Jump to content

Lunar Retribution


Erol of Backford

Recommended Posts

Let's say the PC's ambushed and massacred a full file of the Lunar Pavis Garrison or say the Lunar Survey Team with Dalamides and Hazphar? Maybe they kill Erianda the Red and her cronies? (Forget about the other clan's response for now.)

How would the PC's keep from being found out? I am guessing due to Divination unless the PC's were masked and or disguised they would be known and named outlaws and a bounty placed on them but how much and who besides those being killed would be sent? Assassins, Moon Masks an entire company of troops?

I am starting to realize that concentrated missile fire with a bit of magic boosting it can really ravage a caravan or adventuring group quite quickly.

Additionally any killed Lunars of a certain social status would be resurrected like Halcyon (unless their heads were taken or the body destroyed, maybe cremated) and likely come after the PC's as well?

Your thoughts and thank you all.

image.png.ab57917005caaffad625cb58f12be38b.png image.png.ad0eb65c08f68080bbc28521c3f64ca4.png image.png.9e92846bc4de249c2e33c1e6d86c8bda.png

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Erol of Backford said:

How would the PC's keep from being found out?

By abandoning all notions of Orlanthi honor. It is fine to slay folk as long as you stand up for what you did. Secret murder is not that different from Kinstrife.

Taking on an avenging alias, wearing masks and possibly the Bronze Age equivalent of spandex would be allowable, though. One famously masked organisation were the Kitori Shadowlords, who once upon a time included upstanding worshippers of Orlanth, before all that Tax Slaughter business. The Nochet Kimantorings still wear those lead masks.

Taking on ritual masks and becoming the (presumably lesser) deity would be a form of heroquesting, with magical effects. This is entering warlock territory, though, and perps might find themselves volunteering/(volunteered to join the Sartar Magical Union.

 

Kill and talk about it. Leave a tag if you are a warband/hero band. Lunars would appreciate a receipt, too.

 

The plot-armored villain with a resurrection flatrate (or worse, knowing the backdoor from Hell that works even if anti-resurrection methods were applied) will have access to the ghosts of those of his guards who succumbed to the attack. Usually, ghosts will have some notion about who killed them. Those notions may of course be mistaken.

Lhankor Mhy magics make hidden crime somewhat difficult. Their rates are prohibitively high, but that won't stop high status victims (or friends of victims).

  • Like 2
  • Helpful 1
  • Thanks 2

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

they would be known and named outlaws and a bounty placed on them but how much and who besides those being killed would be sent? Assassins, Moon Masks an entire company of troops?

Bounty - start with their Ransom amount, maybe double that for significant targets; and if they prove to still slip away, go triple or quadruple.

Remember that if the Lunars know who you are, they likely know your kin as well.  Burn down the village, execute the clan elders, or enslave their family and loved ones.  Likely that someone betrays them.

If they killed soldiers, the Lunars might capture and enslave them and send them to the Monster Coliseum in Glamour or the gladiatorial grounds in Furthest.  If they killed someone significant like Erilindia, then they'll capture them and execute in some spectacular and grisly fashion - likely leaving their head posted on a spike outside some city gate at the end.  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Remember that if the Lunars know who you are, they likely know your kin as well.  Burn down the village, execute the clan elders, or enslave their family and loved ones.  Likely that someone betrays them.

So in the early 1600's and the PC's are based in Backford, killing Lunars in say Apple Lane while masked would have much less risk than if they were local as most Sartarites wouldn't know them or where they are from if in disguise... thereafter they'd need to stick to the hills I suppose or some locals may turn on them for the reward...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Erol of Backford said:

So in the early 1600's and the PC's are based in Backford, killing Lunars in say Apple Lane while masked would have much less risk than if they were local as most Sartarites wouldn't know them or where they are from if in disguise... thereafter they'd need to stick to the hills I suppose or some locals may turn on them for the reward...

Theoretically, yes.  But who knows what the Moon sees... 

Rewards will be offered.  Easier to accuse/betray outlanders than your own.  Who remembers them, what they looked like, where they came from or were going to?  Did they stay in any inns?  Perhaps they weren't so well disguised as they thought....

  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

who knows what the Moon sees

Shudder.

