HeroQuest 1 – Q&A (2004-2005)

  • Hate Lunars, Question by Jeff Richard, answer by Stephen Martin.
  • Soul Vision, Question by Mhyky, answer by Roderick Robertson.
  • Shamans crossing over to the Spirit World, Question by Craig, answer by Stephen Martin.

Hate Lunars

Question by Jeff Richard, answer by Stephen Martin. 25 Apr 2004

Q: I wish more NPCs in Sartar Rising would have their “Hate Lunar” personality traits described. Folk like Broyan, Gernu (or is it Dernu), Orstalor, Kallyr, etc. should all have pretty impressive Hate Lunar traits (although probably not as impressive as Gyffur’s 12W2).

A: I would think that, in most cases, using their The Rebellion rating is equivalent to Hate Lunars, or at least could be used as such.

Shamans crossing over to the Spirit World

Question by Craig, answer by Stephen Martin.

Q: I am struggling to get my head around the new (HeroQuest) rules for shamans crossing over to the Spirit World. In one paragraph it clearly explains that shamans open a Spirit Circle in order to contact and deal with spirits from a vantage point on the Mundane World. This meets resistance of 10W3. It definately suggests that this is a crossing point as it explains that any crossing point can be dangerous.

A: Note that it is NOT just shamans who do this — many (maybe even most) practitioners have this ability as well.

Q: To cross spiritually to the otherworld the shaman uses Spirit Travel, a facet of his fetch, which is often done from a Spirit Circle, a point of power etc and meets a resistance of 10W3. Does the shaman have to overcome the resistance twice? Once when he creates his ritual spirit circle and then again when he wishes to cross?

A: No. These are two distinctly separate magical abilities, used at different times. Open Spirit World is safer than Spirit World Travel, but it is also more limited in scope and effect. It opens a small “door” between the Spirit World and the Natural World, allowing the two to co-mingle for a short period. However, no one can normally use this door to travel into the Spirit World. I mean, I suppose it could happen, but it is not the purpose. Instead, it is used to allow a practitioner or shaman to locate a specific Tradition Spirit or Practice Spirit so that it can be placed into a charm or fetish. It is akin to inviting the practice spirits into the dancing hall or drumming circle to mingle with the mortal worshipper

The key here is that the portal opens to a specific place — the demesne of a specific majestic spirit, perhaps even the smaller demesne of a specific practice spirit. Unless the practitioner or shaman makes a big mistake, the chance of something bad happening is very small, and the worst that usually happens is the worship service doesn’t go well, or the right spirit stubbornly refuses to enter the charm or fetish.
Spirit World Travel is much broader in scope, but is therefore more dangerous. It generally can only be done by a shaman who has already awakened his fetch, as the fetch acts as a permanently-open door. SWT takes the shaman’s spirit out of his body (or whatever) and puts it into the Spirit World itself. Usually, this will take his spirit to a specific place, probably a secret place known only to the shamanic spirit who helped him awaken his fetch. From there, the shaman can travel anywhere in the Spirit World. As long as he can survive.

With Spirit World Travel, one of the key points is that the process is not of itself very dangerous. It doesn’t really open a new door into the Spirit World, merely has the shaman and fetch “switch places”. This means that there is rarely any danger to outsiders that that the shaman might foolishly allow to be present. The other key point is that it is extremely dangerous — if a shaman had SWT but somehow did not have Shamanic Escape, he would be unlikely to survive for very long.

Q: It seems unlikely as the book goes on to describe the effects of the Spirit World on the hapless who do not have Spirit Travel.

A: This line applies mostly to people who end up in the Spirit World by some sort of “accidental transition” (see page 198); or by entering the Underworld and then leaving by the wrong path; riding on the back of some malicious demon, who drops them in the Spirit World; or something like that. Without Spirit World Travel (or some sort of guide) the individual is most likely lost and without much hope, as the Spirit World doesn’t follow any sort of observable “cause and effect” process — it shifts and flows, and two spots that are next to each other one moment might not be next to each other a few “minutes” later. You can get really lost, really fast. (Even an animist who knows Open Spirit World and then gets lost in the Spirit World by other means will have little or no advantage over other mortals.)

Q: Why the two skills?

A: Open Spirit World is the “natural” ability — the one that lets animists worship spirits at all effectively. It is called different things in different traditions, but always has much the same effect, and is properly used only for religious purposes. Spirit World Travel is an “unnatural” ability — it is used by shamans to explore, seek strange powers or curses, or to strike bargains with strange or new spirits. It is frightening, and requires an innate magic (the fetch) most people do not possess.

Q: Should you augment one with the other

A: Given the different way in which the two abilities work, I do not think one could normally augment the other, though that is up to the narrator.

Soul Vision

Question by Mhyky, answer by Roderick Robertson. August 2005

Q: I was wondering about the Soul Vision magical ability of theistic worshippers. Is this a whole separate ability that should be bought for all characters with Hero Points (or during character creation) or is it included in specilalized magic keyword (or for example Initiate/Devotee of [Deity] ability. This just came to my mind, even though it is not a keyword)?

A: It is in (or should be) all theistic specilized magic keywords – all the ones in the main rulebook (pages 122-127) have it in their Abilities section, for example. It is a normal part of the Cult Magic keyword. Soul Vision is usually taught at the Initiate level of Worship.

Q: In any case how about the NPC characters in Sartar Rising campaign? Minaryth Purple comes to mind as a perfect example of a character that should be quite good at sensing and identifying magic. Nevertheless, he doesn’t seem to have that ability.

A: We didn’t list all the abilities of the NPCs in the book. Unless you feel that an NPC’s Soul Vision should be higher, it should be at about the level of the “Initiate” or “Devotee” keyword. Minaryth’s is around 16W2, quite respectable.

Last revision: 16 Aug 2005

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