Bell Digest v940624p3

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, Fri, 24 Jun 1994, part 3
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From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: the mental state for genocide
Date: 23 Jun 94 11:21:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4765

Cullen O'Neill in X-RQ-ID: 4740

> Joerg Baumgartner : in X-RQ-ID: 4703
>> and even lesser identification objects, like soccer teams (everywhere
>> outside the US), chariot races (in Dark Age Byzantium, cf. Nika riots
>> event card in Credo), or whatever.

> I'm not talking a sudden outburst of suppressed rage, I'm talking about
> systematically killing people to save their souls (a la Spainish (or any
> other) Inquisition).

Systematical killing of people needs no conviction, all it needs is a 
solid chain of command. The Nazi regime has proven this to excess...

> Don't tell me you agree with Devin's position that
> ancient people aren't really much different than people today?

I don't.
"Ancient people" have motivations quite different from ours. Who among us 
is as willing to die for honour as the heroic age individuals were?
"Ancient people" have been taught to interpret their experiences in a 
totally different frame of reference. We can try to simulate this, but 
having a real life to live, with strong experiences, we often fail. Our 
moralty seems obscene to certain ancient cultures, e.g. _not_ marrying 
the own siblings, _not_ eating a slain enemies' bodyparts, _not_ raping 
subdued enemies, _not_ sacrificing our firstborn or our leaders in times 
of trouble, _not_ keeping the station we are born into, _not_ comitting 
suicide in the face of dishonour. Not all in one culture, but there you 

> Where is this Rigtaina reference from?

Dorastor, in the Dorasta write-up (p.116)

My index still is good for such questions. Feel free to ask me directly.

> By the way do you consider the Balazarings to be Dog Hsunchen?

In my great Hsunchen sweep I was convinced they aren't today.

Someone else asked about the whereabouts of Zoria:
Northern Fronela, on the tributary of the Janube west of Rathorela.
--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: What Divination really is about
Date: 23 Jun 94 11:21:28 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4766

Devin Cutler in X-RQ-ID: 4749

> Colin Watson writes:

> "I'd say the info from the divination is just based on what the god usually
> knows (mostly from worshippers prayers). If the Divination gives you a
> "good reference" then you get accepted. A bad reference, or too-little info
> would result in rejection."

> Well then, what's the point of the Divination in the first place? Why not
> just ask around and get the opinion of the temple members verbally?

Now you're falling out of your role: Asking the deity for something 
everyone knows certainly is more devout.

Also, in your prayers to your deity you never use tact. If your chief 
priest has set you back, you'll keep silent about it in public, but in 

Divination is not, and has never been, a tool of inquisition. That's what 
the nifty Lhankor Mhy spells are for. Divination is the ritual to tell 
your deity what is going on, and a humble question if the deity has an 
opinion on this.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Jonas Schiott)
Subject: Mixed...
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Jun 94 20:42:45 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4767

Last calls for Growing Pains:

I'll be dropping out of the Daily come July (be back in August, though),
and I probably won't be checking for other e-mail very often (I'm not even
sure I can access a terminal), so if you want the Chaos Apes' amazing East
Wilds scenario to read during your vacation (?) you've got one week left to
ask for it.

Now for some smart-ass remarks to various other peoples' earnest efforts.
Eric in X-RQ-ID: 4739:

>Maybe this
>Lokamayadon guy is just misunderstood.

Definitely. In the Ralios history I posted some while ago there's a passage
about what a stupid little reactionary twerp that Harmast guy was :-). I've
since regretted including it in _that_ particular text, which we otherwise
tried to keep free of value judgements, but it is certainly a viewpoint
that would have existed. And been true in some sense for some people.
Barron in X-RQ-ID: 4753:

>Imagine a person's progression in a cult as a heroquest of sorts.

Other have suggested (or even ranted about) similar conceptions, but to me
it devalues the whole idea of HQing. What you're saying does remind me a
good deal of the introduction to the RQ2 rulebook. The kind of 'mundane
HeroQuest' you want is what the term "RuneQuest" should cover.

>I like the idea that these are an
>aspect of the internal guilt of the offender.

Why, thank you. :-)

>My thought is that the
>person, having been raised and acculturated (physicists shouldn't use words
>like that...) into a certain religon would have some hidden guilt no matter
>how hard they deny it.

Yes, that's pretty much what we had in mind...
Barron in X-RQ-ID: 4755:

>I think a lot of the
>discussion of the H/R have been too influenced by our worlds
>reilgious/social history.

Hear, hear!

If you want a _romantic_ view of medieval Europe, go play Pendragon (or
perhaps Ars Magica).

