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Vampires and Spell Drain

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One of the frightening things about Vampires in RQ2 (Cults of Terror) was that they could drain Rune Magic, draining the last rune spell sacrificed for if they reduced their victim below 3 POW.

I'd like to have the same effect for Vampires in RQG, given that they are all supposed to be Vivamort rune levels and utterly terrifying (who knows what magic they might have?)

However, the Rune Point mechanic makes simply transferring the ability difficult. I suppose I can have a mechanism for draining Rune Points,  perhaps draining them after they have drained MPs (up to a limit of their pre-death POW?) but how to decide what spell they drain, given that all cultists generally know all common Rune spells? This would obviously only come into play in-combat. I suppose I could just determine randomly, but if anyone has any better ideas, I'd love to hear them.

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The last spell they sacrificed for, I'd think. Each RP lets you pick a Cult Special Rune Spell, right? The first RP gives all Common Rune Spells, for major cults anyway, and a special spell. So, a Vampire is freaking terrifying. I'm not sure how I would limit RP or spells drained. CHA limits RP in Life. 

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I hate to be a spoilsport but the recent Glorantha Bestairy makes no mention of this spell-draning power.  Vampires are and should be terrifying without the cheesy spell-draining power (which makes little sense as written - so the Gods are fine with vampires casting their special magics, are they?).  Delecti doesn't steal magic, nneither do his daughters of darkness.

 

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As Peter says - it's not mentioned in the Bestiary.

But if you want Vampires to have it in your game, why not? It was a power they had in RQ2 and RQ3. Or it might be a power some vampires have, perhaps even as a result of some horrific vampire ritual or heroquest. As Peter says it doesn't make intuitive sense to everybody that the gods let spells be stolen this way - but it doesn't necessary make sense that they let spells be stole by Atyar or traded by Issaries etc either. And vampires are certainly mean enough. 

In RQ2/Cults of Terror they had Rune Magic but with entirely different mechanics for gaining it - in RQ3 Vampires had to rely on sorcery. RQG seems to have a bet each way, implying the cult has both special sorcerous rituals and Rune spells - I guess we won't really know until the RQG replacement for Cults of Terror is out. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, davecake said:

As Peter says - it's not mentioned in the Bestiary.

But if you want Vampires to have it in your game, why not? It was a power they had in RQ2 and RQ3. Or it might be a power some vampires have, perhaps even as a result of some horrific vampire ritual or heroquest. As Peter says it doesn't make intuitive sense to everybody that the gods let spells be stolen this way - but it doesn't necessary make sense that they let spells be stole by Atyar or traded by Issaries etc either. And vampires are certainly mean enough. 

Issaries spells are traded with consent as a look at the RQG spell description shows.

Thanatar use of other people's rune magic has a similar problem to Vivamort, save that the method of which it is done actually bears some resemblance to the God's nature (steal heads, use the knowledge within the heads)

Vampires were hardly mentioned in RQ3 - the sole exception being the Vampire in Sun County who was far more scary for his means of attack rather than the ability to steal rune magics.

 

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2 minutes ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

Also Thanatar is a horrifying stealer of Rune Magic but, he also takes their head and does wierd shit. 

That is the reason why Thanatar was a better written cult than Vivamort (convoluted cult hierarchy not withstanding).  Vivamort would have been more credibly scary in his own right if he just had the necromancy and vampire magics.

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1 minute ago, metcalph said:

Issaries spells are traded with consent as a look at the RQG spell description shows.

Indeed - but why does it make intuitive sense that the god will let the worshipper make that decision on their behalf? It does because we are used to Issaries having that power. And of course we know there are many circumstances in which the gods understanding of who they are giving their magic to, and what they use it for, is limited - most notably Illumination. The idea that the gods should be anthropomorphised regarding their motives and agency as regarding their magic is an intuitive, and I'm sure common, one, but one that appears pretty clearly often untrue. 

I actually said Atyar, not Thanatar - Consume Mind allows permanent use of some of the Rune magic of the consumed mind. I find the notion that if Thanatar can gain other gods Rune magic reusably by Consuming the Mind, Vivamort can gain it more temporarily by consuming their soul, entirely intuitive. 

But YMMV, and YGWV, most certainly. Given the huge amount of cool vampire lore published in other bits of popular culture since RQ2 days, I like to keep my options open for vampiric wickedness. The promised monograph on vampires by Mark Rein*splat*Hagen is still outstanding from the Guide kickstarter, but it would be nice to have something that, err,..casts light on isn't really the right metaphor, but explains the broader range of vampirism in modern Glorantha a bit more, with reference to Nontraya, Nysalor era vampire kings, how it is perceived by modern sorcery, etc. 

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5 minutes ago, davecake said:

Indeed - but why does it make intuitive sense that the god will let the worshipper make that decision on their behalf? It does because we are used to Issaries having that power.

