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POW farm looking for business partner


Nick Underwood

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1 minute ago, Akhôrahil said:

In my mind, sacrificing POW for RP is converting part of your soul into a copy/emulation of the god’s. More Rune Points means less free will as you have literally shifted the balance between your human soul and the presence of the divine within you.

That's quite profound with deep implications, and quite worthy of a mechanic to impress the gradual avatarization of the character upon the player. Perhaps a loss of RP for demonstrating too much free will. 

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1 hour ago, Nick Underwood said:

I was going to ask how a sacrifice-for-magic transaction would work in a world where sacrifice was real but magic wasn't.

But now I don't if the answer is that they were naieve, or I am...

I mean, they were mistaken about its efficacy? People believe in demonstrably unfounded things even today, when we have proper science to check it out. A lot of the time, sacrifices are about stopping bad things from happening rather than to acquire personal magic, so then if the bad thing doesn’t happen, it worked, right? No-one likes feeling helpless, so we’re on the lookout for coping mechanisms. If you don’t know how earthquakes happen, deciding that they’re caused by a wrathful god that can be placated may be more satisfying than deciding it’s just one of those things and completely outside your control.

If you believe that the Sun rising is dependent on your blood sacrifices, you’re not exactly going to stop to check…

This isn’t about being naive or stupid, it’s about psychological mechanisms combined with the absence of structured empirical testing and naturalistic explanations. And the latter bits may not even be enough.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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23 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

so you want your slaves or prisoners to sacrifice your pow ?

Do they have "love master" (so few would have it for sure) ; "love freedom" (so few would have it and would not be already killed after an escape attempt ) "fear master" is not a positive passion (sadly, as so many would have it)

Do they have Love Money? After all, a priest is making 200 L per POW point. It's not expected that the priest make a Loyalty roll. Why make it harder for a non-priest to make a buck?

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7 minutes ago, Nick Underwood said:

That's quite profound with deep implications, and quite worthy of a mechanic to impress the gradual avatarization of the character upon the player. Perhaps a loss of RP for demonstrating too much free will. 

Linking Rune Points to Devotion could be a method, or making Rune Points take up an increasing part of your mental space in the way Jeff has been mapping recently?

For now, Rune ratings, Devotion, Honor and similar scores do some of the same thing.

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4 hours ago, Nick Underwood said:

I was going to ask how a sacrifice-for-magic transaction would work in a world where sacrifice was real but magic wasn't.

But now I don't if the answer is that they were naieve, or I am...

Real World is the answer.  Magic is not real but animals, humans, and goods were all sacrificed.   We know how that worked / works. POW sacrifice is magic so not real.  If the question ia about POW sacrifice then it is self contradictory.  Let's go back to RQ questions.

 

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9 hours ago, Nick Underwood said:

Do they have Love Money? After all, a priest is making 200 L per POW point. It's not expected that the priest make a Loyalty roll. Why make it harder for a non-priest to make a buck?

The 200 is not for the priest but for the temple (priest = 90% tithes)

and a priest, at least in my glorantha, will not do it for consumer but for initiate of the same religion, associate cult or for those who have demonstrate some loyalty / help or thing like that

 

You can consider that business, capitalism and other irl world can apply but there is a difference : the sun can stop , the wind can die, the earth can freeze. 
so considering that the power energy that mortals can use to support their gods and their world is just « something buyable » is for me a non sense

how many people in our world will sell their arms , limbs, eyes voluntary for money ?
 

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Actually, as seen in the Divine Intervention rules, Rune points are still part of your soul, part of your POW, the part that indeed connects you to the Divine. It is no longer available to you except in what corresponds to the deity.

As I play the deities that have signed the compromise as mindless invariant magic machines, indeed divine magic is transactional, and what you think is the personal response of your deity is either a programmed response or a flicker of the remaining will in the last heroes that voluntarily joined the godhead.

The Godtime structures in my opinion are failing and require a ton of MP to keep existing. The magic for POW exchange is just the carrot that keeps the MP flowing, as well as building the anchor in your soul that allows you to manifest that magic, as well as the gradual takeover by the godhead that ends up adding your willpower and knowledge to the divine collective.

