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Joerg

Researching the Good Points about MRQ1 and the Glorantha the Second Age setting, from a Sceptic's POV

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I think I'd better make this a new thread. Over on the Help me sell RQG to my players thread I asked

13 hours ago, Joerg said:
16 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

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).

Could you point those out, please? They didn't scream out to me between the things that were, in your words, stuffed up badly.

When MRQ appeared, I had been happily soaking up a wealth of new Glorantha material for HeroQuest and the Stafford Library, could go on with my localized world building and campaign exchange, and felt I had what I wanted to play in Sartar (which neither RQ2 nor RQ3 ever delivered beyond Apple Lane), and still had my own distillation of RQ3.5 with many of the refinements procured on the digest and from the AiG project, so I didn't feel in a rush to invest my rather sparse money at the time into that second line that promised to be Glorantha material.

For those of you who appreciated the MRQ Second Age line, what was your previous exposure to RQ and Glorantha?

 

So I have looked through my archives, and I found the bundle containing the MRQ1 rules. Skimming through them right now. Runes... enough has been said. Cults... The Storm King (and his worshipers) as presented in the rules book has thankfully little to do with the cult of Orlanth. The Brotherhood of Mithras, Childers of Hama-Dreth - yay, generic RuneQuest.

(Though it has to be said that any game in the historical period that knew Mithraism in Europe has a lot of sympathy from me, thanks to works like Rosemary Sutcliffe's The Eagle of the Ninth Legion or Poul Anderson's King of Ys series. Long before The Design Mechanism renamed their RuneQuest game to Mythras, too.)

 

8 hours ago, soltakss said:

Off the top of my head (Shiningbrow has other things in mind, I am sure):

  • Hero Points

Usable as Fate Points, or can be saved up to buy Legendary Abilities. On average you were supposed to earn 2 per session, and if you spent half of those as fate points, you'd take 12 sessions or so to reach the hero point cost for rune level rank prerequisite Legendary Skill. You'd still have to learn the other, specific skills.

My original decision to go for RuneQuest rather than continue with my previous system of five years of intense campaigning and various offshoot campaigns in other corners of the world run by other folk from my gaming group was because I could get rid of experience points and silly training cost only recoverable by economy-breaking (and back-breaking) influx of ancient riches. This low amount of points is tolerable, but not desirable to me.

I had vastly expanded and modified the setting originally coming with the game, leaving the original concepts and local geographies just sufficiently intact to be able to use any material produced by the publisher of that game or its supporters (which came in a semi-professional gaming magazine) for a new setting designed for the rules-set at hand (with some additions in the style of the BGB) inheriting from Viking Age Europe and fantasy versions of other real world areas, some of my favourite fantasy literature at that time re-skinned, and the concepts from Glorantha also re-skinned to my overall world (and universe) history and myth. WIth that background in my use of RQ, I'll try to give a fair assesment of the rules as they come, and not just why they don't feel Gloranthan.

8 hours ago, soltakss said:
  • Legendary Abilities

Ok concept. You can accumulate them (unlike the One Unique Thing of 13th Age) and create Greater Than Life characters while still playing BRP.

As requirement for Rune Level - ok, if you have them anyway, why not. This leads to Super-RuneQuest at manageable percentages as you start again in the 30% range for these skills.

8 hours ago, soltakss said:
  • Using Crafting to enhance weapons in a controlled and useful way

 

Divide modified crafting roll by 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32 to achieve a Greater, Exquisite, Marvellous, Surpassing, or Heroic weapon. Another outlet for Super-RuneQuest abilities offering another avenue for the arms race.

Sure, why not, if you like a worker placement/resource management game within your roleplaying campaign, or possibly even vice versa. I'd probably be willing to try this out, and the equivalent of Wayland or Ilmarinen is known in past Glorantha (e.g. Sestarto, Panaxles), so why not in the Hero Wars?

8 hours ago, soltakss said:
  • Rules on turning animal pelts into leather armour

As with the Alchemy skill, this kind of production chain may be interesting for people who admire Wallenstein and want to re-create his rise in the 30 years war as one of the units or minor factions in the Hero Wars. E.g. Goldgotti, or maybe the Free Philosophers. Or more likely, somewhere in Ralios.

I wouldn't say no to a supplement that deals with the details of such economic processes in Glorantha, but I'd rather see RQG provide more directly gameable stuff for the Hero Wars activities foreshadowed in King of Sartar and the Guide. Something a licensee of Chaosium might produce.

8 hours ago, soltakss said:
  • Weapon enchantments

An easy way to get a permanent Bladesharp 6 weapon. And to equip the opposition with such tools of dismembering characters, so that for the price of an arm and a leg you can save the POW to enchant them. Yay.

Good for a setting that has mass-produced magical swords without the flaw that they only work in the magical field of the magical city that produced them. That setting is not Second Age Glorantha, though.

Yes, I am very fond of the setting design realism that was written in the Gamemaster's Book for RQ3, and the makers of MRQ obviously were, too. Their generic splatbooks probably expand on this.

 

I have to say, presented with a setting designed for these rules, this magic concept would probably make an excellent game with some serious proof-reading and original setting design. But then, you'll probably have to go out of your way to turn BRP into something unplayable.

 

Finding the rules for Heroquesting has eluded me so far (checked the MRQ1 rules, the Glorantha 2nd Age Book, skipped the Spell Book and had a look at the Companion). Details on Dragon Magic and specific God Learner stuff is hidden in later supplements, too.

