Runequest Is Befuddling Me

Retreater

Legend
I think I'm a pretty experienced gamer. I've played a lot of systems over the past 30 years or so: every version of D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Warhammer Fantasy, Savage Worlds, Shadowun (gulp!), GURPS, Year Zero, PbtA.
And wow is Runequest on the complex side.
The rulebook is laid out very bizarrely.
You start off with centuries of history, then learning about cults (which you swear loyalty to and are thereafter referred as symbols for the rest of the book). Then you choose what your character's ancestors were doing during various historical events. Then you roll stats and figure out derived stats by averaging different combinations of stats, which are modified by the ancestral events and your cult runes. Which you then need to figure out which of a few dozen skills are modified by which ability scores. And then you get modifications to those skills based on your culture, so on to this next chapter to see what those are.
I don't know how many chapters I'm in, and there hasn't really been a discussion of how die rolling works or the overall system.
It's a beautiful book, but I feel like the designers are trolling me with what might be the most convoluted presentation of any core rulebook I've seen in the modern era. I can't imagine anyone being able to use this as a reference book.
Call of Cthulhu has a simple, elegant, and (dare I say it) beautiful game design. What happened to Chaosium here? I can't read more than 10 minutes without completely losing track of what I'm looking at.
 

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JAMUMU

actually dracula
Are you reading the new Runequest: Glorantha? That uses an older (2nd edition, iirc) version of the rules as its base and so it can seem a little clunky in places.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Yeah the current Runequest hardcover is a befuddlement if you aren't already into the setting. I think they've decided that what makes people pick up the big Runequest hardcover is that they already play Runequest.

I'll second the folks who say go for the starter set first. It's got a nice separation of the game into "rules", "Glorantha" and "adventures" and the walkthrough the rules is clear and concise and very readable. And the primer on Glorantha in there feels much more like a "here's a summary of what makes Glorantha interesting as a campaign setting" and less of a "okay, we all know the score and agree that Glorantha is awesome so let's all just dive in head first" feel. (However what you don't get IIRC are the character creation rules - it's all pregens in the starter set. For those you need the big book)
 

Retreater

Legend
I think Runequest is well served by the newly released starter set. A good place to start.
I got that when it was on sale in PDF for $0.99. I was impressed with the look (and have a hard time reading and referencing PDFs for long periods of time), so I decided to take the plunge and get the hardcover rule set.
 

Retreater

Legend
Are you reading the new Runequest: Glorantha? That uses an older (2nd edition, iirc) version of the rules as its base and so it can seem a little clunky in places.
Yeah, the current book from 2018 (I think).

However what you don't get IIRC are the character creation rules - it's all pregens in the starter set. For those you need the big book)
That's part of what's tripping me up. Character creation is not intuitive.
 

I keep bouncing off of Runequest, and have for years. There are mechanical parts I like, and the worldbuilding is fascinating. But something in the whole puts me off.

Now, Stormbringer did a great job at refining those rules and making it something much more palatable for me.
 

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