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Black Spear (RuneQuest)
Publisher: Chaosium
by Iain M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/14/2021 11:31:14

I'll be honest. My first thought on finishing a read-through of this was, "It's not for everyone. I can imagine some DMs or reviewers hating this." But then I thought, "What are they doing gaming in Glorantha, anyway?" If you are running a game in Glorantha, you need to read this book. It's an adrenaline-fueled acid trip of a story (sort of Fear and Loathing in Pavis with added sexy disco netwlings) that illustrates just how literally other-worldly a Heroquest needs to be. From flying on the back of a mythical chariot (or a giant bird that spews lightning, whichever floats your boat) through the sandstorm out of Mad Max: Fury Road to the final encounter with one of the movers and shakers of the age in a dreamscape that encompasses David Bowie in all of his incarnations it will keep your players engaged, mystified (in the good sense,) and yearning to get to the next part of this savage journey to the heart of the Gloranthan dream. Five bright, throbbing stars from me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Spear (RuneQuest)
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Six Seasons in Sartar
Publisher: Chaosium
by Iain M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/08/2020 10:52:53

I cannot praise this book highly enough. I am ten years into a long-running Gloranthan campaign and this book almost made we want to junk it and start again so that I could not just run it but see how the decisions the players made played out through the campaign. As you can probably infer from what I have just said, this campaign is for beginning characters. Runequest has a very well-thought out character background system, but running Six Seasons will provide for much more fleshed-out characters who have a reason to be together and seek adventure. But not only is the book a brilliant short campaign, it is packed full of helpful GM advice on things like NPC generation (always a tricky question in Runequest) and running Heroquests. Five stars is not enough.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Six Seasons in Sartar
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Stone and Bone
Publisher: Chaosium
by Iain M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/14/2020 12:06:41

This scenario is a great introduction to adventuring in Prax - the nomad clan and how it operates and the importance and behavior of shamans are well-illustrated. The adventure itself is a nice mixture of environmental threats and hideous opponents. The authors also provide very helpful advice for scaling encounters, and nice touches like a map that shows what can be seen if the party has a flyer (as a lot of even beginning RQ parties will.) If Chaosium chooses to publish a set of scenarios set among the nomads of Prax, I'd recommend they include this one.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stone and Bone
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A Rough Guide to Glamour
Publisher: Chaosium
by Iain M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/19/2020 15:55:09

This is the Fifth Inspiration of Moonson.

You know a piece of writing is exciting you when you find yourself reading it in a voice of some sort or another. I cannot help but read the entries in the style of Peter Sellars' "Bal-Ham: Gateway to the South." They are hugely amusing and packed with references, but in no way sacrifice the playability of an RPG supplement in the process.

The Rough Guide reminds me of my other favorite bizzarre city setting, Fever-Dreaming Marlinko. As with that work, the humor may not appeal to everyone. If you aren't impressed by the idea that the Red Emperor may act a bit like late-stage Elvis, then this probably isn't for you, but you can't say you're not warned by the cover.

Talking of which, the art is top-notch, but in the portrait of the Goddess Glamour it reaches a new height for community content in my book.

As they say in New Pelorian, Double-Plus Good.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Rough Guide to Glamour
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Creator Reply:
In case you didn't know, Antonia Doncheva's portrait of "Mucha Blondie Glamour" is available in dozens of different printed formats - posters, art prints, t-shirts, phone cases, etc. - from Chaosium's Redbubble store: click the "Available on +42 products" button to see the whole range. https://www.redbubble.com/i/poster/The-Goddess-Glamour-from-The-Rough-Guide-to-Glamour-by-Chaosium/46847318.LVTDI
The Duel at Dangerford
Publisher: Chaosium
by Iain M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2020 15:47:28

This scenario really shows just how Runequest is perfectly able to handle heroic epic as much as the grim-and-gritty-critically-stabbed-in-the-leg-by-a-trollkin it became famous for (footnote 1). Not only will players who take part in the scenario feel tension and the weight of history on their shoulders, they'll know if they survive it that they took part in something epic. The author has thoughtfully provided some delightful doggerel epic poetry (a pastiche of Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome) for the GM to declaim as part of the adventure. The extra notes on other scenarios are a nice freebie, but I'd say they neither add to nor take away from the fun adventure that is the meat of the booklet.

Footnote 1: As famously happened to the character Rurik who was the sample character in RQ2. I'll add that the author's use of footnotes is extremely entertaining.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Duel at Dangerford
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Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Iain M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/05/2011 21:02:53

I've played Runequest since the early 80s, and this in its previous incarnation was the best version of the rules to date. Now it has been reissued under the OGL, I hope it really takes off as a setting-neutral, Glorantha-free RPG (and I say that as a Gloranthaphile!). There are some quirks - the charge rules still don't work and the magic systems can become extremely powerful very quickly - but it's an excellent, flexible system that deserves much love. I have an extensive review of the previous version at my currently dormant blog, The Rune Under Water, which you can find via your favorite search engine if you're interested.



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Legend
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