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Worlds of Wonder/Questworld


RSDean

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For various reasons I am noodling around some ideas for non-D&D fantasy and have been wondering whether anyone used the Magic World from Worlds of Wonder or Questworld (1982)?  

It’s probably heresy here, but I came in at RQ3 in ~1984/5, and was more interested in doing “fantasy Byzantines” than Glorantha.  I bought BRP in ~2009 after an RPG hiatus but got distracted by my son’s sports and didn’t do anything with it at the time.

Anyway, vintage non-Gloranthan RuneQuest/BRP…any fans?

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41 minutes ago, RSDean said:

For various reasons I am noodling around some ideas for non-D&D fantasy and have been wondering whether anyone used the Magic World from Worlds of Wonder or Questworld (1982)?  

No, I haven't used it, but it could work as a very basic Fantasy system.

42 minutes ago, RSDean said:

It’s probably heresy here, but I came in at RQ3 in ~1984/5, and was more interested in doing “fantasy Byzantines” than Glorantha.  I bought BRP in ~2009 after an RPG hiatus but got distracted by my son’s sports and didn’t do anything with it at the time.

I have just used RuneQuest in other settings, and it works fine.

 

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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With BRP 2008 you have everything that was in Worlds of Wonder and more. It's a fine starting point for homebrew fantasy. If I were to do homebrew fantasy now I'd probably start from BRP's generic character generation and then import in stuff from the latest edition of RuneQuest, such as passions, some kind of runes/ traits depending on the setting,  and the magic system. 

And then usually someone pops up in these threads to suggest Mythras. They're right. It's a fine game. Personally, however, I'd rather play something like BRP+RQG.

 

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On 1/23/2023 at 1:27 AM, RSDean said:

For various reasons I am noodling around some ideas for non-D&D fantasy and have been wondering whether anyone used the Magic World from Worlds of Wonder or Questworld (1982)?  

It’s probably heresy here, but I came in at RQ3 in ~1984/5, and was more interested in doing “fantasy Byzantines” than Glorantha.  I bought BRP in ~2009 after an RPG hiatus but got distracted by my son’s sports and didn’t do anything with it at the time.

Anyway, vintage non-Gloranthan RuneQuest/BRP…any fans?

Unfortunately, I never played the original Magic World but since you have the BGB and RQ3 (I am assuming you still have them), you have everything you need to hack vintage Magic World if required.

For a homebrew fantasy game, I would personally choose and mix from one of these BRP flavors: the BGB for maximum hackability, Magic World (the generic Elric!/Stormbringer), RuneQuest 3 (the generic RuneQuest) or Mythras (the modernized but somewhat unrecognizable RQ3). 

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On 1/22/2023 at 4:27 PM, RSDean said:

For various reasons I am noodling around some ideas for non-D&D fantasy and have been wondering whether anyone used the Magic World from Worlds of Wonder or Questworld (1982)?  

It’s probably heresy here, but I came in at RQ3 in ~1984/5, and was more interested in doing “fantasy Byzantines” than Glorantha.  I bought BRP in ~2009 after an RPG hiatus but got distracted by my son’s sports and didn’t do anything with it at the time.

Anyway, vintage non-Gloranthan RuneQuest/BRP…any fans?

I started playing RuneQuest 3 around 1989. I tried to play in Glorantha, but I was very disappointed by my inability to understand that universe correctly.

But I was in love with the RQ3 rules, so I created my own universe, based on the 3 magic systems and the archetypal civilisations that were portrayed in the character creation chapter.

RQ3 is not my favourite incarnation of the game anymore, but it was an important part of my gaming experience in the 90s.

