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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah, but with what Mechashef pointed out, namely that the Detect spell would probably have to check friends too, we've got problems.

You're over-thinking it. They aren't an enemy, so it doesn't detect them, so it doesn't affect their Countermagic. You've got your logical modern hat on, put on an ignorant bronze age hat and the problem goes away.

It's preposterous that a friend with Countermagic up prevents the detection of an enemy a little further away in the opposite direction, so in my game it won't. The EMP won't work either.

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I don't think the rules were intended to have any of the consequences we are discussing. If they were, it should have been obvious that as written they were ambiguous, so I think the consequences just weren't fully considered. So while the first step should always be to try to figure out the meaning of the rules as written, at this point I think we're solidly into territory where we need to add new rules text to resolve this.

Detect spells checking targets sequentially and being matched against countermagic, and potentially being killed by or killing the countermagic is logical and consistent with RAW, but I hate it. There's nothing explicit in the rules that supports this as the intent, and if it was the intent then I think there would be.

Since detects don't have to overcome POW, they're not operating like conventional hostile or targeted spells, so I think it's reasonable to make them an exception to the countermagic mechanics in the same way that they are an exception to the spell resistance mechanics.

I do think it's a good idea to allow countermagic to block detect spells though. I was against it instinctively, but on reflection it makes sense that there should be some way to avoid detection.  I imagine the detection effect as diffuse enough that it can leak through weaker countermagic spells without destroying them, but is blocked by powerful enough ones. So my preference is as follows.

The points of the detect spell plus any boosting MPs is compared to the countermagic on any potential targets in range. If the points of detection exceed the points of countermagic by 2 points or more the target is a candidate for detection, if it does not that target is ignored for the purposes of the spell.

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If Countermagic only works on Detect Enemies when the Detect would 'ping', then having the Countermagic cancel the spell (on that target) and return a 'your Detect was blocked' result to the caster would be pretty pointless, since the fact of the Detect having been cancelled would identify them as an Enemy. If we're saying a powerful-enough CM will prevent the Detect effect propagating any further, it would at least limit the Detection to 'only the first enemy', but that also doesn't seem a likely design intent.

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1 hour ago, simonh said:

Since detects don't have to overcome POW, they're not operating like conventional hostile or targeted spells, so I think it's reasonable to make them an exception to the countermagic mechanics in the same way that they are an exception to the spell resistance mechanics.

Heal usually doesn't have to overcome POW, either, even when the receiver is unaware of the spell being cast, but is explicitely included in the things Countermagic blocks. (Not wishing to restart the Humakti geas thread, though)

1 hour ago, simonh said:

I do think it's a good idea to allow countermagic to block detect spells though. I was against it instinctively, but on reflection it makes sense that there should be some way to avoid detection.  I imagine the detection effect as diffuse enough that it can leak through weaker countermagic spells without destroying them, but is blocked by powerful enough ones. So my preference is as follows.

Detect life or Detect bronze are indirect ways of detecting potential enemies (although a completist would add Detect Undead and other weaponizable substances like lead or flint). Perhaps "Detect Weapons"? Anyway, would such targets be protected by Countermagic?

 

1 hour ago, simonh said:

The points of the detect spell plus any boosting MPs is compared to the countermagic on any potential targets in range. If the points of detection exceed the points of countermagic by 2 points or more the target is a candidate for detection, if it does not that target is ignored for the purposes of the spell.

Are there other area-effecting spirit spells that could be used like the EMP?

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6 hours ago, simonh said:

I don't think the rules were intended to have any of the consequences we are discussing. If they were, it should have been obvious that as written they were ambiguous, so I think the consequences just weren't fully considered.

I agree. I think this is a case where we all hate where the rules are logically taking us. 

6 hours ago, simonh said:

Detect spells checking targets sequentially and being matched against countermagic, and potentially being killed by or killing the countermagic is logical and consistent with RAW, but I hate it. There's nothing explicit in the rules that supports this as the intent, and if it was the intent then I think there would be.

