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  2. I couldn't agree more. Also, don't forget the other senses. Even before you see it, is there a disgusting smell? Is there a creepy sound? Do you get the hairs on the back of your neck standing up before you even see the creature? And never say "You see a Mi-Go in front of you". Describe what you see. Change the way the creature appears from how Lovecraft or the book describes it. Keep the players guessing as to what the thing actually is.
  3. The difference is that in RQG, it is unlikely for a Lhankor Mhy sorcerer to have more than a couple of those at a level where they can cast more than 2-3 of those at a reliable, in fact the game rules don’t really support making that effort ever.
  4. Indeed. And I continue to think you were, well, more right. FWIW, I think the reasoning for flexibility of effect in sorcery is pretty much the same as for adding the flexibility of effect to Rune magic (via Rune Points rather than individual spells), only stronger - both more fun, and the minor but interesting spells (Wind Words was the example usually used) actually get used. I’m sure there is some reasoned position why you think RQG is a better approach - I just have no idea what it may be, as to me it seems a lot less fun, a lot harder to balance, and less close to the sources.
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  6. To be honest, they seem much the same to me outside of the required game system differences. The spells Lhankor Mhy grants in RQ:G come from the same grimoire, and are mostly the same (Identify Otherworld Entity = Identify Demon, Logical Clarity = Dismiss Confusion, Logician = Logical Thinking, Reveal Rune = Identify Runic Power, Solace of the Logical Mind = Resist Godless Sorcery), with only one spell seeming to be lacking (Identify Spell seeming to be roughly similar to Analyze Magic) Likewise, we know books and scrolls can teach spells (see the orange book described here) so the other grimoires would fit. And the whole "cheaper to make spells conceptually similar to ones in their grimoire" would presumably be the equivalent of "A spell conceptually related to a spell that the sorcerer already knows" in the spell creation section.) The difference in how sorcery is treated between the two systems doesn't seem as notable as Spirit Magic, for example. Just things that work in one system wouldn't work in another. And despite being a big fan of HQ:G, I find the sorcery section in RQ:G enhances and clarifies the HQ one, rather than taking anything away or drastically changing it.
  7. There's 20% off the range of Call of Cthulhu dice and related stuff over at Q-Workshop:http://bit.ly/2z9eCVE
  8. For info, Edan Jone wrote a nice in world Underworld summary on his blog: https://zzabursbrownbook.blogspot.com/2016/12/
  9. Since I wrote the sorcery rules in HQG and in RQG, it could well be that I think I got it wrong in HQG.
  10. They are the official rules.
  11. The general consensus of the many discussions around ‘how to fix sorcery’ back in the 1990s was that the fundamental maths of sorcery was different. Both priests and shamans became more powerful more or less linearly based on POW sacrificed. Sorcerers, on the other hand, grew more powerful roughly exponentially based on skill and Free INT. When they did use POW to boost themselves, they often used it to create items that added to the manipulation of their spells - meaning it was also boosting them exponentially, but in a way they could pass on to their descendants. The relative power of sorcerers was often cited as the big problem with sorcerers in RQ3. I don’t think this was actually the case in most games - you had to spend a LOT of time and resources for a PC to approach the insane level of published NPCs like the Griffin Island version of Halcyon Var Enkorth (so crazily different to the Griffon Mountain NPC of the same name it is surprising they even reused the name). It was true that sorcerers started with weak, unreliable magic that was hard to improve - but if they kept at it, shortly after they relatively caught up with their peers, they then outpaced them. Sorcery was really the worst of both worlds for game balance - because it ran on different rules, it was either too weak or too powerful, only sometimes about the same. It also had the effect that optimum play of your sorcerer meant a lot of dull calculations (‘spells and spreadsheets’) to work out how many long duration spells could be maintained. Sandys sorcery cut this Gordian knot by keeping the general concepts - slow to cast spells but that could be prepared in advance for relatively permanent defences and enhancements - through various means, but particularly with his concept of ‘Presence’, which scaled linearly with POW dedicated to it, thus keeping it distinctive but scaling loosely the same way. And the calculation of your sorcerers maintained spells etc was similarly simplified. The other issue is flexibility aspect of sorcery. RQ3 sorcery had a lot of flexibility is size/application of effect - and this meant sorcery radically changing the duration (to give effectively permanently in effect spells especially) and multispell (to effect many targets) radically changed how magic worked in practice, and especially when at high power and combined with other magic was seen as potentially unbalancing, or at least ‘game-changing’. But it had very little