Gloranthan Timelines – Generational Perspective

In my campaign I have long wanted a view of Gloranthan history from a perspective of an ordinary people who might only think about just a few years back, in my father’s day, when my grandfather was young, when my great-grandfather was initiated.

At the same I wanted to see what was happening at other regions at the time. Created the database for the calendar information and wanted to share a generational perspective for the Gloranthan history.

Now your Sartarite NPC or your character can say that the Moon worshippers finally got us when my father was young. My grandfather died with the last true king of Sartar – Salinarg.  My grandfather had seen the opening of the seas and the Sun Worshippers receiving their land and starting to construct their temple.

Currently my campaign has some seafaring parts so I wanted to know when closing was in effect overall and in particular areas.

Almost all the dates and history information are compiled from the Guide, Kingdom of Sartar and the new Pavis book.

The generation is defined to be 25 years which might be a bit high for barbarian cultures but would work for civilized. The base year in the years ago is 1625. The table contains event per year for all areas, how many generations ago it happened, how many years ago it happened and whether closing was in effect at the time.

Timeline pdf is here

Mythras Encounter Tool – feature recap for busy GMs

Mythras Encounter Generator (formerly known as RQ6 Encounter Generator) (the creation of skoll (his nickname in thedesignmechanism forums)) has grown lately to have quite a bit of new features and content. Content is crowd sourced.

So for the hard working GM’s there is now an easy way to generate many types of enemies. You need a herd of allosaurs – click, select number press generate and unleash doom. The characters finished them off – need a bigger reserve herd – click a number and generate again. Other beasts got attracted to the noise – perhaps a tyrannosaur – click a number and generate again.

Endless supply of Lunar more what you need – pick from the list – generate again. In units nicely formed of up to 40 individuals – they will march to restore peace and order in the name of the Moon again.

Town guards noticed your character’s getaway from the second story job – click a number and generate.

Serpent People to fill your jungle with silent death – select from the list.

More than 1400 templates (more than 1700 in Feb 2015, more than than 1840 in April 2015, more than 2800 in April 2018, 4000 public ones in May 2022 (and more than that in non public) have already been created for Gloranthan, Monster Island, General Fantasy settings by the users of the system covering most of the monsters in Mythras, Monster Island, Anaxial’s Roster and Anaxial Annex and many more.

http://skoll.xyz/mythras_eg/

Need a new kind of enemy – use the templates from existing races and templates, modify to your heart’s content and create away. http://skoll.xyz/mythras_eg/instructions/ You can add features to your template by selecting from over 100 (more than 400 in June 2022) categories ranging from abilities and  combat styles to disguises.

Most of the Gloranthan cults have templates from initiate to a priest (more than 450 cult templates, more than 600 in June 2022). You can search for them by name in the enemies tab or by name and cult rank in the home page. The cults are created according to Gloranthan Cult One-pagers while we wait for the Adventures in Glorantha.

You can create parties that contain variety of enemies.  Here are a few for an example.

Your own parties can have party features ranging from mission and fatigue status to sartar tribe names.

If you are in a hurry you can go to party (or enemy) page, filter the results and press “Do you feel lucky”.

The generated enemies names and note fields can be modified and saved either as pdf or web page to save your favorite enemy stats.

You can save your favorite enemies to your home page.

If you would like to encounter something you might not see every day filter your party page by “Off the beaten path”

Visual guides to RQ Encounter tools

Gloranthan Cult Onepagers – Main page

There is renewed Gloranthan cult Onepagers page here.

Gloranthan Cult Onepagers are one page summary of skills, folk magic and theist miracles / rune spells for most Gloranthan cults – list now contains 140+ cults or major sub cults (7 Mothers, Aldrya) with their own one pager.

For each cult or spirit society source is mentioned for the spell,miracle / rune spell or skill that is not found in current RQ6 rules.  Criteria for initiate, acolyte and rune status is mentioned as well.

There are two varieties :

The latter can be used as easily as the former – the newer (AiG) one will be updated frequently – the older one not any more.

