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Yelmalio and Other War Gods Who Lack Shield Spell

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Another kick in the teeth...the fricking Blach Fang spirit Cult dedicated to a thief have the Shield spell... that makes plenty of sense when someone like Yelmalio doesn't.¬†ūüėí

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20 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

Another kick in the teeth...the fricking Blach Fang spirit Cult dedicated to a thief have the Shield spell... that makes plenty of sense when someone like Yelmalio doesn't.¬†ūüėí

Black Fang is not a thief cult. It is a cult of professional killers.

Yelmalio succeeds despite not having great offensive or defensive magic by his worshipers cooperating in a disciplined manner. Those pikes and shields are worth a lot better en masse than you might imagine. Individual Yelmalio soldiers are not as impressive as a many war cults. Collectively, they are way more dangerous than most.

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17 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Black Fang is not a thief cult. It is a cult of professional killers.

 

Yeah, but bandit killers =/= trained warriors. 

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1 minute ago, Tywyll said:

Yeah, but bandit killers =/= trained warriors. 

Yeah. Which is why I would put bet 1 Black Fang cultist is probably a match for 1 Yelmalio cultist, but 100 trained Yelmalio cultists should mop up 100 Black Fang cultists. Of course, that 100 Black Fang cultists would constitute most of the cult and that 100 Yelmalio cultists would represent a few villages at most.

The usefulness of a cult cannot be expressed purely through its Rune Magic options.

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6 hours ago, Jeff said:

The usefulness of a cult cannot be expressed purely through its Rune Magic options.

Unless you're a player character.

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1 hour ago, RHW said:

Unless you're a player character.

Honestly, I had a discussion about this with my GM (who happens to be my dad, lol).

We were reviewing RQG rules and comparing them to our RQ3 ones (with many house rules). One of the RQG cults he didn't particularly like is Black Fang, with only 3 special spells and very limited common spells, and a pretty boring backstory (so far), he doesn't seem like a good pick for anyone.

I argued that if you add stuff that is only accessible to initiates of the cult, like unique poisons, special tools (poison-proof "gas mask", climbing claws?, etc.) and skills (garrotte?), it could make the cult much for interesting and useful, even if it was weak in the spells department. 

I don't know that he's convinced, but we're also waiting for the full cult description to come out in GOG before making any permanent changes. 

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Last time I GM'd a Yelmalian he was a family straight up career soldier, and I was leaning him pretty hard into Yelmalian Mysticism in Griffin Mountain campaign. My ultimate goal for him was to discover Firshala was the 'Heart of Fire' for Balazaring Yelmalians and bring her back to the Yelmalio as a woman's hero cult. 

Yelmalio is the God of the Light if Truth, I think his big secret since Nysalor is Illumination freeing his followers to make their own path, like Balazar in Votankiland. However, to get to that truth they must go through increasing ritual deprivation to realise they can work beyond imposed limitations. 

I honestly can't think of Yelmalio temple leaders without mystical elements, except within Sun County itself. 

 

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2 hours ago, BalazarLightson said:

Last time I GM'd a Yelmalian he was a family straight up career soldier, and I was leaning him pretty hard into Yelmalian Mysticism in Griffin Mountain campaign. My ultimate goal for him was to discover Firshala was the 'Heart of Fire' for Balazaring Yelmalians and bring her back to the Yelmalio as a woman's hero cult. 

Yelmalio is the God of the Light if Truth, I think his big secret since Nysalor is Illumination freeing his followers to make their own path, like Balazar in Votankiland. However, to get to that truth they must go through increasing ritual deprivation to realise they can work beyond imposed limitations. 

I honestly can't think of Yelmalio temple leaders without mystical elements, except within Sun County itself. 

 

This sounds really cool! What is Ylmalian Mysticism?

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Also interested.

 

8 hours ago, BalazarLightson said:

Last time I GM'd a Yelmalian he was a family straight up career soldier, and I was leaning him pretty hard into Yelmalian Mysticism in Griffin Mountain campaign. My ultimate goal for him was to discover Firshala was the 'Heart of Fire' for Balazaring Yelmalians and bring her back to the Yelmalio as a woman's hero cult. 

Yelmalio is the God of the Light if Truth, I think his big secret since Nysalor is Illumination freeing his followers to make their own path, like Balazar in Votankiland. However, to get to that truth they must go through increasing ritual deprivation to realise they can work beyond imposed limitations. 

I honestly can't think of Yelmalio temple leaders without mystical elements, except within Sun County itself. 

 

This sounds really cool! What is Ylmalian Mysticism?

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15 hours ago, Dissolv said:

Also interested.

