Bell Digest v940728p2

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 28 Jul 1994, part 2
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From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jul 94 13:19:01 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5324

Alex Ferguson wounds me deeply:
> (Sandy's cult of St. Arkat takes all the fun out of this, note, and  
>I'd play that joining this cult is conditional on, or synonymous  
>with, becoming illuminated.)  

	As do I. 

>The Hellwooders aren't (written as being generally) illuminates.
	Really? I'll have to go back and reread the Dorastor text to  
see how it's been changed. The original idea was that the Hellwooders  
remained faithful Aldryami outwardly until they attained illumination  
and Rune level (normally simultaneously), when they promptly began to  
abuse all cult strictures for power. 

Alex Confesses All:
>I don't think Gameability should be the a priori overriding  
>consideration in deciding questions of background. 

	Aha! You've exposed your foul inner secrets. So there. Now  
that we know you don't care if Glorantha is Fun To Play, your evil  
plot is finished. 

Barron Chugg:
>Ever since I first read the RQ3 sorcery rules they have seemed,  
>well, random.  The choices of spells fit no genre I am aware
>of and all in all it seemed centerless.  So, what I am asking is:  
>what is the underlying theory of RQ3 sorcery?  That is to say, what  
>did you guys want it to look like when you wrote it?  Is sorcery  
>trully random, or is there an unifying idea that I am missing?
	The RQIII sorcery rules are "random." I have been laboring  
over some sorcery rules of mine own, partially stolen from AiG, and  
am using them in my own campaign. When I'm fully satisfied with these  
(which should only be in a week or two), I'll download the lot and  
then everyone can either ignore them or (I hope) comment on them  
thoroughly so I can make 'em even better. 

Devin C. says:
> when someone casts Divination and asks Orlanth "Orlanth, what took  
>place just south of Pairing Stone three days ago?" I would expect  
>that he usually gets a correct answer.
Joerg disagrees and *alas* I find myself agreeing with him. If  
divinations are so accurate, this has SERIOUS impact on the way the  
world works. For one thing, you could never commit a crime and get  
away with it. ("Oh, Issaries, who burglarized my office?" "Oh Red  
Goddess, where is the secret illegal Storm Bull temple?" "Oh Kyger  
Litor, where are the humans hiding who made these fresh tracks?")
	If a PC asked the question Devin poses, I'd have Orlanth  
answer something like, "It was a cloudy day. Wind strength 32." Even  
if a Rune Level were murdered, I'd be reluctant to give chapter and  
verse as to the murderer, unless it was one of the priest's own  
initiates. "Oh Orlanth, who slew thy servant?" Reply: "A foul  
murderer. You must seek him or her out as soon as possible!" This  
reply being useless, I'd also add on some more useful information,  
such as "The killer was/was not known to the priest."

I do strongly disagree with Joerg's apparent theory that the gods are  
basically in it for the MPs. I don't think that this is the case at  
all, nor do I believe that the gods "feed" in any way on their  
worship (with certain obvious exceptions, mostly chaotic). A  
widely-worshiped god IS, admittedly, often considered to be very  
powerful, but his worship is widespread BECAUSE of the god's power,  
not the other way round. 

	If no one in Glorantha worshiped Issaries anymore, he'd still  
be the God of Communication and Trade, and his influence would be  
universe-wide. If no one in Gloranthan worshiped Orlanth, his stead  
in the heavens would be just as big. The Red Goddess is one of the  
very few evangelistic religions in Glorantha, and I believe that most  
Gloranthan faiths don't worry their pretty little heads about  
converts a bit. Many faiths even go so far as to make conversion next  
to impossible. 

Barron Chugg:
>When I first read G:CotHW I was quite suprised by the blatant  
>inequality of the West.  I think it was more of a rewriting of earth  
>history than a write up of a new area in Glorantha (nothing personal  
>Sandy (in case you wrote it)
	Greg wrote it, with little input from myself. The West is the  
oldest Gloranthan material ever done by Greg, so it's no surprise  
that it is the most like Earth. His very first stories were about  
Snodal, Jonat, the Serpent Kings, etc. I myself was a bit surprised  
by how anti-woman the Rokari cant was and blame this partially on the  
fact that the Rokari are more like Catholics than are any other faith  
in Glorantha, and that Greg retains much residual  
disestablishmentarianism within his psyche. 

