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Monday 28 February 2022

Jonstown Jottings #56: Jallupel Goodwind

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?
Jallupel Goodwind presents an encounter with a ‘monster’ for use with RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

It is a fourteen page, full colour, 1.94 MB PDF.

The layout is clean and tidy, and its illustrations and cartography are decent. It does need a slight edit in places.

Where is it set?
Jallupel Goodwind is set in the Valley of the Blight near the village of Greenhaft on the lands of the Greenhaft Clan of the Cinsina Tribe.

Who do you play?
No specific character types are required to encounter Jallupel Goodwind, but Orlanthi and Lunar characters will find it interesting. A Lankhor Mhy may prove useful for his research skills.

What do you need?
Jallupel Goodwind requires RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, the Glorantha Bestiary, and The Red Book of Magic

What do you get?
The second volume of ‘Monster of the Month’ presents not monsters in the sense of creatures and spirits and gods that was the feature of the first volume. Instead, it focuses upon Rune Masters, those who have achieved affinity with their Runes and gained great magics, mastered skills, and accrued allies—corporeal and spiritual. They are powerful, influential, and potentially important in the Hero Wars to come that herald the end of the age and beginning of another. They can be allies, they can be enemies, and whether ally or enemy, some of them can still be monsters. However, Jallupel Goodwind differs from this pattern in presenting a mini-scenario rather than an NPC and his entourage.

The Player Characters are asked to investigate and kill an evil red whirlwind, known as the ‘Whirling Moon’, which has been stalking a nearby valley at night since Dragonrise. This is a simple enough set-up, but everything else is far from it. The monster appears to be tougher and weaker than at first seems and if the Player Characters can communicate with it or possibly conduct some research, they can learn that it might be connected to a local tribal hero who fought a battle and died in the valley long ago and the ‘Whirling Moon’ might not be one thing, but two. Finding the former out should not be too difficult, whilst finding out the latter will be only slightly more so, but the really challenging aspect of the scenario is actually deciding what to do about the ‘monster’...

Jallupel Goodwind presents the Player Characters with an interesting problem—how do you seperate two souls which have been entwined with each other for centuries? The primary method discussed is physical, that is combat, in part because this will be hampered by the cyclical nature of the ‘monster’ and in part because it is likely to be the obvious—or at least, the initial—solution for the Player Characters. However, alternative solutions to the problem are not explored in depth and ultimately it really is down to the players and their characters to come up with an idea of their own and see if it works. This may be an issue if neither the players of their Game Master have sufficient experience with either the roleplaying game or the setting.

If Jallupel Goodwind does not explore any solutions to any real degree, it at least provides plenty of support and storytelling potential around the situation, which is a clever personification of the relationship between the Orlanthi and the Lunars. This includes the event which created the ‘Whirling Moon’, the reaction of the locals to it at the time, and the reaction of the locals now. The latter includes the possibility of the Player Characters gaining a reputation for not doing a proper job if the situation goes awry...

Designed to be played in a single session, Jallupel Goodwind is also easy to relocate elsewhere and the authors include a number of options to that end. These include Prax as well as being asked by the City Ring of Jonstown to look into the problem, meaning that Jallupel Goodwind could be run in connection with the RuneQuest Starter Set (although the Game Master will still need access to the other supplements).

Is it worth your time?
YesJallupel Goodwind presents an intriguing challenge, nicely tied into the background for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha which can be set almost anywhere and be played in a single session.
NoJallupel Goodwind presents an intriguing challenge, but does not really help the Game Master with sufficient advice as to how to deal with it and this may leave both her and her players floundering.
MaybeJallupel Goodwind presents an intriguing challenge, but does leave the handling of any solutions to the challenge in the hands of the Game Master. If she is fine with that, then okay, but if not...

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