long post

From: Peter Metcalfe (P.Metcalfe@student.canterbury.ac.nz)
Date: Sat 18 Jan 1997 - 04:24:57 EET

Lewis Jardine:

>> the success in the Heroplane depends on who you _are_ from a
>> literary point of view. Androcles succeeded in healing the Lion
>> because he was _kind_.

>But in Glorantha he might have been able to cynically heal it for his
>purposes! But how would the lion have actted?

Cynically heal it? I don't see how that is possible if the Quest
is written right. FWIW The Quest looks like IMO:

Androcles sees Mr Lion.

Gung-ho adventurers may assume Mr Lion is a Evil Creature and
attack it. However Androcles is not a AD&D player and decides
to wait.

Androcles sees Mr Lion is acting funny and tries and figure
out what is wrong with it.

Androcles makes a Kindness check to entice Mr Lion closer
to him so that he can have a closer look. He does this by
offering food and other enticements. Androcles may have to
overcome Mr Lion's Suspicion Trait in that Mr Lion thinks
that Androcles may want to pull its tail. This is however
a mere detail and is not important. Players making a special
in the Glorantha Skill may remember that the original Trollpak
had a picture of a Xiola Umbar initiate trying to entice a
Trollkin wretch with sweetmeats while a Priestess was looking
over his shoulder and uttering growls and bloodthirsty threats.

If Androcles succeeds in his Kindness Check, Mr Lion comes
closer and Androcles notices that Mr Lion has a thorn in
its foot. *Bing!* goes the light above Androcles head and
he pulls the thorn out of the foot and Mr Lion is purring
with pleasure. Androcles now has a feline friend in Mr

If Androcles fails his Kindness Check, then Mr Lion
misinterprets his motives or Androcles actually looked
threatening in the flickering camplight. Mr Lion retires
into the Darkness without going near Androcles. This is
because Mr Lion is a Dumb Animal and does not understand
the concept of a Partial Success.

Androcles may be forced to make a cruelness check to
see if he chases after the Lion in anger for being a
Dumb Animal. Such depends on the referee.

Now I don't see the need to worry about players acting in
self-interest and against their character. Nor do I see
any reason for players to become upset about having to
make a trait roll in these circumstances and failing. They
have tried to entice the Lion but failed.

>> Sir Galahad (or is it Gawain?) succeeded in the Quest for the Holy Grail
>> because he was _pure_, not because getting the Holy Grail would be a Good
>> Thing for King and Country. Therefore opportunities for partial success
>> by acting in 'self-interest' (ie it's a dumb animal but it could be
>> helpful) are misguided methinks.

>Well, how about the _unpure_ questing to the mythical east where they
>find the golden chalice of XXXX which they bring back and represent as the
>holy grail. Who knows it might have some effect if people believe in

Then the religion will change with a trait going from Temperant to
Indulgent. This however is a quest for another object (even if it
is a case of mistaken identify) and is not the same thing as
partial success in the Grail Quest.

ObAustralianJoke: The reason why the Australians put XXXX on their
beer was that none of them could spell fuck.

>In Glorantha there is quite a lot of reworking of myths, as you know.
>Partial success is definately a possibility in the the same way that
>different outcomes are possible. I agree that these are based on who
>you _are_ but they are also dependent on what you _do_. There is the
>possibility of changing the myth by actting in a different manner.

Yes, but once you act in a different manner, say by trying to
entice the Lion using the trait of Deceitful, then you are
not following the original path of Androcles but forging your

>This is probably one of the reasons why the Lunars (typical traits all
>at 50%) are so good at using/subverting other people's quests.

I believe that a Illuminated Lunar HeroQuestor would have traits
like Honest Deceit, Pious Worldiness, Chaste Lust and Proud Modesty.
Thus if he comes to a guardian where he must remain humble in favour
of the guard's taunts before he would open the gate, the Lunar could
adopt an air of arrogant swank and pass through.

This is not to say that once you're illuminated, your traits
automatically Honest Deceit etc. It's an ideal to which most
Lunars aspire (and pratice).

David Cake:

>First, a quote from the Pendragon (4th edition) rules
>'In general, trait rolls simulate situations in which a character is forced
>to act unconsciously.'

So? We are not Pendragon Fundamentalists and do not adopt roolz
lock, stock and barrel.

> I was referring to after the roll. Giving your players a roll, and
>then saying because they failed the roll, they can't do something they want
>to do, because you don't feel its in character, ameliorates their anger
>only slightly.