For the spells and the description of the cults you will need to dive into Cult Compendium, Gods of Glorantha and Shadows in the Borderlands – at least.

The links to sources of the spells is on the tools directory.

The links to original books are mentioned for the cults, you will need those books for detailed description of the cult, skills and spells. Many of the books and magazines are out of print but Moon Design Publications has a few and some others you may find thru drivethrurpg.com, Amazon or eBay.

All of this will be superseded by the official rules once Chaosium Glorantha is out.

Cults available are grouped in the link underneath roughly by ‘pantheon’

All of the above will likely change during my campaign and has gone thru just initial tuning.

For spell conversions take a look at gloranthaphiles more detailed conversion.

AIG version

This is the one that contains the latest and greatest updates.

RQ6 RAW version (not being updated any more)

The cult files for RQ6 RAW version are here.  Tools and charts are here

Zip file of all cult files for RQ6 RAW is now available (not being updated anymore) PDF file of all cult files is now available by popular request.

Here is a small quick reference list that I created for finding where all the spells that are not defined in RQ6 are defined in various Gloranthan sources.

https://notesfrompavis.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/gloranthan-sources-for-theist-miracles-in-rq6/

Guest post: Starting a Glorantha RQ6 Campaign before AiG – another view

Here is the first guest post on Notes From Pavis blog. It was written by Skoll who the mastermind behind RQ Encounters tool.  He published this first on Design Mechanism forums

A while ago I wrote an article with a similar purpose, but never finalized and posted it. Your post inspired me to give it the finishing touches, so here it is. Some of it overlaps with what you wrote, but there’s also stuff, that you didn’t mention, so I hope it will be useful for new players interested in Glorantha.

As the question of getting started in Glorantha seems to pop up every now and then, here’s some advice from somebody, who about 3 years ago decided to get reacquainted with the setting after a 15 year hiatus. Disclaimer: All of the following is based on my personal experience, and thus should not be taken as absolute truth.

Table of Contents

  • Source material
  • Glorantha 101
  • Converting stuff to RQ6
  • Getting started


Glorantha is an old setting with the first supplements dating back to 1970’s. There’s a plethora of material available and enough campaigns to keep even the most active groups busy for years. But to a new player, the amount of material might feel overwhelming. Another problem is, that none of the material has been released for RQ6. While very much compatible with RQ6, all the material will still require some amount of conversion work.

Source material

RQ2/RQ3
The RQ2 and RQ3 material was released in 80’s and early 90’s. (RQ2 age is generally considered as the golden age of playing RuneQuest in Glorantha). Pretty much all of the material has stood the test of time exceptionally well and provides still excellent gaming. Conversion work is pretty straight forward, most of the work needs to be done with magic. (See conversion notes below.) Some of the classic RQ2 campaigns have been rereleased by Moon Design in the Gloranthan Classics -series, which is highly recommended.

Mongoose RuneQuest 2 (MRQ2)
(Obviously there was also Mongoose RuneQuest 1, but I’m not familiar with it and I have understood, that several of the design aspects were quite flawed.)
MRQ2 (technically the 5th edition of RQ, nowadays rebranded as Legend) was the immediate predecessor of RQ6, having also been designed by Pete and Loz. Most of the elements of RQ6 are already there, but to me RQ6 feels more polished and has generally a better flow. The Glorantha material released for MRQ2 is rules wise very compatible with RQ6, but is considered non-canonical for many parts. Also, all MRQ2 material takes place during the 2nd Age, while all of the classical material, as well as the upcoming RQ6 Adventures in Glorantha, is 3rd Age. Despite these problems, I have found MRQ2 Cults of Glorantha to be a valuable sourcebook, but it isn’t generally available anymore.

