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Only one POW-gain roll per season?


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Basically NPCs have skills as they need them to make the game fun for PCs.

Apprentice Shamans have a truly massive advantage when it comes to getting to POW 18.

Yes Yes, it counts as a season. For further info on POW see the POW Increase section in the Q&A

3 hours ago, Scorus said:

Am I correct that you only get one POW roll per season? So things like training POW or supervising services with a successful worship roll as priest do not add a second?

I am tempted to ask if the possibility of 10 points a year of POW gain is not enough. My sober second thought is, what is the official stance on this.

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4 hours ago, Scorus said:

Am I correct that you only get one POW roll per season?

If you like.

GMs can give as many experience sessions as they like, but the RQG Rules recommend one per season.

4 hours ago, Scorus said:

So things like training POW or supervising services with a successful worship roll as priest do not add a second?

Sure they can.

As can things like going on a HeroQuest.

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4 hours ago, Scorus said:

Am I correct that you only get one POW roll per season? So things like training POW or supervising services with a successful worship roll as priest do not add a second?

This is correct. I’m unclear about whether Sacred Time counts as a season, though. Note that Assistant Shamans get one extra POW per year outside of this, making it a great min-max occupation.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Officially, yes, 1 roll per season and I seem to remember that Sacred time counts as 1 season. As I shifted all experience to previous one (1 experience roll per adventure where you have at least 1 week of pause afterwards), my players may also have a bit more (but I still restrict to max 3 weeks of extraordinary activities per season, so, most of the time, this lead to 1 or 2 set of rolls per season).

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following on from this thread got me thinking, I'd be inclined to say that if a GM offers multiple opportunities for PC's to advance, then perhaps they should consider this for NPC's. When drawing up major antagonists my question is how would a character with 10 years experience compare to one with 25 years? PC's in RQG are considered above average with some experience, they are not noobs. Looking at some of the VIP's in the published material is a handy guideline, but RQ starts to plateau once all the relevant skills are in the 100%+ range (I mean in how quickly one progresses). 

D&D has a very aggressive progression mechanic compared to RQ. So my question is what other ways do we have of advancing PC's and making NPC's more challenging?

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22 minutes ago, Psullie said:

following on from this thread got me thinking, I'd be inclined to say that if a GM offers multiple opportunities for PC's to advance, then perhaps they should consider this for NPC's. When drawing up major antagonists my question is how would a character with 10 years experience compare to one with 25 years? PC's in RQG are considered above average with some experience, they are not noobs. Looking at some of the VIP's in the published material is a handy guideline, but RQ starts to plateau once all the relevant skills are in the 100%+ range (I mean in how quickly one progresses). 

This a great idea that has been raised a number of time. It would help a ton to have some kind of NPC template, perhaps adjusted by age and success. We have had to guess and deduce a lot of things, like expected Rune Point amount (the typical competent adult, at least in the Dragon Pass region, seems to be an initiate with 3 Rune Points and 50-75% in important professional skills) and Spirit Magic knowledge.

Even if not an official product, a well-made Jonstown Library publication along these lines would be helpful.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Yep, all we have to go on at the moment are the boxes: Additional Experience on page 81, and What do the Percentages Mean on page 63. And +5% to a professional skill after 10 years seem a bit low

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6 minutes ago, Psullie said:

Yep, all we have to go on at the moment are the boxes: Additional Experience on page 81, and What do the Percentages Mean on page 63. And +5% to a professional skill after 10 years seem a bit low

While +3 Rune Points per decade seems far too much for the average Joe.

Another thing I don't even have an idea about is additional magics. How much POW does a veteran Shaman have, and how many shamanic gifts? How many spirits, how strong, and of which types? What kinds of magic items should we expect a Rune Lord to possess? If 10 Rune Points is the lower limit for a Rune Lord, how many does the average one have?

Edited by Akhôrahil
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56 minutes ago, Psullie said:

following on from this thread got me thinking, I'd be inclined to say that if a GM offers multiple opportunities for PC's to advance, then perhaps they should consider this for NPC's.

Yes, of course. NPCs are people too.

16 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

While +3 Rune Points per decade seems far too much for the average Joe.

I think it is not enough. With 6 rolls per year, at least one should succeed. Even with only 3 rolls per year (if only for major worships), the POW gain should be at least 1 per year, and I think average Joe has not many other options to spend those POW. After 10 years, either they have a 18 POW or they have gain at least 5 RP.

