Satar Powered By the Apocalyse

Recently I’ve been feeling the urge to go adventuring in Glorantha again. The thing is, I don’t feel the urge to crack open RuneQuest, Questworlds, or 13th Age Glorantha to do. I have a real sense of having been there and done that (see my previous post about campaigns I’ve run in Glorantha). My initial giddiness of returning to run a campaign for RQ G has faded.

One thing that keeps returning to me is the idea that using a fiction-first Powered by the Apocalypse system will get around the new players’ two barriers when approaching Glorantha, system and setting. PbTA systems are famously rule-light, and some people quickly declare them NOT ROLEPLAYING GAMES! But other people, myself included from the lovely experiences I had running Dungeon World at both cons and for my home group, find them effortlessly easy and, with the right set of moves, describe the setting intuitively, removing the need for excessive explanation.

Sartar PBTA scope of the game

The following is from my current game draft, mainly to keep me on track.

  • Assumes all characters Sartarites who are attached to a clan-based community, called a Tula somewhere in Sartar, and followers of a pantheon known as the Storm Tribe.
  • Characters follow a single god and derive their magic from them. Each character embodies or incarnates or “God forms” their Deity. As the character gains experience through emulating the deeds of their deity in play, they become more like them by gaining Devotee Feats.
  • Each adventuring group has only one instance of each character class or Devotee Type. This follows standard PBTA practice but also sharpens the fiction that the characters will eventually become important spiritual leaders, Godtalkers/Priests in their community and that there is no room for multiple powerful devotees. In Sartar PBTA there are no rules for characters following multiple deities, or other magic systems such as spirit magic or sorcery.
  • The detail of Glorantha as a setting is light, and only explained where necessary to the rules.  Refer to the Gloranthan Sourcebook or other Gloranthan game published by Chaosium INC for deep setting background.
  • This set of rules can be easily used for other settings where the characters are Orlanthi, such as the Eastern Wilds of Ralios.

The Plan

I’m doing this for me, although I may publish a free version under the Fan License if it comes together. My next stage is to take the twenty-six-page draft, finish it to a playable state, and then give it a whirl with a short online campaign. I’m tempted to use New Beginnings as a base for the adventures and mix it with some of my ideas for a revisit to the lands of the Silverwind clan.