Refuza – NPC Lunar Priest

One of the reasons for the slowdown in posts is I have been spending more time playing than writing, however I have had the need to generate a few new NPC’s for the campaigns so I thought I would share, here is the first…

Refuza, 38 year old Human,  Priestess of Seven Mothers

A trim thin, somewhat harsh featured middle aged priestess of the Seven Mothers. She has a somewhat frightening appearance. With a strong lock of white hair running through her brown hair, and the pupils of her eyes being of a milky white colour.

However she has a gentle softly spoken manner and an attentive patient nature. Which puts people at ease when speaking to them for just a short amount of time.

In a previous life she was a warrior, part of Jareel’s warband in the Satar campaign of 1602.  However she was traumatised by the magics of the Crimson Bat and grievously injured in body, mind and spirit at the fall of Boldhome.

Her body was quickly healed by the priests of Deezola. However it took many years for her spirit to be restored by the gentle ministrations of the priestesses of Teelo Norri. She has since worshipped that aspect of the Seven Mothers cult and has now progressed into priesthood.

She has a nature that will take time for people, and often listens for hours to the most obscure people. This sometimes upsets those of a more self-important nature who wish her time.

She has taken vows of celibacy and not to take life needlessly. Though she can use the violence if it is  absolutely required, and still maintains the capacity to do so. She disdains chaos and sees it as an aberration within the lunar way, which needs to be balanced if it cannot be removed.

Over the years Refuza has developed a great love of children and it her great regret in life that she cannot be a mother, as such she takes a maternal approach to just about everyone she meets. Which she has found can usually disarm even the most belligerent of warriors.

Though gentle in manner Refuza retains a soldiers ruthlessness, and though her methods may have changed she will pursue her goals with a unswerving commitment.

Refuza has been introduce to the Elkoi temple of the Seven Mothers to replace Electora Kindtounge who sadly passed away and Marusa who is currently on the run wanted for questioning in the death of the former preistess.

Traits: Patient, Pious, Passive, Humorous, Warm

Nature:  Guardian
Demeanour:  Caregiver
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4
Mental : Intelligence 3, Wits 4, Perception 3
Social:  Manipulation 2, Appearance 1, Charisma 4
Talents: Alertness 3, Artistic 1, Athletics 3, Brawl 2, Dodge 3, Empathy 4, Expression 3,  Intimidation 2, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 3
Skills:  Archery 2, Etiquette 3,Leadership 4,Melee 3, Riding 3, Stealth 2, Survival 2
Knowledge’s: Academics 2, Culture 3, Investigation 2, languages 3, Medicine 4, Myth 5, Politics 2, Divine Lore 5, Sorcerers Lore 1, Spirit Lore 3
Essence: 5
Quintessence: 29
Willpower: 6
Runes: Moon 5,  Movement 4, Magic 4, Harmony 4, Life 5, Fire 3
Spirit Magic: Heal 5, Befuddle 3, Dispel Magic 4, Counter Magic 4, Sleep 2, Glamour 3, Mobility 3, Ignite 2
Rune Magic: Teelo Norri – 13pt pact;   Reflection, Summon Lune, Mindblast, Madness, Heal Wound, Heal Mind, Heal Disease, Dismiss Magic, Extension, Warding, Multispell
Virtues:  Conviction 5, Loyalty 4, Conciliation 4
Backgrounds:  Allies 4, Contacts 2, Cult Status 4,  Influence 4, Mentor 5,
Flaws & Merits: Loyalty Teelo Norri – 2pt, Charmed Existence; Startling appearance, easy manner.

Allied Spirit: Glowline
Essence: 3             
Runes: Moon 3, Fertility 3, Harmony 2, Magic 2
Spirit Magic: Babel 3, Becalm 3, Vigor 2, Detect

WOD:Glorantha – Divine Intervention Rules

Divine intervention calling on your Characters deity for it to intervene in a miraculous, powerful and obvious way for the benefit of the worshipper.  All characters with a pact with a deity can call on their God for intervention .

A successful divine intervention usually removes the character from immediate harm.

Divine intervention always risks a permanent loss of magical ability so is therefore usually used as a method of last resort in usually situations.

Limits on Divine Intervention

A deity is limited in how it can intervene on the behalf of the worshipper by two factors, its nature and its sphere of influence.

A deity will not act outside its nature therefore is limited to acting within a broad interpretation of its runic abilities, interest and agendas. Chalana Arroy will not give the ability to kill, Stormbull will not bless chaos or Zorak Zoran would not be able to fish a character of the deep blue sea.

It is also limited to acting upon its worshippers only, so therefore divine intervention is primarily used for positive benefit for the petitioner, their allies and  possessions. But not as a combat manoeuvre or attack against a  third party.

Types of Divine Intervention

There are two common types of divine intervention a specific request which asks a deity to perform a specific action on behalf of the character, or a generic request where the character merely asks for aid in a difficult ( or deadly ) situation.

The mechanics for both are similar but have some variation.

Generic Requests

When a character merely asks for the divine intervention from there God, the players chooses how many of their rune points they are going to risk, difficulties is set at 6 and modified as stated later. The players rolls a dice pool of the rune points risked.