flexibility in type of effect. It was so hard in practice to get a spell (that started very low, and could only be pushed up by training) up to a reliable level that in practice, you wouldn’t much. Quite likely if you started with one good combat attack, you’d end your career with the same one good combat spell. HQG flipped this -spells were supposed to be strictly defined, but it was easy to learn a new one and, as long as it was in the same ‘grimoire’ it was useful from the start. RQG flipped it back - once again sorcerers are flexible in application (Duration, tange, intensity, etc, though without Multispell), but very constrained in their ability to gain new abilities (learning a new spell to a reliable castable level is extremely hard, more restrictive than almost any previous edition due to training rules). I tend to think this is the wrong way around - manipulating can make game balance weird rapidly, and pushes your sorcerer character into a niche, and a niche in which the most important things you do (long term casting) is done mostly ‘off screen’. Flexibility of effect (ie having more useful spells), on the other hand, gives your character more things to do ‘on screen’, thus making everyone’s game more fun. HQG and Mythras did the flexibility of effect issue well, by making a new spell in the same ‘grimoire’ cheap. I was surprised and disappointed that this idea largely disappeared. It also disappointed me from a Gloranthan lore point of view, previously most discussion of sorcery in sources about the West had separated sorcery into schools or grimoires, and there wasn’t much evidence of this idea (indeed, it seemed a bit discouraged or obscured). The idea of sorcerers easily learning a few spells in such a conceptual/Runic cluster seems like a good one, I wish it was in RQG. It also gives the impression that RQG and HQG are somewhat in quite different Gloranthas. Anyway, that’s enough sorcery rant for now. I have plenty more for later though!
  12. I dunno about you, but I just don't find Mark Wahlberg that creepy.
  13. FWIW I actually kind of enjoyed that aspect of RQ3 sorcery (which survived into our chimeric nightmare homebrew game). It added a bit of a feel of the arcane to me; like "ooh what the heck is Crel up to now, he's got the calculator out again!" as I puzzled out if I could cast the big crazy spell. There was kind of this sense of "I'm doing magic!" subjectively. Also gave me something to do while other players were taking turns, talking, investigating things, etc. I think your critique's very much valid, just wanted to share that for me, it actually enhanced my play experience (and I think it did so for my fellow sorcerer as well; "hurts so good" y'know?). My opinion is don't bring up Malkioni sorcerers and hope players aren't aware of them. RQG does a good enough job for playing worshipers of Lhankor Mhy. Go ahead and take a look at Tekumel for spell inspirations if you want to build more spells. I feel like an LM adventurer ("Sword Sage" in old stuff) is very Indiana Jones-ish, except learning to read old books lets them cast cool magic. So use the RQG rules as a core, and let the LM find a scroll with a new spell on it occasionally while adventuring to build out the play options. AKA, avoid pure sorcerers. Alternately, Petersen's default rules (sans Tekumel) are pretty solid, even if quirky. I... don't know that I'd use them for a Lhankoring. They rely pretty heavily on attuning to Malkioni saints for your magic otherwise things get awkward and complex quickly. (Basically just like how RQG has you attune to a Rune or Technique they attune to a Saint. Saccing POW to the saint lets you do stuff, but most importantly invoking Saint Malkion is how the sorcerer gets their Arts, and you either do or don't have them. Otherwise you can study to get the Arts and whoo-boy that adds math. It's way easier to just "have" Intensity than to know Intensity 76% and be able to manipulate eight levels of Intensity in your spells. The Malkioni model means the only mathy manipulation you really have to care about is from the spell itself. And then when you acquire multiple Arts, and use them all at once... 😐) Yeah, that's 100% what I'd had in mind as how RQG's sorcery would work best. IDK how you'd do it smoothly without tables and garbage in a more grindy and bits-and-bobs system like RQ. When I was trying to homebrew up some rules for WoT channeling D100 one of the ideas that arose was a weak progression for just "do a thing with fire" and then more powerful effects with explicitly defined weaves. That doesn't work as well here, because Gloranthan sorcery doesn't feel as spontaneous as WoT channeling can be. I totally forgot about Magicka, but it's the perfect example. One of the places I'd start, for homebrewing a beta 2.0 of my sorcery rulesdoc would be to map RQG's Runes & Techniques onto the Tekumel spells. For example, Blade of Inexorable Disjunction's a four-point spell. So that's something like Magic, Death, Death, Summon (no fire because, although it's a blade of energy it's not really fire energy--more raw magic). The really big question I'd have to contemplate would be if I'd keep RQG's strength progression. I remember Anton noting that as one of his major complaints (and I think passing that on from Collin as well), which is probably in part because we're so used to the Tekumel-Glorantha hybrid with its insanely powerful spells.
