Subject: Supplement Number 9 RQDIGESTS09 First Distribution: August 18, 1988 This supplement: Dragons in the Dark (Henk Langeveld) Ed's note: I lost my copy of this supplement and forgot about it. It was rediscovered, and thus is out of sequence. -------------------- [I thought you folk might find this (especially the stuff about Worlds of Glorantha) of interest. Those who don't play in or have any interest in Glorantha might not find it so interesting.] From: mcvax!eurtrx!henk@uunet.UU.NET (Henk Langeveld) Subject: My zine, or what's left of it. Hi Andrew, here's a table of contents from my zine: I just browsed thru some of the stuff and I fear I just cannot in good conscience broadcast all of this stuff. Especially some of the letters (although from mister Glorantha himself), go back to about the first quarter of '86. Slightly dated... I'll have to skim all of it for stuff that's still interesting. For Example: the Letters Page (all dated '86-'87): Greg Stafford on Chaosium's plans with RQ and Glorantha, Oliver Dickinson on Griselda and her gang, Brain Duguid commenting on high-powered (Non-) Player-Characters. [Even if dated, I know I'd find it interesting. I haven't had a chance to write to Stafford and company myself, although I plan to soon.] I have added the middle part of the zine, which contained some reviews about Chaosium stuff. The last two should be considered interesting for the RQ digest. You may distribute those parts, if you want. OK, some stuff included after my signature. -Henk --------X8---cut here----------------------------------------------- Dragons in the Dark C O N T E N T S Editorial ... by yours truly. SF Worldcon Conspiracy ... a rather late report. Call of Cthulhu ... thoughts from Mike Williams. Products received ... from Chaosium, mostly. Gods of Glorantha ... a short review. World of Glorantha ... a preview. Dragons in Answer ... some correspondence. Games Received During the last few months I had the honour to receive the following game supplements from Chaosium (Thanks guys): Green and Pleasant Land -- Call of Cthulhu sourcebook for Britain of the twenties. Edited by Pete Tamlyn with contributions of several well-known British role-players. Produced by Games Workshop, who should have payed more attention to the hyphenation, otherwise this is a good supplement and essential for any referee using the British Isles as a setting. It contains all kinds of background informaton, about the differences in class, the Great War, and facts from daily life. A chapter about Mummerset, a mixture of dialects useful to create a 'local' atmosphere was ommitted, and appeared later in White Dwarf. A very good example of making use of the information in the book is the scenario The Shadow ove Darkbank. This makes heavy use of the chapter The Inland Waterway. The investigators are on a holiday when they get in touch with a real sub-culture of Britain in those times: the boatpeople, who lead a life on their own, boating cargo for factories and minig companies. Tournament of Dreams (Pendragon) -- This contains two major scenarios, and leads for some smaller ones. The first scenario is the actual Tournament of Dreams. The player knights are invited to a tournament organised by king Belinans of Sugales. He has recently married the beautiful Elidia, and now has challenged all knights of other kingdoms to test the skill and courage of his own. This is a scenario for ROLE-players. The other scenario is more straight to the point. Somewhere lies the magical land of the Circle of Gold. The land is ruled and guarded by King Farion and his knights, who have gained magical powers through their association with the circle. This is a place to get fame and glory. Many knights have gone before, only to return ashamed or return not at all. The land is one of the few resisting King Arthur's wish to unify Britain. I think this booklet is a very good role-playing aid. The scenarios are very clearly written, are consistent and have a captivating atmosphere. The production standard is also very high. The text looks as if it was printed on a high-quality laser printer. Obviously it has been produced electronically. Layout approaches perfection. The scenarios are organised in a modular way, important phrases are highlighted in the margin. Details and additional information are set aside in the margin to not interfere with the main text. Everything has been done to help the gamemaster to present the stories with as little trouble as possible. The White Wolf (Hawkmoon/Stormbringer) -- This is a supplement for the Eternal Champion RPG. It contains adventures for rather powerful characters. This is especially true of the last scenario, Escape From Yellow Hell. The other items aren't really scenarios. In fact they are settings for scenarios, three temples, with different associations. The first one is Darkspire, a temple of chaos with very strong defenses. The next one is temple of the Eternal Flame, as the name says, dedicated to the elemental powers of fire, personified in Kakatal. The high priest has created a cult around his own person, and is rumored to be immortal. The last temple is Haven, a Temple of Law. Founded by a high priest of Donblas, it is a refuge for anyone willing to renounce chaos. I am not familiar with Stormbringer Role-playing, although I have read some of Moorcock's novels. I think these scenarios can be quite helpful, but most of the adversaries seem somewhat powerful to me. Carse Generic Role-Playing aid -- I bought this myself, in Games Workshop's latest sale. It can be used together with the Cities supplement, but for me it looks OK on its own. What can be told about it ? It describes a small town with lots of activity going on, the ordinary happenings of daily life, and a bit of intrigue and conspiracy as well. Nice. I thought it worth buying. MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY GRADUATION KIT For the Fool-your-neighbour Role- Playing game. Contains everything you need to register as a student AND to graduate from Miskatonic University. Just find someone skilled in Calligraphy and you're