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Everything posted by simonh

  1. Looks fantastic. Any news on the size of the seats?
  2. You’ve definitely got something here. Bear in mind in. Heroquest it can often be difficult to identify encounters. The red wolves might appear as warriors with wolf helmets, or red warpaint, etc. Are they the red wolves or one of the possible third parties? How to heal hundred warriors? Perhaps she enchanted a pool or stream, or a rock and washed each warrior, or placed the rock (huge boulder in the real world) on his chest to heal him, thus the site became blessed.
  3. simonh


    Note I am not suggesting this as a rule, it’s just that what you’re efectively creating that as a rule via a back door. IMHO, once the Charisma spell ends, all it’s benefits go with it. Extra rune points and all.
  4. simonh


    With you until this, as Phil pointed out it’s a workaround that makes at least some partial effects of the spell effectively permanent. If this were allowed, arguably it should be possible to sacrifice for one-use rune points beyond the normal limit.
  5. Yep, I understand the principle. A lot of wargames used to work like that, but then their concerns were generally binary. Do you kill the tank or not? So a success/fail mechanic with modifiers works fine for that. So it's really just a relic of the past right? Well no, as Jonathan Tweet wrote in the linked article there are reasonable game design reasons for keeping it and even using it in new systems. I suppose it's just a matter of the atmosphere you're trying to create.
  6. I got epub and PDF copies of some stuff from Pelgrane and ended up reading all of them in epub. The PDFs are great for printing off pages here and there and I wouldn't be without them, given a choice strictly between the two I'd get PDF, but I found actually reading through the rules dramatically easier with the epub, and I was highly skeptical after reading PDFs on my iPad for years.
  7. Thanks for this. Interesting that he suggests rolling dice for armour as a way to mitigate the problems he identified with armour as damage reduction. I'm familiar with it from Elric but not Chivalry & Sorcery. Correctly identified, I might add. Those are fair criticisms from a game play point of view. I'm having similar issues balancing armour and harm for my Apocalypse World hack. The problem is armour as hit chance reduction just feels too fake IMHO*. *EDIT: On reflection, I think this is because I value a continual feeling that my character might die at any second. It makes it feel more real. I know it's just a game and sometimes you just want to hack and slash with no consequences, but I like my games to have emotional stakes and I don't really get that so much when I'm playing buckets-of-HP games. I don't really want characters to die often, and there are plenty of ways to make that very unlikely in practice, but I want it to feel like they might.
  8. I think I'd rather each game made it's own choice, otherwise it just creates confusion. I'm quite happy RQG has Strike Ranks and such, I know a lot of people like it that way. Meanwhile I still have my copy of Elric and my house rules marrying it to RQ magic are still gogoglable if a little outdated. A split, off-topic thread going off topic? Oh my!
  9. Category modifiers - just too fiddly. CoC and many other BRP games ditched them to no great loss. Elric had packages of skills that get a +20% bonus depending on whether you're a cerebral, energetic, etc type of character (I forget the actual categories). I prefer the DEX rank system in Elric. It's not quite as flexible as strike ranks, mainly because you mostly only get to do one thing each round. You can't mix actions like cast a spell then engage in combat in the same round. In missile combat you just get e.g. one shot per round with a bow, reloading is just assumed to happen and not modelled as a separate action. Conversely you get none of the complexities and ambiguities seen in the dual-wield thread we had a while ago. The spot rules for Elric is also a great way to package up special cases into succinct nuggets of rules, but is only really possible because the core melee system is a bit simpler. Instead of locations I prefer dice for armour, again from Elric. So you might have a suit of armour that gives you 1D6+1 armour points, which you roll if you take a hit. If you take half your general hit points or more in a hit, you roll on a major wound table that includes disabled limbs and such. So you get almost the same detail of outcome from radically more succinct and straightforward rules. Determine if the hit is significant first, then generate the extra detail if required, instead of generating all the extra detail then seeing if it actually mattered. None of these are major issues. It's just personal preference. Taken together, I find as a GM the game flows a lot more smoothly.
