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Ufnal

Pentan religion

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3 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Anyone could/can have spirits.  Just more abilities.

Bound fire spirit in golden spear point 13

I think what @Ufnal is trying to say is that in world there is a distinct difference between having a spirit bound in a charm who you must keep appeased if you want to use their powers, and having your soul attuned to your god giving you power directly from them, rather than through a lesser entity. Regardless of how similar or not game mechanics are, the two types of magic are most likely going to feel at least slightly different in-world.

 

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Just now, Ufnal said:

OK, fair enough, I'm not sure that's precisely how that works in HQG as-written (what with theistic powers having much wider applications than spells and spirits) but you have the benefit of experience. Still, there seems to be (for me) an in-world difference between having a fiery horse spirit in a charm and having an affinity with a deity that lets you do the stuff that spirit does, and I can't convince myself that people of Glorantha wouldn't see the difference or conceptualize it in any way. 

Really up to the GM and players to determine how they want to describe the approach and their character's understanding of the action.  If you want to emphasize a distinction and describe it distinctly, it's perfectly fine to do so in HQG.  But I wouldn't let varied game mechanics get in the way of how you want to approach setting up a Pentan tradition.

You could say that Tribe X is Traditionalist.  They always treat all gods and spirits as spirits.  They create charms to hold spirits that can do these varied things and take on taboos associated with them.  They even bargain with Kargzant this way.  And Kargzant gives them "pieces of himself" to place into charms to invoke.

Tribe Y though takes a different approach.  They know that Kargzant is a greater spirit, and that Tribe X are fools to try to bargain with such a being.  They bring sacrifice to him, and in return Kargzant will come into them personally.  Perhaps you decide that this approach gives these magic users an advantage in a contest.  Or perhaps not.

The game mechanic lets you take either approach.  

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2 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

I think what @Ufnal is trying to say is that in world there is a distinct difference between having a spirit bound in a charm who you must keep appeased if you want to use their powers, and having your soul attuned to your god giving you power directly from them, rather than through a lesser entity. Regardless of how similar or not game mechanics are, the two types of magic are most likely going to feel at least slightly different in-world.

Which is what I was describing in the earlier (and subsequent) post.  You can take a "shamanistic" in-game view where every interaction with Kargzant is through that lens.  You dance along the Path of Fire, you enter the Otherworld in the Great Plains, and then seek out the Plain of Fire, and then find Kargzant "the great spirit" on the Golden Trail.  You bargain with him and he grants you spirits you can bind in charms.  Or you can take a "theistic" in-game view where you interact with Kargzant only in the Circle of Flame under the Noonday Sun.  Your prayers and sacrifices carry you to Kargzant's Chariot.  There you sacrifice and "link" yourself to Kargzant "the god" and in return he can come into you and you can become him.

It's up to the GM to decide how these differences are described.  And whether they are needed.

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1 minute ago, jajagappa said:

 

Tribe Y though takes a different approach.  They know that Kargzant is a greater spirit, and that Tribe X are fools to try to bargain with such a being.  They bring sacrifice to him, and in return Kargzant will come into them personally.  Perhaps you decide that this approach gives these magic users an advantage in a contest.  Or perhaps not.

 

Speaking hypothetically I think sometimes one kind of magic is more practical than another. What kinds of demands you can meet; how freely the power can be invoked. Are not spirits uncountable? Bargains are possible when the magic is a kind of exchange and trade (and thus for the shaman, there are many taboos, but no laws), but a spear with a part of Kargzant can be stolen... Whereas if an entity expects sacrifice, s/he may be jealous or fickle according to their nature... but there is nothing that can be stolen.

 

Interestingly enough, the gods themselves seem to treat each other's powers as bound spirits: else how else could Orlanth steal the Darkness Sandals; how else could Death be traded like a deadly bauble?

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

It's completely immaterial (and indistinguishable) whether these are "divine/rune" magic, "spirit" magic, "charms", gifts of the god, or whatever.
Now, I could have something explicitly broken out and distinct such as a feat, a bound spirit, a charm, or a grimoire.  But there's no particular reason to do so.

Technically there are some differences according to the rules.

Charms have taboos, spells can't be stretches, and glamours have their own special restrictions.

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7 hours ago, Ufnal said:

A Hyaloring chieftain belonging to the Path of Fire tradition will probably worship Kargzant both in a theistic way and in a spiritual way.

That's quite frankly the wrong way to describe things.  If you have to invoke three worlds to explain the religious practices, you are doing it wrong.  A more productive approach would be to figure out what a Pentan uses spirits for and what magic they use rune magic for.

