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Background: Dice Probability Tables

Questworlds is Chaosium's rules and prep-lite RPG system. Fundamental to it is the opposed roll, in which a skill is rolled against a resistance, using  'highest rolled value  as a tiebreak i both rolls succeed. The produces a table of probabilities that looks like this:   This table skill on the left, and resistance on top. Both are unrolled so 22 is 42.  This table has 2 key desirable properties: thanks to the tiebreak rule, it almost always (at least 95% of the time) p

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radmonger in Rivers of Sartar

Communication Skills

In this category I am going to expand on each of the Communication skills with ideas on describing outcomes, what they are and what they aren’t, applying the skill to different contexts, maybe some extensions or alternatives to the rules as written (RAW), thoughts on how to apply the skill and some potential scenario seeds. Before getting into each specific skill I will cover a bit about communication in general, touching on persuasion, sharing information and altering emotional state. I’l

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glarkhag in Communication Skills

Cults of Runequest: Clans

The previous blog entry described Rune Cults in abstract rules terms. This by itself is enough for running an adventure-focused game, where rune cults serve a game function much like that of D&D character classes.  However, many people prefer a community-focused game, in the style of the Red Cow campaign or Six Seasons in Sartar. This requires a somewhat deeper understanding of how the rules portray the setting, in particular what a clan is. In the RQ:G rules, the term clan is used

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Cults of Runequest

For Rune and Spirit Magic,Rivers of Sartar uses a lightly modified version of the RQ:G cult rules that underlay the supplements in the Cults of Runequest (CoR) line. So in order to explain these rules, and justify their existence, it is necessary to first explain how the official rules work. Hopefully this will also prove useful to those who want to stick with the Rules As Written (RAW), or make their own preferred tweaks. RQ:G RAW A PC is born into a clan, which is normally

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radmonger in Runequest

Skill Interactions - making more from less

This blog is going to cover the idea of skills combining and interacting to create a more diverse set of possible outcomes and interpretations. I will look at the challenge of an ever-increasing arsenal of skills and present a couple of ideas about augmentation use. Skill Sprawl It’s very tempting to create new skills to deal with tasks and challenges that do not have an appropriate skill in the rules as written (RAW). There are examples of new skills popping up in the published wor

Scenario 2: Voria's Run

The Festival The first day of the year is Freezeday of Disorder week, Sea season. This day is holy to Voria the Spring Virgin, the goddess of new beginnings, youth and innocence. In Nochet, this is traditionally celebrated by a mass run. Horns call children, and the young-at-heart, into the streets. There, they simply run until exhaustion. There is no start or finish line, no winning or losing, just run until you drop. Wherever you fall, when you recover you look around for a sign of Voria'

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radmonger in Lyksos

Background: Repeated dice rolls and probability

One of the three modes of play that these rules support is free-form play, where every contest is resolved with a single opposed roll. For some GMs and groups, this by itself is enough. Many successful campaigns have been run in this way, ever since it was adapted for RPGs from the style of wargame invented by Tom Mouat. However, sometimes you might want a contest that isn't resolved so quickly. One that fills more of the session, one that has several twists and turns that generate an emerg

Mythic Resonance

Want to flirt with the fringes of mythology but don’t feel ready to start heroquesting in earnest? Want to fake it until you make it? One thing you can do is start to foreshadow and/or enrich your adventures with mythic resonance. What do I mean by that?  Foreshadowing is a story telling technique whereby you present clues or snippets to what will come later. In terms of film it can be as simple as showing a knife on a tabletop before a stabbing later in the film or it could be some

Game Mechanics: Consequences and Resources

When a contest resolves, whether simple or ongoing, if the result is not to any contestants liking, they may reject it. Normally this will because they lost, but a particularly confident contestant might be unsatisfied in the level of success they achieved and try for more. In order to do so, if they are losing, they must accept a number of consequences sufficient to bring the contest back to being a draw. If they were winning, they must give up successes instead. Either way, at this point

Difficulty, Opposition and Resistance

In this blog I’m going to talk about how to handle varying levels of difficulty in variable outcome events. I’ll explore this using four different mechanics from the RQG rules. As with many things in gaming there are not always right and wrong answers. I give my views and advice and you can take what you like and discard the rest. Not all tasks and challenges are equal. Some boulders are easier to move than others. Some pieces of music are easier to play than others. Some mountains are mo

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glarkhag in Basics

Introducing Rivers of Sartar

There are many BRP-derived, Runequest-inspired fantasy role-playing game systems; ones I am aware of include Mythras, OpenQuest, SpeedRune, SimpleQuest, Revolution D100, Jackals and Legend. This is mine[1]. For people who are not me, it's main selling point is that it is a unofficial adaptation of some of the principles behind the QuestWorld game engine to Chaosium's world of Glorantha. In particular, it changes certain aspects of the QuestWorlds core mechanics to support the direct us

Game Mechanics: Opposed Rolls and Tie Breaks

How to roll In Rivers of Sartar, all rolls are opposed rolls, between contestants, each of which is using an ability. Each contestant simultaneously rolls a single D100 (the success D100), and zero or more D20s (the bonus D20). The option of using different numbers of bonus D20 provides an additional dimension by which different situations may be handled in game: if a contestant has advantage, roll 2 bonus die; use the higher one.

