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A RuneQuest blog

posted Feb 28, 2013 19:26:07 by DanTrue
Hi all.

For the last couple of weeks, the idea of (yet another) RuneQuest blog has been rolling around in my head. I'd try to use it to motivate me to share some of the stuff I produce for my own game (maps, conversions, monsters, GM tools etc) and to produce it in a format that will help myself use it in the future (i.e. well-ordered files rather than notes scrabbled on graph paper).

Another reason is that I would like at some point to try to get published... but so far I've always stopped working on adventures before they were done because the need for them got removed (the campaign took another turn or never got started). So hopefully this blog can help motivate me to actually complete stuff, if nothing else then to throw it at the website.

I'm not entirely sure I'm gonna go through with it yet, but if I do. What kind of content would you like to see? Monsters, gaming aids, adventures, tables, locations?
I have the benefit of also being a software engineer, so I can easily make small programs to help with various gaming problems. Any ideas?

Soeh, what kind of content, programs, etc. would you like to see on a runequest blog? And are there so enough out there that I just shouldn't bother?

- Dan
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19 replies
Dreameister said Feb 28, 2013 22:05:25
Hey Dan,

I can definitely relate to the sharing issue, as well as stopping midpoint as something more interesting develops. I've never tried blogging but setting goals of any kind is a good way to motivate yourself, so go for it.

I don't think there is a critical mass of information to deem additional material unnecessary and there are enough discussion across various fora that you can see what people stumble around.

In my opinion what would be most interesting are snippets of how diverse settings RQ can serve. So cults, grimoires, brotherhoods, NPCs, simple rules add-ons and yes, monsters and even settings, all boiled down to a half page to max. two page in length. More something to set off the imagination than anything to be used out of the box (though if both coincide, bully for all).

For example, a sorcerous cult of enchanters who power up golems with soul jars containing souls of convicted prisoners they strike a bargain with on the eve of their execution? Would the cult sell the golems on the black market to a pirate king from the south seas? Or do they serve their king loyally? What would the char gen for a soul jar golem be like?
A short description of the airship Henry Jones Junior with air combat rules and Special Effects?
Or a Guns and Sorcery add-on for playing S&S games in the shiny, corrupt cities of Marlowe and Spade with movie stars worshiping the Beautiful Dweller of the Celluloid?
Or just some plain Gothic, Hammer Horror fun?

One thing that most players seems to need are NPCs for all occasions as well as some guidance on adventure design. Latter will be addressed somewhat by The Book of Quests and Moster Island, but what about using RQ to run D&D, or wuxia or Wild West Zombie Fest?

Actually, when you start thinking about it, there is loads of interesting and fun things to do, but in my opinion it all boils down to what is fun for YOU. If you cater to what other people want but you have no heart for, it'll plummet down like a Led Zeppelin (to borrow from that classic naming), whereas if you write something you feel passionately about you'll find at least some audience that feels as passionate about it as you do.

Sorry for the long post, I hope it helped.

Skoll said Mar 01, 2013 08:26:28
I think Marko is right on the money in the the last paragraph. Nonetheless... Personally I would be most interested in reading how other GMs are utilizing the rules - what do they like, what kind of issues they have run into, what have they changed. Also simply reading about stories about other campaigns can be inspiring.

When it comes to content, I'm not that interested in new settings. But one-off scenarios, that can be easily moved to any setting, are always welcome. Those scenarios wouldn't even need to have complete statboxes, as I know I will anyway adjust the stats of the NPC according to the PC "levels".

Now, the tooling is an interesting area. I have been also thinking about developing some tooling, mainly to help with combat, but so far I'm not quite sure yet what do I need or what kind of app should it be. But something to make rolling initiatives faster and keeping count of combat actions and effects more reliable.
Dreameister said Mar 01, 2013 08:52:46
Regarding NPC's, I'm now used to a way of making all NPCs except the major ones in a similar to what Bruce outlined in one of the posts here on the forum:

I use the average characteristics and attributes, then think of a story for the NPC. Who he is, what his profession and culture is. If he is exceptional in any physical way I'll correct the attributes and such. Then I know the level of competencies in most skills: a clock maker will have 70+ percent in craft clocks and related lore, mechanisms etc, 50% in things he enjoys working (hobby skills) and 25-30% in everything else. Same goes for passions (which usually are the first stats I decide on, as they inform the character better).

It's a quick and dirty way of doing NPC's that nevertheless can result in satisfyingly complex characters. For the major characters I do a detailed write up like the ones you'll see in BoQ, but for the most part the above is quite enough (and if any of the NPCs becomes more important, it takes less time do flesh him/her out later).

PatHenry said Mar 02, 2013 02:55:55
I was drawn to RQ because I wanted to run a very gritty quasi-historic, no-magic campaign. It struck me if you’re going to take that much away from players, you must give a lot back, in the form of that was a very crunchy combat system and deep social structure. As time has passed, I’ve dashed in a few mythical creature encounters and magical foes—its become a very organic swords-against-sorcery campaign—and the beauty of the system is you can bolt on these things elegantly.

