Tabletop Game / RuneQuest

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rq6-front-cover_2777.jpg
RuneQuest 6th edition. Earlier cover art was... of its period sometimes.

RuneQuest was created by Chaosium in 1978, making it one of the oldest tabletop Role-Playing Games. Among other things, it introduced an experience system that replaces the levels (as in Dungeons & Dragons) with skills that increase if you successfully use them (Traveller replaced levels with skills first but they didn't increase with use). It also introduced hit regions instead of general Hit Points.

The original RuneQuest was set in the Constructed World named Glorantha created by Chaosium co-founder Greg Stafford. The setting shares many tropes in common with other fantasy worlds (despite Stafford's insistence that it was more inspired by studies in folklore than popular fantasy), though it does have some unusual features, such as talking, cigar-chomping Ducks (blame Howard the Duck, who was at the height of his popularity at the time).

The history of the game is somewhat convoluted, with many offshoots. The first version was published as a booklet in 1978, and sold very well. Soon after, they decided to expand it into a small box set (which were popular at the time). The subsequent second edition, released in 1980, didn't change the game particularly; it included a pair of starter adventures, a set of dice, and a stripped down quick-reference for new players called "Basic Role-playing" along with the main book, which was given all new typesetting and error corrections. It sold even better and is still considered the definitive edition.

After that, Chaosium, needing money to expand, sold the rights to the name to Avalon Hill, and co-wrote the subsequent third edition, but retained the rights to the Glorantha setting and editorial approval of all use of the world (the third edition, originally published in 1984 as a large box set, included both Glorantha and an alternate generic fantasy Europe setting). After some time, the game went dormant (a planned new edition in 1994 was cancelled mid-development), and Stafford left the company after unrelated financial issues, taking the rights to Glorantha with him (he retained a large ownership stake in Chaisium, though). Stafford partnered with a company called Moon Design Publishing to create an entirely different, more narativist game called HeroQuest, and eventually bought the rights to the RuneQuest name from Avalon Hill.

Stafford licensed the RuneQuest name to Mongoose Publishing to create a new version, published in 2006, which cloned the basics of the rules but didn't use the original texts (which had reverted to Chaosium). A revised Mongoose edition was prepared by designers Pete Nash and Lawrence Whittaker and published in 2010, and was far better received than the first. However, Mongoose's license was not renewed, and in 2012, a new company formed by Nash and Whittaker, The Design Mechanism, received a license to publish a 6th edition of RuneQuest, an expansion of the second Mongoose edition they had largely written. Three years later, however, after some more financial issues at Chaosium, Stafford engineered a merger between Chaosium (of which he still owned a large chunk) and Moon Design, leading to a full reunion of all classic RuneQuest rights, and the plan for a new edition firmly set in Glorantha based largely on the early editions.

In the interviewing years, Chaosium used the same underlying rules for other games like Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, and the ElfQuest RPG, and many, many others, and it was in 2004 developed into the generic Basic Role-Playing System (BRP), which included a generic fantasy version called "Magic World".

Other variants and off-shoots in the fantasy genre are plentiful; the first Mongoose edition was published under an open gaming license, leading to a fan named Paul "Newt" Newport using it (and years of personal house rules) as the basis of a rules-light version called OpenQuest (first released in 2009, 2013 saw a second edition), Mongoose themselves have continued to print their second edition as Legend (with the Glorantha material removed) and The Design Mechanism plans to do the same with the 6th edition under the title Mythras. As it's a largely modular system, they're all largely compatible, and players can freely lift elements from any one edition and use them in their home games easily.

Glorantha is also the setting of the video-game King of Dragon Pass and the web-comic Prince of Sartar.