If I were the empire I would post a reward (cash and tax rebates) amounting to a multiple of the ransom of the ambushed dead, which is probably a multiple of the ransom the players can normally fall back on if they get in trouble with the community. For especially egregious crimes (interfering with a priestess and other sacrilege) I might go up to 7X and then let the community shake itself apart to get the prize. Meanwhile the arcane arms of the moon will pursue their own weird justice.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sure hope the party includes a trickster. That phenomenal lie spell could be used to convince hostiles they made a mistake. Lunars would face the absurdity of following them everywhere and not catching them.

”These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”

Edited by EricW
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Let's say the PC's ambushed and massacred a full file of the Lunar Pavis Garrison or say the Lunar Survey Team with Dalamides and Hazphar? Maybe they kill Erianda the Red and her cronies? (Forget about the other clan's response for now.)

How would the PC's keep from being found out? I am guessing due to Divination unless the PC's were masked and or disguised they would be known and named outlaws and a bounty placed on them but how much and who besides those being killed would be sent? Assassins, Moon Masks an entire company of troops?

I am starting to realize that concentrated missile fire with a bit of magic boosting it can really ravage a caravan or adventuring group quite quickly.

Additionally any killed Lunars of a certain social status would be resurrected like Halcyon (unless their heads were taken or the body destroyed, maybe cremated) and likely come after the PC's as well?

Your thoughts and thank you all.

The Empire has a vested interest in keeping order in its far provinces.  This sounds like it is taking place in Prax.  The Empire's grip on Prax is not as strong as they might like, but not inconsiderable all the same.

When I GM I play that there are quite a few Lunars who have mustered out relatively early, and many of them hang around in Prax for various reasons.  They become swords for hire, or Rubble adventurers, or sign on with the likes of Duke Raus.  Many of them will see the opportunity to claim a bounty as an excellent prospect, naively assuming that they are tougher than their adversaries, or relying on the idea that "a mouse may overcome a lion if it strikes from surprise".  Essentially waging guerilla warfare on wanted rebels, thinking they are Johnny Rambo or some Lunar equivalent, when they are likely closer to his victims.

I also have a number of Sable riders who deal on the same margins as these mustered out Lunars.  In particular I make use of a character called Artasta the Manhunter.  She is a daughter of Roneer the Hue, a Sable Khan.  She foresook the path of Eiritha to adopt the Seven Mothers, but has used her position with the Sables to gather a party of hardy Waha and Seven Mothers braves who specialize in hunting bounties for the Lunar Authorities.  To this end, they have adopted non-lethal Praxian weapons like bolas, nets and pole lassos to bring criminals in alive.  Artasta has a sick habit of picnicking beneath her captives while they die of crucifixion after their trial.  Her father Roneer will later side with the White Bulls, but for now is yet to accept the prophecy and sides with the Lunars.  His daughter's fanaticism in the Lunar cause and her eventual fate may play a role in this.  Artasta has an uncanny knack for tracking people down, as she can put herself in their position and think the way they think.  I call this skill "read fugitive", she has it at 65% and it can be used to put her on the right track.  Artasta likes to take her enemies alive, and is fond of using mind blast for this reason.  Her picnic ritual seems to increase her Life and Death runes.

I also like having morokanths play a role in hunting fugitives.  They are skilled man-catchers who favor the dark.  They are specialists at catching humans, whether as slaves or escapees, and fugitives from justice are just another opportunity to obtain coin.  Human misery is Morokanth profit.

The fact is, the Lunars are eager to catch fugitives, but they don't often have the home town advantage they need.  The Antelope Lancers are quite good, but without tip-offs they are as likely to wander into an ambush as catch their quarry.  There is also an impetus to keep the garrison forces alive, as losing large numbers of troops looks bad on reports, but not reporting losses would be even worse as there would be no reinforcements.  Far better to let mercenaries and freelancers solve these problems from the perspective of the Lunar Authorities in Prax.  This may be the perspective more of Sor-Eel than Halcyon Var Enkorth however.  Sor-Eel didn't take rebellion as a personal affront, while Halcyon thinks everything is about him personally, as he is a malignant narcissist (or at least that's how I play him as a GM).  Duke Raus' brief tenure as governor actually saw a drop-off in all manner of crime and rebellion, as he tried to do the right things for the right reasons, and largely achieved this.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

first point : who are the dead lunars (don't answer that's for you 🙂 )

second point : lunars are like others, they are human. that means they are not all the same, some are fanatics, some are lazy, some have different priorities, etc...

third point :  where (=who controlled the location)

 

then if you mix the three points :

maybe the dead lunars were poor farmers, or even barbarians or provincials, and the local governor is carmanian and want to not be disturbed, maybe the priest has other things to do than prey for divine answer for such ...ridiculous people... maybe the officer in charge of the security will have just hard words and doesn't care, because the governor is nothing for her...