I think what challenges me more than anything else, and what I’d like to see a blog devoted to, is how to tailor encounters to adventurers. D-n-D makes this easy, almost mechanical, in terms of Level versus Level. But RQ is much more organic, much less structurally balanced. What Marko wrote resonates with me.

More than a blog, how I’d love to see someone update this fantastic thing to RQ6:

Dan, methinks you’re the man to do it.
[Last edited Mar 02, 2013 03:01:17]
Dreameister said Mar 02, 2013 06:59:43
More than a blog, how I’d love to see someone update this fantastic thing to RQ6:

This is quite nifty :-) I was thinking about the programmable side of Dan's question and couldn't think of anything smart, but this would be very, very useful when pressed for time. Yes, I think if anyone did something like this for RQ6 his glory would be guaranteed :-D
[Last edited Mar 02, 2013 07:04:36]
Skoll said Mar 02, 2013 07:42:51
That is a cool little thing. I sent the dude email, asking is I could get the sources. Updating it to RQ6 shouldn't be too much work.
DanTrue said Mar 02, 2013 08:15:00
Oh, that thing is great! Unless he updates himself, or Skoll gives it a try, I'll take a look at it at some point :) The original code would be a boost ofc. Give a yell when you know something Skoll. It seems like it could also easily be extended with more "classes", i.e. more generic examples than the Glorantha ones.

Well, sounds good that there is some interest in another blog. Keep suggestions coming :)

- Dan
Dreameister said Mar 02, 2013 16:13:41
Maybe a random adventure generator would be interesting. Something along the lines of In a wicked Age but more structured. Fiasco also comes to mind.
DanTrue said Mar 04, 2013 16:06:50
Dreameister: Do you have any links to something like that? I could make something which presents ideas and plot points to the GM - but I won't do a random dungeon generator... at least not without making it significantly different from the existing.
Any examples or ideas in what it should be able to do?

Hm, I've been thinking about name, something along the lines of:

Runes & Rolls
Runes & Roles
True Runes


any better ideas?

- Dan
Dreameister said Mar 04, 2013 18:49:33
Sure Dan.

In a Wicked Age has a setting/adventure generating method called Oracles which I thought of when I wrote my previous post. Here's an review of the game:

In a Wicked Age

A random Oracles program can be found here:


As for Fiasco, it's a great, little, narrative game that emulates crime/black comedy movies such as those of Coen brothers with the tag of: "A game of powerful ambition and poor impulse control". You can download the various playsets ("adventures") from their website for free:

Fiasco game

But you should really watch the two episodes of TableTop if you wish to see what's it like:

Fiasco pt. 1

Fisaco's success stems from it's tight focus on one specific genre and that could be the starting point for RuneQuest as well - most people think of it as a great S&S engine so a random plot generator that focuses on tropes and themes of S&S would be perfect (I agree that dungeon generator is uninspiring).

I had a thought earlier today about how interesting would be to have a semi-random S&S adventure generator (much like Fiasco playsets) which would have, as one of the elements, randomly assigned passions. Most S&S stories involve passions and motives as a major plot element and having them figured out within the plot elements could be interesting.

As for the name, the only things I can come up with right now are:

Runes of Power
Rune Lord's Grimoire

Not the best, I know. If something really inspiring comes to mind I'll let you know.

[Last edited Mar 04, 2013 18:51:01]
DanTrue said Mar 17, 2013 11:12:21
Hi again Dreameister

I've been thinking about the Adventure Idea generator - and I think I'm going to go for it.

Right now I'm just going to need to decide on a platform, and a name so I can order the webhost.

Any name suggestions will be considered :)

- Dan
Skoll said Mar 18, 2013 08:55:04
Regarding the enemy editor... The guy who created it hasn't replied to me. But I have started to develop a new version from scratch. I'll let you know when there's something to show.

Dan, if we get these tools ready some day, it might make sense to host them on the same server. Also, I have a server where you can probably host the development version. BTW, I'm using Python and Django as the platform. I'll drop you can note in FB in case you want to discuss this further.
DanTrue said Mar 18, 2013 10:46:54
@Skoll: Good, let's take the technical stuff via pm.

The tools I so far have plans for are mostly random generators of various kinds - adventure skeletons, macguffins with backstories and stuff like that.

I also have some GM Planning tools, which will more like be a set of tips, rather than implemented web tools... but maybe.

- Dan
Dreameister said Mar 18, 2013 12:39:56
@ Dan:

Great news! Best of luck and if you need any help regarding non technical side, let me know. I look forward to seeing the results.

Regarding the name, nothing especially good comes to mind, but I'll think more about it. The only thing that's been going through my head for the Adventure generator is a simple Rune Quests, but I doubt Loz and Pete would be able to allow it.

DanTrue said Mar 18, 2013 14:05:27
Regarding the name, nothing especially good comes to mind, but I'll think more about it. The only thing that's been going through my head for the Adventure generator is a simple Rune Quests, but I doubt Loz and Pete would be able to allow it.

As in a generator that can be set to generate Rune Quests? I actually know next to nothing about Rune Quests - the idea of "finding" a rune still baffles me a bit in the specifics. But other than that, it is very Glorantha specific. But I think my ideas for an adventure generator could be used like that anyway.

- Dan
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