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RQ3 vs BGB


Barak Shathur

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So I recently (about a year ago, I'm a returning roleplayer who played mostly MERP and WFRP back in the day) discovered RuneQuest 3 and I found it really striking somehow. It has almost just the right balance between simulationism and playability. There's so much to love. The relative impact of abilities on skills. The way Size is primarily related to weight, not height (which makes sense since mass would seem to have more impact on HP and DB than height). The breadth of skills, for example separating Fast talk from Oratory, or Search from Scan...what a cool and original concept! The combat system, realistic yet simple, with enough little wrinkles such as impale and knockback to make it a little more dynamic than just ping pong. I even like fatigue system! And the idea of hard and flexible armour with different properties...I could go on. These are just details but they have a certain flavour and texture to them that seems just right. Sure, a lot of it comes from previous versions but it all seems to fit together in a way that feels thought through somehow.

Except that some things don't. So the game I'm running now is based on RQ3, but I cherry pick some goodies from BGB. I get the best of both worlds. So this is how I hack RQ3:

The special effect for non impaling weapons in RQ3 being simply knockback, but at a lower damage threshold than for regular knockback, seems unbelievably unimaginative (not to mention contradicting the basic weapon knockback where it occurs if a blow causes more damage than the target's Size). So I imported the special effects from BGB. Big improvement!

Being only able to parry one opponent makes combat against several foes practically suicidal. This really limits the possibilities of the game, so I imported the rule where you can parry more than once in a round, but at a cumulative -30% for each attempt beyond the first. On the other hand, I don't like that in BGB, parrying is "all or nothing", no damage gets through. What if a buckler parries a greatsword? Or a troll's maul? Here I much prefer RQ3.

I love the attack-defence matrix in BGB. Much better if a special or critical can get past a normal block, only reduced in potency. Speeds up fights considerably and gives an edge to higher skill since it occurs more frequently. So I use this.

I like BGB:s fate points. I've seen too many campaigns flounder because a key character got killed by an unlucky roll. With fate points, you'll dodge that bullet, but if you expose yourself to risk excessively your luck will run out. 

I also like the complementary skill bonus, so I use that.

So what would you do to tweak RQ3, and how does it compare to BGB?

 

Edited by Barak Shathur
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4 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

So I recently (about a year ago, I'm a returning roleplayer who played mostly MERP and WFRP back in the day) discovered RuneQuest 3 and I found it really striking somehow. It has almost just the right balance between simulationism and playability. There's so much to love. The relative impact of abilities on skills. The way Size is primarily related to weight, not height (which makes sense since mass would seem to have more impact on HP and DB than height). The breadth of skills, for example separating Fast talk from Oratory, or Search from Scan...what a cool and original concept! The combat system, realistic yet simple, with enough little wrinkles such as impale and knockback to make it a little more dynamic than just ping pong. I even like fatigue system! And the idea of hard and flexible armour with different properties...I could go on. These are just details but they have a certain flavour and texture to them that seems just right. Sure, a lot of it comes from previous versions but it all seems to fit together in a way that feels thought through somehow.

Except that some things don't. So the game I'm running now is based on RQ3, but I cherry pick some goodies from BGB. I get the best of both worlds. So this is how I hack RQ3:

The special effect for non impaling weapons in RQ3 being simply knockback, but at a lower damage threshold than for regular knockback, seems unbelievably unimaginative (not to mention contradicting the basic weapon knockback where it occurs if a blow causes more damage than the target's Size). So I imported the special effects from BGB. Big improvement!

Yeah, RQ3 knockback rule was something of a mixed blessing. Under the right circumstances, light fighting along a wall or cliff,  it could be devastating, otherwise not so much. I think Pendragon's knockdown rule might be more useful. Instead of being knocked back the target has to make a DEX roll or fall down, dropping his weapon.  

4 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

 

I love the attack-defence matrix in BGB. Much better if a special or critical can get past a normal block, only reduced in potency. Speeds up fights considerably and gives an edge to higher skill since it occurs more frequently. So I use this.

