viernes, 29 de marzo de 2024

Mythras vs Basic Roleplaying: Differences and similarities

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Mythras and Basic Roleplaying are two big multi-genre D100 systems with a wide range of options allowing you to put together the rules you want for your setting. Besides, they are both using the ORC license to allow anyone to sell their own adventures, derived mechanics and full-blown games based on these systems. But, which ruleset to use? Below I attempt to help anyone wondering whether to use one or the other.

To start with, it is important to underline these two games have many similarities, as they both are derived, or evolved from, or are a distillation from the original RuneQuest system, specifically the 2nd and 3rd edition. Also, for the sake of this comparison, I am bundling Mythras and its free-to-download primer Mythras Imperative together, but I am also mentioning some useful supplements. So before mentioning the differences, let's point out their similarities.


  • Multi-genre
  • Several power levels for starting characters
  • At least 7 characteristics on a 3-18 range (for normal humans)
  • List of skills with scores expressed in percentages
  • Characteristics influence base skill %
  • 1D100 "roll-under" basic roll
  • At least 4 degrees of success/failure
  • Professions/Careers
  • Skills can be trained
  • Attack and defence rolls in combat
  • Damage modifier, location hit points, power points, fate/luck points
  • Different kinds of weapon damage (crushing, impaling, slashing...)
  • List of equipment: from two-handed axes to bulletproof vests
  • Damage absorbing armour
  • Characters advance through experience
  • At least 5 different magic/powers systems
  • Rules for aging
  • Rules for vehicles
  • Rules for passions
  • Bestiary included
  • Free-to-download scenarios and quickstart
So, having looked at their long list of similarities, let's have a look at their main differences:


