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The new Glowline and Lunar magic


Runeblogger

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In RQ2 it is unclear to me, but in RQ3, inside the Glowline the phase of the moon was always Full Moon. However, in The Guide and HeroQuest books this was changed to Half-Full, as is now the case in RQG. But, why was it changed?

A friend of mine is very pro-Lunar, and he often complains how the Lunars have been "massively nerfed" in the current edition in his opinion.聽馃榾聽He also whines about the Madness spell being now a 2-point Rune spell, since it was a 1-point spell in RQ3 (although it was originally a 2-point spell in RQ2!).

But his "complaint" about the new Glowline reaches its zenith with the Cyclical Characteristic聽Rune spell in The Red Book of Magic. According to its description, characters who use this spell within the Glowline do not experience any beneficial effect! This seems counterintuitive. It would be much more powerful if the phase of the moon within the Glowline was always Full Moon. What do you think? Is this spell meant to be used only聽outside the Glowline?

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One of the Lunar virtues is balance. One might say that the "always half full" ruling creates balance. Or better.

Lunar magic always half full means an increase on four days of the week and a decrease on one day.聽

The "full moon inside the Glowline/Glowspot" ruling comes from WBRM/Dragon Pass. There the Lunar cyclical strength was 7 on full moon days, 5 on half moon, 4 on crescent and 3 on dead moons.

IIRC, half strength inside the Glowline was the HQ1 rule (as per ILH2, p.8). To be exact, only characters who had "concentrated" their magic to the Lunar Way received this benefit. Characters who had learned the Secret of their Lunar cult (possibly a form of illumination?) received the bonus of always the full moon's effect.

It can be safely assumed that all the units with cyclical phase in combat or magic would be ones initiated into the secrets of their respective Lunar denominations, hence the regiments receive full bonus.

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45 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Characters who had learned the Secret of their Lunar cult (possibly a form of illumination?) received the bonus of always the full moon's effect.

Thanks, I had missed that. I have only quickly checked the Lunar magic section in the HQ Pavis book.

Perhaps the Red Goddess cult description in the RQG Cults Book will also specify this then.

Read my Runeblog about RuneQuest and Glorantha at:聽http://elruneblog.blogspot.com.es/

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

One of the Lunar virtues is balance. One might say that the "always half full" ruling creates balance. Or better.

One has to wonder if this is philosophically sound, though - everything about the Moon is that it's neither stasis nor free change, but cyclical.

Like it says in Carmina Burana:

"semper crescis
aut decrescis"

The practical benefits of the Glowline are obvious, but it might still have been a mistake from a more mystical standpoint, locking the Moon into stasis. Does this explain things about the Empire is getting messed up? Is it a coincidence that its fall starts at a would-be Temple of the Reaching Moon?

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So I says to myself what does a Post-Weimar Republic retelling of ribald poetry from the beginning of Terra's 2nd millennium CE have to do with the Gloranthan Moon and then I looks, and then I finds....

O Fortuna
Velut luna
Statu variabilis
Semper crescis
Aut decrescis;
Vita detestabilis
Nunc obdurat
Et tunc curat
Ludo mentis aciem,

O Fortune,
like the moon
you are changeable,
ever waxing,
ever waning,
hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;


Well played @Akh么rahil, well played!

Any excuse to listen and post this great tune!

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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2 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

A friend of mine is very pro-Lunar, and he often complains how the Lunars have been "massively nerfed" in the current edition

Your friend is right.聽 In RQG "Standard Campaign" (1625+) the Sartarites are no longer the plucky underdog resistance fighters.聽 Either accept it, or vary your Glorantha.

Edited by Rodney Dangerduck
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56 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Your friend is right.聽 In RQG "Standard Campaign" (1625+) the Sartarites are no longer the plucky underdog resistance fighters.聽 Either accept it, or vary your Glorantha.

By that standard, they were "massively nerfed" in 1992.聽 Or potentially earlier, if IYG you anticipated the plucky underdogs might actually succeed in their Resistance Roll at some point.

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14 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

In RQ2 it is unclear to me, but in RQ3, inside the Glowline the phase of the moon was always Full Moon. However, in The Guide and HeroQuest books this was changed to Half-Full, as is now the case in RQG. But, why was it changed?

