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  1. So, many Moons ago, when I got the Hero Wars box set that had just come out and I was still gaming with my college buddies, I put together the shell of a campaign for it. I got Thunder Rebels and Storm Tribe, and I was sad we had never had this kind of Sartarite resource when I was running the same group through RQ3 in the 90s. We played AD&D and Champions and RoleMaster, and the group just liked crunchier systems. I thought it would be a nice change of pace to run something more narrative. The glorantha.com site had a clan generator, and I went through the questionnaire to set up a "base setting" where I could design stuff for -- the Tarkali clan. For religious locations, it gave me a primary Orlanth site (cool), a secondary Ernalda site (cool, cool), a Lhankor Mhy shrine (FANTASTIC! Cool, cool, cool...) and... an Argan Argar shrine. Thrown for a loop, I got on the message boards back then and asked about it. Did a lot of research. One thing led to another, and I might have constructed quite a nice campaign, but... most of the group didn't want to go for it. They really liked the crunchy systems. Some people were willing to try it, but I couldn't get a group to come together, as sometimes happens. Sadly, I shelved the bits I'd worked up. About fifteen years ago, I was running a once-a-year birthday game for a friend of mine, and he asked me if we could increase the frequency. We agreed to get together once a month. The games I'd been running for him were Call of Cthulhu, but I'm always leery of doing CoC campaigns -- one-off scenarios are great, but the odds of characters surviving enough to develop a campaign is tricky. I convinced them to try a more narrative game. Since HeroQuest had come out in the interim, I cracked it open and just loved it. Complexity didn't phase me (see the list of games in the first paragraph) and it was so flavorful. Perfect for Gloranthan play. I dusted off my HW material and started to do some conversions. Since there weren't a lot of published adventures for it yet, I thought it would be great to establish the group, then branch off into Griffin Mountain -- IMO one of the best published campaigns of all time. I had Hero Wars conversions for some of the GM stuff, so I had to do some more conversions. And now there was more complexity in the religions, so I had to do more work on it. Anyway, long story short, I ran my first session and decided to go with a cattle raid. The PCs would find that accompanying the Lunar-loving Orleving raiders was a Lunar who was stealing stuff from the shrines! My thought was to manipulate things in such a way that there would be some sort of legal incident with the Lunar. If they killed him, that would be politically problematic. If they caught him and ransomed him back, they could have an enemy for life! In time, things would get hot for them, and the clan chief would solve his problems by tasking them with finding and bringing back the Windsword... But that first session didn't work. One of the players couldn't get past the idea of cows being important. ("Where are the gold pieces? How is this fantasy?") And the rest weren't thrilled at presentation, since I hadn't finished all of my prep work. And so, all the material got shelved again. So, instead of starting threads talking about this and that, all about this older edition of the game, I thought I'd make one thread, and post stuff that I'd worked up for my defunct campaigns. If anybody has suggestions or ideas, that would be great. And if people don't like the older system or my ideas, they don't have to see my stuff clogging up the board. And if someone can use any of it for their own campaigns or gaming, well, then it'll all have been worthwhile. Happy Gaming!
  2. (Note: Bold text refers to a Trait, Ability, or Rune that a character in question has). DRAMATIS PERSONAE Androgenus, a genderfluid Esrolian Eurmali trickster with the Illuminated Illusion, Earth, and Luck runes. They are attempting to explore the mysteries of Illumination without a teacher—without any type of teacher—and are beginning to wonder whether or not existence is worth all the trouble. They’re also being watched very closely by... Waddlestomp the Bloodybeaked, a Hueymakti Duck thane with the Water, Death, and Truth runes. His quest to avenge his people has hit a small speed bump while he’s been pressganged into helping Iris conquer the Three Step Isles (see below). In the meantime, his patented Waddlestomp’s Big Ol’ List Of Humans That Need Killin’™ has just gained a new member: Androgenus, after the cowardly Trickster abandoned him in the middle of a merfolk fight last session. Currently mourning the loss of his enchanted shield in that same fight, and nursing some serious wounds. K'dud (pronounced Ka-Dude, named after the persona of a Knight in our local chapter of the SCA). K'dud is a Caladralander priest of Vestkarthan, God of Volcanoes, and also his sons Gustbran and Kalvan. He holds the Fire, Truth, and Mastery runes, and through them has mastered the Bronze Arms and Sharp Soul styles of unarmed combat. His player, after two weeks struggling to define a personality trait for K’dud beyond “Vaguely helpful and a bit dumb,” has decided to embrace it—and renamed his core Trait in the process. More on that later. And last but certainly not least: Iris, an Esrolian Earth Priestess in service to Takakia, the Goddess of Moss, who holds the Earth, Movement, and Spirit runes. Iris is the supposed leader of the party, but finds that bossing around a bloodthirsty Duck, an erratically insane Trickster, and a somewhat gormless volcano priest to be a tad more difficult than nailing Jell-O to the wall with an office stapler. Plus, she’s also having to deal with a smuggler captain who blames her and her alone for getting their ship stranded in the middle of someone else’s mythos... That’s right, this session opened in the God Time. I revealed that right at the start by calling for everyone to roll against their strongest Runes, with the possible consequences for failure being that they’d be even more confused by what was about to happen than normal. Everyone passed—except K’dud, which became a running theme. Therefore, everyone except K’dud twigged onto what was going on and where they were immediately. As the red sun dawned over multicolored, shimmering waves, wind spirits and fish spirits visibly dancing about them, everyone (including most of the NPCs present on their ship, the She’s One Of Ours, Sir), except K’dud, realized they were not in the material world, but in the Godplane! Iris got it first: they were probably sucked into the God Time during the storm, which did seem even more violent and magical than usual. Her Spirit Rune glowed brightly, showing that they were closer to the spirits, clueing her into the magic all around her. Then Androgenus understood another nugget of what was going on with his Beggar background Trait, he recognized snippets of a story he’d heard from Triolini dock workers in his youth. He recalled the tale of Magasta, God of the Seas, fighting the Fire Tribe, plundering treasure ships and coastal settlements for the bride-price of Brastalos, Goddess of Waterspouts and Sea Storms. The last session’s fight against the merfolk during the storm, and the island they were marooned in front of, both seemed familiar to them somehow, but they couldn’t recall any more details other than that they were definitely trapped somewhere in a merfolk myth. Then Waddlestomp, with his Death Rune affinity, sensed the presence of another great dealer of Death—the Merfolk Hero from the battle, still somehow alive, despite the grievous wounds that K’dud had inflicted on him! He advised the rest of the party to be wary-that kind of Hero seldom leaves a task unfinished, particularly if they got swept up into a Heroquest. Meanwhile, K’dud stared overboard and gawked at the brilliantly-colored fish flitting around the oyster-covered reef below. He was interrupted by the ship’s captain. The damage to the She’s One Of Ours, Sir had been repaired in such a way that the boat was literally pinned in place by a chunk of oystery coral; more extensive repairs were required to actually move the ship, which would take materials that just weren’t on hand. The mythical tropical island laid out before them, however, looked like it had plenty of wood, fresh water, and perhaps food. Everyone knew the risks inherent in foraging—for supplies in the God World—travel is dangerous even if you knew the story you are traveling through. Going blind through another culture’s myths? That was tantamount to very incompetent suicide. But they needed to do it. The adventurers set out in a