Kargzant is represented as a Golden Bow or a Flaming Horse so any magic along these lines would be rune magic or feats.  A Pentan would find additional magic such as magic to make his horse run faster to be spirit magic because although useful, it is not part of the core identity of Kargzant (Flaming Horse/Golden Bow).  He would approach one of Kargzant's servants with the help of a friendly shaman to know such magics.

 

7 hours ago, Ufnal said:

Would receiving theistic magic from beings in the Path of Hell Tradition be more frowned upon than receiving spirit magic? After all, the charms reflect who you pay homage to, bargain with, receive gifts from - but runic magic reflects your core self and who or what you emulate to receive your powers...

I don't know exactly what is meant by the Path of Hell (Huan To?  Gods of the Uz of North Pent?) but it depends to a large extent on how well the Path of Hell is viewed.  If you have bad magic, you probably have to do bad things to get it and there's very little difference morally if it comes from the Gods or Spirits.

 

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20 hours ago, Joerg said:

The RQ3 concept of the manipulation skills like Multispell, Duration and Range might better remain exempt from the grasp of someone who has developed a fetch.

Why should it?  I can easily see a case for Shaman-Sorcerors in some exotic part of Glorantha and I don't see the need to have the possibility foreclosed because Joerg was thinking of traditional Praxian Shamans.

 

20 hours ago, Joerg said:

About _adept_ sorcerers becoming rune lords of theist deities?

Yup.  Or rather in the case of the Loskalmi, it's more like the Rune Lords have become Adept Sorcerors. 

 

20 hours ago, Joerg said:

The New Idealist Hrestoli of Loskalm have their wizard-warriors who are supposed to maintain spiritually purity even in the face of the Kingdom of War (and few will be able to maintain it). Pre- or non-Gaiseron Hrestoli sorcerers are about controlling deities, not becoming them.

Style note: being ultra-precise in identifications is unnecessary.  If you say New Idealist Hrestoli then there's no need to say "of Loskalm" because there are no other significant populations out there.  Similar goes for "Pre- or non-Gaiseron" etc when the same is true of Hrestoli Sorcerors that do follow Gaiseron.

Secondly the Hrestoli Knights are Rune Lords, so-to-speak, of Irensavel, not lesser gods.  There's really no such thing as theistic deities because that confuses the magic a god provides with the essence of a god.  A god may provide rune magic or spirits or a mixture of the two but it is still a god.  How the Hrestoli Rune Lords would work is unknown to me (I don't think the Invisible God would provide Rune Magic) but the core concept of the Knights as seen in Cults of Terror is based on a status of a Rune Lord.

 

20 hours ago, Joerg said:

Arkat himself never was an adept sorcerer and only had the Man-of-All mastery of sorcery.

I think this statement is just plain wrong.  When Arkat stole the secrets of sorcery and taught them to the Trolls, the Malkioni didn't say "oh, he's mainly teaching Man-of-All knowlegde and they won't be able to use multispell, duration, range or any similar manipulations".

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5 hours ago, metcalph said:

That's quite frankly the wrong way to describe things.  If you have to invoke three worlds to explain the religious practices, you are doing it wrong.  A more productive approach would be to figure out what a Pentan uses spirits for and what magic they use rune magic for.

Kargzant is represented as a Golden Bow or a Flaming Horse so any magic along these lines would be rune magic or feats.  A Pentan would find additional magic such as magic to make his horse run faster to be spirit magic because although useful, it is not part of the core identity of Kargzant (Flaming Horse/Golden Bow).  He would approach one of Kargzant's servants with the help of a friendly shaman to know such magics.

May I ask why is it wrong? And how is making a horse run faster not a part of a core identity of Kargzant? And, for that matter, why is the core identity of Kargzant more tied to the image of Golden Bow than to his role as the solar leader of the herd, both horse and human? Is using the main names/representation in such a way an official guideline or more your intuition?

Edited by Ufnal

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9 hours ago, Ufnal said:

Still, there seems to be (for me) an in-world difference between having a fiery horse spirit in a charm and having an affinity with a deity that lets you do the stuff that spirit does, and I can't convince myself that people of Glorantha wouldn't see the difference or conceptualize it in any way.

Two archers stand side by side both follow the same God/Spirit. Both fire an arrow

One uses his fire rune breakout Fire arrow +1 and the other uses fire arrow +1 a charm broken out from his Fire rune. 

Everyone sees a fiery arrow streak off.

One now does the feat Heroform Archery God, he grows 50' and stands there on the battlefield on fire. The other embodies the spirit of the Archery god, he grows 50' and stands there on the battlefield on fire.

Everyone sees two 50' beings on fire on the battlefield - do they look the same - nearly - one has the shiny trappings of the Archery god, the has a flint necklace of arrowheads etc. Does anyone care - no.

