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1 hour ago, daskindt said:

I was excited about the return of RuneQuest, as it was the game system that introduced me to Glorantha, but the more I interface with the new RuneQuest the more I yearn for the rich mythological and cultural detail of HeroQuest.

I debated between HeroQuest and RuneQuest for my new campaign and we ultimately decided on RuneQuest, but I can’t tell you how often I wish I had pushed harder for HeroQuest. Even so, we’re playing 11 Lights and almost all my prep and research time is spent with HeroQuest materials. Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes is better than anything ever published for any edition of RuneQuest, imo.

The only place where the new RuneQuest material surpasses the HeroQuest sources is in the art and production budget. I would love to see the HeroQuest books with the art budgets of the new RuneQuest line. Still, I prefer the setting as described in HeroQuest and we can apply the updated visuals to the world from the RuneQuest materials.

Thanks again for all the lovely work put into HeroQuest Glorantha. I look forward to any additional books you’re able to produce, even if we have to wait a long time in between.

I'm surprised that you feel the HeroQuest material has more mythological and cultural material than the CURRENT RuneQuest products. I can see why you feel Sartar: KoH has more depth than an RQ2 or RQ3 supplement, but I don't think that will hold true for anything published for RQG.

Sadly, while sales of HQ remain a fraction of RQG sales, we can't match the art budgets.

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1 hour ago, daskindt said:

the more I interface with the new RuneQuest the more I yearn for the rich mythological and cultural detail of HeroQuest

Can you expand a bit on that? I'm in the process of reading (for the first time) both the new RuneQuest and the last HeroQuest, and I'm actually surprised to see how very similar they are to each other. The way characters are modeled in RQG strongly echoes everything that's great about HQ (occupation, runes, tribe culture, cult, passions, etc... all being available as gameplay mechanics). It seems to me like both systems aim for the same goals of translating the highly mythological Gloranthan life into rules, and do it with very similar mechanics... it's just that one does it in a high-level narrative way, while the other does it in a crunchier way.

Or maybe you're talking about the sourcebooks in which case yes, I agree, but then it might not be fair to compare the 21st century HQ books with RQ books written in the 80s and 90s. I'm expecting future RQG sourcebooks to follow the high quality expectations set by 11L, GtG, and other "late-stage-HQ" publications.

Edited by lordabdul

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26 minutes ago, Rick Meints said:

I'm surprised that you feel the HeroQuest material has more mythological and cultural material than the CURRENT RuneQuest products.

I blame the jump forward, past the Dragonrise.

If you look at the character creation, you get an excellent introduction into the recent history and your family passions related to that, but you don't get that much of an idea how the Windstop was taking the entire region back into the despair of the Greater Darkness - it is juat backstory. The HeroQuest supplements on the other hand give you a first person experience of how bad this was.

Yes, Vasana's participation in the Battle of Sword Hill gives you a perspective of the Sartar Magical Union regimental efforts, but there are no scenarios dealing with this yet, only fluff text. Good fluff text, too, but not really directions how to GM stuff like this.

There ought to be a scenario for the cover of the rules, really. How to get there, where to descend with this horde of Orlanthi warrior-mages.

I realize there never was a Biturian campaign or a Paulis Longvale campaign as a game aid, but both could have been feasible. Now we have Vasana's story, but again no campaign. Probably for a good reason: Producing such a campaign or detailed sample of play would be extreme railroading.

Compare HeroQuest Glorantha. While we don't get the full extent of Samastina's saga, what we get are samples of play that can easily be re-engineered into the underlying scenario.

 

And the biggest difference: we still don't go heroquesting. The scenarios draw in much of the magic and special charm of Glorantha, but they are firmly in this world. Yes, there are demigod encounters - Redeye, Tarndisi, Yerezum Storn, but all of them in the mundane world.

There is no sensible way to produce the RuneQuest rules with their strength in magical realism of the mundane world of Glorantha and at the same time the heroquesting framework, at least not in a way to accomodate newcomers. But that means that the presentation of RQG gives us an excellent view of the mundane magic of Glorantha, the certainty that there are important myths and the associated deities, but no direct interaction with these myths. Yet. And that will make a difference in how the setting is experienced.

Those of the Tribe who already got to playtest the heroquesting parts of RQG will have a completely different experience. The rest of us still have the training wheels on. We trust in the potential, but we don't hold it in our hands, yet.

