Bell Digest v940819p3

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, Fri, 19 Aug 1994, part 3
Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
Content-Return: Prohibited
Precedence: junk


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Dara Happa and Jonatela.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 19 Aug 94 05:51:09 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5768

Devin quotes and queries:
> "You six shall be the first Aristocrats. Others will follow, and you will
> instruct them and lead them"

> Question: Who are these six? They cannot be humans, since they number only to
> (Man and Woman).

Ah, but it doesn't say only two were created.  The only mention of number is
that "instead of one _type_ of being they created two" (my emphasis).  I'd
assume that some quantity between twelve and lotsnlots were created.  Now
granted, all this stuff about them making the first Man and the second,
Woman is a tad confusing, but then, people writing myths are rarely sent
on decent tech writing courses.

Joerg rationalises feverishly:
> If Harrek's sojourns into "Jonatela" refer to Karstall and Timms, he could 
> just manage to be moonboated into the Lunar Empire, take part in a couple 
> of Dart Competitions and return to Rathorela by 1609. In that case, no 
> timeline problem I can think of.

I dunno if there is or isn't a timeline problem (heaven knows, my Riverjoin
snippet took a liberty or three), but I'm skeptical about the Timms part of
any fix: wasn't Timms only partially thawed to _Jonatela_ before its borders
to the outside world thawed, rather than vice versa?



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: More close order nit-pickery.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 19 Aug 94 06:59:52 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5769

Roderick Robertson and I replying to various things, mainly each other:
> >We were talking about (circa) Am. Civil War era at this point.  I was
> >specifically questioning whether such troops were as dense as pre-gunpowder
> >units.

> Yes, the close-order formations of 
> ACW troops, British Colonials, etc. was shoulder to shoulder.

I s'pose this makes them as "close", but at least they're less dense wrt
gunfire through the formation than a deeper formation.  I can only suppose
that either rates of fire were still slow enough that advancing thusly
was only moderately suicidal, or that the commanders didn't know (or care)
that it was.

> >Let's not forget missile-affecting spells.
> >[...]Gross spells on volleys of arrows would act as a disincentive to
> >remaining in close order.

>      I'd say that the magical defenses of the target unit will 
> probably negate the magical bonus of the attacking missile unit.

Well, partly, assuming that the _particular_ attacked unit even has 'em,
that it has the appropriate defensive spell, that it collectively "decides"
to cast it at the right moment, and successfully coordinates casting it in
time.  It's considerably too simple just to say that "equal" magic on either
side negates each other.

> [...] and my defensive spell lasts for 5 minutes.

Or two, depending on the value of .  At any rate, not a huge length of
time if the battle lasts all day.  And as you later say:

>    Do we cast Protection now to protect against a possible arrow 
> barrage, or save the points for a volley of Disruption in case they 
> charge?

The tactics of "negating" your opponent's magic is itself non-trivial.

> My point is that *only* when one side has a
> magical advantage will tactics need to be revised. 

It'd be about the one and only military innovation for which this were true,

>    As far as not having close-order troops, most spells do not have to 
> be rolled to target.

Let me rererereinterate that I'm not saying, nor have I ever said, that
Glorantha doesn't have close order troops.  I'll happily stipulate that
Lunar/Dara Happan troops use such formations, if it makes anyone any happier.
(Though I suspect they might _also_ use a (more) open formation, perhaps in
the way Roman maniples did, for Revoltin' Developments like giants throwing
rocks at 'em, or the Bat Hunger table causing it to go filter-feeding.)

> >> Sunspear strikes in a 1-meter circle (basically one man), 
> >> Thunderbolt and Sever Spirit hit one target.

> >On the other hand, what do mass-castings of, say, Sunspear by circles of
> >twenty magicians simultaneously do?  

>    Unless they have some ability (outside of current game rules) to 
> stack or amplify the spells, you get 20 1-meter circles to place where 
> you want.

Yeah, well, that's what I specifically hypothesised, nay, asserted.  The
RQ rules aren't, in my view, the be-all-and-end-all of Gloranthan simulation,
especially when extrapolating to a different scale (literally or
figuratively), and where there are other sources which contra-indicate.  For
example, I tend to imagine that the Sun Burn wasn't carried out by someone
going round Sun Spearing every tree in the forest individually from 100 paces
away.  (Mutatis mutandis, "Moon Burn", at least if MOB's to be believed.)

> The Lunar Empire seems to have been the innovators 
> in creating "Magical Units" who can do more than just do 20 single 
> castings of one spell. Argrath has managed to create his own magical 
> units, to match the abilities of the Lunars. But I wouldn't give 
> pre-Lunar Dara Happans, or Praxians, or Holy Country troops the 
> ability. 

I don't think the (undoubted) innovations of the Magical Regiments included
the fairly straightforward business of having a group of divine magicians
cast their spells in concert.

> >> Unless there is some social reason not to (ransom?), officers 
> >> would make wonderful targets for the few Rune-level spell-casters in a unit.

> >Otherwise things would get a bit silly, as the officer cadre of either side
> >is kiboshed in the first few seconds.  Though non-com cynics might argue this
> >would be a Damn Good Thing...

>    Then it's the turn of the non-coms...  Anyone in any sort of 
> distinctive outfit is a priority target. Heck, I'd target the Non-coms 
> *first*, and let the officers try to lead their units without 'em.

I wasn't saying you'd not _want_ to eliminate enemy officers, I was doubting
it'd be practicable.  And if you say this sort of thing _is_ a likely target,
it hardly makes things at all "pre-gunpowder"-like.

It's more of a feature of minature wargaming than any historical event I'm
familiar with to Go For The Leader.  (Other than in a Grand Strategic way,
like Issus, say.)  Not for nothing do various minatures rules have "No fair!
Can't do that!" rules for doing so.

Though as a footnote, phalanxes don't particularly need an officer cadre,
unless they want to do something vastly complex, like say, turn.  Lunar
phalanxes must be able to manage fairly well without "non-coms", too, if
they put them somewhere silly like the front of the formation...

>   Magic in Glorantha is just as much a Scissors-paper-rock type of thing as 
> Guns-vrs-Armor races in Gunpowder era ships and tanks. 

I'd agree entirely with this, which is why I disagree with the proposition
that it's tactically neutral (or that it acts as leadership-material smart



From: (David Cake)
Subject: Re: Genert and Hyena and Issaries
Message-ID: <>
Date: 19 Aug 94 23:20:06 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5770

        Sandy, thanks for the info about hyenas. Can  I get you to say more
on this general subject? As I posted a few days ago, I am particulary keen
to know more about what is involved in the Desert Tracker Quest, as it
sounds like a particularly good one for my PCs to get involved in sometime.

        I am particularly pleased to here that not every Hyena means a
potential trip into the Wastes! It must be very difficult for a travelling
merchant to avoid seeing them!
                Dave cake