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Lunar magic in HQ:G - checking my understanding


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Hi all -

Picking up from my former thread... https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/11023-using-hq-in-the-lunar-empire-tips-tricks-and-homebrew/

I just reread the Lunar magic section (starting page 179 of the Heroquest: Glorantha edition) and the example of Magatheus on p55; I scanned the Seven Mothers section and the Illumination section but haven’t reread closely yet.

In any case, here’s my understanding on how to create a Lunar character in HQ:G - please confirm/correct:

1. Lunar magic stems from the character’s Moon Rune

a. This is one of the 3 tunes that the character gets during character creation

b. Lunar characters select a specific phase of the Moon

c. The All Phase rune is only accessible to Illuminates ie not starting characters


2. Lunars can choose to initiate to one of the gods of their phase (those listed in the Seven Mothers or New Gods listings).

a. When doing so they have access to the runes of that god, as sub-abilities of their Moon Phase Rune

b. The character has to have a rating of at least 1W in the moon phase rune.

c. The individual Seven Mothers qualify as New Gods for this purpose (p185) despite being listed as separate in the Moon Phase list (p180 and following).


3. Lunars can use their Moon Phase Rune to “create glamours mimicking the runes that Phase can replace”.

a. I think I understand that this means the runes the phase “Embodies”? Eg Darkness and Death for Empty Half Moon?

b. As an aside a little definition of the various characteristics of the Phases would the helpful, eg, what Embodies means. 

c. In any case these “mimicking Glamours” can be used at the Phase Rune rating for augments.

d. “The direct use of the Lunar Phase incurs a  Stretch penalty of -6 (see page 103) – unless: (1) the Lunar is an initiate of a Lunar New God cult and is creating glamours in accordance with the teachings of that New God; or (2) is using a Lunar Grimoire.”


4. Lunar characters can buy access to Grimoires

a. These seem to function just like Sorcery Grimoires? Except for the lunar cycle in play.

b. Each Grimoire inherits the rating of the relevant Rune, which might be the Moon Phase or might be a different one (eg Magatheus has one off his moon phase and one off his law rune).

c. Characters can assign a bonus to this rating. (E.g. Magatheus has assigned +1 to each Grimoire). This applies to all spells in the Grimoire. 


5. Characters can replace their Moon Phase Runes with a Chaos rune. 

a. Game mechanically this seems to allow the character to use the Rune for active / direct actions without the Stretch penalty? And use it more widely?

Edited by Hyperlexic
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It seems you are pretty spot on.

2.a: I suppose the sub-ability Runes you are referencing are the Runes that are embodied/replaced by the Moon Rune.

3b.: Yes, "embodies" must be understood as "replaces".

4c.: As far as I know, when they are not selected as standalone abilities Grimoires are always breakout abilities and thus start at +1.

5a.: As replacing ones Moon Rune by the Chaos Rune is an option offered to Initiates only, there is no stretch penalty. This how I understand it.

With the Dying Moon Rune, a character can also embrass the Lunar Tradition, become a member of Lunar Spirit Societies and gain access to Spirit Magic through Lunes. Lunar spirit worshippers are not limited to Lunes though.

Though the Seven Mothers Cult write up in HQG is the latest and up to date version, the write up in Pavis: Gateway to Adventure is more detailed and gives some precious insights.

Edited by Corvantir
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