Bell Digest v940120p2

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, Thu, 20 Jan 1994, part 2
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Precedence: junk


From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: re: RQ Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 19 Jan 94 04:31:32 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2834

WOW! Great Con, Dave! Congratulations. No doubt other Digest writers  
will expend praise on RQ Con, so I'll stop with saying that Friday  
night's CoC seminar was the best I've ever seen. It was packed with  
people who had clever, incisive questions, and who were polite enough  
to laugh at all my jokes.

Colin Watson sez: 

>I thought the Lunar anti-storm stance was the result of circumstance  
>(ie. the Orlanthi cause trouble for the Empire so the Lunars don't  
>like Orlanth) rather than general inclination. 

There's mythic reasons, too. Both sects vie for control of the Middle  
Air. Also, the Red Goddess specially chose Orlanth to be her enemy,  
of all the gods. In addition, the fact that most Lunar citizens are  
from an anti-Storm society probably exerts influence. Don't forget  
the Icebreaker cult -- the most overtly anti-Storm act they do.0

>Wouldn't Lunars exploit storm magic like any other type of magic if  
>they got the chance?

No doubt. But they don't really have the opportunity. The only  
acceptable "storm" god is Molanni the traitress. The Lunar elemental  
gods (the Young Elementals) conspicuous lack any Air/Storm aspect. 

anti-archery spell:

How about a ranged Ignite on the bowstrings? It would put the kibosh  
on firing any arrows. Even if the fire was put out right away, the  
string would be weakened and probably snap. 

BOWSLOW. This spell's name must be altered to SLOWDART. In my  

Dave Dunham asks:
>Are real world arrows less effective than they are in the game? Are  
>shields or armor more effective against arrows?

Shields are extraordinarily good vs. arrows. Even the samurai of  
Japan used shields against archers (only). In addition, I suspect  
massed arrow fire as you gallop by is less than accurate. One known  
defense against horse archers is to break up your formation -- the  
mass-target that they were aiming at is now no longer present and  
most of the arrows miss. 

The players in my own campaign soon learned to hold their shields in  
front of their vitals as extra armor whenever archers opposed them.

The question is: what defeats horse archers? Historically, I believe  
the answer is fortifications and light or medium cavalry.

Allan Henderson disagrees w/me re: Morokanth: 

>I believe that the Waha covenant will apply more stronly than  
>breaking it to be considered only a faux pas. In Borderlands there  
>is a description that morokanth put a herdman than may be a person  
>out to live on grass for a week if they thrive then they eat them,  
>if they don't then presumably they convert then to herd men and then  
>eat them. The important point is that they change them to herd men  
>first. The borderland write up of morocanth is very good.

You have misread the point of the Borderlands test. It is NOT  
undergone to find out if a person is edible or not! The text clearly  
explains that the morokanth do this in order to detect spies posing  
as herd-men. If you wanted to make sure the morokanth knew that you  
were a real human, all you'd have to do is talk. Remember, the  
morokanth slave-herds are so slow-breeding that they can rarely  
actually eat their herds, so pretending to be a herd-man is a pretty  
safe way to conceal yourself amongst them (Morokanth speak Praxian,  
so you don't need to learn a new language). There is no statement in  
Borderlands that they "change them to herd men first". Turning  
captured spies into herd-men is a fine case of making the punishment  
fit the crime. "You posed as a herd-man. Fine, you can BE a  
	Humans may also try to pretend to be herd-men when otherwise  
captured by the morokanth -- this way you're put in the pen with the  
herd, and presumably have a better chance of escaping than if the  
morokanth realize you're fully intelligent (in which case they take  
you as a normal slave, probably with a slave collar and all). 

> I doubt if any initiate or above in Waha would even consider a herd  
>man to be human, certainly no closer to human than an ogre is.

Technically true, but they won't eat ogres. While herd-men aren't  
considered human by Waha's covenant, I think that eating them is  
rather distasteful to most Praxians, just as eating the "human parts"  
of a walktapus is distasteful to even decadent Lunars. No doubt  
certain Storm Bulls or other individuals are happy to eat herd men,  
but the majority of Praxians are no more likely to eat a herd man  
than most American males would eat calf fries (testicles). 

