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Hi Everyone ! New RQ GM here !


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Hi everyone ! An Argentinian fan over here !

I love this game (RQ3) since the moment i meet it and crushed my beloved barbarian in plate armor with ilusion  sence magic (touch) because they can't pass the armor. Still miss the poor bastard.

Now 3 years latter, i want to start a new game (RQG), a new campaing, but a meet some problems, the most important is... none player has ever meet with this system, they are all old players of d20s systems, d&d mostly, but i want make them fall into the no return world of Glorantha.

So... a have the task of doing a relative decent job trapping them in the cosmic Arachne Solara' web.

My first idea is to do a one-shot with the quickstart adventure and the new pregens of the Screen Pack, so that it is not such an invasive change. And latter go with the campaing in Apple Lane and the creation of character with those who fell into the inevitable webs of time.

 

But i feel anxious that it will be difficult, and RQ is relative aggressive for outsiders, so, any advice for augment this chance of success ?

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Keep it simple.

At the beginning have all your players play Orlanthi, preferably from the same clan. This will give them a solid reason to hang around and not do the DnD thing of wandering off looking for orcs to rob.

Only allow 2 or 3 starting cults, perhaps Orlanth, Ernalda and Issaries. There is an awful lot of Glorantha to get to know and that can put off many players. Then slowly introduce the world as you play.

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Hello, welcome to BRPCentral!

My experience of meeting RQ for the first time after D&D was that it was a much better game, a better rule-set...  Combat ran at least as fast, but much more evocative and colorful!

I'll go ahead and offer some advice...

 

(1)

I suggest running a couple of quick combat-sessions before "real play" begins; consider them as "dream sequences," or say their characters have gone to an arena & bet on gladiators (and get to run those gladiators), in case the players object to risking PC death...

Run the PC's against a mob of "minor" foes that outnumber them 2:1 or even 3:1 ...  gangs of kobolds / goblins / etc in D20 are usually easy to mow-down quickly, but a numerical advantage in RQ -- with the increased odds the foes will roll a crit or two! --  can be deadlier by far than in d20.  If the PC's are winning, have the last few NPCs surrender and call out their ransoms.

Run another combat of the PC's vs. one BigBad, where they can have numerical advantage... but can see the effects of more armor, where "average hits" do nothing at all -- only hits rolling unusually-high damage (and of course specials & crits!) have any affect.  If the BigBad is winning, have him accept PC's ransoms!

Getting the players used to the different ways combat is risky, BEFORE you ask them to get attached to their particular PC's, is (in my experience) a good idea.

(2)

For the setting, emphasize the differences from most D&D settings.  The ubiquity of magic, something ALL the PCs have ... the telling nature of myths, and the expectations that ALL the characters live up to those ideals ... shamans who work with spirits instead of just being a "variant spellcaster class" ... etc etc etc.

(3)

In play, ask the players to roll all the dice at once.  I see folks who roll to see if they hit, THEN find the d20 (from a pile of dice) to see where they hit, THEN find their damage dice (from the pile) to see how much damage they do.  It can take minutes per player's turn to do this...

Instead, "rack up" the dice in a line across the palm -- d100 -- d20 -- damage -- and roll with a sideways sort of cast, so the ordering of the dice is (roughly) maintained.  Read the resulting line of dice as a sentence -- "37! that's a hit to the 12... the chest, for 7 HitPoints of damage."   It takes a bit of practice to get the die-roll to line up neatly, but it isn't much slower to "read" them however they come out.

If they player has their dice racked in-hand when their Strike Rank comes up, the round can move REALLY fast, with per-location damage usually endinf fights before general-HP damage does.

(3a)

"Narrate" the combats, don't merely "report."  Instead of "Black Crest goes to 0 HP in his left leg"  say "Black Crest staggers desperately back, his left leg unresponsive and barely holding him up,"  The mechanics do most of the work of turning combat narrative, you just need to follow through with it AS narration.

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4 hours ago, Psullie said:

Keep it simple.

At the beginning have all your players play Orlanthi, preferably from the same clan. This will give them a solid reason to hang around and not do the DnD thing of wandering off looking for orcs to rob.

