Bell Digest v941018p3

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 18 Oct 1994, part 3
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From: (Dave Cordes)
Subject: Shamans, Swamps, and Powerg
Message-ID: <9410172336.AA18872@Sun.COM>
Date: 17 Oct 94 08:08:41 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6641

CL QM-SMTP gw                 Shamans, Swamps, and Powergaming
I realize that some of these issues are over a week old.  But our gateway has
been rather spastic lately.  I'm just now getting caught up.  I figured I
should respond to some of these comments as I started the questions about
Shaman Ressurections.

X-RQ-ID: 6482  Curtis Taylor:

>Note that a shaman in RQ 3 may bind spirits and force them to cast 
>any Divine magic that the spirit knows (including Resurrect-type 
>Divine magic).

Wow!!  That's great.  Expect that our GM doesn't think that spell spirits
know divine spells.  They only know spirit or scorcery spells.  Divine spells
come from ceremonies (heroquests?) that are performed in temples.  Not from

X-RQ-ID: 6472  Colin Watson:

>> Now that at least four of us agree that resurrections should not
>>necessarily be limited to just the Chalanna Arroy Divine Spell.

>Four in agreement? There must be some mistake. ;-)

It must be Eurmal's doing!! ;-)

>I tend to adhere to the idea that newly-dead spirits retain their STR, CON
>and DEX for a while after death (though these characteristics are fairly
>useless in the spirit-world and tend to dissolve in a matter of days). If
>you recovered the spirit quickly enough and used a 5-POW binding
>enchantment on the body (to bind the pseudo-ghost's INT POW DEX STR and
>CON) I think you'd essentially restore the person's life.

Sounds reasonable to me.  Now if I could only figure out what type of spirit
binding I need.  We haven't found or learned of any type of generic spirit
binding that can be made a 5 point binding.  So far, in our game, bindings
are customized to a certain type of spirit. (ie Heal Spirit Binding, or Magic
Spirit Binding, or Ghost Binding).  I guess I need to find someone who's made
a Bind Elmer's Spirit Spell and learn it.  This is however going to extremely
limit the number of ressurections I attempt to perform.  Creating a new type
of Binding for each person being ressurected will probably be more limiting
than the 5 PWR I'll need to expend.  Maybe I could get away with a Bind Dead
PC Spirit Spell.

I do like the Idea of a newly deceased spirit retaining the STR, CON, and DEX
until they disipitate, instead of the body.  I haven't seen many corpses that
had much of any of those characteristics going for them.

X-RQ-ID: 6489  Joerg Baumgartner:

>Shamans are known to travel into the border zone between life and death 
>to guide spirits back to their bodies. They do so in case of diseases 
>or curses which cause a soul to leave the body, and probably an 
>untimely death by violence or accidents will send the unprepared spirit 
>into this region, too. If the body left by the spirit still (or again) 
>is inhabitable, I think the shaman ought to be able to guide the spirit 
>back and force it into the mundane plane again. While I think that some 
>permanent POW loss ought to be involved, I don't feel there should be a 
>binding matrix enchantment as a component. Maybe this POW is used to 
>seal the leak through which the spirit escaped into the Otherworld.

I like this idea.  It solves my previous problems with Colin's solution.  I
don't need a Bind Elmer's (or whoever) Spirit Spell.  As to the loss of PWR
needed to bind the spirit back into the body.  How about using Colin's
suggestion of 5 PWR, one each for INT, PWR, DEX, STR, and CON?  

Heaven and Telmor help me.  This makes twice in one month that I have agreed
with Joerg.  I'd better be careful, or next I'll be agreeing with Nick and

>.....while I can express myself somewhat fluently in English,....

Joerg, I work with a large number of very intelligent, well educated American
Scientists and Engineers (minimum education level - BS degree).    Most of
these guys can't express themselves half as well as you do.


As to Sandy and Peter's Swamp Discussions:

My wife's family are Cajuns from Louisiana.  They live scattered about in 
small towns on the high spots (~10 - 100 ft. above sea level) near the
swamps.  They handle the mosquitos the same way my family in the South Dakota
farm country do.  They use a shot gun.  Just kidding.  Both those places have
some of the biggest darn mosquitos I've ever seen.

After reading the historys written by my in-laws I don't see them dwelling on
the hardships of living in the swamps any more then my ancestors dwelled on
the brutal winters or the indian raids living in the Dakotas.  The only
really difference I've been able to descern was the travel times.  Traveling
50 miles for my ancestors (circa 1800) was a 2-3 day horse or wagon ride.  In
the late 1700's 50 miles to my  cajon relatives was a one week horse or foot,
and boat trip.

Life in either place was hard but not without it's rewards.  They simply
lived by different survival rules that had been adapted to the area they were
in.  Interesting enough, as civilization made both areas comfortably
habitable, hunting and fishing progressed from being a necessity-to-survive
to one of the most popular pastimes in both areas.



X-RQ-ID: 6543   T.J.Minas  :

> a) Most Shamans aren't powerful enough (IMO) to be able to resurrect
>people via the Shamanic route. But its pretty easy for them to join Daka
>Fal, and gain the spells that way.

I am a hunter.  My wolfbrother and I roam the forest and plains as though we
own them.  We run together seeking game and sport.  The hunt is exhilerating.
 The kill the climax.  The feeding is a time to share with one another.  We
live as the great wolf has taught us.  We live as our parents before us
lived.  We live as our children after us will live.  This is how it should

I am also a shaman.  I tend to my people as I was taught.  The great wolf
showed me the paths on which I walk.  As I will show those paths to another
when it is time.  And would never soil my soul by attempting to walk the
paths of those who are not of the wolf's way.  The magic taught by those who
are not wolf will bring destruction upon them.  I will not take part in such

 - Wolfstar.

