The City of Serris

Behold, here is the full colour map of Serris, by Xavier Llobet who also did the full page illustrations for Gloranthan Adventures 2 Red Sun Rising.

Ma of the city of Serris, by Xavier Llobet
Map of the city of Serris, by Xavier Llobet

This is one of my favourite bits of art that Xavier did. In fact its the piece that hangs together the whole book, since three out of the four scenarios are set there. In many ways the scenario arc is on one level the story of the city.¬† That’s were I put the mythic resonances, the city God (also called Serris) is the God of Builders (and a non-cannonical son of the Dara Happan Earth God Lodril), and through his priesthood is able to rebuild the city if it is damaged. This has happened many times during history, including when the Lunar Empire seized the city from Camarian invaders. I’ll stop there lest I give more away ūüėČ

It’s a city of two halves and Xavier pretty much nailed with extreme detail the differences between the highly organised and regimented Dara Happan Old City and the chaotic and disorganised Lunar New City in this map.¬† The Old City is the city that Serris the Builder created for his mortal apprentices. It has aqueducts, bridges, a street layout that is in accordance with Yelm’s Four Sacred Directions, and towering white stone walls. Its a rigourously planned city, were very little has changed over time. The New City, or Moonie town as it is populary known, has grown from a city of tents from the lunar invaders, to a sprawling mess, where twisting labyrine streets circle around the major buildings, such as the Red Moon Temple and the Lunar Circus.¬† It clings limpet like to the southern walls of the Old City, whose Dara Happan residents who belong to to families who have dwelt in the city since before time began say to the new Lunars “you stay out, you don’t belong here!” ¬† If they Lunars feel any resentment, they keep it to themselves. Maybe its because they believe that eventually the Lunar Way will absorb even the most hardline Solar Worshiper and this will see the gates of the Old City flung open to mob of the Red Goddess?

Go grab a copy or read more about it.

Or

 

Big Gloranthan publishing day!

Cover by Jon Hodgson
Cover by Jon Hodgson

After a couple of years of inactivity, D101 Games presents not one but three Gloranthan Fan titles.

Hearts in Gloranthan vol1 Collected. This is 280 pages of the first five issues of Hearts in Glorantha (HiG), a fanzine dedicated to Greg Stafford’s mythic fantasy world of Glorantha, that were published between 2008-2012. The original articles, which cover setting information, creature write ups, adventures, homelands ,fiction, and rules guidance for both HeroQuest and RuneQuest, has been tidied up and 22 pages of new material about the Balkoth Tribe of Sartar has been added exclusively to this collection. Features articles on the Lunars, Chaos, Oceans and Seas, Sartar, Dragonewts, Dwarves & Ducks??!?!

Gloranthan Adventures 2 Red Sun Rising. A complete mini-campaign set in the Lunar Dara Happan city of Serris, a tough independent city which lies in the shadow of the Red Moon. Although written for HeroQuest it has converstion guidelines for RuneQuest.

OpenQuest Adventures. This book is an eighty page collection of scenarios and articles designed to show how OpenQuest can be used for different flavours of fantasy gaming. Within its pages you’ll be able to visit Ancient Rome, enjoy a short dungeon crawl, experience the horrors of a small hell and even the joys of the original D100 adventure setting Glorantha!

Also Gloranthan Adventures 1: New Beginnings is now available in print via DriveThruRpg.com for the first time.

Go grab them at these following outlets

HeroQuest Glorantha Review

HeroQuest Glorantha Cover by Jon Hodgson
HeroQuest Glorantha Cover by Jon Hodgson

OK this is a follow on from the Preview I wrote back in November of last year, when I got the artless & basic layout version. I’ve now had time to digest this and the final illustrated version, which I’ve got in pdf from the pre-order (back in April some time).¬† Now you too can own it as the game has gone on general release via publisher Moon Design’s Glorantha.com¬† :)

The structure and content is the same as the preview version, so if you want a run down of what’s in the book chapter by chapter I’ll refer you to that.

