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Crel

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Crel last won the day on May 10

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About Crel

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  • RPG Biography
    First game system was D&D3.5 in my teens, moved to Pathfinder instead of 4e. Been mostly playing Pathfinder and RuneQuest since.
  • Current games
    Currently GM an RQG game centered on New Pavis & the Rubble in 1625 starring a morokanth, troll sorcerers, and a Praxian herder in way over his head.

    Longest character was a mercenary Knight-Sorcerer in a game based on RQ3 but so heavily homebrewed & houseruled I barely recognize it anymore. It's set in Glorantha, mostly in Lunar territory.
  • Location
    Southern Minnesota
  • Blurb
    I'm an aspiring writer, currently in school online for my MFA.

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  1. I'd say they do regain that RP, but I'm glad you pointed that out. I hadn't noticed/recalled that cost. Yes, I'd say so, within the usual species maximum. AFAIK, that's the only way to get INT or SIZ 21. (Or a characteristic-raising geas/gift, I guess.)
  2. Will the Compendium include an update to the Gloranthan Runes font, to include the technique symbols for those who wish to produce sorcery content?
  3. Page 138 of RQG is good too (though I can't remember what's shared in the Sourcebook). One of the Vasana's Saga passages.
  4. Treat the following as musings not necessarily in a particular order, rather than well-organized feedback. One of the big questions that comes to mind for me is why anyone would sacrifice POW for a 30% Rune/Technique rating? If you can train them as a percentile anyway, I find it hard to imagine any budding sorcerer would sacrifice POW for more Runes or Techniques when there's so many other uses if they have spare POW to sacrifice, even for pure sorcerers (MP matrixes, inscriptions, binding enchants, etc). Now, if it just was a one-time increase to your skill by 30%, I could see that being worth the sacrifice. Jump from 80 to 110, or 100 to 130 totally is worth POW; possibly too good though, there. Another alternative which comes to mind is that the sorcerer can have any percentage in a Rune/Technique, but it only counts as "mastered" if they sacrificed POW for it. In this idea, the sorcerer could use their full percentage, but would have to pay extra magic points until mastering. I disagree with getting both a Rune and a Technique for each point of INT above 12. In part because there's only six Techniques, but I also feel like the either/or structure in vanilla sorcery does allow an interesting set of decisions to be made because with inferred Runes/Techniques you can get quite a lot of good stuff, but still be missing out. Although increasing this increases sorcerer flexibility, I'm not sure it creates as many interesting decisions for the player. (Although it does mean that player sorcerers won't be just running around with Command or Tap and inferring every other Technique for their entire careers... Hrm.) I like that you're moving away from Free INT. Total INT as the manipulation cap still sits ill with me, if I'm honest, but I like your model better, and I don't really have a suggestion here which both 1) I like better and 2) is as- or less-complex than vanilla. I like casting using half percentile of an inferred R/T, but I suggest treating it as unmastered for purposes of MP cost. That way there's still an incentive to develop that R/T as a skill on its own. Even with the huge MP batteries I imagine most sorcerers will build up over time, having MP efficiency is still worthwhile. Speaking of, I like your simplification of the MP costs. Any quantity of unmastered = doubled MP is a nice hotfix IMO, especially since I felt vanilla's wording on MP multiplication got a bit vague at times. While I like that spirit magic doesn't interfere with INT of sorcery (it just feels so strange to me in vanilla that a CHA-thing interferes with an INT-thing...) I think this section in "Acquiring New Spells" should be reworded. Sorcery spells don't have points like spirit magic, so just something like "A sorcerer may know as many spells as their INT" is sufficient. One spell, one point. I'd still allow the "dormant spells" rules from vanilla though, to let sorcerers keep back weird or super specific spells they won't need regularly (and in part, because I just think that rule's interesting). Though inscriptions can extend a sorcerer's INT, so it's not too big a