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About olskool

  • Rank
    Advanced Member


  • RPG Biography
    40 years of gaming. A real world Military and Law Enforcement backround as well as a competitive shooter (IDPA, 3-gun).
  • Current games
    GDW Merc2000 campaign
    RuneQuest (I own EVERY version)
    I own AD&D, ALL GDW's Games, Every version of Runequest, CoC, Boot Hill, Top Secret, Gamma World, Conan (V1), GangBusters, Fantasy Hero, GURPS, Car Wars, FASA's Star Trek, BattleTech, Shadowrun, and many others packed in the back of my closet.

    My first loves are Twilight2000 and Runequest and I have hundreds of hours playing them.
  • Location
    Northwestern PA
  • Blurb
    If you did it and lived, you probably did it right. - SSGT Smiley, the best Gun Section Chief EVER!

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  1. olskool

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    Yes, I'm aware of this. My issue was always if you ran out of ACTIONS or you used your last ACTION for something else (casting a spell, readying a new weapon) and your opponent scored a success on an UNOPPOSED ROLL, he gets to not only hit you for damage but inflict some kind of Special Effect as well (some of which are "game changing"). All of this just because you run out of ACTIONS. It felt more than a little "unfair" to slower characters and magic users trying to cast spells with their actions who were subsequently attacked (often with ranged weapons). My bumping the selection of an SE up to a roll of 1/2 Skill or less your Skill reduces the frequency of SEs and makes them feel more like the Special Effects I believe that they should be. This is just my opinion of course, and your RQ6 may vary. This desire to make SEs feel "Special" is why I divide them up between THREE levels of Success (instead of the two levels in RQ6).
  2. olskool

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    Yes. I give the benefit to the player since I'm dropping this from 20% of the roll for a normal Special Success (impale).
  3. olskool

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    Well, you should consider that "borrowed." ...(Sighs)... looks like I have another reason to buy Revolution now, and I just ponied up for RQG, D&D5e (not really impressed by this despite my nephew's accolades), and 3 softback editions of Mythras as Christmas presents. I just wish my local gaming shop had a hardcopy to buy. I am admittedly a "Dead Tree Grognard" and hate PDFs despite my "digital" nephew's best efforts. He does seem to enjoy borrowing all my "dead tree" RPGs Though, pretty odd for someone so attached to digital media? I guess I'll have to look into a LULU printing like I did with Mythras.
  4. olskool

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    I did this too but I took a page from the new CoC and I changed the success levels to expedite play. I use the Special Effects from Runequest 6 but I didn't like the "Effect hunting" that occurs with the "stock/RAW" system. Therefore, I broke the Success Levels down to the following steps. Simple Success: This is a roll under the skill involved and doesn't generate any added benefit in the form of Special Effects. The highest roll between two Simple Successes wins. Special Success: This is a roll under HALF (rounding up) of the Skill involved. It beats a Simple Success AND generates a Special Effect from the list of SEs for a Special Success (further segregated by Parry and Attack). High roll wins between two Special Successes. Outstanding Success: This represents the old Special Success (ie Impales, Slashes, and Crushes) BUT it is only 1/10th of the Skill rounding UP. Thus a Skill of 58% would achieve an Outstanding Success on a roll of 6 or less. There is a list of even more effective Special Effects (segregated by Weapon Type, Attack, and Parry) for the Outstanding Success. Those SEs can be "game-changers" like Impale, Crush, Slash, Riposte, Disarm, and Trip. Outstanding Success always beats a Simple or Special Success. Critical Success: This represents the old Critical Hit and occurs ONLY ON DOUBLES ROLLED UNDER SKILL. Thus a skill of 60% would Critical on a roll of 11, 22, 33, 44 and 55. This level of success allows the best Special Effects in RQ6. Special Effects like Sunder Weapon, Do Double Max Damage, Bypass Armor, Choose Location, and Compel Surrender all are found in this success range. Criticals beat all comers except other Criticals. Fumbles: The dreaded Fumble occurs on DOUBLES ABOVE THE SKILL LEVEL. Thus that 60% skill above would Fumble on a roll of 66, 77, 88, 99, or 00. Fumbles also have their own list of Special Effects BUT the opposing player picks the Fumble. A player will pick for a GM's Fumble and vice versa. Some of the Special Effects include Riposte, Hit Self, Hit Companion, Drop Weapon/Shield and Trip and Fall. I find the math much faster and easier with this system and dividing up the Special Effects between the Success Levels reduces the "Analysis Paralysis" that new players often suffer when playing a version of RuneQuest with such Special Effects included. I hope this helps you out in your own game.
  5. olskool