Heroes are those that can keep at least part of their identity, while all the others are subsumed, even if some aspects of them may be kept as cult spirits or accessed by their descendants with the right magics.

That is also why deities are jealous of the POW of their followers and protect them with intervention, psychopomps and other powers.

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3 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

how many people in our world will sell their arms , limbs, eyes voluntary for money ?

Kidneys though? And POW grows back (slowly), so it's not even as bad as that.

"Your freedom for a kidney" might be a reasonable proposition if you're a slave.

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17 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

You just need to ask the question "what are Lhankor Mhy's runes?" to see that the settings aren't fully compatible. You can look around in an LM temple and tell which game (or set of games) you're in.

In my Glorantha the runes carved over the doors are Truth and Law.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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18 hours ago, Nick Underwood said:

I was going to ask how a sacrifice-for-magic transaction would work in a world where sacrifice was real but magic wasn't.

But now I don't if the answer is that they were naieve, or I am...

Well, keep in mind that you would also make offerings (as a private person) if something good happened to you that you associated with a particular deity. The transactional exchange didn't inherently require any particular temporal order, and what you might well do is scrawl a prayer on some broken pottery (an ostracon), place that at a shrine or temple, and if the prayer is answered you make an offering or sacrifice. 

And if your prayer isn't answered, maybe you're not pious enough, already "indebted", or maybe the god has other things that draw their attention, or maybe a conflicting deity is interfering and canceling out any divine favor, or the time was inauspicious, or the prayer will be answered in an unexpected or delayed way. The difficulty of this kind of religion is that it was drawn heavily from empirical experiences of correlated and coincidental events, and as such it was built on the recognition that the world is vast, complicated, and we know very little about it. Which perhaps explains a few things about the rise of the mystery cults in the more international Hellenistic and Roman worlds, which offered a personal and social connection with a deity.

5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Kidneys though? And POW grows back (slowly), so it's not even as bad as that.

"Your freedom for a kidney" might be a reasonable proposition if you're a slave.

Maybe the most apropos example is donating blood plasma for cash. Morally suspect in the fiscal context, but on the side of the recipient more than the donor. 

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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On 9/19/2022 at 10:43 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

In the discussion above we discussed various degrees of voluntariness vs. compulsion applied to donation of POW.  Examples included [...]

Great summary Sten. The original post was a (mischievious) question of what abuses of POW donation for enchantments the rules allowed. It's gone beyond that to the discussing the addtitional constraints that GMs could/should enforce. As a non-GM, non-expert, advocate of the roll-a-dice-and-make-it-up school,  I have little to contibute, but very much enjoying the ride.

On 9/19/2022 at 10:43 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

1) Slavery in which POW is extorted by threat of violence, or possibly deprivation (as coercion of a slave may include deprivation of food or of movement).  This includes prisoners of war or captured criminals, as well as the possibility that Nick's trollkin examples are slaves.  This situation is morally objectionable to most of us, though I pount out it is not morally objectionable to chaotic cults.

Interesting that violence and coercion are not morally objectionable to many (most?) Gloranthan (or any!) societies as long as the coerced outcome is socially sanctioned: slave ownership, hostage-taking, prisoner collection, tax collecting, land grabs, are ultimately done at spear-point. Violence is always an option - to achieve some socially sanctioned outcome.

What is repugnant (to us) in the above scenario is likely not the implict violence, but the notion of forced soul sacrifice. POW is intrinsically personal, intimate, sacred, and messing with it is taboo (to us) - we'd rather lose a leg than a portion of our soul.

But do Gloranthan's see this in the same way? They regularly sacrifice trade and sell POW in return for more mundane advantages. Would glorathans rather lose a leg than a portion of their soul? Regrow Limb 2 Points, Nonstackable.

Which is a funny thing in RQ: POW is both a commodity and unit of exchange, and it is somehow deeply personal and imbued with the essences of God and mortal. Magical money really does have a colour.

