This was a remarkable opportunity and experience. Adding my old-book RuneQuest game session to the Gothcon schedule caught some attention, as the Swedish version of the new edition has been organized, and its publisher and authors asked if we could add a panel for some conversation.
I swallowed hard. I would be sitting with Gunilla Jonsson and Michael Petersén, who are the authors of Kult and Mutant as well as the part-owners of Science Fiction Bokhandeln (the primary outlet for science fiction, fantasy, comics, and role-playing in Sweden), Björn Flintberg of Eloso Förlag, and others, myself equipped only with my tiny company, reputation such as it is, and headful of opinion. Would they be … um, nice? And if they were, would I kill my chance for success in my resident country of choice with my own loose talk? When opportunity knocks, it’s usually carrying a 2d6+2+1d4 Strength modifier great-axe in the other hand.
It was a great time. I hardly know what to say to introduce it here. I know you’ll enjoy their insights and openness. Special mention goes to the awareness that most people investigating RuneQuest in Sweden are fluent in English, and therefore a straightforward translation isn’t called for – the upcoming work will be its own text and despite system compatibility, its own game, which I think is incredibly exciting.
As far as Adept Play as a site is concerned, this panel goes well with the Gray Sage Monday Lab from a few months ago.
One response to “Panel: RuneQuest and Glorantha at Gothcon”
Counter Culture Influences
It's fascinating to hear about the counter cultural influences for Glorantha. There is always a lot of talk around mythology and history BUT I don't see a lot (or any) of discussion of that other side in the fandom.
For myself, the big appeal of Glorantha is how the mix of mythology, pulp fantasy and counter culture allows one to create a distinct, personal interpretation of Hero stories.
In my own games, my partner and I are far far more in touch with pulp fantasy than we are with mythology. I'd say (I know this may bug some folks) our Glorantha is a mix of Howard, Moorcock, Mark Smylie's Artesia comics (and his new novels), the mangas Berserk and JoJo's Bizzare Adventure with a dash of FROM SOFTWAREs fantasy video games.
Unlike some big established settings, Glorantha has a lot of give in how you can approach the world. It's a huge grab bag of imagery, people, stories, and cool magic that dozens of people have contributed too over nearly 50 years! I feel I can't break the setting and I can't help but feel it's partly because of those counter cultural roots allowing for such a degree of personal, non-conformist, expression.