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Mirza

Wyter Questions

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7 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

i wanted to be really clear and explicit and i felt like your answer wasn't laid out in a clear way for a newbie, i really wanted to make a clear argument/explanation

also i think it literally kills the emotions. that's the price in a magical society.

Eh, Bill's poking me in the correct direction did the trick though, sure it wasn't in depth but it was enough to shift my thinking along the lines of what you and Sir_Godspeed would afterwards talk about Qizilbashwoman.

But then again going into depth is good since there might be people that maybe are lurking and reading this thread, for whom that poke wouldn't be enough.

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44 minutes ago, Mirza said:

But then again going into depth is good since there might be people that maybe are lurking and reading this thread, for whom that poke wouldn't be enough.

My habit is to read the op and try to answer in my best possible way by how I infer the question. Mostly in this case though, I am aware I do not know enough about wyters, so I approach these questions with a greater desire to learn than teach. Though I will agree I do tend to the simple.

Alas.

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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5 hours ago, Mirza said:

This is sort of implying to me that the community is the part that comes first, which leads me to wonder how does the community then dissolve if the Wyter is lost?

I think yes, or at least often so. But it will happen in such a way that causality is not clear, usually - many of the things that might attack a wyter also involve attacks on community spirit, like warfare or curses. A community could, in extremis, bond with a new spirit as its new wyter  if its old one was destroyed, if it did so quickly enough to stop the community collapsing -- but that will change the nature of the community too, probably very deeply. 

It is also possible for a community to die but its wyter to live. The wyter becomes weaker, and loses its wyter powers and eventually ceases to be a wyter in any useful way, but if it had existence before the community bonded with it as a wyter, it will return to that existence, though probably not unchanged. Many of Orlanthi clan wyters are Vingkotling hero spirits that may predate the community (the Red Cow clan wyter Many-Breath, for example).

5 hours ago, Mirza said:

Or is that even before the Wyter is summoned/quested for there's some amorphous spirit of the community that the Wyter takes the place of?

I think it is an unformed, amorphous thing that doesn't really act (eg doesn't have an INT), usually - but any attempts to magically interact with it fasten it into a form/connect it with an existing being (usually an existing entity with CHA and INT and POW whose POW and CHA increases through becoming a wyter). Many wyters of small communities may begin as a genius locii of the location, for example. Often this naturally happens as the community grows, and the wyter is more or less established before people do much formal magical interaction with it - this occurs quite naturally in an animist society, and may also happen in theist societies in which local heroes etc are included in worship ceremonies. 

Wyters that have no pre-existence before they become the wyter - those that originate as artificial psychic constructs, for example, which is probably pretty rare outside sorcerous societies, and actually sounds like the sort of thing that originated with the God Learners - are a different story. 

4 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

problem is that if you decide to use the wyter as a weapon, say, against an enemy tribe; if it dies in that conflict, slain by a sorcerer or eaten by a gibbering chaos monster, well

Yes. Using your wyter as a weapon is generally a terrible idea for most communities - it is greatly upping the stakes in the conflict in terms of what you stand to lose, without much increasing what you gain to win (though it may increase your chances of winning). Even War  clans think twice about involving their wyter in conflict beyond its natural defensive role. But regimental wyters etc exist, and for them weaponising your wyter somewhat is almost inevitable - and for magician units, weaponising the wyter is often literally why they exist (for the units of the SMU and the LCM at least). 

But when the wyter is eaten by a gibbering chaos monster or dragon, or slain by sorcery, usually most of the rest of the unit/community suffers the same fate, so it may often be largely academic. We see this has happened to multiple of the Stonewall Phalanxes (whose wyters were all originally Star Captains, I think) over the years, for example. 

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7 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

My habit is to read the op and try to answer in my best possible way by how I infer the question. Mostly in this case though, I am aware I do not know enough about wyters, so I approach these questions with a greater desire to learn than teach. Though I will agree I do tend to the simple.

Alas.

For what it's worth, I don't think your answer was simple at all - it was sufficiently complex enough for me to struggle following it, which is why I guess I ended up laying out my own long-winded post without quite realizing I was repeating your points.

Sorry about that Bill, it certainly wasn't my intention. :S

 

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Alright, a little work on clarity will improve my posts. Thanks to both Qizilbashwoman and Sir_Godspeed for pointing that out.

Now a few posts ago I asked a question. No irony intended or sarcasm, I had asked a question for my understanding of your points and I would love to see if I got it.

Cheers

10 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Seriously though the main difference entire nous seems to be myth/story and focus added onto symbiosis . Did I read this right?

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42 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Seriously though the main difference entire nous seems to be myth/story and focus added onto symbiosis . Did I read this right?

Not 100% on this question?

the spirit is an artificial mythological construct created - or augmented, perhaps, to give it full identity and intelligence - out of the natural emotional bonds created between human beings who interact.

the strong bonds of affinity caused by the regular exchange of gift and work and assistance that create bonds between people are the meat and muscle of the wyter.

there is some symbiosis, I guess, in that you can grow the wyter and thus provide feedback into the community's bonds by providing sacrifice appropriate to your community. i reckon that means a temple of White Ladies offer medicines and yams while creepy-ass communities offer human sacrifice! Orlanthi probably offer a variety of things, like goats and grain.

but the wyter isn't really a symbiote, it's just the community itself. it doesn't do much except defend the tribe from curses and spirit attacks by hostile witches and the like. it's not, like, a god.