Mythras + Mythras Imperative Basic Roleplaying (BRP)
Scope MythrasThey cover a limited amount of genres, but the game has a wide range of supplements available (Destined, Luther Arkwright, Worlds United, After the Vampire Wars, etc.) covering many genres in more detail. Basic RoleplayingIt covers a wide range of genres, including guidelines on what rules to choose for emulating many genres. More detail can be found in games like Superworld, Call of Cthulhu and supplements like The Magic Book.
Character creation MythrasBy assigning points to skills based on culture, career and personal interests. Social class table, family, enemies and allies, and fantasy background events. Basic RoleplayingBy assigning points to skills based on personality type, profession and personal interests. Wealth level. Optional cultural bonuses. Optional personality traits and distinctive features.
Characteristic rolls MythrasThey are standard skills starting at characteristic + characteristic): Brawn, Endurance, Evade, Willpower… so characteristics see little use after character creation. Basic RoleplayingCharacteristics can be rolled as generic skills: STRx5, CONx5, DEXx5, INTx5, etc. Education is an optional characteristic.
Charisma MythrasFacilitates skill advancement. Limits the amount of spirits you can bind if using the animism magic system. Basic RoleplayingIt only influences social skills and the CHAx5 roll.
Passions MythrasAutomatic augment to a fitting skill by +1/5 of the Passion %. Basic RoleplayingAugment of up to +50% or subtract -10% (or suffer despair) to a fitting skill depending on the roll's result.
Sanity MythrasRules for sanity and madness are only included in the Mythras Companion and the White Death scenario. Basic RoleplayingIncludes sanity rules. Detailed rules for madness are in Call of Cthulhu.
Status/Wealth MythrasSocial class, plus equipment cost specified in coins. Basic RoleplayingStatus skill and Wealth determine what equipment can be purchased. You roll Status to acquire items above your Wealth level.
Degrees of success Mythras4 Basic Roleplaying5
Skills MythrasProfessional skills and Standard skills. Few skills but more generic: Athletics, Stealth, Perception… Basic RoleplayingMany specific skills: Jump, Climb, Hide, Stealth, Spot, Listen…
Opposed rolls MythrasThe best level of success wins. In case of same level of success, the highest roll wins. Basic Roleplaying3 options: the best level of success wins. In case of same level of success, the highest roll wins. Opposed skill subtraction, or one roll on the Resistance table.
Difficulty modifiers Mythras6 levels from "Very Easy" (double the skill) to "Herculean" (1/5 skill). Alternatively, straight modifiers such as +40% for "Very Easy". Basic RoleplayingDouble skill value for "Easy" rolls or half skill value for "Difficult" rolls.
Luck/Fate points MythrasLuck points allow rerolls, reading rolls backwards, avoiding major wounds or an extra action point. Basic RoleplayingFate points allow rerolls. POWx5 is used to determine if a PC gets lucky.
Actions in combat MythrasDetermined by action points (usually 2-3). DEX and INT determine action points. Initiative roll determines order of action. Alternatively: everyone gets 2 action points. Basic Roleplaying1 Action or Attack per turn plus any number of parries or dodges. Characters act in Dexterity (DEX) order.
Combat skills MythrasCombat style skill encompasses several weapons and includes a trait. Basic RoleplayingIndependent skills for weapon classes, such as axe, polearm, club, rifle, shotgun, etc.
Combat effects on top of damage MythrasAttacks or defences scoring a success level higher than the opponent's inflict a special effect (32 to pick): Bypass Armour, Disarm, Choose Location, Impale, Rapid Reload, Blind Opponent, etc. Basic RoleplayingUnparried critical attacks cause maximum damage and ignore armour. Special attacks inflict an additional effect for slashing, crushing, entangling, or impaling weapons. Attacks to aim or to subdue have a Difficult mod.
Parrying MythrasEvery parry or dodge requires spending 1 action point.  Basic RoleplayingEvery parry after the first has a cumulative -30% modifier.
Dodging MythrasEvading leaves you prone (except if you have a particular trait). Basic RoleplayingDodging does not leave you prone.
Passive parry MythrasWeapons can be used to passively protect some locations. Basic RoleplayingOnly shields can passively protect some locations, and only projectiles.
Hit points MythrasOnly location hit points. You die when one of your locations suffers as much damage as twice or equal its hit points. Basic RoleplayingTotal hit points and optional location hit points. You die when your total hit points reach 0, so you can die from accumulated wounds.
Fatigue MythrasFatigue is counted in levels (Winded, Tired, Wearied...). Basic RoleplayingFatigue is an optional rule counted in Fatigue points.
Formation combat MythrasWhen combatants have the appropriate trait, they substract an action point from their adversaries. Basic Roleplaying-
Mass combat MythrasRules are in the supplement Ships & Shieldwalls. These rules are based on units fighting each other. Basic RoleplayingAbstracted through opposed Strategy rolls, and/or played as small engagements at the appropriate level, with Luck rolls determining additional damage due to the battle chaos.
Chases MythrasRules are included in the Mythras Companion. You can also use the rules for crafting items. Basic RoleplayingOpposed rolls move participants along a range track. Vehicular chases include manoeuvers.
Social combat MythrasRules are included in the Mythras Companion. You can also use the rules for crafting items. Basic Roleplaying-
Training MythrasRequires spending experience points and studying with a teacher. Basic RoleplayingRequires studying with a teacher or on your own.
Bestiary MythrasThe corebook includes 60 fantasy creatures/animals (centaurs, elves, dwarves, minotaurs, halflings, iqari, etc.); Mythras Imperative adds a xenomorphic alien. Basic RoleplayingIncludes 30 animals, 18 fantasy creatures (centaurs, elves, dwarves....), 7 summoned creatures (angel, water elemental...), 6 science fiction creatures (aliens, robots), and 23 NPCs from different genres (pirate, police officer, supervillain...)
Character progression MythrasAfter an adventure you get an amount of experience points you can spend in experience rolls to increase any skill. If you succeed in these rolls, you gain 1D4+1 points in the skill, and only 1 if you fail. You must spend points if you want new spells or powers. Basic RoleplayingAfter an adventure you get experience rolls in all rolls successfully used. If you succeed in the experience roll, you gain between 1D6 and 1D10 (or just 3) points in that skill. New spells and powers are acquired by spending time and resources.
Magic systems MythrasFolk magic (low power spells, only 1 skill needed), theism (miracles from the gods), animism (shamans making fetishes and binding spirits), sorcery, and mysticism (self-enhancing talents a la warrior monks). Mythras Imperative includes some superpowers, but the game Destined includes more. Psionic powers in the Luther Arkwright book. Basic RoleplayingMagic (spells from several sources), sorcery (magic from grimoires), psychic powers, mutations, and superpowers. The Magic Book supplement includes spirit magic, divine magic and sorcery from RuneQuest 3rd ed.
Spirit combat MythrasIncludes attacks and parries, and its own special effects. Basic RoleplayingPsychic combat is a series of opposed rolls.
Resisting magic MythrasOpposed roll between the target's Endurance, Willpower or Evade vs the caster's appropriate magic skill roll. Basic RoleplayingPOW vs POW opposed roll.
Cults/Guilds MythrasGuidelines for creating them and 3 samples. Basic Roleplaying-
Content under the ORC license MythrasOnly the rules in Mythras Imperative, which includes some not in the corebook: simplified PC creation, 31 careers, power levels, passions, combat with 32 special effects, weapons and firearms, vehicle rules with 13 samples and rules to create your own, 2 magic systems ("Magic" with 23 spells and 17 superpowers), 10 creatures and 21 abilities to create your own. Basic RoleplayingThe whole book.

