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revshafer

Great Runequest Campaign

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The mechanics of Runequest Glorantha now allow for the kind of passions and familial connections that exist in Pendragon. Given the success of The Great Pendragon Campaign, and that the course of the Hero Wars have been described in the Glorantha books, Will there be a Great Runequest Campaign?

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I think people like Gloranthas to vary more than would be practicable for a 'definitive canon' book to be produced covering three generations. With Pendragon, most groups don't have the players replacing Art, Gwen, Lance and Morty, and there is One Big Maguffin, so the general storyline is going to go down the broad lines that everyone knows, helped by the fact that the PKs are all from one narrow profession/social class. I reckon the PCs in RQG games are going to end up being 'among the Argraths' that determine the course and outcomes of the Hero Wars, and the routes travelled will be too diverse and varied for anything overarching beyond a 'spine timeline' to be very much use.

 

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The nearest equivalent I can think of would be a campaign centred around a single clan or Tribe, extended over several generations from before the Lunar occupation, about 1590, through to after the liberation of Sartar and the coronation of Argrath as King of Dragon Pass in 1643. We have clan and Tribe based campaigns for the Red Cow and Colymar but they’re much more constrained temporally. 

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While I'd be very excited about this, it would be huge. One of the fundamental differences between the two systems is the Pendragon is one adventure per year (KAP5.2 p116) and RuneQuest Glorantha is one per season (RQG p137). Given that opportunity for experience rolls in RQG is seasonal, most would want an adventure per season. Alternatively there could be more smaller adventures like in Pendaragon. A worst case scenario (pun intended) is a 1625 to 1655 (Moon Fall), 30 years with 6 seasons per year = 180 adventures. Plotting in children:

1625 start aged 21

1625-30 have first child

1636-1641 aged 36+. First child's initiation (Play as Inexperienced Adventurers aged 15-16)

1655 aged 51, child aged 30.

This doesn't include playing other family members though. As longs it follows Argath as the as the key plot, shouldn't be a problem with divergence.

This is completely doable

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Have a look at the below, from my website. If you include that with my Hero Wars Timeline, my Pavic Story Arc and my Pavis Story Arc with Griselda, add a lot of interlinking scenarios, then you have the basis of a Hero Wars Campaign.

 

The Super Campaign

For several years I ran a High Level campaign set in Glorantha, and before that I ran as part of a multiple GM game and thoroughly enjoyed both. However, I could not help feeling that the campaign had been inherited as it had been running for several years before I started playing/GMing. There were many things which had happened that I would perhaps had handled differently had I been the GM and I would certainly have moved the campaign towards a more Heroic campaign far sooner than I did, had I been in sole charge.

Since I started GMing in the mid-eighties, during the Golden Age of RuneQuest, I had access to the best of the Scenarios and Supplements. These, of course, ran out forcing us to create our own campaigns and settings. Then the Resurrection of RuneQuest occurred with new supplements and Packs appearing. This meant that some of our ideas had been superseded and somewhere wrong. However, I adapted the new material and continued regardless.

What would it have been like to start a new Campaign from scratch using the best of the RuneQuest supplements, knowing all that had gone before?

I started to think of what kind of Campaign I would run if I could start again with a fresh batch of players. It had to begin at low level and had to progress to high level. It would be Gloranthan and would use published sources. It would follow the Gloranthan timeline and would progress beyond the timeline. After much thought, I came up with my "Super Campaign" which sounds as though it would be good fun to run, to play and to detail. Unfortunately, it will never be run by me, but maybe someone else will give it a go.

The Start
The PCs are Light or Fire/Sky cultists from Pavis, probably Yelmalians but hopefully including a Yelornan, maybe a Yelm cultist, a Lodril cultist, maybe a follower of Polaris, son of a soldier, and perhaps even a nomad or two, worshipper of Sun Hawk or one of the Stars, probably from the Zebra, Ostrich or Pol Joni.

The campaign starts in Pavis, just before the Lunars invade the Holy Country. The PCs are associated with the Pavis Street Gangs and run with the Sun County factions, they may even make up a gang of their own. A Lunar Agent tries to take control of the gangs and gain some power in Pavis. The Agent persuades the PCs to liberate a Lunar Artefact from Duke Raus' quarters in Pavis. They are also taken to the Rubble to visit the Yelornan Temple there, possibly by the farther of one of the Yelmalians or maybe even by the Yelornan cultist if one is present. Whilst in the Rubble they will be attacked by Chaos and shown how weak they really are.

The Lunar Agent persuades the PCs to attack another gang, one highly connected, or persuades another gang to attack them. The PCs kill one of the gang members, who is linked to an important family in Pavis. As punishment, and to get them out of the way, the PCs are sent upcountry to serve as militia in the Sun County area.

The PCs join the Militia squad in Sun County, with Mello Yello, the Ballet dancing Yelmalian from the Garhound Contest and other assorted misfits. They run through the scenarios of Sun County, gaining in skill and prestige until they are seen as competent initiates. Finally, they perform the "Unbearable Lightness of Yelm" scenario which may, or may not, be their first HeroQuest. Having acquitted themselves well, they are released from their service and asked to deliver a message to a cult member in Corflu. On the way, they are drowned and are swept up in the Big Scenario from the River of Cradles pack. This means they advise the Sun Dome Templars, enter the Puzzle canal and fight Trolls when allied with a Sorcerer. At the end, of this HeroQuest, they are Friends of the River and are well-known through Prax.

