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From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: What happens at worship ceremonies?
Date: 12 Jul 94 14:31:07 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5120

Devin Cutler in X-RQ-ID: 5106

brings the topic to a critical point of Gloranthan roleplaying: what 
happens in worship ceremonies? How must we picture them? How does a GM 
describe to his players what happens?

The only printed informations about worship ceremonies we have are from 
Biturian's travels, the Orlanthi ceremony at Pairing Stone, the Winter 
Festival in the Paps, and the Aldrya ceremonies in the Redwood Forest 
in eastern Dagori Inkarth; and from Troll Gods Jonstown Compendium, which 
describes outsider views into troll rites.

Time to expand these, isn't it?

> "You've yet to explain how, or why, this should be the case, though.  What
> element of a ritual might be _impossible_ for the non-devout (however
> defined) to perform correctly?"

> In my view, when a ritual is being performed, the worshippers basically
> invite the god or a piece/avatar of that god to enter the mundane plane (or
> perhaps the ritual enters the god plan, or a bit of both) and to possess
> them.

I like the overall description of this, but I doubt that this is what 
happens to the worshippers as a mass. Not even the initiates attending. 
The officiating priest might experience something like this, or the chosen 
impersonification of the Avatar (I still think that this is what Rune lords 
do; priests handle the magical energy flow from the worshippers to the 
deity, rather than impersonate it except in blessings. If an avatar or 
a piece of one is embodied in an individual, this will perform the tasks 
demanding active participation of the deity.

> In other words, during a high holy day, when worshippers gain POW, they
> gain such from coming in direct contact with their deity, who enters them
> body and soul.

Worshippers gain POW on HHDs? Wasn't it just the officiating priest who 
channels the vast amount of life force to the deity?

> It is at this time that a god can determine the devoutness of
> the worshippers.

Rather the willingness of the worshipper to give up some of her excess 
life force (aka MP) to give to the deity.

> Such a view does not violate the Compromise, since the
> worshippers have invited the god into themselves, but it does mean that the
> worshippers must be devout or the god will find out.

The worshipper must be willing to go along with the ritual, and to give 
up most of her excess life force to the deity. No more, no less. If being 
devout consists of this, and this alone, ok, they need to be 100% devout.

> Same sort of thing happens when a worshipper sacrifices for Divine Magic. The
> worshipper calls out to the god, invites him into his soul, the god places
> the appropriate spell "into" the worshipper's soul (or modifies the
> worshipper's soul such that the spell may be cast). It is even possible that
> some of the POW sacrificed to gain Divine Magic is not lost ot the god, but
> merely represents the god's altering of a portion of the worshippers' soul
> into a mimic of the god's essence, such that a Divine Magic spell may be
> cast.

Nice and colourful, but even if true, does not contain any mind police, 
except for very favoured worshippers.

I picture the deities as a quite pragmatic lot when it comes to deal 
with their worshippers. Of utmost importance to them is to receive more 
magic/life force in the deal than they deal out. It is nice if they stand 
behind the religion full mind and heart, but as long as they feed the 
deity, they remain acceptable. A deity is only as strong as the supporting 
mundane forces. In case of the greater deities, natural forces come in as 

Life force is never pure when generated, personality always rubs off 
with the MP. As long as the personality attached to the life force isn't 
tainted, the life force remains acceptable.
(Thanks, Paul, for this concept.)

Illuminates might be able to produce untainted life force. Opinions?

> In any case, by inviting the god into intimate contact in order to gain the
> divine magic, one also allows the god to determine intentions and emotions
> and, thereby, devoutness.

No. Intentions, never. Emotions, maybe. Mainly awe, or fear of the dangers 
of Godplane, or worry from troubles in daily life, which may be specified 
voluntarily, but needn't be specified in order to participate.

And one preliminary step in important rituals will be the ritual cleansing 
of the participants - in Orlanthi ceremonies very minor variations of 
either the Baths of Nelat or the Flame of Ehilm, like having to pass 
through a burning doorframe erected outside the sanctified area, or 
to ritually wet your brow with water from some special container.

These ceremonial preparations also clear the mind of the worshipper, 
they are an important magical ritual which makes it possible for the 
initiates to participate in the real part of the worship ceremony.

