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Our group is struggling with how to decide whether to allow Form Rune augments.  For example, in the White Bull Campaign episode #2, one PC used his Mobility Rune to augment (technically, "inspire") their Climb skill to climb the walls into Pavis.  @Jeff allowed it, didn't bat an eye.  My initial reaction, watching, was "o.k., reasonable, but let me think about it".  (Note - Jeff, might be nice for education if you occasionally questioned the players, asking them to explain why their Passion or Rune made sense as an augment.  They usually do, but this might help others learn )

Certainly Climb involves movement.  But so does every other Agility skill.  And there's already a runic augment for that - Water.  If a GM allows Mobility to augment all agility skills, plus dozens of other skills that involve movement, the it becomes a pretty all powerful augment.  OTOH, if you don't allow Mobility to augment any Agility skill, that seems restrictive.  

Note: my character has a high Water, chosen specifically so that, when I really need to Dodge or Climb, I have a chance at a bonus.  When I really need to Spot or Communicate or Hide, I'm on my own...

Our group is very much confused and on the fence.

  1. One player is "certainly that makes sense". 
  2. I am leaning towards "if there is another official Rune for that skill, the player should really use that instead, or a Passion". 
  3. Another player is "Certainly not".  In his view, Mobility might make you climb faster, if speed matters, but it won't augment your skill percentage.  I find this an intriguing approach too.

Thoughts?

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15 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Thoughts?

Based on this and other posts in the recent past, I think you're over-thinking this :D 

Sure, some Runes can be used very broadly, but that's what the "once per session" (or "once per day" or other house rule) comes in. So once you're done augmenting with the Water Rune, you can augment with the Movement Rune (if you have it). It's kind of a fallback, I guess?

To give you something more usable here, I think you can perhaps change the narration of the scene based on what Rune was used for augment. For instance, the Movement Rune says:

Quote

To be strong with the Movement Rune is to be changeable, energetic, rebellious, and ambitious. Such adventurers can adapt quickly to changing circumstances, but are also impulsive and reckless.

....so if you want to get fancy, you could say that a Climb roll augmented by the Movement Rune means that the character climbed the wall with much energy and bravado, possibly yelling "Booyah!" at the top or generally showing off. If they're trying to sneak into somewhere, you might apply the the opposite bonus as a penalty to Move Quietly! (or, more likely, warn the player that this would be what happens, which probably would make them abandon the idea of augmenting in this specific scene).

Think of it as like how Rune Magic also has different "aspects" based on which deity is providing it (like, saying Heal from Chalana Arroy vs. Heal from Babeester Gor).

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Using Form/Power Runes to augment skills is supported in the rules (rqg: 227 - "A Power or Form Rune may be used by an adventurer to augment any skill used in accordance with that Rune."

If the concern is about about the augment being too power or too useful, what I can say from experience at my table is that the "per session" limitation for Rune augments makes when/where to use which Runes at which times a more strategic and calculated decision then "press x to power up".

That and because the language is so open-ended, the question of "in accordance" comes up and there have been times I've told my players no because I didn't think the connection was strong enough to justify an augment, and there have been times where my players have asked about a potential combination and I've asked their reasoning and they've just laughed answering, "that's a great question," and we'll move on, without the augment, etc.

Considering what I've been reading that many other people allow people to "refresh" their Runes for augments mid session, or after a certain amount of time has passed by GM fiat, and I have been running the much more restrictive season/session limitation, and in that much more limited frame, allowing players to augment with Form/Power Runes hasn't substantially upended the power levels or balance of the game, I think it's probably okay.

 

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1 hour ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:
  1. One player is "certainly that makes sense". 
  2. I am leaning towards "if there is another official Rune for that skill, the player should really use that instead, or a Passion". 
  3. Another player is "Certainly not".  In his view, Mobility might make you climb faster, if speed matters, but it won't augment your skill percentage.  I find this an intriguing approach too.

Thoughts?

