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BlindPumpkin

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Just now, HreshtIronBorne said:

I really loved King of Dragon Pass myself... A single shrine to Humakt supplies your CLAN with Trueswords. Construct a Great Temple to Orlanth, Temples to Humakt, and Elmal and you have Advantage in almost every kind of battle. KoDP always gave me the impression that the community gets a TON of magic for building things for and sacrificing to the gods, as much as appeasing ancestors and all the rest of maintaining healthy Clan Magic. 

But it costs, upkeep on large temples can be quite onerous, could lead to rivalry, and attracts troublesome adventurers looking to get their careless companions resurrected. Also if you start paying more attention to deities that your ancestors didn't worship much, they will turn up and scold you for abandoning the old ways. A temple to Humakt particularly could hurt your clan's fertility. For the Colymar of Clearwine, for instance, the nearest Humakt temple is several days' travel away, and some say that is a good thing. At least it gets the grim and humourless buggers out of your hair for a few days around each holy day.

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2 hours ago, Crel said:

However, I do play My Glorantha as you've described; almost every person is a game-Initiate, with Rune points and magic powers. Most are of less adventures-relevant deities, like Barntar the Plow God or Uralda the Cow Goddess, but nearly everyone has a little Rune magic. I do this for a variety of reasons, one of which is so I can tell my players "don't go murder-hoboing into a tavern brawl if you don't want to deal with Orlanthi farmers chucking Lightning."

 

I tend to play at a much lower level but the image of farmer getting pissed off and tossing lightning around the greydog inn... It has appeal, I don't deny it. You just have to know that the local Eurmali, Brigpiece, would be around somewhere.

 

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However, one obvious counter to "I can't see farmers throwing lightning around" is that the Lunars have been battling to take over their lands for ages. Those Lunars, and all the aforementioned enemies, would make a requirement for having powerful magic in that type of world... 

You will be required to defend your stead! You are expected to be competent! Violence is always an option 

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3 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

However, one obvious counter to "I can't see farmers throwing lightning around" is that the Lunars have been battling to take over their lands for ages. Those Lunars, and all the aforementioned enemies, would make a requirement for having powerful magic in that type of world... 

You will be required to defend your stead! You are expected to be competent! Violence is always an option 

I don't think that argument justifies it, in my personal understanding of the setting. Lunar invasion of the lands has been a thing since the very first edition, and in the same edition you had explicit entries telling you the vast majority of people were lay members, and that the normal non-adventurer Initiate would probably have on or two points to spare for the season to use specifically on getting divine favors related to his craft. It explicitly states that the gods do not have the time nor the will to listen to every one of their followers, but only the most devoted get any kind of special atention. 

I'm not saying that every adult having rune magic ruins the game or anything, but that it establishes a very different tone to the setting. 

It's the difference between an adventurer ending a bar brawl by casting lightning and aweing those around him, by showing them their god favors him without a doubt; and the adventurer casting lightning and and everyone else in the brawl either ignoring it or doing the same. If the latter is more interestint to you, that's fine, but I think it's undeniable that it is a very different world than the one presented in previous editions.

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2 hours ago, BlindPumpkin said:

I don't think that argument justifies it, in my personal understanding of the setting. Lunar invasion of the lands has been a thing since the very first edition, and in the same edition you had explicit entries telling you the vast majority of people were lay members, and that the normal non-adventurer Initiate would probably have on or two points to spare for the season to use specifically on getting divine favors related to his craft. It explicitly states that the gods do not have the time nor the will to listen to every one of their followers, but only the most devoted get any kind of special atention. 

That's not the Glorantha I met. Everybody is initiated to some deity, usually Orlanth or Ernalda. But then, the big change is that - in RQ terms all of a sudden - both Orlanth and Ernalda have become bad-ass, rather than the agricultural providers of Cloud Call and Bless Crops.

RQG sort of inverted the dilemma of the RQ3 "Shrines provide Cloud Call" doctrine. Also, the common rune magic spells have really become common, in that you don't have to travel to the next temple to renew them.

