Bell Digest v941102p1

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 02 Nov 1994, part 1
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X-RQ-ID: Intro

This is the RuneQuest Daily Bulletin, a mailing list on
the subjects of Avalon Hill's RPG and Greg Stafford's 
world of Glorantha.  It is sent out once per day in digest

More details on the RuneQuest Daily and Digest can be found
after the last message in this digest.

X-RQ-ID: index

6814: joe = (Joerg Baumgartner)
 - Elf counters
6815: yfcw29 =
 - Doraddi baddies & misc
6816: pheasant = (Nick Eden)
 - Giants? Unsophisticated? No way!
6817: erisie = (Sven *Erik Sievrin)
 - Regarding spirits, sorcery, Pamaltelan evil and divers other meaningless trivia....
6818: sandyp = (Sandy Petersen)
 - Re:stuff
6819: carlsonp = (Carlson, Pam)
 - Esrolia, Community Spell Economics
6820: ddunham = (David Dunham)
 - Visibility, Fetches; Magicians
6821: hasni = (Richard Ohlson)
 - Re: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 01 Nov 1994, part 1
6822: M.Hitchens = (Michael Hitchens)
 - The Nature of Gods, Myths and Heroquests
6823: rowe = (Eric Rowe)
 - Runequest Adventures Fanzine


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Elf counters
Date: 1 Nov 94 11:00:58 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6814

Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 6758

> Joerg B.:
>>The difference between a raiding band of elves and one of tusk  
>>riders  (represented with 5 counters in DP) escapes me. 

>	The Tusk Riders openly boast of their prowess as mercenaries,  
> are organized into mobile bands, and actively seek hire. They try as  
> hard as they can to be little square counters on the DP map. Elves  
> are completely and utterly different.

Ok. Yet elves do raid, and try to destroy troll or dwarf incursions 
or institutions, and they can fail, losing their military strength 
for the duration of the game. This is most conveniently expressed 
in the use of counters for physical units, IMO.

>>Anyway, there are several occasions on which elves fielded an army:

>	You've managed to gather, out of all Gloranthan lore, six (6)  
> cases in which it's possible that the elves had a real field force.  

I looked for about 5 minutes.

> At least two of these are suspect: when Gore and Gash fight their  
> "army of elves, it's pretty obvious to me that this "army" is a  
> forest. It sits and "waits" for help, and when the two sides fight,  
> it's not a real battle, but instead a range of mountains is thrown up  
> against the trolls.

An interesting interpretation for this event. I wouldn't dream of 
turning it into a DP-like scenario, anyway.

The other battle, with Yelmalio and "Dara Happans" present, seems to 
have been a field battle.

> Also, the Unity Battle is an unusual godtime  
> event which is always singled out as remarkable. Even there did the  
> elves field an army? The battle may have taken place within a forest,  
> with the elves helping the dwarfs and trolls. 

The battle certainly took place on (former?) cultural land left by 
the southern Dara Happan provinces, somewhere in the upper Oslir 
River Valley, then inhabited by the descendants of the Ram 
People, and possibly the Vingkotlings. The Ice Age covering 
not only the West, but also most of Peloria and the Dara Happan Dome 
of Clay, will have left tundra before its glacier. Neither is 
favourite elf terrain.

>	Your other references are all obscure as to what was going  
> on, and in addition are all times when elves were clearly working  
> with someone else. I don't think that in any of these cases they were  
> sending out large organized forces into battle.

I agree that most warfare between aldryami and other Elder Races 
will be more of an ecological plus guerilla warfare vs. land-ravaging 
methods, and the main Aldryami expansions always have been 
reforestations. However, ordinary battles between human forces and 
aldryami agents occurred in those conflicts (two are mentioned in DHBE, 
for Western Peloria, one around 220, the other around 530 S.T.).

Whenever the Aldryami were drawn into the great conflicts of Glorantha, 
they sent out largish forces following the human example. Their fight 
against the EWF is one example, Errinoru's fleet another one. Now the 
greatest conflict in the history of Glorantha impends...

>	Obviously elves can be effective in combat. A real large elf  
> woods might even be able to produce an actual field unit (like the  
> Moonbow legion, which was partially human). But this is so rare that  
> providing elf counters for the Stinking Forest (for instance) is a  
> big mistake.

