Chaosium really knows how to put together a starter box, man. This thing is packed!

The thing in question, of course, is the RuneQuest Starter Set (2022). Within are FOUR booklets, all surprisingly dense (I will say, my one criticism for this box is I wish the cover stock was stiffer — these booklet feel fragile in a way that seems a bit counter to the use I’d expect a starter box to get). Among them is a rulebook (no character creation, detailed equipment lists or any of the advanced combat or magic stuff), a primer on Glorantha (which provides a detailed look at Jonstown, a city I feel that has lacked much official information), a solo adventure and a collection of three group adventures. In addition to the books, you get two maps (one of Sartar, one of the Rainbow Mounds), a bunch of reference sheets (including a clutch one for tracking strike ranks), and a pile of pre-generated characters featuring full page portraits and printed on these really decadent fold-out sheets, and a set of dice. A couple blanks are provided for custom characters, but like really fancy notebooks, I personally would never touch these with a pencil. Oh, and each pregen has a kind of pet, which is an excellent touch.

In substance, just like the Cthulhu starter, this is everything you need to ease into a fairly complex RPG ecosystem. The adventure selection does an excellent job of both entertaining and teaching new players what to expect from Glorantha — the first two scenarios actively undercut a lot of the reflexes players might have picked up from other RPGs. Every situation is more complicated than it seems at first blush, even in the third scenario, a re-tooling of a classic from the original Apple Lane book, one of the first published RQ adventures. These then segue nicely into Pegasus Plateau.

It’s pretty great!

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