Matching it against ALL the coubntermagic at one go would work too. It makes sense, is easy to apply, and gives results that make sense-namely that in most cases the Detect get's blown down, but the caster is aware that it has been blocked, so he knows somebody out there doesn't like him, and has or at least had some Countermagic up. 

6 hours ago, simonh said:

Since detects don't have to overcome POW, they're not operating like conventional hostile or targeted spells, so I think it's reasonable to make them an exception to the countermagic mechanics in the same way that they are an exception to the spell resistance mechanics.

Except there is nothing explicit in the rules that sates that either. Quite the opposite, since nothing else is immune to being knocked down by a Countermagic.

6 hours ago, simonh said:

I do think it's a good idea to allow countermagic to block detect spells though. I was against it instinctively, but on reflection it makes sense that there should be some way to avoid detection. 

There is, Detection Blank, and it doesn't just block the Detect, but "slips under the radar", and it can knock down a Detect. But the rules are clear that Countermagic works. 

6 hours ago, simonh said:

The points of the detect spell plus any boosting MPs is compared to the countermagic on any potential targets in range. If the points of detection exceed the points of countermagic by 2 points or more the target is a candidate for detection, if it does not that target is ignored for the purposes of the spell.

That's a workable house rule, but I just wish we had a solution in the text somewhere. Maybe this was covered in an old Wyrms Footnotes?

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7 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

You're over-thinking it. They aren't an enemy, so it doesn't detect them, so it doesn't affect their Countermagic. You've got your logical modern hat on, put on an ignorant bronze age hat and the problem goes away.

Sounds good to me. Might as well close one can of worms why we still can.

My ignorant bronze age hat says that if the spell basically asks the spirits to find the enemies then the spell isn't an incoming one and doesn't interact with the Countermagic. So much for my ignorant hat. I'll ask my raincoat what it thinks, it's a lot smarter than my hat-it usually knows enough to come in out of the rain. However it isn't as chatty as my hat. 

In the meantime, checked RQ3, where Detect Enemies specifically is noted as checking for Enemies in sequence, closest first, and specifically notes that "if the spell is still in effect". So it does appear that Steve Perrin did intent for a high power Detect to be able to blow down a bunch of low power Countermagic spells in sequence. That kinda blows the whole idea that is wasn't intended to work that way. 

 

Oh wait, the raincoat just called me an idiot (nothing new there) and then said that as Steve Perrin is writing something for RQG couldn't somebody at Chasoium ask him about it? 

Quote

It's preposterous that a friend with Countermagic up prevents the detection of an enemy a little further away in the opposite direction, so in my game it won't. The EMP won't work either.

It's even more prosperous that someone can cast a moderately powered Detect Enemies spell and knock down multiple Countermagic spell. I think this is really the only spell in the game that can end up affecting multiple characters, without some sort multispell. 

Edited by Atgxtg

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

It's even more prosperous that someone can cast a moderately powered Detect Enemies spell and knock down multiple Countermagic spell.

I agree.

4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I think this is really the only spell in the game that can end up affecting multiple characters, without some sort multispell.

Thunderbolt and Moonfire come to mind, but those are Rune and Sorcery respectively.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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23 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

I agree.

I think this might be one issue where everybody agrees. But, based on previous wordings, especially RQ3 where they went out of their way to spell it out, it appears that it's supposed to. I guess, once you get used to it, that it could just be considered another tactic. In play, only a few opponents would trigger Detect Enemies under normal circumstances. A character won't really clear a room unless he is the only one that the opposition is aware of. 

Quote

Thunderbolt and Moonfire come to mind, but those are Rune and Sorcery respectively.

How would those work with a Countermagic? Is there some sort of precedent we can latch onto?

 

I think the worst part about this is that it permeates all editions of RQ, so it's not something that can be fixed or avoided by playing a different edition. 

