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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Christopher Kubasik Christopher Kubasik 4 years, 11 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Simon Phipp
    Simon Phipp

    I am so glad I bought the PDF.

    In the past, I have been very suspicious of the “Runes are Magic” ideas of HQ2. I just didn’t like them. So, Storm Bull and orlanth both have the storm rune, so they can use the same magic – Humakt, Storm Bull and Hunter all have the death rune and can therefore all do the same magic – whatever happened to the idea of each deity granting its own magic – and so on.

    However, I saw the example of Orlanth with a cultist using Lightning Spear and it all became clear to me.

    The specific spells/abilities granted by cults become breakouts of the rune. So, an Orlanthi might have Storm (Lightning Spear +2, Wind Words +1, Summon Storm +5), a Humakti might have Death (Turn Undead +5, Truesword +2), a Storm Buller Death (Berserker +4, Horns of the Bull), a Hunter might have Death (Peaceful Cut +2, Sureshot +3) and so on.

    Whilst that might not be exactly how they are meant to be used, it makes sense for me to use them that way. They then have a link to the old RQ cults and also a link to Affinities as used in Hero Wars.

    It was worth buying, for me, just for that insight.

    Of course, everyone who reads this is now going to be scratching their heads, as it was so painfully obvious to them that only a dullard like me couldn’t have got it in the first place.


    I first started reading about Glorantha when Hero Wars came out. Knew nothing about it before then. I knew people who knew about it, and they loved the setting and had for years and years So I dove it.
    While I loved the underlying mechanics of Hero Wars and all the anthropological setting material (I got all the supplements), I honestly couldn’t figure out how to make it all work. There was a chapter about Runes, and I knew runes mattered since the previous game about the setting was called Runequest. But I couldn’t quite snap them into place. And I knew Affinities should work with the gods. And I knew the initiates and gods and runes were all connected in a way that should produce Affinities… but, honestly, I never quite got it.
    Then I got HeroQuest, and the game… well, that one didn’t help much either. Then HQ2, again, not really enough to grok it. I kept going back to the old Hero Wars setting material, really falling in love with it. But not sure how to use the cool basic mechanics to bring out the fascinating setting.
    Then I got Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and how the runes were explained and how to snap them into the mechanics finally started making sense. It still seemed overwhelming in a way. Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes changed some things from what I’d read in Thunder Rebels while also being the same place. But I could see how the runes, the gods, the mechanics all started working together.
    And then last week I bought HeroQuest Glorantha and have been reading it. And I got the creating a character section. And having read Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes it gave me quick insights into how to use the rules about breakout Rune abilities and it all fell into place.
    Now, was everything clear already in previous editions and source books? Maybe! But I can say that it was reading HeroQuest Glorantha that made everything make sense for the first time.

    So, Simon, you are not alone in having a revelation with this book!

    Profile photo of Stefan Drawert
    Stefan Drawert

    Just stepping into this from the sideline:

    Not having read Sartar: KoH so far, but your last comment made me wonder if HQ:G contradicts or replaces some of the magic rules found in S:KoH?
    If so: Is it rules-only or does the background change, too?




    Hi Stefan,
    I don’t think so. I went back just not to look at S:KoH. It’s a matter of presentation.
    In HQ:G, the concept of a Breakout Ability is given its own subheading and description. S:KoH does not have that. And, in general, I found the explanation of breakout abilities in HQ:G to be hammered down more clearly.
    In S:KoH, the concept of breaking out Runes is touched on briefly in the character creation concept, but explained more fully in the Magic section. This makes sense. But the problem is the full explanation of what it means to break out runes abilities (along with examples) is in the subsections on Initiates and Devotees. (One finds out that a PC can have breakouts from runes even if one is not a Initiate. So, the examples are in a rules section about rules that don’t need to be applied to have breakout runes.) One can kind of gloss over the concept and examples (I certainly did!) while getting all caught up in the cultural and social aspects of Heortling theism.
    Meanwhile, in HQ:G the concept of breakout runes is in the character creation section, clearly and with examples. For me the prevention is more concrete and practical. A character can have breakout rune abilities. They can be created during character creation. The rules lay all this out during character creation. After that one can bring the concepts of Initiates and Devotees into the mix, which build on the concepts already established.
    So, no, no rules changes or background changes. Just a matter of presentation as far as I can tell* at 6am with a cup of coffee in my hand.
    * For example, on the first page of the Making Your Hero chapter we begin with these little subheading sections: What are Abilities? What is a Keywords? What is a Breakout Ability? What is a Mastery? This kind of clarity goes a long way for me in an RPG — which is essentially a technical manual. As much as S:KoH is chock full of knowledge about Heortling culture and magic and adventure that one can use with the rules, the application of rules (I think) are explained more clearly in HQ:G.

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