Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Tywyll

  1. 1 hour ago, David Scott said:

    Dismemberment is a common theme in shamanism. It's a death and rebirth motif common in mythology as well.

    But isn't directly connected to gaining a shamanic ability in the game, got it.

    1 hour ago, David Scott said:

    I find it odd that you are asking about rules and haven't actually read this in the Rune spell description on page 326.

    If you are talking about the Discorporation Rune Spell, that's different from 'simply spending a rune point and making a mediation roll' (which is what you detailed in your story).

    But hey, way to be unhelpful with someone who might not have read every page of a 400+ page book. Yup, they must not be interested in rules. 


  2. 5 minutes ago, gochie said:

    I just meant that most initiates will have a 90+ skill (weapon) in RQG, thus new adventurers will start with an ability under your system. 

    Ah, got it. Yeah, that's true but I don't really have an issue with that. The first tier powers aren't ground breaking and all games don't have to be zero-to-hero.

  3. 23 minutes ago, Joerg said:

    My contact with D&D lore was through ADHD 1st edition, which no longer had such discrimination. It also had the dreaded half-elves.

    Ahem...you might want to check again. That's in there, in the Raise Dead spell description, and spelled out in great detail in Deities and Demigods...elves have spirits not souls...I think this allows Resurrection to work on them, but I could be fuzzy on that. As a kid who had never read 3H & 3L I had no idea why my Tolkein elves were being called 'soulless'... 

    23 minutes ago, Joerg said:

    Revealed Mythologies is the best collection of such snippets. Add the description of Arolanit in the second volume of the Guide, the snippets in the God Learner Maps, and you have pretty much all that was officially published.

    There is quite a bit more in unpublished stories by Greg, but those were produced in a very small print run as rewards for 1000$+ backers of the Guide, or some of them auctioned off as single copies of ring-bound photocopies at conventions. Given how much I paid for my copy of Hrestol's Saga, that backers reward was a steal.

    Humm...disappointing. I only recently discovered Brithini (going back over Sandy's Sorcery rules) so of course they peeked my curiosity. 

    I feel like the 1000+ backer thing was a terrible terrible no-good idea. It literally ring-fences some of the world setting behind a cash wall. Very uncool. 

    23 minutes ago, Joerg said:

    I own German translations of the red and light blue Moldvay boxes, but never played those. In the mid eighties northern Germany, playing the Moldvay boxes was akin to playing DSA (the first and second editions, nowadays The Dark Eye), and not that well regarded by the D&D and convention grognards from the late seventies.

    Were these in the rules, or did they appear in scenarios?

    They were in the 'Three Little Books' of OD&D. Basically the first boxed version of D&D, pre-Advanced D&D. Eventually Hobbits were revised to Halflings and Balrogs became Balors, but it was originally in the first edition. 

    I grew up playing a mix of B/X and Advanced, not really understanding how different they were and loving it anyway. Childish enthusiasm I suppose. I still prefer B/X style retroclones to ones based on AD&D. 

    23 minutes ago, Joerg said:

    Not published as the complete setting, but plenty high quality locales. Check out https://www.rpg.net/columns/designers-and-dragons/designers-and-dragons13.phtml

    The setting of the Riftwar era could be reverse engineered from a combination of those products and the novels by Feist. There is a wiki: https://midkemia.fandom.com/wiki/Midkemia_Wiki


    To be honest, I never played either. The only such game other than rogue-like ASCII questing (mainly Nethack) that I ever played a tíny bit was Betrayal at Krondor on someone else's computer (still was using my Atari ST at the time). I did play the original Warcraft.

    It's one of the great things about Elder Scrolls games (at least past Arena). The game developed a 'get better as you use it' model and one where anyone could learn any skill. 

  4. On 4/1/2019 at 9:39 AM, Joerg said:

    I've seen that claim all over, but then where are the wizards unable to wield a sword? Gandalf is a master of his sword.

    That was simply a 'game balance' issue. They wanted magic swords to belong to Fighters exclusively because originally magic swords tended towards having special abilities quite often, making them the fighting man's magic staff. 

    On 4/1/2019 at 9:39 AM, Joerg said:

    The cleric of the anonymous deity owes a lot to Bishop Odo of the Bayeux tapestry fame.

    It owes more to Hammer Horror films though, as that was the original inspiration for the first cleric PC. The Bishop stuff came later. 

    On 4/1/2019 at 9:39 AM, Joerg said:

    D&D is a mash-up of numerous tropes. The entire thief guild trope has been lifted from Lhankmar, where it was introduced as a paradoxical institution.

