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11 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Any ideas as to what dire consequences?

I was alluding to what Fred was suggesting just above (edited by me)

27 minutes ago, Fred said:

I believe it is not a flavor problem, more of a balancing problem that in its current form also doesn’t carry the flavor of a death god. I would even feel that if it did D10 [I assume to the caster] damage on a fail, or even always a D6 damage to use [again, to the caster] (with flavor description why and how), it would carry a much more interesting dynamic. Or in its current rules it was one use or if on a failure they gained a fear at 60%. Or... anyway,  I believe there could be even more interesting downsides to using it. But the flavor is missing also.

I think the problem is clear in their own adventure, The Pegasus Plateau, where the villain can hardly use the spell, because it is anti-climactic from a story-telling perspective from both ends, from hero to villain. After all, mythic storytelling is about the inner journeys people take, the demons they have to conquer, so why have a finger of death spell at all unless there might be a severe price to pay for it? This should go for a villain also.

Potential ideas (only brainstormig):

  • Caster always take 1d6 damage when casting Sever Spirit. They take an extra 1d6 if they fail. 
  • If caster succeeds, they must under roll POWx4 or suffer the effect of Sever Spirit themselves.
  • If caster fail, they must roll under POWx4 or suffer the effect of Sever Spirit themselves.
  • The cost of Sever Spirit is equal to the opponent RP
  • or...
4 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

Perhaps it could have a suitably deadly side-effect - say, halving the caster's CON permanently...

...but I would probably also allow a POWx4 roll before it happens

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25 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

I was alluding to what Fred was suggesting just above (edited by me)

Potential ideas (only brainstormig):

  • Caster always take 1d6 damage when casting Sever Spirit. They take an extra 1d6 if they fail. 
  • If caster succeeds, they must under roll POWx4 or suffer the effect of Sever Spirit themselves.
  • If caster fail, they must roll under POWx4 or suffer the effect of Sever Spirit themselves.
  • The cost of Sever Spirit is equal to the opponent RP
  • or...

...but I would probably also allow a POWx4 roll before it happens

It’s possible that making it one-use and adding flavor text is the easiest solution. It certainly becomes a choice when to use it then, often only used against very powerful creatures, and failing at those times isn’t fun because the situation was dangerous to start. And one use spells aren’t always acquired. 

Edited by Fred

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It's certainly not unreasonable to argue that save or die effects should be avoided - D&D more or less has abandoned them in 5e, so it's not a new idea. I'd argue that it's less problematic in RQ though; the main reason D&D save or die is bad is because it doesn't matter how many hit points you have, a spell like 3e Hold Person can pretty much kill you and it's supposed to be the case that more hit points = harder to kill. Since no RQG character has very many hit points - Strengthening Enchantment is gone, at least in the core rules - then it really isn't that big a deal (a 3 point Sunspear is arguably far more powerful, though of course the direct sunlight requirement is a balancing factor).

The simplest fix would seem to be making it just do some amount of damage to general hit points, perhaps 4d6 to bring it somewhat in line with Sunspear. 14 average damage will kill most targets, and it will ruin someone's day even if they survive, but it's less problematic than outright death since you aren't going to be ending the Mother of Monsters with that.

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1 hour ago, DreadDomain said:

I was alluding to what Fred was suggesting just above (edited by me)

Potential ideas (only brainstormig):

  • Caster always take 1d6 damage when casting Sever Spirit. They take an extra 1d6 if they fail. 
  • If caster succeeds, they must under roll POWx4 or suffer the effect of Sever Spirit themselves.
  • If caster fail, they must roll under POWx4 or suffer the effect of Sever Spirit themselves.
  • The cost of Sever Spirit is equal to the opponent RP
  • or...

...but I would probably also allow a POWx4 roll before it happens

It should halve the casters POW, and invoke two aging rolls.

SDLeary

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4 hours ago, GAZZA said:

Well let's not forget Humakt isn't a "good guy" exactly. Everyone seems to forget the myth where he butchers a bunch of Healers because he's not happy with them resurrecting people.

Yes Humakt isn't good but I believe he is fair.

