HIG issue 8 cover by Dan Barker
The centrepiece of issue eight is the scenario I’ve been running at conventions/online since RuneQuest Glorantha came out, a Dry Run in Prax. It takes a group of six Lunars, from Tarsh, who are trapped on a rocky outcrop in the wastes of Prax at the start of the adventure. Each character has a quick background, their answers to questions about the current situation, and a list of what they think of the other characters in the party. This is all to quickly introduce the players, be they longstanding Gloranthafans or newcomers, to this group of interesting and diverse characters.
Here’s a quick preview of one of them, the group’s Humakti, because everyone wants to be a Humakti, it’s all about the Swords 🙂
Initiate of Humkat/Regimental Champion
Toran is a grim and steadfast embodiment of the God of Death Humakt. They have died their hair black, painted their nails and lips with black makeup. They wear a black hooded robe. Their Humakt is a mix of the Lunar view, where Humakt is the embodiment of unavoidable death, and the Orlanthi one held by the Tarsh peasantry who see death as an everyday occurrence for both them and their livestock, so worship him to keep him away from their homes. Toran joined the Bastards after a family tragedy at home back in Tarsh, which they never ever talk about.
Like most Humakti they are obsessed with their sword (“this is my sword, there are many like it, but this is mine”)
What are your views on…
So, what do you think of life in the Lunar Army?
It’s home, it deals in death. Its where I want to be.
What do you think of the Praxian Animal Nomads?
I don’t think about them, I just kill them when they get in the way of my sword.
How do you feel about the expulsion of the Red Moon Army from the walled city of Pavis?
You win some, lose some.
What do you make of your current situation?
We are in a tight one to be sure. Everyone is tied and someone is going to mess up. I best be ready with my sword for when they do.
How desperately do you want to go home to Lunar Tarsh?
Home is wherever I lay my sword.
What is your biggest worry at the moment?
I am completely devoid of worry. When you are Dead you know no Fear.
What do you think about your companions?
Toran Deathfinger Initiate of Humakt and Warrior/ Regimental Champion (Me).I don’t think about ‘me’ much, except in a strange third person. I am filled with the oblivion of death. When I become a Sword of Humakt (Runelord) “I” will cease to exist.
Yarnal Farseer Initiate of Severn Mothers, Noble/Morale Officer. She is obviously mad. She was annoying when she was trying to turn the locals to the Lunar Way, before the Battle of Pavis. Now her poor mind has snapped and she believes she is turning into the Red Goddess!
Jarvel Moonglow Initiate of Issaries and Noble/Regimental Scribe and Quartermaster. A weak warrior who can barely lift his sword, but he knows more about our current situation than he lets on.
Benitu Badtooth, Initiate of Eurmal and Bandit/Probationary Scout. A worthless scumbag with no honour.
Nelda Sternmother. Initiate of Seven Mothers and Warrior/ Regimental Punishment Officer. Almost as good a fighter as me but distracted by her duties.
Ora Sunbright, Initiate of Yelm/Regimental Scout. A strange one. An ex-grazelander who rode into Tarsh when he was a teenager and fought with us in the wars against the Sartarites. Doesn’t say much but deadly with that bow of his.
HIG issue 8 cover by Dan Barker
My friend, and Gloranthan Tribe Minster, Dr Moose says that once you are a Gloranthafan, you can never really get away from Glorantha and that it eventually drags you back in when you try. Well, that is certainly the case here, and after a hiatus of only six months, I’ve decided to get back to work on Hearts in Glorantha and Gloranthan Adventures. Part of this is due to the rather strange times we are in giving me time and space to work on D101’s Gloranthan Fanzines alongside the other work that I’ve got on.
There will be some changes to how I put together HiG and GA.
First off, I won’t be doing an open call for submissions. The fanzine will be done more in-house, with me contacting writers/authors that I want to work on it. With the Jonstown Compendium up and going I feel that’s a better place for Gloranthan fans who have a quick, intense burning desire to get stuff out there quickly.
Second, with RuneQuest Glorantha well and truly out now, both zines will use that system as its default. It’s not to say that I won’t publish HeroQuest or 13th Age Glorantha. I’m currently more intrigued by the new edition of RuneQuest as well as it being something that I’m enormously familiar.
Finally, each issue of HiG will have a theme by default. Previous issues of HiG had themes that emerged as the submissions came in. Now that I’m doing it in-house so to speak, it helps to have a unifying theme to keep the team of contributors on track.
