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Jon Hunter

A Magical Economy

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16 minutes ago, Joerg said:

5000 population of Orathorn mean that there are only five full sorcerers?

Wow you made magical people rarer! 5000/100 = 50 by my guidelines.

Another standard breakdown we use is for populations - half are children and then the remainder 50/50 men and women. It too is a useful guideline. So Orathorn’s 5k population gives us 2.5k adults. Let’s say half of them practice sorcery that gives us 1250 sorcerers. 1 in 100 is a powerful mage, so roughly 12-13 “Magic” people - oooh, that’s a mysterious Council of 13 that runs the city of Orathorn. You are welcome as before to fudge the numbers to suit, but personally I believe my mysterious Council of 13 trumps your 5 sorcerers on the MGF front. 

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17 minutes ago, David Scott said:

As I said it’s a guideline that we use and you may want to increase some of the number. if you want to produce actual numbers go ahead, although I’m not sure it’s a useful exercise. When looking at a general overview 1 in 100 works well in practice. The numbers work very well with Babeester Gor, only large Earth temples will have rune levels or devotees and they are likely to be mobile. I suspect the main centre for the cult is in Esrolia. In the Wastelands, there are only 55 initiates. Please also note that these numbers never include PCs, so at some point there will be a devotee of Babeester Gor in the Wastes. 

I'm prone to agree with Joerg here, the 1 to 100 numbers is very good as regards general population and for large and popular cults, but as cults get smaller and have higher intensity of worship that ratio may change significantly,  1 to  20 or 30 for marital groups, 1 to 10 for specialist cults ( includes Lhankor Myh, Chalana Arroy) and even up to 1 to 3 or 5 for extreme cults such as Vivamort.

The reason for this is that the ratio is mainly determined by how many people have the desire to attain the status who realistically have the ability and drive to do so.

The strict global 1 in 100 i believed is is modeled from the real world, where to be frank the real tangible benefit of magic and divine providence is at best hard to quantify, and worst none existent. In Glorantha the tangible effects of magic means that magic people not only  generate enough extra value to contribute significantly to society themselves, but will increase the overall contribution of other people in the community.   Also most can and will sustain themselves, as priests of obscure cults also fulfill roles as healers, traders, craftsmen and sages.

The limit is not ability for the society to support magic people, but is the number of individuals with the desire and capability to make the Gods that large a part of there life.  When people choose obscure and offbeat Gods we will find a group  of people that have self selected to be more prone to desire & attain spiritually. 

So for your 55  Babestor Gor cultists in the wastes it would be very likely to see at least one priest or lord and a couple of devotees, in fact it be very hard for the 55 initiates to  function without them.

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33 minutes ago, Jon Hunter said:

So for your 55  Babestor Gor cultists in the wastes it would be very likely to see at least one priest or lord and a couple of devotees, in fact it be very hard for the 55 initiates to  function without them.

Looking at the way the cult runs, I disagree. There’s a BG shrine at the Paps, as part of the Earth Temple. Under RQG shrines give access to one cult rune spell and are run by a godtalker. They can regain their rune points there. It’s a tiny cult protecting a tiny population of earth priestesses. The cult has no rune priests, Just runelords that fight. The cult only exists as the ancient shrine is there and few have a calling to that particular role in the Wastes. Think of them a bit like the Swiss guard at the Vatican. There are about 16 Ernalda  priestesses amongst the nomads (Pavis & Pavis county orlanthi) and they are mostly Pol-Joni and Agimori. To become powerful in this cult is hard, most will do a pilgrimage to other temples to learn more magic.

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34 minutes ago, David Scott said:

This is also the correct way to view Glorantha in my opinion, problems are magical problems and not on top of mundane or scientific problems. When you start to introduce a scientific answer to a Gloranthan problem you’ve missed the point.

If a real world problem like miscarriage and child mortality is carried over to Glorantha, it might be useful to understand what happens in the real world.

You will still find other explanations after looking at where you yourself come from.

When is incest bad, and why?

One Gloranthan explanation could be that the child wants as many ancestors as possible to have good protection during its unborn development. On the other hand, by that same reasoning there might be an incentive to let the child have a very strong connection to very powerful ancestors, possibly through multiple alleys of descent.

But then the ancestors guiding the nascent soul through its development in pregnancy might be unwilling to part with it.
 