Alex Ferguson:
>If joining Dayzatar is a certain way to Solar Heaven, and all Solar  
>priests are eligible to join, why isn't there a mad rush to join, at  
>by (however close to as is practicable) deathbed conversion?
	Easy. There is. Why wouldn't there be? I surmise that  
retirement to monastic ineffectuality is as common among the Dara  
Happan culture as it was amongst Tokugawan Japanese -- any time a  
high-ranking person was offended deeply, or had suffered a serious  
loss, it was common to become a monk. I think that the Dara Happans  
are (to some extent) the same, though the parallel is not perfect  
(the Japanese monks were often alarmingly secular). 

	Anyway, I see no problem with elderly Solar priests  
frequently switching to Dayzatar worship. Not invariably, because  
certain cults tend to encourage elderly worshipers to keep active.  
For instance, a Chalana Arroy healer might remain in her cult rather  
than switching to Dayzatar because she is still capable of doing so  
much good. A Yelm lord might remain Yelm because he still feels  
responsible for governing his lands (and maybe doesn't want to give  
up his temporal power). But on the other  hand, deathbed conversions  
might be exceedingly common indeed, though perhaps badmouthed by  
truely strict Dayzatar monks ("He only swore to Dayzatar a day before  
he died, hardly enough time to purge himself.")

I said
> But infantry was still expected to make assaults against canister. 

Alex said
>By no means close-order infantry, though. 

	But they were. Napoleonic infantry, early American Civil War  
infantry, War of the Spanish Succession infantry, 30-years War  
infantry, were all expected to advance in close order against  
artillery under conditions in which cavalry was unexpected to  
function. It's certainly true that by the end of the American Civil  
War, close order had vanished for many types of tactical situations  
(except among green units), but modern infantry tactics have little  
in common with Glorantha. 

	The purpose of close order is twofold, for pre-rifle units.  
First, a close-order unit is MUCH more effective in melee than an  
open-order unit, for obvious reasons. Second, and perhaps more  
important, when you march in close-order, your shoulders touching the  
shoulders of your comrades to left and right, you are (A) easier to  
control en masse, (B) gain emotional and moral courage from the  
presence of your comrades, and (C) find it harder physically to flee  
in battle. The guys in front can't run away -- pre-gunpowder routs  
started at the rear, not the battlefront. 

	These advantages of close-order are useful even if your units  
are forced to take much heavier losses from attacking cannon fire.  
Battle accounts from the Good Ol' Days show that, while light cavalry  
or light (i.e., open-order) infantry took much less heavy losses from  
artillery, they were usually incapable of harming said cannons. An  
advance of pikemen would take it on the chin, but was (sometimes)  
able to capture and spike the guns.

>Clearly cavalry charging _the artillery_ units is fairly stupid;   
>That doesn't mean, though, that they make a better target, as such,  
>for artillery in general.
	Actually, they did, but for a reason that may not apply to  
Glorantha -- round shot was much less likely to 

>A phalanx would not be a smart move against a maxim.
	True. However, the most devastating weapons available to  
Gloranthan magic would wreak havoc no matter what your formation was. 

	In any case, I submit that a phalanx or other dense unit  
would be much more effective against elementals than an open order  
regiment, because the attacking elemental would be destroyed almost  
instantly as it assaulted. 

	Here's my thinking: 

	A typical 3-cubic-meter elemental can engulf two (2)  
defending hoplites at one time. Assuming that all adjacent comrades  
could easily reach the shade in a close-order unit, this means that  
the hapless beastie zaps 2 guys, and is attacked during that combat  
round by no less than 8 hoplites (counting the two he's just  

	In an extremely open-order unit, the shade could only engulf  
1 person, but only that single person could strike back, probably not  
killing the shade before taking the deleterious effect, after which  
the shade moves on to the next person, who also probably doesn't  
finish killing it, etc. 

	I wrote up a simple program to test out my assumptions,  
permitting a 3m elemental to battle two units -- one of close-order  
hoplites, the other light troops. I assumed the soldiers have  
impaling weapons that do 1d8+1 damage, have no damage bonus, and have  
a 50% chance to hit. My results are:
	On the average, a 3m shade, lune, or sylph will last 1.2  
rounds against close-order, and 5.9 rounds vs. open-order infantry.  
Assuming that it can discommode 2 soldiers a round in close-order,  
vs. 1 in open order, this means that it will injure 2.5 soldiers as  
vs. almost 6.  

	A 3m salamander will last 1.6 rounds vs. close-order and 9.3  
vs. open order, actually injuring 3.2 soldiers vs. 9.3
	A 3m undine lasts 1.8 vs. 12 rounds. You can do the math. 