Not this again! Apply this to a roll to hit with a sword. Giving
the players a roll, then saying that because they failed the roll,
they can't hit the hulking brute is not the bloody end of the world!
Why should it be so in an emotional context? I fail my SAN rolls
in call of cthulhu all (well most) of the time, yet I don't get angry
at the referee! I thought I asked for more concrete objections?

[War magic vs healing/life magic]
>>Like the Household of Death perhaps? Like those who fight against
>>the Kingdom of War (remember the danger is that they can be corrupted
>>into being a New Kingdom of War)? Like the Orlanthi War Clans (their
>>fertility *plummented*)?

> Like Annstad of Dunnstop and Jar-Eel? Like Hon-Eel?
Jar-Eel and Hon-Eel are hardly the example of:

        The character who wants peace and love, but is forced to
        turn to warlike ways to protect his family/way of life/
        loved ones, is a truely classic archetype.

                                       D. Cake

And besides they're illuminated.

Annstad of Dunstop was Argrath's fertility bringer and
hopeless in battle. He commanded the right (strong) side
at the Battle of Yoran - yet the Lunar Cavalry managed
to encircle both the centre and the right wing coming in
from behind the left! At the Battle of Dwernapple, Argrath
placed in in the left (weak) wing where he still managed to
cock things up. His entire wing was obliterated and he
only managed to survive by the most streneous of spear thrusts.
If he took up warlike ways, he didn't do them very well.

> Like Rama? Like Krishna? Like Tristram?
And what did Tristram do? He's hardly an example of the
hero you were holding up before. And given that Rama
and Krishna are Heroes in Indian Religion, on which the
Lunar Way is based means that they are closer to the Lunars
and not the type of hero under discussion.

>But there are those who possess both ability in
>warfare and love/life/healing.
No shit. They will be penalized even less under my proposed
mechanism than most warlike people given that my mechanism
counted the points. What is the _problem_?

> Its using mechanistic points of magic as a rough
>approximation to a general mythic tendency appropriate to
>some cultures, then using that to define a characters

I'm not using it to define his personality. If I did that
I would be using traits. I'm suggesting the rule to simulate
certain aspects of his personality and let the Player take
care of the rest.

>The war affects the hero somehow.
>But in a way that deserves a rather more complex treatment -
>reducing the complexity of all the reasons humans fight, and all the
>responses they have to it, to a simple dichotomy is, well, simplistic.

Well, I don't recall saying it is the only dichrotomy, I said
it was one to use when judging a Kindness/Cruel situation for
those who didn't want to use Pendragon traits. Or did you think
I felt that every human reaction could be resolved on the basis
of how much war magic a PC knows?

> Is Waha, who
>kills to bring life when it is necessary to survive, and allows only
>Healing 1, really more unbalanced than Humakt, the ultimate death
>god who actually grants Healing as a cult spell?
Obviously it's a flaw in the Humakti Cult Writeup and a relic of
it being the RQII God of Adventurers rather than Death Incarnate.

> And I know Peter didn't mean to imply that this was the case (God
>Learners being a sub-species of Logician), but I thought I would make clear
>a good Gloranthan reason why heroquesters are free to calculatedly and
>callously rape and pillage if that is what they really want to do.

I don't think this is true. If they want to HeroQuest to callously
rape and pillage then they will succeed in quests which are suited
to Callous Rape and Pillage but fail in quests involving Mercy,
Justice and Chastity. The God Learners were not callously exploitative
_per_ _se_ since they were above that. They could be cruel or kind
whenever they chose, but it was a charade, a special mercurial mimicry
which they had discovered.

V S Greene:

> I suppose I ask about that because I've never been terribly
>comfortable with the notion of creature's souls being popped out of existance
>by the Bat, particularly considering that it acts as a sort of vacuum cleaner
>sucking up all spirits that have the bad luck to be near it. If the spirits
>it eats are effectively being sucked into the Void it would seem that
>anywhere the Bat goes is going to be POW short and perhaps a bit unstable.

They are not destroyed. That's a barbarian misconception (but a
useful one nonetheless). As most Lunars know there are three
realms - the physical, the divine and the transcendant. By eating
people, the Bat consumes the Body (physical part) and the Soul
(Divine Part) in order to _free_ the transcendant portion of the
victim (It learned of this when it was enlightened by the Red
Goddess). Since the victim is now solely transcendant, it cannot
be observed in the physical and divine world and so erroneously
is deemed to have ceased to exist for all intents and purposes.
Thus the Bat is actually performing a Good Deed when it eats

Most Pelorians, alas, are skeptical of this doctrine...

- --Peter Metcalfe


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