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When using a sword with True Sword cast on it to attack a spirit that has manifested, does the spirit roll its spirit combat rating as a defense maneuver similar to the dodge mechanic; i.e compare levels of success?

If the Hunakti wielding the sword has a gift of Humakt to double the damage of the sword that gets through armor, would this blessing double the damage done by the True Sword spell to the spirit?

Can the Humakti use the True Sword to parry the spirit's bite attack special spirit ability? Can it cause damage to the spirit on a successful parry vs. a failed bite attack?

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I'm in the process of updating the Q&A at the moment, so I'm going to step in and use this to update any questions: The first and most important is that the Attacking with Weapons and Spells

I've added a results table to the original post as well:

There are too many areas of the rules that are too vague or unnecessarily unclear at present, even more so for new players. Reading all the questions players have week after week, it is striking how m

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I believe it is done with the Spirit Combat mechanics, just replace the character's Spirit Combat roll with their relevant weapon skill roll, and their Spirit Combat Damage with the relevant weapon damage. 

Do note that only the magical part of the weapon's damage applies. So, a broadsword (normal damage 1d8+1) with True Sword cast on it would only do the 1d8+1, while a an enchanted broadsword would do 1d8+1, and an enchanted broadsword with the True Sword spell would do 2d8+2. Note how the user's damage bonus does not apply here! 

I would probably count a weapon blessed with something like Humakt's gifts numbers 9, 10, or 11 count as magical, so they would do their standard weapon damage, and if the recipient chose the correct type of spirit as the species (on 9), or all damage (on 10) past Spirit Combat armor would be doubled. On 11 I wouldn't double damage, as incorporeal spirits don't really have hit locations as such. 

Edited due to noticing that "temporary damage boosts from spirit magic (such as Bladesharp, Fireblade, etc.) do not harm most spirits"! Culpa Mae! 

As of now it is unclear whether temporary damage boosting Sorcery effects (such as Boon of Kargan Tur) allow you to whack at spirits. 

Edited by tnli
Fixed a major mistake
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On 11/18/2020 at 8:24 PM, Ryan Kent said:

When using a sword with True Sword cast on it to attack a spirit that has manifested, does the spirit roll its spirit combat rating as a defense maneuver similar to the dodge mechanic; i.e compare levels of success?

If the Hunakti wielding the sword has a gift of Humakt to double the damage of the sword that gets through armor, would this blessing double the damage done by the True Sword spell to the spirit?

Can the Humakti use the True Sword to parry the spirit's bite attack special spirit ability? Can it cause damage to the spirit on a successful parry vs. a failed bite attack?

This is all very unclear from the written rules, but I believe a ”yes” to all three questions makes the most sense. Although I think Humakti are utterly unreasonably good against sprits, far better than actual shamans. This makes sense against ghosts, but far less so against other spirits.

The mix of Spirit Combat with other combat is a mess.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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7 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Although I think Humakti are utterly unreasonably good against sprits, far better than actual shamans.

And anyone else with sufficiently good weapon enhancing magic, really. There are ways in which shamans are still far more useful. For example, generally a spirit who gets cut up that way can withdraw to the spirit plane for 15 minutes, and come back after the spell has expired. 

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2 hours ago, davecake said:

And anyone else with sufficiently good weapon enhancing magic, really. There are ways in which shamans are still far more useful. For example, generally a spirit who gets cut up that way can withdraw to the spirit plane for 15 minutes, and come back after the spell has expired. 

Yeah, shamans have a much bigger toolbox, absolutely. But when it comes to fighting a spirit, right now, Humakti will go through them like a shredder.

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On 11/21/2020 at 12:10 AM, Akhôrahil said:

This is all very unclear from the written rules, but I believe a ”yes” to all three questions makes the most sense. Although I think Humakti are utterly unreasonably good against sprits, far better than actual shamans. This makes sense against ghosts, but far less so against other spirits.

The mix of Spirit Combat with other combat is a mess.

There are too many areas of the rules that are too vague or unnecessarily unclear at present, even more so for new players. Reading all the questions players have week after week, it is striking how much has to be interpreted (I’m looking at you, Spirits). There’s an endless stream of questions here from gamers that seem valid, of either puzzling together the rules or figuring out its gaps or where they have made rules mistakes. Compare (perhaps unfair to do so) with the CoC rules, which are much much easier to grasp, and very well written, and has been updated in its physical form several times.
It feels like they are one or two editions away from getting it closer to being right, a balance between ease of understanding, with less questions arising, with enough flexibility and detail. Too much is dismissed as: you’re supposed to interpret it, improvise around it, or even read the unclear rules again. I believe it has left them in a position where they have to spend more time answering questions than should be necessary. Time won releasing early, time lost explaining.

