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  1. September's MOTM—from Diana Probst of Beer With Teeth infamy—is now available on the JC! Years ago, a Lunar Hero and a Wind Lord of Orlanth fought a terrific battle which led to their mutual demise. Buried together in a single grave, the mingled remains wove their souls together. Now this tormented ghost haunts the dreaded Valley of the Blight, in the lands of the Cinsina Tribe. In this issue's "mini-adventure," your adventurers will get to: Fight or heal the wounded souls of two Heroes Discover the secrets of their fatal duel Strive to restore the Valley's Fertility—returning its spirits to Ernalda's bosom! This short adventure is intended to provide one gamemaster, and four to six adventurers, with an evening of play. About this Series: Monster of the Month is a series of new bestiary entries for Chaosium's RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. In addition to statblocks and behavior, most entries will include supplemental detail and advice for gamemasters and/or new adventurer options for players.
  2. Version 1.1.0

    55 downloads

    This file describes how to setup and use the RuneQuest:Roleplaying in Glorantha character sheet that is available on Roll20. Feedback is appreciated
  3. After the initial two rounds of summon and control, is fighting with(not against) an elemental like: Sorcery: command this round, a thick darkness attacks at the end of the next one. Now that everyone is dead, repeat next 2 rounds for new targets. Like Bending(avatar): hit someone with your sword, and a whirlwind will knock them out (fix command, attack whoever I strike) Like having a dog: point at the troll, whistle and the fire dog jumps on her while I do my stuff. I would love to know how you handle it, cheers!
  4. I've finished putting together a set of reference charts for the Rune spells published in The Red Book of Magic. This play aid is free, but was kind of a pain in the neck to produce. If you find it useful, I'd appreciate if you toss something in the "tip jar," or consider picking up another product from Akhelas. Includes B&W tables of all the RBM's Rune spells organized by each Rune, and also a total alphabetical list. You can get the charts here.
  5. Edit: Ehnval Tallspear is now available on the Jonstown Compendium! Coming this weekend, on the Jonstown Compendium... (or maybe Monday, if I get lazy)
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  7. With the release of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha on PDF, this thread is to catch any typos or errors spotted. Please note them here, quoting the page number, the error, and the suggested correction. Many thanks.
  8. Thank you to everyone who posted suggested corrections to our RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha corrections thread. We are now reveiwing those suggested corrections to prepare files to go to printer. We will also be producing an updated PDF which will be made available to everyone who has purchased the PDF. Once the updated PDF has been released, we will open this thread to catch any typos or errors spotted. We will continue to update PDFs on the Chaosium website, DriveThru RPG, and Bits & Mortar. Any later approved corrections will go into a subsequent printing of the book. Many thanks!
  9. Well, Post Number One, or 'How We Got Here' So with the COVID lockdown, my wife has been working from home in our apartment. Due to space constraints, her home office setup is in the living room while I occupy a bedroom set up as a library /computer /junk room most of the day. I've been pretty bored, especially since I quit Facebook in the wake of Election Assault on the Capitol. I've been trying to pay more attention to my family during the crisis, and slew of birthday presents had me asking one of my nieces if she'd like me to teach her and her older two girls how to play RPGs. She enthusiastically agreed. The Cast of Characters: Me- I'm an Old Geek in my mid-50s. Been gaming since the 70's. I'm a US Army combat veteran and have been diagnosed with PTSD and a couple other things, for which I am in treatment. I have some empathy issues and a bit of temper [nothing violent, but I have a cruel streak that isn't very pretty] and I'm determined to keep the worst of my mental issues away from the kids in my family. This has naturally led to some distancing between my siblings, their children, and I, but most of them understand to a degree. Since the lockdown, I've been trying to reconnect with family, keeping track of birthdays and what-all, and I see gaming as a way to share something I love with people I love. My Spouse- My wife, Aunt E, is a bit younger than I am, but she's an Old Geek like me. She got into gaming in junior high school in the early 80s and had to deal with all the knucklehead pubescent male nonsense at a gaming table. She learned to get pink pens and dice to make sure she them back after a game session 😂 She once worked for a major game producer for 15 or so years and has had trouble in the past with fanboys trying to use her as an entrepot into the industry. Because of this, she's asked me to keep the personal details to a minimum. My Niece- A nice woman with four children. She got pregnant fairly young and hasn't had much of a chance to let her imagination loose and I think gaming will be JUST the thing for her. Grand-niece #1, or Niece C- Is the most interested among the kids. She's in her early teens and is pretty impressionable. I have to take real care to keep some of my latent cynicism reined in around her. She hasn't missed a session yet and is an incredibly smart young girl. Some of her decision making has surprised me a great deal. The Setting: When we set all this up, I asked 'the girls' what milieu /world they wanted to play in. My niece and her kids don't have a real huge background in RPGS, just some computer games [Skyrim mostly], so I didn't want to hit them with a huge Wall of Text that playing Glorantha would require. Instead, I offered to adapt the RuneQuest in Glorantha rules set to whatever setting they wanted. I figured it'd be Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings... but NOPE! Surprise #1 is that the Niece C is currently reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books and was interested in that. I didn't want the PCs to demigods per se, so I countered with Atlantis. And here we are. I have renamed Atlantis 'Atalan' and taken some of Plato's work and other sources to create a setting where the Atalan subcontinent still exists. It is about the size of Greenland and sits in the North