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new to glorantha, reading/canon advice?


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so! i've been dimly aware of runequest/glorantha for decades and recently picked up all ofthe current edition materials and 'stafford"s library' volumes.

next up will be the 'classics' line but, after that, it all gets a bit intimidating.

what previous edition(or 'heroquest,' 'herowars,' etc.) do folks find essential reading for glorantha and its overall narrative and culture(s?)

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31 minutes ago, littlewitchmaus said:

so! i've been dimly aware of runequest/glorantha for decades and recently picked up all ofthe current edition materials and 'stafford"s library' volumes.

next up will be the 'classics' line but, after that, it all gets a bit intimidating.

what previous edition(or 'heroquest,' 'herowars,' etc.) do folks find essential reading for glorantha and its overall narrative and culture(s?)

What you should buy/read is IMHO:

a) Follow the Chaosium article numbers CHA 4025 - ... + 4500

b) follow the RQ Classic line, aka CHA 4001 - 4024

c) Try to get buy Avalon Hills RQ3 books of the RQ聽Renaissance (Sun County, Strangers in Prax, Shadow on the Borderlands, Dorastor,, Lords of Terror) for a reasonable price.聽

d) Get some of the Jonstown Compendium titles from Drivethru (Sandheart 1 - 3, Armies & Enemies of Dragon Pass, Six Seasons in Sartar, The Company of the Dragon, The Rough Guide to Glamour, Legions, ...).聽

If you have all of that and STILL want more: ask again. 馃槈

Edited by AndreJarosch
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31 minutes ago, littlewitchmaus said:

so! i've been dimly aware of runequest/glorantha for decades and recently picked up all ofthe current edition materials and 'stafford"s library' volumes

You have the Guide to Glorantha,聽Glorantha Sourcebook, and King of Sartar聽(on sale too!)

and read this (from the horse's mouth):

https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/gloranthan-documents/glorantha-2/references-for-glorantha-2021/

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43 minutes ago, littlewitchmaus said:

next up will be the 'classics' line but, after that, it all gets a bit intimidating.

what previous edition(or 'heroquest,' 'herowars,' etc.) do folks find essential reading for glorantha and its overall narrative and culture(s?)

As David noted above, if you have the Guide to Glorantha,聽Glorantha Sourcebook, and King of Sartar then you've got the core works on narrative and culture.聽 The Stafford Library is deep background on a number of topics, but not necessarily essential reading.聽 Some (e.g. Entekosiad) can get very esoteric.

Out of the HeroQuest line, Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and Sartar Companion are good background on Sartar (but expect to be replaced by the upcoming RQG Sartar work).聽 Pavis: Gateway to Adventure has a lot of overlap with the RQ Classic Pavis/Big Rubble books, though with different scenarios.聽 For good detail of a tribe, see The Coming Storm and its scenario companion The Eleven Lights.聽 Generally, I'd ignore anything earlier as there were a lot of weird tangents in the early HW/HQ content that have been superseded.

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I strongly, strongly suggest reading the Glorantha Sourcebook before reading any of the Stafford Library books. It will save you a ton of headaches. Unless you enjoy the headaches, which I admit I kinda did, but hey.聽

I also strongly suggest reading the聽Prince of Sartar Webcomic, which is still, in my opinion, the ultimate entry-point to Glorantha. Reading it in conjunction with the Sourcebook will provide a really solid footing. As an actual narrative piece of media, it feels a lot more concrete and grounded, and easy to follow than most other Glorantha media. The artwork also helps giving you a mental image of both how mundane and mystical stuff looks.

After those two聽you're honestly mostly equipped to look into anything.聽

The Guide provides a bird's eye view of the world, with lots of big-picture stuff, but don't get too bogged down in the minutiae the first time you read it. Much of it is more geared towards being a handy reference source. It has great sections on all the widespread culture groups and non-human races, as well as overviews of the geographical regions, and a bunch of other stuff.

The King of Sartar book is the start of the esoterica, and it should prime you for how history in Glorantha is deliberately obtuse, conflicting and unresolved. The rest of the Stafford Library kinda follows that ethos, to varying degrees (at least the ones I've read, I haven't gotten all of them yet.). The keywords are narrative bias and subjectivity. Once you grok that, any inconsistencies are more like fun mysteries than anything to be frustrated by.

I can't speak to the others, as I am unfortunately not much of a gamer.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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The聽Sourcebook聽is a good start. The聽Guide聽maybe isn鈥檛 the聽best start (it鈥檚聽more like an encyclopedia, great for reference but perhaps not something you just read through as an introduction), but you鈥檙e going to want it anyway.

I鈥檓 a huge fan of Storm Tribe and Thunder Rebels on the聽HW/HQ side and think The Eleven Lights is one of the best Glorantha creations聽of all time, but be aware they鈥檙e聽no longer considered canonical, in case that matters for you.

Edited by Akh么rahil
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5 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

d) Get some of the Jonstown Compendium titles from Drivethru (Armies & Enemies of Dragon Pass).

This one (and its sequel Men of the West), if you are interested in the military side of things. They are not canon, but they respect canon as much as they can and the author used a lot of sources to write them, several of which not so easy to find.

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6 hours ago, littlewitchmaus said:

so! i've been dimly aware of runequest/glorantha for decades and recently picked up all ofthe current edition materials and 'stafford"s library' volumes.

If you haven't already, grab the Glorantha Sourcebook.
If you want the deep dive (and it sounds like you do) then you want the massive 2-volume Guide to Glorantha.

Both of those are pure lore/fluff -- they have no game mechanics at all.

