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Everything posted by lordabdul

  1. The first edition of Delta Green from the mid-90s has a very "X-Files meets Cthulhu" vibe to it, so if you track down the original books (Delta Green, Countdown, and Eyes Only, in particular), you'll get exactly that in terms of the sourcebooks, but with only one adventure AFAIK that deals directly with the grays. Spoilers follow:
  2. I personally run with the same house rule than everybody (dead at the end of next round), but I did mention the possibility of something like this (dead after CON rounds). Interesting to see someone running with it. It has the (maybe desired?) effect that bigger monsters will take longer to die. For example, dinosaurs would take more than 30 rounds to die, unless someone puts them out of their misery... do you have anything for this, i.e. a "threshold" past which the dinosaur would die immediately? I think that threshold could probably be "minus CON in HP"... so if you manage to put the dinosaur at -31HP it dies immediately (assuming CON 31). That requires tracking negative HP, but at least you can indeed put someone out of their misery. I'm also curious about the extra bookkeeping. Counting CON rounds until death is simple enough, but actually reducing CON every round has side-effects: CON affects HP, so as they lose CON, their maximum HP also goes down. If you cast the spirit magic Heal spell on the victim, you have to consider that they only gain HP back up to their current (lower) maximum HP. Do you play it like that? CON also affects ENC, so after you've cast Heal, they might not be able to carry their full loadout to go to safety. Do you also track that? CON and damage are also intertwined in other situations such as drowning, asphyxiation, and poison, but I haven't looked too closely at what your rule would mean there. I'm personally a big fan of re-using similar mechanics from one situation to another, so if I wanted to lower the mortality rate of RQ characters, I would probably use a kind of "Saving Throw" mechanism similar to the mechanics for drowning and asphyxiation: Every round after you reach 0 HP or less, you roll for CONx5. After the 5th round, decrease the multiplier (x4, x3, x2, x1). On a failure, you die. If you take further damage, make an extra roll. If you reach -CON HP, you die automatically. ....or something like that.
  3. Random comments from what I can tell from the rulebooks: If the spirit only has CHA and POW, it's probably some kind of animal spirit or other natural phenomenon spirit. These types of spirits tend to only have one function and, therefore, few spells. The spirit is not sentient or intelligent, and can't perceive anything from inside the onyx stone, so it really only acts as a spellcaster for your Strength 2 spell. The character must be in physical contact to order the spirit to cast the spell. You and the GM may want to agree on the set of "conditions" that were put on the Binding Enchantment when it was created... maybe anybody touching the sword's pummel can contact the spirit inside, or maybe it's only when you whisper "Taco cat", or maybe it's only the character can use the item. It may become relevant at some point in play. You and the GM may also want to agree on who did the spirit binding. If that NPC dies, the spirit is freed. That would be a very lame thing to do to your character, but who knows, maybe your GM wants the option to be mean in the future . In theory, that spirit counts against your character's limit for bound entities (CHA/3). You can tap into the bound spirit's POW and use that as magic points to fuel spells, so it's an extra MP storage, too. If your character has the "Control (whatever that spirit is)" spell, they can release the spirit, order it around a bit, and put them back in the sword's pummel. There's probably not a lot of reasons to do that, since you run the risk of losing it, but who knows. According to RQG Bestiary, spirits without INT typically have less than 50% in Spirit Combat skill. That's relevant if, as per my previous point, you want to release the spirit from the stone. On the other hand, the RQG Bestiary also says that when in doubt, give POWx5 for the Spirit Combat score.... so who knows? I guess it can be whatever. In which case it could be quite an effective sidekick for Spirit Combat. If, as David Scott says, you were to add more spells in that stone after visiting a shaman (and doing whatever side quest the shaman asks), I would probably explain it as "the shaman merged the stone spirit with some other spirits who knew other spells"... as opposed to "the spirit learned new spells"... (because, as others pointed, it has not INT). Actually, my understanding of "learning" a new spirit spell is pretty much having bits of spirits merged into you anyway... (the whole terminology of "learning" and "forgetting" is not a good choice IMHO). If the PCs were to try and do it themselves (maybe they have a shaman in the group), the GM would have to figure out how that works, though. Maybe @David Scott has some more suggestions? I would probably rule that they have to find a spirit with the new desired spell, defeat it in Spirit Combat, take out the old spirit from the stone, hold it in place with Control (Entity), handwave some spirit merging mumbo jumbo (at this point the shaman might have rolled enough dice, but the GM might decide on one last roll here), and finally put the "enhanced" spirit back in the stone. I can't find any spirit with only POW and CHA in the Bestiary that we could use as an example, but that kind of spirit shows up all over the place in NPC stat blocks. Just like your character, these NPCs have bound spirits in objects. These spirits tend to only have a nickname, if any, and no description beside maybe the description of the object. That's probably because they never get out of the object, and even if they did, none of them know Visibility anyway. Most of those bound spirits have zero or one spell (in the case of zero spells, it's just for supplying extra magic points). In some cases, they can have a handful or a dozen points of spirit magic (up to CHA). So I guess anything goes. I think it depends more on the author than on any worldbuilding or rules considerations. Occasionally, I see that a bound spirit has a bit of fluff to it. So for instance you can give your bound spirit a bit of personality, or some roleplay hook, like "the spirit wants the stone to be struck against a rock once every night". One interesting example of a spirit with only POW and CHA is the Colymar Tribal Wyter. I'm surprised that it has no INT, since it's supposed to be able to talk and show initiative? I wonder if that's an oversight?
  4. You're probably thinking of Chaosium's RedBubble store, but the Clearwine map isn't on there apparently. You can do that with the PDF: open it in Acrobat Reader, click on the "arrow" button in the toolbar, click on the picture (it will become all blue), right click, select "Copy Image". Now, open some image program (like, say, Paint, on Windows), and paste the image in there (CTRL+V). Save as a JPG file. It won't be high-resolution enough to have a good quality poster-sized print, however (the resolution of the PDF is, of course, set for Letter-sized printing) so you might see the pixels on the final paper. Also, the labels and location names are all embedded in the picture, so you won't be able to get rid of those. Chaosium would have to release the map specifically separately... which they might. There's been several requests recently about releasing "player versions" of maps.
  5. For what it's worth, this is absolutely the way to GM it in my opinion: the player gets to roll, but they don't know how much POW the enemy has exactly. I usually also do a quick narration to give a vague idea if the player's roll was close or wide of the mark.
  6. Rules aren't the opposite of fun, otherwise we would all be playing Amber Diceless (and, well, arguably, everybody should be playing Amber Diceless at least once!)... or, even just straight up freeform improv. Instead, what are rules for? They give structure and texture to a storytelling game. I can hand-wave rules away, modify them, or ignore them. I frequently do all of this. But the farther I depart from what the game was supposed to be about, the less reasons I have of playing that game in the first place. If I find myself adding lots of crunchy rules to a rules-light game, I might as well play the same story with a crunchier system. If I find myself ignoring rules often because they get in the way of the story, I might as well play that story using a lighter system, or at least a more streamlined one. And, depending on the players, changing the system might affect the story anyway, but that's another topic, and we're already hijiacking the current topic. You could slightly better (IMHO) re-express your point in the form of "is your game consistent, or is it story driven?". That is, given the same situation ("X is trying to do Y with Z"), but different narrative contexts (plot B vs Act 1 climax), are you going to make very different rolls? To some degree, all games are at least a bit story driven. For example, nobody except the purest simulationists will do anything about fatigue or the effects of heat until that one adventure where the PCs have to trek for a week through the Forbidden Pits Of Devil's Inferno, because then that's a plot element. Other games completely embrace this story driven aspect, like HeroQuest, where it's actually less about X doing Y with Z, and more about the fact that it's a climax (which, by the way, recreates the narrative tropes where something is super hard to do for the hero at the end of Act 1, but is super easy to do several times in a row in the middle of Act 3). Different game systems might be in different spots along this axis, but a particular GM's style will then move it further either way. I have played in a couple campaigns where the GM used a simulationist (crunchy) system but kept hand-waving things away to make the story go a certain way. I