2 hours ago, BlindPumpkin said:

I'm not saying that every adult having rune magic ruins the game or anything, but that it establishes a very different tone to the setting. 

Bless Crops has been the staple rune spell for farmers forever. And rune points invested in Bless Crops are bound up all summer long, which means they aren't available during Fire Season (campaign time). Nothing much has changed in that regard - you ritually cast that spell when you sow the grain (or whatever) on the freshly plowed field, and when you harvest, you can regain those rune points during the harvest festival. Herders have Bless Animals work similarly, but at a more opportune time - when the herds return from Summer pasture - and without duration. As a consequence, herders have more rune points available for combat, and they need them, too - because of cattle raids. But then, Barntar farmers are both plowmen and breeders of cattle, so they will have some personal magic left after the Bless Animal, and some reserve for Cloud Call.

The Rune Power concept now allows those essential rune points to be used for warfare, too.

2 hours ago, BlindPumpkin said:

It's the difference between an adventurer ending a bar brawl by casting lightning and aweing those around him, by showing them their god favors him without a doubt; and the adventurer casting lightning and and everyone else in the brawl either ignoring it or doing the same. If the latter is more interestint to you, that's fine, but I think it's undeniable that it is a very different world than the one presented in previous editions.

Bars with brawls are a city (or at least market town) thing only. You don't clobber your own clan mates in your drinking hall for fear of invoking kinstrife, even if you would enjoy that so much. Fortunately, no such restrictions exist for in-laws, other than hospitality rites. For the other stuff, divinely sanctioned competitions and duels are the outlet. Arm-wrestling can be quite rowdy and mean.

Bringing a gun or a lightning strike to a bar brawl is regarded as criminal intent anywhere anytime.

 

I have been wondering how Pelorians (who rely on agricultural magics just as much as do Heortlings) get their ritual spells or their regimental combat magic cast, but the wyter rules provide something of a mechanism to enable that without them needing to initiate to a specific deity - just entrust the wyter (or whatever the Pelorians call that community deity icon) to the holy person of that deity, and support your wyter as you have always done.

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13 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Bars with brawls are a city (or at least market town) thing only. You don't clobber your own clan mates in your drinking hall for fear of invoking kinstrife, even if you would enjoy that so much. Fortunately, no such restrictions exist for in-laws, other than hospitality rites. For the other stuff, divinely sanctioned competitions and duels are the outlet. Arm-wrestling can be quite rowdy and mean.

 

Oh fine take away the basis of one of my best speculations with fact and reality. I hope you enjoy you advanced game of Attorneys and Accountants (A A&A 1 ed. for short).

Phtttt!

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26 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Oh fine take away the basis of one of my best speculations with fact and reality. I hope you enjoy you advanced game of Attorneys and Accountants (A A&A 1 ed. for short).

Phtttt!

Yeah, sad face. How bad of me to ruin your game for now and all future, taking all the fun of massacring folk in bar brawls.

There are other legitimate ways to beat the shit out of people related to you that you don't like very much - e.g. invite them and their friends to a "friendly" game of stick ball, aka full contact golf, as suggested by Roderick Robertson on the digest 25 years ago.

Orlanthi laws are surprisingly full of holes when it comes to ritual activity. Not that the Lunar occupation laws agreed to that (the duel in Boldhome in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes), but who cares about that.

 

Attorneys and Accountants has been the theme of many a session around Orlanthi law suits.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

That's not the Glorantha I met. Everybody is initiated to some deity, usually Orlanth or Ernalda.

In RQII I remember a lot of NPCs, especially people like farmers and villagera, specifically having Lay Membership, and  most of the Initiates, which were indeed pretty common too, had either no spells or a couple points into very specific craft-relared spells. Of course a lot of the NPCs deviated from this, being powerful initiates with powerful magic, but those were usually rival adventurers and wandering warriors or important local figures, usually priest guards.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Also, the common rune magic spells have really become common, in that you don't have to travel to the next temple to renew them

 

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

As a consequence, herders have more rune points available for combat, 

 

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Rune Power concept now allows those essential rune points to be used for warfare, too.

