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Tunnels & Trolls created by Ken St André. "Tunnels & Trolls" and "T&T" are trademarks of Flying Buffalo Inc.
We sometimes need to make up names or words in Darktongue. Obviously in the absence of native speakers or Teach Yourself Darktongue books, all we can do is look at the few words and nouns in the canonical publications and use them as a basis to figure out new words.
The many examples of Darktongue words and nouns found in the canonical sources show that Darktongue follows a familiar pattern of (mostly) CV and CVC syllables. In terms of pronunciation, all we have is American English approximations, for instance here on the glorantha.com web-site. Initial “X”, for instance, looks like it is pronounced [z], and most words are paroxytones, so the name of our friend Xoroho here is probably pronounced zo-RO-ho.
So, anyway, what I have done is I have taken all Uz names and words I have been able to find in the various canonical sources and I have broken them down into syllables. The syllables are listed here. The idea is to freely recombine them so as to create new Darktongue names and words.
A few elements are personal additions, like:
Making a distinction between initial x- and initial z-, which induces a slight pronunciation difference
Considering that many finals are actually the same sound, and that Greg Stafford has transcribed them differently because of the difficulty of transcribing Darktongue into American English
Transforming the expected sound into something else (for fun)
Considering that Darktongue <s> is slightly different (again, for fun)
Some sounds and/or syllables are hapax legomena, e.g., <f>; you may want not to use them.
Darktongue Sound & Syllable List
Ca CaC ar Car Cang Can aC az a
b, initial [b]
ba bang bar bas be beer bi bo bom boom bor boz bu
b, final [b]
ab clob glob zub
ch, initial [t͡ʃ]
d, initial [d]
da dag dar de dee dem den do dol dood
d, final [d]
dood glod ud
e en eC Ce Cem Cen Cer CeC Ceッ
ee beer meel Cee
f, final [f]
zaf (hapax legomenon)
g, initial [g]
ga gag gan gar ge ger gic gig go gor gork gu
g, final [g]
dag gag gig kag kog rag trag twag xag xig
h, initial [h]
han he hi ho hom hor hy
i in gic yil Ci Cig Cik Cing
j, initial [d͡ʒ]
k, initial [k]
ka kag kan kang kar karth kat ke kee ker keッ ki ko kog ku kurz ky
k, final [k]
chak drok gic jak lak mook rak ric
gl/kr, initial [ɢ/q]
clob cro gla glob glod kro
ch, final [q]
l, initial [l]
la lak lar le lee len li lo loッ
l, final [l]
dol mal meel ol yil
m, initial [m]
ma mal man mar mee meel mi mo mon mook mor
m, final [m]
bom boom den han hom um xem
n, initial [n]
na nee no
n, final [n]
an den en gan in kan len man mon oon ran ron xen
ng, final [ŋ]
bang kang ting zong
cro kro ol xio Co Com Con Cong Cor CoC Coッ
boom dood mook oon
pa pand pi
qu, initial [kw]
r, initial [r]
ra rag rak ran ras re ree rer ri ric ro ron ror ruz
r, final [r]
ar Car Cer Ceer Cor Cur
s, initial [sˤ]
sli so su
s, final [sˤ]
bas jes ras tas
t, initial [t]
ta tas ting tor tow tuch
t, final [t]
th/tr, initial [tˤ]
drok tha trag tro twag
rth/rz, final [tˤ]
karth kurz pand
chur kurz ruz tuch ud um uz zub Cu
va var vo vu
x, initial [zˤ]
xag xem xen xi xig xio xo
y, consonant [j]
y, vowel [aɪ]
z, initial [z]
zaf zar zo zong zu zub
z, final [z]
az boz ez ruz uz
zh, initial [ʒ]
Square brackets [ ] indicate the IPA pronunciation
ッ means the following syllable starts with a double consonant; cannot occur at the end of words
C indicates any consonant
V indicates any vowel
The following don't sound particularly Darktongue, I have considered them as hapax legomena:
- Gothant, Iverd, Orshad (three trollkin names from Pavis and Big Rubble)
- Syllables with an initial w- (Degla Wat and Heka Iwog, Dark Trolls, Griffin Mountain)
I have just received, as a late addition to its crowdfunding campaign, the 'Referee repository' supplement for Blueholme, an old school RPG. As befits an OSR game, the supplement contains lots and lots of tables!