 

or maybe the deads are a very honorable unit, with some influent family heirs, etc... and then they must be found, killed, and for the example, their family, their clan... their tribe ? must pay... crucifixion, crimson bat... or anythin other said 

 

so, in fact, as a gm, use the opposition power you want without any isse, then, if you have to explain why they are or not researched, why their family is now enslaved, burnt or removed by chaos, or live without any issue... find an answer or not (Red moon moves in mysterious way)

 

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, EricW said:

I sure hope the party includes a trickster. That phenomenal lie spell could be used to convince hostiles they made a mistake …”These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”

The point of the spell is to pass off the ludicrous as true, but you are right that it would work for a quick stop by a street patrol. Serious law enforcement would split the party and assign multiple interrogators. If the trickster used lie in that circumstance, one suspects they would soon be spotted … and summarily executed for wasting police time.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, mfbrandi said:

The point of the spell is to pass off the ludicrous as true, but you are right that it would work for a quick stop by a street patrol. Serious law enforcement would split the party and assign multiple interrogators. If the trickster used lie in that circumstance, one suspects they would soon be spotted … and summarily executed for wasting police time.

Or the liar could say “we are not the people you are looking for” before they are arrested and separated.

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, think of it in somewhat modern terms: if an entire patrol were KIA in Northern Ireland in the 70s or in Afghanistan there WOULD be a pretty serious reaction from the occupation forces. Politically, Pavis [especially] and the Grantlands are in very similar situations to Belfast and Baghdad during the worst of their troubles. The governmental policy is a 'hearts and minds' operation to convince and convert, but the local occupation authorities absolutely cannot allow challenges to their authority to pass without response. Ideally, the occupation forces want to punish those directly responsible... especially if they can punish them through due process of the legal system instead of a drumhead kangaroo court. However, since the government has decided on a soft occupation instead of reprisal pacification, the governor  is discouraged from rounding up 25 random Sartarite clansmen per Lunar soldier and executing the lot. That doesn't mean that Sor-Eel won't do that, but he'd really rather not. For one thing, he barely has enough troops to hold the walls of Pavis and certainly doesn't have the troops to even patrol the Zola Fel, much less the rest of the Wastes.

That means that the intelligence services have got their work really cut out for them. It also means that some casualties are to be expected.

So what does this all mean in a Rune Quest tactical /mechanical sense?

Way back in RQ2, I was playing in a party who were all distinctly anti-Lunar in outlook and action. Our group was disposed to knock off the odd group of Lunars here and there and we developed some tactics to do just that. We were obscenely lucky with the first Lunar patrol we fought. It was 4 on 6, the two PCs who cast Befuddle succeeded on the first try and the other two PC got crits on their bow shots for instant kills. Two Lunars escaped but they didn't see a thing... just four of their buddies dying and they decided the better part of valor was to run for it. And we ended up with a 4 full sets of Lunar Legionary armor. We discussed what we were going to do with gear that was obviously Lunar in origin. We couldn't wear it ourselves [the referee described it as 'like trying to hide Roman armor North of Hadrian's Wall'], but then one of the PCs came up with the brilliant idea of keeping the armor, cleaning and repairing it, and stashing it for those occasions where we would go out Lunar hunting. We got into the habit of wearing full clothing to cover our tattoos and fetishes and made absolutely sure that we didn't use obvious Orlanth magics [no Lightning or Fly]. And when we were just adventuring in the Rubble or doing something for our cults, we never wore the Lunar gear and never got into a fight with them. We even paid our Adventurer Taxes without too much grumbling.

This made the divinations much harder... Our 'murder kits' were absolutely average in appearance. The only thing we looted from the Lunars we killed was cash money, and we made a habit of telling the very next band of nomads we met up with where to find the bodies with all those nice metal armors and weapons on them. We took nothing that had a matrix or was unique and identifiable. The idea was that the gear we were using had no identifiable feature that a divination could home in on. It was all standard issue.

