Magic rune Earth rune Spirit rune Gloranthan Freeforms Luck rune

by David Dunham, Nick Brooke, Jörg Baumgartner, and Mark Galeotti

This page describes many of the Gloranthan Freeforms. These also go by the term "LARPs," for Live Action Roleplaying. In general, you walk around talking with other characters, speaking only in character. Costumes are helpful (though not required), and disputes are often resolved via Rock-Scissors-Paper and/or playing special ability cards.

I'm including only the larger freeforms here (excluding smaller and shorter ones such as my own "Diet of Wyrms;" Tarsh War is reviewed elsewhere).

The Broken Council is a Gloranthan freeform run at RQ-Con 2 in California. It portrayed the efforts to create a new god in Dorastor. The "Broken Council Guidebook" is an excellent reference for early First Age Glorantha (a portion is excerpted at my East Ralios page). Note that a second edition is available.

Fall of the House of Malan was run at Glorantha-Con V and VI. It delves into the turbulent politics of an Orlanthi tribe, the Malani, in the 1300s. Characters range from doughty carls to Mad-blood Malan himself. Play ranges from cattle loans to royal succession to heroquesting.

Heroes of Wisdom was run at the sixth German RQ Con. This freeform took place in Jonstown, Sartar, around the year 1620. The Jonstown library was forced to give one fifth of their books as a gift to the Empire when the city surrendered in 1602. Soon afterwards Lunar librarians came to Jonstown to catalog the books and pick their choice, but for various reasons the cataloging has not been finished for now 18 years. Finally, a Lunar delegation was sent to collect the gift, and the Jonstown library and other interested groups in Jonstown get involved in intrigue and secret alliances, since the delegation will inspect the government officials and local situation as well.

There are many conflicts between the various factions, and even more within them. The background situation is described in the Jonstown Guide, the course of the game is hard to describe in short, and the game might be run again some day. [JB]

Home of the Bold is an eighty-player Gloranthan freeform by David Hall and Kevin Jacklin of the Reaching Moon Megacorp. It's been run four times so far, at the first Convulsion in '92, at RQ-Con Maryland '94, and at RQ-Con Down Under in '96; and at Convulsion 3D in Leicester, UK. The game is set in Boldhome, in the course of one particularly hectic and rebellious week. Characters come from all walks of life: Sartarite chieftains and rebels; Lunar commanders, officials and carpetbaggers; Boldhomer townsfolk, merchants and criminals; visitors from Tarsh, the Grazelands and Prax, and others. It runs over the course of an afternoon and evening (eight hours or so), at a timescale of sixty minutes to the day. "The Rough Guide to Boldhome" (a players' guide to the city of Boldhome and the recent history of Sartar) was written for this game, and is available from the Reaching Moon Megacorp. The "Report on the Fall of Boldhome" contains player write-ups from the Convulsion '92 run of the freeform; the first RuneQuest-Con Compendium includes narratives from the RQ-Con 1 game; Questlines 2 contains writeups from the Australian event. [NB]

How the West was One is the sequel to Home of the Bold, set at the Seventh Malkioni Ecclesiastical Council, held in Sog City in 1625. Players take on the roles of the popes, kings, bishops, knights and rogues of the Gloranthan West: despite the Council's ostensible aim of uniting all Malkioni within one church (except for the heretics, naturally!), piety is overruled by politics, saints fall in with sinners, and the war to end War draws ever closer. The "Sog City University Conference Guide" is a players' guide to the Queen of Cities, her ancient Brithini university, and the history of Western Malkionism, available from the Reaching Moon Megacorp. "Proceedings in Malkionism" (the Convulsion 2 post-con book) includes players' stories from the first run of the game, held in Leicester, UK in 1994; The RQ-Con 2 Compendium includes write-ups from the second, at RQ-Con 2, San Francisco, 1996. And the "Splintered Sects" collection on Loren Miller's homepage includes many of the players' sect background handouts from the freeform: expanded versions of two of these (the Rokari and Hrestoli churches) were printed as RuneQuest cult write-ups in issue #13 of Tales of the Reaching Moon magazine, together with much supporting material for gaming in the West. [NB]

Reaching Moon Megacorp's Life of Moonson is the third in the Megacorp's trilogy of Gloranthan freeforms. Set at the Imperial Capital of Glamour, in 1632 ST, the players are the elite of Lunar society: corpulent sultans, belligerent generals, illuminated priests, scheming allies, and the Heroes of the Empire themselves. This could be your best chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Jar-eel the Razoress, Orgrol the Fat, and Moonson Argenteus himself! The freeform has been presented at the Canadian RQ-Con 5 (Victoria, BC: July 1997) and the Australian RQ-Con 6 Down Under (Melbourne, Victoria: January 1998), and will be run in the UK as the centrepiece of Convulsion Goes Fourth (Leicester, UK: July 1998). The players' background book, "A Rough Guide to Glamour," is not yet on general release -- the authors are receiving additional information and assistance from Chaosium to make this an "official" product -- but will include a street-map and guide to Glamour, a panoramic view of the city, a description of the Lunar Pantheon, the History of the Empire, Prominent People, and more besides. [NB]

Rise of Ralios portrayed the Grand Tournament in Kustria, held in the year 1627, to which all of Ralios was invited. It was played at the 7th German RQ Con, at Castle Stahleck above the river Rhine.

Tarsh War More than just a free form, this includes information about two Tarsh clans, several Lunar military units, and nice art by Dan Barker. Available from the Reaching Moon Megacorp.

The Wulf Came In From The Cold (by Simon Bray and Martin Hawley) was run at Tentacles in 2005.

Mark Galeotti adds:
ORLKARL'S BULL, an Orlanthi game by, I think, Neil Robinson.

THE GREAT GLAMOUR SIT-DOWN, the freeform Simon Bray and I wrote for Convulsion and then ran at Tentacles.

BIRTH OF THE GODDESS, my epic freeform about... the birth of the Goddess. It ran at Gloranthacon and then Continuum.

HAREM NIGHTS, Simon and Martin Hawley's Arabian Nightish Fonrit game, which ran at Continuum and Tentacles.

THE WONDER OF THE CLANKING CITY, what sounds like a fun and bizarre Mostali freeform by Ingo Tschinke and Helge Reuter which ran at Tentacles.

PEOPLE OF PAVIS, which ran at Tentacles some years back, but about which I know nothing!

See also Gloranthan Products.
Copyright ©2005 David Dunham. Last updated 17 May 05.

David Dunham Page | Glorantha Page