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From: (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 10 Nov 1993, part 2
Precedence: junk
Resent-Date: Wed, 10 Nov 93 01:24:40 -0800
Resent-From: Shannon Appel 
Status: O


From: (David Cheng)
Subject: Dragon Pass, RunePower & Divine Intervention
Date: 9 Nov 93 18:04:25 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2251


* I think it would be very tough to beat the Lunar magicians 
without the Wind Children & their Sylphs.  I think the 3-player 
scenario is just too tough on the Independents - they begin the 
game flanked, and the Dragon's Eye is just too tough to defend 
if the Sartarites want to take it.  It's just plopped down 
there in the middle of a plain, for heaven's sake...  (But 
there's a reason for this, which is more evident on the old 
WBRM map - he said cryptically).

* I have some radical ideas on how I would change the game.  
I'll throw them out quickly here for discussion.  They have not 
been thought out much, and certainly not tested.

+  Victory = Cities just doesn't work for me.  Furthest is 
'just another Lunar city,' not Glamour by any standard, and 
most good Sartarites distrust them dang 'city-folk' in Boldhome 

   Victory points should come from killing heroes, troops, and 
taking strategic objectives (like sacking the Temple of the 
Reaching Moon).

+  Add an elf unit or two, to be allied by emissary, but 
penalize their combat and magic factors if they leave the 
Stinking Forest.  Let them move thru the SF at 1MP per hex.

+  Add a SF troll unit or two, to be allied by emissary.  They 
would not be as good as Cragspider's 6-6-6's, however.

+  Add some chaos units that could ooze forth from Snakepipe 
Hollow.  The Lunars would probably have an easier time getting 

+  Add emissary counters.  They would ignore ZOC, but would 
still have to move onto the home of the neutral.  Give them 
names and bonuses: ie Redbird the Sage would be a Sartarite 
emissary who gets +1 to ally Cragspider, and/or the Stinking 
Forest Trolls.

+  I'm thinking of deducting a movement point off most units.  
I think the game 'moves' too fast.

+  None of this silliness about flying units getting stuck by 
ZOC.  If you don't want the Stormwalkers smashing the mirrors 
in the TotRM, garrison it properly! (You'll have plenty of 
troops to do so - see below)

+  I've got dozens more in my notebook.  One of these days I'll 
dig them out and try to implement some of these ideas.

* The Big One *
I would totally change the Diplomacy Point game.  It seems to 
me that most of the peoples of the pass would rather fight the 
Lunars.  Especially the Tarsh Exiles!  Who can explain to me 
why the Lunars have the same chance to ally the Exiles as the 
Satarites do!?!  There's even a Tarshite counter that says 
"Moon Haters!"  

This is how I see the diplomatic game:
The Lunars and Sartarites still allocate Diplomacy Points 
(DPs).  Alliances are still handled the same way.  However, 
each neutral has a pre-determined DP modifier.  For example, 
the Tarsh Exiles modifier might be +30 Sartar.  Sartar starts 
the game with 30 DPs already applied to the Exiles, in essence.

The Lunars would _not_ be bidding to gain allies in most cases.  
Instead, they would bid to keep allies from the Sartarites.  
Sartar will inevitably get the Exiles, but if the Lunars dump 
loads of DPs to Tarsh, they can delay the alliance.  The Lunar 
diplomatic game becomes one of "which allies can I afford to 
let Argrath have early, and which ones must I really try to 

To balance, the Lunars get huge unit replacement pools, and 
even more exotic stuff, like Moon Boats, a Yara Aranis counter, 

Sorry to bore 85% of the readership with this, but this is a 
topic close to my heart.  As I've said before, I always like to 
think of how micro issues will affect the macro picture.  I 
think the RQ <=> Dragon Pass relationship is an especially good 

John Medway asks how you stop a character from using all his 
Rune Points on a big stacked-Extension spell, and thus letting 
the spiritual needs of the community go unmet.