If you want a _realistic_ view of medieval Europe, what are you into FRP for?
In X-RQ-ID: 4749, Devin sums up the debate on history rather well, with the
best arguments I've seen so far (in this forum, that is). But I still get
this urge to point out that whatever he or Cullen or Nick (I think those
were the principal flame-breathers, my apologies if I've forgotten someone)
thinks, there is no such thing as a 'state of the historical art' or
consensus among historians (or among philosophers, but _that_ shouldn't
surprise anyone) on the question "Where ancient people like us or not?".
Now, if you want _my_ answer (if you don't, cover your eyes) it would be
something like this:

We don't know.

There's no way for us to find out.

All we can do is take the assumptions we like best and see where they lead
us. Then we can ponder whether or not we like the results.

Of course, a lot of this only applies to real, Earth history. At least for
me, one of the main attractions of writing fictional history like that of
Glorantha (BTW, I regard even writings about the 'present day' of Glorantha
as history, since our perspective on it is anything but contemporary) is
that I can have a certain omniscience.

Hmm, guess I'm sticking my neck out slightly here. If you want to flame me
for it, please remember the deadline I mentioned at the start of this

(      Jonas Schiott                                   )
(      Institutionen for Ide- och lardomshistoria      )
(      Goteborgs Universitet                           )


Subject: Heroic MOB
Message-ID: <>
Date: 24 Jun 94 10:10:53 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4768

G'day everyone!

Just got my travel plans organised to get to Convulsion, so I'm feeling
happy!  Now coming over on Gulf Air, arriving in Old Blighty on the 12th.

Cullen Grace asks:

>Here's a fun question:  What was the name of the Red Goddess in life, before
>her apotheosis?  

That would be young Miss Teelo Norri, I would guess.  One of my
most vivid memories of RQ Con was Nick B's (somewhat drunken, slurred) 
recitation of Chris Gidlow's "Seleric Verses" featuring the Red Goddess 
in her mortal guise.  Despite the sub-zero temperatures I too had developed 
a bit of thirst for amber fluid, and found this erotic story quite arresting.  
It had lotsa cool words in it like "monstrant", which are fun to say after 
an ale or three.  TotRM hopes to feature some of these stories soon.

The Imboyngi
David Cake:

>There is a document that I have written about Doraddi culture,
>basically a 'this is how the Doraddi think, this is how they interact' sort
>of thing. So far the only people that have seen it are MOB and Sandy (Sandy
>liked it). I based it partly on real North African culture.

>MOB, or someone, I plan to submit this to Tales. Will Tales have a
>problem if it has already been posted here?
Hey, I liked it too!  Only I couldn't feature it in Tales #11 as it was
submitted too late.  We are planning a return visit to Pamaltela in a
later issue, featuring some of Sandy's recent RQ Daily outpourings on
the subject.  So running stuff in the zine that's had its genesis here
shouldn't be a problem.

P.S. When I first saw the word "imboyngi" I thought it must have been an
anagram for another real word or name for some reason - it looks like
one for some reason (then I read the article).


After being pulled up for being cheerfully inconsistent with  magic point 
casting chances wrong (Strangers in Prax) and ENC values for NPCs 0.5 
out (Japanese translator of Sun County), I'm excited to find Jim Chapin 
asking all sorts of curly questions about Shadows on the Borderlands and 
parts of Strangers in Prax I had nothing to do with!  As most of the 
questions that Jim asks about refer to probable typos and rules 
glitches, I'll focus on only one (this is just my opinion):

>Also on page 46 of the same pack (SoB), it says that the broo Woroshi has to 
>wait for a talisman to protect him from mad head ghosts. But he is 
>listed as an Atyar initiate and should therefore have the blemish 
>which should protect him from the ghosts.

Here's my guess.  Thanatar is an amalgam of two seperate cults - Tien and
Atyar.  In some places, the cults are entirely seperate.  Obviously
Woroshi is from one of these (in Kralorela), which is why he is only
in Atyar.  In other places the cults have amalgamated (eg. Than-Ulbar
in the Tunnelled Hills - see Sandy on this a few weeks back).  If an
Atyar cultist needs the talisman to get into a temple safely, then,
ipso facto, members of Atyar don't receive the blemish upon
initiation.  Maybe they get a set of steak knives.

"Marm! Yes, Marm!"

Barron Chugg asks:
>One thing I'd like to see in Gloranthan publications: Female, Lunar
>military officers.  The Lunars seem to have no problem generating female
>Heroes (Hon-Eel, Jar-Eel, etc), but the everyday army seems dominated by
>men (probably that insidious Dara Happan influence (am I ragging on these
>guys or what!)).  

This is just like in the oft-times irritatingly politically correct Star 
Trek:TNG where all the admirals lately seem to be women, though there are 
damn female captains out there doing the Picard heroic stuff*  

>Let's see some women as officers, tax collectors and
>(best of all) provincial governors.  In the Lunar Empire esspecially, women
>in power should not be the exception.