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7 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Two archers stand side by side both follow the same God/Spirit. Both fire an arrow

One uses his fire rune breakout Fire arrow +1 and the other uses fire arrow +1 a charm broken out from his Fire rune. 

Everyone sees a fiery arrow streak off.

One now does the feat Heroform Archery God, he grows 50' and stands there on the battlefield on fire. The other embodies the spirit of the Archery god, he grows 50' and stands there on the battlefield on fire.

Everyone sees two 50' beings on fire on the battlefield - do they look the same - nearly - one has the shiny trappings of the Archery god, the has a flint necklace of arrowheads etc. Does anyone care - no.

 

But don't the archers themselves care? One of them has to follow the teachings of his god, the other has a relationship with a spirit in his charm. Which makes for much different roleplaying (the theist is supposed to adhere to his god's example and tenent, the spiritist is supposed to take care of his spirit's needs), doesn't it?

 

[otherwise, if there's no difference in the experience of the characters, in the in-world effects, in mechanics etc - why even mention that there are diferent kinds of magic if they are completely interchangeable?]

 

EDIT: Also, why does nobody care whether they are fighting a heroformer (when they can exploit the knowledge of their god to throw them off and make them stop heroforming) or a person [somehow] embodying a spirit (when they can banish a spirit with anti-spirit magics, or negotiate with it, or whatever)?

Edited by Ufnal
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28 minutes ago, Ufnal said:

 

But don't the archers themselves care? One of them has to follow the teachings of his god, the other has a relationship with a spirit in his charm. Which makes for much different roleplaying (the theist is supposed to adhere to his god's example and tenent, the spiritist is supposed to take care of his spirit's needs), doesn't it?

 

[otherwise, if there's no difference in the experience of the characters, in the in-world effects, in mechanics etc - why even mention that there are diferent kinds of magic if they are completely interchangeable?]

 

EDIT: Also, why does nobody care whether they are fighting a heroformer (when they can exploit the knowledge of their god to throw them off and make them stop heroforming) or a person [somehow] embodying a spirit (when they can banish a spirit with anti-spirit magics, or negotiate with it, or whatever)?

Yeah, I see those as pretty significant things to make note of, even without any God-Learner concepts being thrown in. It would also probably have an effect on how you'd go about opposing such magics (or perhaps whether you'd oppose them at all).

Edited by Grievous
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1 hour ago, Ufnal said:

doesn't it?

yes

1 hour ago, Ufnal said:

[otherwise, if there's no difference in the experience of the characters, in the in-world effects, in mechanics etc - why even mention that there are diferent kinds of magic if they are completely interchangeable?]

It's the setting, background etc, that's what makes the world of Glorantha rich and not some generic fantasy setting.

1 hour ago, Ufnal said:

EDIT: Also, why does nobody care whether they are fighting a heroformer (when they can exploit the knowledge of their god to throw them off and make them stop heroforming) or a person [somehow] embodying a spirit (when they can banish a spirit with anti-spirit magics, or negotiate with it, or whatever)?

They do, and will have different tactics and abilities to use. It's the overall appearance that is similar.

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I feel I am starting to slip into nitpicking arguments, for which I apologise, so I felt I need to state clearly what my problem is.

 

It might be due to the fact I am an on and off Glorantha enthusiast not a hardcore lore buff, but when thinking about various Gloranthan types of magic I always had it stuck in my head that - whether we treat them as separate supernatural realms [as in older games/older canon/God Learner classifications] or as different ways of looking at the same things, theistic magic is about being something, spiritual is about having something, sorcerous is about knowing something. AFAIR that's how it was portrayed around HQ2, too.

 

Now for me that has always meant there's a great deal of difference in in-universe terms and in roleplaying terms between those worldviews. Sorcerous worldview would be that the world is full of powers that you can research, understand, and using the knowledge you aquire - control and exploit in very specific ways. Theistic worldview would be that the world is full of powerful beings that you can worship, emulate and through that take part in their identity and power. Spiritual worldview would be that the world is full of powerful beings that you can bargain with, contest against, win over and in the process aquire their help (or services of their subordinates, or of pieces of them) by taking them with you and having them help you in specific things. This is how I feel it was portrayed in the (various and fragmentary but mainly based on various HQ editions) things I read and skimmed over the years. This is also, I feel, reflected in HQ rules with the differences between spells, charms and affinities. 

