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Cult spirits, uses, and who has them


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2 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Seems a bit over-powered, like a permanent rune spell. Maybe one of the more powerful clan treasures, but certainly not something easy to do, like "summon cult spirit, bind it, auto-plough!".

or maybe it is the explanation of what do npc with their runepool: they use it to summon / enchant / maintain the cult spirits in their tasks

maybe all these spirits are "included" in the harvest result (or other non adventurous activity). Without them, without your community runepool, the harvest result may be lower than the rules said.

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9 hours ago, David Scott said:

Usual Cult spirits are those that aren't any that fit into Spirit of Vengence, Allied spirit, specifically detailed cult spirits.

I'm a bit suspicious about having to rely on an upcoming sourcebook being "exhausive" enough that it lets us know what spell to use on a given spirit based on its description (or lack thereof). As RQ text often says, the rules can't predict everything the players will throw at it, so they need to provide just enough info for the GM to make rulings.

Would it be correct to say that, as a rule of thumb, any spirit that plays the role of an "unnamed cameo" can be called with Summon Cult Spirit, and anything more important or recurring than that probably has a dedicated spell?

Also, do you play Summon Cult Spirit as a spirit-roulette thing where you don't necessarily know what you'll get, or do you allow players to request a particular spirit? For instance, you're in a forest and the Ernalda priestess asks for a cult spirit... does the GM randomly decide what it'll be between, say, a mushroom spirit, small mound spirit, or rabbit spirit? Or can the player say "I specifically want a rabbit spirit"?

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You're absolutely right with this

10 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I'm a bit suspicious about having to rely on an upcoming sourcebook being "exhausive" enough that it lets us know what spell to use on a given spirit based on its description (or lack thereof).

10 hours ago, lordabdul said:

As RQ text often says, the rules can't predict everything the players will throw at it, so they need to provide just enough info for the GM to make rulings.

I see it as guidance. Most of it is very straightforward and should sort out what are the cult spirits of "x" like.

10 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Would it be correct to say that, as a rule of thumb, any spirit that plays the role of an "unnamed cameo" can be called with Summon Cult Spirit, and anything more important or recurring than that probably has a dedicated spell?

Yes! That's how I see it.

10 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Also, do you play Summon Cult Spirit as a spirit-roulette thing where you don't necessarily know what you'll get, or do you allow players to request a particular spirit?

I always look at the story and the context, sometimes random is fun, sometimes the exact thing is better. For example do they meditate for the casting bonus? What's the MGF?

10 hours ago, lordabdul said:

For instance, you're in a forest and the Ernalda priestess asks for a cult spirit... does the GM randomly decide what it'll be between, say, a mushroom spirit, small mound spirit, or rabbit spirit? Or can the player say "I specifically want a rabbit spirit"?

See above. I also think you have to be careful here or some GMs will start crafting tables for this kind of event.

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20 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

I meant only the one power.  Simply giving suggestions for a choice!

Absolutely, I don't have an objection to these things existing, they're great! I just mean, it's not a "standard thing" that everyone does, not IMG anyway.

18 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

maybe all these spirits are "included" in the harvest result (or other non adventurous activity). Without them, without your community runepool, the harvest result may be lower than the rules said.

Sure, it's an option. I'm a little reticent to go down that road, mostly because it's so easy to extrapolate "hey therefore I can have a self-driving chariot, a flying shield to ride on, and you're being unfair and inconsistent not allowing me if that guy has a self-ploughing plough".

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8 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Sure, it's an option. I'm a little reticent to go down that road, mostly because it's so easy to extrapolate "hey therefore I can have a self-driving chariot, a flying shield to ride on, and you're being unfair and inconsistent not allowing me if that guy has a self-ploughing plough".

Understood, but it would also (IMG anyway) mean that if they were taken off the tula the clan would be significantly weakened, & therefore the Ring would be unlikely to permit it.  I doubt that the plough would be seen as personal property, either. 

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14 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Would it be correct to say that, as a rule of thumb, any spirit that plays the role of an "unnamed cameo" can be called with Summon Cult Spirit, and anything more important or recurring than that probably has a dedicated spell?

Not sure though - you can Summon something as hefty as a Thunder Brother with just a big Summon Cult Spirit. Fairly few spirits have dedicated spells for them.

