the trouble with trolls, Harrek and Infinity

From: David Cake (davidc@cs.uwa.edu.au)
Date: Wed 15 Jan 1997 - 04:28:16 EET


>> I'd argue for XU, Xentha, Argan Argar, Aranea and Subere as being
>> primarily peaceful in outlook...

        Well, not only is Argan Argar the troll empire building god, as
Nick pointed out, but don't be fooled by that 'trader' idea. He may be the
troll trade god, but the troll idea of how to make money out of trade
includes things like military control of trade routes so they can forcibly
extract tolls and control the trade. Which is a large part of why Tarkalor
Trollkiller fought wars against the Kitori.

        And as for the others, you might have a point with XU. Xentha is
such a minor cult it doesn't really matter.
        Aranea is just not a major leadership cult - they are unlikely to
go out of their way to start conflict, but probably quite happy to
enthusiastically join in once the trouble starts. And worry when they do -
the elephant sized tarantulas from Crabtown are a good example of the
Aranea cults forces.
        And Subere is not really peaceful either - but just tends to stick
to their own dark areas, and thus not often encountered. But rest assured,
should you encounter them the results are likely to be quite terrifying.
And again, once the conflict starts they are probably happy to join in -
summoning hideous monsters is a standard troll magical tactic, and the
Subere cult are the queens of the art.

Further thoughts on the definition of undead
        I think the Humakti definition of undead covers a dead body with a
spirit or animating force. Something that should be dead that has some form
of life. This clearly covers vampires, ghouls, zombies, skeletons.
        I repeat, I don't think ghosts are normally counted as undead.
Ghosts are dead, not alive, and are quite separated from their body. They
simply have not gone on the afterlife, but thats not necessarily Humakts
beef.
        But Mad Head Ghosts, on the other hand, are ghosts bound to their
own head. They are not properly separated from their body. Thus, it seems
quite reasonable that Mad Head Ghosts specifically are counted as undead
where other ghosts are not, if you want a reason.
        Personally, I'm not sure, but thats purely because I'm not sure if
I want my Sword PC to get out of it that easily.

On the Infinity Rune controversy -
        I think Greg has backed off from the 'Mastery of the Infinity Rune'
concept, and indeed from Rune Mastery in general. While this occasionally
upsets the unreconstructed RQ2 grognards (that groovy word again), in
general its a good thing IMHO, other ways of talking about heroquest powers
being more fun (besides, the whole idea reeks of God Learnerism).
        But that doesn't mean that Harrek is any easier to kill, just
because you can't just say 'mastery of the infinity rune, so there'. Harrek
is an incredibly accomplished heroquester, with powers beyond the rules. He
is capable, at short notice, of producing magical effects of incredible
power. Calling up demons or dead heroes from hell, having a chained god
performing his every bidding, having other gods help him out because they
owe him favours, looking at you hard and making your head explode,
criticalling at will, hearing the grass grow, and finding out about your
villainous plans before they are even finished. He travels around with a
few incredibly high powered companions (but not as tough as him), at least
one of whom watches his back. Neat plans like the Slash/Axe Trance one
probably don't work because he has thought of them and planned against
them.
        We did have a close encounter with a superhero in one local
campaign, though not one I was involved with. At least they think they did
- - a group of high powered PCs met a boat load of Lunars who befuddled
and/or MindBlasted all of them with a few SRs, and they later concluded
that they had probably met Jar-Eel and her companions. Thats more like what
most Superhero interaction is like.

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