Magical systems (cont.)

From: Sergio Mascarenhas (
Date: Fri 10 Oct 1997 - 14:34:17 EEST

David Cake (I visited your homepage David, and will be coming back):
<< Sergio: '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.' And David
comments: '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.' >>
Good point. How can an hero be such a powerful magician and a powerful
sorceror? (you may agree with me that in my 'work-in-progress' system the
problem doesn't extend to shamans and priests?)
Two possibilities:
1. Tapping. Of course, the heroes you mentioned wouldn't tap freely, so
this doesn't apply to them.
2. Collective Magic. This is something I didn't describe before. The
principle is the next: if you can tap, you can do the reverse operation and
sacrifice by free will your magical energies to someone else. This may be
done through worship (or through the usage of magical items and in other
ways). Just look at it this way: In Glorantha people know there are heroes.

When the times get tought they will start praying for the comming of the
liberating hero. Thousands of people will sacirfice their vital forces, and
the cults (yes, even malkioni cults) will 'collect' and 'store' those
magical forces until the moment the hero arrives. The hero is someone that
just happened to be the right person, in the right time, in the right
place. He has imense magical energies at his disposal, so he doesn't need
to relly only in his own magical energies (like most common people). It
seems to me that this is completely 'in line with what we know of

Rick Meints:
<< Whether it's adding VIT, PRE, DIV, ETC to the game, I'm always leary of
new stats. I think that there are probably already too many, and if a new
system does come out, it will probably have far fewer. >>
I could not agree more with Rick.

Pasanen Panu:
<< Body and spirit are separate. How shamans go to the spirit plane? Does
good willpower give you a better damagemodifier? No, really, there exist
two separate parts for almost anyone in Glorantha: body and spirit. >>
And so what? Who said body and spirit are the same? Of course they are
separate. You are wrong when you think CON = body. In RQ the stat that
represents body, physic, is SIZ, not CON.
When I suggest to combine POW and CON I'm not suggesting to end the
separation between body and spirit. What I'm suggesting is that the
relation between body and spirit should be more clear and precise. VITality
is the stat that makes the transiction.

<< However, replacing POW with STR, SIZ, CON or VIT is silly - maybe not in
Gloranthan terms (although I doubt Zzabur is a Sumo wrestler) but in game
terms. Imagine the poor sod who rolls low on one of his stats and is
therefore crap at fighting, general physical activity and now is bad at
magic. >>
The problem you're mentioning is a problem about game mechanics. The rules
for player character creation may be designed in such a way that avoid it.
In many games you don't roll stats. In other games you can 'arrange' the
values you rolled. RQ has such rules.


Sergio Mascarenhas


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