Remember that he cut his link with his family because he consider Death as a very powerful tool, too powerfull for Orlanth himself. If he refuses to give death power to his brother, king of the world... what about our trollkin ? (or icecream :) sure nobody except ice troll can understand what I explain )

 

Another point to keep in mind : Humakt is the death god. He is death and he is god. As a god he doesn't care when a trollkin will die (now or in 5 years). At the end, the trollkin will die. And five years is nothing for a god who is outside the time.

 

Note that I have no issue with any spell.

Because I have my house rule to manage it :

  • Does MY Humakt accept to help his cultist in the way requested so the question is why My Humact will accept ?
  • Is the cultist his favorite (until he is bored to buy icecream for him, do it yourself) ?
  • His the danger too important for the cultist ?
  • His the target a !#@*d that Humakt wants to destroy for a long time and at least, now he can do it

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3 hours ago, Fred said:

It’s possible that making it one-use and adding flavor text is the easiest solution. It certainly becomes a choice when to use it then, often only used against very powerful creatures, and failing at those times isn’t fun because the situation was dangerous to start. And one use spells aren’t always acquired. 

Yes, it is an easy solution and one that is already in use for some cults write-ups (Zorak Zoran comes to mind)

2 hours ago, GAZZA said:

The simplest fix would seem to be making it just do some amount of damage to general hit points, perhaps 4d6 to bring it somewhat in line with Sunspear. 14 average damage will kill most targets, and it will ruin someone's day even if they survive, but it's less problematic than outright death since you aren't going to be ending the Mother of Monsters with that.

It is also a good solution. Less absolute/unbalancing and more in line with some other spells 

2 hours ago, SDLeary said:

It should halve the casters POW, and invoke two aging rolls.

Two ageing roll can be fun. Halving POW is rather harsh (at least without some kind of resistance roll).

Edited by DreadDomain

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Yes Humakt isn't good but I believe he is fair.

Remember that he cut his link with his family because he consider Death as a very powerful tool, too powerfull for Orlanth himself. If he refuses to give death power to his brother, king of the world... what about our trollkin ? (or icecream :) sure nobody except ice troll can understand what I explain )

nother point to keep in mind : Humakt is the death god. He is death and he is god. As a god he doesn't care when a trollkin will die (now or in 5 years). At the end, the trollkin will die. And five years is nothing for a god who is outside the time.

I guess I just don't understand why any of that is not also an argument against killing the trollkin at all. That's the point I'm making - if you assume that Humakt has no problem with your killing the trollkin, then the exact weapon you use seems to be extremely petty of him to worry about. A Sword of Humakt that specialises in using a maul instead of a sword is unusual but should be fine (perhaps it's a troll, and Humakt is happy to have one of the Uz turn to him instead of ZZ). Likewise if the Sword decides, in the name of expedience, to use Sever Spirit, well... the end result is that the trollkin is just as dead. If we're assuming, as we implicitly are, that the trollkin would not have been a decent challenge in a duel to the Humakti, then honestly you could view Sever Spirit as a mercy (at least it's quick right?)

Now, if you're talking about a duel, then you can set whatever rules you like for those (armour, weapons, whether you're allowed to use offensive magic, whether you're allowed to use Rune magic - sky is the limit really). But otherwise... well, Klingons are honourable too, but they have a saying: "In war, there is nothing more honourable than victory".

A decent (though not flawless) guide to the sort of thing Humakt likes/dislikes can be found by examining the table of geasa that he gives. This would suggest that a perfect Humakti (and perhaps Humakt himself) would mistrust all non-Humakti (and explicitly including all trolls), would never eat from a dish, would never speak during (presumably) Death Week or Windsday (I'm assuming that's the day of the week Humakt would use, but Humakti are free to choose others), would never eat meat in Death Week or Windsday, would never eat vegetables, would never ride animals, would never drink alcoholic beverages, would never participate in an ambush, would never lie, would sacrifice double magic points on holy days, would never use poison, would never use non-cult weapons (swords only) or shields, would never love, would have a severed Loyalty passion, would never wear armour over two locations, would never refuse a challenge to one on one combat. An extensive list to be sure, but there's nothing there about "never use Rune magic" or anything like that, which suggests to me that this is just not something Humakt cares about.

