Bell Digest v931001p2

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Fri, 01 Oct 1993, part 2
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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From: (charles gregory fried)
Subject: more on cult affiliation
Date: 30 Sep 93 16:39:12 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1882

GF back again, with some more thoughts on cults.

I'm afraid I forget who it was, but someone made some good points about how
it's reasonable to think that most people get initiated into the worship of a
pantheon of gods, not into the cult of a single deity.  This certainly accords
with my sense of religious practice in ancient Greece, or even modern India. 
There WERE, or ARE, special devotees to certain gods: Odysseus had a special
rleationship to Athena; Hindu militants in contemporary India get worked up
about the god Ram.  In RQ terms, many of the PC types would be just this sort
of special devotee to a certain god -- an 'initiate' in RQ terms.  But s/he
wouldn't HAVE to be....

So what would this initiation into a pantheon imply in game terms?  Perhaps a
broader, but less certain and more 'expensive' access to divine magic, for
one thing.  I can think of two models off hand from Homeric literature.  A) 
Before undertaking some action, you sacrifice to the appropriate god, say, to
Poseidon if you plan on a sea journey.  Perhaps an initiate into the
'Orlanth' pantheon, knowing he was going to fight broo, could sacrifice to
Urox and get a one use Face Chaos, or the like.  B)  You're already in a
pickle, and you appeal to the appropriate god, promising great
sacrifice later.  In RQ, this might mean getting a rune spell through
divine intervention, that is paid for with POW and big contributions
later to the god's temple (or suffer attacks from spirits of
reprisal!). (Note: propitiatory intiation into a cult like Malia
already works somewhat like this.)

The question is, of course, how broad is the scope of your pantheon?
In KoS, the Orlanth Pantheon includes some 125 deities!  There are
sub-pantheons in meta-pantheons (eg, the Earth goddesses in the
Orlanth pantheon).  Should there be rules for these nuances?  How
about this: as an initiate to a meta-pantheon, you can only get
one-use divine magic.  As an initiate in a sub-pantheon, your rune
magic can 'evolve' with you (as was discussed here in the example of a
Voria girl who becomes a Barbeester Gor follower).  As an initiate to
a particular god, you get to use the RunePower system, whereby you can
cast any of your god's divine magic with the Rune Points you have

All this makes me think: Did Stafford initially envision cult
participation in the way that it functions in the present RQ3 game
system?  Or is the-initiate-of-one-god thing a game-system accretion?
In contrast to everything I have said above, there may be something
special about the gods in Glorantha that DEMANDS the sort of radical
one-on-one identification of cultist and deity.  One thing that pops
into mind is that the gods of Glorantha (most of them), because they
stand outside of Time, need worshipers who will embody them and act on
their behalf.  Casual worships like those I describe would supply the
god with needed POW, but would not serve as reliable proxies for the
god in Time.  Still, I think this can work with the idea I presented.
Most worshipers serve to support a temple and supply the god with POW;
only a few serve as true avatars of the deity.  Comments and flames?

GF out.


From: (Godzilla's Home Boy)
Subject: chaos, Lunars, and others
Date: 30 Sep 93 10:58:47 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1883

I have heard from a friend of Greg Stafford's and confirmed myself, that
the LBQ is the creation of the multiverse. chaos gods exist in the matrice
between the cosmoses, of the omniverse. Elric and Glorantha exist in
relation to each other. Every GM is expected to alter the rules, to make
it work for him or herself. With this, the GM and party make a new
universe. There are oo -1 Gloranthas out there.  where's yours? :)