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French Desperate WindChild

the god, the bad (priest) and the ugly

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Bonjour everyone

I m afraid that I m becoming illuminated, seeing the truth beyond the mundane world. My main issue is my myopia and beyond is very far so need your help...

My question is both RP & GP

Two priests of the same god can disagree.

For example, I know that we can find Orlanth in many countries, in many forms (I am not talking about subcult)

Heortling, Aeolianism, EWF, Carmanian, Safelstran, Henotheist, storm tribes in Pent ... maybe Arkatism ? (I don't realy understand what is Arkatism in third age or before)

The differences are numerous and more or less acceptable by " the other" : slavery, caste, shaman, sorcery, dragon as ennemy or ally or final transformation, beard, acceptable cult for marriage etc..

But what is the view of the god himself ?

For exemple

Ugly is a member of The Community (let's say Heortling) at least an Initiate (with Rune Magic) why not a god talker.

Adventuring, he learns some secrets from a Orlanthi wanderer from another "strange big cult" (let's say Henotheist)

After a big success he goes back home, with or without saying what he learned.

One day, Ugly is reported breaking major religious taboo (according to The Community Priest) when he just follows the teachings (personal rite / sacrifice / spell / sing / sex activity, etc..) of the wanderer

What does happen ?

As a social impact, he can be outlawed or killed, ok

As a religious impact, the Priest will probably try to excommunicate him.

What will happen ?

  • the excommunication will succeed, because the Priest has the power, don't care the god. In GP, Ugly looses his rune powers, reprisals spirits will play with him.
  • the excommunication will partially succeed,  because the god accepts the worship from the "strange big cult" (the proof ? the "strange big cult" obtains blessing from Orlanth). In GP,  No more Heortling Priest will recognize Ugly as an initiate and refuse him to participate any ceremony (of course social impact can exist). Ugly will keep his rune powers as usual, can replenish his rune points (when he will be able to partipate to ceremonies, somewhere)
  • the excommunication will failed, because Orlanth refuses it. In GP, The Community Priest will continue his job, rejecting Ugly, but other Heortling Priests will not know anything from the god (Ugly is still an heortling initiate). Yes they can learn by social means and decide to manage it as they want
  • the excommunication will fumble, because Orlanth refuses it. In GP a lighting bolt will easly explain that The Community Priest was wrong

Of course the success level I describe is not from a dice roll, but from a god decision

there is no rule what I know, (RQ:G;  previously oriflam french RQ) that explain you can not suceed a spell (excomunication or other) when you break the will of the God, at least in the mundane plan. What happen if I use Thunderbolt on my brother for example ? Will I kill my brother then curse the clan and be outlawed for kinstrife ? Or Will Orlanth refuse the Thunderbolt, saving my brother, then no curse the clan, and show me the shame of my wish ?

 

 

 

 

 

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Orlanth has many incarnations or associated mountains - Kero Fin, Quivin, Top of the World etc.  It is possible that what may be lawful and proper in one place (oe the Land around Kero Fin) may be considered evil in another (ie in Fronela).  These are clashes of the Incarnations rather than clashes of the supreme God.  Divination will not help because it only goes to the local manifestation.  To get the true answer, one must go deeper which probably means illumination and Ugly still ends up killed.

As for the excommunication, Ugly loses the magic that he acquired from his birth community.  He does not lose the strange magic that he has acquired.  If there was a magic that was known by both the community and the strange place, he keeps it.  

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2 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

But what is the view of the god himself ?

 

If Gloranthans actually knew that for sure, unequivically, a lot of events would probably never have happened. The God Time appears to allow for gods to disagree with themselves, however, depending on role and context.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

What will happen ?

At my table I would run this as a kind of Spirit Combat where Ugly and the priest both make their case. This might be a ritual ordeal, a theological debate in front of the community, silent prayer or something else. Either way, God decides whether Ugly has wandered too far from orthodoxy.

God's will is revealed through dice rolls. Assign each disputant a "convince the examiners combat score" that might be (POW + CHA) x 5. Cult Lore, Cult Skills and Favored Passions, and Runes can be used to augment but I would limit the disputants to one augment per round. The loser of an opposed roll takes spirit combat damage. God rules against the first person reduced to POW 0.

