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Ask Jeff! RuneQuest design questions


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This thread is exactly what it says - ask me a RuneQuest design-related question, and if I find it interesting, I'll answer it. If not, I'll either ignore it or explain why I don't find it interesting or useful to answer. This is a good place to ask about how the RuneQuest rules interact with the setting, why I decided to do things, etc.

This is not a good thread to ask rules questions or to raise hypotheticals about Axe Trance and Extension.

Edited by Jeff
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What it means in game is that characters cannot typically replenish their Rune points in the middle of a scenario. Characters can get their Rune points back if they go to their temple on a holy day, h

The primary design goal on hero questing for RuneQuest is to bust out entirely from the rigid structure presented before, and let hero quests become more fluid and unscripted, while still exploring Gl

Simple - because a lot, arguably most, of the cool bits of the game start taking place once the characters are Rune Lords, priests, and shamans. That's when you get to see large spells in action, alli

Early on in the Dev process, I got the impression (possibly incorrect) that Rune Point regain would be pretty slow (like yearly or twice yearly) for initiates (making faster regain for Rune levels more important), but it turned out to seasonal or better (when counting Associated Cults, cults with weekly holy days, and so on). What was the design process here? It matters a lot whether you can empty your rune point pool in each scenario (assuming seasonal adventuring) rather than having to spread it over the year.

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Do you want to tell us anything about the design of Strike Ranks? What are they, and what are they not supposed to be? (And as a lawyer, do you want say "objection, that is a leading question", or have I watched too much Perry Mason?)

Edited by PhilHibbs
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2 minutes ago, GianniVacca said:

(Real question) Is it on purpose that it is less appealing to create a sorcerous character than a theist one?

Depends on what you mean as "less appealing". Sorcerous characters are very different from folk who primarily use Rune magic. Sorcery requires years of learning and study (and thus is available to only a fraction of the population supported by the rest of society), and most sorcerers spend their entire life continuing to study sorcery. Sorcery is also much slower to cast than Rune magic, and certainly requires far more magic points.

But sorcerers can create new spells, they can learn magic that would be inconceivably incompatible with Rune magic, and their magic is largely subject only to their own will.

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2 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Early on in the Dev process, I got the impression (possibly incorrect) that Rune Point regain would be pretty slow (like yearly or twice yearly) for initiates (making faster regain for Rune levels more important), but it turned out to seasonal or better (when counting Associated Cults, cults with weekly holy days, and so on). What was the design process here? It matters a lot whether you can empty your rune point pool in each scenario (assuming seasonal adventuring) rather than having to spread it over the year.

What it means in game is that characters cannot typically replenish their Rune points in the middle of a scenario. Characters can get their Rune points back if they go to their temple on a holy day, have enough cash to make sacrifices, and so on. It is easy to do (assuming you have the wealth) when you aren't pressed for time, but proves awfully stressful when players blow their Rune points at a battle, and then want to pursue the enemy the next day (which happened in our game).

Big picture, what this does is strongly encourage the players to develop a relationship with their temples, offer far more than the usual 10% to their temple, and pay careful attention to the weekly and seasonal holy days of their cult - in short, it incentivizes them to use the rules to interact with the setting. 

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7 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Do you want to tell us anything about the design of Strike Ranks? What are they, and what are they not supposed to be? (And as a lawyer, do you want say "objection, that is a leading question", or have I watched too much Perry Mason?)

Strike ranks tell you who goes first. I find them much better than normal initiative rolls (Roll D10 and add a DEX bonus), and they take into effect things like reach and weapon. 

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3 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Strike ranks tell you who goes first. I find them much better than normal initiative rolls (Roll D10 and add a DEX bonus), and they take into effect things like reach and weapon. 

However, they are also an action economy at the same time, not just an initiative system (your Dex SR is crucial for whether you can fire two spells or missiles in a round). I think this is why SRs sometimes feel a bit strange - they are doing double duties for related but non-identical concepts.

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1 minute ago, Akhôrahil said:

However, they are also an action economy at the same time, not just an initiative system. I think this is why they sometimes feel a bit strange.

Not much of one once you are in melee. 

But beyond that, I have spoken.

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1 minute ago, Jag said:

Is there an inttention to make all the independent adventures able to connect to the "Colymar Campain" from the Gamemaster Screen pack?

The default homeland for RQG is Sartar and the default Sartarite tribe is the Colymar. So everything we do right now has an assumption that it should have some tie or connection with the Colymar Campaign.

