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On 12/23/2020 at 11:02 AM, Nick Brooke said:

Once again, I strongly advise against having sorcery-using player characters in a RQG game. They won't have fun, and nor will you.

Ironically, the unusually weak Lhankor Mhy sorcerers might well be the more playable ones, because at least they can back it up with more immediately player-useful Rune Magic and don't have to bother the same way with caste restrictions.

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All very true. One gloss - in many Western societies, the Dronars and even the Horali are often thinly disguised conquered people who "Malkionized" many of their customs. You see this with the Seshnel

Cackle                           Dark, Command 3 Points Ranged, Active, Temporal This spell manifests as laughter, full-throated and powerful, audible within the precincts of any building the Vi

Like everyone, it is always other people's God Learnerism they object to, not their own.

8 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Ironically, the unusually weak Lhankor Mhy sorcerers might well be the more playable ones, because at least they can back it up with more immediately player-useful Rune Magic and don't have to bother the same way with caste restrictions.

As far as I understand, Aeolians and Lunars also can. And Lunars don't have caste, either.

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14 minutes ago, Kloster said:

As far as I understand, Aeolians and Lunars also can. And Lunars don't have caste, either.

In my Glorantha, the Red Goddess makes up the third side of the Law Rune, with Malkion as its base, Hrestol as one side supporting the Red Goddess on the other side. So, the Red Goddess is the final Prophet of the Invisible God.

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3 hours ago, soltakss said:

In my Glorantha, the Red Goddess makes up the third side of the Law Rune, with Malkion as its base, Hrestol as one side supporting the Red Goddess on the other side. So, the Red Goddess is the final Prophet of the Invisible God.

Does that imply that your Lunar sorcerers can not learn spirit or divine magic?

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7 hours ago, Kloster said:

Does that imply that your Lunar sorcerers can not learn spirit or divine magic?

Oh no, not at all. In fact quite the opposite.

The Red Goddess frees Malkioni from their shackles, so allows them to use Sorcery, Spirit Magic, Rune Magic and Lunar Magic. All are allowed and all come under the auspices of the Red Goddess, Third Prophet of the Invisible God.

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6 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Oh no, not at all. In fact quite the opposite.

The Red Goddess frees Malkioni from their shackles, so allows them to use Sorcery, Spirit Magic, Rune Magic and Lunar Magic. All are allowed and all come under the auspices of the Red Goddess, Third Prophet of the Invisible God.

Thanks for the explanation. While my perception is not like yours (the third prophet stuff), I like it, and may use it.

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On 12/27/2020 at 9:56 AM, Akhôrahil said:

Ironically, the unusually weak Lhankor Mhy sorcerers might well be the more playable ones, because at least they can back it up with more immediately player-useful Rune Magic and don't have to bother the same way with caste restrictions.

 
 
 

Irrippi Ontor can provide a rich source of playable sorcerers if your campaign allows. Unlike Lhankor Mhy, they get both overtly combat useful Spirit Magic and Rune Magic as standard (such as Befuddle and Mind Blast) without having to even bother with talking to associate cults, and are not initially restricted to only sorcery Truth magic (as Lhankor Mhy seem to be), but can have all sorts of practical and/or very combat effective sorcery available to them at character creation easily (eg Moonfire), in addition to most of the same spells as Lhankor Mhy. Irrippi Ontor is basically Lhankor Mhy with it fixed in every way to be more suitable for players who desire combat effectiveness. 

And there are a few other aspects of Irrippi Ontor/ general Lunar magic that easily make them devastatingly effective magicians at higher levels of experience, such as when they go on to become initiates of the Red Goddess. 

All that stuff about sorcerers only being good for boring NPCs appears to, perversely, only apply to cultures that are specialised in sorcery as their cultural magic (as well as LM). IO sorcerers  look to be pretty wild. 

When the Gods book is out itching to do stuff around Lunar campaigns, including Carmanians. 

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In considering Viziers and Carmanian sorcerers, first thing I would say is bear in mind that thing that Jeff often says - we often don't consider history as changing cultural things as much as we should. By 1625, the Carmanians have had centuries of being Lunar subjects, and part of one unified empire, their cults are significantly Lunarised, and so on. If you want your Carmanian characters to be users of Lunar magic and Lunar sorcery, that would be perfectly fine. Many of the 'Old Carmanian' ways are centuries out of date. While there is certainly room for grim, Spolite Darkness and Death loving sorcerers and magicians - and they are fun - sure, but to a large extent Carmanian way and the Lunar way now overlap. Don't think there should be a hard division between Carmanian and Lunar magic. 

