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lunes, 16 de enero de 2012

RuneQuest and La Alianza de los Tres Soles

Today I bring you an article with a brief review of the history of the role-playing game RuneQuest and an interview with Roberto Alhambra, author of the novel Siempre amanece por oriente (Always dawns by the East), first part of La Alianza de los Tres Soles (Alliance of Three Suns) trilogy, newly published and set in the world of Glorantha, created by Greg Stafford.

Creation of RuneQuest and Glorantha

Stafford created the Chaosium publishing house in 1975 to publish the board game White Bear and Red Moon, the first game set in the world of Glorantha (this was related to his interest in mythology during his teen years). After publishing said game and seeing the importance that Dungeons & Dragons was acquiring Stafford thought about creating a game of this kind for Glorantha’s world. This game was RuneQuest and was written in 1978 with help by Steve Perrin and others.

RuneQuest introduces for first time a skill system with a point system based in percentages (a scale from 0 to 100) and players need to make rolls with a 100-sided dice with scores under their skill to be successful (this roll can be easily made with 2 10-sided dices, one for the tens and the other for units).

This percentile game system gave birth to the generic system Basic Role-Playing (also known as BRP), this would be the rules system for games like Call of Cthulhu or Pendragon, also written by Stafford and considered by himself his best work.

RuneQuest and the world of Glorantha have known many names and versions afterwards, like HeroQuest or HeroWars. Until now RuneQuest have been published by Mongoose Publishing, but the agreement between the publisher and Issaries Inc. (Greg Stafford’s publishing house) has been terminated in June 2011.

Is expected early this year The Design Mechanism will present the new edition of RuneQuest (the sixth one) that will integrate Glorantha again within the game.

Update: RuneQuest 6 will bé a generic ruleset with generic supplements for various settings (thanks to Artus Silenis for the remark)

RuneQuest in Spain

RuneQuest was first shown in Spain at he JESYR (Jornadas de Juegos de Estrategia, Simulación y Rol: Strategy Games, Simulation and Role-playing Game Days) of 1987 by the role-playing games club The Fumbler Dwarf. The success of the presentation gaming sessions convinced Francesc Matas, JESYR coordinator and founder of Joc Internacional publisher, to negotiate with Chaosium the license to publish the game in Spain. The list of manuals and supplements published in Spain follows:

RuneQuest básico (RuneQuest, October 1988)
Los Vikingos (Vikings, February 1989)
RuneQuest avanzado (RuneQuest April 1989)
El Señor de las Runas (includes game master screen, June 1989)
La Isla de los Grifos (Griffin Island, September 1989)
Dioses de Glorantha (Gods of Glorantha, November 1989)
Apple Lane, el sendero del Pomar (Apple Lane, March 1990)
Glorantha, el mundo y sus habitantes (April 1990)
Genertela, encrucijada de las Guerras de los Héroes (Glorantha: Genertela, Crucible of the Hero Wars, March 1991)
El abismo de la garganta de la serpiente (June 1991)
Secretos antiguos de Glorantha (Elder Secrets of Glorantha, October 1991)
Hijas de la noche (Daughters of Darkness, 1992)
El libro de los Trolls, costumbres y secretos de la raza oscura (Trolls and Trollkin, March 1992)
El portal de Karshit (July 1992) Tierra de Ninjas (Land of Ninja, 1993) La ciudad perdida de Eldarad (Eldarad: the Lost City, March 1995)

Note: This list includes the corresponding English title in those books I could identify the original edition, if you detect an error or could amend it leave me a comment in this post.

Interview with Roberto Alhambra, author of Siempre amanece por oriente

El Dado Inquieto: First permit me to congratulate you for the publishing of Siempre amanece por oriente.

Roberto Alhambra: Many thanks; you don’t know much illusion does to me.

EDI: When did you start being interested in role-playing games?

RA: Well, I was a little child, a sixth grade EGB child, yes then there was EGB. First I knew the antediluvian Dungeons & Dragons, the red box one... and some other wargames...

EDI: Had you played or refereed other games than

RA: Yes. In my group of friends each one had our specialty and RuneQuest was mine, but I also refereed some gaming sessions of MERP, Star Wars... I don’t remember well, but from Old School we played almost every game and I don’t remember which ones I refereed.

EDI: How did you thought about write a fantasy novel?, it had been your first literary incursion in this genre or you tried this before?

RA: To be true this is my first experience as a writer, I had never written anything, I had no idea how it works. Also I was interested in a more social type of literature, essays, etc…

EDI: The fact that the novel is set in Glorantha obeys a special reason?

RA: When I began to prepare the adventure for the gaming session which drew up the story I was slowly falling for Glorantha. It seemed a universe of cultural wealth, of imagination and resources that I hadn’t seen in most fantasy literature. It seemed incredible the devotion of many readers to other worlds much flatter and archetypical, don’t powerful enough to shadow the gloranthan wealth.

EDI: When will be available the second part of the trilogy?, what will be its title?

RA: It’s titled La Niebla que cubre las Aguas (The Mist that covers the Waters)... and I will say also that the third and final part is titled Un brillo de luz negra (A black light glow), for me and players it’s the best and more mythological. All are finished and waiting to go to press. I don’t know when. At the publisher have said that will be a volume for year, for me it seems too long… I wish it could be for the Feria del Libro.

EDI: What are your plans after publishing the trilogy?

RA: At the moment there are still many pending revisions, including those of the first part if I achieved it to be reedited. I would like to clear it for typos and add some further clarifications. I can’t consider what I’ll do later when I have so much work to correct these. What I have started to do was to write a tale with the mostali race (gloranthan dwarfs) as protagonists… for the bad conscience for having been a little unfair to them.

EDI: Thank you for your attention Roberto. Best wishes for your future projects.

RA: Thanks to you and see if we can to continue the saga and the reissue of the first volume. I hope to keep passing me by El Dado Inquieto even just to read it. A hug.

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