Bell Digest v940124p1

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, Mon, 24 Jan 1994, part 1
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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: (Steven E Barnes)
Subject: Illumination
Message-ID: <>
Date: 21 Jan 94 18:58:06 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2873

>How many Chaosium staffers does it take to change a light bulb?

How many Illuminates does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: This is not a lightbulb (said while smashing the bulb).

>I like the new writeup on Niceguy/Badguy.  In particular, the Choose
>Your Own Path to illumination aspect.  But they should have gone further.
>Becoming Illuminated.
>So, there's a fixed set of riddles, and the chance is still linked to a skill,
>but the question isn't?

???  It seems to be the same old skill-based riddles, which I have
never liked.

>Powers of Illuminates.
>1.  Secret knowledge.  Hm.  I'm skeptical about this being as common as it's
>    cracked up to be.  For one thing, I don't think most Arkati believe this,
>    or choatics who become `cynically' enlightened.

IMHO, this is the most fundimental effect.

>2.  Sense Illumination.  Should be more keyed to `school' of illumination.
>    Otherwise, there would be no doubt about whether the Near Ones etc
>    were illuminates.  Similarly, should give clues as to _which_ school
>    the target belongs to.

I think it should take the form of vague hunches; you may not even
realize that someone is Illuminated, until some time after the encounter.

>4.  Ignore Cult Restrictions.  5.  Ignore Spirits of Reprisal.  I've never
>    really liked these, or come to that, understood them.  Explanations?

Well, here is my unofficial, heretical explaination:

The Illuminate realizes that a being is composed of multiple personality
aspects, some good, others destructive.  The Illuminate is capable of 
switching between them, as easily as removing a mask and donning another.
So an Illuminate can be potentially both Lawful and Chaotic, but not
simultaneously.  When he/she adopts a Chaotic aspect, any chaos features
will manefest, and will become detectable.  When not using the Chaotic
aspect, any chaos taint cannot be detected.

This concept also applies to cults.  The Illuminate can adopt a
personality aspect which is a devout worshipper of a cult such as
Humakt.  While in this personality mode, the Illuminate behaves as
a devout Humakti, and recieves the appropriate cult benefits.  If
he later wishes to lie, break oaths, or whatever, he can do so by
switching to a different personality aspect.  Thus, the "Humakt"
part of him did not lie, and so the god is unaware of the transgression.
However, IMHO, if the cult hierarchy gets wise to this, they can still
dispatch Spirits of Retribution against the transgressor.

>And: it's still too easy.  Okay, it's as hard as gamesmaster fiat makes it,
>but given the presumed existance of proselytising Riddlers, willing to
>ask all their questions repeatedly until everyone `gets it', why isn't
>anyone who wants it?

Agreed.  I don't buy the "people fear and kill those who ask strange
questions" excuse.  Certainly anyone in the Lunar Empire desiring
Illumination should have no problems achieving it.

I think Illumination should require years of contemplation.  Involuntary 
Illumination should be rare.  My assumption is that this idea is
bastardized Zen Buddhism, wherein the master swordsman may suddenly
achieve enlightenment, from a casual remark by a Zen master.



Subject: RQ Daily - RQ4
Message-ID: <>
Date: 22 Jan 94 11:41:29 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2874

This is my first posting. Hello to all!

I know that everyone and his mother has begged for a copy of the RQ4 draft,
so let me be the next. Can anyone mail or email such to me? My email address

On the RQ4 subject, one thing that needs to be made certain is that RQ4 is
the last update to t
he system for quite some time (I'm talking ten years here). Nothing will kill
a game so much as completely revising the rules or putting out errata every
two years or so. AD&D can perhaps, due to 
its "popularity" get away with this, but RQ cannot.

I, for one, would much rather wait an ex
tra 6 months to a year for RQ4 to come out well play-tested. Of special
importance is play at "higher" levels. RQ2 and RQ3 both break down at higher
levels (as we all know). Such items as the resistance table and combat rules
designed to handle characters with attacks and parries over 140% need to be

While the majority of campaigns will never reach this level of play, there is
nothing more discouraging than to finally reach those heights (my campaign
has been running once a week for 8 years) and watch the game rules start to
melt away. The RQ4 system should hold up through at least level of 500%-1000%
(in order to handle some of the Horrors from Elder Secrets).

Until Ogres start flossing.......

