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Richard S.

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Posts posted by Richard S.

  1. 19 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

    This might be better fodder for another thread, but it does raise an interesting issue: how do you confidently edit away parts of a book that was directly revealed by miracle? Did Rokar need to develop a theoretical framework that discredited the self-writing miracle? Did he stick to the miracle, but attritubed certain parts to later additions by Jrustelans? Is there any writing on this?

    AFAIK all the stuff he cut out he claimed was additions by the God Learners and not part of the original. And to be fair, he does have a little bit of a point, since the abiding book was really just put together by a bunch of wizards handpicking the stories that fit their beliefs.

    "Mundane Explanation
    The Abiding Book was put together by the early God
    Learners, and was indicative of the work they would later do
    on a larger scale. Admittedly, they were probably under the
    divine guidance of Malkion, but they selected the stories
    that most illustrated their monotheistic revelations, revised
    them into a pleasant style of narration popular in the period,
    and began copying it in scriptoria to spread Malkion’s word."
    -Revealed Mythologies, page 17

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  2. Hm. Alright. Forgive me if I'm missing something incredibly obvious, but how exactly is Seshnela an oppressive, evil, unplayable place comparable to the Galactic Empire? I haven't delved too much into it, to be fair, but from what I've read in the guide and heard on Malkioni society in general from Jeff (mostly from the latest impromptu con), it seems to me that it's no worse than, say, the Lunar Empire (and people are more than willing to adventure in and be involved with the politics of that empire's heartlands). I suppose you could read the castes themselves as a form of oppression, yet as I understand it the restrictions aren't really too enforced on the lower classes, especially the Dronars, who are mostly free to go about their business - both material and magical - as long as they give some worship to the Invisible God, supply power to their Zzaburi, and don't overtly do something like wear a lot of yellow around the wizards and nobles. And while Seshnela is looking to stamp out all other forms of Malkionism and conquer the west, I'm going to point again to the Lunar Empire for example of something very similar that everyone seems to be perfectly fine playing with/in. Certainly there's a lot wrong in Seshnela from our own perspective, but I don't see how it's "unplayable".

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  3. ...I don't suppose anyone would mind doing a TLDR? I feel like I really like this thread, but I can't say for certain until my brain manages to decode the arcane script y'all are speaking.

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  4. If we want to get deeper into mountain = law territory, when True Dragons sleep mountains often form around/above them. Sleeping/dead dragons forming the basis of a lawful universe? Maybe dragons become singular laws which are runes as they sleep, explaining their elemental associations.

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  5. Even if they can't be a Rune priest they can at least be a God-Talker. Less cult support and no allied spirit (usually, maybe your player could be an exception), but they get the rest of the benefits of priesthood. Unfortunately there's not many male earth gods in general, and even less martial ones (it's likely most of them followed Genert to his death). I seem to remember something about one of them being rediscovered in Sartar quite recently, a minor earth god devoted to chaos fighting, but I don't recall his name. Currently, I think your only other option is actually Aldrya. It's a bit of an odd choice, but non-aldryami can technically join and advance as far as any elf could, and she does provide some nice martial magic.

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  6. Speaking as someone who's been obsessed with dragonewts since I first found Glorantha, Magisaurs don't really scratch the same "I wanna play a dragon man" itch. I get that dragonewts are difficult to use as anything but NPCs, but it would be nice if there were options for crested or beaked newts who had just lost the path and become mortal while still retaining their form, rather than just saying "play a dinosaur instead", or even some way to play orthodox dragonewts.

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  7. 6 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

    Isn't Kajabor's whole deal that he utterly destroys too?

    Yeah. Generally, Kabajor is seen as the "entropic" side of the Devil/Chaos while Wakboth is the "moral" side. Of course, these aren't hard lines, and honestly they're probably just different names/forms of the same thing, but it's a common way of looking at things.

  8. I feel like I should probably expand on a few things in my original post. Starting with the "distance, time, target" stuff, all that's supposed to be is general guidelines for determining what's credible for a spell to do. It's just an in-world thing to consider for the credibility test, not a new mechanic. I'm not trying to add a whole new complex subsystem for spell parameters and magic power and stuff like that, just trying to put in some boundaries for effects for the sake of players who don't feel comfortable creating magical abilities with few to no guidelines or understanding of what they should be able to do. Old hands have been going at this for ages, and can easily adjudicate when or where something magical makes sense, but people jumping in from Runequest or just total new players are extremely out of their depth in Questworlds, in my experience.

    The stuff I said about fatigue is, similarly, just a credibility test thing. If your character has been using a lot of magic recently, or they're just exhausted, it's not credible for them to continue casting magic as easily as they have been. They'll take a penalty or, if the GM rules they're even worse off than that, be unable to use spells at all.

