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Hey guys,

I'm new to the forums. I have been playing COC for a few years, however, I'm interested in Runequest. I have a small group of two players so   Is  it possible to play runequest with two players? thanks in advance. 

 

P.S thanks guys for all the advice. I really appreciate it. I think that I'm ready to jump in then. 

Edited by The Dave
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Yep, a few considerations. Combat can be lethal so tone down the violence. Avoid the murder-hobo style of play, with only two players it won't last long. Really level up the community support element. The best parts of RQ is the connection with your clan and cult so develop key NPC's a string allies (they can always then come to the rescue with Healing etc.) Keep it small, the Apple scenarios in the GM pack would make great start for a small group. Make god use of the Passions and Rune Augments

Best to pick two adventurers that belong to the region they are in, Orlanthi if playing in Sartar for example, and give them lots of relatives and enemies. 

Have fun!

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Ooo , that is my forte... 

Yes, be sure to let those who wish to, to roll a pair of characters, and encourage those who do not to reconsider. Have them be a group/clan/family/Band of Brothers/married couple etc... to have a good reason to have each others back (a very good thing in a small party).

Feel free to let them have those little (emphasis on little) extras that players always ask for—that GMs are reluctanct to give. Consider one big item. Have them travel with NPCs they trust. Familiars or Bound spirits, or... might well help. Feel free to drop an enemy or two (literally or just their stats). As this will take a bit of time to get used to until you get the formulae right for your table do not fear Handwavium (fudge it). 

Numbers are very telling in RQ so take a good look at that herd of trollkin. Should it be cut in half or replaced by one or two Trolls?

Good luck and keep us informed of the results and insights you gain as a result of running this very nice change of pace from the large parties, please.

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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13 minutes ago, AndreJarosch said:

It also might be an option to give each player two fully fleshed out characters instead of just one (like in the old Chaosium sessions, Greg has run), or at least give them an additional sidekick character in addtion to their main character. 

See the first sentence of my post good sir. We are in agreement.

 

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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1 hour ago, The Dave said:

Hey guys,

I'm new to the forums. I have been playing COC for a few years, however, I'm interested in Runequest. I have a small group of two players so   Is  it possible to play runequest with two players? thanks in advance. 

Yes, quite possible to play with two players.  

As a couple others have noted, one approach is to let each player run two complete characters; or to have a main character and a sidekick.  The former works better if there is likely to be a fair amount of combat, but both work fine.  

There are also different types of campaigns you can run which may be more suited to two players.  Some are similar to what you've likely run in CoC.  They include:

  • thieves in an urban setting:  Pavis or Big Rubble from the RQ Classic series are good options; the great metropolises of Nochet (overview here: Nochet, City of Queens – The Well of Daliath (chaosium.com) ) or Glamour (in the Jonstown Compendium books here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/309765/A-Rough-Guide-to-Glamour )
  • shamanic apprentices aiding their shaman/cult apprentices serving their priest:  in either case, the apprentices are charged to complete tasks, rituals, obtain supplies, etc. (one variant is the sages of Lhankor Mhy investigating strange phenomena, searching for esoteric scrolls or knowledge, etc.)
  • merchant guards/sidekicks/scribes:  traveling with the great caravans through Dragon Pass and Prax while interacting with various factors, innkeepers, etc. - the merchant has plenty of other guards at hand to deal with combat threats
  • "heirs" of the community leaders:  requires a bit more background on the communities, but perhaps these are young heirs/nobles/priests who are expected to perform particular deeds/tasks - even leading warriors on raids or in battle can be more abstracted through the Battle skill and keep focus on their ability to inspire/lead others or deal with community intrigues

 

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I was one of two players in a recently-concluded campaign centered on the adventure book The Smoking Ruins that ran the gamut from small scale dungeon delving to high stakes politics, military actions and heroquesting.  As the scope of the came expanded, and our little group's proficiency with the system increased (we'd also played in a shorter 3-player campaign a year or two before) we took on secondary characters prepared using the options for starting with more experience in the Adventurers chapter of the core rules.  Running a campaign with fewer total players has some particular challenges covered very well in the posts above mine, but in terms of existing published material, according to my GM for that campaign we were able to use pretty much every resource in The Smoking Ruins by the time the campaign concluded, and had gone a fair ways beyond it.

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2 hours ago, The Dave said:

Hey guys,

I'm new to the forums. I have been playing COC for a few years, however, I'm interested in Runequest. I have a small group of two players so   Is  it possible to play runequest with two players? thanks in advance. 

