Jump to content

I want to love Glorantha....help me


Recommended Posts

Hello all,  I really want to love Glorantha but im having a difficult time wrapping my  head around it.  Please help

 

1) to a new commer it feels impenetrable.   So much depth and history...and that's part of the draw of the setting but also makes it seem impossible to get into...to learn and to teach to players.  Feels like it demands a much higher level of commitment from the players to get the setting than any other setting I have experienced.....perhaps I'm to old now.

 

2) what drew me to Runequest Glorantha was the implication of a Sword and Scorcery setting.  Now when I think of Sword and Sorcery I think of Darksun, Stormbringer, Conan. 

Out of the box, as written, Is glorantha that?

 

I'm not trying to be vague.  I love gritty sword and Sorcery......if that is Glorantha please help me see it because if so.....im jumping in with both feet.

 

Thanks

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 68
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

FULL Disclosure: I am hopelessly biased. This is not the first, nor the last time, I have responded to a question like this, and I am all too happy to provide my answer. It makes me recall a favorite

We are close to changing that situation for the Sartar/Sartar Comp/Pavis HQ books and the RuneQuest Classics line via POD. 

I think I, and my entire generation, had it easy. When we started playing RuneQuest, we were barely aware that Glorantha was even a thing. We were just playing a cool game that was different to D&

Posted Images

1) To avoid that (real) problem, take only what you need or what you want. Start small, local, and thus avoid to explain everything. And if you are not canon, don't care and just continue if you and your players have fun.

2) Glorantha is not Darksun (it is darker), nor Stormbringer, nor Conan. It is his own vibrant world. Don't expect to find in it what you find elsewhere. This is especially what brought me here (and I am still here since 1986).

3) If you love gritty sword and sorcery, Runequest is the right game, and Glorantha can be the right world.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gman said:

1) to a new commer it feels impenetrable.   So much depth and history...and that's part of the draw of the setting but also makes it seem impossible to get into...to learn and to teach to players.  Feels like it demands a much higher level of commitment from the players to get the setting than any other setting I have experienced.....perhaps I'm to old now.

It is, and there’s not a lot to be done about it. Reading the Glorantha Siurcebook is one of the more accessible entrance points, but even that’s not so easy.

Fortunately, you don’t need a full and wide understanding. Start in a small corner, the more remote the better, and you may never have to learn about Harmast Barefoot’s 12 Heroquests or the details of the Lunar bureucracy.

1 hour ago, Gman said:

2) what drew me to Runequest Glorantha was the implication of a Sword and Scorcery setting.  Now when I think of Sword and Sorcery I think of Darksun, Stormbringer, Conan. 

Out of the box, as written, Is glorantha that?

It’s not exactly sword & sorcery - if you want a genre description, it’s more sword-and-sandal. More Troy or Harryhausen, less Conan or Elric. There are places in Glorantha that would support sword & sorcery (like Safelster), but they have never been detailed. And Glorantha has a much, much heavier focus on culture and social context than sword & sorcery typically has. You’re more likely to be a farmer who takes up arms to protect his clan, than a rootless wanderer like Conan or Elric.

Edited by Akhôrahil
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gman said:

1) to a new commer it feels impenetrable.   So much depth and history...and that's part of the draw of the setting but also makes it seem impossible to get into...to learn and to teach to players.  Feels like it demands a much higher level of commitment from the players to get the setting than any other setting I have experienced.....perhaps I'm to old now.

The thing to focus on is that the majority inhabitants of Glorantha would know far less about their world than we do, if we've read the Glorantha Sourcebook, glanced through the Guide, or real one of the rulebooks. So, as has been said, you can either start in one small corner, and gradually work outwards - literally staying in a clan's lands first, or, the other approach is to have player characters who are themselves new to wherever they are, even of another culture and trying to fit in, so they don't need to know very much as first (though this means that you have to simplify the family history).

Outlanders might be refugee hunter/gatherers, Wolf Pirates who want to stay on land (and the Wolf Pirates at this time aren't just from Ygg's Islands, but Westerners, perhaps even Orlanthi from Fronela, for example, and the latter would have some gods in common with the people in Dragon Pass, but not quite of the same culture).

