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13 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

 Is your game fair, or is it fun? 

False dichotomy. Fairness can be fun. (Also, unfair games aren't necessarily fun, but I don't think you're arguing that. 🙂 )

13 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Is it fun to be inflexibly even-handed in application of symmetrical rules for players and opponents?

It absolutely can be. If my players go into a fight, they know that their actions and the dice will decide the outcome, and that the question of whether someone dies or not will not depend on what the GM feels like. This adds stakes and tension that just aren’t there if they can be confident that no PC will die except when dramatically proper. 

But under this way of playing, it becomes really important that the rules are good, because they will actually be used.

I question the point of using a very crunchy system like RQ and then just handwaving things. There are much better systems to use for that. You want a dramatic arc built in, HQG provides that.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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7 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

False dichotomy.

A provocation. 🙂

You rightly point out that "rules lawyering," much as it's commonly used as a pejorative, is part of the fun for some players because well-written rules applied properly are unflinchingly fair.  Raised stakes, as you put it.  Fun follows fairness.

The inverse is fairness following fun.  The pejorative in this case is "hand-waving," rules being interpreted circumstantially either in the interest of player agency or to compensate for an inadequately written rule.  MGF foremost, followed by relative fairness.

I genuinely appreciate you bringing HQG into the discussion, a game designed to promote player agency -- but not necessarily success -- in a fair manner.  No HPs as such, though, so that's another discussion.

!i!

[Edit:  HPs = hit points in RQ, but HPs = hero points in HQ.  You know what I meant.]

Edited by Ian Absentia
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I feel characters go from running around right as rain despite being covered in wounds to unfixably dead far too quickly.

IMG, characters take damage to CON after reaching 0HP, and when at 0HP or below will lose 1 CON per MR until they hit 0 CON. Then they are dead dead.

If they get healed before then, they will stop losing CON, even if it's just a successful First Aid roll and they are still below 0 HP. They can be healed to positive HP as healing magic and first aid allows but are unconscious until then.

This stops people dying with such annoying regularity.

So, basically an average human taken to 0 HP will bleed out and die or have their brain turn to mush because of not breathing after two minutes (10MR). None of this dead in 12 seconds stuff, it's just not a thing. Unless they lose their head or its contents or have extreme damage to chest or abdomen, people, don't die that quickly.

I balance this by making CON healable only by Heal Body or subsequent First Aid rolls taken on a daily basis (I actually treat First Aid as a Healing skill, not solely a First Aid skill), or weekly gains based on their normal CON, or potions.

This creates great tension getting to someone in a realistic amount of time to stop them dying rather than the oh well can't do it this MR, and means if characters are unlucky or bite off more than they can chew, then they will be licking their wounds and learning from their mistakes rather than rolling new characters.

I run similar 'lose CON when below 0' rules for locations too.

 

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3 hours ago, Monty Lovering said:

IMG, characters take damage to CON after reaching 0HP, and when at 0HP or below will lose 1 CON per MR until they hit 0 CON. Then they are dead dead.

I personally run with the same house rule than everybody (dead at the end of next round), but I did mention the possibility of something like this (dead after CON rounds). Interesting to see someone running with it.

It has the (maybe desired?) effect that bigger monsters will take longer to die. For example, dinosaurs would take more than 30 rounds to die, unless someone puts them out of their misery... do you have anything for this, i.e. a "threshold" past which the dinosaur would die immediately? I think that threshold could probably be "minus CON in HP"... so if you manage to put the dinosaur at -31HP it dies immediately (assuming CON 31). That requires tracking negative HP, but at least you can indeed put someone out of their misery.

I'm also curious about the extra bookkeeping. Counting CON rounds until death is simple enough, but actually reducing CON every round has side-effects:

  • CON affects HP, so as they lose CON, their maximum HP also goes down. If you cast the spirit magic Heal spell on the victim, you have to consider that they only gain HP back up to their current (lower) maximum HP. Do you play it like that?
  • CON also affects ENC, so after you've cast Heal, they might not be able to carry their full loadout to go to safety. Do you also track that?
  • CON and damage are also intertwined in other situations such as drowning, asphyxiation, and poison, but I haven't looked too closely at what your rule would mean there.

I'm personally a big fan of re-using similar mechanics from one situation to another, so if I wanted to lower the mortality rate of RQ characters, I would probably use a kind of "Saving Throw" mechanism similar to the mechanics for drowning and asphyxiation:

  • Every round after you reach 0 HP or less, you roll for CONx5. After the 5th round, decrease the multiplier (x4, x3, x2, x1). On a failure, you die.
  • If you take further damage, make an extra roll. If you reach -CON HP, you die automatically.

....or something like that.

Edited by lordabdul
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On 8/7/2020 at 12:29 AM, Ian Absentia said:

Or are the rules there in print just to appease rules lawyers and grognards?