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  9. Here's some notes I made for how I'd probably handle Gloranthan magic in Questworlds, attempting to hybridize HQG's magic with how RQG treats it and some things Ian has mentioned. They're rather incomplete, and I get that several people prefer HQG's systems already, but I just wanted to get my thoughts out here and maybe start some discussion on how other people have/will be handling Gloranthan games under the new rules, if they're not just using HQG still.

    General Magic

    • Adulthood initiation serves to awaken your dominant rune affinities. For most people this is only one, the elemental rune of their pantheon’s head deity, but a starting player character can have up to three rune affinities at the beginning of play. These can be used to augment other abilities, but cannot be used as direct magical abilities initially. Also act as personality abilities or flaws if they are acted against.
    • More rune affinities can be gained in play, especially through heroquests.
    • Continuing to act against a rune will lead to a crisis where you either lose the affinity entirely or it completely dominates your character, making it impossible to act against it for a long while.
    • Magic is tiring. Excessive use of spells will start to inflict penalties, and eventually you may become entirely drained unless you can get a good long rest, preferably a night’s sleep. Purposefully using more energy than necessary can improve the effect of a spell, along with spending extra time or having help.
    • Shamans and rune masters may lose some or all of their magical and temporal power if they fail to uphold their responsibilities. Sorcerers may lose temporal power if they don’t have their superior’s approval, but their personal magical power remains.

    Spirit Magic

    • Spells are spirit abilities either stolen or given in return for power. Standalone unless you’re a shaman, who can hang them off the spirit rune as breakouts. Can be used directly if appropriate.
    • Low power; average 50 meters, 2 minutes, single target. Limited flexibility, a single spell’s parameters can’t be changed that much, though the strength can be increased some. Multiple characters cannot combine effort for spirit magic, but spirits can help.
    • Characters with the spirit rune qualify to become shamans. They can use their rune to view and communicate with spirits as if they were normal characters, and can take spirit magic spells as breakouts from the spirit rune.
    • Bound spirits are treated as retainer relationships. Allied spirits and fetches are treated as sidekicks. Shamans can have contacts, allies, and even patrons among spirits.

    Rune Magic

    • Spells are recreations of mythic deeds of the god backed by the god’s power in return for sacrifice. Breakouts from appropriate runes. Can always be used directly. Rune masters can use the runes they share with their god as direct abilities without relying on breakouts.
    • Powerful; average 160 meters, 15 minutes, size of a small room. A little more flexibility than spirit magic, and multiple magicians can combine efforts to get off much more powerful effects. Very taxing to cast, only a little less so for rune masters.
    • Rune affinity can serve as relationship ability with god. Relationship to cult is a separate ability.
    • High ranking members of a cult are rune masters, who get more attention from their god. Can use runes directly, gain an allied spirit, and wield more power in cult affairs.
    • Gods expect sacrifice in return for their power. Neglecting sacrifice can lead to them withdrawing favor. Excessive sacrifice can lead to great benefits. More important worshipers are expected to sacrifice more.


    • Spells are complex mental exercises that modify and exploit natural laws through force of will. Grouped into grimoires of related spells, which are treated as breakouts from the law rune. Spells can be used directly if appropriate. Only characters with the law rune can learn sorcery.
    • A little weaker than spirit magic; average 10 meters, 5 minutes, single target. Incredibly flexible at the cost of being very slow and costly. Multiple sorcerers can easily combine effort.
    • Characters with the law rune qualify to become sorcerers. The rune itself can’t be used for anything directly, but grimoires are learned as breakouts from it.
    • Non-sorcerers can assist sorcerers through certain ritual procedures.
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  10. 11 minutes ago, None said:

    Speaking of the Lightbringer Quest. As a quick aside, would It be posible for a Yelmite to hijack the Yelm role in said Quest to massively, ah, mess with any Hero Questing Orlantyhis that are performing it? The potential seems staggering and potentially horrifying.

    Oh sure a Yelmite could definitely be pulled in to the role of Yelm. Them trying to mess with what Orlanth tries to do though is such a horrifyingly chaotic thought I shudder at what the consequences would be. The point of the LBQ is that Orlanth and Yelm resolved their differences and allied to create a world where everyone could live. Either side disrupting that means a violation in the foundation of the Great Compromise, and nobody but the most insane, evil illuminates would want that.

  11. 37 minutes ago, None said:

    I kind of guessed that was it but that still raises the question how Yelm has two opposing runes whern the book quite directly implies that is tied to Illumination.

    Yelm is tied to illumination somewhat, both due to his authority over both life and death and because Nysalor is often seen as a piece of Yelm. Based on what Jeff's said elsewhere, it looks like it's intended that Illuminates are the only ones who can use Yelm's powers to their fullest.

