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CountingWizard

PDF of Wyrm's Footnotes

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I've been searching for months trying to track down a PDF of Wyrm's Footnotes. I've been playing the Avalon Hill version of Dragon Pass and working on a creating a campaign setting for my OD&D game using the map board, but I could use a little more information about the area. I've read King of Sartar, and some of the other supplements that deal with entities in or around Dragon Pass, but they diverge in crazy ways from the original rulebook for the board game and are not at all what I want in my setting. I've also read the rules for runequest (old and new) to see how much changed, but still found enough differences to put me off. I've read the rules for the Nomad Gods board game, and I can tell that is where Greg Stafford began to diverge from my original expectations of the setting, what with each tribe riding a different animal, and myth building overtaking everything else. From what I can tell from other people who have read them, the first few issues of Wyrm's Footnotes before Runequest would probably have some of the basic lore information I need to put the board game in context with an ongoing OD&D campaign, but it is very difficult to find them for sale much less a digital version I can immediately read to see if it is right for me.

Does anyone know where I can find or purchase a digital version of these early issues of Wyrm's Footnotes?

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You sound like your contribution to the thread Bits of Glorantha you ignore would be "Beast Riders of Prax, the Mythology".

There are no legal pdfs of the early Footnotes. But then, there has been a publication which extracted the Glorantha content (mainly the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha series and the Dragon Pass campaign) into a single volume called Wyrm's Footprints. Out of print, but probably available second hand.

The upcoming 13th Age Glorantha book and more specifically its system-less companion volume which describes the exact setting of the boardgame and its period might be more useful, but you can't escape the myth-building.

Nomad Gods is mentioned as early as WF4 (as opposed to advertised), IIRC. Apart from a few extra units in Wyrm's Footnotes and some probably even harder to find short articles by Greg in APA zines, it was the second publication on Glorantha, and all subsequent publications refer to it some way or another.

For OD&D the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha series would probably be already more info than you need about the gods if you don't like Prax. Still, the "Cults of Prax" remains the best approach to the deities of Dragon Pass inside the RuneQuest canon to date.

For a Dragon Pass gazetteer, Dragon Pass Land of Thunder has information on all locations shown on the gameboard. All those strange names can be read as past heroes if you don't like the proliferation of named aspects and subcults that was the rage in the Hero Wars and HeroQuest 1 era. Or you read the 10 pages gazetteer part of Guide to Glorantha that covers those locations, and maybe the Orlanthi culture pages (which are brimming with mythological references, though).

As much as it is tied into Prax and the mythology, the Pavis and the Big Rubble setting with a good portion of old school dungeoneering might still be well suited to your style of playing. It also has some of the most accessible information on the EWF outside of the treatment it received in the Mongoose RQ line. Since you aren't concerned with Gloranthan canon at all, those products might be well-suited as background information, and you could mash up the Hero Wars period of the boardgame with some of the events of the God Learner era.

 

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Please keep us posted on your progress. I'd second Joerg's response on WF availability and especially on the Pavis campaign, which was arguably the closest that Glorantha ever got to ODD baseline play. Even if you don't like the mythology brought in for Prax I'd still consider the high-level background in Cults of Prax as a window to the world of WBRM. Otherwise, there are those obscure APA articles about Sartar (remarkably cohesive with the way that piece of the setting has evolved), the Redline History of the Lunar Empire and the archaic notes on the West that only peripherally connected to Dragon Pass in the beginning. 

What, if you don't mind, do you love about WBRM that isn't there by the time we get to NG and Runequest?

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12 hours ago, CountingWizard said:

I've been searching for months trying to track down a PDF of Wyrm's Footnotes. I've been playing the Avalon Hill version of Dragon Pass and working on a creating a campaign setting for my OD&D game using the map board, but I could use a little more information about the area. I've read King of Sartar, and some of the other supplements that deal with entities in or around Dragon Pass, but they diverge in crazy ways from the original rulebook for the board game and are not at all what I want in my setting.

As others noted, there are no pdf's for old Wyrm's Footnotes.  Most Glorantha specific articles have reappeared in some form such as RQ Companion (in process of becoming a pdf as part of the RQ Classic reprint), Wyrm's Footprints (a Best Of... set that is also OOP, but you might be able to find a hardcopy of), or the Glorantha Sourcebook (part of the 13th Age in Glorantha kickstarter which will likely be available on its own too some time in 2018).

I'm not sure what specific information you're looking for, especially given you don't seem to want to go in the direction taken by Greg (e.g. King of Sartar, the Guide to Glorantha, or the HeroQuest supplements Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes or the Sartar Companion).  Myth-building is inherent in almost everything Gloranthan, from well before WBRM appeared.  The recent Wyrms Footnotes #15 has the index to all articles in the old WF line.  I have #5, 7, 9, & 11-14 and xeroxed snippets from some others so have a pretty good feel for actual content.  There were a few units added to WBRM (some of which are in the AH Dragon Pass version), new units for Nomad Gods, the series on Gods & Goddesses of Glorantha, the first 5 sections of the Lunar Redline history, a few articles based on the in-house Sartar campaign (particularly the Temple of the Wooden Sword), some odds & ends of Glorantha material (e.g. a fragment of Ethilrist's history of his Black Horse Troop), and increasingly a number of Q&A articles on RuneQuest.

If there's something more specific you're trying to get to, let us know, but you may find that it's easiest to take the Dragon Pass gazeteer that @Joerg noted and run with that in the direction you want to go.

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

Please keep us posted on your progress. I'd second Joerg's response on WF availability and especially on the Pavis campaign, which was arguably the closest that Glorantha ever got to ODD baseline play. Even if you don't like the mythology brought in for Prax I'd still consider the high-level background in Cults of Prax as a window to the world of WBRM. Otherwise, there are those obscure APA articles about Sartar (remarkably cohesive with the way that piece of the setting has evolved), the Redline History of the Lunar Empire and the archaic notes on the West that only peripherally connected to Dragon Pass in the beginning. 

