Non-humans, Peacefut Cut, Sutras

From: Joseph Troxell (jmt107@psu.edu)
Date: Tue 08 Apr 1997 - 22:11:20 EEST


Non-humans certainly provide a great flair to the game. One of the most
memorable NPC's I ever encountered was a trollkin who latched onto one of
our party members. Trolls make for great campaign; there is enough detail
out there to let you know how trolls act. I do wish there was something
comparable for elves out there.

I see Peaceful Cut only used by those cultures who worry about the animal's
spirit being resurrected. There are certainly enough animals in Glorantha,
that the many poeple not using Peaceful Cut hasn't destroyed the animal
kingdom. Which means, either their spirits get resurrected regardless, or
there are plenty of new spirits out there waiting to be born. Certainly
Peaceful Cut isn't needed to kill the animal. A domestic animal that you
feed will (in general) be docile towards you. It expects you to have food
each time you come see it. So, it's no problem to hold a hammer behind your
back and when it comes up to you, WHAM!, you've got dinner.

I do like the idea of each culture having "religious" ceremonies that they
perform for nearly everything. Dave Duncan wrote the Seventh Sword series
of books, and I highly recommend them. The main character is a Swordsman,
so if you roleplay a lot of Humakti, it's even better. Each profession has
its own guild, and each guild teaches the holy sutras for that craft
(whether its healing, swordfighting, priest, whatever). I envision much the
same occurs in Glorantha. Bakers have their "religious" ceremonies they
were taught to make the bread rise. Is it really magical? No, probably
not. It doesn't take magic points, but it's not about magic. It's about
doing the ceremony in the right manner. Since brownies are the only thing I
can bake, I'm going to use them as an example and from the Orlanthi and
Western POV.

Orlanthi:
"Betty Crocker, the faithful priestess of Ernalda taught her followers how
to make this delicious of treats. First, one must melt two ounces of
chocolate and one half cup of butter. The two ounces represents how the
baker must share this treat with another, and the half is the most the baker
may keep. Next, thou shall add one cup of sugar, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon of
vanilla. One represents the one Goddess who provides for us.
Next, thous adds 1/2 cup of flour and a dash of salt. Then put the mix in
your baking pan and bake in the bread oven until it hardens."

Western:
"Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, 2 ounce chocolate, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1
teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Melt
butter and chocolate. Add sugar, egs, vanilla. Stir in flour and salt.
Put in greased 8 inch by 8 inchpan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
May add nuts. May increase recipe by keeping same proportions."

Same recipe (and it is a good one, I might add), yet different ways of
describing it. Why? Culture. And, note, the Westerners say you can double
the recipe, but not the Orlanthi. Maybe the standard Orlanthi baking pan is
only 8 inches by 8 inches, so they assume everyone will know what size pan
to use.

I remember a story of a woman whose family was poor and could only afford
one baking pan. The pan was square, but not long enough for an entire ham.
If she cut the end off, the ham would fit and there was room enough to put
the end in next to the rest of the ham. She taught her daughter how to bake
a ham in the same pan. Her daughter taught her granddaughter to cut the end
off when baking the ham. Her granddaughter was teaching her great
granddaughter to bake the ham by cutting the end off. The great
granddaughter asked, "Mom, why do you cut off the end?" "I don't know. Let
me call your Grandma." Finally, it got back up to great Grandma who
answered, "I did it that way because it was the only way to fit in the pan I
had to use!" So, a lot of times, traditions get propogated for no good
reason. I see a lot of this happening in Glorantha as well.

Now, I see every culture, and maybe every cult having some of these
"religious" cermonies. Do they have any game effect? No, other than MGF
and roleplaying. For example, my Humakti is positive that no one knows the
best way to care for a sword other than Humaktis. Is it true? Maybe,
probably not. But, don't go suggesting it to him, he'll get mighty offended!

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End of Glorantha Digest V4 #324
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