Probably because people whinged about how it was impossible to beat the Lunars inside the Glowline.

Personally, I was happy with Lunars getting the full benefit, as that is how it worked, in RQ2, RQ3, WB&RM and Dragon Pass.

In my games, Lunars get the benefit of the Full Moon within the Glowline.

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

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here.聽

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On 12/15/2021 at 7:27 AM, Runeblogger said:

In RQ2 it is unclear to me, but in RQ3, inside the Glowline the phase of the moon was always Full Moon. However, in The Guide and HeroQuest books this was changed to Half-Full, as is now the case in RQG. But, why was it changed?

A friend of mine is very pro-Lunar, and he often complains how the Lunars have been "massively nerfed" in the current edition in his opinion.聽馃榾聽He also whines about the Madness spell being now a 2-point Rune spell, since it was a 1-point spell in RQ3 (although it was originally a 2-point spell in RQ2!).

But his "complaint" about the new Glowline reaches its zenith with the Cyclical Characteristic聽Rune spell in The Red Book of Magic. According to its description, characters who use this spell within the Glowline do not experience any beneficial effect! This seems counterintuitive. It would be much more powerful if the phase of the moon within the Glowline was always Full Moon. What do you think? Is this spell meant to be used only聽outside the Glowline?

I am no fan of the Lunars, but they are a much more punishing and interesting enemy when they have full moon access within the glowline imo.聽 You always know that the middle of the week is when they are going to move, but you can't always guess what they will do next.聽 Without it, the Lunars are pretty nerfed imo, but the RQG rules specifically say on p303 that聽 the moon is only Half-Full within the Glowline.聽 It seems a bit daft, given that the rule purely existed to prevent an HQ rort, and we aren't playing HQ, but there you go...

As to the Cyclical Characteristic Rune Spell, I can't agree with your player's complaint.聽 The spell is for use outside the Glowline as you suggest imo. As to Madness being a 1 point spell, I just looked at Page 43 of Cults of Prax (1979 edition) and Madness was a 2 point spell.聽 BTW I think your friend might be a bit of a power gamer.

Edited by Darius West
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In the Dragon Pass/WBRM there is Argrath's mystical ability to negate the effect of the Glowline or Glowspot on his own and six adjacent hexes. Depending on the day of the week, that can defuse some of the most powerful Lunar units.

It would be interesting to learn how and where the White Bull acquired that ability.

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1 minute ago, Joerg said:

It would be interesting to learn how and where the White Bull acquired that ability.

Argrath creates the Temples of the Reaching Storm, which eat into the Glowline, but they are merely a manifestation of this ability rather than explaining how he obtained it.

Maybe he gained it through HeroQuesting against the Red Emperor.

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

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here.聽

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6 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Argrath creates the Temples of the Reaching Storm, which eat into the Glowline, but they are merely a manifestation of this ability rather than explaining how he obtained it.

I'd be disappointed if that turns out to be little more than a Glowline denial effect. A permanent Dead/Dying effect might be interesting, but something to boost Storm magic might be preferable.

Edited by Joerg

Telling how it is excessive verbis

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3 hours ago, soltakss said:

Argrath creates the Temples of the Reaching Storm, which eat into the Glowline, but they are merely a manifestation of this ability rather than explaining how he obtained it.

Maybe he gained it through HeroQuesting against the Red Emperor.

The Glowline is extended by the huge lumps of moon rock employed as the focus of the temples.聽 If you replace these with sufficiently large Thunderstones, the effect on the Lunar Glowline is predictable and valuable when harnessed by Orlanthi.聽 The first time this was done was in the Temple of the Reaching Moon in Tarsh after its capture, but it is posited that the Household of Death had always intended to do something similar back in 1602.聽 The roll-back of the Glowline persisted throughout the rule of Argrath, and it seems likely that the moon itself declined in power with the decline of the Glowline's reach, or this may have been part of some sort of grand Wane cycle that reached its apogee just before the Dragonrise, and met its nadir with the dismemberment and fall of the moon, but will rise again.聽 At least this is my take on it.

