Every Week It's Wibbley-Wobbley Timey-Wimey Pookie-Reviewery...

Monday 9 November 2020

Jonstown Jottings #30: The Troupe of Terror

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, 13th Age 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?

Monster of the Month #10: The Troupe of Terror presents a band of ‘occluded’ entertainers prepared to delight and dine anywhere for use with RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

It is an thirteen-page, full colour, 1.24 MB PDF.

The layout is clean and tidy, and the illustrations good. It needs a slight edit.

Where is it set?
Monster of the Month #10: The Troupe of Terror can be set almost anywhere. Given suggestions include on the road or wherever the Player Characters live or are staying. 

Who do you play?
No specific character types are required when encountering Monster of the Month #10: The Troupe of TerrorHaving an entertainer, or a worshipper of Eurmal the Trickster or Donandar the Musician, in the group is not necessary, but may add to the fun and drama of any encounter with the ‘Troupe of Terror’.

What do you need?
Monster of the Month #10: The Troupe of Terror requires RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. HeroQuest Glorantha, the Guide to Glorantha, and The Glorantha Sourcebook may provide further illumination for the Game Master, but are not necessary to run Monster of the Month #10: The Troupe of Terror.

What do you get?
Monster of the Month #10: The Troupe of Terror provides the Game Master and his players with three things. The first is a hextet of individuals and creatures that although will outwardly appear colourful and entertaining, are more than willing to wine and dine at anyone’s expense—including the Player Characters. They make up a troupe of minstrels, mimes, and clowns each of whose consciousness was awakened by a magical performance given by the  Puppeteer Troupe. Unfortunately, ill prepared for such illuminating revelations, each has fallen into madness and been transformed in another way. Now they wander Glorantha, wining and dining on their audiences as they go…

All six members of the ‘Troupe of Terror’ are given full stats and write-up. This includes their backgrounds, their Illuminate abilities, and some interesting magical items a few of them possess. Although they still possess magic which the Player Characters will recognise, their Illuminate magic will likely confuse and confound them. In particular, the members troupe will be particularly powerful if they are allowed to perform. Both the strangeness and potency of their magic means that the Game Master will need to prepare any encounter with the ‘Troupe of Terror’ with care.

The second is a trio of adventure seeds which provide ways in which the Game Master can introduce the ‘Troupe of Terror’ to her players. Two of the adventure seeds, involving an encounter with the hextet on the road and hunting them for their bounty, are mundane and it is only the third which really explores the fullest potential of the ‘Troupe of Terror’, in which the troupe pulls the Player Characters into its performance and it very much becomes something else… This requires careful staging upon the part of the Game Master as well as a delve back into the Player Characters’ previous adventures. This has the potential to be a really entertaining encounter and performance which highlights the magical nature of Glorantha, although of course, in a slightly warped way.

Lastly, it serves as an introduction to Illumination. Especially the dark side of Illumination. It is not an extensive introduction and provides a short bibliography should the Game Master want to read further. On the other hand, an encounter with the ‘Troupe of Terror’ would also serve as a warning as the dangers of Illumination.

Is it worth your time?
YesMonster of the Month #10: The Troupe of Terror presents an entertaining bunch of anthropophages who not only know too much, but also know how to put on horrific performances, plus staging advice for the Game Master. 
NoMonster of the Month #10: The Troupe of Terror is probably worth avoiding if the Game Master does not want to bring Illumination into her campaign.
MaybeMonster of the Month #10: The Troupe of Terror needs a careful read through and consideration prior to being run, especially given its magical and dining subject matters

No comments:

Post a Comment