I appreciate what Steffan was trying to do with this session. As far as I can tell, he was trying to share his passion and enthusiasm about the world of Glorantha with a table of players by taking them through one of the foundational publications in the RuneQuest line. We played through a short dungeon in Big Rubble to recover a piece of historically-important armor. The dungeon itself had no more than 2 dozen rooms, many of which were empty. There were three NPCs who didn't attack on sight. There were two combats: one with a ghost that did a sort of psychic attack (clearly meant to scare players away) and a final combat with some trolls. Sounds simple, right?
The issues are in the presentation. Getting started took over an hour of the four-hour slot. We had the entire history of Glorantha's governments, religions, and history explained to us ad nauseum. The pre-generated characters were all identical in all but weapons and cult affiliation. These pre-gens were supposed to be seasoned heroes going back home, which meant they were drastically overpowered for the encounters provided. Talking to Steffan after the game, he explained that the deadliness of RuneQuest's hit location system meant that he felt that he had to give players these godlike characters to play.
The end result of all of this was a sluggish, boring adventure, free from challenge or surprise, and a GM I prefer to not game with again. The four hours felt like eight, and even the prospect of my character dying to give me an early, polite out wasn't available.
City of Mystery, of Enchantment, of Boredom, of Overpowered characters, of Irrelevant Detail and History… | January 13, 2020