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Ask Jeff! RuneQuest design questions


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Ok, back on topic of this thread, reading the "Designing the New RuneQuest" notes again raised a question for me (or rather, two related questions). In the second Design note, we find this fragment:

"Right now, we have the newest member of the development team Steve Perrin looking carefully at core combat mechanics to see what room we have for improvement (for example, what is the impact of a special Parry?)."

Now before I ask my questions and to put them into context, RQ combat has some specific characteristics that are not necessarily unique but that together makes it recognizable as being RQ combat:

1) Damage tallied by hit locations and total hit locations (there are fairly detailed rules about how damage, localized or total, affects a character and how said damage is healed)

2) Parries that are not autosaves and weapons that can break (extensive rules on what amount of damage weapons can block and how their structural integrity are reduced depending on the results of the attack and parry).

3) Lethal combat that encourage players to try to avoid it or to retreat from it and a ransom system and cultural context that incentivise them to capture enemies instead of slaughtering them

4) An initiative system (SRs) that roll up speed (DEX SR) and reach (SIZ SR and weapon SR) 

To manage most of these elements, the rules provide tactics available to characters (aimed blows, break weapon, disarm, disengage, subdue, knockback) except when it comes to actively manage reach. It brings me to my two questions:

1) Steve Perrin (which I believe is the original designer of the SR system) previously said/wrote (if memory serves) that he was now supporting using SR only for first contact (representing reach) and after afterwards only using... I am unsure... DEX SR perhaps. When he looked at the core combat mechanics, did he looked at the SR system itself and did he provide ideas or recommendation?

2) Without being so drastic as revamping the SR system, there was in previous editions (RQ3 for sure, haven't checked in RQ2) a rule to manage shorter weapon slipping inside the reach of longer weapons which was giving them some advantages. Was a similar mechanic considered or is it something we can see expanded in future publications (like what was done for disarm and subdue)? 

Thanks

Edited by DreadDomain
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There is another thread that diverged into talking about Closing maneuvers. Just copying part of my latest reply as I thought it was relevant to my two questions above.

--------------------------------------------

The real challenge in RQG is not how to figure out rules to close range. The second approach above [spend a MR dodging to get inside the opponent defense] is pretty much the same as per the Retreating rule so the game already supports a "change of range" maneuver. The third approach [use a Special or Critical result on attack or defense to change the range instead of the normal effect] is easy to implement and the first [which involves movement during melee] does not really apply within the context of how movement works in RQG.  

The challenge is how to implement the effect in a meaningful but easy way. [snip] Effects of being inside the guard of an enemy logically could be:

  • Act before opponent (or at least act quicker than you normally would; you are already inside his guard). It means a lower SR.
  • Act more often (the logical extension of the above). It means a lower SR and the character needs to have a skill above 100%.
  • Limitations of the opponent's options.

A potential option that is not really complex.

1) Once closed, the shorter weapon fighter only takes DEX SR into account (making them faster) - and if skill above 100%, giving more room to place quick stabs

2) Once closed,  the longer weapon fighter takes a penalty on all actions based on their Weapon SR (inspired by the disarm rule but the other way around); SR 3 = -10%, SR 2 = -20%, SR 1 = -30%, SR 0 = -40%.

2a) For extra crunch, damage for Hand-to-Hand and Cut and Thrust weapons would be unchanged, Slashing and Crushing weapons damage would exclude the damage modifier (not enough room for a good swing) and Impaling weapons would be limited to attacking with the shaft at 1d6+DMod crushing.

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It sounds fairly reasonable and no more crunchier than other tactics already available. 

Edited by DreadDomain
Corrected for a more inclusive language
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Hello Jeff,

After more than 20 years of playing RQ3 (and a few playing RQ2) and now almost 2 years of RQG, I have noticed that character progress is far slower now: Up to now, experience checks were per adventure, with at least 1 week of downtime to allow for checks, which means that even with the current flow of time, characters could easily have 2 or 3 series of experience checks per season, instead of 1 now (1 adventure and 1 series of experience check per season). In addition, training and research rates have also drastically slowed down (max 1 per season instead of 3 or 4 for low level skills).

Is this progress 'sluggishness' deliberate or a mere consequence of the new focus on everyday and clan life?

Thanks for your answers and all the time you spent for explaining us the work you are doing.

 

P.S. I'm not speaking of the progress of a full time adventurer/murder hobo, but of characters that were doing 2 or 3 adventures of less than 1 week per season, each intertwined with down time in their clans/city/normal life.

Edited by Kloster
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Hi Jeff,

Curious about the depiction of Miskanders Tower in Pegasus Plateau. It looks very much like something from a medieval keep, and not in keeping with what we've seen of dragon Pass culture so far. I'm guessing this is intentional. Culturally how does the style of Miskander's Tower fit into Glorantha? Is this a representation of architecture from the west? If so how would you describe the look of the west?  

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  • 5 months later...