If you use outlanders, you don't have to worry too much about getting them exactly right; no one in your campaign is likely to go back and visit their homes, and their homeland is unlikely to be heavily developed for some time.

1 hour ago, Gman said:

2) what drew me to Runequest Glorantha was the implication of a Sword and Scorcery setting.  Now when I think of Sword and Sorcery I think of Darksun, Stormbringer, Conan. 

Out of the box, as written, Is glorantha that?

It can be, though you have to choose how to do it. However, if you want to start small, best to avoid high level sword and sorcery, but something more like Conan's early career, where he's an outlander, but not yet a war leader.

Edited by M Helsdon
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gman said:

Hello all,  I really want to love Glorantha but im having a difficult time wrapping my  head around it.  Please help

1) to a new commer it feels impenetrable.   So much depth and history...and that's part of the draw of the setting but also makes it seem impossible to get into...to learn and to teach to players.  Feels like it demands a much higher level of commitment from the players to get the setting than any other setting I have experienced.....perhaps I'm to old now.

I believe RQG is the best edition of RQ to start exploring Glorantha. The book has enough setting in it to get you started, in an area that is small enough that you can manage but big and diverss enough that you could play there you're whole life. Character creation connects you with the recent past but also to the local community and your god. Generally, after going through the family history, reading the blurb about his homelands and their cults, the players know more than enough to understand who they are and how they fit. As a gm, whatever is not covered in the book, you can swing, describe in a mysterious way ("you have heard from Mad Reiki that..."). If you make a call that is somewhat contradicted elsewhere, don't sweat it, Glorantha is full of contradiction and nothing is monolithic. Even clans in Sartar do not all function in the same way.

Another feature of RQG beyond the core book, is how Chaosium is developing the line. They keep it small and local to start with and the adventures they put out support the setting described in the core and add to it in small bites. By playing the adventures in the Quickstart, you already know a bit more about the setting, the Adventure Book in the GM pack focuses on the Colymar Tribe and the city of Clearwine and Runegate. It makes you dive just a bit deeper in the setting while you adventure their. And then The Smoking Ruins and The Pegasus Plateau do similarly.

The Glorantha Sourcebook of the Guide to Glorantha are not needed at any given time. It's just that you want them because they are so awesome. 

Quote

2) what drew me to Runequest Glorantha was the implication of a Sword and Scorcery setting.  Now when I think of Sword and Sorcery I think of Darksun, Stormbringer, Conan. 

Out of the box, as written, Is glorantha that?

I'm not trying to be vague.  I love gritty sword and Sorcery......if that is Glorantha please help me see it because if so.....im jumping in with both feet.

Sword and Sorcery where mysterious magic lurks, dark secrets are hidden, ancient civilizations have fallen and ruins are to be explored for artefact and where death is a distinct possible outcome of any conflict, is my favorite style. Glorantha is my favorite setting and it offers all of that in spades. Add to it the religious and political intrigues and struggles and the setting really comes alive.

Where you might need to adjust your vision of the world is with magic. Compared to the Hyborian Age, Glorantha is a lot more magical. It is a feature but it is easily toned down if you believe it is a bug.

Edited by DreadDomain
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

The Glorantha Sourcebook of the Guide to Glorantha are not needed at any given time. It's just that you want them because they are so awesome.

Yeah, I'd generally agree with this. RQG has a decent overview of the world & setting, and I hope it's enough to go off of for new players. I don't have personal experience as a new player using it, but I feel like the general buzz I hear is that it's successful.

For teaching lore to players, I find it's sometimes successful to just drop a weird-Glorantha-fact bomb on 'em, but to avoid the Deep and Inscrutable Gibberish in general. Something like "Metals are the bones of gods" or "Horses are technically birds" are the sorts of things that screw with players heads and that you also can explain the in-world logic in less than five minutes.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was recently taken to task for the unconformity of my responses in another thread on this very topic...so let me link you to that discussion!

