Bell Digest v940521p1

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 21 May 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: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Various Quickies
Message-ID: <940520074427_100270.337_BHL28-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 20 May 94 07:44:27 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4084

Naked Worship

Cullen wrote:

> Do you mean to imply that ALL forms of worship are essentially
> heroquests/reenactments?  (if this were so Christian worship services
> would be a lot more exciting!  ex: "Todays reenactment is the serpent
> and the apple...  everyone please remove your clothes..." ;^) )

Ever hear of the Adamites? An early sect of Christian nudists, who shunned 
clothing so as to return to primal innocence (a la Garden of Eden) and died 
out for reasons unknown (presumably either from embarrasment, or when the 
weather turned colder, or maybe they found out it didn't work). Sadly, they 
were *TOO* early for inclusion in Credo! (though we do have a more-or-less 
complete prequel game, The Great Persecutions).

God Learner Constructs

>> I do not enjoy setting up an entire scenario around the fact that
>> Kolat existed in Godtime, and then finding out that he was a God
>> Learner construct. 

> What!  Is this just a hypothetical point, or is this "canon"?  Where did
> this bit of retconning (as they say in rec.comics) get revealed?

Can't recall offhand. But if it's true, Kolat has existed in Godtime since 
the Second Age. Where's the problem?

I think the "redefinition" of Kolat is part of the Ragnaglar/Vadrus issue 
(as is the question mark over Humakt's relationship to the pantheon): given 
that there are five Storm Brothers (Kolat, Storm Bull, Vadrus, Humakt, 
Orlanth), but knowing that Storm Bull is brother to Ragnaglar, the old list 
doesn't quite work. So questions arise:

Is Vadrus an old or alternative name for Ragnaglar? Vadrus, we know, was 
"destroyed during the Gods War by the forces of Chaos" -- which is fair as 
a description of Ragnaglar's corruption into the Father of the Devil...

Is Humakt a sword-god or a swordsman-god? The original Orlanthi myth of the 
killing of Yelm suggests the "god" Humakt is a weapon wielded by Orlanth. 
But historical Humakti appear very foreign to Orlanthi cultural mores...

One Truly Limited World

Devin again:
> I do not find it unreasonable in the least to find that, say, Humakt  
> is worshipped in exactly the same manner in  Esrolia, Prax, and  
> Ralios... I do not find it unreasonable to believe that Humakt himself,
> through Divinations and the like, has prescribed a single mode of  
> worship throughout Glorantha.

Sure, it's not unreasonable to believe that. If you want to.

I just find it a tad boring.

Glorantha was first revealed to the public through White Bear & Red Moon, 
then through Wyrms Footnotes (which had fascinating, scholarly articles by 
Greg on religion - reprints coming soon from the Reaching Moon Megacorp!) 
and Nomad Gods, and only afterwards through RuneQuest. Claims of gaming 
primacy, special pleading and the "historic debt" we all owe to RuneQuest 
fall down on this simple point.

And Joerg commented:
> I think you fail to see that this diversification has also the aim to 
> leave the GM space for his own imagination and creativity.

Which perfectly sums up my own attitude.

A while back, Martin wrote:

> I guess if you can't defend your position from within published material,
> you'll have to invent it.  

And I still can't work out if this was a celebration of creativity and 
imagination, or a sneering put-down. In the happy spirit of compromise and 
friendliness which this list so perfectly embodies, I'll assume it was the 
former. Fortunately, it applies to Greg as much as the rest of us -- which 
is why new Gloranthan books are coming out (at long last)!


> Sorry. Just pulling your chain.

That's me: mind like a sewer, body like a toilet... And, presumably, spirit 
like a cesspool, for the obligatory Gloranthan reference!



From: (Eric Rowe)
Subject: Pavis, Changing nature of Glorantha.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 19 May 94 18:35:35 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4085

First, devinc seems to have not read the list carefully enough.

