So as part of several projects I am working on, I’ve been thinking about easy entry points into the Battle of Heroes campaign.
First an explanation of terms. The Battle of Heroes campaign is a working title for the RQ that takes us from the default starting date of post-Dragonrise 1625 and gets our adventurers engaged in activities that hit their first climax at the Battle of Heroes in 1628. After that they engage in a changed and dynamic setting where the players’ decisions direct effect that setting. This is the meat and potatoes of Greg and my RQ campaigns.
It seems to me that there are two basic approaches taken in most RQ games that I have seen:
First is the clan- or tribe-based game. That’s the approach taken in Six Season, the default for the GM Adventures pack, etc. Most of the characters belong to the same clan or tribe. So for example, among the pregens Vasana, Yanioth, and Harmast all belong to the Ernaldoring clan of the Colymar tribe. But this could also be the Skullbat Clan of the Bison Riders Tribe or whatever. This requires more work in creating characters, but in my experience makes it easier to start and continue the campaign.
Second is the traditional “assorted adventurers” approach. This is the norm in most RPGs. The players make their characters who might be from many lands and many cults. They somehow end up working together – maybe as bandits, mercenaries, thieves, or just hired for a job from Gimpy’s. This is probably the easiest to create characters for (because you just make whatever) but in my experience also creates the most work for the gamemaster to keep the campaign rolling.
Both approaches can work for the Battle of Heroes campaign. In the first, the tribes of Sartar and Prax are the raw material for Argrath’s wars for Dragon Pass (just as the Macedonian and Thracian tribes were Alexander’s). Sooner or later, all of the tribes are going to get pulled into that struggle. In Sartar, you can introduce Kallyr as a trial run. In Prax, the White Bull society is already a vehicle to get things rolling.
The assorted adventurer approach might be a bit harder. Pavis/Big Rubble is a good entry point. Pavis is Argrath’s base in 1625-1626, so that is pretty easy. Other places get harder – although there are alway people willing to hire sellswords and adventurers to carry out jobs – especially in places like Boldhome or the other cities of Dragon Pass. How the adventurers do their jobs can have consequences and bring them into the orbit of the Hero Wars.
Things really pick up steam in 1627-1628. A new prince means plenty of opportunities, and there are assassination attempts, diplomatic missions, investigations, and more. And Argrath is definitely an equal opportunity employer. If your adventurers are important figures in their temples or tribes, they are going to be key figures and have the chance to go places unheard of.
What about murder hobos or organised Adventurer’s Guilds? While they exist in Glorantha, they are not approaches I am building in for the Battle of Heroes campaign. You can certainly do those, but they require more work on the part of the GM and players to fit it in. Just like they would require work for Pendragon.