exists. Even if it does, they mostly don't read 
English, and so either the English language sales will be small, or the 
foreign language rights will only make AH a pittance. AH's foreign language 
deals are not very lucrative.

There are foreign language editions of RQ in France, Germany, Spain, 
Finland and Japan. However, I hear that the edition in Germany isn't 
selling too well.

The great uncharted market is the USA.  

Convulsion '94
We're now 50% full, and we haven't yet done any mailshots outside of Tales. 
If I were you I'd book up now!

The Eye of all Seeing Wonder
Contact Dave Morris at:

1 Rusham Road
SW12 8TJ

Issues cost UK pounds 2.50 in the UK, 3.00 outside. Dave was only accepting 
subscriptions up to issue #2. Issue #1 came out in Autumn 1992, and so far 
there is no sign of #2. 

Judges Guild
Does anybody have a copy of the old Judges Guild Citadel of Fire book? I 
think it was for D&D.



From: (charles gregory fried)
Subject: Spirits 'n' Such
Date: 11 Sep 93 20:30:41 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1640

Greg Fried here.

Anyone understand what I was on about yesterday?  God, I can barely make it
out myself!

Spirit combat, etc:
Nick agreed with my lamentations on the impoverished realm of the spirits;
David thought that spirit combat is rare enough that we ought not to bother
with more involved rules.  A reasonable point, especially if you play in a
more advanced-culture campaign.  But I have shamans as PCs, and the like, and
the culture isn't even bronze age -- it's paleolithic/neolithic.  I would
reaslly like more involved spirit-rules, at least as an optional modular

SO how to improve spirit combat?  I have no formal ideas yet (other than
those mentioned before), but I think I would start by allowing other stats,
such as INT and CHA (erg! not APP!!!) figure into what makes a 'spirit'. 
Yes, I know, disembodied spirits don't have CHA, and some don't have INT, but
to me, that would mean simply that they would have less options.  So, instead
of just attacking with POW vs POW, you might be able to attack an oppenent's
INT, and make him forget a spell for a while, or lose his orientation (like a
Befuddle); or, vs. CHA and overawe him for a while, a kind of entrancement or
charm.  This might lead to various kinds of spiritual 'weapons', that could
be learned like material weapon skills, and would require a minimum STAT to
perform, also as do weapon skills.  Such rules would also help answer Colin's
question about whether priests and sorcers can exorcise spirits, and the
like: certainly they would learn rituals to use the appropriate spiritual
weapon to accomplish the exorcism, but this would probably be the only
'shamanic' skill they would have.  Just some thoughts -- I'd to see them
expanded upon with a real rules system.  But I guess the preference is for
'Swords and Sorcery', not 'Sticks and Shamanism', and so we put all our RQ4
effort into the sorcery system, and not into the spirit world.  Ah, well.
You know I want to hear how the seduction goes.
Thanks for the points about the European RQ market.  Apologies AGAIN!  Still
... I continue to wonder if AH has any strategy on such things!  It
doesn't seem to have one!
I appreciate your concerns about the procedural squabbles that erupt here
from time to time, and it is indeed distressing when people with a common
interst so arcane as ours cannot manage to be civil with one another over a
GAME.  BUt I think the rules/lore split will occasionally, and necessairly
cause some friction, if for no other reason than that new subscribers come
aboard and raise an issue new to them, which old hands may have gone over
once or twice or more before.  So, I guess we should just grin and bear it,
Neither of your solutions seems quite right to me, although if I had to
choose, I prefer the latter one: that the Glowline is caused by overlapping
circle radiated out by each temple of the reaching moon, and whose
scope depends on the temple's size.  A good idea, but the maps of the
empire I have seen just
do not make this seem credible to me.  Rather, it just looks like the
GLowline reflects the Empire's stable sphere of domination; each temple to the
reaching moon simply confirms the stability of that dominion when it is
completed.  So the Glowline reflects a simple political boundary, and
the temple, the glowline, and the political reality are all tied in
together and inter-dependent. 

GF out.


From: (Paul Reilly)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 11 Sep 1993, part 2
Message-ID: <>
Date: 12 Sep 93 00:03:43 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1641

  About Light, Nick writes:

> The central idea of which (light striving upwards) ...
>Of course, casting Farsee to "energise" your 
>vision would therefore increase line-of-sight, regardless of the "false 

  One of the ancient Greek theories of vision (Aristotle?) was that people
shot some kind of particles out of their eyes, which hit things and reported
back, rather like radar or Darksense.  Farsee would then work just as
Nick describes above, 'energising' the vision particles...

- Paul

PS:   I must act as translator for another note from Clement Longhair.

  My esteemed (by the Lunatic fringe) colleague Columbus Mercator continues
to promulagate his "Round Earth" belief.  I shall respond in three parts
to his arguments.

  1. Our most ancient records describe Glorantha as a bubble of order, 
randomly formed, in a sea of chaos.  It is clear that in such a bubble,
the weightiest element (Primal Darkness) will descend to the bottom, the
Hell of Subere.  Above this is are layer of Darkness attenuated by Earth
and Water (the Styx and suchlike) which make up the Underworld known to
shamans, Heroes, and necromancers.  The spiritual shells of the dead,
weighty with sin, descend to the Underworld, ultimately to be devoured by
Subere, while the true soul, freed of this weight, ascends to the Sky World.
The mortal world is a flat layer at the exact middle of the bubble; this can
be seen by mere inspection of the visible Sky Dome, which is form a
hemisphere.  The lighter elements of Air and Moon vie for the middle spaces
of the Upper World, while the Flame Eternal lights the Sky World beyond
the Dome.  Innumerable sources attest to the truth of this picture, which
is also consonant with Reason.  I shall append a list of these sources
below. [Translator's note: the list is too lengthy to translate.]

  2.  Mercator's description runs as follows:

"The shape of the earth *must* be spherical.For every one of its parts 
has weight until it reaches the center, and thus when a smaller part 
is pressed upon by a larger, it cannot surge around it, but each is 
packed close to, and combines with, the other until the reach the center.  

  Note the logical flaw here, apparent even to a child: my colleague
presupposes the existence of a center, which draws everything to itself.
He posits that things fall in the direction of this center.  But we can
perform a simple test: let two plumb lines, weighted with na-metal, be
carried some distance apart.  If there is such a center then the lines will 
both point in its direction, therefore converging.  But wherever we carry
such lines, they remain parallel, pointing straight down.  Thus we conclude
that things do NOT fall toward a center, but instead toward one Direction,
called 'Down', designated byt the Celestial Court (in their wisdom) as that
direction toward which the heavier elements should tend.  

  In any case, the center of the world is well known to be Magasta's Pool.
Does my colleague presume to tell us that things here in Genertela are
falling south, while those in Pamaltela fall north? 

  3.  Should the world be a sphere as Columbus Mercator supposes, then would
not the greatest navigator of all time, Dormal the Sailor of our own beloved 
Kethaela, have returned to report this `fact' to us?  He has not, therefore
I believe that the cosmography attested to by all _reliable_ sources, which
tell of Sramak's River rather than some strange bending, is correct.

  However, I do not oppose and in fact encourage the journey proposed
by my colleague.
[T. note:
>In order to prove this I plan a great journey of circumnavigation around the
>world.  Once I find an agreeable captain, the boat shall set sail from Nochet
>and travel east, only to appear at some indeterminate time in the west.]
  I feel that this journey would not only settle the argument but relieve
the world of the weight of one who speaks without the true light of
Reason to inspire his words.

 - Clement Longhair