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Squaredeal Sten

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About Squaredeal Sten

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    San Antonio
  • Interests
    Politics, History, Muzzle Loading, Miniature Wargaming, Runequest


  • RPG Biography
    Began playing D&D in about 1980 - and Runequest the same year. GM'd the Fantasy Trip 1982-3. Just coming back to Runequest now, 2020.
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    San Antonio, Texas, USA
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    Not trying to rock the boat, just to navigate without capsizing.

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  1. I realize that due to mis-interpreting the RQG shield rules, we have been playing with an informal house rule; The GM has let a medium shield automatically take the damage to a left arm or chest. A mis-interpretation possibly based on a hasty reading of the shields / missile weapons section and the phalanx section of the combat rules. But it seems a reasonable thought- possibly good to add to the current rules? What do you think?
  2. 1. Trolls in the Argan Argar cult would buy bronze spearheads. It's probably hard to find a troll redsmith, so they would buy repair services too. A redsmith near a troll area might have a steady stream of troll customers. That may not help your Issaries merchant but would be a nice touch in a campaign. Trolls would buy matrices and spell trading for many non-Darkness rune spells. How about flight? Wouldn't a flying troll be unexpected and effective? 4. Giants could strip mine, where otherwise people like dwarves would tunnel. Strip mining a whole seam of bronze could be a major industrial service. As for the chaotic giants issue, what's more chaotic than strip mining?
  3. IMHO Professional income? Yes. From the "after adventure" section of RQG, that looks clear. Land income? Yes. Nor does your cult take the net after those, because isn't your other cult equal to Orlanth's? Surely you as a good supporter will say yes. Dissenters will be visited by a Spirit of Reprisal.. Income paid by the cult: Yes, it's just like in our real world social security is taxable at least up to a point even though it is paid by the government. Adventuring? Yes of course, as a player your income is basically adventuring income. Gifts? Yes because that may not be distinguishable from adventuring income. You adventure, do well, the chieftain or the duke 'gives' you weapons, an arm ring.... lots of non cash income there. The United States is interested in your cash income but that's not a practical rule for a predominantly non-cash economy as in Glorantha. After all "bronze age' implies a time before and when coinage was invented. Ransom you receive, yes. Ransom you pay, no, that's a loss. It can be deducted from your income for the year. See line 15, Gloranthan Revenue Service form 1040. The real issue is whether tithes are paid annually, or seasonally. Clearly the great need in this game is for someone to draw up a Gloranthan form 1040 and accompanying instructions.
  4. Absolutely knowing that there is at least one troll area full of giant insects and giant flowers. What sort of honey do giant bees make? Probably pretty good stuff, and in giant quantities. Beeswax is also a very useful commodity. And it's a lot safer to get the trolls to raid the hive than for some human to try it. I'd like to suggest: - Bludgeon matrices! Trolls ought to produce a lot of these since they favor maces and mauls. Every Issaries should want one for his staff. - matrices for troll cult -specific magics. And this looks like a rich area for Spell Trading too! - Spellcasting as a service. Some troll cult rune spells may be unique. The RQ3 Trollpack is full of things. That royal jelly from giant bees gave a SIZ increase of 1 (given a week of inactivity after the dose) , with the possibility that second, third etc doses would have an effect decreasing as SIZ approached species maximum. It was also given a value of 5000 lunars and up per dose. RQ3 Trollpack also had a list of troll beverages. But the majority of these could have undesirable effects on humans, requiring magical healing. And, yes, one of them is an industrial acid. Your friendly local Argan Argar trader would probably be ready to suggest items of interest.
