Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rune Quest Redux

Yesterday, Josh, Mark, Benni and I gathered to play Rune Quest again. Our pals Stephan and Travis joined in for the festivities, as well. The weather was practically balmy, so we set up shop on the picnic table outside with some beers and snacks and rolled our percentile dice.

The game went well - we're rapidly adapting to Rune Quest as a rules system for our games, and many of the kinks of the first session have been ironed out. I had allowed Benni's witch to overuse her runes during the first game (forgetting to county magic points spent during a given day - bad GM, Tyler!) and also we had played a little loose and free with the Dodge and Parry rules. That was probably all for the best, so that we adapted to the system as a whole rather than getting mired down in metchanics. Yesterday's session allowed us to correct those errors, though, and we really felt like we were getting a better flavor for how the game played out. Travis rightly pointed out that much of the mechanics sytem - especially location damage - is similar to the Warhammer Fantasy RPG that we played for a while. (RQ actually predates WFRP by a few years.)

With the mechanics in hand, we were able to focus more on the campaign setting of Glorantha, and a story arc that I'd written out in my moleskine notebook during my day off on Friday. Borrowing liberally from Daniel Knauf's Carnivale, I laid out a good old fashioned rail road set up wherein one of the player characters finds out that he is destined for greatness and will be opposed by a mysterious figure of darkness. I selected our thief, a survivor of the siege of The Clanking City, as an individual known in myth as The Destroyer - one who would destroy a great mechanical city. The thief doesn't want this destiny - he wants to protect his home, not destroy it. His party doesn't want him to destroy the city either, and it was with tongues not planted too firmly in cheek that many of them considered turning him in for some sort of reward. On the horizon of the story arc is a figure named The Interloper - one who really does want to destroy The Clanking City and all it stands for. Motives are still being discovered, but it seems that The Interloper is a puppet master using others to get to The Destroyer, to help him fulfill his star-crossed destiny...

This particular week's scenario found the player characters meeting a shaman of the Tribe of the Hunter, who informs the thief of his destiny. The party fought their first Fachan in the woods outside the shrine (a tall, tree like monstrosity that preys on adventurers carrying magical weapons), and then came across a party of Dragonewts (scouts from a rival empire of half-dragons). Shortly after, they headed down stream to the village of Beltos, where they were hired by viscount Sultos Silvermask to cleanse the town of an enclave of chaos cultists. Shenanigans ensued as the party chased down every red herring and two members even bald-faced accused a known innocent, but by the time the adventure wrapped, the corrupt monk who ran the enclave had been captured and the party had their next clue in hand to help them along their path towards learning more about The Destroyer and The Interloper.

Campy, over the top stuff, to be sure, but a good time was had. For what it's worth, I'm raiding lots of sites for Rune Quest ideas, including The Mongoose Rune Quest Wiki and the Mongoose Rune Quest Forums. Anybody have anything else they suggest? Anybody have a good 1-2 pager about Glorantha that I can share with my players?

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