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Everyone Having Rune Magic

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14 hours 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?

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.

I read this as additional access, above and beyond that granted for Rune Point sacrifice.

p275 also says (under 'Becoming an Initiate' which starts on the page before) "The new initiate gains access to all common Rune spells known to the cult and chooses one
cult special Rune spell."

on p282 regarding subcult initiation it says "...sacrifice 1 point of POW to establish a link to the subcult (note that this increases the Rune point pool to the main cult), and may choose a special Rune spell provided by the subcult..."

On p283 under "Gaining Access to Associated Cult Rune Spells" it says: "When an adventurer sacrifices a point of POW to increase their Rune point pool, they can select a Rune spell from an associated cult worshiped at that temple  instead of selecting a Rune spell from their main cult or subcult."

And the clincher is the sections on  p313-314 (in the Rune Magic chapter) on "Rune Points" and "Gaining Rune Magic Spells". Both explicitly say you get access to a new Special Rune Magic Spell every time you sacrifice a POW to that Cult. The examples all have characters with exactly as many Special Rune Magics of their Cult as they have Rune Points, and the example in the latter section says: "...At the tribal temple to Orlanth (a major temple) she sacrifices 2 permanent points of characteristic POW to increase her Rune points to 7. She also gets to select two more cult special Rune spells that she can cast..."

Either the bit about donations or special reasons is to gain extraordinary access to a Special Rune Spell, outside of POW sacrifice, or it's a relict of a previous edit. There's a mechanic in-game for allowing access to Special Rune Spells: Rune Magic Matrices. Since, RAW, per the corrections thread, a Rune Magic Matrix doesn't provide any Rune Points towards casting it, and needs 'recharging' after one use, giving someone else access to a spell your God gives, but theirs doesn't, or that they haven't sacced for yet is the only practicable use for a Matrix, this provides a hook for Rune Matrix creation.

If it is via Matrix creation, this sets a market price for points of POW, which is interesting.

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1 hour ago, womble said:

I read this as additional access, above and beyond that granted for Rune Point sacrifice...

If it is via Matrix creation, this sets a market price for points of POW, which is interesting.

I highly doubt it.

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Thanks for the responses, in many ways I think the the answer to this depends on how you want your Glorantha to be. But to continue the debate some more 😉

3 hours ago, womble said:

p275 also says (under 'Becoming an Initiate' which starts on the page before) "The new initiate gains access to all common Rune spells known to the cult and chooses one
cult special Rune spell."

Under Functions of a Temple - Gain access to Rune spells (Pg 284) it says: "When an adventurer sacrifices a point of characteristic POW at the temple, the adventurer may gain access to a special cult Rune spell available to that temple, including associate cults." I understand that to mean that not all temples have access to all Rune spells, Shrines have access to one special rune spell, minor temples to all special rune spells, major temples adds all common rune spells. 

How you define "access to" is key here. I am defining it as access to but not automatic learning of the magic. To learn rune magic I think you have to:

  • sacrifice your points to get personal access and
  • be at a holy site that gives you access to the specific rune magic.

This also has the added benefit of giving players a reason to travel to a different holy place if they want to get access to a specific piece of rune magic. And who knows what happens on the way there. 

In the Vasana example on page 314 she is at the tribal temple (a major one).  However if she was at the clan one she may not have had such a wide range of options. 

None of this addresses the 100L cost point which I guess is YGMV thing, indeed all of this is 😀 

Edited by BassJon

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2 hours ago, womble said:

I read this as additional access, above and beyond that granted for Rune Point sacrifice.

p275 also says (under 'Becoming an Initiate' which starts on the page before) "The new initiate gains access to all common Rune spells known to the cult and chooses one
cult special Rune spell."

on p282 regarding subcult initiation it says "...sacrifice 1 point of POW to establish a link to the subcult (note that this increases the Rune point pool to the main cult), and may choose a special Rune spell provided by the subcult..."

On p283 under "Gaining Access to Associated Cult Rune Spells" it says: "When an adventurer sacrifices a point of POW to increase their Rune point pool, they can select a Rune spell from an associated cult worshiped at that temple  instead of selecting a Rune spell from their main cult or subcult."

And the clincher is the sections on  p313-314 (in the Rune Magic chapter) on "Rune Points" and "Gaining Rune Magic Spells". Both explicitly say you get access to a new Special Rune Magic Spell every time you sacrifice a POW to that Cult. The examples all have characters with exactly as many Special Rune Magics of their Cult as they have Rune Points, and the example in the latter section says: "...At the tribal temple to Orlanth (a major temple) she sacrifices 2 permanent points of characteristic POW to increase her Rune points to 7. She also gets to select two more cult special Rune spells that she can cast..."

