Bell Digest v940816p3

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To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 16 Aug 1994, part 3
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Subject: Let there be lite beer
Message-ID: <>
Date: 16 Aug 94 01:38:35 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5716

Re: "Greg" as a verb
     Well, since Michael Morrison asked for comments on his
definition of "to Greg," I'll provide mine.  I don't care for it. 
There's bound to be some venting of the irritation we feel when
the rug gets pulled out from under us, but I resent the kind of
personal dissing involved in using "Greg" as a verb. 

Re: Dara Happan weddings
     I imagine that they're like some traditional middle eastern
weddings (don't ask me where, I don't recall), where the bride is
not present.  The groom and the bride's father sit down and do a
little ritual.
     Esvenratha could either be another name for Uleria (which
would make her appear twice in the suitors' list), as a Ulerian's customers
are her husbands in the Ulerian rite.  Or she could be the goddess of widows,
having lots of husbands but only one at a time.  I don't read GRAoY to say
that Lodril invented marriage, or that Yelm's was the first.

Re: Man + Woman /= Six
     Outside Glorantha analysis: Greg Stafford may have made a
mistake, but I doubt it, given the attractiveness of the other
     Textual analysis 101: Plentonius (or his source) put
together more than one version of the same tale.  Some parts of
the story were too important to leave out--in other words,
leaving them out would have offended important people.  Textual
analysis of the Genesis creation story, for example, has yielded
four different strains of story, which melded or accreted to
form the received version.  (Sorry, any Biblical literalists out there.
 Damnable heresy, I know--those Biblical scholars are a wild bunch.)  That's
why God creates man and woman twice in Genesis.  In GRAoY, Plentonius
combines at least two stories about the origin of people.
     Textual analysis 201: Plentonius left out part of the story. 
For some reason (and several make good hypotheses), he left out
the bit between where Yelm tells Man and Woman to get dressed and the part
where he gives dominion to the Six Aristocrats, who were presumably M&W's

Re: Evil Empire = Lunar Empire
     Obviously, the reason why the E.E. survived the fall of the
sun, etc., is because it is "that empire up north" to the
Orlanthi.  Even the Lunars see continuity between the solar and
the Lunar empires.

Re: Jar-Eel t-shirts
     Maybe someone from Reaching Moon Megacorp would like to announce on the
Daily where people in North America can order their t-shirts from?  Mike
Dawson said the Jar-Eel, Assassin ones were the coolest.



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Castes'n'stuff.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 16 Aug 94 06:10:32 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5717

> 	But in any case, if the wizard leads services for the  
> Invisible God, I'd give him a POW gain roll every Sacred Time.

Hrm.  Why?

> 	Well, yeah, but she's still sort of underground, too. I mean,  
> look around, you don't SEE her, right? Obviously she's lost some  
> touch with the upper world. But at least she's not DEAD anymore  
> (except during the winter), and she can answer prayers and bring  
> plants back to life in the spring.

If one asks the Praxians about this, one will get an answer which
characterises Ernalda (and most other Earth types), as still buried deep
in the Inner Earth.

Ask a Sartarite, and he'll tell you Ernalda is Alive and Well and living in
that thar temple yonder; granted you can't see her, but then, you can't
see the other gods, can you?

Amid gripes about the lack of moral fibre among some of his non-Danish
> 	I see no reason that the wizards, warriors, and farmers of  
> the Malkioni would be any different. If the wizards or warriors were  
> dissatisfied with the current ruling class, they might rebel, but you  
> bet their leaders would be disgruntled nobles, promising the wizards  
> a better deal than the current administration.

Yah.  I agree with just-about-all of the assorted hand-waving people have
done on this subject.  I suspect the only reason it comes up at all is
that one might get the impression from some Western material that the main
loyalty of a Westerner is to his caste: this isn't remotely true, in my view.
People are loyal to their own superiors and inferiors, their own country/
province/town, their own sect,. etc.  Others of your own caste aren't your
brothers in oppression, they're the heretical bastards over the valley, or
those no-account types from Lord Bigwig's estate, who doubtless mean you no
good, or worst of all, a competitor for some upcoming juicy post.

> [The Only Old One]
> I don't think that the wielder of  
> the office inherits his predecessors' memories, because that makes  
> him too much like the Red Emperor and the Pharaoh. 

Didn't we decide the Red Emp. _didn't_ do this sort of stuff, at least in
recent times?  Or does this occur in the enthronement ritual, or something?



