the BGs discussion continues to stay alive

From: David Cake (davidc@cyllene.uwa.edu.au)
Date: Thu 06 Nov 1997 - 11:38:51 EET


>With the Babeester Gor cult, you end up with a very small number
>of very elite warriors who have no personal lives.

        Actually, according to the rules the Babeestor Gor tend less
towards having a hard core of the elite than most other cults, because it
is a lot easier to qualify to be an acolyte of Babeestor Gor than it is to
become a Sword or Storm Khan or Death Lord of whatever, and you are not
required to be a master of multiple combat skills in order to do so.
        Personally, I think the only reasons that the Babeester Gor cult
according to the rules is not the foremost warrior cult of Glorantha are
nowhere indicated in the cult description. The main reason they are not the

most feared warriors is that most of their members are human females, so
they are not as individually imposing as members of comparable cult. The

reasons they are not the most effective fighting force (by a long way) is
that they are almost entirely close-in infantry, and are also not well
trained to fight in battlefield conditions. And the reason that their rune
levels are not the most feared is that they are not common, and seldom
attack those who are not criminals (as compared to, say, Death Lords who
attack just about anyone and so are notorious, and Swords who are probably
involved in most conflicts in Theyalan societies, and so are famous).

Further nitpicks with Sandy
>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.

        If you assume you outnumber them, you can almost always win in RQ
Combat. Which means it is a silly assumption to make in a comparison. For
that matter, if the BGs outnumber anyone else, they will win as well. (Plus
anyway, Sandy, the main argument against your Storm Bull comparison still
stands - the spells you pick as the best Storm Bull choices are also
possessed by the BGs, and may not be their best choices. A compelling
argument for superiourity, hey?)

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

        And, of course, the BGs get the most combat effective elementals too!

And as for the Slash vs Truesword comparison
> Yes, but that's exactly my point. Slash ISN'T better than
>Truesword, point for point. It's just another spell.

        You are right, of course, in some ways, but wrong in others. A one
point slash is marginally worse than an average Truesword (getting you an
extra d6, whereas the average Truesword probably gets you an extra 1d8+1).
However, the point of comparing the 8d6 slash vs the truesword is still
valid in some other ways, as well, because a Humakti simply can't keep
boosting their damage up and up like the BGs can. The stackability is
another argument that, while a group of BGs is not necessarily better than
an equivalent group of any other cult (though they may be), the toughest
BGs are tougher individually than any of the other combat cults (and
acolytes and such are a relatively large %age of the cult).

>>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.

        A Sunspear or Thunderberbolt quite likely won't bring down someone
who is Berserk, especially with a Shield 4 up. Sure, they will be seriously
hurt, but probably not killed outright. A Sever Spirit will, but for
everyone but Humakt its a one use magic. Furthermore, the same arguments
could be applied against every other fighting cult which uses Berserk...
but for the Storm Bulls or Death Lords, Berserk is their one big trick,
while for the BGs its an option (Great Parry being another), plus the BGs
can combine Berserk with Invigorate and Axe Trance (which gives them a good
off-hand attack for that second attack).
        The BGs have a significant advantage in that they all have
effective magic, but may have very different effective magic. You can be
pretty sure that the Storm Khan or Death Lord will Berserk. But the BG
might Berserk, or might use Great Parry, or might use gnomes. Harder to
counteract.

>Babeester Gor warriors are, in fact, notoriously weak
>vs. magic-, missile-, or chaos-wielding foes, a weakness not shared by
>all combat cults.

        Babeestor Gor has access to the best elementals, and I have a
niggling feeling they get Fear as well? They can deal out the bad magic at
range if they want too. They aren't particularly well equipped to fight
Chaos, but who is except Storm Bull or Trolls? Just because they don't have
anti-chaos specific powers doesn't mean they are notoriously weak against
it. And I suspect they do get relatively poorly in missile combat, but
thats for non-rules reasons.

I said that the BGs are much better of post-Berserk than a Storm Bull
because they have Invigorate, and Sandy said
> Storm Bull is an Ally of both Ernalda & Chalana Arroy, hence has
>plenty of access to all the spells he needs.
        Hey, sure they can be patched up so they don't die, but thats a
weak attempt to change the subject, Sandy. A Storm Bull can't be ready to
fight again any time straight after Berserking, while a BG can. Add to that
that the BGs are allied to Ernalda too, and the CA spell the Storm Bulls
get is only useful against Chaos, and its still looking like the BGs have a
huge advantage there.

>>Add to that that it is an awful lot easier to become a priestess of BG
>than it is to become a Storm Khan
> Giving up marriage, being forced to eat jerked penises, and
>seriously scarifying your body are easy?

        And giving up polite society to hang out with berserks, being
regarded as an uncouth unwashed murderer, and being forced to race off into
danger at the slightest rumour of chaos is, just for example? And once you
have made those hard choices, the BG can be an acolyte relatively quickly
(so at least gets some payback in power and respect), the Storm Bull needs
to spend many years honing his fighting skills, years the majority of them
don't survive (or survive only through liberal application of healing
magics).

        In conclusion again, there are lots and lots of reasons why
Babeestor Gor isn't the most dangerous or feared or effective warrior cult
in Glorantha. However, none of these reasons are anywhere mentioned in the
cult description, and most of them are social or as a result of
effectiveness of BGs as a battlefield (rather than individual) force. And
even taking into account those reasons, the BGs rate right up there as a
fighting cult. As a result, the BGs probably ARE the most dangerous and
effective fighting cult for a PC member.
        Which just underlines one of the most important things about gaming
- - if you want to keep balance in your game, do so. Relying on the rules to
do so is futile. The BGs are merely the most obvious example in Glorantha.

        Cheers

                David

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