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December News

posted Dec 03, 2012 22:37:21 by lawrence.whitaker
As we hurtle towards Christmas, I'd like to begin by thanking everyone who's shown us support during the past 18 months or so, since Design Mechanism began and we announced our revival of RuneQuest. Your support and custom has enabled us to produce two books for early 2013 release and confidently build on our promise to make RQ - and Design Mechanism - a growing system and company. Its great to have your confidence here on this forum and in the wider community.

So, now to the news. If you can't wait for the Big Reveal, scroll down now. Otherwise, here's where we are.

Monster Island
Cover art is with us, Russ Nicholson and others have provided illustrations, and Pete continues to refine the text (with a tiny bit of input from me). The book is getting ready for editing, and Colin Driver is hard at work on the maps.

We're going to make 'Monster Island' something special. It deserves it. Pete's worked hard to create a really evocative, fun, setting/sourcebook/creature digest and he's more than succeeded. We're looking at 256 pages filled with scenario ideas, scenario cameos, a full setting to be dropped (literally) into any ocean in any campaign world, and more monsters than you can shake a spear at. To this end, we're going to include a full-colour, pull-out map of the island with the book, probably in A3 or A2 size, and done by our good friend Colin, the genius cartographer behind the bulk of the maps in Moon
Design's 'Guide to Glorantha'.

Monster Island really does take its cues from Chaosium's masterful 'Griffin Mountain'. Its a living, breathing place populated by bizarre and interesting fauna and flora that will provide months of great
adventuring. Its the kind of place GMs can strand their characters upon, and structure an entire campaign around their survival and escape. Its a place where you can play one of the different indigenous races and treat it as home - to be explored and endured. Its the sort of place that some dastardly sorcerer like Kratos or Jedakiah (see Book of Quests) will send characters to, in return for money or secrets (or maybe as punishment), so they can quest for the rare and precious items that will fuel their sorcerous schemes.

Its going to be a great book.

Book of Quests
This compendium of seven scenarios is completing editing and now into layout. All the art is in, and I'll be previewing the cover in the next couple of weeks. All the scenarios in BoQ are penned by relatively new authors who worked to a light brief provided by me. The idea is to offer a loosely detailed region where the adventures take place, but keep the scenarios as flexible as possible so they can be used in any fantasy world. The writers have done an excellent job of taking my rough ideas and making them into a series of terrific, exciting scenarios. There's something for everyone: a caravan guarding job that turns horrific; a city-based intrigue concerning a tragic countess; a rescue mission into a murky swamp; an investigation into shady dealings in the king's court; a race to find an ancient artefact of dreadful power; a quest into the remote mountains to thwart an evil plot; and a showdown with the nefarious sorcerer, Jedakiah, at his
mountain lair. Each scenario can be played standalone, or the whole lot forms a complete campaign. Couple this book with Monster Island and you have years of adventuring.

It'll be about 200 pages and, once again, Colin Driver has done all the maps and floorplans - and in a splendid style too.

Hardcover Kickstarter
In 2013 we will launch a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project to produce the core rules and, depending on stretch goals attained, Monster Island and Book of Quests, published in hard cover. We're looking to produce the very best hardcover we can - dustjacket, bookmark, stitch casement... its not cheap to do, and we also want to offer the book at a reasonable cost. More on this in January next year.

During 2013 Pete and I will be working on Mythics Greece and Briton respectively. I've already started my Briton research and notes. These will not be straight historical books, but will contain magic and heroics too. Of course, we'll produce the books in such as way that magic can either a) be dispensed with or b) treated as vague superstition that may or may not work, depending on your point of view.

We will also be commissioning Michael O'Brien (Sun County, River of Cradles and Mister Maximum Game Fun) to write Mythic Constantinople. This is a pet project for Mike and knowing his approach to game
writing, it will be worth waiting for.

And now the reveals...

Age of Treason: Shores of Korantia
We're delighted to announce that Design Mechanism will be publishing Jonathan Drake's superb Age of Treason setting for RuneQuest 6. Jon is writing a completely new core book, focused on a different region, Korantia, which we will be releasing late summer 2013. Those of you familiar with the first Age of Treason book, focusing on the Taskan Empire, will know what a great and original world Jon has created. The Korantia sourcebook follows in this vein but is a completely new area with new gods, magic, cultures and adventures . We heartily welcome Jon aboard the Design Mechanism galley (and he's already working out where, in the nearby ocean, Monster Island fits)...