Play the rules at first, see how Passions and Runes and religious Cults let your characters interact with the world in ways that Alignment just doesn't cut it in other games, then course-correct your characters onto the setting as you learn it in more detail (or course-correct the setting to your characters, because it's your game!).

There's a HUGE amount of beautiful, weird, intricate stuff about Glorantha, most of which you and your players may comfortably never encounter, so don't worry about it.

!i!

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gman said:

Hello all,  I really want to love Glorantha but im having a difficult time wrapping my  head around it.  Please help

Welcome! You're not alone :) 

Quote

1) to a new commer it feels impenetrable.   So much depth and history...and that's part of the draw of the setting but also makes it seem impossible to get into...to learn and to teach to players.  Feels like it demands a much higher level of commitment from the players to get the setting than any other setting I have experienced.....perhaps I'm to old now.

I see that you already have the Glorantha Sourcebook and might even have ordered Guide to Glorantha by now. My advice is to not bother too much with those yet. I started getting into Glorantha shortly after those 2 books were out so I also got them pretty early in my discoveries... but I ended up not reading them except for the bits that I needed for my adventures. Basically, I was using them as someone uses Wikipedia to look things up (the PDFs are super useful for that!). Only much later did I start reading more things just for the joy of it.... but as of today I probably have read only 50% of the Sourcebook, and 15% of the Guide.

So I recommend sticking to what the RuneQuest rulebook says at first! Run the Broken Tower scenario from the (free) Quickstart. Or the adventures from the Gamemaster Screen. Act as if this was a brand new game with no history, and get more books later as you're mostly done with the previous ones.

Quote

2) what drew me to Runequest Glorantha was the implication of a Sword and Scorcery setting.  Now when I think of Sword and Sorcery I think of Darksun, Stormbringer, Conan. 

Out of the box, as written, Is glorantha that?

If you want to run Darksun or Stormbringer or Conan, you could, well, do exactly that? As a matter of fact, one of the main designers on RuneQuest is also designer and co-line-editor on Modiphius' Conan 2D20 game (unless that's a different Jason Durall, but I doubt it).

Otherwise, yes I'd say S&S is one of the ways to run adventures in Glorantha.

Quote

I'm not trying to be vague.  I love gritty sword and Sorcery......if that is Glorantha please help me see it because if so.....im jumping in with both feet.

The grittiness will depend as much (or even more!) on the rules system and on the particular GM, than on the setting... but yes, RuneQuest (one of the 3 systems officially supported for playing in Glorantha) was designed from the start to be gritty: swords that shatter on a shield, limbs that get cut off, deadly combats regardless of the characters' experience, etc. And lots and lots of dangerous, magical, and mysterious places, figures, and monsters. This should be right up your alley.

Edited by lordabdul
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Glorantha.

As a newbie myself, I say to you "Talk to the Tribe", read the old books, like Thunder Rebels and Storm Tribe, Read Heroquest Glorantha, and Runequest Gloratha.

I think for me Glorantha isn't about high commitment, its about /feeling/ the setting. Your not walking through a market place-- your walking through  the largest section  the Greand Market in Nochet , the great city of the Goddess Ernalda, and many other Earth Goddesses, where the GrandMother's rule is LAW.

But you're also playting with adorable alynx kittens in a sleepy taven in Nochet, where a man  sends a dog to spoke the little cat and you box his ears for it.

So buy in is how youl ook at it. Glorantha is mythical, so its hazy sometimes. Nothing is purely concreate.

You want to invent a Goddess of the people who heard.. muskoxen-- sure do it ( there is a great thread about the muskox folk on the forums.)

You have to put D&D or conan asside.. you have to think like Studio Ghibli's Miyazaki-- Naussica or Princess Mononoke.. you need to be able to look at the characters and stop and.. breath.

Glorantha is like a Bob Ross Painting (if you do not know him, google Bob Ross, Happy little trees, or the Joy of painting)

There are no mistakes in Glorantha, just new discoveries. Nothing is 'contradicted' so much as shifted in the light to reveal something else- at least to me.

