Hearts in Glorantha 6 now available

The long-awaited return of this Gloranthan Fanzine, featuring 48 pages of Myths, Interviews, Articles, and Scenarios (systemless, HeroQuest and for RuneQuest 2).

(note physical copies of Hearts in Glorantha 1-6 Collected, Gloranthan Adventures 1 & 2 are now back in stock).

Also Drivethrurpg.com where you can pick up both print/pdf bundles and pdf only.

Hearts in Glorantha Issue 6 cover by Stewart Stansfield

Hearts in Glorantha issue 6 soon

Finally Hearts in Glorantha issue 6, after many ups and downs in the production process, is now content complete, fully laid out and is in final layout check before going to print proof hopefully next week. If all goes well it should be available just after Christmas or in the first week of January next year.

Hearts in Glorantha Issue 6 cover by Stewart Stansfield

So what have I got to show you this issue?

The Awakening is a system-less adventure by Scott Crowder, in which the adventurers find themselves in a dream of the Brown Dragon of Dragonpass. They get to experience first hand some of the dramatic events of the Dragonkill War and work towards the reconciliation of Dragons with the Orlanthi.

God Forgot, by Barry Blatt gives setting information about these islands in Holy Country. Its weird and odd, and none too comfortable. Go on read the bit about rather unsettling way the islanders use their ruler’s slightest movement as indications of his wishes. This piece reminds me how Glorantha gets wonderfully weird, yet has its own logic based upon mythology and magic.

Light and Death. In this HeroQuest adventure Neil Smith takes us into the murky world of mystic illumination and bridge building in the Lunar Empire.

Memories of RuneQuest 2. I never thought I’d see the day that RQ2 was re-published by Chaosium, but its here. In this article old hands shamelessly reminisce about the first Gloranthan RPG.

Ian Cooper Interview. A Q&A with HeroQuest’s Line Editor which goes into his early work with Issaries, The Unspoken Word as well as his current role and the recently released Red Cow books: The Coming Storm and Eleven Lights.

Why the Story is the Best, is a whimsical yet poignant telling of an Orlanthi Myth by long time HiG contributor Stuart Mousir-Harrison

The Lightbringers’ Quest is an introductory HeroQuest adventure by Matt Ryan designed to be run in one session with players unfamiliar with Glorantha and/or HeroQuest. And what a scenario it is, putting the players right in the centre of one of the major myths of Glorantha.

Duckhill is my short old-school for RuneQuest Classic. Don’t be put off by the fact its got ducks in it.

Scattered through out the magazine in pull out boxes are short scenario seeds written by me to inspire more weird and wonderful Gloranthan adventuring.

Finally there’s the Submissions page, which I’d recommend you read if you want to write or draw for Hearts in Glorantha. Get in touch. Without contributions to the magazine it is nothing.

Suddenly HiG #6 is a happening thing!

Hearts in Glorantha is speeeeeeeeeeeding along!

After a long period stuck in production hell, issue 6 of Hearts in Glorantha is suddenly whizzing along.

Peter Town (who did the art for Book of Glorious Joy and numerous bits for previous issues of HiG) has just turned in the last batch of art, and Steve Hammatt has been helping me with proofing/editorial. I reckon we are at least two-thirds of the way there. Also Ian Cooper (HQ line editor, author of numerous Gloranthan works, both official and Fan) has a five-page interview in the bag, which covers his full career.

Today I’ll spend some time with it and see what I need to get it finished, but I reckon a release by the end of this month is not unreasonable 🙂

In the meantime here’s some of Peter’s art from Matt Ryan’s excellent HeroQuest scenario The Lightbringer’s Quest.

Before the HeroQuest, by Peter Town

After the HeroQuest by Peter Town

A bit of a Gloranthan Renaissance at 7 Hills Sheffield

I regularly attend my local gaming conventions held at the Garrison Hotel, an old Napoleonic era Barracks, Furnace in autumn and 7 Hills in spring. When I helped organise Furnace we always ended up with a Gloranthan Track of games, where you could come to the con and play Gloranthan games from the start of the convention to the end, in the first three years or so of the con. In fact there’s always been a bit of a smattering of Gloranthan games at Furnace/7Hills until the last couple of years when its kinda died off.

However this coming 7 Hills, 22nd-23rd April, Gloranthan gaming is making a bit of a comeback…

Winds of Chaos
System: Glorantha Powered by the Apocalypse
GM: Newt Newport

“It is the time of the HeroWars…
Over the distant Hills in northern Upper Karia, dark clouds gather over the Tombs of the Gods. In the settled south vigilant warriors of the Storm Tribe in the city of Watcharkat, prepare their swords for the corrupting winds of chaos that will blow down from the north. What will they bring? Hordes of beast headed Broo pouring out of the farmland? Monstrous, Krashtkids tunnelling underground and erupting from basements? Or perhaps something more vile?  An enemy from within.  Friends and family who have been corrupted by chaos, their hearts turned foul, their minds twisted turned to the worship of foul Chaos gods.“

I’ll be dusting off my 90s RuneQuest setting, Karia, and running it with a quick Dungeon World inspired Hack.  No knowledge of Glorantha needed. I’m keeping it simple and beginner friendly. I’ve found that the Apocalypse World family of games really is the best way of introducing deep settings and letting the players discover it through play.

