Magic rune Gloranthan Products Luck rune

by David Dunham, Nick Brooke, and Michael O’Brien


Note: The first four works are Gloranthan documents. They were written by a native, and so don’t have the omniscient view of most roleplaying supplements. This is both their charm and a frustrating factor.

The Entekosiad was written by a Lunar heroquester interested in the ancient myths of Peloria. It includes paleolithic and neolithic myths, many of which have a much more feminine orientation than those in other works. This is a work in progress, and can be considered a companion to GRoY and TFS in understanding the Lunar Empire. The second (green) edition includes material not in the first, such as one of the author’s heroquests, more maps and artwork, and new footnotes.

The Fortunate Succession is a Lunar work which details Dara Happan emperors after Khordavu, and shows how they’re connected to the Red Emperor. It debunks several of Plentonius’s theories. This is a work in progress, and requires GRoY to be most useful.

The Glorious ReAscent of Yelm (frequently abbreviated GRoY) is ascribed to Plentonius, and covers Dara Happan mythology and history up to the time of Emperor Khordavu. The "Ivory Edition" includes several appendices not in the original, but still shows signs of being a work in progress.

King of Sartar is a trade paperback which tells the saga of Argrath’s struggles against the Lunar Empire. It’s the first official product to deal with what happens after the “now” of the RuneQuest supplements. There’s a wealth of detail about the Orlanthi culture, and any GM who runs a game with Orlanthi should have a copy. (The more recent Thunder Rebels and Storm Tribe are a more accessible introduction, however.)

The Missing Lands collects information originally intended for a "World of Glorantha" publication (which was eventually edited into Genertela), notably about the oceans, islands, and the southern continent of Pamaltela. Lots of good stuff on those areas (though some appeared in Elder Secrets or obscure magazines), but it’s definitely a work in progress.

Revealed Mythologies collects myths from the Malkioni (west), Pamaltela, and the East. It’s a work in progress (incomplete and sometimes contradictory), but has handy glossaries and an index.

Wyrms Footprints is a reprint of information from Wyrms Footnotes, with a couple of new articles. It features some excellent artwork by Dan Barker. Some of the older writing is probably out of date, despite being reprinted.

Arcane Lore collects essays, myths, and maps related to heroquesting. Portions appear to have been written for HeroQuest, but not included in that work. Others appeared in fan publications. I consider this the most unfinished of the pre-finished works, but it’s still valuable for the true enthusiast.

The Middle Sea Empire is an unfinished work covering the God Learners. Anyone running a Second Age game along the coasts should have this reference. (Parts are based on work I did when I ran a Jrusteli game.)

History of the Heortling Peoples covers the core Orlanthi culture through the ages. This is a key reference for anyone wanting to run a historical (e.g. Imperial Age) game, despite being an unfinished work. (I haven’t seen the released version; it may include a short piece I wrote.)

Board Games

Dragon Pass is a military board game, played with cardboard counters on a hex grid. There are several scenarios, but in most, the Sartarites struggle against the Lunar Empire. Published by Avalon Hill. (Originally published by Chaosium as White Bear & Red Moon, and so far as I know the first commercially available Gloranthan product.)

Nomad Gods was originally published by Chaosium. A substantially revised edition in French is published by Oriflam (this version plus an English translation is available from Wizard’s Attic). It’s a military boardgame portraying disputes between the tribes of Prax. In theory, compatible with Dragon Pass (the maps in the first edition are to the same scale).

Computer Games

King of Dragon Pass is a turn-based strategy game with a strong interactive fiction component. It tells the story of the resettlement of Dragon Pass after the Dragonkill, culminating with the creation of a kingdom (performed by Sartar in historical Glorantha). It was designed by David Dunham, Greg Stafford, and Robin D. Laws. See the publisher’s web site for more information, including links to reviews.

