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Jeff

Designing RuneQuest, part 10

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Hey all, a new RQ Design notes is now up at the Chaosium page: http://www.chaosium.com/blog/designing-the-new-runequest-part-10/

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Good news RuneQuest fans - the manuscript for the core rules of RuneQuest has now been passed over to Jason Durall for copy editing! Jason's been informally involved with the design team from the beginning as a sounding board, but now he's taking on a very active role (including correcting any of the many mistakes and errors that may have snuck in as I finalized the draft). He'll also be writing the rules examples based on the ongoing character saga within the book.

So, what's in the final manuscript? The core rules include character creation, homelands, runes, passions, rune magic and cults (I think there are 17 short cult write ups in the core rules, plus 2 spirit cults), spirit magic, new spirit combat rules, new shamanism rules, new sorcery rules (including notes on Malkionism, Aeolianism, and Lhankor Mhy sorcery), wealth and occupation rules, and material on running seasonal campaigns. Plus plenty more.

Right behind the core rules is the Glorantha Bestiary, which has over 60 species statted up, 4 or 5 short cult write-ups (including Kyger Litor, of course), and creating adventurer information for 6+ species (and enough information to wing it with almost all the other Elder Race entries).

The third core RuneQuest book is the Gamemaster Book, which includes HeroQuesting information, rules on Heroes (with a capital H), Chaos, Illumination, more short cult writeups (including the Red Goddess, with brand new Lunar magic), magic items, loads of encounters, and 3 or 4 scenarios (by Chris Klug, Jason Durall, MOB, and myself). 

That's a lot of stuff. That's why we've decided to divide the new rules into three books, because that way we could put out everything we wanted to, and keep each book a reasonable length. And for me, I always prefer having a separate Bestiary from the core rules, and although I am a huge fan of having starting scenarios immediately available, I do think they are better not in the "players book". 

So I kind of snuck at two bombshells in there, didn't I? First is that the new sorcery system is written. It is NOT that of RQ3 (or even Sandy's sorcery rules). It is much easier and way more Gloranthan than the RQ3 rules. And it will be the likely subject of the next design notes.

But the other bombshell is the new rules for playing or running Heroes in RuneQuest. Heroes gain an increasing presence in the otherworld, which becomes a tremendous source of power, but also requires that the hero be worshiped to maintain it (that worship can be regular or propitiatory). A hero can return from the dead, and can gain other abilities such as unaging as a result of heroquest gifts. Heroes no longer need to be "super-skilled" - their "Hero Soul" and heroquest gifts enables them to do remarkable things, even if their actual skills are in the range of a Rune Lord or Priest.

And that too will likely be the subject of a future design note! 

 
 
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" I do think they are better not in the "players book". "

Absolutely agree.

I definitely look forward to seeing the Sorcery rules!

Any approximate page count?  When you talk about 3 books, are you saying 3 books that IN TOTAL might be around the 450 pages of RQ6 ?

 

Thanks!  Glad to hear there's progress.

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The three books are:

1. RuneQuest rules. Everything you need to play. Its about 165,000 words. Page count will depend on art (right now it is 280 pages). This is the book you NEED to have.

2. Gloranthan bestiary. Monsters. Cults for monsters. Even monsters with occupations. That's around 100 pages without art, maps, etc. You need this if you want monsters or want to play one of the Elder Races.

3. Gamemaster book. Rules for heroquests, heroes, illumination, special notes on Lunar magic, Chaos, ship rules, Dragon Pass encounters (all nicely statted up), and several scenarios. Size tbd (Chris, Jason, and Mob/Ken haven't finished their scenarios).

We'll likely make all three available together in a slipcase, with a GM Screen (like was done with CoC7e). The books will be color printed, and done in hardback. You can also get them all separately.

 

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Yes. Although the books will be written and art commissioned prior to the Kickstarter. But Kickstarter provides us with the best opportunity to let everyone know they can get the books, helps us determine print run, etc.

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Cool! I'm so looking forward to the next Design notes... I'm specially happy with the 3rd book including not one, but a bunch of scenarios!

In the meantime, could you please tell us which are those 6 non-human races that are provided with rules to make adventurers with? 

My guess: uz, aldryami, broken dwarves, durulz, centaurs, and... newtlings?  ;)

My current Gloranthan campaign in the Valley of Cradles (with RQ3) includes: a Vingan adventurer, a Humakti, an orlanthi hunter, a caladralander mercenary, a Praxian shaman and an Aldryami warrior from The Garden. So I'll be very happy if the Bestiary book includes rules to make aldryami characters.

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4 hours ago, Jeff said:

Yes. Although the books will be written and art commissioned prior to the Kickstarter. But Kickstarter provides us with the best opportunity to let everyone know they can get the books, helps us determine print run, etc.

Some questions; "no answer as yet" is perfectly fine, of course!

