Re: HP; wergild; heroes; heroquests

From: David Dunham <david_at_...>
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2000 10:38:34 -0700

Christoph wrote

> > The player, a Humakti, rolled for berserk and failed the
> > roll. So he then used a Hero Point to force a success and go Berserk.
> That's one way of playing it. Try changing it to where the players have to
> declare a bump _before_ a roll.

Admittedly you can play the game however you like, but it is the way the game is written.

> (Somebody mentioned on one of the lists what is the blood-price of a carl on
> one of the lists but I can't remember it... It will appear either in Sartar
> Rising or in Thunder Rebels... hopefully ! Let's cross fingers.)

In King of Dragon Pass (Heortlings in the 1300s), the wergilds were cottar = 8 cows
carl = 10 cows
thane = 20 cows

Enclosure 2 has Greg's essay on the Vingkotlings, which has carl = 100 cows
thane = 300 cows
chief = 500 cows

In Njal's Saga, wergild was 200 ounces of silver (1 oz of unrefined worth 4 ounces of refined; the total is 64 milch cows, the norm for a man of standing)

We came up with the KoDP values in part to make them work within the game's economic system. Nobody would pay 100 cows for a carl if that's over 1/10 your clan herds! On the other hand, wergilds are generally set high enough to discourage people from thoughtless killing. If you and your relatives have to cough up 100 cows (or even 10 cows), that's a potential deterrent to killing someone.

BTW, there is no wergild for a thrall. Thralls are property, not free men. There would be a fine, the same as for any other destruction of property.

Andrew asked

> One of the marks of a Hero is said to be that they cease aging. Any info
> on what sort of level you need to achieve this? Does it come automatically
> with a certain number of masteries, or is there some quest to go through?

At one point in the development of Hero Wars, there was an essay about the heroquest you performed to gain this power. I'm not sure why it was cut, presumably in part for space.


> Going back to Andrew's original question; you know the myth,
> and when you give the raccoon the bright shiny Bauble of Handwashing, she
> will tell you to go downstream to the Otterbank and ask for Mr Garibaldi. If
> a cultic rival did, for inscrutable personal reasons, give the wrong
> response - "go north to the snowbound heights of the Castle of Lead, and
> offer to sell Cragspider a chaotic firelighter" - surely you'd know, and
> follow your original instructions anyway. You might need to exercise
> restraint and not kill the raccoon outright for being a liar, but otherwise
> you can just follow the original path, yes?

One of the elements we tried to put in King of Dragon Pass was that no matter how well you think you know the myth, you don't know everything (like the Uroxi in the Orlanth and Aroka quest). And while the computer game was of course somewhat mechanistic, I don't expect that the answers would be identical each time. Raccoon's instructions should probably tell you to bring some special gift for Cragspider (a mammoth, a barrel of powzie, whatever), and if you don't bring the right thing, you'll incur her wrath. Of course, in the myth you learned, you were supposed to bring her a runaway trollkin. Is Raccoon lying?

BTW, one of the best resources for running heroquests is a thesaurus. This can help you vary the paths within the overall structure of the myth.

David Dunham <mailto:dunham_at_...>
Glorantha/HW/RQ page: <> Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

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