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The version of Thed in the upcoming GoG is based on the write up in. RQ2 Cults of Terror, fortunately not the RQ3 Lords of Terror version. So without crossing Lines & Veils, the cult of Thed doesn't cover such extreme actions, and gifts to Thed are the norm.

Cults of Terror says:

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This gift must have been taken from others and the taking must have caused the original donor pain. Poisoning a well is an example. This gift would endanger an entire community, which would please Thed very much. Thed would be pleased with ears, sacred items of other cults, children, limbs and members, heads, cherished personal treasures, etc.

Basing taboos on those are a way forward. I would also suggest looking at taboos in earthly cultures: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342107714_Why_do_religious_leaders_observe_costly_prohibitions_Examining_taboos_on_Mentawai_shamans

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Shaman get their abilities by bargaining with a Greater Entity (page 359). For Chaos shaman, this is likely to be Thed itself (as the source of chaos shamanism, stolen from the Horned Man).  I

Yes, just pick other taboos. It is focussed on the shaman available in the core rules: Daka Fal, Waha, and Golden Bow, so it's bound to be narrow.

A Fiend of Cacodemon might since their ogre followers are naturally superior to broo, and it would no doubt delight them to create consternation among Thed's followers. Would they actually follow

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He unintentionally violated his taboo. What happens? 

That is an interesting question. I know that in RL, an unintentional violation is easily atoned for and in fact the sin is considered to fall on the deceiver  (if this was a result of deception). So I would say the shaman may need to conduct some sort of a ritual to cleanse himself, once he is made aware of the situation.

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3 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

That is an interesting question. I know that in RL, an unintentional violation is easily atoned for and in fact the sin is considered to fall on the deceiver  (if this was a result of deception). So I would say the shaman may need to conduct some sort of a ritual to cleanse himself, once he is made aware of the situation.

And they may be expected to pursue furious vengeance against the deceiver.

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6 minutes ago, Dragon said:

I note that RQ:G does not state any effects of breaking a taboo. Let's say a shaman had the taboo 'Never eat elk meat.' The shaman is told a stew is made from impala. He consumes a bowl. But the stew is actually a mix, and includes a little elk in it. He unintentionally violated his taboo. What happens?

Look at real life food taboos and this very question, this is an excellent answer https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1614932/jewish/I-Ate-Non-Kosher-Food-Now-What.htm. Traditionally shaman who deliberately break their taboos loose their powers, are struck down by illness, bad fortune, etc. If an accident, a few days of prayer, ritual cleansing, abstinence from (something) usually solves it. If the person serving the food did this deliberately, they are going to be in serious trouble.

6 minutes ago, Dragon said:

Let's say his rival specifically set up the situation and had added a few pounds of elk meat to the stew unknown to the chef. Does that change anything in the shaman's powers. Obviously, it is an adventure hook.

This is not an unknown concept. 

6 minutes ago, Dragon said:

If the shaman has made contact with additional spirit gods, and thus has a relationship with one powerful spirit that cares whether he eats elk meat, and another that doesn't care a bit. Can the shaman get all his powers from the latter and ignore the unintentional violation?

See above. Generally you would use the same Greater Power appropriate to your cult / culture.

6 minutes ago, Dragon said:

Of course, it depends on how the GM wants the story to proceed. But nothing in the rules as written.

The ability granted by the Greater Power could stop if the taboo was broken, and remain gone until. The implication is that if you don't do this, you don't get that.

6 minutes ago, Dragon said:

Speaking of specific taboos, I didn't quite get the wording of 'Never eat any meat of any animal spirit creature'. In the nature of Glorantha, doesn't every extant Beast species with 'meat' have an animal spirit creature'? Even some that are no longer extant. Even fish. So the shaman with that taboo can only eat meat from Man rune creatures, e.g. trollkin, herd beasts. Because those would have 'spirit creatures', but not 'animal spirit creatures'. Or am I interpreting 'animal spirit creature' incorrectly?

