Heroes and Will

From: Steven E. Barnes (akuma@best.com)
Date: Tue 21 Jan 1997 - 03:09:57 EET

I don't believe that heroes lose free will as certain posters
are advocating. To me, Will is simply a measure of willpower,
just like here on earth. Since Glorantha is a magical place, Will
has the power there to alter reality (in the form of magic and

The main reason heroes "lose their free will" is that they die
(er, I mean "achieve apotheosis"). At this point, what remains
of them are myths and memories, which over time, are elaborated
and expanded upon by the hero's worshippers. The dead hero, like a
god or spirit, has no free will because he/she does not exist in
a real sense. (This is my Nysalorian-Humanist view of Glorantha)

Heroes do aquire obligations, but that is not the same as losing
willpower. Heroes can "lose their will" after failing at some
task, but that is a psychological effect of failure, not necessarily
anything mystical. I recall that Pendragon has some rules to that
effect involving Passions.

The HQ systems I've seen that subtract Will from characters are
simply trying to force behaviour best done through role-playing.
They are trying to enforce a campaign style where heroes go on a
few great quests, then retire, either victorious or broken in
spirit. In most campaigns, PCs never retire, unless the campaign
ends, the PC dies permanently, or is crippled. The kind of
roleplaying intensive, multi-generational games people are talking
about on the digest are a definate minority, in my experience.

- -steve


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 13 Jun 2003 - 16:56:25 EEST