RuneQuest is copyright 2023 Chaosium Inc., Old-School Essentials is copyright 2023 Necrotic Gnome

This new initiation episode features Matt, a school teacher who recently moved to Virginia and does the Lord of Chaos’ good work by introducing kids to roleplaying games.

Show Notes

Things we mention in this episode include:

  • Starting with D&D (of course).
  • Getting “sucked” into Vampire: The Masquerade and the World of Darkness setting, particularly Mage: The Ascension.
    • We don’t need to get into the weeds of the WoD metaplot.
  • Discovering the OSR movement, and especially OSE.
  • Going from Troika to Seth Skorkowski to Call of Cthulhu to RuneQuest 2nd edition (classic reprint)
  • Reading RQ2 cover to cover. It has layers of complexity but somehow in a simple way. It’s less crunchy than, say, Lancer.
  • Rurik’s saga in the RQ2 rulebook gives a fascinating glimpse of the setting.
  • The idea of ransom is very interesting, especially to prevent PCs from always killing everyone.
  • Cults of Prax also has a very interesting narrative, and expands nicely upon the cults glimpsed at in the RQ2 rulebook.
  • The new RQG books are like RQ2 but with a lot (a lot!) more pages, and great art (some of the best ever found in an RPG product).
  • Matt had a false-ish start as an RQG gamemaster, but has now found a player spot in someone else’s game.
  • RQG character creation is way too long and complicated.
    • Too many choices to make.
    • Lots of information that that needs to be looked up about the setting.
    • Somehow RQ2 did a better job teasing the setting but implying that “nobody knows more that this”. Comparatively, RQG teases the setting in a way that sends the reader to the Glorantha Sourcebook and other lore books.
    • This might be because reading RQ2 puts the reader back at the origin of the game.
  • Matt ran the Broken Tower but the first character took three evenings to create. He therefore used a more “we’ll figure it out as we go” approach, coupled with pre-gens, for the other characters and the lore.
    • Not looking up all the lore you don’t need for an adventure is important.
  • The Glorantha Sourcebook might be required reading to explain a lot of stuff from the rulebook (like the many places, events, and NPCs mentioned in the Family History).
  • Dreaming of a simpler character creation system, like Call of Cthulhu’s faster creation options from the Investigator Handbook.
  • Matt experienced the Broken Tower a second time as a duck, and is now on to more adventures in Dragon Pass… including going to the Shaker Temple and descending into Hell!
  • Matt wouldn’t necessarily recommend RQ2 as a first dive into Glorantha, but he recommends it as a good rules system read.
  • Matt recommends the RuneQuest Starter Set and its world-book as a first contact with Glorantha.
    • But Sartar is Matt’s least interesting place to game in.
  • Matt changes his mind and recommends Khan of Khan instead to get started… but we discuss how the game is now out of print.
  • Ducks are real cool, and the Spirit World is cool too.
  • Matt isn’t really interested in metaplots in general, and Glorantha’s Hero Wars isn’t any different.
    • We talk a bit about various ways of playing around a metaplot, or ignoring it.
    • Joerg argues about taking on the role of the main heroes of a metaplot.
  • Matt wishes there was more information outside of Sartar and the River of Cradles, and outside of the Orlanthi pantheon.
    • Again, the Sourcebook is recommended reading, but (at the time of recording) the release of the first few cult books was imminent.
  • Matt asks his question for Joerg, about how the Mindlink spells aren’t in RQG.
    • Ludo talks about the dark-elf walkie-talkie hack, and Joerg mentions the Waertagi sort of did that already.
  • As we go through the wildcard questions, we also go on a tangent about Yelmalio (who else?) that leads us through the God Time, the Dawn, and up to the Sandheart campaign.


The intro music is “Dancing Tiger” by Damscray. The outro music is “Islam Dream” by Serge Quadrado. Other audio is from the FreeSound library.

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