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Dethstrok9

RuneQuest: Role-Playing in Glorantha first impressions

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 Hello my friends, I am officially the proud owner of the RuneQuest: Role-Playing in Glorantha Slipcase Set! Woohoo!!!

 What follows is a brief summary of what I like so far from just a quick flip through, and my unboxing and first impressions video (more Gloranthan? content to come). 

 First off, I love the fact that this system is what inspired BRP, and the fast paced and deadly combat system. These two things along make this game better than D&D, which is my main comparison point since it is the only other fantasy game I have played. Next, the magic seems very involved and varied, with far more potential than most other systems I've played for staying unique and engaging with spirits, cults, and runes added to the mix. I found the lack of classes quite interesting and felt it was a step in the right direction for getting the focus off stats and onto creating a fun engaging story. In fact, all character creation seems like it deeply involves PCs in the world, which will make for very interesting role-play.

 The bestiary seemed a touch frugal to me, but perhaps I will warm up to it in time. It mainly seemed small compared to my collection of 4 books which hold hundreds if not thousands of monsters for D&D 5E, but I enjoy creating monsters and beasts and believe I will be able to convert some of my collection into RuneQuest rules. Please let me know if this line of thought is on the right track or if I'm just not understanding something about the apparent monster manual. 

 The Game Master screen pack was a pleasant surprise as it contained awesome maps, a calendar, and a bunch of scenarios and adventures for any aspiring Game Master to start with. It was a collection of resources which I did not expect, and which filled me with a burning desire to run a game (will be getting my family to play with me so I can hone my GMing craft with this new system).

Here is the actual video:

 

 

 

 All in all, this system looks exciting and innovative and I can't wait to try it out and get deeper into both the system and the lore of Glorantha. I would like to thank Chaosium for making this game, but also the WindWords podcast for getting me interested, and @soltakss for putting the game on my radar. We are all us.

Edited by Dethstrok9
RQ was not based on BRP, it's apparently the other way around:)
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Hello (again) and welcome (this time, to the Tribe of Gloranthans!)

2 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

 ... Next, the magic seems very involved and varied, with far more potential than most other systems I've played for staying unique and engaging with spirits, cults, and runes added to the mix. I found the lack of classes quite interesting and felt it was a step in the right direction for getting the focus off stats and onto creating a fun engaging story. In fact, all character creation seems like it deeply involves PCs in the world, which will make for very interesting role-play.

 The bestiary seemed a touch frugal to me, but perhaps I will warm up to it in time. It mainly seemed small compared to my collection of 4 books which hold hundreds if not thousands of monsters for D&D 5E, but I enjoy creating monsters and beasts and believe I will be able to convert some of my collection into RuneQuest rules. Please let me know if this line of thought is on the right track or if I'm just not understanding something about the apparent monster manual ...

I think the piece you're missing is to combine the 1st paragraph I quoted with the 2nd I quoted.

Your "monsters" will, as often as not, be regular humans... just, humans from enemy tribes, enemy cults, enemy kingdoms, etc.  Dungeoneering and monster-slaying isn't usually the focus of the "average" RQ game.

The same variability of character-creation, motivation, & role-play applies to foes, rivals, etc.

Plus some "evil" and "chaos" cults, that probably aren't the focus of most (or any) PC's.  Chaosium is up-front in that they have zero intention to provide player-support for PC's of some of the nastier elements of Glorantha.

 

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1 minute ago, g33k said:

Your "monsters" will, as often as not, be regular humans... just, humans from enemy tribes, enemy cults, enemy kingdoms, etc.  Dungeoneering and monster-slaying isn't usually the focus of the "average" RQ game.

That sounds perfect, thank you for the clarification! I actually am really liking this idea. I hated the dungeon crawls of D&D, so although my original impression was negative in this regard, you have pried open my third eye and now I can see!

 

3 minutes ago, g33k said:

Hello (again) and welcome (this time, to the Tribe of Gloranthans!)

Why thank you, I cannot wait to see all this system has to offer.

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1 hour ago, Dethstrok9 said:

 ... I cannot wait to see all this system has to offer.

Glorantha is very very different from the Tolkien-esque vibe of D&D...  a few snippets:

The Elves aren't like "humans, but cooler, and they love plants..."  they ARE plants!  Their dearest wish is to spread the primal Green Age forest over all the world.  The very few, very rare, very weird ones who might be "adventurers" alongside humans are called "rootless" elves, regarded by other elves with pity, with horror, and with extreme distrust... but in the end, they are still plants, with utterly inhuman perspectives and priorities.