Atlantic. It's southernmost points are near the Equator and have jungle terrain, and it's northernmost reaches are near the permanent ice pack. The Atalan nation is what could be described as a 'theocratic confederation'... The Atalans know themselves to be the Children of Poseidon and have a semi-divine extended family that rules over them. The principle line are the Emperor[-ess] Priest who rule the capital city and surrounds. The 'cousins' of this main line rule one of eight kingdoms as King/Queen-Priests. While everyone in the family is mortal, when one ascends to the throne they are imparted with a certain divine power that increased their lifespan and preserves their mental faculties. The family exhibits many of the same character faults and foibles as normal humanity, but the rulers themselves have a remarkable ability to stay sane and senility is unknown to them. Each kingdom is run independently by their respective ruling family, owing taxes, troops, and goods to the empire as a whole to be used for the greater good, and each one has certain unique qualities about them. At some point, I'll even get around to detailing just exactly what those are 😁 What I am sure of is the following: - Atalans consider themselves to be the only 'civilized' people on Earth, with all others being 'barbarian' to one degree or another - Atalans understand hydrology better than anyone on Earth, including water tables, sanitation, tides, currents, weather, and so on. - Atalans field an army consisting of the classic Greek hoplite phalanx, supported by crossbowmen, light cavalry on horses using spears and javelins and heavy cavalry using elephants. - Atalans forge a mystical metal named 'orichalcum' [no relation to Earth Prime's metal of the same name]. This metal is an alloy of copper, tin, and 'orichal', a reddish mineral that causes standard bronze take on the properties of mild steel. Furthermore, it is more accepting of enchantments than bronze or iron. No orichalcum smith is allowed to leave the Atalan subcontinent, and no outsider is ever taught the secrets of orichalcum. To date, the Atalans have never found a source for the orichal ore anyplace other than the Atalan subcontinent. There will be more about the Empire, Kingdoms and People of Atalan as I get it written. Stay tuned.
  10. April's issue of #MOTM is now available on the Jonstown Compendium! The fourth installment in MOTM's mini-series of Rune Masters is Wenkarleos, a Lunar Tarshite noble and Rune Lord of the Seven Mothers. A confidante of King Pharandros of Tarsh, Wenkarleos provides the gamemaster with opportunities supporting adventures about the Tarsh Civil War between the patriotic heroes of King Pharandros, and the traitorous sons of General Fazzur Wideread. In addition to describing Wenkarleos, this issue includes: The Philigos Medallions, made by good King Phargentes to commemorate his brother's death at the swords of Orlanthi assassins—an excellent Family Heirloom for adventurers from Lunar Tarsh! Several supporting characters, including Wenkarleos's lover Beautiful Orland, and the Pelorian sorcerer Darveya the Far-Seeing. Darveya is accompanied with notes and advice for playing a sorcerer in RuneQuest, applicable to gamemasters and players of sorcerer adventurers alike. This supplement is designed to be useful for RuneQuest players who only have the core rulebook. However, you may also need The Red Book of Magic, from Chaosium. In addition, A Rough Guide to Glamour, also available on the Jonstown Compendium, provides additional background for Lunar cultures, and is thoroughly recommended. About this Series: Monster of the Month is a series of bestiary entries for Chaosium's RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. In addition to statblocks and behavior, most issues include supplemental detail and advice for gamemasters and/or new adventurer options for players.
  11. Here and now “What do you want to know? My name? Which one? You already know all of them. My friends and my family call me Aendel, so let’s use that. Where to start? The beginning? My mother, Jareen Londrosdottr, gave birth to me during the fourth year of Dangmet’s reign, the wWild day of the Truth week, during the great Umath season. My clan was the Taraling. Here, my kin count lots of kings, such as Leika my lovely cousin, Kangharl the shameful, unfortunate Kallay and many more. My father has nothing to be ashamed of with his lineage. But I discovered this point when I (just) was a young adult. My mother wanted me to become king. She planned, acted and manipulated for her obsession. She obtained a good position in the Runegate Earth temple and was selected to incarnate Ernalda at the Spring fest. In exchange for favours, she obtained a noble warrior as her Orlanth. She explained to me later that he was visiting the clan before moving far away, so he was a good candidate, allowing her to educate me like she wanted, without having to convince a “bull” of her choices. Of course, she sacrificed all the few resources she had and Ernalda blessed her pregnancy. She gave birth to the wonderful baby who now sits in front of you. And mother started my education. She taught me all our lineage. She taught me all the Heortling laws a king must know to lead his people. She taught me how to order and convince a crowd, to manage a house. When other boys discovered woods and rivers, stones and sticks, I recited Vingkot’s story. Fortunately, sometimes, I was able to escape her attention, and seeking to resemble my unknown father, I trained with my sword. Alone. With such a weird education, few children wanted to play with me. Some did, but I quickly discovered they were forced to by their parents, who hoped to gain some social benefits in the future. That was a bad bargain. I refused these false friendships, and, angry and wounded by such lies, I swore to always tell the truth. And then the drama came. We had to flee out of our clan land from Lunar invaders. Mother decided to reach for Boldhome. I think she planned to impress the Prince, to make some alliances and to place me in the court. The plan would be great…. if the Lunars were defeated. When she saw the forces beyond the ramparts, she kissed me, ordering me to follow my destiny, to become the great leader she dreamed of. And she joined the army, and she was in the front line, and she died, bravely, spitting her blood in the face of her murderer. Here is my fate, by my blood and my will, by the winds and the truth, I was born to be king. All my choices are dedicated to that. And nobody, nothing, not even you, will prevent me from accomplishing my destiny.”