    The main Middle Earth contribution to D&D are the halflings, dwarves and the seed for various goblin types, including the orc and the half-orc. The elves crept in via Middle Earth pastiches rather than directly, and inherit from other sources like Poul Anderson's Sword and the Stone, too.

    Elves came from Three Hearts and Three Lions (soulless beings...hence elves originally being unable to be revived by raise dead). 

    On 4/1/2019 at 9:39 AM, Joerg said:

    I usually argue that the Brithini are a rather good parallel for Tolkien's high elves, in a process of parallel evolution - immortal island in the west, and all that stuff. Which leaves the aldryami as a diminutive version of ents.

    Is there a good source for Brithini lore? I can only find fragments of them here and there. 

    On 4/1/2019 at 9:39 AM, Joerg said:

    Tunnels and Trolls uses the same races as the Fellowship of the Ring, too. Were halflings a playable race in OD&D, or did T&T start the halfling madness?

    OD&D had hobbits! At least in the early printings. And Balrogs. But also robots! And of course lots stolen from John Carter, Green Martians and White Apes.

    On 4/1/2019 at 9:39 AM, Joerg said:

    IMO the most playable dwarves and elves are the ones from Midkemia, another early rpg setting which became influential through Raymond Feist's novels starting with Magician. It notably made do without orcs and hobbits.

    There was a Midkemia rpg setting?!? Where/when was that?

    On 4/1/2019 at 9:39 AM, Joerg said:

    The Warhammer skirmish rules with their takes on the Tolkien monsters probably were as influential. The later whimsical Europe WHFRP setting took that lead minis inspired setting to a new direction.

    When it comes to modern influences, I guess Warcraft is at least as great a carrier of memes as is D&D, and to me it looks more like it inherited from fantasy skirmish games like Warhammer than straight from the D&D memes. The player base of such computer games is easily as big as that of D&D.

    Yeah, agreed. It's a case of the child having greater influence than the parent.

    On 4/1/2019 at 9:39 AM, Joerg said:

    Baldur's Gate has of course infected the computer "role playing" game world with D&Disms. Elder Scrolls with its shared RQ design DNA might be a better base to jump off than D&D.

    Everyone can learn spells...check. Everyone can learn skills...check. Good call! 

  5. 6 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

    Dying in a Heroquest or other powerful otherworld ritual isn't necessarily the same as dying in the middle world (often, or usually, it is, but there are exceptions). More to the point, there is already a cost ascribed to learning a shamanic ability, "Kolat himself will dismember him, throwing his spirit to the Seven Winds so he can be remade" is just a narrative for the process.

    I was just responding to your post above about needing to die to learn self-res. For all we know reading that story, he already knew how to self-res.

    As to death in other worlds, is that still canon? I don't have the G2G so I don't know if its spelled out there, but I've not seen anywhere that that is how things work these days.

  6. 41 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

    Self-resurrection is already a thing, Asborn Thriceborn has it in the Gamemaster Adventure Book, it's a Heroquest power. I would be reluctant to make it something that any Rune master can easily get. Unless the basic version is less useful than the Heroquest version, I think shamanic self-resurrection is quite slow isn't it? Whole seasons or something like that?

    Yeah, but until we get rules for those power I'm stuck using shaman powers. I imagine that a lot of the shaman abilities will be things you can gain via heroquesting, so there will be overlap (spirit affinity, spirit sight, soul expansion, self-resurrection, etc definitely seem like they are probably going to double up).

    But yes, Shamanic self res starts out taking a season and the more you invest in it the quicker it goes. It also might cost you a ton of POW to use, depending on how you die...like destroying a shaman's body would probably make it impossible to return (unless you only have to heal the fatal wound, not your entire body). 

  7. 5 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

    If you want to self resurrect, you probably have to die to learn how to do it.

    Sure, but it wasn't clear that that was the power he was going for? Did he have to spend POW to heal himself? 

    If that is what is necessary to learn ability X, what is necessary to learn Soul Expansion? Spell Barrage? etc, etc, etc. Your initial battle with the (Bad?) Man doesn't require anything like that.

  8. 12 hours ago, David Scott said:

    Here's a simple example of getting a new shamanic ability. <snip>

    (likely a few errors in this, I did it quick).

    See that's a really cool story. There are a lot of choices and decisions I don't get (for example, why does he have to die to get a new power?) but sounds like a decent adventure (is discorporating really done with just a Rune Point and a Meditation roll?). Anyway, it would have been great if something like that were in the rules. Since it isn't, we can't know if that is how difficult this sort of thing should be or if it should be easier. Like people could base their stuff on what you wrote but that would be just your take, not necessarily the intended take for the game/setting.

