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I've just started a new playtest for the Praxian book at my local gaming club. Some of you may be interested in what I'm doing, how stuff is progressing and what I do with my group.

Some Background

The first playtest was an all Bison rider group (Copper Bison clan) to look at how the magic, social structure and feel of setting would work. The second play was an all Morokanth group. This looked at the politics of the Praxians internally, how the Paps worked, how the Morokanth worked as vegetarians, more work on the magic background and clan generation with seasonal migration routes. In-between this playtest and the next, a large chunk of my text was taken and put in HeroQuest Glorantha - Spirit Magic section and the Cult of Waha. The third playtest was an all Sable group looking at the structure of the Sables, integration with the Lunars, and the divided nature of sable politics. The players in this game decided they would be from one of the pro-lunar phratries and the clan of Inire the Red, the corrupt tribal Khan of sables. The game itself was based around a foreshadowing of the Dragonrise, and involved Dragonewts , Dream Dragons (Krang), Draconic mysteries and Newtlings. The climax was the unintentional planting of the EWF dragon banner on the Moon instead of New Temple of the Reaching Moon. The players barely escaped with their lives as Tatius the Bright was not amused by the actions of his so called allies.

Current Playtest

This is my first mixed game, players can be from any of the major tribes and they are all members of the White Bull society - all of their mounts are slowly turning white. I've seven players, two from the previous playtest, the rest new to HeroQuest, although a few played RuneQuest 3. The first evening was spent generating characters and making up charms. I don't get everyone to do all five charms as that's time consuming although fun, so everyone had two to start with. The best part being that HeroQuest Glorantha is out and so I had a book to hand around rather than printouts. Here's their characters:

Riyal the Sudden Hunter of Foundchild (Impala Tribe). Fire/Spirit/Harmony. Charms - (Harmony) Ghostly Tracker & (Harmony) Blend with Land.

unnamed Enigmatic Spirit Talker of Jakaleel the Witch (Impala Tribe). Moon/Spirit/Illusion. Charms - (Illusion) Suggestive Words & (Spirit) Ghostly Embrace.

Celestine the Divine Priest of Waha (Golden High Llama clan, High Llama tribe). Water/Death/Mastery. Charms - (Mastery) Loud Hail & (Water) Move as water flows.

Lind the Spooky Warrior of the Seven Mothers (Black Bison clan, Bison tribe). Moon/Spirit/Death. Charms - (Death) Silent Blow & (illusion) Cause Doubt.

Konunger the Majestic Warrior of Waha (Dark Morokanths clan, Morokanth tribe). Darkness/Spirit/Mastery. (Disorder) Befuddle & (Darkness) Hide Group. Sidekick - Darky the Great Troll.

There are a few things to finish, but they can be done in-game next week (moon phases, names, more charms). 

The next two are from the previous Sable playtest, and have more development:

Sagan Grokka the Honest Spirit Talker of the Skygazers (High Horns clan, Sable tribe). Sky/Harmony/Spirit. Charms - (Beast) - Become Sable, (Sky) Meteor Storm, (Sky) Whispers of Dragons, (Man) See the Hidden, (Man) Bone Collector, (Plant) Commune with Nature, (Water) Mumble with Water Beings, (Beast) Magic Bison Herding. Retainers - Three Newtlings.

Rang the Innovative Stone Hard Protector (Warrior) of Daka Fal (High Horns clan, Sable tribe). Earth/Spirit/Death. Charms - (Man) Union of the Form, (Moon) Holy Fire, (Mastery) Convincing Voice. Sidekick - Tasselhof Helpful Hosar (Lightning Boy).

If you'd like to see more detail, like their taboos, stats etc, let me know.

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Here are the current working runes of the cults / spirit societies from the Prax Book, all the Praxian spirits from Nomad Gods Chaosium edition fit within these:

Praxian Tradition - Man / Beast

The Great Three

Waha - Death Mastery (Rune/Spirit magic)

Eiritha - Life Beast  (Rune/Spirit magic)

Storm Bull - Storm  Eternal Battle (Rune/Spirit magic)

The Old Friends

Foundchild - Death Harmony (Spirit magic)

Helpwoman - Life Harmony (Spirit magic)

Daka Fal - Man Spirit Man (Spirit magic)

The Many Friends

The Sky Gazers - Sky (Spirit magic)

The Burners - Fire (Spirit magic)

The Thirstless - Water (Spirit magic)

The Shadow People - Darkness (Spirit magic)

The Hidden Ancestor - Moon Sky (Local version) (Spirit magic)

The Twinstars - Full Half phase Sky (Hungry Plateau version) (Spirit magic)

