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pachristian last won the day on October 15 2017

pachristian had the most liked content!


  • Junior Member


  • RPG Biography
    Gamer since 1975. Bought RQ at Origins 1978, and have been using RQ and BRP variants since. Have created many house rules, but never satisfied with them. Most of my long-running campaigns have been RQ - either in Glorantha or historical earth settings.
  • Current games
    Running a swashbuckling "age of piracy" game, with Call of Cthulhu overtones and a liberal mix of Tim Powers and Voudoun. Prepping a Conan-esq bronze age game, set in the middle east.
  • Location
    San Leandro, California
  • Blurb
    History buff, interested in sailing, work in IT - like everyone else - married to a gamer - to the envy of most of my gaming friends. Regularly GM at local cons.

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  1. The key element in all of this is player and GM attitude. For some players it's all about having the biggest numbers on their character sheet. These are the advancement-oriented players. Those players usually play assertively, and try to get as many check marks as they can. The better advancement-oriented gamers will have a solid reason for why their character uses their skills, or changes weapons. For other players, it's about storytelling. Those players are more likely narrate and dialog through their game, and to only roll skills when it is necessary for the story. Looking at David Scott's post (8/19, 4:23) we see that after 6 sessions, the players averaged about 2 check marks per session. My guess is that David runs a story-driven game. Neither play style is "right" - both players are playing their own version of "Maximum Fun". The challenge to the GM is when you have players of both types in the same game. I generally do. Because the rules as written reward the player who assertively pursues check marks. Given time, because of their play style, this gives them a more potent character on the character sheet, then the person who plays a more narrative style. This can lead the more story driven player to feel quite frustrated; they have lower skills and fewer spells than the more assertive player. The longer the game goes on the greater the difference becomes. Did I hear you say "So what? They're both playing the style they want to?" The answer to that is "yes, but as players, and as equals at the gaming table, they are entitled to equal treatment." And if I have several players who all play for good storytelling, but only two of them assertively pursue checkmarks, then I will have an unbalanced game after a relatively short time. You see, one play style that is not "right" is the player who advances his character at the expense of the other player-characters. I've had several of this type of player in games. It is difficult deal with as they are often good players, good role-players, and popular with their friends. You really have to be cold-blooded to recognize that they're always stepping up to the plate - even when it means blocking others from using the same skills. Based on the answers on this thread, it sounds like the GM's who have kept track award around 10 check marks per season, per player. I'd like to call out jajagappa (posted 8/18, 6:07) for having a good idea of what kind of skills his characters use. Thank you, that was very helpful. I don't have much data on how many play sessions that is for most of us. I know from my own experience that most of the adventures I GM run 3-4 sessions. I think it's important to keep a running count, not because I don't trust my players, but so I can ensure I am giving them enough opportunities to get checkmarks on a given adventure. I want to ensure that the players are getting equitable numbers of checkmarks. I need to see that I am not favoring one player over another. I cannot do either of these things without keeping some metrics. My traditional answer is to only award a checkmark when the skill use is (a) relevant to the adventure and (b) there can be a negative consequence for failure. My current answer is to run Mythras (The Design Mechanism), which I think is the best of the D100 systems. In Mythras, characters are awarded improvement points, which creates a whole new set of challenges, but nethertheless ensures fair distribution of improvements. Finally, when it comes to dealing with Checkmark farming, all I can say is that player's ability to rationalize why this particular skill role is relevant to the adventure never ceases to astound me!
  2. Forgive me if this topic has been raised already. For the experienced RQ:Glorantha GM's. How many checkmarks, on the average, do you expect a player-character to get each adventure? Each play session? Do you keep a running count? Finally, how do you prevent "Checkmark farming" where players request to gratuitously roll on skills to get checkmarks, whether or not they have a bearing on the current adventure?
  3. How did we get onto Ernalda and the status of women? The answer to my question is that Yelmalio is universally worshipped among the men of Sun County, and Lodril and other solar gods are only worshipped for specialized situations. Lodril's specialized magic, to warm the earth, is not particularly useful in Prax or the Zola Fel valley, so there would not be a practical reason to import the cult. Ergo, there are probably a few shrines to Lodril, but either no dedicated worshippers, or so few that it does not matter.
  4. You missed the important ones: https://www.kon-tiki.no/expeditions/ra-expeditions/ Ra I did not quite make it across the Atlantic, but Ra II did. https://www.kon-tiki.no/expeditions/tigris-expedition/
  5. Pardon me if this has been asked before: Do peasants in Sun County, Prax, worship Lodril? Or is the entire population dedicated to Yelmalio/appropriate cohort goddess?
  6. I don't know about the rat deity, but the mouse deity has a theme park with a castle in the far southwest.
  7. Moana is practically a textbook hero quest. Age of Bronze by Eric Shanower. The various Conan stories; particularly Beyond the Black River. A number of the Icelandic Sagas; my favorite is King Harald's Saga. And, as a must-read, Geoffrey Bibby's amazing: Four Thousand Years Ago.
  8. I think that in your shoes, I would find out from the player what they expected to be able to do with a "Circe-like" character. Make sure that their expectations will fit into the game.
  9. Not as scary as starving to death.
  10. Oi! The second rule of being a GM: Never ask your players to attempt a roll that you’re not willing to have them fail!
  11. Two players works great. Just remember to never make an adventure hinge on a skill that neither of them possesses.
  12. Runequest Classic and Runequest Glorantha use the same core mechanics. I recommend that you base the difference on your players. The key difference is that Runequest Classic was done with the philosophy of "sit down, roll up a character, play". Character background, relations, and complications are kept to a minimum. The whole rulebook is only 120 pages. RQ Classic is showcased by the Pavis campaigns: You have a giant dungeon (called the Big Rubble), and a city outside it. Adventurers go from the city into the rubble as their day job, looking to loot ancient treasures from the monster-infested ruin. This is normal gaming from the 1970's. By itself, Runequest Classic will not get you into Glorantha. For that, you need, at least, Cults of Prax (Chaosium, 1978). This was the book that introduced most of us to the wonders of Glorantha. You see, while Runequest gave a hint of how to bring magic into play, Cults of Prax gave you something you could actually use in play. Runequest Glorantha is another kettle of fish. Depending on your point of view, it either "engages you deeply in the mythical world of Glorantha", or "crams Glorantha down your throat until you choke". Characters start by generating their homeland and ancestry, and build their character in relation to their background, passions, astrology (runes), and you create the whole complex edifice of your character's social role. The rules are not much more complex than in RQ Classic, and they offer more variety in play. But they are served atop a very thick slice of Glorantha, with a side order of "this is how you are meant to play your character". If your players are the kind of players who just want to hit monsters, take their treasure, and brag about how awesome they are, then RQ Glorantha is probably not going to appeal to them. Now, despite this, I recommend RQ Glorantha, with two caveats: (1) If you are an experienced GM, and know how to edit material so your players are not overwhelmed, then RQ Glorantha will give you a better game: It's easier to sideline rules until you need them than to add to the rules. (2) If your players are the kind of gamers who are willing to put a little extra effort in to get a more rounded storytelling experience.
  13. "We Don't Need Another Hero", Tina Turner, 1985 "Cinderella", Cheetah Girls, 2003 I can slay my own dragons I can dream my own dreams My knight in shining armor is me
  14. They are in my game.
  15. It's funny... Dozens of original, clever, involved, campaign ideas. And the one that my players like best is still: "You have come to Pavis, to raid the big rubble and find gold and glory!"
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