Having said that, the list of geasa is not exhaustive, and perhaps IYG "never use Rune magic against weak foes" is a possible geas as well. That's totally fair enough.

But I remain unconvinced - I'm happy to believe that Sever Spirit is not a well designed spell (save or die spells are always problematic), but AFAIC if you've sacrificed for the spell, you can cast it however you wish. Even if you cast it in a way that Humakt wouldn't approve of - let's say, you ambush a vegetable truck aided by a mixed group of Elder Races just so you can chow down on those sweet, sweet carrots - then I'd say the spell still works just fine; you'd be in Spirits of Retribution territory at that point. Indeed retribution spirits are tacit (though weak) evidence that gods don't micromanage how their worshippers use their Rune Magic - traditionally, an excommunication process just makes all your Rune spells one use, after all, it doesn't remove them (although some spirits or retribution drain a bunch of your POW and offer to return it if you delete the Rune Magic - at least, that's how it worked in RQ3, I don't think we have specific spirits of retribution/excommunication stuff in RQG yet). In a practical sense, as a player, I'd be a bit wary of having to second guess my GM whenever I wanted to use my spells, but I imagine I'd figure out the rules easily enough - I'm sure it's playable your way.

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57 minutes ago, GAZZA said:

I guess I just don't understand why any of that is not also an argument against killing the trollkin at all. That's the point I'm making - if you assume that Humakt has no problem with your killing the trollkin, then the exact weapon you use seems to be extremely petty of him to worry about.

My point is not killing trollkin  but by yourself or with your god help

But yes I think I have found the issue :

57 minutes ago, GAZZA said:

In a practical sense, as a player, I'd be a bit wary of having to second guess my GM whenever I wanted to use my spells, but I imagine I'd figure out the rules easily enough - I'm sure it's playable your way.

Yes => if you consider an initiate like a magician : a magician manipulates spells and obtain spell effect (if roll succeed)  In this case, don't care frome where come the magic, the player obtain the power by paying something (here power sacrifice, worshipping roll, ... ) and is free to use it after.

 

No => if you consider an initiate as a worshiper: a worshiper ask the god to make "miracle". And the god decides if yes or not it gives miracle. I consider divine spell as a predetermined divine intervention (you know the pray to obtain the effect so it is easier than a DI) . I don't see any priest in any religion who explain that all prayers are welcomed and successfull.

 

My house rule is focused on relationship between the god and the worshiper.If you want to obtain power by yourself, follow the way of sorcery or become an hero. If you want to quickly and easely have big power, follow a god and hope  you do what it want.

 

Edited by French Desperate WindChild

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2 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

My point is not killing trollkin  but by yourself or with your god help

But yes I think I have found the issue :

Yes => if you consider an initiate like a magician : a magician manipulates spells and obtain spell effect (if roll succeed)  In this case, don't care frome where come the magic, the player obtain the power by paying something (here power sacrifice, worshipping roll, ... ) and is free to use it after.

No => if you consider an initiate as a worshiper: a worshiper ask the god to make "miracle". And the god decides if yes or not it gives miracle. I consider divine spell as a predetermined divine intervention (you know the pray to obtain the effect so it is easier than a DI) . I don't see any priest in any religion who explain that all prayers are welcomed and successfull.

I mean, taken the logical conclusion, why bother with Rune Points at all then? Just have the PC ask her god for an appropriate miracle, and then you decide whether it gets granted based on how devoted she's been. That's certainly a perfectly reasonable way to run things - but it's very different to how I'd do it.

Gods are bound outside of Time; it's arguable whether they even can care about petty things like Sever Spirit. That's one explanation (I don't know whether it's canonical) of why illuminates don't suffer spirits of reprisal - the god doesn't actually know but non-illuminated initiates feel guilty so they draw the spirits of reprisal on to themselves. (Illuminates don't feel guilty - or at least, not metaphysically). Of course there are plenty of other ways to explain this, but the whole "all seeing" nature of the god that you'd need to have for them to work the way you suggest is kind of not the way I see Glorantha deities. Maybe the Invisible God, perhaps, but Orlanth, Yelm, Humakt, and so on are (IMO) nowhere near that omniscient. (In addition to the previous point about whether or not he'd actually have an issue with Sever Spirit as the chosen method of killing a trollkin in the first place, but it seems you are adamant that he would, so fair enough).

