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RuneQuest Rules Q&A


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This is a thread whose purpose is specifically to collate questions to (potentially) address in future Rune Fixes columns, or as official corrections. Rules questions about the following products are accepted here:

First and foremost, it cannot be stressed enough that the rules are guidelines for the gamemaster and must occasionally need to be interpreted when a question arises. No set of rules can accommodate every permutation and interaction between the various sub-systems, nor should they.

When there’s an potential conflict or unclear area, it is the gamemaster’s job to adjudicate, revising later if necessary. When in doubt, make a decision and move on.

The play is the thing, not getting it “right”.

Please post your entries in the form of a single simple, direct question, with references.

Please take any arguments, complaints or discussion to another thread. 

Before you post, please make sure that you have:

Please note that the RuneQuest Core Rules Questions I  has mostly been transferred to the RuneQuest Glorantha Corrections and Q&A which is searchable.

  • Please be aware that, Sorcery is presented to allow Lhankor Mhy adventurers to be created. Future supplements will detail sorcerers from other cultures and provide more details of the sorcery system.
  • Please be aware that corrections are still being collected for the Red Book of Magic, please put them there.

New answers in this thread are slowly moved to the Q&A...

When in doubt, make a decision and move on.

Edited by Scotty
updated 28 Dec 2020
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On 12/20/2020 at 9:16 PM, Oracle said:

Does a PDF for the Second Printing of RuneQuest:Roleplaying in Glorantha exist?
If I look at my orders at Chaosium's web site, I still see only the PDF for the First Printing.

Yes. It's now available on our webstore and DrivethruRPG. Please download from your accounts.

Please note there is a Clarifications, Corrections and Additions update here:

CHA4028 RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – Second Printing Clarifications, Corrections and Additions 1.0.1

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A small axe does Slashing damage, and p. 203 states that a throwing axe doesn't do impaling damage. The weapon table on p. 212 states damage typ for throwing axe (same weapon as small axe) as Impaling, though. Would it be correct to assume that the damage type should be Slashing and the weapon table is in error?

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On 3/16/2021 at 3:31 PM, Kloster said:

As it can not be raised by experience, that means scribe can not increase it at all! Strange.

It can be raised by training and research. An adventurer can spend up to three weeks per season on activities other than their normal occupation:

Quote

The Occupation Income roll assumes the adventurer is engaged in their occupation each season, gone no more than three weeks or so (“adventuring time”). RQG, Additional Penalties to the Occupation Income Roll, page 422.

 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

Do you mean that the training (or research) on Read/Write is outside his normal Reading and Writing activities?

Yes, as it's not increased by experience, but can be raised by training or research. An adventurer can spend up to three weeks per season on activities other than their normal occupation. Scribes of Buserian or the Lhankor Mhy cult get training in any Sage skill or associate cult skill is free to the initiate, but training takes twice the normal time because they must be fit into the Instructors’ schedules at odd available moments. So that would be 16 weeks required. So that would take a year of all your spare to get 1D6–1 or 2%. Alternatively you can research one skill per season and maybe get a few %.

What's clear is that in a society where literacy is rare, it's very difficult to become good at it unless you are full time at your temple.

Edited by Scotty
corrected training
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1 hour ago, claycle said:

I pull out my bow and fire an arrow at an opponent 20m away. He Dodges it. Are we, thus, engaged?

Yes. One is preparing to shoot the other. The other is watching waiting to dodge. You were engaged at the moment in the statement of intent where you said you would fire an arrow at an opponent 20m away and the GM said that the target would try and dodge.

Please read the first four questions in the Q&A Melee Round section. It may help you understand engagement.

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34 minutes ago, Marc said:

This seems to be in conflict with this post from Jeff:

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/8873-training-time/?do=findComment&comment=128290

That implies to me that, based on RAW, you get to train 1 skill per season, and that happens in addition to your 3 weeks adventuring time, and community/cult/occupation requirements.  Did I misunderstand?

It was a simple error, the post was incorrect, RQG, Research, page 417

Quote

An adventurer can research one skill or Rune in a season.

you can research not train one skill or Rune in a season. I've corrected the post.

As Jeff said, "I will defer to individual GMs how to handle that in their campaigns."

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On 3/23/2021 at 1:19 PM, Brootse said:

Can Loyalty (City, Clan, Tribe, or Temple) be used to augment your fighting skills if you are fighting side by side with members of the same city, clan, tribe, cult, even if you're just adventuring around, and not actively working on a mission for that organization?