There are obviously many more differences, but they are pretty minor, so I have focused on the most relevant ones. If you have questions or comments, please let me know below! For further details, you can read my reviews of Mythras and Basic Roleplaying


It is difficult to judge which one is the best, as that will depend on your intended use and your personal taste. I prefer the magic systems in Mythras, as for example superpowers are always on and you only spend power points to increase their effect. I also love the social combat rules. On the other hand, Basic Roleplaying includes rules for chases, while the rules for that in the Mythras Companion look too complicated to me. The thing with some of the subsystems in Mythras (like chases, spirit combat and social combat) is that they all include special effects. One of the pros is that they add a lot of variety and make scenes narrate themselves. However, one of the cons is that they can induce some analysis-paralysis, and mastering when to use each of them is an art that takes time, so f.ex. you cannot introduce a social combat scene all of a sudden in a campaign and expect your players to play with these rules well right off the bat.

The key point is if you like the crunchier, more tactical combat Mythras offers (with all its special effects), or if you prefer the simplicity of combat in Basic Roleplaying. If your players love choosing the best special effect during combats, this system shines. But if they are easily overwhelmed by options, or your campaign does not focus on combat, it becomes too much. At any rate, the best thing is, both systems are similar enough that you can import all the rules you like to your favourite one or mix and match as you please. Play them both!

But, what if you want to publish your own RPG or scenario based on either of these rulesets thanks to the ORC License? Then you need to decide which rules most fit your game or scenario. Basic Roleplaying offers more rules to choose from (the whole book), but maybe you prefer some of the rules included in Mythras Imperative instead. It looks like it would be possible to use both ORC licenses in the same product, so you could use rules from both in one publication, but I am not a lawyer, and I do not know if that could cause some kind of trouble. I also have not managed to find any clear answers on the Internet. If you are thinking of creating your own D100 game, you may want to look at this list of D100 settings. Also, if you want to check out any of these rulesets for free, download Mythras Imperative and the Basic Roleplaying Quickstart.

The Basic Roleplaying Quickstart and the Mythras Imperative, both free to download.

