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RQG—New RuneQuest edition to be known as RUNEQUEST: ROLEPLAYING IN GLORANTHA

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The new edition of RuneQuest will be formally known as RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, or 'RQG' for short. Rather than try to give the new RuneQuest edition a number, calling it 'RQG' neatly avoids any confusion...

RQG is due out for Christmas 2017 (and it won't be Kickstarted).

More details at the link: http://bit.ly/2oMh1PZ

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All very good news.

I have to say this final layout works superbly. I'm mighty impressed with the attention to detail. I'm certainly getting that RQ classic ancient vibe. Brilliant choice of font, and brilliant image.  I like the curve created by the cut off at the bottom of the image. It works very well leading the eye, as if following the future trajectory of the swinging sword.  Its all come together brilliantly.  

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As a veteran RQ GM of about twenty years and hundreds upon hundreds of RQ sessions, this is great news.  I do have some thoughts and requests, be they ever so humble.

I own and have used pretty much every scrap of material ever produced for RQ2 and RQ3, including a lot of the 'zines (Tradetalk, Reaching Moon, etc).  And perhaps the most accessible and useful single book in my arsenal has been the "Gloranthan Classics IV, Borderlands & Beyond".  The reason?  The quests.  Accessible, often open-ended, in addition to using almost all of them, they have spawned dozens of side quests for my groups.  That compilation is a great mix of locales, local history and background, NPC's, and adventures.  We need more books like this.

The other Gloranthan Classics are also wonderful, and go-to books for me.  But Griffin Mountain especially is the book that loves to hate me.  It's so incredibly exhaustive, yet leaves me wandering in the wilderness of Balazar.  My current campaign is actually entering Balazar this month after retrieving Raus's sword, and the preparation time for me has been extensive to say the least.  My players prefer the option of episodic adventures (side adventures) as well as larger primary narrative quest chains, and they don't want to be caravan guards working for pennies.  Griffin Mountain provides me with few fully fleshed-out side adventures, and no overall narrative chain of quests to build on. 

If you wanted to make Griffin Mountain the best thing ever, you'd do a Balazar Quest book as a companion to the existing materials.  I'm working on writing it myself right now for my group, but I've got a day job!

So to sum up:

1.  Give us adventures, and lots of them, primarily for mid-level adventurers.  Hard-working characters with skills in the 50's - 70's who get their hands dirty.  Not fancy Rune-priests who always have their salamanders handling their wet work.  RQ has always been at its best for our groups when our characters are middling in skill and power. 

2.  Build on well-established and beloved areas.  Take us back to the roots, and let us delve deeply in to those areas.  More personalities, more background, more enemies, just plain more of Dragon Pass, Sartar, Prax, Sun County, Balazar, Dorastor, etc.

So basically, fix the sins of RQ3.  I want more of the books that I have constantly rotating across my desk:

Desk.jpg.a1ccf7943e2eb0e44702f76579c64c57.jpg

And less of the pretty stuff that never leaves the top row of my bookcase:

0406171216a__1491495945_96_235_17_19.jpg.8458199182f9dc887273813abf50c2af.jpg

Anyways, my group is excited and ready to go.

Bring on 2018!

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Beornvig: you have two copies of almost every book! :lol:

As for your wishes:

1.: I'd also like to have high-level adventures with the PCs right there in the middle of history. But, yes, lots of adventures, please. Specially those that can only be played in Glorantha

2.: I'd also like to explore new places. For example, Heortland, Esrolia, Caladraland, the Right Arm isles, Seapolis... Casino Town, Nochet! New places, not revisiting the classics.

Edited by Runeblogger
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1 hour ago, Runeblogger said:

BTW, what is going to be the actual cover of the RQG full ruleset like? :huh:

I'd guess they're holding that reveal for later ... if they've even got a piece selected with 100% certainty.

Let the Quickstart generate ITS buzz, then (keeping up the momentum) begin promo'ing and teaser'ing the core rules...  But if they're ready for the reveal, I'd be happy to ooooh&aaaah with the rest of the fan-base ...

 

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5 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

As for your wishes:

Runeblogger and Beornvig, both of you will be getting what you seek in the new RQG.

9 hours ago, Beornvig said:

So basically, fix the sins of RQ3.

One of the biggest sins of RQ3 is that it was eight years after the core rules were released before any new scenario material set in Glorantha appeared (Sun County, 1992). We won't be doing that. 

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I'm hoping that RQG will give us plenty of world information without going too far. 

