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Help me sell RQG to my players


Marty Jopson

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@Marty JopsonIf you want a big story arc set in Dragon Pass how about the Heroquest Coming Storm, and Eleven lights campaign? There’s a thread on these forums about converting it to RuneQuest. The timeline is earlier than RQG,  with the Lunars still occupying Sartar, but I imagine many of the adventures in the GM pack and the QuickStart could slot in quite easily being Dragon Pass based.

I’m currently playing through it with @Dimbyd Gming on roll20, so I don’t know the full detail of the campaign, but it’s building up nicely. 

 

Link to Runequest conversion notes for coming storm:

 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
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On 5/20/2019 at 1:18 AM, Marty Jopson said:

On reflection maybe the issue is that I don’t know what the characters will be doing. Sure I have a handful of scenarios but I don’t have a one line, elevator pitch of the campaign arc. I don’t have a campaign arc. Chaosium has not given us a big meta plot yet.

"What the characters will be doing" is really up to you, no? As I mentioned previously, although you can do the usual fantasy setting stuff (murder hobo, mercenary, trader, etc.), what I find interesting with Glorantha is having characters be part of, and take care of, a clan, and how that clan rides the waves of Dragon Pass history (some things they may get involved in, some things not). As such, the Red Cow books (The Coming Storm and Eleven Lights) (that @Paid a bod yn dwp said they're playing) are of special interest to me.

If that's helpful I once read somewhere someone describe Gloranthan regions (and their associated RQ2 sourcebooks) in terms of character activity ("what the characters will be doing"). Those are probably very reductive (so I expect a barrage of long rants trying to add nuance to each item) but keep in mind the whole point is to get a very broad/general idea of what's what in Glorantha so you can see what grabs your attention and have something you can look into for more detail... so if the following list in indeed inexact, please try to keep the descriptions as short as possible. Anyway, if I remember correctly, it went a bit like this:

  • Pavis/Big Rubble (and I suppose the newer Pavis sourcebook also applies): mega dungeon crawling
  • Borderlands and Snakepipe Hollow: wilderness hexcrawl
  • Griffin Mountain: mission-based (mercenary) gameplay   (edit: Griffin Mountain is the wilderness crawl, Borderlands is the mission-based one,  I got them mixed up)
  • Sartar (Kindom of Heroes, Companion, or the old, slightly outdated Sartar Rising stuff): "heroic" tribal adventures where you manage your clan and make a space for yourself. To be compared with the maybe more "lower level" (as I understand it) Red Cow books where you're part of the Red Cow clan and not "in charge" of it.

So as a result, Chaosium (and related publishing houses) has historically supported various types of campaign arcs and character activity, so it's up to you to pick what you think you and your players might enjoy, and pitch that to them.

Edited by lordabdul
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Oh and in addition to that, you can find some ideas from some old Glorantha grognards who still have some website up. For instance, you can check out David Dunham's website (he's the main developer being the King of Dragon Pass and Six Ages video games set in Glorantha), where he mentions various campaigns he played in. See this page, on the top left -- it includes links to a few campaign summaries. Or Kim Englund's website, with some other ideas.

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15 hours ago, Marty Jopson said:

Hmmm. On reflection maybe the issue is that I don’t know what the characters will be doing. Sure I have a handful of scenarios but I don’t have a one line, elevator pitch of the campaign arc. I don’t have a campaign arc. Chaosium has not given us a big meta plot yet. Sure - it’s the Hero Wars and this Argrath chap is on the rise, but so what? What will the characters be doing? I had figured that once I knew what the characters were I could build something suitably epic tailored to them. It’s a bit of a dilemma. 

That's really the core question.  The world around is as much or little color as you wish to add.

You can start with something very basic:  a Dragon has Arisen.  This is not just a dragon the size of a house, this is a True Dragon, a creature that is 10 or more miles long! It devoured in one bite, the entire temple of the Red Goddess and the army and magicians of the Lunar Empire that have suppressed your land for a generation. It circled the entire land, and dire omens were seen by your priests, priestesses, or shaman.  Omens that point to the Hero Wars.  This is the time to act - your clan is free! But already the other clans, many of whom collaborated with the evil Lunar Empire, are making moves, including against you and your clan. And what of all the refugees? Folk who have fled the wars and now seek to find a home among you?  And then there's all the things the dragon has awoken, strange draconic things and monstrous chaos that all thought long buried, lost, or gone forever...