The Glorantha book never fails to shock me again and again with its inattention to well-documented sources (and well-indexed, at the time of writing, even if I say so myself). As much as I admire Robin Laws and his approach to writing rpgs and supplements (the first person narrative for the cultures is one of those touches which show his mastery), his research into Gloranthan lore for this book appears to have been a text marker in the Genertela Box and some of the pieces  procured by Greg for the Mongoose authors, and writing the rest from inspiration rather than checking the written sources or consulting Greg or someone deputized by Greg. Since History of the Heortling Peoples was published in 2007, I am fairly certain that the data collection was available to the authors of MRQ. Perhaps too late for Robin to change his version of the EWF, given the timeline in this book, but there was a functional index online with the earlier mentions of Obduran.

The color illustrations inside this book (apart from the maps, which are nice and fairly accurate where based on published versions of Greg's maps, and ... inspired rather than factual in other places, like e.g. Brithos) look like they were made for Settlers of Catan rather than Glorantha. Those in the rules book remind me more of the Warhammer Fantasy setting than of Glorantha.

I don't take exception at the churchy bit for Malkionism - that was the doctrine at this time, as present in HQ1 as in MRQ, alongside the strict separation of the Otherworlds. A lot of that is present in Middle Sea Empire, and somewhat less of the churchy stuff but even more of the separate worlds in Revealed Mythologies.

I advocated de-medievalizing the chivalrous West already on the RQ-Daily, suggesting Roman (Western) Empire parallels instead, with Viking Age forms of knights as the pinnacle of armor technology. Still too medieval for a brand identity when Arthurian late Roman period has been occupied with 17tj century chivalry in popular fantastic history, so good bye to chainmail, hi to bronze-scaled linothorax since we got the Guide. Fine with me, as long as we get some Ernaldan specific magic for flax and linseed farming, and possibly some tribes or Esrolian houses famous for this product. Pelorian, too, and likewise for cotton.

 

Ok, the page count I worked or skipped through was about that of the RQG rules book, but on the whole, RQG has delivered about as much in the terms of rules and setting info as MRQ did with its first four books, at about the same price.

GaGoG and the GM book appear to be mostly out of the writing phase and passing on into the "special effects" phase where the magic of copy editing, art acquisition and layout happen.

 

1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

Re: timing. What you wrote I understand and agree with! I was trying to point out a rushed finished product (for whatever reasons - not defending them) is better than no product at all.

That's how we got Hero Wars and the entire rebuilding of Glorantha as a commercially viable setting, so I don't disagree. But consistently putting out subpar production value in terms of basic quality standards like consistent use of game jargon terms doesn't really keep a game line alive.

 

1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

As I mentioned, MRQ gave the first HQ rules in the 30+ years of Runequest's existence.

Ok, found in book 7 of the MRQ 1 bundle I have.

This seems to be written from the Jrusteli "let's enter some other peoples' myth with as minimal knowledge as the players possess and stumble our way along." So yes, it has rules that make sense in the God Learner context, and the myths as a menu of plunder targets. The rules fail to even mention the community aspects of heroquesting, other than frequency of the ritual use of a site.

So yes, there are rules for a type of breaking and entering the Hero Planes. Rules which (as written) are bound to break up your party into people who made it across and people who must remain behind. Talk about splitting the party, hard.

 

1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

And still. For those who want to do HQs now, the options are house rules, or a fleshed out MRQ. I'd probably take the MRQ (it's not bad!) When chaosium has theirs in print later this year (or next year... Or whenever), I may change my mind...

Currently, freeforming heroquests using the examples in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes with the community stakes and consequences would be a better approach than following that first edition MRQ method. So yes, house rules it is, as far as RQ is concerned. Yet.

When RQG Heroquesting rules come out, I trust we will at least find mis-spellings of Eurmal inconsistent and intentional rather than just sloppy.

 

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Your first big question is really important - prior exposure to RQ. Diehard RQ fans probably hate MRQ (any version!). Those who have never heard of it will have different issues, but are unlikely to hate... Sort of like movie series, especially adapted from books or comics. Some people hated Jackson's LotR - mostly the book fans. (I'm not suggesting Mongoose was right to do as they did. Just pointing out that it really only affects the fans, not the potentially new generation... As much as I'm a fan of Glorantha and it's history, I am amused by the "Your Glorantha May Vary - Unless It's By Mongoose").

 

I said in that other thread, I'n not a fan of Hero Points.

The Heroic Abilities - sure, as discussed elsewhere, some make for good rewards for Heroquests (some people should take note!)

Enhanced weapons - I like, and I think is actually important. Some I felt a little cheesy (such as the top tiers).

Furs to.leather... Not sure why, but I'm sure some out there need it!

Enchanted weapons are a must have - although I don't recall much ATM.

I'm currently on a bus, so obviously don't have my books in front of me. But HQ rules are in the Cults book (Gods of Glorantha??), with HQ hacking rules/spells by God Learners in another book.

 

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Rules which (as written) are bound to break up your party into people who made it across and people who must remain behind. Talk about splitting the party, hard.

Yep! And that's actually been a part of Heroquesting! Gaming-wise it can suck (without a handwave). Lore-wise it's fine.

 

Any thoughts on Integrated Runes having an in-game effect? E.g., +10%'to skills, etc?  I thought that it was a concept that was sorely lacking previously. (Having to integrate Runes that were just hanging around waiting for you to pick up was stupid though... But, again, I'm coming from an RQ2/3 background)

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1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

Your first big question is really important - prior exposure to RQ.

That's why I put it in front, yes.

First impressions are important. Mine were from playing the Dragon Pass boardgame, and playing a whacky scenario which put us in a fight against ducks on a boathouse (pretty much like the one in the Leatherstocking TV production about the abducted girls) where they had all the terrain advantage. Pretty exasperating...

So I got drawn in by the big magical battles, rebels vs empire.

 

1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

Diehard RQ fans probably hate MRQ (any version!).

Not quite. I had the chance to play one of several Wolf Pirates with Loz as GM using MRQ2, and it was a fun experience, with the rules alterations vs. RQ3 not that big a deal and the new combat options fairly nice. I have its successor RQ6 (which became Mythras) in both English and German. I genuinely enjoyed reading my way through Dara Happa Stirs. The Mongoose stamp doesn't have to mean that the content is off-course.