Since RQ3 critical hits did max damage and bypassed worn armor,  and impales did double damage, most specials and crits did slip past a normal block. And since in RQ3 parries against unsuccessful attacks damage the attacking weapon, you get similar results to the BGB matrix.

BTW, you may want to be careful about using the reposte option for multiple parries, as RQ has special rules for splitting skills over 100%. It can kinda get wild, especially with RQ magic. 

4 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

So what would you do to tweak RQ3,

That would depend on what sort of game I was trying to run. If I wanted something with a more swashbuckling flair, I'd use the riposte rule from Strombringer/BGB, probably reduce or eliminate magic, and possibly tie weapon damage more closely to success level (i.e. no beheaded someone with just a standard success). If I were running a late medeival camapign with late peroid armor, I'd expand the armor tables a bit, adding a few new types of plate (Gothic, Milanese, allow for proofed armor and so on).If I wanted something closer to Ancient Rome, Greece, or Glorantha I'd probably use RQ3 as is.

4 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

and how does it compare to BGB?

The BGB is more of toolkit, full of rules taken from various BRP related RPGs, and helps if you want to customize things to better fit a particular setting. For instance, if a GM wanted to run a Celtic King Arthur campaign, where Arthur's Warriors are all heroes with great powers (like in some of the Welsh tales) then the Power rules from the BGB could be just thing thing. Give each hero a certain number of points/random roll  to buy powers with, and limit powers to setting appropriate stuff, toss in some cultural stuff, limit gear to what existed at the time (plus magic) and you're good to go.

The BGB's drawback is the same as it's strong point, namely that it is a toolkit, and will be full of stuff that a GM will not need for a particular campaign. Sometime that might mean that another BRG game (RQ, Stormbringer, CoC) might be better suited for a given setting. For instance, I can't see using the BGB to run a campaign set in Moorcok's Young Kingdoms, I'd use Strombringer (or maybe RQ) instead, but I might use the BGB to add in new things if the characters were to adventure on other planes in the multiverse. It that case the BGB might prove useful  as a source of stats for stuff like a laser pistol or a fighter jet.

 

Come to think of it, what you are using it for now (picking some rules to alter your RQ game) is just what's it's good for. 

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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RQ3 is not the game that introduced me to roleplaying but it is certainly the one that captured me to the hobby. So far, I like where you are going. A few ideas I would consider:

 

From BGB: Back in the days, way before the BGB, we loosened how strike ranks worked and removed the "one attack, one parry" restriction. It ended up working pretty much like BGB page 199 (and more specifically p. 201 Multiple Attacks). It had knock-on effect like Aimed Blow was at half the skill value but the action was not pushed to SR12 (it took place when it took place). For multiples parry and dodge we balance between unlimited defense (but only one per attack), inspired by GURPS or -20% per extra defense, I believe inspired by Stormbringer and "unlimited" defenses but each was eating up 1 SR.

From RQG: I would add Runes and Passions from RQG including how it shapes your personality, how it can influence skills and how you succeed at casting magic.

From CoC 7E: I would be tempted to use Luck from CoC which is fairly similar to Fate Points in BGB. The biggest difference is you can spend a number of Luck points to change a %d roll by the same amount. I would also consider using bonus and penalty dice instead of ±% modifiers.

 

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah, RQ3 knockback rule was something of a mixed blessing. Under the right circumstances, light fighting along a wall or cliff,  it could be devastating, otherwise not so much. I think Pendragon's knockdown rule might be more useful. Instead of being knocked back the target has to make a DEX roll or fall down, dropping his weapon. 

In RQ3, you also have to roll DEX x 5 or fall down.

2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Since RQ3 critical hits did max damage and bypassed worn armor,  and impales did double damage, most specials and crits did slip past a normal block. And since in RQ3 parries against unsuccessful attacks damage the attacking weapon, you get similar results to the BGB matrix.

