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Jon Hunter

A Magical Economy

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46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

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

I disagree. Theism is what you are, and while I don't think that all Humakti are walking Death, surely there will be a significant number of Humakti embodying the magic of Death. Babs perhaps a little less, but still their being will be more magical than that of an ordinary farmer.

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

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.

I would guess that at least one in twenty Humakti will be Champions, i.e. rune level fighters. And those abilities will be manifesting the magic of Death, even if they don't use rune magic to achieve that.

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

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.

IMO you have to be devout (or have experienced Death) to become a Humakti. And it takes more than just devotion to join Babs.

 

 

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

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.

So would I, but if you have a society of sorcerers with undead servants, I would expect a much higher basic level of sorcerous ability than in an average Malkioni town. Rather like in a Malkioni monastery/philosophical school town, where you still have non-sorcerers, but most of the people belonging to the Zzabur caste.

 

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

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

Farmers have less use for immediately available magic and will be more inclined to do slow magic, through day-long rituals (plowing, for instance) rather than spell-slinging. Hence you will have more people at low acolyte ranks rather than at full priest ranks in Barntar.

 

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

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.

That's part of the problem - these cults have few initiates, but broad lay support, so that statistics counting initiates don't reflect the actual support. Not counting lay worshipers (pantheon initiates, though) is one of the major problems I see with the cult numbers.

 

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Alchemists might seem more magical than other people, but 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?

I've since become convinced that alchemists make up a significant portion of Lhankor Mhy worshipers.

 

46 minutes ago, soltakss said:

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.

Does this mean that the Issaries cult is an active priest short through his retirement?

 

Orlanthi spend an above-average amount of "active" time for their cultic identifications, IMO - way more than the average Pelorian, who might instead spend similar amounts of time supporting a state cult which doesn't take them as direct initiates. (Not even as Yelm the Youth....)

Malkioni have a very specialized caste doing their magic for them. The majority of the Malkioni has significantly less magic than other cultures, so there need to be more high level zzaburi to provide a somewhat equal amount of magic for the population.

Of course only the most devout Rokari will refrain from learning magic at all. The New Idealist Hrestoli will approach acceptable Hrestoli spells even when in the non-magical castes, without necessarily lowering the number of adepts. The major difference is that the rulers all are magical folk, and their zzaburi will be mostly adepts. The not-quite-yet adepts make up a special group within their horali caste/stage.

I think that as a result, the Loskalmi have more acceptable Malkioni magics than the Rokari, who might have more Hykimi warrior magics and hedge magicians instead.

Ralios with its Arkati and secret societies is hard to figure out, especially since a lot of the magical activities happen hidden from the public.

I don't really know how to judge the Teshnans or Kralori in this regard, especially when it comes to mysticism.

Paxians, Pentans and Hsunchen have the shamans who concentrate extraordinary amounts of magical activity on their person, possibly to the detriment of general magical distribution, but with innate magic like Hsunchen beast-form taken out of the rune-levels-only in sustainability that isn't as much of a problem as it was (at least to me) under RQ3.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

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?

ha ha bloody ha ....  :)

Edited by Jon Hunter

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

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.

Of course they haven't, but when the costs of there earned/free magic is 500 years earning somethings not right.  Even if they haven't paid cash it still has a value.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

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.

The point I think me Joerg agreed on was not that the cults were more magical but the commitment of its members to the cult will probably higher. 

If you chose obscure and difficult religions you religious enthusiasm is probably higher. For the more sociably normal, vanilla and acceptable religions that's where you are likely to get ratio's closer to 1 in 100.

I never encountered a Humakti century stated up or encountered. I see them as a cult or warriors as proposed to soldiers. With a large warband being 30.

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

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.

Well we are allowed to differ in opinion without calling each other outside to duel ....

I'd agree about Uleria i could see a better ratio in worshippers there, Minlister id see devoted worshippers as rare and would expect to see him worshipped as a secondary God by most worshippers, in pantheon worship, or in rites associated to other gods. I'd also be very suprised to ever meet a worshipper beyond  probably with the rank pf acolyte/devotee due to the nature of the cult.

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

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?

No one was saying they all worshippers would be of the same (high) level, just that the 1 to 100 ratio works across the population as a whole, and for vanilla cults, but as cults get more specialised the ratios will change, and lets not get too inflexible with it.

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I think the rate at which units are eliminated in WB&RM is not as significant as implied. For one thing it was the first gam the company designed and not every detail taken too literally.

But more importantly, the elimination of a unit from battle doesn't mean everyone was killed, except quite rarely. It means some are dead, some are wounded with major injuries that take time to recover, some are wounded with minor injuries but that mean they might not catch up with the unit for weeks, some are injured (physically or mentally) enough that they retire, some have deserted, some are AWOL for other reasons, some must deal with other duties, some are fine but without a mount, some need new equipment, some units are without supplies they need to campaign, some are suffering from loss of leadership or terrible morale. The percentage of actual deaths is pretty low. 

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The percentage of people that are 'magic', and just how magic they are, will vary by cult and community somewhat. Orathorn, which seems to be a community of powerful sorcerers, will be higher than normal. Communities that have to spend a lot of time just on physical survival, or that are very focused on wealth, or have a high percentage of truly oppressed, might be lower. 

