Crisis of multiple RuneQuests!

“Arrrgh my leetle brain can not handle it” is what some of you will probably be thinking when you contemplate the number of RQ like systems that are available now or in the near future.

This time next year there will be at least :

Renaissance* (Black powder era flavoured RQ)
OpenQuest*
Aeon
BRP with the Magic supplement
Legend*
and of course

RuneQuest 6 itself.

(Systems marked * are OGL)

RQ 6 of course is the 400lb gorilla in the room. If you are a 3rd party publisher who is focusing on the sales you want to go that way. Lawrence & Pete are excellent authors, who I know are polishing and fine tuning the work they started with with MRQ2 into something that will be slick and awesome, that will have a solid schedule of support supplements which will have the same level of care and attention paid to them as the core rulebook. Pete n Loz’s legacy of MRQ2 and work they did on other systems during their short stint at Mongoose (Traveller – Judge Dredd and Strontium Dogs were ably pulled together by Loz, while Pete worked on the Lone Wolf multiplayer for example) speaks volumes.  The’ve also partnered with Moon Designs as a publisher, who are in turn distributed by Cubicle 7.  MD have successfully resurrected the fortunes of Glorantha and HeroQuest, making them playable and accessible to new players, without compromising the artistic vision of either, and been able to support books of a very high page count with large amounts of art and stay in business. With C7’s powerful distribution behind them, it means you’ll be seeing MD books in your local gaming shop.  The HQ Gaming license is simple to follow (no standalone games, page references to the rules with a very simple approval process to make sure that nothing obscene like a HQ F.A.T.A.L gets released). I speak from experience here and RQ6 will have a virtually identical license.

So where does this leave OQ? Well I must confess that when I heard Loz n Pete were going to be doing RQ6 I thought “Oh Funk that’s the end of it” and nearly gave up there and then. Then I remembered all the lovely OpenQuest fans, who regularly say nice things about the game and egg me on, how Rik and John have poured their hearts and soul into The Company (Modern OQ) and River of Heaven (Sci-fi OQ), to mention how much fun I’ve had with OQ and quickly realised that quiting was not an option. I’m also very hopeful that supporting OQ financially is a viable option as well, since people say repeatedly they like the simplicity of OQ over the other interactions of D100. OQ sells steadily enough to support itself. In other words OQ has its niche. With The Company & River of Heaven its quite a solid “Fist of Fun” too :)

I’ve always held that D100, like D&D, is a shared gaming language and that its worth keeping it alive. 2012 is going to strength the options that D100 players both old and new have and I hope that the community of gamers see this as a positive thing, taking what they like form the various releases to run the most fun game of D100 they can. This is certainly the case in the D&D OSR and I hope this something D100 fans learn quickly rather than descend into arguing the merits of their favoured system. Early signs ,from the various forum discussions that have sprung up around the release of Legend, seems that this is the case :)

About Newt

Games Designer, Publisher, Web Developer, Dad.
This entry was posted in Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying System, OpenQuest, RuneQuest. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Crisis of multiple RuneQuests!

  1. Oh don’t give up. OQ sits nicely as the lighter brother of RQ.
    Even if you stopped publishing for it, others will continue to make good use of it as the core OGL ruleset for lighter end d100.
    Unless.. of course you fancy working an OQ2 from Legend, or maybe from the best of the new clutch of OQ relatives, such as Age of Shadow, Renaissance, and some bits from Legend?
    Frankly.. I’d say you shouldn’t worry about it unless having an OQ logo and a Legend logo on your scenarios and campaign packs is worth the extra sales..

    OQ has a good rep nowadays, people talk about it all over the place, it’s well bedded in as a reputable ruleset.

  2. Akrasia says:

    OpenQuest is the go-to system for rules-litish d100 fantasy! I love playing MRQII (and I’m sure RQ6 will be even better), but it’s a tad too crunchy for my tastes as a GM. OQ fills an important niche.

    Age of Shadow and Renaissance are powered by OQ and have bright futures, as does OQ itself!

    Now you just need to produce an OQ version of Zarth!
    :D

  3. Dave says:

    I for one am done buying a new version of RQ every year. I am not that dumb. I have Basic Roleplaying and OpenQuest and that suits me just fine thank you. I stopped playing MRQII because it is too crunchy-munchy on combat and too loosey-goosey on magic. What I want is d100 support (supplements, settings, adventures) that I can use for the rules I already own.

    (OQ Zarth!!!! Yes!)

  4. Guest says:

    I cannot keep this straight at all. All these different rule sets are overwhelming.

    Are any of these even compatible with Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer or the original RQ?

    • Rudy says:

      Openquest is the closest thing to Stormbringer in print. Give it a try, if those are your games you will be pleased. It uses some rules from Mongoose RQ, and a fast playing, light ruleset over all.

      Don’t give up, Newt, and you will continue to have a customer here.

  5. Ben Monroe says:

    I agree with Akrasia and Mr. Zunder. I’ve played just about every published version of a BRP/D100 fantasy (and some unpublished ones) game, and OQ is pretty much the tops for me. I love a lot of the different things the other games do, but OQ just fits my gaming style to a T.

    What I think would be cool, as Zunder mentions up there, would be to evaluate some of the best extra bits taken from the other OGL d100 games, and see if any of them are worth evaluating as including in OQ as optional rules.

    I think if there’s anything I’d like to see with OQ, that would really be it. Keep the core solid rules as you have them, but add little boxed ‘optional’ rules throughout as ways to dial the game in different directions.

  6. Antalon says:

    It feels to me that OQ has its own ‘mood': it has a feel that heavily reminds me of the old-days but is still a new and supported game. This gives it a special warm feeling. And, the adventure supplements so far have been very good. Life and Death is great as an opening for a GM to start a campaign and then move it wherever. While I like MRQII, and am really looking forward to RQ6, I’ll want OQ too.

  7. Pingback: Crisis of multiple RuneQuests! | Sorcerer Under Mountain | Glorantha News | Scoop.it

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