With a typical shield having 12 AP, even most criticals would not get through (unless you're a huge monster or using a two handed weapon). A critical impale might, but  criticals don't happen as often as specials. So I disagree. Turning specials into a regular hit means that many more blows will get through and have a chance of damaging the opponent, thus reducing the ping pong effect. And it just feels better when a special has some kind of impact rather than just bouncing off a shield like a regular blow.

3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

BTW, you may want to be careful about using the reposte option for multiple parries, as RQ has special rules for splitting skills over 100%. It can kinda get wild, especially with RQ magic. 

What is the riposte rule? I can't find anything about it in BGB. 

 

For full disclosure I use RQ3 in a MERP conversion game, where I also use the magic system from the BRP MERP fan edit from this site. Overall, it works pretty smoothly. Converting NPCs is not that bad, except for MERP's spell lists. There I try to find equivalencies for the actual spells available to each character, but it's a bit of a headache.

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What I did for my RQG play is .. use RQ3 combat rules. What I kept from RQG is the runes and passion inspiration, and the various specials. For the rest, I have almost RAW RQG.

In the same vein, you can, starting from RQ3, import Runes, Passions and specials. I stay clear of the multiple parry because it is too much a game changer (gives a big advantage to defense vs offense). Additionally, I think combat vs multiple opponents should be deadly, except if you are way above your opponents.

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12 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

In RQ3, you also have to roll DEX x 5 or fall down.

Yes,m exact doing damage equal to someone's SIZ in RQ3 is tough. The average guy with a sword does 1D8+1+1d4 and the average SIZ is 13. By contrast in Pendragon the average person does 4D6 damage.  

12 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

With a typical shield having 12 AP, even most criticals would not get through (unless you're a huge monster or using a two handed weapon). A critical impale might, but  criticals don't happen as often as specials. So I disagree.

Depends on if you are attacking the opponent or his shield. 

Plus there is the case that if the opponent fails in his attack roll and you make your parry roll, you get to roll damage on his weapon, which isn't as tough as a shield. 

12 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Turning specials into a regular hit means that many more blows will get through and have a chance of damaging the opponent, thus reducing the ping pong effect. And it just feels better when a special has some kind of impact rather than just bouncing off a shield like a regular blow.

Actually it means far fewer blows will get through. An impaling hit that would have does 2d8+2+1d4 (average 13.5) and gotten something past a shield, reducing the shield a point, and maybe hitting an unarmored area, becomes a normal hit for 1D8+1+1d4 (average 8 ) that bounces harmlessly off the shield.

 

12 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

What is the riposte rule? I can't find anything about it in BGB. 

Story, it was only called that in Stormbringer. Basically it was that a master (90%) with a meapon could do multiple parries, each at -20% from the last. It was called a riposte because a master could follow a parry with a riposte, basically another atttack at -20% cumulative to his skill. THis meant that two masters would ususally end up exchanging a half dozen attacks during a melee round.

 For Example, Al, and Bill are fighting with Swords. Al has a Sword skill of 95%, and Bill 90%

Al has a higher DEX and so go first, rolling a 78. Bill parries with a 22, and ripostes, with a 69. Al tired to block the attack and parries with an 83. Al then tried to riposte, but needs to roll a 75 or less (his 95% skill -20%), and barely succeeds with a 75. Bill now tried to parry again (his second parry, so -20% for 70%) and squeaks by with another 69. Bill ripostes again, at 70% (his second attack) and success with a 16. Al now tired to parry for a third time(at -40% for 55%) succeeding with a 53! Al attacks again (his third attack so -40%) but fails with a 67, ending the exchange.

The rule would be great for a swashbuckling campaign or for Lightsaber duels in Star Wars. A GM could also alter the flat -20% to a value basedon the weapons used. A rapier might have a lower penalty than, say a warhammer.