The next-most-playable PC race (after humans) is Trolls.  Trolls -- sometimes called "Dark Men" -- are actually native to the Underworld, an otherplanar almost-Hell, dark and secret.  They were forced out in a cataclysm wherein the murdered Sun arrived in Hell, burning and bright beyond tolerance.  Leaving behind the place they called Wonderhome, they found themselves exiled to the Hurtplace, the surface-world.  Later in the mythology, they were cursed with a strange reproductive weakness:  whereas the original Troll (now called the "Mistress Race") was a mighty figure on par with the great Human heroes, the Curse of Kin means they now bear Dark Trolls (near Human abilities, and good PC-candidates) and even the stunted little Trollkin.

And ducks.  Anthropomorphic ducks, also PC'able.  Howard, Donald, Daffy, Scrooge McDuck levels of absurdity, blended a tragic Death-potent vibe, and obscure origins.

Etc Etc Etc...

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4 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

 ... The bestiary seemed a touch frugal to me, but perhaps I will warm up to it in time. It mainly seemed small compared to my collection of 4 books which hold hundreds if not thousands of monsters for D&D 5E, but I enjoy creating monsters and beasts and believe I will be able to convert some of my collection into RuneQuest rules. Please let me know if this line of thought is on the right track or if I'm just not understanding something about the apparent monster manual ...

But, lest I forget -- check the "BDBoM" in the Dowload sections...  the Big Damn Book of Monsters.  It should handle some of the conversion load, if you decide you need some D&D flavors...

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I find this subversion of the norm is right up my alley. Although I was wondering about that... Why the ducks exactly, and not like puffins or Chinchillas or something? 

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1 minute ago, g33k said:

 if you decide you need some D&D flavors...

Spare me! I shall never return to the bloated power gaming of yesteryear, when the bloated role-playing of yesteryear is far superior!

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6 minutes ago, g33k said:

check the "BDBoM" in the Dowload sections...

I actually just downloaded this, seems to be a quite useful resource :)

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5 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

... Although I was wondering about that... Why the ducks exactly, and not like puffins or Chinchillas or something? 

Basically:  Greg Stafford had some friends in the early years, who he allowed to name bits of the setting.

The iconic maps of the RQ2 era, drawn by William Church:  

 

Yeah, he got "Wilmskirk."

This other friend, he loved the Carl Barks style Disney Ducks, and he wanted Duckburg.  Someone pointed out that it was  -just-possible-  that Disney would take umbrage, so it became Duck Point...  But Glorantha still needed Ducks to live there.  The rest is history (or infamy, depending on who you ask).

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1 minute ago, g33k said:

But Glorantha still needed Ducks to live there.  The rest is history (or infamy, depending on who you ask).

I suppose my opinion will be shaped by my soon to increase experience. Currently it is sitting at infamy, but perhaps that will change... 

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Suffice to say that Glorantha is a setting that has grown very organically and from many sources over several decades. This is a blessing and/or a curse depending on who you ask.

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3 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

I suppose my opinion will be shaped by my soon to increase experience. Currently it is sitting at infamy, but perhaps that will change... 

If it helps, they're hardcore worshipers of the local god of war and death who've fought a centuries-long war against the creeping influence of the undead sorcerer Delecti and his army of the unquiet dead.

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2 minutes ago, Leingod said:

If it helps, they're hardcore worshipers of the local god of war and death who've fought a centuries-long war against the creeping influence of the undead sorcerer Delecti and his army of the unquiet dead.

Damn it! As Deth, undeth and necromancy may be my favorite parts of fantasy settings... And those fool ducks think they can take it away from me? The bastards! I shall show them.

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5 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Damn it! As Deth, undeth and necromancy may be my favorite parts of fantasy settings... And those fool ducks think they can take it away from me? The bastards! I shall show them.

Oh, there's a lot of it to go around. There's Brangbane the Ghoul King, who's haunted by the spirits of all the women he killed for their fingers to make a magic soup and now holds court in the Woods of the Dead. The troll berserkers of Zorak Zoran, god of hatred, have their bodies raised as skeletons so they can keep killing even after they've died. There's Vivamort, a Chaos god and the first vampire, etc.

