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About kpmcdona

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    Junior Member


  • RPG Biography
    Started playing RuneQuest in 1980 and have been an avid gamer and Chaosium fan ever since - particularly Glorantha, SuperWorld and of course Call of Cthulhu. I have made minor contributions to a few Glorantha related publications, most notably Champions of the Reaching Moon.
  • Current games
    HeroQuest Glorantha
  • Blurb
    Your typical middle-aged overweight goatee-sporting gamer with a perhaps atypical passion for trying new games and settings.

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  1. The Vadeli seemed to me to epitomize the dangers (from the Brithini point of view) of going out into alien worlds and learning about 'things man was not meant to know'. They were heedless of the dangers of moral and spiritual pollution in their interactions with the southerners and Mostali. Whatever their original sin was, I figure it has to have something to do with that. Time to go re-read Revealed Mythologies again.
  2. As I read and play HQ2 you work backwards from the story to set resistances This in no way ignores the competence of the heroes or their opposition any more than upping the challenge rating for an encounter does in D&D. It simply says to the Narrator "remember to make this an exciting contest, or just hand-wave the results." If a heroic PC is going to fight a trollkin then perhaps it should be a swarm of trollkin or maybe the trollkin foe found a magic club with which to bash the hero. Otherwise why have the contest at all? Just say "You kill it with a back-handed swipe of your sword while walking casually by." Personally, I have always thought that including character ability rating improvements in HQ runs counter to its basic design and Robin said as much in the HW2 IIRC. What I do is reestablish the baseline expectation of how powerful the characters are at the start of each adventure and design encounters based on that. Thus if they players say they spent time training or whatever between adventures I make sure that I describe the challenges in the next adventure as appropriately more impressive. Besides RuneQuest and CoC, my other go-to game back in my formative years was Traveller, though, so a game without character improvement seems perfectly normal to me.
  3. A few years (decades?) back Greg was invited to a little game convention here in North Carolina. That he chose to attend stunned me. Every interaction I had with him that day taught me something new. Although attendance for his events was embarrassingly (to me) sparse he never appeared any way other than gracious and warm. After the convention was over I took him out to dinner, just the two of us, and talked about life, the universe and everything. We shared our experiences as fathers of adopted kids, our spiritual journeys, and just our general curiosity about each other's lives and perspectives. I have always considered him a friend since that day, although I never saw him again in person. I will miss his presence in the world terribly.
  4. I think the uncertainty and danger of RQ is part of it's charm. The GM shouldn't gauge how many Lunar soldiers are in a patrol based on the PCs. The decision should be based on story logic and let the chips fall where they may. Now from a GM advice point of view, you should make sure that you don't *force* fights on players if the outcome is at all in doubt. Let the players choose to initiate combat--or not--if at all possible. Yes the PCs (or players? Not this again!) are occasionally going to underestimate opponents and have a bad day. That is the experience that RQ seems designed to create. Every decision to fight is a gamble. Do you feel lucky? Maybe I should cross-post this over in the GM advice thread. I think there is a Petersen's Rules rule on it already, though. The game balance problem I actually do have an issue with is the deadliness of combat vs work required to create a new character. It seems to me that if a game asks you to lovingly craft a PC it should have relatively forgiving combat rules. RQG seems like it asks players to put more work into creating a character than is wise if the PC is just going to get gutted like a trout in the first combat. It isn't a deal breaker, though. It just has me a bit concerned. (I haven't played the new rules yet.)
  5. The Description Corollary Corollary: All that glitters is not gold - and make sure your players know it. Just because the GM waxes eloquent about the mythical backstory of something doesn't necessarily mean it is relevant to the current situation.
  6. kpmcdona

    Delta Green!

    Yea, I already have the rulebook pdfs (And now dead tree versions!!!) and am trying to figure out if it is worth the price to get the fiction and scenario books. I want all of it, so need to find out what the prices for the individual items are. Regarding DGRPG in particular, I am wrapping up a fun Unknown Armies game and was planning on running the new RuneQuest next. Then the DG books arrived and... I fell in love all over again. I am so conflicted! :)
  7. True, but I am having trouble coming up with a figurative reading that doesn't make me roll for illumination!
  8. Looking through the Sorcery spells, I notice that there are no examples that use the Separate technique. Can anyone think of a good example of a spell that might use Separate? It also seems weird to me that Logical Clarity involves a dispelling of Truth. That said the new rules seem more playable than the old. Neat! I am still not entirely happy with the mental load required of the player in setting up a sorcerer character and running it well. I am planning on writing a "a week in the life of a sorcerer" document that walks my players through the basics of using all the bonuses (rituals, items, day) to cast long term defensive spells, as well as how to effectively use sacrifices of POW to create helpful magic items. To do this I need to understand it all myself, which is taking a bit of work. The best strategy seems to shift depending on the starting INT of the sorcerer, for example.
  9. I am curious about the time required for an augment. Is it free? Should it be? At least a strike rank delay as you build up a head of steam with a passion or call on a rune seems fair. Taking a round to do so wouldn't be awful considering the potential benefit.
  10. I always figured that training was how you increased skills that you wanted to specialize in, if you weren't getting the desired checks in play. Especially in RQ2. Sort of like turning gold into XP.
  11. The new approach sounds very cool to me - simple and flavorful. It sounds like rune priests might recharge slower than they currently do, though. I haven't checked, but don't rune level characters currently recharge all their reusable rune spells with a single worship at any temple regardless of size? Another thought I had was that I don't here "sacrifice" in this description. I thought that sacrifice was a big part of ancient world worship. Should the player sacrifice something at worship? Should the size of the sacrifice matter?
  12. That's good to hear. To me and my group, it ain't RuneQuest if it doesn't have hit locations. General HP also always made sense to us. Nobody had a complaint about how that part of the game worked. The resistance table wasn't a problem either. We never actually consulted the table. Even my math challenged brain can subtract two small numbers from each other and multiply by five. Defense, on the other hand, was more of a nuisance. It falls into the general category of skill penalties though. If you don't have a problem subtracting penalties from target numbers due to circumstances then I don't see why Defense is a problem. If you are like me and hate stopping to figure out a new target number in the middle of combat then searching for an alternative solution like the one used in CoC7 makes sense.
  13. I had the same insight a while back and considered running RQ2 with a D20 but 1) don't like D20s and 2) it screwed up crit calculations. That said, I am opposed to any rule that adds minute amounts to a skill/roll that don't noticeably impact play. A skill improvement of 1% or 2% is just an annoying bit of bookkeeping for no real gain. Go big or go home.
  14. Here is the latest installment of the designer notes. Nothing new if you have been paying attention, but nice to see plainly stated. http://www.chaosium.com/blog/designing-the-new-runequest-part-3 I am amused at my own discomfort in the essay when Jeff posed the following question and... answer? "But are we all still friends? Certainly, this is just what sometimes happens in business." The pedant in me thought it sounded evasive. He probably meant "Certainly. This is just what sometimes happens in business." Jeff, being a (former?) lawyer, will hopefully forgive my tendency to read literally.
  15. "Design Rule a" sounds particularly interesting to me having just read a bunch of OSR discussion about how players should not really consider the rules at all when coming up with ways to solve problems. Basically, come up with the solution first and then figure out how to resolve it using the rules. I am not sure that we are reading it the way that Jeff intended, though. I think he is going somewhere more general - the character sheet tells you what the game is about. If there is lots of detail about fighting on it then it is reasonable to assume the game is about fighting. If 'Philosophy of Mind' is not on the character sheet, then the game is probably not about exploring the mysteries of consciousness.
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