Bell Digest v931203p2

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, Fri, 03 Dec 1993, part 2
Precedence: junk


From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: Mmm... humbugs
Message-ID: <9312021344.AA11554@condor>
Date: 2 Dec 93 13:44:42 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2516

Geoff Gunner wrote:
>re: Colin Watson's model of God-time as perpendicular planes - Not So !

No, not perpendicular planes but *perpendicular dimensions* which describe
a *single plane*.

>If your model was true, then you could only enter god-time at one point.

I disagree. Assume, once more, that RealTime is the X direction; GodTime is Y.
Usually mortals are only concerned with the X coordinate of their time-vector.
The Y coordinate is undefined. Non-HeroQuesting mortals have no will or
perception in GodTime and wander blindly and ignorantly through it (just as
Gods have no free-will and limited perception in RealTime). I reckon that the
HeroQuest ceremony sets up the Y coordinate and defines the "arrival point" in
GodTime and fixes the direction of the vector (thus giving the Hero perception
in GodTime and the will to affect things). (How this actually works I'm
not sure; for the moment we'll call it magic:). When the Questing finishes,
the hero's perception of his Time vector naturally tends to snap back into
it's original X-only direction, resuming where it left off.

>But you can enter it on any point.


>So the model only holds if there is 'time' in god-time.

Quite so. (But this is a basic premise, not a derived conclusion.)

>Which there ain't.

This is where I have trouble. If there is really *no time* in godtime then
nothing can happen there. No events can occur. Nothing can change. The
gods could not *do* anything.
The myths all describe the actions of the gods before Time so I assume
that there was some subjective time in which to perform these actions. Ok,
it's not the same as mortal Time (RealTime), but it's still time (with a
small "t"). Change requires time.

>So god-time is more like the page that you've drawn your vector of time on.
>No matter how long the vector, still only one page.

The page is the plane described by the two temporal dimensions, RealTime &

>Anyway, you can't compare the two as they aren't of similar qualities.

They only seem different because we're not used to more than one temporal
dimension. Just like a fourth spatial dimension would seem bizarre. I think
comparing GodTime and RealTime is just like comparing length with width.

>And this business about 'time _TRAVEL_' - travel implies movement though a
>medium.  If you want to travel spatially, you have to move through the spatial
>dimensions (even if you jump).  So why shouldn't the same be true for time
>travel ?  So imagine the consequences - travel forward and you'd be like a
>statue for the next n years to all curious bystander.

True if there is only one temporal dimension. But if you have two or more
temporal dimensions then you can cheat by "stepping around" the future.
Thinking spatially: one spatial dimension is a line. If you want to move from
A to B on that line you have to pass through all points between (this is
analogous to the statue problem with time travel which you noted above). If,
however, you have a second dimension which you can move into then you can
step sideways from A (moving off the line); move parallel to the line for a
while; then step back onto the line at B. As far as the one-dimensional plebs
on the line are concerned, you just teleported!
Using this idea with temporal dimensions you get classic time-travel ala
Bill & Ted, Terminator et al.

>Back would be a bit of
>a problem as you could't enter the spatial area where you started your journey
>from, because you would occupy it up to the moment when your journey started.

This is exactly the problem of time travel in the real world, where (to my
knowledge) there is only one temporal dimension to play with.
My impression of Glorantha is that it has (at least) two temporal dimensions
which make time travel feasible (but still rather hard).

>Bah mint humbug.  So it's looking at things too technically.  Well, why not.
>Where do you draw the line ?  Saying 'it's magic so there's no explanation'
>is godawful for a player.

Yeah, I agree, this should only be the last line of defence.


From: (Thom Baguley)
Subject: Heroquesting
Message-ID: <9312021421.AA03151@Sun.COM>
Date: 2 Dec 93 14:19:56 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2517

>From: (charles gregory fried)

>So does this sound right?  What should I include?  What kind of reward
>could the ritual opponent in such a HQ earn?  What would the troll's
>weaknesses be?  How can I make this most fun for the players, while at
>the same time true to the spirit of heroquesting and RQ?

>Thanks all!

>-- GF out.

I think that the troll priest may be a little out of his depth. Didn't Kallyr
(an accomplished heroquester) fail on the LBQ? Given that the trolls lost the
original encounter I would give the PCs a good chance to screw up the ritual. I
would make it hinge on the behaviour of the PCs if they emulate their god(s)
behaviour/values without (too much) prompting I would make interesting things
happen ...

As for a reward immediate POW gain rolls would be the minimum depending on how
they perform ...



From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: re: RQ Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 2 Dec 93 03:29:27 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2518

Geoff Gunner sez:

>Sandy says that: if someone had a spell cast on them from behind,  
>then they'd know which direction the spell came from.
>Why ?

