What is Arkat’s Playground?

Let us start with a story, shall we?

In the Dawn Age of Glorantha, after fighting his way across Ralios, from his homeland in Seshnela, against the perfidious Red Robed Riddlers of Gbaji, Arkat the hero paused in the land of Karia.

As he stood before the Great Temples of All the Gods that dotted the landscape in those days, he sighed contently. Although his army’s progress to the final battle in the land of Dorastor had been halted at the pass of Castle Kartolin, he was content.

Puzzled a knight who had faithfully followed him since he had declared his Crusade against Gbaji, the Deceiver asked him, “Sire, what do you plan to do?”.

“I intend to play, in this great playground of the Gods!” He laughed.

“But Sire, we have work to do. We need to work out how to defeat Gbaji” the perplexed Knight.

“Shush, I shall play, for how do we learn when we are young? By playing, of course!” Arkat beamed as he looked across the sacred landscape land where the divine touched the mundane.

Welcome to the Third Age of Newt Newport’s Gloranthan Fan Publishing. If you are curious what this means read on.

Here’s a quick rundown of my history with Gloranthan gaming and Fan Publishing.

Before the Time of Conventions

I first came across Glorantha in the early 80s through the pages of White Dwarf. I finally go to play RuneQuest 2 in the late 80s and was transfixed very quickly.

In the late 80s played a lot of RQ3 courtesy of Games Workshop’s hardcover versions. But not Glorantha since it was out of my price range and not readily available.

In the early 90s, I went to university and spent a good portion of my first-year grant buying up all the RQ3 Gloranthan box sets and adventures, also Tales of the Reaching Moon and RQ Adventures when I could get hold of it. I started my RQ3 Campaign set in Karia, part of the Eastern Wilds area in Ralios, which would last a good part of the decade.

The First Age of Evangelism (1996-2007)

In this Age, I went to UK gaming conventions and tried to convince more people to play in Glorantha. First, using the out-of-print RuneQuest 3 rules and then the first three editions of what is now called QuestWorlds (i.e. HeroWars/HeroQuest 1st/HeroQuest 2nd). Oh, the folly of youth!

Taking a leaf out of the various D20 based Living Campaigns, in the early 2000s I formed the Ring of Hero Quest Narrators, which was a group of between three and four GMs who toured the UK convention circuit and would eventually become the semi-official Masters Of Luck And Death.

Although the main focus was demoing games, we had a website, through which I published articles/scenarios, with the aim of writing stuff up so others could play it.

This age ended with disillusionment as the early enthusiasm that drove our demo games fizzled out. So I pretty much turned my back on running convention games set in Glorantha at this point. But the foundations of proper publishing had been laid.

The Second Age of Fanzines (2008-2018)

In 2008 I formed my little publishing concern D101 Games. Print on Demand publishing via Lulu.com and pdf via drivethrurpg.com was a workable reality. At this point, I married my Glorantha publishing fortunes to that of D101 Games, having obtained a special fan publishing license from Moon Designs Publishing.

The outcome of this arrangement was seven issues of the Hearts in Glorantha fanzine and two of Gloranthan Adventures.

This age ended effectively in 2018, with the last issue of HiG (7). I called it a day and ceased publication in late 2020. Without going into detail, these zines had run their course. Again the energy that drove the early zines had fizzled out. It just wasn’t fun anymore. I needed a break from it. But as my good friend and fellow Gloranthaphile Dr Moose says “You can escape Glorantha, but it eventually drags you back in”.

This leads us to…

The Third Age of Mega Gaming Fun (NOW!)

I’m older, wiser, have been around the block a few times, and still have stuff I want to get out there. I’ll be working with a small group of collaborators to bring you Mega Gaming Fun adventures. No sweating the small stuff or being obsessive about setting details, just getting out there and having fun interacting with the marvellous mythological world of Glorantha!

I’ll be doing a mixed-mode of publishing. Which means.

  1. I am using this website to publish reviews and commentary and other bits about Glorantha using the Fan Publications Policy.
  2. Publishing adventures and supporting content via the Jonstown Compendium.

What I’ve Got Planned

aka the Great List of Teasing

A Dry Run in Prax. Synopsis, a group of Lunar soldiers trying to escape the wastes of Prax after the fall of Pavis and catch the last moon boat back to their homes in Tarsh.  An adventure with six lunar pregens. This has been my go to RuneQuest Glorantha convention adventure for the last couple of years. I’m currently fleshing it out for publication.

RuneMastered versions of Gloranthan Adventures 1 &2. Take these adventures and convert them either to 13th Age Glorantha (New Beginnings) and RuneQuest (Red Sun Rising)

Defending the Dark, an all troll (+darkness worshipping human allies) adventure + mini-setting.

Arkat’s Playground: Karia. This is the big one, my RuneQuest 3 campaign that ran for the best part of a decade, brought bang up to date for RuneQuest Glorantha.

Running convention games again. I like it, the audience is there, so I’ll be running games at UK Cons, and online conventions.

This website. Reviews, commentary, blog posts, and even a podcast. Oh, what fun we will have!

Now that I’ve divorced my Glorathan publishing efforts from D101 Games, which is slightly more intensive and is in effect the day job, I feel freer to get back to having fun writing/playing/enjoying Glorantha in my spare time.