HeroQuest
Moon Design (the owner of Glorantha) is nowadays publishing a game named HeroQuest (previously known as Hero Wars). HQ is a rules-light narrative RPG, and has a lot of Glorantha-material available. The HQ Glorantha material is relatively easy to take into use with RQ6, but requires some effort as you need to create all stats and skills for NPCs and monsters. (Alternatively you can use the RQ6 Encounter Generator to generate the stats.) Despite requiring some effort to take into use, they are excellent source books. Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes (together with Sartar Companion) is the most inspiring RPG source book I have ever read. It details the area of Sartar in Dragon Pass and the Orlanthi culture and gods. Pavis: Gateway to Adventure is the other great new book, detailing the valley of the River of Cradles.

Guide to Glorantha
The upcoming Guide to Glorantha, published by Moon Design, will be a completely systemless introduction to the world of Glorantha. It will describe Gloranthan cultures, races, geographical regions, and a lot more. But, despite being a massive tome, it’s more of an overview. It won’t go into details with cults, NPCs or more specific locations. It’s a good source for background material, but it doesn’t replace proper campaign settings. 

Adventures in Glorantha
AiG is the upcoming RQ6 Glorantha sourcebook from The Design Mechanism.


Glorantha 101

To help you put all that you will read to a context from the very beginning, here’s some very basic info about Glorantha.

There are two classical adventuring areas in Glorantha: Sartar/Dragon Pass and Prax/The River of Cradles.

Sartar is home of the barbarian orlanthi, named after their chief god Orlanth. Orlanth is a storm god with many aspects and he’s worshipped by adventurers and kings alike. In addition to Orlanth, they worship Ernalda (Earth Goddess, wife of Orlanth), Issaries (communication and trade), Lhankor Mhy (knowledge), Humakt (death and war), Urox (the chaos killer, also known as Stormbull) and many others. The orlanthi value Courage, Wisdom, Generosity, Justice, Honor, Piety and Freedom. The orlanthi are currently (3rd Age) waging a losing war against the Lunar Empire. A primer is available at (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/8 … ers-Primer).

Prax is an inhospitable area east of Dragon Pass, populated by nomad tribes. The most important feature of Prax is the Zola Fel river, also known as the River of Cradles. The Valley of the river is a lot more hospitable, and is populated by farmers who have immigrated from Sartar and the Lunar Empire. Prax is also where the city of (New) Pavis is located. The city is next to Old Pavis, nowadays known as The Big Rubble, an area inhabited by trolls and monsters and full of ancient ruins, which makes it popular among adventurers. Pavis was conquered by the Lunar Empire some years ago.

Another legendary area for starting a campaign is that of Balazar and the Elder Wilds (north of Prax, beyond impassable mountains), detailed in The Griffin Mountain supplement.

Lunar Empire is a civilized empire with a unique philosophy. As they embrace certain aspects of chaos, they are violently opposed by the orlanthi. I wouldn’t recommend making lunar player characters in the first campaign.


Conversion

Here’s some advice for converting older material to RQ6.

RQ2 to RQ6

  • RQ2 Battle Magic is Folk Magic in RQ6.
  • RQ2 Rune Magic is Theistic Magic in RQ6.
  • In RQ2 initiates generally got one-time use Rune magic by sacrificing permanent POW. Only priests got reusable Rune magic, but they also had to sacrifice POW.
  • Hit locations have changed.
  • New characters in RQ2 had considerably lower skills than what characters created with RQ6 rules. To keep the challenges challenging, you may need to increase some skills of the monsters and NPCs.
  • All NPC’s, that will participate in combat, should have Endurance and Willpower added. I have used the following simple formula: Rabble gets Endurance of CONx4 and Willpower of POWx4; normal foes get a multiplier of 5 and formidable foes/bosses get a multiplier of 6.
  • Or you can use the RQ6 Encounter Generator (http://skoll.xyz/mythras_eg/) to create all the NPC/monster stats. There are over 600 Gloranthan creatures specified in the generator.
  • Spirits could exists also on the physical plane, and it was possible to have Spirit Combat also on the physical plane. The only requirement was, that one of the participants was in spirit form.
  • If you are wondering, what does this or that spell mentioned in the old supplements actually do, they are all described in The Magic Book (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/8 … Magic-Book), available from Chaosium.