    37 minutes ago, None said:

    I have to say that it feels wierd that Yelm doersn't have the Mastery Rune. Is tyhe aspects of Mastery supposed to somewhow be baked into the Sky/Fire Rune?

    Mastery in RQG represents "heroism" more than "authority", which is why Orlanth has it while Yelm does not. They're both sovereigns, but that power is accessed through their other runes.

    37 minutes ago, None said:

     That does make the Stasis Rune less attractive a rune affinity lness you you can always use it to more easily resist magick targeted at you. Actually I'm begining to feel sorry for the poor rune.
    It also messes with the immage I've already built from back with Hero Quest. With the Orlanthi as speedy and dodgy warriors who drew in the Movement rune to avoid most attacks and the Yelmites and Solars in general as slower and more solid warriors that draw on the Stasis Rune to withstand or shrug-of most damage.

    The runes are far more than just fancy powers, they have a profound impact on a character's personality and outlook on life. In fact, I'd argue that their influence on character's mental states is more important to consider than what magic you can pull off with them. Even if there aren't flashy rune spells for stasis, if you want to play a solid, stubborn, steadfast character there's plenty of reason to invest in it, since you can use it for augments that are in line with those traits.

    37 minutes ago, None said:

    Which makes me wonder does not-Yu-Kargzant Yelm have spells that require the use of the either the Death Rune or the Fertility rune, forcing a Yelmite to choose which way to lean?

    Choosing which way to lean is a personality thing more than anything. Is your Yelmite life-loving and generous, grim and cold, or with no strong leanings either way?

    Edit: choosing life or death probably affects which associate spells you can use too. If you have 90% life, you're probably not gonna get to use whatever Shargash gives to Yelm.

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  12. Dara Happan Yelm in RQG won't have Stasis. If you have the cult compendium, it'll probably be closest to how he's presented in there. Basically it's the same general structure and magic as the Grazer cult, but without Golden Bow and adding the Imperator subcult, which gives access to certain important spells like Resurrection and Command Griffin, to name a few. He also gets far more associate cults in Dara Happa, which is to say basically the entire solar pantheon plus a good chunk of earth gods and maybe a water or two.

  13. 48 minutes ago, metcalph said:

    Consider two horali, both who know Enhance STR as part of their caste magic.  One has a rightness of three while the other has a rightness of ten.  The might righteous horali can cast a higher strength Enhance STR.  How is that not useful.

    Part of the point that me and I believe kr0p0s are trying to make is that those Horali would not know Enhance STR, and even if they did they could not manipulate it. Learning sorcerous spells is the domain of sorcerers who have trained for years to master runes and techniques. There are limited exceptions in the form of cult secrets like Open Seas, but, because it can be cast without knowing runes and techniques, that can't even be manipulated unless the caster is a sorcerer. It's been established that non-Zzaburi use Rune and/or spirit magic, and any sorcery they need is cast by Zzaburi who have trained their whole lives to learn it. From the two hints at abilities we have combined with what we know of western magic already, it seems highly unlikely that they'll be % skills that have to be trained, like sorcery spells, and instead closer to cult gifts or shamanic gifts or rune magic in terms of mechanics. Even if the lore behind them is that they're derived, like sorcery, from universal laws, they most likely aren't sorcery themselves.

  14. 16 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

    Where do the Sun County folks originate? Are they originally Kethaelans/Kerofinelans, for the most part? If so, the agricultural importance of Lodril/Veskarthan is probably not that great. However, if there's a large Pelorian-derived contingent, you'd assume the Lodril-Oria duo would be important for any commoner farming village/plantation.

    They're mostly Kethaelan/Kerofinelan I'd wager if we're talking the Praxian temple, since they came from the EWF (assuming I didn't fail my history check). Maybe a few Pelorians, but they're probably so mixed in it doesn't matter. Yelmalio and Ernalda seem to be their dominant gods, and the structure of Sun County society doesn't really lend itself to Lodrili villages anyways.

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  15. 9 hours ago, metcalph said:

    I had already addressed Dragon Magic in the post you were responding to and illumination has no cast magic.

    You said "in Runequest, all magic is of one of three types". I was responding to that part by stating things which don't fall into any of those three categories. I wasn't trying to say they were types of caste magic, just that they were neither sorcery, spirit, nor rune magic.

    9 hours ago, metcalph said:

    I find this sort of hand-waving hard to believe. 

    That's not handwaving, that's how the designers have said it's being treated. Dormal's cult teaches Open Seas to all initiates, which is a sorcery spell but can be cast without knowledge of runes and techniques for 9mp, with no manipulation allowed unless the caster actually is a sorcerer who knows its runes and techniques.