Let me put this another way:  From a role playing standpoint - do you think
it is okay for your character to just go cult hopping in order to get the
spells you as a player may want?  Where is your dedication to your cult? 
Where is your commitment?  Where are the spirits of reprisal that should be
raining down upon you?

David Cordes


From: (David Cake)
Subject: Hopefully the last word on the Kitori for now
Message-ID: <>
Date: 18 Oct 94 20:22:19 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6642

Hopefully the last word on the subject for now, though I may do a Kitori
'what my Father told me' soonish.

>David Cake persists in his Two Tribes origin theory:
>> I think that the marriage probably happened at the
>> time of the OOO's rule, with AA rule providing some cultural links between
>> the two, and allied troll and human tribes being politically expedient for
>> both.
>A tribal merger at the instigation of the OOO is getting early enough to
>be more Mythology than History.  If it were this ancient, their stories
>would be unlikely to acknowledge a diverse origin, even if it were
>"really" true (which I also remain skeptical of).
        Its only three or four hundred years or so! Ancient history, but
still recorded. And in any case, just because something is old enough to be
mythical doesn't mean that it is forgotten, if it is important. As for your
scepticism as to what really happened - I accept David Halls info from
Chaosium, which says that they started as two tribes, trolls native to the
Troll Woods, and human Argan Argari refugees from the OOO's reign.

>>         Think of KL as taking the place of Ancestor worship and shamanism
>> among the humans.
>Hard to think of it this way when you tell me the humans don't do it. 
        I think that there is dfinately lots of shamanism among the humans,
but I don't think that the shamans run the place, as they might in a
primarily shamanic society. I think that they have more shamanism than the
average Sartarites.

>each worships separate sets of ancestors, or one doesn't at all, then this
>rather underscore the separateness of their origins.
        I think that most ancestor worship is directed at the clan level
anyway, so ancestor worship is always about separate sets of ancestors
(isn't that what clans are?). They do consider the troll and human clans to
be related, though. Its just that those very old ancestors (clan founders,
etc.) aren't summoned that often. Summoning great-great grandfather is more

>> >  I'm thinking of something which has KL-style "ancestor"
>> >worship shades to it, as well as being a founder cult per se.  This is
>> >a cop out in the sense of effectively "relabelling" religious strands to
>> >be more acceptable to all.
>>         I like this idea, but I am unsure why you need a single founder
>> deity to make it work.
>You don't, but you'd need what is effectively a single _cult_, worshipped,
>or at least acknowledged, by the whole tribe.
        I think that it is a flavour of ancestor worship, worshipped by the
humans as plain old ancestor worship, by the trolls intermixed with KL, and
by both as linked to AA.
        I do think that they have a single cult worshipped by both tribes,
but I think that it is AA, and the ancestor worship that they both partake
in is less important, being mostly at clan level, though underscoring the
AA domination by acknowledging common ancestors.

>> > (most trolls don't even have tribes, mind you)
>>         Look at page 39 of Uz Lore, which consists mostly of a list of
>> troll tribes - most trolls do have tribes, generally springing from a
>> common ancestress.

>> The Kitori allow human clans, but apart from that are
>> probably organised on relatively conventional lines.
>By virtue of not having a common ancestor, they surely can't be.
        I think that they acknowledge a common ancestress, a troll queen
who married the human king. That does not mean that the Queen is seen as
ruler of the tribe, though. 

>>         From the point of view of the Elder Kin of Dagori Inkarth, I think
>> trolls allowing humans into their tribe is their mistake, and their
>> foolishness, and welcome to it [...]  But allowing humans into the KL cult
>> is vile [...] I wouldn't want those folks mad at me.
>I think those folks would consider this alleged distinction between joining
>the cult and joining the tribe petty-fogging and pedantic, and say so
>loudly as they ate your brains.
        I think that trolls can definately distinguish between the tribe
and the cult. They acknowledge all the trollkin as members of the tribe -
but certainly wouldn't let them in the cult without a lot of proving
themselves. KL is very much about trolls as a species, and the trolls are
very picky about who they might acknowledge as a troll. 
        Try telling the Elder Kin that all the trollkin tribe members
should be allowed into the cult! 
        And note that most troll cults allow non-troll members - indeed, in
some cases are largely made up of non-trolls (Gorakiki frex). It is only KL
that requires initiates to be trolls, and I think that it is a major tenet
of the cult. 
        I think that your average troll would find your non-distinction
between tribe and cult to show a lot of ignorance!

>The nature of KL adoption is that anyone who has undergone it _is_ a troll,
>even if they look kinda funny and not 100% uzko-like.  What is required
>to satisfy this may vary considerably, even to the point of being less
>regularly fatal then the "standard" version.  Doubtless never pain or risk
>free, though.
        I agree that the Kitori trolls may be a little more relaxed about
adopting their fellow tribe members - but only possibly. I certainly think
that the humans who wiosh to join KL (and I can't see that many doing it)
do still need to undergo ritual rebirth - but they might escape the
ceremonial dismemberment. I think that there is a chance that Kitori trolls
might consider Kitori humans as being relations, and thus part troll, which
eases the adoption ceremony a fair bit. I certainly don't think that they
consider them eligible to join the cult as trolls, and I think if they did
it would be highly heretical.