longboat for shore with a work party of sailors; they were looking for fresh water, some food, and enough timber to repair the ship. Waddlestomp made sure that he was sitting riiiiiight next to Androgenus, so the Trickster didn’t start any funny business. “I don’t know what’s on that island, but I swear by Hueymakt’s cloaca that when shit goes down, if you so much as twitch wrong, Androgenus,” muttered Waddlestomp out of the corner of his beak, “You die first. Get me?” Androgenus nodded and smiled, apparently happy to hear it. “Glad to know you’re back to normal. How’s the arm?” They responded. Waddlestomp’s arm had been impaled by the merfolk Hero the previous session. “All the better for you to mind your own business, mammal,” grunted the thane, giving Androgenus the world’s biggest stink-eye. (The players cracked up at this: Waddlestomp’s player acted this out through his webcam and everyone started making jokes about The Rock that went on for about thirty minutes.) The boat made landfall with nary a sound on an isolated, picturesque beach. Iris Called Up Local Spirits (swiftly becoming her favorite stunt), secretly opposed by the watchful eyes of the island’s mythic guardians. With a marginal failure, she learned where a good supply of fresh water would be—the base of the waterfall that could be seen from the She’s One Of Ours, Sir, and furthermore that the pool had a decent population of fish for the ship’s larder. Iris led the way, tailed by K’dud (who kept gawping at everything with a slack jawed “Gosh!” Every few minutes). Androgenus and Waddlestomp stayed behind to help out the smugglers and hoplites that were busy chopping down a decent-sized tree that stood a few yards back from the beach’s treeline. Androgenus managed a critical success against their Paranoid flaw, so we ruled that they were jumpy, but justifiably so—they could tell that they were being watched by something, and not just the local spirits. They alerted Waddlestomp, who grudgingly stood on guard as well, contemptuous as he was of the Trickster’s flighty antics. As the crew got to work knocking down the tree, they were proven right! Out of the trees, a band of gold-armored, flame-armed warriors sprang, instantly cutting down a handful of the workmen and putting the others to rout. As the crew fled down the beach and Waddlestomp met burning bronze with killing Truesword, we “cut” to Iris, K’dud, and their crew contingent. Iris led them to an eerily tranquil pool underneath a roaring waterfall. Roaring, as it so happened, because it was actually an enormous Water Dragon, chained to the cliff with ropes of pure dancing sunlight! Immediately, they were set upon by a trio of fish spirits that leapt up from the pool. K’dud’s Bronze Arms Style (tied to his Fire rune) burned away two of the fish, but not before the third savaged Iris with snapping jaws and razor-edged fins. The moss priestess was knocked into the pool, barely conscious and no doubt doomed to drown... ...And we cut back to Waddlestomp and Androgenus. Androgenus got a solid success with their Luck rune's breakout ability Clumsy Curse against the onrushing soldiers, making many of them drop their weapons and shields in their charge down the beach. Waddlestomp used Vengeance-Seeking Swordsduck to great effect, laying many of the soldiers low and holding their attention long enough for the She's One Of Ours, Sir's crew to escape back to the longboats and row hard for the reef. But it wasn't quite enough--Androgenus found themself swiftly found by soldiery searching the trees, surrounded with a flaming spearheads, then wrapped in scintillating chains of fiery light. Waddlestomp merely took a good luck at the wave after wave of fire-clad, weirdly identical warriors that were streaming down the beach towards him, and did the unthinkable for a Hueymakti warrior: He laid down his sword and surrendered. This started a bit of an out-of-character argument, and also was the midpoint of our session. I'll recap the other half of the session soon! We took a mid-session break with Iris struggling for consciousness in a deep, dark pool, K'dud barely fending off fish spirits, Androgenus and Waddlestomp captured, and four players arguing vehemently about whether or not Waddlestomp's god would let him surrender.
  3. (Note: Bold text refers to a Trait, Ability, or Rune that a character in question has). DRAMATIS PERSONAE Androgenus, a genderfluid Esrolian Eurmali trickster with the Illuminated Illusion, Earth, and Luck runes. They're out for blood vengeance against anyone who's ever victimized their family, their clan, and their homeland. in that order. Recently illuminated as part of a Heroquest that gave them temporary use of the Infinity Rune. Being hunted like a beagle puppy in an Orlanthi tula for whatever remnants of that power they might possess. Iris, an Esrolian Earth Priestess in service to Takakia, the Goddess of Moss (we finally came up with a name for the Moss Goddess! She’s named after a genera of rather unusual mosses first found in the Himalayas). She's got the Earth, Movement, and Spirit runes. Iris, having wanted power and prestige amongst the Esrolians for her entire life, now finds herself being given very little of the first and a lot of the second—she’s Queen of the Three Step Isles now. That and a few pounds of silver’ll buy you a cow, though... Waddlestomp the Bloodybeaked, a Hueymakti Duck thane with the Water, Death, and Truth runes. He has sworn a dread oath that he will personally slay one human for every Duck that is or has ever been killed or otherwise victimized by human hands. His plans of war and conquest are being put on temporary hold by the journey to the Three Step Isles, and boy is he unhappy about it! Played by the oldest in our group, and the most experienced with Glorantha. He wields an enchanted shield originally crafted by the Square Circle Temple. K'dud (pronounced Ka-Dude, named after the persona of a Knight in our local chapter of the SCA). K'dud is a Caladralander priest of Vestkarthan, God of Volcanoes, and also an initiate into the cults of Gustbran and Kalvan as well. He holds the Fire, Truth, and Mastery runes. He is a master of the Bronze Arms and Sharp Soul schools of unarmed combat, and seeks to help his people navigate the uncertain future after Belintar's death. To this end, he's following Iris and her band of misfits to the Three Step Isles. We last left our heroes aboard the She’s One Of Ours, Sir, a sardonically named smuggler bireme heading across the sea to the three most Godsforsaken islands in the world outside of God Forgot. The captain (a burly Caladralander who’s always a little pissed off about having been press-ganged into this mission by the Queens on pain of pain) We rejoin them a week into their journey across open sea. In the middle of a storm. The crew had brought in oars and reefed sail, hoping against hope that the sea-gods would be merciful. The phalanx of Esrolian pikemen assigned to Iris’s quest to retake the Three Step Isles were grumbling in their makeshift camp in the cramped hold, losing at a game of liars’ dice with Androgenus (making liberal use of their Luck rune’s breakout ability Supreme Gambler) and Waddlestomp (using his Unexpectedly Terrifying ability to put the soldiers off their game). Meanwhile, K’dud was busy being heartily sick out on the rain-swept deck (“I’m a Fire priest! Being surrounded by this much water is...unnatural!” He cried, in between bouts of pouring chum into the churning waves). Iris was in her cabin, conversing with the captain. Apparently, the plan was that the She’s One Of Ours, Sir would drop her and her soldiers off on the Three Steps, then leave. Immediately. Eventually, Esrolia was supposed to send reinforcements and supplies with another expedition in a few seasons. If they were successful, of course. In the meantime, Iris just had to reconquer three of the most pirate-haunted, sheep-infested islands in the Sea. Three islands crawling with weird spirits and strange, forgotten gods. A place where ruins from the God Time still stood, beckoning foolhardy adventurers to plumb their secret depths. A place where, hopefully, the first ever grand temple to Takakia would stand, and she would be hailed as Queen. Not much of a place to build a grand saga of glorious renown, to be true, but it was a start. First, though, they had to survive the storm. It seemed like Orlanth Himself was throwing everything he had at the little galley, tossing the poor craft around like a bit of soap in a toddler’s bath. Suddenly, there was an almighty thump, a horrid scraping noise, and the sound like a fist of an angry Godling punching through the bottom of the ship! It had struck a rock, running into