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Everyone Having Rune Magic

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Love the analysis, @womble. Thanks for rummaging with the numbers and sharing your interpretation with us. I usually can't be arsed to number-crunch, so it's much appreciated :D.

It seems to me like the next question is: Does this image make for a more or less interesting game world?

Personally, as I've been pondering a bit on those numbers, I find it rather attractive. Glorantha's supposed to be a "EVERYTHING'S MAGICAL/MYTHICAL!!" world, right? And these numbers and ideas, to me, seem to support that. This new paradigm where all initiates have reusable Rune magic (with rare exceptions like Resurrection) makes sense for how I understand Glorantha, and sounds like a bonkers world to be playing a tabletop game in. It's obviously not "Everyone's flying, all the time!" like some high-magic settings are written, because Rune points are a limited resource since you only recover them in worship, but the idea that a substantial portion of a village's warriors could fly out to meet invaders if they really, really needed to sounds fun. It's also definitely a murder-hobo deterrent.

I guess I'd have to actually play the game in that mode to get a good feel on if random villagers even having 6 or 7 RP feels exciting or feels bland, but it's a gameplay style I think I'd like to experiment with. Methinks that a further step from this pondering would be that characters are of course defined by their cult and their way of expressing piety, but what really distinguishes them from random people is their skill, not their magic. A bunch of Orlanthi might run around able to Lightning Bolt something if absolutely necessary, but most of them won't be able to make a sprinting mount onto a horse and then ride down a fleeing raider at a gallop while lopping off his buddy's head.

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36 minutes ago, Crel said:

Love the analysis, @womble. Thanks for rummaging with the numbers and sharing your interpretation with us. I usually can't be arsed to number-crunch, so it's much appreciated :D.

It seems to me like the next question is: Does this image make for a more or less interesting game world?

Personally, as I've been pondering a bit on those numbers, I find it rather attractive. Glorantha's supposed to be a "EVERYTHING'S MAGICAL/MYTHICAL!!" world, right? And these numbers and ideas, to me, seem to support that. This new paradigm where all initiates have reusable Rune magic (with rare exceptions like Resurrection) makes sense for how I understand Glorantha, and sounds like a bonkers world to be playing a tabletop game in. It's obviously not "Everyone's flying, all the time!" like some high-magic settings are written, because Rune points are a limited resource since you only recover them in worship, but the idea that a substantial portion of a village's warriors could fly out to meet invaders if they really, really needed to sounds fun. It's also definitely a murder-hobo deterrent.

I guess I'd have to actually play the game in that mode to get a good feel on if random villagers even having 6 or 7 RP feels exciting or feels bland, but it's a gameplay style I think I'd like to experiment with. Methinks that a further step from this pondering would be that characters are of course defined by their cult and their way of expressing piety, but what really distinguishes them from random people is their skill, not their magic. A bunch of Orlanthi might run around able to Lightning Bolt something if absolutely necessary, but most of them won't be able to make a sprinting mount onto a horse and then ride down a fleeing raider at a gallop while lopping off his buddy's head.

No problem. As I say, I'd been pondering it, partly from the point of view of how the metaphysics could/should affect chargen for the group I'm hoping to get started soon. I think it did throw something interesting up: the contrast in characters produced by cultures with different access to fertility magic is quite startling. It seems to completely overshadow any differences like the DEX/SIZ cultural modifiers for Bison/Impala riders. If, as a Sartarite or Esrolian mother you get a "Popular [high CHA], experienced [15 Rune Points say] 'Midwife'", your kid is going to be running at 13 points over average. Not a feature necessarily commonly available to Lunar Provinces where it's just Seven Mothers, or even the Praxians whose Daka Fal/Eritha worship overshadows the more human-focused Ernalda support of the Sartarite/Esrolian nations. So Sartarites might tend, in general to be bigger, tougher, faster, brighter, stronger and more impressive than your general Nomad who hasn't got 2 grannies with the best interests of their Tribe at heart and the Fertility magic to back it up. The Praxians would have better herds though...

