Review of HeroQuest: Roleplaying In Glorantha

Review Summary
Playtest Review
Written Review

October 14, 2005


by: CJ


Style: 4 (Classy & Well Done)
Substance: 5 (Excellent!)

An excellent, innovative and radical game, which is perhaps hard to grasp in its many choices and complex options, but is an elegant attractive design which many roleplayers might enjoy and learn from.

CJ has written 11 reviews, with average style of 3.73 and average substance of 4.45. The reviewer's previous review was of Ghost Stories.

This review has been read 8142 times.

 
Product Summary
Name: HeroQuest: Roleplaying In Glorantha
Publisher: Issaries (distributed Steve Jackson Games)
Line: HeroQuest
Author: Robin D. Laws, Greg Stafford
Category: RPG

Cost: GBP £24.99
Pages: 288
Year: 2003

SKU: ISS 1001
ISBN: #1-929052-12-X


Review of HeroQuest: Roleplaying In Glorantha


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OK, here goes. I've owned this game for eighteen months, run it for several sessions, and have joined the mailing lists and a forum to try and check my understanding of the rules. Eighteen months in, and I am reading a book on roleplaying game design, occasionally flipping over to read a random section of HeroQuest again, and suddenly it strikes me - this game does not use Attributes/Characteristics/Stats. That's right, no Str, Wis, Dex, Con, Pow, Siz, Per, Edu, Manipulation, Stamina or Social standing. Not a characteristic in sight...

"I must be wrong!" thinks CJ. There must be stats. I still recall my astonishment at the first point allocation stat system I played where rolling 3d6 (or2d6 for Traveller) was replaced with something different; now I recall the smack in the face that was the White Wolf Storyteller system. Ars Magica's -5 to +5 human stat range, with 0 as average, put me off for two editions - it was just too heretical. Ok, ok, so Pendragon dispensed with INT - the character was as bright as you are. Rolemaster used percentages as I recall. But no stats??

CJ scurries off to get the book to check. Nobilis has no stats, but Estate, Domain Aspect and Spirit are close enough, they serve a sort of similar function. Dogs In teh Vineyard - yeah but that is like, concept roleplaying... HeroQuest has been around a while, and is an FRP for Gygax's sake! It must have stats?

I check the character sheet.

HeroQuest has no characteristics. It has taken me 18 months to realise this. I have run about ten sessions, and I have never even noticed. I have drawn up many characters - yet it has not ever really been an issue. Now I realise, and I am shocked.

Well clearly I do not miss them. OK, so we have no characteristics, no easy way to compare how strong a character is or how pretty or how agile they are. Er, was it ever that important?

I had heard a lot about HeroQuest being a Narrativist game. I love Runequest, Cthulhu, Pendragon. I adore Ars Magica. I suspect with my love of complex game mechanics I am a Gamist or Simulationist gamer. I joined the Forge to try and get this G/N/S thing. I have read the essays, looked at the forums and I'm still flummoxed, clueless, and have no idea. I stil like the Forge though - go there once you have read this, and take a good look if you have not before. Anyway, apparently HeroQuest is not a narrativist game; it can be played in any style. Good, I'm glad about that. If I ever work out what the G/N/S model actually says I may be able to tell you more about this issue, but the fact is HeroQuest is not specifically narrativist according to many intimately concerned with it. I'm no wiser, but hey, that sounds good. So I can do lots of things with it? Great!

Well I kind of thought it might be rules light. Boy was I wrong. This game has more rules than many I have played, and they seem to be condensed, boiled down to a very strong broth, which is spiced with examples, but this book has taken me three dedicated readings to get, and I still ask questions on the mailing list (HeroQuest at Yahoogroups and HeroQuest Rules at Yahoogroups). Occasionally the wording is obscure; but generally, the concepts take some work to grasp, much careful reading, and real dedication. Especially the magic systems...

