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Manu

2 cults at the creation

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On the topic of Donandar, someone told that Donandar is most probably not the first cult a young boy will be initiated to. At 15, all Orlanthi boys are initiated to Orlanth and the girst to Ernalda (most of them). But then later on, someone can choose his/her own path and (for instance) wants to worship Donandar.

How do you play it at the player character creation? But cults? How many rune points for each cult? 1 for Orlanth and 1 for Donandar?

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24 minutes ago, Scott A said:

They would get three RP from Orlanth, and sacrifice X POW to get X RP from Donandar.

The reason a PC receive 3 RP, is sthat he sacrificed during he youth 2 POW for Orlanth (on top if the initiation). He could easily use these POW for Donandar?

I was thinking of 1 RP minimum for Orlanth, the rest for the other God (here Donandar).

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1 hour ago, Manu said:

At 15, all Orlanthi boys are initiated to Orlanth and the girst to Ernalda (most of them).

One of the things that is often hard to discern from all the writings is that there are two initiations, not just one.

Around age 15 is the initiation to adulthood, as a member of Orlanthi society.  This is not cult initiation.  The new adults are lay members of Orlanth and Ernalda (and other clan deities) at this point.  Subsequently, when they've satisfied cult initiation requirements (and feel the call to one or more deities), they will undergo the cult initiations, sacrificing their POW to the god and gaining initial rune points.

Both of these are encapsulated in the RQG character generation.  (In RQ2, only the first has occurred.)

When thinking about Orlanth and Donandar, you have to ask whether you simply want the character to initiate to Orlanth and join the Drogarsi subcult (which requires the sacrifice of an additional 1 pt. of POW, though likely you can abstract this as part of what has been done during character creation), or actually initiates into Donandar as well.  If the latter, then you need to complete the initiation requirements for the 2nd cult as well (I'd require this to be done on top of the base character creation in my games).

Edited by jajagappa
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In the Donandar discussion, I asked why Donandar cultist didn't have access to all the common rune spells. And someone told me that everyone is anyway initiated of Orlanth, hence have access to all common rune spells.

But it seems that it is far easier to give common rune spell to all cults (because I still don't get why some cults don't have access to them, except maybe subcults). Otherwise, it doesn't motivate players to play some 'exotic' gods. (small gods)

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1 minute ago, Manu said:

In the Donandar discussion, I asked why Donandar cultist didn't have access to all the common rune spells. And someone told me that everyone is anyway initiated of Orlanth, hence have access to all common rune spells.

But it seems that it is far easier to give common rune spell to all cults (because I still don't get why some cults don't have access to them, except maybe subcults). Otherwise, it doesn't motivate players to play some 'exotic' gods. (small gods)

I suspect what is going on here is that most entertainers start out belonging to a smaller subcult like Orlanth Drogarsi or Ernalda Skovara. Initiation from the start into Donandar would imply birth (or running away as a child to join) into a traveling performer group.When you asked about a skald, who remains a part of their clan and tribe, then they are more likely to initiate to Orlanth (first). They may never initiate to Donandar. Note that skalds are significantly more higher status among Heortlings than 'jugglers' and 'actors'.

There may be an exception as well for urban entertainers, where Donandar alone might be joined. 

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57 minutes ago, Manu said:

The reason a PC receive 3 RP, is sthat he sacrificed during he youth 2 POW for Orlanth (on top if the initiation). He could easily use these POW for Donandar?

I was thinking of 1 RP minimum for Orlanth, the rest for the other God (here Donandar).

Sure, that's perfectly reasonable.

It'd also be fine to let the PC initiate only to Donandar, if they wanted to. Sure it'd be unusual, but PCs are exceptional.

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58 minutes ago, Manu said:

I asked why Donandar cultist didn't have access to all the common rune spells. And someone told me that everyone is anyway initiated of Orlanth, hence have access to all common rune spells.

That would be one way to get access to all common rune spells.  Or the Donandar cultist could initiate to Ernalda (Skovari) or Yelm (Molamin) and do the same.

But...there are likely plenty of Donandar initiates who don't.  Focusing on how to get access to Common Rune spells seems like a player concern, and would not be the way I'd think of a Donandar cultist.  

1 hour ago, Manu said:

Otherwise, it doesn't motivate players to play some 'exotic' gods. (small gods)

That seems to be a mini-maxing approach to play.

