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Corvantir

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Corvantir last won the day on March 29 2018

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  • RPG Biography
    Started RPGs in 1982 though we really started role playing the following year when we dropped D&D in favor of RQ2. RQ3 detracted me from Glorantha and I am now getting back to this wonderful setting thanks to HeroQuest 2. It seems I am bound with second editions as far as Glorantha is concerned.
  • Current games
    I am currently running a few one shots from time to time using a house ruled version of Free Universal (FU) or a home made compact version of FATE.
    I currently have two projects, a Solomon Kane campaign (using my home made compact FATE) and after that I would like to run a HeroQuest: Glorantha campaign.
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    Toulouse (France)
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    I am 48 years old and I am lucky enough to live with the most extraodinary woman in the universe.
    I like hiking, jazz music, reading and... guess what!

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  1. Thanks for the replies. Extended contests in my campaign are few, almost all of the contests are resolved through Simple contests. The extended contests I have managed thus far took more than half an hour, and even more, at least two of them were too long for everybody. Two of the three groups I tested HQG with didn't want to know the precise number of RP scored against the contestants, including themselves. The system would have to fade behind the screen. But without a mean to "visualize" the situation (the RP scored), I guess that misunderstandings are more frequent. It puts a lot of weight on the GM's shoulders, everybody must understand the situation through the GM only. As the human brain is good at analysing simple graphical representations, seeing the RP balances while listening at the GM allows the player to quickly grasp the real extent of the situation. I think that this system really works if the players can see the RP tracks. Once the RP are inscribed on something that everybody can see, the GM can describe the situation without talking about numbers. Unfortunately, I don't have a whiteboard and my current campaign is online. So let's forget about this solution. IMO, the hybrid system gives the player an instant grasp of his situation by simply looking at the Stress Resistance balance of his character. From the player's side, there is only one score to manage. As far as I am concerned, I have some trouble to manage the various RP tracks of HQG's extended contests and it becomes harder and harder with each new pair of contestants. A single score of Stress Resistance per contestant greatly simplifies the managing process which is very important to me. The Stress Points losses were computed so that a total victory knocks out a contestant under 6W. Between 19 and 5W the hybrid system produces the same results as a single pool of RPs. This is normal as SP losses are just a multiple by 5 of the RP losses.I agree that higher scores will extend the length of the contest, but a single pool of Stress Resistance hastens the contest. The mock combats I have made while solo testing the hybrid system resolved the contest in about 15 to 20 mn whereas the extended contest they were based on took more than 1 hour, perhaps 1 hour and a half. I suppose it will be longer at the table but that it should not rise beyond half an hour. My future tests will show if the hybrid system and its options work. It will take some time to learn how it behaves in front of higher scores though.
  2. Warning: this post has been written with HeroQuest: Glorantha (HQG) in mind but can be used almost as is with QuestWorlds. I am over fourty or so sessions with HQG and there is something wrong with the extended contests system. It is not the system’s fault of course but rather my inability to use the scored contests rules properly and/or to manage them while playing. First problem: The goal/prize and the tactics constrain the action, the frame thus defined becomes some kind of shackles when the contests are resolved. I have seen a lot of extended contests becoming a bland exercise in dice throwing one exchange after the other until 5RP are scored. Second problem: The Resolution Points system (more precisely the fact that an opponent is only thrown out of the contest when a single contestant scores 5 RP against him whatever the number of RP scored by the other contestants) makes the contests longer. Starting at zero again when a new pair is created during a contest extends the length of the scene without adding something entertaining, in my opinion of course. Moreover, a lot of players are very disturbed by the fact that they have to score a whole lot of 5RP when several RP have already been scored by other contestants against the same opponent. Eager to find a solution, I tested the Advantage Points system from HeroQuest 1. The « transfer » mechanism proved it could be abused with Hero Points (in my games, Hero Points are disconnected from experience). While the AP gave the players a better idea of their status and of the status of their opponents while fighting, the players didn’t like the « metagame » introduced by the bidding system. After a new session through which a scored contest proved once again to be frustrating I imagined a solution combining what I think is the best of both worlds : Advantage Points with set amounts of AP losses according to victory levels. Advantage Points are renamed Stress Points (SP) The Advantage Points starting pool is called Stress Resistance (SR) The general process is the following : 1 – The players determine an overall goal and their tactics. 2 - The score of the capacity used at the start of the contest (after an Augment) gives the Stress Resistance of the contestant. 3 – The contestants act in the order of their starting score 4 – When a contestant earns a victory against his opponent, the loser reduces his Stress Resistance by the following amount: MARGINAL VICTORY: 5 SP MINOR VICTORY : 10 SP MAJOR VICTORY : 15 SP COMPLETE VICTORY : 25 SP 4 – Once the single pool of SR of a contestant is reduced to 0 or less, the contestant is ousted of the contest. 5 – The consequence inflicted to the loser is determined by the following table: SR balance (Consequence) (Victory level) 0 to -3 (Hurt) (Marginal) -4 to -6 (Impaired) (Minor) -7 to -10 (Injured) (Major) -11 or less (Dying) (Complete) There are more details based on the Wagered Contests rules of QuestWorlds and the rules of HQ1. I think that the players will have an easier time with something looking more familiar, something akin to Hit Points. With a better grip of the system I guess they will be better at playing with it. Which is also true for me. I will test this new system this autumn when I start again the Borderlands & Beyond campaign interrupted by the various lockdowns.
