Re: How much for just the Resurrection?

From: Nick Brooke (Nick_Brooke@compuserve.com)
Date: Mon 26 Jan 1998 - 18:49:40 EET


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Fred asks some questions about Chalana Arroy healing.

Quick note: these look almost like "grudges" from an ongoing RQ game
("Why was I killed? Why wasn't I resurrected? Why did I have to pay?").
I'm sure this is deceptive, just as I'm sure that our opinions aren't
being sought merely for use as ammunition in a dispute with your GM.

> 1) What is the correct reward for a Heal spell?

The usual rates for Spirit Magic and Divine Magic spell-casting can
be found in the RQ3 Gamemaster's Book; most people would know these
(they're the "market rate"), and would be very pleased to receive
Healing for less. A Heal 6 would be charged at 6 Lunars to a close
friend, 60 Lunars to a stranger. A Resurrection has a notional cost
of 90 Lunars to a Chalana Arroy cultist, 300 Lunars to anyone else
friendly. Remember, 300 Lunars is a whole year's income for a peasant:
if that looks "rather cheap" in your game, consider how closely your
campaign aligns with the rates in RQ3, and adjust as appropriate.

See the section on "Payment for Services" in the full cult writeup
(ROC p.172) for more: this recommends "appropriately generous gifts"
for anyone saved from disease, poison, maiming or death by a Healer:
from half a year's milk production, to the foundation of an expensive
new temple...

> 2) Why should you pay if you can not afford it?

How can you "not afford it"? RQ3 explicitly states the value of
almost anything you can do: in work, in services rendered, in
equivalent value. The Healers have an obligation to heal -- they've
sworn an oath to do so. If you're brought back from death's door by
a Healer, you know full well that you ought to give her something
generous: if you *decide* not to, what kind of person are you? You're
a poor peasant (300 L/year), she's Resurrected you -- OK, you owe her
a year's work. What's so important that you'd rather have been left
dead to get on with it?

Nobody's saying your "payment" has to be in coinage: healers' halls
need cleaners, their kitchens need cooks, their larders need filling,
and these are all ways where almost *anyone* can afford to help out.
And if you're *really* so destitute that you can't spare a moment of
your time or toil for the Healer, maybe she'll set you another kind
of "payment" -- like moving yourself and your family off the no-good
land at Rotroot where you're starving to death up to rejoin the rest
of the clan, and patching up whatever old feud or falling-out it was
that left you in such an unsustainable place. OK, maybe that impacts
on your character concept and campaign goals; but it probably doesn't
do as much for them as being left dead would have done, does it, eh?

And if the Healer tells you to make your peace with the Lunars and
live quietly henceforth, as her "repayment" for bringing you back to
life (or curing your disease, or regrowing your sword arm, or whatever
it may be), what are you going to do? Thar's a Big Campaign Issue!

> 3) Why don't the White Ladies resurrect everyone they can, even poor
> peasants?

They do, if they can. With the caveat that (as we all know by now)
Resurrection is less common in "real" Glorantha than it appears from
the RQ rules, the Healers have no particular reason *not* to cast it
on anyone who would benefit -- and they certainly shouldn't have a
financial motive uppermost when granting or denying access to their
magics.

But consider how the peasant died. Old age? No point in Resurrection,
then; he'll be dead again before long. Fighting broo? Needs a *lot*
of other work, then, making sure he's cured of any diseases... this
will be trickier than a straight Resurrection; OTOH, it may be more
"deserved" (if someone dies protecting a Healer, or a community, the
Healers are more likely to work hard bringing them back). Just larking
around or getting into fights? Perhaps not worth healing: who knows
how short a time it'll be before they do it again? Died a few days
ago? Probably not worth it, again: the stat deterioration will mean
they're "better off dead" (either they're in Orlanth's Hall and
enjoying themselves, or else they're not in which case we shouldn't
be wasting valuable healing magics on them, should we, now?).

IMO, Healers would most likely save their Resurrections for obviously
worthy cases -- children killed in accidents, mothers dying in child-
birth, innocent victims of mayhem, slain warriors brought back from
the field of battle -- and not zap 'em off whenever they see a stiffy.
After all: Resurrection takes time and effort, and leaves you without
the use of the spell for half a week afterwards.

Sandy Petersen wrote a lengthy ecological piece about the number of
Resurrections castable in Boldhome, some years back: you may find it
with a search through old Digests. It took a rules-literalist approach
to the number of Healers, number of spells, etc., and asked what the
world would look like if everything worked the way it was described.
(Answer: pleasantly reasonable).

::::
Nick
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