27 March 2023

Gloranthan Magazine Indices

Shannon Appelcline has updated his Gloranthan magazine indices.

The following ones are probably those of particular interest to readers of this blog:

 ★ Tales of the Reaching Moon, issues 1 to 20.

 ★ TradeTalk, issues 1 to 17 (you may want to compare it to my own TT index).

 ★ Wyrm’s Footnotes, issues 1 to 15.

But do also check the other ones.

22 March 2023

5-Year RuneQuest Campaign Podcast

I have played an online RuneQuest campaign game set in Sartar for five years (I reckon it must be the second-longest I’ve ever played). We played approximately every fortnight; you can imagine the sheer number of episodes the campaign entailed!

The game started with RQ2 on Roll20, then moved on to the RQG rules (and Foundry) as soon as they were made available, and ended up with a hybrid RQG-OpenQuest ruleset, with the occasional “Runes in the Dark” homebrew for our (many) heists. 

Despite the many dangers, our party of five remained the same during the duration of the campaign... I was the only one to transition from a first character, killed in a single blow, er sting, by a Chaos wasp who rolled a crit in his head, to a second one, so we all ended up with Rune-level characters. The whole zero-to-hero shebang.

Our GM extraordinaire, Steve, has devoted an episode of his Orlanth Rex’s Gaming Vexes podcast to reminiscing about salient events, favourite rules changes, character arc vs story arc, and whatnot, from these five glorious years of gaming. Oh, and did I mention Chaos wasps?


20 March 2023

New BRP Book Coming!

 A replacement for the “Big Gold Book” is coming, along with a dedicated licence (ORC). Can’t wait!

(from the bluebird site)

28 February 2023

Cults of Glorantha

The tease is over! It appears we’ll be getting 10 books: the Prosopaedia plus a single book for each pantheon, instead of the three tomes (2 cults books + 1 prosopaedia) initially announced.

Not sure what the Mythology book will consist of. When asked on social media what this latter tome would encompass, Jeff Richard said it would be a surprise. For my part, I really hope the Mythology book will contain the long-delayed heroquesting rules.

14 January 2023

Industry News (OGL Debacle, ORC, and Monster Revolution)

A lot has happened in our beloved RPG industry in the last few months and weeks.

First of all, Flying Buffalo has sold Tunnels & Trolls to Webbed Sphere, who has been basically sitting on the IP and doing nothing with it since the purchase. Fortunately, Ken St Andre kept the rights of Monsters! Monsters! (which is basically the same game as T&T but with a different title), and now all the new supplements are marketed for M!M!, for which a new edition is in the works. — But more about M!M! later.

However, the big talk of the moment amongst RPG enthusiasts is obviously the OGL debacle by WotC. For those who have lived under a stone since Christmas 2022 I’ll try and summarise what happened.

1. A new version of the so-called Open Gaming Licence (OGL) has been leaked (intentionally or not, who knows). This new version implies a much tighter control by WotC over what is published under the OGL and, more importantly, is supposed to retroactively replace the licence that has been in place since the early noughties and under which a ton of games and settings have been published.

2. There has been a general uproar by players, designers and publishers alike, and many reactions, from closing shops and removing OGL-based products to moving to a different engine altogether.

3. WotcC clumsily denied what happened and said the new licence would be reworked. But that was too late: Paizo is currently launching the Open RPG Creative Licence initiative, also known by its acronym ORC, with allies Kobold Press, Chaosium, and Legendary Games. Little is known about ORC, mostly that it will be  a system-neutral open RPG licence that can be freely used across the RPG industry.

Many companies are also offering cheap versions of their RPG engines to show creators that there is much to be found outside of the OGL and the D20 engine.

Chaosium, for instance, is selling the PDF versions of the Basic Role-Playing System, of the RQ Starter Set and of the CoC Starter Set for a mere 99¢ at DTRPG.

Back to M!M!— Ken St Andre is allowing third parties to use the M!M! engine for their own products for a small percentage of the generated revenue. 