Either the bit about donations or special reasons is to gain extraordinary access to a Special Rune Spell, outside of POW sacrifice, or it's a relict of a previous edit. There's a mechanic in-game for allowing access to Special Rune Spells: Rune Magic Matrices. Since, RAW, per the corrections thread, a Rune Magic Matrix doesn't provide any Rune Points towards casting it, and needs 'recharging' after one use, giving someone else access to a spell your God gives, but theirs doesn't, or that they haven't sacced for yet is the only practicable use for a Matrix, this provides a hook for Rune Matrix creation.

These are all good points. But they are (maybe) contradicted by something Jeff has been saying again and again, and I've only caught up within recently: The rules are for creating  for Player Characters... and the Player Characters are exceptional. Thus, no one should extrapolate general principles from the rules.

Now, maybe this isn't the case. Maybe these rules do apply to all Orlanthi in Dragon Pass. But the truth is we don't know. Becaue the text does not come right out and say "These mechanics for character only apply to the Player Characters. The mechanics for creating other people in Dragon Pass are different." But we d have Jeff suggesting that this might be the case in different threads. And we do have BassJon bringing up important quotes from the text (passages I have read and think, "this is really important, before I run across a thread like this and get all caught up in everyone having lots of rune pints and spells... which might not be the case at all).

I'd say it's kind of up in the air at this point whether the mechanics for character creation are general principles are specific to PCs.

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Personally I would disassociate the acquisition of Rune Points from the acquisition of spells thus:

Any worship ceremony will involve reenactment of myths (minor heroquests) and certain roles can result in learning a spell. The larger the ceremony, the more roles are available. In this manner, a character can acquire a new Rune Spell. If the character is well known and respected at the temple, or has recently done a favour for the temple or community, or is about to go on a mission, then these roles are relatively easy to get.

Also as part of a worship ceremony, a character can sacrifice a point of POW to gain another Rune Point.

Priority in the spell-learning roles is given to those characters who are sacrificing POW at the same time, as that helps with the success of the ritual.

This can be combined with @Crel's suggestion of incremental Rune Spell progression, where points in variable spells are acquired incrementally. So you can join a worship and learn another point of Thunderbolt without sacrificing POW, as long as you are of high standing. If you are also acquiring another Rune Point, then your chances of getting a place in the ritual are better.

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2 hours ago, creativehum said:

I'd say it's kind of up in the air at this point whether the mechanics for character creation are general principles are specific to PCs.

And I'd say YGWV.  I think as Jeff has said elsewhere the rules are a toolkit to work with, and this point doesn't need to be explicit.  If you want low-power NPC's, do so.  If you want a lot of NPC's with magic, do so.  I don't think this is a question that requires resolution within the rules.

 

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2 hours ago, creativehum said:

These are all good points. But they are (maybe) contradicted by something Jeff has been saying again and again, and I've only caught up within recently: The rules are for creating  for Player Characters... and the Player Characters are exceptional. Thus, no one should extrapolate general principles from the rules.

I'd say it's kind of up in the air at this point whether the mechanics for character creation are general principles are specific to PCs.

However, every NPC but two (Varnath and Cara) in the only Chaosium RQG adventures so far published has Special Rune Magics >= Rune Points (if their particular Subcult has that many). That includes nonhumans and unremarkable herders and farmers. For me, that means it's not up in the air at all. The fact that some slightly older characters have fewer Rune Points than the (average) '1 per year past Initiation' is somewhat troubling. Generally, I'd expect everything the PCs do in term of mechanics to be based on what everyone does.  Their story may be more remarkable than many their age, but they certainly aren't the only freshly Initiated Sartarites to go participate in the events of the last few years. I think the reciprocity principle is strong in RQ: if the PCs can do it, so can the NPCs, and vice-versa.

 

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42 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

And I'd say YGWV.  I think as Jeff has said elsewhere the rules are a toolkit to work with, and this point doesn't need to be explicit.  If you want low-power NPC's, do so.  If you want a lot of NPC's with magic, do so.  I don't think this is a question that requires resolution within the rules.

 

Sure. Absolutely. Without doubt. Goes without saying. We all know this. This is a fact. It's true.

Still, the people who wrote the book meant something when they wrote the book. I'd like to know what they meant, even if it a baseline for me to make my own decisions. I think its hardly weird to be curious what the intention of the rules are.

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8 minutes ago, womble said:

For me, that means it's not up in the air at all.

Great. 

However I don't have the adventure book and can only do my best with the text I have. And JonBoss has pulled quotes from RQG that suggest that at least ambiguity exits about the intention of these rules. 

Clearly one can pick and choose which sentences and ideas one want to make real. We're talking about magic in a fictional game world for an RPG, of course. "Your RPG Will Vary" is the default assumption of any sane person.

I still would like to know what the results Team: Chaosium intended with the various rules and texts they've published.

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37 minutes ago, womble said:

However, every NPC but two (Varnath and Cara) in the only Chaosium RQG adventures so far published has Special Rune Magics >= Rune Points (if their particular Subcult has that many). That includes nonhumans and unremarkable herders and farmers. For me, that means it's not up in the air at all.

