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.
I’m putting the call out for submissions for content for Issue 8.
To help inspire you this issue has a Sacred Time theme.
What I’d like to see are articles/scenarios about what Gloranthan folk get up to during these festive two weeks where the veil between the mortal and Heroplane is thin. Sure its a time when damn big Heroes and Heroines go off on BIG IMPORTANT WORLD SAVING HEROQUESTs, feel free to write about these, but what do the little people do? From my first encounter with the idea in the Genertela box set in the early 90s, I’ve been fascinated with what happens during Sacred Time.
No worries if you don’t want to write to the theme, and have something else in mind.
Send your pitches in (500 words max) by the end of this Month (Feb 28). I’m aiming to get this issue out by April.
Some of the regular contributors already have their pitches in, and Stewart Stansfield is doing the cover again (which may be only slightly Duck related).
As ever I look forward to seeing what people come up with.
Our 10th Anniversary Issue, featuring 48 pages of Myths, Articles, and Scenarios (13th Age Glorantha and for RuneQuest 2) in softcover A4 format, is now available to pre-order.
- Pavis Boxing Association A RQ3 Hero Cult by Leon Kirshtein.
- How A Rubble Runner Destroyed the Crimson Bat at The Battle of Iceland. A short tale by Lev Lafayette and Erica Hoehn.
- Strange Broos. A very strange RuneQuest Classic encounter with scenario seeds by Scott Crowder.
- Boatduck’s Lunch. Stewart Stansfield details what’s on the Duck menu.
- Snipbeak. A Duck with Lunar sympathies for RuneQuest Glorantha by Stewart Stansfield.
- Who Gets to Speak. Ian Cooper, Line Editor for HeroQuest, talks about what makes HeroQuest so unique among role-playing games
- Orlanth, Heler and the Dragon. An Orlanthi Myth told by Stuart Mousir-Harrison.
- The Beard of Lhankor Mhy. An adventure for 13th Age Glorantha by Guy Milner.
- Heroic Tales. Two scenario seeds, each with three possibilities, by Newt Newport.
- The Temple of the Golden Gorp. A Short Adventure for RuneQuest Classic by Newt Newport.
Here’s Stewart Stansfield’s marvellous cover.
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
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.
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