All posts by Jon Hunter

Why do we expect that a Gloranthan “Bronze Age” to be so similar to our own?

Within the RQ and Glorantha community, posts, forums and online discussions are often full of experts(many genuinely well informed and reasonably intentioned individuals) informing us that because it wasn’t like that in earths bronze age, Glorantha can’t be like that.

  • “2 handed swords didn’t exist in the bronze age”
  • “Stirrups were not invented till much later”
  • “The hilt on the sword wielded by the two-headed great troll didn’t exist until the late Roman period, so breaks my suspension of disbelief and Glorantha is forever ruined for me.”

OK, I may have exaggerated the last point.

I find the lengths that many would have us go to tie Glorantha directly with a period in our worlds bronze age history to be questionable, both in understanding the function of Glorantha and also as an exercise in believable fantasy world building.

Continue reading Why do we expect that a Gloranthan “Bronze Age” to be so similar to our own?

Using Plastic 28mm Figures In Runequest – Manufacturer Reviews.

These reviews are looking at the relevance of different manufacturers of ancient historic and fantasy plastic 28mm miniatures in how they can be used for role-playing miniatures in a Glorantha game.

Warlord Games Woodland Indian Conversion by Roy Duffy
Warlord Games Woodland Indian Converted to Orlanthi Warrior by Roy Duffy

Our requirements are slightly different than those of historic tabletop wargamers, and what makes a great set for a war-gamer will not always be a great set for a role-player.

Will be looking at the following attributes to judge how relevant are the figures to use for role-playing in Glorantha.

  • Relevance – How relevant are the figures to use role-playing and for Glorantha in particular, or how easy is it to make the models relevant, with simple modifications.
  • Range – How wide a range of figures do they have which could be relevant to Glorantha
  • Pose – How engaging and interesting are the poses the figures which can be constructed
  • Model Variations – How great a variety of models can be created from the boxes or sprues
  • Ease – How easy is it to build the miniatures
  • Quality – The general quality of the model in terms of design and execution
  • Price – How good is the per model price
  • Overall – How all the above combine to give us great ranges of well-priced quality figures which can easily be used in role-playing games set in Glorantha.

So starting with the most important providers and working down.

Continue reading Using Plastic 28mm Figures In Runequest – Manufacturer Reviews.

Moonlighters Inn – New Pavis – Write Up

Write up is during the Lunar occupation of Pavis as that is when my game is set.  Who knows what it will be after they leave, so usable from 1613 to 1624.

Introduction

Moonlighters Inn has been established a few years after the Lunar occupation of Pavis It has been significantly rebuilt to model a more lunar design, as it caters for Lunar officers, bureaucrats and civilians of tastes with a less formal and more relaxed approach than either  Erigio’s or the Silk & Plume.

It is owned by a lunar merchant who visits the city only rarely but is managed by Cleopae a former Lunar soldier. She was a formerly an officer of the Silver Shields who now runs a safe establishment which is very hospitable to the right kind of clientele.

Moonlighters works as informal officers mess for all of the Lunar regiments in Pavis. The common soldiers are not welcome and encouraged to frequent to Hoplites home.  Due to the nature of its core clientele Moonlighters is one of the very few establishments not affected by the Pavis curfew.

Moonlights is renowned for its white wine which is kept magically chilled by means which are a mystery to most.

Continue reading Moonlighters Inn – New Pavis – Write Up

Elmal – The Warrior Sun – Cult Write Up for Runequest Glorantha

By Dave Butler & Michael Dalzen

Runes: Fire & Truth

Elmal is the sun. He is a weapon companion of Orlanth and a member of the Storm Tribe. He unblinkingly executes any deed needed for the tribe. During the Darkness, he defended the stead from all foes while Orlanth was on his Lightbringers Quest, and so Elmal helped keep the world together so that Orlanth could recreate it at the  Dawn.

Holy Days

Every Fireday is a holy day, and in addition, there is one seasonal holy day per season other than Sea Season, as follows:

  • Victorious Sun Day(Fire / Fertility / Fire)
  • Husband Day(Fire / Mobility / Earth)
  • Truth Day (Fire / Truth / Darkness)
  • Thane Day (Fire / Harmony / Storm)
  • The Long Night (Freeze / Luck to Gods / Fate)
  • Survival Day (Fire / Luck)

Continue reading Elmal – The Warrior Sun – Cult Write Up for Runequest Glorantha

Old Times Sake – Part IV NPC Information

Cast

The following are the write-ups of the cast members found in parts 1-3;

Entale Golden-Cup –A pretty sweet yet slight sassy young lady of the tender age of 19. Very good looking with a sweet personality which makes her excellent at selling charms and wares to unsuspecting populace, she is streetwise and strong, but despite her dubious dealings she sees herself as kindhearted and wishes no real ill to anyone.

