We are back into Gloranthan anthropology (more or less) for this episode, with our guest Brian Duguid, author of Children of Hykim. By virtue of having literally written a book on the subject, Brian is an expert in the Hsunchen, the stone age people who are each associated with a tribal totem animal.
This topic might be rather unfamiliar to newcomers to Glorantha, since the Hsunchen are only mentioned briefly in the core RuneQuest books — mostly in the entry for the Telmori Wolfbrothers in the Glorantha Bestiary.
Joerg wasn’t available for writing these show notes so they are a lot shorter and less detailed than usual.
In this interview, we talk about:
- Brian’s path from playing RuneQuest in his youth, going through a deep-freeze, and coming back to Glorantha in the post HeroQuest / Guide to Glorantha era… and the massive amount of materials that this brought upon fans.
- Who the Hsunchen are, and what the average RuneQuest adventurer might know about them.
- What does a “stone age culture” looks like.
- Who is this Hykim, and what do Hsunchen myths look like.
- Hsunchen magic and the problem with RuneQuest’s Transform Self spells.
- Bringing Hsunchen NPCs into your adventures set in Dragon Pass, and sending your PCs out into Hsunchen lands.
- Portraying Hsunchen NPCs.
- Playing Hsunchen adventurers, and the themes and locations of a Hsunchen campaign.
To learn more about the Hsunchen, the main two sources are:
- The Guide to Glorantha (especially Volume 1): it’s pricey but it’s a giant pile of awesome information, and a great source of ideas for any gamemaster. The PDF version is a lot more affordable, and the one I personally use almost all the time by virtue of being searchable.
- The Children of Hykim (of course): it’s non-canonical (for whatever that’s worth to you), but not only does it give detailed information on many Hsunchen tribes, it also provides rules for creating and playing Hsunchen characters.