  10. The chance to hit assumes you're in a chaotic, mixed up melee combat where everyone is moving about and defending themselves as best they can. My first thought was an inverse of g33k's scenario. The PC is in a melee and isn't directly engaged with an opponent. The PC attempts to attack an NPC that's engaged with another PC or ally and parrying that other PC. I roll to hit with my stick and miss my 30% chance. Well, the NPC isn't actively moving about and defending against me, but they are actively moving about and defending against someone. They're flailing their weapon about too and maybe have a shield. They may not be focusing on me, but they're likely aware of me and getting a hit in is not going to be an easy task. Also I am clearly a very inexperienced stick fighter, in fact I may have a high attack modifier, but might never have fought with one of these things before. It seems unlikely I'd get a hit in every round. So I think in that situation, which is the common case (with a proper melee weapon) that I've seen happen many times, the rules as written are perfectly reasonable. The 'ideal case' of 1-on-1 against a non-defending opponent is a really obscure and difficult to imagine edge case, but as has been said the bonuses against a helpless target would cover most of the actual situations like that I can imagine like that. There is a good argument for a 'Defence' style modifier, but it's an extra complication I don't think is necessary.
  11. My personal preference is your bias. We're just having a civil and frank conversation. D&D 5e isn't really to my taste, but I quite happily played a session of it a few weeks ago and had a great time. I'm sure I'll play it again. I've stated my personal issues with RQG many times here, I think it's far too complicated. Specifically skill category modifiers, strike ranks, hit locations, etc - I think there are far simpler and more elegant ways to get the same or similar end results. If I can say that here without becoming a pariah and RQG hater, why can't some of us also talk about some of the things they dislike about D&D 5e, or any other game? Especially as it relates to using those systems in Glorantha. There' always something to learn from other games. 13th Age may well be basically a D&D variant, but I've learned a lot from it. The success of D&D 5e has a lot of lessons for us too. Back in the 80s I came across a table at a convention playing AD&D in which someone had ported across some of the RQ2 combat system. I forget the details, but each class got a % chance to hit based on level. How awesome is that?
  12. I agree they produce a somewhat similar experience in play, but it is a different set of tools. Like 13G it could expose a new audience to Glorantha. I don't see it happening officially of course, but I think fan efforts to adapt the setting to people's favourite systems are worthwhile and a sign of a healthy community. A lot of good has come from efforts like that before in the Glorantha community.
  13. I’m aware of the history and the relationship to Fudge, I was talking about it on its own terms as a complete game. Aspects and stunts and such are really just modifiers on the skills system. Without a skills system underneath, they have no reason for being. When I say skills, I mean in the broad sense including GUMSHOE general abilities and such. FATE is great, I’m a fan, it’s innovative and flexible but it’s not a fundamentally new way to play RPGs. It is a new way to play with skills systems. FATE Glorantha anyone? I’d play that.
  14. FATE is great, but it’s ‘just’ a (sophisticated, well executed, innovative) skills based system. To see how different the Apocalypse World system is, take a look at some of the more unusual playbooks. The hardholder has all the custom, specialised rules you need to create and be the ruler of an entire community along with all your trials and tribulations right there on the character sheet. The rules for gangs are a complete mass tactical combat system in a few paragraphs. The Hocus is the leader of a cult, so there must be a chapter on cults and how to lead them and how that works and your obligations and benefits in the rule book right? Nope, all you need is on the character sheet. The Skinner is a seductive social manipulator that’s actually highly effective and playable, something many games have tried to do and few have succeeded, and how many did so in as little space as a few paragraphs on the character sheet? Most games have combat systems that are are highly gamey. By that I mean the system provides a complete framework for all aspects of combat and provides the players with a lot of determinism. They know that if they create a character with X, do Y in combat and roll Z they will get exactly this or that benefit. They will do this amount of damage, for Magic their spell will have specified effects so the player can actually tell the GM what happens because the game system guarantees those outcomes. Apocalypse World does that for anything a character might ever be good at. As such it’s a very gamey system. If you’re a social manipulator and you get a strong hit on your social manipulation move, you get to tell the GM exactly what benefit you get, as mediated by the rules. Compare that to a Fast Talk roll in a BRP game, or an equivalent ability