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Categories Discussion Main - Rune Quest

RQ III... but what setting?


Kyle Schuant


04.01.2007 05:47


I recently bought Advanced RuneQuest (3rd edition, Games Workshop, 1987). I'm wondering which setting to use for it.

My recent significant campaigns were both set in the world of Tiwesdæg (tee-waz-dag, or Tuesday), this being a sort of low fantasy Saxon England. I ran the - http://www.gamecircle.org/modules/wiwimod/index.php?page=Tiwesd%E6g+Cl%EDewen - first campaign using GURPS, and it was quite adventurous, with sorcerors and dragons slain, dwarves visited and learned from, and a civil war begun. The - http://www.gamecircle.org/modules/wiwimod/index.php?page=Tiwesd%E6g+Cl%EDewen+2 - second campaign used Fate, and was more intrigue-based in events. In both cases, I think the kind of players we had determined the style more than the rules systems. Nonetheless, they had a different _feel_. The fact that GURPS has 200+ skills meant that if the character didn't have the exact right skill, they'd often just say, "oh well, fuck it, let's fight." Whereas the Fate as I ran it, with 30-odd skills and freeform Aspects (Advantages, Disadvantages and Attributes in one), allowed more options.

As a player, I enjoy game worlds where fighting is not inevitable, but can be chosen, and has brutal results. I like magic to be magical, and monsters, monstrous - that is, rare and impressive. I enjoy GMing those worlds, too. I'm thinking that RuneQuest III might be good for this.

I've a game circle of perhaps 20 players, but if I run RuneQuest, it's likely I'll get at least one, and possibly three, players from previous Tiwesdæg campaigns. So I'm wondering what setting to use. In the campaigns so far, the PCs have mostly stayed in the province of Tiwesdæg itself (sort of what York is to England). They could go further, or I could try an entirely new campaign setting.

I'm not keen on Glorantha itself. There's simply too much stuff to remember, and the Lunars and ducks and so on just annoy me. I thoght what might be interesting is a more magical Europe about the year 800 CE (map - http://www.euratlas.com/big/big0800.htm). In this time, there's the newly-established kingdom of Charlemagne in France and northern Italy, there's a somewhat battered Romania (Byzantium), Bulgarian barbarians to the north of it, a Jewish khanate in the Caucasus, the Abbasid moslem empire centered at Baghdad, built on the ruins of Persia and Roman Egypt. Another caliphate is found in southern Spain. Britain and Ireland are broken into many kingdoms, and the Danes are active in their raiding, some of them setting up small kingdoms. South of moslem Egypt there is the kingdom of Axum, in some decline.

That seems to me a time of conflict and chaos, when any one of the kingdoms could hold over all; a time of adventure. I thought that perhaps the PCs could begin as Legion's Eyes, a band of scout mercenaries for a Byzantine legion. Of course, I'm also fond of the idea of them beginning as gladiators, as in the examples in the game book... but that'd require an earlier time in Roman history, or some history-bending. And then of course they could always be ambassadors, or guards to ambassadors, perhaps those proposing marriage between Charlemagne of the Franks and Irene of the East.

I'm wondering what the presence of magic, even magic as weak as that in RuneQuest, might do to... well, monotheism. Surely it'd weaken it somewhat? If the people when abandoning the old gods are giving up something tangible, as well as something divine...? Or perhaps it'd be better to choose an earlier period, say the year 500 CE, since speculating too far ahead leads to strange results.

Tiwesdæg worked well because it was familiar enough for players to get into it without much introduction, but different enough to interest them. I'd like something similar. So for example ancient China is _too_ different, while _Lord of the Rings_ is too familiar.

I'd like a setting which can have adventure, but few dungeon crawls (the occasional tomb-robbery is fine, I just wouldn't do it every session). I wouldn't want the opportunity for too much intrigue, it gave me a bit of a headache last time, I kept muttering to myself, "damn players, just cut off his head!"


Message threads

Topic: Author:
Message  RQ III... but what setting?
Kyle Schuant 04.01.2007 05:47  
Message    RE: RQ III... but what setting?
19.01.2007 08:27  

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