Magic in Lankhmar

tetsuo

Mongoose
Anyone have any idea how magic is used in Lankhmar or how it could be adapted for Runequest?

I think that Nehwonian magic is very similiar to that used in the Conan stories. Not direct(like throwing fireballs) but very ritualistic and open to corruption as more of it is used.

There is white and black magic but in the stories, mostly magic is referred to be unpleasant and creepy as a whole.

I think in adaptation to Runequest, there is still magic points but no Runes but there is a corruption rating to many or most spells. Those who fail the corruption tests when casting certain spells get a mutation or worse.

Interestingly, while Fafhrd and Grey Mouser's patrons, Sheelba and Ninguble are speculated to be alien extra dimensional beings, they may well be immortal sorcerers who have had a lot of mutations due to failing corruption rolls.
 

andakitty

Mongoose
Good question.

I don't remember the use of magic very well (last read the books twenty years ago), but some that I do remember...use of the Law of Contagion and Similarity, like voodoo; animating objects; charms and geas; interplanar gates. So from what I remember, admittedly not much, slow and subtle magic like Hyboria. Oh, enchanted objects and divine magic would have to be dealt with too, covering stories like Bazaar of the Bizarre and the many active gods in Lankhmar.

Anybody else?
 

Harshax

Mongoose
I'd guess that all spells are rituals. Few spells are castable in combat, and not without a terrible price.

I recall the TSR Lanhkmar. While they did not do anything innovative (like offer spell lists other than thoses in the 1E Player's Handbook), they did modify the casting time for all spells upwards my one time measurement.

Segments became rounds
Rounds became minutes, etc
 

Gallowglass

Mongoose
tetsuo said:
Anyone have any idea how magic is used in Lankhmar or how it could be adapted for Runequest?

I think that Nehwonian magic is very similiar to that used in the Conan stories. Not direct(like throwing fireballs) but very ritualistic and open to corruption as more of it is used.

There is white and black magic but in the stories, mostly magic is referred to be unpleasant and creepy as a whole.

I think in adaptation to Runequest, there is still magic points but no Runes but there is a corruption rating to many or most spells. Those who fail the corruption tests when casting certain spells get a mutation or worse.

Interestingly, while Fafhrd and Grey Mouser's patrons, Sheelba and Ninguble are speculated to be alien extra dimensional beings, they may well be immortal sorcerers who have had a lot of mutations due to failing corruption rolls.

I prefer Sheelba and Ning to be extra-dimensional beings - it side steps their magic having to fit the same scale and parameters as Nehwonian Magicians (which it often doesn't).

It's a while since I re-read the books, but from memory there are "spells" that take combat rounds to cast, rather than rituals (which I interpret as taking much longer) - but certainly there are no single combat round spells (apart from possibly a few minor protection/cantrip type things).

The Mouser also, amusingly, "grounds" his sword at one point and catches a death spell on it (and subsequently does so again but flicks the end of the wire on to someone else...)

The Lords of Quarmall have teams of wizards constantly casting (or maintaining) attack spells on each other (and defensive spells on themselves)...

Whilst Black Wizards were creepy, and tainted, I don't recall any being excessively mutated physically. Mostly there were just mad. We see very few White Wizards (Mouser's mentor in his youth is about the only one I remember).

There were also a number of magicians who didn't exactly fit either paradigm (Stardock, Mingol Witches and Shaman, Sheelba and Ning etc). My instinct would be to have a limited magic systems for PC "dabblers" (in the mold of the Mouser) and a good set of GM notes for NPC Wizards and the like.

To me, Lankhmar adventurers should encounter magic, not command it.

Cheers,

NDM
 

TrippyHippy

Cosmic Mongoose
Do you mean, kinda like Cthulhu magic?

I'm just asking 'cos I'm still looking for an avenue to introduce the Mythos (secretly) into a fantasy background. I'm not sure Glorantha is the right fit, really - it's got it's own style.

I'm wondering if Lankhmar could work?
 

andakitty

Mongoose
Hyborea would be easiest.

I just started reading 'The Snow Women', the first story in the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series. Looks like it is a good match for what I have seen of the MRQ rules thus far. One hint, a line from a poem about the Mouser in the front, 'A rune that Sheelba magicked from the dead'. And then, the Snow Women were reputed, according to the text, 'to wield mighty magics, particularly through the element of cold and its consequences'. If that doesn't sound like the material in the preview, I don't what does! Now I am really getting interested in the Lankhmar setting book. It almost feels like they (Mongoose) are designing a system to fit a setting, and it ain't necessarily all about Glorantha.
 

TrippyHippy

Cosmic Mongoose
N'yar, but is there a BRP-based book for Hyboria though?

The great thing about having a new Runequest game, is that it allows conversion of Mythos entities without much difficulty.
 

andakitty

Mongoose
Not that I know of. There is a lot of material on the web that would supply plenty of background (sorry don't remember the address) and you can always mix and match rules to suit from your favorite BRP game...not to mention some of Mongoose's material. I think Road of Kings and maybe the Pocket Conan plus Stormbringer would make an excellent game...
 

Turloigh

Mongoose
TrippyHippy said:
N'yar, but is there a BRP-based book for Hyboria though?
Nothing official, as Andakitty said. There's a fan-made document floating around - but last time I looked, it was only half-translated into English, the other half is French. Sorry, but I can't find the link.