Someone was right and someone was wrong. At the end of the dispute, one person's faith is confirmed and the other one needs to accept the error. The community doesn't have to know what happened. If Ugly wins, he is free from Reprisal for this particular offense. The priest still hates him. If Ugly loses, he doesn't need to give up the weird new magic . . . but the priest will probably make sure to spread the news that Ugly is unwelcome.

If your players are really excited about this kind of thing you can build various quests and minigames around things like theological research and sacrificial augments to prove your dedication, but this is probably verging on outright heroquest territory. 

Note that this is only for deciding worshipper versus religious hierarchy disputes when you don't really care either way. If in your opinion God is unhappy, all you need to do is unleash Reprisal.

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I would ask -- does the God care?  If they are backing (with Rune Magic, DI for followers, etc) two different approaches, then (self-evidently) they like both.  As noted, Orlanth has many faces.  I'm not at all clear that the underlying assumption is correct, that there even  IS  one, true, "ultimate" Orlanth, a "platonic ideal" Orlanth.  OTOH, I'm not sure there's not.

I'd presume, for a leader-type like Orlanth, introducing disputes and upset into the community is undesirable... UNLESS something needs to change.  Sometimes change IS needed, and Orlanth has been known to disrupt the status quo once or twice...   OTOH, stirring a pot of merde just to see how many people they can make retch... that's more Eurmal than Orlanth.

So in the end... it depends.

MGF -- what would be Most Fun at your table?

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12 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

If Gloranthans actually knew that for sure, unequivically, a lot of events would probably never have happened. The God Time appears to allow for gods to disagree with themselves, however, depending on role and context.

I agree. Even gods can have mixed feelings about their decisions, or be able to see more than one side to an argument.  Also, HeroQuests are statistically cumulative as any good God learner knows, so they form a bell curve probability distribution.

 

 

 

Edited by Darius West
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13 hours ago, g33k said:

I'd presume, for a leader-type like Orlanth, introducing disputes and upset into the community is undesirable... UNLESS something needs to change.  Sometimes change IS needed, and Orlanth has been known to disrupt the status quo once or twice...   OTOH, stirring a pot of merde just to see how many people they can make retch... that's more Eurmal than Orlanth.

So in the end... it depends.

MGF -- what would be Most Fun at your table?

that's more Eurmal I think so

Well, for the fun, there are two answers : the rpg fun table (you are right) and also the glorantha world understanding

From my perspective, Glorantha is not a background for RPG, it is more, a great artistic/intellectual/philosophical/{don't know what} creation. Some of you (creators or "sage") have a large knowledge scope about earth myths / religions / spirit societies. More than I have although I like this topic.

From a "rule" perspective I could define what to do with religious run, spell etc... But with my knowledge of european myths (better from average people, but ridiculous compared with what humanity knows) I think I may miss something from the creators intention because I don't know enough. My glorantha may vary but that is the choice of god learner: your heroquest may vary, is it good to change goddesses ?

My best fun here is to learn and open my mind more than collect the funny rule

 

13 hours ago, g33k said:

I would ask -- does the God care?  If they are backing (with Rune Magic, DI for followers, etc) two different approaches, then (self-evidently) they like both.  As noted, Orlanth has many faces.  I'm not at all clear that the underlying assumption is correct, that there even  IS  one, true, "ultimate" Orlanth, a "platonic ideal" Orlanth.  OTOH, I'm not sure there's not.

 

15 hours ago, metcalph said:

Orlanth has many incarnations or associated mountains - Kero Fin, Quivin, Top of the World etc.  It is possible that what may be lawful and proper in one place (oe the Land around Kero Fin) may be considered evil in another (ie in Fronela).  These are clashes of the Incarnations rather than clashes of the supreme God.

I had an issue with time / Time as there is a kind of time before the Time (Great compromise):

Before Time there was a before and an after each story : Orlanth is lightbringer AFTER Sun killer for example.

If you reenact by heroquesting to kill a Sun representative you should have a kind of chaos/darkness impact in your life / community if you succeed, then you may have to reenact the lightbringer quest too to fix it.

Now I have an other issue: the land incarnation. Zeus is Zeus everywhere (I think) and when Romans decided Jupiter= Zeus, if there  were (i don't know) religious clashes there were explained (I think) as clashes between greeks and romans not between Zeus A and Zeus B.

