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RuneQuest: Role-Playing in Glorantha first impressions


Dethstrok9

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Welcome to the Tribe!

Also Glorantha is an addictive setting a friend hooked me and then I started tribe building. I also recommend the Red Cow Campaign setting (the coming Storm and the Eleven Lights or anything Heroquest related as they can be ported into Runequest easily.

I also highly recommend the Thunder Rebels and Storm Tribe books, as they reflect more gods and how the Orlanthi view themselves.. (and how the culture works. Like Orlanthi recognize more than 2 genders and multiple types of marriage and adventuring and community is a staple of Glorantha.

 

You are not a d&d murder hobo. You have a home, siblings, parents and grand parents, aunt uncles and elders to come home to.

 

They form who you are.

 

Don't like trolls? Then is it personal experience or cultural duty for you not to like them?

 

Do you love or hate the Lunar Empire?

What about the dichotomy of Ernalda "there is always another way", and Orlanthi "Violence is always an option" & " no one can make you do anything".

 

Glorantha is a rich world. Live in it.

 

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1 hour ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Welcome to the Tribe!

Also Glorantha is an addictive setting a friend hooked me and then I started tribe building. I also recommend the Red Cow Campaign setting (the coming Storm and the Eleven Lights or anything Heroquest related as they can be ported into Runequest easily.

I also highly recommend the Thunder Rebels and Storm Tribe books, as they reflect more gods and how the Orlanthi view themselves.. (and how the culture works. Like Orlanthi recognize more than 2 genders and multiple types of marriage and adventuring and community is a staple of Glorantha.

Thank you very much, I will look into these settings, modules, and books.

 

1 hour ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Don't like trolls? Then is it personal experience or cultural duty for you not to like them?

 

Do you love or hate the Lunar Empire?

What about the dichotomy of Ernalda "there is always another way", and Orlanthi "Violence is always an option" & " no one can make you do anything".

I have no clue what thou art saying, but I think I will in time:) I think you are giving me questions to ask myself about my character...

 

1 hour ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Glorantha is a rich world. Live in it.

As I am unlikely to be, as my parents call it, "getting a life" anytime soon... Might as well!

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-Voice of the Legion

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19 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

First off, I love that fact that this is based on BRP

Aaaaaargh!

Sigh, sorry. BRP was originally a cut-down version of RQ.

 

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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10 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

As I am unlikely to be, as my parents call it, "getting a life" anytime soon... Might as well!

Don't worry, I've been playing in Glorantha since 1982, so more than twice as long as you've been around, sob ...

Although, there are people at BRP Central who have been playing for a lot longer.

There are lots of us who need to get a life.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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1 minute ago, soltakss said:

Don't worry, I've been playing in Glorantha since 1982, so more than twice as long as you've been around, sob ...

Although, there are people at BRP Central who have been playing for a lot longer.

There are lots of us who need to get a life.

It is my humble opinion that recreation is a key part of life, and when this recreation is spent exercising creativity with both friends and complete strangers (as opposed to playing mindless video games ect.) the recreation goes beyond simple play and into a new dimension of artistic expression.

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7 hours ago, davecake said:

... Also, fighting is often dangerous enough you don't want to make it your only primary response. 

Fixed it for ya!

 

Or...

hrm...

 

 

7 hours ago, davecake said:

... Also, fighting is often dangerous enough you  don't  want to make it your only  last-ditch  response. 

How's that?

Edited by g33k
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3 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Thank you very much, I will look into these settings, modules, and books.

 

I have no clue what thou art saying, but I think I will in time:) I think you are giving me questions to ask myself about my character...

 

As I am unlikely to be, as my parents call it, "getting a life" anytime soon... Might as well!

 

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3 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Hahaha.... Gotcha. BRP is based off of RuneQuest! It all makes sense now!

More ancient lore:  Glorantha -- as a real-world creation -- is older than RPGs!   Greg Stafford's oldest notes on the setting -- that he could firmly date -- were from the mid-1960s.

