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  1. 32 points
    Available now as PDFs and via Print on Demand. A couple of covers are not shown because they didn't fit in well and were, in a word, bland. Individual PDFs will be $2.49 each. The PDF bundle price for all 14 issues will be $24.99. We have not figured out the POD prices, but they would be a fair bit more.
  2. 31 points
    Hey all, it's Ellie, your friendly neighborhood Chaosium convention coordinator. At conventions a lot of my job is talking to new people about Glorantha and introducing them into the world. Helping new people fall in love with Glorantha is a passion of mine but it wasn't that long ago that I knew next to nothing about the setting either. Glorantha has a massive learning curve. The amount of material available is daunting and that means being a newbie to Glorantha is a tough gig. I know first hand! Not only do you have to navigate all the massive amount of both current and out of date setting information you also have to learn how the Glorantha community aka the Tribe works. We are all here because we love Glorantha but sometimes we love it a little too hard. Sometimes the way the setting gets talked about is pretty unwelcoming to new members. We at Chaosium want to make sure Glorantha is accessible to everyone and hope you want to see it grow and thrive as well. What helps new people? Keep it RQG focused. Ask yourself if a new player actually needs to know this to play before hitting post. If it’s not in the main RQG book the answer is almost always no. (Or HeroQuest book given the circumstances.) The old stuff might have been great, but new players don’t have it, so it’s not helpful to tell them about it. Don’t argue semantics. If it is not a direct answer to something they asked, it probably is not helpful to post. Keep deep lore out of newbie threads. If you can’t say it in one paragraph it’s not appropriate for a new user post. Deep lore threads are awesome places to learn, but only when you are ready for them. Help new members by linking to existing deep lore posts with “Here is some more information if you are interested.” Have more in depth info to add? Make a new thread and link to it. Remind your fellow experienced members to continue the conversation there. Keep it upbeat. This is a game and should be fun. General negativity brings the whole Tribe down. Say hi! Being the new kid can be lonely and everyone wants to feel welcome. ____ The biggest take away here is to keep your answers simple. If you have more to say put it in its own dedicated deep lore thread. The big essay responses really drive new members away. I personally found them overwhelming and they made me not want to participate in the forum. It’s the responsibility of all Tribe members to make sure this is an inviting place. Let’s work together to keep Glorantha around for another 40+ years by helping new people fall in love with it just like we did.
  3. 31 points
    A FRAGMENT FOUND IN THE NEW PAVIS LIBRARY (Date and author unknown) Argrath and Elusu prepare for a battle: ELUSU: Wa, Chief. What is the sound of a sword? ARGRATH: A metallic ping. A whoosh of wind as it swings through the air. A meaty crunch as it slices flesh and bone. Elusu shakes her head. No. Later, after the battle, women weep and the wounded scream in pain. ARGRATH: That is the sound of a sword. ELUSU: Ain’t it beautiful? ____________________________ Elusu and Argrath are deep in their cups: ELUSU: Look into the ale, Boss. Watch that bubble, rising. What do you see? ARGRATH: The World. ELUSU: Pop. Now it’s gone. ARGRATH: But look, another rises to take its place. Elusu chugs the beer then burps loudly. ELUSU: So die a thousand worlds. (Calls to the barkeep) More beer! ____________________________ Elusu and Argrath walk down a dusty road on a beautiful day. ELUSU: I am the blow that cannot be parried. I strike you dead, but you’re alone. What am I? ARGRATH: Suicide. ____________________________ Elusu takes a hit of hazia. Passes the pipe to Argrath. ELUSU: Imagine perfect Law. Perfect Order. Everything is the same. All is at rest. Nothing changes. As it was before creation. What else do we call this? ARGRATH: Primal Chaos. ELUSU: And what then causes creation? ARGRATH: More Chaos. ELUSU: Wa! Stop hogging the pipe! ____________________________ Argrath and Elusu ride a boat downstream on the River of Cradles. ELUSU: What color is the sky? ARGRATH: Today? Blue. ELUSU: What color would the sky be if I scooped out your eyes? ARGRATH: If you put out my eyes, I won’t be able to see it. ELUSU: But I'll still see it. ARGARTH: No. Because if you put out my eyes, you’ll be dead. ELUSU: Wa, if I’m dead and you’re blind, then what color is the sky? ARGRATH: There is no sky. ____________________________ Elusu and Argrath are at a tavern. ELUSU: Wa, Chief, what is this gold coin worth? ARGRATH: Twenty silvers. So… 200 horns of beer? Elusu and Argrath are lost and dying of thirst in the Wastelands. ELUSU: Wa, what is this gold coin worth now? ARGRATH: Nothing. Nearly dead, Elusu and Argrath reach an oasis. There are several Rhino Riders there. ELUSU: Now what is that gold coin worth? ARGRATH: If we’re lucky, both our lives. Argrath and Elusu loot the dead bodies of the Rhino Riders. Elusu finds another gold coin. ELUSU: Wa, no wonder. They already had a gold coin. What do you think it’s worth? ARGRATH: Everything. And nothing. ELUSU: Right now, I would trade it for a beer. ____________________________ Argrath and Elusu reach a fork in the road. ELUSU: We're lost. We don’t even have a destination. Which is the correct way? Argrath continues straight, taking neither road. Elusu follows. ELUSU: At the end of this road, there'd better be beer.
  4. 30 points
    So I am wrapping up the text of this book, while making sure that it all ties into both the new Heroquesting chapters in the GM Sourcebook and into the Hero Wars Campaign. It is increasingly looking like this will be a two-volume book, as it includes the long form of more than 70 cults. It is perhaps easier to say what the book does not have: The Invisible God of the West. This needs its own book, as my notes keep expanding. Additionally, the Invisible God needs to provide a materialist and humanist interpretation of the Gods and Goddess book - and serve as the Sorcery Book. So this one gets pushed into its own book. Godunya and the East. Same deal. Pamalt and the South. Same deal - I toyed around with including Pamalt in this book, even wrote up his cult. BUT I've concluded that it would make far more sense to include Pamalt and his version of the pantheon in a Pamaltela facing book. Minor gods of purely local importance, such as Pavis, Lanbril, Flintnail, other city gods, etc. These are better placed in their settings. Deities that can be better handled as masks or variant names of other deities, e.g., Elmal, Buserian, etc. So what is left? Well the book is more than 50% bigger than what was previewed at GenCon and has been pretty intensively revised. Here's the current list of cults that are definitely in it: Kyger Litor Annilla Argan Argar Gorakiki Xiola Umbar Zorak Zoran Magasta Choralinthor Dormal Engizi Oslira Ernalda Aldrya Asrelia Babeester Gor Caladra & Aurelion Donandar Eiritha Flamal The Grain Goddesses Hykim & Mikyh (includes Telmor and Basmol) Maran Gor Mostal Ty Kora Tek Uleria Yelm Dayzatar Dendara Gorgorma Lodril Lokarnos Lowfires Polaris Shargash Yelmalio Orlanth Chalana Arroy Eurmal Issaries Lhankor Mhy Daka Fal Foundchild Heler Humakt Mastakos Odayla Storm Bull Valind Waha Yinkin Seven Mothers Danfive Xaron Deezola Etyries Hon-eel Hwarin Dalthippa Irrippi Ontor Jakaleel Nysalor Red Goddess Yanafal Tarnils Primal Chaos Bagog Cacodemon Crimson Bat Krarsht Krjalk Mallia Pocharngo Thanatar Thed Vivamort I am still debating about whether to add Horned Man, Triolina, Subere, Wachaza, and Voria to the list. For me this has been comparable to writing the Guide - especially realising how these various groupings of gods overlap, intersect, and form a magical whole. Even in the West, South, and East, these are the deities that form the cosmic foundation (although often with different names and different stories).
  5. 30 points
    Our next RuneQuest release is the scenario collection THE PEGASUS PLATEAU, and layout is almost done! It's going to be a fine-looking book; to whet your appetite here are a few layout spreads:
  6. 30 points
    I've been a fan of Glorantha for a very long time. I bought a copy of RQ2 way back in 1983 (just in time for everything to go OOP!) and just the little hints in that made me fall in love with the world. That and a copy of Griffin Mountain. But I never got to play it. One of the players in my school gaming group skimmed the book, took against it and that was it. Whenever the choice came up, it was "no" to Runequest. Sure, we had lots of good games. But never Runequest. After I left school, it was similar. Yeah, we played good games but I never managed to sell a group on playing Runequest. When Hero Wars came out, I finally got to play and run games in Glorantha. We did a lot of Hero Wars and HeroQuest. So I got my Glorantha fix in the end. But it still wasn't my first love, Runequest. Not until a few evenings ago. The runes were finally right and I ran a game of RQG for a couple of friends. I don't think the scenario itself was anything special. An encounter on the road leading to Apple Lane, a little skirmish. But when the PCs rode into Apple Lane with Gringle - who they had met on the road - and went to stay at the Tin Inn, where they met a troll trader? I have wanted to take some Runequest characters to that place for a very long time. 36 years. That's how long it took. I couldn't be happier. We had a beautiful new map of Apple Lane to show them (though my game is set when the pawnshop is still there). I'm a little surprised by how emotional I felt about it. Not right at the time, but when I was thinking about it the day after. As much as I liked the HW/HQ games I played, it was Runequest that introduced me to Glorantha. That carries some weight. To finally get to play in Apple Lane after all these years made my heart young again. It took me right back to the moment I opened the box and read about dark trolls and newtlings and runes for the first time. It took me right back to when I fell in love with the world that has given me so much pleasure down the years. Pleasure that sometimes came from playing, sometimes from chatting about it with friends, sometimes from reading and musing. What a wonderful creation it is and how grateful I am that people worked so hard over so many years to show it to us. And one of the best things about this current game is, these players are new to Glorantha. I get to see it be new again through their eyes, like it was for me all those years ago. There are rumours of trouble at the Rainbow Mounds. I can't wait to see the PCs go there.
  7. 29 points
    Exciting news: later this month we're going to be launching the Jonstown Compendium on DriveThruRPG. Here is a preview of what it is all about: The JONSTOWN COMPENDIUM is an official online collection of user-made content, allowing creators to sell their own original RuneQuest and HeroQuest Glorantha (Questworlds) material set in Greg Stafford's mythic universe of Glorantha. Creators can make money from their published community content, or make it freely available – it is entirely up to the creator. Jonstown Compendium content can include original scenarios, background material, cults, mythology, stats for NPCs and monsters, and your own versions of handouts for official RuneQuest and HeroQuest Glorantha campaigns. Material must be set in Greg Stafford’s World of Glorantha – although YGWV ("Your Glorantha Will Vary") applies, and nothing published in the Jonstown Compendium should be regarded as "canon". Jonstown Compendium creations must be in English. We may add other languages later. Your content can use any any rules and setting materials from the books and materials published by Chaosium including RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha, RuneQuest Classic (RQ2), and HeroQuest Glorantha or the forthcoming QuestWorlds SRD. We hope to be able to include 13th Age Glorantha in the Jonstown Compendium at a later date. Rules from the Mongoose or Design Mechanism editions of RuneQuest, or other variant d100 rulesets (e.g. Mythras, OpenQuest, Revolution D100, etc) are not permitted. Other prohibited content includes comics or fiction (unless short vignettes in roleplaying game materials), software or apps, crowd-funded content, or products that infringe on the intellectual property of others (obviously). Creator resources include Word and Indesign templates will be made available for Jonstown Compendium creators. The program is very similar to our existing Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu and Explorer's Society for 7th Sea. BRP Central folks: If you are interested in contributing to the Jonstown Compendium, and would like your creation to feature on launch or soon after, contact me at mob@chaosium.com and I can forward you the User Guidelines and templates etc so you can get started. nb we're not posting this material publicly yet in case we or DTRPG/OneBookShelf need to make any alterations.
  8. 28 points
    Inspired by the map in "The Pegasus Plateau", and with the kind permission of Chaosium Inc., i made my own "Adventure Locations" maps. Map I. Adventure Locations in official RQG publications: Map II. Adventure Locations in Jonstown Compendium publications: Map III. Adventure Locations in official RuneQuest 2 and RuneQuest 3 publications (medium blue = RQ2 / dark blue = new in RQ3): Map IV. Adventure Locations in official HeroWars, HeroQuest, HeroQuest 2 and HeroQuest Glorantha publications (medium green = HW/HQ1 / light green = HQ2 / dark green = HQG):
  9. 28 points
    Hi Folks, It's the Peter Cakebread half of Cakebread & Walton. Thanks for all the lovely words I can't really express how much the support and encouragement means to me, I'm passionate about our games and know that you all are too! Long story short, C&W is still on hiatus, although our stuff is still available. Whether I'll be able to resurrect the company and get back to publishing new material is very uncertain. I really want to find a way to move forward, but, as some of you have guessed already, things are not that simple. Long story, long... The really good news is that Ken is in remission from cancer and all seems clear so far. He is still suffering from diabetes and sarcoidosis. Unfortunately the sarcoidosis is of the severe and debilitating kind. So Ken retired from the company in 2015, although he still helps me by sending files and things (more on that in a bit!). He knows if he ever is up to it, there is Ken shaped hole ready and waiting for him to fill. Before Ken officially left, he had been getting increasingly unwell for quite some time. As a little insight into how we worked, Ken and I would regularly meet to bounce ideas off of each other, then structure our books and decide who was writing what. Then for the duration of a project, we'd gee ourselves up over the phone and via email, batting ideas off each other, re-writing, going "wow" at each other's extra ideas for a project, reviewing the evolving final book layout, etc. We probably worked more than standard f/t on the company, as do most business owners - although our reasons were more to do with being consumed with our flights of fancy than having any real business acumen or spending time doing the sorts of things that people who want to be really financially successful do. In fact, those important but boring things were pretty much anathema to us - we just wanted to make stuff up that we found cool. Anyhow, I'm a Luddite. I got to 40 and suddenly lost all tech ability to use anything other than rudimentary word processing software - oh, how the mighty had fallen, I used to be the go to person to sort out people struggling with their Amiga's and could layout an agitprop fanzine in Quark Xpress in a heartbeat... Anyhoo, Ken hadn't been hit by the same stupid stick, so he did all the technical things - layout, print uploads, dealing with publishers and download platforms, our website, etc. While I got on with doing the lion's share of the writing for most of the books and the art haggling. We still had lots of input into each other's spheres (Ken would tell me if I wrote something that didn't work and I'd tell him when something didn't look right - well, obviously it was a lot more complex than that, but you get the idea). Even at the point we were working on Dark Streets, Ken was already contributing less to the writing side of things. After the Pirates & Dragons Corebook, it became clear that he wasn't really able to work on anything other than layout. At this stage, neither of us knew how seriously ill Ken was, although he was obviously physically exhausted and mentally frazzled. He was seeking help and we hoped things might get back on track. But he felt increasingly worse and couldn't get the layout and print liaison side of things done either. When Ken finally had his cancer diagnosis, he had already retired due to ill health. I kept the company producing for a while, and Gary Buckland (who has done quite a lot of our covers and some of our interior art) helped out with the layout of the final few books. He put in great work, but was busy with other things and the finances weren't healthy enough to bring him on board for as much time as was needed. It became increasingly less fun - I think Ken and I had a working style that fitted very neatly. I could still edit and release other people's work (such as OneDice), and write my own solo efforts, but once Gary got a full time job, I couldn't even do that. And I missed the regular contact with Ken to go "Squeee" about how things were progressing. So, for the last three or so years, things have drifted terribly. I still want to take things forward, but I want to do it at the right time and in the right way. Whether that will be possible is unclear. Frustratingly, I have about a dozen projects in various stages of writing, and already have the art for three books which have not been completed. I still love the hobby (and still game a lot), still want to write for it and have plenty of mojo for writing. The reality is that it is not a lucrative job. I don't really mind that, I can live quite happily on half a wage, but I can't afford to buy in the expertise necessary. Also, I like working cooperatively - it's hard to get the mojo - we went into business because we could support each other and because we loved each other's ideas, buying that in is not impossible, but somehow the balance isn't the same. Where I go from here is genuinely unclear. I'm unlikely to ever be bothered to skill up on Indesign. I also don't really want to plough on alone. I am bursting with ideas and still have the discipline to write, so things aren't necessarily finished for good. It's possible that the same synchronicity that bought Ken and myself together, or Gary into the tribe, or all the other wonderful writing and art contributors, will throw something up. Or, I might get over myself and just take up the keyboard again and finish off the outstanding projects and buy in the tech side. Nothing might happen. Who knows? At the moment, I'm putting new releases on hold and keeping our stuff out there - trying to decide what to do and not putting pressure on myself to do a half-assed job. I only work part-time, so I'm not time poor and could go back to C&W full-time. I hope you don't mind me massively oversharing. I'm happy to answer any questions, and, if there is any new news, I'll let people know straightaway. Once again, if you've got this far, thank you all. So, perhaps more undead than dead or alive, but more lich than zombie.
