Bell Digest v931204p1

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, Sat, 04 Dec 1993, part 1
Precedence: junk

X-RQ-ID: Intro

This is the RuneQuest Daily Bulletin, a mailing list on
the subjects of Avalon Hill's RPG and Greg Stafford's 
world of Glorantha.  It is sent out once per day in digest

More details on the RuneQuest Daily and Digest can be found
after the last message in this digest.


From: henkl@yelm (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: Graeme's big gorp sorceror's familiar
Message-ID: <9312030905.AA12646@yelm.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 3 Dec 93 11:05:22 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2530

Like the idea.  Hate the consequences...


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Brutality to players
Date: 3 Dec 93 10:04:21 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2531

Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 2506

>Carl-Johan Lundell sez:

>> The last one got a spell absorbtion feature. The BIG problem is  
>>that he is a Storm Bull initiate. What happen when he gets tainted?

>Wow, you're brutal on your players! 3 out of 4 got Chaos features? In  
>my campaign, if a Storm Bull had received a chaos feature, I would  
>have left the decision up to him. Some players would probably have  
>attempted suicide, but others would have left the cult and gloried in  
>their chaoticness. Still others would probably have tried to join the  
>Seven Mothers to gain an understanding of their newly-chaotic nature. 

Talk about brutality. In my non-Glorantha campaign one character 
suffered a successful DI, leaving him at POW 3. Had I given him the 
choice of a random chaotic feature instead, he would have been 
thankful, and would have taken all social stigmata.

Values differ, it seems. Of course Gloranthan chaos is even less 
well-regarded than "generic" chaos, but think of a group of thoroughly 
Lunarized barbarians, and you're not too far from my players' 
characters' (which started from an Alternate Vikings setting) 

What are the values in other groups? Mine would have serious trouble 
with any kind of characteristic loss, less with material or social 
loss, or with dying.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: STEVEG@ARC.UG.EDS.COM (Steve Gilham Entropy requires no maintenance)
Subject: Yelorna
Message-ID: <01H60WTVIU9U006FCV@UG.EDS.COM>
Date: 2 Dec 93 18:22:44 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2532

>can anybody tell me where I can find a write-up of the Yelorna 

In the "Big Rubble" box.  Good hunting.  And Good Luck upgrading 
it to RQ3!


Subject: INora
Message-ID: <_3_Dec_93_14:43:28_A107C9@UK.AC.GLA.VME>
Date: 3 Dec 93 14:43:28 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2534

Sam here
Would Inora not teach the cult skills of skate and ski? ;^)
RE: Sacrifices
A few years ago I wrote a game based on an alternate earth where the
characters were crusaders vs orc like devil worshippers. I stole the RQ
magic system almost in its entirety (Elven magic) but added a whole
list of Sacrificial magic (Mostly evil although the Pseudo-Spanish
peoples used a divine version where they sacrificed chickens and the like).
The system worked by stealing a person's magical power through their bloood.
However, magical power and innocence went hand in hand ie If you lost
your innocence you lost magical power hence children and virgins were
increadibly powerful and were also most favoured for evil devilworshipping
sacrifices. The church also incouraged virginity for obvious reasons. If
lost it could be regained through a ritual re-birth (being "born again") but
this was a difficult process involving divine gifts. Certain barbarians
would also use blood in magical rituals often there own. Certain plants
also had magic power and would be used as Catalysts for certain spells.
The game system itself was purely d6's. I thought it was very original
until I saw Star Wars ;-( *sigh*... Still, the game system worked well
and the sacrificial magic was a hoot. We only played a few games with it
but I plan to dig it out for a re-write. A lot of the above could
apply to RQ rituaal magic. Does a sword of sharpness involve blood in the
Cheers! Sam. x
Not Scotland but Sartar


From: (Geoff Gunner)
Subject: Timelines, Gorp and things that go *phludgge* in the night
Message-ID: <>
Date: 3 Dec 93 15:22:52 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2535

As Colin has made mean work of my counterarguments about God-time, here's
an argument from another angle.

Why not say a heroquest is making God-time Immanent (ie. *now*).  God-time
is the fabric that makes up time.  Before time, the fabric was free to change
it's weft and pattern, and did so repeatedly.  It changed so much it was in
danger of unravelling (the introduction of chaos), so time was created
freezing the weft in it's last state.

On a heroquest, the hero becomes aware of the individual threads that make up
the weft of time, and can manipulate these.  Thus the world can be changed,
gods born, die, or whatever.  To the observer inside time, it appears that
this has always been the case; the observer outside of time can see that
this new reality only occurs from a certain point along the tapestry of time.

There seem to be a lot of other tasty threads (sorry) that lead from this.
It's a reworking of the bundled fibre analogy that we talked about in regards
to magic and summoning.  It also implies that the action of Heroquesting, in
picking about at the weft, is getting Glorantha back to the state where it was
in danger of unravelling.  I can see good ties in with God-learner activites.
Perhaps certain heroquests could be designed to make the weft tighter, shutting
out chaos ?  And what happens when the weft gets really loose ?  Does chaos
creep into the world ?