By the mid-1970s, he was producing a game set in Glorantha:  White Bear, Red Moon (1975).  This was Chaosium's 1st publication, AFAIK; it was a wargame/boardgame, NOT a RPG... it's just that "wargames" were the most "storytelling" game Greg had met thus far in his life (RPG's were only a year or two old, at this point, and most still viewed them as an interesting variation on a sort of wargame; Greg simply hadn't crossed paths with them).

CUTSCENE:  One of Greg's friends was at the printers to pick up an order... at the same time that a TSR guy (allegedly Gygax himself) was picking up the very-first commercial print-run of the original D&D game (so I guess this must have been in Wisconsin?).  The friend, knowing Greg was into "storytelling" and "fantasy" games, bought a copy of this funky "Dungeons&Dragons" fantasy game right there in the print-shop; as far as is known, this means that Greg Stafford got the very first "sale" of D&D, ever.

When he got a look at D&D, Greg began pursuing a RPG version of Glorantha post-haste.  Early efforts were, unfortunately, not working out the way he wanted... let's jump now to Steve Perrin:

FADE TO STEVE PERRIN:   Steve was an early (founding?) member of the SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronism (medieval fight-geeks & historical re-enactors, if you haven't heard of them before), AND an early player of D&D.  Informed by his SCA field-combat experience, he and other D&D players had a suite of "house rules" for D&D, which in 1976 he typed up as "The Perrin Conventions" and brought along to hand out at an early RPG-convention (DunDraCon 1).   

When Greg got hold of the Perrin Conventions, he asked Steve to "have a look at" the RPG rules for Glorantha, and see if he could bring it into better shape for Greg's vision of the world.  Those rules -- the Perrin-led development -- went on to become Runequest.

RQ2e followed hard on the heels of the original RQ rules; in some regards, it's almost like 1e was the "0.9" or "beta-test" version of the RQ2 rules; it was the 2e version of the game that saw the storied early days when RQ rivaled D&D...  Borderlands, Pavis, TrollPak, BIg Rubble, Griffin Mountain...

And it was RQ2 that was pared-down to a 16page "BRP", re-tooled for Call of Cthulhu and many other games, etc etc etc.

 

(POST-CREDIT TRAILER:   Amusingly, the Perrin Conventions also went back to Wisconsin, and were more or less entirely-absorbed into a later edition of D&D, making Perrin's group "House Rules" official D&D for the whole world.) 

Edited by g33k
RQ1/RQ2 & BRP
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11 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

To clarify, Heroquest is another system? But there are also "heroquests" in RuneQuest?

Yes.  Heroquesting/Runequesting is a longtime feature of Glorantha.  It is the main way you surpass human norms.

There was a period where Chaosium had separated "Runequest" as a (tm) from "Glorantha" (I guess a (c)?  but IP-law ain't my wheelhouse).

Greg Stafford, in a separate company called Issaries, Inc (Issaries being the god of Trade and Communication in Glorantha) teamed up with noted game-designer Robin Laws to create a new RPG for Glorantha.  It was titled Hero Wars.

 

Later, the company (Milton Bradley) who owned the (tm) (or (c), I dunno...) to the "HeroQuest" title let the rights lapse, so Greg registered HeroQuest and brought out the new edition of HW retitled as HeroQuest.  There's now HW, HQ1e, HQ2e, HQG (HeroQuest Glorantha), and "QuestWorlds" -- an SRD & OGL-ish 3e of the HQ engine).

 

 

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1 minute ago, g33k said:

Yes.  Heroquesting/Runequesting is a longtime feature of Glorantha.  It is the main way you surpass human norms.

There was a period where Chaosium had separated "Runequest" as a (tm) from "Glorantha" (I guess a (c)?  but IP-law ain't my wheelhouse).