  10. 27 points
    Great news! DriveThruRPG have let us know The Jonstown Compendium is going live this Friday (29th)! Here are the five initial releases from community creators - the first of many, exploring Greg Stafford's world of Glorantha:
  11. 26 points
    Hi there, I discovered RQ when I tired of AD&D and saved up my pocket money to buy GW's RQ2 in 1980. My friends and I played RQ through Balazar and the Elder Wilds, Pavis and the Borderlands up to and through the AH RQ3 period and the wonderful RQ Renaissance of the early 90's - Sun County, Strangers in Prax, Dorastor. I went to Convulsion several times, met Greg and even landed up with a copy of Sandy Petersen's campaign notes from the Convulsion auction in 1994 (?). Great memories. Then I guess life got in the way. I moved to Australia in 2005 and all my RQ stuff has sat in boxes in the loft for at least 15 years; I haven't played a game of RQ in at least 20. Keeping track of RQ and Glorantha became tiresome as it branched in so many different directions. Every now and again I would buy an RQ or Glorantha product mostly as a homage to my teens. I would leaf through the product and then consign it to the back of a cupboard. With the COVID19 lockdown in hand, I pulled out my copy of latest RQ Rules on a whim and gave it a good read. The years have fallen away and I'm a teenager again! The production quality is magnificent and the rules and the setting have been honoured admirably. I realise too that I now have potentially captive players - two children the age I was when I first lifted the lid on RQ2 and rejoiced at the lack of character classes and alignments. So... there's real no point or question to this post. I simply felt moved to offer my thanks to those who kept the spirit of RQ and Glorantha alive during a fallow period and have engineered such a magnificent rebirth. Thank you
  12. 26 points
    I've been running games since the late eighties, and I can't remember the last time I felt so excited about my biweekly session. From stone woman to a trip to Greydog lands to return the corpses before the seven days are up, to today's session where the party has committed to go with Vostor (the one player who decided to use a pregen) on a Humakt pilgrimage to break his bonds to the Seven Mothers. The Battle of the Queens looms on the horizon. 2 players are new to RPGs, the other four have varying degrees of experience. Every single session has been a joy for everyone involved. I'm not sure why I'm gushing long form here, but I guess I might as well post before the game high passes.
  13. 26 points
    Whilst perusing various old documents I stumbled across this awesome RQ2 skill: GREG: There have been occasions when I have been reffing an expedition and, in explaining events, appearances, etc. have dropped all the clues I thought necessary for the players to have gotten the message. Sometimes they don't, and I am occasionally aware that it is a situation which the characters would recognize, but the players don't. What to do short of telling them? I have them roll their SPOT OBVIOUS skill. SPOT OBVIOUS: (perception skill) If a successful role is made the characters which did so receive the information first and act on it. ("Hey you guys, that's not a statue!) To find your ability, use this formula: (20 minus INT)X5 as a percentile die roll. Yes, that's right. The dumber you are the more likely you will spot the obvious. Oh yea, this cannot be trained, but can only go up with experience. I will also agree that you should probably get your natural perception bonus, too.
  14. 26 points
    I thought I'd post some working notes from some work we've been doing on cities in Dragon Pass (this ultimately is not going to be part of any book, but rather informs our art direction and map making). -------- Many of the cities in Dragon Pass are built atop the remnants of God Time settlements of the Vingkotlings. Now most of these ruins are some 5,000 years old, making them the equivalent of Neolithic ruins as seen by Alexander's Greeks. BTW, that's how I tend to try to understand Glorantha's history - I position myself at the time of Alexander the Greek and look backwards. Present year 162710 years ago - Lunar Empire invades Hendrikiland25 years ago - Boldhome falls to the Lunar Empire50 years ago - Battle of Grizzly Peak100 years ago - Apotheosis of Sartar300 years ago - Belintar unites Holy Country500 years ago - the Dragonkill War (1120)1000 years ago- the Kingdom of Dragon Pass. After this came the EWF.1500 years ago - the Second Council. The Theyalans dominate Genertela and war with the Pelorian horse people.2000 years ago - I Fought, We Won, and the Unity Battle. After this, came the Heortling kingdom, which lasted about 800 years (until Gbaji destroyed it).2500 years ago - The Chaos Age, which lasted until the Unity Battle.3000 years ago - the Ice Age5000 years ago - the Vingkotlings10,000 years ago - Orlanth kills YelmCompare this to a Greek at the time of Alexander (330 BC)10 years ago - Philip founds Philippopolis 25 years ago - the Sacred War50 years ago - Battle of Leuctra (371 BC)100 years ago - start of the Peloponnesian War300 years ago - fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire500 years ago - the neo-Assyrian Empire1000 years ago - the Trojan War1500 years ago - height of Babylon2000 years ago - Sargon and the Akkadian Empire2500 years ago - Gilgamesh is king of Uruk3000 years ago - Menes units Egypt (first dynasty)5000 years ago - Neolithic cities like Catal Huyuk and Jericho10,000 years ago - beginning of Neolithic age The Vingkotling settlements had great walls of stone or earth and the more important were built with something of a spiral shape. The Vingkotlings enslaved dwarfs or used great magics to build these settlements. They ranged in size from 2 or 3 hectares to nearly 500 hectares (Nochet was the capital of the Vingkotlings). Most were between 2 and 40 hectares. As the God Time became more and more destructive, these settlements tended to be rebuild as smaller and more fortified. Many of these Vingkotling citadels survived the Great Darkness. During the Great Darkness, the surviving peoples of Dragon Pass eked out an existence in a few of these citadels, and after I Fought We Won they became the centers of the new Theyalan civilization. Old ruins were the first to be resettled. Broken walls were cannibalized to build new walls. In the early First Age, the Theyalans were allied with the dwarfs of Greatway (in the Rockwood Mountains), and some later settlements (such as the City of Miracles in Dorastor) were architectural wonders. This civilization was destroyed in the Gbaji Wars that ended the age. In the later Second Age, Dragon Pass was again the center of an urbane empire, best known as the EWF. The EWF ruled much of the continent and could command masons and builders from far and wide, particularly from Dara Happa, but also from dwarf allies and subjects. Population levels recovered and many of the old cities were rebuilt, sometimes to realign with mystic experiments of the ruling EWF. The EWF collapsed in the 12th century and then all human life in Dragon Pass was exterminated overnight in 1120 with the Dragonkill War. For two centuries Dragon Pass was largely abandoned by humans. Some of the ruins were occupied by the dominant trolls as strongholds and bases, but most were just left empty. Dragon Pass was resettled by humans after 1300 or so.The old ruins were often the first to be resettled. So places like Clearwine, Bagnot, Dunstop, Jonstown, Two Ridge, and so on, all incorporate citadel walls built by older, richer civilizations. Until Sartar's arrival, these settlers were dramatically inferior builders to those who came before, but thanks to Sartar's friendship with the dwarves, his cities tend to be as impressive as anything from the previous ages. Saronil taught the dwarf secrets to his followers; although this ended the dwarf friendship, it began a tradition of impressive stonemasonry among the Sartarites. So in lots of these cities, there is going to be a "citadel" (or "acropolis") that is maybe 2 to 10 hectares in size built within the old Vingkotling citadel. Then a later city that incorporates earlier and later defensive walls, and then later rebuilds them. The previous names and history are generally lost (the settlers weren't scholars!), although places of obvious power became cult centers. What might have been a Second Age temple to the Diamond Storm Dragon gets rebuilt as a temple to Orlanth Adventurous. The tombs of Theyalan kings became shrines of Orlanth Thunderous or Ernalda. And so on. The city of Furthest is something of an exception. The Lunars laid out a planned city, built along the lines they developed in the Fifth Wane to resettle their own Heartlands, which had been destroyed by the nomadic hordes of Sheng Seleris. Furthest is built on a grid, and was built largely by and for foreigners.
  15. 25 points
    I feel the same sick punch in the gut that I felt the night I heard that Roger Zelazny had died. Greg was the man I most respected in Gaming. Greg and I mostly went our separate ways, but I like to think we were friends, and it always hurts to lose a friend. It's just like you, Greg, to slip off on a new adventure of your own without telling anybody you were going. Fare thee well, Greg on your latest journey.
  16. 25 points
    As author of a fair chunk of GtSA books, here's a little history and background from me. Canon was definitely ignored in the earliest releases. The writers at the time weren't familiar with either RQ or Glorantha and suddenly found they had to become very familiar with decades-worth of information even to get a rudimentary grip on the subject matter. It was easier for some more than others. Given the overwhelming amount of information one needed to absorb, even just on the Second Age and events leading up to it, one was faced with a truly daunting task. Couple that with a book-in-a-month timetable (standard for Mongoose at the time), and it was a fraught exercise. I was brought on because I had a reasonable grasp of Glorantha and exercised that from the start. My second book for Mongoose was the Dragonewt book, and so I went to the two authorities on Gloranthan lore that I knew well; Greg and Jeff. This continued with each Glorantha book I tackled, with both being consulted widely and deeply before I set pen to paper. 'Dara Happa Stirs' saw me spending a weekend with Jeff brainstorming and immersing ourselves in the Pergammon Museum's incredible exhibition on Babylon, the two of us formulating the Karvanyar campaign arc, understanding the Ten Tests and ensuring that texts such as Glorious ReAscent of Yelm were adhered to as precisely as possible. Despite the brutal deadline, which I managed to get extended to 6 weeks, it was a fun book to write and one that I remain proud of. Every Glorantha book thereafter I was involved in followed a similar pattern. Unfortunately, 'Pavis Rises' was handed to an author utterly unfamiliar with the canon who didn't liaise with Jeff despite my insistence that he do so. The original draft of 'Pavis Rises' (I still have the manuscript) is.... well, best I not say too much. I therefore rewrote it, from scratch, with Pete, Jeff and Greg's help, in about three weeks. That was the level of challenge I had working at Mongoose, and I'm still staggered I managed to write to the standard I did. There were a couple of misses for me, Glorantha-wise: I wasn't happy with Fronela, again due to the massive amount of information that needed to be conveyed; and there are elements of 'The Abiding Book' that I simply had to rush to meet the deadline. But 'Dragonewts', 'Mostali' and 'Darra Happa Stirs' I'm proud of and enjoyed. Even some parts of 'Pavis Rises' I really like - the Giant scenario was fun. I think Mongoose tried its best. I really do. The problem, aside from the deadlines and post-writing processes, was that it's production approach simply didn't mesh with the deep complexity of the subject, and was compounded by having writers unfamiliar with the canon having to rapidly assimilate it. I actually don't think Matthew (Sprange) was prepared for the huge amount of lore that surrounds Glorantha, and the vast wealth of understanding its fans have. Consequently, Glorantha was treated as a property with a relatively straightforward canon and background, like some of the other tittles Mongoose had, when it needed a very different approach from the start. And, irrespective of one's feelings for MRQ1, Mongoose did bring RuneQuest back to a wider gaming awareness after spending about a decade as a moribund, half-forgotten system. They got a lot wrong, but they also got quite a bit right, and so while criticism is justified, there are some things that do have merit.
  17. 24 points
    I said someone will take a chance on a Magic World license, turns out that someone is me. https://reigndragonpress.weebly.com/news/sean-hillman-of-reign-dragon-press-signs-limited-license-to-publish-a-setting-for-use-with-chaosiums-magic-world-rpg I am happy and nervous as heck. I realize I did not specify in the announcement, but it is a single setting book for use with MW.
  18. 24 points
    Available now from the Chaosium’s Jonstown Compendium webstore: the revised and expanded Rough Guide to Glamour. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/309765/A-Rough-Guide-to-Glamour?affiliate_id=392988 PRINT ON DEMAND version now available: premium colour hardcover, $29.95, comes bundled with the digital version. A Rough Guide to Glamour is your indispensible companion for any visit to the capital city of the greatest empire the world of Glorantha has ever known! This book contains: • A comprehensive map, gazetteer and guidebook detailing the capital of the Lunar Empire; • Portraits and descriptions of eleven Very Important People who can be encountered there, including Moonson, the Red Emperor, and the Lunar hero Jar-eel the Razoress; • A description and map of the Sultanate of the Silver Shadow, the throbbing heart of the Lunar Empire; • Sweeping overviews of the geography and history of the Lunar Empire; • RuneQuest writeups for the cults of the Red Emperor, immortal wizard-ruler of the Lunar Empire, and the goddess Glamour, the humble nymph who became the First Inspiration of Moonson; • Insights into the secrets of Kalikos Icebreaker, the Lunar College of Magic and the Imperial Monopolies of the Etyries cult; • Never republished supporting material from the legendary fanzine Tales of the Reaching Moon; • Rumours, fiction, poetry, and more besides! This is a thoroughly revised and expanded edition of the original Rough Guide to Glamour, written by Chris Gidlow, Mike Hagen, Nick Brooke, Michael O’Brien, Jeff Richard, Greg Stafford and friends, lavishly illustrated by Dario Corallo, Simon Bray, Julie Hudson and other artists. Foreword by Jeff Richard, Chair and Creative Director of Chaosium Inc. A Rough Guide to Glamour was first published as a players’ background book supporting Reaching Moon Megacorp’s Life of Moonson, a 50-player live-action role-playing game that debuted in 1997 and ran in the United States, Europe and Australia.