Mind you, I'm not claiming that morokanth are outright man-eaters.  
For one thing, it's economically stupid to eat real humans, when  
they're so useful as slaves. And I bet that there are plenty of  
morokanth who regard it as a social faux pas to eat humans. I  
wouldn't be surprised if, for instance, Eiritha priestesses and maybe  
Waha khans were forbidden to ever eat real people (taboo). I'm just  
trying to point out that, IMO, the morokanth would have a rather  
cavalier attitude towards eating people. And I don't think my  
conception of morokanth thus boils down to "monsters without thumbs".  
Certainly the fact that trolls, ogres, and dragonewts eat people  
unifies these creatures as "monsters with thumbs". Trolls manage to  
have a highly complex society, and so can morokanth. In addition, the  
morokanth pose the fearful threat that they can actually make you  
not-human, turning you into a beast. 

By the way, I don't think morokanth would eat elves, dwarfs, or  
trolls -- just humans.


Here's my guess at a summary (using as many intelligent species as  

Humans: rare, except Cannibal Cult and bad guys. It's clearly  
considered morally reprehensible for humans to eat humans, and my big  
book on the subject of anthropophagy points out that societies which  
permit it eventually degenerate (at first, they may only eat their  
own dead, or the hearts of honored enemies or something defensible,  
but ultimately they end up just plain cannibals).

Trolls: it's obviously an integral part of troll psyche, culture, and  
society. But it doesn't earn them any friends. It's so widely-known  
that I suspect most people think of it as just a quirk of troll  
nature, and it doesn't earn the repugnance that a human eating a  
trollkin (say) would generate.

Dwarfs & Elves: true, these guys eat one another (and trolls, too),  
but only at special ceremonies or else when it is unbeknownst to them  
(dwarf canned food). I wouldn't call them cannibals despite this  
obscure secret ritual.

Morokanth: my opinions here are widely-known on the Digest.

Broos: they might eat people, but I suspect they do this only in  
order to increase the pain and fear felt by their captive. They have  
other uses for prisoners, if they take 'em.

Ogres & Giants: both like the taste of people. 

Scorpion Men: eat people primarily to gain magic power, not for food.

Beast-men: I suspect only manticores and perhaps wild minotaurs eat  
other sentients on a regular basis. I don't see centaurs or satyrs  
doing it. 

Ducks: obvious non-human eaters

Slarges: They might eat people, but most of them don't think of  
humans as sentient -- more the way people think of rabbits or wolves.  
Just something to be brushed out of the way as the slarges expand. 

Joerg Baumgartner sez:
>The alarm function is more easily obtained by a permanent market  

A market spell is a bad way to alarm your walls. For one thing, it  
takes a LOT of Create Market spells to cover an entire town. In  
addition, if any of your soldiers draw their swords (or bows) to  
attack an incoming foe, they're toast (attacked by the spell, just  
like an enemy). 

David Gibbs asks: 

>does any "miscegenation" occur between the different types
>of trolls?  For instance, what would the off-spring of an Uzuz
>father and an Uzko mother be -- guaranteed Uzko, or is there a 

>chance of an Uzuz child?  Would this reduce or eliminate the
>chance of Enlo children?  What of vice-versa, Uzuz mother, 

>Uzko father?   I feel that this is far less likely to happen,

Uzuz mother and uzko father I think is as likely as the other way  
round. Uzuz are too rare to mate together very frequently, and the  
females are the rulers, not the males, so they'd get to pick their  
own mates, and may well take in a promising Karrg's Son or Death Lord  
for a night's reward. 

My own feelings are that uzuz mothers generally give birth to uzko  
children, regardless of the father, and uzko mothers w/uzuz fathers  
generally give birth to uzko children, too, or at worst a litter of  
superior trollkin. Uzuz births are catastrophically rare, only occur  
to uzuz mothers (except for Heroquest rituals?) and Divination  
generally reveals that there's going to be an uzuz a-coming months  
before it's arrival. I expect that numerous Xiola Umbar priestesses  
gather for the (difficult) birthing, and approve of the suggested  
scenario a week or two ago in which the PCs could encounter a trashed  
batch of powerful trolls in the last throes of defending an uzuz  
birth from a heroquest influx of chaos. 

re: Gonn Orta killing the Crimson Bat

The risk here is that he can't sneak up on the bat (after all, he's  
500' tall). Hence, a batch of Lunar priests casting Mindblast or  
similar bad spells might be able to incapacitate him before he could  
get within a km of the bat. It would be an interesting scenario to  
try to get him to the bat to kill it. 