Now that's all for just ambushing the standard patrol. Going after 'named' opponents was an entirely different thing. But we were pretty eff'ing evil with that too. When we put the chop to an officer, one guy who'd made himself a target to us was a file leader named 'Brutus' [yeah, clever, I know], we would feed his corpse to a gorp. We knew of a 'gorp pit' out in Vulture Country, so we'd stuff the officer into a barrel of date gin, drag that to the pit, and dump the lot. No, there weren't any Storm Bulls or Wahas in the party, why do you ask? 😁

We didn't get away with it forever. Eventually the Lunar authorities caught us [I think it was that a diviner specifically marked a Wheel and tracked us with that, iirc], and we ended up as slaves in a quarry till we escaped. But we made it MUCH harder by taking some pretty simple common-sense precautions.

 

Edited by svensson
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, EricW said:

Or the liar could say “we are not the people you are looking for” before they are arrested and separated.

But it is a spell to mislead on matters of fact, right? Not a command spell or a confuse spell (unlike Ben’s “jedi mind trick”). Although the spell description says “incontrovertible evidence” of falsehood is needed, it also suggests that a Yelm priest’s divination as to whether the sun is going to rise tomorrow will do when the trickster says it won’t — it is not as if Yelm knows when he is going to be murdered; if he did, he would be madder than he already is (which is madder than a crate of salamanders) — so the bar is set pretty low.

So if serious criminals use lie a lot, we can expect policing to get a lot more Draconian and tricksters to get even less popular. “You are a copper. You think everyone is guilty. If someone tells you they are innocent and you believe them, execute them on the spot, as they are making you look soft. That is an order. Is that clear?”

Lie is good, but its overuse may have undesirable consequences.

What happens when trickster A tells person C that p and trickster B tells person C that ¬p? In the absence of evidence either way, what does C believe?

Extra unnecessary waffle:

Spoiler

Yelm’s bind: if Yelm sees and hears everything, Yelm believes the trickster’s lie. But if Yelm doesn’t take in everything that is happening in the middle world, how does Yelm know whether the trickster is lying? That is why it is hard to see what you can ask the Yelm priest to reassure people about whether the sun will rise tomorrow. “Well, I plan to,” says a worried Yelm. But canonically, Divination will do. That is why I say the bar is set low. The alternative, of course, is that not everybody automatically believes a Trickster Lie, but (a) where’s the fun in that? and (b) the gods certainly are gullible idiots: I bet Orlanth even believes his own puffery.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

But it is a spell to mislead on matters of fact, right? Not a command spell or a confuse spell (unlike Ben’s “jedi mind trick”). Although the spell description says “incontrovertible evidence” of falsehood is needed, it also suggests that a Yelm priest’s divination as to whether the sun is going to rise tomorrow will do when the trickster says it won’t — it is not as if Yelm knows when he is going to be murdered; if he did, he would be madder than he already is (which is madder than a crate of salamanders) — so the bar is set pretty low.

So if serious criminals use lie a lot, we can expect policing to get a lot more Draconian and tricksters to get even less popular. “You are a copper. You think everyone is guilty. If someone tells you they are innocent and you believe them, execute them on the spot, as they are making you look soft. That is an order. Is that clear?”

Lie is good, but its overuse may have undesirable consequences.

What happens when trickster A tells person C that p and trickster B tells person C that ¬p? In the absence of evidence either way, what does C believe?

Surely the identity and criminal status of a group of PCs a perception of "fact" which can be manipulated by a lie spell. "We are not the people you are looking for" - its a lie, a mistruth about a fact. Of course, if this is abused enough Lunars might develop elaborate strategies for trying to protect themselves, like ensuring the leader of the patrol is deaf - which could lead to even more hilarity - "write more slowly, I can't read when you scribble too fast".

The natural limit on this manipulation is local tolerance for tricksters running around with lie spell. Tricksters wouldn't only use lies for escaping justice, they'd heavily abuse this power for pretty much anything you could imagine. When you think about it from that perspective, its pretty obvious why the Trickster Great Temple in Slontos sank beneath the waves, it sank under the weight of all the lies. 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's probably worth considering that there are many groups of rebels and bandits who attack Lunars and are not hunted down and killed by uber forces of doom. So unless players are particularly egrarious and blatent in their murders. Then perhaps burning their homes down, killing all their loved ones and even their pet Kitten may be a bit of an extreme response, or if it is impossible to kill a few lunars without this happening make sure that this is well known so the players are not too annoyed by the heavy handed rsponse of doom

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Let's say the PC's ambushed and massacred a full file of the Lunar Pavis Garrison or say the Lunar Survey Team with Dalamides and Hazphar? Maybe they kill Erianda the Red and her cronies? (Forget about the other clan's response for now.)

