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Monday 23 November 2020

Jonstown Jottings #31: Legion

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 Glorantha13th 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?

Legion presents ninety-six pre-generated Broo, nine new deadly diseases, a Broo name generator, and a scenario for use with RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

It is ninety-two page, full colour, 28.82 MB PDF.

The layout is clean and tidy, and many of the illustrations good. It needs a strong edit.

Where is it set?
Legion can be set almost anywhere where Broo may be found (although there are references to Prax in the text). The included scenario, ‘Imperial Waystation 42’, can be set anywhere on the boundaries—or former boundariesof the Lunar Empire.

Who do you play?
No specific character types are required when encountering the creatures in Legion. The Broo are not that fussy (mostly). Of course, an initiate or priest of Chalana Arroy will probably be useful after any encounter with the Broo.

What do you need?
Legion requires RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. The RuneQuest: Glorantha Bestiary may be useful.

What do you get?
Echoing supplements such as RuneQuest Source Pack Alpha: Trolls and Trollkin, RuneQuest Source Pack Beta: Creatures of Chaos 1: Scorpion Men and Broos, and RuneQuest Source Pack Gamma: Militia & Mercenaries, as well as the Foes and Runemasters supplements, Legion is a supplement of deadly monsters and enemies that the Game Master can bring to her game. The monsters and foes in question are Broo—the horned, often goat-headed species befouled by Chaos and vile practices, widely known as carriers of horrid diseases and worshippers of dread Chaos gods. Legion presents some ninety-six pregenerated Chaos enemies, broken down into twenty Rune Lord, Priests, and Rune Lord Priests, twenty-six Initiates, and some forty-eight lay members, plus nine new deadly diseases, a Broo Name Generator, and ‘Imperial Waystation 42’, a location and short scenario. There is also a breakdown of the Broo according to their Cult, so along with the expected Malia and Thed worshippers there are worshippers of Cacodemon, Nysalor/Gbaji, Pocharngo, and even the Seven Mothers and a Sorcerer!

All of the Rune Lord, Priests, and Rune Lord Priests and the Initiates are full write-ups as well as their stats. For example, Gukgaz Khul is a Rune Priest of Primal Chaos, host to thousands of pin worms that constantly wriggle out of and across her body, and the ‘Bleak Hill Blindness’ and capable of controlling the unintelligent things which crawl from the chaos ooze, such as gorp and dragon snails, and including a small gorp which is home to her allied spirit, whilst Khul Gruc, a Rune Lord Priest and Shaman of Thed, one of three to be found in Dragon Pass, who is typically found in a discorporate state and guarded by other Rune Lords and Initiates of both Thed and Malia. His body is a riotous swathe of brightly coloured fungi and mushrooms that sprout from every available inch of his body. Initiates include Black Shuck, a Broo with the shaggy head of a fighting dog who constantly drools from both mouth and nose, and who worships Malia; Wild Face, an Initiate of Thed has the face and claw of a puma, who has issues loading his crossbow; and Khi Ghul, a sable-horned devotee of Seven Mothers with slick, black fur that has a dark red stripe running down it and who despite hating life, actually works as a translator for any human contact and idolises the Lunar Empire!

Legion being a supplement about Broo, it includes several new diseases—and they are deadly indeed. They are described as serious diseases, purportedly appearing and spreading in the wake of the withdrawal of Lunar forces from Prax. For example, Bleak Hill Blindness causes weeping and loss of vision; The Laughing Death, which causes the sufferer to collapse into fits of uncontrollable laughter and it is thought to have originated amongst Eurmal worshipers; and Dermal Glue, in which the sufferer exudes a fouling smelling glue which leads to everything sticking to him! All of these diseases are really vile.

‘Imperial Waystation 42’ is a ‘defend the flag’ one-shot, combat-orientated scenario. It describes a fortress at the edge of the Lunar Empire’s expansion, only partially completed before it was abandoned. The fortress is described such that it can be used elsewhere, but here it comes under attack by Broo. Several reasons are given for the Player Characters to visit the fortress and defend it, and the scenario comes suggestions as to which Broo to use from Legion, although the Game Master is free to pick and choose to match her players’ characters.

As well as the degree of invention on show in Legion, many of the Broo are accompanied by some fantastic artwork, much of it fully painted. The artwork and the map is decent throughout. In terms of the writing, one thing that should be made clear about Legion is that avoids the repellent nature of Broo procreational practices, although it alludes to it obliquely. Whether or not the Game Master wants to include this aspect of the Broo in her campaign is left up to her to decide.

Is it worth your time?
YesLegion presents a vilely inventive array of foes and even NPCs (in some cases) that the players and their characters will remember not just for the confrontation, but also for the diseases that Broo will infect them with as a reminder.  
NoLegion is probably best avoided if the Game Master does not want to bring Broo, their diseases, and their reputations into her game.
MaybeLegion presents foes which vary widely in power level, and many of them are likely to be too powerful for many groups of Player Characters, so the Game Master will need to use them with care.

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