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can assistant shaman discorporate?

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So, if the assistant has to sac for the Rune Spell, then it also means they might only be travelling (for 15 minutes) perhaps once per season.... And limited to 5ks.

Is this what is wanted for an assistant to learn the paths of the spirit world?

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19 hours ago, Glorion said:

After a week? No. After a year of intensive training, an assistant shaman *may* be able to discorporate after days and days of fasting, meditation and prayer. Or may not be, might need another year or more of training (modeled by that POW+CHA roll).

But we're at the crux of the problem again... What's the roll to discorporate? (Without using drugs... Although, I imagine some traditions for use them regularly)

And, after they've done it once, are you suggesting they can keep using that same roll every other time?

It's unfortunate that the book makes it seem like it's automatic for the shaman - no roll involved. And that, in turn, makes it look like an ability (not a skill, and definitely not a spell)... Which must be gained somewhere somehow.

The POW+CHA is merely to convince the shaman, and not directly related to the actual training or practice (although high in both is really required for a good shaman).

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On 7/30/2020 at 11:35 PM, Glorion said:

The shaman joins any ol' spirit cult. and get Discorporate and nothing else.

An assistant shaman will likely join at least one spirit cult/cult of their teacher, if not more over time. As with all spirit cults, the assistant shaman will get access the to the other rune spells. If you want to run cult-less shaman in Glorantha, I am unsure they exist as power comes with building spirit cults. 

On 7/30/2020 at 11:35 PM, Glorion said:

Rune spells, rune points, picky picky, amounts to the same thing. You are just saying what I said with different wording.

Let's imagine that an assistant shaman has joined the spirit cult of Kolat for 1 POW, they then choose a rune spell, let's say the first is Discorporation 1pt. Kolat has another 4 spells, 2 are summon/dismiss elemental, one a control elemental, the other a 1pt special. So to use all at maximum thats 3+3+2+1+1 = 7 rune points, between 5 spells. The assistant shaman can keep buying Kola rune points, but there are no more spells. As Rune points pools are per cult, they can keep buying Kolat rune points up to their CHA. 

A Wind Child would be an initiate of Orlanth as well as a Kolat shaman. Your clearly using your own Glorantha, so we aren't using the same rules.

Edited by David Scott
removed accidental inclusion of "Expanded CHA"

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

An assistant shaman will likely join at least one spirit cult/cult of their teacher, if not more over time. As with all spirit cults, the assistant shaman will get access the to the other rune spells. If you want to run cult-less shaman in Glorantha, I am unsure they exist as power comes with building spirit cults. 

Let's imagine that an assistant shaman has joined the spirit cult of Kolat for 1 POW, they then choose a rune spell, let's say the first is Discorporation 1pt. Kolat has another 4 spells, 2 are summon/dismiss elemental, one a control elemental, the other a 1pt special. So to use all at maximum thats 3+3+2+1+1 = 7 rune points, between 5 spells. The assistant shaman can keep buying Kola rune points, but there are no more spells. As Rune points pools are per cult, they can keep buying Kolat rune points up to their Expanded CHA. 

A Wind Child would be an initiate of Orlanth as well as a Kolat shaman. Your clearly using your own Glorantha, so we aren't using the same rules.

But, apparently, no Extension, so that assistant shaman is limited to a mere 15 minutes of travel... After a 1 hour ritual. And  on p376, it talks about shamans getting 1 Spirit Travel roll, and one encounter with a spirit... After that 1D6 hours have passed...

Looks like Kolati apprentice shamans aren't going anywhere... 

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14 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

But we're at the crux of the problem again... What's the roll to discorporate? (Without using drugs... Although, I imagine some traditions for use them regularly)

And, after they've done it once, are you suggesting they can keep using that same roll every other time?

It's unfortunate that the book makes it seem like it's automatic for the shaman - no roll involved. And that, in turn, makes it look like an ability (not a skill, and definitely not a spell)... Which must be gained somewhere somehow.

The POW+CHA is merely to convince the shaman, and not directly related to the actual training or practice (although high in both is really required for a good shaman).

Either they can do it after a year's training and days of meditation or they can't. Their shaman will know. So the roll is the POW+CHA. If the apprentice can do it, then the shaman is convinced the apprentice is ready, if not not. The apprentice is not convincing the shaman, not seducing or orating or fast talking the shaman. Rather the shaman either thinks the apprentice is ready or isn't. This BTW fits perfectly with the actual wording in the RQG rules, without unnecessary doodads like runespells or Hazia or new Abilities to get in return for a taboo to annoy the players with. For a full shaman, yes it is automatic and should be. A shaman *is* someone who has a fetch, has an ongoing presence on the spirit plane, and therefore can send his soul there with no difficulty. If the apprentice succeeds in the POW+CHA roll, presumably she *will* become a full shaman, the ritual as written really can't fail, the question is how powerful is the shaman who comes out of it.