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

Sure, it's an option. I'm a little reticent to go down that road, mostly because it's so easy to extrapolate "hey therefore I can have a self-driving chariot, a flying shield to ride on, and you're being unfair and inconsistent not allowing me if that guy has a self-ploughing plough".

haha

no it wasn't my idea. I was more on the farmers asking for Ernalda to send a spirit to "improve" what they (the worshipper) do, to "bless" what they (the worshippers) do.

I don't see cult spirits (the generic form) as allied spirit (the specific form) : they work for their deity, not for their ally. They are not here to obey the summoner but to do what they know like "protect the field from intruders (aka vermin, parasite)", "clean the field (aka versus  weed)", "stabilize the soil from erosion", "let the plough sharp enough and never broken"... "let nice little flowers brighten up the farmers day"

A wind cult spirit may be here to play music in the temple, ventilate some close rooms to avoid any rot and bad odors, etc...

nothing important for our "heroes" gameplay but important for the balance of the world.

Of course a  pc could summon a spirit for a specific task, but very specific and apropriate for the deity. Like summoning a "butterfly" and asking it to repeat to its god something, hoping that a priest somewhere will have a dream and send some giant eagles to save the pc. But the spirit is the butterfly, not the eagles

 

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5 hours ago, David Scott said:

See above. I also think you have to be careful here or some GMs will start crafting tables for this kind of event.

Thanks!  But hey tables are fun sometimes 😄

"Earth Pantheon Spirit Occurrences and Demographics Relationships to Ecosystems of Western Kethaela : A Study in Statistical Summoning" (by Vahrenis el-Dir & Ockert the Delicate, published 849 in the Journal of Immaterial Sciences, issue #78)

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Not sure though - you can Summon something as hefty as a Thunder Brother with just a big Summon Cult Spirit. Fairly few spirits have dedicated spells for them.

@David Scott indicated that anything that has a write-up as a cult spirit would have a dedicated spell? So Thunder Brothers would have a "Summon Thunder Brother" spell?

The text from RQG Bestiary p185 is:

"Summoning such a Thunder Brother is a 4-point Summon Cult Spirit Rune spell of the Orlanth Thunderous cult."

It's maybe misleading but I think it is semi-implying that this spell would be a *specific* version of the Summon Cult Spirit spell, like Summon Elemental. The reason I think that is that it clearly says that it's for the Orlanth Thunderous cult, and it doesn't make sense to restrict a particular usage of a common magic spell to a single cult -- so it has to be a specialized spell I think?   Of course, the Orlanth Thunderous cult write-up in RQG doesn't have "Summon Thunder Brother" in its Rune magic list so this opens up a bit of a can of worm, although I would give it a pass for specific spirit summoning spells, since there could be anything the GM and players can think of in there.

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9 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

 

@David Scott indicated that anything that has a write-up as a cult spirit would have a dedicated spell? So Thunder Brothers would have a "Summon Thunder Brother" spell?

The text from RQG Bestiary p185 is:

"Summoning such a Thunder Brother is a 4-point Summon Cult Spirit Rune spell of the Orlanth Thunderous cult."

It's maybe misleading but I think it is semi-implying that this spell would be a *specific* version of the Summon Cult Spirit spell, like Summon Elemental. The reason I think that is that it clearly says that it's for the Orlanth Thunderous cult, and it doesn't make sense to restrict a particular usage of a common magic spell to a single cult -- so it has to be a specialized spell I think?   Of course, the Orlanth Thunderous cult write-up in RQG doesn't have "Summon Thunder Brother" in its Rune magic list so this opens up a bit of a can of worm, although I would give it a pass for specific spirit summoning spells, since there could be anything the GM and players can think of in there.

I think it makes sense that a certain Cult spirit could only be available to a particular subcult (the same way only Thunderous gets bigger elementals, and Adventurous can’t even Command them). I did have the same thought you did here, especially as Summon Cult Spirit only goes to 3 as listed, but it also says it’s a Summon Cult Spirit spell, and the theoretical specialist spell doesn’t actually exist anywhere.

I think it’s also MGF if it doesn’t require a known spell slot - how often are you going to make this particular summons, after all? Would you really commit a slot to it?

Edited by Akhôrahil
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10 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

"Summoning such a Thunder Brother is a 4-point Summon Cult Spirit Rune spell of the Orlanth Thunderous cult."