57 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Initiation from the start into Donandar would imply birth (or running away as a child to join) into a traveling performer group.When you asked about a skald, who remains a part of their clan and tribe, then they are more likely to initiate to Orlanth (first). They may never initiate to Donandar. Note that skalds are significantly more higher status among Heortlings than 'jugglers' and 'actors'.

Agree, this feels like the right approach.  If you're part of the culture, you're going to have access to the magics of the greater gods.  If you're an outsider (i.e. part of a Puppeteer Troupe) you get the freedom of that life (and perhaps a greater connection to Donandar's more powerful magics) at the price of less common "magic".

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

That seems to be a mini-maxing approach to play

I don't totally agree. Orlanth, Storm Bull, ... are cult that were described many time as the creator of the game considered that they would be the nice cult to play. It is a designer choice to give the nice fun spell to these cult, and nothing to the others. And with the time, they justify this with Myth, Culture and a lot of game material.

Why is Art, Dance, Entertainment less important? When a troup comes to a village, the whole village comes and sing, laugh, ... This is a lot of people for the 'worshiping'. Maybe even more than in the Orlanth Temple (where there is manly the males) or in the Ernalda temple (where they are all female).

 

My point is : Why  should a small cult (i.e. a non described cult by the authors since decades) be less fun to play than the big ones? I don't see that as minimaxing, but more as 'I want to play this and it should be fun...', and being fun also come with basic spell as extension or Heal wound.

But I know the answer : YGMV (but I like to read others opinions as it feeds mine and in the end, I find a way to have fun with my players

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12 minutes ago, Manu said:

I don't totally agree. Orlanth, Storm Bull, ... are cult that were described many time as the creator of the game considered that they would be the nice cult to play. It is a designer choice to give the nice fun spell to these cult, and nothing to the others. And with the time, they justify this with Myth, Culture and a lot of game material.

Why is Art, Dance, Entertainment less important? When a troup comes to a village, the whole village comes and sing, laugh, ... This is a lot of people for the 'worshiping'. Maybe even more than in the Orlanth Temple (where there is manly the males) or in the Ernalda temple (where they are all female).

 

My point is : Why  should a small cult (i.e. a non described cult by the authors since decades) be less fun to play than the big ones? I don't see that as minimaxing, but more as 'I want to play this and it should be fun...', and being fun also come with basic spell as extension or Heal wound.

But I know the answer : YGMV (but I like to read others opinions as it feeds mine and in the end, I find a way to have fun with my players

Donandar troupes aren't warriors. In fact the Puppeteers appear to be pacifists (and thus Heal Wound is hardly as important). In a troupe, there will be lots of different jobs, and a number of people initiated into a variety of cults. The Donandar cult itself appears to be a mystery cult reserved for traveling entertainers or urban ones. This is sort of how Lambril works among urban thieves.

Here is how the Puppeteer Troupe in my game is structured:

Troupe co-leaders: Issaries/Donandar initiate; Eurmal/Donandar initiate

Troupe chief puppeteer: Ernalda Skovara/Donandar initiate

Troupe musicians: Hombobobom shaman, Orlanth Drogarsi piper

etc.

There's always someone in the troupe who knows the spells required. A wandering, solitary musician/minstrel might be an initiate of Donandar, but combining that with Orlanth will improve dramatically their survivability. So the choice of god depends in part on how 'go-it-alone' one is.

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Initiation can be difficult. Some people like their PCs being Initiated into one Cult, others prefer multiple Initiations. I prefer no restrictions, so like my PCs to initiate into multiple cults, where appropriate.

As for the Starting Rune Points, my preference would be to allocate them across the cults your PCs is Initiated into. So, a PC belonging to both Orlanth and Donandar could split 3 RPs as Orlanth 3/Donandar 0, Orlanth 2/Donandar 1, Orlanth 1/Donandar 2 or Orlanth 0/Donandar 3. For me, it really makes little difference, except if you are playing a one-shot and, even then, it doesn't really matter.

For me, and again I emphasise that my answer is how I play, not how other people should play, being initiated into multiple Cults adds flavour and emphasis to the PC. So, for example, a PC initiated into Orlanth Rex is different to one iniated into Orlanth Adventurous, that is obvious, but two initiates of Orlanth Adventurous have similar goals, cult-wise, so how to differentiate them? Initiating into Orlanth Adventurous and Storm Bull means that you have emphasised the Chaos-killing aspects of Orlanth, whereas initiating into Orlanth Adventurous and Lhankor Mhy means that you have emphasised the Sword Sage part of Lhankhor Mhy. 

