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Tywyll

Mysticism?

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Other than Sandy's Mysticism rules and the RQ6 rules for Mysticism, were there any other variations on mysticism published?

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RQ6/Mythras inherits from MRQ and Robin Laws-inspired martial arts and cool dragon-bone singing for EWF "mystics", which in turn inherit from Hero Wars and HQ1 concepts (also by Robin). If you manage to put aside some of the major flaws in the original MRQ presentation of the EWF, some of the game mechanics there might be interesting for your game. On the whole, most of the martial arts stuff is actually some other source of Three Worlds magic approached on an indirect, slightly mystical path, but the dragonbone-singing comes across as an imitation of what dragonewts would do to arrive at their material culture. Not sure the dragonewts would bother starting with a material piece of dragonbone, though - they might as likely begin with a bony protrusion on their hide and meditate on that in a cocoon, and emerge with the weapon and minus a bony knob on their skin (for all future re-incarnations).

If you can access the MRQ stuff for little money (like back in the time the 20$ bundle sale), it is definitely worth the money for access to ideas that may be used in your game.

If I understood Jeff correctly, there aren't going to be RQG rules mechanics for mysticism as a magic system alongside spirit magic, divine rune magic and sorcerous rune magic spells.

Edited by Joerg
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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

RQ6/Mythras inherits from MRQ and Robin Laws-inspired martial arts and cool dragon-bone singing for EWF "mystics", which in turn inherit from Hero Wars and HQ1 concepts (also by Robin). If you manage to put aside some of the major flaws in the original MRQ presentation of the EWF, some of the game mechanics there might be interesting for your game. On the whole, most of the martial arts stuff is actually some other source of Three Worlds magic approached on an indirect, slightly mystical path, but the dragonbone-singing comes across as an imitation of what dragonewts would do to arrive at their material culture. Not sure the dragonewts would bother starting with a material piece of dragonbone, though - they might as likely begin with a bony protrusion on their hide and meditate on that in a cocoon, and emerge with the weapon and minus a bony knob on their skin (for all future re-incarnations).

If you can access the MRQ stuff for little money (like back in the time the 20$ bundle sale), it is definitely worth the money for access to ideas that may be used in your game.

If I understood Jeff correctly, there aren't going to be RQG rules mechanics for mysticism as a magic system alongside spirit magic, divine rune magic and sorcerous rune magic spells.

I have Magic of Glorantha (one of the few MRQ books I didn't ditch years ago) so I have access to that stuff.

Any idea why no RQG rules?

Where in HQ would I look if I wanted to see their take on Mysticism?

For what its worth, I really like Sandy's version. 

 

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21 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

I have Magic of Glorantha (one of the few MRQ books I didn't ditch years ago) so I have access to that stuff.

Any idea why no RQG rules?

Where in HQ would I look if I wanted to see their take on Mysticism?

For what its worth, I really like Sandy's version. 

 

At a guess, it seems from what has been said that Mysticism isn't a system, but an alternate way of approaching the other systems. Thus you can have Storm/Orlanthi mystics, Western/Malkioni mystics, and so on. As a result you will probably have specific write-ups for individual mystical groups when it comes time to reveal them, that cover their particular approach.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary

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1 hour ago, Tywyll said:

Any idea why no RQG rules?

Because they tried it with Hero Wars and the rules were somewhat shit.  IMO there's no such thing as a mystical magic.  You can use magic to strengthen your soul, like say heat stone on a hot rock and then holding it for several hours and that would be considered mystical.  But the source of the magic (be it spell, spirit magic or feat) is still worldly.

If you want exotic magic (ie magic outside the experence of a central Genertelan) then there's plenty of scope in the basic RQG rules for that.  Rune Magic without the Gods, Self Worship , Pyschic surgery to confer Shamanic Gifts etc etc.  That may be considered by the central Genertelan (and even by some of the residents) to be mysticism but the God Learners can demonstrate that all the magic is ultimately worldly in origin.

1 hour ago, Tywyll said:

Where in HQ would I look if I wanted to see their take on Mysticism?

The Illumination rules are provided in the HQG rulebook.

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My understanding of Greg's concern with these things is that he had a bit of a blind spot on the matter of the "low mysticism" of the less purist practice of it.

