by sandy petersen, jeff richard, jason durall, michael runequest many of the creatures in this...

Download BY SANDY PETERSEN, JEFF RICHARD, JASON DURALL, MICHAEL RuneQuest Many of the creatures in this bestiary

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  • BY SANDY PETERSEN, JEFF RICHARD, JASON DURALL, MICHAEL O’BRIEN, STEVE PERRIN, GREG STAFFORD, AND CORY-TREGO-ERDNER

    WITH DAVID DUNHAM, CHRIS KLUG, SVEN LUGAR, JAMIE REVELL, AND KEN ROLSTON

    COVER ARTIST: Andrey Fetisov EDITOR: Jason Durall

    PROOFREADING: Richard Perry ART DIRECTION: Jeff Richard

    DESIGN & LAYOUT: Simeon Cogswell and Malcolm Wolter CARTOGRAPHY: Colin Driver

    ARTISTS: Cory Trego-Erdner

    SPECIAL THANKS GO to these people who contributed greatly or a little, but whose impact has affected the game: Simon Bray, Nick Brooke, Rob Heinsoo, Martin Helsdon, Kris Alice Hohls,

    Oliver Jovanovic, Sebastian Körner, Robin Laws, Claudia Loroff, Daniel McCluskey, Rick Meints, Christine Reich, Neil Robinson, Dana Schack, Harald Smith, David Scott, and Jonathan Tweet.

    Our apologies to any others who were unrecorded.

    As always, a special thank you and credit goes to Greg Stafford, without whom none of us would be reading this, or playing games in Glorantha,

    and to Ray Harryhausen, who first brought the fantastic beasts of mythology to life.

    May Hykim and Mikyh Consume and Devour those that would misuse this book.

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  • “We do not know what the dragon means, just as we do not know the meaning of the universe, but there is something in the image of the dragon that is congenial to man’s imagination, and thus the dragon arises in many latitudes and ages.”

    —Jorge Luis Borges, The Book of Imaginary Beings

    RUNEQUEST A Chaosium Game

    First Chaosium Edition 1978 Second Chaosium Edition 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983

    Third Chaosium/Avalon Hill Edition 1984, 1993 Fourth Chaosium Edition 2018

    Copyright ©1978, 1980, 1984, 1993, 2018 by Moon Design Publications, all rights reserved. RuneQuest, HeroQuest, and Glorantha are trademarks of Moon Design Publications.

    The reproduction of material from within this book for the purposes of personal or corporate profit, by photographic, optical, electronic, or other media or methods of storage and retrival, is prohibited.

    Art provided by A Sharp is copyright © 2018 A Sharp and is provided under license. Art provided by Petersen Entertainment is copyright © 2018 Petersen Entertainment and is provided under license.

    Chaosium Publication 4032 ISBN-9781568825021 Printed in China. First Printing.

    CHAOSIUM INC. www.chaosium.com

    3450 Wooddale Ct, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

    Copyright 2018

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  • Contents Introduction ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    Distribution Maps ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

    The Elder Races ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

    Chaos Monsters ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

    Monsters ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108

    Giant Arthropods ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130

    Animals ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

    Spirits .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164

    Terrors ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188

    Flora ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197

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  • 4

    Introduction

    his book is a compendium of creatures—animals, spirits, and plants—found in the northern continent

    of Glorantha. Some of these creatures have terrestrial analogues, others exist only in fantasy. Some of these creatures are as intelligent as humans—some even more

    intelligent than our species. Others are completely non- intelligent and respond simply to basic stimuli.

    What unites them all is that they are the sort of creatures that adventurers are likely to interact with in a RuneQuest campaign. These creatures all have motivations and drives and occupy their own ecological niches.

    Game Balance and RuneQuest

    Many of the creatures in this bestiary are very dangerous for any group of adventurers, even a party of Rune Masters. Several of the Terrors described within can best armies and are perhaps better thought of as pieces of vast and deadly geography.

