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This week-end I figured I would try and play one of the old SoloQuest adventures, but first I had to create a new character. I had only skimmed the RuneQuest 2nd edition rules before, so it was my first proper reading of the first couple rules chapters. It's kind of charming how barebones and wargamey things were back in the late 70s...

Anyway, I have a few questions:

  • As far as I can tell, there's pretty much nothing to character creation besides rolling stats, calculating skill category bonuses and secondary stats, and getting your starting gear? I mean, I got a whooping 79L (I rolled a townsman), a belt knife, and all my skills at their default score? (25% in Knife! Yay!) Am I missing something, or was gaming in 1980 super hardcore?
  • Luckily enough, I tried getting initiated into Orlanth's cult right away (with a <40% chance) and managed to pass... but even with the half-price discount from the temple, skill training is too expensive. Does cult membership give any immediate free benefits that I might have missed?
  • Do sample adventurers in FANGS, p9, already have some experience under the belt? They obviously all have higher-than-average abilities.
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37 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

 

  • As far as I can tell, there's pretty much nothing to character creation besides rolling stats, calculating skill category bonuses and secondary stats, and getting your starting gear? I mean, I got a whooping 79L (I rolled a townsman), a belt knife, and all my skills at their default score? (25% in Knife! Yay!) Am I missing something, or was gaming in 1980 super hardcore?

iirc You can get a loan from guilds to buy better gear and skills.

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You have rules for previous experience p. 118.

I use Soloquest with RQG specially Dreamquest to introduce combat rules for new player. I tried SQ1 and SQ2 with Harmast who died in scorpion Hall. Later with Vistor to finish the hall. It took him 3 seasons to succeed! 

Edited by Pierre
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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

This week-end I figured I would try and play one of the old SoloQuest adventures, but first I had to create a new character. I had only skimmed the RuneQuest 2nd edition rules before, so it was my first proper reading of the first couple rules chapters. It's kind of charming how barebones and wargamey things were back in the late 70s...

Anyway, I have a few questions:

  • As far as I can tell, there's pretty much nothing to character creation besides rolling stats, calculating skill category bonuses and secondary stats, and getting your starting gear? I mean, I got a whooping 79L (I rolled a townsman), a belt knife, and all my skills at their default score? (25% in Knife! Yay!) Am I missing something, or was gaming in 1980 super hardcore?
  • Luckily enough, I tried getting initiated into Orlanth's cult right away (with a <40% chance) and managed to pass... but even with the half-price discount from the temple, skill training is too expensive. Does cult membership give any immediate free benefits that I might have missed?
  • Do sample adventurers in FANGS, p9, already have some experience under the belt? They obviously all have higher-than-average abilities.

As noted, there are both "prior experience" rules, and "credit" from guilds(*) for starting adventurers.

This is an excellent resource:  http://2ndage.blogspot.com/2016/07/runequest-classic-edition-char-gen.html

But... yeah.  RQ2 adventurers started/defaulted pretty low on the zero-to-hero scale!

 

 

(*) Most guilds are thinly-disguised (often not-at-all-disguised) fronts for the Cults whose skills they teach...

 

Edited by g33k
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Previous Experience in RQ2 was dire.

That is why you get things like Chalana Arroy Cultists in Runemasters who had Heavy Cavalry experience, or whatever.

RQ3 was better and RQG is better still.

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For my RQ1 game, I have been using the previous experience (which was changed for RQ2). I've also house ruled/made it clear that ability bonus is added to the percentages that come out of the previous experience which boosts them up a bit more. I also roll an extra die and keep the best for attributes (i.e. 4d6k3 to use modern dice notations) plus 2D6+6 INT for humans (and at least some other non-humans).

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Terrible starting skill percentages are an artefact of RQ2's generation of RPGs.

That's neither good nor bad.