Success is gradually one success is a marginal success which should be enough to save the character, five is an overwhelming success which should be spectacular.

The exact way which the deity chooses to aid the character is at the discretion of the storyteller but will reflect the nature of the deity, however note most Gods are not capricious and seek to genuinely bless their worshippers ( but if you just called on trickster, all bets are off)

Also for is every dice rolled which is a failure the character looses one permanent runepoint and the associated rune at the players discretion.


Johanus the Orlanth has been dropped from 500 foot by a Griffin, he has 3 runepoints, but no access to the rune spells need to save him. He chooses to rolls all 3 runepoint he has. Calling to Orlanth for aid he rolls a 7, a 3 and 4.

The storyteller determines Orlanth sent a sylph to cushion is blow, and he lands battered, bruised and dazed, but very much alive. He also permanently looses the two failed runepoints and the associated runes.

Specific Requests

If players are seeking a particular effect from the God, the storyteller has to determine two things;

First is the difficulty, this is determined by how applicable the runes and power of the God is to the action the petitioner requests. Standard difficulty is 6 for things which are within the Gods area of power, the further away they are the higher the difficulty up to 10 for acts completely unconnected to the Gods power.

The second is a number of success required which reflects the scale and magnitude of the task, this will usually be number between 1 and 5.  The difficulty is then modified by the factors suggested below. The players is not told the number of successes required.

The player then chooses the number of rune points he wishes to risk and makes the roll.  If they makes the requires successes he deity is willing and able to respond as they have requested. If they make some roles a partial success is possible dependant of the petition made.

Also for is every dice rolled which is a failure the character looses one permanent runepoint and the associated rune at the players discretion.


Shanara the Chalana Arroy priest calls on her deity to make her give off an aura of peace for the next 15 minutes which means the surrounding broos cannot attack her.

The Storyteller sees this as a with the direct affects of the harmony rune and sets the difficulties at 6, as Shanara is a Priestess in good standing and on a cult sponsored mission to heal diseased villages he lower difficulties to 4.

As it is a significant and powerful effect he decides 3 success are needed for the effect to take place.

Shanara chooses to risk 6 rune points rolling 2,7,5,6,3, and 9.

The effect happens as requested but the failures mean 2 rune points which and associated runes are permanently lost.


The following factors will affect the difficulties of divine intervention rolls, each will change the difficulty by 1 but extremes can change it by up to 2.

  • Location – If a divine intervention is in an area of influence, holy site, temple the effects should be beneficial. If the petitioner is distant from areas of influence or is in enemy sacred sites difficulties will be higher.
  • Time – Holy days, high holy days and sacred time all have a beneficial effects. Lunar cycles have an effect outside the glowline, current events which diminish a deities power will make difficulties harder.
  • Standing – The petitioners standing with the Deity (not cult) will affect difficulties, favoured followers finding things easier, characters in poor standing will have their difficulties raised.
  • Agenda – If characters are performing tasks for the God or that allied with agenda difficulties will drop, if they are acting contrary to the interests of the deity they will be greater
  • Ritual – Formalised religious rites can make a planned divine intervention easier and reduce difficulties.
  • Sacrifice – Significant and appropriate sacrifices can make a planned divine intervention easier and reduce difficulties.

Modifiers are never able to make a divine intervention difficulties less than 1 or greater than 10.


As divine intervention is the action of the Gods not the individual willpower cannot be used for an automatic success.


Botched rolls in a divine intervention will either bring a divine retribution from the petitioned God or divine opposition from an enemy God, whichever the storyteller thinks is most appropriate.

Ritual Divine Magic

It doesn’t take a leap to see how with the proper use of rituals, sacrifice, holy days and holy sites can make divine intervention a relatively low risk, powerful, freeform type of divine magic. This is the mechanic the game uses to cope with ritual and structured divine magic outside the realm of rune spells.

It is possible for communities to cooperate in divine intervention through the use of Rituals performed via a high priest, the mechanic sees rune points risked individually but pooled together to form the pool of successes required.


The village of Snaggleford seeks to petition Ernalda to bless the land of the village this year, this has a standard difficulty of 6 as it is what Ernalda does, the ritual takes place at the temple of High Holy day reducing the difficulty down to 3.

The high priestess and the acolyte of Banatar successfully enact the Rite of the Plowman and further  reduce the difficulty down to 2.

Some 58 of the initiates of Ernalda risk one runepoint in the ritual, 50 make the role, but the 8 that don’t looses that point in rune magic. The 50 successes ensure the ground is blessed for  the year village witta grows in power and both the people and animals of the village  are fertile.

WOD: Glorantha Rune Magic

Rune magic is a form of magic where through worship of Gods and a knowledge of the runes associated with those Gods that worshippers gain access to magical powers and effects which directly reflect aspects of the Deity’s power which they used in Godtime. They are commonly known as Rune spells or Divine spells.

Rune spells are more powerful than common magic spells as they channel the runic powers of the Gods themselves, but they are very inflexible as they reflect actions and feats that Gods performed with Godtime and cannot deviate from such without a heroquest.