One side effect of these rituals is to put people into the right frame 
of mind; they are similar in nature to Demoralize or Fanaticism in that 
they produce a state of mind not naturally attainable.

Once in this state of mind, it is hard to be anything but devout...

> Illuminates are altered enough to mask or hide
> their true intentions. Some excpetional characters may have also been able to
> do so. 99.99999% of Gloranthans do not have the mindset or willpower to hide
> themselves from their god.

I'll grant you an Orlanthi all (i.e. 85%), but not your 7.0 pure 
worshippers. Except devoutness consists of the purely mechanical feeding 
considerations I detailed above, in that case okayed.

> "The average number of points lost to a contracted stat-zapping disease is
> 1+100/(CON*N), where N is the "tenacity" fudge-factor.  Thus is depends
> entirely on the fortitude of the character on the one hand, and the
> maliciousness of the ref on the other.  A tenacity-1 disease will handily
> kill off a CON 10,  10 character more often than not."

> Is this system from RQAiG? As I have stated before, I do not yet have RQAiG,
> so I must restrict my observations of Glorantha (as must 99% of those who
> play RQ) to RQ2 and RQ3.

No, it is straight RQ3. CON*5 you get for lying in bed, with a nurse caring 
for all your needs. Most diseases are contracted in the outskirts, where 
CON*3 is granted if you're moved around in anything less comfortable than 
a sedan chair or left lying in your sleeping roll without a tent. Characters 
defending themselves sink to CON*2, and if they are wounded in the process, 
to CON*1. Rather bleak chances for someone in Vulture Country exposed to 
one of Muriah's minion...

> "But my point was that whatever stats you do lose needs a one-use spell to
> be healed back.  And if after a few untreated exposures, you can easily
> get yourself dead, and unresurrectable."

> Not when Stat training is so easy in RQ3. The average Con 10 character will
> lose 1-2 points of a stat to any disease. This means a season or two of down
> time to retrain it. Big deal.

Two seasons you could have sed for survival skills, or for Rune level 
training. Half a year of your life's experience annihilated. How does 
this sound?

And some characteristics aren't trainable; brain fever is a special terror.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Spell spirits again
Date: 12 Jul 94 14:34:33 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5121

Devin Cutler in X-RQ-ID: 5107

> Joerg writes:

> "That's a great deal for a 1-point spirit spell. And highly abusable - 
> imagine a party teaming up against a ghost, the first participant 
> softening up the spirit, then the second casting control and taking over, 
> and so on. Even hairier than the current "there's no way to control a 
> spirit while corporeal" rule. And it makes Subere's Attack Soul a lot less 
> effective (still great against corporeal entities...)."

> Can't this be done with several Priests and Spell Teaching?

You mean for _huge_ spell spirits?

I would rule no. The Spellteaching ritual is a special case of a Summon 
ritual which includes the Command of the summoned spirit, and works 
only because the summoned spirit cooperates with the cultists.

This means that once the spirit is summoned, it is there, manifest, 
and cannot be resummoned. The Command of the summoning priest is limited 
to "Teach!" and designing a recipient. The rest is up to the recipient.

I rule that the recipient has to let the spirit access him unhindered, 
else the spirit isn't obligated to teach its spell.

> "You don't need to be associated to buy a spell from a temple, it just costs 
> more. And Yelmalio initiates are more often than not active Ernalda 
> Lay Members, with access to loads of friendly cult spirit magic."

> Then GoG or RQ needs to state this. GoG implies that only your cult or
> associated cult spells may be learnt. Why isn;t a cost guideline given?

The rules say that initiates of the cult gain cheaper access to the 
spells. While I agree with the AiG designers that access to the powerful 
spells is too cheap in RQ3, the possibility to buy spells from other 
cults than one's own has been in the rules already in 1984, in the 
"DeLuxe" edition.

> "Ok, but then there is the next problem: the priest has fought the spirit 
> down to zero MP. How does this sorry remains of a spell spirit initiate 
> spirit combat?"

> Spell spirits, when they lose their spell because someone beats them down to
> zero MP and learns the spell, go back to the primal soruce of the spell and
> regain it. This is from RQ3 (I don't remember where).

