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RE: [indie-netgaming] HQ Thursday?

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  • Mike Holmes
    ... Gotcha. Realize that for one point what you re missing out on is half price increases in magic abilities (and these are expensive), and power in using
    Message 1 of 25 , Dec 1, 2004
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      >From: Loki <xiombarg@...>

      > > So did you pay to concentrate? I can't remember. What it does, to remind
      > > you, is to cut the costs of magic in half.
      >
      >Looking at the archives, I just paid for being an Initiate. I didn't opt
      >for concentration.

      Gotcha. Realize that for one point what you're missing out on is half price
      increases in magic abilities (and these are expensive), and power in using
      improvised feats.

      Basically, the only reason not to concentrate is if you're planning on
      picking up magic in other areas. For example, you could get charms from a
      character like Bob's (Rharohi). It does leave you slightly more flexible,
      basically, in terms of what sources you have for magic.

      Just want you to be fully informed. In any case, you can always concentrate
      at any point in the future.

      > > If that's so, then the standard Inis
      > > Affinities become available, Dancing, Pleasure, and Seduction. These
      >would
      > > cost 6 (3 if concentrated) per level, and start at 13. You can improvise
      >the
      > > feats from these affinities at -10 (-5 if concentrated). I don't have
      >the
      > > feats worked up, so you'd pretty much get to make them up.
      >
      >Right, I do think it's the latter.
      >
      >Now, given I don't own any Shadow World stuff, I did a
      >quick Google on Inis and Shadow World... Is it true that Inis is one of
      >the "darker" dieties, and her worship includes "unspeakable perversions"
      >as well as other forms of carnal lust, and that her servants infiltrate
      >cultures to bring thier downfall via their baser instincts?

      Well, see... One of the things that I like about Hero Quest is it's approach
      to religion. Shadow World is better than most settings in that it states
      that there's no such thing as objective evil. But there's still this
      dichotomy amongst the most widely worshipped of gods in that some come from
      the white moon, and are considered relatively "light" and some come from the
      red moon and are considered relatively "dark." This also relates to the
      source of their power which is basically life affirming magic for the Lords
      of Orhan (the gods of the white moon), and basically life consuming for the
      Lords of Charon (the gods of the red moon).

      But this is a very simplistic way of looking at it. First, the gods are
      powerful enough to overcome their magical origins - they're not slaves to
      their essential natures. Second, what Hero Quest does is to allow these
      beings to be far less objectively set in nature. Further, one of the things
      that I like about Shadow World that's also brought out well by Hero Quest
      (as opposed to not at all with Rolemaster) is the idea of cultural
      diversity.

      The point is that the lords of the different moons are more "universal" than
      the gods in our ancient world. That is, they do seem to have at least
      somewhat of an objective existance, in that most religions seem to have
      experienced these beings. But the thing is that it states in the most
      advanced of the SW literature that the gods are not humans with vast powers,
      but beings that adopt to some extent the nature of the cultures that worship
      them, right down to personal attitudes. So, for instance, for the Rhiani,
      Cay is the chief god, his father Kuor seen as being a mostly retired elder
      statesman. For them, Cay represents not only strenght, but honesty (which is
      mental strength to them). In Kaitaine, Cay is the dutiful son of the king of
      the gods Kuor, and is about defending his family with his great strength.

      They have different names in some locales, as an example of how they are
      adapted to the linguistics of a society even. An even more extreme example,
      the gods of the arts Jaysek and Kieron are worshipped as one being in more
      than one place - for instance as To-tonaur, the two faced god, in Nuyan
      Khom). Or usurp each other's positions in different religions - the Ky'taari
      of Mur Fostisyr worship Oriana, in most places goddess of Fertility, as
      Ariana, goddess of the sun (as opposed to the god of the Sun being Phaon,
      her husband, in most Orhan worshipping cultures).

