Glorantha has been a world of continuous revelation since its discovery by Greg Stafford in the 1960s. For over 40 years Gloranthan details have been revealing themselves in new publications, and these have become refined or changed as new discoveries and revelations have been made. With the emergence of the world as a roleplaying setting, Gamemasters and players have made the world their own and interpreted it in their own way. Combined with an active fanbase, the subject of canon has been for some a contentious issue in Glorantha.
Does Canon Matter?
Canon matters for official publications and for authors writing those publications. For your campaigns and adventures, for fanzines, or fan websites, Your Glorantha Will Vary. We strive to ensure that official publications stick to canon so that your Glorantha can vary as much or as little as you want. However, that is a restriction on our interpretations of Glorantha, not yours. Again, always remember Your Glorantha Will Vary.
The among the most important Gloranthan works are:
The Guide to Glorantha
King of Sartar
From the Stafford Library
The Glorious ReAscent of Yelm
What about the old Chaosium/Avalon Hill material?
That material is largely (probably 95%) still compatible, although here and there some bits have been supplanted by the Guide to Glorantha and newer publications. For example, the pseudo-medieval Glorantha West presented in the Genertela boxed set is no longer canonical (ironically, we largely rely on Greg’s older writings on the Gloranthan West). But we still heavily rely on Trollpack, the Prosopaedia, Cults of Prax, and Cults of Terror, as well as on White Bear & Red Moon, and Nomad Gods. Bear in mind as well that RuneQuest Glorantha has a starting date so much of the older material deals with events that are now historical.
What about the Mongoose Runequest material?
The Mongoose Gloranthan material is not compatible. With the exception of the sterling work that Robin Laws, Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash did within the absurd deadlines given by Mongoose for writing these books, we were generally very disappointed with the quality and artistic fidelity that Mongoose took to the source material. Greg and I have not relied on or referred to the Mongoose material at all in creating the Guide or any other work.
Are The Book of Heortling Mythology and Esrolia:Land of Ten Thousand Goddesses considered canonical?
Yes. I didn’t include them in the list because:
- Esrolia: The Land of Ten Thousand Goddesses is very incomplete. It is more complete for the God Time and the First Age, less complete for the Second Age, and not at all complete for the Third Age. As a result, elements in it could change.
- The Book of Heortling Mythology is a collection of myths. It is not comprehensive – just all the stories we had at that time. Those stories will get contradicted because that is in the nature of myth.