Myths of the Jonstown Compendium

Welcome to the Myths of the Jonstown Compendium, the new and ongoing article to cover the...

Welcome to Myths of the Jonstown Compendium, the new and ongoing article to cover the Jonstown Compendium community content program. This is content that focuses on Chaosium’s Glorantha-related games, Questworld (formerly Heroquest) and Runequest. After our initial article, there was a great outpouring of content creators and those articles are coming after this one. Over the next weeks and months keep an eye out for these reviews, as either individual articles or in collected reviews. If you are a Jonstown content creator, please feel free to reach out to us. The format for the Myths may change over time and if you have any thoughts, let us know! Feedback is appreciated as these articles evolve.
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What's New

  1. Snakepipe Hollow Map & Denizens from: Dario Corallo
  2. Air Toads! from Akhelas, Diana Probst, and Austin Conrad
  3. Kovid’s Nineteen from Graeme Atkinson
  4. Zenith Adventure Pack: Fortunate Sun from Dario Corallo
  5. Corallo’s Zenith Counters: Yelmallons from Dario Corallo

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What's Hot

  1. Life of Moonson, Booke One: The Characters from David Hall, Kevin Jacklin, Nick Brooke, Chris Gidlow, Michael O’Brien, and Mike Magen
  2. The Armies & Enemies of Dragon Pass from Martin Helsdon
  3. Snakepipe Hollow Map & Denizens from Dario Corallo
  4. Six Seasons in Sartar from Andrew Montgomery
  5. Men of the West from Martin Helsdon

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The Red Moon Reviews: The Dregs of Clearwine

Today the Red Goddess has graced us with a review of The Dregs of Clearwine, all hail the Red Moon! The creators reached out to EN World and provided us with a copy of this wonderful (spoilers) supplement for Runequest: Glorantha. It was created by Beer With Teeth, and also specifically credits Kristi Herbert, Erin McGuire, Diana Probst, and Dom Twist. These folks put an amazing amount of work into The Dregs of Clearwine and you will not be disappointed with what is inside.

The artwork is great and provides not only maps of the area, but also portraits of the NPCs that are listed in the supplement. It evokes the right kind of Glorantha feelings and provides a great compliment to the descriptions of the locations. There are also small pieces of line art throughout that add to the overall aesthetic of the work. For those who want to know what can be done with the basic templates from Chaosium, The Dregs of Clearwine are a fantastic example to follow.

At the heart of the supplement are the Dregs, an area of the city of Clearwine that is filled with the poor, indigent, and some foreigners. It is a small slum in Clearwine, which is described as too small to have a sizable slum. But the NPCs portrayed in the supplement are anything but dregs and in fact a number of plot hooks are provided for them. Mamma Vorlena, an Initiate of Ernalda, is the matriarch of a large extended family and maybe the whole of the Dregs. The plot hooks in Mamma’s House alone would be enough to keep a group of adventurers going for quite some time.The other entries and NPCs are just as vivid and interesting.

As a supplement for Runequest: Glorantha, The Dregs of Clearwine is useful. An adventure, Old Bones, included provides an example of how the personalities and plot hooks can be combined to create a tense and dramatic situation. The Dregs of Clearwine would be of equal use to those using the HeroQuest/Questworld rules for Glorantha. Yes, you would have to do some conversions, but if you are familiar with the games that should be no problem. In addition, if you are not a fan of Runequest or of Glorantha, this is still a fantastic view of a small slum full of interesting people that can be dropped into your favorite world or system.
 

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Sean Hillman

Sean Hillman

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
I got the Guide to Glorantha to try and finally crack this dense, duck people nut and within the first two pages my eyes glazed over and I had a series of micro-strokes.

Alas, it will forever remain impenetrable to me along with Tekumel.

On a serious note, I think there is a smaller more introductory level book (the Glorantha Sourcebook?), does that do a better job of introducing the system to newbies? Has anybody read it?
 

PabloM

Adventurer
On a serious note, I think there is a smaller more introductory level book (the Glorantha Sourcebook?), does that do a better job of introducing the system to newbies? Has anybody read it?

The Glorantha Sourcebook is an amazing book to introduce yourself and your friends to Glorantha. It´s a lore book tho, so no system in there.
I use it with Fate Core to play in the world. Besides ducks, Glorantha is amazing.
 

Dimbyd

Villager
I got the Guide to Glorantha to try and finally crack this dense, duck people nut and within the first two pages my eyes glazed over and I had a series of micro-strokes.

Alas, it will forever remain impenetrable to me along with Tekumel.

On a serious note, I think there is a smaller more introductory level book (the Glorantha Sourcebook?), does that do a better job of introducing the system to newbies? Has anybody read it?
There is a Runequest Starter Set coming out later this year- this may help with the setting (think Call of Cthulhu starter set in presentation and pricing).

