Saturday, November 20, 2010


After a couple days off to deal with non-internet life, I have returned to continue my quest. Today's game is, as the title says, Heroquest, designed by Robin Laws and Greg Stafford. I don't have the most recent edition of Heroquest handy, so I'll use the second edition, which uses the world of Glorantha as the default setting. I could try to explain, but the Wikipedia article on Glorantha says it better, so I'll quote:

"In Glorantha, magic operates from the everyday level of prayers and charms to the creation and maintenance of the world. Heroes make their way in the world, and may also venture into metaphysical realms to gain knowledge and power, at the risk of body and soul. In the more recent material competing magical outlooks, such as theism, shamanism and mysticism, exist to explain the world. Within each metaphysical system, adherents may also compete - such as when theistic worshipers of rival gods battle each other. The world is flat, with a dome-like sky, and it has been shaped in large and small ways by the mythic actions of the gods. The 'historical' world of Glorantha is in a more or less fallen state, having recovered only partially from a universal battle against Chaos in the mythic Godtime.

Humans are the dominant race, but other sentient beings abound. Some, such as the mystic dragonewts, are unique to Glorantha. Familiar nonhuman races, such as elves and dwarves, are distinct from their common, Tolkienesque portrayals."

Heroquest itself is a very narrativist game; unlike some RPGs that rely of knowledge of the system or rules, memorization, or a talent for math, Heroquest rewards things like creative improvisation, shared storytelling, and a proactive group of players. It comes with three typical methods of character creation: with the Prose method, I write about 100 words on my character, and using those 100 words, I pick out certain keywords to use for my skills and abilities. With the List method, I choose a set of keywords for my character, then choose up to ten additional abilities and up to 3 character flaws. Finally, there's the As-You-Go method, where you start with essentially a blank sheet, and make up your character as the session progresses. Since the first method would be difficult here, and the third method would be impossible for this blog, I'll go with the List method.

First, as a Heroquest character in Glorantha, I have to choose several keywords: an occupation keyword, a homeland keyword, whether or not I take my homeland's religion keyword, and a magic keyword - either for specific magic talent, or simply for common magic. I think I'll go with the Warrior occupation, which is the occupation of a warrior from a somewhat barbaric or 'uncivilized' culture, because I want to take the Heortling homeland keyword, as the Heortlings are the proto-Scandinavians of Glorantha. They have a specialized religion keyword, the Storm Pantheon, which I think I'll take as well; as for my magic keyword, I'll just go with common magic. That covers my keywords; with each keyword will come a number of abilities that I know because of that keyword. Now I have ten choices that I can use for abilities, followers, or special possessions. I think I'll take a polar bear-skin cloak that always keeps me warm, I'll join the cult of the warrior (and adventure) god Destor as an initiate, the Hardy ability, the Hold Drink ability, the History and Singing abilities, Brawling, the Know Customs of Strangers ability, Axe and Shield Fighting, and Speak Grazer. I'm thinking of my Heortling Warrior as someone like Herger the Joyous in the movie 13th Warrior, a warrior but also something of a skald and historian, with knowledge of other people. So, that said, my character, when filled out, will look like this:

Asborn the Able

Homeland: Heortlings 17
Occupation: Warrior 17
Magic: Humakt 17
Common Magic 17

Heortling: Dragon Pass Geography 17, Farming 17, Heortling Customs 17, Speak Sartarite 17, Walk with Snowshoes 17, Wilderness Survival 17, Spear and Shield Combat 17
Warrior: Endurance 17, Guard Camp 17, Know Lunar Tactics 17, Know Local Area 17, Listen 17, Sword Fighting 17, Sling Fighting 17, Recognize Fighting Style 17, Recognize Foe 17, Ride 17, Scout 17
Storm Pantheon: Know Storm Pantheon Myths 17
Other: Hardy 13, Hold Drink 13, History 13, Singing 13, Brawling 13, Know Customs of Strangers 13, Axe and Shield Fighting 13, Speak Grazer 13

Love Family 17
Revere Ancestors 17
Loyal to Clan 17
Worship Storm Pantheon 17
Member of Destor Cult 17

Magical Abilities
Common Magic 17
Destor: Overbear Foe 17, Burst of Speed 17, Sunset Leap 17, Call Clouds 17
Polar Bear Warmth Cloak 13

Active 17
Curious 17
Wanderlust 17
Boastful 17
Brave 17
Determined 17
Fear Dragons 17
Hate Chaos 17
Hate Lunars 17

Possessions & Wealth
Standard of Living: Common
Wealth 13
Weapons (sword, spear, axe)
Medium armor and shield
Strong horse 12M

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