Given that when using Passions

Quote

a player may suggest and request one, with the gamemaster’s approval. Remember that the gamemaster has the final say on the appropriateness of attempting to use a Passion for inspiration. Using Passions, page 236.

and that

Quote

Loyalty is the cornerstone of all of society beyond the family. It is the social bond which members of a community feel for each other. It is the prerequisite to be able to call upon that community for support. Loyalty, page 234.

If the GM feels that the players description of the use of the loyalty passion is appropropriate for the situation at the table, then yes.

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19 hours ago, Brootse said:

In Roleplaying in Glorantha (p.29) it states that: "If the event indicates that your adventurer gains a Passion (Love, Hate, Loyalty, Fear, Devotion, Honor, etc.) that Passion starts at 60%, unless indicated otherwise. If your adventurer already has the Passion, increase it by +10%, unless indicated otherwise."

Firstly the advice on page 29 is part of creating your adventurer. The rules on page 236, Gaining a Passion should be used once the game has begun.

19 hours ago, Brootse said:

In Smoking Ruins (p. 109) you can get a Passion award that raises your Loyalty by 30%. If you didn't have that specific Passion earlier, what will your Loyalty be now?

If you already had a loyalty passion to the individual from other events, perhaps through other encounters, it would likely already be at 60%, so you would add the 30% directly, otherwise use the guidance on page 236-237. If you wish to even take the loyalty, it could range anywhere between 60 and 90%. Review the adventurer's relationship and interactions with the individual and make the decision from there.

Remember that Loyalty (individual), is also used to gain the personal support of that individual.

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16 hours ago, claycle said:

On pg146, Augments to the Resistance Table, it states:

An adventurer may try to augment the characteristic used in the resistance table with an appropriate skill, Rune, Passion, or even with the Meditate skill or ritual.

The rules proceed to direct the reader to pg244 for Meditation, but makes no mention of the method used to augment using other abilities. Would the successful augment gained from anything except Meditation be +50/+30/+20

Augmenting the resistance table is treated like any other augment, see Augmenting Abilities, page 144-145. passions, page 236 and Runes on page 229.

Remember that there is a combined table for all three on the GM Screen, a single page in the GM Reference, and the same page in the Players Pack for ease of reference.

16 hours ago, claycle said:

(all are substantial bonuses on a RR)?

RR?

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16 hours ago, claycle said:

p163: If one augments a skill with a skill and succeeds, does the augmenting skill get an XP check for successful use (if applicable)?

yes, the GM Screen presents this clearer as part of the combined augment table.

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15 hours ago, claycle said:

p229 - Can we get some clarification

The uses of Runes are covered in the Rune chapter on (page 227)

Uses covered are:

  • Casting Rune Magic (page 227)
  • Runic Inspiration (page 227)
  • Casual Use (page 229)
  • Magical Tests (page 230)
  • Conflicting Runes (page 230)
  • Conflicts with Passions (page 230)
  • Personality Disputes (page 230).
15 hours ago, claycle said:

on what the words "all further rolls using that Rune"

On a failure to use a rune:

Quote

Failure: On a failure, the adventurer subtracts –20% from all further rolls using that Rune until they can spend a day meditating on the Rune. Becoming inspired, page 229.

Subtract 20% from any rolls involving the uses listed above.

15 hours ago, claycle said:

and "The adventurer must even avoid acting in accordance with the Rune during that time." with respect to how Elemental Runes affect entire skill categories?

on a Fumble:

Quote

During this time, the adventurer cannot use that Rune at all (including Rune magic based on that Rune). Becoming inspired, page 229.

The adventurer cannot use the rune for any activities listed above.

Quote

The adventurer must even avoid acting in accordance with the Rune during that time. Becoming inspired, page 229.

The player and GM should look at the relevant Rune Affinities description on pages 48-50, so the player understands what to have their adventurer avoid doing. For Darkness it's cold, cruel, patient, and secretive. So the player should avoid playing their adventurer in that normal manner.

15 hours ago, claycle said:

If, for example, a player fumbles their Darkness Rune inspiration and enters Psychic Turmoil, would using Maces, Clubs, the sense of Hearing, and Stealth skills be penalized in such a case, as using them acts in accordance with the Rune?

