Bell Digest v941027p2

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 27 Oct 1994, part 2
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From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Elf armies in Glorantha
Date: 26 Oct 94 14:21:51 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6744

Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 6725

> Joerg:
>>The Stinking forest and the Valley of Flowers are known aldryami 
>>territory. Where are their counters?

>	I adhere to the concept that even in forests that have lotsa  
> aldryami, they wouldn't boast a "counter" in DP terms. Instead, the  
> forests themselves would act as hostile terrain -- units moving  
> through it would be attacked at 1:1 odds (or something) each turn.  
> Even units that were adjacent to it might be attacked. 

1:1 odds seem highly unlikely. I doubt the DP aldryami could stop a 
superhero, or a determined assault from elite regiments. A host of 
physical agents without associated magicians attacking intruders 
could be plausible, though...

And I think that raiding bands could be summoned in strength to 
aid one army or the other with their expert archers.

>	I can't offhand think of any times in Gloranthan history that  
> elves fielded what we could think of as a real army. Raiding parties,  
> yes.

The difference between a raiding band of elves and one of tusk riders 
(represented with 5 counters in DP) escapes me. Anyway, there are 
several occasions on which elves fielded an army:

Uz Lore:
"Gash and Gore led the third group. They headed southwest first, but 
were sighted by an army of elves who waited for more help. Their 
overlord, Genert, responded. When the forces of elves and trolls came 
to battle, a whole range of mountains was thrown at the darkness men."
And another battle in which the elves are aided by "Yelmalio" [the 
elf god?] and "remnants of the Dara Happan Empire". (Dara Happan 
historians don't mention any cooperation with the woodmen, so this 
may have been provincial forces rather than real Dara Happan emperors 
and such. Khorventos was sitting beleaguered and famished in the cities 
at this time...)

p.9: Unity battle.

p.93f: Tobosta Greenbow led his elves from the Elder Wilds against the 
EWF after he had shot Alakoring Dragonslayer.

p.116: Penraltan the Killer fought at Dwernapple. "He and his men 
swooped upon the fleeing elf army, and his horse still has splinters, 
to hear him tell of it." A clear proof for the existance of elf unit 
counters in the Hero Wars games, IMO...

After the battle of Argentium Thri'ile, Khordavu "divides the corners 
of the world" between the non-humans, and sends the Aldryami to the west 
(most of western Peloria and eastern Fronela was heavily forested in this 
period). This means they had sent contingents.

>>The Valley of Flowers and most of the northeastern corner of the DP  
>>map have much more vegetation on the Dagori Inkarth map than shown  
>>on the DP board. 

>	Dagori Inkarth is almost completely barren. A region of thin  
> brush that would be considered clear terrain on the DP map is worth  
> noting as "heavy vegetation" in Dagori Inkarth.

In my experience gorse and bramble thickets make worse travelling 
ground than forested hill flanks. Dagori Inkarth itself would have few 
forest hexes unconnected to the Redwood, but northeastern Dragon Pass 
has the forest, especially the west side of the Indigo Mountains.

Trolls and forests can live merrily together, as the Troll Woods in 
the Holy Country prove.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Geoff Revill)
Subject: RQ2 Sorcerers
Message-ID: <9410241208.AA20200@noname>
Date: 24 Oct 94 12:08:34 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6745

I have been playing and running RQ II since university,  but with the
Plethora of new modules for RQ III I am tempted to slowly introduce it
to my players.

My first step is to introduce Sorcerers,  but ONLY as NPC' will be
nice to use opponents that have powers that my players really know
nothing about (I have not let them read anything on RQ III).

However,  this poses some rules issues....has anyone else used 
Sorcerers in RQ II...if so some advice would be appreciated.

Geoff Revill


From: (Peter Metcalfe, CAPE Canty)
Subject: RCMP in Ignorance, huh?
Message-ID: <>
Date: 25 Oct 94 11:07:36 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6746

Bruce Lionel Mason:

Writes some customs about the Bliss in Ignorance.

>How about a human version of troll ball played on the ice and using baby 
>seals as pucks?  Perhaps a grand final uses an irate walrus instead...


>Or various field sports such as ``the pup fling,'' or divination through 
>splatting the pup with a very heavy maul and reading the patterns on the 

Excellent idea!

And now for another relvation, I had about Bliss in Ignorance.  This
concerns the military police units found in Pent.

Many years ago during the Dragon Wars when the True Exarchs were forced 
into Ignorance by the False Dragons, they defeated the Troll Overlords 
and expelled them to Koromandol.

The natives of Ignorance they saw as Fodder against the New Dragons 
Ring.  But they proved set in their benighted ways and the exarchs 
look for a means of keeping down potential revolts against their rule.

Finally the Sages decided to hire a Pentish tribe that had been badly 
battered by the Wars of Kastok.  These were glad to find some refuge 
from the powerstruggle in Pent and also benefit from the increase in 
living standard by Proper Employment.

To mark their new status as Employees of the New Kingdom of Wisdom they 
were given Red Coats of a wonderous Fabric called Serge and became known 
as the Red Coated Mounted Pigdogs [1] in official documents or RCMP for 
short.  In speech everybody calls them the Mounties.