 

12 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

For full disclosure I use RQ3 in a MERP conversion game, where I also use the magic system from the BRP MERP fan edit from this site. Overall, it works pretty smoothly. Converting NPCs is not that bad, except for MERP's spell lists. There I try to find equivalencies for the actual spells available to each character, but it's a bit of a headache.

I can imagine. I did up a MERP/RQ3 campaign a long time ago.I Had to make a few adjustments. I still have the RQ3 chargen stuff I did up for the campaign too, where I attempted to Tolkien-ize the races.

If I were you I'd drop the MERP spell lists and just use RQ3 sorcery, probably with the Sandy Peterson variant. Most MERP Spell list can be converted to a single spell or two, with the higher level spells just meaning higher intensity. Elves could use Spirit Magic, with High Elves maybe using a sort of hybrid, by swiping the Lunar magic rules to let them alter spirit magic like it was sorcery. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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16 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

 becomes a normal hit for 1D8+1+1d4 (average 8 ) that bounces harmlessly off the shield.

No, that’s not how it works. A normal parry reduces a special hit to a normal hit that however bypasses the shield, striking the defendant.

16 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

doing damage equal to someone's SIZ in RQ3 is tough. The average guy with a sword does 1D8+1+1d4 and the average SIZ is 13

Which is as it should be. It’s not easy to knock someone over with a one handed weapon. With a great weapon though it’s a different matter. 

 

16 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Actually it means far fewer blows will get through. An impaling hit that would have does 2d8+2+1d4 (average 13.5) and gotten something past a shield, reducing the shield a point, and maybe hitting an unarmored area

Impaling weapons yes, maybe. Blunt and edged weapons not so much. 

16 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Depends on if you are attacking the opponent or his shield. 

What does this mean? Why would you attack someone’s shield?

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17 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

 I still have the RQ3 chargen stuff I did up for the campaign too, where I attempted to Tolkien-ize the races.

I’d be curious to see this. I use ”Basic Bestiary” for elves, dwarves, hobbits and orcs, and the BRP MERP ”Free peoples” for humans and ”Creatures” for the rest pretty much. 

 

17 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

If I were you I'd drop the MERP spell lists and just use RQ3 sorcery, probably with the Sandy Peterson variant. Most MERP Spell list can be converted to a single spell or two, with the higher level spells just meaning higher intensity. Elves could use Spirit Magic, with High Elves maybe using a sort of hybrid, by swiping the Lunar magic rules to let them alter spirit magic like it was sorcery. 

Sorry, I might not have been clear enough. I do drop the MERP lists, but check what actual spells would have been available to a particular character and try to find equivalents in the BRP MERP Magic supplement. 

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2 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

No, that’s not how it works. A normal parry reduces a special hit to a normal hit that however bypasses the shield, striking the defendant.

That sucks. I'd much rather go with the RQ3 method where the special would be an impale that might be stopped by the shield (and get stuck in it, reducing the ability to use it).

2 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Which is as it should be. It’s not easy to knock someone over with a one handed weapon. With a great weapon though it’s a different matter. 

Not reallly. It's more about how much force you can put behind the blow.  A big tough warrior with a mace is far more likely to knock a man down that granny using a halberd. 

2 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Impaling weapons yes, maybe. Blunt and edged weapons not so much. 

Depends on if you use the slash and crush rules or not. 

2 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

What does this mean? Why would you attack someone’s shield?

To reduce it armor points. In RuneQuest 3 parrying weapons that take more damage than their AP rating must reduce their AP rating by one point. But, if you attack the parrying weapon (or shield) then all the damage in excess of it's AP rating reducing the weapon's AP rating. So if I attack your AP 12 shield and do 20 points, the remaining 8 points comes off the shields armor rating, reducing it to AP 4, making it much easier to get past it, in the future. If I attack it again for another 8 points you no longer have a shield.  That's why you attack shields. 

