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Jon Hunter

Do spirits require elemental runes

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There are examples in the Cult Compendium (River Horse and Frog Woman) that are specifically described as Spirit cults, and which grant Rune spells.  I would think those types would necessarily have to have runes, both apparently having Water and Movement at least.  As for your average, run-of-the-mill non-spell-granting spirit, I have no idea, although Spirit might be a good candidate. :D

 

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There are creatures lacking elemental runes. RQ3 had the concept of "incomplete creatures" (applied to stats rather than runes, but we have a correspondence between stats and elemental runes), and spirits are one kind of incomplete.

Some spirits have implied elemental connections only, e.g. plant (usually earth, but fire and water are possible) or beast spirits. A wolf spirit as a mammal will be tied to the Storm Rune, but that is very tenuous, and its habitat may be as much worthy of having an Earth Rune.

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I'm trying top get my head round this for WOD:Glorantha , specifically for allied spirits, but it does then roll out to all other spirits and thinking about it all other creatures.

Stats wise runes will only need to be in the stats of creatures who can access there runic associations via the ability to do magic, so usually only intelligent creatures.

I am planning to giver spirits runic associations as magic without them in the system is pretty weak.

So is OK for an allied spirit of Humakt only to have associations with death and truth and no elemental rule?

Would that be OK for ancestors and spirits of the dead?

My current thoughts is the elemental part of a beings runes is associated with the physical body, upon death they are feed from the need to associate with elemental runes, and that part of the spirit usually(not absolutely) breaks away.

Thus spirits , ghosts and other no corporal entities can have runic associations without the needs for elemental runes.

Does that work and seem consistent with your understanding of Glorantha?

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9 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

Do All beings require an elemental rune or is it just humans ?

I'm think specifically of spirits and allied spirits here?

No. But they can.

Looking at the HQG model of spirits - if you were building a spirit companion or allied spirit you need to have what it is a keyword (dog, horse, etc). In the case of spirits, they are spirits and their form is the spirit rune. So at a minimum spirits have the spirit rune. The runes in HQG represent the most dominant, if i wanted an allied spirit for an Earth priestess that could do earth magic or manifest Earth (as an elemental) i'd give it the earth rune. Having an elemental rune doesn't make it an elemental unless you want it to. I tend to give spirits one rune that describes its affinity, that's its dominant rune. It has the spirit rune too, but we know that - it's a spirit. Basically spirits can have any rune, but a humakti ancestor would certainly have the death rune and maybe truth if you want. Passion spirits might have an element to reflect their passion thats derived from the rune. if a spirit has the man rune, it can become corporate as what it was before. Same with any of the form runes. Some spirits have the Law rune - Waha's spirits of Law for example -they know a spell.

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2 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

I'm trying top get my head round this for WOD:Glorantha , specifically for allied spirits, but it does then roll out to all other spirits and thinking about it all other creatures.

Stats wise runes will only need to be in the stats of creatures who can access there runic associations via the ability to do magic, so usually only intelligent creatures.

No idea how non-sapient monsters are created in WoD, as I only have experience playing one of those systems, but there are quite a few non-sapient creatures who are mainly physical or spirit representations of some rune.

 

2 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

I am planning to giver spirits runic associations as magic without them in the system is pretty weak.

So is OK for an allied spirit of Humakt only to have associations with death and truth and no elemental rule?

Giving any spirit (or other entity sent by Humakt) an element for defining the magic would be mythically wrong (for Heortlings). Humakt severed his Storm ties.

That said, at least some of the Pentan North War Wind spirits should have magic through the Storm rune. It isn't clear whether they ever brought some of these spirits along through the Redlands into the Elder Wilds, though.

 

2 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

Would that be OK for ancestors and spirits of the dead?

Yes. Even the Praxian tribal ancestors who come from elementally affiliated tribes shouldn't necessarily have that element available for magics they pass on to their descendants, or cast on behalf of them.

Individual dead who retain some of their runic connection from while they were alive may have elemental runes to draw their magic from. From what I understand, this ability to pass on magic not generally available to one's cult is a minor form of hero worship, which helps maintaining this lifetime identity even after death. Lacking some directed support from the Living to maintain that identity, these abilities fade away, and the spirit will only be able to grant normal ancestral magic, acting more like a conduct to the founders' magic than as an individual entity.

 

2 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

My current thoughts is the elemental part of a beings runes is associated with the physical body, upon death they are feed from the need to associate with elemental runes, and that part of the spirit usually(not absolutely) breaks away.

That is quite similar to the Orlanthi and Pelorian concept of a person possessing multiple souls, into which they break up upon death, but which might be reunited in a limited way if there is a way to contact them as individuals. Again, this might require directed worship to make this come to pass.

Basically, I am trying to make an argument when spirits _can_ have an elemental connection, rather than claiming that they must have one.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Basically, I am trying to make an argument when spirits _can_ have an elemental connection, rather than claiming that they must have one.

Its the position id come to.

I see the need to have a elemental rune comes with a physical body, spirits can and some should have elemental runes. Others it would be wrong for.

I'd actually argue that all physical beings have an elemental rune association, but only appears on sentient creatures stats as its irrelevant to non sentient creatures.

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I'm not even certain that a human MUST have an elemental rune. I'd be just fine with a player taking for example Truth/Life/Change as their runes if they wanted to, and had a good justification. After all, everyone "has" ALL the runes really. The ones recorded on their char sheet are just those that are sufficiently strong to produce magical effects. Not having a strong elemental affinity is weird, but certainly not impossible in my glorantha.

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2 hours ago, boztakang said:

I'm not even certain that a human MUST have an elemental rune. I'd be just fine with a player taking for example Truth/Life/Change as their runes if they wanted to, and had a good justification. After all, everyone "has" ALL the runes really. The ones recorded on their char sheet are just those that are sufficiently strong to produce magical effects. Not having a strong elemental affinity is weird, but certainly not impossible in my glorantha.

fair points well made

Edited by Jon Hunter

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No, usually they don't, and you should only give them an elemental rune if they have an obvious elemental association. Most spirits have only one or two associations strong enough to merit a rune. Most don't even have the Spirit rune. 

I tend to think of the universality of the Elemental Rune as representing the universality of physical embodiment for mortal beings. If it represents any grand cosmic truth, it is that all live mortal beings are connected to the physical body they live in, and the nature of our bodies is part of who we are. 

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My rule of thumb is only ever give a spirit cult one or at most two runes.  One might well be an element rune but that isn't compulsory.   

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