Some of them are really interesting and have spurred to me to adding a few bits and pieces to the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha rules.
p102 of the RQG core rules lists the various movement rates depending on terrain. However, only terrain typical of Dragon Pass is listed, leaving out other terrain types the adventurers may travel across. I am hence offering the following:
km per day
Royal Road in good weather
50 / 40 / 25*
Royal Road in bad weather
Trade road in good weather
40 / 30 / 15
Trade road in bad weather
Herders' path in good weather
30 / 25 / 12
Herders' path in bad weather
20 / 15 / 5
10 / 8 / 3
8 / 5 / 2
8 / 5 / 0
*pls refer to p102 of the RQG core rules for details
p156 of the RQG core rules says:
If the adventurer is taken by surprise by the immersion, the player must determine by a roll of POW×5 or less on D100 whether the adventurer has instinctively taken a breath.
(if not, the adventurer starts drowning)
Well, I would like to factor in the kind of armour the adventurer in wearing. So instead of having the player roll POW×5, have them roll:
POW×5 if the adventurer is wearing no armour
POW×4 if the adventurer is wearing leather armour
POW×3 if the adventurer is wearing cuir-bouilli
POW×2 if the adventurer is wearing ring/scale armour
POW×1 if the adventurer is wearing bronze plate
Strangely there is no Navigation skill in RQG. I reckon one could use Homeland Lore, Shiphandling or Survival, depending on the exact locale, in lieu of the Navigation skill.
Anyway, when the leading adventurer misses such a roll, the party gets lost. Here a few suggested modifiers to the roll:
I went to see Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 film Suspiria* and had my mind blown away. So rich, so intense, and it resonated with many of my own fantasies and fears.
First of all, this is not a horror flick. I repeat, this is not a horror flick. At the end of the show, when the lights came back, I noticed two young guys who looked disappointed, and I could hear them mutter that it hadn’t been what they had expected. Yeah sorry tossers, Hostel part XVII was showing in the other theatre.
Suspiria is actually more like cosmic horror à la Lovecraft. Sara’s character, for instance, is a lot like most protagonists in Lovecraft short stories: they deny the evidence of bad shit happening until it’s too late.
And, just like Lovecraft short stories were deeply ingrained in their time, Guadagnino has managed to perfectly fit Suspiria in the mood of 1970s Europe, at a time when the wounds of WWII hadn’t healed yet, and European youth was rebelling.
The above doesn’t mean that Suspiria is a Lovecraftian film though. It is not. Lovecraft did not understand (and probably feared) women and female sexuality. Suspiria’s cast is 100% female** and the plot revolves around [mild spoiler] the fact that a foremost, all-female dance institute in Berlin is actually a coven of witches; the pupils live at the school and there are innuendos about Sapphic love.
For me, Suspiria is a film that explores a part of our psyche and culture that is usually overlooked in our patriarchal society: the role and place of womanhood, of female sexuality, of the three visages of Woman: the virgin, the mother, the crone. And just like “kung-fu” movies celebrate the male body, Suspiria, with its breath-taking dance scenes, celebrates the female body.
So what’s in there for the RPG buff?
The obvious answer is, inspiration for a contemporary horror RPG***. This is so obvious that I won’t expand. Depending on the maturity of your players you may emphasise the female sexuality aspect, or the political one, neither, or both.
Gloranthan fans will find food for thought aplenty:
a) First, the whole film is a great illustration of why the Dance skill is actually super useful. And, based upon the already-classic “Olga scene”, you could even devise a whole magic system based upon dancing moves. Think of the implications for matriarchal societies… How cool is that?
b) There’s also quite a lot to be salvaged in terms of dreams, how they are suggested to one’s victim, how they influence reality, etc. Great stuff for a game set in Eastern Genertela.
c) And, last but not least, there’s also a profound reflection on illusions. “Delusions are lies that tell the truth” is a phrase the Doctor says. I can see implications on Eurmali hero quests.
If Suspiria is not a horror film, it certainly is a weird one, as in: weird as a genre. So if you like Lamentations of the Flame Princess, you will find tons of gameable ideas in this film. I reckon you could actually transpose the whole film to the same milieu as Better Than Any Man, as a sister or alternate adventure, the coven of witches being allies or nemeses of the ones in Jim Raggi’s adventure.