>Re: Pavis Personality List:

>Also on the Pavis personality list, what about Riveps, the RIverside Thug
>from the Krang's table adventure. Also, what about Delfron the Butcher from
>that same scenario? Finally, what about the diseased man in Badside from the
>Devil's playground adventure (I forget his name)?

Riveps real name is Yarath Rantu, he's there.
Delfron Barath, he's there.
Oakley Gauntest, he's there.

I did actually miss a total of three characters not counting those that
MOB pointed out. Hint. They are in RQA#2 and KoS. That will be fixed
and available from soda after it gets digested.

Second, I'd just like to add some thoughts on the changing nature of
Glorantha (elmal/yelmalio) in terms of gaming. It is simply, if you
don't like it, don't use it. Glorantha is so rich in detail that any
GM can make it in their own image. Many GM's kill off all ducks with
the duck plauge because they don't like them. If people don't like the
change to Elmal, don't make it. This is especially true mid-game. If
a new product comes out while I'm running a game I look at it and
incorporate the parts I like and don't affect the game's background.
When that game ends and I start a new one I incorporate the stuff I
liked but interfered with the old game's background. I never incorporate
the stuff I dislike.

I really think you can only have a problem with the changing nature of
Glorantha if you don't have a flexible/capable GM. A good GM should be
able to make up their mind as to what parts to use. (A good recent
example is Sandy pointing out how he flagrantly disregards in-print
things like Kralorela being closed to outsiders.) A good GM should also
tailor their campaigns to the people playing in their game. Some love
hero-level games, others the kind where you spend an entire session
trying to grow corn. Since different people like different things there
can be no one way to run a game and no single Glorantha that all people
will like. It is up to the GM to create the best one for their group.

Since I run two games this is very clear to me. Here is a direct
comparison of them.

		Group 1			Group 2

Start		Balazar			Pavis

Characteristics	Roll			Roll +6 spread out

Experience	After much time		After any little break

Religions	Elmal exists		No Elmal, only Yelmalio

Spirit Magic	POW*5+bonus-enc		80%+bonus-enc

Ducks		Not Outlawed		Outlawed
  Whitewall	1619			1621

  Cradle	1620			1621

  Lunar Coders	1620			1619

Current Loc.	Upland Marsh		Pavis

My point is simple. They are different people, different campaigns,
different Gloranthas.


ps. I very much enjoy the 'real' Glorantha discussions as they give me
great material to pick and choose from.


From: (Hal Bowman)
Subject: Humble Neophyte seeks aid
Date: 20 May 94 10:40:15 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4086

Good Morning!  I am a humble neophyte who is now totally lost about what has
happened with RQ.  Instead of bothering the experts on this list with my
naive questions, could someone tell me where I can write for answers to
really basic rule and culture questions?  BTW, I noticed lots of famous
nameshere.  Kudos for your efforts!   

Hal Bowman
Department of Geography   'Ask me about Project Mayhem'


From: (The Lawnmower Man)
Subject: Divine Intervention of lawn equipment.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 May 94 03:14:54 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4087

Joerg "insert quote per tradition" says>

>Scott Lawnmower in X-RQ-ID: 4054

heh!!  ( I think. )

>They may not give the powers as DIY kits, but if you look at how 
>divine magic works, essentially it is the deity channeling its power 
>through the initiate/priest at the moment the initiate asks.

Hmmmm...from that point of view, then yes, okay, I agree.

>They need to come the prescribed way, i.e. participate actively in 
>the ceremony. In RQ terms, the result of the ceremony is a 
>spontaneous one-use divine spell to be cast in the ceremony.

I hadn't thought of it that way.  I was considering only magical 
powers/spells that were useful beyond the ceremony proper.

--Scott Weedwhacker


From: (Nils Weinander)
Subject: Re: scholars and gamers
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 May 94 17:28:29 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4088

Nils Weinander writing writes:

>     I have to disagree with Devin Cutler, Nils Weinander, et al.
>on the scholar/gamer dichotomy (while thanking Devin for bringing
>up a new and interesting topic).  I believe this is a false
>dichotomy, because scholars are a subset of gamers.