 

In the words of Freddy Mercury: "... I want it all... I want it now." But of course in the same quality as the products so far.

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It's to some extent a question of emphasis. A game where armor and hit point values for each part of your body is an important thing you regularly to engage with, where magic is concretely specified and used by spending points, where the reach and weight of different weapons changes when it's your turn to act, and so on directs your attention to different things and encourages a more down-to-earth mechanistic way of engaging with the game world as you play. It's not an either/or proposition, but they tend towards different proportions of focus. More "mugging a baboon for its greaves," as Laws likes to say.

That's not a value judgement. Horses for courses, strokes for folks, etc. Catch me in the right mood and I'll relish a crunchy grind-out combat.

However if someone generally prefers the Jungian showdown in Red Moon Rising or the extended courtship challenge in the The Colymar Campaign  over detailed resource management and tactical skirmishes, adapting content that emphasizes the latter sort of play more so than the former, while possible, is not preferable.

I am happy for RQ to get such great support and for Chaosium to be healthy and successful. The economics are what they are.

I may nonetheless sigh now and again as things I was looking forward to for years are realized in forms less well suited to my preferences than I had been expecting, even as I appreciate the lovely production RQ fans' money makes possible.

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Yeah I get the feeling that RQ is better for "ground level" characters, which is often what I prefer (I'm coming from CoC after all, where you're supposed to start as mundane and insignificant 😋). It's interesting to me to explore what a high fantasy/mythology world means for the people living in it, as opposed to the great heroes and legendary figures that show up in said myths, and a crunchy system often helps me with that, to feel "grounded" or something.

I do however wish RQ had also more crunchy bits for social interactions, and not just combat. I like that HQ has pretty much similar "granularity" whether you're swinging an axe or negotiating, since that sets better expectations about what's important in a HQ game. In RQG (the latest version, as opposed to the previous ones), they do indeed have a few adventures where combat takes a back seat, but that doesn't quite show as well in the mechanics. I'm considering coming up with some house rules for that, inspired by stuff like the "social combat" in Bubblegumshoe and GURPS Social Engineering. But yeah, at that point, I've probably said enough to make HQ fans horrified :)

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Now we have Vasana's story, but again no campaign. Probably for a good reason: Producing such a campaign or detailed sample of play would be extreme railroading.

A GM can fairly readily follow the story and add in or around it without much difficulty - it really depends on if you want to pursue it or not, but it's a solid outline if you want to use it (or connect it/characters as passing events in your own).  I've already used the Battle of the Queens story to frame that as a short interim piece in my game.

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

And the biggest difference: we still don't go heroquesting.

My campaign does. And I haven't seen anything yet of the Heroquesting of the GM Sourcebook.

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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

If you look at the character creation, you get an excellent introduction into the recent history and your family passions related to that, but you don't get that much of an idea how the Windstop was taking the entire region back into the despair of the Greater Darkness - it is juat backstory.

I don't see this as a problem -- it is backstory because the whole point is to not play those events, and instead play what happens next (hopefully because it's more interesting!). If I want to know more about the backstory, I can play a couple of "flashback" adventures where the players play their characters' ancestors' companions, and if I'm more interested in that era, I can just go and play that instead of the "present" era.

It's like, say, playing Star Wars characters in the times of the original trilogy, with some cool backstory about what your parents did during the Clone Wars and the fall of the Galactic Republic. It doesn't matter that you don't know "how bad it was when Naboo got invaded", because hopefully you have enough interesting things to do now (but hopefully it's still useful and plays a role in the adventure). And in this specific case, you could argue that it worked better indeed as a backstory than when they actually told those stories :) 

6 hours ago, Joerg said:

And the biggest difference: we still don't go heroquesting.

That's one thing I hope they change a bit from HQ actually. Maybe I'm not reading it right, but from HQ, it really feels like it's almost an "either/or" affair: you either go on some normal adventure, or you go HERO-QUESTING! And that feels a bit arbitrary to me, where I consider it more like an after-the-fact thing: "it all started with a simple herder complaining about missing cows, but somehow we ended up having to go to the Underworld, channeling the myth of the Seven Lightbringers". It's maybe because I'm mostly coming from a CoC angle here, where some scenarios have you running around some New England town, shooting cultist and avoiding monsters, while some other times you end up going to Australia and then opening portals to Carcosa and postponing the apocalypse. I also have a fair bit of Unknown Armies experience, so that's my reference for the whole "taking the roles of mythical figures to help achieve your goals".

