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How to deal with this much rune magic ?


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40 minutes ago, Glorion said:

You have it already if you have an Ernalda priestess in your village pretty much. Or even if there's an initiate around who likes you for that matter. It is a common runespell after all.

Agreed! This is the thing that everyone is missing. You give her cows (which you are good at i.e. have a skill with a good percentage) and she blesses you, and yours (which she is good at i.e. has a rune with a high percentage) and bob is your uncle.... you know, community.

Cheers

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Being an initiate makes a ton more sense to me than a staying a lay member.   Real life bronze age did not have a terribly high percentage of atheists, and in a magic-dense world like Glorantha it's j

I do think hunters need some love. Leather Crafting, Butchery, Peaceful cut, Devise (Trapping in Dark and Storm season!) etc.  Plus their cults do seem a bit weak. I mean I know balance isnt a th

You seem to be making a pretty big assumption that "initiation" in this context means lay membership. Iirc, lay membership is the equivalent of what pantheon worship was in HQ1. Thinking back on

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6 hours ago, Diana Probst said:

That town 2 days away, where we're not part of the community?

I can see adventurers doing that, sure.  Not so much other people.  Humans don't act in their own economic interest in the real world.  Why expect fantasy to be different?

I don't think it's common, weekly affair, but looking at Sartar then I simply don't belive people don't go into town now and then. 

For a start it would require a huge increase in hauliers shifting agricultural products to the market. 

It'll probably be a big event in their lives going to the big town but a few trips in your life.... Of course. 

I mean if you're saying a apple Lane farmer never goes to clearwine or rune gate I'm not buying it. 

Fyrd members certainly do on occasion. 

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I was pretty sure in Sartar that around 70-80% of the population were initiates. In other regions, especially Peloria, the practice is less common, but I believe it's been a thing that Orlanthi have had an unusually high number of initiates for a while now.

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39 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

If the village is 100 people, and you go by the only 10% are initiates rule of thumb, and account for children, there's like 2-3 Ernaldans.  Seems unlikely to have a Priestess.  Only if most people are initiates will there probably be a Priestess.

First off, way more than 10% are initiates in Sartar. The conservative number is 2/3rds of adults.

However, you're right that the 100 person village likely doesn't have a priestess. They probably have a God-Talker though, or at the very least an initiated healer.  

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37 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:
1 hour ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

If the village is 100 people, and you go by the only 10% are initiates rule of thumb, and account for children, there's like 2-3 Ernaldans.  Seems unlikely to have a Priestess.  Only if most people are initiates will there probably be a Priestess.

First off, way more than 10% are initiates in Sartar. The conservative number is 2/3rds of adults.

I think this is butting up against the question "How many initiates are game-mechanic initiates and how many are initiated as lay members?" Which seems to arise each time this topic pops up. While I do think the number of game-initiates is higher than 10%, as I recall previous iterations of this discussion Jeff et al clarified that when the book says "most Gloranthans are initiates" what it really means is "most gloranthans are lay members."

From the Well of Daliath:

Quote

Orlanthi Initiate and Lay Member numbers

In Orlanthi society (not the world) how many adults are Initiates? How many adults are lay members of cults?

Most members of a cult are lay members, with a small portion becoming initiates, and an even smaller subset becoming Priests, God-talkers, Rune Lords, Rune Priests, and a tiny few becoming Rune Lord-Priests.

Do you need something more specific than that? Exact numbers? Population distribution? 

You’re the GM. You can decide those figures.

Likewise:

Quote

Initiated and Initiates (pages 269 & 73)

Page 269 in the RQG book: “Most who belong to a cult are lay members, without any authority or position within the cult.”

Page 73 in the RQG book: “Nearly every adult is initiated into the cult of a specific deity.”

Which is it?

You’re confusing being initiated into a cult with being an initiate of that cult. Most everyone in the world is a member of one cult or another, a lay member. Only a small number take the test sacrifice a point of POW and gain a Rune point, and still fewer go on to become Rune Masters or God-talkers within that cult. 

I agree that the word choice on page 73 is confusing. A clearer version might be “Nearly every adult is a member of the cult of a specific deity.” 

Which retains consistency with prior representations of Glorantha—notably the Guide.