I like to run in worlds that give us a decently detailed framework, but leave things vague enough that player can actually do things and affect the world.   We left old RQ when the world story got far too detailed.  

Leave the edges fuzzy so the PC's can have an unknown and the GM's can fill in the blanks.

Leave some wonder and discovery out there....

Edited by Spence

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3 hours ago, Spence said:

I'm hoping that RQG will give us plenty of world information without going too far. 

I like to run in worlds that give us a decently detailed framework, but leave things vague enough that player can actually do things and affect the world.   We left old RQ when the world story got far too detailed.  

Leave the edges fuzzy so the PC's can have an unknown and the GM's can fill in the blanks.

Leave some wonder and discovery out there....

Yes!

Take "Ars Magica" 5e:  the game-world of "Mythic Europe" posits a bakers' dozen of "Tribunals," magico-political regions where which each have a fair amount of self-governance within the limits imposed by the (1-page-long) "Hermetic Oath."  Each Tribunal gets a cursory overview in the core book... and then came the Tribunal-specific splatbooks.  But the publisher intentionally stopped short, leaving almost half the Tribunals to the bare outlines in the core rules, tabulae rasae for each group to fear no later canonical revisionism...

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@Spence: The wealth of information on the world of Glorantha is there, it's available and held available, and crazy folk like myself will continue to expand it.

But always remember the mantra "Your Glorantha Will Vary", YGWV.

There have always been details in campaigns that did not conform with canon or that were contradicted by canonical information released years after the campaign details were established.

Does this invalidate the campaign and the shared experience of GM and players? Not in the least.

Can such material be exchanged with other GMs? Of course. People do it, here and elsewhere, all the time.

Can it be made canonical? Only through heavy rewriting, and unless you want to have it published by Chaosium, why bother?

Can it be published elsewhere? Sure. One of the most popular fanzines among RQ and Glorantha fans of the 1990ies was RuneQuest Adventures, a series of six issues with ready-to-play Gloranthan RuneQuest scenarios. While the author attempted to include all the canonical information he could get his hand on, this didn't stop him from making his own assumptions, and build on those. Putting scenarios up on the web or for free download requires only a clearly positioned inclusion of the fan publication policy.

Apart from Chaosium's sporadically re-surfacing Wyrm's Footnotes, there doesn't seem to be a printed magazine for RQ or Glorantha at the moment. The internet offers a few regular web-zines that will take contributions. Non-specialized magazines might be interested, too.

 

Can you affect the world? In your campaign, sure - just don't expect that the group next door will accept the outcome of your game as canon. I have observed a French campaign that brought back the Godking of the Holy Country within a few years after his disappearance (official futures don't have him for at least 12 years after his disappearance), and I have shared much of this campaign's excellent background material (note the availability of English language material, in the top right).

Is the material canonical? In parts, yes. In other parts, definitely no.

Would I advise to use it in your games? As long as there is no official material offering better details, sure. Even then, if you like this version better, use it. If you prefer to cook up your own material without looking at canonical or fan material, do so.

 

My very first world designed for role-playing started with fragments of the world that accompanied that game system, inserted into a framework of my own. The downside of this approach is that you don't get to re-use as much of that world's deep background, as far as you might know about it. The upside of this approach is that you can provide the deep background yourself. I did a similar thing with my first RuneQuest 3 campaign, using the Vikings box as my starting point, but placing it in a fantasy setting. That world inherited quite a few ideas from Glorantha, but re-written to fit my own deep background.

My first steps playing in Glorantha were made when in contact with the online community. I didn't have to read up on every detail (although I did), but I always had the community to ask, and that way I got access to information and traditions that had developed in that community. The people in the community love to share, even though they may disagree with one another part of the time.

 

If you like sharing, you might find a GM or a small group of GMs playing in a close-by region of the world, and exchange your campaign information with them. Have the other group's activities as the backdrop for your own campaign. Reuse scenario ideas from the other campaigns, possibly encountering changes made by those other groups. You might even meet those other groups per hangout, these days, or at conventions.

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There's less official canon than people like to make out. The Guide to Glorantha details the world, but does so from about 20,000 feet. King of Sartar covers a lot of material but has an unreliable narrator. And given that we now have moved the default starting date to after the Dragonrise, an awful lot of NPCs are dead, places have changed, etc.

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10 hours ago, MOB said:

One of the biggest sins of RQ3 is that it was eight years after the core rules were released before any new scenario material set in Glorantha appeared (Sun County, 1992). We won't be doing that. 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC Avalon Hill only bought the rights to RQ, but did NOT buy the rights to Glorantha.  Those were held by Greg.

