New Beginnings: Red Sky at Night
  • New Beginnings: Red Sky at Night


    In 1992 I sat down at a table with my green and yellow d10s to play Runequest. That moment began my second age of role playing and my love has continued to this day. With the release of Runequest: Glorantha I am ready to run my first RQ game in many years and I plan on running the game from the Empire’s point of view. You see, 27 years ago my first RQ character was a Lunar soldier and that has defined my view of Glorantha ever since.




    Full disclosure: My first actual RQ character, not from Glorantha, was a Broo with a Scottish accent and identity. Chaos is fun, people! Playing the adversary is often popular. I can think of another Empire and its attendant dark priests that have captured our imaginations since 1977 or so. Other dark wizards and soldiers hold our attentions as well, but in Glorantha there is a strong assumption that those who follow Orlanth and their allies are the “good guys” and the Lunar empire are the “bad guys”. This is deeply ingrained despite there being a very strong core of Lunar oriented players.

    Playing As The “Bad” Guys

    How do you go about setting up such a campaign? How do you sell the idea to new players or established Runequest players? If you are new to RQ and Glorantha, I want to talk about some steps I take to get such a campaign going. Before getting into the details though, let’s talk about playing bad guys. Especially Lunars, who get their name from their goddess, the Red Moon.

    Glorantha is a complex world and has gone through cycles of conflict over the years. Now back in the hands of the folks at Chaosium, Greg Stafford’s world has undergone changes and been the setting for several RPGs, board games, computer games, and webcomics. Chaos is generally seen as evil though not necessarily in conflict with Law or Order. Chaos is more akin to an enemy of the natural world and the Universe itself. One of the major issues with the Lunar way of life is the way that it embraces chaos, not strictly chaos, but as part of a broader view of the world. So playing a Lunar character is more nuanced than say, just being an evil character in Dungeons & Dragons, or a Bounty Hunter in Edge of the Empire. Culture is so important to your character in RQ, that they could love or hate chaos, agree with the aggressive nature of the Empire or not, and still be considered a good Lunar.

    Setting Up Red Sky At Night

    There was no question that I was going to run a Lunar oriented campaign in RQ:G. If you are new to Runequest, that would be your first decision. Assuming you take on the challenge of running a Lunar focused game, here are some suggestions on how to go about that.

    • Check out Champions of the Reaching Moon and Under the Red Moon. These are part of Chaosium’s Heroquest Vault. Both provide information on the Lunar culture and beliefs and are not expensive. If you can, grab the Glorantha Sourcebook too.
    • Go to the official Chaosium forums and ask questions. The folks there are friendly and full of knowledge about all things RQ and Glorantha. Google is also your friend.
    • Focus on specific conflicts, depending on the length of your campaign and the needs of your players. Remember, RQ characters are (generally) not murder hobos and dungeon delving is not a goal of the game. Combat is dangerous. Read up on Hero Quests and how they affect play and the world.
    • Never forget this rule: Your Glorantha May Vary (YGMV). Embrace the idea that you can make your Glorantha, and indeed your Lunar Empire, be anything you want and you are not wrong to do so.

    My intention is to blog and possibly stream Red Sky at Night for folks to follow in the coming year. There is so much more preparation to do and if there is interest, we can share that here in the following weeks. As always, your feedback helps EN World create the content you want to read! May the Red Moon bless your new beginnings in 2019.

    This article was contributed by Sean Hillman (SMHWorlds) as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program. If you enjoy the daily news and articles from EN World, please consider contributing to our Patreon!
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Ramaster's Avatar
      Ramaster -
      This person got paid to write this article.

      The contet of said article is: "Runequest is cool" and "I'm going to start a Runequest game and blog about it".
    1. Dire Bare's Avatar
      Dire Bare -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ramaster View Post
      This person got paid to write this article.

      The content of said article is: "Runequest is cool" and "I'm going to start a Runequest game and blog about it".
      So, Captain Obvious, your point is . . .
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ramaster View Post
      This person got paid to write this article.

      The contet of said article is: "Runequest is cool" and "I'm going to start a Runequest game and blog about it".
      You've confused EN World with the YouTube comments section.
    1. Jhaelen -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ramaster View Post
      The contet of said article is: "Runequest is cool" and "I'm going to start a Runequest game and blog about it".
      What's a contet?

      But, yeah, Runequest is awesome. And Glorantha is ... different from most other fantasy settings.
    1. Cergorach's Avatar
      Cergorach -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      You've confused EN World with the YouTube comments section.
      While the comment might be a bit annoying, it does strike close to the 'truth', look at the articles from the last few days and see how many comments some of them have (read: non). Then read the articles and then look at the common thread through them... Even the Pathfinder releases (multiple items per article) articles have a few comments.
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