Any character who is involved in serious worship and the following of a particular God, will develop a pact with him which usually (almost always in Orlanthi Society ) the same as initiation.  This pact both ties the worshipper to the God and the God to worshipper. The worshipper commits to giving  worship and serving the Gods earthly leadership and/or purposes, The God commits to giving the worshiper access to his magic.

This pact is always carried out on the hero plane and usually in the presence of the Cults Priests and Leaders  who both oversee and ensure the process is safe for usually young worshippers. However its possible for individuals to form pacts with Gods directly on the hero plane without Cult involvement. This is considered both dangerous and can cause ongoing issues with the cult hierarchy.

Rune Points

A pact allows a character to use his runic associations to  generate a level of access to a Gods Runic Powers, In game terms this done by adding the total values of the runes that the God and the adventurer share.

For example;  Bob the Humakti has the runes Air 3, Death 5, Truth 2, Movement 3, because Humakt has the Runes of Death and Truths. Bobs rune points  (or pact score )for Humakt would be 7.

If a character has pacts with more than one God with the same runes he must choose which rune point pool the runes are added to and cannot add them to both.


When a  character gains certain levels in his runes he gain access to the rune spells associated with that level of runic affinity. Runespells become available to different cults at different times, but generally the pattern will be like this.

  • oooo – One or two common cult specific spells
  • ooooo – Most general , common and variable rune spells
  • oooooo – Cult leadership spells, three point spells
  • ooooooo – Major effects such as sunspear, sever spirit and resurrection

Casting Rune Magic

Rune Magic is cast by spending at least one rune point to cast any of the rune spells which are available to your character from that God.

The player then rolls the  number of dice of the relevant rune rating and the number of rune points he is willing to spend on the spell  with target difficulties of 6 for each success.

The number of success reflects the  success of the spell. Most spells effects will scale with number of success rolled.

Compared to battle magic Rune spells tend to be 2 times as powerful as Battle magic spells, this may affect potency, range of effects, number of targets, duration.

Example: Thus each success in shield adds a boost to both counter magic and defence, and is not eliminated when overcome.

For resisted rolls the defender chooses a rune to use to defend against the attack, and the storyteller decides a difficulty level for the defence based on the choice of rune, and its appropriateness to the situation.  Spirit or non magical defence again rune magic are at difficulty 8.

Regaining Rune Points

Runepoints are regained through worship here the participant interacts or travels to the hero plane, for priests and ranking officials this may be every holy day, for initiates this tends to be on high holy days or in the sacred time baring special events.

Also positive actions interacting with your God or reflecting your Gods nature in the hero plane, will also help a character regain rune points.

Roll a characters pact score with a target role of 6, every success is a regained rune point.

This assumes a character is at least a minor temple and part of priest led congregational worship.  If a character is at larger temple or holy site difficulties may drop. if a character is at a shrine or on their own difficulties may rise.

Sacrifices and other offerings may also reduced the difficulty levels.

Common Rune Magic

The following spells are common to most cults are accessed via the following runes, some these spells may also be accessed by cult specific runes by individual cults.

Most high priests take time to develop their mastery rune, also most cults have temples where there are diviners who focus on the truth rune, artificers who focus on the magic runes and summoners who focus on cult spirits.

Priest who fail to focus on at least one other these three magic disciplines and focus solely on the runes of their God  tend to poorly placed to care for the needs of their temple or flock. They are more focused up on emulating The Gods than representing the God to their flock ,they are sometimes called Runelords.



  • oooo    Dismiss Magic, Extension, Warding, Multispell, Spirit Magic Matrix Enchantment
  • ooooo Armoring Enchantment,  Armoring Enchantment, Heal Wound ,  Spirit Armor Enchantment, Strengthening Enchantment , Worship Deity
  • oooooo Rune Spell Matrix Enchantment


  • oooo Sanctity, Warding, Heal Wound , Worship Deity,
  • ooooo Command Cult Spirit,
  • oooooo Excommunicate


  • oooo Command Cult Spirit,  Summon Cult Spirit, Spirit Block
  • ooooo Discorporation , Soul Sight, Heal Wound,  Worship Deity,
  • oooooo Mind Link
  • ooooooo Excommunicate


  • oooo Divination, Find Enemy
  • ooooo Soul Sight, Mind Link

Most cults will offer specific rune spells which are dependent upon the cult specific rules. Quick write ups to come but for example the seven mother base spell availability will be;

Seven Mothers


  • oooo       Reflection, Summon Lune
  • ooooo    Mindblast, Madness
  • oooooo Chaos Gift


  • oooo    True sword
  • ooooo  Shield


  • ooooo  Heal Wound

Further spells will be available from subcults.

WOD:Glorantha Character Connections

Connections are the relationship your character has with the other players characters in the game, they are designed to make the in game cohesion of the gaming group believable, and party dynamics less destructive.

They are considered generally positive relationships which bind the group together, that doesn’t mean they should not be disagreement and conflict within the group. But that there are relationships that contain the conflict and allow them to normalise afterwards after issues have been resolved.


