Bell Digest v940628p2

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 28 Jun 1994, part 2
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From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: howdy all
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jun 94 07:58:30 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4861

re: resurrection
Devin C.
>in the River of Cradles area you have 4 in Pavis (per RQ2 Pavis  
>Pack), 1 in Horngate, and several in the Sun Dome. This makes at  
>least 7-8 all within a 3-4 day journey of each other. Add a Teelo  
>Norri Priestess in Pavis to take care of Lunars and you're up to  

>Hazard Fort has at least two Chalanna Arroy Priestesses (since on  
>page 114, Ashalla Cabble is called the "Ranking Healer Priestess. It  
>also has a Teelo Nori.

Well, where do you _think_ the priestesses are going to live? In the  
middle of the Wastes? They'd never meet anyone to heal that way. Of  
course all the priestesses congregate in Pavis and at the oases. Note  
by the way that the claim that Hazard Fort has two Healer priestesses  
is near-meaningless. In the first place, they may not be CA. More  
importantly, the Hazard Fort priestesses probably have to travel to  
Pavis every season or so to renew their spells. I.e., the Hazard Fort  
priestesses are not "working" priestesses, but rather are "crisis"  
priestesses, holding onto their spells until an attack  or other  

	So if there's 10 priestesses in the Pavis area, that means  
they're probably servicing everyone in all of Prax. The population of  
Pavis, the River of Cradles, the Sun Dome templars, any nomad tribes  
that happen to be within a day's travel, etc. 

	I bet the average Pavis lifespan is exceedingly short, and  
has a high demand on Resurrections. In addition, there is a great  
need for the anti-disease spells, which means the priestesses can't  
spend all their time praying for resurrection -- maybe 10% of the  
time, tops. With 10 priestesses, that would be about 90 resurrection  
spells a year. That doesn't seem like an awful excess for the region  
I predict many times that number of deaths for a typical Pavis year.  
Note also that violent deaths tend to occur in groups -- in which  
three of four guys are killed at once, in a fire, an ambush, or  
whatever. Hence, the priestesses may frequently not have sufficient  
Resurrections at one time to bring everyone back. 

	The fact that a bunch of priestesses are gathered together in  
the civilized areas of Prax doesn't mean that they're numerous  
everywhere -- it means that there's probably a paucity of priestesses  
throughout the rest of the region. (It also means that scenario  
writers like to have CA priestesses available for their adventures,  
regardless of the realism involved.) 

	There are rarely more than 1-2% CA worshipers in any area.  
Most of those are initiates, not High Healers. You can't argue with  
the numbers -- Resurrection, while available, is NOT UNIVERSAL in  
Glorantha, unless you want it so for your campaign. There's heaps of  
evidence that it's hard to come by, and often impossible. Let's also  
recall the possibility that the Resurrect ritual fails -- it does,  
you know, if the priestess doesn't overcome the victim's MPs, which  
she probably fails to do a fourth to a third of the time. 

>Regarding how many Resurrections that Priestess would have, if a  
>Chalanna Arroy Priestess is ordained at age 30,[insert number  
>crunching here] means that if she expends only half of her POW on  
>Resurrections, she will have 4 by the time she is 42 years old
	(A) a CA priestess who spends half her POW on Resurrection is  
being an idiot. I'll explain why under point (B). 

	(B) IT DOESN'T MATTER how many Resurrections she has! Let's  
assume she has 100, okay. After she's cast all 100, she can only get  
them back at the rate of 1 every three days. That's it. If she has  
100 spells, she's got to pray 300 days to get them. If she's got 1  
spell, she only prays 3 days, and over the course of a 300 day  
period, she can cast it 100 times.
	The restriction on the number of resurrections a working  
healer can use is NOT the number of spells she knows, but only in the  
amount of time she's got. And she's got 194 days a year, just like  
everyone else. Of those days, 19 are holy days and Sacred Time, when  
she has important ritual tasks -- failing in those may cost her her  
healership and harm CA herself. This means that she's got 175 days a  
year to pray for her Resurrect spell. 175/3 = 58 (app.) She could  
cast it 58 times a year IF SHE HAD NOTHING ELSE TO DO. I submit she  
has heaps of other stuff to do, not to mention praying for the  
restoration of her other spells. Here are some other suggestions for  
the working CA priestess:
	Praying for the return of her Worship spells 6 times a year:  
6 days. 

