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My Runequest 2nd Edition pages

NOTE: We have now left GURPS Saduria territory. To return, just use the Navigation links at the top as normal.

Steve Perrin's Runequest 2nd Edition was published by Chaosium and was set in Greg Stafford's gameworld of Glorantha. The IP rights for Runequest were sold on to Avalon Hill (now part of Wizards of the Coast) who published the 3rd edition but with major rules changes and severe restrictions about using Glorantha, and so Avalon Hill attempted to use more generic backgrounds which ended up almost killing the game.

Neither of these companies are now publishing or supporting Runequest, and the Runequest name and licence has been taken up by Mongoose Publishing. They have released a new version of the game, Runequest II, which again uses Greg Stafford's Gloranthan gameworld (but set in a different age to the original). To make things more complicated, Greg Stafford (who wrote the original gameworld) is now part of
Issaries and has published Glorantha, which uses the original gameworld but the HeroQuest RPG system (not to be confused with the old Games Workshop/MB games miniatures boardgame). 

No intention to violate the IP rights of the existing licence holders with this website should be assumed, although god only knows who owns what any more with regards to the original game!

Update. After I wrote the piece above, Mongoose have apparently stopped supporting Runequest II. What will happen to the game now is anybody's guess. My advice, and what I am doing, is to look to the Heroquest Glorantha supplements and do some judicious tinkering to fit new Glorantha material to your favourite Runequest ruleset. 

At the time of writing, old 2nd edition classic sourcebooks were still available as reprints and .pdfs, and the occasional original turns up on eBay or Amazon.

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Runequest 2nd Edition Rulebook

Here are scans of the old Runequest 2nd ed. rulebook. Note that I only scanned the book fairly recently and so time (I bought it in 1981) has taken its toll on the poor old thing.

There are two versions of the scan, Player and Full. The Player version is different in that it does not contain the "monsters" section (pp 71-90), thus allowing the Referee to keep the stats of "everybody else" a mystery. Given that RQ does allow you to play a member of other races, however, some Referees may choose to allow players to have access to the full version.

The file is in .pdf format for use with Adobe Acrobat. A reader for the format is available for free (use the "Viewer Downloads" link on the Navigation bar).

RQ rulebook (Player's version) .pdf

RQ rulebook (Full version) .doc

RQ rulebook (Full version) .pdf

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Character Sheets

Possibly no original design in an RPG gets modified quite as much as the character sheet. Different players and groups may have a different emphasis to the designer of the original sheet, but whatever the case, there are usually many different designs to be had. If you have a better (or just different) RQ 2nd ed. character sheet, feel free to contact me to have it included below.

The first Character Sheet listed below is basically the original, with the addition of a coloured header to tie it in visually with this site and thus my own Runequest game material.


The second character sheet, the one linked to below, is my own creation. It is an Excel sheet and strongly based on the old 2nd ed. sheet but "cleaned up" and altered to suit my houserules.

Mike's RQ character sheet

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The original book included a two-page map of the area of Dragon's Pass, which I have (crudely) cropped and pasted to give the single page map below. Other supplements have expanded upon this map, and I have drawn my own more detailed maps to accompany scenarios.

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My Houserules

Almost every GM/DM/Referee/Viking Hat wearer feels that the existing rules can be improved in some way and I'm certainly no exception. I like the classic RQ 2nd ed. rules and have tried to keep them as they are as much as possible, but I was never particularly happy with the old Strike Rank system. In addition, I have added a few Houserules to better mould the game to my preferred way of gaming:

1. Strike Rank (SR) is the value that determines when your blow or action occurs; the lower the SR, the faster you go. What the rules designers originally proposed was that longer weapons had lower SRs. This works well enough when two opponents meet, but not so much when in melee when a smaller weapon should be faster. My proposal, therefore, is to use the Enc of the weapon to determine its SR. This makes small weapons like daggers and shortswords faster than great axes and maces, and gives you justification for learning to use fists and daggers (you might be able to get a disabling blow in before being chopped in half). I have included a few other rules to allow for long weapons attacking incoming opponents first and so on, but the above change is the main one.

2. I have also included some basic aiming rules. These slow down your blow or shot, but give you a slightly better chance of hitting a particular area - something very useful in a system with variably armoured locations.

3. There are also my rules for APP (appearance) and a few rules to cover its use. I like the use of APP as well as CHA, because it allows for attractive but unassuming characters.

4. The existing Defense rules are a tad broken when strong but heavily armoured characters can twist and dodge like a gymnast. My rules lower the ENC limit for Defense penalties and allow weak but dextrous characters to out-dodge the bronze-clad tanks.

5. Using different SIZ scores for Height and Weight needs a little explanation. Plus the rulebook's table of weight for a given SIZ is broken. These SIZ rules are dealt with and a new height/weight table added.

RQ Houserules

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I will be adding to this page as often as I write new material (or polish existing material so that it is worth publishing).

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