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davecake last won the day on May 11

davecake had the most liked content!

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About davecake

  • Rank
    Lhankor Mhy


  • RPG Biography
    been playing RuneQuest in some form off and one since the mid-80s, been a fanatic Glorantha fan for the same length of time. Also play many other RPGs.
  • Current games
    Mostly Glorantha, in all its forms.
  • Location
    Perth, Australia
  • Blurb
    Lhankor Mhy Sage according to MOB. Or is it Irripi Ontor?

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  1. davecake

    The Limits of Magic

    I think this is another one of those issues that gets missed a bit because a lot of Glorantha fans tend to have a lot of implicit ideas about the reasonable limits of magic in their head from RuneQuest (and fiction, etc) and so there is a kind of shared mental model that isn't there for new people who are dealing with Glorantha only from HeroQuest. We have the same problem with creatures being described in a way that sometimes doesn't even make it clear how big a creature is.
  2. davecake

    Genertelan Vadeli population estimates

    While I would definitely recommend rereading Revealed Mythologies, for the Vadeli mythology the early parts of Middle Sea Empire are the best starting point IMO.
  3. davecake

    Stafford Library - Arcane Lore

    It’s more inspirational and esoteric than useful. There are some interesting and fascinating fragments, but also a lot of out of date theorizing.
  4. davecake

    The Pavis Plan

    I would absolutely not put much faith in RQ3 niche mechanics, especially as they are likely to be gone in RQG. I do not think the RQ3 Red Goddess magic will see a comeback, and I suspect likewise with the Godunya magic. We know a lot more about both sorcery and mysticism than we did back then.
  5. davecake

    The Pavis Plan

    As far as the EWF using sorcery goes, from History of the Heortling Peoples The EWF certainly used its dragonnewt allies and their dinosaurs in war, and their mystics gained access to the sort of draconic magic normally only used by dragonnewts once they had experienced draconic illumination. But the EWF was an Empire, not just a mystic sect, and the Empire developed its own magical techniques of all kinds, very much including its own sorcery. The mystics sat at the top of the pyramid and directed things, but the magical work needed to perform complex magic on an imperial scale was very much mostly performed by the un-enlightened for practical reasons (just as the Lunar Empire has grand magical projects that rely mostly on the old Dara Happan magic and people).
  6. davecake

    Genertelan Vadeli population estimates

    I wasn’t meaning to imply that Brithini were not sticklers for following caste law themselves. Rather, that the Brithini do everything that Zzabur says they must, and also do the things that they just think Zzabur probably thinks they should. The Vadeli do what they must, and nothing more. I do think that yes, quite likely either Viymorn or Vadel discovered something terrible and changed them. Possibly when Viymorn discovers the Underworld.
  7. davecake

    The Pavis Plan

    You haven’t seen anything that suggests the EWF were strong sorcery users, other than all those sorcerers hangiing around the place doing stuff? Like the Lunars, they have multiple forms of magic within their system , all joined into one system by mystic insight, building a new magical world.
  8. davecake

