[Runequest] Divine Magic Again

Bruce Mason mason.bruce at gmail.com
Mon Jul 27 21:48:53 EST 2009

2009/7/26 Roger Benham <rog_benham at hotmail.com>

>  I remember the posts about divine magic, but the last one basically said
> that the donation of permanent POW for points of divine magic was considered
> passé.
> This being the case, what does everyone else out there use instead?
The latest version of Mongoose RuneQuest and the Guilds, Factions and Cults
supplement uses Pacts and Dedicated POW for divine magic.

You can dedicate some of your POW to a deity. The Magic Points that POW
would normally provide go to the deity. E.g. if your POW is 14 and you
dedicate 9 POW to a deity then you only have access to 5 Magic Points.

The size of your Pact equals the amount of POW you dedicate to it. As an
initiate you must dedicate at least 1 POW. You can store an amount of
Magnitude (points) of Divine Magic equal to your Pact. Once you cast divine
magic you can pray to regain it.

The ramifications of this are:
It gives a mechanic to explain why people don't tend to belong to multiple
cults as initiates because they soon run out of POW to dedicate.
Divine Magic and Rune/Battle/Spirit Magic are in tension because the MPs you
need for the latter are soaked up by your pact. So priests tend to focus
more on divine magic than non-divine.
Initiates get access to more spells more quickly than sacrifice POW.
Because you're not sacrificing POW there's practical upper limit to the
amount of Divine Magic you can hold.
Priests etc get their divine magic back more quickly than initiates who must
journey to temples.

This mechanic was developed alongside the HeroQuest 2.0 reworking of Magic
and runes and it's thought to more accurately represent Stafford's view of
how divine magic works in Glorantha.

I must admit that it's my favourite iteration of the system yet and I
wouldn't go back to POW sacrifice as a mechanic for divine magic.
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