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1 minute ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

the spirit is an artificial mythological construct created - or augmented, perhaps, to give it full identity and intelligence - out of the natural emotional bonds created between human beings who interact.

the strong bonds of affinity caused by the regular exchange of gift and work and assistance that create bonds between people are the meat and muscle of the wyter.

So, this would introduce the focus I was lacking in my explanation and mentioned in the quote above.

3 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

there is some symbiosis, I guess, in that you can grow the wyter and thus provide feedback into the community's bonds by providing sacrifice appropriate to your community. i reckon that means a temple of White Ladies offer medicines and yams while creepy-ass communities offer human sacrifice! Orlanthi probably offer a variety of things, like goats and grain.

Yes, you understand my point.

Now, originally I noted either you or  Sir_Godspeed mentioning story/myth (my expressions not yours) in their post. Alas. this web page does not make it easy to reference other pages when quoting on another page so I am unsure who it was and the exact quotes. In any case, the mechanics are listed above but the meat and taters is the tale and or myth that gives the wyter shape and structure. Was is a hero of yore, how did it become a wyter, did this create passions, loves and drives in this being that it seeks in community. Etc...

Does this sound like what you were laying down?

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I love Wyters. They are so fabulously Gloranthan. They make absolute sense at first glance but the more you try to understand their true nature the more slippery they become. They are the mystic spiritual embodiment (hmm that's not the right word for a spirit is it?) of a community bond that only makes sense in a world driven by magic. They are fed and feed; are maintained by and maintain; a community but only respond to the requests of an individual on behalf of that community. It is clear from reading the recent RQ:G and source book that they are necessary for a community but it isn't clear what comes first the Wyter or the community. In the bestiary, I think, it says that they are created/fetched by heroquesting but can be attached to a family  who are unlikely to be a heroquesting community. I suspect that the contradictions go much deeper than I have uncovered so far in my return to Glorantha.

 

In my Glorantha Apple Lane lost its Wyter during the occupation. You can see the effect of that in the loss of population and village amenities. Fortunately the new Thane is planning a heroquest to get a new one. Even if there aren't enough people with a passion for Apple Lane there will hopefully be enough with an affection for the place and its special facilities for a tired or lonely traveller to allow it to hold a place in many people's hearts.  

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1 minute ago, Bill the barbarian said:

In any case, the mechanics are listed above but the meat and taters is the tale and or myth that gives the wyter shape and structure. Was is a hero of yore, how did it become a wyter, did this create passions, loves and drives in this being that it seeks in community. Etc...

Does this sound like what you were laying down?

Oh!

I think that sometimes there are stories we know of. I know important historical wyters were star captains. It is possible that one wyter was Buserian. I say possible, don't get it twisted. But the story of Buserian has him as the effective wyter of humans in the Greater Darkness! Some of the early gods also appear to be wyter-like: as I mentioned specifically in my Entekosiad thread, all those Turoses specific to a single settlement are oddly featureless are described as powerless except to represent said settlement ("Ded Addi Turos was revered at Balovius and Rafelios but had no great power except to oversee the council meetings"). Others die and the community goes mad (sounds familiar, right?).

But I don't know if every wyter has a notable story, in the sense of being an identifiable figure. Some wyters mentioned are like a large blue alynx or a strange bear or a woman wearing a peculiar mask. I have no doubt stories appear but I'm not sure if that's part of the creation story or not?

Certainly seems like if you are creating a wyter, it should involve some kind of heroquest to "learn" the story of your wyter. I'd have to read hard. Maybe we could tag in someone really in the know - someone like a Jeff, except maybe not Jeff because I always tag in Jeff.

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13 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

But I don't know if every wyter has a notable story, in the sense of being an identifiable figure.

I think many do not, and the Orlanthi habit of having an ancient hero be the clan wyter is both specific to their culture, and a variant of a common pattern (many clans in more ancestor worshipping cultures probably have an ancient founding ancestor as the wyter. 

Some of the sorcerous unit wyters are either weird or abstract. That makes perfect sense to me - they are basically practicing a form of demonology, they aren't summoning a spirit with a long history with their community, they are summoning a known spirit from some exotic grimoire, binding it, and building a relationship from there. Some may even just be summoning up a powerful, but abstract, being and trying to give it personality. There are as many different variants on the process as there are magical traditions and types of wyter.

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4 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Oh!

I think that sometimes there are stories we know of. I know important historical wyters were star captains. It is possible that one wyter was Buserian. I say possible, don't get it twisted. But the story of Buserian has him as the effective wyter of humans in the Greater Darkness! Some of the early gods also appear to be wyter-like: as I mentioned specifically in my Entekosiad thread, all those Turoses specific to a single settlement are oddly featureless are described as powerless except to represent said settlement ("Ded Addi Turos was revered at Balovius and Rafelios but had no great power except to oversee the council meetings"). Others die and the community goes mad (sounds familiar, right?).