 

 

1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

Those who have never heard of it will have different issues, but are unlikely to hate... Sort of like movie series, especially adapted from books or comics. Some people hated Jackson's LotR - mostly the book fans. (I'm not suggesting Mongoose was right to do as they did. Just pointing out that it really only affects the fans, not the potentially new generation...

 

 

1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

As much as I'm a fan of Glorantha and it's history, I am amused by the "Your Glorantha May Vary - Unless It's By Mongoose").

Oh, I am perfectly fine if there are whacky versions of Glorantha which has Elmer Fudd as Gringle. The problem I have is when a setting like that is marketed as "This is Glorantha" rather than "This is our idea of Glorantha".

There have been other attempts at describing official Glorantha that I have been thoroughly unhappy with, and others that managed to irk me enough to keep grumbling about them.

What I don't quite understand about 2nd Age is how following the God learner timeline for Jrustela and the God Learner phenomenon as a whole could accept the starting date for the movement in the middle of the 7th century and the rise of heroquesting in the middle of the eighth, but still insist that it was from God Learner activity that draconic speech emanated from Esrolia into Dragon Pass. The God Learners needed Arkat's secrets to discover the Other Side of non-Malkioni, so how would they have been able to influence events 170 years before the fall of the Autarchy with such heroquesting and knowlede theft?

 

 

1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

Enhanced weapons - I like, and I think is actually important. Some I felt a little cheesy (such as the top tiers).

More important would be the enhanced pieces of armor. The rules are unclear, however. If an enhancement requires step 3 in quality improvement, does this allow another step 2 improvement and a step one improvement on the side, or does it block all three slots?

 

1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

Enchanted weapons are a must have - although I don't recall much ATM.

Perhaps that's the one point where a clear canonical statement about the mass produced bladesharp 1 swords of the Machine City should preclude your run-of-the-mill Gloranthan enchanter from producing this. The source is a caption for a rather mediocre illustration - from memory either in the RQ3 Genertela Box Glorantha Book in the Second Age history or RQ3 Elder Secrets Secret Lands section near the Clanking Ruins entry. Nothing wrong with the generic MRQ1 rules offering such enchantments as an option for other settings, mind you, but just because something is in the generic rules doesn't mean that it has to apply to each and every setting where these rules get to be used.

 

1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

Yep! And that's actually been a part of Heroquesting! Gaming-wise it can suck (without a handwave). Lore-wise it's fine.

There is no setting reason for making this a case of individual rolls, although I notice that David Scott used a very similar take on Discorporation of assistant shamans in his narrative how a shaman might learn a new shamanic ability.

Personally, with the rules offering of MRQ1 I would use a reverse team roll mechanism for the heroquesting party if they have formed the equivalent of a hero band, i.e. created (and initiated or at least significantly sacrificed to) a hero band wyter, or a loaned wyter received through an "Arming of <Protagonist>" preliminary rite. Cult lore or perhaps specific myth instruction lore can be upped a lot by sticking to a narrowly defined role in the "Arming of" rite. The lead quester(s) receive all manner of ritual items, and each item may be represented by an individual or even a group of suitably uniform assistant questers, and their performance in this also gives them an edge for interactions on the heroquest involving this activity. Thus, when Orlanth receives his sword Deathbringer, that's how to include Humakti or Telmori bodyguards into the ablative meat team of questers.

From what I read elsewhere (possibly in MRQ products) on Jrusteli heroquesting, ablative meat heroquesting was part of the God Learner method of exploitative heroquesting. That would explain the insane numbers of heroquesters produced by the universities of Umathela in the mere 150 years before riots destroyed them - after the Closing, but long before the destructions of Old Seshnela, Old Maniria and Jrustela.

1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

Any thoughts on Integrated Runes having an in-game effect? E.g., +10%'to skills, etc?  I thought that it was a concept that was sorely lacking previously. (Having to integrate Runes that were just hanging around waiting for you to pick up was stupid though... But, again, I'm coming from an RQ2/3 background)

Runes and Battle Magic haven't been linked in RQG. Given the terminology in RQ2, I find it surprising that the commonly available Battle Magic of the previously available magic systems ended up being the one tied to the runes.

On the whole, the rules for the Blood of the Gods in the shape of magical crystals has been established at least since the Bertalor article in Elder Secrets, although the live and dead crystals of the Gods had been quite ubiquitious in RQ2 NPC and plunder descriptions. RQ3 re-introduced them rather late, and they didn't catch on much in the RQ Renaissance NPC and plunder descriptions, IIRC. So integration of physical runes as per MRQ1 would be attuning live Crystals of the Gods when it comes to physical objects. For the other side of a person somehow aquiring a rune there is RQG's use of the runes as personality traits or as sorcerously mastered knowledge. Either could be a form of heroquest award. Especially the element runes of powerful heroes could have impressive percentiles, beyond 100. Such values might be necessary to offset hostile environments.

There used to be mention of a technique in Hero Wars and possibly HeroQuest 1 about integration of spirits to acquire those abilities - IIRC related to Kralorela (possibly eastern Hsunchen) or Sheng Seleris. Now, with elementals we have one type of runic spirit entities, and healing spirits might be considered Harmony spirits.

 

To recap: the generic parts of the MRQ rules covering "the world" issues aren't terrible at all. Whether and how much you want to simulate this is part of personal and party preferences - there are players who thrive on empire-building in their rpgs, and the MRQ rules offer many a tool (and indeed splat book) to play that. RQ3 tried that with the Monster Coliseum, and didn't succeed so well. The addition of 50 pages of a gladiator-themed game in a Lunar place - why not Furthest or Mirins Cross so you can use Orlanthi and Seven Mothers - would have made all that generic bling into useful background for Glorantha, while still offering enough gaming for people playing elsewhere, and a Dart Competition campaign could have been built off that. (Yeah, AH era RQ3 had its less useful bits, too. The AH reprint of Midkemia Press "Cities" on the other hand was just the preservation of timeless roleplaying gold.)

