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My Players Confessed: They Don't Use Passions or Runes Because the Penalties Scare Them


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1 hour ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Without augments you just fail a lot, seldom improve, and get frustrated.

We are less "sold" on combat augments.

I get that. Augment to get a decent chance to do something, rather than augment to improve an already good chance. That makes sense. Save your augments for the things you need it on, don't waste it on the things you will already probably succeed on. Whether that is combat or not is by the by, IMO.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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Whereas my player love them, use them all the time as it defines who their adventurer is. The Storm Bull in the group failed his Beast rune inspiration twice last week. He's looking to atone for whate

Sorry you do.  For me, invoking Passions and Runes is role playing.  Trying to game the odds by figuring out your chance of success is roll playing. That's just a jerk statement.  Keep it

If you don´t like a rule in your D100 game (or in your case: your players are to afraid to use it) have a look how other D100 games are handle this.  BRP, OpenQuest and CoC doesn´t have augments, b

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At my table we don't use the fail penalties for augments, only the normal rules for fumbles.  At first it was just because we were all first-time RuneQuest players, but we never adopted the penalties once we knew better.  Now that I'm the one GMing I've decided to keep omitting despite knowing the rules much better, though hardly completely.  I want to encourage my players to use their more marginal passions and runes; the ever-present fumble chance keeps the element of risk without the potential to put a player character into a failure spiral during a scene.

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8 hours ago, dumuzid said:

At my table we don't use the fail penalties for augments, only the normal rules for fumbles.  At first it was just because we were all first-time RuneQuest players, but we never adopted the penalties once we knew better.  Now that I'm the one GMing I've decided to keep omitting despite knowing the rules much better, though hardly completely.  I want to encourage my players to use their more marginal passions and runes; the ever-present fumble chance keeps the element of risk without the potential to put a player character into a failure spiral during a scene.

I take.

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I'm wondering if this is a cultural symptom of how people approach role-playing. Many players I know (myself included) interpret augment-induced penalties as role-playing opportunities. We also know there is the segment of the hobby that has been trained to "make big number and win. If I don't win, I don't have fun." I play at tables with players like this all the time, from young to old, and if they aren't making big numbers, they are convinced they aren't having fun. I find it sad.

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8 hours ago, klecser said:

I'm wondering if this is a cultural symptom of how people approach role-playing. Many players I know (myself included) interpret augment-induced penalties as role-playing opportunities. We also know there is the segment of the hobby that has been trained to "make big number and win. If I don't win, I don't have fun." I play at tables with players like this all the time, from young to old, and if they aren't making big numbers, they are convinced they aren't having fun. I find it sad.

I don't quite agree with you. Most of the persons I gamed with (including myself) don't take penalties (whatever the reason) as role-playing opportunities, but that don't mean we don't have fun if we don't win. As I have already explained, I have sometimes declined to roll the dice and answered 'fail', because I felt the failure more fun.

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2 minutes ago, Kloster said:

I don't quite agree with you. Most of the persons I gamed with (including myself) don't take penalties (whatever the reason) as role-playing opportunities, but that don't mean we don't have fun if we don't win. As I have already explained, I have sometimes declined to roll the dice and answered 'fail', because I felt the failure more fun.

My post was not directed at you simply because it came right after your post. I read the first post in the topic and commented my general thoughts on the topic. 

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4 minutes ago, klecser said:

My post was not directed at you simply because it came right after your post. I read the first post in the topic and commented my general thoughts on the topic. 

Don't worry. I didn't took it bad, nor against me. I just told I don't agree, because my experience is not similar to yours.

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On 3/26/2021 at 6:54 AM, dumuzid said:

At my table we don't use the fail penalties for augments, only the normal rules for fumbles.  At first it was just because we were all first-time RuneQuest players, but we never adopted the penalties once we knew better.  Now that I'm the one GMing I've decided to keep omitting despite knowing the rules much better, though hardly completely.  I want to encourage my players to use their more marginal passions and runes; the ever-present fumble chance keeps the element of risk without the potential to put a player character into a failure spiral during a scene.

This is what I've been thinking.

Why isn't there a simple fail = nothing for this? Why is there this either/or?

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5 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Why isn't there a simple fail = nothing for this? Why is there this either/or?

You mean: offset the failures by one?  So fail = nothing happens, and fumble = -10% to all rolls (for a Passion) or -20% to the Rune (for Runic Inspiration) ?  That's a possible house rule. My guess is that they modeled Runes/Passions on Pendragon, where inner turmoil and despair is both a mechanic and a trope of the genre. Whether this is a trope of Gloranthan stories (and therefore whether it should also be a mechanic) is up to interpretation.

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

You mean: offset the failures by one?  So fail = nothing happens, and fumble = -10% to all rolls (for a Passion) or -20% to the Rune (for Runic Inspiration) ?  That's a possible house rule. My guess is that they modeled Runes/Passions on Pendragon, where inner turmoil and despair is both a mechanic and a trope of the genre. Whether this is a trope of Gloranthan stories (and therefore whether it should also be a mechanic) is up to interpretation.

I'm not sure about the %, but yes.

It's part of what's annoyed the crap out of me about Burning Wheel - all or nothing.

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My players - who have a tendency to go for optimization - use augments all the time. The math is very good once you have a decent rating, and it provides experience checks (you might even allow yourself to attempt to augment with a substandard stat in order to pick up that experience tick).

Yeah, it’s possible to fail, but on average augments are strongly beneficial.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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