27 May 2015

Back from The Eternal Con

The Eternal Con takes place every year round about Pentecost in Burg Stahleck, a castle-turned-youth hostel overlooking the Rhine. We've had a nice surprise upon arriving there: the castle has been refurbished! All clean, lots of new furniture, new decoration, new windows.

the castle


The Eternal Con — this was the 6th edition — has become so dense in events (we even had academic events this year, see below) that, just like last year, I will only concentrate on the ones I managed to attend.

FRIDAY 22 MAY, 19:00, Grand Opening

After the usual check-in, emotional meeting with old friends and exaggeratedly early German dinner, we took part in the traditional Grand Opening ceremony. Despite some initial blunders, it was better than the previous years. Franziska and Charlotte were our delicious hosts and entertained us with their witty humour and — this was a novelty this year — very funny shorts that were projected on a big screen and which explained the 'rules' of the con and of the Jugendherberge in an easy to understand way. It was the very first time the con went digital!

Grand Opening — picture by Heini

FRIDAY 22 MAY, 20:00, Presentation of the German version of HeroQuest

Robin Mitra of Humakt eV gave a presentation (auf deutsch) of what HeroQuest was, how it was different from other role-playing games, and why people should buy it. Unfortunately, no physical copy of the German version of HeroQuest was available yet ☹

Humakt ♥ ✝
the manuscript — picture by Heini

FRIDAY 22 MAY, 21:00, Moon Design panel

with Rick Meints, Jeff Richard, Neil Robinson talking (well... it was mostly Jeff doing the talking); Jan Pospíšil and Kalin Kadiev were showing their art.

The hottest piece of news:
King of Sartar (hardback, first in a new line of 'fiction', see below) is at the printer!
It will be followed shortly by HeroQuest Glorantha.
It'll probably take some time to ship them.

What comes next?
The Coming Storm (a huge Sartarite sandbox-cum-campaign covering 1618-25) by Ian Cooper is SO big it'll be published in two volumes. Moon Design will try and make them available as soon as possible (i.e., in 2015 — the first volume will hopefully be available in time for Gen Con).

Also for Gen Con: the first three chapters of Prince of Sartar out as a kind of trade paperback comic book.

Volume 2 of The Coming Storm will hopefully be out in time for Essen, where Moon Design want to have a greater presence.

Sandy Petersen's mammoth boardgame, The Gods' War, will be Kickstarted at the end of 2015/beginning of 2016. At the time, they are all super busy working on the miniatures for the game.

Kyger Litor concept art

In the pipeline:
- TrollPak vol 1 (of 3!) by Dan McCluskey - all about Trolls
- Big Rubble
- 13th Age in Glorantha ~ aiming at the end of the year. This will be in 2 volumes: a rulebook, and a generic source book set in 1627, heavily focused on Gloranthan myths.
- Gods of Glorantha - this will be Kickstarted so as to have fantastic art in it.
- Riders of the Storm - Nomads of the Wastelands (formerly known as PraxPak), a supplement about the Praxian Nomads and Genertelan shamanism, by David Scott

You may have noticed that Moon Design are much more active than in the past. Their new target is 4-6 books a year. They're also looking at having older products available via Lulu.

What comes later? What are their projects for the future?
- TrollPak vol2: Uz characters
- TrollPak vol3: a big campaign for Uz characters set in the Redstone Caverns
- A campaign pack with six scenarios set in the six parts of the Holy Country; at the moment, tentatively containing:
   Casino Town
   New Crystal City
   Sacking the City of Wonders
 - A city guide for Nochet with a map as detailed as New Pavis'
 - A Pyre for Gods and Heroes - a novel by Jeff Richard based on Greg Stafford's Harmast Saga. The idea is to have a 'fiction' line, with one book out per year.

FRIDAY 22 MAY, 22:00, Rabbit Hat Games panel

Rabbit Hat Games' very own MOB was in from Australia and presented us his card game UNFamy. It was hilarious, especially since the losers had to eat a piece of Vegemite-flavoured chocolate bar.

SATURDAY 23 MAY, morning

We prepared our HeroQuest characters for Hervé Carteau's Harreksaga in the afternoon using a nice questionnaire. I really love this character generation method.

