This post is hopefully the first in a series posts about using currently available 28mm ancient miniatures for Gloranthan Games( Runequest, Heroquest, 13th Age, etc ).
I’ve been wanting to look at using plastic historical figures from the ancient period in Glorantha, for a number of reasons;
Ancient era figures reflect Gloranthan humans to a much higher degree of accuracy than most fantasy ranges available
Costs are brilliant at about 50p a miniature, that’s much better value than anything available for fantasy figures at the moment in plastic or metal.
Plastics are much more ‘mod-able’ than metal figures, so conversion jobs should be relatively easy.
There are a fair selection of ancient figures in 28mm plastics available at the moment, and most have parts that can be swapped between sets without too many difficulties. this should allow for conversions and bespoke figures.
However here are a potential few drawbacks which I have to acknowledge;
Some ancient cultures are just too distinctive and don’t have Gloranthan equivalents ( eg Romans)
As we are not war gamers we don’t need units of 40 of 1 type of figure, so variation and flexibility within a box is essential.
The realistic nature of gender balance in sets of historical miniatures doesn’t reflect the more revisionist/modern gender balance found in most fantasy systems and Glorantha ( ie it is no good for female charterer models ).
But I believe careful product selection can mean we deal with the first two , but the third can only be worked round, but that doesn’t mean the historical route a bad option for male figures.
When in worked potential mercenary companies that could be stationed in Elkoi I worked through a wider range of possibilities, and looked at a range of mercenary companies(smaller than regiment sized) working in the Holay region which the lunar government could send on garrison duty in Elkoi, or would just be in the operating in an around the province.
The Grey Lancers
A mercenary unit which traces its history back to the independent kingdom of Holay, and its place as an elite unit of the queens household. It is still is associated with nobility of Filichet and many younger sons of noble houses will serve a 7 year stint in its ranks.
Mounted exclusively on Grey horses, based out of Filchet. The five companies of 20 heavy cavalrymen are exclusively in the employ of the provincial army, it is rare but the provincial army may rotate two companies at a time through Elkoi.
The following three NPC’s can be found surviving out in the wilds of Balazar. They are deserters from the Sons of the Moon the mercenary company currently in garrison duty in Elkoi.
They will be somewhere between Elkoi and Trilus. They will be avoiding obvious threats, official lunar parties, but looking for safety in numbers with other civilised or friendly travellers.
If players to not change the course of events it is likely these three will become retainers of Quintas at least in the medium term.
These NPC’s can easily moved and placed anywhere along the edges of the Lunar Empire.
Eshan the Wolf
Lunar Deserter, Initiate of Seven Mothers, Male 21
Eshan, is a lunar deserter the leader of this small group. Wandering the wilds of Balazar trying to work out what he should do next. He was a young talented half crescent leader in the Sons of the Moon, a mercenary company who were serving in garrison duty in Elkoi. He was tipped to be going places in the company before he deserted.
Glorantha is not primarily a horror setting as such, but many of chaotic and some none chaotic elements of it would fit into a horror game with ease. However my intention in this article is not to address traditional horror but rather the slightly different theme of personal horror.
The difference between the two is in classic horror the pc’s are protagonists and the horror comes from an external threat to them and the world.
In personal horror the element of horror comers from what the players character could become and the wrestling of the monster within, or even more horrifically being blind to it and failing to see the evil which you become.
A number of facets of personal horror games are;
Personal horror has a protagonist that stands on an edge between hero & monster
The game is used not to escape from but to take a critical look at ourselves and those around us
We use this as an opportunity to explore the darker side of our nature and that of those around us
A characters struggle to retain humanity, morality or higher self despite internal and external pressures
There can be many facets to this. In white wolfs World of darkness games the themes of desire, violence, vengeance, power and control are all examined. Differently in each game, but if played well the games can give us an often frightening insight into aspects of us that we may not wish to even acknowledge in the real world. ( Played badly they too often often ended up being super heros with fangs )
Recent around discussions round the development and play testing of RQG led to talk of what was the correct starting level power level for characters. One of the few features of MRQ2 which i liked and thought was worthwhile was the different levels of character experience that could be created of the with the system. This is something that is very easy to port over WOD:Glorantha so I thought I would implement it.
For Players Characters
A core concept is that players character are in someway exceptional and touched by fate, destined to be movers and shakers, with greater potential than the average person. So the stats for PC’s will be those of exceptional people at whatever stage of life they are at. These sames stats storytellers can also use for significant NPC’s and other characters in the world that are similarly touched by fate.
Hi I have a few new spirit magic spells which I believe would be part of the Balazaring hunter tradition. They are not Foundchild spells as such but are taught by many of the shamans that are part of the Foundchild tradition.
The spirits which teach these spells are not common in areas which are urban or have significant agriculture, and though not uncommon in Balazar would be considered exotic in many locations of Central Genertela.
Runequest Write Ups
Variable, Temporal, Passive, Touch
For each point of the spell the character will receive a +5% increase in hide roles and sneak roles in a external natural habitat such as woods, long grass, bushes, water, reeds , canyons but not urban areas or underground.
Hi looking back at numbers of the Troll encounters, when i first started to put the site together. Decided I needed some WOD:Glorantha stats for the Trolls. It also allows me look at how the system will work for none humans so looking at a range of trolls below.
As with the Balazaring archetypes post use these stats for quickfire ‘off the cuff’ stats or a starting point for more detailed and bespoke characters.
The trolls as well as being competent hunters, see raiding and combat as part of there role for there family and clan. They will be more aggressive than a normal hunters and will seek to use there size advantage and strength advantage in melee sooner.
These dark trolls function almost exclusively as warriors and as such tend to be from the either the most civilised or warlike clans and tribes. As elite warriors they will wait for the skirmish to attack for a while before attacking with ferocious strength, when they will lead the charge.
OK RQ Glorantha is coming out soon and we have seen peeks, we have had numerous design & teasing posts, many have played it at conventions, we have had the teaser released and we have debated about it at length on the forums.
I’m really excited about the project, some of new design are awesome, other bits I am worried may end up a missed opportunity. So, I thought I’d do a post on my thoughts on what we think we know so far.
What excites me.
These are things I have seen that I’m sure are going to be great.
Runequest without Glorantha is like an acoustic motorhead show, interesting but lacking its prime appeal. Wrapping Runequest and Glorantha together again has been essential, Runequest has always struggled commercially when removed from Glorantha. Top marks for making them intrinsically linked.
The new rune magic system. Love it, great games design, simple effective make sense, fits the settings and fixes significant issues in the older systems.
The desire for a simpler lighter system than RQ6, I like a few bits of RQ6 but it was starting to feel a little rules heavy for me.
More realistic monetary system. RQ2 money was just nowhere near right. In RQ2 the entire world economic system was based round getting treasure from adventures and then spending it on training and spells.
The Sartar focus. Sartar was never fully explore in supplements till HQ era, opening up RQG with this amount of dragon pass background is awesome.
Greater range of cultural options and deeper looks at Esrolia, & Grazelander culture than in any other edition of RQ.