It gives an explicit magical support role to the elders of the tribes too, in generating Enchantments with all their 'spare' POW gains. Even if they all run their POW up to 21, there's going to be some sloshing around to make presents for important people, or just general Tribal use. 

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On 8/22/2018 at 9:03 PM, womble said:

Some consequences I've thought of:

Hahahaha! And in addition to those, every 30 years old Orlanthi stickpicker could could blast 9 Lunar hoplites with his Thunderbolt 11.

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And if those Hoplites are veteran Yanafal Tarnils Initiates, they could have Shield 8 running all day... and it wouldn't help because the extra 8 points to 'spread the love' count as part of the strength of the spell, so the attack would beat the defense...

Not that Shield protects against Rune magic (it specifically mentions that Sorcery and Spirit magic have to beat it, but not Rune; I'd assume that's an oversight in the text and you'd have to read the description in conjunction with the Countermagic description) in one possible reading of the core rule as written.

Edited by womble

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35 minutes ago, womble said:

Not that Shield protects against Rune magic (it specifically mentions that Sorcery and Spirit magic have to beat it, but not Rune; I'd assume that's an oversight in the text and you'd have to read the description in conjunction with the Countermagic description) in one possible reading of the core rule as written.

Of course it protects against Rune magic. It provides 2 points of Countermagic per point, and Countermagic defends against Rune. The only ambiguity is whether the Countermagic goes down if a Rune spell breaches it.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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5 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Of course it protects against Rune magic. It provides 2 points of Countermagic per point, and Countermagic defends against Rune. The only ambiguity is whether the Countermagic goes down if a Rune spell breaches it.

Indeed. Still, it's a potential loophole that the spell description explicitly mentions Spirit and Sorcery magics having to defeat Shield, and doesn't mention Rune magic having to do so. Rules lawyers out there would potentially seek to widen that crack.

What do you think of the other point about the 'Rune Points used to widen effect increasing the effective strength for resisting the spell'. Does that fit in with Sorcery manipulations where range and duration increase the Intensity? Does CM/Shield oppose the Intensity or the Strength? Or the sheer number of Magic Points expended (which could mean you've got a better chance of breaking a defense with a Sorcery where you have unmastered Rune/Technique)?

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24 minutes ago, womble said:

What do you think of the other point about the 'Rune Points used to widen effect increasing the effective strength for resisting the spell'.

You mean, for instance, casting Truesword with a couple of extra Rune Points that do nothing other than to make it a 3 point divine spell and harder to dismiss? I think I'd allow that. You'd probably be better off casting a couple of points of Shield on your sword though, if you have access to it. Although I suppose the enemy could just target the Truesword for dismissal and bypass the Shield.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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15 hours ago, Brootse said:

Hahahaha! And in addition to those, every 30 years old Orlanthi stickpicker could could blast 9 Lunar hoplites with his Thunderbolt 11.

Getting back to the main subject, we've already resolved this one. Being an initiate is a calling. Certain individuals are drawn to devote themselves to a god, and they are initiated into the deeper secrets of the cult. Most stickpickers did not feel the call of Orlanth, so never got the chance to learn the secret of calling down the thunder.

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2 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

You mean, for instance, casting Truesword with a couple of extra Rune Points that do nothing other than to make it a 3 point divine spell and harder to dismiss? I think I'd allow that. You'd probably be better off casting a couple of points of Shield on your sword though, if you have access to it. Although I suppose the enemy could just target the Truesword for dismissal and bypass the Shield.

No I mean the "Thunderbolting 9 targets" example. Spend 3 points on a 1-target Thunderbolt and another 8 on 8 more targets. How much Shield does each target need to counter it? Is it effectively each target getting hit with a 3 point spell, or do all of them get hit by an 11 point effective penetration?

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2 minutes ago, womble said:

No I mean the "Thunderbolting 9 targets" example. Spend 3 points on a 1-target Thunderbolt and another 8 on 8 more targets. How much Shield does each target need to counter it? Is it effectively each target getting hit with a 3 point spell, or do all of them get hit by an 11 point effective penetration?

