Re: The Glorantha Digest V5 #208

From: George W. Harris (
Date: Thu 06 Nov 1997 - 00:00:53 EET

> > Axe Trance: if she's at 90% skill anyway, how often > does she
>miss? And her axe doesn't impale.

        I may misremember, but doesn't RQ3 have slashing weapons do max
damage on a roll of 1/5 skill? So that point is germane?

>>But can critical: all the criticisms I've seen of that spell have
>involved driving the crit % to obscene levels.
>OK, let's take it to the limit.

        <taking to the limit snipped>

        *Why* take it to the limit? The less extreme case is the more usual
case; a BG priestess with 15-20 points of stored MP won't be terribly
unusual, which could result in an extra 10% critical, and an extra 40%
special. Granted, that's 15-20 points that won't be used on spirit magic,
but the priestess has the option of using the full 20 or just 4; other cults
don't have that flexibility.

> >Great Parry: attack twice, use missile weapons, or rely on
>magic and
> >you've bypassed it. For that matter any shield with AP stronger
> >your attack is as good as a Great Parry.
>George Harris:
>>Attack twice, and Babs' attack (which you can't parry) comes before
>your second.
> Why are you attacking her one-on-one? Are you some kind of
>idiot? Gang up on her. She can kill (at most) one of you a round, and

>probably not even that many. Note that missile weapons, magic,
>elementals, etc. are effective as hell even when you don't have superior

        If we're comparing the relative effectiveness of warriors in
different cults, then they should be compared in similar situations; a BG
priestess is no more helpless than a Humakt Sword or ZZ Deathlord when
ganged up on.

> >Slash: is one woman with an 8d6 Axe attack as useful as 5
> >Humakti?
>>Why one against 5? Are five women with 3d6 Axe attack as useful as five
>Truesworded Humakti? How about five women with 4d6 attack as opposed to
>five Humakti with Truesword & Shield? Pretty much a wash.
> In answer to your questions: Because an 8d6 axe requires 5 Slash
>spells, which are equal to 5 Trueswords.

        Yes, and five warm bodies that are priestesses of BG are equivalent
to five warm bodies that are Swords of Humakt; if you insist on comparing
one vs. five, how about five BG preistesses with 3d6 Axe attack vs. one
Humakt Sword with five uses of Truesword? Or *one* BG priestess with 8d6
attack vs. one Humakt Sword with five uses of Truesword? The strength of
Slash is that it is *stackable*; since additional points give damage that is
less likely to be stopped by armor (counting as marginal costs), then
successive points are more useful; with Truesword, you can't use more than
one point at a time. The BG has that option, or the option of using all at
once; more flexibility.

>No, because the Humakti are doing 4d8 damage each and their swords are
>less likely to break on a fumble (because of the Rune magic on them),
>and a sword is better than an axe if damage factors are equal (because
>it's likelier to damage the axe than vice versa).

        If the Humakti are using greatswords, attack the sword; then they
can't parry *or* attack. They're also extremely vulnerable to missile

> Yes, but that's exactly my point. Slash ISN'T better than
>Truesword, point for point. It's just another spell.
> A single boosted Mindblast and
> >your Female Death Machine is out of action.

        A single boosted Mindblast and *any* warrior is out of action.

>>Well, unless she's cast Berserk, which makes her immune to
>mind-affecting magic...
> If she's Berserk, her vaunted Great Parry is no longer of
>concern, and you can substitute the words "Sever Spirit", "Lightning",
>"Sun Spear" etc. for "Mindblast" at your leisure.

        Again, she has the flexibility of a greater variety of spells;
Berserk when needed; Great Parry when needed; Shield when needed; stackable
damage boosting magic, and an essentially unlimited Bless Axe matrix.

> >The Berserk attacks twice a round since he can't parry anyway
> >pretty much cancels out the Great Parry), and gets +8 armor,
> >cancels out the 2 points of Slash. I'd bet on him in any fair
>>He can't attack the same target twice,
> Certainly he can, even if you stick to the RQ4 rules - he just
>wields two separate weapons, which is normal Storm Bull fighting
>technique when berserk.

        Which, of course, Babs could do too; and the Berserk Storm Bull
doesn't have the option of parrying. Storm Khan: bastard sword with
Bladesharp 4 attacks, 1d10+5+1d4, parried by Great Parried shield. Babs:
Axe with Slash 3, pumped Axe trance, 5d6+1d4, good chance of special for
3d6+1d4+12, no parry, the Storm Khan's off-hand attack even if it does get a
chance to swing probably won't get through her Shield-boosted armor.

>David Cake:
>>Just to rub in the superiourity of BG to Storm Bull - the Storm Bull is
>completely incapacited after his Berserk >finishes, at -100 fatigue, but
>the BG priestess has access to Invigorate, which restores all fatigue
> Storm Bull is an Ally of both Ernalda & Chalana Arroy, hence has
>plenty of access to all the spells he needs.

        Can have others cast them on him, yes, but cannot cast them himself;
BG can.

>>). It's just that Babs has access to virtually *all* the useful combat
>magic - Slash, Axe Trance, Shield, Berserk, >Great Parry, Invigorate -
>so that Babs can be the ultimate combat machine. Not that there's
>anything wrong with >that, but don't pretend it's not true.
> I'm not pretending anything. Babs is NOT the ultimate combat
>machine. A Babeester Gor warrior doesn't get any more POW to buy her
>Runespells with than anyone else. If a Gor maiden gets 10 points of rune
>magic, and <insert cult name> gets 10 points of Rune magic, the latter
>will be roughly as tough as she will, though he may be less flexible.

        It's the flexibility that's key, as well as the stackable nature of
the damage-boosting magic and the no-ceiling nature of Axe Trance. Anything
that another cult can do, Babs can do as well.

>She might cast Slash, Axe Trance, Great Parry, and Shield 5, while he
>only gets Shield 10, but that's hardly a totally ineffectual result from
>his point of view.

        Nobody's claiming that other cults are ineffectual; it's just that
Babs can match their weapons with the same, or use another strategy if

        It may be true that other cults are better able to use mass
formations in close-order drill on the battlefield; however, that situation
is less frequently the focus of role-playing sessions, which tend to lean
more towards the lone warrior one-on-one types of battles, and that's
precisely the situation in which BG can meet all comers.

- --
Doesn't the fact that there are *exactly* 50 states seem a little suspicious?

George W. Harris


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