The World’s Best Game of Epic Bronze Age Fantasy!
Special Leatherette Edition
“Mythology is more than old lies and stories, pseudo-scientific explanations for natural phenomena, or hidden secrets of forgotten lore. It is a state of mind and a way of life. It has a sentience and life of its own: a power. RuneQuest lets you experience that state of mind and explore that way of life through the mythic realm of Glorantha.”
Chaosium Unveiled: Inside RuneQuest
RuneQuest is the essential game of sword, sandal and sorcery!
A Female Noble
Enter a Bronze Age world where you are defined by your cult and culture, where you do deadly combat with mythic and fantastical beasts, where everyone can use magic, and where the gods are real.
RuneQuest is an RPG with a difference. It is intuitive and easy to play. All rolls are determined via the roll of percentile dice. RuneQuest has no character classes or alignments; characters are defined by their culture, the gods they follow, and the Runes that inspire them.
We invite you to set aside the mundane world and embark on a journey with your RuneQuest adventurers beginning with your clan and expanding to cross the world of Glorantha and into the Hero Plane.
RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha is the essential book for RuneQuest players and Game Masters alike
An Odalyan Hunter
Characters in RuneQuest aren’t ‘rolled’. They are a seed that is planted, and they grow. You’ll determine the family history of your character which in turn teaches you the key events of the setting. Full rules for choosing your characters core traits, cults, and culture allow you to breathe life to a completely unique adventurer.
Characters advance in skills and abilities by using them in course of play. Anyone can try to pick a lock, cast a spell, or decipher some ancient runic script. In RuneQuest, you don’t spend skill points and XP - you slap on your armor and you get good at fighting.
A Bronze Age Battle
Combat in RuneQuest is visceral and always potentially deadly; players should be mindful that even the lowliest trollkin can take out an experienced warrior with a lucky blow.
Intuitive rules for combat mean that your character always has a choice in the ebb and flow of battle. From casting spells, drawing your bow, swinging your axe and choosing how to defend yourself - which in turn can be deadly to your opponent!
Combat in RuneQuest is always high-octane, with every choice and dice roll holding the fate of your character on a knife edge.
Magic & Gods
The gods of the mythic world of Glorantha define their followers. Each god has their own cult, which will determine your characters skills, spells, and personality. With many dozens of gods, RuneQuest has a cult and god to suit each playstyle, personality, and personal aesthetic.
Three unique magic systems -Rune, Spirit, and Sorcery- make for dynamic and powerful combinations where no two RuneQuest characters will ever be alike. The simple yet deep rules for each class of magic will see you cultivating your power and defining your epic adventures.
The Cult of Issaries
Family & Land
RuneQuest is a game about culture. Full rules for dynamic downtime activities such as farming, managing households, marriage & raising children make for a deep and immersive roleplaying experience.
Building your family tree, and indeed your own familial legacy, is the stuff of epic and long-form campaigns spanning many decades and even generations.
Omens for the New Year
A Setting Like No Other
The World of Glorantha
Glorantha is a world made by the gods but shaped by the deeds of mortals. Magic is part of everyday life, and mythology is the basis of reality. Your adventurer is a mortal, destined to die, but through luck, courage, cunning, and sacrifice, can become a hero or even a god! Your adventures might start gritty and realistic, and become fantastic and mythic, only to return to gritty realism.
In Glorantha, people hold allegiance to tribe, city, and cult, not to abstract alignments or ideologies. Although humanity is the dominant species, their dominance is due only to the quarrelling of the Elder Races, who still rule large parts of the world.
Glorantha’s main theme is religion and the magical relation of humankind to the gods. In Glorantha, the gods and goddesses are real, and through their followers and cults they play an active and important part in most major events. The Sun, Earth, Air, Water, Darkness, and Moon have powerful deities associated with them, as do powers such as Death, Fertility, Change, Stasis, Illusion, Truth, Disorder, and Harmony. There are also countless lesser deities associated with things as diverse as cats, cows, boats, vengeance, and volcanoes.
Glorantha is a complete universe. It is self-contained, and from its myths to its molecules it must be taken on its own terms. However, Glorantha is filled with strange and amazing gods, cultures, and creatures both familiar and fantastic, and players should soon be enthralled by the unique features of the setting.
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What The Critics Say
"Greg Stafford's supreme creation brought fully up to date with the presentation it deserves and tremendous added depth. A fitting memorial. STYLE - 5/5. SUBSTANCE - 5/5: Can it go higher than 5?"
—Paul StJohn MacIntosh, RPGNet review.
"One of the most stunning RPG books ever made"
"10 out of 10 - that's right, it is that good, it is fantastic, I love this tome!"
—Jeff McAleer, The Gaming Gang (video review).
"In a market stuffed to the gills with fantasy RPGs, RuneQuest offers something a little different from the heroic norm – something a little deadlier, rooted in a time of bronze and barbarians, where historic realism mixes with raw, primitive magic that hangs in the air like early morning mist."
— Tabletop Gaming review, Oct 2018.
"This iteration of RQ is going to redefine my view of what is role-playing... it seems to have everything I could wish to find in a game: smooth mechanics, different levels of gameplay, and a whole mythical world presented for the player to explore from within. It feels like the Chaosium of my twenties is back, there at the forefront of innovation in gaming. As a game designer I must say It will be hard to top that, but it feels good have a new mountain to climb!"