Only allow 2 or 3 starting cults, perhaps Orlanth, Ernalda and Issaries. There is an awful lot of Glorantha to get to know and that can put off many players. Then slowly introduce the world as you play.

 Great! yeah, that one is in the problematic zone of posibilities.

@g33k many thanks ! i will keep in mind the options, however telling veteran roleplayers how to roll their dice... is very likely a bad idea..., 3a i always narrate ! or i try at less...

 

12 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

@g33k Great advice, except, the GM and players should know and expect that RQ combat, for better or worse, just takes longer than D&D.  A low level D&D combat often ends in Round 1 after a Sleep spell.

A good swing of the sword/club, or a good arrow to the head can end a combat in round 1 too xD !

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From my pov

Bring out the uniqueness of the world (without overwhelming them with the sheer amount of stuff there is in Glorantha). A good games system with a mediocre background will never be more than mediocre.

I think the advice about making them all Sartarites from the same clan and mainly Orlanth or Ernalda worshippers is good but if any of them have a burning desire to play a Praxian or a durulz try and accommodate them. A player who is enthusiastic about their character is a happy player.

Get them to create their own characters as soon as they are reasonably happy about the game system. A character they have created (especially when its as detailed as RQG character creation) will mean a lot more to them than a pre-generated one.

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11 minutes ago, Godweyn said:

...

... however telling veteran roleplayers how to roll their dice... is very likely a bad idea..., 3a i always narrate ! or i try at less...

...

Blame it on me!

No, seriously:  tell them, "Hey, this rando-guy online pointed out that the dice-rolling is more-complex, and gave me this tip for shortening it... roll like so, and read the results like a sentence, thus.  Anyone who wants to, please give it a try, and tell me what you think!"   Then let the table decide if any of them want to try it, or not; and whether they like it, or not.

I've seen entire tables converted to the method by one person who used it smoothly, they were so-obviously faster than the folks who were going back to the dice-bag or dice-pool at every step.

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47 minutes ago, Godweyn said:

 ...

A good swing of the sword/club, or a good arrow to the head can end a combat in round 1 too xD !

IIRC, there is no way for a small/weak character like a goblin or kobold (the point being:  one with no STR damage bonus) swinging a small weapon (doing d4 or d6 damage) to 1-shot a 1st-level warrior-type like a Ftr/Pal/Bbn.

Maybe I misremember...?

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1 hour ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

@g33k Great advice, except, the GM and players should know and expect that RQ combat, for better or worse, just takes longer than D&D.  A low level D&D combat often ends in Round 1 after a Sleep spell.

If you can hit & drop everyone (or enough that everyone else runs/surrenders) with a single Sleep (or other spell) that's true.  I seldom find things working that way.  Last time I played D&D (5e) the Sleep only took out a couple of foes, of about 10.  Several rounds of combat followed.

I do remember -- ONE time -- getting to take out the Night Watch with a Sleep, that let us slip into their camp and not wake anyone until there was a sword at everyone's throat.

 

My experience of RQ is that -- once you understand the flow of the game -- it plays just as fast (round by round) as D&D, and combat is usually over in similar numbers of rounds, with slightly-shorter combats (fewer rounds) in high-level RQ.

I usually experience the HP-attrition of high-level D&D as less-interesting combat than the "parried-attack" cycle that prolongs high-level RQ... and I think the more-common Rune Magic in RQG shortens the "parried attack cycle" even further!

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14 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Maybe, haven't played enough tough combats to know.  But remember Rune Magic means most fighters have access to Shield and everybody has emergency Healing 6, both of which prolong combat.

For starting characters (and players), the question then becomes - when do you use them? Heal Wound should be obvious - but when do you want to put up the Shield - knowing you won't get it back any time soon??? (Sort of like D&D, but different enough to)

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Lots of good advice above, which is useful for me too as I’ll be running my first RQG soon. Here is what I am intending to do to introduce my players, which maybe of interest to you.

I was going to use Cattle Raid from the screen pack adventure book to start my players, who are unfamiliar with Glorantha, but I have decided instead to run Yozarian’s Bandit Ducks (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296285/Yozarians-Bandit-Ducks?src=hottest_filtered). 