Which means that only the caster of the control spell (which is needed to 
make the spirit attack in the first place) can learn the spell. So to learn 
the spell from an unaligned spirit you'd need to cast Control Spell Spirit 
upon it. In my most benevolent days, I only allowed the summoner to try and 
control a spirit summoned by him with a control spell, and only one chance, 
as soon as the summoning is completed and the mental link to the summoned 
entity still exists.

(Once I had a runaway shaman aprentice turned thief in my campaign who 
tried to access spirit magic exactly this way. The rest of the party was 
quite busy to find exorcists...)

> "And: is the Summon Spell Spirit the priest uses a divine or a spirit 
> spell? If it is a spirit spell, where did he get it?"

> Spirit spell. He got it from his priest, who got it from his priest and so
> on. The point is, once a useful spell like Summon Spirit Magic Spell Spirit
> gets infected into a cult spell teaching system, it will propogate wildly.

So the spell spirit conveying the spirit spell Summon Spell Spirit has 
to be learned this cheating way as well? Or did the shrine's attendant 
start to worship the spell spirit in order to make it more willing to 
serve the cult? In this case, you get a fully fledged spirit cult attached 
to the shrine, and to learn the spell you'd have to sacrifice 1 POW for 
initiation. Attractive enough for worshippers who have no alternative, 
I'd expect, but more costly than the regular way of going to a non-hostile 
temple and paying too much.

> Nowhere in the spell description of Spirit Screen does it say that it allows
> affected spirits to disengage. That is a holdover from RQ2, where a fully
> blocked spirit COULD disengage (but then again, ANY spirit could disengage
> from RQ2 spirit combat).

If it doesn't, then IMO it should. One thing to do for the next edition.

> Spirit Block still does allow a spirit to break off if it is brought down
> below the level of the Spirit Block.

The same should apply to spirit Screen, IMO.

> "RQ3 knows two outcomes for actual spirit combat: either participant is 
> fought to zero MP, or one has a 10 point+ advantage, is discorporate and 
> breaks off."

> Then that would imply that Resurrection involves full spirit combat down to
> zero, and CA would have a full compliment of Spirit combat affecting magics
> so that Resurrections and expellation of disease spirits would become
> trivial. I don't like it.

The expellation of disease spirits can be done with a compliment of 
healing spirits. Since the disease spirit is embodied, the healing 
spirits can take turns to soften it up.

> "What I 
> was thinking of were disease spirits. Get only a mild affliction, and 
> you're doomed without outside help."

> Which any CA priestess with a healing spirit and Spirit Block can kick out
> with no problem. The CA has access to Spirit Block and Spirit Screen. The
> disease spirit does not.

Getting to the CA priestess through the wilderness is the trick. And the 
healing spirit must be rested, the Spirit Block must be ready, ...

> "The average CON roll would be CON*3, which gives you considerably worse 
> chance to make your roll."

> In RQ3, it states that the typical Con roll for all diseases is Con x5%, and
> only special tenacious ones are less.

One paragraph lower the penalty for not staying in bed (a bad idea in a 
broo infected ruin, IMO) is detailed.

> Yes, I agree an interesting little adventure. But since when is a farmer
> concerned about pride? He must lead his cow into the city to butcher it.

Since he is an Orlanthi.

To butcher a beast, one lets the butcher come to the stead, not vice versa. 
Or one drives a whole herd of these beasts to the market. The guys who do 
so mostly are professionals who buy comparatively cheap at the steads and 
gain city prices at the markets.

When you travel to the temple, you wear your best outfit, at least on the 
last stage of the trip when you present the damned gift to the priesthood. 
This is a lot different from cowboying...

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Joseph Christopher Wehman)
Subject: Turnip Boy
Message-ID: <>
Date: 12 Jul 94 03:51:29 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5122

Turnip Boy Prays:

May the light of Yelmalio ever shine on Turnip Boy(Dr.Bing) and forgive the
non-believers who tied him upside down and naked, hanging over the walls of
Boldhome.  May his healing turnips ever feed the dark,evil ones(trollkin)
who have accepted his  Also, let his anatomically
correct drawings always keep his pockets full of coins.  Finally, may
Yelmalio let Turnip Boy release Dragon Pass from the scourge of hasia(sp?)
and impure action.

"Player to Gm!Player to GM!"


