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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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17 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I believe you can skip levels (going from Protection 1 to Protection 3 by paying for levels 2 and 3, i.e. 2*50L + 3*50L = 250L) You can also start at higher levels (learn Bladesharp 3 from scratch by paying 50L + 2*50L + 3*50L = 300L)

yes. Previous answer clarified.

 

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4 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Learning Bladesharp 1 alone takes one week...

Learning Bladesharp 1, and 2, and 3, and 4, and 5, and 6 takes.... one week... 😵

Yes.

4 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

I'm obviously missing something! (especially when we remember to add the rule that says if you defeat a spirit in Spirit Combat, you can force it to give you knowledge of one of its spells - instantly!)

Yes, as the Q&A says, the mechanism of spell teaching is not discussed, but it's a guaranteed and safe way to learn a new spirit magic. Spirit combat is a dangerous way of learning new spirit magic if you are not a shaman. Normally you can't initiate spirit combat,  and if you win the spirit may have inappropriate, forbidden, or no magic for you to take. You will also not have a focus for the spell (created as part of the week long ritual). 

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6 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Yeah, and I think that's basically at the core of all these questions.

Personally, I think it makes the most amount of sense (in keeping with the inconsistency of the time to learn) to say it's the focus that takes a week to make, but the learning is almost instant. (however, I recognise that it's not ideal, because a focus isn't strictly necessary).

Without something of a mechanic, it appears that the rule is entirely arbitrary (which, obviously, all rules are...)

I covered most of the concepts of spell teaching in this thread: https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/12165-shamans-teaching-spirit-magic/ 

Overall, it's an out of game event as it's not the stuff of adventures. 

 

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13 hours ago, resurrected duck said:

In the Runequest:adventures in glorantha, page 290, Chalana arroy entry, the associated cult Storm Bull  Grants Chalana Arroy worshipers the chance
to bring a warrior out of the effects of the Berserker spell.
The chances for success are equal to POW×5 for a healer.

The Berserker's entry page 321 however asks for a  CHA×5 roll.

What is the correct statement? POW×5 or CHA×5? Or both?

This is corrected in the upcoming Cults of Glorantha, Chalana Arroy:

Quote

The probability of success equals a roll of the healer’s CHA×4 on D100 for an initiate and CHA×5 for a High Healer.

 

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On 2/24/2021 at 4:54 PM, eyraud said:

Abilities above 100% p. 144; and Combat with Skills Above 100%, p. 201

The rule about critical/special success chances is confusing/contradictory. To wit, the book states on p. 144:

While actual chance of success remains no better than 95%, the chance of a special or critical success is based on the final modified chance when making an opposed roll.

and the example: 

Example: The Lunar warrior-magician described above with 120% Kopis skill has a 24% chance of a special success, and a 6% chance of a critical success. If his skill is reduced to 100% (while reducing his opponent’s skill by –20%), his chance of a special success is based on 100%, and thus a 20% chance of a special and a 5% chance of a critical.

p. 202 (Subject begins on 201 but relevant paragraph is on 202, second bullet: 

While the actual chance of hitting remains no better than 95% (due to rolls of 96–00 failing), the chance of a special or critical success continues to increase or decrease, based on the final modified chance of success. As with other skills or abilities, the final modified value is always the one used to determine the chance of special or critical successes, as well as fumbles. Thus, a Wind Lord with a 150% sword skill has a 30% of a special success, and an 8% chance of a critical hit.

Page 202, second bullet, last sentence, remove:

Quote

Thus, a Wind Lord with a 150% sword skill has a 30% of a special success, and an 8% chance of a critical hit.

Thanks for spotting this, the example should read:

Quote

Thus, a Wind Lord with a 150% sword skill, reduces their opponent by 50%, making their modified skill 100% and so has a 20% of a special success, and an 5% chance of a critical hit.

 

Quote

Using "final modified value" would cap critical/specials at 5/20 ALL THE TIME for any combat/opposed roll for the higher skilled participant, as their skill is always reduced to 100 (as explained in the example).

Yes, except in rare cases where after the reduction the value is still over 100%

e.g 25% vs 150% becomes 0% (5%) vs 125%. Unless this is a dramatic moment, I would suggest using the automatic success rule on page 141, as it's hardly a fair fight.

