Re: RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 27 Aug 1994

From: Sandy Petersen (sandyp@idcube.idsoftware.com)
Date: Mon 29 Aug 1994 - 09:30:41 EEST



Nicky:
>I think the modern consensus is for a red moon visible practically
>everywhere in Glorantha, visibly going through its phases both
>inside and outside the Glowline.

        Though I basically agree with this, there must be _some_difference in her appearance within the Glowline. Perhaps the "dark" part of the moon is just a different shade of red. Or maybe there is some sort of nimbus -- a lunar corona -- visible only within the Glowline that keeps the light equally bright at all times. Perhaps it intensifies during dark/dying days to make up for the dimmer moon?

Alex:
>I think the point of the Magical Regiments isn't the _magic_, it's
>the _regimentation_.

        Strong Concurrence. Hearty agreement. Hear, hear.

        The Lunar innovation in making the magicians a disciplined organized force is as great, I feel, as the invention of walking in step, the stirrup, or the nomad innovation of Not Taking Your Families With You To War. It is a fundamental alteration in Gloranthan warfare.

        Just the fact that you're now able to have an entire regiment cast Sunspear in the same strike rank makes a pretty damn big difference in combat. Just the threat of them doing so probably has a pretty major morale effect on any enemy units that draw within 100 meters.

Pam C.
>In short, moose seem gentle and comic to most North Americans,
>while wapiti seem fierce and noble.

        An excellent summation. Given that North Americans actually live in a country where both moose and elk exist, whereas our British and German friends don't have any of 'em, unless you count the undersized Red Deer, you'd think they'd give more credence to our debased American interpretations of these beasts.

>Maybe this is because wapiti are herd animals, famed for their
>fighting abilities, while moose are solitary, shy critters

        Two other emergency back-up reasons. (1) the moose cry is distinctly a honk, whereas the bull wapiti emits a real roar. And (2) no one I know has ever had a problem with a moose -- I know a guy who walked into his barn to find a moose there, got mad at it, and it left sheepishly. He'd _never_ have done that to a wapiti. While a moose is manifestly big enough and strong enough to put the kibosh on your station wagon, they don't _do_ it. But anyone with the slightest bit of wilderness savvy knows to keep away from elk in the wrong season.

Joerg
>If you mean the red deer of Europe, that's at most SIZ 13, not the
>SIZ 22 buggers you talk about below.

        The "Deer" of the RuneQuest Official Monsters Book is in fact the European Red Deer (which is bigger than SIZ 13, at least for bucks). This is also very similar anatomically to the American Elk or Wapiti or whatever. However, it is LOTS smaller.

>Since you're the biology expert, what environment did the Irish Elk
>live in?

        To the best of my recollection, unaided by my tomes of ancient lore, it lived in open grassland. Or whatever passes for open grassland in Northern Europe.

>Did the lost tribes of Praxian Beast Riders die out when the Oakfed
>deforestation took their means of subsistance from them?

        No doubt this made an initial impact. The gradually deteriorating nature of the Wastes during Godtime probably also took its toll. Note that in the First Age, the Rhino Riders nearly went extinct. While the Rhinos narrowly avoided this fate, the Nose-Horn folk might not have been so adaptable.

        The Nose-Horn folk, by the way, were Synceros riders -- an antelope-like animal with three horns. Two over the eyes and one down near the nose which forked near the end. They were probably pygmies.

        A friend of mine in California runs a stupendous scenario involving the last of the Elephant tribe, in which the tribe's pathetic remnants try to herd their "herd" (consisting of a single pregnant cow) to safety over the wilds of Prax.

>English hasn't been heard in the United States for a century.

        While I cheerfully accept such billingsgate from ostensible English speakers, I balk at doing so from someone whose native tongue is another Germanic language entirely.

> I'd have expected an associate relation between Issaries and
>Garzeen at first.

        Yeah, this is possible. But the overlap between Issaries and Garzeen (I believe) was so great that soon everyone who worshiped Garzeen _also_ worshiped Issaries. From there, it was just a short step to subculthood. The entire process may have taken only a century. Presto! By the Second Age's Dawn, Garzeen is Issaries.

>What kind of transport do the western Issaries traders prefer

>(Fronela, Ralios, Maniria, Jrustela, Umathela)? As long as there are

>decent roads or rivers, no reason not to use say ox-carts or barges.

        Mules have several advantages. First, they're stronger than

burros. Second, they're a lot cheaper to buy (and in upkeep) than  
horses. They're faster than oxen. They're an all-around good pack  
animal. 

	And if you're traveling in Western areas that have  
prohibitions against certain class-members riding horses, well ...
	Which is not to say that there aren't plenty of Issaries  
merchants using oxcarts or barges. But the mule is still, I feel, known, liked, and used even in the West. You're also safe if you are visiting the Galanini (who might have objections to outsiders riding horses), or the Doraddi (who have bad memories of horse-riders).

        In Glorantha, there are various mythic encumbrances upon the horse. On Earth, there are none, but mules are still thought to be useful. On Glorantha, I feel they are even more so.

>And where in Glorantha do we find donkeys in the wild?

        Perhaps nowhere. Maybe all the wild burros left in Glorantha are feral. They're certainly a handy beast if you're a Western cultist who doesn't allow his peasants to ride horses. I'm not sure where native wild burros live on Earth. There are some wild asses in the midEast, but I betcha they're not quite the same.

Ian Gorlick:
> The recent discussion about Hyaena prompted me to think about what

>their position is in Prax. The list of large carnivores is very
>short, and consists of Allosauri (huge!), cliff toads (restricted
>habitat?), Deinonychi (sight hunters, therefore daytime only) and
>very occasional tigers and Smilodons in the Zola Fel Valley, plus
>the hyaenas.

        Note also that the Allosaurs and Deinonychi, IMO, are stragglers from Shadows Dance or Balazar, about as common as jaguars in the United States (where they _do_ sometimes show up, but not very damn often). Tigers and Smilodons are definitely from the Rockwoods and Zola Fel, and not a real competitor on the plains or Wastes.

        In the Godtime there'd have been lions, too, but they're gone. All that is left are humans, morocanth, and hyenas. There are also chaos wolves in the northwestern part of the Wastes. And probably a few regular wolves, too. If anyone accepts my theory that there are coyotes in the Wastes, then you have them as well, but they aren't going to pull down an adult of any herd animal except an impala.

        The hyenas may not be quite as dominant in Prax itself, because of the competition from other carnivores, but in the Wastes, they're top dog.

>Hyaenas must be a dominant carnivore, and the true hunter of the

>night on the plains.

        I, too, champion this theory. I think that the Praxians absolutely detest the damn things. I also think that almost every Praxian clan is followed at a distance of a mile or two by a pack of hyenas.

> I'd be interested to know if anyone has actually PLAYED this game
[Rocky & Bullwinkle, by TSR].

        Yes.


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