    Genertelan Vadeli population estimates

    My version of the Vadeli is that they scrupulously follow caste law to the letter (so as to maintain immortality), but not a step further. That is why they are immortal, and actually far better at keeping their caste purity than the Brithini. They regard most other ‘laws’ of the Malkioni as deceptive nonsense (and may, indeed, regard it as almost their duty to explore). The Brithini try to keep to the spirit of the law of Zzabur. The Vadeli keep strictly to its letter, shamelessly exploit loopholes, and think the Brithini are fuzzy thinking idiots. Many of the ‘loopholes’ the Vadeli exploit are because the laws of Zzabur are so ancient, far older than many of the things Zzabur now forbids (which the Vadeli regard as something more like the strongly held opinions of aging and irrelevant and erroneous Zzabur). And the laws of Zzabur predate death, chaos, etc. He didn’t forbid fooling around with demonic spirits (who weren’t even known prior to the explorations of their great ancestor Viymorn), turning people into zombies en masse (a great Vadeli innovation), enslaving and torturing lesser races (who?), and many other vile practices. And whatever isn’t explicitly forbidden is therefore permitted. They have nothing resembling empathy, compassion, or morality. The closest they have is a sort of highly reasoned game theory that says that, under certain conditions, betrayal is unwise, and cooperation can have some short term strategic value (and those conditions essentially almost never apply to anyone not a Vadeli, almost always anyone not Vadeli is considered a sucker/fair game/a walking blob waiting to be converted into useful resources). Basically, they mostly look at normal humans the way a carnivorous conman would look at a cow that had just won a lottery. (Well the brown ones do. The Red Vadeli look at normal humans more the way a sadistic butcher would look at that cow). They think trust, honour, love etc are weaknesses that can be exploited. They are generally stone cold, to the bone, nihilists and well controlled sociopaths. They do still have caste restrictions, but they exploit loopholes. As the blue and yellow are gone, they have to improvise on issues of sorcery and leadership. Brown Vadeli sorcery is often practical, and concerns manipulation of the material world or animals, justified as just a sorcerous extension of crafts and animal husbandry. Many of them are sailors and have nautical magic, others embrace their ancient explorer heritage (and use exploring and movement magic). Red Vadeli magic is almost always combat magic. Vadeli leaders are almost always Admirals or other naval ranks - they exploit a loophole that says a ship always has a commander, no matter the caste of its crew - but they are still forbidden to perform some Talar functions (this is why the Vadeli welcomed Hrestol as a judge, it let them resolve some otherwise unresolvable disputes). The Vadeli don’t just enjoy and indulge in torture, forbidden ritual, perverse sex, etc for its own sake. They also have learnt to exploit them for their own purposes. Breaking taboos has power. They have found that perverse sex can create succubi, who make perfect agents of corruption and seduction - possibly this is the origin of the Seseine cult. The Blue Vadeli have necrophiliac necromantic rituals. The Red Vadeli have torture rituals, like a sorcerous version of the Bloody Tusk magic. Probably cannibalism tooo. They think their ability to gain power from doing what disgusts others just shows the superiority of their logic. They also find it all kind of funny. The reason the Brithini hate them so very very much, in contrast to their usual dispassionate approach, is that the Brithini have never been able to prove the Vadeli wrong with logic and reason. They *know* the Vadeli are wrong, hate them with every fibre. But they can’t prove them wrong, implicitly reducing the Brithini to being like the emotion driven barbarians they despise. The Vadeli are quite logical about most things, and also quite cheery and happy most of the time. They don’t fear death (though they wish to put it off as long as possible). They have a sense of humour, and often enjoy irony, complex wordplay, and laughing at the suffering of other. In short, they are smart, and sometimes funny, but in all other ways, they are the worst people you’ve ever me.
  9. davecake

    RQ Sorcery

    I have a long standing theory, since the RQ3 era, that if professional magicians all get roughly the same number of POW gain rolls, and priests mostly put that POW into rune magic, and shamans split it between their fetch and rune magic, sorcerers (even considering Inscription in RQG) are going to have a lot more POW to invest in enchantments, especially as enchantments are more necessary and useful to them. And Malkioni sorcerers have a strong incentive to work collectively, with specialists of various kinds. So RQ would seem to imply that the West is comparatively littered with magic items, and the power of the ‘church’ is in large part due to its reserves of enchantments that powerful wizards have access to (and collaborative magical efforts to bind big spirits and elementals). Mostly in the form of magic point storage and bound spirits and elementals.
  10. davecake

    RQ Sorcery

    This is of course true, and the wizard who has multiple spirits and elementals bound will feel very powerful. Until he meets a shaman who has more spirits, can command them more effectively, cast spells infuriating fast, and has other neat powers besides. Which is about the time the sorcerer retreats and realises that it’s very important for RQ sorcerers to plan ahead. Sometimes several years ahead.
  11. davecake

