Welcome to the Jonstown Compendium! We’re excited to read and experience the mythic adventures you’re about to share with us.
Reading these guidelines will prepare you for making, preparing, and publishing your Jonstown Compendium content.
What is it?
The Jonstown Compendium is a way to publish and distribute RuneQuest, QuestWorlds and 13th Age Glorantha content you have written, including original scenarios, background material, cults, and more.
You create content, format it to our design template, and then upload the PDF to the site. Your work becomes part of the Jonstown Compendium content on DriveThruRPG – able to be accessed by the community and, optionally, providing a financial return to you.
Chaosium has created easy to use style templates (in both MS Word and Adobe InDesign) specifically created for the Jonstown Compendium to help you create your own content.
Can I sell the content I create?
Yes, creators can make money from their published community content – or make it freely available (it is entirely up to you). Any retail sales are split between the creator (i.e. you), OneBookShelf (DriveThru's parent company), and Chaosium. As creator, you get 50% of the sale. For example, if your product retails on the site for USD $10.00, this is how the split of revenue is made:
- $5.00 to the creator
- $3.00 to DTRPG
- $2.00 to Chaosium
You set the price. Which could be free or otherwise. The financial process is fully automated, requiring no additional administration from the creator. You can read DriveThru’s notes about this at: https://support.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/categories/201257283-Community-Content-Programs).
Note: you may be familiar with the existing community content for D&D, ours follows the same model in terms of revenue split and general rules.
What rules can I use in my product for the Jonstown Compendium?
Your work can use any rules and setting materials from the books and materials published by Chaosium
- RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha
- RuneQuest Classic
- HeroQuest Glorantha (but references in your work to this rules system and
game line should call it “QuestWorlds,” as Chaosium no longer holds the
trademark for “HeroQuest”)
- QuestWorlds SRD
- 13th Age Glorantha
What can’t I use in my Jonstown Compendium product?
- Rules from the Moongoose or Design Mechanism editions of RuneQuest, or other variant d100 rulesets (e.g. Mythras, OpenQuest, Revolution D100, etc)
How can I use Jonstown Compendium art?
The Jonstown Compendium art is licensed for use in content submitted to our community content program. That’s it. What you write for the program is the only place you can use those materials, and you must properly attribute the artists of any program art materials you use. Stock art and templates from Chaosium will be available for your use via OneBookShelf. Any other art from official Chaosium material cannot be used for the Jonstown Compendium products, but you can commission art for use in your product. Responsibility for sourcing art that is available for commercial use is that of Jonstown Compendium product creators.
We are concerned about the ethics of AI art and its impact on the livelihoods of artists, and the ability of artists to maintain control over use of their creations. Effective 31 March 2023, AI Art (e.g. Midjourney, Dall-E) is not permitted in new Chaosium community content titles, including the Jonstown Compendium.
What kind of products are welcome in the Jonstown Compendium?
Original scenarios, background material, cults, mythology, stats for NPCs and monsters. Material published in the Jonstown Compendium must be set in Greg Stafford’s World of Glorantha – but note “Your Glorantha Will Vary” below.
You may also create your own version of handouts for official RuneQuest and
QuestWorlds Glorantha campaigns (but remember that handouts for Chaosium
scenarios bear our copyrighted text, so ensure you properly credit Chaosium: see the
notes on credits and copyright below).
YGWV (“Your Glorantha Will Vary”) and how this applies to the Jonstown Compendium
“Your Glorantha Will Vary” is long-established principle in Gloranthan fandom. First espoused by the creator of the setting himself, Greg Stafford, in a nutshell what it means is you are free and welcome to take what you want from the incredibly rich tapestry of myth, magic, history and wonder of Glorantha for use in your own creations.
