Bell Digest v940811p1

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, 11 Aug 1994, part 1
Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
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X-RQ-ID: Intro

This is the RuneQuest Daily Bulletin, a mailing list on
the subjects of Avalon Hill's RPG and Greg Stafford's 
world of Glorantha.  It is sent out once per day in digest

More details on the RuneQuest Daily and Digest can be found
after the last message in this digest.


From: henkl@aft-ms (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: sandy stuff
Message-ID: <9408100745.AA23442@yelm.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 10 Aug 94 08:45:46 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5589

You write:

>Big Disclaimer: Kevin Rose just posted some stuff to the Digest  
>claiming it was authored by "Sandy Peterson". 

>	Firstly, my name is "Sandy PetersEn".
>	Secondly, the stuff in question was mostly written by Greg  
>Stafford (I did do some editing on the paragraphs in question). 

>	Kevin politely asked me if it would be okay to post, and I  
>said yes, never thinking that he must have assumed I wrote it. *argh*

Fortunately the document was not sent to the daily, and I get to
decide (when and if) on anything else.

I'll hold on to the document, for now.  
I suppose we must ask Greg for permission.

>	The history of Slontos is one of the very most likely spots  
>to be Gregged in the entirety of Glorantha. I know that Greg has   
>much stuff on it unpublished, including [...]

So Slontos has a greg-density of thousands (1 greg==1 unpublished word)...

Henk	|	Henk.Langeveld@Sun.COM - Disclaimer: I don't speak for Sun.
oK[]	|	Single Point of Change, Multiple Points of Reference


Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 10 Aug 1994, part 2
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Aug 94 07:52:50 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5590

Devin Cutler here:

Bryan writes re Quickstrike:

"There is no justification whatsoever to make this a skill.

If you still want a "skill-like" approach.  Make it dependent upon a Ceremony
that has to be done within seven days before the attempt.  The spell is cast
at that time, but the success or failure of the ceremony is not known until
the Quickstrike is attempted.  Basically, don't make the actual Ceremony
roll until the Quickstrike is launched.

The spell summons a creature of Annila to give speed and precision (for the
purposes of sheathing the weapon) to the caster.  Thus, Second Sight will
reveal that a person with this spell cast has a spirit around him that has
some ties to Darkness and the Moon.

Making this a skill goes outside the bounds of what constitutes a skill.
All other cult-specific skills that have some sort of magical effect (sense
chaos, sense assassin) are purely sensory in nature, they do not give
direct combat effects."

I envisioned Quickstrike as a skill in the same way that Flurry, Riposte,
Feint, etc are a skill in RQAiG. (well, not exaclty skills but techniques).
Quickdraw (the dragonewt version at least) is a combat oriented skill, as was
set pike vs charge. 

I really don't see a quick attack with a small weapon that is not very
noticeable really involving any faculties different from picking pockets.

Can you point out specifically where magic needs to be involved.

Regarding play balance considerations, the skill gives absolutely no extra
advantage to the attack (in fact, it penalizes the attack). It merely is
useful for doing so unnoticed and getting away without being retaliated upon.
Therefore, I find it amazing that you seem to feel that it is somehow more
directly effective than a normal attack.

I did think that a useful addition would be to say that Damage Bonus when
using Quickstrike is halved or lost altogether, since one is sacrificing
speed for strength.

But in order to use the skill in the first place, one needs to already have
surprise, so there is really nothing new there. In a normal; RQ situation, an
attack from surprise would be at +25% and do full damage bonus and would
disallow the victim to dodge or parry. Quickstrike at best gives the same
attack chance at -20%, disallows some or all of the damage bonus, and
disallows dodge or parry. Aside from the component of being unnoticed, what
is different from standard RQ? 

If you really don't like having a new skill, then another mechanic is simply
to multiply the striker's conceal skill with his attack skill (and negate
damage bonus). THAT would work without adding a new skill.