She is incredibly loyal to Taralor, who raised her as a father would, and will go considerably out of her way to protect or avenge him.  Her name comes from a Gold cup that she owns with a heal 4 matrix, which is activated by pouring water into it, spending the power and then drinking the water from the cup.

Continue reading Old Times Sake – Part IV NPC Information

For Old Times Sake – Part III

For Old Times’ Sake Part III

Dorasa’s  Hut

If sensible the players should decide to visit Dorasa, the Gottir brothers will claim it is a wild goose chase as they have the culprits here and refuse to go as they are guarding the actual source of the chaos disease.

Kendrella will send Komasal a hunter from the village who is a capable tracker as a guide to Dorasas  hut. If the players have expertise in this area don’t add him to the party.

Dorasa is known to live in a crofters hut set back a few hundred yards from the main road, is empty and quiet when the players arrive, no smoke comes from the hearth and everything seem deserted, the small hut appears empty.

As players approach they will smell the stench of death. It won’t take them long to find the body of Dorasa starting to decay slumped against the outer back wall of her hut staring vacantly into the distance. The body fits the description of Dorasa given by Kendrella and not Entale.

Continue reading For Old Times Sake – Part III

For Old Times’ Sake – Part II 

The 2nd part of a mini scenario set in Glorantha.

The Village of Swaton

Swanton is a small hamlet of around 35 steads and houses centred around a small open green, next to an Inn called the Swan.  A low & irregular palisade surrounds the village, but it has not been well kept of late.

Statues that function as shrines to Ernalda, Hiord(Ancestor Worship), Safeela, Orlanth and Banatar all lie on the north side of the Green.

Usually, the hamlet holds a small market in the green every clayday and a redsmith, potter, weaver and carpenter have their dwellings within the settlement.  An oxen-powered millstone sits unused at the south side of the green, harness empty with no oxen in sight.

The village is surprising quiet there is little sign of life,  no one is moving around and the Inn is open but there is only one visitor in the inn described below.

Continue reading For Old Times’ Sake – Part II 

For Old Times’ Sake – Mini Scenario for Runequest Glorantha – Part I

Authors Note

These adventures are never quite as sequential or direct as written, so I would suggest reading the scenario as written, taking the flavour and letting the players attack the plot in the order of their own choosing, ( or more likely to get distracted and do something else).

I have created plot, setting, characters and storyline here. I leave many of the stats open so it can be played with whatever Gloranthan system takes your fancy, but has been created with RQG in mind so key stats will be provided for that system.

I’ve set it in Swaton next to Apple Lane, but location could be moved to any small village in Sartar. The scenario will be in 4 posts all of which will be made over the next week. All character writes up and stats will be in part 4

The adventure is not one that should test the characters combat abilities, but social, discernment, spirit combat and magical powers should be to the fore.

Backstory

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

27 years ago Garanth Oakfriend married for love, Aresta  Landottir though a well disposed and pretty girl was an orphan from one of the less significant bloodlines in the Hiording clan, he was a prominent young man from the clan chieftains family. His family was not keen but the couple were smitten and all seemed good.

12 years later the couple were still childless, Garanth put aside Aresta to take up a new younger prettier, more fertile wife from a well-connected family. Aresta was given a cottars holding on clans lands, but no one was surprised when she slipped away and out of the clan lands. Alone, spurned and shamed she had little to stay for.

In the intervening years’ things went on as if Aresta had never existed, Garanth and Kendrella are happily married but never had children, the clan has neither prospered of suffered more so than any other through recent upheavals and troubles.

But it now Aresta has returned and she seeks retribution.  She has been slowly twisted in bitterness and regret towards the whole clan which she blames, and has come back as a disease mistress of Malia, to wreak havoc on the community and people that spurned her.

She is well aware of the ways and personalities in the clan, as well as her vulnerability in direct conflict, so she has come up with a way of infecting the clan and delivering a little payback with little personal risk to herself.

Authors Note: It is very possible that the ruthlessly efficient players will never find out the who or why here. The threat can be dealt with no understanding why. However, Garanth and Kendrella always did have a sense of guilt in how Ernala was treated, which will turn into a sense of shame and self-blame if details become apparent.

A Roadside ConfrontationThe Gottirs Brothers

If you characters are based in Apple Lane we can move this encounters into apple lane itself, as it would work easier.

The party is travelling on the in Hiording lands on the road towards Swaton.  The party hear a female scream from the next bend around the road.