wished that GM had chosen a different system because what some people might consider "more fun", I thought was "inconsistent" (and, once, borderline "I don't even know what I'm supposed to roll for anymore"). You spend time and points to make a character that, say, will be fast, but it doesn't matter as much because you'll be able to move fast enough if the story warrants it... why even play with a system that models character movement speeds then? It often felt like "it's more fun if you can move fast enough to do X in this scene" was actually really the GM not wanting to deal with the consequences of the character not being able to do X, which IMHO could have been just as fun, or the GM not wanting to say they should have advanced the story past this entire scene instead of playing it out. Anyway, sorry, I keep making this thread drift away. I'll try to shut up now
  7. Welcome! You might not have to do it again: https://www.cradleofheroes.net/ https://basicroleplaying.net/rqg/
  8. As far as I can tell, in RQG, there's nothing special happening when changing your Statement of Intent, so by RAW, it doesn't cost anything to drop what you're doing to run and Heal a dying comrade. However, there are still problems: As mentioned previously, there's the difference being mortally wounded on SR10 and being mortally wounded on SR3. Even ignoring every rule except movement, that means someone would have to be within 6 meters from the victim if they're struck on SR10, compared to being able to come rescue a friend from as far as 21 meters away if they're struck on SR3. Or possibly 3 and 18 meters respectively if you count that it takes 1 SR to cast the spell (depends if you're casting Rune magic or Spirit magic), but hey, I said "ignoring every rule except movement" so let's not go into details 😛 In many cases, all the other PCs will be engaged in Melee, so they need to disengage first in theory. That takes a round to happen, more or less, but it's not clear from RAW when exactly the PC is free to run to their friend's side. Using MGF to let a character disengage from melee and run 15 meters in the span of a couple Strike Ranks seems like an incredible abuse of MGF. There is obviously a limit to what a GM should do in a given situation, no? So let's say in that case, too bad, the character dies. But what about 10 meters with 3 SRs to spare? Or 7 meters and 4 SRs to spare? If only there was some guideline to help GMs draw the line in a sensible place.... oh wait Recommending that character death is mostly, or even partially, reliant on MGF is incredibly non-welcoming to newbie GMs and players in my opinion. MGF is just another name for "Rule Zero" or "The Golden Rule" and other names for the same principle, which is that the GM should always feel free to override the rules in special situations or in service of the story. Which means that if we bring up MGF in rules discussions, it should be accompanied by the special circumstances that called for MGF. If we invoke MGF regardless of the situation's circumstances, that's a called a house rule. Stated another way: it's one thing to use MGF for special situations, but it's another thing to have to rely on MGF for what is arguably a very common situation (everyone is in melee, and someone gets badly impaled). If everybody is using MGF for this kind of mortal wound situation, it means the rules themselves aren't maximally fun to begin with, surely? Hence, the house rules. Or second editions of rulebooks. Or whatever. Another thing that some people miss is that it's rare (and, I'll argue, undesirable) that there's only one rule affecting one situation. Rules form an ecosystem that is supposed to work as a whole. So for instance, sure, you have a house rule that the character dies only at the end of the next round, or on the next round on the same SR as when they were struck. That's fine, and that fixes problem #1 above. But your work is not done because there's problem #2 (all PCs being engaged in melee). You potentially need to figure out which SR the character is "free" to go help the fallen PC after disengaging, so you know how much time they have before the PC dies. Maybe you're not using Strike Ranks at all? In which case you need to figure out how your action economy works, and whether allies have, on average, a decent shot at saving a friend. Or maybe you don't even want to bother with all this and your house rule is that when you reach 0HP, you die after CON rounds or CON minutes unattended. That's simple, and it still forces PCs to not leave someone behind, but it means there's less incentive to heal someone right away, which means the player whose PC is injured might have to wait longer, excluded from combat, than with the other crunchier rules. And I'm not even going into the fact that the mortality rate of a specific system does have a big impact on how this system "feels" and whether we like it or not. So again, leaving that up to MGF has less to do with dealing with special situations, and more to do with "make your own rules"...