The “official” canon for the world is found in material published by Chaosium/Moon Design Publications, with what is presented in The Guide to Glorantha and The Glorantha Sourcebook as definitive. However, canon only matters for official publications – for that which published by Chaosium Inc and its licensees. For your Jonstown Compendium creations, Your Glorantha Will Vary. We strive to ensure that official publications stick to canon: however, that is a restriction on our interpretations of Glorantha, not yours. Your Glorantha can vary as much or as little as you want for what you create for the Jonstown Compendium.
Note: We may extend the Jonstown Compendium to cover alternative RuneQuest and QuestWorlds settings such as “Fantasy Earth” in future, but for now the focus is on gaming in Glorantha.
What types of content are prohibited?
- Conversions of content from other roleplaying games or other copyrighted media
into RuneQuest, or QuestWorlds or 13th Age Glorantha rules.
- Rules from the Moongoose or Design Mechanism editions of RuneQuest, or other variant d100 rulesets (e.g. Mythras, OpenQuest, Revolution D100, etc)
- Rules from 13th Age Glorantha (note: we hope to be able to include 13th Age Glorantha in the Jonstown Compendium at a later date).
- Comics, fiction (unless short vignettes in roleplaying game materials)
- Software or apps.
- Products that infringe on the intellectual property of others.
- Crowd-funded content.
- Your Work does not contain material that a reasonable person would consider libelous, defamatory, racist, homophobic, or discriminatory; that violates the copyrights or trademarks of another party; or that violates the law.
- Your Work does not contain material that the general public would classify as extreme adult content, such as pornography or extreme violence.
Can I create and sell content for previous editions of the RuneQuest or QuestWorlds Roleplaying Games?
The Jonstown Compendium accepts content designed for RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha, RuneQuest Classic (RuneQuest 2nd Edition), QuestWorlds and 13th Age Glorantha. If you have created something for a different edition that you want to use with a Jonstown Compendium product, you must update it to one of these approved rulesets.
Can I copy information from current rulebooks and products into my creation?
You can reference information in the approved rulebooks and products, but please refrain from copying directly from the books whenever possible. An exception to this is monster statistics taken from the RuneQuest Gloranthan Bestiary, RQ3 Creatures Book, and creatures chapter from RuneQuest Classic, which you may reproduce in material for the Jonstown Compendium.
Who owns material in the Jonstown Compendium?
You retain the copyright of any original IP you create for the Compendium. Moon Design/Chaosium owns the IP it provides for use including rules, settings, characters, concepts, plots, storylines etc.
How does credits and copyright work?
Our template features the trademark and licensing language you must include on the Credits Page of your work. This acknowledges RuneQuest, QuestWorlds, and Glorantha are trademarks of Moon Design/Chaosium Inc. and is used with permission.
You should also include a copyright notice of your own – [title of work] [©date] [name of authors]
If you use any art from our Art Packs, simply follow the crediting guidelines from that pack.
If you intend to use art from elsewhere, ensure that you have clear permission to do so and credit the artist or source.
I already have a Chaosium license, how does this affect that?
The Jonstown Compendium is a separate element from our licensing structure and does not supersede your existing license – it essentially works separately in parallel, if you choose to contribute to the program.
How do I prepare the PDF of my title for sale?
There’s a few steps here to walk you through if you’re a creator using DriveThruRPG for the first time. There’s also an additional step for you as a community content creator. After creating your content, go to your account page and look in the "My Content" section. You can use the "Add a new title" link after you agree to the Community Content Agreement.
CREATE - Lay out your Digital PDF from scratch...
QUICK SPECS (PDF) - To get you started.
QUICK CHECKLIST (PDF) - To be sure you don't miss anything.
Download MS Word Tutorial - Advice on how to use Microsoft Word, and a few other programs to prepare a DIGITAL ONLY title. POD titles can not be created in Word.
Download InDesign Tutorial - This tutorial will offer you some advice on how to use Adobe InDesign to prepare an optimized digital edition PDF book.
Download Jonstown Compendium Templates - Templates for laying out Jonstown Compendium titles using Word and InDesign, formatted for US Letter paper (8.5" x 11").
