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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Jonstown Jottings #18: Vinga’s Ford

Much like the Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition, the  Jonstown Compendium is a curated platform for user-made content, but for material set in Greg Stafford's mythic universe of Glorantha. It enables creators to sell their own original content for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and HeroQuest Glorantha (Questworlds). This can include original scenarios, background material, cults, mythology, details of NPCs and monsters, and so on, but none of this content should be considered to be ‘canon’, but rather fall under ‘Your Glorantha Will Vary’. This means that there is still scope for the authors to create interesting and useful content that others can bring to their Glorantha-set campaigns.

What is it?
Vinga’s Ford is a short scenario for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

It is a nineteen page, full colour, 12.27 MB PDF.

Vinga’s Ford is well presented and decently written, and is illustrated with simple artwork.

Where is it set?

Dragon Pass, specifically between Oakton and Apple Lane in Sartar. Alternatively, it can be set on any river which feeds into the Upland Marsh.

Who do you play?

Vinga’s Ford works well if the Player Characters include a Vinga worshipper amongst their number, but an Orlanthi works just as well. A Humakti and a shaman may also prove useful.

With some alterations, an experienced Game Master could adjust 
Vinga’s Ford to be played by Troll Player Characters.

What do you need?

RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and RuneQuest – Glorantha Bestiary for its information on Trolls and Ducks at the very least. If run at its default location, then the Game Master will also need the information on Apple Lane found in the RuneQuest Gamemaster Screen Pack.

Alternatively, Vinga’s Ford could easily be adapted to be run using 13th Age and 13th Age Glorantha. This will require some effort upon the part of the 13th Age Glorantha Game Master.

What do you get?

The Player Characters are the road travelling between Oakton and Apple Lane in the northern territories of the Colymar Tribe when they have to cross the Swan River at Vinga’s Ford. However, their crossing is impeded by zombies, a strange occurrence this far from the Upland Marsh. When an unexpected ally comes to their aid, they are alerted to a greater danger—a vampire, one of Delecti the Necromancer’s feared ‘Dancers in Darkness’. The question is, what is that vile creature’s interest in Vinga’s Ford?

After some investigation—at either Apple Lane or Oakton—the Player Characters will learn of an annual occurrence at the ford. This is the ghostly appearance of a battle between a Vingan and some Trolls. Of course, this is happening that very evening, so the Player Characters have the opportunity to investigate further, foil the plans of the ‘Dancer in Darkness’, and join the battle themselves!

Vinga’s Ford is an ‘on-the-road’ adventure, which whilst built around a pair of connected battles, further involves the Player Characters in the mystical elements of Glorantha and how that can physically alter the world around them. It can also be used to introduce them to some of the elements of horror—essentially the doings of Delecti the Necromancer and the doings of his servants—though at some remove, found in Glorantha and also to Ducks.

As an ‘on-the-road’ adventure, it can easily added to a campaign to liven up a journey. If run at its default location, then it could be run as part as a journey to or from Runegate, Jonstown, and even Dangerford. This would make it suitable adventure to be run before or after adventures such as The Duel at DangerfordArrows of War, and ‘Darkness at Runegate’. It could also be used to help expand upon the scenarios to be found in the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – Starter Set.

One issue with Vinga’s Ford is the attitude of the villagers—in either Apple Lane or Oakton—towards Ducks. Amongst some members of either community it is suggested that it is not positive, and whilst Ducks are not held in the highest of regards in many parts of Sartar and beyond, this is not the case in Apple Lane as portrayed in the RuneQuest Gamemaster Screen Pack. Here the village has a prominent Duck resident, so the attitudes do not sit well with the descriptions given of the village. That said, not every inhabitant of Apple Lane is detailed and there is scope for them to hold such prejudices. 

Is it worth your time?
Yes. Vinga’s Ford is a solid side quest scenario, easily added to any journey to involve the Player Characters in ancient battles and the doings of both Ducks and Delecti the Necromancer. 
No. Vinga’s Ford will be of little use to you if you have issues with Ducks or are not running a campaign set in Sartar.
Maybe. The ongoing battle at the heart of Vinga’s Ford could be adapted to be between combatants other than a Vingan and some Trolls with some effort and changes to the mythology as necessary.

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