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Just now, Leingod said:

Oh, there's a lot of it to go around. There's Brangbane the Ghoul King, who's haunted by the spirits of all the women he killed for their fingers to make a magic soup and now holds court in the Woods of the Dead. The troll berserkers of Zorak Zoran, god of hatred, have their bodies raised as skeletons so they can keep killing even after they've died. There's Vivamort, a Chaos god and the first vampire, etc.

Ahhh... Sounds wonderful:)

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7 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Oh, there's a lot of it to go around. There's Brangbane the Ghoul King, who's haunted by the spirits of all the women he killed for their fingers to make a magic soup and now holds court in the Woods of the Dead. The troll berserkers of Zorak Zoran, god of hatred, have their bodies raised as skeletons so they can keep killing even after they've died. There's Vivamort, a Chaos god and the first vampire, etc.

How could you leave off Gark the Calm?  Gark, who promises calmness for all eternity!

 

All you have to do is become a zombie...

 

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Just now, g33k said:

All you have to do is become a zombie...

Is that all? Well than I shall pack my bags at once and head off to see Gark. The Calm.

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2 minutes ago, g33k said:

How could you leave off Gark the Calm?  Gark, who promises calmness for all eternity!

 

All you have to do is become a zombie...

 

I mean, you gotta leave some surprises for people to discover on their own.

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There's also the chaos god Thanatar, who gives their cultists magic to sever people's heads but preserve them 'alive' as sources of knowledge and magic

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Just now, dumuzid said:

There's also the chaos god Thanatar, who gives their cultists magic to sever people's heads but preserve them 'alive' as sources of knowledge and magic

Inverted Mind Flayer logic, I like it:)

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I mean, if we're going to just give it all away, may as well bring up Bundalini and his All-Skeleton Band.

Bundalini and his All-Skeleton Band - Willing to perform at your venue of choice for an eminently reasonable fee, an opportunity that comes only once a generation!

2 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

There's also the chaos god Thanatar, who gives their cultists magic to sever people's heads but preserve them 'alive' as sources of knowledge and magic

My favorite part of that is that his bodyless head and headless body were worshiped separately for centuries as Than and Atyar.

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1 minute ago, Dethstrok9 said:

I understand now @Bill the barbarian... What you whispered in times gone by is true...

Did he warn you that Glorantha lore is a deep, bottomless well of knowledge and wonder from which you shall never escape once you've plunged in? Because if not, he should have.

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11 hours ago, g33k said:

Plus some "evil" and "chaos" cults, that probably aren't the focus of most (or any) PC's.  Chaosium is up-front in that they have zero intention to provide player-support for PC's of some of the nastier elements of Glorantha.

While I very much doubt Chaosium will be making adventures etc for 'evil' cult PCs, the cults with be in the forthcoming cults book, and there is no reason you can't use those writeups to create evil PCs if your campaign permits, though most people will use them for NPC villains. Just like the old Cults of Terror/Lords of Terror books for previous editions. 

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15 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

The bestiary seemed a touch frugal to me, but perhaps I will warm up to it in time. It mainly seemed small compared to my collection of 4 books which hold hundreds if not thousands of monsters for D&D 5E, but I enjoy creating monsters and beasts and believe I will be able to convert some of my collection into RuneQuest rules. Please let me know if this line of thought is on the right track or if I'm just not understanding something about the apparent monster manual. 

People have pretty much already hit the main point - while RuneQuest has its far share of weird and wonderful monsters, the philosophy of creating encounters is that instead of creating a new variant of an intelligent monster race, it is usually better to create a new religious cult with new magic and customs for that race. So instead of a dozen variants on Dark Trolls, we have dark trolls that worship Kygor Litor, ones that worship Zorak Zoran, ones that worship Argan Argar, ones that worship mostly their ancestors, etc.and all those encounters will be different. (hint: the Zorak Zoran ones are the ones you want to avoid). There is a huge variety of otherworldly creatures like spirits and demons, mostly associated with various religions, but only a few are in the bestiary - a lot would be just part of a cult description or written up as a scenario one off. Gloranthan monsters generally tend to come with a bit more history and context than D&D monsters - and are often people much like yourself, just with a good reason to oppose you. 

Which isn't to say you can't make up crazy monsters. It's just  less emphasized. Also, fighting is often dangerous enough you don't want to make it your only response. 

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