That is a significant change from previous editions, where not every NPC was an initiate, and those who were had usually 1-2 points for rune spells related to their own crafts, which they would usually get from their priest.

Again, I'd like to reinterate that I'm not in any way saying that your interpretation is "wrong", just that it is very different from earlier editions, which seems obvious to me but a lot of people seem hesitant to say so. There seems to be a sort of defensive "it's always been like this" stance, which I noticed when looking up topics with similar discussions.

Either way I think that until we get an official answer to this, in the form of NPC creation rules (or even after this, since we can just ignore those rules too) we can all just play our prefered version of Glorantha, especially since it's very easy to convert older modules to this new edition  -which aside from this oddity we're currently discussin has impressed me a lot- so it's not like this is a problem with the system in any way.

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25 minutes ago, BlindPumpkin said:

Again, I'd like to reinterate that I'm not in any way saying that your interpretation is "wrong", just that it is very different from earlier editions, which seems obvious to me but a lot of people seem hesitant to say so. There seems to be a sort of defensive "it's always been like this" stance, which I noticed when looking up topics with similar discussions.

 

Nope said that when I looked at the the pre gens when running demos for free gaming day back in may/june of '17 a year before the core rules were released. Called them near "super-heroes" which is a gloranthan thing from wb&rm. I got tired of getting on a soapbox and I am sure I tired out a few listeners so I put that pet peeve away and play my solultion happily, my players dig it I dig it.

 I run with only three players in Classic RQ and RQ 3 modules so with half sized parties full of  super powered godlings—works out just about right. I can't wait to send them to apple lane.. They are new to the game and have come from d&d and a c&s campaign me and the other players played in, The third player also from the campaign is a rap artist here abouts and plays rifts games these days.. (I was tom the enchanter the first player mentioned was a were bear and the rapper was a knight from the indian sub-continent in the c&s game). Now they are a small merchant stead (hearth really)  of only 14 bodies on the edge of the division hills in torkani tribal lands. So over powered beings with numerically superior but under powered foes in a very, very small but old stead a well allied stead with a great old bloodline.We'l see... what could go wrong go wrong go wrong tik tik tik...

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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Sorry about another deep plunge into grognardia. With almost the entirety of RQ2 material available again (lacking only the reprint and pdf of RQ2 Trollpak) as RQ Classic, this is relevant for both official lines published by Chaosium.

1 hour ago, BlindPumpkin said:

In RQII I remember a lot of NPCs, especially people like farmers and villagera, specifically having Lay Membership, and  most of the Initiates, which were indeed pretty common too, had either no spells or a couple points into very specific craft-relared spells. Of course a lot of the NPCs deviated from this, being powerful initiates with powerful magic, but those were usually rival adventurers and wandering warriors or important local figures, usually priest guards.

RQ 2 provided Sartarite NPCs for Apple Lane and for Snake Pipe Hollow, plus exiles long away from their communities in Balazar and on the River of Cradles.

While I started roleplaying just before Chaosium stopped selling their own RuneQuest material, I didn't manage to get my hands on RuneQuest before 1989, and then it was the Games Workshop edition of RuneQuest. I was aware of the game since 1985, when there was a German book by multiple authors presenting a number of game systems, RuneQuest among them. That didn't affect its availability in German shops, though.

Yes, the firmly assigned rune spells were "overthrown" only with the rune power proposal by David Cheng, around 1994 or so, and the RQG rules for rune power are pretty close to my variant of that suggestion.

That led to my proposal of pantheon initiation (also around 25 years ago), which I would nowadays amend to "initiation to your wyter".

 

1 hour ago, BlindPumpkin said:

That is a significant change from previous editions, where not every NPC was an initiate, and those who were had usually 1-2 points for rune spells related to their own crafts, which they would usually get from their priest.