When creating the character concepts, choose to create relationships with the other characters in the group where it would be sensible,

For each connection you choose you gain the following freebie points, up to a limit of 5, these are added to your freebie points total to be spent later in the process.   You can choose as many relationships as you want but there is a limit of 5 freebie points to be gained.

All relationships need to agreed by both parties;

  • 3pts – Close Family – siblings, father, mother, child, wife
  • 2pts – Extended Family – Uncles, Cousins, aunts, in-laws
  • 2pts – Lovers
  • 2pts – Friends since Childhood
  • 2pts – Brothers in arms
  • 1pts – Business Partners
  • 1pts – Friends
  • 1pts – Former Lovers
  • 1pts – Coworkers
  • 1pts – Rivals

WOD:Glorantha Significant Family Events

Significant Family Events  aim to do  a number of things,

  • It helps define a character
  • It ties a character to the game world giving a sense of being part of something larger
  • It allows players to come up with significant personal plot seeds for the storyteller to use at later points
  • Allows players to write a significant part for recent clan/village/town history

The events are not a full family history but players deciding the events which are significant to their character and who he is today.

As a players considers there concept, nature and demeanour, decide on three to five events regarding your family ( or character) history which are important to your characters story.

They usually relate to close family members ( grandparents, parents, siblings ) but can relate to more distant relatives if a players decides that is what would be significantly important to his character

The definition of each event  contains three elements;

  • the family member involved
  • the nature of the event
  • the outcome of that event


  • My father fought at Boldhome in 1602 and was eaten by the crimson bat.
  • My uncle fought for the Lunars at Moonbroth and was well rewarded.
  • My Grandfather was at Elkoi when the Lunars attacked and was driven mad
  • My mother was eaten by a dark troll in a raid when I was 9
  • My grandmother was a early Lunar missionary to our clan

At this point these have events have no effect on  game in terms of stats or the creation mechanic.

However the player then creates their character stats, flaws, merits, backgrounds and runes with these events in mind.

And the end of the character creation process the storyteller reviews them and can award up to 7 extra freebie points, if they think the historic events are well represented in the character creation.

eg.Tying  “My Grandfather was Elkoi when the Lunars attacked and was driven mad” to the character  would be taking the flaws and merits  ‘Hatred Lunars’, ‘Vengence Lunars’ or ‘Phobia Lunes’.

“My uncle fought for the Lunars at Moonbroth and was well rewarded.” could be introduced by the taking of artefact or wealth backgrounds., or even by a mentor background

These freebie points are then spent on extra traits.

Listed below are the potential events and some possible outcomes for a Balazaring character.

Historical Balazar Events

As Balazar lacks significant historical events as other parts of Balazar the lists is quite slim, however it is suggested that each player takes at least one significant event from historical events;

Rebuilding of Dykene, 1550 – spoke against it, spoke for it, helped to rebuild, owned a house, befriended the dwarves, sabotaged the building, performed in the celebrations

Elkoi Clans Raiding Of Lunar Lands, 1550 to 1562 – raided often, successful raider, captured slaves, became rich, died,

Fall of Elkoi, 1564  died, driven mad, captured, executed, fought with Lunars, fled, hid, maimed,

Lunar Occupation of Elkoi, 1562 to Present – Supported, learned from, took their Gods, resented, resisted, was killed by, raided, stole from them, married a lunar

Fought for Lunars in the Battle of Grizzly Peak,1582 – unused warrior, fought well, hero, died, maimed, injured, ran, gained great wealth, found magical treasure

Fought for Lunars in the Fall of Boldhome, 1602 – unused warrior, fought well, hero, died, maimed, injured, ran, fought with Jareel, gained great wealth, found magical treasure, became famous

Part of Redlands Rebellion, 1614 – was crucified, fled, gained loot, imprisoned, sold into slavery, raided both sides, got rich, killed a hero, met Jareel, met Beat Pot , never came home

Last days of Gadaringer Dynasty 1610 -1613 supported the family, was victimised, was imprisoned by, killed by, employed by,  defended the family

Rebellion in Trilus 1614 – Was a friend with Yalaring, died, fought for Yalaring, fled the fighting, maimed, fought for Gadaringer dynasty, switched sides, stole something valuable in the fights

Generic Balazaring Events

These events can be dropped into any year or some happen over a number of years;

Troll Raid   – eaten, killed, captured, fled, escaped, fought, fought bravely, saved the day, saved a friend, sought revenge, sounded the warning, lost a child

Prophesied over by Blueface – prospered,  cursed, confused, vanished, lead, died, found significant destiny, had many children, great Hunter, mother of destiny, blessed by the ancestors, chosen by the totem

Prophesied over by Other Shaman – prospered,  cursed, confused, vanished, lead, died, significant, destiny, many children, great Hunter, mother of destiny, blessed by the ancestors, chosen by the totem

Travelled to Foreign Places – never came back, returned rich, returned broken, returned with many tales, never spoke about it, returned with knowledge, returned with new magic, returned with bad magic

Came from Foreign Lands – and settled, and died, and went back again, and brought his God, and brought strange magic, and trouble followed.

Giant Raid – Was squashed, lead the giant away, fought the giant, was killed by the giant, ran away, warned us, found a place to hide, saved the children.