MRQ2 to RQ6
There’s really not much to do in terms on conversion, but in case you are unfamiliar with MRQ2/Legend, some terms might be confusing.
MRQ2 – RQ6
Common magic – Folk magic
Divine Magic – Theistic magic
Resilience – Endurance
Persistence – Willpower

HQ to RQ6
If you get just the Glorantha supplements, and don’t have the HQ rule book, the skill level notation used in the books will probably be unclear. HQ is a d20 game, and all skills are described with a number from 1-20, bigger being better. A W-symbol (actually it’s the mastery rune) behind the number means, that mastery has been achieved, meaning the skill is beyond 20. (e.g. 7W is actually 27). A number beyond the W-rune is the level of master. (e.g. 7W2 is 47).


Getting started

If this all has been too vague, and you’d like some more concrete advice on getting started, here’s one option:
Get the Borderlands-campaign book and Cult Compendium (both available in the Gloranthan Classics -series, http://www.glorantha.com/product-catego … -classics/). Borderlands is straight-forward campaign, that takes place in and near the Valley of Zola Fel. The characters are mercenaries hired by duke Raus, to clear the nearby area and make it safe for settlers, who will arrive one year later. It introduces the players (and the GM) bit by bit to several of the cultures of Prax.
Give the following background-options to the players: 

  • Exile/immigrant from Sartar worshipping Orlanth, Humakt, Urox, Lhankor Mhy or Issaries.
  • Sun Dome Templars worshipping Yelmalio.
  • Praxian nomad worshipping Waha or Stormull.

(The restricted list is just to help you get started, without needing to read about dozens of cults. Feel free to give your players access to any cults you are comfortable with.)
After finishing Borderlands, get Pavis and Big Rubble.
If you want more background info, get Pavis: Gateway to Adventure, and Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and Sartar companion (The Sartar books are excellent source books even if you play in Prax, as they give an excellent introduction into the Orlanthi culture).

Starting a Glorantha RQ6 campaign (before Adventures in Glorantha)

Many times it is asked what would be a good way to get started with Glorantha and RQ6. There are many possible paths but here is one: See generic introduction to Glorantha Get one of the classic campaigns from Moon Design

  • 1. Borderlands and Beyond
  • 2. Pavis and Big Rubble
  • 3. Griffin Mountain

If you are completely new to Glorantha – the above would be roughly my preference order. All of these will have their stats in Rq2 format and their cults in Rq2 format. For the RQ6 stats go to RQ Encounter Generator and either search for parties or enemies to generate or create your own based on the templates.

For what is possible check the party encounters Quiet Night at Gimpy’s for Pavis encounter or Monster Island daily event. You could also just pick either enemies or parties page and press “I feel lucky” for some random encounter.

For the cults – visit Glorantha Cult One pagers and get the Cult Compendium from Moon Design. After the initial campaign on some of the above you might turn into Sartar Kingdom of Heroes/ Sartar Companion and the new Pavis book from Moon Design. They have their stats in HW but you can use the above generator to create the stats.

Cultural information and background is explained in really useful and concise format in Gloranthan Voices material.

Pick a culture (or two) for starters.

Monster Island by the Design Mechanism is a superb supplement and you can fit it nicely as the isle of Loral. Useful charts for GM’s exist here  and here

Guide to Glorantha from Moon Design Publications is now published. It is glorious and large – it will be useful for any GM in Glorantha but is completely system agnostic – no rules or stats there.

Every one of us is waiting for Adventures in Glorantha (AIG) from Loz and Pete but meanwhile you can easily game in Glorantha with the above tips.

For another view see the guest posts Skoll’s excellent article  and Tom’s wonderful piece on possibilities in Glorantha gaming. Take a look also at Joerg Baumgartner’s excellent view how to start gaming in Glorantha

Mythras Charts and Tables

Here are some charts that I made that have been useful for my Mythras (former editions known as RQ6) campaign. All the relevant ones have been updated for Mythras 3rd printing (2018 Nov). The screen shots are still of the old versions.

This has been updated with the links to most recent resources as of May 2022.