Quote

Take for example infant mortality in Glorantha. Why is childbirth dangerous in Glorantha. We know the real world science reasons for this, but that’s not Glorantha. Is childbirth actually dangerous there? Disease spirits always lurk, that’s always going to be an issue. Birth defects? Blood loss? Is there a fundamental magical issue, such as the soul/spirit staying in the child’s body at birth. Is it an interaction between the life and death runes. Be clear, I’m not talking about the physical discomfort/pain of birth, I’m talking about do babies die, and if so why magically  

A couple of interesting possibilities there.

A still-birth is one either without a breath, or without the breath willing to depart from the body.

 

Deformities leading to still-births will most likely be blamed on Chaos or moral corruption of the community. I wonder whether there are 

 

Birth is an act of separation, concluded by cutting the umbilical. It always is an invitation of Death.

Maybe it takes strong godparents to overcome the pregnancy guides' attraction to that new life. Maybe the midwife has to enter the spiritual womb and assert the child's right to separate from its guardians for the short while of its surface life. This might be the opposite of encountering Babeester when contacting Ernalda in the Underworld, or it might be just that.

Or there may just be too much Death present at birth. Only very few infants will adopt invisibility rather than follow the grim god.

 

So are there cases of sudden infant death? What is causing this? The spirit breaking free? (Won't that leave an undead behind?) The spirit being lured away? Hopping into a beast that approached the child unnoticed? Exchanged for a puppet/dead body by evil fae or trickster spirits?

Or it might be the opposite case, malign possession by a spirit. An infant cannot communicate in any but the most rudimentary ways. Would such a state be easy to diagnose, or could it happen without anyone noticing until all is too late?

Or there might be a tithe that has to be paid to the dark aspects of Fertility. Some newborn may be destined to be a self-sacrifice.

 

Eleven Lights has a Piper of Hamlyn event.

 

12 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Wow you made magical people rarer! 5000/100 = 50 by my guidelines.

Yeah, noticed that. 

12 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Another standard breakdown we use is for populations - half are children and then the remainder 50/50 men and women. It too is a useful guideline.

With a sorcerous community and some form of longevity magic, the number of children might be considerably lower simply because old folk don't die away. In case of Orathorn, there would have been something of a reset of this at the Night of Horrors, though. There might be a group of bicentennarians around who may have counted as too young or too unexperienced for the Night of Horrors, but few older.

 

12 minutes ago, David Scott said:

So Orathorn’s 5k population gives us 2.5k adults. Let’s say half of them practice sorcery that gives us 1250 sorcerers. 1 in 100 is a powerful mage, so roughly 12-13 “Magic” people - oooh, that’s a mysterious Council of 13 that runs the city of Orathorn. You are welcome as before to fudge the numbers to suit, but personally I believe my mysterious Council of 13 trumps your 5 sorcerers on the MGF front. 

A council of 13 sounds good A couple more powerful but unpolitical sorcerers pursuing their own arcane projects hidden away in some tower of the castle don't hurt, either.

Still, I am aiming for 100 major class (Lunar College of Magic) equivalent sorcerers (or other magicians - summoners, necromancers) and perhaps twice that number minor class equivalent 150 years ago, plus a number of stay-at-homes, to have mattered that much in the Night of Horrors. They were after all troubling Hon-eel, who had dealt with disciples of Sheng in her youth, and had learned more things in the meantime, and her magical support staff.

 

 

6 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Looking at the way the cult runs, I disagree. There’s a BG shrine at the Paps, as part of the Earth Temple. Under RQG shrines give access to one cult rune spell and are run by a godtalker. They can regain their rune points there. It’s a tiny cult protecting a tiny population of earth priestesses.

That's my old beef with RQ "common divine magic" being basically impossible to learn or renew. It is easier to get associate magic than getting shield or Heal Wound from your own deity.

There is a shrine to Orlanth in Trilus. According to the rules, it offers Cloud Call, and now the opportunity to regain rune points. But you wouldn't get Warding, Sanctify or Guided Teleport anywhere short of Pavis, Old Wind or a Sacred Mountain.