As GM, you can't!  A hotheaded adventurer gets lots of 
flexibility to do silly things like this.  But, just like 
intoxication, you pay later with the hangover:

* What do angry worshippers do when they go to their priest, 
expecting magical support, only to be told "sorry, no miracles 
until after the next holy day"?

* What does the god hear in the prayers of his other 
worshippers, the ones you've neglected?

   "Orlanth, you've got to do something about that Siggurd 
Stormson.  He is insulting your glory.  He wasn't able to 
summon up any clouds for my daughter's wedding.  Rumour has it 
he wanted a real long Darkwalk so he could sneak around and 
look in all the keyholes, watching the womenfolk bed down at 
night ..."

* What does the god say when you go to pray for those points 

All these, and more, are arguments for "retiring" PCs who 
become priests.  Their duty to their community is just too 
great to allow them to run around and do silly 'adventurous' 
things with their rune points.

[Yes, there are plenty of arguments like "What about Storm Bull 
kahns, or Humakti?"  I would view these more as exceptions.  
Their 'adventurous' use of divine magic is right in line with 
their place in society, not contrary to it.]

The idea that POW you spend on DI is 'stockpiled' for you, to 
enhance your glory in the afterlife, is kinda neat.  But, 
here's my take.  Ideas borrowed liberally from several 
HeroQuest variants, including Peterson's own.

The gods are barred from liberal interaction with the world by 
the Great Compromise.  Most gods sacrificed all their free will 
to save the world.

The mortal races can effect change in the world, and do so 
freely.  They have free will.

Most mortals get divine guidance on what kinds of change (or 
not) they should be striving for.  This is worship.

By sacrificing POW to a deity, you can call upon that deity to 
affect the world directly.  If the miracle is a structured one, 
right in line with the deity's role/runic association/etc, we 
call it Rune Magic.  Rune Magic is an allowable 'bending' of 
the Great Compromise.

Divine Intervention lacks the strict structure of Rune Magic, 
however.  The worshipper burns off some POW and says "hey, big 
guy, help me out here!"  This intervention by the deity, being 
less structured, is a bigger violation of the Compromise.  To 
allow this to happen, you've got to sacrifice something: that 
being POW.  Without the loss of POW, the god couldn't intervene 
at all.  Otherwise, the gods would be granting their favorite 
servants all sorts of miracles.

This concept also explains why some divine spells are non-
reusable.  Spells that effect a permanent change in the world 
are frequently penalized like this: restoring a lost 
characteristic, striking a foe dead, permanently enchanting an 
item, etc.  The gods aren't supposed to change the world 
directly, and permanent change is an even bigger crime.  Thus, 
the need for a greater sacrifice: permanent POW, one-use.

Enough from me!

*David Cheng /
 Ask me about RuneQuest-Con!         (212) 472-7752 [before midnight]


From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: re: RQ Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 9 Nov 93 06:49:46 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2252

Joerg Baumgartner sez:

>  From what I heard of the cult of the Seven Mothers, they are a 

> bunch of associates magic only.Their  initiates, or those of Yelm 

> the Youth or Aldrya's Wood Children, seem to be initiated to the
> pantheon only, but already receive quite a lot magical benefits. 

This is a pretty good assessment of the Seven Mothers cult, which is  
a highly artificial construct (but useful). Some other cults function  
like the Wood Children -- almost Voria's entire cult, for instance. A  
number of us have been expressing concern about being automatically  
initiated into Orlanth's cult at age 15, because of the POW loss this  
entails, the difficulty in later joining other cults, like Storm Bull  
or Bagog (:)), etc. Perhaps the solution is to consider the early  
initiation ceremony as something like the Wood Children -- not so  
much a full initiation (with POW loss, etc.), as more a dedication to  
society. He'd receive normal cult benefits, except maybe the ability  
to sacrifice for Rune spells. The actual "true" initiation may come  
later, perhaps on a High Holy Day when the initiate has a spiritual  
experience while participating in the rituals. Suddenly his POW is  
lowered and he is enlightened.

