Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha

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Iceman

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I bought R: RiG when it came out, and came away with an impression that wasn't too favourable.

It's a crunchy system, with five different rules for using Runes with a character’s personality, but the rules are vague and seem to overlap. The dodge rule is weird in that you can generate a ‘Successful’ Dodge result vs a ‘Special’ attack result - and you still take full damage (to be fair, I think the problem here is more to do with terminology used, rather than a borked rule). It’s magic heavy with 7 chapters devoted to magic systems. The combat system is clunky at best - and unfathomable at worst.

I'm also not too enamoured with the fact that you only adventure once per season, and then you are in downtime looking after the community you are a part of. Though this is definitely in the YMMV territory.

I want to get into Glorantha but the above makes me wary.

What's your experience of it in play, from a rules perspective?
 

Tristan

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The adventure once per year then downtime is in Pendragon. So are the personality traits. I really liked that concept as it forced time passage. Most games don't really deal with time, despite Gygax's all caps admonition.
 

Moonglum

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I'm a long-time RQ grognard with ca. 42 years of experience with the system and game world, and, while I haven't seen this edition I agree it sounds awful. Like the climbed up their own butts so much they've turned all the original strengths into weaknesses. I don't understand why anyone would want to make the original combat system more complex than it already was. Classic RQ combat is awesome, but pretty much right at that crunchiest edge between good crunch and unplayable dreck. And 7 magic systems plus a 'meta' interpretation of your character's life. Yikes.
 

Dammit Viktor

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I have been screwing around with King of Dragon Pass and Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind and this is stirring some dim curiosity about the Glorantha setting.
 

Savage Schemer

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I've abandoned every attempt to get RQG to the table, and there have been several such attempts. Even when you use the optional shorter method, character creation takes entirely too long. Make it through that, and the rules become a chore. I never had this problem with RQ2 or even Mythras, so it's hard to pinpoint what exactly makes it such a slog, but it is.

I tend to think it's because we favor rules lite games. But, like I said, Mythras hasn't been an issue. It's very frustrating, because I love Glorantha and want to play RQG. But to date HeroQuest remains my best and favorite way to play the setting.
 
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Iceman

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This pretty much confirms what I believed to be the case. RQG's ruleset has way too many moving parts. At least for my tastes.

Thanks all for the feedback.
 

Nick J

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I've abandoned every attempt to get RQG to the table, and there have been several such attempts. Even when you use the optional shorter method, character creation takes entirely too long. Make it through that, and the rules become a chore. I never had this problem with RQ2 or even Mythras, so it's hard to pinpoint what exactly makes it such a slog, but it is.

I tend to think it's because we favor rules lite games. But, like I said, Mythras hasn't been an issue. It's very frustrating, because I love Glorantha and want to play RQG. But to date HeroQuest remains my best and favorite way to play the setting.
Maybe I didn't give it the proper due it needed (some games play better than they read), but the time needed for character creation was the deal breaker for me -- All that front-loaded bullshit and then the rules themselves read "clunkier" than Mythras and I was just like, "Welp, I'm not even sure I like the Glorantha setting that much", and I tend to run games where characters can and do die from time to time and the idea of getting players back into the game just seemed like it would be such a slog. It seems like a game geared for existing Gloranthaphiles who like a fair bit of crunch, and if you are one of those folks, then God love ya, but it just didn't click for me.
 

Raleel

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It seems like a game geared for existing Gloranthaphiles who like a fair bit of crunch, and if you are one of those folks, then God love ya, but it just didn't click for me.
This is consistent with what I’ve heard about it. It’s well designed for those folks who prefer the versions before Mongoose was involved. If you prefer some of the newer nuances of d100, it’s less in that space.
 

Trippy

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The modern version is a lot more convoluted with skill stats than the original, which is compiled on top of the decision to have Rune stats, and also just the general steepness of learning about the setting as well as the magic/history/cultures and so on. The original was a very lean system (and setting) by comparison.

I have question marks over the implementation of the rune stats also. Obviously, it is thematic but unlike the personality stats used in Pendragon (which they are modeled on), they’re more vague as to what they are used for. A player rolling against their character's Valourous or Lustful trait is fairly self-evident as to whether the situation is relevant, but rolling against Chaos or Earth a bit less so.

The new starter set looked like it will be a very impressive box set, while I am an avid collector of the recent republication of the 2nd Edition material. I do recognise the passion and production standards of the game to be top notch. However, in all honesty, I find the modern Runequest: Glorantha a bit overdone.
 

