One good thing to come out of the lockdown - I’ve started up an RPG game for the first time in years. A year or two back there was a new edition of RuneQuest, probably my favourite game, and I’ve been picking up the books as they’ve emerged. I made a vague effort to find some players last autumn to no avail, but now have three people willing to gamble on my extremely rusty GMing skills.

We’re obviously playing remotely. I looked at Roll20, but this just felt like too much to learn on top of everyone else having to learn enough of the rules to play and get used to roleplaying in the first place. Of the group, only me and one other (an old friend with whom I used to play years back) have any experience - the other two are complete newbies to roleplaying, let alone RuneQuest and Glorantha. So we’ve gone with Google Meet, which has been working pretty well. We also use Drive to share things - a copy of the Quickstart rules, handouts, maps, character sheets, etc.

I considered going through the character creation process as a good way to learn the rules, but given I’m currently the only person with core book I decided to go with the pre-gen characters instead, so created online versions of their character sheets and gave the players a choice of a few options. It seemed a better introduction just to start playing, rather than spending hours with each person on a call wading through character generation. If the game keeps going someone will no doubt perish at some point too far from the nearest Chalana Arroy temple, so we’ll get a chance to do this then and hopefully they’ll have enough background for this to help everything bed in and make a bit more sense.

We kicked off with the scenario from the Quickstart, which we played over three sessions of around two hours each. We’ve now moved on to a modified version of the first Apple Lane adventures from the Screen Pack, and I’ve been seeding the games with some extras of my own and links to things from other published material so we’ve got plenty of options to take the campaign in various directions depending on what kind of game style we eventually settle in to.

It’s been going well so far - everyone seems to be enjoying the sessions. Picking up the rules is a bit slow going, difficult over the internet with most only having access to the Quickstart rules, but we’re getting there. Staying in character is a bit of a challenge, particularly for the newbies, but hopefully we can develop the role-playing aspects as the rules bed in and we all get a bit more comfortable and less self-conscious.

I think the structure is working so far. We’ve gone for fairly short sessions of around two hours, although sometimes I think three might be better particularly with breaks. I’ve tried to structure things so we reach a natural conclusion every three or four sessions, so that we could take a break, or players who can’t commit to the next block can drop out without spoiling the experience for everyone else too much. This week’s session is planned for Sunday and will probably be the final one in the second block, leaving us at the start of Wild Season 1625 which might involve a trip to the Shaker Temple in Tarsh or a visit to the Rainbow Mounds and the Black Altar after some strange events around Hound Knob… then on to Sacred Time, which may warrant a standalone session as Kallyr Starbrow attempts a Heroquest with repercussions for the whole of Sartar.

I hope game continues to work and we can keep it going, even past the lockdown (whenever that may be, despite the current move towards relaxing it I suspect we’ll see a rise in infections again soon, but that’s another post). I’m starting to relax into GMing again and remembering why I used to enjoy this hobby.