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creativehum

Rune Quests across the editions

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I think something that might be adding to the overall confusion is a simple assumption - the assumption that any single roleplaying or other gaming system so far has portrayed the setting of Glorantha in it's entirety.

This is simply not true. White Bear, Red Moon, RuneQuest, HeroQuest and the upcoming 13th Age in Glorantha all show only some aspects of the setting - accentuating some, downplaying others. Stuff like having runes on your character sheet or "battle magic" or "affinities" or whatever - those are all game system artefacts, they are not the living reality of people who live in the setting.

The Runes are universal and omnipresent. Every single human being is composed of every single rune, in some specific mixture. Some people have more Death in them, some more Life. Some have more Air and some have more Darkness and yet others seem to be almost entirely composed of Harmony. This is a fact of the setting.

Now going from there, different systems decide to approach this fact in different ways - some simply ignore it, or downplay it, others (like HQ:G) make it central to your character generation process, asking you to highlight the three runic aspects of your character that define her the most. (This is also why the question that sometimes pops up of "Okay but why do we only have three runes? Can't we have four?" is kind of meaningless. Your character doesn't have three runes, she only has her three most prominent ones highlighted.)  You can think of HQ:G's approach like this - forget Runes. Forget the symbols and the concepts of them and so on. Instead imagine that the games asks you "Please define the three most obvious aspects of your character's personality. What is he like?". Obviously nobody is only just impulsive or loves ice-cream, but at some point you need to just pick three, because...well there needs to be a cut off point in this for the sake of sanity.

Now, if you don't want your players to have to deal with Runes and the aspects that they help define in a character, that's fine! Just start the game without any runes, and tell your players that their characters have all recently become adult members of their society (or hell, if  you want take jajagappa's advice and even go further back and run the actual adult initiation as as a session), and that it is now time for them to pick a god they want to initiate to, picking the one that they want to be central in their life. In-setting at this point the new adult has had a couple of years to talk with priests, family members and all kinds of other wiser people, to try and figure out what direction he or she wants to take their life. Do this with your players - explain to them the gods and their paths in-character, though series of dialogues with their clan's priests and priestesses, their parents and grandparents, their siblings. Then ask them which one they want to chose, and then actually run the initiation rituals for the cult(s) they chose.  At the end of this you then tell them to define their three most-central runes. While they might have awakened their basic power when they became adults, the cult is what gives that power direction and avenues to manipulate the world around you.

And there you go - you just went through the same process you would go in RQ with people needing to join a cult.

Now, on the topic of mundane vs magical - this is of course something you should run with, if you think it's an interesting thematic element in your games. So regardless of what anyone else say (including what I will right now), if you like it - run it. It's your game and it's your Glorantha!

For me, there really is no divide between mundane and magical, at least not in the way that a 21st century person from europe or the united states understands those concepts. I would argue that by our standards there is no "mundane" a Gloranthan person's life, much in the same way there is nothing "mundane" in the life of a farmer or builder in ancient Egypt or Rome. Those people didn't just believe in magic and gods and charms and rituals and good luck trinkets. Those were so integral to the way they viewed the world around them that suggesting that any of that didn't work would be seen as an almost absurd proposition.

In Egypt a farmer has a small charm of a farming deity  that he offers a tiny bit of bread to every time he goes out to tend to his field. He doesn't just believe, he knows that doing that will make his work go easier and faster. That, after all, is why he does it.

In Sartar a farmer has a small charm of Barntar that he offers a tiny bit of bread to every time he goes out to tend his field. He too doesn't just believe that this works, he knows that it will, which is why he does it.

Is this mundane or is it magic? In our world you might say "this is just mundane, it's a psychological ritual to make the person convince themselves their work is going easier." In Glorantha it just sides with the person and says "of course it's magic. It works, doesn't it?"

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Again, thank you for the thoughtful and informative replies. 

Here's where my thinking is on a few things:

First, I made the same mistake about the use of "initiation" in HQG that this poster did from a thread from 2012. i assumed that being initiated with Runes meant one was initiated with Rune magic (that is, into a cult). But apparently these two things are different. So that's on me. But this thread helped me dig down further and I sorted it out.