So how can you explain that ? Is there some earth religion with this kind of Incarnations clashes (not human conflicts)  that can enlight me ?

 

14 hours ago, scott-martin said:

At my table I would run this as a kind of Spirit Combat where Ugly and the priest both make their case. This might be a ritual ordeal, a theological debate in front of the community, silent prayer or something else. Either way, God decides whether Ugly has wandered too far from orthodoxy.

a good idea, thanks !

 

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4 hours ago, Darius West said:

I agree. Even gods can have mixed feelings about their decisions, or be able to see more than one side to an argument.  Also, HeroQuests are statistically cumulative as any good God learner knows, so they form a bell curve probability distribution.

 

 

 

I think to some degree it comes from that different heroquests reach the deity at different parts of theit mythic cycles. Interacting with Orlanth as a youth is going to garner a very different outlook from interacting with Orlanth trying to keep things together during the Lightbringer's Quest. 

Now, I don't think this is mechanically simple, for example I suspect that gods, who are experiencing their entire mythic cycles eternally and simultaneously, have a bit of the ol' Dr. Manhattan perception of time, where they know to some extent what they are going to do, and they know to some extent what they've done (at least when accessed from Time via Heroquests, where the God Time has already been fossilized into a million interactive and somewhat permutable groundhog days, as it were) - it's all rather heady and timey wimey and flat circles and all of that, but the takeaway is - perhaps somewhat frustrating to people wanting clear answers - that gods are vast and somewhat inscrutable entities that defy mortal understandings of self and personhood.

Fortunately, this leads to the practical consequence that each RP group can work out how they'd like things to end up depending on what they think is interesting, as opposed to there being a very strict table of "This Is How Orlanth Is Going To React At Any One Time, Cheers".

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Looking up the Ban rune spell in RQG, it only affects temples that the caster has authority over. It can’t kick you from the cult entire. Also, Ban doesn’t require the target to have done anything wrong whatsoever - that has nothing to do with it. And it’s not something you can defend against - it’s the High Priest’s temples to decide over.

I don’t believe Orlanth checks on the appropriateness of every Lightning spell cast either to abort misused ones (not only can’t he be bothered by this kind of work, it’s also horribly undramatic). Rather, you get punished by agents of reprisal if you misbehave.

Divine Intervention, now you have your god’s direct attention. But even here, he usually doesn’t bother unless you’re a Rune Lord.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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17 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I think to some degree it comes from that different heroquests reach the deity at different parts of theit mythic cycles. Interacting with Orlanth as a youth is going to garner a very different outlook from interacting with Orlanth trying to keep things together during the Lightbringer's Quest. 

Remember how in KoDP computer game you can trick your way past Barbeester Gor during the Ernalda Quest by referencing future problems she will cause if she doesn't let you pass?  In a world before time, the notion that Orlanth the youth is different to Orlanth the King is up for grabs in terms of what they know.  Gods aren't mortals.

If you remove time from the equation, then the world moves as you move, as there is only space.  Thus the gods are sort of cemented in, and only capable of change when worshippers subject to time interact with them, and even then, only barely.

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7 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Looking up the Ban rune spell in RQG, it only affects temples that the caster has authority over. It can’t kick you from the cult entire. Also, Ban doesn’t require the target to have done anything wrong whatsoever - that has nothing to do with it. And it’s not something you can defend against - it’s the High Priest’s temples to decide over.

good point, but it is at least tribe level anyway. You need to find outside quickly how to worship the deity if you doesn't want to see spirit of reprisal (p282) You don't have excuse (following the concept of local aspect is aligned with local priest)

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1 minute ago, Darius West said:

Remember how in KoDP computer game you can trick your way past Barbeester Gor during the Ernalda Quest by referencing future problems she will cause if she doesn't let you pass? 

yeah but you can do it in real world too : if you kill me I will not be able to pay the bread for my family. That doesn't mean I know the future

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1 minute ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

yeah but you can do it in real world too : if you kill me I will not be able to pay the bread for my family. That doesn't mean I know the future

That was my point...

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37 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

good point, but it is at least tribe level anyway. You need to find outside quickly how to worship the deity if you doesn't want to see spirit of reprisal (p282) You don't have excuse (following the concept of local aspect is aligned with local priest)

If you're a god-talker at least, you can handle this on your own, setting up a Worship area using Sanctify. Or just find any old shrine or holy ground out in the wild.

