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Found 6 results

  1. SPOILERS BE HERE FOR THE SMOKING RUINS! So, something that's been sort of grinding my goat lately is the estimated value placed on Ernalda's Mirror in TSR: 300,000L (page 86, sidebar). It feels so out of place to me, in comparison with how the core rulebook presents items and value. In particular, what's in my head is the "Value/10" rule of thumb in the RQ2 conversion appendix—and even placing its value at 30,000L still feels like a gigantic sum. Using 60L=yearly income of a free household as an estimate, 300k is 5,000 free households of value, for a little context. At this stage, the amount of value getting tossed around just starts to feel preposterous (not even to mention if a location outside maybe Nochet or Glamour has that quantity of coin sitting around). Like, I feel like "value of kingdoms" or "cities" would make sense to me, but trying to attach a cash value to the Mirror just feels really odd to me and my understanding of Glorantha. Point of discussion: what do y'all think magical artifacts, when sold/traded/etc, actually are exchanged for in terms of value? Is there really stuff out there which would make Argrath go "Yup, here's the keys to Pavis, thanks for the bling," or which a tribal chief would trade rule of a town in exchange for? And how often do these kinds of trades actually happen? I can't help but think that this sort of value is a little like the items from D&D3.5's Epic Level Handbook, which had magic items valued in the millions of gold. It feels like, although RQ typically does scaling in ways I like better than D&D, this is a place where that similar "everything has to keep going up and up and up" gaming mentality creeps in.
  2. One (unexpected) feature of The Smoking Ruins is that we get our first glimpse at Sorcery in full action. We get a look at a Rokari sorcerer who knows five runes and four techniques (why so many? they all can be inferred from one or two), and we get a short introductory description of the House of Black Arkat. The description of the House of Black Arkat in The Smoking Ruins p.136 (sidebar) mentions that I seem to have been under the wrong assumption that the Magic Rune in sorcery spells was a place holder for other runes as it is in divine rune magic. This makes it just another bloody point of INT above 11 blocked, making even an accomplished sorcerer like the one presented quite limited in his abilities - effectively almost as much as a priest of an alemental deity, although under a different paradigm. I really need to produce a chart which allows to search for spells by runes and techniques (and applicable inferred runes or techniques replacing these). The RQG pdf unfortunately doesn't support a text search for the runes. No idea if this functionality could be knit into the pdf, e.g. as an invisible hidden text behind all the graphics. Spells using the Magic Rune include Attract Magic (Magic, Command) Castback (Magic, Stasis, Combine, Command) Drain Soul (Magic, Dispel) Identify Spell (Truth, Magic, Command) Magic Point Enchantment (Magic, Command) Neutralize Magic (Magic, Dispel) Pierce Veil (Magic, Truth, Combine) Protective Circle (Magic, Command) That's actually a fairly big and important selection of the spell, and requires just two condition runes to be able to learn all of these. Let's have a look at the sorcery rules portion in TSR. Spoilers Ahead! Runes and Techniques: Urgantan's mastered runes are Fire, Illusion, Magic, Movement, and Spirit, which gives him also the inferred runes of Earth, Water, Truth and Stasis at doubled MP cost. He has mastered (wastefully) four Techniques, Command (inferring each of the Techniques), Dispel and Summon (which only fail to infer Combine and Separate) Combine (which only fails to infer Dispel and Summon) While this wealth of techniques avoids a couple of MP cost doublings, I wouldn't let a sorcery-using character of mine be so spend-thrift with these rune/technique slots. Dropping either Summon or Dispel for the Air or Darkness rune would give access to all elements but moon. I would probably sacrifice another technique (any but Command) for Fertility or Death, and it would be nifty to have the Man rune, too. But then I am not entirely certain whether one can use a single mastered technique to infer a second technique in spells that require two techniques. Spells: Two of Urgantan's spells have been inscribed to his abode, Create Image 90% and Disappear 90%. In a bending of the rules, the guardian spirit of the entrance is able to re-activate the created image, possibly with the use of the key. RQ3 has a rule for enchantments that adds such conditions to trigger activation or deactivation, but I haven't seen this applied to a long-lasting sorcery spell. Strictly speaking, it should be possible to design a spell