Welcome to a new issue of the Journal of Runic Studies, the premier Malkioni publication for studies into the nature of Glorantha. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please consult with the spirit bound to the appropriate electronic page.

Chaosium News

The Red Book of Magic

Art by Mark Smylie © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The Red Book of Magic has been released in hardcover and leatherette versions! As always, if you previously bought the PDF from Chaosium, you should have received a coupon to get the corresponding discount from the physical product. And if you were waiting for several books to come out to make a bulk order, don’t forget to contact Dustin and request a combined coupon code.

By the way, do you like this cover by Mark Smylie? Then get it on a t-shirt, on a mug, on a pillow, on a notebook, and even, what the heck, on shower curtains! There’s a lot more stuff available at Chaosium’s Redbubble store.

Jeff’s Bits

Jeff keeps sharing many interesting things on the RuneQuest facebook group. Here are the highlights from this week!

The Lunar and Roman Empires

Even though comparisons between the Lunar and Roman Empires are easy to make (if only for the resemblance of lingo and names between the two), there is still one big difference: the Lunar Empire is tiny by comparison.

[…] both in terms of territory and population. The Lunar Empire includes about 8.5 million humans, with another million non-humans (elves, dwarfs, trolls, etc.) in its orbit.

By most accounts, the Roman Empire at its height numbered around 40-50 million people and Han China somewhere around 50 million. Likely the Assyrians or Neo-Babylonians or some of the Successors are better points of comparison in terms of population and territory. Rome or Han China – that’s like the Middle Sea Empire at its peak.

Cartography by Colin Driver © 2021 Chaosium Inc.


Nick Brooke, resident Lunar expert, adds:

In case there was any doubt, when we say that the Roman Empire is a useful model for the Lunar Empire, we don’t mean that the Lunar Empire’s capital is Rome and that it extends from the Sahara to Germania, and from Britannia to the Parthian desert, with a similar population (size, density, ethnic composition, religious affiliation, etc.).

We mean that Lunars in your games can look and act just like the Romans you’ve seen in “Gladiator,” “Rome,” “I Claudius,” “Life of Brian” and “Carry on Cleo” (among other impeccable sword & sandal sources), with appropriate localisation (Moons and Bats, not SPQRs and Eagles), if that works for you. That’s what analogies and models are for.

Brithini Cosmology

Some Brithini cosmology text explains the creation of the world:

The invisible God is all things. He is beyond knowing or feeling or being. He contains all things and will contain them all in the future. He is beyond life or entropy.Within the Invisible God is Existence, and within Existence were conceived the Laws. All things outside the Laws were excluded and cast down, and those things were of chaos and entropy.

This is an interesting one because it reframes most of the monomyth’s big events with the Invisible God and the concepts of Wisdom and Ignorance, and Malkion and Zzabur as the main protagonists.

Jeff’s comments provide a lot more insight, especially about Brithini philosophy and how they view mortals. These wizards are at minimum 12 centuries old and have seen many generations of “simulacra” (humans and other mortals) go by. The Brithini are not emotionless, as they have developed a deep understanding of emotions and life experiences, but most will have long lost interest in mortals and their affairs.

Malkionism and Hrestolism

Still on the topic of the humanists of Glorantha, Jeff posted a quick recap of Malkionism.

Although all speak of an “Invisible God” as the ultimate reality, they are differ in their views and practices. Some view the lesser divine entities as emanations of the Invisible God, others view them as mere anthropomorphic embodiments of natural forces, and still others view them as self-deluded siblings of Zzabur who conflate themselves with the energies they have mastered.

The interesting bits for me however were in the comments:

So it should be clear that for me the Malkioni are a vehicle for exploring logic and philosophy. They include Plato, Aristotle, Heraclitus, and Zeno, as well as the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and Gaudapada.

And:

Also when thinking about Malkionism, remember that it changes over time. Before the Dawn, the Brithini dealt with the gods as near equals and the Seshnegi worshiped Malkion and Seshna Likita the Earth Goddess. In the Third Age, the main Malkioni schools no longer interact with the gods as equals, but also do not worship gods other than Malkion and his family, and a few important heroes.

And:

This divergence between Brithinism and Hrestolism occured over 1600 years ago, and Malkionism has developed radically differently from their Brithini origins.

It sounds to me like having your players run into some Western philosophers would be a good way for them to question why their Lhankor Mhy cultist is called a “philosopher” too when what they do is really just boost the fighters’ weapon damage and detect traps when going into dungeons… 😋

The Holy Country

It looks like the upcoming Cults book will have a whole lot of general lore material, if we go by yet another preview from the book regarding the Holy Country:

The accession of the God-King in 1318 also marks the beginning of the term Holy Country to describe Kethaela, and it soon gained a reputation for being a place of mystery and wonder.

[…]

The God-King kept good contacts with all the gods of the Holy Country, and to the rest of the world this was a part of the Otherworld manifest in the mundane world. Occasionally, gods or great monsters visited the Holy Country, and there were known to be many secret gates into the Otherworld.

The God-King showed little interest in expanding his realm. He used friends and allies to guard his borders, sent messengers and merchants outward, to the west, through Maniria to Ralios.

This last paragraph is important, especially when you consider that the Holy Country has often been summed up as “Mythological Disneyland ruled by a God King fueled by Battle Royale” (which, incidentally, is one of those descriptions that never fails to grab someone’s attention). Unlike the aforementioned real-world’s Empire of Entertainment, and unlike the other ever-reincarnating ruler that we love so much, it sounds like Belintar wasn’t interested in expansion and acquisitions, which I guess puts him out of the highly contested “top horrible Gloranthan figures” list.

And what about the City of Wonders? Well, it looks like this was the equivalent of Main Street, U.S.A, where you can take selfies with Mickey Mouse, Darth Vader, and any of the Disney Princesses before going for a smoothie at a nearby stand:

Gods and spirits dwelled in the City of Wonders alongside mortals and powerful magical entities like the Reef Master or the Tide Lord. So you might go to the Golden Anchor for a drink and meet a visiting Triton or a son of the Storm Bull who has come here from Stormwalk Mountain.

Look at this wonderful early map from Greg for the Holy Country:

Map by Greg Stafford © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Let’s visit Darkworld early to beat the crowd, we can always go to Earthlands after lunch, the rides mostly suck there anyway.

Heroquesting

A little glimpse into how heroquesting works in general:

A heroquest is a direct interaction with the divine realm of myth and archetypes. In a heroquest, you interact and experience the divine realm and bring back magic, be it Rune spells, guardian spirits, good harvest, a terrible curse, something long forgotten and hidden, etc.