Second, I do think, even in the Glorantha material as presented, there is a distinction "the every day world" which is relatively mundane and the higher magic available to certain people in Glorantha. I say this knowing that there is everyday magic all the time from farmers and housewives and such. But we know that once upon a time there was no seperation between man and gods... and then Time began and all that changed. We know that in the Middle World can only tap the powers of higher magic through rituals, HeroQuests, and Runes. Other than that... no dice. And so, to my point, I want to make sure that distinction holds. But this point is on surer footing since I can to understand how I had made my mistake about initiations. 

Third, with all that in mind, I have an answer to the question from my first post: "Are the runes PCs start with in HQ:G the same runes that PCs once sought out in RQ? That is, do the PCs start with what they once had to work to get? Am I understanding this correctly?"

The answer, in terms of pure fiction, "Yes, sure." In a practical sense for RPG play, the answer is "No." The Runes one starts with in HQG are about one's soul and temperament and can be used to Augment mundane Traits. The Runes one gets by Initiating into a cult (as one got them in RQ) allow all sorts of other abilities and powers. (Even if the lists of benefits is short and incomplete in the text of RQ, those magical benefits and Rune magic are still there.)

Fourth, to be clear, this is the text I was referring to when I spoke about acquiring Runes in RQ:

Quote

 

Purpose of the game
The title of the game, RuneQuest, describes its goal. The player creates one or more characters, known as Adventurers, and plays them in various scenarios designed by a Referee. The Adventurer has the use of combat, magic, and other skills, and treasure. The Referee has the use of assorted monsters, traps, and his own wicked imagination to keep the Adventurer from his goal within the rules of the game. A surviving Adventurer gains experience in fighting, magic, and other skills, as well as money to purchase further training.

The Adventurer progresses in this way until he is so proficient that he comes to the attention of the Hgh Priests, sages and gods. At this point he has the option to jon a Rune Cult. Joining such a cult gives him many advantages, not the least of which is aid from the god of the cult. At this point he has the option to join a Rune cult. Joining such a cult gives him many advantages, not the least of which is aid from the god of the cult. 

Acquiring a Rune by joining such a cult is the goal of the game, for only in gathering a Rune may a character take the next step, up into the ranks of Hero, and perhaps Superhero.

 

I like this section from HQ because I think it frame things nicely for an RPG experience. I understand Glorantha is bigger than this (and has become bigger since the publication of HQ2. But I think there's a real value in having, for new players to a game (and new players to a detailed world) a handlebar or two to grab onto. And those paragraphs provide it.

Note that nothing in the quote above contradicts anything in HQG. The quote is simply an arrow for the focus of ambition and action in early play. How one choose to become so proficient as to attract the attention of high priests, sages, and gods is completely up to the players, of course. But at least the player know they're going to be working, in the early stages, toward getting themselves initiated and being blessed with the runes that come from that to increase their power and become very important indeed.

Six, I realized one of the reasons I went down this road is because I'm not that crazy about the "defining personality with Runes" thing. I really love the need to behave in alignment with the god's expectations as an initiate. I prefer, however, that there might be tension between who a character is and the god he has sworn to serve.

Notice that in Pendragon Traits don't dictated behavior. (Not, at least, if you're playing the game right.) But in the system in HQG what your runes are, and hence your behaviors, are who you are--in your very soul. These runes of initiation into adulthood define and limit behaviors. I know some people like this. But it isn't more me. Watching a character bend toward his or her god over time in an effort to remain loyal, or watching a character finally snap in frustration at his or her own shortcoming is something I'd love to see. But that'll be hard if the PCs soul is, by definition, already in alignment with the god's runes. (I understand that one or two of the PCs runes might cause trouble for an initiate if they mismatch with the cult the PC joins. But no matter what, the Runes are there to nail down and define the PCs innate personality and soul. It strikes me (and probably only me) as too much of a stick, lacking the leeway found, again, for example, in Pendragon.

Seven, which finally ties all my questions together: I like the idea of the Players coming to understand how the gods, runes, and cults interact and having dreams of gaining the attention of the cults and gods, behaving of their own volition and effort, to act certain ways, add traits if need be, cement them, and so on.

As Jenx points out, there is the fictional world of Glorantha and then there is the RPG interpretation of Glorantha. How one organizes the RPG experience can help or hinder the ability of Players to learn the rules, understand the setting, and so on. As a Narrator, I love the idea of letting the Players have some time to get their feet wet, come to an understanding of the rules and setting, and make plans based on those understandings. For me, initiating into adulthood within the Storm Pantheon would be amazing... but I'd let them sort out what sort of person their character is as they go. 

