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Lowering lethality for newer players?


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18 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

This is different - the spell is the relevant  target, not the person. Pretty sure it has been ruled officially, too.

I agree. If you laumch an offensive spell at someone, it has to get past their magic before it hits their POW resistance. Therefore you can dismiss that magic before you hit their POW resistance.

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I'm not familiar with the scenario specifically.  However in general I use Runequest as the more lethal of the various fantasy RPG options.  That means full spectrum from "no one who goes into this ca

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1 hour ago, RogerDee said:

You seem to be very hidebound on the RQ must be lethal schtick

A lot of us are -- but with many caveats.  

In practice, the PC's don't die very often.  They are defeated, ransomed, or (especially) driven away fairly frequently though.  Irrevocable PC deaths tend to happen in one of a very few ways, in my experience (by which I mean in my campaigns) -- 

  1. Beginning character not good enough death.  This isn't nearly as common with RQ:G, but the first few sessions often sees a baboon with a rock or a rubble runner kill a player who just can't get out of his own way.  In RQ2 days, it was possible to go an entire meeting without successfully rolling your weapon skill once.  Now it is possible to start with a 90% weapon skill even for non-warriors.  RQ:G characters are just way better on creation, so let's push past this one.
  2. Player makes a stupid decision death.  You know, the classic "while I am stealing the McGuffin from Fazzur Wideread's tent anyway, I may as well attempt an assassination while I am here."  In this case the player has chosen to voluntarily do something extraordinarily risky, or even foolhardy which was easily avoidable.  No punches are pulled in cases like these and I show no mercy.  Sometimes it plays out in the PC's favor, but in cases like these I run the NPCs as if they were my PC's, if that makes any sense.  They try to win, and they try damn hard using everything they have at their disposal.  If the player beats that, great!  If not......also great.  Live free, ride fast, and leave a great looking corpse.
  3. Epic dramatic encounters death.  If you build up to the climactic finale, and it winds up being a duel, not unlike Arkat versus Gbaji, then it should be patently clear to everyone that the NPC is again being run in "PC mode" and as a GM I throw the whole weight of the villain at the players.  These are times when the players don't have any plot armor, and tend to be facing a foe who is extremely dangerous relative to their power levels.  Sometimes there are consequences for daring all.  "Don't do it Ralzakark!  I have the higher ground!"  Normally the players will win out, of course, but sometimes they lose a hero along the way.   This is how the majority of my Rune Levels seem to bite it.  But these are usually good deaths, in that they move the narrative, and are seen as a worthy end to an old friend.  
  4. You are a Humakti.  Every day you are dicing with death, and then the end comes.....that's it.  

However this doesn't mean that the PC's are croaking left and right like in a Call of Cthulhu game, or heaven help you -- a Hawkmoon game /shivers.  It does mean that the PC's don't enjoy a large (game) mechanical advantage over their opponents, and in fact may be outgunned in a straight fight.  A PC starts out about as good, or a bit better than how I portray an elite Lunar solider, for example.  If a situation came about where there was a one on one between them early in the campaign, the Lunar elite may very well prevail.  But that doesn't mean that the PC has to die.  Again,  capture, ransom, healing magic galore, or social considerations may stay the hand of the solider.  If the PC is rudely provoking the Lunar, then he might kill the defeated PC for honor's sake.  Or he might levy a nasty fine against his clan and kin instead.  This is driven by the circumstances of the story, not the fact that the loser is a PC.  If the player really pushes for lethal combat, he gets lethal combat.  He doesn't get one-way violence where there is only win, win, win.  That takes away from the aliveness and authenticity of the world, and even if true, is a truth that must be buried deep beneath the fiction of risk.  I mean The Walking Dead was one heck of a lethal show.  But Rick Grimes wasn't going to die anytime soon.  You knew that, yet you still felt for the character's troubles. 

Role playing in Glorantha is best done like that.  Even if the PC's don't die frequently, their compatriots, support NPC's, relations, and friends might, or even should.  And the players should understand that their precious PC's are not immune.  The heightened risk tends to result in overall better play, more room for non-violent encounter resolutions, and honest appreciation for what different cultures and religions bring to the table.  