Since rune spell re-usability was zero for initiates (and apparently POW gain was way more reliable than in my games), these stats reflected initiates with their annual farming rune spells already cast.

RQ2 did use cult membership as an identifier, so you are right, "lay member of..." indicated non-initiates. But then, all the cults that were published were mainly martial, healers, or otherwise potentially adventurous. The first mention of Barntar was in the last part of the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha series, and where to find them was mentioned in the Holy Country overview in RuneQuest Companion.

 

1 hour ago, BlindPumpkin said:

Again, I'd like to reinterate that I'm not in any way saying that your interpretation is "wrong", just that it is very different from earlier editions, which seems obvious to me but a lot of people seem hesitant to say so.

My answer to that is that is that while there were a few scenarios set in Sartar, there never was much published information on Sartar in the RQ2 era books. Apple Lane is the only RQ2 publication located in Sartar proper, and it is one of the least typical places in rural Sartar. Where is the Uleria temple in Clearwine, or the outlandish iron worker?

Snake Pipe Hollow may start in northern Sartar, but is located in a chaos den. The Sazdorf ruins are located in the no mans lands on the Praxian border. The best coverage of Sartar in RuneQuest terms was in the Pavis Box.

RQ3 did little to amend this. The main additional info on Sartar were the Staves of the Storm Priest and the What My Father Told Me Varmandi stuff.

All of the previous editions of Chaosium-written RQ had their main focus on Prax and the Zola Fel Valley. Balazaring hunters got a better coverage than Sartarite farmers, and they had no story line in Griffin Mountain.

So what are these earlier sources that have Sartarite farmers presented as lay members?

 

Looking at the Adventure Book, we get the tenants of the Thane of Apple Lane presented on p.87. Yeah, there are two cultic affiliations mentioned, for tenant family 2, the scribes who left the service of the Jonstown library - lay members of Lhankor Mhy. Notable abilities: decent scores in Read/Write Theyalan. One thing leads to the other. Other than the fifth tenant, Kalla, all the tenants are Orlanthi.

Do these farmers use Bless Crops, or is it up to the Thane or one of his followers to provide them with this magic? Interesting question, really. At least Kalla wouldn't have a good reason to have access to the Bless Crops spell. Each of the families has about an acre of tilled lands to provide them with something other than a cash crop. All of that put together would probably be covered by a point or two of Bless Crops.

But then, these tenants are explicitely working the orchards, not plowing or anything. This is far outside of the normal primary production of Orlanthi farmers.

Each of the families has about an acre of tilled lands to provide them with something other than a cash crop. All of that put together would probably be covered by a point or two of Bless Crops.

1 hour ago, BlindPumpkin said:

There seems to be a sort of defensive "it's always been like this" stance, which I noticed when looking up topics with similar discussions.

This rather aggressive dissatisfaction of mine with the coverage of Sartar in previous Chaosium RuneQuest publications hasn't changed much in the last 25 years (and that was after I got my hands on the RQ2 era products alongside the RQ3 stuff, indexing and fine-combing them for obscure details).

For all its miserable history of producing translations of RQ3 material into German, there have been two authorized (though of course not exactly canonical) publications for RuneQuest 3 set in Sartar in German language which (to my knowledge) were the most detail available in print for RuneQuest in Sartar until the publication of the RQG Adventures book. (Some of the authors of those are part of Jeff's gaming group in Berlin...)

King of Sartar was our first source to tell us about the Orlanthi beyond what the Pavis Box, Genertela Box and the scenarios provided. It is the source of terms like "the Orlanthi All" (six out of seven), the prevalence of initiation, the term "wyter" and numerous other things we take for granted nowadays. It also brought us Elmal and Vinga. Nothing of that was present in the earlier sources. But King of Sartar wasn't a RuneQuest product. Any consequences drawn from King of Sartar and applied to RuneQuest were the work of fans, and never made official. (Including the RQ4-AiG playtest draft.)