  9. 16 hours ago, David Scott said:

    Fortunately belief and reading ability don't have to be related. You just have to read books or look at youtube.

    Sure...if I wanted to do homework to fill in the gaps of the game system I'm trying to use, I could do that. But since I see no value in those experiences as it relates to playing a game, I could just as easily read the history of WW2 or a cook book. 

    I shouldn't have to try and 'make it up'. The mechanics should be there if it is part of the game, or the system shouldn't include it (wait for our Shaman supplement!). 

    16 hours ago, David Scott said:

    Shamanism isn't a religion, it's a set of techniques that allow practitioners to access "the spirit world". Animism is the belief that everything has a spirit. It's quite possible to practice shamanism and believe it's all in you head and not be an animist. RuneQuest's spirit world and shamanism rules didn't just spontaneously create themselves, much is based on real world shamanism but transferred to the fantasy world of Glorantha. Real world shamanism has everything to do with Gloranthan shamanism whether you believe in anything or not. Just as the cults and god are related to real world gods and practices of the ancient world. None of this has come from nowhere.

    But inspiration or not, none of that actually dictates the rules we use. Humans don't have POW that they sacrifice to gain the ability to throw lightning bolts...it's a game mechanic. I want the game mechanic. I don't care what the writer's inspirations were or their beliefs. 

    I also don't agree that real shamanism is as you describe, but that's a different topic for another discussion. 

    16 hours ago, David Scott said:

    Because shamanism isn't a belief, but a practice,

    That involves interacting with one's beliefs (i.e. that there is a spirit world, that there are spirits, etc). That is traditional shamanism. 

    16 hours ago, David Scott said:

    it does influence the game mechanics we use, as that's where they've come from.

    If I want to look at how a shaman in my game has to interact with a greater entity, I don't start with looking at the mechanics, I go and look at how shaman deal with them in this world and use that as a model. I don't have to believe it happened i just have to look or read.

    That's great that that's how you do it. I and my players are playing a game however and we want the rules that govern those interactions. If its strictly roleplaying, that's fine (though why have social skills?). If there is a standard format for those interactions, then that is also fine but it needs to be spelled out. Essentially what I am getting at is there is a hole in the game system that shouldn't be there. Whether we plug it with something or not is us to us, but I'm not going to try and plug it with someone's belief that they had an out of body experience unless it somehow comes with mechanical connections attached. 

    Battle Magic has no analogue in historic inspiration, yet it works just fine. Characters are ridiculously fragile compared to real world trauma, but that works okay too. The writers can use whatever inspiration they want, but none of that maps directly to game mechanics except as inspiration. Even if I believed in gods or spirits, I wouldn't expect the game mechanics to reflect my beliefs about how those things work (because that would mean we are playing a world devoid of flashy magic and monsters and that's boring). 

    16 hours ago, David Scott said:

    There's an excellent description of a two day ceremony where a shaman travels to the ninth heaven to meet a being who could be the Horned Man, excellent material for a shamanic adventure to gain a new ability. 

    https://www.sacred-texts.com/sha/sis/sis10.htm go down to the Altaians section

    So what skill does he roll against when he gets there?

    • Like 1

  10. 12 hours ago, Crel said:

    Some general thoughts, not necessarily in a particular order...

    No problem. Thanks for the extensive feed back!

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    How does Magic Defense stack with the Rune Lord spell resistance?

    Just adds to it I would imagine. There are lots of threats out there with POWs higher than 21. It would mean that eventually Rune Levels are realistically the only threat to each other when it comes to magical attacks, but that is kind of the case now.

    Do you think that is too strong? Of all the abilities, I think Magic Attack and Defense are some of the weakest. I hardly see many players sacrificing for more than a level or two of the power. 

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    What about some of the "natural" shaman abilities being on the sac-list? Ex. shaman Discorporation.

    That's a good idea. Where would you put Discorporation? 2-3 or 4?

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    Allied Spirit at second cult skill mastered seems really strong. The notion of getting to "power up" your allied spirit is interesting. I think I'm into it.

    Yeah, I hemmed and hawwed about Allied Spirit but ultimately valued it as less than some of the other powers. Why?