  12. This month's MOTM is now available on the Jonstown Compendium! Continuing our series of Rune Masters, this month's issue of Monster of the Month presents a shaman of the Golden Bow. Vajra is a grief-stricken elder of the Pure Horse People who wanders the skies of Dragon Pass on the back of the great vrok hawk Sunfriend. He is designed to allow the gamemaster to use him as a tragic antagonist, a flawed mentor, or with a blending of themes. In addition to describing Vajra, this issue includes: A sidebar discussing Drugs in Glorantha, including optional Addiction rules, and four new intoxicants The Sun Horse's Mane, a magic item woven by worshipers of Yu-Kargzant the Sun Horse Two minor spirits associated with Light—Whisperstars and Illumes This supplement is designed to be useful for RuneQuest players who have only the core rulebook. However, some content will be enriched by Chaosium's official publications The Red Book of Magic and/or The Smoking Ruin & Other Stories. Content Warning: This product contains themes of addiction and drug abuse. Please consult with your whole group before introducing those elements into your game. About this Series: Monster of the Month is a series of bestiary entries for Chaosium's RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. In addition to statblocks and behavior, most issues include supplemental detail and advice for gamemasters and/or new adventurer options for players.
  13. TREASURES OF GLORANTHA VOLUME ONE — DRAGON PASS I'm excited to share that Treasures of Glorantha is now available Print On Demand! You don't even have to skin your own Aldryami to get a copy. If you're hungering for even more content after the recent wave of releases, I'm planning to release July's Monster of the Month tomorrow. His name's Dolorous Edd, and I love him. Treasures of Glorantha is an irregular series from Akhelas providing magic treasures, secrets, and gamemaster advice to enrich your game of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. This inaugural volume lays eyes on the core game region of Dragon Pass. It describes thirty magic items found throughout Dragon Pass, curated to provide exciting play opportunities for players and gamemasters alike. In addition, this supplement has three articles delving into more detail relating to Gloranthan magic items: Treasure Among the Orlanthi discusses different ways players and gamemasters might handle receiving and distributing treasure in their game through the cultural lens of the Orlanthi of Dragon Pass. True Dragon's Blood explores the powers this exotic substance possesses—and the costs of wielding it. Finally, Medicine Bundles describes a plethora of magical options for shaman and assistant shaman adventurers—especially those from the Wastelands of Prax. You can get it here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/317421/Treasures-of-Glorantha-V1--Dragon-Pass?affiliate_id=546342 WHAT DO THE REVIEWS SAY? "Treasures of Glorantha: Volume One — Dragon Pass is a fantastic treatment of treasure in Dragon Pass, combining thoughtful and interesting essays on the subject with numerous relics to help the Game Master weave treasure into the fabric of her Glorantha campaign." — Matthew Pook, Reviews from R'lyeh "If you like to spice your game with magical artefacts, this is the book for you (PLUNDER has been around for so long and been, well, plundered of everything)." — Herve C., customer review
  14. This month's #MOTM is now available on the #Jonstown Compendium! RENHARTH BLACKVEINS This month's issue of Monster of the Month continues the series of Rune Masters begun last month. Inside, you'll find a terrifying Sword of Humakt, Renharth Blackveins. Raised under the rule of the Lunar invaders, Renharth embodies patriotism without hatred, antagonism with respect. In addition to describing Renharth, this issue includes: Gamemaster advice for using this new Rune Master, including adventure seeds to inspire immediate play Several cult spirits Renharth has bound, including the Nightmare of the Inevitable Path, which threatens all who see it with visions of their death A new subcult, Humakt Indomitable, suitable for adventurers and antagonists alike Two additional non-player characters, and directions for Renharth's retinue in war and peace Although most of this supplement is usable with the core rulebook alone, you’ll need a copy of The Red Book of Magic from Chaosium in order to use the new subcult included herein. About this Series: Monster of the Month is a series of bestiary entries for Chaosium's RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. In addition to statblocks and behavior, most issues include supplemental detail and advice for gamemasters and/or new adventurer options for players.
  15. I'm putting together my first RQG game, but I'm having trouble finding one thing in the rules. How long does it take to put on armor? Are there any numerical penalties for keeping armor on while resting, or not in combat?
  16. I've gathered 2020's issues of #MOTM into one nice, convenient bundle over on the Jonstown Compendium. Need man-eating Illuminate clowns? A cult of trap geeks, or clouds made of sheep? How about a duck leviathan? Monster of the Month has all that and more in this 150+ page bundle. Including printer-friendly NPCs, weird spirit cults, and a full-length adventure, MOTM has something for all players of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. Note: I gave it a discount, because I felt slightly silly bundling these together without one. I gave it a *small* discount, because I felt that was most fair to those lovely persons who have bought issues as they came out. If you're looking for a larger discount, you'll have to be patient, and wait for one of DTRPG's site-wide sales.
  17. Hi all! Our 11L RQG campaign has us in Earth Season 1623: the Culbrea are being annoying and the Lunars are starting to catch on about the Three Stars. So the PCs are cleverly looking to find Kallyr again to see if she can help with either. Given all that, I'd like to know peoples' take on what, when, how and with whom Kallyr performs the Boat Planet quest. I'm guessing she and Minartyth are actively hunkering down to get ready to perform it but wondering who else is involved so that the PCs also can't find them (thinking of her Iron Ring and maybe some of the other rebel heroes like Venharl and Thundercape). That said, its also possible the PCs reach her in time to join or at least help in the quest! So with that, would love to know what people think happened in Your Glorantha (or at least what you imagine she did to raise the Boat Planet). Thanks!