a Batchelor of Arts in Medieval Metaphysics. A tentacled frame is included, so you can display your diploma in an appropriate way. Other parts of the kit: The 86/87 School Catalog, passes for the library and the cafeteria and of course, your student identification card. A form is included with which to order a Master's ($9.95) or Doctorate ($14.95) Degree. It's a nice thing to get as a present. And that's about the only use I can think of, buy one for your gamemaster. But I don't think I would have bought this for myself. ----- Gods of Glorantha Gods of Glorantha is the first Avalon Hill supplement for RQ3 related to Glorantha, it was published late in 1985. Its sequel, World of Glorantha will appear later this year. Both tell us much more about Glorantha, about its Mythos, history, religion and people. Finally we learn why the God Learners have such a bad reputation, they tried to gain all possible knowledge about the Gods and their power. To achieve that purpose they stopped at nothing, and abused each and every bit of power they could get. Nevertheless, we have got to pay the Jrusteli their dues for their research on comparative mythology. From them stems the concept of the Monomyth, an attempt to construct one Unified Theory of Mythology. The Monomyth is a very handy vehicle for presenting the whole Gloranthan Mythos (World Before Dawn) and History (Solara Tempora). This vehicle is used in the introduction of the Cults Book, the core of the package. The main part of the Cults Book is a concise listing of 60 different religions in the standard cult format. The introduction has info on spirit cults, acolytes, shamans and initiates. There is more variation in the organisation of cults. Not the standard Initiate, Priest, Lord sequence. Only a few cults have Rune Lords, some have no Priests, others are beefed up spirit cults and require candidate priests to become shamans. An example of the last case is Ancestor Worship which is a generic cult that replaces Daka Fal. Daka Fal is one of several cults of Ancestor Worship. An interesting cult is the cult of the Red Moon Goddess, there's only one requirement for initiation: the candidate must be illuminated. Lunar initiates gain special magic powers, they may manipulate spirit magic as if it were sorcery. Allied spirits are still there, but have to reside in objects. Animals may only be used as familiars, by way of the Alter Creature divine spell. So Orlanth cultists still have their cats. The other parts of GoG are the prosopaedia, listing the (pre)history, image and role in the world of a 200-odd deities and the Theyalan calendar, with the high holy days of the major cults. In conclusion, I must say that Gods of Glorantha is a must for any gamemaster wishing to run a Gloranthan campaign. This is what made RuneQuest one of the best role-playing games around in my view. Religion has always been one of the key factors in establishing a background for people to live in. It gives people a raison d'etre, a reason to exist. ----- World of Glorantha - preview The following observations are all based on parts of a manuscript that I received early May '87. Some parts were deleted, others unfinished, still others probably are not going to be included in the final product. The whole concept of Glorantha has evolved over more then twenty years, as Greg tells us in the 'Designers notes', one and a half page of interesting background to the creation process. Nowhere in the manuscript did I see an explicit reference to Gods of Glorantha, although it is obvious that the two supplements should be considered as companion volumes. There are important differences, as Gods of Glorantha is clearly a gaming supplement, with quite a lot of technical data for RuneQuest. World of Glorantha is exactly what the title says.. a world guide. It describes the Glorantha in a modular way, with the physical plane (or Inner World) distinct from the spirit plane, the God plane, and Hero planes. Yes there's more than one, or actually, the Hero Plane is the name for the Lower world, Upper world, and the Outer world together. The better part of the package is concerns the Inner World of course, as that's the place where most adventures will take place. The Spirit Plane is just a grey limbo, and can only be travelled by shamans, travelling through the Hero Planes is a different game (HeroQuest is being worked on this moment!) and we'd better not talk about the God Plane -- lest the gods should hear us. A standard format is used to describe every part of the world: NAME; location; a verbal introduction by one of its inhabitants "I am ..."; description, inhabitants, history, language, government, religion, friends & enemies. Some area descriptions are followed by a list of Places of Interest. There are separate write-ups for the different intelligent creatures of Glorantha, others on the climate - including the routes for sea travel, and a chapter on languages. What I thought missing were population numbers, but according to Greg, these will be included. The manuscript did not contain any technical data for RuneQuest. Nothing of interest to Rules Lawyers. I expect that World of Glorantha will be of more interest to gamemasters. Every player should of course know what his character's country looks like, but I think it would be more satisfying to both players and referee, when the players discover the world for themselves. Apart from that, referees should have the opportunity to come up with their own interpretation of the information in this package. All in all, I think World of Glorantha is a supplement of interest to many gamemasters, and I am looking forward to the final product. --------------------- The RuneQuest(tm) mailing list is a courtesy of Andrew Bell. All opinions and material above are the responsibility of the originator, and copyrights are held by them. Unless specified in the specific article, all RQ Digest material is freely redistributable on a not-for-profit basis as long as author credit is included. RuneQuest is a trademark of Chaosium, Inc. 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