Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Heroic Abilities for Magic Specialists

Normal service is resumed with some Heroic Abilities for TGFKA* MRQ2, aimed at spell users, courtesy of Chronos:

Efficacious Caster
Requirements: POW 16+, Spellcasting skill 90%+
Hero Points: 12

Magic flows efficiently through your practised fingers. Reduce the cost to cast spells by 1 magic point. This ability is passive; you do not need to expend a magic point to activate it. However, you cannot reduce the MP cost to cast a spell to below 1.

Relaxed Mind
Requirements: POW 16+, Spellcasting skill 90%+
Hero Points: 10

When not stressed, your mind easily attunes to the magic that surrounds you. Double the rate at which you regain magic points. However, if you encounter a stressful situation such as combat, magic points are regained normally during the hour in which the stress occurred. This ability is passive; you do not need to expend a magic point to activate it.

Requirements: INT 16+, Spellcasting skill 90%+
Hero Points: 12

Your facility with magic makes you able to cast spells quickly under pressure. Reduce the number of CAs to cast spells by 1. You cannot reduce the number of CAs to cast a spell to below 1. 

For example, Urgath casts Bladesharp 3 on his greatsword. Normally, this would take 2 CAs, but since he is a Spellslinger, it only takes 1 CA to cast. Next, Urgath attempts to cast Disruption 2 on his opponent. Even though he is a Spellslinger, it still takes the minimum 1 CA to cast.

Clear Minded (for Sorcerors)
Requirements: INT 16+, Spellcasting skill 90%+
Hero Points: 8

Double the critical range of the player's spellcasting ability for the purpose of determining whether the spell is cast at no MP cost.

Comments welcome!

*The Game Formerly Known As

UPDATE: Some very valuable comments after the jump from Deleriad:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bargain...of Sorts

The first domino in the chain of Runequest 2 becoming Wayfarer (golly, how I hate that name!) has fallen. All MRQ2 products are now on deep discount at DrivethruRPG, including product bundles.

So, you can get all the Gloranthan products in PDF for under $30. Same with the core rule books.

What a bargain! Or at least it would be if I hadn't spent, by my reckoning, about $150 plus shipping for a mixture of books and PDF for the core rules, and about $180 plus shipping for the Glorantha books (I got the limited edition Abiding Book) - ALL SINCE JANUARY 2010!!!

This is the second time Mongoose has done this to me. At least with MRQ1 I'd only got about half the collection and completed it with the bargain books Mongoose sells by Ebay.

Yet having read this from the great Dave Morris, I'm now concerned that buying the discounted books on Ebay might be doing the creators a disservice.

If you want to pick up these great products now, you should do so at these prices - at least the creators will get something from that, I imagine. I'm more and more convinced that Wayfarer will be an orphan system at best. Noted RQ forum inhabitant PrinceYrkoon has some interesting thoughts on this here.

PS Akratic Wizardry is also covering this - and is about as optimistic as I am. Same with Newt.

Monday, May 23, 2011


This morning, Mongoose Publishing and Issaries Inc announced the mutual termination of Mongoose's license to the Runequest and Gloranthan Second Age properties. The Game Formerly Known As Runequest 2 will become Wayfarer (and I have to say that is an awful choice). Gone are the handsome A4 leather-bound editions. In their place will be pocket-sized rulebooks at a much more affordable price. All the promised expansions like Monster Island appear to have been canceled apart from the potentially brilliant Age of Treason (which, from what I've seen, looks fantastic). Mongoose will send the next 6 months selling off existing stock, it appears. The reason for the split appears to be simply disappointing sales of the Gloranthan line, and a feeling that Glorantha's undeserved reputation as "weird" has been holding back sales of the generic books.

Meanwhile, the authors of the MRQ2 rules, Loz Whitaker and Pete Nash, have both been hired by Issaries/ Moon Design to write new Gloranthan publications. Mongoose's loss is Moon Design's gain. The timing of the Moon Design announcements, we are told, is coincidental.

What does this mean for MRQ2 fans? I fear it means an orphan system. The reaction of the RQ Gloranthaphiles has been one of dismay, while those who like the system but who have nothing invested in Glorantha have been sanguine, but regret the loss of Loz and Pete. I think there are three possible outcomes:

1. Mongoose is serious about the system becoming a generic rules system. They release it under the OGL and allows outside publishers to use it (they are apparently considering this option). In house, Age of Treason is a success and other writers of the caliber of Loz and Pete are commissioned to produce great material. The system reaches its potential.

2. Mongoose releases the system as promised, but without the OGL. It withers on the vine and is canceled after a couple of years and some half-hearted new releases. The system is orphaned.

3. The promised Wayfarer system never materializes. The system dies.

I think at the moment it could go any of these ways, but I fear Newt is right when he suggests that people aren't going to shell out again. Mongoose has expended significant amounts of goodwill in the way they have handled the system. In my opinion, release of this excellent system under the OGL is the only way to regain that lost goodwill.

But I could be wrong. Perhaps Glorantha and the Runequest name were truly albatrosses around the neck of the system, but given where Loz and Pete have ended up, it suggests that the game designers don't think so.

What does this mean for the fanzine, which I've been doing feasibility work for over the past few weeks? I don't know. We've picked a name - Impale! - and assembled an editorial team, and even got some content being written, but if the system is to be orphaned I'm not sure whether the project is worth us investing time and money in. I'll be seeking assurances from Mongoose about this. Otherwise, there are other options.

We d100 gamers live in interesting times...