Towards Fame
Duke Raus asks them to become mercenaries in his employ. Here they try the scenarios in the Borderlands pack. First they Scout the Land and, being Light cultists friendly to the River, they probably annoy the Morokanth. Then they rescue Jezra from the Tusk Riders. This is a good time for the Garhound Contest (unless it was performed as part of the Sun County episode). When they encounter the Five Eyes Temple they will probably act friendly to the Newtlings and be badly punished for this. If one of the party is a Yelornan who qualifies for Unicorn Rider status, this is a good time to Quest for a Unicorn. Also, they could look at the Thanatar Temple in the Wilds and maybe could even meet the Coders - how would Duke Raus react to a bunch of Lunar Agents on his lands? After the Duke's wife dies, the PCs can try the Muriah's Revenge Scenario. Having climbed Condor Crags they are asked to take the Condor Eggs to Giant Land to be passed to the King of Dykene. At this stage they should be nearing Rune Level, certainly they should have a few Acolytes amongst them. They could well have performed a number of HeroQuests, maybe against Muriah and the Thanatari and would be famous throughout Prax and Pavis.

At Gonn Orta's Castle, they would be met by the King of Dykene's man and would be persuaded to join him as mercenaries. As Duke Raus has released them from his service, they should try this as steady employment is always a good thing, especially as they would be taken on as officers and elite.

Now, things become interesting. The King of Dykene wishes to expand his territory at the expense of the Kings of Trilius and Elkoi, the Elves and Trolls of the Elder Wilds and even the Hunters of Balazar. However, Dykene could be overthrown by an experienced band of adventurers, especially Fire/Sky cultists of a Heroic bent. Will the PCs free Firshala and HeroQuest to spread her cult? Will they drive Yalaring Monsterslayer from Trilius? Will they help the Elven Yelmalians? Are they politically astute enough to cope with the Lunars of Trilius? Is it possible to complete Balazar's Quest and become King of Balazar? What about the Pentian threat as they attack the Empire? Could the PCs even cross the mountain and attack trolls or find treasures in Snake Pipe Hollow? What about using their Water Connections to sail the Black Barge through the Hollow into the Rainbow Mounds and maybe into The Upland Marsh and link in to the Duck Pond? They could even help Gonn Orta and become Giant Friends, maybe even being able to rebuild Dykene.

At some point, Zola Fel asks her friends for help in guarding a Giant Cradle. Gonn Orta's daughter must be helped pass down the River into the Ocean. Will the PCs help her and if so, would they be able to cope with fighting the Lunars, the Coders and their own friends the Sun Domers? What would they do afterwards with their treasure?

What Next
Where to now? They may be enemies of the Lunars and have to become outlaws. They may be able to shelter under Dykene's Wing or may have their own kingdom by this stage. They could perform the Hill of gold Quest and complete Balazar's Quest, proving their rulership over Balazar. What about their friends in Pavis and Sun County? Will they be drawn back to the Big Rubble or even exiled to the backwoods of Dorastor? Whatever happens, they have exhausted the published scenarios and will have to make their own way in the world.

Here, the campaign really starts and moves towards Herodom.

If only I could run it!

Edited by soltakss
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On 11/10/2018 at 4:33 AM, revshafer said:

The mechanics of Runequest Glorantha now allow for the kind of passions and familial connections that exist in Pendragon. Given the success of The Great Pendragon Campaign, and that the course of the Hero Wars have been described in the Glorantha books, Will there be a Great Runequest Campaign?

I doubt it. The GPC grew over 30 years of gaming a research by Greg, and benefited from multiple sources of Arthurian literature. A GRQC would probably have to be limited to a set time frame and region, say the HeroWars, and even then events probably aren't described in the same level of detail as the stories of King Arthur and his Knights.  It would be nice to see such a campaign book, but I suspect it would be a lot of work and take a lot of time for whoever was in charge. MAybe some sort of group approach might work, breaking in down into sections with multiple authors each working on a couple of years or so. There would probably need to be some simplification in formatting too. {Ary of what allows the GPC to work is that Pendragon uses some common formatting and stat conventions that allows the resource of the same or similar adventures and stats (i.e. Young Knight, Famous Knight, Saxon Warrior) which greatly reduces the space required for stat blocks. RQ has toyed with this idea over the years, but not to the extent that Pendragon has. But then RQ had Foes, which could easily revised for just such a purpose.

If there was such book though, I'd probably buy it, even though I've shied away from RQG so far. 

 

Come to think of it, such a book might be possible as a system neutral book that could work for RQ, HQ and 13th Age.

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I've run that campaign twice, with adventures on a weekly, not a seasonal basis, though there were stretches of time that passed without adventures.  Especially when limbs got lopped off and had to slowly regrow and the group spent that time on training.  Starting in 1613 with the River of Cradles campaign.  It's the Argrath Saga, but I call it the Ouroboros Trilogy.  Part one, The Fangs of Ouroboros, ended with the Cradle adventure.  Part two, the Claws of Ouroboros, saw the group split into two, with half on Argraths circumnavigation of the world and the other in Sartar during the Orlanth is Dead era.  Part two ended with Argrath acclaimed King of Dragon Pass.  Part three The Flames of Ouroboros, then lasted until it all ends with the death of the gods and beginning of the new world.  While they were gone on the LBQ, a great deal of time passed in Glorantha so part three was the same gaming time as the other two parts.

Now that I have so much cool info on what's going to happen in the upcoming Hero Wars, my players, once they get done with Eleven Lights, will get to experience what they missed in the other campaign.

Edited by Pentallion
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