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How common is Iron gear?


svensson

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How common is iron gear for Rune levels in your RQG campaigns?

The example Rune levels we're given are all tanked up in full enchanted, tempered iron or Rune-metal gear, but they all have full and total clan support.

But what do down-at-heel adventurers get?

In RQ2 and 3, we were hoarding iron like we were trying to build a battleship because the Pavis area cults were too poor or had such louzy relationships with the Dwarves that they could rarely provide any Rune iron gear.

But things have changed. The Sartar branches of Storm cults generally have a better manufacturing base and economy, not to mention having a decent relationship with Dwarf Mine, so it seems as if iron gear is more common. However, I may very well be wrong here.

Does a newly ordained Sword of Humakt [for example] get a tempered iron sword to transfer his Gifts to?

Edited by svensson
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Not very. I've a few adventurers nearing Rune level and will treat iron items per their cult:

  • Orlanth Wind Lords get an iron sword and rarely iron armour. So yes to a sword, no to armour.
  • Humakt is the same, Swords get an iron sword and rarely iron armour. So yes to a sword, no to armour.
  • Storm Bull Bull priests will be provided with iron armor and weapons by the cult if available. So in my game the adventurer will have to wait until his father dies to inherit his sword and his incomplete set of armour.

These are the only Storm cults that receive any iron equipment.

I've a Seven Mothers initiate in my other game, who would in theory get a free iron helmet, breastplate, and greaves, plus an iron-bound shield and two iron weapons, but considering the climate the game is set in, that's unlikely.

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27 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Not very. I've a few adventurers nearing Rune level and will treat iron items per their cult:

  • Orlanth Wind Lords get an iron sword and rarely iron armour. So yes to a sword, no to armour.
  • Humakt is the same, Swords get an iron sword and rarely iron armour. So yes to a sword, no to armour.
  • Storm Bull Bull priests will be provided with iron armor and weapons by the cult if available. So in my game the adventurer will have to wait until his father dies to inherit his sword and his incomplete set of armour.

These are the only Storm cults that receive any iron equipment.

I've a Seven Mothers initiate in my other game, who would in theory get a free iron helmet, breastplate, and greaves, plus an iron-bound shield and two iron weapons, but considering the climate the game is set in, that's unlikely.

I'm using a similar approach.

If their cult can enchant iron a runelord will get 1 item, probably a weapon. I'd add Babeestor Gor to the list of Storm pantheon cults that provide an item.

Other than that they have to find it themselves or possibly as a reward from their cult/clan/tribe rarely.

With an Empire behind them it makes sense that Seven Mothers runelords be well provided for.

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28 minutes ago, JustAnotherVingan said:

I'd add Babeestor Gor to the list of Storm pantheon cults that provide an item

I didn't look up Babeester Gor as She's in the Earth pantheon, but Axe Maidens receive a complete suit of enchanted copper armor and a copper axe from their temple, no iron. The copper is harder than normal with +5hp/+1ap.

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

I didn't look up Babeester Gor as She's in the Earth pantheon, but Axe Maidens receive a complete suit of enchanted copper armor and a copper axe from their temple, no iron. The copper is harder than normal with +5hp/+1ap.

Ah, doesn't mention that in RQC. The cult does have Enchant Iron.

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I would not expect the Dwarf of Dwarf Run to provide much iron. Isidilian is supposed to be Quicksilver, and even his military help, the Cannon cult uses brass cannons with bound stone projectiles, if I remember right. There will be a few iron dwarfs at Dwarf Run, but I do not expect enough production to supply Dragon Pass.

That means inherited items, captured items, Greatway (through Balazar) or western trade from the Holy Country are the main iron supply source for Dragon Pass. The Lunars have a better trading network with the west, as well as trade with the Jord dwarves. GtG says that the Iron Mountains in Old Seshnela have suppled more than half of the iron available in the surface. So capture from better equipped Lunars is a good option, though one with evident disadvantages. 

For new rune levels I would make them sweat in Dragon Pass, unless they are replacing a lost Rune level and can recover their equipment. If there are already several rune levels in the temple, you may be lucky to get greaves or a single vambrace, and they may expect you to bring your own iron scimitar to reforge as a sword. Things would be easier in the Holy Country, or for Lunars. 

Plenty of adventure hooks, from trading with dwarves to trips to Nochet, with the old favorite looking for a Yanafal Tarnils Scimitar...

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8 hours ago, JRE said:

I would not expect the Dwarf of Dwarf Run to provide much iron.

FWIW according to THE COMING STORM, the Dwarf regularly provides iron to the Cinsina Tribe via the Cold Iron Tribute, allowing them (for a high price) to obtain iron weapons to fight the Telmori. It's stated they have the most iron of any Sartarite tribe and seem to have a LOT. An example PC, a mere initiate of Yinkin, starts with an iron hunting knife and iron tipped arrows (PLURAL!)

If Isdilian gives iron to one tribe, I don't see him never giving it to any others. 