Devin Cutler


From: (David Dunham)
Subject: Gloranthan names; temples
Message-ID: <>
Date: 21 Jan 94 18:16:17 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2875

Joerg Baumgardner wrote:
>Now the name Hyaloring seems to suggest Pentan or Dara Happan ancestry 

I've never been able to make any sense of the names Greg's come up with --
and I've tried. In King of Sartar and beyond, he's at least making some
attempt, but it still seems to be whatever sounds cool to Greg.

>From: (Philip Rhinelander)
>Do they really need to hop the 
>pond back to Genertela just to refresh thier Rune magic?

Yes, that's what the rules say. If they can't get to a temple, they can't
renew. (Some "God Learner Equivalency" temples may work -- you could go to
a Dendara temple to renew Ernalda spells -- but these are likely to be rare
when you're real far from home.)

>More basic to 
>this question (I think) is the question of proselytism; what does the 
>Compromise say about the ability of the Lightbringer pantheon to win new 

This is what I see as a problem with the RQ3 temple size rules. It's very
hard to go elsewhere and be a missionary. Maybe that's true for Glorantha.


From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: re: RQ Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 22 Jan 94 06:41:28 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2876

Joerg Baumgartner wonders:

>How do you coordinate spell attacks to avoid multiple action against  
>some of the attackers and letting others come unmolested?

This is not a problem in a mass combat, in my opinion, though it can  
cause trouble in a small melee. Take an example of 100 Yara Aranis  
initiates casting ignite on 100 Pent archers. If the Yara dudes have  
a reasonable amount of encumbrance and no greater POW than average,  
only around 50% of the spells go off. If they're totally randomly  
arranged among the targets, almost 40% of them will get hit with the  
spell (some of them more than once), and that's enough to reduce the  
harm done to the defenders, especially as the guys in the front with  
the best shooting chance are the likeliest to get hit. 

In real military fighting, most attacks are without effect. During  
the Crimean war, it took a British soldier something like 9000 shots  
to kill a single Russian (BTW, it took the Russians, evidently better  
shots, only 5000 to kill a Brit. And a Frenchman, manifestly the best  
of the lot, 4000 to kill a Russian.). The most effective weapon of  
World War II only had about a 14% hit rate (the kamikazes of Japan),  
which was staggeringly effective. 

Also remember that not everyone has to be shot to break up an attack.  
If 35% of a group of Pent nomads suddenly lose the use of their main  
weapon, they'll be disheartened, and all but the best troops will be  
fearful and less effective. A sudden charge by opposing cavalry, or  
even infantry, may well send them into retreat. 

>I happened to have read Biturian Varosh's description of the troll  
>and morokanth attack on the Paps recently. In it, Biturian first  
>casts his Market sell for the ceremony. Then, when the forces of  
>darness attack, he grabs his quarterstaff and fights back the  
>trolls, without getting any ill effect from his spell.

Remember, Biturian only cast a Market spell -- it will only do 1d3  
damage to anyone it triggers against, hardly sufficient to dissuade  
Biturian or the temple guards. The purpose of the Market spell at the  
Paps was to act as an alarm, not to incapacitate or cripple the  
trolls (note that they and their Morokanth allies were not even  
slowed down by the spell). 

[I said]
>>Horses are the Beast of Fire. The Galanini date from the First Age, 

[Joerg sez]
>I don't believe that.They are beasts of fire, yes, and as such  
>related to birds, griffons and other celestial animals, but not  
>particularly associated with fire.

Perhaps I missed something in the translation. Could you say this  
again, slower? They are beasts of fire and related to other celestial  
animals, but NOT associated with fire?

>I have read a text (I think in Troll Pak) which stated that the 1st  
>Age Theyalans overthrew the horse nomads of Peloria with the help of  
>Praxian beast riders and Ralian non-Sun-worshipping horse riders.  
>These latter can only be the Galanini.

There can be plenty of horse-riding non-Sun worshipers. Tarsh exiles  
ride horses. Malkioni ride horses. In any case, the Galanini do NOT  
worship the sun gods in the same manner as the Pelorians or Pentans.  
Their worship style would be no more acceptable to the Pure Horse  
People than was the Dara Happan faith. 

>IMO, the Praxian culture is a Hsunchen Culture with the specific 

>addendum of riding and herding their respective phylum, and a  
>tradition of a common earth-mother for the beasts.

Wow. I can't agree with this less. I don't see any traces of Hsunchen  
among the Praxians at all, and I don't believe they ever were  
Hsunchen. Their animals are not their brothers, but their food. They  
have a complex pantheon

>While we're at it - how comes that Eiritha has no relation to horses  
>in Prax, when other beasts clearly of the sky - the ostrichs - are  
>one of her subjects/children.