My reasoning is that its a light hearted story in which they can get on with learning the mechanics of the game without worrying about the history and politics of Glorantha. It’s also a bit more like a DnD adventure in how it is structured. I’ll give them a very brief intro to the world at the start and, as has been mentioned above, explain differences such as they all have magic, combat can be deadly, etc., but I want to get into the game quickly. My group are familiar with the percentile system having played Call of Cthulhu, which will help. They also like the idea of playing ducks for a bit of fun – other groups may not.

My intro, roughly, will be a picture of the whole world, map of continents, map of Dragon Pass and point out where they are. I shall mention the ongoing troubles with the Lunars and the beginning of the Hero Wars, but tell them that as a bunch of outcast bandits that’s of little interest to them. Anything else that comes up in play that needs explaining will be dealt with when it arises. 

The goal is to introduce them to RQG in a way that is fun rather than earnest; a way that will incline them more towards playing again. If they like it, then I’ll have a session zero where I let them roll characters and give them a more in depth understanding of the culture and politics of world. After that, it’s using the published scenarios as episodes in a campaign.

 

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1 hour ago, Cloud64 said:

My reasoning is that its a light hearted story in which they can get on with learning the mechanics of the game without worrying about the history and politics of Glorantha. It’s also a bit more like a DnD adventure in how it is structured. I’ll give them a very brief intro to the world at the start and, as has been mentioned above, explain differences such as they all have magic, combat can be deadly, etc., but I want to get into the game quickly. My group are familiar with the percentile system having played Call of Cthulhu, which will help. They also like the idea of playing ducks for a bit of fun – other groups may not.

I'm going to incline for the quick start adventure, it begins with a really simple cattle raid and escalate extremely quickly to a conflict with a Elder Goddess... like "oh see over here, it’s the trail of our beloved cattle and those thieves... WTF... is that a bull's skull moving through the wall ?? Holy mother of Orlanth now a Impala zombie corpse moving with roots and vines.... anybody else is seeing that gigantic statue moving? Is she talking in my head???"  

All in 1 session !

 

1 hour ago, Cloud64 said:

If they like it, then I’ll have a session zero where I let them roll characters and give them a more in depth understanding of the culture and politics of world. After that, it’s using the published scenarios as episodes in a campaign.

Same Idea !

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On 1/16/2020 at 4:11 PM, Godweyn said:

But i feel anxious that it will be difficult, and RQ is relative aggressive for outsiders, so, any advice for augment this chance of success ?

If you want it slightly less aggressive, do something like the following:

  • Have plenty of Healing, either spells of potions
  • Remind people that Heal wound is a Common Magic spell and is widely available to PCs
  • Have Chalana Arroy Temples offer Resurrection on Credit, if needed, with no Credit Limit, it also allows PCs to go on adventures specifically to pay off their debt to the Healers
  • Have massive damage to a vital location not mean instant death, but just means the PC is unconscious until healed, maybe except for a head cut off in a single blow
  • Have 0 General Hit Points mean unconscious and bleeding for CON melee rounds, with healing possible up to that time
  • Allow multiple lots of healing on a location, without having to wait for rounds
  • Allow the RQ3 "Being Heroic" rule, so a PC can roll CONx1% to act when they should be knocked unconscious or functionally incapacitated

However, I have found that the best way to avoid losing PCs in combat is to downplay combat and play up other areas of the game. In my last RQ Glorantha game, the PCs maybe had a combat every 4 or 5 sessions. 

 

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6 hours ago, Cloud64 said:

I was going to use Cattle Raid from the screen pack adventure book to start my players, who are unfamiliar with Glorantha, but I have decided instead to run Yozarian’s Bandit Ducks (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296285/Yozarians-Bandit-Ducks?src=hottest_filtered). 

My reasoning is that its a light hearted story in which they can get on with learning the mechanics of the game without worrying about the history and politics of Glorantha. It’s also a bit more like a DnD adventure in how it is structured. I’ll give them a very brief intro to the world at the start and, as has been mentioned above, explain differences such as they all have magic, combat can be deadly, etc., but I want to get into the game quickly. My group are familiar with the percentile system having played Call of Cthulhu, which will help. They also like the idea of playing ducks for a bit of fun – other groups may not.

It's a good scenario, in fact I played it last week and enjoyed it.

It is very good that you want to GM RQ, welcome to the club.

