RuneQuest (RQ) is a fantasy role-playing game created by Steve Perrin and others, set in Greg Stafford's mythical world of Glorantha. Its first edition was published in 1978 by Chaosium. RuneQuest is notable for its system, designed around percentile dice and with an early implementation of skill rules, which became the basis of numerous other games. There have been several editions of the game.
This mixture of the game system, known as the Basic Role-Playing (BRP) and released separately in 1980, and the atmospheric and highly detailed, non-Medeval European setting turned the game into something of a radical departure from mainstream fantasy role-playing games of the time, which were largely derived from Dungeons & Dragons. The BRP system pioneered the "classless FRPG" and Stafford's world explored the role-playing characters from rudinmentary adventurers to full-blown Rune Lords (Champions/Legends). Throughout its history, RQ has survived ebbs and flows of game sales for differing publishers, and to varying degrees always remained associated with its foundations in Glorantha.
Early Chaosium EditionsEdit
Under Chaosium's production, RQ largely explored what is now called "Sandbox Gaming" with works exploring Glorantha with massive sourcebooks like Griffin Mountain, Cults of Terror, and Trollpak. These works work on creating a larger world around the player-characters of the RQ game, with only slight attention to the scenario-driven publications of FRPGs of the late 70s and early 80s.
Around 1983-84 and throughout the 1990s, Avalon Hill took on publishing RQ's 3rd Edition. This publication stressed the game's mechanics focusing more on historical role-playing, such as the time of the Late Roman Empire or High Dark Ages with the "Fantasy Earth" series of supplements. Glorantha was there, but more as an significant afterthought in the appendix of the massive rulebook and a single supplement.
Hasbro and Hero QuestEdit
In 1997, Avalon Hill was acquired by Hasbro, which shelved all plans for RQ, Gloranthan RQ-spin offs. In the new millennium, 2003 specifically, Greg Stafford through his Issaries Inc. was able to regain control of the RQ title, but mostly after focusing on the Hero Quest system to re-express his mythopoetic world.
Moongoose Publishing acquired the rights to produce a game system using the name Runequest (commonly referred to as MRQ), under licence from Issaries Inc, and using a d100-mechanic similar to Chaosium's original BRP. They released their game in August of 2006. Glorantha has figured pretty prominently in these products, in Glorantha's "Second Age." The 2nd Age is much, much earlier than the works of RQ of the 80s and 90s. In 2010, Mongoose released Runequest II (MRQ II), which was greatly re-worked from their 06 release.
After Mongoose Publishing lost the rights to RuneQuest and Glorantha, they published a re-worked version of MRQ II as a generic fantasy game, Legend.
The Design MechanismEdit
Mongoose Publishing lost the license to RuneQuest and Glorantha in 2011. A few months later a new company was formed: The Design Mechanism. The Design Mechanism consists of Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash; the same two people responsible for the reworked 2nd.edition of Mongoose's RuneQuest, and both having strong ties to the original licence-holder Issaries and Moon Design. They announced a new edition of RuneQuest, naming it RuneQuest 6th Edition and further refined what they had started with MRQ II. RuneQuest 6 was released summer'12, and was well received. The game was a generic and comprehensive set of rules not tied to Glorantha. A slew of diverse settings (amongst them Adventures in Glorantha) and adventures awere also planned to support the game.
As part of the agreement between Issaries, Mongoose Publishing and the new licensee The Design Mechanism, the rights to selected supplements written for MRQ/MRQ II transferred to The Design Mechanism.
However in 2013
- RuneQuest at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.