Hero Wars and HeroQuest 2/Glorantha have expanded vastly on the Gloranthan information for Sartar, and the coverage it has in HQG is fairly good, if limited to two hotspots (Orlmarth and Red Cow clans). Again, none of that is for RuneQuest. (HeroQuest 1 continued the Sartar Rising campaign started for Hero Wars, but didn't complete it, so we only got to the maiden voyage of the boat planet and never to the dragonrise or the battle of Dangerford.)

 

The value of lay membership in the cults was not really made clear in RQ3. Cults and their importance were measured in number of initiates only, not in number of worshipers.

RQ2 didn't have the meta-rules for temple size, agriculture etc. that the RQ3 GM book (either book 2 in the De Luxe set or the main book of the Advanced RQ box, or the GW Avanced RQ book) provided.

Even RQG continues along those lines when it comes to temple defenses, only counting initiates to determine the amount of rune magic available for temple defenses.

I used to interprete these meta-rules for temple size and magical power thereof along the lines that the initiation (the sacrifice of POW) creates the individual's presence in the realm of the deity the worship magic goes to, making the obligatory (and additional individual) sacrifice of personal magic (MP) of an initiate way more effective than those of mere lay members. That's why I advocated pantheon initiation for Orlanthi, based on the examples of Yelm the Youth and Aldrya's Children of the Forest, and the use and presence of the (clan and/or temple) wyter in the worship services to the deity.

I would still argue for an initiatory POW sacrifice to the primary wyter(s) of the community (usually clan or urban guild, but also city god, regimental or war band wyter, rather rarely tribal wyter unless that doubles as tribal warband wyter) in order to make lay members as magically effective as initiates. The RQG rules thankfully measure temple sizes in the sum of lay members and initiates, a significant difference from RQ3, so maybe that workaround isn't required any more, but then I would see the donation of POW to the community wyter as the initiation equivalent.

1 hour ago, BlindPumpkin said:

Either way I think that until we get an official answer to this, in the form of NPC creation rules (or even after this, since we can just ignore those rules too) we can all just play our prefered version of Glorantha, especially since it's very easy to convert older modules to this new edition  -which aside from this oddity we're currently discussin has impressed me a lot- so it's not like this is a problem with the system in any way.

RuneQuest is marketed as the system where monsters and NPCs develop just like the PCs do, which is why we are having this discussion at all.

The previous experience for player characters and their access to reusable magic seems to be worrying you when it comes to NPCs.

The rune spells in RQG include a few rune point traps that block rune points from being regained - Bless Pregnancy, Safe and Create Market are primary examples of this. Rune Points used in Spell Trading are another such case.

 

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4 hours ago, BlindPumpkin said:

In RQII I remember a lot of NPCs, especially people like farmers and villagera, specifically having Lay Membership, and  most of the Initiates, which were indeed pretty common too, had either no spells or a couple points into very specific craft-relared spells. Of course a lot of the NPCs deviated from this, being powerful initiates with powerful magic, but those were usually rival adventurers and wandering warriors or important local figures, usually priest guards.

 

 

That is a significant change from previous editions, where not every NPC was an initiate, and those who were had usually 1-2 points for rune spells related to their own crafts, which they would usually get from their priest.

Again, I'd like to reinterate that I'm not in any way saying that your interpretation is "wrong", just that it is very different from earlier editions, which seems obvious to me but a lot of people seem hesitant to say so. There seems to be a sort of defensive "it's always been like this" stance, which I noticed when looking up topics with similar discussions.

Either way I think that until we get an official answer to this, in the form of NPC creation rules (or even after this, since we can just ignore those rules too) we can all just play our prefered version of Glorantha, especially since it's very easy to convert older modules to this new edition  -which aside from this oddity we're currently discussin has impressed me a lot- so it's not like this is a problem with the system in any way.

I was wondering about this question too in a few threads. Here's the official answer:

So when I bought the Adventure pack I was quite surprised to see that all of the militia, ie. most of the men were Initiates who could cast Thunderbolt.  In conclusion: Glorantha is a land of contrasts.