How would the PC's keep from being found out? I am guessing due to Divination unless the PC's were masked and or disguised they would be known and named outlaws and a bounty placed on them but how much and who besides those being killed would be sent? Assassins, Moon Masks an entire company of troops?

I am starting to realize that concentrated missile fire with a bit of magic boosting it can really ravage a caravan or adventuring group quite quickly.

Additionally any killed Lunars of a certain social status would be resurrected like Halcyon (unless their heads were taken or the body destroyed, maybe cremated) and likely come after the PC's as well?

Your thoughts and thank you all.

image.png.ab57917005caaffad625cb58f12be38b.png image.png.ad0eb65c08f68080bbc28521c3f64ca4.png image.png.9e92846bc4de249c2e33c1e6d86c8bda.png

How have you been running your Glorantha? Is it relatively archaic or relatively anachronistic/modern? Because if it's the former... the way you get away with murder is to do it without any witnesses. That's more or less it. Now if it's the latter, maybe the gods and divination serve as a universal foolproof surveillance system, with Lhankor Mhy psychometry and so on as a similarly perfect forensic investigation system. But that's dull. You might as well tell your players "You're dead people walking, do you want to go down in a blaze of terrorist glory?" in that instance. 

Sure, "there's magic", but the limits of that magic, or of Lunar budgets, are pretty heavily within your ambit as GM. At that point, it's a question of "what kind of obstacles can you throw in front of the PCs that they can reasonably overcome if they're clever, or strain themselves, or prove willing to take losses." 

So let's start with some factors that might confound investigation. Did the PCs know the people they killed socially? If not, interrogating their ghosts or Resurrecting them probably gets a vague description, likely to be distorted and inaccurate. Psychometry probably relies on knowing the range of times and on maintaining a clean crime scene, because otherwise you'll pick up impressions of everyone who'd touched the item in question and sorting out the prospective killer will be an uphill process. So it depends on whether there's a coroner available in New Pavis for the Lunars who can examine the dead bodies forensically whether they can even get psychometric data (leaving aside the cost) from the equipment on the dead bodies. 

But maybe they get a general idea of what the PCs look like, or reason from where the murder spree went down, and they start rounding up people for interrogation. At that point, they have options- hide out, get out of town. Throw other people under the bus. Attempt to make it through interrogation safely. The arguments over which general approach to use and how to actually do it should provide you with more than enough challenges to throw in their way from that.  

  • Like 1

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

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

Eight Arms and the Mask

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, EricW said:

"We are not the people you are looking for" - its a lie, a mistruth about a fact.

Sure, I didn’t mean to question that. But if you are our hypothetical Lunar copper, you are drilled not to let them go just because they didn’t do it. And if you believe against all your instincts about civilians that they really didn’t do it, then you kill them out of hand (because they are annoying or just because it is a paranoid’s reflex in a land of liars) — and then you go looking for the people you were really after … only you don’t find them, because you have already “eliminated them from your enquiries” and all their tomorrows.

But, of course, the exchange doesn’t really go like this:

  • “You! Yes, you, scumbag. A word, please.”
  • “I am not the assassin you are looking for.”

The lie may be believed, but immediate cognitive dissonance — it is not as if the copper doesn’t have a memory of being told this extraordinary thing. Whereas the stormtrooper stopping Ben and company likely parrots the words put into their head without a clear idea of what Ben has said or even that he has spoken.

Maybe more likely:

  • “You look shifty. And strangely familiar. Where were you last night, turd?”
  • “I cannot tell a lie, officer — much as I would like to — I was banged up in the cells for drunkenly pissing in a copper’s helmet. Perhaps I was taken to your station.”

Then cringe like the copper is going to hit you; like you think maybe it was their helmet. But if you were in the cells, you weren’t playing stabby-stabby with the governor’s back (or whatever the crime was). You have to sidle up to the thing and tell a lie that might well have been true and which doesn’t hang a giant, dayglo “innocent but” sign around your neck. Yes, you did something, but you have already been caught and punished, but still have reason to want to go unnoticed, and that is why you look shifty. You don’t want to stand out like a fluorescent rhino in a disco — even if everyone is convinced that you are a rhino that absolutely, definitely didn’t assassinate anyone. I mean, especially not that.