    Greg Stafford Condolence Thread

    I hope you find the answers to those questions we all ask but never have answered. You shall be missed. Godspeed Sir!
  6. olskool


    The REAL QUESTION is... Is Chaosium still suggesting that Morokanth are Vegan? 😒
  7. Retired Marine and Movie Actor R Lee Ermey died on Sunday. May you rest in peace Gunny!
  8. olskool

    RQ3 SR vs Time

    Mikus; We had issues with RQ2/RQ3's Strike Rank system too. We eventually began using a Time (ROUGHLY) = SR System that still used Strike Ranks but was randomized and counted DOWN to zero. Each Strike Rank is loosely equal to 1 second's worth of activity in our system. We combined this with a Weapon reach system and it worked pretty well. Here's a rough overview of our "initiative system." REACH: All weapons have a Reach in meters that indicates how far away you can attack a target. The range of each Reach Class was; Short Reach = 1-meter attack range. Examples include fists, daggers, kicks. Medium Reach = 2-meter attack range. This is the "default Reach." Examples include swords (both short and long), axes, hammers, maces, etc... Long Reach = 3-meter attack range. Examples include poleaxes, short Spears, and morningstar/war flails. Extreme Reach = 4-meter attack range. Examples include whips and long spears. SIZ doesn't impact Strike Ranks anymore BUT it does affect Reach. For every 10 SIZ or fraction thereof over 20 a creature has, you add 1 meter to its Reach. Thus a Troll using a dagger has a Reach of 2 meters with it. Reach also assumes that the attacker is using some movement to position himself for a better attack. That movement is considered part of his weapon's Reach. A longer weapon's Reach is often balanced by the fact that it is heavier and bulkier and therefore requires MORE Strike Ranks to make an attack with (this is dealt with below). Now onto actual Strike Ranks. Strike Ranks: To determine a Character's base Strike Rank, you just divide DEX by 4 rounding up (please note that our characteristics are determined by 3D6+2 Rolls and range from 5 to 20). This gives you the character's Base Strike Rank. To determine the actual Strike Rank each round, we roll 1D6 and ADD that roll to the character's Base Strike Rank. Strike Ranks can be reduced by wounds, fatigue, and encumbrance. This Strike Rank then COUNTS DOWN instead of up. Different actions take different Strike Ranks but each Strike Rank is LOOSELY based on 1 second's worth of activity. If you want to know how long something takes, just time it. The Declaration Phase: In this phase, everyone narratively describes what they are doing and the SR Cost of each of those actions is calculated. This is where Reach affects things. If a person cannot currently reach the desired target, they must move into position to attack. Responding to attacks with parries or dodges also take time as well as drawing weapons and readying spells. Examples of the number of Strike Ranks various actions take are listed below: Attack (small light weapons like daggers) =1SR. Attack (normal weapons like swords) = 2SR. Attack (heavy weapons like poleaxes, hammers, and great axes) = 3SR Attack (large or very heavy weapons like the morningstar and long spear) = 4SR Missile Attack, *Short Range = 1SR Missile Attack, *Medium Range = 2SR Missile Attack, *Long Range = 3SR Missile Attack, *Extreme Range = 4SR Readying/Loading a Missile = 5SR Drawing a Weapon = 1/2 the weapon's attack SR (rounding up). For example, a dagger (SR1) takes 1SR to ready. A great axe (SR3) takes 2SR to ready. Changing an action requires a 2SR "hesitation" from the point you desire to change. For example, you want to attack the Trollkin on SR5 but another character kills him. changing to another target will take 2SRs. Changing from melee to spell casting will require a 5SR "Concentration/focusing" action. Parrying/Dodging require a 1SR Reaction to parry and recover. The desire to defend MUST be declared in this phase and the character loses the SR even if the attack fails. The Hard Look. Characters trying to spot hidden or invisible enemies, using detection spells and Spirit Sight must expend 1SR to "look around." They can examine the 3 hexsides that they are facing. Looking behind you costs 1 ADDITIONAL SR per hexside you check. Magic costs 1SR per POW Point you cast for Spirit and Divine Magic. Sorcery costs 1SR per Manipulation/Shaping X the Intensity you cast at. For example, casting an Intensity 3 spell with Range and Duration Shapings would take 6SR to do. Movement [crawling, climbing, sneaking] = 1SR per meter traveled. Movement [walking] = 1SR per 2 meters traveled. Attack penalties may apply at the GM's discretion. Movement [trotting] = 1SR per 3 meters traveled. Attack penalties usually apply. Movement [running] = 1SR per 4 meters traveled. Attack penalties WILL apply. A character cannot go from a standing start to Running without a skill check (Athletics). Movement [dropping to ground or rising from crouch/sitting] = 1SR. Movement [rising from prone] = 2SR. It is fairly easy to figure what the SR Cost of other actions will be from this list. I then record all the actions on a dry-erase sheet with 12 lines (we used RQ2's 12 strike rank system with RQ3). At the start of the Action Phase, we would simply go down through the SR chart and resolve all the actions in order down to zero. Actions could "roll over" into following rounds. In fact, this was common for magic and reloading missile weapons like crossbows. Finally, we would finalize the "bookkeeping in the Resolution phase. One easy way to keep track of SRs is to give everyone either checkers or poker chips for their SR. They then give you back those chips as they declare their actions. This helps new player a great deal as they have a visual reference of how many SRs they have to work with. I would also swap out RED poker chips (our default colored chips) for BLACK chips when the Character "owed" SRs to complete an action that took more than ONE round. This was a visual cue to collect the needed SRs during the Declaration Phase of the next round. I hope this gives you some "insight" into an alternative method of doing initiative in RuneQuest. *We use a differing missile combat system where the weapon's Base Range is divided into FOUR (mostly) EQUAL Range Bands. Each range band not only takes more time to shoot to but also reduces the shooter's Skill accordingly. Short Range is full Skill and 1SR. Medium Range is 3/4 Skill and 2SR. Long Range is 1/2 Skill and 3SR. Extreme Range is 1/4 Skill and 4SR. For example, a master archer (100% Skill) is using an RQ2 Composite Bow (100m Base Range). His Short Range Limit is 25m and 100% Skill. His Medium Range is 26m to 50m and 75% Skill. His Long Range is 51m to 75m and 50% Skill. Finally, his Extreme Range is 76m to 100m and all shots are at 25% Skill. The SR times take into account the time needed to gauge the range, lead the target (if moving), fire the missile weapon, and for the projectile's flight to the target. A normal arrow will travel at around 80m per second, so the SRs are designed to mirror this.
  9. olskool