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My memory also says that members of the development team have cited a cost in lunars to learn new spells after adventurer creation—I believe 100L—but when I checked my PDF, I couldn't find any text to substantiate this. I think I've seen both David Scott and Jeff mention this in threads?

I also didn't see anything on WoD when I checked there. Unless I've missed text (very possible) I'd anticipate this as something clarified in the Cults book.

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I think the distinction between being initiated and being an initiate is confused bullcrap. While large swathes of Glorantha have low numbers of initiates, this does not hold true about Sartar. The place has always been noted for having a very high percentage of initiates, and when you look at adventures, even every teenaged herder or newbie duck warrior is initiated. Check out the "typical people" in The Smoking Ruins - initiated as default. You have to look far and wide to find any non-initiates in Sartar scenarios (like "typical Trollkin").

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20 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

Jeff has clarified that the "3 Rune Points for all Initiates" rule refers only to PCs.

Check out The Smoking Ruins. "Typical" NPCs, like typical Varmande militia, typical Sun Dome militia, typical Babeester Gor initiate, typical Dark Troll Warrior, typical Dark Troll Foot Warrior, typical Great Troll Warrior (yes, even Great Trolls!)  - all 3 Rune Points. In the Adventures Book, Cattle Raid scenario, herders have 2 Rune Points up to age 20, and 3 Rune Points above that. The Orleving Raiders have 3 Rune Points. 

Going by published material, it seems pretty clear that the typical distribution is 1 Rune Point is for the very recently initiated, 2 Rune Points for younger initiates, and 3 Rune Points for adults (over something like 20 years old). The NPCs with less can be expected to grow into it by the time they're starting PC age (i.e. 21). If the devs want to maintain that PCs start out with more Rune Points than others, they don't follow that line themselves in published material. 

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I'd agree with akhôrahil , observational evidence suggests otherwise at least in Sartar.

I'd also add that travel to your local town or city was common enough in Earth's ancient times. Greek Plays are full of references to yokels bringing firewood or charcoal into town to sell and in fact it was a major part of their economy as urbanites had no other source of fuel. Poor people not being able to afford fuel to heat their homes and having to hang out at the bath house to keep warm for example. Rich people having their tenants or slaves collect firewood or make charcoal of it and then haul it to town to fuel their own homes and to sell the excess was a major source of income. Food and fuel has to come from somewhere. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Thaz said:

I'd also add that travel to your local town or city was common enough in Earth's ancient times. 

I'm under the impression from designer comments that travel to the tribal capital or a town in Sartar is something you can expect at least a couple of times yearly even for average people.

Also, Associated Cult status is your friend. Most of the smaller cults have a big Associated Cult. That said, if you decide on an oddball cult, you may run into trouble. Foundchild in Sartar is asking for trouble, and Humakt not having any is a bit of a hassle if your clan doesn't run a Humakti temple or at least has a Sword-manned shrine. 

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10 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Also, Associated Cult status is your friend. Most of the smaller cults have a big Associated Cult. 

That only gets you RP refresh on Seasonal Holy days mind not weekly (if the big associated cult has weekly holy days, as previously pointed out most do not.

I'd also expect Priests to do a fair bit of travelling. So for example Clearwine and Runegate have temples and multiple priests at each (According to the Smoking Ruins quite a few). So both to service the outlying population and scoop up POW rolls the clergy are going to trek out to places like Apple Lane (at least in good weather of Fire, Earth and maybe Storm) to conduct worship for the laity and initiates who dont have a local priest.  At least IMG.  Or the rural types are going to treck in to take part in the big ceremonies. Without Spoiling The Smoking Ruins there is a big Oralnth/Ernaldan ritual described that various bigwigs may or may not take part in described. This sort of thing could easily draw in people from outlying Clans of the Tribe. 

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15 minutes ago, Thaz said:

That only gets you RP refresh on Seasonal Holy days mind not weekly (if the big associated cult has weekly holy days, as previously pointed out most do not.

1d6 Rune Points seasonally mostly keeps new PCs going (assuming one adventure per season). When they start to accumulate more, they really need access to proper Cult worship. Which is good, because it's obvious plot fodder.

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7 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

1d6 Rune Points seasonally mostly keeps new PCs going (assuming one adventure per season). When they start to accumulate more, they really need access to proper Cult worship. Which is good, because it's obvious plot fodder.

