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'Jeffed'?


The Hooded Claw

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Posted this elsewhere but thought it worth repeating here:

I have a suspicion that we have now moved out of the era where Runequest fans were always in danger of being 'Gregged' only for it to be replaced by one where the game is now being 'Jeffed'. I suspect that the bottleneck to getting a steady stream of product is Jeff's desire to 'dot the i's and cross the t's' on every single word of Glorantha that comes out of Chaosium. I'm guessing that that (despite the intention of the huge Gloranthan Guide doubling as a handbook for writers, freeing them to produce stuff without needing an editor on the shoulder at every turn) is the reason why there is a dearth of RQG stuff on the shelf.

I'm hoping that 'Jeffing' doesn't lead to the game languishing once again. My fear is that, without a steady stream of support, once again we'll be in a situation where the game is being held afloat by old grognards (people in their 40s and 50s) alone.

No doubt the Gods Of Glorantha kickstarter, when it happens, will be a roaring success and give the illusion that the game is still thriving. But no doubt again, it will be mainly old Gloranthan devotees from back in the day that are the ones lining up. This is not healthy for the game.

Whilst there may be problematic differences in subject matter, compare the Runequest line with what has happened to the new revitalised Call Of Cthulhu line with Mike Mason at the helm. Fantastic product, with great art and layout, released every four months or so.

So hopefully Jeff can either relax and speed things up, or clone himself.

However, I'm still desperately excited for the new Robin Laws Pavis/Rubble opus that should be out sometime next year...

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I'm a bit reticent to wade into a discussion that seems very person-based, since that can quick bring out some ugly sides of participants, but my current impression seems to be that Jeff - however much one might disagree with his creative direction - is working to present a version of Glorantha that does not need to be periodically retconned to make new stuff work.

I could be wildly wrong.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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I don't think we really know what's up. If I am to believe the RPGGeek information, 2019 was indeed a pretty empty year (it only saw the GM pack and the Rattling Wind preview), but that could be due to a whole bunch of other factors. For example, a whole bunch of stuff happened in 2019, from John Wick (and the 7th Sea franchise) joining Chaosium, the Critical Role CoC one-shot making the US fulfillment center explode, and generally speaking Chaosium staff getting more involved in social media/streaming/conventions than I've seen in the past (although that might be totally subjective). Another bunch of things also happened in the background, like working with Chris Spivey on a several projects, and ending up canceling a couple things (including Chris' sci-fi project) because Chaosium was stretched too thin. All of this might mean Jeff's output is fine, but playtesting/editing/production resources are thin. And I'm not even talking about art production, which is notoriously more complicated and lengthy when it comes to Glorantha material.

You might also forget the biggest thing to affect 2019's RQ schedule: the passing of Greg Stafford just a couple months before the start of 2019. So yeah, let's give Chaosium a pass for that year.

Edited by lordabdul
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Jeff has addressed the difference in providing art direction for Cthulhu ("I need a picture of Chikago policemen of the era doing stuff") vs. providing art direction for Glorantha (<insert two-page essay and weblink list to describe the characters in the scene to be depicted, plus stuff like the angle of the moon, which directions the doors would look, and similar stuff that OCD Gloranthaphiles may obsess about). Check the discussion of the Fetisov picture of Vasana in Swenstown...

One thing to keep in mind is that the production schedule for a year is the design schedule of last year, or even earlier.

Opening Glorantha up for non-Chaosium-produced content is a step towards better support. Fan support can carry an rpg quite a bit and create the veneer of a supported setting/system.

Not having a periodical print magazine (or a web-and-print one) supporting the game and setting is a disadvantage that RQG has uniquely compared to most other releases. (MRQ had a crazy release schedule to make up for that absence.)

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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1 minute ago, Addison said:

Obviously I wouldn't want this post to seem disrespectful of Greg's passing, nor of Jeff's love and care for Glorantha or the quality of the material Chaosium is releasing.

However, I still believe the points are valid and significant regarding the longevity of Runequest. 

This is a good example why I increasingly dislike forums. Someone wants more product faster and WITHOUT A SINGLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION, blames someone (in this case me) for being the hold-up. Frankly, I find this objectionable and insulting. 

Cthulhu had several years of backed-up manuscripts to release. Berlin is arguably the first completely new book that has been done since we took over management of Chaosium four years ago. RQ has already had four completely new products despite the book not even existing in draft form until 2016 - and a new core rules book requires play testing, lots of rewrites, etc. Until the core rules were done we couldn't commission new material for a rules system that was a moving target. So that means new material didn't get commissioned until last summer. Art, as always, is the hold-up.

Right now we are just waiting on The Smoking Ruins to get through layout (art and text done - last I checked layout is about 1/3 done) and then Pegasus Plateau goes in. The Starter kit is in a holding pattern until a key map is finished. None of these have any holdup for me (I do need to do some more work once the map is done, but that is easy). After that is the Gamemaster Guide, unless Jason decides to move out one of the several other completed manuscripts first. 