  9. I'm OK with the idea that assistants can't spend as much time in the Spirit World as a full shaman, except for those who spend a lot of energy (i.e. Rune Points) for it. There's a balance between "assistant shamans should only have a fraction of the powers of a shaman" and "assistant shamans need to be satisfyingly playable". That line probably varies from one GM/group to another, of course. One hour of spirit travel seems OK to me for assistants. Two hours at the very most. Maybe shamans have a special version of the Discorporate Rune spell that has a base duration of 1 hour, or 1d2 hours, or whatever, that they only teach to their assistants. There are many many ways to go about this... we'll see what Chaosium picks when the big books come out.
  10. It's a very intriguing concept for an RPG book, potentially even innovative, but I'm wondering what the emphasis will be here: "Multiple ways to use it in a campaign" is a given for any sourcebook. You get various plot hooks, multiple options for what an NPC or faction might be up to in 1625, or what might happen in the near future if that NPC or faction's agenda was to go one way or another. That's not really "YGWV" in my opinion, that's just a good RPG sourcebook. "Multiple ways to interpret it" can potentially go into deeper variations seldom seen in usual RPG material. For example: detailing how a location might vary if this or that cult is in control, with a couple alternate histories explaining the different ways to get to these different present states... or showing how moving a location here or there on the map can create different story opportunities... that's "YGWV" to me. Whichever it is, I'm looking forward to it!
  11. Delaying death until the next round sounds like a decent house rule. Otherwise, the odds of surviving a mortal wound on SR10 are vastly lower than those of surviving a mortal wound on SR3.
  12. But I think some people have missed that it's not just that: Jason seemed to later add some rules that are not in the rulebook, namely that the RPs for a one-use spell are supposed to go in a separate RP pool that is allocated at sacrifice or replenishing time: So with these extra rules you can't, for instance, repeatedly cast Resurrection multiple times until you have zero RPs and possibly get kicked out of your cult... to cast a one-use spell multiple times, you would have had to assign multiple RPs to that separate dedicated pool ahead of time, during some worship or sacrifice ceremony. Most likely you only assigned enough RPs for one casting (when you acquired the spell), or two at most. Hence the name (otherwise, by RAW, the name doesn't make as much sense).
  13. I don't think Jeff stated anything (or maybe I missed it), but Jason Durall did. I had forgotten that this was what ended that "fun" thread: I still have no real idea how one-use spells work...
  14. Elsewhere I was saying dumb things that might belong here, in particular that Rune Magic is effectively someone casting some magic ahead of time and letting you use it. And that is effectively "Spell Trading On Steroids". And we all know that Spell Trading is an Issaries thing, so Issaries effectively gets a cut on every single worship ceremony in the universe. Most Gods don't even realize this but Issaries is now ten times more powerful than any other deity or entity. He and his cult have been secretly manipulating the history of Glorantha from the shadows, and he might have to put his foot down if the HeroWars get a bit too out of hand.
  15. So the Bat becomes bigger and more powerful with every passing season of devouring people? But here's the catch: the Bat's behaviour, allegiances, and general intelligence is driven by who makes up the Bat. So if you make the Bat devour too many Orlanthi hillbillies, the Bat would effectively become Orlanthi and, err, that's obviously not what the Red Emperor wants. So for every hundred enemies devoured, the Lunars have to feed three hundred of their own people to the Bat to keep things "balanced" in their direction. And maybe a hundred or so Chaotic creatures, just to keep things interesting. And that's why the Lunars don't just send the Bat everywhere all the time.