	A 3m gnome lasts 2.1 vs. 15.8 rounds. Ditto.
Obviously, I've slightly oversimplified the situation, since I  
haven't allowed for such aspects as the speed of the elementals, but  
in general, you can see the trend here -- close order troops destroy  
elementals much more efficiently than open-order. I have somewhat  
exaggerated my point as well, as most "open-order" regiments are (A)  
equipped with missile weapons and (B) not SO open as to make  
themselves unable to support one another in melee -- but you wouldn't  
get anywhere near 8 warriors vs. a single elemental, so the numerical  
advantage of close-order still exist. 

	Another factor I've completely ignored is that most  
close-order troops are more heavily armored than light troops, which  
helps against certain types of elementals (though admittedly not  
all). On the other hand, light troops frequently have missile  
weapons, thus dispelling some elementals before melee commences. 

	The effect of elementals in disordering an attacked unit is  
greater vs. close order than open order, though. 

	Anyway, I think I've shown that close-order is not  
necessarily inferior for defense against elementals. Plus we should  
NOT forget the advantage of close-order infantry for morale purposes. 

	Now for the big question:


	'Tis quite simple. I desire the principles behind Gloranthan  
military units, tactics, and training to resemble that of historical  
pre-gunpowder Earthly units. This makes it easier to explain to  
players the differences and similarities between Glorantha and Earth.  
If the Gloranthan military boasts tactics and warfare as different  
from the ancient styles of combat as is Earthly modern warfare, then  
I lack an extremely useful bit of parallelism. 

	Alex has before mentioned his distaste for having terrain,  
cultures, etc. in Glorantha be Just Like Earth ones. I share this  
distaste, to an extent. But having the skeleton of some Gloranthan  
culture or custom be the same as an Earthly one makes it a lot easier  
for the players. If I'm able to say, "The Hell Crack looks a lot like  
the Grand Canyon, but it goes on and on down, without a bottom.",  
then my players get a useful visual image beyond saying "It's like  
nothing you've ever seen before."

>The idea of upper tusks growing first through a u-turn, then in the  
>way described to produce the "horns" makes me want to consult my  

	Real boar upper tusks do grow through a U-shape, though. All  
they'd have to do is go right out through the side of the cheek. All  
the boar's tusks normally point upward. 

Paul Reilly:
>Having gone to the trouble of digging out ARAB HISTORIANS OF THE  
>CRUSADES and posting on the topic of female armored warriors, I'd  
>like to see a reply on this topic, especially from Sandy.
	Hmm. Thought I HAD replied. Didn't anyone else see my reply?  
I seem to recall writing quite a bit of material on it. I don't  
remember what daily it was in, because I don't read my own writing  
when reading the dailies. As I recall, I basically accepted  
everything you said, with the cavil that one or two of the cases  
mentioned sounded like they might possibly have been "Joan of Arc"  
types, who wore armor or were in the front ranks but didn't actually  
fight, but acted as leaders or observers only. 

Rusty asks:
>Why do Ogres eat sapient men?
	Not just any sapient men, but humans in particular. Ogres, of  
all species in Glorantha, are the closest relatives to human (IMO).  
They are the Chaos Tribe, even as we are the Glorantha Tribe. I think  
ogres eat people for several reasons. 

	1) it is the best (most nutritious) food. 

	2) it is the tastiest food.
	3) it is the cruelest food.
	4) it demonstrates their superiority over us.
These all, of course, boil down to: "instinct". Even as humans are  
naturally attracted to the odor of fruit, particularly in our  
pre-adolescent years, ogres see humans primarily as prey, both  
alimentary and sexual. 

John Strauss:
>I have a pretty good handle on the power runes, for the most
>part. Except for one pair, Chance and Fate.
	Luck implies the polarization of one's future. A "Luck" Rune  
cult normally provides its worshipers with both better and worse  
results. For instance, there is a Luck Rune cult I know of which has  
a spell which increases the user's Critical and Fumble chances by the  
same amount. This is a pretty rare Rune. The Masters of Luck and  
Death, a Holy Country society, use it. 

	Fate is used both by loser and winner societies, in both  
cases to explain their positions. Another rare rune. 

	The form of the Fate Rune probably comes from Arachne  
Solara's web. The complexity of the Runes implies a Kralorelan  
origin, to me. If they are really from Kralorela, this would explain  
their rarity in Theyalan regions. 