Also, define "bizarre munchkinism"

Devin Cutler


From: (Tim Leask)
Subject: Divine Magic
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Aug 94 03:57:06 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5591

I'd like to second the suggestion made by Henk in yesterday's digest
of a modified form of David Cheng's Rune Power system.
Basically you maintain the Rune Power Point Pool, but you can only use
it to power spells you know. Initiates learn spells from their priests
in much the same way as a sorcery would learn a spell except your skill
with the spell is always 100%. The sacrifice of POW to the Rune Power
Point Pool is totally separate from the acquisition of rune spells.
A priest can commune with their god to acquire the knowledge of a new spell
or learn it from another priest. Initiates must learn their spells from
priests. If the priest doesn't know a spell or doesn't want to teach it
that's tough luck for the initiate.
So a humakti initiate may only have access to True Sword and Detect Truth
but have 10 points of Rune Power.

The mechanism of Rune Power recovery and the sources of POW is another issue.
Department of Computer Science    /*\__/\      "Money is something you have in
University of Melbourne          <       \     case you don't die tomorrow."
Parkville, Vic., 3052, AUSTRALIA  \  _  _/     Gordon Gecko.
Phone: +61 3 282 2439              \| --


Subject: odds, ends, misc., and various
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Aug 94 12:02:07 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5592

How can Maculus have INT 18 after creating a familliar from
a fixed INT creature? Note BTW that these mini wyverns are
good familliars because of their long lifespan. Whoever
wrote the Maculus description does not agree that a familliar
will live indefinitely.

We have a butterfly in this country that lives 2 years as
an imago, it is the citronsommerfugl (means lemon butterfly)
Gonepteryx rhamni of the pieridae family. The 17 year cicada
lives 17 years, but who wants an underground grub for a
familliar? The queens of certain spieces of ants live even
longer. Such a "hive familliar" would not be very mobile.

POW gain
Acording to Dorastor, you do get a POW gain roll for winning
a spirit combat (page 27).

How does your friendly parish wizard ever get a POW gain

How a spell matrix will help you kill the bat
Enchant 280 points of Bless Thunderstone into a matrix.
With a major temple of Orlanth to work with, this could
take anywhere from 20 to 100 years, but is well worth
it. The matrix takes a full year to recharge, but you
can only cast the spell once a year anyway. (I assume
that you can not usually stack spells from several
matrixes, and that only one person at a time can work
on recharging a matrix.) You can now produce one
thunderstone per year, at the cost of one POW. This
stone will do 280d6 of damage once, reduced by armor
but without having to overcome the MP of the target.

I, having read Elder Secrets, know that one of these
will kill the bat. The priest have not read ES, but
will probably think it obvious that 2 will do the
job. Let's make 4 just in case. Any leftovers will
be useful against any new monster the empire enlists.

How much benefit do you get from expert advise? An
example: a newly ordained priest with an enchant skill
of 28 is trying to enchant one of his Bless Thunderstone
spells into a matrix. The temple's enchantment expert,
a chief priest with an enchant skill of 98, is holding
his hand, guiding him every step of the way. What chance
does the enchanter have of succeding?

Klaus O K


From: (Nils Weinander)
Subject: Various
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Aug 94 13:57:24 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5593

Nils Weinander writing

Sandy in the Daily of August 08:
>	I agree with your argument here except that I believe that  
>Shang Hsa preceded Yanoor by an emperor or two. I do NOT believe  
>Shang Hsa was part of the False Dragon Ring, though they may have  
>resurrected some of his powers.

What did Shang Hsa do to become so hated ('may his name be cursed'

Devin's Baroshi cult:

Nice idea with the male earth warrior cult. I'm not quite sure the
runes are appropriate. Earth is, of course, probably as Dust. But
Law is a western rune, hardly known in Snake Pipe Hollow. Mastery
seems a bit strong for a new godling. However I don't really have
a good suggestion of what to have instead.

I like the Earth Burn spell. Why Enchant Amber? The spell is OK,
but is amber that strongly associated to earth? I don't know about
Gloranthan amber, but earth amber, being of organic nature is IMO
more plant-oriented. Suggestion: use the same enchantment but on
some kind of tone instead.

Hmm, some gripes there, but generally my impression is positive.

Jim Lai writes:
>I was thinking about rescues of the Anguished Dead who spread into the
>world between the reigns of the two true Emperors.  One would possibly
>defeat them and then inform them that they could go home now and make
>their way to Vithela.  GoG wasn't clear on the nature of the Tortured
>Dead.  Did they find peace once Godunya ascended the throne, or are
>they still wandering the world?

What about this: Godunya gave the mission of rounding up the Tortured
Dead and help them off to an Exarch and his staff. They worked exclusively
on this for a decade or three.