Again, that's me. Not try to get anyone to buy into it. But this thread has helped me see how this all fits together and how to make it work for the game I'd like to run.

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, creativehum said:

Third, with all that in mind, I have an answer to the question from my first post: "Are the runes PCs start with in HQ:G the same runes that PCs once sought out in RQ? That is, do the PCs start with what they once had to work to get? Am I understanding this correctly?"

The answer, in terms of pure fiction, "Yes, sure." In a practical sense for RPG play, the answer is "No." The Runes one starts with in HQG are about one's soul and temperament and can be used to Augment mundane Traits. The Runes one gets by Initiating into a cult (as one got them in RQ) allow all sorts of other abilities and powers. (Even if the lists of benefits is short and incomplete in the text of RQ, those magical benefits and Rune magic are still there.)

 

I think the runes to be used in the new version of RuneQuest will be the same as the ones in HQ:G, so going forward there will be a high degree of compatibility.

 

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4 hours ago, soltakss said:

I think the runes to be used in the new version of RuneQuest will be the same as the ones in HQ:G, so going forward there will be a high degree of compatibility.

I read the design notes blog posts linked earlier, so I suspect so yes.

But in reading those I saw references to Pendragon, which is what tipped me off as to why they had been rubbing me the wrong about about the "fated personality" aspects of Runes introduced in HQG--such a mechanic is the opposite of how Pendragon Traits work.

I understand this will be the way Runes are introduced to new Players (via Character Creation). I just think

  1. It's too heavy a burden for some players to have to decide everything about their characters at the start (some players aren't like that)
  2. I think it robs the sense of discovery and drama in terms of choices for their characters. With Runes stamped upon a PCs soul like that, one is told, "This is who you are," which precludes the discovery of "Who will this character become?"

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I can offer my own take on how and why runes affect a person's character and personality. I don't claim this is supported by the setting's fiction, but it's a good way of handling the situation, even if it delves a bit into metaphysics.

Now, let's establish some things first, so I can explain what I'm talking about (hopefully) better after that.
1. The Gods are made up of Runes. Some of them are made up of various runes, some of them are just a single, primal rune. But they are runes.

2. The Gods made the mortal races, including humans.

3. Humans are also made of Runes, though usually a mixture of all of them, instead of the purer essences of the Runes that the gods are made of. A god is  a concentrated powdered drink. A human is that same powder mixed in with water, wine, some soy sauce and who the hell knows what else.

4. The Gods are almost inconceivably larger in scope and existence. No mortal can ever fully, absolutely understand and comprehend a god in it's totality - they can only experience parts of it, sometimes even many parts at once, but the mortal soul is simply in an entirely different scale to perceive the true totality of the divine.

Following these four points, let's examine how all of this relates to the actual gameplay mechanic of runes affecting your character's...well character.
While in HQ:G each of the runes is given a broad and generalized behaviour and character, I think that's mostly done to simplify things, and instead just having a strong association with a rune doesn't actually affect you.

To me the personality-affecting aspects of your Runes is closely tied to your character's magic. Magic, as both HQ:G and the Guide point out is, to grossly generalize, the interaction between the mortal and the divine. Between the temporal and linear (or cyclical) mind of a being existing within Time, and between the infinite Now and the eternal existence of something that exists in the God World. Your character performs magic by making a connection between her own temporal self and a god's infinite self. The resulting link is magic.

The different cultures in Glorantha do this in wildly differing ways - through sacrifices of animals and items, through chanting, through fasting and physical exhaustion, through the taking of drugs and opiates, through the recitation of hellishly complex logistical formulae, through cutting scars in their skin, through creating sever changes in their environment as elaborate rituals, the list goes on. However the end result is, ultimately, the same - Something from the Infinite and something from the Finite bridge together. (This, by the way, is what Illuminates are capable of understanding, and it's what makes them so feared, hated and distrusted by everyone else. They just stop looking at existence from the point of view of everyone else.)

However this connection does not just result in power, energy and fireballs being transferred from the divine into the mortal, but other things as well. Coincidence, Fate, whatever you want to call it. And personality.

Where I'm going with all of this, is that the closer a mortal is to a god in Glorantha, the more that god's personality (or their perceived personality. It ultimately doesn't matter if they have one of their own, or if it's just one imposed by the mortal's cultural understanding of the world.) becomes imprinted into that mortal. Let's again use an example of an Orlanthi  cultist.

