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Kanthor's Islands - Glorantha Area Maps
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/03/2022 04:51:41

Cartographer Mikael Mansen is creating really beautiful maps of Gloranthan regions in Photoshop. They hit a sweet spot between the "just the facts" precision of Colin Driver's Argan Argar Atlas (whose details they replicate) and Matt Ryan's Dragon Pass (as seen in the RQ Starter Set), and the beauty of the more artistic maps created by Darya Makarava, Olivier Sanfilippo and William Church. They look very much like satellite photographs of the Lozenge, if the Mostali would ever share such artifacts, or (more pleasingly to this reviewer) like the view from the surface of the Red Moon. The premium price is IMO justified by the effort that goes into creating these, and Mikael responds quickly to feedback, correcting typos and even expanding on previous map collections as his coverage grows. Highly recommended, if the AAA leaves you wanting more. Visit www.mikaelsmaps.com for samples and commission details.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kanthor's Islands - Glorantha Area Maps
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Cups of Clearwine
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2021 05:49:10

In "Cups of Clearwine," the Beer With Teeth collective details a more up-market corner of the Colymar tribal capital, fleshing out the everyday lives of the residents of Sandy Corner (or “Elisanda’s Grove,” as older and more aspirational locals still call it). Every household comes with a big box of plot-hooks, profiles inc. RQG stat-blocks for the more interesting residents, and insights into what makes these people tick and how they all get along (or not). A wonderfully-imagined community for your adventurers to visit, complete with price lists, bronze age crafting tips, and gorgeous illustrations.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cups of Clearwine
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Balazar Maps
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/13/2021 04:41:55

Beautiful pictorial maps of Balazar: if that's what you're after, this is where you'll find them. Although "Griffin Mountain" is a classic RuneQuest wilderness campaign, the B&W map from the RuneQuest Classics reprint is fairly rudimentary and lacking in character: these high-resolution colour maps make an excellent replacement. They come in two different styles (one for the Players' map, another for the GM & Detail versions); all three maps are available in 5-mile-hex and hex-free versions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Balazar Maps
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Holiday Dorastor: The Temple of Heads
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2021 06:52:00

Holiday Glorantha: The Temple of Heads is an exquisitely-detailed Thanatari temple complex in Dorastor, Land of Doom, taking adventurers from the relative safety of the Horned Skull Inn to the Tunnels of Doom far below. As you'd expect, there are dungeon complexes, Rune-level leaders and their henchlings, new monsters, magic items, spells, cults, sorcery... plus four short scenarios and innumerable adventure hooks. There are traditionally grotesque writeups for four Thanatar Rune Masters – head-hunting book-nerds engaged in institutional rivalries that make Oxbridge look tame – plus more than a dozen colourful locals. This is the first in a projected Holiday Dorastor series, expanding on the iconic locations of Glorantha's nastiest Chaos Nest. If you liked RQ3's Dorastor: Land of Doom and Simon Phipp's Secrets of Dorastor, this will be right up your alley.

Pages: prologue (1), history (1), locations (28), inhabitants (40), cults & magic (9), magic items (4), bestiary (9), encounters (5); scenarios (44), covers (2), credits/ToC (1), adverts (3), full contents (4)

Characters: RQG adventurers approaching or at Rune level.

Setting: the Temple of Heads, in Dorastor.

Complexity: medium: the four scenarios are in-and-out missions (Escort Duty, Rescue for Ransom, Vaults of the Library and Hallan the Bright), which can be expanded with many scenario hooks.

Quote: “They will, of course, be attacked by the Feces Monster, if only because it is gross and funny.”



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Holiday Dorastor: The Temple of Heads
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review, Nick. The scenarios are designed to be in and out, for who wants to spend too much time hanging around a Thanatar Temple? The Scenario Hooks add the complexity to make the Temple of Heads more of a sandbox, with more interaction For me, GMs make a setting into a sandbox by how they use the various hooks and ideas.
LEGION
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2021 03:48:19

I'll just update my rating with a quick comment on the printed book: it's a gorgeous print-on-demand softcover. The full-page painted internal artwork looks brilliant. The content is as per the updated digital edition, including extra art and a scenario at the back. Highly recommended, and proof you can have loads of despicable fun with a varied mob of Chaos Broo without needing to specify what they get up to with their willies.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
LEGION
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Corallo's Artpack #2
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/10/2021 01:21:54

I've used Dario Corallo's clipart as filler pieces (alongside original artwork) in a couple of Jonstown Compendium books: Life of Moonson & Fortunate Sun. It's really good, vibrantly Gloranthan, and I can whole-heartedly recommend this deal: at just ten euros for fifty-two high-resolution illustrations, it's a steal!