    Mongoose RuneQuest I

    Yep, and it shows right from the First Chapter too. I bought RQ6 in the first run of hardbacks TDM put out and there was NO HOPE of Legend (which I bought at the same time) competing against it. At least Legend had a good price point, although I'm not fond of the digest-sized book my hobby shop was selling. But then again, I'm a fan of big hard-backed "dead tree" editions. I cannot wait for Chaosium or The Design Mechanism to print their games in a BIG leather and brass bound full-color hardcover like an old Gutenberg Bible (you know, the ones that break your toes if you drop them on your foot). I'm SO buying that!
  10. olskool

    Mongoose RuneQuest I

    As Runeblogger stated, one issue was that you had to find and "attune" Runes in order to cast magic in the game. In addition, different spells REQUIRED different Runes so you could find yourself searching high and low for a specific Rune in order to cast a given spell, or being limited in the spells you could cast based on your collection of Runes. MRQ1 WAS true to the name RuneQuest. You would also gain special abilities from your Runes. I would classify those abilities as something similar to Feats in D&D. They were not well thought out. Nor were the Heroic Abilities that you could buy with Hero Points IF you had a sufficiently high skill in something. Then there was the hassle of Divine Magic/Theism requiring a certain size of temple to regain Divine Magic. The biggest gripe initially was splitting the base rules into TWO BOOKS (ala D&D), RuneQuest and The RuneQuest Companion. Sorcery was in the Companion so you were screwed IF you wanted to be a Sorcerer initially. I liked the CONCEPT of attuning Runes but disliked the IMPLEMENTATION in MRQ1. I changed this concept to requiring the attuning of the Spirit Rune for the Shaman and the Magic Rune for Sorcerers. Runes could be granted by Cults or found as physical Relics/Manifestations just like True Stone or Magic Crystals for those who might NOT like the idea of committing to a Cult. Thus, in my game, Runes were both "spiritual" (mostly granted by Cult Affiliation) AND "physical" (an actual Rune made "solid" that granted connection to that Rune's power without a Cult Affiliation). I changed the rules to allow you to "attune" a number of Crystals, Relics, True Stone Fragments, or Runes (I use a Willpower stat to replace POW and this is what I use for a limit to attunements, but you could also use CHA or POW). Attuning one of these items would cost 1 point of permanent POW (remember that I made POW a "derived characteristic" like HP) and you COULD buy heroic abilities linked to Runes IF you spent permanent POW. Attuning a Rune would grant a POW gain roll. Some players also didn't like the idea that weapons had both Hitpoints AND Armor Points. I thought it was a good idea as it added another distinct trait to weapons. Overall, my impression of MRQ1 was that the product was "rushed" in development and suffered from being "designed by committee" where the committee didn't always agree on the direction the game was heading.
  11. olskool

