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Beoferret

Shrinking the Upland Marsh?

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8 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Oh mein gotts, are you suggesting:

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Trump vs Delecti in 2020!

No that was 2016... 🙂

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2 hours ago, EricW said:

I suspect defeating Delecti would be as difficult as getting rid of Ralzakark or the Red Emperor. 

Delecti has withstood centuries of attacks by Humakt heroes and others. His swamp was created very rapidly using god learner like skills to twist local myths. His swamp was designed to protect Delecti from multiple dragons.

Is your PC someone who could take on a horde of dragons and survive? Delecti did.

I’m sure Delecti is fine with heroes reclaiming a few yards of swamp. It just encourages them to be more ambitious, return with more followers.

I got the impression that the Dragons left Delecti alone on a technicality: he was already dead.

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8 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I got the impression that the Dragons left Delecti alone on a technicality: he was already dead.

It's a theory, nobody knows for sure

"Hey why are you eating us and not Delecti? That's not fair, why don't you AAAAAAARRRGGHHH!"

I think it's too simple an explanation, dragons aren't mechanstic algorithms. Now if it was the Mostalikill War instead of the Dragonkill...

Edited by PhilHibbs

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On 6/20/2019 at 5:09 AM, EricW said:

Delecti has withstood centuries of attacks by Humakt heroes and others.

Therein lies the problem... when you only come at him and his with only 1 type of magic at a time, he'll easily defeat you. Especially with sorcery the way it is now with its associations with Runes. A simple Neutralize (Death) Rune would stop most Humakti magic in one go! There's probably something similar to this for dragons - Neutralize Dragon Magic.

He's using God Learner magics, meaning multiple options at any one time.

Heroes need to be multi-faceted... none of this hammer/nail thing.

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4 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

A simple Neutralize (Death) Rune would stop most Humakti magic in one go!

It stops rune magic affecting a person or object protected by the spell. The only Humakti magic it will affect is Sever Spirit and turn Undead. Needs Intensity vs POW to overcome.

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4 hours ago, David Scott said:

It stops rune magic affecting a person or object protected by the spell. The only Humakti magic it will affect is Sever Spirit and turn Undead. Needs Intensity vs POW to overcome.

We're getting into RuneQuest mechanics here, but if cast on a Protective Circle it would have a chance of removing any Sword Trance or Truesword spells that came in. In HeroQuest, I have no idea how similar magic might work.

*Edit* I'm not entirely sure if this is supposed to be how Protective Circle interacts with Neutralize (Rune) and Truesword, having just re-read the spell descriptions, but I think I like it. However, RuneQuest mechanics creeping into the Glorantha forum here.)

Edited by PhilHibbs

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4 hours ago, David Scott said:

It stops rune magic affecting a person or object protected by the spell. The only Humakti magic it will affect is Sever Spirit and turn Undead. Needs Intensity vs POW to overcome.

RAW, true. However, I also envisage any highly magical being well-versed in sorcery (especially GL) has learned numerous other spells as well... Those not written up as yet.

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9 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Therein lies the problem... when you only come at him and his with only 1 type of magic at a time, he'll easily defeat you. Especially with sorcery the way it is now with its associations with Runes. A simple Neutralize (Death) Rune would stop most Humakti magic in one go! There's probably something similar to this for dragons - Neutralize Dragon Magic.

He's using God Learner magics, meaning multiple options at any one time.

Heroes need to be multi-faceted... none of this hammer/nail thing.

I doubt serious heroes would be so one dimensional, especially if they brought some friends to help.

My point is Delecti is a being of extraordinary power, protected by who knows what mythical perversions, dragon magic, god learner magic and twisted hero quests. He has spent centuries focusing on self preservation at any cost. Not an opponent a PC is likely to defeat.

The last human to defeat a twisted, versatile highly magical opponent like Delecti was Arkat.

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1 hour ago, EricW said:

Not an opponent a PC is likely to defeat.

Depends on the GM really...

It just sounds like a high powered game to me. Although, I'm one of those that thinks that what NPCs can do, so too can the PCs.

(granted, as you said, Delecti has had centuries to build up...)

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On 6/17/2019 at 11:57 PM, Beoferret said:

I've been considering drawing up an RQG adventure/string of adventures that would involve trying to rollback the Upland Marsh, if only by a few inches. Do you all even think that this is even theoretically possible (if sticking to current Glorantha canon)? 

It is certainly possible. The Upland Marsh is, after all, just a marsh and marshes have been drained many times.

