re: RQ Daily

From: Sandy Petersen (
Date: Sat 22 Jan 1994 - 08:41:28 EET

Joerg Baumgartner wonders:

>How do you coordinate spell attacks to avoid multiple action against
>some of the attackers and letting others come unmolested?

This is not a problem in a mass combat, in my opinion, though it can cause trouble in a small melee. Take an example of 100 Yara Aranis initiates casting ignite on 100 Pent archers. If the Yara dudes have a reasonable amount of encumbrance and no greater POW than average, only around 50% of the spells go off. If they're totally randomly arranged among the targets, almost 40% of them will get hit with the spell (some of them more than once), and that's enough to reduce the harm done to the defenders, especially as the guys in the front with the best shooting chance are the likeliest to get hit.

In real military fighting, most attacks are without effect. During the Crimean war, it took a British soldier something like 9000 shots to kill a single Russian (BTW, it took the Russians, evidently better shots, only 5000 to kill a Brit. And a Frenchman, manifestly the best of the lot, 4000 to kill a Russian.). The most effective weapon of World War II only had about a 14% hit rate (the kamikazes of Japan), which was staggeringly effective.

Also remember that not everyone has to be shot to break up an attack. If 35% of a group of Pent nomads suddenly lose the use of their main weapon, they'll be disheartened, and all but the best troops will be fearful and less effective. A sudden charge by opposing cavalry, or even infantry, may well send them into retreat.

>I happened to have read Biturian Varosh's description of the troll
>and morokanth attack on the Paps recently. In it, Biturian first
>casts his Market sell for the ceremony. Then, when the forces of
>darness attack, he grabs his quarterstaff and fights back the
>trolls, without getting any ill effect from his spell.

Remember, Biturian only cast a Market spell -- it will only do 1d3 damage to anyone it triggers against, hardly sufficient to dissuade Biturian or the temple guards. The purpose of the Market spell at the Paps was to act as an alarm, not to incapacitate or cripple the trolls (note that they and their Morokanth allies were not even slowed down by the spell).

[I said]
>>Horses are the Beast of Fire. The Galanini date from the First Age,

[Joerg sez]
>I don't believe that.They are beasts of fire, yes, and as such
>related to birds, griffons and other celestial animals, but not
>particularly associated with fire.

Perhaps I missed something in the translation. Could you say this again, slower? They are beasts of fire and related to other celestial animals, but NOT associated with fire?

>I have read a text (I think in Troll Pak) which stated that the 1st
>Age Theyalans overthrew the horse nomads of Peloria with the help of
>Praxian beast riders and Ralian non-Sun-worshipping horse riders.

>These latter can only be the Galanini.

There can be plenty of horse-riding non-Sun worshipers. Tarsh exiles ride horses. Malkioni ride horses. In any case, the Galanini do NOT worship the sun gods in the same manner as the Pelorians or Pentans. Their worship style would be no more acceptable to the Pure Horse People than was the Dara Happan faith.

>IMO, the Praxian culture is a Hsunchen Culture with the specific

>addendum of riding and herding their respective phylum, and a
>tradition of a common earth-mother for the beasts.

Wow. I can't agree with this less. I don't see any traces of Hsunchen among the Praxians at all, and I don't believe they ever were Hsunchen. Their animals are not their brothers, but their food. They have a complex pantheon

>While we're at it - how comes that Eiritha has no relation to horses
>in Prax, when other beasts clearly of the sky - the ostrichs - are
>one of her subjects/children.

Why are ostriches one of her subjects? They're not part of the Covenant, though some folk believe they were adopted into it later on. I have my doubts about the efficacy of Release INT on an ostrich. In any case, they're among the least sky-oriented birds of all. Just because birds in general are sky entities doesn't mean they all are. Roosters are Earth birds, hawks are Fire birds, owls are Darkness birds, etc. Just as Horses are Sky beasts, Cattle are Storm beasts, Pigs are Earth beasts, etc.

>do the universally acknowledged major powers (called Runes, Gods,
>Mythic Dragons...) have separate entities, which locally rule over
>the power and draw their own powers from this primeval power, or is
>there one entity putting on different masks and names when appearing
>to its worshippers?

The gods in GODS OF GLORANTHA that possess the Infinity Rune (Flamal, Uleria, frex) are those which were the original source of a particular Rune, and have retained it since then. Gods that have a doubled Rune are the current source of the Rune, but have inherited it from a previous (probably deceased) deity. Examples of the latter include Subere, Orlanth, Yelm, and Humakt.

All other deities that have access to a Rune get it by hook or crook from the Rune's source. Thus, Zorak Zoran, Malia, and even Yelm access their Death Rune ultimately through Humakt's existence.

The most evil of the God Learners ostensibly believed that all Death gods were ultimately the same god, and that all Storm gods were ultimately the same god. This led to very bad results.

Major Gods have a secret power -- they represent some primal facet of existence, though it may not be as important as the Rune Sources. Thus, Storm Bull is the god of Rage. Zorak Zoran is god of Hate, Thed is goddess of Rape and violation, Voria is goddess of Youth. If Zorak Zoran were expunged from the world, it would be fundamentally changed, but the world would not be in threat of destruction (as it would if a Source god like Uleria or Magasta were knocked out).

Minor Gods may have a widespread worship, but have no secret power. Ultimately, they can fade out of existence without changing much. Gods like Sog, the Grain Goddesses, Pavis, and the like are these entities.

Cool parallel between light upland soil (=hill barbarians) and heavy lowland soil (=civilized farmers). Thanks, Joerg.

Alex Ferguson ponders:

>About this Demoness Eater of Horses doodette, I'm rather vague on
>who she is, in a mythographic sense.

She is one of the inspirations of Moonson (don't recall which one, sorry -- no doubt Nick or Colin or Joerg or Geoff etc. will know). She is the daughter of the Red Emperor and a really gross Demon that the Pent nomads have always hated and feared (my guess is Gorgorma). I don't think she existed before time, and is another "mortal" made into goddess by Lunar worship, like the rest of their gods (Hon-Eel, Jar-Eel, Etyries, etc.).

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