an uncharted oyster bed. ”I’ve made this run a hundred times!” Bellowed the Captain over the howling winds, “This reef shouldn’t exist!” The PCs immediately got to work trying to save the She’s One Of Ours, Sir. Iris Called Up Local Spirits to bargain with spirits of wind, wave, and oyster, trying to calm the waters. She got a minor success, making K’dud’s effort to Fix Anything (a breakout ability from his Volcano Cultist Trait) a tad easier—K’dud moved in a blazing blur, the heat of his body turning storm-spray into steam around him. He patched the ragged hole knocked in the hull and set to work bailing. Meanwhile, Androgenus and Waddlestomp were left to deal with the boarders. While the other two PCs were distracted trying to keep the boat from falling apart and sinking after running aground, most of the other passengers had been fending off an attack from marauding Merfolk! Crawling up out of the waves, a school of sharklike merfolk had clambered aboard the deck with the crashing waves and were busy cutting down the crew who had rushed to meet them in battle. Waddlestomp put his Enchanted Shield to use immediately; with an expert throw, he knocked three merfolk off the deck railing, skulls crushed by good Esrolian bronze. Androgenus used their Luck rune’s breakout ability Curse of Misfortune to make some of the marauding merfolk get knocked off the ship by the very waves being ridden by more of their own boarding parties. Between the two of them, they kept the actual number of merfolk being fought by the ship’s crew down to a handful at a time...but more kept on coming. The next round of combat, the merfolk leader—a big, shark-finned brute with all sorts of nasty runic ritual scars flopped on deck; he wielded a trident (shaped like a Mastery Rune) and a barbed whip of kelp (signifying an Air/Storm Rune); as soon as the merfolk leader came on deck, the storm got so much worse. Waddlestomp leapt into the fray, matching magically-hardened coral with his Truesword, and barely holding his own (the player just started cursing up a storm with a pair of bare successes against the merfolk leader). Androgenus critically fumbled against their Trickster flaw and decided it would be a great time to just go hide (“You got this, Waddlestomp! I’m rootin’ for ya!”) in the hold. Iris and K’dud rushed on deck to assist. K’dud used his Bronze Arms Style to parry punishing blows from the merman storm priest’s trident, but soon became entangled in the biting whip. Waddlestomp, taking the opportunity to retreat, used Vengeance-Seeking Swordsduck to push through the terrible wounds inflicted by the merfolk (“If I die before I get to kill that godsdamned trickster, I’ll take every one of you useless mammals with me!”) and assist the crew in repelling additional boarders. Then Iris got a critical success on her Call Up Spirits ability to awaken the ship’s own Spirit! Incarnating as a wild-haired woman made of wood and sailcloth, the She’s One Of Ours, Sir caused the ship’s deck to roil and buck like the sea itself, knocking the attackers to their feet while lifting the spirits (so to speak) of her defenders. The merfolk leader—doubtless a Hero in his own right, at this point!—threw his trident at the spirit, hoping to capture or kill her. Waddlestomp (again, barely; the dice were definitely against the PCs tonight!) deflected the hurled weapon with his thrown shield, but both trident and enchanted shield bounced away from each other, falling into the churning water below. Thus distracted, K’dud used that opportunity to use his Sharp Soul Style to deliver a punch through the merfolk leader’s chest, splattering the deck with blood, saltwater, and a pile of fishy viscera. The rest of the merfolk retreated, carrying the still-twitching, vengeance-swearing body of their leader back with them beneath the waves. The heroes had won! The storm passed quickly thereafter. The relative silence was almost deafening. A red sun dawned over the waves, revealing a tropical island that the Captain (much like before) swore up and down hadn’t been there the last time he sailed in these waters. An island that shouldn’t have been there. The She’s One Of Ours, Sir was stranded on a reef in the middle of the sea, unable to move without more serious repairs, many of her crew wounded or dead. Despite the victory, the PCs weren’t going anywhere. Except, perhaps, ashore.....
  4. So my PCs decided to kill Harrek the Berserk. Here's how it went. (for context, see and First, before I recap this, here's the cast of PCs we're working with: Androgenus, a genderfluid Esrolian Eurmali trickster with the Illuminated Illusion, Earth, and Luck runes. They're out for blood vengeance against anyone who's ever victimized their family, their clan, and their homeland. in that order. Recently illuminated as part of a Heroquest that gave them temporary use of the Infinity Rune. The player has been coming up with some awesome ideas for how Illumination might work, and I've been wholeheartedly stealing from what @davecake has said on Illumination to try and inform the player on what they might want to do. Iris, an Esrolian Earth Priestess in service to the Goddess of Moss (I don't know who that would be in actuality, but when her player heard "land of ten thousand goddesses," she immediately came up with a gaggle of minor Earth goddesses that barely anyone might care about). She's got the Earth, Movement, and Spirit runes. Iris wants power at all costs, both for her cult and her personally, and sees the group's adventures as the ticket to recognition and glory. Zonthor, a Praxian sorceror of the Impala Tribe and expert archer. The player always uses that name if he can get away with it in ever game I've ever played with him. Zonthor learned sorcery from a demonically possessed spellbook he plundered from Big Rubble, and has the Fire, Disorder, and Magic runes--he's only in this for himself, and is up front about how he's only working with Iris as long as she can pay him. The Wolf Pirates have plenty of treasure, treasure that Zonthor wants. and finally Waddlestomp the Bloodybeaked, a Hueymakti Duck thane with the Water, Death, and Truth runes. He has sworn a dread oath that he will personally slay one human for every Duck that is or has ever been killed or otherwise victimized by human hands. Played by the oldest in our group, and the most experienced with Glorantha. He now holds an enchanted shield he got in the same adventure where our party Trickster got Illuminated. For future reference, I use bold text to denote Traits, Runes, or other abilities the characters use. We join Our Heroes a few days after they have accidentally rampaged through the Esrolian city of Valadon and escaped with the city guard hot on their heels. Androgenus's mind is reeling with the infinite possbilities of Illumination and the horrible truths contained within: there's no purpose to any of it. Even rebellion. Everything has a place, which is nowhere. Nothing means anything, so everything means everything. You only struggle against yourself. While having this cosmic existential crisis, Iris, Zonthor, and Waddlestomp are discussing their next move to murder Harrek the Berserk and avenge the Holy Country. Iris succeeds at a role against her Noble Trait, with the breakout trait Connections At Court--she's heard a wild rumor at court that the queens of Esrolia, working with Caladraland and the Shadow Plateau, have amassed the remnants of their armada. They seek one last chance to strike at the Wolf Pirates and throw them out of the Mirrorsea or die trying. Zonthor once again gets reminded that the Wolf Pirates have plundered the City of Wonders, and that they've got to be swimming in loot. "As long as I get my shares," he says, emphasizing the plural, "Then you have my magic. I want to see that smug pirate die just as much of the rest of you." "Maybe not as much as they do--" grunts Waddlestomp, gesturing at the party Trickster, who's walking down the road a little bit ahead of the rest of the party, rambling to themself and waving their arms in the air "--so we should probably hasten us to our deaths before they decide to do something really unexpected." A brief travel montage later, the party arrives in Nochet, just ahead of bounty hunters sent from Valadon. Androgenus crits on his Beggar trait to find a bolthole for the party to hide in while Iris begs an audience with the Queens during their war conference. Meanwhile, Zonthor learns a new spell from his grimoire (he defines the ability Mass Migraine tied to his Demonic Grimoire) that he thinks will be useful in the coming battle, and Waddlestomp meets a sage to identify the enchantment on his shield. As it turns out, when thrown, the shield