So there are two examples that do not follow the character creation rules, and that isn't enough to indicate that the rules aren't universal? Maybe you'd be convinced if there were three? And these aren't unremarkable herders, these were chosen to look after the Sacred Herd. These are the best, most kick-ass herders available for the job.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

And I'd say YGWV.  I think as Jeff has said elsewhere the rules are a toolkit to work with, and this point doesn't need to be explicit.  If you want low-power NPC's, do so.  If you want a lot of NPC's with magic, do so.  I don't think this is a question that requires resolution within the rules.

 

I'd suggest reading the first section of page 23.

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15 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I'd suggest reading the first section of page 23.

Well, the obvious reply to that is "Ok, so the Adventurers chapter applies to adventurers. Got it." 😉

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25 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

So there are two examples that do not follow the character creation rules, and that isn't enough to indicate that the rules aren't universal? Maybe you'd be convinced if there were three? And these aren't unremarkable herders, these were chosen to look after the Sacred Herd. These are the best, most kick-ass herders available for the job.

No. That level of consistency suggests that not having the same number of Special Rune Spells as you have Rune Points is the exception rather than the rule, possibly even an exception generated by error. The most likely in-world reason those herders only have a single (special) spell rather than more is that they habitually worship at Shrines which only have those one single Rune Spell available for access when they want another Rune Point. 

Even if they are the best herders available (at their ages? I frankly doubt it), the farmers in the next adventure are arbitrarily selected; if they're "kick-ass" too then there's some serendipity going on. Note also that the "Typical militia" has 3 RP and 3 spells statted. Typical. Not "kick-ass".

Sure there will be exceptions to any general practice; any Glorantha will vary within itself, but that doesn't indicate some massive divide between PC and NPC potential.

12 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I'd suggest reading the first section of page 23.

Which doesn't speak to the rules and customs around sacrificing for Rune Points and whether getting a Special Rune Magic thrown into the deal is universal or takes a special purpose or donation. It speaks to the character getting (effectively) 3 POW gain rolls since Initiation at 18 and spending them all on Rune Points (and getting the SRM thrown in without question). It speaks to them having slightly higher levels in probably more conflict-focused skills, and having probably better panoply (because herder isn't going to be a frequently chosen characer Occupation), reputation and Passions. It might speak to  heightened Rune Affinities (I haven't gone through and unpicked all the NPCs to see if they were generated with the same number of Rune Points as PCs get).

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6 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Well, the obvious reply to that is "Ok, so the Adventurers chapter applies to adventurers. Got it." 😉

Yes. That point, although obvious, is worth repeating.

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Rune points may be spent permanently, e.g. for certain spells, or when creating a divine spell matrix. And NPC stats in scenarios don't necessarily show the NPC's maximum available rune points, but their rune points at the time of the encounter.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Rune points may be spent permanently, e.g. for certain spells, or when creating a divine spell matrix.

p334 "POW points equal to the magic points or Rune points needed to cast the spell must be sacrificed to create the matrix."

POW. Not Rune Points. You sacrifice a POW to get a Rune Point, plus access to the rune spell Enchantment "Matrix Creation". Spending Rune Points on non-reusable spells requires access to non-reusable spells. Don't see much of that in any of those stat blocks. And spending RP would reduce the character's RP to fewer than the special spells they have access to, not reduce the number of spells they have access to to less than their number of Rune Points.

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

... NPC stats in scenarios don't necessarily show the NPC's maximum available rune points, but their rune points at the time of the encounter.

That would be less than useful in the case of most of the NPCs in the Adventure Book from the GM Screen Pack. Unless you think Leika Ballista, say, never has full Rune Points when the players meet her. Most of those stats are general "whenever you meet them" or "full capability" stat blocks and make no mention of expended points. Apart from the NPC stats which are supposed to be at a notional specific time, (the Tusk Riders) which explicitly  state the "RP remaining out of x total" for those characters. It makes sense that a lot of NPCs with Rune Points won't have their full allocation available every time they bump up against the players, sure; it makes less sense to make a default 'reduced' number of RP the only number available to read.

An explanation for why people have fewer RP than they maybe 'ought' to have is that they might have other things to sacrifice their POW to, like the wyters of the various communities they're members of. Priests, of course, have access to Enchantments, and anyone could contribute to such; then there's Divine Intervention. Set against that, though, is that an average gain of 1 POW per year assumes only the 'automatic' POW gain rolls at Sacred Time and the High Holy Day. While it assumes consistent attendance at those ceremonies, it also disregards any other opportunities for raising POW gained through the year. Given that Magic is active in Glorantha, and the Priests have to go deal with it rather than just sitting back and blissing out on Goddness, they should be getting a roll most Seasons for beating cult spirits in combat to get them to teach spells and perform other services, or fighting disease spirits, or just using their magic dealing with "mundane" threats to the community.

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