The Ship rules are a continuation of the RQ3 sailing and vessel rules. I haven't gone into detail, but the RQ3 rules (which I did use in earnest, given my Viking themed backstory) work sufficiently well, so I don't expect the MRQ rules to do a significantly worse job. No points for innovation there, though.

The rules for invasive heroquesting using enemy sites look fair, but they disregard the community effect that regular Gloranthan heroquesting is about. Not even Jar-eel inserting herself into the Holy Country magic or Hon-eel entering the Tarshite Earth rites use such methods. Acceptable for God Learner brute force methods, but that's it.

 

Looking at the MRQ product line which showed some serious lack in that department already just skimming through the basic rules book, I wonder how much Jason Durall is bogged down with rulesy consistency checking, and whether he has volunteer or professional aides. Gloranthan fact checking is another criterion, and the one where the MRQ line made the IMO bad decision to keep creating Gloranthish rather than Gloranthan products for sake of their rapid-fire publication strategy. Parts of the Glorantha audience can be extremely nit-picky. (Look who's talking...)

Allowing the authors to follow their fancies did result in  a number of unusual-awesome concepts that would be totally fine in stand-alone products or less developed settings.

I still wonder how animated metal plated skeletons become living machines. The Clanking City book used the material offered by Greg in History of the Heortling Peoples. With the chief Zistorite described as "to a great part a machine", why aren't the living lesser instances of Zistor cyborgs? The Machine Wars could have been flying magicians vs. Battletech. Avatar was published only in 2009, so dragon riders vs. robots would have been fresh and original at the time of publication. And Mongoose could have continued with Machine War episode books sufficiently similar to Avatar to appeal to that fandom without having to pay much if any additional royalties, having clear evidence for prior publication.

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7 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Diehard RQ fans probably hate MRQ (any version!).

I'm not sure about that.

I started playing RQ with RQ2 in 1982 and liked a lot of the MRQ material. Sure, the initial rulebook had a lot of issues, but had some good ideas and the supplements were certainly usable.

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Finding the rules for Heroquesting has eluded me so far (checked the MRQ1 rules, the Glorantha 2nd Age Book, skipped the Spell Book and had a look at the Companion). Details on Dragon Magic and specific God Learner stuff is hidden in later supplements, too.

Jrustela has God Learner 101, which is interesting. Glorantha the Second Age touches on HeroQuesting. Trolls A Guide to Uz also contains some information about HeroQuesting against the Trolls, according to my review.

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

I'm not sure about that.

I started playing RQ with RQ2 in 1982 and liked a lot of the MRQ material. Sure, the initial rulebook had a lot of issues, but had some good ideas and the supplements were certainly usable.

I know, and I should have qualified with "most? Many?"

But, it was based on the responses I'm getting in the other thread... 

 

Do people have Combat Styles? I'm very much in 2 minds about them. 

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1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

I know, and I should have qualified with "most? Many?"

I'll stick to my initial judgement, I think. Full of ideas, no fact-checking for consistency with canon, sloppy editing. Illustrations on a semi-professional level, with occasional abysmal aberrations like e.g. the small image of "Lodril" in 16th century garb holding one spear in one hand and two in the other, in the cults book. And not actually cheaper than RQG so far, despite considerable differences in production quality.

A decent variation of the generic RuneQuest rules with a cute but non-Gloranthan idea how to bring runes into magic. A weird "memorized divine magic lowers your effective POW!" rule that goes against any previous forms of how RQ handled that. Sorcery without obligatory familiars (as expression of the sorcerous "spiritual organ". A system to raid the hero planes that may be related to insider heroquesting by usurping the same jump-off sites (though obviously at less fortunate times, or the home religion would be there holding a rite - I wonder how the authors could miss that error in their correspondence magic) and abusing the myths normally maintained there.

 

1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

But, it was based on the responses I'm getting in the other thread... 

That's because "there is a product with RQ on it that says X, therefore X must be true in RQG, too". I am content to show the flaws around those statements, to acknowledge the more creative deviations, and to point out that it is a good try at an alternate Glorantha, but not a serious try to write for a Glorantha consistent with the presentation it has accumulated.

The Second Age Book is probably largely consistent with published Glorantha information up to Elder Secrets of Glorantha and a few of Greg's preparatory notes given to Mongoose. The misplaced locations are ones not shown correctly on any map. If that is your jump-off point for your involvement of Glorantha and you don't care much about more recent additions or clarifications, then you will have none of my "this is sooo wrong" reactions. It's like Bobby Ewing remains dead and gone in Dallas (or for a more recent popular phenomenon, the Blood Wedding never happened in Game of Thrones).

You'll have to accept that new publications will follow a different continuity, and in case of the presentation of the Malkioni (and more recently the Morokanth), you will have to live with a continuity break that may be much weaker than the different conclusions you drew on the earlier presentations.

 

I just stumbled over a few of my digest posts from 1994, about initiation, Iron Age Glorantha, Malkionism, Elmal... stuff that was debated here on the forum in the last few weeks or months. The stuff where I was wrong (given today's knowledge) usually was based on reasonable but false assumptions. Some of that different knowledge may have come into existence by refuting those ideas.

1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

Do people have Combat Styles? I'm very much in 2 minds about them. 

Currently I don't have them. They simplify some things and make other things more complicated.

