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Pendragon has long been my favourite role playing system. I often ended up having to GM Pendragon because I wouldn’t get to play otherwise.

Indeed the Arthurian Mythos is, in many ways, my Mythos. The one that sings to me, that resonates in ways that I only rarely show, and sometimes in surprising ways[1].

And yet… I doubt I’ll ever play it again. I did try to run a new game a couple of years ago but with my growing awareness over time I am increasingly uncomfortable with the gender roles that are so heavily entrenched into the game.

Pendragon has, in a sense, become an anime equivalent to GunBuster for me.

On that note, on a whim, I picked up the slipcased edition of the new RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha containing the hardcover main rule book, the hardcover Bestiary, as well as a GMs screen, supporting tables, maps, and some introductory adventures. And… wow.

This is a beautifully presented set of rules, the production values are superb.

Of particular interest to me is how much of Pendragon has found its way into this edition of RuneQuest. Interesting… but not surprising give the heavy involvement of the late Greg Stafford in both games over the decades.[2]

One of the key elements of Pendragon was always the personality traits that shaped a Knight’s behaviour: are they Honest or Deceitful, are they Chaste or Worldly. Meanwhile in RuneQuest one of the key elements were the Runes themselves, those fundamental building blocks of the Gloranthan world, and from which all magic flows.

RQ:RG has cleverly combined the two elements. A character will have affinities to the 6 elemental and 10 Form/Condition Runes expressed as percentages that will influence their personalities. Oh, and serve as their spell casting skill for spells aligned to that Rune. I really like the way this has been done, and combined with selecting a cult upfront it allows players to tailor their characters fairly precisely during character creation.

Other elements of Pendragon that have made their way into RQ:RG are the multi-generational character histories[3], as well as the Passions such as Honor, Loyalty, Love, and Hate. These fit naturally into Bronze Age of Heroes setting for RQ:RG at least as well as they fit into Pendragon.

Plus RQ:RG doesn’t suffer from those gender role problems that have made me increasingly uncomfortable with Pendragon.

The Arthurian Mythos will still matter, will still sing, to me. Now and always.

But I think it will be RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha that I’ll be playing (and running) into the future.

Oh, and if any of my readers are in Canberra and want to play of a Tuesday night, leave a private message via the Request a Review page and I’ll get back to you.

[1] That Puella Magi Madoka Magica review is one of my favourite pieces of writing on this blog.

[2] I find it extremely appropriate that Greg Stafford is still on the cover of this edition as one of the authors.

[3] If your character’s father’s soul was devoured by the Crimson Bat, your character will not look favourably upon the Lunar Empire…