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PhilHibbs

Breaking a geas

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Regardless of the runes that a god is associated with, every god would expect their worshippers not to lie to them. Given the description of how the gods get information (forgetting about any specific mechanism for geases for the moment) the god has no way to know if a worshipper lies to them in a prayer, so I expect there to be pretty stern instructions to never lie to god, and appropriately cataclysmic penalties if you do it and get caught.

So a god does not need to be "The God of Truth" or even "A God of Truth", and they don't need to be explicitly linked to the truth rune to expect truth from their worshippers.

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53 minutes ago, Imryn said:

There will only be one "god of truth" in the pantheon. There may be others who honour and respect truth, but only one paramount god of truth. If there were more than one god of anything, there would be conflict between the gods which would be reflected amongst their followers. Comparing who worships Lhankor Mhy and who worships Humakt I think Lhankor Mhy would have no worshippers left by now.

There is no "god of truth" in the Orlanthi pantheon. There is no "god of hunting" either, Odayla and Yinkin are both hunting gods, or "gods of hunting" if you prefer, although that makes it sound absolute and excusive in the way that you are assuming. There's a certain amount of rivalry and conflict between the two, and some clans will favour one over the other, but they aren't out to wipe each other out. Humakt and Lhankor Mhy are both Truth gods. Humakt is the "owner" of the Death rune, he's the paramout exemplar of Death in the Heortling mythology, some say he IS Death. But he isn't the only Death god, and his worshipers are not all out to kill all other Death God cultists.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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8 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

There is no "god of truth" in the Orlanthi pantheon. There is no "god of hunting" either, Odayla and Yinkin are both hunting gods, or "gods of hunting" if you prefer, although that makes it sound absolute and excusive in the way that you are assuming. There's a certain amount of rivalry and conflict between the two, and some clans will favour one over the other, but they aren't out to wipe each other out. Humakt and Lhankor Mhy are both Truth gods. Humakt is the "owner" of the Death rune, he's the paramout exemplar of Death in the Heortling mythology, some say he IS Death. But he isn't the only Death god, and his worshipers are not all out to kill all other Death God cultists.

According to GTG V1 there is a god of truth. Neither Odayla nor Yinkin is described as "The God of Hunting" anywhere that I can see (or even as "A God of Hunting"), neither is claimed to be paramount. Humakt is the only death god in the lightbringer pantheon - he is "The God of Death" for those who worship any of the Lightbringers pantheon.

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All of this is interesting, but tbh its all a bit beside the point in my opinion. I think we would all be happy to accept that the Gods know everything about their worshippers and everything about their primary spheres of interest, if it wasn't for that pesky bit of text in the divination rune spell.

@Jeff I gotta ask. What were you guys thinking when you decided to limit the power of divination by NERFING THE GODS! You must have realised that it would spill over into every other interaction between the world and the gods. Surely there was a better way to limit the power of divination?

Right off the top of my head I can think of one: The Gods exist outside time and have no concept of how to exist in a linear fashion. Any vision granted by divination has no indication of when it is happen(ing / ed) and sequences will be disjointed and may jump from the past, to the future, to the present at complete random.

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On ‎6‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 9:35 AM, Imryn said:

Even if the player did make an oath it wouldn't work in the same way as the oath rune spell. That spell works the way it does because the people that swear the oath donate power to fuel it.

I can't help feeling that you're just making things up here to support your argument. You don't know how an oath works, so how can you say it doesn't work the same way as the spell?

The worshipper donates power at the moment they become an initiate, which would be enough to power an oath. And even if that weren't the case, gods tend to be pretty powerful themselves.

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3 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

In true tragic fashion a broken geas would not have to be known. *not even aware* to bring down grief on our hapless hero or heroine, Now Phil is making some great points about keeping ones friends versus keeping canon with the rules...vary to taste!

Cheers

We've been over this earlier in the thread... but, being knocked unconscious and tied to a horse shouldn't be a breach of geas... and, Humakt should certainly not know about it as it happens, when the Humakti themselves isn't (and isn't in a position to do anything about it)

Other PCs who decide to do such a thing might be pushing the limits of friendship... but if it comes from a battle, and your enemies have taken you hostage.

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25 minutes ago, Imryn said:

All of this is interesting, but tbh its all a bit beside the point in my opinion. I think we would all be happy to accept that the Gods know everything about their worshippers and everything about their primary spheres of interest, if it wasn't for that pesky bit of text in the divination rune spell.

@Jeff I gotta ask. What were you guys thinking when you decided to limit the power of divination by NERFING THE GODS! You must have realised that it would spill over into every other interaction between the world and the gods. Surely there was a better way to limit the power of divination?

Right off the top of my head I can think of one: The Gods exist outside time and have no concept of how to exist in a linear fashion. Any vision granted by divination has no indication of when it is happen(ing / ed) and sequences will be disjointed and may jump from the past, to the future, to the present at complete random.