Finally, artists Peter Town and Dan Barker are drawing for the next issue of HiG #8. Here’s a preview of Dan’s front cover, which should give you a pretty good idea of this issue’s theme 🙂
In case you were wondering what is going on with the latest issue of Hearts in Glorantha, I’m sad to say that for the time being HiG#8 has been cancelled and the magazine is going into indefinite hiatus.
The main reason being that I’m currently overstretched with other projects, so having one or two years off HiG and being upfront about it is a good idea.
Will HiG return, who knows?
Meanwhile, back issues of HiG and Gloranthan Adventures are available via
RuneQuest is a roleplaying game that I have a long history with. It was one of the Big Four RPGs that Games Workshop used to have the licence for, after Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson (UK) picked it up from Greg Stafford (the game’s creator/publisher) when they were the only European Games Company at one of the early GenCon’s in the 70s. Fast forward forty odd years and the latest edition is out.and in a word it’s GORGEOUS!
The main rulebook has been out for some time since last summer along with the pdfs of the Bestiary and Gamesmasters Screen Pack, but now all the books are available in print and as well as separately they are available in a heavy-duty cardboard slipcase from the Chaosium web store
I’m sure I’ll do a full review here at some point, but if you are interested in a quick appraisal of the three things you get in the slipcase.
Main Rulebook: All the rules that the players and GM need to play/run the game. At its heart, it’s RuneQuest 2 with a smattering of new rules (Runes and Passions being a big one), which may put off some folk expecting a streamlined modern take on the ruleset. But its instantly familiar to old hands like myself. I ran a convention game pretty much straight off, without having to absorb 400+ pages, like the game had never gone away. Also its newcomer friendly, with all the Glorantha you need being hard-baked into the rules. In my opinion its the best out of the box representation of Glorantha ever.
Gloranthan Bestiary: This 202 page book is a feast of Glorantha’s weird and wonderful creatures. It also includes monster cults for playable monsters like Uz (Trolls), Elves and Ducks. Yes, there are ducks 🙂
Games Master’s Screen Pack. Other GM’s Screens have Dragons and scenes of adventurers fighting. Not this one, it has a scenic picture of one of Glorantha’s greatest mythological landscapes, the Gods Wall which shows all the sun-worshipping Dara Happan Deities in their correct hierarchal positions, in a massive fresco carved into a cliff overlooking the sacred river Oslir, that was commissioned by Yelm the Sun-god himself. It not only fits in with the concept of a screen perfectly, but it provides a good talking point for new players. “What the heck is that?” they will go, and the resulting discussion will give them a good idea that they aren’t in their typical fantasy setting anymore 🙂 The contents of the rest of the pack are: A Gloranthan Calendar, Two versions of the character sheet (the plain one that is in the rulebook, and a rather colourful one), a big a3 map of Dragon pass in colour, a double-sided map of the Colymar Tribal lands, a map of the city of Clearwine backed with another map of Dragon pass, all the pre-gens from the main rulebook as separate handouts, a npc sheet, and finally, a booklet of GM reference tables and an adventure book of 123 pages, that has a starting setting of the Colymar tribe and three adventures.
So I ran 13th Age Glorantha at Go Play Manchester 3, where 2 games worth of tables nestled snuggly between games of D&D and a BIG Card Gaming Tournament.
Here’s the game I ran at Go Play Manchester 3, which I’ll be running again at Glorantha Games in Birmingham at the end of the month.
My Verdict on 13th Age Glorantha.
I LOVE IT!!!
The basic rules as a D&D version, meet my criteria of being light enough to hold in my head, yet have enough depth and options so the players can have a fun time.
The Runes and the One Unique Thing rules enriched the roleplaying sections and let the players take ownership of the game, where normally it’s more too and fro of me answering questions on the finer nitpicky details of Glorantha.
Combat was WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHOOO the big epic clash that the art and prose of Glorantha have always promised, but neither RQ or HQ has delivered, and again the Runes and OUT as well as the player led Feat/Special abilities system powered that.
It’s likely to be my vehicle for Glorantha for the foreseeable future and I’ll be looking into using the main rule book as written for fun fantasy frolics too. There’s a good chance that it might get a Sci-fi/Video game inspired standalone using the 13th Age SRD
Full review to follow.
In the meantime, Guy Milner is running lots of 13th Age Glorantha at UK Games Expo 2019,
As he recently tweeted:
If you’re off to and haven’t sorted your RPG schedule yet, I’m running ‘s Glorantha on Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. There will be ducks!