SATURDAY 23 MAY, 14:00, Gifts to the Gods (Religion in Bronze Age Europe)

This is one of the academic events mentioned above. Dr Christine Reich presented us the latest findings in the field of Bronze Age religion. As incredible as it may seem, despite the lack of written records, and without many new findings, scholars such as Christine are still able to find new facts about Bronze Age religion by comparing findings, by analysing the way they were buried and the area they were buried in, by comparing pieces from different museums and trying to find common patterns... A very informative and mesmerising conference!

SATURDAY 23 MAY, afternoon, Harreksaga

This was actually but an episode from the Harreksaga, a series of interconnected adventures inspired by Harrek's saga in Glorantha. This was started by Lawrence Whitaker a few years ago, and has then been continued by Hervé Carteau. The present episode was set in Tarahorn and in the Inland Sea against the evil Kareeshtan empire. The emotional high point of the adventure was at the Oenriko Rocks, where the Vadeli and the Kareeshtan had fought a naval battle 30 years ago. The bottom of the archipelago there is full of dead drowned sailors.  At the top of the largest rock, a coven of 17 Kareeshtan socerers were enacting a necromantic ritual... We plunged underwater and ended up fighting 17 Kareeshtan liches who were protecting the underwater cemetery whence the undead sailors were about to be summoned!

Harrek couldn't resist the Vingan's sword dance

While we were playing our game, we could get glimpses of an ongoing Asterix freeform mostly aimed at kids.

der berühmte Pittelix
und der berühmte Philippix — picture by Heini

SATURDAY 23 MAY, evening, Pendragon

After all these years attending the Eternal Con, I played in my very first game of Pendragon, which was set... in a castle above the Rhine! It was a quite mysterious adventure with its faire share of false leads. Kudos to Louis Kolkman for keeping a straight face whilst we spurted out the craziest theories for the strange behaviour of the Baron. Siegfried and Etzel were also in. As one of the players said, "A Pendragon dungeon crawl?!"

SUNDAY 24 MAY, morning, Trollball

The traditional Trollball game. It was VERY wet, even at some distance from the field.

the trollkin — picture by Heini

the dreaded two-headed trolless — picture by Fischl

SUNDAY 24 MAY, 14:00, The Mystic Wood

Watched as some friends were playing the Mystic Wood (1980). Nice little exploration game.

SUNDAY 24 MAY, 15:00, Into the Gloranthan Odd

Yours truly GM'ed Into the Gloranthan Odd.

advertising the games

This was the blurb that I had posted to advertise my game:

The Guide to Glorantha says: "The [evil ruins of the Machine City] sit atop a high cliff by the sea, and no matter what the tide may be, there are waves which still reach hungrily up the cliff face far above the sea level, aching to destroy once again. The trolls left a cursing shadow which slowly rolls over the ground, even at full noon. The dwarves left fiendish traps for the overly curious. Now, even approach to the site is forbidden by the local rulers."

Somehow your party has managed to pass through the local guards and to avoid the Mostali traps. You start your descent into the mysterious ruins of the God Learner city...

Into the Gloranthan Odd is my Gloranthicised version of Odd Dungeons by Éric Nieudan, which itself is a hack to render more mediaeval the very, er, odd late modern role-playing game Into the Odd by Chris McDowall.

into the odd gaming room

SUNDAY 24 MAY, late afternoon, Nations the Dice Game

A super fast "build your own civilisation" game. Perfect as a filler.

Third Age, but not in Glorantha

SUNDAY 24 MAY, 20:00, Gloranthan Q&A

Gods' War well underway, Kickstarter later this year. Now working on the miniatures that go with the boardgame. 3D is a big challenge, compared with 2D.
Realised there was no "in-Gloranthan" depiction of Gloranthan gods.
The 'illumination' picture in HeroQuest Glorantha is one of Moon Design's first conscious attempts.

New, improved prosopaedia. The draft is being used a lot internally as source material. This will be the basis for Gods of Glorantha.
Lots of new gods, esp. in Fonrit. (Followed by a lengthy discussion about Chaos in Pamaltela, and how everybody's used it, the Fonritians, the Artmali, the Vadeli). Followed by a short history of the Artmali and their fleets (used Mastakos' powers).

Q: difference between sorcery and veneration?
A: Sorcery uses the laws of the universe to bend reality.
Veneration is simply when you recognise the importance of ascended masters.

Q: differences between Genertelan & Pamaltelan shamanism?
A: Not many. Pamaltelan shamans may be stronger but that's mostly for historical or demographical reasons.