On 6/17/2019 at 11:57 PM, Beoferret said:

In my newbie RQG GM vision, this effort would entail trying to kill a black thorn tree (or several) and then destroying the magic rods that Delecti's servants had buried in the ground to act as markers of a marsh's new borders. All as part of an effort to begin a reclamation of parts of the marsh. Or, perhaps, the PCs are hired/convinced to try this, in order (unbeknownst to them) to draw Delecti's attention to the adventurers and away from some group making an attempt to infiltrate deep into the marsh for something.

That is probably a textbook way of defeating a portion of the Upland Marsh. The trouble is, everyone thinks of that as a way to defeat the Upland Marsh. Delecti also knows it's a good way to defeat the Upland Marsh, so he is ready for it and send hordes of zombies to guard against that kind of thing. He even sends Vampires and Mummies if necessary. 

Using the PCs as cannon-fodder distractions is a good idea, as the plan can fail without them, leaving them to pick up the pieces.

I think there is a constant to-ing and fro-ing over the Upland marsh, with the rods being removed and broken, freeing up a section of the Upland Marsh, then the Pale Sisters return and replace the rods, making the land marshy again. I also think that the rods create a Marsh Nymph who guards that portion of the Marsh, with dryad-like powers, certainly the ability to control any undead created in her section of the Upland Marsh. 

On 6/18/2019 at 10:34 PM, Beoferret said:

Any thoughts on what and how strong Delecti's response would be? I'm imagining that taking on one or a couple of trees and/or uprooting a few boundary rods would lead to several dancers in the dark eventually showing up (along with a contingent of zombies and skeletons) to reestablish their preferred boundary. But at what point (if ever) does Delecti decide to cut his losses for a few yards of land? And at what point do adventurers provoke retaliation against entire communities near where they're operating? 

He would send zombies to stop anyone trying this, also sending Mummies and Vampires. Use the Dancers in the Dark if you want, nothing wrong with sexy female vampires in an Upland Marsh scenario. I don't think he'd come himself, as he doesn't really care that much about the outskirts of the Upland Marsh, unless you did a HeroQuest replicating the True Golden Horde who killed him in the first place.

Delecti would definitely retaliate against the nearby communities, in a particularly nasty way. He'd probably turn one tenth of the people and get them to kill their own kin. 

Eventually, the Pale Ladies would return and turn the land back into Marsh again, unless someone really powerful could stop them.

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On 6/19/2019 at 10:09 PM, EricW said:

I suspect defeating Delecti would be as difficult as getting rid of Ralzakark or the Red Emperor. 

I don't think that Delecti is that powerful, to be honest.

On 6/19/2019 at 10:09 PM, EricW said:

Delecti has withstood centuries of attacks by Humakt heroes and others. His swamp was created very rapidly using god learner like skills to twist local myths. His swamp was designed to protect Delecti from multiple dragons.

Was it? I thought it protected him from the True Golden Horde, at least that's how I always saw it. Delecti was a friend of the EWF and a supporter of the Dragons. That's why he was able to survive the Dragonkill.

On 6/19/2019 at 10:09 PM, EricW said:

Is your PC someone who could take on a horde of dragons and survive? Delecti did.

Well, technically the True Golden Horde killed him in their rampage, I think, but I could be wrong.

Delecti's strengths are:

  • He is surrounded by a chaos-infested swamp full of nasty creatures
  • He commands an ever-replenishing army of zombies and skeletons
  • He has a number of Vampires who are loyal to him 
  • Even if killed, he can just migrate to another nearby corpse, so is really difficult to pin down

I am sure that his supporters would gladly sacrifice themselves so that Delecti could animate one of their corpses and escape.

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11 hours ago, EricW said:

I doubt serious heroes would be so one dimensional, especially if they brought some friends to help.

My point is Delecti is a being of extraordinary power, protected by who knows what mythical perversions, dragon magic, god learner magic and twisted hero quests. He has spent centuries focusing on self preservation at any cost. Not an opponent a PC is likely to defeat.

The last human to defeat a twisted, versatile highly magical opponent like Delecti was Arkat.

It's not like they are going to go into his tower and kill him. The quest mentioned here is about shrinking the marsh a bit. Imho that is a different matter.

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I had a thought this morning... sorcery has the Identify Otherworld Entity, which allows one to ask a specific question about an spirit ("discorporate or embodied") within range - which can include True Name. This could be a good way to start working one's way through the Dryads attached to the Blackthorn tree (as well as the ghosts attached to them). I note that there's no need for rolls other than the casting. "Specific" spirit ought to include known, and not just "currently looking at"...

It could also be argued that the spirits that animate the undead also fall into this category - and maybe even Delecti himself (although, I'd figure the GM may need some convincing for these). Even if a GM disallows this particular spell to give up the True Name of the various undead in the Marsh, logically there shouldn't be a reason to deny the PC the chance to make their own spell during the course of play that does the same thing (ie, INT x4, RAW... unless, of course, it's considered "very powerful or unique").