From: (nigel johnston)
Subject: Convulsion, etc
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jul 94 07:55:05 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5313

Well, another fun con. Interesting tidbits in the RQ seminar, RQ4 out next 
spring, possibly edited by Mr Perrin and Mr Turney. I'll believe it when I
see it. Greg said it will contain no more Glorantha than the RQ3 rules...
Theres more, but I'll leave that to others to explain.

Loads of goodies for sale; Tales 12, Codex 2, The book of emperors, Jareel 
tee-shirt, Arachne-solara (french zine - looks beautiful), etc

I got outbid on Sandys campaign log for the second time ;-(, but got the 
Oceans book, Lunar book, and Jonats saga as consolation ;-).

> I just got around to reading "Mr. Man Speaks."  A wonderful piece, thanks for
> sharing.  Seems likely that the PCs were somewhat cowed.  

Could some kind soul send me this ?  I think I missed it when I changed 
internet accounts. Thanks.

> Hi.
> Been quiet without us, I see. ;-)
> Alex.

Wow, a short note...

> In the "Adventures in Glorantha" draft, Vinga is mentioned as a subcult of
> Orlanth (this doesn't necessarily mean Greg thinks this is so). I'd been

Somebody asked about this, Greg said it could be a subcult. He was pretty 
vague on the subject..

Groove Requiem...    used to be:


From: (Mikko Halttunen)
Subject: Vinga stories
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jul 94 14:13:08 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5314

Wow! Two great stories! I would like to see more of that stuff, even though
they were LONG! 


From: (Jon Green)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 27 Jul 1994, part 2
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jul 94 10:53:22 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5315

Michael Moorrison (X-RQ-ID: 5311):
>    If you have access to America Online, look under games (keyword
>    guild -- I think ... I'm not on AOL right now).  There is a file
>    called HERO2 written by Steve Maurer that is excellent.  Greg may
>    write HQ someday, but until then, Steve's write-up will do very
>    well for allowing you to use HeroQuesting in a campaign.
Any chance someone could lift this file onto soda (the RQ FTP server  Ta!


		All the best,


Jon Green,         | Tel: +44 (0)379 652857 | McCoy: "Where're you gonna find
Hyphen Ltd.,       | FAX: +44 (0)379 644206 |  Spock's brain?"
Bert the Building, |                        | Kirk: "Is this a trick question, 
Vinces Rd., Diss,  |  |  Bones?"
Norfolk IP22 3HQ.  |       |
England  -><-      |                        | Opinions are a matter of opinion


Subject: Next year I will...
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jul 94 13:21:20 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5316

Peter J. Whitlaw says (re: Heroquest Rules):
"Well, I was at the Con and I am pleased to be able to tell you 
that Greg said that he will write them 'next year' ;-) "

Obviously Greg was using the Orlanthi "next year", which means 
"not next year, or the year after that, or maybe not even in your or 
my lifetime, but possibly before the end of Time."          ;-D

   Gives whole new insight to what the Orlanthi _really_ mean when 
they ask if they can pay their Lunar taxes next year!       :-)

     Peter (J. Michaels)


From: SMITHH@A1.MGH.HARVARD.EDU (Harald Smith 617 726-2172)
Subject: use of vikings pack
Date: 27 Jul 94 07:17:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5318

Welcome back all from Convulsions.  We are anxious to hear more about 
this on the western side of the Atlantic.  (So who was Arachne Solara 
since someone threw that tidbit out?)  The comments on Greg's pre-solar 
Peloria also sound intriguing and along the lines of some personal 
discussion I've had with Greg.

- Rob in x-rq-id 5275 asks about what I found useful in the Vikings 
pack, particularly along magic lines.

Well, in particular, there are about 4 pages in the Players Books that 
discuss Gods without Godi (praying to the god somewhat ala DI, but with 
specific POW loss to receive a god spirit that possesses the person and 
gives them the power over one particular spell) and Gaining Spirit Magic 
from Spirits (finding local spirits that are willing to engage in a form 
of spirit combat to give spirit magic in return for some sort of 

Incidentally, I still find the Vikings pack useful for dealing with 
Glorantha.  The discussion of Viking society can certainly be applied to 
parts of Orlanthi society.  I have found certain of the materials in the 
GM handbook (including creatures/spirits) useful.  And the scenarios 
(aside from the Viking sea battle) could all be transported easily, I 
think, to Glorantha.  The first several would make good pieces for the 
Riskland campaign and the last would work well in or around Sartar 
(moving it from a sea to a land setting) or around the Holy Country.  
The sea battle scenario could be used if you were doing a Wolf Pirate