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Chalana Arroy, a question or two.


Dirk Le Daring

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3 minutes ago, Manimati said:

Indeed, in contrast to real life, in Glorantha where divination and spirits or reprisal exist, it is no use rationalizing that a given cult initiate should or should be able to do something. The god will quickly let you know whether you are within allowed territory. The only way to escape is illumination. 

There's definitely a level at which either your approach to the myths works and your ritual or heroquest succeeds, or it doesn't.

There are grey areas though. There are some cases where it's all bad options and it's more about choosing the least worst than the one right path. 

Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

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On 9/6/2021 at 12:23 PM, Shiningbrow said:

Pls note I wrote "discussed", not "asked".

And I'm very confused with the "it's none of their business"... Mostly, because it's very much their business.

Our GM said that he would be OK with humans or Ducks, no hostile cults, that is it. We all pitched out ideas to the GM and he said if it was OK or not.

So, there was a discussion with the GM but not with other Players.

On 9/6/2021 at 12:23 PM, Shiningbrow said:

And I'm very confused with the "it's none of their business"... Mostly, because it's very much their business.

When I've played, there's usually a discussion about what ppl will play, so as to ensure everyone will fit in. No Yelmalians with Hate (Trolls) allongside a troll... That sort of thing. 

It also helps people with spell selection... 

I have heard this before from various people and I get it.

I have played in a party where several PCs hated each other, but worked together when they needed to. That adds a certain frisson to the game.

As for spell selection, I don't think I have ever been in a party where we have coordinated spell selection.

I get the spells I want, other people get the spells they want. If that means that everyone has Flight and Shield, then fair enough.

But, yes, I se that it makes sense to optimise spell selection and make sure that we have a fighter, a talker, a healer, a sneaker and a knower in the party, but that is not how I generally do it.

6 hours ago, Darius West said:

That's easy.  If a Chalana Arroy tells you that a fallen enemy is under their protection, then if you attack that person, the Chalana Arroy can cast sleep on you.  Of course, once you are sleeping, you are likely also under the healer's protection.  Of course CAs are not infinite magic point batteries, and can be countermagiced and exhausted of mps, and then there is nothing they can do about you dragging away their patients and slaughtering them.

Yes, that is how I am playing it. If I say that someone is under my protection then nobody else in the party can touch them. If they do then they feel the wrath of a healer, but I have not yet worked out what that means. I do have a little book that I am writing names in, though.

 

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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8 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Yes, that is how I am playing it. If I say that someone is under my protection then nobody else in the party can touch them. If they do then they feel the wrath of a healer, but I have not yet worked out what that means. I do have a little book that I am writing names in, though.

 

If a CA healer in good standing happens to mention that a given person is the sort of dishonourable cur who attacks people under CA protection that person's reputation will suffer and their own cults are likely to take a dim view of them - after all the protection is something any of them could need one day and is only as good as how widely it is recognised and respected.

Words may well be your healer's best weapons. Even a simple "I cannot vouch for this person's honour" in a given interaction will carry huge weight coming from a CA healer.

Edited by TrvShane
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7 minutes ago, soltakss said:

But, yes, I se that it makes sense to optimise spell selection and make sure that we have a fighter, a talker, a healer, a sneaker and a knower in the party, but that is not how I generally do it.

I have said it before, you do allow Your Glorantha to Vary. Keep at it, I mean it has succeeded now for how many decades (as long as I have been following you and that has been decades)? And don’t allow others to tell you that you are doing it wrong!

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2 minutes ago, TrvShane said:

If a CA healer in good standing happens to mention that a given person is the sort of dishonourable cur who attacks people under CA protection that person's reputation will suffer and their own cults are likely to take a dim view of them - after all the protection is something any of them could need one day and is only as good as how widely it is recognised and respected.

Words may well be your healer's best weapons. Even a simple "I cannot vouch fore this person's honour" in a given interaction will carry huge weight coming from a CA healer.

I already Hate several groups of people, form my Family History, for killing Chalana Arroy Healers.

