Jump to content
PhilHibbs

Breaking a geas

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

That was before the Cosmic Compromise and the birth of Time/Entropy. The Gods trapped themselves in a web that they cannot escape from other than in exceptional situations like the Sunstop or Castle Blue where the compromise breaks.

Sorry, I thought you were referring to Godtime... (so I was a bit confused). Ok, after that, I get what you mean!

So, you're basically suggesting that the force that keeps the Compromise in place is the same force that would 'empower' a geas? Hmmm..... I'll have to dwell on that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Shiningbrow said:

So, you're basically suggesting that the force that keeps the Compromise in place is the same force that would 'empower' a geas? Hmmm..... I'll have to dwell on that!

I wasn't deliberately suggesting that... but yes, there is a connection. Anything magical that you do is to some extent reaching out to the magical world, to the God Time, and theistic magic is all about emulating your god's victories and defeats. The more power you acquire, the less free will you have. There were some unofficial HeroQuesting rules back in the '80s and '90s that were all about WIL as a stat, I think the basic system was that you build up WIL as an adventurer, like POW, and then once you start your HeroQuesting career, it becomes fixed and you start spending it for powers. The more you spend, the more powers you get, but the less free will you have.

Sandy's sorcery system works along these lines, with vows representing the loss of freedom as your power increases. Humakt and Yelmalion gifts and geases are another.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

That was before the Cosmic Compromise and the birth of Time/Entropy. The Gods trapped themselves in a web that they cannot escape from other than in exceptional situations like the Sunstop or Castle Blue where the compromise breaks.

Perhaps the Compromise should be seen as a geas sworn by the Gods? They can obviously break it, but, for reasons we do not know, they strongly prefer not to.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/29/2019 at 9:37 AM, Shiningbrow said:

Sorry, I thought you were referring to Godtime... (so I was a bit confused). Ok, after that, I get what you mean!

So, you're basically suggesting that the force that keeps the Compromise in place is the same force that would 'empower' a geas? Hmmm..... I'll have to dwell on that!

This is one of the big differences between gods and spirits. Gods have to operate within mythically-defined boundaries. If you perform certain sacrifices correctly, Orlanth has to send rain. If an Ernaldan asks for help in the mythically correct way, his worshippers have to give it (or weaken their connection to Orlanth). In contrast, spirits are free agents, able to make whatever deals they want, the way a businessman decides if he wants to sign a contract. Once the contract is signed, spirits mostly have to obey it, but if the other party fails to keep up their end (ie. breaks the spirit's taboo), the spirit can walk away from the deal.  

Edited by Bohemond
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/30/2019 at 12:25 PM, David Scott said:

Given the original source of geases in Irish Mythology (clearly Greg's source), this gives a good guide of what they're really about:

https://aliisaacstoryteller.com/2014/09/15/geis-the-curse-in-irish-mythology/

Very interesting article, though I think Cúchullain's player would be upset with the GM for setting him up like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

Very interesting article, though I think Cúchullain's player would be upset with the GM for setting him up like that.

To me that kind of decision is part of the essence of heroic roleplaying. I have set characters up in exactly that kind of situation. I had a player with an adventurer who was told never to enter the loom house again on pain of death, but then had sworn an oath to return an item to the loom house and so when they did was stabbed through the heart with the item (tribal wyter in the form of a sacrificial knife who was Ana Gor). They didn't die in the normal sense, and the Heroquest began.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

Very interesting article, though I think Cúchullain's player would be upset with the GM for setting him up like that.

Any time you take a geas, you just know someone, somewhere, is going to try to screw you with it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/29/2019 at 4:24 AM, jeffjerwin said:

It could be worse. In Irish legend, a geas is a fatal taboo, one, which broken, invariably triggers the death of the subject.

Exactly, none of this "I didn't know" or "I was tricked into it" rubbish. You have a geas of "Never refuse Hospitality" and "Never eat dog", what do you do when you get served a cooked dog at a feast? You die horribly.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, soltakss said:

Exactly, none of this "I didn't know" or "I was tricked into it" rubbish. You have a geas of "Never refuse Hospitality" and "Never eat dog", what do you do when you get served a cooked dog at a feast? You die horribly.

Well, actually, you state quite clearly early on that Humakt has forbidden you to eat dog meat. Refusing one dish isn't the same as refusing hospitality...

(now, if you're somewhere you're not welcome, then you're screwed!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Well, actually, you state quite clearly early on that Humakt has forbidden you to eat dog meat. Refusing one dish isn't the same as refusing hospitality...

(now, if you're somewhere you're not welcome, then you're screwed!)

If stew is the one and only meal, then dog meat it is, or breach of hospitality.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Joerg said:

If stew is the one and only meal, then dog meat it is, or breach of hospitality.

That was implied in the "if you're not welcome, then you're screwed" bit.

I'd imagine that if you were fully welcome, then the hosts would gladly change out the meal for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

That was implied in the "if you're not welcome, then you're screwed" bit.

I'd imagine that if you were fully welcome, then the hosts would gladly change out the meal for you.

The host in the case of Cu Chullain was a poor old widow, and the stew was the only food (ready to eat) in the house.

I witnessed cooking with Bronze Age implements (or Roman Iron Age, i.e. the same except for the blade), and the food you prepare today is tomorrow's soup. Bread is a luxury in the countryside. Putting meat on the table at all is a special honor.

There are dietary geases in Glorantha, so there must be some sort of regular way out for the sunny boys and goths, or a much higher rate of apostasy than I imagined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The host in the case of Cu Chullain was a poor old widow, and the stew was the only food (ready to eat) in the house.

