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Cults that can be merged to one adventurer


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25 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

It's unusual to be an active initiate in more than one cult.
It is possible to be an active initiate in more than one cult.
It is challenging to be an active initiate in more than one cult.
(NB: spirit cults, hero cults and communal worship don't count).
Player characters are special snowflakes compared to average Joes. 
YGWV.

So what does this mean when (e.g.) converting old material? Do we just dump the Kyger Litor status for an initiate of ZZ/Gorakikki/AA, and assume that it's covered by "communal worship"? Is this the sort of thing that will be clarified in the Gods of Glorantha book, or will that push it out to four volumes instead of three? :)

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IMHO, with trolls the frequent initiation into Kyger Litor demonstrates a way in which Uz society differs from human society. Kyger Litor dominates their magical/religious worldview in a way which hum

For me, I think it's important to keep in mind how much Gloranthan social life seems dominated by religious activity. But a lot of that activity might not be the sorts of things which we terrestrials

I mean, that kind of sounds like you should just say that "all" trolls are lay members of Kyger Litor, and leave the initiate status out of it (especially in RQG where they seem to conflate the two co

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2 hours ago, Caras said:

So let me get this strait:

1) Humakt initiate can become also initiate of Orlanth, if an adventurer is humakti before initiation to the other cult. But not the other way around. (I don´t know what to think about this one.)

I don't think this is possible.  However there is a contary example in Londra who worships Orlanth and Humakt (I think she's lost her faith in Humakt and has started worshipping Orlanth but the sources don't agree with me).

2 hours ago, Caras said:

2) Maran Gor can be merged with Babeester Gor. (I agree, but Babeester Gor is not easy to fit to my campaigns adventures... So not in my campaign.)

They are different manifestations of the Earth Goddess.  Maran Gor worshippers are likely to have their own violent subcults (Erantha Gor and Maran Devor have been mentioned in the past) than stop to worshipping Babs.  Or if you want to be God Learny about it Erantha Gor is Babs proceeding from Maran Gor rather than Ernalda)

2 hours ago, Caras said:

3) Maran Gor can be merged with Ernalda also. Even thou they are somewhat opposites. (I don´t agree.)

Just because they are associate goddesses doesn't mean their worship can be combined.  Cults of Prax gave the example of Kyger Litor and Zorak Zoran.  All Troll worshippers of Zorak Zoran are also worshippers of Kyger Litor.  But the Rune Lords of Kyger Litor (Kaarg) doen't get along well with the Zorak Zoran cult and vice versa.  And when it comes to Zorak Zoran, Violence is the only answer.  So you end up with places having worshippers of Karrg or worshippers of Zorak Zoran with the other trolls being smart enough not to get involved.

2 hours ago, Caras said:

4) Eurmal can not be merged with anyone. (I will change the one npc in my campaign that has Eurmal/Orlanth. I agree that this is better rule. So I agree.)

Eurmal has no associate cults.  Eurmal steals magic from them.  That they get magic in return is Orlanth imposing his justice.

2 hours ago, Caras said:

6) Storm Bull? Can you be Storm Bull/Waha? Storm Bull/Orlanth? (I don´t know what to think.)

No love for Storm Bull/Zorak Zoran?

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4 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

(Yes, I have a general dislike of special snowflake "me-me-me "players who want everything to be about their wonderful character, all the time, and sod anyone else at the table: does it show? That said, I don't like the idea of "ensuring the game isn't fun" -- the easiest way to do that is to sack your player. This is about showing them that being a mini-maxing power-gamer in a social setting has predictable consequences -- in-world consequences -- that they'd better be prepared for)

* why do adventurers who are visibly, ostentatiously splitting their time between two cults get the worst assignments? Because their Rune Priests know they lack dedication, and are testing them. That's also why they will deliberately ensure cult duties clash, or pull the cultist in different directions. They want you to make a choice: they want you to choose them! Conflict builds character.

At the end of the day it depends on your group. Some groups are totally in their comfort zone with everyone powergaming and competing. Others suffer from an attention imbalance where one or two players try to dominate to the detriment of others. Some groups have a healthy imbalance where the reclusive player is quite happy to sit back and be entertained and just occasionally ocntribute. I think I have been all those people at different times in my roleplaying career, in different groups! And I've seen the exact same group of players behave quite differently in different games. Gonzo D&D, then serious RuneQuest roleplaying, then one player being the star Cthulhu investigator while the others tag along.

