Dreaming Of Glorantha

Dad bought RuneQuest in 1980. I stole it within a few days, following his rejection of the whole idea of roleplaying games. Despite the buzz in the wargaming magazines of the day, Dad was never going to be a convert to a fantasy game: too many great historical battles to explore, too many historical periods to glory in.

The first time I opened RuneQuest, alone in my bedroom as a young teenager, I felt drawn into the fantastic realm revealed inside. There, as a champion of the Gods, I could find a place as a Hero and – I later found out – could even go on magical HeroQuests into the mythic realms. I felt at home and no longer an outsider.

RuneQuest, and the fantasy realm of Glorantha, fascinated me. I remember rolling up characters and playing solo in my bedroom (mostly because my friends wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons and Traveller). I am not sure any of my contemporaries ever really felt the same magic as that which was awakened inside me by RuneQuest.

In 2018, when the latest edition of the RuneQuest game was announced, I was immediately excited. I bought it. I read some of it. Yet I also discovered a resistance growing inside of me: a nagging feeling that arose from the realisation that a lot of time has passed since 1980.

The world of Glorantha has grown immensely and I haven’t been keeping pace. I felt like a novice again… but also distinctly self-conscious. So I put it all back on the shelf… while all the time buying the newest tomes to add to the collection. I was, frankly, over-awed.

But something has changed. Today, I pulled down those books and, in trembling hands, determined to play with them. Life is too short to allow awe and fear to stop me exploring the mythic lands that have inspired a life-time of roleplaying joy. It was time to open the books in the sleeved copy, to crack open the GM Screen Pack and do more than peek inside.

I have to overcome this sense of being unworthy to tread the soil of this glorious imaginary land. I may be a novice but the 9-year-old self wasn’t afraid; why am I? All of my objections are mere thought distortions, all of my excuses are empty.

I feel as though I was always meant to run a game of RuneQuest. As though there were some kind of destiny surrounding Greg Stafford’s mythic realm that calls me ever in. I don’t know where I will end up but the most natural place to begin feels like the place in which I started: Apple Lane. From there, perhaps, to Snakepipe Hollow. The rest of Glorantha, I hope, will unfold in due course.

Game on!

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