I agree that Magi are best left as NPCs. I don't think that's as much about sorcery as being a tiny elite obsessed with purity and seclusion from the world and pure philosophical thought. 

Viziers, though. They certainly do make for good cackling villains, and function as such in several Lunar stories. But RQ is a game that doesn't tend much to make special different rules for NPCs - if they are effective as NPC villains, they will probably be viable PCs too (barring relying on Chaos and generally things that require gross immoral behaviour). And if they are given rules that don't make them viable PCs, they may well not be very good NPC villains either. Of course it's possible to just handwave special case rules for your villains, but that seems rather against the RQ spirit. And practically, I don't see any reason why a Carmanian sorcerous PC should be that impractical, other than the sorcery rules seem designed to make it less fun (though not necessarily less effective) than it could be. 

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1 hour ago, davecake said:

Viziers, though. They certainly do make for good cackling villains, and function as such in several Lunar stories. But RQ is a game that doesn't tend much to make special different rules for NPCs - if they are effective as NPC villains, they will probably be viable PCs too (barring relying on Chaos and generally things that require gross immoral behaviour). And if they are given rules that don't make them viable PCs, they may well not be very good NPC villains either. Of course it's possible to just handwave special case rules for your villains, but that seems rather against the RQ spirit. And practically, I don't see any reason why a Carmanian sorcerous PC should be that impractical, other than the sorcery rules seem designed to make it less fun (though not necessarily less effective) than it could be. 

Completely agree here. Thanks.

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Of course it's possible to just handwave special case rules for your villains, but that seems rather against the RQ spirit.”

IMO thinking like that is what hobbled RuneQuest and left it stuck in the backwater Prax-and-Pavis ghetto for way too long. Yes, RQ is at its heart a simulationist system, but if you follow that line of thinking too far down the garden path you end up deciding that anything which hasn’t been rigorously quantified and determined (together with full cult writeups and cultural profiles and occupation tables etc.) doesn’t belong in your game. Because it hasn’t been properly simulated. And that holds your creativity back.

Look, I can’t teach your players how to cast the evil experimental Lunar sorcery that features in “The Duel at Dangerford”; I can’t be arsed to write a big fat book about sorcery to justify one cool monster turning up in my scenario. But the trad RQ approach (“that seems rather against the RQ spirit”) would be not to publish unless I knew how it worked. And that would mean I didn’t publish.

My approach to running RQ now is to treat the rules as binding on the players - they explain how they think the world works. My job as their GM is to move them into a wider, more interesting world: RQG gives them a toolkit to understand and interact with it, but the stuff I’m building and throwing at them doesn’t have to be built from the ground up using those tools. It’s the same approach you see in a MMO game: players have loads of options, loads of buttons to click, loads of ways to hand-craft progression to unlock those powers; their enemies only need a few in rotation, so as a game designer you make sure they’re cool ones, and don’t worry too much if you give a NPC some ability that isn’t available to players. 

PC: “How did he do that?”

GM: “It’s probably godless sorcery, a forbidden secret, or membership in an unspeakable cult.”

PC: “Can I learn to do it?” 

GM: “Don’t be silly.”

YRQWV.

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3 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

IMO thinking like that is what hobbled RuneQuest and left it stuck in the backwater Prax-and-Pavis ghetto for way too long.

But what a glorious ghetto!

3 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

My approach to running RQ now is to treat the rules as binding on the players - they explain how they think the world works. My job as their GM is to move them into a wider, more interesting world: RQG gives them a toolkit to understand and interact with it, but the stuff I’m building and throwing at them doesn’t have to be built from the ground up using those tools.

Yes, I would tend to make NPC generally fit into the same frame work (without sweating the details), so the players would get a sense of "this is how the world works" but am quite happy to break the mold for special/important NPC or enemies. 

3 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

Don’t worry too much if you give a NPC some ability that isn’t available to players. 

PC: “How did he do that?”

GM: “It’s probably godless sorcery, a forbidden secret, or membership in an unspeakable cult.”

PC: “Can I learn to do it?” 

GM: “Don’t be silly.”