IMO, when you obtain Rune Points, you are basically learning how to do a small heroquest. You're embodying the god as you cast his Rune Magic, and as such in some senses you are the god. If viewed this way, then it's nonsensical to suggest that the god wouldn't allow you to cast the spell - the god, at that moment, albeit in a limited sense, is you. When Jenny the Humakti casts Sever Spirit at a trollkin, in some sense Humakt is slicing his way through Darkness chasing Zorak Zoran to reclaim death. His grim visage is enough to send lesser souls directly to Daka Fal for judgement with just a glance, which his initiates learn to mimic (imperfectly).

In a very real sense, IMG gods need mortals far more than mortals need gods. And Humakt is a small (but fanatical) cult; I honestly can't see him sweating the small stuff about exactly what means you use to kill someone that presumably needs killing.

YGMV, of course, and it apparently does. :)

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10 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

When someone uses Sever Spirit it needs to be a "holy crap, I need to pull all the stops!". It needs to be some kind of last resort type spell.

In my game, we've been playing Sever Spirit as written, and the Humakti pretty much entirely wields it like this. He doesn't bother with it unless it's a big OH FUCK situation. His raw competence as a warrior leads him to generally rely on other methods before Sever Spirit. And he's got the RP, generally, to spare, since he started as an old man (+3RP per decade, so starting 9 RP). Though I'll note that another balancing factor we've experienced is that it's hard for him to consistently replenish his RP since Humakt doesn't have associate cults, and only has a seasonal holy day. If his 2D6 roll goes poorly, he's gotta be skint on the Rune magic for the season.

Off the top of my head, I think he's used Sever Spirit twice: first on a Chaos-corrupted ice demon which killed his friend/employer (another party member) with a stolen Sever Spirit, and second on in the adventure Fred mentions, after the antagonist threw her first Sever Spirit. He crit the POW roll against the prior, but it just bounced right off the latter :D.

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2 hours ago, GAZZA said:

Maybe the Invisible God, perhaps, but Orlanth, Yelm, Humakt, and so on are (IMO) nowhere near that omniscient. (In addition to the previous point about whether or not he'd actually have an issue with Sever Spirit as the chosen method of killing a trollkin in the first place, but it seems you are adamant that he would, so fair enough).

IMO, when you obtain Rune Points, you are basically learning how to do a small heroquest. You're embodying the god as you cast his Rune Magic, and as such in some senses you are the god. If viewed this way, then it's nonsensical to suggest that the god wouldn't allow you to cast the spell - the god, at that moment, albeit in a limited sense, is you.

you are absolutly right. That is exactly one gloranthan philosophy :

the Invisible god is greater than Orlanth Yelm, Humakt...

If you know how to do a small cult heroquest you basically learn how to cast a spell

Then you can embody the god as you cast his rune magic.

This philosophy is god learner, isn't it ? Yes this is the god learner secrets. A lot of PC/GM are god learners and not "true believers"

So yes it is true, I agree, I think that gloranthan people already acted (or still act) like that.

But

From an RP perspective I consider these people are not worshippers / believers / followers (follower is a nice word for this point)

From a GP perspective, of course in 99.99990% the PC will cast the spell (if the roll is a success) ; but my rules give the GM some opportunities (anygm can do it without rules of course, but here that follow rules, that give explanation, it is not an exception)  :

1) Add drama : " why my  bless crops did'nt work ? I succeed my dice roll". Yes but The goddess refused it. After divination, you know she is angry because blablabla... And then you launch a scenario to regain Ernalda favors (because Ernalda gives favors, not the priest).

2) Help players : "Why my bless crops succeed ? I failed my dice roll" => Because Ernalda decides your village will survive (of course the player is the only one god talker in the place) Well in the next session, I need everyone drunk after the feast celebrating a so beautifull harvest, when the raid of the beastmen will occur

3) you can block a player destroying your scenario, or just destroying your table

Again it is just my view of what is the god (more complex than a source of magic) and I can do that only because my players are happy with it. A rule is just here to give pleasure. That is a game (and a great background too)

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45 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Then you can embody the god as you cast his rune magic.