This sounds really cool! What is Yelmalian Mysticism?

Well, through many threads in the old Glorantha digests, BRP forums and eslewhere folk discussed the various interpretations of Yelmalio/Elmal/Tharkantus/Many-Suns, trying to descern the truth of what was going on. Funnily ironic given the cults association with the truth rune. I think the idea of Yelmalian Mysticism wad born on those threads and carried forth. Better scholars from different factions of the debate can explain it better than I can.I particularly bow to Simon in this case. Hopefully he can step in.

Going back and looking at the riddling traditions between Orlanth and Yelmalio, it's a tradition that would increase the likelihood of illumination in those cults leaders. Such illumination would allow leaders to ignore cult strictures and lead thier congregations on new paths. So we end up with different cult versions in different areas, slightly altered myths and cult. Simon explores this idea a bit on the Soltakss website. He has lots of great ideas. I steal them liberally for my home games.

Part of the reason for this variation in Elmal/Yelmalio is theoretically the interference of God Learners using their RuneQuest sight, playing with Sun myths in various cultures to unite, or divide, or play as they want, perhaps a possible fracturing of myths as avredult of thier interference. Who can truly know other then a truth cultist steeped in the history and myths of the various cults?

The idea that the 'historical' mythical truth is somewhat variable, especially for a truth cult, might seem heretical, but in a mystic variant of the cult is rather central to the workings of the inner secrets of the cult. Illuminated cult leaders who have managed to avoid Gbajis trap of insanity and doubt understand the Nysaloric truth that they are the masters of their own meaning, their own values, and what the hope to create in the world, both temporally and mythically. It is difficult to explain to those who have not yet been illuminated, but you may get the drift.

While Illuminated Olranthi Wind Lords are somewhat tied to the strong and widespread myths of Orlanth, and have trouble shaking them off, the leaders of these fractured Elmal/Yelmalio/Tharkanrus/Many-suns cults can take/make are more interesting path more easily, particularly using Truth powers under Illumination. Effectively an illuminated use of the Truth rune is to make truth in the world, given the will to manifest it. Thus Balazar made his kingdom, writing his own truth.

This may all sound like utter bullshit to the uninitiated, and to the unilluminated that will always be the case, but once the truth of Tharkantus is laid out before the truly faithful it is plain to see. It is likely the closest thing to the RuneQuest sight spoken off in the old temple documents.

Now, young disciple, what is for breakfast?

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TAK THE BRIGHT SPEAR: Yelmalio is awesome, oy.

CLOON THE DAZED: Yo. Awesome.

TAK : I do have a question though.

CLOON: Oy?

TAK: Yo.

CLOON: Ask it then!

TAK: If we're so awesome, oy, how come we get our asses handed to use every time we face a Humakti or Orlanthi or those crazy Axewomen?

CLOON: Well--

TAK: Or elves. Or Uroxi.

CLOON: Our strength is in the collective, yo. The phalanx. We rule the battlefield with cooperation and unity!

TAK: Oy, but what about one on one. Or when the Orlanthi won't fight us straight up. When they hit us while we're on the move? Lightning from the air is no joke, friendo. Or light forbid, what about when we're off on our own trying to regulate and adventure and the like? 

CLOON: Sunbright helps!

TAK: Oy. Does it?

CLOON: Not really.

TAK: Remember when that Black Fang hit the barracks at night? And our spells bounced right off him. And he shattered the L.T.'s head then vanished.

CLOON: Oy. (thinks) Well  the strength of our cult is not measured by the individual. Plus the light of truth helps us redefine the entire world to our liking and change the nature of the sun!

TAK: Yo. (then) All things considered, I'd rather have Shield though.

CLOON: Truth.

TAK: Yo.

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Heh. At some point sufficiently advanced Shield skill is indistinguishable from magic and frees up community POW for other things. 

"Why such consternation seeking spells," Belonni Mo Baustra asked. "A shield is eight clacks and your days are for training."
And with that Farrar Drushkenee was enlightened.
- Manual of Tactics

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If Shield is that essential for your enjoyment of the character, join a second cult just for that spell. It has the nice side effect that your rune point pool for shield is independent from the rest of your rune points, so you can have a Shield up to your CHA.

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9 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Heh. At some point sufficiently advanced Shield skill is indistinguishable from magic.... 

 

Except for the Counter-Magic buff....

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For use, there was a wrench going from RQ2, where Shield was a Common spell, to RQ3, where Shield was only available to some Cults. We rationalised that RQ3 had a War God template which had Shield, Yemlalio was a War God, so Yelmalio should get Shield. Other cults lost Shield, which was a big blow for players with PCs in those cults.

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