Hello Jeff,

 

In previous iterations of RQ, spell boosting by using extra MP was possible only offensively, to bypass defensive magic. RQ3 words were "When it is cast, additional magic points can be added to any spell in order to help it overcome defensive magic". According to Scotty and Well of Daliath, MP spent to boost spells also count now to help non-instant spells to resist dispel/dismiss. My question is: "Why the change"?

Regards (and thanks for the work and the time you spend with us).

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17 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Hello Jeff,

 

Why having removed the RQ3 Missile and Spells hit location table (we also used it for spears, but this is another story)?

Regards.

Because it added very little to gameplay and was a stumbling block for many players. 

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On 5/5/2020 at 1:14 PM, Jeff said:

After all RQG is set in the Hero Wars, and the players should be allowed to interact with the unfolding story as more than canon-fodder.

If players are no longer merely "canon-fodder", does that mean we can send in the stories of our characters and have them integrated officially with the various publications and the time-lines? :D:D:D

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11 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

Seems to me you just make a smaller spear.

Miniaturization is hard and costly! :D    (but more seriously I haven't looked into the matter much, but it looks like the tip and overall balance are trickier to make...)

Edited by lordabdul
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2 hours ago, Baron Wulfraed said:

Especially if the javelin is closer to the Roman Pilum in design (though I wouldn't think bronze would be suited to a light spear meant to stick into a shield and then /bend/ so the shaft dangles and interferes with moving the shield around).

Testing seems to indicate that the intentional bending is a myth - the design is for armor (or specifically, shield) penetration. Bending could still occur as the iron isn't all that (and it's perhaps unsurprising that archaeological fins would sometimes have a bend), but it's not the design.

Matt Easton has some great videos showing how a pilum will punch straight through a shield and how the tip is long enough to go into an arm or even the body afterwards.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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13 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

Seems to me you just make a smaller spear.

But it is not a topic I have researched.

I mean, you need the balance, but that surely can't be all that hard and is mostly in the shaft, assuming the tip is already the right size?

Edited by Akhôrahil
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  • 3 weeks later...

On page 16 of the guide it says enchanted iron's magic dampening effect is ameliorated for a specific person that the item was enchanted for, and them alone. For an player of RQ2 and RQ3 that was quite a surprise, but I've seen no sign of that being applied in the RQG rules. What happened?

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In preparation for our Munchrooms game we stumbled over the rule that a successful parry draws the damage from that attack to the arm wielding the parrying weapon.

While this is looking like the logical consequence of a shield parry, it is quite different from a shaft or blade parry as I have been taught in the most basic Eskrima lessons (which make even a parry with a one-handed weapon involve the off-hand to prevent the shaft/blade from being pushed back onto the parrying fencer, making it effectively a two-handed parry).

Also, in case of two-handed weapons, which arm is affected by this redirection of the attack?

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On 12/29/2020 at 1:57 PM, Mameluco said:

Hi Jeff,

Why is Int the only attribute you can't improve during gameplay? 

Thank you.

 

Probably because except for SIZ, even tougher to improve, it's the only attribute you really can't improve in real life either.

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What are your feelings about the resistance table? Did you consider getting rid of it, or alternatively, using it for more mechanics?

There has been a recent suggestion that characteristic increases could be handled by rolling a resistance against the average, and it just occurred to me that resistance-against-a-difficulty could be used as better scaling replacement for INT×5, INT×4, INT×3, etc. Good ideas, or bad? Too QuestWorldy?

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7 hours ago, Glorion said:

Probably because except for SIZ, even tougher to improve, it's the only attribute you really can't improve in real life either.

I don't have the rules at hand, but the free quickstarter defines intelligence as: "Reasoning, memory, problem-solving, inspiration, knowledge, also useful for some kinds of magic."

I'm quite sure you can improve a lot of those traits in real life. And, in any case, not all RQG rules are based on "real life." (Whatever real life means in a fantasy game.)

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On 12/30/2020 at 1:52 PM, coffeemancer said:

Seems to me you just make a smaller spear.

But it is not a topic I have researched.

(ancient) Javelins need better quality wood, so better trees. The lighter the wood the further you can throw it. The straighter the javelin, the better you are able to spin it as you throw it (using an ankyle). The spin stabilization makes it more accurate, and adds distance. Often there's no metal or stone point on a javelin (changes the balance too), so the tip needs to be properly finished if not. I'm unsure whether if untipped they were fire hardened, but it would make sense, but adds more manufacturing time (cost).

Here's a bit of history: 

https://engineeringsport.co.uk/2012/09/21/the-story-of-the-javelin-bringing-it-back-down-to-earth/

There's a bit here about modern wood composite Javelins: 

https://timesofsandiego.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/hollow-javelin.pdf

For a deep dive: 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263541583_Recreating_the_Ancient_Greek_Javelin_Throw_How_Far_Was_the_Javelin_Thrown

then Compare it with the Greek spear (Dory): 

https://www.academia.edu/1406260/Throwing_the_Greek_Dory_How_Effective_is_the_Attached_Ankyle_at_Increasing_the_Distance_of_the_Throw

Edited by Scotty
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