Non-lethal combat systems tend to make combat a far too easy solution for the players to strong arm their way around the world with, putting them in the driver's seat from a very early level on.  With old school D&D I don't think this actually happened until mid-levels, about 7-9.  Once the PC's broke into 10+ it was time to pull out the really big guns, because nothing normal was remotely challenging any more.  

Edited by Dissolv
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1 minute ago, Dissolv said:

 

  1. A lot of us are -- but with many caveats.  

    In practice, the PC's don't die very often.  They are defeated, ransomed, or (especially) driven away fairly frequently though.  Irrevocable PC deaths tend to happen in one of a very few ways, in my experience (by which I mean in my campaigns) -- 

  2. Beginning character not good enough death.  This isn't nearly as common with RQ:G, but the first few sessions often sees a baboon with a rock or a rubble runner kill a player who just can't get out of his own way.  In RQ2 days, it was possibly to go an entire meeting without successfully rolling your weapon skill once.  Now it is possible to start with a 90% weapon skill even for non-warriors.  RQ:G characters are just way better on creation, so let's push past this one.
  3. Player makes a stupid decision death.  You know, the classic "while I am stealing the McGuffin from Fazzur Wideread's tent anyway, I may as well attempt an assassination while I am here."  In this case the player has chosen to voluntarily do something extraordinarily risky, or even foolhardy which was easily avoidable.  No punches are pulled in cases like these and I show no mercy.  Sometimes it plays out in the PC's favor, but in cases like these I run the NPCs as if they were my PC's, if that makes any sense.  They try to win, and they try damn hard using everything they have at their disposal.  If the player beats that, great!  If not......also great.  Live free, ride fast, and leave a great looking corpse.
  4. Epic dramatic encounters death.  If you build up to the climactic finale, and it winds up being a duel, not unlike Arkat versus Gbaji, then it should be patently clear to everyone that the NPC is again being run in "PC mode" and as a GM I throw the whole weight of the villain at the players.  These are times when the players don't have any plot armor, and tend to be facing a foe who is extremely dangerous relative to their power levels.  Sometimes there are consequences for daring all.  "Don't do it Ralzakark!  I have the higher ground!"  Normally the players will win out, of course, but sometimes they lose a hero along the way.   This is how the majority of my Rune Levels seem to bite it.  But these are usually good deaths, in that they move the narrative, and are seen as a worthy end to an old friend.  
  5. You are a Humakti.  Every day you are dicing with death, and then the end comes.....that's it.  

 

However this doesn't mean that the PC's are croaking left and right like in a Call of Cthulhu game, or heaven help you -- a Hawkmoon game /shivers.  It does mean that the PC's don't enjoy a large (game) mechanical advantage over their opponents, and in fact may be outgunned in a straight fight.  A PC starts out about as good, or a bit better than how I portray an elite Lunar solider, for example.  If a situation came about where there was a one on one between them early in the campaign, the Lunar elite may very well prevail.  But that doesn't mean that the PC has to die.  Again,  capture, ransom, healing magic galore, or social considerations may stay the hand of the solider.  If the PC is rudely provoking the Lunar, then he might kill the defeated PC for honor's sake.  Or he might levy a nasty fine against his clan and kin instead.  This is driven by the circumstances of the story, not the fact that the loser is a PC.  If the player really pushes for lethal combat, he gets lethal combat.  He doesn't get one-way violence where there is only win, win, win.  That takes away from the aliveness and authenticity of the world, and even if true, is a truth that must be buried deep beneath the fiction of risk.  I mean The Walking Dead was one heck of a lethal show.  But Rick Grimes wasn't going to die anytime soon.  You knew that, yet you still felt for the character's troubles. 

Role playing in Glorantha is best done like that.  Even if the PC's don't die frequently, their compatriots, support NPC's, relations, and friends might, or even should.  And the players should understand that their precious PC's are not immune.  The heightened risk tends to result in overall better play, more room for non-violent encounter resolutions, and honest appreciation for what different cultures and religions bring to the table.  

Non-lethal combat systems tend to make combat a far too easy solution for the players to strong arm their way around the world with, putting them in the driver's seat from a very early level on.  With old school D&D I don't think this actually happened until mid-levels, about 7-9.  Once the PC's broke into 10+ it was time to pull out the really big guns, because nothing normal was remotely challenging any more.

