Gods, spirits & heroquesting

From: TTrotsky@aol.com
Date: Sat 10 May 1997 - 16:49:37 EEST


Trent DiRenna:
<< 2. Similarly, some gods have been described as being powerful spirits,
 rather than actual "gods". Spirit cults come to mind, but there are also
 beings such as ancestor spirits, who aren't gods, but provide many more
 powers than a spirit. What would you say the dividing line between a
 "spirit" (reachable by a shaman) and a "god" (reachable only by worship or
 HeroQuesting) is? >>

     The answer is bound to be a rules mechanic one. A god is something that
does whatever gods do in your game system (provide lots of divine magic or
whatever). A spirit is one that doesn't. IMO the Gloranthans, especially
those in shamanic societies, don't see there as being a specific dividing
line. Weak god, powerful spirit, it's all the same thing.
 
   <<3. Some HeroQuests are described as being on the Material plane. Does
 this mean that the events, situations, and enemies of the Quest just
 appear out of thin air, or does the Quester have to set this up himself
(like in a High Holy Day ritual)? Could somebody not "in" the Quest
 interfere with it?>>

     Greg gave a talk on this at the last Convulsion. As far as I recall and
understand what he said, the Quester does have it set it up, and somebody
else can most certainly interfere. An example he quoted was the HeroQuest
where Gore and Gash are defeated by Orlanth. To do it, the Orlanthi grab a
couple of trollkin slaves say 'you're the gigantic troll twins' and beat them
up. To those partaking in the HeroQuest, the trollkin _are_ Gore and Gash and
the combat is truly epic. To throw a spanner in the works, all you have to do
is sneak in a couple of well-trained trollkin warriors, thus making it far
more likely the HeroQuester (Orlanth) gets defeated.
     I would imagine that the more 'experimental' HeroQuests, where you are
trying to change reality in more fundamental ways, say, to give yourself a
previously unknown ability, are unlikely to occur in the material world in
this way.
 
 <<4. Does a Quest have to be based in a myth, or can it be wholly original?
 
(like if you go questing on the HeroPlane, which still seems to be
 somewhat within Mundame Space and Time)>>

     AFAIK it has to be based on a myth, except possibly if you travel
physically to the Outer World.
 
PS: If anyone still wants to argue about compasses and geometry could we do
it through private e-mail? I'm willing to discuss it this way, and I should
think most readers of the Digest are a bit bored by now...

 All hail the Reaching Moon
    Trotsky

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