CHA4028 RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – Chapter 12 Rune Cults The Cults Q&A

Official Answers from Chaosium

This covers the second part of Chapter 12, pages 289-311:

For the Rune Cult Rules see the previous section: Rune Cults Q&A


    Babeester Gor (page 289)

    In my game, a Babeestor Gor worshiping character is getting close to Rune Lord. I note that they can gain an allied spirit in an Axe, or an Earth Elemental. Since the cult can only summon Small Earth Elementals, are Rune Lords (called Axe Sisters in RQ3) also limited in their allied spirit to Small Earth Elementals? That seems a little weak. The character is SIZ 18, so no luck carrying her through the ground with a small Talosi.

    Maybe an associated Ernalda priestess could summon a Large Talosi for the allied spirit to inhabit?

    So, can she request a Large Talosi from the Ernalda priestess who has been sending her on missions? I tend to say yes.

    Yes, in line with MGF, this is an excellent roleplaying opportunity. As most Babeester Gor temples and shrines are inside Ernalda temples, this would certainly challenge the adventurer’s Loyalty (Temple) or a Loyalty (Earth High priestess) passion.

    so no luck carrying her through the ground with a small Talosi

    There is no air underground, and an individual being carried must make CON rolls or suffocate.

    Bestiary, Earth Elementals (Talosi), page 179

    Use the Drowning and Asphyxiation rules in RQG page 156 to cover this.

    Rune Lords (called Axe Sisters in RQ3)

    Axe Sisters are initiates.

    Axe Maidens are Rune Lords.

    Holy Days

    Babeester Gor is worshiped as part of each Ernalda holy day (minor holy day). From unpublished Gods of Glorantha.

    Chalana Arroy (page 290)


    Initiate Membership


    Favored Passions: Love (any), Loyalty (temple).

    High Healer (Rune Priest)

    The High Healer candidate must be an initiate with a POW 18+ and a 90% skill in one of Treat Disease, Treat Poison, or First Aid, and must have a skill of 50% in the other two.

    Associated Cults
    • Storm Bull: Grants Chalana Arroy worshipers the chance to bring a warrior out of the effects of the Berserker spell. The chances for success are equal to CHA×4 on D100 for an initiate and CHA×5 for a High Healer.

    Daka Fal (page 291)

    p 291 in Daka Fal cult it’s written:

    Shaman Membership

    Requirements: Daka Fal priests are also shamans (see Shamans, page 351).

    Initiates of Daka Fal become shamans by following the normal rules

    Daka Fal, page 291

    It’s not like in Waha Cult, where we can read:

    Shaman Membership

    Requirements: The Waha cult has shamans instead of Rune Priests. Any Waha initiate who becomes a shaman qualifies for this status.

    See the Shamans & the Spirit World chapter for more information.

    Waha the Butcher, page 306

    Does it means that a Daka Fal follower can becomes Rune Priest following the standard rules with the requirement to be a shaman or that they are like Waha shamans, and replace rune priests?

    They are both the same. Both get the benefits of being a shaman & Rune priest (if both requirements are met). They have different titles, Daka Fal has Shaman-Priests & Waha has Rune priests (who are also shaman). More info in the upcoming cults book.

    On p75 and p291, it says that Daka Fal grants Spirit Magic: All.

    Does this mean that Daka Fal cultists can learn any Spirit Magic, including cult special spells such as Lantern, Parry, Rivereyes or Sleep?

    No. Daka Fal cultists may not learn special cult spells such as Lantern, Parry, Rivereyes or Sleep. Daka Fal has no access to the divine part of a person’s soul that is sent to their specific afterlife. It is this part that has the cult rune and spirit magic spells. Likewise is not able to summon spirits from there or even determine what the secret spells might be (obviously they can see the effects of the casting). A shaman may venture deep into the spirit world and try to enter another god’s spirit demesne to try and obtain one of these spells, but that is an adventure in itself. This will likely be explained in upcoming Gods of Glorantha. 

    Engizi (page 292)

    Initiate Membership

    Cult Skills: Boat, Cult Lore (Engizi), River Lore, Speak (Boatspeech), Swim, Worship (Engizi).


    Spirit Magic: Coordination, Extinguish, Glue, Heal, Mobility, River Eyes, Shimmer.

    Prohibited Spirit Magic: Firearrow, Fireblade, and Ignite.

    Eiritha (page 291)

    Associated Cults (page 292)
    • Storm Bull: Provides the Shield spell.

    • Waha: Provides the Peaceful Cut skill, and the Shield spell.

    Each Clay day is a minor holy day (From unpublished Gods of Glorantha).

    Ernalda (page 292)

    Associated Cults (page 293)

    Ernalda is the most important Earth deity and has many associated gods and goddesses. Some are local and not mentioned here; the following are universally recognized as associates, and enshrined in every great temple of Ernalda:

    Humakt (page 296)

    Initiate Membership

    The cult teaches Bladesharp 4 to its initiates free.