  16. Going on adventures for almost a week every season (6 days for 5 seasons) takes up pretty much 10% of the year, so you're still good there. It might not be enough if you play very long adventures, or if you play in "real time"... in which case you have to make the shaman NPC feature more prominently in a majority of adventures, so that "adventuring" does not equate "being away from the shaman". The entire idea of playing an assistant shaman without having said shaman feature prominently seems like missing the point to me anyway, even if you follow the "one adventure per season" structure, so I don't think it would be a problem for me. Like I said before, yes, the short duration of the Rune spell is still a problem IMHO (and why I would prefer the shamanic ability route). I had misunderstood what you meant about sacrificing POW: it's necessary in order to get an RP pool big enough to spend multiple of them on Extension. So yes, I understand now, apologies. Rune magic isn't divine in RQG -- that's an RQ3 concept. In RQG, Rune magic can be handed down from spirit cults too, for instance. It's just that it's most commonly given by deities. The way I understand it is: Sorcery is manipulating the Runes directly yourself. As with many DIY endeavours, there's a steep learning curve... but once you're past it, you can do cool stuff not many others can. That's the one that should effectively be called Rune Magic Spirit Magic is putting something inside you that can cast the magic for you, so you don't have to it yourself. It's effectively Parasitic Magic or Gadget Magic. Rune Magic is joining a commune where someone/something powerful has cast the magic ahead of time (in some cases... literally!), and lend it to you in return for benefits like worshipping. The community's centre could be a deity, or a powerful spirit, or even a hero maybe. It's effectively Communal Magic, or Spell Trading On Steroids.
  17. It wouldn't have taken much space to add an "etc.." at the end, so I'm not sure if this is meant to only include the main Praxian tribes (are Rhinos considered a main or minor tribe?). I would allow it myself.
  18. I went looking for how previous books used this spell and the circumstances to use it are outlined in Borderlands, p29 in the classic PDF, just after the introduction of the Alter Creature spell. It's under the Morokanth chapter, though, so I don't know if this applies only to them, or to all Waha cultists (the text refers to Waha cultists in general). It does say that Waha Rune Lords get an "awakened beast" instead of an allied spirit, although it says "as an allied spirit", as if it was just as good, when really it's not? I'm not sure. There's an NPC later in the book with an "allied spirit in an awakened herd man" which, for all intents and purposes, is just a sidekick and not a spirit, as far as I can tell. It also mentions that the spell is used for many other reasons like humiliating enemies, punishing particular criminals, using a special person as breeding stock for the herds (ewww), as an incentive to hurry back with a ransom (that seems very costly for anything except the most precious captives), or to impersonate someone.... err what?! Impersonate someone? Ok, this is awesome, check this out: it says you can make someone into a herd-human, and then bind a spirit into their body, therefore having someone that looks like the original person, but is controlled by an ally. They just say you have to explain why that person suddenly became vegetarian, if necessary (along with other behavioural changes). Interestingly enough, the first appearance of the Alter Creature spell, in Wyrms Footnotes #9, uses the term "person" and not "human" in an otherwise fairly identical text.
  19. I hope so because that rules text about fertility and offsprings (see my screenshot above) could get really awkward: "what the Goddess is John doing to that poor bison?!" - "oh no, that's OK, that's John's half sister... let me tell you a bit about where he comes from" Still, I don't think Morokanth have ever been described using the term "human" so let's say this is a typo/mistake?
  20. Gah! The PDF search failed me because the word "Household" is hyphenated across two lines... usually this doesn't stop the PDF search from finding it, so I'm guessing that an editor somehow forced the hyphen by hand to fix a layout issue and it's now considered as two words. Thanks! That seems reasonable, thanks.
  21. No, that's the thing that was unexpected to me: it looks like when you cast this on a herd beast (herd-human, impala, sable, bison, llama, rhino), it always becomes a human. I thought it would indeed become an intelligent beast (the way morokanth are not men/women, but intelligent beasts), but this paragraph seems to say otherwise: This strikes me as a bit out-of-place with respect to the themes behind Waha's Covenant. I'm thinking of making my Glorantha vary in this case, but it also brings a bunch of problems, since this new intelligent beast would, in theory, then eat herd-men as a result, and now you have to go buy those from the Morokanth to feed your new best friend (although the RQG Bestiary says that human tribes of Prax do also keep and eat herd-men so I guess it's not a big problem, you might have a bunch on hand).
