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Rodney Dangerduck

Too many Holy Days in RQG

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Our party is a bit large, but a reasonably typical mix of two Orlanthi, an Ernaldan, an Issaries, L.M., Storm Bull and Humakt.

Just counting the first three cults, a PC is "out of action for all-day Worship" three days a week for their weekly minor holy days.  It's painful to get anything done.

How do other groups handle this? @Jeff, how did the official test group (Vasana et. al.), that has roughly the same mix of cults, handle this?

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36 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Our party is a bit large, but a reasonably typical mix of two Orlanthi, an Ernaldan, an Issaries, L.M., Storm Bull and Humakt.

Just counting the first three cults, a PC is "out of action for all-day Worship" three days a week for their weekly minor holy days.  It's painful to get anything done.

How do other groups handle this? @Jeff, how did the official test group (Vasana et. al.), that has roughly the same mix of cults, handle this?

Characters need only offer magic points (1 for lay members, 2 for initiates) and offer Worship on their weekly holy day. It is better to do that at a shrine or temple, but if they are in the wilderness, they make do as they can. That being said, in Dragon Pass there are shrines to these gods just about everywhere.

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Here's the explanation from the Cults Book:


Typical holy day worship requires lay worshippers to sacrifice one magic point. Initiates will sacrifice two magic points, and Rune-levels attend to the channeling of the Power to the deity. Worship at a temple or shrine to the god or an associated deity is preferred, but that is not possible, worshippers may still offer sacrifice and worship (although Rune points are not replenished unless a Sanctify spell is cast first). 

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7 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

You only have to do Sacred Time/HHD worship - the rest is optional, and weekly worship is mostly for when you need the Rune Points.

That's what I thought at first, but RQG says:

Initiates are expected to follow the commands of the god
of the cult as expressed by the priests of the temple. They
must observe the cult holy days and sacrifice 2 magic points
during cult Worship rituals.

It's not quite mentioned which holy days are mandatory and which ones are optional.

9 minutes ago, Jeff said:

That being said, in Dragon Pass there are shrines to these gods just about everywhere.

I think the OP issue is that the Worship skill seems to only support full day rituals, and spending the full day in prayers, even if you don't have to go out of your way, is still disruptive, I guess. I'm surprised that minor/weekly holy days don't require a simple 1-hour Worship prayer or something similarly quick. Full day Worship feels like it should only be for special occasions.

Edited by lordabdul
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32 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

That's what I thought at first, but RQG says:

Initiates are expected to follow the commands of the god
of the cult as expressed by the priests of the temple. They
must observe the cult holy days and sacrifice 2 magic points
during cult Worship rituals.

This is surprising, because elsewhere it’s expressed that you only start to take hits to your magic if you miss the Big Two. And besides, one full day in seven would already be above the 10% time demand for Initiates.

Also, if you actually do it as full worship in temples, your a Rune Point regain becomes ridiculous! 9d6 per season is crazy.

(You know my old hobby-horse Bless Crops? With this kind of Rune Point regain, a single Ernaldan can drop Bless Crops 3 on dozens and dozens of households each year. A CA casting Resurrect is almost trivial, something that can be done on a weekly basis if required. Glorantha is a magical world, but damn!)

 

Edited by Akhôrahil

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Speaking as the Dangerduck's GM, it's been the time, not magic points, that are bothering my players. As I read the rules, every holy day you have to spend the entire day participating in your divine worship ceremonies, which can ends up being almost half the time with a party. of Orlanthi, Ernaldans and Issaries, 3 days a week. Can get in the way of adventuring! My solution is for *minor* holy days to allow it to be a couple hour ceremony, and to put content into them. After all, what is a worship ceremony if not a minimal heroquest? For ordinary folk, you have the seasonal and up ceremonies, fixed into age-old patters, rather abbreviated on minor holy days, which make Glorantha run and prevent it from collapsing back into primal chaos. Out in the wilderness, you cast sanctify and do your own, and you can more or less pick your miniquest, which works better if you can roll your Cult Lore. The Humakhti spends his holy day guarding the rest of the party from bad guys, ritually reenacting some time Humakht did that, with skill bonuses if he makes his worship roll, or something like that, etc. etc. I am just toying with this idea, the players haven't fallen in love with it yet, but definitely are tired of having everything interrupted by holy days. I think that can be appropriate for seasonal and up holy days, provided content goes into them, but for minor holy days I'd rather have that be an option than something that gets in the way, definitely not MGF. And if you miss the minor holy day ceremony consequences should be small, say making it harder to do rune magic till the next one. Comments? Thoughts?

