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gochie

Becoming a god

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Here's a good question, and I'm not sure rules exist for this... 

Are there mechanics that enable a player to become a "god". By that I mean some sort of demi-God that has minions sacrifice POW to him/her. 

It happened to one of my characters many years ago, when my earth elementalist (mage) convinced a group of little goblin creatures to sacrifice POW to him. Let's just say he was suddenly pretty strong at 30-something POW. 

If such mechanics don't exist, I would love to hear what you guys think a house rule would look like... 

Is he restricted to 21 POW (as a human) or can he get in the 100s or 1000s? Would he be able to offer spells, or perhaps only protection? Would the player be exiled from his existing cult(s) when he becomes a "god"? 

 

So many interesting possibilities... 

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14 minutes ago, gochie said:

Are there mechanics that enable a player to become a "god". By that I mean some sort of demi-God that has minions sacrifice POW to him/her. 

No, every apotheosis in Glorantha has been unique, and so it should be for characters (or indeed players) becoming gods. It certainly isn't a case of, "well, these people are worshiping me". There's no mechanism for giving POW to another person.

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13 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

No, every apotheosis in Glorantha has been unique, and so it should be for characters (or indeed players) becoming gods. It certainly isn't a case of, "well, these people are worshiping me". There's no mechanism for giving POW to another person.

But why not? 

If spirits can becomes "gods", what's so different about people? Why can a Shaman start a spirit cult, where regular initiates can sacrifice POW to a spirit, but there is no way to start a cult for living beings? You can attune to objects, and you can "share" your POW to create enchantments that someone else cast... But you don't have enough control over your POW to give it to someone? Doesn't seem logical to me.

How did Nyssalor or any other living god get worshipped when they were alive? 

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7 minutes ago, gochie said:

But why not? 

Why not ask "why"? If you want to play in a game world where absolutely anybody with a gang can trivially become a god, well that might be interesting, but it wouldn't be Glorantha.

Nysalor took major efforts by several races pooling their resources, questing to prove that there was a new god to be born from the pseudocosmic egg.

The Red Goddess involved preparation, a human sacrifice, and heroic exploits in the underworld before she returned to the world as a goddess.

Argrath... well, keep reading!

Edited by PhilHibbs

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We know (Chaosium has said) that Heroquest rules are coming, likely in the GM's Book.

These will likely allow exceeding the "Species Maximum" scores, and other "impossible" things.

Learning a "backdoor" out of the underworld -- self-resurrection -- has been stated as a relatively common Heroquest reward.

I don't expect any way to "level up" or "ascend" as a single action; but rather, a series of quests and achievements that move one bit by bit away the limits of mortality.

 

Edited by g33k
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The difference between gods and men is that gods are (supposedly) trapped by the Cosmic compromise. They are no longer allowed to act directly in the middle world except for in cases where the compromise is threatened, and may only perform those actions they could before time (their myths). While this rule is open to some interpretation and has shown to be more than a little flexible, the ability to grant magic and receive POW requires a lot more than simply people praying to you. There are demigods like Jar-Eel, Cragspider, and the Stormwalkers who break the rules for mortals through Heroquesting and are worshipped by many, but even they can't distribute Rune magic or take advantage of POW sacrifices. They may be able to use sacrificed MP since we know wizards can with the chain of veneration. As for spirits, well most of them exist on the same side of time we do and so only know magic instead of granting it to worshippers. Great spirits like Oakfed exist on the god plane at least partially, though they're slightly more free to act, and so can give some limited Rune magic. Other spirits, like Black Fang, grant Rune magic by interceding for another god (well, at least if BF's RQ2 description is canon). To become a god, you must make or be given a place in the god plane, leaving behind the middle world for the world of eternity.

But of course, YGMV, and even in canon the rules can, have, and will be broken. And there's a good chance I'm wrong about at least a few of my points.

Edited by Richard S.

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2 hours ago, gochie said:

But why not? 