A better wording would be 

Never eat any meat of any animal spirit creature you have dealings with:

If your Water rune vortex is full of spirit fish that are your source for water based spirit magics, don't eat fish.

If one of you bound spirits is the Blue Llama spirit companion of Lucky Star, don't eat High Llama.

Never eat any meat of any animal spirit creature 

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This isn't a Humakti or Yelmalion Gift/Geas table, man.

So long as the shamanic taboos are a serious inconvenience to the shaman that marks him out as someone different from the rest of his society, then it's all good.

Clearly, some taboos will not work. 'Never eat meat' for a Basmoli shaman is a non-starter. But 'Eat only vegetables every Clayday' would work out fine. Use your imagination and be creative with it. As a couple of examples, a Sartar Kolating might have 'Never speak on Windsday'. An Earth Witch might have 'Always protect mothers and children'.

 

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Traditionally shaman who deliberately break their taboos loose their powers, are struck down by illness, bad fortune, etc. If an accident, a few days of prayer, ritual cleansing, abstinence from (something) usually solves it. If the person serving the food did this deliberately, they are going to be in serious trouble.

Breaking a taboo is a sign of Disorder, and should result in corresponding intrusions by the Otherworld.

One result may be the opening of a passage for spirits of Disease into the Community (not just targeting the shaman).  A child becomes gravely ill, or the village well becomes contaminated.

Another is the intrusion of Trickster spirits, happy that a shaman has allowed them through.  Accidents happen to the village warriors, milk sours or curdles, etc.

And all signs of the problem point back to the shaman....  

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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Breaking a taboo is a sign of Disorder, and should result in corresponding intrusions by the Otherworld.

One result may be the opening of a passage for spirits of Disease into the Community (not just targeting the shaman).  A child becomes gravely ill, or the village well becomes contaminated.

Another is the intrusion of Trickster spirits, happy that a shaman has allowed them through.  Accidents happen to the village warriors, milk sours or curdles, etc.

And all signs of the problem point back to the shaman....  

Though I liked @Godlearners @PhilHibbsand @David Scotts responses, this is the cherry atop a very nice sundae! Beware shamans in my game!

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On 4/22/2021 at 8:48 AM, jajagappa said:

Breaking a taboo is a sign of Disorder, and should result in corresponding intrusions by the Otherworld.

One result may be the opening of a passage for spirits of Disease into the Community (not just targeting the shaman).  A child becomes gravely ill, or the village well becomes contaminated.

Another is the intrusion of Trickster spirits, happy that a shaman has allowed them through.  Accidents happen to the village warriors, milk sours or curdles, etc.

And all signs of the problem point back to the shaman....  

I like that approach.

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On 4/22/2021 at 6:15 AM, David Scott said:

The version of Thed in the upcoming GoG is based on the write up in. RQ2 Cults of Terror, fortunately not the RQ3 Lords of Terror version.

Very wise 🙂  And what I expected from Chaosium.

 

On 4/22/2021 at 7:48 AM, jajagappa said:

Breaking a taboo is a sign of Disorder, and should result in corresponding intrusions by the Otherworld.

[...]

And all signs of the problem point back to the shaman....  

I would personally go with @David Scott's ideas first (the shaman herself is affected, her powers fail a couple times, bad spirits come after her, etc.), but I would definitely go with these ideas (i.e. the side effects start to affect the broader community) if the transgressions continue. Basically, increasing exponentially the scale of the bad stuff as taboos are broken, or left broken without amends.

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49 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

but I would definitely go with these ideas (i.e. the side effects start to affect the broader community)

Yes, but think of the plot possibilities!  And it's all the fault of the PC!!!  Makes them think very carefully on breaking a taboo, plus it's not just a solo adventure to resolve. 

A villager's child is afflicted, their soul snatched away by an evil demon that got through...  Now the shaman PC needs to recruit some aid for a quest to rescue the soul.

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On 4/21/2021 at 3:43 PM, soltakss said:

Of course they would.

Taboos are ways that followers of a Spirit must live in order for the Spirit to continue to grant them magic.