Edited by Atgxtg

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to further muddy the waters, here's my take:

the way the various Detect spells are written suggests a SONAR type effect, retuning distance and direction of all in range. Detect Enemies also has the ability to seek out known targets. With this in mind I'd be inclined to think that it would impact everyone in range. If you have multiple targets with Countermagic, the most powerful Countermagic takes precedence, possibly taking down the Detect before the others are even registered. The Detecting caster would only know that someone within range has a more powerful Countermagic up, the fact that others may have weaker CM is irrelevant (essentially the EMP, working both ways, shorts out). If you have multiple targets with the same CM then all would be effected. So if you were surrounded by enemies with 1xCM2, 2xCM3 and 1xCM4: A Detect 3 or 4 would only take down the CM4, leaving the others unchanged. A Detect 1 or 2 would be cancelled with no effect. Let's assume you took down CM4 in round 1, casting Detect 2 on round two would short both CM3's but leave CM2 unaffected, etc.

Also if you cast Detect Enemies looking for a specific individual, only the targets CM (if any) would matter. I possibly wouldn't allow the same casting to alternate between wide and narrow search, If you started looking for someone in particular you'd need to cast again to change to a general scan.

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Hey everyone, 

Over at the RuneQuest Core Rules Questions thread, Jason just answer this question:

Question:

Page 269 in the RQG book: "Most who belong to a cult are lay members, without any authority or position within the cult."

Page 73 in the RQG book: "Nearly every adult is initiated into the cult of a specific deity."

Which is it?

Answer:

Quote

 

You're confusing being initiated into a cult with being an initiate of that cult. Most everyone in the world is a member of one cult or another, a lay member. Only a small number take the test sacrifice a point of POW and gain a Rune point, and still fewer go on to become Rune Masters or God-talkers within that cult. 

I agree that the word choice on page 73 is confusing. A clearer version might be "Nearly every adult is a member of the cult of a specific deity." 

For the purposes of player character adventurers, all are considered to be initiates, so the sentence on page 73 applies specifically to them. 

 

 

 

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Yeah, looks like that is settled then officially. YGMV, and I'll ask my group about their opinions on what we'll settle wrt. the initiation numbers. Now that Rune Magic is renewable for the initiates too, perhaps it's better to lower the number of the initiates so that there won't be stickpickers with Thunder spells. I had planned on restricting some of the more powerful Rune magic spells to God talkers or higher ranking members, but this will work too. And now that laymembers are counted as worshippers in the temple minimum sizes, the lower number of initiates won't matter as much.

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It would be great to understand how this idea (that not all Orlanthi are Initiates) works with the Orlanthi initiation rites exactly, and whether the Second Son/Star Heart has any bearing (probably not, so another questions would be that what game mechanical considerations might be appropriate to apply to it - but that's really a separate topic).

I'm aware of http://www.glorantha.com/docs/orlanthi-initiation-rites/ and that we really have to separate the initiation rites from being an Initiate (yes, it's confusing, but there we go). But when and how does one go about becoming an Initiate? At the second year gathering? I dunno, I'd just like my setting text and game mechanics to be lined up nicely.

Edited by Grievous

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I was thinking that they would still initiate to some god and that they are also lay members of many other gods. So, each cult would have most of its members as lay members that were initiates of other gods. I would think everyone picks some god and then supports many others through Lay membership.

 

I might be totally wrong.

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9 minutes ago, Grievous said:

It would be great to understand how this idea (that not all Orlanthi are Initiates) works with the Orlanthi initiation rites exactly, and whether the Second Son/Star Heart has any bearing (probably not, so another questions would be that what game mechanical considerations might be appropriate to apply to it - but that's really a separate topic).

I'm aware of http://www.glorantha.com/docs/orlanthi-initiation-rites/ and that we really have to separate the initiation rites from being an Initiate (yes, it's confusing, but there we go). But when and how does one go about becoming an Initiate? At the second year gathering? I dunno, I'd just like my setting text and game mechanics to be lined up nicely.

Part of the confusion comes from the fact that this is not nearly as a cut-and-dried as game mechanics (necessarily) make it.