So, I have an idea of which groups of people cannot be trusted and will happily tell people that.

Same with people who do not respect my role as a Healer. Their names go in the book.

4 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

My favourite comments here are the ones that suggest using the grey areas as plot twists, scenario seeds... or hell, simply a great chance to role-play!

"Hey, you can't eat bacon, you are a Healer!"

"Are you a worshipper of Chalana Arroy? have you sworn her sacred oaths? Do you answer to her High Healers? Do you know her sacred doctrine? No? Then how can you tell me what I should and should not do? Anyway, it is mock-bacon, leaves from the Little Pigglee Tree".

 

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www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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4 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

And don’t allow others to tell you that you are doing it wrong!

Oh, I know I am doing it wrong, in many ways, sometimes quite deliberately so. I just don't care.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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2 minutes ago, Baron Wulfraed said:

How would CA consider the Gloranthan equivalent of Venus Flytraps, Sundew, and Pitcher Plants?

Probably not very tasty, but Ok to eat.

People in Cults have established ways of working and would be taught what they can and cannot eat.

The odd worshipper who constantly questions the rules, pushes them and always looks for loopholes either makes for a very bad cultists who won't last long in the cult, or a very good one who founds their own Subcult.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

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13 hours ago, soltakss said:

Yes, that is how I am playing it. If I say that someone is under my protection then nobody else in the party can touch them. If they do then they feel the wrath of a healer, but I have not yet worked out what that means. I do have a little book that I am writing names in, though.

Yeah, idk about you, but given the wrath of a healer generally amounts to a sleep spell, I felt I had to up my CA's game.  She became a loan shark.  I found threatening to call in people's tabs was more effective at crowd control than a sleep spell alone. 😉

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19 hours ago, Jeff said:

It is not just sentience. CA does not eat insects, fish, reptiles, or mammals. Them's the rules going back to Cults of Prax and everything Greg and I have written about her.

Sentience is "the capacity to be aware of feelings and sensations", yes it's often used in science fiction as a synonym of "sapience" but the strict definition includes basically anything with a nervous system. Which is why we so loosely use the word "vegetarian" without intending to include eating Gloranthan elves.

18 hours ago, Godlearner said:

Fine, since you are basing the structure on myth what is the myth which allows CA to kill/eat plants?

Nobody has written it yet. I'm sure there is one, there are thousands of Gloranthan myths for all aspects of everyday life that aren't written up by us yet. Something to do with discovering that it is in the nature of plants to need to travel through a digestive system as part of their life journey maybe, and that eating for plants doesn't mean the same as killing does for animals. Why does that not include elves? Sure, something probably eats elves, and that's probably ok, but it isn't humans or similar species so it's not something most Chalana Arroy should do. Not many Uz worship Chalana Arroy, and if one does, then it's up to the player to come up with their Aldryamivorous philosophical stance.

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  1. There is almost certainly a HeroQuest that let's you become a breatharian, but it probably isn't an easy one, but definitely would get you some reputation.
  2. Trolls would find not eating plants/animals a very easy restriction, just eat rocks. And any troll that made its way into Chalana Arroy, probably has the will power to control their appetite
  3. Eating part of a plant doesn't kill its spirit and unlike an animal, many plants will just keep on growing even if part of it is eaten with very little or no ill effects. So the harm done is minimal or non-existent. This isn't true for Dryads, Runners, Aldryami etc.
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1 hour ago, Martin Dick said:

Eating part of a plant doesn't kill its spirit and unlike an animal, many plants will just keep on growing even if part of it is eaten with very little or no ill effects

Proper Peaceful Cut slaughter doesn't kill the spirit either, and presumably the overwhelming majority of a CA cultist's diet does kill the plant (I don't imagine them as fruitarians), so this can't be the crucial factor.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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5 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Sentience is "the capacity to be aware of feelings and sensations", yes it's often used in science fiction as a synonym of "sapience" but the strict definition includes basically anything with a nervous system. Which is why we so loosely use the word "vegetarian" without intending to include eating Gloranthan elves.