6 minutes ago, David Scott said:

The cult has no rune priests, Just runelords that fight. The cult only exists as the ancient shrine is there and few have a calling to that particular role in the Wastes. Think of them a bit like the Swiss guard at the Vatican. There are about 16 Ernalda  priestesses amongst the nomads (Pavis & Pavis county orlanthi) and they are mostly Pol-Joni and Agimori. To become powerful in this cult is hard, most will do a pilgrimage to other temples to learn more magic.

There might be much less of a need of a female earth defender in Prax, where Waha provides the male earth defender and avenger - and in Prax, rape might be more chaotic than elsewhere thanks to the presence of the remains of the Primal Rape child, so the Storm Bulls may hunt perpretators, too. It is possible that the Paps contingent of BG axe women or at least a significant part of them  might be guarding the sleeping Ernalda underground, very much like a swiss guard. Possibly on the Other Side, guarding the entryway there.

 

Sometimes I wonder how chaotic these professedly non-chaotic cultures like the Orlanthi or Waha's Covenant really are. The Cult of Waha is dependant on the continuing presence of Chaos in the Devil's Marsh. The Sacred Time rites all reinforce the presence of Chaos in the world. How much Chaos is built up in everybody, to be released in dramatic and tragic ways? Does externalizing that Chaos so emphatically keep such outbursts at bay?

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6 hours ago, David Scott said:

This is also the correct way to view Glorantha in my opinion, problems are magical problems and not on top of mundane or scientific problems. When you start to introduce a scientific answer to a Gloranthan problem you’ve missed the point.

Because the Mostali don't regularly commit feats of engineering.  It's odd to me how people espouse this, then turn around and try to use logic to explain their theories of, for instance, why the sea is salt.  It's also funny how there's a 'correct' way of viewing something in a YGMV universe.

Btw, those Bronze Age civilizations that Gloranthans are supposed to most resemble had science as well, because there were people who didn't buy into the idea that everything in life was the result of some godlet waking up with a hangover.

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1 hour ago, Yelm's Light said:

Because the Mostali don't regularly commit feats of engineering.  It's odd to me how people espouse this, then turn around and try to use logic to explain their theories of, for instance, why the sea is salt.  It's also funny how there's a 'correct' way of viewing something in a YGMV universe.

I think we were both stating an opinions, but are trying to dig a little into the nature of Glorantha, and how it differs from our world.

YGMV means feel free to deviate but there will be standard approaches and opinions to the way Glorantha works. In my games ducks never seem to get a mention (i've not uninvented them, they just get swept under the carpet) but i'm very happy to admit my games vary from the standard Glorantha approach in the way.

 

Quote

Btw, those Bronze Age civilizations that Gloranthans are supposed to most resemble had science as well, because there were people who didn't buy into the idea that everything in life was the result of some godlet waking up with a hangover.

Yes they did, but even the more scientific ones believe some odd stuff.

To quote Hippocrates "A physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician."

The scientific worldview and paradigm we have today is about 300 years old and often misapplied to historical settings, let alone mythical ones.

Edited by Jon Hunter

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2 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

Yes they did, but even the more scientific ones believe some odd stuff.

To quote Hippocrates "A physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician."

The scientific worldview and paradigm we have today is about 300 years old and often misapplied to historical settings, let alone mythical ones.

So do some of the scientific ones today.  As for physicians, the Egyptians provably had advanced medicine in the third millennium BCE, along with their own impressive feats of architecture and engineering.  The Greeks systematized logic and the scientific method and had a fairly accurate atomic theory three millennia before Bohr.  And astrology led to the modern science of astronomy.  The laws of science didn't change in those three thousand-plus years.

Edited by Yelm's Light

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3 minutes ago, Yelm's Light said:

So do some of the scientific ones today.  As for physicians, the Egyptians provably had advanced medicine in the third millennium BCE, along with their own impressive feats of architecture and engineering.  The Greeks systematized logic and the scientific method and had a fairly accurate atomic theory three millennia before Bohr.  And astrology led to the modern science of astronomy.  The laws of science didn't change in those three thousand-plus years.

I think what he's trying to say is that our laws of physics and science don't apply in Glorantha in the "canon". Now YGMV, true, but we're discussing this in the context of the world presented in the GtG.

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10 hours ago, David Scott said:

Looking at the way the cult runs, I disagree. There’s a BG shrine at the Paps, as part of the Earth Temple. Under RQG shrines give access to one cult rune spell and are run by a godtalker. They can regain their rune points there. It’s a tiny cult protecting a tiny population of earth priestesses. The cult has no rune priests, Just runelords that fight. The cult only exists as the ancient shrine is there and few have a calling to that particular role in the Wastes.