To me, the character sheet of RQG has way too many "you can't do this/you don't have any reasonable chance in hell to do this" entries in the skills and weapon list. I would be a lot happier to see broader skills, from which you can take narrower specialisations, and possibly narrower specific ineptitudes, too. I am actively unhappy with the "opposed powers add up to 100%" rule, and at the very least I am inclined to add a rule that Illumination allows you an overlap of those abilities that totals up to no more than your illumination/enlightenment/whatever score, so that an illuminated rune lord of Yelm could have both Life and Death above 50%. Or a divine gift that you can use your cult's power rune at 20% above your personality score - another way to de-degrade those power rune-based cults.

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Quote

 

know, and I should have qualified with "most? Many?"

But, it was based on the responses I'm getting in the other thread... 

 

MRQ1 was flawed in many places: both rules execution and Gloranthan background. The production schedules were horrendous. In the other thread, I think Joerg refers to 'four weeks to produce a 60 page supplement'. Well, that's wrong I'm afraid, it was 4 weeks to produce a 128 page supplement, including research, fact checking, personal proofing, personal editing, and then submission to the editorial team. There would usually be a little back and forth on corrections here and there, but mostly the author wouldn't see the manuscript again until it was a layout proof, which you had to read through and provide mark-up corrections for. Wholesale changes weren't possible because they could impact layout considerably (even small changes can), so editorial input after the fact was very limited. And by this time, you're neck-deep in another 128 page, 4 week project, so your writing time on a book at any point was more like 3.5 weeks than four.

Yet despite being flawed, MRQ1 did get quite a lot of things right. The character creation process of culture+profession, with skill allocation in percentile blocks appears to be remarkably similar to RQG, from what I've seen (I don't have a copy of it, but have scanned friends copies). Theism and Sorcery both introduced some excellent mechanical concepts too. It wasn't all bleak.

For Gloranthan content, I can only speak for my own work, but I took time and pains to consult with Greg and Jeff directly before starting work on any supplement. Dara Happa saw me spend a weekend with Jeff in Berlin where we brainstormed avidly, mapped-out the campaign, went over the canon, and get the thing ready for me to start writing. That was a common approach. For the dragonewt and mostali books, I had several long conversations with Greg on how to portray the races, and he got to approve or veto ideas before I worked on them. I spent a lot of my own money buying hard-to-get Gloranthan items (such as Enclosure and other rare fanzines) that were recommended to me by Greg and Jeff so that I had access to some of the deeper lore that had helped form the canon of the time. I rewrote magic and cult rules so that they'd be workable with the supplements I was responsible for (notably Dara Happa and Fronela).

In other words, I worked very hard to deal with the issues inherent in MRQ1, and bring the Second Age Glorantha supplements up to par.

Quote

Do people have Combat Styles? I'm very much in 2 minds about them.

MRQ1 had each weapon group (1H Axe, 2H Axe, etc) with a single combat skill for both attack and parry. Pete Nash and I introduced Combat Styles in MRQ2, further developing and refining them in RQ6/Mythras. They reflect how fighters, especially professional warriors, are trained in the use of multiple weapons and techniques at the same time, and reflect that in off-time, when individuals are training, they won't focus on just one weapon in isolation. It's economical skill-wise too, because you don't have to keep track of multiple skills for each weapon. In Mythras, a Combat Style can be supplemented by a Trait, such as Formation Fighting, which lends certain advantages when specific conditions are met. I've been using Combat Styles for so long, going back to the older forms of RQ and d100 combat seems extremely clunky to me now; but everything depends on personal preferences and play styles. There's no 'right' way to do things.

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1 hour ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

 For Gloranthan content, I can only speak for my own work, but I took time and pains to consult with Greg and Jeff directly before starting work on any supplement. Dara Happa saw me spend a weekend with Jeff in Berlin where we brainstormed avidly, mapped-out the campaign, went over the canon, and get the thing ready for me to start writing. That was a common approach.

Dara Happa Stirs is a **great** piece of Gloranthan writing, and I heartily recommend it to all Glorantha fans, regardless of your preferred ruleset.

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I bought Mongoose RuneQuest (I) as it came out, mostly the PDFs (space consideration). I wasn't really interested in the RQ aspect of it. I'd been involved in some RuneQuest 4 play testing at the end of the RQ3 era and had only slowly moved to RQ3. I really liked RQ2 and everything since just made it more complex.

I saw the light when Jonathan Tweet's Everway debuted in 1996 or so, that and Greg's Glorantha the Game and Epic system, paved the way for playing in a Robin Laws pre-Hero Wars (RPG) game. RuneQuest pretty much fell away from me in favour of the flawed but right direction Hero Wars. Then appeared Mongoose RuneQuest - even more complexity that I didn't really want.

So ignoring the system I bought it for the background. Overall I thought it a great idea, an encapsulated history that eventually vanishes - we know what happens. I really hoped for a Pendragon style campaign that led to the present day, but what we got was patchy hit and miss supplements. If I remove all the system and redone supplements (core rules, cults 1,2,3, elder races) there was wasn't that much new: 2 second age supplements, the clanking city, Jrustela, fronela and Ralios. Then the two big adventures, blood of Orlanth & Dara Happa stirs and an odd ruins of Glorantha supplement.

The second age supplements were interesting ignoring all the repeated stuff from previous version, I liked the two cultures chapter, the god learners secret, but the campaign setting fell flat. The magic book was good on the Draconic Mysticism and God learner sorcery, but the heroquesting was very flat and there it continued, almost generic fantasy. The clanking city was interesting in that it was weird, but its heritage was steampunk, terminator and the crossover genres in TORG (I've played a lot of TORG), not Glorantha. Blood of Orlanth seemed like a great adventure, but the author seemed not well versed in Glorantha, it felt like Generic fantasy welded onto glorantha. Ruins of Glorantha feels the same. Dara Happa stirs is great, as has been said already.

