Welcome to the Cult Compendium.
In the fantasy roleplaying world of Glorantha, magic works because relations between the spiritual and physical planes are firm and immediate. Maintaining good ties with your chosen god allows your character to learn special magics or to receive visions of other places, provides him with trusty companions in a cut-throat world, and may even give him the chance for divine intervention to escape a tight spot. In many ways Glorantha has a depth and consistency unparalleled in gaming.
Over 40 religions originally printed in Cults of Prax, Cults of Terror, and Trollpak are detailed here. A guideline chapter shows how to design your own new cults. To round out the book I have also added in Gloranthan cults from White Wolf and Different Worlds magazines. Associated background articles from Wyrms Footnotes and similar sources give you a complete breakdown on how rune magic, spirit magic, elementals, and runes operate within the game world. To wrap up the book I've added all of the designer's notes, some of which have never been published before. A vastly improved index makes this material accessible all in one book. The topics are vividly detailed with the addition of over 50 new pieces of art, bringing the total over 110 snapshots into cult life (and death). Lastly, it's also worth mentioning that I've added genealogies for the various pantheons along with an updated cult compatibility chart surpassing even the one found in the RuneQuest Companion. In the end, it is a book that can provide untold hours of Gloranthan reading and gaming fun.
This book offers over 100 Rune and Battle magic spells and skills not in the standard rules, handy for the gamer intent on long-living characters. The wealth of conceptual material can be applied to any roleplaying game. Referees will enjoy the many new lines of thought; dozens of examples of tribal behavior and custom can make any encounter more realistic. Excerpts from The Travels of Biturian Varosh and The Reminiscenses of Paulis Longvale suggest many scenarios while providing local color.
Each Cult description includes:
- Mythos and History - the acts of the gods before time, the behavior of the cult once time started, afterlife promised to members, and Runic associations.
- Nature of the Cult - why the religion continues to exist, what its worldly position and power has been, its likes and dislikes.
- Cult Organization - inter-cult and intra-temple structures, centers of power, holy places, and holy days.
- Cult Membership - here are the requirements to join the cult (species, birth, ability, money, offerings, etc.), the requirements to remain in the cult (sacrifices, hates, geases & gifts from the gods, codes of conduct), the benefits received from the cult (food, shelter, training, healing), the skills taught or restricted, available battle magic, skills, and spells peculiar to the cult, Rune magic and cult duties by membership level, and so on. Such aspects are examined separately for the lay, Initiate, and Rune Lord and Rune Priest membership.
- Subservient Cults - include cult spirits of reprisal (they keep your characters on the straight and narrow in such a world) and various hero cults, which may offer added Rune spells or skills.
- Associated Cults - due to Godtime or later actions, certain cults are more friendly to one another and will teach certain Rune spells or skills.
- Miscellaneous Notes - information on diet, behavior, dress, conceptions of the universe, ethics, ostentatious display, behavior towards members of other cults, rituals, architecture, and so on.