As we interact with the kaleidoscopic divine realm, we of course change its arrangement. Like walking into a room of swirling smoke, our presence causes the mist to swirl around us, changing its direction and patterns. Most of the time we have little control of the changes – we enter the room, the smoke swirls because of our mere presence.

And a history of heroquesting, from the Dawn to the Hero Wars:

Arkat Chaosbane was the first individual to discover heroquesting outside of a specific cult myth. He underwent several secret initiations (and excommunications) which gave him an unusual transcultural view of the secret world of myth. His personal experiences gave him clues which he followed, exploited, and taught to others.

The Monomyth is your Friend

Yes. Trust us. We’re the God Learners after all.

To those Gloranthans who do know of the monomyth it is a convenient philosophical overview, an attempt to translate peculiarities into universalities, to overcome the limitations and boundaries of language and parochial existence, or another deception by Gbaji to lead the world to ruin. But it cannot be forgotten that most of the inhabitants of Glorantha do not care about the mythic structure beyond their own belief structure.

In fact, we are all God Learners:

Even if the God Learners are now gone and cursed, the Mythical Synthesis Movement has already done its work. In a sense, we are all God Learners now.

This might get embarrassing if you keep criticizing the God Learners:

“And what of those fancy tattoos which you value so highly – did you know they were a God Learner affectation too?”

“She Cheated”

Here’s an Orlanthi tale about the rise of the Red Goddess. This shoudn’t be surprising:

She won because she cheated. She won because she did not obey the normal laws of war and of creation. Things which simply could not be, were! This was where she had one son, in many bodies! Where she had a body part, as a living being! Where she had her shadow self, better than her!

And speaking of Orlanthi points of view, Argrath’s scribes have the best nicknames for Jar-Eel:

Of all the many crimes committed by the the Poisonblood Witch-Queen of the Lunar Empire, perhaps the greatest crime was when she assassinated Belintar the God-King and ended the divine proximity of the Holy Country. A crime boasted of by the Lunars, serving no purpose except to facilitate their imperial conquests.

I don’t know about you but “Poisonblood Witch-Queen” kinda makes me want to take her side… too bad she helped destroy Disneyland, though, that was definitely not cool.

Formative Female Experiences

In an interesting break of form, Jeff asked for ideas from the community on what would be the female gender role equivalent to the formative experience of the cattle raid.

This is always a tricky thing with Gloranthan lore and gaming: it tries to emulate the gendered roles of real-world mythology and ancient cultures, but this often leaves female gender roles as very passive. Staying home to be pregnant isn’t a very exciting prospect for female characters, in addition to the patriarchal worldbuilding issues it brings with it. Some comments offer interesting ideas, but I think this is an issue that Glorantha game writers will keep struggling with for a long time. I wonder if it would have been easier in the end to prioritize gameplay rather than spiritual verisimilitude during Glorantha’s early years?

Jonstown Compendium

Print-on-Demand Sale!

DriveThruRPG is running a site-wide sale for all premium-color POD books which will see changes (like price increases) on July 1st. Now’s your last chance to grab these books at a reasonable price!

Of course, the Jonstown Compendium titles are participating in it, so buy them while you can, especially titles like Valley of Plenty which are actually going to become PDF-only in a couple days! In fact, the Jonstown Compendium books are completely smashing DriveThruRPG’s “hottest community books” category, as you can see below:

Most of the non-Gloranthan books in this top-16 sample are from the Miskatonic Repository, which is the community content program for Call of Cthulhu. Way to go, Chaosium fans!

Other books might interest the RuneQuest Glorantha crowd too, such as the recently released (and well received!) Mythic Babylon for Mythras.

Miniatures

Fenris Games has some duck adventurers coming back in stock soon. Keep an eye out for those:

© 2021 Fenris Games

They are also teasing some new models coming to Kickstarter later this year! Of course, we’ll report back here when that happens.

© 2021 Fenris Games

Arnesonian Classes

The OSR darling Old School Essentials has a new sourcebook called The Lost Classes: Arnesonian Classes, which brings back classes from the experimental early years of D&D… in this case, directly from Dave Arneson’s campaigns.

One of the two classes in this short sourcebook is an undead-slayer Duck… sounds familiar?

Reviews

The GROGNARDIA blog reviewed Cults of Terror, the classic RQ2 sourcebook full of cults and magic for baddies.

Each of the cults in this book get very detailed write-ups, providing plenty of insight not just into the beliefs and activities, but also their place within the setting of Glorantha. It’s in this area where Cults of Terror excels. In some ways, it’s even superior to Cults of Prax, because much more is revealed about the myths, history, and cosmology of Glorantha.

Art by Jennell Jacquays © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

They had covered Cults of Prax previously, along with many other old school games and supplements.

I had also missed this recent review of RQ2 by well-known and well-named Gloranthan blogger Runeblogger.

Art by Luise Perrin © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

I also found it surprising that the purpose of RuneQuest is clearly laid out here: Adventurers gain experience, magic, and treasure by overcoming the scenarios the GM creates for them. Then they use that treasure to purchase training to further develop their skills until they are so proficient they meet the requirements to join a rune cult. Acquiring rune magic seems to be, then, the quest referred to in the name of the game.

Well, I guess the newest version of RuneQuest then starts us off with that quest fulfilled! Not much else to do with these new characters besides murdering and looting, eh? 😇

Thank you for reading

That’s it for this week! Please contact us with any feedback, question, or news item we’ve missed!

Thank you for subscribing to the Journal of Runic Studies, the premier Malkioni publication for studies into the nature of Glorantha. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please consult with the spirit bound to the appropriate electronic page.

We are obviously not going to look into everything that happened since the last newsletter (even when they’re very funny), but we’ll mention the most recent important things, along with this week’s news.

Chaosium News

ImpCon3

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The impromptu online convention ImpCon 3 happened not too long ago, and we have a report on it.

HeroQuest Books are going Out of Print Forever

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Since the trademark for HeroQuest was recently sold back to Hasbro after a couple decades in the hands of Moon Design Publishing (and therefore Chaosium), all of the “HeroQuest-branded” books have to be decommissioned. This will happen on July 15 so if you don’t have any of these books, now is the time to get them! You should at least get the PDFs, because I assume they’re going away too, and although old books are available on the second hand market, PDFs are not (legally speaking).

Book covers © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

You can grab these books from Chaosium (with a few of the last hard copies on sale), or from DriveThruRPG.