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Are you expecting the heroquesting rules in the forthcoming GM sourcebook to significantly change the way that the game is played (i.e. mechanically) when adventurers are on heroquests? Also, given their fairly rigid structure (e.g. stations) and basis upon a pre-existing story, are heroquests more like likely to railroad players than a regular scenario?

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Just now, Sumath said:

Are you expecting the heroquesting rules in the forthcoming GM sourcebook to significantly change the way that the game is played (i.e. mechanically) when adventurers are on heroquests? Also, given their fairly rigid structure (e.g. stations) and basis upon a pre-existing story, are heroquests more like likely to railroad players than a regular scenario?

The primary design goal on hero questing for RuneQuest is to bust out entirely from the rigid structure presented before, and let hero quests become more fluid and unscripted, while still exploring Glorantha's mythic realms. Chris Klug and I are really playing around with lots of narrative tools to give gamemasters and players methods that let them get around this.  

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Will you be able to provide any designer notes, outline or examples of the heroquesting rules before publication of the GM sourcebook? My own group is approaching the point of heroquesting and it would be good to understand where we are heading and even wing it a bit based on pre-release notes. 

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1 minute ago, Jim said:

Will you be able to provide any designer notes, outline or examples of the heroquesting rules before publication of the GM sourcebook? My own group is approaching the point of heroquesting and it would be good to understand where we are heading and even wing it a bit based on pre-release notes. 

This is not really a design question Jim.

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9 minutes ago, allenowen said:

I'm seeing some of Pendgraon's DNA in RQ:G vis a vis the "Sacred Time" phase and homestead management. Is that deliberate? And might it get some further development?

Much of Pendragon's mechanics actually developed out of Greg's RQ Dragon Pass Campaign from about 1980-1981. Greg long wanted to report that back into RQ and Glorantha, and now we have. Given that we publish Pendragon as well as RuneQuest, I think it is inevitable that you will see even more cross-pollination.

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I am old school Runequest fan and was not as familiar with Runes and Passions as mechanic in the game when the new edition was released.  That being said, they have grown on me tremendously.  I am showing my ignorance here,  but where did the idea originate for those rule mechanics?

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6 minutes ago, Grayranger said:

I am old school Runequest fan and was not as familiar with Runes and Passions as mechanic in the game when the new edition was released.  That being said, they have grown on me tremendously.  I am showing my ignorance here,  but where did the idea originate for those rule mechanics?

Both were a hybrid of HQG and Pendragon rules - but come from discussions Greg and I had going many many years back, that built off ideas that Greg had in his Dragon Pass Campaign and later in the Epic System.

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Hello Jeff, i am only familiar with last RQG rules, but when i was reading them i have the feeling that you want to make it easy to play and fast to start playing even for bigginer (Glorantha backround is very huge, but you can play without knowing all mythologies, for exemple). Am i true? If yes can you tell me some exemples where you have done such things and why have you make this choice? Do you plan to continue it? Thanks.

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6 minutes ago, Pheres said:

Hello Jeff, i am only familiar with last RQG rules, but when i was reading them i have the feeling that you want to make it easy to play and fast to start playing even for bigginer (Glorantha backround is very huge, but you can play without knowing all mythologies, for exemple). Am i true? If yes can you tell me some exemples where you have done such things and why have you make this choice? Do you plan to continue it? Thanks.

For me, the most important thing is to ground beginners into the setting. That's what the Family Background, passions, and runes are intended to do (ideally all in combination). I find that people brand new to the setting get the idea of their Runes and their passions very quickly and use those as hooks to dive into gaming. Add the Family Background to it and they actually know most of the pertinent major figures and conflicts in the setting.

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1 minute ago, Kloster said:

Hello Jeff,

Why having use RQ2 instead of RQ3 for basis? Is there problems with RQ3 intellectual property, or is it purely personal preferences (or is there other reasons)?

 

Greg and I both thought that RQ2+ a bunch of fixes from RQ3 was a better base than RQ3. Greg felt even more strongly about that than I. We preferred how RQ2 calculated the hit points of large creatures, preferred its strike rank system, hated Fatigue from RQ3, didn't like the Ceremony rules, thought the RQ3 sorcery system was very non-Gloranthan, and so on. That's not to say that there were not many good fixes in RQ3, but overall it went too far (and introduced many things that hadn't been playtested). So call this RQ2.5 as a base.

Additionally, we had just released the RQ2 Classic edition, which did very well, along with all the RQ2 scenarios. So we wanted to have rules that would be easy to take that material and use it with the new system. 

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