At least for the first several years, weren't they UNABLE (legally) to bring out Glorantha products?  When they did come out, they were flippin' fantastic.  Sun County, River of Cradles, Borderlands, Dorastor, etc. are some of the greatest campaign/adventure supplements for any game ever.

In any case, it's a little...misleading to bash on AH for delay in bringing out a product line they legally couldn't, at least for a while?

 

31 minutes ago, Jeff said:

There's less official canon than people like to make out. The Guide to Glorantha details the world, but does so from about 20,000 feet. King of Sartar covers a lot of material but has an unreliable narrator. And given that we now have moved the default starting date to after the Dragonrise, an awful lot of NPCs are dead, places have changed, etc.

I guess it depends on your definition of "official"?

Is what was in the notes of RQ2 'official', still today?  Old Chaosium products CoP, LoT? AH products SC, RoC, Dorastor?  As I recall just in those sources alone there were not-infrequent contradictions explicit or implied (I recall an entire mountain range ENE of the White Sea that kept shifting and has, I believe, finally determinedly vanished in the AAA?).  Not to mention the not-precisely-canon-but-pretty-firm-anyway reams and reams of discussion in the Glorantha Digest (http://glorantha.temppeli.org/digest/)?

Or does the "canonical" world of Glorantha now begin with the Guide? (ie the Guide essentially rationalizes 'all that stuff' into a reasonably-coherent whole)

I'm not really even disagreeing with you, but we have to recognize that the logical flip side of a richly detailed, broadly consistent world that's the product of 50 years of creative imagining by Greg plus ample and worthy contributions by authors including yourself is the concomitant burden of a lot for a new DM to potentially deal with (even if they decide to discard some of it in their version).

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38 minutes ago, styopa said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC Avalon Hill only bought the rights to RQ, but did NOT buy the rights to Glorantha.  Those were held by Greg.

At least for the first several years, weren't they UNABLE (legally) to bring out Glorantha products?  When they did come out, they were flippin' fantastic.  Sun County, River of Cradles, Borderlands, Dorastor, etc. are some of the greatest campaign/adventure supplements for any game ever.

In any case, it's a little...misleading to bash on AH for delay in bringing out a product line they legally couldn't, at least for a while?

Avalon Hill may not have owned Glorantha, but they always had the rights to publish whatever they wanted for RuneQuest. AH didn't really delay in publishing Gloranthan material. They launched RQ3 in 1984, and then Gods of Glorantha was published in 1985, followed by a number of reworked editions of Apple Lane, a Gloranthan Bestiary, Snakepipe Hollow, Troll Pak, and such in 1986-1988. There's also the Genertela boxed set in 1988. These were all done by Chaosium staff, and then published by Avalon Hill. Avalon Hill could and did publish Gloranthan material from early on, and Chaosium was happy to participate in such projects.

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22 hours ago, Beornvig said:

 

If you wanted to make Griffin Mountain the best thing ever, you'd do a Balazar Quest book as a companion to the existing materials.  I'm working on writing it myself right now for my group, but I've got a day job!

So to sum up:

1.  Give us adventures, and lots of them, primarily for mid-level adventurers.  Hard-working characters with skills in the 50's - 70's who get their hands dirty.  Not fancy Rune-priests who always have their salamanders handling their wet work.  RQ has always been at its best for our groups when our characters are middling in skill and power. 

2.  Build on well-established and beloved areas.  Take us back to the roots, and let us delve deeply in to those areas.  More personalities, more background, more enemies, just plain more of Dragon Pass, Sartar, Prax, Sun County, Balazar, Dorastor, etc.

So basically, fix the sins of RQ3.  I want more of the books that I have constantly rotating across my desk:

 

 

I coudn't agree more, lots of adventures please. Less of the endless sourcebooks detailing useless information such as 3000 year histories that are completely irrelevant to most gamers needs. I really don't care what colour Pavis' socks are !!

Please look at the D&D 5e model, they're pumping out campaign after campaign. I think they've got about five out now in the last four years. Now don't jump down my throat, I love Runequest and want it to succeed and am really looking forward to RQG but it must be supported with campaigns and adventures. 

Beornvig...I'd love a copy of your Balazar Quest notes, having ran a recent Griffin Mountain campaign myself and experiencing similar problems. I just cobbled together old White Dwarf scenarios to form a a loose campaign.

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Just now, styopa said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC Avalon Hill only bought the rights to RQ, but did NOT buy the rights to Glorantha.  Those were held by Greg.

