Gloranthan Adventures #2 Red Sun Rising now complete!

This one has been along time in the coming, it was started back when the Unspoken Word was still going as a prospective submission, but today I finished off Gloranthan Adventures #2 Red Sun Rising :)

Taking advantage of the draft copy of HeroQuest: Glorantha that I got as part of the The Guide To Glorantha Kickstarter, its bang up to date with that rules set, and as far as possible (since HQ:G has Lunar Magic and the Seven Mothers detailed) all you’ll need is that book to play RSR out of the box (although having the Guide will deepen your knowledge and enjoyment).

Here’s part of the the introduction to the book

Welcome to intrigue and skulduggery in the Lunar Heartlands!

Welcome to a tale of the city of Serris played out in four stories. Three of the stories take place in the city itself and the fourth takes place at the very edge of Empire, in distant and dusty Pavis!

This story has a Light and Dark side. Such is the way when Illuminates are involved.

The Light side that shines so obviously in the day is the everyday struggle between the three Associations of Serris for political power.  There are marriages to heal old wounds, sacred sandcastle building competitions, the funeral of a dead heir and the dispute over a placement of the tomb of a Hero King. All these are battle grounds of an ongoing war between the Noble families of Serris for control of the city.

The Dark side of the tale is more subtle and takes place in parallel. It tells of the conflict between the character’s Dara Happan upbringing and their adult Lunar religion. This conflict is brought into focus by the crisis of the heir of the Five Trees of Bounty, Yanis, becoming a Lunar initiate. Now for such a high-ranking Dara Happan Noble of a staunchly traditional Association this is unthinkable. The Five Trees of Bounty, has bowed to the reality of the political necessity by allowing some lower ranking nobles (of which the Heroes are some) become Lunars, but the Patriarch would rather ritually sacrifice his son to Yelm himself, than see him initiated into the cult of the Red Moon. But this is exactly what happens, and it sows the seeds of a crisis. It is part of a great Lunar plot to put Yanis on the Serrisan throne as the Red Sun, a magical ruler who would ultimately take full control of the city in the name of the Red Goddess.  A plot that quickly comes unhinged in ways that even Lord Tarsic the character’s patron and master tactician of House Cadzez could not believe.

Each adventure takes place a year or more apart, and Narrators can expand the narrative by adding smaller events in between the main set piece Episodes that either continue unresolved situations from the Episodes or reflect the politics and infighting between the three associations.

Eta: Hopefully before XMAS, since the intenal art is done (courtesy of Xavier Llobet and Peter Town).

Here’s the wonderful cover that Jon Hodgson has did for it :)


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13th Age for Glorantha

Well the mad crazy fools have finally done it. Effectively a version of D&D,  13th Age which has huge leanings towards storytelling, for Glorantha is coming.  So you can finally stop being Johny No Mates and run Glorantha for your D&D/Pathfinder chums.  The design team are Rob Heinsoo (4th Ed D&D), Jonnathan Tweet (3rd Ed D&D), both of whom are long time Gloranthaphiles with previous publishing credits back in the Chaosium days, and Jeff Richard (Creative Director of Moon Designs Publications).

If this has you going “Shut up and let me give someone my money” here’s the link to go back it:

It goes without saying that I’ve backed it, and I’ll give more commentary once I’ve settled down and had a lie down in a darkened room :)

Here’s the KS video, if you need more of a hard sell.

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Waiting …but not twiddling thumbs

So as a European backer of the Guide I’m waiting on a transatlantic boat to dock in Germany, while fellow Gloranthafans in the US and even oft forgot New Zealand and Australia excitedly post pictures of their copies.  ITS NOT FAIR I TELL YOU :D

At least I have the pdf copies to hug while I wait :)

Another thing that has been delayed is the HeroQuest Glorantha rule-set, but fortunately as a high end backer i have an artless draft (review of which is soon).

There is a silver lining to all this is that because I have the pdfs I’m using it as an opportunity to tidy up Red Sun Rising (the much delayed Gloranthan Adventures #2) so it is in line with the Guide and the new HeroQuest Glorantha. So if you are Glorantha curious or an old hand whose only played in Dragon Pass you’ll be up and going playing Sword and Sandal adventures in the Lunar Heartlands in no time at all :)

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Me and RuneQuest

A long navel gazing post over at my Old School blog about my journey through various editions of RuneQuest.


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Well my copy of the Guide is on the way …

… Or flying over the Atlantic or being man handled by a full fulfilment clerk. Mine is not the place to know such things, after waiting this long I’m not stressing any further.

HOWEVER i do have final pdf copies of both volumes of the Guide and the Argan Argar Atlas (can you see the gentle pun they’ve pulled there) which is a collection of all the full size maps in a single book.

Fingers xed the physical books arrive before my holiday in Pendragon country (The Cotswolds) :)

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HeroQuest 2 Gloranthan Edition to be released by GenCon

Over at Jeff Richard Creative Director of Moon Designs has just announced HeroQuest Glorantha

This is an updated and revised edition of the HeroQuest 2nd Edition rules that is designed to be the core rules book for play with Glorantha. It contains an introduction to Glorantha and the primary setting areas (Esrolia, Prax, Sartar, and Tarsh); how to create characters from those cultures; rules for Rune magic, spirit magic, sorcery, and Lunar magic; seven cult write-ups; community rules; heroquesting rules and examples; Gloranthan monsters; and an introductory adventure and suggestions on gaming in Glorantha. Plus lots and lots more.

