Jump to content
Larry Lovecraft

Some Glorantha/RQ Newbie Questions...Forgive Me!

Recommended Posts

I absolutely love what I have seen thus far from RQ:G.  I have played Cthulhu for many years, up to and including this 7th Edition, which I love.  RQ:G seems to me to be the perfect antidote for my fantasy group's current complaints about 5E (I run Darker Trails Cthulhu, Dungeon Crawl Classics, and 5E). In 5E characters tend to be invincible Anime superheroes by Level 6, and they rarely feel that sense of impending doom and danger. Even though we are playing the Strange Aeons Pathfinder path (converted to 5E), it stills lacks the sense of risk and mortality. 

My questions are as follows:

1.  The lore of Glorantha can be very daunting to dive into for the uninitiated...is there in existence some sort of "crash course" document or old published Glorantha material that could serve as a primer for my players, none of which have any idea what Glorantha is beyond my initial pitch of "It's the game where you participate in a fantasy Bronze Age mythology"?   Nothing crazy, just a few pages maybe?  I don't want to have to assign 'homework' level reading to get them into the spirit...

2.  I have discovered the Ken and Robin podcast, and they mention Glorantha a bunch, but is there perhaps some deep dive fan podcasts regarding the lore of RQ?  (No actual play podcasts...to me spectating RPGs is like spectating fishing...)

3.Regarding Cults, is it better to limit first-time players to 1 or max 2 cults at first time rookie creation, or is that infringing on the spirit of the lore?  

 

Please forgive my near-boneheaded level of RQ:G knowledge.  I'm pretty savvy when it comes to games, and I really think this is the "sink-your-teeth-into-it" game I have been waiting a while for...

Thank you all!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off welcome.

1. Don't worry about the lore, it can seem overwhelming but stick with Dragon Pass for starters and wing the rest until you are ready. If you haven't already have a look here: http://www.glorantha.com/glorantha/ the site is no longer active but it is a gold mine of info. If your are still looking for more then the Glornantha Sourcebook link is great, it it pure lore with no game mechanics so it can be used with any system.

2. The Glorantha link above also has links to the Tales podcasts. Not all are what you are looking for but entertaining nonetheless.

3. For the most part those living in Dragon Pass are polytheists. But it is much simpler for you as a GM and your players for them to focus one cult each, and keep them overall limited just a few. It is easier if your players share a background and therefore more likely share beliefs. Try to avoid very diverse groups until you get the hang of your campaign. 

Enjoy, 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Psullie said:

First off welcome.

1. Don't worry about the lore, it can seem overwhelming but stick with Dragon Pass for starters and wing the rest until you are ready. If you haven't already have a look here: http://www.glorantha.com/glorantha/ the site is no longer active but it is a gold mine of info. If your are still looking for more then the Glornantha Sourcebook link is great, it it pure lore with no game mechanics so it can be used with any system.

2. The Glorantha link above also has links to the Tales podcasts. Not all are what you are looking for but entertaining nonetheless.

3. For the most part those living in Dragon Pass are polytheists. But it is much simpler for you as a GM and your players for them to focus one cult each, and keep them overall limited just a few. It is easier if your players share a background and therefore more likely share beliefs. Try to avoid very diverse groups until you get the hang of your campaign. 

Enjoy, 

WONDERFUL! Thank you...that first link is EXACTLY what I was looking for!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While they're polytheists, those who Initiate into multiple Cults are generally special cases. "Most" Initiates (with a capital I) will simply be contributing members of their culture's dominant religion for their gender. As you and your players are all newbs, I'd encourage you and them to restrict yourselves to one scoop of Initiate goodness per character to start with; the PCs can add another Initiation later if they want to and it suits their characters, as they get more au fait with the way the world works.

The polytheism expresses itself in having a general respect, or even being a Lay Member of other Cults within a given Pantheon, but everyone (nearly, in Dragon Pass) is a Polytheist, because there' evidence all around of the existence of lots of different Gods... :)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few oft-repeated bits of advice:

- for newbies to RQ -- particularly from a D&Desque background -- start with throwaway PC's that are expected to die, and run them through a combat-heavy scenario (gladiator combat, etc).

