Hello and welcome to the fourth instalment of Wind Whispers. If you’re reading this in a browser, remember that you can also receive this newsletter by email by subscribing here.
The Dragon’s Eye is announced
Chaosium just announced that a new RuneQuest: Glorantha sourcebook is in development, and it’s called “The Dragon’s Eye”. This is notable for two reasons.
First, the supplement is written by Jonathan Tweet, whose name should be familiar to anybody who played at least a few RPGs. We’re not going to list his entire resume but let’s just say he co-wrote the old RQ3 Strangers in Prax, and the more recent 13th Age: Glorantha, being also the co-author of 13th Age itself. Of note, he is also the co-author of Ars Magica, which drew inspiration from RuneQuest and, later, influenced RuneQuest back with its innovative sorcery mechanics.
Second, this new supplement will allegedly showcase the “variability” of Glorantha, as per the saying “Your Glorantha May Vary” (YGMV):
Originally conceived as “Your Glorantha May Vary”, this collection of locations demonstrates the versatility of the setting, putting that phrase to work by showing new and veteran gamemasters alike how to customize and make the world of Glorantha their own.Chaosium blog
It’s not totally clear how that will materialize in the book, but Jonathan tells us that the book is gearing up to be mostly system agnostic, and should have plenty of material even for those running Gloranthan games using HeroQuest or 13th Age.
Read the full announcement on Chaosium’s blog.
Episode 4 of the While Bull campaign
Episode 4 of Jeff Richard’s house campaign is up on Twitch! It should be up on YouTube soon, too, as usual.
David Scott and Ian Cooper on The Rolistes podcast
David Scott (one of Chaosium’s convention coordinators, and an underrated source of Gloranthan knowledge) and Ian Cooper (the line editor for HeroQuest/QuestWorlds) were interviewed by The Rolistes podcast during the Chaosium UK Meetup that happened just before the COVID-19 lockdown in March. In this episode they chat with their host about the (then upcoming) QuestWorld SRD, the guests’ origin stories, and many other interesting things.
You can learn more about The Rolistes on their website.
Resources for online play
Chaosium seems to have been expanding a bit on their online play resources lately. There’s probably nothing new for the experienced players in the audience, but it might be worth pointing to the newbies in your entourage. In particular, Chaosium now has separate pages for each game. Here’s the RuneQuest page, and here’s the HeroQuest page.
RuneQuest en Français
Note quite Chaosium news, but close enough: the French version of RuneQuest: Glorantha seems to have come back from the printer. Does this cover look like it has some embossing?
And let’s not forget that this version of the rulebook contains rule fixes (like some occupation skill bonuses) along with an original scenario!
There’s nothing to report on the Jonstown Compendium this week.
Remember that if you’re wondering which PDF(s) might be interesting to you, Nick Brooke has a cheap but well maintained index of all Jonstown Compendium scenarios and sourcebooks. For only half a Lunar, you get some solid information that will let you decide what to buy next… it even includes a map of where each PDF is set!
Glorantha Games 2020 is happening online
Glorantha Games is a one-day gaming convention dedicated to, well, roleplaying in Glorantha, and that usually happens in Birmingham, UK, for the enjoyment of all the lucky people who happen to live in this hotbed of tabletop gaming. This year it was supposed to happen in April but agents of Mallia had other plans, and the event was understandably cancelled.
Well, as we’ve learned these past few months, COVID-19-related cancellations are not always all bad news, with conventions moving online and, therefore, being accessible to a broader and more diverse audience! Glorantha Games 2020 is therefore open for anyone that can get online on October 3rd. You can register on Warhorn to be notified when further information is revealed.
Loic Muzy’s allied spirit
Loic Muzy, who recently woke up to a Best Cover Art Ennie Award for Berlin: The Wicked City, seems to be hard at work on the upcoming big cults book for RuneQuest. Not only did we get a couple of glimpses of his work in progress on social media, we also got to meet his allied spirit and, probably, assistant.