      The "dark" gods are even more nebulous, because, since people have an innate
      fear of their origin (the red moon can simply be terrifying, like a bloody
      gash in the sky), their worship tends to be very secret-cultish in most
      places. Not all, however. For example, in the Lankan Empire (where my FTF
      game is set), Klysus is worshipped as head of his own pantheon. Now, in
      other places, Klysus is known as a dark god of death, but in the Lankan
      Empire, he's god of life, and the being that makes the sun rise at the dawn
      of each day.

      Of course, even there, he requires human sacrifices to be able to carry the
      sun... so you tell me. Are the Lankani wrong in how they worship him? Has he
      decieved the entire culture? Or is the reality that the culture forms the
      god in terms of how he empowers their priests?

      Are these beings somehow objectively evil? No, not at all, in fact, Andaras
      (lord of cats) is seen in most places as mischevious at worst, and a god of
      wisdom in many cases. The small Rhiani cult see him as a god of hunting from
      shadows (sometimes a metaphor). Kesh'ta'kai, god of magic, seems to have no
      other agenda than to get magical knowledge to people. The fact that some of
      it is the "dark" life taking magic is apparently coincidental, and can he be
      blamed if people are irresponsible in the use of the magic he gives out? In
      any case, he seems not to care one way or the other.


      To get back to Inis, to be sure, in some places what you've read is no doubt
      how her cults operate. There is no culture that I can think of that worships
      Inis primarily, her cults are always struggling for fringe acceptance. No
      doubt their public face is one of a mysticism of physicality including
      dance, and fighting, and sexuality. Her followers gain real powers, and real
      pleasure from following her - achieving states of bliss at times. Does this
      lead to overindulgence in some places? Do they have to make some political
      adjustments in some places to make their cult more acceptable? Do their
      mores mix with the rest of the cultures religion to "undermine" it's
      morality? Is this all occasionally detrimental to the culture in question?

      Maybe.

      Is this all part of a larger plan of Inis? Or, again, is she merely a
      reflection of her worshippers? Does she manifest because she's powerful, or
      is she powerful because humans are at a base level physical and sexual
      beings? Are sexual women seen as dangerous in Rhiani culture? Yes; are there
      any male dominated cultures where they're not? What's more powerful than a
      woman in control of her sexual destiny? And why wouldn't men bold enough to
      see it in a positive light fawn over her?

      Your cult, you tell me. Just what does Elkaru believe about Inis?

      What other Rhiani believe is that worship of Inis is a barely legitimate
      part of their religion, and that Inis worshippers are to be watched for over
      over-indulging. That is, they're expected to take things "too far" - as such
      they are a release valve on some of the culture's pressures (need to blow
      off some steam, go join an Inis dance ritual). But they've been known to go
      overboard, and do things that are taboo for the society as a whole, so
      they're considered potentially dangerous.

      Put another way, the cult serves the purpose of handling those individuals
      in the culture who can't seem to abide certain of the common Rhiani taboos.
      But that doesn't mean that there aren't limits as to what the culture will
      allow in terms of behavior overall. For example, a Rhiani might look down on
      the cultists if he heard that they had staged some orgy as a ritual, but
      they wouldn't step in to do anything about it. That's within the purview of
      taboos that they're allowed to break. If there were a human sacrifice
      involved, however, the entire local cult would be killed.

      There's a constant renegotiation of where these lines lay, it's not set in
      stone.

      Note that Aysha's cult played a male counterpart in Rhiani culture to Inis'.
      That is, where Inis represents unleashed feminine sexual potential, Akalatan
      represents unleashed male sexual potential (he's a snake god, go figure).
      Note that, interestingly, Akalatan is the son of Klysus. He is Birth to his
      father's Death. Wheras in the Lankan Empire Akalatan is subservient to his
      father, in Rhiani lands, Akalatan is potent and his father is a minor
      subcult diety, also seen as sorta retired (note a pattern here - the Rhiani
      value their elderly for counsel, but follow only the virile).

