Bell Digest v931124p2

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 24 Nov 1993, part 2
Precedence: junk


From: (Mark Sullivan -- Michigan Library Consortium)
Subject: The Block and other comments
Date: 23 Nov 93 18:51:41 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2416

Joerg Baumgartner on:
Would Yelmalions have to get licenses as well?

> The only Yelmalio geas likely to become troublesome is
> "Never let an elf suffer needlessly".

How about "Never speak to or help trolls, dwarves, non-Light worshippers?"
Seems pretty anti-social and possibly down right subversive of the status
quo, after all the Red Goddess isn't a Light cult.=20

And On: Mountains, the universe, and everything

> It would be nice to think of the sky as the upper half
> of a sphere, and the realms of darkness (i.e. hell, or
> wonderhome in trollish legends) is the lower half.

I really liked your idea on the divided sphere.  Sky above, Darkness below,
and Earth/Sea dividing the two.  But if Air fills the void between Sky and
Earth, due to Air's sundering of Earth and Sky, why is there a parallel
half-sphere below?  Air didn't sunder Earth and Darkness.  Still I like
the image too much to give it up.=20

[on Nomads/Sable riders]

> Some more speculation:
> The nobility keeps its young people "different" from the
> other courtiers by sending them to their wild cousins on
> the Hungry Plateau for initiation, say for at least three
> years. Likewise the old and frail will be sent to Two
> Towers City to bolster the mass of courtiers...

> ...Of course there will be traditionalist clans who despise
> their city-dewlling kin, and vice versa

The latter is what I wanted to emphasize.  The difference between the
rulers and their soldier/servants and the unstable nature of the current
compromise of decadent/weak rulers and traditional/strong warrior
servants.  Eventually the rulers will be ousted...=20

Nick Brooke responded to my comments about military organization:

> I'm not so sure. The Dara Happans use tens, I feel certain.

Nick, could you explain why you are certain of this.  Where does
Dara Happan use of ten come from?

> If this can be changed to eights-to-sixteens by the Sun Domers,
> as you point out, I don't see why the Lunars shouldn't whittle
> it down to sevens. You'd get the same increase/decrease in
> flexibility as between real world hoplites, hypaspists and
> legionaries, with the Lunar Army having the most "flexible"
> units.

One reason is that 7 is a prime number.  If your files have seven spearmen
there is no way to evenly divide your files so as to thin the phalanx to
cover more front.  The Romans had definite methods to do just that, as did
the Greeks and Macedonians.  With 7 man files your formation will be LESS
flexible not more.=20

Now if the Lunar formation is LESS flexible compared to the Dara Happan or
Sun Domer formations, I might buy the mythological basis for sevens.  A
less flexible army might be analogous to the change from the manipular
legions to the Marian cohort based legion.  I have read that this caused a
decrease in tactical flexibility.=20

> I enjoyed your thoughts on the corrupt Sable Sultan of Kostaddi,
> oppressing both his peoples; very good for local colour and
> politics. You said

>> All this is merely speculation on my part and has no imprimatur.

> -- Join the club!

Thanks for the welcome!  I do like to try to distinguish between what I
create and what others have done and had become "official" so that when
interpretations are in conflict there is some context for the

> Though I was very happy with a suggestion posted here quite a
> long time ago that Divine Intervention rolls be made on D100
> (or maybe a D10?) against your number of years in the cult=20

I dislike this idea precisely because it rewards longevity rather
than merit or piety.  I think it is much more interesting for the
gods' favor not to depend on a seniority system.  I don't think=20
Rune Lords have or should need a union to help with their DIs.

David Dunham said, re: the Block

> Thanks, Mark! Mt Rainier is about 4.4 km tall, and I could
> barely see that from Othello. So the Block is probably not
> visible from anywhere it'd be obscured by mountains
> (i.e. most of Sartar).

Mt. Rainier has an elevation of 14,410 feet or 4392 m, but that
is its elevation not its height vs the surrounding terrain.  I
interpret the Block to be 2 km tall, i.e. 2000 m from base at
ground level to the top.  I don't know the elevation at the
base of Mt. Rainier so I can't tell which is really taller.
See also my answer to Sandy's question below.

Sandy Petersen re: The Block and Wintertop

> I'm pleased to learn that the Block is 2 km tall and 500m
> on a side.  Can any of the math wizards tell us how far=20
> away it could be seen on Earth?

For the innumerate skip all the following and go to=20

First a quick geometric calculation assuming that:
(1) the earth is a perfect sphere
(2) the diameter of the earth is 12,742 km =D4
(4) nothing blocks the line of sight
(5) there are no effects from atmosphere
(6) Pythagorean Theorem a**2 + b**2 =3D c**2
(7) the Block extends 2 km above the ground

With a =3D maximum distance that the block is visible
     b =3D 1/2 diameter of earth
     c =3D 1/2 diameter of earth + height of block

Yields a distance of 159.65 km.