And thats one of the joys of Glorantha perspective, and experience- I haven't played a single game of Glorantha in any system really- but I have a Clan- The Stjarnharda -The Star Hearth clan, which  is a fusion of Lunar, Orlanthi, Grazer--- peoples who normally would be at each others throats, but  these women came together out of need and forged a sisterhood- like a pride of lionesses- who move and work as one.

So Glorantha is all about exploring. Finding new ways out of the old. and dreaming big.

Do not be afraid of it,  read much ,and ask questions no matter how silly they maybe. Or wacky, or unusual.

Glorantha has bad ass ducks-- the DRuluz- as a source of interesting. Yea, think Donald and Daisy duck, only... warriors. If Daisy Duck were Xena- there we go!

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Gman said:

Hello all,  I really want to love Glorantha but im having a difficult time wrapping my  head around it.  Please help

FULL Disclosure: I am hopelessly biased. This is not the first, nor the last time, I have responded to a question like this, and I am all too happy to provide my answer. It makes me recall a favorite movie quote of mine. Right near the end of the movie Almost Famous, musician Russell Hammond is asked “What do you love about music”, to which he replied “To begin with, everything.” That is how I would answer “I really want love Glorantha, please help”, and why I want to provide some help. Here is what I love about Glorantha...

I was introduced to Glorantha in the late 70s, not long after the RQ2 rulebook came out. I mainly played D&D before that, usually in Greyhawk. I loved the poster maps in the World of Greyhawk supplement, but the world itself seemed rather two dimensional to me. It had lots of empires, gods, and heroes, but they were lists of names or places. They all were a convenience for the game and its mechanics, not anything you were tempted to explain or explore. Glorantha can be seen that way as well, but somewhere along the way there’s a subtle mental switch you are encouraged to flip that changes all of that. As you start to read more of Glorantha’s background, almost any aspect of it, it’s similar to what happens in the movie The Wizard of Oz. Everything switches from black and white to color. In Glorantha’s case, very colorful indeed.

The world is more about history, myths, religions, societies, cultures and magic than it is about mechanics and statistics. A large number of games encourage players to write their personal back story, but Glorantha tends to inspire people to write about the world itself. The more that has been written about any Gloranthan topic, the more you can see, appreciate and enjoy its many facets. Empires can be seen as both good and evil. History created winners that also lost, and losers that also won. The creatures often have their own societies, desires, powers and limitations. For example, most Dragons are so powerful that even their dreams create reality. They don’t just sit in a small room (shown on a graph paper map) on top of a pile of treasure. The last time real dragons awoke, their hunger was sated by devouring the largest army ever assembled. Another example is the Trolls. They live in a barely functional society that has been cursed several times by mythical beings, yet they still live to eat, fight amongst themselves, wish to bring back the Greater Darkness, have quirky merchants, motherly priestesses, and berserk warriors. They don’t just wear scale armor and have big axes. Immortal Giants keep growing, and over the centuries they become so set in their ways and slow down to the point that they eventually choose to just sit down and become a mountain. Unable to care for their lively children, they place them in giant cradles and send them down a great river that flows to the ocean, eventually leading them to a great whirlpool that drains into the Underworld. The most prominent moon in the sky, the Red Moon, is there because an almost forgotten goddess was brought back to greatness by Seven Mothers, who fought against the existing deities that ruled the world. When the Red Goddess won, she clutched a great body of land and rose into the sky, forming a Moon that reminds us all that myths make reality if we believe in them enough.

I’ve never played in any other game world that inspires such a large and diverse range of people to write such a vast, and often conflicting, body of work. Over the last 40+ years, the sheer volume of stories, songs, freeforms, scenarios, magazines, websites, discussion groups, and such that have been created to explore and expand it provide an almost overwhelming testament to the creativity and passion Glorantha inspires. The latest burst of creativity on the Jonstown Compendium only strengthens my belief, renewed as it is in this latest generation of newcomers (and some grognards) who share their thoughts and stories with the world.