allowing such added conditions, but that spell would need to have its own casting skill and memorization slot (or inscription), and it would probably add another rune and a combine technique to the basic Create Image runes. Urgantan has memorized four spells Create Hallucination (50%), 2 points [Illusion, Combine - no MP cost doubling] Create Wall of Flames (50%), 2 points [Fire, Summon - no MP cost doubling] Dominate Discorporate Spirit (50%), 2 points [Spirit, Command - no MP cost doubling] - Shouldn't this be specified for a specific type of spirit? Dominate Fire Elemental (50%), 3 points [Spirit, Fire, Command - no MP cost doubling] He knows a couple more spells but needs to recall these through meditation before being able to cast them: Bind Elemental (25%), Ritual, 3 points POW [Spirit, Fire, Command - no MP cost doubling] (and possibly double cost for Earth and Water elementals, unless these have to be learned separately) Bind Spirit (35%), Ritual, 2 points POW [Spirit, Command - no MP cost doubling] Conflagration (25%), 2 points [Fire, Summon - no MP cost doubling] Enhance INT (25%), 2 points [Fire, Summon - no MP cost doubling] Logical Clarity (25%), 2 points [Illusion, Dispel - no MP cost doubling] Summon Fire Elemental (35%), 3 points [Fire, Command, Summon - no MP cost doubling] Summon Guardian Spirit (35%), 3 points [Spirit, Command, Summon - no MP cost doubling] Identify Otherworld Entity (25%), 3 points doubled [Truth (inferred from Illusion), Spirit, Command - single MP cost doubling] And he has a very own secret spell for which the runes aren't given (and frankly I wonder whether his assortment of runes should allow this spell) Brew Unaging Potion 25% Create Image (inscribed to the tower 90%) 3 points [Illusion, Fire, Combine - no MP cost doubling] Disappear (inscribed to the tower 90%), 4 points [Illusion, Fire, Combine, Command - no MP cost doubling] FInger of Fire (inscribed to a bracelet 70), 3 points [Fire, Movement, Combine - no MP cost doubling] Neutralize Spirit Magic (inscribed to ring 75%), 2 points [Spirit, Dispel - no MP cost doubling] Neutralize Magic (inscribed to ring 60%), 2 points [Magic, Dispel - no MP cost doubling] Spirit Warding (inscribed to diadem 65%), 2 points [Spirit, Dispel - no MP cost doubling] Protective Circle (inscribed to silvery ink pot 35% with 8 POW additional intensity), 2 points [Magic, Command - no MP cost doubling] Looking up the runes for these spells took me about half an hour (ok, writing down the comments included). But it was necessary to note down the basic magic points the spell would need. His magic items include a cheat item ("a special Teleportation spell matrix, allowing this spell to be cast for 6 magic points instead of 3 Rune points"), a POW storage crystal with capacity 17 (two above the 2D6+3 maximum of 15 that you can roll as per Adventure Book p.122), a sorcery spell-strengthening crystal (+3 to spell strength) a 24 MP magic point matrix I wonder: does a sorcery spell-strengthening crystal differ from any other spell-strengthening crystal? One of the Arkati is an excommunicated (or, with the current terminology, Banned) Lhankor Mhy philosopher with a bit of sorcery. Both sorcerers have the average INT (average for a somewhat playable sorcerer) of 20. Yes, this is irksome. These characters are just one point of INT away from species maximum. Both have been optimized so that their sorcery doesn't incur double magic point cost (they still can manage maybe two big spells a day at most with their entirety of available MP, except that the excommunication probably was over the Arkati's knowledge of Tap Body which allows other means of collecting MP). Zindaulo, the sorcerer among the Arkati, has Ward Against Weapons (Death, Dispel) but lacks the Death rune or the Fertility rune (to infer it at double MP cost). His runes are Magic, Man, Disorder and Truth, and he has a lavish three Techniques with Combine, Command, and Tap. Let's have a look at his sorcery spells: Bind Spirit (25%), Ritual, 2 points POW [Spirit, Command - no MP cost doubling] - wait, he doesn'T have the Spirit rune. Castback (40%), 4 points [Magic, Stasis (inferred from Disorder), Combine, Command - doubled magic point cost] Dominate Human (25%), 2 points [Man, Command] Identify Spell (35%), 3 points [Truth, Magic, Command] Magic Point Enchantment (50%), Ritual, 2 Points (plus variable amount of POW?) [Magic, Command] Pierce Veil (20%), 3 points [Magic, Truth, Combine] Tap Body (35%), 2 points [Man, Tap] Ward Against Weapons (30%), 2 points [Death (which he cannot infer), Dispel] This guy has 15 points of Spirit Magic (including an unnecessary duplicate of Magic Point Enchantment), which added to his sorcery spells puts him at -3 points of Free INT. I will assume that my grasp of the rules is flawed, so please correct me if I am wrong anywhere here.
