Running hard to catch up...

From: Entropy needs no maintenance (STEVEG@ARC.UG.EDS.COM)
Date: Mon 15 Feb 1993 - 04:49:09 EET



Cultists on their travels (or how long is your POWer cord?)


A question that has always puzzled me - your intrepid adventurers, Humakti, Storm Bulls and the like having made home to hot to handle, head off to Balazar to work through Griffin Mountain... Except, how do they manage when they can't find a weekly worship service to attend? In fact, any long-distance ventures must be severely hampered by the lack of any spiritual states than "good standing" and "lapsed to the point of dismissal".

In practice common for cults in the Sartar/Prax area, if you travel only locally, you can probably expect to find a congregation in time for the next seasonal holy day, but with a mixed party (e.g. one each of Yelmalio, Yelorna, Orlanth, Gustbran, Babeester Gor, Odayla, to take an actual example from play) those important days are comin up every week or two, restricting travel ranges.

This seems to me like a better sort of topic for RQ4 to deal with than tweaking damage bonuses.

The Ministry of Truth bulletin:-


"The Yelmalio cult was imported intentionally by the rulers of Pavis in the year 875 to help against barbarian raiders" -- Cults of Prax (Invader gods)

Comments on The RuneQuest Daily, Mon, 15 Feb 1993

RQ != Glorantha


And the players do with the mechanics after buying them is their own affair. After all, back in the late '70s there were a fair number of folk who used RQ for the mechanics for their own worlds; and some heat was raised over the "one true world" issue, with folk at pains to say that playing RQ meant Glorantha as much as D&D meant Greyhawk or Arduin Grimoire meant Arduin - which is to say only as much as you want.

Note that Avalon Hill gets revenues from non-Gloranthan RQ products, but not from any other similar system. The choice whether to publish a given product would then be a separate marketing issue - would the project make an adequate return on investment?

Personally, I feel the non-Gloranthan issue is a bit of a red herring - the non-Glorantha players probably took or left RQ3 as they felt; but to those who were more interested in Glorantha, the diversion into rewriting the rules rather than supporting what was there proved more of a disruption than the provision by Chaosium of related-system material.

And surely there _was_ a failure in marketing information that suggested that enough folk would buy a radically overhauled system (at enormous expense) to create more revenuse than a supply of supplementary $12 books or $18 boxes. Little market led to smaller support and a speculative market in out of print material.

If we'd had Gloranthan material coming off the presses since '85 as fast as it has been in the last six months, we could have laughed off all the Eldorads and such like as just the inevitable duds one always tends to get. They just wouldn't be an issue.

But then I think we'd have been better off with GURPS Glorantha in '85, rather than RQ3 (after all GURPS worldbooks are often bought for use with other systems, and we could have just used the system-free material).

Time travel???



> From: STEVEG@ARC.UG.EDS.COM (Entropy needs no maintenance)
> Subject: High&Low, A&E, Yelorna, Trivia
> Message-ID: <01GUQBWPM12A00074T@UG.EDS.COM>
> Date: 14 Feb 93 16:22:33 GMT

        but I sent the message at Date: 15-FEB-1993 08:21:36.61 GMT!


There now follows a miscellany of catch-up postings (some of which seem to have been lost in the ether), and some other trivia at the end

About 30-50% of my postings seem to go astray, so I'm going to start a policy of attaching to each response a re-transmit of anything > 48hrs old which hasn't yet surface. I hope this doesn't result in too much duplication (at least not much more than already happens with quotations to give context to replies)

These are comments regarding "The Runequest Daily, Wed, 10 Feb 1993"

Horses


> I remember from Cults of Prax (I think), that horses can not get any
> nourishment from the plains of Prax - supposedly because they were not
> part of Waha's Compact.

I don't recall this (the implication being that the restrictions are primarily social rather than myth-ecological); but it certainly seems a reasonable extension at first sight, provided you restrict the Pol Joni folk in the marchlands between Sartar and Prax (who are horse riding, cattle herding folk) to the areas beyond the GodTime boundary of Prax (the edge of the chaparral country where Oakfed had eaten the trees).

The necessary side effect is that, apart from those cheating Morokanth, none of the other sentient races(*) - ducks, dwarves, elves, trolls - should be able to derive sustenance from Prax either. Presumably Pavis' victory over Waha grants an exception for the city of Pavis (as defined by the area in which is cult has power), thus allowing the various denizens of the Rubble who would otherwise have been starved out.

The thing that crocks an otherwise nice idea is the effect on wildlife - birds, small mammals (the sort of things that are part of the desert scenery, as well as the things that old-time RQ2ers like myself are accustomed to being used for binding spirits into) also fall outside the Waha list of beasts (at least as I interpret it the participants are those beasts herded by the various tribes).

(*) I am prepared to expect dragonewts to be an exception to any general rule.

RuneMetals



> planetary association with Tin

My reasoning ran along the lines of Jupiter = storm-king = Orlanth; thus Jupiter's metal in this world and Orlanth's in Glorantha whould be as cognate as the two things labelled iron.