This philosophy is god learner, isn't it ? Yes this is the god learner secrets. A lot of PC/GM are god learners and not "true believers"

No, it's not inherently a God Learner view, but does reflect how the God Learners categorized those who follow the gods and their approach to magic.  This understanding or philosophy is not the God Learner's secrets.  Their secrets have to do with perceiving the Runes behind the gods and manipulating the gods and their magic further - it's an approach removed from the gods.

Casting Rune magic is channeling both the power and presence of the deity into the mundane world through the vehicle of the worshipper.  The worshipper is effectively the god.  If anything the worshipper is even more a "believer" of the divinity because they literally experience the divinity and their powers through this action.  My players (and therefore their PC's) embrace this idea.

 

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3 hours ago, Crel said:

In my game, we've been playing Sever Spirit as written, and the Humakti pretty much entirely wields it like this [...] Off the top of my head, I think he's used Sever Spirit twice: first on a Chaos-corrupted ice demon which killed his friend/employer (another party member) with a stolen Sever Spirit, and second on in the adventure Fred mentions, after the antagonist threw her first Sever Spirit. He crit the POW roll against the prior, but it just bounced right off the latter :D.

Thanks for the feedback. How did your players react to (1) the other player using Sever Spirit successfully on an NPC and (2) an NPC using Sever Spirit successfully on a PC? Were they a good audience who managed to hype up the scene by their sheer excitement? Were the Rune roll and POW resistance roll enough suspense to get people on the edge of their seat? (the spell looks boring and anti-climactic on paper to me, but maybe it's exciting in practice?)

I like the idea of using additional RPs to boost the POW resistance roll.

Another simple idea that occurred to me is that maybe any successful casting of Sever Spirit could get you an additional Humakti geas? (and maybe a Humakti gift too if you're a nice GM). The more you kill people using the Death God magic, the more you become a Death God yourself.

9 hours ago, GAZZA said:

In a practical sense, as a player, I'd be a bit wary of having to second guess my GM whenever I wanted to use my spells, but I imagine I'd figure out the rules easily enough - I'm sure it's playable your way.

That's a very important point but you can just move the action and consequences around to fix this. It's not so much that when you try to cast a Rune spell it doesn't work... it's more like it works, but then you get nightmares and visions the following nights, get visited by angry spirits (possibly ancestors), etc... and when you try to replenish your Rune points, you don't get as many (or any!), get blasted away from the altar by an invisible force, get the stink eye from the Priestess because she got some messages from her deity or sees that your aura isn't quite right anymore, etc.

There's precedent for this: a D&D Warlock who starts refusing his boss' bidding. But in a way, almost everybody is a D&D Warlock in Dragon Pass.

Edited by lordabdul

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12 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Thanks for the feedback. How did your players react to (1) the other player using Sever Spirit successfully on an NPC and (2) an NPC using Sever Spirit successfully on a PC? Were they a good audience who managed to hype up the scene by their sheer excitement? Were the Rune roll and POW resistance roll enough suspense to get people on the edge of their seat? (the spell looks boring and anti-climactic on paper to me, but maybe it's exciting in practice?)

I support this message! ;) I really think it is not that exciting if it can be done round by round to be fair. Also, the flavor problem as people noted, with different solutions to it... Anyway, I just came in to note this discussion is carried on in two different threads now! The spells thread also.

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3 hours ago, lordabdul said:

How did your players react to (1) the other player using Sever Spirit successfully on an NPC and (2) an NPC using Sever Spirit successfully on a PC?

Btw I just caught up with @Crel's campaign log and saw that the NPC's Sever Spirit was cancelled by the house rule to use "hero points" to avoid dying.

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4 hours ago, lordabdul said:

NPC using Sever Spirit successfully on a PC?

