Runequest was the first roleplaying game I owned. It was the third edition that JOC published in Spanish in 1984, which I bought almost ten years later. At that time we played the Lord of the Rings (MERP), Star Wars (WEG d6), and Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D). Runequest had a very different feeling from those other games. It was deadly, there was no fancy fantasy with lots of magic swords and dragons, and limb amputation happened (at least once 🙂 ).
Some great memories
I will never forget a game at my parent’s. There were too many players for that little cramped room, but we sat on the carpet, prepared the characters, and tried to assault the infamous telmori lair. Those primitive hunters heard the heroes coming from faaaaar away, so they got their shields on the entrance and readied their bows behind.
The first inspection of the cave mouth resulted in a fleeing bunch of heroes, including a crawling priestess with a wasted leg. After patching the injured heroes, they spent more than an hour (real time) trying to figure out a way to get inside the cave and get revenge. After that time, the best idea they found was to cut down a tree and use it as a ram. The priestess would sat on the tree as they charged, so she could use her spells…
Of course they never reached the shield wall. When arrows began to rain down on them, moral began to fail. The first one who received an injury decided to run back to the forest. The rest had to lift more weight and moved more slowly. When the second one got hit and ran away, the rest decided it was time to change tactics 😀 . They dragged the poor priestess as the ran for the trees.
They finally defeated the telmori guarding the cave, and slaughtered everyone they found inside. But the truth is I can only recall the details of the assault 😀 .
We played many more adventures, and the heroes were hunters, scribes and healers, but I certainly remember them as heroes.
We changed games, the group dispersed when we went to university, and probably many of them cannot even remember what was it all about. However the game kept changing, was bought by different companies, several editions were published, and last year we finally got to the sixth edition.
The history of Runequest is not simple, and I won’t get into the details. If you are really interested, Carlos de la Cruz wrote in his blog (in Spanish) an awesome series of posts about it: La Historia de Runequest y Glorantha. Apart from these posts I recommend you to read his blog.
All of the editions from the third I owned were published only in English. It is fine for me to read those manuals, but when I need to get people to play it gets harder. It makes me translate almost everything, or cope with complaints about the language.
Runequest 6 is an update of the old Runequest 3 we played. Some rules were removed, some added, but the basic d100 concept is still behind. Magic was certainly streamlined, and some of the most annoying rules were fixed.
And this year a small publisher decided to launch a crowdfunding project to make a Spanish edition of Runequest 6. And I’m not joining. And this is why…
You can read the description of the project in the Spanish crowfunding platform Verkami: Runequest 6 in Verkami. It looks like a crowfunding project, but it is just a publisher looking for cheap distribution and lowering risks.
- For 145€ I get 3 paperback copies, but if I’m a shop owner, for the same pledge I get 5 copies. For me that is totally unaceptable. My money is worth the same as a shop owner’s. They are supposed to be looking for funding.
- 45€ for a paperback copy obviously includes a good margin. There is no discount for helping funding, the final version at the shops will have the same price. They are just bypassing the distribution channels and keeping their margin.
- Just Runequest 6 translated, what is not bad, but has some design decisions I don’t like. I can no longer find a playing group for a game with extensive skill lists, most of them totally useless.
- There is another update of the old game system, which looks better to me, called OpenQuest. An online SRD version will be available in July, and a printed copy is 30€.
- No Glorantha, the setting which make Runequest famous. It will be published in a later book called Adventures in Glorantha. I’m certainly more interested in this setting that in a revision of the same game system.
There is also a German translation done looking for a way to publish it.
Anyway, I’m waiting for the online SRD of OpenQuest to see if I want to buy it, and wait for Adventures in Glorantha to deliver the setting book I’ve been waiting for.