What's this "nerfing" you're talking about? Gloranthan deities have never been omniscient. Also, those that are still around, are around in God Time and their actions are constantly mirrored on the Hero Plane. They most definitely can not act of their own accord on the material plane, and as you've pointed out, don't really know what's going on down here except when specifically called upon to act here (and, even then, I'd question how much they know about what's happening when they do come!)

Divination? Almost laughable as a spell... which makes sense - the Gods know sod all about what's happening here.. that's part of the Great Compromise!

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26 minutes ago, Sumath said:

I can't help feeling that you're just making things up here to support your argument. You don't know how an oath works, so how can you say it doesn't work the same way as the spell?

The worshipper donates power at the moment they become an initiate, which would be enough to power an oath. And even if that weren't the case, gods tend to be pretty powerful themselves.

Oath
2 Points
Ritual, Permanent (see below), Stackable
The Oath spell binds two (or more) people into a pact. Anyone that breaks the oath receives an attack of Sever Spirit (see page 338) with magic points equal to the total magic
points placed into the Oath spell to start it. The greater the Oath sworn, the more magic points are committed to the swearing. For example, if two Humakti each placed 15 magic
points into an Oath Rune spell and one later broke the oath, 30 magic points would be matched vs. the oathbreaker’s POW. If overcome, the oathbreaker will die.
Each additional Rune point added to the Oath allows an additional participant. The participants need not be Humakti—the spell can be cast by a third cult member.

An Oath rune spell is fuelled by magic points donated by both people who enter into the pact. A worshipper sacrifices POW when he becomes and initiate so any oath sworn at that point does not work the same as an Oath rune spell. To be clear, the donated POW could be used to power some other type of oath, but it would not necessarily work the same way as an Oath rune spell.

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2 minutes ago, Imryn said:

To be clear, the donated POW could be used to power some other type of oath, but it would not necessarily work the same way as an Oath rune spell.

And it would not necessarily work completely differently either - the point is that the POW that the initiate sacrifices would be enough to let the god know as soon as the geas/oath was broken.

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19 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

What's this "nerfing" you're talking about? Gloranthan deities have never been omniscient. Also, those that are still around, are around in God Time and their actions are constantly mirrored on the Hero Plane. They most definitely can not act of their own accord on the material plane, and as you've pointed out, don't really know what's going on down here except when specifically called upon to act here (and, even then, I'd question how much they know about what's happening when they do come!)

Divination? Almost laughable as a spell... which makes sense - the Gods know sod all about what's happening here.. that's part of the Great Compromise!

That's not how @Jeff wants us to think it works when a geas is broken

On 6/13/2019 at 9:40 AM, Jeff said:

Characters take geases on their own free will - you aren't FORCED to join the cult of Humakt. But if you do, you swear a powerful oath to the god - a geas - and get a gift from the god. All done voluntarily. Humakt (or whatever god you swore by) KNOWS when you broken the oath. And when you present it that way to the players, they tend to be far less rules-lawyering about it. "Sure you might not think that violates the geas, but ultimately Humakt decides whether or not you broke it, and there's no appeal from the God of Endings." You'd be amazed how concerned players get about not violating the oath when it is put that way!

I'm attempting to get some clarity that reconciles the version of what a god can know from the description of the divination spell and this view

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1 minute ago, Sumath said:

And it would not necessarily work completely differently either - the point is that the POW that the initiate sacrifices would be enough to let the god know as soon as the geas/oath was broken.

Would it? I don't know, that's why i'm asking. And if it can give the god full details of a geas breaking why is the gods knowledge of the worshippers actions so limited outside of breaking a geas?

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1 minute ago, Imryn said:

And if it can give the god full details of a geas breaking why is the gods knowledge of the worshippers actions so limited outside of breaking a geas?

Because that's what Gloranthan gods are: limited.

The geas is a specific oath between god and worshipper. If the worshipper breaks the oath, the god will know. But the geas does not give the god any other information about the worshipper. Why would it?

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Just now, Sumath said:

Because that's what Gloranthan gods are: limited.

The geas is a specific oath between god and worshipper. If the worshipper breaks the oath, the god will know. But the geas does not give the god any other information about the worshipper. Why would it?

Why wouldn't it? If it can give the god perfect insight into the act of breaking a geas; circumstances, motivations, other peoples actions etc, then why is the god limited to just what he is told at all other times?

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Just now, Imryn said:

Why wouldn't it? If it can give the god perfect insight into the act of breaking a geas; circumstances, motivations, other peoples actions etc, then why is the god limited to just what he is told at all other times?

If you and I enter into a bet - say, about whether a team will score a goal at the weekend or not - the only things that are relevant to that bet are the circumstances surrounding that football match, and each others ability to meet the terms of the bet. My favourite colour, your brother-in-law's middle name, the type of cat your sister owns and your preferred options on the local Chinese takeaway menu are all irrelevant.

