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11 hours ago, Darius West said:

What I don't see in any Nysalor cult write-up is any mention of meditation.  Instead we have riddles and a chance of awakening at sacred time.  That isn't mysticism.

Part of becoming an Illuminate is meditating on the nature of the riddles. The Sacred Time awakening assumes that, by contemplating the Divine during Sacred Time you also contemplate the riddles and other Nysaloran things that you have seen, thereby achieving Illumination. It is an unstated subtext.

11 hours ago, Darius West said:

Mysticism should be definitely about meditation techniques, austerities (if that is part of the mystical tradition in question), martial arts (ditto) and mystical feats. 

Why?

Those are things common in real world eastern mystical schools, but why should they be the only things that define mysticism?

Illumination has mystical feats, those are the standard abilities.

Illumination does not necessarily have austerity or martial arts, but you say that these only apply if the schools have them.

11 hours ago, Darius West said:

Yes, philosophy and revelatory wisdom are also important, but on their own they should not constitute a mystical tradition, or all Lhankor Mhyites would be mystics, and they are not, they are more likely to be sorcerers.

Lhankor Mhy cultists who study books and scrolls are not mystics.

Lhankor Mhy cultists who work out numerical values of all the symbols in a scroll and gain further insight by analysing those numbers, the patterns they make and how the numerical values of different scrolls interact are probably mystics.

 

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I would have abandoned the Tarot scheme.  The major framing device for the organization of the Arkati cults (Arkat the Destroyer etc) I would have attributed to Halwal (in order words, the cults of Ar

I apologize for the length of this reply in advance.    It's hard to take this post seriously at all. "Chaos is definitely objectively the death of the world, or else Gloranthans would rev

Give it a rest, man!

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Hmm, I've also thought about how logical it would be for there to be Western styles of martial arts. It really makes sense that certain ways of moving and acting with the human body would be more attuned to the ways of Malkion, and that most humans move in ways that are out of sync with this original, more powerful way of moving (also probably doing harm to themselves in a sort of karmic or even just health based manner). But someone trained in the right arts... could put themselves in sync with these true principles and gain martial power, much like a sorcerer does with their mind. I can really imagine the Western martial arts master show off the techniques: "Once aligned with the True Principles, there can be no defense!" SMACK. Just something that I've thought about and see making sense.

One thing I would not like to see though is that every corner of Glorantha should have their own totally developed martial arts in the vein of something like we see in the eastern arts. Yes, every place will have a martial tradition, but it's not always going to look like kungfu. Now, heh, I fully understand I just suggested putting something like that in the West myself, but ahhh that just makes sense to me as outlined above.

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3 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

However, the idea of Carmelite martial arts is rather wonderful

Image result for nun martial art

I heard a story once that there were some catholic nuns in Peking (Now Beijing) during the Boxer Rebellion. They were terrified, so they used to scurry from place to place, in full habits, with hoods, clutching large rosaries to show they were praying. Fortunately they were not attacked. What they didn't realise that there was a school of female martial artists that specialised in using beads on wire strings, for strangling etc., who used to wear hooded cloaks and carried their rosaries hidden in their large sleeves.

So, basically the Boxers thought that these nuns were fearsome martial artists and left them well alone.

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12 hours ago, soltakss said:

Lhankor Mhy cultists who study books and scrolls are not mystics.

Lhankor Mhy cultists who work out numerical values of all the symbols in a scroll and gain further insight by analysing those numbers, the patterns they make and how the numerical values of different scrolls interact are probably mystics.

The difference between hurufism and esotericism and scholarship is that one is mysticism and the other is ... not

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On 2/17/2021 at 4:04 PM, Ali the Helering said:

And no, it doesn't depend on the faith in question, because faith is about trust, not logical consistency.

 I have heard religious scholars of all the major faiths also make the exact opposite argument, that their religions are in fact completely logically consistent, and based on that you know them to be true.  I am inclined more to your position however Ali.  I would also point out that there are no major religious texts that haven't been tampered with during their histories to insure that their more glaring plot holes were removed.  Either that or some major explanatory stories were introduced to cover the errors... despite the fact that the errors tended to be about as effective as covering one's nakedness with a kleenex, and raise far more questions that they answer.  