Once a male child in Sartar has passed his adult initiation, his soul is now open and awakened. During his initiation he has met with gods and heroes, and perhaps felt a connection, kinship or friendship with some of them. Or perhaps he didn't. Regardless, his soul (his Runes) are now awake. In game terms, this means your character can perform augmentations using his runes, but that's all. They don't have any link to the divine from which to draw actual magic, they just use their own will and soul to make themselves better. In our own world that might make them superhuman, in Glorantha (where everyone can do this) it's just..normal. So from my perspective, this young man is free to act how he likes. Let's say in game terms he has the runes of Air, Mastery and Movement. None of those really affect him in any meaningful way. He might be more aggressive and passionate than, say, a young boy born in Loskalm, but that could also just be the way the traditions of his culture and his environment have raised him.

Several years later, once that boy has finally decided on which god he wants to follow, he decides to just join the broad cult of Orlanth, without really picking a sub-cult or a hero cult within that group. He goes through the rituals of initiation to be entered into the cult and he is, in some way, presented to the God. He meets with Orlanth and Orlanth acknowledges him as one of his own - a connection of formed between the mortal and the god. From here onwards this young man will be able to channel Orlanth's being to perform magic in the mortal world, through this connection. In HQ:G game terms you  can now use your runes as a direct ability, producing over magical effects, not just vague augments. However the stronger this connection becomes (in game terms - the higher your ability rating in a specific Rune is) the more Orlanth's personality starts to impose itself onto the young man. Let's say his highest rated rune (and in fact, his highest rated ability) is his Movement rune. This doesn't mean that this young man is now mind-controlled by his god, but it does mean that he starts feeling urges pulling on the strings of his soul. He feels the need to wander, to explore, to travel. He becomes less satisfied with simply staying on his father's stead and tilling the fields.

But that's all this is - an urge, a feel. If he resists it, it doesn't mean the connection with Orlanth is severed, but it might become weakened again, as the Mortal asserts itself over the Divine.So here is where you might have this conflict and struggle of character that you desire in a game - does your character simply give himself to God, or does he decide, for various reasons, that he wants to assert his own self, and not just follow the urges in his soul?

Let's say he does decide to give in though. He is struck with wanderlust, he wants to travel and see the world. He meets a holy person who also follows this urge, and after being tested and initiated he is given secrets of a deeper aspect of God - that of Orlanth the Wanderer, the one called Larnsting. He is sworn into secrecy, like he was in his general initiation, to not reveal this knowledge and understanding to those who don't already posses it, or wish to join the cult. He is now a Devotee, in the terms of HQ:G. In the game you can now perform Feats - great acts of magic which don't just create a link from the Gods World into the Mortal World, they actually bring a piece of it into mortal reality. The most common side-effect of this is what's called Hero Forming - when the person performing the feat takes on what he perceives to be the physical look of his god. Once hero forming, a person's identity vanishes. They no longer have their own will and character, they are an incarnated fragment of God, existing for a brief moment in mortal reality. Devotees then feel a much, MUCH greater pull through this connection to their god, and therefore their own personalities start to become consumed by that of the divine. They don't usually mind, of course - if they did, they wouldn't have decided to devote themselves entirely to a single god (after all, that's why they are called Devotees). At this point, I think a story-line about a character battling with his god is probably pointless - if they've decided to go this far, they probably are willing to commit to it. You can't really force someone to become a Devotee, they must want it.

Mind you, Devotees also delve into the much stickier philosophical subject of just how much, if any, Free Will exists in Glorantha, but that's a topic for an entirely different thread. I do hope this long and rambling post makes enough sense to help you understand why (at least from my take in Glorantha) the Runes affect a human's character and personality, and why I don't think it's such a problem.

P.S.: Holy shit, look at the size of this post. I have become Joerg!

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Let me be clear:

I utterly believe one can justify the Rune As Character as a solid piece of Glorantha logic. As a piece of metaphysics it all makes sense.

I'm talking about this in the context of RPG play. In my view, some rules, some settings, some utilization of some settings (and this is what I'm talking about here) are more fruitful for RPG play than others.

I like my Players to have choices. They need to have agency. They might well choose to follow the path of Orlanth all the way to the end. But I want them to have the choice to betray the behaviors of Orlanth out of anger, a sense of betrayal, love, whatever. This is how new things happen within the world of Glorantha. Characters switch sides, betray gods, take on new gods, make new, unexpected alliances. It in the myths, it's in the history of people of Glorantha.