Geoff Gunner sez: 

> Sandy talks about Pairing Stone being popular for weddings, thus 

> must have some subtle effect.  Well, why not that people just love 

> the pomp and circumstance, and the chance to make a special 

> occasion *really* special ? Why have everything explainable by 

> magic ? 

I consider such pomp and circumstance to BE magic. But then, I  
believe in magic in the real world. When you put on a witch mask,  
aren't you impelled nigh-irresistably to cackle hideously? When you  
hear a certain banal old song playing on the radio, aren't you  
forcibly, even unwillingly reminded of your first kiss, which  
occurred during that stupid song? When you shout insults before  
charging into a fight, don't you feel angrier? If you're religious,  
you know that praying when you are frightened makes you braver. In my  
opinion, this type of effect is what less cynical societies termed  
"magic". Every Viking thought he knew some magic. He had a little  
charm tied to the pommel of his sword. This kind of stuff is what in  
RQ terms we call battle magic. 

Most of the RQ battle magic effects are really no more than an  
adrenaline rush. Fanaticism, Healing 1, Demoralize; all can be  
explained away by simple tricks and focusing of the mind and  
emotions. Now, obviously all the battle magic can't be explained this  
way (Healing 6 and Disrupt are hard to see as an adrenaline rush),  
but they are only different in quantity, not quality. 

RQ battle magic is simply a more impressive version of what passes  
for magic on Earth, though now it is often debased by being termed 

"psyching out" or "psyching up". Don't get me wrong. I'm no follower  
of Isaac Bonewitz, but whatever the effect is that "primitive" man  
called Magic, no matter how obvious the process might be to us, I  
still think can conveniently be called Magic. 

Stuff like the Pairing Stone, I believe is a more impressive use of  
"real world" magic. For example, I'm a Mormon, and we can either be  
married in one of the fancy Mormon temples, or we can be married like  
anyone else. As it happens, Mormon temple marriages experience  
divorce at about 1/10 the normal American rate. Now I don't think  
that Mormons are any easier to live with than other folks, but the  
temple marriage ceremony IS touching and impressive, and I feel that  
the psychological roots from that experience are long-lasting. The  
"Pairing Stone effect" may simply be something similar. 

Wow! I just read an article in Science News to bolster my theory.  
Researchers studying traditional Chinese families (in California)  
discovered that people born in a "fire" year fare badly when  
afflicted by heart disease. Birth in an "earth" year is bad for you  
if you have diabetes, ulcers, or cancer. "Metal" years are bad for  
lung disease. "Chinese with astrologically undesirable illnesses died  
1-5 years earlier than Chinese suffering from the same diseases in  
the absence of an ill-fated birth year." These effects were  
drastically lessened in non-traditional families, and were absent  
among Caucasians. Of course, this only shows the dark side of such  
beliefs, and I contend it is possible, even likely, that if you got a  
disease that your birth year was "good" for, your chances of survival  
may well be increased. 

Incidentally, what does "whinge" mean? 

To all:

Look, I don't repudiate anything I ever wrote, whether in Different  
Worlds or elsewhere. I just refuse to defend it. (Weasel words, I  
know *sigh*)

johnjmedway sez:

> 1. What ever happened to Androgeus? ( aka Game construct so the 

> 3-player  game can have a Superhero for everyone )

Androgeus goes wandering around Glorantha. In one conversation I had  
with Greg, he contended that in the Hero Wars he (Androgeus) would  
only show up once in Dragon Pass. She spends a lot of time wandering  
around the Hero Plane, too. I've had my players meet some of  
Androgeus' children in my scenarios. 

