Quest items (and that Humakti possessing them)

From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Sun 05 May 1996 - 15:10:00 EEST

David Cake wrote "some random Onslaught and powergaming rubbish"

> Personally, I think Onslaught a power gamer character, but not
>because he is too powerful - I am sure there are many Gloranthans that
>could chop him into little bits. Onslaught is a power gamer character
>because all that military and magical power is there without context. He is
>just a tough guy. His heroquests have gained him nifty powers and magic
>items, but other than that not really changed him much.

Exactly. Which is why he is Onslaught, IMO. He doesn't care for any "runic"
context, neither in his actions nor in his choice of tools.

I wouldn't call people like Onslaught (or Meriatan, for that matter)
heroquesters, and even less likely heroes. They are minimaxers, which is a
quite common trait in people little concerned about their social background
and current surroundings.

Despite deriding a nice game's name, this attitude seems to be part of the
God Learner mistake in their runequesting. Perhaps the best name to describe
quests like these would be raidquests - or dungeoneering. Mind you, at times
I become an enthusiastic Nethack player, just to placate that aspect of male
(only?) fantasies, but I try to keep them out of my games in Glorantha.

IMO a heroquest has _experiences_ as the benefit, rather than powers or
items. That other stuff is runequesting benefits, and may help or even be a
prereqisite to succeed on a heroquest, but I don't feel that they can be the
ends of one.

>He is a cult hero with almost no connection to his cult.

What cult? Humakt Barefist? Humakt Onslaughti? Lord Death (cavalry or not)?

Actually, I feel that Big O could as well pass for an unorthodox Zorak Zoran
Death Lord with some distaste for other peoples' undead.

> Rather than simple a collection of tough combat abilities, a true
>Gloranthan hero should have powers that work on a bigger scale, and carry
>with them a place in both the social world (incur obligations, alliance,
>enmities) and the magical (they should change the character, not just make
>them tougher, but make them a bit more divine, more subject to the magical

I agree, and (from provate conversation with Martin, preceding this digest
explosion of onslaughts) I think so does Martin. This big guy is not meant
to be a hero, noteven of the Bachulko size and range (see collected
Griselda, or Tales 7...).

>and this will continue well after the point of boredom as been reached.
>Like Joerg, but with more testosterone and less reliance on Gloranthan
>minutia :-)

<G> I guess I earned this, for my insistance that regimental spirit magic is
tied to wyters (apropos, since Sandy touched the subject recently...). In
private discussion, avoiding yellow flags. BTW, Loren, where were your flags


Some of these minutiae are dear enough to one of the participants to ignore
any point of boredom. All of you, before getting personal, think about this
for a while before submitting others to the Flames of Ehilm.

>it is some insights into the nature of Gloranthan (or
>Staffordian, I guess, a distinction important to some of us) heroes.
> To wit - there is a lot more to being a hero than being really
>tough in Glorantha. We already know that the most important thing about
>attempting the most difficult heroquests is to have support from your

Any support at all, I suppose. An avatar of a divine entity without much
cult support and no community to speak of would be quite successful mixing
up the myths. Like Harrek, whose support from the Wolf Pirates doesn't
really seem too loyal.

>It seems that most of us think it works the other way as well -
>not only do you need community support to become a powerful hero, but the
>most powerful heroes are those that support that their community back.

I tend to adhere to the school of thought that this applies to any cult,
hero-, spirit-, or divine. Just don't make this a quantity described by
percentiles or POW...

>not an absolute rule - but even Harrek is tied into his community, and
>gains quite a bit of his importance because of it (even if his community is
>of Wolf Pirates).

Not too much of a community, IMO. I picture the Threestep Isles a bit like
the pirate isles in Hugh Cook's "The Walrus and the Warwolf", a heap of
bleak rocks settled by raiders without any regard for other people's or
communities' rights than their own ships'. I doubt any effective HQ support

would come out of this, except during a campaign to which the ship-crews
have been sworn, and even then only a doubtful support, ready to by swayed
by adverse circumstances.

On Onslaught's uses of "repair human tissue": _IF_ Onslaught has healing
magics, the healed wounds should leave ugly scars, necrotic tissue, etc,
creating an almost, but not quite, undead effect. Any healing by such a
character should promote the recipient towards death. A loss of sensations,
of humanity, etc, should be involved.

Someone suggested that this should result in a low POW. I wonder why -
Humakti ghosts are supposed to be somewhat powerful, too. Not quite
life-force, but surely will-force.


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