will always return to its wielder, a la Captain America. Later, Iris barely wins an audience with the Queens and drags along Androgenus. However, they are told that if they so much as breathe a word that isn't an abject apology for the riot they started in Valadon, they'd be next on the sacrificial altar to Maran Gor. They overhear the Queens discussing strategy with the surviving admirals of Caladraland and a representative of Shadow Plateau. As far as they understand it, the plan is that some of the Holy Country's naval remnant will engage the Wolf Pirate treasure fleet as it leaves the City of Wonders's ruins, hopefully bogging them down in the classic ram-and-bow brawl while the rest circle around and engage from the rear in a classic pincer maneuver--and let a regiment of Dark Troll marines do their brutal work in boarding actions. About then, Androgenus opened their dumb mouth. "This won't work, Your Highnesses." "What?" exclaimed the assembled Royalty, as Iris quickly tried to silence her bound trickster. "It won't work. You'll get slaughtered, and the Wolf Pirates will stay here forever. Broyan the Betrayer will have his barbarian mercenaries, and he'll come to rule Ketheala. Unless..." replied Androgenus, stepping away from his mistress. The assembled Esrolian queens and Caladralander admiralty immediately began demanding the trickster's life for his insolence. The Troll mistress in attendance held up a hand to silence them. "Unless what, snack?" "Why, unless you kill Harrek the Berserk." Disbelieving laughter. Derisive laughter. A call for Iris to silence the Trickster before someone else did for her. The troll interrupted: "Is that all? I wasn't aware it was that simple. How should we do this, snack?" "Well, that's simple. I'll betray you." Androgenus's player then managed a major victory with their Illuminated Illusion rune's breakout ability Tell Two Stories At Once, which they defined as tricking different parts of the same audience into hearing different things at the same time. About now, we called for a brief break so that Androgenus-player could discuss the plan with me in private. When we came back, Androgenus told the rest of the party what would happen: Androgenus would Swallow his companions and steal a fishing boat. Then he'd travel to the Wolf Pirates, and beg an audience with their leaders. They'd tell them the entire plan for counterattack against the Wolf Pirates. Hopefully, that would buy enough confidence with the Wolf Pirates to let them speak to Harrek. At which time, they'd regurgitate the PCs, use the Infinity Rune to forcibly separate Harrek the Berserk from the god he wears on his back. Then it'd be up to the rest of the party to murder the (probably very angry) berserker and his inner circle before things went sideways. There was a perfect, silent moment after Androgenus recounted their plan. "That's a stupid plan," said Zonthor, after composing themselves. "We're all going to die." "Do you have a better plan?" asked Androgenus, flatly. "No," spluttered the sorcerer, "But we're still all going to die." "Better we die our task fulfilled than live forever having failed," quacked Waddlestomp, grimly as ever. The other heroes stared at the murderous Duck for a while. Eventually, Iris broke the silence. "I for one love this plan. I'm excited to be a part of it!" Cut to two weeks later: the group bought a fishing boat (at a severe discount due to Waddlestomp's Unexpectedly Terrifying breakout ability keyed to his Death rune), and Iris whistled up a wind spirit to fill its sail. A day's calm sailing later, they approached the Island of Wonders from behind, drifting with the tide. As night fell, they reached the beach, hid their boat, and made camp in a secluded seaside cave. There, they talked more about their pasts and their motivations. Iris related how her family has always been scorned for serving the Moss Goddess, despite their faithful service to Esrolia. Zonthor could relate--he was ostracized from his clan after learning sorcery, despite the fact that it was his own chieftain who ordered him to retrieve a treasure from Big Rubble. Waddlestomp merely sharpened his sword in preparation for the morrow's battle. When he did speak, he talked of how Duck Valley was once a beautiful place, and how every time he closed his eyes, he saw the humans who came, screaming Orlanth and Sedenya's names, and slaughtered his people en masse. Androgenus nodded sorrowfully and tried to comfort the Hueymakti thane...he also wanted revenge, so sharp and painfully he could taste it at every moment. Androgenus sheepishly offered Waddlestomp one of their "stabbing effigies," a sort of homemade Voodoo doll that so happened to be shaped like a Lunar soldier. Waddlestomp awkwardly took it, and poked at it with his knife. "I do feel a little better," he grudingly admitted. The party laughed, and with that, went to sleep. Iris awoke last, just before dawn. Waddlestomp and Zonthor had already been Swallowed into the Trickster, and Androgenus had waited for the priestess to awaken on her own, because, as they put it, "What happens next isn't going to be pleasant. Best to have a good night's sleep first." "Run the plan down for me one more time?" asked Iris, getting a weird feeling with a minor victory against Androgenus's opposed Trickster flaw. "Well, first," they said, picking up a piece of driftwood, "I betray you." The fight was short, but a few unlucky rolls from Iris had her knocked out and trussed up. Androgenus dragged her down the beach to a Wolf Pirate foraging party. Some tense negotiation later, the tricksy Trickster easily wormed their way into the Wolf Pirates' boat on their way back to the main force of looters. They were enbyhandled onto a pirate ship and interrogated at swordpoint by the captain himself--a massive man from the Far South, who demanded to know why they were spying. Androgenus said he'd brought a prisoner--Iris--and had knowledge of the Holy Country's plans to oust the Wolf Pirates once and for all. Some quick thinking, good rolls, and fast talk had Androgenus parlay the captain into bringing them and their hostage to his higher-ups. It was about now that Iris woke up and started screaming bloody murder. She pronounced Androgenus a traitor. She begged, threatened, cajoled--and Androgenus just smiled. Her thrashing actually served to convince the pirates of Androgenus's truthfulness, despite his Illusion rune. We montaged the next hour or so of Androgenus being passed from pirate to higher-ranking pirate until finally, he stood on the deck of the Ice Serpent, in front of Harrek the Berserk, and at his right hand, Gunda the Guilty. "I'm going to kill you, Eurmali," rumbled the vast pirate lord, "But speak quickly and speak the truth--if you can--and I'll make it a quick death." "I know Esrolia's war plans to drive you out of the Holy Country. And this priestess here is head of a conspiracy to kill you, o mighty lord." "You do, now? Hrm. Y'know, Gunda and I have a rather reliable policy: kill every Trickster I meet. You have five heartbeats to change my mind," said Harrek, standing up, popping his neck, and grabbing his axe. I made sure to describe how Harrek's bear cloak growled in response to its wearer's movement, the ears twitching in the sea wind. And here's where things went even more off the rails. Androgenus rolled, and I kid nobody reading this not, three critical successes in a row. First, they rolled a critical success with Look Harmless to lull Harrek's bodyguards into a false sense of security. Then, he critical'd an opposed check against the assembled pirates with Tell Two Stories At Once: Harrek and the pirates heard the Holy Country's original plan, the pincer movement that wouldn't have worked. Iris heard him talk about the real plan: the Holy Country would beach its navy in a nearby hidden cove at low tide, then drift back out to sea (and directly behind the pirates, cutting off their retreat) when the tide shifted, catching the Wolf Pirates unawares. Iris, enraged beyond all reason, loudly proclaimed that Androgenus would die for betraying Esrolia. All of that 'proved' Androgenus's veracity even more. Harrek stepped closer to Androgenus, staring the little Eurmali down, madness matching madness. "Do you feel that I should reward you for this?" asked Harrek, "I've had enough of Kethaelan traitors to last me a lifetime." "Oh, mighty lord, getting this close to you is reward enough," replied Androgenus, who then made the sign of the Infinity Rune with their hands and placed it over their eyes. (In Roll20, this was accomplished by making finger goggles and pulling a rather amusing face). The third critical was activating the Infinity Rune they'd earned