gripes & grubles & stuff about magic

From: Entropy needs no maintenance (STEVEG@ARC.UG.EDS.COM)
Date: Sat 19 Jun 1993 - 00:24:18 EEST



JARDINE@RMCS.CRANFIELD.AC.UK writes
>that shamen have to exist in civilized societies.
>Take Duke Raus for example he worships his ancestors.

Yes, clearly not all these chaps are the ones clad in uncured skins dancing around fires. In fact concentration on the squalid (which seems to fascinate many of the Gloranthan prime movers) has obscured, what game mechanics has already muddied.

Clearly in any culture featuring ancestor worship, the role of head of family should *automatically* qualify the person as shaman/priest of ancestors; with a congregation of family members past & present, and the tools (spells) necessary for the task. Questions of ceremony skill, divine magic "in the bank" and tests of holiness simply cannot be germane - those exist just to give PCs hurdles to overcome just like the experience levels of D&D. The role of head of household will of course involve much time in managing the household & other "priestly" duties, thus making this unattractive to the players who want easy power for their PCs.

and asks
>why shouldn't a magus who is equivalent
>to a tough Rune Lord or Priest have spells running continuously

Possibly because the magus can do that while the rune-level-wannabe is still an initiate - when they all have ~60% main skills, for example.

Mind you, I think that more of us than just myself still map our RQ2 view of the world onto the discussion (spells rightly stackable no more than 4-high in most cases, extension coming in 1, 2 or 3 point varieties - and even then the week duration on battle magic for Extension III was ripe for abuse) which makes our expectations of the power level of rune-priests less than they actually are in RQ3.

David Hall writes
>Most of us enjoy Glorantha because of the mythological and cultural detail -
>take that away and you make all of the same mistakes as RQ3.

Unfortunately I fear that bad mistakes are being committed at very high levels. The recent assertion that the runes we all know and love - and which have had profound impacts in e.g. architectural styles [Earth people using trilthon style archways; sub-folk arranging cities in circular plan around an open plaza] - being dismissed with negative connotations as a God Learner invention comes first to mind!

Glorantha appealed to me as a place of wonder, with plenty of mythic detail - and very little cultural material. In recent years, the people with greatest influence seem to have been concentrating on the squalid details of cultures, leaving the original main influence to wither; and now *that* has come under revisionary attack.

One of the reasons (apart from mail trouble & pressure of work) for my sparse postings in recent weeks is the feeling that the discussion of new game mechanics is distracting us from what has recently been described as the vital heroquesting done in this forum; and to some extent, the feeling that in many respects it is too late to rectify what I see as fundamental damage done to the world. Glorantha can be gamed using Pendragon, Fantasy Hero, or even AD&D2, with various degrees of hacking. RQ4 isn't really that important except as a vehicle for the world.

When Ken Rolston says he prefers to "work on the settings where we have the most detail (ie Sartar, Prax and the Lunar Empire)." I'd say we don't really have enough detail on the latter, and only KoS has shed significant light on the former. There has been too much concentration on Steve Perrin's old Pavis campaign. I say "let's break out of the Prax ghetto".

G. Fried asks
>Just what is the mythic significance of the death of a god in Glorantha?!

Death, for Yelm, is the explanation of sun-set (as his recovery is that of sun-rise). One of the tenets of Gloranthan myth is that Chaos is to the gods what Death is to mortals - sometimes not even the names of gods destroyed by Chaos have survived.



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 10 Oct 2003 - 01:31:13 EEST