That's the big difference between RQ3 and RQ2, shields in RQ3 are not indestructible.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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1 hour ago, Barak Shathur said:

I’d be curious to see this. I use ”Basic Bestiary” for elves, dwarves, hobbits and orcs, and the BRP MERP ”Free peoples” for humans and ”Creatures” for the rest pretty much. 

Okay, PM me an emaila dress and I'll send it too you. It's pretty much MERP style races done up in RQ3 format, with previous experience tables. 

1 hour ago, Barak Shathur said:

Sorry, I might not have been clear enough. I do drop the MERP lists, but check what actual spells would have been available to a particular character and try to find equivalents in the BRP MERP Magic supplement. 

Fair Enough. Sounds like you just need to do up a spread sheet that list's each spell and an RQ equivalent. Then you wouldn't have to do it on the fly. BTW, are you just using the MERP stuff or the full RoleMaster system (with more spell lists and character options)? Oh, and are you toning down some of the Magic items? MERP/RM is a lot like D&D with everybody having lots of magic. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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55 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I'd much rather go with the RQ3 method where the special would be an impale that might be stopped by the shield (and get stuck in it, reducing the ability to use it).

Matter of taste I guess. I prefer fights ending sooner by someone actually getting hit. 

 

57 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

A big tough warrior with a mace is far more likely to knock a man down that granny using a halberd. 

Even a big guy with a mace is going to have an extremely hard time knocking an 80 kg person (SIZ 13 I believe) over. There’s just not enough mass in the mace to create the momentum needed. A two handed weapon on the other hand is probably at least 3-4 times heavier and has more of the follow through to get the job done .

 

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Depends on if you use the slash and crush rules or not.

How so? It will still bounce off the shield. 

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

To reduce it armor points. In RuneQuest 3 parrying weapons that take more damage than their AP rating must reduce their AP rating by one point. But, if you attack the parrying weapon (or shield) then all the damage in excess of it's AP rating reducing the weapon's AP rating. So if I attack your AP 12 shield and do 20 points, the remaining 8 points comes off the shields armor rating, reducing it to AP 4, making it much easier to get past it, in the future. If I attack it again for another 8 points you no longer have a shield.  That's why you attack shields. 

I guess that could be useful if you have a big enough weapon, e.g. a great axe, to make a dent in the shield. 

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2 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

Matter of taste I guess. I prefer fights ending sooner by someone actually getting hit. 

Then why play with a game that allows parries? What I think is going to happen is that a lot of player characters are going to take a special hit and drop, especially if you use random armor.

2 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

Even a big guy with a mace is going to have an extremely hard time knocking an 80 kg person (SIZ 13 I believe) over.

Realistically yes.

2 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

There’s just not enough mass in the mace to create the momentum needed. 

Uh, no. Basically the difference in mass isn't the issue, it's the muscle required to move that mass. 

2 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

A two handed weapon on the other hand is probably at least 3-4 times heavier and has more of the follow through to get the job done .

It might be 3 to 4 times heavier, but that also means that ti moves much slower. 

2 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

How so? It will still bounce off the shield. 

Slash rolls weapon damage twice, crush rolls damage bonus twice. In effect they are similar to the impale, which means a much lower chance of bouncing off a shield. 

2 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

I guess that could be useful if you have a big enough weapon, e.g. a great axe, to make a dent in the shield. 

What dent?, shields break. Shields are wood, or wood with a thin metal facing. In real life most don't survive a good fight. You can hack or smash off bits. Worse still you might get some boards to split, or knock loose the arm strap.  

You don't need a big heavy weapon to do it either. It's just that big heaver weapons are better at it and can do it quicker. Both in real life and in game. Someone with a dagger  (1d4+2+db) is going to have a tough time hacking up a 12 point shield, but someone with a harberd (3d6+db) will find it much easier. Still if a character is skilled, strong, and/or has some good magic, they can really go to town on a shield or parrying weapon. We once had someone armed with a dagger (and Bladesharp 4) trash an oppoent's 2H spear before closing in. 1d4+2+1d4+4 (average 11 points), can whittle down a spear in about 4 rounds, and might be easier that trying to close. 