This is one reason why, in HeroQuest community terms, some communities have a high Magic attribute and some do not. 

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On 10/16/2017 at 8:44 PM, Jon Hunter said:

These should have the following effects;

  • Increase productivity - Meaning the following things are possible - goods would be relatively cheap, more free time for individuals, abundance of food, better education for most, more inventive and creative societies 
  • Decrease in child mortality - the following are possible - massive population booms, smaller family sizes
  • Increased life expectancy - increased knowledge and wisdom within communities, greater generational conflict, 
  • Increased capabilities - Ability to achieve things that only much later societies would have developed on earth
 

Increased Productivity:  Even with magic this is only true to a point.  Bless Crops doesn't generate more crops, it stops crops from failing.  Much the same is true of Sunripen.  Magic is really more about "not failing" than overproduction when it comes to that all-important food surplus.  Also, it is worth noting a general dearth of spells that help artisans produce finished goods.  Issaries, for example is all about storing and selling, but not so much about making.  Pavis provides spells that help you put up a wall, but you need to finish that before the spell runs out.  Gustbran at best gives you a spell that helps you ignore fatigue while working the forge.  Sorcerers of course, have their useful form/set spells, but they are unlikely to produce high quality finished items unless the sorcerer also has the crafting skill involved.  In essence, magic will make a good specialist better, but there is no getting away from the need for skills.  As for education, RQ is a skill driven system where nobody is proud of their own ignorance unlike IRL.  For all that, any advantage that magic provides is pretty static.  Gods don't change, and innovation isn't encouraged by any society except the Lunars.  Innovation is something those Godlearners and EWF mutants abused back in the Second Age, and we won't stand for it (jk).  In many ways Glorantha is annoyingly conservative, socially, magically and technically.  Magic actually acts as a brake on change.  Even gods who have a Mobility/Change rune don't really change.

Decrease in Child Mortality:  The main beneficiaries of more children are agricultural societies where extra hands are needed to perform the 101 daily chores and plant/bring in the harvest.  Every child is also a brake on prosperity because they are an extra 1/2 bushel of food lost to feeding them.  IRL food surpluses were hard won.  For example, in China the careful selection of rice that had more grains was specially chosen and cultivated to yield better crops from the same land.  Really, having more children for most societies means that at a certain point they have a surplus population that they will plough into warfare.  Traditional social values that promote female values will promote motherhood, not fertility control, plus the social drive to overproduce babies will mean they are harder to feed and will also drive warfare.  Societies paid dearly for having ritual specialists and a ruling class soaking up their food surplus.  Even artisans were only as useful as the resources they brought to market.  Accounts of ancient battles in our world which seemed to exaggerate the numbers of casualties may in fact not have done so.  Warfare can be the Malthusian dynamic that corrects human population, but not by the combat so much as the famine and disease that follows such as in modern wars in the Horn of Africa.  Back in ancient times however, wholesale slaughter may have served to destroy entire populations, such as the Roman annihilation of the Dacians.

Increased Life Expectancy:  This will only be true in peacetime, of which there will be little, as most societies seem to measure their success by the seizure of territory.  Also, obtaining the services of a medical specialist will be expensive.  Essentially the rich will live longer, but they already do. Also, archaeology is suggesting that much of our assumptions about average life expectancy may be statistically abberant due to the effects of infant mortality on biasing the stats.

Increased Capabilities: Magic means that individual people will become immense overachievers.  These magical specialists are called Heroes.  If society is lucky, the heroes might be able to pass on some of their powers through sub-cults.  Heroes are a mixed blessing too.  They do tend to have some very fixed ideas about the world and their place in it, and they tend to expect to be obeyed or they make your life miserable i.e. they can be massive bullies and may not have the best ideas.  As heroes will wind up with a disproportionate amount of social influence and resources, anything that doesn't push their agenda may well be ignored, including (perhaps especially) innovation.  Also, again, the Gods put the brakes on innovation and change thanks to their static and unchanging nature.

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15 hours ago, Darius West said:

Increased Productivity:  Even with magic this is only true to a point.  Bless Crops doesn't generate more crops, it stops crops from failing.  Much the same is true of Sunripen.  Magic is really more about "not failing" than overproduction when it comes to that all-important food surplus. 

Surely crops "not failing" = more crops produced? So Bless Crops does end up producing more crops?

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On 10/26/2017 at 8:27 AM, davecake said:

I think the rate at which units are eliminated in WB&RM is not as significant as implied. For one thing it was the first gam the company designed and not every detail taken too literally.

But more importantly, the elimination of a unit from battle doesn't mean everyone was killed, except quite rarely. It means some are dead, some are wounded with major injuries that take time to recover, some are wounded with minor injuries but that mean they might not catch up with the unit for weeks, some are injured (physically or mentally) enough that they retire, some have deserted, some are AWOL for other reasons, some must deal with other duties, some are fine but without a mount, some need new equipment, some units are without supplies they need to campaign, some are suffering from loss of leadership or terrible morale. The percentage of actual deaths is pretty low. 

The military miniatures campaigns I've played in generally assume 25% killed or deserted (i.e. never available again), 25% too badly wounded to fight again that season, 25% to badly wounded to fight that week, and 25% scattered and demoralized, but available for the next battle.

Historically speaking, 25% casualties is considered pretty horrendous. 

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