GURPS Glorantha: Magic Update

by Charlie

A quick update on the use of prayer in Glorantha. I know I said that this project was pretty much over… but I had the thoughts rolling around in my head, so I figured I’d post them. I have a couple more additions on funerary rights and on Heroforming which I might finalize soon.


A prayer is a quick, verbal plea to the god for attention and succor. This is worth a single Rune Point on a successful Religious Ritual roll, and can be performed once per day.

A more powerful but indirect use of prayer is in sending aid to a community’s heroes, and can be used to augment the capabilities of a hero by temporarily manipulating his game statistics. This is a direct transaction between the man praying (the supplicant) and the hero; a deity is not involved.

The actual benefits which a hero may accumulate from prayers are as far-reaching as the GM wishes. These rules essentially allow prayer to provide temporary Character Points (CP) such as those used during character creation – with the removal of all restrictions. Prayer thus allows heroes access to advantages (such as Damage Resistance or Extended Lifespan) or inhuman attribute and skill levels that would normally be banned during character creation. It is important to note that these CP are spent by the community for the hero, and last only as long as the supplicants continue to pray.

Each person praying for the hero provides the equivalent of one GURPS Character Point, which can be “spent” to improve the hero – the way in which these points are spent is determined by the supplicants. A hero may ask his community to pray for his strength or his skill or whatever else he likes, but it is ultimately their decision – the GM should be forgiving in this regard. This improvement lasts for one day, and can be extended for as long as the supplicants continue to pray for the hero.

Such prayer can be augmented using any of the below methods of worship (sacrifice, ritual, location, and time) and provide a number of CP equal to the number of RP they would normally provide. If this occurs, these RP are not concurrently generated for those carrying out the worship – they are directly converted to CP for the hero and are lost to the supplicants.