 

On 9/19/2022 at 10:43 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

(2) Destitution in which economic incentives operate.  The destitute party responds to poverty, possibly including hunger and an increased likelihood of childrens' death (per RQiG income effects in sacred time rolls).  If Nick's trollkin are "wild" they would be in this category. Nick points out that this is not morally objectionable to people who follow Milton Friedman, who consider all market interactions just.

I never really undertood Issaries, but wouldn't an Issaries priest be bound to a kind of Friedman extremism? The act of trade isn't only just - it's sacred! 

On 9/19/2022 at 10:43 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

Or do we fall back on "No one can make you do anything" and deny the reality of compulsion?

I will meditate on that tonight. There's a lot to unpack there!

 

On 9/19/2022 at 10:43 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

While we are at it let's note that the proposed  passion rolls do not make Nick's POW farm uneconomic.  They just reduce its yield...

State regulation ruining my bottom line... same old, same old. 🙂

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3 hours ago, Nick Underwood said:

POW is intrinsically personal, intimate, sacred, and messing with it is taboo (to us) - we'd rather lose a leg than a portion of our soul.

Many of us don't believe that POW or the "soul" is real in our world!

3 hours ago, Nick Underwood said:

But do Gloranthan's see this in the same way? They regularly sacrifice trade and sell POW in return for more mundane advantages. 

🙂

I really don't know what you are referring to here. What "mundane advantages" do Gloranthans trade their POW for?

I'd say that this is entirely the wrong way around. We tend not to care for our souls. Gloranthans very much do.

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5 hours ago, Nick Underwood said:

What is repugnant (to us) in the above scenario is likely not the implict violence, but the notion of forced soul sacrifice. POW is intrinsically personal, intimate, sacred, and messing with it is taboo (to us) - we'd rather lose a leg than a portion of our soul.

I want to be clear on one point 🙂 IRL I have no faith, I hope there is something, I fear there is nothing and unfortunately now that I m not very very young, my fear is overcoming my hope.

So all I say  is my understanding of Glorantha (may be wrong), I don't project in my answers my own absence of "divine certainty",

I project the "what if I knew the gods are here, what if I saw the ghost of my grandmother and talked to her, what if I was able to cast some thunder by praying Orlanth, when my uncle is not able to do it but is able to close a door I cannot force, etc.."

And this projection may have  bias (spoiler just because to focus on my main point)

  • Spoiler
    • As I don't "live" it (for sure a IRL shaman - or someone who have the conviction to be , no judgement -  would have more ease to imagine what a gloranthan shaman can live, for sure a IRL "chosen one" would have more ease to imagine what is a call from a deity)
    • As my few references are only what can be said in this forum and what I had read from some ancient  (mainly greeks ) myths and stories = not enough to claim "Of course I am the truth"
    • As I base all my thought on my empathy, my projection facility and my logic, even if they are probaly a little bit higher than the average, they are not 100% right

     

1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

I'd say that this is entirely the wrong way around. We tend not to care for our souls. Gloranthans very much do.

YES

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7 hours ago, Nick Underwood said:

.....

Which is a funny thing in RQ: POW is both a commodity and unit of exchange, and it is somehow deeply personal and ...

I never really undertood Issaries, but wouldn't an Issaries priest be bound to a kind of Friedman extremism? The act of trade isn't only just - it's sacred! 

I will meditate on that tonight. There's a lot to unpack ... 🙂

I don't think an Issaries priest would be BOUND to Friedman's point of view.  Maybe vulnerable to it, which is not the same.  

The essence of Issaries as an archetype is doing trade in which both parties bargain and come out ahead, that is they are satisfied with the trade. With a margin of profit for Issaries.  But his mythic trading does not contain an element of compulsion, go back and look at Cults of Prax.

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On 9/21/2022 at 8:38 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

I don't think an Issaries priest would be BOUND to Friedman's point of view.  Maybe vulnerable to it, which is not the same.  

The essence of Issaries as an archetype is doing trade in which both parties bargain and come out ahead, that is they are satisfied with the trade. With a margin of profit for Issaries. ...