There is a good chance that some of these books come back in the future with some simple branding changes on the cover and replacing mentions of HeroQuest with QuestWorlds, but we don’t know when that might happen.

Facebook and the Well of Daliath

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Jeff Richard, whose brain is currently holding the entirety of the Glorantha monomyth, has been posting a lot of interesting bits of information on the RuneQuest Facebook group — from random thoughts to previews of upcoming books. Because Facebook is a notorious black hole when it comes to past content, several people are trying to archive these things. David Scott in particular has been making edited backups of the highlights on the Well of Daliath, Chaosium’s “knowledge base” for Glorantha.

Here are some recent notable additions:

  • References for Glorantha: A list of foundational texts that Jeff Richard uses for all his Gloranthan work. There are some interesting or surprising choices in these lists but one thing is clear: not only were the RQ2-era books cementing much of Glorantha, the very original games, White Bear & Red Moon and Nomad Gods, still very relevant in many ways. It’s good to know that they are going to be reissued by Chaosium in the coming years.
Map scans by Jeff Richard © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Other highlights from Facebook include:

  • Recent Timeline of Dragon Pass: Jeff assign the “current date” of the RuneQuest setting to the current year (2021), and shows how long ago major events would have been. This helps a lot in figuring out how PCs and NPCs might relate to these events. For instance, Starbrow’s Rebellion would have been in 2008, the Lunar conquest of Sartar in 1997, the Battle of Grizzly Peak and Opening of the Seas in the 70s, the apotheosis of Sartar during WW1, and the recolonization of Dragon Pass by humans in the late 17th century.
  • Dragons of Glorantha: Jeff explains what dragons are in Glorantha, and what that means for the various draconic myths such as Orlanth and Yelm slaying these beasts. Interestingly enough, Steve Perrin, one of the designers for the original RuneQuest, dropped by for a bit of trivia: “Strictly speaking, dream dragons draw from D&D, because the authors (me and the Friends) felt a need for dragon opponents, and Greg had already defined true dragons as sleeping army killers. So we tapped into the dreams of the sleeping dragons to provide dungeon-size opponents for our adventurers.”
Cartography by Matt Ryan © 2021 Chaosium Inc.
  • The Pockets of Boldhome: Jeff briefly talks about the “pockets” of Boldhome, which are dwarf-made buildings carved deep into the Quivin mountains. These might look like the tombs of Petra, or the dwellings of Mesa Verde. The video game Skyrim even makes an appearance, since the city of Markarth has often been suspected to be inspired by Boldhome, given the lead designer’s history with Glorantha. For more information on Boldhome, see also this and that post. You can refer to Olivier Sanfilippo’s older map for comparison.
  • Revenues of the Red Emperor: the short version is taxes, taxes, and taxes. These come from the Lunar Heartlands, from tributes from the West Reaches and Provinces, and from tithing of the Red Goddess and Yelm cults.
  • Quite a few tidbits of information about Esrolia and the Holy Country: there’s a lot, from the revenues of the Esrolian Queen (short version: Nochet import and market fees) to the cults of the Right Arm Islands (sea gods and figures first, Orlanth and Ernalda second), evolving boating practices and manufacturing (thanks to Dormal), and even a glimpse at what happened at Corflu. Choralintor merman security services and Wolf Pirates make an appearance, and some population stats are given. Harald “Jajagappa” Smith has been archiving those on BRP Central.
© 2021 Chaosium Inc.
  • Vasana’s and Yanioth’s initiations: Jeff shared what Vasana’s and Yanioth’s childhoods looked like between the ages of 13 and 15, during which they were sent to a “camp” for a couple years of learning how to fill the tribal “male” and “female” gender roles. However, I’m told that “camp” invokes the wrong mental picture for native English speakers, so what happens, apparently, is that Vasana spent these years surviving in the hills of the Starfire Ridges, along with 300 other “young men” (some of them being female like her) while Yanioth interned at the Clearwine temple. “Male” gender roles are gathered and initiated as big tribal groups every few years (five year schedule for the Colymar tribe), which is why Vasana was in such a big group, while “female” gender roles are handled more locally, typically at the clan level, which means that Yanioth was most likely only one of a dozen or so young women serving the temple.
© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Finally, Jeff isn’t the only one being prolific on Facebook, as Michael “MOB” O’Brien is also telling us what happens along the River of Cradles after 1621. Thankfully, he’s also archiving these posts himself over on BRP Central.

Cults of Glorantha Art

Art by Loic Muzy © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The art for the upcoming Cults of Glorantha book keeps coming in, and Jeff generously teases us with some of it every now and then. Here’s a late Third Age fresco depicting the contest between Orlanth and Yelm, by Loic Muzy!

Esrolia Campaign Teaser

Jason Durall is apparently playing some Holy Country adventure, possibly using material from the upcoming Nochet sourcebook. Or not. Either way, I sure love a glimpse of that city map! You can check out an earlier work on a Nochet map on the Well of Daliath.

Photo by Jason Durall

Shelf Battle

After Call of Cthulhu creator and long-time Glorantha contributor Sandy Petersen showed his board-gaming shelves on Twitter, people (including myself!) asked to see his role-playing shelves… which he gracefully agreed to. In response to this Chaosium president Rick Meints showed a small part of his Chaosium collection — featuring a sneak preview of the RuneQuest Starter Set box. If you like gawking at other people’s gaming shelves as much as me, you should definitely check these out!

Jonstown Compendium

The Jonstown Compendium is Chaosium’s community content program for all their Gloranthan games, hosted on DriveThruRPG. Disclaimer: all the relevant links are affiliate links that hopefully will let us cover some of the hosting and maintenance costs for the website and podcast! Thanks for using them!

Warning: Print on Demand Price Increase!

Before we dive into what’s new on the Jonstown Compedium, you need to know that DriveThruRPG’s printer, Lightning Source, is increasing their prices for “premium colour” books. Standard colour and black & white printing stays the same, but with most of the Jonstown Compedium’s books using premium colour for their Print-on-Demand version, many authors are left scratching their heads. Some of these books might get a significant price increase, while others get downgraded to standard colour or even, in some cases, cease to offer Print-on-Demand altogether.

This affects all Print-on-Demand offers on DriveThruRPG so this goes well beyond the Jonstown Compendium circles.

The price increase goes live on July 1st, so place your orders before then:

New Releases

Drew Baker’s “Quick and Dirty” series (which started with a bunch of pre-generated family backgrounds) continues with “Alogo’s Caravan: Riding Animals of Dragon Pass“. Apparently, Drew’s idea of “Quick and Dirty” is almost 150 pages of material… anyway, if you need a mount for a PC or NPC, a herding patron (the titular Alogo), riding-related scenarios, or anything else related to riding animals, this is the book for you.