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15 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

So, if the assistant has to sac for the Rune Spell, then it also means they might only be travelling (for 15 minutes) perhaps once per season.... And limited to 5ks.

Is this what is wanted for an assistant to learn the paths of the spirit world?

And, of course, you can't go through the whole becoming a shaman ritual in 15 minutes, unless another rules crutch is invented to get around that.

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19 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

It's not the same thing at all. The vast majority of characters are going to end up with more RP than they have spells. I suppose you could rule that once you have filled your CHA limit of RP then you can't learn any more spells, but I wouldn't rule it that way. I'm not sure what a strict reading of the rules would imply, nor do I care.

That's not a "ruling," it says so in the rules quite clearly and unambiguously. If you want to remove that rule through your own house rule, I'd be the last to object, but it confuses matters when you don't say so. After your campaign has been going on for years, yes, people are probably going to sac for more rune points even though that doesn't get them any spells, if they have nothing better to use the spare POW for. Or just keep the POW, especially if they want to get up to POW 18 and stay there to be god talkers or whatever. Given that POW determines luck rolls, the most important characteristic roll applicable to almost everything, as well as resistance to magic, sac'ing for a rune spell and point is always a big decision. I have my players make luck rolls all the time, and they are usually more important than any other, for obvious reasons. My campaign has been going on for a year and none of the players are even near filling out their CHA.

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9 hours ago, David Scott said:

An assistant shaman will likely join at least one spirit cult/cult of their teacher, if not more over time. As with all spirit cults, the assistant shaman will get access the to the other rune spells. If you want to run cult-less shaman in Glorantha, I am unsure they exist as power comes with building spirit cults. 

Let's imagine that an assistant shaman has joined the spirit cult of Kolat for 1 POW, they then choose a rune spell, let's say the first is Discorporation 1pt. Kolat has another 4 spells, 2 are summon/dismiss elemental, one a control elemental, the other a 1pt special. So to use all at maximum thats 3+3+2+1+1 = 7 rune points, between 5 spells. The assistant shaman can keep buying Kola rune points, but there are no more spells. As Rune points pools are per cult, they can keep buying Kolat rune points up to their Expanded CHA. 

A Wind Child would be an initiate of Orlanth as well as a Kolat shaman. Your clearly using your own Glorantha, so we aren't using the same rules.

Once you attain shamanhood, then POW is easy to get and joining various spirit cults is a good move. An assistant shaman has to conserve POW to be able to meet the test, if she joins more than her original cult, besides that being expensive due to double tithing, that reduces her chance of passing the test. A Wind Child will be an initiate of Orlanth. She could certainly be an initiate of Kolat as well, but that costs an extra point of POW as well as the double tithing. If she wants to control and dismiss elementals, makes more sense at her level to just learn the spirit spells. I see nothing in the RQG rules or published materials that means you get two for the price of one. Kolat is a brother of Orlanth, not an aspect.

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9 hours ago, David Scott said:

An assistant shaman will likely join at least one spirit cult/cult of their teacher, if not more over time. As with all spirit cults, the assistant shaman will get access the to the other rune spells. If you want to run cult-less shaman in Glorantha, I am unsure they exist as power comes with building spirit cults. 

Let's imagine that an assistant shaman has joined the spirit cult of Kolat for 1 POW, they then choose a rune spell, let's say the first is Discorporation 1pt. Kolat has another 4 spells, 2 are summon/dismiss elemental, one a control elemental, the other a 1pt special. So to use all at maximum thats 3+3+2+1+1 = 7 rune points, between 5 spells. The assistant shaman can keep buying Kola rune points, but there are no more spells. As Rune points pools are per cult, they can keep buying Kolat rune points up to their Expanded CHA. 

A Wind Child would be an initiate of Orlanth as well as a Kolat shaman. Your clearly using your own Glorantha, so we aren't using the same rules.

Its shamans, not assistant shamans, who get expanded CHA. An assistant shaman who buys 7 rune points is very unlikely to pass the test the first year.

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I just want the Gods book so I can see how this works with Blue Moon shamans, Jakaboom shamans, Jakaleel (official Lunar) shamans, Loonies, and so forth

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3 hours ago, Glorion said:

That's not a "ruling," it says so in the rules quite clearly and unambiguously.