Even as I was starting to read The Smoking Ruin, while excellent in many ways due to its focus on role-playing rather than combat, I was struggling to follow at first what it was all about - even the through-line of the opposing NPC’s opinions, angles and motivations of the main mission were vague, with its information scattered (again, I’m looking at you, Spirits sections in RQG). This compared to adventures in other pro games or even Six Seasons of Sartar. Just harder, slower to read, going back and forth, like with some of the rules. I still enjoy the world and the potential of the piece, but wish it didn’t feel like such a difficult read compared to other adventures out there.

I guess this is Chaosium’s comeback edition of RQ, and thus the next editions may nail it. I just wish there was a “half” edition earlier along the way to that, as it will be YEARS until a new one with this pace. Like an updated version, where some of this was streamlined, re-edited and clarified. Dream on, I suppose, but I think new players would appreciate it ;) Also, I just think it makes sense. I probably would buy it revised and updated. It’s also hard to recommend a game that isn’t clear, to be honest.

I bought RQG a couple of years after it was released and the copy-paste mistakes in the Combat section were still there, which felt very disappointing. It would be hard to imagine those kind of glaring mistakes still being there in CoC 7e - two years after release.

 

Edited by Fred
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Personally, I wouldn't use the weapon damage against spirits rule, unless the Adventurer had an ability to do that.

In RQ2 spirits were scary and dangerous. In RQ3 less so, as 0 MPs did not mean PC death, but they were still major threats.

In RQG, anyone with reasonable weapon magic just basically slices them up without needing Spirit Combat.

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On 11/18/2020 at 11:24 AM, Ryan Kent said:

When using a sword with True Sword cast on it to attack a spirit that has manifested, does the spirit roll its spirit combat rating as a defense maneuver similar to the dodge mechanic; i.e compare levels of success?

Yes, although the problem here is that it's unclear what happens on a tie. Even the Core Rules Q&A dodges the question.

The rules say "the physical attack is resolved normally, but opposed by the spirit’s Spirit Combat skill". The way to "normally resolve" a physical attack is to roll both attack and defense and, on a tie, things happen differently depending on whether it's a parry or a dodge... which doesn't help much. I think the phrasing of the rules is misleading here, and IIRC someone from Chaosium mentioned that the action is actually resolved like Spirit Combat, so it should read something more like "the Spirit Combat round is resolved normally, but the corporeal entity uses their weapon skill to oppose the spirit's Spirit Combat skill".

So it means that, on a tie, nothing happens... except if the tie is a tie of critical successes, in which case both entities deal damage to each other (so not quite like the dodge mechanic all things considered).

On 11/18/2020 at 11:24 AM, Ryan Kent said:

If the Hunakti wielding the sword has a gift of Humakt to double the damage of the sword that gets through armor, would this blessing double the damage done by the True Sword spell to the spirit?

I would say no. Humakt's whole thing, as I understand it, is to kill living things and send then to the Underworld. Spirits aren't living things, so Humakt's gift wouldn't apply IMHO.

On 11/18/2020 at 11:24 AM, Ryan Kent said:

Can the Humakti use the True Sword to parry the spirit's bite attack special spirit ability? Can it cause damage to the spirit on a successful parry vs. a failed bite attack?

It's tricky because it goes into which kind of spirits can have a Bite ability. IMHO this would only be embodied spirits or other spirits with a physical form, like elementals. The only example in the RQG Bestiary of a spirit with a Bite attack is a specific type of Dehori (Darkness elemental), and it has Hit Points and SIZ and such.

Now I have zero idea whether a spirit's physical form takes mundane damage or only magical damage... but either way, yeah, IMHO the spirit's physical Bite attack would be parried with the sword and, at the very least, the magical boosting would apply to the spirit.

15 hours ago, soltakss said:

Personally, I wouldn't use the weapon damage against spirits rule, unless the Adventurer had an ability to do that.

I don't like it in terms of general in-world logic. But I do like it in terms of gameplay, to keep as many players as possible involved in the scene.

15 hours ago, soltakss said:

In RQG, anyone with reasonable weapon magic just basically slices them up without needing Spirit Combat.

There might be a good argument to give a "half-skill" penalty to people who are not specifically trained to battle weird ass looking ethereal forms with their sword.

It could also get a bit scary when the fallen PC gets suddenly possessed by the spirit, and now the other PCs have to fight their comrade.

