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Why Issaries runes are different betweeen HQG and RQG?


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One is trade, movement, trade, the other is harmony, movement.

And trade rune is missing from RQG, as some other do.

And perhaps there are more "glorantha" differences between the two systems, apart the game system.

And this make me ask another question: are the Glorantha depicted by RQG and the Glorantha depicted by HQG really the same?

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My approach is, that Glorantha is always the same, so far the given example the trade rune does exist. Runequest:Roleplaying in Glorantha and Heroquest Glorantha are just different approaches to explore this world using a game, i.e. they are a set of gaming rules. The fact, that the trade rune is not used in RQG, does not mean, that the rune does not exist, it's just not used in the rule set, because it does not have any relevance for this rule set.

And: the trade rune is just a composition of Harmony and Movement (which is even explained in the HQG rules). So from the game world perspective, there is no difference.

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40 minutes ago, Oracle said:

My approach is, that Glorantha is always the same, so far the given example the trade rune does exist. Runequest:Roleplaying in Glorantha and Heroquest Glorantha are just different approaches to explore this world using a game, i.e. they are a set of gaming rules. The fact, that the trade rune is not used in RQG, does not mean, that the rune does not exist, it's just not used in the rule set, because it does not have any relevance for this rule set.

And: the trade rune is just a composition of Harmony and Movement (which is even explained in the HQG rules). So from the game world perspective, there is no difference.

The fact is that runes does not seem a game mechanics element but an essential Glorantha world element, like to say that Orlanth exists only in RQG and not in HQG.

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15 minutes ago, Beorne said:

The fact is that runes does not seem a game mechanics element but an essential Glorantha world element, like to say that Orlanth exists only in RQG and not in HQG.

Issaries' Runes were always Movement and Harmony. His worshipers claim that together they form the Issaries or Communication Rune, although few others acknowledge that. In HQG, I used that as one of the possible Runes, but when we wrote RQG we were much more deliberate and careful about how we established character Rune associations. Thus characters might have Movement and Harmony, but not "Issaries" as a rune.

Jeff

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22 hours ago, Beorne said:

The fact is that runes does not seem a game mechanics element but an essential Glorantha world element, like to say that Orlanth exists only in RQG and not in HQG.

Yes, you are right, the runes are the essential Glorantha world elements, but if and how they are used (or not used) in RQG and HQG is a game mechanic. So as Jeff explained above, the Issaries worshipers claim that the Movement and Harmony runes together form the Issaries or Communication Rune, which means, that you could use the Communication Rune in RQG too, but it would not have any impact on the game mechanics, just on the stories told by your game (which is the important part with respect to exploring Glorantha - at least from my point of view.)

Edited by Oracle
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The Issaries or Communication Rune would also be extremely difficult to sync with how Rune magic works in RQG. Would it be something everyone has, and if so, where would it go in the schema? Would it be unique to members of merchant cults, and thus produce a balance headache? Movement and Harmony, which have consistently been labeled as the two components of Communication, work much better mechanically. 

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If you don't like the idea of the guide, cults of prax, etc being wrong; you can view the Issaries rune as representing the part of Harmony referring to harmonizing people, rather than flesh, etc. i.e. the "communication" rune name of previous editions, in a similar way to how the guide has Light as a division of Fire/Sky without any heat. 

Ruleswise, it may have no effect, but it can be a useful reminder that Issaries doesn't have any special influence over mending wounds and the like. 

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3 hours ago, Beorne said:

And this make me ask another question: are the Glorantha depicted by RQG and the Glorantha depicted by HQG really the same?

Love it. 

IMG RGQ reflects the same world as HQG only showing the strains of a difficult decade. Old models no longer work as well. Sometimes the people in power make choices that alter the magical systems that run the world. Some of these choices are born of desperation and we know a little about how they happened.

Others have yet to be revealed. I'm personally convinced that the sacrifice of Issaries rune to itself is one of these hidden choices that rocked the world off its underpinnings but we don't know a lot yet about how it happened. Maybe we all went to bed one night and when we woke up in the morning it was accepted across all the markets that the rune was gone. Maybe it was always a figment of the bookkeeping and we finally decided to give it up. It was too expensive, no longer useful, the opportunity costs stacked elsewhere. Maybe a cabal of esoteric merchants ("syndics") haggled it out . . . something like the Ban and the area of effect is now expanding out of that Zero Point to convert all Trade Runes stored into something else.