Or even better:

GM: "Perhaps but you would need to learn how he unlocked that ability. Maybe you could start by investigating/interrogating/researching... <insert start of wild goose chase here>"

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1 minute ago, DreadDomain said:

But what a glorious ghetto!

Absolutely. But this is a discussion I was having with Jeff back when a new Chaosium edition was still a gleam in everyone's eye. Those rigorous simulationist elements of RuneQuest, that expectation that everything could and should be nailed down and codified, kinda crippled it as a vehicle for some people who wanted to explore Glorantha more widely: if you got out of the dungeons and looked around, the system told you that everything should be precisely specified, and ain't nobody got time for that. By getting away from that, being more loosey-goosey with how things worked, HeroQuestWorldWars was able to cover more ground. (Not in a way I particularly liked, and with some bizarre editorial choices, but that's not today's discussion) 

I've since found a way of harmonising the two, which is telling my RuneQuest players: "This rulebook tells you how the world works for people like your adventurers," then going balls-to-the-wall crazy and essentially running HeroQuest behind the screen when stuff their adventurers have no idea about comes into shot. Whether it's sorcerous Lunar blasphemies, or bizarre out-of-body experiences, or hints about what's really going on. That sense of (their) loss of control is really important to me - it cuts across the precise percentages and definitions of RuneQuest in a hugely satisfying way. YMMV.

And it's probably anathema to wargamey sim-people who populate munchkin threads, compare the cost-effectiveness of different cults and cultures, work out efficient strategies for boosting offensive spells, or analyse new spell lists for discrepancies. That's OK, they still get to play RuneQuest their way.

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I absolutely think it’s fine to give particular villains hand waved, unique, one off etc powers.

I think taking a whole *class* of people, and a class that isn’t particularly rare or unusual, and to essentially say ‘we can’t make rules that work, so just make stuff up’ is just failed worldbuilding. 

saying your prized villain knows the true name of a particularly gruesome demon, or has a nice HeroQuest power, or whatever, sure.

But ‘oh, making sorcerers is hard so just make stuff up when you want it to work differently’ - no thanks. That’s just papering over problems.

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Well, it's not necessarily a worldbuilding flaw. It's an artifact of the limited perceptions of the assumed character types of Runequest Glorantha's PCs, and it's something that is fundamentally interchangeable. If you're playing, say, Carmanians or Heartlanders, giving barbarians bizarre magic that you don't understand is also something that's doable and vital. Hsunchen in this model don't have to bother with needing 10-12 Rune Points to really go wild with shapeshifting, because they're strange, often scary people- but if you were playing an all-Hsunchen party, or a mixed group, then they'd have limitations (probably not quite as demanding as the basic RQG model for shapeshifting in an all-Hsunchen group, of course) and their abilities would be framed within the basic Runequest limitations. 

Which gives you that sense Nick is talking about, of having a world your character understands, that can be fitted into percentile-roll skills, and then forcing them into confrontation with a weirder, stranger one they can't always understand or predict, let alone control. The biggest weakness here is, of course, the need to do a lot of work to make the game playable from a variety of different angles, (a substantial portion of which will fall on the players no matter what Chaosium or JC authors do) but that's not the worst weakness to have, since people playing in Glorantha have already been accommodating that. A secondary weakness is understanding how Runequest works well enough that you can give strange people funky magic without it causing trainwrecks, but that's an issue with any gaming system when you try to be creative with it. 

EDIT: I am saying this from the perspective of someone who would definitely houserule/revamp sorcery if I were to run a game set in the parts of the world where there's lots of it floating around, mind. 

Edited by Eff
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9 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

Of course it's possible to just handwave special case rules for your villains, but that seems rather against the RQ spirit.”

IMO thinking like that is what hobbled RuneQuest and left it stuck in the backwater Prax-and-Pavis ghetto for way too long.

I have always had special rules for NPCs. They often have special powers, gained from HeroQuests, or special abilities as gifts, or spells that PCs don't have access to, or even different ways of casting spells.

Is it against the spirit of RQ? No, not at all. We have always used house rules and invented magical items and powers that are not in the RQ rules. 

If you just go with what is in the rulebook than you miss out on so much. Similarly, if you only use what is in the core books, or books for RQG, or even books for RQ.

I am happy using magic items from Plunder, or from threads at BRP Central, or from someone's website, or something that I have made up. 

For me, making things up is exactly the RQ Spirit.