The Redwood Aldryami had their counters for the projected Shadows 
Dance game (I have seen tentative counter illus for that), I think 
around 7 or 8. The Stinkwood plus vale of Flowers aldryami population 
is probably half as large, so 3 counters for an exotic alliance seem 
ok with me.

> If we were doing a DP-style game for Fronela, I'd  
> probably provide a few counters for the Winterwoods, since that's  
> such an enormous population of elves that I can imagine some  
> unit-equivalents being mustered.

The Winterwood elves did participate in the Loskalm-Ygglinga 
conflicts once or twice. On one occasion they mustered a fleet 
with mixed elf/human crews.

> But the Stinking Forest? Get real.

Counters can be eliminated, and special magics need some counter to be 
used, or to be removed from play before they are employed. That's 
why I want counters. If only to give the Redwood Aldryami a means 
of reinforcement in the back of the troll tribes of Dagori Inkarth.

Elf raids are mentioned in the Regional Activity tables for the Lunar 
Allies (the Char-un) and Wenelia. Apparently these are meant to 
provide martial or diplomatic activities of PCs in or from that region.

The Erigian Aldryami met a Char-un army in force, and caused heavy losses 
among the tribes. The Rist Aldryami did the same against a Lunar force, 
and eliminated it.

Fighting in regiments certainly isn't the favoured form of warfare 
among the aldryami, but they are evidently capable of doing so, and 
in the special situation of the Hero Wars are likely to do so.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


Subject: Doraddi baddies & misc
Message-ID: <>
Date: 1 Nov 94 16:50:07 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6815

David Cake (of Doraddi bad guys):

>         What I want is cults that take some of the part that religions like
> Krarsht or Seseine, or even Nysalor, plays in Genertelan society [...]

These are highly organised and sophisticated cults. Most of the realy awful
chaos cults in Genertela are. Doraddi bad guys are likely to have more
personal motives. eg A shaman who has become possessed, or made a pact with,
a powerfull and wicked ancestor. Perhaps the spirit of a wicked shaman or
disgraced chief.

Peter Michaels' 'living crystal' sounds like a neat idea for a one-off
item. Deffinitely very rare though.

Sandy :
Thanks for the notes on Intelect and Power spirit origins, I think I'll
use some of these ideas to give the spirits in my games a bit of
individual 'flavour'. Passion spirits are probably my favourite type
though, each one could have it's own idiosyncratic effects.

Simon Hibbs


From: (Nick Eden)
Subject: Giants? Unsophisticated? No way!
Date: 1 Nov 94 19:00:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6816

In-Reply-To: <9410300815.AA12049@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM>
> I was just reading in KoS (I know, I'm behind in my 
> reading...), where Argrath and friends protect the giant 
> cradle from capture by the Lunars, and a couple of questions 
> that I had wondered about before came back to mind:
> First: Does anybody know why giants send (or sent, anyway) 
> their babies down the river in cradles?  It doesn't seem like 
> a very good policy - I would expect most of the cradles to go 
> more or less straight down Magasta's Pool.  (Is that why 
> there aren't more giants in Genertela? ;))

Yes they go down Magasta's Pool. And that, I think is the plan. The Elder 
Giants send their kids into the underworld for some reason that escapres 
me. Perhaps it's so that the kids can understand the nature of life and 
death and grown in power.
> Second: What kind of wonderful things do these apparently 
> technically and magically unsophisticated people put in these 
> cradles that made it worthwhile to set up two separate 
> outposts just to capture them?  Where do they get them from?  
> Is there a powerful and advanced giant civilization somewhere 
> that we have never heard about?

Being a smug long term RQer, like many of the people here, I reach over 
to my shelves for the Pavis boxed set, and in particular the Cradle 
scenario. And find it's not there. Damn. I lent it to Duncan.

(Duncan are you still reading this thing? Can I have the Borderlands 
stuff back sometime?) 