All of which is completely believable, but so is a minor temple with one priest, a devotee or two and 10 - 20 initiates in the local area. Either would work for a game, and what id use to determine which  is the MGF rule.  If i had a player who was BG initiate id probably play it that way, because its believable, it makes sense and its ads to player fun.  

10 hours ago, David Scott said:

Think of them a bit like the Swiss guard at the Vatican. There are about 16 Ernalda  priestesses amongst the nomads (Pavis & Pavis county orlanthi) and they are mostly Pol-Joni and Agimori. To become powerful in this cult is hard, most will do a pilgrimage to other temples to learn more magic.

 

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8 hours ago, Richard S. said:

I think what he's trying to say is that our laws of physics and science don't apply in Glorantha in the "canon". Now YGMV, true, but we're discussing this in the context of the world presented in the GtG.

Just because those laws may not be exactly the same (gravitation being one particularly glaring one) doesn't mean that there isn't a natural logic to it...and I mean something other than Runes as elements, a theory which I've made clear before I consider ludicrous.  (What are the physical properties of a Death Rune?  What is its charge?  Mass?)  Nor does it preclude some of those laws from being exactly the same.  Conservation of energy/momentum, for example.

Edited by Yelm's Light

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43 minutes ago, Yelm's Light said:

Just because those laws may not be exactly the same (gravitation being one particularly glaring one) doesn't mean that there isn't a natural logic to it...and I mean something other than Runes as elements, a theory which I've made clear before I consider ludicrous.  (What are the physical properties of a Death Rune?  What is its charge?  Mass?)  Nor does it preclude some of those laws from being exactly the same.  Conservation of energy/momentum, for example.

Its quite clear that most of the world off Glorantha functions with cause and effect in a way similar to ours when nothing different is noted, for ease of game play if not anything else.

What I think is consensus is that the reasons for the functionality are different. 

Questions about the charge mass of Glorantha atoms are redundant because Glorantha does not have the concept of sub atomic particles and forces. Concern about those question is outside the scope of the Gloranthan Universe.   

If runes are the driving force that defines the Gloranthan universe ( and I believe they are), to try and substitute them into a modern chemical or physical methodology is wrong not because it is unscientific, but because it is too scientific. Within Glorantha I would not even consider the framework of atomic particles(modern or rune based) as relevant. 

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1 hour ago, Yelm's Light said:

  (What are the physical properties of a Death Rune?  What is its charge?  Mass?) 

Iron, I would have thought.

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1 hour ago, Yelm's Light said:

Just because those laws may not be exactly the same (gravitation being one particularly glaring one) doesn't mean that there isn't a natural logic to it...and I mean something other than Runes as elements, a theory which I've made clear before I consider ludicrous.  (What are the physical properties of a Death Rune?  What is its charge?  Mass?)  Nor does it preclude some of those laws from being exactly the same.  Conservation of energy/momentum, for example.

Runes as atoms of the world, not elements. And atoms not in the sense of proton neutron electron combinaitions, but as indivisible smallest parts. I'll adopt the Malkioni world-view for this and say that the runes are the magical energies that make up everything, the motivations and principles.

Matter is defined by its aggregate state (aka Gloranthan element) or combinations thereof exerting forces on everything else that is material.

If you combine the ancient elements (which describe the physical properties of aggregate states) and the tempers (phlegmatic, sanguine etc., after the body liquids), you have a start how an ancient description of the world may have worked.

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20 hours ago, Yelm's Light said:

Because the Mostali don't regularly commit feats of engineering.

They do, but it's Mostali engineering, with a lot of magic to back up any physical effort involved. Very different from our own world's engineering.

Glorantha's "physics" is based on myth and magic. Our own physical laws simply do not apply in Glorantha. In our own world when some culture says that spirits cause disease, we know that they're wrong because of our modern understanding of science. In Glorantha, spirits really *do* cause disease. Gravity as we understand it here does not exist in Glorantha - however a similar effect occurs for completely different reasons, as discussed at :

 

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Runes as atoms of the world, not elements. And atoms not in the sense of proton neutron electron combinaitions, but as indivisible smallest parts. I'll adopt the Malkioni world-view for this and say that the runes are the magical energies that make up everything, the motivations and principles.

