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I only discovered Glorantha a little over a month ago and has been burning my way through the Guide. The gaming group I have that is interested in fantasy games is more of a RuneQuest crowd than HeroQuest, so I'll probably wait to run it until the new version comes out next year. In the meantime, I shall devour Glorantha material and plan the campaign. That being said, would people recommend the Sartar and/or Pavis supplements, even though I don't intend to use the HeroQuest rules? I get the impression they have a lot more detail for those two locations than the Guide is able to provide, but is it enough to balance any game mechanics that I won't use? I am also open to other recommendations. :-)

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Both the Sartar and Pavis supplements are excellent.   (Honestly, even much of the stuff from the pre-Moon Design days are excellent, if probably a bit less useful as bits of it have been rendered non-canon.)   

And honestly, give HeroQuest a try.  It's a little scary for folks used to crunch-tastic systems, but it's nice to shake things up a bit.   It's astonishingly easy to run really short or even one-shot games in it.

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1 hour ago, aumshantih said:

And honestly, give HeroQuest a try.  It's a little scary for folks used to crunch-tastic systems, but it's nice to shake things up a bit.   It's astonishingly easy to run really short or even one-shot games in it.

I will very likely buy it, but I'm in the situation where I have one group who likes narrative games but isn't into fantasy (modern or historical games only) and one that is only into crunchy systems and plays mostly fantasy games. It sounds like it lends itself to HeroQuest's approach really well, but I'm unlikely to sell a HeroQuest Glorantha campaign to either group, sadly.

Thanks for the input. It is what I suspected, but I wanted to make sure I was right before dropping a bunch of cash. :)

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6 minutes ago, Eric Christian Berg said:

I will very likely buy it, but I'm in the situation where I have one group who likes narrative games but isn't into fantasy (modern or historical games only) and one that is only into crunchy systems and plays mostly fantasy games. It sounds like it lends itself to HeroQuest's approach really well, but I'm unlikely to sell a HeroQuest Glorantha campaign to either group, sadly.

Thanks for the input. It is what I suspected, but I wanted to make sure I was right before dropping a bunch of cash. :)

You could still try HQ though. Nameless Streets is a supplement by Charles Green would give a good introduction using a Noir setting. You could use the book to play a pulp type game very easily.

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Yes, this allows for easy introduction to Glorantha without obliging your players to devour the Guide. I would even say, it makes the discovery of this setting even more interesting, step by step, from inside, with the feeling that there is much more in this world than what the PCs currently see and believe. They shall be teased. Borderlands for instance is a ready-to-play campaign, which makes it easy to start in Glorantha.

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1 hour ago, Eric Christian Berg said:

What differences are there between the setting materials in the HeroQuest Pavis book and the Glorantha Classics Pavis & Big Rubble? Would folks recommend one over the other, if I am strictly in it for the setting details?

Mainly in form of edition. The Glorantha Classics series is material from the late 70's thru mid 80s that was originally written for RQ2. The HQ Pavis book is updated with a great deal of material that is not directly tied to a system, with a enough information to tie things into HQ. 

I would actually recommend both. The HQ Pavis book for the city, and the Classics for Big Rubble, as there is no Big Rubble book yet for HQ. This also gives you the advantage of seeing what has changed over the years.

SDLeary

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I agree with SDLeary that it is worthwhile to get both for the reasons stated.

The HQ Pavis books gives you descriptive reference for the identified locations vs. a name in the Classic Book.

Example: HQ Pavis book

R-89 Training. Scharman’s Academy. Recruiters. Ingilli Guardsmen. Scharman Ingilli established this place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. Here young men and their wise elders gather to discuss lore and business, as well as the affairs affecting the riverfolk. Varanos the Tall, the Lhankor Mhy sage, can often be found here.

Corresponding entry: Classic book

R-89 Training. Scharman’s Academy. Recruiters Ingilli Guardsmen.

The HQ Pavis book gives you detailed encounters vs. a generic description. 

Example:  HQ Pavis book (Guard)

Lothran Baldi is from the Heran clan of the Kheldon tribe. His family were crafters in Swenstown but after Starbrow’s Rebellion they lost everything and moved to Pavis. Lothran’s father is a day-laborer in Oldtown; Lothran became a mercenary bodyguard, selling his sword as a guard or mercenary for hire. His prize possession is his fine bronze sword, Free Man.

Corresponding entry: Classic book (just a short general description, which is in the HQ Pavis book too)

Guard - A private bodyguard for a merchant or other authority of the town. If with his patron, his goal is to keep his employer safe. If alone, he may be fractious and interested in a good fight for the sake of fighting. Could be from almost any culture or cult.

The HQ Pavis book also has a nice set of scenarios (which fit in nicely as continuations of scenarios from Classic Pavis & Big Rubble book).  They provide additional setting and character info if you don't want to use the actual scenarios.

