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Ian Cooper

HeroQuest and Glorantha, the future

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All,

Just to keep you up to date with UK Games Expo news. We discussed HeroQuest and Glorantha.

  • We are committed to continuing to support Glorantha via HeroQuest
  • We will focus, for now, on 1625- whilst RQG establishes 1625+ material
    • At some point we will produce a genre pack that shows you how to play HeroQuest A boin the later Dragon Pass material
    • We think continuing to play in the classic period prevents product duplication
  • Our projected books right now are:
    • A book focusing on the Sartar Rising material that is 'offstage' in The Eleven Lights. The big one is The Dragonrise. Your PCs can be the ones who lead this feat.
    • A book introducing Fonrit as a setting. We think this will be an ideal Sword and Soul setting, and a great place for new campaigns, that comes without some of the 'weight' of Dragon Pass, and is thus accessible for folks who want a 'ground floor' to get into Glorantha. As we see HeroQuest Glorantha as our fast-paced story engine, the presentation here will reflect that approach.
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Fonrit would be an insta-buy for me, though I'd like Umalthela even better. I think it is a good idea to aim at different time periods and geographical regions from RQG material to avoid duplication and am very glad to hear Chaosium stays commited to HeroQuest.

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15 hours ago, B. Cephalus said:

What happened to the Esrolia book?

I wouldn't be surprised if the Esrolia book turns into an RQG one, since that's what seems to have happened with Praxpak.

 

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5 hours ago, Steve said:

I wouldn't be surprised if the Esrolia book turns into an RQG one, since that's what seems to have happened with Praxpak.

 

Most likely we will end up with an HQG genre pack for a systemless or RQG book. But its a little way off to call as yet.

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4 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Most likely we will end up with an HQG genre pack for a systemless or RQG book. But its a little way off to call as yet.

This statement is somewhat confusing. What is a HQG genre pack for a systemless book?

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12 hours ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

This statement is somewhat confusing. What is a HQG genre pack for a systemless book?

The HQG-specific stuff needed to turn the systemless book into something ready to play for HQG. So that would pretty much be the relevant keywords etc.

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5 hours ago, Steve said:

The HQG-specific stuff needed to turn the systemless book into something ready to play for HQG. So that would pretty much be the relevant keywords etc.

Right. A genre pack, as defined in HeroQuest is the keywords special ability definitions etc you need to play the game.

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18 hours ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

This statement is somewhat confusing. What is a HQG genre pack for a systemless book?

The genre packs should contain all the stuff that make it easy for a Narrator to play a certain style of game without thinking about it.

So, shaping keywords, providing examples of abilities and so on. Sample NPCs would be good as well, plus scenarios.

Hopefully, not new rules, as HeroQuest just doesn't need more rules.

Edited by soltakss

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IMO, biggest thing HQ packs need to go along with systemless setting guides (or RQ books) for Glorantha are breakdowns of Initiate vs Devotee level magic for the cults and similar.

It would also be beneficial to call out things like what used to be on the Inherently Difficult Magic list in HQ1. Like, if invisibility is the Blue Moon Trolls' special secret, they ought to have a Just the Right Thing augment for it while anyone trying it without their secret is a Stretch.

These are both examples where spelling context out for newcomers that old Runequest hands take for granted would be a big help.

Edited by JonL
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3 hours ago, JonL said:

IMO, biggest thing HQ packs need to go along with systemless setting guides (or RQ books) for Glorantha are breakdowns of Initiate vs Devotee level magic for the cults and similar.

It would also be beneficial to call out things like what used to be on the Inherently Difficult Magic list in HQ1. Like, if invisibility is the Blue Moon Trolls' special secret, they ought to have a Just the Right Thing augment for it while anyone trying it without their secret is a Stretch.

These are both examples where spelling context out for newcomers that old Runequest hands take for granted would be a big help.

In my opinion, the best thing that an OGL form of HeroQuest could do would be to throw that kind of thing out of the window.

Seriously. 

Why have Inherently Difficult Magic at all? What is the point? Just list the magic that Initiates can get and the magic that Devotees can get. Making this up here, Initiates might have Worship Orlanth (Cloud Call, Wind Words) and Devotees might have Worship Orlanth (Bless Thunderstone, Bless Woad, Cloud Call, Wind Words), with Wind Lords also getting Lightning, Dark Walk, Mist Cloud and Shield of Arran). No need for extra rules, just have an Ability (Worship Orlanth) and Breakouts (The spells they have). If Blue Moon Trolls have a Special Secret, it means that those who know the Secret know it under their Ability and those that don't know it don't have it. If you want to use magic that you don't have as a Breakout, then try it as a Stretch, by all means, but that comes under the Stretch rules, nothing more.

I might have mentioned this before, and I am sure I will mention it again, but HeroQuest is a beautifully simple system that gets bogged down by this kind of thing. My advice - Rip out all of that and take it back to basics.

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I dont disagree with how you're suggesting to approach it mechanically.  The point I'm trying to make is that I never had would have known that invisibility was nigh exclusively a BMT thing if I hadn't come across it in the GameAids pdf.