 

Therefore when told that the division between theistic and spiritualistic cultures is no longer strong, my reaction was "Cool! So now Pentan chiefs are both striving to worship and emulate Kargzant to become reflections of his power in leading their tribe, AND they petition him for the gift of spirits from his fiery herds in the sky that help them perform their duties and lead/protect the tribe! That's quite cool, gives me great ideas about culture and roleplaying (as different kinds of magic seems to say different things about a person - some say what they are/strive to be, others what they have/managed to aquire - and how they are differentiated and valued within a culture and how they flesh out a character seem like interesting questions) and basically sounds fun.

 

But now some people tell me that inside a particular culture it doesn't much matter whether the magic is spiritual or theistic, as long as it's aquired within that culture's traditions (although @metcalph did mention some interesting stuff such as the Doraddi valuing spirit magic more than rune magic - which is the kind of interesting detail I'm talking about: What does that say about Doraddi? Do they feel that magic you gain by relationships with various other beings is more worthy of respect than magic that you have to give up a piece of your identity for? Do they prefer more specialized magics? etc). Other people tell me that the differences in the acutal magic aquired are not important. And it kinda confuses me, not only by throwing away a distinction I relied on (and that I still find in Glorantha products), but also by doing away with what I consider an element that is enriching for the world of Glorantha, by showing how different ways of perceiving, aquiring and handling power can fit together in one religion and culture. I may be misreading things, misinterpreting things, or just be plain wrong. I think My Glorantha That Varies will be staying the way it was, but I am also interested in The Glorantha As Currently Depicted In The Books And General Fan Consensus, and I am still not 100% sure how it's supposed to look. As far as I understand from this thread, the current trend is that three worlds is more God Learner classification than something people think about in-universe, and that the three worlds as distinguishable ways of seeing and aquiring powers are being phased away and more culture-based view is encouraged? [if so, what is the reason of treating them separately in the mechanics and fluff and stuff? Is that God Learer-y division true in the objective sense but not acknowledged/experienced/cared about by people living in Glorantha?]

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18 minutes ago, Ufnal said:

I feel I am starting to slip into nitpicking arguments, for which I apologise, so I felt I need to state clearly what my problem is.

For what it's worth, I don't think you're nitpicking and I appreciate you voicing these concerns. It's a topic that I'm trying to wrap my head around as well and some comments on this thread do muddy the waters a bit. It seems to me that at some point there was a policy decision that lessened the strict division of the different worlds. Having grown my understanding of Glorantha based on the old paradigm, I'm still not sure how to square that circle.

The idea that "theistic magic is about being something, spiritual is about having something, sorcerous is about knowing something" still seems valid to me, but at the same it seems the difference between being, having and knowing themselves may have eroded. I'm having to exercise my Illuminated third eye to get at that and just swallow the paradox, but if a discussion here can bring a better understanding of this topic for me (and others), I'd be very grafteful.

 

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So rewinding slightly, let me try and go through some of the process that I had to go through when writing the spirit magic section and the praxian magic that went into HQG (and previously the Seven Mothers). 

Firstly a lot of the previous magical depictions and rules just weren't the correct way Greg depicted Glorantha or wanted it depicted now. We had descriptions from Greg's unpublished works and talked to him. At the outset we realised that the Praxians were spirit based and so what had to be described was a spirit based magical system. Talking with Greg he said they were mixed spirit magic with some divine magic as well. I then set about looking at how this could exist in one god/spirit, likewise how it worked with in the culture. If you look at Waha in HQG he's the major example of how this works. Another discovery was that everyone has either a spirit or a soul and that this was your preferred interaction with the divine. Generally speaking if you have a soul you can become a spirit practitioner, and a soul a divine practitioner. Some with souls can use spirit magic up to a point but no more, they can't become shaman, they are called the Empty in Praxian terms. They are cut off from the flow of the spirit world all around them, they have no access to the spirit rune or the spirit world unless specifically accompanied by a shaman. When left in the spirit world unaccompanied, they will pop straight back into the middle world. Those with spirits may also be strong in the runes of their gods. A Waha shaman with the runes of Death Spirit and Man could also use Waha's rune affinities as well. These individuals are an exceptionally powerful magical combination in that culture and they aren't very common. The equivalent Empty would be one of the rare Waha devotees (likely a khan as well). They can Heroform Waha himself as normal khans can as an ancestor. Their disadvantage is that they are blind to the spirit world around them and so make up for it by focussing on their runes, and have only limited charm capabilities, but they can still do all of the Tasks of Waha available to "Spirit" based khans. In game player have a choice of where to spend their experience - do they go more for rune affinities or spirit magic - that's the choice. You can't have it all as you will spread your experience, so the old concentrating magic is gone, but is still present in the choice of where you spend experience - is the player wanting to be a Khan, Priest or shaman? All have different social roles, but all are part of the same society.

