Re: Making peoples' minds up with magic

From: Alex Ferguson (abf@yeats.ucc.ie)
Date: Sat 08 Apr 2000 - 03:12:13 EEST


Cian Dorr:
> 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!

I don't think it really works that way. Firstly, I think that it'd
work best as a 'honest broker' style of ritual, where the quester
is not a directly interested party, but is trying to reconcile two
other warring parties to each other. And I think the effect is
manifest not so much as 'enforce deal as I'd like it to be done',
as 'discern the deal that might be doable'. The parties can then
doubtless manage to undo it all over again, left to their own devices.
(Why am I thinking George Mitchell here...?)

> 'Runequest', from what I remember, is compatible my image of a world in
> which magic to affect peoples' minds is a rare thing, whose targets would
> certainly not be happy about it. On the other hand, what I have seen of
> 'Hero Quest' tends to go the other way: the devotees of trader gods run
> around performing the feats 'Convince buyer' and 'Convince seller', the
> devotees of gods having to do with leadership have feats for getting their
> way in negotiations, and so on.

I don't think of such things as being 'mind affecting', but rather
as 'glibness enhancing'. You're not casting them on the _buyer_, but
on yourself, who you then try to convince with the smoothness of your
patter, and the honest, expansive nature of your extravagent mediterranean
arm-gestures, etc. Imagine a magic that could turn the man in
the street into Richard Branson; or Richard Branson into an actually
credible business person. ;-) (If running for political office, it'd
turn you into a plain old country boy, it seems, at least in many an
electoral district.) It doesn't need to be sure-fire ('convincing
retailer... must... resist!'), just make enough of a difference, enough
of the time, to improve the 'bottom line'.

This is in the grand tradition of Glorantha magic, note: back in RQ2
were were told that the Gods 'prefer' not to do wholesale creation,
like a blazing aetheric sword that leaps at your opponent all of its
own devices, but rather 'work with what you've got', a la Bladesharp,
Fireblade, and the like. (Or indeed, Glamour.) Hero Wars just
extends the same principle somewhat more widely.

Cheers,
Alex.

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