  I VOTE for this one : rules for grognards and lawyers 👍
 

7 hours ago, Monty Lovering said:

So, basically an average human taken to 0 HP will bleed out and die or have their brain turn to mush because of not breathing after two minutes (10MR). None of this dead in 12 seconds stuff, it's just not a thing. Unless they lose their head or its contents or have extreme damage to chest or abdomen, people, don't die that quickly.

Some will said your are a simulationnist, I will just said you have some rare around here ... some common sense. Yes, a human being don't suffer any brain damage after stop breathing about 2 minutes at least; I don't think gloranthan's humans are weaker than earth's human so I also consider at least 10 rd in dying state before treating a Character as dead.

To add a little drama or manage the suspense, when reviving a dying man, a healer need to use a spell or a skills to
-Get the dying man HP from negative to 0pt
-Then Make an opposition rolls with extra-healing pts VS Dying rounds : If success, the dying man is now alive with 1HP (what ever the spell effect could be).

The opposing roll give a more blurry line of dead/alive state instead of the near instant dead rule. Magical reanimation is a good and realist way to use healing magic without the need of a resurrection spell for each cardiac arrest or drowning. I mean what Arroin skills are for if not reanimation or saving drowning elves (My pc had prove this : elves don't float well and carrying a truestone as wergeld/offering is a good thing).

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I approach this issue from a different perspective.

Instead of 0hp being death, a character is unconscious up to a negative hp total of CON - 10.  So a character with a CON of 14 would be unconscious in the 0 to -3HP range, but would be dead at -4HP.  It has the realism of healthier characters being able to take more damage and still recover, whilst still keeping combat deadly (the critical success can still cause an instant-kill).

I recognise that it might take some urgency out of the game which comes from a situation where is only a few strike ranks to heal a fallen comrade; however if the house rule is that a player does not say what their total negative HP number is then the other players do not know whether a player is unconcious or dead.  And combat is already a part of the game with some tension and inherent danger.

 

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On 8/7/2020 at 9:33 PM, lordabdul said:

I personally run with the same house rule than everybody (dead at the end of next round), but I did mention the possibility of something like this (dead after CON rounds). Interesting to see someone running with it.

It has the (maybe desired?) effect that bigger monsters will take longer to die. For example, dinosaurs would take more than 30 rounds to die, unless someone puts them out of their misery... do you have anything for this, i.e. a "threshold" past which the dinosaur would die immediately? I think that threshold could probably be "minus CON in HP"... so if you manage to put the dinosaur at -31HP it dies immediately (assuming CON 31). That requires tracking negative HP, but at least you can indeed put someone out of their misery.

I'm also curious about the extra bookkeeping. Counting CON rounds until death is simple enough, but actually reducing CON every round has side-effects:

  • CON affects HP, so as they lose CON, their maximum HP also goes down. If you cast the spirit magic Heal spell on the victim, you have to consider that they only gain HP back up to their current (lower) maximum HP. Do you play it like that?
  • CON also affects ENC, so after you've cast Heal, they might not be able to carry their full loadout to go to safety. Do you also track that?
  • CON and damage are also intertwined in other situations such as drowning, asphyxiation, and poison, but I haven't looked too closely at what your rule would mean there.

I'm personally a big fan of re-using similar mechanics from one situation to another, so if I wanted to lower the mortality rate of RQ characters, I would probably use a kind of "Saving Throw" mechanism similar to the mechanics for drowning and asphyxiation:

  • Every round after you reach 0 HP or less, you roll for CONx5. After the 5th round, decrease the multiplier (x4, x3, x2, x1). On a failure, you die.
  • If you take further damage, make an extra roll. If you reach -CON HP, you die automatically.

....or something like that.

Oh if Fred with 2HP left and 10CON takes three arrows in a round totalling 12 damage, Fred dead. 
 
But outside of that, anyone who has been incrementally reduced to 0HP, big monsters with massive CON and otherwise (without an 2x to vitals on the way) will take a while to die. 

I would even give a single CONx1 roll for the character/monster to stop losing CON before death and remain unconscious until natural healing put them in positive HP or a vulture tore out their gizzards.  There’s plenty of accounts of people waking up on battlefields after being left for dead, and of big animals shot by hunters being left for dead and then not being there when the bearers turn up to skin and butcher it  

It’s fun. PC’s have to decide whether to just leave fallen foe, finish them off, or heal them and ransom them. A messy encounter with a herd of buffalo outside of Dykene can end up making future trips through the area riskier as there’s that one bull everyone swore was dead but now holds a grudge against the party.

And it means that if a well-loved character dies because of stupid bad luck when scouting ahead, or something, they can be found in time. Rolling up new PCs or having every party eternally indebted to CA is just not fun. You can even have a new party who screwed up and thought they were playing D&D end up on the floor or fleeing survive, as the ones who fled can return to the stripped bodies and find that they’re not quite dead.