Art and Production. Rick Meints’ high standards of layout shine through the book.¬† The text flows nicely and is readable.¬† Lots of relevant highlight boxes (now in colour) pop up and bring to the reader’s attention little chunks of Gloranthan lore. The art is a mix of black and white illustrations and glorious full colour pieces. ¬† There’s a large chunk of art that’s lifted from the Guide and past RuneQuest releases, but when its such good and seminal stuff, such as the Cosmology piece which shows the structure of Glorantha or the Garhounds Contest from RQ3’s Sun Country,¬† you can’t grumble.¬† Also bear in mind that this is a game that is meant to be an all in one starting point for Gloranthan newcomers, who probably haven’t got the guide or Glorantha’s back catalogue and it makes perfect sense. But there’s also a bucket load of new stuff.¬†Jan Posp√≠Ň°il has illustrated every single culture that is described in the Creating Your Hero chapter.¬† This is indicative of the whole book. Where a section of could do with an illustration its got one. HeroQuest Glorantha is one of the most richly illustrated RPG books out there, without being needlessly so.¬† I can also not finish this section without mentioning the marvelous new maps of Glorantha (by Colin Driver) and Dragon Pass (by Darya Makarava).

PDF bookmarks. The pdf is fully bookmarked by chapters and sections, and important things like maps and timelines get their own bookmarks as well. The Table of Contents is hyperlinked so you can click on an item and be whizzed off to the relevant page. So job done here :)

HeroQuest Glorantha as a game system. This is the bit that really gets me excited. HeroQuest 2, the system’s basic generic version, never got me excited to run a Gloranthan game. I did and it worked well, but overall the book was trying to be all things to all people. Which is fine for a generic system, but at the time I bought it to carry on my existing Gloranthan campaign.¬† HeroQuest Glorantha fixes that ‘meh’ feeling and replaces it with a big whoosh feeling. Again my earlier preview gives a blow by blow run down of changes and how the system works, but overall the game system and how it meshes with Glorantha is much better explained and illustrated.¬† Also a lot of the fat from HeroQuest 2 (what little there was) has been trimmed. Top marks goes to the worked series of examples which make up Samastina‚Äôs Saga that go through the entire book and really illustrate the heroic and mythical nature of the game.

Background information. This is a big win in this book. Because of HeroQuest’s concise and rules light approach much of the 260 pages is setting information. The world gets a through introduction. There’s enough detail about the magic of the world and¬† example cults to cater for most players. Dragon Pass gets its own Gazetteer with local heroes getting enough detail so that they are playable.¬† Lunar Magic gets a full write up, which means that you can play an Orlanthi vs Lunar campaign straight out of the box (which is kinda the default setting for Glorantha, due to its past which stretches back all the way to Dragon Pass boardgame published in 1981).¬† There’s even a straightforward introductory adventure that cleverly works as tutorial of how to write Mythic Fantasy adventures set in Glorantha.¬† There’s enough information in HeroQuest Glorantha so that you could run it for years, and build upon its firm foundations from your own ideas (“Your Glorantha May Vary”), but you’ll probably want to buy the expanded background books (such as Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes) because you want more. It’s a hunger I can well appreciate :)

This is the book that I’ve wanted for years. Not just for myself but so I can show other people how cool Glorantha is and for them to have a credible game that they can pick up and play without being forced to buy obscure or out of print supplements to get the full experience.

Now its here :)

 

Hearts in Glorantha Death & Resurrection Show pt2

Ok….even though we are many days past Resurrection Day now, here’s the Good News about Hearts in Glorantha.

First off I’ve collected the first 5 issues into a Hearts in Glorantha Vol 1, issues 1-5 Collected. Coming in at 280 pages its a behemoth of a book that I’ve spent the good part of a year putting together. In addition to the old material cleaned up , and organised by subject (so all the Lunar stuff we published is in one block for example), there’s also 22 pages of new material about The Balkoth Tribe – a complete playable Sartarite Tribal Confederation by the esteemed Dr Moose. Here’s the cover by Jon Hodgson.

HinG-collected-web

The overall aim of the collected edition is to gather up the significant chunk of fan output from the 2000s-mid 2010s in one place and make it easily available to people who’ve just found it, without them having to pay stupid collector’s prices in the future. The reason why it’s called Volume 1 is…..

…Hearts in Glorantha is coming back! Its been on hiatus the last couple of years while I’ve been doing other D101 Games projects as well as catching up with all the changes that The Guide to Glorantha brings to the table, but with the imminent publication of HeroQuest Glorantha, and 13th Age Glorantha and RuneQuest Adventures in Glorantha, I feel the time is right. After HiG Vol 1 Collected is out I’ll publish new submission guidelines for Vol 2 and talk about the new format of the ‘zine in more detail.