But I don't know if every wyter has a notable story, in the sense of being an identifiable figure. Some wyters mentioned are like a large blue alynx or a strange bear or a woman wearing a peculiar mask. I have no doubt stories appear but I'm not sure if that's part of the creation story or not?

Certainly seems like if you are creating a wyter, it should involve some kind of heroquest to "learn" the story of your wyter. I'd have to read hard. Maybe we could tag in someone really in the know - someone like a Jeff, except maybe not Jeff because I always tag in Jeff.

Well I can’t call MOB, I summoned him in the other thread we are conversing in to say were misbehaving and would stop... so he’s out. Here goes nothing... @Jeff, abra ca dabra, shazam, and alley-oop. Could you oh great spirit help us out of our conundrum? The OP is too long to requote, but it is a vey good one and well, we were wondering... if you could look at that first post and weigh in.

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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I cooked up a homebrewed rule for smaller wyters: just use the random spirit table in the Bestiary. You can even keep the d100 numbers on the left, but convert them to the number of worshippers:

#W       POW     CHA

1-10      d6          d3
11-20    2d6        d6
21-35    3d6        2d6
36-49    3d6+6    3d6

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I think for wyters for groups below 50, play it out.

Work out what the wyter is before it becomes a wyter through play. Eg if it is an ancient hero or a genius loci, let the players meet and establish a connection through play. This may be a heroquest, but equally might be normal RQ play. 

Play out the ritual to create the community and bind the wyter. There is one example on pgs 159-161 of the Eleven Lights, but that is for a magical community (a minor sub-cult, effectively), not a clan etc, the ritual will differ for others (less weirdness, more Orlanth Rex/Dar the King, imagery for a clan). Part of playing that out might include acquiring some magical requisites - for a clan it might be ancient regalia to establish a link to history, for a magical hero band it might be something more esoteric - and also overcoming any mundane barriers (in the example, Lunar soldiers prevent access to the ritual site). 

And there are choices to be made in terms of the powers of the new wyter, and the organisation of the new community. Perhaps in Glorantha these are usually weighty decisions discussed over weeks, with deep mythic and philosophical arguments - in a game they should involve many PC choices. 

I hope the campaign book will provide more about the details of both wyters, and communities in general. 

 

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Following up - for a new wyter, for a community of under 50 people - track its growth, and the growth of the community, manually and directly. When 5 new people join the community, it should be an event, something your characters hear about and probably are directly involved in, at least as decision makers or influencers. When someone sacrifices a point of POW to the wyter, instead of to a god, it is a role playing opportunity, even if it is an NPC.

I don’t think a new wyter is necessarily weak - it depends on the wyter and it’s origins. If a group of people convinces a nymph to be a wyter, it will still be as powerful as a nymph - but if it has few people yet it the community, and little POW sacrificed to it, it’s wyter powers will be weak. 

Maybe make the acquisition of new wyter powers something that happens through heroquest. If your wyter maybe has the power to blast trolls with fire because trolls are ancient god-Time enemies of the ancient Vingkotling clan whose legacy you are rebuilding, maybe you have to heroquest and re-enact their God- Time battle against trolls for it to have that power? 

But about 50 people seems a good point to stop trying to track individuals, and just start tracking the community as a whole, and just linking the wyters health to the community (except where the wyter is directly involved in game events.

Edited by davecake

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2 hours ago, davecake said:

I don’t think a new wyter is necessarily weak - it depends on the wyter and it’s origins. If a group of people convinces a nymph to be a wyter, it will still be as powerful as a nymph - but if it has few people yet it the community, and little POW sacrificed to it, it’s wyter powers will be weak. 

I think a spirit becoming a wyter is taking a risk. It's investing in its new role, and if the community collapses it can't just go back to being a happy little glade spirit.

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22 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

I think a spirit becoming a wyter is taking a risk. It's investing in its new role, and if the community collapses it can't just go back to being a happy little glade spirit.

The community (via the 'priest') can force it to spend POW, and likely will, to defend it. Essentially, the spirit should be willing to risk its life and existence for the community, or at least a substantial portion of its power. 

And this may have consequences for other things. If a nymph or other genius loci is weakened because it becomes a wyter, the natural health of its geographical area is also at risk. 

The dynamics of the story for other sorts of wyter will be different. Intelligent elementals might be changing the elemental balance, and attracting the attention of opposing elemental forces. Demi-god children of gods might draw the attention of their parents, and their parents enemies. Artificial psychic constructs might start out weaker, and might attract less external attention but mirror the communities inner tensions more. Ancient heroes will attract their ancient foes, and draw the community into larger conflicts. Wyters, especially new wyters, are a rich source of story ideas, and they can be great stories too - ones that reflect the communities values and choices and what the community wants to be. 

One of the important Gloranthan principles is that these sort of relationships are not simply symbolic - we see symbolism as external observers, but to the Gloranthans it is a real phenomenon not a symbolic one. 

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