So unless I have it completely wrong (which is possible, I'm a Glorantha n00b), I'd rather "hero-questing" be just a set of GM recommendations and tips about how to incorporate a little, a lot, or a whole bunch of mythology into the adventures (themes, archetypal roles, historical journeys, etc.) rather than a special type of adventure.

Edited by lordabdul
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9 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

I'm surprised that you feel the HeroQuest material has more mythological and cultural material than the CURRENT RuneQuest products. I can see why you feel Sartar: KoH has more depth than an RQ2 or RQ3 supplement, but I don't think that will hold true for anything published for RQG.

Sadly, while sales of HQ remain a fraction of RQG sales, we can't match the art budgets.

I recognize that it’s not a fair comparison as I’m looking at RQG, the Bestiary, and the GM pack and comparing them to products like Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, Pavis: GtA, The Coming Storm, and the Eleven Lights. I want a deep dive into the cultures of Glorantha and to see how their mythologies affect their cultures. RQG does a great job of weaving Glorantha into the fabric of the game and is far and away the absolutely best visual depiction of Glorantha in the history of the world, but it gives a very generalized portrayal of the cultures. I like the Family History idea, but I miss the deep dive into Clan creation and the use of the Orlanthi Clan as a character in the campaign, as examples. We created a customized Family History for our Red Cow saga using all the details in the Coming Storm to create events, but all the great detail is coming from the HQ sources.

The Sartarites, for example, fare very poorly in their treatment in the various RQG products thus far when compared with S:KoH and the Red Cow Saga. And I say that also having access to the GenCon draft of the Gods of Glorantha. Even the enhanced Colymar details in the Gamemaster Screen don’t really feel like they add a ton to the existing material on the Colymar in S:KoH (other than art and lots of mechanical system bits for characters). Again, the art is the most notable exception. Where they do differ, the RQG material seems to conflict with and contradict the HQ details for no good reason.

RQG has gone very broad in its view of Dragon Pass and lots of the the interesting details and nuance are getting erased or obliterated. The write ups in the RQ Gods book pale in comparison to the cult write ups in the various HeroQuest sources, primarily because the HQ sources take a narrow cultural focus and are trying to cover all the important gods of all the major pantheons.

I’m enjoying seeing the new RQG products and plan on continuing to buy everything as it is released, but I also plan to continue to draw upon the HQ sources to fill in the cultural details of the world because I don’t expect RQG to release comparable products for a very long time. This year, we’re expecting to see a Starter Box, a couple books of adventures, and a GM book. Nothing like Sartar: KoH or Pavis at least until 2020.

I want a deep dive source book into the Lunar Empire. Something like Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, but for the Lunars. Or a new Troll sourcebook(s). It just doesn’t seem like we’ll see anything like that for quite a long time. In the meantime, as exhaustive and broad as the new RQG books have been, they don’t come close to touching the deep immersion that was offered by the HeroQuest line for the last decade+.

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11 minutes ago, daskindt said:

I’m enjoying seeing the new RQG products and plan on continuing to buy everything as it is released, but I also plan to continue to draw upon the HQ sources to fill in the cultural details of the world because I don’t expect RQG to release comparable products for a very long time.

I totally agree on that point. That's why I got the PDFs for some of those HQ books you mention. They do indeed provide more in-depth information on some specific things, and I don't think they're very hard to adapt to RQG so they're useful for those who seek more details.

I just don't agree that Chaosium needs to hurry up. I'd rather see them focus on growing their audience -- that could mean starter kits and other "beginner" material, but that could also mean something like the Red Cow books (as a Glorantha beginner, the Red Cow campaign is what catches my eye the most for what to run after the first couple intro adventures). I'm totally OK with that if that means more budget later because there's more people buying.

Also, it's not like it went fast with HQ either. Even when you don't count HeroWars and only start with HeroQuest, there's a 7 year gap between the rule book (2003) and S:KoH (2009). Then there's an 8 year span for releasing all those cool books (P:GtA was 2012, TCS/11L was 2016 and 2017).

 

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3 hours ago, lordabdul said:

So unless I have it completely wrong (which is possible, I'm a Glorantha n00b), I'd rather "hero-questing" be just a set of GM recommendations and tips about how to incorporate a little, a lot, or a whole bunch of mythology into the adventures (themes, archetypal roles, historical journeys, etc.) rather than a special type of adventure.