> did Tin do anything amusing under RQ2 rules?

At RQ2 nothing but iron had unique fancy abilities The utility was as

    any enchanted rune metal = bronze+ability to hit lycanthropes

	  	 iron        = enchanted rune metal+reduced ENC+double damage
  			       vs trolls & aldryami

Sidestepping predestination


Comparing and contrasting Glorantha and the "official history" thereof, with another privately created world of similar long standing, and stature as an "official campaign world" for a published RPG (though lacking the mythic quality), with its own imposed history leads me to propose two ways of handling the dilemma posed by wanting to do your own thing and at the same time following the official material through significant historical events with widespread repurcussions. (Out of deference to those displaying delicate sensibilities, I refrain from mentioning specifics or drawing explicit parallels.)

  1. Accept it and stay close to the action -

Make Argrath the NPC about whom the characters gathered; but in your world he might be little more than a figurehead when the time came for the overthrow of the Lunar yoke - convenient because of his ancestry as a token in the power game, and in whose name the actions of the characters might be remembered - and in whose name the characters might act after his safe installation on the throne.

In fact, the need to keep Argrath safe until he can be kicked upstairs into the kingship provides a neat game-mechanical way to keep the PCs in the limelight : Argrath is too valuable to take troll-hunting (or whatever), stays at home, gathers skills & POW more slowly than his entourage - perhaps doesn't ever heroquest, lacking the level of abilities required.

2) The Hero Wars are someone else's problem (though they may trigger other troubles)

How might we apply this tack to the Hero Wars? Well, we can interpret some of the material from _King of Sartar_ quite narrowly, as referring to local (Pelorian and/or Manirian at broadest extent) disruptions - if Dragon Pass could remain shunned for centuries after the Dragonkill, so a larger area, centred on Dragon Pass might be after the fall of the Lunar Empire. All the chroniclers named in _KoS_ might well be from a small, isolated (perhaps by magical? Lunar? "fallout"(*)) pocket of civilsation in these shunned lands, the Illiteracy merely a local breakdown.

In this view of things, we follow the history of some other part of the world, to which the fall of some distant empire across the mountains is but a herald's rumour (**); and the passing of Argrath's entourage on his westfaring a significant episode - the characters interacting with this when their paths happen to require interaction with Lightbringer myth. There would be other mundane effects from the movement of peoples and armies in Dragon Pass that would affect the campaign area, but the focus might be any one of the other Hero Wars period events discussed in the Glorantha/Genertela box, and which would be regarded by the peoples of that area as the _real_ Hero Wars.

(*) Lunar fallout - given the chaos taint of the Red moon, if great chunks of this material (and many smaller fragments) fell to Earth, the effects of the bombardment might well resemble that of saturation nuclear warfare, at least locally (to which the 1950s-SF style of mutant can be added, by virtue of chaotic emanations.

(**) Spot the motivation for looking at other parts of the world than the distressingly uncivilised areas of Prax and Sartar, on which there has been altogether too much emphasis.

These are comments regarding "The Runequest Daily, Fri, 05 Feb 1993"

Spells in Sun County


> why do Invictus, Vega and all the Templars have Mobility when it is not a > cult spell?

Probably it reflects the local playing style of the group of whose campaign the pack is essentially a write-up - something along the lines of "this is a useful spell, all the players think so, so high-level NPCs will have thought so too..." (the usual problem in generating such characters - how do you make them credible without reinforcing the worst minimaxing of the most survivable PCs).

Maybe also, it's a relic of the RQ2/RQ3 transition - before RQ3 (may it rot in hell for killing stone dead RQ at the height of its popularity) almost all battle magic was open to everyone, and the official conversion procedure doesn't do anything except detail spells that have been withdrawn at the current release.

Ceremonies


> "Also, on a side note, Garhound seemed to conveniently have a large number

> of earth-related priestesses and acolytes standing around. I assumed they
> came from other villages/areas, but the author also didn't speak to this.
> I assumed this to be reasonable, since, after all, the Lunar Governor is
> coming to what I first read as a podunk little festival. Then again, when
> I think about it, I guess it's not unlikely that the governor of New Mexico
> might show up at the Hillsboro Apple Festival or the governor of Texas
> heading down to Terlingua for the chili cook-off. Any comments?"

The idea of the Lunar (imposed from above) governor coming out to "press the flesh" is FAR too late-20th century. The appearance of so many significant personages in such a no-horse town is redolent of being "for the purposes of the story". Provided it doesn't break the suspension of disbelief, though, it can pass.

But what local personages might there be who would turn out?

A Sartar-derived culture might expect to have a priest of Orlanth or a priestess of Ernalda in about the same position in the community as the Christian priest of a Saxon settlement, so for the major ceremony of the area, folk from any of the smaller villages about might well turn up. It is plausible that a priest in the comparable position to a bishop might make a visit at such a time - thus explaining an Ernalda priestess from Pavis, perhaps even with a small retinue of Axe maidens (Babeester Gor initiates).


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