    The Pavis Plan

    Essentially, the history of the EWF would tend to put this in doubt, or at least indicate that there is a lot more going on. The EWF is known to use sorcery quite a bit (admittedly not as much as theism), and while Pavis sorcery doesn’t directly show draconic abilities, it certainly seems to be linked to draconic philosophy at some level, if nothing else being written in Auld Wyrmish (and of course, it’s explicitly not Malkioni and reads as blasphemous to them, should they be able to read it at all). Draconic magic is mystic. Antithesis is the wrong way to think of it - to the extent that you might think of other forms of magic as antithetical to dragon powers, draconic Illumination is the synthesis of these opposing ideas. This is almost explicit in the way we talk about theism and draconic illumination - Orlanth destroying the dragons becomes Orlanth gaining dragon insight. So - I think of EWF sorcery as being totally different to draconic magic (like dragonnewt powers), but amenable to synthesis by those who have undergone draconic illumination, in ways that are hard to explain to the inilluminated.
  12. davecake

    RQ Sorcery

    There is still plenty of temptation to Tap. On your personal magic points you can cast one really good spell, with a good crystal a second. Within the span of a single days adventuring, there is always the possibility you might want to cast a third 🙂 Without wanting to rule out the ideas of schools of learning that transmit traditions orally in an ancient Academy way, especially for the Valkaro sorcerers, I think mostly in Glorantha communities where literacy is prohibited or prohibitive just practice one of the other forms of magic. I certainly think Kralorelan sorcery is highly literary, and so was EWF sorcery, and so is Lunar sorcery, as well as Malkioni. That covers pretty much everybody as far as I know.
  13. davecake

    RQ Sorcery

    Yes - in practice, RQG sorcery is very much about 'what you have', in both material but especially magical resources, to be effective.
  14. davecake

    RQ Sorcery

    I imagine something more like a defixio tablet for Malkioni sorcery. But if it is intended to be more like a mandala or magic seal, that would rather imply that it is further away from the 'grimoire' idea, seals and such (eg in the Legemeton) are part of a spell, but absolutely require a great deal of other knowledge to make use of them. I do find the idea that having fully memorised your magic such that you are able to instantly bring it to mind makes your magic less effective very counter intuitive. It's worth noting that a lot of what we think of as grimoires might be considered spirit or rune magic rituals in RQ. And also that Gloranthan documents are going to be different just because of their rather more efficacious and reliable experience of magic. I do wonder if Gloranthan sorcery (or other magic, for that matter) includes quite as many of the genre of ancient magical spells for cursing your opponent in court cases.
  15. davecake

    RQ Sorcery

    I have great objection to some of the bones. It is certainly possible that the basic elements of the system that I very much dislike will be entirely rewritten, but that would only further justify my dislike of them now. I certainly anticipate that they will greatly be added too - and actually, from the description in the current rules, it seems we don't really have rules for the majority of Gloranthan sorcerers until that has happened, given the Malkioni will differ significantly - but that is a different thing. I do not find that it does, given that the parts that I object too were the same in RQ3 and caused great dissatisfaction throughout most of the 1990s, and I profoundly disliked then. Most of the issues I hate about it show up far more in long term play. Yet, they are different enough in some ways to effectively be different settings. No, the concepts are quite different. Inscribed spells in RQG are a personal talisman that happens to be written, and in no way support the idea of spell knowledge being systematically organised. You could literally just replace the word inscription with enchantment and nothing else would need changing - the idea of being connected to writing is just flavour text. And I find Inscription mostly just a weird kludge for free INT that has the effect of changing the nature of practical sorcery to being about 'what you know' to being about 'what you once knew but now have'' which is very confusing. I appreciate that the words schools and grimoires and such are used in the flavour text, and are not entirely conceptually absent - just the idea of spell knowledge being interconnected into organised bodies of knowledge that are also spiritual texts is missing from the rules.