  18. Hi! Still running my RQG sandboxy version of 11 Lights and we've made it to mid-1623! I've positioned the Culbrea as looking to instigate a war by backing the Two Pine's quest to restart their 7 tributes. Both clan and tribe are overmatched by the Red Cow and Cinisina in terms of wealth and population (and ergo Fyrd size and quality one would think) but have access to more magic thanks to having proportionally many more New Breathers versus intermittent access to Three Stars magic. With that, they decide to go for it but not without at least trying to draw the Cinsina into declaring war first if they can (for rebel optics' sake and to ensure the Jonstown Confederation doesn't come down on them). So far the players are playing it cautious and not taking the bait looking to grind down the economically poorer Culbrea. So, in other words, the complicated situation has them unwilling to take significant action. In those cases I generally let "history" take back over and so the Culbrea eventually have to actively instigate so that the 1623 war starts. Which is all fine but this has me wondering: who actually won this war and what were the impacts on the tribes and the rebelliion? Kallyr I'm guessing took no direct part but did nothing to stop it making her even less popular with Ivartha. I'd like to know the "real" outcome as I'll lean on this if all things (i.e. dice rolls) remain equal? Guessing the Culbrea win a short but bloody war but only just and they pick up Greenhaft and maybe even Blueberry in the Peace Weaving. Any input (even non-canonical) is welcome! James
  19. This month's issue of Monster of the Month is now available! Enormous thanks to Diana, of Beer With Teeth infamy for designing this wonderful monster (though I must confess, I encouraged her). Air Toads! brings an amphibian with explosive temper to your games of RuneQuest. A cousin of the common cliff toad, air toads can be found on mountain crags and in sullen marshes anywhere in Glorantha. This supplement includes: An essay on the behavior and biology of air toads Advice for the gamemaster, including adventure seeds and "The Proper Use of a Deceased Air Toad" Brief perspectives from non-Orlanthi cultures And printer-friendly handouts for ease of use at your table. About this Series: Monster of the Month is a series of new bestiary entries for Chaosium's RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. In addition to statblocks and behavior, most entries will include supplemental detail and advice for gamemasters and/or new adventurer options for players.
  20. This month's issue of Monster of the Month is now available — Happy Halloween! Content Warning: This supplement contains themes of grisly horror and violence. Gamemasters are encouraged to confer with their players before bringing this material to their group's game. The Troupe of Terror presents a gang of six man-eating ogres with which the gamemaster can terrorize their players. Woken to Illumination by the magical performances of the Puppeteer Troupe, they represent the worst evils enabled by that mystical consciousness. Now, these ogres roam Dragon Pass in the guise of minstrels and clowns wielding the reality-warping illusions of the Puppeteer. This supplement includes: A sketch of Illumination and Puppeteer magic, including markers to where the interested reader can learn more. Three adventure seeds to help introduce the Troupe into your game of RuneQuest. Six antagonists with a variety of skills, magics, and stories. A Note: there's fair odds I'll expand this a bit in the next few days or weeks. I've got a short story in the works I'd like to include but I'm not quite satisfied with, and of course I still need to add the printer-friendly versions at the back of the PDF. About this Series: Monster of the Month is a series of new bestiary entries for Chaosium's RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. In addition to statblocks and behavior, most entries will include supplemental detail and advice for gamemasters and/or new adventurer options for players.
  21. Hey there! I'm still slowly figuring out my plans for an upcoming RQG campaign -- most likely something around the Red Cow/11L campaign books but with some slightly modified Broken Tower and/or Cattle Raid thrown in at the beginning. One of the main concerns I have is the default "seasonal adventures" mode that RQG is modeled around. I know that, based on my player's knack for getting in unnecessary additional trouble, there are always loose ends after an adventure, regardless of how simple and straightforward it was. When you combine that with my GMing style, where I absolutely love exploring the consequences of the characters' actions, you end up with a lot of follow up adventures that pile up one after the other. So I'm wondering: - How incompatible that is with the default "seasonal adventures" assumption in the rulebook? For instance, you run Broken Tower and there's some loose ends about whether any NPC escaped back to the Greydog clan and what they will say or do. How do people deal with that? Do they resolve it only the next season, making that next season's adventure about the consequences? Or do they combine it with the next season's adventure? (it's a new storyline, but it factors in where the Greydogs are based on last season's actions) Or do they resolve it all in a summary/non-played way, like "so here's what's happening during the rest of the season" (with maybe a couple of broad skill rolls to figure out how things go, but without playing it per se as an adventure) and then it's all (mostly) wrapped up? - If I was to go with pseudo-real-time gameplay, what kind of problem would encounter? For instance, say I play a few adventures per season... it's not totally real-time because I would definitely ellipse a few days here or a week there for traveling back, resting, praying, training, talking to clan elders and waiting for them to deliberate, etc... but we might pop back into adventure mode for when the players want or are ordered to go spy on the Greydogs, or when some Greydogs messengers come in with a blood feud declaration or asking for reparations for the death of their members, or whatever, and then that might kickstart a related adventure right away because the players want to play through that themselves. One of the first problem I can think of is the replenishing of Rune Points, since you have to wait for a holy day for that. This means that, compared to a group that sticks to seasonal adventures, a group that does pseudo-real-time adventures can use less Rune Magic per encounters... but on the other hand, that might be pretty cool since (just as in the KoDP game) the players might figure that they have to wait until after this or that holy day to do a raid because they need Orlanth's favours or something. Did anybody do that? Or did anybody tweak Rune Magic grants to make it less hard on the players? Anything else besides Rune Magic that might be a problem with a pseudo-real-time campaign? Thoughts? Feedback from experience? All will be appreciated!
