Bell Digest v940412p1

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, Tue, 12 Apr 1994, part 1
Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
Content-Return: Prohibited
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.


Subject: Skills & Parachuting
Message-ID: <9404111042.AA20777@Sun.COM>
Date: 11 Apr 94 10:39:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3591

Hi All 
	I am not completely sure but I lean towards the harder skills have lowerstarting point theory.  Remember that PCs are typically in the 18 to 25 age 
group so that they will have at least an idea of how to go about most things.  
Thus only Very hard and exotic things will have a skill of 0%.  For your 
typical barbarian this will include academic subjects (although he might be 
able to use common sense to roughly answer simple questions).  

	A simpler system might be one where category modifiers were abolished 
and the base chance for most skills was dependednt on one or two stats.  
Now on the face of it the complexity has just increased, but if you couple 
skill improvement to base chance (natural aptitude) as mentioned in a previous 
post you get a fairly simple but highly individual skill progression system.  
Obvious this is a first (totally untested) stab at the idea and I present it 
here so that you can think about it and shoot it down.  It definately needs 
to be thought about carefully as any implementation should not increase the 
complexity of the game.   



Subject: Patterson's Curse
Message-ID: <9404111103.AA23164@Sun.COM>
Date: 11 Apr 94 11:04:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3592

	Patterson's Curse was one of my inspirations for Broo Grass, 
well at least it was one of the things that went through my mind when 
writing the article.  Perhaps for Glorantha we should call it Petersen's 
Curse, but in the very dry regions of Pamaltela and the Praxian Wastes 
it would be knien as Salvation Sandy...

	Sorry for my sense of humour


Subject: The Invisible God Scam brought to light
Message-ID: <_11-Apr-94_15:19:54_+1_.*>
Date: 11 Apr 94 14:19:54 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3593

It is a real shame that Glorantha is ridden with far too many
fantasy names that are a curse to most fantasy writings.  Most
of Joerg's otherwise excellent answer was obscured by these
fantasy names.

First off I would not, and did not, claim that Orlanth was a
scam.  The religion I was accussing to be state-bearing was
those of that focus on the Invisible God.

I now know that the God Learner writings, rather than just
contempory American terminology coined the phrase theist.  This
make it a lot easier for me to swallow.  However I would still
classify differently.

Fabricationist (sorcery) and Observationist (cults) seem to
be good definitions for me but I am admitedly biased :-)

I suggest this as Sorcerers construct and learn their spells
while the Cult members receieve their spells from their more
Visible dieties.  Pehaps the Sorcerers built their God too
and crusaded to dominate enough people to power it.

I am a Big Picture person essentially.  When I work on
preparing a background for play I have to assure myself
that the background works on both the people scale and
for the Big Picture.

This is why I am working on the generic sorcerer rather
than homing in on the detail.

Sandy said something about the difficulty of getting a
Priest to cast his spells relative to coaxing a spell
out of a Wizard.

Well, I disagree.

The priest has sacrificed POW for his reusable spells and
as such would treat Bless Crops spells differently from
those that assure his defense and offensive capabilities.

However a Wizard has only one source of spells, the MPs
that he has to hand.  As all his spells use this source
he might refrain from using them to allow him to hoard
them to aid his defense against the craven attacks of 
fellow 'Good' Wizards or to root out any dissidents 
within his supposed Utopia :-)

The Priest however can cast his peacefull, society
strengthening spells and still have powerfull Battle
and Divine Magic to hand at a moment's notice.

Nick Brooke asks if I favour free access for people to 
guns.  Being an Englishman this something I would
never support but I must admit that I do sympathise
with the accursed Ramblers ... :-)


	-- Guy Robinson --


Subject: G'day
Message-ID: <>
Date: 12 Apr 94 10:36:57 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3594

G'day All,

Garth Asks:
>Does anyone know the actual state of roads in medieval world, like
>Glorantha for instance?

I only know about roads in Sun County, Prax.  There is one reasonably good
"road" through the County, which passes from Pavis down to Corflu.  However,
most trade is carried down the river - the wagon ruts in Sun County are 
broader than elsewhere and bringing a wagon into the area requires a
changing of axles.  The Lunars have plans to upgrade the Corflu road using
their own superior roadbuilding techniques, but the insular Sun Domers
oppose such interferance in their internal affairs.  Laertes Coatilon, the 
Light Guide argues persuasively that the Lunar roadmaking skills are
better (far better) than their own, and if they let the Lunar engineers in
to build it, Sun County would get a superior road for free.  However, 
Invictus and Belvani, the ranking Light Sons, counter this by arguing that
such a road would only speed any Lunar invasion, should the greedy Red 
Emperor ever cast his covetous eyes on the Lands of the Sun. [No one,
of course, has bothered to ask the opinion of Light Lady Vega Goldbreath,
the Guardian of Sun County.  She would point out that the Templars of 
the Sun Dome could use the road too, and wouldn't that be a good thing?]