The HQ Pavis book also provides a bit more on settings and encounters in the surrounding lands as well.

But for all the Big Rubble settings, you'd want to get the Classic Pavis book.  And there's plenty of good settings there!

Hope that helps!

 

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I've decided to just bite the bullet and get Heroquest Glorantha since the narrativist approach seems to match the setting better. I'm reading all these great stories of heroes and gods and don't want to get bogged down in simulationist rules. I would like to run a game for my ten year old son set in Pavis. If folks will indulge me just a little bit more, I have one more question. Is the Sartar book necessary to use Pavis? The blurb on the back of the book says so but not the description on the Moon Design site (unless I'm just blind). I'm assuming that Sartar has a lot on Orlanthi and their cults which are relevant to, but aren't repeated in, Pavis. Is that correct? Or is there more that's needed?

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The HQ books are 90% stat free, so as a RQ player I'm pretty happy with the Pavis and Sartar books purely for the content alone, as its easy enough to port over.

I would be happy if most of the setting books came out with no game mechanics stats so they are equally useful for whichever system you prefer. The campaigns require game mechanics, but the setting books themselves can be pure content in my opinion.

You won't waste your purchases regardless of whether you play HQ or RQ.

I bought Hero Wars when it came out about 15 years ago and upgraded to HeroQuest for the sake of it a few years later. I found it novel but not to my tastes, so I never bought HeroQuest 2. However I did purchase HeroQuest Glorantha when it was published, just to support Moon Design as I was so impressed with the G2G.  I must say I like HQG much better than the earlier editions. I'm unsure if I will ever play it, it will depend upon the right troupe. However I think the more recent volume presents the rules much better, and its packed with Glorantha flavour.

As an aside, I think the narrative game mechanics of HeroQuest would perhaps be more suited to Pulp Era Adventure or Detective Noir genres rather than fantasy, although it does Mythic Fantasy rather well. I tend to prefer my fantasy more down and dirty, so RQ hits the spot for me, its just a preference and not a criticism.

I would love to see the HeroQuest mechanics set for the Adventure Era genre one day, I think they would be a great marriage of setting and rules.

From memory I would not think you need Sartar to be able to use Pavis, although it may provide good grounding, considering New Pavis was settled by Orlanthi colonists, and also is a haven for Orlanthi & Lunar exiles (or outlaws).

I would buy the HQ Sartar book first, then HQ Pavis, then perhaps the HQ Sartar Companion. The content in these books is amazing.

Then after that you may want to track down RO2 Big Rubble, then move onto nearby settings (RQ2 Borderlands or RQ3 River of Cradles, Sun County).

They are all good

Edited by Mankcam
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7 hours ago, Eric Christian Berg said:

I've decided to just bite the bullet and get Heroquest Glorantha since the narrativist approach seems to match the setting better. I'm reading all these great stories of heroes and gods and don't want to get bogged down in simulationist rules. I would like to run a game for my ten year old son set in Pavis. If folks will indulge me just a little bit more, I have one more question. Is the Sartar book necessary to use Pavis? The blurb on the back of the book says so but not the description on the Moon Design site (unless I'm just blind). I'm assuming that Sartar has a lot on Orlanthi and their cults which are relevant to, but aren't repeated in, Pavis. Is that correct? Or is there more that's needed?

One thing to keep in mind is that these books were originally written as supplements to HQ2, which is largely generic, despite having a short Glorantha appendix. That meant that S:KoH was presenting a lot of the basics of making characters and using magic in Glorantha. Some of that information is redundant now that there there is an actual HQ: Glorantha core book. I can't say specifically how much though off the top of my head. 

I don't think you can go wrong getting the Sartar book though. Sartar culture is an important element of Pavis. It's also not far from Pavis, so it opens up more of the world to your campaign. 

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2 hours ago, Baulderstone said:

One thing to keep in mind is that these books were originally written as supplements to HQ2, which is largely generic, despite having a short Glorantha appendix. That meant that S:KoH was presenting a lot of the basics of making characters and using magic in Glorantha. Some of that information is redundant now that there there is an actual HQ: Glorantha core book. I can't say specifically how much though off the top of my head. 

I don't think you can go wrong getting the Sartar book though. Sartar culture is an important element of Pavis. It's also not far from Pavis, so it opens up more of the world to your campaign. 

Yeah, I was wondering if that was the case. Thanks a lot, folks. You're input has been invaluable. I can't wait to dive into the setting with my son. :) 

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The main difference between a runequest book and a heroquest book is the scope. Runequest games tend to play out as much more boots-in-the mud, conan-esque escapades where resource management is critical and combat is central. Heroquest games can theoretically cover the entire narrative range, but tend towards your Gilgamesh or King Aurthur type stories (or, given most adventuring parties, Team America World Police :D). The books targeting each system cater to this to greater or lesser degrees, but there's usually at least a tone difference. In practical terms, this usually means that the heroquest adventures are structured with less combat and more handwavy "skill challenges"  than in runequest. Eg, in Red Sun Rising, there's an entire adventure arc centering on managing a bunch of children building (sacred) sandcastles.

