Bell Digest v940526p5

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, 26 May 1994, part 5
Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
Content-Return: Prohibited
Precedence: junk


From: (David Dunham)
Subject: City catchup; trading; Black Wind; priests; crafters; supplements
Message-ID: <>
Date: 25 May 94 20:51:50 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4175

Devin Cutler says
>David Dunham writes"We always spent a lot of time training. You can bring
>some element of play
>into this unplayed time by using the catchup tables in RQ Cities (those are
>my tables, even if Midkemia forgot to give me credit)."
>Really? I like this supplement a lot, and use it for PC's who retire out of
>the campaign for a while (due to real life considerations)

Midkemia came up with the original concept, but I sold them a revised
version which was about three times the size of the original.

Mike Dickison asked about trading.
Some of my fondest gaming was running my Issaries character in caravans to
Balazar [old-timer reminiscence alert: out of print supplement about to be
mentioned]. I confess part of the joy might have been the ease of making
money, since the Balazar price lists in Griffin Mountain were quite
different from the standard RuneQuest lists. Unfortunately, they provided
no guidelines for the GM, who did eventually decide our caravans were
saturating the market.

>How do you handle ordinary meat-and-potatoes
>non-Biturian trading?

My anthro/archeology is rusty, but I do know that trade in luxury goods
(feathers, shells, rare furs, gold, amber) and obsidian (in the New World
at least) was quite common and extensive in ancient times. So one answer
is, you _don't_. Biturian Varosh [for those who don't have Cults of Prax,
he was the Issaries trader whose travels form the narrative] is accurate.
And in any case, PCs are going to be Trader Prince subcult, not Garzeen.

BTW, in Roman times, it was usually cheaper to ship by water than by land.
Britain exported grain to Rome! (This may be an exception to my earlier
statement, but I think Rome is also an exceptional case.)

>A table of the common trade goods in my area, with centres of
>origin and common destinations

I'd love to see this. Here are a couple sections from my East Ralios background:

Most clans are self-sufficient in everything except salt and raw metals.
Markets are rare, in most clans happening about once a season. Trade is
dominated by the Doskior and Argan Argar cults, though occasionally an
Issaries caravan from Vesmonstran shows up. The tribal rings provide
protection to guests in exchange for certain trading rights, such as first
choice of the items sold.
        Imports: weapons and armor, salt, cloth, metal, glass items,
shells, luxury goods.
        Exports: leather goods, furs, feathers, wood, gems.
        Internal trade: beer, wheat, soapstone, jewelry.

The Orlanthi don't mint coins. Safelstran danars are sometimes used, but
most often trade is by barter or reciprocal gift-giving. Items are valued
in terms of dairy cows.

>archive the result in soda.berkeley

Why would you want to hide the results away so those of us without Internet
access can't get at them?

Boris presented the Temple of the Black Wind. It seems awfully _organized_
for an Orlanthi organization (or are Heortlanders far more densely
populated than I picture?). It appears to be somewhat pyramidal in nature,
how many people are members? If there are only two people per member at 6th
Circle and below, that gives the organization 442 members. If the pyramid
is 1:7 all the way down, then there are over 137000 members!

Graeme Lindsell noticed
> In River of Cradles I noticed that the requirements to become a Storm
>Priest have increased significantly: the Storm Priest now needs 90% in 3
>skills. In fact, there isn't a single rune level in any of the RoC write-up
>that deosn't need at least one skill at 90% (I include the shamans of Daka
>Fal, as only a fool would wan't to try to create a fetch without 90%+ 
>Summon). Is this part of a deliberate move to make rune levels harder
>to attain, or is it only a change in Orlanth? In Dorastor: Land of Player
>Character Disposal Services Dorasta and Telmor still have the old 50% in
>5 skills for priesthood or acolyte status.

I welcome the change (I think), as it seemed that becoming an acolyte
(almost all religions that have this status have the same requirements as
for priests without as many restrictions, so most players would take this
road to reusable rune magic) was too easy, being mostly a matter of time
(50% skill is easy, 10 surplus POW is relatively easy). Though I think the
new Storm Voice requirements might be too tough.

River of Cradles still doesn't have as much detail as I'd like on the
Herald Goodword subcult. Do they have priests (and if so, what 90% skill?)
Do they have special magic (like the spell used by Queen Leika's Speaking
Companion on KoS.214, which makes an old story seem new)?

>From: WALLMAN@VAX2.Winona.MSUS.EDU (Close friend of Little Elvis)
>Is there a deity in Glorantha dedicated to crafters and artisans?