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Sorry to have dropped a thread starter and run off, but it’s been quite a week at my job…

To be a little clearer about the context, I have the BGB and Magic World (2012) on my shelf.  Somewhere along the way, I also picked up a reprint copy of RQ2 out of curiosity, since I’d never owned it. I’d given away my RQ3 stuff around the turn of the century to some kids who were in an active campaign, but ended up with a free copy of the stripped down Avalon Hill Standard Edition one of my club members was disposing of.  I thought it might be nice to have that on my shelf, since I flirt with the idea of BRP every once in a while, but I opened it up and saw that it varied considerably from what I had remembered.  The the plague hit and there wasn’t much to do except shop online 🤪, so I tracked down an intact RQ3 Deluxe Edition box, like the one I had had.  I looked at that and was amazed that I had ever thought myself up to running something so crunchy…

So, here we are in 2023, and I’m reading through a description of Drakar och Demoner, and start wondering what the 1982 Magic World in my long-ago-sold-off copy of Worlds of Wonder had looked like, so I invested some Christmas money in a nice copy, which arrived a couple of weeks ago. Now 2023 Rob is attracted to the idea of short rules and limited palettes for creative projects, but also has an unfortunate usually-dormant collector gene.  So when I wandered down to my FLGS and found that their used/vintage shelf had crispy new copies of RQ3 Griffin Island and Vikings, they came home with me, and I rounded out this acquisition spree with a copy of Questworld and the reprint of the Gateway Bestiary for good measure. If I want to make a homebrew BRP fantasy stew, those are the resources that I have.  With the BGB and Magic World in pdf, I could presumably knock together a player quick reference sheet without having to retype everything.

A better statement of my original question, I suppose, would be whether a minimalist game based just on 1982 materials would be fun for a while, or whether I would be longing for hit locations, single-percent skill increments, and other embellishments from the rest of the potential source material before the characters got out of the door of the sketchy tavern where the mysterious hooded figure had handed them a quest…?

 

 

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Looks like you have what you need to go off adventuring in fantasy.

My edition of Drakar och Demoner had one kind of magician with what I would call somewhat overpowered Battle Magic, quite appropriate for a setting where fewer characters know magic.

For a game of RQ3 Vikings I would stick with the RQ2 arsenal of magic styles, with wizards left to the opposition, or as the weird hired guy.

Hit locations are sort of fun, and not that much additional overhead once you get used to them. 

If I were to create a D100 game these days, I would probably use broad skills (maybe break up the RQ skill categories once or twice) and allow those to be trained to 75%, and specializations thereof to be broken out of that (rising when the broad skill rises) and gaining their own skill checks (against broad skill plus specialization). 

Learning speed depends on what you are happy with. Too high skills need rules for skills above 100%, which usually skews the game badly, like e.g. RQG.

Sketchy tavern - how did your adventurers get past the door man? "We don't serve that kind..."

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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On 1/22/2023 at 10:27 AM, RSDean said:

For various reasons I am noodling around some ideas for non-D&D fantasy and have been wondering whether anyone used the Magic World from Worlds of Wonder

I've used the original Magic World. It's okay, but it really is just a trimmed down version of RQ. When I ran it we always ended up porting the characters over to RuneQuest or Stormbringer both of which had more robust game systems, and saved me the trouble of reinventing things that existed in other BRP games  I wanted to flesh out Magic World.

. Original Magic World Magic was also a bit overpowered, with some spells doing 1D6 damage per magic point. Pretty much any other fantasy RPG from Chaosium would be a step up from the WoW Magic World, so I'd suggest going with something else. The BRP BGB is an upgrade from WoW MAgic World, as is the current Magic World (basically  the Elric/Stormbringer game system without the Moorcock stuff). 

On 1/22/2023 at 10:27 AM, RSDean said:

or Questworld (1982)?  

Questworld was just an open game world to use with the RuneQuest rule system, as an alternate to Glorantha, and one which third party writers could have a bit more say in how the world worked that they could have in Glorantha. Most writers couldn't just pop new species, cults and cultures into Glorantha, but they could (and should) do so in Questworld.Other that the new world it had a couple of new cults and some adventures, all very compatible with Glorantha if desired.

