Extensive Dissertation on Theists, Godlearners, and Stuff

homerjsinnott wrote:
homerjsinnott wrote:
Vivamort anyone?

I want to add a little to this cause it sounded as if I was slagging off your idea. (and I wasn't)
But what I was thinking was that sorcerous vampire, could they be a remnant of the God Learners? (In the 3rd age) Or that Vivamort could be a GL legacy?

Something to think about.

Or for that matter how would Thanatar feed in to the equation? Actually there is room for backstory, because I seem to remember the skull of Atyar washing up on Jrustela just after the dawn. I'll have to dig out my Cults Compendium when I get home tonight. Maybe some of the inspiration for stealing divine power comes from that?
Speaking personally, I hate Concentrated Magic and the need to do so. I will never use it in my games. But, that is a personal opinion.

Thanatar is easy to implement. In RQ2, Thanatari stole spells and they were one-use. In RQ3, they stole spells, sacrificed POW and then they could repray the spells reusably to Thanatar.

So, you could reasonably expect to steal a spell, then Dedicate POW to Thanatar for the spell, cast it, then rededicate the POW to get the spell back. So, you aren't getting the spell from the original deity, you get the imprint of the spell from that deity and are re-establishing your link to the spell via Thanatar.

I'm sure they will bring out more complex rules for Thanatar later on as it is a new Second Age cult. (A Godlearner finds the skull of Atyar in a Kralorlan temple and does things to it - The original Doomed Man from my RQ3 Dorastor Campaign can finally make an appearance - yippee!)
Rurik said:
soltakss said:
In the past, Godlearners had a little contest they could do where they quizzed a deity about something and if they won they got some knowledge or power from the deity and if they lost they had to teach the deity something.

I can see this increasing Lore (Specific Theology) by a series of contests with the deity.

Also, it is quite possible that Godlearners can get Lore (All Theologies) and use it as a substitute.

Your ideas would work pretty well on their own without this contest, though.

Actually that contest is pretty cool. Do you have any more info on it? Anything on your website perhaps?

One of the 'problems' facing a God Learner is how to learn a specific theology. For some cults that have at least some 'friendly' temples you may be able to just learn it - but in other cases those in the know are not going to be very cooperative. Knowledge (i.e. ways of improving theology) would have to be gained by deception, theivery, coercion, or some other such means.

I had already considered HeroQuesting as a way of increasing Theology and was considering giving an automatic improvement roll in the appropriate theology skill for completing a HeroQuest. The contest you mention sounds like an excellent way a GL could learn the knowledge needed to 'steal' a spell.

Don't forget that the Middle Sea Empire has a lot of cults available to it, most of which are fridnely. The Waertagi had a Sea Pantheon that was ripe for plundering, especially when they turned against the Godlearners - they used Tanien from the Waertagi's myths but changed him a little bit. They also used Issaries and Lhankor Mhy a lot. Later on they used Than and Atyar, then Thanatar. They have acces to Malkioni cults, Sea-going cults, the cults of the southern coast of Genertela and northern Pamaleta, the East Isles and Kralorela, so they are not short of cults.

What would be difficult is learning new Lore (Specific Theology) skills or gaining spells from many deities.

It was published somewhere, perhaps in Tales of the Reaching Moon, I honestly can't remember. It isn't on my website, either.

The way I remember it is:
The Godlearner learns a ritual to be able to perform a God Quiz (or whatver it is called).
The Godlearner then finds a suitably weak spirit/demigod/demon and performs the God Quiz Ritual.
Part of the Ritual is a Riddling Contest, or I suppose it could be another type of contest, where the participants gamble knowledge. The Victor takes the knowledge from the loser.

So, a Godlearner might have Lore (Sea Pantheon) 50% and Lore (Storm Pantheon) 60%. He engages in a Storm DemiGod and gambles 20% of Lore (Storm Pantheon), but uses his Lore (Sea Pantheon) as his riddle skill. The Storm DemiGod has Lore (Storm Pantheon) 90%, but just a default Lore (Sea Pantheon) at 5%, so the Godlearner has a 60% chance of answering the Demigod's question but the DemiGod has a 5% chance of ansewring the GodLearner's Question. If he wins, the Godlearner gains 20% Lore (Storm Pantheon), the amount gambled. If he loses, then his Lore (Storm Pantheon) goes down to 40%.

I'd resolve the Contest/Quiz as Opposed Rolls for each question. Two Wins = Knowledge gained, Two Defeats = Knowledge Lost, 1 Win/1 Defeat = no trade. So, in the above example, there are two opposed contests, one Lore (Storm Pantheon) 60 vs 90, one Lore (Sea Pantheon) 50 vs 5.

The trick is to gain some expertise in more than one area of study, then to quiz deities on the things they are not expert in. So, ask Storm Beings about the Seas or Darkness, ask Solar Beings about Darkness or Law, ask Malkioni Angels about Chaos. Then, when your skills are higher, ask more powerful beings and gamble more of your skill. Eventually, you can quiz Deities about their power areas and gain their abilities.

I would say that you can get what you gambled. So, if you gamble a Runespell you could get a Runespell in return. If you gambeld a Legendary Ability then you'd get another one in return. If you gambled a Divine Spell you'd get one back of equivalent strength.

So, the same Godlearner then Quizzes another Storm Demigod and asks the same questions, but he gambles his WaterWalking against the Demigod's Cloud Call spell, he loses this time as the Demigod knows oif the Ocean Winds and loses all knowledge of Water Walking. Undaunted, tries again against an inland Storm Demigod and gambles his Breathe Water Legendary Ability against the Demigod's Storm Fury Legendary Ability, fortunately the Demigod know nothing about the Seas and is easily defeated.

That's the way I see them as working.

Don't forget that this is a way for the other participant in the God Quiz to gain abilities/spells as well. You could even use the God Quiz to challenge another Godlearner, but he might have knowledge you don't and this is very risky.

Thinking about it some more, you could use this as a ritual normally, or even use it on a HeroQuest. Imagine performing a HeroQuest, meeting a Demigod or Deity then using the God Quiz to plunder his myths/abilities.

If you gain a Divine Spell from the deity, then you can probably use Lore (Specific Pantheon) to dedicate POW to the spell, but it might be difficult (-40%) or you can gain the Lore (Specific Theology) from the being. Minor Beings might not have a Specific Theology, though.

In fact, are there the equivalents of RQ2/3 Spirit Cults in RQM? Will these appear in Cults of Glorantha 2? Did they still use Lore (Specific Theology) or can you use Lore (Specific Pantheon) instead?
soltakss said:
All kinds of good stuff.

Thanks for the info, very helpfull.

I like the idea of performing the contest on a heroquest. I see heroquesting as one of the main ways of learning the theology of cults hostile to the GL cause, up there with secretly observing rituals and capturing of knowledgeable individuals for the purpose of persuading them to share their knowledge.