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Which is the *worst* cult? (Its WAHA)


icebrand

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Everyone laughs at yelmalio, but it seems to me that the sun domers run circles around WAHA.

i mean, look at their rune spells!!! Their Best spell is a spirit with no Magic that does a single spirit combat attack at a chaos foe... Well, that or cremate body, i bet they spend all their rune points on that (because waha has crap magic and his cultists die all the time, get it?).

Anyway, just wanted to know, have you guys made any tweaks to waha? Even a single worthy rune spell could turn the tide, the cult is actually really cool roleplaying wise, but it's just too weak!

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  • icebrand changed the title to Which is the *worst* cult? (Its WAHA)

Waha picked up Shield in RQ:G.  He also has Summon spirit of Law and Axis Mundi, which are role-playing wise extremely powerful.  Alter Creature might be a way to make an intelligent Bison or High Llama friend, which might be powerful, longer term.  The problem with Waha is the same one as with Yelmalio.  Yelmalio is a war god who lacks any war magic, and Waha is the god of Nomad/Desert survival who lacks any magic for actually surviving extreme conditions.

Both cults would be majorly improved with one spell that helps them do something that they are nominally touted as providing via mundane means.  Yelmalio has the Phalanx formation, and Waha has....I guess Nomad culture?

Both Yelmalio and Waha depend greatly on the GM to put the players into situations where the cult spells matter.  In my last campaign the ability of the Yelmalio cultist to function as if it were day, either through Catseye or Sunbright was a major factor in a large number of situations, including combat.  He was a nomad, so didn't even get the pike as an option for duration of the campaign, although he did adopt armor. 

Had he gone Waha, he would have had a great deal of trouble with the Sartar portions of the campaign.   However he would at least have had the Shield spell for immediate combat needs.

Neither of these deities really stack up to the combat power houses (Humakt, Babeester Gor) or Orlanth, the do-it-all god for adventurers.  But if you are in the campaign where the cultural ties and abilities matter more than how much hurt you can bring with 18 points of Rune Magic, those two gods are perfectly fine, even desirable.  They just don't provide the worshiper the raw power that most players crave.

Fight more at night.  (or in the Great Darkness via Heroquesting!)

Quest in the desert more. 

 

Those are my takes and solutions to Sever Spirit envy.

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12 minutes ago, Dissolv said:

Waha is the god of Nomad/Desert survival who lacks any magic for actually surviving extreme conditions.

Waha is the Culture Hero of the Praxians who teaches how to live in the Wastes, no magic required. The key element of his magic is the covenant, his other magic reflects his great feats.

If you are going to play a Waste based game, Waha is a must. Outside of Prax, he's the god of butchers.

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In RQ3 Waha initiates suffered as their choice to Rune spells were limited to Extension, Spellteaching, Worship Waha, Command Gnome, Command Spirit of Law, Shield, Impede Chaos and Speak to Heard Beast. Fix Intelligence and Release Intelligence were not available until they became Khans. These are really strong as they are Instant and can be used in combat with a touch.

Although it does not look like much, it's pretty strong IMO, especially considering that it was rather easy to become a Khan (90% Ride, 90% tribal Weapon Attack. 90% in
Butchery and know Peaceful Cut, plus 50% in Orate and Track. All chekable skills and easy to improve, plus there is not requirement for 10 points of Divine magic or minimum POW.

The issue is healing, but that can be mitigated with magic spirit or a matrix.

My first character was a Waha worshippe also joined Storm Bull during play. It is a potent combination.

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Waha is the cultural hero-god of the Praxian beast riders, but it should be remember that he's one half of a PAIR of deities that form the cultural basis. Waha is the masculine hunting /war god but don't forget that without Eiritha he'd be crippled. Death, after all, needs Life as it's equal-but-opposite force or it is meaningless.

But Waha has limited influence outside the Wastes, whereas an Eritha or Foundchild or Storm Bull cultist has crossover cults in other cultures. This lack of 'cross pollinization' limits the power of the cult in a temporal mundane sense.

Nevertheless, if your campaign takes you to Pavis and into the Vulture Country, you'd be smart to have a Waha with you.

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If I define worst cult as those that players have never chosen and limit it to the RQG list, my players have never chosen Argan Argar, Eurmal and Engizi. I've had players in all the others. Your groups are likely to differ. 