  22. Woods of the Dead Play Aids This simple supplement provides all of the nonplayer characters published by Chaosium in the chapter “Gloomwillow’s Hollow,” from The Pegasus Plateau. Using the same printer-friendly non-player character format as used in Akhelas’s series Monster of the Month, this product ensures you’ll not feel the urge to scribble spell effects, limbs lost, or magic points spent on your nice, shiny, hardcover books. You need to own a copy of The Pegasus Plateau to make full use of this product. You'll probably also want a printer. You can get this product on the Jonstown Compendium. A Note: If this product is successful, I'll likely do more of these. If folks have suggestions or requests, I'm listening (but making no promises).
  23. August's MOTM, Storm Rams, is now available on DriveThruRPG! Filling the Air from horizon to horizon, the noble Storm Rams are a new spirit for your game of RuneQuest. They are the embodiment of rain-giving clouds, found anywhere throughout Glorantha. Included in this supplement are: A description of what the Orlanthi believe about these spirits The bestiary detailing storm rams, lightning rams, cloud sheep, and advice on how to create your own unique, more powerful variations One minor magic item—the heat-relieving Mistwool An alternative perspective from Prax, including a brief spirit cult If you're interested in keeping up with what I'm working on, I suggest checking out Wind Whispers, the weekly Glorantha newsletter the fellas behind the Wind Words podcast publish. If I've got something odd or juicy up my sleeve, I usually let them know before I post about it publicly. Plus, there's oodles of other news they pick up throughout the week—it's really convenient.
  24. In case you needed even more Gloranthan goodness in your life, July's #MOTM is now live at DriveThruRPG! This month's issue describes an odd, sorrowful beast with inscrutable instincts. Also he's just so damn sad. Don't you want to hug his widdle face? You can purchase Dolorous Edd here.
  25. I just finished running my adventurers through "Gloomwillow's Hollow" and some of its supplementary material about the Woods of the Dead, from The Pegasus Plateau. I hope this writeup of how I played the adventure may be useful to other gamemasters. I also hope that some of the ridiculous things my players get up to may be amusing. Keep in mind that this thread will be spoiler-filled for that adventure, and potentially for other content from TPP. It may also contain some spoilers from the meta-plot of the Hero Wars and other Gloranthan miscellany. Be warned! The adventurers are: Tatanka Bloodstain, a Praxian nomad who is famous for his spectacular heroism fighting alongside the Death Lord Grungnak to avenge the Fattened Trollkin Feud against the Leadgut clan, where he earned his epithet. (Read: crit his Battle roll.) Originally a herder from the Witco clan of the Bison tribe, he's almost accidentally a war hero. He's accompanied by Trundle, a bison with a Waha spirit bound within, who talks. Trundle's catchphrase? "Hello!" Hercules the Fifth, a merchant from Sartar who traveled to New Pavis with his uncle Gil Luckstone—a friend of Argrath's who became Chief Priest of Issaries some seasons after the White Bull conquered the city. Hercules descends from a family line which names the firstborn male Hercules, and he almost always dies in pursuit of sex (Herc's dad died to a succubus, if I remember his backstory correctly). Played by @GeminniRed, who co-GMs the campaign with me. Alexander Bernard is a Humakti warrior, at one point indebted to Hercules for saving his life, although they've squared that debt since he still travels with Herc & Co. He's way older than any Humakti has any right to be (over 40!), and relieves stress through "training" new initiates to Humakt. Drops Dice is a very, very special trollkin. Dumb as a rock (or perhaps more dumb), but so magically talented that he's managed to, through adventuring, even change castes from Food to Value. Also helps that no one he hangs out with is trying to eat him (which is obviously the definition of what caste you are, right?). His name comes from the player trying to name himself "Tak" by just dropping the dice on the table, but "Drops Dice" stuck instead. He's unabashedly my favorite adventurer. Kali Stormwalker is my adventurer, a Sartarite shaman-in-training who worships Odayla, with a lil Orlanth on the side. He despises ducks, and is accompanied by an umbroli godling named Appa. Thrizzian is a newer member of the group. A newtling worshiper of the Trickster, he joined the crew when he drugged out on hazia, got snared by a giant spirit-spider-monster, and dragged away to the dungeon the adventurers were exploring (The Spire of Iron & Crystal for Pathfinder from Frog God Games, which I adapted as a God Learner ruin—excellent fun!). He's stuck around since because they're good fun and did save his life, after all. Reginald is also a new member, who they picked up on a recent trip to Esrolia looking for information about the heroquest they're going to attempt this coming Sacred Time. He's a merchant, albeit yet another Eurmal initiate—he acts under the guise of Issaries, and has a sacred pact with the Earth as well. (Why. Why do my players keep wanting to play tricksters.) The group was mostly brought together by their loyalty to Argrath White Bull, although they've grown personally close over the course of travels and adventures. They're used often as his running boys—go do this, go do that, take this letter all the way to flippin' Nochet, and so on. For a long while, Hercules was the unofficial leader of the group, but of late he's had a falling-out with Argrath over the use of draconic powers, and just recently Tatanka was officially declared an emissary of Argrath, and gifted a white bison-pelt cloak to mark this. The adventurers are definitely skilled, but none of them are a Rune Master or shaman yet. Most of them have a good bit of Rune magic, and their full CHA of spirit magic. There's a number of magic items, and everyone except Thrizzie and Reggie have, I believe, optimized armor for the ENC they can carry. So in general, I'd rate them a pretty dangerous bunch. In particular, Hercules & Alexander are a hair's breadth away from becoming Rune Masters of their cults, and Kali's going to appeal to his teacher to take the shaman trials on the route home during this journey (provided the party doesn't mind taking a slight detour). I offered the call to adventure in the context of one of these long journeys. The adventurers were sent, by Argrath, to cross Prax and visit Queen Leika of the