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28 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I have always had special rules for NPCs. They often have special powers, gained from HeroQuests, or special abilities as gifts, or spells that PCs don't have access to, or even different ways of casting spells.

Is it against the spirit of RQ? No, not at all. We have always used house rules and invented magical items and powers that are not in the RQ rules. 

If you just go with what is in the rulebook than you miss out on so much. Similarly, if you only use what is in the core books, or books for RQG, or even books for RQ.

I am happy using magic items from Plunder, or from threads at BRP Central, or from someone's website, or something that I have made up. 

For me, making things up is exactly the RQ Spirit.

Absolutely, mixing and matching keeps the excitement. Presenting people with uncertainty and the unknown makes for both good stories, roleplaying and those are the ones people look back on. The antagonist having something the PCs don't understand is good for creativity too. I like it when the players triumph by clever means rather than knowing what to do. My PCs never know how the baddies pulled things off, they just see the effects and make plans. And usually I have no idea how the baddies pull stuff off they act out what I want them to for the story.

It's all about waugh! really. 100% don't understand it and it feels terrifying but we got through it. Then we waughed to the tavern and everyone bought us drinks when we told the story... WAUGH!

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1 hour ago, davecake said:

I think taking a whole *class* of people, and a class that isn’t particularly rare or unusual, and to essentially say ‘we can’t make rules that work, so just make stuff up’ is just failed worldbuilding. 

Define "we," David. I'm passing on your opinion that the RQG sorcery rules in the core rulebook aren't much fun, and based on that I'm advising people to stay away from them. I didn't write them, I don't really understand them, and I am happy that none of my players particularly wants to explore them.

You keep asserting that you could write better sorcery rules. This is a forum that would welcome stuff like that. So go on: be our guest.

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For me, one of the biggest problems we have with Sorcery in RuneQuest is "Who gets it?"

By that, I mean that the normal explanation is that Sorcery is available to Malkioni and Mostali, with a few others. However, not all Malkioni get Sorcery, not all Malkioni use Sorcery and Malkioni don't always use Sorcery.

There are many sects that mix magics, with some using Sorcery and Spirit Magic, some using Sorcery and Divine Magic and some using Sorcery and Shamanism.

Until we get supplements that cover these different areas and have new rules about how they use Sorcery then any discussion will be hamstrung by having to use the RQG bare-bones rules on Sorcery.

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10 hours ago, soltakss said:

There are many sects that mix magics, with some using Sorcery and Spirit Magic, some using Sorcery and Divine Magic and some using Sorcery and Shamanism.

Until we get supplements that cover these different areas and have new rules about how they use Sorcery then any discussion will be hamstrung by having to use the RQG bare-bones rules on Sorcery.

I would love to see a bunch of different Arkat-cult write-ups - that could be so interesting, and offer upp all kinds of new magical avenues, including for sorcerers.

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19 hours ago, soltakss said:

For me, one of the biggest problems we have with Sorcery in RuneQuest is "Who gets it?"

By that, I mean that the normal explanation is that Sorcery is available to Malkioni and Mostali, with a few others. However, not all Malkioni get Sorcery, not all Malkioni use Sorcery and Malkioni don't always use Sorcery.

There are many sects that mix magics, with some using Sorcery and Spirit Magic, some using Sorcery and Divine Magic and some using Sorcery and Shamanism.

Until we get supplements that cover these different areas and have new rules about how they use Sorcery then any discussion will be hamstrung by having to use the RQG bare-bones rules on Sorcery.

It almost looks like your chances at getting to use sorcery as an adventurer are better for non-Malkioni than they are for Malkioni.

For the Rokari, we know that only boys selected at a young age, with high intelligence, will get introduced into the zzabur caste and taught sorcery. It isn't known what happens to those who drop out. Perhaps dropping out is fatal, perhaps dropping out means a future in monastic isolation.

There are bound to be female sorceresses in Tanisor and Ralios, and also boys with the talent and the will to learn sorcery who did not get picked by the selection of the wizards. Some variant of Chalana Arroy teaching a restricted canon of non-aggressive sorcery may actually be tolerated by the Watchers, but possibly also strongly regulated and cloistered. I don't think that Lhankor Mhy would find such acceptance, not even in monastic isolation, given the kind of scholarship that led to the God Learners and which is anathema to Rokarism - no idea how they treat magic-adjacent guilds like e.g. alchemists. Naval sorcery is acceptable in the Quinpolic League, whether brought by Dormal, resurrected from Debaldan School documents, or acquired from the Waertagi. (The Rokari scene in the Guide shows at least one descendant of Waertagi among the bearers of the sedan.)