Heroquesting is an in-world term. You can think of three "levels" of heroquesting. First, re-enacting myths in the Middle World (the "Real World") and acting like the gods without mainly concentrating on the myth. Second, re-enacting certain myths in the Middle World (little bit passing to the Hero Plane, maybe) and trying to gain some kind of religious contact. Third, doing the full-blown heroquest going into the Hero Plane and having all the risks and prizes.

And these reflect to the rpg scenarios about them. In the first case, the GM might build a story based on some known myth taking inspiration from it. But the story is not about the myth, per se. In the second case, the PCs kind of know they are revolving around a myth known in the world. The myth is in the story but they are not heroquesting it. In the third, the PCs are doing actual heroquest to get some advance for themselves or the clan. The story the GM and the players tell is the myth that the heroquest bases on, with some twists and surprises, of course.

You can run any of these with HQ easily. I don't know if I caught your question fully here.

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7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

A GM can fairly readily follow the story and add in or around it without much difficulty - it really depends on if you want to pursue it or not, but it's a solid outline if you want to use it (or connect it/characters as passing events in your own).  I've already used the Battle of the Queens story to frame that as a short interim piece in my game.

For the record - the only way I have used the published scenarios of any rpg since 1988 or so was as material for a sandbox, unless it was a scenario I wrote myself. NPCs or encounters are useful, but at the very least they require some adaptation to the story so far.


I don't exactly require instructions how to handle a trip into Godtime, either. My take on heroquests is having a "this is the myth as you usually hear it", "this is what happened to quester X", and a different version with encounters including past nemesis for actual play. Quite likely starting with an experience of being hauled into someone else's heroquest as a former opponent fitting the description, or like the Biturian Zorak Zoran bit as the real world opponent of someone else's nemesis.

 

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9 hours ago, jrutila said:

You can run any of these with HQ easily. I don't know if I caught your question fully here.

Thanks for that -- it's still very hazy in my mind though. I've re-read the Heroquesting chapter in HQG and frankly there's not much that's HQ-specific in there except for a bit of mechanics about the final quest challanges (how you lose your wagered ability or gain boons and other abilities). Other than that it seems system-agnostic and, therefore, equally easy to do in any system (apart from the fact that there's no Heroquesting chapter in the other systems of course 😅).

The main thing that's confusing to me is where a Heroquest comes from. I understand that the GM and players can either draw from the myths written in published books, or invent their own, but can you make any adventure into a Heroquest if you want? Or only specific adventures that are designed to be Heroquests from the start? Like, say the current adventure is about your clan being at war with a neighbouring clan, and they have stolen your cows. Their chieftain is known for riding an auroch, and has multiple wives who are also fierce warriors. You could just go across the hills, get the cows back by force or stealth or diplomacy, maybe kill or capture the chieftain, and that's it. But maybe this is a big deal for your clan... you talk to someone with deep mythological knowledge, and they tell you about hero XYZ who climbed to the top of a mountain to slay the giant ABC, known for riding a bear, and his entourage of Chaos harpies, and brought back some kind of fertility boon after dragging the giant's head by its beard all the way down to the valley. It's not quite the same (mountain vs. hill, harpies vs. warrior wives, bear vs auroch, etc.) but it's similar enough that with enough ritualistic preparation you can complete your mission at greater risk but with greater reward (you don't only bring back the cows, they're now especially fertile cows that will give your clan a stronger, larger herd). So you have to convince the clan to get along with it and perform the ritual. Then, of course, time and space will behave weirdly during the quest, some unexpected event will occur, and, to increase your chances of success, you'll have to (among other things) specifically behead the clan chieftain and drag his head across the hills....

Can you do that? Does that mean the enemy clan effectively gets sucked partially into the Hero Plane or something? Or you can't, and the only Heroquest you can undertake is to actually retrace the steps of hero XYZ and go up the same mountain and kill the same giant ABC?

The former sounds more interesting to me (again, I played a bunch of Unknown Armies in the past so that probably shows here), while the latter sounds more... "video-gamey" to me. Maybe I'll understand it better after reading more HQ books, though...

 

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42 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Thanks for that -- it's still very hazy in my mind though. I've re-read the Heroquesting chapter in HQG and frankly there's not much that's HQ-specific in there except for a bit of mechanics about the final quest challanges (how you lose your wagered ability or gain boons and other abilities). Other than that it seems system-agnostic and, therefore, equally easy to do in any system (apart from the fact that there's no Heroquesting chapter in the other systems of course 😅).

