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Books and Scrolls

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A sneak peak of how Books and Scrolls get handled in the RQC!

MAGIC BOOKS AND SCROLLS
Mechanically, a book typically adds +1D4x5% to one or more skills. Some might also provide knowledge in one or more sorcerous Runes or Techniques and even provide knowledge of specific sorcery skills. A few special books can even raise a characteristic modifier or increase a characteristic. These books should be the object of quests in their own right.

Give thought to their actual physical appearance, the proper bonuses (esp with Ian’s entries), who’d want it and where you might buy/sell it.

Glorious Reascent of Yelm: Composed in the First Age, this text is a mythic cosmology and kings list of the Yelmic religion. It takes three seasons to study. With a successful Read Firespeech, it adds +20% to the reader’s Yelm Lore, +10% to Dara Happan Customs, and +5% to Celestial Lore.

The Roads and Graves of the Makers: This text lists the first seven Sartarite kings, their main deeds, the roads they built, and where their graves are. There are many variations of this (often simply called “The Sartar Dynasty”).
This text takes a hour to study and with a successful Read Theyalan it adds +5% to the reader’s Sartar Homeland Lore.

The Orange Book or Theogony: This collection of God Learner texts from the Mythical Synthesis Movement is allegedly based on the Blue and Brown Books of Zzabur. It details the origins of the cosmos and the Runes, includes a series of genealogies of the different gods, arranged by elemental Rune, and describes the major events of the Gods War.
This book consists of 84 orange-coloured sheets of vellum and takes three seasons to study. With a successful Read Theyalan roll it adds +15% to the reader’s base Cult Lore skill and +5% to the reader’s Magic modifier. Upon a successful INT+POW roll on a D100, the reader achieves intellectual mastery of the Summon Technique as per page 384 of the RuneQuest rules. Most versions of this book include 1D3 sorcery spells. The book is thought to be protected by a dangerous curse.

Songs of the House of Sartar: This epic poem is based on oral tradition and details deeds and tragedies of the House of Sartar prior to the Lunar invasion of 1602. It is intended to be read aloud and was likely composed by a poet and only later recorded and refined by a Lhankor Mhy sage.
The poem consists of 2400 stanzas divided into nine books. It takes about three hours to listen to the entire poem. With a successful Read Theyalan roll, it adds +10% to the reader’s Heortling Customs and +5% to their Sartar Homeland roll. If the reader succeeds with a Sing roll while reading the poem, those who listen to the full poem and succeed with a Speak Heortling get the same bonus.

Six Chapters on Sword Fighting: This combat manual is thought to date back to the Second Age and is commonly attributed to Li Phanquan. The text takes a season to study and with a successful Read Theyalan skill roll it adds +10% to the reader’s Sword skill.
Studying the palace records: A season spent studying the records of the local palace or temple combined with a successful Read skill in the language the records are written in adds +5% to both the reader’s Bureaucracy and (local) Customs.

The Lives of Our Red Goddess: This didactic tract is an account of the birth of the Red Goddess by the Seven Mothers and of the Seven Steps of the Red Goddess to Hell and back. It is often illustrated. With a successful Read New Pelorian roll, the reader gains +10% in Seven Mothers Cult Lore and +2% to their chance of Illumination.

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Interesting! I like sneak peeks. Is there limitations coupled with your present skill value or is it flat increase? Increasing a skill +10% when it is very high already can be powerful.

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Nice concept. Makes LM libraries way more overpowered...

What does it take to create a book able to create such a learning experience? (Other than literacy, ink and vellum, I mean...)

If we are talking poetry as the mnenonic, it probably takes some minimal score at language, some inspiration by the Harmony rune, and whichever element is associated with that kind of word play. If you are playing with staves, Storm is your element.

 

Is there something like sheet music in Glorantha? IIRC there are a number of ancient texts inferring melody lines etc. Sequential instructions to play a specific instrument (like guitar tabulature or which holes to plug on a bone flute) would be possible, too.

Architecture or murals would be a way of recording and transmitting knowledge, too, once you learn the underlying language, syntax, or cypher.