The Clan Argued – Split the clan, spoke peace, killed the troublemakers, told lies, killed the enemy, sought wise council

Visited by foreigners -drove them off, helped them, they helped us, traded, someone got pregnant, killed by them, stole their magic, defeated them in a test, was beaten by them in a test, married them

Great Hunt – Won, Caught nothing, was slain, cheated, was murdered on, refused to hunt,  caught a great animal and lost, was cheated, was laughing stock

Became Citadel Warrior – became famous, flew a hawks, fell off a hawk, died, was disgraced, slew a monster, slew a traitor, turned on his own clan, saved the king, rescued someone, saved a clan, traveled deep into the Elder wilds

Went Deep into the Elder Wilds – never came back, visited giant land, stole from the trolls, would not tell what they saw, brought back magic, fought chaos, rescued a friend or lover, was slain, was maimed, eaten by trolls, turned to chaos, visited elf woods, hunted thunder lizards, saw a great magical sight, knows where treasure is burred, found old ruins.

Outlawed by Clan – falsely, for murder, for rape, for offending the spirits, for cowardice, for act of heroism misunderstood, for worshipping banned gods, for bad magic, for loving an enemy, for a mistake that got someone killed, because a shaman said so, for offending a leader, for challenging the Elders.

Became a Shaman – looked after the clan, left the clan, became insane, upset the totem, found new magics, pleased the spirits, found bad magics, was possessed by foul spirits, taught a hero, murdered the innocent

Ravaged by Disease – saved the clan, died, was maimed, almost died, had a vision, healed someone significant, found s a cure, found the cause, fought off the disease spirit, was the only survivor, was orphaned.

WOD:Glorantha – Awarding and Spending Experience

Experienced gained is completely at the discretion of the storyteller but we suggest the following

  • Standard of 3-4 experience for each session
  • and then end of each story add an extra 3-4 experience

Extra Experience for:

You can award extra experience for;

  • Great Roleplaying
  • Making everyone laugh especially in character
  • Creative and interesting solutions to problems
  • Anything that makes an evening’s gaming extra fun (including bringing food)

Generally we don’t suggest reducing xp for problem players or poor roleplaying it is unkind and it also usually exacerbates issues.

Standard Costs:

Experience can then be spent raising characteristics as follows, usually this needs to be justified by experience, training opportunities or downtime research. All attributes and abilities can be raised to the normal racial maximum (5 for humans) or the characters essence whichever is higher. Only one point can be bought in any characteristic at one time.

  • Attribute: New rating x5
  • Ability: New rating x2
  • Willpower: New rating
  • Quintessence: New rating
  • Virtue: New rating x2
  • Battle Magic: New rating x3

Runes & Essence

Experience can be spent to increase essence but only when a character has some kind of spiritual epiphany. This could be cult initiation, an experience on hero plane, deep loss, tragedy or failure, time with a spiritual mentor. Always talk this through with the storyteller before spending the experience.

  • Essence: New rating x5
  • Cult Rune: New rating x5
  • Non Cult Rune: New rating x7

Runes can be only increased to a level as high as a characters level of essence.

When purchasing a rune with xp a character may gain or spend additional xp from taking appropriate flaws and merits but only those closely  associated with that rune.

These should be checked with the storyteller before purchase. Xp cost or boost is the same as with freebie points as noted on the flaw. Players are encouraged to come up with ideas with new flaws and merits that would reflect the nature of the characters cult or association with the rune.


Occasionally in game an opportunity comes to turn a gaming opportunity into a background. At that point the storyteller may ask the relevant player if they want to spend the experience to make that a permanent change to the character. In some game situations the player automatically gains the background without spending the experience at the storytellers discretion.

  • Background: New rating x2

Gifting Abilities

A storyteller may want to gift all the players in a party experience in a low level of a certain ability based on a communal experience. This is done to ensure characters have basic skills which would reflect their experiences in game play.

This would bring all members of the group who shared up to the experience up a minimum skills level of one or two dots based upon the experience. It has no benefit for characters who already have a high level ion that skill.

So for a party who have been in the wilderness for a season, all characters without it may be given up to one dot in survival, or characters who have been riding for 4 weeks will get a dot in riding etc.

We would suggest this infrequent and communal when this is done.

Runequest Cults for Starting Players

In response to a request on basic roleplaying forums  here is  a quick guide to choosing a cult for new to Glorantha players.

These will by split by Culture


The Orlanthi are a culture that worship Orlanth the Storm God and are usual clan or tribe based following chieftains and petty kings. They are an often violent , but loyal and freedom loving people.

They Can be found in the lands of Satar, Much of the Holy Country, Free Trash and Parts of Prax.

For an earth based equivalent think early european bronze age celts.