Fan Publications

The Book of Drastic Resolutions (volume Chaos) is a collection of pieces that didn’t make it into (or were cut from) the final manuscript for Lords of Terror, collected, edited and self-published by Stephen Martin. Essentially a companion volume to Dorastor: Land of Doom and Lords of Terror, though thinly disguised as a fanzine. It’s available from Reaching Moon Megacorp or the author. [NB]

Stephen Martin describes the second issue of his zine as a "supplement to Tales #14 & #15", and you’ll need copies as there are constant references to them (the Praxian specials) throughout. The 100 page issue features quite a bit of material culled from earlier publications including RQ2’s Plunder, Big Rubble, Pavis: Threshold to Danger, Borderlands, Cults of Prax and Nomad Gods, and it’s great to have all this in one cover. If you haven’t got these long out-print publications, Drastic - Prax is an absolute must. The zine is graced with a fine colour cover by Simon Bray and has a much improved order of presentation, layout and artwork, though, as with the first issue, much of the material therein has been written or reworked and then edited by the same hand (a consequence of Drastic being essentially a one-man band I guess). Highly recommended. [MOB]

The third issue of Drastic covers Darkness (i.e. trolls).

Codex includes a variety of articles, including some reprinted from the Glorantha Digest. Issue 1 concentrates on Pavis and Prax. Issue 2 covers Fronela. Issue 3 has much about Imther. Regrettably, no more issues seem forthcoming.

Drake at the Troll Party is a short illustrated tale (in both English and German) based on a charming children’s story.

Enclosure is brilliant. Like Gaul, it is divided into three parts: Orlanthi "Taming of Dragon Pass" era resources, the PenDragon Pass rules, and a host of materials on Alkoth, Shargash, and surrounds. Everyone should have a copy of this beautifully constructed and well-illustrated book. Jeff Richard, David Dunham, Martin Laurie and their co-conspirators have produced a wonderful piece of work. I’m looking forward to issue two already. [NB]

Enclosure 2 is now out, and contains information on Aggar, Fonrit, and much more.

The Four Scrolls of Revelation was the convention booklet for Convulsions C02. It suffers from overly tiny type, but includes a wide variety of material, including two scenarios for HeroQuest.

Glorantha Con IV Conpendium (sic) consists of transcripts from the January 1997 convention, notes on Sheng Seleris from Greg Stafford, and a couple stories.

Heroes of Wisdom: The Jonstown Guide is the guidebook for the freeform game Heroes of Wisdom, originally held at Brieselang/Berlin at the VI. German RQ Con. It’s in English, and has information about Lhankor Mhy factions and the temple in Jonstown, tribal history and a nice map of the city, but no key. It’s available from Ingo Tschinke for 6,- DM or David Hall for £3.50. It’s also available from Wizard’s Attic.

MIG: The Meints Index to Glorantha is Rick Meints’s 72-page index of all things Gloranthan. He includes reviews of all official and most unofficial products, snippets of history, and indexes to scenarios, cults, spells, skills, and creatures. Available from David Hall or your local Reaching Moon Megacorp representative. There is also a second edition.

Moonrites was the con booklet for GloranthaCon VIII. It focuses on Lunars or their empire (it’s a good companion to the Imperial Lunar Handbook), and has singularly useful advice from Sandy Petersen for any game.

New Lolon Gospel specializes in the land of Imther and its surroundings. Issue 1 is mostly devoted to the myths and stories of Imther. Issue 2 has more stories, and a campaign set at Amber Fort, at the edge of Balazar.

There are two issues so far of a full-color comic book, The Path of the Damned, with amazing production values.

Questlines was the convention booklet for RQ-Con Down Under. It includes much background for a Far Point campaign, the Chaosium cult writeups of Hunter and Trickster, maps and population figures for Sartarite tribes, myths, fiction, and more.

A second volume of Questlines came out for the second RQCDU, and includes "The Secret History of Sun County," seminar transcripts, additional Far Point info, and more.

The Rough Guide to Glamour accompanied the LARP "Life of Moonson." The bulk of its 34 pages gives a brief description of the Lunar Empire and a more detailed look at its capital city, complete with fine maps and illustrations.

The Rough Guide to Pavis City describes Pavis at its height, a couple generations after its founding. Mostly written in the style of a travel guide, it paints a convincing picture of Pavis in its golden age. It would be useful both for an Imperial Age game, or for the more traditional Third Age game, as it documents the Rubble in its original glory. I particularly liked the bazaki-baiting. (One quibble: there would be no Waertagi Embassy, especially in a Jrusteli city like Feroda, since the Jrusteli drove them from the seas in the Battle of Tanian’s Victory.)