  3. I always thought that Temple of the Reaching Moon was a direct reference to the corresponding Lunar phase, a celebration of the rising power of the Lunar empire.
  4. I am running a Hollow Earth Expedition campaign with HeroQuest 2 and lastly tested the point bidding system, as I was not totally satisfied with scored contests. There was a fight and two NPCs were joining the party. I decided that their fate would follow the player's fate. I kept myself to describing what was happening to them by following the ebb and flow of the combat. This decision was the easier to make as I had not stated the NPCs abilities. Lesson learnt, the NPCs will be stated for the next session. These kind of NPCs are always managed by the players, I already have enough work managing the session. I use the HeroQuest 2 rules like this : Followers Can be used in four ways: - Support : the follower is unengaged, he does not directly engage the main hero’s opponents but may perform Assists, Augments and other Unrelated actions - Ressource : the hero uses an Ability of the follower as if it were his own - Full participant : the follower directly engage the hero's opponents with his own AP. If the follower is reduced to 0 AP or less, his Consequence of Defeat is increased by one rank (Impaired to Injured, for example). - Secondary participant : each follower cancels a Multiple opponent's penalty. When the hero loses AP, he can transfer the losses to the follower. If the follower is reduced to 0 PA or less, his Consequence of defeat is increased by one rank.
  5. I have just skimmed through the 0.71 SRD and I must admit the changes are intriguing. I am currently using a lightly modded version of HeroQuest: Glorantha (HQG) that is still very very close to the original rules and I can see how the new QuestWorlds rules can help to manage the rules while playing. The Degrees are a drastic change I felt "so so" about at first until I gave the idea a chance and imagined how it would work at the table. They are actually a great simplification that can greatly ease the flow of the game. I am yet to test the new rules but I am more inclined to do so now. My intent was to keep to HQG, I am more open to QuestWorlds now. Thanks for the good work.
  6. I have spotted something that seems to be a leftover from the "Game Formerly Known as HeroQuest". As Story Points are no more spent before a Group Simple Contest is resolved, the sentence in green is not needed anymore. 10.3.3.3 Boosting Outcomes Because they average together the outcomes of multiple participants, group simple contests tend to flatten outcomes, making victories more likely to be marginal or minor than major or complete. To overcome this flattening effect, if the outcome of a group simple contest is a tie or victory, you may spend one or more story points to purchase a boost; a boost assures a clearer victory. The cost varies by the number of PCs participating: • 1 story point for 1-3 PCs. • 2 story points for 4-6 PCs. • 3 story points for 7-9 PCs. • and so on… You may spend twice as many story points as required to gain a double boost. The points may be spent by any combination of players. They remain spent no matter how the contest resolves. You may continue to spend story points to bump your individual result. The boost increases the collective victory level by one step. A double boost increases it by two steps.
  7. It makes me sad, HeroQuest as a brand is tied to the world of Glorantha in a way QuestWorlds will never be. But I agree it would be confusing to have QuestWorlds as a generic set of rules and to name it HeroQuest when it is used for Glorantha. I am not sure we will ever see new products set in Glorantha from Chaosium with rules other than RuneQuest though. And it also makes me sad.
