Jump to content
lawrence.whitaker

Chaosium, Design Mechanism and RuneQuest: A Statement

Recommended Posts

The recent news that Moon Design Publications’ management team (Rick Meints, Jeff Richard, Neil Robinson and Michael O’Brien) would be taking over at the helm of Chaosium has naturally created a lot of interest and speculation. It has clear implications for the Design Mechanism, and Pete and I would like to issue a statement making clear to everyone where we stand as a company and where RuneQuest stands as a game system. We cannot and will not speculate or discuss Chaosium’s existing game systems such as Call of Cthulhu, Basic Roleplaying or Magic World.

 

We (Design Mechanism) license the RuneQuest trademark from Moon Design Publications. We entered into a licensing agreement that comes up for renewal around this time next year and part of the contract and business plan I proposed when first negotiating the license was to insist in a full review and assessment of our progress with RuneQuest as a property. Our license is not perpetual, and that review process had already begun before the recent announcement.

 

With Moon Design now becoming part of Chaosium, the RuneQuest trademark transfers to Chaosium – its place of birth. Until the license we have expires next year, RuneQuest will continue to be published by the Design Mechanism and the core rules will remain in print. From July 2016, the following will take place:

 

1.     RuneQuest reverts to Chaosium.

2.     Pete and myself will become the new lead writers for RuneQuest as a Chaosium brand line with specific responsibilities for developing the system and its supplements.

3.     The Design Mechanism as a company will continue. Chaosium and Design Mechanism have signed a new contract whereby we can continue to write, produce and distribute our own RuneQuest supplements, and can continue to support the lines we have already started to develop.

4.     The RuneQuest 6 mechanics remain the core of the system, but as the trademark is now held by Chaosium, we have been contracted to develop a new version of the game based in Glorantha called, simply, ‘RuneQuest’. This game will appear in July 2016 (or possibly earlier). This new version will roll together all the work we have done on ‘Adventures in Glorantha’ into a standalone RuneQuest game.

5.     At that point, RuneQuest 6 will go out of print as its own title. Design Mechanism will find ways of ensuring full compatibility across our supplements, the new version and RQ6.

6.     Effectively immediately, Chaosium will sell Design Mechanism’s existing (and future) books through its various channels. Indeed, this increases Design Mechanism’s exposure, extends its reach and removes a huge administrative burden from the shoulders of a two-man team.

 

Pete and I are delighted to be working with Chaosium. We are pleased to be able to return RuneQuest to Chaosium stronger than it has been since it left home for Avalon Hill back in the mid 1980s. Even better, it comes back to a revitalised Chaosium that carries a clear mandate of excellence, transparency and commitment to its fans and creative contributors. We are especially happy to have the opportunity to work closely with Rick, Jeff, Neil and Mike and to become part of the Chaosium family. But what makes this even more special is that the Design Mechanism carries on as a company, continues to publish and support RuneQuest, and will always engage with its loyal and faithful fans.

 

More details will emerge as various pieces come together. We will communicate and discuss them with you just as we always have. Pete and I really are excited and happy with the new direction and we hope you will share our enthusiasm and optimism for the future!

 

Long Live Design Mechanism!

Long Live Chaosium!

Long Live RuneQuest!

 

Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash

July 31st, 2015

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pleased you are going to be involved in the future, but I have to admit to feeling sad at the idea of Runequest being married to Glorantha again. I actually like Glorantha as a settting, but I prefer a setting neutral RQ.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We understand this, and it's the reason why RQ6 was setting neutral from the beginning. The Chaosium RuneQuest book will not be a different system, and we shall continue to produce material that is non-Gloranthan with appropriate documents and tools to separate setting and system from the future release.

Believe us when we say we remain committed to everything we began with RQ6.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only negative I can see is that I won't be able to get AiG this year, but I'm guessing this means an overall better level of RuneQuest/Glorantha support for the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that is good news.