Dave Dunham (forgetting RQ rules) sez: 

>I'm strongly leaning towards giving some shield value if the shield  
>owner does nothing but hold it up and try to block arrows. 

The rules state that you can hold a shield over part of your body and  
it acts as full add'tl armor for those portions. Bucklers defend the  
left arm only. Targets defend left arm and one other hit location.  
Kites defend left arm and two other adjacent hit location (in my  
campaign, usually chest and abdomen, or sometimes both legs). The  
extra 12-16 points for the shield renders arrows much less effective,  
which is in fact borne out by ancient battle reports.

Nils Weinander asks: 

1.	Golden Mokato is specified as the centre of the second age
	Eastern Sea Empire which 'ruled half the seas', but according
	to various accounts of the world history the God Learners
	ruled the seas and coastal areas. In the east they even
	overthrew the Dragon Emperor of Kralorela for a while. I
	can't figure a good compromise for this. Suggestions?

Mokato ruled all of the East Isles during the Second Age, and was  
able to defeat the God Learners in several campaigns fought in an  
attempt to invade the East Isles. The God Learners did conquer  
Kralorela, but were never able to overwhelm Mokato. Mokato's ships  
controlled the East Isles and were common in the central seas,  
fighting the Teleos pirates, trading with the Errinoru Elf Empire,  
and even dealing with the False Dragon Empire to the north. Perhaps  
"ruling" half the seas is a bit of an exaggeration, but they  
certainly controlled more of the ocean than any naval empire besides  
the God Learners. Perhaps because they were less villainous than any  
other of the Second Age Empires, the catastrophes of the age's end  
did not wipe out Mokato, but only destroyed its empire, leaving  
Mokato intact, but without imperial ambitions. 

Note by the way that the God Learners were by no means an organized  
empire. The Seshnegi, Jrusteli, False Dragon Empire, and Six-Legged  
Empire were all separate national entities, though all were ruled by  

2.	Does anyone have any information/ideas on Vormainian colour
	magic? Some of the Vormain gods are mentioned in the Proso-
	paedia in GoG, but what the colour magic is about is not

I have written up descriptions of the various color magics.  
Basically, they are a new type of magic, different from sorcery,  
divine, and spirit. My information is (of course) all tucked away in  

3.	I didn't plan on using the island of Teleos, but I'm curious
	about the almost total lack of information. Is it a blank 


No. It has a long and colorful history. Alas, it hasn't been  
published. In the Second Age, it was the Pirate Island, which boasted  
a Pirate King, and did many terrible deeds, preying on the shipping  
of almost all nations, including the God Learners. 

	The Closing naturally devastated the Pirates, and when the  
seas were opened again, Teleos had no more pirates. Instead, there  
are a number of different color-coded peoples living here (I can't  
recall whether there are five, or seven) ranging in skin tone from  
green, orange, purple, yellow, etc. Each lives in a different section  
of the island, and each hates all the other "tribes". Unfortunately  
for their antisocial desires, children are rarely the color of their  
parents. Thus, a Green may give birth to a Blue, Orange, Purple, etc.  
Off-colored children (the norm) are transported to their "proper"  
tribe for raising, and such exchanges are made regularly. All the  
tribes have certain stereotypic beliefs about the other tribes, and  
these are shared. For instance, all the non-Green tribes claim that  
the Greens eat live frogs. 

	So far, the inhabitants of Teleos, while willing to trade,  
have been too distracted by their internal disharmony to reopen their  
ancient pirate activities. 

Andrew Bean sez: 

>I would like to reinforce in primitive socities staying at a  
>distance and peppering your opponents with bow fire is the work of  
>cowards or elves.