My focus has been on the Cults of Glorantha and the RuneQuest Campaign - two huge foundational books. There is not going to be a Cults of Glorantha Kickstarter. We will be releasing it in the normal manner once art is done. Cults is two volumes of material and requires a LOT of art. It also has required a lot of feedback and revision because it is a foundational book for the entire cosmology of everything. The RuneQuest Campaign is essentially Boy King for RuneQuest. 

Edited by Jeff
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20 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Jeff has addressed the difference in providing art direction for Cthulhu ("I need a picture of Chikago policemen of the era doing stuff") vs. providing art direction for Glorantha (<insert two-page essay and weblink list to describe the characters in the scene to be depicted, plus stuff like the angle of the moon, which directions the doors would look, and similar stuff that OCD Gloranthaphiles may obsess about). Check the discussion of the Fetisov picture of Vasana in Swenstown...

One thing to keep in mind is that the production schedule for a year is the design schedule of last year, or even earlier.

Opening Glorantha up for non-Chaosium-produced content is a step towards better support. Fan support can carry an rpg quite a bit and create the veneer of a supported setting/system.

Not having a periodical print magazine (or a web-and-print one) supporting the game and setting is a disadvantage that RQG has uniquely compared to most other releases. (MRQ had a crazy release schedule to make up for that absence.)

As an aside, Mongoose's absurd release schedule destroyed their line. Although the core rules sold ok (although much fewer than RQG has sold during the initial release period), each supplement sold about 50% of the sales of the previous book, until sales were less than 100 units for books. Which meant the line was dead. 

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21 minutes ago, Joerg said:

(<insert two-page essay and weblink list to describe the characters in the scene to be depicted, plus stuff like the angle of the moon, which directions the doors would look, and similar stuff that OCD Gloranthaphiles may obsess about

That might well be the pot telling the kettle it has a singed bottom, no?

 

6 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Right now we are just waiting on The Smoking Ruins to get through layout (art and text done - last I checked layout is about 1/3 done) and then Pegasus Plateau goes in. The Starter kit is in a holding pattern until a key map is finished. None of these have any holdup for me (I do need to do some more work once the map is done, but that is easy). After that is the Gamemaster Guide, unless Jason decides to move out one of the several other completed manuscripts first. 

Take your time, I have been waiting a while and will wait a while longer.

Cheers all

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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In defense of Jeff, I'd rather have good product come out slowly rather that just get buried in a lot of junk. There are RPG companies out there who just publish a lot of stuff that they don't really expect people to play, just buy (it's Mongooses whole strategy, just ask them,). 

Also Chasoium is a smaller company and cannot put out product as the same rate that the big companies do. If RQ had D&D's marketshare, then maybe, but then we'd also get the variable quality that comes from having a host of people writing and releasing product at a near constant rate. I for one, despite waiting with baited breath for the Book of Salisbury, Book of Magician, Book of Castles, and  other stuff in the pipeline for Pendragon, would rather wait for a product that I will like and can use than get something  rushed and poor quality just so a company can get something out.

Besides, "Gregging" referred to Greg's habit of continually changing and retconning aspects of Gloratha, (i.e. Emal) to the point that it frustrated players. Similar to how George Lucas changing the Star Wars trilogy, although at least we never got to "Rurik shot first".

Edited by Atgxtg
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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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37 minutes ago, Jeff said:

This is a good example why I increasingly dislike forums. Someone wants more product faster and WITHOUT A SINGLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION, blames someone (in this case me) for being the hold-up. Frankly, I find this objectionable and insulting. 

My interest is only Runequest.

I'm not trying to apportion blame for the sake of it.

At some point there is a trade off between obsession and making things 'perfect', and simply making things. I say this as an obsessive musician who has to fight this everyday.

I have tried to say this without appearing insulting. 

I am not alone in this view of what is going on.

The concern for Runequest's health : Runequest is as much mine as yours.

I hope you have the understanding to realise that I do not mean that either as a put down or  in arrogance but out of love for the game.

Edited by Addison
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11 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Hugs to @Jeff.... take your time and please stay on the forums :D  (do you feel more positive about the Facebook groups? It seems you post more stuff over there)

I find the Facebook group far more representative of the newer players, whereas forums are much more reflective of the concerns of grognards who still want to gripe about which long-out-of-print edition of the game should have been the basis for the new system - the one from the Carter Administration or the one from the first Reagan Administration.

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2 minutes ago, Addison said:

At some point there is a trade off between obsession and making things 'perfect', and simply making things. I say this as an obsessive musician who has to fight this everyday.

 

Art and I have several disagreements based on this problem. I think I understand.

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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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1 minute ago, Jeff said:

I find the Facebook group far more representative of the newer players, whereas forums are much more reflective of the concerns of grognards who still want to gripe about which long-out-of-print edition of the game should have been the basis for the new system - the one from the Carter Administration or the one from the first Reagan Administration.

I don't care which version, as long as it is thriving.

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4 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I find the Facebook group far more representative of the newer players, whereas forums are much more reflective of the concerns of grognards who still want to gripe about which long-out-of-print edition of the game should have been the basis for the new system - the one from the Carter Administration or the one from the first Reagan Administration.