The main thing that's confusing to me is where a Heroquest comes from. I understand that the GM and players can either draw from the myths written in published books, or invent their own, but can you make any adventure into a Heroquest if you want?

Yes and no.

Yes, there are ways to make any kind of adventure into a heroquest. And no, there are things that are at best quite hard to translate into a heroquest.

There are quests that serve to give the questers a personal exposure to the deeds of their deity in order to acquire their magic and an understanding of the deity's role in the world. The magics gained on such quests can be means for problem solving, to be applied to the specific task that is at hand. On the other hand, this works only for problems with sufficient build-up time.

There are quests where you enter the Godtime and interact with the myths directly, taking the role of your deity or a role that fits your position in life without being dedicated to that deity. Entering the Godtime and acting there requires identification with some actor or at least observer in that myth. (The type of quest mentioned before works both in a This World quest in ritual re-enactment and in actual crossing over to the Godtime, which entails ritual re-enactment, too.) Mostly, you will do like your role has done, and re-inforce the existing myth. Quite often, that will aid your cause by setting something right that has gone wrong, often through enemy action.

But then there will be moments where myths provide a choice, different versions to choose from, and your choice may affect the outcome, and how your actions in Godtime reflect to what happens to your community (or the community you have been recruited to serve). And there will be moments where the myths originally didn't have such choices, but you introduce one, and deviate from well-known paths. That may result in you getting new and surprising powers out of that, and that's already a great achievement. That may result in creating a new path through Godtime that others may traverse, reinforcing that branch of the story. And that may ultimately change mythic reality for all of Glorantha if you go deep enough, reinforce that new path enough, and find the way to make others accept that path. That's creative heroquesting and can be about the rise of a new way of magic, like the Red Goddess did and like Argrath is about to begin, and it can be vile God Learning, destroying the way the world works.

 

 

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Thanks for the explanations. I'm still wrapping my head around this, and I'm sorry if I'm hijacking the thread (although I think it fits a bit into how RQ relates to HQ and how future sourcebooks may or may not work with both systems). I think it boils down to understanding why a "heroquest" concept exists at all in the HQ rulebook? Like, I understand what you're saying on a purely narrative/scenario-design aspect but, again, coming from the CoC side of the Chaosium offering, I'm wondering what does this actually bring to the table? CoC adventures might make you experience time in a weird way, send you to another planet or dimension, and even weirder things, face Elder Gods and so on, but that's all just part of the adventure itself, there's otherwise no "OtherwoldQuest" concept: the rules just let you take a flashlight and a magic book, and you're on your own.

Are there good examples of heroquests? (what you're saying about affecting God Time sounds super interesting, is there any published material with such adventures?) The only one I have so far is the Colymar Campaign from Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, and even then, I don't quite get it. The third deed the PCs are supposed to undertake is to go free Hofstaring Treeleaper from the Underworld -- seems fun enough. But I don't see why this is a heroquest, and why it couldn't have just been "a very dangerous adventure where you go to weird places". Maybe it's a heroquest just because it has a hero challenge at the end?

Another way to phrase it is that "heroquest" is a label you can put on some adventures and not others, and the simple fact that the label exists means there needs to be some criteria for doing so... but these criteria are very unclear to me.

Edited by lordabdul
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16 hours ago, daskindt said:

I recognize that it’s not a fair comparison as I’m looking at RQG, the Bestiary, and the GM pack and comparing them to products like Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, Pavis: GtA, The Coming Storm, and the Eleven Lights.

Then why make the comparison? I feel this is comparing Apples and Oranges. Comparing the core rulebook of RQG, or the Bestiary, or the GM screen pack to a campaign pack like Sartar: KoH or Pavis: GtA when they have very different purposes seems odd. I could see comparing the RGQ core book with the HQG core book, but a rule book and a campaign book have very different content goals. It would be like saying the Argan Argar Atlas fails because it doesn't have enough rules content in it, or spells in it as opposed to the rulebook. The same could be said with comparing the Guide to Glorantha with Snakepipe Hollow and saying the Guide fails because it doesn't have enough scenario material it with stats. I can see why you like the HQ scenario books a lot, and am not trying to argue over whether you prefer them, but saying the RQG core rulebook pales in comparison to them is a very different thing.

Edited by Rick Meints

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15 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

But I don't see why this is a heroquest, and why it couldn't have just been "a very dangerous adventure where you go to weird places". 