Its not like Nobilis where a complex set of mechanics are deceptively simple on the surface but actually have masses of hidden complexity, all dressed up in a frothing luxuriant sugary mass of description which make the pill easy to swallow but means you pretty much miss half of the bitter rules stuff; running Nobilis was for me a nightmare, as I hunted down obscure rules in lovely prose in coffee table book splendour. Wonderful game, frustrating to use that book in play though... Nor is it like Ars Magica, which in some editions (Ok, the 4th edition) made Japanese stereo instruction manuals seem really racey (the 5th edition is much much better and one of the more readable rpg books out there - go buy it now). The old edition of Ars was clear on the rules the way that old Avalon Hill wargames manuals were; designed to provide no misunderstanding, technically exact and tedious as hell to read.

Nope this book is actually great to read, and I really loved the examples of play, unlike everyone else who has ever written about HeroQuest since time began. The rules are generally pretty clear, and quite well written. It's just, well CJ is not overly bright. Rules come hard to me. I managed to learn them, but there were times when I despaired, especially over the bloody magic systems. I am sure I am not alone. Then suddenly I saw how they worked, one at a time, Theism then Wizardry and Monotheism, then Shamanism, and they were elegant and simple, and I was a moron not to have seen before. Er, I'll say 4 for style! I may be stupid, or they may be obscure in places. Its like a totally different language to learn, it takes work!

OK, so so far, a well written book, a system which is revolutionary in some ways, and a very complex set of ideas which take effort to get. Is it worth it?

My answer is yes, decidedly. Substance 5 worth. Yes I tend to give high marks, but I only review things I think are exceptionally good. This is.

I shall now explore the contents of the book, and deal with it thematically, rather than by chapter.

RUNEQUEST

HeroQuest is set in a world called Glorantha. In 1977 a wonderful game called Runequest came out, also set there. There are many fine adventures and supplements detailing the world of HeroQuest, Glorantha, for that earlier game. You can convert stuff, but not by direct mechanics - instead just make guesses at how tough or whatever, and rewrite the game stats to what seems to fit.

I will in this review from time to time mention Runequest, to illustrate how HeroQuest differs, to make a point to those who know that game, and to try to demonstrate odd things. However HeroQuest and Runequest are totally different games. They portray Glorantha in a different way I think.

This needs saying because originally 28 years ago, HeroQuest was announced as a high level mythic follow on game to Runequest. It never came out, then a sort of board game thing got translated in to English and published under that name by Games Workshop, which was really inexcusable as they knew the HeroQuest saga and that it was due to appear, and then they stopped producing the boardgame, and so the name sort of got freed up again. Finally HeroQuest appeared as Hero Wars, in some rather nifty paperbacks, but the rules were apparently dodgy in places, so when the name came up it was re-launched streamlined and improved as HeroQuest. Well that is my understanding, I could not swear to any of it. I have never seen Hero Wars, so it might be completely different, but as the supplements are pretty much interchangeable I doubt it.

CORE MECHANICS HeroQuest uses a D20. Roll under your ability/skill call it what you will to succeed. Natural 20 is a fumble = bad stuff happens. Over the skill (modified by situation etc) = failure. Under = success. Natural 1 on dice = critical.

That's it. The d20 is the only dice there is in the game. No d6, d4, etc etc. Just d20.

Oh, and no Hit Points either. Nor body levels - well not exactly. Yeah you can be hurt, dying, or whatever - but also your relationship with your temple can be hurt, or your ability to Inspire Others by Song can be 'wounded'. Yes sometimes your body will take penalties and wounds, but so can any of your ability/skills.

Most of your skills start at 17, or 13. Default skills you probably would know but hav no skill on your sheet for start at 6. New skills learned in game and bought with experience (Hero Points) start at 13 Reading the above would imply by what I have told you of the die system you have a 85%, 65% or 30% chance of success. This is actually not true - I have not fully expalined the DICE yet (see below.)