I fall into the option 1 camp.  Mobility is about how the body moves, how it can change and adapt, so yes should help you Climb and perform other Agility and some Manipulation skills.  I would also let a player use Harmony to help Climb (some of my players are quite fond of that Rune) as they can better coordinate their actions.  Beast Rune would also work.  

I'm for flexibility.  If various Runes can be applied in a given situation, why not?  I find it makes the game more colorful.

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Option 1 for me, too.

I have never understood the argument of "well, that makes it too easy to make rolls". My skill is higher and I can make rolls more easily? Good!

As a GM, I go the other way and allow multiple augments, where reasonable. So, if someone has the Movement Rune then they can use it to deflect missiles, to run faster, for Climbing or dodging and so on. I also allow augments from other skills, so if someone has Animal Lore or the Beast Rune then they could use that to augment Track.

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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Related: can you use the Death rune for any combat activity (or at least offensive ones)? The Man rune for any social situation?

On the one hand, it makes sense. On the other, these are super wide areas.

I would say yes. The limitation is how many time you can do this not what area is covered. after all, with storm / air rune you can swim under water for a very long time....

 

As GM i would ask " why do you think this rune can help you" and if it is ok it is done

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7 hours ago, soltakss said:

I have never understood the argument of "well, that makes it too easy to make rolls". My skill is higher and I can make rolls more easily? Good!

Most of our group really like the chance to augment your poor offbeat skills.  Your warrior needs to try some Intrigue?  You can augment and go from a pitiful 10% up to a "I feel like I at least got a chance" 30%.  And you might get a check!  Your character might develop some flavor...

We are less sure about constantly augmenting your main skills, and generally prefer to reserve that for the "climactic" scene.  

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2 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

We are less sure about constantly augmenting your main skills, and generally prefer to reserve that for the "climactic" scene. 

Well, if you augment your main skills recklessly, then you won't have the augment available anymore for your weak skills, or available for that one important roll at the final scene... so.... it works as intended I guess? What's the problem then?

Edited by lordabdul
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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Well, if you augment your main skills recklessly, then you won't have the augment available anymore for your weak skills, or available for that one important roll at the final scene... so.... it works as intended I guess? What's the problem then?

Not sure what you mean.  Players would only augment main skills if it mattered.  There's a significant fight, augment your weapon or spirit combat or whatever.  That's not "reckless'.  If at the end you need Insight to interrogate a prisoner, too bad, but at least you won the fight.

If you mean use Loyalty A in scene 1, Death in scene 2, and you have run out of good Runes or Passions by the climactic scene, yes, I agree that's possible, and desireable.  But only if GMs enforce the limits (many have replied that they don't, or are generous on resetting).  And only if they are a bit strict on which Runes or Loyalties apply.  Which was the question of this original post.

If a GM tends to be loose and allows, say, Mobility to augment Climb, then the fact that one recklessly used Water in an earlier scene is unimportant.  Under a stricter GM, the player might think harder before using that key Augment.

For example, we are in the middle of the Pegasus Plateau scenario, and **everybody** is saving a good augment for Climb.

Edited by Rodney Dangerduck
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The way I run power rune augments is that your emotions need to match the rune more than your actions. By that logic, I wouldn't let a player augment climbing or jumping with movement just because they were moving, but rather I'd make a decision based on their reason for or feeling while acting. If they climb because they need to prove themselves, or because they love the thrill, and they leap up the cliff full of confidence and without regard for safety, then I'd allow a movement augment. If they were cautious, careful, and/or afraid, though, then they wouldn't be able to augment with movement.

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I take a pretty simple and admittedly simple-minded approach this sort of thing: Never let the rules get in the way of the PC doing something cool. It's a big part of why they play the game.

If the Movement Rune seems logical to assist in moving up a wall, let 'em do it. If some of your players don't think that's restrictive enough, they're perfectly free to only use Water for Agility skills for their own PC. 

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3 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Thanks for all the answers.  Sounds like there are many different approaches that work for different groups.  Next our group needs to figure out what works for us.  🙂

And that sage advice can be applied to most things in RuneQuest.

Use rules that work for your gaming group.

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