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How to get into RUNE QUEST: Role-Playing in Gloratha

If you are new to the system, welcome! I recently started playing and running RuneQuest Role-Playing in Glorantha (RQ:G) and decided to create and compile some useful resources for those just entering the gates into this Mystical world of ancient powers, exciting yet lethal combat, and mythical Gods... Be forewarned: adventurer or storyteller, this is a path from which once followed, there is no turning back.

Excerpt from Chaosium's website:

"Glorantha is a world with a deep and rich setting, drawing influence from the Bronze Age and other ancient world cultures and mythologies, created by Greg Stafford in 1966. From its first appearance in print as a strategy boardgame titled White Bear, Red Moon in 1975 by The Chaosium (as it was then called) to the first edition of the roleplaying game RuneQuest in 1978, Glorantha has been used as the setting for roleplaying games, computer games, boardgames, novels, encyclopedias, comics, and other creative expressions, with a dedicated and global fan base. Now, Glorantha is firmly established as one of the most popular original game settings ever, and the influence of RuneQuest is everywhere in roleplaying and computer game design."

 

 

The Quick Start Guide

 If you are completely new to the system and don't know where to start, fear not! For Chaosium has conveniently created a free guide to the important rules, which comes with everything you need to start your gaming in Dragon Pass, as well as a pre-made adventure module. Download the Quick Start from Chaosium's website to begin your journey and to see if you enjoy the system or not. 

 

Another thing you should definitely do is watch my currently on-going mini series on YouTube: How to get into RQ:G, and subscribe to the channel to join the Legion!

 

Shameless plug aside, I really do cover a lot of ground and encourage you to check it out.

Next is the-

The Core Rules

 The main rulebook to obtain after discovering the power of this system and setting. Unlike some similar fantasy TTRPGs, RQ:G is set in the Bronze age and draws the majority of its inspiration from Mythology. This single book contains everything you need to run incredibly enjoyable games, and create deep, varied characters within the world of Glorantha. 

Inside you'll find...

  • Fast paced, lethal, and variable combat which is both exciting and tactical.
  • Deep and involved character creation that roots your character in the world and ties them to clan, cult, and family.
  • Unique magic system with rules for spirit combat, sorcery, and shamanistic traditions.

One can purchase a physical version of these rules here for $54.94 (at the time of writing). You could also get the PDF from the same site, but if you buy the rules as a physical copy Chaosium will give you the PDF free. Alternatively, if you buy the PDF, Chaosium will take the PDF price off your purchase of the physical. All rather convenient and useful.

 

Next Steps

 So you love the rules and setting and are wondering how this could get any better?

It can:)

 The next steps to take can include the Glorantha Bestiary, which includes both powerful and ancient monsters and Chaos Beings, but also many different races and rules on how to create characters of different styles. Along with lots of rich history and culture surrounding each entry.

 The Game Master Screen Pack is a handy and beautiful addition to your collection. Not only does it come with the gorgeous GM screen, but it also has a 100+ page booklet featuring some lore and cool pre-made adventure modules/scenarios, a Gloranthan Calendar, assorted collection of Gloranthan maps (some of which are quite large, and character sheets. Among even more stuff...

And that is just the beginning. There is even more, and you can browse the various RQ:G source books and modules at https://www.chaosium.com/runequest-glorantha/

Other Assets and Resources

I already mentioned my own channel, but there are even more useful and helpful articles and assets you can utilize as a Game Master of Player. Here are just a few I enjoy...

As I find stuff, I will probably add to this list, but currently these are my favorite assets.

I hope you found this list of some ways to start RuneQuest useful. For reference, I began with the SlipCase set you can find on Chaosium's site. It comes with the core rules, the bestiary, and the screen pack. After my recent acquisition of the Rune Quest Glorantha Slipcase set, RQ:G has very much impressed me. Thank you to the community members who got me into this system!! And thank you for reading.

And also, remember the two most important things (imo) about these Role-Playing games: 1. As they say in RQ:G, MGF. Which means, Maximum Game Fun. That is the end all be all, and very important for each and every game you play.