RuneQuest Adventures features scenarios, which often do a very good job of evoking the feel of Glorantha. The background material is not always as strong. Unfortunately, issue 6 is the last, though editor John Castellucci says he’ll publish again once Hero Wars comes out.

Schattenklinge ("Shadow blade," formerly known as Free INT) was the German RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu, Elric and Nephilim magazine. Issues 3 and 5-14 are still available. Most of its content is RQ/Glorantha material (8 and 13 are CoC/Nephilim specials and 10 is an Elric special). It’s US$4 or £2 per issue from Ingo Tschinke or Scott Knowles.

Tales of the Reaching Moon was the essential Glorantha fanzine. Material from Chaosium is most likely to see print here. North Americans can obtain it from Neil Robinson; Australians from Andrew Bean; others should contact the editor, David Hall. Alas, Tales ended publication with issue 20.

La Toile d’Arachné Solara is a large-format fanzine, written in French. Production values are excellent. Issue 2 covers Beast Men, and has a scenario set in East Ralios.

Tarsh In Flames details the people of Tarsh, both the Lunarized tribes and the Exiles. There’s information on gods (including the official writeup of Maran), notable people, and places (including a full-color map). If you want adventures, you’ll need In Wintertop’s Shadow, which has more detail on the Exiles (and another copy of the Maran writeup). It’s lavishly illustrated, with a color map of the Dragonspine range near Kero Fin.

Tradetalk originates from the RQ Society. Issue 1 (which is mostly Gloranthan material) consists of articles from Free INT, translated into English. Issue 2 focuses on Safelster. Issue 3 has articles on Naskorion and East Ralios. Issue 14 is the latest. Tradetalk is available from Ingo Tschinke, Scott Knowles, Andrew Bean, David Hall, Didier Escodemaison, or Wizard’s Attic. Contact them for prices. Non-German-speaking members of the RQ Society get Tradetalk instead of Schattenklinge.

Rune Lore from Jontunheim Games is a collection of unrelated RuneQuest and Gloranthan material.

The World’s Greatest Tournament is the guidebook for the freeform game Rise of Ralios. It’s 40 pages, including information on Safelster, East Ralios, Malkionism, Trolls, and a composite map of Ralios, Seshnela, and Wenelia. It’s available from Ingo Tschinke, David Hall, or Scott Knowles. Contact them for prices.

Ye Booke of Tentacles was first published as a fund-raiser for the 9th German RuneQuest-Con. It includes Sandy Petersen’s sorcery rules for RuneQuest, Orlanthi myths by Greg Stafford, transcripts from sessions of previous conventions, and more. Available from the Chaos Society. There have been four additional releases, the third one looking very attractive.

The Zin Letters is an English-language magazine out of Finland.


The Complete Griselda collects all(?) of Oliver Dickinson’s tales of the heroine in Pavis.

Gloranthan Vision is available only in the Deluxe Hero Wars boxed edition.

The Widow’s Tale by Penelope Love was originally written in 1994. To me it feels a bit like science fiction — what if Glorantha was exactly as portrayed in the RuneQuest rules? But it does have a number of nice myths, and is an entertaining read.


The 52-page Tarsh War book contains a "do-it-yourself" thirteen-player freeform in which the players command the various units of a Lunar army, three thousand strong, marching into the rebellious Bush Range. Can the Thin Red Line prevail against the scalp-taking savages of Tarsh? Or will General Thrax ever get his subordinates to follow orders? Beside the character sheets and the scenario (including a section of wargaming rules), Tarsh War also includes descriptions of two Tarshite clans and several Lunar military units, essays on the Lunar Way of War, wonderful illustrations by Dan Barker, and a foreword by Greg Stafford. Available from the Reaching Moon Megacorp. [NB]

See also the Freeforms page for descriptions of the large communal performance art games.


Breakout 34 has information on the Oceans and Umathela.

Numerous issues of Different Worlds contained Gloranthan material. I most often refer to issue 22’s “RuneFix” with lots of spirit info, and 28 with “Gloranthan Military Experience.”

Most issues of Avalon Hill’s Heroes magazine had articles on Glorantha.

Many issues of White Dwarf had Gloranthan or RuneQuest material.

