Bell Digest v930921p3

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 21 Sep 1993, part 3
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.

Send submissions and followup to "RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM",
they will automatically be included in a next issue.  Try to change the
Subject: line from the default Re: RuneQuest Daily...  on replying.

Selected articles may also appear in a regular Digest.  If you 
want to submit articles to the Digest only,  contact the editor at

Send enquiries and Subscription Requests to the editor:

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


Subject: Shamanism, Spirit plane, rules, etc.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Sep 93 14:50:40 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1755

> From: (Colin Watson)
> Subject: Bound shamans; spirit weapons; Goat Riders; ecology rant
> I thought this plot-device might make the bones of a reasonable RQ scenario:
> - Tribal Shamans are going Missing In Action when they discorporate.
> - The PCs are called on to investigate.
> - Clues lead to the revelation that some nasty sorceror has discovered how
>   to summon/bind discorporate shamans.
> - The PCs are sent to Sort Out the sorceror, free the bound shamans & destroy
>   any research records which are found.
> - If successful, the PCs are heartily rewarded buy the shamans' tribe(s).

I must admit, I like this idea. It is a good point about shaman spirits having
other stats too. If wraiths and such can, surely shamans should.

The spirit weapons idea is interesting (I would prefer to call them spirit combat modes), I too am unsure though. Of course much of this could be
done using spells, but at least it splits it amongst a number of stats so
that most characters will have at least one decent score to work with. Leaving
it all down to POW, as it is now, is even easier to gross out as you have only
one stat to maximise. I think it is worth investigating the potential of this
idea for a while.

Perhaps these could be rationalised as spells which can only be cast by
discorporate spirits. Conventional spirit combat would become a special case
which all discorporate spirits can use instinctively. Then the special
attack of wraiths and such would just be their own specialist attack mode
instinctive to them (What if a shaman could get hold of a spell which
alowed the caster to attack like a wraith? ... Nasty!).

> Is it too corny or what?

Yes, but if it works, who cares? I think it might be knocked into a usable
system. It just needs a bit more thought. Perhaps we need to get back to
basics. What do spirits want to achieve, what are their conflicts about?
Then figure rules for it.

BTW I prommised my GM I would pass him my copies of the daily, I think I might
perform a bit of judicious editing here and there. My shaman character is
having a bad time as it is. :-)

> From: (Colin Watson)
> Subject: One bound spirit + fries; to go...
> Donald Wilton talked about how his healer was transformed into a PowerPC
> by using a huge amount of cash to buy enchantments etc.
> In earlier posts (during the resurgence of the Sorcery debate) people
> talked about Sorcerors with rich parents being able to buy bound intellect
> spirits and such. .... This all sounds a bit unlikely to me.

I have though about this in my own campaign. The way I see it, every PC
sorcerer or shaman I have ever seen has personaly created a handfull of
matrices, binding enchantments, etc, as well as other enchantments. Presumably
other sorcerers and such do the same, and have been since time immemorial.
What happens to all this stuff? Much of it may end up in the hands of a
powerfull few, but most will be passed on as heirlooms to favoured offspring.

As a result I now give starting sorcerers and shamans in my games a few items.
So far as commercial magic items go, these things are unlikely to have been
made simply to sell but have just ended up that way. Perhaps an auction would
be the best way to handle this. It would certainly be more challenging than
a private deal. It would also be a great way to introduce NPC mages.

> From: STEVEG@ARC.UG.EDS.COM (Steve Gilham Entropy requires no maintenance)
> Subject: Dorastor & suicidal tendancies
> So where do we go from here?  I might personally use AD&D2 as a 
> Glorantha system as that makes PCs a bit less brittle (as someone 
> commented recently, Glorantha has an ecology fit for heroes - in 
> that case I'd also like it to have a mechanic that allows it).
> But, hey, what about Ars Magica?  That's politically correct 
> enough, surely, although it does cover the relatively high-tech 
> (compared with Sartar & Prax) 12th and 13th centuries, has 
> cheaper supplements, reputedly has the brittle PCs that many folk 
> seem to thing a good thing, and sorcerers no more powerful than 
> those of RQ3.  The Shaman supplement looks like it has many of 
> the things recently discussed here.   All that'd be neeed would 
>  be to bolt on the cult/rune-magic mechanics

