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Lowering lethality for newer players?


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20 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

The spell had double effects vs chaos.  So it would double your HP, not "just" +50%.

 

Spell says attack is doubled and berserker is protected by Countermagic 4 vs Chaos, nothing about double HP. The part about 50% extra CON (not +50% HP) is a separate bullet point which happens whenever you cast the spell, vs Chaos or not.

Besides, how would that work if you were fighting a mixture of Chaos and non-Chaos? 

Edited by d(sqrt(-1))
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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

I ran my players through the Woods of the Dead, Gloomwillow mission from Pegasus Plateau.  ***Spoilers***         ***You were warned*** My first take was that this w

The best introductory adventure IMHO is the one in the Quickstart booklet (which is good since it's the whole point of it). The adventure is called The Broken Tower and it's not only great, it's also

OK it seems I miss remembered.  But due to the ability to back search the game log in Roll20 I'm able to confirm the actual details.

 

Firstly the large hit on the Storm Bull was a Special not a Critical (so Armor did apply).  The Demon Claws slash resulted in 27 damage to the abdomen - with a Heavy Scale Hauberk that resulted in 22 penetrating.  This PC is Size 21 (Darkness rune +1, Bison Rider +2), with a con of 15 (thus 22 while Bezerking) and has 25HP while Bezerking (9HP in Abdomen).  Thus he was left with 3 Total HP after the hit, and a very negative abdomen (not an instant kill - 22 is not 3 times 9 - the location HP), but bleeding.


So I apologize for the confusion the hit wasn't quite as severe as I initially remembered - still I was amazed that the PC survived.

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On 8/31/2020 at 3:08 PM, soltakss said:

Dismiss Magic is a Common Runespell that everyone gets and can knock down Sword Trance or Axe Trance quite easily, with just a POW vs POW roll.

 

yeah, I'll make sure that the walktapus, the giant and Cwim all have dismiss magic, just because the developers fumbled their game design roll with a 00 (Blow it badly, roll twice more)  then they created Sword Trance and combined it with the over 100% rule.

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8 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

yeah, I'll make sure that the walktapus, the giant and Cwim all have dismiss magic, just because the developers fumbled their game design roll with a 00 (Blow it badly, roll twice more)  then they created Sword Trance and combined it with the over 100% rule.

The worst part is when the walktapus or wolf or scorpion man attack at 0%, get parried by a greatsword, and get all their teeth and limbs chopped off while attacking!

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2 hours ago, Pentallion said:

yeah, I'll make sure that the walktapus, the giant and Cwim all have dismiss magic,

1 hour ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

The worst part is when the walktapus or wolf or scorpion man attack at 0%, get parried by a greatsword, and get all their teeth and limbs chopped off while attacking!

Oh my. I see the topic has changed to "Lower the Lethality" for experienced monsters😎.

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15 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

@d(sqrt(-1)) to be honest, I wondered how the Storm Bull survived 30 to the Abdomen as well.  Assumed the GM doubled the CON and hence the HP.

All you need is 11 Hit Points in the abdomen to survive a 30 point blow. Don;t forget that taking double to the location disables it, but to smash it you need to take triple points, so an 11 point abdomen can survive a 30 point blow, as it needs 33 points for a fatal blow.

Going to 0 General Hit Points might be an issue, but we normally play that 0 GHP does not mean you are dead, just very badly hurt.

14 hours ago, ChrisJ said:

Firstly the large hit on the Storm Bull was a Special not a Critical (so Armor did apply).  The Demon Claws slash resulted in 27 damage to the abdomen - with a Heavy Scale Hauberk that resulted in 22 penetrating.  This PC is Size 21 (Darkness rune +1, Bison Rider +2), with a con of 15 (thus 22 while Bezerking) and has 25HP while Bezerking (9HP in Abdomen).  Thus he was left with 3 Total HP after the hit, and a very negative abdomen (not an instant kill - 22 is not 3 times 9 - the location HP), but bleeding.

Which makes it more reasonable. 

However, with a good Protection and Shield on top of armour, 30 points without a Critical can be survivable.

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

All you need is 11 Hit Points in the abdomen to survive a 30 point blow. Don;t forget that taking double to the location disables it, but to smash it you need to take triple points, so an 11 point abdomen can survive a 30 point blow, as it needs 33 points for a fatal blow.

Going to 0 General Hit Points might be an issue, but we normally play that 0 GHP does not mean you are dead, just very badly hurt.

Which makes it more reasonable. 

However, with a good Protection and Shield on top of armour, 30 points without a Critical can be survivable.

 

11 HP in Abdomen means 31+ GHP though, so not easy. Berserk is one way, I guess enchantments another, although RQG seems to say that won't be as relatively easy as it was in RQ3.