Whereas, when playing the “no sunrise tomorrow” practical joke on your friends, it doesn’t matter that their neurons are jangling with the wrongness of it — if they believe it, they will run around like headless chickens, anyway. Something like that might work for a street stop — “Oh, my goddess, that Lunar patrol, they are all on fire; they will surely die if not doused with much water immediately” screamed at the top of one’s lungs so that the patrol and all on the street hear it. Chaos ensues, and you run like hell. Short term, it works, but you have called attention to yourself, so make sure you get out of town double quick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Darius West said:

<snip>

The fact is, the Lunars are eager to catch fugitives, but they don't often have the home town advantage they need.  The Antelope Lancers are quite good, but without tip-offs they are as likely to wander into an ambush as catch their quarry.  There is also an impetus to keep the garrison forces alive, as losing large numbers of troops looks bad on reports, but not reporting losses would be even worse as there would be no reinforcements.  Far better to let mercenaries and freelancers solve these problems from the perspective of the Lunar Authorities in Prax.  This may be the perspective more of Sor-Eel than Halcyon Var Enkorth however.  Sor-Eel didn't take rebellion as a personal affront, while Halcyon thinks everything is about him personally, as he is a malignant narcissist (or at least that's how I play him as a GM).  Duke Raus' brief tenure as governor actually saw a drop-off in all manner of crime and rebellion, as he tried to do the right things for the right reasons, and largely achieved this.

This is interesting.

 

2 hours ago, mfbrandi said:

The point of the spell is to pass off the ludicrous as true,

Why? A believable lie or a misdirection would be fine.

2 hours ago, EricW said:

Or the liar could say “we are not the people you are looking for” before they are arrested and separated.

yep

 

1 hour ago, mfbrandi said:

But it is a spell to mislead on matters of fact, right? Not a command spell or a confuse spell (unlike Ben’s “jedi mind trick”).

Why? 

 

Quote

Anyone hearing the lie automatically believes it to be true, no matter how outrageous it is. They continue to believe it until they have incontrovertible evidence of its falsehood, or for at least one full melee round in any case.

RBoM page 8

So, this is not outrageous. It is still a lie and therefore should be automatically believed to be true until someone can prove these are not the correct droids...

Lunar Patrol 0
Jedi Eurmali: 1

 

1 hour ago, mfbrandi said:

So if serious criminals use lie a lot, we can expect policing to get a lot more Draconian and tricksters to get even less popular. “You are a copper. You think everyone is guilty. If someone tells you they are innocent and you believe them, execute them on the spot, as they are making you look soft. That is an order. Is that clear?”

 

Not according to this...

 

Quote

When Lie is cast, the god Eurmal is present, but that fact does not allow the targets of the spell to disbelieve the lie. In this way, gods routinely show up in Glorantha, and people either acquiesce, summon their own gods, or flee. Sometimes gods contest each other, and people carefully watch for a victor.

 

1 hour ago, EricW said:

Surely the identity and criminal status of a group of PCs a perception of "fact" which can be manipulated by a lie spell.

Yep

 

41 minutes ago, Andrew M said:

It's probably worth considering that there are many groups of rebels and bandits who attack Lunars and are not hunted down and killed by uber forces of doom. So unless players are particularly egrarious and blatent in their murders

If it is germane to the game then bring on the uber forces... I believe they can be summoned by iSpell™  or an "Droid"™ . Otherwise, as Andrew says.

 

34 minutes ago, Eff said:

How have you been running your Glorantha? Is it relatively archaic or relatively anachronistic/modern? Because if it's the former... the way you get away with murder is to do it without any witnesses. That's more or less it.

This does lead to murder, as opposed to killing and as stated earlier, might cause Orlanthi quibbles.

 

34 minutes ago, Eff said:

Now if it's the latter, maybe the gods and divination serve as a universal foolproof surveillance system, with Lhankor Mhy psychometry and so on as a similarly perfect forensic investigation system. But that's dull. You might as well tell your players "You're dead people walking, do you want to go down in a blaze of terrorist glory?" in that instance. 

As you have said, and Andrew as well. Depends on the feel of your game. It seems a little bleak to me so I would not do it. At this christian season we should do onto PCs as we wish done onto our PCs, no?