      Her cult was similar in it's "boundary" status. Note that when it was
      discovered that she was, in fact, performing human sacrifice (made worse
      because she lied about it - only in Rhiani culture could that make it
      worse), that the discovering Rhiani did, in fact, try to kill her.

      Consider the Rhiani honesty in all of this. Rhiani are compelled on pain of
      death and all cultural precedent not to lie. The cults are not immune to
      this. What tends to happen is that the Rhiani mostly adopt a "don't ask,
      don't tell" policy towards these cultists, because the semi-taboo nature of
      the cults makes the respondent uncomfortable responding ("Yeah, we did
      something that was fun, but that you'd think was disgusting"). But that
      leaves everyone always uneasy about what the cultists are up to. So they
      check in from time to time. The Riders of Cay, as purveyors of honesty and
      purity, are most often charged with checking these things out.

      Note that in Sherezak, where honesty was less stringent, the Inis cult there
      operated much more clandestinely - who knows just what they were up to. If
      you'll remember, they tried to make a sacrifice out of Rharohi, and even
      considered Elkaru until he convinced them that he was one of them. These
      cultists are at the moment co-located with the other members of the Lurid
      Eye tribe since the fall of Sherezak. So I'm thinking that at least some of
      his indoctrination came from those gals. The rest would come from Fahja
      himself, or the few other Inis Cultists in the tribe (Kalek Sandrunner, for
      example).

      Does that all help or make things worse? :-)

      Mike
    • Loki
      ... Hmmm. Well, I would see Elkaru as taking the valve issue very seriously, in a sort of trickster way. He believes his culture is too rigid, and this is
      Message 2 of 25 , Dec 1, 2004
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        > What other Rhiani believe is that worship of Inis is a barely legitimate
        > part of their religion, and that Inis worshippers are to be watched for over
        > over-indulging. That is, they're expected to take things "too far" - as such
        > they are a release valve on some of the culture's pressures (need to blow
        > off some steam, go join an Inis dance ritual). But they've been known to go
        > overboard, and do things that are taboo for the society as a whole, so
        > they're considered potentially dangerous.
        >
        > Put another way, the cult serves the purpose of handling those individuals
        > in the culture who can't seem to abide certain of the common Rhiani taboos.
        > But that doesn't mean that there aren't limits as to what the culture will
        > allow in terms of behavior overall. For example, a Rhiani might look down on
        > the cultists if he heard that they had staged some orgy as a ritual, but
        > they wouldn't step in to do anything about it. That's within the purview of
        > taboos that they're allowed to break. If there were a human sacrifice
        > involved, however, the entire local cult would be killed.

        Hmmm. Well, I would see Elkaru as taking the "valve" issue very seriously,
        in a sort of trickster way. He believes his culture is too rigid, and this
        is dangerous when the culture needs to adapt. He views his activities as
        being a dialy devotion to Inis, aimed at giving the culture some
        much-needed flexibility in order to prosper.

        > Consider the Rhiani honesty in all of this. Rhiani are compelled on pain of
        > death and all cultural precedent not to lie. The cults are not immune to
        > this. What tends to happen is that the Rhiani mostly adopt a "don't ask,
        > don't tell" policy towards these cultists, because the semi-taboo nature of
        > the cults makes the respondent uncomfortable responding ("Yeah, we did
        > something that was fun, but that you'd think was disgusting"). But that
        > leaves everyone always uneasy about what the cultists are up to. So they
        > check in from time to time. The Riders of Cay, as purveyors of honesty and
        > purity, are most often charged with checking these things out.
        >
        > Note that in Sherezak, where honesty was less stringent, the Inis cult there
        > operated much more clandestinely - who knows just what they were up to. If
        > you'll remember, they tried to make a sacrifice out of Rharohi, and even
        > considered Elkaru until he convinced them that he was one of them. These
        > cultists are at the moment co-located with the other members of the Lurid
        > Eye tribe since the fall of Sherezak. So I'm thinking that at least some of
        > his indoctrination came from those gals. The rest would come from Fahja
        > himself, or the few other Inis Cultists in the tribe (Kalek Sandrunner, for
        > example).