It's maybe misleading but I think it is semi-implying that this spell would be a *specific* version of the Summon Cult Spirit spell, like Summon Elemental.

Yes I think so.

Quote

Of course, the Orlanth Thunderous cult write-up in RQG doesn't have "Summon Thunder Brother" in its Rune magic list so this opens up a bit of a can of worm,

Well the core rules don't have stats for Thunder Brothers. I have no objection to new stuff being introduced that didn't make sense to include in the limited write-ups in the core rules.

1 minute ago, Akhôrahil said:

I think it’s also MGF if it doesn’t require a known spell slot - how often are you going to make this particular summons, after all?

There's no hard limit on "known spell slots", but it's a fair point that it's a niche ability. I might let an Orlanth Thunderous adventurer have a go to summon one with 4 points of Summon Cult Spirit. As others have suggested, maybe a Devotion roll to get exactly what they want.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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23 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

There could be a lot of fun stories here - "Vargast was so dedicated to his plowing that after he died at his favorite plough before the season's plowing was complete, his spirit took up residence in the plough so that he could finish the job and then do it forever. Remember to paint the eyes on it every season, so that it can see where it's going. You have to be of his kin in order to use it, though - Ashart the Orlkarling tried to anyway, and it turned on him and almost cut his foot off!"

That is a great idea and well within the realm of Gloranthan possibility!

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Snake Daughter says "They can be summoned as Cult Spirits by various Earth Cults such as Ernalda and Maran Gor, requiring at least 4 Rune points." This doesn't even indicate a separate spell (except for 4 points being more than the baseline spell allows, but at this point I'm reading that as just a suggestion).

The "at least" part is intersting, though - presumably it means that the statblock in the Bestiary is for the 4-point variant but that there are bigger ones yet for a higher cost?

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21 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Snake Daughter says "They can be summoned as Cult Spirits by various Earth Cults such as Ernalda and Maran Gor, requiring at least 4 Rune points." This doesn't even indicate a separate spell (except for 4 points being more than the baseline spell allows, but at this point I'm reading that as just a suggestion).

The "at least" part is intersting, though - presumably it means that the statblock in the Bestiary is for the 4-point variant but that there are bigger ones yet for a higher cost?

You need to be an Ernalda, Eiritha, or Maran Gor priestess to get the spell and 4 points is a biggie. There's a bigger type - the Queen. See Nomad Gods, page 52. The Queen is actually snake-headed. There's likely much more than just using the Rune spell to get a Queen. These are special creatures, found only in the Paps and Prax, so beyond a Bestiary entry.

EARTH_SERPENT_GUARDIANS.png.7a3886168de2a3b92bdf30bc5e54ff63.png

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

I think it’s also MGF if it doesn’t require a known spell slot - how often are you going to make this particular summons, after all? Would you really commit a slot to it?

You mean, as opposed to "commit a slot" for, say, Alter Creature, Bless Pregnancy, Call Founder, Matrix Creation, Oath, and other spells that I would only imagine using once every few adventures at most? Yes. Yes I would "commit a slot" to summoning super-powered elementals to kick ass.

Also:

  1. There are not "slots" to commit. You can have as many Rune Spells as you want, given time.
  2. We are talking about a 4 point Rune Spell. This is obviously for Rune Lord type people. Now look at the Orlanth Thunderous cult: in its rulebook short write-up, it has 8 Rune Spells. So by the time you get 8 Rune Points in that cult, you've already got all the "normal" special spells... when you sacrifice for more Rune Points, you'll start looking into "special special" spells (and possibly a bit earlier than that if there are spells you don't care about). A typical Wind Lord or Storm Voice has a dozen Rune Points. So yeah, they might look into these obscure cult summonings. As you gain experience, you go higher into the mountains to seek deeper secrets!
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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

I might let an Orlanth Thunderous adventurer have a go to summon one with 4 points of Summon Cult Spirit. As others have suggested, maybe a Devotion roll to get exactly what they want.

I still like the idea of the basic/common spell being more or less random or at the GM's discretion, but I agree that an extra roll of sorts could give the player a bit of agency and control to get a taste of what spending the POW point on a specific spell could give them. I would have gone with a Cult Lore skill roll instead of a Devotion roll, but I can see how Devotion can work too -- in fact, I think maybe it actually makes a bit more sense than Cult Lore!