In Loskalm, your character needs to become a Guardian, then a Man-of-All, and finally graduate from that as a full-fledged sorcerer supported by the state. It is still unclear whether Guardians who show a potential for sorcery already get taught some of the prerequisite skills.

Also, there may be ways that are not approved by the Ecclesiarch that still may allow an adventurer to learn sorcery.

There is contact with Sog City, ruled by Brithini (provided they have at least one Talar in the Brass Citadel, otherwise advised by Brithini Zzaburi), and branches of the ancient schools of sorcery outside of the Brass Citadel where useful idiots can learn to be assistants for the sorcerers inside the citadel. As they are mayflies, it isn't clear whether their Brithini masters really notice when they abscond, unless they take something along which can be traced (like the manuscripts in those branch libraries, or other magical tools).

Jonatela has an unrepenting academy of Makanist sorcerers, established by the founder Jonat Bigbear when he brought a monstery worth of fanatical sorcerers to his homeland. These sorcerers will have influenced the other wizards in eastern Fronela. There may be Waertagi sorcery - probably mixed with stuff inherited from the Kachisti and then corrupted by the Vadeli - surviving in the heavily depopulated Janube area, possibly only surviving in musty tomes or architectural inscriptions that emerged from the Ban when the people who wrote or built them (or their descendants) did not.

As a Waertagi, sorcery may be your birthright, although you will still have to bring the talent for it, and you need the education. Sog City may be one place to get a higher education. (Offspring of the riverine Waertagi on the Janube, Sweet Sea, Poralistor and Oronin may have secret access to some, see above and below when the Lunars are discussed.)

As an Esvulari from a Zzaburi family, sorcery is your birthright, too, again with the need for the talent. The education should be something guaranteed in your upbringing. There will be Zzaburi cast folk who cannot learn (systematic) sorcery according to the rules due to too low scores in INT. It isn't clear whether the Esvulari talars and zzaburi have retained (or ever had) Brithini skin coloration. The commoner caste is indistinguishable from their Theyalan neighbors, but then a mix of red and brown would be indistinguishable, too.

Even less clear is the case for God Forgot. We know about actual Brithini in the place, and we know about Ingareens. I suspect that some of the Ingareens may be centuries old - it isn't clear whether Belintar's overseer is of Ingareen or Brithini stock, although orthodox Brithini might be shocked at his style of garment, and old Leonardo may be of Dronar caste rather than Zzabur caste as his forte appears to be mechanical construction, although he is in all likelihood extremely well read and educated.

There are Trader Princes in Maniria who keep their own sorcerers as retainers. It isn't clear where these sorcerers come from and what Schools they represent, if any. Many probably look to Ralios.

Ramalia has a ruling caste suspected to use sorcery. Possibly of a Vivamort bend, if you believe nasty rumors, possibly inheriting Vadeli knowledge that somehow did not get requisitioned after the fall of the Vampire Kings of Tanisor by the Brithini bringing Arkat, or by the Return to Rightness crusaders three centuries later. Ramalia is (weirdly) the most functional survivor of the Archduchy of Slontos, which appears to have been one of the most productive areas supporting Malkionieranist experimentation. The rulers may be a form of men-of-all similar to those of the Castle Coast.

Safelster and adjacent Arkati-influenced regions, and Arkati in Maniria and North Esrolia, are easter eggs. Parts of Safelster follow Rokari ways, even when they don't necessarily accept any influence from Segurane on wizard appointments. The non-Rokari parts are where things get interesting.

Most of the neo-Arkati forms of Malkionism (and sorcery) were founded with the aid and influence of Halwal, who was one of the foremost Makanist sorcerers but whose role in the conflict with the Malkioneranists (the stereotypical God Learners in most references to God Learners or Jrusteli, except for the earliest successes like the burning of Vralos or the summoning of Tanian) may have given him insight in and even knowledge of Malkioneranist magics. Halwal never succeeded in unifying the various Arkati schools that he had guided, but he got them to fight alongside him against the Seshnegi Makanist orthodoxy that Halwal blamed for the failures of the Middle Sea Empire.