Rune as crypto contract, but I digress. A notional sink of magical capital denominated in arbitrary numbers we invented and are now calling back. It's the hero wars.

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Personally, I prefer to just have those unique/personal Runes as more indicators of specific gods/spirits/etc. and their nature/powers than as an actual mechanical thing. That is, they exist in-universe, but aren't part of the mechanics. A worshiper of Issaries doesn't have a special Rune that only merchant gods get for some reason, they just have Movement and Harmony, and the Communication/Issaries Rune is just iconography that specifies that this is Issaries or some other god of communication, trade, and travel.

For HQG, that means my own personal approach as a GM would be to switch out those personal Runes with a "basic" Rune, possibly two. Issaries gets Harmony and Motion, and the powers assigned to his Communication Rune I assign to whichever makes the most sense. Similarly, the Eternal Battle Rune of Storm Bull becomes Disorder, the Yinkin Rune is split into Movement and Beast, etc.

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6 hours ago, Beorne said:

And perhaps there are more "glorantha" differences between the two systems, apart the game system.

And this make me ask another question: are the Glorantha depicted by RQG and the Glorantha depicted by HQG really the same?

There are a number of differences - compare Lhankor Mhy’s runes, for instance, or the dramatically different maps of Clearwine.

I think we should talk about four different Glorantha dev tracks, or forks - Guide, RQG, HQG, 13AiG. These are not 100% compatible with each other even on a pure non-rule level (maybe HQG and Guide?). You really can tell that you’re in RQG-Glorantha just from seeing Lhankor Mhy’s Stasis rune - you would not in any of the others.

This will save you a number of headaches.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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6 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

There are a number of differences - compare Lhankor Mhy’s runes, for instance, or the dramatically different maps of Clearwine.

I think we should talk about four different Glorantha dev tracks, or forks - Guide, RQG, HQG, 13AiG. These are not 100% compatible with each other even on a pure non-rule level (maybe HQG and Guide?). You really can tell that you’re in RQG-Glorantha just from seeing Lhankor Mhy’s Stasis rune - you would not in any of the others.

This will save you a number of headaches.

Yes, now that I looked to the Guide I have seen there are a lot of deities using runes non existing in RQG ...

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52 minutes ago, Beorne said:

Yes, now that I looked to the Guide I have seen there are a lot of deities using runes non existing in RQG ...

That's not quite correct (from my point of view): these runes still exist, but are not used in the game mechanics (and therefore are not explicitly mentioned in published documents like adventure books ...)

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10 hours ago, John Biles said:

I do have to note that the Trade Rune (the Issaries rune) exists in the Guide to Glorantha, which is in theory, meant to be relied on for Canon.  (Page 149)

That's exactly the point. The Guide to Glorantha (and The Glorantha Sourcebook, King of Sartar as well as some other books from the Stafford Library, i.e. texts, which are not game specific) describe the world Glorantha and therefore build the canon. Game systems like 13th Age Glorantha, Heroquest Glorantha or Runequest:Roleplaying in Glorantha have to tweak these descriptions to adapt them to the needs of the game, but they do not change the world, only your view on the world. (Although they may add more detailed descriptions of parts of the world, which may or may not part of the canon.)

Similar to Risk, which is a game using an abstraction of some aspects of the real world to describe (a certain view on) this world. Monopoly is doing the same with a completely different view on the real world. Does that change the real world? Not at all.

Also you have to keep in mind, that the exploration of Glorantha, which Greg Stafford started so many years ago, is far from complete. Certain descriptions (especially from game accessoires) may change, while we learn more about these details exploring Glorantha more and more (e.g. the maps of Clearwine ...). This could be compared to an archeologist, which discovers an artifact completely changing our view on certain historical details.

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As the Guide & HQG are in agreement WRT the runes and gods runic associations, their model is largely how I frame the world. 

I respect RQG having a condensed rune list for the sake of being more managable on the character sheet, spell list, etc.

I dislike the idea of bending the setting to match the condensed list (or pretending that it had always been that way), along with some opposed rune consequences that the condensed list has for characters.

If I were to run a RQG campaign, I'd let players write in Eternal Battle, Communication/Trade, Light, or whatever they need on their sheet, and go with whatever makes sense for matching up spells, cult requirements, etc.

