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Simplifying Gloranthan magic


Mark Mohrfield

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Probably so.  I think there's some legacy baggage where they came up with a good mechanic for Affinities, then decided to make things crunchier in an ad hoc manner, hence spirit magic and sorcery -- and mysticism, my goodness -- had to be different for the sake for being different.

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7 hours ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

So far all editions of Hero Wars/HeroQuest/Questworlds have mechanically distinguished between the different forms of Gloranthan magic. I'm thinking it may be better to simply use exactly the same game mechanics for all of them. Any thoughts?

That's how I do it.

Someone with Chalana Arroy 10M (Sleep) is functionally the same as someone with Seven Mothers 10M (Madness), Grimoire of Dreams 10M (Force Sleep) or Satyr 10M (Song of Sleeping). The only difference is the effect of the spell, if you want to narrate them.

I can't be doing with nonsense such as "Spirit/Common Magic can only be used to augment" and that kind of thing.

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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Yeah, I basically treat all magic as mechanically pretty much the same, though for some credibility tests I do emphasize the difference a little, like sorcery being slow but very open to tinkering and rune magic having somewhat stronger effects than the other two forms.

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20 hours ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

So far all editions of Hero Wars/HeroQuest/Questworlds have mechanically distinguished between the different forms of Gloranthan magic. I'm thinking it may be better to simply use exactly the same game mechanics for all of them. Any thoughts?

I do not mechanically differentiate them, but they function off of different keywords.

Rune magic is always an ability based on the relevant Rune keyword.

I package sorcery as a grimoire, which is a keyword, and then the spells are abilities under that.

I generally play Spirit magic as isolated abilities (though could be under another keyword like a Spirit Tradition).

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Arguably that is a mechanical differentiation, but by way of restricting how "packaging" works, rather than introducing entire new apparatuses for each.  Which I personally think is the enlightened/obvious compromise (thank you, Karallan!) based on the way past HW/HQ/QW treatments have tackled it.

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14 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Rune magic is always an ability based on the relevant Rune keyword.

For me, Rune Magic could be part of the Rune Keyword or the Cult Keyword. Same with some Common/Spirit Magic, Bladesharp could come under Humakt or Death, for example.

14 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I package sorcery as a grimoire, which is a keyword, and then the spells are abilities under that.

Yes, that's how I do it.

14 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I generally play Spirit magic as isolated abilities (though could be under another keyword like a Spirit Tradition).

I very rarely use isolated abilities.

Far better to put Spirit Magic spells under cult keywords, Rune keywords, Tradition keywords or even Culture keywords. I would even have a Common Magic or Spirit Magic keyword with spells as Breakouts, but, for me, never as isolated abilities.

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 hours ago, soltakss said:

Far better to put Spirit Magic spells under cult keywords, Rune keywords, Tradition keywords or even Culture keywords. I would even have a Common Magic or Spirit Magic keyword with spells as Breakouts, but, for me, never as isolated abilities.

Those approaches all work.  I tend to be very flexible with my players in that regard.  And unless it's something prominent, most RQ-type spirit magics tend to be rolled into one of the keywords - not worth calling out.

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On 1/14/2022 at 1:16 AM, Mark Mohrfield said:

So far all editions of Hero Wars/HeroQuest/Questworlds have mechanically distinguished between the different forms of Gloranthan magic. I'm thinking it may be better to simply use exactly the same game mechanics for all of them. Any thoughts?

I can only speak for HeroQuest Glorantha, but we did try to make sure the mechanics were the same even if the narrative clothing was different.

Generally Magic hung off a Rune (Keyword), tied to 

Law for sorcery - something you know (spells from Grimoires)

Spirit for charms - something you have (charms from items)

specific Rune for theistic magic - something you are (freeform)

The next level down is Grimoire, Tradition, Cult. Never a value, effectively transparent. However Cult or Tradition could be a Culture (Keyword), but it then always viewed as a relationship, not a magic)

Then below that were the specific effects, spells, charms, feats as breakouts.

The other standardisation was 1W to formally join a magic group (Grimoire, Tradition, Cult) and 11W to become a shaman, sorcerer or devotee.

Then it's down to variations as you can for example hang spells and charms off your occupation (Keyword) and rarely Culture (Keyword). That's why the pregens did not appear consistent (to show other ways of doing it). The complexity comes when individuals are members of complex groups see building Makor the Strong or Jorjar Latish or complex cults with sub rune like the Seven Mothers. Look at Jorjar, who has two specific abilities hung of Law and a set of spells, plus cult of Pavis as a Community.

Personally I wouldn't change the ability of players to hang magic from different places as it makes for interesting hereos.

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5 hours ago, David Scott said:

Personally I wouldn't change the ability of players to hang magic from different places as it makes for interesting hereos.

Very much agree.  You don't want every PC to be a random-looking assemblage of magical spare parts, so the concepts (runes, grimoires, traditions) and models for how to translate them into QW are very handy.  But you certainly want to allow scope for One Unique Things, quirks, and such points of difference.  Possibly even people who "repackage" their magical abilities in different ways, not that I have a great example of that off the cuff.

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9 hours ago, David Scott said:

I can only speak for HeroQuest Glorantha, but we did try to make sure the mechanics were the same even if the narrative clothing was different.

There are still a few instances of rules differentiation. Spirit Magic strikes me as being too complicated with all it's circumstantial bonuses, for example.

Quote

Personally I wouldn't change the ability of players to hang magic from different places as it makes for interesting hereos.

That I agree with.

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35 minutes ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

There are still a few instances of rules differentiation. Spirit Magic strikes me as being too complicated with all it's circumstantial bonuses, for example.

What circumstantial bonuses?

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11 hours ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

There are still a few instances of rules differentiation. Spirit Magic strikes me as being too complicated with all it's circumstantial bonuses, for example.

Tbh we never used them. If I has writing that now I'd remove them.

11 hours ago, Richard S. said:

What circumstantial bonuses?

HQG pages 136-7: Once per session you can release a spirit for +3, shamans +9

and remove the The spirit is also released from its charm when you suffer a Complete Defeat on a Major Defeat, you can’t draw on the spirit again until the next session, as it must undertake a time-consuming journey back to the charm from its original home in the Spirit World.

Likewise I justused the normal Consequences of defeat.

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Search the Glorantha Resource Site: https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com. Search the Glorantha mailing list archives: https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/

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