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Default RPG Codex - King of Dragon Pass Retrospective

November 23rd, 2007, 14:21
Shagnak writes that RPG Codex has posted a retrospective/review on the 1999 title, King of Dragon Pass. I must admit to only knowing the game by reputation, so here's an introductory bit:
So, what's it about? It's hard to put the game within pre-defined genre borders. It begins with you picking the history of your clan by getting told of events and choosing what your ancient clan did during those events, what they decided to do. Your choices here will affect several basic characteristics of your clan, like what god they worship as their main god, what race are their worst enemies and how much land they start with. Most of it isnít crucial for the gameplay, the disposition of your clan towards slavery being a notable exception, but it adds flavor and increases replayability by giving you a certain freedom in creating your clan.
More information.

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November 23rd, 2007, 14:21
It's a great game. I've been a fan of Glorantha since my Runequest pnp days. I didn't really get on with the Herowars rules but in this game it works really well.

edit:

Watch out for Thed's Broos they urr… do stuff to your live-stock
Last edited by woges; November 23rd, 2007 at 14:56.
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November 23rd, 2007, 14:56
Great game. Still have the CD somwhere in cellar. My ex-gf didnt like it though, said shed prefer somthing like mario bros instead.

Its the only runequest pc game ever released.
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November 23rd, 2007, 14:59
It's a Herowars game more than a Runequest game - the TES series is very Runequesty though. My gf liked this one as well - I got her Viva Pinata which she is quite happy with atm.
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November 23rd, 2007, 17:02
If youre looking at a runequest type system then there are other games with similarities but when taking account the world then this is the only one. Im more interested of the world than the system. This game had the runequest ducks and everything.
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November 23rd, 2007, 17:21
Ducks are part of the Glorantha world setting - Runequest was a ruleset set in Glorantha. King of Dragon Pass was actually a board game set in Glorantha before Runequest even came out (called White Bear and Red Moon). I guess it just depends if you can separate Glorantha from Runequest. For me, a setting doesn't have to be associated with one certain rule set. Glorantha has moved on to Herowars (which is what this King of Dragon Pass is based on) to HeroQuest and is now back once again to Runequest at Mongoose Publishing.

Glorantha was a world created by Greg Stafford while the rules of that world have largely been written by others - much of the world setting is written by others these days as well.
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November 23rd, 2007, 17:36
Ok I see your point. For me "runequest" means simply "runequest system set in glorantha". Ive never heard anyone play it in different world. Ive read lots of novels and stuff based on that world so Im kinda fond of it.
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November 23rd, 2007, 18:21
The new Ruenquest rule set has a few settings going already:

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/ho…hp?qsSeries=39
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November 25th, 2007, 03:31
Originally Posted by woges View Post
It's a Herowars game more than a Runequest game - the TES series is very Runequesty though. My gf liked this one as well - I got her Viva Pinata which she is quite happy with atm.
TES has some simulationist tradition in it. I don't know about the other titles but, at least, Ken Rolston, the lead designer of Morrowind and Oblivoin worked on some supplements of Glorantha. In fact, I think he introduced writing style of PnP supplements to in-world writings in CRPG. Especially, the complex politics and religions of Morrowind reminds me of Glorantha. In a way, TES is much more old-school than some people may think.

Originally Posted by woges View Post
Glorantha was a world created by Greg Stafford while the rules of that world have largely been written by others - much of the world setting is written by others these days as well.
I think Stafford is very intellectual individual. I wonder how many books he read in his life. You'd probably know this but he is also known for a narrativist RPG called Pendragon, which features King Arthur legend.
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November 25th, 2007, 05:37
Yeah, I know he did Pendragon but having read Le Morte d'Arthur I never really fancied roleplaying the arthurian legend. As for Rolston I think he was invloved fairly late to Glorantha; I remember him working on a RQ3 supplement called Dorastor. I tend toward what is now called 'high fantasy' than real world settings I suppose.