Colymar, to ask her to join him on Argrath's march against Alda-Chur in the following spring. They left Pavis at the end of autumn in 1626. I moved most of the non-Woods of the Dead action of the adventure to the town of Herongreen, since it sits right on the Pavis Road. While in a tavern there—acting as travelers, not emissaries, due to the Lunar presence—they were approached by Harasandra and asked to look in the Woods of the Dead for some missing children, since they appeared largely armed and competent. They agreed, and formulated a plan of action. The adventurers traveled to Day's Hope, both for Humakt's holy day at the temple there, and to get more information from the locals about the Woods. They traveled around the woods, and I ran the brief first encounter with the mossbacks ("The Second Probe"). While they did stay at the Highwall Inn midway to Alone, they didn't get into trouble there because, well... heavily armed & dangerous. On each of their visits to the inn I had them roll some Perception skills to see if they heard or saw anything especially suspicious, but they never succeeded. I decided Jafoska & Baran would probably prefer to avoid risking it with these adventurers, seeking easier prey instead. Their visits to Alone and Day's Hope were largely uneventful. They stayed at Geo's Alone Inn, and I explained the concept of Geo's to them, since the players hadn't encountered one before (though I'm sure their adventurers had). At Day's Hope they gathered a bit more information about the missing children, the Woods, and the mossbacks, and prepared themselves at the Humakt temple, leaving spare baggage, supplies, and mounts behind. Trundle came along because he's a person, not a skittish dumb animal, but the rest stayed. Throughout, the players regularly expected the final enemies to be undead, despite the mention of mossbacks taking kids, stories of Gloomwillow, and the fact that they were going to Gloomwillow's Hollow. I told the players that routes within the Woods are weird, and change, and that a map can't really be drawn. I found the map in the book to be nearly useless for actually running this adventure, especially since it doesn't have a scale, and it doesn't even show where the Highwall Inn is on the Dusk Road. I annotated that myself, and gave a section of the map to the adventurers more for the sake of visualization than for information. The players learned from the Humakti of Day's Hope that if they could find a deep, narrow creek (Thin's Creek) and follow it downstream, they'd find a swampy area, and that Gloomwillow's Hollow could usually be found nearby. They also got a repeated, explicit warning not to go anywhere near Black Rock, because otherwise my players would go treasure-hunting like the little gremlins they are. Sometimes you need "Certain Death Lies Here" written in red paint. Next, I ran the "Ambush!" encounter, pretty much as written, somewhere in the Woods. The adventurers handled this easily for the most part. Tatanka took an impale to the abdomen, and a second hit, but overall lived, and the general combat wasn't dangerous except for the python hypnotism. I ruled that the pythons and dragonflies buggered off once hit, since they're basically just animals, but the mossbacks tried to fight to the death. One lived, and was captured by the adventurers. They could barely communicate with it, but figured out that it was named Croak (or something similar), and could get it to lead them to its home. It agreed to do so because it assumed Gloomwillow would capture and kill the adventurers. The adventurers also learned exactly how dangerous Trundle is in melee; they haven't been able to take him with in a lot of combat situations, since the combat-heavy moments have typically been dungeons involving stairs and tight places and, y'know. Bison. One of the challenges I had with running the mossbacks was determining how many javelins they carried. I decided three felt reasonable, one in each hand, and one tied to them. From the image they're clearly primitive creatures, but they aren't fit for melee combat in the slightest, and I tried to run them mostly as skirmishers, moving to melee as a last option. They also lost lots of limbs to the adventurers. Croak led the adventurers to Thin's Creek, and they followed it downstream to the Miasma Marsh, where they found a crucified corpse. The next session I played them traveling through the marsh haunted by the evil ducks (accompanied by very badly punning rhymes), but this didn't end up being as weirdly-creepy as I had hoped it would. I think that playing this over Discord, instead of in person, impacted the experience somewhat. Eventually they got surrounded by the ducks while on a low rise surrounded by water--both shallow & deep--but the ducks were driven away when Drops Dice summoned a veredthi and began drowning them. Veredthi are freaking huge for their Rune point cost. The rest of the ducks fled because Cowardly, and the adventurers made it the rest of the way through the Marsh. I think the cannibal ducks could have been really dangerous--attacking from underwater and dragging the adventurers down, etc.--but they just didn't have the chance to be properly scary. They fired darts several times, but none of them were strong enough to pierce armor. One of the ducks did catch and kill Croak, but this didn't shake the adventurers much, even when his head was tossed at them. I tried using this to highlight potential dangers of the Marsh, but the ducks just never got close enough to really be impactful. The adventurers eventually climbed out of the Marsh, and saw the dead tree towering over the forest. I had the adventurers encounter "Visions Most Foul" but didn't emphasize the struggle to push through, since there wasn't a significant consequence of failure. They approached, and found the hidden entrance into the bottom of the tree. Which they called a "Skyrim entrance", i.e. the back door convenient exit omnipresent in that game's dungeons, and were generally amused/frustrated that it existed. They considered entry from the top, but chose not to because they couldn't blitzkrieg with the whole party. They wanted to fly, and didn't consider climbing up an option. They did notice there might be guards at the broken branch-bridge main entry, which was why they searched the area first. They descended the tunnels, and got into an extended fight with some mossbacks. Alexander pretty much waded through gore, though Hercules took a few hits to his leg when he tried chasing down a mossback which fled to the next room. I found the map and related text a bit difficult to play. The map's biggest