Okay I clearly have a different method of GM'ing to others here. When I GM i am not there to kill the players - unless that is explicitly the intent of the game. So even in a CoC, or Hawkmoon game, or any other for that matter, I am there to let the players enjoy themselves, but to ensure that they do not take liberties. But even should they make a stupid decision I would usually give them multiple chances. Even give them an friendly GM nudge OOC, so the player knows their character is pushing it.

We are ultimately trying to tell a story,  and have a damn good romp.

We are not in the real world after all - we are engaging in fantasy, and some escapism. As to non-lethal combat, players may not know they will likely not die - whether OOC or IC. So the masquerade is there nonetheless. Make the players run intermittently from danger, with sheer numbers. Sometimes the sheer fun of having a player take on half a dozen men in single combat is reward in itself - as they are then enjoying themselves.

No more, no less.

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2 hours ago, RogerDee said:

Well no, Pulp does not have 100 pages of custom rules. Other than Archetypes, and a few talents. To be fair, you could bespoke that into five pages or less if you were not bothered with nice pictures etc

It's about 40 pages for the new character creation rules (including the list of archetypes and talents), 20 pages for the combat/sanity rules, 10 pages for the pulp magic/gadgeteering rules, and another 10 pages for villains/mook rules. So that's about 80 pages (I had mistakenly counted the "Pulp Organizations" so that removes 20 pages). You can probably compress that to, say, 20 pages, if it's a bunch of random notes and ideas not meant to be usable by anybody but you. You can even compress this to zero pages if you just make it up in your head.

2 hours ago, RogerDee said:

You seem to be very hidebound on the RQ must be lethal schtick.

I'm not saying RQ must be lethal. I'm saying RQ has lethal mechanics by design. That's not my opinion, it's a statement of the designers, which they have expressed many times over the years, and just, well, what everybody would figure out by just reading the rules.  What I'm possibly hidebound about is that if you want a different gameplay (i.e: not fear for your character's life in every combat, regardless of the opponent's level), you can already use a different system. If you're looking for something with a D&D-like power curve and lethality level, I'm just confused why you wouldn't just pick 13th Age Glorantha because that's one of its core pillars and, frankly, its entire reason for existing. Trying to change one of the core pillars of RQ with 5 pages of house rules seems counter-productive to me (house rules are for tweaking things), and I'm not even sure it would be completely satisfying.... that is, unless you don't totally want a D&D-like gameplay, and instead want something more in between the two. Or even just want to tweak a couple things.

Edited by lordabdul
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13 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

It's about 40 pages for the new character creation rules (including the list of archetypes and talents), 20 pages for the combat/sanity rules, 10 pages for the pulp magic/gadgeteering rules, and another 10 pages for villains/mook rules. So that's about 80 pages (I had mistakenly counted the "Pulp Organizations" so that removes 20 pages). You can probably compress that to, say, 20 pages, if it's a bunch of random notes and ideas not meant to be usable by anybody but you. You can even compress this to zero pages if you just make it up in your head.

I'm not saying RQ must be lethal. I'm saying RQ has lethal mechanics by design. That's not my opinion, it's a statement of the designers, which they have expressed many times over the years, and just, well, what everybody would figure out by just reading the rules. 

Trying to change one of the core pillars of RQ with 5 pages of house rules seems counter-productive to me (house rules are for tweaking things), and I'm not even sure it would be completely satisfying.... that is, unless you don't totally want a D&D-like gameplay, and instead want something more in between the two. Or even just want to tweak a couple things.

Rules still need writing up as my players will not have Pulp Cthulhu so I will need to present them nice and short form for them to be able to use.

Regarding lethality of RQ, you may have been right 20-30 years ago, sure. Now rules are supposed to be hacked, it does not require a lot to do it. Christ I remember when members of this board got their titties in a twist because Cakebreak & Walton had dared to introduce traits to a D100 game. That was extremely sad that people on this board behaved this way!

Plus do not forget Mythras Fantasy is not too far removed from RQ system, but is essentially D&D / Pathfinder in all but name. Then we have the Legend ruleset conversions of the Tome of Horrors in Gigas Monstrum.

Runequest originally had Legendary, then toned down Heroic Abilities to help the players be even more epic. And it was great.

 

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13 minutes ago, Dissolv said:

 I can't believe you quoted my whole post and got this out of it.   No one is there to "kill the players", and we are all gaming for fun.  😀

Some GM' are actually there to kill the players, giving them no chances. So having high lethality is exactly that.