The Lair of the Leopard Empresses by Sarah Newton is the first RPG that has been announced for this new licence. The game should be released in spring 2023 and it is expected to be a ~250-page game that will include a fully-fledged campaign, city maps and gazetteers, full rules, spells, magic, treasures, and an introductory adventure.

Erik Tenkar of Tenkar’s Tavern fame is also preparing a M!M! supplement titled Sovereign Monsters! under this new licensing agreement. See his posts here [edited 2023-01-17] and here.

Exciting times ahead!

04 November 2022

the Gateway Bestiary and the Barguest

In my latest blog post, I wrote about the Barguest and, not having the Meints Index to Glorantha (MIG) at hand, I thought it hadn't been described in RQ terms.

Well... yesterday night I retrieved my copy of the MIG from the cellar and, lo and behold!, it did mention the Barguest. The creature is listed as being described in the Gateway Bestiary. So I went to look for my signed* copy of the Gateway Bestiary, and yes there it was on p25, "a sort of fairy dog" whose description is actually more that of an undead dog. The main differences with 'my' take on the Barguest are as follows:

- it Demoralises rather than it inspires Fear
- it doesn't turn Invisible

So maybe now you can have two versions of the Barguest in your RQ games... A spectral one, and an undead one!

*I had to brag about it, didn't I? BTW the little-known Gateway Bestiary has an interesting story. When Sandy Petersen signed my copy, he told me this was how he was hired by Greg Stafford-- he went to Albany with the manuscript, and Greg said 'cool stuff, want a job?' and hired him.

Also (if I am not mistaken), Sandy's maiden publication is also the very first frp bestiary that, instead of merely listing its entries in an alphabetical order, has them grouped by type of creature.

01 November 2022

the Stafford House Campaign and the Barguest

I am currently reading ‘The Stafford House Campaign’, a collection of personal notes and of Amateur Press Association (APA) articles by
Greg Stafford. These essays are a narrative of his early RuneQuest campaigns (“expeditions” as he calls them) interspersed with various commentaries, musings and Q & As with other APA contributors.

The book is invaluable for the insight it provides on the very early years of our hobby in general, and on the birth of Glorantha as a frp setting in particular.

You may read my various thoughts about the book here.

One item that struck my fancy is the mention, on p52, of an expedition to ‘release the barguest’. Now I don’t have my Meints Index to Glorantha available right now, but I don’t recall the “barguest” as being a RuneQuest creature.

A friend kindly pointed out that there is a Barghest (with an ‘h’) on p6 of All the Worlds’ Monsters, vol.2.

As a tribute to Greg Stafford’s early RQ expeditions, I present you the Barghest from All the Worlds’ Monsters, vol.2 converted to RuneQuest using Steve Perrin’s conversion guidelines from All the Worlds’ Monsters, vol.3.


Type: Undead Spirit

Description: a large spectral hound that may become invisible, and only while invisible will it shriek.


STR 4D6 avg. 14

SIZ 4D6 avg. 14

POW 3D6 avg. 10-11

DEX 2D6+3 avg. 10

The number of hit points of a Barghest equals its POW, hence its hit points equal its magic points. If reduced to zero hit points or magic points, it is destroyed forever.

Move: 10

Base SR: 5

Armour: 5-point spectral hide

Skills: Dodge 50%, Jump 45%, Listen 30%, Spirit combat 50%, Swim 55%, Track 50%.

Magic: The Barghest may spend 3 magic points to turn Invisible.


Bite 40% Dmg 2D8+1D4 SR 9

Claw 40% Dmg 1D8+1D4 SR 9

Special attack

Shriek (SR 1): All those hearing the shriek must roll their POW vs the monster’s POW on the Resistance Table or be paralysed with fear for 2D6 combat rounds.

Special defence

A Barghest can only be damaged by magic, e.g., a sword with Bladesharp 4 would do 4 points of damage; Fireblade 3D6 damage. True Weapon spells do normal damage.

The Barghest is completely immune to emotion-affecting magic such as Befuddle, Demoralise, and Fear.