>As to the Eastern times of night: theft, murder, curse, cannibal, monster,
>torture, and spark-in-the-sky... could these correspond to Godtime events
>in the Lesser and Greater Darknesses?  Might the spark-in-the-sky be the
>destruction of the Spire of Law?  Monster time could be tied with the influx
>of chaos.  Cannibal time would be the result of starvation during the
>sleep of Ernalda/the Grain Goddesses.  Torture time might have a connection
>with the Tortured Dead: the spirits of those who were warped by chaos?

I think of Spark-in-the-sky as a herald of dawn, perhaps a rememberance of
minor light gods who kept some vigilance when Yelm was in hell, like
Yelmalio for instance. The other hour names are very broad, so they might
also be just names, for the bad dark time that the night is.

>Also, how to City Gods fit in the Kralorian way of thinking?  Perhaps the
>orthodox view is that these ancestors may have gone to Vithela, but they
>still lend a helping hand to those left behind.  (Obligations tying one
>to the world even after death.  It's a rather Dragonewt conception, which
>is a bonus here.)

Previous emperors are worshipped as god. They might offer protection to
the cities, but I'm skeptic towards deified city founders unless they are
dragon-type figures.

I asked for an Ernalda myth:
>The myth says that Ernalda hid deep under the ground during the
>Great Darkness. Which god(s) managed to get her back above ground?

Sandy answered:
>	She didn't. She's still underground, out of contact with her  
>minions except through her priestesses and religious ceremonies. 

Now I'm befuddled. The Ernalda cult chapter in the Glorantha section of
the RQ3 rule books say that Ernalda was one of the deities who followed
Yelm up from hell at the dawn.

Appropriate animals for Chalana Arroy allied spirits, a somewhat
confusing discussion:

Suggestion: butterflies
Criticism: RW butterflies have a very short life

Suggestion: hummingbirds
Criticism: RW hummingbirds are eggressive and dependent on nectar

Suggestion: doves
Criticism: RW doves are nasty

So what do RW animals have to do with Gloranthan equivalents except
for their name and appearance? Gloranthan butterflies might live for
years, especially if inhabited by the allied spirit of a priestess
of the formost life giving cult.

Gloranthan hummingbirds might be docile and able to feed off any
flowering plant.

Gloranthan doves may the messengers of peace they are depicted as
in RW symbolism.

/Nils W


From: (ian i. gorlick)
Subject: More Malkioni Power Politics
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Aug 94 03:49:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5594

Sandy Petersen:	
"Clearly, the nobility need to have wizards and warriors who  
are primarily loyal to them, rather than to the wizard caste as a  
whole. One way of handling this is to have the nobility be the guys  
who appoint new wizards and warriors. The final arbiters, as it were.  
In this way, you'll owe your office directly to a given noble, and no  
doubt he won't appoint you unless you've got political pull or he  
knows for sure you're loyal. "

Good idea. I like it.

Now, this should lead to the wizards campaigning first
for the right to appoint minor orders with the approval of the talars. 
Then once the talars are just rubber-stamping appointments, after all
they don't really understand the requirements of the offices, the clergy
will slowly develop the right to make the appointments without the 
talar's approval. Eventually they will work their way towards total
independance. Slice by slice, classic salami tactics. 

The talars will insist that they alone have the power to appoint
a wizard or knight to a new office. Presumably the swearing in 
ceremony will contain key roles that must be held by the talars. I see
the possibility of a Japan-like development, where the talars are at 
the ceremony, but have no real choice about refusing to complete 
their part of the ritual. 

Argrath/Martin suggests that the talars may get overthrown 
but their replacements eventually promote themselves to be talars.
I can accept that idea. It becomes a de facto method of providing
caste mobility. If you are tough enough to overthrow the man 
on top of you then the Invisible God has obviously agreed that
you are worthy to replace him. The bits of western history that I
have seen do not indicate that this has taken place, but I am sure
that it is something that people would try to hide or ignore if it was
part of their family history. Those who have seized "talarship" in 
this fashion probably go to great efforts to legitimize their new 
status: dynastic marriage, falsified or exagerated geneologies, etc.
Accusations of this sort of activity are probably common in the
propaganda wars between the states of the west. 