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If you want to fight against overwhelming odds then RQG will quickly set you right - my last session was the climax of the Dragon of thunder hills from the Gamemasters screen adventure pack.  Facing down 5 adventurers (4 of which are very obvious warriors), the Dragon got cocky thinking it could take them on solo, and it was quickly put to shame when the Babeester Gor warrior maiden criticaled with her Great-axe and did 42 pts of damage to the dragons abdomen - instant smear.  Contra-wise a few sessions previously a Large Chaos Demon critical-ed the Bezerking Storm Bull initiate (also in the abdomen) for 30pts of damage.  The difference between these two scenarios was that in the second case the Storm Bull initate had a friend nearby able to cast Heal Wound. 

In my opinion the introduction of re-usable Rune magic for initiates has already taken the largest step in mitigating the lethality of previous revisions (I've only played RQ2 and RQ3), and for my games there is no need to introduce many house rules to reduce it further.

One thing I realized early with my group of fairly new RQ players (long time players and GMs of other systems) is that they were not using all the tools available - once I shared some old school RQ tactics with them they haven't looked back.

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35 minutes ago, ChrisJ said:

Babeester Gor warrior maiden criticaled with her Great-axe and did 42 pts of damage to the dragons abdomen - instant smear.  Contra-wise a few sessions previously a Large Chaos Demon critical-ed the Bezerking Storm Bull initiate (also in the abdomen) for 30pts of damage.  The difference between these two scenarios was that in the second case the Storm Bull initate had a friend nearby able to cast Heal Wound. 

I disagree.  The difference is that 30 is much less than 42.  Even so, 30 would have killed almost any adventurer.  Except the Berserker spell saved the Storm Bull from instant death.  42 points damage would have been an insta-kill.

The friend nearby was nice, but only the #3 reason the PC lived.

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3 hours ago, ChrisJ said:

If you want to fight against overwhelming odds then RQG will quickly set you right - my last session was the climax of the Dragon of thunder hills from the Gamemasters screen adventure pack.  Facing down 5 adventurers (4 of which are very obvious warriors), the Dragon got cocky thinking it could take them on solo, and it was quickly put to shame when the Babeester Gor warrior maiden criticaled with her Great-axe and did 42 pts of damage to the dragons abdomen - instant smear.  Contra-wise a few sessions previously a Large Chaos Demon critical-ed the Bezerking Storm Bull initiate (also in the abdomen) for 30pts of damage.  The difference between these two scenarios was that in the second case the Storm Bull initate had a friend nearby able to cast Heal Wound. 

I would describe this account as heroic, very lethal but...

3 hours ago, ChrisJ said:

In my opinion the introduction of re-usable Rune magic for initiates has already taken the largest step in mitigating the lethality of previous revisions (I've only played RQ2 and RQ3), and for my games there is no need to introduce many house rules to reduce it further.

...with in-game safety nets that allows characters to survive all the gore and live to tell the tale. This is something I like about RQ.  I like when players know that their actions might have dire consequences. It enhances the tension and the drama, and it makes their successes feel valuable and meaningful. What RQG enables, to a greater degree than previous editions, is the opportunity to recover from terrible defeats, which in turn creates better characters with richer back stories.   

3 hours ago, ChrisJ said:

One thing I realized early with my group of fairly new RQ players (long time players and GMs of other systems) is that they were not using all the tools available - once I shared some old school RQ tactics with them they haven't looked back.

I'd be curious to know which old school tactics you had to highlight to your players to make their experience better.

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14 hours ago, ChrisJ said:

 Facing down 5 adventurers (4 of which are very obvious warriors), the Dragon got cocky thinking it could take them on solo, and it was quickly put to shame

That dragon is a wimp. If the PCs break out the Rune magic, they will likely steamroll it, and the only question is whether someone gets seriously hurt along the way.

RQG Rune magic means that critters that used to be seriously dangerous can be handled by starting PCs. The power shift has been huge.

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16 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I'm not saying RQ must be lethal. I'm saying RQ has lethal mechanics by design...  What I'm possibly hidebound about is that if you want a different gameplay... you can already use a different system. If you're looking for something with a D&D-like power curve and lethality level, I'm just confused why you wouldn't just pick 13th Age Glorantha because that's one of its core pillars and, frankly, its entire reason for existing.

