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

Some notes when using the system;

  • In a campaign where you want a well-balanced characters, use this system or the standard system, using both systems will give you characters of different power levels, especially playing older characters.
  • Because of the freedom of choice given this system will probably be much more open to the min-maxing of characters, so have a player group wanting to story tell through character creation or be willing to sit with your players through it, and no overpowered choices and characters.
  • The advanced system works well when characters put realistic levels of skills into customs, languages, cult and lore skills. if they don’t they will be overpowered on the weapon and power skills and be culturally incompetent
  • The sweet spot for characters in the system is characters aged 25 to 30
  • It’s not a system to use on a one-hit game
  • The system below is set up for characters who reach adulthood at the age of 16,  but for certain characters of cultures, you may wish to move that age forward by 2 or 3 years.
  • The system is a bit of faff so I created a tool to ease the process – Extended RQG Character Tool


1) Map out the progression of your character to date; work out what they were doing and where.
Split your characters career into a maximum of up to  4 stages(for sanity’s sake, but the system is open-ended), within which profession, culture and cult are consistent.

Examples are;

1) Where the character started life as a Balazaring hunter worshipping Foundchild, moved to a period where he fought as auxiliary peltasts attached to a Sundome Temple in Tarsh worshipping Yelmalio, and finally as a Caravan Guard in Sartar who still worships Yelmalio.

2) A current NPC’s history ran through the system where she was raised as a child on an Orlanthi stead in Aggar, was a street child in Furthest for a few years, then worked as a prostitute and then after a lucky break became a merchant.

3) My daughter created a character who was first an outrider for the lunar army. Who after completing her first term of service became a student learning to be a healer/Lunar missionary, before being posted as a missionary/healer in Pavis.

2) Copy a version of the advanced characters generation sheet from Google docs, create a tab for the character (it can be done manually but this makes it so much easier ).

3) Put your character DEX into cell B2 ( need for calculating jump and dodge), and your skill bonuses into D5,15,24,41,77,90,96,102

4) Use rows 1,2 to describe your characters stages; including, culture, profession,  and cult

5) Calculate the available skills points to spend for each stage in the areas of

  • Culture
  • Cult
  • Profession
  • Free Points

from the table below;

Skill Percentage Points available each year ( PC’s & Heros )

  Cultural  Skills Cult
Pre-adult One-off 60 30
Years 1 – 10 Per Annum 20 20 30 30
Years 11 – 20 Per Annum 15 15 25 25
Years 21 – 30 Per Annum 10 10 20 20
Years 31 + Per Annum 5 10 15 15

Skill Percentage Points available each year ( Most People)

  Cultural  Skills Cult
Pre-adult One-off 50 20
Years 1 – 10 Per Annum 15 15 25 20
Years 11 – 20 Per Annum 10 10 20 15
Years 21 – 30 Per Annum 5 5 15 15
Years 31 + Per Annum 0 5 10 15

Place those in the boxes on row 3

Note: Cultural skills reflects here the character is based not where they originally came from, so a Grazelander living in Pavis would gain Pavic cultural skills, not Grazelander. Characters living in a cultural bubble such as Garrison Troops or in Suntown Pavis  could choose from either set of cultural skills.

5) The starting with the first stage of your character’s development spend the points for each of the 4 sections, extended lists from the core rules are available in these links below;

At the end of the section review the overall skill results, to see if they seem reasonable and tweak.

Then progress to the next stage, review progress after each stage.

6) When spending on skills, have limits in mind, I would not suggest enforcing them strictly but you have rules to refer to if something seems overly min-maxed.

  • no more than 3% on any one skill in 1 year spent from any of these areas
    • Cultural
    • Cult
    • Professional
    • Personal
  • with the exception of key skills ( the ones in bold) which can have 5% per year.
  • no more than a total of 8% points in one skill in one year.

7)  Add the characters magical spells and abilities

  • Give characters 3 points of battle magic when they turn to adulthood, give them 1 extra point for every three years thereafter or fraction thereof.
  • Give characters 1 rune point when they turn into adulthood give them 1 extra point for every four years thereafter or fraction thereof.

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