I bring this up not to argue against all the solid points you brought up above. I'm speaking within the context of RRP play. Those choices that characters made in the stories already written in Glorantha are the kinds of choices I want the Player Characters to have. And I believe that RPG play is better when Players have this sort of agency available for their characters.

 

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16 minutes ago, creativehum said:

I like my Players to have choices. They need to have agency. They might well choose to follow the path of Orlanth all the way to the end. But I want them to have the choice to betray the behaviors of Orlanth out of anger, a sense of betrayal, love, whatever. This is how new things happen within the world of Glorantha. Characters switch sides, betray gods, take on new gods, make new, unexpected alliances. It in the myths, it's in the history of people of Glorantha.

 

Well...nothing in the setting, nor the rules, actually say this can't happen, so I don't see what the problem is. I mean, even something as severe as Hero Forming can be resisted within the rules of HQ:G, so I don't see how the Runes and Gods having influence on your behaviour should contradict the character going against it. It's just that the system points out you can't do that without consequence, which I think is fine.

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8 hours ago, creativehum said:

I understand this will be the way Runes are introduced to new Players (via Character Creation). I just think

  1. It's too heavy a burden for some players to have to decide everything about their characters at the start (some players aren't like that)
  2. I think it robs the sense of discovery and drama in terms of choices for their characters. With Runes stamped upon a PCs soul like that, one is told, "This is who you are," which precludes the discovery of "Who will this character become?"

I've been running one HQG campaign for almost 2 years, and a second for about 6 months.  I've yet to see either of these occur based on use of Runes.

What they have been generally driven by is the Distinguishing Characteristic and whatever Flaws that they decide on when creating their character.  Whether these are in tune with their Runes and their Gods is a completely different story.  Nor have these choices precluded character development.

Do my players use the Runes as personality traits?  Not often.  Mostly they are the foundations of their magical affinities.

Have my players changed Runes?  Two have during game play and these were conscious and directed choices by them.  One effectively transformed from a Yinkin to an Odayla initiate as a result (and since those gods are both aspects of the Hunter in Orlanthi culture and the PC was a Hunter this seemed totally reasonable) - the character went off into the Wilds to meditate upon this transformation.  In the other case, the character increasingly showed affinity to the Darkness rune though they had the Storm rune.  The player pursued this connection, even though the PC was initiated into Orlanth.  After the change was affected, the next time that PC engaged in a contest, Orlanth's spirits of reprisal (flint slingers) appeared and their flints removed the PC's Storm rune related magic with their attacks.  Entirely reasonable and fit the PC.

Has there been any impact on sense of discovery/drama about who they are?  Not in the least that I've seen.  If anything it's been even better than what I saw over 10 years running RQ3 campaigns.

I think the best thing is to simply treat the Runes and their 'personalities' as suggestions, not absolutes.  There are many ways to look at Fire, Storm, etc. - players are quite good at figuring out how they want to interpret such.  If a player interprets the Fire rune to mean their PC is volatile, angry, and explosive, that works for me.  May not fit the dour and conservative Yelmalions, but I agree that does create dramatic tension. 

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Hmmmm... I have a feeling Jenx, jajagappa and I are pretty much on the same page and that I might not be making myself clear. And so, the following:

1. The portion of HQG that I'm talking about

Quote

 

Your Runes are your main source of magical power.

They are awakened at your initiation to adulthood. The

Runes you choose define you – they define your soul,

your temperament, your personality and your magical

connections and enmities. Your choice of Runes may

well determine your fate!

 

And then, of course, all the passage that follow about the three runes you choose that:

  1. "reflects the dominant aspect of your soul"
  2. "defines your dominant temperament" 
  3. "your magical temperament"

And then the next section discusses how "Your Runes have a distinct impact on your personality..."

So, that's the stuff I was talking about above.

2. There Should be Tension With Behavior Expected  of Runes and Gods

8 hours ago, Jenx said:

I don't see how the Runes and Gods having influence on your behaviour should contradict the character going against it. It's just that the system points out you can't do that without consequence, which I think is fine.

What Jenx wrote right there, I love that stuff. Characters should go against the expected behavior of Gods and Runes if that's what they want. That sort of stuff is awesome.