AreaName and latest link to chartCommentMore info
Combat – FlowCombat FlowSmall chart on how combat flowsMore
Combat – FlowInteractive combat flow summaryInteractive version of combat flowMore
Combat – HealingHealing and WoundsCovers what happens to you when you get a wound and how to recover.More
Combat – ParryingParry and passive blocking to stop Damage by weapon and shield also known as Shields are awesomeMore
Combat – Reach (Optional)Shorter Weapons Reach effects to combat by weaponMore
Combat – Reach (Optional)Longer Weapon Reach effects to combat by weaponMore
Combat – Situational effectsMythras Visual Combat Modifier charts This is visual version of situational combat modifiersMore
Combat – Situational effectsClose Combat Situational EffectsIn Mythras the success of your attempt can be modified by the situation. More
Combat – Situational effectsRanged Combat Situational Modifiersand the visual version is hereMore
Combat – Skills, MovementEncumbrance calculator and Character Equipment listHelps to calculate whether you can actually carry that plate armor without serious penalties

Replaced by Fatigue, Encumbrance and Speed calculator
More
Combat – Special EffectsOffensive Special Effects Combines all the special effects for the offensive one quick reference to see what you can do when hitting something.
More
Combat – Special EffectsDefensive Special EffectsDoes the same for defensive More
Combat – Special EffectsTactics of choosing special effects – result based visualisationMore
Combat – Special EffectsTactics of choosing special effects – next generation – one pager version
offensive
defensive
Gives you easy way to select special effect based on what you want to do to the opponentMore
Combat – WeaponsGloranthan Weaponscurrent understanding how lunar, dwarves, elves, dragonewts More
Combat – WeaponsEastern WeaponsHow easterners weapons work More
Combat – WeaponsStandard Weapons
Combat – WeaponsShields and Passive BlockingMore
Combat Styles – ExamplesCombat Style Cards Encyclopedia
Updated early 2022,  hundreds of combat styles
There are now combat styles defined for almost all Mythras supplements (official or unofficial). Pick one or two for your players.

More
Encyclopedia
Combat Styles – TraitsCombat Style Traits  All the combat style traits from all official and unofficial supplements should be on this EncyclopaediaMore
Encounters City Quarter Map CreatorSettings: Fantasy, Mythic Constantinople, Monster Island, GloranthaMore
EncountersMythras Encounter Generator (MeG) Generate with a touch of a button all the enemies or NPCs you need. Should contain all the stats for all the fantasy based supplements, also all Gloranthan creatures. Easy to add your own if you want. Almost 4000 NPC/Monster templates to generate encountersMain post
EncountersMythras and Gloranthan generators for GM Other generators for a Mythras or Gloranthan campaign.
EncountersGuides to Mythras Encounter Generator
generic
creating NPC’s
as a session tool
guidance in creating encounters
Various guides how to use Mythras Encounter tool
EncountersMythras Encounter Generator JSON finder tool (for Roll20) 
MagicMagic Situational Modifiers
MagicMythras Magic Modifiers VisualisedMore
Magic – Folk Magic OptionalProgressive (variable) Folk MagicMore
Magic – Setting – GloranthaHoroscope Personality Traits for GlorantMore
Magic – Setting – GloranthaRune List
Magic – Theist, Folk Magic, Animist – Setting – GloranthaCult one pagers for Glorantha150+ cults for Glorantha moddedMore
Magic – SorceryDiminish Effect on your opponenthas the goods on what can that pesky diminish spell do to you or your opponent.
Magic – SorcerySorcery ToolMore
Magic – SorceryGrimoire formexample: Grimoire of Ravenous SharkMore
Magic – SpiritsSpirit Combat tablesSpirit combat charts (Spirit damage, special effects and spirit combat results) have been gathered into this chartMore
MovementFatigue, Encumbrance and Speed CalculatorFatigue, Encumbrance and Speed calculator.
It makes it much easier to see all the effects that encumbrance, terrain and fatigue make. The aim here is to make movement speed also count – when escaping One-Eye the Carnosaur you do not have to be the fastest but faster than 2-4 of the slowest ones. You should also be make the hard decisions what to drop to escape easily from game mechanics point of view. 
The encumbrance and fatigue can make drastic changes to the speed and skills. This tool aims to help the use of them to support the game session.
More
MovementMovement and Swimming EffectsIt contains now a table for movement rates between 1 and 14, effect of athletics on the speed when walking, running or sprinting.
It also has a table for the common modifiers for movement like encumbrance, armor and fatigue.  It has also the effects on ranged combat.
More
MovementChase control roll resultsFor the future chase sequences in my campaign decided to combine all the movement effects into tables that fit into a single page.
More
SkillsDifficulty Grade Progression mini-chartMore
SkillsMythras Skill Roll Evaluatoraugmentation and difficulty grade calculatorMore
Skills, Movement, CombatFatigue progression mini-chartMore
Skills,CombatCriticals and Difficulty Grade shortcut tableThere is an interactive version at http://toolsfrompavis.com