Second, using the formula for "offing" the distance at sea to the horizon
which I got out of my copy of James Bond 007 Thrilling Locations, Victory
Games, Inc.:=20

Distance to horizon in miles is the square root of (1.5 x the
height of the observer in feet [or in this case, of the object].

The Block is 6562 feet tall; 1.5 x 6562 =3D 9843.
The square root of 9843 is 99.21; hence the Block's horizon is=20
99.21 miles [which for all the klom fans is 158.74 km].  This is
very close to the geometric result.

Thus I claim that the maximum distance from which the Block can be seen
[assuming that intervening terrain does not block the line of sight] is
about 160 km.  So...=20

THE ANSWER is 160 km.

From my old RuneQuest 2 maps of Sartar and Prax 160 km from the Block
includes Swenstown, Boldhome, Jonstown, and Alone (barely). Also from
placement on these maps it looks like all of the above have clear LOS,
i.e. no intervening mountains (well actually Jonstown does look like it is
in a valley.) It appears that large areas of Sartar could see the Block if
the air didn't block LOS.=20

However, I would contend that because of Orlanth's defeat of Yelm and the
displacement of the Sky by Umath, that Air blocks the line of sight.=20
Sight is an attribute of the Sky.  In God Time before the birth of Umath,
sight was not blocked.  One could see in a straight line as far as the eye
could see.  Now the power of eyesight is limited due to the defeat of the
Sky gods by the Air gods.=20

So, how far can one see in Glorantha.  I don't know.  It probably varies
based on the relative strength of Sky vs Air on a daily/weekly/seasonal
basis.  "On a clear day you can see forever"?=20

Pharaoh vs PharOAh

A while back it was mentioned that Pharaoh was misspelled
PharOAh in old articles.  Well the PharOAh is back.
River of Cradles page 7:

"1616 Mysterious death and disappearance of Pharoah;"

                    | |
The Block =3D         | |
                    | |
                    | |
                    | |
                    | |
                    | |
Mark Sullivan       |_|


From: (johnjmedway)
Subject: shields, "help the female players", etc.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 24 Nov 93 05:31:13 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2417

MOB in X-RQ-ID: 2386
>>  David:
>>  >1. How hated _are_ horses? (Would a band of Praxians attack someone just
>>  >because he rode a horse?)
>>  Yes!  (Unless there's more of you than them, you're under the walls of
>>  Pavis, or whatever)

Good. I'm counting on that for a scenario.

Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 2400
>>  VINGA: I had thought that she was just a subcult of Orlanth  
>>  Adventurous. I believe her to be a distinct divine being in herself,  
>>  much like Orlanth's other subcults (Lightning Boy, frex). She may  
>>  also be an old Sartarite version of Babeester Gor (also sometimes  
>>  portrayed as red-headed). 

That got shot down when I mentioned the possibility of a connection a 
while back. Apparently the view was that she was an Adventurer, not an 
Avenger, though I believe Nick suggested that the cult may have originated 
in a defend-the-homestead form, rather than adventuring form.

>>  Sam Phillips sez: 
>>  > I vote for a "Lets help the female players" issue of TotRM. We  
>>  >could try to work out how all the female adventurers and Heroes fit  
>>  >into Glorantha and its cults.
>>  I feel that Glorantha is probably the most accepting of females of  
>>  any roleplaying world made. Look at the various pantheons and arrays  
>>  in GoG. 

Probably so, but ...

>>  Chaos: Females are equal or superior to males in every cult except  
>>  for Thed, since broos are almost all male. 

Not ideal player cults, though.

>>  Lunar: as with Elf, females are not only wholly accepted, but most of  
>>  the Lunar religions worship female gods. Annilla, Arachne Solara,  

There's not much source material for the religions, culture, etc. 

>>  Orlanth: These guys have tons of outlets for females. Not only is  
>>  there an entire earth pantheon effectively barred to men, but none of  

The most interesting area for these women would probably be down in the 
Holy Country, which, like the Lunar Empire, is sadly underrepresented in
background materials.

>>  re: SUNSPEAR
>>  There's plenty of ways to defend against Sunspear. The stupid thing  
>>  only does 4d6 damage, after all. If you're wearing 5-point+ armor,  

Um, ONLY 4d6? Lessee, that's ONLY the same as a Troll hitting a line drive 
with a maul. That's ONLY about as much damage as you take from someone 
charging you with a lance while on a medium-small horse.

charles gregory fried in X-RQ-ID: 2391
>>  Someone (John?) asked about shield designs.  What I did for this one was to
>>  go to the library and get out some books on Greek and Near East art.  A lot
>>  ...
>>  far is a dophin that I pulled off pretty well.  There are some fantastic bull
>>  designs to be found.  Others include Gorgon's head (the Greek gorgon, not
>>  AD&D!), crabs, birds, cups... try it!