from the Heroquest. For a moment, the world stopped. Androgenus was Eurmal the Lightbringer, grasping the net of the Cosmic Compromise. He was Illusion Illuminated, separating Real from Unreal, remolding the Cosmos to his will. Harrek reeled as the energies of Creation surged through his boat, threatening to capsize it. He felt his magic drain from him, forevermore locked into the God Time. The Bear God left him then, leaving a confused, dizzy, and for the first time ever, frightened Harrek the Berserk retching on the deck of his ship. "Harrek?!" exclaimed Gunda, rushing to his size. "What did they do?" "I don't know! They took my bear! Kill! Kill them!" And then came the fourth critical: Androgenus cast a glamer with their Illusion Rune that seemed to split them into five mirror images, each one taunting and jeering at the onrushing pirates. Then they regurgitated a sorceror (who'd been preparing their Mass Migraine spell, ready to cast as soon as he was out of the Trickster) and an angry Duck. Hilarity, as they say, ensued. This was the first big fight I'd ever run using the HeroQuest rules. Per the rulebook's suggestions, it was mostly narrative, with few rolls (which is weird for me, accustomed as I am to crunchier systems like D&D and World of Darkness, or even Fate, for that matter). Waddlestomp rolled well with his Truesword, Magic Shield, and Vengeance-Seeking Swordsduck to carve a path through the pirates and get the attention of Harrek and Gunda. Zonthor managed to get off his Mass Migraine spell (and had a lot of fun narrating its grisly consequences among the pirates onboard) and untie Iris. Then he failed hard against Gunda the Guilty, nauseated but still single-minded, who ran the little Praxian through with her spear and tossed him overboard for the sharks. Iris also got heavily wounded before she could scramble away from the pirates, but managed a bare success to get to her feet and summon up shark-spirits, attracted by the blood of the battle, to further harry the pirates. Androgenus...just stayed alive and taunted Harrek. The battle concluded with a lookout's call--Kethaelan ships approaching, rowing hard for the pirates! The tide had come while Androgenus had distracted the pirates, and given the Esrolians a chance to get into position to ambush them. Harrek took a mighty swing at Androgenus--only for his axe to pass right through the little Trickster. Dumbfounded, Harrek tried it again--and again, his axe passed through (in game terms, this was an opposed Illusion check vs. Harrek being the most lethal man on Glorantha that I hid the results of until it was dramatically appropriate). "You can't kill me, Harrek, but it's okay," said Androgenus peacefully the light of Illumination glowing in their eyes, "There is no struggle against yourself. You did well, but be at peace. Every story has an end." And then Waddlestomp jumped on his back and stabbed him repeatedly. Harrek the Berserk, God-Traitor of the Rathori, Destroyer of Worlds, was brought low by an angry duck and a Trickster with a grudge (who, now that the exchange was over, was found to have gotten a Minor Defeat, and was very very injured, but had hid it with their Illusion rune for a few moments). Gunda the Guilty howled in rage, and leapt for Waddlestomp, murder in her eyes.... Right as an Esrolian galley rammed the Ice Serpent. Nearly capsizing her. We narrated the rest of it. Waddlestomp cut his way through the panicking pirates and Iris helped him haul Androgenus's broken, disemboweled body to the Troll marines who were stomping aboard and slaughtering the stunned pirates. They passed the trio onto the Gannet, the Esrolian trireme, and received emergency healing. The last they saw of Gunda, she was cutting down a pile of trolls around Harrek's form. Eventually, the Ice Serpent sank, but nobody was seen to have escaped. Surely, nobody could have escaped. Surely... It was with that that we closed the session for the night. Everyone seemed to have had a good time. Waddlestomp's player in particular was dumbstruck that only one of them had died, and Zonthor's player took his death in good stride, promising to come up with someone with an even more ridiculous name next time. I left the players with hints as to what had come: they had now become capital-H Heroes of the Holy Country, and would be feasted and hailed as such...and they had also earned powerful, implacable enemies, and a key role in the world-shaking events to come. Whether they wanted it or not.
  5. (Note: Bold text refers to a Trait, Ability, or Rune that a character in question has). DRAMATIS PERSONAE Androgenus, a genderfluid Esrolian Eurmali trickster with the Illuminated Illusion, Earth, and Luck runes. They're out for blood vengeance against anyone who's ever victimized their family, their clan, and their homeland. in that order. Recently illuminated as part of a Heroquest that gave them temporary use of the Infinity Rune. Now missing the Rune, and grappling with the fact that his role as a Trickster may be just as meaningless as the society he rebelled against. Iris, an Esrolian Earth Priestess in service to the Goddess of Moss (I don't know who that would be in actuality, but when her player heard "land of ten thousand goddesses," she immediately came up with a gaggle of minor Earth goddesses that barely anyone might care about). She's got the Earth, Movement, and Spirit runes. Iris wants power at all costs, and now finds herself with an opportunity for it. Waddlestomp the Bloodybeaked, a Hueymakti Duck thane with the Water, Death, and Truth runes. He has sworn a dread oath that he will personally slay one human for every Duck that is or has ever been killed or otherwise victimized by human hands. Played by the oldest in our group, and the most experienced with Glorantha. He wields an enchanted shield originally crafted by the Square Circle Temple, and is making grim plans. and finally K'dud (pronounced Ka-Dude, after the persona of a Knight in our local chapter of the SCA). K'dud is a Caladralander priest of Vestkarthan, God of Volcanoes, and also an initiate into the cults of Gustbran and Kalvan as well. He holds the Fire, Law, and Mastery runes. He is a master of the Bronze Arms and Sharp Soul schools of unarmed combat, and seeks to help his people navigate the uncertain future after Belintar's death. To this end, he's attached himself to Iris and her gang of misfits, but more on that later. So last week, the heroes had killed Harrek the Berserk, one of the prophecied capitol-H Heroes of the Hero Wars. This week, the players wanted to rest on their laurels for a moment, lick their wounds, and let the player of the late Zonthor ease his new character into the game. I had other plans. We began the game at a celebratory feast in honor of our heroes, having slain (and barely survived the slaying of) Harrek the Berserk. The heroes were seated at a high table in the royal palace of Nochet, being toasted again and again and again by grateful nobles. Iris was wary of poison--she was the first to recognize that their deeds had painted a target on the party's back a mile wide. Androgenus didn't care; they were gulping down horn after horn of rich God Forgot-brewed beer and singing along (badly) with the songs of praise being expounded forth by a young poet who had captured (and dramatized) the events of last session. So far, he was playing up Iris's contribution to the battle as a fearless leader who had come up with the entire plan and was solely responsible for Harrek's downfall. Androgenus thought that his small part in the song (tricking Harrek into casting off his bear-skin cloak) was hilarious, and Waddlestomp wasn't amused at all, especially when the song mentioned him as a 'feathered friend.' Zonthor's ex-player (an enthusiast in Mediterannean archaeology) and Waddlestomp's took great pleasure taking turns to describe how bright and colorful the hall would have been, and the low tables piled high with rare delicacies brought from across the Six Nations. Well, five nations. I mentioned that since the betrayal of the City of Wonders and the fracturing of the Holy Country, Heortland was largely on its own. The Lunars (though beaten back earlier in the year) still prowled the northern frontiers, towards Sartar. Esrolia, the Shadow Plateau, God Forgot, and Caladraland still stood more-or-less together....but the Orlanthi ruled by the vile Broyan the Betrayer, the Last Vingkotling? They'd have to face the oncoming storm by themselves. In fact, rumor around the table was that the Shadow Plateau and God Forgot (I made sure to underline how much of a surprise the latter would be) were apparently preparing to attack Heortland to avenge the fallen God-King. Belintar's