In play test this split did manifest in different ways of doing things, but overall enriched the game and culture. At no point did it cause a problem.

As to the difference with "pure" magical cultures - we not addressed it yet as they've not been developed. The Hsunchen are likely to be the only pure spirit based culture. I can't remember if there is a pure theistic culture and there's likely a small section of the West that is purely sorcerous. But generally speaking, every culture is mixed.

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5 hours ago, Ufnal said:

Now for me that has always meant there's a great deal of difference in in-universe terms and in roleplaying terms between those worldviews. Sorcerous worldview would be that the world is full of powers that you can research, understand, and using the knowledge you aquire - control and exploit in very specific ways. Theistic worldview would be that the world is full of powerful beings that you can worship, emulate and through that take part in their identity and power. Spiritual worldview would be that the world is full of powerful beings that you can bargain with, contest against, win over and in the process aquire their help (or services of their subordinates, or of pieces of them) by taking them with you and having them help you in specific things.

Yes, from an in-universe, mundane world perspective, these are the predominant approaches and worldviews.

This reflects my earlier comments re:  

  • How you worship (i.e. how do you get into contact with your gods/spirits)
  • How you obtain magic from them once you've approached them
5 hours ago, Ufnal said:

Therefore when told that the division between theistic and spiritualistic cultures is no longer strong, my reaction was "Cool! So now Pentan chiefs are both striving to worship and emulate Kargzant to become reflections of his power in leading their tribe, AND they petition him for the gift of spirits from his fiery herds in the sky that help them perform their duties and lead/protect the tribe! That's quite cool, gives me great ideas about culture and roleplaying (as different kinds of magic seems to say different things about a person - some say what they are/strive to be, others what they have/managed to aquire - and how they are differentiated and valued within a culture and how they flesh out a character seem like interesting questions) and basically sounds fun.

Exactly!  And to me, this is perfectly reasonable and possible.  But, there does not need to be any difference in how you worship or how you approach the deity/great spirit to achieve this.  From an in-universe perspective, when you cross into the Otherworld, you do so by the path (i.e. worldview) that you culturally expect to use.  You do not take one path to reach Kargzant (as god) vs. Kargzant (as spirit).  You follow your path to reach Kargzant.  But when you reach him, you do something different to gain one type of magic from him vs. another.

5 hours ago, Ufnal said:

Other people tell me that the differences in the acutal magic aquired are not important. And it kinda confuses me, not only by throwing away a distinction I relied on (and that I still find in Glorantha products), but also by doing away with what I consider an element that is enriching for the world of Glorantha, by showing how different ways of perceiving, aquiring and handling power can fit together in one religion and culture. I may be misreading things, misinterpreting things, or just be plain wrong.

As David pointed out, you could bargain with Kargzant to get spirits that enable you to create Arrows of Fire.  Or you could sacrifice something to him to draw forth his power to create Arrows of Fire.  An Arrow of Fire is an Arrow of Fire - from an external observers perspective of your action, the Arrow of Fire looks the same.  However, the action you took to create the Arrow of Fire will look different.  In the first case, you focus on your charm and will the spirit to create the Arrow of Fire.  In the second, your fingers or your eye may glow with flame which alights upon your arrow as it is shot.  Different causes, convergent effects.

The observer of your action might say, "Oh, he's invoking a spirit charm!  If I destroy his charm, I'll stop his action."  or "Oh, he's channeling his god!  If I summon the Sunslayer, I'll stop his action."  Different behaviors to invoke.  Different reactions to the perceived actions.  You don't need to throw away any distinctions here.

Does that help clarify some?

 

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It is really funny how me putting forward one and the same proposition how to combine Rune Priesthood and Sorcery in RQ keeps me at odds with Peter. Back in the 90ies my proposal of initiated or acolyte sorcerers was unthinkable heresy. Now it is grognardism, limiting the possibilities...

Most of the spirit world defies the logic of Malkioni sorcery. Sorcerers seek to dominate the spirit world.

Shamans are among the bigger predators of the spirit world, but ordinarily they make deals or wagers with spirits rather than forcing them to buckle under (something the RQ3 rules for getting spell spirits completely failed to convey).

There may be traditions who take spirit allies or guests, and others which integrate the spirits into their physical and spiritual self. Either could be done cooperatively or through domination.

8 hours ago, metcalph said:

Why should it?  I can easily see a case for Shaman-Sorcerors in some exotic part of Glorantha and I don't see the need to have the possibility foreclosed because Joerg was thinking of traditional Praxian Shamans.

Wrong on several accounts.

First of all, just because something was wrongly described in a publication like say the Introduction to the Hero Wars against better data doesn't mean that it had to stay broken (thinking of misinterpretations of Heortland here).