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4 minutes ago, David Scott said:

If I define worst cult as those that players have never chosen and limit it to the RQG list, my players have never chosen Argan Argar, Eurmal and Engizi. I've had players in all the others. Your groups are likely to differ. 

To be fair Eurmal is a "bold choice" rather than "bad choice". It isn't for everyone. AA is similar, I'd only play AA if I had a cool idea for a character concept (I have a yen to play an AA duck). The spell list isn't what you'd call powerful but there are some interesting tricks there.

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13 hours ago, Dissolv said:

Waha picked up Shield in RQ:G.  He also has Summon spirit of Law and Axis Mundi, which are role-playing wise extremely powerful.

Waha had shield in every single edition. Also shield is broken, being twice as good as 95% of spells, and still better or equal to the other S tier spells. You can't justify a cult offering nothing with "wait, it could have been nerfed MORE!"

And mechanically inconsequential. This wanst intended as a roleplaying post, but mechanics. I mean, you can roleplay a hero-god-king and a 6 year old without magic, and theres no metric to tell which is "worse" other than personal fun. Clearly i need to improve my english.

13 hours ago, Dissolv said:

Waha is the god of Nomad/Desert survival who lacks any magic for actually surviving extreme conditions.

Both cults would be majorly improved with one spell that helps them do something that they are nominally touted as providing via mundane means.  Yelmalio has the Phalanx formation, and Waha has....I guess Nomad culture?

Yes. But waha doesnt have "nomad culture". You can "nomad culture" with any other nomad god, which also gives you... You know... magic?

I fixed yelmalio by giving access to sunspear when you hit runelord+priest (but they have shield, because thats standard rune magic in the edition i play)

I fixed waha by deleting him from the list of gods. It makes for awesome NPCs i guess?

13 hours ago, Dissolv said:

Neither of these deities really stack up to the combat power houses

Waha doesnt really stack up for anyone. Yelmalio has gifts and geases at least, waha gives you "spend a RP to detect chaos", and thats it. Everything else is either fluff or useless. They have no special skills, no talent, and no magic. 

13 hours ago, David Scott said:

Waha is the Culture Hero of the Praxians who teaches how to live in the Wastes, no magic required. The key element of his magic is the covenant, his other magic reflects his great feats.

If you are going to play a Waste based game, Waha is a must. Outside of Prax, he's the god of butchers.

The rules do not reflect your statement. I am running a wastes based game, and having a waha character is a detriment because the player could have picked something else that actually helps the team.

10 hours ago, Godlearner said:

Fix Intelligence and Release Intelligence were not available until they became Khans. These are really strong as they are Instant and can be used in combat with a touch.

Alter creature is one-use for wahans, so thats hardly a viable choice. Also isnt it a ritual? It used to be a ritual, it makes no sense to use it in combat.

9 hours ago, svensson said:

Waha is the cultural hero-god of the Praxian beast riders, but it should be remember that he's one half of a PAIR of deities that form the cultural basis. Waha is the masculine hunting /war god but don't forget that without Eiritha he'd be crippled. Death, after all, needs Life as it's equal-but-opposite force or it is meaningless.

I would need to check eiritha in RQG, but in CoP shes a powerhouse, of course if you add an eirithan to your waha it improves...

"yelmalio kinda sucks, but if you hire a humakti as bodyguard they are decent warriors" really?

9 hours ago, svensson said:

Nevertheless, if your campaign takes you to Pavis and into the Vulture Country, you'd be smart to have a Waha with you.

WHY would i take the guy with no special magic and no special skills over a real initiate, like orlanth or chalana arroy or... anyone, really...

3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Waha has Shield. This alone makes him better than Yelmalio (yes, I know Yelmalio will pick it up in the Cult’s Book). No Cult can be truly bad as long as it has Shield.

That means shield is broken. Anecdotically i have it on the common rune spell list, so thats not an issue for me.

 

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@icebrand No offense intended at all here, but I think you're confusing roleplay utility with min/max powerhousing.

Waha isn't intended to be a Rune owner like Orlanth or Humakt. He's a culture hero that taught Man and Beast how to live in a mana-blasted wasteland. His people are scattered and often at cross purposes with each other. His land is withered and near-barren, with significant Chaos intrusions. His struggles are not the epic plane-bending battles of Orlanth and Sedenya; he battles for the day-to-day survival of his peoples and what little health and welfare he can bring to his land.

