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Monday 13 June 2022

Jonstown Jottings #62: Bog Struggles

Much like the Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition, th 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?
Bog Struggles: An Adventure for RuneQuest Glorantha is a scenario for use with RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha in which the adventurers come to the aid of the inhabitants of a nearby bog.

It is a twenty-five page, full colour 4.02 MB PDF.

It needs a slight edit in places, but layout is professional and the artwork is very good.

Where is it set?
Bog Struggles: An Adventure for RuneQuest Glorantha can be set anywhere where there is an area of wetlands.

Who do you play?
There are no specific roles necessary to play Bog Struggles, but martial characters will be needed as combat is involved. In addition, a Shaman and an Issaries merchant may prove useful, and Heler or Engizi worshippers may have an advantage.

What do you need?
Bog Struggles: An Adventure for RuneQuest Glorantha requires RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and the RuneQuest: Glorantha Bestiary will be useful for details of some of the encounters. Borderlands: A RuneQuest Campaign in Seven Scenarios may be useful as reference, but is not required to play Bog Struggles.

What do you get?
Bog Struggles: An Adventure for RuneQuest Glorantha is a short, simple adventure which takes places in a nearby piece of wetlands where a tribe of Newtlings have made their home. Unfortunately, the village and the object of the Newtlings’ veneration, a River Horse spirit, has been attacked physically and spiritually by an unwholesome creature. The Player Characters are asked or hired by the Newtlings to come to their aid, perhaps because the Newtlings have come to the Player Characters’ village, the Player Characters have stumbled into the wetlands and the Newtlings’ village—or for some other reason. The scenario gives several. Either way, the Player Characters have to slog and slosh their way into the bog, face down the threat faced by the Newtlings, and that is that… Which also sounds a bit simple, but the scenario has a nasty sting its, well not tail, but definitely tendrils, as the scenario takes a decidedly Lovecraftian turn into tentacular horror.

At the heart of Bog Struggles is a classic ‘village in peril’ set-up, which goes all the way back to T1 The Village of Hommlet, but it does give it a nasty Lovecraftian twist with a big muddy amphibious dollop of Gloranthan lore in finding an interesting way to use and encounter a pair of monsters from the RuneQuest: Glorantha Bestiary. The plot is also simple and straightforward, perhaps too much so, but it is very clearly explained and it is very clearly mapped and illustrated. The map is decent, but the illustrations of the Newtlings are bright, colourful, and very much full of character—they are quite delightful. The one gripe with them is that none of them is depicted wielding a trident.

In addition, Bog Struggles provides details of the River Horse spirit cult particular to the scenario’s Newtlings. This might be of interest to Engizi or Heler worshipers, but the Game Master could also create other River Horse spirit cults based on this one. Given the amount of combat involved in the scenario, Bog Struggles should provide two sessions’ worth of play at the very most. If there is anything lacking in the scenario it is suggestions as to where it might be located, but the Game Master should be able to do that without any difficulty. Lastly, if the Player Characters are successful, the Newtlings could easily reward them with something interesting, useful, or particular to the campaign.

Is it worth your time?
YesBog Struggles: An Adventure for RuneQuest Glorantha is a useful and easy addition for any campaign where there is a river or area of wetland nearby, providing a delightfully strange and horrifying encounter with some wonderfully illustrated, oh so adorable, Newtlings.
NoBog Struggles: An Adventure for RuneQuest Glorantha is set in wetlands, so may not suit all campaigns and it does not work as well without a Shaman either. The illustrations are still a joy though.
MaybeBog Struggles: An Adventure for RuneQuest Glorantha is a useful filler adventure, but not much more than that. Have you seen the Newtlings, though? Sooo cute!

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