deal. Can personal skill bonuses be added to new R/T's during character creation? Since they're skills now. Letting you get past the four total R/Ts a LM Philosopher starts with. An idea: to differentiate a bit more between what different R/T's different sorcerers have mastered, perhaps full INT only is usable if the sorcerer has all R/Ts in the spell mastered. If any are unmastered, max intensity equals half INT. Can still be bumped up with inscriptions. Could add a bit of texture to the decision-making and emphasize what spells different schools or cults are good at, and what they're middling at. The Egregious Munchkin in me reads this as implying that a sorcerer using your system can still know and cast a spell even if they know none of the R/Ts involved in a spell (nor any of its inference options). For instance, for some reason a Philosopher took Summon and Death as their Technique and Rune, then learned the spell Dominate Spirit (Command & Spirit) they could cast it on (0+INT+Mods)%. The distinction here is that really, there shouldn't ever be a case where a sorcerer is casting using a 0% R/T because they're using the half of an inferred R/T instead. (Provided that you do want to require sorcerers to have either mastered or inferred all R/Ts involved in a spell as the core rules do). Presenting an example of casting with an uninferred 0% (and no statement that at least 1 or X R/Ts must be mastered to know a spell) implies to the Munchkin that they can hypothetically have any spell with mediocre chances of casting. If R/Ts are Magic category skills, shouldn't you add the adventurer's Magic bonus to all casting attempts, too? Do inscriptions add levels for the sorcerer who made them, per vanilla, or are they more like only spell matrices? I think that section could do with a little expanding to more clearly define how they work in your system. Finally (and most importantly), thanks so much for sharing! Personally, I always enjoy seeing new rules ideas and game options. Welcome to the board!
  5. Idea/query that came to mind in light of @MOB's Jonstown Compendium announcement: how does a character on Cradle of Heroes interact between multiple accounts? For example, Joe creates a character "Billy the Stabber" and posts it as open content. Later, Mandy takes up Billy the Stabber as her adventurer in a campaign. Is she able to add Billy to her roster, and thereafter edit her closed content copy of Billy as she adventures and gains experience? The broader context being if an adventure in the Compendium were to offer pregens and link to your utility.
  6. From what I remember of King of Dragon Pass, I don't think carls are "nobility" in the sense Akhorahil means. Nobility would be more thanes, Rune Masters/devotees, etc. And redsmiths and free farmers have the same base income, 80L, on the occupation entries (pages 65-66). Tenant farmers only get 40L; I believe this is the carl/cottar distinction. @Akhôrahil did your analysis look at those entries, by any chance? Now that I've glanced back to them, it's not automatically clear to me where the other 16L of a hide's 64L is coming from for a free farmer. I'd presume herds of pigs or an herb garden or something near the home, generating "effective income" more than actual coins.
  7. As a neophyte, relatively speaking, I'm really enjoying what I see as I skim through your writeup. One of my challenges when venturing out of Dragon Pass/Prax is that the cultures overlap and tangle atop one another really quickly, and I start to feel lost in the distinctions. (In particular, I feel this increases the farther north I wander.) In contrast, your writeup feels concise and consequentially more engaging. I really like the "What my Maskmaker told me" section. I also like how this writeup interacts with and justifies human sacrifice, describing what Earth humans see as dark and awful in a... well, still somber, but more acceptable and necessary sense. I could see myself trying to play a Spolite, is what I'm trying to get at. And that's not often my reaction to Gloranthan religion/culture writeups. Thanks for sharing your work.
  8. I bet someone's gonna ask it, so it might as well be me. Does that imply an ETA? 😉
  9. Sounds really cool! Visually, looks a bit like the Rancor from Return of the Jedi to me. Reminds me of a chaos horror I once fought which I thought was a canon Glorantha critter but isn't in the RQG bestiary soooo... IIRC basically was the stats of like 4 people melded together and then had a bunch of chaotic features stacked atop it. Hope the session goes well!
  10. Crel