  8. I am reading the SRD and I like it a lot so far. I have two design questions (for which I apologize if it isn't the place where I should have posted them): Why Outcome Points (Group Simple Contests), Resource Points (Advanced Group Simple Contests) and Resolution Points (Scored Contests)? I thought a common name would have been better as one of the big problems with QuestWorlds (as HeroQuest before) seem to be one of vocabulary. I think it can puzzle a lot of people or make the system appear more intricate than it really is. Why isn't there any Impaired outcome in a Chained Contest and why is a Hurt outcome directly escalating to Injured instead of Impaired?
  9. Thank you very much for this SRD. 👍 I am currently running two campaigns with HeroQuest: Glorantha and don't feel the need to convert to QuestWorld though. But I have skimmed through the document and there are already some changes I will make based on this SRD (the new Resistance Table, the new Consequences of Defeat Table). And I am now considering the expanded Chained Contests rules as an alternative to Scored Contests if my players don't bite them or if I want the action to feel grittier. This SRD is also a very useful reference as there is a lot of clarified content.
  10. @Chiarina, what you have described in your previous post seems to be tactics not goals. In Group Simple Contests and Group Extended Contests, the goal is common to all the characters. So, when you ask the players "what is your goal?", they should reply something like : "we want them to step back and retreat" or "we want to repell the assault"... Then you should ask them, "how do you try to do that?", and then they should tell you: "I transform myself into a bear and I charge into the fray", "I climb over the roof to shoot arrows at them", "I summon ghosts that will attack them", etc. One goal but different tactics used by each participant in its pursuit. The Tactics determine the traits used during the contest. The situation you describe is in my opinion either a "group simple contest" (each character rolls a single time and you compare the RP scored by each side to determine the final result) or a "group extended contest" (opponents are organized into pairs where a contestant wins over a paired opponent by scoring 5 RP). Although stating a goal is mandatory when it comes to simple group contests, I am less and less convinced by static goals in extended contests. Though I think it is a good thing that the players state a general goal at the beginning of an extended contest, as it helps the GM to describe the ebb and flow of the action, a goal should be allowed to evolve during a contest. What is the point of stating a goal like "kill them all" or "drive them off" when the game system gives you two methods (rising action and climactic contest) for determining the final consequences of the contest and when the GM can (and should) decide that the opponents flee when the fight becomes hopeless, when they have suffered too many casualties or when the leader is taken down... Lately, I am asking the players what their starting goal is and I then let the extended contest evolve "organically" one exchange after the other. There is one thing I have not yet found a way to manage properly in an extended contest: a player using a trait in a way that should give an advantage to all the players at once. A group blessing for example.
  11. My first games were challenging. I also felt it was hard to rate the difficulty, especially when some characters had high "combat" traits and others had low "combat" traits. I have solved the problem by adding an intermediate difficulty level (Base +12) as I felt the gap between the original High (Base +6) and Very High (Base +M) difficulties was too important. Then, while playing, I usually adapt the challenge to each character through the number of opponents they must face at a moment or another during the fight. I am only struggling with the combat scenes though as there are more moving parts and a dynamic I am not used to. I am learning, I am learning.