This role-playing game provides examples of:

  • A Protagonist Shall Lead Them: Argrath.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: Champions of the Reaching Moon. The Tardy Newt inn in the city of Glamour.
  • All Myths Are True: All Gloranthan myths are literally true, even utterly contradictory myths of different cultures. Changing a myth (by going on a Hero Quest to the world of the gods) can retroactively change reality.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Among other things, they're matriarchial, cannibalistic, and Extreme Omnivores. You could argue that they're pre-Blizzard Blizzard-style Orcs.
  • Always Chaotic Evil
    • Deconstructed with the broo-they were created as a warped parody of life meant only to destroy, and they know it. And they have never forgiven their creators.
    • Played straight with the Vadeli, the corrupt relatives of the sorcerous Brithini people. Like their nicer if xenophobic relatives, Vadeli are The Ageless so long as their follow the rules of their Fantastic Caste System. Unlike the Brithini, the caste systems of the Vadeli generally involve breaking the laws of Malkion, which is to say things like "Murder is bad", "Incest is abhorrent", "Don't lie"... about the only reason they're tolerated is that those same rules make them ideal, if untrustworthy businessmen... and because they cheerfully blackmail port cities into playing along.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The deities of the Celestial Court personify the Runes.
  • The Archmage: Zzabur. Notable for not even being human; he is the Erasanchula of Sorcery, and he says that all the gods are merely corrupted and diminished Erasanchula.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted, as armor provides Damage Reduction. Heavy armor and a good shield are the best way to survive a battle.
  • Assimilation Plot
    • The Empire of Wyrmfriends wanted everybody (mortals, gods, you name it) to embrace their draconic nature (because according to them everybody has a draconic nature waiting to emerge, whether they agree with them or not). It worked like an enormous pyramidal scheme based on the goal of creating a messianic True Dragon.
    • Later, the Lunar Empire also wants everybody to worship their Goddess, so that the world can be one in All again. And damn are they succeeding. According to King of Sartar the Goddess would be eventually defeated, but she probably is just hiding.
  • Attack Reflector
    • If a Reflection spell is in effect on a living being, it will attempt to reflect any other spell cast against the being or its equipment back upon the caster.
    • Supplement Dorastor: Land of Doom. The powerful evil creature Cacodemon has the Chaotic Feature of being able to reflect all spells that cost 10 Magic Points or less back at the caster.
    • Supplement Trollpak, "Book of Uz" part 2. The Xiola Umbar cult has a spell called Turn Blow that reflects all damage that affects the recipient back upon the source.
  • Backronym: In universe, it's usually assumed that EWF is an acronym of some kind, and they were commonly called the Empire of Wyrm-Friends or derisively as "Enemies Without Friends", but EWF is actually a Draconic word that doesn't translate to any humanly understandable concept.
  • Bad Moon Rising: The Red Moon rose, and her Empire wants you to worship her.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The Orlanthi. But the Heortlings don't think of themselves as barbarians, of course. Now, Wenelians (think more primitive Orlanthi with stronger Iroquois influences and less of Heortling laws) are definitely barbarians, too quick to avenge slights and less likely to be hospitable or accept weregild. And Praxians? Savages.
  • Big Bad: Sedenya/Lunar Goddess/Red Moon is this for the Orlanthi in the Third Era.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate
    • Wakboth and Kajabor in the Greater Darkness.
    • The God Learners and the Empire of Wyrm's Friends in the Second Era, due to a case of being criminally Too Dumb to Live. Naturally, they hate each other.
  • Butt Monkey: The Durulz, or ducks, see themselves as the Butt Monkey for the entirety of Glorantha. Even their own racial sourcebook agrees with this perspective, going to extensive lengths to point out how all the other races look down on and tend to ignore or bully ducks and keets.
  • Chariot Race
    • Monster Coliseum has rules for chariot racing.
    • Chariots aren't really commonly used for warfare in most parts of Glorantha, but are a big deal among the Orlanthi in Ralios.
  • Chaos on Earth: The Greater Darkness.
