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.

2 thoughts on “WOD:Glorantha – Observations and Play testing Feedback

  1. Do you have a character sheet available ?
    I am also working a on WOD base for Glorantha, though I am not an expert in that system. And never really played it, i found the mechanics intriguing and with much charm for a french player.
    Normally I shall play and DM in 2018 a small campaign set in Ralios, with our group, with the WOD system: it will be a surprise for my players ! 🙂
    For me character sheet are very important for the PC’s and NPC’s

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