26 February 2012

RuneQuest 6 News

Here is a ‘status update’ on RuneQuest 6 from co-designer Lawrence Whitaker (‘Loz’) over at the Design Mechanism forum:
Here's the progress so far.

Our stalwart playtesting crews have worked they way through character creation, skills, equipment and combat chapters putting each to the test, suggesting revisions, identifying problem areas and highlighting what's worked very well for them. The input has been great and Pete and I spent time during the recent Petecon to address each point and challenge and integrate them, where necessary into the rules fabric.

The above chapters, along with Creatures, are nearing completion and will soon be sent for editing after we've completed some minor additional revisions.

RQ6 will have five very different magic systems: Folk Magic (Common Magic as was), Animism (spirit magic), Mysticism (brand new), Theism (Divine) and Sorcery. Initial writing is complete on three fifths of these and will form the next round of playtesting.

Folk Magic is a radical revision of old Common/Battle Magic. We've de-emphasised the combat aspects and vastly increased the more utilitarian spells. Old favourites are still there, but every spell has undergone a substantial degree of revision. Mysticism is completely new and aims to allow characters to replicate all manner of wuxia, martial arts, ki, and other powers that focus on self-realisation and potential. Its not a spell-based system, but it does have a very wide range of different effects/talents to offer considerable flexibility. Animism is a complete overhaul of the old spirit magic rules to clarify, expand and explain the system in detail. Theism and Sorcery are next up and these will, again, be overhauled with an eye on flexibility.

A huge chapter, there's a wide range of beasties and mythical monsters along with playable races - each with character creation guidelines. Old favourites are in there (but no specifically Gloranthan critters) along with some new additions. We've tried to give each creature or race a unique spin making for more rounded creatures than simply things to butcher and steal from. Expect extensive rules for how creatures react and fight, along with guidelines for creating your own.

Art and Layout
Art is commissioned and we have a team of three very talented artists working on illustrating the book. Having seen some of the sample art, I'm very impressed and once we're in a position to share some of it I'll post samples on the DM website. But work is still underway, so patience please!

We have also commissioned a professional layout guru to work on the book's presentation. Clean, readable and easy on the eye is the overall theme. There'll be no intrusive borders, good use of white space, consistent and recognisable design elements, and a book that should look good in dead tree and PDF versions that remain printer-friendly.

So a lot has been happening and RQ6 has taken several bounds towards realisation. There has been some project slippage due to personal lives and Real Life intrusions, but nothing that has significantly delayed our progress.

Thanks for bearing with us.
And what is coming for RuneQuest 6 after the publication of the core book? According to a post by Loz over the RPGsite, quite a few cool things:

Monster Island and Book of Quests will be the follow-up releases. Monster Island is intended to be a mixture of bestiary, campaign setting and GM guide/resource. Think along the lines of Griffin Island and you'll be hitting the mark.

Book of Quests will be a series of loosely-linked S&S scenarios that can be easily strung together to form a complete campaign or played as one-offs. I'll be co-ordinating this project, developing background and writing one of the scenarios, but otherwise we'll be soliciting external contributions.

Pete's handling Monster Island.

After these, we have plans for historical works: Mythic Greece (Pete), Mythic Briton (me) and Mythic Constantinople (Michael O'Brien). We also have plans for a Sword and Sorcery/Dying Earth setting book and are working towards a licensed property that we absolutely won't discuss with anyone at this stage of things. So don't ask...

In other words, Lots.

I inquired there about the ‘Sword and Sorcery/Dying Earth setting book’, but Loz cruelly withheld any further details. However, I discovered a tiny snippet of information in a description of a game that Loz is running at the ‘Spellstorm’ convention, taking place in the blasted wastes of Etobicoke:
The Exodus Matrix: a Swords and Sorcery scenario set in Scourged Earth that sees the player characters hunting the priestess of a long-dead Witch-Queen.
The ‘Scourged Earth’ — that has a nice ring to it!

2012 should be a great year for RuneQuest fans…


  1. Ahhh! And I'm trying to limit the amount of games I buy...but Mythic Briton just sold me on RQ6!

  2. Damn, I wish I had heard about Spellstorm before Sunday afternoon. I live around the corner from the legion hall they're holding it at.

    1. You live in Etobicoke? My condolences. ;)

    2. Right across the border in Mississauga, technically. The crackheads don't cross the creek.

  3. I like the approach to magic. But then again, i've always like Magic Realm's approach, which is very similar.

  4. The Exodus Matrix is a brilliant title.


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