Magic again

From: Stephen Martin (
Date: Tue 21 Oct 1997 - 07:35:14 EEST

Replies to a few of David Cake's comments.

1. In reaction to my suggestion of the possibility of different flavors
of POW for heroquesting:

>I also wouldn't restrict it to Elemental, or even runic, categories.

I tentatively agree, though I would suggest that runic categories would
be the most common, and elemental categories would be the most common of

Greg Stafford once said he thought that the Nephilim game was originally
written by someone as an attempt to create Heroquest from RQ, and that it
just ended up evolving differently.

2. Also,David reacts to Rich Ohlson:
>>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
>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,
>just having spell teaching be something you do by summoning cult

Actually, I have objected from the start to the use of cult spirits for
Spellteaching -- I much preferred the RQ2 procedure, where the priest had
a spell, and spent the time in meditation with the student, who came away
knowing the spell. I think Spell Spirits work great for shamanic Spirit
Magic, but don't like their use for cult-derived Blessings (as I call

I think the difference between human magic and divine magic is very clear
cut, though the tradition in which it is learned (shamanic, divine cult,
sorcerous) will by default affect the exact mechanics which the human
uses. Thus my earlier suggestion that cult-derived Blessings not rely on
POW x5% for casting.

One of the things I like about this multi-mechanical system is that it
explains why the peasants in the West go to bush shamans for magic, even
though it is illegal to most Malkioni sects -- they might only know Low
Magic at 20%, and so any spell they learn legally (i.e., from the local
clergyman) will be cast at that level. But, if they can find a shaman to
teach them Plowsharp, they can learn it at their POW x5%! Similarly, few
initiates will bother going to shamans for Spirit Magic, as their casting
chance will be lower (POWx5%) than their cult blessings (which I would
suggest are like Divine Magic, and work on a roll of 01-95).

Stephen Martin
- -----------------------------------------------
The Book of Drastic Resolutions


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