0 GHP = not dead is a funky house rule!

 

Edited by d(sqrt(-1))
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On 8/28/2020 at 9:53 AM, Stephen L said:

But RQ combat is the best combat system I have ever played, precisely because of the suspense of knowing your character might die.  Or get a limb chopped off (when they generally count themselves lucky).  Wading through bands of trollkin is exhilarating, in a way that orc)s aren't (especially for the GM who knows that the trollkins' role is to disperse the party.)

RQ is middle of the road. Riddle of Steel, Song of Swords (this one has also a space setting called Ballad of Laser Whales, just wanted to put it in somewhere since it is awesome.) and duel rules for Legend of Five Rings comes to mind in terms of detailed combat.

Change encounters as needed:

  • The scenario said there are 5 broos attacking but you think it will be overkill? Cut it down to 3.
  • Party with no shaman against a guardian spirit? Lower its POW (probably by half, these are ridiculous) or replace it with a cool monster they can hit.
  • Lower armor of the enemies ESPECIALLY if you are running Balastor's Barracks.

Other things:

  • Give your party some healing potions and perhaps additional starting items, like a spell matrix with light if nobody picked it up. They are gifts from their employers/family/temple.
  • Additionally, you could give the party a few npcs to help them out (but not too much, I ussualy do a guarded camp to which party can retreat safely and ask for healing or support. Camp getting slaughtered and players now having to retreat with loot while hunted by whatever killed their friends is also a fun material for adventure.)
  • Point out to your players that escape IS an option, many people forget about it.
  • Give them some cool magic items. Too early? Hobbits, Elric and Arthur got world-class magic items in the very beginning of their adventure! This is also a good way to introduce game mechanics and lore.
  • Use single, large and imposing monsters instead of swarms. They will better remember fighting against aliosaurus then against a swarm of trollkin and the fight will be more survivable since the monster can only really focus his attention on one person.
  • Run BRP with spells from Runequest then expand gradually with more mechanics. You guys know what is cool? losing limbs! ducks! shamans!
  • Start encounters at range so players have time to think, manevour and react. I recomend having the monster occupied with some activity that requires his full attention, like sleeping or eating your cows.
  • If players have not picked any ranged weapons, put some on corpses of their enemies (or friends). Describe it as looking expensive and they WILL pick it up and will use them if they are smart. If they are smarter they will also pry teeth from skulls of their enemies to sell to vadeli dentists.
Edited by Borygon
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On 9/8/2020 at 12:56 PM, d(sqrt(-1)) said:

 

11 HP in Abdomen means 31+ GHP though, so not easy. Berserk is one way, I guess enchantments another.....

 

 Note Vigour stacks with Berserk ((!!!))

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On 9/17/2020 at 6:59 AM, coffeemancer said:

I may be running the game wrong

You may just be like me : bad at both coming up with challenging NPC stats (I keep under-stat'ing them, regardless of the system), and also bad at actually making them fight effectively :) 

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19 hours ago, lordabdul said:

You may just be like me : bad at both coming up with challenging NPC stats (I keep under-stat'ing them, regardless of the system), and also bad at actually making them fight effectively :) 

What I always loved about RQ was that it scaled the bad guys more by how smart they fought than how intrinsically powerful they were (at least in part). If you're struggling with this have a look at the old RQ 3 scenario "The Money Tree" or some of the other published scenario's. Take some time to think about tactics that work and how to use them.  Maybe use the current situation to your advantage to sign up to play in some one off games online at events like PAX or Glorantha Games ( plug https://warhorn.net/events/glorantha-games-2020 ) and see how other GM's do it. 

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19 hours ago, lordabdul said:

You may just be like me : bad at both coming up with challenging NPC stats (I keep under-stat'ing them, regardless of the system), and also bad at actually making them fight effectively :) 

Depending on how you present the characters in the adventure that might not matter. In many of my adventures some NPCs are portrayed as big baddies, but when the players defeat them they really don't know if the bad guys were hyped up, or if the PCs got lucky. Most of the time, the "rank and file" grade baddies in my games aren't all that great, compared to the PCs, but the inherent nature of the game ensures that they remain a threat. With fixed hit points, crticals, impales and such, any opponent is dangerous in a BRP game.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I ran my players through the Woods of the Dead, Gloomwillow mission from Pegasus Plateau. 

***Spoilers***

 

 

 

 

***You were warned***

My first take was that this was a beginning level adventure.  The creatures were 50% to hit, no magic, and don't hit hard at all, 1d6 +1d4.   Literally newly rolled up characters out of the RQ:G book can take them. Some of the creatures were a bit stronger, but still not Grendel "rip your arms off" tough. 

