Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Khelbiros

Advice for HeroQuest: Glorantha Mini-Campaign

8 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

I'm going to run a short game (four or so sessions) with my current RPG group. I've got HeroQuest Glorantha and the two Sartar books.  The group hasn't played HeroQuest before, and all they know that it's a 'bronze age' style campaign. Is the best way to start with the clan questionnaire in the first Sartar book? It does seem a bit long - if anyone has tried it? Is it the best way to build a clan? Should the group agree on each answer, or just one person do one part of the quiz at a time to keep things moving?

To get the group invested in the setting, I want them to design their own clan and build in characters that link to it. Otherwise, I was thinking of something like how the Dresden Files book has you building the PC 'world', where everyone contributes a fact or conflict about the world.

Let me know what the best way to start this off would be.

Cheers.

Edited by Khelbiros

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I used it with my players to build out their clan.  I used a poll for each question with majority determining outcome, and ties either broken by me or indicating that both conditions were true.  I believe others have used the approach of each person answering a question which ensures that everyone has a voice in the creation. 

While I could have created the clan myself using random rolls or my own decisions, having the players do so is far more interesting - and it lets you see what engages them (and what ideas it may create for you as the GM).  For instance, the Orlmarth clan in my game hates the Fire Tribe (and fear the Cinder Pits).  And the Fire Tribe has been a consistent foe to them in various forms (Lunars, fire demons).

My players did create their characters first and then we figured out how the character fit into the clan.  But the opposite works fine too.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CAUTION, WILL ROBINSON!  :D

While I love the deep-dive creation of characters and setting in conjunction, that's often a full game-session of activity and IME some players don't experience it as "gaming" but as prep / overhead.  It can be really challenging in a mini-saga format (4ish sessions) to realize the investment of time and creativity from that kind of thing.  Quite a few players that I know personally (and a sentiment I have seen expressed in various gaming fora) is that many players don't want that much up-front CharGen time for a short-form campaign.

FWIW -- you know your players.  Maybe I offer this to no point... but offer it I do.

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, g33k said:

the deep-dive creation of characters and setting in conjunction, that's often a full game-session of activity and IME some players don't experience it as "gaming" but as prep / overhead.  It can be really challenging in a mini-saga format (4ish sessions) to realize the investment of time and creativity from that kind of thing.

One approach that you could take if you want this aspect but don't want to take the session time for it is to put together a short poll/survey and have the players take it beforehand (which also gives the GM some time to interpret the results).  Services like SurveyMonkey allow you to put such together for free (though may be limited to 10 questions, so pick the ones you think may be intriguing/useful), or you can do such in RPGGeek as well (though everyone would minimally need an account there), or even just use email or a spreadsheet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used the questionnaire in my first heroquest campaign, and made the mistake of using the version in the starter pack rather than the one in the book -- the latter of which which I believe contains a lot more information about the reasons and the stories behind all the questions. I would suggest using that version of you indeed choose to use one at all -- I think particularly for such a short campaign you'll get more bang for your buck by focusing on the characters rather than the clan.

My experience is that players care little about background for background's sake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a good and bad side to the clan creation questionnaire. The good is that it teaches the players about the mythic and real-world history of Glorantha. It sets up their clan's enemies and friends. The bad is that it is a lot of play before play, that may not be used.

You don't have to use the clan generator before play, you could play some sessions and return to it. Of course, some choices may not make sense once play has begun, your early sessions will pretty much reveal if the clan has thralls, what its attitude to the Empire is etc. but you can decide those results of you need to when the group comes to play.

Alternatively, as the GM you could indulge in solo-play to build the clan, learning about the setup yourself, and record the results on the clan record sheet. Then you can work in details of explanations for the players as it comes up in play. This means the players get less invested in those choices, but lowers their learning curve about Glorantha.

Indeed, if you use something like The Coming Storm, the clan generator results are pre-done for you in precisely this way. We recommend putting aside some time to run through them, but this could certainly be once a few sessions have passed and the players want to get into more detail. In your case this could well be a later campaign.

I would always focus on building a relationship map of key NPCs over the clan's mythic background, for the first few sessions.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

... for the first few sessions.

But note the the OP is suggesting that "the first few sessions" is all there is... maybe all they anticipate ever playing...

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0