Greg Stafford, in a separate company called Issaries, Inc (Issaries being the god of Trade and Communication in Glorantha) teamed up with noted game-designer Robin Laws to create a new RPG for Glorantha.  It was titled Hero Wars.

 

Later, the company (Milton Bradley) who owned the (tm) (or (c), I dunno...) to the "HeroQuest" title let the rights lapse, so Greg registered HeroQuest and brought out the new edition of HW retitled as HeroQuest.  There's now HW, HQ1e, HQ2e, HQG (HeroQuest Glorantha), and "QuestWorlds" -- an SRD & OGL-ish 3e of the HQ engine).

 

 

I'll take your word for it. We certainly love acronyms in this industry don't we? Lovely ones for Call of Cthulhu and Horror or the Orient Express.

-Voice of the Legion

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16 hours ago, Leingod said:

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

<looks at Glorantha>


Yeah... I think  "some surprises for people to discover on their own"  is pretty much covered...

 

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3 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

...  I have no clue what thou art saying, but I think I will in time:) I think you are giving me questions to ask myself about my character ...

Trolls are, by and large, big and scary and dangerous.  It's easy to "not like" them!

Ernalda is the chief "Earth Queen" goddess; a key motto of her people is "There is always another way."

Orlanth is the "Storm" god, King of the Gods; one of HIS key mottoes is, "Violence is always an option."

They're a married couple.

The relationship is... tumultuous.

 

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38 minutes ago, g33k said:

<looks at Glorantha>


Yeah... I think  "some surprises for people to discover on their own"  is pretty much covered...

Going to take that to mean something similar to what I keep seeing on other sites, "It took me decades to gain even a basic understanding of Glorantha."

 

27 minutes ago, g33k said:

Trolls are, by and large, big and scary and dangerous.  It's easy to "not like" them!

Ernalda is the chief "Earth Queen" goddess; a key motto of her people is "There is always another way."

Orlanth is the "Storm" god, King of the Gods; one of HIS key mottoes is, "Violence is always an option."

They're a married couple.

The relationship is... tumultuous.

Thank you very much @g33k, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to help me out and explain some of this stuff to me:) And the rest of you awesome people as well, thank you!

Is Glorantha difficult to run? Like, do I need to play it before I can really run it? Or would my jumping right into running a game work?

-Voice of the Legion

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33 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Is Glorantha difficult to run? Like, do I need to play it before I can really run it? Or would my jumping right into running a game work?

Nah, you just have to not let yourself be intimidated or feel like you're beholden to the published material. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that Your Glorantha Will Vary (YGWV). Mining deep into the lore is something that you should do to get ideas for campaigns and storytelling (or just for personal enjoyment), so don't get too worked up if some detail comes up during play that you don't know the "correct" answer to. If you keep that in mind, you'll be fine.

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2 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Nah, you just have to not let yourself be intimidated or feel like you're beholden to the published material. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that Your Glorantha Will Vary (YGWV). Mining deep into the lore is something that you should do to get ideas for campaigns and storytelling (or just for personal enjoyment), so don't get too worked up if some detail comes up during play that you don't know the "correct" answer to. If you keep that in mind, you'll be fine.

Since that is how I've always run D&D and CoC previously, I will continue my honorable tradition of breaking all rules and making up lore which suits my purposes. If my players complain, I'm telling them this was all you fault for giving me the green light to stay rooted in my so-called transgressions:)

Also, wonderful, as I said in the video, I will be running for my siblings and cousins soon so I'm glad to hear I'll (hopefully) do a good job of it. 

-Voice of the Legion

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13 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Is Glorantha difficult to run?

No, most emphatically not.

One of the things I like best about the new edition, is that the good people at Chaosium have gone to great lengths to make it easy to run and play a game in Glorantha.

Just rolling up characters will give you a background history for each one, and that gives each player everything they need to understand their character.

Indeed, I think refereeing RuneQuest in Glronatha (see what I did there, I avoided the acronym…) is easier than other systems, in that the characters are so *vivid* and have such a strong backstory, that adventures just write themselves.