Cult Runes Worshipped By Notes Good for
Starting Character
Orlanth Air, Movement, Mastery Men, Warriors, Leaders Default male of God of culture Yes
Ernalda Earth, Fertility, Harmony Women Default womens God of culture No
Humakt Death, Truth Warriors, Mecenaries God of honourable warriors Yes
Issaries Communication, Trade Traders, Heralds, Travellers God of trade Yes
Lhankor Myh Truth, Law Sages, Scribes, Wise men God of knowldge Yes
Chalana Arroy Fertility, Harmony Healers Total pacifists Yes
Eurmal Illusion, Disorder Madmen, tricksters Many faceted and complex God difficult to play No
Vinga Air, Movement, Earth Warrior Women All have red hair Yes
Stormbull Death, Beast Chaos Fighters, Beserkers Consider uncooth and more than slightly deranged Yes
Elmal Light, Truth Warriors and horsemen Minor cult Yes
Banatar Earth, Fertility Farmers Minor cult No
Babeester Gor Earth Death Avengeing women Scary ass women, minor cult Yes
Heler Air, Water, Movement The obscure, sheperds God of rain, minor cult No
Odayla Movement Beast Hunters Minor cult Yes
Uleria Fertility, Infinty Temple prostitutes, Ladies of the night Temple prostitutes, ladies of the night, minor cult No
Yelmalio Sky, Truth Mercenary Soldiers Distinct subculture, Conservative Yes

WOD:Glorantha – Observations and Play testing Feedback

Ok I published quite a few posts defining an alternative system which I put together for a gaming group which was running my Griffin Mountain Campaign for we are now 6 session in and I thought id feedback on  how it’s worked in real life.

It’s a gloranthan version of the classic World of Darkness storyteller system. It was aimed at a group of players who most  of knew the storyteller system well.

It had the following aims;

  1. Be a recognisable and accessible system for the players
  2. Be a halfway house between Heroquests freeform and Runequests crunchy systems
  3. Reflect Glorantha values in the way the system operates as regards magic, combat and religion
  4. Enable a game focused heavily on character, plot, investigation and social interaction
  5. Combat doesn’t get bogged down in dice too many roles( main problem with storyteller system)
  6. Be a quick and easy conversion for me.

My thoughts on how this has worked so far.

Be a recognisable and accessible system for the players

This has worked and the players have spent time learning the setting and getting into the characters not trying to work a new gaming system out.  The system is close enough to classic storyteller for people not to notice any fundamental changes.

Be a halfway house between Heroquests, Freeform and Runequests crunchy systems

Again this has worked well, I find the characters well defined by the rules, some tactical nuances developing and skill roles very quick, flexible and efficient.

It is also given me the definition where i wanted it which a greater range of social and mental stats and skills.

Reflect Glorantha values in the way the system operates as regards magic, combat and religion

Took some time to get this into the campaign but it now feel Gloranthan as cult ties, runes and spirit magic are being used routinely by players.

The runes and spirit magic combination really works well and feels more Glorantha than RQ2 to me now.

Rune magic is to come but that will develop as the characters mature, and as I write up the system. However I plan to develop on from a couple of concept I really like from the RQ4 playtests, but I think it would be really off to write those up before RQ4 comes out.

Enable a game focused heavily on character, plot, investigation and social interaction

This was the main reason I went with a storyteller based system, as I found RQ’s structure didn’t lend itself to socially based games. Heroquest does but it’s just to freeform for me. Anyway this has worked like a treat we have social characters and skills, backgrounds and ties to communities.

It’s not heavy handed and players choices are not controlled by refs decided die rolls (pet hate of mine, – “it’s my character, you control every other fucker in the game world, I don’t care what you think I should do, this is my only vehicle for my contribution to the story, hands off it !!!!”  )

Relationships are roleplayed out and are not abstracted to a number which again is a big hit for me, but the characters have the stats, skills and positions to define and understand how people relate to them socially.

Combat doesn’t get bogged down in dice too many roles

Six session and two combats so this is not a combat heavy game, the first combat which was a one on one duel worked really really well.

Quick effective and deadly. Two minutes combat took 10 mins dice rolling first time round, and it had cut and thrust, riposte and counters the  feel of a good fight.

We created rules for two weapon fighting which have been a good compromise between what players and ref wanted (no extra multi attacks, more tactical flexibility).

The second was a larger scale affair of three shades attacking a campsite, this was slower, harder to run and difficult. The whole thing took about 30 mins and I found it stressful. The players didn’t seem to notice my stress and didn’t complain at all.

The combat needs more play testing and more practice and some tweaking I think.

However the  conclusion i’ve come to is this is not a system for a combat heavy game, if this your style of game this is not the system to use for it.

Be a quick and easy conversion for me.

This is where its fallen down, I compiled all of the house rules and mods i’ve written and compile just for the campaign system and come into one file and got 15,000 words. It’s been a much bigger job than I envisaged and the rune magic and cult write up is going to be heavy work too.

However so much has been done and its broadly working, so it’s pretty much becoming my vehicle of choice for running my style of Gloranthan games from now on.

Twisted Giants of the Elder Wilds

Two twisted giants write ups, well one and one that formed into something a little different in the write up;

Annis the One Eye

This 7 meter tall ‘Giant’ has only moved into the Elder Wilds region in the last 30 years. Originating from Near the Blue Moon plateau, something has drawn this beast towards the Elder Wilds.

His skin is made of rough armoured grey plates and most of the  time he walks on all fours placing his weight on the back of his forearms like a oversized Gorilla. His face sports one lidless eye and no other features, and the palms of his forearms contain two gaping mouths similar to those of Krashtkids.