Membership of Cults is not all about the spells and skills they offer. Sure, you can say "Wow, Humakt teaches Bladesharp for free, I'll join", which can be a minimaxing aspect, but many people in poorer parts of the world, even in poorer parts of the USA,  join the military for the wage and education provided, which is the same thing for me. A Cult's spells and skills are part of the recruitment spiel, if you join Cults as just something to belong to.

The Orlanthi idea of undergoing an Initiation HeroQuest and choosing a Cult as part of that is a deeper thing, as that is what your soul reveals to you. In essence you are showing what your Inner Self is. Similarly, Mello Yello's longing to belong to Yelmalio isn't because it has big spears, shiny armour and Sunbright, but because Yelmalio calls to him and he knows that, in his heart of hearts, he is a Yelmalian.

 

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17 hours ago, Manu said:

But it seems that it is far easier to give common rune spell to all cults (because I still don't get why some cults don't have access to them, except maybe subcults).

Honestly, I just hand-waved it in my game that all cults have the common spells list. My decision was basically screw the lore, it cuts out one layer of complexity for my players. If there's going to be a common Rune spells list, I'd rather play a game where it's universal. It just makes the life of everyone at my table simpler.

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On 12/1/2018 at 4:40 PM, Manu said:

On the topic of Donandar, someone told that Donandar is most probably not the first cult a young boy will be initiated to. At 15, all Orlanthi boys are initiated to Orlanth and the girst to Ernalda (most of them). But then later on, someone can choose his/her own path and (for instance) wants to worship Donandar.

How do you play it at the player character creation? But cults? How many rune points for each cult? 1 for Orlanth and 1 for Donandar?

I would give the character the full benefit of initiation in each cult, i.e. skills bonuses, spells learnt and 3 rune points per cult. After all, the character will have to enforce the duties, tithing and restrictions for both cult, so why not having the full benefit.

Kloster

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Why not have the full benefit? For starters, where did they get those 3 points of POW more than the other single-Initiation members of their party that are the same age at chargen? Where did they get the time to learn all the extra skillups? Do you give the single-Initiation folks additional skill points or POW? Do you let people choose two occupations and get the full benefits of both?

IMO, dual Initiation should be a tricky option, not a way of grabbing more skills and other 'ming' at character generation. They will have the full benefit as the game progresses, paying the cost as they go. At character generation there *is* no cost to dual Initiation.

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1 hour ago, womble said:

Why not have the full benefit? For starters, where did they get those 3 points of POW more than the other single-Initiation members of their party that are the same age at chargen? Where did they get the time to learn all the extra skillups? Do you give the single-Initiation folks additional skill points or POW? Do you let people choose two occupations and get the full benefits of both?

IMO, dual Initiation should be a tricky option, not a way of grabbing more skills and other 'ming' at character generation. They will have the full benefit as the game progresses, paying the cost as they go. At character generation there *is* no cost to dual Initiation.

First, I said 'I would give', because I'm not gamemastering, and not thus taking decisions.

You're right, there is no cost at creation for a double initiation. The cost is within the game, with double tithing, and double the time due to cults, double sacrifices,... Enforcing this is part of GM's task, as it is more linked to the setting than to the system.

I would not give anything extra for single initiation character, as it is, for me, a choice made by the player (with GM approval, of course) to have a single or a multiple initiation. If given the choice, I would probably choose a single initiation, but this would be my choice, and I wouldn't feel cheated vs people who made a different choice.

For the dual occupation, this is an other point I hadn't talked about. We liked, in RQIII, having characters that spent their previous experience with several careers, creating mixed personal histories, but I don't think it is possible with RQG.

Kloster

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To be fair, the previous experience system in RQG often makes very little sense when combined with the 'lifepath' stuff, if you're just letting the dice roll. Anyone who set out to Iceland, travelled with Broyan to Esrolia, stayed there until Pennel Ford and then went via Jaldon's Rest to Pavis with Argrath would have an 'Adventurer' or Warrior background, not 'Farmer' or 'Noble' or 'Priest'. Maybe they were just a herder or scribe in the army's train. It seems often to require some mental gymnastics.

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11 minutes ago, womble said:

To be fair, the previous experience system in RQG often makes very little sense when combined with the 'lifepath' stuff, if you're just letting the dice roll. Anyone who set out to Iceland, travelled with Broyan to Esrolia, stayed there until Pennel Ford and then went via Jaldon's Rest to Pavis with Argrath would have an 'Adventurer' or Warrior background, not 'Farmer' or 'Noble' or 'Priest'. Maybe they were just a herder or scribe in the army's train. It seems often to require some mental gymnastics.

