many things

From: David (
Date: Wed 04 Feb 1998 - 05:56:34 EET

        A marathon message, I'm afraid, with my replies to two weeks worth
of digest all in one. I had a lovely time at GloranthaCon in Melbourne, and
on holiday the week afterwards. But two weeks is the longest I've been away
from email in years!

>The five elements may
>not have a _central_ position in Pelorian philosophy,
>but it's rather hard to not recognize something which
>has undeniable physical manifestations aka elementals.

        I think the idea of five neatly categorised 'elementals' is a
Malkioni/God Learner thing. The rest of the world knows of many many types
of elemental spirits, but not all of them fit into the neat elemental
categories. The classic elemental in the rules is one type, but many
elementals people actually summon differ substantially, either by adding
intelligence, spells, etc, or looking very different (some salamanders look
like lizards, some like humanoids, some just like pillars of fire, for
example) or by having very different powers. Most people would think of
spirits like whirlvishes or river horses as being 'elementals', even though
there stats are very different. And many of the elementals actually
summoned are different. I think, for example, that Valind sylphs are
generally spirits of the freezing winds or blizzards, and as such are
always extremely cold, and combine the freezing effects of shades with
sylph stats.

Thomas said
>Wouldn't it be nice for your players to
>kill the Prince of Sartar ?

        Absolutely not, smashing chap, dreadfully nice. I was Issaries at
his wedding ritual, you know, and he gave me the nicest scroll about Iron
Statuary, and made me Rabbit seller by Royal Appointment. (if you want to
know more, check out MOBs web page, which has the writeups from Home of the
Bold - plug plug!!).

Stephen says
>Pamaltelan myth talks about a time when ALL of Pamaltela was
>green and growing, and was full of open plains where the Doraddi could
>walk (as opposed to only half of the current continent).

        Ah, but things were much worse then for the Doraddi. Even the
Doraddi people had not learnt to walk the Right Footpath yet, and lived in
cities <spit> and rode beasts <spit> and the tyrant Artmal ruled the land.
How could things be better when the god of the foolish blue people ruled,
or those other foolish old gods! People were less happy then. Now that
Pamalt has come, everything is much better. The land was greener then, but
that pleased only the elves. The Nargan was instead the great land of the
blues, but that pleased only Artmal and his people. Now the best people
have the best land and are happy, and the best god is the chieftain. It is
better than before.
        Of course, Artmals time was better than when Vovisibor came - but
the time after Pamalt defeated Vovisibor is better than either.

Mikko, on the same subject
> I can't remember anything about the Doraddi at the moment tough, but I
>bet even they have myths and beliefs about the long gone days of power
>when gods and spirits walked with men and gread deeds changed the face of
>the world.

        The Doraddi certainly believe the 'Golden Age' was a time of great
deed changing the face of the world, gods walking among men, and so forth.
They just also believe it was a time of oppression, and people behaving in
bad ways because they didn't know any better.

Nils on Dendara
>Sky or air? Sky goddess she was
>all the time, being Yelm's spouse, having the Light
>rune in GoG etc. And isn't one of the conclusions of
>the Entekosiad that Dendara isn't _quite_ Entekos?

        The Pelorians/ Pelandans don't quite see the distinction. She has a
planet, so she is a sky goddess. She also brings the rain, and controls the
winds, these things obviously emanating down from the sky.
        One answer to the question 'is Entekos Dendara?' is 'Yes, but the
Yelmics split her into two'. But the answer is a lot closer to yes than no.

Nick on Sheng
>Secondly, a fair amount of Sheng Seleris' power and backing came
>from Kralorela, where he occupied extensive lands throughout the
>period of his campaigns in Peloria. Indeed, it'd be fair to see him
>as primarily a Kralori historic figure, with occasional distractions
>in Peloria.

        Indeed, it is possible to read the whole Sheng Seleris epic from a
Kralori point of view - Sheng spends more time fighting the Dragon Emperor
than the Red, and is less successful, and the Kralori eventually deal with
him as they always deal with their great mythic enemies - you exile them
from Kralorela, and they don't really care what happens after that, though
meeting another warlike barbaric ruler and perishing in a brutal magical
combat certainly does seem like an appropriate end for such a horrible

and Martin King reveals
>The cradle adventure was one of my primary motivations for playing RQ.
>I've always wanted to play it. Haven't done it yet.

        You may get your wish sometime. I still want to run it myself, so
Roland Greydog may yet stand on the deck repelling the wyvern riders -
providing he ever finishes that heroquest, of course.

Peter Metcalfe on science in Glorantha/RPGs
>It exists when it serves to illuminate some facet about Glorantha
>or for Maximum Game Fun purposes or maintains some links with the
>real world that allows a player to get a handle (ie gravity exists
>because zero-g roleplay is far too bizarre).