The Hidden Paths

The Red School of Masks (dying Phase) (Spirit magic)

Serpent Dancers - Water (originally an offshoot of the Thirstless spirit society) (Spirit magic)

Star Witches - Sky (originally an offshoot of the Sky Gazers Spirit society) (Spirit magic)

Sunset Society - Darkness (originally an offshoot of the Shadow People Spirit society) (Spirit magic)

Ghost Darters - Spirit (originally an offshoot of the Foundchild Spirit society) (Spirit magic)

The White Bull Brotherhood - Change (maybe Air) (Spirit magic)

The Other Leaders

Baba Ulodra (Agimori) - Fire  (Rune/Spirit magic)

Basmol (Basmoli) - Beast Mastery (Hsunchen tradition)  (Spirit magic)

Cannibal Cult - Spirit  (Spirit magic)

Grandfather Baboon - Man Spirit Man (Spirit magic)

Monkey King - Beast Man (Disorder also for tribe members)  (Spirit magic)

Great Rhino - Earth Beast  (Spirit magic)

Ostrich Mother - Sky Beast (Earth also for tribe members) (Spirit magic)

Pure Horse Founder (Pol-Joni) - Horse (Spirit magic)

Yelorna (Unicorn tribe) - Sky Death (Rune/Spirit magic)

Zebra Founder - Beast (zebra) (Spirit magic)

Invader Deities 

Humakt - Death Truth (As HQG)  (Rune magic)

Yelmalio - Fire Truth  (Rune magic)

Seven Mothers - Death Moon Life  (As HQG)  (Rune/Spirit/Sorcery/Moon weirdness magic)

Lightbringers (no Eurmal)

Orlanth - Change (Air Mastery Storm in Pol-Joni)  (Rune/Spirit magic)

Chalana Arroy - Harmony Life Harmony  (Rune/Spirit magic)

Issaries - Movement Trade  (Rune magic)

Lhankor Mhy - Truth Law Truth  (Rune/Sorcery magic)

The Evil Ones

The Wild Hunter - Storm Disorder (Rune/Spirit magic)

Thed - Chaos Spirit (Spirit magic)

Mallia - Darkness Death (Chaos as well for Broos) (Spirit magic)

This list may be subject to change and should be in no way considered final.

Edited by David Scott
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Thunderbird - Orlanth. First Council missionaries arrived in the Wastes after the Dawn. Fulfilling a prophesy, Waha gifted his uncle with the Air spirits that he had met, saved and released in the Great Darkness. Orlanth is different in the Wastes - change/adventurous aspect only (except amongst the Pol-Joni) and has Air spirits, so effectively a spirit society as well as a cult.

Raven - Shadow People

Sun Hawk  - Sky Gazers. Sun Hawk has no fire powers.

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Going back to the original source in Nomad Gods, Sun Hawk is listed under Spirits of Fire, but is not mentioned as being fiery at all:

"Sun Hawk was the servant of the Sun before the Great Night, and was also one of the Three Feathered Rivals. His keen eye and clarity overcame any trickery, and so he was always victorious over Raven, though the clouds of Thunder Bird could block his clear light."

Wyrms Footnotes #4 (1978) errata doesn't change that. Later when RQ2 Battle Magic appeared for Praxian Spirits in an early Chaosium document (c1980), Sun Hawk was given:

"Clear Sight, 2 points, temporal, sight range, nonstackable, reusable 

This permits the caster to see any illusion for what it is, and to see through cloaking spells such as Conceal. The caster's visual Scan and Search skills are increased by 30% each. However, he cannot see through opaque objects, such as walls or fog."

Which as you can see doesn't really evoke any fieryness either. I'm using older sources as much as I can so would be interested if I've missed a source that says Sun Hawk is otherwise. Please note that Drastic Prax isn't a source that I'm using.


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YGMV but I still see no reason not to give a Spirit of Fire, fire. Yelmalio may have lost his flame, but not all the lesser powers of Fire did. Firshala, for instance, still retains a lesser elemental for use along with a connection to minor (Battle) magical fire. Thunderbird retains Air and Raven retains Darkness, the elemental powers not just the association so it stands to reason that Sun Hawk would as well.

I'm also interested which Chaosium document (c1980) carries with it that list of RQ2 Battle Magic.  Wyrm's Footnotes #4 I haven't seen since 1984 so I'll defer there. I'm not seeking to give an offense, just to follow the chain of logic to it's fullest. Esp. with the rebirth of RQ2. :-)

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6 minutes ago, charlesvajr said:

YGMV but I still see no reason not to give a Spirit of Fire, fire. Yelmalio may have lost his flame, but not all the lesser powers of Fire did. Firshala, for instance, still retains a lesser elemental for use along with a connection to minor (Battle) magical fire.