  14. Yes. There's absolutely no reason why the same effect can't be gotten from multiple approaches. Take for example the spell "Tap Body." Although using the Tap technique and Man rune, the same effect could be gotten from tapping the Darkness rune (as Size is associated with the Darkness rune.) This is also why you can get different effects from combining the same techniques and runes (Total Recall and Logician, Call Light and Conflagration.)
  15. Yes, and that's a good indication I should move this away from the thread titled "Beginner's Guide". Well past high time, really. Which I did, except for this tailing end which is extremely on-topic here: Not sure about such a list. Part of the fun of Glorantha is to pull out something jaw-dropping quite matter-of-factly, as something the characters already knew and are well aware of- Used to be 30,000 meters high, but then meters were shrunk to feet. Not that measures above 5 km height are reproducible, as the Middle Air plays already by Outer World rules. That, and its weekly cycle, is an absolute must. The weird path of the sun (effectively direct overhead, come summer or winter), variations of day length etc. aren't that important. There are a lot of things that are self-evident for Gloranthans which will come as Green Age realisation moments to the players and the GM. Maybe it is easier just to warn the players and the GM that such revelations may happen as they continue to explore the world. How Time works is an important underpinning of how Glorantha works, but honestly - how many people have made sense of the Cults of Prax statements about cyclical God Time at their first, or even at their twentieth reading of that text? It is one of those messages which are delivered but not realized. The important message is: Everything that once happened in myth happens right now in the hero planes, and can be visited by heroquesting, and will be happening there forever unless someone interferes with things men are not supposed to interfere with, like the God Learners once did large scale. There should be an elevator pitch of obvious Gloranthan awesomeness, and yes, Kero Fin (or Top of the World) probably turns up in "also running". "The earth is flat/a cube swimming in a bubble of reality inside a chaotic void" is a typical but in the end quite meaningless part of the elevator pitch. It does bring home that Glorantha isn't the rea world Earth, but that's as far as it goes during the first impressions. (Questions about turtles and elephants may come up at this stage...)
