Re: Pantheistic Gloranthans?

From: KYER, JEFFREY <jeff.kyer_at_...>
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000 09:18:44 -0500

Theo Posselt wrote:
> 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?

As said, it depends on the belief structure of their starting culture. Westerners have saints and schools of magic that they adhere too. Primitives and nomadic types have their animist ways. And the East is Mystically inclined to a great degree.  

> 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?

Saints give powers and abilities and protections.

Totems and spirits give a different set of abilities.

I think that the game reflects Glorantha MUCH better, especially the Animist rules.  

> 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.

If you inspect the Culture Keywords, there is a Lay Worshiper skill/ability: It is called 'Woship X Pantheon' that provides a basic 'in' to all your native gods or saints. It means you can go to church without looking stupid or commiting a vile act.

Initiation takes time and effort to support the god. Thus you can only really serve 2-3 before you get into trouble with conflicting schedules. Subcults, of course, don't really take up much time.  

> 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
> pantheon.

> 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?
> Regards,
> Theo

Its an interesting thought. I'd prefer to let you use similar feats within shared Afinities. Otherwise, I can see this being subject to TREMENDOUS abuse. In fact, when I tried something similar it was *brutally* abused.

Also, remember that most feats/spells are augments. And if you have a -10 on your skill, the odds are that you're going to end up with a handicap.


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