Absolutely. Coming from CoC, you already know that combat can be lethal so you should not be to surprised about this. On the positive side healing magic is quite common in RQ, make sure both of them have access to some of it through spirit magic or rune magic of their own or though an object.

RQ is heavily based on community so after a game or two where you guys get a feel for the game, have them get a small group of followers (1 or 2 per characters) that they (the players) would manage without having full agency of their decisions (that's with the GM). It provides them with immediate extra support and people to boss around but also create roleplaying opportunities as the followers might not always agree with what it is asked of them because it is too dangerous or clash with a passion (time to roll, orate or intimidate!) 

23 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

There are also different types of campaigns you can run which may be more suited to two players.  Some are similar to what you've likely run in CoC.  They include:

  • thieves in an urban setting:  Pavis or Big Rubble from the RQ Classic series are good options; the great metropolises of Nochet (overview here: Nochet, City of Queens – The Well of Daliath (chaosium.com) ) or Glamour (in the Jonstown Compendium books here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/309765/A-Rough-Guide-to-Glamour )
  • shamanic apprentices aiding their shaman/cult apprentices serving their priest:  in either case, the apprentices are charged to complete tasks, rituals, obtain supplies, etc. (one variant is the sages of Lhankor Mhy investigating strange phenomena, searching for esoteric scrolls or knowledge, etc.)
  • merchant guards/sidekicks/scribes:  traveling with the great caravans through Dragon Pass and Prax while interacting with various factors, innkeepers, etc. - the merchant has plenty of other guards at hand to deal with combat threats
  • "heirs" of the community leaders:  requires a bit more background on the communities, but perhaps these are young heirs/nobles/priests who are expected to perform particular deeds/tasks - even leading warriors on raids or in battle can be more abstracted through the Battle skill and keep focus on their ability to inspire/lead others or deal with community intrigues

 

All of this. However, to the first point I would choose Pavis or Clearwine (described in the Gamemaster Pack) because they are well described (even more so for Pavis) and there are plenty of available adventures around them. Of the lot, I would advise against Glamour for a few reasons. First, the core book, and most supplements published to date, assumes the action takes place around Dragon Pass and Prax. Using Glamour as a lauchpad cuts you off from all of that. Also from a rules perspective, Lunar magic and cults is not (yet) as well supported. In addition, Glamour is written in a slightly humorous, tongue-in-cheek way which might give you and your players the wrong idea about Glorantha.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Hmm, how’s about an RQ G sorcerous troupe theme...a la Ars Magica in Pavis as an update to Strangers in Prax’s third scenario. You might want to wait for the whole sorcery rules but..

Hey @Joergwant to run this? Online?

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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6 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

God, yes: the idea that anyone might want to have fun playing games set in Glamour is utter anathema to us.

Who said anything about that?

2 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Hmm, how’s about an RQ G sorcerous troupe theme...a la Ars Magica in Pavis as an update to Strangers in Prax’s third scenario. You might want to wait for the whole sorcery rules but..

I don't remember much about Ars Magica so the troupe suggestion might be what I am trying to describe. A live example of my suggestion cam be seen in the White Bull campaign on YouTube.

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28 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

RQ is heavily based on community so after a game or two where you guys get a feel for the game, have them get a small group of followers (1 or 2 per characters) that they (the players) would manage without having full agency of their decisions (that's with the GM). It provides them with immediate extra support and people to boss around but also create roleplaying opportunities as the followers might not always agree with what it is asked of them because it is too dangerous or clash with a passion (time to roll, orate or intimidate!) 

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Yes, I think that is mostly correct as I understand it. there are more knowledgeable than I on Are Magica. One thing I think is part of the idea and if not it is definitely part of my idea of multiple characters is that they need not always be in play. This gives the band flexibility in its response to problem. It also allows the player to reintegrate into play easier, seeing as there his always another character to be played.  

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9 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

RQ is heavily based on community

True.  But, with a tiny group, that might be a stretch to achieve.  Possible, but...

Maybe your two players are the rare offbeat types with little community bond?  That Leika / Argrath uses for tricky special missions?

As when James Bond meets Vesper Lynd on the train: "MI6 looks for maladjusted young men..."

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One of my groups consists of two dodgy farmers from the Garhound/Sun County border running hazia up to Pavis. 

They both have whole households in the background keeping the farms marginally solvent in the good years. As Bill says, the NPC's and community are vital but don't have to be foregrounded in the narrative

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Just last week I ran a RQ1 session with 2 players. I sent along one PC of a MIA player who was being dropped from the campaign with them. One of the players was playing his 2nd PC from a time we had a small group that he was putting out to pasture. The other player wasn't going to be training. I put together a quick little scenario for them to try and break into a trollkin tower in the Rubble. They did break off combat and flee but they managed quite well. Combat is tricky, but smart players can keep themselves from being overwhelmed and of course it helps if you keep the numbers you throw at them reasonable.

