Thoughts on the new RPG

From: Mark Sabalauskas (
Date: Sun 19 Oct 1997 - 19:30:47 EEST

        While people are discussing what they'd like to see in
a new Glorantha game, I'd thought I'd throw a few clacks into the
        As others have mentioned, I'd consider the game a
sucess if it contains a relatively simple and consistent set of
mechanics that scale *well* across the levels of competence of
*all* interesting Glorathan actors. Heroquesting isn't
SuperRunequesting. Fine. Just give us a system that will
model what it *is*, and in which one can play characters of
the order of Snodal, the Red Emperor, or Janisor. Nowhere in
the system should there appear a phrase like "this is a terror
utterly beyond the capabilites of the players, but we thought
we'd throw in some stats so they'd know how insignificant they
        The game should be about Glorantha. Seems pretty
obvious, eh? But if people will be saying things like "Healing
is more effective in the game than it is in Glorantha." then I
will consider the game a failure.
        Speaking of Glorathan fidelity, I hope that some of the
playtesters are people who don't care about it at all. Rules
raping powerhungery munchkins may be annoying, but if they
can't break your system, no one can.
        Sorcery and Eastern Mysticism might not appear in the
core rules, but when the rules ship the game designers should
already have a clear idea how they (and all syncretic
combinations) would be integrated into the core. Also, at
some point, it'd be nice if the East and West were more fully
developed. Kralori is a vague "China-like" smudge at the
present, and Malkionism sometimes seems like little more than a
convenient place to dump all the unpleasant baggage of
Judeo-Christian monotheism and European philosophy. But both are
ancient civilisations, with "their own cosmic secrets".
        It would be nice if the the emotional and spiritual
importance of belonging to cults was highlighted. In the real

world many people participate in religions for reasons other than
getting their swords magically sharper. Runequest was a ground
breaking game in this territory, but the new game can be even
        (Maybe I should give an example. From time to time
people will complain that, say, the cult of Babeestor Gor gets
magic that is way too useful. Logically, they'll say, every
warrior would want to join this cult, but we know this isn't

the case, therefore the write-up is wrong. It would be nice
if after reading the nextgen description, people were left
feeling: "Gee, worshiping Babeestor Gor is a pretty harsh and
tough thing to do, worshiping Ernalda is much more emotionally

rewarding. But I can see why some few people are drawn to it
- --to fight victimisation.")
        It'd be nice if the combat system had lots of
interesting tactical choices, but that it were possible to
resolve combat faster than it is in RQ.


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