- Mooks may plink (to little or no effect) MOST of the time, but RQ isn't a game of HP-attrition:  any solid hit might be a decisive one, because of hit-locations.  Numbers can be a decisive advantage, because the more attack-rolls made the more likely of a crit (or two).  That horde of mooks is a more-than-credible threat, it may be a solid reason to fall back and come up with a new strategy!

- Campaign-wise, the classic advice is to start small, and grow.  Pick one clan from one of the Sartar tribes, or one Animal Nomad tribe from Prax (for example; another likely locus of a group is to all share a Cult affiliation that's rare in the area, such as Storm Bull'ers in Sartar, or Seven Mothers in Prax); have everyone be part of that group, or have VERY strong (mutual) reasons for the outsider(s) and the group each to trust and cooperate with the other.  Begin with local stories, in service to the community they share -- raids for livestock, rescue a Chaos-beset spirit of a local spring, recover a stolen heirloom of the clan/shrine/etc, or others as suits your group.  Grow outward, incrementally -- maybe they get tapped to guard a Very Important Personage who needs to travel somewhere; or they pursue a raider who turns out to be not-so-local, and they have to chase Far From Home; maybe the local problem needs a quest to a distant place in order to fix the problem.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In terms of immersive lore, I'm fond of the Travels of Biturian Varosh, as originally written in Cults of Prax and included in the Gloranthan Classics Cult Compendium volume.

Over a Glorantha.com, the "HeroQuest Voices" line is wonderful.  Rather than throwing them at the whole shebang, see if you can get them to refine their ideas to a few, and use those few Voices documents to single out one.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aside from all the terrific advice above, I'd only add for the D&D-experienced: strongly recommend humans only for pc's to start.  Everything available for RQG is currently *very* humanicentric (despite this, understand that RQ generally is a great system for letting characters be pretty much anything!)...and imo this lets you as a gm really make sure the non humans come off as alien as they really are...a nice shortcut to a "we're not in Kansas anymore" moment for your players. 

Later, once they get the sense that character race selection can really be a much more meaningful choice in RQ than other systems, then freely let them splash around in that richer/deeper end of the pool...

Personally I hope you check in occasionally and let us know how it's going.  I think longtime RQ fans can occasionally (myself included) be a little insular and even misanthropic, scarred by our decades in the wilderness having to zealously carry a torch for this occasionally-moribund rules system that we nevertheless love.  I personally am DELIGHTED to see posts like yours and am invigorated to see the enthusiasm and energy new fans are bringing to the game.  Enjoy!

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to RuneQuest and Glorantha, Larry! ;)

If your players are starting in Sartar (the most easy region to start in since most of the supplements and even RQG focus there), the primer below can be helpful. It's taken from a different game (HeroQuest), so just ignore the references to the rules.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/83864/Sartar-Players-Primer

Another good option for your players to start "seeing" Glorantha, is to have them read some pages of the Prince of Sartar webcomic:

http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/introduction-chapter-1/

If you just want to read about Glorantha lore, aside from glorantha.com and the Glorantha wiki, I also liked this tumblr:
http://glorantha.tumblr.com/

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the advice here is pretty good. Start small, go at your own pace, and play as humans from the same area/culture so everyone had common goals. 

Have then get into some sort of fight with either throwaway character s(per g33K) or some sort of healing (like the right of passage fight in from of a healing in the old Apple Lane adventure) sp that the players can learn about combat without really suffering for it. You will probably have to remind people more than once that armor absorbs damage. MOst long term D&Ders tend to forget that at first. 

 

Run a lot of minor skill rolls in your first adventure, to give the players a feel for the skill system, degrees of success and all that. The idea is to get them familiar and comfortable enough with the way things work so they can start to make judgment calls about their abilities and know what skills they can rely on. You can tone down the number of rolls as you go along, and they pick things up.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, this has all been fantastic advice! The slipcase shall be mine! I plan on running the Quickstart with my players and will 100% report back!