Mankcam

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I love the Glorantha focus, and the way the setting is portrayed in this current edition of RuneQuest

However the mechanics are too clunky, being predominantly based on the early RQ2, then add a touch of RQ3, and import concepts from Pendragon.
BRP as a system is great, but it had already moved on. I have played and enjoyed it since the mid 1980s, and I expected a streamlined version of RQ rather than what we have. I would of thought they would of went with CoC 7E's core BRP build, minus the SAN Pts, and added things like the Hit Locations and Runes. I would of preferred it actually, it would have played much smoother.

Mythras is the real inheritor of crunchy BRP done well, it ticks all the boxes in regards to tactile BRP sessions - given it was previously titled RQ6, I would have been happy if an amended version of it had been used for RQG. It would play so much better, and it's a crime that Chaosium went backwards in some ways with RQG when they could of streaked ahead of the game.

RQG is a double-edge sword for me - I love the setting, and the game mechanic are good, but I am a bit unhappy with the more clunky build of BRP that they have gone with.
To the point that I'm unsure if I can run it after running Mythras. It's a real shame, as I've waited decades for a good edition of RQ to be back on the shelves :thumbsup:
 
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Iceman

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Pretty much my sentiments exactly.

There's always HeroQuest though. Didn't they bring out a new version of the HeroQuest rules?
 

Savage Schemer

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Pretty much my sentiments exactly.

There's always HeroQuest though. Didn't they bring out a new version of the HeroQuest rules?
Eh. Not really. Chaosium sold off the HeroQuest brand to Hasbro and released QuestWorlds as a SRD, as part of the rebranding. But there aren't currently any QuestWorlds branded games out there. I've heard unconfirmed rumors that they'll re-release the HQ Glorantha material under QW. I also remember Chaosium stating they partnered with some writers to bring QW adventure packs in different genres to the game, but haven't seen anything around that for a good while.
 

Atelerix

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All this stuff up here? Yeah, me too. And whisper it, but I've never really liked the Hero Wars - King of Sartar left me cold.
 

Baulderstone

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Eh. Not really. Chaosium sold off the HeroQuest brand to Hasbro and released QuestWorlds as a SRD, as part of the rebranding. But there aren't currently any QuestWorlds branded games out there. I've heard unconfirmed rumors that they'll re-release the HQ Glorantha material under QW. I also remember Chaosium stating they partnered with some writers to bring QW adventure packs in different genres to the game, but haven't seen anything around that for a good while.
I'd say there is already everything you need if you want to use HeroQuest for Glorantha. You've already got a core book, along books on Sartar and Pavis. The nature of the system should make it easy enough to convert over any other concepts or adventures.
 

Savage Schemer

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I'd say there is already everything you need if you want to use HeroQuest for Glorantha. You've already got a core book, along books on Sartar and Pavis. The nature of the system should make it easy enough to convert over any other concepts or adventures.
The main issue is that you can't buy it anymore unless you buy used. So people who don't already have it are out in the cold.
 

Baulderstone

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The main issue is that you can't buy it anymore unless you buy used. So people who don't already have it are out in the cold.
The old Moon Design books were on Lulu last year, but I just saw that Chaosium pulled them at some point. Looking at the used prices, I you do have a good point.
 

Moonglum

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Luckily there is a great way to get into Runequest and Glorantha: buy the original ('second edition') materials and play them. They are totally awesome, easy to learn and play, wonderfully written, crunchy enough for people into that, and totally geared to actual play at the table.
 

Iceman

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Isn't there some, major problem with the magic system in 2ed? Or perhaps I'm misremembering.
 

Moonglum

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No; it works perfectly. Later editions added a variety of (often ill advised) things, but the core magic system has always been the same.
 

Nick J

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Isn't there some, major problem with the magic system in 2ed? Or perhaps I'm misremembering.
I think there's some general dissatisfaction with 3rd ed. sorcery (from the online discussions I've read), but I can't vouch for that, since I'm a late-comer and never played 3rd ed.
 

Iceman

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I'm going to take a look at 2nd ed then.

Thank all.
 

Moonglum

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3rd edition has its charms but the Sorcery magic system was a definite mis-fire; over complicated, 'over cooked' rules for a system of magic that is't particularly fun or interesting or effective in real play. You would be much happier by just dropping in sorcery from Stormbringer or Elric or even Call of Cthulhu. But the short version is that the setting and game are great without it.
 

Iceman

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I just bought RQ2ed + pdf for £18.03 and that included p&p. These days, I think that's great value for money.

Ok, so, being totally new to Glorantha, what sourcebooks should I buy? The big juicy expensive but gorgeous looking Guide books are out of my league. Preferably system free, unless of course, they are 2ed.

Looking forward to playing in Glorantha for the first time ever (only taken me 38 years).
 

Acmegamer

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When we played old 1st/2nd Ed RuneQuest we didn't actually make use of some aspects of the mechanics. We'd at the time adapted rolling a d10 plus Dex/Siz SR bonus. Ties were broken by weapon size as I recall, and if you were still tied the attack/spell went off at the same time.