I have a lot of sympathy for this point of view. I have said before on this list
that the Ars Magica Shamans suplement is a real beauty. I am preparing a new
Gloranthan campaign myself. I plan to use the ELRIC! game system, with a
personalised version of RQIII spirit magic, cults and rune magic. I will
probably scrap the RQ sorcery system and wing it for effect. I will use ELRIC!
because it uses the same base stats and has a very nice swords & sorcery
feel to it. Chaosium is realy coming up with some outstanding game systems
and supporting material nowadays. Both Call of Cthulhu and ELRIC! are very
smooth, sophisticated games. RQIII seems tangled and unwieldy in comparison.

>  From: scn/G=Neil/I=NA/S=Harold/O=Siemens_plc/
> Subject: Are all Telmori lycanthropes?
> I hope I'm not asking a previously answered question, but is
> Dorastor now out in the US only?

No, I bought a copy in Esdevium games a few weeks ago in Aldershot. I think
Virgin Games on Oxford street had a few copies too.

About Telmori : Little did us poor unsuspecting mortals guess, but there is in
fact a group called the pure strain Telmori who were not cursed and have
to use divine spells to assume wolf form. The implication in Dorastor is
that the cursed Telmori loose controll of themselves and go on the ranpage when
they transform on wildday, so they can't use this for their own rational

I have to end here, sorry about how huge this is, I just realised.



From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: hooves; 'orrible rulesy stuff.
Message-ID: <9309201622.AA03863@condor>
Date: 20 Sep 93 16:22:45 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1756

Greg Fried:
>Talking ducks?  Walking octopi?  Is there no room for sheep mounts in

Hmm, I think perhaps there is. long as they're at least SIZ 30+...
...with iron wool
...and perhaps a Chaos feature
...or three.

(I dunno 'bout the Ducks, but I take walking octopi *very* seriously.)

Chris Cooke:
Lots of interesting questions. I'll attempt some answers but I can't be
certain that everyone will agree 100%. There's certainly some room for

>Why is armor so expensive yet spells so cheap?  At 30 + 15 per spell point
>Heal-6 is only 120 but good armor is at least 10 times that.  Ok, outside
>your cult it's 100+50/pt=400 or am I missing something? (Costs from Apple
>Lane I think)

I guess the answer is that armour is difficult (costly) to produce. (A large
chunk of the Medieval European economy was supposedly geared toward producing
armour for knights; hence the de-forestation of Europe to stoke the furnaces
to smelt the iron etc...). In bronze age Glorantha I guess that plate &
chainmail also take a lot of time & resources to produce.  (Mind you, they
didn't have Form/Set Metal in Medieval times :-)
Spells, on the other hand, take relatively little time & effort to teach
hence the teachers don't have to charge much.

>How high can they teach?  4?6?12?

You can't "know" more points of spirit magic than your INT. Other than this
I don't know of any limit to RQIII spirit spell size. The biggest I've seen
published is 16 points (which was pretty gross). Bear in mind that, in theory,
you have to battle a spell spirit to learn a spirit magic spell. I haven't
seen a good guide to how powerful such a spirit should be. (I've heard 1D3 POW
per point of spell, my GM used to use 1D6 POW per point! Hence "learning" big
spells can be tough). Does anyone know what happens of you *lose* this combat?
Will a cult spell spirit possess someone it defeats?

>Do they have to have the spell that high to teach it as such?

The "teacher" has to provide a spell spirit for the student to battle.
Shamans do this by discorporating & wandering the spirit plane in search of
a spirit. Priests use the ritual Divine spell "Spellteaching", which summons
a cult spell spirit of the appropriate type.

>Is spirit magic taught by the cults at a percentage or is that only for
Sorry, I don't quite follow that one...

>How many strike ranks does BladeSharp-2 take to cast from a spell
>matrix, 1SR or 2?

Using a spell matrix works just as if you knew the spell yourself, so it takes
the same length of time to cast (DEX SR + points of spell).
Bound spell spirits & magic spirits are a different matter. They cast the
spell for you, using their own POW. We've debated long and hard about how long
it takes to make bound spirits cast spells... I wouldn't like to say.