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18 hours ago, Steve said:

The HQG-specific stuff needed to turn the systemless book into something ready to play for HQG. So that would pretty much be the relevant keywords etc.

Okay, that makes sense.

 

13 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Right. A genre pack, as defined in HeroQuest is the keywords special ability definitions etc you need to play the game.

I hope that includes a questionnaire for forming communities such as Esrolian Houses.

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13 hours ago, soltakss said:

Why have Inherently Difficult Magic at all? What is the point?

So we dropped it for HQ2, for precisely the reason you suggest, it added complexity. As did ideas like Elemental Progression.

Now, it is your game, so if you want to pick up that idea from HQ1, that some forms of magic are inherently harder, or that elements have advantages over other elements, the go ahead. It's hard to know what works at your table. And details that stealth magic and mind control magic are 'hard' in Glorantha may be important to you. So impose a modifier.

But with the intent being for HQ to be a fast-paced, rules-lie, story-focused game some of the 'detail' in HQ1 was a compromise to inclusive to RQ players, who wanted HQ to 'model' Glorantha more. HQ2 tried to reset that, to focus on fast-paced play the kept the story flowing.

BTW, even when I know that 'invisibility' is hard, I also know that Greg simply disliked it because he didn't like the game results of their inclusion in standard spell lists derived from generic fantasy gaming. Narratively you would be far better off not making that magic available to many cults instead of penalizing its use.

 

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The allusion I was making to HQ1 was not so much to the extra crunch, but more to clearly spelling out things about the world that are not obvious.

More traditional games do a lot of explication on unreal things through their mechanical descriptions. That HQ doesn't go that route very often is a positive to me.

However, you still need to give people some idea what's typical vs extraordinary for the unreal things in the game world. The HQG materials taken alone are very uneven in that respect.

Look back at this thread from a few years ago when I was brand new to all this. Even after some close reading of the texts and research on here and at glorantha.com, I still didn't have a clear grasp on what many of the in-fiction capabilities are supposed to be until the many kind folks around here started filling in some blanks. 

Even then, one of the examples given was "anything bigger than an elemental" - which presumes I have any idea how big an elemental is supposed to be in this context.

So to sum up. I wasn't calling for a revival of HQ1 style crunch, but finding a copy of GameAids was the first time I got a clear grasp on what the baseline magnitude of magics were even supposed to be in the setting, because it's not clearly stated the current texts beyond Devotee level feats establishing an implicit ceiling for Initiate level magic.

Edited by JonL
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On 6/10/2018 at 4:24 AM, Ian Cooper said:

So we dropped it for HQ2, for precisely the reason you suggest, it added complexity.

I think this was a wise decision overall, particularly in a core-game context.

On 6/10/2018 at 4:24 AM, Ian Cooper said:

As did ideas like Elemental Progression.

Now, it is your game, so if you want to pick up that idea from HQ1, that some forms of magic are inherently harder, or that elements have advantages over other elements, the go ahead. It's hard to know what works at your table.

I could see reaching back to this sort of fiddly detail could be enriching if one were running a game about rival Malkioni schools recovering God Learner lore, secret societies in Ralios competing to steal rare grimoires to gain advantage in shadow duels, and similar - much like having detailed tactical choices for magic is enriching to Ars Magica. It could make for fine optional bits & bobs in a genre pack geared towards such a game, but am glad to not have to think about that sort of thing the rest of the time.

On 6/10/2018 at 4:24 AM, Ian Cooper said:

BTW, even when I know that 'invisibility' is hard, I also know that Greg simply disliked it because he didn't like the game results of their inclusion in standard spell lists derived from generic fantasy gaming. Narratively you would be far better off not making that magic available to many cults instead of penalizing its use.

Quoting from the old thread:

Quote

Previous articles (RQ era) by Greg offered the opoinon that as Glorantha has secrets, it must be hard to simply extract them with magic. So Mind Reading, Mind Control, Invisibility, and Teleport Somewhere Never Seen are difficult and the preserve of special cults. Only the Blue Moon Trolls have decent invisibility magic for example. Whilst Detect Lie is valid in a Gloranthan context, spells like Compel Truth are harder, and only Lhankor Mhy is going to have Reconstruction to view the past.

This is the kind of thing where knowing things about what magic is typical vs extraordinary is important to understanding the game world. The discussion on long-distance communication was similar. Some of this is spelled out well in the books, such as when addressing impact of broad availability of healing magic or the sidebar on Orlanthi flight. In other areas less so. back to your very helpful 2016 reply again: 

Quote

...once you have a spell that the fiction agrees effects multiple targets, more than about 10' square, does more damage as a 30' fall etc. you start to edge into the area where you have a ritual that requires multiple individuals to complete. IMO multiple targets is a particularly good dividing line between 'ready' magic and something that requires time and effort to cast.

This was really useful. Even without resorting to HQ1-style crunch & fiddliness, this gave me a baseline with which to assess plausibility & credibility.

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On 6/11/2018 at 3:58 PM, JonL said:

This is the kind of thing where knowing things about what magic is typical vs extraordinary is important to understanding the game world. The discussion on long-distance communication was similar.

