Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


styopa last won the day on November 8

styopa had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

929 Excellent

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
  • Blurb

Recent Profile Visitors

2,047 profile views
  1. styopa

    Human worshipping Aldrya

    That's a good suggestion. It's off-beat enough to break the Tolkienesque expectations, but still descriptive. But, like most pre-modern concepts, one has to recognize and maintain it (confusingly, to moderns) as astonishingly non-objective. The illustration I give to players is that medieval roads weren't objectively named, like they are today. We all look at a map, and all agree "That's route 18A". But it doesn't take much time with ancient cartography to see that the road between Happytown and Greenville has multiple names: from Happytown it's called 'the Greenville road' and to the inhabitants of Greenville it's the "Happytown road"....obviously, because to each of them that's where it goes. In a premodern world, mostly illiterate, there is no effort to universalize, nor any sort of consistent taxonomy. (I mean, the God Learners tried it, and we all know how that turned out...) Our village calls those violent weirdos in the forest 'Sheepkillers' because every time our stock accidentally wanders out the other side of the meadow, they keep them and kill anyone stupid enough to try to get them back. I heard the village in the next valley over calls them something like Husband-stealers as in grandpa's time a bunch of men vanished, one was found and dragged back to town raving about beautiful women...nobody here has ever seen pretty girls, just an occasional warning arrow (if you're lucky).
  2. styopa

    Advice to a GM new to RQ and Glorantha

    Sadly, I know of a campaign where they recently did just that. "Let's go back to pathfinder for a couple of sessions" sigh. That's it in a nutshell. Same deal years ago in our campaign, ALSO, coincidentally, with a tiger. Player decides to send their archery-heavy toon - alone - well out into heavy brush (8'-high grass, scattered scrub & light trees) to pursue a known tiger. He actively decides to follow a deer trail - using tracking to stay on the deer trail.. (You might guess where this is going). He said nothing about even keeping an eye out for an ambush (from which I'd have given him a bonus, probably) but nevertheless I did give him a scan roll which he failed...as he walked under a heavier tree branch. Yeah...pretty quickly dead character. As you observed, D&D very quickly trains players that it's the responsibility of the DM to provide them with appropriate challenges, not ever their responsibility to make sane choices. Gads, after all these years...that's explicitly putting a finger on one of the key reasons RQ always just "felt right". I think the problem isn't so much retraining as acquainting them with the idea that there ARE other approaches. That D&D approach has been carried even further into MMORPGs (which, tbh, where I see most tabletop game competition coming from) where not only are characters the heroes, but: If they're even offered any choice by the quests/NPCs at all, they're rarely meaningful and none of them are non-tenable, ever. Player agency is limited to "either I do this, or don't"...(and for main-story questlines, they likely don't even have that choice, if they want to continue playing). Character-related development choices are almost never irreversible. Can you conceive of not only telling your players they need to give you (each) $5 per session to play, but that they can re-do their character for another $5 whenever they want? Character simply never die. They might take an xp hit, they might be inconvenienced (both of which are largely falling out of favor now), but they always come back. Given those bases from which to approach 'avatar-based role-playing' it should be no surprise that RQ can (to them) feel almost a little bit masochistic.
  3. styopa

    Advice to a GM new to RQ and Glorantha

    It sounds negative, but honestly when I have players coming from d&d, ESPECIALLY if we're experimenting/learning with pre-gens...don't hesitate to kill them. For players from other games it can be startling how quickly a character can go down, esp if outnumbered. That's a needful lesson before they're playing a character that they care about. If they learn to treat combat with the respect/fear it deserves in d100 systems, it's something that will serve them well.
  4. styopa

    Download section @BRP

    There's some great stuff in there.
  5. styopa

    Human worshipping Aldrya

    To be clear: Pls understand where I'm coming from: I care fairly little about nuances of canon, ie what might be found in the deep recesses of the guide or in some obscurantist comment from the Digest circa 1988. They just don't weigh that much for me compared to making a compelling setting now. For me, Glorantha is about building a realistic high-fantasy world. It's one reason I discourage new players from "I want to play an elf!" or "...dwarf"...or "...dragonewt". I think that Glorantha - in strong opposition to D&D and pretty much every fantasy MMO - elder races are fundamentally alien in their their psychologies. The (to me) hand-waving rationalizations about rootless elves or openhandist dwarves is just that: rationalizations to make them playable by people. While I keep them, I don't think most new players would comprehend they they are, to their kind, literally insane. Dangerously so, to some. Compared to D&D, where the other races are played pretty much like normal people with an elf-mask and some different stat mods, I'd like Elder races to be weird on the verge of fearsome. I think Trolls are relatively easy for people to get into their headspace. Elves less so. Mostali even less so. Dragonewts basically impossible. "Not caring at all about children" for Aldryami is both an easy-grab to highlight how downright alien Elves are to humans, with (relatively) little game-bending impact.
  6. styopa

    Human worshipping Aldrya

    I think one striking characteristic that would mark the departure from beast and adoption of the plant rune would be the removal of sentimentality. Plants care nothing for their young, ever. They create thousands, perhaps millions, and spread them into the world, caring nothing for the consequences. The closest might be serotinism, when the plant holds seeds within itself to express them only when the environment is more favorable. It doesn't mean willful infanticide: everyone still wants to spread their genes successfully, after all. For my players, while elves can experience joy and happiness, the removal of personal affection and a lack of deference for baby things makes them plenty alien and creepy.
  7. styopa