        Right, I think that fits in with my ideas above. Elkaru sees honesty as a
        good thing, but too much of a good thing can be bad in the long run. So
        he's sympathetic to the Sherezak modus operandi: His perspective is that
        sometimes, in order to preserve the culture, you need people who don't
        follow it fully. That is, in order to make it more possible for future
        generations to remain honest, someone has to lie. Sometimes you need to
        kill someone for greater justive to prevail, that sort of thing.

        Not that Elkaru would actually articulate any of this: He feels all this
        more on an intuitive level than anything else.

        > Does that all help or make things worse? :-)

        A little of both... :)

        --
        Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- http://ivanhoeunbound.com -- xiomBRAG on AIM
        cats * hats * RPGs * love * Eris * Agent Patriot * anime * Dada * poetry
        "Only ONE MAN can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me!" -Death
      • Loki
        What s going on, game-wise, on Friday and Saturday? The newsletter isn t much help... I m considering doing a one-shot of this:
        Message 3 of 25 , Dec 1, 2004
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          What's going on, game-wise, on Friday and Saturday? The newsletter isn't
          much help...

          I'm considering doing a one-shot of this:
          http://xiombrag.tripod.com/children_of_the_north.rtf

          The game focuses on play heroes that are avatars of a given culture.
          Here's the blurb from the RTF for those who don't want to download it at
          the moment:

          For years, periodically, the Lich-Lord has been sending waves and waves of
          undead into civilized lands. Every century or so, he is beat back, only to
          come back with a new army of undead in the next century. So it has been
          for time immemorial.

          However, despite the setbacks that this situation has caused, civilization
          has become more and more sophisticated over time, and several great
          civilizations have clawed their way into the light. And this time, they're
          taking the fight back to the Lich-Lord.

          Normally, the thick ever-shifting glaciers surrounding the Isle of the
          Lich-Lord have prevented ships from getting close enough to do anything to
          the Lich-Lord. His own armies just walk on the ocean floor. But recent
          innovations in fire-magick have made the invasion possible.

          The combined might of several civilizations is involved in this assault --
          mass armies, all coordinating.

          You, a great hero, have been chosen by your culture to be part of a
          special strike team. It is your job, along with other heroes chosen by
          their respective cultures, to find and destroy the Lich-King himself.

          This has been made complicated by an unusual discovery: The Isle of the
          Lich-King has a living population. These people love their undead king,
          and gladly give their dead up to him, in return for the protections of his
          magick. Through the Lich-King's necromancy and other magicks, the
          "Children of the North" (as they call themselves) have a utopian society,
          with very little conflict and a high quality of living, dedicated mostly
          to producing brilliant works of art.

          The Children of the North generally disapprove of the Lich-King's periodic
          invasions in principle, but given everything the Lich-King has given them,
          they feel they cannot argue with his one "eccentricity". They admit to
          being surprised that there is anyone living south of them at all...

          --
          Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- http://ivanhoeunbound.com -- xiomBRAG on AIM
          cats * hats * RPGs * love * Eris * Agent Patriot * anime * Dada * poetry
          "Only ONE MAN can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me!" -Death
        • Doyce Testerman
          ... Gennadi thinks: Thank Andaras, another sane cousin. -- Doyce Testerman smarter@average-bear.com • http://www.average-bear.com If you re flammable and
          Message 4 of 25 , Dec 1, 2004
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            > Elkaru sees honesty as a
            > good thing, but too much of a good thing can be bad in the long run. So
            > he's sympathetic to the Sherezak modus operandi: His perspective is that
            > sometimes, in order to preserve the culture, you need people who don't
            > follow it fully. That is, in order to make it more possible for future
            > generations to remain honest, someone has to lie.

            Gennadi thinks: "Thank Andaras, another sane cousin."