Terrestrial vs. Lozengial

I asked in X-RQ-ID: 3555:
What do other people think about making direct comparisons between 
terrestrial and lozengial locations?

A number of people argued against the point of view of both myself
and the reviewer of DORASTOR in Tales #11 (Peter Erickson, who ain't an

Joerg makes a reasonable point:

>I think it certainly helps the imagination if one can use one's real 
>life experience to picture a landscape. As we combine features of 
>Terra's cultures for certain Gloranthan cultures, why not use features 
>of landscape in Gloranthan context?

However, we don't (or shouldn't) just assume Lunar = Roman, Kralorelan
= Chinese etc., nor are such bald assumptions ever spelled out in RQ 

Sandy says:
>I think it is a useful and highly adaptive gamemastering  
>technique. It assists the players in envisioning the world around  
>them and the cultures they are encountering.

I agree (hey, Sandy and I agree!).  I just don't think specific terrestrial
locations should be mentioned in RQ publications.

Devin Cutler writes:

>1) I just got and am reading Stragers in Prax...seems great so far. I
>particularly enjoy the Lunar Coders, as it is nice to see Lunars who are
>adversaries still portrayed as possessing some of the best qualities of the
>Lunar Empire and its dogma. Of particular note is Nose-Ring, who I think
>makes for an extremely interesting, sympathetic, and complex character.

I'm glad you liked them.  They were vaguely inspired by the pursuing Riders in
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", about whom the boys frequently turn
around in their saddles and exclaim in respectful bewilderment, "Who are
those guys?"  Each of the Coders has experienced good and bad sides of the
Lunar Empire in different ways.

I still haven't got my copy yet, and I impatiently run to my mailbox every 
day hoping it will be there (I just hope AH remembered to send it air mail!).  

Tell me, does the fancy woman on the front cover have PURPLE hair?  I've only
seen a black and white draft (which looked great), but I asked that this
figure (Princess Anderida of Raibanth, no less) do so.

Sandy writes:
       >Sorry. Haven't even read Sun County. Don't even own a copy.

Avalon Hill: send this man a copy!  He is, after all, credited for
some of the material in it!

Martin Crim:
>The most popular game in the U.S. schools these days seems to be
bringing weapons to school... 
(relates horrific tale of kid who shoots a teacher)
I had a kid in my grade last year who was expelled from his last school for
bringing a knife to school.  I guess if he lived in your part of the world
it might have been a shotgun or something...

And just to show I'm not completely off the track from Glorantha, taking about
school and school games made me think: we don't know much about schooling
in Glorantha do we?  Do the Lunars have a school system I wonder?  What
about the Westerners - or do Loskalmi go to Adult Education classes to learn
to read once they've made it to Wizard status?





From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Mon, 11 Apr 1994, part 1
Date: 11 Apr 94 17:05:10 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3595

Nick Brooke in X-RQ-ID: 3569

> Here in Lismelder lands, we know that this has happened to the Red Emperor; 
> just look at his beard.

> Goatee = goaty.

Is that what they think about Lhankor Mhy ducks from Quackford? (cf. 
Anaximander's portrait in Tales 3 or 4)

> Back in the Old Days, the initiation rites into Orlanth were *lethal* for 
> anyone who failed. Yeah, that's the ones every adolescent male had to pass 
> in order to become an adult. Don't come whinging to me about "deleterious 
> results" of failing initiation in this wimpish modern world...

> You know, I think my relatives up in the Starfire Ridges may still do it 
> this way, but *nobody* talks about initiation rites outside of the clan.

Oh, yeah? Garrath Sharpsword, a guy from Pavis who happens to come from 
there, told me that the Humakti initiation rite west of the ridges 
knew no failure, but two different outcomes: voluntary initiation to 
Death, or involuntary initiation to death.

> Re: "The Arming of Baumgartner"

> I thought it was always the Yelmic guy who turned up for the contest of 
> weapons armed with a bow. Hey, if we can fight it under Gloranthan rules, 
> maybe I should take Joerg up on that duel he proffered a month or so ago.
> He can impress me (and the judges) by firing off his far-darting arrows, 
> then I'll whip out my trusty snickersnee...

Tell that Jorganos Vingkotsson, called Archer, lord of Arrowmound mountain.

Of course, I might lose the contest by accidentally hitting some Nicky 
obstacle in the path of my arrows, or some of the judges. Oops...

What are Gloranthan rules?
--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: Kresh and more
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Apr 94 06:04:40 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3596

Joerg, in conjecturing about the Kresh, sez:
>This would make the question why the Kresh started to move along in 

>wagons, and how a new wagon/clan is started, more interesting. 

