frogspawner Posted March 16, 2009 Report Share Posted March 16, 2009 (edited) <Summarized/Continued from the "Chaosium Supporting BRP" thread...> I bought "I am Mongoose" by Mathew Sprange last night from DriveThruRPG. I read a bit before becoming overwhelmed by...the lack of humility... One thing that struck me (again, from a short read) is how much Mongoose's strategy is driven by volume: Keep costs down, know that you will sell a certain number of each kind of book, increase sales by increasing the number of issuances you do each month. CLearly quality is in there, and they have generated some nice stuff, but there's a strong bias toward volume. In retrospect, this is probably why the RQ playtest was botched -- it was just taking too long to surface and discuss the options and was messing up the production plans. Chaosium has the cost down part nailed, but I think they need to start moving the dial more toward speed of publishing. Encouraging fans should be a great way to do it. Steve One thing I have noticed with the new Gloranthan works, is that Mongoose has failed to capture the subtle depth and essence of the Glorantha I originally saw defined in early works such as Cults of Prax. The new Mongoose works now feel like general contemporary fantasy. The "soul" of Glorantha has been lost through making it a commodity. The quality is there, but something special and unique was lost along the way. ... True to a limited extent. The first books were a bit generic-flavoured although full of nice game ideas, but when Jeff K, Loz and Shannon Appel dropped in the Old Way was restored. Absolutely true. The problem stems from the bad rules, which new authors cannot fix, no matter how 'soulful' their contributions. I'm only judging by the SRD, because that was plenty to put me off. Every rules-design decision Mongoose made went the wrong way, for me. Particularly trying to simplify HPs and Init - worthy aims - but they replaced 'em with something even more bizarrely inexplicable - doh! And the infamous 'what actually happens in combat?' opposed roll confusion. But worst of all, the dire, insensitive and video-gamey 'physical Runes' abomination. Bleurch. :eek: I must admit that I think the Glorantha Second Age book is a contender for one of the best Gloranthan supplements period. Dara Happa stirs is simply superb and the Alkoth chapter is genuinely creepy. The Dragonewt book and the Aldryami book are as good as anything that's been published in Glorantha for RuneQuest and Blood of Orlanth is a wonderfully ambitious campaign. From my point of view, the breakages due to Mongoose's chaotic publishing system actually inspired me to come up with my own fixes and I tend to find, over time and with actual play that I tend to move back to Mongoose's version from mine. Can't say I'm a Mongoose fanboy as they are overly fixated on the bottom line in my opinion but I can't argue that they have managed to survive problems that would have sunk most other games companies and continue to produce erratically brilliant products. I think their rune system went horribly wrong initially - especially for Glorantha. Ironically, the latest work on runes in HQ2.0 shows how easy it is to tweak the Mongoose system into something that is genuinely interesting; something that Loz started in the GM's Handbook. Personally I think this is a boom time for Glorantha that equals anything that came before it. Must say I'm pretty happy with the recent Glorantha stuff too. I do hope that MRQ2 will be a better system though. SGL. That'd be easy. But would Chaosium let them have the license...? You're not far off. The official book was if anything, worse than the SRD. The fact that the rules were changed as the book was released and that none of the examples were correct didn't help the game much. I have heard from some Mongoose employees that the early drafts of MRQ were much closer to RQ, until one of Mongoose's bigwigs took over the project. That said individual had written a lot of D20 stuff in the past showed. Many of the problems that MRQ had/has were pointed out by the fans/playtesters but they were ingored. I generally agree with the views on MRQ rules. Although in this case I was mainly referring to gaming world content, specifically the Gloranthan content (and I would not even consider myself a Gloranthophile). The depth of The Travels of Biturian Varosh is one of the main factors for me that first separated RuneQuest (2nd Edition) from D&D (and other 'conventional' RPG worlds). I think that the ideas for the physical rune magic rules are good, however for me, they break the feel of Glorantha and are not an improvement on spirit/battle magic for a Gloranthan setting. They also undermine the original rune connection of divine magic. Even so, in general, I do like the concepts behind them. When I next run a generic fantasy game, I am planning to use a variation of the "physical rune" rules. However it will be a version of the rules which is closer to the rules of their original author. Yes, I got that. You do yourself a disservice. Seems like you've more feeling for Glorantha than Sprange (and perhaps Stafford, these days...) Absolutely! Yes. So much so, I couldn't help the nagging feeling that was the deliberate aim. They're not unsalvageable. Back when I visited the MRQ Forum, I spent lots of time suggesting tweaks/interpretations for the 'physical runes' rules that could have made them Glorantha-compatible. What are yours? (Perhaps we should have a new thread for that...). In fact, physical runes can be a good idea in some settings. Next episode of Stupor Mundi will contain a Futhark rune adaptation of Mongoose Rune Magic. Nevertheless, the new HeroQuest rules will have a rune-based approach. I hope they really fixed what is wrong in the original approach. I use a version that is fairly close to the original version and to tell the truth it doesn't work that well. What you tend to get is PCs concentrating on certain runes, building up a large number of a single rune and being able to cast high-pointage spells based on that rune. If I GMed a RQ campaign again then I would go back to RQ3-style Spirit Magic and use Runes as an extra layer of magical power that would assist spellcasting, not be as common but not be overpowering. I think Matthew Sprange would be first to admit that he's no Glorantha buff. But to suggest that Greg Stafford is out of touch with a world that he's spent more than 30 years developing (and still is) is ... quite incredible. Still, Your Glorantha Will Vary. Might be worth remembering that. It wasn't. The aim was to make runes more of a physical focus for the game, thus reflecting its name. I do agree that chasing physical manifestations of runes isn't the way they should work in Glorantha; but it wasn't a deliberate act of sabotage (which is what you're suggesting, Frogspawner). For what its worth, I'm looking very closely at how runes need to work in preparation for something I'm working on Glorantha-wise. And no. I won't share my ideas here; they're not finished yet. But just so you know that the subject and mechanics are being looked at. Edited March 16, 2009 by frogspawner Quote Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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