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Yelmalio and Other War Gods Who Lack Shield Spell

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14 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

Yet I heard people playing them so I was very confused.

We either followed models for cults such as Yanafal, Irrippi, or Etyries, or created our own (as I did for Hwarin Dalthippa which was a primary PC cult in my old Imther campaign). 

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yelmalio lost his shield at the Hill of Gold. While his templars still wield the physical one, do they have to have the magical one?

And in RQG shield isn't even a cult skill, but bow, spear and pike are. In RQ3 and 2 shield skill mastery was one of the possible prerequisites for being a Light Son, but not a mandatory one.

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46 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Shield is a very powerful spell and only a handful of cults have it. YGWV, but we have tried to carefully limit who gets it.

Yeah, I know, but as I said, I don't agree with that idea. Not to mention, mostly I'll be running old RQ2 material for a long time to come (until Chaosium produces more for RQG) so lots of those characters have it. I think if everyone can heal, an arguement for Shield is similar. 

Edit: Also, I'm not actually running a game set in Glorantha so... *shrug*

 

Edited by Tywyll

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1 minute ago, Tywyll said:

Yeah, I know, but as I said, I don't agree with that idea. Not to mention, mostly I'll be running old RQ2 material for a long time to come (until Chaosium produces more for RQG) so lots of those characters have it. I think if everyone can heal, an arguement for Shield is similar. 

 

As I said YGWV. But giving everyone the ability to Heal Wound (with its associated magic point drain), is very different from giving everyone the ability to exchange one 1 RP for 2 points of protection and 2 points of counter magic.

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

Shield is a very powerful spell and only a handful of cults have it. YGWV, but we have tried to carefully limit who gets it.

Sure. And I don't think everyone should have it. But it does seem that all warrior/soldier cults should have it and it's hard to see why Humakt, Yanafal Tarnils, Orlanth, Storm Bull and Zorak Zoran have it whilst Yelmalio doesn't. I mean, if there's a mythological reason (Yelmalio lost his shield on the Hill of Gold) then sure, but it seems tacked on - nobody's ever mentioned this before. 

Edited by Steve3742
added Storm Bull

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10 minutes ago, Steve3742 said:

Sure. And I don't think everyone should have it. But it does seem that all warrior/soldier cults should have it and it's hard to see why Humakt, Yanafal Tarnils, Orlanth, Storm Bull and Zorak Zoran have it whilst Yelmalio doesn't. I mean, if there's a mythological reason (Yelmalio lost his shield on the Hill of Gold) then sure, but it seems tacked on - nobody's ever mentioned this before. 

Zorak Zoran does NOT get Shield (check your Bestiary if you doubt me). The cults that get Shield directly are Manthi, Aldrya, Babeester Gor, Yelm, Gorgorma, Orlanth, Humakt, Waha, Seven Mothers, Yanafal Tarnils, and Hwarin Dalthippa.

There are many cults that receive Shield by virtue of their association with one of these cults (e.g., Storm Bull, etc)..

 

 

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I think it's important to note that RQ is not balanced at all, and I don't think it's meant to be. It's not a PvP game where  all access to spells, skills, gifts/gases, etc. have to be balanced. 

Now, having said that, I also think it would be more fun if they were balanced, and there would be more diversity in player choices. I think when the Gods book comes out I might work on balancing the power/utility of each cult with my GM. 

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28 minutes ago, gochie said:

Now, having said that, I also think it would be more fun if they were balanced, and there would be more diversity in player choices. I think when the Gods book comes out I might work on balancing the power/utility of each cult with my GM. 

Interesting, but a bit of a nysalor riddle. Diversity would only increase if one says it does (ZZ is different from Yelmalio cause I say so, ignore the fact that they both have the same spells), but in reality I suggest making all the cults the same or even similar does the opposite. I think that balance and diversity are not compatible.

Cheers

PS I know that I exaggerated the above examples to a ridiculous degree to make my point but I think it still stands.

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4 hours ago, Jeff said:

Shield is a very powerful spell and only a handful of cults have it. YGWV, but we have tried to carefully limit who gets it.

I get the instinct. I'm just saying that design decision has unintended consequences. In a combat oriented game, limiting Shield to a handful of cults doesn't mean less characters will have Shield. It just means that the characters will be strongly inclined to choose from one of those cults, resulting in less variety in the cults in play.

Anecdotal evidence from 40+ years of RQ:

In RQ2, Yelmalio was far and away one of the most popular cults for PCs in the many campaigns I played. Issaries was popular too. Lots of Kyger Litors and a fair amount of Argan Argars. 

RQ3 comes out and all those cults lose Shield. Guess what? They all pretty much vanish from play. In our house campaign at the time, the Argan Argar (a Kitori) and Yelmalio cultists both were immediately shelved, replaced by a Lodrili and a Humakti. Guess what both those cults have in RQ3? Yep. Shield. 

Oh, and no more troll PCs. No Shield for ZZ, KL, XU or AA? No takers. But lots of elves, because Aldraya gets Shield. Oh, and a fellow player's beloved Yelmalian elf PC? The one he'd been playing for 10 years in RQ2? Suddenly retconned to Aldraya. I wonder why?