The Lunar Coders in Strangers in Prax are 40% female (40% male, and 20%
eunuch) though maybe they go into the "heroic" mould Barron mentions.

Soldiers of the Red Moon features a number of female characters holding
a wide variety of ranks and positions (though there are certain regiments 
which females cannot join, eg. Dara Happan ones).  The correct mode of 
address for a female officer in the just and equalitiarian Lunar Army is
"Marm" (ma'am), not "Sir" (like they do in Star Drek).

Hey, my wife played a Lunar tax collector in RQ Con's Home of the Bold!

[*Entirely off the topic, but why is it that in just about every American 
movie or tv show whenever there is court scene the judge is black, and 
usually a woman too?  I saw that movie "A Few Good Men" on video the 
other night and, sure enough, when they got to court, the judge was 
another black guy. I doubt if this impression would be an accurate
reflection of the US judicary?]

Late Train

Sandy writes:
>I recently read Alan Bullock's book "Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives":
>the Nazi beauracracy seemed monumentally inefficient. I doubt the trains
>ever did run on time, and if they did the Nazi's had nothing to do with

I'm planning to read Bullock's door-stop of a book soon.  I too have read
in other places that Nazi Germany was run more like a medieval fiefdom than
the lean and mean superpower its propagandists made out.  Makes me wonder
what Loskalm is *really* like, once you look behind the gloss?

Byz Biz

There's been a quite a few referalls to the Byzantines on the Daily of
late.  While I would by no means claim to be an "expert" on this
historical period (or any other for that), this is a period I find very
interesting and have read a bit about.

Michelle Ringo mentioned in her discussion about roles for women:
>...for example, Byzantine society simply numbered there daughters Prima, 
>Secunda, Tertia, etc., due to their lack of value.

In fact, the Emperor Romanus II (959-63) did not hesitate to pack all
five of his daughters off to a convent to please his new wife, Theophanu.
However, princesses born in the purple birthing chamber (the Porphyrogeniti)
did have value, as they could be married off to irritating rulers on the
Empire's fringes.  One was even married to a Mongol Khan in the 10th century,
and later, when the Byzantine star was definitely on the wane, even to
the Turks!  (Mehmet II the Conqueror claimed he was descended from 
the Imperial House of Comnenus, and his beloved stepmother, wife of Sultan
Murad II, was a Serbian princess).

Several women actually ruled the Empire in their own right:
In 641 Martino, who was appointed co-ruler with her stepson by the dying 
Emperor Heraclius, tried to seize sole power.  She had her tongue cut out and
was sent into exile - by the order of her stepson!

In 780 Leo V made his wife Irene co-ruler with her son Constantine VI, and she
had a stormy decade ruling before being deposed.  However, her son made
such a botch of things she was recalled seven years later, and had 
Constantine blinded in the Purple Bedchamber where she bore him.  Irene then
ruled in her own right, and was referred to in the masculine, as Basileus,
not Basilissa.

In the mid-11th century two sisters Zoe and Theodora were co-rulers for a short
period, then Theodora took over for a year.  You can read all about them
and their strange vices in Psellus's Chrongraphia (in Penguin Classics).

Of course, the greatest female ruler of the Byzantine world was Theodora, wife
of Justinian.  She was an ex-prostitute (read Procopius's Secret History
to get the dirt - it's in Penguin Classics too!), but then, Justinian
himself was originally a Macedonian peasant whose uncle (Emperor Justin)
was illiterate and signed all documents with a stencil.  Theodora never ruled
in her own right though, but saved her husbands reign during the Nika
Riots (she said flee if you want, but the Empire makes a fine winding sheet).

Women were not quite as free as they were in Rome, and were expected to 
spend much of their time in the Women's Quarters.  Nevertheless, women

were able to influence events behind the scenes, which I guess is the
case throughout much of history.

Lotsa MOBs lately!

>Of course, both tend to work better than the "heroic mob".
Someone else:
>Then, of course, there is the heroic mob of the Germanics and the medievals.
And someone else:
>Sure they faced 'em -- the Gallic mobs were not dissimilar during the Roman

And then there is the Aussie MOB, not particularly heroic, but certainly
very disorganised!

See (some of) You Soon!




From: (Official Heat Sink)
Subject: Resurrection
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Jun 94 04:14:49 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4769

>You will have to somehow explain to me how, in a Glorantha where 
>Chalanna Arroy has a reusable Resurrection, charges only what the 
>recipient can afford (donations actually), and is willing to heal 
>almost anyone, Resurrection is not widely available? 

Okay, I'll take a stab at it (for what my opinion's worth, 
approximately 0.076 Japanese yen at the moment), if for no other 
reason than I tend to side with Joerg:  I'm not comfortable with the 
idea of a widely available, reliable resurrection.