Matter is defined by its aggregate state (aka Gloranthan element) or combinations thereof exerting forces on everything else that is material.

If you combine the ancient elements (which describe the physical properties of aggregate states) and the tempers (phlegmatic, sanguine etc., after the body liquids), you have a start how an ancient description of the world may have worked.

You may call them atoms, but what you're describing is elements, and the 'aggregate state' is molecules or compounds.  I don't think you've thought through the effects of having 40+ fundamental particles.  Never mind the numerous combinations that those 40 particles could make, ignoring the tempers; a single one of those, two atoms, means 800 elements.  (Half of 40^2, because of duplications.)  There are currently 90 naturally-occurring elements in the RW, based on one fundamental particle.  There simply isn't that much basic variation in Glorantha compared to Earth.  And that's just the simplest combination.

 

1 hour ago, Steve said:

Glorantha's "physics" is based on myth and magic. Our own physical laws simply do not apply in Glorantha. In our own world when some culture says that spirits cause disease, we know that they're wrong because of our modern understanding of science. In Glorantha, spirits really *do* cause disease. Gravity as we understand it here does not exist in Glorantha - however a similar effect occurs for completely different reasons...

One law being different does not imply that all laws are different.  Action/reaction being an obvious one.

Spirits don't necessarily have the monopoly on causing disease.  Again, there are implications.  For instance, broos.  Do they just happen to be surrounded by a number of disease spirits?

Edited by Yelm's Light

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2 minutes ago, Yelm's Light said:

You may call them atoms, but what you're describing is elements, and the 'aggregate state' is molecules or compounds.  I don't think you've thought through the effects of having 40+ fundamental particles.  Never mind the numerous combinations that those 40 particles could make, ignoring the tempers; a single one of those, two atoms, means 800 elements.  (Half of 40^2, because of duplications.)  There are currently 90 naturally-occurring elements in the RW, based on one fundamental particle.  There simply isn't that much basic variation in Glorantha compared to Earth.  And that's just the simplest combination.

You're applying way too much RW physics to Glorantha. It simply doesn't work like that. Otherwise how do you explain Glorantha's magic and the God Time with our RW physics? Obviously the answer to the latter is you can't. So you can't compare the two like this. Glorantha's "elements" (their equivalent) weren't made in the same way as our RW elements.

As @Jeff said a while back:

Quote

Gloranthan physics are the results of the events of the God Time - especially the Gods War. If you reason from that point, things make sense. Magic is simply the communication between the eternal God Time (which is endlessly present and eternally there) and our world of Time. The God Time is not subject to the Laws of Thermodynamics and when a magician manages to draw some manifestation of the eternal into the world of Time, that event is not subject to the same. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Yelm's Light said:

One law being different does not imply that all laws are different.  Action/reaction being an obvious one.

It doesn't imply that all laws are different, but neither does it imply that it must be an exception and all other laws are the same as the RW. Another highly relevant quote from @Jeff, this one much more recent:

Quote

Or more precisely the natural processes are the result of the events of the God Time. The sun sets every day because the Sun God was killed in the God Time. It rises, because the God Time ended with the Dawn and the return of the Sun.

The God Learners tried to systematize this to great extent, in order to understand, predict, and control "natural processes".

Action and reaction is likely another fundamental example. An effect similar to our own RW action and reaction (in terms of physical forces in the RW) was likely from a god doing something very early on in the God Time. A god pushed against something, and the item pushed back against him too - therefore in Gloranthan Time, there is an action/reaction effect because of this.

 

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9 minutes ago, Steve said:

You're applying way too much RW physics to Glorantha. It simply doesn't work like that. Otherwise how do you explain Glorantha's magic and the God Time with our RW physics? Obviously the answer to the latter is you can't. So you can't compare the two like this. Glorantha's "elements" (their equivalent) weren't made in the same way as our RW elements.

As @Jeff said a while back:

Quote

Gloranthan physics are the results of the events of the God Time - especially the Gods War. If you reason from that point, things make sense. Magic is simply the communication between the eternal God Time (which is endlessly present and eternally there) and our world of Time. The God Time is not subject to the Laws of Thermodynamics and when a magician manages to draw some manifestation of the eternal into the world of Time, that event is not subject to the same. 