    Allied Spirit is a powerful spirit, but in general it is not that much more powerful than any bound spirit. Any character could, long before mastering even a single skill, pick up the Spirit Spells create a spirit trap and bind a spirit and then start binding away (yes, they have to sacrifice POW and all that, but still). It's the old way of getting bound spirits ala RQ2 and its available pretty much at character gen or shortly after if you are willing to pay the price. 

    So baring that in mind, Allied Spirit felt less powerful than other potential abilities, certainly less so than Magic Resistance or DI. I suppose I could break down steps 2 and 3 but...I'm lazy. :)

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    Emphasis added; portion reads to me like they can only do so one time, presumably when they gain the ability.

    I feel like the text reads as though you master the skill, worship, gain an ability (or the next level of a prior ability) at no cost, and then may sacrifice attributes to increase the newly-bought ability. It seems gaining geese doesn't occur until full RL?

    That's mostly correct. I intended geese to be selectable whereever fine sacrifices are sold...er, I mean, whenever you sacrifice points.

    So perspective RL masters a skill, worships, gains a free ability, sacrifices 3 POW for 2 extra abilities, takes a geese and then sacrifices 1 Dex for a third. Next time they Master a skill, they will need to sacrifice 2 attribute points for additional abilities (unless they immediately take a geese). 

    That was my intention. 

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    Statistic expansion feels weird due to the "sacrifice attributes" part of these abilities still in play. I suggest instead increasing the adventurer's species max for the characteristic (like Soul Expansion). In particular, it feels underwhelming to gain +1 to a characteristic in comparison to the other abilities on offer at that tier, like RL Resistance and freaking Spell Extension.

    Yeah, that's fair. Though sacrificing POW to raise a different characteristic felt like a fairish trade (like sac 4 POW and take a geese to increase another stat by +3...depending on what you are raising that seems pretty potent). The problem with having it increase species max is that species max doesn't really impact other stats the way it does POW. You never roll to improve a stat by comparing it to your max ala soul expansion. I mean it would allow you to train higher but that feels like ultra weak sauce.

    I suppose I could shunt it down to the 2-3 level to make it more appetising. 

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    Could you use Rune points for a theistic self-resurrection? Probably permanent loss, to compare to permanent loss of POW. Generally, without the fetch as a POW bank I think self-resurrection isn't as good as you think it is (though I certainly may be wrong).

    That's a VERY good catch. I hadn't thought of that. Yes, I would allow Permanent rune point loss in place of POW loss. 

    I also like the 13th Age Glorantha idea of gaining bonuses from your allies giving you a proper funeral and all that as you fight/slip out of hell. 

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    I don't think easier RP replenishment is a social function of being a RL--I think it's a magical function. That being said, I agree that it belongs as part of a "full" RL's kit. Maybe an option at tier 4?

    To me it is social because it involves you being able to lead services rather than passively attend them. 

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    One of the challenges with this set of houserules is that, frankly, it's hard to believe that someone would pick the shaman abilities over the pre-slotted RL ones--like Allied Spirit, RL resistance, and DI. So although you're trying to let each RL be more varied, ultimately they'll end up with similar major features, and a few alternate minor ones. This does change once the RL progresses beyond 5 masteries and begins saccing characteristics for more abilities.

    Well, I can see someone skipping 'teaching spells' for something else at step 1. The other powers are great, but things like soul expansion, spell extension, and spell barrage are darn powerful (in my mind).

    However, if players don't choose those options, it's fine. It's just there for people who want them/are willing to sacrifice abilities. As I said above, an advantage of this house rule is that you can use published material and this rule without any problem because you just assume published RL took the easy 'trad' route instead of bothering to sacrifice for anything additional. 

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    I think each cult should probably have its own set of abilities to choose from. I like your tiers generally, but I think it would flavor each cult further if maybe the first ability is mandatory for some cults--like Chalana Arroy initiates must learn Cure Disease. Perhaps this should connect to the cult skill mastered (Ex., must learn Cure Disease after mastering Treat Disease, or may only learn it after doing so). This also gives more space to develop new abilities, by locking them to individual cults. Further, I think you could "Priest v. Lord" track this by assigning specific abilities to general trends. For example, Spell Extension to Rune Priests, to characterize them generally as "magic specialists" as opposed to "martial specialists." A correlation of this is that you could flavor RLs as more "magically oriented" by giving access to normal "priest" abilities. Ex, returning Sword Sages of Lhankor Mhy, or giving Seven Mothers Rune Lords priest-y powers.

    That's an interesting idea. Would require a tremendous amount of work though. 