  • The Chosen One: Several, Argrath being one of the main examples.
  • Cold Iron: Iron is poison to elves and trolls, because the dwarves who invented it — not "found," not "refined," they invented a metal — designed it as a weapon against them.
  • Colour Coded Armies: The Vadeli in the West, much like the Brithini they broke away from and warred with, are divided into castes. Brown Vadeli are commoners, and until recently, the only ones that seemed to survive into historical times; they're slimy and evil, but not actually that great at military planning or any grandiose long-term schemes. More recently, Red Vadeli warriors came back onto the scenes - and quickly rallied the Brown Vadeli for a campaign of maritime terror. Everyone dreads the possibility of the return of the Blue Vadeli, the leaders and archmages, who could actually put the bad old Vadeli Empire together again.
  • Combat Tentacles: Supplement Dorastor: Land of Doom.
    • One encounter with Jack O'Bears includes Jack O'Bear #2. It has four tentacles in place of its arms, each of which can inflict 4-24 Hit Points of damage.
    • The Howler has a single tentacle in the middle of its chest that can do up to 12 Hit Points of physical damage plus up to 10 Hit Points of acid damage.
  • Creepy Centipedes
    • Heroes magazine Volume I #3 article "Creepy Critters: Insects for RuneQuest". Centipedes can grow up to 20 meters long and their bite can inject a lethal poison.
    • Trollpak boxed set, "Book of Uz" Book 2. Centipedes can grow up to 40 paces (33 yards) long and weigh up to 3,800 lbs.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: A symbol almost identical with the Christian cross is the Rune of Death in Glorantha, and it represents the sword of Humakt, the god of death. Thus, you can use a cross to repel undead in the setting without any kind of connection to Christianity, or even Crystal Dragon Jesus.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: You may think so given the Invisible God, but no; about the only commonality between his church and Catholicism is some sects having saints. Otherwise, they're more like Zoroastrians and Hindis. Although Hrestol is pretty much a Jesus-like figure.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Dragonkill War describes what the dragons did. They exterminated a powerful army and then killed every human in the Dragon Pass region.
  • Curse: The Durulz race in all its variants suffers one; it cannot fly anymore. As in, not only will spells that grant flight fail to work on them, flying machines will spontaneously break down if a duck or a keet tries to board it.
  • Dark Is Not Evil
    • For humans, sure it is, but trolls are subterranean creatures; troll Hell is located in human Heaven and vice versa.
    • Even though Zorak Zoran and his worshippers are complete man-eating, necromancy-edged, brawl-loving berserks, other Troll gods are actually quite benevolent, if only a bit brutal. Well, they may still eat you, but only because they're hungry, nothing personal to it.
    • The Carmanians follow a dualistic religion. While they believe in Idovanus and Ganesatarus as the main good and main evil gods, respectively, with the latter being definitely not okay, their philosophy states that it is actually sensible for a man to combine "light" and "dark" aspects in his life, following a balanced path; for instance, being good and kind to his friends, but remorseless and cruel to his enemies, or tempering the dark action of revenge with the light idea of justice. What this means is that a Carmanian may well come across as a cruel and evil bastard, while actually just acting that way towards his enemies to better protect his family. Of course, they are as often just classical Lawful Evil feudal overlords.
    • Also, the users of the Death Rune are highly respected and well-liked, due to their ability to confer with the ancestors and their anti-undead powers... in some cultures, anyway. In other cultures, the Death worshipers are exactly as creepy as you'd expect.
  • Dark Messiah / Messianic Archetype / The Antichrist: Nysalor/Gbaji, depending on the interpretation.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Zistor and Nysalor, who was to be the perfect deity and turned out to be the incarnation of a previous one.
  • Ear Wings: The chonchon.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Lunar Goddess rides one of these.
  • Elemental Powers: Glorantha uses five basic elements: Darkness (the primal element), Earth, Sky (which includes fire), Water, and Storm (the air between Earth and Sky). The Lunar Empire regards "Moon" as a sixth element, and most other cultures hate and fear them.