Ian Cooper, line editor for QuestWorlds (the new generic line that came out of the HeroQuest rules), has been quite active on the QuestWorlds Facebook group, encouraging community members to participate in the design process for the SRD and upcoming rulebook. This is what he had to say about a Gloranthan sourcebook for QuestWorlds:
For now, HQG is the main published text for Glorantha. QuestWorlds is available but still in development. So the SRD will undergo some revisions before being final. One design goal is the make it more rules-lite, yes.In addition it will be a generic presentation. In the medium term, for Glorantha you are probably best of grabbing HQG and incorporating any rules changes from QW you are comfortable with. That may end up, for you, with only really using the ‘genre pack’ elements of HQG such as the magic, keywords etc.A “QuestWorlds Glorantha” will come at some point, and will probably be more than just a reprint of HQG with the new mechanics. But that is a way off.Ian Cooper, QuestWorlds Facebook group
About RuneQuest 3 remasters
Rick Meints, president of Chaosium and expert archivist, gave us some behind-the-scenes information about the state of RQ3’s catalog with regards to seeing it re-released in the same vein as the RQ2 catalog:
I have said this on other threads, but there is no rights issue with the vast majority of RQ3 material. If you look at the credits page of almost ANY RQ3 supplement your will see that it is copyrighted by Chaosium and not by Avalon Hill. Greg made very sure that they retained the copyright, and when he left Chaosium his part of the split was taking all of those copyrights with him. Moon Design Publications owns all the rights to RuneQuest and Glorantha, both in terms of trademarks and IP. So why haven’t we reprinted more RQ3 product? It’s just down to time and resources. We do not have electronic copies of any RQ3 material in a laid out form. Those layouts were all done as cut and paste until late in the life cycle of RQ3, and Avalon Hill deleted the layout files for whatever they had for the last books in the RQ3 line several decades ago. That said, a few RQ3 books may get released as “Classics”, but they haven’t even been started yet. To be fair, getting a copy of Dorastor, Sun County, and similar isn’t that hard on eBay, and you probably wouldn’t have to pay more than $30-$40 for any of them if you have a bit of patience. I know a few sellers have copies listed for far more than that, but those don’t sell. If you are based in the US, feel free to send me your want list of RQ3 items you are looking for.Rick Meints, BRP Forums
Elsewhere on Arachne’s web
Griselda’s bedtime stories
Friend of the show Pookie, from Reviews From R’lyeh fame, has an ongoing YouTube series where he reads the Griselda Tales, written by Oliver Dickinson. That’s a great way to relax before going to sleep, or something nice to listen to while cooking or working out… after you’ve finished listening to the latest Wind Words episode of course!
The latest video in the series is Episode 14: Holding the Baby:
The Complete Griselda tales are available in PDF from Chaosium.
Jason Durall on the GrognardFiles
Jason Durall, Chaosium’s line editor for RuneQuest: Glorantha, is a very busy man, as he’s also a line editor for the Conan RPG at Modiphius. Since this RPG is based on the quintessential sword & sorcery tales of Robert E. Howard, RuneQuest players might find some interest in learning more about it…. and what best for this than Jason being interviewed by Dirk The Dice on the ever excellent Grognard Files podcast?
Greg Stafford’s plan B
Speaking of Conan, here’s an unexpected thing: when Greg Stafford founded The Chaosium in 1975 (it had a “The” back then!), his backup plan was a wood-carving studio. Only a few specimens of Greg’s wood work exist, but some lucky fan obtained this Hyborian-related art piece on eBay:
Taking a look at these Gloranthan coins
Back in Wind Whispers #3, we mentioned that Campaign Coins, makers of fine RPG related tokens, had announced Clacks, Lunars, and other familiar types of coins. If you want to see what they look like in video, Loscha has you covered with the coins he recently received.
Of course, Chaosium got a bunch themselves.
Timothy Brannan’s RPG blog and publishing outlet “The Other Side” recently had a review of Trollpak, the classic RuneQuest supplement that made it possible to play as everybody’s favourite munchers (including recipes for better roleplay!). The review goes over the contents of the books, adds a touch of context and a history, and overall highlights how innovative Trollpak was, especially in terms of showcasing non-human factions as something else than purely one-dimensional monsters.
Trollpak is available in PDF directly from Chaosium.
Map of Dragon Pass
WayneBooks, a fine purveyor of used and out-of-print games, has recently posted a blog article about Dragon Pass (the old board game) and its history. For those of you who not lucky enough to own a copy, the article contains many pictures of what’s in the box. Note that WayneBooks has several Glorantha-related items for sale, including Dragon Pass itself.
Interview with Pavic Tales founders
Shannon Applecline, the RPG industry’s most prominent historian, recently ran an interview with Mark Corbett and Jim Mozley over at RPG.net. Mark and Jim are two of the founders for Pavic Tales, the first known RuneQuest fanzine, which ran between 1987 and 1989.
If you want more RPG history, you can visit Shannon Applecline’s website and purchase the awesome “Designers & Dragons“, a series of books that each cover a decade of industry news and gossip in detail. This includes, of course, a history of Chaosium’s early years.
The Dice are Screaming: A Rough Guide to Glamour
RPG podcast “The Dice are Screaming” did a review of “A Rough Guide to Glamour“. We’re pretty sure there wasn’t any live performance of “Pelorian Rhapsody” in there, unlike on our own podcast, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t just as interesting and entertaining.
You can listen to their episode over here.
The D-Infinity game network runs RuneQuest articles every Thursdays on their website. This week’s article is about Sir Ethilrhist’s Black Horse Company, while, for instance, a previous week focused on the ever lovable Tusk Riders. Most of these articles are from Clint Staples, and they cover a wide range of RuneQuest or Gloranthan topics… something else to read every week!
Meanwhile, on Earth
Baboons with knives and chainsaws!
These roaming bands of baboon bandits are out of control!
Another rebel naiad
It looks like we found another river spirit rebelling against Magasta’s orders to plug the hole in the centre of the world… look at her going upwards, apparently under the influence of Orlanth…
New research on the origins of human population in the Americas
The evidence is a bit strenuous, and therefore still hotly debated, but some new discoveries in Mexico could indicate that humans have been living on the American continent for a lot longer than previously thought. This date has been steadily pushed back since the Clovis culture theory of the 1950s, but we are now possibly looking at as far back as 33,000 years ago.