* Luca Guadagnino says his film is not a remake of the classic 1977 giallo, but a re-telling. ** Even the only male protagonist of the film, the Doctor, is played by a female actress with prosthetics, Tilda Swinton *** Because horror RPGs are not the same “horror” as horror films.
The following is from Jason Durall himself on Facebook. Note: Jason is the line editor for the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha line, meaning he did not provide any information vis-à-vis the upcoming RuneQuest Fantasy Earth books.
As there seems to be some degree of interest in what we’re working on, I thought I’d post a (nearly) complete list of what’s been announced and in development.
These are presented in no particular order, so don’t assign any importance to the sequence.
Gamemaster Sourcebook - a guide to running games in Glorantha, from soup to nuts.
Gods of Glorantha - Jeff’s big compendium of gods
Gods of Chaos (temp title) - the other half of that book
Adventure Book 1 - a collection of intro/starter scenarios and points of interest.
Adventure Book 2 - a collection of scenarios by established and veteran RQ designers and writers
Adventure Book 3 - a collection of scenarios written in collaboration with Sandy Petersen
Adventure Book 4 - a collection of adventures along a particular theme (to be announced when contracts are locked down)
Spell Cards - card decks with Rune spells, spirit magic spells, sorcery, and other useful references
HeroQuesting - this section has grown so much that it’s likely to be broken out of the GM Sourcebook
Adventurer Journal - a journal-style character booklet
Adventures in the Troll Lands - the first part of a sourcebook that serves as the spiritual successor to Trollpak
The Upland Marsh - a sourcebook with adventures
Dragon Pass Campaign Sourcebook - a guide and sourcebook to Dragon Pass
Glorantha Cookbook - recipes and a culinary travelogue
Barbarian Town Sourcebook - source material and adventures
Big Rubble - source material and adventures
Pavis - source material and adventures
Grazelands - source material and adventures
Kralorela - source material and adventures*
Nochet - source material and adventures
Seapolis - a sourcebook and adventure
“Troll Book 2” - the other half of the Trollpak sourcebook
There will be Gloranthan fiction in various shapes and sizes.
The following are things we have talked about but have no solid plan about. They may go somewhere, or be in development for years. Or be vapour.
Elder Races Adventurer Pack
“The Great RuneQuest Campaign”
Lunar Empire Sourcebook
The Invisible God Sorcery Book
*Note: I have received an early draft of this book, and I can guarantee it’s top-notch mind-boggling stuff.
Valentina / Belia the (former) God Learner
Patrick / Xu the black mystic,
Eric / Janar the Spolite sorcerer,
Teva / Skull-Sucker the uzko berserker,
Jean-Paul / Furfur the enlo bush alchemist
“I am Kro Tal the
Invincible, champion of the Tulufan arena, who crushed one hundred foes on the
black sands. I bathed in the Red Light of Zerel Fan, glory to the Blood Sun. I
served Can Shu the wise, true incarnation of Basko Black Sun, who would lead
all Ignorants to freedom from the hated Kralori. Well, that is what I believed
until my last caper.
As soon as we landed
in Zhi Ti, I ran to Can Shu’s palace to tell him – or, in this case, of one his
servants – of our plan to wake Black Stone up in Karaköse, to make him strong
enough to kill the dragons. I and my comrades were immediately thrown into the
palace dungeons by too many guards to resist. We were left to rot there for
several days and my comrades were pissed off at me.
Yet I believed this
was some clever ploy by glorious Can Shu, and when guards came to lock us up in
rolling cages and we set northwest, away from the city, I thought we would be
brought to proper authorities. It happened, but not as I expected. The caravan
guards were attacked in the night, half of them killed and the other half taken
away. Someone opened our cages and left our gear next to them. We decided to
follow our liberators and ran across the land, for the dark holds no terror for
the Black Sun.
The chase led us high
in the Zeedian Hills, all the way to the ruins of Zakarath, whose king insulted
Zerel Fan. We had to fight off some hopping zombies, strength-draining vampires
and blue ghosts, one of which possessed Xu. The Spolite cast some sorcery spell
at it* and it drained the blue ghost out of him. We hacked and bashed away at
the monsters, though the vampires did weaken the Spolite and the enlo much.