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17 minutes ago, ffilz said:

I sent along one PC of a MIA player who was being dropped from the campaign with them.

This reminds me that a common approach I take when running with a small number of players is to have an NPC sidekick under GM control to serve as an added source of rumor, misinformation, and occasionally useful hints and suggestions.  Sometimes they also serve to take a "hit" and even die so that the story with the PC's can effectively carry on.  (They should rarely become an exercise in the GM rolling against themselves, unless it adds to the drama of the situation.)

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Absolutely. For much of my RQ refereeing career I only had 2 players, although the groups technically had more that's how many turned up for most sessions (not always the same two). For most roleplay or social skills the number of players doesn't really matter - in fact, with only two there's less time wasted on blather. You get a lot more character-building stuff in when you don't have to spread all your precious referee time amongst half a dozen players.

Only combat becomes an issue, and it's a simple matter to either reduce the number of opponents or down-skill them sufficiently to taste. I don't really balance adventures, players are expected to know when their characters are outmatched, but on an adventure or campaign level of course you have to make sure every encounter isn't a potential TPK.

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39 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

This reminds me that a common approach I take when running with a small number of players is to have an NPC sidekick under GM control to serve as an added source of rumor, misinformation, and occasionally useful hints and suggestions.  Sometimes they also serve to take a "hit" and even die so that the story with the PC's can effectively carry on.  (They should rarely become an exercise in the GM rolling against themselves, unless it adds to the drama of the situation.)

I've shied away from NPC party members, and have been pushing to shed them. That said, last week it just seemed cruel to not have a 3rd party member when we had a logical choice PC that was going to be sidelined due to MIA player. I'm willing to share dice rolling around for PCs belonging to players who can't make it, but having run a lot of GMPCs in the past, I just don't like coming anywhere near there anymore. And I especially don't like using them as a conduit for information from the GM to players which used to be one of my justifications for having NPC party members. These days if I want to pass hints and stuff to the players, I'll just tell them.

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On 12/17/2020 at 5:59 AM, pachristian said:

Two players works great. Just remember to never make an adventure hinge on a skill that neither of them possesses.

Don't make an adventure hinge on a skill that they do possess either. 🙂 You can always fail the roll.

Combat is also going to be extremely dangerous, and it will often make sense to have them bring some warm bodies along to help with fighting.

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Two players works fine.  The main thing is to add more NPC interactions, especially for combat heavy scenes.   One good trick for this is make combat either dueling/social situations, or large scale military conflict starting at clan vs. clan. 

That way the players are either spotlighted and showcased, or else they are influencing/driving a larger narrative of two clans/cultures/whatever clashing, and aren't expected to personally stab every enemy to death.  The main thing is to avoid traditional dungeon style crawls where the PC's go off by themselves to do "something", focusing more on the players directing a village on how to defeat a chaos nest or such.  A small group of PCs make great leaders for a community or even an army of disparate communities, but are very limited in what they can personally combat.

In my current campaign they have only one true warrior out of three.  On character is a philosopher who relies more on his wits, pre-combat skill checks and knowledge, and if forced to it a good parry skill.  One is a Praxian who focuses heavily on archery, and was all but hopeless in melee.  The warrior is a traditional Orlanthi, who has trended "heavy infantry", as many typical PC's will.  He handles the difficult physical challenges, but is more likely to try to stealth solve anything he can. 

The players are new to the system, but have developed a heavy respect for the lethality of the system, which has led to a richer type of gaming, while still retaining the heroic fantasy theme. 

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On 12/14/2020 at 5:37 PM, The Dave said:

I'm new to the forums.

Welcome and I hope you enjoy being here and taking part.

On 12/14/2020 at 5:37 PM, The Dave said:

I have a small group of two players so   Is  it possible to play runequest with two players? thanks in advance. 

Yes.

It might work better if Players play multiple PCs, either at the same time or have PCs that can rotate in and out.

With fewer PCs you get more chance of being injured in a fight. With a 6 member party losing 1 means 5 to go, with a 2 member party losing 1 means you only have 1, which can be dangerous.

Get lots of healing spells, potions and so on.

With 2 PCs you have a small number of skills and spells to rely on, so you might have to become jacks of all trades.

Our current RQ group now has 4 Players, but used to have 3, with one often being absent for work, so we had 2 PCs, a PN acting under the control of the 2 Players and an NPC. It worked really well, but we noticed that the third Player gave a lot of input when he could join.

 

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