Sure, but the question was what belonged on a *Lunar's* shield, or on a Sun 
Domer's, ...

I don't figure many of them have ever heard of a dolphin, let alone seen one.
Likewise, the trident, also popular in Greek art would look out of place. Now
for Esrolians, however...

Joerg Baumgartner in X-RQ-ID: 2394
>>  John Medway in X-RQ-ID: 2387
>>  >RQ Shields:
>>  >I'd prefer a more GURPS-like mechanic, here. In GURPS, a shield adds "passive 
>>  >defense" to several locations, automatically. It is also usable for blocking
>>  >blows. The problem with RQ armor *and shields* is that the system only takes 
>>  >penetration resistance into account, not deflection ability.
>>  Do you have a practical rules suggestion? (I'd be interested in some 
>>  article for Free INT...)

Gimme some time to get it right... 

>>  Replying to Nick's phalanx comments:
>>  >Remember also that much of the role of the leg armor was to ward off missiles,
>>  >a task easily accomplished by a cloth hung from the bottom of the shield.
>>  Fair enough against other phalanxes, I'd guess, but how about thos 
>>  crazed barbarians and their furor? Even if you stand in the middle of 
>>  the phalanx and have buddies to the left and right, would these in any 
>>  way prevent that longsword-swinging naked madman from cutting your legs 
>>  off below your shield?

Nope. You'd be eligible to buy a stake in Gimpy's. However, your peltasts
are supposed to keep those guys under some control, and then there are the 
first few ranks of spear points...

'tis the price you pay for greater mobility - possible immobility, later!

>>  >Would Yelmalions have to get licenses as well?
>>  The only Yelmalio geas likely to become troublesome is "Never let an 
>>  elf suffer needlessly". Any Yelmalio units close to the magicians that 
>>  called down the Moonburn upon Ryst?

I don't have the rules here, but isn't there a geas regarding darkness cults 
and/or creatures? Though the ZZ nutcases are kept closely watched, what about 
Annilia? Xiola Umbar? Argan Argar? These exist in some number in the empire,
and a Yelmalio with any geas regarding them may cause a bit of a problem.

Then again, especially in Dara Happa, it would always be the trolls who were 
blamed anyway.

Nick Brooke in X-RQ-ID: 2398
>>  Tada was a son or follower of Genert (I imagine), and was the leader of the 
>>  Tada-Shi, first human inhabitants of Prax in the Golden Age. In modern 


Chalk up another name to add to the list of Wilm's Church, Swenstown, ...

>>  John Medway:
>>  >> Tarshite unit -- as you'd expect, Heartland officers often abbreviate
>>  >> and refer to their Native allies as "'shite troops".
>>  > Are you sure about that 'e'?
>>  Two nations, divided by a common language...


>>  Spelling and pronunciation with an "e" is an acceptable variant in the 
>>  Queen's English (though I can't recall her ever speaking that particular 
>>  word at our frequent tea-parties), used for emphasis or assonance.

For those of us in the colonies:

Is that a long 'e' sound, or short?

|  |  Landmark Graphics Corp  |  512.292.2325  |


From: (Shannon Appel)
Subject: Gloranthan Authors Wanted
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Nov 93 13:32:07 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2418

Stephen Martin asked me to post the following note to the Digest.
It's been posted in the past to, but apparently
response has been _very_ slow so far.  If you're interested, please
drop Stephen a line!

Gloranthan Authors Wanted!

Chaosium Inc. is seeking authors to contribute to a short story
anthology based around the events of Argrath of Sartar, based upon any
Argrath depiction in King of Sartar.

Interested parties should send a letter of inquiry to the editor to
learn terms, conditions, and limitations to the project. Be as
specific in your letter as possible concerning your ideas, etc.

Stephen Phillip Martin
P.O. Box 272914
Concord, CA 94527 


From: henkl@yelm (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: 8k
Message-ID: <9311240805.AA20035@yelm.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 24 Nov 93 10:05:56 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2419 writes:
>Each installment of RQ daily which I receive is cutoff abruptly at about 8k. 
>Am I missing more thanjust a few words or lines?

As far as I know, AOL offers two user-interfaces, one based on pure DOS,
the other on MS-Windows.  The message limits to either are 8k and 27k...
I guess you're in DOS mode.


From: henkl@yelm (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: The Block and other comments
Message-ID: <9311240813.AA20065@yelm.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 24 Nov 93 10:13:08 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2420

Can you get rid of these '=20'?

>Pharaoh vs PharOAh

>A while back it was mentioned that Pharaoh was misspelled
>PharOAh in old articles.  Well the PharOAh is back.
NO no!

>River of Cradles page 7:

>"1616 Mysterious death and disappearance of Pharoah;"

Can't you read? It says *disappearance*

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