    Acid explanation

    Great explanation of the realistic consequences of acid, certainly. Absolutely I recognize this isn't real-world acid behavior, but we're also postulating creatures that spit/spray/exude/excrete acid as part of their offensive/defensive arsenal. Acid - as it acts in the real world - is nearly pointless in this role. I believe the only animal that actively uses acid in any way like this would be ants (formic acid, which is more or less a low-grade toxin more than an acid unless at really high concentrations). In most other cases, it's more like a capsaicin-like reaction than anything. "That horrifying black dragon lurches into view, inhales and spits ...something that's really not that much different from water. You're almost entirely unbothered by it, it might make your eyes sting a little if you had them open...." - not particularly fearsome, IMO. Of course, what "RPG monster" acid is like is more imagined to be akin to Alien(1979) blood: Finally, in a game-mechanic sense it's useful to have something that is particularly damaging to equipment. (Without resorting to the even-more-kludgier Rust Monster...) Why apologize? It was a good question, and I think the discussion is interesting.
  8. styopa

    Acid explanation

    I don't believe it does. This simplest way is brutal: damage done by acid simply destroys everything physical. 4 points of acid damage on 6 point armor turns it to 2 point armor. More realistically, even for the nastiest acid, there's a time factor - maybe it will burn 1 point PER ROUND until it reaches 4 points. That gives victims a chance to throw water on it, etc to mitigate the damage. I've seen some people make a resist roll out of it for that result, ie that 4 point acid has a 40% chance to do 1 point of damage to armor. If it's not stopped by armor, it does the remaining POT (after armor mitigation) to skin. Some rule it as ongoing damage until diluted/neutralized. There might even be magical acids that do nothing to physical object, but burn through magical protections and (when they hit a living creature) MP the same way.
  9. styopa

    Strike rank conundrum.

    LOL what? I didn't see that. Why in heaven's name would the PCs know what the NPCs are doing before they do it? The rule in question (bold mine) 1. Statement of Intent The players and gamemaster declare the intentions of all participants in the melee round. These intentions do not need to be precise (“I’ll wait here for them to do something, and have my shield and sword at the ready if someone gets close” is enough detail). Enough should be said so that every participant has as much information about your intentions as could be expected from their adventurer’s involvement in the situation. The gamemaster, in particular, should provide as much information to the players as seems reasonable. Players may not know what exact spell a foe is going to cast, but they should know that the foe is readying a spell As a rule, when we used SoI, yes, as GM I'd *declare* to myself what the enemies were going to do before I let the players tell me their plans. But I certainly wouldn't say it aloud. But I don't even see the point of this - wtf does "readying a spell" even mean in RQ? There are no material components to grab out, and I'd presume any required gestures, concentration, chanting, doing a little dance...are already included in the SR for casting. If they aren't continuing it over the round-end break, they wouldn't START doing it until the SR says so. So what cues precisely would players be reading into "oh she's preparing to cast a spell"?
  10. styopa

    Strike rank conundrum.

    Unless you're outside of melee using rolling SR, casting spells/firing missiles, then it pretty much IS a sequence of events. When we used SoI, we'd go from character with lowest INT to highest (you have to be strict about not allowing inter-round 'discussion/panning time'), giving the highest ones a significant advantage in planning. But frankly, we abandoned SoI years ago. The whole "here's what I'm going to do with the next 12 seconds of my life" ended up being so kludgy, so rife with conditional statements, so full of special rules to allow changing of intent due to different conditions, etc we ultimately decided that RQ combat was slow enough, and just allow characters to act on their SR, much like 5e, with the condition that they cannot move THROUGH a ZoC. Our system has boiled down to pretty-simple: people act on an SR based on their initiative roll modified by DEX SR. Moving into combat, longest weapon hits first, otherwise SR sequence. Acts (usually spellcasting) that cannot be completed in the round roll past the end of the round end up with a calculated SR for next round, instead of rolling. That's pretty much it. No statement of intent. Missiles/spellcasting do not get rolling SRs; if you attack/spellcast in a round, that's your action. It's not perfect, no, but it's quick.
  11. styopa

    Gloranthan 'Adventure Paths'

    Maybe it's more work, but I think it's simpler to simply take whatever scenarios you want to run and shoehorn them into your own campaign/timeline, than try to adhere to the canonical chain of events.
  12. styopa

    Question about flight.

    Wait, you're suggesting RQ doesn't have smooth, rational growth curves? What...?
  13. Agree. One of the fundamental strengths of d100 systems is that while they may *seem* mechanically complex, they're ultimately more (to me) intuitively logical than others. An "armor class" is a single number but actually very vague thing, as is its ultimate impact on the damage one takes. OTOH, a sword does d8 damage, an armor plate will block 4 points of it....very logically simple, even if there are more "pieces" in the mechanism.
  14. styopa

    Strike Ranks: initiative order or action allowance?

    Meh, in our game Rune Spells are powered/guided by GODS. There's not some flow-rate-limiter on a character's mana...if the god needs to take 10 mp, they take it, in that same SR it's cast. *POOF* There's no compelling reason in my view to gimp Rune Spells whose MAIN asset is their quickness (esp now that your casting % has dropped from 95%) by slowing them down to the speed of hedge-witch spirit magic.
  15. styopa

    Eta to printed versions: DMS & bestiary ?

    Sweet, thanks Rick!