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Which year for an RQ Glorantha Sandbox  

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  1. 1. Would you prefer an RQ sandbox set in 1613 (classic) or 1625 (modern)

    • 1613 (classic)
      24
    • 1625 (modern)
      14
    • No preference (either would be fine)
      22


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I am working on a project that I would like to set in my favourite time and place in Glorantha, set in occupied Sartar,. and, I was thinking of running it in 1613.

So,  what is the common consensus amongst the tribe. Would people be interested in a game set in turbulent 1613 with the lunars and rebels? Is everyone sick and tired of playing in the old and tried classic period and would prefer to move on? What do you think, which one is your taste. If you had your druthers, which one is your taste?

Cheers 

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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Another vote for 1615-21 here. (I understand the date of 1613, though -- the original "events have been catalogued up to here" date.) 1625 and beyond has the same issue that post-Third Imperium T

I note that both Kallyr and Leika, the well established NPCs, get sidelined and Argrath of Pavis/Whitebull/some-other-vague-ekename sits as a place holder for ...the PCs. If they fail then "Argrath" s

No. I consider Doburdun, Humat, Heliacal, Balurga, or Riyesta equally interesting. It's just Elmal as a good example. An age when total homogenization had yet to happen.

4 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Most of the RQ2 stuff was set a bit later than that, I think, but stopped around 1620.

Borderlands was 1615-16. All the Pavis/Big Rubble content was subsequent and went up to 1621 with the Cradle.

The only indeterminate module was Apple Lane, which was not explicitly noted.  However, if you do the math from the RQG Adventure book, you'll find Brightflower is 24 in 1625, and was 13 in Apple Lane, and that puts Apple Lane in 1614.

Greg's Sartar Campaign described in WF goes through the defeat of Starbrow in 1613.

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28 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Would people be interested in a game set in turbulent 1613 with the lunars and rebels? Is everyone sick and tired of playing in the old and tried classic period and would prefer to move on?

Speaking as a newer GM, material in the 1625 era would be more useful for me. I do think it'd be fun to play a "classic" Sartar/Pavis campaign, but material set then would have limited use for me since my campaign's already in progress.

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13 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

So is everyone saying that my preference of 1613 sucks?

At the moment you have a sample of 3, so I don't think you can make a conclusion yet.

In my case, I'm focused on the Hero Wars era (or in the 1618-21 era).  The only thing I would look at in that period would be something like a "flashback" episode.

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I am currently running my first RQ campaign using mostly RQ:G RAW. Been playing for a while but, taking on some GMing for a change. We have played a lot of rhe older adventures in several different campaigns but, I couldnt get enough material together to have an easy campaign or sandbox come together. I am currently using 1610s Pavis, 1613-15ish right now. 

 

If we had HeroQuesting resources and a sandbox, though I can adapt the ones that exist like Griffin Mountain or Big Rubble or whatnot, then I would feel much more comfortable trying to get PCs into the real meat of the Hero Wars.

 

Starting in 1613 or so gives me some time for hem to get established, throw a bunch of This-World HQs at them mixed in with adventures while they get awesome and hopefully we get some rules for making HeroeQuestors!

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My classic RQ games tend to start in late 1614 earliest (after the dust of Starbrows Rebellion begins to settled) and 1619 (a few short yeatrs before the cradle incident of 1621) at the lastest. My current game is set in 1619. 

If i start another group i will begin in 1625, starting with the season before the Dragonrise. 

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Another vote for 1615-21 here. (I understand the date of 1613, though -- the original "events have been catalogued up to here" date.)

1625 and beyond has the same issue that post-Third Imperium Traveller experienced.  The excitement in the setting was the dynamic tension of something big about to happen; post-Imperium was someone else's story, where someone else pulled the trigger and released all that tension.  In the case of RQG, it's Argrath's story.  I have a similar problem with lifepath generation tables (a direction in which Mongoose took their iteration of Traveller by some coincidence) which is, again, someone else's story.

!i!

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I could not agree more with @Ian Absentia ; the 1621+ setting strikes me as very "Elminstery" (by which I mean that k00l NPCs get to do all the interesting stuff - you got to have PCs on the Cradle, IMHO, and Argrath - honestly by the time my campaign gets there I am totally fine if the PCs have killed him, Kallyr Starbrow, and every other scene stealing NPC).

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I have a lot of RQ2 supplements that I never used. 