  19. 24 points
    So let's talk about Yelm and whence he comes from. This conversation is about Greg's King of Sartar and Stafford Library material, so its deep in textual argument and probably pulls from sources that are no longer of ‘clear’ authority. So be it. It is a brain dump and probably riddled with errors, but let’s talk about it. It's not, for now, mostly, about Yelmalio. He can come later. First we need to talk about Yelm. I'll give you the proposition first, then talk about where it comes from: Yelm is not the god of the sun at the Dawn for Dara Happa, or anywhere else. The major cultures central Genertela all have their own god of the sun at the Dawn. Yelm is a synthesis whose consequence is Nysalorian illumination and the Sunstop. Although he predates the God Learners, you can think of Yelm as a monomyth creation (although it's really Nysalorian illumination at the root of all this, including God Learnerism). Anyway, at the dawn, in central Genertela, the sun is Elmal, and Antirius, and Kargzant, (and others, all cultures have a sun god, even Ehilim in the west). Orlanth kills the Emperor, not Yelm. Rebellus Terminus is the enemy of the Dara Happan gods, not Orlanth. Orlanth goes on the Lifebringer's Quest to bring back Ernalda, not the Lightbriner's Quest to bring back the sun. The Red Goddess was not the first divinity to be created inside Time in Peloria. That crown goes to Yelm. In many ways the birth of the Red Goddess is an echo of the birth of Yelm. So how do I get to this conclusion? First off, when Greg wrote King of Sartar (KoS), he looked in detail at Orlanthi culture. One aspect of that was to look at their religion. Up to this point we had tended to think about their being a single Gloranthan religion oriented around the monomyth. More than that, the cultures all worshipped an elemental pantheon. The Sartarites worshiped the Storm Gods, the Dara Happans the Sky Gods etc. This changed with King of Sartar. Greg started to think about the Orlanthi as worshiping a pantheon of deities instead. The cultures of the Dawn were isolated and complete. The Heortlings knew of the sun, they could see it in the sky, but they called it Elmal, not Yelm. To be a complete pantheon, there had to be a native god of the sun, among others, that had previously been only represented as foreign gods. But no foreign gods were known at the Dawn. Thus Greg's introduction of Elmal, a sun god for the Orlanthi. "This time I looked at things anew, as always. Importantly, while wandering throughout the Stormtime and Nowtime, I looked up and wondered, for the first time, “Who is the Orlanthi sun god?” I realized that the place of the Sun in Orlanthi myth, as revealed so far, was that of the enemy and foe, the Emperor. Nonetheless, there was the Sun of Life which anyone can see and feel when they go out on a sunny day. Without that then the Dark Tribe would rule again. The Orlanthi knew it and surely acknowledged the Friendly Sun. I knew that, but even as Storyteller I did not know where this might be." - The Birth of Elmal, Greg Stafford. KoS acknowledged that the religion of the Heortlings at the Dawn included sun gods, darkness gods, water gods etc. Any real reasoning about this had already needed to break the elemental correspondence anyway, the Heortlings had an earth goddess already in Ernalda, so they were never pure storm. Elmal was the name of the Orlanthi sun god. It was new to KoS, many of the names there were new to us. And it caused controversy because it changed how we thought about Glorantha, from one world pantheon, to multiple pantheons, originating in a different Dawn Age culture. Inspired by this revelation, Greg went on to write Glorious Reascent of Yelm (GRoY) to examine Dara Happan religion, the Entekosiad to look at Pelandan religion etc. Gone was the vision of 'one Gloranthan religion' with different regions favoring different elements that had graced the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha articles in Wyrm's Footnotes. Now we had many religions that met, and tried to reconcile their different perspectives of the Godtime, sometimes peacefully, sometimes violently. "Third, my new status has freed me to explore other aspects of Glorantha which had previously been prohibited by the rules and laws of the RuneQuest tribe. As a result I have been delving deeply into the Solar Way (thanks to the entryway provided by the Many Lesser Suns) and, as a natural consequence, the Lunar Way." The Birth of Elmal, Greg Stafford For Greg the touch point of this conflict was the identity of the sun. He refers to this in both KoS, GRoY, and Fortunate Succession (FS) as the conflict of the Many and the One. Consider, that when two cultures meet, we can rationalize most differences between our pantheons by creating regional earth, river, city or storm deities. "Esrola is your land goddess down there, and Pela is our land goddess up here," folks say. "Orlanth is the great storm that blows down in Dragon Pass, but Entekos is the calm air of our region." The two cultures can share stories and agree that their gods are the gods of their region. Sometimes they share stories and tales, and people wonder: "Is your goddess also our goddess?" And when people meet in peace, as they did in the Unity council, this can create a synthesis that is greater than the sum of the parts. But there is only one sun. So how can we reconcile competing sun gods? Now, if you hear Greg speak at cons it is clear that Glorantha is a platonic universe. The 'All' of the 'Green Age' is unknowable except to the mystic and likely to drive anyone who experiences it mad without preparation. Most religions see the 'shadows on the wall of the cave' of that reality, a projection of their culture over the fundamental truths of the runes to create something approachable for worship. It is a 'soft' polytheism not a 'hard' one. "In the Beginning, before there were people, before there was a sky, an earth or an ocean, before there were gods, before there was a Before, was Vezkarvez. Vezkarvez is not something which can be thought about, remembered, felt, or even imagined. Do not bother to try, for to try to do so is only to fall into the trap of the Other. Vezkarvez, pure and undivided, can be touched only by the highest gods who know secrets which you can never know." GRoY, p.6 Now someone might object to soft polytheism: "But in Glorantha you can heroquest and check the details!" But it is clear that heroquesting is still a projection of the mortal mind onto the cosmic "all", you can heroquest to cement your version of the truth and if enough people agree to it, then that is a truth for them. Harmast learns this and does this. But so does the Red Goddess, and (spoilers) so does Yelmgatha. So, as we stated earlier, there is just one sun in the sky, so rationalizing that becomes a little trickier. Here is the problem of the Many and the One. We can't pull the region trick. How can the sun be your sun god, and my sun god? We have some options, which mostly boil down to: they are both names for the same god or you are wrong. Synthesis or conflict. The sun becomes the touch point for the conflict of the Many vs. the One. Either we accept that we don't have truth, just a "shadow on the walls of the cave" or we declare you a heretic. IMO Greg was pretty clear what the scenario was at the Dawn in KoS and GRoY. The Heortlings have a sun god called Elmal, the Dara Happans have one called Antirius and the Horse Nomads have one called Kargzant. "Elmal is the Orlanthi god of the Sun, a trusted thane of the Chief God who is charged with defending the homestead when Orlanth and his companions depart upon the Lightbringers’ Quest. His priests participate in the great festivals and important Sacred Time annual rituals, and have parts in many of the most widely known stories. ... The deity gave its initiates blessings upon the earth, good barley crops, healthy horses, and winter protection" King of Sartar, p.188 Now, as KoS instructs us, the horse nomads were driven off, and so the Heortlings and Pentans never exchanged their mythologies in a peaceful fashion. But the Dara Happans and the Heortlings did. And they wrestled with the problem? How can your sun god and our sun god both be the sun. Either we are hard or soft polytheists. "During the Dawn Age there was a clash of cultures as the Elmal magic impacted with the fierce Sun God who was worshipped by the nomads of Peloria. The beliefs of the two cultures in their own Sun Gods [Elmal and Kargzant] were challenged for the first time. Each held true, but the fierce nomads were weaker and unable to withstand the shock. The war ended with their defeat, and they retreated to places where no people had ever lived before. The withdrawal of the nomads revealed a greater threat: the native Dara Happan Solar religion which covered all the regions previously occupied by the nomads. The impact upon the Theyalans is recorded, but the crushing splendor of the great golden towers of the Dara Happan Sun God was especially strong upon the Elmali. The Theyalans recognized that Yelm, the Dara Happan Great God, was the manifestation of their own Emperor, an enemy of Orlanth. The Orlanthi also realized that Yelm was also the Sun God." King of Sartar, p.188 and then later in GRoY "Eventually these two cultures fused into a single entity called the Golden Empire of Nysalor, but that did not begin until the reign of Emperor Khorzanelm (c. 111,368 to 111,405), a century and a half after the era covered in this book. During the friendly century of this era occurred a fusion of the two mythologies of Dara Happan Yelm and Theyalan Orlanth. For instance, the part of Rebellus Terminus was taken by Orlanth, and he was associated with the Disruptor constellation by other peoples. Likewise, it was an easy step for the Orlanthi Emperor to become the god Yelm. The harmonious duality of Nature was thereby shown, especially in a myth of their competition for the hand of Ernalda, a Sairdite manifestation of the earth goddess. " From GRoY, 'Where is Orlanth' p.73 Fortunate Succession tells us more about this merging, which GRoY refers to as 'after this book' which occurs at the Sunstop: "Khorzanelm was the emperor who supported, blessed, sanctioned, and oversaw the incorporation of the World Council of Friends within Dara Happa. With imperial support, the project was prepared with the best of everything. It was located in the south, because everyone wished to heal that direction first because it harmed everyone the most and was itself the most damaged. In 111,375 Khorzanelm assembled all the best people of the Empire, and they spoke the Prayer to Yelm, and this time were answered by the appearance of the One God Himself. It was not just Antirius, the ever-reliable bright Disk, but instead this time was truly Yelm Overlord who rose. Yelm wished to honor and praise the mighty Emperor who had tamed the world and provided the security for him to rise. Thus Yelm stood motionless in the sky and the Heavenly Choir rained praise upon all the faithful whose lives were enriched until their deaths as wise elders. Such a unique opportunity was possible only because Nysalor had been born, the incarnation of the Many, born among mortals to bring the divine light to us." Fortunate Succession, p.32, emphasis mine FS later moves events so that Yelm appears prior to the Sunstop, the result of debates about who the sun is, but gives birth to Nysalorian illumination because recognition that both Elmal and Antirius are the sun requires such insight. "The time spent for Yelm to re-manifest the world was from 110,666 until 111,111 when he became manifest as the Real Sun. Yelm's insight into the secrets of the cosmos was originally the province of only himself and, perhaps, a few of the other immortals. But in 111,375 Illumination was delivered to mortals as well. This occurred when Nysalor was born. The burden of bearing the Impossible was beyond the power of even the One. Yelm paused in the sky, and he separated the Illumination from himself, and placed One among us mortals to keep our awareness of the First Being alive. Thereafter it was possible for the Many to be the One as well. A further benefit was that Yelm was purified. The Sun had purged itself completely from the Many when he gave this great gift to humankind. Thereafter, too, Yelm was less of a god and more of a Sun." Fortunate Succession, p. 74 Nysalor is the 'incarnation of the Many' and also 'seperated the Illumination from himself, and placed One among us." What does that mean? IMO it means that Nysalor is 'soft polytheism' the idea that many gods could be associated with a phenomena because they are all 'shadows on the wall of the cave' not the all. If the sun is not Elmal, or Antirius, but something essential which we project these ideas onto, a Fire Rune perhaps, then we can create a new projection, synthesized from existing ideas: Yelm. Greg reiterated this a number of times. From the WoG list: "The unification of the Orlanthi and the Solar religions, under the council that created Nysalor, was a fusion of two different religions under a mystically oriented demigod. A truly unique event for the times. And one that did not last under its own internal pressure." https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/WorldofGlorantha/conversations/messages/2130 and discussing the emergence of illumination in the First Age: “In Dorastor, the Amalgam Deities were imported and incorporated. It is probably the origin of the Monomyth, in which Yelm and Orlanth play such significant parts in each others' myths. After this period the Dara Happan role of Rebellus Terminus is permanently grafted to Orlanth, while the Orlanthi role of Emperor is immutably assigned to Yelm.” Fortunate Succession, p.72 Wait, you may say, GRoY has Yelm in its mythic history. Of course, because it is a document that post-dates this syncretic deity. But Greg left a lot of hints as to the ‘puzzle’ he was creating for us. GRoY itself reveals the contemporary debates about Yelm. The most significant is the absence of Antirius on the God’s Wall. Why is Antirius absent? “The Plentonic Debates began within a century after the author first circulated copies of his document. Debate started with worshippers of Doburdun, the Darsenite Thunderer, who pointed out that figure I-18 was precisely their deity, icono-graphically. They did not know Antirius, who was not associated with Doburdun at all. Attributes, powers, and myths were all different. Apparently many learned people had also been quietly wondering what I-18 had to do with Antirius. The priests’ questions thus began debates about the nature of the Plentonic Truth which, in turn, led to debates about the nature of Truth.” The ‘problem’ of Antirius is only a problem if he is not the figure on the wall now identified as Yelm. Replace Yelm with Antirius on the wall, and recognise Yelm as a deity created in time, and he can take his rightful place on the wall again, as can Doburdun the Darsenite thunder god. The ‘Plentonic Debates’ on ‘Truth’ are ultimately a debate about the identity of the sun and the revelation of Yelm inside time — Antirius is only absent because we must have one sun that takes aspects of Antirius, Elmal, Kargzant, the Emperor etc. That is why the sun becomes ‘the one’ split of from the many for the Nysalorians. Because we feel the need for their to be ‘one sun’ we divorce the ‘sun’ from the many deities that can represent him It seems that the early Yelm cult, like the modern lunar cult, is a state religion whose purpose is worship of the Emperor and the organisation of the Empire. It seems little worshipped outside of this role: “Emperor Khordavu, as well as his household and certain office holders, were considered to be divinities. They were a part in the natural hierarchy of life, along with spirits, demigods, and other deities.” Fortunate Succession, p.65 Parallels with the lunar cult of the Red Emperor seem reasonable, at this stage the Yelm cult is essentially worship of the divine emperor over the sun. So that is how we can say: “ Thereafter it was possible for the Many to be the One as well. A further benefit was that Yelm was purified. The Sun had purged itself completely from the Many when he gave this great gift to humankind. Thereafter, too, Yelm was less of a god and more of a Sun” Yelm is the sun, separate from the cults of the sun, Antirius, Elmal, Kargzant et al. but also from the cult of the divine emperor that bears his name. But what happens after the break up of the Bright Empire? "When the Nysalorite Empire broke apart and the barbarians invaded, the unified belief continued, although unified religion was broken. Differences were encouraged by politics taking a turn for the worse, and the natural differences between deities being emphasized. Working harmony was gone again, leaving only the Ideal." From GRoY, 'Where is Orlanth' p.73 In other words though the belief in Yem vs Orlanth continued, the imperial cult was no longer the sun cult worshipped by both Heortlings and Dara Happans after that event. But of course this creates a difficult moment. Who is the sun for Heortlings now? Yelm or Elmal? I suspect that the answer is 'both' but that this is problematic, because it contains within it traces of Nysalorian thinking, the acceptance of the One and the Many. Yelm is the sun god, Elmal is the sun cult. Our only real evidence about what folks may believe in this age is compounded by the dominance in subsequent ages of the EWF in Orlanthi areas. However, it is clear that in Dara Happa, at least, the cult of Yelm runs into trouble post-Nysalor. "After Nysalor, the commoners' backlash resulted in extensive anti-Yelm feeling and activity. The anti-Yelmic passions were increased when the occupiers offered their own seasonal rituals to their storm gods, and many commoners joined. This, of course, is the way of the Many." Fortunate Succession, p.66 I believe by ’storm gods’ we should imply ‘Elmal’. Re-read this as: “After Nysalor, the commoners' backlash resulted in extensive anti-Yelm