As for Morrowind it is indeed very much like an old RQ supplement (the TES skill system is basically RQ). The richness of TES factions and mythology really remind me of Glorantha also, sadly, I don't think we'll be seeing the like in the near future.
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November 25th, 2007, 07:12
Originally Posted by woges View Post
Yeah, I know he did Pendragon but having read Le Morte d'Arthur I never really fancied roleplaying the arthurian legend. As for Rolston I think he was invloved fairly late to Glorantha; I remember him working on a RQ3 supplement called Dorastor. I tend toward what is now called 'high fantasy' than real world settings I suppose.
Actually, Pendragon is more of a setting based on Romantic Medieval literature, which is by no means real at all. I have been quite familiar with King Arthur legend since my childhood and I was surprised how little I knew about it when I came across to Pendragon. Likewise, I cannot tell how many historical facts and real world religions are hidden in Glorantha. It was like.. go for Pendragon if you like Medieval literature and go for Glorantha if you like anthropology and/or mythology.

Originally Posted by woges View Post
As for Morrowind it is indeed very much like an old RQ supplement (the TES skill system is basically RQ). The richness of TES factions and mythology really remind me of Glorantha also, sadly, I don't think we'll be seeing the like in the near future.
I have to agree. Oblivion was a total let-down on this side.
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November 25th, 2007, 15:16
What I remember about Pendragon was it was kinda based on Le Morte d'Arthur and a pastiche of medieval history. I've never actually read it though.

Glorantha is based on many real cultures and societies - it's also another world influenced by Joseph Campbell. It's also bloody silly in places.
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November 25th, 2007, 15:49
Originally Posted by woges View Post
What I remember about Pendragon was it was kinda based on Le Morte d'Arthur and a pastiche of medieval history.
Yes, there are some historical essences, such as hostilities between Anglo-Saxons v.s. Normans, too.

Originally Posted by woges View Post
Glorantha is based on many real cultures and societies - it's also another world influenced by Joseph Campbell. It's also bloody silly in places.
Cambell tried to seek for a common image of "hero" in various cultures. I think Rolston had this in his mind when he was thinking of the main plot of Morrowind.

About silliness, chaos "faction", which seems to be designed by Sandy Petersen, has much influence from Lovecraft. The details of Troll biology by him is, I felt, very paranoiac, too. Troll ball is, definitely silly although I fondly remember these stuff. The beauty of PnP settings is that you can just pick up what you like as if you were in buffet. However, I guess I'd better refrain myself from being too nostalgic.
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November 25th, 2007, 16:12
I've only played the demo for King Of Dragon Pass, and enjoyed it immensely. I keep meaning to order a copy of the game but have never got round to doing so.

It struck me as truly unique, and I'd love to see more game use some similar approaches or at least take inspiration from KoDP. It's a strategy game, but on a very small scale, and that makes me feel much more connected to my "civilization", makes them seem more real and valuable than just being a name with a set of statistics and modifiers with no personality like the vast majority of strategy games out there.
I'd love to see a KoDP set in a real-world history rather than a fantasy one.

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
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November 25th, 2007, 16:25
For some reason monsters like Quim tend to bring a smile to my face. I don't think it makes an appearence in KoDP though.

This game is a management game though I wouldn't really call it an RPG. It would be like calling Warcraft 3 a RPG because of the heros. The clan ring does get better over time and with hero quests but still… It's more like a really complex board game. You have choices of sending; explorers, traders, war parties, out into the world each turn. You're also purchasing defences and choosing how much land is devouted to livestock and manufacturing. While you're doing this there are random events that happen to the tribe that you have to decide on (these are told in a story fashion have mutiple choices and out comes). Theres a whole reputation thing going on with other tribes while all this is going on. Ring leaders die of old age and have to be replaced you need a mix of different worshipers on your ring to gain bonuses. You can also build shrines to the different gods for boons and send ring leaders on heroquest for great boons/gifts from the hero plane. It all makes a pretty compelling game (just to get back to the real topic).
Last edited by woges; November 25th, 2007 at 17:03.
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