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Enchantments made according to the spell lists in RQG - who can make them, how many are there?


Joerg

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The current thinking about enchantments - magical items created by investing personal POW into creating a permanently available magic - appears to restrict making these to the magic specialists, aka Rune Levels or their equivalent in shamanism or sorcery.

Now all these rune levels already have plenty things to spend their POW on, be it rune points for theists, the fetch for shamans, or inscribed spells for sorcerers. Additionally, there is the requirement to have 18 points of POW to remain an active priest, which makes spending one of the possible three points of POW exceeding that number (for humans) quite a big deal. (It is possible to invite other people to invest the extra POW, but one POW for each process of enchanting an item needs to come from the enchanter).

So, what would be the motivation of a rune level - somebody who generally has the responsibility to pay back her supporting community for the material and magical support they give her - to sit down and create something consuming her soul?

One occasion might be retirement from the post. The old priestess may wish to leave a legacy to her temple, and create a powerful item associated with her name, leaving her below the requirements to remain a priest - something she didn't intend to do anyway. The item would be added to that temple's arsenal of magical items, possibly traded for political or economic support, or for some kind of item the cult couldn't produce themselves.

 

I expect something like a slightly re-worked version of the RQ3 enchantment rules to be published in one of the future GM guides. One of those things may be user conditions - such as "must be a member of the ... temple". Anybody who would be lent this item would have to make a sacred obligation to that temple, though maybe not an initiation to the cult. Attend the worship (in case of doubt by proxy), provide protection, regularly send a votive figure and someone to offer magic in your stead, build a new temple wing... you know the ways.

 

 It gets thornier when player characters start pulling up community support to create very powerful items for themselves using the POW of community members. The RQG economics have no way to model the commitment such community members give to the character, and what the character has to give back in return. This will of course vary from GM to GM along with the general understanding of said economics and social implications.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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1 hour ago, Godlearner said:

Except that Rune Levels get a +20% to their POW gain rolls.

Yes, but they are still limited to the species maximum (excluding gifts or heroquest boons).

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

So, what would be the motivation of a rune level - somebody who generally has the responsibility to pay back her supporting community for the material and magical support they give her - to sit down and create something consuming her soul?

Since only one point of POW has to be provided by the caster of the enchantment, it seems reasonable to assume that in many cases, the Rune Level will try get away with the minimum investment, while getting others to stand for the rest (volunteering or getting strong-armed). Since you can do this as long as you start out with POW 19+, it shouldn't be all that uncommon. The enchanter probably prefers to make a few larger ones than many small for that reason.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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11 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Since only one point of POW has to be provided by the caster of the enchantment, it seems reasonable to assume that in many cases, the Rune Level will try get away with the minimum investment, while getting others to stand for the rest (volunteering or getting strong-armed).

I've been thinking about these same spell mechanics in the context of Fonrit, and wondering if Fonritian slavers don't have magic that lets them offload all the POW costs of enchanting onto their slaves.

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5 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

I've been thinking about these same spell mechanics in the context of Fonrit, and wondering if Fonritian slavers don't have magic that lets them offload all the POW costs of enchanting onto their slaves.

This leads into a complicated discussion of "voluntary", that I don't think the game provides the answers for.

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51 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

I've been thinking about these same spell mechanics in the context of Fonrit, and wondering if Fonritian slavers don't have magic that lets them offload all the POW costs of enchanting onto their slaves.

44 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

This leads into a complicated discussion of "voluntary", that I don't think the game provides the answers for.

I think in general it has to be voluntary, but Fonrit may have specific ways around that problem.

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40 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

I wonder how Gustbran (and potentially other crafter cults) affect this, since his initiates are able to cast enchantments.

Something of a concern for me in at least one game given that I've already created a home brew version of Gustbran for a Redsmith character. 

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

 It gets thornier when player characters start pulling up community support to create very powerful items for themselves using the POW of community members. The RQG economics have no way to model the commitment such community members give to the character, and what the character has to give back in return. 

The whole communal aspect becomes tricky even if there aren’t PCs messing with it. A clan has hundreds of POW per generation to spend, and might be able to call on a couple of thousands from clan members in an emergency. A clan that taps even a small part of this for enchantments will build up huge magical treasures over the decades, and an item like a 100 point Thunderbolt matrix is both quite achievable and devastating in clan wars.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

The whole communal aspect becomes tricky even if there aren’t PCs messing with it. A clan has hundreds of POW per generation to spend, and might be able to call on a couple of thousands from clan members in an emergency. A clan that taps even a small part of this for enchantments will build up huge magical treasures over the decades, and an item like a 100 point Thunderbolt matrix is both quite achievable and devastating in clan wars.

Channeling this POW through the Wyter for truly awesome uses of mass rune magic offers a different outlet, though. This seems to be the way Pelorian theists fuel much of their theist magic.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Channeling this POW through the Wyter for truly awesome uses of mass rune magic offers a different outlet, though. This seems to be the way Pelorian theists fuel much of their theist magic.

