Reflecting on the RuneQuest Panel at GenCon 50: Unveiling the Future of Role-Playing

By Dan Zappone August 24, 2017 4 Min Read
RuneQuest Panel at GenCon 50RuneQuest Panel at GenCon 50

The GenCon 50 conference offered a platform for some of the most riveting dialogues and announcements within the gaming community. One of the standout sessions from this event was the RuneQuest panel, which served to whet the appetite of all gaming enthusiasts present. Here we delve into notes from this significant event, supplemented with information from Chaosium and various credible sources.

RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – The Anticipation

RuneQuest Preview Soft-Focus Glamour Shot
RuneQuest Preview Soft-Focus Glamour Shot

The panel was buzzing with anticipation about the release of the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha PDF, slated for a November 2017 launch, and a print version coming in early 2018. Chaosium had teased fans with the promise of the print editions hitting the shelves just in time for Christmas 2017, with broader availability in local gaming stores by early 2018.

The panel unveiled a glimpse into the series’ initial offerings, which include the RuneQuest core rule book, the RuneQuest bestiary, and a GM pack featuring a ‘Return to Apple Lane’ scenario.

Character Creation and Playable Races

The character creation process in this new edition has been designed to support a variety of characters hailing from Sartar, Esrolia, Grazelands, Prax, Old Tarsh, and Lunar Tarsh. The core book incorporates an array of cults, enriching the overall narrative.

The bestiary offers an impressive lineup of around 12 playable races, including but not limited to the traditional Gloranthan elder races such as Mostali (Dwarves), Aldramyi (Elves), and Uz (Trolls). However, the panel pointed out that Broo will not be a playable race.

Updated Setting and Campaigns

RuneQuest’s Gloranthan setting has received a time update, moving from the year 1621 to approximately 1625. A major shift sees the Lunar Empire no longer acting as an occupying power, paving the way for common mixed Lunar/Lightbringer parties.

The game places characters on an extraordinary power level but ensures scalability. The intended time scale for campaigns mirrors Torchlight’s approach, with an aim to execute one scenario per season.

A Glimpse into the Second Wave of Books

The second wave of RuneQuest books promises an exciting lineup, including the Heroes Book, an updated version of Trollpack, a second RuneQuest quickstart, Cults of Dragon Pass, and a Glorantha quickstart to provide an introduction to the setting.

Improvements and Enhancements in RuneQuest

Although the core rules are based on RuneQuest, 2nd edition, with commendable backward compatibility with previous editions, the game has seen numerous improvements. These enhancements range from more realistic weapon damage mechanics to innovative rules that boost immersion in the setting.

The introduction of rune associations and passions augments character motivations. The rules for spirit combat have been redesigned to ensure less division among player types. The sorcery system now requires less complex mathematics, making it more logical and less superpowered.

Rules around cults and rune magic have been revamped, aiding in sidestepping the initiate trap of sacrificing POW for rune spells. The progression to the rune level is now more supportive, breaking down barriers.

Heroquesting: A Narrative Challenge

The panelists also discussed the challenge of heroquesting, noting it as more of a narrative issue than a power problem. They pointed out the need for a less formulaic approach and the dangers of relying too much on obscure lore to construct deus ex machina HeroQuests.

Gloranthan Campaign Coins
Gloranthan Campaign Coins

Other news

As Chaosium said before, there is no Kickstarter for RQ. Chaosium did say there will be a Kickstarter for Gloranthan coins from Campaign Coins in February 2018. Also in the works is an RQ coloring book, like the recent Cthulhu one.