So what is your favourite multi-genre D100 ruleset? Which rules are your favourites from both systems? I honestly want both to thrive, because I love both. Let me know your opinion in the comments below!

miércoles, 13 de marzo de 2024

Cults of RuneQuest: Mythology, a review

2 comentarios

Glorantha is a fantasy world with an incredibly rich set of myths and legends. It has sometimes been described as the fantasy world created by a mythologist (Greg Stafford), in the same way Middle Earth was created by a linguist (Tolkien). Put in another way, the same way Middle Earth was an exercise in fictional languages, Glorantha is an exercise in fictional mythology. Like Middle Earth, Glorantha is also a setting for all kinds of games like RuneQuest, so with myths being such a key component of Glorantha, surely there must books about them, right? The answer is the series of supplements Cults of RuneQuest that detail the myths and magic of many Gloranthan deities, grouped by elemental affinities. Acting as a sort of introductory volume of this series, the supplement Cults of RuneQuest: Mythology deals with Gloranthan mythology in general, accompanied with lots of great visual aids. On the back cover of this book, we are told that it is "an indispensable history of the mythology of (...) Glorantha", and "an explanation of myths and mythology and how it works in Glorantha". But is this book what the blurb promises? And how useful is it for GMs running a roleplaying game in Glorantha? Let's have a look.

N.B.: Chaosium sent me a copy of the book so I could write this review. However, this has not influenced my opinion, as I point out both the good and the bad. If you feel I have been partial, please let me know!

The excellent cover by Loïc Muzy, with the goddess Vinga in the center, shows how diverse Gloranthan mythology is.
The rune below stands for "divinity".

To begin with, the Foreword by Greg Stafford and the Introduction set about to clarify many basic terms dealing with the nature of mythology in Glorantha. For example, the relationship between myths and truth, the difference between myths, legends, and folk tales, what is a cult, what is time, what is magic, or what is heroquesting. Just reading this section already puts you in the right frame of mind to understand Glorantha. It also includes a wonderful piece of art about the cosmology of Glorantha: a transversal view of the world from the Sky Realm down to the Underworld. This, together with an basic map of the whole of Glorantha in a brief section of the main regions of the world broadly defines its mythical as well as earthly realms. 

The Contents page - Click on the image to enlarge

One of the key points made in the book more than once is that myths explain why the world is the way it is, because they are the deeds of the gods and those deeds established the rules of reality. But, at the same time, mythology is variable and dependent on every culture's point of view. This section could have done with some more examples (see further down), but for instance, in Glorantha the sun does not set every day "just because"; according to the Storm worshippers' myth "The Contests", the sun sets because the sun god was killed during the God Time, and so he dies every day. But then the Sun worshippers' myth (as told in "The Ten Copper Plates of Yuthuppa") claims the sun god was not really killed, but disintegrated into six parts after witnessing the appalling murder of his son, who he had appointed to rule the world. Both myths are true, even if they contradict each other, because they are both facets of the original event, which is only accessible through limited cultural knowledge, lenses and biases.

The introduction spells out concepts like "What is a cult?" or "What is the God Time?"

However, Greg Stafford knew that having a bunch of contradicting myths is a mess when you want to learn about the general background of a setting, even if it makes the most sense worldbuilding-wise. That is probably why he created the Jrustelan Monomyth. This is an in-world compilation of myths placed in order to create a coherent narrative. It takes some myths as "truer" than others, and makes them fit a unified mythic history of the world. This is a generic approach or synthesis to what happened during the God Time, when the gods interacted with each other and shaped the world. It is by nature highly imperfect, but useful anyway to understand how Glorantha was created and how it changed during the God Time.

This wonderful piece of art and its accompanying text box details the different realms that make up Glorantha

In fact, Cults of RuneQuest: Mythology tells the Monomyth of Glorantha in two different ways. First, in the section of that very name you get a narration of the mythical events that shaped Glorantha through its different ages in the God Time. For the sake of completion, you also get a summary of the historical events of the First, Second, and Third Ages after the beginning of Time (the "current times" in this edition of RuneQuest is the Third Age). However, this unified tale has a slight bias towards the Lightbringer deities and the Orlanthi pantheon. Therefore, the mythical events have these gods as protagonists, and the historical events focus on the region of central Genertela (Dragon Pass, Prax, the Lunar Empire), which is the one the RuneQuest rulebook is mainly focused on.

The Monomyth tells you a coherent mythic history of Glorantha with relevant myths interspersed along the main text.