PREPARE - You've already created a PDF and want to see if it's upload ready. Our PDF's for Digital Titles are best when a few guidelines are followed. Check the links below to get your files ready!
READY - Once your print files are ready to upload...
- UPLOAD - Will show you where and how to upload your files for digital download
Do not security-lock your Digital PDF. For our watermarking security process to work, the PDF files must be unlocked (so they can still be edited). We add the watermark at checkout and then lock the file ourselves.
Please ensure the Jonstown Compendium logo is present and clearly visible somewhere on the cover of your work, and on the preview image uploaded on your title’s product page.
Once content is published, it can be found in the Jonstown Compendium.
After your product is for sale, your account will begin to accrue a 50% royalty every time your title sells. You can withdraw your accumulated royalties via PayPal by going to the My Money section of the Account page. Note that the My Money section of your Account page will not display until you have a balance accrued.
FURTHER GUIDELINES FOR CREATING JONSTOWN COMPENDIUM CONTENT
- Know the ruleset you are writing for and its terminology (for example, RQG has adventurers and a gamemaster, the use of Runes and passions, and the availability of magic to all adventurers.
- The RuneQuest Style Guide and RuneQuest Submissions Guide at the Chaosium website contain helpful guidance for writing and formatting your Jonstown Compedium content. You are not obliged to follow all these requirements, but doing so will improve the quality of your creation.
- For Gloranthan Runes, use the Gloranthan Core Runes font:
Scenario Design Tips
- When writing material set in Glorantha, familiarise yourself with the Glorantha setting (as described in the Guide to Glorantha, Glorantha Sourcebook, RuneQuest Bestiary, and King of Sartar). While you the Author needs to the know setting, the gamemaster and players should not be assumed to know anything more about the setting beyond what is the core rules. Help them explore this rich setting through the scenario.
- Always remember that combat in RuneQuestis dangerous for the adventurers - hack-and-slash scenarios tend to result in total-party-kills or boredom (or both!). Scenarios should be resolvable through means other than just combat - social skills, stealth, or magic should be at least as important as combat, if not more. Concentrate on mystery, investigation, exploration, social conflict, and intrigue - combat is always an option, but there should always be another way.
- Always indicate where passions or Runes should, or could, be used and possible effects of successful or failed rolls. Avoid basing absolute success in a scenario upon a single die roll for any ability.
- Do not be afraid to present difficult episodes which can be successfully completed only after successive visits.
- Remember, the adventurers all belong to communities. They have families, belong to clans, temples, tribes or cities. Many adventurers owe personal loyalty to a king, war-leader, etc. Stories that threaten (or at least involve) the adventurers’ community have greater emotional resonance for the players.
- While creations for the Jonstown Compendium can be set in any Gloranthan time period or any place, Chaosium’s preferred setting for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha adventures is after the Dragonrise of 1625. Sartar is no longer occupied by the Lunar Empire and Argrath either is Prince of Sartar (1627 on) or is manoeuvring to become Prince. This is a time of adventure, change, and war.
- For most scenarios in Chaosium’s preferred setting, it should not matter when precisely it is set - and when possible, make the precise year of your scenario as timeless as possible. However, the location does typically matter. Pick a location for where your scenario takes place.
- A good Gloranthan adventure should have some mythic resonance. Even straightforward scenarios such as raiding trolls or killing broo has a mythic dimension, if only the conflict between Light and Darkness, or the struggle against Chaos. Here are some examples:
- Many adventures follow, at least superficially, the Hero’s Journey of Joseph Campbell even if they are not heroquests.
- Conflicts of the Gods Age are endlessly repeated, and the cycles of mortal time repeat the mythic conflicts of the gods.
- At many times in history, men have cooperated with the Elder Races, the dragons, giants, and even broos. Great empires have been founded with the secrets learned from non-humans. But the curse of knowledge is that once you learn something new you endanger the certainty of old truths.