Agreed. However it rather answers the OP "How to deal with this much rune magic?".  It's really not an issue. 

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Access to temples/shrines shouldn't really be a problem. I think people are blowing that a little out of proportion. It makes sense for these to be within reach, at least when on your own clan's tula. Sure, when travelling or in a specific tight spot this is an issue that should come up, but outside of that, probably not so much. Clan tulas are not that huge for relatively quick travel in a situation where you've run out of points so you make it a point to go replenish at the first opportunity, either. So anyone with a weekly holy day is going to be readily topped off.  That's a huge gulf in effectiveness between the cults that have them and the cults that don't which is definitely felt in the game world. That really creates a class of two kinds of magical experts: those who can be relied on once a season to provide magical support and those who can be relied all the time (which is admittedly a little bit of head scratcher).

I think there's a bit of a gulf in the discussion here between those who see a magical economy inevitably developing because of the Rune Point mechanics and those who override those with fiat (and handwave the fact that the rules become inconsistent with the fictional setting). I am firmly in the first camp as I do think that rules (should and do) matter, so this is an interesting topic.

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36 minutes ago, Grievous said:

Access to temples/shrines shouldn't really be a problem. I think people are blowing that a little out of proportion. It makes sense for these to be within reach, at least when on your own clan's tula. Sure, when travelling or in a specific tight spot this is an issue that should come up, but outside of that, probably not so much. Clan tulas are not that huge for relatively quick travel in a situation where you've run out of points so you make it a point to go replenish at the first opportunity, either. So anyone with a weekly holy day is going to be readily topped off.  That's a huge gulf in effectiveness between the cults that have them and the cults that don't which is definitely felt in the game world. That really creates a class of two kinds of magical experts: those who can be relied on once a season to provide magical support and those who can be relied all the time (which is admittedly a little bit of head scratcher).

It's not just the holy place itself - you need someone to officiate the worship. If you're in a cult like Yinkin or Odayla, you may well not have even one God-Talker in the clan.

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22 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

It's not just the holy place itself - you need someone to officiate the worship. If you're in a cult like Yinkin or Odayla, you may well not have even one God-Talker in the clan.

Which leads to the following points

a)Can an innate or RuneLord lead worship in the absence of Priest or God-talker (Note you may have a God-Talker who is also Priest of one of the Big Cults) (This was asked but not answered in Rune Points a while ago)

b) People may travel about to lead worship doing a round of clan Tula's etc. Especially for bigger cults (this doesn't help your Hunters much but I could see a lone Hunter Priest covering many tulas)

c)Places like Blue Boar Fort are where old hunters go to pass their days. Your more likely to find a God-talker or Priest there so visiting to pay your respects on a HHD or SHD and attend worship makes sense, especially for Hunters who are by nature fairly mobile and self sufficient. 

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

It's not just the holy place itself - you need someone to officiate the worship. If you're in a cult like Yinkin or Odayla, you may well not have even one God-Talker in the clan.

Ahh right, that's indeed a/the hurdle. 

However, and revising my point from above a little, we're still looking at a two-tiered system: for the major cults that have weekly holy days and which are well represented by priests in the clan, there's gonna be quite plentiful replenishing (as long as you're not too far from the temple *1); for the lesser cults, you're still relegated to the "useful mostly once per season" caste (in a magical sense, obviously you're not suddenly entirely useless to the clan). Another thing for adventuring types to keep in mind is that the community might be relying on your magic to function and if you spend it chasing treasure in far-off parts of the land, your loose spending of the magics is going to be looked at askance. 

*1 This would also greatly influence settlement and temple placement patterns. Also, the settlements and folks farther away are just going be less well off purely based on this. One more thing that this causes (and I'm writing this down for my plot notes) is that lobbying for temples/shrines and the priests to staff them is going to be a factor in clan and tribal politics for those who do mostly without them. 

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1 hour ago, Thaz said:

Which leads to the following points

a)Can an innate or RuneLord lead worship in the absence of Priest or God-talker (Note you may have a God-Talker who is also Priest of one of the Big Cults) (This was asked but not answered in Rune Points a while ago)

Yes for Rune Lords ("A Rune Lord can replenish Rune points by leading holy day sacrifices, and by performing other sacrifices to the god"), no for Initiates.