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As spirits do have generally anything to parry with - we have used the their Spirit Combat physical defence roll is a dodge. The rules do not state that Humakt's double damage gift is viable against spirits so I would not consider it so. Again the rules state that only physical attacks are resolved normally - the spirits's attack would have to opposed by the character's spirit combat skill.

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1 hour ago, Trotsky said:

As spirits do have generally anything to parry with - we have used the their Spirit Combat physical defence roll is a dodge. The rules do not state that Humakt's double damage gift is viable against spirits so I would not consider it so. Again the rules state that only physical attacks are resolved normally - the spirits's attack would have to opposed by the character's spirit combat skill.

I think this is what makes most sense.


BTW, @Trotsky I have included Spirit Block in your play example about spirit combat, as it seemed odd that Balgan had forgotten about it. I hope you don't mind!

https://elruneblog.blogspot.com/2020/11/playing-runequest-glorantha-chaotic.html   👈👻

 

I guess Korig could also have cast Bladesharp to help Balgan against the Chaos spirit, but he preferred to cast Disruption to maintain his distance. 😋

Edited by Runeblogger
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I'm in the process of updating the Q&A at the moment, so I'm going to step in and use this to update any questions:

The first and most important is that the Attacking with Weapons and Spells section is part of the Spirit Combat section not the Combat Chapter.

Note that under the Combatants section of Spirit Combat on page 366, it specifically says:

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They may choose to attack the spirit attacking them using enchanted weapons (see below) without succeeding at a concentration check.

and that this is the only specific instance that Spirit combat is not resolved on Strike Rank 12, page Spirit Combat, Strike Rank, page 368.

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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.

Note that:

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The physical attack is resolved normally

The player rolls the adventurers relevant weapon ability (with augments, magical bonuses, etc) and checks the result using that score for critical, special, success, fail, miss, fumble. If the adventurers weapon ability or the spirit's Spirit Combat score is over 100%, reductions occur as normal. 

On 11/18/2020 at 7:24 PM, Ryan Kent said:

When using a sword with True Sword cast on it to attack a spirit that has manifested, does the spirit roll its spirit combat rating as a defense maneuver similar to the dodge mechanic; i.e compare levels of success?

The Humakti player rolls their weapon attack ability and the spirit rolls its spirit combat ability. The usual results apply: critical beats a special beats a success beats a fail. For example if the Humakti criticals and the spirit rolls a success, the Humakti wins. 

The results are compared using the Resolving Spirit Combat section on page 368

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Winner and a Loser: The winner succeeds and the loser fails. The winner does spirit combat damage to the loser.

If the Humakti wins, only the magical part of damage is rolled. The example on page 369 says:

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For example, True Sword would do 1D8+1 if cast on a broadsword.

This damage is magic points, and subtracted from the spirits Magic Points, taking into account of any magical defences that subtract from the Magic Point damage.

If the spirit wins, the spirit rolls their Spirit Combat damage and subtracts it from the Humakti's Magic Points. Likewise taking into account of any magical defences that subtract from the Magic Point damage.

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Tie: A tie (where both participants succeed but achieve the same quality of result) means the situation is temporarily unresolved. If both participants rolled a critical success, the result is a tie. Both parties do spirit combat damage to the other.

Nothing happens unless the tie is a critical, then both do the same as a Winner above.

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Two Losers: Both participants fail their roll. Nothing happens unless one of the rolls is a fumble (in which case, roll on the Spirit Combat Fumble table).

next:

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If the Humakti wielding the sword has a gift of Humakt to double the damage of the sword that gets through armor, would this blessing double the damage done by the True Sword spell to the spirit?

The Gift is from a god and so is magical. It only doubles the magical damage. So in the above example with a broadsword, roll 1D8+1, subtract any damage reduction the spirit may have then double the magic point damage. So if 5 is rolled, and the spirit has no defences, 5 doubled is 10 so the spirit loses 10 Magic points.

If the Humakti was only using Bladesharp 4, the damage would be 4, subtract any damage reduction the spirit may have then double the magic point damage. So with no subtraction that would be 8 Magic Points.

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Can the Humakti use the True Sword to parry the spirit's bite attack special spirit ability? Can it cause damage to the spirit on a successful parry vs. a failed bite attack?

No. This is spirit combat.

image.png.03cf235ef848c815cb8ef9d791c633e7.png

 

If I've made any errors here I will correct them first, then add this to the Q&A.