So we have adulthood initiation rites. Let's call that initiation into adulthood. Nearly every adult is initiated according to whatever cultural rites are used to do that. So in Dragon Pass, we see Orlanth and Ernalda. In Prax we see Waha and Eiritha. In Peloria we see Lodril and the Grain Goddess. In a few places, you even see the Seven Mothers. And so on. A few people fall outside of that, but they are the exceptions that prove the rule. 

Then you have initiation into a specific cult. Our new adult Orlanthi might get chosen by Issaries, our new adult Ernaldan might get chosen by Maran Gor, and so on. The Orlanthi tend to do this in a two or three year transition from childhood to adulthood. Other cultures might do it differently. In most cases, people are lay members, but player characters are almost always full initiates.

Does that help?

Edited by Jeff
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I recall reading something a couple of months back that one of the reasons why Heortling culture was more powerful than their numbers would suggest was related to the fact that they had near universal initiation into cults. The implication being that other cultures had much lower proportions of initiates and so were less magically potent. I cannot for the life of me remember where I read it now.

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5 minutes ago, Russ Massey said:

I recall reading something a couple of months back that one of the reasons why Heortling culture was more powerful than their numbers would suggest was related to the fact that they had near universal initiation into cults. The implication being that other cultures had much lower proportions of initiates and so were less magically potent. I cannot for the life of me remember where I read it now.

I know at least the first two pages of this thread touch on this topic. (Though they might not be the posts you were looking for.)

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I was thinking that, as far as I recall, all the NPCs I've seen statted in current product (that are part of deist cultures) are initiates with Rune Points. So I've gone and had a look. Of course you'd expect folk like Royal Guard and the Tribal Ring to be 'proper' POW-saccing Initiates, but every single one of the adults listed in the Adventure Book, from "Typical Militia" to random farmers the party find ailing, to incidental herders, all the villagers of Apple Lane, they're all Initiates, with the youngest having, in general, the fewest Rune Points. All the Tusk Riders are Initiates.

Frankly, the assertion that there's a difference between adulthood and Cult Initiation (with the POW sacrifice that goes with it, doesn't seem to be reflected in the actual world being presented. Which suits me just fine. It's a bit odd that the Glorantha of different parts of the production machine varies so much though.

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13 minutes ago, womble said:

I was thinking that, as far as I recall, all the NPCs I've seen statted in current product (that are part of deist cultures) are initiates with Rune Points. So I've gone and had a look. Of course you'd expect folk like Royal Guard and the Tribal Ring to be 'proper' POW-saccing Initiates, but every single one of the adults listed in the Adventure Book, from "Typical Militia" to random farmers the party find ailing, to incidental herders, all the villagers of Apple Lane, they're all Initiates, with the youngest having, in general, the fewest Rune Points. All the Tusk Riders are Initiates.

Frankly, the assertion that there's a difference between adulthood and Cult Initiation (with the POW sacrifice that goes with it, doesn't seem to be reflected in the actual world being presented. Which suits me just fine. It's a bit odd that the Glorantha of different parts of the production machine varies so much though.

I don't have the the GM Pack yet, as I'm holding out hope that certain concepts get ironed out before investing more money into Glorantha products. 

But man, if this above is correct (and I have no reason to think it isn't)... I really don't understand what is going on with what anyone is defining as "initiating" or "Initiate."

Edited by creativehum

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I like the GM Pack. It's got lots of good stuff in it. As well as a bit of filler, but the Adventure book alone is worth the entry price, and having the pretty calendar as a PDF is real nice. And I'm perfectly happy with continuing to equate adulthood with Initiation for the majority of the population; it's not like there's much of a barrier to entry in the core rules, for someone approaching a 'familiar' Cult for their society, and the benefits would encourage most 'strangers' (i.e. those who don't have a parental tie to the cult)  to have a few goes at Initiation if they didn't make the 3 successes at the first time of asking. It argues for a tendency towards initiation increasing across a population.