Also, if you’ve the slipcase set you have *everything* you need.

The rulebook gives you a great introduction of the basics for Glorantha and the lands around Dragon Pass, but not in overwhelming detail.

The rules – they need careful reading, but understanding them is more important than remembering them, because if you understand them then you can be guided by them to something that works in nitty-gritty detail.

The gamemasters pack has a very vivid setting, the Colymar lands.  It just jumps off the page which background characters are going to take to the adventurers, and who not.  Even more adventures.  And that’s before you’ve even run Apple Lane.  You get scenario ideas just looking at the map, and wondering about things.

Edited by Stephen L
Correct incorrect implication that rules were anything but great
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2 minutes ago, Stephen L said:

Indeed, I think refereeing RuneQuest in Glronatha (see what I did there, I avoided the acronym…) is easier than other systems, in that the characters are so *vivid* and have such a strong backstory, that adventures just write themselves.

I love that RQ:G has such an emphasis on Character Backstory and how it drives adventurers. And yes looking though the slipcase is showing me just how complete the purchase actually was. I cannot believe how much content was included...

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56 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Going to take that to mean something similar to what I keep seeing on other sites, "It took me decades to gain even a basic understanding of Glorantha."

Nah.  All I meant was that there are so many "surprises" that none of our "spilling the beans" will really substantially reduce the amount of "surprise" you encounter organically, as you read and play...  The world is just different.  DIFFERENT.  It will keep surprising you.  For years and years and years, it will keep surprising you.

That's OK... the real world keeps surprising us, after all!  New species get discovered; new materials-science; the "Lucky 10000" effect ... etc etc etc.

Remember:  developed since the 1960's.  Glorantha is just so deep and so broad that if you want to become "encyclopedic" ... yeah, that takes decades (or a lot of reading and a phenomenal memory).  But you don't need to be encyclopedic!  The classic advice to new gamers is:  start small.

 

But it's... different.  Take "Chaos:"  this isn't D&D's "lawful vs chaotic."  Glorantha is the world, all of Creation; the underworld, the spirit-world, God-Time, it's all Glorantha, creation.

Chaos comes from outside; it's a void, it's destruction, it's bubbling madness.  Chaotic things keep creeping in; there are vile races of Chaotic creatures resident in Glorantha, Scorpionmen and Broos and Gorp and more; Chaos-taint is something most-often feared and hated.  It's the Big Bad of the setting, for sure.

But then... there's the Lunar Empire, led by the Red Moon Goddess Sedenya.  They are about the most civilized and cosmopolitan empire going, VERY open and accepting of different people, different styles of being and of expressing oneself... very very modern, in many ways the most enlightened and "modern-friendly" place in Glorantha.  Including that they are accepting of Chaos... Sedenya preaches "Illumination," and that Chaos also has a place within Creation... that the difference between Chaos and not-Chaos is illusory, just like the differences between "us" and "them" are illusory:  We are All Us!  One of the Lunars' most-fearsome weapons is the Crimson Bat, a dragon-scale Chaos beast that eats not just enemy soldiers but enemy souls.  The Lunars kind of can't be the Good Guys with that in their repertoire (the bat, BTW, has in fact been killed; but it comes back from Hell...) .

 

56 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

... Is Glorantha difficult to run? Like, do I need to play it before I can really run it? Or would my jumping right into running a game work?

Jump right in!

Glorantha is every bit as daunting as you allow it to be.  If you lean-in on "Glorantha is daunting," you will find it a  Fountain of Endless Daunt +5.  If you go with "holy crap this is wild, what a blast!" you will find Glorantha just as apt to support that approach... aim for "MGF" --  More  Gaming/oranthan  Fun.

Start small.  One clan in Sartar, or one Tribe in Prax, or a cultic/religious alliance (crossing clan/tribal & even kingdom boundaries) provides a nice focus for new players.

