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How many checkmarks do you expect a character to get each season?


pachristian

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Forgive me if this topic has been raised already.

 

For the experienced RQ:Glorantha GM's. How many checkmarks, on the average, do you expect a player-character to get each adventure? Each play session?

Do you keep a running count? 

Finally, how do you prevent "Checkmark farming" where players request to gratuitously roll on skills to get checkmarks, whether or not they have a bearing on the current adventure?

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29 minutes ago, pachristian said:

Finally, how do you prevent "Checkmark farming" where players request to gratuitously roll on skills to get checkmarks, whether or not they have a bearing on the current adventure?

Just say no to their requests if the roll hasn’t been made in a tense situation or if they have used a skill only to get a check. 🙂

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33 minutes ago, pachristian said:

For the experienced RQ:Glorantha GM's. How many checkmarks, on the average, do you expect a player-character to get each adventure? Each play session?

It depends on the type of scenario and GM style.

34 minutes ago, pachristian said:

Do you keep a running count? 

No, I trust Players.

34 minutes ago, pachristian said:

Finally, how do you prevent "Checkmark farming" where players request to gratuitously roll on skills to get checkmarks, whether or not they have a bearing on the current adventure?

I call it the tickchase.

In RuneQuest I just allow it.

However, I much prefer to give out Experience points that Platers spend to get increases in skills. It allows people to focus better, instead of everyone trying to Hide, sneak, devise and so on.

 

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1 hour ago, pachristian said:

For the experienced RQ:Glorantha GM's. How many checkmarks, on the average, do you expect a player-character to get each adventure? Each play session?

Do you keep a running count? 

However many they successfully use, plus their four cult/occupational picks. I don't keep track myself.

1 hour ago, pachristian said:

Finally, how do you prevent "Checkmark farming" where players request to gratuitously roll on skills to get checkmarks, whether or not they have a bearing on the current adventure?

As the GM, you make the call as to whether a situation requires a roll to resolve. If the situation doesn't have something potentially meaningful at stake based on the roll's success or failure, I probably won't ask anybody to roll anything.

Otherwise, checkmark farming is great. It encourages players to apply a variety of strategies to maximize their skill gains, and also encourages a balancing act between "always use our best person for this skill" and "cycle other people through so we can overlap our skill sets and eliminate any single points of failure."

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2 hours ago, pachristian said:

For the experienced RQ:Glorantha GM's. How many checkmarks, on the average, do you expect a player-character to get each adventure?

It depends on adventure type and length. Between 5 and 40, from my experience.

2 hours ago, pachristian said:

Do you keep a running count? 

No. It does not interest me, ans, as Soltakss, I trust my players. When I GM, I keep track of some of their scores to be able to roll out of their sight, but that's it.

2 hours ago, pachristian said:

Finally, how do you prevent "Checkmark farming" where players request to gratuitously roll on skills to get checkmarks, whether or not they have a bearing on the current adventure?

I don't. First, it can help advance some characters, and second, if it does not block the game and the enjoyment, I don't care. The history and the pleasure we have playing are what is important.

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

To an extent, it can even be a good thing, if it means players creatively vary their skills.

Fully agreed.

5 minutes ago, Dr. Device said:

Otherwise, checkmark farming is great. It encourages players to apply a variety of strategies to maximize their skill gains, and also encourages a balancing act between "always use our best person for this skill" and "cycle other people through so we can overlap our skill sets and eliminate any single points of failure."

Also agreed here.

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2 hours ago, pachristian said:

Forgive me if this topic has been raised already.

12 hails Babeestor Gors and 3 Our Orlanthies... next!

2 hours ago, pachristian said:

For the experienced RQ:Glorantha GM's. How many checkmarks, on the average, do you expect a player-character to get each adventure? Each play session?

 

No idea, depends and changes depending on who’s asked. I have never seen an official count for RQ but Mythras says 4 a session. Add this to your 4 occupation ticks, one research/training and one POW and this should be fine for most and not enough for everyone else.

2 hours ago, pachristian said:

Do you keep a running count? 

You pretty much have to, in order to be able to check them doncha? Or do I misunderstand your point? Do you mean do I watch the players like a hawk.. well maybe, but usually it is because they forget ticks... I like what @soltakss said, trust your players, but me, I would hate to see them miss a check. They don’t come by that often and one has a 50/50 chance of missing even when one earns a tick in the long run.

2 hours ago, pachristian said:

Finally, how do you prevent "Checkmark farming" where players request to gratuitously roll on skills to get checkmarks, whether or not they have a bearing on the current adventure?

Play for a while, and see what is feels like  to get ticks or not get ticks. I find this will balance a GMs point of view. I run more than I play, so getting in a game every now and again is mandatory for me. Let’s me see how it feels...