From: (David Dunham)
Subject: Lunars
Message-ID: <>
Date: 16 Aug 94 06:13:32 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5718

Devin asked
>   b) The Evil Empire mentioned is obviously the Lunar Empire. But it states
>that the Lunar Empire was one that "had withstood the sun fallign down from
>the sky, and invasion of monsters, and an ice age".
>I can't seem to tie these three items with the Lunar Empire. Can anyone tell
>me what these three events are?

Sounds to me like the author equates the Lunars with the Dara Happans. Both
come from the same place -- a place far enough away that the author doesn't
have much acquaintance with it.


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Re: No article this time, honest!
Message-ID: <>
Date: 16 Aug 94 06:56:52 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5719

Hi all.  This is my current theory on might be a Fun, possibly even
Playable, or in extreme cases, Glorantha-Accurate view mechanism for
RQ rune magic.  It steals liberally from David Cheng's Rune
Power idea, though is rather more like the bog-standard RQ system in
actual play.  Bonus rants on DI and regaining RM included.

Caveat: this may be marginally better organised than one of my usual
rambles, but I don't claim this to be any kind of Finished Article,
much less a debugged one.  [Sections in []'s are Outright Blatant Holes
and Sketchy Ideas.]  I reserve the right to recant it all, especially
if anyone has a better idea, or demolishing counterargument.  Bring 'em


Rune Power Too

There's a lot to like about David Cheng's Rune Power system.  He puts its
virtues so well, I won't bore you all by belabouring them.  But there are
some problems with it, some of which he addresses himself, others not.

Spell learning.  DCRP abolishes any notion of learning or sacrificing
for any particular spells.  This has some funny consequences, such as
trying to delimit exactly what divine magic an initiate has access to:
does she instantly know all the spells associated with the local aspect
of the god?  What happens when, over a period of time, she shifts from
one aspect to another?

More seriously, I feel this fails the Gloranthan Reality Check:  the
received wisdom about getting rune magic is that it requires a (minor)
heroquest for each spell, at the end of which one sacks da POW, and gains
use of the spell as the "spoils" of the Quest.  Therefore, gaining use of
a particular spell should be a significant step in itself, and one
shouldn't get "automatic" access to any spell.

However, gaining additional uses of a spell does not seem to have this
particular significance; one shouldn't have to do the Quest again from
scratch, not should it be anything like "doubling" the quest; if anything,
it should be more similar to the recapitulation of a worship ceremony, or
of regaining rune magic.  So the RQ rules don't seem an ideal model,


An initiate may sacrifice for either a (new) spell, as per the usual RQ
rules, or for a Rune Power spell (or Rune Power points, as you will).
Rune power is obtained by the same process as any spell.

Each spell may be cast in the normal way.  Additionally, the Rune Power
spell of a cult may be used to create the effect of any other spell of the
same cult _which is known to the caster_.  This includes the common and
special magics of the cult, and subject to referee approval, the magics
of subcults and associated cults.  Each point of Rune Power acts as one
point of the desired spell.

Example:  Effrisa is an initiate of Chalana Arroy, and has sacrificed for
the Heal Body spell, Heal Wound, and three points of Rune Power.  She may
cast Heal Body in the usual way, and may then use all her Rune Power to
perform the same effect one more.  Or she could use each of her points of
Rune Power to cast a Heal Wound.

Where a cultist is an initiate of more than one cult, Rune Power must be
accumulated separately for each.  Furthermore, each spell known that could
have been gained from more than one cult initiated into must be recorded
by cult.  Rune Power from each cult may only be used to create the
effects of spells _of that cult_ known; even if the same spell is available
to two cults, only a particular cult's Rune Power may be used to create
effects of spells of that cult which are known.

Example: if Effrisa is also an initiate of Ernalda, but hasn't sacrificed
for Ernalda's Heal Body spell, only her CA Rune Power may be used to perform
the spell.  She may later choose to sacrifice to Ernalda for Heal Body too,
if this proves irksome.

Spells gained via associate worship are an exception to this.  For example,
if a person joins both Orlanth and Issaries, they need learn Lock only
once, and may use the Rune Power of either cult to create the effect.

(Variant: to be slightly nastier to the characters, require that Rune
Power be used only for spells which are _currently available_ to the caster.
For example, if our initiate has cast Find Silver, she cannot cast that spell
with any remaining Rune Power points.  However, while she retains the spell
uncast, she can use her Rune Power to create this effect.

This leads to slightly different tactic for using the magic, and less
overall flexibility.)

Casting "Unknown" Spells.