feeling and activity. The anti-Yelmic passions were increased when the occupiers offered their own seasonal rituals to [Elmal], and many commoners joined. This, of course, is the way of the Many." Of course this is likely the cult of the divine emperors, who intercede with the sun, over the sun himself. The implication is that identification does not collapse. It seems likely then that whilst the unified mythology was known to the Heortlings, worship of Elmal predominated among the Heortlings after the collapse of the Bright Empire, due to the association of the cult of Yelm with Nysalor and the divine emperors of Dara Happa. Yelm might be the sun, certainly, but Elmal was their sun cult. Indeed, it’s unclear if Yelm’s cult really spread to the Orlanthi much outside Dorastor and Saird: “Incorporation of Yelmic Rites into Dorastan Rites: avidly welcomed, and incorporated. Nysaloran Rites (especially in Saird) combine multiple cultures. These combined ceremonies are well-attended in Dorastor and Saird, but much less elsewhere, and poorly through most of Dara Happa. The popularity in Saird and Darani must be modified by remembering that both were thinly populated.” Fortunate Succession, p.71 So it is in Saird that the most-significant ‘mixing’ occurred. but it seems not to have spread. Saird lacked the population to spread its support for the Bright Empire's celestial beliefs. There is no implication of spread or persistence of these ideas in Ralios or the Shadowlands. So if Orlanthi were worshipping Yelm, it seems to have been in Saird. But what were they worshipping, if Yelm was a cult of the divine emperor? Under the Ordanestyan Reforms in Dara Happa there was an attempt to re-assert the Imperial cult and thus the divine emperors, but shorn of Nysalorian mystery. Worship instead seems to have focused on the twenty celestial deities. At this point, Anitirus is no longer one of the twenty (or wider eighty) but a part of the cult of Yelm Imperator, that is he is not distinguished from the sun. The ‘mystery’ of the Many and the One cannot withstand the lack of Nysalorian insight, it must be reconciled by eliminating Antirius. So it is possible the Sairdites were worshipping deities from amongst the twenty (or eighty), which makes more sense than the cult of the divine emperor. So it is the spread of solar cults, over the cult of the divine emperor I suspect. But even this cult waxes and wanes and seems unlikely to have impacted areas outside Saird. Why? Well, look at what happens next. The cult of Yelm disappears under the pressure of first to the Golden Dragon and later to the Carmanians. Fortunate Succession is clear on this, there really is no Yelm cult during these periods. The cult, because it is really the cult of the divine emperor of Dara Happa is underground when foreigners rule Dara Happa. An ‘underground' Imperial cult is an unlikely point of gravitation for second of third age Elmali. Why gravitate to an imperial cult in hiding? In fact, it seems likely that the Yelm known to the Orlanthi, is unrelated to the Dara Happen cult, existing mostly as ‘the Emperor’ the enemy god, over a genuine understanding of the Imperial cult of earlier ages. If the Yelm cult itself was constantly shifting, being driven underground, how could the Heortlings look to it for their solar identity? Indeed, the alternative for the Heortlings is draconic mysticism or Carmanian dualism. So at this point the Heortlings have two, almost irreconcilable notions of the sun: Yelm whom they have projected the characteristics of the Emperor on to, as befitting an imperial cult, and Elmal the loyal thane. But the implications of the Yelm cult's association with divine emperors leads me to suspect that Yelm remains the Emperor for most Heortlings at this point, his identity as the sun a 'mystery'. Now this mystery is difficult, for it implies the Many and the One. And it must be a source of questions for the priests of the cult, much as the textual legacies of the Caananite religion provide interesting questions in the Christian bible. But I suspect they continue to worship Elmal as the sun cult, with Yelm both celestial Emperor and sun. After all, the cult they have encountered up to now is an imperial cult, whose purpose is to empower the divine emperors. Not one they would gravitate to. In fact, the cult of Yelm does not really resurface in Dara Happa until Yelmgatha, who uses the return of Nysalorian thinking and heroquesting to bring back a ‘fogotten' Yelm cult, centred around Dara Happen sovereignty following centuries of EWF and Carmanian rule: “The suppression and destruction of the ancient Yelmic religion drove worship underground… Yelmgatha was a minor nobleman with a short temper who drove the Carmanians out of his land. When they sent armies to destroy him, the leader went to the Red Goddess nearby to ask for help. Thus Yelmgatha became one of the first Dara Happan Heroquesters. Heroquesting differed from previous forms of worship in being experimental and conscious. In fact, it was a return to Nysalorism in many ways, and openly acknowledged as such. Yelmgatha went several times into the Other Side, and emerged with the tools and powers1 he needed to complete the Ten Tests to make himself Emperor, which he did in 112,235. Then he cast out the Carmanians, and Yelmgatha became the new Emperor of Dara Happa. The event was called the Sunburst... During this whole time he was friends with the Red Goddess, who was performing similar quests. Their tasks were often intertwined, and strengthened each thereby. Sun and Moon became a pair of travelers in the Hero Plane.” In other words, the cult of Yelm returns with the spiritual liberation of the Red Goddess. And the parallels between the two ‘created’ gods, synthesised from older religions via ‘Nysalorian illumination’ is drawn clearly here. These gods are made! I believe Greg was trying to draw direct parallels between the First Age emergence of Yelm, synthesised from existing sun cults and the Sunstop, and the emergence of the Red Moon, synthesised from existing lunar deities and the Sunburst. We associate Yelm with older religion in Dara Happa, but it seems that it co-exists in modern form with the Empire. Remember, it is the cult of the divine emperor! Now that emperor is the Red Emperor. In many ways the cult of Yelm and the cult of the Red Emperor are one and the same. The association of Yelm with the Red Goddess of course makes it any influence of the cult on modern part of the missionary work of the Lunar Empire. The promotion of “Yelm” as the sun and the elimination of Elmal, as Antirius was once eliminated, is in essence a Lunar project, driven by heroquesters. So, when we learn that in Saronil’s reign "Once the Eyetooth Clan brought in the antesmia statue. They did it because they were rebelling against their king, and they wanted to be able to bring a Sunspear down from their god, and were willing to pay eternal worship and tribute to a foreign deity in order to succeed.”, King of Sartar, p. 169 it is the missionary work of the Lunar Empire, that is also a renewed Bright Empire that is at the heart of this struggle IMO. This is worship of the imperial cult, and by implication worship of the Red Emperor, not just ‘Yelm’ the sun as opposed to Elmal. But this sweeping change must be dated to the emergence of the Lunar Empire, not earlier, because the Yelm cult was underground before that. The implication of this is that Elmal is the sun during the reign of Tarkalor for the Sartarites, not Yelm, otherwise this act of rebellion means nothing. We have to see this in the context of Lunar celestial theology overwhelming the Heortlings in a way that could not have happened under the EWF or Carmania. There was no dominant solar cult to export post Nysalor and prior to Yelmgatha. But what is true for the Sartarites would seem to be true of everyone, for until the Lunar Empire, after the Bright Empire, there is no Yelm cult to gravitate to, and the sun cult remains Elmal (or Kargzant). Now, we risk getting into Yelmalio territory — remember his temples are in Saird and they seem to revitalise alongside the Empire, but let’s park where that leads us for now. But Monro’s vision is surely one of illumination. His talk of the Many Suns echoes talk of the Many and the One. What Monro sees is one sun, many sun cults. His vision is not an objection to Elmal, but a reinforcement of the Bright Empire doctrine that there is one sun, and many sun cults (and we may well call that sun Yelm, because the cult worships the Emperor). But no sun cult is more ‘true’ than the others. But of course the implication is that Yelmalio is the sun too. Another sun cult. One amidst the Many. But it is a dangerous vision, for it is a vision of the Nysalorians and their Bright Empire. All those priests in their retirement towers contemplating the sun. Sure sounds like a journey into illumination. But it is clear that there is no cult of Yelm at the Dawn. Yelm is the name given to sun in the Nysalorian insight that there is one sun and many sun cults. It is also the name of the source of power for the cult of divine emperors that ruled during the Bright Empire, and now rule again in the Lunar Empire.
  20. 23 points
    Greg once told tell me that to keep the goddess Glorantha alive and eternally youthful, he needed to be an Arkati Trickster Shaman. Now that that duty has fallen to me, I've donned my coyote mask and taken on the role. It is fitting that I've decided to revisit Greg's heroquest to discover Elmal, only this time to reject that god in favour of restoring the god he had supplanted - Yelmalio. Elmal was discovered to answer an important question for Greg's Harmast novel, a book that he worked on fitfully from 1989 until 2009 or so. Harmast was set in the late First Age, some 400 years after the Dawn. Greg posed himself the question - who was the Orlanthi Sun God before the Orlanthi encountered the Yelm-worshipers of Peloria? In the early drafts of the novel, the answer to that question was Yelmalio. Yelmalio was the last light that survived the Darkness. He held out throughout the Greater Darkness, although he became weaker and weaker, after being robbed by Orlanth, Inora, and Zorak Zoran, and then savaged by Chaos. But he endured and was not extinguished and was there to greet the Dawn. But that's the Third Age myth - what was the story at the Dawn? Greg concluded that the Orlanthi recognised this god as Elmal, who loyally protected the people of Dragon Pass throughout the Greater Darkness. When Orlanth left on his Lightbringers Quest, Elmal remained behind, "the loyal thane". At the Dawn, Elmal took the Sun Disk and carried it through the sky as the Sun God. Presumably, he is also Lightfore, the "little sun" that appeared in the Grey Age and who rises when the Sun sets, and sets when the Sun rises. This might mean that Elmal never died - he is always in the Sky. When he sets in the West with the Sun Disk, he immediately rises as Lightfore in the East, and vice versa. Let's fast forward to the late Third Age. We know that there is Yelmalio all over the place. Sun Domes in Sartar, Prax, and all over Genertela. We know he is the main Fire/Sky god worshiped in Dragon Pass - heck, he is in White Bear Red Moon and his most famous initiate Is Rurik Runespear. So where did Yelmalio come from? Greg's answers were properly contradictory, as is the nature of such things. He came from the elves. He came from Monrogh's Vision of the Many Suns. He was revealed by Nysalor at the Battle of fNight and Day. All are correct, all are partially false. Or least not entirely true. But equally, all contain some truth. Then came the real tough question - what is the status of Elmal in the late Third Age? And by that I mean Hero Wars Sartar. Greg let others answer that question as his interest was in the First Age. He didn't know. David Dunham tried to answer it in his amazing computer game, King of Dragon Pass. Elmal is one off the main gods in that game, and Yelmalio is nowhere to be seen. But like a number of elements in that game, that never seemed right to me. And later Greg let me know that he agreed with my doubts. Note: that is not a dig at KoDP which I consider to be the best introduction to Glorantha ever made. But there are elements of the game that never set right with me. Elmal. Anglo-Saxon clothing and skin colour. Etc. These are tiny critiques of a master piece, and pertinent only in an essay like this. As I worked on the Guide to Glorantha with Greg back in 2012, Greg hinted that we should be reconsidering Elmal. Vinga had already been revealed to be the female incarnation of Orlanth, and not merely another Thunder Brother. Yelmalio, Greg suggested, was the main Sun God of the Third Age Orlanthi. And so Yelmalio got much more attention in the Guide to Glorantha than Elmal did. As I started putting together RuneQuest, Greg and I talked about the player character cults. "Gotta have Yelmalio," Greg said. "We've always had Yelmalio in RuneQuest." The elemental progression wheel and the conflict between Air and Fire are hard-wired into the rules. The Storm fights with the Sun. That's a driving theme in the setting and the game mechanics reflect that. But where does that put Elmal? We didn't even include poor Elmal in the book. In the Cults Book, the time to evade the question is over. This is a game book, not a speculative collection off essays. So here's the answer: Yelmalio is the Sun God of Dragon Pass and the Lunar Provinces. The Yelm cult among the Grazelander Pure Horse People is the exception that proves the rule. Since the 1550s or so, even most of the solar worshipers among the Sartarites have agreed that Yelmalio is the god of the Cold Sun. Elmal is still present - as a subcult of Yelmalio. If you want to have your Elmal cultist who is allied to Orlanth and the loyal defender of the Orlanthi clan, you can. He just has the ignominy of being treated as a member of a special Yelmalio subcult. And the even greater insult of being largely ignored by the Sartarite Orlanth cult. But Elmal can endure. And who knows, he might endure long enough for Arkat to need to betray his gods and become a passionate devotee of something old, something new. Who knows - I mean it has happened before!
  21. 23 points
    As I sit in my office cluttered with notes, sketches, and fragments of stories that I am trying to arrange, edit, and complete so that they can be published, I happily acknowledge that Greg Stafford has influenced by professional and personal life more than anyone else. Greg was my mentor, my teacher, and such a profound influence on me that I can't even imagine how to delineate where Greg ends and I begin. Greg introduced me to my wife (even gave us the key to a castle eyrie before we knew we'd need it); he was my business partner, writing partner, and friend. Greg entrusted me with his world - a world made up of fragments of his dreams, fantasies, nightmares, anxieties, hopes, and fears. With just 24 magical symbols (two fewer than the Latin script, two more than the Major Arcana), Greg assembled an entire cosmos, large enough to contain multitudes. Greg's cosmos was deeply personal but also reflected universal human themes. Themes that embraced both our best and our worst aspects - hope and hubris, humanity's desire for unity combined with our drive for division and destruction, the need for each new generation to overthrow the last. The cycle of birth, new hopes, old fears, death, and rebirth. Greg did the monomyth better than Campbell, the Matter of Britain better than Mallory. Greg's mythology is both new and as familiar as half-forgotten dream. Greg Stafford is now part of the God Time. The God Time, for those unfamiliar with Greg's mythology, is that part of the cosmos that is endless and eternal. In the mundane world we are ephemeral - we all will die and disappear from the earth; but in the God Time we endure as part of the fundament of the cosmos. So although Greg the Mortal is no longer with us in Time, Greg the Immortal exists eternally, because Greg helped make our universe. Maybe that is all just a metaphor for Greg's boundless creativity. Greg's works, his love, his thoughts, his dreams - they continue to inspire. Not just the stuff he's rightly celebrated for - Glorantha, RuneQuest, Pendragon, Nephilim, a lifetime of game design, and so much more - but all of it. Greg's thoughts on shamanism and the invisible world, discussions pre-Clovis habitation in North America, interpretation of Huichol art, thoughts on life and love, and so much more. All of that is still with us - part of the God Time. Greg once told me shamans and heroes exist simultaneously in our ephemeral world of Time and in the immortal God Time. Like so many of the things Greg has told me over the years, even when I have been able intellectually grasp the concept, it takes experiences to truly understand it. In this case, it takes Greg's passing for me to truly understand the difference between Time and God Time. Greg's mortal self - that part of him confined by Time - is gone, but his immortal self is with us always in the God Time.
  22. 21 points
    All of the current answers from Jason's RuneQuest Core Rules Questions thread have been added to three Q&A pages: RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – Q&A by Chapter RuneQuest Gamemaster Screen Pack – Q&A RuneQuest Glorantha Bestiary – Q&A They are organised by Chapter and in page number order. You can search them: minimum of three characters - eg Q&A use quotes to find an exact reference eg "page 54" It not only contains Jason's thread, but : Rune Fixes 3rd July 2018,Second Printing Clarifications, Corrections and Additions 1.0.0. and clarifications from a translation document. Due to the limitations of this site, answers by Jason outside of his main thread have not been added as I can't search easily for them. If you know of any please add the link below. If there are any relevent answers by Jeff I will also include them them. This is a growing resource and further answers will be added when available.