 

34 minutes ago, Eff said:

So let's start with some factors that might confound investigation. Did the PCs know the people they killed socially? If not, interrogating their ghosts or Resurrecting them probably gets a vague description, likely to be distorted and inaccurate.

And let the story dictate, i think.

 

34 minutes ago, Eff said:

But maybe they get a general idea of what the PCs look like, or reason from where the murder spree went down, and they start rounding up people for interrogation. At that point, they have options- hide out, get out of town. Throw other people under the bus. Attempt to make it through interrogation safely. The arguments over which general approach to use and how to actually do it should provide you with more than enough challenges to throw in their way from that.  

That is the thing what challenges the PCs and creates a great story.

Edited by Bill the barbarian
  • Like 1

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:
2 hours ago, mfbrandi said:

The point of the spell is to pass off the ludicrous as true,

Why? A believable lie or a misdirection would be fine.

Hi, Bill. I meant the point of introducing the spell into the game (by the designers) was to enable Trickster pranks, not to break the game by handing the Eurmali a superpower. I may be wrong, of course.

I agree that from the PCs’ POV a believable lie or a misdirection would be fine — indeed it would be much better. And it might not even need a lie spell … but you know, just to be on the safe side, why not give it some extra oomph?

My thought was that having a spell that makes someone believe what a Trickster says — with AFAIK no indication that people don’t know that the trickster has just said it — is not the same as quietly inserting a belief into someone’s mind with maybe a bit of smoothing around the edges so it doesn’t jangle too badly and definitely not hanging a sign around someone that says “I just said what you now unaccountably believe.” Why assume the spell is even more powerful than it already is? I am sure it is already strong enough to have gotten plenty of people killed in “pranks.” But I may be wrong. I usually am.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just going by the rules I quote and if the adventurer is taking on the aspect of their God... sounds a bit like a superpower to me. The quote I use form page 8 of the RBoM does not allow wiggle room. It states the lie will be believed (the god has spoken). "These are not the droids you are looking for" was a baldfaced lie.

I do agree that the Rune level types that RQG promotes are overpowered so you can do as I do and try to talk your munchkins... er players, into taking less power. Good luck.

 

11 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

My thought was that having a spell that makes someone believe what a Trickster says — with AFAIK no indication that people don’t know that the trickster has just said it — is not the same as quietly inserting a belief into someone’s mind

Just remember, it is not your player but the god who is saying (lying) it.

 

29 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:
Quote

When Lie is cast, the god Eurmal is present, but that fact does not allow the targets of the spell to disbelieve the lie. In this way, gods routinely show up in Glorantha, and people either acquiesce, summon their own gods, or flee. Sometimes gods contest each other, and people carefully watch for a victor.

That is from page 8 of the RBoM.

 

11 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

But I may be wrong. I usually am.

Me too, so I do my research to help me to improve my "correct" score.

Edited by Bill the barbarian
  • Like 1

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

It states the lie will be believed (the god has spoken). "These are not the droids you are looking for" was a baldfaced lie.

Sure, and I didn’t try to say that the Lie wouldn’t be believed. But pick the right lie, or you will hang a “dodgy” sign about your neck, even if you are believed. It is not, AFAIK a spell that makes you believe the thing said and every other thing one might need to believe to make the thing said seem plausible. You believe the thing, but you don’t necessarily believe it is reasonable to believe it. “The world will end tonight. I know that sounds mad. I don’t know how to persuade you. But it definitely will. Trickster told me so, and he cannot be wrong this time. He just can’t!” And, isn’t that more fun than a jedi mind trick? Than a subtle “clouding of men’s minds”? Cognitive dissonance, but absolute conviction, anyway. (Of course, a subtle Lie may play out differently, but because of what one is being asked to believe, not because the spell smooths over the cracks.)

I don’t buy the “Ben Kenobi has the Lie spell” line. I think that he is inserting the belief directly into a stormtrooper’s mind, smoothly, and without the stormtrooper’s being able to recall that Ben has said anything. It has in common with Lie that he speaks the words and that the hearer believes what the words say, but surely the Lie spell works just like an ordinary lie: the person hears you say it, they remember that you have said it, but they think you are speaking the truth. The Lie victim will be able to say, “I know the world is going to end tonight, Trickster told me so.” “What, the Trickster who lies every time he opens his mouth? That guy?” “Yes, I know, but …”

Whereas, I reckon the stormtrooper just knows to let them go, and couldn’t even say that Ben had spoken. But for dramatic reasons, we have to hear what Ben says (and maybe Luke does, too). But he hasn’t convinced the trooper, he has just ensorceled him. Maybe later there is a shaking of the head and a realization of what has happened — maybe — but at the time, it is his own idea that they are the wrong droids, not “Beardy tells me they are the wrong droids, and that is good enough for me.”