    Humakt notes, page 296

    Does this mean a new Humakti adventurer has Bladesharp 4 plus the normal 5 spirit magic points, for a total of 9 points of spirit magic?

    No, this is corrected in the upcoming Cults of Glorantha: 

    Those that have been an initiate for a full year are taught Bladesharp 4 for free, and more points in the spell may be purchased at ½ cost later.

    Cults of Glorantha, unpublished

    Humakt’s Gifts (page 296)
    D12GiftRequired Geases
    9Bless specific weapon to do double damage (once armor is penetrated) against a given foe species.2
    10Bless a specific weapon to do double damage (once armor is penetrated).3
    11Bless a specific weapon to do double damage (once armor is penetrated) upon striking a specific hit location.2
    Humakt’s Gifts, page 296

    Do Humakti Gift weapons count as enchanted for the purposes of creatures only harmed by such weapons? (Ignoring any spells that may be cast)

    Yes, assuming the criteria are met (type of creature, armor penetrated, specific hit location). 

    Humakt ’s Geases (page 296)
    Correct spelling

    If the geas contradicts the gift desired or a previous gift taken, then the worshipper may choose a new gift, but must take the geas.

    D12GiftRequired Geases
    1+10% to any cult weapon skill.1

    Sword of Humakt (Rune Lord)

    any other weapon skill

    Do daggers count as a sword for Sword skill?

    They do not use sword skill, they use dagger skill.

    Do pole swords or sword staffs count as a sword for Sword skill?

    Both are two handed spears.

    Issaries (page 298)

    Trader Prince (Rune Priest) Goldentongue Subcult (page 298)

    Enchantments: Ban, Binding Enchantment, Magic Point Enchantment, Matrix Creation, Spirit Armor Enchantment.

    Odayla (page 300)

    Initiate Membership

    Melee weapons are not in the Cult Skills list. Should they be?

    No, they are cultural.

    Hunter occupation gives Animal Lore +30%, Scan +10%, Lore (local) +10%, Track +30%, Conceal +10%, Hide +10%, Listen +10%, Cultural Missile Weapon (pick type) +30%, Odayla gives: Track +15%, Peaceful Cut +20%, Sing +10%.

    As always the rules are flexible and allow you to change any of this around. If your GM agrees, you could for example swap sing for melee weapon.

    Bearwalker (Rune Lord )

    A candidate must have a 90% weapon skill (and four other skills at 90%), however the list of other skills mentions “another melee weapon” – does this mean the first skill must be a melee weapon? or is the “another” the error?

    Requirements: A candidate must have a 90% weapon skill plus 90% proficiency in any four skills chosen from among the following: Climb, Hide, another Melee Weapon, Missile Weapon, Peaceful Cut, Scan, Search, Survival, Track, and Worship (Odayla).

    Odayla, page 300

    The occupation for an Odayla initiate is likely to be a hunter, and their homeland availability is Grazelands, Old Tarsh, Prax, Sartar. Each one of those homelands lists cultural weapons (page 60), and all have at least two un-ranged cultural weapons. So a Bison Odayla hunter could have Dagger 90% & Broadsword 90% or a Grazelands Odayla hunter could have Broadsword 90% and Lance 90% and then three other skills.

    Orlanth (page 300)

    Holy Days

    Each Windsday is a minor holy day (From unpublished Gods of Glorantha).

    Wind Lord (Rune Lord ) Orlanth Adventurous Subcult

    Do daggers count as a sword for Sword skill or as another melee weapon?

    They do not use sword skill, they use dagger skill.

    Do pole swords or sword staffs count as a sword for Sword skill?

    Both are two handed spears.

    Seven Mothers (page 302)

    Holy Days

    Each Wildsday is a minor holy day (From unpublished Gods of Glorantha).

    Rune magic (page 303)
    Dismiss Darkness/Earth/Fire/ Water Elemental (small only)

    Seven Mothers initiates can Summon / Dismiss Elementals (max 1pt) using the Moon rune, but cannot Summon / Dismiss any form of Air Elemental. The source of these elementals are The Young Elementals, page 304.

    Other Lunar Cults (page 304)

    Initiates and Rune Priestesses or Rune Lords from this cult have many opportunities to transfer to still other cults,

    Casting Associated Cult Rune Magic

    Hwarin Dalthippa provides Shield to Chief and High Priests of the cult. Since Shield must be cast using one of the runes of the providing cult, this leaves players with the problem of not knowing Hwarin Dalthippa’s runes.

    Hwarin Dalthippa’s runes (Moon, Movement, Light) for Shield, The Moon rune is likely the most accessible.

    Same with Hon-eel for Bless Maize, Yanafal Tarnils for Truesword, and Red Goddess for Chaos Gift.

    These use the spell’s runes (See Casting Associated Cult Rune Magic, RQG page 283)

    • Bless Maize
    • Truesword
    • Chaos Gift

    Yanafal Tarnils

    Can Yanafal Tarnils worshippers craft iron?

    Seven Mothers subcult – no crafting or enchanting.