  22. Going back to the topic at hand: I'm making up a Praxian Khan NPC and I'm wondering about the Alter Creature spell. The way it works is pretty straightforward (although it has a ton of practical and philosophical implications that are probably fun to get into!). I'm looking for clarifications about when and/or why that spell might be used. It's a one-use spell[1] so it's only used for important things... what circumstances would that be? A very public punishment for someone who did something notably horrible? Or, with the other use of the spell, a gift to a mount that distinguished itself in combat? It looks like no cult is handing out Summon Household Guardian, and it's not in the Common Rune Magic list either... should it be an Ernalda spell or something? Furthermore, Summon Household Guardian seems to summon a pretty good spirit given the spell cost, so what would you consider as a "household"? For instance, would the party's camp for the night be a "household" that a spirit would want to protect? I'm working on scenario where the PCs' families (a small bloodline faction) is taking possession of new lands in their newly adopted clan. How long until they would be able to use that spell? Last, a silly thing (maybe for the munchkinery thread): did you know you could castrate a Storm Bull cultist and hitch him to a plow? (see the Tame Bull spell's last sentence) [1] By the way, was there a consensus on how one-use spells work?
  23. And you didn't mention it, or post a picture of it, in your own Wind Whispers #3 newsletter, which included the news item about Campaign Coins? Tsk tsk tsk 😋
  24. That's actually an idea I really like -- at least after having thought about it for only 5 minutes When I originally read the rules, I thought it would have been simpler that the "spirit evading" skill was simply Spirit Travel (the same way that to avoid trucks crossing the road while in a car chase you roll under your Driving skill)... which means Spirit Dance goes away, but could indeed be replaced with a skill that can handle both discorporating and reincorporating (if needed). Mmmhh. The downside however is that anybody learning the skill can discorporate, which maybe removes some of the exclusivity of spirit travel.
  25. I should have been more nuanced and less terse, so here's the longer version: Yes, the crunch level is up to everyone's group. At my table I also routinely hand-wave away rules in many games, or even add more as necessary, according to the needs of a given scene. But that's what's going on at my table (and it even depends on the different groups I'm GMing for). I'm adding and removing rules as appropriate relative to a "baseline" that is represented by the rules as written. What I meant about the crunch was specifically about the discussions on these forums. If I come to these forums with rules questions, it could be for two reasons: either I'm asking about the rules as written, or I'm specifically asking what kind of house rules people have. I find that it's not uncommon to ask a question from the first category, and be answered with something that belongs to the second category. When that happens, the "baseline" has been forcibly moved for me, and potentially not even in the right direction for the specific scene and specific group of players that I have in mind when asking the question. It's nice that Chaosium staff like yourself are freely sharing your own takes and house rules, but sometimes we just want the "baseline" RAW, so that we know what we can hand-wave things from. That's why the Core Rules Q&A is sometimes disappointing because what we get there aren't always RAW clarifications, but sometimes personal interpretations from people who happen to have their name on the book cover. You can be assured that most of us are also fiddling with the rules just like you, but we are hopefully doing so in an educated manner relative to a well known "baseline" that, sometimes, we don't understand completely and might have questions about. So for example, I might also regularly not use Strike Ranks, but for that one scene featuring a super important duel, I want to turn the crunch up to 11 because somehow, for my group of players, that's what increases the drama and tension (it might be different for another group, but for that group, that happens to be MGF). So I might post some very rules-lawyer-looking questions about Strike Ranks. It won't help to get a reply that "we don't typically see players be this deep into the rules", or "we don't use Strike Ranks often anyway" (assuming that, because the question was asked, it means that somehow the OP does use it all the time), or some insinuation that MGF always equals less rules (it doesn't, otherwise RQ wouldn't be this crunchy to begin with!). What helps is a reply that indeed embraces the crunch and uses the lingua franca of RAW, from which everyone will deviate in private. I hope that makes sense now (even though you might still disagree).
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