There are any number of short arcs from there - just a matter of finding what story appeals to your players. The hated Greydogs have stolen your cattle, cattle needed for upcoming rituals (lead into the Broken Tower scenario). Or Queen Leika has returned, the traitorous King Kangharl devoured in the Dragonrise, but she needs loyal allies, and needs Apple Lane secured (lead into the RQ Adventures book scenarios).  Or the rise of the True Dragon has indeed stirred up draconic forces in your lands - there's a lesser dragon, a dream dragon so to speak, that is attacking steads (lead into the last scenario of the RQ Adventures book).  And what are the dragonewts doing? Everyone knows they do strange and vile things - they kill and eat babies, mutilate cattle, disrupt sacred rituals - and they have been spotted in your clan lands (lead into your own arc).

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51 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Oh and in addition to that, you can find some ideas from some old Glorantha grognards who still have some website up.

Or those of us who don't have websites, but happy to pitch in ideas here.

My current campaign started with this premise:  Queen Leika has returned and is looking to restore the strength of her tribe the Colymar. Ostensibly she has hitched herself to Prince Kallyr of Sartar as the Liberator, but in the past Sacred Time, things went horribly wrong. Prince Kallyr's rituals led to disaster, her closest companions slain, chaos unleashed, and dire omens seen across the land in every tribe's Sacred Time rituals. Queen Leika now fears Kallyr's days are numbered and she needs insight into the future.  Once upon a time, the clan's founder Colymar sought out a vision of the future and performed a great ritual atop Colymar's Lookout to divine what his clan should do.  Now Queen Leika calls upon the adventurers to aid her in this critical task - to follow the path of Colymar and find a new vision.

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All good stuff - thank you folks. The bottom line is really that I am a lazy GM and can't be bothered (or maybe generously I'm too busy) to work up plots and story lines. Hence, I appreciate ready made scenarios linked into a bigger campaign. And having an idea of a campaign in advance really helps the players who perversely don't like one shots -  the idea of running a taster session with pre-gens followed by a longer campaign was rejected. The thing is, like many groups I suspect, we meet irregularly, maybe a total of 4 weekends a year and get two days of play (maybe 7 hours a day) each time.  So, face to face time is limited and precious. The consensus is that what we enjoy is games with some immersion and a chance for character development.

Based in these provisos, I do like the idea of the HeroQuest campaign Coming Storm etc. I will check it and the conversion thread out. 

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19 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Borderlands and Snakepipe Hollow: wilderness hexcrawl

Griffin Mountain: mission-based (mercenary) gameplay.

I think you have these 2 reversed.

Borderlands is where the exiled Lunar Duke Raus of Ronefort hires the PC's as troubleshooters / etc, mercenaries to do missions.  They have room to grow into accepted parts of the Rone stead, or keep their independence and move on.  8 missions, IIRC.

Griffin Mountain is a wilderness sandbox with a very few urban/fort sites; those sites CAN become focal points, but the bulk of the content is the wilderness & the tribes  etc thereof...

Snakepipe Hollow is a standalone (and very deadly) dungeon... ish... thing-y (with wilderness, yes).  Entirely separate from Ronefort/Raus.

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21 minutes ago, g33k said:

I think you have these 2 reversed.

Oh yes you're right -- funnily enough, I do mix-up those 2 regularly and, before posting, figured I would check back on my PDFs to get it right, and I still managed to mix it up :D   My excuse is that I frankly just skimmed those quickly while making up my mind about what I want to focus on for my first campaign.

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On 5/20/2019 at 4:18 PM, Marty Jopson said:

Hmmm. On reflection maybe the issue is that I don’t know what the characters will be doing. Sure I have a handful of scenarios but I don’t have a one line, elevator pitch of the campaign arc. I don’t have a campaign arc. Chaosium has not given us a big meta plot yet. Sure - it’s the Hero Wars and this Argrath chap is on the rise, but so what? What will the characters be doing? I had figured that once I knew what the characters were I could build something suitably epic tailored to them. It’s a bit of a dilemma. 

