Bell Digest v941027p3

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To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 27 Oct 1994, part 3
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From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: Re: whatever
Message-ID: <>
Date: 25 Oct 94 07:31:44 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6738

Time Minas:
>There is apparently, a famous Holy Country spirit that has a STR of  
>1000! Ask Sandy for details.
Nick B.
>Is this Vogarth the Strong Man, Sandy? Any details??
	Yes. He can be embodied as a hero-type entity to help out his  
people. I seem to recall something about his being especially eager  
to help his descendants, which may imply a Daka Fal tie-in somewhere. 

	Technically, I suppose, he's a ghost, since he used to be a  
living person. But I don't think anyone thinks of him as a ghost, but  
rather an important spirit/hero/father figure. 

>In my game, Babeester Gor was a minor cult. Esrolia just wasn't  
>dangerous enough 

	You could have used them for a police force, though. Since  
Esrolia's a theocracy, violating the civil law is much like violating  
the religious law, and who wants to get a speeding ticket from a  
Babeester Gor? Seriously -- I have always kind of thought that they  
were the enforcers of Esrolian society, keeping everyone in line for  
the benefit of the oligarchy. Sure, they also act as Holy Avengers  
and stuff, but they have everyday chores, too.

Alex F.
>To posit the obvious stupid Question: are there any "Agimori" ogres?
	Yes. I don't know if ogres were originally a Genertelan  
import or not, but since we know the child of an ogre is (usually) an  
ogre, yet has many of the racial features of its human parent, the  
ogres breeding with Agimori has produced many fine examples of same. 

>I'd imagine that a tribe living near such a waterhole would most  
>likely have a largely positive view of the crocodiles
	Hrm? Because they _like_ being eaten alive, every so often? I  
suspect that gator spirits are probably feared, possibly respected,  
possibly mollified, but not regarded as "safe". 

>What (if any) form does Doraddi animal worship take? 

	The animals are personalized, and while some are big and  
scary, most are not ever thought to be "evil" (except chaos ones or  
imports from the north, like horses). Many Doraddi believe that  
animals have a "group soul". I.e., humans come in the flavor of one  
human per soul. But dogs, a less advanced entity, may have a dozen  
dogs all sharing a soul. It probably takes a whole beehive, with  
thousands of bees, to make up one soul. And when you get down to  
stuff like moss, it might take an entire _species_ all together to  
have a soul. 

	What does this mean in practical terms? It means that  
unjustly killing a dog is 1/12 as bad as killing a human, and killing  
a bee is 1/10,000 as bad (or whatever). Hence you must only kill at  
need, and do so prayerfully. Some wise men teach that humans, too,  
have group souls, and hence no separate afterlife. 

	Another implication of the group soul is that if souls can be  
subdivided, then they can be grouped together, too -- most Doraddi  
believe in the "Oversoul", which is a large spiritual "unit" that  
engulfs a number of souls, and keeps them all together -- in some  
mystic way, they are "one". One example of an oversoul is the entire  
Doraddi race -- almost all Doraddi believe that they share a kinship  
not shared by other races. 

	There are cults that teach the language of animals. Most  
shamans choose animalistic totems, and many people take to themselves  
a totem, and an animal as their "symbol". This is expecially useful  
for decision-making. ("I don't know which way to go, so I'll wait  
till I see a Baluchithere -- the direction it is going, _I_ will go.)

>I don't >think Doraddi tribes have the same sorts of long-term  
>emnities that Orlanthi tribes and clans do, with standing blood  
>feuds, and the like, but let's face it, not everyone can be pals  
>with everyone else.  I think these hostilities rarely result in  
>significant organised or premeditated violence, but may manifest  
>itself in ways such as lack of a formal penalty or punishment if you  
>happen to kill >such a tribesman, and they may be >opponents in  
>ceremonies or quests.
	Ambush and secret murder is also known to occur, plus rivalry  
over who gets to guard (and thus take the benefits from) a particular  
oasis. Technically, the oasis gets to choose its guardian, but in  
practice the tribes have a lot to say about it. There is much  
negotiating and contesting when such a dispute arises. 

	(Note the peculiar story-telling style in which Fennec's  
conversation is all reported third-hand.)
	Fennec saw Brontothere out eating, eating, eating all the  
plants and leaves. Fennec's stomach was empty, so he ran to  
Brontothere, yip, yip, yip! Brontothere didn't see. Kept eating,  
eating. Yip, yip, yip! Finally Brontothere saw. "Why do you bother  
me, little one?"
	Brontothere eats leaves, so has plenty of food. Fennec wants  
to eat leaves too, he wants Brontothere to teach him. 