This is a roleplaying opportunity, it's up to the player how their adventurer manifests their turmoil. The turmoil prevents augmenting the relevant categories, not using them. However depending on the action that the augment was for, that might influence their actions. If in the case of the Darkness rune, it was for a mace augmentation, they might shun, destroy, throw it in a river, run away from the weapon. They might want to roleplay being struck deaf if a listen roll, or run around screaming if a move silently roll. 

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On 3/27/2021 at 12:31 AM, Frp said:

Does a Castback spell take effect the next strike rank like Reflection?

Yes

Quote

Or does the original casting time effect it?

No.

Quote

And does a spell that's neutralized before a POW vs POW roll takes place, by neutralize rune or whatever, get cast back?

This depends on how the neutralising magic works and the casting situation. Some spells only protect if their duration is greater than the attacking spell. It's also easier to imagine spell in shells around the caster. I would always place Castback outside Neutralize (rune), so you have only one roll to deal with - does it bounce or not? Then if it fails, Neutralize (rune) is the next layer of protection.

Quote

Can you cast Ward Against Weapons on a Protective Circle? 

Yes, but remember to increase the Strength (intensity) of the Protective Circle as the Ward Against Weapons spell can't have a higher strength than the Protective Circle.

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4 hours ago, Manimati said:

Is it possible to augment the occupation income roll (RQG p 422) with a skill (ex: augment Craft with Art for a crafter), with a rune (ex: water rune for a fisher), or with a relevant passion ?

Yes. However, remember the occupation income roll covers the whole year. As a GM I'd want to hear how this augment works over this time span. For a crafter, using Art as an augment is a shift in what they are producing. Who is this new market they are supplying? are they making fewer pieces for more income? Are they needing to source new materials to do this?

4 hours ago, Manimati said:

If the skill to be augmented is Manage household, can it be augmented with another skill (ex: augment the Manage household for the tenants of a hide of land with Farm) ?

The same with Manage household, however the point of manage household is that you don't need to do the farming. You are managing others to do it. I'd want to hear how an adventurer is their using farming skill over the year to help manage their household. They may also have more than one tenant they are managing. How does the augment work?

Players need to think about how they are going to present this augment otherwise the GM should say no. If they are away for longer than three weeks per season, I would not allow an augment.

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8 hours ago, Runeblade said:

What about spirit combat and physical attack at the same time? I see several spirits in The Smoking Ruin have a physical attack also. Does this mean they engage in both each round freely? I looked this up, couldn’t find any (but I am sure it is mentioned?). I seem to remember it was possible. With a penalty?

It's resolved using spirit combat as it's a semi-material spirit weapon. That is the spirit's spirit combat attack. They do not have a second attack unless listed under their spirit abilities.

With Spirit Dart (missile) or Spirit Weapon (melee), if the weapon has a Strike Rank, use that, otherwise use SR12 as usual:

Quote

Spirit combat is always resolved on strike rank 12 of each melee round, regardless of any other actions taken by the characters. If a spirit is attacked with physical weapons or spells, that is resolved on the attacker’s normal melee strike rank.

RQG, Strike Rank, page 368

For MGF on a spirit combat fumble, a GM could decide to change an outcome to:

Weapon used in attack dropped (takes 1D3 rounds to recover), leaving the attacker to use a normal SR12 attack and normal spirit combat damage.

Finally spirits that can manifest a physical form (solid form, RQB page 167), use their physical attack if manifest or spirit attack if not, not both.

 

 

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18 hours ago, None said:

On the topic of Golden Bow, do anyone know if the four taboos and gifts of that subcult replace or are on top of the normal shaman initiation process?

Golden Bow (Shaman) page 308

Clarification

Note: At Stage Four—The Ordeal (page 355), they may select from the following taboos. At Stage Five—The Reward, in place of one, they receive four shamanic abilities, and must take four of the following taboos (player choice):

(list)

It is possible that a Golden Bow shaman could loose four times to Bad Man and choose four taboos from the list page 308, then at Stage Five—The Reward, gain the usual single shamanic ability, then take four more and take the remaining four taboos from the list.

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13 hours ago, Runeblade said:

If they use these physical spirit attacks, they are then counted on as if engaged in spirit combat, I must assume from your answer.

Yes, the weapon is semi-material

13 hours ago, Runeblade said:

A possible spirit physical attack. But it also says it has the Elemental form power. What would it mean if it uses it? Or is it more there to signify a flaming nature only? Or does that ability add something in game mechanics?