2. (Just gonna copy and paste this from a different post of mine): No matter if you're a Game Master or an Adventurer, the one thing all role-players need is imagination. At the end of the day, statistics aside, all RPGs are collaborative narrative exercises and you need to understand how a story or character works. One should discover all the richness of storytelling first, then purchase all the rulebooks and supplements. Learn about character arc and the three act story, solid backstory and world building, and anything else you can! Life is short, don't waste it on a sub-par role-playing experience. 

 

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2 hours ago, Vile Traveller said:

Right. Clearly they should have been replaced with goblins.

As long as the goblins have webbed feet and bills...

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16 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

On reddit I was told there already are Puffin people called Keets...Is this true?

IDK if they're puffins, but I think the Keet's are like way the heck out in the east, on the isles. I know they're not featured (yet) in RQG, but outside this edition's materials my knowledge gets sketchy reaaaaaal fast.

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1 minute ago, Crel said:

IDK if they're puffins, but I think the Keet's are like way the heck out in the east, on the isles. I know they're not featured (yet) in RQG, but outside this edition's materials my knowledge gets sketchy reaaaaaal fast.

Ahh, okay. Are there any supplements for RQG which include locales other than the Dragon Pass? Or for time periods other than 1625

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56 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Ahh, okay. Are there any supplements for RQG which include locales other than the Dragon Pass? Or for time periods other than 1625

Caveat: Someone else can almost certainly be more authoritative than me.

No, and no.

I believe the long-term plan is to do supplements set in as many different regions as they can, but that's gonna take time. Lots of time. Jeff mentioned some Lunar stuff and some Kralorela stuff in a recent Q&A, but I'd understand that to be more "things Chaosium would like to do" than "it's reasonable to expect this within even the next three years" for example.

Old stuff doesn't really expand a lot outside of the Dragon Pass region geographically, to my knowledge. Most of the old material is set 5-10 years before the new edition, ~1615-1620 instead of 1625. The old RQ edition released by Mongoose was set in the Second Age. I actually picked up a few books of it used, but I'm not super familiar with them--mostly just skimmed for comparisons. That edition has a significant negative reputation in the Glorantha community.

I should emphasize that that points at old GAME MATERIALS. There's a huge amount of general setting stuff out there, from the Guide to Glorantha to the apocryphal volumes of the Stafford Library. There's still an emphasis on DP/Sartar throughout the material, to the extent I'm familiar with it, but those additional publications do run all over Glorantha.

Pure speculation, but I believe there's better odds of getting weird stuff beyond Dragon Pass from the Jonstown Compendium* than from Chaosium, at least for the immediate-to-intermediate future. Right now, there's Andrew Logan Montgomery's Six Seasons in Sartar which uses the RQG rules, but is set closer to the "RQ Classic" time period, with notes (I believe) for moving up to 1625, and @Nick Brooke & co's Rough Guide to Glamour is set several hundred miles to the north, in the capital of the Lunar Empire; IMO it's more a setting/fiction book than a "gameable materials" book, but I'm pretty sure the authors disagree with me :D. That's not negative evaluation, though; I quite enjoy it.**

I'll not speak on specifics, but to the extent of my knowledge a majority of JC plans-in-progress circle the general Dragon Pass area, and the general "Sartar & the Lunars" background. For what I'm personally working on, I've been sticking to the region because that increases ease of access for players. It's hard to play a game set in Ralios if all you have is the Guide and a lonely fan-made book of adventures!***

Anyway, bit long of a post, but (to steal Rick Meintz's tagline), I hope it helps. :)

*Disclaimer: affiliate link. If you wanna see what I've specifically worked on, check out the link in my signature!

**I swear Nick, I'm gonna get you a review. I'm currently waiting on my physical copy for a re-read... and it presently is stuck in Minneapolis. The review shall be Soon™. As penance, I've added footnotes to a forum post.

***I'm sure people will disagree with me on that, too. I like the Guide, but I don't think it's at all usable for an actual tabletop campaign.