FWIW IMG Sun Hawk is the Praxian version of Yelmalio. The full fiery glory of the sun may have rested with Splendid Yamsur, but Sun Hawk never was the Golden Age sun, only its perception.

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Konunger the Majestic Warrior of Waha (Dark Morokanths clan, Morokanth tribe). Darkness/Spirit/Mastery. (Disorder) Befuddle & (Darkness) Hide Group. Sidekick - Darky the Great Troll.

Does this mean Konunger's has a gern / herdman that is also turning white? :)  

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

FWIW IMG Sun Hawk is the Praxian version of Yelmalio. The full fiery glory of the sun may have rested with Splendid Yamsur, but Sun Hawk never was the Golden Age sun, only its perception.

Actually that clears up your point of view quite nicely. At least in regards to Sun Hawk. It's not my vision but good none the less.

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@metcalph the Burners are essentially the Spirit cult of Oakfed and the Lowfires. The arrival of missionaries from the First Council did not only herald the arrival of the Lightbringer cults to the Praxians, but a flow the other way of Praxian stuff. The Sartarite Oakfed cult is clearly the Burners from the Wastes minus local spirits.

@Iskallor Condor is a localised spirit and part of the Sky Gazers when found.

The Many Friends have no fixed spirit list, they vary from place to place depending on need and locale.

Edited by David Scott
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@Joerg Yelmalio is Lightfore, so the Praxian Spirit Sun Daughter. One of the reasons that Yelmalio was able to find a place in the Wastes was that he/she was already known as a spirit in the Sky Gazers. Changing sex was no issue for an animistic culture, and may even explain some of Sun County's gender "issues".

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  • 3 weeks later...

Didn't have much of a chance to update you on my game for the last three episodes. So here goes:

The group each told why they had joined the White Bull, some it seems had little choice like the Sables who had been outlawed. The Bison rider was from the clan that originally enslaved Argrath. All who had family had brought them to join the society. Raag's wife had now given birth to their their 13th child, the High Llama Khan had brought all 5 of his wives and 5 children, and the Impala hunter had brought his extended family with grandchildren as well.

Argrath tasked them with recovering a sacred item he had dreamt about. He saw it was on a place called Ogre Island in the Big Rubble of Pavis. Only the two Sables are familiar with the Rubble, having visited the Real City the previous year. The group discussed how to get in with the Sables taking the lead. They couldn't go in through the Garden again due to a previous incident, so with the help of Sagan Grokka's newtlings they went up river on reed boats helped by the newts and a spirit from the spirit talker sable. It's a gripping hand spirit that always engages in inappropriate hugging after being used. They took their riding beasts with them so it took a while to cross into the Rubble.

The Troll lands just inside the walls were decided to be a good place to start. The Morokanth has a Great Troll sidekick so that would obviously help. The Sable hunter started to scout ahead, but was hit by a lead sling shot and wounded. Retreating quickly back to the group, they prepared to meet a troll patrol. The group began to argue over the best course of action. The Khan, strong in the Mastery rune wanted to negotiate as Waha did with Dark Eater, Raag, a Waha initiate strong in the Death Rune want to fight and kill them. The Sable spirit talker wanted to see what would happen. The others slunk away into the ruins using the harmony spirits of the hunter to hide.

The trolls appeared - a Zorak Zoran Death Lord, his two Dark Troll aides and 5 troll kin on leads. The Raag held back, commanded by his khan, who began to talk to his opposite, jesting that if he wanted a fight, they would return tomorrow to settle it properly. The sable spirit talker said to the troll was a coward if he wouldn't fight now.

The Khan groaned.

He then threw a haunch of meat towards the river, at the moment the trollkin were released. The sable spirit talker and his mount discorporated using his spirit rider ability and started to quickly move away, notching arrows. Raag the Innovative Stone Hard Protector charged forward with his twin shields ready (yes he fights with two shields, one metal, the other a dragonscale - he is innovative). The Khan shouted "STOP" using his Commanding Voice while trying to jab Raag with his spear butt.

The trollkin went for the meat down the river bank. The Trolls froze under the khan's commanding voice. Raag avoided the spear butt and ignored the order, smashing into the Death warrior. The sable loosed arrows into the Death Lord. The Khan buried his head in his hands.

The others ambushed, the first aide to the death Lord died under a hail of magic and arrows, the Death Lord pulled back and fell under a hail of Sable arrows. The other Dark Troll surrendered after the Morocanth said something to it in Darktongue...

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