What, if you don't mind, do you love about WBRM that isn't there by the time we get to NG and Runequest?

WBRM is closer to Conan, Stormbringer, and Lord of the Rings in terms of setting. There are less chieftancies and more kingdoms, most if not all of the factions are iron age in technology, there are traditional mounted knights, roman legionaries, nomadic barbarians, late-stage mongolian barbarians, bandit kingdom, and then your basic fantasy troll kingdom and a touch of the weird like the crimson bat, the dragon newts,  stonemen, and shaker cult. What I enjoy the most about it is that it maintains a pretty strong separation of civilization vs weird fantasy; where the civilizations are fairly mundane and historical based, while the fantastic is a constant threat on the borders.

For example, some of the changes I noticed were that Black Horse County has mounts that are alien-looking hellhorses, and are no longer knights. The other is that different books and games are talking about these cultures in disparate parts of history. It's difficult to figure out if the lore is talking about Dragon Pass during the hero wars or during an earlier stage of settlement when perhaps everyone really was from different bronze age tribes and smaller settlements. The use of the word "tribes" and "chieftains" denotes a lower level of civilization, technology, and population. The maps are different for later versions of the area as well, and it is confusing to try and pick and choose what should apply to my campaign.

I've settled on forming a core of the campaign around the lore that is present in the Dragon Pass rulebook (can't get a hold of a WBRM rulebook but I hear there is a mini-comic or something in there which is awesome). I need a little more info to create a list of gods, what they represent, and make a determination of law, neutral, chaos alignment (in Poul Anderson terms); and maybe any additional lore bits if I see anything. I'm perfectly fine for making up my own dungeons and lore for anything not described in detail; in fact I prefer the campaign setting to be a set of guidelines rather than defined to the nth degree. To be clear, I like most of the Nomad Gods content, I just don't like that in Dragon Pass the Praxians ride horses, while in Nomad Gods they ride their clan animals. I could understand each tribe herding a specific type of animal, but riding them seems like a bridge too far.

Edited by CountingWizard
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2 minutes ago, CountingWizard said:

WBRM is closer to Conan, Stormbringer, and Lord of the Rings in terms of setting. There are less chieftancies and more kingdoms, most if not all of the factions are iron age in technology, there are traditional mounted knights, roman legionaries, nomadic barbarians, late-stage mongolian barbarians, bandit kingdom, and then your basic fantasy troll kingdom

I don't think you'll find that reading of WBRM anywhere in published sources.  The RQ3 boxed set on Genertela which added a pseudo-medieval European flavor to the West of Glorantha, particularly in the artwork, is probably closest to that viewpoint (e.g. mounted knights, traditional wizards), but certainly diverged from Greg's view.

Bronze Age permeates Greg's vision of Glorantha.  The Sartar High Council outlined in WF 7 is clearly about tribes and tribal kings.  The phalanxes of the Lunar Empire have something of a 5th cen. Greek look in WBRM, though Assyrian is a better fit (and the closest to Iron Age that you're likely to find).  

11 minutes ago, CountingWizard said:

some of the changes I noticed were that Black Horse County has mounts that are alien-looking hellhorses, and are no longer knights.

They are demon hell-horses which Ethilrist brought out of the Underworld, and that goes right back to WF 1. 

14 minutes ago, CountingWizard said:

The other is that different books and games are talking about these cultures in disparate parts of history. It's difficult to figure out if the lore is talking about Dragon Pass during the hero wars or during an earlier stage of settlement when perhaps everyone really was from different bronze age tribes and smaller settlements.

Unless you're looking over the Mongoose RQ line, all the published games and books focus on the late 3rd age either just before or as the Hero Wars begin (ca. 1615-1625).  WBRM is pretty much set in 1625-35.  This period is still bronze age tribes and settlements (and even the Lunar Empire is largely a tributary empire such as early Assyrian Empire).  

18 minutes ago, CountingWizard said:

I just don't like that in Dragon Pass the Praxians ride horses, while in Nomad Gods they ride their clan animals

The Pol-Joni tribes which appear in Dragon Pass game are just on the margins of the Wastes and don't represent the bulk of nomads there.  It's also something that goes right to the beginnings of the view of Prax in Glorantha.

27 minutes ago, CountingWizard said:

I've settled on forming a core of the campaign around the lore that is present in the Dragon Pass rulebook

Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes is probably the most detailed background of the area and lore (and first time it was all presented since WBRM appeared).  All the main gods are listed there, so you can take those and run with those in the direction desired.  But the mythic background permeates it as well, so you'll just have to work around that.

30 minutes ago, CountingWizard said:

mini-comic

Probably Prince of Sartar.  It's here:  http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/1-the-flame-of-sartar/ 

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41 minutes ago, CountingWizard said:

I've settled on forming a core of the campaign around the lore that is present in the Dragon Pass rulebook (can't get a hold of a WBRM rulebook

Thanks -- you should be good with DP, which has all the lore seeded across a more "professional" layout. The "minicomic" is really just a couple of Gene Day panels with recurring characters that can be pieced together into a kind of larger story about the "disciples of the Earthquake School" and the Wolf Pirates, but even at that point you're moving well beyond the Glorantha we know.

A couple of years ago I managed to acquire a set of WBRM containing the original owner's expansions, a few new superheroes and so on. It had a very Moorcock feel. I'll get you the pages if it helps you on your journey -- I wonder if the first steps are to mash the implied world of DP up with Stormbringer (or Arduin) and see what sticks.

Let me also see what might be useful in early WF. 

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