But both groups have money to spend. While ues the ol' grognards might be dying off and new blood is needed to replace them, in general when a company goes after a new fanbase they unusually don't get it and end up just losing the fans they have. For instance look at New Coke did, or how Nu Star Wars, and NuTrek are doing.

Now I'm on your side regarding how fast you put stuff out. Take all the time you need to make sure that whatever you put out is something you are happy with, but you have to expect and accept that not everyone will agree with a given direction for a product line, and also that a lot of the fans who are gushing  about a game and praising it endless one month are the sort who will be moving onto the new flavor next month.

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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13 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I find the Facebook group far more representative of the newer players

Ah well I'm an old guy who prefers forums and mailing lists, but definitely a new RQ player. You might not be the only one preferring Facebook groups these days: after several years of avoiding Facebook (for technical & political reasons), I find myself needing to log in again because several communities (including RQ) seem to have a growing activity there (maybe as a result of an exodus from Google+, which once also had lots of RPG people?). I partially reconciled my problems with Facebook by simply creating a "Lordabdul" account there for RPG groups, but that's a completely other topic.

Edited by lordabdul
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4 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I find the Facebook group far more representative of the newer players, whereas forums are much more reflective of the concerns of grognards who still want to gripe about which long-out-of-print edition of the game should have been the basis for the new system - the one from the Carter Administration or the one from the first Reagan Administration.

Now, we don't have to contend with G+ any more, so Facebook is an alternative, but I don't really consider it a viable one. Organization is atrocious (as it was on G+), its hard to find things more than a few days old, etc. It is MUCH EASIER to find information and follow discussions here than on Facebook. Are there any plug-in's on the Chaosium side that can be implemented to make this easier?

And I know you feel slighted and hot-under-the-collar for this thread, but is it really a good idea to insult the Community here, after you yourself has complained about feeling insulted?

SDLeary

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1 minute ago, Atgxtg said:

But both groups have money to spend. While ues the ol' grognards might be dying off and new blood is needed to replace them, in general when a company goes after a new fanbase they unusually don't get it and end up just losing the fans they have. For instance look at New Coke did, or how Nu Star Wars, and NuTrek are doing.

Now I'm on your side regarding how fast you put stuff out. Take all the time you need to make sure that whatever you put out is something you are happy with, but you have to expect and accept that not everyone will agree with a given direction for a product line, and also that a lot of the fans who are gushing  about a game and praising it endless one month are the sort who will be moving onto the new flavor next month.

 

I'd say RQG has done a very good job of holding on to more of the old RQ base (better than we estimated), and has had great cross-over with the Call of Cthulhu fan base. 

Flavour of the month would be if I started putting in all sorts of 5e elements in RQG.

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6 minutes ago, Addison said:

There is a balance to be had between quality and dumping stuff on the shelves as fast as possible, obviously.

Yes there is, but that balance also depends upon the time, resources, speed and creative inspiration of the various people involved in making the product, not in those wanting the product.

For example, at one time I was involved with the Book of Castles for Pendragon, but dropped out due to some issues with the game, and some not directly relating to it, such as a housefire. I can safely say that just from what I've seen in Book of the Estate and on the forms, the current state of the book if far better than the version I was working on several years back. The authors fixed quite a few problems that existed with the draft version.   So I for one and glad to wait if the end product is superior. 

6 minutes ago, Addison said:

Yes, I totally agree about MRQ...

Keep in mind that from a business point of view, the MRQ model is more successful as the goal of a RPG company is to get people to buy the RPG , not to play it. While my dislike of RQG is is well known on the board, I'll admit that RQG is a much better product that MRQ and designed to be played not just sold.

I think we all understand your desire and frustration to have a new book right away, but patience. This is part for the coruse, and in all honesty, Jeff can't be any slower than Greg was with HeroQuest. I nearly had a stroke when that finally came out.

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I feel the well-meaning concern but the patient is in endlessly better condition than it was in '85-'92, '94-'07 and then '09-'17. Let's see how well it walks the ward before we start betting on the next relapse. Maybe the Fourth Age of Runequest will be the charm.

As for the volume of new material, sometimes volunteering to feed the pipeline helps. This is not a serenely passive aggressive "do it yourself" but simply the way Glorantha has always worked. Greg came up with this so we would teach him new things about this dumb old lozenge. Stepping up to the challenge is how we all grow faster. The Jonstown Compendium structures it. It's okay. The only risk is the same as everything else: a lot of effort seems to go nowhere, but at least we took the shot.

(Yes, The Green Book of Kanthor is still on my long-term calendar but will probably be published in heaven. So it goes! Someone faster can beat me to the punch.)

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26 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I'd say RQG has done a very good job of holding on to more of the old RQ base (better than we estimated), and has had great cross-over with the Call of Cthulhu fan base. 

I'd agree with you too. It seems to have a solid secure fanbase. It doesn't appeal to everybody, but it never could have. I don't mean that in a bad way, just that no matter what you published somebody wouldn't have liked it.

Quote

Flavour of the month would be if I started putting in all sorts of 5e elements in RQG.

Exactly. Or tons of option books that give each culture/subgroup whatever special abilities designed to get players to buy the books just to chase those abilities. The CCG philosophy.

 

Edited by Atgxtg

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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