He goes on to point out that the book is 40% bigger than the HQ 2nd rulebook.

More here

From a personal perspective this might just get me back up and going with HeroQuest as a system for Glorantha. After ten years of its quirks and vagaries I was beginning to drift off in the direction of FATE or even a Apocalypse World/Dungeon World hack.  I find the HQ book as it stands tries too hard to be a generic system, and while the bits that emerge from the HQ Glorantha (such as the character gen rules in Sartar & Pavis) make the system more coherent for Gloranthan gaming, it comes at the cost of having to refer to an additional  telephone directory sized supplement when they are needed. Having these bits included in a focused rule book is as good thing IMHO :)

UPDATE: Jeff has very kindly provided me with a draft copy (printing off as I type this) so expect a preview in the near future :)

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There’s life in the old beast yet…

A quick teaser post from me @d101games re: Hearts in Glorantha/Gloranthan Adventures. After a long period of inactivity I’ve been reviewing work soon to be published and commissioning new art from Peter Town (Mythic Russia/Book of Glorious Joy).  Expect a fuller less cryptic post soon :)

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Interesting times lie ahead

Good chat with Jeff Richard (Creative Director of Moon Designs Publications, who own the rights to and publish Glorantha) yesterday about the state of Glorantha ,  with some revelations of upcoming stuff that along side the Guide, means that for me the excitement is coming back after a three year hiatus. If nothing else it means I can put to bed the stuff I’ve been working on and off for the last 5 years or so (ten in some cases eck!) with honour and dignity, in a form that will be playable by newcomers for years to come.  I’m not going to reveal details, that’s for Jeff to do when the time is right, but I was very happy that there’s a definite plan, with upcoming deliverables, that will make Glorantha an accessible and gameable setting very very soon :) (which given the sometimes glacial development process Glorantha historically takes, really surprised me).

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A skim read of the Guide to Glorantha

Guide to Glorantha vol 1 Front Cover by Jon Hodgson

Guide to Glorantha vol 1 Front Cover by Jon Hodgson

This is a very short preview based upon the final sneak peak pdfs of Volumes 1 & 2 of The Guide to Glorantha, that Moon Publications have very generously allowed higher reward tiers access to. This the final, just before going to the printers, set of pdfs.

Skim though probably would be the most accurate term for this preview for each pdf is 400 pages long, and seeing each book is coffee table size its not really comfortable viewing on my 7 inch tablet.  When the final books come crashing through my front door I shall be retiring to my study glass of port in hand with instructions to my family that I’m to be left in peace and solitude for a very long time.

Both books are crammed with gorgeous colour art (as well as many familiar black and white favourites from over 30 years of publication), maps, maps and more maps (to keep the map geek in you happy) and tons and tons of textual detail. These books are described as encyclopaedias and this is no idle boast.

Vol 1 after a concise introduction to the setting, breaks down into tow halves. Half one is the introductory material about the setting and culture guides for not only the main eight human cultures but also the six major non-human Elder Races.  For me this is one of the highlights of both books. The combination of vivid illustrations, text and maps really show why and how Glorantha is different from other fantasy settings.

Then we are on to part 2, which is all the regional guides. Some of this is very familiar to me  from the old Genertela box set for RQ3 that I pawed to death in the 90s, but there’s so much more that is expanded on. Gaps are filled, in past mistakes corrected (for example the Western Cultures were never meant to be Medieval, here they are very colourfully bronze age), and lashings of detail added.

I’m already finding the Lunar Empire section invaluable since what I’m currently working on a series of adventures set there ( the previously announced Red Sun Rising ) and this is allowing me to fill in the gaps and firm up the background. This highlights the main use of the guide for GMs/Authors as a one stop comprehensive source of information.  No more looking in obscure out of print publications or hunting the web for fragments of information. Hurrah!

Vol 2 picks up where Vol 2 with the Region guide, Seshnela, Teshnos and the Wastes spilling over into it with lots of new info about these previously sketched out settings. Then its on the material that’s previously only been fully mentioned in the Missing Lands Unfinished work, which collected the material from the aborted Pamaltela RQ3 box set. The Oceans and the Islands of Glorantha and its southern continent Pamaltela.  A lot of this is all new to me, and when the final books turn up I shall be spending a lot of time reading over this material in detail, thinking up new and exciting campaign ideas :)  The second half of volume 2 is the Appendices, which is more detailed information about subjects such as the Red Moon, the Gloranthan Sky and the Gbaji Wars. This is were the books seem on my quick fly past to get more hardcore with in-depth analysis of some of the important “Deep background”. So its good that these subjects are spilt off from the main flow of the book.

Overall, this isn’t the pick up and play game book that will get newcomers into Glorantha. It’s simply too big and lacking in game rules and stats.  Instead that’s the job of rule sets such as the upcoming RuneQuest 6: Adventures in Glorantha.  This is the book that the setting has been crying out for a good twenty-thirty years, that will give dedicated adventure builders, like myself, enough quality information to build new and robust flights of fancy in this setting.  The maps give a wealth of information beyond geographical info ( population statistics for example). The illustrations allow me to hook newcomers on the look and feel of a culture (“Look this is what your people look like!”) and the text a ton of adventure hooks and personality details no matter what system I settle on.

More information

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Holy Gloranthan Zombie Cow!


Krova The Zombie Cow by Greggor Hutton

A Chaos Undead Cow thingeee by Greggor Hutton (indie games designer & author of 3:16 & Best Friends) inspired by a Gloranthan game he played in.

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