Most likely because in his personal life, compromise in these things was simply unthinkable.

Personally, in RuneQuest, I'd probably write Mysticism rules around the Skills system, as a mirror of the RW concerns in these practices that the perceived dichotomy between the Immanent and the Transcendental needs resolving. And so too the false notion that Mysticism is at all "Magic", but rather everything else is instead.

Miyamoto Musashi is a good RW historical example of the proper practice of this "low mysticism", supposing that this were not a misnomer

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8 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

Personally, in RuneQuest, I'd probably write Mysticism rules around the Skills system, as a mirror of the RW concerns in these practices that the perceived dichotomy between the Immanent and the Transcendental needs resolving. And so too the false notion that Mysticism is at all "Magic", but rather everything else is instead.

Miyamoto Musashi is a good RW historical example of the proper practice of this "low mysticism", supposing that this were not a misnomer

That's a return to RQ3 Land of Ninja's Ki skills - basically, after having mastered a skill, you can develop the heightened, magical application of that skill from zero, with experience rolls of the basic skill applied to raise the ki skill. Not really a player friendly way to introduce magically boosted martial arts attacks, though.

No idea how available Land of Ninja will be these days. Apart from the Avalon Hill box, there was also the Games Workshop hardcover, so there might be a sufficient remainder of second hand copies to keep the price acceptable. If you're just after the Ki skill rules, the purchase would probably be too expensive for at most two print pages on this, but the supplement was excellent (if officially non-Gloranthan, and only semi-seriously "integrated" to Vormain by a throwaway line in Elder Secrets). The campaign was almost identical to the one in the Vikings box, though, with only minor re-themes (haughty samurai rather than berserks, etc.)

I never played Land of Ninja (having used the campaign from the Vikings box for my then alternate Earth/Glorantha setting in a world of my own), and my memory blurs it with FGU's Bushido (by the same main author) which I did play a few sessions of as a player.

Edited by Joerg
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An examples of what I think Gloranthan "mystical cults' would look like:

SUNSTOP SCHOOL

Supposedly based on the teachings that were revealed to Yanoor during the Sunstop.  Hwoever many schools claim such inspiration and the first unambiguous mention of the Sunstop School is from a court case in the New Dragon Empire which dismisses its magics as being "cheap cantrips scrounged from Vormaini Pirates".

According to the school, Yanoor agonised over the disparity between actions performed within Time, which have a beginning, a middle and an end, and actions performed within Eternity, which are always happening.  Only in the Sunstop, did Yanoor understand how they could be reconciled.  
 
The adherents mediate upon their actions and seek to perform them timelessly.  Once successful in a Timeless Action, they draw closer to illumination.    The school has no magic other than Timeless Actions.  They do not prohibit the learning of magic from foreign sources, but consider it a distraction.  

Timeless actions are similar to the Ki skills from the Land of Ninja but generally require Rune Points to activate.

 

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Another example:

WHITE SUN LORDS

Founded by Karvanyar who had become incrasingly irritated by the tiresome taboos and obscure restrictions that the Dara Happan Priesthood laboured under.  Using their illumination they could cast any fire or light rune magic that they had studied.  The white sun cults were hugely popular among the masses who saw it as their chance to spiritual prosperity.  Although hugely successful against the Dragons, the White Sun Lords were never liked by the nobility and the priesthood and were eventually whittled down due to assassinations, treachery, being sent to seek allies from Dorastor etc.

 

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13 hours ago, Tywyll said:

RQ6/Mythras inherits from MRQ and Robin Laws-inspired martial arts and cool dragon-bone singing for EWF "mystics", which in turn inherit from Hero Wars and HQ1 concepts (also by Robin).

In my one read though I really liked the mysticism rules in RQ 6 (also like the shaman rules but that's another thread). Again, it was one read though so I can not say what I liked just that I could see building a character with the rules as written and that is a good start.

Cheers

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My two bolgs, for what it's worth:

The RQ6 mysticism rules are the best ones I've seen mechanically, but they suffer a bit from the effort to make all the magic systems balanced.

I agree with everyone else that the Hero Wars mysticism rules were a flop.  I do think that there is "mystic magic," draconic mysticism being an example of this.

I wouldn't have thought of the Land of Ninja rules as mysticism, but it's great box set, and if you get a chance you should certainly pick it up.