Finally Gloranthan Adventures #2 Red Sun Rising is going through its final checks and should be out in time for UK Games Expo at the end of May.

Also appearing in time for UK Games Expo in May is OpenQuest Adventures, a quick collection of 4 adventures including Tomb of the Empty Emperor that appeared in HiG#3 but isn’t going to in HiG Collected and an article by Simon Bray who regularly uses OQ to run his Gloranthan Games entiled “Gloranthan Runes for OpenQuest”, which covers how to use run Gloranthan Magic using OpenQuest.

openQuest-adventures-web

Review coming soon…

Courtesy of Jeff Richard, creative Director at Moon Design Publications, I’ve now got the full colour pdf of the upcoming HeroQuest Glorantha :)

I’ll be reviewing this in two parts, a read through review and a playtest review (I’m running it this coming weekend at 7 Hills gaming convention in Sheffield )

The Breakfast of Heroes!
The Breakfast of Heroes!

Hearts in Glorantha Death & Resurrection Show pt1

Greetings fellow Gloranthans!

Welcome to the Hearts in Glorantha Death & Resurrection Show!

Today according to established ritual is Death’s day, and suddenly without any prior warning all issues of Hearts in Glorantha 1-5 are unavailable in any form whatso ever be it from my usual POD outlets or directly from me.

But fear not….for Sunday is Resurrection Day and I shall reveal news that will gladden your hearts :)

The story behind the New Beginnings cover

ga1-newbeginingsA few folk on Facebook recently speculated about the story behind the cover of Gloranthan Adventures # 1 New Beginnings.

Here’s the art direction I gave to Jon Hodgson.

I’d like a landscape, which is hilly and rainy,possibly very rainy,lots of little farmsteads (think long houses).In the foreground there is a Warrior flying out of the thunder and rain looking a bit worse for wear(Sartarite magic allows them to fly, since they worship Orlanth King of the Storms).

His bright bronze weapons and armour identify him as a Thane (noble). The armour he is wear has the air and movement runes (see http://www.glorantha.com/library/eurmal/intro-runes.html) either as tattoos or prominent jewelry on his person which identifies him as a worshiper of Orlanth.

He is fleeing the Lunar soldiers who have just defeated his warband (who may be on the page in the distance as hazy red figures waving swords and setting a farmstead)

What the Sartarites look like: One part Urnfield, one part Mycanean, one part Hittite, with a dash of Viking thrown in!

For the record its one of my favourite covers that Jon has done for me. I like the fact that it looks like an ordinary bloke who’s royally pissed off channeling the power of his god about to wreck havoc on the bastards who burnt his home :)

End of The Book of Glorious Joy

Last chance to buy The Book of Glorious Joy, Jamie ‘Trotsky’ Revell’s fan version of the Gloranthan West with a focus on the Kingdom of Loskalm.

As of the end of this month it will no longer be available.

Currrently heavily discounted in both print and pdf on DriveThruRpg.com. Grab it before its gone FOREVER!

$15 Softcover+pdf/$25 Hardcover +pdf/$5 Pdf

Swords of Malkion by Peter Town
Swords of Malkion by Peter Town

RQ archive material being retired this coming weekend (17/18th Jan)

Just so you know Lawrence Whitaker is retiring the old MRQ1/MRQ2 material that is available over in pdf form for mere $1s this coming weekend (17/18th Jan) , last chance to pick up some Gloranthan goodness (I’d recommend Dara Happa Stirs, Pavis Rises and Glorantha 2nd Age) before it goes for good.

Source: Loz over at the RPGsite.com

Just to let people know, we’ll be retiring the RQ Archives, which is where all the old $1 PDFs are available, this coming weekend (17/18th Jan). We’re looking at streamlining the RQ trademark which is currently split over MRQ, MRQ2 and RQ6. Although we could, in theory, keep these titles on DTRPG forever, this is part of a wider brand evaluation for both RQ and Glorantha.

So if you want to get these PDFs from the RQ Archives, do so now because they won’t be around for much longer.

 

Hearts In Glorantha blog