— Francesco Nepitello (lead designer, One Ring RPG).
It’s RQ2 on steroids!... Glorantha is baked in at every step and like the HeroQuest Glorantha book, it gives enough to robustly play in the setting."
"Like 2nd edition, but better...a really solid version of RuneQuest which should set the bar for BRP-based Gloranthan gaming for years to come."
— ‘RuneQuest Comes Home’, Refereeing and Reflection.
“…if you’re looking for a fantasy game that gives you a taste of something different, then check out RuneQuest.”
"A beautiful product and the beginning of a very promising re-birth or reinvigoration of a tabletop RPG classic... one of the best examples of using mechanics in a tabletop RPG to create and reinforce setting and tone... just let the game carry you along into the high-magic, mythology-focused, Bronze Age fantasy game you never knew you wanted to play."
"A game steeped in both real-world and fictional history, where wild myths meld with a realistic approach to rules… Ultimately, RuneQuest succeeds in carving out a powerful niche in the crowded world of fantasy roleplaying, building something that is truly unique."
"…a fascinating blend of wild heroism and ruthless simulation that goes to create a game that offers something utterly unique…[RuneQuest] breaks away from the core tropes of gleaming armour and codified magic that have come to dominate fantasy in recent decades and replaces it with something that feels closer to ancient myths and legends – more The Odyssey than Lord of the Rings."
"RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha is a landmark, and was even before it was written... it marks the return of one of the most influential and storied games in our hobby back to the house that built it... No other RuneQuest—and this is coming from a guy from whom you’d have to pry his Cults of Prax or Cults of Terror from his cold, dead hands—does Glorantha as well as RQG."
—Andrew Logan Montgomery, Exploring the Otherworlds of Fiction, Magic, and Gaming.
"RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha is a work of art. It is a gorgeous book and an engrossing game in one, the future of the RuneQuest system superimposed on the most detailed RPG setting of them all. The design dynamically delivers the impossible, turning crunch and fluff into one. Its capability to create stories even before the characters are presented to one another, and its crunchiness when the going gets tough and hard decisions are required, have already earned it a place in the pantheon of gaming. Veterans will feel right at home, while new fans will wonder how come a game like this didn't exist up to now. Everything the new Chaosium touches turns to gold. Buy and play, immediately!"
—Antonios S., RPGNet review.
"…this is a very impressive book. The art, binding and writing is all first rate. I would say it is the most attractive book I own. Looks are great, but the real value goes deeper than appearances. The content of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha is up to the standards set by its appearance."
"There's a reason why (RuneQuest) has been out for 40 years... If it's not on your bookshelf, bottom line: then just go ahead and pick it up... you won't be disappointed at all."
—Logician Tim 'RPG Report Card' (YouTube video review).
"Second only to Dungeons & Dragons in the fantasy roleplaying pantheon, RuneQuest cemented Greg Stafford’s world of Glorantha as one of the tabletop’s most imaginative creations and introduced innovative mechanics that would go on to become staples of RPGs for decades to come, most significantly in other Basic Roleplaying titles. Its unique approach to advancing skills and the percentile system used to resolve attacks and actions are still as clever today, while the expansive Glorantha continues to draw in adventurers looking for an immersive and vibrant setting."
—Tabletop Gaming (UK) 150 Greatest Games of All Time (RuneQuest ranked #9)
"This book is a goddamn masterpiece."
"A mix of visionary world-building and ambitious gameplay that offers something very different to Dungeons & Dragons. A powerful meeting of realism with fantasy, it's a tabletop RPG that has remained a cult classic for decades. It may be as well-known as Dungeons and Dragons, but it deserves to be discovered by more players."
— Dicebreaker, 6 more great RPGs that aren't Dungeons and Dragons.
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- 4th Edition Chaosium RuneQuest
- Year Released:
- Page Count:
- Full-color hardback + PDF
- Greg Stafford, Jeff Richard, Jason Durall, Steve Perrin
- Contributing Writers:
- David Dunham, Steve Henderson, Warren James, Sven Lugar, Chris Klug, Rick Meints, Michael O'Brien, Sandy Petersen, Neil Robinson, Ken Rolston, and Ray Turney
- Cover Artist:
- Andrey Fetisov
- Rick Becker, Bernard Bittler, Simon Bray, William Church, Miguel Coronado, Gene Day, Andrey Fetisov, Piotr Foksowicz, Lisa Free, Merle Insigna, Tomasz Jedruszek, Kalin Kadiev, Roman Kisyov, Rachel Kahn, Jennifer Lange, Rhonda Libbey, Michelle Lockamy
- Artists (continued):
- Juha Makkonen, Mike Mignola, Christine Mitzuk, Luise Perrene, Kevin Ramos, Roger Raupp, Jakob Rebulka, Alex Ries, Naomi Robinson, Simon Roy, Olivier Sanfilippo, Luoto Sari, Tobias Tranell, Cory Trego-Erdner
- Olivier Sanfilippo, Darya Makarava, Colin Driver
- Design & Layout:
- Simeón Cogswell, Malcolm Wolter