It’s all about narrative. Bad luck and inexperience can be ameliorated. If someone knowingly takes a chance or knew better I am less sympathetic. People can die easy enough in RQ (many crits on any vital), and my games have a fair potential amount of ‘percussive negotiation’  Violence  is always an option. 

I could not be arsed tracking HP reductions due to losing CON, but I like my HP RQ3 style, so it’s not as much of an issue (and being a duck is risky and big creatures are really fucking tough). 

I’ve no problem with a character recently healed to postIve HP being weak as a kitten if they took such a mauling they lost CON too. For me, normal healing magic knits together what’s there. It doesn’t recreate limbs or blood lost. It stops the Enegizer/Duracell Bunny syndrome of parties getting hacked up and healing and repeating the process again and again. CON loss can necessitate withdrawing to recover.

I’m not too worried about drowning rules as getting stabbed in the guts is every few sessions. Drowning? Less so. 

I’ve played with reducing CONx% rolls and prefer just docking CON. 

And I came up with a system for poison I far prefer. Wish I could find where I wrote it down, LOL

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On 8/8/2020 at 8:29 AM, PhilHibbs said:

is never a dying last breath speech in RQ

No!  Please!  You've not met the players in my campaign!  The duck will be going on for days, with all opposition quickly losing the will to live (and friendly forces...)

Or could be a chaos feature?

Was it Pendragon that some creatures were allowed atttacks as they died?

More seriously, 

On 8/7/2020 at 8:33 PM, lordabdul said:

I personally run with the same house rule than everybody (dead at the end of next round)

I agree with a previous point, that PC death is very important point in a campaign (but if I scroll back to the previous page to quote the right bit I'll lose what I've just written).

I stick with the rules as written, but there are no rules lawyers in our campaign, so I interpret it as the character will be dead very soon, and, unless the rest of the party do something more or less instantaneous, they're a gonner.  And I as GM will arbitrate based on if it feels as if they were indeed, quick enough, based on gut instinct.

But that's generally my approach with the rules.  I generally haven't found many changes that improve on Rules-as-Written, when applied to *general* situations, but I will interpret them (sometimes quite loosely) based on the details of a particular situation.

Stephen.

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17 hours ago, Stephen L said:

I stick with the rules as written, but there are no rules lawyers in our campaign, so I interpret it as the character will be dead very soon, and, unless the rest of the party do something more or less instantaneous, they're a gonner.  And I as GM will arbitrate based on if it feels as if they were indeed, quick enough, based on gut instinct.

That's fine, and I think that's how a lot of experienced GMs would do it. The problem is for new GMs: they are probably very intimidated with enacting their first PC kill (I know I was at first, a long long time ago), and that's why the rules as written should be solid, and fun as written. That's also why I'm a bit wary of Chaosium staff using MGF like a magic wand, because they seem to have forgotten how it is to run a game for first time (it's been interesting to watch my kid's D&D group go through their first month of adventures). That is, unless RQG isn't meant for unexperienced GMs, which might be fair given how complex the rules and the world are.

17 hours ago, Stephen L said:

but if I scroll back to the previous page to quote the right bit I'll lose what I've just written

Instead of quoting with the usual stuff, click the "+" button under the message (the button just left of the "Quote" link). This will accumulate multiple posts to quote, and that travels across pages. Once you're ready, click the "Quote messages" button that overlays the page on the bottom right.

Edited by lordabdul
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6 hours ago, lordabdul said:
23 hours ago, Stephen L said:

but if I scroll back to the previous page to quote the right bit I'll lose what I've just written

Instead of quoting with the usual stuff, click the "+" button under the message (the button just left of the "Quote" link). This will accumulate multiple posts to quote, and that travels across pages. Once you're ready, click the "Quote messages" button that overlays the page on the bottom right.

You should add that to the "It's magic innit" thread.

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15 hours ago, lordabdul said:

The problem is for new GMs: ..., and that's why the rules as written should be solid, and fun as written

Quite so, a good point, well made.  An experienced referee probably doesn't need such advice (or rather, is beyond help... I'll let the reader chose how to interpret), so probably such forum posts should be aimed at helping new referees.  And by that criteria, my original post fails to be of any use to anyone!

15 hours ago, lordabdul said:

"+" button under the message (the button just left of the "Quote" link)

Although this only works if you want to quote the whole post, and I normally just quote an extract, otherwise it soon gets unreadable.  Or so it seems, in the hands of someone who's a limited in "forum" skillsets.

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33 minutes ago, Stephen L said:

Although this only works if you want to quote the whole post, and I normally just quote an extract, otherwise it soon gets unreadable.

You can edit quoted areas (delete parts of them, split them in two, etc.) in the editor UI. Anyway, I'll write all this in the other "forum tricks" thread.

Edited by lordabdul
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