            --
            Doyce Testerman
            smarter@...http://www.average-bear.com
            If you're flammable and have legs, you are never "blocking a fire exit".
          • Mike Holmes
            ... LOL. OK, the honesty issue just took on a whole new aspect for this game. ... Mike
            Message 5 of 25 , Dec 2, 2004
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              >From: Doyce Testerman <doyce.testerman@...>
              >
              > > Elkaru sees honesty as a
              > > good thing, but too much of a good thing can be bad in the long run. So
              > > he's sympathetic to the Sherezak modus operandi: His perspective is that
              > > sometimes, in order to preserve the culture, you need people who don't
              > > follow it fully. That is, in order to make it more possible for future
              > > generations to remain honest, someone has to lie.
              >
              >Gennadi thinks: "Thank Andaras, another sane cousin."

              LOL. OK, the honesty issue just took on a whole new aspect for this game.
              :-)

              Mike
            • Mike Holmes
              ... Good. To set Elkaru up, the action of the game is set way up at he source of the river that Sherezak sits upon. It s a camp of Kaitaini who employ the
              Message 6 of 25 , Dec 2, 2004
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                >From: Loki <xiombarg@...>

                > > Does that all help or make things worse? :-)
                >
                >A little of both... :)

                Good.

                To set Elkaru up, the action of the game is set way up at he source of the
                river that Sherezak sits upon. It's a camp of Kaitaini who employ the local
                Rhiani togo flower hunting. Why is Elkaru heading up the river?

                Mike
              • Loki
                ... Is there a good Shadow World resource online you can point me to? I remember a bit about my own culture, but I don t remember anything about the Kaitaini,
                Message 7 of 25 , Dec 2, 2004
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                  > To set Elkaru up, the action of the game is set way up at he source of the
                  > river that Sherezak sits upon. It's a camp of Kaitaini who employ the local
                  > Rhiani togo flower hunting. Why is Elkaru heading up the river?

                  Is there a good Shadow World resource online you can point me to? I
                  remember a bit about my own culture, but I don't remember anything about
                  the Kaitaini, which might help me to figure out a reason to be there.

                  I mean, I can go with the "looking for women" standard excuse, but I'm not
                  sure if that works here...

                  *digs around on the Wiki*

                  Actually, given the Kaitaini are Lann and Shay, assuming there's any women
                  in the camp at all, Elkaru might be interested in the women indeed,
                  perhaps even doing some recruiting for the Inis cult.

                  --
                  Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- http://ivanhoeunbound.com -- xiomBRAG on AIM
                  cats * hats * RPGs * love * Eris * Agent Patriot * anime * Dada * poetry
                  "Only ONE MAN can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me!" -Death
                • Shreyas Sampat
                  Man, this looks like fun. If only I wasn t going to a concert tonight... ... -- Shreyas livejournal:unrequitedthai:AIM
                  Message 8 of 25 , Dec 3, 2004
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                    Man, this looks like fun. If only I wasn't going to a concert tonight...