From: (ian i. gorlick)
Subject: Spirit Bindings, Reusable Divine Magic
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Aug 94 03:52:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5595

Spirit Bindings

Paul Reilly and Argrath/Martin have suggested that the important
part of spirit binding should be the nature of the binding, not some
strange taxonomy of spirit types. I tried out something like this a few
years back. (None of my players have been binding spirits in
the last few years, so I haven't thought about it much since. Maybe
that means my rules were bad.)

My approach was that the enchantment became more complex and 
cost more POW the more the spirit was able to do for you from inside
the binding. The most basic form gave the spirit no freedom to do 
anything from inside, you had to give it a command and release it
from the binding. You could add capabilities like allowing it to 
transfer MP to you, or to cast spells for you, or to remember spells
for you so that you could cast them. For each extra capability, you 
had to add more POW to the enchantment. There was another drawback 
besides the POW cost. The spirit could attempt to rebel against its
binder periodically. It would have to be ritually bound again periodically
to prevent this potential rebellion. The time constant got geometrically
shorter as you gave the spirit more degrees of freedom inside the 

Reusable Divine Magic for Initiates

A while back, I started allowing a limited form of this. Initiates who had
demonstrated extreme piety, or had done something that gained special
favour from their cult would be allowed to acquire some re-usable 
divine spells as a special gift from their cult.

 They would be required to sacrifice double POW for the spell 
(or sacrifice again if they already had the spell on a one-use
basis). The spell would generally have to be one of the cult's special
magics. It could not be from an associated cult except in exceptional
circumstances. Thereafter they could regain that one spell in the same
fashion as a priest. 

I found this to be helpful in getting some of the cult special spells into
play. It also helped to get people more motivated to do things of which
their cult would approve. (Yeah, I know that is a poor excuse for 
adding rules, but life is compromise. If a small bribe will get people 
to role-play better then I will swallow my principles and pay the bribe.)


From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 10 Aug 1994, part 3
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Aug 94 16:27:39 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5597

Regarding rune magic recovery I asked:
>> What was wrong with the old rules anyway..?
(Hm, I'm sure there was a smiley there the first time I said it... never mind).

David D sez:
> 1) priests spend their entire time on their knees regaining rune magic, in
> between dashes to their congregation to use it 

Hm, I kinda assumed that the "1 point per day" rule didn't actually necessitate
praying 24hrs per day. I assumed the priest did other useful stuff around the
temple during that time; and that the restriction on recovery was just the
limit of how much Divine magic it was physically possible to garner in one day.

> A priest with one Bless
> Crops spell can cast it once a day (assuming fields close enough). A priest
> with 10 Bless Crops spells can cast all in one day, but then has to spend
> 10 days regaining them, so can effectively cast one per day.

A priest with 10 Bless Crops spells effectively gets 9 extra Bless crops
spells to cast each spring. Ok, it's not as good as having 9 extra per day,
but it is a difference.

It strikes me that Bless Crops was designed without taking spell recovery
into account. To make the spell viable under the existing recovery rules
I'd make it stackable and make each extra point double the area affected
(well, maybe not double, but some non-linear increment anyway). That way
10 points are more economic than 1 point.

Then there's Chalana Arroy's ever-popular reusable Resurrection (*spit*).
I still maintain that two spells are better than one. If two corpses turn
up on the same day then it's nicer to have two spells (and spend 6 days
recovering) than 1 spell (letting one of the corpses mature for three days
while you recover).
Any-road-up, words fail me when I try to express my hatred of the idea of
optimised CA's churning out Resurrections as fast as they can pray.

> 2) initiates have access to rune magic, but almost never use it, since a)
> you need to accumulate 10 points to become an acolyte; b) when it's gone,
> it's gone. I've been using a similar system, and my players know they can
> use Sunspear and get it back. It's still not something to do lightly, since
> it takes 3 years to regain.

I've noticed that under the current system players treat initiates'
non-reusable Divine magic a bit like limited DI: It's used as a last resort
in desperate situations. I don't think this is bad way for things to work.
(But having said that, I can see the attraction of giving initiates limited
reusability - it's just that I think initiates get a good enough deal already
compared to pure students of spirit magic or sorcery.)

Bryan J. Maloney:
>After all, the gods are just mechanisms of the universe.
>It is nothing more than the agreement to imagine the same things as being
>true that holds human culture together.

Great stuff. I loved it.