Added to Chapter 15 Spirits & the Spirit World Q&A

Edited by Scotty
Added to Q&A
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Things become really complicated when spirit combat happens alongside regular combat. If my Humakti fights one spirit and one physical opponent, what happens? Can I, for instance, defend normally against the physical attack while also attacking with my sword in spirit combat? Do I need to roll concentration to be allowed to even defend in the physical combat (the rules seem to suggest this, but then they also seem to suggest that I need to roll concentration in order to be allowed to use my Spirit Combat and Spirit Dance skills, which surely isn’t intentional)?

Also: Let’s say I’m attacked by multiple spirits. Since I can only attack one of them, do I have to default to Spirit Combat against the others? Or can I declare use of my sword against them as well? Can I split my weapon attack against several spirits (I would imagine so).

And further: how many SRs can I dedicate to spellcasting while in Spirit Combat? 11? The Spirit combat itself seems to only take up SR12. Maybe I can even cast for 12 SRs, under the ”regardless” clause? How many SRs does a Spirit Dance attempt take up - it seems to be free, but that seems very generous?

Can I Impale a spirit if using a suitable thrusting weapon?

Edited by Akhôrahil
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14 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Things become really complicated when spirit combat happens alongside regular combat. If my Humakti fights one spirit and one physical opponent, what happens? Can I, for instance, defend normally against the physical attack while also attacking with my sword in spirit combat? Do I need to roll concentration to be allowed to even defend in the physical combat (the rules seem to suggest this, but then they also seem to suggest that I need to roll concentration in order to be allowed to use my Spirit Combat and Spirit Dance skills, which surely isn’t intentional)?

Page 366 (emphasis mine): Once a corporeal being is engaged in spirit combat, they may not attempt any skill or engage in physical melee combat with a separate physical melee target without first succeeding at an intelligence check (normally INT×5, but the gamemaster may adjust that up or down, as desired).
They may choose to attack the spirit attacking them using enchanted weapons (see below) without succeeding at a concentration check.

Quote

Also: Let’s say I’m attacked by multiple spirits. Since I can only attack one of them, do I have to default to Spirit Combat against the others? Or can I declare use of my sword against them as well? Can I split my weapon attack against several spirits (I would imagine so).

Page 368 may be applicable, but not definitive: If an entity is attacked by more than one spirit, they must roll their Spirit Combat skill separately against each attacking spirit.

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18 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Things become really complicated when spirit combat happens alongside regular combat.

If as a GM you find that running Spirit Combat within normal combat is really complicated for you, then don't include them simultaneously in your game. Just say to your players that when fighting a spirit with weapons, that's all an adventurer can do within a melee round. Most films use the one-at-a-time fighting system, so it's not a new idea.

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On 11/22/2020 at 5:57 PM, Akhôrahil said:

Can I Impale a spirit if using a suitable thrusting weapon?

Please read what I wrote again:

On 11/22/2020 at 3:04 PM, Scotty said:

The first and most important is that the Attacking with Weapons and Spells section is part of the Spirit Combat section not the Combat Chapter.

Spirit Combat has no specials or criticals in the normal comat sense, those results determine the level of success.

Edited by Scotty
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12 minutes ago, Baron Wulfraed said:

Page 368 may be applicable, but not definitive: If an entity is attacked by more than one spirit, they must roll their Spirit Combat skill separately against each attacking spirit.

Yes this is a GM call, depending on how complicated you want to get, you could roll for each one. I often just ask for one roll against all of them. The most important thing is to cast Spirit Screen or Spirit Block immediately this happens.

 

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43 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

how many SRs can I dedicate to spellcasting while in Spirit Combat? 11? The Spirit combat itself seems to only take up SR12. Maybe I can even cast for 12 SRs, under the ”regardless” clause?

Please give an example of what you are trying to do here.

43 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

How many SRs does a Spirit Dance attempt take up - it seems to be free, but that seems very generous?

See page 370, one attempt at anytime during the round, it's effective instant. It's a 0% skill, only available to the assistant shaman occupation. As a 0% skill you can't use it at all until you have at least 1%. See Base Chance page 163.

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3 hours ago, Scotty said:

If the Humakti was only using Bladesharp 4, the damage would be 4, subtract any damage reduction the spirit may have then double the magic point damage. So with no subtraction that would be 8 Magic Points.

As per p. 369: "Temporary damage boosts from spirit magic (such as Bladesharp, Fireblade, etc.) do not harm most spirits, nor do unenchanted Rune metal weapons (such as unenchanted iron).“

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35 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

The concentration check for spellcasting - do you make it in order to be allowed to start casting a spell, or do you make it when the spell would have gone off?

In the statement of intent Phase. State what you are going to do first. Most of my players would have calculated if they could fit a spell in before making a statement including one.

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