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4 minutes ago, Kloster said:

I think it is not enough. With 6 rolls per year, at least one should succeed. Even with only 3 rolls per year (if only for major worships), the POW gain should be at least 1 per year, and I think average Joe has not many other options to spend those POW. After 10 years, either they have a 18 POW or they have gain at least 5 RP.

What this shows is that the character advancement system is broken when applied to regular people. I think that's a bad thing, as PCs shouldn't be privileged by the rules in a simulationist game, but it will be even worse if you try to apply it to regular people expecting a functional outcome. This will result in incredibly high skills and vast reservoirs of POW spent for different reasons. 

Hence the need for a "Regular Vargast" advancement template, as I think it's clear that you're not expected to use either of the advancement schemes in the rulebook.

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3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Hence the need for a "Regular Vargast" advancement template, as I think it's clear that you're not expected to use either of the advancement schemes in the rulebook.

Completely agree.

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3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

What this shows is that the character advancement system is broken when applied to regular people. I think that's a bad thing, as PCs shouldn't be privileged by the rules in a simulationist game.

RuneQuest may be “simulationist,” but it’s never been a simulation. Applying PC advancement speeds to NPCs as if they were the norm will make for a very weird world, fairly quickly, as everybody who’s tried doing it learns sooner or later. My advice is to drop it. Average Vargasts have 3 Rune points, competent Vargasts have 75% skills, and Rune Level Vargasts have 5-10 RP and skill mastery on a par with your group’s most irritatingly minimaxy PC. Otherwise things will break in weird and unexpected ways. 

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4 hours ago, Kloster said:

I think it is not enough. With 6 rolls per year, at least one should succeed. Even with only 3 rolls per year (if only for major worships), the POW gain should be at least 1 per year, and I think average Joe has not many other options to spend those POW. After 10 years, either they have a 18 POW or they have gain at least 5 RP.

If we were to apply the RQG advancement rules to NPCs (I agree that RQ is a simulationist system and that this should therefore be possible, but I'm sure other people would disagree with this very premise), then NPCs may get a POW gain roll on High Holy Day and Sacred Time... but, IMPORTANTLY: they only get it if they succeed their Worship roll! By default, they will have 25% in their Worship roll... most people just dance and drink and eat and don't really commune with their deity on a profound enough level! (they may spend some MPs to increase their chance, granted, but they would not sacrifice much else I think... YGWV) So they only get an effective POW gain roll from that once ever two years! They also might get a POW gain roll in Fire Season after a raid or two during which they successfully cast some magic. So let's say they get 1.5 POW gain rolls per year. And let's say they start at POW 10 (just below the average of 10.5). And let's say they sacrifice one POW every 3 years to get one new Rune Spell, or for some other reason.

Then, assuming my math is correct: after 10 years they have a POW of 13 on average, and only 3 RPs. After 20 years they have a POW of 15 and 6 RPs. If they sacrificed POW more aggressively to get 3 RPs in their earlier years (and then sacrificing every 3 years), after 10 years they have POW 12 and 5 RPs, and after 20 years they have 14~15 and 8 RPs.

Sounds ok to me. I can make my spreadsheet available if people doubt my math, or if they want to play with different Worship skill scores or sacrificing schedules. Or they can request me to punch some specific numbers and I'll share the results.

Edited by lordabdul
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4 hours ago, Kloster said:

Yes, of course. NPCs are people too.

I think it is not enough. With 6 rolls per year, at least one should succeed. Even with only 3 rolls per year (if only for major worships), the POW gain should be at least 1 per year, and I think average Joe has not many other options to spend those POW. After 10 years, either they have a 18 POW or they have gain at least 5 RP.

The average Joe has very, very few opportunities to overcome someone's power, defeat a spirit, or spend 500L for POW training. They have one high holy day and the sacred time, and they have to make their Worship roll to get those opportunities, so 1 POW gain roll per year seems likely. So 3-5/decade seems reasonable.