in FATE. No matter how well you roll, what benefit you get if any at all is entirely at the GMs discretion. They even get to decide if you can roll or not. The game system provides half of a game mechanic for the vast majority of activities and the actual outcome is left to the GM. Some systems had elements of the move concept before. Some of the class abilities in Castles & Crusades or D20 Modern worked a bit like this for example, but were still much more subject to GM interpretation and mediation’s and had very limited scope. i know I’m rambling on, but there’s one other thing about AW that I’d never seen in an RPG before. It tells you exactly how to prepare, run, play and wind down the game every step of the way. It tells you how to play the game the way Panzer Leader or Monopoly tells you how to play. It covers the whole experience start to finish. Every othe RPG I’ve ever read tells you how to do certain things during a game. If the characters get in a fight, use this game mechanic. If one of them casts a spell use that game mechanic. How you get from one situation to the next is vaguely hand waved at best. But AW leaves no gaps hanging uselessly open between these island rules. Every step of the experience, every interaction between the players and GM (actuall the MC or Master of Ceremonies) takes place within a well defined framework of player and GM moves. This is possible because the move cycle of hits and misses constantly generates new activity. Im not saying it’s the best game ever, it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. Apocalypse World itself is likely to provoke strong reactions for or against just due to the subject matter, but I’d urge anyone looking at it to look beyond that. It’s just one expression of this approach to design. The game design and structure is like nothing else I’d ever seen before. Actualy there’s another truly original RPG ‘type’ of system out there these days. Hill Folk. Although I could argue that Fiasco beat it to it in some ways. EDITED - partially rewritten for clarity.
  15. I think there have been four really fundamentally different approaches to RPG design and mechanics over the years. The class based approach from D&D where each class has basically its own game subsystem. The skills based approach from RQ, Traveller and others, most games are a variant of this sometimes combined with classes. The diceless approach from Amber, which has never really cought on. Then there’s the move based approach from Apocalypse World. Move based games are busily replicating and assimilating various segments of the hobby. Playbooks are a bit like classes, but that aspect of the approach isn’t a fundamental characteristic. It’s the move mechanics that really matter. It’s a hugely flexible approach that can do in a few paragraphs what other approaches to game design struggle to achieve in whole chapters. Move based games are here to stay. Its possible I’m seeing this through a very personal and arbitrary lens. I’ve certainly not read every RPG ever published so maybe I missed or forgot something, but each of these approaches changed the way I think about roleplaying games.
  16. > For what it is worth, for me the jury is still out on whether D&D5e is a good or even particularly interesting role-playing game. [I messed up the editing somehow. I’ll address Jeff’s post in two comments] I recently visited my old games club here in London and also popped into a new one in the same area. Both are mad for D&D 5e. From what I can tell it’s hugely popular and the only D20 fantasy game I saw being played, which is a big change from 5 years ago. I completely agree it’s uninteresting as a game. It’s a fairly simplistic, back to basics edition similar in many ways to the best of the OSR clones like Castles & Crusades, but I think that’s why it’s so popular. The vast majority of D&D players want something straightforward that lets them dungeon bash with a minimum of fuss and bother. The vast majority of newcomers to the hobby want to play “Dungeons and Dragons”, because that’s what they think rolleplaying is, and with 5e they get it in a more accessible and functional form than ever before. In terms of innovation and interest value 13th Age beats 5e hands down, but that’s not what everyone is after.
  17. For me RQ is a lens I can’t shake when looking at Glorantha. Even though I read half a dozen H.P. Lovecraft stories before playing Call of Cthulhu, it’s also the lens I see those stories through nowadays. Having played characters in those worlds a certain way for so long, it’s hard for me to shake that. For all that, RQ is too heavyweight a game system for me these days, I’m super happy that it’s back and we’re going to get a ton of new Gloranthan material in that form, but I’ll be adapting it for my own gaming. Having said that, I think the more game systems we have supporting Glorantha out there published or in the fan community the better. HeroQuest gave us a great new way to think about the setting. Pendragon Pass kept the RQ game form and structure but radically simplified. 13th Age is tons of fun and gave us yet another way to make all kinds of crazy Gloranthan weirdness playable. I’m experimenting with adapting Apocalypse World to Glorantha. A Black Hack Glorantha mod would be cool. Let a thousand flowers bloom!