Or let's look at Valind. Great spell list. Should be very attractive to PCs. But... no Shield. So I've never seen a PC in Valind.

What new RQ3 cults did our players try out? Let's see...Babeestor Gor, Gorgorma, Lodril, Yelm. Because Shield.

The first thing a lot of players, in my experience, look at when considering a cult is DOES THIS CULT HAVE SHIELD? If Yes, keep reading. If No, move on.

So it's my belief that lack of Shield suppresses cult variety and takes away from Maximum Game Fun.

My suggestions: 

1. Include a box somewhere in the upcoming Gods book: VARIANT RULE: Shield as Common Rune Magic. You may find that, especially in a combat heavy campaign, that your players aren't willing to play a character who doesn't have access to Shield. If that's the case, you may want to make Shield a Common Rune Spell available to all divine cults (except those with limited Rune Magic).

2. Consider being less stingy with Shield. Give it to, at a minimum, Yelmalio, ZZ, Valind, KL (Kaarg Son only) and other war gods that lacked it in RQ3. I'd also give it to all the Lightbringers (except maybe Eurmal, because screw him), the Red Goddess, and the Seven Mothers, both individually and as a collective.

3. In RQ3, the way spirit worshipers made up for the lack of Shield was Armor Enchantment and HP Enchantment. Those are gone. Give them back to Spirit Societies only (if you do this, you might not have to give Shield to KL).

4. Allow Countermagic, Protection, and Shimmer to be cast simultaneously with each other but DON'T allow any of them to stack with Shield. This nerfs Shield and buffs the Spirit Magic alternatives, leveling the playing field. If a high level character has Protection 6 and Countermagic 6, she won't need Shield. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

Zorak Zoran does NOT get Shield (check your Bestiary if you doubt me). The cults that get Shield directly are Manthi, Aldrya, Babeester Gor, Yelm, Gorgorma, Orlanth, Humakt, Waha, Seven Mothers, Yanafal Tarnils, and Hwarin Dalthippa.

My bad, I was using RQ3 as a source. Zorak Zoran and Storm Bull both used to get Shield in RQ3. Waha didn't, not even as an Associate. Hmmm... so you've taken it from Storm Bull and Zorak Zoran, I can see the logic in that... but giving it to Waha?

2 hours ago, Jeff said:

There are many cults that receive Shield by virtue of their association with one of these cults (e.g., Storm Bull, etc)..

Perhaps Yelmalio should get it from Yelm? (Though that'd probably mean giving up Sunspear.)

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9 minutes ago, Steve3742 said:

My bad, I was using RQ3 as a source. Zorak Zoran and Storm Bull both used to get Shield in RQ3. Waha didn't, not even as an Associate.

The opposite, based on RQ3 Cults Book. Waha gets Shield, ZZ doesn't. Storm Bull gets it from Orlanth.

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I'm just going with number 1. Though if the cult doesn't have it listed as Special, they can only stack it to level 4 (like old RQ2). Cults with it can go as high as they want. Not a huge difference, but gives it a bit of umph.

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24 minutes ago, RHW said:

The opposite, based on RQ3 Cults Book. Waha gets Shield, ZZ doesn't. Storm Bull gets it from Orlanth.

I don't have RQ3 Cults Book, nor have I heard of it. Do you mean the Cults Compendium (though I always thought that was RQ2)?

I do have River of Cradles, which gives Storm Bull Shield in his own right (Orlanth gives him Increase Wind). Likewise, I have Troll Gods, which gives Zorak Zoran Shield. And I have Tales of the Reaching Moon 15, which had an official write-up of Waha in it, and he didn't have Shield.

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3 minutes ago, Steve3742 said:

I don't have RQ3 Cults Book, nor have I heard of it. Do you mean the Cults Compendium (though I always thought that was RQ2)?

I’m referring to the RQ3 “Cults Book” from the Avalon Hill Gods of Glorantha boxed set.

5E7477A8-D4DE-4DFC-9061-19B1F50672DC.jpeg

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OK. Well, yes, I have that. But I'm assuming the stuff in River of Cradles, Troll Gods and Tales of the Reaching Moon takes precedence, as it's of later date and it's in long form.

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3 minutes ago, Steve3742 said:

OK. Well, yes, I have that. But I'm assuming the stuff in River of Cradles, Troll Gods and Tales of the Reaching Moon takes precedence, as it's of later date and it's in long form.

Fair point. Either way, I think all those cults should have Shield and based  on the established material, some do and some don't.

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The lack of Shield has definitely a sticking point with the Yelmalio PC in my game. He wants to recon his PC to another cult. Even some of the Geas requirements made him balk at gifts. He feels his PC is weak in combat versus the Babeesta For, even though he does most of the slaying. He lacks punch versus the heavy infantry without certain magic. 

I was thinking some kind of Shield Wall Ritual Spell for Yelmalio, something each member of a Phalanx can cast together... a bonus versus knockback, bonus to each Shield AP, maybe more. Some kind of Unit Wyter magic. 

I don't have a problem with Yelmalio get Shield through an associate cult either.

