The first-edition rulebook, Hero Wars, was published in 2000.
Like RuneQuest, Hero Wars is set in the world of Glorantha but the rules system is designed for more epic games; there is no real relationship between the RuneQuest game and Hero Wars except for the setting of Glorantha.
Hero Wars uses an innovative resolution system capable of fulfilling either simulationist or narrativist play with no modification. Some players found the abstraction of the system problematic, while others have found it to have been a better match for the mythic vision of Glorantha.
The first-edition core books had serious quality issues as the publisher did not have sufficient funding to complete production.
By 2002 the line had expanded to
- Hero Wars: Roleplaying in Glorantha, containing the core rules.
- Narrator's Book, containing advanced rules and sample adventures.
- Glorantha: Introduction to the Hero Wars, world background (with no game rules whatsoever)
- Anaxial's Roster, rules and myths for many types of creatures and races.
- Thunder Rebels and Storm Tribe, two books describing the Heortling barbarians' culture for players and narrators.
- Barbarian Adventures and Orlanth is Dead, two adventure books for Heortling rebels against the Lunar Empire.
The game's extensively revised second edition was published in 2003 as HeroQuest. The Hero Wars products are highly compatible, and readily convertible.