So I intend to start our next RQG characters with much less experience, and set the intial session in Sartar around 1615 or so. The plan is to move the setting to Pavis & Prax, then run the game set in the 1615 - 1620 era. If the game continues, I will skip 5 years and the PCs will be back in Sartar so they can play the RQG era of 1625 +

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10 hours ago, jajagappa said:

At the moment you have a sample of 3, so I don't think you can make a conclusion yet.

 

As is your wont, you are correct. And the wheel is still in spin so I guess I will await more data before drawing any more erroneous conclusions. Thanks all, who have contributed both votes and thoughts. I look forward to seeing more in the days to come!

Cheers

PS sorry Rob, I ran out of the likes I was going to give to all who responded on the 1st day. 

 

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10 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

1625 and beyond has the same issue that post-Third Imperium Traveller experienced.  The excitement in the setting was the dynamic tension of something big about to happen; post-Imperium was someone else's story, where someone else pulled the trigger and released all that tension.  In the case of RQG, it's Argrath's story.  I have a similar problem with lifepath generation tables (a direction in which Mongoose took their iteration of Traveller by some coincidence) which is, again, someone else's story.

While I sympathize with this, I think it might also be partially incorrect: I don't see how post-1625 is "Argrath doing everything" while pre-1625 isn't "Kallyr and Leika doing everything" or something. I'm not sure very many past campaigns of RuneQuest featured the PCs doing the Dragonrise, or otherwise causing the collapse of the Lunar occupation in Sartar... and yes, I'm sure some people's PCs did something as significant (especially on these forums!) so no need to come at me and write a 5 paragraph retelling of a 17 years long RQ2 campaign: I'm talking about the majority of players out there who tend to play in a status quo because "that's the setting".

But yes, a setting where "your people are living under the boot of the Lunar invaders" is an instantly gripping premise because you know exactly what to do: rebel, collaborate, or run away! Maybe all three, in that order! In comparison, the post-1625 setting where "your people are recently liberated from the brutal, decade long Lunar occupation... as you rebuild your life, power vacuums, old feuds, ancient magics, and new factions are threatening your future" is... well, first it's longer and trickier to write, and it's not immediately obvious what the players should expect, and what the GM should do. I guess that's why Chaosium decided to spit out as many adventures as possible ahead of the Starter Set and GM Guide.

That said, it's not a totally unknown setting. There are several beloved sci-fi or fantasy franchises and stories that are set just after the end of a big war or other big world-shaking event, instead of in the lead-up to that event. Often, this lets the storyteller add a more local/sandbox dimension to the story: before, everybody is struggling against the Lunars. People might be struggling and dealing differently, but everybody's got more or less the same problem. After, everybody's got different problems: some might have some problems with leftover Lunar buildings with magical defenses causing trouble, others might have trolls or beast people moving in, others might be looking at dealing with ex-collaborators who are now feeling rather silly having converted to the Seven Mothers, and others might see the return home of rebels that had fled to Prax or Balazar. This is a setting that requires a bit more setup, but offers more opportunities in my opinion.

That said, back to the OP: I like both settings :) But as I just said, they're good for different things, so it depends on what the project is. Bill only mentioned that it was an RQ sandbox, so I guess I think post-1625 is better for that if it's set in Sartar (again, like I said above). Plus, it would mean that it's playable by newcomers to Glorantha, who pick up the RQG rulebook and do the post-1625 character creation. I think it's good to make more content to hep grow the audience.

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Honestly @lordabdul that's fair. The main counter argument is the Cradle scenario which requires going back to RQ2, so I'd fully concede it's a fairly weak argument (especially as it does contain Argrath, after all). Certainly it's monstrously unfair of me to discard all the post 1625 stuff as rubbish when I've never even read it. (I'm not actually saying it's rubbish you understand - I'm saying if I said it was - I have absolutely no doubt it's excellent in fact since if Chaosium are good at one thing, it's making excellent scenarios).

The main reason I prefer 1613 is sheer inertia. I have a lot of older RQ material that is set around that period, and while I am generally a fan of many of the changes RQG has made to the rules, I really do want to play that old stuff! :) On the other hand I'm not at all bothered whether or not Sartar is liberated on the time frame that the "metaplot" gives - it's bad for the poor Sartarites, I guess, if they don't end up getting liberated until 1630 or later because my less-powerful-than-Kallyr-and-Argrath PCs have to do all the heavy lifting instead, but it's absolutely fine for the game as a whole.