He has the chaotic ability to discorporate and attack other giants in spirit combat, if he wins he forcers the giants spirit into his old body anda chaotic taint and he then starts the process of corruption upon the new body. The giants of giant land know this and are both hunting him but scared to confront him.

He is actually being drawn to chaos holy ground and plans to make ritual sacrifice there for more chaotic features .

He is escorted by a pack of broo who have decided to follow him since he has entered the Elder Wilds region. he finds them useful annoying but amusing at the same time and has tolerated them for the moment.

If Gon Orta hears of his whereabouts he will hire any group of heros powerful enough he comes across to track down and kill this abomination.

Annis is not actually a giant but a spirit of corruption which has been gifted with the ability to posses giants bodies. Killing its current host body will not destroy it but force it back to Spirit Plane where it will bid its time before it can return again.

Annis has a particular dislike for gentled giants and wishes to posses those more than any other.

Nature:  Corrupter
Demeanor:  Monster
Physical: Strength  9*, Dexterity 1, Stamina 11
Mental : Intelligence 3, Wits 4, Perception 4
Social:  Manipulation 3, Appearance 0, Charisma 1
Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 1, Brawl 3*, Intimidation 3
Skills:  Melee 4*, Survival 2
Knowledge’s: Medicine 3, Myth 1, Spirit Lore 4
Essence: 2
Runes: Chaos 6, Spirit 4, Movement 2
Spirit Magic: Spirit Block 4, Heal 3,
Higher Magic: 8pts from ; Corruption, Blessing of Chaos, Fear, Madness
Virtues: None
Backgrounds: Followers 3
Flaws & Merits: Extra health levels * 5, Natural Armour 4 pts, spirit combat attack

blue wood pic


Formerly a 10m giant, but is now very slowly shrinking and melting away. He was previously a Gentled Giants and a disciple of Gon Orta til about 30 years ago Granny Keeneyes lured him to festering isles and he was corrupted by her magics and the proximity of the chaos well at the bottom of the lagoon.

Has since taken the form of a shambling oozing giant humanoid mess, with Gorps like creatures coalescing on its torso and limbs and sliding off in its wake. He currently stands at 8 meters in height and is slowly loosing body mass.

If engaged in combat  he emits a vociferous odour and characters must make stamina roll to be able to approach to attack, he is also capable of launching Gorps as missile weapons 4 times a day, is capable of fully regenerating damage bit must ‘use’ of one its Gorp attacks to do so.

Rasulan is not a creature who has embraced chaos he has just been corrupted by it, he is not particularly evil or vicious, he knows that his nature is an affront to Glorantha, he is just not ready to end yet.

He  tries to find uninhabited regions to skulk off into to hide from all, but even in the Elder Wilds he cannot be far from everyone all the time. However when hunted, pressed or attacked he defends his megre life with a vicious rage that comes from deep within.

Hated by trolls who  call him ‘stink’ and actively hunt him, but he has so far killed 3 Zorak Zoran war parties which have tracked him  down. Since which point there has been a fair bit of hunting, but not a lot of finding going on.

Nature:  Survivor
Demeanor: Loner
Physical: Strength  8*, Dexterity 1, Stamina 8
Mental : Intelligence 2, Wits 1, Perception 3
Social:  Manipulation 1, Appearance 0, Charisma 1
Talents: Alertness 2, Athletics 1, Brawl 3*, Intimidation 4
Skills:  Missile 3, Melee 3*, Survival 2
Knowledge’s: Myth 1, Spirit Lore 1
Essence: 2
Quintessence: 6
Willpower: 6
Runes: Earth 1, Disorder 2, Man 1
Spirit Magic: Heal 2, Slow
Higher Magic: None
Virtues: None
Flaws & Merits: Extra health levels * 5, Throw/Create Gorp, Stink, Regeneration, Acid Touch

New Giants Encounters of the Elder Wilds

Three new wild giant encounters to add to the setting.


Standing at 10 meters tall ripper is well over 100 years old. As name would suggest is a violent and angry giant. The has a known range in the more mountainous areas of the Bear Hills and Woods.  He wears little in the way of  clothing and but has taken the time to fashion a pine tree into a passable wooden sword.

He is well aware of Elves, trolls and humans in the proximity. Due to previous encounters with Zorac Zoran trolls who called him a chaos monster before attacking him. Ripper has developed a deep almost pathological dislike of Trolls.

The Elves and runners of Bear Hills have been known to antagonise Ripper and let him chase them into groups of nearby trolls, therefore using him as an unwitting ally. The outcome is invariably the same, a combat in which the trolls fair badly and Ripper will use a number of trollkin as missile weapons. A tactic which is rarely effective but that Ripper enjoys. However when he gets hold of larger trolls or other creatures, ripper will rip them asunder and hurl the remaining parts at their demoralised foes.

As such trolls, elves and humans avoid Rippers range as much as possible, leaving him to his own devices.

Ripper is also not the brightest of Giants, and for some reason he perceives humans as potential giants if they would only grow at a decent rate. He is usually fascinated by them, thought he encounters them rarely. However when he is annoyed, grumpy or hungry ( as he often is ) they can still be the subject of his ire, or appetite.