  5. There is at least a fragment of an answer in one of the sidebars in the RQ2 book Cults of Prax, page 66. This indicates that Steve Perrin and Greg Stafford made up at least part of a list of medicinal herbs: " We made for a campsite at Horngate. I had little left to trade, and so Norayeep and I searched for healing plants as we approached, hoping in that way to earn enough to trade for food. The first day was poor, and all I found were roots and seeds, out of season. Norayeep found some sticky Liverleaves, useful in absorbing systemic poison from the body. The next day, I found a Jang flower, and Norayeep found some Fingersticks, both useful against wounds, and she also found some Inipris leaves, which fight the Wasting Disease. On the third day we gathered more Jang flowers, some Hairflowers useful against the Shakes, and some rare Silver Strands, which combat Soul Waste. Then we turned and hurried north to the oasis hoping to use these before the week was up. " Now it would be interesting to know whether there are any other documents using these, (a google search for "Jang, Fingerstick, Inipris" turns up nothing but Cults of Prax, while searching for two terms brings up other uses of the phrase finger stick and a minor celebrity named Jang.) It would also be interesting to discuss what effect these or other herbs might have in game terms, and under what conditions. Would you treat them as only effective when an adventurer has an appropriate healing skill, do they give a +% bonus to that skill, or how else would you apply them? PP.68-29 of Cults of Prax, in the Chalana Arroy section, has a procedure that depends on terrain for number of searches, then rolling for WHAT your find cures, then for "potency" by part of plant and season which also gives the % chance of success. At a quick reading there seems no link to skills other than finding the herbs and magically refining them. It seems to me that if the "potency' of a plant cures that many points (from 1D4 to 1D12) of damage then for wounds this stuff looks like it can be better than a rune spell, which seems to me to be over-powered for an herbal tea or a poultice. So I am NOT sure that it will be treated that same way now, 30+ years later, in the much desired and much awaited RQG cults book. Perhaps if you have a good suggestion now it may affect the content, who knows? Or it may not be addressed at all in that book. If I were making it up from scratch, I would use one of these: Have an herb give a % bonus to Treat Wounds, treat disease, or treat poison skill. Or it might have a Potency against the Potency of a poison or a disease, leading to a roll on the resistance table against the poison's or disease's potency / POW of a disease spirit. Or perhaps these might be a bonus to the CON or POW, whatever characteristic is being attacked by a disease or a poison, when the victim does a resistance roll. But those might only appeal to me. What's your opinion?
  6. In my mind the 'check" system is easy to read as combat oriented. But how do you improve skills such as Worship or Farming that are not about acts that you can complete in a few melee rounds? And if you really have gods who provide miracles / rune spells, why would you routinely NOT do worship in a holy site and with a sacrifice? It makes a lot of sense to me to allow the player characters to improve the skills that they use when they use them in the way Gloranthan people do. So, IMHO not cheaty if it's done when it's important to the ongoing story. That's a check mark in these skills when they successfully perform the skill on important occasions (not routine occasions, not every minor holy day) during game play, not just deadly occasions but when doing game events relevant to what the PC is pursuing.. And under reasonable conditions. Just as you give players to their combat skill checks when they hit and have sense to come up on the enemy's unshielded side, so succeed - for Worship sacrificing something to the god (and getting that bonus) is a reasonable plan and true to the Gloranthan background.
  7. As I understand it, Summons of Evil is for use when Heroquesting. if the quest requires overcoming an enemy, this delivers an enemy. You can't choose an enemy by name and just teleport him in and bushwhack him, as I understand it. You may or may not get the type of enemy you really wanted - you may get a successful Heroquest or an epic failure.
  8. Some but not all of your questions are addressed in the RQG rules. Good point though. There should be a more prominent and clearer invitation to dramatic description to encourage high quality games. Perhaps in a future edition of the GM package? For Rune spells: p.315 "it is not an invisible act! the caster always exhibits some form of manifestation of the magical powers at their disposal. The caster might appear to grow larger...burn with an inner glow, crackle lighting from their fingertips, or even start to physically resemble the image of the deity." That seem to me to suggest that the GM is invited to improvise and invent the visual effects if the player doesn't. And some spell descriptions (but definitely not all) give visual or audible effects, for instance Warding p.347 is invisible but when an enemy tries to cross "a loud noise (a keening, whistling, booming etc.) begins". Or Catseye (p.322) "Eyes under this spell reflect light like a cat's." Others like Summons of Evil require unusual prep;:"it requires an effigy of an enemy." (p.345). It seems to me that the visual effects for some spells will depend on the deity powering them. If you cast Command Cult Spirit powered by Orlanth you may begin to look like Orlanth, turn blue? But if you do the same spell powered by Malia your effect should look very different, I'm not sure what but it should be suggestively gross. But including detail of this kind for all cults would make the spell description list very long. Better to encourage the GM and players to improvise.
