Re:Various Comments

From: martin (102541.3423@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Wed 01 May 1996 - 21:40:29 EEST

I think you made some great points, particularily at the effect of his
(Onslaughts) Death worship on himself and his surroundings. I'll have to think
about the healing side of matters with regard to his stats. You're not alone in
these comments and a large part of me agrees with you. The other part that
originally wrote the stats a couple of years back sees healing spells to be like
a version of "Flesh Repair" to Onslaught. He doesn't think of it as healing but
merely fixing his blade (ie himself) from battledamage.

You also mentioned Conan and how he is Harrek (without the magic). I don't
disagree with that but would argue that Conana/Harrek without magic would be
considerably tougher than Onslaught without magic and his armour (everyone
mentions the armour but he doesn't wear it all the time, particularily in
cities). I, having read the Conan books several zillion times, note how many
times Conan fights crack armed and armoured opponents in profusion without magic
and without armour. I would rate Conan at 500% weapon attacks, POW huge and an
enormous defence/dodge. Harrek with magic may well be over 1000% attack if such
a number has any real meaning given his other powers.

The reason why I don't think Onslaughts is a major hero in any way is the fact
that he's so unbalanced. A major hero has a mix of everything, combat, magic
and mythic support. Onslaught is great at combat but hopeless at magic and
terrible at mythic support. Perhaps if he settles down to a long war where he
is on the same side for a while....

I think Harrek has to be over 1000% and I think that there are a fair few
(relatively) entities/people appraoching this level though many (like the Horali
frex) have other disadvantages to reduce the danger of this.

Peter Metcalfe
Complained that Onslaught was too lightly described in gaining his powers, too
"cardboard". Well maybe so but then I reread my info on Harrek and Sir
Ethirilst and Jar-eel and even Argrath in terms of them gaining their heroic
powers and do you know what? NO INFORMATION. There are NO specifics on their
herogifts, hints yes but hard facts, no. I percieved this to be due to the lack
of rules available on the subject and the fact that vagueness can be replaced
for fact in those circumstances. If Onslaught is supposed to be a "major" hero,
he's the first one I've seen _any_ stats for yet you expect me to deduce the
"correct" powers for a hero without any info? This is precisely why I raised
the issue in the first place. Yes, I have the Tales Heroquest issue and it was
still lacking in any actual examples of a hero, just hints.

Andrew Joelson Asks and comments:
> I think that Onlsaught is still over-rated, although he is less
>powerfull the Ralzakark; big R has been around for over 700 years! The idea
>that Onslaught could get so big in a mere thirty years seems out of line.
>('O' even has about 100 more MPs stored up than 'R')

Ralzakark has accrued a totally different kind of power to Onslaught and which
is (IMO) much more difficult and long term to achieve. He has created Order out
of Chaos! This is a tremendous feat! Ralzakarks feat (Again IMO) makes Harreks
feats look paltry! Ralzakark created a society out of nothing, no building
blocks to work with in a hellish land. Onslaught is good at fighting? So what?
Ralzakark commands armies and terrors beyond human ken. Mere stats do not
represent that nor was I claiming they do.

> On a separate note, some effort seems to have gone into making 'O'
>as impervious as possible. Example: the enchantment making all of his armor
>(heavier than 'R's, if I remmeber correctly), act against criticals is the
>sort of thing that cries of 'Monty Haul'.

Really? I don't think its particularily impressive. Of the top of my head, hit
him with a powerful dismiss magic or when he hasn't any magic up (most of the
time) with several magically screened assassin cultists firing arbalests with
potency 20 poison from out of range of his detect assassins. Even if only 1 out

of five impales chances are it will hit a vital location (50/50) for minimal 23
points which is one point higher than his armour so the poison penetrates any
way. Put a simple speedart on that and even without an impale there is a chance
of penetrating. He will have a fair chance of resisting the poison but a fair
chance of _not_ resisting and he's pretty well going to be dead. No coming
back. There are myriad ways of killing him cheaply and relatively easily. If
the President of the US can be killed so can Onslaught!

> Honor: I think that Onslaught has passed out of the pale of Humakti
>honor. Sure it's true, but get back to basics; _why_ did Humakt sever his
ties to >his kin? Not because he was God of Severence, but because his honor was
so >offended by Orlanth's actions vs death/Yelm. So he cut away his ties, not
only to
>Orlanth, but to the whole family! Thus he _became_ the God of Severence
>(DP POV), he didn't start out that way. Humakt has a tremendous sense of
>honor, and it includes more than 'don't attack from behind'. Most of the
>things suggested as Onslaught's 'honor' seem to reflect the anti-assination
>rule. Isn't there anything else? Without getting into a long debate about
>just what is or isn't honorable, I will merely state that I expect to see
>more here than I am; perhaps Martin would like to try covering this again?