Fortunately, this is followed by another section with wonderful maps of each of the mythic ages of the creation of Glorantha offering a much bigger scope. Rather than focusing on the myths of the Lightbringers, the maps encompass bits of many different mythologies at once. Every map is marked with many locations and some mythic events, and each of them gets a brief description. This offers a much wider overview of what is going on in different places during a particular age. Since the marked items are taken from a wider variety of cultures, including the Malkioni and Vadeli from the far west, the Kralorelans and Vithelans from the far east, and the Pamaltelan from the south, all interspersed with some mythic events of the Elder Races, you can see in very general terms how all these different mythologies intersect and overlap at certain points. This is done by attaching to every snippet of information the in-world source it comes from, as every culture's mythology is by definition subjective and therefore limited. Not only it gives the reader a good overview of every God Time age, but it also shows how varied mythology is, and how impossible it is for actual Gloranthans to have a full picture of the events unless they analyze many myths from distant regions.

The Greater Darkness is the age of Glorantha before Time when the world came to the brink of total annihilation

All these locations and events from places and cultures far away from central Genertela (summarized from Greg Stafford's drafts such as Revealed Mythologies) makes a coherent whole out of a rich patchwork of mythic details. Actually, it is the first book in the current edition of RuneQuest where you can see how vast and varied Glorantha really is, at least as far as myths go. Of course, it is extremely useful if you are the GM, or if you are just interested in knowing more about the depth of this setting, but it is by no means necessary for players. In fact, it may even be beneficial if players do not read this, as they will roleplay their characters limited to what they know of their small corner of mythology. As for GMs and casual readers, it is fun to read the map locations and then try to find them on the map.

These ages before the creation of Time are now only accessible to Gloranthans through heroquesting, so you can use these maps as a source of inspiration to create new myths. You can also use them to explain what your adventurers come across when they explore the Hero Plane, or when something goes terribly wrong during a heroquest and they find themselves in another place, myth or age. Each cult has easier access to some of these ages during holy ceremonies, as specified in other books like Cults of RuneQuest: The Lightbringers or Cults of RuneQuest: The Earth Goddesses under "Otherworld Home". Still, the topic of heroquesting (or interacting with the God Time) is missing a central piece to make the puzzle complete, as the RuneQuest rules for heroquesting will be revealed in the forthcoming RuneQuest Gamemaster's Guide. The only bad thing I can say about these maps is that they should be bigger in order to better read all the markings, and that some locations are not marked (for example, Tinsnip Mountain or the Unworldly Marsh as far as the Golden Age goes).

Some basic concepts about heroquesting and a brief rundown of the heroquests the Orlanthi hero Harmast undertook

These mythic maps are not new though. They were included in the Guide to Glorantha (see page 680), and before that in some of the Stafford Library books. However, in Cults of RuneQuest: Mythology they are updated, expanded, and more accessible. For example, the section about the Golden Age in the Guide has around 30 entries, while the one in Mythology has 66! The Glorantha Sourcebook also includes some rough mythic maps (e.g. page 99), but they are rather basic and limited in comparison, as they do not cover the whole of Glorantha like the ones in Mythology.

Similarly, if you own the old Gods of Glorantha box set for RuneQuest 3rd edition (published in 1985), you will notice it covers some of the topics included in Cults of RuneQuest: Mythology. The difference is that the new version is also heavily expanded with many new sections and myths, and gorgeously illustrated. It is not a word-for-word repetition. The Glorantha Sourcebook also includes sections about the runes, the lands of Genertela, the famous heroes, and the different pantheons. The main deities of Glorantha are described in more detail in The Glorantha Sourcebook (it has more pages, after all), but the series of Cults of RuneQuest books include all that detail and more in every particular book of the series, such as The Lightbringers and The Earth Goddesses. Besides, Cults of RuneQuest: Mythology has a wider scope, as it covers mythical events of cultures from many more lands, even if in a fragmentary fashion.

Aside from these sections, the authors try to explain how mythology interacts with individuals in a brief chapter called Understanding Mythology. It deals with the different ways of getting in touch with myths, and how cults fulfill important needs for their members which have little to do with getting cool powers for your character. It also tries to explain how cults are mediators between individuals and the gods, and how cults influence society, and vice versa. The book uses examples from ancient religions and from Glorantha's mythology to illustrate this, which makes me think it was an attempt to include some of the examples I found missing in the earlier sections.