But just about any date would have this issue one way or another. I mean I could instead complain that the God Learners got to do all the cool stuff centuries ago, or that Arkat got to do all the cool stuff against Gbaji. You have to start somewhere, and I have nothing against 1625 per se. Sans all my existing material I'd be more than happy to play then, and should this campaign eventually end (or at least catch up) I will certainly consider incorporating the new material.

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Personally, I'm getting sick and tired of Sartar in general at this point, and with all the Jonstown Compendium stuff coming out, honestly "yet another Sartar Clan campaign" is among the least exciting things I can imagine. 

(However, I'm probably an outlier, so go ahead and do what you feel like doing - that's far more important than trying to please me specifically! But goddamnit would I love a Safelster, East Isles, Fronela or Fonrit campaign!)

Edited by Akhôrahil
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15 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

In the case of RQG, it's Argrath's story. 

This became an enormous headache in the original World of Darkness, where most published campaigns turned into "the PCs get to stand around watching the fan-favorite NPCs do the important stuff". I was involved on the sidelines for V5, and a major piece of the design was "we have to avoid that, and make the game about the PCs again".

We'll see how the Argrath Campaign handles things, but unless handled deftly, there's a huge risk that the timeline of the future gets nailed down in detail, that the PCs can't do anything about it, and that the important people (i.e. not the PCs) get all the plot focus. I liked how KoS/HW/HQ did its very best to avoid that, with its multiple-choice Argraths.

I think Exalted had the best idea - essentially "the game starts here, and while we will fill out the setting, there is no metaplot for the future". 

Edited by Akhôrahil
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I tend to like 1618-1621. At this time one can feel that something huge is cooking, but (unless you've read King of Sartar) the direction of history is not yet set. After the Dragonrise, the dynamics of history is clear for all to see,  although there are quite a few hiccups and hesitations from there to the dragons taking the moon down.

We had a HQ1 campaign set in 1620-1622, in which a group of lunars got wind of a dragon sitting under the new Sartar Lunar temple, and managed to avert the disaster (they had to travel to Kralorala and meet the emperor there to get his blessing on the weapon used to take down the dragon : a pregnant unicorn horn (!!!) used to bind the great dark eater spirit !). In the end, the brown dragon did rise, but instead of eating all the Lunar army, it coiled around the the new Lunar temple and died, containing the moon field within only a few square miles. We called it the Dragonshiver (TM). YGWV, that's also why I like Glorantha.

 

Edited by Manimati
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46 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

We'll see how the Argrath Campaign handles things, but unless handled deftly, there's a huge risk that the timeline of the future gets nailed down in detail, that the PCs can't do anything about it, and that the important people (i.e. not the PCs) get all the plot focus...

I think you’ll like the Argrath scenario I’m currently writing for the Jonstown Compendium. Fingers crossed!

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17 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

I would go for 1613.of the two on offer, but I would really like something set in the First Age.... 

Given we're more and more told that all the interesting gods and mythology only existed in the First Age, I'm inclined to agree on that last point.

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I voted 1613.  However I have run even earlier, and if you want, you can go full Pendragon now, playing a multi-generational story that uses Argrath as a King Arthur like prop to rally the players around and introduce plot hooks.  This is a great way to game, although Pendragon is a LOT more abstract.  I find that the Runequest crunchy bits are important -- yes the game mechanics DO matter when telling the story.  That makes the sessions generally cover less game time as there is a lot more planning, preparing, and plotting than ever there was in Pendragon. 

Since the individual sessions tend to cover less game time, I prefer long campaigns with the opportunity for many call back references.  This also gives the players lots of opportunities to have their say in how the story goes, which may or may not be improved by the presence of Argrath.  Sometimes it is better to make the players be Argrath (or they step up and do it themselves).  Other times the story takes a turn and they wind up on a quest to return some hyena skin to deep in the wastes for three game years, only to wind up in Kralorela. 

Pushing the starting year back a scootch gives more time to allow the players to unknowingly "vote with their feet" on the most important issue for any Glorantha campaign set in the Hero Wars.  Does the GM introduce Argrath and follow the script laid out in King of Sartar, or does this campaign vary?  My first campaign started pre-Lunar invasion, and there was plenty of breathing room to introduce the world.  My most recent fledgling campaign started in 1618, (A shout out here to Early Family history from Jonstown Compendium!)  and the various passions almost pushed the players into be rebels.   This is not bad in any way, but it is just a very different story set in the 1580's, for instance. 

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