Why are ostriches one of her subjects? They're not part of the  
Covenant, though some folk believe they were adopted into it later  
on. I have my doubts about the efficacy of Release INT on an ostrich.  
In any case, they're among the least sky-oriented birds of all. Just  
because birds in general are sky entities doesn't mean they all are.  
Roosters are Earth birds, hawks are Fire birds, owls are Darkness  
birds, etc. Just as Horses are Sky beasts, Cattle are Storm beasts,  
Pigs are Earth beasts, etc. 

>do the universally acknowledged major powers (called Runes, Gods,  
>Mythic Dragons...) have separate entities, which locally rule over  
>the power and draw their own powers from this primeval power, or is  
>there one entity putting on different masks and names when appearing  
>to its worshippers?

The gods in GODS OF GLORANTHA that possess the Infinity Rune (Flamal,  
Uleria, frex) are those which were the original source of a  
particular Rune, and have retained it since then. Gods that have a  
doubled Rune are the current source of the Rune, but have inherited  
it from a previous (probably deceased) deity. Examples of the latter  
include Subere, Orlanth, Yelm, and Humakt. 

All other deities that have access to a Rune get it by hook or crook  
from the Rune's source. Thus, Zorak Zoran, Malia, and even Yelm  
access their Death Rune ultimately through Humakt's existence. 

The most evil of the God Learners ostensibly believed that all Death  
gods were ultimately the same god, and that all Storm gods were  
ultimately the same god. This led to very bad results. 

Major Gods have a secret power -- they represent some primal facet of  
existence, though it may not be as important as the Rune Sources.  
Thus, Storm Bull is the god of Rage. Zorak Zoran is god of Hate, Thed  
is goddess of Rape and violation, Voria is goddess of Youth. If Zorak  
Zoran were expunged from the world, it would be fundamentally  
changed, but the world would not be in threat of destruction (as it  
would if a Source god like Uleria or Magasta were knocked out). 

Minor Gods may have a widespread worship, but have no secret power.  
Ultimately, they can fade out of existence without changing much.  
Gods like Sog, the Grain Goddesses, Pavis, and the like are these  

Cool parallel between light upland soil (=hill barbarians) and heavy  
lowland soil (=civilized farmers). Thanks, Joerg. 

Alex Ferguson ponders: 

>About this Demoness Eater of Horses doodette, I'm rather vague on  
>who she is, in a mythographic sense.

She is one of the inspirations of Moonson (don't recall which one,  
sorry -- no doubt Nick or Colin or Joerg or Geoff etc. will know).  
She is the daughter of the Red Emperor and a really gross Demon that  
the Pent nomads have always hated and feared (my guess is Gorgorma).  
I don't think she existed before time, and is another "mortal" made  
into goddess by Lunar worship, like the rest of their gods (Hon-Eel,  
Jar-Eel, Etyries, etc.). 


From: (Jonathan Eyre)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 22 Jan 1994, part 1
Message-ID: <28343.199401232020@solx1>
Date: 23 Jan 94 20:20:57 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2877


Where can I find info about these parts of Glorantha? Are they one of
the places where the Hero Plane touches the real world?


If Lunars=Romans, Orlanthi=Celts, and there are other "Earth
equivilant" civilisations (the Orientals on the East coast, whom I
can't for the life of me remember).
Are there Aztec/Inca/Toltec equivilents, and where are they?

Jon Eyre (


From: (Mr Robert McArthur)
Subject: praxian tribe founders vs sun dome
Message-ID: <>
Date: 24 Jan 94 15:03:14 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2878

Flicking through the  treasure trove of the sun dome temple defences in
Sun County, I noticed that the principle spirit of the temple at one time
defeated the founder spirit of the bison tribe.  Now, looking at the nomad
gods counters this founder is 10-11-10-*  (or something close since I am
at "work" :-)  Recalling Cults of Prax Waha writeup we have the Summon
Founder spell summon a spirit with power 40-110, and strength+size =
10* the summoners.