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12 minutes ago, soltakss said:
On 1/16/2020 at 1:11 PM, Godweyn said:

But i feel anxious that it will be difficult, and RQ is relative aggressive for outsiders, so, any advice for augment this chance of success ?

If you want it slightly less aggressive, do something like the following:

  • Have plenty of Healing, either spells of potions
  • Remind people that Heal wound is a Common Magic spell and is widely available to PCs
  • Have Chalana Arroy Temples offer Resurrection on Credit, if needed, with no Credit Limit, it also allows PCs to go on adventures specifically to pay off their debt to the Healers
  • Have massive damage to a vital location not mean instant death, but just means the PC is unconscious until healed, maybe except for a head cut off in a single blow
  • Have 0 General Hit Points mean unconscious and bleeding for CON melee rounds, with healing possible up to that time
  • Allow multiple lots of healing on a location, without having to wait for rounds
  • Allow the RQ3 "Being Heroic" rule, so a PC can roll CONx1% to act when they should be knocked unconscious or functionally incapacitated

However, I have found that the best way to avoid losing PCs in combat is to downplay combat and play up other areas of the game. In my last RQ Glorantha game, the PCs maybe had a combat every 4 or 5 sessions. 

 

I like that options! Many thanks !!

 

However, what i mean is that Glorantha is an overwhelming setting for unknown players, and more the set of rules for 20s veterans.

 

oh ! And I’m a Fan of yours ! www.soltakss.com was an oasis years ago in my mundane heroquest for rules and that type of adventures! (even if my Dm hate me later for the ton of new mode of late game i brought xD ) it's a pity that there were no more updates.

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1 hour ago, Godweyn said:

However, what i mean is that Glorantha is an overwhelming setting for unknown players, and more the set of rules for 20s veterans.

Start small and work up.

  • Start with a clan, a family, a village, a street corner in a city. 
  • Meet someone who the PCs don't know. Have something happen. Follow the scenario.
  • Meet someone else.
  • Go somewhere else.
  • Meet an Elf, or a dwarf, or a Troll. have them behave not like D&D Elves, Dwarves or Trolls.
  • Don't go too deep into their background, as most Players won't care or might find it too much. Subtly introduce differences and more of the Lore and Background over time.
  • Introduce different cults, maybe one at a time, or have a cameo where members of several cults have an interaction. maybe some Yelmalians and Orlanthi get into a Riddling Contest, or a Humakti challenges a Yanafal Tarnils cultists. Explain what is happening if the Players are confused.
1 hour ago, Godweyn said:

oh ! And I’m a Fan of yours ! www.soltakss.com was an oasis years ago in my mundane heroquest for rules and that type of adventures! (even if my Dm hate me later for the ton of new mode of late game i brought xD ) it's a pity that there were no more updates.

Many thanks! 😀

It hasn't been updated for a while, simply because I ran out of things to put on it. My wife wants me to get paid for doing RPG stuff, which is why I've concentrated on supplements. Maybe I'll put some supplementary stuff that gets missed out of Jonstown Compendium material on my website.

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17 hours ago, Cloud64 said:

I was going to use Cattle Raid from the screen pack adventure book to start my players, who are unfamiliar with Glorantha, but I have decided instead to run Yozarian’s Bandit Ducks (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296285/Yozarians-Bandit-Ducks?src=hottest_filtered). 

My reasoning is that its a light hearted story in which they can get on with learning the mechanics of the game without worrying about the history and politics of Glorantha. It’s also a bit more like a DnD adventure in how it is structured. I’ll give them a very brief intro to the world at the start and, as has been mentioned above, explain differences such as they all have magic, combat can be deadly, etc., but I want to get into the game quickly. My group are familiar with the percentile system having played Call of Cthulhu, which will help. They also like the idea of playing ducks for a bit of fun – other groups may not.

My intro, roughly, will be a picture of the whole world, map of continents, map of Dragon Pass and point out where they are. I shall mention the ongoing troubles with the Lunars and the beginning of the Hero Wars, but tell them that as a bunch of outcast bandits that’s of little interest to them. Anything else that comes up in play that needs explaining will be dealt with when it arises. 