Then there are the "heretic" schools of Safelster, like the Galvosti and Boristi. The Galvosti apparently were at large in Korioni lands prior to the emergence of the Chariot of Lightning sect and Erengazor's Proven Appearance of Arkat movement as popular movements away from Galvosti teachings. The basic education of Argin Terror may include Galvosti magics.

We know that the Galvosti are a group with Hrestoli roots, which suggests to me that they have an inheritable zzaburi caste and men-of-all who get taught at least basic sorcery, much like the Castle Coast Hrestoli do, and like certain groups in Pithdaros, the Quinpolic League and the southern provinces of the Kingdom of Tanisor prefer to do when they can avoid the scrutiny of the watchers reporting to Segurane. Probably including individuals who report as watchers to Segurane.

Genuine Arkati teachings may be available to the trolls of Guhan, but those would be selective in scope, possibly avoiding magics like or similar to those of the Chariot of Lightning sect which has sorcerers.

Carmania apparently restricts its sorcery to their vizier caste. If Syranthir had magical men-of-all regiments among his 10,000 followers of Irensavalism or groups tolerant towards those ways who had fallen afoul the Arimadalla dynasty and their Jrusteli/Seshnegi zealot allies, there doesn't seem to be anything left of that in the Hazar or ruler castes. More than half of the heartlands of Carmanos and his successors now are regular satrapies of the Heartlands - Oronin and Doblian. The people of the West Reaches are culturally very similar to those in western Oronin or northern Doblian, but are a part of the Dara Happan overseer-ship that came with the overthrow of Bisodakar in the wake of the Red Goddess. There is a strong "Lodrilite" element in the local nobility, as the Eel-Ariash clan which is (as far as I can make out) of Lodrili (or Turosi) origin left its Lunar imprint on those lands, even after losing the Doblian satrapy to a loss in a Dart Competition.

Lunar sorcery as taught by the Imperial College of Magic has taken all the stuff left behind by the Bull Shah sorcerers, including Spolite teachings that seeped into their ranks during the turnover from the (strongly anti-Spolite) Lion Shahs. Then there are the older Waertagi and YarGan (=Vadeli) teachings that underly the West Reaches and the Poralistor cities.

The sorcerers of Orathorn are an unknown quantity, as would be any slaves of theirs who might have acquired some of that knowledge and managed to escape.

Kralorela and the East has its own traditions of sorcery, probably related to the Kingdom of Logic (the common source of the sorceries of Zzabur, Vadel, and Lhankor Mhy) by their SherAdpara god Martalak, and later infused by God Learner era sorcery like that of Valkaro or the companions of Guiliam D'Estau in Kralorela, and whatever sorcerous knowledge remained in Teshnos and on Melib. We don't have much in terms of RQG information yet. The JTC Kralori primer makes an interesting stab at retaining stuff from RQ3 Gods of Glorantha and Genertela box which might be compatible with RQG sorcery, but I doubt that its conclusions will be the same as the manuscript currently back-logged until we see the Nochet book and an expansion into the wider world.

Umathela and Fonrit both have sorceres, and at least Fonritian sorcerers might make playable characters. Especially those hired (or bought) by the Maslo folk.

 

Zzabur's Brithini sorcery is the dark, somewhat known underbelly of sorcery almost everywhere. There is an even darker underbelly of Vadeli sorcery that is present in almost every Malkioni area, based on Zzabur's teachings but leading them towards depraved new lows - and then perhaps refined to even lower lows by their human disciples in Fonrit. The Waertagi-inheritance of Zzabur's sorcery plus a strong element of ancetral, Sea-only secrets may have spread to the ports they frequented, but then at least since the Opening, those same ports have been frequened by Vadeli, who are all too willing to teach some of their sorcery for a steep price.

The RQG occupation of "Philosopher" is an approach to sorcery which doesn't exactly mandate initiation to Lhankor Mhy or membership in a Malkioni school. Where might such individuals be found, what would be their background? How likely will you meet anybody from God Forgot in one of the other Sixths, and may there be sorcerers of any kind among them?

 

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On 1/1/2021 at 12:59 AM, Joerg said:

Then there are the older Waertagi and YarGan (=Vadeli) teachings that underly the West Reaches and the Poralistor cities.