Dario is also quick, cheap and creative if you ever want to commission any original artwork / tokens / maps: you can usually find him hanging out in one of the RuneQuest groups on Facebook. Back in the day he did covers and interior art for Tales of the Reaching Moon magazine, Tradetalk and the Moon Design Publications Glorantha Classics books. Don't your own projects deserve a sniff of that mojo?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Corallo's Artpack #2
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How Humakt Learned to Grieve
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2021 09:53:25

Three new myths turned into rules-light heroquests, including authors’ notes on how to create your own. These would work well in RuneQuest, QuestWorlds or 13th Age Glorantha – there are no statblocks, dice rolls or percentages, but plenty of details regarding the Runes, Passions or other abilities needed to succeed at each station. The “alternate version” of How Humakt Learned to Grieve tells the same heroquest from the perspective of the other gods helping Humakt. As an demonstration of how you can put Secrets of HeroQuesting to practical use, this is hard to beat. My only qualm is that the price is a bit steep (at $10 for 35 pages of digital content), but as silly elf game supplements go this is nicely done.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
How Humakt Learned to Grieve
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review.
Dario Corallo's Art Pack#1
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/20/2020 00:25:10

I enjoy working with the brilliant Italian artist Dario Corallo: he illustrated our "Rough Guide to Glamour" (cover, VIPs, reused old pieces & new filler art), "Life of Moonson" (cover, more than 50 characters & new filler art) and "Fortunate Sun" (both scenes and creatures). But although he works quickly, doesn't charge much and is a great collaborator, it's also handy to have a stock of Dario's clip-art on hand to brighten up your books. The "Last Faction Hero" artpack contains a mixture of Glorantha's capital-H Heroes (Harrek, Gunda, Jar-eel and the like) with some wonderful creatures (Morokanth, Salamander, Wind Child...) and generic illustrations (Shaman, Sun Dome Templar, Ghost...). I've been delighted with this purchase, and have already used it to fill gaps in a couple of recent publications. All pictures are supplied in high resolution.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dario Corallo's Art Pack#1
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In a Merry Green Vale
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/28/2020 08:59:44

If you like detailed backgrounds for Sartarite clans, you’ll love the latest Jonstown Compendium release: Vivien Prigent’s In A Merry Green Vale. This 165-page systemless sourcebook centres on the Lysang clan, whose ancestors settled the titular Arfritha Vale before the kingdom of Sartar was founded. Living between the Colymar, Malani and Cinsina tribes, they form a bridge between two areas previously detailed for HeroQuestWorldWars: the Colymar of Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and the Cinsina of the Red Cow books.

The sourcebook is set in the Lunar Occupation period, with an innovative campaign premise that kicks off in 1614: the adventurers are the children of exiles, returning under an amnesty to a homeland they’ve never known, so the players can discover details of the setting alongside their characters. The pages that follow are packed with accounts of compromised clan leaders, local troublemakers and all-too-fanatical resistance to oppression.

As well as thoroughly detailing the history and politics of the Lysang clan, with personal profiles that set out the ambitions of every member of the clan ring and family head, there are short writeups for every neighbouring clan; descriptions of clan treasures; a fully fleshed-out heroquest (The Seduction of Gwyncariad) and hints of others; and local representatives of the Lunar Empire’s interests: religious, military and mercantile.

A gazetteer details ancient and modern landmarks throughout the Vale, many with fascinating local features and myths (and many with “eye-splitting Celtic names”). The book closes with six pages of Rumours and a nine-page “who’s who” indexing the name, tribe, clan, cult, faction and function of every named character in the region. This is essentially a gigantic bag of plot-hooks and thwarted ambitions, with complications aplenty for any sandbox campaign.

The author promises to follow up with a Lysang Scenario Pack holding three scenarios in this setting. “All three scenarios have been written with the objective to kick-start long-term campaign dynamics: none of them allows for perfect solutions since the best campaigns are woven from scenario loose ends.” I’m not sure that’s true – some of the best campaigns grow out of sourcebooks like this.

It's well worth a look, even if the period (1615-ish) and systemless / stat-free nature of the book aren’t entirely your cup of tea.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In a Merry Green Vale
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Blue Moon, White Moon
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/20/2020 11:40:11

A neat encounter with an elite Lunar agent gone rogue that could fit into any campaign on the fringes of the Lunar Empire, whether your game's set in Dragon Pass, Prax or somewhere further afield. It's tightly written, beautifully illustrated and contains great advice on how to tailor characters, motivations and moral dilemmas to suit your gaming group's preferences. Strongly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blue Moon, White Moon
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Heortlings of Sartar
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2020 01:41:27

Phenomenally good value: forty-two generic Sartarite statblocks for just a dollar! Noble leaders (priests, chieftains and thanes) get a whole page, most templates are half a page, and mooks get a quarter-page each. Skills, Runes, Passions and Spells are fully detailed, with generic descriptions for all but the mobs. A wonderful time-saving resource for any RQG game, regardless of setting. (I can remember when we used to use RQ3's Vikings for this sort of thing, and that wasn't even set in Glorantha!)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heortlings of Sartar
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Tales of the Sun County Militia: Sandheart Volume One
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/31/2020 06:46:01

Jon Webb’s Sandheart is a sandbox campaign framework for police procedural investigations on the fringes of Sun County, the xenophobic Uptight Spartans in the Wild West setting with which Ken Rolston and Michael O’Brien launched the RuneQuest Renaissance of the early 1990s.