  16. Carried over from the Beginner's Box thread: Yes, and that's a good indication I should move this away from the thread titled "Beginner's Guide". Well past high time, really. I did create an index to all the Glorantha material available to me at the time in the nineties and kept working on it into the Heroquest 1 era, so if this may come across as slightly encyclopedic, it was at the time. We didn't have any electronic documents back then, "and we had to travel five miles uphill to school, and then eight miles uphill back home..." Most of the deities have too many mentions in the old sources, but this one remains memorable to me as the one opportunity I had to baffle Sandy Petersen with a piece of Gloranthan troll lore. Yes. They usually sported distinct celestial bodies, except for the Storm Age Blue Moon which was somewhat overcrouded. The Artmali disembarked, but Lesilla went down with most of it like a good ship's captain, while Annilla held those mystical energies aloft until she followed Lorion down Magasta's Pool. Also celestial bodies. I have seen a mention of Artia as a moon in some obscure document, which led me to the question "What makes a celestial body a moon?" Neither the RQ Daily nor the Lore Auction at Convulsion 1994 really resulted in a definitive answer. One thing they seem to hold in common is female or indeterminate sex,, though. (But then, for all the stories about Yelm's marriage contest, and his sons by Dendara or other goddesses and demi-goddesses,Yelm itself remains an asexual orb in the sky, remote from carnal interaction, and probably incapable of any. Kargzant, on the other hand is a stallion, and presumably hung like one, too.) That's one story from Dara Happa. Plentonius himself provides a much bowdlerized "imperial justice" version in his account of Lukarius' reign, though.. (GRoY p.24) When he lets Lukarius string his bow with his own umbilical, what he shoots down are boarders from the Styx ships (Kogag's boat trolls fleeing from Yelm Bijiif?). Other myths tell about the Storm Gods having a ball game with the blue moon. Sounds like the Blue Moon plateau is where one of them produced a touchdown that destroyed the ball. The Zaranistangi of Melib claim descent from Emilla, "a female incarnation of Mastakos" (duh, Sea Tribe, what would you expect?) (Guide p.433, and yes, when I give page numbers I usually look that stuff up.) But then, the Dara Happans think that that planet is female Uleria anyway, so even less of a surprise, except that she let her children crall all over her body. How much moon/Sedenya is there in Orlanth's charioteer? Is Jagrekriand smashing his chariot on the LBQ just ongoing sibling rivalry between the Red Planet and Blue Moon twins? Glorious ReAscent makes it even worse. Jernedeus is toted as another name of Verithurus, and Jernedeus is the orb in the sky (or above the ziggurat) guardian deity of Mernita while Lesilla is the nurturing goddess. A key lunar power is Madness, and at tumes like this it shows. Which may be insightful of Plentonius, or a weird relocation from Mount Jernotius, or Old Plentonius fusing those traditions into a single story. His master's family wyter Khor is named as one of the earlier names of Sedenya. ("It's so dreamy, times are fleeting, Madness takes its toll"...) 100% correct. And totally wrong. The Lunar Empire employs two aspects of the Blue Moon goddess in its magical ranks - the Assassins, and the Blue Moon School. Neither are subject to the phases of the Red Moon. There doesn't seem to be an dependence on the tides, though, either. Then there are the six classes of the Lunar College of Magic, which have become associated with the phases of the Red Moon, and certainly are subject to its cycles. Dara Happan peoples hate each other. Nothing new in that. Three of the four rebels in Jar-eel's presentation of the slaying of Yelm are Dara Happan entities - Verithurusa, Tolat Shargash, and (Artia?) the Bat. The Carmanians were the oppressive emperors of the day. The metropolises of riverine Dara Happa supported them while they were stron, then rebelled when it was clear the Carmanians were seriously challenged by this new power. Nothing new under the sun, happened before, happened again under Jannisor and Sheng Seleris, and will in all likelihood repeat under Sheng Seleris.
  17. There's all sorts of tensions operating on CoC ( and other horror RPG ) covers: 1. Does it get attention in the first place ? 2. Is it scary ? 3. Is it too scary/repulsive ( for a shop shelf ) i.e. could it cause trouble for retailers ? 4. Is it Pulp ( or Purist ) enough ? 5. What is the budget for the artist ? 6. Does it actually represent the contents of the book fairly ? I don't think it is easy to balance all those needs and produce a fantastic cover every time. Pagan Publishing have just the same ratio of boring:good cover artwork as all the other publishers in my opinion ( although their layout is generally better ).
  18. Yeah, because shows like the Academy Awards always pick the BEST movies... Awards are nice, I guess... but they don't really prove anything but popularity... and popularity can hinge on a wide variety of factors that in the end may have nothing to do with the actual intents of the game. Some people will applaud games they'll never play, based on what's 'in' at the moment, or 'name' author... or fancy new cover art... It's good for the product, maybe, but... meh, I never have had mainstream tastes... and at this point CoC is more mainstream than ever. It's 'soft horror' because that's what its modern audience wants (It's got fucking Luck points!). It's not Delta Green, Trail of Cthulhu, Kult, or any of the darker toned horror games. Which is fine, because 'soft horror' is what sells and Chaosium is a business, so they should aim for the masses. For myself, though, it's no longer my horror game of choice (not in its current incarnation).