Luther Arkwright
Design Mechanism has licensed the exclusive rights to produce a brand new version of Bryan Talbot’s acclaimed graphic novel series ‘The Adventures of Luther Arkwright’. For those unfamiliar with the character, Luther Arkwright is a trans-dimensional troubleshooter working for WOTAN, the agency that monitors the myriad parallel worlds of the multiverse. The first graphic novel series focuses on the attempts by the sinister Disruptors to unleash the Firefrost weapon and so cause widespread destruction and chaos across the parallels. Luther, working in a variant Earth where Cromwell’s descendants still hold power, goes to extraordinary lengths to thwart the Disruptors’ plans. An excellent overview of the Luther Arkwright saga can be found at:

And Bryan’s own site at:

‘Luther Arkwright: Roleplaying Across the Parallels’ will see Bryan’s iconic character and setting powered by the RuneQuest 6 rules. The game will focus on WOTAN’s attempts to police the multiverse and prevent the Disruptors’ (and others’) schemes. Characters will each have a unique ability that has brought them to WOTAN’s attention, including psionics, mysticism and other talents of the kind found in the Arkwright multiverse. The game takes RQ in a new direction: rules for the modern era, along with mechanics for Steampunk concepts, travel between parallels, and even maintaining the same character across multiple worlds, will be included.

The game will be written by myself and Pete, collaborating with Bryan: indeed, some work has already started. Arkwright is a perfect background for RuneQuest Science Fantasy/Steam Punk/Fin de Siècle adventuring. Some of you may recall that 23rd Parallel Games produced the first Arkwright RPG in the 1990s and that, too, used a d100 resolution mechanic. This, though, will be an entirely new game. We intend to support the setting with Parallel books, detailing a particular variant Earth complete with a set of scenarios or campaign arcs included.

Bryan had this to say: “2014 is the 36th anniversary of the beginning of the original serialization of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright graphic novel, and it's never been out of print since then. In the summer, Dark Horse books are releasing a large format, hardback prestige edition of the book, which will also include the sequel, Heart of Empire, an extensive illustration gallery and a ten page interview. It's so very cool that this brand new Luther Arkwright role playing game is being published in this same year. I'm very excited about the project".

At this stage, its too early to predict page count, but its likely to be 256 pages. It won’t be a standalone game; you will need the RuneQuest rules, but it will be a complete treatment of the Arkwright multiverse so you can expect a lot of depth, new rules, and new concepts.

As you can imagine, we’re very excited about this project. Pete and I are long-time Arkwright fans and, with our deep love and affection for multiverse-spanning concepts, eternal champions, and the whole Fin de Siècle vibe, this is a perfect setting for us. We’re very much looking forward to starting the work proper and getting the Luther Arkwright game finished for the end of 2013.

Happy Holidays!
[Last edited Dec 03, 2012 23:44:13]
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60 replies
Thalaba said Dec 15, 2012 15:42:27
While I don't think that RQ is particularly suited to playing the Arabic 1001 Nights as written, I do think that RQ (in any edition) does a grand job at recreating a Mythic Arabia experience.

In fact, my Thirteen Wives of Mahoumik campaign does exactly this. Some of the specific influences that I mention in my campaign report (with bits of text quoted) include:
Sheba - by Nicholas Clapp
Arabian Sands - by Wilfrid Thesiger
The Travels of Ibn Battutah - edited by Tim Mackintosh Smith
The Desert of Souls - by Howard Andrew Jones
Swords from the Desert - by Harold Lamb
Arabia Felix - by Betram Thomas
The Southern Gates of Arabia - by Freya Stark
Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land - by Tim Mackintosh Smith

I may add a few more books when I wrap up the report, which I hope to soon.
Dreameister said Dec 15, 2012 16:50:35
That's an awesome selection of books, Thalaba.

I'll check up your write up when I get the time. I have a suspicion I'm going to like what I read.

SergioMascarenhas said Dec 15, 2012 23:05:40
(I've been away and couldn't reply before)

Marko, yes, I ment the Arabian Nights proper, not all possible takes on Arabian-inspired roleplaying, that's why I mentionned Ibn Battuta.
Thalaba is right to a great extent. A good deal of the RQ6 ruleset is of marginal interest to an Arabian Nights game. IMO an Arabian Nights game does not require a system such as RQ. HeroQuest does a much better job, for instance. Yes, we can use RQ, but it's not the best fit. It's not simply a question of being more focused on social interaction, it's the fact that a good deal of impressive description and vagueness is part of the sharm and wonder of Arabian Nights. It's an impressionist setting that requires an impressioninst game system (if I may express myself this way).