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    I might decide to characterize the tiers by title, to handle God-Talkers. They'd be tier 3 or tier 4 access, and have the open position. Initiates are tier 1 and 2. This could further interconnect service done to the cult and social positioning with access to cult powers. For example, a highly skilled warrior newly initiated to Humakt might have the cult masteries to immediately reach tier 3, but wouldn't have the social standing--he's not ready to be a God-talker, he just joined us! etc. (Ignore that Humakt IIRC doesn't actually have G-Ts.)

    Also very good idea. 

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    I'd add the priest's unique abilities to this list too. The main one I recall is +20% to POW Gain rolls, but I think there's one or two more IIRC which RLs don't get.

    Yeah I intended to do a separate Road to Priest post to handle them. Maybe fold some of these ideas into that (like allowing Priests to gain certain more magical powers more easily). 

    12 hours ago, Crel said:

    I feel like Second Sight or an appropriate Spirit Affinity would make a lot of sense as a mandatory first ability. Ex., members of Orlanth Thunderous must learn Spirit Affinity (Air Spirits) upon beginning their trek on the "higher mysteries" once they've mastered their first cult skill. While Spirit Affinity is generally a weaker shaman power, it's particularly relevant for Orlanth Thunderous because I feel like their major "calling card" is use of Air elementals.

    I could see buying points of Spiritual Armor with this making sense as an ability. Reviewing the shaman abilities, it'd be way better than Spirit Defense (which I think is just a bland skill increase?). 

    Yeah, I was surprised at how lame Spirit Defense was. No where near as useful as Spirit Armor. 

    Thanks for all your feed back! I will edit the post accordingly when I get a chance.

    • Like 1

  11. 14 hours ago, gochie said:

    I like it, but in RQG most players (warrior cults at least) will likely have a 1st level gift at the very start (not necessarily a bad thing, but something to consider). 

    Not clear what you mean. Are you talking about Humakt and Yelmalio Gifts? 

  12. 12 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

    In a game world written by a practicing real-world shaman, don't dismiss real-world shamanism as an influence on said game world.

    I'm happy to accept real world shamanistic practices and culture as an influence on the in game culture and tribal behaviour.

    Their beliefs, on the other hand, aren't relevant afaiac because their spiritual beliefs are not reflected in fantasy world make believe. They don't dictate the game mechanics we are using. 

  13. 7 minutes ago, Joerg said:

    Given that the creator of the world was practicing shamanism and included his personal experiences in the game's approach to shamanism, I would say that these experiences have a high degree of relevance (to avoid writing a weird version of Germany).

    Yeah, I know he believed in that. Gygax was a fervent Christian. Doesn't mean I'm going to take his view of hell or paladin abilities as any kind of truth. 

    7 minutes ago, Joerg said:

    Instead, they can end up in psychosis or coma, at least as far as materialists observing them are concerned, which may be attributed to their use of psychoactive and poisonous substances.

    Yeah, because those things are real. When a shaman can discorporate or manifest spirits, I'm interested. Otherwise, we are talking fantasy. 

    7 minutes ago, Joerg said:


    In case of doubt, undergo the steps of "Becoming an Initiate" pp.274f., adapted to the entity. At least those before the POW sacrifice - replace those with the acceptance of taboos.

    That might be workable. 

    7 minutes ago, Joerg said:


    That's my main worry with a party with only few people able to discorporate, too. At the very least, you will have to deal with a split party.

    It's very poor game design...has been since Shadowrun!

  14. 21 hours ago, Crel said:

    1) Poo on you, I like RQ3's familiars. :P Of course we did some really weird stuff with them, which definitely wasn't in RQ3-base. I may have turned an AD&D miniaturized iron golem into my familiar and dumped way to much POW into it...

    2) More seriously, I like the quoted idea. It makes a lot of sense to me to tie fancy new abilities to character advancement. Honestly, maybe you should think about foregoing the sacrifice, and it's just an opportunity to get X ability for Y geas? (It's not a taboo, only dirty primitive shamans have taboos!) Set it up so there's five or six abilities to pick for each deity to start from, something like that. You could even phrase the basic Rune Lord benefits (D10 DI, POW21 resist) in that way--when you've assembled all five powers, you're now that deity's RL. (IDK if that's a good idea--I'm musing.)

    Based on @Crel's comment above, I got to thinking. I don't use shaman in my game for various reasons, but I like their abilities and want to use them in game. So I thought they should be folded into Rune Level Characters. Here's my first stab at Rune Lords getting the abilities. Haven't sorted it out for Priests or God-Talkers yet.