There's a difference between Issaries having the power to swap spells and the Gods allowing their spells to be swapped.  That the Gods can consent to allow their magics to be exchanged is plauible.  That a Vampire or a Head-Hunter can cast another god's magic without their consent is not.

5 minutes ago, davecake said:

And of course we know there are many circumstances in which the gods understanding of who they are giving their magic to, and what they use it for, is limited - most notably Illumination. The idea that the gods should be anthropomorphised regarding their motives and agency as regarding their magic is an intuitive, and I'm sure common, one, but one that appears pretty clearly often untrue. 

So the Gods do nothing when some chaotic attempts to use their magic?  You are going to have to come up with a far stronger theological reasoning than hand-waving and alluding to the limits of divination.

5 minutes ago, davecake said:

I actually said Atyar, not Thanatar - Consume Mind allows permanent use of some of the Rune magic of the consumed mind. I find the notion that if Thanatar can gain other gods Rune magic reusably by Consuming the Mind, Vivamort can gain it more temporarily by consuming their soul, entirely intuitive. 

I on the other hand find Vivamort's spell-stealing to be a blatant power-gaming gimmick for a cult that doesn't need it.  The consume mind of Atyar has obvious theological issues suggest it would have to be greatly re-written.  I fail to see how acquiring another person's mind should confer use of their rune magic.

5 minutes ago, davecake said:

But YMMV, and YGWV, most certainly. Given the huge amount of cool vampire lore published in other bits of popular culture since RQ2 days, I like to keep my options open for vampiric wickedness.

I'm really not seeing any cool stuff about Vampire spell-stealing despite over twenty years of asking.

 

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6 hours ago, Thyrwyn said:

Rune Points are still attached to spells. I don’t see the problem. 

No they aren't. You learn a spell when you sac for a Rune Point, but after that, they're totally divorced. You can burn all your RP on one-use magic, and still have all the Rune Spells you ever learned. You can learn all the Special magic available to your Cultic affiliation, and still have room in your CHA cap for more so you learn RP without getting a spell. You can learn a 3 point spell while saccing a single POW for a single RP. You can spend the RP you got when you learned a point of Shield to (help) cast any Rune Spell you like.

You could say the drain takes the last-learned Spell knowledge and 'one' RP (which doesn't matter whether it's the last-learned or not; they are fungible).

Saying they're 'attached' suggests that some link remains beyond the coincidental one of getting a spell along with a point.

Edit: There is also a possible route to receiving the use of Special Rune Spells without sacrificing POW. The bit about acquiring spells mentions they can be granted for special circumstances, and there's something about it in, I think, the conversion guide appendix.

Edited by womble
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2 hours ago, metcalph said:

so the Gods are fine with vampires casting their special magics, are they?

Of course they aren't fine with it, but they don't get a say in it. Same as a matrix, really, anyone can use it for any nefarious purpose. Now resuable divine with Consume Mind is different. That doesn't make sense to me, how can the Atyar cultist worship to get them back?

Edited by PhilHibbs

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53 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Of course they aren't fine with it, but they don't get a say in it. Same as a matrix, really, anyone can use it for any nefarious purpose. Now resuable divine with Consume Mind is different. That doesn't make sense to me, how can the Atyar cultist worship to get them back?

Depends whose Rune Points they use. If the Consumed Mind is providing the 'knowledge of how to do it', the Atyar cultist can use their own Rune Points that they get back from Worship (Atyar). They can even cast 'one-use' Rune Spells repeatedly; they'd just be burning their own Rune Points unreplenishably to do so.

Assuming Atyar is in a position where its Worshippers can replenish their own Rune Points, natch. Not sure of the Cosmological status of that particular horror...

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Vampires lost the ability to drain rune magic in RQ2.  They never had it in RQ3 and they don't in RQG either.  So it's all moot.

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I think the game mechanics answer to this is going to be related to the mechanics for Truestone. The canonical Gloranthan answer is, of course, that they don't get this power.

2 hours ago, womble said:

Depends whose Rune Points they use. If the Consumed Mind is providing the 'knowledge of how to do it', the Atyar cultist can use their own Rune Points that they get back from Worship (Atyar). They can even cast 'one-use' Rune Spells repeatedly; they'd just be burning their own Rune Points unreplenishably to do so.

Assuming Atyar is in a position where its Worshippers can replenish their own Rune Points, natch. Not sure of the Cosmological status of that particular horror...

Except that some rune spells are one use, and use up Rune Points permanently, while others are reusable, and you can only use the Rune Points with a specific cult to cast spells from that cult - you can't use your Eurmal RP to cast a Heal Wound that you got from Orlanth.