Overall my players didn't like the background and it's D&D feel, they wanted more 3rd Age Pavis, Red Goddess vs Orlanth. We did some foreshadowing using Pavis rises, which was also enjoyable (but MRQ2 and I always felt there should have been at least one Rush song title as a chapter name). I also liked the abiding book.

Ignoring the system, take a look at Dara Happa stirs, Pavis rises and the abiding book. Those are the three with the useful stuff in IMO.

I quite liked a lot of the covers, but as a last note I have draw your attention to the worst IMO: All of the rune covers eg

743644346_Screenshot2019-05-26at18_24_48.png.e398a8c53240bdfd78c6ccfb4300c4e3.png and then 1249953782_Screenshot2019-05-26at18_24_13.png.03309ecac57603c1c717f49f147f5400.png

Disclaimer: I know Loz, but those three books were the best.

Edited by David Scott
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3 hours ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

 MRQ1 was flawed in many places: both rules execution and Gloranthan background. The production schedules were horrendous. In the other thread, I think Joerg refers to 'four weeks to produce a 60 page supplement'. Well, that's wrong I'm afraid, it was 4 weeks to produce a 128 page supplement, including research, fact checking, personal proofing, personal editing, and then submission to the editorial team.

I wrote that before actually looking at the MRQ1 pdf bundle.

The flaws in the rules execution would have been tolerable for an original setting dedicated to these conditions for magic. Yes, it used the Gloranthan runes... so did I for my Viking-inspired RQ3 fantasy setting (basically, the runes were present as constellations, with Storm a bunch of stars falling around a nearby massive black Hole, and Chaos a dwarf planet-sized comet on a highly ecliptic orbit).

3 hours ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

For Gloranthan content, I can only speak for my own work, but I took time and pains to consult with Greg and Jeff directly before starting work on any supplement.

I noticed the marked increase in canonicity in those products, but how did you deal with the basically flawed premise on the EWF that you were dealt by the 2nd Age book? By the time of Dara Happa Stirs for MRQ2, we get the Third Council with IsgangDrang and the other known Dragonfriends of the era, and of course the history of Obduran demonstrating the compatibility of Orlanth worship and draconic mysticism (at least at that time), and if there still was a senile Vistikos overseeing the Great Dragon experiment, that wasn't all-important any more.

The second edition of the Glorantha Book did get a good update that agreed with Greg's material (now published in History of the Heortling Peoples) at least in the history section. I guess we have to thank you for that re-write? How much time (and space) were you allotted for that? The Vistikos stuff did remain in, but with the correct rulers named in the history section, at least you could produce the subsequent works like Dara Happa Stirs.

I missed most of your efforts at the time. There was a Second Age Glorantha community, but it had few links to the HeroQuest-dominated Third Age community. (And I would probably have come across as a troll. Not the uz kind.)

 

3 hours ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

In other words, I worked very hard to deal with the issues inherent in MRQ1, and bring the Second Age Glorantha supplements up to par.

 

Still, there remained quite a bit of material based on flawed assumptions, and the dates in History of the Heortling Peoples required quite pointed attention to detail to get e.g. the role of Tharkantus right, or the non-EWF Orlanthland leadership. Your fix worked to jumpstart the chosen period of play into the right directions, but it left the history and the bitterness in the rise of the dragonfriends against the traditionalists in the dark. Of at best secondary importance for the game line, so commercially of no interest at all to Mongoose.

The more or less non-treatment of Greg's suggestions at drama and action for the Clanking City remains a shame. The plunder of Lylket could have made a great uz scenario, and a side quest. Preliminary warfare ravaging southern Heortland could have made a great community survival game.

There were a number of other interesting hotspots which would have deserved attention. The collapse of the Umathelan university cities due to Closing and riots. Godunya's story. The naval campaigns in the east. Melib and Teshnos, and the Red Sword Saga. Valkaro. And a pity that the Six-legged adventure had already faltered by the chosen setting date, Ivy Kang's war could have been another great campaign.

 

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5 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

What the...???

Somebody moved this discussion about Runequest out of the Runequest category and into the Legend group??? 

 

Yes, one of the Mods likely did it as MRQ is a different flavour of RQ and has its own section on BRP Central. Easy to find though, I just follow all activity.

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Yes, one of the Mods likely did it as MRQ is a different flavour of RQ and has its own section on BRP Central. Easy to find though, I just follow all activity.

It amuses (annoys) me that MRQ is not seen as real RQ. 

I've seen Legend, and I've seen the similarities in the rule system.

 

Just.. This IS an RQ discussion. (And confirms my thoughts on on another thread). The Glorantha forum I would have at least understood... 

Anyway... :(

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45 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

It amuses (annoys) me that MRQ is not seen as real RQ. 

I've seen Legend, and I've seen the similarities in the rule system.

 

Just.. This IS an RQ discussion. (And confirms my thoughts on on another thread). The Glorantha forum I would have at least understood... 

Anyway... :(

I believe this was moved here because the RuneQuest forum is the "RuneQuest forum for Chaosium's roleplaying game system, current and classic editions." Which does not include MRQ1/2 (or the draft "RQ4", Epic, or Pendragon Pass). Whereas the Legend forum is the Mongoose D100 discussion forum.

If you want to talk about the things you liked about MRQ1/2, why it is a shame I don't have any interest in relying on MRQ materials, or the like - this is the right place to be.

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Then perhaps it could be a good idea to delete the "2" from the subtitle (or add a 1/2), to clearly show that discussions about the Mongoose version before the Whitaker/Nash amendments should go here.

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Speaking of just the rules elements of MRQ1 for now. I had been out of role-playing for a fair while when I stumbled across the existence of MRQ1. The last two RQ3 campaigns I had run finished in 1997 when I moved to Canada. All I had done since then was the occasional CoC 1 shot for mostly non-gaming friends. Prior to that I had run a lot of RQ3, contributed to the RQ Digest and so on.