Its more than just elves, there are other intelligent plant and fungus life forms in Glorantha, and what about animated lifeforms, and Mostali? "Vegetarianism" just does not fit in a fantasy type setting, including Glorantha, especially as a dietary restriction. 

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On 9/2/2021 at 12:43 PM, Jeff said:

Nope. Initiates don't fight. At all. ....

Not even Shield. Just Dodge.

If this seems harsh = it is. The worship of the goddess Chalana Arroy is an extremely harsh and prohibitive one in many respects, and especially in the nature of their self-defense. In fact, the cult expressly prohibits the use of any weapons or magic which may damage a part of the world. 

 Jeff, this still leaves me with some basic questions:

1) Could a Chalana Arroy healer (without fear of divine retribution) still pick up a shield - or a staff, say - to protect an injured person, using the item in a solely defensive manner to only parry blows directed at that person? Or would they just have to jump in between the combatants, effectively using their bodies as a shield to protect the injured party from further harm? To my mind either way would still be in keeping with CA precepts as I've understood them up to now. And either way seems like a pretty dramatic moment in a combat situation!

2) While the CA cult does not teach weapon skills (understandably), wouldn't most people have learned at least a taste of the fighting arts as a kid, i.e., before they've realized their calling as a healer? And, more to the point, is it possible for someone who starts out as a warrior to eventually find themselves drawn to Chalana Arroy? A follower of Orlanth Adventurous, for instance, who's become sickened by all the violence and killing in the world and who feels compelled to take the healer's path in response. Seems like an interesting character to me, especially if they still have some of their old Passions that call for something other than a healer's touch in some situations (e.g., Honor).

 

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1 hour ago, Beoferret said:

1) Could a Chalana Arroy healer (without fear of divine retribution) still pick up a shield - or a staff, say - to protect an injured person, using the item in a solely defensive manner to only parry blows directed at that person?

I would say so. There's no real difference between hiding behind a shield and hiding behind a table. It's just an object to put between harm and harm's target. Where it would become tricky is if the attacker misses with a natural weapon and you critical your shield parry and end up breaking their arm. But these corner cases are where the great stories are. I'm glad that it isn't 100% nailed down, because uncertainty allows for more drama.

1 hour ago, Beoferret said:

2) While the CA cult does not teach weapon skills (understandably), wouldn't most people have learned at least a taste of the fighting arts as a kid, i.e., before they've realized their calling as a healer?

Sure, all the cultures get some kind of shield skill. You could even put extra points into it, if you decide that you learned a bit more as a kid watching the warriors practicing.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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1 hour ago, Beoferret said:

1) Could a Chalana Arroy healer (without fear of divine retribution) still pick up a shield - or a staff, say - to protect an injured person, using the item in a solely defensive manner to only parry blows directed at that person? [...] And either way seems like a pretty dramatic moment in a combat situation!

If it sounds fun to you and your players, then MGF: do it!  Plus, I doubt that there will be a CA priest anywhere nearby to say "hey, you! you're not supposed to do that!". Worst case, if you find that kind of stuff dramatic, make a Passion roll or two to see what kind of impulse(s) the character give in to in that situation. And if that sounds like an interesting conflict, have some CA priests indeed get angry when they learn about it.

 

1 hour ago, Beoferret said:

2) While the CA cult does not teach weapon skills (understandably), wouldn't most people have learned at least a taste of the fighting arts as a kid, i.e., before they've realized their calling as a healer? And, more to the point, is it possible for someone who starts out as a warrior to eventually find themselves drawn to Chalana Arroy?

Yes to the first point. That's why you get cultural skill bonuses to things like shield and shortsword or whatever in the character creation. And, again, if the second point sounds fun to you and your players, then MGF: do it!  Sounds like a cool character concept. Note that it would be an outlier in the cult, and PCs are generally exceptions anyway, so that's fine. Good for a memorable NPC too.  They wouldn't be able to use their sword skill in any direct way, but I would allow using it to, say, augment Dodge (when faced with sword-wielding enemies), and other indirect uses like this.

