Heroquest, sources of inspiration

From: Curtis Shenton (curtiss@netcom.com)
Date: Wed 28 Jun 1995 - 06:01:04 EEST



I think I've read most of the official and unofficial Glorantha material on Heroquesting. TotRM 7 & 12, KoS, Sandy Petersen's old Super RQ rules, Steve Maurers rules, the HQ discussions from RuneQuest Con 2, and the material on the RQ Digests. The only thing I can thing of that I've missed is EPIC, and I'm unclear if any of it actually got written.

What I'm looking for now are sources of inspiration for Heroquesting. The Grail Quest is one good example. I've also found that several of my favorite movies work quite well as HQ models.

Apocolypse Now is an Arkat HeroQuest for sure. The Star Wars trilogy, especially Empire is another good example of a Hero in the making. And though it may not be immediately obvious I think Big Trouble in Little China is a GREAT example of HeroQuesting.

In fact I'm thinking of using Big Trouble as a HeroQuest inside Sog. For those who haven't seen the movie it takes place in Chinatown in some major city. The hero who's name I forget is a caucasian trucker who teams up with his chinese friend Wang when a street gang kidnaps Wang's fiance just arrived from China. They meet the various supernatural thugs employed by the evil sorceror Lo Pan when they break into the warehouse where the woman is being held. Then they end up going back in force with a local magician and a friendly Tong of warriors as Lo Pan attempts to fufill a thousand year old promise to his god.

The reason I think this is such a great model for a HQ is that at first everything is quite mundane. A street gang kidnaps the girl, then the heroes meet some supernatural opposition, but the situation is still mundane(part of the middle world). But once the heroes learn more and come to understand the situation the movie definetely gets into HQ areas. To bring the fight to the enemy the heroes go through a portal in the friendly wizards shop into the Underworld. It is not the mundane sewer system, instead filled with a glowing, white river "Lifeblood of the Earth!" and strange monsters. Finally the arrive in an underground complex where Lo Pan has even more supernatural creatures guarding him as he prepares to complete his ritual. To me the heroes have taken a back door into Lo Pan's HQ to gain immortality.

I think this would work very well in Sog City. It's just about the only place outside Kraloria where you can have a sizable number of Kralorians living in a foriegn country. I'd say Lo Pan was a God Learner type from the False Dragon Ring who managed to escape somehow. His feeble body in the mundane realm is obviously the result of the terrible curses he couldn't manage to hide from. The Three Storms are all hero types he has gained powers for by earlier heroquesting. And the good wizard clearly knows the HQ Lo Pan is attempting.

End of Glorantha Digest V1 #331


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