Then I read the final encounter, saw the massive amount of Rune points, the ridiculous POW, the 2 point Sever Spirits (thanks to the woods effect), and the superhuman ability to fight from the branches of the tree while hiding at %140.   She can cast through any Mossback in the woods, so there is no getting out of line of sight here.

My players are new to Glorantha, and don't even know that Sever Spirit exists.  Only one of them has ever even attempted to cast Shield.  From my reading of the scenario, they only have one round to do something to Gloomwillow, after that she will literally kill one per round, 95% of the time.  They won't even see her killing them.

So I lowered the difficulty.  I added an arc where Humakt was upset with the stolen powers of death, and from the Judge of Death at Dangerford, they acquired small wooden Anglo-Saxon looking chess pieces that would protect them from non-Humakti cast Sever Spirits.  That way they could fight the Mossbacks normally, Gloomwillow could Berserk them after the first few failures to insta-kill the new players, and the mission could proceed as normal.

Instead they wind up climbing the tree, making six consecutive Sneak and Move Quietly rolls to get the drop on Gloomwillow.  The only one able to melee her has an iron Kopis taken from a Lunar officer which takes off an arm.  The Sable Rider nomad puts an arrow into her other arm.  She attempts to retreat but is cut off by the party philosopher, who gives her the coup de grace.  Glass cannon villain killed in 6 strike ranks by three PC's with 14 sessions under their belts, run by players who have never heard of Glorantha before this campaign.  

This is my usual experience as a GM.  The players are highly motivated, take the game seriously very quickly, and always find a way.  The Orlanthi with the iron Kopis had Darkwalk, but chose to rely on his natural skills (which weren't expert, but were decent) because he wanted to reserve his Rune points for teleporting the children out.   So it wasn't like they didn't weigh the risks, and it wasn't like they didn't realize that they could all be rolling new characters soon.  They joked about it, talked about, and in the end....fortune favored the bold.  I needn't have helped them at all. 

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8 hours ago, Dissolv said:

I ran my players through the Woods of the Dead, Gloomwillow mission from Pegasus Plateau. 

***Spoilers***

 

***You were warned***

 

Then I read the final encounter, saw the massive amount of Rune points, the ridiculous POW, the 2 point Sever Spirits (thanks to the woods effect), and the superhuman ability to fight from the branches of the tree while hiding at %140.   She can cast through any Mossback in the woods, so there is no getting out of line of sight here.

My

Just checking - I can't see the bit about Sever Spirit being 2 points. p97 says "Rune magic cast based on these Runes costs 1 less magic point than normal..." - magic points, not Rune points. Is it mentioned somewhere else that I've missed?

I'd agree though, the stats for Gloomwillow do seem OTT, not much armour or HP so if you can close great, if not you're dead...

Edited by d(sqrt(-1))
typo
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2 hours ago, d(sqrt(-1)) said:

p97 says "Rune magic cast based on these Runes costs 1 less magic point than normal..." - magic points, not Rune points

Hey, you are right!  I misread that for some reason.   That puts her back down to just 10x Sever Spirits with her 32 Rune points, backed with a 32 POW.   She has significant weaknesses that no PC would want to live with (fragility, lack of Allied Spirit, no Divine Intervention), but dang.....the lethality is there in spades.

I don't mind a final boss/world fixture being OTT, but she was out of balance with the rest of the scenario, was more the concern.  Just removing the Sever Spirits would have fixed that imo, and the most likely outcome would be her getting away with the PC's saving the child.  WITH the sever spirits, she is a potent menace, and I'm not sure if the players understood what they got away with, during their swashbuckling antics.

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On 10/6/2020 at 5:23 PM, Dissolv said:

I needn't have helped them at all.

Heh, sounds like a Friday night at my table :)    I've been GMing for a loooong time, but I still lower encounter difficulties too much, and they end up winning. Mind you, most of the time thankfully they still talk about it afterwards in a way that make it seem they were still quite scared for their skin, so I guess it works out OK. I'm a nice GM I guess  ;) 

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My experience of running RQ is limited to one session with the quickstart rules and The Broken Tower scenario and I'm still working my way through the core book trying to understand as much as I can so take the following with a grain of salt....

One thing that strikes me about reading RQ as opposed to other "deadly" games (like WFRP with which I have quite a bit of experience as both a player and GM) is that RQ gives you the GM a lot of outs to easily fudge die rolls so that you maintain the essential sense of peril without actually killing or maiming the PCs unintentionally.

For instance reducing HP to 2 will knock them out as will incapacitating but not permanently maiming an arm or a leg. Just shift the dice around and you have an unconscious PC who is still in the realm of the living. And if all else fails magical healing is plentiful even by the standards of relatively merciful games like D&D. 

Of course if the PCs died because they did something stupid I say let the rolls of the dice stand. Character death should always have a direct correlation to player choice.

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