First, the axioms:  

	Chalanna Arroy has a reusable Resurrection.

	Priestesses charge only a donation ("Not *that*
	nominal!" she says.... ;)

	CA devotees are willing to heal anyone who is not
	obviously chaotic, such as Broos or Howard Stern.

These three alone do not a "widely available" resurrection make, 
chiefly because we have ignored 1) the availability/distributions of 
CA priestesses, lozenge-wide, and 2) the fact that a given priestess 
has a limited resurrection ability.  If a warlord brings in three 
bodies to a priestess with only one Resurrect to her name, two people 
stay dead.  (Unless they want to keep the other two bodies around 
until she's had a chance to regain her spell.)  

I'd expect to see a fair number of priestesses with multiple 
Resurrects only in larger cities, and since the surrounding 
population is greater there, I think it safe to say that there's a 
pretty low Resurrection per capita ratio no matter where you go.  If 
I understand the CA temple policy, it's "first come, first served."  
If you're pretty far down the queue, you have only a slim chance of 
coming back from the dead.

All of which assumes that there is a CA priestess within seven days 
travel and someone is willing to drag your carcass that far, which I 
think is not often the case.

In other words:  it's available, but not *readily* available.



From: (Official Heat Sink)
Subject: Jurassic Shamans
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Jun 94 04:39:12 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4770

>And lastly, I recently ran a game where a Broo shaman had possed an 
>allosaur with a view to mating it with some of his tribe.  (As if 
>the thought of 10 tons of intelligent spell casting carnivore
>wasn't bad enough.) Sort of shades of Jurrasic Park.  Can anyone 
>give me rational why this sort of thing doen't happen more often?

Oh, I don't know...getting eaten while attempting to possess the 
allosaur could be a factor. :)  (I suspect they're hard to find by 
the discorporate....)


From: (Brent Krupp)
Subject: Allosaurus Broo...
Date: 23 Jun 94 01:09:46 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4771

> From: (Philip Juffs)
> Subject: Sun Dome Hoplites and the Romans
> Message-ID: <>
> Date: 22 Jun 94 13:25:08 GMT
> X-RQ-ID: 4742
> And lastly, I recently ran a game where a Broo shaman had possed an
> allosaur with a view to mating > it with some of his tribe.  (As if the
> thought of 10 tons of intelligent spell casting carnivore > wasn't bad
> enough.) Sort of shades of Jurrasic Park.  Can anyone give me rational why
> this sort of thing doen't happen more often? 

A while back, someone made the *excellent* suggestion that Broo pay POW 
when they mate with other creatures, thereby justifying the (often) 
outrageous results. "Normal" host creatures (herd animals) only cost 1 
POW, or maybe nothing at all, but crazy stuff (rhinos, walktapi, 
allosauri, wood stoves) cost more in proportion to how distant the host 
is from the usual cloved-hooved victim.

In this context, the large POW expenditures that would be involved in
making Allosauri Broo would tend keep it from happening too often, but
when it does, it certainly sounds like an excellent thing for budding
heroes (i.e. Player Characters) to battle against. 

Brent Krupp (

P.S. To Phillip: keep your line lengths below 75 or so... makes messages 
look better on the Digest.


From: (Jim Lai)
Subject: Erasing the Memory of Machine Gods and Hero Paths
Date: 23 Jun 94 07:38:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4772

In X-RQ-ID: 4753, (Barron Chugg) speculates
on topics befitting of a Godlearner:
|My postulate is that runemagic is not a manifestation of the
|diety reaching into the mundane plane, but of the initiate laying their
|will upon the world and manifesting a HQ-like trait.

How about this: By becoming more like their god/dess in action, the initiate
becomes more like them in capability.  Paths laid down on the Hero Plane make
for easy walking down the path.  Of course, one can HQ to make one's own
path, but unless one later becomes deified and worshipped, newly gained
powers can vanish, right?  The deity doesn't have to lift a finger, as the
path has already been laid down.  The reason that lawful god/desses can be
fooled is that they cannot read minds yet they follow through on their
(self-imposed) obligations.  (Entanglements?)

|This is the crux of my idea: that runemagic comes from within.

Er, what consequences would this have for the sacred utuma ritual?  :)

|Since this is becoming rather long, I'll just hit a few more ideas.  The
|first is tha of spirits of reprisal.  I like the idea that these are an
|aspect of the internal guilt of the offender.

They're also culturally-based spirits, as they take form from the beliefs of
the group, not the individual.  As we all know, spirits founded in a group
are more capable than those of the individuals singly.

The Hero Plane isn't really all that distant, now that I come to
think of it...

[This disturbing note was found at the desk of Iim the Scribe soon after his
 untimely disappearance.]