08 April 2021

RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha Ultra-Fast Character Generation

Two years ago, I wrote a blog post titled RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha Accelerated Character Generation for people who thought the standard RQ chargen process (p23-83 of the core rules) was too time-consuming.

Well, believe it or not, I have received complaints that my system was still too long! After some thought and some testing, I present you the RQ:G Ultra-Fast Character Generation process!

This should work for any character type, except the assistant shaman.

It’s still in eight easy steps but, er, shorter:

1. Homeland choice

2. Character history

3. Rune affinities

4. Characteristics

5. Occupation

6. Cult

7. Personal skill bonuses

8. Misc.


1. Homeland choice

Just write down your choice of homeland, then choose three starting 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%


2. Character history

Let us skip family history altogether (the time-consuming chunk in the core rulebook) and give your character 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 (60%), secondary (40%), and tertiary (20%) 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.


Finally, add +10% to a single Elemental Rune (even one at 0%).


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

Do not roll for characteristics but freely assign the following values: 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17 to your characteristics, +4 extra points.

Do not apply the Rune or Homeland modifiers to characteristics (p53 of the core rules) as the values above have already taken them into account.


Attributes & Skill Category Modifiers

Compute them per the rules.


Homeland Cultural Skill Bonuses

Replace the Homeland cultural skill bonuses (p60-63 of the core rules) with the following, depending on your choice of a background for your character:


Urban background

Bargain +5

Dance +5

Intrigue +5

Sing +5

Customs (local) (25)

Farm +25

First Aid +5

Spirit Combat +15

Speak own language (50)

Speak Tradetalk +10

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

Customs (local) (25)

Farm +20

Herd +5

Survival +5

Spirit combat +15

Speak own language (50)

Speak Tradetalk +10

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

Customs (local) (25)

Herd +35

Peaceful cut +5

Spirit combat +20

Speak own language (50)

Speak Tradetalk +10

Dagger +10

Lance +15

Sword +10

Composite bow +10

Small shield +15

Medium shield +10


5. Occupation

Replace the Occupational skill bonuses (p63-73 of the core rules) with the following, depending on your choice of an occupational category for your character:


Artisan/Pedlar

Bargain +10

Dance +10

Orate +5

Sing +10

Customs +5

Evaluate +10

First Aid +10

Lore (choose) +15

Manage Household +15

Treat Disease +10

1st Craft +10

2nd Craft (can be the same) +5 

Devise +5

Play (instrument) +10

Insight (humans) +10

Speak Own Language +10

Speak Tradetalk +10

Weapon (mêlée) +10


Dignitary

Ride +5

Dance +5

Intrigue +10

Orate +20

Sing +15

Customs +5

Lore (choose) +20

Manage household +20

Meditate +5

Worship (deity) +15

Insight (humans) +5

Speak Own Language +5

Read/Write Own Language +10

Weapon (mêlée) +15

Shield (choose) +15


Irregular Fighter/Lowlife

Climb +5

Disguise +10

Fast Talk +10

First Aid +5

Herd +10

Homeland lore (local) +10

Lore (choose) +10

Peaceful cut +10

Survival +10

Sleight +10

Scan +5

Track +10

Hide +15

Move Quietly +10

First Weapon +30

Second Weapon +5

Shield (choose) +5


Sage/Merchant

Bargain +10

Orate +10

Bureaucracy +10

Customs +15

Evaluate +15

Library Use +10

Lore (choose) +25

Manage household +10

Meditate +5

Insight (humans) +5

Speak Other Language +5

Speak Tradetalk +10

Read/Write Own Language +40

Read/Write Other Language +10


Regular Fighter

Ride +20

Sing +10

Battle +30

First Aid +10

Listen +10

Scan +10

First Weapon +40

Second Weapon +25

Third Weapon +15

Shield (choose) +20


6. Cult

Your adventurer starts off as already being an Initiate of a cult. Choose the cult of your character and apply the skill modifiers on p74-79. Alternatively, and if you want to stay in the spirit of the ‘ultra fast’ character generation rules, simply distribute +45 skill points among three to four skills that fit in with the deity’s portfolio or with the deity’s Runes, e.g., Speak Darktongue for an initiate of a Darkness deity.

You also get to choose 5 points of Spirit Magic amongst the cult’s available spells. Your adventurer receives 3 Rune points dedicated to their cult, and an extra Passion at 60% amongst the ones listed under their cult.


7. Personal skill bonuses

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


8. Misc.

Choose the character’s gender and name. I recommend you use this post to finalise the character’s hair and skin colour.

Determine Age (21±1D4)

Add +5 to Reputation.


1 comment:

  1. I haven’t played RQ yet but keen to start soon as it seems really cool and the setting has a lot of love from fans of the game. This blog post will be super useful for reverse engineering character creation

    ReplyDelete