My guess is Isdilian is relatively openhanded (nyuk-nyuk) when it comes to giving humans access to iron.

YGMV

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Indeed, the impact of iron is quite different in Hero Quest than in RQ. I still do not see as typical a Yinkin initiate with a king's ransom in iron, at least in RQ:G.

Not having read The Coming Storm, I will not comment, but RQ:G says: Iron weapons and armor are rare, prized, and extremely valuable, often possessed by only the wealthy or by fortunate adventurers. They are rarely available for sale, and instead are found, won, made to order, or gifted.

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Yeah, I don't see it as "typical." It's a distinguishing feature of the character. But to me it still means iron isn't impossible to find in Dragon Pass and that the Dwarf of Dwarf Run does provide it to humans in certain circumstances.

To address the original question, when I GM I generally gift a new Rune Lord with a single piece of iron if they're from a martial cult, though they have to attune it, so it costs POW (not sure if this is still true in RQG). Over time, IMG players almost always are able to accumulate a full set, usually from adventuring or as rewards from a patron or their cult for completing especially difficult tasks. Pretty much no one is going to sell iron to anyone else though.

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In my Six Seasons based campaign two pcs have reached rune status. One is  Chalana Arroy so no iron there.   No one has been gifted with iron by their cult. One had an ingot as heirloom.   But they have captured some from Lunars.  I suggest that the players will value it more if they fight for it.

 

 

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12 hours ago, David Scott said:

?

This is from the upcoming Cults of Glorantha

In some spaces online, I see a steady (if minority) usage of "RQC" as "RuneQuest Corebook."

fwiw & all that ...

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I can see most warrior cults providing an iron weapon to newly-ordained Rune levels, after all, some cults have both Priests and Lords but Priests still have a reasonable expectation to fight.

But I could see additional iron gear being awarded for further deeds of glory. I mean, when you're giving 9/10ths of your income to the cult, you ought to get something for all those feats of daring-do, right? 😁 Yes, I mean that a little sarcastically, but only a little. More than one newly promoted Rune level has found life both more exciting and a hell of a lot more profitable as an initiate.

I also think that these awards are tempered iron, NOT enchanted iron! Gear with permanent enchantments on them [not spell foci, but actual effects intrinsic to the item or bound spirits in them] requires the expenditure of permanent POW. Remember, in RQG takes a POW of 18 to be ordained as a Rune Priest. The species max POW for humans is 21. That means that any given priest enchanting an item has AT MAXIMUM 3 points of POW to expend on a given enchantment. It's not unreasonable to think that most clergy are going to be seriously reluctant to do that.

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19 minutes ago, svensson said:

I also think that these awards are tempered iron, NOT enchanted iron!

Yes, which also adds in learning Enchant (Iron) as it needs to be learned as special Rune magic (for 100L), unless you get someone else to do it and pay 200 L per point of POW (per W&E page 55).

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On 3/3/2022 at 9:39 AM, svensson said:

How common is iron gear for Rune levels in your RQG campaigns?

It really depends on the GM.

Some GMs say "Iron is incredibly rare and you might only find one or two pieces in your lifetime". Great.

Other GMs have Iron freely available.

Personally, even if Iron is rare, once the Adventurers start killing Iron-Wearing Rune Lords , who do not use Divine Intervention to escape, they have a fairly plentiful supply of iron.

 

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8 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

Leika, Naimless, and Asborn are EXCEPTIONS, not the Runelevel norm. 

I totally agree. First, all of them are INCREDIBLY successful adventurers who've been at it for decades. Secondly, they have the full industrial support of an entire tribe to draw upon. So no, they are definitely not the norm.

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7 hours ago, soltakss said:

Personally, even if Iron is rare, once the Adventurers start killing Iron-Wearing Rune Lords , who do not use Divine Intervention to escape, they have a fairly plentiful supply of iron.

 

Well, then we get back to ransoms and equipment, which is a separate subject.

But yes, it depends on the referee. That's why I asked you guys 😉

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I always think mean is better with player rewards.

Too generous and you've just created a stick for your own back as you have to find a way to challenge your now OP PCs.

The players will also appreciate it more when its hard earned. I remember 1 campaign I played in and after the climax of a particular story my troubadour (this was a C&S campaign in a feudal setting) got a +10% harp. I was so pleased.

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On 3/3/2022 at 2:44 AM, JustAnotherVingan said:

I'm using a similar approach.

If their cult can enchant iron a runelord will get 1 item, probably a weapon. I'd add Babeestor Gor to the list of Storm pantheon cults that provide an item.

Other than that they have to find it themselves or possibly as a reward from their cult/clan/tribe rarely.

With an Empire behind them it makes sense that Seven Mothers runelords be well provided for.

I'd be OK with Babeester Gor getting an iron weapon and copper gear otherwise. Nothing says 'Uz be gone' quite like an Iron great axe... 😆

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On 3/3/2022 at 8:39 PM, svensson said:

How common is iron gear for Rune levels in your RQG campaigns?