Austin Conrad keeps releasing his Monster of the Month issues, although they have been more about Elder Race NPCs lately rather than straight up monsters. The most recent issue is Ehnval Tallspear, a Wood Lord of Aldrya, and as always it comes with a bunch of extra material.

In addition to that, Austin released the “Pay What You Want” play aid “Rune Spells“, which is a printer-friendly list of Rune Spell tables organized by Rune and by alphabetical order. All the spells from The Red Book of Magic are in there.

The Crimson Bat Battle

Prolific Gloranthan illustrator Dario Corallo continues to produce VTT tokens for pretty much everything you can think of… or, in this particular case, simply the last thing you can think of: the Crimson Bat! Surely this sounds like the end of a campaign, so why not do it with style?

Notable Updates

Austin Conrad is running a sale on the POD and POD+PDF bundle versions of Treasures of Glorantha (Volume 1). Grab it before the price increase!

Yozarian’s Duck Bandits is now available in POD. Grab it before the price increase!

Finally, Secrets of Dorastor is also available in POD. Grab it… you know the drill. However, note that Simon Phipp is running an experiment in PDF discounts, for those who had already bought the electronic version. If people are reasonable and polite, he may repeat the offer with his future books. See his BRP forum post for more information.

Crowdfunding News

Ducks of Glorantha Miniatures

Photo by Infinity Engine

Infinity Engine is a miniatures manufacturer with a longstanding history of officially licensed RuneQuest miniatures and gaming aids (such as the wonderful Strike Rank tracker). Now, Richard Helliwell, the founder of the company, is running a Kickstarter for duck figurines! Each duck is roughly £4, but there are also a few other models: humans, trolls, and even a walktapus. Some duck habitats round up the offering.

Photo by Infinity Engine

The fund raising campaign ends on June 30th, 2021 so you have roughly a week to back it. I’m sure the products will be available later on the Infinity Engine website if you miss it, however.

Miscellaneous

Katrin Dirim’s Art

Art by Katrin Dirim

Do you want to see how Gloranthan artist extraordinaire Katrin Dirim made the picture above? Check out the timelapse that she posted on Twitter

Dendera Temple Complex

The Dendera temple complex in Egypt could have looked like this during its heyday in the Ptolemaic period. This should give you permission to make your Gloranthan holy sites BIG!

Assassin’s Creed: Discovery Tour

Do you want to visit Ancient Greece is a virtual way? The team behind Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey have released many “documentary” videos where they use the game as visuals for a historical visit of Ancient Greek landmarks.

The whole playlist is available here.

The good folks at Chaosium have now organized three “Impromptu Conventions”, nicknamed “ImpCon”, where they get online on Discord and Zoom and chat in a totally informal way with their gamer community. The idea is that it’s a virtual “after-con” experience, comprised of liquor drinking and chatting, entirely skipping the “moderated panels and game slots” step.

In lieu of games and formal panels, ImpCon has (virtual) lobbies, where people can chat about whatever comes to mind, with all of Chaosium’s game designers dropping by to partake in the socialization. The schedule is made up of thematic video chats for all of Chaosium’s present games (Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, QuestWorlds, 7th Sea, and even BRP itself!) and future games (Rivers of London, Lords of the Middle Sea). It also involves fun activities such as John Wick’s “watch along” parties where he provides live commentary on movies like Pirates of the Caribbean or Princess Bride.

ImpCon 3 was the most recent occurrence and as always the lucky attendees were treated to scoops and sneak peeks into upcoming products (especially art!) which we are explicitly asked to not share outside of ImpCon. Thankfully, Chaosium has started the marketing machine on at least one of these products, the RuneQuest Starter Set, so you can already gaze upon many aspects of this glorious upcoming boxed set.

The much awaited Cults of Glorantha book is still in production, as artists such as Loic Muzy, Agathe Pitie, and Katrin Dirim are hard at work on the many, many illustrations needed for the two-and-a-half book set. By Chaosium’s request, we can’t share the exclusive previews that were shared during ImpCon3, but we can definitely repost other previews that Chaosium has shared publicly shortly before or after.

I’m sure that Agathe Pitie’s giant monomyth painting will be analyzed by fans for quite a long time! I wonder if Waldo’s in there?

We learned a few things about the Sartar Homeland Set, such as the contents of the box: a Player Guide, a Sartar Gazetteer, a Boldhome booklet, an Encounters booklet, some posters, and the much teased big map of Sartar.

  • Player Guide will feature a new customized character creation in which, for instance, players decide if their character is from the countryside or from a city. This should affect starting skills such as Farm and Herd vs Tradetalk, for instance.
  • A tattoo guide would also be included in the Player Guide. We hope that it comes with a “blank” sheet like in HeroQuest’s Sartar book, where players could draw their character’s tattoos.
  • Last, some household management mechanics inspired from Pendragon’s Book of Manor will appear in the Player Guide, probably expanding on the Sacred Time mechanics which were already taken from Pendragon’s Winter Phase.
  • The Sartar Gazetteer will present the Orlanthi kingdom as a much less “cattle herding hillbillies” region, and a more “urbanized silk road” setting. As often with Gloranthan lore, things evolve and change with time, which is bound to frustrate as much as it excites. I’m definitely looking forward to gaming in Bronze Age cities which, as I educate myself on the topic, seem full of surprises in terms of density, scale, social layers, and much more.
  • The Boldhome booklet will describe the Sartarite capital in as much detail as New Pavis in the classic Pavis boxed set.

Further down the road Chaosium is working with various authors on settings and adventures books for Pavis, the Big Rubble, Nochet, the Upland Marsh, Talastar & Dorastor, Sun County (the one in Sartar!), and more. To round this up, the Dragon Pass Campaign book, pitched as “The Boy King campaign in Glorantha”, is still being written, and the Gamemaster Guide, Heroquesting Guide, and Weapons & Equipment Guide are at various stages of completion.

Of course we want to thank again all the people at Chaosium for organizing this and for their willingness to open up in front of an ever demanding crowd of grognards. We’ll see you all again for ImpCon 4!

You may have noticed that things are changing around here, starting with the domain name and title which have been taken over by the venerable sages of Jrustela known as the God Learners (for more information, listen to our “Interlude” episode). This realignment ritual will occur for a week, as the wizard caste gathers the necessary magical energies.

In the meantime, please continue your caste-appropriate activities. A wizard will contact you if your magical essence is required for extraction.