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Look at RW religious practices. Very few days are given over to all-day ceremonies... Even on HHD, it's normally just a few hours.

(I'm talking about Initiate levels here, not "Rune" levels like Priests and their direct assistants).

Most religions have a regular weekly holy day which only lasts about an hour. And, often, people have a small token shrine in the home for short prayers.

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3 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Look at RW religious practices. Very few days are given over to all-day ceremonies... Even on HHD, it's normally just a few hours.

(I'm talking about Initiate levels here, not "Rune" levels like Priests and their direct assistants).

Most religions have a regular weekly holy day which only lasts about an hour. And, often, people have a small token shrine in the home for short prayers.

If you want to replenish Rune Points that's an all day thing. If you just want to offer your god magic points, it is a short ceremony.

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Just now, Jeff said:

If you want to replenish Rune Points that's an all day thing. If you just want to offer your god magic points, it is a short ceremony.

I didn't read the OP as being only for replenishing RPs... Only complaining about time. So, my response was directed towards that end.

Otherwise, there'd be the "OMGs, so easy to get RPs back!"

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1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

I didn't read the OP as being only for replenishing RPs... Only complaining about time. So, my response was directed towards that end.

Otherwise, there'd be the "OMGs, so easy to get RPs back!"

That's how we approach this -  if you want to replenish your RP's, then it is time consuming. There are plenty of opportunities, but it does mean your character spends the day covered in ashes, or prostrate on the floor, or whatever. If you just want to fulfil your cult duties and offer magic points, that's a fairly short ceremony.

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5 minutes ago, Jeff said:

If you want to replenish Rune Points that's an all day thing. If you just want to offer your god magic points, it is a short ceremony.

This combined with being able to do it out in the bush seems like it would solve everything. Good call!

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isn't that the point of community/cult responsibility. You get support and magic in return for your time and worship. Individuals who spend too much time doing their own thing would eventually be cut off. As a GM I would be very slow to provide continued support to PC's who didn't take their commitments seriously. 

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6 hours ago, Jeff said:

If you just want to fulfil your cult duties and offer magic points, that's a fairly short ceremony.

Thanks, that's what we figured, but it's good to have confirmation that it's indeed how it's supposed to work. Some clarification on that in the Cults book would be welcome, or maybe it's something to throw on the pile of fixes for an RQG 1.5 / RQG Companion / RQG GM Guide :) 

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Thanks.  A short ceremony is much better!

GMs could easily work it in into the flow of the narrative: "you see a Ernalda shrine covered in flowers" or "The sun is covered by dark clouds as a violent thunderstorm approaches".

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2 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

What happens if you miss you god's High Holy Day?

Priests may be upset. Spirits of reprisal likely to visit. You miss opportunity to regain Rune Points. Your connection to the deity weakens.

2 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

Are you going to be excommuncated soon?

No, not for missing once if you're an initiate (particularly if there is a reasonable excuse) unless the lack of your presence makes some difference. 

2 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

Do you need to do some penance?

Undoubtedly! More offerings, votive images paid for, quests performed, etc.

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12 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Undoubtedly! More offerings, votive images paid for, quests performed, etc.

Weird how the priests keep coming to this conclusion!

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Priests may be upset. Spirits of reprisal likely to visit. You miss opportunity to regain Rune Points. Your connection to the deity weakens.

No, not for missing once if you're an initiate (particularly if there is a reasonable excuse) unless the lack of your presence makes some difference. 

Undoubtedly! More offerings, votive images paid for, quests performed, etc.

