Rune Magic Overlapping with Feats

Submitted by BlindGuyNW on Tue, 11/09/2012 – 16:21


Hi all,I have a player in my Glorantha game who elected to take the beast rune, along with a breakout ability to let her transform into an alynx. I only read the section on the cult of Yinkin afterwards, in which it appears this is a specific devine feat. I was wondering what thoughts are on the topic of crossover between these distinct forms of magic? Is it perhaps fair to say that the transformation via the feat is more potent? This is a problem I run into occasionally with so much room for improvisation, if I’m not careful players can abuse the “anything can be an ability,” mechanic. They haven’t, but I thought I’d ask and get opinions anyway.

Thanks, Zack.


Submitted by soltakss on Sun, 16/09/2012 – 11:20.

The “Anything is an abiliy” part of HeroQuest cannot be abused, as it is a central part of HeroQuest. It doesn’t matter what the “power level” of an ability is, all abilities are equal, at least in my games. Having a “Become Alynx” ability is not just something unique to the Yinkin cult. A shaman might have it, a descendant of Yinkin might, a descendant of a HeroQuestor might, a HeroQuestor might have gained it on a HeroQuest. No matter what the source is, the important thing is the ability itself.

Simon Phipp.


it depends!

Submitted by Charles on Wed, 12/09/2012 – 09:14.

What kind of power levels are suitable for starter heroes in your Glorantha? This is not an isolated decision but an ongoing discussion between you and your players and the answer may change over time.
Is it possible that the hero can trace their ancestry back to Yinkin, a Yinkini demi-god or Yinkini Hero? In that case, the ability to change to an alynx could be common in members of their bloodline/family that have the Yinkin rune (maybe one in every 2 or 3 generations)?
Another alternative question: should this ability have originally been allowed? In light of new knowledge, should you reset this aspect of the hero because the ability is overpowered and should only be allowed when the character is ready to become a devotee?
I do not think that there is a real answer to this, just opinions.


Submitted by boztakang on Tue, 11/09/2012 – 18:09.

The difference in my mind is that the Divine Feat is the user “becoming Yinkin” while a beast-rune breakout would be “transforming into alynx shape” while maintaining your own Identity.The Feat is thus more potentially powerful, but also more potentially restrictive – as it only works while you are able to identify as Yinkin. A hero using the second ability will have a much easier time resisting being blown out of a cave by an orlanthi for example. There is obviously significant overlap, as Yinkin IS the prototypical Alynx, but in terms of determining what is reasonable in story terms, I think that sets up the right frame of reference.Remember that this will all be modified by who the other heroes are in your campaign. If This is the only Yinkini, then either ability can be treated quite broadly in terms of granting “cat powers” while in a party made up entirely of were-cats, you will want to make the distinction more explicit to give each hero thematic “room to shine.”


Thank you, I hadn’t thought of the last point

Submitted by BlindGuyNW on Tue, 11/09/2012 – 20:27.

Thanks for the quick response. The player in question is the only Yinkini, so letting her shine thematically is not a problem. Another player has an ability to imbue objects with lightning, but that is not nearly as impressive as some of the feats granted by Orlanth, so isn’t anything I’m concerned about. The key, I gather, is embodying the God. I’ve yet to see any use of feats in my game, so suppose I’ll deal with them when they happen.

Thanks again, Zack.