My understanding is that the YarGan sorcery using peoples being Waertagi is more or less canon, as there are other references to a Waertagi tribe that goes up the Janube. But the reference to YarGan being Vadeli is not, and seems much harder  to justify. 
Though we know that Vadeli sorcerous techniques (the Telendarian school) were used in Fronela several thousand years later, because if they weren’t then Talor wouldn’t have needed to ban them. But that is much much later. 

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On 1/1/2021 at 12:59 AM, Joerg said:

Genuine Arkati teachings may be available to the trolls of Guhan, but those would be selective in scope,

Why would they be selective? You’d think they’d have some of the best access to Arkati teaching. 
 

 

On 1/1/2021 at 12:59 AM, Joerg said:

Lunar sorcery as taught by the Imperial College of Magic has taken all the stuff left behind by the Bull Shah sorcerers, including Spolite teachings that seeped into their ranks during the turnover from the (strongly anti-Spolite) Lion Shahs.

While the Lunar College of Magic does have access to Carmanian and Spolite lore, with pretty much all the Carmanian sorcery in their archives after a few centuries of investigation, the core of Lunar sorcery seems to be a variant on Buserian celestial magic, Lunarised at first by Irripi Ontor and later by his cult. A random Lunar sorcerer might know how to summon Spolite demons of the deep darkness - but is much more likely to know how to invoke the power of the Red Moon and other celestial bodies (clear in the new IO write up). Not saying it’s impossible to have dark Spolite Lunar sorcerers, but they probably only teach it at the LCM as an advanced post-grad course. Though who knows, Natha and Gerra are both modern  Lunar and Spolite deities. 

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On 12/30/2020 at 2:32 AM, Nick Brooke said:

I've since found a way of harmonising the two, which is telling my RuneQuest players: "This rulebook tells you how the world works for people like your adventurers," then going balls-to-the-wall crazy and essentially running HeroQuest behind the screen when stuff their adventurers have no idea about comes into shot.

As with many other things in my gaming life, Call of Cthulhu was the game that taught me this kind of stuff a long time ago. In CoC monsters and magic are, intentionally, mysterious. Therefore, the Keeper (GM) is encouraged to handwave a lot of stuff, at least for those who value mood and horror above mechanics (which should frankly be the case for any CoC Keeper). So it's common for my evil Mythos sorcerers to have partially defined powers that just sound cool and are roughly in the ballpark of how powerful that sorcerer should be... (virtually all such NPCs in published scenario have a list of abilities that includes "...plus whatever the Keeper thinks is appropriate"!). But of course, it happens sometimes that the PCs defeat the evil sorcerer and gain access to their magic items and grimoires and so on, and suddenly I need to somewhat formalize those previously handwaved powers because the players can now use them too.... (but not formalize too much because, hey, remember, magic is supposed to be mysterious and frightening and corrupting).

So I guess what I'm saying is:

  1. More people should play Call of Cthulhu!  Seriously, 90% of "problems" and "solutions" I read or hear about on FRPG blogs/podcasts/forums are things that were figured out by CoC designers and players a long time ago.
  2. There are two axes of gameplay in your argument, and they're only loosely correlated:
    1. The people who consider the rulebook to be the exhaustive model of the setting vs those who understand it as a subset of a much broader model. Obviously very few people will think the RQG rules are "complete" (we don't have illumination rules or heroquesting for instance) but some people may think that whatever's there (like, say, worshiping or sorcery rules) are "complete" (they would be mistaken :) ).
    2. The people who handle NPCs using different rules than the PCs, vs those who unify the two. Obviously, a special Chaotic ability granted by a Thanatar heroquest is going to be hard to get for a PC, but "unification" in this case still means "sure you can try... you may not like who you become, though!" (i.e.: the option is available, even if undesirable). Meanwhile, people who handle NPCs with different rules have many different (often good) reasons and methods for this. I assume that a common one is using simplified mook stats and damage rules to speed up large combat, for instance (asymmetric systems that bake this into the rules include Savage Worlds or Numenera... I wish RQG had some official support for it, and I strongly think that the published adventures showing full NPC stat blocks is a huge mistake and a bad example). These kinds of asymmetrical rules can't be applied to the PCs as per point 1, but others kind of special NPC rules can: special weapon stats, unique magic items, heroquest gifts, house rules for new schools of magic, etc.

  

On 12/22/2020 at 3:47 AM, Kloster said:

Do you have other ideas on what can (or should) be done?