 

If you're trying to sell RGQ, I wouldn't even bother with a "campaign arc". For the simple reason that the way you sell your Glorantha is going to impact their character choice. So, for the first run, either give them pre-gens, or make it clear that whatever they bother designing for their character now may not make it to a longer campaign if they decide they like the game.

The reason being - one might like the Orlanthi who has Passion (Hate Lunars) 90%, while another loves the idea of the Lunar College of Magic... and yet another is a godless sorcerer. And, of course, there needs to be the Humakti Duck :D

Like in D&D, the Paladin shouldn't hang around the CE Assassin for more than is absolutely necessary, it's going to be incredibly contrived (and somewhat against the ideas of the game) for the above Orlanthi to make a boon companion out of the Lunar Magician...

So, one-shot it, and then discuss what people want to do if it works out.

It's also good advice because players may quickly realise that what they thought their character can do, they can't. Or, have quite a different feel about it!

so, pitch the game and world - not your campaign ideas.

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On 5/20/2019 at 2:41 AM, Joerg said:

Giving unfiltered examples of Cypriotic glazings, Mesopotamian or Anatolian frescoes and Roman statuary copying classical Greek or Pontic statuary doesn't help much, either.

Did I say that you have to buy these books? A simple image search with google (and probably other search engines of your choice) delivers samples of the artwork:

A link to Jan Pospisil's art from the Guide, the sourcebook and HQG. (Warning - might contain nipples, so you have to type in your age. I wonder what happens if you type in less than three months...)

https://www.deviantart.com/merlkir/art/HQG-Esroli-and-Pelorian-Influence-564421715

Also check out the gallery on the right side.

http://www.portablecity.net/character-designs-heroquest-glorantha/

A collection of character designs for the Red Cow books, from the artist's portfolio. Exactly the images I was talking about.

 

Sorry, but pointing to Osprey Trojan War pictures, or stultified/bowdlerized childrens books renditions thereof, is mis-information.

These samples are reasonably available in the artists portfolios, with meaningful search terms for anyone sufficiently literate to find a website. Look at the sources produced for canonical Gloranthan products, not some dubious pictures of Cu Chullain or Agamemnon, or the Hermann bronze statue in Teutoburger Wald. Or some Hollywood attempt at depicting period equipment. (Bollywood however might have some useful imagery. Just turn down the sound...)

A simple link posted long before page 4 of this thread would have been even better.... Preferably as a sticky.

Even better, how about a compilation webpage? Or merely updating Glorantha.com with such imagery? Especially true now that there are some significant differences in the envisaging of Glorantha since way back when (and, also, since MRQ is soundly ignored - which new players to RQ aren't likely to know about).

The "You newbies ought to show more initiative, and stop bothering us experts on this board" is far more likely to put people off (as has already happened with one member).

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On 5/20/2019 at 5:59 PM, Cloud64 said:

OK, I figured that may be the case. Still, to newcomers it doesn't look good.

And, NOT the first time I've seen that sort of aggressive response/post from a Chaosium staff member!

As can be seen by the number of reactions to your post (currently 3 likes and a thanks), and the follow-up comments, it appears that other forum members aren't pleased with it either...

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8 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

A simple link posted long before page 4 of this thread would have been even better.... Preferably as a sticky.

Sure. To me, these images have been pluripresent in various posts. But then, the original question would have been repeated along the line "nice images, so I guess they are Celts/Phrygians/Successor State Hellenized Persians" or whatever someone might wish to recognize there.

You have to realize that these are raw, unhealable wounds for some of us.

8 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Even better, how about a compilation webpage? Or merely updating Glorantha.com with such imagery? Especially true now that there are some significant differences in the envisaging of Glorantha since way back when (and, also, since MRQ is soundly ignored - which new players to RQ aren't likely to know about).

Yes, it would be great to have a well organized official website giving official information and showing these copyrighted pictures. (I think linking to the artists' portfolio pages here is fair use, but displaying them on a website of my own would incur license payments.)

