Bell Digest v940823p2

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 23 Aug 1994, part 2
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From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Meeces and Switches.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Aug 94 01:48:39 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5817

Sandy Petersen:
> 	I don't mind having the Moose Hsunchen in a game. I just  
> don't want them to be the Pralori, which are a large and common  
> group.  I don't want my comic relief playing a major role in the  
> campaign politics (a pivotal role, maybe, but not a major one). The  
> Pralori are too widespread to be mooses IMO. 

Mooses, of course, are funny.  But elk aren't, so there's no problem.  The
fact that they're exactly the same animal is neither here nor there.

> 	Like I said before, an elk is not all that much like a deer. 

Not like what kind of deer, exactly?  They're in the deer family, last time
I checked.  Maybe I've lost the thread of this thread, but doesn't it
blithely state in G:G that there are Elk hsunchen in Pralorela?  (And
elsewhere that there are Damali in there, presumably _not_ the same group.)

> 	I DEMAND Moose Hsunchen in my campaign. I just don't want 'em  
> to be the Pralori. Just as I would never have an entire Duck Kingdom  
> in a major important place in my campaign. 

This seems to imply that Duck Valley has just been Sandied Down.  After
all, the Ducks are a Sartarite tribe, therefore they have a King, therefore
it's a Kingdom.  Ta-dah.

> 	And then we can create our Ultimate Exchange -- switching  
> Scotland for Sartar. This has the exceedingly benign and much-hoped  
> for result of forcing Sam Phillips AND Alex Ferguson into becoming  
> NPCs in our Dragon Pass campaigns. 

I think I've just been threatened, or at a stretch, complimented.
(Observant pedants will have noted that according to my Convulsion name
badge, I already _am_ a Dragon Pass NPC...



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Unholy alliances.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Aug 94 03:27:51 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5818

David Baur plots and schemes:
>      Since it is obvious that the Peters are binding together (through no
> fault of their own ;) ), I counter propose that the Dave/Davids do likewise. 
> (I would, wouldn't I?)  <(:)

Careful: if these devious machinations come to fruitition, Sandy and I may
have to form an Alexandrine League, which is a truly scary concept.  Not
least to me.

Alexander IV.


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Erratically, Mon, 22 Aug 1994, part 1
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Aug 94 06:32:23 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5820

Nick Brooke hoves into view, hoist on his own petard:
> In a brief 
> speculation at Convulsion, I thought maybe if you HeroQuested today to meet 
> the Goddess, she'd talk about "Satraps" -- but the scrolls would have her 
> saying "Sultans". The rituals have changed her words over time...

And I thought that what you Discovered on an HQ was conditioned by what you
expected, Nick?

> Perhaps, before Death, there was no distinction between Man and Spirit:
> when Humakt sicced Grandpa, he split him up into the two current holders, 
> Daka Fal and Horned Man. Just a thought.


> Sam: your things go in the post on Monday.

Bags I (joint) first dibs, Sam!

With dark mutterings about Greg's filing "system",


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Warner Brothers Mythology. No, not _Excaliber_...
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Aug 94 06:41:31 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5821


Jeez, those were hard.  I got the eyes one, that was about it...  I was
close with chicken/egg, I thought of frog/tadpole...

Bob-Dot Luckin on: Genert...
> Or is this explained in CoP and I've simply forgotten it ?

Yup. ;-)  Some more material in RoC, too...

... and: Cartoon Glorantha
> This led me to speculate (just for fun, you understand) on what other
> cartoon analogues you could introduce into Gloranthan culture.  How about :
>    Shadow-cats based on Tom / Mr. Jinx / Snagglepuss
>    And my favourite - is the Red Emperor really like Yosemite Sam ?