Still from memory (someone'll correct me I'm sure if I make any major 

The Elder Giants should not be confused with the little bitty ten metre 
tall guys with the disorder runes and the tree trunks. These Giants, the 
ones that turn into mountains if they fall asleep are second only to the 
true Dragons in terms of magical power and style. And they're even more 

Inside the Cradle that went though Pavis in 1621(?) there was a female 
baby giant, the daughter of Gonn Orta (see Griffen Mountain, not 
mentioned in Griffen Island). She had with her various magical creatures, 
such as animate chess peices, talking animals and other constructs 
designed to educate her as she grew up. And a lot of other treasure type 
things. The Cradle had pretty damn potant magical defenses as well, but 
these were initially overcome by the lunars and their lynch pin was taken 
of the cradle. It was returned at the cruical moment by Gareth 
Sharpsword, and you don't need me to tell you who he was.


From: (Sven *Erik Sievrin)
Subject: Regarding spirits, sorcery, Pamaltelan evil and divers other meaningless trivia....
Date: 1 Nov 94 23:28:58 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6817

I do not like the thought of "POW spirits", "Magic spirits" etc 
either.... I prefer the thought of rabbit spirits, sundered dwarves, 
pieces of dead gods etc, with the way you use it being dependent on the 
spirit binding - say, you can always use the spirit by letting it free 
and commanding it to do one thing, but if it is bound in an enchantment 
and you want it to give you MP, you have to create a special enchantment 
to do that, and if you want to use its INT to store things, you must have 
an enchantment for that, and if you want it to cast its spells without 
leaving its cosy rune there have to be one for that, etc... And maybe 
there is a similar function for a shaman who keeps spirits in his
fetch..... I'll be back with a little fiction about three people and how 
they learned magic by (Gamespeak: Spellteaching) gifts fronm their gods...
I just wait for the inspiration to collide with me having some free time...

Pamaltelan baddies: Someone has mentioned incubi/succubi as being native 
to Pamaltela. What more is, the facts we have of these chaotic fertility 
nymphs state that if they impregnate a mortal woman, the children are 
tainted "maybe ogres or lamias". This implies there may be ogres=very 
manlike maneating beings in Pamaltela.....

Wstern religion: I have always felt it to be an equal mix of all the 
"big", organized religions on earths:
Islam: The monotheism, but the most Moslem is their credo. "There is no 
God but the Invisible God and Muhammed, sorry, Malkion, is his prophet..."
Hinduism: The caste system, which for me feels much more close to that of 
India than the (albeit harsh) divisions of feudal Europe. I find it 
significant regarding to wizards, for instance, that they are not 
celibate - otherwise there would be no more wizards! And their mathematics...
Buddhism: And you could include Hinduism here regarding the first fact, 
and that is that Solace for me seems more like Nirvana than Christian or 
Moslem heaven. No doubt Farmers and Knights think of it differently, but 
their ignorance and tendency to see things from a mundane point of view 
is expected and forgiven - just I once read a Brahmin has no trouble with 
the peasants thinking heaven is a perfect physical existence, with him 
having totally different ideas.
Christianity:Well, it has Saints, bishops and churches. 
I liked the comment on Platonic ideals though....

Well, that was all.



From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: Re:stuff
Message-ID: <>
Date: 1 Nov 94 04:27:16 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6818

Pamaltelan hunters/warriors
	The Doraddi live close enough to nature to realize that most  
predators aren't particularly designed for fighting. A wolf or a  
crocodile is designed to kill, not to fight. 

	I suspect the emblem of the Doraddi warrior is the  
triceratops or the brontothere, or similar creatures. (Note: lions DO  
fight, as it happens, so they're not a bad choice either.)

Alex Ferguson:
>Elder Races seems to think they're a Wareran thang, hence my  
>equivocation. Though it'd be Kewl to have Pamaltelan ogres work at  
>least somewhat differently from the "regular" variety.
	I agree. I think they're even rarer in Pamaltela than in  
Genertela, and I concur they should work differently. Suggestions?

>Illuminating myths and time-share-soul idea, Sandy, mercy buckets.   
>And the totemism factlet.
	Perhaps we could be more specific as to what is being  
requested of me? Are you writing in gaelic, or what?

	The intent behind a published Dorastor has always been to  
have the Tower of Lead be uninhabited, so that the gamemaster could  
put anyone he wanted into it. In CULTS OF TERROR it had vampires, but  
it could have anything, really. 

