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RQG: Reviews Thread

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"RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha is a landmark, and was even before it was written... it marks the return of one of the most influential and storied games in our hobby back to the house that built it... No other RuneQuest—and this is coming from a guy from whom you’d have to pry his Cults of Prax or Cults of Terror from his cold, dead hands—does Glorantha as well as RQG."—Andrew Logan Montgomery, Exploring the Otherworlds of Fiction, Magic, and Gaming.

Andrew Logan Montgomery has written a deeply insightful 7000 word review of the new RUNEQUEST: ROLEPLAYING IN GLORANTHA (helpfully split up into sections, e.g. "Game System, Combat, Magic, Glorantha etc).

Whether you're an old time RuneQuester, or someone whose new to it all and curious, this review is well worth your time!

Edited by MOB
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5 hours ago, MOB said:

Andrew Logan Montgomery has written a deeply insightful 7000 word review of the new RUNEQUEST: ROLEPLAYING IN GLORANTHA (helpfully split up into sections, e.g. "Game System, Combat, Magic, Glorantha etc).

Whether you're an old time RuneQuester, or someone whose new to it all and curious, this review is well worth your time!

That is a very solid review indeed. Once I get to running this Runequest, I might want to go back to this and have my players read parts of that to get some of the nuances of role-playing in Glorantha.

Edited by Grievous
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Review of RQG by author, historian, and creator of Chaosium's CREDO, Chris Gidlow (originally posted in the RuneQuest Facebook Group):

Getting Bronze Age on your ass!

To say the new RPG Runequest: Role-playing in Glorantha is a delight is an understatement. The beautiful book, inspiring art and text and harmonious design whisk you into another world, a world I simply couldn't bear to be parted from, couldn't wait to adventure in. The overall feel is of an aspirational self help course, drawing lessons and inspiration from Jung and Ayurveda. In a good way. Although in a sense a very old-school fantasy role-playing game, at the same time the book is clearly aware of the 21st Century context in which it will be played, and is responsible and inspiring in its messaging
As an old Runequest player, I found the game recognizably and reassuringly Runequest 2. Some particularly rousing pieces of art from the old game are retained. A small text box explains how the new game differs from the old, and a handy page at the end explains how you can easily convert resources from the old system to the new. This update of RQ2 is spliced with recognisable elements from Pendragon like background cultures, an extensive character family background creation system, passions, runic affinities in opposing pairs, renown and an annual cycle of book keeping and advancement. Think situations where your love of Sartar clashes with your affinity to the death Rune. Like Pendragon knights, default characters have prior experience (in RQ2 this was optional. RQG offers the option of a 16 year old ‘zero to hero’ start as in RQ2).

Comparing RQG to the old system misses the point, though. As a new game for new players, RQG carves its niche as a firmly bronze age experience. You are in a world where you might ride around in a chariot and where the first thing you learn about potentially lethal combat is it probably starts and ends with a challenge between your champion and theirs. The bronze age atmosphere is all pervasive from equipment lists to illustrations of strike ranks using mycenaean weapons or a climber scaling walls that look like they might surround Troy. Pirates don't look like Captain Jack Sparrow, they look like the Sea Peoples from Egyptian temple walls. The History of the Lunar conquest of Dragon Pass features a series of bas reliefs which could have been quarried from the palace of King Sargon of Assyria. Even the list of jewellery reads like the catalogue from an archaeological museum. This is a bronze age, however as its inhabitants envisaged it to be: pervaded by spirits (the section on Shamanism alone could be the focus of an entire campaign) and dominated by the actions and desires of superhuman deities. Even sorcery, which in previous editions offended me as a quasi medieval intrusion from other fantasy RPGs, comes across as the sort of sinister amoral cabbalism you might find in Ptolemaic Egypt. It's illustration owes nothing to Gandalf or Merlyn.

I can well imagine early hacks to these rules relocating the action to Homeric Greece, the Indus Valley or Biblical Canaan or other real world milieux.