The Broken Tower (RQG freebie intro scenario) is great, and very-easy to integrate into the GM Screen Pack adventures & setting-material; the new adventure book The Smoking Ruins is also very easy to integrate.  That's like... a dozen or so adventures and a small sandbox for further play/exploration.

 

Edited by g33k
Sedenya, illumination, Chaos.
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2 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Is Glorantha difficult to run? Like, do I need to play it before I can really run it? Or would my jumping right into running a game work?

I originally ran RQ "back in the day" with literally nothing over than the red book (RQ2) to work with.   It worked just fine.  That book remains an amazingly tight example of good rules writing with very few exceptions. 

These days I try to stay as close as possible to established canon, so as to allow players to be "exploring" the world, rather than just something I whipped up.   That does take some work, but really not too much.  For getting started I cannot recommend just reading the Prince of Sartar web comic enough.  Fun and easy, it's all you need to get started on the major established theme.

http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/introduction-chapter-1

 

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4 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Is Glorantha difficult to run? Like, do I need to play it before I can really run it? Or would my jumping right into running a game work?

More than a D&D module, but not that difficult. The standard advice is start small and specific, spiral out to more and more of the world gradually. Just make sure as GM you have a good idea of how the players community works. So if you are running the stuff that comes with the GMs screen, understand how an Orlanthi clan works, introduce the basics to the players, and within the first few sessions how the clan is part of a tribe which is part of a kingdom. Then introduce their neighbours, other races, the 'big picture' politics, etc gradually as you need to. 

And don't feel you need to fully understand something to introduce it. Non-humans, for example, are going to be weird and unfamiliar to most people, and beginning PCs might know very little - so if the first time they meet trolls or elves they are just antagonists to deal with, that is fine. Later on they might meet important trolls with a more complex agenda, and gradually realise that trolls have a whole culture with a lot of internal diversity and factionalism. But no one needs to understand all that at the start. 

 

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33 minutes ago, davecake said:

 ... Non-humans, for example, are going to be weird and unfamiliar to most people, and beginning PCs might know very little - so if the first time they meet trolls or elves they are just antagonists to deal with, that is fine. Later on they might meet important trolls with a more complex agenda, and gradually realise that trolls have a whole culture with a lot of internal diversity and factionalism. But no one needs to understand all that at the start. 

Yeah, totally this!!!  Most Orlanthi will never have even MET a Troll.  Seen one at a distance, maybe, but not met them, in a talk-face-to-face manner.

 

Delving deeper...

There are exceptions... the Torkani tribe, "Dark Orlanthi," live adjacent to Troll lands, and pay tribute to the Trolls (in return for protection from nearby werewolves); many Torkani have the Darkness Rune as part of their personalities (normally rare for humans).

There's another tribe of Dark Orlanthi -- the Bachad -- who are noted Troll-Fighters.

 

Back at the newbie-player level...

Show the players pictures of trolls, & trollkin.  "You've seen these guys, occasionally.  Never talked to them.  Dark Men, they're called.  Uz, they call themselves... except for the little ones, the trollkin.  Enlo.  They're all dangerous folk... even the pathetic little trollkin, because those ones tend to run in packs.  Trolls'd just as soon eat you up -- bones an' clothes an' all -- as shake your hand.  But... you can deal with them, if you deal careful-like."

Then, the PC's DO have to deal with some Uz, and/or Enlo...  and at your table, the Glorantha  as-played / as-experienced  (the REAL Glorantha -- Your Glorantha Will Vary) enlarges!   :)

 

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For a newbie Gm running through the Freebie downloads and the GM screen pack adventure book really helps. Then maybe Smoking ruins and the upcoming pegasus plateau book and frankly you've got a LOT of material right there. By the time you've run all that you'll have a bunch of plot hooks and threads to expand on and maybe some bad guys who got away to be recurring pains. Or recurring good guys who are recurring pains. Our party healer was having a major bitchy spat with another CA healer which has been deeply amusing for the rest of us. 

 

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