I witnessed cooking with Bronze Age implements (or Roman Iron Age, i.e. the same except for the blade), and the food you prepare today is tomorrow's soup. Bread is a luxury in the countryside. Putting meat on the table at all is a special honor.

There are dietary geases in Glorantha, so there must be some sort of regular way out for the sunny boys and goths, or a much higher rate of apostasy than I imagined.

It's been  many years since I read "Gods and Fighting Men"...

But, I think that's the whole point about a geas... it makes life difficult, and certainly in Irish myth, you know it's going to get you killed somehow. I'd like to think that Humakt or Yelmalio isn't actually after your death, but just a sign of loyalty and devotion.

The dietary restraint geasa are really fun during times of hardship and droughts :D:D :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/1/2019 at 6:49 AM, Shiningbrow said:

Any time you take a geas, you just know someone, somewhere, is going to try to screw you with it!

I recently had a newbie playing a Vingan in one of my campaigns. I needed to give her a moment in the spotlight. So I had the characters fall prisoner to a very powerful Yelmalion. One of the Orlanth in the Yelmalion's clan suggested to the Vingan that she challenge him to a duel. As they fought he kept getting weaker and weaker and she eventually was able to defeat him. After the fight, they found out that he had a geas to never harm a woman and a geas to never refuse a challenge from an Orlanthi. So being challenged by a Vingan was a no-win situation for him. The moment he scored a hit on her, Yelmalio started to abandon him. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/2/2019 at 8:48 AM, Joerg said:

The host in the case of Cu Chullain was a poor old widow, and the stew was the only food (ready to eat) in the house.

It was also, in my opinion, a trap for him.

In Glorantha, geases are seldom fatal, as it doesn't make for a good game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Bohemond said:

I recently had a newbie playing a Vingan in one of my campaigns. I needed to give her a moment in the spotlight. So I had the characters fall prisoner to a very powerful Yelmalion. One of the Orlanth in the Yelmalion's clan suggested to the Vingan that she challenge him to a duel. As they fought he kept getting weaker and weaker and she eventually was able to defeat him. After the fight, they found out that he had a geas to never harm a woman and a geas to never refuse a challenge from an Orlanthi. So being challenged by a Vingan was a no-win situation for him. The moment he scored a hit on her, Yelmalio started to abandon him. 

Blunt weapon attacks... or target her weapon.... He should have prepared himself for it. It's not like Vingans are a tribal/cult secret...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Bohemond said:

After the fight, they found out that he had a geas to never harm a woman and a geas to never refuse a challenge from an Orlanthi.

In that situation, I'd just start the duel and immediately submit. Honour is satisfied without breaking a geas.

Also, are you sure the geas wasn't "Never harm a woman needlessly"? In which case, all bets are off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Also, are you sure the geas wasn't "Never harm a woman needlessly"? In which case, all bets are off.

That's horses. A common mistake among the sunny-boys...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, soltakss said:

In that situation, I'd just start the duel and immediately submit. Honour is satisfied without breaking a geas.

Also, are you sure the geas wasn't "Never harm a woman needlessly"? In which case, all bets are off.

I could go more pedantic over the use of the word 'harm'... versus that of 'hurt'. With all the magics around for healing, I wouldn't consider a fight to first blood to be 'harmful'. Not only is honour satisfied, but the intent behind the challenge would be accepted, and no-one would feel slighted in any way (for two honourable groups of people).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

I could go more pedantic over the use of the word 'harm'... versus that of 'hurt'. With all the magics around for healing, I wouldn't consider a fight to first blood to be 'harmful'. Not only is honour satisfied, but the intent behind the challenge would be accepted, and no-one would feel slighted in any way (for two honourable groups of people).

I think the gods frown on rules-lawyering. If Yelmalio tells you to never harm a woman and you try to weasel your way around it, I think Yelmalio puts you in a world of hurt. He's pretty strict about those Truth-rune issues.

Like I said, I wanted to give the newbie a moment to really shine, because the player hadn't had one yet. And when I told the players afterwards what was going on, they loved it, especially the newbie, who's really into mythology. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bohemond said:

... they loved it, especially the newbie, who's really into mythology. 

Yeah; if they recognized that mytho-catch-22, then they realized they got to live the myth, right there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Bohemond said:

I think the gods frown on rules-lawyering. If Yelmalio tells you to never harm a woman and you try to weasel your way around it, I think Yelmalio puts you in a world of hurt. He's pretty strict about those Truth-rune issues.

For a Yelmalian, coming from a very patriarchal society, yes - I'd agree.

For an Orlanthi, who live in a fairly gender-balanced society, I think that "rules lawyering" would be appropriate. (not suggesting you're wrong with your example - just talking about geasa in general)

The irony though is that it would be very strictly abiding by the Truth Rune if rules-lawyering.... "Yelmalio, dude... if you meant 'don't hurt" then you should have said that!" 😛

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

For a Yelmalian, coming from a very patriarchal society, yes - I'd agree.

For an Orlanthi, who live in a fairly gender-balanced society, I think that "rules lawyering" would be appropriate. (not suggesting you're wrong with your example - just talking about geasa in general)

The irony though is that it would be very strictly abiding by the Truth Rune if rules-lawyering.... "Yelmalio, dude... if you meant 'don't hurt" then you should have said that!" 😛

Maybe this is covered by the celibacy vows? After all, consorting with females can result in birthing pains...

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Maybe this is covered by the celibacy vows? After all, consorting with females can result in birthing pains...

Now, that was hilarious!!! 😛

 

However, sticking with the seriousness of the discussion, why wouldn't that be a breaking of a geas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...