Fair point. I see it differently though. I don't think Humakt was
particularily annoyed at Orlanth for killing Yelm. I think he was more annoyed
that his kin stole of him. I think Humakt is not very easy to offend by killing
people. He merely dislikes subterfuge. If Orlanth had said "Humakt come and
kill Yelm with me." or "Can I borrow that snazzy new sword of yours?" and
Humakt had agreed or Orlanth hadn't pushed a refusal I reckon they would still
have been kin. Its an amusing note for me when everyone talks about higher
morality in Orlanthi society that the Orlanthi GOD stole of his Kin!!!!! I
wouldn't want to know him either!

Onslaughts honour:
(1). He hates subterfuge. This includes a healthy dislike of battlefield
strategums and tactics. "Why are we waiting in these trees? Lets go out and
kill em all!" is his attitude. Of course assassination falls into this
(2).He will not kill someone who refuse to fight unless its to show a wounded
warrior honour by putting them out of their misery. He doesn't kill unarmed
folk and he doesn't kill kids. In fact he will get in the way of anyone who
(3). He doesn't like liars. More poncy subterfuge in his book.
(4). He obeys his given word to the death but believes totally in speaking his
mind. If he thinks something is stupid, he says so, hence his frequent
dismissal from the service of those who prefer more sycophantic employees.
(5). The thought of _not_ dying in battle is the _only_ thing that frightens
him. He's scared shitless of the possiblity of not snuffing it in a glorious
fight. Imagine the drive to battle that would be!

Pete Nash:
>What would Onslaught spend his money on? He doesn't drink, doesn't go to the
>Uleria temple, has unbreakable armour and weapons, doesn't maintain a farm or
>even a family. He could work for bed and board if he wanted to!

Amazingly enough he saves it though he often fights for free if the cause looks
suitably insane. He is (in my campaign) saving to outfit a whole regiment of
like minded Humakti. He has come to the conclusion that the final battle at his
death will be so much more glorious if he has a regiment behind him so he can
get into some truly meaty action. The frightening part is imagine a whole
regiment of guys following Onslaughts path to Humakt! At that point he would
become a living cult hero and when he finally died, his follwers (any who
survived) would probably start a hero cult.

Lewis Jardine
I really liked you story and a much welcomed infusion of humour into the Digest.
In a similar vein (hoping you don't mind) I'll continue a bit:

Finally rounding a corner he sighted his target, bent over and gasping for
breath. Onslaught sped in and Onslaught whistled down severing the
exposed neck. His battle trained reflexes caused him to react with
lightning speed to the lack of resistance to his blow. Illusion, he
thought, spinning to meet the expected attack from behind. Sure
enough even as he spun he could feel the Dandy's black stone knife
scoring a line across his armour (thank Death for that dwarven enchantment).
Onslaught's axe ripped into his foe's abdomen feeling a satisfying
grate as it hit the spine. Grinning and breathing a sigh of relief
Onslaught relaxed just in time to glimpse the enormous jaws of the
gigantic rubble runner as they flickered out of invisibility and
closed around him.

"Damn, a second illusion with sound and touch components too!"
swore Onslaught as he was swallowed forever...

Selwi relaxed and came out of hiding. That put paid to him! No sense of
humour, typical Humakti. He sidled up and patted the Great Rubble Runner as it
licked its rubbery lips. "Well done boy." Said Selwi affectionately. He was
rather surprised the when a three foot length of sword burst out of the Rubble
Runners forequarters missing his head by an inch or two. He leapt back as a
second blade, shorter this time; a dagger, scored a line through the thick flesh
towards the hole the sword had made. The Rubble runner thrashed maddly for a
few moments the slumped stone dead to the rock strewn ground.

Selwi moved backward, perplexed until Onslaughts head appeared in a moist
opening of flesh and his mailed hands strove, with mechanical strength, to prise
it open further. For a brief moment, they made eye contact. "Bet that was a
surprise!" said Onslaught, grinning maniacally.

Selwi smiled warmly then turned and legged it.

Onslaught levered the last of him out of the steaming corpse and wiped the
burning stomach acids off himself as quickly as possible. Once that task was
complete he looked round for his foe. "Right, lets get down to
business....Where the hells he gone now?" Onslaught was amazed. His worthy
opponent had buggered off again! "Must have an appointment somewhere." Muttered
Onslaught. No matter, he thought, I'll find him and show him a dose of
Onslaught humour!

Happily looking forward to a good scrap Onslaught set off in pursuit, tracking
his foe resolutely.

Martin Laurie


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #526

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