13 February 2010

Mongoose RuneQuest II

My copy of Mongoose's RuneQuest II (MRQII) finally arrived today, and I am very favourably impressed. The book looks beautiful. I love the simplicity of the cover. The interior layout is clean, and the art is consistently quite good (even the 'cheesecake' pics aren't that bad). I'm not a huge fan of the recent trend towards 'full colour' RPG books, and I'm glad that MRQII opted for a crisp 'black and white' look, sans shiny pages, wide margins, and so forth.

At first glance, the rules look straightforward and interesting. I'm not a huge fan of hit locations, but I'll have to read through how precisely they work in MRQII before making a final judgement. The other material looks very cool and promising. I'm really looking forward to reading this, and comparing it my favourite 'd100'/'BRP' fantasy role-playing systems,
OpenQuest and Elric!. Eventually I'll post my impressions here.


  1. I have been debating whether I should pick this up or not. I liked the first edition of MRQ, but when OpenQuest hit I found that I liked the simplicity of the system better. I am sure I will get around to MRQII eventually.

  2. OpenQuest does seem to be a simpler system than MRQII, at least with respect to combat. The two systems look pretty compatible overall, though, so borrowing from one when playing the other should be pretty easy.

  3. BRP has so many spin-offs it's hard to keep track of them. I'll be looking forward to your review.

  4. Since the beginning MRQ have seemed like a little too little, a little too expensive and a little to ugly and badly laid out to be worth it.

    I got the BRP tome from Chaosium when they had an 30% sale and now I'm looking at MRQ2 and ask myself, "should I?"

    I wonder why I even think about it? For some reason this baby looks tempting. At least a bit.

  5. I agree that Mongoose's earlier RuneQuest products were pretty underwhelming, Andreas. Indeed, I passed completely on MRQ after looking through the initial, rather slim core book four years ago.

    However, it seems that Mongoose finally got its act together for MRQII. It's an extremely well put together product. The layout is crisp, the presentation is clear, and the editing (at least for the first 30 pages, which is as far as I've gotten with my reading) is fine.

    Moreover, the book looks complete! It has everything that you need to play. The incompleteness of earlier MRQ (at least until the 'Delux' book) was a real turn-off.

    As for comparing MRQII to the BRP corebook, the underlying systems obviously are quite similar. The main difference is that MRQII is focused exclusively on fantasy, whereas BRP is far more general. Consequently, it is somewhat clearer how to play MRQII straightaway, whereas with BRP one would have to decide which options to use (what combat system, what powers system, etc.). Thus BRP has more options, and is more flexiable, but is less 'newbie friendly'. Also, the support for fantasy is deeper in MRQII, given its focus, but BRP is plenty 'deep' as well.

    I hope to have more to say about the relative strengths and weakness of MRQII versus BRP at some point...

  6. Yet another reason to keep tabs on your blog! :)

    I have not read all of my BRP tome, but just holding it makes me happy. Some games are like that.


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).