	"Let's go to the mud wallow." Trot, trot to the wallow. "Now  
stand still, don't dodge!" Brontothere charges towards Fennec. Fennec  
leaps aside. "No, no!" says Brontothere. "Don't dodge! You must stay  
put or the magic won't work."
	Fennec promises not to dodge. But when Brontothere comes,  
Fennec dodges anyway. "Do you want the magic or not?" asks  
Brontothere. Fennec promises not to dodge. And this time, as  
Brontothere comes down upon him, Fennec closes his eyes and stands  
tight, and just as Brontothere's horn smacks him, Fennec turns into a  
brontothere. "Now you can eat leaves, like me." says Brontothere. 

	The two brontotheres eat leaves and enjoy themselves. Before  
long, one of the brontotheres wanders off. He sees a fennec. "Don't  
run away, little fennec!" says the brontothere. "I was once a fennec,  
like you. Stay put and I'll turn you into a brontothere, so you, too,  
can eat leaves." The brontothere charges the fennec and just as his  
big front horn hits him, he turns back into Fennec. Oh no! The magic  
is reversed! 

	Fennec runs back to Brontothere, and begs to be turned back.  
He made a mistake, he says. "Do not try to turn other fennecs into  
brontotheres." says Brontothere. "Be content to be a brontothere  
yourself." Fennec promises, and is turned back into a brontothere. 

	The next day, the new brontothere says "I wish to go East."  
Brontothere says, "Good. Go East. But there you will see four running  
brontotheres. If you talk to them, they will say they are going to  
make smoke. Do not go with them, but keep going East." 

	"Yes, yes" says the new brontothere. When he goes east, he  
sees the four running brontotheres. "Where do you go, brothers?"
	"We go to get smoke. Do you wish to come with us?"
	"Yes, of course." And the four became five. 

	They ran ran, rumbling the ground. Soon they stopped to rest.  
"Let us get smoke now," says the new brontothere. "We cannot make  
smoke _here_," says the running brontothere. "Do you not know what  
getting smoke means?" 

	"Yes yes of course. I forgot. Let us go and get smoke."
	The five brontotheres run, run. Then they stop to make water.  
"Surely _now_ we can get smoke," says the new brontothere. "Look  
around," says the running brontothere. "How can we make smoke  

	"Oh, of course. I forgot. Let us go."
	The five brontotheres ran ran. They ran into the middle of  
the Agimore camp. The brontotheres stopped running. Then the men came  
and slew the brontotheres, to jerk their meat. But one of the  
brontotheres ran and ran to get away. The men chased him, chased him.  
The brontothere fell over a cliff and could not get up. He lay there,  
panting. He pled with Pamalt. "Save me my father. Make me a fennec  
again." And Pamalt heard, and once more he was Fennec. The men came  
with their spears adrip, but saw only Fennec, and let him be. 

	Fennec went back to Brontothere. Fennec claims he tripped in  
a bad place, and was turned back to a fennec. Please turn me to a  
brontothere again, he begs. "Okay, stand still," says Brontothere.  
But this time when Brontothere charges, Fennec is not transformed.  
Instead, Brontothere tramples and tramples and tramples until nothing  
at all is left of Fennec. 

	This is why we never eat fennec meat in a year we eat  
brontothere meat.* This is why fennecs hide in deep holes from the  
brontotheres. This is why they try to steal smoked meat, but not raw  
or cooked.

	* this is effectively a taboo on eating fennec meat, of  
course, since brontothere meat is one of the staples of many tribes. 


From: (David Cake)
Subject: Many things- trolls, Pamaltelans
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Oct 94 01:55:14 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6742

Replying to Alex on the Kitori (though I am going to largely ignore the
Kitori, as I am sure no one is interested any longer, and just talk about

>> >If
>> >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?).
>It's what human clans are, but I don't think trolls make this tribe/clan
>distinction, at least not at all sharply.  Which raises the question of
>how the Kitori are organised: like a "federal" human tribe, like a rather
>amorphous troll tribe, with less marked subdivisions, or with each "half"
>organised by species?
        It is is true that the troll idea of a tribe is more like a
super-clan, in that the structure above the clan is still ancestrally
based, rather than just a historical alliance. But for ancestor worship
purposes, the inter-clan lineages are probably too many generations away to
be important in the day to day ancestor worship - mos people are more
interested in worshipping great grandmother to bother with great^16
grandmother, who would probably punish you for your impudence anyway, or
not know who you are. The clan ancestors are acknowledged, but I don't
think that they have that much to do with the average ancestor worship
ceremony other than an important name to be invoked.
        In other words, wether the clans in the tribe share common
ancestors or not does not matter that much, as they are almost never

