I recently received my delivery of the crowdfunded French edition of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, and I figured some of you might want to know what’s in it. While this post is categorized as a review, it’s actually just a first look — I have only skimmed things.
Edit: I forgot about the extra material in the Gamemaster Adventures booklet! This is now fixed. Thanks 7Tigers!
More Edit: I added some pictures, and mentioned the printed Rune Fixes.
At first glance, this looks very much like Chaosium’s edition, but with a different back cover art on the slipcase, and a whole bunch of extra handouts.
This back art is made by Joann Sfar, who French Gloranthaphiles might know as the artist of Donjon, a long-running and spin-off laden fantasy series featuring… a duck protagonist.
In addition to the slipcase, there is a “Book of Magic”, seen bottom right in the above picture. This is not the Red Book of Magic but a shorter book with only the spells from the core rulebook and the bestiary. There’s an adventure book called “Enfants de la Flamme” (“Children of the Flame”), seen upper right. Finally, there’s a whole bunch of handouts and reference booklets, seen bottom left.
Obviously inserted last (at packing time) is an errata sheet, which is very nice of Studio Deadcrows to have printed:
The main slipcase has familiar contents at first glance, but there’s more than meets the eye.
First, the rulebook and bestiary have a little embossing for the main characters on the cover. It’s not easy to see in the picture below, but trust me, it’s there. I’m personally not a fan of this, it adds some sort of artificial separation between these characters and the rest of the piece, but hey, French editions of Chaosium products have a long history of trying (and often arguably succeeding) to make things prettier than the originals.
Second, the gamemaster screen is in portrait orientation, compared to Chaosium’s landscape one.
The contents behind the screen are pretty much the same however:
Thirdly, rulebook has a few tweaks compared to Chaosium’s version. For instance, occupations like the Hunter now get a proper amount of skills. But more importantly, the rulebook now contains a scenario!
This scenario, “Quand l’Esprit Faillit” will be known to members of the Cult of Chaos under the title “The Fainting Spirit”. It has been tweaked a bit, but not significantly as far as I can tell.
Interestingly enough, the bestiary also gets an exclusive adventure, titled “Faux-Semblants” (which you could translate as “Subterfuge”).
Fourthly, the Gamemaster Adventures book actually contains extra material: 16 pages on the Ernaldori clan.
It includes a history of the clan, current politics, clan ring, other clan NPCs (like the local shaman), and a write-up of Greenbrass, one of the clan’s rural settlements, complete with some scenario seeds, a few illustrations, and a map.
Finally, the Gamemaster Pack (including the Gamemaster Adventures book) are wrapped in a sturdy plastic case (see below), instead of the flimsy cardboard “dock” that came with the Chaosium slipcase.
This is nice if you want to keep all the contents of the gamemaster pack in the slipcase, which isn’t really possible with Chaosium’s, since there’s a good chance you’ll have a damaged cardboard dock by the third time to take things out and back again… but then again, this is also why Chaosium was aiming to make a Gamemaster Guide that fits exactly in the slipcase along with the rulebook and the bestiary.
Still inside the Gamemaster Pack, the first Rune Fixes has been printed and included:
There are a lot of handouts in this whole thing. These are mostly reference sheets. As you can see below, there are sheets for rules, equipment stats, information on Runes, Gloranthan pantheons, and cheat sheets for Elder Races and monsters (one side is art, the other side is stats).
Dundealos Campaign Book
Now for the big piece of exclusive content: the Dundealos campaign book, seen below next to the Dundealos tribal map, is a 130 pages book with production values that almost rivals those of Chaosium’s own adventure books.
The book contains a write-up of the Dundealos tribe and of Swenstown that is similar in length, structure, and content to that of the Colymar tribe and Clearwine Fort in the Gamemaster Adventures book.
It’s followed by the campaign proper, which contains an introduction and six adventures. These scenarios see the adventurers help reunite and re-establish the Dundealos tribe, now that the Dragonrise has mostly rid their lands of the Lunars who took it from them. But of course, they also have to deal with the powerful draconic powers that were released in the process, and the warlord from Prax that is coming riding that wave.
The campaign starts in Swenstown, goes to Prax and back, lets you meet Argrath, participate in a heroquest (with some simple custom rules for that), and plenty of other seemingly cool stuff.
So that’s it for this quick tour of the French edition of RuneQuest! Did I forget anything important? Do you have follow-up questions? Please contact us!
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