Over to you, folks.

re: Graeme's Slimestone Gorp ideas.  Nice one about the sorcerer.  But may I
be a spoil-sport and say that the idea of Gorp is ridiculous, anyway ?
ie. the acid capability.  Now, what pH acid would be needed to eat through
bronze plate in a single round ?  Pretty low, I should imagine.  2? 1?
I'm not achemist, but then saying something has 80 pt damage per round is
crazy.  That strength acid is going to eat through rock.  Anyway, gorp acid
should only be effective against organincs - your plate should be unscatherd
by a gorp attack.  And the thing's an amoeba.  A move of 1 ?  (Wild hysterical
laughter in background).  Active attacks ?  (falls off console).
I MEAN, come on.  No, I don't like gorp.



From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: re: RQ Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 3 Dec 93 04:15:01 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2536

Joerg Baumgartner writes:

>It is quite clear that sea traffic to Loskalm was interrupted by  
>[the closing], whereas boat traffic between the islands was still  

The Closing generally only took effect if you went out of sight of  

>[various reasons] convince me of the necessity of Ygglinga and  
>certain Hsunchen tribes coexisting on the Islands.
Makes sense to me. You've certainly picked the right Hsunchen  
(Uncoling, Pralori, and Rathori). The Uncoling and Pralori are, of  
course, related, and generally friendly to one another. 

>Harrek's easy acceptance among the Ygglinga could be seen as a sign  
>of the Ygglingas' familiarity with Hsunchen.
Harrek is an ENEMY of the Hsunchen, and I suspect his acceptance  
among the Viking-like Ygglinga is more a result of his  
bloodymindedness and effectiveness in battle. 

Also don't forget possible relations with friendly, neutral,  or  
hostile mermen and the Ygglinga, plus possible merman inhabitants of  
the lake by Winterwood.

re: Pent

The traditional theory about Pent (held by Greg and myself) was that  
nowadays, most Pentans rode horses and used cattle (say, 90% of the  
Pent tribes are no longer Pure Horse), and that around 25% of the  
Pent tribes have actually adopted storm gods, because of the many  
defeats the Pent nomads have suffered over the years, often at the  
hands of Theyalans. Some Pent nomads figured that their defeat was  
because they were worshiping the wrong gods and by gum they'd better  
switch. Also, they knew the worst enemies of the Lunars were the  
storm gods. 

>Does anybody know more about the Zebras and Pol Joni than these  
>sources tell us?
Yes. But for whatever data I can provide, you'll have to wait till  
after the release of DOOM! Sorry. 

Thom Baguley writes: 

>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).

If only to give the hapless players a break, I've always allowed them  
to repent of misdeeds and get the damn Spirit of Retribution off  
their backs. A Humakti that inadvertantly broke his geas should be  
allowed to repent in some way (chosen by his Sword -- or, if he has  
no Sword in charge of him because he is the top Sword around, chosen  
by Divination). If the Humakti had willingly broke his geas, I'd  
still let him repent, but it would be harder. 

Killing Slimestone

I suspect Slimestone may be a match for a true dragon. Both might die  
in the struggle. Probably worth it, though -- such an act gets rid of  
two dire threats at once (if you consider true dragons a dire threat,  
as do most folks). 


Subject: Snake Pipe and the perils of chaos taints
Message-ID: <>
Date: 3 Dec 93 16:47:08 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2537

Carl-Johan Lundell mentioned chaos features picked up in the Hollow. This 
reminded me of my own campaign there, where one of the PCs picked up a feature
that was not obvious. However, the Storm Khan detected the chaos. Due to the 
fact that they had been friends for many seasons, he allowed his opponent to
arm himself first, but the outcome was never in doubt, and a very short and
very bloody massacre took place. The player of the slain PC, was very 
philosophical about the whole affair, for although he had played his character
for a  many years, everybody knows how dangerous Storm Khans are both to friend
and foe. 


From: MAB@SAVAX750.RUTHERFORD.AC.UK (Mystic Musk Ox)
Subject: anonymous ftp request
Message-ID: <9312031740.AA20226@Sun.COM>
Date: 3 Dec 93 14:20:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2538

Does anyone have any ftp addresses of useful stuff for RQ? I remember
a while ago there was a list, but I don't seem to have it any more - 
it included new cults etc

thanks in advance



From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: Mmmore humbugs...
Message-ID: <9312031653.AA16211@condor>
Date: 3 Dec 93 16:53:52 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2539

David Cheng wrote:
>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.

I'll take this opportunity to say that *in general* I have similar feelings
about time travel. Most fiction which depicts time travel leaves glaring
holes in the plot (which are never exploited by the characters, of course).
It does not lend itself for use in RPGs (because there the characters *will*
exploit those loopholes).

But in the special case of Glorantha I think that time travel is at least
*feasible*. The basis of mythomagic in Glorantha relies on making changes
in the past to affect the present. Ok, so these changes are generally assumed
to occur in GodTime, but I don't see any good reason why changes cannot
be effected in gloranthan RealTime too. The existance of two temporal
dimensions is part of what makes Glorantha unique.

>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. 