Opening up the book, about which I literally knew nothing, my first impression was "god, this is cheap and nasty." So I started to go through the rules and created some PCs to see how it worked. My reactions were along the lines of:

"No General Hit points!? Did I miss them in the rules somewhere? Surely not. Actually, you know, thinking about it, this is a genius idea."

"Hero Points! woo hoo. I've been using hero points in RQ since 1985. Hero points buying heroic abilities?! Oh, bad idea. Actually, heroic abilities are a bad idea." (About 9 months later I watched how motivated my players were to gain them. I hate being wrong.)

"Skills as two characteristics added together. Neat."

"No resistance table! Excellent!"

"shortened skill list. I like it."

"Opposed rolls. I do like me some opposed rolls. Lots of really neat ideas in here and at least the production standards are better than Daughters of Darkness."

"What's going on with 'rune magic'? Are their some pages missing? This is awful."

"Ok so Strike Ranks are an initiative system with the word Strike Ranks attached. I'll try it out then see if my players prefer RQ3's Strike Ranks. (Reader: they didn't.)"

"One skill for attack and parry, works for me. This is going to be so easy to teach."

"Combat. Belay that previous comment. Has someone torn out some pages and eaten them? This just doesn't make sense. Let me re-read that a few times. Nope this is simply inconsistent. Let's look online to see what's going on. Bloody hell, this is a mess. Right then,  lets adapt some of my old RQ3 house rules about opposed rolls and combat. Successful parry but lose the roll? double the AP of the defending weapon, job's a good un. This actually works out ok."

"Runes?!? Come on, really. I mean I know it's called RuneQuest but it's not called 'Dig the runes out of your freshly slain victims and use them Quest'. (About a year later, running Blood of Orlanth I started to find really interesting things to do with tangible runes and became moderately in favour of the idea apart from the whole stabbystabbytakeyourruney thing.)

By the time I had finally grokked the book I felt like there were all sort of neat ideas in there and it felt the first really fresh take on BRP since Nephilim. Admittedly I would have to spend a fair time hacking it into something I could actually run but when I did run a 1-short for a bunch of people I had never met at an Edinburgh meet up we had a great time. It would go on to form the start of a campaign that would last 3 years and revitalise my enjoyment of Glorantha.

Ultimately, MRQ1 showed all that was good and bad about Mongoose. Good, they actually published material. Bad, the utter lack of professionalism. You never knew what the brown stuff in your sandwich was going to be when you bought a Mongoose book. 

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I noticed the marked increase in canonicity in those products, but how did you deal with the basically flawed premise on the EWF that you were dealt by the 2nd Age book? 

I either ignored them or rewrote them, noting what was rewritten or modified with boxed text or introductory notes. It depended on how flawed the original information was. Sometimes it was simpler to just ignore certain things, instead of trying to justify them or waste word count on detailed explanations.

 

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14 hours ago, Jeff said:

I believe this was moved here because the RuneQuest forum is the "RuneQuest forum for Chaosium's roleplaying game system, current and classic editions." Which does not include MRQ1/2 (or the draft "RQ4", Epic, or Pendragon Pass). Whereas the Legend forum is the Mongoose D100 discussion forum.

If you want to talk about the things you liked about MRQ1/2, why it is a shame I don't have any interest in relying on MRQ materials, or the like - this is the right place to be.

Got it. Fine... so, which is the RQ 3 (Avalon Hill/Games Workshop) forum It obviously can't go.in the other RQ forum... Because it's as similar (and different) to the "classic and current" as MRQ is. 

Pendragon Pass is not Runequest - it's Glorantha. 

I'm not sure anyone anywhere anywhen has ever questioned why you should "rely" on MRQ. I certainly haven't. (In Logic, that's called a Red Herring - sending a discussion off down a different path than was initiated)

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14 hours ago, Jeff said:

I believe this was moved here because the RuneQuest forum is the "RuneQuest forum for Chaosium's roleplaying game system, current and classic editions." Which does not include MRQ1/2 (or the draft "RQ4", Epic, or Pendragon Pass). Whereas the Legend forum is the Mongoose D100 discussion forum.

If you want to talk about the things you liked about MRQ1/2, why it is a shame I don't have any interest in relying on MRQ materials, or the like - this is the right place to be.

Got it. Fine. So, which is the RQ 3 (Avalon Hill/Games Workshop) forum? It obviously can't go.in the other RQ forum... Because it's as similar (and different) to the "classic and current" as MRQ is. 

Pendragon Pass is not Runequest - it's Glorantha. 

I don't think anyone, anywhere or anytime has argued that you should "rely" on MRQ for anything. I know I haven't. (In Logic and Rhetoric, that's the logical fallacy of Red Herring...)

 

Edited by Shiningbrow
Frgn phone saving...

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1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

Got it. Fine... so, which is the RQ 3 (Avalon Hill/Games Workshop) forum It obviously can't go.in the other RQ forum... Because it's as similar (and different) to the "classic and current" as MRQ is. 

Pendragon Pass is not Runequest - it's Glorantha. 

I'm not sure anyone anywhere anywhen has ever questioned why you should "rely" on MRQ. I certainly haven't. (In Logic, that's called a Red Herring - sending a discussion off down a different path than was initiated)

Look at the credits of RQ3 - it is "a Chaosium Game." More to the point, Chaosium owns RQ3.

This is a fine enough place to talk about the MRQ books, unless Loz wants it moved to Mythras. But point of principle - Mongoose was the worst licensee Greg ever had and treated both the line and Greg badly enough that I don't want discussion of it in the RuneQuest or Glorantha threads. Anyone we have to come to the edge of litigation in the federal courts - twice - just to get past  royalties paid isn't going to get a good hearing from me.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

Anyone we have to come to the edge of litigation in the federal courts - twice - just to get past  royalties paid isn't going to get a good hearing from me.

