Bell Digest v931204p2

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 2
Precedence: junk


From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: Divination
Message-ID: <9312031807.AA18756@condor>
Date: 3 Dec 93 18:07:47 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2544

David Cheng wrote:
>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.

I'd prefer to think of it as "sensibly-worded" rather than "sneakily-worded".
Such care only has to be taken with temporal information; Time-independent
knowledge should be easy to glean. But remember that you're dealing with
an entity that has no sense of Time.

>I think the gods are very aware of the concept of time.

Yes, they are aware of the concept of Time (with a capital "T"; ie. mortal
Time which was the result of the Compromise) but they have no practical
experience of it.

>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.

Well, I was under the impression that in GodTime the gods have free-will
to do anything within their power. eg. Humakt can chop you up if he feels
like 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:

I don't like the max-7-word answers either (but I do like confusing
visions). Like I said before, I think the rules are an abstraction of the
actual process of divination. The player asks "Where is Olaf now?"; but
I assume the character (Priest) has to be a lot more careful about how
he goes about asking otherwise the God wouldn't understand the question.
The rules abstract this process. It's this translation which removes
the certainty of the result.
There are few things more unbalancing for a campaign than cast-iron,
guaranteed accurate, 100% correct divinations. If you make temporal
divinations hard, then this helps to balance things (and you have a
good excuse for it too).

>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

I agree this far...

>* (roughly) how often you call upon him for rune magic

Exactly how often you will ever call on him for rune magic for your
whole existance (even for the Time you haven't experienced yet).

>* (more exactly) the times you've called for Divine Intervention, 
>  and especially the circumstances in which he answered.

Not the times, but only the circumstances.

>* whether you're alive or not

Whether you have lived or will live. (Not entirely useful info:-)

>* if your beliefs have turned against the god

This is a tough one. Personally I don't think the god can read your mind
unless, perhaps, you're communicationg with him. eg. If you pray to him he
may sense your guilt; but if you avoid all interaction then he should be none
the wiser (unless some other worshipper informs on you).
Of course, if your change of belief causes you to violate his domain then he
will know of it. This is where spirits of reprisal come in...
[I'm very much open to persuasion on this tho]

>(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.

The ideas A-D were somewhat hypothetical. If a player asked such a question
in my game I'd probably give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that
his character would have sense enough to phrase the Divination sensibly.
Then I roll the bones, and if it fails I give him a suitable obtuse
response :-)
Thom Baguley wrote:
>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.

I considered a similar argument myself and it seems valid enough to me.
If you want to give the gods an implicit understanding of "now" for the
purposes of Divination then that's fair enough. However it gives diviners
access to a *huge* amount of information which could have potentially
catastrophic effects on a scenario (in my group this is known as a "Scenario
Knackerer"). There isn't much excuse for it failing either, so watch out!

>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.

I assume than Divination somehow gives the caster perception into GodTime
which allows sensible communication with the Diety. The God doesn't know
which point in time the question is coming from, but the caster obviously
does. The God gives a response and the caster takes it back to RealTime.

>Similarly for any other Divine Spell.

Depends on how you think Divine magic works. I don't see it as a "call to
god" to which the god responds creating the effect. The simple fact that
some spells are temporal makes this apparent.
I think Divine spells are more like contracts between the God & worshipper
wherein the worshipper is given limited control over part of the god's
domain (which can be invoked at any point in time) for a short duration.
My only problem with this is that it suggests that you could cast a
spell before you had sacrificed for it and the god wouldn't notice the
difference provided you sacrificed later! <;-S

>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.

Here and now and *for the next fifteen minutes*?



From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: Heretics
Message-ID: <9312031815.AA19007@condor>
Date: 3 Dec 93 18:15:57 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2545

Joerg Baumgartner:
>I'm not so sorry to introduce non-Glorantha RuneQuest proposals into 
>this list. I'd like to see more

Me to. I definitely support widening the discussion.



From: (Carl Fink)
Subject: Swords and Slimes and everything nice
Message-ID: <>
Date: 3 Dec 93 10:29:27 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2546 writes:

>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.

  Except that the Humakti funeral rite involves breaking the 
warrior's sword and leaving it on his grave . . . .

Graeme Watson writes:

>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.

  That was me -- and I *said* hundreds of them, if not thousands.

  The Create Familiar spells require a non-resisting target.  If *I* 
were the GM, you'd never affect the Slimestone Gorp.



From: (Rune)
Subject: GM's Hall of Shame!?!
Message-ID: <>
Date: 4 Dec 93 06:31:11 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2547

       I guess I'd better confess -- I'm the one who wrote "The GM's
Hall of Shame" that Graeme Willoughby recently reposted. What a shock!
I have no idea how it got over there -- the only place that the ASCII
version was posted was in a few local (Massachusetts) BBSes, to the best
of my recollection. The original appeared in _The Wild Hunt_,

       Some friends and I actually made a video out of it, about a year
ago. Some folk have found it pretty funny -- I hope I'm not betraying a
confidence when I say that Greg Stafford said it was "worth watching
(once)". 8^>} If anyone would like a copy, drop me a line.

Peter Maranci                                      Malden, Massachusetts     or     or
"Hey! Your Tien fell in my Atyar!"  "Well, your Atyar got in my Tien!"
Thanatar -- two great Chaos Gods that go great together!