In the end, the most important question asked, and often asked, is "how to peel back all those layers?. My answer is not meant to be trite, dismissive, or anything other than liberating. Nobody knows all there is about Glorantha, and no one ever will. It is full of contradictions on purpose, sometimes to entice, and sometimes simply to remind us that such is the way of all things. We read and enjoy it via what we take from it. Nothing need be set in stone. The players and those wonderful GMs weave their own stories. The rest is just, well, the rest. That's Glorantha to me. Don't sweat the details. Use what you feel you and your players will enjoy in your game. Everything else has no purpose. Sure, it's possible that someone online might debate with you on how you "play in Glorantha". Chances are, at your table, unless one of the remaining dozen canonical grognards lives within 10 miles of you, no grief comes your way. To be fair, even those grognards are a mighty fun bunch, bless em.

I've been a part of this wonderful community for 40 years. I look forward to the next 40, and more after that.

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gman, I am returning to Runequest after a very long time - although I did make boardgame based on Prax for my gaming group about 10 years ago. I last played RuneQuest as a teenager back in the very early 80’s. Back then with no internet we only had the base game, the two cults books and the material produced for Pavis, Big Rubble and the Borderlands campaign. Returning there is so much information out there it can be a little bewildering… partly it is sorting out what you need to know and what you do not - I agree with what is posted above the core rulebook gives you enough background for quite a while.

I plan on running a game Roll 20 (although getting enough interest has been problematic so far), I can highly recommend Six Seasons in Sartar by Andrew Mongomery – available as part of the Jonstown compendium project. It is an excellent compact campaign setting where the characters begin as adolecents and learn about the world through a series of interesting linked scenarios. I plan on using it as a start for my own campaign and then spread out to the other published materials and my own scenarios.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Gman said:

Hello all,  I really want to love Glorantha but im having a difficult time wrapping my  head around it.  Please help

Don't think of all of Glorantha at once. That is like saying "I want to love Earth history" and then looking at every culture and time in earth.

14 hours ago, Gman said:

1) to a new commer it feels impenetrable.   So much depth and history...and that's part of the draw of the setting but also makes it seem impossible to get into...to learn and to teach to players.  Feels like it demands a much higher level of commitment from the players to get the setting than any other setting I have experienced.....perhaps I'm to old now.

Do it in chunks.

Start is one area and then build on that.

In that area, focus on one clan/village/town/city/culture.

Start very small.

Don't have an hour session where you describe how all the clans link together,l what cults they worship and whose grandfather insulted who back in the day.

Instead, have a few scenarios around the area you have chosen and introduce people, monsters and cults gradually. Tell by Showing, so don't give a history of Orlanth and Stormbull, instead have some Orlanthi Warriors turn up and some Stormbullers and show how they are different.

I have been playing in Glorantha for nearly 40 years (Sob) and I know very little about the West, Kralorela and Pamaltela, as I am not that interested in them. So, not everyone knows about the whole of Glorantha. Pick an area and look at that. The beauty, strength and danger of Glorantha is that it has many layers and depths. You can look at an area and say that it has tribes of animal-riding humans, then you look deeper and deeper, uncovering more and more layers of myths, stories, locations and people. However, you can choose how deep you want to go.

14 hours ago, Gman said:

2) what drew me to Runequest Glorantha was the implication of a Sword and Scorcery setting.  Now when I think of Sword and Sorcery I think of Darksun, Stormbringer, Conan. 

Out of the box, as written, Is glorantha that?

It can be.

Many of the earlier scenarios are along the lines of Solve a mystery, Uncover the Bad Guys, Kill Monsters, avange our Folk and similar. They all fit in well with a Swords and Sorcery style.

A lot of the later scenarios are along the lines of "You belong to a clan and do various things to protect and serve the clan", something that I call Farmer Giles Runequest. It can be good, but I prefer more adventurous scenarios when I am playing.

Having said that, you can run whatever style of scenario you want using RuneQuest and Glorantha,

Our RQ2 and RQ3 Campaigns were glorious, full-on, no holds barred romps through Glorantha, for example.