The tactic is even nastier is the opponent has some special weapon or sheild that they don't want to loose. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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24 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Then why play with a game that allows parries? What I think is going to happen is that a lot of player characters are going to take a special hit and drop, especially if you use random armor.

It's exactly the other way round. Since most hits are going to be parried, this rule allows a few more in, reducing the endless ping pong. Since players tend to have higher skill and better armour, it favours them slightly. And no, I don't use random armour (anathema!)

31 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Uh, no. Basically the difference in mass isn't the issue, it's the muscle required to move that mass.

No. A really hard punch is not likely to knock someone over, while a half decent kick might. 

33 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

It might be 3 to 4 times heavier, but that also means that ti moves much slower. 

It's not speed, it's momentum that matters with this issue. A one handed weapon might hit really hard and break something, but then it stops. A great weapon hits and then keeps going, and has a much greater chance to move your center of balance.

36 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Slash rolls weapon damage twice, crush rolls damage bonus twice. In effect they are similar to the impale, which means a much lower chance of bouncing off a shield.

Not in BRP they don't. Both roll damage as normal, but edged weapons cause bleeding if they get through armour, while crushing weapons increase the damage bonus one die step.

38 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

What dent?, shields break. Shields are wood, or wood with a thin metal facing. In real life most don't survive a good fight. You can hack or smash off bits. Worse still you might get some boards to split, or knock loose the arm strap.  

You don't need a big heavy weapon to do it either. It's just that big heaver weapons are better at it and can do it quicker. Both in real life and in game. Someone with a dagger  (1d4+2+db) is going to have a tough time hacking up a 12 point shield, but someone with a harberd (3d6+db) will find it much easier. Still if a character is skilled, strong, and/or has some good magic, they can really go to town on a shield or parrying weapon. We once had someone armed with a dagger (and Bladesharp 4) trash an oppoent's 2H spear before closing in. 1d4+2+1d4+4 (average 11 points), can whittle down a spear in about 4 rounds, and might be easier that trying to close. 

I meant that figuratively. If you have a weapon that has a realistic chance of exceeding the shield's AP, it might be worth it. But most onehanded will rarely exceed the 12 AP of a target shield, not to mention the 16 of a kite. Against a parrying weapon it's more feasible, sure. Magic could make a difference, sure, but your example is a bit extreme.

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1 minute ago, Barak Shathur said:

It's exactly the other way round. Since most hits are going to be parried, this rule allows a few more in, reducing the endless ping pong. Since players tend to have higher skill and better armour, it favours them slightly.

I disagree. What I think will happen is that a lot of specials that would otherwise have been blocked by the PCs will get through. This actually favors the NPCs becuase:

  1. The NPCs ususally have numerical superiority, and so get more rolls and more chances to roll a special success.
  2. The NPCs don't have to survive and encounter and come back next session, where the PCs generally do. That is the loss of one PC is generally more important to the game that the loss of dozens of NPCs.
1 minute ago, Barak Shathur said:

And no, I don't use random armour (anathema!)

I don't blame you. The problem with it, IMO is that it's too low, with the average value being less that the fixed value. So instead of stopping blows it tends to shave off a few points. 

1 minute ago, Barak Shathur said:

No. A really hard punch is not likely to knock someone over, while a half decent kick might. 

Go watch boxing. In general a person is much more balanced and stable with both feet planted than when trying to kick. 

1 minute ago, Barak Shathur said:

It's not speed, it's momentum that matters with this issue.

Momentum is mass times velocity (speed). You can't have momentum without speed. Likewise Force equals mass times acceleration (change in speed). 

Now as higher mass means higher intertia, a lighter object can acclerate more quickly and can hit harder. Plus with melee weapons, it's not just the mass of the weapon, but the mass of the person being wielding it. 