 

Transfering the knowledge from a mural or fresco into a scroll would be a typical "adventuring sage" job, requiring the companions to provide security and possibly basic creature comforts while the sages and their apprentices go about their activity.

I noticed literacy as one of Argan Argar's cult skills. Is the Son of Night the uz version of a scribe?

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

What does it take to create a book able to create such a learning experience? (Other than literacy, ink and vellum, I mean...)

For fun I'd run scroll creation as a portable training relationship so the real benefit of the "magic" here is that the instructor is always more highly skilled than you are, the skill increases can be accelerated far beyond 1D6-1 per season and presumably they overcome the 75% training limit.

At a minimum someone would need to succeed in Read/Write and the skill(s) transmitted in order to "load" the document. If you're feeling generous, the writer can pass on one season of training (1D6-1) in one skill per season of whatever sages do when they say they're working. If you're feeling mean, it's a special success or even resisted. 

Uncle Ken would be happy if the process is extended so you roll every season to add skill gain. If you want to transmit +20% it can take at least a year. Failure probably doesn't ruin previous work but maybe a fumble introduces errors that reduce the net benefit of the finished work. (Many documents in Jonstown etc. are worse than useless, having been penned by idiots. Reading them will confuse you and take skill points away.)

For real magic I'd say you need at least one special or critical success to "set" the skill points and make them transferrable. If you're feeling mean, there are also HeroQuest implications. Literacy endangers the integrity of Glorantha because in theory an adventuring party or even an entire community could all chip in on a book and pass it around until everyone gets the benefit. When you imbue a document (or mural or symphony or whatever) you are basically creating a conduit through which the community can bask in your awesomeness and everyone can get a few points better.

However intellectual HeroQuests ("text adventures") are often boring so I'd only dwell on that part if the players show a strong interest. One thing that you can probably do is go around and interview people who are actually good at what they do, preserving their expertise in a form that other people can use. Even the biggest LM nebbish can do this, although it's dangerous out there where the people are and they might catch a bad case of neck beard (technical knowledge temple term, I swear) or even a suntan. The outside expert doesn't even need to know how to read. Just hang out with the person, ask the right questions, get it all down. Roll high on the Write roll and you captured it.

I think the real costs are social (writing it down risks Knowledge Theft) and economic. Open a dojo and you can capture 10L per newbie per season. Write it down and you disrupt that sweet gig . . . IMG even "magic" books can be reproduced on the right Write roll. Some may be encoded or otherwise witchy to defeat easy attempts (resisted roll) but break the encryption and you can flood the world with pamphlets. The encryption and surrounding enchantments on really heavy grimoires are probably where most of the magic burn happens.

In a way this functions as the beards' limited and incompetent version of Spell Trading. Oh, one more thing: bards, scalds and weirdos can load Passions in their stuff, whether they call it poetry, drama, "fiction" or whatever. Beware!

 

Edited by scott-martin
one last gag
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What does "a season to study" mean?  During that season you're reading the book and doing nothing else?  Are you allowed to take breaks mid-season, go away, do something, come back and resume the study?  If a book requires multiple seasons do they have to be done consecutively?  If you're allowed mid-study breaks, is there a limit on how long a break can be?

 

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I know this is only intended as a sneak preview, but...

What's then the significant difference between a book and a teacher? I note that reading the palace archives gives a flat 5% increase to *two* skills... Whereas a teacher would give only 1D6-1 to one skill. 

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9 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

I know this is only intended as a sneak preview, but...

What's then the significant difference between a book and a teacher? I note that reading the palace archives gives a flat 5% increase to *two* skills... Whereas a teacher would give only 1D6-1 to one skill. 

It's noted these are magic books and scrolls, so I think the difference there is based around some inbuilt power of the writing itself.

Improving your skills through non-magical texts is already in the rules for Between Adventures (page 417 -- Research.)

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15 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

It's noted these are magic books and scrolls, so I think the difference there is based around some inbuilt power of the writing itself.

Improving your skills through non-magical texts is already in the rules for Between Adventures (page 417 -- Research.)

That would be fine... Except...