What a great experience this has been...my fondest "discovery" of a new system since DCC!

Finally a forum that doesn't make me lose hope in humanity. Very refreshing!

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Larry Lovecraft said:

... The slipcase shall be mine! I plan on running the Quickstart with my players ...

Hey, if you're buying the slipcase, be aware (if you weren't already) that there's additional adventures in the "GM Screen Pack" (the 3rd piece after the core + Bestiary).

Edited by g33k
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Larry Lovecraft said:

Finally a forum that doesn't make me lose hope in humanity. Very refreshing!

There are humans here? Ewww.

Larry, we have our share of arguments, debates, flame wars and death threats, - and that's just on Tuesdays! But most of the disagreements are on somewhat esoteric stuff, and differences between editions, and usually between people who have plane some incarnation of this game or other for decades.  We behave better with new players. 

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one thing I'd add to what has already been said, is that there is a LOT of great information in the HeroQuest books, most of which can be treated a lot like a statistics free setting independent supplement, and is easily adapted to RuneQuest. The Sartar:Kingdom of Heroes and Sartar Companion books have heaps of information about Sartar (including things like encounter charts, maps of major cities, etc) and adventures that are more or less 'just add stats' form. The Pavis book does the same for Pavis and Prax. The Coming Storm gets you an enormous amount of background about an area in northern Sartar, and the Eleven Lights gets you a multi-year campaign set there - again, effectively 'just as stats' material for RQG. Get the RuneQuest Glorantha stuff first, for sure, but if you are still looking for more info after that, consider grabbing the HQ books. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Larry Lovecraft said:

I absolutely love what I have seen thus far from RQ:G.  I have played Cthulhu for many years, up to and including this 7th Edition, which I love.  RQ:G seems to me to be the perfect antidote for my fantasy group's current complaints about 5E (I run Darker Trails Cthulhu, Dungeon Crawl Classics, and 5E). In 5E characters tend to be invincible Anime superheroes by Level 6, and they rarely feel that sense of impending doom and danger. Even though we are playing the Strange Aeons Pathfinder path (converted to 5E), it stills lacks the sense of risk and mortality. 

My questions are as follows:

1.  The lore of Glorantha can be very daunting to dive into for the uninitiated...is there in existence some sort of "crash course" document or old published Glorantha material that could serve as a primer for my players, none of which have any idea what Glorantha is beyond my initial pitch of "It's the game where you participate in a fantasy Bronze Age mythology"?   Nothing crazy, just a few pages maybe?  I don't want to have to assign 'homework' level reading to get them into the spirit...

2.  I have discovered the Ken and Robin podcast, and they mention Glorantha a bunch, but is there perhaps some deep dive fan podcasts regarding the lore of RQ?  (No actual play podcasts...to me spectating RPGs is like spectating fishing...)

3.Regarding Cults, is it better to limit first-time players to 1 or max 2 cults at first time rookie creation, or is that infringing on the spirit of the lore?  

 

Please forgive my near-boneheaded level of RQ:G knowledge.  I'm pretty savvy when it comes to games, and I really think this is the "sink-your-teeth-into-it" game I have been waiting a while for...

Thank you all!

Welcome aboard Larry! A few thoughts:

1. In my experience, the best "crash course" is the character creation process in RQG. Start with having everyone read pages 13-21 out of RQG and then take a whole session to create characters together. Pick a single homeland to start with and tie everyone together. Read out loud the yearly family history.  Create a mini-adventure out of it ("my character hates trolls and nearly died at the Battle of Pennel Ford!" "Crazy, my character was a hero at that battle and then went on to sack the City of Wonders with Harrek the Berserk." "Yeah, well my character is terrified of Harrek the Berserk and bears scars from when he encountered him." 

And then just dive into it. I personally find the best opening scenarios for RQG to be either The Broken Tower (aka the Quickstart), Return to Apple Lane or Cattle Raid (from the GM Pack). Any of those do a good job introducing various themes of the setting and help to ground you and your and your campaign.

