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styopa last won the day on July 30

styopa had the most liked content!

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About styopa

  • Rank
    Senior Member


  • RPG Biography
    Been playing RPGs since 1979, incl RQ since about 1980.
  • Current games
    RQ(3), BRP, D&D5e
  • Location
    Mpls, MN
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  1. Dammit, now you're going to make me try to find it...after the failed attempt to redeem, I'm not sure I bothered to keep it "why am I keeping this worthless thing from 40 years ago?"
  2. I'm going to predict that it's reasonably possible you'll buy more books from Chaosium. Maybe they'll let you use credits there?
  3. styopa

    Balancing combat encounters

    Or - and I don't want to sound all "get those kids off my lawn" - we've all BEEN there and ultimately figured it out? With (in the ancient days) far less online support, group-assistance, or forums like this to seek advice and counsel. Just because there's neither a signpost nor a shortcut, doesn't mean there isn't ANY way to get where you're trying to go. I PERSONALLY believe you're probably overthinking it. RQ is imo a pretty reality-based system. Pretend you're writing the script for dramatic television. Would the protagonist and his buddy be able to handle 3 "skilled toughs" credibly? Or would the audience not buy it as unrealistic? Then what about 2? Granted, it's harder with monsters that have no basis in reality, but at least with people, think it through realistically and I expect you'll be close.
  4. styopa

    Balancing combat encounters

    Of course, that's exactly what a stubborn refusenik would say.
  5. styopa

    The Interior Art Needs to Change

    While I might agree with you conceptually 100%, I also suspect that the distinction would be rather lost on most bystanders who would judge entirely on appearance. Male OR female. And that's sort of who we're talking about, really. They're not exactly on shelves blocked from kids, either. Don't get me wrong, I *agree* with you but the reality here is that RPGs = games and in most stores games = kids. Stupid, superficial, but that's where it is. This is all a tempest in a teapot though since AFAIK RQG isn't in general sales stores, it's online or specialty gaming stores....both contexts where the buyer/browser should have a reasonable expectation of context. I don't really think that's much of a contribution to the discussion. Personally, if it's a sham (I don't think so) its an unusually well-constructed one. I think Chaosium mods are certainly ept enough to shut down the thread if the point isn't worth discussing. You didn't offend anyone. Here, like at your work, there are some that look forward to being triggered. You could TOTALLY do that on adult swim. That would be so cool. Plus, with the psychedelic flair you'd pick up all the stoners that no longer have Adventure Time.
  6. styopa

    Balancing combat encounters

    Not true. We've had 10+ years of mostly dungeon crawling because that's what my players enjoy. Yes, after that long of playing probably 1/month, I do scramble sometimes for stuff to do, but nah...RQ doesn't have to be about any specific sort of campaign. And to the point of encounter balancing: I hate to say it, but I doubt there IS an algorithmically simple way to do this in RQ. Combat is both more complex and worse (for this purpose) far more potentially lethal (brittle) in resolution than say, D&D. In D&D, if character A is stabbed with a sword, and has 38 hp, AFAIK there is *zero* chance that character will die. RQ, pretty much anyone can die at any time, with any blow. As Joerg correctly mentioned above, a *huge* amount rests in the setting of the encounter. A prepared, intelligently set-up one legged duck could kick the crap out of a moderately-powerful group. OTOH, a stupidly-played (and in most cases, they are pretty stupid) giant could be taken down by a relatively weak but tactically intelligent party. So I'm sorry there's no easy answer. There's no "CR" to say X of creature Y is equivalent to party strength Z. It *does* make it tough on new GMs...it's sad to see players stomp through what was supposed to be a meaningless encounter because of a lucky crit. It's (imo) worse to see the players punished with TPK (or close) because the encounter was badly scaled by the GM. I think it would be a worthy constructive use of this thread to just highlight guidelines that GMs use in balancing encounters? 1) numbers are HUGE in RQ combat. If the entire party is outnumbered by 2:1 by even trivial opponents, someone's going to die. I try to keep designed encounters well below that unless the players are overwhelmingly more capable. This also means that the 'modern adventure trope' of trash-mobs for the adventure and big boss at the end doesn't really work in RQ. A single boss - even quite capable - will easily be overwhelmed by even a mediocre party of 4-5. 2) more power = more brittle. Lower "level" combats tend to be about the accumulation of damage - a scratch here, a hit there, etc and people start to go down. (Note RQG is much more severe than RQ3 was...) Higher "level" combats in RQ tend to be more of nothing...nothing....nothing...oops, you're dead because defenses scale but intrinsic hp generally do not. So at that point, whatever does manage to leak through that defense is almost certainly lethal to the squishy body inside them. This also means that players have to bring a relatively higher level of skill to high level combats because they need to anticipate and pre-empt more than react. 3) poisons: I hate them in RQ. They are either nearly inconsequential (ie something POT 8 or below) or one-shot target killers (POT 12+). Plus they work way too fast. For normal run of the mill blade venoms, etc I encourage GMs to houserule that the poison effects are things like debuffs (dizziness or blurred vision) - not just damage - as well as take some span of time at least 2-3 rounds to come to full effect. It's both more realistic and not quite so brutal. 4) spirits: it's probably more our houserules than anything, but spirit combat is scary and lethal for those not specifically prepared. For newer players, I like to try to give them some reasonable setting-cue foreshadowing. 5) at least for former D&D players, I find the best balancing mechanism is to kill them. Seriously. When showing what RQ combat is like, use some pre-gen stickpickers and outnumber them with something relatively trivial in D&D like wolves. Kill them. Let them see how quickly stuff can turn sour, to give them a HEALTHY respect for combat, such that they - as in IRL - do everything they can to avoid it, or if it's unavoidable, get every possible advantage on their side. Further, this helps them recognize as well that NOT EVERY SITUATION IS MEANT TO BE A FIGHT.
  7. I still had the merchant coupon from 1978 from Tactical Studies Rules for a full set of polyhedra dice for I believe $1, guaranteeing the merchant that TSR would pay them the difference back between $1 and the set of dice they sold me. There is no expiry date, but somehow I was unable to redeem it in 2016. So there's that.
  8. styopa