That is not to say, though, that the Glorantha setting is completely alien. FRPG players will find the image of a party of assorted player characters confronting a baddie monster in a cave reassuringly familiar. These pregenerated characters pop up throughout the book like the standard PCs in 3rd Edition D&D. A lot of the illustrations exude the Wild West feel which has always pervaded Runequest, helped by the fact that many characters wear the fully authentic bronze age wide brimmed hats while mounted on their nomadic steeds.
Knitting it all together is the saga of Vasana, combining the progress and rules examples of Rurik the Restless with the evocative travels of Biturian Varosh in RQ2. Presented as a sort of Conan, known from fragmentary adventures in the Hero Wars, she begins as a paper player character produced mechanically by the actions of a roleplayer at a table, and emerges as a totally real hero, ready to take on that lizard monster on the front of the quick start rules. And that transformative experience ought, surely, to be the goal of any successful role-playing game.

 

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Micro review as I just bought it an hour ago.

The art is EPIC.

I love the 80s and 90s art. Some of my favorite Glorantha art of all time is the Reaching Moon fan art because while it may not all be technically great, it captures the feeling.

The overall graphic design of this book, while moderately safe in the sense that it is very similar to other major rpg works, is excellent.

Not many of us buy rpg books for the art. I only bought this today for that reason...I knew I was going to pick up a copy or two at GenCon and didn't have a problem waiting as I just finished my round as GM and am ready to turn the brain off and be a player for a while.

I am not speaking in hyperbole when I say that I got emotional looking through this thing. I don't have any idea about the game other than I had last year's preview copy from GenCon (which I assume is 90% the same). The art in this book is the first time I've felt like the art went further than the throwaway statement "captures the feeling of the setting". The Guide was really good, but this is next level comparatively. The art in this work IS the setting in my mind, or at least as close as a stranger could represent it with no input from me whatsoever.

Thanks everyone involved. 

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On 6/1/2018 at 6:09 AM, MOB said:

"RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha is a landmark, and was even before it was written... it marks the return of one of the most influential and storied games in our hobby back to the house that built it... No other RuneQuest—and this is coming from a guy from whom you’d have to pry his Cults of Prax or Cults of Terror from his cold, dead hands—does Glorantha as well as RQG."—Andrew Logan Montgomery, Exploring the Otherworlds of Fiction, Magic, and Gaming.

Andrew Logan Montgomery has written a deeply insightful 7000 word review of the new RUNEQUEST: ROLEPLAYING IN GLORANTHA (helpfully split up into sections, e.g. "Game System, Combat, Magic, Glorantha etc).

Whether you're an old time RuneQuester, or someone whose new to it all and curious, this review is well worth your time!

Well, that was a very thorough review. I'm still most likely to wait for the first Fantasy Earth book, never having been a huge Glorantha fan, but this review at least has me tempted.

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54 minutes ago, Rhialto the Marvellous said:

Well, that was a very thorough review. I'm still most likely to wait for the first Fantasy Earth book, never having been a huge Glorantha fan, but this review at least has me tempted.

I cannot imagine there will ever be a fantasy earth version*, as the authors (and much of the RQ2 fanbase) rather despised AH's disconnection of RQ from Glorantha.  Despised might actually be understating it.

*not to say some fan mightn't develop a total conversion, but the legalities of trademarks, etc would certainly have to be clearer.

Edited by styopa
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26 minutes ago, styopa said:

I cannot imagine there will ever be a fantasy earth version*, as the authors (and much of the RQ2 fanbase) rather despised AH's disconnection of RQ from Glorantha.  Despised might actually be understating it.

*not to say some fan mightn't develop a total conversion, but the legalities of trademarks, etc would certainly have to be clearer.

No, "Runequest Fantasy Earth" has been confirmed as an upcoming system.

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1 hour ago, Richard S. said:

No, "Runequest Fantasy Earth" has been confirmed as an upcoming system.

Should have been clearer: the "Fantasy Earth" books, we will see: Mythic Iceland first (I assume), followed by Mythic Atlantis, Mythic Opar, etc. Might as well suggest, while I'm at it.

