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About daddybear

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  • RPG Biography
    Long-time player for decades with experience with the 1st D&D, AD&D, Dragonquest and Runequest 2 and 3. Once, long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away actually had an article published in Dragon Magazine.
  • Current games
    Runequest 3, BRP
  • Location
    Maryland, USA
  • Blurb
    Gamemaster/referee/storyteller of an FRP campaign using heavily modified RQ3 rules.
  1. My greatest worry about the new edition is that in trying to tie it more fully to Glorantha the design will make it difficult or functionally impossible to use the system in another setting. I am another old wizened grognard who grew up with AD&D and later converted to Dragonquest. In recent years I have been running a campaign with a group of younger adults (all twenty-somethings now) who had no exposure to FRP before. I used RQ3 with a redone sorcery because I thought it was the most intuitive system for novices. After all, if you passed eighth grade math you understand percentages. Give them a half hour explanation, hand out characters and start playing and they actually have a clue how to do it. However, I use the campaign background I created all those decades ago for AD&D. I have literally decades of work invested in it and the physical/social/economic/religious/magical background differs from Glorantha. I remain hugely impressed with the many adventure modules available from the past iterations of RQ, but converting them to work in my world is a real chore. I am very much a Perrinista (as opposed to a Staffordite) who is mostly interested in the system as a game, not an exploration of an alternate mythology. What I have seen in the designers' notes has been interesting and certainly you have my attention, but I remain concerned that the system can get so wrapped up in the setting that it becomes unusable for someone like me.
  2. So, I rejected the whole Nash-Whittaker version some time ago for my own reasons, so can not speak to how things happen in RQ6. This is not a criticism of those who love RQ6 - different strokes for different strokes. I just can't address issues through that part of the geneology. As to your challenge, my PC's are what I would consider mid-level, so they are not in conflict with "heroic NPCs", although I wonder exactly how this is defined by different gamemasters/referees/storytellers. My PC's have met a couple of "heroic NPC's" as I would define it and all of them were carefully crafted to be possible within the (heavily modified) RQ3 rules I use. Are they likely? NO!! Their heroic, by definition they are truly extraordinary and far beyond what is expected. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "reasonable bounds of probability". I don't create NPCs that have 18s in every characteristics and 140% in all the relevant skills. Why not just say to the players "so the sun just went nova and all your characters are dead". Every NPC I create, even the truly "heroic", have great strengths, but also weaknesses that can be exploited. My standard when creating the NPC's that the players should be impressed with and possibly look up to is to imagine that the character were a PC and a good player took them through 15 years gametime of adventuring and was fortunate (not a 6 on every D6 roll for five years of playing, but better than average luck) what would that character look like? All the (few) "heroic" characters I have created have met that standard. One of them is actually an old character of mine that really did go through five years of playing basically every week during that time. That is my standard. The NPC must be possible, but definitionally is not very likely.
  3. I usually don't actually randomly roll up NPC's. I tend to create NPCs to taste, giving them the characteristics that are needed for them to play the role they are intended to play in the evolving narrative. Usually skill percentages are more important than characteristics anyway. If I need a powerful shamen, I give him a really high POW, but picking his spells and bound spirits seems more important to me. I try to always balance the opposition so that the players are challenged without being overmatched, but it is an art, not a science. I don't aim for a particular number; I use the numbers that seem appropriate for the character I need to push the story forward. As for new PC's, I don't know that a character with slightly above median characteristics would be uninteresting, let alone unplayable. Actually, the few characters that my players have rolled do have some extraordinary numbers, two with 16s. With so many numbers to be generated there always seems to be one or two that are outliers, both good and bad. I suppose if the random die rolls created a very bland character and the player really didn't have a clue as to how to roleplay that I would give them a mulligan and start over. I am not a big one for rules lawyering. The point is for everyone to have fun. My concern is that my players feel that the rules are applied fairly and in a way they can understand, not that the rules are totally rigid. I actually have discouraged my young adult players from reading the full rules set - none of them even own the RQ3 rules. I want them to role-play.
  4. So, I am an olllddd grognard so perhaps my experience is irrelevant, but I'll share it anyway. When I had my introduction to FRP in the fall of 1974, we all sat around a table, rolled a bunch of dice (they were just dice back then, not D6) and wrote a bunch of numbers on index cards without having any idea what they represented and how they would effect us during gameplay. Then we spent hours buying equipment and filling up the cards with lists of spells and eventually watched Saturday Night Live and went to bed and started to actually play the game the next morning. It's a miracle any of us came back for a second session. Now, decades later my teenage son and his friends found my library of ancient RPG materials and expressed interest. My experience was largely AD&D and Dragonquest, but I had dabbled with RQ3 and thought it was far and away the best introductory rules set for novice players new to roleplaying. After all, if you understood percentages in middle school math you can comprehend the RQ system. How I handled the start was that I created characters for them. There were 6 players so I created 9 characters, all of which were compatible with the character generation rules in RQ3. Now the characteristics were probably slightly above the expected average, but none were way out of line power-wise. I made typical archtype characters - a big strong dumb farmboy with his father's sword, a snarky educated city girl with lots of magic ability but barely able to lift her silver spoon, typical dwarf and elf, and that aspiring druidess did have a 16 POW but also had a 7 APP (think of the role playing possibilities). I described the characters in general terms, let the players pick the ones they wanted and, oh by the way, instant balanced party, which the novices would not have known to do at the beginning. Only then when they had character record sheets in hand did we discuss characteristics or any other numbers. Half an hour of explaining the basics ("the red die is always the tens digit") and they were actually playing. Later, after they gained some experience at playing and had incurred some casualties it was time for two players to generate new characters. I had them roll up 3D6 seven times, but just record the numbers. If the sum of all the numbers was less then 75 they could reroll the lowest number until the sum reached 75. Then the players got to assign the numbers to characteristics as they saw fit. This let the players tailor the characters to their wishes, but avoided any fine tuning or supermen. Worked well for me. Anyone else ever try it?
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