At least for the first several years, weren't they UNABLE (legally) to bring out Glorantha products?  When they did come out, they were flippin' fantastic.  Sun County, River of Cradles, Borderlands, Dorastor, etc. are some of the greatest campaign/adventure supplements for any game ever.#

If you look at the first five boxes produced by Avalon Hill, there was one box with Gloranthan content - Gods of Glorantha. The Coliseum and the Vikings campaign were good, but they were not Gloranthan. The character sheet boxes...

Gods of Glorantha, Gloranthan Bestiary, Genertela:Crucible of the Hero Wars and Elder Secrets were the only products before Sun County which advanced Glorantha beyond what was known from RQ2 days. Many people were unhappy with the extreme shorthand cults in Gods, which would have deserved a page count and content density as provided in the Genertela box. Separating Griffin Island from the Elder Wilds wasn't that popular, either. The glimpses of the West and the East in Genertela Box possibly was what estranged Praxian or Sartarite diehard grognards. RQ2 Troll Pak provided the material for two boxes and two scenario booklets.

The RQ Renaissance was great while it lasted, yes. That was Shadows on the Borderlands rather than the original Borderlands set, though, and Strangers in Prax. Five excellent products, then nothing.

Just now, styopa said:

In any case, it's a little...misleading to bash on AH for delay in bringing out a product line they legally couldn't, at least for a while?

Avalon Hill deserves bashing for being insensitive to the roleplaying market. I have no idea what they paid Greg and Sandy for their authoring and editing, but if that wasn't enough for Chaosium to keep Greg and Sandy employed without having to work on other projects, there is shared culpability there, too.

 

Just now, styopa said:

I guess it depends on your definition of "official"?

Is what was in the notes of RQ2 'official', still today?  Old Chaosium products CoP, LoT? AH products SC, RoC, Dorastor?  As I recall just in those sources alone there were not-infrequent contradictions explicit or implied (I recall an entire mountain range ENE of the White Sea that kept shifting and has, I believe, finally determinedly vanished in the AAA?).  Not to mention the not-precisely-canon-but-pretty-firm-anyway reams and reams of discussion in the Glorantha Digest (http://glorantha.temppeli.org/digest/)?

If you look closely at certain passages of the Guide and e.g. Pavis GtA, you will find the relevant pieces from RQ2 era publications verbatim or with only slight alteration.

Discoveries have led to slight but significant rephrasing of previous publications.

Changes to the map outside of well traveled areas are just that. Prior to Frederic Cook's voyages, all maps showed the vast continent Terra Australis, which has shrunk to Down Under and New Zealand nowadays. Jule Verne's book about a balloon journey across Afrika had a significant mountain range on the watershed between Niger and Congo (? IIRC), which is in reality little more than a ridge of hills. In geography, there is an important rule: the map is not the terrain.

 

Just now, styopa said:

Or does the "canonical" world of Glorantha now begin with the Guide? (ie the Guide essentially rationalizes 'all that stuff' into a reasonably-coherent whole)

In a number of ways, yes. The Guide is the first definitive collection of fact-checking with an official inprimatur. I was involved in previous attempts, with access to way less original writings on Glorantha than Jeff had at his hands.

There are a number of unfortunate descriptions in parts of the older material - like the Pharoah/Pharaoh mis-spelling and misnaming of the Godking of Kethaela, or his subordinate, the President of Caladraland. Old uses of adjectives changed their meanings in context with newer texts, and became obsolete. Stuff like that.

The discovery of Glorantha outside of western and central Genertela and the trail of destruction left behind by Harrek was as gradual a process as the inside story of Dara Happa, Carmania, and Jrustela. Heortling history and mythology saw a lot of discovery and re-examination of former broad strokes, too.

 

The information in the Guide is assumed to be true. There is still room for reinterpretations of some facts. E.g. the Morokanth.

Just now, styopa said:

I'm not really even disagreeing with you, but we have to recognize that the logical flip side of a richly detailed, broadly consistent world that's the product of 50 years of creative imagining by Greg plus ample and worthy contributions by authors including yourself is the concomitant burden of a lot for a new DM to potentially deal with (even if they decide to discard some of it in their version).

