Home Forums Glorantha Glorantha Discussions Shapechanging

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Joerg Baumgartner Joerg Baumgartner 3 years, 5 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Bohemond

    So I’ve been trying to figure out a few details about Shapechanging among Heortlings

    1) Odaylan initiates can use their Bear rune to change into a bear and Orlanthi initiates can use their Mobility rune to shapechange. But for Yankini and Elmali shapechanging is a feat only devotees can do. Why is this? Obviously Orlanthi is a much more powerful god than Odayla or Yinkin, which might explain why Orlanthi initiates can shapechange,but that doesn’t explain Odayla.

    2) Worshippers use the aspects of their runes that match their god’s actions during the Godtime, so Lhankor Mhy’s Truth rune works somewhat differently from Humakt’s or Elmal’s. But Orlanth doesn’t seem to do too much shapeshifting in his myths, unless I’ve missed something. I seem to recall one or two where he disguises himself, but none where he turns into something non-human (other than the storm itself). So what are the limits to his shapechanging?


    A Yinkini initiate just as much as an Odaylan can use his Beast (Alynx) Rune to shape change. No need for a feat! A feat is a very specific ability even when its description is very broad.

    Thus there are differences between using one’s Beast (Alynx) Rune to turn into a Gavrening Alynx, use a Shapechange to Gavrening Alynx breakout ability or use the Gavren feat. Not only the rating can change but also the broadness of the ability. Cf. HQ:G, Specific Ability Bonuses, p. 103.
    As to Orlanth, I want to answer that the sky is the limit! (Sorry, couldn’t resist… )

    Profile photo of Bohemond

    Christopher, that directly contradicts S:KoH, pp. 178, 180. Shape changing is not listed as a use of the Yinkin rune for initiates, and is explicitly listed as a feat for devotees (unless they changed things in a later edition, which would make sense).

    Profile photo of Harald Smith
    Harald Smith

    Mythically, Odayla can/does shapechange, Yinkin doesn’t (but Yinkin is generally depicted as an alynx or alynx header human). Whether they did so in the Godtime or not is sufficient reason as to whether their followers can do so or not. And also generally reflected in the level at which an initiate can apply just the keyword based on the rune or needs a feat to do so.
    I don’t recall specific myths of Orlanth changing shape, but he’s the storm, and as clouds and winds change shape it’s reasonable to see Orlanth changing shape (e.g. the storm ram).

    Profile photo of Jeff Richard
    Jeff Richard

    Not all cults to animal gods involving shapechanging into an animal. The cults of Storm Bull, Yinkin, Eiritha, Uralda, Bisos, and Brother Dog all are dedicated to animal gods, but their worshipers do not shapechange.

      Worshipers of Yinkin do not shape change? What about S:KoH p. 182:
      Become Alynx Feat Yinkin’s children take many forms but all are felines with distinctive side-whiskers, noted for their silent movement. They vary from the size of a housecat to a large dog. Domesticated alynxes come in distinct colors and patterns, much like dogs. Wild alynxes are usually dark in color, occasionally with darker spots or stripes. Using this feat you become the alynx appropriate to your subcult, using your Yinkin Rune magic for cat activities like silent movement, climbing trees, or fighting with tooth and claw.
      Yinkin’s Runes were changed from the Yinkin Rune in S:KoH to Movement/ Change & Beast (Alynx) in HQ:G (p. 143). What else did change?

    The feat doesn’t effect a full body transformation in the mundane world, just the manifestation of alynx body parts or abilities relevant to the activity. A full body transformation in the mundane probably is out of the range of ability for most Yinkin worshippers – in Heroquest terms, the resistance would probably be about on par to that for entering the Godworld. Which means if your Yinkini character finds himself in circumstances that make a full body transformation mythically apt, you will have your alynx body.

    On the heroplane, your Yinkini will most likely manifest as an alynx, and will be hard put to solve problems that require an opposed thumb.


    C’mon, Joerg, using this feat you become the alynx appropriate to your subcult, i.e. you become a Murning, an Alusaring, a Gavrening or a Hevrening! The description is clear… Now maybe things have changed & this feat no longer exists, but that’s different.


    How many Yinkin worshippers will be devotees or accomplished heroquesting initiates that have gained that feat otherwise? For most Yinkini, that feat is something you do on the Other Side only.

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