  • The Empire
    • The Lunar Empire.
    • The God Learners and the Wyrm's Friends, back in their day.
  • Eternal Recurrence: The GodTime, a concept pretty much inspired by mythologist Mircea Eliade's eternal return.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Subverted. In the Greater Darkness Wakboth was the Evil, Kajabor was the Oblivion and they were allied. In fact, they could even be the same entity.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: How the all-male broo reproduce, which is why Thed, the Goddess of Rape, is worshiped as their mother. Thankfully, only with nonsentient animals.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Durulz are subject to this as part of their ongoing curses from the gods. In return, ducks hate trolls (the Uz regard Durul flesh as particularly delicious), whilst keets hate each other, with the flamingo and heron keets in particular loathing each other to the extent it's written into their creation mythology.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: The dwarves have rifles. There is even a renegade Dwarf Cult of the Cannon in the Dragon Pass.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: Many.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Brithini are divided into five castes, the four castes of men founded by the legitimate son of Malkion (Dromal, Horal, Talar and Zzabur) and his wife's caste Menema (caste of women). Dromali=commoners, Horal=warriors, Talar=diplomat and coordinator castes (no leader, even though people often make derivatives), Zzabur=wizards, intellectuals (spiritual power, like the Brahmans of India). The Brithini are as Indo-European, while the Malkioni are more feudal; a subtle reference to the divergent evolution of the Indian system and the European one.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: The Broos often look like this, since they impregnate goats, sheep, and cattle most often. They can do it with any other animal though, and there exists a separate, much nicer race of satyr.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Subverted. Anybody called an "atheist" in Glorantha doesn't worship the gods... because they worship the Invisible God instead, who doesn't really intervene like the pantheon does. The "gods" are held to be lesser figures not worthy of devotion except maybe as saints of the Invisible God.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Supplement Trollpak, "Book of Uz" part 2. The crabs tamed and used by trolls can weigh more than 2,000 lbs.
  • Giant Spider
    • Into the Troll Realms, adventure "Skyfall Lake". Crab City has spiders that are as large as a mammoth.
    • Dorastor: Land of Doom. Of the Spider Folk who live in the Spider Woods, the largest type are the Great Mother Spiders. They can reach a Size of 54, which means they weigh just less than 7,000 lb.
    • Supplement Trollpak, "Book of Uz" part 2. The trolls have domesticated several types of giant spiders. The largest ones weigh more than 6,000 lbs.
  • God Couple: Yelm and Dendara, Orlanth and Ernalda.
  • God-Emperor: The Red Emperor is this for the Lunar Empire.
  • God Is Dead
  • God of Evil
    • Wakboth the Devil, a god of Chaos.
    • The Unholy Trio, a subset of the Chaos gods, are even more so-even Chaos worshipers hate them.
    • The Vadeli believe the Invisible God is trying to kill Himself and destroy the entire world in the process (as they are coterminous to some extent), which explains the Darkness et cetera. They want in on the action, and believe everyone else is cowardly and impious for not letting God die. Of course, everyone else that even believes in the Invisible God (i.e. Westerners, mostly) disagrees with their assessment.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: A main staple of the setting, though Wakboth and the Unholy Trio are pitch black.
  • The Hero's Journey: HeroQuests work like this, with the HeroQuester deliberately playing the role of the hero.
  • Hit Points: Averted. Hit points generally do not increase with experience. No matter how bad ass an adventurer is, an axe to their head will ruin their whole day.
  • Horn Attack: The following Gloranthan creatures have horn/butt attacks: bison, broo, broobats, rhino, sable (antelope), sky bull, unicorn.
  • I Know Your True Name: Gygax magazine #4 article "Djinn: Spirits between Heaven and Hell". All jinn (imps, djinn, foliots, ifrits and marids) can only be summoned if the magician knows their true name.
  • Light Is Not Good
    • The Sun God Yelm
      • He is consided evil by the followers of Orlanthi Storm Pantheon, but good to the followers of the Sun pantheon.
