How Glorantha works, explained better (?)

From: Jane Williams (
Date: Mon 04 May 1998 - 00:19:47 EEST

Looking through the comments I got back, both on the Digest and by
private email, I can see I didn't explain that too well. (Sleep; I
remember that: must try it before writing, next time.)

I see Mundane Law and Mythic Law as, more often than not, agreeing about
the results (though not the reasons) for most things. The measurement of
the Sky Dome is an exception, and one that we've discussed recently. To
a very large extent, whether you use Mythic Law or Mundane Law to
describe events is like the wave/particle debate; you can still see, and
mirrors still work. But if your theory for some really obscure bit of
optics/Quantum Mechanics requires one or the other, that's what you use
for the sums.

I also very much doubt if anyone in Glorantha would ever try to use one
system or the other exclusively for their lives (at least, if they do,
they're Wrong). The exception to this would be things where Gloranthans,
not having C20 knowledge of Mundane Law, can only find the Mythic Law
reasons (Coriolis Force v. resemblance to Movement Rune, for instance).

We can add to the richness of Glorantha by coming up with Mythic Law
reasons for as much as possible, while (preferably) not contradicting
Mundane Law. And coming up with multiple contradictory reasons is a Good


In a very few cases, Mundane Law and Mythic Law disagree. Mundane Law
says that if you drop an apple, it falls. Mythic Law says "not if you
cast the right spell on it". Mundane Law says "do what?". Mythic Law
then starts arguing over whether you use Sorcery, Spirit Magic or Divine

Magic, and how those work in any case, but we still have a flying apple
where Mundane Law says it should have hit the ground. If we define Magic
as "things Mundane Law says are impossible", then we're getting
somewhere. Remembering of course the limitations of Gloranthan knowledge
of Mundane Law: some things they think are magic may not be. (My
13-year-old Pentan PC thinks locks and boats are magic: she may be

There are just a few really big things that Mundane Law says are
impossible. One of them is the existance of Glorantha.

I wonder: should I define Chaos as a third alternative?

Jane Williams


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