Gustbran is God of Smiths, Minlinster is God of Brewers

Mike Dawson asked
>One of the recurring complaints about past books is that
> they are too expensive.

True, I know people who didn't buy Strangers in Prax because it seemed
quite expensive relative to its size. If had been the $12 you claim for
96-page products (or even $14), I know you'd have sold more copies.

Around here, people tend to share books around (I buy everything but I'm
just like that).

While I dislike the idea of having to pay $22 for the complete Red Moon
stuff, it's probably better that you have more products out there, at a
reasonable price. I don't know if $10 seems reasonable for something as
small as 32 pages, however. Especially as the new Soldiers of the Red Moon
is basic background you want everyone to have a copy of.

Enough for today, tomorrow I'll post my East Ralios initiation report.


From: (Loren J. Miller)
Subject: relative glorantha
Message-ID: <>
Date: 25 May 94 12:06:47 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4176

As one of the prime instigators of the relative glorantha movement I
would credit its beginnings to a need to make it easier to play RQ in
Glorantha, not harder. If we have an absolutist Glorantha where
Orlanth (not Humakt, since he cut off all his ties and so his cult is
qualitatively different from other cults---it has no associate or
sub-cults---and so Humakt makes a bad example) is worshipped
identically everywhere then where am I if I write a fun scenario that
delves into a "mystery" of the Orlanth cult and want to publish the
scenario? If I use a publicly known "mystery" then it isn't a mystery,
is it? If I invent my own mystery, then I have just added to Orlanth's
cult, and very likely invented an incompatibility with other
campaigns. Once it gets published you are faced with a choice. If you
decide that Gloranthan cults are objective and uniform then you have
to rewrite the scenario or discard it. If you decide that Gloranthan
cults vary among different worshippers then you can use the scenario
without changing it and without changing the established facts in your

In any case there are several pieces of evidence which support the
theory that cults vary across the face of Glorantha.
1. There is a fundamentally different earth goddess for every region.
2. Heroquesting changes mythic truth.
3. Heroquesting requires community support for long-lasting changes.
Communities are regional by their nature.
4. Some stories are only known in one place or among one group of
people. What is a myth other than a true story?
5. Every worship service is a heroquest. (I think I was the first on
this forum to state this flat out, but Greg said exactly the same
thing at the RQ-Con Heroquesting seminar.) With constant worship there
must be constant minor adjustments to the cult. These minor
adjustments have to be local in effect, or it would get a lot uglier
than regional variations as the cult would change precipitously every

Summing up, the relativistic Glorantha is a means to make it easier
for game players in Glorantha, not harder. You can still use all the
absolute facts you want, AND you can change them too.

Loren Miller            internet:
"Enough sound bites. Let's get to work."        -- Ross Perot sound bite


From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Scholarly Stuff
Message-ID: <940525230504_100270.337_BHL21-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 25 May 94 23:05:04 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4177

Joe Lannom:

> I for one would like to play/run an individual character that started as
> a child, with a child's skills and run it until adulthood.

It can be great fun to do this. Ask Ottar, Cottar, Pepsin and Ulf (if I get 
the names right), the Bad Big Boys who apparently gave my sibs and cousins 
such a hard time at kick-the-ball games that they *still* resent it these 
days. Another stroke of David Hall's early genius...

I also enjoyed a brief run in a campaign of David Scott's, which had begun 
with pre-initiation Yelmalion kids, whose every skill percentile above base 
chance had been gained through play. This was a *very* moving experience, 
quite apart from the "Kid Wars" it provoked; especially when our childhood 
chums turned themselves into human pancakes...

> OK, I've got my summer project now... a series of childhood adventures
> for Orlanthi.

I look forward to seeing the results! A tip: historical fiction written for 
children often has good scenario ideas for this level of play, IMHO. Also, 
remember a common function of such introductory scenarios: teaching rules 
mechanics to new players, as in Apple Lane's "initiation", brawl and the 
Griffin Mountain scenes of life among the Balazarings.

Boris posted a Secret Society. I enjoyed it. No quibbles!

Sandy wrote:

> I predict that ... there is a forbidden thief "Saint" worshipped in
> Northpoint or Tanisor by Malkioni burglars.

If he's a Saint, thus IYHO automatically recognised by all Malkioni, this 
would rather spoil his disguise, no? 

I thought Lanbril had the better idea: stay anonymous and faceless, so 
nobody can pin the crimes of the "Universal Thief God" onto him...