Volume 1, Tales of the Sun County Militia, is divided into three parts: the setting, a short scenario, and character generation advice and examples.

The setting provides local colour for the remote Sandheart District, highlighting elements that make it different to other parts of Sun County. It sets out the role of the militia, and details a handful of prominent personalities and spirit cults. Sandheart fits in well with MOB’s Sun County, with plenty of quirks to make it distinctive – a gamemaster with none of the earlier books that detail Sun County and the Yelmalio cult might struggle to fill in gaps, though, as the author makes clear in his introduction.

The scenario sees the militia investigating a vicious gang of smugglers on a mission that may take them outside their jurisdiction and present interesting political complications. This is straightforward, and shouldn’t take long; the opponents have well-presented stat blocks and their personalities and tactics are succinctly outlined. Future scenarios set in Sandheart District will supply other challenges: Volume 2, The Corn Dolls, is a lengthy non-linear investigation, while the forthcoming Volume 3 includes heroquesting, dungeon-bashing, siege situations and other delights.

The author provides suggestions for generating distinctive adventurers rather than identical rank-and-file militiamen, while the nature of the Sandheart militia (with its tradition of recruiting mavericks and outsiders) makes it easy to justify unusual new recruits, whose diverse, dare I say “liberal” backgrounds and reputations for questioning authority readily explain why they’ve been banished to the arse-end of Sun County. Half a dozen pregenerated adventurers display a range of different types who might be recruited into the militia – including native scouts, wandering sell-swords and quirky locals – and are also ideal to flesh out NPC members of the militia, if the adventurers ever need to call for backup.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of the Sun County Militia: Sandheart Volume One
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Vinga's Ford
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/31/2020 02:46:09

Diana Probst's new scenario is set at a ford which the locals know to be haunted. It's based around two combat encounters - an unpleasant surprise on the road, an investigative interlude where the adventurers try to work out what's going on, and a big finale. Interesting NPC motivations, discussions of tactics, well-staged and scripted encounters and even some tribal and racial politics in the mix. She describes leaders of the Varmandi clan (potential informants in the second act), weaves Apple Lane inhabitants into the story in a naturalistic way, and introduces a vengeful duck. The scenario is written for newly created characters, with advice on scaling up the opposition for a higher-powered game. While it's set in a definite location (where the Swan River separates the Hiording and Varmandi clans, just north of Apple Lane), it would be straightforward to transplant anywhere else – the scenario doesn’t depend on established landmarks or lore, and is highly portable. That said, the inhabitants of Apple Lane and Oakton have been woven into this short scenario charmingly and give it a lovely localised feeling – it’d be a shame to lose this. Strongly recommended, especially at this price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vinga's Ford
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Six Seasons in Sartar
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/18/2020 22:59:09

Six Seasons in Sartar is brilliant. If you are at all interested in RuneQuest or Glorantha, buy this book.

It’s an introductory campaign to get new players into RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, extensively playtested and beautifully presented.

It contains episodes and scenarios that can be plugged into any game set in Sartar: you don’t have to be children of the Haraborn clan to use this book.

It contains background on and fully worked examples of heroquesting, one of the more confusing aspects of Gloranthan games, fully integrated into the life of the Haraborn clan - which is presented in cult writeup format, because cult is culture, don’cha know? (Genius idea)

It has neat tricks for presenting NPCs, inc. a Rune-rating based personality notation schtick I will shamelessly steal for my own future works, and is framed within a wonderful metafictional conceit that has liberated me to think the previously unthinkable.

tl/dr: Buy this book. Thank me later.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Six Seasons in Sartar
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Corallo's Zenith Counters: Trolls & Trollkins #1
Publisher: Chaosium
by Nick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2020 03:16:53

Pekka Salmela shared these tips for extracting individual images with transparent backgrounds from Dario’s PDFs: you can do this without needing any graphic software installed on your home computer, and it lets you use them on top of virtual tabletop maps.

  • I uploaded the PDF to Photopea (https://www.photopea.com/) and it neatly provided me with all the pages and the original images with transparency preserved! The trick is to convert the layer containing the image you want to a new image.
  • When you open the PDF in Photopea you should see all the pages side by side. The contents of each page are separated to a layer group of its own. You should see the layers panel on the right.
  • Choose the page you want, then in the layers panel click the small arrow to the left of the name of the corresponding layer group. You should then see a layer called "Bitmap". Right click that layer and choose "Duplicate into...". Choose "New project" as the destination and click ok.
  • You should now see a new image containing mostly transparent background with the contents of the layer you chose. You can then use the crop tool to make the image the shape you want and then use File -> Export as... -> PNG to download the transparent PNG file.

Oliver Bernuetz added:

  • Don't forget to click on the check mark after you crop the image to set the size.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Corallo's Zenith Counters: Trolls & Trollkins #1
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