Here we have a quick reference chart for criticals and difficulty grade on skill. If you like maths – you do not need the chart, the calculations are simple but I find doing them in the heat of the game distracting.
TravelGloranthan Ships for RQ6They could be useful anywhere in fantasy worldMore
Travel (Setting – Monster Island)Exposure Modifiers for Camping in the WildernessMore
Travel (Setting – Monster Island)Monster Island Hex Crawl and Jungle (and other difficult terrain) travel effectsJungle Fatigue Calculator
(Replaced by Fatigue, Encumbrance and Speed Calculator)
Traveling effects in Jungle
Traveling rolls in Jungle
Traveling Distance in Jungle
Camping in the Wilderness

More
Commerce (Setting – Monster Island)Bird Feather pricingMore
Setting – Monster IslandCity Map – AkakorMore

You might find this condensed version for starting GM’s useful

Runequest 6 and resources

Runequest 6 by Design Mechanism and Guide to Glorantha by a kickstarter campaign have woken up quite a bit of activity for Glorantha.

RQ6 is excellent ruleset for the game masters and the most fun edition of RQ so far. It has two excellent scenario books already out – Book of Quests and Monster Island both of which can be set on any universe. Monster Island especially is a magnificent tome for the GMs.

RQ6 is still missing the Glorantha parts that are coming in Adventures in Glorantha later. For those that can’t wait there are at least two fan efforts to bide you thru

Progressive spells for RQ6 by Bruce Mason and  a collection of the Gloranthan spells for RQ6 by Gloranphile

I found also the following quick reference tables created by Gloranphile very useful.

Lately a fellow Finn skoll has created excellent enemy editor at . He has been quite responsive to feedback either on the Google+ community page for the Design Mechanism or at Design Mechanism forums

There is active Glorantha community page at Google+ with lots of old timers but many new faces as well.

GM Tool tips : Music and sounds

iPad can be a useful tool for GM. One of my favorite programs there is Soundboard.

Soundboard is basically a DJ tool for mixing sound sources. This can be good for evoking a bit of atmosphere to your game. Create a playlist in iTunes for appropriate music  depending on the stories or encounters you have. In Soundboard create one or more soundboards for the music.  Import the playlist as a whole to individual soundboard – you can have 32 songs per soundboard visible. Name the soundboard so you can easily find it.

Purchase or create some sound effects for example. There are quite a few commercial ones available from iTunes or Paizo website. Create new soundboards for the effects for example – drumming,  ghostly sounds, combat etc.

During the game select from soundboard good background music for your particular situation, for example something from Lord of The Rings, Ennio Morricone, Epic Score or Midnight Syndicate.  When you need sound effects just flip to the soundboard that contains the proper effects and click on each one you like to play for example growling and combat sounds. The advantages of Soundboard are that you do not need to search and click on iTunes playlists and that you can play effects, even multiple effects on top of each other and background music.

If you need more volume than iPad speakers supply, you can connect the iPad either to a stereo system wireless or to external speakers via bluetooth. Usually the iPad speakers are enough.

Campaign Mastery has a good article on creating the mood.