Pantheistic Gloranthans?

From: Theo Posselt <tposselt_at_...>
Date: 29 Feb 2000 17:56:21 -0600

     In the Keywords section of HW it says something along the lines of 
     'urban Dara Happans are not usually devotees of any one god'.  This to 
     me raises a few questions:
     1. Is everyone in Glorantha at least an initiate of at least one god?
     Working on the presumption that the answer to #1 is 'no', my next 
     question is:
     2. Why not?  It appears that there's no game benefit of not being an 
     initiate.  Is this simply an imperfection in how HW reflects 
     Glorantha?  Or is there really no benefit in Glorantha to just being a 
     lay worshipper?
     To me, it seems that there should be some sort of 'lay worshipper' 
     privileges - some minor but extremely broad magic that most people in 
     a society have access to.  This would reflect the RW household/common 
     worship of the sort that you see in most pantheistic religions - where 
     you say a prayer to the rain god if the crops are dry, pour a libation 
     for the wine god when the new wine is opened, etc.
     My general suggestion would be that, in game terms, this would be 
     reflected as a contest vs. the character's 'Worship (Pantheon)' 
     attribute, with appropriate high improvisation modifiers.  This would 
     then allow access to the main attributes of the main gods of the 
     So, for example, a Lunar, say an initiate of Etyries, could, in the 
     heat of battle, call on the aid of Yanafal Tarnils, even if he isn't 
     an initiate of YT.  If he wanted to augment his close combat, he could 
     try for an augmentation at, say, -10 to -15 or so.
     Long term regular activities - like pouring libations from the new 
     wine, etc - could be reflected as community rituals.  The 'commitment 
     level' would be a function of how dutifully all the members of the 
     community follow the restrictions.
     What do you all think?

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