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Realmprotector

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Get the Slipcase set first.  It's likely everything you need to get started.

The Sourcebook will take your understanding of the mytho-historic backgrounds of the primary warring parties -- the Lunar Empire and the Kingdom of Sartar -- up by a notch or two, or more.  Solidly recommended, but not essential to begin.

The Guide is an encyclopedic world gazetteer, often described as "the view from 30,000 feet."  It's for the ardent Gloranthaphile.  It is probably the single most impressive RPG supplement ever made, for any game.  ALSO recommended, but it can be more than a bit daunting to approach...

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41 minutes ago, g33k said:

Get the Slipcase set first.  It's likely everything you need to get started.

The Sourcebook will take your understanding of the mytho-historic backgrounds of the primary warring parties -- the Lunar Empire and the Kingdom of Sartar -- up by a notch or two, or more.  Solidly recommended, but not essential to begin.

The Guide is an encyclopedic world gazetteer, often described as "the view from 30,000 feet."  It's for the ardent Gloranthaphile.  It is probably the single most impressive RPG supplement ever made, for any game.  ALSO recommended, but it can be more than a bit daunting to approach...

The Guide is waaaaaay too much for anyone who is just starting out.

Great for reference but not good as an introduction.

 

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4 minutes ago, John Biles said:

The Guide is waaaaaay too much for anyone who is just starting out.

Great for reference but not good as an introduction.

Seconded. I have the Guide, but it's more a writer's reference than a thing I use while gaming. Once in a while I'll drag it out for a map or a picture.

@Realmprotector I'd suggest going ahead with just the slipcase set. If you find you want to know more after reading/playing through that material, the Glorantha Sourcebook is a good next step (namely because it's actually readable). I think a better next step would be more game materials, like The Smoking Ruin or The Pegasus Plateau. I personally prefer the latter.

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17 minutes ago, Crel said:

I think a better next step would be more game materials, like The Smoking Ruin or The Pegasus Plateau. I personally prefer the latter.

For getting underway, I would second this.  Slipcase set will give you 3 starting scenarios.  Either The Smoking Ruin or The Pegasus Plateau will expand the immediate surroundings for your game and give you more scenarios to work with.  If you're enjoying that, the the Glorantha Sourcebook will get you deeper into the world immediately around including more background on both Sartar and the Lunar Empire.  

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Echoing comments earlier, the Sourcebook is more suitable for people new to Glorantha.

The Guide is excellent, but is so full of material that it can be daunting. It is a great reference, though.

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4 hours ago, jajagappa said:

For getting underway, I would second this.  Slipcase set will give you 3 starting scenarios.  Either The Smoking Ruin or The Pegasus Plateau will expand the immediate surroundings for your game and give you more scenarios to work with.  If you're enjoying that, the the Glorantha Sourcebook will get you deeper into the world immediately around including more background on both Sartar and the Lunar Empire.  

The RQ Quickstart scenario "The Broken Tower" is also well worth picking up (it's a free PDF download on that page, or $10 in print).

And, seconding what everyone else has said: the Guide to Glorantha is useful when you are deep into Glorantha, but the Glorantha Sourcebook will be a much better bet when you're starting out. If you know you want the Guide, get it; if you're not certain, it can wait.

And note that both the Guide and the Sourcebook are systemless - they won't add anything RuneQuest-specific, but they'll vastly increase your knowledge of the setting.

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Do you enjoy Osprey military history books?  Who doesn't?  The Guide to Glorantha leans heavily in that direction -- the full page art plates are especially reminiscent of the Men at Arms series, in all the best ways possible.  Like the Osprey books, it'll add to your enjoyment of gaming in general, but isn't directly applicable by way of mechanics.

The Glorantha Sourcebook expands on much of the setting material presented in the core rulebook (which is already surprisingly comprehensive), placing it in a much broader and worldwide context.  Some material is duplicated, but I don't think I've yet seen a genuine complaint on that issue.  Still not essential, but a distillation of much goodness that may add to your enjoyment of the more specific setting you're playing in.

The discussion of scenarios goes beyond what you were asking -- the topic of "How Do I Get Started Gaming in Glorantha" has been covered in several other recent threads.  All good suggestions, though, for cost-effective alternatives for getting started playing a game and not reading about it.

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