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Monday, 15 February 2021

Jonstown Jottings #38: The Gifts of Prax

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.


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What is it?

The Gifts of Prax is a short scenario set in Prax wherever Shamans may be found.

It is a sequel (or prequel) to Stone and Bone.

It is a forty page, full colour, 39.94 MB PDF with a three-page, full colour 10.99 MB handout.

The Gifts of Prax is well presented with decent artwork and clear maps. It needs a slight edit in places.

Where is it set?

The Gifts of Prax is set in Prax amongst the Straw Weaver Clan of the Bison tribe during the wet season. Notes are included to enable the Game Master to set it elsewhere.

Who do you play?
Praxians who are members of the Straw Weaver Clan. A shaman may be useful, as well as a mix of genders amongst the Player Characters. Notes are included to run the scenario using other character types, including non-Praxians.

What do you need?
The Gifts of Prax requires RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. Access to the RuneQuest: Glorantha Bestiary may be useful, but is not essential to play.

What do you get?
Erhehta, shaman of the Straw Weaver Clan has been attacked by a rival, Maserelt of the Impala Tribe—and he must have his revenge! This will take the form of an attack upon her in the spirit realm, using a bison herd. However, to do this, he requires several items and he requires that the Player Characters fetch them. These include a stone to sharpen horns, flood water from the Stealer’s River, Graro plant and sand mushrooms, and more. Each of these will enhance the shaman’s attack upon his rival and obtaining each of them is a mini-quest in itself. The Player Characters are presented with a Map Bag, which will not only serve to carry each item as it is collected, but as a set of directions to where each is located. However, the Map Bag is women’s magic and if there are no female Player Characters in the group, the male Player Characters will have to handle it with great care.

There are two parallel strands to The Gifts of Prax. One is following the Map Bag to each of the locations where the items that Erhehta needs can be found, the other is a series of encounters along the way, each of which may bestow upon the Player Characters a ‘gift of Prax’. These can help or hinder the Player Characters in their progress—having to look after a baby Condor for example will prove to be something of a challenge, for example, but by finding the items that the Straw Weaver Clan shaman wants and by bringing him the ‘Gifts of Prax’, the Player Characters will underpin and bolster his chances of success in taking his revenge from the Spirit World upon his rival. Both searching for the various items and especially receiving the ‘Gifts of Prax’ make good use of the Player Characters’ Runes and each of the encounters is accompanied by notes suggesting ways in which the Game Master can scale it up for more experienced Player Characters. Ultimately though, as much as Erhehta needs to take his revenge upon Maserelt, for both his standing and that of the Straw Weaver Clan, the Player Characters will be faced with a dilemma—just how far should this revenge go? This brings in a degree of morality that the Player Characters will need to address, one which nicely counterpoints the physicality of the quests they undertook to set up the revenge attempt.

The Gifts of Prax also includes a colouring-in sheet for the pleasure of the players.

Is it worth your time?
YesThe Gifts of Prax is a well written, entertaining, and challenging scenario if you are running a campaign set amongst the Tribes of Prax. Especially if the Player Characters include a shaman amongst their number.
NoThe Gifts of Prax is set in Prax, and if your campaign is not set in Prax, then the scenario is harder to use, especially as the time of year and the environment plays a strong role.
MaybeThe Gifts of Prax is potentially flexible enough to be set elsewhere away from Prax, but the Game Master will develop much of the geography and details herself to successfully adapt the scenario.

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