This one is a bit more complex. It's a discorporate spirit using spirit combat for everything until the GM decides it switches to its Elemental Form. Then it's embodied (medium size) and switches to normal melee, and can use an engulfing fire elemental attack or its weapon. As an elemental, it has no DEX and so any engulfing attack happens on SR12.

13 hours ago, Runeblade said:

And if it casts Fireblade the 3D6 attack is assumed purely physical in accordance to the spell.

Yes and physical armour would help.

As with all encounters, alway look over the creature and get a feel for its melee tactics (if needed). Here, its main tactic would appear to be stay as a spirit and cast Fireblade on its weapon.

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Alter Creature (page 10)

Quote

Alter Creature is binding only on those Praxians who agreed to the Survival Covenant: men, herd men, morokanths, impalas, sables, bisons, llamas, and rhinoceri.

4 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

rbm page 10.

I have few questions about this "restriction", as I m not sure to understand it

who can be targeted by this spell: men & beast from anywhere,

No

4 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

only those considered as praxian

No, see below.

4 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

only those from the impalas/sables/bisons/llamas/rhinoceri tribes ?

Yes

4 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

what about hunshen?

No

4 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

a sundomer from prax;

No

4 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

a praxian from other beast tribe

No

4 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

a loskalmi

No

4 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

a sabretooth; a telmori

No

4 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

a frog in prax, a newtling ?

No

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5 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

does that mean than Waha followers come only from these populations ? none from other praxians community, from example ?

No. Waha is present in nearly all the tribes.

5 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Note, I prefer what you describe @Scotty than what i believed previously. It makes a lot of sense, but the first time I faced the alter creature, it was from a french casus belli scenario and the victim was a sundomer...

The RQG version of Alter Creature is basically the same as the RQ2 version (See Borderlands classic, page 29)

The RQ3 version were two different spells, Fix & Release Intelligence and not connected to the Covenant.

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1 hour ago, Manimati said:

For a Seven Mothers cultist, what rune is used to summon small earth/fire/water/darkness elementals (young elementals), moon or the rune associated with the elemental ?

In the pregens, Vostor uses a small fire elemental but has no fire rune affinity. Does it mean that the moon rune is used to cast summon small fire elemental ?

Please check the Corrections and Q&A posting:

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3 hours ago, seasparrow said:

A player successfully rolls to hit, but the hit location's limb has been severed in a previous round of combat. Is this a hit, or a miss?

RQG page 150

Quote

A hit location that has been maimed or severed [...] that hit location is lost and should be crossed off the adventurer sheet. Any further blows to that hit location are re-rolled, or pass on to an adjacent hit location, such as the abdomen or other leg for a leg, or the chest for a severed arm.

The GM should decide whether to:

  • reroll the location, or
  • pass on to an adjacent hit location
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13 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Binding Enchantments (RQG p349/350)

Assuming no particular conditions and other things like that on the enchantment:

  • Is it correct that a bound spirit who knows spells like Heal, Vigor, Mobility, etc. can cast those on someone holding their enchanted item, with no releasing nor spirit control being required?

Yes, the person who bound the spirit can use the spirit's magic points and spells:

Quote

Those in physical contact with a binding enchantment can mentally communicate with an entity bound inside (if there are no conditions to the contrary) and can command the entity to use its abilities. Binding Enchantment, page 249

and

Quote

The binder of a spirit can use any spirit magic the spirit possesses and the magic points of the spirit to fuel spells. Bound Spirits, page 366

If you have a binding enchantment with a spirit in it that you didn't create:

Quote

Also, a control spell supersedes the innate control held over an entity bound into an item. Binding Enchantment, page 250

Unless there are conditions that prevent this, casting a control spell on it will give you control over it.

13 hours ago, lordabdul said:
  • For spells that require some sensory input (Bladesharp on a weapon, Befuddle on someone), they can get this from the person holding the item, so once again no releasing nor spirit control required?

Yes, see above.

13 hours ago, lordabdul said:
  • When releasing the spirit is required, the rules say that "Control spells automatically work against creatures while they are bound in items". Does this mean that the spell still needs to be cast, i.e. no roll is needed (automatic success) but its cost must be paid?

Yes

13 hours ago, lordabdul said:
  • So for example, every time you take out a bound elemental, you need to pay 2 Rune Points?

If it is a cult spirit, yes you would need to cast Command (cult spirit). If not you'd need an appropriate Command spell or the spirit magic, Control (entity).

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