DESCRIBING YOUR CHARACTER- SKILLS

Your character is described via Keywords. A Keyword is a set of abilities really, so to give an example a Hunter gets the Occupation Hunter keyword, wit a whole set of skills abilities personality traits relationships, followers, sidekicks etc etc they know through being a Hunter. If they come from the Kingdom of Esrolia, they will have a Homeland Keyword of Esrolia - which tells you the abilities common to all Esrolians. All character starts with one of ten homeland keywords, and one of fourteen occupation keywords, though some homelands do not have a particular occupation. Some occupations are subdivided, like Soldier.

The occupations are, well there are lots of them.

The homelands are - Esrolia, Esvular (God Forgot?), Heortling (Sartar/Wintertop/Heortland/other Orlanthi), Praxian Bison Rider, Puma People, Tarsh (Lunar), Grazelanders, Dara Happan (Lunar), Teshnos (East of the Wastes) and Seshnela (Western Monotheists) and the ones I forgot I only list these really for those already familiar with Glorantha from Runequest, who will recognise the usual bias to Dragon Pass. HeroQuest Supplements have already given you much more choice in Homeland Keyword, but these ten are more than sufficient.

Next up, you get a Common Magic Keyword. This is I suppose a bit like Battle Magic in Runequest - it is minor magical abilities known by people in your culture, which most folsk know and use to get along. You can choose 5 out of a list, and they are either Talents (something native to you, a talent you possess), Feats - magic from the Gods, or Charms - a little item with a spirit bound in it, or finally Spells - what they sound like, a magical ritual you cast. So you choose 5 abilities from the Common Magic of your Homeland, and write them on your sheet.

Then you can belong to a Religion. Here you have three masin choices, but its generally made for you by your Homeland. Homelands usually practice either Theism (worship of the pantheons of Gods, like almost everyone in Runequest - worship Orlanth, Yelm, Humakt, Zorak Zoran, Aldrya or Sedenya ec), Wizardry and Monotheism (worship of the one God and magicians who learn spells, think like Arthur and Merlin), or Shamanism (like Praxian in Runequest - you bargain with and deal with Spirits of th dead and Great Spirits, which are really a little like Gods.) Each of these forms of religion has its own Other World, and all three exist and can to some extent interact, but really you only need to know the rules for the type of religion your characters practice. As most games seem to be set iin Sartar or thereabouts, Theism si the one most used, and it is very easy to learn really. My honest advice is just ignore Shamanism and Wizardry/Monotheism till after when you are used to the system and might need to use them in a game. Or play all Praxians,a nd learn the Shamanism rules first. Or play Knights and Wizards,and learn Wizardry... choose one, and stick to it to start with.

So you get a Religion Keyword. Your typical Heortling from Sartar gets Storm Pantheon. If they choose to be a more dedicated worshipper they can take Initiate, of a particular God, like Destor Oranth's son, which is a lot like an Initiate in Runequest if you have played that game. If you haven't, well being an Initiate costs you in time and wealth and experience, which must be devoted to your faith, but it gives you nifty stuff, like better magic. You can even be a Devotee, which is sort of like being a Runelord or Runepriest in Runequest - meaning its like being an Initiate but much more so. 60% of everything goes to your faith, and you have to be real pious and careful at act like your God wants, but you get even niftier powers. (For RQ players, the runes have changed, and Runelord, Runepriest, Rune Magic and Battle Magic have all gone…)

OK, so your HOMELAND, OCCUPATION, COMMON MAGIC and RELIGION keywords have each given you skills to write on your sheet, ad all start at 17. Yes, 17. So remember you roll a D20? That means yu have an 85% chance to succeed right? Wrong.

THE DICE

But if you have 17 in an ability, and roll under it to succeed, yes you will succeed 85% of the time. Thing is every task is resisted. If it's worth rolling dice for, it's resisted. The resistance can be PASSIVE, like a cliff you are climbing, or ACTIVE, like the guy you are fighting trying to hit you with his sword.