I'm unsure how often you have to worship in order not to count as lapsed. The HHD + Sacred Time ought to be sufficient?

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Hi French Desperate WindChild, and welcome from Toulouse.   ;)

I know Glorantha for a very long time and I still consider myself as a beginner. I understand the need to have a good grasp of the setting and its mythology before playing with and in it, this is also my case.

As far as I am concerned, the gods know nothing about Time as it didn't exist. They can't perceive it, it is simply not there. The myths we are told were built by the various races of Glorantha from the fragments at their disposal.

Gloranthan myths can be compared to novels. Imagine you are reading volumes after volumes of novels happening in the same setting. Each story is self contained, not necessarily in the same era, but refers regularly to peoples, events and characters appearing (not always consistently) in the other self contained novels in the same setting. After a few novels, whether you want it or not, at a moment or another, you will start by yourself to think about a chronology.

As creatures born in Time, I think that this is something we NEED to do. Because Time is so engrained in us, an age without Time is actually unconceivable, we NEED a structure. Now talk with one of your friend about your perceived chronology and I am sure he will have a totally different perception of the chronology. I am pretty sure at least one of you won't even remember that a character was also appearing in a given novel. The two rebuilt stories would have much in common but could well have some significant differences or even be completely different.

The different cults are just different reconstructions and understandings of the same events.

In my opinion, you should concentrate yourself on the area in which you are playing and merge yourself into the local myths. These are actually the only ones you need to grasp and the only ones that matter for your PCs. There are biased, yes. But these are the biased versions your PCs know. If you plan to introduce some foreign NPCs with more exotic cults, what is important becomes the point of view of the NPC when you play it. Trying to understand the two points of view while also trying to make them part of a single story could even be counterproductive, in my opinion again. As soon as you rebuild a single story, I think it becomes more difficult to play the NPC. The view angle of the NPC is actually the only thing to keep in mind at the table and it can become more difficult as soon as you have reconstructed something that is also shared by everyone. The exotism (and possible conflict) is lost.

I am convinced that each area should be treated on its own terms, as Glorantha itself. And it is in my opinion better to refrain from comparing a Gloranthan civilization with a perceived real world ancient civilization. I read a lot of books about the ancient world and I use them to get a feel of what it is to live in a bronze age environment, to imagine how the peoples were living and thinking, what were their tools and furnitures, how they dressed, etc. I have compared the Gloranthan civilizations with real world civilizations for a long time, I don't do that anymore. For me, it is far more simple now. I have also stopped trying to "understand" the Gloranthan myths and I adopt the local constructions.

I actually think that we can't "understand" the Gloranthan myths because we are precisely creatures of Time. Our understanding is actually a personal reconstruction.

I don't know if that helps, but I somehow felt the urge to write that.

Edited by Corvantir
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5 hours ago, Corvantir said:

As far as I am concerned, the gods know nothing about Time as it didn't exist. They can't perceive it, it is simply not there. The myths we are told were built by the various races of Glorantha from the fragments at their disposal.

 

In some fashion or other they appear to be aware of events in Time, if not Time itself. For example, when the Red Goddess was deemed to break the Compromise, several deities emerged from a place called Castle Blue and fought a battle in Time. The question whether this was full-on divine interference or acting through some kind of exraordinary avatars/heroforming I can't say, although texts from the Sourcebook and Guide seem to imply a straightforward interpretation, imho. That doesn't really negate what else you've said, though.

There is generally consensus that the God Time runs on "narratives" that are roughly internally consistent, but can cross over or even shift sequences pretty loosely. They also more or less exist simultaneously (although not always interacting) and eternally, as it were ("eternal" is a weird term to use for a realm where time does not exist, but you get what I mean - they can pretty much be accessed at any point in Time). 

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6 hours ago, Corvantir said:

As far as I am concerned, the gods know nothing about Time as it didn't exist. They can't perceive it, it is simply not there. The myths we are told were built by the various races of Glorantha from the fragments at their disposal.

Well, except that Divination exists and we have many examples of gods partially existing or intervening in the middle world. Sure, with Divination their perception is limited to their sphere of influence (Yelm can only see what happens under the sun, Kyger Litor what goes on in the dark, etc.), but they can still sense things happening and have a vested interest in growing their power in the world through their cults. The line between time and godtime is also not as clear cut as many make it out to be. Yes, the gods are contained there, but they are also present in the middle world. Orlanth is the air, Yelm is the sun, Kyger Litor sits in a basement of the castle of lead, Waha met and fought Pavis on the plains of Prax and then too shelter in the Paps when he was wounded.