White Wolf 15 has the cult of Mostal. White Wolf 16 has the cult of Yelm. White Wolf 18 has the cult of Donandar. White Wolf 20 has the cult of Lodril.

(Several of these articles have been reprinted in Glorantha Classics Volume III: Cult Compendium.)

Roleplaying Games

RuneQuest was originally the Gloranthan roleplaying game, but the 3rd edition (published by Avalon Hill) removed Gloranthan references from the rules. One of its sections does cover Glorantha, and it’s the only source for the full writeup of the Cult of Ernalda. Many of the supplements listed below are for RQ3.

Issaries, Inc. was formed to create new Gloranthan products, and has a new roleplaying game, HeroQuest. HeroQuest is designed to play powerful characters who have a role in the Hero Wars that may end Glorantha, but it is scalable to both lower and higher power levels. It also handles large groups with its follower rules. Its simple resolution system is equally applicable to political campaigning or pitched battle. It’s also the first game that’s really suited to running heroquests.

The original version was published under the name Hero Wars. HeroQuest is broadly compatible with Hero Wars material, though there are some simplifications to some rules and a slightly more involved magic system.

Moon Design now has publishing rights to HeroQuest and Glorantha.

The second edition HeroQuest rules are generic, no longer tied to Glorantha. However, an appendix shows how to use them to play in Glorantha, with a new rune-based magic system.
Anaxial’s Roster is a Gloranthan bestiary detailing mostly creatures of Genertela and some Otherworld beings. It is a Hero Wars product, but it also includes mythic information about a wide range of beasts.

Apple Lane has two introductory adventures. Its cultural information is out of date, but it does have detailed maps of some of the Colymar tribe lands.

Barbarian Adventures is part 1 of the Sartar Rising series, a campaign arc set in occupied Sartar. This volume includes scenarios depicting daily life among the clans.

Borderlands & Beyond compiles material from Borderlands, Plunder, Runemasters, Nomad Gods, and the RQ Companion, as well as magazine articles. Like other Moon Design reprint collections, it adds a lot of new art.

Cult Compendium collects RQ2 and RQ3 cults from Cults of Prax, Cults of Terror, Trollpak, and other sources.

Dorastor: Land of Doom is sort of two products in one. It describes the history and inhabitants of Dorastor, probably the nastiest place in Glorantha, chock-full of horrible chaos. It’s also a very nice low-level farming campaign set in Riskland, at the edge of Dorastor. Both parts are good, but the high-level characters who can take on Dorastor’s monsters won’t be interested in running a farm, and the farmers will have trouble from chaos incursions. Still a worthwhile supplement.

Dragon Pass: A Gazetteer of Kerofinela has a 2-page color map of Dragon Pass created by Wesley Quadros, along with a number of smaller maps, and entries on most places of interest in Dragon Pass. These often contain much mythical or historical detail.

Elder Secrets of Glorantha has assorted facts on Glorantha, including the magic crystals from 2nd edition RuneQuest. It includes information on generating non-human characters.

Gathering Thunder is part 3 of the Sartar Rising series, a campaign arc set in occupied Sartar. It includes the epic Sky Ship, and the Orlanth subcult of Ulanin the Rider.

Glorantha: Genertela: Crucible of the Hero Wars covers the northern continent, Genertela. It includes maps and some detail on each of the different lands. The Player’s Book has an excellent introduction to four different cultures (Westerners, Orlanthi, Praxians, and Hsunchen). Any Gloranthan GM should have this (regardless of the game system you use, since there are almost no game mechanics). (Originally the book was going to include other parts of Glorantha, but they didn’t fit and were later published in The Missing Lands.)

Glorantha: The Second Age covers the entire world as of 908, and goes into detail about the city-states of Safelster. (This is a Mongoose RuneQuest supplement, but is essentially rules-free.)

Glorantha: Introduction to the Hero Wars is the Hero Wars equivalent of G:G:CotHW. It is essentially an updated version of that work, drawing on more recent sources as well. It contains no game mechanics, and is also indispensible for all Gloranthan GMs (though it sadly lacks an index and detailed maps).

Gods of Glorantha covers many of the major religions of the continent of Genertela (and touches on a few others, such as Pamalt). Its strength is its breadth; it doesn’t cover any cult in detail, and consequently makes them appear both individually unified, and similar to each other. Any Gloranthan GM should have this.