	In Steve Perrin's old Pavis Campaign, he had the Blind King's  
Palace filled with evil vampires, and I stole his idea to do the same  
thing. The idea here was to have a wide variety of real nasty  
vampires ranging from vampire centaurs (the worst!) down to vampire  
ducks (which, with their hideously enhanced strength, are nearly as  
tough as an ordinary human!) Vampire centaurs of course could stirke  
with their hooves doing beaucoup damage, then draining your magic  
points. I added vampire elves whose toothed arrows drained both blood  
and STR upon scoring a hit. Just some ideas for anyone needing  
Dorastor-Level vampires (centaurs, elves, and maybe a vampire  
scorpion man, so you can be poisoned at the same time the chaos thing  
is sucking your blood out through his tail and also draining your  
magic points). 

	Hmm. Perhaps I've been playing too much CoC.


From: (Carlson, Pam)
Subject: Esrolia, Community Spell Economics
Message-ID: <>
Date: 1 Nov 94 23:24:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6819


I've been following all the Esrolia discussion with great interest.  Two 
points come to my mind.

1) I picture Esrolia as clannish, because female primates on earth are very 
concerned with kinship.  Within a kin-group, they are usually more 
co-operative than competative.  Erik's (or Mike's?)  clan system sounds good 
 - although different clans might compete economically, or bicker about 
land-rights.  Still,  Esrolia has held its own against more warlike 
neighbors because its clans are very willing to work together against 
outsiders.  Whereas the Lunars can pit one Sartarite clan against another, 
and the Grazers steal each others' herds, Esrolian clans stick together like 

Erik notes: - but as you say later, we can't just swap male and female 

That's it!  That's what's been bugging me.  I think a female dominated 
society would be extraordinarily different - if you could even get a bunch 
of women *interested* in dominating anything.

Consider marraige:  (pump up those flame-throwers...)  Marraige performs two 
roles in (most) societies:  it ensures males that they have sole access to 
their wives, and that the children are their own.  It also ensures females 
that they will have committed economic help raising their offspring.  But if 
you eliminate male dominance and increase females' economic productivity (by 
giving them a monopoly on land ownership and control of the energy sources - 
male manual labor, cult magics), the need for marraige disappears.

Esrolians might have a large, all-female family, living with their mothers 
and sisters for their whole lives.  Men would be affiliated with their 
households, and hold different ranks: slaves  (rare, due to Orlanthi 
influences), indentured men, free hired men, blood family members (sons, 
brothers, uncles), and even a few husbands.  A noble woman might marry a 
much-trusted man to give him esteem and more legal rights, so he can handle 
business affairs in her absence, or have some legal influence over his 
children if she dies.  A poor woman might marry as a way of keeping a man 
around indefinately, for free.  (And, heck, a woman might even fall for a 
guy...)  Many women might never marry at all, preferring temporary sexual 
partners.  (After all, Ernalda never seemed to limit her opportunities.) 
 Women might even share men.  I'm not sure the phrase "no shortage of single 
women" has much meaning in Esrolia.

Multiple husbands would be rare, I think, and would be as terrible a 
punishment as having multiple wives in Dara Happa!  She can still have only 
one child at a time, so more husbands don't increase her number of children. 
 (Lending her husband to her unmarried sister would, though.)  More husbands 
would provide more labor, but so would more servants, and servants are far 
more flexible.

Marraige would still be important for forming political alliances, because 
powerful women would try to marry their sons to other clans. Legally a 
husband, her son might then have some ability to influence things for the 
good of his mother's clan.

Of all the ideas posted, I like Nick's the best:  men aren't really 
oppressed, they just work hard, as do the women, and the women run most 
business, because Esrolia is a theocracy inspired by a very female goddess. 
 The women don't feel the need to oppress  men, because the cult ensures 
that women already control the means of production, (and reproduction). 
 Esrolia is actually a fairly egalitarian society, but it looks oppressive 
to foreign men, who are used to doing only 35% of their society's work....

There.  Now you've all had Gloria Steinhem's View of Esrolia.  But being RQ 
scholars, I figured y'all could handle it.


I imagine the Emporer cleverly posts foreign troops everywhere - Dara 
Happans in Tarsh, Carmanians in Kostaddi - so  they won't have to fight 
their relatives when quashing a rebellion.