14 hours ago, Gman said:

I'm not trying to be vague.  I love gritty sword and Sorcery......if that is Glorantha please help me see it because if so.....im jumping in with both feet.

Learn by playing.

Choose an area and start there.

I have a soft spot for Pavis/Prax and there used to be lots of scenarios for that, but Sartar is probably a good place to start nowadays.

As for swords and Sorcery, as an example, I have fond memories of Soltak Stormspear going berserk with two Bastard Swords and cutting his way through a Thed Temple, or similar. We even climbed over the pile of corpses to get over a wall in a temple once and you can't get more S&S than that.

13 hours ago, Kloster said:

3) If you love gritty sword and sorcery, Runequest is the right game, and Glorantha can be the right world.

Yes, RuneQuest does Swords & Sorcery really well.

8 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

As a newbie myself, I say to you "Talk to the Tribe", read the old books, like Thunder Rebels and Storm Tribe, Read Heroquest Glorantha, and Runequest Gloratha.

Yes, talking to the tribe really helps. some of us are helpful, have been around for a long time and still learn new things from talking to people who are encountering RuneQuest/Glorantha for the first time.

These Forums are very helpful and very few people bite.

Ask away and you won't be disappointed.

7 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

FULL Disclosure: I am hopelessly biased.

And Rick is Mr Chausium in the same way that Jeff is Mr RuneQuest, or Mr Glorantha. Rick liked it so much that he bought the company.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ignore the modern stuff, find the RQ3 stuff and start in Pavis, it's much more a S&S setting and has a wealth of scenarios and an easily understandable world and timeline.

I agree, Glorantha now feels overwhelming, but these settings and scenarios, written for a less involved style will really help.

Stuff Like
River of Cradles

Shadows on the Borderland

Strangers in Prax

Sun County

Should set you up with loads to do til you feel at home in the world, these will take you further afield, and tell you more about the world in general.

Snake Pipe Hollow. For high level adventures

Lords of Terror The gods the bad guys worship and how Chaos (evil) fits into the world.

God of Glorantha. Deities from around the world and the mythic history.

Gloranthan Bestiary. Creatures and peoples from around the world.

Glorantha: Genertela, Crucible of the Hero Wars   Different lands of the Northern Continent.

Elder Secrets of Glorantha  What's what about the three main (and other minor) Non-Human Races.

Griffin Mountain. Classic adventures in a primitive land.

 

There is some great stuff from RQ 2 that has been reprinted and loads of other stuff out there to find if you want.

Finally, avoid coming here if you want a short answer to anything, or indeed a simple one.


And last but by no means least, the introductory scenario

Apple Lane.

Forgive the chaoticness of my links. Not organised enough.


 




 

Edited by Orlanthatemyhamster
simplification and Apple Lane added.
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Gman said:

1) to a new commer it feels impenetrable.  

I think we're used to RPGs that have common tropes and concepts with a new gloss on them and so it seems easier to engage with them. 

Other people have mentioned it but it bears repeating, the best thing to do is start with small pieces. I flip through material until something catches my eye and then I focus on that and explore. Find a part of the setting that appeals to you and then claim it and make it your own.

Quote

2) what drew me to Runequest Glorantha was the implication of a Sword and Scorcery setting.  Now when I think of Sword and Sorcery I think of Darksun, Stormbringer, Conan. 

Out of the box, as written, Is glorantha that?

Well it is really whatever you want it to be or what your group wants. There are implications inherent in the setting (runes, magic, gods) but how a party works in that setting is really up to you. 

Pavis and the Big Rubble are a great place to look for S&S ideas and probably an easier fit for that type of gaming than Sartar so you might want to start there. 

You can also keep things simple with just a few gods and cults and then expand as you get more comfortable with the material.

Edited by Zac
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I, and my entire generation, had it easy. When we started playing RuneQuest, we were barely aware that Glorantha was even a thing. We were just playing a cool game that was different to D&D in so many ways, you had all this low level magic that everyone had, and while the spells weren't as cool and awesome as the D&D spells, they were easy to use and you could use them tactically rather than strategically.

