Towards Griffin Mountain

Having written about the Saturday Night GURPS group’s decision to create a Bronze Age-inspired fantasy game, the name “Dykene” popped into my mind. As listeners to this week’s GM’s Journal will have heard, that idea led me to realise the source of that name… which in turn led me to realise that I could be heading towards Griffin Mountain.

As I wrote yesterday, I see no reason not to draw on resources that I enjoy and which offer some rich ideas for a new game. Griffin Mountain, originally designed as a RuneQuest Gateway setting but quickly revised (pre-publication) to become part of Glorantha, has a lovely map and some delicious ideas. Being a classic campaign sourcebook, I have been tempted to use it to begin our new game.

My approach is to use the materials but hold very firmly to the freedom any GM has to tweak or outright alter the lore therein. I won’t be playing in Glorantha – as it is conceived in RuneQuest today – but I will be happy to steal all manner of maps, locations, characters, gods, spirits, and scenarios if they suit me. Thus, Griffin Mountain becomes a resource but not a straightjacket.

Using GURPS Fourth Edition as my rules will alter the flavour straightaway – as Chris Vermeers commented the other day, “To me, the rules are a part of the worldbuilding.” The magic won’t be RuneQuest’s magic but rather the kind of magic that I envision, as powered by GURPS. This makes the world feel different and play in a fresh way.

More than this, I aim to alter the truths of the Gloranthan source material towards my own vision for the realm of spiritual beings. I also aim to make it more technologically grounded and slightly less mythic, although not overly reduced. Overall, while the names and the places might be similar the plan is that the whole feels like my own blend.

I was always afraid of doing this in the past. I would fear players telling me I was “doing it wrong” and “spoiling” someone else’s vision. I would have believed these accusations. Now I see the reality: these are the creations of amazing designers, inspirational resources… but when I bought the book, I gained the freedom to change anything.

My Griffin Mountain will vary…. greatly. I might not even call it Griffin Mountain. But I do look forward to mucking about with the stuff in that old book.

Game on!


  1. It’s great that you’ve reached this point. It took me a while (about fifteen years!) to feel as though I could grab something published in one system and use it in another, such as Starfinder in Traveller. Suddenly, the huge accumulation of material from different games becomes not just cupboard or shelf space, but a massive resource for future gaming. Keep up the good work and game on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] The process I have constructed borrows heavily – and in some parts outright steals – resources from the Imagine RPG’s “Legends of the Unknown” (LotU). Given a test ride for the Northern Isles game a couple of years ago, the process helped players to get in-role and create much deeper characters. The current re-write marries the process with the world notes for Balazar. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.