>Do shammanistic types need a true Shamman(or spell spirit)
>to learn spirit magic or can they learn it at a temple?

Generally this is a cultural thing. Primitive types wouldn't, as a rule, deal
with temples. Besides, a temple won't teach magic to anyone who is not
an initiate or strongly affiliated with the cult. Priests tend to be picky
about who they'll deal with. However, it's not unknown for a primitive to
"see the light" and join a cult. There has been some discussion in the Daily
about the likelyhood of someone joining a cult just for the benefits...

(Apologies to anyone who is offended by the use of the word "primitive" above).

>If a sorceror's Treat
>Wounds spell hastens normal healing - why doesn't it speed up the purging of
>poison from the character's system(i.e.  cure poison)?  or help disease run
>it's course faster(cure disease)? or can intensity be manipulated to do so?

It's just the way the spell works. Treat Wounds only affects damage to specific
locations. As a house rule we allow Regenerate to repair damage to general
hit points (poison, drowning, general burns etc. that can't be Treated).
RQ diseases are really nasty. Even after the disease has run its course the
points of characteristic don't return. You need Restore Health (which would
be expensive 'cos it's one-use Divine magic). Or train the stat up (unless
it's INT or POW).

>And for the stupid question of the day, why is chaos so wrong and what makes
>it so different(better?  worse?)  from pure evil?  

The only problem with Chaos is that a lot of folk don't like it. );^>



From: (Brian Forester)
Subject: New GM starting Gloranthan campaign, Temple oRM thoughts.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Sep 93 19:00:49 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1757


        The last time I played RuneQuest was back in 1983.  I have only vague
memories of that campaign, mostly of the lunar occupation of the sartar and 
the death of my character.  I guess you could say that I am a RQ opostate.
Two things brought me back into the fold: the RQ (Gloranthan) renaissance 
and having to deal with the excesses of our AD&D campaign.

        Things like Wyrms Footnotes, Cults of Prax, Cults of Terror, etc. have
almost a mythological status for me.  I have heard lots about them, but I
have never seen one.  I have always wanted to run Gloranthan campaign but 
never felt that I had enough information to make it work.  With the latest 
releases in hand I have decided to launch a new campaign.

        Which leads me to the fact that I am introducing a bunch of
long term AD&D players to a new system.  Worse, this group seems to tend
towards "powergaming" (e.g. one of the player characters is an elven
magic-user/druid/thief with enough magic to arm a small nation).  One
of my goals is to get the group involved in a cultural and mythological
setting instead of being culturally neuter entities whose only goals are the
personal accumulation of power.

        Their introduction to Glorantha consisted of getting out the 
"Dragon Pass" map and counters and briefly describing the various races 
and cults/cultures in the area.

        Well, it might not have been the best of introductions because
one of the players immediately latched onto the idea of playing a 
minotaur (named Red Horn) from Beast Valley.  After some thought I decided 
to let him run the beast.  I see him becoming a sort of Storm Bull parallel 
to what Mello Yello is for the Yelmalio cult in Sun County.  Does even the
Storm Bull cult have its standards?  Given the biases that could be present 
would they allow such a creature as a minotaur as an initiate or does the
fact he is a minotaur have special significance to other Storm Bulls?
        Anyways, rumours of war have reached his ears and he cannot agree
to his compatriots studied neutrality.  He's off to kill those chaos loving

        Another character is an ex-lunar noble, actually a refugee
from a terribly disastrous "dart competition" who may still have some
Heartland nobles gunning for him.

        My biggest decision at the moment is trying to decide when to
start the campaign.  I am very tempted to start it in 1602 with the
sacking of Boldhome.

Some thoughts about Temples of the Reaching Moon:

Disclamer:  All of the following is based on my rather limited knowledge
of Glorantha.  Please point out any glaring errors or even differences
of opinion :).