  18. I’ve posted about this before, but I find it fascinating that the Moldvay edition of Basic D&D actually did have a universal task resolution system. The “you can try anything” rule where you roll D20 and try to get less than an appropriate stat. Moldvay Basic is a real eye opener, the generosity of spirit and have-a-go attitude is so refreshing. Unfortunately it was all bulldozed and paved over almost immediately by the next edition. Funnily enough the most interesting new kid on the OSR block, The Black Hack, is based on the exact same game mechanic.
  19. Yes it f course, we know that. The point is they were both lawless enough, compared to modern times, for the writer behind Deadwood to be able to explore the themes of social organisation and community in either. What we’re saying is that, while Deadwood and Pavis are not identical, the social conditions there are close enough to be able to explore those same themes. If the writer behind Deadwood could achieve his storytellbeing aims in either Rome or Deadwood, it seems reasonable to suppose that we can explore similar themes in Pavis. Or maybe even Babylon. You’re probably right, but Adari has magic and nonhuman races and monsters too so doesn’t that disqualify it? The only thing that makes it more similar is it’s smaller. But Rome was the most populous city on earth, and apparently it would have done just fine too, so scale isn’t everything. The important thing is, what kind of stories can we tell there? Deadwood is a great source for that.
  20. I know what you mean, but arguably the Roman system of government at the municipal level had more in common with organised crime than we’d be comfortable with today. Yes they had laws, but even organised crime is, well, organised.
  21. This comment is especially hilarious considering Deadwood was originally going to be set in ancient Rome. But of course Rome isn’t ancient Babylon either...
  22. There were a few things published for RQ2 that really looked out of place - mistaken attempts to shoehorn something into Glorantha for the sake of a mistaken sense of completism or symmetry. Cults have Rune Lords. Chalana Arroy and Lankor Mhy are cults. Therefore Aaron healers and Sword Sages. Thank goodness this trend didn’t reach as far as the Uleria cult. I have a feeling the Lanbril cult for RQG, if it exists at all, will also be pretty drastically reined in. For those who were fans of this stuff that’s cool, I can understand why and the old write up still exist and are very easily adapted to RQG.
  23. I don't really get how that is cheating. We don't always roll for NPC stats, and certainly don't go through the process of rolling for their skill increases, rolling for their POW gain rolls, etc for their whole career, rolling for cult tests, etc. I don't see how waiving all of that is not cheating, but giving them the CHA they need, or waiving the requirement is. NPCs are always created arbitrarily, and given that we don't actually have the full cult writeups in question, you can set the requirements and other details fo the cult however you like perfectly legitimately. None of this is cheating, it's just ordinary conventional GM's prerogative.
  24. The best way to learn HQG and start runningunning it is using HQG supplements and scenarios, and there are plenty of excellent ones to choose from. In my post suggesting RQ stats are easily adaptable to HQG I made sure to be clear that I was not advocating trying to run RQ using the HQ game system. That will give you the worst of both worlds. Specifically I was referring to the detail provided in RQ stats. It’s pretty easy to translate RQ skills and spells into HQG abilities, keywords and breakouts but they need to be interpreted in HQG terms and I would advocate doing that without any reference to how they work in RQ itself. They are very different games. In general I would never recommend a GM who has never run a game system, and is worried about how they should run it, to try to run it using a scenario for a completely different game system as a starting point. Once you’re familiar with your game system and have experience with how it plays, then sure you probably know it well enough to adapt stuff and that’s really what we’ve been talking about.
  25. simonh


    Personally I have always picked and chosen which bits I used from established material and which I overwrite for my own purposes. My Karse is distinctly different from the way it’s been described, because the way I wanted it suited the needs of the game I wanted to run better. Likewise with Sartar Kingdom of Heroes. I’m considering running a Colymar or Lismelder game. The HQG Sartar books are invaluable resources for that, along with some issues of Tales, but if I do run it the details of some of the clans will likely vary distinctly to suit the inter clan dynamics I want to have in my game. If you consciously decide that you are going to knowingly change certain things, it’s enormously liberating. If you’re reading just to absorb canon I can see the concern for sure. However by avoiding these books you’re also going to miss out on a huge amount of info that will never be contradicted and may never see print again. Also the PDFs happen to be really good value.
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