Welcome to RuneQuest Ages
When the Red Moon Empire met the Orlanthi Hillspeople, only one culture could survive the clash intact. Now is the time for Heroes in a time of Legends. At the end of a Heroic Age, a hero will stand. The HeroWars have begun. Where will you stand?
Originally based upon the board games White Bear & Red Moon and Nomad Gods, RuneQuest began its life as a Role-playing system with Chaosium’s first widespread release of RuneQuest 2. When Chaosium suffered a breakup and Avalon Hill picked up the RuneQuest system, RQ 3 was born. This version of the game system added in new previous experience, fatigue rules, Sorcery, amended armor and encumbrance rules, and a new set of skill definitions.
Products released during this time were partial rehashes of the Chaosium’s previously released material in a newer format, but included some fresh scenarios as well. Unfortunately, the RQ3 version lasted a shorter period than its predecessor did.
As any longtime player of RuneQuest can tell you, the RQ game system has seen many such changes. Each of the revisions has attempted to rectify certain perceived flaws in the original game’s mechanics. One of the versions, HeroWars, (now in version 2.0) had even dropped the older game mechanics in favor of a story telling based campaign with feats and successes rather than the familiar D100 based skill system.
The latest change, from Mongoose Publishing, has also included a change to the RQ game world, Glorantha. Specifically, Mongoose’s game play is now set in the game world’s 2nd Age; where as previous versions had been set exclusively during the 3rd Age. So many additions have also been published, under the Mongoose licensing, that the RQ “game-bloat” has increased in relation to the long overdue new game world and information.
With so many changes to the basic game system however, many RQ players had begun using a modified rule set, based upon a mishmash of RQ2, RQ3, HeroWars, and now 2nd Age rules.
The advantage of this “wide variety” of rules had allowed those gamers, unhappy with the many changes to RQ, to tailor their games and maintain their own cohesive version of the rules.
According to Greg Stafford’s newest view on Glorantha, “YGWV:Your Game Will Vary”. With this thought in mind, contained within these pages are the “definitive” RuneQuest Ages House Rules.
The RuneQuest Ages House Rule edition freely borrows from BRP, OpenQuest, Fire & Ice, HeroQuest, HeroWars, Elric versions 1 & 2, RQ2, RQ3, and RQ Mongoose editions, along with a set of House HeroQuest and Sorcery rules. The game world setting is usually predominantly Glorantha 3rd Age with an optional 1st and 2nd Age setting for game play, or HeroQuesting.
The result captures the basic playable essence of the original RuneQuest 2 version but corrects some of the noted deficiencies from it, as well as adding to the system, in this time of ever increasing game rewrites.
This basic framework should allow for easier adaptation of future published materials but will still steer away from the often conflicting game elements unique to the variety of different publisher’s systems.
The RuneQuest Ages House Rules thus combines with the best of each publisher’s game contributions while dropping their dross, (through a liberal rewriting), to assist in the mesh of an “expanded” RuneQuest system that will allow for the same RQ2 sense of wonder in this time of the ‘system-wars’ that are developing out of the RuneQuest classic Glorantha setting and game genre.