As for the OP, one thing to make a good custom Family History for character creation is to just grab a few PDFs (the Guide, the Sourcebook, and Wyrm Footnotes are a good start), and do searches for both the culture and places, and a long batch of searches for each year in the time span that should be covered by the tables. Half the time you'll find important events that are already covered by the RQG rulebook, but the other half of the time you'll find some smaller, localized events or ideas that will help you spice things up for that character.

Culturally speaking, I think the Carmanians have been around for so long, with so much mixing with Dara Happans and Lunars and so on, that you have a rather broad range of options between belonging to some kind of "pure, traditionalist" family (Pelandan?), and belonging to a family with a mixed background and an equally mixed tradition.

If you want to avoid bringing sorcery rules in the game, your player's character could be a Humakti-worshipping romanak ("landless warrior") who has a Carmanian twist on his cult, such as a complement of Invisible God worship, slightly different Rune Magic and iconography, and so on. Having a roaming warrior with an Orlanthi-ish culture like this also makes it easier, maybe, to introduce him to the rest of the party! (I'm genuinely curious how you're going to bring a Carmanian into your game, assuming it's set in good ol' Sartar/Prax as per the rulebook default). Plus, as a Carmanian, he will show up with the finest bronze gear in the party, with fancy strange-looking (to the other PCs) designs on them!

Edited by lordabdul
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10 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

As for the OP, one thing to make a good custom Family History for character creation is to just grab a few PDFs (the Guide, the Sourcebook, and Wyrm Footnotes are a good start), and do searches for both the culture and places, and a long batch of searches for each year in the time span that should be covered by the tables. Half the time you'll find important events that are already covered by the RQG rulebook, but the other half of the time you'll find some smaller, localized events or ideas that will help you spice things up for that character.

Culturally speaking, I think the Carmanians have been around for so long, with so much mixing with Dara Happans and Lunars and so on, that you have a rather broad range of options between belonging to some kind of "pure, traditionalist" family (Pelandan?), and belonging to a family with a mixed background and an equally mixed tradition.

Thanks. Thanks. Thanks.

10 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

If you want to avoid bringing sorcery rules in the game, your player's character could be a Humakti-worshipping romanak ("landless warrior") who has a Carmanian twist on his cult, such as a complement of Invisible God worship, slightly different Rune Magic and iconography, and so on.

A kind of Ronin. I like the idea. It can be fun.

11 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

I'm genuinely curious how you're going to bring a Carmanian into your game, assuming it's set in good ol' Sartar/Prax as per the rulebook default.

Like I have already explained, my player wants to play a descendant of the Carmanian settlers in Prax. His family is thus in Prax since 15 years and he came there very young. I will use for him the Praxian history, and as suggested, the Lunar Tarsh cultural package (replacing Tarshite language by Carmanian). For the most important parent and grand parent, I still don't know if we'll stay on the Lunar Tarsh history or if we try to build one for Carmania and lunar heartland.

My old Carmanian character was a Lunar officer whose family ended on the loosing side of a dart war. As a result, he had been 'promoted' as commanding in second of the Lunar garrison in Corflu. Of course, the 'River of Craddles' campaign started during his travel from Pavis to Corflu.

I have not yet though to another reason to (logically) have a Carmanian character in Dragon Pass / Prax, but I am sure there was some in the various regiments and college of magic that were destroyed in Whitewall siege and the Dragonrise. Some may still be there.

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24 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

The people who handle NPCs using different rules than the PCs, vs those who unify the two. Obviously, a special Chaotic ability granted by a Thanatar heroquest is going to be hard to get for a PC, but "unification" in this case still means "sure you can try... you may not like who you become, though!" (i.e.: the option is available, even if undesirable). Meanwhile, people who handle NPCs with different rules have many different (often good) reasons and methods for this. I assume that a common one is using simplified mook stats and damage rules to speed up large combat, for instance (asymmetric systems that bake this into the rules include Savage Worlds or Numenera... I wish RQG had some official support for it, and I strongly think that the published adventures showing full NPC stat blocks is a huge mistake and a bad example). These kinds of asymmetrical rules can't be applied to the PCs as per point 1, but others kind of special NPC rules can: special weapon stats, unique magic items, heroquest gifts, house rules for new schools of magic, etc.

I think one of the great strength of RQ was that it has always been symmetrical (I remember the 'Monsters have experience too'). But I don't consider having simplified NPCs to be asymmetrical: The rules are still the same.

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