[Runequest] Reissues was Re: Runequest Digest, Vol 30, Issue 7

Bruce Mason mason.bruce at gmail.com
Thu Nov 4 19:55:59 EST 2010

On 4 November 2010 08:02, Lev Lafayette <lev at rpgreview.net> wrote:

> On Thu, 2010-11-04 at 12:51 +0800, David Cake wrote:
> >       My understanding is none.
> >       Mongoose have released a new edition of their own RuneQuest,
> > significantly different in rules, which they are calling RuneQuest 2,
> > but I think everyone but them will probably be calling MRQ2 in order
> > to avoid confusion.
> I think that will be the case. I must admit when I first heard the
> announcement I thought they were re-releasing RQII and was a little
> annoyed with the naming choice. As were a number of other people;
> http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=488885

I reckon it takes a certain amount of wilful misunderstanding to somehow
think that Mongoose was re-releasing Chaosium's second edition of RQ
especially as the Chaosium edition was not actually called RQ2 until well
after the advent of the Avalon Hill version. If you actually look at what
was published:
Chaosium published two editions both called RuneQuest on the cover
Avalon Hill published one edition, called RuneQuest on the cover
There was an unpublished attempt that was to be called RuneQuest: Adventures
in Glorantha
Avalon Hill almost published a game that was to be called RuneQuest (now
available from the authors for free as RuneQuest: Slayers I believe)
Mongoose published an edition called RuneQuest on the cover.
They then published a new edition called RuneQuest II.
To date it is the only published edition of RuneQuest that is not simply
called "RuneQuest"* Everything else is a lay usage (usually RQ2 and RQ3).
Naturally there are some people fighting culture wars but that's their
choice (after all there are Dr Who fans who refuse to watch the new series
because they are named Series 1-5 rather than Season 27+). Personally I
would have called it RQV but that's because I think it looks cooler than
RQII and I've been playing RQ since around 1981 and I have my books and
boxes neatly lined up in chronological order on my shelf.

As for the relationship, Mongoose's two editions are mostly derived from RQ2
rather than RQ3. In fact I would say that in 90% of the choices that
Chaosium made when moving between RQ2 and RQ3, Mongoose took a different
path so the "fork" is from an earlier edition. Mongoose RQ also breaks with
several BRP conventions by removing the Resistance table and characteristic
rolls, relying more heavily on opposed rolls and keeping locational Hit
Points rather than total Hit Points. In terms of a BRP uncle, it's something
like a cousin who emigrated to Australia (assuming of course you're not

*There is one exception that I know of which is that Games Workshop put
"third edition" on the cover of their hardbacks.
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