difficulty is that I found it hard to determine what rooms connected to where, since it's a 3D map drawn in cutaway style, and isn't very large. I isolated the image with Acrobat and copied it, then blew it up as its own image file, and that helped me see where everything was. Another difficulty I had was that the map is numbered, but the descriptions aren't. I would have found it easier to bounce back and forth if their numbers corresponded. Finally, I found it frustrating that a number of the total mossbacks present, or at Gloomwillow's command through the Woods, wasn't noted. I ended up guesstimating a dozen to twenty in the tree at any given time from the text. The party couldn't avoid letting some mossbacks flee. Hercules summoned a Spell Traded umbroli as a missiles-shield (which also killed a pair of charging mossbacks), but couldn't control it, so the party was stuck behind an indoor tornado for 15 minutes. They climbed most of the tree without incident; all of the mossbacks, except those guarding the kids, went up to guard Gloomwillow. I ended up not using her ability to cast through the mossbacks because it felt immensely unfair given her spells available (which I'll get to later). They avoided side passages, and continued to travel straight upstairs. While plundering Gloomwillow's rooms--particularly the library, which I wish would have a better description of what's in there, and what those works might be worth--they heard a scream up in the top of the tree, and ran up to see Gloomwillow kill the kid. Ten mossbacks stood between them. Alexander cast Flight (Spell Traded from Herc, who had it as an associate spell from Orlanth) and flew over the mossbacks to engage Gloomwillow. Gloomwillow's opening move was to cast Absorption 6, and basically make herself immune to magic. I narrated this with her covering herself in an inky black shadow, which radiated power. I also used narration to emphasize how dangerous Gloomwillow is, in addition to explicitly warning the players out-of-character that the boss of this adventure is nasty. And she is fucking dangerous. At POW 32, with 32 Rune points, and access to Sever Spirit, she can auto-kill pretty much any adventurer, whenever she wants. Even a Rune Lord only has an 05% chance to resist POW v POW. One of my frustrations with Gloomwillow's writeup was also that she doesn't have defensive abilities noted--namely Dodge, so I gave her DEX×3, 60%, but easily could have been higher--and that it doesn't say whether she can discorporate like a normal dryad. I ruled she couldn't, since she has no spirit magic, and her connection to nature is basically gone; but this does make the scripted part of the battle where she "flies" into the branches of the tree feel strange. We never got to that part of the fight because Alexander was up in her grill the entire time. She threw a Sever Spirit at Alexander. He rolled a Devotion (Humakt) Passion to augment his resistance roll, and crit. He still failed his resistance roll, and chose to use a hero point to avoid death. (This is a house rule we've used for years, which ideally gets weaned off as the adventurers grow stronger. For doing big, dangerous things, you can earn hero points, which are basically a "get out of jail free" card to avoid a blow. They're useful for encouraging the players to take on impossible situations, and give them a chance to win beyond lucking a divine intervention.) When he tried proving he was the true wielder of death (as Humakt), though, her Absorption ate Alexander's Sever Spirit. They assumed it was Countermagic, and another adventurer (I believe Drops Dice, but don't remember who) threw a spell to try taking down the effect while Alexander kept swinging his sword at her. He resisted three more Sever Spirits with his Devotion augment (bringing the roll up to 55%). Meanwhile, the rest of the adventurers were engaged with the mossbacks. Tatanka, Hercules, and Kali were engaged three-to-one and broadly successful at this. Each was taking chip damage, especially Tatanka, who's pretty conservative with his Rune magic. Kali's armor plus an Extended Shield 2 left him nigh-invulnerable without a special or crit against the mossbacks, while Hercules wielded a Spell Traded Sword Trance to lethal effect. Thrizzian entered melee as well, and acquitted himself admirably for a new adventurer, with repeated successful dodges, and I believe two kills. Drops Dice repeatedly fired bolgs into the melee with Gloomwillow, and it was actually the trollkin that got the kill on the evil dryad. She withered to dust at Alexander's feet after he lopped off one of her arms. He dealt the most consistent damage against her, because she didn't have a defense against ranged physical damage. She tried Create Shadow to escape, but Drops Dice, well, has Darksense. After her death, the fall of the tree wasn't as climatic as I had anticipated. It was mostly mitigated by the fact that Herc dropped the Sword Trance and flew, Alexander was already flying, and Kali called on Appa to fly himself and Thrizzian (who failed his Rune magic roll to Become Crane) off. Tatanka immediately bolted for the stairs, and took the written damage being tossed around inside as the tree came down, but ultimately wasn't significantly harmed. Reggie's player wasn't there (if I'm remembering right--throughout this adventure lasted ~4 three-hour sessions, I believe, and we only had everyone present for I think one of them, so my memory's a wee bit spotty) but he also had an out in the form of Hallucinate to fly away on a magic carpet—one of that player's favorite tricks since our RQ3+ game a few years before RQG came out. Once the tree was down, I ruled that the remaining mossbacks had either fled or died. Overall the adventurers did kill over half of them in that melee. They were easy opponents for my adventurers. I chose not to have Gloomwillow cast through them because she could just nail a player from a kilometer away, they would have basically no chance of resisting, and no way to actually catch her. The mossbacks as written can hide in trees, run around, and avoid the adventurers, while Gloomwillow uses them to cast and kill everyone. This didn't seem fun to me, so I didn't do it. I did, however, plan to have her cast Berserk on Croak when they got close, and I did consider having her use some of her less dangerous spells to mess with the adventurers. The adventurers searched the tree and found the rest of the children. I explicitly told the players that they survived because of how they were imprisoned in the tight cages, whereas the mossbacks in that room were tossed around and killed. This