    9 hours ago, metcalph said:

    Let's see.  The people are Malkioni famous for their study of sorcery.  Why would it not be sorcery?  That you didn't bother to engage with the example of the Talar's magic suggests further debate with you will be fruitless.  So bye

    Zzaburi are famous for sorcery, yes, but non-Zzaburi are not sorcerers and do not use it, as Jeff revealed in the impromptu con. They worship their ancestors (some of whom are gods), initiate to cults, and use rune and spirit magic like most of the rest of Genertela. If you want to know my thoughts on whether the Talar ability will be closest to Command Worshippers or Dominate Humanoid I say Dominate Humanoid, though not because I think it's any sort of sorcery spell, but instead because I think the effect will be similar, if not as mind control-y and probably more limited in who it can affect. Command Worshippers isn't even that much about commanding, since it doesn't actually compel obedience from the summoned Orlanthi besides the compulsion to gather to the caster, after which they're free to do whatever.

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  16. 2 minutes ago, metcalph said:

    Open Seas is an example of a spell that is taught to other castes.  It is not necessarily the only such spell and I can think of a number of other spells that might be taught to lower caste Malkioni (for example the Loskalmi might have Medespiction, Venerate Saint etc).    None of these types of spells are ever going to be as useful as spirit magic but they will fulfil a particular niche with Malkioni society

    Open seas is a cult secret of the Dormal cult, and the fact that non-sorcerers can even learn it has been said to be a unique accomplishment of his iirc.

    4 minutes ago, metcalph said:

    In RuneQuest, all magic is one of three types: sorcery, spirit magic or rune magic.  Which would caste magic fall under?  They are not spells in the RQG rules but they would still be sorcery IMO.  Or to look at it another way, the Talar's forced command.  What would more likely be the basis for that?  The Command Worshippers rune spell (RQG p324) or the Dominate Human sorcery spell (RQG p394).

    What is Dragon Magic? Illumination? The innate abilities of certain magical creatures? Are they sorcery, spirit, or rune? There is a ton of magic outside the sorcery/spirit/rune division.

    6 minutes ago, metcalph said:

    Until Jeff recently revealed Caste Magic, which I had just been discussing,

    What reason do you have to believe that it's sorcery though? The other three castes already use rune and spirit magic, why can't it be based on those if it has to be based on one of the three? And why can't it be something entirely unique?

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  17. On 3/19/2021 at 5:54 AM, metcalph said:

    Caste Magic:

    I think that most Caste Magic (ie non Zzaburi) is sorcery.  There's several different models that could be used (such as the RQ3 Godunya shortform magic in which the worshipper could expend POW to cast sorcery).  But I think it likely that rightness acts as a intensity limit (ie a Rightness of 3 means only spells with an intensity of up to 3 points can be cast) with the magic points being provided by the Malkioni (and may be INT as a limiter on the amount of caste magic that can be known).

    Rather than there being a standard caste magic list for everybody in that caste, most Malkioni have occupation lists.  For example, the caste magic of a horseman (ie Enhance DEX, CON) will be different from that of a footsoldier (Enhance STR< CON).  Commoners will have caste magic based on what guild they belong to.  The Zzaburi's caste magic abilities will be based on their order while the Talar's is based on what Great House they are a member of (and they would have more extensive caste magic than lower castes).

    The current approach seems to be that sorcery is the domain of the Zzaburi alone, since with the exception of Dormal's Open Seas spell you need knowledge of runes and techniques to cast any, and those are only taught to wizards. From the two examples we've gotten hints towards (the Zzaburi and Talar), I think it's more likely they're just passive abilities whose power varies based on Rightness. The Zzaburi probably can store MP up to their Rightness, and I wouldn't be surprised if it increased their Free INT some as well (which I think would account for the abilities of an NPC sorcerer we've seen but I can't remember the name of). Talars probably can just force obedience in other Malkioni of lower Rightness, maybe with an opposed POW check or an expenditure of Rightness though.

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  18. 1 hour ago, EricW said:

    Eurmal is the Orlanthi god of change. He brought death into the world, kicked off the entire second age by splitting someone’s tongue, innumerable other outrages and affronts to order. It’s just when it all gets too crazy and out of control Orlanth reminds his bondsman he promised not to break the world, and promised to help clean up the mess.

    Eurmal is a god of disorder, not change. He didn't create new things (though he did discover death), he just broke things. It can be argued that that's a form of change, but only a limited form, as Movement is change for the better as well as for the worse, or change for neither. Orlanth is the Orlanthi god of change, not Eurmal.

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  19. 7 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

    Sartar appears to have done so. His change appears to have been based on some previous forms, iirc, but he did innovate, and in a seemingly methodic, planned manner. He was both Orlanth-initiated and associated with Issaries, I think? 

    I don't think he had Issaries connections, but he was a Larnsting so he was very closely connected to Movement. 

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