09 May 2018

Back From Chimériades VI

Back from the first con in con season! Funnily enough I was re-reading my 2016 report from Chimériades V, and at the time I was complaining that I had had too much work and hadn't been able to prepare anything for refereeing. Well... apparently April is a bad month for me because I experienced a much similar situation. As a result, the following is also going to be a very short report.


I will refer you to past blog posts for information about the incredible location, the beautiful château, the breathtaking views... The first piece of news is that this was officially the very last Chimériades con, as organisers extraordinaire Camille and Philippe expressed their desire to do something else in the future. There were various rumours circulating about other people organising a similar con in the future in the same area (Provence) but nothing your favourite sleuth could get any firm confirmation about.

True to its roots (and, to be honest, also due to Mark Rein·Hagen's accidental absence), the 6th edition of Chimériades was very much Glorantha- and RuneQuest-centred. It was heartening to see that, even though the last widely-distributed French-language RuneQuest edition set in Glorantha (the Oriflam one) dates back to 1987 –more than 30 years ago!–, there is still a large fanbase, and younger RPGers are still attracted to the game (the amazing art and maps for the upcoming RuneQuest:Glorantha that were being shown around probably helped).
Also, I felt more French gamers than usual made an effort to play in English.

As a result, maybe up to 1/3rd of the gaming tables were RQ:G tables. This bodes well for the future. Speaking of the future, we had several informal chats with the Chaosium staff present at the con: Jeff Richard (Vice President and Creative Director), Jason Durall (RQ line editor), Neil Robinson (COO), and also with several freelancers and/or 'old sages' who are currently helping Chaosium on the gigantic effort to rekindle our favourite game, plus there was a big panel on Monday morning about the future of the RuneQuest line.

I guess the news everyone is most eager to hear about is with regard to the new core book. Well, we had a physical printout of the core book and it looked really finished, i.e., it included layout and art. The PDF should be available around mid-June, and the dead tree version around early August. The next books in the pipe are the ones that will complete the initial RQ:G triptych, namely the Bestiary and the GM Pack. These should be available around early December, although it wasn't clear if that would be in PDF or dead tree format.
The Bestiary is not only a Gloranthan creatures book (over 150 creatures, with stats and with a piece of art for each creature); it also contains everything needed to play non-human characters (chargen, cults, etc.). The GM Pack is really a setting pack, a Sartarite sandbox centred on the Colymar clan, with an astonishing map of Clearwine that was circulated, several scenarios, and a heavy emphasis on statted NPCs with a comprehensive background. Early 1626 Apple Lane will be the default base for player characters, in a kind of Wild West atmosphere of lawlessness after the demise of the Lunar Empire.

Many other books are currently being worked on, including some that are in an extremely advanced state of completion (i.e., they are not vapourware) like the Gods of Glorantha book, of which a printout was available for our perusal. The book contains lots of extended writeups or even entirely new ones, all in the familiar format from Cults of Prax. The cults in the Gods of Glorantha book are mostly player character-oriented cults; Jeff is working on a Cults of Terror-like book for the Chaotic cults. This latter book will probably include scenarios since it will be supposed to be read by GMs only.

Next in the pipe is a GM Book with rules for heroquests, magic items, and 'high-level' characters that is currently being playtested, and several other exciting ones, about which I have alas sworn an oath of secrecy.

the Chaosium panel

But Chimériades is not only Glorantha.  My first game was in Jason Durall's Lone Star, a new RPG set in the independent Republic of Texas (1836-46, much smaller than today's state). The game uses the Pendragon engine, and, surprisingly enough, runs really well. As someone who really likes the Old West genre and its tropes, I am looking forward to this game, as there is a glaring absence of West-themed role-playing games WITHOUT magic/undead/whatnot in them.

My other two RPG games were both RQ:G games, one also by Jason with a short incursion into the Dream World, and the other one by Andrew Jones, which was a Runequestification of the introductory HeroQuest Red Cow scenario.

playing the introductory Eleven Lights adventure

And, last but not least, I played two games of GMT Games' Command and Colours: Napoleonics on a giant table with painted miniatures, all created and refereed by the immensely resourceful and talented Grégory Privat (with help from Jean-François Bounes). We played with four people per side: one commander-in-chief, who played the command cards and who was not allowed to touch the miniatures or the dice, and three generals, one per battlefield section, who ordered and moved the units, and rolled the dice. Each commander-in-chief had 5 command cards and could use two cards per game turn that were given to two of the generals, the third general only being allowed to order a single unit (the one stacked with their leader). The orders also had to be sent at the end of that side's previous turn, in order to simulate the time it took for orders to reach the leaders from headquarters. As a result, we were always one turn late in term of reaction possibilities, which realistically enhanced the fog of war impression, and which basically added fun.
This being a game by Grégory, we also had fun objectives such as retrieving Wellington's ale barrels (for the British player) or the marshal's favourite caterer (for the French) for extra victory points.
A beautiful gaming table, fun rules, nice fellow gamers, two victories in a row— this was definitely my favourite part of the con ☺

pictures by Andrew Jones and Jean-François Bounes


  1. Merci beaucoup, Gianni!

  2. Thanks a lot for your report!
    I'm sad to read this was the last edition, I had dreamt of attending it one day.
    What can you tell us about the RQ games that were played aside from the one you played in?

    1. Well, I can't say much about the other games since I was busy playing in mine :-) What struck me was that many were run by veteran authors such as Jeff Richard, Ken Rolston, Sarah Newton... so probably writers playtesting material that may see the light in future Chaosium products!

  3. @RBRB — There are some reports visible on Facebook if your search well, @ Chimériades 6 (crépuscule)

  4. TY Gianni for the Report!