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Stafford Library - Heortling Mythology
by Shannon A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/12/2021 04:07:01

The Book of Heortling Mythology is an amazing bit of secondary world creation that reveals a mythology that is deep and many faceted. Stafford takes the same tactic that he used in King of Sartar of offering myths from lots of different viewpoints, though it's not as refined here (likely because this book was collated from the contents of several other works, rather than being created as an original piece). Nonetheless, it's an amazing work that depicts a mythological cycle that has the depth and verisimilitude of something from a real culture.

If you want HeroQuests, they're here. If you want to understand the foundations of Orlanthi society, it's here. If you just want a good, dense volume of new myths, it's here.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stafford Library - Heortling Mythology
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Heortlings of Sartar
by Phill K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2021 13:53:33

This is a brilliant utility item, and I refer to it regularly. So many GM supplements I get and don't really use, but this is one of them. Please do one of these for Tarsh and Citizens of the Lunar Empire!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heortlings of Sartar
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Cthulhu Maps - Scenario Map Pack #1 - The Darkness Beneath the Hill
by Albano S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2021 13:49:33

Is a very well done map, very practical. There is no much "modern" regular maps, like this ones to use in CoC or actual settings. Yes, there is millions of castles and dungeons but there is no a "library of the corner" or a supermarket (which you can find in his very affordable patreon). Now, this set of maps are for use in The Darkness beneath the Hill scenario, one include in the Doors to Darkness. This set will save you so much time. Maybe you think is pretty bright but with a filter (is what I do) you will achieve great effects. If you play in VTT (I use Foundry), this maps and others that the creator provides are perfect. He takes his time setting the lights and walls so you can import those in Foundry VTT so you will save an insane quatity of hours. Really looking forward to see how the creator evolves..



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Maps - Scenario Map Pack #1 - The Darkness Beneath the Hill
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Six Seasons in Sartar
by Chris G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2021 13:13:37

I simply cannot rate this book too highly! This should be the second book you buy after the Core RQG rulebook. Seriously. You do not even need the Bestiary or the GM's Screen pack to get stuck into this Gloranthan feast. Instead of the fully formed experienced characters of RQG, it stops off in the character background generation with teenage PCs, as was normal in earlier versions of Runequest. The players then get to roleplay their inititaion as men and women in Sartartite Orlanthi Society, and the choices they make which will lead to the big life decisions of the 1620s. On the way, we discover what Heroquesting means, family, custom, legends, the Lunar occupation and the dangers which lie around the heroes' path. There is even a dungeon to bash! It concentrates on a very primitive clan of the Colymar, so new players do not (yet) have the full range of different cults and occupations presented in the rule book. Instead, they get a much more thorough grounding in the life of regular Orlanthi, and the culture presented in 'King of Sartar'. But it is certainly not boring. Perils, mythical happenings, famous heroes and difficult choices abound. There are rules for battles and raids, for romance, childbirth and funerals. There are helpful GM hints on how to make the action more gritty, or more family friendly, depending on the needs of your group. Reviews suggesting this advocates only one play style are wide of the mark. Two absolute standout aspects are the incredibly useful rules on designing and handling NPCs, and on enlisting your players to design their own heroquests. These are useful even if you don't intend to present a fully Sartarite campaign. I am amazed that a book like this, or even this book itself, was not the second official Chaosium RQG book. I would certainly advise any budding GM to start off with it before plunging into the Smoking Ruins or Pegasus Plateau.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Six Seasons in Sartar
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Life of Moonson, Book Two: The Freeform
by Keith N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2021 07:08:15

I'm going to review both books (Part One and Two, together) These beautiful books are a triumph. They allow those who were not blessed to take part in the game a chance to glimpse some of the immense fun that can be had in a freeform game. It is difficult to know what, exactly, to review here: the game itself, the utility of the books, the enjoyment of reading it, or the presentation. For a start, what is a freeform game anyway? How can anyone judge it objectively? No one will ever know everything that happened, and some players may have enjoyed it more than others. I guess the same thing could be said about most role playing game books, but at least they are less unique events. Who can say if that was the result of the game as written and designed, or how well the players all interacted, or how well organised it was on the day, or the venue or even the weather. If it was run ten times, how well would it work each time? I am reasonably sure that the three times this game has run it has been a success. The writers would have learned some lessons from their previous games (Home of the Bold, How the West was One), and some examples of this are highlighted in the book itself. I don't think most people buying this book will be planning to run this game, and I am sure it was not put together for that purpose. A big part of the fun of this game, it seems to me, must have been some of the surprise revelations that happen at the halfway point and upset what might have seemed like a reasonably sedate political negotiations. But still, the problem of reviewing the game itself, as a game, if we can say that this book is a game, especially for me, is that I did not play in it. This style of freeform is a new art form - a cross between improv theatre, role playing games, boardgames, cosplay, soap operas, let's pretend and parlour games. They can go wrong through player action, they can be written to reduce the chance of going wrong, but how is that judged?