    This is a dramatic change from the default and provides characters with access to those abilities but in a 'tiered' method. The nice thing is that even thought it can provide a wide variation in what RLs look like, they can simply take the default powers and leave it at that (i.e. no changes are necessary when using pre-stated NPCs...just assume they went for the standard abilities and no additional sacrifice). 

    So, rought draft here, be gentle (literally I just wrote this over my lunch break)-

    Road to Rune Lord

    Initiates who are not Rune Lords or Rune Priests of other faiths gain new abilities as they advance towards Rune Lord status within their chosen cult.

    Upon Mastering (90%+) their first Cult skill, they gain one of the following abilities:

    They can teach any other member of their Cult spells (as per 281-this is a one point ability without additional levels), gain Second Sight (as Shaman), gain Hide Soul, Magic Attack, Magic Defence, Spirit Affinity, or Spirit Defense. To gain the ability, the character must attend a week long ceremony starting or ending on a holy day of their god. A character gains these abilities without geas or other cost, however they may choose to sacrifice attributes once for additional levels in any of the above abilities. So, for example, RL masters a skill, worships, gains a free ability, sacrifices 3 POW for 2 extra abilities, takes a geese and then sacrifices 1 Dex for a third. Next time they Master a skill, they will need to sacrifice 2 attribute points for additional abilities (unless they immediately take a geese).

    Upon Mastering their second and third skill, they can choose to either increase the previous abilities they gained, of pick from the following:

    Access to Enchantment Spells (one point ability), Allied Spirit (first level grants standard allied spirit, each additional level grants the spirit +1d6 CHA or +1d3 POW), Cure Disease, Expanded Presence, Power Within, Second Sight (Enhanced)-you must have Second Sight to take this power, Show Spirit, or Spirit Mastery. As above, a character gains these abilities when they master the skill and attend the religious ceremony. Each mastered skill requires a different ceremony for its ability, and each ceremony allows the prospective candidate to sacrifice for additional levels as before.

    Upon mastering their 4th skill they may either increase previous abilities or gain the standard Rune Lord’s Improved Resistance to Magic. Alternatively they may gain Spell Barrage, Spell Extension, or Statistic Expansion (each level increases one stat by +1, does not increase racial max but can boost a stat beyond max).

    Upon Mastering their 5th skill they gain a Rune Lord’s Divine Intervention ability. They may also choose to sacrifice for additional abilities, including Self-Resurrection (rune Points may be sacrificed permanently in place of and in addition to POW) and Soul Expansion.

    After mastering their 5 skill, they are true Rune Lords and gain all the social benefits of being a rune lore (Easier Rune Point replenishment, Support of the Cult, Use of Rune Metals, and Further Training and Experience).

    At this point, the character can improve or gain new abilities in the same manner whenever they attain mastery of a new Cult skill or on the Cult’s high holy day. Once they have mastered all the cult skills, they may sacrifice on every seasonal holy day. As with Shaman, Rune Lords can ‘reset’ the cost of their sacrifices by taking a geas (aka Taboo). These should suit the cult so a GM should feel free to substitute new ones in place of the default ones presented in the rules.

    I modified the Taboo chart to be a bit more generic and a bit more theistic-


    D100 Taboo/Geas

    1-4    Blessed (no Taboo)

    5     Never eat meat you or a RL of your Cult hasn’t personally killed

    6–9     Never eat herd animal meat.

    10–12 Never eat avian meat.

    13     Never eat any meat of any animal sacred to your cult.

    14–18 Remain celibate during Sacred Time.

    19–23 Remain celibate during a given season (usually corresponding to the rune level’s strongest Rune).

    24–26 All celibacy requirements above.

    27     Total celibacy always.

    28–29 Speak only Truth to everyone.

    30     Attack <enemy race> on sight.

    31–32 Always/Never show mercy to a surrendering or helpless foe

    33–34 Always play <instrument> while spellcasting.

    35–36 Always dance while spellcasting.

    37–38 Always sing while spellcasting.

    39     Only use <Elemental> speech while casting spells.

    40–41 Sleep outdoors one day every week.

    42–43 Never let an animal sacred to the faith suffer needlessly.

    44–45 Never wear leather armor.

    46–47 Never wear metal armor.

    48     Never wear any armor.

    49–50 Never wear anything on the head.

    51     Never wear any clothes but religious vestments.

    52     Never use any shield.

    53–54     Never use any axe.

    55–56     Never use any bow.

    57–58     Never use a flail or whip of any kind.

    59–61     Never use any spear.