Game Mechanic: Ongoing Contests

In an ongoing contest, a sequence of rolls are used to resolve a single contest. As with freeform play, success or failure simply changes the situation which must be dealt with. Compared to freeform play, within that contest, additional rules and guidelines apply, and so the need for GM fiat is somewhat lessened. A contest normally ends with a decisive roll, which will indicate the degree of success or failure the contest resulted in. A PC may

Just Enough Enrichment - JEE

Thanks for stopping by. This post is about an idea I call Just Enough Enrichment (JEE).  In this context I use enrichment to describe the amount of colour or flavour you use to layer over the top of game mechanics when talking about the situations and outcomes.  I find that the more enrichment there is the more you feel like you’re actually experiencing and living what is going on in the game. You can certainly hold it better in your mind’s eye (and mind's ear and mind's nose etc). Abstract play

Limitations of a ruleset - Part 2

In Part 1 I took you through some rulestorming for the enigmatic area of Heroquesting. The rules I produced are not the point (although if they help you, great, added bonus!). The process is the piece you can take away and use. Just in case it didn’t help, here’s another example. It’s a bit less exotic to say the least and therefore perhaps a bit more accessible for newbies or converts struggling to grapple with the (brilliant) differences RQG has compared to other fantasy RPGs. One point

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glarkhag in Basics

Scenario 1: Childhood Games

This short cameo is designed to introduce players to the basics of the rules in a low-threat environment. Player characters are 11 or 12 year old children in Nochet (N:AG), the largest city in all Glorantha.  At the start of play, nothing else is known about them; they will gain characteristics and skills during play. In Nochet, children of that age spend their morning doing chores, and evening with their families. But for much of the afternoon, they are free to play in the streets. The gam

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radmonger in Lyksos

The Lyksos Campaign

The Lyksos mini-campaign is intended as a step-by-step tutorial for these rules. It is based on Harald Smith's Nochet, Queen of Cities, and in particular the adventurer's guide  (N:AG). It is designed to be run interleaved with RQ:G character creation, so that characters emerge through play, start out knowing each other. By default, when going through the first two steps of family history, it is suggested to pick an answer by consensus.  This means the players will have a common authority,

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radmonger in Lyksos

Limitations of a Ruleset - Part 1

I did say this would be my next entry in an earlier one but the MVP one jumped the queue...I couldn't hold it in any longer. 🙂   I've called this one Limitations of a Ruleset but the subheading would be Challenges and Opportunities. I've split it into two parts because it's too long, probably still too long but if you perservere and read to the end, thank you for indulging me. Before ranting a bit about Heroquesting in one of my previous blog entries I suggested that you prob

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glarkhag in Basics

Constipation and the MVP

Astute readers may have noticed a little bit of frustration seeping through into my last but one blog. I am surely not alone in that frustration. It rarely bursts out, preferring to linger below the surface as an unseen force of darkness. What is this dark force? Waiting for Heroquest rules for Runequest.  I can’t speak for RQ1 but RQ2 had them on the list of upcoming products back in the early ‘80s. Now for those of you who read my awful one paragraph hack at Heroquest rules you must be w

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glarkhag in Musings

Game Mechanics: Free-form Game-play

Rivers of Sartar supports three modes: free-form game play, structured contests and tactical combat. A given game may use any or all of these, by simply switching between them as required for pacing and to maintain player interest. In free-form play, the rolls to be made should be based on the logic of the situation as it unfolds. Each roll is standalone, in that there are no built-in mechanical consequences for succeeding or failing. There is no defined time scale. Instea

Game Mechanics vs the Real World

One thing that people often struggle with is trying to make sense of Glorantha by comparing it to the real world. This is useful in general obviously. It’s the most accessible point of reference we have. Alternatively, we can also look to books, films, other games and last but not least our collective imaginations. When using our own experiences it’s important to consider that game mechanics for RQG do not have to align with our real world.  While we can assume a lot of the science we beli

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glarkhag in Basics

Rules and Rolls and a smattering of controversy/heresy

Rules come in two basic categories:  Fixed outcome Variable outcome For a fixed outcome rule there is a trigger or event that brings the rule into effect. For example, the old classic,  a character pulls a lever. The rules dictate that whenever the lever is pulled a trapdoor opens. The trapdoor opening in this case is a certainty and no die roll is required. When the outcome is not fixed we introduce variability into play. Event A will sometimes result in this a

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glarkhag in Basics

Hello, good evening and welcome

Welcome to Rich's Runequest Rules Ruminations blog.  I've been playing Runequest since the early eighties but only recently picked up RQG. So glad I did. I absolutely love this latest version. I also love the new perspective on Glorantha that comes with it. This blog is in the main going to avoid commentary on the world though. I'll leave that to more learned members of the community. Though I have played a long time it would be fair to say that I've only skated over the surface of the rich

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glarkhag in Intro

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