I think you two are talking about different things. The rules do state that you can keep sacrificing POW points to get Rune points even if you have learned all the spells... in which case you get a Rune point and no spell. What the rules don't say is what happens if your character has, say, CHA 8, but belongs to a cult that offers 12 Rune spells. Once you have filled up your limit (8 Rune points and 8 Rune spells), can you sacrifice a POW point to get a spell without getting a Rune point? (8 Rune points, 9 Rune spells)  That's up for debate, but it's also somewhat theoretical because not many characters would get in this position.

3 hours ago, Glorion said:

An assistant shaman has to conserve POW to be able to meet the test, if she joins more than her original cult, besides that being expensive due to double tithing, that reduces her chance of passing the test.

[...]

An assistant shaman who buys 7 rune points is very unlikely to pass the test the first year.

I'm not sure what you're arguing for, here? Yes, belonging to more than one cult is expensive, and yes spending your POW like crazy will reduce your chances. So... err, don't do that? Or maybe (if you started late on the shamanic path) it means you'll be an assistant for a couple more years than someone who starts at a young age? I really don't see a problem here.

The only problem I see is the duration one, where an assistant using the Discorporation Rune spell only gets to have fun for 15min unless they spend points in Extension, in addition to spending additional points for going farther than 5km. That's bound to make any field trip very expensive but hey, maybe that represents some in-world reality of shaman apprenticeship that I'm not aware of.

I'm a bit surprised by this, too:

On 7/30/2020 at 2:26 AM, David Scott said:

An Orlanthi assistant shaman would be a member of the Kolat spirit cult, and use the Air rune. However the Rune is not used in activating this ritual, meditation is, so is irrelevant anyway.

I interpreted the rules for Discorporation as requiring two rolls: one roll under any appropriate Rune to cast the spell, and one roll under Meditate as per the spell's description. Are you saying that the rules' text should be interpreted instead as the Meditate roll replacing the Rune roll?

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9 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I interpreted the rules for Discorporation as requiring two rolls: one roll under any appropriate Rune to cast the spell, and one roll under Meditate as per the spell's description.

Same here - nothing says that the standard rule shouldn’t be applied. This may or may not be intentional.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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Yeah. For me I'd just alter the rune spell to allow it to be extended and possibly to allow shamen to cast it on others. Specifically their apprentice. 

 

Easy fix 

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7 hours ago, Thaz said:

Yeah. For me I'd just alter the rune spell to allow it to be extended and possibly to allow shamen to cast it on others.

The spell can already be extended I think? It's just that you have to pay double: extra RPs for Extension (to last longer than 15min), but also extra RPs to go farther out into the Spirit World (more than 5km). So you only need to add the ability to cast it on others.... although it's only an "easy fix" if the shaman teaches their apprentices by only driving around on the empty parking lot, so to speak, and never heading out on the road. But it's also an "easy fix" to change the spell's duration, or add MP boosting to add duration or let you roll for how many minutes/hours you're discorporate, etc. Ultimately, house rules are easy to come up with... what's harder is making sure you don't break something else :) 

Edited by lordabdul

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my view : I just follow the rules (and add my imagination)

 

1) the apprentice learns first % of shaman abilities following the shaman's teaching. That is a kind of theoric lessons (like when you learn the road code before learning to drive a car)

2) then the apprentice raise her skills by experiencing the spirit world with hazia and other herbs / potions than of course her master knows.

3) when the apprentice is ready (herbs + lessons help her to learn how to discorporate  so "forge" your mind) she does the ritual to become a full shaman.

 

and that's all, no need to learn any rune spell or to join any cult. just convince a shaman to be her apprentice.

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18 hours ago, Thaz said:

Yeah. For me I'd just alter the rune spell to allow it to be extended and possibly to allow shamen to cast it on others. Specifically their apprentice. 

 

Easy fix 

Not all spirit cults, and thus all shamans, will have accepted to Extension.

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I just realized how much easier, and in some ways more sensible, this would all be if there was a Discorporation skill that replaced both the spell and the inherent shamanic ability. Shamans and assistans would then both roll this skill, it would be augmented through, for instance, drumming, it would receive bonuses from ritual and drug use, and so on. Others could potentially learn it, but Spirit World travel is not recommended if you don’t have a fetch.

(Or you could just rule that the otherwise extremely niche Spirit Dance skill is what does this.)