 

Overall Questworld was a good idea but came out at the wrong time. A year later RQ3 came out and made Questworld both moot and obsolete, as RQ3 wasn't tied to Glorantha the way RQ2 was, and had multiple settings.

 

On 1/22/2023 at 10:27 AM, RSDean said:

It’s probably heresy here, but I came in at RQ3 in ~1984/5, and was more interested in doing “fantasy Byzantines” than Glorantha.  I bought BRP in ~2009 after an RPG hiatus but got distracted by my son’s sports and didn’t do anything with it at the time.

You are not alone. THat are a few of us who like RQ, especially RQ3 as a game system for settings other than Glorantha. 

 

On 1/22/2023 at 10:27 AM, RSDean said:

Anyway, vintage non-Gloranthan RuneQuest/BRP…any fans?

Yup, but not as many of us around here as there used to be. The powers that be have decided to go in another direction with the rules and RQ3 is mostly dead. 

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4 hours ago, RSDean said:

So, here we are in 2023, and I’m reading through a description of Drakar och Demoner, and start wondering what the 1982 Magic World in my long-ago-sold-off copy of Worlds of Wonder had looked like,

It looked pretty short. It was 16 pages I believe and added to the original 16 page BRP rulebook. So in that 16 pages it had character creation, gear, prices, magic system, species and monster stats, plus an intro adventure. You really didn't get that much, although they did cram about as much as they could into a 16 page book. Overall that was the problem with Worlds of Wonder. Great ideas for expanding upon the RQ/BRP system to other settings, but limited by the space available. That's probably why Viking World was cut from WoW and instead was expanded and released as RQ3's Vikings!

 

4 hours ago, RSDean said:

A better statement of my original question, I suppose, would be whether a minimalist game based just on 1982 materials would be fun for a while, or whether I would be longing for hit locations, single-percent skill increments, and other embellishments from the rest of the potential source material before the characters got out of the door of the sketchy tavern where the mysterious hooded figure had handed them a quest…?

It could be fun for awhile. In my experience, after a month or so we started longing for stuff from other BRP games to flesh things out. Not so much hit locations and such, but more things like skill training, higher quality weapons, more species and monster stats, splitting off STR and SIZ for NPCs (Magic World combined them into one stat for NPCS and monsters). Category modifiers were a bit thing for us as well, since without them characteristics don't mean as much. 

 

The good thing was that is is fairly easy to port over characters from Magic World to another BRP game system. Generally speaking,  the characteristics and skills are the same and port over directly. You might have to convert INT and SIZ there was a conversion table with RQ3) to adapt from 3D6 to 2D6+6, and the shift from CHA to APP but otherwise it's pretty much the same stats, and you don't feel like you lost something in translation they way you might with other game system conversions. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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On 1/27/2023 at 11:57 AM, RSDean said:

So it would be reasonable to play with it for a while, and then add stuff if anyone in the group wanted to continue…?

Yeah, pretty much. The magic might be a bit overpowered as a wizard can pretty much fry anything with a 5-6 point spell, but it works.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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10 hours ago, MacDhomnuill said:

Magic world is a solid medium magic games by itself,

Which Magic World?

The original post was about the short booklet that came as part of the Worlds of Wonder boxed set back in the 80s, not the current 250+ page game.

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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On 1/27/2023 at 2:49 PM, Joerg said:

RQ skill categories once or twice) and allow those to be trained to 75%, and specializations thereof to be broken out of that (rising when the broad skill rises) and gaining their own skill checks (against broad skill plus specialization). 

Broad skills and specializations for me too. No idea on the details of the experience system, though. I could perhaps arbitrarily rule that the skill can only increase through experience and specializations through training or vice-versa, just to avoid cases like when a character had 3 different uses of a particular skill but with different specialties. I don't want hip to get 3 increases of his skill after one adventure.

Edited by Mugen
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On 1/27/2023 at 11:48 AM, RSDean said:

...