I think it's an error to compare him with the major war gods. More than anything else, Waha is a heavily augmented hunter god with significant shamanic ancestor worship abilities. He's more a combination of Daka Fal and Foundchild than a counterpart to Orlanth or Yelmalio.

Consider this: There are FAR fewer Khans of Waha compared to Wind Lords of Orlanth per 1000 initiates. Where Orlanth will accept any stickpicker who can meet the criteria and make the local temple hierarchy happy, with Waha you have to a] be nobly born, b] be a skilled enough warrior to enter the Devil Marsh, kill Chaos and return, and c] find your own Iron gear. And there are far fewer shamans devoted to Waha per capita than there are Storm Voices devoted to Orlanth as well.

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59 minutes ago, icebrand said:

theres no metric to tell which is "worse" other than personal fun

you're right

 

if your play is focus on personal fight (spells + weapon), and few social / hunt / gods feed back / tradition / leadership / strategy / ancestors etc.. yes Waha is not really useful

 

now Waha gives you the capacity to kill the beasts without be cursed (butcher)
Waha gives you automatically (no roll, no rune point) the knowledge to survive in the wastes

Waha will be the one (or his followers)  you may ask  to learn something important in the wastes (of course Storm bull may answer about chaos and Eirithra about beast, but if you want to ask about chaos, or about beast, or about anything in the wastes, he is the one to contact)

 

and, if you are able to prove you have good blood :

Waha gives you the opportunity to enter in the greater leaders of prax and wastes circles and discuss with them about alliance, warfare, etc..

Waha helps you to become the new leader, followed by more people than any other praxian god could propose

Waha gives you the opportunity to call the great ancestors and obtain from them large benefits

 

so if your play is based more on storytelling & background, if you play gods as npc and not as source of spells, if you want to have large session about social activities, travels and even mythic activities,  Waha is the best (in fact all the gods and goddess are the best, even Voria, I swear 😛 )

 

all is question of flavour

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16 minutes ago, svensson said:

@icebrand No offense intended at all here, but I think you're confusing roleplay utility with min/max powerhousing.

No offense taken at all!

What is roleplaying utility? Im not familiar with the concept.

In my campaign you pick a god, you get the cult skills, pick battle magic, roll stats and you are good to go (after writing down everything).

We use RQ2 as a base (but with lots of RQG stuff), so the cults are the RQ2 versions (you can earn RQ3 and RQG new magics by heroquesting).

There is one scenario (and XP roll) per season, with a free (from cult) training and free access to normal stuff (armor up to 4 pts and cultural bronze weapons).

We started with borderlands and after muriahs revenge the players were free to wonder around (but need to come back to the fort the same sesion, if you want to go home IRL you retreat from the combat and go home in game (this helps me replacing dead adventurers and adding people and not sweating it when someone can't make it).

We have one combat per session (plus random encounters), with minis and everything is rolled in the open. If you fumble your spot trap everyone expects you to walk happily in the room, fall into the spike trap and most likely die.

Social encounters are managed with response charts, cha x5, & oratory. Some cults hace a few more skills (Waha aint one lol) but mostly this is done pretty freeform. You really just tell me what you want and i "yes, but" you.

I was running through the characters (one per god) and waha sticks out because it seems pretty useless for an old school campaign; again, combat is a big part of the game (like... 1/3 to 1/2 of it) and stuff without actual mechanics doesnt do much.

Every other god brings tons of stuff to the table. Waha doesnt. Survival in the wastes is eirithas domain by the way, she can find cattle, water, light fires, and has kickass heal magic while being able to fight.

Waha has... Uhhhh... Peaceful cut i guess?

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23 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

if your play is focus on personal fight (spells + weapon), and few social / hunt / gods feed back / tradition / leadership / strategy / ancestors etc.. yes Waha is not really useful

If only there was some house ruled spell i could add so he's good...

For starters ill let spirit of law fight longer.ñ

34 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

now Waha gives you the capacity to kill the beasts without be cursed (butcher)

Almost every barbarian has peaceful cut, which does nothing mechanically. That curse sounds cool, you got any mechanics for it? (One of my players is a yelornan and has peaceful cut).

37 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Waha gives you automatically (no roll, no rune point) the knowledge to survive in the wastes

That sounds NICE! Is it a house rule? Eiritha has 2 survival skills + 1 survival spell, it seems like cheating to give waha automatic success at everything? Plus, can even the lowliest initiate survive alone in vulture country or the dead place just for their cult? 