There are other differences between RQ and D20 than the lethality, I can easily see people drawn to RQ for the flexible character progression and magic mechanics, but not like the lethality.

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How to make RQ scenarios less lethal?

1. Make it clear (show don't tell) how lethal RQ combat is.

2. By making the first couple of fights fist fights (or possibly allowing staves and cudgels) so that players get to experience how quickly characters can drop down when dice rolls go against them.

3. Shamelessly stolen (I think from Barbarians of Lemuria but I might be wrong) I rule that a character who is still conscious at the end of a fight immediately regains half of the damage inflicted by unarmed attacks (it turns out that the bruising, winding and pain weren't that bad) but anyone KO'd or worse has taken proper physical damage and gets no such break.

 

That way when the first sight of foes with sharp metal implements happens Players are already thinking 'how can I avoid this fight?' 'how can I stack the odds in our favour?' 'where's the best spot for an ambush?' 'why haven't we all got bows?' and thinking like the gritty ne'er-do-wells they need to become (for a short while at least)

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There is an episode of Supernatural (season 15) in which this is shown quite clearly.

Both Winchesters never suffer from normality, so when Chuck (God) makes them so they really begin to understand they are different. Dean's car breaks down frequently, they get toothache, colds, cannot take down vampires triple their size. When empowered, they do so, albeit with some difficulty.

Simply put, give them a stack of extra hit points - they're heroes and magic runs in their veins, a load of luck points they can use to shove events in their favour. Boom, done!

Why make life difficult?

 

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1 hour ago, Al. said:

3. Shamelessly stolen (I think from Barbarians of Lemuria but I might be wrong) I rule that a character who is still conscious at the end of a fight immediately regains half of the damage inflicted by unarmed attacks (it turns out that the bruising, winding and pain weren't that bad) but anyone KO'd or worse has taken proper physical damage and gets no such break.

Eh, I like. I should have a try.

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5 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

There are other differences between RQ and D20 than the lethality, I can easily see people drawn to RQ for the flexible character progression and magic mechanics, but not like the lethality.

Yeah, that's what I mean when I mention the D&D "power curve". If that wasn't clear, that's my umbrella term for both the fact that character progression in F20 games makes you orders of magnitude better than you were only a few adventures before (vastly different from BRP power curve), and for the fact that this same character progression gives you access to special class mechanics that make the character even more heroic (vastly different from skill-based/classless systems like BRP). F20 games do indeed way more than give PCs more HP, or less chances to die. Therefore, giving more HP to RQ characters, or making house rules around knockout/death won't work to make RQ more like D&D in terms of feel/gameplay.

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16 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

I would describe this account as heroic, very lethal but...

...with in-game safety nets that allows characters to survive all the gore and live to tell the tale. This is something I like about RQ.  I like when players know that their actions might have dire consequences. It enhances the tension and the drama, and it makes their successes feel valuable and meaningful. What RQG enables, to a greater degree than previous editions, is the opportunity to recover from terrible defeats, which in turn creates better characters with richer back stories.   

I'd be curious to know which old school tactics you had to highlight to your players to make their experience better.

Yeah Dread - the Players know they were lucky with that one.  I know that the Dragon wasn't going to last long when there is a sword in the mix that ignores the dragons best defense (its armor) on a normal attack.  Two of the other warriors attacked with their normal weapons and their attacks were stopped straight against the Dragons armor (low rolls for damage).  Even still the non-melee combatant had a 50-50 shot with a buffuddle that would have made the dragon an easy target.

 

Most of the pointers I gave were about reminding to prep before a fight.  Protection 2 and Bladesharp 2 can be very effective in reducing lethality and increasing potency. An extra 2pts of defense or 2pts damage can be the difference between loosing the use of a limb, or causing an opponent to loose a limb.  The other things were mainly reminding them of underused capabilities on their character sheet - e.g. telling them of the use of a timely Fanatasism can give them an attacks against a foe who will not be able to parry (the timely part was to use the spell after the opponent attacked in a round).

 

In actual fact their main gripe (again former D&D players) has not been the lethality of combat, but the durability of their opponents when equally matched - I.E. the tenancy of RQ to be multiple rounds of Attack-Parry-no damage. again the advice was to not use the same tactics, and break out of the attack parry mold.

