DuckPac – Book 1: Myths, Legends & Lore – A Jonstown Review [RuneQuest Glorantha]

DuckPac – Book 1: Myths, Legends & Lore

Author: Drew Baker, Neil Gibson
Publisher: Jonstown Compendium
Page Count: 48
Available Formats: PDF
PDF (DTRPG) – $5.99
PDF/Print Comb – $29.95 – $42.95

Ducks are one of the most loved and reviled races in Glorantha, depending on who you talk to. There is precedence for their existence in Glorantha going back nearly four decades. Some see them as a race to be taken seriously, while others see them as comic relief. I myself am a greenhorn player and neophyte when it comes to Gloranthan lore. Therefore, I know almost nothing of their lore or the apparent passionate dislike for ducks. What is there to dislike? They are short like me, feathered, and come across as badass!

So, who are the ducks of the Dragon Pass region? The ducks, as they tell it, are the Durulz Tribe. A tribe made up of many clans in and around Dragon Pass. The tribe’s name is what we would call a bastardization of the name given to their covenant with Orlanth—as the ducks interpreted it—”the rules.”

DuckPac – Book 1: Myths, Legends & Lore is written by the creative team of Drew Baker and Neil Gibson, who venture into territory that might feel familiar to veteran RuneQuest players—just look at the name of this book, which harkens back to the TrollPak. With over four decades of material to wade through, they have endeavored to reconcile and align existing material and insert new material to create a cohesive whole. In their introduction to the book and the series, the authors explain that, like in Trollpac, Duckpac will be split into four books. As of this review, the first three have been published. DuckPac – Book 1: Myths, Legends & Lore deep dives into the origins of the Durulz Tribe of Dragon Pass, giving readers a firm foundation that has only, up until now, been fragmentary in previous RuneQuest publications. Where applicable, the authors cite or reference canonical and other publications that have a bearing on this body of work.

One note of caution to readers: while this and the later books in the DuckPak series prominently focus on the Durulz Tribe, which resides in the Dragon Pass region of Sartar, some of the contents of this book are generic enough that they can be applied to other duck tribes through Glorantha, but are not the focus of this body of work.

Taking centerstage and probably of importance to most readers will likely be the origin story and myths surrounding the Durulz Tribe. These appear early in the book, in a place of prominence, setting the tone for what comes later. Beyond the lore is ample information on current culture, society, and everyday life. Some of it delves into some surprising depth that I did not expect. For example, visitors to a duck’s abode “should never express admiration for an object (the family will assume that this is a demand for the object as a gift, possibly backed up with violence).” Duck society is surprisingly and refreshingly “normal,” if not somewhat complex, as they are a polyamorous culture; homelife and childrearing reflect that reality. In the case of childrearing, it is communal in its approach. Beyond this, readers will recognize other societal norms, like customs and courtesies and dealing with crime and punishment. There is also the all too common stereotype of ducks as outsiders in society and descriptions of how some cults treat duck initiates or members.

DuckPac – Book 1: Myths, Legends & Lore give us a surprisingly in-depth look at the fictitious anatomy of the duck. I was surprised to learn that according to the authors, the duck’s anatomy is similar to that of other humanoid races, such as Humans, Mostali, Uz, etc. Oddly interspersed within the “Duck Anatomy” chapter is a lone page discussing Durulz’s military composition with a lovely illustration of a duck in armor. Following this, the chapter leaves behind the topic of anatomy in the scientific sense and shifts to a more anthropological sense with topics like “Food Production” and “Magic” that feel equally out of place in this chapter.

The chapter on the “duck hunts” gives readers an insight into the horrific period following the failed rebellion of 1613 when ducks were considered outlaws throughout the empire and blamed for inciting Starbrow’s Rebellion. This short history is an interesting read and will likely appeal to those wanting a deeper immersion into duck history, while some may be put off since duck hunts for bounty are kin to genocide. Feel free to skip it; it is not absolutely necessary to read it.

The book ends with a lovely two-part gazetteer—the first part briefly describes the most prominent places within the Durulz Tribe’s home region. The second provides similar descriptions of the lands of its neighbors. These are presented in broader brushstrokes and with less detail than those within their home region. Nonetheless, there is still enough information here to put places into context.


DuckPac – Book 1: Myths, Legends & Lore is available as a PDF and a POD book (combined with book 2) through the Jonstown Compendium at DriveThruRPG. The 48-page PDF was evaluated for this review, and it is a beautiful presentation and example of fan-created content. Beginning with the front and carrying throughout, the book is lovingly illustrated – the art, with few exceptions, is presented in full color.

Final Thoughts

I am a realist; this book will not be for everyone. For those ardent duck haters, reading this book may not change their minds, but perhaps I am wrong. I want to think I am wrong! Like other Gloranthan races, ducks have their ups and downs, good and bad, and positives and negatives. DuckPac – Book 1: Myths, Legends & Lore compiles and explores some of these intricacies. It’s fascinating and expands the known lore in a single, easy-to-read book.

As a new RuneQuest player and a neophyte in Gloranthan lore, after reading DuckPac – Book 1: Myths, Legends & Lore, I can take a checkmark in Gloranthan lore skill.

~ Modoc

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