 

Not much physics, actually, mostly logic and mathematics.  How do you explain properties at the event horizon?

So, in other words, nothing is impossible and there's no need for explanation.  It's all 'just magic.'  Very convenient, but not satisfying in the slightest.

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21 minutes ago, Yelm's Light said:

Not much physics, actually, mostly logic and mathematics.  How do you explain properties at the event horizon?

So, in other words, nothing is impossible and there's no need for explanation.  It's all 'just magic.'  Very convenient, but not satisfying in the slightest.

Does it have to be? Glorantha is, before all else, a world for having fun and gaming in. You may not be satisfied with a vague, handwavey, "It's magic so it works" approach, but YGMV so all power to you in your own headcanon. What is presented to the general public doesn't have to be logical and scientific, it just has to provide something that's fun and entertaining. So, please, let's get this back on topic shall we?

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14 minutes ago, Yelm's Light said:

Not much physics, actually, mostly logic and mathematics.  How do you explain properties at the event horizon?

So, in other words, nothing is impossible and there's no need for explanation.  It's all 'just magic.'  Very convenient, but not satisfying in the slightest.

I'm not a great quoter of Jeff so what i'm saying is no way canonical :) but ........

You are looking for answers in a scientific manner incompatible with the world.

To the players the mundane Gloranthan world functions in reasonably similar ways to ours, time passes, things fall down, blood pumps, forces are opposed, liquids displaced etc

However those events are as much driven by magical forces as biological, physical and chemical Also there isn't a comprehensive scientific framework to understand and explain this, and the detailed questions that RW science has raised in the last 300 years haven't been asked by anyone in Glorantha ever. 

For example; Whether runes work in a similar way as elements in the RW as particles making up all kinds of matter is irrelevant , because no one in Glorantha would be aware that matter is made up of smaller particles.

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51 minutes ago, Yelm's Light said:

You may call them atoms, but what you're describing is elements, and the 'aggregate state' is molecules or compounds.  I don't think you've thought through the effects of having 40+ fundamental particles.  Never mind the numerous combinations that those 40 particles could make, ignoring the tempers; a single one of those, two atoms, means 800 elements.  (Half of 40^2, because of duplications.)  There are currently 90 naturally-occurring elements in the RW, based on one fundamental particle.  There simply isn't that much basic variation in Glorantha compared to Earth.  And that's just the simplest combination.

Unsuitable science analogy (are you a particle physicist?). In my model there are no "fundamental particles" that form various matter. Think chemistry instead (and yes, I am a chemist by trade). You get the equivalent of roundabout 40 "energetic elements" (the runes), which then form energetic compounds (molecules, crystals, polymers - meaning an open-end possibility of combinations) that make up the Gloranthan everything. No need to even consider quantum mechanics for a parallel.

There is no "periodic system of runes" or other such extension of this chemistry analogon, because the runes aren't chemicals.

Material substances will consist of major runic influences (often Earth or Water, with combinations of the other runes as flavors). Transmutation of these materials (the field of chemistry, alchemy, metallurgy) into something else will usually involve addition of other material substances providing additional flavors or humors, some medium wherein the material can change (like Darkness or Fire), and a resulting product and by-products which will carry those runic flavors that were taken out of the starting substance.

Something like this could be an objective basis for an alchemy of matter. This would be easier if we had kept the rune for Mineral, and I am not quite clear how to express the property "metal" in runic flavors besides the dominant element/subelement (or power). Perhaps through the concept of "crystallized energies" for metals, and something similar for Crystals of the Gods. But this is just a first draft of such an idea.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Unsuitable science analogy (are you a particle physicist?). 

No, but I slept in a Holiday Inn last night. :D  I do very much think like one, though.

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

In my model there are no "fundamental particles" that form various matter. Think chemistry instead (and yes, I am a chemist by trade). You get the equivalent of roundabout 40 "energetic elements" (the runes), which then form energetic compounds (molecules, crystals, polymers - meaning an open-end possibility of combinations) that make up the Gloranthan everything. No need to even consider quantum mechanics for a parallel.

Losing you on the chemistry analogy.  I took a year plus a year of bio in college...and a more mnemonic class I've never run into, except possibly for anatomy.  I'd've thought there are a lot more than 40 basic compounds, though...unless you mean classes, for instance, chlorides, oxides, etc.