*snif* I only meant they'd know that the spell came from behind, as  
opposed to from the front, not that they'd know the exact compass  
direction. You're so mean, Geoff. ;>


From: (David Cheng)
Subject: Time Travel & Divination
Date: 2 Dec 93 16:32:04 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2519


I feel a great need to add my 'bah humbugs' to Geoff Gunner's.  The whole
time travel thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  One of the many reasons
RQ appeals to me so much is that it is explicitly stated that even the gods
cannot affect time.  Thus, the weenie powergaming excesses are quashed.

When I first heard the theory that perhaps some of the demigod-like beings
at the battle of Castle Blue were actually heroquesters coming back in time
to influence the past, I immediately didn't like the whole idea. 

I am perfectly happy using even the hint of time travel purely as a
dramatic device.  See Staffords writeup of Queen Leika Ballista's quest
into Snakepipe Hollow:  at the Duke of Disorder's dinner banquet, the more
glasses of water drank, the longer Leika and crew would be away from the
mundane world, by a factor of hours/days/weeks (WF #14).

While I have absolutely no idea what the hell was going on with this
adventure, this bending of time as dramatic plot device struck me as kinda


I am very uncomfortable with Colin Watson's ideas that you need to use
sneakily-worded questions to get useful info out of your deity.

Here's my take:

I think the gods are very aware of the concept of time.  It is the prison
which they are all constricted by.  Before Time, they had free action.  To
save the world, they grudgingly accepted to give this up.  I might even say
that all of the God Plane is bound to a timeline now too, but I'll probably
catch plenty of flak for it.

My ideal guide for divination is the way it is presented in the CoPrax
Biturian Varosh story.  When he needs guidance, Biturian spends a few
points of Divination and asks Issaries.  Issaries doesn't send him
confusing visions, or arcane max-7-word answers; he just answers the
question!  See the Chalana Arroy chapter:

Must I undertake this dreadful expedition?
	No, but you've got your Lightbringer obligations to live up

Relating to what the gods know about their worshippers:

The way I see it, your god knows these things about you, and not much
* what you tell him through prayer
* what others say about you through prayer
* interactions you've had during ceremonies, or heroquests
* (roughly) how often you call upon him for rune magic
* (more exactly) the times you've called for Divine Intervention, 
  and especially the circumstances in which he answered.
* whether you're alive or not
* if your beliefs have turned against the god

With a bit of effort, the god could probably figure out where you are,
_roughly_.  He does have the magical 'initiation-link' with each 
worshipper.  This is not an exhaustive list; I'm probably forgetting a
lot of little things.

(I've just gone back and re-read Colin's post).  I agree with the
second half a lot.  I'm just not too big on ideas A-D, as presented.


A belated kudos to Joerg for all the effort he's put into expanding
our board-gaming possibilities.  Those hex maps must have been a real
bear to develop.

More later,

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


Subject: RQ Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 2 Dec 93 17:07:54 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2520

Peter Michaels here.

>From: (Sandy Petersen)
>X-RQ-ID: 2460

>re: Dolphins in Glorantha
>The Oslir river is immense, and has dolphins, like the Yangtse and Amazon
>on Earth. There are even civilized newtlings that use the dolphins and other
>large water-beings to operate small craft.

I thought the Lunar Empire had killed all intelligent life in the Oslir.  Or
am I misremembering something? 

>She is a winter spirit closely related to Himile, and is the goddess of
frost >-- the Snow Queen, if you will. In Prax, Inora is viewed as just
another >powerful spirit to be contacted for her benefits. In less arid
country, she is >regarded as a malign entity to be propitiated. I imagine
that SOMEWHERE in >Glorantha she has an organized cult, but she's pretty
minor. She shows up in >Yelmalio's Hill of Gold quest as an enemy to be
endured just before the >chaos  
monsters come. The spell she teaches at shrines (and to the Praxians) >causes
all the ground within range to be frozen, and the plants to be >covered with
frost. When the sun comes up, this rapidly melts and everyone >enjoys the
moisture. In Sartar, her spell causes the equivalent of an ice >storm, and is
quite aggravating. 

The _GoG Prosopaedia_ states Inora is the goddess of mountain top winter, and
is worshipped in the Orlanthi, Praxian, and Troll pantheons.  I came up with
the following *UNOFFICIAL* cult: 

Inora is the daughter of Himile and Kero Fin, and a half sister to Orlanth. 
She  is the mother of Valind, after having been enslaved by Vadrus.  She has
no great love for her son.  After Vadrus was distroyed, Inora returned to the
protection of her father Himile.  Her cult is small, with the vast majority
of her worshippers being trolls and ice demons who live on the mountain tops.
 Her runes are cold and earth.  Her special divine magic includes the spells
Earthchill, Snow, and Trigger Avalance.  Shrines teach Earthchill.