My understanding is that a HeroQuest is more than just an adventure, but rather a repeatable interaction with a myth.

Suppose I told you the story of Excalibur, and that I knew the secret to the myth that would allow me to HeroQuest into it. The secret (maybe some sort of ritual) allows interaction with the myth, like you going into it. You would then be a character in the story, and by the end you may be able to change the reality that is built upon the myth, or bring some sort of magical ability back out with you.  It's not just an adventure because it's already "happened" and is repeatable and changeable.

I remember reading on some source book about the god learners trying to convince two goddesses to switch places in order to prove that the gods were all interchangeable. They had to heroquest into these myths many times, and each time taking actions to eventually convince them that they were the same person or something.

Maybe think of it like getting sucked into a re-run of a TV show episode, and being able to change the story in subtle ways each time.

 

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Thanks for the explanations. I'm still wrapping my head around this, and I'm sorry if I'm hijacking the thread (although I think it fits a bit into how RQ relates to HQ and how future sourcebooks may or may not work with both systems). I think it boils down to understanding why a "heroquest" concept exists at all in the HQ rulebook?

This has to do with Gloranthan cosmology and the concept of Godtime. While Glorantha kept evolving and devolving throughout its mythical ages (Green Age, Golden Age, Storm Age, Lesser Darkness, Greater Darkness, those "Gloranthan pasts" have never gone away (except for the bits which were rent apart retroactively in the Greater Darkness - while you may visit Genert's Garden with a plethora of his allies, you won't be able to recognize many of those which had been eliminated by the Chaos horde.

But in Godtime, the Golden Age keeps going on. Umath is born in an undying moment, and in another one he is fragmented into too many pieces by Shargash/Jagrekriand, and it is possible to visit these in reverse order (especially for Lunar questers knowing the technique of Chronoportation).

Heroquesters visit these events to experience their deity in them if theist (divine rune magic is the magic of being your deity), taking that feat back to the mundane world as an ability for themselves or to be shared with their (divine) cult, or the cult worshipping them as heroes. There is also the possibility to cross the paths of other heroquesters, and to exchange powers with them throuh a heroquest challenge. This does include obscure witnesses on some station of the myth your quest is following, too, if you can make a sufficiently reasonable identification.

In the end, it is about getting magical effects - either directly affecting the mundane world you return to, or affecting your own ability to wield magic in the mundane world and in Godtime.

 

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coming from the CoC side of the Chaosium offering, I'm wondering what does this actually bring to the table?

Think of "Dream Journey to the Unknown Kadath", which has both the conventional, bookish way to enter the Dreamlands, and being suddenly dropped inside a dream.

 

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CoC adventures might make you experience time in a weird way, send you to another planet or dimension, and even weirder things, face Elder Gods and so on, but that's all just part of the adventure itself, there's otherwise no "OtherwoldQuest" concept: the rules just let you take a flashlight and a magic book, and you're on your own.

That's like visiting the caves near to the Maggot beneath Snake Pipe Hollow, or sailing beyond the Inner World.

There are realities (or perhaps rather irrealities) in the Cthulhu mythos which are much like Godtime, and then there are simply distant worlds, and there are the Dreamlands. You can visit those, or chase villains on power trips there, and if you visit Yuggoth, you're likely to return with Mi-Go technology. Wielding the Ultraviolet or a sword taking on abilities of the Unbreakable Sword isn't that different.

In Dreamlands interactions with other Dreamers, you can alter the experience and knowledge of these, and of course your own. You might destroy them in a meaningful way.

 

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Are there good examples of heroquests? (what you're saying about affecting God Time sounds super interesting, is there any published material with such adventures?)

The Eleven Lights (the campaign companion to the setting description in The Coming Storm) has the Red Cow heroquest, a clan secret which is regularly repeated in order to retain the distinctive magic of the red cows for the clan herd. It also has the Eleven Lights quest which takes you on a grand tour of the Outer Worlds of Glorantha, a different form of the Hero Planes. Get these books...

Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes has heroquests, too, but the two mentioned above are possibly more typical.

Another good introduction to heroquesting is playing King of Dragon Pass, the computer game for mobile phones and tablets by A Sharp, or its successor (and, in a way, prequel) Six Ages: Ride Like the Storm (?).

