A spell is not a spell is not a spell

From: James Frusetta (gerakkag@wam.umd.edu)
Date: Tue 27 May 1997 - 02:06:39 EEST


An opening disclaimer: this is a topic where using RQ game rules to
discuss Glorantha can get awkward. But what can you do?

Trotsky wrote:
> The point I was making was that the magic of all cultures is inherently
> equal.
Why inherently equal? As presented in RQ, the magic of all cultures is

_not_ inherently equal. Some cultures have access to _better_ magics than
others, or a better variety.

Is non-resuable resurrection (say, as Daka Fal or Kyger Litor get) equal
to Chalanna Arroy reusable resurrection? Bah. Is the vast panoply of magic

that a Lunar or an Orlanthi can sacrifice for equal to the crud that a
starving band of feral Broo get in the Wastes of Prax? Fooey.

I suppose you could make the argument that there are cultural
"intangibles" that make that 1-use KL resurrection equal to CA's resuable.
But that seems to be like arguing that a Yugo is equal to a Rolls Royce
based on cultural relativism...

> No matter who you are, one point of magic is one point of magic.
But I'd think 1 pt. battle magic /= 1 pt. rune magic (/= 1 pt. sorcery).
I think most people would probably agree that a rune magic is generally
superior to a battle magic of the same type (say, 1 pt. Crush vs.
1 pt. Bludgeon). If Lunar/Dara Happan "mass use" magic is of a greater
order of magnitude, then it's "better" magic. If they have regular access
to it and other cultures don't, then they've got a big advantage.

Yah, 1 mp = 1 mp (or 1 POW = 1 POW). But that doesn't mean that the way
the power is used is equal -- a more feul-efficient car goes farther on a
liter of gas. A "better" spell goes farther on 1 mp.

And of course RQ assumes that a Orlanthi Bladesharp = a Pentian Bladesharp
= a Lunar Bladesharp, etc. But that might just be game convention -- who's
to say that there aren't fractional differences that RQ simply ignores
(for the sake of simplicity)?

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