	The reason why they started is, of course, a Big Secret. A  
new wagon is formed when a troop gets too big for just one wagon. I'm  
sure there's complex rituals involved in creating a new wagon. It's  
probably one of the secret Kresh rituals that they perform privately,  
out of sight of Doraddi eyes. They have a number of such rituals, and  
are quite open about it. "No, you can't come along. We're doing a  
secret Kresh routine."

>Somehow the Kresh seem to suffer from a mutated Jmijie virus. Could  
>the end of the Six-legged Empire have been the starting point for  
>the Kresh?
	I like the idea of the mutant Jmijie virus. The Kresh no  
doubt consider themselves a useful hybrid between Jmijie (always  
moving) and the permanency and security of the Oasis -- essentially a  
Kresh wagon is a nomad oasis. 

	The Kresh of course think they have nothing to do with the  
Six-Legged Empire, but they'd think that even if they were direct  
descendants. More tellingly (maybe), their homeland in eastern Kothar  
is outside the boundaries of the old Six-Leggers. I suppose fugitive  
Six Leggers could have fled there during the destruction, but the  
general course of destruction for the SLE was from east to west, and  
most refugees ended up in Western Jolar for the final catastrophes.  
Eastern Jolar/Western Kothar was the site of a large-scale struggle  
at the same time, in which the nomads burnt back the invasions of the  
jungle, which had been encroaching ever since Errinoru's advent. 

Nils W. asks:
>On the subject of Vithela I have a question: Sandy has in two
>postings mentioned Vithela as a kind of paradise for dead people
>from Kralorela. The Genertela book says only that the dead of  
>Kralorela wait as spirits until the current emperor dies, and then  
>follow him to Someplace Else. Is Vithela this Someplace Else? 

>So, could Sandy... enlighten me?
	Vithela is where the spirits wait. When the Emperor Passes  
On, the spirits go to the next stage of existence. This place is  
unattainable and unvisitable by normal Gloranthan abilities,  
including Heroquesting. Perhaps it is Solace in Glory?

>Also, would other easterners, like the inhabitants of the East Isles
>share this belief?
	Almost all East Isles folks believe that they go to Vithela  
when they die. They do not necessarily know about the Emperor  
connection, but in my campaign, when a Kralori told an East Isles guy  
that the Emperor's Passing took all the dead in Vithela to another  
stage of existence, the East Isles guy just said, "How nice for  
them." and thought little further about it. 

	Some East Isles people believe in a different afterlife, but  
just for themselves. For instance, the plant people of Faranvagoth  
know that they become One With Araganthosas when they die.  

	The Vormain folks know about Vithela, but I don't know if  
they think they go there. 

Newton sez:
>Krarshtkids are at their best crawling around on the ceiling and  
>falling on adventurers, but what about at floor-level?
	Clearly, krarshtkids are exceedingly clumsy on the ground,  
Probably crawl about as effectively as june bugs on tile (scrabble,  
scrabble). They're even  more clumsy when they try to attack. They  
can use their big claws okay, I guess, but what about their bite or  
tongue or spit? They got to rear up on one side to point their big  
triangular mouth at the enemy. Maybe they crawl upside-down, their  
mouth on top? Too weird? 

	Or maybe they are vulnerable to being knocked on their backs  
when attacking. 

Alex Ferguson sez:
>Personally I was disappointed when I found out a Kresh 'city' was a  
>wagon caravan, and not one _huge_ wagon.  Who me, megalomaniac? 

	Perhaps this will cheer you up. The wagons are articulatable,  
and can be connected together not only at front and rear, but at the  
sides(!) as well, making a gigantic flexible "blanket" of wagons  
climbing over the countryside. When the terrain gets too rough for  
the mega-wagon, it breaks up into smaller chunks, reforming when the  
land once more is no worse than rolling hills. 

Martin, taking issue with my theory that broos do not find one  
another sexually attractive, sez:
>One of the ways in which sex is used in the human species, as well  
>as among other primates, is to express dominance. 

	Broos aren't primates, for one thing. And among humans, if  
not other primates, intra-group rape is not a useful way to express  
dominance. If broos do rape one another, I don't think they get  
pregnant. I suspect somehow that broos can only impregnate members of  
other species (or, less certainly, for the rare female broo, can only  
be impregnated by outsiders). 

	For some reason, this belief makes me also think that a broo  
would not attack another broo -- because there is no possibility of  
offspring, hence the violation of the rape is incomplete. Not that  
the broo necessarily reasons it out to that extent, but the act lacks  
its normal appeal. These beliefs of mine are based on emotional and  
mythological considerations, not scientific ones.

