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How do you adjudicate intercepts in RuneQuest Glorantha?


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I'm preparing to run combat in RQG and I'd appreciate practical advice from people actually running the game and reports of what you do at your table. Please, abstain from whining about the rules. 

In RQG (and RQ2) movement of non engaged characters precedes combat resolution (as opposed to RQ3 where movement and combat happen together in SR order in the Action Phase). As I understand the rules, in RQG movement of non engaged characters is simultaneous and you don't really use SR in that movement phase.

So, I was wondering about a situation that might come up in combat when the parties don't want simply to get at each other but rather want to prevent each other to reach a position or hurt someone. I like combat scenes that have objectives beside mutual annihilation and I'd like to nicely adjudicate attempts to intercept another moving character before they reach a position or attack someone else. How do you do that?

So, imagine that the Mother Baboon (B) wants to run at Quackjohn (Q) who lies wounded on the ground and Gringle (G) wants to intercept the baboon before she hurts the poor duck. How do you adjudicate whether G manages to reach and engage B before B engages with Q?

1. GM eyeballs the distances and decides.

2. You exactly measure movement units assuming simultaneous movement. For instance, B has to move 4 MOV (12 m) to reach Q, while G has to move 2 MOV (6 m) to reach the closest intercept point (3 mov, 9 m) from B's starting point. So, Gringle can put himself between B and Q and intercept, Mother Baboon has to dodge in order to complete movement towards Q.  You ignore SR.

3. You factor in the DEX SR of B and G, as you would do in RQ3 (I guess). 

4. You factor in the full SR of G, but only the DEX SR of B. The idea is that the G succeeds only if he can attack before B is gone.

5. GM eyeballs distances. If it's close the intercept is resolved with some sort of opposed roll DEX vs DEX on the resistance table, or Dodge vs. Dodge. Movement Rune vs. Movement Rune...

6. Something else..

If you have more general advice about the tricks you use to run dynamic combat scenes please tell me. 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Edited by smiorgan
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assuming G is not engaged too

I choose 6, but a large part of 2 :

You exactly measure movement units assuming simultaneous movement. For instance, B has to move 4 MOV (12 m) to reach Q, while G has to move 2 MOV (6 m) to reach the closest intercept point (3 mov, 9 m) from B's starting point. So, Gringle can put himself between B and Q and intercept, THEN G and Q are engaged  so now manage the already engaged fighters. Next round G, Q and other are engaged, I  apply fight rules.

I consider that non engaged people are non engaged until their are engaged (well ridiculous sentence). That means there is no "added" rules like "B has to dodge during this phase" as she is now engaged.

 

Of course all my answer is when you consider SR as "initiative" point into one round.

If you prefer to see SR as "action" point (so a true action points system means no round, just SR1, 2, 10, 120....) then split movement to determine 1 SR by 1 SR where are G and Q, and if any engaged opponent can or not do something this SR

 

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16 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I consider that non engaged people are non engaged until their are engaged (well ridiculous sentence). That means there is no "added" rules like "B has to dodge during this phase" as she is now engaged.

 

Makes perfect sense. 

Yes, I was assuming G was not engaged.

 

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Another option consistent with the rules would be to say that non engaged characters cannot intercept each other during the movement phase. Everyone goes where they want. At best you can engage at the endpoint of movement. 

B will reach Q, but G can be there as well and depending on the circumstances act with a better strike rank.

I guess that if you are playing theater of the mind (no minis, no map)this could be a more attractive option than figuring out intercept points. 

Of course you can still intercept movement that takes more than one round.

 

 

 

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I trace SR for SR during the round, so it will depend on speed, positioning and action selection. This is not Rules As Written, though.

One of the best ways of managing this is that you declare that you're protecting someone during Statement of Intent, in which case you don't have to fiddle with changing your SoI in order to intercept. (Similarly, our healer likes to declare "I will heal people if and when they need it".)

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Before I switched back to RQ3 combat (and moves per SR), I did the non engaged moves in the reverse order of the SOI (We do the SOI in ascending INT order, INT being in this case a measure of quick thinking).

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Generally 5. Rules are subservient to the fiction, what happens at the table. To make it more dramatic make a roll. I would let the player suggest what they wanted to roll, then decide if that fit. IMO SR are there to help decide who strikes first when two people are engaged. Outside of that simple situation, you just have to go with what feels right.