You are right there.

> The scholarship, the nitty gritty what-
>the-cult-of-Orlanth-in-the-Lismelder-tribe-is-like stuff, adds to
>my appreciation of the game.
>     And I'd much rather discuss how the "real" Glorantha works
>than talk about whether the damage bonus table needs changing.

Nothing wrong with that. The problem is when someone wants to
discuss damage bonuses or some other rules issue and get a number
of harsh replies branding the stuff as GodLearnerRQ2-ism. My point
is that both kinds of discussion have an equal value and that we all
should refrain from treating the stuff we are less interested in
in a condescending manner. I don't mind a scholarly discussion and
I won't call names over it, but I will probably not contribute to
it either.

Enough on that.

Sandy P's little essay on the history of the East Isles is excellent,
I buy it completely. A further reflection on the subject: the
inhabitants of the isles would probably say that one reason why
they managed to defeat the Evil Bad Guy is that they all this time
and before have remained faithful subjects to the emperor of
Vithela and thus kept their purity.

/Nils W


From: staats@MIT.EDU (Richard C. Staats)
Subject: Heretical Malkioni in a Campaign Setting
Message-ID: <9405201737.AA23286@MIT.EDU>
Date: 20 May 94 08:38:17 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4089


        Just for the record, in my Campaign I view the differences 
between the various sects as being about the same as the differences 
between Roman Catholics, Methodists and Lutherans in the real world.  
Your granny may tell you they won't reach the solice, but when it comes 
right down to it, you all know you are on the same side.  

        I can picture some internal bickering (generally in good nature) 
amongst members of the various factions, but these differences pale 
compared to the difference between the Malkioni and an Orlanth 
worshipper.  (There are certainly more than one campaign out there with 
both Malkioni and Orlanti in the same group --- I'll bet a wheel on it!)

        On the other hand, if sophonts in Glorantha are anything like 
people in the real world then there almost certainly have been major 
conflicts fought between sects worshipping His Invisibility.  We should 
make a distinction between what organizations think of each other and 
how the individuals within the various sects interact too.  The 
individual interactions would also depend on how ``deeply'' religious 
the individuals involved were as well.  (I could see a large chunk of 
the population in a Malkioni area being fairly passive members of the 
religion as opposed to members of Waha where everyone in the tribe is 
involved in the struggle for survival.) 

        Well, that is my dram of jet fuel for the fire today!

        In service,

        Heretical Missionary for the worship of Time and Balance in
Glorantha  :-)


From: (JAJ)
Subject: Paprika
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 May 94 12:33:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4090


Greetings to all:

I'd like to say my first "Hello" to all those crazy Gloranthofiles out 
there. This is my first post to the daily; I've been too shy to post 
anything. I'm finally getting back into RQ after nearly 10 years off.

Thanks to RQ Con, a few friends and I are slowly, but surely, getting back 
into the wonderful world of Glorantha and Runequest. We still can't figure 
out how your PC's get so damned powerful - Glorantha is a very dangerous 
world... at least our Glorantha. As soon as we start getting a character 
built up to mid-range skill levels, he or she bites it!! Those damned 

My question is: How do your campaigns build up your PC's skills, magic, 
personality, history, etc. while PLAYING (adventuring and living) and not 
mainly by bookkeeping (training, apprenticeships, and the like)? Are we 
using the RQ rules system the wrong way? Any comments appreciated. 

I can answer one question that has been batted around on the daily for a 
few days: the origin of Paprika. Paprika is a Hungarian spice. In fact, 
paprika is the dried and crushed sweet European pepper known as the 
pimiento (Spain), the same pepper used for stuffing the pitted olive.