The burden for "solving" these "problems" inevitably falls disproportionately on the GM/DM/referee, and it isn't always easy. It isn't ever easy. I'm probably playing Captain Obvious of HMS Topic Drift here so I'll shut up.

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2 hours ago, GAZZA said:

Do we just dump the Kyger Litor status for an initiate of ZZ/Gorakikki/AA, and assume that it's covered by "communal worship"?

IMHO, with trolls the frequent initiation into Kyger Litor demonstrates a way in which Uz society differs from human society. Kyger Litor dominates their magical/religious worldview in a way which humanity's gods—even Orlanth and Ernalda—simply don't. It's not a big deal for a troll to be an initiate of KL and Gorakiki in the same way it's a big deal for a human to be an initiate of Issaries and Ernalda.

In addition, keep in mind that everyone's lay members of a bunch of gods, and it just doesn't generally get focused on. A good example is that, IIRC, you can't get passage on the Zola Fel in Pavis if you aren't a member of his cult. Giving the cult a few coins and praying to Zola Fel makes you a lay member for a season. Naturally a lot of these small-scale interactions won't get roleplayed out over the course of play, but tossing a few in for flavor, or reminding the players of all their adventurers' connections, can be useful.

On the topic of City Gods...

While I'm hoping we'll get more about City Gods in the forthcoming gods book, we do also have the write-up of Glamour in the Rough Guide, which is written by Jeff, as an exemplar. It notes that initiates only have to spend 5% of time and 1% of income on the cult. In general, I wouldn't count a city-cult against an adventurer's "two cults" rule of thumb.

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from my perspective there are 3 things

cults friendship => cultists enjoy to meet each other but that doesn't mean they follow the same way. (Yelmalio fights, Chalana heal)

associated cults => cultists have some duty each other, they share some magic but that doesn't mean they follow the same way (Issaries deals, Orlanth fights)

cults sharing same values => cults may have association, or not, they follow the same way

 

Here there are rules you can join several cults. Ok

As GM I will follow the rules, but also passion, runes, etc.. penalty rules. Your Ernalda / Bab character casts a death rune spell to kill a lot of people, even innocent children to avenge the earth temple ? Nice ! you may lose point in fertility rune, ernalda devotion, etc.. And now you want to bless the good wife of a man who is suspected to not be very nice with women ? Yeah ! you may lose point in babesteer devotion.

No problem with cults sharing the same values.

Some issues with associated cults because they share some values but not all. If you are outside the shared circle, you may lose power

A lot of issues with "just friend" cults for the same reason, but the shared circle could be very small

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2 minutes ago, Crel said:

IMHO, with trolls the frequent initiation into Kyger Litor demonstrates a way in which Uz society differs from human society. Kyger Litor dominates their magical/religious worldview in a way which humanity's gods—even Orlanth and Ernalda—simply don't. It's not a big deal for a troll to be an initiate of KL and Gorakiki in the same way it's a big deal for a human to be an initiate of Issaries and Ernalda.

Yes, I think Kyger Litor membership for a troll is really background noise -- kinda like the pantheon initiations we used to read about in older Hero Wars books. You don't get any serious duties other than just being a troll to stay in that cult, and most trolls have got that one sorted already. It comes naturally.

So with Gorakiki plus Argan Argar, while there are obvious possible conflicts (serve the hive! vs. sell its produce to outsiders, let my locusts swarm freely! vs. don't damage your neighbours' harvests), if it's a NPC I wouldn't worry too much about those. Save your attention for player characters. It's the only way to stay sane.

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1 minute ago, Nick Brooke said:

You don't get any serious duties other than just being a troll to stay in that cult, and most trolls have got that one sorted already. It comes naturally.

Yep, exactly.

I might also add: "Listen to your mother!" :D But two whole rules? That's getting down in the weeds of it.

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6 minutes ago, Crel said:

While I'm hoping we'll get more about City Gods in the forthcoming gods book, we do also have the write-up of Glamour in the Rough Guide, which is written by Jeff, as an exemplar. It notes that initiates only have to spend 5% of time and 1% of income on the cult. In general, I wouldn't count a city-cult against an adventurer's "two cults" rule of thumb.

Cutting my own throat here: Glamour is quite an unusual city cult. All the non-glamorous aspects of city administration (running corn doles, maintaining sewers, organising street repairs, etc.) aren't managed by Glamour's cultists: they're outsourced to the junior tribunes and urban magistrates of the Red Emperor's cult instead. The priestesses of Glamour are divas and fashionistas, not civic leaders. Plenty more detail in the Rough Guide, inc. copious Blondie lyrics, which I commend to you.