That being said, the HQ books are still absolutely 100% worth getting and reading. They're entertaining and informative, and a great basis to grab ideas for runequest games. Just don't expect to use the adventure paths without some tweaking. In particular, runequest doesn't have (as far as I know) an established method for handling heroquests, which HQ games tend to resort with some regularity.

Also, if you're not already aware of it, I also highly recommend picking up the Forgotten Secrets of Glorantha chapbook that Chaosium just put out a couple of months ago. Yeah, it's just a transcribed seminar, but what a seminar. It's pure sublime wonder.

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You can absolutely play in Pavis with the combination of HQG and the HQ Pavis book alone.  The Classic Pavis/Big Rubble will give you all the Big Rubble to explore though, and for the campaign you are envisioning, I'd definitely add that.

As for the Sartar books...

Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes will give you the following not in the books above: 

  • the full Clan Generator - very useful if your players like creating clan background stories and if your player's heroes are of the Orlanthi clans in Pavis
  • the cults of Storm Bull, Chalana Arroy the healer, Elmal, and Yinkin - the first two are both present in Pavis, particularly the Storm Bull.
  • and three epic-scope scenarios that you can mine for stories, ideas, and quests into the Underworld

Sartar Companion will give you:

  • significant Sartar locations - the Old Wind Temple and the New Lunar Temple are both useful destinations for Pavis-based campaigns while the others would be much farther afield
  • the Sartar Encounters - ~50 pages of great, descriptive encounters - almost all are usable in Pavis/Prax settings in some form or another
  • the cults of Argan Argar, Babeester Gor, Kolat, Eurmal, Heler, and Odayla - the latter two aren't useful in Pavis (no rain, no forest hunters), but all the rest could be usable as player cults or to flesh out NPCs.  Kolat provides some good examples of spirit traditions.
  • 6 scenarios and a quest outline which again could be mined for stories, ideas, etc.

 

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The Borderlands stuff, (including Shadows on the Borderlands, if I'm reading it's blurbs right), all takes place in Prax, largely along southern reaches of the River of Cradles. Maybe ~200 miles south of pavis along the river. Sartar is ~300-400 miles to the west-ish from there.

Edited by Scott A
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The Grantlands, where Borderlands/Shadows on the Borderlands largely occur, are 100 miles south of Pavis and both are part of the Zola Fel valley (aka the River of Cradles).  This is a fertile part of the wastelands known as Prax.  The HQ Pavis book provides some overview of the whole river valley to supplement the Pavis setting (and one scenario takes you down the whole length of the river and back).

In addition to the Borderlands and Pavis books, the RQ3 supplements Sun County, Strangers in Prax, and River of Cradles all take place in this region.

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To play an aldryami probably makes this to play a rootless elf or an emissary who has rootless tendencies.

The closest thing to a HQ treatment of Aldryami I can recall was the cover of the Thieves Arm issue of the Unspoken Word, IIRC tied to a hero band inside that fanzine. There was an aldryami character in one of the hero bands in Masters of Luck and Death, too, IIRC with stats.

There has to be some major reason to leave the forest and run around with humans. Perhaps having undergone an I Fought We Won heroquest (discussed here) from the aldryami perspective (and no, I have no idea what exactly Fwalfa Oakheart did) might create such a bond with non-aldryami. Given the age of your son, I would make this experience a character background info - you were trapped in this magical place, all alone, facing the big evil and destruction, and as you did so, you noticed these other people doing so too, so you left your beloved forest and joined them. In maybe a few more words, showing some of the pictures from the Prince of Sartar comic.

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I see no reason to not simply run with letting him play Groot. If he's young, and wants to keep things literal, give him a weapon-obsessesed ex-human outlaw who's "banishment" involved having his soul bound into a raccoon as a sidekick, and let the pair loose on duck point, or some other suitably unsuspecting place. If the adventures continue long enough that some sort of backstory explaining a renegade aldryami gardener with a three-word vocabulary becomes necessary, than you have probably already won :-) 

You could probably get through a pretty fair chunk of adventuring without ever needing more backstory than "I am Groot." It's not like an actual aldryami's explanation of rootlessness would make much more sense to a human than that... even assuming they'd be willing to try to explain. 

If you want a less literal interpretation, just abstract the Aldryami background as an ability like "Weird Forest Powers" and work out what those are as you go. The real beauty of HQ, imo is that you can sit down with a character sheet like:

3W - I am Groot

17 - Violent Raccoon sidekick

13 - bronze leaf-shaped battle axe

flaw - "only able to vocalize the words: I, Am, and Groot"

and start adventuring - filling in details as they are discovered.

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