The goal is to introduce them to RQG in a way that is fun rather than earnest; a way that will incline them more towards playing again. If they like it, then I’ll have a session zero where I let them roll characters and give them a more in depth understanding of the culture and politics of world. After that, it’s using the published scenarios as episodes in a campaign.

 

That is a great idea. Yozarian's Bandit Ducks! was made with new players and GMs in mind, so it will definitely be a good scenario to run. I had a blast when I played it. In fact, it would be interesting to know how your game went after you run it!   🙂

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14 hours ago, Cloud64 said:

I was going to use Cattle Raid from the screen pack adventure book to start my players, who are unfamiliar with Glorantha, but I have decided instead to run Yozarian’s Bandit Ducks (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296285/Yozarians-Bandit-Ducks?src=hottest_filtered). 

 

Hmm thank you for this. Having got to work on it, I assure you it is well put together and fun. It would not be a bad choice for beginners as there is some great handholding with the rules (especially passions) as well.

8 hours ago, Godweyn said:

oh ! And I’m a Fan of yours ! www.soltakss.com was an oasis years ago in my mundane heroquest for rules and that type of adventures! (even if my Dm hate me later for the ton of new mode of late game i brought xD ) it's a pity that there were no more updates.

Ya nailed it and with a critical!.  I have always felt that way as well about soltakss, but don’t tell him I said so.

 

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22 hours ago, soltakss said:

It's a good scenario, in fact I played it last week and enjoyed it.

It is very good that you want to GM RQ, welcome to the club.

That's good to hear, I m expecting it to be entertaining. It won't be my first time GMing RQ, but it will be the first in <cough> decades, so it might as well be :)  The tricky part has been getting the players to bite, but they were at mine when the slipcase set arrived and were suitably wowed by it's prettiness and promise. One technique that I have used to get them to play, which others may find useful, is to point out that we can treat scenarios as more or less self-contained episodes, rather than having to commit to a continuous campaign. This is how we've run Call of Cthulhu, same characters running through stand-alone scenarios, with suitable modifications for ongoing shenanigans. I feel that the one-adventure-per-season idea presented in RQG suits this style of campaign well. It allows us to drop in and out, trying other things as suits.

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On 1/17/2020 at 10:47 PM, Runeblogger said:

That is a great idea. Yozarian's Bandit Ducks! was made with new players and GMs in mind, so it will definitely be a good scenario to run. I had a blast when I played it. In fact, it would be interesting to know how your game went after you run it!   🙂

 

On 1/18/2020 at 2:18 AM, Bill the barbarian said:

Hmm thank you for this. Having got to work on it, I assure you it is well put together and fun. It would not be a bad choice for beginners as there is some great handholding with the rules (especially passions) as well.

 

Its suitability for newbies was what struck me and made me change my choice of starting scenario. Not too many passions or spells to overwhelm, clear opportunities to use passions as they directly relate to the characters themselves, situations that allow for a variety of skills to be exercised and some combat.  All elements that will help them learn the system, and with no potentially off-putting cultural milieu  to worry about – that can come later. And, well, it's ducks – how could I not? For my part as GM, the fact that I won't have to do a lot of explaining of Gloranthan lore also appeals. I want to be able to focus on getting the rules working smoothly for us all, rather than explaining the finer points of inter-tribal diplomacy.

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4 minutes ago, Cloud64 said:

It's suitability for newbies was what struck me and made me change my choice of starting scenario. Not too many passions or spells to overwhelm, clear opportunities to use passions as they directly relate to the characters themselves, situations that allow for a variety of skills to be exercised and some combat.  All elements that will help them learn the system, and with no potentially off-putting cultural milieu  to worry about – that can come later. And, well, it's ducks – how could I not? For my part as GM, the fact that I won't have to do a lot of explaining of Gloranthan lore also appeals. I want to be able to focus on getting the rules working smoothly for us all, rather than explaining the finer points of inter-tribal diplomacy.

I was very pleased when I was invited into that project, for all the reasons you mentioned, although I note that you have not mentioned the number one selling point... Ducks! :)

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5 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I note that you have not mentioned the number one selling point... Ducks! :)

I'm afraid I must give you a fail on your reading comprehension test, Bill ;) 

12 minutes ago, Cloud64 said:

…. And, well, it's ducks – how could I not? …

 

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