I feel obliged to come up with a Foghorn Leghorn analogue;  almost
certainly Argrath.  The Red Emperor would be That Stoopid Dawg in this



From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Dragon Pass regimental magic in RQ and other terms
Date: 22 Aug 94 08:03:46 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5808

Tim Minas in X-RQ-ID: 5789

>    a) The Lunars. With access to all the elementals except Sylphs, Lunar magic,
> Sorcery, and strange Lunar Divine spells, these units are easy to see in RQ
> terms. They are bands of cooperating initiates in the Red Goddess cult, or
> special Lunar Cults (eg Crater Makers), who can be sorcerors, Shamans, Rune
> Priests, or whatever combination of these they want. Anyone REALLY want me to
> expand on that?

Not exactly. There is no combination of ordinary RQ personal magic which 
reproduces the fight of the regimental spirits (in case of magicians 
detachable, for some other units fighting back in defense only, mostly 
just offering passive defense). Neither do the (unsatisfying IMO) RQ3 
spirit combat rules, not even if we revive the RQ2 common divine spell 
Discorporation. The only spirit or elemental type remotely resembling 
this attack form are Annilla's Selenes, and I wouldn't make them 
even Lunar common issue combat spirits.

>    b) The Sartar units. Exanmple 1: The Stormwalkers. These are a collection of
> priests of Orlanth and various other storm/air/rain deities (Heler, Vadrus,
> Valind? etc) and Elementals and Spirits of the appropriate type. Their special
> ability is to call a flood, which I posit they do by casting huge amounts of
> Increase Cloud Cover and then Rain spells as necessary. This, of course, burns
> up their Rune magic for the period of the game, thus "removing" their spirit. 

Yes, this exotic magic (and several others) can be explained as Rune 
Magic stacked beyond any individual's limit.

>    Example 2: The Windchildren. These really are a group of Windchild priests
> etc of Orlanth/storm deities. Remember that windchildren have an innate +50
> bonus to control Sylphs, hence their spirit counter (The Sylphs) literally is
> a whole buch of Sylphs.

And they are the only elemental counter in the game. In Nomad Gods the 
Whirlvishes might count as such, too, but that's it with regular elementals 
in the DP-like games.

>    Example 3: The Tribal magicians (Flash Jak, And-jay, Krise). These are a load
> of Shamans, Orlanthi acolytes and priests from the Pol-joni or other nomad
> tribes. They use lots of spirits and a few elementals. 

Such as? Please detail this (in private mail), to give one example, and 
the exact mechanic involved.

>    A few notes when looking at all this. The Units with spirits (ie true
> Magician units) tend to come from elemental cults using elementals and very
> powerful spells that affect the weather/land etc. The weird collections of
> people that Argrath managed to arrange into his magical units are a real bunch
> of strange guys, as it says somewhere, crazed priests, wandering monks,
> outlawed sorcerors etc. Argrath's leadership abilities and conciliation has
> obviously allowed some saner minds to work out interesting combinations of how
> to combine all these effects.

I disagree. Argrath's spirit magician regiments are working the same way 
as do the Exile, Dragonewt or Lunar units (apart from the cyclical 
effects). Ipso facto only spells equally available to all these cultures 
would be usable - which would reduce the choice to common divine magic. 
The alternative would be a different system. Since we know aobout 
regimental spirits, I think this would be the way to go. If this is 
true, maybe the Malkioni would use physical magic instead, not being 
big in the spirit department.

>    Note that there is no suggestion of a Solar magical unit (the Sun Dome
> Templars have no spirit), and whilst some of the Lunar units may have Solar
> priests, I submit that they do not rely on Sunspear etc. Ditto the Humakti. The
> Swordbrothers unit gets to use Defensive Spirit magic, but I doubt that that
> really includes much Sever Spirit etc. Such spells probably add more to the CF
> of a unit, rather than its MgF.

There aren't any temple defenses either, although I feel that temples 
ought to have immobile spirits as temple defenses. Something along the 
lines X - X - 8 - 0 in DP terms.