But going with that idea, if an Atyar cultist drains an Ernaldan and casts Charisma with their Atyar RP, they can regain the RP. If they cast Gnome to Gargoyle, do they lose the Atyar RP permanently, since Ernalda only gets it one-use? I think the link between the spell being reusable and the loss of the cult RP is an important one, and it doesn't make much sense to me to muddle the two. I can't think of a good compromise though, and I don't have access to the Atyar cult writeup to see what Consume Mind says.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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Ah yep. Forgot about having to use the 'right' RP... So a Consume Mind would (to be useful) have to provide both the RP and the 'access' to the Rune Spells, and since the Consumed Mind can no longer Worship their God(s), the Rune Points would be one-use, and once all the Rune Points were used up, the knowledge of that God's Special Rune Spells would be useless until some more relevant Rune Points could be Consumed. Indeed, it might expire, if there are no relevant RP there; that would have to be defined by the spell. However, it might be that once an Atyari has Consumed one Ernaldan with "Gnome to Gargoyle", they'd be able to use that spell with the Rune Points from any subsequent Consumed Ernaldan Mind, since it's the Rune Points which are permanently burned when one-use spells are cast, not the knowledge (so in a more straightforward example, an Ernaldan with 9 Rune Points could cast "Seal Soul" 3 times without having to sacrifice any more POW to regain the knowledge).

It totally depends on the definition of the spell... 'prior experience' of rulesets isn't very helpful, I feel, given the different mechanics involved in this rule set.

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5 hours ago, womble said:

No they aren't. You learn a spell when you sac for a Rune Point, but after that, they're totally divorced. . .

Sure. (I was trying to be brief). The OP point still stands: if a vampire gets to steal a Rune Spell, they can still learn the last spell learned and an RP. Nothing about the current mechanics changes that. The victim either knows Rune spells or not; they either have RP or not

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I'd be tempted to make the spell-draining a Vivamort spell, in the same way that Thanatari can access Runemagic from Severed Heads. That way, it's a cult effect not a special ability.

As most Gloranthan Vampires worship Vivamort anyway, it doesn't impact them but makes it nice and tidy.

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12 hours ago, metcalph said:

I hate to be a spoilsport but the recent Glorantha Bestairy makes no mention of this spell-draning power.  Vampires are and should be terrifying without the cheesy spell-draining power (which makes little sense as written - so the Gods are fine with vampires casting their special magics, are they?).  Delecti doesn't steal magic, nneither do his daughters of darkness.

But then neither Delecti nor his daughters of darkness are following the Vivamort path that closely.

Delecti did steal a spell or divine ability of Zorak Zoran big style. Maybe that was all he could eat.

 

Jeff repeatedly said that Vampire, Draugr, Lich, Revenant and other such "noble undead" horrors are basically one class of monsters, but with individually quite different powers. The cheesy "death symbol" weakness of the vanilla Vivamorti may not be shared by all. Nontraya (the bad, restless death that invaded Esrolia and Prax) had many shapes and followers.

(BTW, what happened to Mark Rein.Hagen's vampire essay that was part of the Kickstarter add-ons to the Guide? Might be pertinent here.)

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15 hours ago, metcalph said:

I hate to be a spoilsport but the recent Glorantha Bestairy makes no mention of this spell-draning power.  Vampires are and should be terrifying without the cheesy spell-draining power (which makes little sense as written - so the Gods are fine with vampires casting their special magics, are they?).  Delecti doesn't steal magic, nneither do his daughters of darkness.

 

Is there an RQG cult writeup for Vivamort? I could see  rune spell-draining being a Vivamort ability, not a vampire one. It's just that as most vampires in the area are Vivamort cultists, it's the same for practical purposes.  

 

Or basically, what soltakss wrote. :)

Edited by Atgxtg
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5 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Is there an RQG cult writeup for Vivamort? I could see  rune spell-draining being a Vivamort ability, not a vampire one. It's just that as most vampires in the area are Vivamort cultists, it's the same for practical purposes.  

If you would actually soil yourself to look at the new Glorantha: Bestiary, you would see that Vivamort is quite extensively mentioned in the Vampire writeup. As it is, I'm not interested in "I could see" as an excuse for Vivormt having spell-draining.  I'm wanting a sound mythic reason why Vivamort should have spell draining.

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Thanks for the responses, everyone. I want spell drain in my Glorantha and will write a myth for how Vivamort has this power, which our Humakt Sword should appreciate. I think @soltakss has the right idea mechanically.

Despite their mechanical similarity, I see the Dancers in Darkness as different from Vivamorti (I view Delecti as a tragic figure, about whom plays should be written) and see no reason for them to have this power.

A RQIII Vivamort write-up was promised in Lords of Terror, iirc. Was one ever written?

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For me the dancers in Darkness are corrupted Nymphs rather than Vampires, they are Marsh Nymphs, so have some crossover between Water and Earth Nymphs, but have been corrupted by Delecti.

Also, Delecti isn't himself a Vampire, but can create and command Vampires, so he is probably a Hero of Vivamort without being a Vampire.

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