 

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2 minutes ago, icebrand said:

Almost every barbarian has peaceful cut, which does nothing mechanically. That curse sounds cool, you got any mechanics for it? (One of my players is a yelornan and has peaceful cut).

That sounds NICE! Is it a house rule? Eiritha has 2 survival skills + 1 survival spell, it seems like cheating to give waha automatic success at everything? Plus, can even the lowliest initiate survive alone in vulture country or the dead place just for their cult? 

 

because you are looking for mechanic 🙂

that's the point : the mechanic (aka roll skills/knowledge) must be followed when there is a stress situation for the character (that's raw I think)

aka you don't need to roll peaceful cut when you are a skilled hunter in a quiet place

so in our case the (background + storytelling) says as you are initiate of Waha's secret, you don't stress because you know how to be and to do in the wastes

of course if, as a GM you consider a specific place as dangerous even for Waha, you need to roll.

let's say you just kill some prey in the desert

You follow Odayla  ? you are stressed because you know that the sand may ruin the flesh and you don't know exactly what the local beast spirits expect you. So you must roll

You follow Waha ? you are not stressed because you know how to do, you know what spirits wants, etc... so you don't have to roll

 

exactly the same that a sartarite knows how to be welcome by her tribe, without rolling, when an esrolian needs to make a cusom roll to be sure  to do things right

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for the curse, I consider that if the hunter doesnt't follow the rites, the beast spirits will be angry,

it could start with some penalty to the next hunt (tracks, fire arrow, etc..)

it could continue with some "revenge" depending on the beast (for sure rabbit will not attack you when bears, yes with a "s", will destroy your camp. but one hundred rabbits rushing you should be impressive)

see it like princess mononoke story

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The point here is whether in your game the world adapts to the mechanics, or the mechanics adapts to the world. In the first case there is an effort to make the deities balanced, because otherwise nobody would pick a poor deity. In the second you recognize not all deities are appropiate for adventurers, so only due to special circumstances will a player character pick those deities.

RQ2 tried to fit in the first class, while from RQ3 forward Glorantha tried to move into the second paradigm, which brought us my most envied spell ever (erotocomatose lucidity). Goddesses and magic for the 99.9% of people that are not fighting every day.

Waha has social advantages rather than magical advantages, and only once you make it to Khan, so the only real good (in personal power terms) player character reason to pick Waha as your deity is to become Khan. The advantage of a Khan is clear. A Humakti may have better magic than you, but I doubt he can survive being the target of 200 Impala braves (mechanically, some 5-10 arrow Crits per round, depending on penalties), before considering the Uroxi that obey the khan, the shaman that also obeys the khan, etc., and all of this without asking his wife for help. It is a different kind of game, and if you take the Khan without his people, it is like taking a Humakti Sword without her sword. Fun for a one shot game, but inadequate long term.

Seeing your campaign set up, the only reason I see a Waha initiate joining is to get experienced enough to try for Khan, and then leave and never return (unless he uses what he has learnt to raid the settlement), which is not good for long term play.

 

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2 hours ago, JRE said:

The point here is whether in your game the world adapts to the mechanics, or the mechanics adapts to the world. In the first case there is an effort to make the deities balanced, because otherwise nobody would pick a poor deity. 

My Glorantha adapts to my mechanics, which i house rule if i don't like.

For example, in my Glorantha the dagger-axe is storm bulls weapon, the greatsword is for humakti, and the pike for yelmalio, and the troll maul is for trolls, etc. You don't get to have a 2dX+ weapon if you arent on those cults.

Same for cults. Everyone has all standard rune magic (and reflection is buffed because otherwise noone would ever use it, absorption is a lost battle, that spell can't compete really).

2 hours ago, JRE said:

RQ2 tried to fit in the first class, while from RQ3 forward Glorantha tried to move into the second paradigm, which brought us my most envied spell ever (erotocomatose lucidity). Goddesses and magic for the 99.9% of people that are not fighting every day.

Yeah, i like the RQ2 way. We played RQ3 (for like 20 years btw) and yeah, many cults arent good for the classic RQ adventurers (or at least they suck at solving the published scenarios the suggested way)

In my Glorantha 99% of people are lay members! If you want to play an ulerian my current RQ campaign isnt the place to do so i think (well, an experienced player would get the ulerian *and* another "more competent" PC)

2 hours ago, JRE said:

Waha has social advantages rather than magical advantages, and only once you make it to Khan,

If we count the social advantages of runelords, waha has NOTHING on everyone, at least in my campaign. But even if it was a nomad-centric campaign i firmly believe every other barbarian god is more powerful mechanically and as fun or more roleplaying-wise.