As a rule, you can't.  Haven't walked the path, can't do the magic.  But
equally, casting any spell, even if not "learned", or if all your RM has
been cast, should still be easier than a generalised DI.  However, you're
going to have to pay for this by at least a significantly larger
expenditure of RP points, and more likely with loss of characteristic
POW (and/or permanent lost of RP points).

[Mechanism:  I'll get back to you.  Some discounted version of your
favoured DI scheme.]

[Rune] Power, As Well.

(Aka, RuneQuest: the Gathering.)

Rune Power begs the question, "Well, which Rune is doing the Powering,
then?"  This is generally fairly evident, but the question has bearing
on possible objections to the RP idea along the lines of whether it makes
sense to have, say, Life-type spells and Death-type spells fuelled by the
same amorphous Pool of points.

To address this very point, the following variation springs to mind.
Instead of a single Rune Power spell for each cult, each teaches a family
of [Rune] Power spells.  Each divine magic may be performed using some
_particular_ such spell, or some particular combination.  For example, to
perform a Chalana Arroy Heal Body might require two points of Harmony Power,
and one point of Life Power (say).  Otherwise the system works as before.
Each cult's particular [Rune] Power spells may only be used to perform that
cult's magic, as noted above, as well as only spells which "match Runes".

Cults will generally have a [Rune] Power spell for each spell which is a
Major Association of the god, or aspect of the god.  Certain subcults may
offer additional [R]P spells, generally related to their own subcult magic.
The offered Runes aren't necessarily the crinkle-cut God Learner standard
set; whatever local concept is considered relevant should be used.

Example:  The cult of all aspects of Orlanth offer the spells Storm
Power, Motion Power, and Mastery Power (though varying as to their
respective importance).  The referee peers down the spell list and
decides that Bless Thunderstone, Cloud Call, Cloud Clear, Command
Sylph, Decrease Wind, Increase Wind, Thunderbolt, and Wind Warp can all
be performed using (only) Storm Power.  Flight and Teleportation can be
performed using Mobility Power.  Command Worshippers needs Mastery

[[Rune] Power should tie into Runic Fame (or whatever kind of trait) in some
way, if these are being used.  Perhaps just the same thing?]

Regaining Rune Spells, and Rune Power Points.

RPT points are regained exactly as are rune spells (however that is).

My own take on the subject (this week) is as follows:

Everyone's rune magic is (potentially) reusable.  (Nick Brooke za-rai!
Domo arigato.)  In order to regain a spell (or Rune Power points),
one has to take part in a suitable ceremony, in a role appropriate to
the magic being sought.  For Rune Power, this may be any worship ceremony,
though the rate of recovery is strongly linked to the intensity of the
ceremony, and the degree of the worshipper's participation in it.  That is,
a Holy Day ceremony is better than a weekly one, a large temple better than
a small one, and leading the ceremony (as a priest) is better than merely
taking part.

What does this mean in practice?  It means that initiates will generally
only be able to regain magic on the annual HHD, since this is the ceremony
which has the greatest importance and magical oomph.  For more experienced
or favoured initiates, who play a more important role in the ceremonies,
it's increasingly possible to regain magic at seasonal holy day ceremonies.
Acolytes and Rune levels are able to regain magic readily at any holy day.

The other factor in the ease of regaining magic is yet more mundane;
priests have more clout in having appropriate ceremonies laid on for
their own convenience.  However, it may still take some time to arrange
this (time needed to round up warm bodies to take part, and to prepare for
the worship), and the ceremony itself may take longer than would otherwise be
the case if scheduled at a more usual, and opportune, time (due to the Stars
Not Being Right, et al.).

To formulise this, I'd use roughly the RQ3/Brookian 1 day per point for
priests, 1 year per point (or so) for initiates, and perhaps 3 days per
point for acolytes.  But only as guidelines; if the GM knows the detailed
structure and politics of the local cult, he'll be able to judge whether
someone gets Special Treatment, or The Bum's Rush.


[Rune Power points count towards DI chance, in some manner yet to be
properly developed.  Current thought is to add RP to POW, then subtract
a suitable kludge factor based of the "difficulty" of the DI requested
(or appropriate) to obtain the DI chance.  Point loss shared between
POW and RP.]

Other Fudges.

This is one possible compromise between the RQ RM and Rune Power systems;
clearly others are possible.  For example, one could require individual
spells to be learnt, but without any specific POW sacrifice, otherwise
using the Rune Power system as originally written.  Or on the other hand,
one could use the existing RQ rules, and add RPT as an "optional extra"
by allowing use of Rune Power to create the effects of other spells, but
at some penalty in efficaciousness; for example, two rune power points
per point of rune spell.

Playtesting Credits.

None.  Fire when ready.