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2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

I'm preparing to run combat in RQG and I'd appreciate practical advice from people actually running the game and reports of what you do at your table. 

You should get good advice here.

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

Please, abstain from whining about the rules. 

Whaaaaahaaaagh!

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

In RQG (and RQ2) movement of non engaged characters precedes combat resolution (as opposed to RQ3 where movement and combat happen together in SR order in the Action Phase). As I understand the rules, in RQG movement of non engaged characters is simultaneous and you don't really use SR in that movement phase.

True, but I don't do it that way.

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

So, I was wondering about a situation that might come up in combat when the parties don't want simply to get at each other but rather want to prevent each other to reach a position or hurt someone. I like combat scenes that have objectives beside mutual annihilation and I'd like to nicely adjudicate attempts to intercept another moving character before they reach a position or attack someone else. How do you do that?

What I do in that situation is to move the figures simultaneously, one strike Rank at a time. Hex grids help with this, if you use them. If you don't use them then I get them to move 1 or 2 hexes per Strike Rank.

So, in the Statement of Intent the Players would state that they move or that they intercept a movement. In the combat phase, I would count up the Strike Ranks and let people move their figures on each Strike Rank. If they can intercept then great, if they can't then tough. I know some people who only start a move on DEX SR but that is too much for me.

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

So, imagine that the Mother Baboon (B) wants to run at Quackjohn (Q) who lies wounded on the ground and Gringle (G) wants to intercept the baboon before she hurts the poor duck. How do you adjudicate whether G manages to reach and engage B before B engages with Q?

B, Q and G, you name things like I do.

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

1. GM eyeballs the distances and decides.

Sometimes, if it is obvious that it can happen, or if one of the participants is a lot faster than the other.

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

2. You exactly measure movement units assuming simultaneous movement. For instance, B has to move 4 MOV (12 m) to reach Q, while G has to move 2 MOV (6 m) to reach the closest intercept point (3 mov, 9 m) from B's starting point. So, Gringle can put himself between B and Q and intercept, Mother Baboon has to dodge in order to complete movement towards Q.  You ignore SR.

No, that isn't how I would do it.

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

3. You factor in the DEX SR of B and G, as you would do in RQ3 (I guess). 

No, I don't use DEX SR, but I can see why people might.

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

4. You factor in the full SR of G, but only the DEX SR of B. The idea is that the G succeeds only if he can attack before B is gone.

What? No. Far too complex for my simple brain.

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

5. GM eyeballs distances. If it's close the intercept is resolved with some sort of opposed roll DEX vs DEX on the resistance table, or Dodge vs. Dodge. Movement Rune vs. Movement Rune...

That could work, especially if one was actively trying to avoid the other.

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

6. Something else..

I suppose mine (above) is something else.

2 hours ago, smiorgan said:

If you have more general advice about the tricks you use to run dynamic combat scenes please tell me. 

In theatre of the Mind it just happens and nobody worries about it, unless it's a PC being intercepted and they need to make a DEX vs DEX roll or they whinge and whinge.

I tend to be free and easy about things like that.

It is funny, though, if a PC tries to intercept someone and just falls short, so they lunge at them or throw something at them. I've seen both happen before.

 

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43 minutes ago, soltakss said:

What I do in that situation is to move the figures simultaneously, one strike Rank at a time. Hex grids help with this, if you use them. If you don't use them then I get them to move 1 or 2 hexes per Strike Rank.

So, in the Statement of Intent the Players would state that they move or that they intercept a movement. In the combat phase, I would count up the Strike Ranks and let people move their figures on each Strike Rank. If they can intercept then great, if they can't then tough. I know some people who only start a move on DEX SR but that is too much for me.

I nominally do this, but only if it's a more set piece where I utilize a grid.  If it's clear daylight, I may just use a map with grids.  If it's dark or a cavern, I may skip the map altogether.

If it's a more dynamic, in-the-midst-of-battle situation, I often don't worry about explicit movement other than as a statement of intent.  It tends to end up as this somewhat chaotic, fluid situation as a result where you're dealing with who you are engaged with, and only if you are disengaged do you really have an opportunity to otherwise affect what is going on.

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