Side remark: ancestor worship is actually probably the most prevalent worship in Genertela. It's just not mentioned much in the rule books because they are... gaming books, and not anthropological treatises about a make believe place!
By the way ancestor worship would be better represented by the Man rune than by the Spirit rune.

Q: how many [core] runes are there?
A: around 30 to 40
Minor runes (e.g. the Yinkin rune) are not really "runes" as classified by the God Learners.

SUNDAY 24 MAY, 21:30, Grand Closing Ceremony

So sad. Too sad. See you next year, everyone!

Farewell — picture by Heini

SUNDAY 24 MAY, 23:00, Singalong

Uh oh. This was definitely not like the one at the Kraken last year. Too many people, some of them quite besoffen. Ah, well.

25 May 2015

TradeTalk - Comprehensive Index

TradeTalk was a (now apparently defunct) dead tree Gloranthan magazine published by the RuneQuest Gesellschaft eV.
I have skimmed through my collection of TradeTalk magazines just before leaving for the Eternal Con, and I was so impressed I decided to publish a comprehensive index to the 17 issues of this German contribution to Gloranthan fandom.


A Lunar Patrol: The Silver Shields - TT09
The Closing - TT04
Fencing Schools [of Ralios] - TT02
Flintnail's "One Day House" - TT09
Hurrlanth, the Storm Lion - TT11
Legends of Genert - TT09
Legends of the Arstola - TT10
Legends of the Embyli - TT14
Legends of the Tarinwood - TT11
Legends of the Westwood - TT07
Legends of the Winterwood - TT15
The Lore Guards [of New Pavis] - TT09
Mraloti Characters - TT10
Orlanth's Ring - TT01
The Otter Clan [in Delela] - TT03
The Pharaoh - TT05
Sinful Amazon Practices - TT13
The Twelve Birds' festival [of the Rightarm Islands] - TT04


Aulorings - TT15
Beastmen - TT07
Broos! - TT01
The Broos of the New Fens - TT11
Deadly Denizens of the Big Rubble - TT09
Elurae, the Foxwomen of Dragon Pass - TT07
The Elves of the Stinking Forest - TT07
The Esvulari - TT12
The Harandings - TT11
Hsunchen - TT03
How Dog and Wolf Became Enemies - TT07
The Mraloti - TT10
Newtlings - T11
The Pralori Hunters of the New Fens - TT11
Slarges - TT13
Spears of the Telmori - TT07
Spirits of Glorantha - TT01
The Vadeli - TT13
Vuskarasa - TT07
The Wolfbrothers' Bond - TT07
The Zebra Tribe - TT09


A First Age Galanini Myth Cycle - TT03
The Boristi Church - TT02
The Church of Handra - TT11
The Guild of Chaos Monks - TT02
Elandra - TT11
Gods of Laskal - TT14
Jalmar Ironsword, Lieutenant of Arkat - TT09
Lanbril - TT06
Mralot, the Boar Spirit - TT10
The New Stygian Church of Naskorion - TT03
[Rightarm] Island Spirits - TT04
Roleplaying Gods, Cults and Religions in Glorantha - TT01
Thief Cults of Kethaela and Kerofinela - TT06
Uleria - TT16
Vinga the Adventuress - TT05
Vinga: the Pavis Temple - TT08
Wenel - TT10
Yelorna Temple in Pavis - TT17


Alchemy Rules for RuneQuest - TT06
Gloranthan Calendar - TT01
Ritual Magic - TT08, TT10


Caladraland - TT05
Caratan - TT15
The East Wilds - TT03
Errinoru Jungle - TT14
Felster Lake - TT02
Handra and the New Fens - TT11
The Holy Country - TT04, TT05
The Isle of Giraine (Seshnela) - TT15
Istakax - TT06
Jruztela - TT13
Kareeshtu - TT14
Kingdom of Night - TT04, TT05, TT06
Korola Islands - TT13
Kumanku - TT14
Kustria - TT02
Laskal - TT14
Loral - TT13
The Marthino Sea - TT14
Naskorion - TT03
Nochet - TT04
Pavis - TT08
Ramalia - TT10
Rightarm Islands - TT04
Rivers of Maniria - TT10
Slontos - TT10
The South Coast of Genertela - TT10
Tiskos - TT02
The Tower of Xud - TT06
Trowjang - TT13
Umathela - TT14
The Upland Marsh - TT07
The Vale of Flowers - TT17
The Wasp Nest of Dragon Pass - TT07
Wenelia - TT10
Zoria - TT15