  • RuneQuest going back to Chaosium - Good!
  • RuneQuest linked to Glorantha - Good!
  • Loz and Pete being lead writers on the RuneQuest Line - Good!
  • Design Mechanism able to produce non-Gloranthan RuneQuest - Good!

I am not sure about how I feel about yet another version of RuneQuest, however. It looks as though Loz and Pete will have written almost as many editions of RuneQuest as anyone else combined (In fact, RQ1 and RQ2 are almost the same, so it's pretty much 50-50).

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this mean the mighty Ducks will be making their triumphant return?  :D  I mean, lots of fantasy settings have trolls, elves, and tough gals in sexy bronze armor.  Only traditional RuneQuest featured the wondrous web-footed warriors of Dragon Pass.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this mean the mighty Ducks will be making their triumphant return?  :D  I mean, lots of fantasy settings have trolls, elves, and tough gals in sexy bronze armor.  Only traditional RuneQuest featured the wondrous web-footed warriors of Dragon Pass.

Rumor has it a mandatory part of all these deals is NO DUCKS ALLOWED!!  Don't worry though, just think.... geese.  ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this mean the mighty Ducks will be making their triumphant return?  :D  I mean, lots of fantasy settings have trolls, elves, and tough gals in sexy bronze armor.  Only traditional RuneQuest featured the wondrous web-footed warriors of Dragon Pass.

I only want more emphasis on ducks if it is the long awaited Quck Pack!

SDLeary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm extremely happy and relieved to hear that The Design Mechanism will continue to exist and support its own range of supplements, and I fervently hope there will be support for Luther Arkwright.

However, I can't help but feel sad about "RQ7" with Glorantha built in. I was one of the "setting independent" camp in the run-up to the publication of RQ6. Say what you will about being able to ignore the setting elements and use the rules for other things, that is rarely how others see it. I fear this will again inseperably associate RQ with Glorantha in the minds of gamers just when we were starting to break away from that and get people to see RQ as a universal system. I know this is not a practical issue because I've used RQ2/3 to run every imaginable setting, but perception matters when we're talking about a brand. I just hope we're not getting a rejuvenated Chaosium at the expense of RuneQuest ...

Well, we can only wait and see (and hope our opinions are shared by the decision makers). ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My gut feeling is that the emergence of RuneQuest (7!) as a Glorantha game, allows for the option of a new BRP game. Ben did mention in passing, somewhere, that he was looking into creating a more stripped down BRP core rulebook - which wouldn’t be dissimilar to the RuneQuest Essentials book in effect. 

It is worth noting that both CoC and RQ are not really the same ruleset as BRP anymore, though related. So creating a ‘generic game’ niche set aside for just BRP might be a direction they are considering. To do that, they would need to quash the confusion of having RQ6 doing the same sort of thing. That said, they also said that BRP wasn’t a priority currently too. The major jist of all of this is that CoC and Glorantha are the major IPs and everything else is secondary. 

  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of priorities, that is another reason why this announcement seems puzzling to me. Surely there are better uses for Chaosium's and DM's limited resources at this time than re-writing RuneQuest? Why not just continue with RQ6 + AiG? Not a rhetorical question!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pete was writing AiG and so merging it with RQ with another six months added to the date of publication gives him plenty of time. A lot of the 'writing' would have been cut and paste anyway so it's hardlyy arduous and I suspect that the playtesting had been going on for some time already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect it will be a lot more than cut 'n' paste - there is much new material in RQ6 that has no relation to Glorantha, such as types of magic, so that would have to go unless there are different versions of Glorantha for different rules systems. Also, both RQ6 and the draft AIG are substantial books in their own right so there must surely be some culling just to keep down page count. I still don't see the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I think consolidation of all these lines is good, and it is great that Pete & Loz are remaining as lead writers for RuneQuest, so I'm pretty comfortable with this.

Given that Glorantha is the key setting for Moon Design, it was logical that RuneQuest returns to it as a gaming world. It has been a favourite setting of mine, so this is great news. I love most things Gloranthan, and greatly prefer running RuneQuest in the setting as opposed to HeroQuest.