	Casting and regaining her Spellteaching spell 10 times a year  
(she probably has 10-50 initiates under her, and is obliged to teach  
them spells): 10 days. 

	10% of her time is her own, presumably spent visiting family,  
adventuring, etc.: 30 days. 

	Time spent training her initiates in Treat Disease and Treat  
Poison (if she trains 10 initiate for a single skill gain only once a  
year, and they are an average of 25%): 40 days. 

	Time spent traveling to & back from outlying areas which lack  
priestesses, since they're all living in Pavis: 20 days.
	Time spent in outlying areas, where she can't regain spells  
she casts: 30 days (10% of her time, minimal at best)
	Ritual days already mentioned: 19 days
	total time so far expended: 155. This leaves only 39 days a  
year to pray for ALL HER OTHER SPELLS COMBINED. I can't believe she  
spends more than a third of her time getting Resurrect, when Regrow  
Limb and Cure Disease are so important in a world like Glorantha. A  
third of 58 leaves us ONLY 13 days, which means that she's only going  
to cast Resurrect 4-5 times a year. Not much, eh? That's per  
priestess, of course, so if there are a dozen CA priestesses in the  
whole of the Pavis area (excessive, IMO), they can only resurrect 50  
folk or so each year. That's not many for 20,000+ people. Of course,  
most folks that die do so somewhere down the river valley, where  
there is no convenient healer priestess anyway. Still ...

>As Glorantha currently stands, Resurrection seems to be widely  
	Say it ain't so, Joe. 

>I wonder if your analysis of 1% of the population being Healers
>and only 3% of those Healers being Priestesses stacks up with what  
>has been presented.
	Almost certainly not. I doubt many scenario writers bother to  
figure out the magical ecology of the situations presented. For  
instance, in CoP, Storm Bull was presented as a major Impala tribe  
deities. Yet to my knowledge not one scenario in which a Storm Bull  
appears has presented him as specializing in the use of missile  
weapons. It just doesn't seem "right" somehow. Now, I agree that it  
doesn't seem right, but the Impala Storm Bulls must do _something_  
when they face chaos, and I bet it's not charge with couched lance. 

>your death rate for Gloranthans is a bit low...what with the current  
>state of instant Spirit Magic healing and easily curable diseases.
	The Healing makes a difference, I concur. The disease do not,  
because to cure a disease costs a Rune spell, which the priestess  
must then spend time praying for, _instead_ of a Resurrect. Combat,  
monsters, and death are more common in Gloranthan than in most Earth  
ancient cities, which rarely had yearly troll raids, incursions of  
broos, or even dragonewt hunters. 

	All in all, I feel magic is as harmful to Glorantha as it is  
helpful. The Healing spells must be weighed against the existence of  
the Cacodemon cult, malign ghosts, zombies, et. al. 

>Sandy, you say that Dormal and Argan Argar own the Communication  
>Rune. Why doesn't Issaries own this?
	He does. I wasn't attempting to list _all_ the gods who had a  
particular Rune, just a sampling. Issaries not only has that Rune,  
but _if_ it has a Source, he's it. 

What is the benefit of Resurrection?
	As a gamemaster, I find Resurrection eminently valuable. In  
the first place, I can use it to explain the return of a villain I'm  
especially enamored, years after the PCs had killed him. In the  
second place, because of fumble tables, critical hits, and plain bad  
luck, RQ occasionally has PCs perish "unjustly". I like providing a  
means for such unfair deaths to be blotted out. 

There have been a number of arguments in favor of the Rokari being  
highly sexist. If this is agreed upon, I suggest that the Hrestoli  
NOT be so sexist. (I know, Sandy, Mr. pro-Hrestoli, opines again.) I  
recommend this for two reasons, one meta-game, one not. First, it  
makes the Hrestoli a better contrast to the Rokari. Second, the  
Rokari, with their stay-in-yer-caste attitude, sound more like sexist  
stay-in-yer-kitchen chauvinists, while the Hrestoli be-all-you-can-be  
can clearly be applied to women, letting them also rise within the  
ranks, whatever those ranks might be. 

