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Battle Brothers, an excellent computer game clearly inspired by BRP, does it like this:

Attacker has an attack skill in percent.

Defender has a (usually quite a lot lower) defence skill, which is subtracted from the attacker's Attack skill. Shield increases the defence skill, but if it’s the shield that matters, you take damage to it (and both the defence and HP value of shields vary).

While simple, this works out great in practice.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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That is not a bad solution at all but it does heavily penalize fighters fighting with 2-handed weapons, or only one 1-handed weapon, compared to weapon-and-shield or two-weapons fighting. My own

.....because a gaming system should integrate with its setting. Cultural practices make no sense if they don't function to a society's advantage. The shield was a ubiquitous piece of military equipmen

Shields being a defense against missile weapons shouldn't be ignored. Fast moving missile weapon users are deadly. Especially mounted archers or darkness fond trollkin slingers.  Large and medium

Just now, Thaz said:

Battle Brothers is indeed excellent.  As I've said before in response to akhôrahil

The game also has fantastic weapon differentiation - swords are good but not against armor, axes chop up shields, maces bash up armor, warhammers penetrate armor, spears can repel attackers, daggers strike quickly, two-handed weapons deal out immense damage but lack of shield is really bad until you have great armor, and so on.

This is something RQ could really take in, in order to make weapons lists more interesting (Pendragon already does this in excellent way).

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11 hours ago, 10baseT said:

I experience 2 typical load outs 1) on patrol (the intent to engage) and 2) travel, getting from point A to B.

On patrol, you are expecting combat 

Travelling, you are geared up and definitely encumbered.

I had a chat with Jeff about this the other day. You are completely right of course. And it backs up my own experience both out on patrol/assault ops and in hand to hand combat. This is also something we need to think about a bit generally. Wearing lots of heavy armour and carrying a shield or large weapon isn't especially practical. It gets better if your mounted but not by a lot. Jeff commented that most of the time your heavy gear is going to be carried by followers. How we tend to handle it in the games we play is pack animals. You don't load up your War or Cav mount with baggage. You have mules or remounts or pack beasts for that. And likely handlers and followers. The idea of a band of murder hobo's trekking through the wastes carrying all their own gear and hauling the loot out of a dungeon is really one for D&D not RQ.  Having spent time in both (semi it's been a bit) Modern Body Armour and Plate in hot and dusty conditions you don't want to be wearing it all day long unless you really have to or you're mounted. 

 

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1 minute ago, Thaz said:

The idea of a band of murder hobo's trekking through the wastes carrying all their own gear and hauling the loot out of a dungeon is really one for D&D not RQ. 

Even in D&D, the loot weighs a lot. It's just that you have Bags of Holding for it.

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31 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

This is something RQ could really take in, in order to make weapons lists more interesting (Pendragon already does this in excellent way).

I think a number of improvements that Chaosium already know very well ("If you think of a new innovation chances are Greg already had it" is pretty much the company motto and it's not wrong) to keep the compatibility with rq2.  Stats as percentages, some of the sheer elegance of Pendragon's system, not ditching the resistance table etc. I think this is a fair compromise although I do miss some of RQ3's combat options. I don't know how much they plan to modify or introduce optional combat or other rules down the road. I can see a book of optional combat rules could be handy...but on the other hand there is really an argument for keeping it clean and not going down the route various editions of D&D went where there millions of exceptions and optional crunch which frankly made it silly (not a comment on current editions as I have no knowledge of them). Of course we can add as much crunch or chop as much out as we want in our own games. Viva YGMV

 

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1 hour ago, Thaz said:

I think a number of improvements that Chaosium already know very well ("If you think of a new innovation chances are Greg already had it" is pretty much the company motto and it's not wrong) to keep the compatibility with rq2. 

This decision keeps being a drag on the game, and I honestly doubt how wise it was. But even so, just creating either a system of attributes for weapons (like "Armor-piercing") or giving special abilities to weapon classes (Pendragon-style), would be quite easy and not shatter compatibility. Weapons like warhammers have no reason to exist unless for countering armor.

Greg Stafford was an amazing rules designer as well as world-builder, something which is sometimes forgotten. But it's not a strike against him that a design from 1978 is a bit clunky today.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

This decision keeps being a drag on the game, and I honestly doubt how wise it was. But even so, just creating either a system of attributes for weapons (like "Armor-piercing") or giving special abilities to weapon classes (Pendragon-style), would be quite easy and not shatter compatibility. Weapons like warhammers have no reason to exist unless for countering armor.