> 2. How the hell do the independants win the "Dousing the Flames" 

> scenario? ( Historically the "weight of the Lunar Magic proved 

> invincible", and YOW! I'd have to agree with that one, seeing how 

> my collective Beastman-Shaker-Pony butts got kicked )

Beats me. I've never played that scenario since WBRM became Dragon  
Pass. If it's clearly a mismatch, you could try one of the two  
traditional wargamer fixes. {A} give the weaker side more stuff (Sir  
Ethilrist? The dragonewts? Cragspider?) or {B} play the scenario  
twice, once with you as the independents, then again with you as the  
Lunars, and see who won best as the Lunars. 

> 3. What percentage of the total forces of the lunars do the units 

> in Dragon Pass represent? What range in sizes is there between 

> counters?

Unsure what the total percentage is. You could make a guess by noting  
that there is only one Char-Un counter in the Lunar cavalry, and  
realizing that the Char-Un are probably at least as numerous as any  
Praxian tribe. On the other hand, the Char-Un are way far up in the  
corner of the Lunar Empire, and perhaps proportionally fewer of them  
are stationed this far south. At my own rough guess, I would surmise  
that 1/5 of the army faces Sartar, 1/5 is in the Redlands, and the  
rest stationed around the Empire on police actions, to suppress  
rebellion, to watch lest Fronela's Ban end prematurely, etc. The  
counter's sizes are generally around 1000 guys (say 500-2000).  
Exotics are, of course, an exception. Even the Heroes represent more  
than one guy, tho. (Argrath being himself plus his cotery of 100-odd  
followers.) In personal conversations, it has been stated that  
Androgeus is probably "the closest to being a single person of any  
unit in the game". 


From: (David Gadbois)
Subject: Pavis boxed set
Message-ID: <>
Date: 9 Nov 93 07:36:36 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2253

Kevin Knight called to say he has a copy of the Pavis boxed set in
excellent condition.  He is looking to sell it or trade it for a copy
of Borderlands.  Give him a call at +1 (812) 426-7532 if you are

--David Gadbois


From: (David Dunham  , via RadioMail)
Subject: RQ Adventures 2; Block; broos; Holy Country; tattoos; Harshax
Message-ID: <>
Date: 9 Nov 93 20:18:22 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2254

I recently received issue 2 of RQ Adventures Fanzine. This $5 booklet is 36
pages of desktop publishing. The majority is by John Castellucci, with some
Duck information by S.P. Martin.

This issue contains two scenarios, Gloranthan dice games, duck mythology,
the Cult of Quackodemon, a Big Rubble chart, and encounter tables for

The first scenario, "Dreams Dragons Bring," is set in Dragon Pass, and
deals with dragon treasure. "There are no specific cult or nationality
requirements," which I consider a big plus. The scenario seems reasonable
(if linear), and does a good job making Glorantha come alive, with legends,
rituals,unusual plants, and even some Gloranthan swearing. There's a good
map of the Dragon's Eye environs, which unfortunately doesn't agree with
the unpublished detail map I saw at Chaosium. However, there's also nice
detail on the squalid town of Tink.

Both the mythology and the cult are paraphrases (of Troll Pak and Elder
Secrets). Some people will find them funny; I might if they were much

The second scenario, "On the Trail of Quackodemon," is set in Duck Valley.
Assuming the adventurers are already there and aren't hostile to ducks, it
should be suitable for most parties. As a mystery, there probably aren't
enough clues, but since the villain eventually reveals himself, this isn't
a fatal flaw. Again, a good job of making Glorantha come alive.

The chart, Treasure Trove Hurbi, has a good rationale for existing
(frequently missing in treasure maps).

RQA says it's unofficial, and I'd have to agree. But that doesn't mean it
isn't good. While I won't use it as Gloranthan reference material (as I do
Tales of the Reaching Moon), I will use it both for details and
inspiration, even if I don't have a chance to run the scenarios.

Contact RQA at


My players have finally decided to go by the Block on the way to the Old
Wind Temple. (RQA3 is supposed to have Block info...) One question that's
already come up: how far can you see the Block? Given that Glorantha is
flat (and ignoring the scholastic nonsense from Digests of a few months
ago), we suspect it's visible at least from as far off as Sartar.