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3 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

Yes, I think Kyger Litor membership for a troll is really background noise -- kinda like the pantheon initiations we used to read about in older Hero Wars books. You don't get any serious duties other than just being a troll to stay in that cult, and most trolls have got that one sorted already. It comes naturally.

I mean, that kind of sounds like you should just say that "all" trolls are lay members of Kyger Litor, and leave the initiate status out of it (especially in RQG where they seem to conflate the two concepts a lot) except for those who want to go on to Rune level (eventually); so you're a ZZ initiate and a Kyger Litor lay member, no muss no fuss.

I actually think two cults is fine for PCs - even underpowered in a lot of cases if you choose two weak cults compared to one strong one - but if I'm using trolls and elves are counter examples to the "it's mostly just one cult" suggestion then intellectual honesty requires that I find a way to make that work mechanically, and lay membership (which was a big deal in RQ2, a basically non-existent deal in RQ3, and ... sort of half and half in RQG?) seems at least a way to resolve that. As a bonus you could also say that "all" humans are lay members of whatever Daka Fal would be if you stripped out the Grandfather Mortal nonsense and made it just an ancestor worshipping cult. :)

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1 minute ago, GAZZA said:

As a bonus you could also say that "all" humans are lay members of whatever Daka Fal would be if you stripped out the Grandfather Mortal nonsense and made it just an ancestor worshipping cult. :)

I think that's unnecessary. The Elder Races are closer to their gods than us humans. (Apart from Ducks, obviously)

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5 hours ago, GAZZA said:

I mean, that kind of sounds like you should just say that "all" trolls are lay members of Kyger Litor, and leave the initiate status out of it (especially in RQG where they seem to conflate the two concepts a lot) except for those who want to go on to Rune level (eventually); so you're a ZZ initiate and a Kyger Litor lay member, no muss no fuss.

except some trolls are demonstrably not, such as the hot trolls and possibly the ice trolls.

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So, even if all pre-current-edition-of-RuneQuest material is thrown out as no longer canon, there are NPCs in Pegasus Plateau, Smoking Ruin, and the GM Screen Pack who are...

  • An initiate of Eurmal and lay member of Humakt
  • An initiate of Ernalda and Issaries
  • An initiate of Ernalda and Donandar
  • A priestess of Issaries and an initiate of Yelmalio
  • An initiate of Humakt and Vinga
  • A rune lord of Humakt and initiate of Orlanth
  • An initiate of Black Arkat and Argan Argar
  • An initiate of Barntar and lay member of Lhankor Mhy
  • An initiate of Uleria and Ernalda
  • An initiate of Uleria and the Seven Mothers
  • An initiate of Issaries and Lhankor Mhy
  • An initiate of Ernalda and lay member of Issaries
  • An initiate of Eurmal and lay member of Issaries
  • An initiate of Orlanth Thunderous and lay member of Ernalda
  • An initiate of Ernalda and lay member of Orlanth

... And others, including elves and trolls who are initiates of Aldrya/KL as well as other deities.

It does not seem particularly rare.

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I think you can probably assume "all" Orlanthi are at least lay members of all the Lightbringer cults, at least in Sartar. Lay membership doesn't really mean much. Of course you have plenty of dual initiate+ relationships in that list too (which I'll take your word for; I have no use for the current published adventures as my campaign is 10 years behind that and I understand they reasonably enough build certain things like "Sartar is now free!" into the setting).

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On 5/15/2020 at 11:28 AM, Nick Brooke said:

That said, I don't like the idea of "ensuring the game isn't fun" -- the easiest way to do that is to sack your player. This is about showing them that being a mini-maxing power-gamer in a social setting has predictable consequences -- in-world consequences -- that they'd better be prepared for)

* why do adventurers who are visibly, ostentatiously splitting their time between two cults get the worst assignments? Because their Rune Priests know they lack dedication, and are testing them. That's also why they will deliberately ensure cult duties clash, or pull the cultist in different directions. They want you to make a choice: they want you to choose them! Conflict builds character.

I personally think that's entirely the wrong perspective (am yes, YGWV and all...).

Farmers in Sartar are going to actively worship both Barntar and Ernalda, and actively seek the blessings from both. In all likelihood, most are also going to call upon Heler and Orlanth) and some aspect of Yelm).  The whole *community* is set up to support that. 