Praxian shamans are the last thing I consider - I am concerned with Kolatings, earth witches, or hsunchen shamans, and willing to nod towards Noruma's shamans, too.

 

A school of sorcery able to discorporate into the spirit world doesn't exactly become a shamanic tradition. Shamanism works on an instinctive level with experience rather than knowledge, whereas sorcery is knowledge-based and frowns on instinct. Anybody who uses sorcerous techniques as part of a mystical journey through the spirit world works under yet other premises.

 

 

 

Quote

I think this statement is just plain wrong.  When Arkat stole the secrets of sorcery and taught them to the Trolls, the Malkioni didn't say "oh, he's mainly teaching Man-of-All knowlegde and they won't be able to use multispell, duration, range or any similar manipulations".

I think we agree that Arkat brought some sorcery to the uz, but hardly the entirety of Zzabur's writings. Troll sorcerers are limited by what Arkat gifted them with and what they researched, traded for or conquered/stole from others.

 

The RQ3 sorcery was pretty un-Gloranthan with the importance of the sorcerer's familiar. However, the idea that the sorcerer's apprentice had to "initiate" to a magical entity through which the deeper knowledge for sorcerous manipulation was taught was a very good TANSTAAFL principle. The apprentice created a magical bond to his master, and only the (permanent) death of one of the participants of the bond, the apprentice's graduation to adepthood or the cancellation of the apprenticeship would terminate this bond. Without that bond, no teaching of these abilities was possible.

Theoretically, under RQ3 rules, the bond only had to remain in place for long enough for the apprentice to develop the basic knowledge of these skills, the rest could be done through research or (IIRC) experience. Theoretically, the world could be awash with former apprentices with some basics and some self-taught improvements on those.

And it's in the neighborhood of this that I would place the sorcerous abilities of (Old) Hrestoli Men of All, judging from the effort Hrestol and his companions spent on these pursuits. The Gaiseron scheme is something else, and its loopholes haven't been explored enough.

 

But back to Pent, and to David's hypthetical exchangeable twin providers of the same kind of magic: I don't think there is a single religion which has this redundance. The Pentans and their various offshoots have Golden Bow, and I expect it to be a single entity regardless whether classified as a spirit or as a deity. Either pure approach is bound to be wrong. If HQG offers both ways as valid rules construct, then the rules don't quite reflect the reality. It is not just RQ which falls into that trap.

The two versions cited by David are what we got from the Hero Wars subcultitis - different names and methodology to arrive at these results.Since we are dealing with lesser aspects of the entity in question, having the fifty foot giant reflect certain preferences of the individual calling it up is correct to some point.

 

If the magical origin doesn't matter, then why oh why the Orlanthi categorical condemnation of sorcery?

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

If the magical origin doesn't matter, then why oh why the Orlanthi categorical condemnation of sorcery?

Because the gods and spirits don't like having their magic wrested from them via arcane formulas!  They like you to make offerings to them, or bargains.  They get something in those exchanges.  When their magic is taken without anything in return, they think you're a thief.  And they send their minions out to hunt you down (or at least badmouth you).  

Now in the Aeolian case, Aeol must have come up with a mechanism that allowed the formulaic exercise of the magic in exchange for something.  Perhaps he found a way to let the magic used by the sorcerer (i.e. 'priest') channel back to the god.  And perhaps the same is true for LM and Pavis through whatever means they (or their worshippers) devised.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Because the gods and spirits don't like having their magic wrested from them via arcane formulas!  They like you to make offerings to them, or bargains.  They get something in those exchanges.  When their magic is taken without anything in return, they think you're a thief.  And they send their minions out to hunt you down (or at least badmouth you).  

Now in the Aeolian case, Aeol must have come up with a mechanism that allowed the formulaic exercise of the magic in exchange for something.  Perhaps he found a way to let the magic used by the sorcerer (i.e. 'priest') channel back to the god.  And perhaps the same is true for LM and Pavis through whatever means they (or their worshippers) devised.

Zzabur, moreover, is one of the great enemies of Orlanth and is even depicted hunting down the last Vingkotlings...

Why does Zzabur hate Orlanth? (I mean, besides Orlanth being a "god" and claiming rule over the gods...)

The name Aeol - moreover - is obviously Aeolus (Gk., "quick") of Aeolia, the Greco-Roman sorcerer who lives on a floating island in the Mediterranean in the Odyssey. He was curiously later equated with the winds themselves, but originally simply had mastery of them - the famous "Bag of Winds" trick, which - in the form of the wind-knot is closely connected to witchcraft in European legend...