Now this is a little complex. Bear with me. Years ago, when Hero Wars came out, Issaries published the key rules on the web. I was a bit of a Runequest fan, and downloaded them – this must have been late 90's - and what I saw was so confusing to my tiny brain, I decided not to buy the system!!! I always buy rpgs with samples online. I love these things. This is the first, and until the new Mage came out, the last time, an online quick start kit has failed to make me rush out and buy the game. (I liked the new Mage, but not enough to buy it - Atlanteans turn me off big time. It's a personal thing, baby.)

Anyway, and apologies to any hot Alantean babes out there - feel free to send a photo to convert me- the dice system is actually quite simple. Lets say you have the skill er, RIDE HORSE 17 and you want to jump a hedge. You are on the horse galloping at it, and you roll your D20. I will actually do this. Ok I got a 12, under my skill so I succeed. However this is a really nasty spiky thorny high hedge, with a hidden ditch the other dide. The normal resistance, or skill against you would be 14. But this is the Evil Mother of All Hedges - I shall therefore make it HEDGE 19. I could make it HEDGE 20, but if i rolled 20 the Hedge would fumble, which sounds silly but just means you found a spot which had few brambles, and was lower and easier to jump. 20 is always a Fumble, or really bad screw up, so in HeroQuest there is no difference between 19 and 20 except 20 is one nearer to 21 well 1W1 but I''ll get to that - don't panic!

OK you rolled 12. I roll the dice, and get 15. Er we both succeed. There is a little table we look at. Your roll is lower, hence better - so that is a Marginal Victory to you. You just manage to clear the hedge and stay on your horse as you crash down inches across the ditch on the other side. Good jump!

Its easier with the little table: Honest. In fact if you have played Pendragon, its kind of similar, and soon gets intuitive. I really was scared of this, but its dead easy stuff.

OK, so that is fine for cliffs and hedges, and things that don't fight back. However if i fire an arrow at you, that works pretty much the same. You might use the skill Hide in Cover at 13; I use Archery at 14. If either of us fails and the other one succeeds then its obvious what happens; if we both succeed or fail, the lower person gets the marginal victory, or minor victory, and you look up a table to se how much damage was done. If either of us got a critical or fail, it would modifty the result.

Blah - dice systems are boring. Lets talk about something fun.

SOMETHING FUN - GAMBLING WITH YOUR LIFE

This is a review. I can't do too much detail, but I'll try. Lets have a sword fight. We are btoh crap with swords, and have skill 13. There are no other modifiers - its a perfectly even battle. I launch the first blow at you. Obviously this is a big deal, not just a minor simple task We use the Extended Contest system - like the previous version, but over several rounds...

OK, we both have a store of AP, Action Points or advantage Points or sumfink. As our skill is 13 for this contest, we start with 13 each. We then gamble them, on the result of the dice contest each round, an describe our blows accordingly. I'll play safe, and have my PC just fight defensively, and stake 1AP on this round. I roll a 10, you roll a 7. Look at the little table, and hey, that means you get a marginal victory - and I lose half my bid, which is 1pt. I'm down to 12. You caught me off guard while I was being overly cautious, and pushed me aback.

Now your character decided to come at me screaming and risk an all out arms flailing above head hack. I'm either going to be chopped straight in two down the centre of my head, or you'll miss and run on to my sword. You are staking all 13AP you possess. I could be in real trouble! You roll 19 a miserable failure, as my character leaps nimbly to one side. My character is luckier- I roll a 7, and I describe how my sword makes a graceful arc as I swing it in to your chaps charging body.. You lose 13AP, and are out of the contest. I have won!

Now if instead I had critted, you would have lost twice your bid and ended up on -13AP, seriously hurt. How far negative you end up at the end of the contest determines how hurt you are.

