Journal of Runic Studies #26


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.

This is a short week: neither Jeff nor us wrote anything. But at least Jeff has an excuse: the week was dominated by the release of the latest RuneQuest book!

Chaosium News

Here are this week’s Chaosium news!

The RuneQuest Weapons & Equipment PDF it Out!

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The Weapons & Equipment sourcebook for RuneQuest is out in PDF!

From the little I’ve read so far it’s a great addition to the RuneQuest line. Like the Bestiary before it, it’s a lot more than what you’d think at first glance. Both books are not just a list of creature or equipment stats because, in traditional Gloranthan fashion, they firmly anchor these creatures and items in the setting, providing extremely valuable world-building in the process. In particular, the Weapons & Equipment books provides much welcome information on the everyday life of the people of Dragon Pass. So if you’re not too interested in the book because you felt the rulebook was providing enough, know that there’s a lot more to it than extra tables of swords and shields!

Also, it feels like I spotted the Beer With Teeth mark in some of the more archeological flourishes of the text… I can tell, because I learned a whole bunch of new words!

ChaosiumCon Events

Chaosium has released a preliminary list of the events that will run during ChaosiumCon! Seminars, VIP game sessions, community content creator game sessions, an auction, a Gloranthan LARP, and more… this is exciting!

Also, ChaosiumCon is now accepting submissions for events!

In addition to Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, Pendragon and 7th Sea, we want everything from the entire history of Chaosium. Run that game of Stormbringer! Or run something new, such as Würm. Who has some decks of Mythos they want to play? 

You just have to fill up a Google Form document to get started.

(Ludovic writing here) Note that if everything goes well (which often doesn’t these days…), I’ll be at ChaosiumCon. I hope some of you will come say hello!

Primers on Orlanth and Ernalda

Chaosium’s James Coquillat started a series of interviews with Jeff Richard on the deities of Glorantha. The first two videos are out, on Orlanth and Ernalda respectively. They’re great short primers that are appropriate to forward to some new RuneQuest players, for instance.

Elf Pack Manuscript Completed

Shannon Appelcline has completed his manuscript for the upcoming Aldryami sourcebook, currently called “Elf Pack” as a sort-of call back to the original “Trollpak” sourcebook.

That’s not the only reference to it since the manuscript is similarly divided into 3 section: “Book of Aldryami” (for creating and playing elves), “Aldryami Lore” (elf legends and history), and “Into the Woods” (elf adventures). The whole thing comes up to a whooping 137000 words, including a few funny extras, again like Trollpak:

I also wrote a few handouts that could go in a box, including elf poetry in “triku” (treeku?) form.

Shannon shared some information about the making of the book:

This is my third take on Gloranthan elves, one of the previous ones published (for MRQ), one not (for HQ). I am quite confident that it’s the best of the set. I was happy with my MRQ book, but it was written *very* quickly; while the unpublished HQ book was too big picture, making it more of a worldwide Guide than a gameable supplement. But this time, Jeff had defined a very gameable line for RQ:G, centered on Dragon Pass, so that ensured that my book would be very gameable too.

That also led me to writing my four goals for the book:
1. Depict an alien race
2. Create a fantastical sense of wonder
3. Make everything very playable
4. Make much of the material very local

Don’t get too excited yet though: the manuscript still need to go through editing, art direction, layout, and so on, so I don’t imagine we’ll see its printed dead tree pages until 2024 or something.

Jonstown Compendium

The Jonstown Compendium is Chaosium’s community content program for all 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!

Secrets of HeroQuest is Available in POD

© 2021 Stormspearia & Chaosium Inc.

Simon Phipp’s Secrets of HeroQuesting is now available in hardcover on DriveThruRPG. The book gives you Simon’s, err, secrets on, err, heroquesting.

The Seven Tailed Wolf is Coming

© 2021 Andrew Logan Montgomery & Chaosium Inc.

Andrew Logan Montgomery is teasing the third instalment in the Haraborn series, after Six Seasons in Sartar and Company of the Dragon. It features adventures for the surviving members of the Haraborn clan who come back once again to their lands, plus some material originally intended for the first two books that was cut for space.