Thanks,

David. 

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21 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

My understanding of Greg's concern with these things is that he had a bit of a blind spot on the matter of the "low mysticism" of the less purist practice of it.

Most likely because in his personal life, compromise in these things was simply unthinkable.

 

I...have no idea what you mean? Could you expound on this a bit more please?

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2 hours ago, Revilo Divad Of Dyoll said:

My two bolgs, for what it's worth:

The RQ6 mysticism rules are the best ones I've seen mechanically, but they suffer a bit from the effort to make all the magic systems balanced.

I agree with everyone else that the Hero Wars mysticism rules were a flop.  I do think that there is "mystic magic," draconic mysticism being an example of this.

I wouldn't have thought of the Land of Ninja rules as mysticism, but it's great box set, and if you get a chance you should certainly pick it up.

Thanks,

David. 

Oh, you've written about mysticism on blogs? Can you give some links?

I do like the RQ6 Mystic rules and Sandy's rules. Land of the Ninja is interesting but very 'High Level' for sure. 

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3 hours ago, Revilo Divad Of Dyoll said:

The RQ6 mysticism rules are the best ones I've seen mechanically, but they suffer a bit from the effort to make all the magic systems balanced.

 

can you talk about this? I don't detect much effort made to keep any of the systems balanced. 

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5 hours ago, Revilo Divad Of Dyoll said:

My two bolgs, for what it's worth:

...

 

2 hours ago, Tywyll said:

Oh, you've written about mysticism on blogs? Can you give some links?

...

You are aware, that this is not a typo, but the Glorantha equivalent to "My two pence, for what it's worth:", right? 😉

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10 hours ago, Revilo Divad Of Dyoll said:

I do think that there is "mystic magic," draconic mysticism being an example of this.

IMO when practiced by a human, Dragon Magic would look more conventional in terms of mechanics (Rune Magic primarily but other types are plausible).  A human studying Dragon Magic would still be engaging in mysticism because the experiences he achieves would be mind-altering at the very least.

Lunar Magic would be another form a mystical magic but I have no knowledge of how it would be handled within RQG.

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10 hours ago, Oracle said:

 

You are aware, that this is not a typo, but the Glorantha equivalent to "My two pence, for what it's worth:", right? 😉

Ah...yeah, I missed that.

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14 hours ago, metcalph said:

IMO when practiced by a human, Dragon Magic would look more conventional in terms of mechanics (Rune Magic primarily but other types are plausible).  A human studying Dragon Magic would still be engaging in mysticism because the experiences he achieves would be mind-altering at the very least.

Lunar Magic would be another form a mystical magic but I have no knowledge of how it would be handled within RQG.

Rune spells based on the Dragonewt Rune is how I've run Dragon Magic, though the spells and RP aren't granted by a higher power. Gaining the Dragonewt Rune is the really mind altering part img, since you need your tongue and brain split to talk and think like a dragon. Possibly another way to approach it would be treating Dragon magic like innate powers similar to shamanic abilities, in which case you could directly use the spells given for the dragonewts without changing them into Rune spells.

I believe that they're planning to include Lunar magic in the Gamemaster Book. I think it's going to be based on RQ3's Lunar magic, though I can't remember where I heard that. In RQ3 it was pretty much just being able to apply sorcerous manipulations to spirit magic, right?

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23 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

I think it's going to be based on RQ3's Lunar magic, though I can't remember where I heard that. In RQ3 it was pretty much just being able to apply sorcerous manipulations to spirit magic, right?

Sort of, yes. Skills were not he same, but had the same effect. I once played a character who was a Carmanian sorceror. He used sorcery and lunar magic, and had to learn both set of skills.

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On 3/20/2019 at 2:45 AM, metcalph said:

Because they tried it with Hero Wars and the rules were somewhat shit. 

To be honest, a large part of that was because several people involved in Hero Wars, including Greg, did not really do maths. The really bad aspects of those rules were practical, they could still somewhat work as a system conceptually. A reasonable system could be constructed on those ideas, and perhaps Mythras mysticism is, or is close to, that system.

But the conceptual understanding of how Mysticism works in Gloranthan canon has significantly changed since then. Whether it will change somewhat again once we really take on the task of how it works in the East is an open question. 

