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Monday 14 October 2019

#WeAreAllUs: The Rattling Wind

October 10th marks the first anniversary of Greg Stafford’s passing. To both commemorate that date and celebrate Greg’s contribution to the roleplaying hobby, Chaosium, Inc. is publishing not just one free scenario, but five. One for each of the major roleplaying games published by Chaosium, Inc. Either designed or influenced by Greg, they include RuneQuest: Roleplaying in GloranthaKing Arthur PendragonHeroQuest in GloranthaCall of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition, and 7th Sea. The aim of these releases is twofold. One is to showcase each of these worlds and roleplaying games, typically with a scenario that can be brought to the table with relative ease, whether that is your own or at a convention, but primarily the purpose is to get everyone sat round the table and playing since we are all roleplayers. In Greg’s words, that #WeAreAllUs.

The Rattling Wind is a scenario for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Runequest. Designed for between four and six characters of low to medium experience, and takes place in the lands of the Antorling Clan of the Colymar Tribe in the aftermath of the occupation by the Lunar Empire. It is thus suitable to be played after the events of ‘The Broken Tower’ from the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – QuickStart Rules and Adventure using the pre-generated characters from that scenario or perhaps added to a campaign in and around Apple Lane as detailed in the RuneQuest Gamemaster Screen Pack. The scenario could even be used as a one-shot using the pre-generated characters from the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – QuickStart Rules and Adventure as with a bit of pace, it could be completed in one good session. The scenario itself is a preview chapter from The Pegasus Plateau & Other Stories, a forthcoming adventures anthology.

The remote Antorling Clan hamlet of Farfield in the foothills of the Quivin Mountains near the Dog-Rat Valley is beset by the ‘Rattling Wind’, a ‘monster in the night’ that has attacked and killed locals once a week for the last three weeks. The adventurers may have been sent by their tribe, clan, or cult superiors, or be simply passing through, but either way, the villagers will beg for their help in dealing with the threat whose arrival is heralded by thunderous cadence and the shaking of shutters and windows as it passes. Each of the victims was found crushed. The villagers are desperate, but can only say that everything was fine until the Ducks moved into the area.

The Rattling Wind is an action-horror-mystery that uses a well-worn plot, but uses it to good effect. It comes with secrets and consequences and a handful of not always likeable NPCs, including a grumpy Duck! The adventurers will need to poke around a bit in order to uncover the first of the clues that will eventually reveal what is going on, but there are some fantastic action scenes too, especially as the threat comes rattling out of the night to take its victims. The solutions to the situation are straightforward, enabling the adventurers to tackle with either brains or brawn. The former will be required early on in the scenario and perhaps later on if the clues are not necessarily found. There is no right way to address the situation in The Rattling Wind and the adventurers are pleasingly not penalised for choosing one means of resolution over another.

Physically, The Rattling Wind is a twenty-one page, 7.33 MB full-colour PDF. It is well written and nicely illustrated with images that the Game Master will want to show her players during the scenario. The maps are decent. The main issue is that the scenario does need another edit.

The Rattling Wind makes for a decent one-shot, but it really works as an interlude scenario, one that is easily inserted into an ongoing campaign. It nicely brings into play the recent history of Sartar and confirms in the adventurers’ minds the prejudices they have about the Lunar Empire. The Rattling Wind is a rollicking good scenario that nicely fits into Chaosium’s family of scenarios involving the Colymar Tribe.

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