05 February 2019

RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha Accelerated Character Generation

RQ:G Accelerated Character Generation

Creating a character with the new RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha rules can be quite time-consuming. It’s actually a kind of little game in itself, in which you relive the adventures of your forebears throughout Dragon Pass.
I can understand, however, that some players may want a shorter induction into the game. Here I suggest how to bypass some of the lengthier steps.

According to the core rulebook, the necessary steps for character generation are as follows:
1. Homeland choice
2. Family history
3. Rune affinities
4. Characteristics
5. Occupation
6. Cult
7. Personal skill bonuses
8. Misc.

I will use the same steps here, but they will be much more streamlined.

1. Homeland choice

Just write down your choice of homeland. The core rulebook provides six homelands: Sartar, Esrolia, Grazelands, Prax, Lunar Tarsh, Old Tarsh, which have an impact on your starting skills (p60-63). You may ignore all the flavour text and concentrate on those tables.
You may even skip the homeland choice step and decide that your character is some kind of Old School vagrant. Or maybe he’s from outside Dragon Pass [theoretically the new RQ rules only let you create player characters from within Dragon Pass].

Passions: just choose three passions at 60%, irrespective of your homeland. If you’re undecided, or unfamiliar with RQ:G’s passion system, use the following:
  • Love (Family) 60%
  • Loyalty (whatever the referee says will be the core organisation of their campaign) 60%
  • Hate (whatever the referee says will be the main opposition in their campaign) 60%
or even leave the choice open for later; you can pick ‘em up during the game as you start having a feeling for what the character’s background will be.

2. Family history

This is the most time-consuming chunk in the core rulebook. It is admittedly great fun and provides a deep immersion into the history of Dragon Pass but, again, some players may find it too daunting and/or time-consuming.
Just use the following:
+1D6 reputation OR 1D6×100 L
+1D20 to a given Passion
+10% to a Communication or Knowledge skill of your choice

3. Rune affinities

3a. Elemental Runes

Roll 3 dice for your primary, secondary, and tertiary Elemental Runes:
D6 – Elemental Rune
1 – Darkness
2 – Water
3 – Earth
4 – Fire/Sky
5 – Air
6 – Moon
If the result of the second roll is the same as the result of the first roll, re-roll. Ditto for the third roll re: the first and the second rolls.

Apply the modifiers listed on p45 depending on your choice of a homeland. If you chose the ‘Old School vagrant’ background, roll for a fourth Elemental Rune at 10%.

3b. Power/Form Runes

Roll two dice to determine which of your Power/Form Runes start at 75%:
D10 – Power/Form Rune
1 – Fertility
2 – Death
3 – Harmony
4 – Disorder
5 – Truth
6 – Illusion
7 – Stasis
8 – Movement
9 – Man
10 – Beast
Note: if your first roll was 1, the second cannot be 2, as they are opposing Runes; re-roll the die. Same with 3, 4 – 5, 6 – 7, 8 – 9, 10.

4. Characteristics

Roll 3D6 for STR, CON, DEX, POW, CHA, and 2D6+6 for SIZ, INT, or use whatever method you’ve always used as long as the referee is OK with it.

In RQ:G, the character’s Elemental Runes have an influence on their characteristics. Modify the characteristics as follows:
Darkness – if primary then SIZ +2 – if secondary then SIZ +1
Water – if primary then DEX +2 – if secondary then DEX +1
Earth – if primary then CON +2 – if secondary then CON +1
Fire/Sky – if primary then INT +2 – if secondary then INT +1
Air – if primary then STR +2 – if secondary then STR +1
Moon – if primary then POW +2 – if secondary then POW +1
Either the primary OR the secondary bonus may be applied to CHA instead.

Attributes & Skill Category Modifiers

Compute them per the rules.

Homeland Skill Bonuses

Apply the bonuses listed on p60-63 depending on your choice of a homeland. If you have chosen the ‘Old School vagrant’ background, you must at least decide whether your vagrant hails from a town or from the country and, if from the countryside, whether they’re more of an unmounted or a mounted type of adventurer:

Urban background
Bargain +5
Dance +5
Intrigue +5
Sing +5
Speak own language (50)
Speak Tradetalk +10
Customs (own) (25)
Farm +25
First Aid +5
Spirit Combat +15
Dagger +5
Battle-Axe +5
1H Spear +15
Sword/Rapier +10
Bow/Sling +10
Javelin +5
Thrown Axe +5
Small shield +5
Medium shield +15
Large shield +15

Generic rural, unmounted
Ride +5
Dance +5
Sing +10
Speak own language (50)
Speak Tradetalk +10
Customs (own) (25)
Farm +20
Herd +5
Survival +5
Spirit combat +15
Dagger +10
Battle-Axe +15
1H Spear +10
Sword +15
Composite bow/Sling +10
Javelin +10
Medium shield +15
Large shield +10

Generic rural, mounted
Ride +35
Speak own language (50)
Speak Tradetalk +10
Customs (own) (25)
Herd +35
Peaceful cut +5
Spirit combat +20
Dagger +10
Lance +15
Sword +10
Composite bow +10
Small shield +15
Medium shield +10

5. Occupation

Choose an occupation and receive further skill bonuses. Just apply the modifiers on p65-73.

6. Cult

In RQ:G, your adventurer starts off as already being an Initiate of a cult! Just choose the cult your character belongs to. Your adventurer receives 3 Rune points dedicated to their cult. Just like their profession, their cult belonging will bring further skill bonuses. Just apply the modifiers on p74-79.

You also get to choose 5 points of Spirit Magic amongst the available spells listed under your cult.

You receive an extra Passion at 60% amongst the ones listed under your cult.

7. Personal skill bonuses

Add +25 to any four skills, and +10 to five more. No skill may be raised above 100%.

8. Misc.

Choose Gender, Name

Determine Age (21±1D4)

Add +5 to reputation.

Note: RQ:G starting characters are way stronger than their RQ2 counterparts!


  1. Great to see a resource like this. A couple of minor notes

    * You didn't mention the free +50% that you get to spend on improving runes.
    * It's probably best to put in a reminder that opposing power runes must add up to 100%
    * Maybe you want to cut this, but RAW characters can also start with spirit magic from associated cults

    1. "You didn't mention the free +50% that you get to spend on improving runes" --> Yes, the assumption is 'accelerated' chargen, also with an eye at people who do not really have an idea of how they want to customise their PC— the text in the rulebook says "you MAY now distribute 50 points…"

  2. This is great, so thanks a lot! 😀