- The dangers of arrogance and pride. The rise and fall of the Broken Council, the God Learners, the Empire of the Wyrms Friends, and even the Lunar Empire are examples of this theme. Great empires rise in Glorantha, determined to change the world forever, only to fall into ruin.
- The price of success is new conflict. The seeds of the next war are planted in how we ended the last war. Success always comes at a price, and that bill always eventually comes due.
- The paradox of the Hero. The Hero is endowed with exceptional powers and uses those gifts to battle against enemies who would endanger the peace and wellbeing of the community. And yet, the Hero is not bound by the rules and restrictions of the civilization they defend, and is rarely at home in the civilized world.
- While, in the main, the Jonstown Compendium has a PG-13 rating in terms of violence and sexual content, darker and adult themes may be explored and the content and tone written to fit a more mature audience. If your product for Jonstown Compendium is going to deal with mature themes, revisit our content guidelines for what limitations there are on how mature themes can be represented. Remember to flag that content early in the content itself and in the product description.
- Proofread your content before putting it up on DriveThruRPG. If at all possible, ask a friend (or several friends) to help you pin down any errors. That covers grammar, spelling, punctuation, or logic errors in the scenario itself. Common problems to look out for:
- Passive voice: using an active voice makes your writing more exciting to read. Don’t say “The adventurers will see the iron bracelet in the casket.” Instead, use “The adventurers see the iron bracelet in the casket.”
- Spaces: only use one space between sentences.
- Numbers: for numbers one through nine, spell them out. For anything higher or lower, use digits instead.
- Use a font that doesn't cause considerable eye strain to read. By using our templates, a number of design issues you could encounter can be side-stepped, allowing you to focus more on your content.
- More is not better when it comes to length. Don't feel like you need to offer essays to gamemasters covering hundreds of years of backstory, or multipage prose descriptions of artifacts. Keep things short and simple, which gives GMs the time and room to put their own stamp on a scenario for their players.
We want to supply more art to creators in the future; your needs are likely go beyond what we're offering right now. While you can hire artists or purchase a license for art assets, there's also art that is free to use online, much of which is in the public domain. These are a few directories and image search tools to get you started. Be mindful about checking the use rights, as not all the images in these directories and search widgets will be for commercial use.
US Library of Congress Prints and Photograph Online Catalog
The US Library of Congress's Prints and Photograph Online Catalog is vast! It contains various collections of images which could be of interest to Jonstown Compendium creators. For example, the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection showcases cultural anthropology and geography in the early years of the twentieth century; and the Historic American Buildings Survey has thousands of images going back to Pre-Columbian times.
Images from before 1923 are considered in the public domain, as are certain images after that date. This the Library of Congress's advice about using images from its Prints and Photographs collection. You should review the status of any image you intend to use with these guidelines, and reference the source in your credits page.
The New York Public Library Digital Collections
The New York Public Library Digital Collections has over three quarters of a million items featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts and more. It is possible to search only the public domain materials in the collection, making it a useful and easy resource for Jonstown Compendium creators. The site also has an in-built feature enabling you to properly attribute anything you use.
The British Library on Flickr Commons
The British Library has released over 1 million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. The images cover a diverse range of topics many of which may be of interest to Jonstown Compendium creators, such as anthropology, mythology and ancient history. The great thing about this resource is you know every item in it has no restrictions on its use!
Celebrate Joining the Repository
It's work to create a product, which is why you should celebrate finishing yours! If you're on social media, tag us to let us know about your content.
August 15, 2022: Changed many references to the “HeroQuest Glorantha” rules system to
“QuestWorlds,” and added “13th Age Glorantha” as a permitted rules system. Added
a note requiring Jonstown Compendium works to refer to the rules system and game
line formerly known as “HeroQuest Glorantha” as “QuestWorlds,” because Chaosium
no longer holds the trademark for “HeroQuest.”