        The establishment of a Temple not only extends the Glowline but 
affirms the control the Red Moon has over the Middle Air.  Through this 
control she is able to reduce the severity of Valind's winter winds.  This
is true for the heartlands, I don't remember any references of this being
true for Tarsh (brief aside, The milder winters probably saves more lives 
the Crimson Bat destroys, although admittedly freezing to death does not 
destroy your soul).  Such a temple nearing completion would precipitate 
a battle between the sylphs (and other forces that worship orlanth) that 
inhabit the Middle Air with whatever forces the Red Moon uses to enforce 
her control.  Has anyone given any thought to what might entail the 
establishment of a Reaching Moon Temple?  My first thought is that it
would entail some sort of heroequesting.  Isn't the glowline a change in
the current ordering of reality?  And affecting that change in reality
would require heroequesting?

        Brian (


From: (Tim Westlake)
Subject: Where is soda?
Date: 20 Sep 93 19:08:10 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1758

OK, having heard of the delights of the archieves on, I 
am now trying to get to it. Can anyone tell me the IP address?


| | "The reason God was able to create  |
|       |  the world in 7 days was that he    |
|-------------------------------|  didnt have to worry about the      |
| I am not a free man, I am a   |       installed base."              |
|          Resource!            |          - Enzo Torresi             |


From: (charles gregory fried)
Subject: RuneSeduction
Date: 20 Sep 93 20:38:04 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1759

Greg Fried here.

Good work, Chris!
It's always good to hear that the heathen can be brought into the fold.... 
SOunds like you formed a nicley balanced group, with a varienty of narrative
hooks to get them into their characters and context.  As far as further
adventures, I would say, allow the interests you see your players developing
to guide you to the next scenario.  If you must, 'force' them into a scenario
you feel comfortable with, but then try to give them reasons for going that
fit with the still-fragile connections they are making with their characters
and cults.
-- Matrices only do one thing for you: they free up your INT for other
spells; otherwise, they work the same as the spells.
-- I would not allow a shaman character to gain spirit spells at a temple,
unless he for some reason has VERY close relations to that cult.
-- I use the old RQ2 system for spell prices: 50 for 1 point, 100 for the
second, 150 for the third, etc.  BUT -- you must buy 1, then 2, then 3; ie,
Healing 3 costs 300 (healing 6, 1050).  I also have a system for making it
hard to get a lot of points of stacked spirit magic, but that's another
story, one that I've gone over here before, so if you want it, write to me
BTW, how do the rest of you price magic items if PCs wan to sell them?  I
make POW crystals very valuabe: 1000 per point.  BUt the problem here is that
then most tougher opponents are going to have crystal to back up their POW,
so after any victory against anyone of note, the PCs are going to be very
rich.  Hm.  How about matrices?  About 500 a point?  Yes?  No?
Here's another game question.  If an opponent has Countermagic up, do you
just have to guess how many points ar up in it, or do you get a sense after
you cast a spell against it that fails?
I would say that the answer to the question you ask depends VERY much on the
spin YOU put on the relation of specific cults in your campaign.  I would
say, turn this question to your advantage by making your players role-play
their cultic affiliation issues.  So, for example, I would think that an
Orlanthi who switches to Seven Mothers would almost certainly get womped on
by cult spirits of retribution.  But if the same Orlanthi becomes a Chalana
Arroy follower (who was after all a companion Lightbringer), I would make the
player role-play this shift very closely.  If s/he can make a good case that
works for the priests/esses, then all should be well.  Think of this as a
sort of mundane heroquesting.  After all, why shouldn't a character have
several important cult affiliations?  Priest of two god?  No.  Acolyte of one
god, initiate of several others?  Yes!  After all, that's what polytheism is
all about -- exploring and participating in nyumerous masks of the gods.  So
long as the character can juggle all the material and spiritual obligation
s/he thereby incurs, this should only add to the narrative depth of their


From: (charles gregory fried)
Subject: another idea
Date: 20 Sep 93 20:49:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1760

One more thought.  When you give new players treasure, either give them small
items, like one spirit magic item, or give them an item of more power but
that requires them to get more involved in their cult and take on important
obligations.  FOr example you could put a greatax in a trasure for the
minotaur character, one with a Trueax matrix which can only be activated if
the wielder is follower of Storm Bull and takes it to the Block to fight
Chaos. Otherwise, good treasure tends to move the characters in the direction
of powergaming (I'm thinking of the campaign cited by Donald where suddenly
rich characters buy huge ammounts of spells and spirits!).