Dave P. asks:
>What does an illuminate think will happen to him after death?
	I suspect most illuminates don't worry much about it. 

>Devin, have you considered making Hyena female? 

	Though this isn't directed towards me, I believe the Hyena is  
described as male in Nomad Gods. No reason we should go by this, tho. 

>In a recent TV doc on hyenas, I saw that some African villages put  
>their garbage in the streets at night, and the local hyena pack  
>comes  and munches it all down.  Might Praxians use this sanitation  
	They probably do, but not in the way you might expect -- I  
believe that most Praxians see hyenas as irksome predators, killing  
calfs and lone beasts, and they don't tolerate them around their  
campsites. But after the Praxians leave an area, I'm sure it's as  
filthsome as any Bedouin site, and the hyenas no doubt slink in and  
much everything up. Also, I predict that hyenas tend to hang out on  
the outskirts of most oases. I feel that Praxians own dogs (probably  
mostly the property of the women) primarily to warn of the approach  
of hyenas and morocanth during the night. Plus to flush jackrabbits  
and quail. 

>I liked it better when this [Hunger] was the Undeath rune. 

	It IS still the Undeath Rune. Just like the Issaries Rune is  
also the Communication Rune, or the Sky Rune is the Fire Rune. It's  
just another name for the same Rune. My own belief is that most  
Theyalans call this the Undeath Rune, and chaotic philosophers call  
it Hunger. 

points out that Glorantha does have some artillery-like magics. I  
agree. I rescind my earlier comment that Glorantha doesn't have "real  
artillery". My original line was talking about the fact that the  
Swiss pikemen were hosed by artillery fire in the end. An  
"artillery-like" effect, by ancient standards, would be "a weapon  
that kills you  more effectively if you bunch up". The best example  
of such a Gloranthan weapon is probably elementals. If you send a  
pack o' shades against a pike wall, the shades (low on HP) may well  
be shattered after the initial impact, but so will the pike wall.
	(Warning: number-crunching magic ecology stuff coming up.) If  
a lineup of 3 meter shades is launched against a pike regiment, then  
each shade will engulf two targets, and (on the average) kill 6% of  
the targets, force 4% into physical collapse, and Demoralize 40%. Of  
course, shades are probably more effective against cavalry, where  
they'll Demoralize or knock out 97% of the horses as well. By modern  
standards, an attack that kills 6% of the targets is considered  
pretty effective. Of course, a shade attack can't be repeated. 

	In fact, thinking about elementals in combat, it occurs to me  
that not only are shades pretty damn good vs. cavalry, but gnomes and  
salamanders are, too. It's hard to imagine a cavalry charge being  
successful if the ground suddenly opens up with gnomes, and it may  
not be trivial to get your animals to charge a wall of flame. 

	May this is why so few Gloranthan cultures bother to be  
effective vs. horses -- comparatively simple magic does the trick. 

	I wonder what the standard anti-elemental techniques consist  
of? Perhaps sorcerers or Rune priests with Command and Dominate  
spells to wrest control away from the original user, or maybe a line  
of sapper-like infantry equipped with appropriate weapons to melee  
and destroy elementals before the cavalry can make their charge. Even  
more likely -- opposing elementals of a superior variety (i.e.,  
salamanders vs. shades, shades vs. gnomes, etc.)

Martin Crim:
>the Uleria write-up from Different Worlds says that there are four  
>cities by that name.
	There have been many different Zorias. I'm not sure there's  
more than one at any one time. But I know that whenever the city is  
destroyed, a new one is founded somewhere else. This may put a new,  
more sinister light, on the Mistress of Zoria's lack of fear of the  
KoW -- it's not that she can withstand an attack, it's just that she  
can escape and build a new city somewhere else -- probably somewhere  
really inconvenient for my next party of adventurers. 

>According to _Without God, Without Creed_, Spinoza (1632-1677) was  
>the first atheist. 

	Maybe by some modern definition of "atheism", but there's  
heaps of ancient writings in which it's clear that the writer did not  
believe in God or Gods. For that matter, there are numerous  
anthropological works that indicate that "primitive man" isn't  
necessarily all that devout. I know of an anthropologist who traveled  
among the Bushmen, and he claimed that, while most Bushmen adhered to  
their beliefs and rituals, many were actually skeptical as to any  
real effect, any afterlife, or any spirits.
	Perhaps these fellows' beliefs are better summed up as  
agnosticism, rather than atheism. 