Plenty of people love the challenge of starting a D&D character with 1 HP and no armour or an RQ character with no skill higher than 25% (and most rather lower), feel that competence is to be earned through time served and that anyone starting with a competent character is missing out on some (or all) of the fun. And they enjoy their experience of the hobby. So I definitely would not say that they are doing it 'wrong'.

 

It's just not for me.

I found (find) it weird that people who insist on random rolls for characteristics, starting cash and social status are equally insistent that starting skills will uniformly be low.

If you have the time to spare (and/or an app or online random number generator) why not take a leaf out a (throwaway) comment in the SB3 bestiary? Roll 1d100* in turn for starting skill rather than using base chances. It takes bloody ages but can give some surprising results ('out of all those rolls why is my Mostali only sh!t in Crossbow and Weapon making?' or 'why is my Uroxi's highest skill in Sing?')

 

*rounded to the nearest 5% in RQ2 obviously

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8 hours ago, Al. said:

Terrible starting skill percentages are an artefact of RQ2's generation of RPGs.

An old favourite is the original Black Box Traveller, which I believe was the first RPG where your PC could literally die in character creation.

This is not an idea that has aged well, nor found many willing to homage it. :)

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23 hours ago, GAZZA said:

An old favourite is the original Black Box Traveller, which I believe was the first RPG where your PC could literally die in character creation.

This is not an idea that has aged well, nor found many willing to homage it. :)

Should I be pedantic about death in chargen in Traveller? One read of the 1977 text indicates that chargen is complete with the rolling of attributes and naming the character. The previous experience system where death can occur is optional.

As to finding folks willing to pay homage to these early games? I have had no problems recruiting players for RQ1 (1978) Classic Traveller (1977) and Original D&D (1974).

What is astoundingly difficult is finding places to talk about RQ1 or RQ2 or even RQ3.

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9 minutes ago, ffilz said:

Should I be pedantic about death in chargen in Traveller? One read of the 1977 text indicates that chargen is complete with the rolling of attributes and naming the character. The previous experience system where death can occur is optional.

As to finding folks willing to pay homage to these early games? I have had no problems recruiting players for RQ1 (1978) Classic Traveller (1977) and Original D&D (1974).

What is astoundingly difficult is finding places to talk about RQ1 or RQ2 or even RQ3.

By "pay homage" I meant "other RPGs"; specifically, it is extremely rare to find a modern game that includes the possibility of dying in character generation.

And you can talk about all those other RQ versions here - by all means!

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3 hours ago, GAZZA said:

By "pay homage" I meant "other RPGs"; specifically, it is extremely rare to find a modern game that includes the possibility of dying in character generation.

Well, there is Vampire....

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20 hours ago, GAZZA said:

By "pay homage" I meant "other RPGs"; specifically, it is extremely rare to find a modern game that includes the possibility of dying in character generation.

And you can talk about all those other RQ versions here - by all means!

Oh, ok, I'll grant you that. Death in previous experience actually was pretty unique to Traveller (I'm not sure though, it may still be a part of Traveller 5...). On the flip side, a lot of the things common in the early RPGs that are no longer common is one of the reasons I tend to gravitate to the early games

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I am doing Soloquest (Scorpion Hall) with RQG iconics. They are more survivable than RQ2 characters but not MUCH so! They look like superheroes compared to a fresh RQ2 characters but they are still very vulnerable. When the scorp critted Harmast was suddenly a goner, despite his high sword skill.  

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22 hours ago, ffilz said:

Oh, ok, I'll grant you that. Death in previous experience actually was pretty unique to Traveller (I'm not sure though, it may still be a part of Traveller 5...). On the flip side, a lot of the things common in the early RPGs that are no longer common is one of the reasons I tend to gravitate to the early games

It can still happen (although there are optional rules and medical loans to power through it) but Marc Miller still runs character gen sessions at Cons with "I survived character generation" T-shirts for those that do make it. Pro Tip :- Don't enlist in the Scout Service. 

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