rthchill/1 point/Ranged, Duration 12 hours, Stackable, Reusable 
 Causes an area of soil or rock 50 meters by 50 meters square to decrease in
temperature by 5 degrees Celsius.  Each additional point either increases the
area by another 50x50 meter square or lowers the temperature  by 5 more
degrees.  In Prax this spell is used to create frost on the ground for

Trigger Avalanche/1 point/Ritua
l (Summon), Stackable, Reusable
 This spell must be cast on the body of a mountain which keeps snow on the
top all year long, somewhere along the path the distruction is to take.  Each
point in the spell gives a cumulative 2% chance of starting an avalanche. 
Several priests can add all their spells together to increase the total
chances for success, though all must also succeed in their Summon ritual
roll.  The actual avalanche may be delayed for several hours after the
casting of this spell.  The size of the avalanche and its effects are
determined by the Gamemaster.

Peace,     Peter


Subject: Humakti swords.
Message-ID: <_2_Dec_93_17:11:25_A1154F@UK.AC.GLA.VME>
Date: 2 Dec 93 17:11:25 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2521

Hello from Sam
I take it that what was said about Humakti swords being taken to the
afterlife doesn't apply to enchantments and matrices ie Bladesharp.
These stay behind with the physical weapon. Yes? I have a warrior's
son who may be in line to inherit his father's sword and I am
assuming it will keep the spell matix...
Cheers! Sam x.


From: (Thom Baguley)
Subject: Killing the Slimestone Gorp
Message-ID: <9312021747.AA05865@Sun.COM>
Date: 2 Dec 93 17:45:44 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2522

>From: (Sandy Petersen)

>Slimestone does 80 points of acid damage to those who touch it. I  
>suspect it may be unkillable. Maybe a Moonburn could do it.

... or powerful exotic magic of the Dragon Pass variety. I also think that
Sever Spirit of sufficient relative power would do the trick (though it might
have to be through some powerful death aspected spirit). I think in principle
that the primary death magic of Humakt should be able to kill any living thing.
Of course, in practical terms Sever Spirit would be rather unlikely to succeed
(unless you managed to drain the gorp's MP somehow as someone suggested.



From: (Thom Baguley)
Subject: Humakti Geas
Message-ID: <9312021803.AA09290@Sun.COM>
Date: 2 Dec 93 18:02:11 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2523

Sandy writes:

>I think it's up to the GM in question. However, traditional Celtic  
>tales about geas-breaking would appear to be on my side -- the geas  
>is like a natural law -- if you break it, the curse follows, whether  
>or not you intended to do so.

>I also submit that Humakt's nature as a Truth god indicates that he  
>is primarily interested in the result, not in the intent. I have  
>always played Orlanth and similar honor-oriented deities as concerned  
>with your intent. If you meant to do well, and failed, you can still  
>be honorable. However, truth-oriented gods like Yelmalio I have run  
>as being concerned only with the actual facts of the matter -- if you  
>lie, even with the best of intentions, you are still a liar and bad.

A good argument. I'll reconsider. What about the act of repentence you
mentioned. RQ seems to have neglected this aspect of religion ... For some acts
no repentence should be possible, but for others I would be inclined to allow
the possibility (e.g. for inadvertant geas breaking).



From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: sacrifice
Message-ID: <9312021733.AA29955@condor>
Date: 2 Dec 93 17:33:59 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2524

Pam Carlson wrote:
>let's not forget that we ancient Scandinavians sent quite a few unfortunates
>to Odin. I've also heard tales of Celts, wicker and fire.

The Triple Death was sometimes used by Celts for sacrifice. The victim (often
a volunteer) was drowned, strangled and impaled with a spear at the same
time. To make things humane they would be stunned on the back of the head
first. Delightful.
I've heard that it was suposedly a great honour to be sacrificed in such a
Leaders would sometimes be sacrificed if times were bad. (Maybe the Celts
had the right idea after all.)

One selection process used to determine the victim was the ritual of the Black
Bannock. (For those who don't know: Bannock = cake/scone). Several bannocks
would be baked; one would be deliberately burned; the person who took the
black bannock would be sacrificed. Sometimes the black bannock was obviously
burned and a brave volunteer would take it on purpose. Sometimes it was
only burned underneath, so it was more of a lottery...