As everbody and their dog keeps pointing out - stay local, absorb those universal aspects that impact upon your patch of land, and start looking outside of that initial box only when you are ready. You can play oppressive Lunar NPCs without absorbing the entrie Lunar Empire entry of the Guide. You may make some surprising discoveries once you dig a little deeper, but nobody ever claimed that the Lunars were sane. (Or the Dara Happans, either.)                                                      

 

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5 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

Avalon Hill may not have owned Glorantha, but they always had the rights to publish whatever they wanted for RuneQuest. AH didn't really delay in publishing Gloranthan material. They launched RQ3 in 1984, and then Gods of Glorantha was published in 1985, followed by a number of reworked editions of Apple Lane, a Gloranthan Bestiary, Snakepipe Hollow, Troll Pak, and such in 1986-1988. There's also the Genertela boxed set in 1988. These were all done by Chaosium staff, and then published by Avalon Hill. Avalon Hill could and did publish Gloranthan material from early on, and Chaosium was happy to participate in such projects.

Ah, thanks for the explanation!  Anyway, viva la RQG!

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7 hours ago, styopa said:

  As I recall just in those sources alone there were not-infrequent contradictions explicit or implied (I recall an entire mountain range ENE of the White Sea that kept shifting and has, I believe, finally determinedly vanished in the AAA?). 

That wasn't a mountain, it was a True Dragon creeping across the landscape.  Each of those maps were correct.  (For any newbies out there, I'm just making a joke - don't want to confuse anybody.)

Edited by Pentallion
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6 hours ago, Eddy said:

having ran a recent Griffin Mountain campaign myself and experiencing similar problems

One of the reasons why I set my old RQ campaign in adjacent Imther - a good Lunar province, opportunity for intrigue in cities and between rival cults and factions, and easy access to Balazar to complete quests important to the campaign (in my case, it was the search for the weapons of the legendary Earthwielder - one of which was in a buried temple in the cursed Plain of Stones, and another at Gonn Orta's Castle).  And also served as a way to reflect conflict between the divinely-influenced and rather mercantile Lunars (Etyries) seeking amber along the coast of the Elf Sea (and settling a colony to gather it) vs. the primitive/spiritual ways of the shamanistic Balazarings.  Some of it found its way to print in New Lolon Gospel, Codex, Enclosure, and Tales; and I've posted some revised and more canonical bits in the Glorantha forum on this site.

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8 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

Avalon Hill may not have owned Glorantha, but they always had the rights to publish whatever they wanted for RuneQuest. AH didn't really delay in publishing Gloranthan material. They launched RQ3 in 1984, and then Gods of Glorantha was published in 1985, followed by a number of reworked editions of Apple Lane, a Gloranthan Bestiary, Snakepipe Hollow, Troll Pak, and such in 1986-1988. There's also the Genertela boxed set in 1988. These were all done by Chaosium staff, and then published by Avalon Hill. Avalon Hill could and did publish Gloranthan material from early on, and Chaosium was happy to participate in such projects.

it's just that, for whatever reason (probably more through accident than design), no brand new scenario material set in Glorantha appeared in those eight years (1984 - 1992). 

As mentioned, we're not going to do anything like that: plenty of scenario material is planned from the go-get, from stand-alone one shot adventures through to campaigns.

 

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Plus, I believe it was mentioned in some of the ads for RQ3 that AH wanted to shift the emphasis away from Glorantha and make RQ a more generic game that could be adapted to handle other settings- specifically so that they could sell it as more of a fantasy RPG. There was a Glorantha book in the RQ boxed set, and they did reprint a lot of RQ2 Glorantha stuff for RQ3, but I think that was more to keep the existing fanbase on board while they shot for a bigger market. 

 

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I tend to prefer Griffin Mountain for that very reason; it gives the raw materials for scenario-building without everyone and his brother knowing the particulars of the campaign I'm running.  More room for creativity, too.

Heh... I pulled out my TotRM's to do a little refreshing on things Praxian, and what do I see at the top of Beornvig's desk stack?  #14.

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49 minutes ago, MOB said:

it's just that, for whatever reason (probably more through accident than design), no brand new scenario material set in Glorantha appeared in those eight years (1984 - 1992). 

As mentioned, we're not going to do anything like that: plenty of scenario material is planned from the go-get, from stand-alone one shot adventures through to campaigns.

 

Imo that is frankly the most encouraging part of the entire RQ renaissance.  As much as I hate waiting, I'd rather wait a few more months for the rules to release, if it means the game has a robust collection of supporting material following-on immediately.  So MUCH more market-survivable, which means a better chance of it really catching hold.

 

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1 hour ago, MOB said:

As mentioned, we're not going to do anything like that: plenty of scenario material is planned from the go-get, from stand-alone one shot adventures through to campaigns.

Honestly that is the part of a new RQ that I am looking forward to the most: the new scenarios and campaign books. 

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