death--although caused by the Lunars--was being blamed on Broyan. Perhaps, the rumors said, Broyan had been in league with the Lunars all along. Perhaps he had wanted sole kingship of the Holy Country. In ages past, Vingkotling ambition had led to strife and turmoil again and again. It was to be expected....so perhaps it'd be safer all around if the other former Sixths dealt with the threat first. Iris was dragged into this intrigue when Samastina (Queen of Nochet, recognized as the leading Queen of Esrolia) leaned over the table, looked to her left, and asked Iris her opinion on the "Heortling question." Iris badly fumbled her Noble trait roll, and was completely tongue-tied, offering little more than confused noises and halfhearted platitudes about how unity in times of crisis would probably have been what Belintar would have wanted. "Yes," said Samastina coolly, as the local High Priestess of Maran Gor looked at Iris strangely, "But Belintar, blessed be he, is dead. Should we unite with those who spat on his memory, or against them?" The feast hushed, as if the entire hall was craning in to listen to Iris the Bearslayer's response. Androgenus loudly belched, trying to break the tension with their Trickster Trait, and scored a bare success. Despite herself, Samastina smirked, and things seemed less instant-death for Iris. Our Earth Priestess composed herself, and said, "I would counsel that we consolidate our forces. The Wolf Pirates are scattering, as moss mites do when you smash their nest. However, like moss mites, they will burrow deep and make more nests if we don't track them down and burn them out now. Broyan, if I may be so bold, can wait. The Wolf Pirates should not." Samastina smiled. Iris's player cursed loudly. "Exactly my thoughts as well. My young friend--" Iris's player groaned and cursed again"--is exactly correct. It is at this time precisely that we should strike together against the remnants of the Pirates. Gunda the Guilty is still out there, and may rally the survivors to attack us once more." There was a murmur of agreement. "To this end, and working with my esteemed friend King G'gardas of Caladraland, we shall send Queen Iris of the Three Step Isles to reclaim territory once stolen from us!" Iris choked on her wine. Androgenus fell over, clutching their side and laughing uproariously. Waddlestomp facebilled. A great cheer went up in the hall, and Iris managed to barely restrain herself from glaring daggers at Queen Samastina. After all, apparently she was a Queen herself, now! ....of a trio of remote, pirate-controlled, sheep-infested islands. ....very far away from the Esrolian power centers. Immediately, Iris's player figured it out: they had just made themselves the biggest threat to the Esrolian Queens' power. Howling barbarian demigods? Well, yes, those are horrible dangers to the Queendom and her people. But previously unknown adventurers who can kill those threats like it's nothing? An unknown quantity, particularly when one of them is such an obviously power-hungry Earth Priestess as Iris. The rest of the dinner was a drunken blur, discussing grand strategy and lofty goals: a phalanx of Esrolian pikemen backed up by caladralander naval support, led by Iris and her retinue, retaking the Three Steps in a swift invasion. Plundering the pirates' hidden treasure troves. Building a grand temple to the Moss Godess. Constructing a grand fortress in the middle of sea, from which the Holy Country (with Esrolia at the helm, naturally!) shall project its strength across many lands, for the greater glory of Kethaela! More raucous applause. Androgenus attempted to leap atop the table to improvise a praiseworthy poem, only to be stopped by Waddlestomp grabbing the wounded Trickster and yanking them back down onto their cushion. The feasting nobles laughed uproariously again, and we fast-forwarded past the feast, to later that night. Midnight in Nochet: celebrations for the death ofIris was abed already, having drunk herself into a stupor to deal with being outplayed by the Grandmothers. Waddlestomp was, as ever, sharpening his weapons and meditating on how much he hated humans. Androgenus, meanwhile, was being seduced by a comely servant from God Forgot. Androgenus had gotten even more drunk after the feast, and was busy trying to sleep their way through the entire serving staff. This one servant--a cupbearer that had taken his eye at the feast--was trying to lead them to a quiet stable in the outer bounds of the Royal Palace. Androgenus failed an opposed roll with his Paranoid flaw, and was led, stumbling and muttering, into a suspiciously empty stable. Well, it'd probably have been suspicious if Androgenus wasn't so stinking drunk, anyway. The Trickster wasn't laid down onto a soft pallet of straw, but rather a hard wooden table. They were tied down--which wasn't that much of a dealbreaker for them--but rather than inestimable pleasure, they felt the cold prick of a bronze knife poking them in the forehead! They could vaguely hear a cold, high-pitched voice (with a pronounced God Forgot accent) say: "The Rune may be vanished, but echoes of such a great power still remain, even in such unworthy flesh as this. Haruspex, are you prepared?" "Yes, lord," said the cupbearer, raising the knife. The Trickster sighed, the gravity of their situation sinking in past all the wine. They'd sort of figured it might end this way. It was now that we introduced K'dud. He burst into the stable (literally, using his Fire Rune's breakout ability Bronze Arms Style to punch through a stone wall Kool-Aid Man-style!), easily dispatched a burly Heortling mercenary set as a guard on this dark work, and set about attacking Androgenus's kidnappers. As it turned out, Androgenus had been taken by a Zzaburi sorceror--one taken with studying all sorts of forbidden God Learner-era lore--and his retinue. They sought to extract whatever remnants of the Infinity Rune still might be in Androgenus's carcass and use it for their own foul ends. K'dud wasn't having any of that. Using his Sharp Soul Style, he easily beheaded the Haruspex with his bare hands, dodged a retaliatory bolt of magical energy from the sorceror, lurking in the rear of the stable, and proceeded to kick the babbling, pleading Zzaburi through another wall. After untying Androgenus and using some Fire magic to help them sober up a bit, K'dud made his introductions: he was the youngest son of the King of Caladraland, dedicated to Vestkarthan and the Lowfires, master of several ways of unarmed combat, and he was here to protect Androgenus. Well....he was here to protect Iris, actually, but as Iris's sworn Trickster, K'dud's protection extended to them, too. Androgenus fell over himself (literally) thanking the burly, be-loincloth'd warrior, and scurried home to his quarters in the Palace. This wasn't the last of would-be assassins, either. As the in-game weeks went on in preparation for the conquest of the Three Step Isles, K'dud helped the party overcome a party of assassins sent by a rival priestess of another minor Earth Goddess, seeking to usurp Iris's position in the Three Step Isles (which baffled Iris to no end), a group of surly beastfolk who accused Waddlestomp of selling out their kind to humans by killing Harrek, and on the eve of the fleet's launch, broke the arms of a Dragonewt warrior who sought to punish the party for "usurping infinity with their unworthy mammal parts." Meanwhile, Waddlestomp began meeting contacts he had with other Duck expatriates in the Holy Country--enough was enough. He'd had it with obeying the orders of murderous humans. Once he'd returned from those blasted islands, he'd lead every Duck he could find in glorious war to reconquer their homeland. One way or another, anyway. Androgenus got into a philosophical argument with another Trickster about the illusory nature of Creation and their place within it that ended in a barroom brawl, and K'dud received a quiet pep talk from his father about how important it was for the Sixths to remain unified, even after Belintar's death. We stopped the session just before the fleet to the Three Step Isles set off. Iris had been told in no uncertain terms that she and her....warriors were not to return unless the Three Step Isles had been fully pacified and brought into the fold of Esrolia. Succeed, and a grand temple to the Moss Goddess would be constructed on those islands' chalky hills. Fail, and, well, they'd probably be killed by pirates. Or by Samastina's assassins, should they try to leverage whatever power they think they had back at home to disobey her orders. Thoroughly cowed, Iris finally agreed to this quest, and prepared as best as she could to conquer the Islands.