Part of the "Understanding Mythology" section which includes a description of the main solar deities

However, at times the text becomes a bit wordy, so I had to reread it in order to grasp the points the author makes. Also, perhaps it would have been better to merge this section with the introduction to unify all the explanations. For example, the introduction includes several paragraphs about what cults are, and Understanding Mythology expands upon this topic. It would have been better to have the answers to questions like "What is the God Time?" followed by how the God Time still influences societies. Despite that, the fact the section uses as a main example the main solar gods balances a bit the Storm mythology bias on the preceding section about the Monomyth. Moreover, this chapter is essential to understand how much thought was put into making the cults of Glorantha believable, so it can also be a good guide for creating your own fictional religions, for any RPG.

The section Catalogue of the Gods includes the wonderful genealogies by Katrin Dirim showing the relationships between the deities of every elemental pantheon, as well as the gods of Chaos and the animals. Each particular book of the Cults of RuneQuest series of supplements includes the corresponding genealogy as well, but here they all together so the reader can see the full picture. Only the genealogy of plants is missing (included in The Earth Goddesses supplement). Interestingly, with the PDF of this book comes a separate image of the unified genealogies so you can see them all on the same page and how they relate to each other. You can stare at it for hours!

The stunning genealogies by Katrin Dirim allow you to visualize a whole pantheon of gods at a glance

While the style of the genealogies in The Glorantha Sourcebook is inspired by Indian iconography, the ones in Mythology are clearly inspired by Mesoamerican and Egyptian iconography. This makes them feel different but also ancient and believable, and the artist has managed to squeeze more deities in them, so they are more complete. You will notice that some deities have full bodies while others are depicted in a more symbolic way. For example: the demigoddess Hon-Eel has a full body, while Jar-Eel is depicted only as her weapons and harp. This was done on purpose by the artist: the deities with a full body depiction have full cult write-ups in this series of supplements, while the rest are subcults or do not have their cults detailed. 

In the book, every genealogy is accompanied by a brief description of the main deities in it, so it is a handy quick guide as to who is who. One of the most intriguing details is the section about the portions of Yelm. Who is Berneel Ashagorn? Who is Enverinus? To know more about these gods and others that are left undescribed, you either need to check the Prosopaedia or the myths in the corresponding Cults of RuneQuest book. I think the gods that do get descriptions here are the ones whose cults are detailed in each particular supplement, so here you can see which ones are going to be included in the yet unpublished ones. Moreover, these genealogies help the reader identify many of the deities depicted on the stunning four-page illustration of the Monomyth by Agathe Pitié. This is so detailed you can stare at it for hours, although the book does not explicitly explain anything about it.

Near the end, the book includes a section about the "Universal Cult Format" or template used to describe the cults in the Cults of RuneQuest supplements. Here you can read what you can expect to find under each section of the cults' description, such as "Life After Death" or "Cult Organization", which goes to show this book is really an introduction to the Cults of RuneQuest series of books. It includes some snippets of interesting information like "How Cults Change", and it can be useful as a guide to create your own cults. Still, it is the least interesting section of the book for me, because you can also extract this information by checking out the cults described in the cult books like The Lightbringers or The Lunar Way. Moreover, half of this section repeats information already present in the RuneQuest rulebook, such as the temple sizes, and the general requirements and benefits for every cult rank: lay members, initiates, priesthood and rune lords.

The section of the Universal cult format includes an interesting text box about "What happens on a holy day"

On the one hand, it is convenient to have everything relating to cults in one place, but on the other, some readers will consider it a waste of space. On top of that, these sections have been updated with small changes, which is good, but it also makes parts of the corebook no longer reliable. For example, to become Chief or High Priest you do no longer need at least CHA 15 and 90% in 3 Knowledge skills as stated in the rulebook. Some points have been clarified like "initiates of a cult may participate in the rites of associated deities and replenish their Rune points", which makes this aspect of the game more flexible. Another welcome bit is that the functions of a temple now include "Skill Training" and "Improving Runes", like training any other skill. There is not only guidance on what skills can be trained at every temple size, but also a table with training costs, and an expanded Spirit Magic Spells cost. I think this was already included in The Red Book of Magic, as well as the section on devising new Rune Spells.