The Chaos ice demon's stolen Sever Spirit was definitely a moment of high tension. They knew the demon was serious business when it killed their friend (don't worry, he got better), and that the Humakti needed to get lucky to kill it. Narratively, I emphasized that this was a Humakt Sever Spirit which the demon cast; the adventurer recognized it as a "This is Not What Should Be," and that's part of why his response was "My Sever Spirit is better!"

In contrast, in the other fight I emphasized that this was not Humakt's mastery of Death, but rather the antagonist's own powers. Also while yes, he did hero point one fail, it was still an incredible moment. He critical'd his Devotion (Humakt) augment on the resistance table roll, then won 3 coin flips to resist her power. I don't think that Sever Spirit was, in either case, a trivial or bland spell. It was the crux of the drama.

Narration's a great tool.

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41 minutes ago, Crel said:

I don't think that Sever Spirit was, in either case, a trivial or bland spell. It was the crux of the drama.

Thanks!

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8 hours ago, Crel said:

In my game, we've been playing Sever Spirit as written, and the Humakti pretty much entirely wields it like this. He doesn't bother with it unless it's a big OH FUCK situation. His raw competence as a warrior leads him to generally rely on other methods before Sever Spirit. And he's got the RP, generally, to spare, since he started as an old man (+3RP per decade, so starting 9 RP). Though I'll note that another balancing factor we've experienced is that it's hard for him to consistently replenish his RP since Humakt doesn't have associate cults, and only has a seasonal holy day. If his 2D6 roll goes poorly, he's gotta be skint on the Rune magic for the season.

Off the top of my head, I think he's used Sever Spirit twice: first on a Chaos-corrupted ice demon which killed his friend/employer (another party member) with a stolen Sever Spirit, and second on in the adventure Fred mentions, after the antagonist threw her first Sever Spirit. He crit the POW roll against the prior, but it just bounced right off the latter :D.

Thanks, that is good feedback. And correct, recovering RP is not as easy for Humakti. It is a factor I had not taken into consideration.

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Btw I just caught up with @Crel's campaign log and saw that the NPC's Sever Spirit was cancelled by the house rule to use "hero points" to avoid dying.

That's a good rule.

57 minutes ago, Crel said:

The Chaos ice demon's stolen Sever Spirit was definitely a moment of high tension. They knew the demon was serious business when it killed their friend (don't worry, he got better), and that the Humakti needed to get lucky to kill it. Narratively, I emphasized that this was a Humakt Sever Spirit which the demon cast; the adventurer recognized it as a "This is Not What Should Be," and that's part of why his response was "My Sever Spirit is better!"

In contrast, in the other fight I emphasized that this was not Humakt's mastery of Death, but rather the antagonist's own powers. Also while yes, he did hero point one fail, it was still an incredible moment. He critical'd his Devotion (Humakt) augment on the resistance table roll, then won 3 coin flips to resist her power. I don't think that Sever Spirit was, in either case, a trivial or bland spell. It was the crux of the drama.

Narration's a great tool.

Again, good description. To clarify, my problem with Sever Spirit is less how it works and more how easily it can be obtained and used. It feels like a "I win  button" that can be easily abused, forced the gm to always find ways to not make it so everytime. Granted, my fears are perceived, I have not experienced it yet, and your description helps alleviate my issues.

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1 hour ago, Crel said:

The Chaos ice demon's stolen Sever Spirit was definitely a moment of high tension. They knew the demon was serious business when it killed their friend (don't worry, he got better), and that the Humakti needed to get lucky to kill it. Narratively, I emphasized that this was a Humakt Sever Spirit which the demon cast; the adventurer recognized it as a "This is Not What Should Be," and that's part of why his response was "My Sever Spirit is better!"

In contrast, in the other fight I emphasized that this was not Humakt's mastery of Death, but rather the antagonist's own powers. Also while yes, he did hero point one fail, it was still an incredible moment. He critical'd his Devotion (Humakt) augment on the resistance table roll, then won 3 coin flips to resist her power. I don't think that Sever Spirit was, in either case, a trivial or bland spell. It was the crux of the drama.

Narration's a great tool.

Hero points was mentioned. How is it used by you, Crel? I use it in 5e, but in RQG I am keen to avoid it, so this is why I am more cautious about Sever Spirit, I suppose. But... players How do you implement hero points?