I like the bidding, though it is bean counting and can become tedious. If you describe it is fun, and it gives you some input and skill in the outcome, which rolling dice never allows. That’s just luck. Having to choose how many points to gamble introduces skill, which is a good thing.

Hurt does not have to be physical - in fact, something is always at stake, but your Play Harp skill could be hurt, or you reputation, or your wealth, or your status with the tribe, etc. if the latter is killed you are perhaps outlawed and exiled; if your musical ability was 'killed', you might just vow never to play the harp again before all the gods after being horribly humiliated. You can heal someone status with the tribe, or musical ability, by relevant actions and appropriate skills - "Inspire Others" might get the Harpists wounded ego back to health and allow him to start playing, if he was only 'Wounded', but dead realy is loss of what was at stake.

So yep, I used a fight, but a healer struggling to save a patient, a man in icy waters trying to reach the sure, a child trying to run home quickly before night falls, a woman trying to persuade her husband to stay faithful and not leave her...

ER, BUT THAT MEANS

Yes, exactly. You can write adventures about anything you like. A cooking contest can use an extended contest, an be a major part of an adventure. Up to HeroQuest almost all rpgs had really simple kill resolution rules which get complex when people try to hurt each other. Combat is rarely exactly the same as any other skill. Here, combat is. If its important, use an Extended Contest an gamble on it, and let the the GM say what at stake. If it's not, make a simple roll to see how the Battle turned out or if you beat the troll and carried on running to the grain store.

This is what really sold me on HeroQuest. In Runequest I decide to read an ancient book. I roll versus my Read/Write Old Pavic, succeed. Took 5 seconds, and the referee tells me what I learned. Boring. Or i save my friends life by making a Firts Aid roll (ok more Cthulhu but the principle stands.) One dice roll, its over. No drama, no discussion, no roleplaying.

Then we meet six trollkin and a Great Troll. An hour later, after dozens of rolls to hit, parry, damage and cast spells, the combat is resolved.

But WHY should a combat be more intrinsically interesting than reading the old book and finding out the lost secret, or battling to stitch up the throat pumping blood and apply the tourniquet till the medicine lowers the pressure and the patient has pulled through the shock?

Combat is more exciting people say.

Yes combat is exciting. So exciting thinking about it makes me sick. But how many of us have ever killed anyone? I have real issues with violence. I loathe it. Violence hurts. Gouge yourself with a broken bottle and feel the pain. Go to a funeral and see what loss means. Go get your bones crushed fighting a street gang. Get burnt by petrol bombs in a riot. Use a penknife to extract shotgun pellets from your leg. Crawl over yur friends broken bodies out of a wrecked car, tasting the petrol as it splashes in to your face from the torn petrol line, and lay in a ditch watching the stars and listening to the sirens approaching the wreck, hearing your mates cries fading.

Real violence is not fun. Imaginary violence can be. Yes its exciting, but its pretty sickening, scarring and character changing. Those of us who have tasted it rarely relish it for long, and if w do, that's when we know we have a problem...

Yep, combat can be exciting. However all CONFLICT is exciting - ER, Boston Legal, FRIENDS, Pop Idol*. Conflict is not (necessarily) violence. If we applied the same rules to TV we applied to our rpgs, what would FRIENDS look like? The one Where Rachel Bayoneted Ross? Happy Days would see Fonz in 1951 Korea not 1957 Milwaukee. The Superbowl would be on a minefield, and MTV would be showing Reservoir Dogs and Platoon 24/7? Starsky and Hutch would look much more like Sledgehammer (and be better for it!)and the Dukes of Hazard would be more like Steve Jackson Games Car Wars. And someone might get hurt in the A Team!