      • The Durulz hate Yelm, as he was the god who stripped them of their ability to fly and cursed them to their current state, and aren't too fond of other Sky gods, who goaded him into accepting a racial Fate Worse Than Death instead of exterminating them, even though they admit that these gods did so to save the Durulz from extinction.
    • Trolls are subterranean creatures; troll Hell is located in human Heaven and vice versa.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Exposure to Primal Chaos can give you "Chaos Features", neat powers that often come with horrific physical manifestations. But you can also be Blessed with Suck and end up with "Chaos Flaws".
  • Love Goddess: Uleria.
  • Lunacy: In addition to the standard Earth, Air, Fire and Water elementals, Glorantha also has Darkness and Moon elementals. Moon Elementals cause temporary insanity by touch.
  • Mad God: Ragnaglar of the Unholy Trio.
  • The Maker: The patron deity of the Mostali (dwarves), who they literally refer to by this title.
  • Mama Bear: In Durulz mythology, after Yelm invaded their ancestral home of Ganderland and drove the ducks away, Canarda, their goddess of motherhood and literal mother of their species, stayed behind. Once she was alone, she walked right up to Yelm, ignoring the way his fiery aura burned her, and gave him an Armor-Piercing Slap. He was so impressed that he allowed her to limp away after her children unharmed and called off his war.
  • Mind Screw: There are lots of mutually exclusive mythologies, and all of them are true because reality before Time started was fluid. And sometimes (the Sunstop, which temporally broke Time, being the main example) it can still be. And traveling to the reality before Time started, which still exists as a separate plane, can potentially retcon reality after Time started. Needless to say, all of this can be just a little confusing.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous
    • In the default world of Glorantha, the giant Grotarons (a.k.a. Trimanes and Maidstone Archers) have a third arm where their head would be (and eyes on the backs of their hands and a mouth in their solar plexus...) They use massive bows, held in their left and right arms and drawn with their top arms.
    • Supplement Dorastor: Land of Doom. The Chaos creature Yeachi has four arms. It uses them to fire arrows from two bows at once in ranged combat or hit opponents with the bows (attacking with them as if they were staffs) in melee combat.
  • Mythopoeia: The biggest one in Tabletop Games.
  • Never Mess with Granny
    • Esrolia is matriarchal. Glorantha creator Greg Stafford has pointed out that this does not mean "rule by women" - it means "rule by mothers", specifically, Grandmothers, the heads of extensive matriarchal patrician (matrician?) clans (and their clients). Some of them are genuinely well-meaning and benign; others are ruthless, controlling, manipulative tyrants. All of them are iron-willed, powerful Earth priestesses with decades of positively Byzantine political experience, and so none of them are to be messed with.
    • Older troll leaders tend to fall under this too. Female trolls don't tend to venture out of the dark or fight with weapons much - they have expendable males for that. But if threatened or provoked, troll "grannies" usually have a vast arsenal of dark magic and demons to throw at an enemy.
  • Never My Fault
    • In the mythical history of the Durulz, Yelm demanded three times that the Durulz fly down and save him from being trapped in Hell after Orlanth killed him. They refused him each time. When Orlanth was finally forced to rescue Yelm to end the Darkness, Yelm was determined to destroy the Durulz utterly for refusing him, changing his mind only when the rest of the Sky Gods persuaded him that a Fate Worse Than Death would be more fitting. Completely ignoring that he earned their enmity by invading their ancestral homeland, burning it into a lifeless desert and slaughtering them until they were forced to flee, an invasion he launched only because their pantheon had made friends with Orlanth.
    • The keets hold a bitter resentment for all non-keet races, blaming them for ingratitude in the face of the keets saving Vithela from being completely destroyed by the demon Zmalak. Completely ignoring that Zmalak's plan to shatter the continent only succeeded because the keets were too busy bickering and fighting with each other and everyone else to stop it — to the point the demon himself gave the keets a "The Reason You Suck" Speech calling them out on their petty squabbling before casting his continent-shattering spell.