Edited by JonL
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On 12/25/2020 at 5:47 PM, Leingod said:

A worshiper of Issaries doesn't have a special Rune that only merchant gods get for some reason, they just have Movement and Harmony, and the Communication/Issaries Rune is just iconography that specifies that this is Issaries or some other god of communication, trade, and travel.

This sort-of works, but can run afowl of the opposed nature of power runes. A smuggler who is strong in Trade and Disorder works, but not so much if the trader magic is based on Harmony. Similar closed doors arise from replacing Eternal Battle with Death & Beast for Urox.

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6 hours ago, JonL said:

This sort-of works, but can run afowl of the opposed nature of power runes. A smuggler who is strong in Trade and Disorder works, but not so much if the trader magic is based on Harmony. Similar closed doors arise from replacing Eternal Battle with Death & Beast for Urox.

This is actually how the Cults Book entry for Issaries reads:
 

RUNIC ASSOCIATIONS

The Runes of Issaries are Movement and Harmony. Together these are often expressed as “Issaries” or “Communication,” a Rune unknown or unused except in trade functions. Other than Issaries, few spirits have it, save those who took or otherwise obtained it from him.

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33 minutes ago, Jeff said:

This is actually how the Cults Book entry for Issaries reads:
 

RUNIC ASSOCIATIONS

The Runes of Issaries are Movement and Harmony. Together these are often expressed as “Issaries” or “Communication,” a Rune unknown or unused except in trade functions. Other than Issaries, few spirits have it, save those who took or otherwise obtained it from him.

Argan Argar has Mastery, Darkness, and Communication Runes in the GtG, but Darkness and Harmony in RQG. What is Argan Argar's association with Communication? 

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48 minutes ago, jongjom said:

Argan Argar has Mastery, Darkness, and Communication Runes in the GtG, but Darkness and Harmony in RQG. What is Argan Argar's association with Communication? 

He is communication with Darkness. Which is also Harmony with Darkness.

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8 hours ago, JonL said:

This sort-of works, but can run afowl of the opposed nature of power runes. A smuggler who is strong in Trade and Disorder works, but not so much if the trader magic is based on Harmony. Similar closed doors arise from replacing Eternal Battle with Death & Beast for Urox.

Except (in addition to @Jeff's point) even in HQG, Disorder is listed as one of the "Opposed Runes" of Issaries (along with Stasis and, of course, Chaos), and the Communication Rune is still explained as being a combination of Harmony and Motion (but for some reason instead of just having both those components lumped into its powers, Issaries gets Communication and Motion). Your theoretical smuggler would probably be better-suited to having Illusion than Disorder, I think.

Edited by Leingod
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On 12/25/2020 at 2:02 PM, Eff said:

The Issaries or Communication Rune would also be extremely difficult to sync with how Rune magic works in RQG.

I am totally NOT advocating doing this, but IF someone wanted to do this: you treat it as a combination, just like Jeff said. So if the Communication Rune is now (or always was?) a combination of Movement and Harmony, take the lesser of the two Runes and that's your Communication Rune score. Or the average of the two, or whatever. And then you introduce the concept of dual-Rune spells, that is: spells that are cast on combination Runes. Ideally these are more powerful spells (more bang for the Rune buck) since they require a higher degree of alignment with a deity's Runes. And now, I'm going to close the browser and not think about the consequences of this crazy idea :D

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5 hours ago, Leingod said:

Except (in addition to @Jeff's point) even in HQG, Disorder is listed as one of the "Opposed Runes" of Issaries (along with Stasis and, of course, Chaos), and the Communication Rune is still explained as being a combination of Harmony and Motion (but for some reason instead of just having both those components lumped into its powers, Issaries gets Communication and Motion). Your theoretical smuggler would probably be better-suited to having Illusion than Disorder, I think.

That's one of the very few differences between HQG & HQ2. You'll see that opposed runes section in SKoH's cult write ups, but not in HQG's. You just have the general power rune oppositions in the latter. In either case, the principle still holds for Argan Argar, Etyries, or Dormal.

RQG's rune opposition mechanics are gentler still, but a mismatched character could still put you in a frustrating place when it's time to pick up the dice to cast certain spells.

WRT the magic in RQG, If I were patching in Communication, I would just go through the spell list and pencil in Communication next to some-but-not-all of the Movement and Harmony spells, and perhaps even make a few Communication-exclusive - as thematically appropriate. Same with Eternal Battle. 