The problem with iron in Glorantha is that there just isn't much of it, and what there is generally lies in the hands of someone tougher than you.

On 3/3/2022 at 8:39 PM, svensson said:

The example Rune levels we're given are all tanked up in full enchanted, tempered iron or Rune-metal gear, but they all have full and total clan support.

But what do down-at-heel adventurers get?

Down-at-heels adventurers generally aren't Rune Level, and of course you can't use iron at all until you reach Rune Level.  Your poor rubble crawler might find a piece of iron or two, but they will generally put it into storage for the day (they hope) they make Rune level.

On 3/3/2022 at 8:39 PM, svensson said:

In RQ2 and 3, we were hoarding iron like we were trying to build a battleship because the Pavis area cults were too poor or had such louzy relationships with the Dwarves that they could rarely provide any Rune iron gear.

This sounds about right.  Pavic dwarves don't have access to much iron either imo.

On 3/3/2022 at 8:39 PM, svensson said:

But things have changed. The Sartar branches of Storm cults generally have a better manufacturing base and economy, not to mention having a decent relationship with Dwarf Mine, so it seems as if iron gear is more common. However, I may very well be wrong here.

I take this as being part of RQG and the Lunars amping up their iron access while in occupied Sartar.  This industry is inherited by Argrath's Sartar.

On 3/3/2022 at 8:39 PM, svensson said:

Does a newly ordained Sword of Humakt [for example] get a tempered iron sword to transfer his Gifts to?

I would say, yes, unequivocally, and it forms a central part of their induction as a Sword of Humakt.

Edited by Darius West
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22 hours ago, Darius West said:

;;;;; and of course you can't use iron at all until you reach Rune Level.  ;;;;;;;

 

Rules as written, that's not true.  Anyone can use iron.  

Unenchanted iron  -  is a negative modifier on spell casting, but it's not impossible, just a -5% per ENC modifier.  And it is also a 5% magical defense.  And still a wonder weapon vs. Aldryami, Uz, Telmori.

OK, granted most people are fantastically unlikely to have iron to use.  And getting rune spells cast is expensive, more so when you are asking the caster to use POW: I believe the book standard for cost of  one-time rune spells (as a practical matter the POW sacrifice requirement makes enchantment the same as casting a one-time spell)  is 10x cost of other rune spells.  

But we are talking about Adventurers, not most people.  Picking up an already-enchanted sword or helmet and using / wearing these items is possible.  Especially when you consider that a likely source is battlefield pick ups, and who is on the battlefiled? Adventurers!

And a successful adventurer definitely can have enough money and enough favors at the temple to get iron enchanted.  The POW cost is one point for 10 ENC of iron, see RBOM p.46.  That will cover a broadsword, full helm. heavy scale hauberk, greaves and vambraces.  No one needs to spend 3 POW unless they are mass producing enchanted iron. 

As for a priest not having the extra POW to do it - priests get more and better POW gain opportunities than most folks: a 20% bonus to their rolls (RQiG p.276).   It's their business to have many successful worship rolls.  As presiding priests  they get a POW gain roll for success any holy day, not just for High holy days and Sacred Time, see p.418 RQiG.   So,  six seasonal & HHD POW gain chances a year, rolling for POW at +20% chance.  [Sacred time is a season!]  They ought to make at least one roll.   If at POW 18 they should fail only 7% of years.

Maybe more than six depending on how you interpret the ambiguity between paragraphs 2 and 4 on p.418.

And the job description says priests spend 90% of their time on cult business.  What is more cult business than outfitting a new rune lord - or even an initiate who appears to be headed for that status?  Such people won't come along every year.

Edited by Squaredeal Sten
Sacred time is a season.
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7 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Rules as written, that's not true.  Anyone can use iron.  

True, it hasn't been true since the metal Enchantment rules of RQ3, but I have always played that nobody in a cult will ever perform an enchantment or teach enchantment to anyone who isn't Rune level.  Iron was exclusive to Rune Levels in RQ2 and I think this has always been the intention.

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On 3/7/2022 at 7:24 AM, Darius West said:

The problem with iron in Glorantha is that there just isn't much of it, and what there is generally lies in the hands of someone tougher than you.

seems to me the best vision !

 

of course your pc can cry in king/priest/gm arms to obtain iron, and of course this pc will meet tougher or smarter people

so many will see that the fool pc, even mastering (90%) a sword is not strong enough to resist again a warband, wait ? an humakti ? what about arrow ?

big armor too ? sometimes you need to sleep, don't you ?

In all cases, it is easier to raid a group of adventurers than a dwarve company

 

in my glorantha, iron and other powerful artifacts must be rare. Not an issue to see one pc with One iron weapon. Big issue (from my perspective) to see 5 pc* with more iron than a full tribe can provide to its leaders.

 

Big gain, big pain

 

* of course if the pc are now stronger than Argrath's ring, that changes things !

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