Quote

Or, the rule should be clarified to something like "special/critical chance is based on the skill value before the skill above 100% reduction."

see above.

Quote

so, the only time one would get the "full" critical/special percentages would be when surprising someone or being involved in melee with someone not actively parrying/dodging ...?

Yes. When the roll is unopposed or the final is still over 100%

Edited by Scotty
updated and added example
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12 hours ago, eyraud said:

thanks, I probably would have gone the other way if I was making a ruling at the table, but 🤷‍♂️

That's great, it's where most of these ruling should take place in the context of your game.

Quote

so, the only time one would get the "full" critical/special percentages would be when surprising someone or being involved in melee with someone not actively parrying/dodging ...?

I have updated the answer above to reflect this.

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4 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

What if you reduce your opponent's score to (effectively - but always 5%) zero, and still have over 100%? Eg, 300% v 70%.

I have updated the answer above to reflect this.

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On 1/27/2021 at 9:52 AM, Runeblogger said:

On page 342, under Summon Elemental, it says: "Rune varies depending on elemental being summoned". I think it should be specified that initiates of the Seven Mothers can cast this spell using their Moon rune. Otherwise Vostor can't cast his Summon Fire Elemental (small) spell. I mean, it is not immediately obvious that the Red Goddess has control over the Young Elementals.

Seven Mothers initiates can Summon / Dismiss Elementals (max 1pt) using the Moon rune, but cannot Summon / Dispel any form of Air Elemental. 

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On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

We have a few questions

Posters are reminded to read the first post pinned at the top carefully, including:

On 11/9/2020 at 11:34 AM, Scotty said:

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

This will take some time to answer all 10.

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On 3/4/2021 at 7:39 PM, Runeblogger said:

I may be wrong, but I think this was established to not be the case in the Q&A. According to the Q&A, you always deduct all % in excess of your 100% to reduce your opponent's defense skill, even if it is more than enough to reduce him to 5%.

Yes, but there's a point reached at the table where you just want to get on with the game. You should indeed subtract everything and redistribute. But a huge final blow can move things on quickly, and indicate the fight is over by moving to an automatic success (unless your group likes to play to the last hit point).

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On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

Question 1:
Concerning the attack condition, why is it called an attack condition?

An attack condition causes a spell to be cast when the item is violated or touched. It's a reflex casting, the target is unlikely to be willing, hence attack. Even a heal spell would be an attack spell as it would need a POW vs POW to work.

On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

Question 2:
Who is the target of the spell?

Who ever violates or touches the item, unless more broadly defined by extra target conditions eg. 6 linked spells, with the extra target conditions of upto 6 six targets including the toucher. Wouldn't work with Heal (touch only) but would work with disruption.

On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

Question 3:
What if there are several possible targets for the spell?

If the target conditions define extra targets, as above, then choose what works best for your group at the table based on circumstances in the game. It could be clear, or you may need to decide based on range or randomly.

On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

Question 4:
Once the spell is triggered, how long does it take to be cast?

Depends on the circumstances, or based on the needs of the story. If out of combat / unengaged then, instant (rune magic always goes off on SR1 anyway). In the above example it's unlikely that anyone would be prepared anyway against 5 disrupts going off on SR1.

On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

Question 5:
What if the spell asks for a POW vs POW roll?

If not defined in the conditions, you could choose a value that gave the outcome you need for the story, or just use the spirit's POW. Use whatever works at that time at your table.

On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

Question 6:
who is the caster of the spell?

If not defined in the enchantment, it's likely the enchantment itself or in your example it could be the spirit.

On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

Question 7:
which spells can be put into a matrix and triggered by an attack condition?

Any that are appropriate for the purpose of the enchantment.

You could for example have a ruined shrine that when entered triggers a sanctify spell with ghostly initiates performing the ritual. Whatever fits your story.

On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

Question  8:
From where is the spell cast?

Where ever is defined in the enchantment, or wherever appropriate for the situation you are using or writing.

On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

Question 9:
How does the enchantment check if the target condition is met?

It's magic.

On 3/5/2021 at 1:07 PM, resurrected duck said:

Question 10:
 Is there some planned supplement that will fix/delete/detail/expand these rules?

Maybe, the rules are a general guide. Any enchantments you make for your game should be described well enough that most of these questions won't arise.

