What is a being?

From: Sergio Mascarenhas (sermasalmeida@mail.telepac.pt)
Date: Sun 12 Oct 1997 - 19:50:58 EEST


First, some preliminary issues:

Pasanen Panu:
<< Subject: Let's tire 'em with talk about Magic so they go and play AD&D
>>
I don't know if you had me in mind Pasanen, but if it was so, I can tell
you I only played D&D (no, not even AD&D) once. Of course, there is always
the possibility that I am under possession by the spirit of Gary Gigax...

<< Fetch does not need to be part of you, it might be a spirit helper,
totally outside yourself. Even if the _rules_ said otherwise. (...) No.
Priest is not a shaman, he does not wander on spirit plane. Sorceror is not
a shaman, he does not wander on spirit plane. Silly suggestions. If a
priest is also a shaman, she'd better have a fetch. Otherwise, it can't be
had. Realise why shaman's mind is called to be expanded? >>
You can say what you want Pasanen, the question remains: why not? Why can't
priests or sorcerors access a fetch? (After all, they do have spells and
shamans have spells.) The only answer until now is that they can't do it by

fiat (no, not the italian car maker; its the latin word instead).

Now, for the real issue:
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.
Sergio Mascarenhas:
>> I could not agree more with Rick.
>> relation between body and spirit should be more clear and precise.
VITality is the stat that makes the transiction.
Pasanen Panu:
> Yeah, another stat was all we need. Look at your comment above.

Luc Lavergne:
<< Also, shouldn't we first talk about which characteristics would make the
next system ? Are they gonna be the same, will they be on the same range,
how sould they relate to skills ? These are all preliminary questions to be
answered before going any further in creating mathematic rules for the next
system. >>

I agree with Luc that we can't discuss an aspect of our characters in
Glorantha (POW) without discussing the whole. The problem is that I agree
with Rick Meints when he says that GD is not ment to be a forum to discuss
rules. Anyway, since I'm going to be outside of Portugal in a trip to
Bulgaria and Bruxelles for the next couple of weeks, since it was me who
started the debate, and since I don't want Pasanen to remain with the wrong
impression about my proposals, I will present my general conception of
characters' characteristics.
I will try to present it according to Olof Nergard's view that << there are
two separate discussions hidden in this discussion. These are which base
system should one use and second how do the magical Glorantha work. (...) I
think the discussion should concentrate on the magics of Glorantha
regardless of stats. >> I make is words mine for the discussion of
characteristics.

1. IMO there should be six characteristics:
Intelect - similar to RQ's INT.
Presence - The spiritual 'body' of the being. Equivalent to RQ's POW as far
as POW represents your spiritual self (your soul).
Sensibility - the ability of the being of perceiving the environment that
surrounds him.
Vitality - the vital energies of the being. Equivalent to RQ's CON plus POW
as far as POW represents energy.
Dexterity - similar to RQ's DEX.
Size - similar to RQ's SIZ.

Characteristics are grouped according to two criteria:
First cryteria - the spirit / body divide:
Spiritual characteristics - Intelect and Presence. They are the spiritual
part of the being, his spirit.
Physical characteristics - Dexterity and Size. They are the physical part
of the being, his body.
Transition characteristics - Sensibility and Vitality. They establish the
connection between the two above. This connection is made through life and
these represent his life.
Second cryteria - the stasys / flux (passive / active) divide:
Flux characteristics - Intelect, Dexterity, Sensibility. These represent
the capability of the being to change, and to change is surroundings.
Static characteristics - Presence, Size, Vitality. These represent what the
being has accumulated and incorporated into his self.

There are different kinds of beings according to the characteristics they
have (or don't have):
Mundane living inteligent creatures - they do have the six characteristics.
Discorporate creatures - mundane creatures that don't have physical
characteristics.
Otherworld creatures - only have spiritual characteristics and reside in
the otherworld.
Vegetative creatures - don't have spirit. It's the case of plants. (An
Aldrya forest is basically a collection of vegetative creatures under the
'rule' of a discorporate spirit - the spirit of the forest - and several
mundane beings - the elfs.)
Things - don't have flux characteristics. (They can be mundane or
otherworld. An example of an otherworld thing is the equivalent in my
system of a POW spirit. Physical things, like rocks, only have size.)

Based on characteristics we determine the being's ATTRIBUTES:
The Attributes relate spiritual and physical characteristics to the
transition characteristics. They determine what the character can do and
the success of his actions. They result from the Direct relation between
pairs of characteristics. The relation between attributes and
characteristics is not deterministic. The characteristics are only the
starting point to determine the attributes. They are also influenced by the
way the character conducted is life, specialy in his youth.

Spiritual Attributes:
Charisma - Ability to make a spiritual impression on others, influencing
their behavior. Based on Presence and Intelect.
Spiritual perception - Ability to perceive the discorporate and the magical
energies. Based on Presence and Sensibility.
Power - Ability to manipulate the magical energies. Based on Intelect and
Vitality.
Aura - Ability to endure the clash by magical energies (magical
resistance). Based on Presence and Vitality.
Reflection - Ability to learn and conduct intelectual activities. Based on
Intelect and Sensibility.
Physical Attributes:
Strengh - Ability to do damage and to generate physical energies. Based on
Size and Dexterity.
Physical perception - Ability to perceive the objects and changes in
physical entities. Based on Size and Sensibility.
Agility - Ability to coordinate the body. Based on Dexterity and Vitality.
Resistance - Ability to resist damage, sickness, poison, fatigue, etc.
Based on Size and Vitality.
Self-control - Ability to avoid non controled reactions of the body. Based
on Dexterity and Sensibility.

Spiritual attributes determine the basic success in Knowledge Related
Skills (what you know). Physical attributes determine the basic success in
Action Related Skills (your know-how).

Based on attributes we determine the being's PASSIONS:
The Passions result from the relation between the physical and the
spiritual aspects of the character. The passions afect his feelings. They
result from the relation between pairs of attributes. Like the relation
between attributes and characteristics, their relation to attributes is not
deterministic. Their value his also influenced by the life of the
character. They are:
Individualism - How much the character needs independence or needs others
on his life. Based on Charisma and Strengh.
Sensuality - How much the character is affected by the feeling of pleasure.
Based on Spiritual perception and Physical perception.
Courage - How much the character is affected by the feeling of danger.
Based on Power and Agility.
Possession - How much the character is affected by the feeling of property.
Based on Aura and Resistance.
Decision -How much the character needs to ponder before feeling able to
act. Based on Reflection and Self-control.

I think that this system of characteristics, attributes, and passions
allows us to represent the different aspects of the mundane plane and the
other planes in Glorantha. It reserves a greater place to non physical
characteristics and opens new ways to deal with the richness of magical and
personality factors present in our loved world.

Best,

Sergio Mascarenhas

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