Maintaining such a website can be a painful experience - my German language Glorantha site was hacked, the data lost.

8 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

The "You newbies ought to show more initiative, and stop bothering us experts on this board" is far more likely to put people off (as has already happened with one member).

That's not what happened. Rather the reverse - my response was closer to "don't go haring off following real world stuff labeled Bronze Age which is at best tangentially relevant if you want to learn about these cultures." I am willing to give hints and explanations, and to expand at as much length as my time allows and the person asking is willing to tolerate. I've been called out to keep it short and not to frighten people away with information overload, so I give hints where to look at the IMO best sources.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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41 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

since MRQ is soundly ignored - which new players to RQ aren't likely to know about

Mongoose RQ is most of the time ignored on this forum because:
. it is out of print and even not (and will never be) available as pdf these days, so not really useful for newbies to be refered to
. not set in 3rd age and even the depicted 2nd age has evolved since
. art was (unfortunately) almost non existant anyway so nothing here to recycle
but if people can manage to find them, at least campain books and living campaign scenarios were excellent stuff.

Idem, as long as excellent RQ3 books are not available again in pdf, you will not see a lot of reference to them in newbies threads.

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47 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Sure. To me, these images have been pluripresent in various posts. But then, the original question would have been repeated along the line "nice images, so I guess they are Celts/Phrygians/Successor State Hellenized Persians" or whatever someone might wish to recognize there

That would depend on how different the pictures are compared to knowledge of Earth real societies. The "they're not like them at all - they just happen to wear the same clothes, live in similar dwellings, and have a similar social structure" isn't convincing.  The "they're not vikings" is only valid if they're actually presented as being completely not Viking-like (which, FTR, I don't see Sartarites as being Vikings anyway - they're Celts... although, I have to admit, the line between Celt and Viking isn't all that clear anyway - other than timing). I'm not sure people want to try a game that they can't relate to in some way.

I'm going through G2G now, and It would have been good if the various pictures for each culture was done in colour, rather than B&W. I get a much better idea of how Sartarites should look from the Adventure book than either the G2G or the RQG book! (and, yeah, Celts :D )

 

47 minutes ago, Joerg said:

You have to realize that these are raw, unhealable wounds for some of us.

Someone needs to go on a Heroquest.... 😛

 

47 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Yes, it would be great to have a well organized official website giving official information and showing these copyrighted pictures. (I think linking to the artists' portfolio pages here is fair use, but displaying them on a website of my own would incur license payments.)

Maintaining such a website can be a painful experience - my German language Glorantha site was hacked, the data lost.

I understand that maintaining the site can be painful... but, it's a business! And a great marketing tool if done right! 

Open License SRDs are the way to go in these days of internet "I want it now" mentality.

Sucks to hear about your site hack and loss :(

 

 

 

Edited by Shiningbrow
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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

That's not what happened. Rather the reverse - my response was closer to "don't go haring off following real world stuff labeled Bronze Age which is at best tangentially relevant if you want to learn about these cultures." I am willing to give hints and explanations, and to expand at as much length as my time allows and the person asking is willing to tolerate. I've been called out to keep it short and not to frighten people away with information overload, so I give hints where to look at the IMO best sources.

I'm not trying to suggest it should be your responsibility  :) And, perhaps I read you more harshly than you intended. 

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19 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

That would depend on how different the pictures are compared to knowledge of Earth real societies. The "they're not like them at all - they just happen to wear the same clothes, live in similar dwellings, and have a similar social structure" isn't convincing.  The "they're not vikings" is only valid if they're actually presented as being completely not Viking-like (which, FTR, I don't see Sartarites as being Vikings anyway - they're Celts... although, I have to admit, the line between Celt and Viking isn't all that clear anyway - other than timing). I'm not sure people want to try a game that they can't relate to in some way.