1 hour ago, Thaz said:

b) People may travel about to lead worship doing a round of clan Tula's etc. Especially for bigger cults (this doesn't help your Hunters much but I could see a lone Hunter Priest covering many tulas)

This can work in a pinch - an independent or tribal god-talker comes to visit the shrine now and then to maintain it and lead worship.

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If you're travelling outside of your tribe, you could come across difficulties. Colymar in Greydog lands? Good luck getting into their worship ceremonies. They might think you are going to be disruptive, or that your mere presence might weaken their magic, because your traditions are different to thiers, and their ancestors will be insulted.

Of course this difficulty can be adjusted to taste, but if you're a GM who doesn't want OTT magic and you've got a player saying they can get their RP back every week while out on the road, then this is a tool in the box for reining that in.

If one of the characters is away from their homeland long term, such as Vostor or Vishi, that poses the opposite problem. Plenty of solutions available though.

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6 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Yes for Rune Lords ("A Rune Lord can replenish Rune points by leading holy day sacrifices, and by performing other sacrifices to the god"), no for Initiates.

This can work in a pinch - an independent or tribal god-talker comes to visit the shrine now and then to maintain it and lead worship.

And remember you only get pow gain rolls for _leading_ worship. So for example there are at least 3 Ernalda priestesses in Clearwine (according to TSR) so they will be motivated to get out of town and lead worship elsewhere rather than just taking turns leading services back at home. At least outside of Storm/Dark season because who the heck wants to be on the road preaching to hillbillies when it's cold enough to freeze the water out of cider....

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18 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

You do realize this is your interpretation, and Jason, and Jeff have both said this is not the case. The NPCs written about are mostly like the PCs, incredible. The common spells are not common to all initiates, just the exceptional (like PCs}. So while all initiates must have 1 RP this could well mean one spell. 

If they said that, it makes no sense, breaks world internal consistency and moves away from the long help RQ principle that PC's and NPC's work from the same rules, ie monsters are people to.

It also does not match the NPC's which have been written.

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4 hours ago, Crel said:

I think this is butting up against the question "How many initiates are game-mechanic initiates and how many are initiated as lay members?" Which seems to arise each time this topic pops up. While I do think the number of game-initiates is higher than 10%, as I recall previous iterations of this discussion Jeff et al clarified that when the book says "most Gloranthans are initiates" what it really means is "most gloranthans are lay members."

Which shows the willingness to rework/change/piss all over the 30 years previous development of the Orlanthi in Glornatha.  Everything else previous to this point in the last 30 years says pretty much the opposite, and the standard is that most Orlanthi have been initiates from the point of adulthood.

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19 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

You do realize this is your interpretation, and Jason, and Jeff have both said this is not the case. The NPCs written about are mostly like the PCs, incredible. 

This simply isn't true. What's presented in the scenarios is that average fyrdmen, average herders (age 21+, like PCs) and average cattle raiders - that is, average Orlanthi men - have 3 Rune Points. It's remarkably consistent.

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15 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

This simply isn't true. What's presented in the scenarios is that average fyrdmen, average herders (age 21+, like PCs) and average cattle raiders - that is, average Orlanthi men - have 3 Rune Points. It's remarkably consistent.

I'm not getting into Canon wars with the Chaosium staff and writers :- However IMG in Sartar and in Prax at least the majority of the adult population are in fact initiated* and have a few RP. Elders may have more but of course there's been a serious war and famine recently so there might not be many elders about.  This is reflected in Apple Lane where we're missing a Thane and Merchant and Red-Smith and Weaponsmaster. Also in at least some of the forthcoming Pegasus Plateau I believe. 

*Of course there are a fair few Shamanistic faiths about, especially in Prax. 

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6 minutes ago, Thaz said:

Also in at least some of the forthcoming Pegasus Plateau I believe. 

The Rattling Wind, at least, maintains the pattern. The villagers described (fairly regular apart from a particular event in the past) have 3-5 Rune Points in different cults. Teens have 1-2 Rune Points. Another village leader has 3 Rune Points, and an Ernalda priestess has 8. A Rune-Lord has 10.  

This is all on the expected curve.

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