    The best strategy adventurers may have in some encounters is to try to negotiate with the creature, or failing that, to just run away.

    In RuneQuest, few creatures are mere cannon fodder— mobs of weaker monsters that can be cut down safely in large numbers. Instead, every creature is an individual. Even a trollkin or a rubble runner might get a lucky critical hit against a far more skilled and better equipped foe. Every confrontation poses the risk of death or maiming to the adventurers. Players and the gamemaster alike should be aware that blindly engaging in combat with every encountered creature is a good way to get the adventurers killed. Even a party of Storm Bull berserks take care to prepare

    themselves for battle, even if all that means is spending a few rounds calling upon their god and casting Rune spells!

    This can pose a challenge for the gamemaster. Encounters will often not be fair or balanced for a given party of adventurers. A few suggestions include:

    .Give the players some warning of the deadliness of the encounter. They might not understand that a band of dark trolls backed up by a mob of trollkin and a great troll are more than a match for their adventurers, but their adventurers likely would!

    . Let the adventurers run away. Most creatures are perfectly content to allow a foe to flee. The players can enjoy their lucky escape or decide to plan a rematch.

    . Be willing to negotiate. Most intelligent creatures would rather negotiate than fight if possible. Remember that most adventurers have a ransom price. A dream dragon that talks with the adventurers and makes demands on them is more memorable than one that just attacks.

    . Let there be a way around the encounter. Maybe there is a way to sneak around the giant, or maybe the adventurers can hide until the giant leaves. Avoiding a fight with the monster can spur player creativity and ingenuity.

    .Don’t fight to the death. As the gamemaster, be willing to have creatures surrender or run away. If the adventurers clearly have the upper hand, most intelligent creatures would prefer to surrender than fight to the death. Or run away if the combat looks like it is going poorly. Remember, too, that many intelligent creatures have ransoms as well.

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  • 5

    I n t r o d u c t i o n

    Creature Classification In this book creatures are classified into seven categories: Elder Races, Chaos, Monsters, Animals, Spirits, Terrors, and Flora.

    Elder Races: The intelligent non-humans of Glorantha are known collectively as the Elder Races. The Elder Races have their own histories and cultures, some far more ancient than humanity.

    Chaos: Many species, including the Elder Races, were corrupted by Chaos during the Gods War. These species may be intelligent or non-intelligent, social or loners—what unites them all is their Chaos taint.

    Monsters: Glorantha has numerous gigantic or monstrous creatures. Some are intelligent, others non-intelligent. Not all monsters are malevolent, and some are known to serve (or at least work with) friendly humans. Dinosaurs and draconic monsters fall into this category. Some monsters could be classified as Elder Races (such as dragons, wyrms, magisaurs, and unicorns) but not all. Giant arthropods are a subcategory of monsters so numerous as to merit their own chapter.

    Animals: Glorantha has a wide variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles.

    Spirits: Creatures without corporeal bodies, petty gods, demons, etc. fall into this category.

    Terrors: Unique creatures which are far greater in power than any ordinary mortal.

    Flora: Glorantha has a tremendous variety of plant life. A small selection of unique or interesting flora is presented here.

    Intelligent Creatures Glorantha is home to many intelligent species other than mankind. Different gods have created intelligence in their own likenesses, and the images have not always been humanoid.

    The non-human species are at various stages of civilization. Most human scholars agree that Uz (trolls) and Triolini (merfolk) are at a lower stage of civilization than humanity and place the dragonewts at the top (assuming humans can even evaluate their ancient, almost inexplicable civilization).

    The Mostali (dwarfs) rate only slightly lower than the dragonewts, and the dwarfs clearly have the most developed technology.

    However, applying human criteria to the cultures of other species can be a pointless exercise. For example, trolls naturally consider themselves to have reached a pinnacle of sophistication. In certain terms, such as the availability of complex smel