If they don't want the magic they don't need to follow the taboos.

They might not like it and they might try to find ways around it, but a Taboo is merely one of the costs of having that magic.

My guess is that spirits normally contacted by Broos don't have celibacy taboos.

But, even if they did, the Broo must follow it to keep the magic, so it has a choice.

It depends on the rules.

"Eat one sentient creature per Season" is a reasonable Taboo from a Chaotic Spirit, for example.

Exactly.

 

In this regard, I'd see the "taboo" as a form of continued payment, rather than an actual "taboo" as non-chaotic would see it, and they'd be quite aligned. (Just a thought, perhaps shamans should automatically have an Honour passion? How likely are they to break the taboo in a stressful situation???)

 

Do you consider having to worship and donate MPs on holy days as a "taboo"?

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On 4/23/2021 at 2:17 AM, French Desperate WindChild said:

I never face it but it could be a good scenario to investigate why " the community " is cursed and understand that a nice shaman had broken  unintentionally a taboo.

you can be "punish" because a mistake, not only a fault

I think that's the plot to lots of movies...

 

Especially if there's a celibacy taboo.

 

However, I still want to know how a Great Spirit would know a taboo has been broken... (although, that's often also part of a number of movies, usually murder mysteries :p)

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3 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

However, I still want to know how a Great Spirit would know a taboo has been broken...

The connection is by way of the characteristics you sacrificed to them. The Greater Entities are all gods (Horned Man, Daka Fal, Waha, Hykim and Mikyh, Kolat, Kyger Litor, Jakaboom, and the Earth Witch.) It's like an initiation link. So same as breaking as geas with Humakt and Yelmalio.

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

The connection is by way of the characteristics you sacrificed to them. The Greater Entities are all gods (Horned Man, Daka Fal, Waha, Hykim and Mikyh, Kolat, Kyger Litor, Jakaboom, and the Earth Witch.) It's like an initiation link. So same as breaking as geas with Humakt and Yelmalio.

That makes it more interesting.... If it's more like an initiation, rather than a bargaining commodity, then it would limit the number and type of gifts and powers available. As in, I presume that a shaman couldn't have gifts from both a sun/light entity as well as a darkness entity, or any other diametrically opposed grouping... (personally, I had thought that the Greater Entities contacted were about a step below that of god - or at least, not the major gods). Does that mean that Golden Bow shamans do directly get gifts from Yelm? And not just subordinates of Yelm (or other fire/sky spirits)?

ETA: does that actually mean that getting a gift from, say, KL, means the shaman is actually initiated into the cult of KL? Etc etc...???

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10 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

then it would limit the number and type of gifts and powers available.

I don't see why? although specific Greater Entities may have their own shamanic abilities to give.

10 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

As in, I presume that a shaman couldn't have gifts from both a sun/light entity as well as a darkness entity, or any other diametrically opposed grouping...

They would go to their cult / cultural Greater Entities. 

  • Horned Man - any except chaos
  • Daka Fal - Praxian, Sartarite (any ancestor worship)
  • Waha - Praxian
  • Hykim and Mikyh - Hsunchen
  • Kolat - Orlanth 
  • Kyger Litor - Troll
  • Jakaboom - Troll 
  • Earth Witch - Earth cults / Praxian

i'd also add Yu-Kargzant for Grazers.

 I did an example of a Kolat shaman visiting Kolat for a new ability:

 

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9 minutes ago, David Scott said:

I don't see why? although specific Greater Entities may have their own shamanic abilities to give.

Because I can't see KL being happy with an initiate (or Gift recipient) also being an initiate or Gift recipient of a Fire spirit. If you want to keep the blessings said spirit gives, don't insult it by also taking gifts from the enemy.

 

10 minutes ago, David Scott said:

 I did an example of a Kolat shaman visiting Kolat for a new ability:

Yeah, I read that when you first posted it.... That's my championship trophy awarded to you for it...