What I'm not keen on is the stuff from point 1 above. Yes, I understand that one can make a roll against it if one wants to "act in a manner contrary to the Rune." But the point is, it's not just a Rune, it's who you are, as defined in the points listed in 1. In such cases the PC is always acting against himself or herself because the Runes, as described in the character creation section, are innate in the PC and the default. This is different than Traits in Pendragon, in which a Knight is never determined to be one side of the Traits or another, but can move in a fluid manner over to time to have a higher value in either direction. 

3. Conflicts of Between Temperaments and Flaws and How the PC Want to Behave are AWESOME

2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

What they have been generally driven by is the Distinguishing Characteristic and whatever Flaws that they decide on when creating their character.  Whether these are in tune with their Runes and their Gods is a completely different story.  Nor have these choices precluded character development.

Sounds great. I love Distinguishing Characteristics and Flaws as points of conflict in any RPG, and I think they work great in HQG.

However...

4. By Not Using the Thing That Rubs Me the Wrong Way, One Avoids Those Things

2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Do my players use the Runes as personality traits?  Not often.  Mostly they are the foundations of their magical affinities.

Okay, great. You don't use the things listed in my point 1. Great. We're on the same page.

5. I Have No Trouble with Runes and Gods Expecting Behavior

Please note that I am excited and pleased by all the points raised by Jenx and jajagappa in the quotes I have pulled.

All I was talking about is how the Character Creation rules dictate choosing three runes out of the gate that determine the character. 

 

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14 hours ago, Jenx said:

P.S.: Holy shit, look at the size of this post. I have become Joerg!

Did someone summon the demon of logorrhae?

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5 hours ago, creativehum said:

Hmmmm... I have a feeling Jenx, jajagappa and I are pretty much on the same page and that I might not be making myself clear. And so, the following:

1. The portion of HQG that I'm talking about

And then, of course, all the passage that follow about the three runes you choose that:

  1. "reflects the dominant aspect of your soul"
  2. "defines your dominant temperament" 
  3. "your magical temperament"

And then the next section discusses how "Your Runes have a distinct impact on your personality..."

So, that's the stuff I was talking about above.

 

Those are guidelines, nothing more.

I see the runes as shaping not defining, so they shape your behaviour but do not define it in the sense that they govern things.

PCs with the Death Rune may behave in a certain way but the Death Rune does not force them to behave in the same way. Worshippers of Humakt, Storm Bull, Zorak Zoran and FoundChild would be expected to act very differently, even though they all have the Death Rune.

 

2. There Should be Tension With Behavior Expected  of Runes and Gods

What Jenx wrote right there, I love that stuff. Characters should go against the expected behavior of Gods and Runes if that's what they want. That sort of stuff is awesome.

What I'm not keen on is the stuff from point 1 above. Yes, I understand that one can make a roll against it if one wants to "act in a manner contrary to the Rune." But the point is, it's not just a Rune, it's who you are, as defined in the points listed in 1. In such cases the PC is always acting against himself or herself because the Runes, as described in the character creation section, are innate in the PC and the default. This is different than Traits in Pendragon, in which a Knight is never determined to be one side of the Traits or another, but can move in a fluid manner over to time to have a higher value in either direction. 

 

But, a Rune is just a Rune. 

Your relationship with your deity is more important than the Rune itself.

Your innate nature is more important than the Rune itself.

So, a Troll might have the Darkness Rune, as might a Star Witch in Prax, but they will behave differently.

 

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22 hours ago, creativehum said:

All I was talking about is how the Character Creation rules dictate choosing three runes out of the gate that determine the character.

Given that HQG focuses on a quickstart approach to character creation, yes, it does gear you to making those three rune choices.

  1. Quote

     

    1. "reflects the dominant aspect of your soul"
    2. "defines your dominant temperament" 
    3. "your magical temperament"

     

     

 

On these points:

3. Yes, it definitely provides frames the magical focus/temperament.  My players typically create/define abilities to fit with the runes.  Sometimes those are the same as feats, sometimes not.  I encourage them to be somewhat specific on these to align to how they view their characters.

1. and 2. There's really a lot of range here.  In my current Nochet campaign, there are two PC's with dominant Earth Runes.  One, Serenalda, is a hazia-befuddled seer and former low-life street hustler.  Her Earth Rune primarily provides her with True Visions and a relationship with snakes.  The other, Maranis, is a tumultuous Axe Maiden follower of Babeester Gor.  She can track kinslayers, sense enemies nearby, and draw on the earth's power to wield a mighty axe.  Neither is what you'd describe as having a "pragmatic" or "prudent" personality.

Overall, use them as framing ideas and let your players run with them.

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