So, what is the point of this book? What is its' purpose? I guess it gives us poor unilluminated souls who did not get to play it a chance to enjoy imagining that we did. There is lots of fun stuff here - there are little Gloranthan jokes and references that only true Glorantha nerds will notice, there are pop culture jokes that everyone should notice, although they are certainly of their time (the 1990's) and place (I'd say they are mostly British-media influenced, such as Ul-Rika the Weather girl, but everyone will know the Bat-man, Wane Manor although the Lunar Wane jone may be lost on non-Gloranthans, or the Mask of Jhorro, ). The character write ups are joy to read: fun, detailed backstories, details on who the character knows and what he thinks of them, secrets, goals, and obvious things that need to be done. There are some parts that are duplicated, but since these would have been on seperate character sheets I can absolutely see why they should be duplicated rather than, say, have cross references all over the place. ("see page 153 of Carmanian background, see page 70 for Comrades of Yanafal tarnils.)

The rules are not clear enough for someone to just read and run this game. For example, in the Regimental Games, just turn up on time and "stadium officials will direct the action". Now, I assume that Running in Armour was some sort of Palour game, but that isn't stated anywhere. The quotas and budgets seem clear enough on a casual read through, but exactly how much income I get at a particular point in time, for example, is not clear to me on a casual read. Assassination, investigations, job interviews, senate debates, the mandate of the moon, social interaction are all covered but I think I'd need to ask lots of questions if I were to try to actually run it. I'm not sure how the coup game works. Are the rules for it are fully described by saying it works a bit like Diplomacy? I don't see this apparant lack of detail as a big problem, in some ways, because this isn't really a manual of how to run the game, but an insight into the mechanisms that work behind the scenes to drive the game. I am personally very interested in how the games-within-a-game work because I have been trying to write a freeform for more than 2 decades. It is great, for me, to see some of the logic behind the economy, for example. I'm not going to go into any detail reviewing the actual rules, but they appear to be designed with playability and fun for all the players at front of mind. It would seem very hard and probably pointless to absolutely kill off another character in the first half of the game.

Presentation is excellent. These are big, thick, beautiful books. Text is east to read and well organised, illustrations are fun and there are lots of them - almost all of them are character studies, mostly based on well known real world personalities. I like the consistent style used through out as it ties everything together. Dario Corallo must have been busy . I think having only characters, rather than scenes, or scenery, is a good choice. Freeforms are about characters interacting with each other.

Should you buy these books? This is hard for me to say. I'm a Glorantha fan who loves freeforms. I've been trying to write one for ages. I cannot think of a more target audience than me. If you are interested in deep canon Gloranthan truth, and get upset by deviations from that, this might not be for you. For one thing, it has too many aspects that are artefacts of a game. If you are really only interested in your character adventuring in a normal roleplaying adventure, and have no interest in political soap opera, then this might not be for you. If you like freeforms, if you like Glorantha, there is something in these books that you will like. The Characters book is OK to get on its own. I dont think the Freeform book by itself makes enough sense, so if you had to pick one, pick Characters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Life of Moonson, Book Two: The Freeform
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Men of the West
by Olli-Pekka K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2021 07:35:05

Even if you aren't interested in military matters. This book is a must if you want to play in the west.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Men of the West
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RuneQuest Quickstart
by Greville W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2021 16:07:45

The RuneQuest Quickstart caught my imagination and brought me back to RuneQuest. If you want a good feel for the current iteration of Glorantha this is what you need. The characters are vibrant and larger than life, and the adventure gives a good example of how to get started. It shows many of the core themes and options for play.

However it is just a starter. There are enough rules to get you through the adventure, but they are greatly expanded in the main rules. I've played a lot of BRP games and was thrown by some small differences between the quickstart rules and most modern BRP systems (or even Runequest 3rd Edition). This is because the rules borrow more from Runequest 2, I was a little put off by this, but quickly found that, when playing the differences didn't detract from the fun.

I had pretty low expectations for this product, but it blew me away in tone and feel. One read and I wanted to play this game. I've bought the all new RuneQuest books so far, and am into our second year playing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
RuneQuest Quickstart
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Vinga's Ford
by Robert L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2021 18:46:16

A really great scenario with lots of posibilities to have a lite fun game and a really dark and scary moments in an scenario. NPCs are well constructed and with credible stats, well written descriptions bringing to life the places and people. You can tell the author put a lot of work creating this well written and constructed adventure.

Really recomended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vinga's Ford
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GLORANTHA: The search for the Throne of Colymar
by Paul B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2021 09:23:00

At three pages of game material its a wee bit expensive.

It feels like a wasted opportunity, a really nice adventure hook on a page of text. However the adventure thread that follows is weak, no plot, no characters... It feels like the author had a really good idea then got bored writing it up after the second page.

It suffers from the same problems as trinklets, no real meat on the bone. It is a shame as this was a really nice hook...



