POW a many-splendoured thing?

From: David Cake (davidc@cyllene.uwa.edu.au)
Date: Tue 21 Oct 1997 - 00:00:23 EEST


>Very similar to the different Ka stats in Nephilim. I think this is an
>interesting idea, and had considered it as a possible basis for
>Heroquesting. In addition to standard POW (equivalent to Sun-Ka),
>heroquestors could develop Darkness POW, Water POW, Earth POW, Sky POW,
>and Air POW, upon which some of their HQ abilities might depend. Thus, an
>old Orlanthi heroquestor might have a high Air POW, even though his own
>POW is relatively low in game terms.

        After just rubbishing the idea that inspired this comment, I have
to say I am in full agreement with this. Many musings along these lines on
my web page.
        I do have a few caveats, though.
        The main one is that most human magic is powered by human POW, the
POW that you are born with, and this Pow is not Fire Pow, Air Pow, or
anything, but Human POW. Even a Rune Lord of Yelm has human POW, not Fire

POW. So for most people its not a big change.
        I also wouldn't restrict it to Elemental, or even runic, categories.
        But when you get into heroquesting and advanced magic, then it
really starts to come into its own. You can have fetches and spirits and
magic items with different sorts of POW. Also, assume that different sorts
of POW are useful for different sorts of things. Not all POW might be
useful for resisting spirit magic, or resisting spirit attacks, or using as
MP reservoir, or it might be by type - Fire POW might only be useful for
casting Fire spells, and might only defend against Elemental magic.
        It has lots of benefits
1) you can give people high POW things, as you would expect for
heroquesting, without it totally throwing your game out. Someone who has a
lot of Darkness POW in a fetch/spirit/item might find it quite useless for
resisting Lunar Madness, or whatever. This gives high powered magic a more
tactical feel, and allows you to play around with high-powered magic
without dooming your game.
2) It makes the varying properties of the various spirits a bit more
natural seeming.
3) It gives you a lot of interesting twists to add to magic in general.
        Anyway, more thoughts at http://www.cwr.uwa.edu.au/~cake/glorantha.html

Also, while on the whole magic rules topic, TPFKAHM, Rich Ohlson, writes
>I'd like to see rules where deist
>spirit magic was different from shamanic spirit magic.

        I don't. I think deist magic in Glorantha (and generally in the
real world) evolves from shamanist practices, and most Gloranthan theist or

shamanic religions still have significant amounts of both approaches, to
differing degress. I'd like to see the two systems actually moved closer
together (for example, by abolishing a separate Spell Teaching spell, and

just having spell teaching be something you do by summoning cult spirits).

        Cheers

                David

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