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StephenMcG

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StephenMcG last won the day on October 29

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About StephenMcG

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    Advanced Member

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  • RPG Biography
    Playing since 1978 and currently gaming weekly online and fortnightly face to face.
  • Current games
    RuneQuest/HeroQuest hybrid; FFG Star Wars; Champions
  • Location
    London
  • Blurb
    50 something bloke who enjoys gaming with friends...

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  1. StephenMcG

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    I think I will adopt the approach of high roll wins within result type. When a comparison is necessary a critical beats a special which beats a success which beats a fail which beats a fumble. If the result types are the same then the highest roll wins (which is only odd in the case of a fumble versus a fumble where 00 would beat 96 if both were fumbles). When skills are above 100 I prefer equally reducing both opponents skills until one of them is 100 (with consequent reductions in the chance of specials and criticals for each of them). Stephen
  2. StephenMcG

    Feedback on new improvement proposals sought

    One of my big issues with games that have Hero Point style mechanics is the work the GM has to do to get the economy flowing. The games really only work if the players feel free to spend those points. In FATE style games the GM has to be pushing points at the players almost continually to get them either to spend or to engage with the plot/aspects of the session. In HQ style games (my first encounter with this was TORG) is that the GM has to encourage players to spend despite the fact that spending will hinder longer term growth. I do think that the game is better when points are spent at appropriate times in the game, gives those moments a proper heroic feel to them. I dislike NPCs being able to do it because that just feels like the GM (who has unlimited points) forcing players to spend just to stand still. I think I would like a system where you spend points for game effect, if those points result in major victories at dramatic points in the game (which suggests the GM has to find a way to highlight those dramatic points - in my game that will be during an extended contest) then those points transform into XP which can be used to improve the character. To me, this gives the freedom for players to use the points whenever they want (without the chance of gaining XP) but driving them to engage fully in the dramatic moments of the game. Obviously the choice of what should be an extended contest might be different during the game than in the GMs head during planning but that should be one of the joys of playing the game. I fully expect that some extended contests will occur because it is a moment crucial to the players rather than to the GMs plot. Stephen
  3. StephenMcG

    Bring Out Your Dead

    This is a fascinating discussion. I dislike the character advancement mechanism as it makes the player choose between more efficacy now or longer term improvements when it is by accomplishing great things that is more likely to lead to greater efficacy and confidence. I am wondering whether you should only increase if you get a major success or better with a contest in which you use a Hero Point. I am now also wondering whether all abilities should scale within the party - Sven is the greatest axeman of our group while Brunhild is the best healer. All advancement would then be for improving the party's standing (and reducing the base resistances that they face with regard to opponents). I like the idea of ranking opponents - so a trollkin would be a minor obstacle and a Mother Race troll would be a heroic obstacle. Base resistances would scale for the level of obstacle faced... Perhaps a bit much for the purposes of this thread but it might be a different way to do things. The greatest axeman would remain so unless the greatest axeman was missing the session and then someone else would take that role...lots of thought needed but the conversation throws up a greater narrative consideration....
  4. StephenMcG

    Bring Out Your Dead

    I used a mixture of simple and extended contests for the Cradle scenario under Hero Wars with, I think, some success. The players won the first few extended contests as waves of Lunars sought to board the cradle but suffered hurts from simple contests from the missile and magic preceding each wave, thus decreasing their abilities to face the next wave. The extended contests tied things together, are they really that bad in play?
  5. StephenMcG

    Bring Out Your Dead

    OK, I was on board with Hero Wars (kudos to Bruce Ferrie for running a intro session for my group) and ran a small campaign that ended using first edition HeroQuest. I am currently running a RuneQuest game and layering HQ over the top for crossing onto the Hero/God plane. As such I have been more closely reading the HQ rules and I am stumbling with the Rising Action stuff. I think I have a handle on it but I don’t think the rules make it clear. Would I be right in saying that during an adventure I can run everything unrelated as simple contests and use the consequences after each contest as per page 70. If I am going to use extended contests I should use the rising action consequence table (top of page 83) for the contests up to the climax and then the climactic consequence table (lower in page 83) for the final contest? Am I also right to say that the contests in the run up can use a mix of simple and extended by utilising columns 1 and 4 to correlate consequences? So this table can supersede the table on page 70? I can see the value in all this but I think it needs more clarity in the rulebook. It has taken me several read throughs and I persevered simply because I am determined to get it right. I like the idea of the cheat sheet but that does not (on a quick scan) cover this element of consequences. Stephen
  6. StephenMcG

    Bladesharp

    I prefer to add everything up before deciding to split etc. I think that if you are saying the +10% is on the sword and effects both hits then the 10% could not apply as to whether the attack could be split at all - which should all be about the wielders skill and not the weapon being used. Personally, I think that the additional chance to hit is a bonus to the wielder of the weapon and that to double dip on chance to hit is to make the spell a bit too effective for what it is, you get the bonus to skill because the sword handles better and then it provides additional damage to everything hit by the weapon. IMG obviously... πŸ™‚ Stephen
  7. StephenMcG