Read the reports on the Lightbringers' Quest in the Glorantha Sourcebook. It tells the journey of Orlanth and his Lightbringer Companions into the Underworld, to restart the universe. And then read the story how Harmast Barefoot brought back Arkat (and later Talor) by following this quest, with changes to the quest due to incomplete information and different choices in the Godtime.

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The only one I have so far is the Colymar Campaign from Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, and even then, I don't quite get it. The third deed the PCs are supposed to undertake is to go free Hofstaring Treeleaper from the Underworld -- seems fun enough. But I don't see why this is a heroquest, and why it couldn't have just been "a very dangerous adventure where you go to weird places". Maybe it's a heroquest just because it can narratively justify having a hero challenge at the end?

In a way, yes, a heroquest is a very dangerous adventure where you go to weird places. What you do in those magical/mythical places will affect the magical reality of the mundane world you started from - much like time travel does in softer SF or the Cthulhu Mythos.

Having the hero chalenge is a bit a mechanical way of asserting that (and how) the journey into the realm of the myths has changed the protagonists.

But note that this quest isn't among those I suggested above. IMO this quest is rather specific and not that typical.

There are a few heroquests in the Sartar Rising scenario series for Hero Wars/first edition HeroQuest.

And 13th Age Glorantha has a bunch of other fun concepts on heroquesting, like the concept of a living dungeon, but that's a third rule system you would have to break out.

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Another way to phrase it is that "heroquest" is a label you can put on some adventures and not others, and the simple fact that the label exists means there needs to be some criteria for doing so... but these criteria are very unclear to me.

In a purely scenario-design aspect, that is correct.

Basically, if your adventure is about very mundane activities, there is a good likelihood that it does not turn out to be a heroquest. On the other hand, much of the mundane reality of Glorantha has its definition in Godtime, and it is possible that a perfectly ordinary cattle raid (or counter raid) suddenly turns into a Godtime myth that has a very similar story. Or possibly a bunch of very similar stories, leaving you the choice to choose one.

And no, only very few of these stories have official write-ups. The ones we have a good format for their descriptions are from the King of Dragon Pass computer game. A few of these are reprinted in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, IIRC. The complete collection should be in the Stafford library Vol.11: Book of Heortling Mythology.

 

The myths of Glorantha are more than background fluff. You can ritually enter them, and play them out as you know them, and learn how to be like your god, and to use the magics of your god. You can more physically enter them hoping to solve a problem you have, identify certain stations of the myth and protagonists therein with your foes, summon them into this myth and deal with them having the advantage of the mythical structure of the world behind you. However, you're hardly the only one to do so, and you may be drawn into this as one of the bystanders or opponents, making stations that sound like easy pushovers suddenly deeply challenging, and what you might have perceived as being in your advantage might turn out to be working against you - possibly on a different issue - as your opponents frame the mythical context.

It is possible to invoke a mythic parallel for a situation at any time in an adventure. Your player characters or the patron of the adventure may do so, and so may the opponents. This can elevate an ordinary conflict into a major magical change in the world.

The challenged opponents may turn down the transfer into the realms of myth, or they may steer you into a very different version of this myth, or a different myth altogether.

Reading the Glorantha sourcebook should give you a good basic idea of how the various Gloranthan deities are interconnected, and how they turn up in each others' myths. Over time, you will discover other possible connections, and testing these out - whether as a thought experiment or as an actual scenario - is pretty much like a heroquest for you as a player or GM (in addition to being one for your character or party).

Entering the Cthulhu Mythos, leaving ordinary sanity behind, is quite similar, but there the big goal is to return to a world unchanged by great magics. In Glorantha, everybody has left ordinary sanity behind and is quite willing, sometimes even eager, to accept such changes to their world, without ever jumping over the fence that Call of Cthulhu ultimately provides for the characters who have delved too deeply into the Cthulhu mythos, forcibly retiring them to a sanatorium or an evil cult.

 

I think this exchange does make a good thread for the Glorantha forum, which is why I will start a thread there.

 

 

Edited by Joerg
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55 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

I think it boils down to understanding why a "heroquest" concept exists at all in the HQ rulebook?

Because Glorantha is a world where myths are real and it is important to reinforce the myths, sometimes in This World, sometimes in the Other World, in order to keep Chaos at bay (as well as other things). 