We always felt that the four phases of the combat were clunky and wanted the combat to move faster and more reactive. I know now if I were to make use of the new version of RQG I'd probably do the same thing again plus adding in the GURPS Lite combat section.

Attack, Move and Attack, All Out Attack, All Out Defense, Concentrate, Aim etc. I feel that GURPS break down flows better in that regard and could pretty easily adapted into RQG to make RQG clearer and cleaner.
 

ReluctantGM

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RQG is a double-edge sword for me - I love the setting, but unhappy with the build of BRP that they have gone with.
To the point that I'm unsure if I can run it after running Mythras. It's a real shame, as I've waited decades for a good edition of RQ to be back on the shelves :thumbsup:

I certainly can't run RQG as written. I do steal some of the thematic/cultural bits I like, though, and shoehorn them into my Mythras CF game. I have all the current RQG and Mythras stuff so porting from the one to the other is pretty easy.
 

ffilz

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A bunch of rambling thoughts...

I'm glad RQG is out there as a system that has some newer ideas to attract newer players to RQ and Glorantha. They specifically chose to build off of RQ2 so all the RQ2 supplements would still be easy to use (though granted anyone who has played much BRP knows that you can pretty easily convert almost any material, though major differences in magic system would be trickier).

That said, I DON'T like the new Glorantha. I don't like the new system, or at least what I've read of it.

BUT they have made RQ1 (my personal favorite) and RQ2 easily available in PDF and print.

I love that they have made the Johnstown Compendium something that is clearly workable for many people to publish RQ/Glorantha fan material. It may not be the ideal license, but of course for those who want to publish Glorantha stuff, there is never going to be a full open license.

Personally I'm happy with RQ1 and grabbing occasional bits from newer editions. I might even get RQG at some point to grab bits from.

I think Chaosium has made the right choice for how to proceed with system. Sure, lots of folks love other BRP iterations, but I think it is best for Chaosium to take the path they are taking. I wish they were less obnoxious about some aspects. In the meantime, since BRP is so easy to convert between different iterations, anyone can pick their favorite BRP engine and use it to run Glorantha and benefit from as much or as little of the available supplements as they choose.
 

Moonglum

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As far as i know, 1E and 2E are identical, except for the addition of some appendices that you may or may not find useful. So, I don't think there is a compelling reason to hunt down the rare/collectable 1E. Just get 2E, which was recently reprinted in a nicely produced hard cover book closely similar to the original.

As for supplements, the best things to get, in order, are:
Cults of Prax and Cults of Terror (fleshes out the magic and religions)
Foes (pre-gen monsters and NPCs of all kinds; you will use this a lot)
Borderlands (a campaign and mini setting perfect for starting groups)
Pavis and Big Rubble (perfect 'home base' and adventure area for established campaigns)
Snakepipe Hollow (the setting's iconic dungeon full of goopy monsters)
Griffin Mountain (go here when you want to get away from your home base and experience something new)
Gateway Beastiary (actually, get any time; an expansion of monsters for the system, mostly usable in the setting)
Troll Pack (now you are ready to explore and experience the full world of the Uz)
Hell pits of nightfang (a cool stand alone dungeon for experienced PC's; get any time your party is ready for it)
 

Iceman

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Only ones I couldn't find:

Foes
Hell Pits of Nightfang
Troll Pack
 

Trippy

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As far as i know, 1E and 2E are identical, except for the addition of some appendices that you may or may not find useful. So, I don't think there is a compelling reason to hunt down the rare/collectable 1E. Just get 2E, which was recently reprinted in a nicely produced hard cover book closely similar to the original.

As for supplements, the best things to get, in order, are:
Cults of Prax and Cults of Terror (fleshes out the magic and religions)
Foes (pre-gen monsters and NPCs of all kinds; you will use this a lot)
Borderlands (a campaign and mini setting perfect for starting groups)
Pavis and Big Rubble (perfect 'home base' and adventure area for established campaigns)
Snakepipe Hollow (the setting's iconic dungeon full of goopy monsters)
Griffin Mountain (go here when you want to get away from your home base and experience something new)
Gateway Beastiary (actually, get any time; an expansion of monsters for the system, mostly usable in the setting)
Troll Pack (now you are ready to explore and experience the full world of the Uz)
Hell pits of nightfang (a cool stand alone dungeon for experienced PC's; get any time your party is ready for it)
I'd agree with this except for Trollpak - note spelling! - which should be first 'cos tis best evar.
 