I'm going through G2G now, and It would have been good if the various pictures for each culture was done in colour, rather than B&W. I get a much better idea of how Sartarites should look from the Adventure book than either the G2G or the RQG book! (and, yeah, Celts :D )

To me the only "Viking" thing about the Orlanthi was the community-based campaign published in RQ3 Vikings and RQ3 Land of Ninja, each with a slightly different flavor, which was applicable to a Sartar campaign, too. I went for pagan Anglo-Saxons (also pre-migration) where I didn't go for Hallstatt and La Tene people (Celts), never making an issue about skin coloration until that came up by a surprising Greg post. La Tene mainly for the oppida, as the Danubian and Rhone Valley cities bear climatic and geogaphical similarity to how Dragon Pass has been described, the agriculture fits almost exactly (more wheat variants than barley anywhere in the Old World), military (dis-)organisation and the religious practices appeared to be reasonably close, too. Climatically similar Native American cultures never had plows (at least not before accepting stray European settlers into their tribes), and the Fertile Crescent doesn't fit climatically.

 

19 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Someone needs to go on a Heroquest.... 😛

How do you think these wounds were acquired?

19 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

I understand that maintaining the site can be painful... but, it's a business! And a great marketing tool if done right! 

If done right - which means you need a maintainer on retainer for all the technical issues (like updating the infra-structure every few months) and at least one editor to publish and on occasion write material (summarizing or expanding on published stuff). The old glorantha.com site was ably maintained by volunteers combining these abilities.

19 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Open License SRDs are the way to go in these days of internet "I want it now" mentality.

That doesn't give you graphics, and given the state of partial or major undress quite a few of these images provide, you also need the legalese electronic equivalent of a brown bag.

19 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Sucks to hear about your site hack and loss :(

Not the first time I lost significant effort to technical problems. This was my apprentice fee for using a low cost hosting service to put up the website. It was their content management software that allowed the malware insertion, and they made it my fault...

Right now, I am not sure whether I should just make sure the site is backed up, or whether I should step up my investment to an infrastructure that allows me to create a real information system. That would come with a steep learning and re-learning curve at a time when much of my time is eaten up by keeping a house intact. In that regard, hats off to Sverre (aka @Trifletraxor) for his job in keeping this site up and running.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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On 5/20/2019 at 5:01 PM, lordabdul said:

Or Kim Englund's website, with some other ideas.

Holy Crap (an obscure western saint of expressing shock), I had entirely forgotten about this site. I used to come here in the nineties, re-acquaintence time. Thanks lordabdul.

 

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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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On 5/20/2019 at 10:59 AM, Cloud64 said:
On 5/20/2019 at 10:57 AM, PhilHibbs said:

Don't worry about me, I've been around a while and should have seen that slug coming! Jeff knows I don't need the kid gloves.

OK, I figured that may be the case. Still, to newcomers it doesn't look good.

He's old and gnarly, like a mature Aldryami, so he'll be OK. 🙂

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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On 5/22/2019 at 4:33 AM, Joerg said:

 In that regard, hats off to Sverre (aka @Trifletraxor) for his job in keeping this site up and running.

Yay!

BARKEEP, MORE BEETLES

Thanks send 'em to tall dark and ugly over in the corner... the one who looks a Beetle Herder, yeah that one.

Cheers

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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On 5/22/2019 at 11:04 AM, 7Tigers said:

Mongoose RQ is most of the time ignored on this forum because:
. it is out of print and even not (and will never be) available as pdf these days, so not really useful for newbies to be refered to
. not set in 3rd age and even the depicted 2nd age has evolved since
. art was (unfortunately) almost non existant anyway so nothing here to recycle
but if people can manage to find them, at least campain books and living campaign scenarios were excellent stuff.

Idem, as long as excellent RQ3 books are not available again in pdf, you will not see a lot of reference to them in newbies threads.

There are many additional reasons why MRQ is ignored on this forum, especially by anyone associated with Chaosium. The polite way to put it is that Mongoose was not one of our better licensees. 

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10 hours ago, Jeff said:

There are many additional reasons why MRQ is ignored on this forum, especially by anyone associated with Chaosium. The polite way to put it is that Mongoose was not one of our better licensees. 

I am aware. 

I'm also aware that Mongoose published a lot. And developed some aspects of RQ that 40 years otherwise had never been handled (well .. Or at all). Obviously, some things were stuffed up (badly), but there are lessons Chaosium should learn from.

Babies and bathwater... 

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