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3 hours ago, Rhialto the Marvellous said:

Should have been clearer: the "Fantasy Earth" books, we will see: Mythic Iceland first (I assume), followed by Mythic Atlantis, Mythic Opar, etc. Might as well suggest, while I'm at it.

Ah, you're talking about BRP.

I was talking about RQG ported to fantasy earth.

There's a pretty big distance between BRP and RQ now.

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Indie RPG blog Festive Ninja isn't a fan of the way character generation is handled in RQG but in an otherwise highly positive review says "if you care about Glorantha you should buy it now—this is greatly improved edition which integrates Glorantha into the game in a way that we haven’t seen since RQ2... The artwork is astonishing, it is both well executed and it is clear that a massive effort was invested in providing art direction to capture the unique aesthetic of a myth infused bronze age setting."

https://festive.ninja/2018/06/03/runequest-adventures-in-glorantha-first-impressions

Edited by MOB

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5 hours ago, styopa said:

Ah, you're talking about BRP.

I was talking about RQG ported to fantasy earth.

There's a pretty big distance between BRP and RQ now.

There will be a RuneQuest Fantasy Earth book. Fantasy Earth is a setting, not a generic BRP rules system.

That being said, you'll see a standalone RQ Mythic Iceland before that, and likely two or three other standalone books in the RQ Fantasy Earth line before a core book gets done. But that is grist for a later discussion.

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6 hours ago, Jeff said:

There will be a RuneQuest Fantasy Earth book. Fantasy Earth is a setting, not a generic BRP rules system.

Well, pedantically yes. 

But when a "rule system" is written like RQG with great effort toward synthesizing the setting and the rules into an homogeneous whole, the distinction between "setting" and "rule system" is made somewhat less clear.

I'm delighted to hear that's an eventual goal for the RQ(X) mechanics.  When I googled Mythic Iceland Chaosium I got (https://www.chaosium.com/mythic-iceland-1/ "... Pedro Ziviani is writing an updated and revised edition of his Mythic Iceland book for BRP. This will be the first release using the new BRP Essentialsthe forthcoming 32 page booklet containing the core elements of the BRP system....." ) which would explain my confusion that it is a setting for BRP.

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14 hours ago, styopa said:

Ah, you're talking about BRP.

I was talking about RQG ported to fantasy earth.

There's a pretty big distance between BRP and RQ now.

No, I was referring to what Jeff said, and assume the same mechanics (passions, skill augmentation using them, runes, etc.) will be re-integrated with the Fantasy Earth setting vice Glorantha. But it is just a guess. 🤔 

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1 hour ago, Rhialto the Marvellous said:

No, I was referring to what Jeff said, and assume the same mechanics (passions, skill augmentation using them, runes, etc.) will be re-integrated with the Fantasy Earth setting vice Glorantha. But it is just a guess. 🤔 

Yes it will. Runequest Fantasy Earth will be RuneQuest after all.

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On 6/1/2018 at 7:02 AM, Grievous said:

That is a very solid review indeed. Once I get to running this Runequest, I might want to go back to this and have my players read parts of that to get some of the nuances of role-playing in Glorantha.

It is a very good review, but I do wish the author had not chosen to denigrate the work done on the game system by The Design Mechanism and Mongoose by asserting, "Nor did these subsequent editions really improve RuneQuest itself. Each fiddled with and tweaked the system, more to justify the existence of publishing a new set of rules than anything else." 

I do not deny the influence from a financial standpoint to produce new revisions and supplements over time to maintain a revenue stream and I acknowledge that some questionable choices were made by Mongoose.  However, my reading of and experience with the work that Mssrs Nash and Whitaker put into refining the game system suggests they have done a great service to the evolution of the RuneQuest/BRP system and that their work was done out of respect and fondness for the system and the long history of RuneQuest.  Surely the reviewer could have lamented the separation of the game system from the much beloved Glorantha setting without belittling the devoted work of others on the game system itself.

