Re: Runes for non-theists [was: 'Three Runes']

From: L C <lightcastle_at_wPNWSwVwV9DoQqHoZTsUMhkEDDsQQLWIuyr8ISGNBIBfW7FsqWFAfpFjx7zcCXot>
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 16:07:29 -0500

  julianlord wrote:
> > I should point out that as the rules stand, your personal runes do not
> > have an ability rating so they can't be used to augment spells,
> > grimoires or tradition knowledge. What the character creation process
> > creates are affinities for thos runes. The personal runes aren't used
> > to augment the affinities either but make them active.
> Hmmmmmmm, well that's not exactly what the rules say, but I think I
> can see what you're getting at.

Great. You know, this is the kind of thing having an actual answer to would help with.
And, sadly, we are again drifting into "the rules" vs "Gloranthan reality".

"Everyone has runes and those affect/interact with their magic" should be a Gloranthan issue. We can work out rules systems from that on another list.
Settling that, for me at least, needs to be addressed before discussing how the rules systems might address what to do about it.
> I think it would be worthwhile to always keep the being/theistic,
> having/spiritist, knowing/sorcerous distinctions in mind when thinking
> about Runic abilities in the three systems.

*nod* As broad brush, I think those are useful. I do think there are exceptions and subtleties, but in broad approach one is about knowing, another about emulating, a third about having/negotiating with
> Theists like the Orlanthi *are* the Runes when they perform magic, so
> that it would follow that spirit magicians would own/belong to their
> Runes, and sorcerors would know the Runes.

mmm... I prefer to think of it as the "are the Gods", although I suppose that is feats. I do think, for instance, a Theist becomes Fire when performing Fire magic, an Animist summons/releases a Fire spirt/ a Sorcerer knows/casts a fire spell. Of course, I can imagine a Sorcerer summoning a Fire spirit fairly easily, for example, so it isn't perfectly cut and dried.
> > So my suggestions for use of personal runes for sorcerers and the like:
> >
> I think this is the right approach, except that I disagree with your
> terminology.
> Animists basically engage in social relationships with spirits, from
> what I have read on the subject in various publications and forum
> discussions -- this is how ownership and belonging manifests in these
> matters. The relationship can be to a superior, in which case the
> magician seeks to properly belong to that superior ; to an equal, in
> which case the magician seeks to negociate a friendship, a trade, a
> sharing of knowledge, a struggle, or a discussion about the weather
> depending on circumstances ; to an inferior, in which case the
> magician offers protection and patronage in exchange for services.
> The great spirits will have many that belong to them, so that instead
> of being alone, the magicians all belong to the same cult/tradition of
> Waha for example -- the magicians will have an easier time with
> spirits that belong to Waha ; and a harder time with the enemies of
> Waha because of this.

That's pretty much how I understand it as well.
> But I think that the basic magic of the animists is that they have
> relationships with spirits that can perform magic tricks for them at
> whichever xWy rating. Depending on the nature of the relationship,
> this xWy may or may not be improvable for any particular spirit.
> The Rune abilities of animists would then simply be a reflection of
> their relative position of influence in their Tradition and in the
> spirit world, and the relative power of spirits that are their
> superiors, equals, or inferiors (this could be whichever spirits have
> the same or a greater or smaller number of Masteries in the Rune -
> including temporary augments from social support and et cetera).
> What I know of the Praxian situation is that Praxians belong to a
> sex/gender ; to a tribe ; to a spirit tradition. If each of these
> provided a Rune, and the player could also choose a personal Rune,
> should Praxians then start the game with 4 Runes ?

Possibly. But Orlanthi all belong to tribes/clans, and they don't get runes for that.
> > For the sorcerers, there are several option, based on their theological
> > background.
> This is probably the most difficult of the three main magic systems to
> flesh out from this Runic point of view, and the suggestion that it
> should be based on "knowledge" of the Runes is abstract enough not to
> be obviously helpful either -- although it certainly does establish as
> you suggest that there can be several conflicting dogmatic approaches
> to magic based on variant understandings of "knowledge", and it can
> help give shape to one's thoughts on the matter.

In fact, I *want* that. As I've said, I would much rather the culture's magics vary within certain broad understandings than have "All Theist magic works like X/All Sorcerous magic works like Y".

> We know that the God Learners anyway had a Runic system including all
> of the Runes ; so that, did the basic GL Grimoire(s) provide access to
> all Runes ? It would seem likely.

I'd say that has to be a plural. I think the idea is a grimoire links to a single rune. (Which is fine, a given BOOK doesn't have to, but the collection of knowledge that is "grimoire" does.)
> So the character generation of a sorceror could involve the player
> selecting whichever Runes the character knows about at the start of
> his career, depending on his studies.
> Certain Schools might require that all its students must master Rune X
> prior to graduation, which would certainly be the case in some Orders
> focusing on Saints for example as they would focus on their Saints'
> personal Runic affinities as a primary method.
> Certain Grimoires may provide easier access to some but not all Runic
> affinities in a similar manner.

Explain that? I'm not sure what you're getting at there.
> Conversely though, this should not be preventative of personal
> research by the character, unless there were some taboo requirements
> NOT to study Runes Y or Z in any Order or School he belonged to.
> Personally, I think that the flexibility of the Western Runic system
> should be represented by some greater flexibility in player choices
> than the other systems provide. Theists can freely choose their Runes
> (because that's just what they *are*), but these Runes then
> predetermine which gods they can follow ; Animists have a system of
> belonging/ownership which may require that the Runes they have are
> predetermined by their choice of sex/gender, tribe, and tradition they
> belong to maybe ? ; Sorcerors study these Runes instead of those.
> Does that sound any good, or am I barking up the wrong tree(s) ?

This sounds like Westerners don't have runes themselves, mind you.


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