  • The Night That Never Ends: This is what happens when you kill the Sun God. And then it gets worse.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted, due to the hit-location system. Characters can get crippled very easily in combat.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Lunar Empire versus Orlanthi, big time. It was kind of a weird case - the Lunar Empire promotes (cosmic) Chaos but is very organized, whereas the Orlanthi are Chaos-hating barbarian berserkers.
  • Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: Rashoran/Rashorana.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Glorantha is famous for its many, many odd creatures, and for being one of the earliest settings in which playing as a monster was encouraged. You can even play intelligent ducks, called Durulz in RuneQuest. (It has its advantages: small size, high Dexterity, and hardly anyone notices a Duck perfect for a thief/rogue or a mage. And you know what? They have their own island empire in the far East.)
  • Our Dragons Are Different: True Dragons are beings of unfathomable power, and human beings can become dragons if they follow Draconic Mysticism. The Empire of Wyrmfriends wants to assimilate everybody into being dragons. Or at least part of the messianic Great Dragon to Come.
  • Our Elves Are Better: They're kind-of dryads, or Plant Aliens.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Massively averted. Dwarves are made into one of several castes, very different from each other. And they are not Viking-like, they are instead living tools dedicated to repairing the once-perfect World Machine.
  • Our Gods Are Different: The gods gave up their free will as part of the peace treaty that ended the Gods' War (the war that nearly destroyed them, and the world). Now the gods are locked into their roles, unable to choose to change—though it's possible that their worshipers can change the gods, by changing the myths or by going on mystical quests into the Godtime.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: They're a Chaotic subrace of humans who look like handsome, tall people with sharp teeth. And yes, they're cannibals. Cannibals who can look like normal humans.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Most commonly associated with the Chaos god Vivamort, the vampires are immortal and possess some frightening abilities, but are also severely handicapped by the various elemental curses placed on them by the gods due to their treachery (being fervently hated both by Humakt as undead and by Urox as Chaos isn't a good place to be either). Sunlight doesn't destroy them, but does take away their powers; to sleep, they require special soil, as regular earth had rejected them. Their mist form is scattered by winds, but their greatest weakness is probably running water (a fact eagerly exploited by duck undead-fighters, of course...). A drop from the river Styx would destroy a vampire in an instant. And notably, in some versions, they're also extra vulnerable to swords - as they are the image of the Death rune, that they seek to escape from.
  • Petting Zoo People: The Durulz, who appear as anthropomorphic birds, divided into two major tribes; the Ducks and the Keets, with the latter being made up of various species (flamingos, pelicans, penguins, auks, herons, swordbills, peacocks, etc).
  • Plague Master: Malia, the Mother of Disease.
  • Plant Person: The elves.
  • Poison Is Corrosive
    • Supplement Dorastor: Land of Doom. The claws of the powerful evil Chaos being Cacodemon inject a potent corrosive venom that can inflict up to 114 Hit Points of damage. The claws of his Fiend minions inject a similar poison that can do up to 20 Hit Points of damage.
    • Supplement Trollpak, "Book of Uz" part 2. Trolls control a type of giant whip-scorpion called a vinegaroon. It can spray a liquid poison that is highly acidic.
  • Pride: The God Learners thought that they could do whatever they wanted with those ridiculous pagan deities. Boy were they wrong.
  • Pumpkin Person: The Jack O'Bear is a hairy bear-like monster with an orange head that looks like a pumpkin.
  • Rainbow Motif: Supplement Dorastor: Land of Doom. The rainbow gorp can change from one color to another. Each color gives it a different Chaos Feature: red (increase Size by 11), orange (regeneration 1 Hit Point per round), yellow (12 points of skin armor), green (regeneration 6 Hit Points per round), blue (turn into a harmless appearing pile of dust) and purple (absorb spells that cost up to two magic points).
  • Redemption Quest: Orlanth's To Hell and Back.