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8 hours ago, davecake said:

To be honest, a large part of that was because several people involved in Hero Wars, including Greg, did not really do maths.

Hardly any math is involved in the HW Mysticism rules.  It's not the reason it was poor.

8 hours ago, davecake said:

The really bad aspects of those rules were practical, they could still somewhat work as a system conceptually.

How?  Please could you give an example of say a mystical cult using HW mystical concepts.

8 hours ago, davecake said:

A reasonable system could be constructed on those ideas, and perhaps Mythras mysticism is, or is close to, that system.

You keep saying Mythras is the answer but you don't give any details.  

 

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30 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Hardly any math is involved in the HW Mysticism rules.  It's not the reason it was poor

I'm not sure why you want to bring it up - we both agree the rules are bad, and this is the dim past, but the rules were very bad, effectively guaranteeing that playing a mystic in HW would be an exercise in frustration and masochism. 

There isn't much math, but what there is is terrible. Assuming you were a manifest, not an orthodox, mystic (as orthodox mystics were explicitly called out as unsuitable for adventure):

- martial arts was assumed to be your main combat ability. Fine. 

- except you need to also learn two other abilities to roughly the same level (the Balance requirement) if you ever want to learn any magic ever. 

- while these three abilities are supposed to be your main magical defences in early play, they are all explicitly at -20 in magical contests. 

So, in early play, while your mystic starts capably in physical combat (presuming they use martial arts) but may lag behind due to the requirement to keep their mental (eg Meditation) and spiritual (eg philosophy) abilities within a few points of their combat ability. And these abilities are explicitly their magical defences, but at -20, so relying on them is essentially doomed. 

Then only when you have two masteries in each of these three disciplines (a point at which your non-mystic companions are cheerfully learning the deepest secrets of their god, requiring only one ability at that level to do so), you got to learn any magic at all, at a base 12. Most of these were only defensive in nature, so despite some nifty effects if you succeeded, were still at a low level likely to never win a contest compared to users of other magic systems (who instead of learning new abilities, were learning new feats to use their affinities with, so your new power at base levels will typically be trying to win the same contests your companions are using the core abilities they've been working on since character creation, so usually at two masteries). As it is required that all mystic powers are limited to your lowest disciple, if you somehow push your mystic powers up to the same level as non-mystics, then you effectively have to raise four abilities to raise a power a point. 

And note that to get the same sort of effect that other characters might get with a Talent - to be able to go without food or drink, or sleep - the rules mandate no less than THREE masteries! 

And mystic Strikes, the sole offensive powers given to mystics, not only labor under the same restrictions (all but guaranteeing it will be at a lower rating than any non-mystics comparable ability, and so using it almost guaranteeing you reduce your chances of winning a contest by doing so) but the rules guarantee than using a Strike and failing the contest results in complete defeat (you must always bet all your APs), but success doesn't guarantee you victory (in HW it is quite possible for an opponent to have a sufficiently large number of APs that they still survive, especially if you are already losing the contest). It is actually quite hard to construct a situation where using a Strike makes any kind of tactical sense, barring some sort of circumstances in which you have some sort of massive but very temporary circumstantial advantage over an opponent. It's not just a hail mary, but one that is stacked against you - it doesn't guarantee a win even if you succeed against the odds, especially if you are already losing, but it does guarantee a failure will be catastrophic. 

And then, just to make it all but impossible, not only do the maths mean that Strikes are all but guaranteed to be a relatively low ranked ability, by limiting the level and starting it low, if you fail to succeed with a Strike the ability level is lowered. 

Mystic Strikes don't even make much sense if the ability isn't artificially kept low (such as the many HW secrets written to act as Strikes). 

As one of the HW 'Gang of Eight' rules consultants who stepped in to try to last minute edit the HW rules to improve the quality, I can guarantee that the terrible assumptions about the maths were rife in early drafts of the rules, and mysticism was never really play tested properly nor did we end up devoting much effort to fix it due to time constraints - mysticism was not a priority. 

Of course, there certainly could be other reasons why the mysticism rules failed - they were certainly also confusing, not backed up by any useful game material, and trying to get useful feedback on mysticism from Greg at the time was very frustrating. But I'm pretty sure the rules guaranteeing your mystics were weak and generally doomed to being ineffective was a factor. 