The Glorantha Has Talent? has come to a close and we can officially say that, indeed, Glorantha Has Talent! You can listen to Episode 8 of our podcast to hear the judges discuss and comment on the submissions we’ve received.

If, however, you’re the kind of person who reads a Lhankor Mhy grimoire starting from the last page, then here are the winners and honourable mentions, with links to listen to each individually! This is also where you can listen to some of them in stereo, as the podcast is produced in mono.

Before we get to it, we want to thank all our contestants for their hard work, all our sponsors for generously offering prizes, and all our judges for their wisdom and their immense patience as they realized that we have no idea how to record a podcast…. but now, without further ado…

Prince of Entertainment: Now That’s What I Call Illumination!

Our winner is “Now That’s What I Call Illumination!”, by Chris Killey, Leah Owen, Liesl Rowe, and Tim Hunt (full credits below).

Greetings Initiate,
Welcome to your first guided illumination session. Our priestesses are here to walk with you every step of the way towards Her blessing and secrets.
We would advise listening to these sessions with headphones on and in a darkened room, with only Her, and You and Us.
May your illumination in Her light bring you wonders initiate. All Hail the Reaching Moon.

You can play this relaxing performance in its glorious original stereo… headphones recommended!

The full credits are as follow:

  • Produced and Directed by Chris Killey
  • Written by Leah Owen and Chris Killey
  • Performed by Leah Owen and Liesl Rowe
  • Original Music by Tim Hunt
  • Fire sound effect courtesy of the BBC Sound Studio Library
  • Cover Art by Leah Owen

Chieftain of Entertainment: Crestfallen Carl

The second place goes to “Crestfallen Carl”, by Tony Davis.

No other documents were submitted, except for some “apologies to but without copyright violations towards Tom Waits”!

Thane of Entertainment: The Eye of Yinkin

And the third place goes to “The Eye of Yinkin”, by Stephen Lucek.

The lyrics, for those who want to sing along, are provided:

Through Thunderous Hills, Yinkin prowls,
he hunts by the light of a diamond strewn sky.
In the Starfire Peaks, by chasm and fall, 
and the pool of regret, stand trees proud and tall. 
‘Neath their roots a lost kingdom, haunted by glories past, 
where the eye of Yinkin burns bright and cold. 

Dragon stir, heroes arise,
and a queen grimly sits on a throne seized by blood. 
A star on her brow, she broods on her loss;  
a kingdom hard won, by the death of her kin. 
Her foes now march, revenge in their hearts, 
so arise and take sword, to die for your queen.

Honourable Mentions

These other submissions didn’t win, but they’re well worth listening to!

Andrin the Brave

Andrin the Brave, by Alex Jones.

I was just a boy
When the red moon rose in the sky
Prayed all day Chalana Arroy
Heal that scar in the heavens on high

I’m fighting to free my homeland
From Lunar conquest that destroyed my tribe
I’m fighting to avenge the fallen
Against chaos magics that wreak destruction

My father taught me well
To serve Orlanth the King of the Gods
Live wild and free, your own path you must seek
Travel Glorantha to Kero Fins peak

I raise my sword shouting triumphantly
As I stand over a defeated foe
The battle rages around me, bronze clashing against bronze
Lances breaking on shield walls

I remember my first pilgrimage
Climbing that steep spike to the sky
Birthplace of Orlanth, Wintertop
Fearing the storm that I might die

Then I see fear in my comrades eyes
He’s seen his death and I wonder why
Then a terrible roar born of ten thousand dead or more
As a great dark shadow is cast from above

My father said do not be afeared
Because death is just part of life in this world
Now pick up your sword, there’s adventures ahead
This great mythic world must be explored

The colossal Crimson Bats wings block the stars
Its terrible eyes staring hungrily through my soul
I scream my last war cry, praying to Orlanth for strength
As I charge sword first into its great bloody maw

Andrin the brave they called me
And I fought to see Sartar free
My part in the struggle is over
But yours has just begun

A Joke

Jeremy Wong graced us with a simple but effective joke that got the judges talking for long time on the podcast!

A Glorantha’s Bard Tale

A Glorantha’s Bard Tale, by Michael Hammons.

Leika’s Eulogy for Kallyr

Leika’s Eulogy for Kally, by Morgan Conrad.

“Six score and eleven years ago, our father Sartar brought forth, in Dragon Pass, a new kingdom, conceived in unity, and dedicated to the worship of Orlanth and Ernalda.

Now we are engaged in a great war, testing whether our kingdom, or any kingdom so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We have come to commemorate a great hero, to honor and remember she who gave her life, that our kingdom might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this hero. Kallyr Starbrow, while living and dead, who struggled for us, consecrated herself far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what The Starbrow has done. 

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which Kallyr Starbrow has thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from her honored death we take increased devotion to that cause for which she gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve that the Queen of Sartar shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under Orlanth, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that a kingdom of the Father, of the Mother, for their people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Hello and welcome to another issue of Wind Whispers. As always, if you’re reading this in a web browser, you can register by email to receive your Gloranthan fix directly in your inbox.

Last week-end we saw the Glorantha Games 2020 and AlbaCon 2020 online conventions, with lots of opportunities to play on our favourite Bronze Age fantasy lozenge. Do you have anecdotes to share? Summaries and play reports posted on your blog or social media? Share them with us!

Conventions

Convention of Roleplay

James Chambers, a.k.a. JamesCORP from the Chambers of Roleplay YouTube channel (which features a couple of Gloranthan actual plays), is organizing the appropriately named “Convention of Roleplay” on December 19th and 20th. As is tradition these days, this is a fully online convention, so you can attend from wherever and whenever you are in the mundane spacetime.

There is no schedule available yet as the convention was only just announced, and they’re just calling on GMs to register games. If you have ever wanted to run a convention game, now is a good opportunity to do so! All the information you need is on the convention’s Warhorn page.

Chaosium

Casting a wide net on The Pegasus Plateau writers

On the Chaosium blog, MOB writes about how Jason Durall, line editor for RuneQuest, has “cast a wide net” when it came to putting together the adventures and settings of The Pegasus Plateau. You may also be interested in this older interview of Kalin Kadiev, art director on The Pegasus Plateau.

Which RuneQuest logo do you like?

Speaking of the Pegasus Plateau, some eagle-eyed (griffin-eyed?) community members pointed out that the RuneQuest logo typography had changed between The Smoking Ruin and The Pegasus Plateau. Here are the two covers:

The previous logo (on The Smoking Ruins) had also been in use for the three products inside the RuneQuest slipcase. The new logo had sneaked past us a few months ago at the bottom of the RuneQuest virtual backgrounds… Which logo do you prefer?

