Re: Divination Question

From: Henrix <henrix_at_...>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2000 16:45:03 +0200

On Mon, 03 Jul 2000, Jarec Basham wrote:
> Does anyone have any ideas about how to run divination.
> What I really need to know is Who can try one, How is it resolved and What
>do you get out of it.

I think there are several different sorts of divination. A simple form which anyone can try, akin to throwing bones, or perhaps even pluck petals from flowers. Probably improvised using the Worship ability. "Oh, Great Orlanth, show me whither to go!" Throws a feather into the air and looks for whichever way it points.

Then there is the more ceremonial form, often but not always, performed by god-talkers or other specialists. This can be resolved by a special ability or, perhaps, from a Knowledge-like affinity, or from an affinity related to the subject under question (like letting an Orlanth Rex devotee use his Government affinity for divining things to do with the clan, or a Lhankor Mhy use his Literacy affinity to find a lost scroll in the Great Library). These would generally be more accurate and able to answer more complex questions. They are also more costly, requiring sacrifices (sometimes to read their entrails), incense, etc.

What do you get out of it? This is really the difficult part. I think that answers about how the future is going to be should be avoided. Both for practical reasons, it can easily spoil the game, and because the Gods of Glorantha are bound by Time.
Historically, most forms of divinations tell if a planned action is auspicious or not, or recommending actions. Often, of course, they are very ambigious, or tell of things that the questioner do not know of at the time (this is a good scenario schtick: have a diviner tell the PCs a riddle, which is only useful a couple of scenes later, when they have more knowledge).

A very good way to use divination is to ask what the gods want. Do they wish us to pursue the enemy, take this chance, make peace with our neighbours, marry this woman, or whatever. Sometimes the gods give ultimatums, Kill those blasphemers, Build a greater temple.
In these cases I would think handing out some bonuses to actions to this end could be nice, like a carryover but usable even in the mundane world.


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