Thalassa is also right about using diverse sources, and not only Ibn Battuta. Still, the fact is that RQ gave us the closest equivalent of this kind of take on a setting with the Travels of Biturian Varosh. I guess that's what's on the back of my mind, a Mythic Arabia game that is presented and approached as what we had in Cults of Prax long ago, only that this time it can pick and choose from historical sources.
Dreameister said Dec 17, 2012 06:13:18
Thanks, Sergio. Maybe I should go back and reread The Arabian Nights. I haven't touched them in almost 20 years.


RangerDan said Dec 17, 2012 10:56:57
Somewhat related to the NPC-book/pre-generated packages idea above, I admit that I miss the culture and profession 'packages' that were more present in MRQ2. RQ6 characters have a lot of options and flexibility, but I find some players unfamiliar with the system don't really like the 'accounting' side and agonise over how to spend their cultural/profession skill points.

I thought 'pre-purchased' packages connected to archetypes could speed up the process a lot. For example, the player could say "I want to play a kind of knight", and you could say, "OK, add +15% to Ride, +15% to Etiquette, +5% to Brawn..." etc. and avoid forcing the counting side onto players who don't enjoy it. I think there's enough system-neutral archetypes available to fill a book.

If this was a part of an NPC book I would certainly buy it.
RoryHughes said Dec 17, 2012 11:43:29
I just counted that, with the three extra chosen advanced skills, that each 'layer' of character creation amounts to distributing 100 points among 10 skills, and finally 150 points wherever.

To speed up the process, simply award 10 points for each of the 10 skills given at Cultural and Professional selections, then another 10 skills at a bonus +15% each.

If players want something more specific, you just prioritize from this basis - taking a +5% here and a -5% there but keeping the balance. I found it pretty quick.
Chris said Dec 17, 2012 18:33:02
What's type of fantasy does Age of Treason portray, and ditto for Shores of Korantia?
"This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!"
jjwdrake said Dec 17, 2012 23:14:04
Shores of Korantia is a new book for the setting first published as Age of Treason (for Legend). It's ancient-style, and if the Taskan Empire of Age of Treason has an overall Eastern Roman Empire/Byzantine quality to it, Korantia is more hellenistic in feel. The setting is humanocentric, no dwarfs elves etc, sword and sorcery rather than high fantasy. Plenty of straight up adventure, but there's often a political twist, or at least some complex motivation and lots of plot layers if you want to explore those things (passions fit in very well). The new book provides the opportunity to take to the high seas for adventure, and in doing so get transported to some of the world's more fantastical parts...Monster Island among them. And if you have been toying with using Meeros, then it can be fitted in with minor tinkering as one of the 40 city-states of Korantia.
Chris said Dec 18, 2012 11:35:20
Thank you jjwdrake

Sounds interesting
"This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!"
DanTrue said Dec 18, 2012 13:24:36
How about Mythic Steppes? Adventures in the myths of spirits, ancestors and tribal wars of the Mongols, Kazakhs, travelling Chinese and tribes of the Gobi desert.

If I had the time I might write one such myself..

- Dan
Chris said Dec 18, 2012 23:08:03
I'd play that Dan, sounds great.

Will the kickstarter RQ6 Hardback have the updated errata/clarification in it?

There's really not that much but you know, it would be cool :)
"This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!"
lawrence.whitaker said Dec 18, 2012 23:16:06
Will the kickstarter RQ6 Hardback have the updated errata/clarification in it?

Yes it will.
Davide said Dec 19, 2012 12:55:05

have you a plan to update RQ6 Core Rules on DrivethruRPG? If so, when will it happens?

lawrence.whitaker said Dec 19, 2012 23:27:42
have you a plan to update RQ6 Core Rules on DrivethruRPG? If so, when will it happens?

We will incorporate the errata into the core rules for a second printing; that's when we'll update the DTRPG files. Its likely to be early new year.
jujitsudaveps3 said Dec 22, 2012 17:44:01
When is the target date for Mythic Britain?
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