Edit: I did not notice that I was not quoting the post quoted in the post that I quoted.  This is the referenced review:

https://andrewloganmontgomery.blogspot.com/2018/05/runequest-roleplaying-in-glorantha.html

Edited by ThornPlutonius
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18 hours ago, Jeff said:

Yes it will. Runequest Fantasy Earth will be RuneQuest after all.

You are going to hate me for this question, but what will RuneQuest for Famtasy Earth be called?

It can't be RQG, as Fantasy Earth is not Glorantha, so would make no sense.

Perhaps RQNG for RuneQuest Next Generation, or RuneQuest Not-Glorantha?

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I've got mixed feelings about a product like Fantasy Earth. I'm not really interested in Mythic Iceland. I might pick it up out of a sense of completeness and curiosity, but can't see myself running or playing it. I could imagine playing an Eastern Mediterranean game with Sumerian, Egyptian and Greek characters adventuring around the ancient world. Ken Hite is running a 13th Age game in a souped-up versions of the Hellenistic Period. He mentions it occasionally on the Ken & Robin podcast, and it sounds like a blast.

It would have to include some really strong calls to adventure and resources to promote play. It's very easy for historical supplements to just be summaries of historical and mythical material. As such they can be pretty dry. Pendragon works so well because it gives your characters a lot to go out and do, right there in the core book. Being a knight is a job, just like being a Sartarite Thane, or being an Ernaldan priestess is a job. Legend of the 5 Rings did this very well too by building a lot of factions and forces and conflicts into the world.

Simon Hibbs

Edited by simonh

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18 hours ago, Jeff said:

Yes it will. Runequest Fantasy Earth will be RuneQuest after all.

I have no real issues with it but I would really recommend Chaosium to put most of its energy into Glorantha material, and not just new versions of old settings but also completely new material. Chaosium is the only company that can do this. RQ Fantasy Earth can be good in the future but I would prefer that the "old hands" prioritize Glorantha. TDM has released some outstanding Fantasy Earth material for Mythras (formerly known as RQ6) so I dont really see the need for this. IMHO Mythras is a great system for historical settings even if I of course will use RQG for Glorantha.

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2 hours ago, ThornPlutonius said:

It is a very good review, but I do wish the author had not chosen to denigrate the work done on the game system by The Design Mechanism and Mongoose...

Absoutely, MRQ2 is a rock solid, high quality, great fun game system. Although RQG is great, I would have had no issues whatsoever with Chaosium just adding character backgrounds and runes and calling it RQ7. I'm not sure which I would prefer... probably RQG, but its a close call and also I haven't actually used RQG yet.

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I never got on with the combat mechanics, or resilience/persistence stuff in MRQ/RQ6. It's what turns me off OpenQuest as well. Any fantasy BRP variant has to beat Elric, it's my baseline system for comparison. I'm undecided about RQG on that score, but it's better than any other edition on that score since RQ2 and RQ3. Certainly even if I went with the Elric core system for an actual campaign, It would be just the skeleton inside an RQG body.

Bwahahahaha!

Simon Hibbs

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   19 hours ago,  Jeff said: 

Yes it will. Runequest Fantasy Earth will be RuneQuest after all.

I have no real issues with it but I would really recommend Chaosium to put most of its energy into Glorantha material, and not just new versions of old settings but also completely new material. Chaosium is the only company that can do this. RQ Fantasy Earth can be good in the future but I would prefer that the "old hands" prioritize Glorantha. TDM has released some outstanding Fantasy Earth material for Mythras (formerly known as RQ6) so I dont really see the need for this. IMHO Mythras is a great system for historical settings even if I of course will use RQG for Glorantha.”

 

There were a variety of reasons l/ we stopped playing RQ 30 years ago.  One big one was the lack of support scenarios.  While the Big Rubble and Borderlands are top line, other systems provided many more ready made scenarios.  Working stiffs do not always have time or ability to design from scratch.

All this to say I hope Chaosium focuses enough on RQG for it not to loose momentum

Edited by Mac
Poor layout

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