Jeff Richard walks though some of the best fictional, factual, and historical inspirations you may want to look at to improve your RuneQuest games.
This is probably the single most useful snippet from the discussion on mythology, cults, and gaming, and it is actually a little preview of the Cults Book! But read carefully through this – the best way to understand Gloranthan mythology is to participate in it through gaming.
Four Ways to Experience These Stories
Myths carry layers of meaning, and their meaning is also imparted differently depending upon the position of the recipient.
You will probably read this book silently to yourself. The narration is necessarily externalized and will be from a distance. Only the mental facilities will be used. This is the weakest method of experiencing myth.
2. VERBAL RETELLING
To listen to someone else read or narrate these stories stimulates the listener far more than simply reading silently. The listener uses more senses, and more of the self is engaged and excited by sound, gesture, and surprise.
When the observer directly witnesses other people performing the myth, all senses become engaged, and external perspectives give depth to the narrative. Furthermore, observers will see things being done that are entirely absent from the verbal retelling. This is how a Gloranthan lay member experiences myth.
To actually participate in a dramatic myth provides the most power and impact. Perspective is more limited than witnessing, for naturally the participant must take care to play their part and not be distracted by other things. But incredible depth can be obtained from participating in key roles, by being observed by others, and in channeling the deity’s story. Participating in myth is part of the initiatory experience of every Gloranthan cult.
These are in order of weakest to best approach.
Where is the current best descriptions of the various and many myths? The best two published sources (the ones I use all the time) are:Glorantha Sourcebook & King of Sartar.
What about The Book of Heortling Mythology? Yes. Some of these clips have been in draft form for a long time. But remember, the Heortling Mythology book – LIKE ALL STAFFORD LIBRARY MATERIALS – was a draft not a finished copy. Greg was deeply ambivalent about whether it should have been published (and I share those concerns).