Edited by Akhôrahil

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On 8/2/2020 at 2:35 AM, Akhôrahil said:

Or you could just rule that the otherwise extremely niche Spirit Dance skill is what does this

That's actually an idea I really like -- at least after having thought about it for only 5 minutes :)  When I originally read the rules, I thought it would have been simpler that the "spirit evading" skill was simply Spirit Travel (the same way that to avoid trucks crossing the road while in a car chase you roll under your Driving skill)... which means Spirit Dance goes away, but could indeed be replaced with a skill that can handle both discorporating and reincorporating (if needed). Mmmhh.

The downside however is that anybody learning the skill can discorporate, which maybe removes some of the exclusivity of spirit travel.

Edited by lordabdul

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On 7/31/2020 at 3:00 PM, lordabdul said:

 

I'm not sure what you're arguing for, here? Yes, belonging to more than one cult is expensive, and yes spending your POW like crazy will reduce your chances. So... err, don't do that? Or maybe (if you started late on the shamanic path) it means you'll be an assistant for a couple more years than someone who starts at a young age? I really don't see a problem here.

The only problem I see is the duration one, where an assistant using the Discorporation Rune spell only gets to have fun for 15min unless they spend points in Extension, in addition to spending additional points for going farther than 5km. That's bound to make any field trip very expensive but hey, maybe that represents some in-world reality of shaman apprenticeship that I'm not aware of.

 

Being as it it very difficult for an assistant shaman even to adventure at all, should be spending 90% of time with the shaman, being an assistant for many years is problematic if intended as a PC not an NPC. What's more, a low powered shaman who manages to make the rolls is going to end up with a remarkably dimunitive and loseable fetch. In practical play, any PC assistant shaman is going to have to avoid sac'ing for rune points at all costs, seems to me. I see no reason to have to subject players to that, definitely not MGF, especially since the idea that to become a shaman you have to be a divine magician too doesn't feel right anyway. Or hey, maybe there's a sorcery spell that discorporates you, then the duration problem goes away... That the assistant shaman has to sacrifice some 3-4 points of POW just to get Extension for extended learning expeditions to the spirit plane is downright cruel. Much better just to assume that due to the apprentice bond, the shaman can take the assistant along on trips to the spirit plane for teaching purposes.

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4 hours ago, Glorion said:

Being as it it very difficult for an assistant shaman even to adventure at all, should be spending 90% of time with the shaman, being an assistant for many years is problematic if intended as a PC not an NPC.

Going on adventures for almost a week every season (6 days for 5 seasons) takes up pretty much 10% of the year, so you're still good there. It might not be enough if you play very long adventures, or if you play in "real time"... in which case you have to make the shaman NPC feature more prominently in a majority of adventures, so that "adventuring" does not equate "being away from the shaman". The entire idea of playing an assistant shaman without having said shaman feature prominently seems like missing the point to me anyway, even if you follow the "one adventure per season" structure, so I don't think it would be a problem for me.

4 hours ago, Glorion said:

In practical play, any PC assistant shaman is going to have to avoid sac'ing for rune points at all costs, seems to me.

Like I said before, yes, the short duration of the Rune spell is still a problem IMHO (and why I would prefer the shamanic ability route). I had misunderstood what you meant about sacrificing POW: it's necessary in order to get an RP pool big enough to spend multiple of them on Extension. So yes, I understand now, apologies.

4 hours ago, Glorion said:

the idea that to become a shaman you have to be a divine magician too doesn't feel right anyway

Rune magic isn't divine in RQG -- that's an RQ3 concept. In RQG, Rune magic can be handed down from spirit cults too, for instance. It's just that it's most commonly given by deities.

The way I understand it is:

  • Sorcery is manipulating the Runes directly yourself. As with many DIY endeavours, there's a steep learning curve... but once you're past it, you can do cool stuff not many others can. That's the one that should effectively be called Rune Magic :)  
  • Spirit Magic is putting something inside you that can cast the magic for you, so you don't have to it yourself. It's effectively Parasitic Magic or Gadget Magic.
  • Rune Magic is joining a commune where someone/something powerful has cast the magic ahead of time (in some cases... literally!), and lend it to you in return for benefits like worshipping. The community's centre could be a deity, or a powerful spirit, or even a hero maybe. It's effectively Communal Magic, or Spell Trading On Steroids.