If spirits can becomes "gods", what's so different about people? Why can a Shaman start a spirit cult, where regular initiates can sacrifice POW to a spirit, but there is no way to start a cult for living beings? You can attune to objects, and you can "share" your POW to create enchantments that someone else cast... But you don't have enough control over your POW to give it to someone? Doesn't seem logical to me.

How did Nyssalor or any other living god get worshipped when they were alive? 

I think if there were a reliable, mechanical way to ascend, it wouldn't feel very mythological, very "Gloranthan."

Instead, we see several instances in the history (and mytho-history) of Glorantha, WITHOUT many common elements.

Mortals most definitely CAN become deific beings.  Sartar did... I think?  He apotheosized, BUT his Shade exists in the underworld.  Pavis... may have?  Or maybe got side-tracked.  Belintar... also did (?) ... probably.  Nysalor of course, and Sedenya.

So YES it's possible in Glorantha.  BUT we'll have to see what the Heroquesting rules (in the GM's book, @Jeff?) say about such issues.

 

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Yeah I think you guys are right... It definitely seems like heroquesting would be a requirement for godship. Even if it's not full "godship" and more just being able to accept POW from people. 

Perhaps true godship would be divided in multiple hero quests, where one would grant immortality, one would enable you to transfer POW, one would let you own/create rune magic, etc.

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2 minutes ago, gochie said:

Yeah I think you guys are right... It definitely seems like heroquesting would be a requirement for godship. Even if it's not full "godship" and more just being able to accept POW from people. 

Perhaps true godship would be divided in multiple hero quests, where one would grant immortality, one would enable you to transfer POW, one would let you own/create rune magic, etc.

IIRC it was Jeff who said that (at least one of the) PC's in his house-game (which you GOTTA know he's gonna trial/prototype/playtest ideas for later Official Rules) has -- from heroquesting -- permanent/inherent Rune Spells -- no casting needed, no Dismiss/Dispel applies.

I could see an Orlanthi who can just fly whenever they want, FrEx; or a Priestess of Sedenya who could do all sorts of "illusionary" things at-will.

 

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Also of note, we know that people can be worshipped after death and provide magic, through being a subcult of a greater god, without having to go through a bunch of complicated hoops. The hoop-jumping comes in when you want to become a proper god outright instead of just a hero.

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8 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

No, every apotheosis in Glorantha has been unique, and so it should be for characters (or indeed players) becoming gods. It certainly isn't a case of, "well, these people are worshiping me". There's no mechanism for giving POW to another person.

There is definitely a way for people to get worshipped. Hofstaring Treeleaper was a worshiped hero while he was alive, granting his worshipers a share in his signature feat. The exact mechanism of this haven't been detailed in a RuneQuest context yet. Arcane Lore shows at least some of the ideas that Greg considered to define such dependences. History of the Heortling Peoples hints at how this may have been institutionalized in Orlanthland early in the Second Age, with Hardros Hardslaughter receiving the status of Great Living Hero rather than king. By the time of the Machine Wars, we have several such worshiped heroes, most prominently Renvald Meldekbane (among the traditionalist Orlanthi of the Kingdom of Night) and Varankol the Mangler, the first of the Tusk Riders, for the EWF. EWF individuals like Isgangdrang and Lorenkargatan and possibly even Ingolf profited from such worship.

This probably is an expression of Greg's wargamer side that occasionally shines through in the Glorantha material. The population numbers on his maps that made it into his world descriptions and finally the Guide are another expression of this. For all his mastery of narrative gaming, Greg liked his simulations.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

There is definitely a way for people to get worshipped. Hofstaring Treeleaper was a worshiped hero while he was alive, granting his worshipers a share in his signature feat

Maybe people were worshiping his wyter, or his allied spirit, which may have been the same thing.

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32 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Maybe people were worshiping his wyter, or his allied spirit, which may have been the same thing.

Yes, it is quite possible that receiving worship develops your "spiritual organ" into creating that second manifestation that the minor gods and worshiped heroes have, according to Arcane Lore. The divine portion of your self (in case of theist heroes).

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6 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Maybe people were worshiping his wyter, or his allied spirit, which may have been the same thing.

