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What would a good model for EWF magics in RQG look like?


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I've been thinking of putting some EWF survivor draconic mystic (perhaps as a wyrm) into my campaign, and I've been considering what kind of model draconic magics could use in RQG.

Some thoughts:

  • There's a lot of decent stuff in MRQ, and we have the Sun Dragon cult as a template for EWF draconic cults
  • Using Dragonewt magic (did the EWF ever do that?)
  • Path of Immanent Mastery (Gods of Glorantha), developed from one of the quick-fix draconic EWF paths

Any other ideas? Anything we know will turn up in the Cults book?

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Path of Immanent Mastery definitely is one of the Short Cuts used by the leaders of the Third Council, according to p.138 in Heortling Mythology. I suspect Great Lord Burin to have manifested as a dragon using these magics in the Kotor Wars. (We know hardly anything but the name about this individual...)

Ingolf's manifestations of his True Dragon powers are described in History of the Heortling Peoples, starting at p.50. His powers were of the orthodox dragon mystics, and those of his forebears who did not use them outside of their questing for self-improvement had a shot at True Dragonhood. Obduran is the only dragon mystic who also worshiped Orlanth but became a True Dragon, but descriptions of the Dragonkill suggest that there may have been other (older) dragon mystics (whose personal ascension quests started when the wyrms' friends still were a persecuted minority) who achieved full dragonhood or at least full wyrmhood and who came to obey the call to the Dragonkill. (There is a two-page write-up of one such individual, post-Dragonkill, in an early three digit numbered issue of Dragon magazine, by Sandy Petersen.)

Dragonewt Magic would be a way, too. A significant number of Newtling bachelors acquires such abilities in exchange for menial services at the dragonewt cities, but as most only leave that service (and receive their reward) when it is time to return to their birth ponds to mate and to oversee their tadpole offspring, it would be hard to recruit enough such newtlings to form a force of dragonewt magic enabled warriors.

 

Robin Laws enjoyed using the martial arts riff for EWF in the Second Age book, and mentions Sung Dragonbone armor and weapons, analogous to the dragonewt weaponry already described in Elder Secrets.

Greg has written up one dojo of draconic martial artists in Arcane Lore, p.41. With 2000 worshipers, this may be the biggest human draconic congregation west of the Shan Shan mountains, with the central monastery located in (or near) Karse and a major branch outside of Furthest, closer to the actual lair of Krisa Yar, the Red Dragon of Dragon Pass.

 

On the whole, I was so disappointed how the EWF was treated in the first edition of MRQ that I didn't even consider playing the game. Loz did an admirable salvage job for the second edition of MRQ and managed to create them as good antagonist for his Karvanyar campaign in Dara Happa Rising. I have yet to read up about Lorenkargartan aka Labrygon's exploits in Old Pavis.

Much of the effort that Greg had put into outlining the Machine Wars failed to result in a playable campaign of that war, despite setting up a great sandbox for it. The material has seen publication in History of the Heortling Peoples, p.53 onwards. Unfortunately, the main EWF hero involved here is Varankol the Mangler, the prototype of the modern Tusk Rider Aramites. Anything but a dragon mystic. But then, this was a proxy war for the Third Ring, and manifesting draconic powers across the Hendriki territory probably would have caused these dragon-sceptic (to say the least) allies against the God Learners to rethink their cooperation.

The description of the Kotorsland wars tells us about dragons and wyvern riders involved at the battle of Maretsford (HotHP p.80 onward) and of how the EWF mystics defied God Learner sorcery and logic. A campaign in Ditali lands might unearth "undetonated weapons of mass destruction" left behind by either side, whether secrets of e.g. the Slontan Surprise Battalion (which would make a good addition to the Sartar Magical Union, or possibly already are within the roster of the magical units) or stuff furthering draconic martial arts, draconic transformations, or simply EWF weaponry.

Such a campaign could very well be based on the Nochet Knowledge temple, and could see Lunar "archaeologists", too. Possibly stuck here without any support line after the Battle of Pennel Ford and the Dragonrise. A Lunar campaign waiting to be written.