After regrouping, we
met several very surprising people: a circle of six six-breasted priestesses,
maybe demigoddesses, all human [GM’s note: well, not really], invoking the
powers of the six directions to destroy Can Shu! My comrades kept me from
attacking on the spot, for they looked powerful and had many supporters
The first was Can Ta,
daughter of Can Shu and his eternal enemy; she wore black. With her was the Guardian
of Treasures (earth woman), Daughter of the Storm (a wind child), River Mother
(with a fish tail), Moon Daughter and Western Sun. They all cast powerful
curses at Can Shu, calling him “enemy of our friends”, “betrayer” and “vile”,
while sacrificing the captured guards. Each wore a mask with six glowing gems,
except Guardian of Treasures who had only five. Her curse failed and stopped
the whole ritual.
Can Ta then turned to
us and explained that Can Shu’s ambition was to become… the new dragon emperor,
master of all Kralori! He was using the Ignorants as mere cannon fodder to
reach his goal and would gladly wipe out Chern Durel without a second thought.
She spoke words of Power and made me See. As she had freed us from slavery, I
offered her my services** on the spot, hanging to her every word. My comrades
followed suit, more or less enthusiastically.
Can Ta had a task for
us: find the missing green gem, lost to Guardian of Treasures, on the Other
Side, immediately, while the stars were still right. We were each empowered by
one of the six women. I became Zerel Fan (Fire/Sky Rune); Xu was Moon, the Spolite
was Air, Belia was water, the enlo was Earth and Skull-Sucker, naturally,
darkness**. Our mission was to ‘bring free the Potter but NOT THE GOLDSMITH and
finish the task to be done’. We walked through the veil and came to the Other
Side, in some immense green plain. There were SIX SUNS on the same path in the
sky: red, blue, black, gold, green and orange! We knew we were back in the time
of Heroes, before Ignorance struck our people.
We crossed a mighty
river over a bridge of Light I created and reached the village on the other
side. The locals told us both their potter and goldsmith had been taken away by
“evil snake-men”, in a city to the east. We checked their workshops and found a
nearly-finished woman’s mask with five green stones in the potter’s so this was
the right path. We set towards the snake men city.
It’s hard to keep
track of time on the Other Side. We walked long but made it to the city. Full
with Zerel Fan’s power, projecting a blinding and burning corona around me, I
scattered a snake-man patrol who tried to interrogate us and we descended into
the crater that held the city. There were no defences and the snake-men (upper
bodies and heads of men but legs like snakes) fled. We could read the
petroglyphs and went to the Prince’s palace, using our Runic Powers to fly over
/ burrow under / slip through its wall, leaving the guards powerless.
We went straight to
the throne room and the enlo earth-sensed that the Prince and Princess sitting
there were of the Dark Earth, hungry for our blood. Their glances turned the
flying Spolite to stone and he crashed to the floor. So I shot them with a Bolt
of SkyFire****, blasting the princess to ashes and seriously burning the
prince. He began spouting threats, so Belia / River Mistress filled him with
her waters until he blew up. She kept his head as a trophy. Yet we still had no
information about where the Potter could be.
searching*****, we found the palace’s library, where all information is
recorded on snakes as the patterns of their scales. I had seen such sorcery
before: snakes are put inside a glass tube and the information becomes clear to
who can read. Xu could. The enlo cast Command Snake and both the Potter’s and
Goldsmith’s snakes came to us. I wanted to keep the Goldsmith for myself but my
comrades deterred me. We brought the Potter’s snake to his village, but he did
not change back.
Moon Woman asked her
mother what could be done. She found out that the potter was inside the snake’s
belly! We had to go back to the snake-men’s city, inside their Dark Earth
temple, and to use a ritual I forgot to make the snake big enough we could open
it so the Potter could be pulled out. We did but it turned out the Potter was
in fact copulating with a snake woman; both were so entangled it seemed
impossible to tear them apart. Then Skull Sucker cast a cold cloud of darkness
at them and managed to tear the potter away from the snake girl’s embrace.
The enlo darksensed
the snake’s belly and found out it held a gem, which Xu delicately pulled out,
even Healing the snake after his surgery. He said “no use in making more enemy
that needed of the dark earth” and we all agreed. Then we walked back to the
village, set the potter back to work, collected the six-gemmed mask for
Guardian of Treasures, and walked back to Our World without difficulties.