  23. 21 points
    Some notes on Heortland: Heortland This plateau occupies most of the eastern part of the land around the Mirrorsea Bay. There is a narrow coastal strip which quickly gives way to thousand foot high cliffs ending at the plateau. Five rivers have cut gorges from the plateau top to the sea and these fjords form the only access from shore to the upland farms. Only in the northern part, around the Marzeel River, does the land sink into Volsaxiland. Little remains of the once great woodlands that once covered most of this plateau in the First and Second Ages. East of the farmlands rise low wooded hills, then a steep, snow-covered mountain range called the Storm Mountains, inhabited by Wind Children and other beings of the Air. Most prominent among them is Stormwalk, where Storm Bull resides at times. The rugged nature of the land prevents easy passage between Heortland and Prax, which lies on the far side of the Storm Mountains. Short History When Belintar defeated the king of the Hendrikings in 1317, he broke that ancient tribe and bound its spirit to his service. As long as the God-King ruled, the Hendriking tribe did not exist. Instead, the God-King appointed a governor to rule the Heortland region. The clans loyal to the God-King were called the Vandari ("loyalists"); in the north of Heortland, the Volsaxi tribe of the lands between the Shadow Plateau and the Marzeel River (the heart of the old Hendriking tribal lands) refused to acknowledge the authority of the God-King. In the 15th century, as the southern third of Heortland came under the domination of Aeolings, that region became known as Esvular. In Vandarland, the threat of Chaos from the Footprint resulted in a peculiar institution. Bands of chariot-riding (and sometimes horse-riding) armoured warriors are supported by nobles who are in turn chosen from within certain families and approved by all free members of the community. As a result, central Heortland become known as Gardufar ("People of the Watch"). In Esvular (also called Bandori after the Aeoling tribe), the Aeolians are divided into three hereditary castes: free, noble, and wizard. These castes are hereditary and endogamous: the free and noble castes use Rune and spirit magic; the wizard caste uses sorcery. For nearly three hundred years, the God-King kept peace in Heortland, broken only by the occasional rebellion among the northern hill tribes and the rarer Chaotic eruptions from the Footprint. When the God-King disappeared in 1616 and did not return, the land quickly fell into disorder.In the north, an Orlanthi holy man proclaimed himself the High King and resurrected the long-dead Hendriking tribe. In Vandarland, a Western adventurer seized power with the support of his Esvular allies, calling himself the King of Malkonwal. In 1619, the Lunar Empire invaded Heortland, capturing Karse. The following year, they conquered Malkonwal, while the Hendrikings held out at Whitewall, defeating everything the Lunars threw at it, including the Crimson Bat. Whitewall finally fell in 1621, at a terrible cost, but the Lunar triumph was short-lived. In 1622, Broyan reappeared with a new army and raised the hill clans in rebellion. He defeated the Lunar army at the Battle of Auroch Hills. Scorpion Men erupted from the Footprint, forming the Queendom of Jab in Gardufar. After forcing the Scorpion Men back into the Footprint, in 1623 Broyan left for Nochet with a small army. The High King returned to Whitewall late the following year with a new army of adventurers, mercenaries, pirates, and devotees, preparing to invade Dragon Pass, but in 1625 the High King was assassinated by Lunar sorcery. Heortland is now in turmoil. Although much of Broyan's army has drifted away, the core of it is still there, dominating the local temples, claiming land and herds. Without Broyan, they have no single established leader. Some look to Kallyr, some to Harrek, others to Argrath, and still others think about making themselves kings or warlords in their own right. Meanwhile, Scorpion Men reemerge from the Footprint, raiding ever deeper into the former Vandarland and Bandori. Stereotype Bronze-armored clans of Orlanth-worshipers, herders famous for their quarrels and feuds. Men are emotional, often violently passionate, with swiftly shifting opinions and feelings. Women are cunning, practical and vengeful. The Vandari are mostly loyal to the God-King, while the Volsaxi are inveterate rebels. In comparison to the Vandari and Volsaxi, the Esvular are seen as comparatively prudent and less adventurous. They all hate Chaos. Common Attitudes Heortlanders are loyal to their clan above all, and are devoted to their gods. They are open to foreigners and foreign ideas, particular from Esrolia, whom they have much contact with through cult, trade, and marriage. Religion They worship the Lightbringer gods and Esrolian goddesses. Storm Bull is an important war god, and the bull god resides atop Stormwalk Mountain. The Invisible God is revered as the Creator by the Aeolians of Esvular. Climate Heortland is wetter than either Esrolia or the Shadow Plateau and is the only part of the Holy Country that regular gets snowfalls in winter. Durengard Temperature and Precipitation Season Temp (low/high) Rainfall (cm/days) Prevailing Winds Snow (cm) Sea-Early 6/22 15/20 Southwesterly — Sea-Late 11/23 15/18 Southwesterly — Fire-Early 16/26 8/8 Southwesterly — Fire-Late 22/32 5/6 Southwesterly — Earth-Early 13/26 2/3 Southwesterly — Earth-Late 9/19 3/4 Southwesterly — Dark-Early 2/13 6/6 Northerly — Dark-Late –4/6 12/11 Northerly 40 Storm-Early -3/7 15/18 Northerly 45 Storm-Late -2/13 7/18 Northerly 1 Sacred Time 3/22 6/9 Southwesterly — Total Precipitation: 94 cm rain, with 86 cm snow. REGIONS Esvular Culture/Religion: Esvularing/Aeolian Bandori: This Esvularing tribe has an ancient alliance with the sorcerers who rule the city of Refuge. The Lunar conquest of Heortland did not extend to the Bandori, who maintain a tenuous independence from the Empire. Duchamp (small city): This city, surrounded by fertile countryside, sits along the main road down from the Heortland Plateau. It is governed by a council of guilds and temples. Duchamp is the location of the Jelenkev School, famous for its copying of manuscripts from all over Glorantha. Mount Passant (large city):The largest settlement of the Esvularing people was built with the aid of Belintar after the old capital, Bensval, was razed. It has the largest Aeolian temple in the Holy Country. The actual name of the city is Demthal, but everyone calls it Mount Passant after the hill that stride forward to defend this area in the God Time. Vizel (small city): This city is squeezed between the Vizel Inlet and the high cliffs of the Heortland Plateau. The inhabitants are mostly Aeolian fishermen, who nonetheless offer sacrifices to Pelaskos and Choralinthor, and a surprising number of scholars and sages have been attracted to the city by its protection of Free Inquiry. Gardufar Culture/Religion: Heortling/Orlanthi Backford (small city):This fortified city is the safest crossing of the cursed Syphon River. Backford was the center of the God-King’s cult in Heortland, and was connected to the City of Wonders by a magical bridge. The magical Fish Road still stops here on its run from Deeper up the Syphon River. Durengard (large city): This was once the tribal center of the Hurlant tribe, and later the capital of the Sixth of Heortland. Located on the Bullflood River, Durengard is the main port for Heortland and its political center. The massive fortress-palace was built in the Nochet style by Belintar for the rulers of the Sixth of Heortland after the Volsaxi rebellion. Jab Hills: These wooded hills are currently infested with scorpion men from the Footprint. The Chaos Queen claims this area as part of her “Queendom of Jab”. Jansholm (large city): This fortified river island was the tribal center for the Jondalaring tribe and is now the capital of Karhend Province. The Lunar army took this city by treachery in 1620; it was reclaimed by rebels in 1622. Karse (small city):Karse is the most important port for offloading goods destined for Sartar, or through Sartar to Prax and Tarsh. The locals are expert boat makers. Temples to Diros, Pelaskos, Poverri, and Choralinthor stand near the harbor. Despite its strong fortifications, the city fell to the Lunars in 1619 after a dramatic assault by land and sea. Since the collapse of Lunar rule, the city now alternates between Esrolian and Wolf Pirate rule. Larnste’s Footprint: This large, unnatural, Chaos-tainted valley is surrounded by steep cliffs. The unnatural Syphon River flows up backwards into the Footprint. Larnste the Changer once saw the squirming thing Krarsht and sought to eliminate that Chaos evil from the world. When Larnste tried to step on the foulness, Krarsht sprang to bite the god. Where Larnste bled, there rose up a foul and evil forest, a perfect nesting place for all things chaotic. A forest made entirely of stone trees grows at the edge of the Foulblood Woods and halts the spread of the Chaos within. Leskos (small city): This seaside city lies at the mouth of a steep ravine leading up to the Heortland Plateau and is surrounded by thousand foot high cliffs. It is defended by an ancient fortification; most of the inhabitants are Esvularing. It serves as the port for Durengard and is ruled by a ring of local merchants. Lylket (ruin): These are the ruins of a port city founded by the God Learners near the mouth of the Marzeel River. It grew rich off trade between the Middle Sea Empire and Dragon Pass, and contained a major Lhankor Mhy Temple, famed for its troll lore. The city was destroyed when trolls entered in by secret tunnels known only to them. Malkonwal, Kingdom of: The southern half of the Heortland Plateau is divided by several fast-moving rivers that flow down from the snow-capped Storm Mountains. It is a hilly land of farms and woods. The farmers are mostly Orlanthi, but the southernmost area is Esvularing, as are most of the city folk. When the governor of Heortland died in 1617, the Western adventurer Rikard the Tiger-Hearted seized power in Gardufar and Esvular as the “King of Malkonwal”. However, he was defeated by the Lunar Empire in 1620. Stonewood: A forest made entirely of stone trees “grows” in the Footprint, halting the spread of Chaos from the Foulblood Woods. Everything here is made of living stone, even the animals (which move incredibly slowly). Sklar (small city): This city is squeezed between the mouth of the Solthi River and the cliffs of the Heortland Plateau. The people are fishermen and boatwrights, best known for their colorful houses. The city boasts shrines to Orlanth, Pelaskos, and Poverri. Storm Mountains:These formidable crags rise abruptly from the Heortland Plateau, separating it from Prax. Forests cover their upper slopes. Several clans of Wind Children live in aeries which cluster about the steep peaks and cliff faces of these mountains. Stormwalk Mountain:The largest peak of the Storm Mountains, Stormwalk is one of the Great Sacred Mountains of the Orlanthi. Urox the Storm Bull took a mountain god and twisted its head off, and the mountain is the body. It has a discernable spiral pathway rising around its sides, seven times around to reach the ice-covered top. Some say that the temple there can call winds which lead upward to the inner temple of Orlanth and beyond, to other celestial realms. Like many geographic features of the Holy Country it is colossal: some 10,000 feet in height. Herds of sky bulls can always be found nearby. Syphon River: This evil river flows backward from Choralinthor Bay some 80 miles uphill into Larnste’s Footprint, and then down a deep hole into the Underworld. The Syphon River has always flowed into this hole, for it alone of all the waters of the world refused the call of Magasta. Volsaxar Culture/Religion: Heortling/Orlanthi Tribes: Volsaxi, Kultain, Sylangi, Bacofi Derensev: This Great Library of Lhankor Mhy is located in the tribal lands of the Kultain, who are sworn to defend it. The sages are famed for their oratorical prowess. Hendrikiland:This rugged land between the Storm Mountains and the Shadow Plateau is the ancient homeland of the Hendriking tribe. Whitewall is its capital. It is populated largely by herders and their livestock of cattle and sheep. The Hendrikings were famed as fierce bandits and magicians, and that reputation continues with their Volsaxing heirs. Ancient tombs of kings and heroes litter the landscape. Marzeel River: This river flows 140 miles from its headwaters in the Storm Mountains to Choralinthor Bay. Its upper reaches are fierce and rushing, but the lower river is wide and slow near its mouth. The Marzeel used to join the Creek-Stream River before Belintar diverted that great river’s course. Sen Senrenen: This is the ancient homeland of the Hendrikings, a rugged land of hills and valleys populated by herders of sheep and cattle. The locals have a reputation as fierce bandits and powerful magicians. The tombs of ancient kings litter the landscape. Smithstone (small city): This city is wealthy from its abundant bronze and from its many redsmiths, considered the finest in the Holy Country. The Redsmith Guild dominates the city’s affairs. The city was built around the anvil stone of the smithing god Gustbran. Volsaxiland: This rich valley is home to a stubbornly proud people who harvest barley and raise dairy cattle. Bronze is very common here. The Volsaxi successfully rebelled against Belintar in 1340 and established an independent kingdom here that on occasion ruled most of Heortland. After over a century of rebellion, Belintar aided the Kitori to defeat the Volsaxi and they imposed a harsh tribute on the tribe. In 1550, Tarkalor of the Royal House of Sartar defeated the Kitori with his Yelmalio allies and forced the half-trolls back to the Troll Woods. In 1617, King Broyan of the Volsaxi magically resurrected the Hendriking kingdom and proved himself heir to the demigod Vingkot who once ruled all of Dragon Pass and Kethaela. Whitewall (small city):Capital city of the Volsaxi and ancient religious center for the Hendrikings. An impregnable fortress built atop solid rock, it is surrounded by high gleaming white stone walls some 50 feet high and 30 feet thick, and the city is well-provided with granaries and wells. Within the walls are temples to Orlanth and Ernalda, and their pantheon. A star god has defended the city since the Darkness.
  24. 21 points
    Chaosium is pleased to announce award-winning RPG designer Chris Spivey will be developing a new BRP-based science fiction line to add to the company's suite of roleplaying game brands. Last year Spivey's Darker Hue Studios produced the licensed Call of Cthulhu/Trail of Cthulhu supplement Harlem Unboundwhich has received critical acclaim for its groundbreaking treatment of issues of race and the Lovecraft Mythos, and is a nominee for the 2018 Diana Jones Award. "I am excited and honored to be brought on by Chaosium. I grew up playing Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, Nephilim and more. Now the chance to fully manage a science fiction line that only previously existed in my own mind has left me speechless, but let's hope not wordless.”—Diana Jones Award nominee Chris Spivey https://www.chaosium.com/blogchris-spivey-to-develop-scifi-rpg-game-setting-for-chaosium
  25. 21 points
    A young Vingan runelord has stopped to ask the way from a settler of Sartarian heritage from Zola Fel valley.