If I was a mean GM (it happens sometimes) I might even require 2 rolls: one to "push" the limits of the common spell (past the 3 points upper limit), and one to "ask nicely" for a specific spirit (instead of any random/GM-decided 4-point spirit.... although I guess any 4-point spirit is going to kick ass so the player would probably enjoy whatever ends up showing up)

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4 hours ago, lordabdul said:

There are not "slots" to commit. You can have as many Rune Spells as you want, given time

Sufficient time (or money) is certainly a resource - given time, you can also have all the POW you want, yet people seem to consider them a resource...

4 hours ago, lordabdul said:

We are talking about a 4 point Rune Spell. This is obviously for Rune Lord type people. Now look at the Orlanth Thunderous cult: in its rulebook short write-up, it has 8 Rune Spells. So by the time you get 8 Rune Points in that cult, you've already got all the "normal" special spells

Those are just the Thunderous-specific ones. Apart from those, you have the rest of Orlanth Rune spells, any other Orlanth subcults, any associated cult, and so on. You will not run out.

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11 hours ago, lordabdul said:

It's maybe misleading but I think it is semi-implying that this spell would be a *specific* version of the Summon Cult Spirit spell, like Summon Elemental. The reason I think that is that it clearly says that it's for the Orlanth Thunderous cult, and it doesn't make sense to restrict a particular usage of a common magic spell to a single cult -- so it has to be a specialized spell I think?   Of course, the Orlanth Thunderous cult write-up in RQG doesn't have "Summon Thunder Brother" in its Rune magic list so this opens up a bit of a can of worm, although I would give it a pass for specific spirit summoning spells, since there could be anything the GM and players can think of in there.

Take into account the side-bar (page 330, RQ:RiG) for Heal Wound, another "common" Rune spell (emphasis is mine).

Quote

Each cult’s version of Heal Wound is subtly different.

For some examples, Humakt’s Heal Wound uses Death or Truth to mortify the wounded flesh so that the injury can be denied or ignored. It always leaves painful scarring. Ernalda’s Heal Wound uses Fertility or Harmony to knit the wounded flesh back together without scarring or pain. Orlanth’s Heal Wound uses Air to bring enough breath to the victim that it simply overpowers the wound.

So it may mean that Summon Cult Spirit (or ANY "common" Rune spell) can also differ per cult, the Orlanth Thunderous variant allows for "Thunder Brother" to be a target. Variation partly based upon the cult primary Runes.

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7 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Those are just the Thunderous-specific ones. Apart from those, you have the rest of Orlanth Rune spells, any other Orlanth subcults, any associated cult, and so on. You will not run out.

Nope, that was for all the Orlanth ones:  Thunderous's spells repeat the elemental ones, for instance, to mention that they allow casting them at higher levels... I didn't double-count them. I did not however count the associated cult spells, you're right. But still, I wouldn't be worried about "too many spells" -- that's actually a weird thing to worry about 🙂  But hey as long as you're consistent, you can play those cult spirit spells any way you want -- I already gave some advice to play it the other way.

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Oops, just spotted this.

On 5/4/2021 at 4:20 PM, lordabdul said:

 

@David Scott indicated that anything that has a write-up as a cult spirit would have a dedicated spell? So Thunder Brothers would have a "Summon Thunder Brother" spell?

The text from RQG Bestiary p185 is:

"Summoning such a Thunder Brother is a 4-point Summon Cult Spirit Rune spell of the Orlanth Thunderous cult."

It's maybe misleading but I think it is semi-implying that this spell would be a *specific* version of the Summon Cult Spirit spell, like Summon Elemental. The reason I think that is that it clearly says that it's for the Orlanth Thunderous cult, and it doesn't make sense to restrict a particular usage of a common magic spell to a single cult -- so it has to be a specialized spell I think?   Of course, the Orlanth Thunderous cult write-up in RQG doesn't have "Summon Thunder Brother" in its Rune magic list so this opens up a bit of a can of worm, although I would give it a pass for specific spirit summoning spells, since there could be anything the GM and players can think of in there.

The Thunder Brothers are a common subcult of Orlanth, so it's likely that's where you can learn the spell. There are likely loads of regional subcults / hero cults where you can learn odd magics. So there are loads of specific summoning spells. There is also guidance for making up your own Rune spells on pages 348-349. 

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