[Runequest] Mongoose to release a new version of RQ II

Gary Sturgess gazza666 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 7 02:59:51 EST 2009

2009/11/6 Dale Long <dtl at internode.on.net>:
> Gary Sturgess wrote:
> You make the assumption that the value of the original RQ2 review is for the
> benefit of Chaosium.
> The reverse is potentially more problematic.

As in Mongoose might get a sale they haven't earned? Yes, possibly.
But even that's not a totally bad thing. If you like Mongoose, then it
at least gets new players to play RuneQuest, and there's always the
chance they'll find the better version they read about on ebay or
something. If you don't like them, then this will lead to them getting
an angry customer which will ultimately affect them poorly (though
that's a little spiteful for my tastes).

My point is basically this: ideally, Mongoose or some other company
would just be publishing RQ2 (I prefer RQ3, but that's not an argument
I care to have at this juncture), perhaps with better artwork or
possibly even some updated rules (it is not clear to me how die hard
RQ2 fans are, possibly any rule changes are heresy ;) ).

However, they're not. As it happens, nobody is publishing RQ2. Or RQ3.
So assuming we still want RQ players, then really they either get into
the Mongoose version or nothing. Well, there is another option of
course - that they go for BRP - but unfortunately whether Mongoose
call their product RuneQuest or "Mongoose's Crappy Game", it won't
help the fact that BRP is not immediately identifiable to those not in
the know as the updated mechanics for RQ.

> On the simple side, it is a misrepresentation.

Well, that's arguable.

I mean, the game we are all talking about as "RQ2" isn't actually
labelled that way. I hazard a guess, by the fact that RQ2 is still
remembered fondly at all, that RQ3 caused at least as big a schism as
anything Mongoose has ever done (not without reason, of course - RQ3
was not well handled by AH, at least initially).

Mongoose's RuneQuest - rightly or wrongly - was never marketed as
RuneQuest 4 (or 5, if you want to count AiG - 6 if you count Slayers).
So calling the second edition of their game RuneQuest 2 (although,
more likely, they'll call it Rune Quest Second Edition - a subtle but
not unimportant detail) is not really a misrepresentation. There's no
trademark involved. Yes, it means that there are 2 products called
RQ2, I guess, but most people "not in the know" would just call it
RuneQuest, and in that case there are half a dozen products that
shared that name before Mongoose even got the rights.

I guess I just don't see that this is a big deal. One more game called
Rune Quest when there are already so many is not going to cause the
sky to fall. I don't like Mongoose's version any more than the rest of
you, but they have the right to the name, and I don't really see that
putting out a second edition to their game is really particularly

> On the complex side, a sense of history and comparative perspective is lost,
> or at least harder to access, for newer players.

Could you elaborate on this? I'm unable to come up with plausible
scenarios where these newer players would be confused, which probably
means I'm missing your point.

> But then as you allude to, people are people, marketing is marketing, and no
> one remembers. Which is all double plus good.

We're not talking about Microsoft here, though - Mongoose aren't even
big in the RPG market, and the total size of that market is not really
very big (depressingly so for those of us that are into our fourth
decades - one wonders if our hobby will even exist 2 generations
hence). I'm not exactly a fan of the constant new revisions cycle that
it always seems we're getting from RPG companies, but then again the
suggestion is that this probably means core rules sell better than
anything else. That's kind of sad really, but if supplements and
adventures sold better one would assume that they would very rarely
produce core rule updates. I'm not sure what it says about the RPG
buying public in that we apparently prefer to buy rules than anything
else - I know I'm just as guilty as the next guy here.

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