Combat is not intrinsically interesting. Conflict is. Yet most systems celebrate combat over al other form of conflict - and by doing so and allowing combat extensive and specialised rules, they devalue the debates, the surgery, the taut negotiation, the romance and seduction, the family pressures, the shattered loyalties, in fact 90% of the things which make up our daily experience and 99% of the conflicts we experience in the world. Combat can be fun: but so can battling to summon a otherworld entity, save a loved one from a terrible wound, argue a court case, romance the herald, climb the mountain or win over the entire Tribe ti your cause.

This is the single thing I love the most about HeroQuest - it gives me the option to tell any story, to examine any conflict, I choose in this fantasy setting, not just combat stories, or stories where combat will take up most of my session.

SO WHY DO THE SAMPLE ADVENTURES...

Too combat heavy for my tastes, but Violence is always an Option, as the Heortlings say. And some of them have practically no real combat opportunities.

OK BACK TO CHARACTER GENERATION

There is some more neat stuff here. I still have ten picks - to make up skills, abilities, Retainer, Sidekicks, Equipment or Magic Items tec. Firstly, you can have a Retainer; A servant, scribe, bodyguard, or whatever. Write them on your sheet like a skill. Euripides, groom 17. Then we have Relationships , so I'd better write Loyalty to Euripides 13. Ah, my wife Alyssa can be my Sidekick; more important than a retainer, she gets three skills, so i'll take Very Sexy 13, Great Cook 13, and Resent Sexist Stereotyping 13. That should do for now. Oh yes, better write Love Wife at 17 too... Then I will take the skill Inspire Courage at 13, and the skill Drink till Sober 13, and then I'd best take Better Cook than Wife 13. (I get some freebie points to sling around, so I wil increase my love wife skill) I want a horse than can Run on the Wind 13, if the GM will let me, and then I shall take the Runestone of Alavroking, and the Mauve Breath of the Uncle, and the Radiant Torc. Have no idea what any of those do yet, but I'll find out in play - I just made them up. Use ambiguity in defining things - this is not cheating, it's encouraged. Much better to have the Whispergate Spindle and the Copper Dream-Pan than a Sword plus one huh? :) Of course once i have defined what they do - that's it. That's what they do. And the GM decides idf its ok and relevant, and I'd better explain why its relevant. Er, what was Orlanth's Uncles called? Storm Bull/Uroxi? So the Mauve Breath is a herb you chew, which makes you r breat mauve, and makes yu a fearless berserker when fighting Chaos? Sounds good to me, I''ll wait till I need it then spring it on the GM, with my explanation. Very, very rare herb- I only have a small pouch?

So far I have implied there is one system of character generation. Really there are three. One is just working from Keywords, as i have shown, and is the most traditional. One involves you writing a short piece of I think 200 words, and then identifying skills from that. this works really well with people who have played before and have some idea of Glorantha, the game world. I have used it and it woks like a dream. Then there is my favourite of all, especially for player who turn up mid session without a character and want to join in - give them a blank character sheet an dthey fill it in as they play and learn about their character, till they have as many skills and abilities as anyone else...

BORED WITH CHARACTER GENERATION... MORE GOOD STUFF, AUGMENTS

So I will go back to mechanics, and a neat one. Augments. Say I am trying to extract a arrow head from the Chieftain's rib cage, and have Surgery at 17. I also have Anatomy at 13, and my friend Olaf is holding the Chieftain down and has Strong 13 as a skill, while his wife Ingrid sings a soothing Healing Song, a skill she has at 18. I can AUGMENT, that is increase my skil of Surgery (!7) with my knowledge of Anatomy. I have Anatomy at 13, and get 10% of that as a bonus, fo 1.3 - round down to a +!. So my skill is now 18. My friend restraining the chieftain is pretty useful - I get 1.3, round down for that giving me another +1, so my skill is now effectively 19. Finally Ingrid's Healing Song gives me +1.8, over .5 so I round up to +2 and my skill is now 21. :) If i knew some healing magic at 17, like the Feat Wound Binding Balm, I could spend a few minutes and get another +2 or that, so my final skill is 23. In an Extended Contest, they could add to my Action Points instead, or augment, as I desire.