Edited by Darius West
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The Glowline was created by Yara Aranis to mark and hold the borders. Its effect is to maintain Lunar magical constancy within its limits, as if it were always the Half Moon Phase. The Glowline is held and maintained by the seven Temples of the Reaching Moon and numerous shrines to Yara Aranis. Together, they anchor the web that holds the Glowline. The Glowline is not perfectly regular and must struggle to contain the pulsating power of the Red Moon. Sometimes the Glowline expands, sometimes it contracts, and, occasionally, it even blinks out for short periods of time.

Now this was done because Sheng Seleris quickly figured out that all he needed to do to beat Lunar armies was delay battle until the Dying/Black Moon phase and then use his superior mobility to force battle. Normally Lunar magic is only effective three days a week - Full Moon, Empty and Full Half Moons. Four days a week, Lunar magic is underpowered and two days a week it is effectively useless. The Glowline resolves a giant weakness in the Lunar magical system - which is powerful enough. It means that all of the time, all Lunar spells are available and freely stackable.聽

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2 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

Is the lunar cycle's effect 'capped' at Half Moon within the Glowline, or does the power still peak at Full Moon?

Half Moon. That means all Lunar Rune spells are at full effectiveness and the Red Goddess' Lunar magic techniques is limited only by the magician's current Free INT. The only thing given up is the double duration of temporal spells and the ability to go completely nuts with the Lunar magical techniques. That's a pretty small price to pay to get rid of the downsides of the four days of Crescent and Dark phases.

So remember, in Sartar and Prax, Lunar magicians are weaker than their counterparts four days out of seven. And are useless two days in seven. Outside of the Glowline, Lunar military units tend to be very tentative and easily routed except on Full Moon day. So the Glowline means that the Lunar magicians are at full strength seven days a week (just not extra full strength of the Full Moon) and have no day of weakness. Within the Glowline, the superior training and coordination of Lunar magicians means they can usually defeat comparable numbers of comparable opponents - of whom very few exist.

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1 minute ago, Jeff said:

Half Moon. That means all Lunar Rune spells are at full effectiveness and the Red Goddess' Lunar magic techniques is limited only by the magician's current Free INT. The only thing given up is the double duration of temporal spells and the ability to go completely nuts with the Lunar magical techniques. That's a pretty small price to pay to get rid of the downsides of the four days of Crescent and Dark phases.

This is a very practical solution but it is also at odds with the essential changing nature of the divinity. In many ways, the conflict within Lunar faith is how does urbanised civilisation square in the face of such a primordially chaotic deity (who is, also, a little Chaotic). Particularly at issue is the difficulties managing barely-literate chalcolithic city-states under the banner of "all is change" when their indigenous heartland patron city pantheons are largely Solar ones are associated with cosmic order and the neighbors are extremely unfriendly.

Some measure of accommodation must be had to keep the system functioning in the Empire proper.

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34 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Is it a change to the WBRM / Dragon Pass effects? There the Glowline offers the full 7 of the Lunar strength.

Not exactly a change, unless you have a grand unified theory for RQ skirmishers and regimental-scale mass combat...聽 the effect doesn't necessarily scale linearly.聽 Though that'd be the way to bet, absent an explanatory device otherwise...

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42 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

This is a very practical solution but it is also at odds with the essential changing nature of the divinity.

Think of it as a reverse-takeover by the Solar elements.聽 The Yelmies have always thought this whole "cyclic" business was far from ideal, and to the degree they're an influence on the Empire, they'd be happy to trade it in for consistency, especially one with an improvement across the piece.

42 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Some measure of accommodation must be had to keep the system functioning in the Empire proper.

Arguably some measure of accommodation is necessary just to get the concepts "Lunar" and "Empire" into the same noun phrase!

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3 hours ago, Alex said:

Arguably some measure of accommodation is necessary just to get the concepts "Lunar" and "Empire" into the same noun phrase!

I... disagree. You could have a thoroughly Lunar Empire, living according to the demands of the phases of the Goddess, ebbing and flowing by day.

It's just that this is such an alien experience to the existing, massive metropolides and civilisation already existing there that it wasn't going to work. Such a thing would have required a societal collapse or other similar "world"-ending crisis to offer something better than what already existed.

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