Quantum mechanics isn't a good analogy.  Atoms are still the fundamental unit, regardless of how many subparticles they're parsed into.  Eh, string theory, maybe.

Leaving matter aside, I can think of a couple of very specific examples of the application of the scientific method in Glorantha.  But I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader...

Edited by Yelm's Light

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On 10/16/2017 at 11:52 PM, Jon Hunter said:

from these published examples I think its safe to say in Glorantha almost everyone has access to magic

Members of cults can get some magic for free and some cheaper than normal. Prior experience can teahc magic as part of life experience. People can be taught magic as a reward for performing tasks or for long service.

Not everyone who has spells has paid for them with hard cash.

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On 10/19/2017 at 12:11 PM, Joerg said:

While I agree for the Ernalda numbers, I don't quite agree with the numbers for the magical combat defender cults like Humakt or Babeester. By their very nature, such cults are more magical.

Not really, Humakt and Babeester Gor are no more magical than Ernalda.

In fact, a cult such as Humkt almost has the "1 in 100" built in, with a Century of worshippers having a Centurion, or the equivalent, as a Rune Level. Acolytes might be a halfway house for NCOs who support the Centurion.

Most members of Humakt and Babeester Gor would be Initiates, or perhaps Lay Members. Only the devout and powerful would bother becoming Acolytes, Priests or Lords.

What would you say to Jedi knights where only one in thousand qualifies for having a padawan? Does the 5000 population of Orathorn mean that there are only five full sorcerers? Are true mystics dependant on having a significant number of lay mystics behind them?

Most jedis would be temple servants, researchers and so on, not everyone who trains as a Jedi becomes a Jedi Knight or Jedi Master, a lot of them fall away either due to lack of skill, lack of commitment or unsuitability.

5000 in Orathorn might mean there are 50 full Mages, certainly. A lot of the others would have some magic and power over the dead/undead, but wouldn't be full mages. I would be surprised if everyone in Orathorn was a Mage.

A cult which regularly produces martyrs (including Humakt, Storm Bull, Babeester) provides a wholly different intensity of worship than a cult of farmers (although Hon-eel's maize rites may have changed that, and Alanthore might even intensify that).

Certain professions like spirit talker, smith, alchemist, engineer are a lot more magical than others, and their cults may be seen like "break-outs" from the general population, to use the HQ ability terminology. Their presence may mean that a number of generalist positions (Ernalda, Orlanth) might be cut, since there is of course an economical maximal overhead of magical specialists one can affort, creating something of broader amount of people nearly at that "magic people" level while spending their time mostly on mundane necessities.

I don't really agree.

Martial cults don't really have more intense worship. I can see worshippers of Uleria or Minlister having far more intense worship than martial cults. Farming cults worship their hero or the land, that kind of worship is just as intense.

A Witch Cult, such as Subere, is very magical by nature, but its worshiipers are not all at the same level. Many are learning their trade, many take years to get to a certain level of ability, some never do.

Alchemists might seem more magical than other people, bnut they probably aren't. They might have some magic to help them manipulate/improve potions, but is that more magical than blessing a field to grow well, or making oxen plough all day?

There will have to be uneven distribution of magical people if you want to have magical centers (like the Greenhaft temple to Ernalda, or worse temple cities like Ezel or the Paps, or Old Wind Temple.

That is absolutely correct.

A Great Temple has Priests, Lords, Acolytes and Initiates living there full time, probably hundreds of them. If a Great Temple has 10 Priests, that equates to 1,000 supporting worshippers, so the surrounding area probably has fewer acolytes and priests as they concentrate on the temples.

 

What retirement options are there for magical people who cannot or will not continue their holy calling but aren't quite dead yet? Not every heroquester achieves agelessness like Hofstaring. Ernalda is the only cult with a working "senior citizen" level (Asrelia, Ty Kora Tek). Sun County has retirement towers.

Retired rune levels retain their magic but become semi-active. They probably retire to working normally. Gringle has retired to a pawnshop and is just a merchant, but is a retired priest.

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On 10/19/2017 at 1:12 PM, Jon Hunter said:

1 to  20 or 30 for marital groups

So, cultists of Ernalda/Orlanth, Ernadla/Yelmalio, Dendara/Yelm and so on have 1 rune level for every 20 or 30 people, is that 1 for every married couple?

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