Glorantha Second Age - how much magic?

From: Bruce Mason <mason.bruce_at_3Vbbdes_TqJcR2yP6VhuDdYF2zAyLS51d5_WHWgKxILYwTKhEf9jt2CCXaJ0CU_l>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 15:17:40 +0000

I've started running Glorantha Second using Mongoose RuneQuest properly and one question that emerges when you look at the world through the lens of the game and vice versa is assessing how much magic your everyday Gloranthan folk have access to.

I remember back in the day that Greg said that RuneQuest massively overstated the amount and power of magic that everyday Gloranthans had access to. Now for possibly gamist reasons, characters in MRQ have routine access to a lot less magic than prior editions of RQ. My inner traditionalist struggled with this at first but my outer pragmatist thinks that it makes the game a lot easier to run while my occasional contrarian wonders if MRQ accidentally ended up simulating Gloranthan magic better than previous editions.

To roughly summarise Gloranthan magic through the lens of MRQ (factoring out various bits of editing failure) you have:

At this overview level, it seems that MRQ *may* actually have a more Gloranthan feel than is at first obvious. So the basic question (and I realise that this is really a matter of opinion) is just how prevalent is magic in Glorantha. Is everyday magic the kind of thing that is really too weak to be worth capturing mechanically in a game system? E.g. if someone's casting Ploughstrong on themselves, does that require a bolt from the heavens and a magically glowing plough or is it a chant and mental dedication that keeps the plougher ploughing through the hard clods?

I suspect that this question has arisen in many other situations before (e.g. it's a bit of an issue for HQ2.0) and I also suspect that there is no agreement but it would be good to know what opinion is.

Finally, I know some people have strong opinions about RQ and Mongoose in particular and I know there are lots of horrible failures of implementation in MRQ as written. This is why I'm trying to abstract beyond specific rules failures.

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