Moonglum

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Trollpack is possibly the greatest supplement ever written for a mainstream roleplaying game. I just put it last because I don't think a group will know what to do with it till they have played a few months and gotten their sea legs with the core parts of the setting and rules.
 

ffilz

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As far as i know, 1E and 2E are identical, except for the addition of some appendices that you may or may not find useful. So, I don't think there is a compelling reason to hunt down the rare/collectable 1E. Just get 2E, which was recently reprinted in a nicely produced hard cover book closely similar to the original.

As for supplements, the best things to get, in order, are:
Cults of Prax and Cults of Terror (fleshes out the magic and religions)
Foes (pre-gen monsters and NPCs of all kinds; you will use this a lot)
Borderlands (a campaign and mini setting perfect for starting groups)
Pavis and Big Rubble (perfect 'home base' and adventure area for established campaigns)
Snakepipe Hollow (the setting's iconic dungeon full of goopy monsters)
Griffin Mountain (go here when you want to get away from your home base and experience something new)
Gateway Beastiary (actually, get any time; an expansion of monsters for the system, mostly usable in the setting)
Troll Pack (now you are ready to explore and experience the full world of the Uz)
Hell pits of nightfang (a cool stand alone dungeon for experienced PC's; get any time your party is ready for it)
RQ1 has also been reprinted and there are a LOT more differences than just some appendices. I have an extensive document of the differences, unfortunately since Chaosium decided there were to much copying from the originals, they asked me to take it down (though they did offer a path for it to be an official product but that was going to be way too much work and would lose some of the benefit I saw). Actually there are more differences than even I realized. I did not purchase RQ2 until 2005, and still run RQ1 with some bits taken from RQ2.

Foes is a great suggestion but probably very hard to get, it has not been re-printed, though a mini-version, Fangs, is available if I recall.

Hmm, my favorite adventure Apple Lane is missing. Another great adventure, Duck Tower is also missing. I'd put Apple Lane near the top because it's a nice beginner adventure.
 

ffilz

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Trollpack is possibly the greatest supplement ever written for a mainstream roleplaying game. I just put it last because I don't think a group will know what to do with it till they have played a few months and gotten their sea legs with the core parts of the setting and rules.
Trollpak is awesome. And I've never used much if any of it...
 

Raleel

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not to derail, but this isn't far off. Anyone use the 13th age Glorantha?
 

AsenRG

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not to derail, but this isn't far off. Anyone use the 13th age Glorantha?
I'd forgotten it exists. This should tell you how many people I've seen talking about it:thumbsup:.
 

Raleel

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I'd forgotten it exists. This should tell you how many people I've seen talking about it:thumbsup:.
I have it and I like 13th age. Honestly I’m a bit surprised that there isn’t more on it. It’s a good system and I think pretty well designed for a less cattle rustling style of play.
 

Trippy

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not to derail, but this isn't far off. Anyone use the 13th age Glorantha?
It is such an odd one, really.

There was a policy for a while of making Glorantha available for any system. This was a good idea, but it looks like rights were sold to license it out to 13th Age exclusively, which got a Kickstarter campaign going. If you were going to make a D20 game for the Glorantha setting, though, surely you would target the biggest market - 5E or maybe Pathfinder?

I do know that the Chaosium crew are disparaging of D&D5e ('it's not even a RPG!'), but it could have been a decent money-spinner for them and a gateway for D&D fans to try out the wider Chaosium catalogue.
 

Moonglum

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RQ1 has also been reprinted and there are a LOT more differences than just some appendices. I have an extensive document of the differences, unfortunately since Chaosium decided there were to much copying from the originals, they asked me to take it down (though they did offer a path for it to be an official product but that was going to be way too much work and would lose some of the benefit I saw). Actually there are more differences than even I realized. I did not purchase RQ2 until 2005, and still run RQ1 with some bits taken from RQ2.

Foes is a great suggestion but probably very hard to get, it has not been re-printed, though a mini-version, Fangs, is available if I recall.

Hmm, my favorite adventure Apple Lane is missing. Another great adventure, Duck Tower is also missing. I'd put Apple Lane near the top because it's a nice beginner adventure.
Where is RQ1 available? I have a basically complete collection of originals, but strangely don't have a decent 'use' copy of RQ1 (though old habits die hard, so I suspect it will just sit on the shelf while I use RQ2!)
 

Raleel

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It is such an odd one, really.

There was a policy for a while of making Glorantha available for any system. This was a good idea, but it looks like rights were sold to license it out to 13th Age exclusively, which got a Kickstarter campaign going. If you were going to make a D20 game for the Glorantha setting, though, surely you would target the biggest market - 5E or maybe Pathfinder?

I do know that the Chaosium crew are disparaging of D&D5e ('it's not even a RPG!'), but it could have been a decent money-spinner for them and a gateway for D&D fans to try out the wider Chaosium catalogue.
House system for the authors who are apparently both long time glorantha fans
 
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