I think a big part of playing Yelmalio is the mysticism behind Gifts and Geasa. I hope future writeup focus on that. 

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I"m actually very happy that the current version of RQ limits who gets it.  That definitely makes it more valuable.   And I have no sympathy for a PC who thinks that a War God is "inferior" because he lacks spell X.  Dismiss Magic is a thing, as is Lightwall.  Gifts are not a small matter either.  The party takes on a warband of Yelmalian Initiates?  Great. 2 of them are Spear Masters thanks to a gift.   Players buff up with Truesword, Shield, what have you?  Great.  The Yelmalians dismiss all that down, then get to work with their spears. 

Give everyone Shield, and it becomes less a thing.   Humakt is tops for War God right now because he has Truesword, Sword Trance, and Shield, plus gifts. 

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8 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Interesting, but a bit of a nysalor riddle. Diversity would only increase if one says it does (ZZ is different from Yelmalio cause I say so, ignore the fact that they both have the same spells), but in reality I suggest making all the cults the same or even similar does the opposite. I think that balance and diversity are not compatible.

Cheers

PS I know that I exaggerated the above examples to a ridiculous degree to make my point but I think it still stands.

I'm not sure how you understood "balance" as "make everyone the same". 

I also don't just mean combat. You can give some cults many tools that are extremely useful for adventuring in other ways, and these tools could set apart some war gods, even if they did happen to have similar combative magic. 

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1 hour ago, gochie said:

I'm not sure how you understood "balance" as "make everyone the same". 

 

I don't actually. I said that there was an exaggeration involved and you have found it. When you increase points that are the same you are increasing or getting closer, by definition, to"mak(ing)_ everyone the same". Diversity therefore would increase as differences grow. QED

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On 4/11/2019 at 11:28 PM, RHW said:

I guess what I'm advocating is that as more cults are published and cults are expanded that the rules introduce more paths to combat glory (for players that want them, and my players always do). 

Spells for cults are not about game balance. Some cults get spells that are patently useless for some people who follow those cults. For me, cults are not minimaxing things that you join to get the best spells for your PC.

One good way of attracting converts is by showing that your spells are better than the spells they currently have, as not every cult has the same spells.

On 4/11/2019 at 11:28 PM, RHW said:

Shield for more gods (Argan Argar, Zorak Zoran, Kyger Litor, Yelmalio, Seven Mothers, Sword Sage subcult for Lhankor Mhy). Punch-through damage boosting magic for gods that don't have it (ORLANTH!, Humakt, STORM BULL!, Odayla, Yinkin, Yelmalio, etc.)

Not sure about Shield for Argan Argar or Yelmalio, although both are spearmen-oriented.

For me, if a spell isn't Common, what is the rationale for the cult getting it? If you use the RQ3 templates, then a War Deity gets Shield, so are Argan Argar and Yelmalio War Deities? Kyger Litor isn't but Zorak Zoran is. If Humakt gets it then so should Yanafal Tarnils, but does he give it to the Seven Mothers? Sword Sages shouldn't get Shield, in my opinion.

As for punch-through spells, Humakt gets Sever Spirit and Truesword, Storm Bull gets Berserker, all of which are effective in combat. Why should Yinkin get combat spells? He's not a combat deity. Orlanth, maybe, but Wind Lords get Great Parry so can be good defensively.

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15 hours ago, RHW said:

My suggestions: 

1. Include a box somewhere in the upcoming Gods book: VARIANT RULE: Shield as Common Rune Magic. You may find that, especially in a combat heavy campaign, that your players aren't willing to play a character who doesn't have access to Shield. If that's the case, you may want to make Shield a Common Rune Spell available to all divine cults (except those with limited Rune Magic).

2. Consider being less stingy with Shield. Give it to, at a minimum, Yelmalio, ZZ, Valind, KL (Kaarg Son only) and other war gods that lacked it in RQ3. I'd also give it to all the Lightbringers (except maybe Eurmal, because screw him), the Red Goddess, and the Seven Mothers, both individually and as a collective.

3. In RQ3, the way spirit worshipers made up for the lack of Shield was Armor Enchantment and HP Enchantment. Those are gone. Give them back to Spirit Societies only (if you do this, you might not have to give Shield to KL).

4. Allow Countermagic, Protection, and Shimmer to be cast simultaneously with each other but DON'T allow any of them to stack with Shield. This nerfs Shield and buffs the Spirit Magic alternatives, leveling the playing field. If a high level character has Protection 6 and Countermagic 6, she won't need Shield. 

My Suggestion:

1. Have all these things as House Rules and give Yelmalio Shield as a House Rule

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My 2 cents...

Perhaps Yelmalio should have a specialised version of Shield - one that only works in group formation - Shieldwall (I've only thought of the name - not the details... perhaps, +5% to both shield and spear/pike skills, and +1 damage and shield AP,  must be cast as a ritual, only stackable from different people (ie, an individual can only contribute 1 point of the spell)). Also, given their special use of a shield with a pike, the shield skill should definitely be one of the cult skills.

Edited by Shiningbrow
Typo
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Issaries doesn't need to give His worshippers Shield: they have Spell Trading to get it (one use...) from their friends...

;)

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