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
GLORANTHA: The search for the Throne of Colymar
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The Solo Investigator's Handbook
by Miranda L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2021 22:45:42

The Solo Investigators Handbook creates a fantastic game! Inside is a game master emulator, tips and tricks for enjoyable solo gaming, a brilliant technique called mythos which helps you track your sanity, a monster builder and all sorts of fantastic tables to roll on to flesh out your game. If you're on the fence about trying this out, don't hesitate, just pick it up and try it. It has endless replay-ability so you will more than get your monies worth. All you need to play is a copy of the Call of Cthulhu rules and The Solo Investigators Handbook. You will have lots of horrific themed fun. It's amazing!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Solo Investigator's Handbook
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High Rock Hill
by Diana P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2021 16:44:16

For a dollar, this is spectacularly good value. You shouldn't have to read any further.

As a game, it's got a solid plot, it's well built, and it has an impressive amount of scaffolding for the gamemaster, without that scaffolding being too rigid - it is a support, and not a prison. I love it, and I'm going to use the plot.

It has some minor lore problems; if you are knowledgeable about Glorantha, you can easily work around them. If you are not, they are close enough to canon that you won't be led far astray. It also has some typos; I think the author is writing in English as a second language. I'd have liked a native proof-reader very much. In fact, I like this work enough I'd happily proof-read the next and try to improve it. I'd pay double the price for a work of this style and depth that was just a little bit improved.

The really big problem, the one I can't surmount, is I can't contact the author directly to tell him I like it and see if he's doing more. That's my biggest problem with this. PUT YOUR CONTACT DETAILS IN THERE, MAN!

Summary: a slightly scuffed masterpiece, and I will definitely buy any more by the same author. It's getting 4 stars because I want it to be that little bit better, not because it isn't already good.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
High Rock Hill
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THE COMPANY OF THE DRAGON
by Jerry E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2021 12:40:55

I spent a looong time resisting purchasing Company of the Dragon and it's predecessor Six Seasons in Sartar. Why i did this i may never know. Maybe it was some half-baked concerns about non-canon content. Maybe it was mild anxiety about product quality, relative to the uniformly awesome Chaosium output.

I can't even cite the 'i have no players' excuse. I do have an active group. (Bless them, they've put up with a lot. They're going to have to put up with more...)

Anyways, i finally took the plunge and really, the answer became apparent immediately. I am deeply stupid.

If you're reading this, you presumably are:

  • an RQ fan
  • thinking of investing in CotD

Stop. Don't. Think about it, that is. Just buy it. Now. Your future GM-self will love you for it.

It's beautifully imagined and fantastically well-written. A joy to read in fact. Tons of inspiration but, as other reviwers have also noted, it's got tips and tools that make the GM's life easier - never a bad thing as far as i'm converned.

The only thing i can think of that is in the slightest way negative, is that i'm unlikely to have the pleasure of playing it as a PC, but that's a small price to pay for what i know will be the great fun of seeing my time-worn friends who've basically spent real-life decades with their PCs scratching around trying to make a living, don the manyle of Heroes. Actual movers and shakers in Importnat Matters. Can't wait.

As soon as this is available as POD, i'll be buying it. It is a Thing of Greatness and Beauty.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
THE COMPANY OF THE DRAGON
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THE COMPANY OF THE DRAGON
by Greg A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2021 11:59:58

Essentially Six Seasons in Sartar on steriods, Company of the Dragon is a must-have for any group that has any interest at all in playing through the Liberation of Sartar. There is easily a year's worth of sessions in this book, and they (imo) really capture the mythic, heroic tone of Runequest. Your players have an opportunity to really feel like they are major players in the Rebellion, and they won't have to wait very long to feel this way either. Part Excalibur and part Braveheart, a five-star rating is not nearly high enough. Worth every single penny. You will NOT be sorry.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
THE COMPANY OF THE DRAGON
by Matthew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2021 09:26:53

Utterly AMAZING! Continuing exactly where Six seasons leaves off and takes you on a wild ride of how many? lots! of seasonal episodic adventures making your characters key players in the plot right at the start of the RQG main chronology. It gives the GM a whole bunch of tools which make things easier to track and run as well as the episodes themselves being by their nature readily hackable to what you want to run. More than an adventure seed and (mostly) less than a full blown adventure makes for a nice balance. Its certainly THE campaign so far for RQG



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
High Rock Hill
by Matthew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2021 09:14:20

This 15 page adventure has lots of colourful characters and shows how as perhaps a being GM you can just poke the setting a bit and see what happens if you set up an intrigue which might just lead to conflict. It says dont be afraid to try this and thats something I like to hear. otherwise it has some nice notes from the author's playtest of the adventure and ideas of where you might need to tweak stuff. criticism wise - yes it could do with a proof read (but it isn't alone on the JC in this) yes it would be nice to see some more art, pictures of the villain and so forth However... it's a dollar spend for a whole adventure! I love it! and I would gladly buy more from this author.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
High Rock Hill
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