Re: Shoes, ships, sealing wax, cabbages, kings

From: paul@phyast.pitt.edu
Date: Sun 23 May 1993 - 21:44:03 EEST


Paul Reilly here.

  Very interesting RQ Daily, I will try to reply to some of the points but may not get to everything today.

  I agree with Graeme Lindsell that Western Culture seems contradictory, but to me this is OK> I see the same sorts of contradictions when studying (e.g.) medieval Western European culture. For almost any general statement one tries to make you can find a counterexample from some place or time. Thus some Western philosophers may take the "impersonal forces" approach while others are more mystical or believe in the direct intervention of the Invisible God.

  Among the heresies of Ralios is there anything like Bogomilism?

  Graeme also writes about Jar-Eel. We also think that the 'culls' from the breeding program are interesting and one of our major characters (played by Finula McCaul) was such a cull: Arafel. (Araf-el; the "-els" are culls from the "-eels". We decided this after rolling up the character (on the 4d6-worst method): 18 POW, high INT, 18 APP, and SIZ 6! She looks a bit like a miniature version of Jar-Eel. She is also extremely loyal to the Empire and the Lunar Way rather than resentful. We think that if the 'culls' are raised properly they will be quite loyal. Arafel was also a bit cold and emotionless, lacking the Balance found in Jar-Eel.

  Sometime I should give a list of several 'culls' including White Lunies, etc.



POW gains and regaining Rune Spells:
  Someone out there must have a good idea for POW gains which we will all recognize as 'correct' when we see it. It should resonate with myths and folktales. It should be simple and playable. So if you have a good idea, post it, and if it gets enough Net support it could get into RQ IV.

  We toyed with the idea of enacting minor heroquests as the method of regaining Rune Spells. Normally this is done with much assistance in an organized way at an established temple (and not played through) but characters off in the wild could try it themselves in an emergency. Some cults like Trickster would almost always use this method. The demands placed on a Trickster wishing to use a spell are actually guidance for this quest. Once the initial task is done it is easier to regain the spell on your own with a similar quest.

  For example, a Eurmal holy spot exists in a city with Yelm worshippers; according to legend Eurmal stopped at the site in Godtime and lit a fire there with the fire he had got from the Sun. Now a Trickster, let's call him Hairy, goes to the acolyte at the site, Old Tom, wishing to learn Hide Fire.

 Old Tom sends Hairy to steal a golden ring from the local Yelm priest. This ring is his Ignite matrix and represents Fire, while the priest is a stand-in for Yelm. If Hairy can bring back the ring and light a fire at the holy site, he "passes the test" and is granted the magic. Actually, the test itself is the method of gaining the magic.

  When Hairy wishes to regain Hide Fire he must find a person representing Yelm. This person should have some Fire powers. Any Initiate of a fire cult will do. He should steal something which represents Fire from this person - anything Gold would do, or a hot coal, or their tinderbox. Now he must bring it back to the shrine. This is his "worship service".

  This method is dangerous out in the wild because it may attract ritual enemies.

  This method copuld be appropriate for such cases as an Orlanthi wanting to learn Sandals of Darkness, a 'stolen' spell.

  This is not meant to replace the existing system but to supplement it.



Shoes,Sealing wax, ships and cabbages: Thanks to Bryan Maloney for the price-list

Bill Robertson asks about Deezola's healing magic:

> What do you mean? I'm curious, if you could explain what you mean by
>"different" I'd be happy.

  I started top write a rather long post on Deezola, but decided instead to give a very short answer. If there is a demand I will post more but otherwise I will wait until I have a cult writeup in hand.

  My guess is that Deezola, land-ruler and Priestess of Arachne Solara, was an ancestor worshipper and possessed great power on the spirit plane. As such I think that her magics are often spiritual in nature and her healing sometimes resembles shamanic healing. Here is one example spell from my version of Deezola, the Binder Within:

LAYING ON OF HANDS - 3 pt. spell

  During this spell the caster may spirit combat any covertly possessing spirit that inhabits the body of a person with whom she is in physical contact. This includes the nascent spirits of disease found in people infected through normal contagion or transmission rather than cursed with a spirit of disease. If a person is suffering from a normal disease, then treat it as a spirit of disease with power equal to the amount of characteristics stolen from the victim. This includes strike ranks stolen in Joint Rot, etc. If the disease does not steal characteristics, class it as mild, severe, or critical and give it 5, 10, or 15 points of power accordingly.

  A caster who breaks off combat without driving out the disease is exposed to it and may resist as per normal disease rules. A caster who is reduced to zero magic points during the combat automatically contracts the disease at the chronic level and must resist increasing severity as per normal rules.

  If the spirit is reduced to zero magic points it can be controlled as usual by Control spells, etc.


  The intent of this spell is to model the ancient magics which lie dormant in the hands of nobles and poets, i.e., "The hands of the King are the hands of a healer" as Ioreth said.

  More on Deezola later.


  Joerg's "Spiritual Reenactment" spell also provides a mechanism for those wonderful cult cermeonies seen by Biturian Varosh among others, where the cultists seem to enter into the realm of myth. We see this also in the Troll Cults writeup by the Lhankor Mhy sage in the employ of the Only Old One. It was kind of annoying to have no game mechanism to model these things.


  Carl Fink comments on my comments on the Chaos Rune:

> I do believe you're confusing the Chaos and Disorder runes.  Disorder
>would promote unlawful activities, not Chaos.  Chaos is the opposite of
>lawbreaking, as well as of law.  Ompalam worshippers, for instance, 
>would NOT break laws, nor would Gark worshippers.

  I think it's in Cults of Terror that a little write-up is given on how Chaotics feel compelled to break laws. I'm really talking about LAW here, not human law.

  Thus, the nature of Glorantha is violated by the UnLife of Vivamort. Gark the Calm is the owner of the Undead Rune, and he does violate an important Law: thee one which dictates that dead people don't get up and walk around! Similarly, it seems to me that one of the Laws of Glorantha is that the will of a free entity cannot be controlled. Even the Gods have to have spirits of retribution - if they could use 'mind control' on their worshippers this would be unnecessary. Thus Ompalam is breaking a natural rather than an artificial law.

  Note that Laws can be bent in Glorantha, it's a floppy Universe.

  The children of the Devil break moral laws like those forbidding cannibalism and incest because "Wakboth is the moral evil of the world." (Prosopaedia) Gods like Pocharngo break Laws like "Rock doesn't dissolve into living goo" or "People have an underlying stable form."

  Bagog is a special case. As an arthropod, I think she was just a Darkness creature with the basic Darkness power of incorporating what she eats into herself, and she ate too much Chaos in the God's War.

  I don't think Krarsht is really Chaotic at all (going by the Runes in Cults of Terror rather than GoG) but rather alien. More on Krarsht another time.

  Glorantha is made possible by its Laws, order imposed on Chaos. If these laws are relaxed then Glorantha will dissolve back into the Void. Rather like our own universe - relax baryon conservation, for example, and matter as we know it will cease to exist.


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