Loic Muzy shows off more previews

The French artist is still hard at work on the many, many illustrations of the Cults of Glorantha book (or whatever it’s called these days), but he took some time to share his take on the Trolls’ War God with us! What do you think?

Later, he also squeezed in another sneak preview…. can you guess what this is for?

Dragon Pass map work-in-progress

Chaosium shared this cartographic work-in-progress by Matt Ryan (who worked on some of the cartography in The Pegasus Plateau)… this is looking really nice and very readable:

Wait, did we say this was the map? No! This is only about 20% of the map!

Jonstown Compendium

Children of Melikaphkaz

Austin Conrad’s “Monster of the Month” series continues with “Children of Melikaphkaz“, which doubles as a preview of some other upcoming Jonstown Compendium entry called “Melikaphkaz: the O-God of Traps”.

Melikaphkaz is a Darkness god worshiped by those who build traps and defenses to create shelter in a hostile world.

This includes a new short-form cult, two new Rune spells, and, of course, some baddies to throw at your players: the titular children of Melikaphkaz and his immortal troll wife.

Elsewhere on Solara’s Web

Printed Glorantha Minis on HeroForge

The good people of the (unofficial) Chaosium Discord have been playing with HeroForge, a miniatures 3d printing service, trying to make designs for Gloranthan characters… check out what user Mirza was able to come up with: Jar-Eel, Harrek, and Gbaji!

Do you have HeroForge designs you’d like to share?

Tales from the Black Alynx

Neil Gibson, from The RuneQuest Project actual play podcast, is starting a new series called “Tales from the Black Alynx” in which he will talk to a variety of Jonstown Compendium authors. In the first episode he’s talking to Andrew Logan Montgomery, author of the very popular “Six Seasons in Sartar”. We’re glad to hear more Gloranthan authors interviews out there!

Review of The Smoking Ruins on RPGnet

RPGnet has a review of the first adventure book for RuneQuest:

Both setting and system deliver on everything they promised. The backstories go deep into the core of the adventures, the challenges are unique, the flavour is one-of-a-kind, the colours are vibrant, and the smells are breathtaking. It has a few warts (it could have helped the GM much more than it currently does), yet this doesn’t change anything. Buy, prepare, and play immediately; do not let it linger on your bookshelf.

Eric Vanel’s sculptures

Have you seen Eric Vanel’s sculpture of Jar-Eel before? Even if you have you can take a new look at it on Eric’s new website, which shows a few pictures of his creation process!

Meanwhile, on Earth

Heler isn’t happy about you

Check out this “wet micro burst” timelapse…. where in Glorantha is that?

Welcome to the 10th issue of Wind Whispers! If you’re reading this in a web browser, you can subscribe via email and get your Gloranthan fix directly in your inbox.

Conventions

You might remember that we previously advertised Pookie‘s “Glorantha Games 2020“, a one-day, online convention dedicated to… well, exactly what you’d expect given the name. Sign-up for games is now open but be warned that spots are filling in quickly! There are slightly more attendees than available spots so the organizers have limited everybody to only one game for now… choose wisely!

Organizers are also making another call for Gamemasters to add more sessions, so now is the time to finally run that all-Eurmal adventure or mischief and mayhem you always wanted to!

Chaosium

Moon Design Publications transfers ownership of the HeroQuest trademark to Hasbro

The decades-old confusion between “HeroQuest” (the classic boardgame), “HeroQuest” (the roleplaying-game), and “heroquest” (the Gloranthan activity of mythic re-enactment) is about to get a lot simpler! As you may remember from the last Wind Whispers, Hasbro was recently teasing a revival of the beloved 80’s boardgame. The countdown has finished and the game has been announced: without much surprise, this is a reboot of the original game, but with modern production values and a somewhat “Wizards of Coast”-esque art direction.

Note that the game is being crowdfunded on Habro’s own Kickstarter-esque platform “Hasbro Pulse”. You may be put off by the estimated shipping fees if you live out of the USA, however.

As many suspected, this means that Moon Design Publications (which is pretty much synonymous with Chaosium these days) has reached an agreement with Hasbro to transfer the “HeroQuest” trademark back to them. We hope they got a big lump of money out of the deal.

As far as our little niche is concerned, this means that all HeroQuest books will be “rebadged” as QuestWorlds, and Chaosium is selling off what will probably become collectors’ items in a few years. Grab these books while you can, especially since they have a pretty good discount!

The Pegasus Plateau is out in hardback!

The latest adventure book for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, “The Pegasus Plateau & Other Stories“, is out in hardback. The awesome adventures within feature festivals, griffins, haunted woods, troll caravans, and much more! Plus: a Greg Stafford cameo!

While some of us in the Great North or the Upside-Down are waiting for this book to show up in our local Chaosium warehouse, those of you in the USA and Europe can grab it right away!

As always with Chaosium’s generous PDF policy, if you bought this in PDF, you should have received a coupon for the physical book. Just remember to ask Chaosium for a combined coupon if you are doing a bulk purchase, as their online shop doesn’t support multiple coupons.

The Whispering Ruins

The Whispering Ruins is a short adventure seed originally published in the convention booklet (there used to be such things) for Dragonmeet 2019. Chaosium has made it available as a free PDF on their itch.io storefront.

Joerg’s eagle eye spotted something interesting in the marketing material at the end of the PDF, however: an announcement for “Gods of Glorantha”, mentioning about (only) 50 cults, rather than the 100 that Jeff originally announced. We’re not sure yet what this means, although we have a few ideas… do you want to speculate with us? Send us your theories!

Jonstown Compendium

Kingdom of the Flamesword

Did you like the medieval take on the Genertelan West featured in the HeroQuest sourcebook “The Book of Glorious Joy“? If so, Jamie Revell is back with the “Kingdom of the Flamesword“, which presents Seshnela as a “land of knights and wizards, humble peasants and demure damsels”. By the admission of the author, this is a non-canonical take on Glorantha, but that’s what the Jonstown Compendium is here for!

In a Merry Green Vale

Viven Prigent has been working on French material for the Lysang clan for a long while, so we’re delighted to see all this work translated to English and available for the masses in this system-less sourcebook! “In A Merry Green Vale” presents the original settlers of the Arfritha Vale, and closes the gap between the Colymar tribe (presented in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and the RuneQuest Gamemaster Adventures) and the Cinsina tribe (presented in The Coming Storm). Everything you need to run a Lysang clan game is provided: the history and deities of the clan, the wyter and other clan secrets, the clan ring and political situation, a gazeteer of the vale, etc.