1 minute ago, Barak Shathur said:

A one handed weapon might hit really hard and break something, but then it stops. A great weapon hits and then keeps going, and has a much greater chance to move your center of balance.

UH, no. A great weapon also stops when it hits something. There really isn't a huge difference. Yes, greater mass potentially means a greter force and thus a better chance to inflict injury, but it's really more about balance here.

The laws of motion will point out that anyone capable of swing a weapon hard enough to actually knock someone over with the force would also be swinging hard enough to knock themselves down Unless there is a huge size (mass) difference between the combatant (i.e grown man vs. child or giant vs. grown man) Equal and opposite forces. 

Knockdown is more a matter of unbalancing or stunning someone.

1 minute ago, Barak Shathur said:

Not in BRP they don't. Both roll damage as normal, but edged weapons cause bleeding if they get through armour, while crushing weapons increase the damage bonus one die step.

Depends on what version of the rule you use. The old Slash rule from RQ2 had cutting weapons roll damage twice (this was when impales did max plus rolled) and crushing weapons rolls damage bonus twice. As you are doing a RQ based game and importing bits from BRP you have options.

1 minute ago, Barak Shathur said:

I meant that figuratively. If you have a weapon that has a realistic chance of exceeding the shield's AP, it might be worth it.

Yes, although like much else it depends on the circumstances. 

1 minute ago, Barak Shathur said:

But most onehanded will rarely exceed the 12 AP of a target shield, not to mention the 16 of a kite. Against a parrying weapon it's more feasible, sure.

Depends. If you have someone with a high db, high skill, and/or can using magic then it becomes alot more common than you think. 

1 minute ago, Barak Shathur said:

Magic could make a difference, sure, but your example is a bit extreme.

Not really. The typical damage bonus for a character is +1d4, and bladesharp 4 is a pretty common spell among warriors in games with magic. Fireblade would be even nastier, and nearly as common 3D6+1D4 can get through just about anything .

Magic really changes things, and is really common in standard RQ. Everyone starts with some magic in standard RQ. Someone under Fanaticism, Berserk or using Truesword might find cutting through a shield to be a better option, especially with their higher chance of getting a crit or a special. 

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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1 hour ago, Barak Shathur said:

It's exactly the other way round. Since most hits are going to be parried, this rule allows a few more in, reducing the endless ping pong. Since players tend to have higher skill and better armour, it favours them slightly. And no, I don't use random armour (anathema!)

This method is very efficient (either as a fighting technique and to avoid the attack/parry ping pong), and I agree on the anathema.

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26 minutes ago, Kloster said:

You target a shield or a weapon to damage it. Once destroyed, it is useless, and your opponent has to use less efficient weapons, and/or ones he is less proficient with.

We had a PC pick up greatsword skill specifically because of the times he lost his shield, either from damage, or from impaled weapons. He manged to get it up to 70% before he was disarmed on a stairway, and was forced to use it. Not quite was his opponent had hoped for. 😁 

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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5 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

We had a PC pick up greatsword skill specifically because of the times he lost his shield, either from damage, or from impaled weapons. He manged to get it up to 70% before he was disarmed on a stairway, and was forced to use it. Not quite was his opponent had hoped for. 😁 

Fun. My character's backup weapon is usually a shortswor, not a great sword, but I can understand (the reason and the look of the guy tha destroy the shield).

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

What I think will happen is that a lot of specials that would otherwise have been blocked by the PCs will get through. This actually favors the NPCs becuase:

  1. The NPCs ususally have numerical superiority, and so get more rolls and more chances to roll a special success.

I don't know, it certainly hasn't happened that way in my games (and my players recently held off a mob of 40 orcs!). Again, NPC grunts have lower skill values so will special less often. And the PCs will special on their parries sometimes, more often than the NPCs.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

The NPCs don't have to survive and encounter and come back next session, where the PCs generally do. That is the loss of one PC is generally more important to the game that the loss of dozens of NPCs.

