Thursday, April 29, 2010

From the Attic: Chaosium's Runequest

James at Grognardia has started a series of posts on Runequest. I recently got a hold of a copy of Runequest 2nd edition and enjoyed reading it. Along with Runequest I got a hold of the new Basic Roleplaying book as well.

Like James I never played Runequest back in the day. I made a character once and for some reason the game did not go off that day. My friend Dwayne of Gamer's Closet had a copy that I borrowed for a while but that didn't amount to much and I returned it too him.

The problem was that from my point of view Runequest was weird. The big turn off for me was the explicit bronze age technology and the fact that whole game seemed to revolve around become a Rune Lord or Rune priest. Then they had spirit stuff that was to me "out there."

The players of Runequest in my area were bit snobbish about the fact they played Runequest. Sure I played other RPGs but Runequest was the first time I encounter people who looked down at playing AD&D. My interest was finding a customizable system that was somewhat realistic to do many of the same things I was doing in my AD&D games.

Glorantha was just plain weird as well. Not Tekemul weird but pretty close. What also clashed was how the adventures seemed so typically. Not they were not good, well written or interesting. It just they kinda of like what I did with AD&D only with a really strong dose of Glorantha. Wasn't sure at the time what to do with it. Most of the campaigns I heard about seem to ignore most of it.

Only if I had the experience back then that I do now. Looking at Basic Roleplaying I can see that the "Bronze/Iron" divide was mostly flavor. I didn't get that Bronze, Iron were english names for Gloranthan metals. Today I am interesting in running Runequest for a one shot not likely in Glorantha tho.

One thing I also didn't get then but I do now is that a lot of advancement and character generation in 2nd edition Runequest depends on how much money you have. Sure you can advance by doing skills but the big leaps come when you can pay for training. This emphasis is interesting and different than GURPS or Fantasy Hero.

I am glad that Runequest is getting a revival at Grognardia, Mongoose, and other players. For those desiring to do more with the system take a look at Openquest which is under the OGL.

Perhaps I should look at doing a MajesticQuest or something like that. Runequest certainly has option for making religion a powerful part of the game which plays a big part in the Majestic Wilderlands. (Probably need a better title than MajesticQuest).


Alex Osias said...

Wilderquest, maybe?

Paladyn said...

I began roleplaying with RuneQuest. At least with sort of game, as we played with hand written notes, taken from photocopy, that was made during our GM's character downtime. As a side note, we used map of First Gulf War and went totally sandbox.

So, I have soft spot for a game and recently boght Mongoose Publishing's RQII. After first I was disappointed with rules, finding it too complicated for my taste. Not as rules heavy, complex and hands-bninding as d20, but still to complicated. But I rad game for a second time and this was a wise move, as I quicly learned system, began to experiment and test with it and liked it much.

For now I plan few testing games, probably using my own sandbox tables to check both RGII and my own creations.

Anonymous said...

I also didn't like Glorantha or the bronze age, but Runequest 2 had a section on Rune Lords and in that section they provided info on Iron/steel weapons and armor. That made it easy to adapt to a medieval environment. Goodbye Gorantha, Hello Harn. It was a perfect fit.