The book uses a clever premise to resolve the difference between character knowledge and player knowledge, which is a common problem with Gloranthan campaigns. As Nick Brooke puts it in his capsule review:

The adventurers are the children of exiles, returning under an amnesty to a homeland they’ve never known, so the players can discover details of the setting alongside their characters.

The author promises an upcoming scenario pack for the Lysang clan. We can’t wait!

Around Solara’s Web

Thomas Rey’s portfolio

Thomas is the cartographer for the French version of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha (which we mentioned in the past as it was being successfully crowdfunded). His online portfolio includes Greebrass and Swenstown, so here’s your chance for a sneak peek at them!

Timeline of Gloranthan fanzines

The ever busy Nick Brooke has been making a Timeline of Gloranthan Fanzines, which he posted on the RuneQuest Facebook group. Here’s what it looks like:

It really helps puts in perspective how these different fanzine runs built upon each other! The 90s and early 2000s were really a busy time for the Gloranthan community… big thanks to all those grognards who participated in it!

Meanwhile, on Earth

The World’s Deadliest Weapon

Our readers might be interested in this history of the urumi, a flexible sword from India.

This may not quite be an appropriate weapon for Glorantha, unless you apply an alchemical switch between Quicksilver and Aluminum, or some sorcery to an aluminum blade (the incorrect spelling of aluminium is intentional, here…), but under MGF (“Maximum Game Fun”), anything is possible, really!

Why not steel or bronze? Steel is a dwarven concept, and we don’t see any mostali using this. In addition, the eastern Babadi are Octamonists typically refuse to deal with the Death Metal. Bronze simply doesn’t behave like this. Water on the other hand has the whip as one of its elemental weapons, so something could be done there…

Do you have any ideas to incorporate flexible weapons to Glorantha? Let’s hear them!

Blue People, for Real

Whether you are a fan of the smurfs, or a fan of the various Gloranthan people with equally blue skin, you might be interested in this article on “blue people” in Kentucky (even though the photograph is evidently a colorized monochrome image).

Thanks to the generosity of Neil Gibson, we have an extra prize for our talent contest “Glorantha Has Talent?”. Check out this marvelous cover:

Legion is the silver best-selling Broo NPC supplement for GMs running RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha games.

Broo are a prolific and varied adversary. This supplement provides 94 pre-rolled Chaos enemies from the aspirant lay members to deadly Rune Lord / Priests as well as new deadly diseases that will challenge even the most dedicated Chalana Arroy priestess. Includes 4 beautiful, full colour, full page Broo portraits.

As a reminder, the deadline for our contest was extended to October 5th so you still have some time to participate! For more info, including the list of prizes, check out this article.

Good luck!

After checking with our existing participants, we have decided to extend the submission deadline for Glorantha Has Talent?. We would like to see a few more folks sign up for a chance at our great prizes written and lovingly illustrated by ever so many wonderful people! The fine and grand titles we bestow and of course, the accolades love and adoration of glorantha-philes everywhere are just those little extras, special treats. So, to our great contestants, we hope you will all be okay with this delay and in the spirit of sportsmanship allow us to ramp up the competition a bit more. We talked among ourselves and unanimously (Podcast crew, Judges and our wonderful Sponsors) have decided we would extend Glorantha Has Talent?’s deadline by two weeks to get a bit more interest and beyond interest… ENTRIES!

Glorantha Has Talent?’s new and final deadline will be October the 5th at 12:00 AM or 2400 hours PDT (Pacific Daylight Savings Time) or about 2 weeks from now.

I am taking a bit of a chance here putting this forward without my partners—but I would be willing to say we can have the Prince of Entertainment (our first place winner) appear on the Wind Words podcast to tell us about their fantastic winning work. Woohoo. Heck, maybe even ask Joerg about lore…

Welcome to another issue of Wind Whispers. If you’re reading this in a web browser, you can subscribe via email and receive every new issue directly in your inbox.

Chaosium news

RuneQuest Classics in print-on-demand, soon

Chaosium’s Rick Meints is teasing the POD version of all those RQ2 titles, soon to be available via Chaosium’s website. The BRP forum link features a Facebook video, so if you have Facebook blockers in your browser, you can see the same video on Twitter.

You will need to make quite a bit of room on your shelves!

For the past 30 years or so, one would have had to find them on the second-hand markets, often featuring damaged box corners and margin annotations. These new POD versions won’t have the boxes and loose papers, but they will be much more affordable and annotation-free!

On the forums, Rick also answered some questions about the maps and other similar handouts from classic boxed sets like Trollpak:

Most of the RQ2 books never had any handouts. Large poster maps are already available on redbubble.com.

What few handouts there are for Borderlands and such can all be easily printed from the PDF. None of those were ever in color, nor did they go to the edges of the page.

Rick Meints, BRP forums

And also:

All of the red bubble maps for RQ2 are EXACTLY like the original map. We didn’t remove ANYTHING from them. We specifically set them up to go with these books, not as some “piece of art” devoid of game useful details. If you take a look at any of them you will see they have a legend on them.

Rick Meints

Finally, Rick answered a question about the potential for RQ3 reprints:

We don’t need a license to do the Avalon Hill era RQ3 supplements. Chaosium retained the copyright, especially on all the Gloranthan supplements. Greg got all that as his part of the split of Chaosium’s assets when he left the company in 1998, and Moon Design bought it all from him in 2013. Many of the RQ3 supplements that were RQ2 updates, like Apple Lane, Snake Pipe Hollow, the Gloranthan Bestiary, and TrollPak aren’t worth reprinting (at least beyond the TrollPak map). They aren’t different enough. The Monster Coliseum and Griffin Island boxed sets, RQ Cities are too generic. Daughters of Darkness and Eldarad are a hard pass. Not much point in reprinting Gods of Glorantha, Troll Gods, Elder Secrets, or the Genertela boxed sets as that range of info is already in print in a more comprehensive fashion, or soon will be. Reprinting Vikings and Land of Ninja are tempting, but they are not a priority. That just leaves Sun CountyStrangers in Prax, Shadows on the BorderlandDorastor, and Lords of Terror. We might reprint the first three, and maybe do the last two as a combo reprint, but I haven’t spent any time thinking about that. I would like to get the Troubled Waters scenario from River of Cradles reprinted, but I wouldn’t reprint the rest of the book since Pavis and Big Rubble are both available again.