I fondly remember the 'Choose or Roll' of RQIII's previous experience. This is much the same for RQG ... except of course for the lifepath, which get us to your point: some personal histories are quite convoluted.

Kloster

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52 minutes ago, Kloster said:

I fondly remember the 'Choose or Roll' of RQIII's previous experience. This is much the same for RQG ... except of course for the lifepath, which get us to your point: some personal histories are quite convoluted.

You seem to be implying that the lifepath can't be chosen. The rules explicitly say, in bold, that you can choose or roll.

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

You seem to be implying that the lifepath can't be chosen. The rules explicitly say, in bold, that you can choose or roll.

Aye, they do. I guess there's the implicit onus on the play group to make 'consistent' choices for the character concepts they're developing, but there is also the 'Old Skool' vibe in the ruleset of just letting the plain dice lie as they land (including random Occupation), which can lead to... oddness.

 

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14 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

You seem to be implying that the lifepath can't be chosen. The rules explicitly say, in bold, that you can choose or roll.

My mistake. I hadn't checked before.

Kloster

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On 12/4/2018 at 8:00 AM, womble said:

To be fair, the previous experience system in RQG often makes very little sense when combined with the 'lifepath' stuff, if you're just letting the dice roll. Anyone who set out to Iceland, travelled with Broyan to Esrolia, stayed there until Pennel Ford and then went via Jaldon's Rest to Pavis with Argrath would have an 'Adventurer' or Warrior background, not 'Farmer' or 'Noble' or 'Priest'. Maybe they were just a herder or scribe in the army's train. It seems often to require some mental gymnastics.

I totally disagree.  The majority of those who fought in Iceland were farmers, nobles and priests.  Many of them would have followed Broyan to Esrolia, their homes having already been destroyed.  If you've actually fought the Battle of Iceland, as I have twice, you'd know there's even a place on the battlefield where the scribes were deployed.

And a certain scribe was as much the hero of that battle as any of the combatants were.

Edited by Pentallion
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Sure, they were farmers when they went to Iceland. No problem with that. But while helping Samastina out in Nochet for a year, then trailing after Argrath to Pavis via Pennel Ford, they won't have been being farmers; they "should" be selecting from a different skill development list for those years. For that matter, they weren't being farmers for 1622 either, because there was no farming going on in the Great Winter.

The 'previous experience' bit represents a synthesis of the character's 'life so far' which includes childhood, adolescence and their 3-5 years since initiation into Adulthood. Yes, someone born a Farmer should have an improved Farm skill, but 3 years 'off adventuring' (which is what a lot of the lifepath stuff leads your characters to doing) won't do much to bring that up to the same level of Farm as their cousin who stayed home in Sartar til the Dragonrise. Sure you can shim the system, but it's disappointing that it's so necessary.

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1 hour ago, womble said:

Sure, they were farmers when they went to Iceland. No problem with that. But while helping Samastina out in Nochet for a year, then trailing after Argrath to Pavis via Pennel Ford, they won't have been being farmers; they "should" be selecting from a different skill development list for those years. For that matter, they weren't being farmers for 1622 either, because there was no farming going on in the Great Winter.

The 'previous experience' bit represents a synthesis of the character's 'life so far' which includes childhood, adolescence and their 3-5 years since initiation into Adulthood. Yes, someone born a Farmer should have an improved Farm skill, but 3 years 'off adventuring' (which is what a lot of the lifepath stuff leads your characters to doing) won't do much to bring that up to the same level of Farm as their cousin who stayed home in Sartar til the Dragonrise. Sure you can shim the system, but it's disappointing that it's so necessary.

The way I see it, the occupation is what they were doing back home both between the exciting events and before they were old enough to participate. The elective choices reflect what they did whilst off in foreign lands.

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In a lot of the cases (like trolling off to Esrolia for a siege) there isn't enough time in the year for them to be doing anything other than 'the exciting stuff' and 'travelling back and forth to home'; certainly not enough time to get their 'default occupation rolls' each season. To me, in addition, the continuity doesn't make sense: why, if (for example) between the Siege of Nochet and the Battle of Pennel Ford, the characters had gone home, would there be a narratively causal link between the two in their lifepath?

If anything, I'd put it the other way round: have the characters pick 'military' occupations for their 'Occupation' skill choices, and flesh out their 'farmer' backstory with their 'personal interest' picks. Which is hardly an intuitive use of the system as presented.

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