  • Retcon: In Mongoose Runequest, Zistorites wore cyborg-esque mechamagical implants. In Mongoose Runequest II, they wear magical tattoos instead.
  • Scary Scorpions: Supplement Trollpak, "Book of Uz" part 2. Giant scorpions used by the trolls can weigh as much as 480 lbs.
  • Science Is Bad: Almost everyone outside Zistorwal hated the scientific method-based Zistor project. Probably with good reason.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Into the Troll Realms, adventure "The Flying Trollkin". Nesretep is the leader of the title criminals. Sandy Petersen co-wrote the supplement.
  • Soul Jar: Avalon Hill's Heroes magazine article "New Spells for RuneQuest 3". The Invulnerability spell allows the caster to remove his own heart without dying and hide it away somewhere. As long as the heart is undamaged the rest of the caster's body is immune to physical damage. If the heart is destroyed the caster will turn to dust.
  • Spirit World: The Otherworld.
  • Subsystem Damage: Under the hit-location system, physical damage (and some types of spell damage) are applied to specific body locations.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: The broo's primary motivation.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts
    • Mostly gained through Kralorelan mysticism, by monastic adepts who give in to temptations of power while ostensibly trying to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence (most of the students, frankly, are just there to try to reach the really good temptations).
    • Battle magic is something in between this and Full-Contact Magic.
  • Super Spit: Supplement Dorastor: Land of Doom
    • The Gnarl, one of the Slime Broos gang, can spit acid up to 20 meters away that does 12 Hit Points of damage to a hit location of his choice.
    • The Spit Snake is one type of Chaos Snake. Each Spit Snake can spit a different liquid substance, such as potent acid, a skunk spray-like oil, glue, contact poison, dyes, and one that gives off a smell that attracts Chaos creatures.
    • The Howler can spit acid 9 times per day that does up to 20 Hit Points of damage.
    • The three-headed Chaos creature Yeachi can spit acid from its central head (that does up to 32 Hit Points of damage) five times per day.
  • Synchronization: Supplement Trollpak, "Book of Uz" part 2. The Aranea cult has a special type of Divine Intervention. The supplicant can link themselves to another person so that if the supplicant dies, the other will as well. This is an excellent way to persuade another person not to kill you.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Hey, God Learners and Empire of Wyrm's Friends? Did ya ever think that maybe mucking around with the source code of reality might have consequences down the line? Like, say, forcing a pair of goddesses to do the others' job as a thought experiment? Given how you managed to blow yourselves up, guess not.
  • To Hell and Back: The Lightbringers, to rescue Yelm and end the Greater Darkness.
  • Top God: Many pantheons have one, but Sedenya, Yelm and Orlanth are the most important. Arachne Solara can be seen as a Goddess of Gods.
  • Trickster Archetype: Several.
  • Vampiric Draining
    • Supplement Dorastor: Land of Doom
      • A lamia drains Strength from a victim by biting them and Power by kissing them.
      • When a succubus in female form has sex with a male she drains one point of Constitution from him.
      • When a vampire bites its victim it doesn't just drain blood, it drains Fatigue as well.
    • Gygax magazine #4 article "Djinn: Spirits between Heaven and Hell". All jinn can replenish lost magic points by draining the Life Energy of a living creature. Each point of Power in the victim yields two magic points.
  • War God: Several.
  • Weakened by the Light: Several Gloranthan creatures are demoralized by daylight, the cave troll can't regenerate damage taken while in daylight, and ghouls lose one Magic Point per hour in direct sunlight.
  • Weird Moon: Glorantha has never had a conventional Earthlike moon. The Blue Moon is tiny and rarely visible save as a streak of light, whereas the Red Moon is of recent vintage, ripped from the middle of Dara Happa, and hovers in place over the Lunar Empire, revolving to show a red side and a black side. It is said that a White Moon may rise someday.
  • A Year and a Day: In Avalon Hill's Sun County supplement, a village was renamed Repentance for this period for failing to pay its annual cult remittances.


Alternative Title(s): Rune Quest

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/TableTopGame/RuneQuest