True, but every player knows there's a huge difference between one-use and reusable magic.

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On 7/31/2021 at 5:41 PM, Joerg said:

to sit down and create something consuming her soul?

to embody their lifeforce into something permanent that honors their god.

20 hours ago, Richard S. said:

I wonder how Gustbran (and potentially other crafter cults) affect this, since his initiates are able to cast enchantments.

Adventurer turns up with a pile of (Rune) metal at the appropriate smith, needs it enchanted. Smith is paid to cast Enchant (Rune metal) and uses only one point of POW, the adventurer supplies the rest. This is especially important for conditions and as only 10 ENC of armour would be covered and a full set of plate is 11 ENC (2+5+2+2), I would expect the adventurer to add two POW in this case (only wearable by a cult member) for a total of 3 POW

I'm not really sure what the problem is with this. As the caster gets paid(200L/pt), and it's the duty of Rune levels to cast magic on the behest of their initiates (resources not withstanding).

Edited by David Scott
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20 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yes, but they are still limited to the species maximum (excluding gifts or heroquest boons).

So what? Keeping their POW at 18 they have a 35% to increase If they do, they make an Enchantment. Under the RQG rules there is no change to fail.

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18 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

The whole communal aspect becomes tricky even if there aren’t PCs messing with it. A clan has hundreds of POW per generation to spend, and might be able to call on a couple of thousands from clan members in an emergency.

If you want it to be like that in your Glorantha, then great. You are however under no compulsion to extrapolate this conclusion from the rules that are written to give a framework for running adventures.

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The root problem is the POW economy

As @Akhôrahil said, there are a lot of POW gain by a community in a year.

Now we have the scenarios (I used only the chaosium publication, and the runic status people to define my thoughts)

How can be used this pow ?

  • sacrifice for runes pool, yes but... published characters have not a lot of  RP so ... no
  • creating a very stong enchantment... mmm the "legendary" objects (the sword in griffin mountains, the different artefacts in sun county, etc...) are important that's true, but a group of PC may create this level of enchantment. Creating one 20POW is relatively easy if you are 5 regulars PC so the sun county community would be able to provide five orbs a season if they want... but they don't

Or maybe something not in the rules for players, something that "basic" (no offense) people do in glorantha

My main point then is "Devotion"

You may sacrifice POW to a god, a spirit, a ... what you want... because your child /  husband / wife / parent / friends are alive after a big issue and you want to thanks the entity (you believe) who saved them

You may sacrifice POW to a god because you did things wrong (secret or not) and you hope your god will accept your soul in the right place

You may sacrice POW to a lower enteiy (a wyter, a local spirit, things like that, maybe heroquesters)  to provide it enough energy to do the job you expect

or maybe you are a "holy" person, and now you retired you want to let to your community some advantage and create a matrix (as said in this post)

or maybe you are a cautious person, and you keep your pow/soul because you fear what you will meet in the next world (or this one)

 

so now our glorantha may vary about this.

Personaly I like to offer my players the option to lose POW for.... nothing

and this nothing is not really nothing: they may gain :

+10 in passion (devotion, loyalty, etc...)

some bonus when they will interact with the entity (or the community)

just because it was a gift and not a trade

 

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On 7/31/2021 at 9:41 AM, Joerg said:

So, what would be the motivation of a rune level - somebody who generally has the responsibility to pay back her supporting community for the material and magical support they give her - to sit down and create something consuming her soul?

The motivation is simple: that's her job. If the chieftain or high priest or king or whoever comes over to some priest and says "hey we need a cool new magical object", then she has to make that cool magical object. It could be to replace a previous lost magical object, or it could be to grow the tribe's magical loot, or it could be for an important gift to an allied king, or to give to a recently promoted thane, or whatever. But that's her job.

What I think your real question is, rather, is "how does she do her job when she has to maintain POW 18 or lose that job". Basically, there is a conundrum between the job requiring spending POW, and the job requiring keeping POW.

I think the answer is two-fold: (1) take it slow, and (2) let the Rune Lords do it.

Take it slow

We can probably assume that Rune Priests get a POW gain roll every season, on account of leading many worship ceremonies and dealing with spirits, among other things. So whenever a Rune Priest drops from POW 19 to 18, they have a 92% chance of gaining that POW point back within the following year (6 seasons), and 72% chance of gaining it back in half that time (3 seasons). I think there's a good chance this Rune Priest can afford to sacrifice POW a couple times a year on most years, for whatever reason (enchantment or otherwise). And as mentioned by others, when enchanting items, she's most definitely doing it by leading a ceremony where other people provide all the additional POW going in the item, so she only needs to sacrifice 1 POW.

If you consider a tribe like the Colymar, with a hundred Rune Masters (RQGMA p12), how many are Rune Priests? Let's say a generously low 20. The tribe can therefore have their priests sacrifice, say, half a dozen POW points a year in total without straining their resources, with room left to spend POW for gaining new Rune Points.

