23 May 2011

Mongoose Dropping RuneQuest II

Here is the announcement:

Joint press release from Mongoose Publishing and Issaries, Inc.

“Today we have agreed to dissolve the business relationship between our companies. While such partings are regretful, we recognize the need to play to our strengths and specialties in today’s market.”

Says Matthew Sprange, Managing Director of Mongoose:

“RuneQuest has been an adventure in publishing fantasy, but we can only seek so much treasure at once. It is clear to us that Traveller, miniatures and our future board and card games are our strong suits. We’ll now channel more resources in these directions.”

Says Greg Stafford, President of Issaries:

“I’ve enjoyed the creative efforts of Mongoose, and I will miss the entertainment and expansion that it’s given us. Thank you Matt. ”

Apparently, though, Mongoose intends to support the MRQII system in a new form, calling it ‘Wayfarer’:

We have recently announced that Mongoose and Issaries have mutually decided to part ways which, on the face of things, means no more RuneQuest and Glorantha (at least, from us). However, Mongoose retains ownership of the (frankly, absolutely cracking) core rules system which we intend to keep as our central fantasy roleplaying game mechanics.

We will therefore be republishing the current RuneQuest II core rules as the Wayfarer rules system (as Traveller covers science fiction, Wayfarer seemed the logical choice for fantasy!). We will be using the same ‘half-size’ format currently in use for the Lone Wolf Multiplayer Gamebooks, ensuring the rules system carries on.

The new Wayfarer rulebook will be 100% compatible with the current RuneQuest II range, albeit with some RuneQuest and Gloranthan-specific items removed/changed. In short, if you have any RuneQuest II books right now, they will be 100% compatible with Wayfarer. If you pick up Wayfarer, it will be 100% compatible with any RuneQuest II books available now. They are, after all, the same game system!

The Wayfarer rulebook will be appearing in the winter this year, and the current RuneQuest II range will remain available until this time – so if you want to grab the last of the ‘larger’ (and leather bound) format books, you can do so and be assured they will remain compatible with any new material.

There will be no more Glorantha books from Mongoose when Wayfarer appears, so if you want some Second Age goodness, get them before they disappear for good!

We will be moving Deus Vult, Wraith Recon, Eternal Champion and the forthcoming Age of Treason to Wayfarer, along with many books in the core RuneQuest II line, such as Vikings.

The choice of the name ‘Wayfarer’ seems problematic, as there already exists a FRPG called ‘Wayfarers’. Moreover, the name 'RuneQuest' has a history and mystique that 'Wayfarer' simply lacks (in my opinion).

The news gets even worse, RuneQuest fans. Pete Nash is leaving Mongoose:

What with the big news release that RQ and Mongoose are going their separate ways, the time has come to announce that I too have resigned from Mongoose. Its been a hectic few years, but very educational.

Many thanks to all those who appreciated the hard work Loz and I placed into the revised MRQ2 rules. Indeed your glowing reviews and continuing support of our books have encouraged us to work above and beyond the modest gratuity we received. I have been especially pleased by the general congeniality of these forums and hope that you'll continue to help one another in the future.

However, as time moves on my interests meander and head-hunting offers become increasingly difficult to resist. I already have a few projects waiting in line so I shall still continue to write RPGs, but those waiting for an Ancient Greece source book might have to wait a while longer.

So without whittering on any longer, I bid you all adieu. Take care and keep on playing!

Lawrence Whitaker departed Mongoose last October, so neither of the creative minds behind the RuneQuest II system will be involved with the future of the MRQII/Wayfarer system.

This is a lot to take in.

Here’s a quick ‘tinfoil hat’ thought. Consider the following comment from Matt Sprange:

“RuneQuest has been an adventure in publishing fantasy, but we can only seek so much treasure at once. It is clear to us that Traveller, miniatures and our future board and card games are our strong suits. We’ll now channel more resources in these directions.”

So how serious, then, is Mongoose about 'Wayfarer'? I can't help but think that Mongoose doesn't intend to support it much at all, but wants to avoid being stuck with a pile of MRQII stock that they can't move, and so wishes to create the impression that the FRPG will continue into the future.

I hope I’m wrong, but today’s news is quite depressing.


  1. It sounds like Pete Nash got shafted on the financial end of things and has found himself a happier or more secure home!

  2. Wait and see, but things could have a realy happy ending on this one ;)

  3. What I can see now is an extremely chaotic situation with the brand 'RuneQuest'. I can't possibly imagine how a newcomer to the game could feel when faced with the 'jungle' of RQ-like games that are available nowadays.


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who divides his time between Milwaukee and Toronto.