Re: How prevalent is magic?

From: ian_hammond_cooper <ian_hammond_cooper_at_...>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 09:53:01 -0000

> I tell my players that the role science and laws of science play in
our world, magic plays in Glorantha. Anything that has a scientific cause for us has a magical cause for them. <

One way I tend to think about Glorantha is that it is the bronze and iron age, as our ancestors saw it not as we see it.

Our ancestors recited spells to help them with their work, appeased the spirits they met upon their travels, fell sick because spirits afflicted them, used spirits, spells and prayer to help them heal, curse their enemies etc. Some of our real world communities still have this perception to some degree, despite the triumph of rationalism.

People previously have recommended Brian Bates Way of the Wyrd as an insight into this pre-rationalist attitude: It can help to see the world in a different way

Our modern rationalist minds struggle with a world with prevalent magic and by keeping it 'exceptional' we are able to keep our viewpoint when thinking about much of the world, with a couple of 'exceptions'. So folks find games with 'magic users' easier than ones in which everyone does magic. But our rationalist 'scientific' explanations and activities have no more validity to these people than their magical ones. A man and woman making love in the fields does bring rain that fertilizes those fields. A man spilling his semen on the field can fertilize it. As well as thinking about the manifestation of magic, think about the manifestation of the ritual to invoke it. I find this can help people see it as a classical world view.

And bear in mind magic is not unfair. Traders in the market place will use their magic when bargaining etc. This is not 'unfair', it's clutching your lucky charm when you make a deal etc.

Magic like all skills takes effort to learn. Folks learn to use affinities by travelling to the other side on holy days and participating in or witnessing the stories of their gods. Communities will tend to prioritize magic that meets their challenges. If you are Red Cow, you are going to want some werewolf killing magic. Sure, learning to fly would be great and all, but when the wolfmen come howling you want some magic to cut their hides. And the ring and priests, who decide what you do on your holy day, so your magic tends to be what everyone else has. Of course some folks are exceptional - and they are the PCs

So it's important to understand communities will have magic that makes them able to live in their environment better, and that is what the prevalent magic will be.            

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