isn't stated in the text, but seems to me the only reason why the children aren't killed by the tree's fall. It was dusk, and the adventurers stayed the night at the ruin of Gloomwillow's hollow, outside. Their rations and water had gone bad by then, and they and the kids were both hungry and thirsty. They had enough magic points to fix up the children's minor injuries from the treefall & confinement. After most of the crew went to sleep, Drops Dice and Reggie went into the tree. Drops Dice discorporated, and began searching for a Darkness spirit to put in his empty POW Storing crystal, which has been a player goal for some time. He's recently joined the Sunset Society, a shaman cult dedicated to Darkness spirits, in addition to his worship of Zola Fel (where he's also walking a shaman path; we're still figuring out how the two will intersect and interact). He failed his Spirit Travel roll to find a spirit, and was drawn down, down to the roots of the fallen dead tree, which still extended into the earth. There he found a large black pool of energy, quiescent. I told him its POW was massively larger than his, and that he felt a strong malevolent presence connected with the Darkness, Plant, and Death Runes. So he remembers to cast Spirit Block before poking it. I decided while playing this encounter that, if something went wrong, Drops Dice would find Gloomwillow's spirit which isn't dead, but just dormant, returned to the Spirit World. And very upset that he woke her (I'm still not sure if she knows he landed the final blow, or if she just blames Alexander). She grabs him, and they do a round of spirit combat. She clobbers him even through the Spirit Block, and he pleads for mercy. She demands an offering, and he offers up the soul of Beleros (the Lunar spirit in "The Rattling Wind", which the adventurers kept bound), and then also promises to bring her more food. She eats Beleros, and demands a sign of their pact. I tell the player to offer up to four points of POW (which would be the POW necessary to make a pact with a POW 32 spirit--although he's not a shaman, so it'd be more an "appropriate full offering" than a "you now have a pacted spirit"). He offers three, so she lets him go, and I decided he gained a Rune point in the Sunset Society for his offering, and his pluck. Now he has two bindings to fill with ghosts... Later during the night, the Hunt of Wailing Ghosts encountered the adventurers and children. They ignored the children a) because I wasn't sure if I wanted to deal with the children supernaturally aging, and b) because the hunt is made up mostly of Brangbane's slain wives, and I figured it'd be a plausible touch if they overlooked uninitiated youths. The party tried multiple rolls to ward them off, and a majority failed, so ultimately I decided they attacked. I had the adventurers make the described characteristic rolls to resist the aging effect, and then each adventurer was engaged with one of the ghosts in spirit combat. Once one ghost was defeated for each adventurer, they were driven off. I think every adventurer except Reggie aged either one or two three-year increments on that first attack; he was particularly lucky, not particularly high-statted. However, he was defeated in spirit combat. I ruled that the wailing ghost possessed him, and he had to do another round of characteristic tests. I also ruled that he would have to do them once per week so long as he was possessed, as the effect of covert possession (although Kali discorporated and handled it without much trouble--he has a Spirit Armor enchantment which often lets him manhandle ghosts). I rolled randomly for the spells stolen by the adventurers who defeated spirits in spirit combat. Notably, Tatanka and Kali both rolled Sleep, and learned this rare spell (which I'm sure will be relevant in later adventures...). The adventurers used mixed strategies of spirit combat and other tactics to defeat the spirits. Although Alexander got Befuddled, Herc grabbed his enchanted iron sword to fight off the ghosts successfully. (It's a relic he found in a ruin in the Big Rubble, and it makes many ghost combats pretty trivial.) In the morning, the adventurers were pretty beleaguered. They tried going south-west to cut as close to Herongreen as possible, but ended up going northwest (failed Survival roll to determine direction in the Woods). Mysteriously, the Miasma Marsh had disappeared, even though it was nearby and easy to see from the rise of the Hollow yesterday. As the adventurers wandered, they stumbled across "The Corridor", and continued walking down it. There they encountered the Silver Rider, which I ruled was a spirit which can take the form of a Unicorn. It ignored the adventurers, but healed the children of their hunger and thirst, then led the way out of the Woods. This was both because I figured we should be done with the adventure, and continue on the adventurers' journey, and because a final encounter with a benevolent spirit felt right after all the horrors of the Woods. Despite the minimal danger of some of the encounters (like the Wailing Ghosts and the mossbacks), the raw quantity of stuff I ran them through made this a harrowing adventure, I think. I rewarded the adventurers with ~35L of gifts apiece from the townsfolk, which is close to the written amount (and WAY too little for dealing with Gloomwillow!), even though they didn't ask for reward before going into the Woods. In addition, Alexander has become known as Gloomkiller (to Drops Dice's protestations), and all the adventurers have earned a good bit of Reputation from their success. Despite an ongoing famine (due to Kallyr's failed Lightbringer's Quest), the Lunars running the town were willing to gift the adventurers supplies to replace those destroyed in the Wood. The adventurers still weren't forthcoming about their journey's purpose--instead, they claimed they were sent by Gil to check up on his friend Gringle Goodsale in Apple Lane. I tried to frame the Lunars here as good guys. They returned to Alone & Herongreen recently, bringing food, providing support to the northern region of Sartar. They were genuinely grateful to the adventurers, and cheerful around them. One of them was a local youth who signed up to see the world, then got stuck in his home town. Humanizing the enemy (because the party is SUPER anti-Lunar--but they were part of an offensive defeated by the Crimson Bat, after all...). The adventurers left after about two weeks in the area, to continue their journey in Jonstown, where the signs of hunger and fear grow stronger yet...
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