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: POW, ressurection, runes.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 12 Jul 94 15:20:05 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5123

Brent Krupp:
> [...] in RQ2 an 18 POW still meant a 35% of gaining
> POW with a roll, and that RQ3 (broken as it is) in dropping the POW max to
> 21, and removing the POW minimum *must* expect RQ3 priests to keep their
> POW below 18. 

I'm not particularly bothered about the exact figure, I just think RQ3 needs
to be fixed so that priests have a clearer motivation to keep their POW
"high".  But recall that RQ3 priests have sources of POW gain rolls that
RQ2 priests didn't, so the raw chance isn't directly comparable.

Sandy muses:
> 	In RQ II, the Lunars had reusable Resurrection, and were the  
> only group in the world, aside from Chalana Arroy, to do so. I have  
> not yet decided whether or not they deserve to continue possessing  
> this power, though I tend towards them having it.

I think the RQ2 position stems somewhat from the implicit assumption that
the Lunars didn't simply worship Chalana Arroy.  It seems quite reasonable
to me that that's exactly what they do.  After all, she is part of Yelm's
Court, and is already widely worshipped in Peloria as such.

There may be a "healed" CA cult in the Empire which has a reusable Ress.,
at a push, but I'd suspect in this event, that it _isn't_ Deezola.  Deezola
does various other magic, and has less onerous cult restrictions (I gather),
for two things.

Joerg on Nil's runemoticons:
> Stasis          Movement        Ambition
> I'm not sure about this. Ambition implies more change than stasis.

Trouble is, paired powers tend to fit paired emotions better than a single
one.  Something neutral covering Vigorous and Lethargic would be ideal.

> Harmony         Disorder        Temperance

"Temper", perhaps, rather.  Or... where's that thesaurus gone?

> Luck            Fate            Hope
> Soul?

Mood?  Manic-depressive? ;-)

> Joerg the ASCII artist strikes again:

Don't give up ther day job, Joerg. ;-)

> As it is now, Mastery and Slavery put together result in an inverted 
> Communication Rune (I added a frame for reference):
> The implications of this triple of Runes I will leave to the philosophers, 
> but it is the first "explanation" I have found for teh lack of an opposite 
> to Communication.

Wasn't Silence also suggested?  Certainly "It isn't a Power rune!" was...

>     /|\      /|                 |               
>    / | \    / |    \  |  /      |     \   /     
>    \ | /    \ |     \ | /       |      \ /      
>     >|<      >|      >|<       /|\      |       
>    / | \    / |     / | \     / | \     |       
>   /  |  \  /  |    /  |  \   /  |  \    |       
>    root     a)        b)        c)      d)      

> The root Rune might mean Otherworld, the Rune a) might mean sacrifice, 
> b) could be another version of fate (destiny?), c) is another division 
> along the Pamalt Rune scheme, and d) is known as Truth.

I'm sure c) is the Peace rune, no? ;-)   This sets seems a tad large and
unwieldy, not to say miscellaneous.



From: (S.Phillips)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 12 Jul 1994, part 1
Message-ID: <>
Date: 12 Jul 94 18:58:18 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5124

Hello from Sam Phillips

I have been off working for the past few weeks and so sat down today to 459
unread mail messages - most of the RQ related. Sheesh!
Needless to say my brain is now frazzled and fear I may have entered the 
HeroPlane or somesuch...
 or somesuch...

Sandy on Bryan Maloney:
>>rape does not damage "virginity", since it was not a willing act.  
>>The woman's body may have been injured, but that does not make her a  
>>"non-virgin" from a legal or religious sense.
> A sensible ruling that I myself have been adhering to in my  
>own RuneQuest campaign for years. I recommend it to everyone. In my  
>own campaign, some cults and societies recognize celibacy, and rape  
>does not interfere with this either, let alone virginity.
I don't agree with this. Rape does not interfere with celebacy which is all
about abstention. I should interfere with viginity which is all about purity.
This is how it was in my own game "Crown of Thorns" which was based around
pseudo RQ style christianity where virginity was highjly thought off and
gave magical benifits (Which also made a virgin a better live sacrifice).
Whether this translates to real RQ I am not sure.

Must go - I have just been thrown out the building.



ps : See you at Convulsion..