  9. Nope. "Temporal" is not even a category for Rune magic in the RGQ rules, it's just one of two duration categories: 2 minutes for spirit magic (p.256) as opposed to "instant". The next sentence addresses permanent effects but the examples are spirit spells producing wounds or arson, and Repair. . And p.317 says the default for rune magic is 15 minutes.
  10. Sanctify [ p.338 of RQG] needs its duration redefined: If I take the book literally it has the default duration of 15 minutes. [RQG p.317, Characteristics of Rune spells.] Sanctify is supposed to be used to allow performance of ceremonies "such as replenishing rune points" when away from a temple. Note that Sanctify is "ritual' but all that means is that it must be used during a ritual, presumably at least the 30-minute minimum for ritual preparation; but that says how much time it takes to cast the spell, not how long it lasts. The Problem: replenishing Rune points takes an all-day Worship [according to RQG p.184, the Worship (Deity) skill] and this can be modified by Meditation and ritual preparation [p.182, p.244-246] . Because the spell is rolled for at the completion of the ritual, it seems to me that the sequence of use would be meditation and ritual to augment the Sanctify, then cast Sanctify, then worship skill roll (perhaps augmented by a sacrifice), then the die roll for rune points gained. Worship is defined to take one whole day. But if Sanctify times out at the 15 minute mark while the worship has barely gotten going then how are initiates supposed to replenish Rune points under Sanctify? Either A. Sanctify needs to be defined with a longer duration in order to be functional. Perhaps one day. Perhaps its duration should be defined as "long enough to accomplish the religious business at hand". Or B. The required Worship time needs to be cut to 15 minutes or less.
  11. Good points, the first (throwing items in the lake or marsh) is historical indeed. And if the GM wants to throw in some atmosphere both will be good. .
  12. I'd like to offer a possible answer; The side jobs are seasonal. And a lot of the other things discussed are seasonal too. In Sea Season and Fire Season and Earth Season the agricultural field work will be done. The people whose main jobs are farming work will be planting, hoeing, and harvesting in the daytime. In the night they sit around the fire and tell legends while making those baskets etc. The herders will be abroad with their herds, distance from the village depending on the security situation. When the weather turns bad in Dark Season and Storm Season, that's when more of the indoor ("side") jobs are done, the non-specialists doing arrow making etc.. The herds will be pulled in, and in Storm Season will feed on hay or stubble, close to the village. This is also when the people will be practicing the dances for Sacred Time. People with non-agricultural main jobs will do them in most seasons: The redsmith, the scribe, the potter, the full time arrow maker or weaver. In a city this may be associated with a temple if your Glorantha follows the early Middle Eastern pattern. In an outlying village, we should expect fewer specialists (probably no redsmith or scribe), but also more lower-quality and seasonal part time home production.
  13. The drawback in sacrificing many Power points at once is that your player character will have a lower Power, and so be less likely to win the next spirit combat etc. the good part is that in case of a success [check power] you have a greater chance of increasing your power After Adventure. So it depends on how hot your dice are - but remember dead PCs gain no power.
  14. Would someone please enlighten me about what the Battle skill is and does? I don't see an explanation in the RQG rules. I might try telling the GM at the beginning of a fight that I want to roll my battle skill to see what the enemy's plan is. Other than that I have no idea what this can do for my character.
  15. If the barbecue is already lit, then skewer the chunks of meat and proceed to cook shish-kabob. Smaller chunks will cook faster. On a hot fire the meat will be ready when the sermon is done if you don't scamp the rite. This makes me want to fire up my BBQ and time the task. This does imply that a team is ideal: the presiding priest (or initiate if no priest is present) to kill the sacrifice and preach the sermon. And a couple of initiates to do the butchering and cooking. Maybe another initiate or lay member to serve the pieces of meat. If there is a big animal or few worshippers everyone gets a skewer, otherwise everyone gets a chunk or two. Even a rabbit will give many bites. As Joerg indicates, even a couple of bites is good if you spent the week eating mush and gruel. I do recall that sacrifices don't have to be an animal. They can be wine or beer. I suggest a libation to the altar, then the assembled worshipers get the rest, perhaps the celebrating priest first. BBQ goes well with a beer. Sacrifices can also be valuable objects (see RQG p.316-317). I suggest that burning or melting will be the method of sacrifice. However this type of sacrifice won't fill the stomachs of the congregation. What do you think happens to objects as offerings, for a GM's description of the event? .
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