  12. I don't really know if it can help but I will share my experience with HeroQuest 2. I have runned games for almost four decades and I can tell you that though the HeroQuest 2 rules are easy to learn, they are difficult to master. At least for me. My experience with RPGs is so marked by "traditional" games using things like initiative, hit points, armor points, power points, manoeuvers and such things that I have a hard time at getting rid of the play style and tactics they imply. Even the players are lost because they are used to think through the tactical lenses those systems put on their eyes. It is thus not that easy to get rid of the habits engraved in our RPG practice. If HeroQuest 2 frees you from many of the mechanical burdens engrained in other games, HQ2 relies more heavily on judgement calls and descriptions. Whereas things like initiative, attack, parry and damage rolls, hit points and other mechanics railroad your descriptions, you are more on your own in HeroQuest 2. I have something like 15 HeroQuest 2 adventures behind me and I am still learning through trials and errors. I am yet to exploit the full potential of HeroQuest 2 but I am learning. I am still missing opportunities and realizing after some contests that it would have been more interesting to manage a scene differently. Why? Mainly because I am still thinking in a "traditional" way. After each session, I do a self debriefing, looking at the session and writing down what has gone right and what has gone wrong and what I could have done better and how. This is how my practice gets better and more consistent. The next session, I also talk with the players in order to share my experience, to tell them what I will manage differently (if needed) and to check whether or not we are on the same ground, and adjust if needed. Though many GMs on the net advise you to ask the players about their experience of the game, about what they have liked and disliked, I don't do that anymore. I have found that that does not help at all. My own practice tells me it is better to share my experience with the players and to listen when they react. Shutting up and listening is in my opinion more important than asking questions that plumb my morale. Most people are better at telling you what they have not liked rather than at telling you what they have liked. It is even worse when you ask them why. In other words and to sum up, though consistency is very important, you are in a learning error process made of trials and errors and your practice of the game is evolving through play. In my opinion again, most players are ready to get through it and there is nothing a few explanations can't settle down. Moreover, there are a lot of chances your players are also in a learning process. They have to get rid of their own habits inherited from the other games they have played. You should remember (and I also tell it to myself) that you and your players are here to have fun and that there is no real reason why it should go wrong. They are coming back after all, so it means they have fun. Consistency will surface from practice. I hope I have not been too sententious or peremptory. It was not my intent. This is just a personal and thus necessary flawed experience. And I don't consider myself as a particularly good GM.
  13. You are welcome @borbetomagnus. The spot rules summary also needed an update as there were some typos to correct: HQG_REFBOOKLET_01_Spot_Rules_Summary_v09.docx
  14. The HQG_REFBOOKLET_03_Runes_and_Personality_Traits files have been updated. The Air Rune symbol was wrong and has been corrected: HQG_REFBOOKLET_03_Runes_and_Personality_Traits_English_v02.docx HQG_REFBOOKLET_03_Runes_and_Personality_Traits_French_v02.docx
  15. The rules in Mythic Russia are rather loose. There is nothing else beyond the concept which you have adequately described: a succession of simple contests with immediate consequences. I would only allow one wound level of a kind. For example, if your character receives a second "hurt" consequence, it becomes an "injured" consequence, and so on. Remember that your NPCs don't have to fight to the death. You can replace the HQ2 consequences of defeat by those in HQ1, they are expressed as percentages. I would not allow a benefit of victory after each roll, I would give it at the end of the fight, as in an extended contest. The simple contests can be compared to the exchanges of an extended contest. As far as I am concerned, I am fine with the HeroQuest 2 rules. I am just toying with alternate conflict rules because some players are somehow very disturbed by the abstract nature of HQ2 and the lack of wounds and advantages until the end of the contest. Another group of players I am currently playing with online just accepts the rules as they are and goes with them. I agree with soltakss though, you should not sweat nor the rules nor the details. For example, I have came to the conclusion that most extended conflicts involving combat don't really need a strict frame (I mean a clear "prize" or "goal"). I encourage my players to give me an overall goal, as it helps to describe the flow of the contest, and I let the contest evolve in an organic way. In my opinion, a clear "prize" or "goal" is only needed when the contest is about something other than "killing" or "surviving". For example, it makes no sense to my eyes to strictly enforce a goal like "repelling the ennemies and get the golden statue of Meroe" when the characters can actually do it by simply attacking the ennemy and take some unrelated actions to get the statue before the end of the conflict. But such a goal is a great help in describing the behavior of the opponents and the events resulting from the various exchanges. When it comes to converting another game system to HeroQuest 2, I usually use the skills, talents, advantages, defaults and other attributes of the game system to convert as an inspiration for HQ2 traits. A magic system can usually be converted easily by using one of the HeroQuest: Glorantha magic systems. In my opinion, the key is to emulate, to get the spirit of the game system to convert and to find out how it can be emulated with HeroQuest 2. And when it doesn't fit in HeroQuest 2, what do you lose by ditching it and replacing it with something that fits the HeroQuest 2 rules ? Do you really lose something after all ? It is in my opinion more important to adapt the spirit rather than the letter. And most of the time, the players won't see the difference as they don't know the original game system.
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