On 2/17/2021 at 4:04 PM, Ali the Helering said:

Again, no.  Mysticism is not defined by what you want it to be, or 'what it should be definitely about' as you put it.

Does it involve meditation?  Well, in the strict sense of the word, meaning to 'think deeply about', no.  Some forms of mystical practise deliberately set out not to do so.  Austerities are, as you note, not essential.  Very few Carmelites or Myanmarese Theravadins would class themselves as martial artists.  Mystical feats may be a part of the process, but are seldom implicit.

I think you mean that mysticism should be about montage sequences from B-movies. 

I want a form of mysticism that can be used to make a workable player character in RQG.  I want mysticism that can stand in contrast to the other RQG magic systems, and which can integrate with the listed cultures in unique and interesting ways.  My suggestions were to suggest a list of powers that could be used to make that possible.  I am familiar with real world mystics of course, but that is not what I was talking about.  Mysticism is described as a 4th form of magic, distinct from but not necessarily more powerful than the others in Glorantha. 

Thirdly, and point of fact, Carmelite nuns likely to be sent on overseas deployment often take womens' self defense training, which is a martial art, and I know this because I have a friend who used to train them. Also apparently you are not aware of Pongyi thaing aka Bando thaing, which was developed by the monk Upali in Burma.  While his martial art is now gone, it definitely existed.

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5 hours ago, Darius West said:

 I have heard religious scholars of all the major faiths also make the exact opposite argument, that their religions are in fact completely logically consistent, and based on that you know them to be true.  I am inclined more to your position however Ali.  I would also point out that there are no major religious texts that haven't been tampered with during their histories to insure that their more glaring plot holes were removed.  

Just because somebody is a religious scholar - or an irreligious one - doesn't mean that they recognise the flaws in the faith they follow, be it a religion, and unproven thesis, or the idea that the Wallabies are the greatest rugby team.

Whilst I agree that some religious texts show signs of corrective editing, I have to disagree that none have escaped it.

 

5 hours ago, Darius West said:

I want a form of mysticism that can be used to make a workable player character in RQG.  I want mysticism that can stand in contrast to the other RQG magic systems, and which can integrate with the listed cultures in unique and interesting ways.  My suggestions were to suggest a list of powers that could be used to make that possible.  I am familiar with real world mystics of course, but that is not what I was talking about.  Mysticism is described as a 4th form of magic, distinct from but not necessarily more powerful than the others in Glorantha. 

I dare say that is the form of mysticism you want. As I said, it had little to do with true mysticism, but YGWV.  Obviously.

5 hours ago, Darius West said:

Thirdly, and point of fact, Carmelite nuns likely to be sent on overseas deployment often take womens' self defense training, which is a martial art, and I know this because I have a friend who used to train them. Also apparently you are not aware of Pongyi thaing aka Bando thaing, which was developed by the monk Upali in Burma.  While his martial art is now gone, it definitely existed.

Yeah, but you didn't read my post, did you?  I said very few, not none.  (or nun?)

Point of fact, Pongyi Thaing is a discipline to improve personal co-ordination and to allow self-defence.  It doesn't seem to aspire to exotic powers, nor to regard its interior contemplation as mediation per se.  It is still a living practise, not gone, despite what you claim.

 

In a previous thread you enquired after my qualifications and experience, Darius.  Here goes.

Raised by a Christian missionary who had been transformed by Theravadin Buddhism in my homeland of Myanmar, lifelong student of Ritual Magic and Shamanism, massively personally influenced by Shaivite Advaitism and Carmelite mysticism, lecturer on Interfaith matters, advisor to a denomination on Shamanism and Hinduism, Masters from Cambridge in Theology and Religious Studies, sometime Masters student (uncompleted) in Missional studies, Christian Minister for 21 years, and deep devotee of all things Bronze Age.

Besides that, I am ignorant.  Over to you.