                    On Wed, 1 Dec 2004 19:26:17 -0600 (CST), Loki <xiombarg@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > What's going on, game-wise, on Friday and Saturday? The newsletter isn't
                    > much help...
                    >
                    > I'm considering doing a one-shot of this:
                    > http://xiombrag.tripod.com/children_of_the_north.rtf
                    >
                    > The game focuses on play heroes that are avatars of a given culture.
                    > Here's the blurb from the RTF for those who don't want to download it at
                    > the moment:
                    >
                    > For years, periodically, the Lich-Lord has been sending waves and waves of
                    > undead into civilized lands. Every century or so, he is beat back, only to
                    > come back with a new army of undead in the next century. So it has been
                    > for time immemorial.
                    >
                    > However, despite the setbacks that this situation has caused, civilization
                    > has become more and more sophisticated over time, and several great
                    > civilizations have clawed their way into the light. And this time, they're
                    > taking the fight back to the Lich-Lord.
                    >
                    > Normally, the thick ever-shifting glaciers surrounding the Isle of the
                    > Lich-Lord have prevented ships from getting close enough to do anything to
                    > the Lich-Lord. His own armies just walk on the ocean floor. But recent
                    > innovations in fire-magick have made the invasion possible.
                    >
                    > The combined might of several civilizations is involved in this assault --
                    > mass armies, all coordinating.
                    >
                    > You, a great hero, have been chosen by your culture to be part of a
                    > special strike team. It is your job, along with other heroes chosen by
                    > their respective cultures, to find and destroy the Lich-King himself.
                    >
                    > This has been made complicated by an unusual discovery: The Isle of the
                    > Lich-King has a living population. These people love their undead king,
                    > and gladly give their dead up to him, in return for the protections of his
                    > magick. Through the Lich-King's necromancy and other magicks, the
                    > "Children of the North" (as they call themselves) have a utopian society,
                    > with very little conflict and a high quality of living, dedicated mostly
                    > to producing brilliant works of art.
                    >
                    > The Children of the North generally disapprove of the Lich-King's periodic
                    > invasions in principle, but given everything the Lich-King has given them,
                    > they feel they cannot argue with his one "eccentricity". They admit to
                    > being surprised that there is anyone living south of them at all...
                    >
                    > --
                    > Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- http://ivanhoeunbound.com -- xiomBRAG on AIM
                    > cats * hats * RPGs * love * Eris * Agent Patriot * anime * Dada * poetry
                    > "Only ONE MAN can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me!" -Death
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    --
                    Shreyas
                    livejournal:unrequitedthai:AIM
                  • Loki
                    ... Well, since no one has expressed any interest but you so far, perhaps Saturday. :) -- Kirt Loki Dankmyer -- http://ivanhoeunbound.com -- xiomBRAG on AIM
                    Message 9 of 25 , Dec 3, 2004
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                      > Man, this looks like fun. If only I wasn't going to a concert tonight...

                      Well, since no one has expressed any interest but you so far, perhaps
                      Saturday. :)

                      --
                      Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- http://ivanhoeunbound.com -- xiomBRAG on AIM
                      cats * hats * RPGs * love * Eris * Agent Patriot * anime * Dada * poetry
                      "Only ONE MAN can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me!" -Death
                    • Mike Holmes
                      ... Tempting. I do like the idea of the game, and I might be able to do something on Saturday... No promises, but if I can find some spare time, when should I
                      Message 10 of 25 , Dec 3, 2004
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                        >From: Loki <xiombarg@...>
                        >
                        > > Man, this looks like fun. If only I wasn't going to a concert tonight...
                        >
                        >Well, since no one has expressed any interest but you so far, perhaps
                        >Saturday. :)

                        Tempting. I do like the idea of the game, and I might be able to do
                        something on Saturday...

                        No promises, but if I can find some spare time, when should I schedule it
                        for?

                        Mike
                      • Loki
                        ... I d prefer Saturday afternoon (say 4pm Eastern) but I could do evening as well. -- Kirt Loki Dankmyer -- http://ivanhoeunbound.com -- xiomBRAG on AIM
                        Message 11 of 25 , Dec 3, 2004
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                          > No promises, but if I can find some spare time, when should I schedule it
                          > for?

                          I'd prefer Saturday afternoon (say 4pm Eastern) but I could do evening as
                          well.

                          --
                          Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- http://ivanhoeunbound.com -- xiomBRAG on AIM
                          cats * hats * RPGs * love * Eris * Agent Patriot * anime * Dada * poetry
                          "Only ONE MAN can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me!" -Death
                        • Mike Holmes
                          ... That s definitely not impossible. Hmmm. Mike
                          Message 12 of 25 , Dec 3, 2004
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                            >From: Loki <xiombarg@...>
                            >
                            >I'd prefer Saturday afternoon (say 4pm Eastern) but I could do evening as
                            >well.

                            That's definitely not impossible. Hmmm.

                            Mike
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