  26. 20 points
    The original FB post is here: HeroQuesting notes But there's such good content there, and FB can be very difficult to search through after awhile, that I thought I'd repost here (and hopefully @Jeff you don't mind me doing so). "Some notes people mind find of interest or use: HEROQUESTING Heroquesting is a powerful and rare Gloranthan activity in which the participants leave the material world and enter the realm of legend and myth to interact with heroes and gods, gambling precious Life Force to gain miraculous powers. Heroquesting provides the method for advancement for a character to grow towards heights of greatness. It takes them from the ordinary world and places them in the league of immortals, and grants them the opportunity and awareness to find the paths of immortality and glory. TYPES OF HEROQUEST There are three basic types of heroquest: 1) The “In-World" heroquests. 2) The Magic Road heroquest 3) The Other Side adventures IN-WORLD In-World Heroquests mostly take place in the world that the heroes know. They set off from a temple or other holy place and travel across the normal map, occasionally having to stop someplace special or do something at a certain place. Despite this familiar terrain, the questers are present in the Hero Plane. They will run into the normal traffic of an overland adventure, but they must be doubly wary in case the things they meet are some ritual enemy, perhaps also on a heroquest, that has been summoned by the magic of the heroquest. Spirits and other magical beings often appear at places strongly tied to the gods or spirits, summoned by that same magic. It is often used to prepare the way for greater voyages, and to acquire magical items useful to the individual. MAGIC ROADS Dragon Pass and its nearby regions are crossed by several magic “roads” that enable a quester to quickly travel to specific holy places along paths that skip in and out of the mundane planes, covering the distance in far less time than travel wholly on the mundane plane. Deities and spirits, or their avatars, are presented here, summoned by the magic of traveling on the road; ritual enemies are often summoned by the same magic. The magic roads are often used in combination with an in-world heroquest. Travel along these magic roads is dangerous. There can be enemies along each path; although their type is often known, the strength of the foes may vary widely. They are also used for rapid movement, though there are occasionally side- benefits that can or must be gained to use the road. Examples: Hill of Orlanth Victorious to Kero Fin Dragon’s Eye to Kero Fin Kero Fin to Smoking Ruins to Arrowmound Mountain Sun Dome Temple to Hill of Gold Kero Fin to Cave of the Mother to Umath’s Point (this is going up the mountain) Arrowmound to Halikiv to Balance Split to Wonderwood City of Wonders to Durengard to Stormwalk Starfire Ridge to Whitewall to Larnste’s Footprint to Stormwalk Mountain to the Block OTHER SIDE Other Side heroquests are the most dangerous, for questers must leave the known confines of the paths and sacred ways to set off across the wilderness of the divine world. It involves actual travel in the Gods World which, if properly entered, will be as recognizable to the quester as his own world. In these travels the landscape and the inhabitants are set by God Time events, but this does not make it any more predictable or less risky. This is the region beyond that must be entered and returned from many times by the would-be Hero wishing for immortality, where they can find great powers and abilities that will make them remembered by mortals for many ages yet to come. It is the place of Godtime, where mortals are not welcome and which they cannot know except through experience. QUEST PREPARATIONS LONG TERM The long-term preparations can vary greatly from quest to quest. Some quests require lengthy periods of ritual purification and self-denial so that the quester can be a vessel for the divine powers. Others require merely that the quester has been a devout and consistent follower of the gods. Questers who have failed to make these preparations will find their task harder. Persons who are downright frauds trying to rob the cult are singled out for particular violence and overly vile opponents. LOCATION Many heroquests must begin in a specific mundane location such as a certain hill, group of standing stones, or temple to the god. Others are less narrow prescribed, requiring merely that it begins on hill, forest grove, open plains, etc. Many quests must begin at a certain time, such as at night, dawn, dusk, noon, or when a specific planet or constellation is in a particular place in the sky. MUNDANE SUPPORT Mundane support is provided by one’s cult or other community. This might be magical gifts, weapons, or treasures to aid the heroquesters, or might be mundane supporters, such as healers, worshipers, preparation of the site, etc. Some heroquests require that the sacred grounds be defended by guards and sometimes priests while the heroquesters journey. IMMEDIATE PREPARATIONS These are the preparations that need to be made immediately before the heroquest can begin. These include the preparation of the site by a cult priest, the summoning of spirits, sacrifices, and such rituals as the Arming of Orlanth or the Three Blow of Anger. These preparations typically take 1 to 3 days. HEROQUESTING TECHNIQUES VERTICAL QUEST Holy places are locations where the boundaries between the mundane world and the Gods World are permeable. From the temple of a god, a worshiper can transcend the ordinary world and enter the home of the god, in what the God Learners called a “vertical quest”. Such a journey takes place at every Worship ceremony. WORSHIP QUESTS Every worship ceremony is a heroquest. Some worship ceremonies have more complex quests than just a vertical quest, and the God Learners called these Worship Quests. When History began, people were performing these worship heroquests. Worshippers got together in a sacred place, performed their ceremonies to summon the deities, and reenacted the actions that brought them there. To worshippers the action enlivened them to transcend the ordinary world and they become part of the Mythic Realm. Individuals might then leave the house of the god and participate in the deeds of their deities. Worship Quests usually begin with a vertical quest, and then a departure from the god's house to be in the mythic story. Thus, an Oria priestess in the harvest ceremony summons the god plane of the Weeping Oria to her and departs from that place and wanders around the God Plane for a while, before returning with the secrets she sought. As time passes, the participants will participate in many of the major stories of their deities. These events are usually pretty well known, with few variations, and well contained within the established ceremonies. That is, they know the basic religious world through acquired experiences. SOLO QUESTING Sometimes a leader, whether religious or mundane, would undertake an individual quest to achieve a specific objective. These were usually some unusual activity, needed for extraordinary reason. These were the early and later Hero Cults. In these ceremonies, supporters, several other people typically remain attendant upon the welfare of the traveler. They pray or perform, as appropriate, and lend their strength to the quester in case of emergency. The supporters are linked to the traveler in both blessing and curse. SIDE LINING Very early on, it was discovered in that some supporters could actually go along as participants and gain normal experience, and not always in what the ceremony normally required. This was a special type of supporter going along as active participant. HARMAST Harmast Barefoot was the first person to perform extended sequential heroquesting. He linked a number of stories together to reinforce each other, and to achieve long term and powerful consequences. At the time everyone knew that even within a single myth, many variants exist and participants can actively and consciously affect which version of the story occurred by their preparations. Harmast discovered that it is possible to affect the very landscape of the quest after entering it. The God Learners called this Identification. ARKAT Arkat went even further than Harmast. Arkat had participated in several different religions and learned that different religions often portrayed the same event, but from different perspectives. He went a step further and discovered that he could actually change paths in mid-quest and invade the mythic space of other peoples. The God Learners called this Ranging. Ranging is extremely dangerous since more myths have many ways to preserve themselves and have little room for variance by intruders. But some people do it, and after Arkat learned how Harmast could manipulate the mythic landscape, he went to impossible places and discovered things to destroy his mystical foe. GOD LEARNERS The God Learners went further and discovered that they could forcibly alter the landscape. They called this Mutation. Later, they learned to mutate the myths permanently, effectively destroying myths and their participants. They did this by applying sorcery to the myths, draining them. This is called Tapping. HEROQUEST FOES Heroquesters develop enemies as a natural byproduct of their actions. Most people never leave the armies of the gods, and so have enemies that are large and generalized. They are not personal foes. People who engage in more personal heroquesting develop personal, recognized enemies. The effect of appearing as one's self depends on having enough personal power to appear that way. An entity with that kind of identity always attracts a similar foe of similar power. Once attacked escape is impossible except through death in the mortal world and a subsequent failure in the divine. People that persist on similar paths discover that their foe also does, almost haunting them. This link is called the Face Dance by the Orlanthi, because faces are visible in the otherwise generalized realm. It is also called Prey Love, Tempting Foe, Spider's Singer, etc. Face Dancers appear in the God and Hero Planes in their Otherworld guise. It is, however, possible to see through and identify the individual beneath it. Indeed, every Face who is dancing has a living foe somewhere in the world who is doing their own dance. As heroquesting advances these individuals are attracted towards each other, even though they are often separated by thousands of miles in the Mortal World." Added comments by from the FB thread for further clarification include: - "Many of the magic roads in the West are broken, thanks to the Sunderinng of Seshnela." - The Syndics Ban suppressed the magic roads of Fronela. "It is now up to bold and crazed adventurers to determine what Magic Roads work.... And whether they have changed." - "Yes this is for a forthcoming book. But I am uninterested in discussing the specifics of it, and at this moment am only interested in the implications of what I have posted." - "The take away from this is that at its core, a hero quest is about exploration of the mythic realms." Q: "Would it be correct to say that the different types of heroquest are not clearly divided in practice? That a given quest might be performable as a this world quest or an otherworld quest? That the same magic road might lead to the 'same' location in the physical world or the otherworld? That an otherworld quest may be performed either by this world travel to a location, or magic road travel, or symbolic travel, all with different consequences?" - "Correct. And sometimes part is on this world, then a magic road is taken, and then the Other World entered."
  27. 20 points
    Out now in PDF: The Pegasus Plateau & Other Stories Seven Ready-to-Play Adventures for RuneQuest https://www.chaosium.com/the-pegasus-plateau-other-stories-pdf The full color hardback print version will be out later this year. Buy the PDF direct from Chaosium.com now and get the full price of the PDF off the print edition. Also available at DriveThruRPG.
  28. 20 points
    And some people say ducks don't like necromancy... A peculiar little supplement for a peculiar little people, coming in a month or so! (When I finish a couple more pieces of art at my usual glacial pace.) It will focus on the DUCKS, the DUCKS AND and the MORE DUCKS counters of Dragon Pass (Chaosium, 1980). Included will be: the wyters and guardian spirits of the three duck counters, and their history, lore and mysteries detailed stats and descriptions of the duck warriors, their arms and armament, and insights into the secrets of duck warfare new Rune spells, spirit cults and magic items expanded character-creation options, including additional Family History tables and all-new occupations and skills
  29. 20 points
    Nochet ba-doom-tish...
  30. 20 points
    So I have been working on a master map of Dragon Pass, Kethaela, and Prax, as part of the RQ Campaign. The map is two A0 posters in size and consists of four A2 maps each. Here's some drafts of the A2s, complete with labels and vegetation layers. Some explanation of the colors: Dark green: heavy forest Light green: mixed woods and grassland Yellow: Either rich grasslands or SPECIAL (in the case of the print) White: Grasslands or cultivated land. Or areas that we haven't figured out a color for, like the top of the Shadow Plateau. Square with a dot: large city Square: city Circle with a dot: tribal center or other fortified settlement Circle: Settlement Dot: Place of interest Three dots (Illusion Rune): Ruins Enjoy!
  31. 20 points
    Greg was a mentor, visionary, and evangelist. I followed him meekly, first into fandom, then into geekdom... then into craft and authorship, and finally into reverent service. Personally, I recall his charm. I am honored to have been the butt of some of his most elaborate jokes. For example, I will always remember him for his moment of triumph here: http://www.staffordcodex.com/truetales/2015/12/16/why-i-love-bad-medicine-for-doctor-drugs Publicly, I acknowledge his gift for creating institutions and traditions, and for bringing so many treasured friends and acquaintances together. His work is classic and eternal, but I most honor the communion of artists, friends, and fans he has brought together through his labors, his inspirations, and his sparkling personality. We will meet... but we will miss him. There will be a vacant chair. Let us linger to remember him. He has left so much for us to remember him by.
  32. 20 points
    I know I've been pushing hard against the text of the new book. I know I've been asking a lot of questions. I know sometimes my own frustration has made me phrase things in ways that don't make me happy -- and those phrasings can't be sugar whispers to the ears of everyone who worked on this new book and this new line of an RPG classic. So I wanted to make something clear: I know how hard you guys have worked on this game. I know how hard you worked on this book. I know how hard it is to write RPG text. (Like, really, I know.) You have produced a new version of a game that has existed since the start of the hobby. And has gone through a half-dozen variations over those four decades. You've obviously put a lot of work and love into the book and the plans for the line. If there is frustration in my posts on occasion (and I suspect this might be true for others as well) it is because I sense there is a lot lot joy and wonder in these pages and there is a lot of work on my part to pull it out. I want to make sure to get what everyone else is talking about, and has been talking about for years. I want to get all the terrific details and magic and culture resting in the book and waiting for me to bring them to my friends. And if I have desire to do this it is only because the game system is rich, the setting is rich, and you have built a book that brings both of these things closer together than they ever have in any previous edition of RuneQuest. So, I want you to know I appreciate all the work. I appreciate all the effort you are making now to get the game released in print, to answer our question, to ponder our questions, and work diligently to make the best game and game line you can. Wanted to say that. Thanks.
  33. 20 points
  34. 19 points
    IMPORTANT WARNING: The following reference documents use trademarks and/or copyrights owned by Chaosium Inc/Moon Design Publications LLC, which are used under Chaosium Inc’s Fan Material Policy. We are expressly prohibited from charging anyone to use or access this content. These reference documents are not published, endorsed, or specifically approved by Chaosium Inc. For more information about Chaosium Inc’s products, please visit www.chaosium.com. The [House Rules] Yes, but... thread taught me a lesson. I put some work in my gaming aids and I should share them because they could be useful to someone else. Let's start by a summary of the character creation rules of HQ2 and HQG: HQ2G_Character_Creation_Summary.docx The basic contest rules: HQG_Basic_Contest_Rules.docx My three panel screen (from left to right): The first two files are for those that prefer separated Simple Contest Results and Extended Contest Resolution Points tables: HQG_SCREEN_01_CONTEST_TABLES.docx HQG_SCREEN_01_CONTEST_TABLES.pdf The two following files (V02) are for those that prefer a single table for Simple Contest Results and Extended Contest Resolution Points: HQG_SCREEN_01_CONTEST_TABLES_V02.docx HQG_SCREEN_01_CONTEST_TABLES_V02.pdf HQG_SCREEN_02_CONTEST_PROCEDURES_V04.docx HQG_SCREEN_02_CONTEST_PROCEDURES_V04.pdf HQG_SCREEN_03_OTHER_TABLES.docx HQG_SCREEN_03_OTHER_TABLES.pdf Next is what I call my gaming aid booklet. References that complement the screen and informations I like to have on hand (the last four files are the French and English versions of the same two files): HQG_REFBOOKLET_01_Spot_Rules_Summary_v09.docx HQG_REFBOOKLET_02_Magic_Abilities_V02.docx HQG_REFBOOKLET_03_Runes_and_Personality_Traits_English_v02.docx HQG_REFBOOKLET_03_Runes_and_Personality_Traits_French_v02.docx HQG_REFBOOKLET_04_Calendar_HolyDays_v00.docx HQG_REFBOOKLET_04_Calendar_HolyDays_v00_English.docx Note: the text in french in the "Spot_Rules_Summary" file (beginning of the first page) is the translation of "The HeroQuest game system doesn't simply tell you how well you succeeded at a particular task: it tells you whether or not you achieved your entire goal. What is the goal? What is the expected reward? Combat (conflict) is often the mean... not the goal!" My alternate contest results table coming from the [House Rules] Yes, but... thread: HQ2G_ALTERNATE_CONTEST_RESULTS_TABLE.docx A two in one gaming aid that is a smaller size "alternate contest results table" should I decide to use this option (it's very likely) and a cheat sheet for setting narrative difficulties should I need some kind of safety net. I fold the sheet in half so it can be put into a plastic sleeve. Thus, I can take it in my hand if needed or the gaming aid can lie against the screen so I can throw an eye at it from time to time. The cheat sheet is based on David Scott (the sample difficulties) and jajagappa (the middle and final climaxes) posts in the Setting Narrative Difficulty thread. Unfortunately, I don't remember whom the tension bit is coming from. Please, let me know and I will edit my post accordingly: HQ2G_ALT_CONTEST_RESULTS_TABLE_and_DIFF_IN_HQ2_English.docx Another gaming aid with difficulties and pregenerated rolls. When it is extended conflict time, especially with group extended conflicts, there can be a lot of rolls to make behind the screen. Rolling dice when I am running a game is not something I enjoy, it can be more of a distraction than anything else for me. Here is a gaming aid with pregenerated rolls and the difficulties and augment values that can be updated as the number of sessions grows. The D20 results can be copied and pasted before a session from a random dice generator. Each A5 side holds 350 rolls or so with the current font: HQ2G_DIFF_AND_PREGEN_ROLLS.docx Feel free to use and change those files as you see fit, they are here for that.