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5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I've been thinking of putting some EWF survivor draconic mystic (perhaps as a wyrm) into my campaign, and I've been considering what kind of model draconic magics could use in RQG.

Some thoughts:

  • There's a lot of decent stuff in MRQ, and we have the Sun Dragon cult as a template for EWF draconic cults
  • Using Dragonewt magic (did the EWF ever do that?)
  • Path of Immanent Mastery (Gods of Glorantha), developed from one of the quick-fix draconic EWF paths

Any other ideas? Anything we know will turn up in the Cults book?

Mongoose Press' "Second Age" books have rules for Draconized Orlanthi mythos cults and for Draconic cults during the EWF.  They all rely on a Draconic Mysticism skill to cast.  Superficially, Draconic magic doesn't synergise well with other forms of magic.  There is this whole lack of a developed system of Mysticism Magic in RQ.  HeroQuest had a system based on "refutation", but I get the sense that Draconic Mysticism is pretty different, even if it leads to something pretty similar to Illumination, like most forms of Mysticism.  One thing that I have gleaned however is that humans have often found unusual uses for Draconic Egg magic.  Nysalor was born from such an Egg and the Egg-Lord of the Sartar Magical Union likely has some sort of Sorcery that combines with Draconic Egg magic.  There is mention of another free floating pseudocosmic egg doing the rounds in RQ3's Elder Secrets supplement.  Also Dragonewt Skins and their magic reservoirs sheds some light on what the eggs might do.  Dragonewts are intrinsically mysterious and alien.  Some for example starve to death because they have never learned to eat in all their incarnations.  The EWF prove that humans and Dragonewts can interact, but remember that any human requires the brain splitting surgery to ever perform Draconic magic or even to speak Dragonewt.  Without the operation you simply can't understand Dragonewt behavior and concepts.

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15 minutes ago, Darius West said:

There is this whole lack of a developed system of Mysticism Magic in RQ.  HeroQuest had a system based on "refutation", but I get the sense that Draconic Mysticism is pretty different, even if it leads to something pretty similar to Illumination, like most forms of Mysticism. 

One form of draconic magic I have been advocating for decades is the manifestation of dreams. Not necessarily the core being of the dreamer, but some troubling aspect that needs to be dealt with. Wyverns originated from dragons' wet dreams (but then got caught up in that spirit and procreated to become an almost mundane species (much like the dinosaurs).

In a way, manifesting a dream body can be an avatar to experience and compute emotions - that's what I postulate is what the dragonewt eggs do when they incarnate as 'newts. In another way, manifesting a dream dragon can be a dragon's way to purify itself to advance to total ascension (as Obduran the Flyer did only days after his assumption of the True Dragon form). Manifesting a dragon can be a way to lose bits of yourself (and that's something Robin Hobb's Farseer saga explores, too - looking at the Elderlings in that series might be one way to think of the EWF core region prior to the 1042 mass utuma).

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41 minutes ago, Joerg said:

One form of draconic magic I have been advocating for decades is the manifestation of dreams.

I'm in favor of this - there is extremely little written about something as magically important as dreams, and most dream-related stuff is draconic (Dream-dragons, Dragonewts Dream). Since even draconic entities aren't supposed to get tangled up with the obligations of the mundane world, perhaps it's seen as an inferior dream-like version of a higher reality, Platonism-style, and engaging too much with it damages your connection to the absolute draconic reality?

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One form of draconic magic I have been advocating for decades is the manifestation of dreams. Not necessarily the core being of the dreamer, but some troubling aspect that needs to be dealt with.

Dream Walking to mw seems like another version of Hero Questing where one may not be entering the God Plane, but a Mystic Plane. The difference being that the myths are not re-enacted, but the Walker would be attempting to channel the story to a particular path. Success takes the person down a familiar path and rewards, while a failure devolves into a Nightmare of unknown actions.

Martial Arts is a good basis for Mysticism. Not really sure how it is to be reflected on the material plane and how it would play out against other forms of magic.

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