In much the same way, an oath will provide all the information to the god that is needed to police that oath, nothing more and nothing less.

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1 minute ago, Sumath said:

If you and I enter into a bet - say, about whether a team will score a goal at the weekend or not - the only things that are relevant to that bet are the circumstances surrounding that football match, and each others ability to meet the terms of the bet. My favourite colour, your brother-in-law's middle name, the type of cat your sister owns and your preferred options on the local Chinese takeaway menu are all irrelevant.

In much the same way, an oath will provide all the information to the god that is needed to police that oath, nothing more and nothing less.

Your analogy is terrible, but I think you are saying that the oath is specific to the geas(es) the worshipper has taken on. OK.

Why do worshippers of gods who don't get geases have to swear oaths and donate POW?

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As Jeff said further up the thread, a geas is just a very powerful oath.

Initiates will swear generic oaths to their god - to observe holy days etc. If they stop doing these things then the god is going to know about that through the connection made by the initial POW sacrifice.

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5 minutes ago, Sumath said:

As Jeff said further up the thread, a geas is just a very powerful oath.

Initiates will swear generic oaths to their god - to observe holy days etc. If they stop doing these things then the god is going to know about that through the connection made by the initial POW sacrifice.

OK, but for the same expenditure of POW an oath can be created that does all of that and also gives the specific insight into the breaking of a geas.

So why are gods limited to only knowing what their worshippers tell them?

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5 minutes ago, Imryn said:

So why are gods limited to only knowing what their worshippers tell them?

Because beyond their initiates' cult duties and the restrictions of a geas, the god has no way of knowing any more. If they were able to freely intervene in the world then they might be able to. But they have shut themselves off from mortality and free will as part of the Great Compromise.

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24 minutes ago, Sumath said:

Because beyond their initiates' cult duties and the restrictions of a geas, the god has no way of knowing any more. If they were able to freely intervene in the world then they might be able to. But they have shut themselves off from mortality and free will as part of the Great Compromise.

You miss my point. The initiates oaths can provide the gods more information as evidenced by geases. Why don't they?

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40 minutes ago, Imryn said:

You miss my point. The initiates oaths can provide the gods more information as evidenced by geases. Why don't they?

I don't understand what you are asking.

If an initiate swears an oath as part of a magical ritual (Oath spell, initiation, taking on a geas, etc.) I think the god does know if they break it. If they just swear an oath with no ritual or ceremony, then the god won't know as the "way to the otherworld" has not been opened, a magical connection from the middle world to the gods world has not been established.

Can you give an example of what you are thinking the contradiction is? I'm not saying there isn't a contradiction, Glorantha is full of them.

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On 6/12/2019 at 5:11 PM, PhilHibbs said:

One potential gotcha to watch out for - if someone casts Befuddle on an enemy, and the Humakti with Never Ambush doesn't realize it and hits 'em, boom. Is that too harsh?

Reminds me of the Candid-Camera-style TV Show, where a Traffic Warden flagged someone down in a Red Route and then gave him a ticket just because he stopped ...

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On 6/13/2019 at 8:32 AM, Imryn said:

Sorry, you are both wrong. Humakt is the god of death and war - he just happens to be pretty keen about truth as well but doesn't have a portfolio for that (just had a marvel moment: "you are not the god of hammers")

Styx is the Goddess of Oaths, the Garrote of the Gods. Compared to her, Humakt's Oaths are just hard promises.

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7 hours ago, Jeff said:

I don't think that the secrets of Illumination are needed for players and gamemasters to understand geases. Let's deal with that when you have an Illuminated player character.

A lot of us already do.

Not all PCs are rolled up RQG ones, many are converted RQ2/3 PCs who are already Illuminated.

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4 hours ago, Imryn said:

There will only be one "god of truth" in the pantheon. There may be others who honour and respect truth, but only one paramount god of truth. If there were more than one god of anything, there would be conflict between the gods which would be reflected amongst their followers. Comparing who worships Lhankor Mhy and who worships Humakt I think Lhankor Mhy would have no worshippers left by now.

The Yelmic Pantheon has several gods of truth/knowledge, for example.

It's like saying that every pantheon only has one healing deity or only one war deity, clearly not the case.

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1 hour ago, Imryn said:

The initiates oaths can provide the gods more information as evidenced by geases. Why don't they?

The oath can only provide more information if it's relevant to the geas. If it's not, then it can't. That is the nature of the oath - it is specific and all the more powerful because of it.

There is an implied limited intelligence behind most Gloranthan (and indeed, TTRPG) magic. Just look at the spells in the RQG book or the 5E players handbook - many of them arguably require preternatural knowledge about the world in order to function.

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