From: David Cake (
Date: Thu 09 Oct 1997 - 22:39:17 EEST

Sergios ideas are interesting. But I think the basic problem is that,
interesting as they may be, they have implications for the universe of
Glorantha (primarily, that all very magically powerful beings are also hard
to kill physically)

>From where steems magic? IMO, from the forces of
>life. There is one life, not two. POW and CON are two ways of dealing with
>the same reality.

        Old and frail beings that have great magical power exist,
particularly beings that might have died from old age (presumably losing
vitality) but that retain great magical power. People obtain magic by
sacrifice of their power without any accompanying physical weakness.
        Its worth noting that schemes similar to Sergios have worked in
other games, but I think its not something that can be easily 'retrofitted'
to RuneQuest mechanics, and even in other games you have to confront a few
different issues (like getting weaker to make magic items doesn't really
seem right). At the moment, I'm looking at Ars Magica a lot, in which magic
costs fatigue, if its only barely within your ability to cast, but routine
magic costs nothing, so old and wise wizards need seldom lost fatigue.

        Perhaps a variation might be that all magic costs fatigue, but that
there are different rolls for losing fatigue from physical exertion and
casting magic? So the old and wise magician might lose fatigue from magic
very seldom, but from physical exertion trivially?

        I'm very open to the idea that the next set of mechanics might be
extremely different from RQ, which seems likely.

        In any case, for the new game I would want to get feedback from
Greg about his ideas, because game mechanics like this determine a lot
about the world. I would want game mechanics that agree with the conception
we have of Glorantha.
>Conclusion: the more a sorceror commits is life forces to magic, the less
>he is able to use them in physical activities. Is physic changes
>accordingly. He doesn't 'look like Arnold Schwarzenegger'. The more
>'magically powerful' he his, the more 'physically weak' he gets.

        But is this how it works in Glorantha? Sure, it gets you classic A
D&D magicians with lots of magic and small hit points, but I see no
evidence that this occurs in Glorantha. In fact, as many Gloranthan
sorcerers are also very physical warriors (Hrestoli Knights, Arkati,
including heroes like Gerlant, Arkat, Tolat) it doesn't seem to be very
much in line with what we know of Glorantha.

        (and hey, Sergio, if you want to read some of the ideas I've been
tossing around for years about magic, there are some suggestions on my web




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