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Character Creation:

  • Assign characteristics from the following matrix: 18, 16, 16, 14, 14, 12, 12. 
  • Every character gets a random boon
  • Every character gets a random heirloom

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6 hours ago, Fred said:

Hero points was mentioned. How is it used by you, Crel? I use it in 5e, but in RQG I am keen to avoid it, so this is why I am more cautious about Sever Spirit, I suppose. But... players How do you implement hero points?

We never really set down a formalized method. Typically get one whenever you accomplish something suitably heroic, a sort of abstract "luck of the gods/fortune beside you" explanation. Often, one per adventure. This originated in our RQ3 campaign, and in particular got regularly used so we didn't have to roll new newbie characters every three sessions. In my current game, I'm trying to be a bit more stingy with 'em since RQG's adventurers are made of tougher stuff. In my head, I'm thinking a max of 3 at any given time, but it hasn't come up yet.

My friend who GM'd our RQ3 campaign, had used them in the game he played in which his father GM'd. He and his brother were both so nearly-indestructible that they needed a hero point cap, or to remove them entirely. I think my friend's dad's goal in general was for them to be a crutch in early game, and wean off later on.

My experience has been that it kind of helps encourage players to try dumb shit and see what happens. You know well that it's not an infinite safety net, considering how lethal RuneQuest is, but it helps a little. Our experience has been that without some sort of safety net, players tend to be super cautious and do fewer interesting things.

When I started my current RQG game I introduced a "Favor" system, with the intent of replacing hero points. Basically, my idea was that the adventurers would accrue Favor with various major NPCs depending on their actions, which in turn could be "cashed in" for things like getting ransomed, getting resurrected, and so on. I also let them call in a favor for something about the value of a ransom. All of my players took the cash-equivalent, so I didn't bother continuing trying out that mechanic. My goal was something similar to hero points, but a bit less arbitrary, and a bit more setting-based.

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4 hours ago, Crel said:

We never really set down a formalized method...

Thanks for the longer explanation. RQ being so deadly is the reason your players was drawn to it, I saw you mention in the other thread, so it is interesting to hear you choose to use hero points. Obviously, this is why I thought using a spell like Sever Spirit against players from a storytelling perspective can be a turnoff, but if you use hero points this is not so dangerous so I get your perspective in this more. Deadly and realistic games can sound noble, and RQ players take pride in it, but it can take people out of the storytelling experience instead, especially going through character creation, creating new stories all the time for them can make the game harder to invest in emotionally and imaginatively for both for GMs and players. Becomes more a game of Yatzy you one could easily be cynical about, which defeats its purpose. Hard balance to achieve.

So I definitely get what you are saying about players not engaging and making the story interesting by taking any risks if a game is too deadly. Tying a deus ex machina solution to the gods make sense in a Gloranthian world.
Anyway, thanks for the writeup, something to think about when I consider my own campaign. What to do, what to do...

Edited by Fred

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3 hours ago, Fred said:

Deadly and realistic games can sound noble, and RQ players take pride in it, but it can take people out of the storytelling experience instead, especially going through character creation, creating new stories all the time for them can make the game harder to invest in emotionally and imaginatively for both for GMs and players. Becomes more a game of Yatzy you one could easily be cynical about, which defeats its purpose. Hard balance to achieve.

No argument from me. One of the reasons I like superhero games in fact - death is pretty much off the table.

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20 minutes ago, GAZZA said:

No argument from me. One of the reasons I like superhero games in fact - death is pretty much off the table.

At the same time I kind of wish that one didn’t need hero points, I want to avoid this, that there is some other clever way to solve it, to increase the chance of survival without it. The divine intervention rules help a little with this, but perhaps they could be expanded slightly without removing the grit and lethality completely. That divine intervention can have a bit of an increased chance, but can go down after use, or something similar. I believe Cthulhu 7th has some clever mechanics with luck here if I read it correctly.

This survivability was one of my main concerns reading the critical hit rules. At the same time, given the armor and toughness of some opponents they seem right, and the excitement of a player rolling one is pretty fun...

Edited by Fred

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