Profession would affect this. A herder or hunter with binding might use it quite often. A warrior, thief, or bandit might have more opportunities. A fisherman might disrupt fish for a roll, if they have an extremely lenient GM. :)

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17 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

If we were to apply the RQG advancement rules to NPCs (I agree that RQ is a simulationist system and that this should therefore be possible, but I'm sure other people would disagree with this very premise), then NPCs may get a POW gain roll on High Holy Day and Sacred Time... but, IMPORTANTLY: they only get it if they succeed their Worship roll! By default, they will have 25% in their Worship roll... most people just dance and drink and eat and don't really commune with their deity on a profound enough level! (they may spend some MPs to increase their chance, granted, but they would not sacrifice much else I think... YGWV) So they only get an effective POW gain roll from that once ever two years! They also might get a POW gain roll in Fire Season after a raid or two during which they successfully cast some magic. So let's say they get 1.5 POW gain rolls per year. And let's say they start at POW 10 (just below the average of 10.5). And let's say they sacrifice one POW every 3 years to get one new Rune Spell, or for some other reason.

Then, assuming my math is correct: after 10 years they have a POW of 13 on average, and only 3 RPs. After 20 years they have a POW of 15 and 6 RPs. If they sacrificed POW more aggressively to get 3 RPs in their earlier years (and then sacrificing every 3 years), after 10 years they have POW 12 and 5 RPs, and after 20 years they have 14~15 and 8 RPs.

Sounds ok to me. I can make my spreadsheet available if people doubt my math, or if they want to play with different Worship skill scores or sacrificing schedules. Or they can request me to punch some specific numbers and I'll share the results.

I fully agree with your maths. My basic assumptions were different though: If players are able to spend MP to max their worship rolls, so are NPC, and they have at least 3 rolls per year (high holy day, sacred time + 1 other, like after or before a raid). On those 3 rolls, a 15 POW char has (21-15)x5=30% chance of increase, or more precisely 65.7% of an increase. In 10 years, that means 6.5 points of POW. If you do the math starting from 11, probability are 88%, 84%, 79%, 73%, 66%, 58%, 49%, 39%, 27%, 14% of gain. That makes a probability of 28% of gaining 5 POW in 5 years, and 63% of gaining 5 POW in 10 years. If you spend the POW to acquire the RP at the beginning, the rate is even faster. This is why I spoke of 5 RP in 10 years: The probability is around 75% to occur.

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16 minutes ago, Scorus said:

The average Joe has very, very few opportunities to overcome someone's power, defeat a spirit, or spend 500L for POW training. They have one high holy day and the sacred time, and they have to make their Worship roll to get those opportunities, so 1 POW gain roll per year seems likely.

I am counting only High Holy day, Sacred time and 1 other occasion, whatever it can be (raid done or received, hunt, spirit encountered,...) per year.

17 minutes ago, Scorus said:

So 3-5/decade seems reasonable.

See my above answer: with those 3 rolls, a gain of 5 has a high (63% if no POW spent) probability, so yes, 3 to 5, but more probably 5.

18 minutes ago, Scorus said:

Profession would affect this. A herder or hunter with binding might use it quite often. A warrior, thief, or bandit might have more opportunities. A fisherman might disrupt fish for a roll, if they have an extremely lenient GM.

Completely agree here, but I didn't take that in account with my quick math.

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27 minutes ago, Kloster said:

If players are able to spend MP to max their worship rolls, so are NPC

If I increase the Worship score to, say, 75% (spending of 5 MPs), they get an average of 14~15 POW after 10 years (depending on their sacrificing). They get to 17 after 19 years.

This however taps into how different GMs interpret MP spending, how "religious" vs "traditionalist" their Heortlings are, and so on. I'll leave this up to individual GMs to figure out, and therefore whether they need to alter their Glorantha, their NPC rules, or both.

Edited by lordabdul
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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

If we were to apply the RQG advancement rules to NPCs (I agree that RQ is a simulationist system and that this should therefore be possible, but I'm sure other people would disagree with this very premise), then NPCs may get a POW gain roll on High Holy Day and Sacred Time... but, IMPORTANTLY: they only get it if they succeed their Worship roll! By default, they will have 25% in their Worship roll...

You get pretty big temple, holy day and sacrifice bonuses. Minor Temple and HHD/Sacred Time gives you a +50% even without any sacrifices (and MP sacrifices are essentially free) or augments. Assume 75-95% chance of success. Plus, since they keep succeeding, they get experience checks, and it snowballs from there.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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56 minutes ago, Scorus said:

The average Joe has very, very few opportunities to overcome someone's power, defeat a spirit, or spend 500L for POW training.

Toss a Slow at a runaway cow? Befuddle a pig that struggles at slaughter? Disrupt pests? 🙂

Edited by Akhôrahil
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