Finally, the Cult Distribution Charts show what percentage of the population of each particular kingdom worships what deities. This is useful to know what temples your characters can find in faraway places, who are the most revered deities in each land, or to randomly determine what gods an NPC worships. There are charts for elves and trolls, and even for Praxian tribes such as the Rhino Tribe and all the kingdoms in the Lunar Empire. On top of that, it includes the first political map of central Genertela published in this edition of RuneQuest! It would have been cool to also include a chart for Pavis and the Praxian Sun County, and even more "fringe" Elder Races, like beast men from Beast Valley, ludoch from the Rozgali Sea and Choralinthor Bay, or heretic dwarves from Dragon Pass and Pavis.

This stunning piece of art by Lionel Marty illustrates the section about the Empire of the Wyrms Friends of the Second Age

So, is this a useful book to have?

Mythology contains little game content and so it is not as immediately useful as the rest of the books in the series for running a game of RuneQuest. However, it is definitely useful to get a solid grasp of the general mythical history of Glorantha, to understand why myths are so central in Glorantha, and to get a basic overview of the great variety of mythologies it encompasses. Therefore, it is an interesting read also for people who are just curious about this fantasy setting, and want to know "what Glorantha is about". Moreover, the "Universal Cult Format" and the cult distribution charts contain useful information for GMs, but also for players, for example, if you want to create an adventurer from Sylila and want to know what are the main gods worshipped there.

A map of the world of Glorantha illustrates the section on the main regions of the two main continents

All in all, it is a useful, lavishly illustrated book. Although it is somewhat less useful for veteran RuneQuest GMs who already have books about Gloranthan mythology from previous editions, the expanded mythic maps alone should tempt them to buy the book. In fact, this whole series of supplements is a much expanded, improved and better-looking version than the old Gods of Glorantha and Cults of Prax supplements, so if you liked those, you are probably going to absolutely love these.

My only actual disappointment is that even at 158 pages, it is a tad too short. It deserved to be more ambitious. For example, I would have liked to find more full myths, especially from cultures far away from central Genertela, and I would have liked to see chart distribution tables for all the regions of the world. Of course, then it might have been too much for some readers. In short:

The best:

  • The art by Loïc Muzy, Lionel Marty, Ossi Hiekkala, Katrin Dirim and Francesca Baerald.
  • The updated and expanded mythic maps of the God Time show how diverse Glorantha is.
  • The detailed genealogies are a quick visual reference to who is who.
  • The cult distribution charts are useful for GMs and players.
  • Good overview of the mythical history of Glorantha.
  • Great read if you are interested in mythology in general and/or fictional mythology in RPGs.

The worst:

  • Several texts are labelled as myths but are not really myths, like "What Happens in Sacred Time?" or "Gold Wheel Dancers", so the blurb on the back cover is a bit misleading when it claims it contains "dozens of Gloranthan myths".
  • A book titled "Mythology" should have contained dozens of myths more! :-P
  • There are bits of repeated information from other books like the rulebook, The Glorantha Sourcebook, The Red Book of Magic and The Guide to Glorantha.

Watch me flipping through the hardcover book in a minute or so:

You can purchase a copy of Cults of RuneQuest: Mythology at Chaosium's website in hardcover format for 40$ (which includes the PDF), or only in PDF for 20$. The PDF is also available from DrivethruRPG. You can also buy the hardcover book at your FLGS (if it is part of the Bits and Mortar initiative, you will also get the PDF for free). I hope you have found my review helpful. If you already have read the book, do you agree 100% with my assessment? If you have any comments, I'd be delighted to read them below, and reply to any questions you may have.

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