1.  Any timeframe for the KS launch?  Are you hoping for this year... or just wishing for it?  Firmly planning / fully expecting it in 2016 ?  Or will it likely not be KS'ed until '17 (or (Arachne Solara forfend!) even later)?

2.  Do you have any notion of what you might set as Stretch Goals?  Extra art would be one item, I presume...  But not the only Stretch Goal, I presume...

3.  Do you have any idea of the pledge-levels for the slipcover'ed set, and/or the separate books?

I realize it's too early for some things; but "likely" numbers you could estimate-without-announcing would be REALLY welcome!

 

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All of this is really positive, inspiring stuff. 

Bit wary of another Kickstarter, I have to say, but I guess it's inevitable if you want to see a top quality, full colour (?) product. 

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I'm glad to see, that the books cover pretty much everything, but I'd rather have the Bestiary and GM book combined, and the scenarios as a separate publication.

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14 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

Cool! I'm so looking forward to the next Design notes... I'm specially happy with the 3rd book including not one, but a bunch of scenarios!

In the meantime, could you please tell us which are those 6 non-human races that are provided with rules to make adventurers with? 

My guess: uz, aldryami, broken dwarves, durulz, centaurs, and... newtlings?  ;)

My current Gloranthan campaign in the Valley of Cradles (with RQ3) includes: a Vingan adventurer, a Humakti, an orlanthi hunter, a caladralander mercenary, a Praxian shaman and an Aldryami warrior from The Garden. So I'll be very happy if the Bestiary book includes rules to make aldryami characters.

Right now they are dark trolls, green and brown elves, ducks, centaurs, Telmori, and morokanth.

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I like the idea behind heroes as expressed there. I was never keen on heroes being uber-skilled characters with 500% broadsword and 100 points of rune magic. The explicit tying together of heroes and the otherworld is far more interesting to me so I'm looking forwards to seeing this in more detail. 

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Jeff:

This all sounds wonderful!  I especially like the three-book model, so in my book you're going in the right direction.  

 

Of COURSE I'd really love it if you were able to sell copies at Gencon (mostly because I'll be there with cash), but I'm also willing to wait.  I hear good things come to people who wait....

 

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Three books is a big investment. It's easy to capture the old die hards, but that's a heck of an investment to ask people to make who are new to the game. I think one of the big positives about CoC is that while there are two core rulebooks, you only actually need one.

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You only need the core rulebook. You don't need an expansive bestiary to play the game (since any scenario is going to stat them up anyways). Nor do you need the additional rules, encounters, and scenarios in the game master book.

But I bet plenty of people will happily buy all three.

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So is it possible to play a Lunar character or campaign with the basic book only and the Gamemaster book just has more Lunar goodies, or will you need the GM book to effectively run a Lunar style game?

And I think 3 books and a Kickstarter are good ideas.

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32 minutes ago, ReignDragonSMH said:

So is it possible to play a Lunar character or campaign with the basic book only and the Gamemaster book just has more Lunar goodies, or will you need the GM book to effectively run a Lunar style game?

And I think 3 books and a Kickstarter are good ideas.

The core book includes the Seven Mothers cult, cyclical magic, and enough material on Lunar sorcery to be able to create a Lunar sorcery. It is NOT intended to be a Lunar sourcebook (that is coming later). The Gamemaster book has more material on Lunar religion and a short write-up of the Red Goddess cult, as well as material on Illumination. 

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Is each book being sold separately or is this like RQ3 Deluxe where it's one set?  Also, are we now looking at 2017? 

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7 hours ago, Pentallion said:

Is each book being sold separately or is this like RQ3 Deluxe where it's one set?

Both.  See post #3, above; timestamp 9:01am... very last bit.

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Jeff is there any chance of replacing Morokanth with Mostali in the core rulebook?

From memory I think the Morokanth were primarily only living in Prax, whereas the Mostali settlements are more widespread.

To me it just makes more sense to have Mostali in the core book, and Morokanth presented elsewhere in a Prax resource.

 

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Morokanth are one of the Five Great Tribes of Prax and can be found anywhere Praxians can be found. And since Argrath has a large Praxian army, that means that they can be found in Dragon Pass. The Morokanth are non-human, but of Praxian culture, making them eminently playable (different but approachable).

Normal Mostali make about as good of player characters as dragonewts, which is to say, they make lousy player characters. Mostali culture is very alien to human cultures, individual mostali are immortal, xenophobic in the extreme, atheistic, and pretty much never leave their mines (except Iron Dwarves). There's enough information in there that if someone really really wants to play a broken mostali, they can, but I'd rather focus on the more broadly playable species.

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On ‎25‎/‎07‎/‎2016 at 5:01 PM, Jeff said:

The three books are:

1. RuneQuest rules. Everything you need to play. Its about 165,000 words. Page count will depend on art (right now it is 280 pages). This is the book you NEED to have.

Has this ended up being a far bigger book than expected? Or is streamlining the book now Jason's remit?

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