Be aware that the聽Stafford Library material has a bunch of self-contradictory content, with "facts" presented from聽in-world / in-character POV's -- including聽in-character biases, blind spots, etc!聽 This needs to be read with as much the perspective of a historian & anthropologist, as a gamer...聽 And, this too has no game content.

RQ Classic -- the core game -- actually has startlingly-little Gloranthan content & lore.聽 Cults of Prax and Cults of Terror have a LOT more (or get the omnibus-plus-more Cult Compendium); this is where the game-world really "came alive" for many of the grognards, back in the day.

Due to licensing wierdness, "RuneQuest" and "Glorantha" were separated for a while.聽 In this interregnum, Greg Stafford worked with Robin Laws to create a new Glorantha RPG; it was titled Hero Wars.聽 Later editions were titled HeroQuest; and now the line is called QuestWorlds.聽 From this branch of Glorantha, particularly noteworthy are:聽 Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and Sartar Companion; Coming Storm and Eleven Lights; and the freebie "HeroQuest Voices" --聽https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/catalogue/publishers/issaries/fiction-reference/heroquest-voices/

But before all this --聽before Glorantha had a RPG -- it was a board game!聽 And the material from that game is STILL a foundational document聽for today's setting.聽 For this, you want the Nomad Gods rule-book (back in print, PDF only AFAIK; however, rumor says Chaosium intends to revamp/republish both the Dragon-Pass (White Bear / Red Moon) and Prax (Nomad Gods) wargames.).

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29 minutes ago, littlewitchmaus said:

thanks to everyone who replied and i think i have my next few purchases planned out.

Well, 'Welcome to Wally World'! 馃榿

As you can see, we try to be helpful around here. There is a collective brain jar of old grognards [self very much included] willing to discuss ad nauseum any questions you may have.

As you start reading into the wonders of Glorantha and RQ, just remember two very important things:

- Rule One: Maximum Game Fun. Don't let 'canon this' or 'no longer canon' that get in the way of a good adventure.

- No milieu ever written has survived contact with player characters intact. It's YOUR Glorantha now, so do your thing and have a ball with it.

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The Sourcebook is great.聽 IMHO, someone could run a lot of solid games and have a handle on the setting with that and the RQG slipcase trio (GM-screen, Beastiary, core rules).聽 If your goal is to run and play games in the heart of the setting, that'd be plenty for you.聽聽

The more you want to really do deep dives that border on academic research on the setting, including setting games in other times & places, then that's when you go for the other stuff.

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21 hours ago, littlewitchmaus said:

so! i've been dimly aware of runequest/glorantha for decades and recently picked up all ofthe current edition materials and 'stafford"s library' volumes.

next up will be the 'classics' line but, after that, it all gets a bit intimidating.

what previous edition(or 'heroquest,' 'herowars,' etc.) do folks find essential reading for glorantha and its overall narrative and culture(s?)

I'll just give you the same advice I give to anyone writing for us. Start with the Glorantha Sourcebook, RQ Core Rules, RQG Bestiary,聽and the GM Pack. Grab the RQ2 Pavis, Troll Pack, and Borderlands. If you want to get a feel for the whole lozenge, get the Guide to Glorantha. Get really excited about the Cults Book and the Sartar Book that should be out later this year (at least in PDF) - those obviate the need to read Cults of Prax, Cults of Terror, and a host of other books. If I really wanted to understand the engine of the setting, I'd get a copy of White Bear & Red Moon (also called Dragon Pass) and Nomad Gods, or at least wait excitedly until we rerelease them both.

And that's really it. If you want to run a few "dungeon-crawling"聽adventures, grab Snakepipe Hollow and Big Rubble from RQ2. And the RQ3 Dorastor Book and Sun County are also worth grabbing.聽But really there is nothing I'd consider essential reading.聽

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46 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Get really excited about the Cults Book and the Sartar Book that should be out later this year (at least in PDF)

Ugh, finally! I've waiting the first one for years; the second one didn't seem so important to me until I learned that it would cover the Later Hero Wars (that's an exciting first) and that it would replace SToK and its companion. Is it really going to be a complete guide to Sartar AND a Boy King/Great Pendragon Campaign style book to boot? How long it's going to be? (because that sounds like a reaally big book).

Edited by Thoror
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2 hours ago, Thoror said:

Ugh, finally! I've waiting the first one for years; the second one didn't seem so important to me until I learned that it would cover the Later Hero Wars (that's an exciting first) and that it would replace SToK and its companion. Is it really going to be a complete guide to Sartar AND a Boy King/Great Pendragon Campaign style book to boot? How long it's going to be? (because that sounds like a reaally big book).

I think, there is a misunderstanding. The Sartar Book (Box?) will be a guide to Sartar only. The Sartar Campaign (which is kind of an equivalent to the Boy King/Great Pendragon Campaign for Pendragon) will be a completely different product.

At least, that's how I understand, what I have read here so far. Could well be, that I'm wrong.

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i have the 'cults of terror' book (surprised myself by finding it in a box of old 'paranoia' stuff and have no recollection of getting it!) so the notion of a big cults book for the new edition is very exciting!

i've got the two 'red cow' books coming my way, now, and hope to get the 'classics' volumes, soon.

as far as 'academic vs. fun' i definitely lean toward the latter and see exploring glorantha from that direction as a hobby in itself (although i'm already drafting up a series of adventures for some troll characters.)

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2 hours ago, Oracle said:

I think, there is a misunderstanding. The Sartar Book (Box?) will be a guide to Sartar only. The Sartar Campaign (which is kind of an equivalent to the Boy King/Great Pendragon Campaign for Pendragon) will be a completely different product.

At least, that's how I understand, what I have read here so far. Could well be, that I'm wrong.

Oh, that makes sense. Thanks!

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