They have gained the wonderous legend of always being able to get their 
man. They prefer to do this with a posioned arrow from 100 paces.

[1]  Since the Pentians did not come into contact with Ignorance until 
after the Ascension of Khordavu and became known to the Kralori about 
a century later, it followed that the Script of vashanti did not have 
a word for Pentian.  However the Wise Emperor Vashanti allowed for 
such an occurence, so far sighted was he.  In accordance with the 
decrees he made on this matter, Pentian was transcribed into the 
Splendid Script as a combination of two characters.  Given the sound 
of the word 'Pentian' the two characters were Pig and Dog.  So when it 
reads 'Pigdog' what it really means is 'Pentian'.  And everybody marvelled 
at the perfection of Vashanti's Work.

--Peter Metcalfe


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Re: Temple rituals
Date: 26 Oct 94 15:22:13 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6747

Andrew Bean asked in X-RQ-ID: 6733 about the nature of ritual 

I think that most opponents are mainly symbolic in nature. Looking back 
on my Glorantha scenarios, I always used appropriate pars pro toto 

Such as the Sword story my Aeolian PCs reenacted upon reaching their 
When the initiees had recovered the sword hidden in a dark grove, they 
had to bypass a guardian watching the path out (a Humakti 
housecarl/knight) or face prowling large hounds elsewhere on the edge 
of the grove (the dogs were leashed outside of the wood, but the PCs 
never knew, or tried to find out). These were the stand-ins for the 
guardians of Death or the hell hounds. The players chose a (fair!) duel 
between their champion and the Humakti to the first fall, and by sheer 
luck won (after both sides having parried decapicitating critical 

The summons of evil can have unforeseen by-effects, especially if the 
spiritual world is tensed. This initiation took place in 1615, and the 
omens were bad: a band of trollkin showed up in the grove (more 
denizens of Hell), and the Yelmalio templar-to-be (who earlier had been 
thrown into the raging mill stream by an Orlanth-initiee, and rescued), 
still cold from his bath, charged them without thinking twice. This 
Hill of Gold turn of things almost destroyed them in the end, when a 
chaos beast (unrelated to the sword story) showed up.

So, while the ritual reenactment can provide some of the opponents in a 
controlled manner, the Summoning of Evil will produce side effects. 
Whether these are encountered or recognized depends on the nature of 
the side effects, the grace of the omens, etc.

Reenactments in which captive opponents are used seem to be of the 
power-grabbing kind of HQ rather than the ceremonial ones. If the 
opponents aren't close enough to the real thing, all manner of things 
can go awry - IMO the Yelmalian in Biturian's story cheated, and got 
what he deserved. The Sun Domers in Prax might well have enough 
candidates to try and grab such a power annually, given their military 
orientation and their otherwise weak magics.

Usually only prisoners of war would be used as such opponents, those 
without a ransom worth mentioning gain a chance to fight themselves 
free - a remnant of "violence is always an option". The better your 
opponents on such a reenactment are, the better is your profit out of 
it, but the greater is your risk, too.

The idea of a ritual cleansing after impersonating one of the bad guys 
seems appropriate.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


Subject: trip to RQCon2
Message-ID: <977764A1D71F225591@LET.KUN.NL>
Date: 26 Oct 94 19:33:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6748

Hi, everybody, especially all of you in the USofA!

I am currently planning my trip to RQCon2. Now, however much I like 
Glorantha and RQ, I think it is a bit of a waste to fly across the
ocean just for the Con weekend (Heresy! Boo! Hiss!) So I was wondering
if anybody out there (preferably of course on the West Coast but I'm
flexible in this) would be willing to put up a guest for a couple of
days, show (or point to) the local sights, play some games, etc. Can be
either before or after the Con.

Hoping to hear from many of you, 
Hans van Halteren (


From: (T.J.Minas)
Subject: Spirit bindings
Message-ID: <>
Date: 26 Oct 94 17:35:38 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6749

Another epistle from my word-processor.

   Thoughts on Bindings and enchantments. (Some relevance to the discussion of
binding souls back into dead bodies too)

   IMO, a binding with 2 pts of POW spent on creating it is not just a "Bind
Magic spirit" binding, but could also hold (say) an Intellect spirit, or Ghost.
The binding is enchanted to hold a spirit with INT and POW, and so, unless it
has any user conditions on it, could hold any such spirit. Likewise, a binding
for an elemental could hold any of them. (As an aside, I play that Gloranthan
magic crystals, of the mundane MP storing kind, can also hold spirits still)

   The subject of user conditions brings up another point. The enchantment MUST
therefore (IMO) possess a kind of "pseudo-intelligence" to determine whether or
not the user meets the conditions. Eg suppose I make an enchantment to store MPs
on my sword and add the condition that no Lunar initiate may use it. I die.
Along comes Mr Lunar initiate, picks up the sword says "hmm, look an MP storing
enchantment. I'll use that". How does the enchantment "know" he is a Lunar
initiate, and thus not work for him?
   Perhaps, therefore, enchantments (with POW spent to create them and a pseudo-
INT) are semi-alive, and might even show up on appropriate Detect/Find spells?
They show up under Second Sight/Mystic Vision, I'm sure.