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3 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

On reddit I was told there already are Puffin people called Keets...Is this true?

All kinds of bird people fit under the Keet umbrella. Not just Puffin People: there's flamingo keets, and ninja penguin keets, and albatross keets... and evil pterodactyl keets, too.

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2 hours ago, Crel said:

I believe the long-term plan is to do supplements set in as many different regions as they can, but that's gonna take time. Lots of time. Jeff mentioned some Lunar stuff and some Kralorela stuff in a recent Q&A, but I'd understand that to be more "things Chaosium would like to do" than "it's reasonable to expect this within even the next three years" for example.

The Q&A indicates that the Kralorela manuscript is ready but, in order for PCs to take the boat for it, Nochet book will be published first, hopefully end of 2021 as final manuscript is not ready yet.
Jeff also proposes a lot of ideas of products people could develop in Esrolia alone, with a very different flavor than Sartar & Prax.

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37 minutes ago, 7Tigers said:

Jeff also proposes a lot of ideas of products people could develop in Esrolia alone, with a very different flavor than Sartar & Prax.

Yep! Hah, that was my question. I've got something in the early first draft stage in that region (which didn't end up actually on his list...).

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4 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

On reddit I was told there already are Puffin people called Keets...Is this true?

Here you can see some different varieties of keets:

Keets.png

They live on the East Isles, far away from Dragon Pass and Prax.

Edited by Runeblogger
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2 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

On reddit I was told there already are Puffin people called Keets...Is this true?

There are other anthropomorphic bird-people, the general term for whom is "keet" -- that's true.

I don't, offhand, ever recall seeing puffin-folk, specifically... but then again, it's not an area I've delved into deeply, and I'm pretty sure I do NOT know them all.

Finally, "YGWV" clearly states that there ARE puffin-keets if you WANT there to be.  Certainly there's room for them in Glorantha!

 

2 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Ahh, okay. Are there any supplements for RQG which include locales other than the Dragon Pass? Or for time periods other than 1625

Note that the RQ2 & RQ3 games are VERY compatible with RQG, and it's easy-peasy to upgrade those materials.

They cover back to 1613 or so -- specifically, RQG is the "Hero War" era, where the Lunar's have been driven from Prax and Sartar ... those older ones were more "plucky rebellion against the occupying Lunar Empire."  RQ2 had a great sandbox in the Balazar Wilds.  Other than that, overwhelmingly the most-developed region in the RQ2/RQ3 era was the Zola Fel valley, on the eastern edge of Prax.

Upcoming (n.b. this is roughly in "expected" order, but the order is very VERY tentative (and ... I'm not Chaosium, so I don't know anyhow!)):

  1. There's 2 adventure-collections (The Smoking Ruins, and Pegasus Plateau) out in PDF now; of these, TSR has been printed, and is in transit to Chaosium distribution centers worldwide; general availability is expected very soon (of the whole list, this one seems free of tentativity, since the print-run is done (yes, my saying this DOES tempt fate (suck it, fate! (no offense intended to Evil Hat!)))).  PP will follow soon-ish.
  2. RQG "Starter Set" (a boxed set very-much like the CoC7 boxed "Starter Set").
  3. The GM's Sourcebook -- including explicit rules for Heroquesting, and rules to figure out PC-eye view of massed battles, among other things.
  4. Cults of Glorantha -- 100 deities, plus material on sub-cults & variants on the "main" cults, and shamanic spirit-cults.  This will be at least 2 volumes, possibly 3.
  5. Red Book of Magic -- comprehensive spell list -- ALL Spirit-Magic and Rune-Magic spells; previously an unannounced "internal" document for Chaosium reference, it's being cleaned up and laid out for publication.
  6. RuneQuest Campaign -- (aka "Argrathsaga") a grand sweeping campaign, inspired in may ways by the storied "Great Pendragon Campaign" (aka the "Boy King" campaign) for the KAP game.  If you don't know of it, the GPC generally shortlists as "best campaign of all time, for any system" (or top-3, or whatever).

And over a dozen more items, further out (including Nochet (Esrolia) & Kralorela, as mentioned above).