Rick Meints

Let’s look at Rick’s shelves, featuring the new POD books (above), while we wait for a potential POD version of Wyrms Footnotes or, even, maybe, Tales of the Reaching Moon…

Chaosium at PAX Online

PAX 2020 Online is now finished and Chaosium has posted a summary of their events from last week. Following are a few highlights, but, most importantly, remember that Chaosium is running a 10% off sale at their website until the end of the month, using the “PAXONLINE2020” coupon code! It was supposed to only run during the duration of the convention, but it looks like they extended it by a week!

RuneQuest Live

Chaosium’s Todd Gardiner led a group of well-tattooed players through their first RuneQuest adventure…. finally, a game that features an Eurmali trickster!

Myth and Fantasy Gaming Panel

Glorantha’s Jeff Richard and Pendragon’s David Larkins are joined by video-game narrative designer Merry Borys-Piątkowska to talk about bringing mythic themes in gaming experiences.

Tips for writing in the RPG industry

Are you a Jonstown Compendium author, or are you thinking of becoming one? Community programs like these (including the Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu and Explorer’s Society for 7th Sea) are great ways of getting started. Chaosium’s Michal O’Brien (MOB) talks about it as part of a PAX Online panel on getting started on the RPG industry.

Jeff Richard interview on Niezwykłe Przygody

Polish RPG YouTube channel “Niezwykłe Przygody” (Google Translate tells me it means “Unusual Adventures”) has an English interview of Jeff Richard. It doesn’t contain much new information but, as always, there might be new details and anecdotes you haven’t heard before. In any case, I’m sure giving a thumbs up to a RuneQuest video is never a bad idea!

Gloranthan Maps at RedBubble

This will become more relevant as the aforementioned classic RQ2 print-on-demand books become available: many Gloranthan maps are available on Chaosium’s RedBubble store as posters, canvas, pouches, and even blankets! Among the most recently added items we have a remastered Sun County map, featured in the picture above.

Jonstown Compendium news

Since the Jonstown Compendium is hosted on DriveThruRPG, you might be interested to know that an optical and organizational change is upcoming. You can test the new look and feel on their “preview” website. There doesn’t seem to be any broad “community content” link on the front page anymore, but you can still get to the Jonstown Compendium via Chaosium’s publisher page. Our own Joerg likes the useful filter options on top, and Ludo appreciates the prettier and less cluttered layout that features bigger covers. What do you think?

Legion

Neil Gibson gives us a huge collection of Broo NPCs to stink up your games with danger and disease! The book has beautiful illustrations, various levels of detail between various NPCs, and new deadly diseases to challenge even the most dedicated Chalana Arroy healer. And, in case Broos make you go “ewww”, there is no mention of their breeding practices, so you can use this book to bring pure heavy metal goat-headed monsters to your table, without any of the problematic stuff!

War Elephants of Fonrit

After producing the impressive Armies and Enemies of Dragon Pass and Men of the West, Martin Helsdon doesn’t seem to be able to stop: apparently, his idea of “taking a break” is “producing a smaller book”. We’re not going to complain! His latest work is a small booklet titled War Elephants of Fonrit, which should pretty much tell you what it’s about.

Across Solara’s web

Rollenspiel in Glorantha

Our German correspondent reports that the German translation of “RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha” managed the basic funding in less than 90 minutes, which means that there will be German language rules. Now we are looking at how big it can become. Half of the stretch-goals are waiting: mainly digital excerpts from the GM Screen package, and the Colymar tribal and clan lands maps also in printed form, translated where necessary.

The folks are Chaosium are even pointing out some interesting trivia about Julia Rawcliffe, the German translator.

Sandy Petersen on alien lifespans

Sandy Petersen, of Glorantha and Call of Cthulhu fame (among many others), has a video channel mainly focused on Mythos related topics. However, his recent dive into the lifespans of various lifeforms, including alien ones, is full of ideas also appropriate for fantasy roleplaying (including a small jab at D&D!). What do you think the lifespans of various Gloranthan species is? Does the Man Rune dictate the life-spans of Gloranthan humanoids?

HeroQuest (the other one) is coming back?

The Avalon Hill website is featuring a countdown for something related to the old and legendary HeroQuest board game. The trademark had been abandoned some time in 2001 and Greg Stafford acquired it, making it possible to rename the then recent “HeroWars” into the “HeroQuest” we know and love. Last year, the trademark saw a bit of paperwork movement, seemingly letting Hasbro own it for board games, while Moon Design (and therefore Chaosium) retains it for roleplaying games. GeekNative has a bit more context… what do you think it is? Well, we won’t have much longer to find out.

Nick Brooke in Black Gate magazine

The previously mentioned Black Gate online magazine recently featured an article by Nick Brooke. As you might expect, Nick writes about A Rough Guide to Glamour, the Jonstown Compendium, Tales of the Reaching Moon, and other Brookian topics.

RuneQuest combat example

If you have a bit of trouble wrapping your head around the crunchy combat system of RuneQuest (we’re not going to blame you on that), playing an example combat might help. BRP forum member Trotsky took it a step further and wrote down his experience, along with nice screenshots of his Roll20 setup. Later, Runeblogger got the permission to post the whole thing on his blog for posterity. Check it out! Can you spot any mistakes? Did you learn something?

Meanwhile, on Earth

Longhouses aren’t just for Vikings

This short video shows us that some inspiration for Orlanthi culture doesn’t necessarily come from the Vikings. Linear Band Ceramic (LBK) culture brought agriculture, long houses, and a social segregation into carls and cottars during the neolithic period. The video is full of story seeds, even if some of the presented material is speculation. Our hobby is a speculative one, so who cares?

LBK is one of the first “Hill Barbarian”-like cultures in Europe, even though they spread along river valleys, whereas Gloranthan rivers invaded pre-existing agricultural lands. But that is a potential topic for a podcast episode.

Some suggested reading comes in the video description, so if you have access to a university library or another academic outlet, hunt these up!

Exploring Roman cities

The always fascinating Digital Maps of the Ancient World has a compilation of Roman cities you can explore as a superimposition of points of interests on Google Maps. You might get some good scenario or NPC ideas after clicking on a few buildings!

And now, for something completely different

We know that many Gloranthan gamemasters play an incredibly diverse and, sometimes, ahem, “original” musical selection during their games. So what about, say, a cover of a Nirvana song in classical Latin? (Joerg is guessing that it might be titled “Olet de anima decennialorum”)

There are quite a few other “anachronistic” covers around on the tube, which some people call “bardcore” with a tongue firmly planted in the cheek. Check out some medieval ACDC or Metallica, for instance, or maybe even some Deep Purple!