>I don't think joining an Orlanthi (say) cult other than one`s  
>parents' is really any kind of `conversion' in our modern sense.   
>After all, the cults are non-exclusive, unlike most earthly and all  
>monotheistic religions
	Surely you jest. Modern monotheism is not particularly  
exclusive within the various groupings. The various Protestant faiths  
are non-exclusive. Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans,  
Anglican/Episcopalians, etc. are tolerant of one another. The  
Orthodox sects are friendly. As are to some degree the various Jewish  
variants (Reform, Conservative, etc.). Ditto for Buddhist sects, and  
even Muslims feel a general kinship to other Muslims. And yes, I know  
that Muslims fight Muslims all the time. So do Protestants kill  
Protestants. This doesn't alter the general truth. 

	Yet most 15 year old kids who go to church go to their  
parents' church. If Dad and Mom are Presbyterians, the kids probably  
are Presbyterians, too, though they may change later. Keep in mind  
the parents being Presbyterian in our later discussions. 

	I see joining Issaries instead of Lhankor Mhy as being more  
like attending the Free Will Baptist Church instead of the  
Presbyterian one. Of course, certain sects most parents would try to  
keep their kids out of. If your son became a Storm Bull, you'd be a  
little sad, as if he'd become a Holy Roller or Jehovah's Witness. Or  
if your child expressed interest in Chalana Arroy, you'd doubtless  
try to talk him or her out of it, as if your kid told you he wanted  
to become a penniless missionary in New Guinea. But if he or she  
joined anyway, most folks would be proud, if sad. Of course, a few  
parents might be angry, "Who's going to run the caravan business  
after I'm gone?"
	Another logical way to look at it is lifestyles, rather than  
as religion. If your kid becomes a Storm Bull, it's a little like him  
becoming a member of a biker gang. 

>Another possible fudge would be to say that if one has a parent in a
>"closely enough" (see previous hand-waving on this subject)  
>associated cult, then this is good enough for a `free' initiation. 

	Or if your uncle or aunt or cousin was an initiate in the  
proper cult, perhaps they could be your sponsor instead of your  

>Colour me morally relativistic, but I think speaking glibly of "bad  
>gods" in any absolute sense makes no more sense on Glorantha than on  
>Earth. No god's worshipper thinks of himself, or his god as being  
>"bad" or "evil". If a Zorak Zorani thinks his priest is morally  
>suspect, it'd be because he wasn't sufficiently zealous, or is soft  
>on these Inherently Evil light-worshipping types, not because he  
>engages in activities most humans would find utterly despicable.
	Alas, I'm no moral relativist. Most faiths on Earth proclaim  
similar acts as "good", from Muslim to Judaism, to Jainism to Shinto.  
I.e., I don't think there IS much moral relativism for humans, except  
for secondary crimes (like eating pork for Muslims, or drinking  
coffee for Mormons). But the big crimes of adultery, murder, theft,  
are pretty much agreed upon by unrelated cultures across the world. 

	I think that most Gloranthan sects are similar, and that  
Zorak Zoran (for instance), being a troll-designed cult, tends to  
attract only the mightiest of assholes among humans for its cult  
members. Sure, he can defend his cult choice and the other Zorak  
Zorani would think he was a cool guy, and they would all agree with  
him that ZZ was the best, and the other gods weak shadows(?!) of his  
power, but ...
	Ditto for sects in which everyone is a jerk, like Malia. Sure  
Malia has her place in the world, but imagine what kind of person  
woudl WANT to become a shaman of this cult. 

The above train of thought leads me into a secondary comment about  
species norms and species stereotypes. Obviously ZZ is not a  
particular terrible god from a troll viewpoint, and though the trolls  
who join it might be a tad more bloodthirsty than the troll average,  
they are still well within the species norm. But humans worshiping  
this god are probably pretty screwed up psychologically. Not because  
ZZ is "inherently evil" or anything, just because his faith and  
ideology doesn't sit right with the typical human mentality. I think  
this applies to elves and other groups, too. 

>Another minor point: who/what are the denizens of the Yelmic Fifth  
>Hell? Is it specifically trolls, undead, or both; or is it catch all  
>for all the Really Bad things in hell, to wit anything not fitting  
>the orderly Four Hells ruled by Lodril?
	I vote for the last. The Fifth Hell is probably bigger than  
the first Four put together. 


Subject: RQ Digest
Message-ID: <9404112028.AA06615@Sun.COM>
Date: 11 Apr 94 14:30:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3597

Dear Sir,

     I would like to receive the latest edition of RQ Digest. Thank You.


Jim McGowan


Subject: RQ Digest
Message-ID: <9404112035.AA08593@Sun.COM>
Date: 11 Apr 94 14:44:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3598

Dear Sir,

     I would like to receive the latest edition of RQ Digest. I am not 
certain that my previous message included my complete address, so here it 
     Thanks a lot.


Jim McGowan