But I haven’t seen the flick in 30 years, and I have never used Lie in a game, so no one should take too much notice of me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, mfbrandi said:

Hi, Bill. I meant the point of introducing the spell into the game (by the designers) was to enable Trickster pranks, not to break the game by handing the Eurmali a superpower. I may be wrong, of course.

I have no idea of their thought processes.  One of our players said it best:

"The Lie spell has never not been broken."

As for a possible Lunar response, one might be to just start hauling away clan, friends, or family of the perps for "questioning" or worse.  Details depend on just how dark is your campaign.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, mfbrandi said:

Sure, I didn’t mean to question that. But if you are our hypothetical Lunar copper, you are drilled not to let them go just because they didn’t do it. And if you believe against all your instincts about civilians that they really didn’t do it, then you kill them out of hand (because they are annoying or just because it is a paranoid’s reflex in a land of liars) — and then you go looking for the people you were really after … only you don’t find them, because you have already “eliminated them from your enquiries” and all their tomorrows.

But, of course, the exchange doesn’t really go like this:

  • “You! Yes, you, scumbag. A word, please.”
  • “I am not the assassin you are looking for.”

The lie may be believed, but immediate cognitive dissonance — it is not as if the copper doesn’t have a memory of being told this extraordinary thing. Whereas the stormtrooper stopping Ben and company likely parrots the words put into their head without a clear idea of what Ben has said or even that he has spoken.

Maybe more likely:

  • “You look shifty. And strangely familiar. Where were you last night, turd?”
  • “I cannot tell a lie, officer — much as I would like to — I was banged up in the cells for drunkenly pissing in a copper’s helmet. Perhaps I was taken to your station.”

Then cringe like the copper is going to hit you; like you think maybe it was their helmet. But if you were in the cells, you weren’t playing stabby-stabby with the governor’s back (or whatever the crime was). You have to sidle up to the thing and tell a lie that might well have been true and which doesn’t hang a giant, dayglo “innocent but” sign around your neck. Yes, you did something, but you have already been caught and punished, but still have reason to want to go unnoticed, and that is why you look shifty. You don’t want to stand out like a fluorescent rhino in a disco — even if everyone is convinced that you are a rhino that absolutely, definitely didn’t assassinate anyone. I mean, especially not that.

Whereas, when playing the “no sunrise tomorrow” practical joke on your friends, it doesn’t matter that their neurons are jangling with the wrongness of it — if they believe it, they will run around like headless chickens, anyway. Something like that might work for a street stop — “Oh, my goddess, that Lunar patrol, they are all on fire; they will surely die if not doused with much water immediately” screamed at the top of one’s lungs so that the patrol and all on the street hear it. Chaos ensues, and you run like hell. Short term, it works, but you have called attention to yourself, so make sure you get out of town double quick.

Even more hilarious if the copper arrests everyone who looks suspicious in rebel infested areas. Because everyone does look suspicious. They’re all barbarians.

Or if a patrol includes a psycho - “let’s kill them anyway”.

How many times have you looked and not been sure they are someone you know or have heard of? It’s this fringe of doubt the lie would act on.

I’m sure Lunars could work out a system, like putting deaf people in charge who can’t hear the lie, putting stupid people in charge who don’t understand the lie, a series of interlocking lookouts who can rush out and persuade soldiers at checkpoints they’ve been lied to. Or Yansfil cultists maintaining continuous “detect honour” spells at all checkpoints.

All hilariously consequential - especially in the trickster has multiple uses of “lie”.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, EricW said:

Even more hilarious if the copper arrests everyone who looks suspicious in rebel infested areas. Because everyone does look suspicious. They’re all barbarians.

Well, if we have given up on hearts and minds, it may not matter whether we arrest the “right” person. Revenge and justice might require you to find the guilty party, but one is a barbarian concern and the other is for when we are in friendly territory.

Edited by mfbrandi
made less verbose
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...