2 hours ago, JRE said:

A Humakti may have better magic than you, but I doubt he can survive being the target of 200 Impala braves

Surely the humakti also has allies? Lets agree that a Khan with 200 braves isnt an adventurer (at least not anymore) and outside the scope of normal play.

By the way a handful humakti lay member/newish initiate (the bread n butter troop) will likely win even outnumbered because Morale is so good it decides almost all battles. 

A guy with 75% is twice as good as one with 50%, not just 50% better.

2 hours ago, JRE said:

before considering the Uroxi that obey the khan, the shaman that also obeys the khan, etc., and all of this without asking his wife for help

Well, the humakti can call on his Orlanthi chieftain, who has a hotter wife with better magic. Also the wife has BABEESTER GOR bodyguards, check mate, nomad.

2 hours ago, JRE said:

Seeing your campaign set up, the only reason I see a Waha initiate joining is to get experienced enough to try for Khan, and then leave and never return (unless he uses what he has learnt to raid the settlement), which is not good for long term play.

Yeah, i already removed the Waha adventurer from the stack 😭😭😭

Edited by icebrand

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Honestly, this is pretty tedious. You think Waha is underpowered. Fine. But Waha is one of the cults Greg actually wrote up, confirmed that's how he wants it, and is precisely how it should be in RQG. So this is a case where YGWV, but I think this thread is pretty much over unless people have something new to say.

Jeff

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1 hour ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

@Jeff Since Heal 2 was (maybe still is?) required to stop bleeding,  why is Waha mythically limited to Heal 1?  That's a big play issue, and it would be good to know the myth behind it.  Thanks.

Greg's take was because Eiritha is his mother and is always present, Waha can always go to the Herd Priestesses for friendly spirits who can heal. Greg insisted that was something key to both the cult and the culture - and I agree. Waha is the Butcher, the Taker of Life (so that we might live - food, rather than combat), and this limits the spirit magic his followers can get. But note that they have Heal Wound as common magic, and so they can always call upon the god to be healed. But of course, that requires a Rune Point plus magic points rather than just magic points.

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13 minutes ago, Jeff said:

But note that they have Heal Wound as common magic, and so they can always call upon the god to be healed.

Was mr stafford involved in the RQ3 gods write up?

Is the max heal-1 from there (i don't have gods of glorantha with me sorry) or new from RQG? 

Also the isnt the heal wound a byproduct of adding it to common magic, instead of a deliberate choice? (He didnt have heal area and healing was 2x cost no limit in cults of prax)

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Just now, icebrand said:

Was mr stafford involved in the RQ3 gods write up?

Is the max heal-1 from there (i don't have gods of glorantha with me sorry) or new from RQG? 

Also the isnt the heal wound a byproduct of adding it to common magic, instead of a deliberate choice? (He didnt have heal area and healing was 2x cost no limit in cults of prax

Greg wrote the RQ3 writeup, and Waha's lack of much healing magic is something he wrote several essays about (including one for cults). In RQ2 Healing spirit magic was double cost, in RQ3 Greg just restricted it to 1 point as there were too many easy ways to get around that. In RQG, Greg and I let Waha have Heal Wound as part of the Common Rune magic package, figuring that the 1 Rune Point cost meant Waha cultists had access to healing magic, but it would be very expensive (and at the expense of more broadly useful spells such as Shield or Summon/Command Earth Elemental, or associated spells.

But the key point is that having Waha be comparatively weak on healing magic is there from the start.

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10 hours ago, icebrand said:

Alter creature is one-use for wahans, so thats hardly a viable choice. Also isnt it a ritual? It used to be a ritual, it makes no sense to use it in combat.

image.png.0c89ed89344fd5f6ab75cf16c8e02872.png

Nope, instant and touch, Cheap at the price. Sever Spirit is 3 point one use for all cults except Humakt. Very useful as the only thing which reverses it is DI or Release Int.

9 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

if your play is focus on personal fight (spells + weapon), and few social / hunt / gods feed back / tradition / leadership / strategy / ancestors etc.. yes Waha is not really useful

I am seeing it as a cult with decent offensive and defensive magic, unlike Yelmalio, and great social benefits. The healing thing is managable.

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