However I see no good reason why the next RuneQuest should not be published as 'RuneQuest: Adventures In Glorantha', I think this is a good title for the main rulebook and the line in general.

In addition to this, I would also very much like to see a slim, stripped down core rulebook (perhaps just RuneQuest Essentials, minus the magic systems, and make it setting agnostic). Something the size of GORE up to RQ Essentials would do the trick. Hardcover of course, there's no point not doing so these days, otherwise people just buy the pdf versions instead.

Having this smaller generic core rule book would be great from the point of view that GMs can use it to build their own settings, and still allow for supplements of the likes of Mythic Britain and Luther Arkwright (I wonder if we will ever see Mythic Constantinople now?). This also provides a core rule toolkit for other authors wanting to publish settings using RQ, such as Korantia, Classic Fantasy and Chronicles of Future Earth. In addition, many of the books published by Alephetar Games could easily be ported from BRP BGB into RuneQuest as well, securing a place for Alephetar Games to provide Fantasy Earth supplements for RuneQuest.

In many ways I now prefer the more recent incarnations of the BRP system, such as RQ6, Legend, OpenQuest, Renaissance etc, so making RQ6 a priority product line works for me. However, having a generic set of these rules in print also seems logical, as Chaosium attracted me back to the BRP system when they published the BGB. 

In some ways I would also like an overhaul of CoC 7E to be more consistent with RQ6 to an extent, with the same Characteristics and Common Skills; It does not make sense for it to be a different build of BRP now. Hopefully its not too late one would hope; even though the pdfs are available, the actual hard copies are not yet printed...

Lastly, even though it may now be seen as a low priority, I would still hope there is a place for a 'BRP Legacy' line of games within Chaosium. Something for the die hard fans who aren't really digging the new flavours of BRP. Basically just keeping the BGB alive and ticking. I would see this as a great place for the likes of Ben Monroe to be producing the MagicWorld books, and also perhaps a good space for independent writers to keep the monographs alive (even if only as pdfs)

However I am really happy that a bullet has been dodged, and that Chaosium is not history. Moon Design involvement can only be a good thing, and now that I know RuneQuest and Design Mechanism are remaining as permanent features then I'm reasonably happy with all this.

 

 

Edited by Mankcam
grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is good news because my gaming group has, a year ago, started to play RQ6 in Glorantha. My only concern is that they will rewrite the rules for RQ7. I have just got my head around RQ6 and can;t be bothered to try and learn a "new" system especially because I am from the old days of RQ2. Runequest needs some stability with plenty of scenarios and adventures to concrete the rules. Because for me  the Numenera rules are lurking around the corner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure I've stated this before, but just for clarity:

RuneQuest stays using RQ6's mechanics. There is no, and will be no, 'RQ7', despite what people might want to term it.

Tweaks, obviously, for Gloranthan specifics but we're not rewriting anything. We're too lazy, for one thing.

Edited by lawrence.whitaker
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Tweaks, obviously, for Gloranthan specifics but we're not rewriting anything. We're too lazy, for one thing."

So lazy that you wrote Mongoose RuneQuest I and II, then produced a version 6 capable of deflecting small arms fire and doing 1D8 to potential home invaders....  ;)

 

So ... ducks?

Edited by seneschal
Add question

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Tweaks, obviously, for Gloranthan specifics but we're not rewriting anything. We're too lazy, for one thing."

So lazy that you wrote Mongoose RuneQuest I and II, then produced a version 6 capable of deflecting small arms fire and doing 1D8 to potential home invaders....  ;)

 

So ... ducks?

so lazy that Mongoose RQ1 was nothing to do with us...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will be publishing Classic Fantasy exactly as planned.

Glad to hear it. I was afraid we weren't going to see this with the new way Chaosium is shaping up. Been eager to get my hands on this!

Share this post


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...