But I never get tired of relating that my group has been playing RuneQuest: Conan for a long, long time, using whatever sourcebooks were available, and how we... OK, I'll shut up now.
 
Thread necromancy 'cause I'm bored :)

tetsuo said:
I think that Nehwonian magic is very similiar to that used in the Conan stories. Not direct(like throwing fireballs) but very ritualistic and open to corruption as more of it is used.

There is white and black magic but in the stories, mostly magic is referred to be unpleasant and creepy as a whole.

I don't think the comparision holds up. In the Conan stories sorcery is exotic, creepy and almost always evil. In Nehwon sorcerers are relatively common, not always powerful (though they can be), and sometimes good. Furthermore there is the example of the two sorcerers at the beginning of Swords of Lankhmar using what are clearly combat spells.
 

Baduin

Mongoose
If you are interested in the connection of Cthulthu mythos and Lankhmar, check Adept's Gambit. (It takes place in Mesopotamia, but it involves Grey Mouser and Fafhrd). Leiber have written an alternative version with mythos references, and it is about to be published.
 
Dead Blue Clown said:
Baduin said:
Leiber have written an alternative version with mythos references, and it is about to be published.

Is that for real?
I do believe that Leiber's original version of the story had the Mythos references, which were subsequently removed at some point before it was published back in the day. The version that's apparently coming to light now would be that.
 
GbajiTheDeceiver said:
Dead Blue Clown said:
Baduin said:
Leiber have written an alternative version with mythos references, and it is about to be published.

Is that for real?
I do believe that Leiber's original version of the story had the Mythos references, which were subsequently removed at some point before it was published back in the day. The version that's apparently coming to light now would be that.

I'd heard that and always assumed it was something of a joke. I mean, he wrote Mythos stuff, sure, but...y'know.

Awesome.
 
Dead Blue Clown said:
GbajiTheDeceiver said:
Dead Blue Clown said:
Is that for real?
I do believe that Leiber's original version of the story had the Mythos references, which were subsequently removed at some point before it was published back in the day. The version that's apparently coming to light now would be that.

I'd heard that and always assumed it was something of a joke. I mean, he write Mythos stuff, sure, but...y'know.

Awesome.

Some info here:
http://www.fortunecity.com/tattooine/zenith/134/leiber.htm

A lover of the fantastic since his youth, Leiber was probably the last to enter the circle of writers, poets and simple fans gathering around H.P. Lovecraft, with whom he briefly corresponded. Lovecraft's influence can be seen in many of Leiber's works, and the latest "find" in the Leiberian opus, the postumously published "The Dealings od Daniel Kesserich" is clearly Lovecraftian in conception and development.
Through the years, Leiber has been one of the most sensitive critics of Lovecraft's work.

Leiber's first literary achievement comes in 1939, with the short story "Two Sought Adventure", published by Unknown and being the first published (but almost certainly not the first written) episode in the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series. By detailing the adventures of two sophisticated rogues (modelled on Leiber himself and on his friend Henry Price) in an equally sophisticated world, the series updates the fantasy cliches as used by R.E. Howard, by adding elements taken from various sources (from Elizabethan drama to Errol Flinn's movies) and marks the first and finest exhample of Sword & Sorcery (a term created by Leiber himself). According to tradition, various lovecraftian references were excised from the printed version of the stories (expecially "Adept's gambit") on Lovecraft's suggestion - making the Newhon-based saga self contained and independent.

And a letter:
http://www.noosfere.com/heberg/nehwon/htm/hpl/hpl10.htm

HP Lovecraft said:
There will shortly be circulated among the gang (you can be on the list if you like) a remarkable unpublished novelette by young Leiber — Adept's Gambit, rejected by Wright and now under revision according to my suggestions. It is a very brilliant piece of fantastic imagination — with suggestions of Cabell, Beckford, Dunsany, and even Two-Gun Bob — and ought to see publication some day. Being wholly out of the cheap tradesman tradition, it has small chance of early magazine placement — hence the idea of circulation amongst the members of the circle. This novelette is part of a very unusual myth-cycle spontaneously evolved in the correspondence of young Leiber and his closest friend — Harry 0. Fischer of lately-inundated Louisville. Fischer has also come within my congested epistolary circle, and is in some ways even more remarkable than Leiber — he has more imaginative fertility, though less concentrated emotional power and philosophic insight. Their myth-cycle, originally started by Fischer, involves my own pantheon of Yog-Sothoth, Cthulhu, etc., and revolves round the adventures of two roving characters (Fafhrd the Viking, modelled after Leiber — who is six feet four — and the Gray Mouser, modelled after the diminutive Fischer) in a vague congeries of fabulous and half-fabulous worlds of the remote past.
 
Dead Blue Clown said:
Thanks for that, dude. Interesting stuff.
Not a bother.

I actually thought it was fairly common knowledge. It was definitely mentioned in a foreword or afterword in one of my old Swords books...
 
GbajiTheDeceiver said:
Dead Blue Clown said:
Thanks for that, dude. Interesting stuff.
Not a bother.

I actually thought it was fairly common knowledge. It was definitely mentioned in a foreword or afterword in one of my old Swords books...

I had to buy recent replacements since my dad's old ones were way too decayed to be read again. I'd read a pile of Leiber's short stories and novellas, some of which, as I recall, touched on the Mythos. I'd just never seen that letter and didn't know there was an upcoming re-release.
 
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