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20 hours ago, resurrected duck said:

Concerning Question 5:
What if the spell asks for a POW vs POW roll?

I am sorry if I was not clear but my questions concern enchantments crafted by the players, not the GM. So consider the situation where the player puts a sever spirit on some item in order to protect it from thieves. It seems that a thief (which may be some other player or a NPC) should be granted a POW vs POW resistance roll upon grabbing the item. But against which POW? The POW of the player who has enchanted the item? The total POW sacrificed during the enchantment of the ritual? The number of magic points in some pool linked to the spell?

Let's imagine that he puts Sever Spirit on his sword, needs to know Spell Matrix creation (1pt) (RQG page 334) and Sever spirit (3pts). That will cost 3 POW to make a Sever Spirit anyone can use at POWx5 and their POW to overcome POW (and a rune point for the enchantment ritual). For an extra 1 POW they can add an attack condition, and another defines the condition eg, anyone who isn't a Humakti is attacked by the Sever spirit. The POW for the attack is the POW when the Matrix was made (not after they've spent the 5 POW to make this as that would be mean). Be aware that Enchanting Rune magic is only usually available to Rune Levels, so they would have to be a Humakti Rune Lord to obtain Matrix creation RQG page 297). This is an expensive enchantment, it will take some time to recover 5 POW with POW gain rolls. They could in theory build it up in two stage, the sever spirit. then the attack and conditions. Once the spell has been used the item needs to participate in a worship ceremony to regain its 3 rune points back (unless it lives in the temple). It would also be possible to add a second enchantment of Sever spirit so it could be used twice.

Edited by Scotty
corrected Matrix Creation page reference
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1 hour ago, Scotty said:

Let's imagine that he puts Sever Spirit on his sword, needs to know Spell Matrix creation (1pt) (RQG page 234) and Sever spirit (3pts). That will cost 3 POW to make a Sever Spirit anyone can use at POWx5 and their POW to overcome POW (and a rune point for the enchantment ritual). For an extra 1 POW they can add an attack condition, and another defines the condition eg, anyone who isn't a Humakti is attacked by the Sever spirit. The POW for the attack is the POW when the Matrix was made (not after they've spent the 5 POW to make this as that would be mean). Be aware that Enchanting Rune magic is only usually available to Rune Levels, so they would have to be a Humakti Rune Lord to obtain Matrix creation RQG page 297). This is an expensive enchantment, it will take some time to recover 5 POW with POW gain rolls. They could in theory build it up in two stage, the sever spirit. then the attack and conditions. Once the spell has been used the item needs to participate in a worship ceremony to regain its 3 rune points back (unless it lives in the temple). It would also be possible to add a second enchantment of Sever spirit so it could be used twice.

Thanks for your reply. So the POW vs POW roll must be made against the enchanter's POW value at the start of the enchantment ritual, before any POW sacrifice, if I understand well.

5 POW may seem to be a lot, but a party of 5 players could give each 1 point of POW to the Humakti enchanter as stated p259, so that with some chance, all points are recovered next holy season.

One last question: shouldn't the players be at least from an associated cult to give POW to the Humakti enchanter when the enchantment deals with Rune magic? Perhaps even initiates from Humakt?

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3 minutes ago, resurrected duck said:

Thanks for your reply. So the POW vs POW roll must be made against the enchanter's POW value at the start of the enchantment ritual, before any POW sacrifice, if I understand well.

Yes

3 minutes ago, resurrected duck said:

5 POW may seem to be a lot, but a party of 5 players could give each 1 point of POW to the Humakti enchanter as stated p259, so that with some chance, all points are recovered next holy season.

Personally I wouldn't allow that in this situation. Sever spirit is the premier death magic in Glorantha and wouldn't let anyone who isn't a Humakti contribute to what is effectively a cult enchantment. I would allow it for other rune magics where the cultists were associates.

3 minutes ago, resurrected duck said:

One last question: shouldn't the players be at least from an associated cult to give POW to the Humakti enchanter when the enchantment deals with Rune magic?

The problem with Humakt, is that he has no associated  cults!

3 minutes ago, resurrected duck said:

Perhaps even initiates from Humakt?

Yes, more so if they knew sever spirit. (Initiates who know sever spirit could contribute to the spell part, those that don't could contribute to the trigger and condition.

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