Let the Rune Lords do it

If I'm not mistaken, Rune Lords have access to enchantments, but don't need to maintain a POW of 18. Plus, they are most of the time the main clientele for fancy magical objects, so you might as well let them do it!  Let the Rune Priests spend that POW on other stuff.

Edited by lordabdul
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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

The motivation is simple: that's her job. If the chieftain or high priest or king or whoever comes over to some priest and says "hey we need a cool new magical object", then she has to make that cool magical object.

Is it, though? Looking at the two Clearwine Ernalda priestesses we have stats for (Ereneva in the Adventure Book, Daravala in TSR), I don't find any Enchantment spells among either their spirit or rune spells.

There are plenty of things they may need POW for. Including a couple of one use spells they might need to sacrifice for (like the limited Resurrection spell Seal Soul), including unlucky rolls for Divine Intervention, including new rune spells.

 

I suggested that creating a powerful enchantment might be done upon retirement of a priest or priestess, @David Scott did not offer any occasion:

On 8/1/2021 at 12:43 PM, David Scott said:

to embody their lifeforce into something permanent that honors their god.

But yeah, it might be cool to have a high muckety-muck approach a player character rune level with the proposal "hey we need a cool new magical object" and maybe a "Make it so!"

 

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

It could be to replace a previous lost magical object, or it could be to grow the tribe's magical loot, or it could be for an important gift to an allied king, or to give to a recently promoted thane, or whatever. But that's her job.

And a typical use would be "Enchant Metal", which comes fairly cheap. I don't think an allied king would be much impressed by an 11 point magic point matrix, possibly more with the gold torc it was placed in.

 

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

What I think your real question is, rather, is "how does she do her job when she has to maintain POW 18 or lose that job". Basically, there is a conundrum between the job requiring spending POW, and the job requiring keeping POW.

Sooner or later, a priest will end up with a POW of 19 or 20 and the urge to turn it into a rune point. That urge may be overridden by temple dictate every now and then.

I think the consensus is that enchanting an item with more than one point of POW will usually be a community project, with volunteers from the community who may do it for special favors, material gain (selling pieces of your soul may be what keeps you from starving) or from great piety. But then, the same goes for rituals strengthening the wyters a person may be bound to.

 

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

I think the answer is two-fold: (1) take it slow, and (2) let the Rune Lords do it.

That ties in to the question how commonly you would find a rune lord. Wind Lords should be fairly common, but that probably means one in a thousand adults. Some may serve in their clans, others may serve as tribal holy folk for a bunch of clans that don't have their own.

And with a rune spell matrix it has to be a priest(ess) to do the enchantment, as the enchanter has to know the spell. Or, as the Red Book of Magic specifies, "be able to cast that spell". No idea whether holding another item with a matrix for that spell or that spell in a Truestone or having traded for that spell count.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

If you consider a tribe like the Colymar, with a hundred Rune Masters (RQGMA p12), how many are Rune Priests? Let's say a generously low 20. The tribe can therefore have their priests sacrifice, say, half a dozen POW points a year in total without straining their resources, with room left to spend POW for gaining new Rune Points.

That assumes that all the priests in the tribe will take serving the tribe as their top priority, rather than the welfare of their clan, the purposes of their inter-tribal temple, the needs of their champion, etc.

I suppose the Dara Happans can do this this way. The Orlanthi? That's like getting an entire district to accept vaccination. It might happen on a few occasions, but...

 

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Let the Rune Lords do it

If I'm not mistaken, Rune Lords have access to enchantments, but don't need to maintain a POW of 18. Plus, they are most of the time the main clientele for fancy magical objects, so you might as well let them do it!  Let the Rune Priests spend that POW on other stuff.

True, Rune Lords don't have that requirement. For some, like Orlanth and Humakt, because they get that nifty 1D10 Divine Intervention deal, which may cost them some of their POW on occasion. There are Rune Lords who don't get that deal, but how many, and won't they be much more likely to lose considerable amounts of POW? And anyway, Rune Lords are supposed to be out and about, not meditating in a ritual place for days to create items other people want to use.

 

Basically, this comes down to a community (i.e. NPC) POW economy, something the RQG rules don't attempt to simulate. The economy simulation appears to be only applicable to player characters, too.

The replies by the designers and guardians of the rules on how non-adventurers are to be handled usually state that the rules don't attempt to simulate the NPCs, that YGWV, and you should use MGF.

 

So: does anybody need to simulate this? (There could be a worker/resource allotment game leaning on RQG, possibly complementing it, be it in pen&paper or digital form.)

 

I am not going to do a simulation, but I am interested in how GMs plan to handle this.

Hands up if any GM already had a case of Matrix Creation in their game. If it was just an enchant metal, tell us about it, too.

I expect spirit bindings to be more common because of the multiple benefits, but feel free to mention those.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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