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6 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Because I can't see KL being happy with an initiate (or Gift recipient) also being an initiate or Gift recipient of a Fire spirit. If you want to keep the blessings said spirit gives, don't insult it by also taking gifts from the enemy.

I think the point is not :

 you are Initiate  and you worship/ are devoted / respects all the rules of your God

but more

the sacrifice to the "greater entity" creates the same kind of (what I call) gateway to the mundane world for the greater Entity. The greater Entity doesn't expect you to do everything an initiate has to do, only what is your part of the "contract"

 

Of course if a shaman is "contractually" linked to Kyger Litor, and start to negociate something with a light great spirit, Kyger Litor may be angry and will refuse you to negotiate something else in the future (or for a price like... initiation ?).

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On 4/21/2021 at 10:01 PM, Godlearner said:

These Taboos are taken to reset stat loss for Shamanic Abilities. Which spirit is enforcing that?

I also wouldn't get too hung up on the specifics of the RQG mechanic, the stat loss reset is just a design choice and doesn't necessarily reflect Glorantha Reality. I would not rule out losing shamanic abilities as a potential consequence of breaking taboos.

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10 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Because I can't see KL being happy with an initiate (or Gift recipient) also being an initiate or Gift recipient of a Fire spirit. If you want to keep the blessings said spirit gives, don't insult it by also taking gifts from the enemy.

Do you see any shamanic pantheons that have KL and a Solar deity in them? I'm not aware of any. How do we deal with deities with specific issues like Kigor Liter?

On a larger scale, the shaman is to balance tempestuous spirits. Every pantheon is balanced in a certain manner: it might be Storm-aligned, Solar-aligned, or, in the current day, Lunar. There's a range of affinity Runes that help manage riotous spirits, but there's also spirits like Oakfed who are oddballs. Not speaking of Kigor Lyter but of Orlanthis, here's a Solar deity who is firmly Storm-aligned, when Storm's affinities are water and darkness.

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5 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I also wouldn't get too hung up on the specifics of the RQG mechanic, the stat loss reset is just a design choice and doesn't necessarily reflect Glorantha Reality.

Agreed.  I'd cast it into a mythic reference where the spirit had run out of energy, grown weak, etc.  They came to a hut/cave/whatever where they were offered an elixir/magic mushroom/whatever by the entity that dwelt there that would grant them an ability and restore them, but at a cost.  That cost was that they must forswear X, and they must offer the entity a lock of hair/fingernail/tooth/eye/whatever seems most interesting/relevant in order to seal the bargain.  And the entity is gleefully happy for they knew that eventually the spirit would have to make a dire choice and break one of their vows.

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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Do you see any shamanic pantheons that have KL and a Solar deity in them? I'm not aware of any. How do we deal with deities with specific issues like Kigor Liter?

Until @David Scott mentioned them, I hadn't seen any "pantheon" per se, as pantheon implies not only grouping, but also hierarchy amongst a range of gods. Is KL the chief deity of darkness gods for darkness shamans? (Presumably for troll shamans, but then how do the other gods fit in - if at all?)

I had thought that shamans had the ability to go to any greater entity to bargain, although obviously some much easier than others, and cultural leanings would be strongly in place.

I also presume that not all greater entities have the ability to grant all available gifts/abilities, much less any additional ones made up.

Given a huge part of the job is to defend against "enemy spirits", it seems obvious to me that having a Spirit Affinity for those enemy spirits makes sense... Where do you get that, other than from (probably) "enemy" greater entities?

 

Anyway, slightly away from my point/query... How similar is accepting Gifts/abilities to an actual initiation? Any reason a Golden Bow shaman couldn't travel to Hell and pick up some Rune Spells/gifts/abilities from Kygor Litor (as an extreme example)?

The above is an extreme example, but what about the shamans in the Lunar College of Magic, or the Sartar Magical Union?? 

(I'd also presume there are lesser entities that are also capable of giving shamanic abilities, though perhaps not as powerful... Would KL be ok with a shaman accepting abilities from a lesser Fire entity?)

Edited by Shiningbrow
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