Characters of Love - TT16
The Dark Doom - TT12
The Gardeners of Pavis - TT09
The House of Black Arkat - TT12
The Live-Life League - TT16
Love Communes - TT16
The Path of the Damned - TT16
Rush's Bachelors - TT16
The Sun Seekers - TT16
The Uz Mercantile Association - TT09
Walkers of the Straight Path - TT16
Waves in the Wind - TT17
Zorgur Belk - TT16


Joraz Kyrem Gains an Ally - TT09
Unicorn Quest - TT17


The Aldryami Planting Song (an adventure set in Pavis) - TT09
All Quiet on the eastern Front (an adventure set in Eastern Sartar) - TT01
The Abduction (an adventure set in Western Sartar) - TT01
Bad Omens and Bangles (an Auloring scenario) - TT15
The Beast of Gren Dahl Moor (an adventure set in the Barbarian Belt) - TT01
Black Wave Channel (a Jruztelan adventure) - TT13
Caldvale Manor (an Esvulari setting) - TT12
Crimson Shadows Over Prax (an adventure set in Prax) - TT07
Don't Lose Your Head (a campaign in the style of Shadows on the Borderland) - TT17
Dry Hard (an adventure set in Northern Heortland) - TT12
The Ever-Burning Torches (a scenario in the style of Strangers in Prax) - TT17
Growing Pains (a mini-campaign in the East Wilds) - TT03
Krang's Table (an adventure set in Pavis) - TT07
Into the Dragonland (an adventure set in Dragon Pass) - TT07
The Three Blind Rubble Runners (an Eurmali shrine encounter) - TT16
Three Flowers (an adventure set in a Heortling village) - TT05


The Money Chase - TT03

Note: Fiction and non-Gloranthan articles are not listed.

07 May 2015

Gloranthan Podcasts Galore

I usually do not blog about podcasts. Not that I don't like them; on the contrary; when the recording has been done properly and the sound is nice, I really enjoy them. It's also nice to discover the real voice of the authors of our industry/hobby. It's simply that I usually don't have the time to listen to a whole podcast episode in a single session, and I hate it when I have to find at what exact point I had interrupted it. However, since I am on holidays, I have the luxury to listen to podcasts — and to blog about them.

1) The Iconic Podcast is a podcast that is normally 100% devoted to 13th Age. Now, because of the upcoming 13th Age in Glorantha product, they have recently made available a 'Gloranthan special' podcast. At almost 50 minutes, it is longer than usual and just chock-full of interesting information for us Gloranthan fans, especially since there haven't been any Gloranthan panels at cons for a long time (but fear not, the con season is about to start, and your faithful sleuth will be investigating about the next releases).

Anyway, episode B17 of The Iconic Podcast has all the latest information about Moon Design's projects, upcoming Gloranthan products by other publishers, and even insight about future episodes of the Prince of Sartar web-comic.

2) Moon Design have started their very own podcast. It's called Tales of Mythic Adventure, and it is available for free on iTunes. Episode 1 is already available. Here are the topics tackled:

 - Presentation of MOB and of what he's done in the past (most famously Sun County, and also the 'MGF' (Maximum Game Fun) fast-play rules, which had been published in a fanzine, and which are apparently going to be re-released later this year)
 - Killing eastern grey kangaroos in the state of Victoria
 - Presentation of Jeff and of Moon Design
 - Reminiscences about Tales of the Reaching Moon and Herschell Gordon Lewis' films
 - Upcoming projects/products:
    - Apparently the White Bear Red Moon board game will see a reprint
    - The Gods' War (Sandy's new board game, which yours truly playtested last year) should be Kickstarted this year
 - 'Crunch' getting in the way of GM'ing

All in all, this podcast is, er, quite erratic in its conduction and a good glimpse into what convention panels feel like :-)

04 May 2015

HeroQuest 2 Auf Deutsch

After the news back in February that RuneQuest 6 would be available in German, your favourite blog can now reveal that HeroQuest 2 will also be available in Hochdeutsch, and probably even earlier than RQ6, since its publisher, Humakt e.V., has mentioned that printed copies of the book would be available at the next Eternal Con. The book comes with a beautiful front picture by my friend Éric Vanel.

The contents of the tome should be a translation of HQ2, with some additional/updated information with regards to sorcery. If you want to pre-order the book, simply send an e-mail to info [at] humakt [dot] com.

More information here.