Quankey Quickfeet


From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: howdy
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 May 94 07:40:50 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4091

Joerg mentions:
>The anti-Gbaji-campaign spanned all of known Genertela (face it: we 

>know next to nothing about the far east).
	The anti-Gbaji campaign had little effect on most Praxians or  
Pent nomads, who stayed in their ancestral lands. Gbaji's influence  
did reach Kralorela, and the Kralori dragon empire knew of him and  
traded with him, though I don't think his religion spread too far  
among them. Chaos isn't as big a deal among the Kralori as it is  
among the other nations of Genertela, which were much more badly hit  
during the Great Darkness. This disinterest in what Gbaji had to  
offer made his missionary efforts somewhat superfluous. 

	But I do know that Nysalor's reign is generally thought of  
favorably by most Kralori. No doubt they mistook it for an effort to  
have a divine god-king like their own in flattering imitation. 

>From a Malkioni point of view, wasn't Chalana Arroy a well-meaning 

>healer wizard who became so obsessed with Healing that she forgot 

>the real purpose of worship and made her followers worship Healing 

>instead? (To parallel the Humct write-up in Prosopaedia.)
	Only if you assume that Humct and Humakt are the same. Even  
if Chalana Arroy is supposedly a healer wizard (which no doubt _some_  
Malkioni believe), this doesn't mean she's treated exactly the same  
as a human hero like Elamle-ata or Arkat. For one thing, she's  
reached a status level quite different from that of ordinary heroes.  
No doubt any humanity CA once had has been stripped away and replaced  
by something else. So, no, I don't think CA is a recognized saintly  
individual in Malkioni society. 

>These pure bronze veins: are they mined as metal, or as ore?
	Dunno. How about both? Veins that are thick enough or buried  
deep enough (to avoid oxidation) would still be solid metal, with  
maybe a border of ore, while other veins would just be ore. 

>If mined as metal, will bronze items corrode?
	Sure. My player's bronze items corrode all the time. Don't  

>Are these >veins still bone-shaped? 

	Only *special* bits of ore are still bone-shaped. They have  
special magic powers. You can find them in other metals than bronze,  
too, such as lead, gold, etc. 

>What kept them from corroding?
	Won't depth and comparatively little time underground do the  
trick? They've only been laying in the dirt for a few thousand years,  
after all. 

>Wouldn't it be sacrilegious >in this case to break up one's ruling  
>deity's family remains for >selfish mundane use?
	Whose ruling deity you talking about, bub? I worship  
Yelm/Malkion/Ernalda/Telmor. This bronze crap is _storm_ god stuff.  
And even if I worship a storm god, these are probably the remains of  
someone I don't care about, like Vadrus. And even if they're not,  
what better fate for them than to be turned into a plow to feed my  
children or a sword to continue fighting Darkness? 

	I'm sure somewhere there are veins of ore or bones which the  
locals know to be some important deity, and which they regard as  
sacred and untouchable, but in most cases I'm sure they're happy to  
dig up the stuff.

>If there is bronze ore, would this be similar to brass "ore"  
>(actually a mixture of copper and zinc ores)?
	Why not? Unless this has bad implications otherwise for  

>But if bronze does not require beating the way steel does, will the 

>Gloranthan redsmith have a large anvil at all? Will he have a  

	I don't know. Don't modern redsmiths need an anvil and  
furnace, if only to cast the stuff? It seems to me that if they're  
casting bronze swords, they'll need lots of heat. And I have no idea  
if a hard bronze requires beating or not. Anyone else know? I know  
that specially-hard bronze items have been found here and there  
around the world from the olden days. I've even read that the first  
iron tools were _inferior_ in hardness to the contemporary bronze  
ones, but that the greatly cheaper nature of iron (iron ore is  
everywhere) made it displace bronze. 

>Will there be layered bronze items (damascened) for sharpness? If  
>so, how would the layers differ from each other? Tin-copper ratio?
	Why not? Or perhaps they rely on enchantments or rituals to  
make specially hard or sharp swords.