“This book will take your players from the age of eight or nine to their initiation as adult members of their clan. The difficulty level and risks involved in scenarios will escalate throughout the book, but death or crippling injuries are unlikely. This chapter of the saga represents that fuzzy, golden-tinged period of each character’s life when the days ahead of them are endless, their potential limitless, and every adventure glorious. This book represents the God Time of your characters’ lives: their childhood. We hope they, and you, enjoy it. Darker days lie ahead.”
The above is from the introduction to Valley of Plenty, the first RPG book that my wife Peggy and I are releasing from our RPG company (currently called Crossroads Games, but that may be subject to change).
Valley of Plenty is the first volume in the Jaldonkillers Saga, a grand campaign that will span most of a PC’s lifetime and will fill up to four volumes. The Saga takes place in Glorantha, the beautifully deep fantasy world created by Greg Stafford. It’s written to use Chaosium’s Heroquest: Glorantha rules or the soon-to-be released Questworlds, which is an update of Heroquest. Both are strong narrative games with just enough mechanics to give some heft to the setting and not too much to interfere with the story.
In this case, that story is the tale of the Wildlings, a group of youngsters (the PCs) who are part of a clique centered on the tribal king’s middle and youngest daughters, Hara and Ula. The Wildlings begin the saga at the age of 9 as they compete with other cliques, like that of Hara’s older sister, Derinna, and get into scrapes that can escalate dramatically in the spirit-rich world of Glorantha. The book provides complete adventures and story-seeds for the characters at different ages, ranging from age 9 to their adult initiation at 15.
I’m very proud of the book, which is roughly 95% finished as I write this. Playtesting has shown that people have a ball playing their characters as kids – so much so that I actually had to run a couple of extra games for their 9-year-olds before they’d let me jump the plot ahead to check in on their 12-year-old selves without a mutiny! The PCs have become attached to various NPCs, their clan, and each other at a much deeper level than if I’d just tossed them into the action as adults with backstory. That’s a welcome proof of concept, because that and gradually introducing new players to the nuances of Glorantha were my main goals for Valley of Plenty.
You’ll see a lot of my art in the book, along with some great work by Tom Symonds, the fine digital artist who painted the cover for the Tomorrow’s War supplement, By Dagger or Talon. I know you’ll like Tom’s work – hopefully mine won’t look too amateurish in comparison!
Valley of Plenty is being released under Chaosium’s fan contribution program, The Jonstown Compendium, which can be found on DriveThruRPG.
I’ll talk more about this project and others in the next few days. If you have any questions about Valley of Plenty, Glorantha, or Heroquest, please let me know in the comments!
What is the Jaldonkillers Saga?
The Jaldonkillers Saga is a grand campaign that follows the careers of a band of Dundealos tribesmen known as The Wildlings through the destruction of their tribe, its reconstitution in exile, and the effort to reclaim its lost lands and glory. The saga begins in 1602 and stretches to the Dragonfall into the late 1620s and beyond. It is intended as a vehicle to support the development of characters from childhood to Herodom in a fluid but consistent setting in which they can experience adventures that involve them in everything from slice-of-life challenges to world changing conflicts.
The next book in the Saga, Lances at Dusk, is already in progress. In it, the characters from Valley of Plenty will witness the last desperate days of their tribe and the end of their cherished way of life.