Totally agree, which is why I use the Fate Point rule from BGB.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

In general a person is much more balanced and stable with both feet planted than when trying to kick.

But the stance of the attacker is not that relevant to the discussion. Empirically, as gleaned from a semester or two of karate, a kick tends to move you, much more so than a punch. A punch could do it, but much more seldom. And especially with regard to combat with weapons, the stability of the attacker is not that important once the weapon has started moving.

 

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Momentum is mass times velocity (speed). You can't have momentum without speed. Likewise Force equals mass times acceleration (change in speed). 

Now as higher mass means higher intertia, a lighter object can acclerate more quickly and can hit harder. Plus with melee weapons, it's not just the mass of the weapon, but the mass of the person being wielding it. 

The mass of the weapon makes a huge difference.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

A great weapon also stops when it hits something. There really isn't a huge difference. Yes, greater mass potentially means a greter force and thus a better chance to inflict injury, but it's really more about balance here.

The laws of motion will point out that anyone capable of swing a weapon hard enough to actually knock someone over with the force would also be swinging hard enough to knock themselves down Unless there is a huge size (mass) difference between the combatant (i.e grown man vs. child or giant vs. grown man) Equal and opposite forces. 

No. The great weapon continues further into whatever it hits, because of its higher inertia compared to a lighter weapon. Your woodsman's axe will cleave that log more easily than your hand axe, no matter how big and strong you are. The greatsword will cut deeper into your opponent than the broadsword, it has much higher mass and it just stands to reason it has higher impact. This force is also what generates the chance of knocking someone off balance.

I'll use my empirical experience as an SCA fighter as an example. It's not an exact equivalence to actual combat, but it has relevance. It's full contact and we use weapons that approximate the weight of real medieval weapons. I'm a pretty small guy, but even those 250 lbs monsters couldn't move me with a one handed weapon. Not a chance. And they can hit hard! Now with a pole arm it's a completely different story. Even a small fighter armed with one might move me a step or two if they connect, say while I'm closing with them. There's just no comparison. And Steve Perrin is a SCAdian, so go figure.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Depends on what version of the rule you use. The old Slash rule from RQ2 had cutting weapons roll damage twice (this was when impales did max plus rolled) and crushing weapons rolls damage bonus twice. As you are doing a RQ based game and importing bits from BRP you have options.

As the thread title implies, we're discussing RQ3 and BRP, and neither of these games have that rule stated anywhere. So I can't speak to this. For me, the BRP rules work well. The higher damage from impales is balanced by the fact that your weapon will likely get stuck and thus lost.

 

Basically, we're a bunch of nerds arguing about something we've never experienced. A condottieri would laugh until he choked on his grappa. Enjoy RuneQuest the way you prefer to play it, I certainly will.

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On 4/17/2021 at 8:54 PM, Atgxtg said:

Momentum is mass times velocity (speed). You can't have momentum without speed. Likewise Force equals mass times acceleration (change in speed). 

With the caveat that slashing and bludgeoning weapons are usually used in moves that are essentially rotations, which means you also have to factor the geometry of the weapon in the equation. Hitting someone with a 1kg iron ball is not the same thing as hitting him with a 1kg sword.

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5 hours ago, Mugen said:

With the caveat that slashing and bludgeoning weapons are usually used in moves that are essentially rotations, which means you also have to factor the geometry of the weapon in the equation. Hitting someone with a 1kg iron ball is not the same thing as hitting him with a 1kg sword.

cf: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_of_percussion

 

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9 hours ago, Mugen said:

With the caveat that slashing and bludgeoning weapons are usually used in moves that are essentially rotations, which means you also have to factor the geometry of the weapon in the equation. Hitting someone with a 1kg iron ball is not the same thing as hitting him with a 1kg sword.

True, and even hitting someone with a 1kg sword might not be the same as hitting them with the same 1 kg sword, depending on point of impact, angle of attack and such. There are a lot of variables.That's why most RPGs have variable damage. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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