Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Bohemond last won the day on March 17

Bohemond had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

165 Excellent

About Bohemond

  • Rank
    Senior Member


  • RPG Biography
    I've been playing RPGs since I was 8, in 1975. My older brother discovered Glorantha in 1981, and I've been playing it ever since
  • Current games
    The Orlmarth Campaign
  • Location
  • Blurb
    My blog, An Historian Goes to the Movies, at aelarsen.wordpress.com, deals with film and movie from the perspective of an academic historian.

Recent Profile Visitors

470 profile views
  1. But he could also Augment with the Illusion Rune. He can't do anything explicitly magical with either.
  2. So as you read it, I'm correct that because he is an Animist, Herrox cannot do anything with his Water rune? In order to actually do something with his Water rune, he needs to initiate into a theistic Water Rune cult? Is Herrox' player just laying the groundwork to initiate into a Theistic Water Rune cult at some point later in the campaign?
  3. I'm still trying to understand the way Heroquest handles Spirit magic. At the moment what I'm struggling with is what Animists do with their Runes. To use the example from HQG, Herrox is an Animist. He has Spirit 5W, Water 1W, and Illusion 15. His Spirit Rune is the basis for all his Charms, so they all have a 6W (5W +1 for the specific Charm). So far, so good. But what does he use his Water and Illusion runes for? His Illusion Rune doesn't have any points in it, so it's dormant, just like an Unawakened Rune would be for a Theist (say a Chalanan with the Fire Rune). But he has put 4 character points into his Water Rune. What is the value of putting points into his Water Rune at all? From a Theistic standpoint, he's Awakened that Rune, but all his Water magic depends on his Spirit Rune and as an Animist he doesn't worship any god that can give him Water Rune magic. He could join the cult of Zola Fel, but he already has Zola Fel magic from his membership in the Thirstless Society so from a role-playing perspective it wouldn't make sense to worship Zola Fel both ways and from a game-play perspective he seems to be wasting his points here. And wouldn't it make the most sense for him to just keep sinking all his points into his Spirit Rune? That would mean that in a campaign, he would quickly surpass the Theistic players in the strength of his magic--he would have perhaps 10 experience points sunk into a single rune whereas a Theist is likely to have 10 experience points spread across 2 or 3 Runes. And his Spirit magic would get the additional +6 boost against Theistic magic. Granted, the Theists will have more flexibility than he will, but in a head-to-head contest, he's likely to win. So how do Animists use their non-Spirit Runes? What am I missing?
  4. In my Glorantha, Sartarite culture thinks in terms of souls as determining gender more than bodies. A female body with an Air rune soul means the person is a man (the particular subset of men we call 'Vingan'). A male body with an Earth rune soul means the person is female (the particular subset of female we call Nandani). Sartarite culture prefers to have Air rune souls marry Earth rune souls. So Vingan women would most readily marry Nandani or Ernaldans. If they marry someone with an Air rune, they're setting themselves up for a very stormy marriage (pun intended). The marriage is unlikely to be fertile (no Earth fertility involved). Fire runes can be fertile with Earth runes and other Fire runes, but not with Air runes. Water runes, of course, can go either way as they choose.
  5. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S Beagle, has a lot to recommend it to fans of Glorantha. The central plot, of a unicorn traveling to rescue all the other unicorns who have been trapped in the sea by the Red Bull of King Haggard, is almost the definition of a hero quest. The animated film is actually pretty good as well, if you can get past the horrible songs. It has a wonderful running theme about the nature of immortality. And it's filled with great one-liners that have a rather Gloranthan feel --Never run from anything immortal. It attracts their attention. --There is no immortality like a tree's love. --She will remember you when men are myths and books are written by rabbits.
  6. "All the schoolchildren" implies that Sartarites have some system of general education roughly comparable to primary/grade school. IMO, that's far too modern a thing for a Bronze Age society. I think it may happen that a child occasionally shows signs of being favored by LM before the adulthood rites happen. In a case like that, the child might be sent to study with an LM or at Jonstown or Boldhome, but I think that's extremely uncommon. I think it's probably uncommon even in a more urban society like Esrolia or the Lunar Heartland, although I could imagine that in those cultures there is some system to test the aptitude of children, perhaps around 10 years of age.
  7. Gives a new meaning to "coming back up"...
  8. I don't think you need LM worshippers to take omens in the LM style. Just as a clan ring may have a seat for a specific god but no worshippers of that god, I think that a clan's Lawspeaker may represent LM without actually worshipping him. Obviously it helps, but one doesn't have to worship a specific god to invoke him or her for ritual purposes.
  9. Welcome to Cooking with Mahome! Today we're going to be looking at the proper way to roast a whole calf for the Sacred Time feast. First, never forget to inspect the calf for any signs of broo-birth, because broo larva will give the whole calf an unpleasant bitter taste and may cause eaters of the meat to grow hooves.
  10. The LBQ is to Heortling religion what the Passion narrative is to Christians--the core story of the religion. So just as a Christian Church wouldn't enact a nativity play during Holy Week, I don't think a Heortling tribe would perform, for example, the Sword Story instead of the LBQ. But there's still a lot of room for variation. Some churches have a series of special services which mostly look like services in other parts of the year but with a common theme, while other churches do things like Washing the Feet, a Passion Play, contemplation of the cross, a Saturday Vigil, a sunrise service, or an Easter procession. Some churches host Easter breakfasts or Easter egg hunts, which aren't strictly speaking religious rituals at all. Some do services that are mostly Bible readings and hymns, with no sermon or communion. I doubt that many Heortling clans attempt a full quest version of the LBQ--it's one of the hardest quests there is and it's rare enough that a successful quest is a long-remembered event, like a major war. But some