How about missing the seasonals? Lesser problems (my idea, say minus some percent on runespell casting rolls till next seasonal), or none, or what? And are the penalties coming from On High (spirits of reprisal) or from the priests, in which case it's negotiable, and "indulgences" as per the thing Luther hated can do the trick? Or is it the priests who send the spirits of reprisal?

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1 hour ago, Glorion said:

How about missing the seasonals?

I'm sure it will depend on the cult but seasonal rituals are clearly important to maintenance of the cult in the world. Penalties may be from either priests or the divinity.

The question is likely why the individual is missing the seasonal holy day? If you're part of the clan, than missing the seasonal holy day could have significant consequences. You weren't there to guard the ritual from enemies and they attacked, weakening the rites further. Or you weren't there to ensure the votive offerings were placed in the right place, and when the priestess went to perform a ritual task, she could not find the right statue and an evil spirit snuck through the barrier into the village. Etc.

You were expected to be there - what happened? 

  • You were on a quest - did the clan sanction it? If so, it's known, and the clan would have prepared for your absence, and obviously the quest is of importance. And you know when the holy day came, and performed your worship to sacrifice magic points to your deity so the connection to the other world was still reinforced.
  • You were gallivanting off to the city to buy yourself something - did you go to the temple there? If so, then likely you were doing some minor task since the priests and attendants don't know you, but you performed the tasks, sacrificed the magic points, etc.
  • But if you were off on your own quest because you felt like it... You failed the clan, you failed your temple, you failed your god. (In game terms, I'd likely reduce your Loyalties to Clan and Temple, and your Devotion to the deity maybe by as much as 1D6+4 depending on the reason, to reflect your selfish behavior.)

The old Thunder Rebels book had some useful ideas for other punishments by the clan/priests (p.84):

  • If ritual be made without invocation of the six guardians, that ill comes of it, then three sheep.
  • If one summons a spirit, or allows possession by a spirit, that ill come of it, then four cows.
  • If one sleeps in the holy rite, or the ceremony, or at the masking, or at the sending of heroes, then two sheep.
  • If sacrifice or ceremony be not made at the appointed time, that the land suffers or the ancestors be angered, then one cow plus the sacrifice.
  • If an ancestral shrine be defiled, or destroyed, then four cows; if it be ill maintained or forgotten, so that the ancestors are angered, then six cows.
  • If a holy place be defiled through laziness, or by ones’ herds, then six cows.
  • If an evil wind be loosed, and none to bag it, then two cows.
  • If a child be cursed or shriven in the womb, that it brings deformity, then two cows.
  • If tongue be given to strangers of paths, rites, magic, or the secrets of heroes, and ill come of it, then ten cows.
  • If masks be lost, or destroyed, or soiled by beasts, and likewise implements or charms, that the clan suffers, then four cows.
  • If one sings rats, storms out of season, or black snow, or calls down any of the Seven Dangers, then five cows and outlawry...

Failure to be there might also make your ancestors made, so those spirits may come and harass you.

Or if Ernalda or another deity is really unhappy with you, they may withdraw their protection from Mallia from you. Not a good thing, and you might well get some very noticeable illness like Blotches or Thunder Lung.

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In my RQG game, my players are always worried about when their holy days are coming up so they can plan around them. It gets challenging though with a mixed party. The Orlanthi want to be back before Movementweek or only go after that, the Donandar skald keeps an eye out for temples of Orlanth or Ernalda where the subcults of Drogarsi or Skovari may be present, and the LM sage needs to be off to their temple before Truthweek, etc. It may mean that they need to plan to stop for a time at a city where a number of folk can satisfy cult obligations.  

You can see why Lightbringer temples in cities can be very useful, or shrines to All Deities in Apple Lane.

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45 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I'm sure it will depend on the cult but seasonal rituals are clearly important to maintenance of the cult in the world. Penalties may be from either priests or the divinity.

The question is likely why the individual is missing the seasonal holy day? If you're part of the clan, than missing the seasonal holy day could have significant consequences. You weren't there to guard the ritual from enemies and they attacked, weakening the rites further. Or you weren't there to ensure the votive offerings were placed in the right place, and when the priestess went to perform a ritual task, she could not find the right statue and an evil spirit snuck through the barrier into the village. Etc.