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

Upcoming (n.b. this is roughly in "expected" order, but the order is very VERY tentative (and ... I'm not Chaosium, so I don't know anyhow!)):

  1. There's 2 adventure-collections (The Smoking Ruins, and Pegasus Plateau) out in PDF now; of these, TSR has been printed, and is in transit to Chaosium distribution centers worldwide; general availability is expected very soon (of the whole list, this one seems free of tentativity, since the print-run is done (yes, my saying this DOES tempt fate (suck it, fate! (no offense intended to Evil Hat!)))).  PP will follow soon-ish.
  2. RQG "Starter Set" (a boxed set very-much like the CoC7 boxed "Starter Set").
  3. The GM's Sourcebook -- including explicit rules for Heroquesting, and rules to figure out PC-eye view of massed battles, among other things.
  4. Cults of Glorantha -- 100 deities, plus material on sub-cults & variants on the "main" cults, and shamanic spirit-cults.  This will be at least 2 volumes, possibly 3.
  5. Red Book of Magic -- comprehensive spell list -- ALL Spirit-Magic and Rune-Magic spells; previously an unannounced "internal" document for Chaosium reference, it's being cleaned up and laid out for publication.
  6. RuneQuest Campaign -- (aka "Argrathsaga") a grand sweeping campaign, inspired in may ways by the storied "Great Pendragon Campaign" (aka the "Boy King" campaign) for the KAP game.  If you don't know of it, the GPC generally shortlists as "best campaign of all time, for any system" (or top-3, or whatever).

And over a dozen more items, further out (including Nochet (Esrolia) & Kralorela, as mentioned above).

So RQG is relatively new and not even the actual GM book is out yet? 

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15 hours ago, Joerg said:

As long as the goblins have webbed feet and bills...

Careful Joerg, those that do not know you might think you actually like ducks.

 

9 hours ago, Crel said:

IDK if they're puffins, but I think the Keet's are like way the heck out in the east, on the isles. I know they're not featured (yet) in RQG, but outside this edition's materials my knowledge gets sketchy reaaaaaal fast.

As do the critters themselves.

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5 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

So RQG is relatively new and not even the actual GM book is out yet? 

It's probably not a "GM book" in the usual sense of the term -- I'm not quite sure, but from what I've heard so far, it sounds more like a "RuneQuest Companion" book (extra rules for mass combat/battles, heroquesting, guilds, etc.). It may not be a good idea to name it "GM Guide" or "GM Sourcebook" IMHO but then again I don't really know what's in it, so who knows.

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9 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

So RQG is relatively new and not even the actual GM book is out yet? 

This edition is 2 years old earlier this week. Given that previous versions were out for decades and have TONS of material :- yes it's pretty new as editions go.

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11 hours ago, g33k said:

The GM's Sourcebook -- including explicit rules for Heroquesting, and rules to figure out PC-eye view of massed battles, among other things.

Well, that's your problem, right there. Technically, traditionally, and tectonically no book including heroquesting rules can ever be published.

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9 minutes ago, Vile Traveller said:

Well, that's your problem, right there. Technically, traditionally, and tectonically no book including heroquesting rules can ever be published.

(Dethstrok9, this is referring to a long-running joke in the fan community that Chaosium has promised "heroquesting coming next year!" for longer than I believe you or I have been alive.)

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11 hours ago, Crel said:

this is referring to a long-running joke in the fan community that Chaosium has promised "heroquesting coming next year!" for longer than I believe you or I have been alive

He really means it. Here's a snippet from Wyrm Footnotes 10 (available in PDF), a very early Chaosium magazine dealing with RuneQuest and Glorantha. Note the year of the planned release for the Heroquest rules :)

heroquest-81.png.f9f50a24814d339f99c3d8a481d57951.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/5/2020 at 6:57 PM, Vile Traveller said:

Well, that's your problem, right there. Technically, traditionally, and tectonically no book including heroquesting rules can ever be published.

What it needs is a Kigor Litor write up. But the combination of the two may destroy the world.

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