   On a side note, may I suggest that the TOTRM #7 article "Swords and Sorcery"
have an update, as it were, with the following ideas.


   To create one of these, the would-be maker must join the cult of Humakt (or
Yanafal Tarnils) and join the subcult of Dilfin Doomfarer. This subcult offers
the following spell:-

   Create Death Sword
   Ritual (Enchant) 1pt
        Turns a normal sword into a Death Sword. See ToTRM #7 or Plunder for

   A Death sword, if found, may be "reactivated" (cost as per TOTRM#7) but this
reactivation automaticlly initiates the user into the Humakti subcult of Dilfin


   This is also probably a Ritaul (enchant) 1 pt spell, known to the cults of
Humakt, Yanafal Tarnils and possibly several other death deities, potentially
via subcults again.

   I feel that this "update" would round out, polish off and neaten the edges of
the mechanics of these weapons creation. The Lottery swords for Esrolia probably
use a local subcult Rune magic to produce them as well.

   That's all, folks



From: (T.J.Minas)
Subject: Allied spirits, awakened beasts etc
Message-ID: <>
Date: 26 Oct 94 17:15:22 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6750

We have had a number of discussions relating to spirits of late and I'd like to
comment on a few points raised therein.


   I do not believe that there need be a special spell to do this in most cases
(Waha is an exception, because of the ancient Compact about Men and Beasts).
Remember, Priests/Rune Lords do not automatically get an allied spirit. It is
only a POWx3 chance, if I recall. Presumbably, if the chance is fulfilled, then
the deity in question awakens the animal chosen to full intelligence, and this
becomes the allied spirit.
   Allied spirits in objects are rather different. The deity merely sends the
appropriate spirit to inhabit the object.


   First of all, I believe that "Command Cult Spirit" _WILL_ work on _ALL_ cult
spirits (ie spirits owing allegiance to that cult). The spell is a 2 (Go on,
count 'em, TWO) point Rune magic, as opposed to standard "Command "
spells which are only one point. Also, it only works on cult spirits. I believe
that that is enough limitation in itself.
   Incidentally, Humakti don't consider ghosts to be undead as far as I know.
Remember, back in RQ2, Humakt temples used to have Guardian Ghosts? They still
have them, summoned via "Summon Temple Spirit" spells, and commandable via
"Command Cult Spirit".

   Cult POW spirits, I am pretty sure, do not count as initiates. They have no
INT, so I sincerely doubt if they can manage to attain the equivalent of
initiate status. Lay members, sure, no probs.


   On the subject of binding spirits into animals (now very hard to do, by the
way), such binding (I am told by Sandy) kills the animal. IE it drives out the
animals own spirit, and replaces it with whichever spirit you have just bound.
This probably leads to some very strange acting animals on occasion! See also
the sidebar discussion in "Borderlands" about kidnapping an enemy, making him
into a herdman, then possessing him with a spirit under your control!


   An interesting question: why can't you teach spirit magic to someone else that
you know? Well, potentially, maybe you could, but the requirement would be a
long time spent Mindlinked whilst you passed over the knowledge, and it almost
certainly wouldn't be worth it. Look at how you learn spirit magic in the first
place: You defeat the spirit in spirit combat, by reducing it to 0 MPs
(remember, a human would be unconscious at this point) and wrest the knowledge
from the spirit.
   The only other time that spell knowledge is transmitted, as far as I know, is
when someone transfers knowledge of a spell to one of their bound or familiar
spirits, eg their allied spirit. But in this case they are in permanent Mindlink
anyway, so its not a problem.
   You could try learning spirit magic spells from someone if you could
discorporate and attack them in spirit combat, I guess....!

   Also, on small temples having problems, I am inclined to shout "Hear, hear"
for the suggestion re lay mambers. Perhaps their MP's are only 1/5 as effective
or something, but that could still be useful. And also therefore we ought to
redefine temple sizes based upon the number of effective MP's donated at the
last HHD, maybe 500 Mp's for a shrine etc. Thoughts?

        Enough for now,



Subject: Real Enemies in Rituals
Message-ID: <>
Date: 26 Oct 94 11:47:10 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6751

Andrew Bean, 

I enjoyed your opinions and the references from Bali.  I agree that ALWAYS
requiring an actual enemy presence in rituals doesn't make sense and would be
impractical.  For dramatic purposes, I wouldn't eliminate actual-enemy
rituals altogether, just make them the rare exception instead of the rule.  

A ritual is intensified if actual enemies are involved.  The element of risk
makes the ritual one step closer to being a Heroquest instead of simple
ceremony.  Biturian Varosh's Yelmalion tormentor wanted to up the ante for
his ritual and overcame resistance from other cult members to set up Varosh's
forced participation -- and the Light priest's power play backfired and he
got killed.  I think that's the kind of risks that should accompany
actual-enemy rituals; your party suffered in the RQ 2 game, but you did mash
the dwarves in the end.  

--Rob Heinsoo