Community Roundup

The community roundup is our highlight of interesting things being mentioned in the Glorantha-related Facebook groups, sub-Reddits, and other similar online places.

Teasing the Periplus of Southern Genertela

Martin Helsdon (of the Armies & Enemies of Dragon Pass fame) has been writing a “Periplus of Southern Genertela”, a half-fiction, half-fake-archeological-item where the narrator travels around the Holy Country and beyond, telling of their travels and encounters. He was posting them on Facebook at first but it quickly grew too big for that. So he has made a book, and recently commissioned Katrin Dirim to illustrate it. Here’s a sneak peek, courtesy of Fenris Games:

It’s unclear where that book will be available from, though: the rules of the Jonstown Compendium exclude the possibility of publishing non-gaming material such as pure fiction.

Weapons & Equipment Reviews

Some people apparently read a LOT faster than me, or just, you know, have a lot more free time to dedicate to reading RPG books. Probably a mix of both… lucky bastards. But anyway, sure enough, the new RuneQuest book has a few reviews already available, in case my little blurb up there didn’t convince you.

Andrew Logan Montgomery (of Six Seasons in Sartar‘s fame) does a good overview of the book’s contents, with a sprinkle of his opinion on the book:

Look, it is easy to call anyone of these titles “indispensable.” The Red Book of Magic is the “indispensable” guide to spirit and Rune magic, the Glorantha Bestiary is the “indispensable” book of Gloranthan monsters, beasts, and Elder Races. But Weapons & Equipment is different. GMs and players should both want to have this, because even just reading random sections of it, Glorantha springs to life. It is like going from 2 to 3D.

RPG Imaginings already has a video, too:

On Twitter, he says:

RuneQuest’s new Weapons and Equipment supplement deftly avoids one of my biggest gripes in fantasy TTRPGs: it is not about bigger numbers for your hit-point smasher. Chaosium’s RuneQuest stands apart by putting culture and setting first.

Weaving Stories in RuneQuest

SkullDixon has a lengthy but very interesting play report over on his blog, titled “Baboons in the Apple Orchard“. He frames it as what to do during downtime, but the interesting bits for me were how he’s effectively weaving multiple storylines into his game (the original Apple Lane scenario, the new Apple Lane setting, the HeroWars “meta-plot”, including the upcoming Battle of Dangerford, and so on), and how he’s playing with time-frames with (that is: it’s not so much “what we do during downtime” for me and more “let’s fast-forward by a day or two here and there and let the story unfold over a longer time frame“, which is something I like doing occasionally).

Non-Violent Characters in RuneQuest

The Beer With Teeth blog is getting a lot of posts (you have to wonder if Diana has time for her day job anymore), but one that stood out was the collection of notes on creating and playing a non-violent character in RuneQuest. I’m looking forward to more notes from Xenofos about Lenta!

Citadel Miniatures Trolls

Photo and painting by Phil Leedell, miniatures by Citadel

Here are some lovely painted troll miniatures from back in the RuneQuest 2 days when the trolls had a folk-ish “old witch” sort of look, courtesy of Phil Leedell.

Phil also showed his great painting skills by reproducing one of the shield designs from the RuneQuest Starter Set’s SoloQuest cover:

Photo and painting by Phil Leedell

Esrolian Militia Miniatures

Photo by George Maczugowski

And here are some more miniatures, this time thanks to George Maczugowski. It’s an Esrolian Town Militia with “snazzy goose motif shields“!

Elsewhere on Arachne Solara’s Web

Not everything is about Glorantha, although most things are! Here are loosely relevant things that we found on the interwebs.

Where to Build Your Village

This is a great video for worldbuilding. Andrew Millison is a permaculture instructor, and what he says here can be used to put your Sartarite hamlets and towns in believable places, with building shapes, orientations, and distributions that make sense. There’s even a “fluvial geomorphology” aside that might give you ideas for how correctly placating the local naiad can affect the landscape and people (including the ability to not place your village “where it makes sense”!)

Thank you for reading

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

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