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On 8/24/2020 at 1:22 PM, Hiro Protagonist said:

I ran the Rattling Wind for a group of new players and two characters were dying/dead before they could act. Any advice for making it less lethal? Maybe a better introductory adventure?

Hmm, The Valley of Plenty and Six Seasons in Sartar many have clues for solving this thorny problem. They are meant for playing adolescents through young adults and though neither works specifically for this particular circumstance mentioned above by the OP and the former is QuestWorlds not RQ but they are solidly set in Glorantha by old hands at game design. @Shawn Carpenter and @Minion1stClass are denizens her and I wonder if they have any thoughts to share with our OP. Wind Words just interviewed them for Episode 007 and they had some good thoughts on lethality in gaming. Should be coming out in days so look for it at windwords.fm and see what they have to say and then look for both jonstown compendium products at drivethrurpg.com

Yours in lowering lethality

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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On 9/2/2020 at 2:57 PM, Kloster said:

Eh, I like. I should have a try.

It works brilliantly.

BoL does this for all damage (Conan stops for a quick swig of wine after the fight has ended and he's good to go) but that doesn't really fit with the way I want by BRP/RQ/d100 games to go. In a more pulpy campaign I'm sure that it would be excellent.

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Here's my take on lethality in any game, be it RQ, QW, D&D, BitD, Y0, you name it: Dice don't kill characters, players do.

I don't kill characters unless their player thinks it's a good day to die. That blow that crushes a PC's skull? It looks worse than it is. The PC will wake up later, probably in captivity, and facing a new adventure!

But what if you're trying to reduce how newb PCs go down, not just how often they die? Well, I can't really give much advice on RQ specifically, because I'm not an aficionado of those rules, but the most obvious answer is to apply a thick layer of fudge to the problem. Fudge NPC hit and damage rolls to reduce lethality or near lethality. Let the PCs develop a sense of competence until they actually ARE competent. Then take off the training wheels, or don't.  That's up to you.

I know a lot of people will be revolted at the idea of fudging rolls, but it's a simple solution that doesn't require a lot of extra rules or limitations. If you don't like it, don't use it. It's a valid method for a lot of GMs, including myself. 

Something I used to do in my old Pendragon games might work, too. I used to give players a token that they could spend to get a Lucky Hit or force a Lucky Miss. It could be spent after the dice were rolled. New PCs might get 2 or 3, while more experienced knights might get one or none. Wise rookies would save theirs to avoid instant death. 

Hopefully this is useful to some of you!

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5 hours ago, Shawn Carpenter said:

Something I used to do in my old Pendragon games might work, too. I used to give players a token that they could spend to get a Lucky Hit or force a Lucky Miss. It could be spent after the dice were rolled. New PCs might get 2 or 3, while more experienced knights might get one or none. Wise rookies would save theirs to avoid instant death. 

Fire and Sword, developed by Ray Turney and discussed elsewhere on BRP, had explicit "script immunity" for PCs

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10 hours ago, Shawn Carpenter said:

Something I used to do in my old Pendragon games might work, too. I used to give players a token that they could spend to get a Lucky Hit or force a Lucky Miss. It could be spent after the dice were rolled. New PCs might get 2 or 3, while more experienced knights might get one or none. Wise rookies would save theirs to avoid instant death. 

that's a good idea (and it fits with official rules after all, it is a magical artifact)

there is also the option of "heroic" points with the same effect. A kind of "prepaid" divine intervention

 

 

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On 9/1/2020 at 10:48 PM, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I disagree.  The difference is that 30 is much less than 42.  Even so, 30 would have killed almost any adventurer.  Except the Berserker spell saved the Storm Bull from instant death.  42 points damage would have been an insta-kill.

The friend nearby was nice, but only the #3 reason the PC lived.

 

A question here - how did the Berserker survive? Even if they had 21 HP, Berserk would give them another 11 = 31. This would give them 10 hit points in the Abdomen. So 30 points to the Abdomen should kill them as per p148 - "instant death" so not even dying at the end of the round. Berserker doesn't stop you being cut in half, it just stops incapacitation, shock, unconsciousness, exhaustion. Being dead is none of these AFAIK.

I guess if you had  21 CON, 21 SIZ and 21 POW you could have 26 HP, which would give +11 from Berserk = 37 HP? But that seems really unlikely.

(BTW, just checking that there's not something I've missed in the rules)

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