  35. 19 points
    The rumours provided here are spurs to adventure. The Game master should take care to present the rumours in an interesting manner, often with the intent of provoking actions by the players. Each rumour is prefaced by a single letter code dealing with the veracity of that rumour – but, ultimately, any rumour can used in whatever manner that best suits the campaign! Rumor Indicators: (T) Indicates that the rumour is true. (F) Indicates that the rumour is false. (M) Indicates that the rumour is meaningless. (R) Indicates that the rumour may or may not be true at the GM’s discretion. (B) Indicates that the rumour is generally true but it also has a substantial false component. (A) Indicates that the rumour is too awful to contemplate. The rules of Casino Town are simple: No Killing, No Cheating, Everyone Makes a Wager. (T) There's a metallic statue in a special niche at the town gate. Who it originally was is uncertain – perhaps Zzabur himself – but over many centuries the punters have worn its features so smooth it has taken on the generic appearance of a woman. It is now colloquially known as “Lady Luck”. (T) Touching “Lady Luck” is like a Tap spell, only in reverse! (F) Everyone residing within the walls of Casino Town pays a weekly vigourish. To ensure the Great House receives what it is due, each year the Talar appoints the Synod of Visitors. This is a committee of Ingareen citizens from Refuge, selected for their highest moral probity. (B) Argil Arcry, the current head of the Synod of Visitors, is said to have a “wide stance”. (M) Brithini age if they lose at gambling. (T) Despite the Brithini prohibition, the Ingareens' obsession with abstract numbers has led them to be inveterate and superstitious gamblers — "It’s not gambling if you always end up ahead", is one rationalization they often use, though on the whole Ingareen punters appear to be no luckier than others. (T — certainly there are few Ingareen professional gamblers of advanced age.) Talar Barat and the Brithini appear relatively indifferent as to who controls the different gambling concerns in Casino Town, provided the weekly vigourish is remitted in full. (T — even the Vadeli have recently been allowed to set up an establishment.) The new Vadeli establishment, known as the Vadotto, has a secret basement, where all manner of depraved and forbidden pleasures may be indulged. (B – the Vadotto doesn’t have a basement; such activities actually take place on the building’s exclusive top floor.) All the casinos and gaming parlours in Casino Town set their own table limits (what minimum and maximum bets permitted). They also set a house edge (a factored-in mathematical advantage) on all games, which varies from establishment to establishment. (T) The Faro Wheel itself has no table limit. (B — this is qualified by the fact Belintar the Stranger did actually “break the bank” when the Talar finally blinked after the house lost a 60x or nothing bet.) The odds offered by the Vadotto are subtly different to those offered elsewhere in Casino Town. (T — the Vadeli claim it is their practice to pay on odds “for”, rather than “to”. For example, on a successful bet at 5 silvers for 1 on a roulette table at the Vadotto, the winner receives 5 silvers but the Vadotto keeps the initial silver piece. At establishments offering “to” odds, the winner would also receive back the original 1 silver wagered. The Vadeli do not make this distinction clear to new patrons.) Longstanding Light and Illusion spells make many of the buildings on Casino Town's Main Strip look more impressive than they really are, especially at night. (T) 'Hangers' on the Main Strip is part of the famous Esrolian restaurant chain catering to the elite. It can often get very rowdy. A key attraction is the cock-fighting pit (T — although this has nothing to do with poultry.) Dayzatar’s Casino & Revue is the premier show venue in Casino Town (though some headline acts have recently defected to The Vadotto). A stalwart of the stage here is the seemingly ageless entertainer Unkle Shine, “the hardest-working horal in show business”. (B) Red’s Globster offers an all-new “Vormaino sushi” platter, but it is advisable to at least stun each piece before attempting to swallow, or preferably use the Disrupt spell. (R) The Lupenar is Casino Town’s largest and most notorious bawdyhouse, said to be able to cater to any carnal desire. As vividly remembered in a series of erotic wall friezes, Harrek singlehandedly engaged the Lupenar’s entire company during his 1618 visit; such was his amatory enthusiasm, the building had to be completely rebuilt afterwards. (T — fortunately he left a tremendous tip.) Tombolar’s Bingo Hall is a rather drab establishment, but is very popular among the Ingareens (T — they use various arcane theological justifications from Zzabur’s Abiding Book to rationalize why Bingo should not be considered gambling.) The blue-skinned perfumer who operates The House of Hemrehana is from distant Garguna. (F — he is actually from equally distant Polostan, the fragrant city of a thousand delights in Fonrit.) Silvermane the Shaman’s game with betting sticks enables you to wager against the living and the dead. (T) Gorp-wrestling is much harder than it looks. (B) The only thing Basmoli have to lose when they gamble is their pride. (M) Talar Barat actually died decades ago but the Brithini maintain the pretense their leader is still alive. (F) Talar Barat’s beard turned gray that day Belintar "broke the bank" on the Faro Wheel. (B) The Faro Wheel literally fuels the Brithinis’ ongoing way of life here, but a curious side effect is its ability to produce random combinations determined by Luck and Fate. (T) Because wagers on the Faro Wheel can be made with intangible concepts (runic affinities, mana, life-force, perception etc), Ingareen statisticians have long disputed what the Great House’s house edge actually is – hotly argued estimates range from 2.70% – 5.26%, but the mathematics remain elusive. (M) The Tournament of Luck and Death is about to start again – this time for sure the God-King Belintar will return to save us all! (R) The Talar stopped paying back Belintar’s massive Faro winnings after he disappeared. (F) The circular outer walls of Casino Town are actually the foundations of a much larger Faro Wheel, but Belintar’s massive jackpot put an end to Talar Barat’s grand plan. (F — the outer walls were raised after Belintar broke the bank.) On the fall of the Clanking City the Talar stole away the machine god Zistor. To this day it lies chained up under the Faro Wheel! (F) The glow of the Faro Wheel can be seen for great distances and serves as a helpful navigational beacon, drawing in ships through the Troll Straits and from across the Mirrorsea Bay. (T) Although he won (and lost) big on the Faro Wheel during his soujourn in Casino Town, Harrek's favourite sport was the crude but entertaining betting game from the Shadow Plateau, “Pull my Finger”. This is offered every evening at the troll eatery Thunderbreath Gobbleguts. (R) The only reliable source of fresh water in Casino Town is a well at the Talar’s Great House, which is generously piped to the nearby Pool Hall (T —about the only thing in the city that’s free, some people joke.) The so-called put-put barges used by the Ingareens are foul Zistorite abominations. (M) Don Duras is actually Duke Raus of Rone, an exiled Lunar nobleman. (R) Jammy the Beak's off-sider Bluster is the only Wind Child in the world with a five o’clock shadow. (M) Mock Wing notably has several other keets working for him as collectors and enforcers, including Big Bill (a pelican keet) and the voracious Bluefoot Brothers (booby keets). (T) Grand Master Shamat claims to be the greatest ouranekki player in the world. An émigré from the Lunar Empire, he confides to anyone that he lives in constant fear of Yolanela the Taloned Countess of Spol, who he long ago once offended. (R) Professor Artingale is a fallen Ingareen who styles himself “the Wizard of Odds”. He can be found at the Pool Hall, where he claims he knows various “foolproof” systems for winning, which he’ll share for a price. (F — The Professor’s “surefire” strategies are dressed up with all sorts of complicated mathematical flim-flam, but essentially center around increasing bets after each loss in the hopes that an eventual win will recover all previous losses.) Despite dressing like an archetypal Western wizard, Professor Artingale actually comes from the dronar caste. (T) The Lounge Lizard is a very unusual crested dragonewt that has resided in different gaming establishments for well over a century, and is fondly considered a sort of mascot. Rubbing its scales is said to give good luck. (M) Leonardo the Scientist regularly infiltrates the Clanking Ruins. (T) Leonardo the Scientist and Talar Barat are one in the same person. (F) Leonardo the Scientist belongs to the zzaburi caste. (F) A fire breathing metallic turtle keeps the curious away from Leonardo the Scientist’s island hideaway at Crab Key. (T) Woe betides anyone mistreating the fisherfolk of Fishertown, for they are under the protection of the Ludoch. (B — technically, their protection comes from the High Admiral of the Boats.) A Trollball match is planned for the Squeaky Sands – the bookies are looking for a human side to go up against the Uz! (R) Small groups of Wolf Pirates have been seen in various establishments around the city, but they say they are just on “shore leave”. (R) Talar Barat has concluded a secret deal with the Wolf Pirates for them to stay away from God Forgot, but who’s going to pay for it? – the punters of course! (R) Beware - the Lunars are preparing to invade God Forgot by land and sea! (R) Why did the God King have his magic bridge terminate at the Clanking Ruins instead of Talar Hold or Casino Town? (M) It’s said there’s a tunnel under the Troll Strait, connecting the old God Learner fortresses at the tips of the Rightarm and Leftarm Islands. Could this be a way to get into the Iron Fort, which has been sealed since the Second Age? (R) A secret passage leads into the Machine Ruins from the deserted Jrusteli fort at the southern tip of Kostern Island. (B) At low tide it is possible to walk across from Thoxos Island to Tosk Island, and thence even to Refuge on the mainland, if one knows the way and can avoid the giant cranes, swarming were-crabs, and other perils. (T) The Machine Ruins are guarded by fiendish traps and curses, but these are designed to keep the mechanical horrors locked inside from escaping, rather than preventing anyone getting in. (B) Foreigners are forbidden from visiting Talar Hold because the inhabitants there still brazenly use forbidden Zistorite technology! Abominations include staircases that move, machines that dispense hot cooked food, and tiny boxes that play music as if there is an orchestra trapped inside. (B — true enough, but Talar Barat has other reasons why outsiders are not welcome at his capital…) Because the traditionally ordained agricultural practices of the Brithini are better suited to frigid Old Brithos than rain-sodden Heortland, the Bandori who come to God Forgot to work on the Talar's farms keep one field for show, and do things their own way on the rest. Just before harvest-time, they will surreptitiously "dress" the show field with the finest produce from the back fields. (T) Porthomekan cigars clear the mind and aid concentration. (R) Attempting to skip town without settling the gate wager invokes swift retribution. Swarming metallic creatures nicknamed One-Armed Bandits hunt deadbeats down and drag them to the Clanking Ruins, never to be seen again. The superstitious say they are Our Lady of Credit’s spirits of reprisal. (B — defaulters must face and defeat one, then seven, then fifteen, then thirty and finally sixty of the One Armed Bandits before their debt is written off. The other option is to return to Casino Town and pay up!) The tables at [choose any gaming establishment] are rigged. (M) The tables at [choose any gaming establishment] are running hot! (M) The tables at [choose any gaming establishment] are cold. (M) The tables at [choose any gaming establishment] are easy etc. (M) While it might seem incompatible with the Brithini law that utterly forbids gambling, the Talar’s view is "he doesn’t gamble, he invests". (R — though Talar Barat's enduring immortality and the success of Casino Town seems to prove the case.) Red’s Globster on the Main Strip is a cheap and popular “all you can eat” buffet (provided you’re happy eating endless portions of vaguely fish-like material cut into various shapes then deep-fried or boiled). The proprietor “Red” hearkens from the Lunar Empire, and keeps a live walktapus out the back. Pieces are continuously hacked off for the pot. His first walktapus apparently escaped in the confusion during Harrek’s visit, and he’s only recently been able to import a replacement. Just what was Red serving up in the intervening time? (A)
  36. 19 points
    THE ARMIES AND ENEMIES OF DRAGON PASS is one of the initial releases for the Jonstown Compendium. Within 24 hours it was the #2 best-selling title on DriveThruRPG and shortly after reached Silver Seller status. The work is magnum opus of Martin Helsdon. After meeting Martin at Dragonmeet late last month, we spoke to him about the book: https://www.chaosium.com/blogtalking-to-martin-helsdon-author-of-the-armies-and-enemies-of-dragon-pass-jonstown-compendium Martin Helsdon (L) presenting Chaosium's Jeff Richard with a pre-release copy of The Armies and Enemies of Dragon Pass at Dragonmeet, London UK on November 30.
  37. 19 points
  38. 19 points
    A sneak peak of how Books and Scrolls get handled in the RQC! MAGIC BOOKS AND SCROLLS Mechanically, a book typically adds +1D4x5% to one or more skills. Some might also provide knowledge in one or more sorcerous Runes or Techniques and even provide knowledge of specific sorcery skills. A few special books can even raise a characteristic modifier or increase a characteristic. These books should be the object of quests in their own right. Give thought to their actual physical appearance, the proper bonuses (esp with Ian’s entries), who’d want it and where you might buy/sell it. Glorious Reascent of Yelm: Composed in the First Age, this text is a mythic cosmology and kings list of the Yelmic religion. It takes three seasons to study. With a successful Read Firespeech, it adds +20% to the reader’s Yelm Lore, +10% to Dara Happan Customs, and +5% to Celestial Lore. The Roads and Graves of the Makers: This text lists the first seven Sartarite kings, their main deeds, the roads they built, and where their graves are. There are many variations of this (often simply called “The Sartar Dynasty”). This text takes a hour to study and with a successful Read Theyalan it adds +5% to the reader’s Sartar Homeland Lore. The Orange Book or Theogony: This collection of God Learner texts from the Mythical Synthesis Movement is allegedly based on the Blue and Brown Books of Zzabur. It details the origins of the cosmos and the Runes, includes a series of genealogies of the different gods, arranged by elemental Rune, and describes the major events of the Gods War. This book consists of 84 orange-coloured sheets of vellum and takes three seasons to study. With a successful Read Theyalan roll it adds +15% to the reader’s base Cult Lore skill and +5% to the reader’s Magic modifier. Upon a successful INT+POW roll on a D100, the reader achieves intellectual mastery of the Summon Technique as per page 384 of the RuneQuest rules. Most versions of this book include 1D3 sorcery spells. The book is thought to be protected by a dangerous curse. Songs of the House of Sartar: This epic poem is based on oral tradition and details deeds and tragedies of the House of Sartar prior to the Lunar invasion of 1602. It is intended to be read aloud and was likely composed by a poet and only later recorded and refined by a Lhankor Mhy sage. The poem consists of 2400 stanzas divided into nine books. It takes about three hours to listen to the entire poem. With a successful Read Theyalan roll, it adds +10% to the reader’s Heortling Customs and +5% to their Sartar Homeland roll. If the reader succeeds with a Sing roll while reading the poem, those who listen to the full poem and succeed with a Speak Heortling get the same bonus. Six Chapters on Sword Fighting: This combat manual is thought to date back to the Second Age and is commonly attributed to Li Phanquan. The text takes a season to study and with a successful Read Theyalan skill roll it adds +10% to the reader’s Sword skill. Studying the palace records: A season spent studying the records of the local palace or temple combined with a successful Read skill in the language the records are written in adds +5% to both the reader’s Bureaucracy and (local) Customs. The Lives of Our Red Goddess: This didactic tract is an account of the birth of the Red Goddess by the Seven Mothers and of the Seven Steps of the Red Goddess to Hell and back. It is often illustrated. With a successful Read New Pelorian roll, the reader gains +10% in Seven Mothers Cult Lore and +2% to their chance of Illumination.
  39. 19 points
    The definitive list of cults and spirit cults in the Cults of Glorantha are: 1. Kyger Litor 2. Anilla 3. Aranea 4. Argan Argar 5. Gorakiki 6. Himile 7. Subere 8. Xentha 9. Xiola Umbar 10. Zorak Zoran 11. Magasta 12. Choralinthor 13. Dormal 14. Engizi 15. Oslira 16. Ernalda 17. Aldrya 18. Asrelia 19. Babeester Gor 20. Caladra & Aurelion 21. Donandar 22. Eiritha 23. Flamal 24. The Grain Goddesses 25. Hykim & Mykih 26. Maran Gor 27. Mostal 28. Ty Kora Tek 29. Uleria 30. Voria 31. Yelm 32. Dayzatar 33. Dendara 34. Gorgorma 35. Lodril 36. Lokarnos 37. The Lowfires 38. Polaris 39. Shargash 40. Yelmalio 41. Yelorna 42. Orlanth 43. Chalana Arroy 44. Eurmal 45. Issaries 46. Lhankor Mhy 47. Barntar 48. Daka Fal 49. Foundchild 50. Heler 51. Humakt 52. Lanbril 53. Mastakos 54. Odayla 55. Storm Bull 56. Valind 57. Waha 58. Ygg 59. Yinkin 60. Horned Man 61. Earth Witch 62. Evening Star 63. Frog Woman 64. Kolat 65. Morning Star 66. Rainbow Girl 67. Raven 68. Six Sisters 69. Sun Hawk 70. Thunder Bird 71. Traveling Stone 72. Twin Sisters 73. White Princess 74. Robber 75. Sky River Titan 76. Oakfed 77. Seven Mothers 78. Danfive Xaron 79. Deezola 80. Etyries 81. Hon-eel 82. Hwarin Dalthippa 83. Irrippi Ontor 84. Jakaleel 85. Nysalor 86. Red Goddess 87. Teelo Norri 88. Yanafal Tarnils 89. Yara Aranis 90. Primal Chaos 91. Bagog 92. Cacodemon 93. Crimson Bat 94. Krarsht 95. Krjalk 96. Mallia 97. Pocharngo 98. Thanatar 99. Thed 100. Vivamort
  40. 19 points
    Nah, I am done. But while adding the Starting As An Initiate of XXXX sections for each cult, I managed to unblock what I wanted to write about Yara Aranis. It also brings us to 100 cults and spirit cults.
