The recent news that Moon Design Publications’ management team (Rick Meints, Jeff Richard, Neil Robinson and Michael O’Brien) would be taking over at the helm of Chaosium has naturally created a lot of interest and speculation. It has clear implications for the Design Mechanism, and Pete and I would like to issue a statement making clear to everyone where we stand as a company and where RuneQuest stands as a game system. We cannot and will not speculate or discuss Chaosium’s existing game systems such as Call of Cthulhu, Basic Roleplaying or Magic World.
We (Design Mechanism) license the RuneQuest trademark from Moon Design Publications. We entered into a licensing agreement that comes up for renewal around this time next year and part of the contract and business plan I proposed when first negotiating the license was to insist in a full review and assessment of our progress with RuneQuest as a property. Our license is not perpetual, and that review process had already begun before the recent announcement.
With Moon Design now becoming part of Chaosium, the RuneQuest trademark transfers to Chaosium – its place of birth. Until the license we have expires next year, RuneQuest will continue to be published by the Design Mechanism and the core rules will remain in print. From July 2016, the following will take place:
1. RuneQuest reverts to Chaosium.
2. Pete and myself will become the new lead writers for RuneQuest as a Chaosium brand line with specific responsibilities for developing the system and its supplements.
3. The Design Mechanism as a company will continue. Chaosium and Design Mechanism have signed a new contract whereby we can continue to write, produce and distribute our own RuneQuest supplements, and can continue to support the lines we have already started to develop.
4. The RuneQuest 6 mechanics remain the core of the system, but as the trademark is now held by Chaosium, we have been contracted to develop a new version of the game based in Glorantha called, simply, ‘RuneQuest’. This game will appear in July 2016 (or possibly earlier). This new version will roll together all the work we have done on ‘Adventures in Glorantha’ into a standalone RuneQuest game.
5. At that point, RuneQuest 6 will go out of print as its own title. Design Mechanism will find ways of ensuring full compatibility across our supplements, the new version and RQ6.
6. Effectively immediately, Chaosium will sell Design Mechanism’s existing (and future) books through its various channels. Indeed, this increases Design Mechanism’s exposure, extends its reach and removes a huge administrative burden from the shoulders of a two-man team.
Pete and I are delighted to be working with Chaosium. We are pleased to be able to return RuneQuest to Chaosium stronger than it has been since it left home for Avalon Hill back in the mid 1980s. Even better, it comes back to a revitalised Chaosium that carries a clear mandate of excellence, transparency and commitment to its fans and creative contributors. We are especially happy to have the opportunity to work closely with Rick, Jeff, Neil and Mike and to become part of the Chaosium family. But what makes this even more special is that the Design Mechanism carries on as a company, continues to publish and support RuneQuest, and will always engage with its loyal and faithful fans.
More details will emerge as various pieces come together. We will communicate and discuss them with you just as we always have. Pete and I really are excited and happy with the new direction and we hope you will share our enthusiasm and optimism for the future!
Long Live Design Mechanism!Long Live Chaosium!Long Live RuneQuest!
Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash July 31st, 2015