(here is the Theoi entry: http://www.theoi.com/Titan/Aiolos.html)

So the RW Aeolus is associated with power over the divine winds, possibly by sorcery...

Could this Aeolian Orlanth be associated with the Great Darkness, when men forgot how to do sacrifices? After all, Heort was himself generally a shaman, not a theist, before the rites were rediscovered.

 

Edit: Perhaps this post should be moved to a new subject header: "Aeol and Orlanth"? Not sure how to do that.

Edited by jeffjerwin

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On 07/01/2018 at 6:02 AM, David Scott said:

 is correct Waha in HeroQuest Glorantha is currently the best example of it.

David knows I rather disagree about this. I think the kind of very distinct bifurcation of the Waha cult in the HQG writeup (where those without the Spirit Rune have no access to the majority of Waha’s magic, and Devotees must actually give up using Waha’s spirit magic) is at best a really weird, somewhat pathological case, and a far more magically integrated cult (like Storm Bull running through to Odayla) is more common, and a much better example of how mixed traditions usually work in Glorantha. 

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21 hours ago, Ufnal said:

May I ask why is it wrong?

Making up gods and their magic based on the perceived usefulness to their worshippers yields rather flat gods devoid of personality in my experience.  I find it better to make the Gods provide well-defined magic and have secondary magic to fill in the gaps rather than have the Gods provide for everything.  Only the biggest of Gods (Orlanth etc) should have a magic for every ocassion while second tier gods such as Kargzant would be far less comprehensive.

21 hours ago, Ufnal said:

And, for that matter, why is the core identity of Kargzant more tied to the image of Golden Bow than to his role as the solar leader of the herd, both horse and human?

You really have to ask Greg that.  In any event, Hyalor would have better horse magics than Kargzant.

 

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As far as the HQ rules go, it’s very true that how you arrive at a particular number is of very limited relevance as far as game play goes. But there are significant differences in terms of flexibility, both in terms of application in the moment and access to abilities (eg access to a range of different elemental powers via your Spirit or Sorcery Rune seems routine). I don’t think this is simply a rules artefact, but a representation of quite different methods. The different types of magic are intended to have significant differences in practice in not just the HQG rules, but in Glorantha. 

(How well the rules model what those differences actually are is a different question  - AFAIK the versions of sorcery as presented in RQG and HQG currently seem radically different in some respects, unfortunately)

In post-Guide Glorantha, we have (rightly) got rid of the idea that there is a correct way to approach a particular power/entity. Farewell to the concept of misapplied worship, and good riddance. But the idea that mixing methods is problematic still lingers, I think somewhat correctly but somewhat overstated in some places. I think mixing magical methodology is unusual and a bit weird, that it usually leads to some restrictions in practice, and it is, at the higher levels of practice, generally impossible without Illumination (referring here to Illumination as a moment of mystical union with the all, rather than any specific path to there). 

Examples of such practical restrictions (noting that all restrictions are far for the sufficiently advanced heroquester) include Lhankor Mhy sorcerers not being able to create spells/grimoires from scratch but only via retranslation, that Kygor Litor and Aldrya are restricted in their shamanic abilities, Lunars not being able to access feats, etc. Essentially, normal magicians in such traditions set off in a direction somewhere that doesn’t fit squarely in one of three traditions, but as a result always have some sort of restriction. 

FWIW, while of course mystic insight should be its own reward, I think it’s pragmatic value to most serious magicians is to allow mixing the major paths - shamans with sorcery, devotees with sorcery, having feats and a fetch, etc. This is normally impossible, but not too Illuminates. The smashing and rebuilding of their highly developed sense of self required obviously might make them crazy though.

(and my suspicion is that at the lower levels of mixed practice, it frequently indicates that your mixed religious practices were established by someone who had the benefit of Illumination. Eg Lhankor Mhy has ready access to sorcery perhaps due to Malkioneranist religious engineering, Pavis access to limited divine magic due to Pavis having Draconic insight, etc. I dare not speculate about Urox, though! And in mystic cultures, mystics might create practical forms of magic that are not themselves mystic but are designed for such intermixing of method - and Venformism might be an example of this but.... WAY off topic)

On 08/01/2018 at 9:51 AM, jajagappa said:
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It's completely immaterial (and indistinguishable) whether these are "divine/rune" magic, "spirit" magic, "charms", gifts of the god, or whatever.
Now, I could have something explicitly broken out and distinct such as a feat, a bound spirit, a charm, or a grimoire.  But there's no particular reason to do so.

 

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12 hours ago, Joerg said:

It is really funny how me putting forward one and the same proposition how to combine Rune Priesthood and Sorcery in RQ keeps me at odds with Peter. Back in the 90ies my proposal of initiated or acolyte sorcerers was unthinkable heresy. Now it is grognardism, limiting the possibilities...