My point in bringing this up (here and in the other thread, where I'll post something I'm sure will be taken as inflammatory) isn't to get you (or others) to get a "good" hearing.

It's to get a fair hearing!

And, by that, I'm sure you have lots of bad things to say (think - because I'm sure you won't voice them on a public forum - fair enough!) about "Mongoose", but in doing so, you're including every person who worked on their material - not just publishing, but also the individual writers, artists, layout designers, etc etc etc., and not just senior management, finance departments, lawyers, etc.

I'm completely ok with you even hating them (not that my "ok" should actually mean that much to you - although, as a consumer of your products, the ones who give you the money to survive (as insignificant as my proportion is), as a "representative' of them, what I'm saying should at least be taken note of). But, just as the Orlanthis hate the Lunars, I'm 100% sure that those with a high Honour Passion are going to at least admit that they have some damn tough fighters! They can hate them, but also say their magic is powerful (if Chaotic).

In the same vein, sure MRQ (1 in particular) may have been horrendous in your mind - but that deoesn't mean you can't (or shouldn't) indicate that everything about it was bad! (and, denying anything good is the same as saying that everything is bad).

The inability to see something (almost anything) good or admirable or worthwhile is not only immature (like a butthurt fanboi), but also unprofessional - as it could lead to ignoring a good idea just out of the butthurtedness... (a good idea that's not actually from "Mongoose", but one of the individuals that worked on the project). This thread is testament that there are at least a few good ideas, that I suspect some people here would like to see included (if not outright, at least as a starting point). A good idea that may end up as house-ruled in for many

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On 5/26/2019 at 8:35 AM, metcalph said:

Rather than waste people's time trying to change their minds or falsely claiming specific ideas  as being brilliant concepts invented by MRQ, just accept that the majority of people don't like it and move on.

 

 

(moving from the other thread... also, I'm half PC and half mobile - so I'm hoping this posts works the way I want it to!)

@Joerg @styopa Thanks for your views and trying to get others to see things from a different perspective.

 

Thanks @metcalph. Not only are you missing my point (which I'm beginning to think is intentional by everyone), but you're actually helping to prove it! This "shut up and go away" mentality is the problem I see.

I have no issue with people not liking MRQ, or even hating it, if that's their feeling. I'm not trying to convince anyone to change that (and I'm quite certain I've not even hinted at that in the other thread).

What I actually am trying - almost desperately - to have happen is what I'd think *every* fan of a series wants... For each subsequent iteration to learn from the previous editions... Reject the bad, and keep the GOOD.

This total and complete rejection of MRQ fails to do that. And, in all those  posts above about this (excepting a few), that's what the fans (here) want as well - to deliberately NOT have the best RQ and Glorantha possible. You seem to only want a RQ that's the best... minus any possible thing from the Mongoose edition. And, by definition, that means it can't be the best (if it's not known about/deliberately ignored).

To be blunt, I think this fanboi (and fangerl - if any posting here) butthurt "never say anything positive" attitude to MRQ's treatment of *your* Glorantha both immature and unprofessional. While the latter doesn't mean much to most, it is highly relevant to the designers and publishers.

Proof of this is in the form of the posts above... Not a single person who hates MRQ has been willing to admit that, amongst the thousands of pages of MRQ material, not a single new idea (well-implemented or not) is even "ok", let alone "good".  ( @Joerg, thanks for the new thread!)

One of the points I posted was wrong. I accepted it. I admitted it.  Can anyone here do the same?

Better yet, for all you butthurt fanbois - can you a build a bridge and just get over it finally???

 

23 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Some have accused @Jeff of rejecting all of MRQ out of hand, I think that's a little unfair. When a publisher has a track record of poor products, is it really worth sifting through it all looking for diamonds in the rough? As he specifically said, his time was merely more well spent looking elsewhere, and that's fair enough to me. Also it can be hard to get that bad taste out of your mouth once your opinion of a publisher has been spoiled for legitimate reasons.

No, it's not unfair.

As I posted above here directly to Jeff, there's a HUGE difference between "Mongoose" the company, publisher, etc, and Mongoose, the large group of individual people who wrote material for it, drew art for it, did layouts and designs, etc etc etc.

Rejecting everything out of hand is supposed to be a statement about the company and management. It shouldn't be about those contracted to write pieces for it. I don't know the current relationships between the various individuals involved here, but they appear to be amicable. 

 

Edited by Shiningbrow
Phone, PC, Phone, PC...

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1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

This total and complete rejection of MRQ fails to do that. And, in all those  posts above about this (excepting a few), that's what the fans (here) want as well - to deliberately NOT have the best RQ and Glorantha possible. You seem to only want a RQ that's the best... minus any possible thing from the Mongoose edition. And, by definition, that means it can't be the best (if it's not known about/deliberately ignored).

Unfortunately, the dislike for Mongoose's line meant that RQG was originally referred to as RQ4, which causes whole storm that has only recently calmed down.

1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

To be blunt, I think this fanboi (and fangerl - if any posting here) butthurt "never say anything positive" attitude to MRQ's treatment of *your* Glorantha both immature and unprofessional. While the latter doesn't mean much to most, it is highly relevant to the designers and publishers.

There has been a trend of rejecting what was done before, either as non-canonical or inferior. I understand that from a business point of view, but dislike it from a personal, fanboy point of view.

1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

Rejecting everything out of hand is supposed to be a statement about the company and management. It shouldn't be about those contracted to write pieces for it. I don't know the current relationships between the various individuals involved here, but they appear to be amicable. 

As far as I know, they are amicable.

 

By the way, ranting is fine, as it gets it out of your system. You won't win this one, though, as opinions are very entrenched.

I just take the best bits of the systems and use them in my games, do it doesn't matter to me what the official line is.

Edited by soltakss

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