The fact that such evidence appears in the background to Glorantha surely
makes time travel more reasonable. Time travel is refuted in the real
world because, if it was ever possible, we would expect visits from time
travellers and strange paradoxical effects such as people appearing in
history from nowhere, or folks vanishing from history because their
past is destroyed. It's apparent that in Glorantha this sort of thing
*does* happen   (Who was that seventh Lightbringer?)  so time travel is
less of a paradox.

>I am perfectly happy using even the hint of time travel purely as a
>dramatic device.

Absolutely. This is how it should be used. Just because I'm prepared to
speculate about the mechanics of time travel doesn't mean that I advocate
players exploiting it on an everyday basis. Quite the opposite.
Methodical exploitation of Heroquesting is dangerous for Glorantha.
Methodical exploitation of time travel would be more so.
Both are best left well alone by sane and sensible people.
(Sadly, most Heroquesters are either insane or ill-informed IMO; even the
best intended plans to "save the world" can result in catastrophe when
mortals dabble in this sort of thing. Best leave well enough alone.)



From: (D.Schubert)
Subject: Shamans and Orlanthi society
Date: 3 Dec 93 07:53:51 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2540

Well, after almost 10 years of being away from Glorantha, I'm running my 
Sartar campaign again. I've been reading lots of backround material and 
have found GoG, Glorantha, KoS, ToTRM, and the RQ-Daily to be of great 
help.  I still have many questions about Sartar and hope for the day 
when Sartar Pack is finally published. Until then I'll just have to fill 
in the gaps.

One question I have that really bugs me is this: what is the 
relationship between Shamans and Orlanthi society? 

	What role do Shamans play in the clan and in the Cult? Do cults have
their own shamans? In the Greydog Inn article in ToTRM #5 a reference is 
made to the leader of the Hillhaven clan, Bofrost, crafty Shaman of 
Umath.  In GoG p18 it states that spirit spells are learned by summoning 
a cult spell spirit via the spellteaching divine spell, as specified by 
the priests. So what role DO shamans have?  I've always pictured Orlanthi 
society as having "progressed" beyond the shaman stage into a larger 
institutionalization of religion with a bureaucracy, priesthood, etc. 
Baboons, on the other 
hand, would still be on the level of the Shaman, not yet having developed a 
priesthood/cult/religion institution.

	Please help clarify this important issue!!!  :-)

David Schubert


From: (Geoff Gunner)
Subject: Glorantha Council
Message-ID: <>
Date: 3 Dec 93 19:06:06 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2541

Joerg writes about getting some serious activity done on compiling RQ material.

I for one would be glad to shove in my oar.  As for what format ANYTHING on
Glorantha should be, it's got to be a straight ASCII text file.  It's most
portable, and if you want something fancy done with it, write an output

As for profits, copyrights, etc, if possible make it free.  As soon as you add
a price, distribution will drop.  If it's price-tagged, no internet, therefore
even lower distribution.  And the aim's to distribute Glorantha material, right?
Spread the word about the One True Way of roleplaying ? :-)

If it's already in publication, then just reference it if it's a substantial
body of info.  Otherwise, what's the copyright on paraphrasing (like getting
an ACCURATE timeline from all the sources ?).

I think that would be a damn good place to start.  A timeline's possibly one
of the most useful bits of reference material out.  Look at the contradictions
in what we've already got.  It would show us what sort of problems are likely
to crop up, how to go about accumulating data, how to edit responsibly, how
to ultimately resolve contradictions, and so on.  Anyone for it ?

And interesting point there about 'Do we need Greg Stafford's approval'.  Yup,
it would be nice, but it seems Greg's trying to get out of being the ultimate
authority.  So why not respect that, and become a *Democracy* (Whoever shouts
loudest, wins) ?

So - what's the other strength of feeling out there ?



From: (charles gregory fried)
Subject: Heroquesting
Date: 3 Dec 93 19:39:04 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2542

Greg Fried here.

My thanks to all those who wrote in about heroquesting.  I feel more or less
ready now to GM a HQ session this weekend now!  Roland (I think you asked
about this), there is indeed a Yelorna write-up, but it is to be
found in the now tragically out of print Big Rubble pack.


From: nrobinso@sirius.UVic.CA (Neil Robinson)
Subject: Encyclopedia and Non-gloranthan RQ
Message-ID: <>
Date: 3 Dec 93 19:45:26 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2543

In X-RQ-ID 2512, Joerg discusses an encyclopedia..
I think it is a good idea.  Too often, I have been unable to find the
necessary information in a timely manner.  I would love to be able to
do a search on the Pure Horse Tribe, for example, and get a listing
of where to look, if not seeing the data itself.

Aren't there full-context search engines out there?  I'd like a hyper-text
engine, but adding in all the links would be a lot of work.  A friend
is currently setting up a simple database, but the entry time is emmense.

I am willing to put some time in to developing, or discussing such
a system (once any potential legal problems are sorted out).
Neil Robinson              | "Never underestimate the power of human    |  stupidity." - L. Long
2996 Dysart Rd. Victoria B.C. V9A 2K2     (604) 385-1642