    Taunts!

    "You barbarians can't tell the difference between a cow and a woman!" Or a bull and a man, as best fits. Or maybe goat instead; goats are verboten to eat for most RQG cultures if I remember the Equipment & Wealth chapter correctly.
  11. What's the nasty monster in the back? He/She/It/Quibbldorf looks like a good time!
  12. Crel

    Nature of Metals

    There was a little iron running around! If I recall correctly, Tutankhamun's grave had an iron dagger, and the Hittites had access to some items of iron. My understanding is that Bronze Age humans couldn't really produce the metal, but they could work meteoric iron with some effort. Probably quite a bit less than what Glorantha's got running around, but IIRC there are some iron artifacts from Earth's equivalent cultures. But then, we have the myths how Orlanth stole Lightning (Boy) from Sky. So, to recap (and please correct me if I'm wrong): Tin is Lodril, associated with heat and the warm earth (or warming the earth?) Tin might be Aether's ejaculate, associated with Sky Tin is lightning, associated with Storm (now that I think back I think Plunder has tin armbands that shoot lightning or something.) Does Tin ever get a day off? This is probably too "God-Learner-ey" of me, but ought each metal be associated with one element, or is it coherent within Glorantha for it to have associations among multiple "species" of deity? I know internal contradictions is a thing in how the setting's presented, but there's this deep-down bit in me that says "well in the end it ultimately has to follow A or Not-A".
  13. I'm splitting off from another thread here, both because I don't think this post would be very on-topic there but also because I think this is something worth sharing and discussing. I'm curious what Earth things other folks use in imagining Glorantha, both textually and visually. Especially visually--like stuff a GM could direct players toward, or print out as scenery. Textually, I'm curious what translations into English of non-English works others find evocative (because so much relies on an inspired translation, even if it's inaccurate). But most importantly I think this is about sharing and mutual curiosity. Thanks for sharing, @David Scott. I enjoyed this, as well as another film Youtube suggested to me afterward about Tibetan yogis; while the narration had a bit of uncomfortable fetishizing going on, it had some interesting archival footage of Tibet before the Chinese invasion right at the beginning. In particular, I found the distant shots of Lhasa very evocative of Boldhome to my imagination. There also was some footage within the city (very brief, unfortunately), which I enjoyed, and think could be interesting for getting visuals of Glorantha—folk engaging in the activities of everyday life within an urban, mostly un-Westernized culture. Myself, I find my imagination repeatedly turns to the Hittites when I try to imagine Sartar. They're bronze age, live in hills (kinda), use chariots, go warring against everyone, and worship a Storm King! Their bas reliefs (at least I think that's the art form's name) and statuary rings so truely with the reliefs shown in the Glorantha Sourcebook that something just rings really true for me. I found them originally through Trevor Bryce's book Kingdom of the Hittites (not trying to push buying things, just figure Amazon link's quickest for identification), which I found enthralling. Hits that sweet spot between detailed history and storytelling, for me. There's also a novel about their king Suppiluliumas, I, the Sun, by Janet Morris. Fair warning, it gets somewhat graphic in places, but IMHO it does a good job making a real bastard (by Western morals) become relatable and sympathetic while still acting within what seemed to me like Bronze Age ethics and standards. For trying to think about the sorts of stories told and the way people speak, I really like Stephen Mitchell's verse translation of Gilgamesh. I feel like most prose renditions really slog, but Mitchell's version is something I find myself returning to again and again. It's both completely over the top, yet feels emotionally raw—just like an Orlanthi hero should be. (Turns out you can read an excerpt here as well, which is neat.)
  14. One POW sacrificed provides access to one special Rune spell and all common Rune spells the cult provides. The ceiling on sorcery's return on a POW investment is higher, but it takes a while to get to that ceiling. Consider two adventurers who each have sacrificed seven POW for their magic. For a sorcerer with INT 18, this fills out their options for Runes and Techniques (2+one per point of INT above 13). Assuming no MP problems (having access to matrices, crystals, etc) they need one Technique, either Command or Tap, and then some combination of Elemental, Power, and Form Runes. Form's the trickiest, since they can't be intuited from an opposite. They keep one spell memorized, and any others dormant. They know no spirit magic spells. Their Free INT is 17. Let's assume they know Command, then Earth (intuiting Fire/Sky and Darkness), Air (adding Water), Spirit, Man, Death, and Truth. You potentially have access to a great deal of useful spells, such as Ward Against Weapons and Logician. However, that sorcerer will never be able to learn spells which require the Beast, Chaos, Disorder, Harmony, Plant, Movement, or Stasis Runes. The sorcerer has access to a broader range of spells than the cultist at this level, but still has some inherent restrictions on what magic they can learn. (The above sketch might not be wholly optimized for Runes known, but I think it gives a reasonable picture.) Let's assume, generally, that for a spell to be relevant you want a strength of 5. That leaves you with 12 Free INT for duration, one week. So your strength 5 buffs last for a week, and typically require oodles of MP because you're only using the Command technique. You could get higher through further investments of POW into inscriptions. Each point spent there is very inflexible--you're spending a point to get better at one thing instead of all of your things. It's a good long-term investment, but as said before, it's slow. Now, you don't