>    Generally, I think the MgF represents the level of Battle Magic available to
> units, their POW and level of stored MPs, availability of spells like Shield
> etc. Magician units are unusual because they can project their attack across
> a significant distance, usually via discorporation, sorcery (Or Lunar magic)(or
> even a proposed Divine spell of Ranging!?) and elementals and spirits. 

Then how do you explain that magicians may detach their spirit to protect 
a different stack?

>    Remember that both sides are pretty well prepared for this war,

The Lunars aren't really prepared. The Dragon awakened took out their 
most effective Solar magicians from among those who fought at Pennel 
Ford where they only had been thwarted by Harrek's divine powers.

> and so have
> been sacrificing for the spells they need, making matrices and binding
> enchantments, summoning spirits and elementals to their bindings etc for quite
> a while before hand. Then you control a spirit, mindlink with it, send it off
> to scout around and find the enemy, then use its senses to cast your spells at
> the targets. To deliver elementals to distant targets, use birds (your
> familiars?) to carry the binding enchantments nearby, then release the
> elementals and control them via the senses of your familiar etc.

I see no indications of elementals fighting, except for the sylphs. They 
use the physical magic rules, so this is not your average magicians' 

>    Second up: Rune spell renewal.

My take on it: Spells cast during a worship ceremony are automatically 
regained the next day. Make your magicians' attack a communal worship...

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: All you ever wanted to know about sex.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Aug 94 03:42:01 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5819

Barron Chugg objects to his increasing eponyminity:
>   Despite my best efforts more and more things seem to be taking on my
> name.  I thought I made myself quite clear: New elements and Elementary
> particles are OK, everything else is suspect (although a mountain would be
> cool, or maybe a baseball team...) :-).

Trollball?  Chugg's Chunderers?

> >Yes, I agree.  (I wasn't suggesting they played _because_ of the sexist
> >background, for heaven's sakes! ;-)  "Oooh, oppress me again, Mr. Evil
> >Chauvanist Pig GM, sir." ;-) ;-)

>   You mean my "RQ:AiG" (that's Runequest: Adventures in Gor) campaign is
> not Ok?  Drat!  :-)

Absolutely not, though here the problem might be the appallingly bad
background "literature", and the boringness of the world, rather than its

[I wheel in Spurious Comparisons with Pendragon]
> >                                       But I do think this is enhanced by
> >respecting the sources, and not just munging it wholesale for the sake
> >of player-friendliness.)

>   Definately enhanced by the sources (and, maybe, by Greg's interests in
> pagan mythology.  I've only browsed the game, so I can't say for certain.).
>  But then, there is not so much a need for "munging" (sounds painful) since
> the sources are more balanced.

In what sense more balanced?  Arthurian literature isn't over-endowed with
female knights, priests, or even much in the way of rulers.  The odd
enchantress, who are generally bad gals...

> >Err, perhaps "throw from long leg"?

>   Sounds as painful as "munging". :-)

Not usually, no.  BTW, the term "munging" (mungeing?) is of Yankee origin,
so don't blame me for it.  Don't blame me for cricket, either, come to that.

> My
> comments on "games where all the characters must be male" were meant to
> point out that a campaign without adventuresome roles for women is too
> limiting for my tastes.

It's one thing to suggest that it should be feasible to have female PCs,
quite another to suggest that the sort of roles such PCs might occupy are
societal norms.  To return to the example of Pendragon, you can play a
female warrior, and perhaps even a female knight, but you'll get funny looks.
At the same time, some effort is also made to give women in "traditional
roles" something to do in the context of the game.  This seems a fairly
reasonable general approach to me (in comparable circumstances), though
anyone wanting an Equal Oppurtunity Employee Adventurers Guild will doubtless
be disgusted at the very idea.

> >>   I'll go even further here : 
> >>         I think that the idea "that women have "important" roles in all
> >>         Gloranthan societies" has never really been realized.

> >Never been ever attempted to be realised, as far as I can see.  But
> >should it?  Is this (alleged) goal beneficial to anyone's gaming
> >interests?