This time the ritual
was fully successful and all of Can Shu’s guards died from the different
elements. Can Ta explained she is now ready for the “Hero War” with her father
and that she would lead Ignorance to Glory again. She and her followers fed us
and sent us away to Karaköse, to finish what we had started. She said there
were no Huan To there, it was Kralori propaganda, but there would probably be Kralori
sorcerers waiting to ambush us.
Best of all, this time
spent as Zerel Fan on the Other Side unblocked my soul and let me worship again
Blood Sun, not the Basko Black Sun weakling I had been forced in following. I
can’t wait to rip the Kra Lor sorcerers to bits ! Hail Blood Sun. Death to Kralori.
Death to Can Shu the Dragon.”
*Spolite sorcery at its best: a 12-point Drain
Soul spell, with full augments applying to the POW vs POW roll against the blue
spirit. It worked and it lost 13 magic points, driving it out of Xu and
attacking the sorcerer instead. Now this was effective exorcism!
**immediately gaining a “Loyalty (Can Ta)” at
***each of us had a Runic rating between 65 and
95% (depending on their success during the ceremony), and 6 Rune points
****my first Sunspear in 30 years of Glorantha
gaming! It did 13 points damage (4d6) to both of them
***** using Darksense, Rune points for Find
NOTE: all participating characters got +6% to
their Reputation, a POW check, +15% to a single skill used in the Quest and
normal skill checks.
Here is my traditional post-Kraken report. As written on its web-site, The Kraken is an annual ‘gathering of international gamers, game masters and game creators to play, develop and test fine quality games’, organised by the über-efficient Fabian Küchler and his small team of volunteers. This year The Kraken was held between 19 and 22 October, as always at the incredibly isolated Schloss Neuhausen, which is in the least populated area of all Germany. One of the first conventiongoers described driving to the Schloss like the opening of a horror movie: “Every fibre in you tells you to turn around and drive back but you keep on going not knowing why.” That sums it up pretty well.
Anyway, apparently Fabi likes my inept write-ups, and he has requested a particularly detailed one for this year, so please bear with me as I shall start from the very beginning.
THURSDAY 18 OCTOBER, late afternoon
We (my daughter and I) jump into the car right after work and off I drive northwards. Travelling to The Kraken with my daughter means the car’s audio system is playing Baroque music, rap, System of a Down, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Can’t really complain.
We now stop every year at the same place: a super cheap roadside hotel at the border between Belgium and Germany. The place is ugly and not particularly comfortable but it’s close to the motorway and to a very good patisserie – always a good place to start your day.
FRIDAY 19 OCTOBER
After an early wake-up and some excellent custard pastries and an OK espresso, we’re soon on the autobahn, in the vain hope of getting to the Schloss for lunch (ha ha). Well, even though it’s a mere 600km from the hotel to the Schloss, we only got there at about 5 pm because of the bloody Baustellen. Heed my advice, dear readers: don’t drive to the Schloss— fly! and take advantage of the shuttle bus between the Berlin airports and the Schloss. Alternatively, you can take the train to Karstädt; it’s only 12km from the Schloss, and someone will come and pick you up.
FRIDAY 19 OCTOBER, late afternoon
Anyway, once at the Schloss we immediately feel both welcome and at home. We greet our friends and start cutting the elements (counters, cards…) of a boardgame prototype we want to demonstrate (It’s a well-established tradition at The Kraken of always being late with boardgame prototypes and RPG props).
Conventiongoer's material! Ⓖ
Our room. Ⓖ
After a hearty vegetarian dinner (The Kraken provides an option for vegetarian or vegan catering), I get to chat (in Italian) with my Maltese friends from Malta’s Wargaming and Roleplaying Society – The Kraken truly is an international gathering.
Tired but happy. Ⓐ
FRIDAY 19 OCTOBER, evening
After the opening ceremony, I catch up with further friends, amongst whom Jason Durall, with whom we reminisce about Greg Stafford, who passed away on 11 October. The shock and pain we experienced one week earlier are now giving way to pleasantly remembering Greg and his incredible kindness.
one of the programme boards Ⓖ
sample minis from Petersen Games'Gods War Ⓐ
Then I go to bed early to get some much-needed sleeeeep.
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER, morning
I have already mentioned catering at The Kraken. It’s not only compassionate, it’s also GOOD. At breakfast, for instance, we had home-made preserve. Now, I don’t know how many conventions serve home-made preserve at breakfast but I bet you can count them on the fingers of one hand.