A better statement of my original question, I suppose, would be whether a minimalist game based just on 1982 materials would be fun for a while, or whether I would be longing for hit locations, single-percent skill increments, and other embellishments from the rest of the potential source material before the characters got out of the door of the sketchy tavern where the mysterious hooded figure had handed them a quest…?

Whilst I think original WoW Magic World would prove a bit limited fairly rapidly, and in play its magic system I find clunky, I think a big part of the enduring appeal of the WoW set was its relative lightness of rules. I certainly would plan to retrofit hit locations (for example) in to it, and I think that with a some effort and careful splicing of ideas from the other games in the WoW set, and a little bit of judicious house ruling of the magic World rules themselves, you could do a LOT without ever needing to look at other BRP sources.

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6 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

Whilst I think original WoW Magic World would prove a bit limited fairly rapidly, and in play its magic system I find clunky, I think a big part of the enduring appeal of the WoW set was its relative lightness of rules. I certainly would plan to retrofit hit locations (for example) in to it, and I think that with a some effort and careful splicing of ideas from the other games in the WoW set, and a little bit of judicious house ruling of the magic World rules themselves, you could do a LOT without ever needing to look at other BRP sources.

I think that's a bit misleading, as you would need to be familiar with those other games in the first place to get something like hit locations to retrofit. If someone is already familiar with the ruleset then WoW gives them a nice springboard for a rules light system. But they probably need at last a passing familiarity with a more advanced BRP game to know what to port over, be it hit locations, piecemeal armor, new weapons, damage bonus, or whatnot. It's kinda like how the BGB is a great toolkit for those who are familar with the various Chaosium RPGs but all those options can be a bit daunting to a GM new to the system. Magic World can be great to grant other BRPish stuff onto, but you have to be aware of the stuff you want to add to it in the first place.

 

BTW, anyone familar with the old Fantasy Paths boxed sets of map tiles? In a way they did what WoW/Magic World did but, in some ways, better. For those who aren't familiar with them they were sets of double sided cardboard tiles that could be assembled into various locations for gaming. Each box would come with a set of the BRP rules and a short adventure that made up of the map tiles. THe adventure would also have a rudimentary version of RuneQuest Battle Magic spells, and BRP stats for whatever new creatures were used in the adventure. THe set would even include some cardboard counters specific to the adventure. 

I think the old Fansty Path sets might be a better start up set that Magic World, as RQ's Battle Magic system was superior to the magic system used in Magic World. 

Edited by Atgxtg

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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55 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

BTW, anyone familar with the old Fantasy Paths boxed sets of map tiles? In a way they did what WoW/Magic World did but, in some ways, better. For those who aren't familiar with them they were sets of double sided cardboard tiles that could be assembled into various locations for gaming. Each box would come with a set of the BRP rules and a short adventure that made up of the map tiles. THe adventure would also have a rudimentary version of RuneQuest Battle Magic spells, and BRP stats for whatever new creatures were used in the adventure. THe set would even include some cardboard counters specific to the adventure. 

I think the old Fansty Path sets might be a better start up set that Magic World, as RQ's Battle Magic system was superior to the magic system used in Magic World. 

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Hope that Helps,
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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

BTW, anyone familar with the old Fantasy Paths boxed sets of map tiles?

Yep, never used them, I was a battle mat fan. Their ads were everywhere though!

Thanks for the memories, Rick!

 

 

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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According to Heroic Worlds all three sets are from 1981.  I honestly don’t remember them at all, but I will say that 1981 was my last year in college (I graduated in December) and I was a little short on both time and money.  Like @Bill the barbarian, I was using a battle mat for games, so I’m not sure that I would have paid any attention anyway.  

It’s a nice idea and I really like the counters.

 

Edited by RSDean
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22 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Yep, never used them, I was a battle mat fan.

We used battlemats too. One cool thing though was that the scael used for the carboard was pretty close to the ones used on battlemats so we could (and did) place tower and wall sections over a battlemat.

 

I wish these things got more of a in store presence though. I think they really could have been a good intro set. 

 

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