    62–63     Never use a sword of any kind.

    64–66     Never use any weapon but Cultural and Cult Weapons

    67–69     Make pilgrimage to a Holy Place each Sacred Time.

    70–72     Make pilgrimage to a Holy Place once each season.

    73–76 Drink no alcoholic beverages

    77–79 Double magic point sacrifice each holy day

    80–82 Challenge all <pick enemy god> cultists on sight.

    83–85 Never speak to or help followers of <pick unaligned God>

    86–88 Never speak to or aid <pick race> in anyway

    89–91 Never love any but <aligned cults>

    92–93 Never take a slave

    94     Make a blood sacrifice to god every holy day (animals will suffice)

    95     Never eat the meat of horses.

    96     Surrender any children you bare/sire to the Cult.

    97–99 Roll twice more.

    00     Roll thrice more.



    • Like 2

  15. 37 minutes ago, David Scott said:

    As I said if I have timeI will write the next section.

    Yeah, I typed my response as you were typing yours. 

    37 minutes ago, David Scott said:

    "Big" spirits / Gods live in their own areas away from the middle world. They are not just sitting their waiting for you. Being a shaman is hard work. You might want to read about how real world shamans travel to meet big spirits.

    🤔Not to be insulting, but I don't believe in 'real shamans' (any more than I do priests or gods) so I am not sure how their 'experiences' could be germaine to what happens in the game. They certainly don't get lost in the 'spirit world' or eaten by 'spirits'. It's got no more baring on the game then pagan or Christian rituals do on theistic characters. Trying to base it too closely on real world religion would just feel like appropriation to me, if I were to try and run it.  


    37 minutes ago, David Scott said:

    The needy will yes, they are the ones more attached to the middle world and live in the spirit world nearby. More powerful spirits have their own agendas and aren't so needy of middle world souls. Although gods and spirits can't refuse worship (of mps and POW) they don't always seek it out or need it. The greater entities mentioned - Horned Man, Daka Fal, Waha, Hykim and Mikyh, Kolat, Kyger Litor, Jakaboom, and the Earth Witch, you will need to attract their attention - bring something good.

    Fair enough. But what's the mechanics involved?

    Ultimately though, I don't really want to play a 'decker' scenario (i.e. where one player does lots of stuff and the others twiddle their thumbs). 

    • Like 2

  16. 3 minutes ago, David Scott said:

    Go and meet the entity in the spirit world using the rules in the spirit world chapter.

    I wrote up an example here:


    Change the places and spirit to fit your situation.

    I enjoyed your scenario but that didn't really show 'bargaining' just battling with spirit. It also seems weird that a spirit would be hard to find when you want to give it gifts of your attributes. Seems like it shouldn't be so hard. Like surely they want your soul candy?

  17. 27 minutes ago, Crel said:

    1) Poo on you, I like RQ3's familiars. :P Of course we did some really weird stuff with them, which definitely wasn't in RQ3-base. I may have turned an AD&D miniaturized iron golem into my familiar and dumped way to much POW into it...

    But but how did you get around crippling yourself to make it? I just never understood it!

    I did prefer the RQ4 version better where every stat is just more POW sacrifice. That felt more fair to me. 

    27 minutes ago, Crel said:

    2) More seriously, I like the quoted idea. It makes a lot of sense to me to tie fancy new abilities to character advancement. Honestly, maybe you should think about foregoing the sacrifice, and it's just an opportunity to get X ability for Y geas? (It's not a taboo, only dirty primitive shamans have taboos!) Set it up so there's five or six abilities to pick for each deity to start from, something like that. You could even phrase the basic Rune Lord benefits (D10 DI, POW21 resist) in that way--when you've assembled all five powers, you're now that deity's RL. (IDK if that's a good idea--I'm musing.)

    LOL...I love the taboo remark. Good point.

    That's an interesting idea, I'll have to mull it over. I admit I like the idea of 'partial' rune lords. Perhaps some of them are gradiated, so you can't take DI and POW21 except as your 4th and 5th power. Though should the standard abilities come with a geas? Or should the first five powers be 'free' (mastery in five skills granted...) and then after that you take geas for more?

    I also want this for Rune Priests as well though, so need to consider that as well.


  18. 30 minutes ago, Crel said:

    Oh, battle/spirit magic, no issues. I was thinking for extension on sorcery. Because half the balancing there is needing all that intensity in duration.