 

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9 hours ago, womble said:

I was thinking that, as far as I recall, all the NPCs I've seen statted in current product (that are part of deist cultures) are initiates with Rune Points. So I've gone and had a look. Of course you'd expect folk like Royal Guard and the Tribal Ring to be 'proper' POW-saccing Initiates, but every single one of the adults listed in the Adventure Book, from "Typical Militia" to random farmers the party find ailing, to incidental herders, all the villagers of Apple Lane, they're all Initiates, with the youngest having, in general, the fewest Rune Points. All the Tusk Riders are Initiates.

Frankly, the assertion that there's a difference between adulthood and Cult Initiation (with the POW sacrifice that goes with it, doesn't seem to be reflected in the actual world being presented. Which suits me just fine. It's a bit odd that the Glorantha of different parts of the production machine varies so much though.

Game mechanics are always going to be more cut and dried than how things are presented in stories. But Greg and I have long presented adulthood initiation and cult initiation as different stages in a process. So among the Orlanthi, somewhere around 13 to 15 years old, children are initiated into adulthood. Then normally begins a several year process of being chosen by a god and initiated in its cult secrets. 

RuneQuest handles this in reverse - since you start by adult initiates of a cult. You work out what god chose you, then you have a group of associated deities whose secrets you are at least partial privy to. And then you can choose to be lay members of other local cults (although this step isn't mentioned in char gen since it doesn't come up in many if not most campaigns, is very locally dependent, etc.). Voila! Our adventurer is now as described above but seen from the perspective of a 21 year old who has already been initiated into the mysteries (and indeed is a fully engaged initiate of a specific cult on their way towards Rune Mastery), instead that of a teenager looking towards that point. 

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Ah. Thanks Jeff. I was getting a vibe that 'actual Initiation' (in the game sense) was meant to be the exception rather than the rule. I'm glad that's not what is truly meant. So there's a difference in terms of the stages of life, but a snapshot of young adults would show most of them as having progressed to the next stage of making that sacrifice of POW. Is that more or less it?

 

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This may have been said already, sorry if I'm repeating. I think it is perfectly possible for all adults to be initiates of a god and for rune magic to be limited to  a few initiates and Runemasters. 

Page 275 of RQG states under the benefits of being an initiate: "At the gamemaster’s discretion, an initiate can gain access to the cult’s special Rune spells in return for exceptional service to the cult, by donating the equivalent of 100 L per point of the spell, or for other reasons that further the cult’s goals and standing." As this is more than the annual income of most Orlanthi farmers wouldn't this preclude most initiates from gaining many if any special special rune spells?

Also on Page 284 under Temple Sizes  - Major Temple it says: "A major temple allows access to all common and special cult Rune spells." Sites, shrines and minor temples only seem to offer access to cult special spells. As these are mostly located at tribal centres perhaps they are not readily accessible to most hard working Orlanthi farmers either. 

I think this may help square the circle of many initiates and less rune magic. Of course it doesn't address the rune magic available to the herders in the Gamemasters Adventure book, one thing at a time.

This is my first foray in to the forums so it's a distinct possibility that I've missed something important.

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1 hour ago, BassJon said:

This may have been said already, sorry if I'm repeating. I think it is perfectly possible for all adults to be initiates of a god and for rune magic to be limited to  a few initiates and Runemasters. 

Page 275 of RQG states under the benefits of being an initiate: "At the gamemaster’s discretion, an initiate can gain access to the cult’s special Rune spells in return for exceptional service to the cult, by donating the equivalent of 100 L per point of the spell, or for other reasons that further the cult’s goals and standing." As this is more than the annual income of most Orlanthi farmers wouldn't this preclude most initiates from gaining many if any special special rune spells?

In another thread about slowing down access to rune spells, I suggested that any given worship ceremony has a limited number of places for those participants who are participating in a minor hero quest to gain a rune spell. These places would be rationed out to the most worthy members, those who had done services for the cult or community (same thing), or are about to and need the magic for it. It could be a common part of the beginning of a scenario - your cult offers you the chance to get a new Rune Point and spell to help you with the mission you are about to go on.

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