Oops... I forgot.... specialised in Social Anthropology of religion, long term interest in ancient economics and history in general (including epidemiology - urgh)

Edited by Ali the Helering
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3 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Raised by a Christian missionary who had been transformed by Theravadin Buddhism in my homeland of Myanmar, lifelong student of Ritual Magic and Shamanism, massively personally influenced by Shaivite Advaitism and Carmelite mysticism, lecturer on Interfaith matters, advisor to a denomination on Shamanism and Hinduism, Masters from Cambridge in Theology and Religious Studies, sometime Masters student (uncompleted) in Missional studies, Christian Minister for 21 years, and deep devotee of all things Bronze Age.

The helerings are the best. I had no idea you followed rugby. Or that you had a pastoral orientation!

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3 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Raised by a Christian missionary who had been transformed by Theravadin Buddhism in my homeland of Myanmar, lifelong student of Ritual Magic and Shamanism, massively personally influenced by Shaivite Advaitism and Carmelite mysticism, lecturer on Interfaith matters, advisor to a denomination on Shamanism and Hinduism, Masters from Cambridge in Theology and Religious Studies, sometime Masters student (uncompleted) in Missional studies, Christian Minister for 21 years, and deep devotee of all things Bronze Age.

Hang on, if a Player came up with that as a backstory for a PC, I'd think they were trying to squeeze far to much out of it.

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5 hours ago, soltakss said:

Hang on, if a Player came up with that as a backstory for a PC, I'd think they were trying to squeeze far to much out of it.

Trust me, there's more..... mainly in terms of Malian influence, but hey....

And very few people start characters at 60..

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On 2/17/2021 at 4:15 AM, Darius West said:

What I don't see in any Nysalor cult write-up is any mention of meditation. 

What you don’t see is not a very convincing argument.

“Besides being asked Riddles, Illuminated beings may try to discover the answers to Riddles through meditation.” - Cults of Terror, pg 86

HeroQuest Glorantha

“The exact process of Illuminating others varies accord to the teacher. It may take a season's study, long meditation, or a magical procedure. ”

And the exact same text in Dorastor, the RQ3 cult writeup. 

And that is just the rules systems that don't include an explicit meditation game mechanic - of course, RQG does, and the draft Nysalor writeup for RQG includes both reference to meditation in the abstract, and multiple reference to the Meditation skill. 

So I think that is a reference to meditation in every Nysalor cult writeup or set of rules?

And various references to Nysalor meditating (eg prosopaedia entry, the picture in CoT, the Guide, etc) and artwork depicting him meditating are so prevalent it would be pretty disingenuous to claim the cult was not associated with meditation anyway. 

In anticipating there will now be some goal post shifting and you will claim that a *mention* of meditation was not what you meant, what you meant was that meditation was an essential component - just, no. Thats universal for mysticism, and it's also an explicit denial of a lot of Gloranthan sources, long established canon, you just don't agree with. Please stop.

 

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On 2/21/2021 at 12:18 PM, scott-martin said:

The helerings are the best.

I mean, I’m genderfluid, do I count, too?

 

Sorry, couldn’t resist the double pun.

Edited by ZedAlpha
Apologizing for the pun.
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On 2/4/2021 at 10:56 PM, Darius West said:

As to what these feats should be, well, at lower levels they should start with the ability to ignore various forms of discomfort such as lack of sustenance, extreme temperature, exhaustion and sources of physical damage. [much more not copied]

Reducing what you want from a mystic magic system to, essentially, a particular list of superpowers would be seem to be a fairly clear indication that anything based, in any way, on actual mysticism will never meet your criteria. 

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On 2/17/2021 at 10:42 PM, Grievous said:

Hmm, I've also thought about how logical it would be for there to be Western styles of martial arts. It really makes sense that certain ways of moving and acting with the human body would be more attuned to the ways of Malkion, and that most humans move in ways that are out of sync with this original, more powerful way of moving (also probably doing harm to themselves in a sort of karmic or even just health based manner).

I think the Western understanding of martial arts is far more mundane than the Eastern - it's the application of Intellect to fighting, which seems sort of vaguely confusing to the Brithini and more traditional Rokari (yes, of course Intellect is applicable to warfare - mostly other peoples Intellect, you don't want to get the Warriors to try to think too hard themselves, is probably the underlying Zzaburi attitude - and the Rokari Talars think of martial arts as very suitable - for Talars. The warriors have weapons for a reason.). To the New Hrestoli it is a recommended practice - of course you want to keep your body in good shape and know how best to use it, even if you have other more important duties. Even good Loskalmi wizards go to the gym. But I think it's purpose is practical not magical, largely - if you want to fight in a magically enhanced way, there is plenty of sorcery (and alchemy, etc) to do that. 

