Home Forums Gaming in Glorantha HeroQuest Scenario outline – critique please

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    Profile photo of Paul


    I’ve been thinking about a introductory scenario to showcase Heroquest and Glorantha to some of my friends – and possibly my kids and their friends.

    Well. I had a long and uneventful night shift last night so I finally took the time to write some of the ideas down.

    I was hoping some people could have a look over it and offer any critique.
    My notes are in the following link:

    But the synopsis is as follows:

    The purpose of this scenario – or scenario outline, is to:
    * introduce the players to the Heroquest mechanics &
    * introduce them to some of intriguing aspects of Glorantha and
    * show just why a wild and disruptive archetype as the trickster (Eurmal) is tolerated.

    Players are a group of young adults called on to represent the tribe/village/stead in a larger competition (think Highland games). Players belong to a tribe that is governed by an overbearing, pompous chieftain. Worship of Orlanth has become stilted and some aspects of worship are being lost or forgotten due to misuse and carelessness.

    They are ritually prepared for the event but before they can depart a local hunter arrives with news that a cave a few days travel away has awoken with ‘mystic energies’ and that several stones – possibly thunderstones, the like of which the tribe has not seen in many generations, were seen within.

    The players are redirected to gain this windfall for the tribe before anyone else can. The hunter will go with them as a guide along with a political Orlanthi appointee.

    Enroute they will encounter several interesting uniquely Gloranthan events. They will also discover that another tribe have discovered the same secret and have dispatched a similar group of young people to get the treasures first. The mission becomes a race.

    On arriving at the cave a guardian must be overcome – a Thunderwalker (Triceratops). The trip home will include more uniquely Gloranthan events.

    On arrival at home the players present the ‘stones’ to the chief only to have the presenter ‘shoved’ from behind and crushing the stones against the chief. The stones are revealed to be (very) rotten thunderwalker eggs and the chief’s dignity is severely affronted. The hunter is revealed to be a closet Eurmali who felt compelled to shake things up in the tribe by means of a practical joke. As he is dragged away he yells that it has been so long since anyone followed Orlanth truly that they have forgotten even what a real thunderstone looks like.
    At sentencing the chief decrees that for violating the dignity of the tribe (himself really) the hunter is now outlawed and subject to death at a whim. Then in a break from his normal character – the chief admits that what the hunter has said was correct though. The tribe was losing it’s way. For that reminder he is now under that chief’s personal protection.

    Profile photo of Edan Jones
    Edan Jones

    Just a few notes, from a quick reading.

    The tribe the players belong to seems to be more of a clan, with the games being between several different clans of a tribe. This is just a matter of semantics though, and nothing major.

    I do wonder how long a trickster could remain “closeted”, presumably Helum is someone who’s been adopted into the clan as a former stranger, rather than being initiated there.

    Bran doesn’t need to hide behind the claim of dishonouring the clan. Harming his dignity as chief is a valid reason to call a trial. In fact, if Bran didn’t try to avenge this insult, he’d be seen as weak and shameful. Anyone else would probably handle this privately, but dishonouring the clan’s chief is a serious offence, and worthy of calling a juror.

    Profile photo of Paul

    Regarding the trickster Helum, this may not be cannon but I had in mind someone who was trying desperately to deny his true nature, to be a normal member of the clan – up until things got so bad that what was inside him “came out” and compelled him to act.

    A tragic figure really but you cannot deny your true nature forever. Especially when you have a responsibility to carry out.

    Profile photo of Harald Smith
    Harald Smith

    The Trickster ‘coming out’ seems quite reasonable. But I’d suggest some subtle aspects that the heroes ‘know’ about him that will make more sense as the Trickster emerges, perhaps even making him both tragic yet human and familiar (it could happen to any one of them).

    One thing I’d caution against is throwing in too many “uniquely Gloranthan events”. Absolutely give them a couple, but perhaps focus more on the more subtle aspects of religion/myth, magic, and clan. I think you’re capturing that with the overall situation and a couple Gloranthan events/aspects will be intriguing whereas lots may just leave the players either disbelieving the world or confused as to why it’s got so much weird/strange stuff.

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