This corresponds with how I understand Issaries. Issaries trade involves profit, but also Harmony and the desire to forge bonds between parties. Bargaining, but not exploitation. Etc.

Big question: would the voluntary offering of POW, by non-coerced individuals who are doing it for material gain ('cuz they're poor or want a quick release from captivity or that's how they want to pay their tithe, etc.) be acceptable to the non-Chaotic gods? Say, for instance, a poor farmer is trying to improve their economic well-being and so doesn't want to provide scarce money, precious seed, or a prize animal to Ernalda, instead offering a bit of themselves for the temple priest's use. Would Ernalda be OK with this?

Maybe the gods don't really care and people can/do offer up POW for material gain. Still, one would expect this to be a pretty big deal for most folks (who don't get regular POW rolls, in game terms), so there might not be too many willing to do it. There's probably also a basic understanding that those with "weak souls" are easier to magically manipulate, more likely to be possessed by malicious spirits, etc. The POW farm may have a hard time finding willing (thus effective) workers. There'd probably also be some degree of social sanction for doing this; e.g., you just did something only a stickpicker would do. Maybe if you (the POW donor) has provided more than once for material gain, you start to get a poor reputation: "That guy over there? That's Soulless Sam. Sold himself to buy a couple of nice horses. Lost 'em to the first swindler who came though. The Eurmali love him.")

 

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On 9/22/2022 at 1:07 PM, Beoferret said:

........Big question: would the voluntary offering of POW, by non-coerced individuals who are doing it for material gain ('cuz they're poor or want a quick release from captivity or that's how they want to pay their tithe, etc.) be acceptable to the non-Chaotic gods? Say, for instance, a poor farmer is trying to improve their economic well-being and so doesn't want to provide scarce money, precious seed, or a prize animal to Ernalda, instead offering a bit of themselves for the temple priest's use. Would Ernalda be OK with this?.....

Maybe the gods don't really care and people can/do offer up POW for material gain. Still, one would expect this to be a pretty big deal for most folks ......There's probably also a basic understanding that those with "weak souls" are easier to magically manipulate,....

You have listed a number of good reasons why it would be rare even within the cult.

Another reason it should be rare, IMHO, is that the priest doing the enchanting has to put one of his own POW points in at a minimum.  So he is not going to be mass producing enchanted rain barrels or whatever.  

One more reason: 200 L per POW, (edit) 10 Wheels, is standard annual  pay for a noble.  So the number of staff the clan or the temple can keep will be limited by such paid production: They don't have a lot of discretionary cash, not on that scale of expenditure.  And look at the income figures occasionslly listed for clans and temples.  That could cut into the patronage jobs.

Despite all this I agree with a previous poster that it makes sense for a clan to make some powerful magic items for "clan magic."  It depends on how strategic they are, or how much they have to live from hand to mouth.

I also have misgivings about the high price of POW, as follows: Usually I am the one being told not to extrapolate "the real Glorantha" from game mechanics, but now I am saying it.  200L per point of POW is derived from setting a cost for one-time Rune spells.  But that is really for parties of adventurers who don't know anyone in town and have a pressing need for help.  

In "the real Glorantha" most use of rune magic probably is done not on a financial basis but on a social basis.  For example a female farmer initiate of Ernalda, with a Free SOL of 60L for her entire household, does not get rich casting Bless Crops at 20L a point.  Even though she can replenish RP at weekly Ernalda holy days.  Instead she blesses her own family's crops and then helps her neighbors out.  That is why Gloranthan farming is so productive. She doesn't do it for pay and they can't afford to pay her that much, it's more cash than a Poor or even a Free family has on hand.  She gets social benefits: They owe her favors, she has status in the community, she is working toward God Talker, that's why she is worth so much ransom, she is a more desirable wife. And if you cross her she just may not bless your crops. 

And she is also being a better Ernaldan, perfecting her imitation of her archetype goddess.

 

 

 

Edited by Squaredeal Sten
Last paragraph; Wheels, spelling
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