  19. I don't know Marshal Law but I have always admired the Underground RPG, which I've seen mentioned as having been heavily influenced by that comic. For me, the satire shouldn't come from the mechanics/rules... it's the system and the players who will bring it. Similar to games set in the 40K universe... which is hilariously dark comedy to some... and deadly serious to others (I fall in with the dark comedy crowd). Playing it straight will foreground how ridiculous it is. Paranoia is another darkly humorous game, but I want the rules for that to be deadly serious... not wacky. Last night I was watching the sequel to Galaxy Express 999, which featured a human resistance fighting against the Machine Empire. The machine people are pretty much supers... immortal and resistant to most kinds of damage, superior strength and reflexes... so it's another setting where the heroes are fighting against inherently superior forces, which I just about always find interesting.
  20. Ars Magica has a fairly pure system, as it has the advantage that it could create its equivalent of ‘runes’ and techniques just for the rules. It has 5 verbs and 10 nouns, and most things clearly fit into one combination (and making it a little more complex in those cases is fine). I once tried, long ago, to do this for RQ3 sorcery, and it wasn’t unworkable, though some things had to be forced a little. RQG trues harder to make it adhere to the runes, and also mixes in techniques, and so it is all a bit conceptually incoherent. translating from the Latin, Ars Magica has Create, Destroy, Change, Control, Perceive, and Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Perceptions, Mind, Flesh, Animal, Plant, Magic. RQG sort of sticks together a system of Runes not designed for this purpose with a set of techniques that sort of overlaps, sometimes doesn’t, and leaves us in a confusion as to whether Powers or techniques are the ‘verb’ in any given spell, and also such questions as do you Summon a Rune or Dispel its opposite to get a given effect.
  21. Are you talking about the Darsenites? (they're nowhere near the Blue Moon plateau, I'm not sure what they have to do with anything). I can't see anything about "Darsenians" otherwise. Either way, sure, there was some time between the two events, but it's probably hard to forget when those people dropped a whole planet onto your ancestors. I guess it depends on whether the political/religious leaders at any given time want to actually use that or not to gain or consolidate power. I guess the Carmanians were a bigger threat and so there was not point in bringing up old bad blood.
  22. this is ... sort of oversimplifying things. the Darsenians are a pretty small Pelandran matriarchal society living in a very distant region and their wealthy and more powerful riverside kinfolk share their culture but are patriarchal. Some of their religious practices were expropriated by the Dara Happans before the Dawn and there's been 1600 years of adaptation and change. In that time, there's obviously been a lot of cultural adjustment. They're much more likely to side with the Dara Happans against the Carmanians, who are Malkioni weirdos who share literally nothing with them.
  23. i can't be the only person to have this feeling about the uz:
  24. Crel

    Coin conundrums

    @Brootse, I was reviewing Elder Secrets on metals for another conversation, and the ENC value table for metals in that is identical to the one in the Gamemaster Adventures book. So that table might not be good to rely on when interacting with values in RQG. That being said IIRC RQ3 Glorantha still followed the W=20L, L=10C, C=10B structure (even if RQ3 default did not), so there's similar strangeness in the system. And an RQ3 ENC isn't the same as an RQG ENC after all. Just thought you might be interested, and that there's an outside chance it could help generating an explanation.