  41. 19 points
    This just arrived this week. These are photos of the final printed items that will go into the GM Screen Pack. These are getting collated, and will be headed to the warehouse soon. This is an advance copy of the ACTUAL FINAL items.
  42. 19 points
    My Journey with Greg Stafford In the golden age of gaming in the late 1970s I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons and dabbled in many other RPGs and wargames. My favorite game sessions though were over at the Webster house, where brothers Tim and Tom would alternate being GM for a series of Chaosium’s finest 2 inch big boxed games, first with RuneQuest, then eventually Call of Cthulhu, and finally Stormbringer. That’s when I fell in love with The Chaosium. During our RuneQuest sessions I devoured every word of Cults of Prax, especially focusing on the Travels of Biturian Varosh. Those little snippets of life in Glorantha as told by a wandering merchant captivated me, and I discovered my affinity with the Trade Rune. I only played an Issaries merchant, eventually becoming a Rune Priest, and never looked back. At the back of the RuneQuest rulebook sits a wonderful list of other RQ projects in the works, along with a bibliography of inspirational books. They pointed me towards new books to read, games to play, and Chaosium publications to seek out. Cults of Prax, coupled with my enjoyment of the Griffin Mountain campaign we played was when I fell in love with Glorantha and RuneQuest. When I went to College I took a break from RPGs. That abruptly changed when I found a small, almost hidden game shop on the edge of campus. I’m not sure how it stayed in business, but it held treasures I quickly devoted all of my spending money to purchasing and in turn reading every page. As a player, I never purchased a lot of scenario material, but as an RPG reader I no longer held back. I acquired TrollPak, Pavis, Questworld, Borderlands, and the Big Rubble boxed sets, along with Cults of Terror and a few other RuneQuest supplements. That’s when I fell in love with collecting Chaosium games. In those pre-internet days I relied on RPG magazines like The Dragon and White Dwarf to find nearby game conventions (with auctions and trade halls) or learn about newly released books to buy. As I purchased the Avalon Hill RuneQuest material I noticed an immediate difference between its publications and Chaosium’s. If something had Greg Stafford’s name on it, it tended to be something I read a lot, and if it didn’t I usually only skimmed it. That was definitely true with a little Chaosium boxed set I picked up called Pendragon. It showed me Greg invested his energy and talents in a wide variety of areas, including Arthurian lore. Somewhere between Glorantha and Pendragon is when I fell in love with the works of Greg Stafford. In the early 1990s I took a big leap and decided to attend RuneQuest Con I in Baltimore. I had started reading Tales of the Reaching Moon magazine (found thanks to those ads for it in the back of many Avalon Hill RQ supplements) and discovered a community of other like-minded people who were into Greg’s work and all things Gloranthan as much as me. Of course Greg Stafford being the main Guest of Honor enticed me the most. It was one of the best decisions I made in my young adult life. After unknowingly insulting Jack Dott in the trade area (Suzanne would love that) I managed to corner Greg and he patiently listened as I geeked out by showing him my big box of RQ items I was hoping he would do me the honor of autographing. As he pulled each one out and skimmed through it before signing it we chatted about each of them (his colorful stories always trumping my comments). At the end of our time he suggested I become a RuneQuest historian, and all I could say was yes as he shook my hand. The rest of the weekend was spent listening to him at seminars, making new acquaintances, and enjoying the whole atmosphere. That’s when I fell in love with what became known as the “Gloranthan Tribe”. Shortly thereafter I moved to the UK and started regularly seeing Greg at conventions. Between Convulsion, Continuum, Tentacles, Eternal Con and a string of RuneQuest and Glorantha Cons our friendship slowly grew. Many of Greg’s Gloranthan friends, like Nick Brooke, David Hall, Michael O’Brien, Neil Robinson, Jeff Richard, Sandy Petersen, Lawrence Whitaker, David Scott, Fabian Kuechler, Dan Barker, Simon Bray, and many more too numerous to list became my friends as well. Friends that grieve with me now as the man who brought us all together has passed away. As my role in RPG publishing grew Greg always provided extra support. When I gifted him with a copy of the only book I have ever written, my Index to all things RuneQuest and Glorantha, he grinned as he quipped “I finally get to have you autograph something for me for a change”. And my life continued to change thanks to Greg. Moon Design reprinted the Gloranthan Classics which helped provide Greg with the financial means to figure out what his next journey would be, while also helping me understand the business of Gloranthan publishing. We began to trust each other more and more as I became a game merchant, and he continued to explore his life, his passions, and his way forward. Fortunately, it was never all business with Greg and I. We shared many other interests, although his interests spanned twenty times the scope of mine. We often chatted about Carl Barks and Uncle Scrooge, the original inspiration for Ducks in Glorantha. Greg helped sort out our family fish tank (he had worked in an aquarium shop for a while) and he always enjoyed chatting with my kids about what they were up to. They were saddened when they found out uncle Greg wouldn’t be staying in our guest bedroom again, now called the Stafford Suite. Greg and I talked of our mutual love of the outdoors and his regret for falling just short of earning his Eagle Scout when he was a Boy Scout. Now it only seems like we talked far too little, and shared too little, regardless of the time he enjoyed spending with me and my family. I think back to that day in June a few years ago when Greg drove me to the San Francisco airport, shook my hand, and offered me the job of President of Chaosium. He described it as the best and the worst job to have. Forty years after he founded Chaosium, he decided it was time for a new generation to continue down the trail he had started and I would get to be a part of it. Greg had returned to save Chaosium, yet he knew it was the task of other members of his hero band to continue his legacy and work. He had shown us the way, inspired us to build upon it, and had more confidence in us than we had in ourselves. He became our Chairman of the Board, wise counsel, and shaman. These last three years have flown by in a blink. Chaosium stands poised to grow and prosper, all thanks to its founder. Greg built something that we love, cherish, and defend. He built our tribe, led the way, and made it all fun. That’s the best thing about Greg. He challenged us to find ourselves and our place in the world, explore life’s great mysteries, and have a lot of laughs while doing so. He was the biggest kid showing us all it's ok to be big kids too. This last August we drove to Gen Con together, chatting the entire time. We had five glorious days together in the Chaosium booth, signing books, speaking with our tribe, and generally enjoying each other’s company as all of us on the team were The Chaosium. One of the highlights was hearing Greg’s acceptance speech for the Silver eNnie for Fan Favorite Publisher. He made it not about himself, nor about Chaosium, and instead he made it all about our gaming community and how wonderful it was to be a part of it. After the con I drove him to the airport for his long flight home back to Arcata. We said our usual goodbyes, hugged deeply, and went our separate ways with no thought to it being our last moment together. We spoke a few times on the phone after that, emailed each other about many things, and then last Thursday I woke to the news that he was gone. In the dark of the night in his sweat lodge he had departed on his next journey. He had died as he lived, on one last quest for spiritual enlightenment. As I grieved the loss over this last week, I somehow know that Greg and I will see each other again. Until that day my task is to honor him, his legacy, and his example, having fun all along the way. Ave atque vale Greg. I already miss you too much.
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  44. 18 points
    Now available from the Chaosium’s Jonstown Compendium webstore: the revised and expanded Rough Guide to Glamour. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/309765/A-Rough-Guide-to-Glamour?affiliate_id=392988 PRINT ON DEMAND is now available (premium colour hardcover): $29.95, includes the digital version. A Rough Guide to Glamour is your indispensible companion for any visit to the capital city of the greatest empire the world of Glorantha has ever known! This book contains: • A comprehensive map, gazetteer and guidebook detailing the capital of the Lunar Empire; • Portraits and descriptions of eleven Very Important People who can be encountered there, including Moonson, the Red Emperor, and the Lunar hero Jar-eel the Razoress; • A description and map of the Sultanate of the Silver Shadow, the throbbing heart of the Lunar Empire; • Sweeping overviews of the geography and history of the Lunar Empire; • RuneQuest writeups for the cults of the Red Emperor, immortal wizard-ruler of the Lunar Empire, and the goddess Glamour, the humble nymph who became the First Inspiration of Moonson; • Insights into the secrets of Kalikos Icebreaker, the Lunar College of Magic and the Imperial Monopolies of the Etyries cult; • Never republished supporting material from the legendary fanzine Tales of the Reaching Moon; • Rumours, fiction, poetry, and more besides! This is a thoroughly revised and expanded edition of the original Rough Guide to Glamour, written by Chris Gidlow, Mike Hagen, Nick Brooke, Michael O’Brien, Jeff Richard, Greg Stafford and friends, lavishly illustrated by Dario Corallo, Simon Bray, Julie Hudson and other artists. Foreword by Jeff Richard, Chair and Creative Director of Chaosium Inc. A Rough Guide to Glamour was first published as a players’ background book supporting Reaching Moon Megacorp’s Life of Moonson, a 50-player live-action role-playing game that debuted in 1997 and ran in the United States, Europe and Australia.
  45. 18 points
    Based on the award winning fantasy trilogy by one of Science Fiction and Fantasy's greatest wordsmiths, Lyonesse transports you to the Elder Isles, where King Casmir plots to seize control of the Ten Kingdoms, assassinate his foes, and prevent a disturbing prophecy from being fulfilled. Elsewhere, the magicians Shimrod, Murgen, and Tamurello are locked in a private battle of wit, will and magical intrigue. All the while, the brutal, disdainful Ska are drawing their own plans of conquest. And in the immense Forest of Tantrevalles, the secretive fairies watch all that happens with wry amusement, and occasionally meddle in mortal affairs for reasons of their own. Players in Lyonesse take on the roles of adventurers of the Elder Isles, seeking fame, glory, profit, magic, or simply the promise of a good meal and a soft bed for the night. Characters can be mercenaries or spies in the service of one (or several) kingdoms; oath-sworn knights eager to do battle with their lord's enemies; thieves, tricksters or even honest merchants, out to make a just living (sometimes). Perhaps characters are aspiring magicians, keen to emulate the likes of Shimrod, Tamurello, or even the mighty Murgen himself. Lyonesse is a complete roleplaying game. This book contains everything needed (except dice and friends) for creating fabulous adventures in the Elder Isles. Exhaustive information on the kingdoms and lands of the islands; full rules for characters, skills, combat, magic, and monsters. Great care has been taken to recreate the style and atmosphere of Jack Vance's novels, so that Games Masters and Players can fully immerse themselves in the Lyonesse setting. Special rules for creating towns, taverns, tavernkeeper, and even lovingly described meals are all included, emulating the quintessential elements of the books. Don your armour! Take up your weapons! Sharpen your wits! Get ready for adventure across Hybras and beyond! We're delighted to announce that Lyonesse, the roleplaying game based on Jack Vance's award-winning trilogy (Suldrun's Garden, The Green Pearl, and Madouc) is available to buy from our DrivethruRPG store in Print+PDF versions. We're offering the game in hardcover and softcover formats. The softcover is slightly cheaper than the hardcover (and yes the prices really are meant to be that close - one of the quirks of POD publishing), and both formats are Print On Demand, largely because in these uncertain times, we do not know how long it will take our regular printer to get back to normal operations, and our distributor, Alliance, is still closed for business. The book costs $79.99 (hard cover), $74.99 (soft), or $25 (PDF only). You also received a free download of the main interior maps at full size, regardless of the format you buy. For UK, Europe and Australian customers, Aeon Games will also be producing Lyonesse, and you should keep an eye on their store for release details.
  46. 18 points
    RPGs elevated to fine art: sculptor Eric Vanel has cast Gloranthan hero Jar Eel the Razoress in bronze, in the 'heroic nude' style of classical antiquity. This magnificent work is for sale.
  47. 18 points
    Coming by Christmas Eve - The Smoking Ruins and Other Tales - a collection of scenarios and background material set in the South Wilds of Dragon Pass. Available in PDF (with the print edition coming later). Includes: The South Wilds The Wild Temple The Smoking Ruin (a multi-session scenario by Chris Klug of James Bond 007 and Dragonquest fame) The Lost Valley and Urvantan's Tower (the triumphant return of Steve Perrin!) The Grove of Green Rock Over 190 pages of Gloranthan gold! Available by Christmas Eve!
  48. 18 points
    Finally managed to get myself signed up; thought I had an account, but apparently not. So ... very VERY sad to hear of Greg's departure to the Spirit Plane. I started corresponding with him in 1979, having been put onto White Bear and Red Moon by a fellow lover of complex board games, and quickly got into RuneQuest. I encountered him quite a number of times, at the Leicester cons and elsewhere, and always found him great company. As a long-time fan of fantasy, I have to say that Greg's world of Glorantha is a world-beater when it comes to complexity and originality, and I feel privileged to have been able to contribute to it a little with the Griselda stories. He lives on in this and his other creations, and it has been a richly rewarding experience to know him. Ave atque vale, Greg.
  49. 18 points
    After going through the rules closely, and with the help of Lawrence and Pete created a simplified version of the combat rules, I have decided to use Mythras Imperative as the core ruleset for BRP Space. Or rather, what used to be BRP Space. The new title is M-SPACE. M as in Mythras, mythic (no, not the solo RPG engine) and modular. See the newish cover below. I think this will be a very good engine for running sci-fi scenarios and campaigns. It's a quick, flexible and creative ruleset, and with the additions brought with the book, I'm very happy with the result. And I am, as always, very grateful for the input I have gotten from all of you here on the forums. Thank you. I've already started adding the Mythras Imperative rules to the book, and I believe it will be a quite smooth process. I don't have an ETA yet though. Changing the core will result in a few rewrites throughout the book, and I'm not certain yet how extensive these will be (not breaking any compatibilties with other BRP engines though). I will keep you updated on my progress!
  50. 18 points
    Mythras is the new name for RuneQuest 6th Edition, the acclaimed roleplaying system developed by The Design Mechanism. From July 2016, the name Mythras takes over from the previous trademark, but the same great rules continue, bringing you d100-based roleplaying adventure centred on logical, consistent, straightforward mechanics, coupled with innovative approaches to character creation, combat, magic and monsters. The name may have changed, but the song remains the same. Why did we choose Mythras as a name?First of all, the game has always been about adventuring in mythic landscapes, with characters shaping their own stories, creating their legends and forging their own myths. It comes from the authors’ deep love of real world myths and ancient stories and so is the natural starting point for a new name. Next comes Mithra or Mithras, a deity found in Persian, Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythologies. Mithras is a god of warriors, a divine protector of oaths and covenants, a protector of cattle and of waters. In the Zoroastrian Avestas, he is described as Mithra of Wide Pastures, of the Thousand Ears, and of the Myriad Eyes. Bringing these two sources together gives us Mythras, a game concerned with myths, protectors, oaths, great deeds and wonderful stories: the perfect name for our game system.
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