Short questions, long answers

From: cpearce@Incite.com
Date: Tue 28 May 1996 - 23:52:12 EEST


What exactly IS a HeroQuest, and how would one be initiated?

From what I can determine, a HeroQuest occurs when one uses a body of belief
to drive one's spirit in a metaphysical quest that changes the questor in a
fundamental way. In Glorantha, undergoing such a quest may change history
and have tangible effects in the physical world.

Real life parallels might be Buddhist meditation, American Indian sweat
lodge visions, Australian aborigine dreamquests, and Western ascetic
visions.

In Glorantha, the HeroQuests that people talk about usually seem tied to
specific ritual re-enactments, in which participants take on roles of cult
heroes and re-enact events that cult heroes lived. There is usually a
definite imagery attached to such rituals which is essential for
role-playing purposes. Buddhist meditation, in constrast, would be
represented by the lack of any imagery whatsoever, and how the heck can one
roleplay such a thing entertainingly and convincingly?

I think any HeroQuesting rules are doomed to failure, and feel that a
diceless structure will best handle the image-based quests, which depend on
narrative structure and conflict.

The style of HeroQuesting I envision wouldn't probably be entertaining to
many roleplaying groups, because it is so internalized that people might
feel nothing had happened. For more action oriented groups, I'm sure there's
a way to turn a standard external quest into a HeroQuest. Simply have the
heroes quest to repeat a mythic event that is required to keep Evil from
overwhleming Society. Call the results a HeroQuest and apply any attendant
benefits to the questors or their culture.

>What is a "Rune Level" character (this confuses me, in a system without
'levels')?

A rune level character is a full-fledged shaman, a priest (who can renew his
or her spells through the Worship spell), or a full sorceror. It's generally
used to indicate a particular range of ability (usually combat ability),
though rune-levels across most cults would not be equivalent in combat
power.

>What is 'ownership' of a Rune? How does one get to own/be associated
with a Rune?

People drop this occasionally on the list, and it is sort of mystifying.
Some of the gods actually "own" runes, which represent the building blocks
of Glorantha. Chalana Arroy owns the Harmony rune, for instance, which she
inherited from an older Goddess in the Celestial Court.

A player character's owning a rune would therefore seem to be a rather
strange thing. Really, the concept of owning a rune seems strange. A player
character would probably become associated with a rune or perhaps an avatar
of a rune (though that implies that runes have an agenda).

I think that such association might be a gradual occurence that happens as a
player continuously acts according to a certain monomaniacal agenda. Perhaps
repeated HeroQuests associated around a particular thematic nugget would
cause a character to gain association with a particular rune. Characters who
were fanatically single-minded enough obtained a rune would probably become
great Gloranthan heroes (or despoilers).

Like illumination (which results from a HeroQuest IMHO) I think the desire
to
"obtain" a rune might be an impediment to ever achieving it.
- --
Chris Pearce
cpearce@incite.com
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