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16 hours ago, Richard S. said:

Well, except that Divination exists and we have many examples of gods partially existing or intervening in the middle world. Sure, with Divination their perception is limited to their sphere of influence (Yelm can only see what happens under the sun, Kyger Litor what goes on in the dark, etc.), but they can still sense things happening and have a vested interest in growing their power in the world through their cults. The line between time and godtime is also not as clear cut as many make it out to be. Yes, the gods are contained there, but they are also present in the middle world. Orlanth is the air, Yelm is the sun, Kyger Litor sits in a basement of the castle of lead, Waha met and fought Pavis on the plains of Prax and then too shelter in the Paps when he was wounded.

Is the basement of the Castle of Lead still in the Middle World?

Even if Orlanth IS air, that does not necessarily means he understands what Time is. Orlanth also exists simultaneously in the God's World. Air could well be an elemental manifestation of his primal nature. But Orlanth is also the God who is born from Kero Fin and Umath, the God who courted Ernalda, the God who succeeded in the Lightbringers' Quest, and all these parts live in the Other World and don't know of Time yet. Maybe.

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20 hours ago, Corvantir said:

Is the basement of the Castle of Lead still in the Middle World?

Even if Orlanth IS air, that does not necessarily means he understands what Time is. Orlanth also exists simultaneously in the God's World. Air could well be an elemental manifestation of his primal nature. But Orlanth is also the God who is born from Kero Fin and Umath, the God who courted Ernalda, the God who succeeded in the Lightbringers' Quest, and all these parts live in the Other World and don't know of Time yet. Maybe.

Je préfère le cassoulet de Castelnaudary, sorry ;)

The main logical issues are  :

1) Divination describes a god Power: Answering "in-time" question. Your clan just lost an artifact ? Your god can help you. Maybe not cleary but helpfully. So the God is in the Time too.

2) The God  understands when the Divine Intervention is rightfull or not : Yelmalio "saved" only Yamsur  the splendid (? "le splendide" in oriflam version) because he asked his god to rest in sun county, no to save his life after the battle shame.

I am evolving, you all gave me a part of you're light (please Arkat or Eurmal save me)

So yes, if a mortal meets a god in a pre-Time Age, the god may know only his pre-Time history (this Age and the previous but not the later), that is a kind of time travel made by the mortal.

But if the mortal meets in Time the god (like shaman ? or shaman travel also beyond the compromise ? or like Cacodemon whe he comes) the god should know everything until now.

 

 

 

 

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On 1/12/2020 at 10:12 AM, French Desperate WindChild said:

...But if the mortal meets in Time the god (like shaman ? or shaman travel also beyond the compromise ? or like Cacodemon whe he comes) the god should know everything until now.

The gods are not omniscient!

They know what they know, but there's lots they do not know.

Yelm knows most everything that happens under the sun, but his sight is dimmed by cloud or fog, and he sees very little (or nothing!) of what happens at night, or deep underground.

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4 hours ago, g33k said:

The gods are not omniscient!

They know what they know, but there's lots they do not know.

Yelm knows most everything that happens under the sun, but his sight is dimmed by cloud or fog, and he sees very little (or nothing!) of what happens at night, or deep underground.

Yes sure, my words were only about "time line"

Gods know what their initiates (and "linked areas") know

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6 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

...

Gods know what their initiates (and "linked areas") know

I don't think they automatically know what their Initiates know.. not even their priest(esse)s!

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

I don't think they automatically know what their Initiates know.. not even their priest(esse)s!

I stopped my interpretation to "know what has happened" but after re re reading, yes there is a kind of limitation

"Secondly, initiates and Rune Masters are extensions of the deity, and can tell the deity many things through prayer. Thus, a deity will know what has happened to its Rune Masters and, to a lesser extent, its initiates. The god does not know what a Rune Master or initiate is thinking and cannot deduce motivations. A deity cannot invade anyone’s mind; though it knows when a worshiper has lost faith. Other knowledge given to a god by a worshiper must be volunteered through prayer"

 

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