Journal of Runic Studies 100


This week marks the amazing milestone of the 100th issue of the Journal of Runic Studies! Sadly, this is also the occasion to announce that I’m stopping publication of the Journal… so I guess there is no 100th issue after all and I just lied!

Such is the role of the Trickster.

It’s been a pretty eventful couple of years since we started doing newsletters. The first one was Wind Whispers, back when the podcast was called Wind Words. A worldwide pandemic happened, and it was relaunched when the podcast mutated into The God Learners. If you look at that very first issue, and compare it to any of the last few issues, the structure hasn’t changed much. But other things have changed, including:

  • Chaosium designers, especially Jeff Richard and David Scott, have become very active online, interacting with the Gloranthan and RuneQuest communities. We originally were the only place attempting to archive all this information, but David stepped up wonderfully and it now gets almost all archived on the Well of Daliath.
  • The community content programs for Chaosium games have become an immense success. During the Wind Whispers run we saw the appointment of Nick Brooke to the position of ambassador for the Jonstown Compendium, which now has more than 250 titles.
  • The fan base has grown tremendously, with many old hands and newcomers alike (re)discovering Glorantha. We started our Glorantha Initiation series to interview the latter, and still have many more people to talk to (if you’re waiting for me to reply to your email, know that I haven’t forgotten you!)

Those of us who came to Glorantha with the new RuneQuest line might not appreciate it, but I’m told by 1990s gamers that it’s quite an amazing thing to be able to fill several pages of weekly content for such a niche thing.

In addition to that, I’ve been learning a lot about both Glorantha and Earth. I’ve become genuinely fascinated by the ancient world, not just for gaming potential (although that, too) but simply because it’s super cool. I hope that you enjoyed following me as I researched, discovered, and mused about both worlds.

This all takes a fair amount of time. It takes between three and five hours to make an issue of the Journal, depending on how much research (thank the gods for PDF searches!) or YouTube-watching or whatever else I want to go through on a given week. I was glad to do it because it gave me a good excuse to learn more about Glorantha, about ancient history, about gamemastering, and more.

But I’m creating more RPG content lately. I’ve got an increasing amount of illustrations to make, half a dozen manuscripts to finish, and a few other unrelated hobbies and projects I’ve been neglecting. To continue, the Journal would require two or three other regular contributors… so after taking a good long look at my ever-expanding list of fun things I want to do, I had to prioritize. Hence this final hundredth issue. Which, again, is not a real issue!

Here’s what you can hopefully expect this year from me in terms of Glorantha-related material:

  • The podcast continues, of course. Only the newsletter stops. Joerg and I will be recording the next episode this week-end, in fact.
  • “The Bloody Banquet”, the all-Telmori one-shot RuneQuest adventure that I ran at ChaosiumCon (pictured above), is likely to be my next publication on the Jonstown Compendium. It’s almost fully written: it needs stat blocks (uuugh) and a couple of editing passes.
  • My long coming “kids intro campaign” for RuneQuest is next. It’s nicknamed “Goonies in Glorantha”, and this should tell you all need to know. The real title will almost definitely not be as good. It’s designed to easily introduce both players and gamemasters to Glorantha. It’s about half-written, but I don’t know yet if it will all fit in one book…
  • You should see my art in a few other Jonstown Compendium books this year. If all goes well, you might even notice me getting better!
  • With a couple of extra hours of free time each week, you may expect a few more occasional Runic Rants, Found Documents, and other similar articles around these parts. Maybe.

Of course, the goal is to spend my time doing other things anyway — if you’re into Call of Cthulhu, Delta Green, or Vaesen, you might see one or two things. If you’re into open-source development, you might too. And if you’re my neighbour, you might hear me playing more music.

I want to extend a big thank-you to everybody who supported the newsletter in the past, whether it was by subscribing to it, sharing it on social media, commenting on it, or sending us emails with corrections. Thank you for showing me I wasn’t just talking to an empty room! And on the topic of talking to an empty room, thank you to everybody who listens to and supports the God Learners podcast. Frankly, when I started it I genuinely expected to have only a dozen listeners for such a niche thing. Apparently, there’s more than a dozen of you giant nerds who want to hear people talk about an imaginary historically-incorrect fantasy world. Who knew!

If you want to follow what we’re doing, there are many options:

  • We are on Facebook, Twitter, and Mastodon. These are news-only accounts, so if you prefer my personal shenanigans, head over there.
  • You can also find Joerg and myself Discord. We hang around the various Chaosium and Glorantha related servers. If you need an invite link, contact us.
  • If you’re doing things right, you use an RSS newsreader and can subscribe to our main feed.
  • Hopefully you’re already subscribed to our podcast. If we do something really cool, we’ll probably mention it in the next episode. And you know Joerg: if it’s mentioned, it will be in the show notes!

Finally, please support us by using my affiliate DriveThruRPG code! Click here and start buying things! Hopefully, this includes my own RuneQuest adventures “A Short Detour” and “Bog Struggles“!

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2 comments on “Journal of Runic Studies 100

  1. Marah May 21, 2023

    Respect for doing it so long and putting so much effort into it. Its valid to change priorities and I wish you good luck with this. But personally I am also a bit sad, as I only found this Journal beginning of this year and was my number one source of what’s going up as there seems to be no other great one to update me about current state of products (unless u know, do tell, otherwise maybe your secret sauce heh).
    Anyways, thanks for your shared time and well, service to the community. We will look forward to what else you will create.

    • Thanks Marah! I don’t know of other good places that aggregate all the news sources related to Glorantha (that’s why I started the Journal in the first place!) but hanging out around the Facebook groups or Discord servers will probably get you most of the way there… have fun!