ETA

Quote

I don't. First, it can help advance some characters, and second, if it does not block the game and the enjoyment, I don't care. The history and the pleasure we have playing are what is important.

As @Klostersays, let people have fun!

 

Cheers... and don’t forget those hail Babs...

Edited by Bill the barbarian

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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6 hours ago, pachristian said:

For the experienced RQ:Glorantha GM's. How many checkmarks, on the average, do you expect a player-character to get each adventure? Each play session?

With sessions between 2 and 3 hours, I think on average my players get a handful of ticks. More if the dice are in their favour. Less if they were unlucky or if the session didn't involve much rolling. Note that this includes not just skills but also Passions and Runes and POW. With augments, it's not uncommon to get 2 ticks in one go (I let them get a check on a successful augment, not just on the "main" roll). And with adventures that can last anything between a couple sessions and a dozen sessions, the number of checkmarks at then end of the adventure can vary wildly. Of course, the latter sessions might not see many new ticks because so many common skills have already been ticked.

6 hours ago, pachristian said:

Do you keep a running count? 

Nope. Players tick the boxes, that's enough tracking.

6 hours ago, pachristian said:

Finally, how do you prevent "Checkmark farming" where players request to gratuitously roll on skills to get checkmarks, whether or not they have a bearing on the current adventure?

I never noticed such thing. If they are finding new creative ways to solve problems, then that's good. If they are doing silly things just to get a checkmark, then that's less good. But remember that getting a check isn't necessarily happening always and only on a success. Look at RQG p415 -- it's clear that the rules give the gamemaster some wiggle room. So you can award a checkmark to a failed roll if it was warranted, and you can refuse a checkmark on a successful roll if you don't think it deserved it. So if they try something silly and succeed, you can make it, narratively speaking, be a "success at a cost", and refuse them a checkmark because you think it was so silly that the characters can't have learned anything valuable from the experience (or whatever other reason you give the players).

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6 hours ago, pachristian said:

For the experienced RQ:Glorantha GM's. How many checkmarks, on the average, do you expect a player-character to get each adventure? Each play session?

Do you keep a running count? 

Finally, how do you prevent "Checkmark farming" where players request to gratuitously roll on skills to get checkmarks, whether or not they have a bearing on the current adventure?

Depends heavily on the adventure/scenario.  Many of mine tend to be lengthier quests, so odds are they'll accumulate somewhere between 10-15, not including Rune or Passion checks.  Shorter scenarios might be more in the 5-10 range.  Likely they'll get 3-4 Perception skills, 2-4 combat skills, an Agility skill, 2-3 Communication skills, and these days 1-2 Magic skills (e.g. Spirit Combat and Meditation or Worship).  Probably a POW gain roll.

I do not keep count, that's for the players to do. 

Almost all adventures I run have a need for Perception skills to be rolled (e.g. Listen, Scan, Track) - they can choose to roll at other points, but they only get one check mark for a skill, so there's really not much point to gratuitous rolling.  And most other skills tend to have an obvious application (e.g. Communication, combat, etc.).  I really don't ever recall any of my players trying to roll for the sake of a check mark.

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5 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

There are a few flaws in the BRP / Runequest system, and Check grubbing is one of the worst.

I have lost a lot of respect for the posters here that encourage it.

I don't understand this perspective. Beyond that, I don't see the point in taking umbrage with people for encouraging it, considering the game clearly incentivizes it.

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I don't keep count, but when I see the players rolling for the season (including seasonal experience), it tends to be the their or so three core runes, two to three Passions, and maybe 10-15 skills, including 3-4 combat skills (note that I allow ticks for all skills, though). And 95% of the time, a POW gain roll.

Just tell them they don't get the tick if you think a particular skill use is a pointless stretch that just wants the tick. This will quickly establish the norm. But even if a player's use of say Dance, Sing and Darktongue to impress some trolls is actually just intended to earn ticks, that's not a problem if the outcome for play is good. 

Edited by Akhôrahil
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as a check is gained when the situation is important,if a player wants to climb the walls of a building in a city just for experience when the rational way is to walk on the street... no problem, the guards may see the character, or maybee a thief. Of course when the city guard sees a guy climbing building, it cannot be for good reason.. so pursuit, jail, loss of credit for any relationship with local power, less opportunity to gain job or bargain (who wants to deal with the dumb guy who climbs a building without any reason ?)

this example is for climb, but you can use the same mechanic for anything.

and, in another way, except to fit some conditions (rune lord, priest,  ...) the % is relative :

imagine  a scenario describing a singing contest in a small community, and all npc stats are provided for pc with less than 60%

let says your experience runners have done a great job and all the team have 90% in sing

Well you GM has just to define that the local champion is a really good one and add 40% on the published stats

 

 

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5 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Well you GM has just to define that the local champion is a really good one and add 40% on the published stats

Or, if it's not important that this is highly competitive, just let the PC shine. Players love that stuff!