David Dunham mentioned I should describe how the Ernalda acolyte in my 
Riskland campaign uses and keeps track of Bless Crops for local ecomic 

Answer:  I ceased keeping track months ago.  (Don't tell Loren...) I just 
chalk up all those Bless Crops, Spell Teaching and Sanctify spells Loren 
keeps sacrificing for as increasing piety.  They raise  Rhitpa's chances of 
being ordained to full priestess-hood by the temple at Oxhead.  Then I worry 
about finding something interesting which won't kill everybody in three 

BTW - Rhitpa's first baby (the last pre-req to preiestess-hood) is due 
exactly on Ernalda's HHD. (I rolled it, but the player doesn't know it). 
 Any ideas on what sort of special blessing such a birthday might bestow on 
a child?


What do the Lunars do with the baby giants?  (Horrible thoughts come to 

Later -



From: (David Dunham)
Subject: Visibility, Fetches; Magicians
Message-ID: <>
Date: 2 Nov 94 00:29:29 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6820

Dave Cordes wrote
>Then we noticed that the spell was described as:
>2 points
>Self, Temporal, Passive ....(Magic Book page 22)

You succeeded, but didn't Critical, in your Library Use roll. According to
the errata (no doubt posted somewhere the Internet-enabled can get it),
Visibility is a ranged spell.

>Or the spell could be cast by a shaman's fetch while the shaman was on the
>mundane plane.

Can you explain the logic for this capability? The only mention of fetches
casting spells is while the shaman is discorporate. Given that a corporate
shaman's spirit appears single, I don't think there's grounds for
considering the fetch as a separate, spell-casting entity.

Simon Hibbs asked
>If we gathered a shaman, priest and wizard together and asked them
>what each though a fetch, allied spirit and familiar was, I wonder
>what answers we would get?

I see no reason you wouldn't get the answers from the rules: a part of
myself, a gift from my god, a tool I constructed.


From: (Richard Ohlson)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 01 Nov 1994, part 1
Message-ID: <>
Date: 1 Nov 94 16:21:49 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6821

Subject: Orlanth and his Temples
King of Sartar says that with the conquest of Whitewall, the Lunar Empire 
rejoices because this is the home of the last Great Temple to Orlanth.  
However, every game I've played everybody just assumes that there are 
still big temples every where and it's no problem getting Orlanth Divine 
magic.  Are the Lunars right when they say that they have defeated 
Orlanth when they nab Whitewall, or is this just Moonie PR?  

A lot of the Glorantha literature seems to imply that many Orlanthi 
switch cults when the Lunars show up.  I allways figured this was a 
little bizare.  The Gloranthans I've seen have usually been pretty 
fanatical about there cults-not something that they would change lightly. 
In fact, wouldn't there be a flurry of spirits of reprisals when worships 
(worshipers,that is) ditch the big O?  
Or does the fall of Whitewall symbolize the end of Orlanth.  Does he 
suddenly stop answering Divine Intervention calls, ignore Divinations, 
not grant Divine Magic, or even fail to accept magic points on Windday?
If he stopped caring, I wouldn't blame anybody for switching over to Old 
Barntar or even one of the Seven Moms.

One thing that could be possible is that the Priests and Runelords for 
Orlanth have all gone off to fight the Moon, abandoning their parishs. 
(Or else they have been killed off by the moonies, whatever).  Since 
there is nobody to hold church on Windday, everybody bops on over to some 
OTHER church.  (Though giving up another point of power would be 
traumatic, not to mention the fact that I doubt all the priests and 
accolytes would just ditch their people.)
Any comments are welcomed.  BTW, anybody have players visist a Seven 
Mothers shrine that is partaking in the Year Long Celebration?

Richard Ohlson                      


From: rowe@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU (Eric Rowe)
Subject: Runequest Adventures Fanzine
Message-ID: <199411020705.XAA05002@soda.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU>
Date: 1 Nov 94 15:05:43 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6823

Nick asks...

I'd like to know, too. Is anyone distributing RQA #4 in the UK yet?

Last I heard, RQA #4 and #5 will both be released at RQ Con 2, as well as
a collection of the best of #1-3.