Gradually, we became aware of the cults like Humakt and Yelmalio and Orlanth, and then the wider world like Prax, Pavis, and Esrolia.

Nowadays, there's that humongous two-volume Guide to Glorantha, plus the Glorantha Sourcebook, and RQG almost forces you to immerse yourself in the world before you've had a chance to figure out whether you even like the game system. Don't get me wrong, I love RQG for that, but I'm looking from the other side of a wide valley.

So my only advice - like many of those above me - is start small. Muck about, have fun, kill some trolls/broo/bandits/ducks/banditducks and take their stuff, and wear dark glasses to protect yourself from the unbearable brightness of the wide world. Maybe RuneQuest is a game system that you will grow to love, maybe not. Maybe Glorantha is a world that you will grow to love, maybe not. Good luck, and always save MP for healing.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW....Im pleasantly overwhelmed by all of the helpful responses.......just.....WOW.

 

Thanks so much to everyone.....i had no idea so many people would reply with helpful advice.  Several people have expressed starting small and expanding from there....check

 

Several have explained that Pavis and Prax may be more S&S so I think I will try to start there.

 

Several links to articles of which I will read all of them...thank you for those links.

 

Many people suggest that Glorantha (depending on gm style) can be dark gritty S&S....thats very encouraging.  Thanks for that.

 

I have a ton of research to conduct now.  Thanks very much for the guidance.

 

 

 

Quick side question.  BRP is by far my favorite rule system (I run quite a bit of CoC) and I really like the mechanics I have read of RQG.  With that said are there optional rules to run combat like Stormbringer.......should I need to speed combat up? I hope that question is not sacrilege.

 

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

In the end, the most important question asked, and often asked, is "how to peel back all those layers?. My answer is not meant to be trite, dismissive, or anything other than liberating. Nobody knows all there is about Glorantha, and no one ever will. It is full of contradictions on purpose, sometimes to entice, and sometimes simply to remind us that such is the way of all things. We read and enjoy it via what we take from it. Nothing need be set in stone. The players and those wonderful GMs weave their own stories. The rest is just, well, the rest. That's Glorantha to me. Don't sweat the details. Use what you feel you and your players will enjoy in your game. Everything else has no purpose. Sure, it's possible that someone online might debate with you on how you "play in Glorantha". Chances are, at your table, unless one of the remaining dozen canonical grognards lives within 10 miles of you, no grief comes your way. To be fair, even those grognards are a mighty fun bunch, bless em.

Hear hear.

A newcomer may be best served by sharing what drew them to Glorantha and it's game systems, and then what kind of game they are interested in playing and how deep they like to dive in learning about the setting. All of us then can pick and choose what we recommend based on those interests.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ffilz said:

A newcomer may be best served by sharing what drew them to Glorantha and it's game systems, and then what kind of game they are interested in playing and how deep they like to dive in learning about the setting. All of us then can pick and choose what we recommend based on those interests.

Why don't I do that, then? I was probably about twelve or thirteen years old: the legends are unclear. I'd been playing some sort of D&D since my last year at primary school (in the Spring of 1979 -- I was ten years old, then: my form teacher had started us playing before the AD&D 1e Dungeon Master's Guide was out). After a few years, I was getting annoyed at the racist deficiencies baked into its class + level + alignment system (and forty years later, the world is catching up with me), so RuneQuest came as a breath of fresh air: its monsters all had stats, skills, cults, ranks and motivations, just like the adventurers did!

But what really sold me on Glorantha (as opposed to RuneQuest) was William Church's beautiful maps at the back of the RQ2 rulebook, and the way the places shown on them were referenced from the monster descriptions (and, later, Cults of Prax cult writeups). Over time I appreciated William's contribution to Glorantha more and more - the "Dark Troll Jokes" and "Famous Places" in Wyrms Footprints, above all the counter illustrations for Dragon Pass and Nomad Gods. But it was that quirky, simple humour, the mix of magical awesomeness (the Block! Stormwalk Mountain!) with cutesy cartoonishness (the way a brutal troll assault is depicted on the cover of Apple Lane), and the way everything could tie back to his maps, that first made me love Glorantha.