  6. Five Weeks until Glorantha Games 2020: Glorantha at Home Glorantha Games 2020: Glorantha at Home takes place on Saturday, October 3rd. We are looking for Game Masters to run scenarios set in Glorantha using RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, QuestWorlds (HeroQuest), 13th Age Glorantha, and RuneQuest Classic. Plenty of slots open and we definitely need more GMs and more games. Let us know if you want to be a GM and send us your scenario. https://warhorn.net/events/glorantha-games-2020
  7. There are a lot of fantasy worlds out there for gamers to choose from. D&D offers several official settings and a slew of licensed worlds, Pathfinder has its own world, there’s a cornucopia of “system independent” settings, and there are the massive old grandfathers of fully-fleshed out worlds: Glorantha, Tekumel, and Harn. All of these worlds have things going for them. The lore of the D&D and Pathfinder worlds are tightly linked to the rules of those systems, relieving the GM of any work in figuring out how to represent the effects of setting specific elements, such as monsters or magic. If you’re not into D&D or Pathfinder, though, they may not appeal to you. System independent settings get around this by designing the world first and either providing guidelines for using it with different rules (Primeval Thule is a good example of this) or simply leaving it to the buyer to sort out. The looming Old Ones of game-world design (Glorantha, Tekumel, and Harn) offer players dense lore accreted over the decades of their existence. they can also be a bit intimidating to new players and GMs. None of these worlds offer everything a player could want, because that’s an impossible task. For me, Glorantha and Harn come closest to ticking all my boxes, but neither is exactly what I’d like to see in a game world. That’s not a criticism of either setting, because even I don’t know exactly what I want from a game world. Despite that lacking that critical piece of self-awareness, I’ve always wanted to design a commercial game-world. I’ve designed several worlds for my own use, but most of those were comprised of little more than a couple of maps, a few notes, and a relatively firm feel for the setting in my head. I aspire to going whole hog, though, and would like to create a world that GMs and players who aren’t sitting at my table could stomp around in and make their own. I have some ideas of what I’d like to see in that world, but I’d be grateful to hear what kinds of worlds other folks would like to plant characters in to watch them grow. I’m not trying to crowd-source a setting by any stretch of the imagination, but I would like to know what elements other players and GMs would like to see in a game world, particularly things they can’t find in other published works. To that end, I’ve put together the annoying questionnaire below. I don’t expect anyone to fill the thing in completely, I’m just offering it as a framework to shake loose opinions that might not have occurred to you. Now, on to the annoying questions: What level of “fantasy” are you looking for in a fantasy world? High fantasy where magic, monsters, and elves are common place? Medium, where such things exist, but they’re rare and remarkable? Low, where magic is scarce as hen’s teeth and monsters and fey folk are the stuff of fairy tales (that may be true)? What level of technology do you prefer? Stone-age? Bronze-age? Iron-age? High medieval, Renaissance? Some mixture? Swords only? Swords a muskets? Swords and early revolvers? How wild do you prefer your fantasy world to be? Tribes and clans struggling against nature and the unnatural to survive? City states surrounded by howling wilds and roving nomad clans? Feudal kingdoms sprinkled with wild places and separated by swaths of wilderness? Stable kingdoms and empires with wild lands beyond their borders? Do you like medieval European feudalism in your world? Or would you prefer a more tribal organization? Or territories ruled over by satraps appointed by a royal or imperial bureaucracy? Something else? Are the gods real in your ideal fantasy world? If so, do they interfere directly in the mortal world, or do they work through mortal intermediaries? Do you like your gods wearing black or white hats or do you prefer them to wear dove grey? What are the ideal stakes of your world? Are they high, with a big bad that will destroy the world unless your character finds a way to stop it? Or medium, where the threat is often aimed at one of the world’s kingdoms/city-states/tribes? Or they low, with the threat usually directed at the PC group itself? Do you like a game world to be strangely familiar (like Harn or Glorantha) or utterly alien (like Tekumel or Jorune)? How much effort are you willing to sink into learning a world as a player or GM? Are you okay with reading dozens or hundreds of pages of lore and exposition to get your feet on the ground, or do you prefer a world that gives you the high points of the setting and allows you to fill in blanks as you play? Do you want your world to have a well defined future history? Or would you prefer a loose guideline of optional ways the world might evolve over the next few decades? Or do you want history to end at a given year so that you and your players are free to develop it as you will through play? That’s it for the questionnaire, although I may come up with follow-up questions based on your responses. Again, you don’t need to slavishly provide answers to each question (feel free to do so if you have the time and inclination, though). Answer the ones that jump out at you or hit one of your hot-buttons if that’s all you feel like. Any input is good input!
  8. Hello together, it's the the stupid German again. This time I am stuck trying to figure out the details of (Group) Extended Contests. Trying to understand how things work here, there are still two questions, I didn't find an answer for. QUESTION 1: Is it possible to Augment an Assist? QUESTION 2: How to determine the Level of Victory in a Group Extended Contest? It seems there either is some information missing, or there is another contradiction in the rules given on page 84 and page 82. page 84 The section "Determining Climactic Consequences" here reads: The section "Determining Rising Action Consequences" on page 84 is missing any information how to resolve the LoV. Using this information to cross-reference, I would: (1) in a Climactic scene: (a) with more than one opponent: use the second-worst consequence among defeated opponents (b) otherwise: use the consequence of the only opponent present (2) in a Rising Action scene: * scratch my head as no information is given page 82 The box "Consequences and Group Extended Contests" reads: If you win more than one exchange in either Rising Action or Climactic contests, and then need to determine a final level of victory [..] use the victory level you attained against the hero who contested against you with the highest target number. Using this information, I would: (1) BOTH in a Climatic and a Rising Action scene: use the LoV won against the opponent with the highest target number
  9. And yet another problem I stumbled across, trying to summarize the Pass/Fail Cycle. It seems that either the table given on page 117 is broken, or I am to stupid to understand how to read it. Starting on page 116 it says I guess both "Major Defeat" and "Major Victory" are meant to be read as: (1) each Major Defeat or worse (i.e. or Complete Defeat) (2) each Major Victory or better (i.e. or Complete Victory) But even using this interpretation it is impossible to read the table in corner cases. To make explaining the problem a bit easier, I will use the following conventions (1) I will call BOTH Marginal and Minor Victory a small Victory. (2) I will call BOTH Major and Complete Victory a big Victory. (3) I will call BOTH Marginal and Minor Defeat a small Defeat. (4) I will call BOTH Major and Complete Defeat a big Defeat. So where is the problem? Using the naming convention given above take a look at the following two cases Case 1: The last two contests were: a small Defeat (=1 defeat) and a big Victory (=2 victories) Let's check to see which entry applies.: "3-4 Defeats" – no we have 1 defeat "2 Defeats" – no we still have only 1 defeat "2 Ties" – no we even don't have a single tie "1 Defeat + 1 Victory or Tie" – no, we have 1 defeat for sure, but our big Victory (=2 victories) neither counts as 1 victory nor as a tie "2 Victories, 0 Defeats" – no, we have 1 defeat "3-4 Victories, 0 Defeats" – no, we still have 1 defeat Alas there isn't a any entry that applies. Case 2: This time let's assume the last two contests were: a tie and a small Victory (=1 victory) Let's see how checking the table turns out this time: "3-4 Defeats" – no, we don't have any defeat "2 Defeats" – no, we still don't have any defeat "2 Ties" – no, we only have a single tie "1 Defeat + 1 Victory or Tie" – no, we don't have any defeat "2 Victories, 0 Defeats" – no, we only have a single victory. "3-4 Victories, 0 Defeats" – no, we still only have a single victory. Same problem again! QUESTION 1: Have I missed something or misunderstood how to correctly read the table? In case the table is broken, even more important: QUESTION 2: How would you fix the table in your group? Maybe some of you already have a nice houserule to suggest?
  10. Hi all - Picking up from my former thread... https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/11023-using-hq-in-the-lunar-empire-tips-tricks-and-homebrew/ I just reread the Lunar magic section (starting page 179 of the Heroquest: Glorantha edition) and the example of Magatheus on p55; I scanned the Seven Mothers section and the Illumination section but haven’t reread closely yet. In any case, here’s my understanding on how to create a Lunar character in HQ:G - please confirm/correct: 1. Lunar magic stems from the character’s Moon Rune a. This is one of the 3 tunes that the character gets during character creation b. Lunar characters select a specific phase of the Moon c. The All Phase rune is only accessible to Illuminates ie not starting characters 2. Lunars can choose to initiate to one of the gods of their phase (those listed in the Seven Mothers or New Gods listings). a. When doing so they have access to the runes of that god, as sub-abilities of their Moon Phase Rune b. The character has to have a rating of at least 1W in the moon phase rune. c. The individual Seven Mothers qualify as New Gods for this purpose (p185) despite being listed as separate in the Moon Phase list (p180 and following). 3. Lunars can use their Moon Phase Rune to “create glamours mimicking the runes that Phase can replace”. a. I think I understand that this means the runes the phase “Embodies”? Eg Darkness and Death for Empty Half Moon? b. As an aside a little definition of the various characteristics of the Phases would the helpful, eg, what Embodies means. c. In any case these “mimicking Glamours” can be used at the Phase Rune rating for augments. d. “The direct use of the Lunar Phase incurs a Stretch penalty of -6 (see page 103) – unless: (1) the Lunar is an initiate of a Lunar New God cult and is creating glamours in accordance with the teachings of that New God; or (2) is using a Lunar Grimoire.” 4. Lunar characters can buy access to Grimoires a. These seem to function just like Sorcery Grimoires? Except for the lunar cycle in play. b. Each Grimoire inherits the rating of the relevant Rune, which might be the Moon Phase or might be a different one (eg Magatheus has one off his moon phase and one off his law rune). c. Characters can assign a bonus to this rating. (E.g. Magatheus has assigned +1 to each Grimoire). This applies to all spells in the Grimoire. 5. Characters can replace their Moon Phase Runes with a Chaos rune. a. Game mechanically this seems to allow the character to use the Rune for active / direct actions without the Stretch penalty? And use it more widely?