This was really useful. Even without resorting to HQ1-style crunch & fiddliness, this gave me a baseline with which to assess plausibility & credibility.

Maybe we need a WF article on 'limits of Gloranthan magic' aimed at helping folks determine what is credible. Hmmm.

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 5:46 PM, Ian Cooper said:

Maybe we need a WF article on 'limits of Gloranthan magic' aimed at helping folks determine what is credible. Hmmm.

Something that comes across from the 'historical' source material, is that there's an almost exponential increase in effects from spirit to Rune magic, and then there are further steps to 'Temple' magic requiring several priests and assistants, and then Magical regiments.

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On 6/5/2018 at 1:47 AM, Ian Cooper said:

All,

Just to keep you up to date with UK Games Expo news. We discussed HeroQuest and Glorantha.

  • We are committed to continuing to support Glorantha via HeroQuest
  • We will focus, for now, on 1625- whilst RQG establishes 1625+ material
    • At some point we will produce a genre pack that shows you how to play HeroQuest A boin the later Dragon Pass material
    • We think continuing to play in the classic period prevents product duplication
  • Our projected books right now are:
    • A book focusing on the Sartar Rising material that is 'offstage' in The Eleven Lights. The big one is The Dragonrise. Your PCs can be the ones who lead this feat.
    • A book introducing Fonrit as a setting. We think this will be an ideal Sword and Soul setting, and a great place for new campaigns, that comes without some of the 'weight' of Dragon Pass, and is thus accessible for folks who want a 'ground floor' to get into Glorantha. As we see HeroQuest Glorantha as our fast-paced story engine, the presentation here will reflect that approach.

This sounds great that HQ remains committed to Glorantha. I'm looking forward to Dragonrise, but using Fonrit as a 'Sword and Soul' setting sounds interesting.

I remember Kethaela being discussed, with an Esrolia/Notchet book , and other settings in that region. I'm more than happy if this gets published as general Gloranthan Genre Packs rather than specifically for HQ. You can always sell additional RQ and HQ stat blocks pdfs associated with such, if people don't want to handwave it themselves. It makes sense for alot of Gloranthan products to be produced this way, it will save too much cross duplication between RQ and HQ products.

I prefer RQ to be used for Glorantha, but in any case I don't mind picking up new HQ products for Glorantha as well. The HQ stat blocks are almost generic in many ways, and very easy to port into any other system.

I do love the HQ system however, and really looking forward to it being used across a wide range of settings and genres! In fact I think it can do a much better job of this than BRP can do, it just needs the right promotion. I see HQ as one of the few good FATE rivals out there, and its something I one day envison transitioning my FATE players to.

 It is a shame on the pending name change, but I understand the legal issues associated with the previously dormant Heroquest board game

Personally I think the new HQ title could be logically called HeroQuester;

HeroQuester is such a similar name  that current fans will associate it as the same game as HQ, and it sounds just as good as HQ. It will also make sense if HQG remains published as HeroQuest Glorantha, then this core generic book will seem linked with a name like HeroQuester.

Plus we can still shorten the name HeroQuester to HQ! 👍

Just puttin' it out there 😁

Edited by Mankcam
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To me the HQ line evokes the mythic of Glorantha  in a much higher degree than RQ and I prefers (so far) the HQ products as a basis for my RQ campaigns (I always rewrite and ad lib so much RQ stats are pretty irrelevant in the published material anyway). 

Unless the heroquest system in the upcoming RQG is frakking brilliant, I probably will use my old HW based system for HQs anyway, but I sideeyeing Torchbearer/Burning Wheel for ideas rigth now. (One of these days I should actually take a serious look at HQ2 too).

What I want to say with this rambling is that the continuing support is good news to me!

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Fonrit is cool and I am definitely interested.  

Any chance of a Fronelan genre pack?  I've heard a rumor online that eg. The Book of Glorious Joy is now stripped from canon, but ever since reading Glorantha: Introduction To The Hero Wars I've wanted to run a game in the Janube valley with the incursion of the Kingdom of War, Hsunchen bear people in the woods, Lunar settlers, Orlanthi refugees and Malkioni natives all tussling things out.  What are the chances?

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GMing an expedition into the Big Rubble for my young cousins at a family reunion, at the same table where I first played D&D back in '79.

HeroQuest, Glorantha, & the Future indeed.

FB_IMG_1530794487442.jpg

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On 7/5/2018 at 2:09 PM, JonL said:

GMing an expedition into the Big Rubble for my young cousins at a family reunion, at the same table where I first played D&D back in '79.

HeroQuest, Glorantha, & the Future indeed.

Which one are you? 🙂

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On 6/29/2018 at 9:04 PM, Scorpio Rising said:

Fonrit is cool and I am definitely interested.  

Any chance of a Fronelan genre pack?  I've heard a rumor online that eg. The Book of Glorious Joy is now stripped from canon, but ever since reading Glorantha: Introduction To The Hero Wars I've wanted to run a game in the Janube valley with the incursion of the Kingdom of War, Hsunchen bear people in the woods, Lunar settlers, Orlanthi refugees and Malkioni natives all tussling things out.  What are the chances?

It's possible. A lot of it depends on getting a pitch from a writer...

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