2. Mob and I really need to start that up again.

3. I'd just limit first time players to a single cult.

Regards -

Jeff

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, styopa said:

settle down episode 1 GIF

Ha!  Yeah I got a little excited...although in my defense, the first time I asked a question in the 5E forums it went...poorly...to say the least.  I'm just excited to find a new game world that isn't a cult of personality that worships Critical Role. 

Again, all the feedback has been great!  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Jeff said:

3. I'd just limit first time players to a single cult.

Jeff

Interesting statement.Which cult? Orlanth? Group consensuses? 

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

nteresting statement.Which cult? Orlanth? Group consensuses? 

I thought he meant to just have the players have a single cult for a given adventurer, not one cult for all adventurers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I thought he meant to just have the players have a single cult for a given adventurer, not one cult for all adventurers.

Yes. Have each adventurer start with one cult each (each adventurer can have different cults or several can have the same cult, it doesn't really matter). Let them explore their cult. If the character develops in a way that it makes sense to join an additional cult, do it. But I wouldn't start at that point. 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/18/2018 at 4:53 PM, Larry Lovecraft said:

Regarding Cults, is it better to limit first-time players to 1 or max 2 cults at first time rookie creation, or is that infringing on the spirit of the lore?

I would also add to have a look at the pre-gens in the core book. They have a range of cults between them. 

On 12/18/2018 at 4:53 PM, Larry Lovecraft said:

Please forgive my near-boneheaded level of RQ:G knowledge.

It's refreshing to have new players. Ask as much as you like. Just make sure you say it's about RuneQuest Glorantha as quite a few members jump in quickly with info on previous versions of the rules, that are often not relevant or even wrong and so not helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/18/2018 at 4:53 PM, Larry Lovecraft said:

1.  The lore of Glorantha can be very daunting to dive into for the uninitiated...is there in existence some sort of "crash course" document or old published Glorantha material that could serve as a primer for my players, none of which have any idea what Glorantha is beyond my initial pitch of "It's the game where you participate in a fantasy Bronze Age mythology"?   Nothing crazy, just a few pages maybe?  I don't want to have to assign 'homework' level reading to get them into the spirit...

For me, the best short Lore is the one in the Cults Compendium, which is a Gloranthan Classic bundling together of the RQ2 Cults of Prax and Cults of Terror, with selected cults from other publications.

However, the Guide to Glorantha is, by far, the most  complete set of Gloranthan Lore.

 

On 12/18/2018 at 4:53 PM, Larry Lovecraft said:

2.  I have discovered the Ken and Robin podcast, and they mention Glorantha a bunch, but is there perhaps some deep dive fan podcasts regarding the lore of RQ?  (No actual play podcasts...to me spectating RPGs is like spectating fishing...)

Not sure, I'm to fuddy-duddy to listen to podcasts, but I am sure younguns on the forum will be able to assist.

On 12/18/2018 at 4:53 PM, Larry Lovecraft said:

3.Regarding Cults, is it better to limit first-time players to 1 or max 2 cults at first time rookie creation, or is that infringing on the spirit of the lore?  

This depends on the GM, really, and how you want to play the game.

For me, Cults are a manifestation of what your PC thinks and feels. So, joining more cults means that you specialise in a certain area. So Orlanth Adventurous and Storm Bull means that you are a chaos-fighting Adventurer, Orlanth-Adventurous and Issaries means that you are likely to be a Sword Sage, Orlanth Avdenturous and Lightning Boy means you are concentrating on the Lightning aspects instead of joining Orlanth Thunderous.

However, some GMs think that a cult is the single manifestation of your beliefs and prefer you to join only one cult. For me, this goes against some cultures, so a Troll might be in Kyger Litor and another specialised cult, an Elf might be in Aldrya and another cult, a Pavisite might be in Pavis and another cult.

 

On 12/18/2018 at 4:53 PM, Larry Lovecraft said:

Please forgive my near-boneheaded level of RQ:G knowledge.

Don't worry about it. As someone said in a meeting this week "The only silly question is the one you don't ask".

Edited by soltakss

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

×