Wagons Roll!
Mythras (Runequest 6) Glorantha
GM: Simon Beaver

Merchant caravans of all sizes are a common sight in Prax. Nomads, oasis people and city dwellers alike travel and trade across the wastes and the Long Dry, in order to reach the legendary city of Pavis.

The caravan of Joran Trailmaster is a typically cosmopolitan group, travelling from Pimper’s Block to Pavis. Merchants, refugees and wanderers banding together to take advantage of an expert guide and to find safety, and perhaps anonymity, in numbers. For there are many dangers in the wastes of Prax – nomad raiders, malign spirits, dark Chaos creatures and the ever-present patrols of the Lunar army and their local auxiliaries.

As members of this little wagon train, you will help Joran get everyone safe and sound to Pavis. In theory it should be an easy trip with a nice group of people, on a route well travelled by caravans such as yours. It remains to be seen what dangers will appear, either from without or within.

No previous knowledge of Runequest or Glorantha is required.

The Phoney Express
GM: Stuart Mousir-Harrison
System: Toon (set in Glorantha!)

Hippy Irrippi’s Same Day Courier Service face their biggest challenge yet, escorting The Baggage back to it’s (f)rightful owner – whether it wants to go or not – in the heart of the Uphill Swamp of Harshest Tarsh.
Sanity is entirely optional but humour essential in this outing of the classic 1980s cartoon role-playing game. Character generation will take place in the game slot.

Registration for the convention is still open if you fancy coming along.

Playing Glorantha using other Systems

I seem to be on sort of a break as far as running Glorantha is concerned. I think that’s due in part to me being busy writing other D101 Stuff (Crypts & Things esp) over the last six months, and I’m still taking in the sheer breath and depth of material in the Guide and the new HeroQuest Glorantha books.

Instead I’ve taken the opportunity to play in some games using very different systems from what I’m used to (HQ/RQ).

First off is Evil Gaz’s Savage Glorantha.  Evil Gaz is one of the infamous Smart Party, a group of friends who collectively run convention games at UK cons, and now courtesy of Gaz and his mate Baz have a rather excellent pod cast “What Would the Smart Party Do?”. Now Gaz is a big fan of Glorantha from the RQ2 days, and the more direct play style of those days, before all the navel gazing mythological stuff that came after it.  Savage Worlds is his go to system so he’s running a game using the old RQ2 Classics material specifically Borderlands and Beyond (I’m not paying too much attention to it, because its been long enough for me to remember the outlines but not the details which would spoil the game for me ) as the setting/adventure and Savage Worlds as the system.  The conversion is very quick and on the fly but he’s paid enough attention so that RQ2’s magic systems (Battle and ]Divine) are in it, and the advantages and disadvantages (which do the main heavy lifting to make sure that one Fighter isn’t like another Fighter) make the characters fell Gloranthan.  He’s running the game via quick two hour Google Hangouts sessions, and apart from myself the other three players are all new to Glorantha.  Character gen was basically a suggest a concept to Gaz and he came up with a character.  I pitched Morgan “Short beard” Gonch  a rather adventurous Lankor Mhy student with a short scruffy beard, whose been taught a bit of swordplay by his local Humakti swordmaster, and is on an ongoing quest in Pavis/Prax to recover magical knowledge stolen by the villainous Lunars.  This quest had lead to his capture by the  Seven Mothers, and drafted into the service of Duke Raus, a local Lunar Noble with an estate out in the Praxian wastes.  I was joining the rest of the party , a group comprising of a Humakti, Stormbull and an Orlanthi, a couple of adventures in, and the opening scene was literally Morgan walking up to the campfire, making introductions before the group set off to continue their patrol of Duke Raus’ ‘Grant Lands’. We encountered an ancient tower, with the sounds of squealing pigs. The Stormbull decided to charge his Rhino into the stone double doors to gain entry, and away we went. Given the nature of adventure, what followed was a tense two hour grindfest, but both Gaz and the other players kept it going a pace so that it never dragged or got boring. Savage Worlds worked well as the system for representing Glorantha. On one hand if you just swing your sword and hope for the best, its like RQ right down to its fragility of characters. However once you start spending ‘bennies’ (Savage’s equivalent of Hero/Fate points) or using the special combat moves, where you have to give an explanation of how you are pushing it,  the game suddenly felt heroic, and up there with HeroQuest for that side of things. It was the best of both worlds. The adventure saw my wet behind the ears academic handle himself with enough bravery to be accepted into the group of warriors 🙂

The second Gloranthan game I played with a different system was Guy Milner’s 13th Age Glorantha game at Furnace just gone. I can’t go into to much detail about it, because the playtest packet is currently under NDA, but I can say that the game was a resounding success, despite my misgivings that as basically being a D20/D&D derived game (with a heavy dose of Narrativism).  Like the Savage Worlds game, the basic rules played Glorantha to the system’s strengths, so it was all  Class with Level based goodness that any player familiar with the World’s Favorite Roleplaying game in its D20 variant glory (feats although straightforward are still  a big thing as push-button powers in combat).  13th Age’s Narrative elements really shone through in letting each character have their moment in the spot light and the use of the Runes (like HQ Glorantha each character has three to start with) within that framework (rather than the more rulesy Feats) was inspired, and allowed us to excitingly deal with situations within the game quickly and colourfully which might have otherwise been reduced to a series of bland dice roles.  This alongside 13th Ages “One Unique Thing” really highlighted that even at 1st Level our characters where Gloranthan Heroes and Heroines 🙂