So, given that the magic number on the counters reflects power, magical
offence and magical defence, 11 may reflect the 110 possible power of the
spell.  The bat has some 1200 MP (power is "real" RQ - ie. RQII ;-) and has
a counter of -1: ok, it's chaotic.  The Red Emperor has 10.  Does this mean
his power is about 100?  Cragspider's 7 = 70 pow?  Inhuman King's 8=80 pow?
Of course, you can't continue the sequence into units that aren't 'single
entities'.  Yes, these other 'single entities' aren't so single, but how
about the relationship between the founders pow from the spell, and the
counter: chance?

Can we at last make a link between the DP/NG counters and RQ RPG people.
Stats is a bit mindless in some ways, but I find it helps to visualise the
extent of the entities immensity!



From: (Carl Fink)
Subject: Cannibalism
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Jan 94 15:42:44 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2879 (Sandy Petersen) writes:

R>Iza Young asks:

R>>On a similar note, it sounds as if rules for Vormainian Color Magic
 >>are available ...  Is this true, and how may I get these?

R>a) Wait till my house is built and I can gather together my records,
 >(b) make up your own, or (c) badger me until I try to put together a
 >pathetic remnant of them from memory.

  Please, please, please, please....

R>Carl Fink hurls down the gauntlet:
Um, I didn't mean to sound hostile.

R>>  Sandy, can you name a non-cannibal culture that hasn't
 >>degenerated? It is in the nature of human cultures to degenerate.

R>Sure. Japanese. European. Islamic. Eskimo. The !Kung Bushmen seem to
 >have retained their society for at least a thousand years (when they
 >were pushed into the Kalahari by the expanding Negroid race).

  Hypothetically, how could the Eskimo degenerate?  What do you mean by
"degenerate" anyway, if Japanese culture didn't degenerate in, say, the
1800s?  If you can include the !Kung, I can include the Maori, anyway.

 >...Read the story of the plane crash in the
 >Andes, and see how fast the survivors went from shame and guilt at
 >eating their own dead from gleefully rooting through rotting entrails
 >like pigs for the tastiest bits.

  That's not what I read -- they certainly lost some of their negative
feelings about cannibalism, but OTOH as soon as three of them got near
human civilization again, they discarded the human flesh they had along
as supplies and starved for several days rather than revert to eating
it. asks about Yara Aranis.

  She's a new deity, born during Time as a child of the Red Emperor and
Gorgorma.  Gorgorma is an enemy goddess of the Pentans (as an enemy of
their sun god, Kargzant).

  I've had many of the same questions about Illumination that Alex has.
In particular, why can't spirits of retribution bother them, even if
directed to by priests certain of their apostasy?

  My apologies to Loren Miller.  I really do know how to spell your
name, I have no idea how "Lorn" got in there.

 Belief in the precognitive powers of an Asian pastry is really no wackier
 than belief in ESP, subluxation, or astrology, but you just don't hear
 anyone preaching Scientific Cookie-ism.     --Penn and Teller
   Carl Fink              CARL.FINK (GEnie)


From: (David Dunham)
Subject: New damage bonus
Message-ID: <>
Date: 24 Jan 94 02:36:26 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2880

Oliver said about the new damage bonus:
>However, we are concerned that at first
>glance, it may put off RQ2/RQIII players, or those concerned with
>compatibility with RQIII scenario packs (though conversion can be
>very simple, i.e. +1D4 is +1 or +2, each +1D6 is roughly +3). I've
>even considered including the old (die based) damage bonus chart to
>use as an optional rule.

Given that you've changed armor and damage, you're already incompatible.
Therefore, there's no point in using the old damage bonus as an optional
rule. And even if you did, the old values aren't compatible with the new
armor and weapon damage.

I don't think I've heard a damage bonus single complaint from my players,
BTW. (They're more concerned with stuff like "what happened to my lamellar
armor" or "what's the range on the bone bow I took from the dragonewt?"

David Dunham * Software Designer * Pensee Corporation
Voice/Fax: 206 783 7404 * AppleLink: DDUNHAM * Internet:
"I say we should listen to the customers and give them what they want."
"What they want is better products for free." --Scott Adams


From: (David Dunham)
Subject: Yara Aranis
Message-ID: <>
Date: 24 Jan 94 02:50:28 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2881

Oops, I miss-sent a message I meant for the RQ4 list. Sorry about that.

>Subject: Demons, pointer equality, and 
>About this Demoness Eater of Horses doodette, I'm rather vague on who she
>is, in a mythographic sense.  Is she:

In the Prosopaedia of Gods of Glorantha, Yara Aranis (horse eater and
goddess of the Reaching Moon) is the daughter of the Red Emperor and
Gorgorma. I'd say that makes her a new entity.