> Illuminates are immune to spirits of reprisal [because] they don't feel
> the guilt the spirits need for homing in on the miscreant.

I like this, and believe it. I had not formulated it like this before.

> I believe that there are a lot of henotheist churches ... in Ralios.

Agreed. Ralios is the most likely place for any weird Stygian heresy, and 
appears positively Byzantine in the profusion of its variant beliefs.


> I think the _bulk_ of Heortlanders would see being a sorcerer/wizard as
> being incompatible with most cult vows.

Among the Greydogs, we see being a Lhankor Mhy Grey Sage as incompatible 
with normal clan life. But that doesn't mean we forbid our clansmen to join 
the cult, or burn those who come calling. We just think they're a bit odd. 
I imagine any wizards among the Aeolians operate in a similar social niche.

Mike Dickison:

All the following re: trade is merely IMHO.

I believe there are Gold mines in the Yolp Mountains; the rivers that flow 
from them were panned by Dara Happans.

Amber comes from Garsting [a Blank Land, so please forget I mentioned it!], 
on the shores of the Elf Sea. You can borrow more details from John James's 
excellent book, "Votan".

Insurance schemes: likeliest providers are the Carmanians (per Paul Reilly) 
or the Safelstran minor nobility (per my own Medici fiscal fantasies).

Hope these help.

Peter Whitelaw:

> Has anyone ever noticed how few questions ever get answered here?
> Someone else asked about the Gagarthi (Chris someone) did he get any
> answers? Not one. I asked if anyone wanted me to post a load of non-
> Gloranthan material for your perusal, delectation, comment or dismissal.
> But one lonely reply.

What a load of crap! I recall at least three helpful posters giving Chris 
Someone chapter and verse on Gagarth, before Sandy posted the entire text 
of the official Chaosium cult write-up. Were you asleep at the time?

I thought I was doing you a kindness by not rejecting your offer of "some 
non-Gloranthan campaign notes from a friend's campaign" sight unseen. I 
imagine that they would not be my cup of tea; that they would fit better in 
a Digest format which allows us some control over receipt (as happened with 
Sandy's wonderful Tekumel conversions). Why not ask Henk about the chances 
of your material earning this? As you want answers, *any* answers: No, I 
don't believe I'd be interested in them. That's two replies, now. Happy?

Gee, that wasn't very harmonious and productive of me! But I get irritated 
when the good things about this Daily are ignored, and I thought the speed 
of our Gagarth (and other) turnarounds was a fine and noble achievement. 
Obviously some folk missed it. Maybe they were off grinding axes at the 

Ed Wallman:

> Is there a deity in Glorantha dedicated to crafters and artisans?

Iphigios the Craft God springs to mind. Designed the acropolis of Jillaro; 
Second Wane History of the Lunar Empire. Arachne Solara weaves, of course. 
Cults of Prax disdained to name the god of tailors (too trivial!). Gustbran 
works all kinds of metals; Lodril may be a bakers' or potters' god; Uleria 
appreciates and embodies all beautiful things. Just random thoughts.

Time for some invective, to cheer Sam up.

I'll follow Graeme, who noted:

> If people want the Daily to have more rules topics, then post and discuss
> them. I must admit to seeing very few followups of rules articles on the
> Daily; they tend to post and then vanish.

This speaks for itself, really. If you don't like reading what I write, 
write something positive yourself! Don't waste our time whinging about 
perceived trends in Gloranthan scholarship, while the major part of the 
audience, voting with its typing fingers, ignores your rules postings...

Perhaps our Devin should reread the RQ:AiG and/or RQ Daily archives, if he 
imagines I never write on rules mechanics. Or check with Oliver & Co about 
the proofreading and mech-check I did for RQ:AiG's last draft. As Peter's 
post, above, this red herring irritates me no end! A hate-figure is being 
set up: the "Gloranthan Scholar Who Never Plays RuneQuest And Ruined My 
Game". Whoever he is, he ain't me!

In a harmonious, productive and amicable sense: put up or shut up. Write: 
don't faff around complaining that other people are doing it instead. And,
if you don't have anything interesting to say, announcing that this is the 
case is hardly worth your while or mine.



Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 25 May 1994, part 1
Message-ID: <>
Date: 26 May 94 00:42:09 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4178

Devin Cutler here:

Joerg writes:

"53 Lightnings instead would incinerate anything, 
even a true dragon..."

