Re: magic

From: Sandy Petersen (
Date: Wed 28 May 1997 - 17:16:42 EEST

Ian Gorlick
>Can anyone tell me why Yelmalio was at the Hill of Gold?
        He went there to greet the Sun upon his return. Almost all the "spark
gods" have, as part of their myth, an attempt to be in a prominent place
upon the Dawn. In fact, solar-based cultures which do not worship the Sun
directly give credit to one or more of these expectant deities as the
_reason_ the Sun returned. Their faith, prayers, and magic _summoned_ the
Sun back from the dark. Thus, the East Isles say that Thella's (aka
Theya's) long vigil saved the universe. The Dragon Empire says it was the
Dawn Emperor. Some Onlaksians give credit to Pole Star, etc.
        Of course, cultures that _do_ worship the Sun directly give credit to the
Sun himself.

James Frusetta
>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
        A culture's magic only has to be superior in _one_ respect to remain a
viable alternative to another's.

>Is non-resuable resurrection (say, as Daka Fal or Kyger Litor get) equal
>to Chalanna Arroy reusable resurrection? Bah.
        You bet it is. It's JUST as good from the viewpoint of the resurrectee. If

you want to look on it from a wider perspective, try this on for size -- a
Chalana Arroy healer gives up her entire life in order to get her
resurrection. A Daka Fal shaman can still do anything else he pleases, PLUS
he gets resurrection. If you have a band of Lightbringers all working
together, with a Trickster, Healer, Sage, Speaker, Warrior, etc. etc.
they'll be magically superior to a band of seven Daka Fal shamans. But
individually, each adept at only his one little specialty, they'll lack the
breadth and flexibility of the shamans. It's the old argument of specialist
vs. generalist.

>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.
        The crud that a starving band of feral broo uses has a HUGE advantage over
the Orlanthi stuff -- namely, that it's available to them! They can't
possibly get the Orlanthi stuff. That's like complaining you can't get good
pork chops in Pent. Well, duh. No swineherds or pigsties around. If you
can't reach to scratch a certain spot, you'd better learn not to itch there.
        Feral broos learn to use the advantages they have in magic, rather than
desperately seeking alternatives. Lunar magic poses a big advance in
technology for such broos, and if it can be gotten to them, they will
certainly adopt it. They just haven't heard about it yet. But it's
relatively new, and hasn't had time to spread across the whole land yet.

Alex Ferguson
>Illuminating the List would be exceptionally hard. One would need many
>stackings of Reduce Heat as well as Increase Light. And isn't
Illumination >supposedly incompatible with a God Learner mindset? That
makes many of us >safe, I think.
        Okay, let's fess up. Who, on the Digest, is infected with what mindset?
I'll make a starting stab at it:

        Nick, Loren, Lewis: Illuminates
        Alex, Peter, Joerg: God Learners
        Martin L.: Unrecidivist Barbarian
        Nils, Greg F., D. Dunham: Wyrm's Friends
        Pam: Hsunchen

        Kind of. It's like comparing apples and oranges. Lunar magic is certainly
inferior in weather-control and in combat. But it's better in most other
respects. No doubt eyebrows will be raised at my comment that Lunar magic
is inferior "in combat", so let me clarify.
        A Lunar warrior beefed up by his magic will be inferior to an Orlanthi
warrior beefed up by _his_. BUT, a Lunar magician fighting a spell duel
with an Orlanthi priest or shaman should win. And 1000 Lunars backed up by
a dozen sorcerers will have an edge over 1000 Orlanthi backed up by a dozen
Storm priests.

>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.
        Yes, this is true. And the Lunar's Mindblast is "only" a 2-point Rune
spell, no more effective at penetrating defensive magic than a Lightning 2.
But the effects are somewhat more devastating.

>What's wrong with Skyburn?
        No humans were killed, and elves aren't self-aware anyway.

Pam Carlson
>Though I'm not sure the Char-un are much worse than Praxians, who are
>occasional Sartarite allies.
        In my opinion, the Char-Un and other Pentans are crueler than any Praxian
tribe, with the exceptions of the Morocanth and Cannibal Cult. On the other
hand, the Sartarites are occasionally even known to ally with the Tusk
Riders, who are unreservedly more evil than any Pentan tribe since Sheng
Seleris's time.

Peter Metcalfe, Social Liberal
>The Lunars are no more cruel in this than the Ottomans
        Peter, you're my hero for this analogy. (I realize the statement is taken
slightly out of context, but Peter's choice of words lightened my day.)

Sandy P.


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