  3. jpk

    Coming Storm prep

    Hi everybody, I'm preparing to run the cool-looking Red Cow campaign from CS/11L, and I have two questions if anyone can help (I've tagged this with 'Spoilers' on the off-chance it reveals deep dark secrets) 1) What's "the Bag" marked on the Jonstown Trail ? (Red Cow Lands map, p.28). The great Glorantha Wiki refers to the "Stagland Bag", but with no other detail I could find. 2) P.21 has the Red Cow Ferry as part of the King's Road <-> Stonegate trail, with the Creek being 80' wide at this point. From my reading though, the Creek seems to be about 500' wide at Red Cow Fort, and the trail could happily run over the wooden bridge (p.30) between Green Meadows and Brannagh's Farm instead avoiding the 'danger of the waters'. Is the ferry located elsewhere, or am I missing something ? Many thanks ! (and apologies if these are obvious, or have been answered elsewhere)
  4. Research is finally complete, to the tune of 183 pages of notes. Well, mostly. Now that I have the basis, I'm going to check out some of the wikis to see if they have anything interesting or unique to add. The synthesis begins. I realized in researching the last book that I was missing the two stories that were the germs of Earthsea, The Word of Unbinding and The Rule of Names, both from Le Guin's short story collection, The Wind's Twelve Quarters, which is basically a sort of retrospective of her first decade of published work. (I happened to have that book as well, primarily because when I find an author that I really like I tend to buy up everything that I can get my hands on that they've ever written.) Unfortunately, they have a much different tone than the Earthsea series, and some of the rules of magic are in flat contradiction to the later books. So I read and discarded them; there's really nothing in there that I find that bears on the setting that isn't already better explained and executed later. This brings me to a question that cropped up while I researched the last few books. While there are things that Le Guin meant to be mysteries from the beginning, there's one issue that nags at me. It has to do with Segoy, the Creator. In the very useful appendix to Tales From Earthsea, where she gives a great deal of background for the world itself, there's a small section relating to Segoy which is as inconclusive as it is unsatisfying (to me). The logic is a bit complex, but bear with me. Let me quote the relevant statements here, interspersed with my own comments. Note: I've omitted page references because of the differences in various editions, using somewhat less specific but indicative ones. So there is no being before Segoy, whether he is a being or not. (I'll use the general pronoun, with the understanding that gender is inconclusive or even inapplicable.) Here we come to multiple ambiguities. If Segoy is an Old Power, he must be the first, since there are no Old Powers of the Earth that aren't connected to one of the islands, unless you count the sea itself, which isn't in the mold of the other Old Powers. I don't find the supposition that Segoy is another name for the Earth particularly compelling either, but it's not germane to the issue I want to deal with. As for 'what is certain,' I don't find it certain at all: If Tehanu calls Kalessin 'Segoy' in the Language of the Making, at best the etymology is the reverse: that the Old Hardic words are a derivation of the name Segoy. Assuming that the familial references are literal, Kalessin, being the son of Orm, cannot possibly be the Segoy, since Segoy was before all beings. This leaves us with the assertion that Segoy is an ancient, respectful nominative, and brings me to my contention: that Segoy is the word for Father in the Language of Making. Segoy is the Creator, the Father of all...and Tehanu calls Kalessin Father because it is literally so. (One wonders how that works out, since Tehanu is one of the 'winged people' and Kalessin is a dragon, but Tehanu's true origin is shrouded in mystery.) The reason I bring this up is that it will definitely appear in the variant...so, does anyone have any counterarguments? Is there some logic I'm missing or that is fallacious, or do you have other interpretations?
  5. Five books down, only one left to research: The Other Wind. The light approaches. After having increased the margins to make hunting for entries faster (and thus reducing the total number of pages by about 15%), the notes still grew to over 140 pages. Tales From Earthsea has by far the most notes of any of the books. Alright, so why am I doing this research, anyway, if there are numerous wikis out there on Earthsea? Well, I'm glad I asked. Three main reasons: first, I didn't want somebody else's filtering getting in the way of the content. Second, I've read entries from a few of them, and none provides much of the information that would be useful in RP'ing, that the books do: physical description, motivations, mannerisms, etc. Mostly the wikis are about history, "X did this, then he/she did that." Or "X was Master of Underwater Basketweaving." Finally, it immerses me in the world to an extent that wikis just can't, so that I have the proper mindset when I start writing. OK, now for some ground rules. You've all read the books, right? Good. About true names: in keeping with the practice in the books, the only true names that will be used in the variant itself will be a small selection of names of objects or animals so that GM's can have some kind of baseline to extrapolate other names, and those personalities whose true names are public knowledge (Lebannen, some dragons, the old Kings/queens). If they really want the other names, enterprising wizards (and GM's) can go through the lore-books. Of course, sneaky bastage that I am, I have a master list of names. (I never quite got why kings would want their true names bandied about; it seems like a security risk to me, at the very least. They're not that well-protected, especially in a world chock full of mages.) Next is physical combat. I think there are a total of three such fights in all the books, excepting the last, which I haven't gotten to yet. While occasional mass battles or dragon-on-wizard violence are mentioned in passing, none of the stories focuses on any kind of melee, or archery, for that matter. Magical duels are much more common; even wizards' staffs aren't used to beat on people, other than the occasional recalcitrant student. So the rules will tend to work accordingly. Besides, a warrior isn't going to be much good when the mage he's fighting binds him. There is one type of magic (wizardry), not three as in Glorantha. The two examples of organized religion, both Kargish, are about temporal power and politics; there's no evidence in the stories that any magic derives from them other than calling the Old Powers in particular ways, and they're limited to the proximity of the Power. Theism otherwise is dead except for the semi-pagan rites of the Long Dance and Sunreturn, and they don't seem to have much practical or spell-like effect. They're more a way of retaining and passing on the oral history of the world. Spirits don't play the same role as they do in Glorantha, either; they generally don't have much effect in the physical world other than informationally. And witchery is just a weaker offshoot of wizardry. So that's where I am right now; at this point I only have general impressions rules-wise, since most of my effort has been doing research...and the dull brain which it tends to engender. Once that's finally done I'll be able to apply more brainpower to synthesis.
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