The Loskalmi are somewhat obsessed with hygiene and good health, and don't really think of this as separate to sorcery. Charms and practices to ward of various diseases and ailments are a big part part of Loskalmi magical practice and daily life - and as those practices includes things like 'washing yourself' and 'getting some exercise', as well as 'having a sauna', as well as wards against disease spirits and such, they probably generally work pretty well. But this is a practical sort of stuff based on the essential idea that the mundane world is basically bad for you and interferes with the improvement of your mind - integrating your magic with the material world and your physical self is kind of the opposite of what is desirable, it would just be tying your intellect to the broken world. 

So I don't think this is mystic. Though it is my theory that Talorism eventually becomes mystic, I don't think that really happens until after Magus level, well after becoming a Man Of All. 

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On 2/17/2021 at 10:42 PM, Grievous said:

One thing I would not like to see though is that every corner of Glorantha should have their own totally developed martial arts in the vein of something like we see in the eastern arts. Yes, every place will have a martial tradition, but it's not always going to look like kungfu.

Yes - most societies in Glorantha have some sort of martial tradition, probably several. These martial traditions will not always include any unarmed component beyond the incidental (the RQ Martial Arts skill only applies to unarmed combat, though the term martial arts is now used more broadly by many), are not always a systematic integrated discipline, are not always linked to any philosophy or religion, and while it is common for fighting style and magic to be connected, this is usually indirect (emulating a warrior god, or using elemental magic to attack enemies etc) rather than the martial tradition being the magical practice itself. 

In other words, only a few places have the Martial Arts skill (and many of them are listed in the rulesbook - "Different schools of Martial Arts exist in the Lunar Heartland, Loskalm, Seshnela, Teshnos, and Kralorela."), only a few have a martial tradition that emphasises individual fighting disciplines integrated into a whole tradition including philosophy, only a small minority have what we might call Martial Arts Magic.

I personally think that there are essentially few, or likely none, martial arts magical traditions outside the Eastern 'Sivolic' tradition described in Revealed Mythology, though other cultures have martial traditions, warrior cults and unarmed fighting traditions. I also think that the Western unarmed fighting styles are not part of the Sivolic tradition. Those in Kralorela and Teshnos probably are part of that Sivolic tradition - and probably the Lunar Heartland too. Most of the Lunar martial traditions aren't particularly martial arts like - the bulk of the Lunar army, for example, are trained in ways that emphasise discipline and collective action, not individual ability, as the armies of successful empires often are. 

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On 2/23/2021 at 3:44 PM, davecake said:

Reducing what you want from a mystic magic system to, essentially, a particular list of superpowers would be seem to be a fairly clear indication that anything based, in any way, on actual mysticism will never meet your criteria. 

You criticism above could be levelled at anybody who wanted to quantify the powers of any religion or with any sort of magic system, whether a real world religion or a made-up one.  As this is a core part of the hobby of fantasy RPGs, your criticism is utterly hollow and frankly ridiculous.

We are NOT in the business of performing actual real life mysticism

Anything we do is therefore OF NECESSITY going to be reductionist.  Please seriously consider that every rule system is of necessity reductionist.  That is unavoidably part of what creating an RPG magic system rule set is and must involve.  Yes, preserving interesting detail is of value, but a discrete, coherent, integrated, and balanced set of rules that is notably different to the other magic systems is more important if we don't want to end up producing a sloppy "one size fits nobody" system like HQ again.

We should be in the business of quantifying an RPG game system that is able to replicate the effects of the tangible effects of mysticism in a way that is coherent in terms of the game cultures we are attempting to represent, and coherent in terms of the existing rules for other magic systems within RQG. 

We need a rule set that will be able to produce interesting player characters who are trained in mysticism as our final goal, and for those characters to be able to exist and interact meaningfully within the Gloranthan mythic milieu, otherwise what is the point?

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