Edited by lordabdul
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4 hours ago, Godlearner said:

"Vegetarianism" just does not fit in a fantasy type setting, including Glorantha,

Not sure about this, why do you think so? Vegetarian seems like a proper trope for any world and it is part of CA restrictions placing it very definitely on the Lozenge. Not a vegetarian but still...

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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I think it's relevant to distinguish between what the cult demands of you and what Chalana Arroy does (and will send Spirits of Retribution for). I could easily imagine a situation where Chalana Arroy just goes "Did you hurt someone? No? Then it's all good, who cares if you're carrying a shield?" while the cult's position is "Shield use? That's an Excommunication!".

The god probably has pretty straightforward demands; the cult makes intricate rulings (which will even differ between different cult organizations).

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7 hours ago, Godlearner said:

Its more than just elves, there are other intelligent plant and fungus life forms in Glorantha, and what about animated lifeforms, and Mostali? "Vegetarianism" just does not fit in a fantasy type setting, including Glorantha, especially as a dietary restriction. 

People in Esrolia as an example rarely or never encounter such things so I don’t think it’s really an issue. 

Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

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Very strict religious vegetarianism can and has existed even in the very distant past, so its presence in one of Glorantha's cults is hardly a modernist departure from reality. Jains have been very strict vegetarians for a very long time, and the general position on it has always been "Do no more harm than is strictly necessary for the sake of survival."

In the case of Jains, that includes the obvious avoidance of meat, but also of root vegetables (since harvesting them usually kills the plant, and also disturbs organisms in the soil, like insects and fungi), unfiltered water (they have a traditional way of filtering the water that's intended to return any tiny organisms back to the water), fungi and yeasts (since they grow in unclean places and so might accrue tiny organisms in them) and fermented foods or, for especially strict Jains, foods that have been stored overnight (for similar reasons as the one prior), just to name a few. And again, they've managed to make that work, even long before modern times where we have access to more and a greater variety of food than any other time in history. So the idea that it's "impossible" or "unrealistic" for Chalanna Arroy worshipers to have a vegetarian diet - one that is probably a fair bit less restrictive than that of Jains, since CA worshipers are probably allowed to eat things like stored or fermented food (since those are the work of magic in Glorantha rather than microorganisms) - doesn't really hold water IMO.

Now, obviously in a place like Prax it's not hard to imagine there may be a circumstance where a Healer is faced with breaking these strictures or starving to death; in that case, the nigh-universal answer religious scholars and authorities have had to this question has pretty much always been to break the stricture. Maybe you'll want to undergo some ritual cleansing or penance afterwards, but self-harm isn't considered better than harming others, and as mentioned above, the general position regarding religious vegetarianism has pretty much always been on minimizing harm as much as possible while keeping yourself alive, not "do no harm or die."

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17 hours ago, Godlearner said:

"Vegetarianism" just does not fit in a fantasy type setting, including Glorantha, especially as a dietary restriction. 

Considering that Glorantha is a cube floating in water, there are walking plant people, widespread spellcasters, rock-eating trolls, and stories about mountains having babies, being vegetarian doesn’t even register on my setting weirdness scale.

I’m genuinely curious what it is about vegetarianism in setting that allows you to accept the more fantastical elements but not that? It’s an interesting place for YGWV to occur.

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Two philosophical thoughts...

First, to what extent is a CA healer obliged to heal someone? To fully heal someone to complete health? Or is the obligation only marginal - sufficient to stop them getting worse? Or somewhere in between?

Second, in RQ3, there was a sorcery spell of Shapechange. Would this have an impact on a CA's diet? If you, for example, Shapechange a rock into a rabbit, could the CA eat it? (Given the new RQG sorcery rules, I'm sure there's a way to do it, which might be different to RQ3 in effect or consequence)

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