    RQG Pavis Campaign

    It can be difficult. I had a magical situation where I wanted the players to highlight a thing they would have boosted at the expense of something that they would lose. I wasn't that explicit but they were all asked the question of what they would give up - one player said "nothing" which was a legitimate answer that I was not actually expecting. I had nothing at the time to deal with that but, after some hard chewing by my subconscious, he did not lose anything but he gained the boon he was seeking but he also now shows up on ANY detect spell that is cast around him. It is surprisingly disruptive in all kinds of ways and I think he might have to quest to do something about it... Stephen
  8. StephenMcG

    Summoning RuneQuest Gamemasters

    The Game before Rules Principle: do not allow the flow of the game to be ruined looking up the detail of a rule. Tell the players you are making a ruling and will check rules after the session. Too often a moment of tension in the game is allowed to dissipate as everyone consults rulebooks and argue over details. This is the GMs job, keep the pace of the game up and when in doubt, rule in the player's favour (unless ruling against them would make for a better story and be more fun).
  9. StephenMcG

    Strike rank conundrum.

    So many options! πŸ™‚ A complex cost benefit calculation every time you fire an arrow!!!
  10. StephenMcG

    Strike rank conundrum.

    If you are the archer, what would you do? The target is running toward you and will not reach you but will be within a more accurate range soonish. Do you wait a bit to get a better shot? I would. If the archer is going to fire twice, I might say to the player that during the first shot the target is at an extreme range but the second one will be easier as the range has closed a bit. Flexibility in GMing is a great thing, you can even use such things to build tension.
  11. StephenMcG

    Strike rank conundrum.

    I think you are still thinking too linearly. πŸ™‚ Do the NPCs shoot at PC1? If so, then you are in Strike Ranks early on as the shots and spells might affect the movement. Is the PC moving close so that he can interact with a different NPC? If so, the shots go before the PC reaches the NPC but the strike rank between the PC and the NPC (who was not shooting but might have been spelling) is resolved normally - the PCs movement will not add to his SR as their combat reflexes are simply being compared to each other to see who goes first (this is where SR does not reflect actual time taken). I might allow the NPC to use 4 'free' SR to cast a spell as someone is moving toward her. This is the most complex and it is good to be a bit flexible to make things make sense. Is the PC simply moving that round (or doing other things that do not directly affect anyone else around him) and noone is going to interact with him? Then get that movement out of the way first. It actually clarifies with players what is going on and if all the movement is done upfront it can change the actions people intend to do, which might affect that movement.
  12. StephenMcG

    RQG Pavis Campaign

    You know, to show a contrast you need to establish a baseline. My biggest task with a group of Glorantha newbies was to establish in their heads what was β€˜normal’ for Glorantha, or indeed what was normal for the bit they came from. Adventurers are, by their very nature, a more eclectic, rule-breaking group than the vast majority of everyone else. They need to feel the constraints that apply to everyone else in their society, so that they can appreciate when they break the rules and possibly understand how far someone else is going. in every part of Glorantha rule-breaking is feared as it often leads to chaos or god-learner-ism or worse! There are pretty good practical reasons to be socially conservative. I think I might spend a little time introducing Arbroath, have him sweep through, doing what he does, but have the adventurers clean up the disruption, socially and magically, have them appreciate what a deep trough he is ploughing through the world. Let them see the good and bad (always a bit of both in wartime). In every campaign I ever played it has been better to show than tell, but it does take such a long time to get gamers to invest in your world. Well worth it for a group likely to remain together for the long haul...
  13. StephenMcG

    Strike rank conundrum.

    I think the trick is when someone is moving in phase 2 and another character decides to interact, the actions can all then be delayed until SR combat counting. If there is no interaction, the movement is out of the way, their spells and missile stuff can wait until the SR counting is being done. It is all abstraction rather than simulation...(in my head it is anyway)
  14. StephenMcG

    RQG Pavis Campaign

    Well, I think that I am more likely to do that kind of the thing in the Rubble than many other places, like I say, it is pretty funky in magic terms... I tend to allow them to go to the Rubble and adventure but they know that there is always a chance they find themselves in much deeper water than they planned. People do live there and people do survive. The safe routes are specific and once off the beaten track the risks are more variable than they might be in many other areas in Glorantha. Big risk, big reward is what draws people to the area. My campaign is still many years back as I build the characters up to the Cradle scenario - fantastic for players to experience - RQG is going to need an adventure as epic as this one pretty soon...
  15. StephenMcG

    RQG Pavis Campaign

    I like to push the characters onto the Hero Plane in a variety of ways. It is a good way to emphasise the magical underpinning of the setting. If they are going into the Rubble with Argrath then there is going to be some hefty magic going on. If Argrath is questing then there is every chance those on the periphery will get swept up in the magics and into the Hero Plane. They may also get swept up into the quest of some of Argrath's opponents who need cult appropriate enemies to defeat. πŸ™‚ Personally, I use HeroQuest rules when they get onto the Hero Plane to get a different play feel - a more narrative environment where rules are easier to bend. Stephen
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