Something I haven't thought of... You could turn an allied spirit into a spirit cult? 

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No rules for it, but I personally think there ought to be at least some guidance for how ascension works (along with the God Plane, Compromise, etc). It's up to the GM for whether this is relevant to the current campaign or not. 

It also should be mentioned that previous attempts at writing a Super-RuneQuest, reminiscent of the anecdote of your character receiving POW, have been deemed unsatisfying. HeroQuest was developed as a response, and at least has a scalable system, but I'm not sure it answers all the questions properly. (E.g., should the Seven Mothers quest be treated as a Simple Contest or not? Sorry, just kidding.)

We shall see what comes from the next effort. It's obviously not so easy to answer these questions well.

 

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On 4/15/2019 at 6:17 PM, gochie said:

Even if it's not full "godship" and more just being able to accept POW from people. 

This clearly happens in the West with sorcerers receiving the POW from the lesser folk. We just don't have rules for it yet.

Same will be true of a person's spirit, which could potentially become a Wyter and receive sacrifices. 

Clearly some unique individuals (the Red Goddess, Argrath, Arkat) have become gods. Many heroes become god-lets, i.e. the center of a sub-cult or hero cult (though usually after "death" or retirement from the world). It may be that you need to be largely in the Otherworld in order to receive POW sacrifices.

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My impression is basically that "exceptionally powerful, driven and ambitious people find a way". What that way is exactly seems to vary and to be somewhat obscure (intentionally).

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"Receiving POW" sounds to me like RQ2 speech for "receiving renewable Magic Points in a chain of veneration" which is what happens to hero cults and spirit cults.

Whether there is an absolute need for sacrificing a permanent point of POW to establish a link to the cult is another question. If you want to access the heroic feat or rune spell, probably yes, as an initial ante, but otherwise a support group of lay members appears to be sufficient to give the hero or spirit enough to work special stuff with.

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On 4/15/2019 at 7:39 PM, gochie said:

Are there mechanics that enable a player to become a "god". By that I mean some sort of demi-God that has minions sacrifice POW to him/her. 

I believe that this kind of thing is going to be included in the Campaign Guide, or whatever the Games Masters Guide is called nowadays.

That includes rules on HeroQuesting and on gaining Heroic Powers and Abilities, with a Heroic Character Sheet showing your Heroic Part. One of those Powers should be "Being Worshipped". If not, I'll house-rule them pretty quickly.

On 4/15/2019 at 7:39 PM, gochie said:

It happened to one of my characters many years ago, when my earth elementalist (mage) convinced a group of little goblin creatures to sacrifice POW to him. Let's just say he was suddenly pretty strong at 30-something POW. 

If such mechanics don't exist, I would love to hear what you guys think a house rule would look like... 

Is he restricted to 21 POW (as a human) or can he get in the 100s or 1000s? Would he be able to offer spells, or perhaps only protection? Would the player be exiled from his existing cult(s) when he becomes a "god"? 

We play that one benefit HeroQuests is gaining POW and a benefit from doing a HeroQuest on the Other Side is the chance to increase Species Maximum POW (Same mechanism as a POW Gain Roll, but the increase is to Species Max instead). That allows PCs to gain POW levels above the normal 21 maximum.

As for Being Worshipped, we play that someone who brings back a spell or ability from an Other Side HeroQuest can choose to keep it themselves or teach it to their Cult. If they choose to teach it to the Cult, they get to start a Herocult, or Subcult, with a shrine in their local temple where people can sacrifice at the shrine to learn the spell. In theory, such sacrifice should increase the POW of the Hero, but we never really formalised that. I'd say +1 POW per 100 worshippers, which just adds to the Hero's current POW in all situations, as a bonus.

Going from a Subcult of a deity to a deity worshipped alone is either a case of performing a big HeroQuest or GodQuest to have a permanent place in the God Plane, or where you become powerful enough to have you own temples. However, this means you spend time maintaining those temples and doing godlike things, so it tends to take you out of the picture for Adventuring purposes.

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