This ceremony was cunningly incorporated by my GM into a game of RQ: the
PCs all new how the thing worked because we had witnessed the sombre ritual
earlier in the campaign.
We were on a pseudo-HeroQuest to find a gateway into hell. (This is a
continuation of the dragon-tale which I recounted last week, remember?).
Ok, after we'd sneaked past the dwarves who guarded the entrance we came
face to face with Death. He invited us to dine with him in his gloomy halls.
And on the menu for dessert were (you guessed it...) bannocks.
He passed the plate around and looked on expectantly.
It was a tense moment as we drew lots to see who would get the burned
I drew the short straw...
But the result was not an instant sacrifice (or so it seemed). I was
invited to duel with the Guardian of the gate to hell (a faceless armoured
warrior with a big sword). The terms were simple: if I could kill him with
I single blow then I could pass. If not, he would slay me with a single
At this point I began to suspect what was going on.
We futilely racked up a huge number of spells on my weapon; asked the
Guardian to kneel & remove his helmet (with which he complied. Hmm worrying);
and I took a mighty swing at his head. 40-odd points of damage later his
head was still in one piece.
Now it was his turn.
I stood and faced the music.
Whoosh-CHUD went his sword as he cleft my skull in twain.
I fell dead.

The rest of the PCs were in poor spirits as they trooped out fo the halls
thinking that we had all failed.
But my spirit survived; and I'd completed the necessary ritual to enter into
hell... ie. I *had* to die.
After that the rest of the adventure was a walk in the park. The Quest
culminated with me resurrecting my own corpse and gaining the power of
resurrection for my cult (which I've regretted ever after).
It was a fun game.



From: (Thom Baguley)
Subject: Time and Divination
Message-ID: <9312021841.AA16577@Sun.COM>
Date: 2 Dec 93 18:39:47 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2525

>From: (Colin Watson)

>This is an interesting point. If we accept that the Gods have no concept of
>mortal Time (which seems fundemental to the nature of Gloranthan Dieties) then
>divinations like the one above cannot be answered simply.

Or maybe it can. Try this:

The god is linked to all his/her initiates. In order to respond to divination
the God has to zero in on the Divining Priest. This is done by follow the spell
link back to the Priest. When the God does this he or she zeroes in on the
appropriate time frame. The compromise means that when the God (or God aspect)
does this only knowledge from that time frame is available. The God then
singles out whatever is in his or her realm in that time frame e.g. for Orlanth
this would be Olaf or a storm.

If your argument were correct then on casting Diviniation the Priest might get
a response at any random time e.g. two seconds after birth, rather than the
here and now. Similarly for any other Divine Spell.

Provided the Priest casting the spell is located in the right time frame (which
he or she is) then locating the here and now is easy.



Subject: more about gorp
Message-ID: <9312022019.AA08703@Sun.COM>
Date: 2 Dec 93 20:17:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2526

Hi all,

Tis Graeme again about the big gorp.

Someone mentioned using small spirits and getting 01s with them.  Unfortuantely
Slimstone has such a high POW that it regains 1 magic point per 4 minutes (or
so) which is 20 rounds - the sprits succeed in attacking it once per 100 rounds
for 2 points (on average) so it you need at least 3 spirits attacking
continuously just to start reducing its magic points - at a rate of 1 point per 
20 minutes (yawn) - even if you don't allow it to counter-attack it'll last
over 100 hours!  I certainly would give it the chance to counter attack once
it's been attacked - you'll need hudreds of them.

Someone else mentioned luring it away with food irresistable to gorp - if you
tell me what food is irresistable, I'll try it!

Geoff Gunnar mentioned using a line of fires - how big fires are you talking
about - I might give you 6d6 SIZ fires - 21 points - it smothers the fire out
after the first round - good damage though - you only need 30 or so to do the
10% damage to send it away for a while - it might even work
as long as you managed to lay the fires out along it's path.

Other interesting ideas:
How about Platewalker (or telmori) in were-form - will the acid affect him
then?  Maybe not but he is in great danger from being suffocated. (as is anyone
who doesn't die immediately from the acid)
Get a "friendly" dream-dragon to breathe on it a few times.  Finding one
agreeable to this may be a problem.

A True Dragon would probably be able to eat it up, but talking to these is
getting into HeroQuesting in a big way, which I wasn't thinking of when I asked
but is looking more necesary.

I'm beginning to believe Sandy when he says that it's beyond normal players -
even Rune Masters, except for this thought?

A sorceror can cast create familiar int on the beastie (if you can find a
sorceror willing to lose their INT), she then uses all of the gorp's magic
points up and a humakt waiting in the wings severs its spirit.  The only (ha)
problem is, since you have to touch a familiar to give it the characteristic
how does he avoid the damage?  Well If I knew that I could tell it to the Storm
Kahn I mentioned in the first posting. 

This gives me ideas on why Slimestone is wandering around.  Perhaps it *is* a
sorceror's familiar.  He came on it when is was dormant (estivating or
hibernating or whatever) gave it a point of int (apparantly you don't have to
overcome magic points) and is using it to get even with someone (take your pick
in Dorastor!).  Various people in the past may have tried this out - which
accounts for the other times Slimestone has gone walkies - but the've died/been
killed before they did much (well you know what I mean).

The problem is now, how do we locate and terminate the sorceror?  Only slightly
easier (especially if he's got Slimestone's MPs to draw on), but at least a
Sunspear will be significant against him.