  11. Hi all - I am (once again) thinking of setting a game in the Lunar Empire. I thought I’d see if people have any advice or material for how best to use HQ for this. I have to re-read the Lunar magic portion of HQ:G and may have more specific questions after that. I also have the old Hero Wars / Issaries Lunar books and will look back at that, for cult structure etc if nothing else. Similarly I’d be very interested in any home brew materials or personal setting/rules info. Thanks in advance! Hyperlexic
  12. New at Chaosium.com - THE ELEVEN LIGHTS in full color hardback! The Eleven Lights is a Gloranthan campaign set in Dragon Pass, taking the PCs as members of the Red Cow clan from the Occupation in 1618 through to the Liberation from the Lunar Empire in 1625. It features 20 complete adventures and many more outlines, and is a companion to The Coming Storm (also available from Chaosium). This product is for HeroQuest Glorantha, but can be easily adapted to RuneQuest as well. Available from our USA, UK and Australian warehouses.
  13. In HeroQuest's 'The Coming Storm', the dangers surrounding the Red Cow clan in Sartar are closing in from within and without. Occupied by the Lunar Empire, the clan can see violence on the horizon— the Hero Wars are coming. The gripping saga of the Red Cow's dire straits in 'The Coming Storm' now has a sequel. In 'The Eleven Lights', War has come to Dragon Pass in this complete Gloranthan campaign setting, taking the Red Cow PCs from brutal occupation to their liberation from the Lunar Empire. Whatever history holds for the Red Cow clan, players are about to find out: https://www.chaosium.com/the-eleven-lights-pdf/ And don't forget—when the print version is available, you get the full price of the PDF off when you buy from Chaosium.com.
  14. Hello, everyone! I have a bunch of old RuneQuest books and I would like run them for my players but I don't feel like using the RQ rules. All those very detailed rules were cool when I was younger, but now, after getting to know HeroQuest: Glorantha and already with two sessions of GMing that under my belt I feel that is more to my liking at the moment. Has anyone tried redoing any of the old RQ classics with HQ:G rules? I would like to start with Sun County (this one: https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/classic/rev_6784.phtml ) scenarios. Some of my players might want to create new characters, some might want to have ready made characters. In Sun County book there are 8 ready made characters, but of course I/we would have to "convert" (probably more or less loosely) those characters from RQ stats to HQ:G ones. Any tips for that? Also, one thing I feel like struggling are the local Yelmalio worshipping characters. For example, which runes might be common for Sun County men and women? I'm sure I'm going to have more questions later, but here are my main worries at the moment. Please, share your thoughts!
  15. "One of the oldest and most respected fantasy settings ever created for RPGs, Glorantha is the brainchild of legendary game writer and designer Greg Stafford. Crafted in 1975 for the board game White Bear and Red Moon, it became the heart of the first major challenger to D&D, RuneQuest. Now it’s back and represented in a system specifically crafted for it – HeroQuest Glorantha, making it a great choice for New Year, New Game Week." —Sean's Picks of the Week at EN World
  16. A trio of new HeroQuest Glorantha titles are now available on DriveThruRPG—the core HQG rules, and the linked supplements The Coming Storm and The Eleven Lights. Everything you need to run an epic clan-based campaign at the advent of the Hero Wars!
  17. Cut yourself a deal - Chaosium's Black Friday sale has begun! Runs through Squamous Saturday and ends on Spectral Sunday at 11.59pm PST. Use Code 'Black15' to get 15% off over 400 selected Chaosium titles— including everything for HeroQuest/HeroQuest Glorantha, including recent releases The Coming Storm and The Eleven Lights PDF. More details here: https://www.chaosium.com/blog/cut-yourself-a-deal-on-black-friday-and-cyber-monday-at-chaosiumcom
  18. The sequel to The Coming Storm is now out in PDF. Whatever history holds for the Red Cow clan, players are about to find out in The Eleven Lights: https://www.chaosium.com/the-eleven-lights-pdf/ This product is for HeroQuest Glorantha, but can be easily adapted to RuneQuest as well. Don't forget—when the print version is available, you get the full price of the PDF off when you buy from Chaosium.com.
  19. The following sentence on p. 106 in HeroQuest Glorantha at the end of the Catch-Ups section gives me a bit of a headache: So given I have a keyword like Hunter and a sub-ability (that is a breakout ability, right?) Archery with the following values: Hunter: 13 Archery +1 According to the above rules I'm not allowed to raise Archery higher than +6, because raising it to +7 would mean, that the effective value (13+7=20) would reach a new Mastery level. So far, so good. Now imagine, that over time I have reached this maximum value: Hunter: 13 Archery +6 Now, at the next possible opportunity I raise the keyword (e.g. by investing 2 Heropoints): Hunter: 14 Archery +6 Wouldn't that break the above rule? And more so, if I raise the value of the keyword even higher? Or does this rule limit the raising of sub-abilities only? Whereas reaching or exceeding the next Mastery Level by raising the keyword value is possible without any restrictions? (In fact I would tend to use this last interpretation, but I would like to know, how other people handle this.)
  20. We welcome Ian and Sue on board the team! (Ian Cooper is the new line editor for the HeroQuest Glorantha RPG) "Sue and Ian both bring a much needed range of skills, experience, and a passion for all that is Chaosium. They game every week. They have been a part of our tribe for many years", said Rick Meints, Chaosium President. More here: http://bit.ly/2no9sg8
  21. We welcome Ian and Sue on board the team! (Sue O'Brien is the new Boardgames line editor) "Sue and Ian both bring a much needed range of skills, experience, and a passion for all that is Chaosium. They game every week. They have been a part of our tribe for many years", said Rick Meints, Chaosium President. More here: http://bit.ly/2no9sg8
  22. HEROQUEST GLORANTHA at Dragonmeet! If you're attending Dragonmeet in London next weekend and would like to play HeroQuest Glorantha, GMed by Ian Cooper, author of The Coming Storm:, sign up now and reserve a slot for these sessions now at Warhorn: (There's also a playtest demo of the new RuneQuest - "Ears of the Bull", GMed by Andrew Bean) https://warhorn.net/events/dragonmeet/schedule/2016/12
  23. The Coming Storm in hardback is now available from www.chaosium.com! It will be shipped to you from one of our international fulfilment warehouses (USA, Australia, Europe). And it comes with the PDF, free. The Coming Storm makes a perfect home for your Sartarite adventurers. It's built for Heroquest Glorantha, and the rich background material is usable with RuneQuest or 13th Age Glorantha campaigns too. http://www.chaosium.com/the-coming-storm
  24. The Coming Storm is the first part of an epic HeroQuest Glorantha campaign taking the Red Cow Clan through the opening days of the Hero Wars. This book provides everything you need to run a classic clan-based Sartarite campaign. And if you buy The Coming Storm PDF now, we'll credit you the PDF price on the purchase of the printed version once it is available later this year. http://bit.ly/comingstormpdf
  25. Here's some of the beautiful interior layouts from our latest release, "The Coming Storm" for HeroQuest Glorantha. As noted, it's available now in PDF; when the print version comes out later this year, you get the price of the PDF back as a discount! Order it here: http://bit.ly/comingstormpdf
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