I fail to see how it would have been Heresy considering the possibility was explicitly mentioned in Gods of Glorantha (published 1985) for the Cults of Chalana Arroy, the Eastern Isles Gods, Etyries, Path of Immanent Mastery and the Stygian Heresy.  A little less hagiography please,

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Most of the spirit world defies the logic of Malkioni sorcery. Sorcerers seek to dominate the spirit world.

That bald assertion is at odds with current statements about Sorcery (Key phrase "Something that you know").  Moreover there is more to sorcery than just the magic of the Malkioni.  A good example would be the Zenshin of Vormaini who work with the Joserui.

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Shamans are among the bigger predators of the spirit world,

I disagree strongly with your description of Shamans as predators.  

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

First of all, just because something was wrongly described in a publication like say the Introduction to the Hero Wars against better data doesn't mean that it had to stay broken (thinking of misinterpretations of Heortland here).

Been waiting to use that one for quite a while, have you?  How does it relate to the point that I made - by saying shamans can't be sorcerors, you are relying on a rather limited view of shamans.

I'm not going to rebut your personal theories about shamanism and sorcery but merely to point out they rely on little more than your personal theories rather than anything actually stated in the Guide or HeroQuest: Glorantha.

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

I think we agree that Arkat brought some sorcery to the uz, but hardly the entirety of Zzabur's writings. Troll sorcerers are limited by what Arkat gifted them with and what they researched, traded for or conquered/stole from others.

Your original statement was that Arkat only brought a Man-of-All's understanding of sorcery thus implicitly Trolls could not become adepts.  And I hestitate to describe any Mistress Race Troll's understanding of sorcery as "limited".

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Gaiseron scheme is something else, and its loopholes haven't been explored enough.

I really don't see why you think Gaiseron is so important in the Loskalmi scheme of things.  I would have thought Siglat to be far more influential.

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

If the magical origin doesn't matter, then why oh why the Orlanthi categorical condemnation of sorcery?

What Orlanthi condemnation of sorcery?  What the Orlanthi condemn is magic worked without the co-operation of Gods and Spirits (KoS p209), a definition which includes the Malkioni.  Sorcery use is not common among the Orlanthi for any number of economic reasons other than it being bad magic.

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17 hours ago, David Scott said:

Another discovery was that everyone has either a spirit or a soul and that this was your preferred interaction with the divine. Generally speaking if you have a soul you can become a spirit practitioner, and a soul a divine practitioner. Some with souls can use spirit magic up to a point but no more, they can't become shaman, they are called the Empty in Praxian terms. They are cut off from the flow of the spirit world all around them, they have no access to the spirit rune or the spirit world unless specifically accompanied by a shaman. When left in the spirit world unaccompanied, they will pop straight back into the middle world. Those with spirits may also be strong in the runes of their gods.

That seems pretty significant! Is this a soul vs spirit thing a general feature or something unique to the Praxians?

That raises some pretty meaningful and interesting questions regardless. What's the other significant points of having either a soul or a spirit? What about when you die? Can you go -get- a soul and from where - a god perhaps? What the heck is a soul anyway? What about getting a spirit (from a spirit, or a spirit to -be- a spirit)? And is there a similar distinction that leads folks towards sorcery? Those are just to scratch the surface!

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14 minutes ago, Grievous said:

That seems pretty significant! Is this a soul vs spirit thing a general feature or something unique to the Praxians?

That raises some pretty meaningful and interesting questions regardless. What's the other significant points of having either a soul or a spirit? What about when you die? Can you go -get- a soul and from where - a god perhaps? What the heck is a soul anyway? What about getting a spirit (from a spirit, or a spirit to -be- a spirit)? And is there a similar distinction that leads folks towards sorcery? Those are just to scratch the surface!

Much of this was hashed out under the strictly dogmatic separation of the three otherworlds, but as far as I understood this, every human is born with a soul, a spirit and an essence. It depends on which one of these three spiritual organs you develop which magical otherworld comes naturally to you.

I agree with David that the mystical path somehow undoes the separation of these three, and thereby allows development in all directions.

Hero Wars had the Misapplied Worship (etc.) concept taken to unnecessary extremes which still allowed you to tie your soul to a great spirit or great essence,  and the other four combinations as well, at a penalty. HW's idea of a penalty was slowing growth in that magic by doubling hero point expenditure, which did not really work for me. I am more comfortable with some of David Scott's ideas, while I think that others are just as clunky HQ rules artifacts as are POW sacrifices and Free INT in RQ. But that's just me.

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