    Full cult – yes – crafting and enchanting

    Waha the Butcher (page 306)

    Rune Magic
    Summon (Cult Spirit)

    What cult spirit might a Waha Shaman summon?


    Waha is served by small Earth elementals, Spirits of Law, the spirits of the tribal Founders, and numerous heroic ancestors. Spirit of Retribution.

    Here are the specific spells:

    • Summon Earth Elemental (small)
    • Summon Spirit of Law
    • Summon Founder (legitimate khan only)
    • numerous heroic ancestors (treat as summon ancestor & specific ancestor for 3pts)
    • Spirit of Retribution is summoned by Summon Cult Spirit

    Waha shaman will also have access to Summon and Control (entity), and would certainly be able to summon and control Small Earth elementals. Spirits of Law could be found at the Law vortex at Ex, likewise Man spirits would be ancestors in the Great Herd, and Death spirits at vortices known to the shaman. 

    Parenthetical spells usually are for one species of entity. Is this true here. Choice to be made at initiation or…
    Does Waha have special entities like CA or Engizi

    See above.

    Shaman Membership (page 306)

    See the Shamans and Spirits & The Spirit World chapters for more information.

    “The Waha cult has shamans instead of Rune Priests. Any Waha initiate who becomes a shaman qualifies for this status.”

    I am not 100% sure what I am reading here, it sounds a bit like it is saying “if you become a shaman, you’re a shaman”. I assume the distinction is that if you are an initiate of Waha and become a shaman (the same way you would become a shaman in other cults), you immediately qualify to be a Waha-shaman which is equivalent to Rune Priest level in other cults and comes with all the responsibilities below? And does that mean you could be a Waha initiate and shaman and chose NOT to take on this extra layer of responsibility or does it happen automatically?

    It means that for Waha, being a shaman is the same as being a priest. They’re the same thing. You can’t pick to be one and not the other.

    Yelm (page 306)

    The introduction lists, in order, five subcults of Yelm: Youth, Archer, Warrior, Teacher, Elder. The following sections then detail Youth and Archer (Initiate), but the Warrior subcult (I assume that Warrior is the cult for Sun Lords, but it doesn’t say) and Teacher subcult (is that the cult for the Golden Bow shamans?) are not explicitly mentioned at all, before it returns to Elder (Rune Priest). You expect all the subcults listed by name and order as they are mentioned, in the introduction, but that doesn’t happen.

    Here are the cult ranks and their corresponding subcults:

    • Lay Member = Youth 
    • Initiate = Archer 
    • Rune Lord = Sun Lord / Warrior 
    • Shaman = Golden Bow / Teacher 
    • Rune Priest = Elder

    Golden Bow (Shaman) (page 308)

    Shamanic Abilities Clarification (page 308)

    Note: At Stage Four—The Ordeal (page 355), they may select from the following taboos. At Stage Five—The Reward, in place of one, they receive four shamanic abilities, and must take four of the following taboos (player choice):


    It is possible that a Golden Bow shaman could loose four times to Bad Man and choose four taboos from the list page 308, then at Stage Five—The Reward, gain the usual single shamanic ability, then take four more and take the remaining four taboos from the list.

    Elder (Rune Priest) (page 308)

    The requirements seem a bit confused. It doesn’t seem to be just the specific skills listed here, since it includes some of the basics like there being a vacancy, and there’s a non-standard test roll. But some other basics like 5 Rune Points and POW 18 aren’t listed.

    This sort of thing means a reader has to try and figure out what the total requirements are – do they need to merge this list with the standard Rune Priest requirements and work out what replaces what? Or is this intended to be an absolute list (surely not?), which could be implied through the repeating of standard items such as a vacancy?

    It’s totally non-standard. The key here is that you need to be a Rune Lord first to become a Rune Priest, then there needs to be a vacancy, and you need Worship Yelm 90%+, Firespeech 50%+ and pass the test of holiness POWx3. Given the former, the latter is still tough.

    There are two other methods to become a Rune Priest in CoG, but they are even harder.

    Yelmalio (page 308)

    Holy Days

    Each Firesday is a minor holy day (From unpublished Gods of Glorantha).

    Initiate Membership

    An initiate may take a gift and its geas(es) from Yelmalio,

    Yelmalio’s Gifts
    D10GiftRequired Geases
    1+10% in any skill, chosen by the initiate.1

    D12 Gift

    7 Per geas, 1-point permanent addition to STR, CON, DEX, POW, or CHA, no limits. Required Geases 1

    8 Per geas, 1-point permanent addition to INT or SIZ, no limits. Required Geases 2

    Yemalio’s Gifts, page 309

    Does this mean that you get 2 INT or SIZ points per 2 geases or 1 per 2?

    For a 1 point increase to INT or SIZ you get 2 geases.

    And what does the “no limits” mean?

    It means there is no limit to the value of characteristic you apply the Gift to. 

    Can you raise the characteristics over the racial maximum?


    For the Rune Cult Rules see : Rune Cults Q&A

    Related Pages