Greg Stafford was an amazing rules designer as well as world-builder, something which is sometimes forgotten. But it's not a strike against him that a design from 1978 is a bit clunky today.

I agree. When decision was made to not continue RuneQuest 6, which I understand, I expected something more like a simplified RuneQuest 3.

Also, although Greg Stafford designed two real RPG masterpieces (Pendragon and Prince Valiant), which opened new ways for RPG design, he didn't design RuneQuest.

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Hi, I am just going to throw this in the pot, for those who may be interested, or have the book and had forgotten.

Thieves Guild #5, has a comprehensive set of shield rules that tack onto the Thieves Guild rules.

covers 7 different types. 7 different construction materials, including bronze. Combat techniques. Even turning angle.

Sorry for the interruption and carry on.

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3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Creating either a system of attributes for weapons (like "Armor-piercing") or giving special abilities to weapon classes (Pendragon-style), would be quite easy and not shatter compatibility. Weapons like warhammers have no reason to exist unless for countering armor.

I agree it would be a fairly simple rules addition and not add too much clunk. What I would dislike is it being tucked away and conversations like "Oh but I'm using the optional rule from the ultra fighters splat book that makes my warhammer wielding were-armadillo do double hype extra special damage" Which may be a direct quote from a Munchkin at my local rpg club many years ago about ten milliseconds before every GM in the room screamed "NO"

I'd also say that someone picked up a hammer and thought :- "That'll make a mess of that ahole over there" and went for it and only later remarked on how well it mashed his armour up. The rest is evolution in action. People are still hitting each other with hammers even if they aren't wearing armour, something I'm sure my Emergency Room Doc friend could evidence should I ask. And to be fair we do have Crush, Slash and Impale. 

Don't get me wrong, I love this stuff. I own a warhammer. My Wife gave it to me as an anniversary present and I love it. Even if she dented my armour with it. RQG combat is already perceived as clunky (it isn't compared even to some contemporary systems) and frankly I'm not sure how much more we want to add to it. But as an optional rule ...sure.

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1 hour ago, Mugen said:

I agree. When decision was made to not continue RuneQuest 6, which I understand, I expected something more like a simplified RuneQuest 3.

I think that would have been a good call. RQ3 really does have a lot of good rules changes.

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9 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I think that would have been a good call. RQ3 really does have a lot of good rules changes.

I love some. 

Others sucked. 

Fatigue anyone? 

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I went and checked some more gaming books! Here's some more stuff, for whoever is interested to read this:

  • If you play with a battlemat and miniatures, and especially if you're using hexes (everybody knows they're better than squares!), you can rule that a 1H weapon can only parry the front and arm-side hexes, and attacks coming from the other side can't be parried, or at a hefty penalty. Having a shield on the other side suddenly becomes necessary.
  • Some games also model the fact that a 1H weapon is less powerful for parrying than a 2H weapon, and that a shield provides more blocking power. In terms of RQ rules, I could imagine something like 1H swords keeping their HP, but only blocking HP-3, or HP/2, or whatever, and anything above that damages the defender's arm or body... (the sword still wouldn't take structural damage itself until incoming damage exceeds its full HP).

Last, and that's a more general remark: you have to figure out why you want shields to be "better" in the game. If it's because you just love shields, that's fine. However I want to point out that if the goal is to make the PCs wear their more "accurate" loadout, this might be a fool's errand. If a player plays a character who belongs to a culture that teaches 1H Axe and Shield fighting, they should just use that because that's part of the roleplay experience. If they switch to a 2H Sword because "the stats are better", making axes and shields better won't fix the problem. If anything, it will make it worse because other players might (illogically in-world) switch also to a 1H Axe and Shield, and, generally speaking, they will go where the good stats are if that's the kind of players they are. If half the table are roleplayers who value cultural representation or historical accuracy, and the other half are munchkins who value system mastery and stats, then that's not something anybody can address with house rules.

Edited by lordabdul
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3 hours ago, Thaz said:

I love some. 

Others sucked. 

Fatigue anyone? 

