Re : Making peoples' minds up with magic

From: simon_hibbs@lycosmail.com
Date: Mon 27 Mar 2000 - 19:41:40 EEST


Cian Dorr :

>I came back to Glorantha recently after many years' absence to play the
>game King of Dragon Pass. The game got me thinking about the kinds of
>things one can expect to achieve with magic in Glorantha....

This sounds interesting.

> ...My sworn enemy does an 'Issaries the Conciliator' heroquest, and
>suddenly I am willing to forget my determination to revenge his latest
>outrage; I turn up at his doorstep bearing gifts and asking to end the
>feud. How strange! If I found out that my change of heart was not after
>all due to myself, but rather to my enemy's trip to the God Plane, I must
>say I would be enraged, and would immediately resume the feud with
>redoubled ferocity. And if I didn't, those who knew me would have to
>conclude that I was no longer myself, but had been taken over like a
>puppet;

Without knowing the details of the Issaries the Conciliator quest, I
very much doubt it works the way you describe. At least, that's not
how something like that would work in a game I would run. In a combat
heroquest you prove your ability by defeating an enemy. You have to
_be_ tough. In a conciliation quest you have to _be_ peacefull and of
good intentions. The quest is a way of proving your honesty to your
enemy to the point where your enemy knows for a fact that your
intentions are good, and that if he remains hostile to you it is for
no just or honourable reason. It's not a trick, you actualy have to
_be_ honest to pull it off and offer just recompense for past wrongs,
or demonstrate that a cleaning of the slate would be best for both
parties.

As a player character, or even a major personality NPC, you could
choose to act against the effects of the heroquest, but in doing so
you would be proving yourself to be mean-spirited. You, and everyone
else including your kin, would know for a fact that you are being
unfair and unreasonable, acting contrary to the laws and traditions
of your people. Also, the target of a heroquest does take part in
the quest in a magical way. The orlanthi Summons of Evil actual
sommons the evil thing you want to defeat and you might fail to
defeat it. Likewise an issaries the Conciliator quest itsn't
guaranteed to succeed.

>I can imagine nothing more alien to my modern Western mind than the
>psychology of a person who would not be concerned to learn that their
>feelings and actions were under the direct influence of the magic of
>others....

And yet us westerners commonly trust our entire worldly wealth to
others based on a few scribbles on a form, our only token of
ownership being a few flimsy bits of plastic. To an Orlanthi this
would be insanity. What proof do you have of a Bank's honesty? Do
you know these people personaly? I've never even met my bank
manager, how can I possibly trust him?

Issaries trader magic cuts both ways. It sets up a reliable bond of
trust between trader and client, guaranteed by magical pacts.
Traders can cut tough deals, and even make big profits, but they
are not thieves. They are magicaly held to the bargains they make
just as much as their customers, which is why people will
give them good deals - the extra security is worth it.

Simon Hibbs

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