18 hours ago, Jeff said:

Studying the palace records: A season spent studying the records of the local palace or temple 

Doesn't suggest anything magical. Unless, such book magic is *extremely* common to the point of being mundane... So mundanethat simple records automatically become magical (as they're being updated too!)

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17 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Doesn't suggest anything magical. Unless, such book magic is *extremely* common to the point of being mundane... So mundane that simple records automatically become magical (as they're being updated too!)

It's a good question. I suspect this will ultimately make Library Use a really cool and closely guarded skill.

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On 7/19/2019 at 1:01 AM, Jeff said:

A sneak peak of how Books and Scrolls get handled in the RQC!

RQC?

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51 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Booyah! That would be RuneQuest Conan, of course.

:)

Bad Bill.

Chaosium is VERY respectful of IP's of other games, and Modiphius holds the Conan RPG license.

It's RuneQuestCthulhu.

Edited by g33k
or does this belong on the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha thread?
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4 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I'll go to my dungeon now...

:(

So where do I get to direct the adventurers to deal with you?

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13 minutes ago, Joerg said:

So where do I get to direct the adventurers to deal with you?

You enter the room quietly. 

Unfortunately, you've been seen. As you peer into the gloom, you see - and hear - a huge barbarian charging towards you. He roars as he throws at you...

 

 

A really bad pun! 

Roll to dodge.

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5 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I'll go to my dungeon now...

:(

Back to the mistress race roll?

Edited by albinoboo

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5 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Unfortunately, you've been seen. As you peer into the gloom, you see - and hear - a huge barbarian charging towards you. He roars as he throws at you...

 

Spot Barbarian fumbled, Move quietly fumbled, Turn Pun surely will be fumbled, oh woe, what is a Shiningbrow to do... I know the Holy Hand Grenade Of Antioch! Now what was the count, one or three, ONE!

Counting  fumbled... Throw fumbled... gak!

See "Hoist with his own petard"...

Cheers!

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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22 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

There are no bad puns, just bad hecklers!

Careful, man... this is the RuneQuest forum!  Enough of them  (or one who gets lucky) and they'll still get a Crit -- even against a Barbarian with Truepun rune magic!

A gutshot can still disenvowel you.

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40 minutes ago, g33k said:

Careful, man... this is the RuneQuest forum!  Enough of them  (or one who gets lucky) and they'll still get a Crit -- even against a Barbarian with Truepun rune magic!

 

Sorry, back to my  dungeon... again.

Just what is a buuk, anywho?

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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I note that this is clearly draft text, not final.

We wonders what this snippet means, my Precious, yesss we does...

On 7/18/2019 at 11:01 PM, Jeff said:

... the proper bonuses (esp with Ian’s entries) ...

I note that every text has its own study time, and some are remarkably short-duration for Skill-granting activities!  Roads & Graves and Song of tHoS take mere hours, for example.

I am, however, entirely un-clear on the "magic" component.  Some of these texts are clearly magical/mystical, and grant mundanely-impossible skills.  Others would appear to be wholly-mundane, and grant purely-mundane skills (at least, as mundane as Glorantha ever gets), such as studying the (local)  palace records and learning Bureaucracy & (local) Customs.

How are these rules intended to relate to the "Research" rules on p.417 of the RQG core rulebook?  It appears the "RQC" rules may be a substantial revision of the RQG core, at least in this one element.

Edited by g33k
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For most skills this is likely to, in most campaigns, be a nice way of bumping PCs skills up and a cool form of treasure. I’d tend to limit things like sword manuals or make them rare above 75% or so myself, but that is maybe a taste thing. 

I think for sages and other specialists in skills that must be trained by training not experience, and for sorcerers, this has the potential to change the game dramatically, because training or research are a very slow and miserable way to advance according to the core rules. Your sage or sorcerer spending their time hunting down rare books is much more fun, partly because they might be able to progress their core skills at a rate similar to their fellows, partly because it motivates them to get out on adventures, and partly because it adds Gloranthan flavour. I think it is potentially a really positive move for gameplay. 

One of the things that bothered me about RQG sorcery was that in every previous (post RQ3 at least) source about sorcery important grimoires/books had been really important to sorcerers, and RQG didn’t really include that element. Hopefully this will correct that. 

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