Everyone harps on fatigue. I honestly never saw what the big deal was. More book keeping? In RQ? Where you have to track location hit points, several different magic point sources, armour points for individual weapons, half a dozen spells for even novice characters ... was this really the straw that broke the camel's back?

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

 

Last, and that's a more general remark: you have to figure out why you want shields to be "better" in the game. If it's because you just love shields, that's fine. However I want to point out that if the goal is to make the PCs wear their more "accurate" loadout, this might be a fool's errand. If a player plays a character who belongs to a culture that teaches 1H Axe and Shield fighting, they should just use that because that's part of the roleplay experience. If they switch to a 2H Sword because "the stats are better", making axes and shields better won't fix the problem. If anything, it will make it worse because other players might (illogically in-world) switch also to a 1H Axe and Shield, and, generally speaking, they will go where the good stats are if that's the kind of players they are. If half the table are roleplayers who value cultural representation or historical accuracy, and the other half are munchkins who value system mastery and stats, then that's not something anybody can address with house rules.

.....because a gaming system should integrate with its setting. Cultural practices make no sense if they don't function to a society's advantage. The shield was a ubiquitous piece of military equipment in almost all ancient cultures. This is because it was effective. I play with very experienced narrative roleplayers and truth to tell, our gaming is not combat focused (but it's Glorantha so there is combat). However, authenticity is Glorantha's greatest strength and having to gloss over perverse mechanical incentives for narrative purposes is simply not satisfying. If shield use is listed as a cultural skill, the system should maintain fidelity to its subject by supporting the utility of that skill in that society.

 

Brent.

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6 hours ago, BrentS said:

.....because a gaming system should integrate with its setting. Cultural practices make no sense if they don't function to a society's advantage. The shield was a ubiquitous piece of military equipment in almost all ancient cultures. This is because it was effective. I play with very experienced narrative roleplayers and truth to tell, our gaming is not combat focused (but it's Glorantha so there is combat). However, authenticity is Glorantha's greatest strength and having to gloss over perverse mechanical incentives for narrative purposes is simply not satisfying. If shield use is listed as a cultural skill, the system should maintain fidelity to its subject by supporting the utility of that skill in that society.

 

Brent.

This.

The need for a specific skill for shields, making these an option more difficult to master than 1 handed combat, would be a perfect fit for a feudal Japan game, for instance, where shields were essentailly abandoned. 

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7 hours ago, BrentS said:

.....because a gaming system should integrate with its setting. 

Part of the issue is that we have effective plate armour widely available. Which is what killed shields on earth. Sure Bronze is less effective than Iron/Steel but add in some magic .... it's noticeable that of the three real combat head munchkins in games I run have gone to 2H weapons or duel wield for their hand to hand focused characters. (one of whom is me and the other two are also GM's as well). The people who just play and never GM are much more well behaved (I think it's secret code in our circle that if you are a GM playing in another GM's game it's your job to push the envelope a little but not too far and keep the GMShield Monkey honest.) 

 

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2 hours ago, Thaz said:

Part of the issue is that we have effective plate armour widely available. Which is what killed shields on earth. 

 

I didn't think medieval style plate is what is represented by bronze armour in the game but rather classical Greek hoplite-style panoply.....muscle cuirass, greaves and vambraces, Corinthian helmet......as illustrated as early as the cover of Runequest I and still in RQG with the full colour Rune Lord picture on page 279 of the rulebook. Still compatible and used with shield, both historically and in Glorantha as illustrated in these examples.

 

Brent.

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On 7/2/2020 at 5:49 PM, Dissolv said:

The game does eventually change and the first PC to get enchanted Iron Armor more or less breaks the curve.  9 points of armor is enough to render that player nearly invincible to the lower tier threats, like farmers or militia -- Javelins + Speed dart = 13 maximum damage, Broadword + 1d4 strength bonus = 13 points max as well.  So the 9 armor guy only has to have access to Shield 2 or Protection 4 to be immune to all non-special or critical attacks.  Combine this with his likely 100%+ Parry, and melee is a great way to lose half the Sun County militia.   If there are enough of them, and they are for some reason willing to fight to the death, they can win, but the odds keep going way, way down. 

Except that a warrior cannot wear a plate armor all the day. Or that means penalties. Skills penalties, CON penalties, etc...

