“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)
BRP with the Magic supplement
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