I assumed there was some obscure fiction about Glorantha by this "Greg Stafford" guy, probably short stories published in American pulp magazines I'd likely never get to see, but that's OK: other SF&F authors' work was slowly coming back into print (at this point teenage me was avidly scouring bookshops and library shelves for Moorcock, Leiber, Niven, etc. in the same way I'd later be ransacking American second-hand bookshops for Cabell & Vance), I'm sure eventually Stafford's stuff would too, and in the meantime you could get a feel for it from gaming conversions in White Dwarf articles* or books like Gods, Demigods & Heroes. I did not know that the only significant Gloranthan source in print before RuneQuest had been White Bear & Red Moon & Nomad Gods and it was still several years before my first game of Dragon Pass.

And then I read Greg's Cosmology & History articles in Cults of Terror, and after that there was no turning back. I had always enjoyed the fragments of ancient chronicles used for scene-setting and set-dressing in sword & sorcery stories (e.g. Moorcock's High History of the Runestaff and Chronicles of the Black Sword, Howard's "Know then, O Prince..." introductions to Conan stories), and here was what one of those would look like as a coherent, end-to-(open)-end narrative, with our unlikely adventurers turning up at the end, ready to bestride the continent of Genertela like colossi and tread the jeweled thrones of Argrath and Moonson under their sandalled feet. 

I was hooked. I met Greg in London in 1985, in Dublin in 1991. And the rest is history. (Literally so, thanks to Shannon)

* obligatory "This was back when White Dwarf was a proper gaming magazine" reference.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

I know the "Be a Sartarite youth..." paragraph from this 1978 Chaosium ad is what hooked my great friend Chris Gidlow...

Tut-tut on the glorification of the slave trade, but remarkably forward-thinking in 1978 to assume that players would aspire to become high priestesses.

I think I may have seen the second generation of this advertisement in 1979, possibly alongside an ad for Empire of the Petal Throne. The two were intertwined in my early RPG memories.

!i!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Gman said:

Quick side question.  BRP is by far my favorite rule system (I run quite a bit of CoC) and I really like the mechanics I have read of RQG.  With that said are there optional rules to run combat like Stormbringer.......should I need to speed combat up? I hope that question is not sacrilege.

RQG is not BRP, although it has the same roots. BRP is a mix of Stormbringer and Call of Cthulhu, with a bit of RQ3 thrown in, whereas RQG is a mix of RQ2 and RQ3 with extended and amended rules.

Antiparry is a big deal, if you have a skill more than 100% and your opponent doesn't the fight tends not to last very long. That is why Fanaticism and Berserker were so useful in RQ2 and in RQG.

It is possible to have a slugfest, where two well-armoured and equally matched opponents spend 20 rounds in a combat. It can be sped up, if everyone knows what they are doing. But people who spend minutes working out their next move only to do the same as last round, or who shake their dice in their hands for 30 seconds before rolling, then pause and do it again, slow combat down.

You could include the Combat Effects from Mythras or Revolution, to speed up combat, it works if you restrict the choices and have them on a Special or a Critical.

But hitting first and reducing the opponent's parry/dodge chance is a good way of finishing combat quickly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Oddly enough emancipation wasn't a massive issue in the RW Bronze Age. 😞

As we regularly remind ourselves, Glorantha is not the real world and does not map to the real world in either cultural or technological development. An important thing to love about Glorantha!

Enjoy your stirrups, sir!

3 hours ago, soltakss said:

But people who spend minutes working out their next move only to do the same as last round, or who shake their dice in their hands for 30 seconds before rolling, then pause and do it again, slow combat down.

This, more than anything.  I've read the suggestion of using a chess clock or sand glass, but never seen it employed in play. Often, there's a savant or volunteer at the table with modifiers memorised, pages indexed and tabbed, and a demeanor that few wish to cross who'll bark out target numbers in an effort to move things along. Long story short, knowing the rules and not dithering will keep play moving.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...