    Weapon Damages

    I find it shameful that you aren't allowed to hunt there. Most game is far from helpless and I find it rewarding to kill, dress, and EAT an animal as opposed to buying a processed animal at the store. For the record, I'm NOT trying to offend any PETA followers here. I killed predators on my farm (mostly Raccoon or Opossum killing my Chickens) and hunted animals to supplement my supply of meat. The way I grew up if you were eating meat, you probably knew its name when it lived (we raised beef cattle) OR you hunted and killed it. That's just life in rural PA (I'm so rural that I have Amish neighbors). Please don't be offended by my mention of hunting/killing deer (or other animals). I use 400 to 500-grain arrows with a fairly stiff SPLINE (for the uninitiated, SPLINE is how stiff the arrow shaft is). Even using illuminated nocks, I lose a LOT of arrows hunting. Most arrows that hit game will crack or bend, rendering them useless. I wonder if this would be the case with heavier "War arrows" which often weigh 10 grains per pound of Draw Weight (so a 120lb Draw Weight Warbow would use a 1200 grain/78 gram arrow). I use my back muscles to draw my recurve. My Compound Bow is much less finicky. In addition, it has an 80% "Letoff" at full draw. This means it only takes 15lbs of Draw Weight to hold my 80lb Bow at full draw. This is why I use my Compound Bow in tree stands... A much easier seated draw.
  12. olskool

    Weapon Penetration Ratings

    This is my BIG beef with the Damage Bonus System. A strong character receives the double bonus of being able to use high damage weapons like Great Axes or Troll Mauls AND then they get their FULL Damage Bonus as well. There is just something WRONG with a strong warrior being able to do as much damage with a plastic spork as an ordinary man with a Dagger. This is why I have recently started using a "Surplus STR" system for Damage Bonuses. If you are using a large, heavy weapon like a Great Axe; you will see a "reduced damage bonus" over using a smaller weapon like a Short Sword because you simply cannot swing that Great Axe as fast as that Short Sword. Under my system, EVERY weapon has a SIZ, STR, and DEX requirement that you must meet in order to wield it. This not only reduces the number of larger weapons in the game, it also eliminates issues like the "Halfling with a Great Sword" one often sees in games without these requirements. Once the players accept that you must have a certain SIZ and STR to wield the larger damage weapons, they begin to accept that larger weapons can have smaller damage bonuses due to less extra STR to generate that bonus. The difference in damage bonus being offset by the larger base damage that the weapon generates. The big issue I have with this system is regulating the NUMBER of "SURPLUS STR Points" needed to generate a Damage Bonus. I always err on the side of caution and am using 5 surplus STR points per +1 Damage Bonus. I allow the Character to add 1 to their effective STR for every 10 FULL points of SIZ they possess over the SIZ needed to wield the weapon. I have this Bonus expressed as a "die" in my game. If you would have +2 Damage due to excess STR, I would express it as +1D2 Damage.
  13. olskool

    Weapon Penetration Ratings

    I'm actually using the idea presented by MJ Sadique where armor is multiplied by 1.5 or 2 for poor penetrators or by 0.75 or 0.5 for good penetrators. It adds an additional level of flavor/differentiation between the weapons and hasn't adversely affected game balance. It helps that the most common weapons have no penetration modifier.
  14. olskool

