Re: Digest Subjects...

From: Chris Bell (
Date: Sat 11 Oct 1997 - 04:08:09 EEST

On Thu, 9 Oct 1997, Chris Bell wrote:

> Hello, everyone. Yet once again I de-lurk to proffer some opinions on
> Digest issues...
> Martin - Your "Storm Bull Initiation" was great! Keep up the good work!
> On Gloranthan Magic systems -
> When I played RQ2 many many moons ago, I had always assumed that Battle
> Magic was a kind of "Sorcery" That was a common, easy kind of Magic that
> anyone could learn. That, of course, changed when RQ3 was published and

> the Battle Magic system of RQ2 was forced to become some kind of Shamanic
> magic system (which it doesn't do well.) For a 'low magic' approach, one
> could always go back to RQ2 style Battle Magic! In RQ2, Battle Magic was
> usually taught by the Temples, via the Spellteaching Rune Magic. Just add
> to the list a batch of Battle Magic that has no real adventuring
> application, but will help people in their day to day lives, like Glue,
> Repair and Extinguish. That seems to have been the original intent in
> Cult Battle Magic (what is now called 'Cult Spirit Magic') in RQ3 - IE -
> Issaries Initiates getting Glue at 1/2 price, etc. I'm sure a Mason's
> Cult would get the same thing.
> For non-Central Genertelan cultures, we can call this kind of Battle Magic
> 'Low Sorcery', as opposed to High Sorcery, represented by the RQ3 Sorcery
> rules, or Sandy's variant. Commoners and perhaps even Knights would only
> be allowed the Low Magic (which would include spells useful to soldiers,
> such as Bladesharp, Protection, Heal and Fireblade) in Rokari and Hrestoli
> societies, while only Wizards could learn the High Sorcery of the
> Invisible God (RQ3/Sandy Sorcery). As there are some problems IMO with
> Sandy's Sorcery system for non-dedicated sorcerers (soldiers and the
> like), this would fill the gap nicely.) Back when I was playing RQ2, I
> came up with a 'Wizard' system that allowed western-style wizards to learn
> Battle Magic, make non-variable spells variable, and learn spells that
> were closed to non-wizards (it came out much like the system used for
> ELRIC! magic.) I'm not sure what effect allowing Sorcerors to manipulate
> Battle Magic spells with their Sorcery skills would have on game balance,
> but it's worth thinking about.

> In regards to the issue of Magic and Fatigue, it seems to me that in the
> literature that Magicians only get tired from Spellcasting from major
> exertions, and only in 'higher' magics (such as when the legions of Lunar
> priests used their powers to overwhelm the defenses of the Cradle, in the
> Cradle scenario.) In regards to the Fatigue Point system of RQ3...My

> major objection to it was how it tied into and replaces the ENC system.
> In my games, I use a variant of the old RQ2 ENC system. I can see
> Malkioni Wizards getting worn out from big-butt rituals, but these would
> seem to me be more a matter of getting worn out from chanting for 8 hours
> straight, not from a drain on your magic power. If magic were very
> fatiguing, then it would have dire implications for Gloranthan soldiery
> (most of whom know at least some few battle enhancing spells), and would
> be accounted for in tactics. Likewise goes for adventurers, who rely on
> their lesser magics as day to day tools.
> If you need a skill factor involved, spells can be learned in discrete
> units, and each spell known can have a percentage attached to it, like
> Sorcery. Depending on what minor initations and HQ's an adventurer has
> performed, he may be very good at some versions of a spell, while crappy
> at others... For example, that Bladesharp 2 that Gunter learned from the
> Wind Spirit on his Initiation Day he may know at 90%, while the more
> powerful Sword Secret he learned while walking the Path of Foes and Death

> at a Humakt Holy site (Bladesharp 5) he may know only at 50%. Each level

> of a variable spell would be known as a seperate spell. Obviously, this
> implies ditching the Free Int mechanics of RQ3 (or RQ2 INT memorization
> rules), or assume that the base chance of the new spell starts at 1/2 the
> older one, and the older, lesser version gets subsumed into the newer
> spell, or something like that.) Giving RQ2 Battle Magic spells Skill
> Ratings also makes them teachable, which I like. While the best place to
> learn magic may be at Temple, Temples would know longer have a monopoly on
> Spell Teaching, and one could learn whatever special magic is appropriate
> to one's job (I can envision a small shrine to Gustbran in a smithy, where
> one can learn special smith magic, and a small assortment of scrolls
> where the foreman/priest can teach special smith secrets to Gustbran
> Initiates.)

> My advice for everyone is to dust off those old copies of RQ2. IMO, RQ2
> was far closer to Greg's original vision of how magic worked in Glorantha,

> before the debacle of RQ3, in which RQ was bastardised in a vain attempt
> to compete with TSR, with a vague, generic 'Fantasy Europe'.
> May the Lightbringers protect you all, and keep you whole!
> Chris Bell


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