The GM can also call for, or you can try, a variable augment, where you can go for a bigger or smaller than usual bonus, or just see if you can get one at all. The GM tends to call for these if you insist on using marginally relevant skills to augment, or every skill all the time, regardless of the circumstances, turning the game in to a blagging contest.

Oh yes, I would not really have 23. I'd have 3W. The W actually look like an E fallen over on its side, and is a mastery rune. It means multiple of 20, and it lets you do fun stuff with skills, like use a D20 when a Hero with Sword Attack 98 is being tickled half to death by a nymph with Seduction 75whose trying to arouse him because she is bored with macho heroics and fancies a game session about village politics, so she wanst to nick his sword off him.. This would actually look like this –

Hero with Sword 18W4 (meaning 18 +(4 times 20)) versus Tickling Nymph 15W3 (15+(3 times 20)

You cancel out the lower by the higher number after the W: the Hero has a +1W advantage, so his result in the little Contest Table, Extended or Simple, gets bumped up a category when calculating results. Its simpler than it sounds, and easy to understand with the table in front of you.

THE MAGIC SYSTEMS I have finally understood the magic systems, and am tempted to explain them, for everyone who like me found it hard going. I won't, as a review is not the place to do this. They are kind of neat once you grok them, but for now, if you have problems ask at the end of the rules and i will explain, or join the HeroQuest Rules Yahoo Group, or ask on rpg.net forum. :) There are three magic systems, each of which has several complex options, and all of which coexist and interact in the world.

Active Magic is Magic you can use on its own. A lot of magic can only be used to Augment abilities otherwise - augmenting is not Active magic. That should make it easier. Concentrating magic means you specialise in one of the three magic systems, but lose the other two, and you r magic gets better an dcheaper to learn as a result. Simple really.

OH YES, GLORANTHA HeroQuest is set in a world created by Greg Stafford called Glorantha. It is a fascinating and wonderful place, but if you don't like it these rules work really well in any setting, and may player have adapted them to non-Fantasy settings, or othe Fantasy worlds. they are superb and shoudl be read by any gamer who enjoys innovative and creative age design.

Glorantha is wonderful, and most gloranthaphiles ar elovely, kind generous and fun people. Join the Yahoo Groups HeroQuest and HeroQuest Rules, and say CJ sent you. Some gloranthaphiles are tedious know it all political back biting pains in the arses, and totally contentious. You get that everywhere, in any hobby. I have not met any yet, but I have heard the stories. However so far, and its been a while, there generosity, kindness and god humour have overwhelmed me. Maybe they are waiting to get me when I am lulled in to a false sense of security nd lecture me to death on Jrustelis second age jellyfish taxonomy in the light of Darkness Runes? Anything but that!!!

Oh yeah, the book has tuff about Glornatha and Gods and Weirdness and Wizardry Schools and Spirits and Monsters and Maps and Hiostory and Heresy and Naked Chicks and - oh, sorry I got carried away. I have not so far noted any Naked Chicks, or Naked Adult Birds, in HeroQuest. Don't Chicks have down, little yellow feathers anyway? Whether they do or don't there is a lot of gaming Stuff inthis book, but this reviewer wants to go to bed. If you buy it you will know won't you?:)

There is loads written on Glorantha, but my advice is ignore it all, choose a corner and make it yours by making up your own stuff, and should you meet a roving critical know it all Gloranthaphile on the road, kill them. Unless its Greg Stafford, cos he was nice to me when I met him as a kid at a con. :)

Buy HeroQuest; and do believe the hype. Then stick with it, till you have mastered it. Like learning a foreign language, its confusing, then rewarding, then you never look back... CJ October 2005

* Actually I struggled with these examples of TV shows. I don't have a TV, as I make television and have no desire to watch any, so its hard for me to be relevant and contemporary. Please forgive me, mainly for working in TV!

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