    Oh yeah, no problem. I'm not entirely sure I'm going to use RQG Sorcery or If I am going to use Sandy Peterson's version (which doesn't balance with duration instead using Presence to store spells and limiting intensity by 1/10th of skill). In that case I wouldn't mind allowing it. But yeah, I wouldn't allow it with Sorcery as written.


  19. 1 hour ago, Crel said:

    I'm not sure about the Rune Lord stuff, but why not use the Fetch as a sort of variant on RQ3's familiar? Make it a "Pure Mind" or "psychic construct" or whatever. IDK if I'd let a sorcerer ever get access to something like Spell Extension though... Maybe the "fetch" would give bonus Free INT, or be able to store spells like an Inscription, but you don't risk losing the bauble.

    I like that idea. Certainly better then the Familiar variations we've seen through the ages (sacrifice attribute points indeed...)

    1 hour ago, Crel said:

    Also, it seems to me that the thing behind finding additional entities is to get odder powers. Like, if you're a shaman of Waha and you want Spirit Affinity with fire spirits, you'd have to go find some being to help you--but if you want to get Spirit Affinity with animal spirits, gee, you'd just have to look around in your spirit world home place!

    That certainly works for Spirit Affinity, but the rest seem fairly generic. I mean, sure you could say that Spirit Expansion can only be found with X spirit, but there's little narrative to hook it on.

    And frankly, I'm not really bothered. I don't want to run mini-quests for these abilities. As an older gamer with older players, most of which have families as I do, time is at a premium. We simply can't play through several soloquests to give this the 'gravitas' I think the writers would prefer. Hence my preference for a means of abstracting it.

    Humm...another option. Maybe each cult skill they master allows them to sacrifice once (meaning Rune Lords start out with 5 opportunities at sacrifice to start with). And on High Holy days they can sacrifice again maybe? That ties it to character advancement. 

  20. 56 minutes ago, Crel said:

    Also on the Shield thing, you really don't wanna go over Shield 6 or 7 on a given person, I think, because if you get crit--ignoring armor--you're limited to natural healing. Anything that gets through is going to ruin your season. At 6 or 7 it's possible for a high-POW healer to dump enough MP to get a heal through, while still giving you some serious defenses. At Shield 10+, if you get crit you're probably losing a limb permanently. (I don't think the wyter would be able to dismiss the Shield spell at a whim? but can't claim I'm certain.)

    Very true point. However, it is still sick. Your followers are running around with 10-12 points of armor naked, and then don their normal gear. A Rune Lord might get what, another 10-11 points from their iron armor, then cast a prot 4-6 for 24-29 ap. At that point they are nigh invulnerable. 

    I suppose that's when you grapple them or toss an earth elemental to swallow them or something similar. Still, it's sick.

    It also means the trope of PCs attacking an enemy temple are just not possible with these rules, not without an army. 

    • Like 1

  21. 35 minutes ago, Crel said:

    No, as far as I recall it's not in the book anywhere. Yes, it frustrates me too. Yes, I'm glad none of my players are full shamans wanting to run amok in the spirit world yet. :D

    My suggestion for now is to look at the script for the encounter with the Horned Man and Bad Man, and try making up something with a similar feel, but for the "Wind Man" or "Cow Woman" or whatever.

    Glad I'm not the only one!

    Yeah, okay, not super happy with that. If I were playing a Shaman I'd be pretty non-plussed that I didn't know how my abilities worked. ;(

    Also, real talk, I'm looking for ways of folding these abilities into the purview of Rune Level characters. I don't use shaman in my setting for various reasons, but I love the abilities so I want them to be accessible to Magus and RL characters, at least until Heroquesting rules appear.

    So what would be a suitable challenge/sacrifice for a RL to gain these abilities? Maybe you can only make the sacrifice on Seasonal holy days or high holy days? Perhaps a successful roll of Cult Lore+Worship...if you fail both nothing happens, the god is not interested in your sacrifice (a fumble means you lose one point without gaining anything). success on one means the sacrifice is given and the abilities received, but you get random taboos/geas (if you were taking them). Success on both means you get to choose your geas? Crits give you one free point of sacrifice?

  22. On 5/17/2019 at 7:14 PM, soltakss said:

    We played that Divine Intervention could not be used offensively, as stated in the rules. So, you couldn't ask for a pit to open up beneath the Lich, but you could ask for the Lich's Crypt to be hit by an earthquake, if you asked Maran Gor, but not if the crypt is a Temple.

    Interestingly, that seems to be out of the window sort of in the new rules. In the example, Orlanth gives the beseeching charact a 6 point lightning spell (granted, they still have to cast it, but...).

  • Create New...