Not so. Read THE HISTORY OF WARFARE by John Keegan. Mounted nomad  
societies normally engaged in such archery to as great an extent as  
they possibly could. The hand-to-hand risk-yourself style of warfare,  
a.k.a. as the Western Way of War (a book titled this is also good) is  
rare, and was apparently invented by the ancient Greeks, a civilized  
people. It was independently invented at least three other times --  
once by the Japanese, once by the Maoris of New Zealand (who used it  
to battle the invading British to a standstill), and again by the  
ancient Easter Islanders (who wiped out their entire society with  

Anyway, the point is that standing up and fighting "like a man" is  
not a primitive hold-over, but an invention which is apparently none  
too easy to figure out. The ancient Persians, Chinese, and nomad  
peoples didn't create it. Note that Keegan points out that other  
styles of warfare, like the nomad "shoot 'em and run away" can be  
effective against the Western style. 

W. R. Pearse requests: 

>MAG is presumably Pedhetl.  But what is it used for?  Everything  
>seems to use 'Magic Bonus'.  I'm deeply confused about how the magic  
>system works.

MAG = Pedhetl.In fact, I should have called it Pedhetl, and will do  
so from now on. It acts as RQ's Free INT. You cannot manipulate a  
spell for more points than your Pedhetl. Thus, if you have a Pedhetl  
of 6, you can cast a spell with Intensity 3, Duration 2, and Range 1.  
Or with Intensity 6 and naught else, or with Intensity 2 and  
Multispell 4, etc. so long as the totals add up to no more than 6.  

>Is sorcery the only type of magic in RQ/Tekmel?

No. There are shamans, witches, and stuff out in the villages who  
have access to other magic, but I haven't bothered to figure them  
out. Probably I'd give them normal shamanic RQ magic, except that  
Barker himself doesn't seem to have much of an idea how an actual  
shaman works, so maybe a spirit-plane oriented guy is alien to  

>Magic Bonus - how can this be less than zero?  (Character Generation
>section 2). 

Easy. Have a crappy INT, POW, and DEX. 

>Character Generation section 4 - what is the sorcery stat?  And what 

>is the INT+POW-20?
The sorcery stat is a misprint I missed. It is Pedhetl, yet again.  
And INT+POW - 20 is the MAXIMUM that your Pedhetl can reach. Thus, if  
your INT is 18 and your POW is 21, you can someday achieve a Pedhetl  
of 19, assuming your starting Pedhetl (3d6-15) was positive. 

>Something is missing from the paragraph about speciality weapons  
>like the 'Whispering Death'.


>What starting spells do you have?  Do you memorise chosen spells,  
>and if so is it INT related as in RQIII?

You have whatever starting spells you want, assuming your POW's high  
enough. You do not memorize spells, nor do they subtract from your  
INT. Instead, you learn a spell by sacrificing a point of POW, which  
gives you the spell at a basic percentage. Then you must train,  
research, or get experience in that spell to get it to a skill level  
where you can cast it with a reasonable chance of success. 

Joerg Baumgartner wonders: 

>Do we know anything about the Galanini from Ralios except the few  
>tidbits in "Dorastor Land of Doom", Elder Secrets and King of  
>Sartar, and their god Ehilm? And what does a fire god have to do  
with Hsunchen worship of horses?

Horses are the Beast of Fire. The Galanini date from the First Age,  
before the God Learners had carefully explicated that the Hsunchen  
were an early pre-pantheonic stage of development. Unaware that they  
were supposed to only worship their own horse god, as a primitive  
Hsunchen, the Galanini ignorantly worshiped related Sky gods as well. 

>Did anyone else stumble about the phrase that Orlanth bathed in the  
>Flame or Fire of Ehilm when proving his sincerity before Yelm in the  
>Lightbringers Quest? 

Ehilm, Worlath, and Humct are the old Ralios names for Yelm, Orlanth,  
and Humakt. When the God Learners spread Theyalan civilization world  
wide, the Theyalan names for these gods became the standards. Hence  
Orlanth is named Orlanth practically everywhere that he is worshiped,  
no matter what the native speaker's tongue. 

However, superstitious types in Ralios, confused by the names, still  
worship Ehilm & co., usually by bizarre ceremonies and false dogmas.  
True worshipers of Yelm think of Ehilm followers much the same way as  
the ancient Jews thought of the Samaritans, who followed the same  
faith as the Jews, but did not accept the Prophets, just the Law, and  
had weird primitive addenda to the Jewish way of life. 

The reference to the Fire of Ehilm in Hell is the scribe's  
unwillingness to alter the name of this ancient event. He recognizes  
Yelm as the true sun god, but the oldest texts call Orlanth's purge  
the Fire of Ehilm so, by gum, so will he. 