So, formally initiating into more than one of those isn't "power-gaming", nor min-maxxing - it's being a very dedicated membership of the community, and I'm sure the priests would be very happy to have someone like that to call upon. They'll get the assignments others don't, because they will be seen as more responsible. There will only be occasional conflicts of duties, because the priests will be talking to each other... Because it's a community!

Now, if the players want to join somewhat more disparate cults, then there'd be a point to be made.

But for my.money, and the don't see a problem with Humakt, Stormbull and Orlanth... Death-dealer focussing on Chaos... 

Orlanth and half the Lightbringers and some earth...

Odayla and Yinkin... (and Orlanth)

Lhankor Mhy and Chalana Arroy...

 

These Initiates are *supporting* the cult and strengthening it. That's not something they should be punished for.

In game-play, sure - tithe them. But then, also give them the *best* and important assignments and duties... Not sitting around scrubbing potatoes! 

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28 minutes ago, GAZZA said:

I think you can probably assume "all" Orlanthi are at least lay members of all the Lightbringer cults, at least in Sartar.

Thank you for saying so. I have said this a dozen times or so and all I heard was crickets in response.  When worshipping a pantheon one would have to acknowledge all member of said pantheon, no? Ergo, one would have to at least be a lay member in several cults.

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5 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Thank you for saying so. I have said this a dozen times or so and all I heard was crickets in response.  When worshipping a pantheon one would have to acknowledge all member of said pantheon, no? Ergo, one would have to at least be a lay member in several cults.

Wouldn't that depend on the actual definition of "Lay Member" here? Acknowledgement of a god isn't the same as worship. IRL, many Christians believe (acknowledge) a "Devil", but there's no way you'd call them a "Lay Member" of Satan ... 

For Lightbringers, most Orlanthi, Lhankor Mhy, etc are barely tolerant of any Eurmali, let alone willing to worship.

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6 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Wouldn't that depend on the actual definition of "Lay Member" here? Acknowledgement of a god isn't the same as worship. IRL, many Christians believe (acknowledge) a "Devil", but there's no way you'd call them a "Lay Member" of Satan ... 

 

Not when shopping , reciting poetry, making love to a prostitute (all be it, a holy prostitute), beating up on ones enemy and healing the sick are  forms of worship no... Glorantha not earth...

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12 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Not when shopping , reciting poetry, making love to a prostitute (all be it, a holy prostitute), beating up on ones enemy and healing the sick are  forms of worship no... Glorantha not earth...

In My Glorantha, being a Lay Member would be something actively and intentionally done (for the most part).

Just buying stuff doesn't make you a Lay Member of Issaries, just as killing someone wouldn't make you a Lay Member of Humakt.

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I agree all members of a community are more or less lay members of the major divinities of the community (major because I m pretty sure some "civilized" sartarite would consider Yinkin, and Odayla  as good gods but for wild members of the community, and i don't talk about Eurmal) .

But the main question is when you dedicate yourself (pow sacrifice) for a god / cult (priest), will this god / cult accept you to share this dedication with another god / cult (priest) without any effect.

There would be profit and loss to be in two cults

- profit : you have access to more secrets, more knowledges and skill training, more spells and divine powers

- loss : your temples will see you with less clemency, will promote you with more effort and sacrifice. As for your gods.

Of course it depends on the behaviour of the character. Saving a temple, showing how holy you are, etc.. can explain such "double" dedication.

But if you act as a "gloranthan" munchkin, joining cults only to get more temporal powers, of course people will see it.

 

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9 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

In My Glorantha, being a Lay Member would be something actively and intentionally done (for the most part).

Lay membership says that you at least periodically, if not regularly, attend and participate in the ceremonies of that deity.  You're not initiated, so you do not witness the inner mysteries, but you've contributed your prayers, offerings, and MP's for the benefit of that deity.

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Does lay member participation in a rite yield a different experience than outsiders' observation? In other words, would spending those MP create the ability to observe stuff in the rites (e.g. the baboon spirits appearing before Biturian at Hender's Ruins) that an observer who hasn't spent those MP will miss?

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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

Does lay member participation in a rite yield a different experience than outsiders' observation?

Does not putting a coin in the plate at a church create a different experience from doing so?  I'd suggest no.  In either case you're there, you experience something of the ritual (and have some experience of the spirit of reprisal etc. as they pass among the congregation), and hear/understand the stories, but don't get the deeper view.  Perhaps, if you want, making the magical connection suggests to you that there is more, if you'd only initiate...

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