    The Interior Art Needs to Change

    I'm going to venture that "asking the opinion of (men OR women) if these images are appropriate" you're going to get pretty different responses depending on the context of the question. At the gaming table vs 10 random coworkers that may have nothing to do with and no interest in the setting/context of the book, for example. At a Renaissance Festival vs 4H meeting vs hockey game. We all to some degree universalize our own position (I"m reasonable and intelligent, so I assume everyone that is also reasonable and intellignent will see things my way) which then contributes to a sense of shock when someone doesn't agree, at which we immediately grasp for explanations that are often deprecatory: they're ignorant, they're misinformed, etc. instead of simply recognizing they have come to a different conclusion from the same inputs.
  9. styopa

    Is barding a thing in Glorantha?

    I've got a much clearer one for you, the one from p406 I'd mentioned:
  10. styopa

    Summoning RuneQuest Gamemasters

    Ah, I missed that. My bad.
  11. styopa

    The Interior Art Needs to Change

    Insane. Our gaming group in high school got kicked out of our after-school use of the library's gathering rooms (for which we'd signed up) because someone saw us through a window rolling weird dice. We were kicked out because "there is no gambling allowed on school grounds"...we asked if that meant literally any game with dice (ie Yahtzee, Candyland, etc) would be banned, they remarked that "well that uses normal dice, not the gambling dice like you have" showing so very many levels of ignorance simultaneously it's breathtaking. ...which is really a brilliant, thoughtful, and constructive approach. Well, no, it IS a fact. The images in the book (whether we agree or not) were found by his HR dept to be inappropriate. That's the fact he has to deal with. On a theoretical level, yes, he could protest/dispute it, but who's really going to do that. So yes, like a "the earth is round" fact its the environment he MUST work in. IMO I don't think it's spreading, but I do think it's ossifying and polarizing. The middle of the bell curve, where average people used to shrug and go "whatever" is evaporating, with more and more people (apparently) ending up in intolerant extremes where they push their personal worldview onto others, whether it's about nudity, violence, politics, climate change, etc. With nudity you have one extreme of puritans insisting nobody should ever see a nipple (female, apparently male nipples are non-threatening). OTOH you have the other extreme that don't have a problem exposing small children to (what I would call) ENTIRELY inappropriate content. And just to be clear this is all sides of the political fence(s). Sorry if this is deep and off-topic for this forum, but the OP's post touches on some fascinating, deep subjects and we have a really terrific mix of international viewpoints here, and generally cogent, insightful posters. So for me it's interesting. I'd guess that he gets that now. I don't think the startling level of sensitivity this individual displayed (to which HR *had* to respond, legally) was evident beforehand. Thank all the Lightbringers above. My goodnes these days are passing slowly.
  12. styopa

    Summoning RuneQuest Gamemasters

    FWIW Jason, this is a damned interesting and useful thread. I've been GMing for nearly 40 years and while a lot of these general principles have been floating around for a while, people are codifying them quite concisely here.
  13. styopa

    Summoning RuneQuest Gamemasters

    Why the snark? I think your confusion is in the meaning of the word "can"? Presumably, your players CAN cast spells, they just don't have the knowledge of how to yet. Or, if you have a non-magical setting, you're correct: if there is no way in your setting for the players to ever cast spells, then no, IMO the NPCs shouldn't be able to either.
  14. styopa

    Is barding a thing in Glorantha?

    Heretic. To your point, nearly every military development really starts as a response to something else. Probably the earliest recognized barding was used by the cataphracts/clibanarii of the mideast...and in those cases I'd wager they were really a result of a few simultaneous streams of development: - relative wealth (if it was expensive to armor-up a person, armoring up a whole horse would be crazy) - a sophistication of metalworking techniques lowering the prices for metal armors (sort of a corollary to #1) - a developing difference in the use of heavy cavalry as (literally) high-impact melee, primarily as a result of the adoption of the stirrup As far as I can tell in Glorantha, pretty much nobody uses stirrups, meaning that mounted combat should be far less lethal*. In the GtG p406 even the pictured Western cataphract doesn't have stirrups. Since the medieval "heavy cavalry charge into melee'" then really wouldn't exist (yet), it's unlikely that riders would be interested in the significant reduction to mobility, agility, and endurance that barding caused to mounts. *realistically, then, while there still might be an argument for using the mount's strength mod as a damage bonus for a charge, it should be capped by the maximum possible strength mod of the rider since literally it's only his/her strength (not the amazing full-body leverage of stirrups) applying the force.