        Unfortunately, Peter, as someone who has had to study Freud, I find
the idea of a world where Freudian psychology accurately represents how
your average humans think to be completely and utterly bizarre.... I find
a zero-G campaign to be a fair bit easier to imagine (ie the Smoke Ring by
Larry Niven).

        So I'm afraid I hate the use of Freudian psychology in Glorantha
because I hate it in the real world too. I also think the phrasing 'trolls
have only id' actually says far more than what is meant - it implies the
abscence of conscious thought. Trolls in general emphasise what we think of
as the id more, and the superego less (though the ego, through fear, often
performs the social functions that we think of as being performed by the
superego, through guilt - trolls actively censor the behaviour of others by
the threat of violence where humans would self-censor through shame). But
they possess all three. Nevertheless, the 'trolls=id, dwarves=ego,
elves=superego' remains as good a description of their racial psychology as
you are likely to get in a single sentence.

Erik asks
>Well, I'll avoid breaking the rules by asking a question: I don't own
>the Dragon Pass boardgame - what the heck does the Dwarf's Alchemical
>Thingamajig do? And I do not mean exact game effects, but what it is
>supposed to do in Glorantha?

        In the Dragon Pass game, it increased the magical abilities of its
users, doubling some magic stats. IMO, it is capable of mass producing
substances such as the magical potions from RQ2, that grants spells, extra
MPs, and so on, or even something with effects like the strange Mee Voralan
fungal potions (ok, it produces kool-aid rather than mushrooms, but the
effects are similar enough....), thus greatly enhancing your magicians
abilities. I imagine it could also be used to produce less obviously combat
useful, but equally valuable and magical, materials in times of peace. Only
with such a device could you hope to produce enough magical potions (in a
short enough time that they do not spoil) that you can supply your whole
magical unit with adequate supplies. All such potions spoil quickly enough
that no one has stockpiles - unless using magical means such as Stabilise
Potion or the Alchemists Flasks, of course, which are also impractical to
sustain on a large scale.
        To one truly wise in the ways of alchemy, it can create all sorts
of mysterious substances with effects the rest of use can only speculate
on, including whatever silliness you feel like letting into your game, from
Silly Putty and polymers to the Fixed Mercury or the Waters of Iron.
        An item like the Alchemical Transormer is capable of being created
only by a true QuickSilver Mostali or Diamond Dwarf, and most such would
balk at doing anything so experimental (indeed, almost Individualist). The
Quicksilver Mostali Isidilian the Wise, with his known Individualist
sympathies, is one of the few such in Glorantha, and only one who was also
OpenHandist (again, like Isidilian) would ever consider letting humans even
see the thing, let alone lending it to them. It is thus effectively quite

and for another fantasic item, Peter on Hunter-Seekers
>I was thinking of the Hunter-Seeker in Dune. In gloranthan terms,
>it would be a levitating dagger that seeks out its victims by
>earthsense. The blade will probably be enchanted with magic poison.

        There is an interesting variation on the theme in the movie 'The
Shadow', a supremely nasty looking flying dagger. As an aside, its
relatively straightforward to create such a thing using the standard
sorcery familiar rules, though its difficult enough that only a sorcerer
who was really enthusiastic about having his flying dagger murder people
would probably bother.

Ken says
> With the slim pickins as far as Dinos are concerned,it makes me wonder why
>two of the most-often-seen-in-PopCulture Dinos;the Tyrannosaurus rex and the
>Triceratops are apparently nowhere to be found.Seems like quite a gaff to

        The Triceratops is well known, though not in Prax. They appear in
Dragon Pass (the boardgame and the place). They are known to be
domesticated as war beasts by the Dragonnewts (WF14 is one reference, ES
another). They are among the stupidest, but most dangerous physically, of
the dinosaurs - and are particularly dangerous if they have a few poleaxe
armed dragonnewts on the top.... They exist in Dragon Pass, I do not think
they exist in Prax, and they may also exist in Peloria. I know their stats
were written up, but I can't remember where.

        Pteranodons are known as well, they exist in Dragon Pass and I'm
not sure where else. And Trachodons, who are probably much the same thing
as the largest size magisaurs, and are found both in Dragon Pass and in the
Zola Fel valley for sure, and probably many other places as well.
        The number of dinosaurs in the Dragon Pass region may only be
coincidental, but is probably due to dinosaurs being created by dragonnewts
who take a wrong route on the dragon path.

Peter replying to Panu
>> Why the humans would not have accepted the elder race culture? This
>> makes definite distinction to most fantasy worlds, AFAIK. The elder
>> races, after all, are elder and thus wiser.
>Hmm we should become like the Neanderthals or the Dinosaurs? Elder
>does not automatically mean wiser by any stretch of the imagination.

        Yes it does, Peter! You came so close to the truth, we SHOULD
become like dinosaurs! Embrace the truth of Saurintology! Older is wiser!
Get in touch with your inner dinosaur!


                Dave-asaurus, follower of Saurintology
        (anyone who has seen my dinosaur collection knows this to be true)


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