"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cults of Prax - RuneQuest, Transfer Spell Potential

Cults of Prax is a sourcebook released by Chaosium in 1979. It was written by Steve Perrin and Greg Stafford. The book describes fifteen cults that exist in the RuneQuest world and gives the GM enough information so that they  could create their own as needed.

The book begins with an explanation of the Gloranthan calendar which mirrors ours being based on seasons. There are something about it that make it  different and some that I am not sure make sense in a real world comparison.  The calendar breaks down as 1 year = 5 Season (plus sacred time) = 42 weeks =  294 days. Each season is exactly the same length and the sacred time is  fourteen days. At the end of the book is a list of the various Cult holy  days.

The next section describes the format that will be used to describe each cult.  It gives the same format as the general write ups but with a specific  explanation of what each area is for. There is then a summary cult outline. A  copy of this outline follows.

I. Mythos and History
    A. Before Time
    B. Since Time Began
    C. Life and Death
    D. Runic Associations

II. Nature of the Cult
    A. Reason for Continued Existence
    B. Social/Political Position and Power
    C. Particular Like and Dislikes

III. Organization
    A. Inter-Cult Organization
    B. Intra-Temple Organization
    C. Center of Power, Holy Places
    D. Holy Days and High Holy Days

IV. Lay Membership
    A. Requirements to Join
    B. Requirements to Belong
    C. Mundane Benefits
    D. Skills
    E. Battle Magic

V. Initiate Membership
    A. Requirements for Initiation
    B. Requirements to Remain Initiated
    C. Mundane Benefits
    D. Skills
    E. Spells

VI. Rune Lord Membership
    A. General Statement
    B. Requirements for Acceptance
    C. Restrictions
    D. Benefits

VII. Rune Priesthood
    A. General Statement
    B. Requirements for Acceptance
    C. Restrictions
    D. Benefits
    E. Rune Spell Compatibility
    F. Cult Special Rune Spells

VIII. Subservient Cults
    A. Spirit of Reprisal
    B. Other

IX. Associated Cults
    A. Listed Singularly

X. Miscellaneous Notes

From this point we head into the descriptions of the various cults. The book  adds a set of side notes that take the form of a travel journal of Biturian Varosh. The notes tell of his experience amongst each of the cults.There is  even a map of his travels and the dates he was at the location for each cult.  This adds something to the book and this was used by other companies in other  products after this was used here.

The Cults themselves are broken down into one of four different groups. These  groups are The Barbarian Gods, Invader Deities, Lightbringers and Non-Human  Gods. The breakdown of these are as follows.

The Barbarian Gods:
Daka Fal  (ancestor worship)
Storm Bull (berserker god)
Waha (nomad chieftan deity)
Eiritha (herd mother)

Invader Deities:
Humakt (war god)
The Seven Mothers (the lunar cult)
Pavis (city god)
Yelmailo (mercenary god of light)

Issaries (trader god)
Chalana Arroy (healer)
Lhankor Mhy (knowledge lord)
Orlanth (god of adventures)

Non-Human Gods:

Kyger Litor (troll ancestress)
Zorak Zoran (troll war god)
Aldyra (elf goddess)

The final section of the book is composed of all the appendices. These cover different topics such as the relationship between the different cults, the various holy days, new rune magics and a chronology of Glorantha. The full list of appendices is:

Cult Compatibility
Nomad Weapons and Magic
Cult Membership by Tribe
New Weapons Data
Calendar of Holy Days
New Skills
New Battle Magics
New Rune Magics
Slave Bracelets
Weapons Use
Other Glorantha Material
Biturian Departs Prax

This book should have served as and still should as how the various religions in a role playing game should be described. After reading this you almost feel as if you read over a 101 level class text on comparative religions in Glorantha. There is more than one version of this and the one I have described is the first printing. The second I think may have some additional information but I do not have a copy to confirm that. If you want to create a  pantheon and describe it this would be a great format to use.


Transfer Spell Potential

Level: Fourth
Range: Touch
Duration: Special
Ares Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user imbues the target with the ability to cast a specific spell from their currently available spells. The recipient will then be able to cast that one spell and only that spell. They can transfer a spell of no higher than third level.

The recipient will be able to cast that specific spell just as if they were the caster who granted them the ability. This ability will remain with the individual until such time as the caster dispels the ability.

The recipient can there for cast the spell once per day. Until such time as the caster dispels the ability they will have lost the ability to cast one spell of the level of the one given. This means that if a caster could normally cast three third level spells per day and they have used this spell for one of them until they cancel it they can now only cast two per day. The caster can have this spell on no more than one individual per level they have over seventh.

The caster can revoke this ability at any time regardless of range. When the spell is revoked the spell is lost to the caster until such time as the caster memorizes spells again regardless of if it had been cast or not. If the recipient of the spell should die while the transfer is in effect then the caster will lose 1d4 points of intelligence and the ability to cast that spell for two to seven days. 

The material component of this spell is a copy of the spell just as if it were one written in the caster spell book. The copy is given to the recipient and then spell then vanishes from the page. The page remains intact and can be used again if desired.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit. 


Trey said...

Good review and nice spell. :)

Wymarc said...

Thanks. When I initially conceived of it I had it as a single use and that may work better. I thought the extended transfer effect added a bit of flavor to it.

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