Really? What do you base this on? 53 lightning is going to do an average of
185.5 hp of damage. Somehow, I think a kilometre log True Dragon is going to
way tougher.

Does anyone have any secret info on True Dragons (like Stats)?

Martin Crim writes:

" How can your characters, in the third age, tell whether the
temple is Kolat's, some connected air god's, or some unconnected
air god's?  I submit they have no way of knowing for sure, based
on the remnants of the temple"

Well, remember this temple thing is only an example, although it is starting
to resemble some aspects of the real sceanrio. But what if an inscription
over an archway says "Blessed be Kolat, Father of the Spirits of the Winds"?

"But check out the Humakt write-up from TotRM for some reasonable
variations (like the lottery swords)."

Lottery swords are an example not of variation but of addition, of which I
have no problem.

" I see no danger of driving people away because of
the existence of a small coterie of hard-core fanatics to whom
Glorantha is more than a gaming world.  If people are bored by or
(heaven forfend) intimidated by the Daily, why do they read it?"

No one is saying the Scholarly stuff should go. The attitude that game-stuff
is worthless is what should go!

Peter writes:

"Someone else asked about the Gagarthi (Chris someone) did he get any
Not one."

I seem to remmeber that he was anwered. That he was given an explanation of
Gagarth and then referred to the TOTRM issue that has a full writeup. Did you
miss this?

Nick writes:

" I wonder if your 
interest in standardising religions and societies across the world is in 
some way connected to the speed with which you move through it? "

Do not be misled by the breadth of the areas mentioned in my campaign. Over
35 Gloranthan years have passed since its inception. My scope may be greater,
but  the speed is probably similar to many campaigns.

My interest in standardising religions is not an absolute one, it is a
reaction to a trend to over-unstandardise that has developed of late.
Personally, I would like to see a balance. But since the trend seems to be
multiplicity at all costs....I must put on my standardisation helmet and
stomp my feet.

"> If Glorantha is not a vehicle to play RQ in, then what exactly is it?

Hmmm... why did nobody ask Greg that, back in '66?"

Certainly, to Greg, Glorantha is something more than RQ, hence its preadting
RQ. But for the majority of us, Glorantha came part and parcel with RQ. They
were intertwined and, for many of us, inseparable. So, I really don't care
that Greg, when he created Glorantha, didn't envision RQ. The fact remains
that Glorantha's popularity, indeed the only reason we know about the world
at all and are discussing it now, is because of its attachment to games (i.e.
RQ, WBRM, and NG). Because of this, Glorantha is, in my mind, primarily a
vehicle in which to roleplay. That is how it was introduced to me, that is
why I purchased the stuff, and that is why I continue to play in it today.

Alex writes:

"The trouble with a One True Glorantha is that many people may not like it.
If there is inconsistency, it may annoy some people, but if Glorantha
was a rigid orthodoxy, then anyone who happened to dislike it would be
considerably more disadvantaged.  "

When did I espouse rigid orthodoxy? I am saying that there should be a
balance....not the current trend towards rampant inconsistency.

I am not asking "why can't EVERYTHING be consistent?"

I am asking "why does everything have to be inconsistent?"

" And if such did exist, determining which
Age it was built in would require rather a lot of archeological expertise
on the part of the characters, I think."

Really? I have very little archaelogical expertise, and I can tell the
difference between the ruins of a 16th century castle and a 4th century

In any case, maps scribed on stone, dates written on sarcophaggi, et al can
establish dates firmly.

In any event, as we delve deeper into Heroquest rationalizations, I start to
wonder why I should have to go through such mental and logical gyrations

In any event, I would be interested in taking this discussion off line with
anyone who would like, since I believe we have hashed out about as much as we
can on the net. If our offline discussions turn up anything new, I would then
post a summary.

It seems that, in general, no one is willing to admit that there is even a
PERCEIVED problem out there on this issue, despite the fact that others agree
with me, so it seems the status quo shall reign.


Devin Cutler


Subject: Campaign Stories
Message-ID: <>
Date: 26 May 94 00:42:17 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4179

Devin Cutler here (breaking away from the Gamers/Scholars debate):

Would the Daily be an appropriate place for people to tell us about there
campaigns? By this I mean a short narrative of the current situation or of an
interesting antecdote.

Some of the characters that Nick mentioned in the Daily intrigued me, and I
wouldn't mind hearing more about them.

I especially enjoyed the tale of Urrrgh the Ugly, and would like to see more
from other campaigns.

Anyone game?


Devin Cutler