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 Pospíšil 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’s 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

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 🙂

Hearts in Glorantha One Day 50% Off Sale

To celebrate me getting the Guide of Glorantha and my birthday, all D101 Games’ Gloranthan titles are 50% off in Pdf for the next 24 hours (that is from 12pm Sunday 26th today to 12pm Monday 27th tomorrow GMT).

That means you fill can out gaps in your collection or if you’ve not come across our Gloranthan offerings before pick them up at a bargain price 🙂

Also I’ve added a new  Hearts in Glorantha Bundle which includes issues 1-5, so you can get issue 1 free and issues 2-5 with 50% off (until the sale ends)

Enjoy!

;O) Newt

Hearts in Glorantha issue 6

Here’s the final content’s list for Hearts in Glorantha issue 6

  • Cover Feature: The Balkoth Tribe by Stuart Moushir-Harrison.
  • Blows against the Empire by David Dunham. HeroQuest adventure in the Second Age.
  • Dead Mans Scrolls by Newt Newport. A nautical adventure with a piratical theme for HeroQuest.
  • Light and Death by Neil Smith. A HeroQuest adventure set in the Lunar Heartlands in the City of Rhianbath.
  • Tricksers Camp by Stuart Godbolt A RuneQuest 3 adventure location.

I’m aiming for a July/August release to coincide with Hearts in Glorantha’s fifth birthday 🙂