 

Edited by JonL
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On 12/26/2020 at 12:47 AM, Leingod said:

Personally, I prefer to just have those unique/personal Runes as more indicators of specific gods/spirits/etc. and their nature/powers than as an actual mechanical thing. That is, they exist in-universe, but aren't part of the mechanics. A worshiper of Issaries doesn't have a special Rune that only merchant gods get for some reason, they just have Movement and Harmony, and the Communication/Issaries Rune is just iconography that specifies that this is Issaries or some other god of communication, trade, and travel.

 

Slightly conspiratorial perhaps; but the status and nature of several Runes in-universe are questioned and debatable. Storm is not always considered a elemental Rune (especially in the West), Moon is considered an elemental Rune by the Lunar Empire, there was a theorized purification rune, and at least one system separate Fire and Sun runes, etc. etc. 

IMHO, and IMG I guess, the in-universe "reality" of Runes are probably a lot more subjective and conditional than most people would like to admit. It's less that the categories people divide the cosmos into (ie. the Runes themselves) are objective, neat, "Planckian" categories, wholly distinct and atomic as it were, and more that as long as the divisions/categorizations work, there's no point in really questioning them. Does calling on the Communication Rune make Issaries magic happen? Aight, cool. Does calling on Harmony and Movement do the same? Fair 'nuff.

This also opens the door for the discrepancies above. 

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I think of the Communication Rune as Harmony without the association with unselfishness or focussing on the needs of your own community. It's not opposed to those things, but nor it guided by them - it's the mystery of Issaries that, through trade, working to make profit for yourself benefits all, learning about the other teaches you about yourself, the desire for wealth can lead to peace, etc. 

I don't really see the Movement connection much, but more Harmony focussed outward not inward? Issaries does have a Movement connection of course - but then, Issaries is always given the Movement rune too. I don't see the movement connection for Argan Argar, and most other trade gods have their own Movement connections (Etyries of course gets it from Issaries, Lokarnos is a movement god first and trade only as it follows from that, etc). 

But I think the nature of the Communication rune is one that scholars can absolutely debate about in Glorantha, and leave it as Harmony and Movement for the purposes of the magic rules, just being guided by our understanding that Runes are always interpreted in a context, and that particular character uses the Harmony rune mostly only in certain ways.

I don't think most of the Rune changes described in the various rules sets usually reflect changes that the inhabitants of Glorantha notice, or would notice. Sometimes they may reflect our evolving understanding of the deity (such as Lhankor Mhy being the Orlanthi sorcery god). Worshippers have different experiences and understanding of deity. Many runes may express different cultural nuances, and not always be consistent, or make distinctions that are less important to others. Runic associations are very set and simple in game writeups, for good game design reasons, but not always so simple. 

To the followers of Lhankor Mhy who know him as their cultures sorcery god, they might think it appropriate to use the Law Rune, or they might find it confusing as their culture barely uses the Law Rune, or just not use it to those who don't understand it - and to other Lhankor Mhy worshippers who use more traditional magic, the Stasis Rune is more appropriate to indicate their role in keeping the continuity of culture. None are wildly wrong. Followers of Yinkin or Odayla might use the special runes they know as the Cat rune and Bear rune in their own iconography and magic - but neither denies that they represent a type of Beast, and so the Beast rune is also appropriate, and no one really gets confused about this (except scholars trying to make rigid rune classification systems). Storm Bull worshippers might know what is meant by the Eternal Battle, but it's a core mystery of their cult, not something that outsiders would be expected to understand - and so the rules give the runes as understood by outsiders, and so on. 

Sometimes, of course, Rune changes can reflect that the cult actually changes. The Lunars discovered (or rediscovered if you believe them) Lunar connections to deities that were previously believed to be unconnected, and some cults will now have a Moon Rune that did not before (and some people in Glorantha may believe this a distortion or corruption, and who can say for sure if they are right, but the magic works just the same). Almost all of Orlanths Mastery magic comes via the Orlanth Rex cult, which is a second age change - would Orlanth have been universally considered as having the Rune before? We have seen multiple sets of Runes for Yelm in various sources - and we also know that the understanding of the Yelm cult by the Dara Happans has changed a lot over the centuries. If those changes happen inside the context of a single game, they'd be a huge change that would be reflected in a lot of game activity, but for most games we can treat them as set and just acknowledge there is some history.

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