Rippers only friend is Bunscoto the Giant who will visit him every couple of years.

Nature:  Loner
Demeanor:  Survivor
Physical: Strength  14*, Dexterity 2, Stamina 12
Mental : Intelligence 1, Wits 2, Perception 3
Social:  Manipulation 1, Appearance 2, Charisma 1
Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 2, Brawl 4*, Intimidation 4
Skills: Crafts 1, Melee 4*, Survival 2
Knowledge’s: Medicine 3, Myth 1, Spirit Lore 1
Essence: 2
Runes: Earth 1, Disorder 2, Man 1
Spirit Magic: Slow, Heal 2
Higher Magic: None
Virtues: Vigor 4, Trust 1, Generosity 1
Backgrounds: None
Flaws & Merits: Acute smell, Extra health levels * 5
Gear: Large Wooden sword – 6 pts weapon

glacier pic

Kanbra Lizard Rider

At 6 meters a relatively young giant who enjoys the wild and solitude. He doesn’t care much for company people or civilizations, avoiding giant land and shunning troll and human civilization when he can.

Kanbra has set his goal of riding a thunder lizard. To this end he follows different packs of thunder lizards round the north plain. Often trying to mount one of them,  sometimes succeeding but never staying on for more than  a couple of minutes. Most of the thunder lizards on the north plain now know his scent and have become wary of him.

He is a young lithe and relatively dextrous giant with the range of motion and speed of movement which would not be uncommon in a human.  He like to climb, jump, run and otherwise amuse himself  with exercise.   Her has even develop camouflage skills and can hide himself in the wild in ways which would be surprising for a giant of his size.

The elves of the Eorling wilds watch him from afar amused by his antics, but view him as a potential threat to their forests.  As such they have dispatched a runner to act as his playmate and keep him away from the Aldyami Forests.

Nature: Daredevil
Demeanor:  Daredevil
Physical: Strength 8*, Dexterity 3, Stamina 8
Mental : Intelligence 2, Wits 2, Perception 2
Social: Manipulation 1, Appearance 3, Charisma 1
Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 4, Brawl 3*, Intimidation 2
Skills: Crafts 2, Melee 3*, Stealth 2, Survival 2
Knowledge’s: Medicine 3, Myth 1, Spirit Lore 1
Essence: 2
Quintessence: 7
Willpower:  3
Runes:  Air 1, Disorder 1, Man 1
Spirit Magic: Co-ordination 2, Farsee
Higher Magic: None
Virtues: Vigor 4, Trust 2, Generosity 2
Backgrounds: Ally 1
Flaws & Merits: Acute smell, Extra health levels * 3
Gear: Furs – 1pt, Giant Club – 4pt

Kosa Tol

Kosa is an 8 meter tall giant who is one of the larger guardians of then Troll Temple complex at Blackspire Gorge.

Is part of the Trang tribe of trolls and a full initiate of Kygor Litor. He joined the tribe over 60 years ago and is a well known and well liked part of the tribe.

He wields a large metal spike club, and wears dinosaur hide armour made for him by the tribe. He rarely is called upon to fight and the threat of Kosa Tol is enough to settle many internal disputes or scare off most threats.

Kosa is loyal to the Great Old Mother and the leaders of the Trang tribe and very much sees the trolls as his people.  He is particularly friendly with a older troll priestess called Sur Mais and her family, it was Sur Mais who brought him into the tribe all those years ago.

A great fan of trollball who has been known to desert his post to go and watch a  game. He will talk for hours to anyone who will listen to him on the subject. Though he  is well known for being biased in favor of Trang teams and therefore isn’t allowed to referee the games.

Gon Orta has offered to teach him the wisdom and ways of the Great Giants and Kosa is considering the offer, but his tribe are not keen on him leaving for that long.

He visits the castle most years as the trolls use Kosa to clear the way through the snow for the first caravan into giant land every sea season. He gets on well with the other giants there and has little trouble following Gon Ortas rules.

Nature: Reveller
Demeanor:  Bravo
Physical: Strength 10*, Dexterity 2, Stamina 9
Mental : Intelligence 2, Wits 2, Perception 2
Social: Manipulation 1, Appearance 3, Charisma 2
Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 1, Brawl 4*, Intimidation 4
Skills:  Melee 4*, Survival 1
Knowledge’s: Culture 2, Medicine 3, Myth 1, Spirit Lore 1
Essence: 2
Quintessence: 8
Willpower:  4
Runes:  Darkness 3, Disorder 1, Man 1
Spirit Magic: Co-ordination 2, Bludgeon 2, Darkwall, Heal 2
Higher Magic: None
Virtues: Vigor 3, Trust 3, Generosity 4
Backgrounds: Cult status 2, Status 2, Allies 2,
Flaws & Merits: Acute Smell,Extra health levels * 4
Gear: Dinosaur Armour – 4pt, Giant Maul – 5pt

*Note giants can only use there strength up to there melee skill for attack dice pool, so effective there dice pool is twice there melee stat. Full strength is used on damage dice pool.