Subject: Invisible Orlanth, Yara Aranis, bonus (?) ramblings.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 19 Jan 94 10:22:55 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2828

> In the cult of Invisible Orlanth is Orlanth a prophet of the Invisible God 
> or an (invisible) representative of the Red Goddess or merely the breath 
> of the Invisible God? Or what?

I don't think IO is a Lunar/Healed cult at all: I reckon it's entirely
a Carmanian Thing.

Now, I did ask Greg about this at Conjunction, and he said, if I recall
correctly, and don't excessively paraphrase:  What's this about Invisible
Orlanth, then?  "Sounded good, so I put it in there.  Right.  But what are
these guys _on_?  "They believe that Orlanth _is_ the Invisible God."

If anyone asked what the Lunar authorities thought of this, I forget the
answer entirely.  I forget how sober any of us were...

One thing I've been wondering about is whether this is a unique mode of
worship, or if it has contempories and/or predecessors.  For example, any
bets on whether 1st/2nd age Carmania had Yelm/IG worship combined in this
way?  Specious analogies with Invictus Sol/Christ, anyone?

Actually, that reminds me of a piece of Lunar fiction I started to write
a while back: in regards which, does anyone have any datapoints on any of:

At least one city of the DH tripolis, or at a pinch, some other solar city
in Peloria which has been lunarised.

The White Moon cult.  ("But what are these guys _on_?")

Lunar cult of justice.  (No jokes from you unwashed barbarians, please.)

Pelorian solar military cults.  (i.e., not Elmal/Yelmalio.)

The Dayzatar cult.  Any subcults, particularly of a monastic bent.

My alibi for when Nick Brooke is found beaten up at Convulsion after that
Glasgow/Barbarians/Mr. Happy crack.  It's true though, there are Primitive
sun-worshipping cults in these parts: their crude ceremonies focus on
totemic objects such as the UV SunBed, and the Cheap Package Holiday to
Lanzarote Tickets.

Other stuff I forget for the moment.

Even if no-one has any hard info, I'd be interested to hear what the state
of knowledge is: if I find out there's no data _whatsoever_ on something,
at least that means I can't be Gregged before I start. ;-)

Oh yeah, Yara Aranis.  Well, if `Terrify Horse' is indeed a YA spell, this
makes it pretty dead-cert that this person's schtick is Darkness.  After
all, `Fear', and `anti-Horse' both have this connotation, in RQ terms.
Though to be picky this could be a)  Black/dying moon darkness;
Young Elemental darkness, or c)  Darkness darkness.  Don't laugh, there are
prolly different words for each of these in Dara Happan, lord preserve us.
But if YA arises from a _pre-lunar_ Pentan foe diety, c) seems the most
likely.  In any case, contrive other spells and manifestations accordingly.
I humbly suggest.



From: (Eric Bauge)
Subject: RQ-Con
Message-ID: <>
Date: 19 Jan 94 04:23:53 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2829

I am back from RQ-Con, and it was really great! David Cheng did a great job.
The organisation was very professional and we should all thank David for all
the work and energy he has poured into this event. 
I think the best thing about this Con was meeting and playing with 150 
outstanding role-players: the quality of a con is tightly tied of the quality 
of the people who attend, and at RQ-con I met nothing but great people.

My personal highlight was "Bones of a nation": two GMs and a very 
"live action role playing"-like flavour, lots of role playing. The 2 GMs *AND*
the other 6 players were very good role players. I enjoyed this event a lot.

An other favorite was "Fear and loathing at the SuperTroll":  I had tons of
fun; the GM and the other players were a riot.

The "Greg Stafford on Heroquesting" and "cultural exchange with Nick Brooke"
were both quite illuminating.

Thanks again to David Cheng for bringing all these great people in one place.



From: (pearse_w_r)
Subject: RQ/Tekumel Thanks
Message-ID: <9401191426.AA21317@Sun.COM>
Date: 19 Jan 94 14:25:57 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2830

Loren Miller kindly answered my questions about RQ/Tekumel.  Thanks - 
I'll have another go and see how I get on.

I'd like to hear 'war stories' about the RQ/Tekumel campaign run by Sandy 

Thanks again

Roger Pearse