Would you sleep fully armored ? I m not sure that you will be nice tommorow morning

Would you travel from Pavis to Sun county under the sun fully armored ? You will die before seeing any templar.

Same for shield spell : 2 rune points for 15 minutes when you need about season to restore them or protection, 4 mp for 5 minutes when you need 4 hours to restore them.

So it is easy to kill your warrior, just wait an hour or two :)

 

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25 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Except that a warrior cannot wear a plate armor all the day.

Plate armor isn't a thing in Glorantha, but Roman legionnaires surely marched in their armor, while being about as armored as you get in Glorantha? 

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36 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Except that a warrior cannot wear a plate armor all the day. Or that means penalties. Skills penalties, CON penalties, etc...

Would you sleep fully armored ? I m not sure that you will be nice tomorrow morning

Would you travel from Pavis to Sun county under the sun fully armored ? You will die before seeing any templar.

 

There are no rules for this currently in RQG. There may be in future books. 

I certainly wouldn't march in full plate armour and from what we see in Earths historical record the Hoplites didn't either. You armour up and get the big spears out before you fight. Battles were set pieces and pretty much agreed on by both sides. 

Now if you're talking MOUNTED troops then not so much. The Crusaders used to travel all day in double mail and felt padding which is actualy hotter and heavier than plate (I've worn both). There are records of them not noticing being shot in the back multiple times with arrows and coming back in unharmed afterwards.... 

 

8 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Plate armor isn't a thing in Glorantha, but Roman legionnaires surely marched in their armor, while being about as armored as you get in Glorantha? 

Sure it is. I mean not full Gothic Plate (although it was in previous editions) but certainly plate armour is. 6 points Bronze on every location. plus a point or two of padding. 

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On 7/4/2020 at 2:49 PM, Akhôrahil said:

Plate armor isn't a thing in Glorantha, but Roman legionnaires surely marched in their armor, while being about as armored as you get in Glorantha? 

Almost no roman legionnaires wore plate. The most frequent armor was chaimail, later gradually replaced by lamellar. There was also some scale armor. The only 'plates' were the ealy cuirass, a la greek, and the prestige arma musculata.

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A major thing to consider here is that the adventurers are at a serious disadvantage compared to a traveling army.    Basically lack of safety in numbers, unlikely to get a day or more prep time before an engagement, and generally they have to be on their toes in hostile places all the time, or risk seriously bad consequences.

It is very reasonable to assume that they wish to keep their armor on as much as possible. 

It is up to the GM to enforce some type of penalty if they keep wearing it under very difficult conditions, such as Fire Season in Prax.  I would suggest Homeland Lore to avoid negative consequences when at home, and Survival when not.  And only when the conditions are established by the GM as to be detrimental.    Personally, I do enjoy Man vs. Nature type challenges, especially it makes full use of the RQ skills system and other game mechanics, and also giving a non-fiat reason to prefer lighter gear.  But I'm not seeing anything really in the core rules related to wearing armor a lot or in difficult circumstances.  My inclination is that it is not really a big deal in Sartar, which is cool and where one frequently wears layers anyway.  But Prax or Pavis, or Sun County......yikes. 

Some options:

  1. Simply take away X number of maximum ENC points due to heat.  Cold can work the same way, but this is through the temperature demanding more ENC in clothing/gear.  I favor this as it is easy and gives the robust PC's an advantage for having that huge CON/STR.  Weaker types can downgrade to leather.
  2. Apply a penalty of some type  for not enough resting.  This penalty is increased by the average armor ENC worn.  Example Fire Season in the Big Rubble, a group is adventuring in the noontime sun but is frightened by signs of Chaos and presses on without a break.  -10% to all skills multiplied by the average ENC worn.  Downside -- fuzzy time for breaks needed plus more maths.
  3. Assume that the players are heroic in nature and simply withstand the discomfort, like Knights of old.  Currently the default if you don't think about it in advance.
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10 hours ago, Kloster said:

Almost no roman legionnaires wore plate. The most frequent armor was chaimail, later gradually replaced by lamellar. There was also some scale armor. The only 'plates' were the ealy cuirass, a la greek, and the prestige arma musculata.

Segmentata is probably closer to plate than it is to lamellar; larger plates, more rigidity. Also, as far as I know, there is really nothing that prevents something like it being made in bronze, so having something similar in Glorantha shouldn't be difficult. 

SDLeary

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