The final nail in the coffin for this approach is of course - GM says "Delecti already has counters to that... hahaha!" (which is basically GM fiat for saying "you'll never be able to take him out, because... ! So there!!")

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2 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

The final nail in the coffin for this approach is of course - GM says "Delecti already has counters to that... hahaha!" (which is basically GM fiat for saying "you'll never be able to take him out, because... ! So there!!")

I think it's entirely legitimate to say that one simple spell in the rulebook is not enough to take down Delecti.

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The problem with using Delecti's True Name is that Delecti is a composite entity of the migrating soul/spirit/essence of the Necromancer and the rotting body of whoever left their corpse behind to house the Necromancer for a while, both contributing to the name. In other words, your information is likely to be obsolete fairly soon.

Looking at Arcane Lore, there may be more than a single expression of the entity of Delecti at any time, too. Compare Ralzakark.

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52 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

I think it's entirely legitimate to say that one simple spell in the rulebook is not enough to take down Delecti.

Isn't Slay Delecti in the main Rulebook? It must be in one of the supplements, then.

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12 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I think it's entirely legitimate to say that one simple spell in the rulebook is not enough to take down Delecti.

True. But it shouldn't be made completely useless either.

But, I'm more referring to a GM fiat, rather than an actual in place logical reason. Since this would be a fairly common spell, he's aware of it, and has taken measures against it. Fine... What?

The "anything you try will fail" is what I was getting at with that line.

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12 hours ago, soltakss said:

Isn't Slay Delecti in the main Rulebook? It must be in one of the supplements, then.

No... It's implied that the players can create the spell using the rules though... I think in the supplement there will be "Slay Cragspider", and you just play with that until you get Delecti.

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Seriously though... Humans have gotten together and killed gods before... Including fairly recently (God of Silver Feet... I've only read about the killing, haven't found why they did it... Anyone?)

 

So, is killing Delecti somewhat harder than killing a god?

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As far as I can work out, Delecti is a demi-god equivalent with at least two manifestations.

First, he is a survivor of the EWF. This suggests that he is Illuminated (Dragon variant), and therefore can not only mix chaotic and non-chaotic magics but also Rune/Spirit/Sorcery magics.

Second, he is The Avatar of Nontraya, the enemy of Ernalda (caps intended). This means that he is strengthened by some fraction of the worship of Ernalda in, at the very least, the greater Dragon Pass region, and possibly of all Orlanthi worship of Ernalda in Glorantha.

He may also be an avatar of Vivamort, though that could be the same as being Nontraya.

What this means is that Delecti is as difficult to kill/destroy as Harrek / Agrath / Belintar / Ralzakark / Cragspider / JarEel. Not impossible, but definitely Heroic.

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I am reminded of when I bought the first edition of Deities and Demigods when it came out around 1981. My gaming group read through it and saw it as sort of a challenge as to how many of those deities could we try and kill. We managed to kill a few of them in minimax fashion, and with great enjoyment. 

Like a few others have said, I too feel that permanently destroying Delecti is POSSIBLE. I also feel it would be incredibly tough to do. Perhaps I am tainted by my playing of the game Dragon Pass (White Bear & Red Moon). Delecti is an option to ally with. His destruction is not anyone's victory goal. Often he is just ignored. Sure, he has neighbors that would prefer he be gone, especially the Orlanthi who live on the edges of the marsh. Thus far they have usually sought his containment, not destruction. They seem to not want to poke the (usually) sleeping bear. 

If a group of players wants to "take him on", please have fun. I think it would make a great campaign, and ultimately it could go either way in terms of who would ultimately win.

One final irony that comes to mind is that if Delecti was getting severely challenged by one group, like the Orlanthi, Delecti would probably have no qualms at all about making an alliance with the Lunars, or the Beastmen, or somebody else who could help him survive and beat his foe. I certainly can't see the Lunars, the Dragonewts, the Beastmen, the Orlanthi, the ducks, and a few other groups all "teaming up to fight Ming" for their mutual benefit... 

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13 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Seriously though... Humans have gotten together and killed gods before... Including fairly recently (God of Silver Feet... I've only read about the killing, haven't found why they did it... Anyone?)

 

So, is killing Delecti somewhat harder than killing a god?

I suspect there is at least a *little* "familiarity bias" in this thread. Delecti is a kind of fan-favorite villain isn't he? Located in one of the most-detailed parts of Glorantha? With one of the longest histories of publication? So there's a tendency to overrate the importance/ability of those kinds of characters.

Batman would be an obvious example in larger pop culture, albeit a heroic one. 

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