Chatter #85: August 15, 2006

12/14/2001 — I started the Chatter section on July 27, 2000 when I noticed that the rest of my site was sometimes getting cluttered with lots of text. I'm a talkative guy, after all! So now I talk about my life here, instead of all over the place. Originally this was one huge section, but in December of 2001 it simply became too large to remain as one page, and I broke it into dated sections, as you can see. —>PM

August 15, 2006

There have been some big changes and I thought it would be worth writing about them here.

Site Changes

Spammers recently hijacked the RuneQuest Classifieds section of this site, and so I was forced to close it. I've dealt with spammer attacks on the site in many ways, and when it comes down to it, if I'm forced to chose between allowing spammers to run rampant and shutting down a section of the site I'll chose the shut-down every time.

The Classifieds weren't getting much activity anyway.

The State of RuneQuest Now

A lot of people have asked me lately about the current state of RQ, since for the first time since 1984 there is a new edition of RuneQuest available commercially. In fact, there are actually two of them, and with any luck there will soon be a third! Here's the story:

Basic RolePlaying monograph editions - These books from Chaosium are NOT the simplified RQ2 which were published in 1980 as "Basic Role-Playing". Instead, they are the Players, Gamemasters, Magic, and Creatures books of Avalon Hill's RuneQuest III, word for word with the following alterations: The name "RuneQuest" has been removed throughout and replaced with "Basic RolePlaying". This substitution was presumably done because Issaries, Inc. (which is not associated in any way with Chaosium) managed to acquire the trademark to the RuneQuest name, although they did not acquire the copyright to the RuneQuest III books.

The other difference is that all references to Glorantha have been removed. But if you're looking for newly-printed copies of the RuneQuest III system, these are the ones to get.

Mongoose RQ (aka "MRQ") - Published in August 2006 by Mongoose Publishing under agreement with Issaries, Inc., this system has some rules which break from RuneQuest tradition and seem to have been included only to provide compatibility with Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. The system features the second age of Glorantha, and Mongoose has announced that material for other settings will also be published. Some of the system has been published online as "open source" system reference documents.

Fan reaction has been mixed. If you're interested, read the RuneQuest-Rules mailing list (the oldest and most active RuneQuest rules discussion forum) to see for yourself. The average grade given seems to be a C-minus; disappointing, but maybe it will bring more people in.

Deluxe Basic RolePlaying - a multi-genre non-Gloranthan advanced BRP system from Chaosium - projected publication date in 2006 or 2007, but this has not been confirmed by Chaosium. It will reportedly be published under a new name. I am a playtester for this system (and I was part of the initial playtest group for MRQ, although I was not included in the later, "inner circle" group), and while I was not impressed with MRQ, I'm very excited about DBRP - so far every design choice has been extremely well made. This may be the version of RQ that many have been waiting for.

It's a modular system, allowing the duplication of any previous game based on any version of Basic RolePlaying - and that does include RQIII. Unfortunately, Chaosium has been extremely close-mouthed about just when it will be published.


I recently created and ran - for the first time in years! - a complete new RQ one-shot scenario. It's not world-specific, and is fairly simple; I was able to run it in about 4-5 hours. I plan to post it on the site soon.

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Copyright 2006 by Peter Maranci. Revised: July 16, 2008. version 1.1