 

Edited by lordabdul

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Going on adventures for almost a week every season (6 days for 5 seasons) takes up pretty much 10% of the year, so you're still good there. It might not be enough if you play very long adventures, or if you play in "real time"... in which case you have to make the shaman NPC feature more prominently in a majority of adventures, so that "adventuring" does not equate "being away from the shaman". The entire idea of playing an assistant shaman without having said shaman feature prominently seems like missing the point to me anyway, even if you follow the "one adventure per season" structure, so I don't think it would be a problem for me.

Like I said before, yes, the short duration of the Rune spell is still a problem IMHO (and why I would prefer the shamanic ability route). I had misunderstood what you meant about sacrificing POW: it's necessary in order to get an RP pool big enough to spend multiple of them on Extension. So yes, I understand now, apologies.

Rune magic isn't divine in RQG -- that's an RQ3 concept. In RQG, Rune magic can be handed down from spirit cults too, for instance. It's just that it's most commonly given by deities.

The way I understand it is:

  • Sorcery is manipulating the Runes directly yourself. As with many DIY endeavours, there's a steep learning curve... but once you're past it, you can do cool stuff not many others can. That's the one that should effectively be called Rune Magic :)  
  • Spirit Magic is putting something inside you that can cast the magic for you, so you don't have to it yourself. It's effectively Parasitic Magic or Gadget Magic.
  • Rune Magic is joining a commune where someone/something powerful has cast the magic ahead of time (in some cases... literally!), and lend it to you in return for benefits like worshipping. The community's centre could be a deity, or a powerful spirit, or even a hero maybe. It's effectively Communal Magic, or Spell Trading On Steroids.

 

Seems to me, an assistant shaman strong in the Spirit Rune who knows the right sorcery spell to Discorporate, and I refuse to believe that the Godlearners and/or the Lunars never created one, would have a huge advantage, by far the best way to go from assistant shaman to real shaman if you assume, as the RQG rules in the book *do not* assume, that you have to do something special to enable assistant shamans to discorporate for learning purposes. Ick.

The whole spirit of the rules as written is that it just isn't a problem, nothing to worry about. I've provided I think the best explanation for that. Inventing a new shamanic ability, which every shaman who plans to ever have an apprentice would *have* to take despite it being highly unimportant otherwise, is just making the life of the players more difficult, not MGF. And a PC shaman who refused to take it for powergaming reasons would lose a lot of respect from the community.

Yeah, there are spirit cults that have rune spells, but do any have Extension? Even forgetting how much of a drain on POW that would be, it may be simply impossible. And giving them Extension is the worst crutch of all, it really makes no sense for spirit cults to get Extension, except as a bad crutch to patch a hole in the rules in a way that makes no Gloranthan sense..

And no, a week adventuring is one sixth of a season not 10%, and few serious adventures take less than a week. Multiweek adventures are pretty common, I've run several. The way I get around that in our campaign with the trickster shaman I'm creating is that the shaman is sending the apprentice on a mission with the party, including contacting trickster spirits, and has arranged for some shamans in Prax where the party is headed to give him a bit of training. But he is going to get a whole lot less training than he would otherwise. Fortunately as rolled up he is almost qualified to take the test right away, but the new GM objects to the idea of instant shamanhood and sees no reason why said shaman would go off to Prax and abandon all other responsibilities just to train an apprentice, shamans do have more important things to do. And he is right.

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12 minutes ago, Glorion said:

Yeah, there are spirit cults that have rune spells, but do any have Extension?

There are two Spirit cults in the rulebook and both have Extension, so it’s hardly rare.

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On 8/2/2020 at 5:35 PM, Akhôrahil said:

I just realized how much easier, and in some ways more sensible, this would all be if there was a Discorporation skill

You know this has already been suggested a few times, right? Over the last few pages...

 

On 8/4/2020 at 5:49 AM, lordabdul said:

The downside however is that anybody learning the skill can discorporate, which maybe removes some of the exclusivity of spirit travel.

Yeah, that'd be an issue... Which could be overcome. Base % of 0 means you'd have to be taught by someone... Not a permanent fix, but given the dangers of such travelling anyway, and without the knowledge, or abilities (including fetch), very few are going to risk it, let alone survive for long.

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3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

There are two Spirit cults in the rulebook and both have Extension, so it’s hardly rare.

They both have Extension 1.... Yay, you can now discorporate for 1 hour... Which is still a lot less than a full shaman is usually spending (at least 1D6 hours)

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3 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

They both have Extension 1.... Yay, you can now discorporate for 1 hour... Which is still a lot less than a full shaman is usually spending (at least 1D6 hours)

There is no such thing as teaching ”Extension 1” in RQG. This has been confirmed as an error by the designers. They teach Extension.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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