Consider Christmas. Every year, millions of people reenact/retell the same story.  We put lights on trees to keep the Darkness at bay. We celebrate a rebirth within the world. We see gifts brought to honor the birth. We call for the Sun to return and fight back winter and the ice.  Most years that is enough.  But some years the omens are bad. Some years, more is necessary. Some years, you must cross over and enter the myth. The omens say the Hell Mother is coming this year to devour the lights, to eat the newborn/reborn one. You must be there to drive her off, or to ensure that the three wise women arrive with the gifts and blessings, etc. And if you fail, your community is in for a very, very bad year.

This is more than just going to Jonstown to the market, or going to Snakepipe Hollow to kill some Chaos and maybe return with a treasure. This is interacting with the myths that define you, your community, your relationships with the gods, and reinforce your belief in how the world does or ought to work.

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Are there good examples of heroquests? (what you're saying about affecting God Time sounds super interesting, is there any published material with such adventures?)

The HQG core book has one: the quest to restore Orane, the Earth Goddess, who fled from the world in the midst of your holy day rituals when enemies attacked. It's a quest into the Underworld to convince the goddess to return and bring life/fertility/harmony back to your community (for without her, the fabric of your community is unraveling).

The Eleven Lights has another which is to go into the Underworld, find three dead stars, then bring them all the way to the Crown of Heaven to resurrect/relight them.

The heroquest in SKoH is the rescue of a soul trapped in another goddess' Hell.

Most of the Underworld quests have common elements: descent into Hell via some path; crossing Hell through a world of nightmare and trials to reach the place where the dead soul/spirit is; rescuing/recovering the soul/spirit; then returning.  This is very much along the lines of Joseph Campbell's basic mythic outline in a Hero With a Thousand Faces.  

The Eleven Lights also has the myth to Gain the Red Cows. In this one, the heroes cross over to the Otherworld and follow the mythic path to reach the Giant's Stead, outwit the Giant, and Steal the Cows to bring back to your clan.

Pavis Gateway to Adventure has the myth of the Emperor Naming the Gods. The heroes are thrust into this somewhat against their will as among the foes who will be named. If they fail, they are effectively thrust into a Lunar Hell and the powers of their gods are diminished. If they succeed, their gods are strengthened.

There are varied places where other myths are described, though not necessarily in scenario form: the Slaying of the Sun by the Storm God; the End of the Green Age (aka Innocence); the Coming of Death; the Birth and the Banishment of Drought; the Survival of Light through the Great Darkness; etc. 

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19 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Thanks for that -- it's still very hazy in my mind though. I've re-read the Heroquesting chapter in HQG and frankly there's not much that's HQ-specific in there except for a bit of mechanics about the final quest challanges (how you lose your wagered ability or gain boons and other abilities). Other than that it seems system-agnostic and, therefore, equally easy to do in any system (apart from the fact that there's no Heroquesting chapter in the other systems of course 😅).

Heroquesting is a setting thing, not a game-system thing. It's how people in Glorantha interact with the Myths and the timeless worlds. I like how 13G's authors put it, D&D has dungeon-crawling, Glorantha has myth-crawling.

Edited by Job

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On 5/3/2019 at 3:35 AM, lordabdul said:

So unless I have it completely wrong (which is possible, I'm a Glorantha n00b), I'd rather "hero-questing" be just a set of GM recommendations and tips about how to incorporate a little, a lot, or a whole bunch of mythology into the adventures (themes, archetypal roles, historical journeys, etc.) rather than a special type of adventure.

It can be both.

Have a look online, there are lots of ideas about HeroQuesting, with GM tips, sample HeroQuests and enough extra rules to make your head spin.

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On 5/2/2019 at 12:55 PM, daskindt said:

I really, really hope we continue to see HeroQuest sourcebooks set in Glorantha.

 

We will continue with to produce them, for now it's just slower that we all might like.

Keep promoting the game. The more you do that, the more we sell and the bigger the budgets we will have for art etc. will be

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10 hours ago, soltakss said:

Have a look online, there are lots of ideas about HeroQuesting, with GM tips, sample HeroQuests and enough extra rules to make your head spin.

@soltakss is too modest to promote his own site, but I'll gladly do it for him. He has a ton of great material on heroquesting on his site at http://www.soltakss.com/indexheroquesting.html

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For more on heroquesting from Greg, then check out Arcane Lore from the Stafford Library. Beware though, this might make your head spin, because as the subtitle says, it's "A collection of speculative and explorative texts". It doesn't have anything HQG-specific, and it's pretty confusing, but does have the seeds for a lot of potential heroquests, as well as other ideas of how to handle the process.

 

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