Re: Changed magic in 2nd and 3rd Age

From: L C <lightcastle_at_49Nz6V_XrpEgovLUUrvInc3huY4yker3Lqv6ySaq0OiIVm1_9kcEmPDSWZEWk759>
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2009 03:29:41 -0400

I rather suspect that I should read the 45 next messages in this thread before I answer, but it's late and I never have time for this anyway.

julianlord wrote:

>At Tentacles this year, I had a short one-on-one with Greg about these
issues, that I wasn't at the time sure would be immediately productive in any way whatsoever, but there ya go.

Eh. Since I'm doing it mostly for the mucking about and deciding how - with a system that has the flexibility to tackle it - I should bother doing Gloranthan magic if I ever do a game set there again, I'm game.

> I actually talked to Greg at Tentacles in general terms about how the
various classical mainstream approaches/theories of God in (real life) Western Philosophy would or would not be mirrored in Malkioni
>philosophical and magical theories and practices (discussion) --- in
relation to the N Worlds model and especially in relation to the dualistic model that has been presented as the general method to do magic >in Glorantha, ie open a link with whichever otherworld and the exchange of energies powers up the magic (context).

I think really what I'm trying to get at is whether the N-world model is a fact that should be considered to underlie all formulations of Gloranthan magic or whether it's just another "interpretive view" of the issue.
The first implies certain things, as does the second.

>Briefly, some of these various classical mainstream
approaches/theories of God would a priori seem to be at odds with Malkionism as it has been detailed so far ;


>And fundamentally, would the N Worlds model of magical exchange and
methods be a limiting factor to the kinds of philosophies that would be possible and/or existing (at present or historically) and/or
>_practical_ magically ? Or not ?

Which is the deep, meaningful, theoretical version of what I'm asking. :)

>I even asked if the model of reality and truth that has been developed
by modern linguistics (and which turns much of classical western philosophical debate on its head), of a *ternary* not *binary* model of
>truth where the methods and formalism of thought and speech (the
Signifier in general linguistic theory) are held distinct both from the physical realities *and* from the world of ideas (and therefore from a
>Gloranthan point of view as distinct both from the Inner World *and*
from the Otherworld(s) ) could possibly be a Gloranthan (Western) philosophical system as well, notwithstanding it being implicitly at
>odds with the massively binary systems that have been presented in his
Gloranthan writings over the last few decades.

It is too late for me to struggle with that. Can you point me to something more on this? I am intrigued.(I mean, I've heard of ternary logic, but not this aspect connecting it to linguistics.)

>His answer (as I understood it) was generally that ALL of these were
potentially valid Malkioni systems of philosophy, which I hold to mean implicitly that these are ALL potentially valid magical methods of
>Sorcery in Glorantha -- and this would also apply to philosophical
systems that we did not discuss, such as dialectic materialism, deism, various medieval and modern heretical systems, etc...

That's cool. I'm not sure they would have to be limited to Malkioni philosophy, though.

>Logically anyway, this would imply that the methods of magic that are
used by Wizards and Sorcerors and their ilk are **strongly** linked with the _belief/philosophical systems_ that they hold to instead of >these systems being predetermined by any a priori structural realities in Glorantha and of the relationship between the God/Saint world and the Inner World --- in fact, the proposal that the God/Saint world >might necessarily be distinct and apart from the Inner World would only be held true in SOME but NOT ALL conceivable sects of Malkionism.

Which is interesting and again, implies that the 3-world system is not inherently a reflection of an a priori structural truth of Glorantha.

>Sorcery being something that people **know**, it is then logical that
its methods, philosophies, and realities are usually determined a posteriori from the semantic/semiotic/structural contents of the (various) >Malkioni cultural systems instead of being determined a priori by any given **gaming** description(s) of the relationship between the Inner World and the Saint Plane(s) and their inhabitants.
>Therefore, and from this Malkioni/Western point of view, the proposal
that magicians reproduce magic that has been created before, and that new magic requires heroquesting, can certainly be seen as true >in some cases, but not in all, depending on the cultural content(s) and attitude(s) of any individual sects and magicians -- and the topic is far more complex than as has been represented so far I believe, >because even the position of the goal posts would vary according to whichever malkioni perspective one might be using/examining/discussing.

Which I am fine with, and think is great. While I like taking the three world system and a fixed interaction as a truth, because from it we can spin out implications of how magic systems work in Glorantha, given that I find HQ2 more than flexible enough to simulate any number of systems, I am happy for a much less fixed approach.

>In a nutshell then, Greg's answers to me would appear to suggest (to
me, anyway) that the N Worlds model is more as a tool for **us*b* as gamers/writers/whatever to understand (or not) and **use** the >general interrelationship between the radically different systems of Wizardry, Spirits, and Theism rather than as something hard and grossly factual to cling to in all cases, and as a tool to let us get on with our >gaming especially, without any surplus, unnecessary, and counterproductive headache-inducement from the publications, or from these and other discussions and anthropowankery and whatnot.

Cool, except that I would say that it failed utterly to do that. By putting it down in a form that emphasized the underlying unity and importance of the 3-world system, rather than presenting them as frameworks, it implied the 3-world system is an essential and important a priori truth about Glorantha. After all, misapplied worship pretty much fixed down the idea that the three-world system was "right".

>Regarding shifts and changes in magic from one Age to the next then,
these would simply be implicit and natural results from the shifts and changes in the philosophical systems.


>But frankly, looking at Glorantha quo Glorantha, the magics of the
various sects of Malkionism should quite logically be different between themselves at any given point in time as well as at different points in
>time, so that the magic of the Castle Coast should from a Gloranthan
perspective appear to be quite different in method, scope, effects, and philosophy than that of the mainstream Church in Sog City for >example.


>But would you REALLY want to have multiple game systems for
wizardry/sorcery in your actual games ? Would your players thank you if you did ?

Mine would, yes. And I really think you only need multiple game systems depending on the rule set. Many people ADORE multiple magic systems in a rule set, with lots and lots of complexity being a draw. You can have a splat book for each system. An overarching system of how to resolve conflict, like HQ2, seems to allow for any number of different systems to be used quite easily.

So yeah, in my case, this would be a feature and, in many ways, is closer to Glorantha as I imagined it than the three world system ever made it feel.

>I think not ... :D

You'd be wrong. :D


>Now what you do with the contents of this post is up to you, but in my
opinion any attempts to nail this stuff down once and for all are doomed to failure.

Actually, this post to me says I really should just go and embrace my instinct to make each culture have its own magic system, ignore the 3-worlds unless relevant to a given culture, and go with that. LC            

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