"The god-men say when die go sky
Through Pearly Gates where river flow,
The god-men say when die we fly
Just like eagle-hawk and crow --
Might be, might be; but I don't know."
		-- Australian Aborigine Saying. 

>I was absolutely gobsmacked by Mr.Man
	Thank you. I think his voice is thin and reedy, too.

Dave, re: RQ2 anti-lunarism
>Hmm, in the old RQ2 days I played two characters who joined Seven  
>Mothers.Did you mostly talk to Californian players?
	Yes, and Utah ones. But we had Seven Mothers characters, too,  
they were just distrusted by all and sundry. No offense Dave, but I  
suspect you are broad-minded and experimental compared to most  
gamers. Most other American RQ campaigns I've had a scan at are  
generally anti-Lunar, too, regardless of state. 

>No published scenario really allows you to play Lunars.
	This is not anything new, tho. Only Borderlands, from the old  
days, had you playing anything remotely resembling a Lunar, and they  
were careful to distance Duke Raus from the Lunar society and cults,  
so he'd be "permissable" as a patron.

Alex Speaks:
>> I don't mind having a separate classification for women (if, in  
>>the end, they can do everything a man can do)
>Even in, say, Arolanit?
	Sure. Why not? My personal theory is that women in Arolanit  
are more egalitarian than any other Western culture, because the  
Brithini just Don't Care. Most of them don't even live together as  
man and wife.

>> I still think there are female nobility, warriors, and magicians  
>>in both Loskalm  and Tanisor
>Because they're Good Guys
	Never have my wildest critics suggest that I believe Tanisor  
to be composed of Good Guys. So there. 

	Now looky here, Alex: having men and women have different  
society roles does Not Necessarily deprive the women of all cultural  
import. Though it might, depending on the society. Female trolls  
"raise children, comfort, and tend house", yet are vastly more  
important/powerful than the males. Female Praxians do little combat  
or hunting, yet own all the female animals in the herd.( Which is to  
say, nearly all of the herd.) Female Doraddi do little combat or  
hunting, but own most of the goods. The Praxian culture is somewhat  
more sexist than the Doraddi, but this is based on cultural facets  
other than the roles assigned to women. 

	The Orlanthi are not particularly sexist, yet their women  
commonly "raise children, comfort, and tend house". But they can also  
do other things. I don't think the Malkioni are egalitarian, but I  
don't think that the trolls, the Doraddi, or the Praxians are,  
either. It's certainly a reasonable argument to say that "different  
means inferior", and claim that the fact that women are expected to  
do different things than the men means that the culture is engrossed  
in sexist bondage. In which case we have to look to the Lunars for a  
truly non-sexist country. 

Graeme ponders:
>I wonder what curse a priest of Yelm (say) could invoke, given the  
>way Yelm gives his blessing to all. 

	Perhaps the sunlight raises blisters on your skin, or  
Demoralizes you, so you have to stay inside and only come out after  
dark, like a vampire or trollkin. 

re: Dorastor CA broos
	I think they join CA _primarily_ because of Cure Chaos Wound  
-- that's an Extremely Handy Spell if you live in Dorastor. 

Cullen O'Neill
>The most fun (game-wise) would be to have the more consevative  
>Rokari refuse to recognize Saint Michelle (or, better, recognize her  
>as a watered down version of herself
	I agree. I imagine the more radical members of St. Michelle  
amongst the Rokari hope that a stunning success by members of her  
order will enable Things To Change. I see them a little as  
suffragettes, I suppose -- hated and condemned by the establishment.

re: St. Michelle
	I think it should be St. Michelle because of Michelle Ringo.  
However, it can be spelled differently. It's a time-honored tradition  
to name Gloranthan places and names after people. Cam's Well, the  
Biggle Stone, Waha the Butcher, the Tada Shi, Yan Starcere,  
Swenstown, Jonstown, Makla Mann, and numerous other Gloranthan points  
are _all_ named after quite specific folks who are alive today. Why  
shouldn't Michelle be so immortalized? If "Michelle" is too Terran to  
accept, Elleish looks good to me.

Sandy Petersen