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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

The rune spells in RQG include a few rune point traps that block rune points from being regained - Bless Pregnancy, Safe and Create Market are primary examples of this. Rune Points used in Spell Trading are another such case.

The RAW for RQ:G suggest that spells used in spell trading can be regained normally as soon as they are traded. They effectively cast the spell into the traded token.

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1 hour ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

The RAW for RQ:G suggest that spells used in spell trading can be regained normally as soon as they are traded. They effectively cast the spell into the traded token.

It can be read that way, I agree, and I thought that for a while, but I'm fairly sure that's not how it should work. This has been discussed before.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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On 5/24/2019 at 3:33 PM, BlindPumpkin said:

This exact scenario is something that I think harms my interest in this new Glorantha, if that's the "canon" new interpretation of general rune magic and cult initiation. I always thought of Sartar as hard to tame because of the same reason Cimmeria is hard to tame; barbarian clans used to skirmishing all the time getting together will be a hellish fighting force. It never sounded to me that it was because Sartarite farmers could fly and cast lightning.

I think your understanding is the "canon" version (based on the text found and quoted by @Brootse above; thanks for finding the discussion I half-remembered). The book's explanation is poorly done. I've chosen to go with the more direct reading of the book's text (where "initated into X" means "I'm a game-Initiate and have Rune points") because I find it more fun to play that super magic-prevalent game. I believe canon is "initiated into X" means "lay member of X" unless otherwise specified.

On 5/24/2019 at 3:40 PM, PhilHibbs said:

I don't think many farmers will have Lightning. They will have Barntar magic, I think Barntar is an Orlanth subcult now, rather than Adventurous, although it's listed as an Associate Cult in the Orlanth writeup so I might be wrong. I think the distinction between a separate cult and a subcult is fairly shady in some cases.

I agree with you; my point (when directed toward my players) is that it's possible. This is also an element of my actual gameplay milieu, where my players tend to find playing the "Oh I'm a clan guy doing clan stuff" boring, and playing as classic murder-hobo-thugs more interesting. Together we find a blend of the two. So what I emphasize to my players isn't "Everyone knows Lightning in Sartar," but rather "You don't know who knows Lightning in that tavern." Might be no one, might be half the room--I'm sure that in the last twenty years of Gloranthan history, the number of Orlanthi learning Lightning instead of Bless Crops has increased due to the Lunar invasion (although you'd really rather have both).

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17 hours ago, Crel said:

Might be no one, might be half the room--I'm sure that in the last twenty years of Gloranthan history, the number of Orlanthi learning Lightning instead of Bless Crops has increased due to the Lunar invasion (although you'd really rather have both).

Also, Lightning is a great way to scare off predators if you're a herder. It's pretty much an instant "problem solved" spell even if there's a dozen large wolves coming at you. BANG, and the wolves are gone! Worth having even in the old days of one-use spells.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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5 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Also, Lightning is a great way to scare off predators if you're a herder. It's pretty much an instant "problem solved" spell even if there's a dozen large wolves coming at you. BANG, and the wolves are gone! Worth having even in the old days of one-use spells.

Zounds and gadzooks. missed that one but it does make sense snd might be worth a third of ones RP pool (assuming our standard beginner or a grizzled old herder). A trip to the temple for more than RP might be in order, expeditiously!

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5 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Also, Lightning is a great way to scare off predators if you're a herder. It's pretty much an instant "problem solved" spell even if there's a dozen large wolves coming at you. BANG, and the wolves are gone! Worth having even in the old days of one-use spells.

That is exactly what happened in the last session I ran, on Sunday evening. In this case the wolves were chasing a person rather than the herds. But having one wolf zapped right in the head by a lightning bolt and the next one speared discouraged the whole pack very decisively. 😀

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Wolves are smart.

If a pack-member dies and the pack hasn't even really closed with their prey, they are gonna re-classify whatever they were hunting as "not-prey" right away. 

Unless exceptional (starving & desperate, unlikely to survive without a kill) circumstances apply.

 

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