As they move towards it 3 young fit aggressive men The Gottir brothers local Stormbullites ) standing over a bloodied girl on her knees, an older peddler lies on the floor in a pool of blood his wares scattered about him.

The older man is unconscious, with a badly bruised face and three broken ribs.  The warriors are demanding the girls tells them where the “Chaos Witch” she serves is?  The Girl is obviously has been struck more than once and is terrified and is claiming to know nothing. The warriors are three Stormbull worshipping brothers, from the village of  Swaton.   Hopefully, the player characters will intervene ( if not it will be a short nights gaming.

When questioned The Gottir brothers claim, the couple have been spreading chaos diseases within the area and must be the service of a Chaos Witch to do so.  The two older brothers seem keen to kill both of these accused chaos cultists on the spot, the younger seems to be pushing to spare them to investigate and catch the chaos witch.

The brothers claim to have had a vision from Stormbull that the disease attacking the comes from a chaos witch, and this pair must be her servants.

If the girl is questioned she will state her name is Entale and the figure on the floor Taralor. She will claim that they are merely peddlers selling everyday items as well as herbs, medicines and charms of protection.  After sickness broke out in the village the brothers started to blame them so they then left. She also claims the accusation is because she turned town the younger brother at the tavern two nights ago.

This will be met by laughs and a couple of uncouth comments from the older brothers and a red blushed faced from there ‘Virgin Little Brother’, before saying it doesn’t matter as they can tell these two are ‘Servants of Chaos’.

The brothers can be threatened, cajoled, persuaded or bribed into not killing the couple on the road, but insist that they must be taken to the village of Swaton to face the village elders. The brothers a will refuse to pick up the items, touch them or heal or aid either of the accused. The older man  Taralor has been badly beaten and will need successful first aid or travel to allow him to travel. Entale will use her magic to heal him if the players can convince the brothers to let her do so.

If attacked the brothers will fight till they think they can’t win. If it seems obvious that they are outclassed Broamast will fight a rearguard action and allow his brothers to run. However, the brothers have an inflated view of the own abilities seeing themselves as Bullsmen  and warriors when their capabilities are those of yokel bullies.

Players examining the wears spread over  the floor will find a mix of small bronze utensils, dried healing herbs, useless ointments and potions, a number of useless charms, but three of the charms contain disease spirits(Soul Waste) containing spirits are in forms sacred to Malia, which wearing them will release spirit to attack the wearer.

Powerful magic, special roles on treat disease or very specialist knowledge skills will be needed to determine the nature of the items.

Authors Note: Playing this scene initially with a hint of the ‘She’s a Witch’ scene from Holy Grail would give the scene a sense of the ridiculous, which will then juxtapose very strongly with the very real threat that becomes apparent through the conversations.

More to come in part 2…..

Advanced Professions for Runequest Glorantha

Advanced professions are professions are those taken up later in life, they can be a senior or advanced versions of more basic professions or something much more unique and esoteric.

These are written to work with the extended character profession and experience system I posted a couple of weeks ago.

image ©Chaosium 2018

Actor

Actors can be found only in major cities of most cultures performing either classic or religions plays for the nobility or the faithful, or sometimes more rumbustious comedies and morality plays for the general public in the market squares and taverns.

Continue reading Advanced Professions for Runequest Glorantha

Extended Character Profession’s and Previous Experience for Runequest Glorantha

Detailed Character Career and Skills for Runequest Glorantha

OK inspired by ways I used to play with RQ3 Character Gen system, and a little bit by the old Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay System I have created an advanced option for character professions and skills in RQ.

Let me first say is I don’t think the character creation system in RQG is particularly flawed, difficult troublesome or lacking when it comes to skills. It is a very good system for those who want to create characters quickly, effectively with a good balance of skills, and a sense of culture.

Picture ©Copyrightt Chasoium 2018

However, some of us may want to spend longer to craft our characters and NPC’s previous experience, in ways where we sacrifice time to get some advantages in terms of outcome.

The advantages which I hope the extra time required  delivers is the following;

  • Previous experience system that allows characters multiple previous roles
  • A greater sense of your character’s story to date
  • A system that reflects character progression and movement between roles
  • Greater levels of player choice in both professions and the consequences of those professions
  • Characters with more diverse and graduated skills sets
  • A better system for dealing with more experienced characters
  • The avoidance of spending points of skills which would not be right but are demanded by broad categories used in standard RQG character creation.
  • Avoidance of skills gaps which are not believable and leave characters vulnerable
  • Having fewer characters generated which are skills masters by the age of 21

Continue reading Extended Character Profession’s and Previous Experience for Runequest Glorantha