German breakfast! Ⓐ
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER, 10:00
Panel: ‘Building A Horror Scenario The Sandy Petersen Way’
The cool thing at The Kraken is that you have these panels with luminaries from the RPG industry with a scarce attendance, meaning you get to ask your questions and to directly chat with the host without any hassle.
Anyway, this was a really cool interactive panel with Sandy, in which he built a horror scenario only using input from the attendance. Sandy has actually adapted the ‘Sandy Petersen Way’ from the three rules of M. R. James, which the English author had established with regards to ghost stories:
1) the ghost must be malign
2) no jargon (jargon becomes dated quite easily; it also gets in the way of suspension of disbelief) Sandy—> importantly, this applies to in-game terms, keep them minimal!
3) set it where the reader can imagine themself
The above was adapted to Call of Cthulhu as follows:
And we did it interactively (audience/Sandy)
1. Setting: submarine
2. Monster: undead
3. Scene: banquet
I won’t transcribe the whole scenario here. I will simply advise you not to go treasure hunting into an abandoned Soviet submarine at the bottom of the Norwegian Sea…
Saturday morning panels Ⓖ
Sandy's panel Ⓖ
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER, 11:00
The traditional Chaosium panel, hosted by Ian Cooper & Jason Durall
In this age of social networks and internet forums, there is no need any longer to precisely write down everything that has been said. However, I am transcribing here the salient points of the panel.
Ian: Still working on the ‘Open Game Licence’ version of HeroQuest, which is forking from HQ 2.0, and concentrating on rules-only stuff —> basically, it will be a System Reference Document (SRD).
In print form, however, it will be a new core book, with new sample genre packs (rather than Glorantha), and it will be followed by standalone genre packs (of approximately 32 pages each).
A famous indie designer is working on an HQ-based game, which is currently in its playtesting phase.
So if you also want to pitch a genre pack to Chaosium, please contact Ian!
At the Gloranthan side, the third Red Cow book is nearing completion. It should contain some mind-boggling revelations about some Gloranthan secrets (e.g., the Boat Planet). It will be possibly followed by a pre-1625 Fonrit book.
Jason: The RQ:G Bestiary and GM Pack are at the printer (with the crowdsourced errors fixed). So don’t start asking when they will be available, because they will be available… when they’re back from the printer. (OK, if you really want to know, that should be Q1 2019).
The next books in the pipe are (and this is a non-Euclidean pipe since work is progressing in parallel on several titles):
The gigantic Gods of Glorantha (Jeff Richard keeps adding pages to it...).
Then a scenario book by established authors (Ken Rolston, Steve Perrin, Penelope Love...).
A book taking older out-of-print resources and adapting them to RQ:G.
A book of introductory short adventures for starting RQ:G referees and players.
In parallel to the main line of RQ:G books written by Chaosium authors, Robin Laws has been contracted for two Pavis & Big Rubble books, and the first drafts look very satisfactory.
And the 800-pound gorilla is always ART— what happens is that fully-fledged books are lying idle because there isn’t any art yet.
RQ Fantasy Earth. Pedro Ziviani has been commissioned for the first one (a rewriting of Mythic Iceland)
1- Wyrms Footnotes
There’s lots of material (enough for 120 pages —> reduced to 64 pages, so enough material for two issues)
They have art for the next issue, which isn’t a themed issue but contains a little bit of everything (adventure, GM advice, NPCs, creatures...)
Looking for contributions!
2- Hero questing rules that will be in the upcoming GM book Jason: they will enable any GM to create hero quests without being Greg or Jeff, or a fan of Jung’s writings.
the Chaosium panel Ⓖ
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER, 11:00
Whilst I was attending the Chaosium chat, there was the traditional horror lottery to draw the lucky names who would get to play with the Only Old One himself… and my name was drawn (at last! after all these years!).
the traditional lottery... Ⓐ
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER, noon
At lunch time I had a great chat with Ian Cooper and the Runeblogger about the behind-the-scenes movers and shakers of my Chern Durel campaign, and possible connections with Lunar cults, Sheng Seleris, etc. (which I’m not revealing here because my players read this blog).
