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About Thyrwyn

  • Rank


  • RPG Biography
    Started playing D&D with the AD&D PHB in the early 80's; discovered RuneQuest shortly thereafter. I've played just about every system out there at some point, but RQ and D&D have never lost their appeal.
  • Current games
    Currently running a weekly game that I've just ported to RQG. I also play a lot of Warhammer 40K and other GW games (Necromunda, Blood Bowl, Kill Team...)
  • Location
    State College, PA
  • Blurb
    Comfortably ensconced in the "wilds" of central Pennsylvania
  1. Thyrwyn


    It is quite possible to be able to read a language you can neither speak nor understand when spoken. This was the point of the Chinese system of writing - it allowed understandable communication across a vast empire even between individuals that shared no spoken language. The meanings of the characters could be taught to anyone, regardless of their spoken language or the sounds of the words, because the characters do not correspond to sounds. Even today, you can learn to read and write Latin without having the remotest possibility of understanding a word an actual Roman citizen might have said My wife used to work with a guy who can read and write Russian, Hebrew, Greek, and Ancient Greek without being able to speak a lick in any of them.
  2. Thyrwyn

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    I’ve been playing since AD&D, and 5e is my favorite system by far, but it’s strengths may only really prove evident during play. It is not deeply intricate, but it is consistent, and broad enough to allow meaningful choices that remain engaging and fast. The action system is deeper than it appears at first glance, and the advantage/disadvantage mechanic makes tactics relevant without requiring the number crunching that hampers some systems. The character backgrounds allow another layer of character customization that creates varied and diverse characters, despite the constraints of a class based system. The mechanics make it easy to prep for (as a GM), and easy to play. As a GM, I find it easy to get even new players to look up from their character sheets and make engage the world; to make decisions based on situations, not mechanics. Give it a chance
  3. Thyrwyn

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    I’ve used the DOUBLES count as CRIT/FUMBLE up until RQG came out. But - to smooth out the progression, we counted 00 as the lowest roll (zero) not the highest (100). This avoids the fumble “pile up” at 99 & 00, and keeps the “lowest roll is always a critical” aesthetic. CRITS occur at 00, 11, 22, 33, ... if under your skill 99 is always a fumble, as are any doubles over your skill It also allows a smoother implementation of the “high roll breaks ties” but working special successes into the mix is problematic.
  4. Thyrwyn

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    @Mechashef in the current rules, opposed perception/stealth rolls are only used when the perceiver is actively using their perception skill (per Hide & Move Quietly on page 189). Otherwise, a simple skill check of the stealth skill is used. So, for enemies sneaking up on or hiding from unsuspecting player characters, you don't need to ask for a roll at all. If the enemies fail their roll, they are discovered; if they succeed, they are not. If the player characters are actively looking for something, finding nothing only means that either there is nothing to be found, or that their enemies are at least as stealthy as the pcs are perceptive. Which doesn’t give them any more information than they had before the roll.
  5. Thyrwyn

    Living Up to Mythic Aspirations

    @g33k the difference between Glorantha and early AD&D settings was that the big bads weren’t running around chewing on the scenery, following a timeline, and changing the setting canon. @Tywyll that’s why I don’t set my games in canon Glorantha. Because especially in RQG, we aren’t playing with the full rule set (or, there are elements in the setting that are clearly beyond the current rule set).
  6. Thyrwyn

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    Which is why we (at least I) am not arguing for using lowest roll, either. The problem is trying to quantify “best” among equals by using the original die roll. It doesn’t work.
  7. Thyrwyn

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    @Mechashef I meant mathematically across all skill levels, it’s essentially the same thing An easier solution would be: take each actor’s chance to special and roll on the Resistance table. This assumes, of course, that a “winner” is needed, and that a tie doesn’t make sense.
  8. Thyrwyn

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    RAW, the lower the roll the better the result: a roll of 15 with a skill of 70 is a regular success, but is almost a special success. If we resolve ties in favor of the higher roll, then “almost a special” becomes “barely successful” against an evenly matched or superior opponent; against an inferior opponent, it occupies a grey middle ground where it wins against some simple successes (those lower than 15) and loses to others. There’s no problem mathematically, but it is thematically problematic. It breaks immersion. It requires us to treat the die roll not as a narrative representation of the character’s action, but as a purely mathematical one. It takes the players out of the setting and the narrative by imposing a disconnect between the die roll and the resolution.
  9. Thyrwyn

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    @Mechashef your system is good - but is essentially the same as saying that the PC wins “same level of success” situations. I use the following rubric for hide & seek type situations: a) if both succeed, then “seeker” doesn’t find the “hider”, but they know they’ve missed something and might keep looking; b) if both fail, then the “active” party wins.
  10. Thyrwyn

    Making an Effective Sorcerer

    For purposes of Free INT only (per the rules, anyway) Spirit Magic takes 1 point of INT per point of spell.
  11. Thyrwyn

    Passions & Rune Affinities

    I explain it this way to my players: the Elemental Runes can only augment skills in specific groups; Power and Form Runes can be used to augment any skill, as long as that skill is being used according to the way that specific Rune behaves. With Power and Form Runes, it not the skill, but the manner or goal of the attempt that matters.
  12. Thyrwyn

    Passions & Rune Affinities

    Reading the whole paragraph on page 145, it seems to me that you cannot use a Passion or Rune to augment the efforts of someone else. The paragraph suggests that it is only possible to augment another’s efforts IF the GM approves, and then establishes one case where it is always impossible (no communication); and then a second case (when the actor/agent is using a Passion or Rune affinity).
  13. Thyrwyn

    Passions & Rune Affinities

    Say for instance the PC is trying to persuade their allies on matters of strategy: they could use their Movement Rune to inspire their arguments to attack or flee; they could use their Stasis Rune to inspire their arguments to hold their ground or delay the attack til later. They might use their Truth Rune to inspire their efforts to defend the accused from a lynching, or their Harmony Rune to inspire their efforts to diffuse the mob’s anger. Maybe they use their Disorder Rune to encourage the mob to act. A chef might use the Fertility Rune to inspire their culinary skills, a soldier might use their Death Rune to heartily consume a meal of unpalatable gruel.
  14. Thyrwyn

    Passions & Rune Affinities

    I think that the addition of Passions and Rune Affinities are one of the more interesting aspects of the RQG rules. There are some ways in which I feel they could be more fully integrated into the system. While Rune Affinities are integral to casting Rune Magic, there are no spells or skills which interact with them in any way; Passions can strongly influence or even mandate behavior for PCs and NPCs alike, but there are only two spells that interact with them mechanically, and no skills that do so. How do you feel about this? Why doesn’t Soul Sight let you see the target’s strongest Rune Affinity? Why doesn’t Insight let you realize that someone is driven by a strong Loyalty or Love? I’m using them that way. What interesting ways are you using Passions and Affinities?
  15. Thyrwyn

    Advice to a GM new to RQ and Glorantha

    as @creativehum said : balance has nothing to do D&D. There have been guidelines to help DMs balance encounters since 3rd edition, but they are suggestions and guidelines. Any DM/GM in any system at any time can wipe out the entire party. Even in D&D 5e, even following the guidelines. You just have to string enough encounters together that exhaust the party's resources, or choose monsters or terrain that disadvantage the party, or anything other number of ways. I used to play in 3.5 game where the DMs had to practically double the CR of every encounter in the Living Greyhawk scenarios just to challenge the party. No one in that game expected any encounter to be "balanced". Almost every other player in that group only played D&D - no other RPGs - they all knew that balance was a myth. It's not the system - it might be certain players' experience with the system, but it's not the system.