Ah I see. I think it's still a 3 point spell for each target, but additional MPs spent to boost the spell past defensive magic would apply to all of them. I wouldn't have a problem if it were considered an 11 point spell though.

Of course the easy way to take down Countermagic on a large group of targets is to cast Detect Enemies with a bunch of MPs boosting it. EMP!

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25 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Ah I see. I think it's still a 3 point spell for each target, but additional MPs spent to boost the spell past defensive magic would apply to all of them. I wouldn't have a problem if it were considered an 11 point spell though.

I think I'm looking at it and reckoning that both an extra 'multispelled' casting of a 3 point Rune Magic and the building up to the effective rendering of the entire volley as unblockable is probably too much for the expenditure of  single points. I'd probably even want the extra MP committed for penetration to be assigned to specific and unique targets (if you whack in an additional 10MP, tell me where each of those points is going: is it to add 5 to two different targets or a couple of points to each of 5 of your 9?).

25 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Of course the easy way to take down Countermagic on a large group of targets is to cast Detect Enemies with a bunch of MPs boosting it. EMP!

Wouldn't work with Shield though... And conversely, if this works, a simple Shield 1 spell will render you undetectable to unboosted Detect Enemies. Not sure whether that's a designer's intent.

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54 minutes ago, womble said:

Wouldn't work with Shield though... And conversely, if this works, a simple Shield 1 spell will render you undetectable to unboosted Detect Enemies. Not sure whether that's a designer's intent.

Yes, that's right, why do you think Shield 1 should not do that? If you want to detect someone, and they have Shield up, you need to boost it. Same as with Countermagic.

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3 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

 You'd probably be better off casting a couple of points of Shield on your sword though, if you have access to it.

IS that permissible in RQG, and would it work on the sword even if it is?

The reason why I ask is that Countermagic was listed as working on self or others, as does Protection. As a sword isn't a "self" or an "other"  I don't believe it would be a valid target for either of those two effects/components of the shield spell.  Unless the sword held an (allied) spirit, but then, technically, the target of the spell would be the spirit.

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1 hour ago, womble said:

Wouldn't work with Shield though... And conversely, if this works, a simple Shield 1 spell will render you undetectable to unboosted Detect Enemies. Not sure whether that's a designer's intent.

Not quite. The caster would know that his detection had been blocked by countermagic, as opposed to not detecting anything. It's like jamming someone's radar. They may not know who did it or where they are, but they know there is an enemy out there somewhere. 

 

That was what made  Detection Blank useful.

Edited by Atgxtg
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8 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

IS that permissible in RQG, and would it work on the sword even if it is?

Maybe not. And as I then went on to say, the Countermagic part would not be much use if you can just target a spell anyway. I've always allowed Protection on swords and shields to boost their APs. Not sure how that works with weapon HPs though.

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13 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Maybe not. And as I then went on to say, the Countermagic part would not be much use if you can just target a spell anyway. I've always allowed Protection on swords and shields to boost their APs. Not sure how that works with weapon HPs though.

Assuming it was allowed (and I really doubt it) then I would just assume that it would give swords and shields AP in addition to their HP. And that would be a big thing. 

IMO Protection on parrying weapons is a big game changer, as it could make it virtually impossible for most characters to get past someone's parry, and fairly quickly at that.  Plus it opens the door for double dipping, as a character could have Protection on his shield and on himself, and they really shouldn't stack that way. If I were to allow Protection on a weapon or shield, then I would say that it would have to be incompatible with Protection on the character. So if you protected your sword, you couldn't have it on your body.

 

Plus allowing spells to target objects that way opens up a Pandora's box for the other spells. If someone can cast protection of their sword, why can't they cast bladesharp or fireblade on themselves or, say, sharp fingernails? 

 

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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1 hour ago, womble said:

Wouldn't work with Shield though... And conversely, if this works, a simple Shield 1 spell will render you undetectable to unboosted Detect Enemies. Not sure whether that's a designer's intent.