>   My answer is a solid "yep".  Unless I misread you badly, your's is "not
> clearly enough to warrant the retooling".  You and I are just putting
> different weights on different things.

I don't see why it would be even marginally beneficial to do this.  If
were running a Dara Happan game in 1150 with several players who wanted
to play female characters, I'd certainly have some serious ad libbing to
do, but to rewrite the society entirely to suit would be lamentable, in
my view.

> >Would Trowjang, Esrolia, or Troll society be "improved" by allowing
> >_males_ (more) important roles?

>   Isn't this sort of off topic?

Only if what's sauce for the goose isn't sauce for the gander, as it were.

> Trowjang is a parallel to Amazon myth of
> Earth lore, and is a pretty miserable place for men (or, probably, any
> non-amazon).

No more (or less) than the Gloranthan West parallels the middle ages.  Aren't
you wheeling out an earth-parallel argument in one area, and rejecting an
equally valid one elsewhere?

> In troll society there is no
> limitation on males or females going off to adventure.  Remember, I really
> could care less who is on the throne, if both sexes can adventure (my game
> bias). Although, who is in earthly power is often related to who is out
> having fun. 

In troll society, males can't have rulership roles, and are greatly
restricted in their ability to join the priestesshood.  Various people
have suggested that to have the reverse situation in the West would be
Completely Intolerable, as I recall.

Come to that, there's not much scope for female trolls to Adventure, at
least in the Expendable Dungeon Fodder sense.

> >And of course, it still begs the question, "What do you mean by "important"?

>   Ask Chaosium on that point.  I was calling them to task for not
> fulfilling their "promise".

But depending on their definition, they may not be in breach of it.  Wasn't
Sandy taken to task by Greg for wanting to have a Slave Girls of Pamaltela
type of society somewhere?  Perhaps the dictum was just a somewhat
overstated prohibition against that sort of thing.

> In the West I'd like to see a more interesting culture than warmed-over
> judeo-christian-islamic Earth culture.

This isn't an argument in favour of a warmed-over judeo-christian-islamic
Earth culture with fudged and blandified gender distinctions, or at least
not one that convinces me at all.

> >A constant with respect to?  Not the culture or region, since it has
> >different "clauses" for the (major) pantheons.

>   I guess our definitions are different.  The 0th order is the simplest
> approximation possible.  Can we come up with a simpler version of
> Gloranthan mythology than the MM?

As I said before, a blank page.  A much safer approximation than the
Jrusteli monomyth...

> Anyway, can we agree that the MM is useful in a broad, but painfully
> shallow way, and that to get anything done for real requires much more
> information (e.g. cult write ups and KoS)?

It's useful in so far as it tells us something about the beliefs of
individual cultures, and what the God Learners themselves believed.  I
don't think this means that the act of collecting all the myths into a
monomyth was useful in itself, for a gaming point of view.

>   Well, with our British collegues away at Convulsion, now is our chance to
> retake the daily!  No more "RQ sells much better over here."  No more
> "Well, I got my TotRM just today."  Jealous?  Me?  Well, maybe a little. 

How about "I got Tales #12 _at_ Convulsion"?  Medic, this man's turning green!

>   Quick idea on advancement: First off I have adopted the HHD spell renewal
> for initiates.  Now, imagine that as an initiate advances their renewal
> becomes easier (eg. from HHD to SHD).  This is because they are getting
> into closer contact with their deity.  After the SHD, the next step would
> be to become an Acolyte or a RLvl.  I just like the idea of smearing out
> cult levels, so that the steps are smoother.

Me too.  Reading Nick's article in Tales #12 -- what, hasn't everyone got
this yet? ;-) -- I was similarly inclined to use a similar device to help
distinguish between priests and acolytes.  Perhaps the latter need to wait
until the weekly holy day, say.  I'd also favour linking chance (or rate)
of renewal to cultic virtues.

>  How about the _need_ for Bless Crops in Genertela?

I don't buy this theory, though it makes okay Ernaldan propaganda...