Griffin Island is a new version of Griffin Mountain (which I think is the best roleplaying supplement ever published). It was reworked to be non-Gloranthan, but GMs can easily put the Votanki hunters back in the land of Balazar. The handouts are excellent, but it’s not as complete as the original.

Griffin Mountain is now back in print thanks to Moon Design Publications. The original (for RQ2) was re-typeset and has additional art (including some very nice depictions of the citadels), and some of the new bits from Griffin Island.

Haunted Ruins describes the Sazdorf clan of trolls, with nice maps above and below ground.

Heroquest Voices is a free 76-page PDF document with "What My Father Told Me" and "What the Priest Says" writeups for 17 different cultures. Several were published before, but they’ve all been updated, and there are many new illustrations. An essential companion to HeroQuest.

Imperial Lunar Handbook is an invaluable overview of the Lunar Empire.

Lords of Terror is an update of the RQ2 supplement Cults of Terror. It covers chaotic cults found in Dorastor, new disease rules, passion spirits, and illumination. There’s a rune master for each cult, with scenario ideas.

Although I wasn’t sure I liked the concept of hero bands, Masters of Luck and Death shows how useful they can be. There are 27 hero bands ranging from healers to warriors to scholars to entertainers — some won’t be useful in your game, but some surely will be.

Men of the Sea is the first of the Islands and Oceans series, which allows for an ocean-spanning game. It includes homeland keywords for 8 new cultures.

Orlanth is Dead is part 2 of the Sartar Rising series, a campaign arc set in occupied Sartar. It includes the epic Battle of Iceland, and the long-delayed clan generation questionnaire.

Pavis & Big Rubble is essentially a new printing of two classic supplements in a single volume. It includes all of the original RQ2 material, re-typeset and with additional artwork.

Ralios (or more formally Glorantha: The Second Age: Ralios) is available in PDF form (from DriveThruRPG), apparently material on the Eastern Wilds and Vesmonstran that had to be cut from Glorantha: The Second Age. Although part of Mongoose’s new RuneQuest line, there are no stats, and only a few oblique references to rules.

River of Cradles includes information reprinted from Pavis and Big Rubble, about the ruined city of Pavis situated on the Zola Fel river, surrounded by the Plains of Prax. It’s an excellent place to set a campaign. There’s also a short campaign, which regrettably is difficult to run except with brand new characters.

Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes .

Shadows on the Borderland includes three adventures set around the Zola Fel river, and the cult of Thanatar.

Snakepipe Hollow describes the chaos-infested region of Dragon Pass. It’s something of a Gloranthan dungeon crawl.

Storm Tribe describes a large number of Heortling deities and provides HeroQuest keywords.

Strangers in Prax includes three adventures set around Pavis.

Sun County includes information on the Yelmalio temple along the Zola Fel, four adventures in Sun County, and the cult of Yelmalio.

Thunder Rebels details the Heortling culture, and provides HeroQuest keywords for mainstream Heortlings (who worship one of the Orlanth or Ernalda subcults).

Troll Gods covers Darkness deities and spirits in some detail.

Under the Red Moon is the second volume of the Imperial Lunar Handbook. It goes into great detail on Lunar religion.

Related Games

Mythic Russia adapts the HeroQuest rules to, well, mythic Russia. I haven’t had a chance to read this 318-page tome yet, but it looks impressive.

RuneQuest has been revived by Mongoose Publishing. This seems to be inspired by, but not entirely compatible with, earlier RuneQuest editions. For example, it has a different take on runes and how they relate to magic. They have published a number of supplements that describe the Imperial Age.

This list is still incomplete; if you have a short review, I’d be glad to include it or link to it. Be warned that some of the contact information above is out of date, and some items might now be out of print.
Which of these products should you get to start learning about Glorantha? Read Nick Brooke’s answers from 1999.

See also Simon Phipp’s reviews.

Many of the Issaries releases are now available in PDF form from Tradetalk is a good place to find fan products (especially in Europe).

Shannon Appel says that you might be able to find copies of old-of-print games at:

Copyright ©2010 David Dunham. Last updated 25 Aug 10.

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