You don’t cast detect spells on the thing you are trying to detect, so countermagic and such are not relevant.

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2 minutes ago, simonh said:

You don’t cast detect spells on the thing you are trying to detect, so countermagic and such are not relevant.

Quote

Countermagic
Variable
Ranged, Temporal, Passive

This defensive spell protects the target it is cast upon against
any other incoming spell, including those such as Detection,
Protection, and even Healing spells.

So Countermagic does block detection spells, and presumably can be taken down by them.

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2 minutes ago, simonh said:

You don’t cast detect spells on the thing you are trying to detect, so countermagic and such are not relevant.

That's what I thought, too. Then I read the description of  Detection Blank in RQ2 and it states that: 

A specialized version of Countermagic, designed to block
detection spells. May screen either the caster or another
person from detection. It stops only detection spells, but unlike
Countermagic it does not let the person doing the detection
know that his spell has been blocked. Otherwise it functions like
Countermagic.

So, not only does Countermagic stop detect spells, but Detection Blank is a form of Countermagic. 

 

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13 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Assuming it was allowed (and I really doubt it) then I would just assume that it would give swords and shields AP in addition to their HP. And that would be a big thing. 

IMO Protection on parrying weapons is a big game changer, as it could make it virtually impossible for most characters to get past someone's parry, and fairly quickly at that.  Plus it opens the door for double dipping, as a character could have Protection on his shield and on himself, and they really shouldn't stack that way. If I were to allow Protection on a weapon or shield, then I would say that it would have to be incompatible with Protection on the character. So if you protected your sword, you couldn't have it on your body.

Depending on how you read the rules, it's less effective than in RQ3 when parring AP blocked damage. Since it's a shield's HP that blocks damage, all it does is reduce the damage taken by the shield or weapon.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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2 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Depending on how you read the rules, it's less effective than in RQ3 when parring AP blocked damage. Since it's a shield's HP that blocks damage, all it does is reduce the damage taken by the shield or weapon.

But that by itself would be a game changer. If we were both "average" swordsmen, who did 1D8+1+1D4  (average damage = 8 points) damage, and I could put 4 points of protection on  my sword, then, on average,  your weapon would take twice as much damage as mine and break sooner. 

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4 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

That's what I thought, too. Then I read the description of  Detection Blank in RQ2 and it states that: 

 

I think that only means detection blank blocks the detection effect. The stuff about being a form of countermagic and otherwise working like countermagic is absurd. Detect spells aren’t cast directly on things they detect, don’t have to overcome POW and often can detect multiple targets simultaneously.

Nowhere has it ever been said that countermagic blocks detection and in fact the RQG description of detect enemies makes it explicit that the spell doesn’t have to overcome countermagic. You don’t even have to cast in on a specific target.

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4 minutes ago, simonh said:

Nowhere has it ever been said that countermagic blocks detection

Except in the RQG Countermagic spell description that I quoted a few posts up.

Quote

and in fact the RQG description of detect enemies makes it explicit that the spell doesn’t have to overcome countermagic.

Not in my PDF it doesn't. It says it doesn't have to overcome POW.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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Just now, simonh said:

I think that only means detection blank blocks the detection effect. The stuff about being a form of countermagic and otherwise working like countermagic is absurd. Detect spells aren’t cast directly on things they detect, don’t have to overcome POW and often can detect multiple targets simultaneously.

 

Just now, simonh said:

Nowhere has it ever been said that countermagic blocks detection and in fact the RQG description of detect enemies makes it explicit that the spell doesn’t have to overcome countermagic. You don’t even have to cast in on a specific target.

Actually it has been said in RQ3 that Countermagic blocks detection. It also states in RQ2 under Detection Blank that: 

but unlike Countermagic it does not let the person doing the detection
know that his spell has been blocked

Which by logical extension means that Countermagic blocked Detection spells in RQ2, as otherwise the line would make no sense whatsoever. 

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