have a cap on how much POW you can invest--a theist does, with RP capped by CHA (although enchantments, quibble quibble quibble--not worth it). Every week you cast Ward Against Weapons 5 and Spirit Warding 5. An average sword attack (1D8+1) has about a 45% chance of being prevented (5.5 average damage rounding to 6). An average ghost's spirit combat damage (POW 4D6, CHA 3D6, combined average of 24-25) is right on the line between 1D6 and 1D6+1, averaging 3.5 or 4.5. This is blocked by Spirit Warding either 60% or 50% of the time, rounding up both. If the incoming damage wins this roll, the sorcerer is taking full effect. Even assuming a sorcerer with very large inscriptions and spells, there's always the 5% chance to overcome (although this is loosely parallel to getting a critical success with weapon attacks). In contrast, a theist with an investment of seven POW has seven Rune points. They can use these to cast any of seven special Rune spells--not all of the spells available to the most common cults (Orlanth & Ernalda), but a substantial majority. The "good" ones, to a player's perspective, including the options from associate cults. They could choose to cast one at two points for a year, but then wouldn't have any Rune magic for that year. Not a great option, but Shield 1 for a season leaves 2 points left for common magic and isn't a crazy choice--free Countermagic against the first round of Befuddle or Disruption. They typically have a good chance of casting, with an absolute minimum of 50% (bottom requirement to become an initiate) and more likely 70-80%, based on adventurers I've seen in actual play--I've never seen someone make an adventurer with 60% or less in all of their cult Runes. The real difference shows up in combat. The theist can cast right away, and still make attacks in that round. The sorcerer has spells already cast. If this is a Boon of Kargan Tor with strength 4 (for 2 weeks, because you're not gonna use strength 5 for no benefit) that's giving +1D6 to attacks, average 3.5. The average sword attack referenced above now deals 9 damage--nowhere near enough to break past a parry, but enough to have decent chance of disabling a hit location on someone with 13-15 HP past good armor. But if the Orlanth cultist invokes Shield on SR1 or has it set up from Extension, that bonus is always reduced, instead of maybe (with Ward). I'm assuming no damage bonuses anywhere in this, and I'm assuming the sorcerer's not going to attempt casting spells in combat. I'm also trying to assume it's just one theist and one sorcerer. At some stage, the POW investment starts to favor the sorcerer, but this takes quite a while--probably, in my guesstimation, an amount of time after which the theist has become a Rune Master. Using the same seven POW as above, if a sorcerer wanted only Ward against Weapons, that requires 2 POW (Death/Fertility, and a suitable Technique). Add the other five POW to a WaW inscription, and you get strength 10 for a week. That still leaves the average sword attack a 30% chance to sneak through. And that's five POW that isn't contributing to anything else the sorcerer does; it's only contributing to how good they are at Ward Against Weapons. I don't think anyone's saying, realistically, that sorcery's ceiling isn't completely bonkers. If you've got a POW budget of 30 to toss around, you're gonna have a few really powerful spells prepped and have access, potentially, to a huge variety of spells. But the amount of time and energy for an actual gameplay adventurer to reach that stage is substantial. Hugely substantial. At the seven-POW mark, the theist's options are more consistent because they don't rely on the resistance table, and are more flexible due to the diversity of spell access. (That's not something I think I got into adequately above for the sorcery. Hypothetically, that sorcerer could know dozens of specific, useful spells. In practice, it's unlikely that they'll know more than INT, I figure, because they can learn at most one per season and must hunt down their spells from books and teachers, which seems more difficult to me than finding a temple, or one with an appropriate associated shrine. And I'll note that I've left out a theist's spirit magic entirely.) 1-2 seasons of time isn't an amount of time which can be taken as "for granted" by an adventurer. That's two adventurers in which something can go wrong, leaving the sorcerer dead. (I'd also note that Moonfire, IMHO, is an example of a badly written spell same with Steal Breath.) As mentioned above, I can't imagine that an adventurer would be created with only a 60% chance in their main Runes of use. Most adventurers I've seen use their 50 elective points to boost the relevant Runes. Also, several cults get to worship for RP multiple times a season. For example, Issaries has a minor holy day (for 1D6 on successful Worship) every Wildday which one of my players makes regular, persistent abuse of, trying for Spell Trading and using/selling Analyze Magic. Orlanth and Ernalda are both worse, thanks to their piles of associated cults and their better magic. I think the most important overall point is that while a sorcerer's potential is flexible, in practice they're very, very good at a couple specific spells, due to the POW economy required for making inscriptions. I think they need more POW than an equivalent theist does to become dangerous. At CHA 18, a Rune Lord has 18 RP. For a sorcerer with their Runes+Techniques filled, that would be 11 POW dedicated to inscriptions. That's probably two, maybe three spells boosted. They have the option of a pile of spells, but will only have a few set up for effects both powerful and lasting, and are limited for what spells they are actually ready to cast at a moment's notice. In contrast, the theist's potential is more static, and has a much lower ceiling, but within the same amount of POW spent, the theist seems stronger. The sorcerer only becomes certainly stronger, to my eye, once they've spent a fair bit more POW than the theist. The stage at which the theist begins to slow seems to me the point where the sorcerer's just starting to really grow.
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