>From: (Graeme A Lindsell)
>My GM allows a simple DI in this case:
>"[Insert Deity of Your Choice] Save Me!"

I allow this too. It surprised my players when I rolled and succeeded with
two Praxians last night -- they had no idea why they'd disappeared.

> When we played SotBL one of the broos had skin tatoos (MP storage) on
>his chest, and when he died our party Yelmalio decided to get them.

Taking broo skin? What a dumb idea -- everybody knows broos carry disease.
(And even if they didn't, they smear themselves with dung and filth.) I
always enjoy my player's reaction to finding nice magic items on the broos
they killed -- all totally unusable (one of the supplements does explain
how Chalana Arroy priestesses can cleanse items, but it's slow, costly, and
hard to do with organic materials).


>From: (Mark Sullivan -- Michigan Library Consortium)
>The Esrolians always seemed more Minoan to me.

I like this model better than Egyptians myself. "Pharaoh" is a red herring.
He's a foreign overlord, but shouldn't influence the 6 king(queen)doms of
the Holy Country over much.


>From: STEVEG@ARC.UG.EDS.COM (Steve Gilham Entropy requires no maintenance)
>>If you tattoo a 
>>matrix in your skin, is it usable by anyone else?
>I'd say this is *exactly* what the restricted use modifier on 
>enchantments deals with.

I figure nobody's going to want to spend the extra POW to prevent ghoulish
PCs from cutting them up after they're dead.

And this is ambiguous with "the thing inscribed with... the runes must be
destroyed by eliminating all of its hit points" -- a dead person has no HP.

I think my ruling will be that if you're alive, the restricted use modifier
is effective. After you're dead, the tattoo can't be used (without being

>From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
>The Gloranthan Bestiary implies that the skinning of a tattooed matrix 
>IS possible. That's why the Magisauri have the user restriction that 
>onyly they themselves may use the enchantments added to the matrices on 
>their hides.

Ouch! But this isn't inconsistent with my proposed ruling. Without the
condition, you could spend POW to restore the skin's enchantment, and get
10-20 enchantments without having to learn them.


>From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
>After all, you can meet the (presumed) ancestors 
>of the Harshax dynasty today in Sartar. Hats off to Dan Barker for finding 
>a reference even to the tribe they sprang from! 

I missed this. Which tribe (and where's the reference)?


From: henkl@yelm (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: plot/background - Seven what?
Message-ID: <9311092055.AA02881@yelm.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 9 Nov 93 22:55:11 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2255

Orig-From: (Colin Watson)

>"Seven Samurai" and "The Magnificent Seven"; same plot, different background).

Don't forget "Battle beyond the Stars"...


From: henkl@yelm (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: Harshax
Message-ID: <9311092156.AA03107@yelm.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 9 Nov 93 23:56:29 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2256

David Dunham (via RadioMail):

>>From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
>>After all, you can meet the (presumed) ancestors 
>>of the Harshax dynasty today in Sartar. Hats off to Dan Barker for finding 
>>a reference even to the tribe they sprang from! 

>I missed this. Which tribe (and where's the reference)?

The Culbrea Tribe.
Jonstown Compendium #270,173.
Here's the dedication:

    "    M i n a r y t h   P u r p l e ' s   T r o l l   F a c t s 
	 N u m b e r     T h r e e :     T h e    G o d s    a n d 
		 M a g i c   o f   t h e   U z k o 
    As prepared for Lord Harshax, Thane of the Culbrea Tribe of Sartar.

       Edited and with a commentary by Grey Sage Minaryth Purple.

    Completed wind/fertility/fire/1622 S.T., Jonstown Knowledge Temple."

Greg denies any connections.

Henk	|	Henk.Langeveld@Sun.COM - Disclaimer: I don't speak for Sun.
oK[]	|	My first law of computing: "NEVER make assumptions"