You were expected to be there - what happened? 

  • You were on a quest - did the clan sanction it? If so, it's known, and the clan would have prepared for your absence, and obviously the quest is of importance. And you know when the holy day came, and performed your worship to sacrifice magic points to your deity so the connection to the other world was still reinforced.
  • You were gallivanting off to the city to buy yourself something - did you go to the temple there? If so, then likely you were doing some minor task since the priests and attendants don't know you, but you performed the tasks, sacrificed the magic points, etc.
  • But if you were off on your own quest because you felt like it... You failed the clan, you failed your temple, you failed your god. (In game terms, I'd likely reduce your Loyalties to Clan and Temple, and your Devotion to the deity maybe by as much as 1D6+4 depending on the reason, to reflect your selfish behavior.)

The old Thunder Rebels book had some useful ideas for other punishments by the clan/priests (p.84):

  • If ritual be made without invocation of the six guardians, that ill comes of it, then three sheep.
  • If one summons a spirit, or allows possession by a spirit, that ill come of it, then four cows.
  • If one sleeps in the holy rite, or the ceremony, or at the masking, or at the sending of heroes, then two sheep.
  • If sacrifice or ceremony be not made at the appointed time, that the land suffers or the ancestors be angered, then one cow plus the sacrifice.
  • If an ancestral shrine be defiled, or destroyed, then four cows; if it be ill maintained or forgotten, so that the ancestors are angered, then six cows.
  • If a holy place be defiled through laziness, or by ones’ herds, then six cows.
  • If an evil wind be loosed, and none to bag it, then two cows.
  • If a child be cursed or shriven in the womb, that it brings deformity, then two cows.
  • If tongue be given to strangers of paths, rites, magic, or the secrets of heroes, and ill come of it, then ten cows.
  • If masks be lost, or destroyed, or soiled by beasts, and likewise implements or charms, that the clan suffers, then four cows.
  • If one sings rats, storms out of season, or black snow, or calls down any of the Seven Dangers, then five cows and outlawry...

Failure to be there might also make your ancestors made, so those spirits may come and harass you.

Or if Ernalda or another deity is really unhappy with you, they may withdraw their protection from Mallia from you. Not a good thing, and you might well get some very noticeable illness like Blotches or Thunder Lung.

Excellent answer! I'm linking this on our game website as the official answer in this campaign. Thanks. My players are always worried about the holy days too, and were getting increasingly annoyed as I was trying to enforce something like this for those weekly minor holy days too, all day ceremonies to boot. Overenthusiasm on my part I guess.

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On 2/13/2020 at 6:46 PM, Jeff said:

Characters need only offer magic points (1 for lay members, 2 for initiates) and offer Worship on their weekly holy day. It is better to do that at a shrine or temple, but if they are in the wilderness, they make do as they can. That being said, in Dragon Pass there are shrines to these gods just about everywhere.

Agreed.  This can be as small as having a necklace with an image of your deity on it, and on their holy day, you take it off and pray to it, offering up your magic point.  IDK how widespread temples are in Dragon Pass, but normally you can find one in a couple of days ride.  On this issue it is also worth pointing out that if your deity is part of a pantheon, then you can show up to any temple of any god within that pantheon where your god is an associated deity, and attend a ceremony there, as there is likely to be someone officiating at that idol on a high holy day, even if they don't want to be.

2 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

For a culture following the maxim "nobody can make you do nothing", there's a lot of forcing you to go to worship.  Just saying... 🙂

Just shut up and pay your back-tithes Rodney.  You're about 2 years in arrears now. ☺️

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We just sacrificed MPs on weekly days, as standard, just with an appropriate prayer.

We tended to attend Seasonal Holy Days at Temples, where possible, as they were more important, especially as our party was all Rune Levels.

We attended High Holy Days at Temples, as that was when you could increase POW.

Also, we had various artefacts of our Cults, which acted as shrines anyway, so we used those when sacrificing MPs or when attending ceremonies when not able to get to a Temple.

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