>>         Try telling the Elder Kin that all the trollkin tribe members
>> should be allowed into the cult!
>No problem, since they already are: all the other trollkin are just
>tribal or individual property, not tribe members.
        Small problem of terminology here. We were actually argueing about
initiation requirements, not cult membership, which was not made clear. The
trollkin who are tribe members are almost all lay members (and happy with
their tribe member status, as tribe members are not food, except
occasionally for their relations). I am sure that among the Kitori humans
can become lay members of KL - but they will find at least as difficult as
a trollkin would, and probably more, so it is at least a great honour. 
        Note that any trollkin born into the tribe is a tribe member.
        So I rephrase my comment as 'try telling the Elder Kin that all
trollkin tribe members should be initiated!'.

>> It is only KL that requires initiates to be trolls, and I think that it
>> is a major tenet of the cult.
>Just as it's a major tenet of all "normal" troll clans/tribes that members
>be trolls, and have the blood of the tribal ancestor.
        No. Troll tribes/clans include trollkin, who are NOT regarded as
trolls. Line of descent is important, but the Kitori get around that by
their sacred marriage. Some troll clans may well include other non-trolls.
        The two things (tribe and cult) should not be confused. A troll
understands that trolls of other clans are still members of the same KL
cult, and many cults and sub-cults cross tribal boundaries. 
        It is true that religious power is much the same thing as political
or social power, but this does not mean that the social organisation is the
same as the cult organisation. Rather, it means that if you have sufficient
following and clout they will often accomodate you religiously as well. 

>From: (Bryan J. Maloney)
>Subject: How hot is AN oakfed?
>The only thing on which I draw a complete blank is the fact that the shamans
>of the Praxians have summoned an oakfed.  How powerful is this particular
>oakfed?  I'm not talking about the Theyalan "Oakfed"--a demigod but the
>Praxian "an oakfed", which I'm taking to be a large elemental or fire
>spirit of some kind, but still within mortal comprehension.  Ideally, I'd
>like to know how many Byzantine fire siphons it would be equivalent to.
        From what I have seen of Nomad Gods, it looks a lot like the
Praxians at Moonbroth summoned THE Oakfed, or something pretty equivalent.
At least the 'Oakfed' counter is specifically noted to be a major god in
NG, and carries a pretty sizable combat factor (16 versus about 3 for a
medium infactry unit, 5-6 for heavy cavalry) and magical ability. The
counter may represents more than one being, though, as Oakfed may have an
        Converting to an equivalent number of Byzantine fire syphons is
probably rather difficult! (in any case, a hell of a lot!). I had some
dissatisfactions with Warhamster, and looked at using other miniature
systems (like WRG7) for Gloranthan battles and just gave up. I will
probably use basically Warhamster with a few extra modifiers and large
changes to command and movement. Conventional miniature systems, built as
they are around standard troop types, just lose too much of the Gloranthan
flavour for my taste.


>Another rulesish thing I have never been happy with is the idea
>elementals have hit points.  Like binding spirits into animals, its
>seems a hold over from RQ2.  Elementals have SIZ, but not CON.  To me,
>this means they should have armour points, but not hit points.  Just
>like an inanimate object has armour points, but not hit points. 

        To me the distinction between armour points and hit points has very
little to do with the difference between animate and inanimate, it is
simply the difference between rigid or tough materials and soft. Hard
things (like weapons or Jolanti) have armour points, soft things (like
people), have hit points, and things that are tough or hard on the outside
(large arthropods, or armour encased people) have armour points protecting
hit points.
        The animate/ inanimate distinction is pretty irrelevent - trees
tend more towards armour points, because they are tough, giant mushrooms
tend towards hit points because they are soft.
        I think of elementals as all being pretty soft, even gnomes (dirt
rather than rock), so hit points are fine by me.
        I do find it a bit odd that all elementals are strikeable by normal
weapons, I admit. The concept of chopping up the darkness or fire with your
sword takes some getting used to.

> I
>haven't worked out the exact details of how many armour points each
>elemental should have, but giving them armour points may mean they
>might not be so easily destroyed by a couple of good sword hits.
        I usually have the magician who summoned them slap on some
defensive magic, if possible.

>Gary James
                Dave Cake