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER, afternoon
Sandy’s lottery game: The Monster of Poznań
Very satisfactory adventure with a pivotal twist (note to self: never trust an NPC in a CoC game ever again... the enemy of my enemy also usually ends up being my enemy!)
Puzzled investigators Ⓐ
Note that for the very first time in the history of Sandy's Call of Cthulhu adventures run at The Kraken, not a single investigator died. Hooray for us!
We did it! We survived! Ⓖ
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER, afternoon
Replaced my daughter at the Harlem Unbound game because she had conflicting schedules. Harlem Unbound is a very interesting Call of Cthulhu offshoot, in which you play a person from an ethnic or racial minority in the canonical 1920s Call of Cthulhu setting. The second, updated edition of this indie game is going to be published by Chaosium, so hopefully it will attract more attention (well, Harlem Unbound won three Gold ENnies at the 2018 ENnies so it is already well-known amongst hardcore gamers, but I’m not sure about the larger public).
my friend Jean-Christophe refereeing Harlem Unbound Ⓐ
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER, late evening
The Kraken provides an opportunity to test out one's prototypes of boardgames or role-playing games with seasoned players. On Saturday night, I found three players to play my four-player historical boardgame Siebenbürgen, and we played a very tight game until 3 a.m. The players provided great feedback, which I have now incorporated into the rules. Can’t wait to try out the new version.
situation at the start of the game Ⓟ
situation after the third turn Ⓖ
SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER, 10:00
Mythos Q&A with Sandy
This being Sandy and the Lovecraft mythos, it was mostly a display of knowledge, wits and humour, so I didn’t take notes… just enjoyed the time with Sandy. The best part of the Q&A was when Sandy’s wife asked him “Why do you love me so?” and he blushed!
Sunday morning panels Ⓖ
SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER, 11:00
Good Game Design Q&A with Sandy
Again, this was mostly us wannabe boardgame designers asking Sandy stupid questions and getting extremely valuable advice in return. Well, I certainly did.
Sandy's Good Game Design Q&A Ⓖ
SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER, 14:00-16:00
Impromptu seminar by Jeff Richard and Ian Cooper about Gloranthan mythology & running hero quests (basically about next year’s book)
an impromptu seminar! Ⓖ
[Note: as a referee running hero quests using RQ:G, this certainly was one of the most valuable panels of the con.]
Jeff: Up to now, the usual approach was “let’s write a myth ahead of the game session”.
New approach: no real difference between a hero quest and a good story using Campbell’s archetypes.
How to present that information to GMs? Treating mythology as a sandbox, and using myth maps!
E.g., at the 2018 Gen Con (running RQ:G for newbies), Jeff improvised the following hero quest:
Get to the troll underworld
Find the snake cave
Bring back the blue woman— not the yellow man!
All run in the context of a Gloranthan sandbox
Jeff expatiating upon hero quests & mythology Ⓖ
Other parts of the book will address the following:
what cool powers does my character get? (because this is what players are really interested in)
how to mechanically represent the “hero part” of the player’s character at the Other Side? (concrete rewards)
traditional Sunday Finnish pancakes Ⓐ
SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER, 16:00
‘Gated!’ a RQ:G adventure set in Prax, run by Andrew Wood from New Zealand (who had travelled all the way from NZ!!!)
As mentioned at the beginning of this report, it is an established tradition to always be late with props, and we had to wait quite some time for our character sheets. Once the wait was over, however, we enjoyed a classical but lively RQ:G adventure with lots of nice props, which saw my first use ever of the RuneQuest Strike Rank Tracker by Infinity Engine. The pregen characters were quite seasoned, with many Rune Points, and I enjoyed being able to cast lots of Rune spells! By the way, did I already mention on this blog how much I liked the new RuneQuest rules?
traditional axe-throwing session Ⓖ
traditional axe-throwing session Ⓐ
SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER, evening
Nice chat with Graeme Murrell about East Asian rock bands.
friends playing Petersen Games'Evil High Priest Ⓐ
SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER, night
I usually do not attend Sandy’s late night film showings because, well, the films are bad. This Sunday, however, he played a black and white Mexican horror film: The Brainiac (1962), which, except for the mucho cheapo latex max of the monster, was reasonably good.
Ooooh, inquisitors! Ⓖ
MONDAY 22 OCTOBER, 10:00
Closing ceremony… sad, sad, but we all pledged to reconvene next year in October!