[Runequest] [MRQ] Empire Builder

David Smart jurrubin at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 23:45:31 EST 2009

On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 1:41 AM, Tony <postmaster at runequest.za.org> wrote:

> Has anyone here bought the MRQ Empire Builder (i think thats the name)
> book? If so, what can you say about it. Is it good, is it very MRQ
> specific or more generic like the old RQ Cities (Midkemia Cities).
> Regards
> Tony

Yes, I have. It's titled "Empires".

One word..


Or rather..Drooool!

This supplement is very, very different from "Cities", being chock full of
rules and ideas on the building and running of empires. It provides details
on the economics of empires, the effects of both religion and magic on
empires, how empires wage war, and how empires (and kingdoms) can come into
being and/or fail and break apart.

It also expands upon the roles of the nobility, providing details on the
differences between the levels of nobility in term of fief incomes, the
roles and responsibilities of nobility to both their subjects and those
above them, and the effects of their political standing within a realm and
upon the "mood" of the populace.

Additionally, it includes rules for the construction and maintenance of
various buildings ranging from shrines and smithies to castles and
cathedrals and incorporates the effects of weather and various seasonal
events on realms.

Empires not only provides background for any RQ campaign, its rules fit
seamlessly with the character-driven RQ rules, allowing a GM to run a
campaign at the metagame level while providing a more immersive environment
for players. It gives a GM more than enough info to bring the players into
the arena of high-level politics as the players increase in power and
influence. With Empires, RQ players can truly become nobles and even heads
of state and experience the benefits, and headaches, that come with taking
on such lofty positions.

I've been playing RQ in its various iterations for decades (literally) and
this is one of the most useful RQ supplements I've seen in all that time.

When I put together a campaign, I get some enjoyment in including some
metagame events that will occur regardless of what the players do. The
details in the supplement make this much, much easier and have pointed out
aspects of kingdoms I hadn't considered or even though of.

A GM can literally solo-play a high-level strategic game at the empire,
kingdom, and even city-state levels and use the results to expand on his
multi-player campaign. The only other RPG I personally have seen that allows
this is Harn. And, IMO, the MRQ rules are more streamlined yet still
extremely useful.
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