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Serious question about design decision

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21 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

Being turned into a beast would be a nasty fate for any sentient creature that is a part of the Survival Covenant of Waha. It only affects Praxians, not outsiders or foreigners after all.

Wait, is that true? The Fix Intelligence only affects Praxian humans? I could see how this might be - Praxian humans are descendants of those humans who survived by adopting the Survival Covenant, other humans are descendants of humans who survived another way - but I've never seen it stated before and I'd always assumed the spell would work on anyone.

Is this true of animals also? That the Release Intelligence spell would only work on a Praxian Bison, not one from, say, Fronela?

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1 hour ago, Steve3742 said:

Wait, is that true? The Fix Intelligence only affects Praxian humans?

In theory, yes. However, for game play I'd say that it worked on anyone with Praxian ancestry, which could be almost anyone.

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20 hours ago, Steve3742 said:

Wait, is that true? The Fix Intelligence only affects Praxian humans? I could see how this might be - Praxian humans are descendants of those humans who survived by adopting the Survival Covenant, other humans are descendants of humans who survived another way - but I've never seen it stated before and I'd always assumed the spell would work on anyone.

Is this true of animals also? That the Release Intelligence spell would only work on a Praxian Bison, not one from, say, Fronela?

I think this is a strongly "YGMV" situation.  I can certainly see the argument that only the original People's (2-legged and 4-legged both) who were party to the Compact are now eligible to participate (barring a heroquest to join, as IIRC several of the Minor Tribes have done).

OTOH, I think MGF (in my campaign) strongly favors the notion that Waha and Eiritha (and likely StormBull, if only to make them happy) insisting (as part of joining the Compromise) that everyone IN the region of Prax has "joined," to some degree, and IS subject to these spells.

So a Praxian priestess can cast it on other Praxians, anywhere; and they can cast it on anyone who comes into Prax; but they cannot take it "on the warpath" out of Prax.

And then the question of "hidden" and/or "partial" Praxian ancestry comes up... Hrm.  Not sure.  I think MGF suggests that "it depends" is the right answer:. which way is More Fun in each particular case?

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I would think that it works on anyone in Prax or Genert's Wastes, or wherever else Praxians and their herd beasts continue Waha's Covenant. No idea about the Hungry Plateau Sable riders. The Bison folk of Kostaddi, Sylila and other places in Peloria clearly have abandoned the Covenant and don't have herd beasts they can awaken any more. As a consequence, they shouldn't be able to do the reverse magic either.

The Pol Joni do follow Waha's covenant, but I have no idea whether they can awaken their cattle. As they don't ride their cattle, there is a lot less of a point doing so than for the Beast Riders. They should be unable to awaken their horses, just like the Grazers or the Pentans. That doesn't preclude them from having allied spirits in their mounts, though (but then that's an option for Praxian Beast Riders, too, although probably only for renegade ones as the herd mothers might object to destroying the personhood of that beast).

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As loathsome as slavery is, you might be surprised to know that unfortunately there are currently more slaves than in any past period of history, at least according the the NGO A21. :(

I hope it's not too OOT to direct your attention to their website, in case you want to contribute to the disappearance of slavery:

https://www.a21.org/index.php?site=true

 

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Pol Joni do follow Waha's covenant, but I have no idea whether they can awaken their cattle. As they don't ride their cattle, there is a lot less of a point doing so than for the Beast Riders. They should be unable to awaken their horses, just like the Grazers or the Pentans. 

Well... Neither the Grazers nor the Pentans know the magic, so it's never come up for them. A Praxian Animal Nomad would probably consider it blasphemous to use Release Intelligence on a horse. But a Pol Joni who was a Waha Khan... That might work. That's if we're following g33k's idea that it works on anyone in Prax or the Wastelands.

Although you could argue that, even accepting g33k's idea, it'd only work on the animals named in the story of the Covenant. Which would mean no horses. No zebras, either, nor unicorns. Only nine specific animals and the Morocanth. And Herd Men, of course.

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9 minutes ago, Steve3742 said:

Well... Neither the Grazers nor the Pentans know the magic, so it's never come up for them. A Praxian Animal Nomad would probably consider it blasphemous to use Release Intelligence on a horse. But a Pol Joni who was a Waha Khan... That might work. That's if we're following g33k's idea that it works on anyone in Prax or the Wastelands.

Although you could argue that, even accepting g33k's idea, it'd only work on the animals named in the story of the Covenant. Which would mean no horses. No zebras, either, nor unicorns. Only nine specific animals and the Morocanth. And Herd Men, of course.