  25. Joerg

    Nature of Metals

    You won't find any mythology without something like this going on in the earliest generations, unless you introduce marriage material out of thin air. I'd say yes, there was air (not animated in any way, though), and there were lungs, but neither were realized until that first huge exhale that established Umath's presence between his parents. Itt is similar with the concept of the color blue - I don't suppose the wave lengths were different at Homer's time, or the receptors in the Retina, but some time shortly after the Ilia was composed terms for the color blue entered Greek writings, while Homer talked about the sea as being the color of wine (though not blood). When did Aether develop hemorrhoids? I believe that prior to the stasis of Brightface, there was a cycle of light and dark in the sky, on something like a diurnal basis. Only after Brightface's judgements and subsequent usurpation of the top post Night and Dark were expelled from the sky. But if that event also marks the initiation of tender contact between Aether and Gata, you might say that Sky got the hots for his mother/wife at this time, and the great Lodril release did little to cool him down. It took the interruption caused by the birth of Umath. It might take a Scandinavian experience for this awareness.... The Mostali had already run out of elements earlier on, and I note that the sequence of the elemental progression has Lead (Darkness) in second place, after Rock (with refined Truestone another metallic substance I failed to mention in my first response). Yes. Gloranthan brass is terrestrial bronze. Gloranthan (storm) bronze is different. The point from a geochemical perspective is that nuggets and even flitters of metallic godbone need to have survived about 10k terrestrial years in the ground and the soil. Now divine empowerment slowly fading away might be an excuse for that stuff not having rotted away. Deterioration of surfaces is of course not caused by air - in fact, exposure to Storm should make Bronze items brighten up rather than develop a patina. It is the corrosive/fermentative influence of Darkness which creates surface degradation. Plenty of that found in the soil and bedrock, though.
  26. A lot of what we might call "robber barons" in the romances are knights who set up shop at a ford or crossroads and joust for ransom... Certainly Username is correct that others simply sally out of their castles to take on passing strangers. But the most insidious break hospitality and imprison people who stop in the castle by night. The classic robber baron encounter is really the last one, and if handled well, the player knights could turn the tables by pretending to be 'innocent travelers'. Of course there are many ways to get inside a castle that don't involve a dragged out siege, as history, Robin Hood, and assorted movies will tell you.
  27. The Sorcery rules in RQ3 turned out to be......very long term.....the most powerful thing going in a 4+ year running Griffin Island Campaign. The sorcerer PC needed tons of early help from the fighter and Rune magic types, starting out as an interesting supporting character much like the Wizard in Conan the Barbarian/1981played by Mako. As time went by though, he started acquiring Glorantha levels of stored PoW, which enabled the PC's to have spurts of massively enhanced pre-planned combat. This was stunningly good for things like attacking a stronghold, or lair of some evil creatures, given about 2 days to prepare or so. At this point he went from interesting role playing opportunity (the civilized man in the company of Barbarians), to a serious tool for the PC's to wield. He was still terrible at impromptu conflict, and was generally happy just to get away unscathed and participate in some way in the warrior-centric melees of the genre. However that changed again when he started creating significant enchanted objects to cast ever larger spells. This mainly was to push duration of a few staples into the "I always have it on me, but this POW crystal is always drained to do it." status. After a while he got into hit point enchantment, which pushed things into a whole another level. Remember those wizards that Conan would gut with four feet of Aquilonian steel, but then would still be able to leap around and would often survive? He was like that. Eventually the player dropped out, and the character ultimately became so powerful as to serve as the big bad at the very end of the campaign, when the players would strive to save the island for the next nexus of the Gods at the end of the Age. This one character was able to single handedly challenge all of the warriors and Priests -- even the High Priest in the group. Now this took playing weekly for years (ah, the college days), and the current sorcery rules.........need work. But there is nothing stopping a GM from filling in a few blanks, or simply allowing a character to learn sorcery, much like the Lhankor Mhy cultists can pick up specific spells. I also had a Glorantha campaign using RQ2 & then 3 rules, and I allowed the sorcerer there to learn Magic World spells. Big mistake! He was a miniature Cragspider spewing Geometric fire around and achieved Hero status, in the Dragon Pass board game terms. So yeah, as is, the rules are not what I was hoping that they would be. I like the concepts laid out, but running one right now would require a lot of cooperation between an ambitious and flexible player and the GM. Certainly doable, but not what I wanted from the "definitive" edition of Glorantha centric Runequest.
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