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

How?  Please could you give an example of say a mystical cult using HW mystical concepts.

What do you mean? I know none were ever published. The maths of the mystic rules would make it all but unplayable anyway. 

But writing up, say, a martial arts style cult such as a school of martial arts in the Darja Danad as having a physical discipline (a martial art) , a mental discipline (meditation), a spiritual discipline (a philosophy), and a selection of Counters (things like Reflect Attack, or Skin Like Stone) and Strikes (Perfect Precision Blow, or Cut Through Anything), doesn't seem particularly challenging. It isn't how we'd do mysticism now, but my point is it didn't seen a particularly terrible model for mysticism then, even if the rules would guarantee it as being weak to the point of pointlessness. 

2 hours ago, metcalph said:

You keep saying Mythras is the answer but you don't give any details.  

I didn't think I'd really gone about it at length, but all I really meant there is the Mythras system fairly reasonably matches the HW conceptual framework. If you wanted rules that conceptually were based on those ideas, but that actually worked in an RQ like game system, it would be easy to do so using Mythras rules.  

The Meditation and Mysticism skills already match the Mental and Spiritual disciplines respectively, and add a physical ability as a requirement for advancement within your mystic order. 

Most Talents already correspond to various Counters, especially the various Denial(x) and Immunity (x) abilities, and some others seem like abilities that might be included in a martial art. The combat useful Enhancing Attributes or Augment Skill abilities, or the Aura (x) ability for more mental/spiritual versions, would work for Strikes. 

Voila, something that includes the major concepts of the HW Mysticism system, but is playable in an RQ based rules system. 

You could also, with a little flexibility, construct a version of Illumination (Immunity(Allied Spirits), etc) using the same rules. 

This isn't how I'd want to do Gloranthan mysticism now, but it would be a workable system. And notably, there is a lot of things we know a mysticism rules system should do (ie the stuff mystic heroes do in Revealed Mythologies) that no current RQ rules system does. 

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On 3/19/2019 at 8:02 PM, Joerg said:

If I understood Jeff correctly, there aren't going to be RQG rules mechanics for mysticism as a magic system alongside spirit magic, divine rune magic and sorcerous rune magic spells.

There will be rules for Illumination. And there will be cults that offer additional magical options to those who are Illuminated (though I assume only Lunar ones likely in the GoG book). That is pretty much all the mysticism rules required for central Genertela. There might be more rules required later (eg for Kralorela or the East Isles) but they will likely show up in that far future time when area specific source books for those areas appear. 

I'd personally like to see things expanded a little beyond that (eg a bit of detail on how various schools of Illumination differ). Maybe we will get that. 

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There were some mysticism rules in a RQ supplement-

This draws power into the world by establishing a connection of inexpressible awareness between individual and cosmos. Although it can wreathe a martial artist’s fist in devouring fire or guide an arrow to an impossible target, true masters of mysticism claim that these worldly effects are a by-product, or stepping stone, to the true goal of personal transformation. Worse, they may be a trap, a test to see who is truly capable of separating himself from material distractions. That said, many mystics are perfectly content to stop at the fiery fists and inerrant arrows. Mystic techniques have been established by great yogis or seers of the past but they are cryptic and puzzling. The practitioner must use them as tools in an individualised inner quest, to find the truth hidden between the lines.

 Although I cannot remember which one...

Edited by RogerDee

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48 minutes ago, RogerDee said:

There were some mysticism rules in a RQ supplement-

This draws power into the world by establishing a connection of inexpressible awareness between individual and cosmos. Although it can wreathe a martial artist’s fist in devouring fire or guide an arrow to an impossible target, true masters of mysticism claim that these worldly effects are a by-product, or stepping stone, to the true goal of personal transformation. Worse, they may be a trap, a test to see who is truly capable of separating himself from material distractions. That said, many mystics are perfectly content to stop at the fiery fists and inerrant arrows. Mystic techniques have been established by great yogis or seers of the past but they are cryptic and puzzling. The practitioner must use them as tools in an individualised inner quest, to find the truth hidden between the lines.

 Although I cannot remember which one...

I believe that was a quote from the MRQ Glorantha: the Second Age book.

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