    Weapon Damages

    Wrong guess. I do own a Compound Bow (80lb Draw Weight, 31" Draw Length) but most of my shooting was done with a Hoyt Recurve (50lb Draw Weight, 31" Draw Length) under HUNTING conditions. My longest kill with a Recurve is 58 yards on a white-tailed deer. This is a long shot and I was very lucky. Now let's address some of your issues with my post so I can clarify my position. I will start by the RuneQuest RAW rules involving Bows from the newly reprinted RuneQuest Classic. This will give people reading this post a "benchmark" to use in comparing my rules to the basic rules in RQ2. We will use the Composite Bow as it is the closest example to a modern Recurve Bow (the bow I'm using in these examples). The Composite Bow: Base Range 100 meters, Long Range 150 meters, Extreme Range 200 meters. Shooting Skill is HALVED at Long Range (so a 100% Skill is reduced to 50%) and QUARTERED at Extreme Range (So a 100% Skill is now reduced to 25%). The SR Cost remains the same regardless of the Range at which the Bowman is shooting. There are Skill reductions for environmental factors. Now here are my "stats" for a Composite Bow with a Draw Weight of STR10 (a perfectly average STR) and a medium SIZ to the bow (I have Pixi, Short, Medium, and long Bow Staves which are used in a formula with Draw Weight (10lbs of Draw Weight equal 1 STR required to use the bow) to determine the bow's Base Range. Skipping all of that, my STR10 Composite Bow would also have a Range of 100 meters as a Base Range. I then DIVIDE this Base Range by FOUR to determine my four range bands. So my Compound Bow would have a 25 meter Short Range with a normal Skill roll to hit (so a 100% Skill would be unaffected). At the 50m Medium Range Band, the chance to hit reduces by 25% (so a 100% Skill becomes 75%). Carrying on to Long Range at 75 meters will cut the shooter's Skill in HALF (so a 100% Skill becomes 50%). Reaching the limit of Extreme Range at 100 meters will have reduced the shooter's Skill to ONE QUARTER (or 25% for a Skill of 100%). As you can see, my Range Bands are more "real world oriented" where any shot on a point target over 50 yards is a very long shot and fairly difficult to achieve. "It is also a myth that you can purposefully hit a man-sized target at extreme range." Not True. Just YouTube Long Range Archery and dozens of long ranged shots on game animals with Recurve Bows will come up. Hitting a man is no more difficult than hitting a Bear, Deer, or Hog and there are examples of those shots in plenty. Is it easy? NO! Can it be done? Yes it can. I'll be the first to admit it is hard to do and that is why a MASTER BOWMAN will only have a 25% chance to hit a target at 100 meters under my rules. "It is interesting to see lighting as your skill modifiers but not wind..." As a great many of the Forum users are not English-as-a-first-language speakers, I will explain the meaning of "etc..." This phrase is Latin for "Et Cetera" which translates as "and so forth." It is used to denote an INCOMPLETE LISTING of items. In my modifiers, I listed a few examples for reference so readers could visualize how my modifiers might affect the shot. Yes, I use modifiers for wind. I just didn't include a complete list here. Now I will address your "issues" with the added Strike Ranks and Range Estimation. You make a statement that leads me to believe that YOU think that the time in Strike Ranks is "logged" while holding a "drawn Bow." You also point out the difficulty of Range Estimation and the role it plays in accuracy. I'll start with Range Estimation. This is a function of a shooter's SKILL. Highly skilled shooters are masters of Range Estimation. I factored this in by reducing the Skill for each Range Band. This "models" the increasing difficulty in estimating the target's range and calculating a proper "lead" for a moving target. These mental calculations also take time to do. Thus, Range Estimation has a hand in the time in SRs that a shot takes. As for the assertion you make about holding a Recurve Bow of any weight, I agree TOTALLY. Where the issue comes in is in this assumption. I never said that the shooter would be holding his draw the whole time. I see a missile weapon attack the same way one is supposed to visualize a melee attack. We are explicitly told by RuneQuest that an attack is "a series of blows, feints, and maneuvers" that culminate in a to hit roll. Missile combat should be NO DIFFERENT. I visualize a missile attack being... 1) The shooter orients his weapon towards his target. 2) he then considers the Range (Range Estimation) and any lead he may need to incorporate in order to hit the target. 3) He then steadies, draws, and smoothly releases the projectile. 4) he "follows through" on his release as he observes his projectile's flight. All of those steps take TIME. I measure that time in Strike Ranks (although my SRs are "roughly" 1/2 a second as my rounds are only 6 seconds long). 4 Strike Ranks (potentially representing 4 seconds in the RAW RQ2) is pretty generous for a shot to 100 meters. Just looking at a typical arrow traveling about 80 meters per second will tell you that even a "snapshot" at 100 yards is going to take about 2 seconds between the draw and release and including the arrow's flight time to 100 yards. I hope these explanations "clarify" my previous post for you.
  15. olskool

    Aldryami vs uz

    It won't be the first time I've had to "fix" something that [Insert ANY game designer's name here] wrote. I'm used to it now. I mean, "vegetarian Morokanth??!!" Seriously??