Otherwise, the three different corebooks- Runequest Glorantha; Heroquest Glorantha and 13th Age Glorantha have detailed background. Choose your preferred system and use the scorebooks to start with. Remember, there's only so much information you can absorb at any one time, and gaming in the world is the best way of learning about it.
 



Austin Conrad

Scribbler
I got the Guide to Glorantha to try and finally crack this dense, duck people nut and within the first two pages my eyes glazed over and I had a series of micro-strokes.

Alas, it will forever remain impenetrable to me along with Tekumel.

On a serious note, I think there is a smaller more introductory level book (the Glorantha Sourcebook?), does that do a better job of introducing the system to newbies? Has anybody read it?
My recommendations for exploring Glorantha:
  1. Find an addict passionate friend, and play in their game. Another good option is hunting down a demo game during a con. AFAICT Chaosium's Cult of Chaos has done well promoting these during digital conventions.
  2. Grabbing the free quickstart, The Broken Tower, and trying it out for yourselves.
  3. Check out the RQG core rulebook and/or the full slipcase set. Probably the rulebook if you're on the fence, due to price point - slipcase is good, but I don't feel something like that is fair to point speculative players toward.
  4. The Glorantha Sourcebook and/or other lore publications to explore further.
These aren't necessarily steps or suggestions exclusive of one another, but generally I think #1 will be more effective than #5. Glorantha is, as you said, a dense nut, and generally just playing and working from a "need-to-know" basis is better than trying to chew that damn thing in one bite.

The Guide is not a good starting point. I don't think it's been marketed that way, but if someone suggested that, I do think they're actually, objectively wrong. I reference it on and off when I'm writing for the JC, but unless you're also writing semi-seriously in some capacity, I don't think anyone should get it.

I ranked The Glorantha Sourcebook low on my list because I find Glorantha lore tends to devolve quickly into "proper noun soup." The GSB is better than other books in that regard, but I still use it mostly as a writing reference, not as a "book to inspire gameplay."

In addition, I believe there's a fair bit of promo/introductory material—both official and fan-made—available on YouTube. I'm not familiar with that sphere, so I'd just suggest searching for "RuneQuest Glorantha" and see what pops up. I do know Chaosium's playtest game, "The White Bull Campaign," has over 20 episodes and have heard generally good things. But, I haven't watched it myself. Likewise the fan podcast Wind Words has an episode on introducing players to Glorantha which might be useful.

The best general advice on Glorantha I can give is when in doubt, make it up!

@SMHWorlds Thanks for highlighting the JC! It's exciting to see fellow creators featured outside of Chaosium's usual channels. Hope to see more of these in the future. :)
 

SMHWorlds

Adventurer
My recommendations for exploring Glorantha:
  1. Find an addict passionate friend, and play in their game. Another good option is hunting down a demo game during a con. AFAICT Chaosium's Cult of Chaos has done well promoting these during digital conventions.
  2. Grabbing the free quickstart, The Broken Tower, and trying it out for yourselves.
  3. Check out the RQG core rulebook and/or the full slipcase set. Probably the rulebook if you're on the fence, due to price point - slipcase is good, but I don't feel something like that is fair to point speculative players toward.
  4. The Glorantha Sourcebook and/or other lore publications to explore further.
These aren't necessarily steps or suggestions exclusive of one another, but generally I think #1 will be more effective than #5. Glorantha is, as you said, a dense nut, and generally just playing and working from a "need-to-know" basis is better than trying to chew that damn thing in one bite.

The Guide is not a good starting point. I don't think it's been marketed that way, but if someone suggested that, I do think they're actually, objectively wrong. I reference it on and off when I'm writing for the JC, but unless you're also writing semi-seriously in some capacity, I don't think anyone should get it.

I ranked The Glorantha Sourcebook low on my list because I find Glorantha lore tends to devolve quickly into "proper noun soup." The GSB is better than other books in that regard, but I still use it mostly as a writing reference, not as a "book to inspire gameplay."

In addition, I believe there's a fair bit of promo/introductory material—both official and fan-made—available on YouTube. I'm not familiar with that sphere, so I'd just suggest searching for "RuneQuest Glorantha" and see what pops up. I do know Chaosium's playtest game, "The White Bull Campaign," has over 20 episodes and have heard generally good things. But, I haven't watched it myself. Likewise the fan podcast Wind Words has an episode on introducing players to Glorantha which might be useful.

The best general advice on Glorantha I can give is when in doubt, make it up!

@SMHWorlds Thanks for highlighting the JC! It's exciting to see fellow creators featured outside of Chaosium's usual channels. Hope to see more of these in the future. :)
That is the idea. We tested the waters last year and have a number of reviews and such on the way. Am hoping to highlight as many creators as possible.
 



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