Dara Happa again (until someone tells me to shut up)

From: TTrotsky@aol.com
Date: Tue 27 May 1997 - 20:00:48 EEST


Sandy, having previously agreed with me on the subject (well, it sounded like
he was agreeing), now says that Lunar magic is indeed 'better' than Orlanthi
if by 'better' you mean 'better in combat'. However, this is exactly what I
DON'T mean by 'better', and illustrates the point that most people seem to
think I'm saying something completely different than I actually am.

James Frusetta makes some good points:

<< Is non-reusable resurrection (say, as Daka Fal or Kyger Litor get) equal
to Chalanna Arroy reusable resurrection?>>
    I'd have to agree with that, but I was talking about a higher level than
just the individual spell. There's all sorts of things that KL followers can
do with magic that CA ones can't, and generally speaking I'd say they balance
out. Neither cult reflects the entirety of its culture, either (although KL
comes close) and on the cultural level I see no reason to suppose trolls are
magically inferior to Orlanthi - surely you of all people aren't saying they
are?

<<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.>>

     Fooey, indeed. But I'd argue this is due to lack of training and
opportunity rather than an inherent weakness in the magic they have access
to.
 
 <<Me: No matter who you are, one point of magic is one point of magic.
 James: But I'd think 1 pt. battle magic /= 1 pt. rune magic (/= 1 pt.
sorcery).>>
     Indeed. Perhaps my statement wasn't as clear as it could have been. Rune
magic is 'better' than battle magic in the sense in which I mean it. However,
my opinion is that overall, 1pt. Orlanthi rune magic = 1 pt. Dara Happan rune
magic (and the same for battle magic). Whereas, if the Orlanthi, frex, were
'wrong' about the nature of mythic reality I would expect their rune magic to
be 'weaker' than the Dara Happans' if indeed they had access to any at all.
And I don't think it is.

  <<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.>>
     And I've previously agreed that they do have such an advantage. My
position is that they have "mass use" magic not because they are 'right'
about the nature of the universe, but because of their culture. I would
expect another culture with the same ability to regiment people being able to
employ "mass use" magic that is just as good as that of the Lunars even if
their belief systems were incompatible. Frex, I would expect this to be true
of the Kralori. If the Orlanthi could stop bickering and get together enough
to have regiments to use regimental magic on, theirs would be equally
powerful too. This is what I mean by the magic being 'equal' in strength.

 << And of course RQ assumes that a Orlanthi Bladesharp = a Pentian
Bladesharp
 = a Lunar Bladesharp, etc. But that might just be game convention>>
     And it might not. Personally, I don't think it is.
 
     Perhaps a clearer illustration of what I mean by 'better' is needed:
     If an Orlanthi puts a certain amount of magical energy into making his
sword better, then, IMO, it would require the same amount of magical energy
for a Lunar to counteract this effect. And vice versa. (In game terms we say

that it takes Dispel Magic 2 to dispel Bladesharp 2, but the numbers are just
a game convention IMHO). In this sense, divine magic is clearly 'better'
than spirit magic, since it requires less effort to dispel a spirit magic
effect with divine magic than vice versa (the roolz say the proportion is
1:2, but this may just be for simplicity).
     Of course, the Gloranthans have no way of measuring the amount of
magical energy involved in casting or dispelling magic, and I have no doubt
some of them claim their magic is 'better' than the foreign sort in this
sense. However, I see nothing in Greg's clarification of how magic 'really'
works in Glorantha that contradicts my view. So, from my POV as a GM - which
is what I have been talking about - I don't know and can't tell which culture
has the better handle on reality. And, as a result, I don't care.

Phew!

All hail the Reaching Moon
    Trotsky

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