might do one small piece of the quest, depending on what particular problems they are facing. Others (perhaps most) will simply do the Gloranthan version of liturgical drama, walking through the events with people playing the roles but not performing an actual quest. A clan with a strong tradition of worshipping one specific Lightbringer, like Issaries or Chalana Arroy, might focus their rituals on that god, while others might have a meta-cycle in which each year they focus on a different Lightbringer. Each Lightbringer receives at least one day of the Sacred Time focused on them (except Eurmal--no one wants to focus on him), so if a clan has a strong relationship with a god their rituals might culminate on that day. Worshippers may be transported to the Godtime on a particular day and help their god perform a key event during the LBQ. Another key activity is taking omens for the next year. I think most clans conduct at least one ritual seeking omens, most commonly from Lhankor Mhy I expect. But the rituals probably vary from one clan to another--one studies the entrails of a sacrificial animal, while another pours out Lhankor Mhy's Inkpot and studies the patterns that form or looks at the shapes of the clouds. Unusual natural occurrences during the Sacred Time are extremely important--if Chalana Arroy's sacred doves refuse to eat, that means that war or chaos is coming while a strong gust of wind on a cloudless day is Orlanth saying something. Everyone pays special attention to their dreams. In some clans, Sacred Time is a time to renew its relationship with the wyter or an important spirit that lives on the Tula and must be kept happy. If Old Man Willow doesn't get his pig, the hunters will have trouble finding game or they will have a lot of injuries and accidents. These rituals often take the form of little plays where the clan's pact with the godling is re-enacted. Old Man Willow thinks every chieftain is Old Hrothgar the Founder so every chieftain plays Hrothgar in that ceremony. There might be ceremonies commemorating important ancestors and a memorable deed they did. Since the walls of Time are bit weaker during the Sacred Time, it's much easier to re-enact Eonislara's Taming of the Black Death-Pig this time of year. But it's also a time of celebration. There will certainly be at least one major feast, and it includes special food items only made that day of the year--a rich egg bread drizzled with honey or candied fruits or a particular mead-drink. The fact that there are a lot of sacrifices means that there's more meat than usual--the gods get the bones and skin and the humans get the meat (except Chalana Arroy--she gets the first slice of the special spice-cake and the clan gets the rest). Many clans hold a special Voria Hunt on Day 1 to commemorate Voria's appearance on Flower Day--so the children search for toys and sweets and the first child to find where the Voria Priestess is hiding (or the clan's carved Voria Flower treasure) is the Spring Child and plays a role in the Sea Season ceremonies that year.
  11. But in HQ terms, the Mastery rune explicitly denotes leadership. Indeed, S:KoH (p.123) says "Orlanth is associated with the Mastery Rune but is not its source. This Rune is the source of leadership and self-mastery." Obviously this is a problem caused by a game world that supports two quite different systems (three, really). But we just have to work around that. Hence my question: how do people acquire the Mastery rune if it's required for political leadership of a tribe/kingdom? Orlanthi have what I would say is a reasonably obvious way to acquire it if they don't have it, but an Ernaldan can't do MotST as we currently know the myth because in that version she's a supporting character whose actions are largely invisible and merely hinted at. Joerg has suggested that there's a myth of Orendana that works for Ernaldans to get the Mastery rune, but so far as I know we don't have any info about what that myth looks like (unless there's an explanation in material I don't have with me at the moment). What about Yelmalions? They obviously can't do MotSTAnd is there anything for any of the less obvious cults, like Lhankor Mhy or Issaries--gods who probably wouldn't have engaged in brawling to help establish their claim?
  12. Fair enough, but it's close enough given the absence of anything more obvious. The Mastery rune is needed to rule a tribe and MofST involves Orlanth becoming a ruler of a tribe, so it's not a huge leap to see the quest as being used to get the Mastery rune, especially given that there needs to be a way to acquire the Mastery rune for those who have political ambitions but don't have the Mastery rune (which would be everyone except a subset of Orlanthi and the small number of people who just naturally have the Mastery rune as their third rune). Otherwise the Heortling ruling class would be a tiny elite.
  13. Well, obviously it gets into mechanics, but I'm more asking about which quests exists for the Mastery rune beyond Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe. I'd love to see the Ernalda side of MofST. We get a glimpse of it in Six Ages when Ernalda sends the questers to get material to make a torc, but that's just a snippet. Is there more from Ernalda's perspective that I don't about? It seems obvious that at some point she orchestrates the Night Tribe's attack, but how? As far as "becoming the object of a marriage contest" goes, that's a pretty passive scenario for a player to deal with, and passive generally means 'Minimum Game Fun' for the player involved. So what does Orendana actually DO in the myth?
  14. It seems established (I think) that tribal kings and queens need the Mastery rune, and clan chieftains would probably benefit from it too. But only Orlanth has the Mastery rune as one of his normal runes. Orlanthi who lack it can do the Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe quest to acquire it, but how to other cults acquire it? I suppose Elmal Guards the Stead might be used that way. But what quest do Ernaldans perform to get it? What do Yelmalions do for it, given that they obviously can't do Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe and they probably don't do Elmal Guards the Stead (although perhaps there is a Yelmalion version of that myth)?
  15. I think the gods frown on rules-lawyering. If Yelmalio tells you to never harm a woman and you try to weasel your way around it, I think Yelmalio puts you in a world of hurt. He's pretty strict about those Truth-rune issues. Like I said, I wanted to give the newbie a moment to really shine, because the player hadn't had one yet. And when I told the players afterwards what was going on, they loved it, especially the newbie, who's really into mythology.
  • Create New...