As for me, in my game I would try to potentially weave some personal connection for the person(s) involved into the story. Perhaps they are subject to the covenant in a way they did not know they had. Family histories run deep. Myths and legends have a way of intertwining.

Years ago I posted a few snippets about a small group of outer atomic explorers returning to Glorantha after being away for hundreds of years (since the second age). Hurtling down from the sky dome their ship crash lands into a small lake in the wastes, and they seek to find out where they are. They encounter humans who cannot speak, herded and hunted by inhuman masters. One of their party is killed, and is put on display in the khan's great tent. Another has his INT fixed and becomes a simple herd-man, unable to recognize his friend or speak of their past, including their journeys to the great darkness, where they swore oaths they did not understand, but ones that yielded them powers they sought. Only after escaping and finding his way down to the coast does Talar find answers to where he is and what happened to him. As he and his companion ride along the desolate shore they look up upon the crumbled and blasted remains of the crudely reconstructed watchdog of Corflu. Talar, who did not recognize the red moon in the sky, nor the fate of this blasted world, realizes he was home....

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Alter creature can be used on any one. Praxian, outsider and beast alike. Alter creature can be used as a form of punishment, or even as a technique of survival (not enough food or clean water for the whole group, turn every one but the priest of waha to a beast so they can cross the chaparel plains).  

As far as slavery, you have to step outside your modern view points, and take in  a ancient one. This is a viilent brutal world, not the modern "enlightened" world with a slop and go coat of fantasy paint.  This also should allow you to go down paths and ask why does this act exist.  For example, what happens when a war ends and you have an army of men and women under capture, and thier people cant pay thier ransom and escort.  Do you free them and risk let them run rampant acting as new bands of outlaws and bandits. Or do you spread them throughout yours and your allies lands, to work your lands clothed, fed and safe for them and you.  For many this is little change from how thier lives were before.  For many this is a temporary condition and nust time spent waiting for the ransom to be paid, and being captured does not make them my guest,  they will work.  Heck even under modern International Law of War POWs are expected to work for thier captor.

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On 4/8/2019 at 11:28 AM, Runeblogger said:

As loathsome as slavery is, you might be surprised to know that unfortunately there are currently more slaves than in any past period of history, at least according the the NGO A21. :(

Oh, I understand. This isn't an issue of ignorance. It's an issue of how big of a curtain or wall people want in their games.

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2 hours ago, Videopete said:

... or even as a technique of survival (not enough food or clean water for the whole group, turn every one but the priest of waha to a beast so they can cross the chaparel plains).  .

An excellent point!  It is, after all, the Survival Covenant.  Some must become Beasts, and live from Eiritha's provender; others must guard and guide, and eat at one remove from Her blessing, so that all might survive.

I may need to Vary My Glorantha to make this a requirement of becoming a full Priest of Waha -- take some People who are dear to the Priest-Candidate, make them Beasts & lead them safely from one place of plenty (an Oasis, the Paps, the Zola Fel valley, etc) to another.

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18 minutes ago, g33k said:

An excellent point!  It is, after all, the Survival Covenant.  Some must become Beasts, and live from Eiritha's provender; others must guard and guide, and eat at one remove from Her blessing, so that all might survive.

I may need to Vary My Glorantha to make this a requirement of becoming a full Priest of Waha -- take some People who are dear to the Priest-Candidate, make them Beasts & lead them safely from one place of plenty (an Oasis, the Paps, the Zola Fel valley, etc) to another.

Nice idea, but the Covenant offers no protection from over-grazing, and over-grazing is what will make a Praxian clan starve as soon as the herd starts starving. Adding to the herd beasts will only increase the speed of that, unless you are ready to slaughter some of the new ones - which your model doesn't appear to suggest.

The only tribe which might profit from this strategy might be the Morokanth who are able to digest some of the remaining plant matter the plains provide.

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

Nice idea, but the Covenant offers no protection from over-grazing, and over-grazing is what will make a Praxian clan starve as soon as the herd starts starving. Adding to the herd beasts will only increase the speed of that, unless you are ready to slaughter some of the new ones - which your model doesn't appear to suggest.

The only tribe which might profit from this strategy might be the Morokanth who are able to digest some of the remaining plant matter the plains provide.

Small groups making single trips on the occasion of elevating an Assistant to a Priest hardly seems like it's overgrazing.

If the biomass/bioenergy model is anything close to Earth's, the net grazing goes DOWN -- it takes about 1/10 as much Earthly grass to produce a pound of cow, than it takes to produce a pound of omnivorous human eating stuff that eats grass.

