Re: How prevalent is magic?

From: Stephen Tempest <glorantha_at_...>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2012 12:18:33 +0000

michaelL <michaelalewis25_at_...> writes:

>Yeah, I like this better than being able to "send thoughts" and "instantly clean things".

People in Glorantha use magic to help them do their daily tasks. If they're an adventurer or a warrior, they'll have combat magic, healing magic, travel and movement magic, and other things useful in a typical scenario of a roleplaying game. But most ordinary people are farmers or herders or crafters or merchants; and so they naturally learn farming magic or herding magic or crafting magic or trading magic. More useful to a background NPC than to an adventurer, in most cases.

>It feels to me that someone from the 20th century who was teleported to a Sartar clan would be able to dismiss most magic as superstition. Like these reality shows of Finding Bigfoot. Unless they saw for themselves people flying in the air. Holidays(holydays) seem to be an exception when "ghosts" come down from the urn fields or when people can see the God World.
>If fact it would be very interesting to hear what a person from the 20th century would report back if he was observing such a thing.

According to the rules in HeroQuest 1, at least, magic is always tangible - either when the spell is cast, and/or on an ongoing basis. The effect might be obvious - someone flying, or someone picking up a huge boulder. It mght be subtle: a sword with a Sharpness enchantment might glow faintly, or perhaps it simply glitters and shines more than a normal sword would; or perhaps there's a faint moaning sound audible whenever it's drawn, as it slices the wind itself as it blows over the blade.

In general, the sort of magic an ordinary person casts *could* be dismissed by a modern person as trickery or an optical illusion or the power of suggestion, although the effects of it are in fact real and measurable inside Glorantha.

Powerful magicians, shamans, devotees of the Gods, and Heroes can produce much more flashy magical effects, like flying or calling lightning or regrowing limbs or allowing a barren woman to conceive a child or forcing someone to tell the absolute truth.

Entire communities working together under the leadership of their priests, or Heroes of godlike power, can produce world-changing effects, like calling down a pillar of fire from the heavens, or summoning a five-mile-long dragon from the earth, or making the Sun stop moving in the sky.


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