 

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16 hours ago, Videopete said:

Alter creature can be used on any one. Praxian, outsider and beast alike. Alter creature can be used as a form of punishment, or even as a technique of survival (not enough food or clean water for the whole group, turn every one but the priest of waha to a beast so they can cross the chaparel plains).  

You are most welcome to have the spell work that way in your game, although it is not written that way in the rules. As we say, YGWV.

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On 4/10/2019 at 3:19 PM, g33k said:

If the biomass/bioenergy model is anything close to Earth's, the net grazing goes DOWN -- it takes about 1/10 as much Earthly grass to produce a pound of cow, than it takes to produce a pound of omnivorous human eating stuff that eats grass.

Hmmm... The reason grazing is a survival strategy in fringe areas is because nothing can grow there that people can eat. So you have to filter the protein contained in the chapparal through an animal that can eat it, which is hideously inefficient (you end up with between a fifth to a twelfth of the protein), but gives you human-edible protein (meat) at the end of it. So there's nothing growing in the wastes (outside of the oases and River of Cradles) that humans can eat, but there is grazing for bison, antelopes, rhinos, etc. and humans can eat them. And herd men can graze on the chapparal, too. And can be eaten by humans.

But imagine if your herds were running short, due to disease, raids, whatever. And there's not enough to make it through winter. And the tribe is going to starve. And the Waha Khan says he does know of a way that humans can eat the chapparal, but you're not going to like it...

If the famine wasn't too serious, you could convert, say, a third of the tribe to herd men and they could eat chapparal and the other two-thirds could eat the bison, or whatever. Eventually, you could turn them back. But it'd take a long time to recover that way, a few years or more, and then only if you have some luck raiding other people's herds. Better to convert a quarter or a fifth and the tribe eat them instead of the Bison, meaning the Bison herd stays completely intact and there are less humans to eat it. You'd reach equilibrium faster that way - a year, if done right - and with more Bison. And if the famine was very serious, you'd have to do that, else the whole tribe dies.

But I wonder about the moral flexibility of the Praxians here. OK, herd men aren't human, I can accept that.. But a guy who, up until yesterday, was Narveesh, a rider with the rest of the tribe and has been unlucky in a lottery... A guy who, if the spell was cast on him again, would once more be Narveesh of the Bison tribe... It's pushing things a bit to say that he isn't human. Or that the tribe would be able to put aside their qualms about it, no matter what Waha says.

But, I guess that's the price of living in one of the most desolate places in the world.

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2 hours ago, Steve3742 said:

Hmmm... The reason grazing is a survival strategy in fringe areas is because nothing can grow there that people can eat. So you have to filter the protein contained in the chapparal through an animal that can eat it, which is hideously inefficient (you end up with between a fifth to a twelfth of the protein), but gives you human-edible protein (meat) at the end of it. So there's nothing growing in the wastes (outside of the oases and River of Cradles) that humans can eat, but there is grazing for bison, antelopes, rhinos, etc. and humans can eat them. And herd men can graze on the chapparal, too. And can be eaten by humans.

But imagine if your herds were running short, due to disease, raids, whatever. And there's not enough to make it through winter. And the tribe is going to starve. And the Waha Khan says he does know of a way that humans can eat the chapparal, but you're not going to like it...

If the famine wasn't too serious, you could convert, say, a third of the tribe to herd men and they could eat chapparal and the other two-thirds could eat the bison, or whatever. Eventually, you could turn them back. But it'd take a long time to recover that way, a few years or more, and then only if you have some luck raiding other people's herds. Better to convert a quarter or a fifth and the tribe eat them instead of the Bison, meaning the Bison herd stays completely intact and there are less humans to eat it. You'd reach equilibrium faster that way - a year, if done right - and with more Bison. And if the famine was very serious, you'd have to do that, else the whole tribe dies.

But I wonder about the moral flexibility of the Praxians here. OK, herd men aren't human, I can accept that.. But a guy who, up until yesterday, was Narveesh, a rider with the rest of the tribe and has been unlucky in a lottery... A guy who, if the spell was cast on him again, would once more be Narveesh of the Bison tribe... It's pushing things a bit to say that he isn't human. Or that the tribe would be able to put aside their qualms about it, no matter what Waha says.

But, I guess that's the price of living in one of the most desolate places in the world.

You are completely correct... but not at all to the point.

The notion (that I was proposing) was a specific proof-of-worth / teaching event for prospective Full Priests.  Not trying to re-stabilize a population in famine, but (temporarily) re-create the events of the Covenant at an intimate, personal scale.  Remind them that the Herds were once 4-Legged People, that survival is hard and the risks are real.

Edited by g33k
Clarify

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