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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

But even if a player's use of say Dance, Sing and Darktongue to impress some trolls is actually just intended to earn ticks, that's not a problem if the outcome for play is good. 

Exactly my point.

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9 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

There are a few flaws in the BRP / Runequest system, and Check grubbing is one of the worst.

The system puts a cap on the growth rate of characters, with rather insignificant amounts of growth (as opposed to the somewhat more energetic bumps from spells or augments).

I've experienced sessions of roleplaying with hardly any die rolls made, with soft skills applied.

Egregious check grabbing is a bit of the bad side of the absence of experience points. The limitation of opportunities to increase proficiency in the downtime can be a problem when GM and players want to leave the "powerless newbie" stage somewhat organically, rather than going the old Chaosium house campaign way of starting at rune levels.

9 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I have lost a lot of respect for the posters here that encourage it.

This sort of feels like declaring a campaign at higher levels as "badwrong fun" if the players have not undergone the grinding experience of 60 sessions per character to reach rune level.

One of the important rules of RuneQuest in its current incarnation is Maximum Game Fun. Some players and GMs derive that from the Zero to Zero Point Zero Zero One, others prefer a career from veteran to hero.

Zero to Hero the hard way may be the traditional way of OSR RuneQuest RAW. But then, however much magic the characters bring into a game, the GM can wring them dry if he wants to before entering the main story, or he may put the characters to tests outside of the checkable skills.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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16 hours ago, pachristian said:

How many checkmarks, on the average, do you expect a player-character to get each adventure? Each play session?

No idea. But we have just finished a 6 session adventure and checking their roll20 sheets yields:

Sestar the Ernaldan Merchant 11 (3 rune, 1 Passion, 1 Agility, 1 Comm, 1 Knowledge, 1 Magic, 1 Manipulation, 2 Perception)

Zoukos the Humakti warrior 10 (3 rune, 1 Agility, 1 Comm, 1 Knowledge, 4 Perception)

Varanys the Lhankor Mhy scribe 12 (3 rune, 2 Agility, 2 Knowledge, 5 Perception)

Which would give an average of 11, so 1 or 2 per session. 

We also aren't finished for the season, This was the foreshadowing for the Battle of Queens, so it's likely that each will get a few weapons checks, none are mounted so not ride.

16 hours ago, pachristian said:

Do you keep a running count? 

No (except above) I trust my players. As experience is seasonal, players very quickly reach a point where they can't check a skill anyway.

16 hours ago, pachristian said:

Finally, how do you prevent "Checkmark farming" where players request to gratuitously roll on skills to get checkmarks, whether or not they have a bearing on the current adventure?

Given

Quote

Experience checks are not automatic whenever a success is achieved—it must involve a real risk or challenge, or result in roleplaying opportunities. Page 415

It doesn't really happen in my games, I always want a description / roleplay of how they use the ability, so as they have to explain what they are doingd before rolling, they often skip it themselves as it fails their own (or others) credibility. Don't forget that improving abilities not used in adventures is covered in Experience Between Adventures on page 416, it's only 4 abilities, but works well.

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39 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Don't forget that improving abilities not used in adventures is covered in Experience Between Adventures on page 416, it's only 4 abilities, but works well.

Wait... what?...

Well I never...

With each passing thread here I feel like i should read the RQG rule book again. Or at least read what is in it rather than what I think is in it...

 

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Don't forget that improving abilities not used in adventures is covered in Experience Between Adventures on page 416, it's only 4 abilities, but works well.

That's a good way of covering for a skill you want to improve but haven't had a tick in from adventuring. Particularly useful for elevating skills you're very bad in to a level where you have an acceptable chance of earning the tick in the future.

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2 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

This was a great rules addition to RQG to help counterbalance check grubbing.

I think it is a great RQG rule, but not because it counterbalance tick hunting: If a player wants to play that way (whether for good or not), he still can. What I think it provides is a rule to augment skills that are used in the everyday life, but that are not used frequently in adventures. They should, in the life of a character, augment yearly (or more).

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2 hours ago, Kloster said:

I think it is a great RQG rule, but not because it counterbalance tick hunting: If a player wants to play that way (whether for good or not), he still can.

Yeah, it doesn't actually reduce tick-hunting, but it means that you can cover for skills you don't roll for so much (I mean, I try to allow for peaceful skill, but let's face it, PCs don't have to roll for Farming during adventures that often...)

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Inexperienced players -- 4-6.

RQ Vets -- around 12

 

Tick hunting isn't a problem that I can see.  The main thing is that use of a skill does not generate a check unless under some type of duress.  So maybe you wind up with a check in sing, dance, and orate, but you also failed those skills publicly, likely repeatedly.  Those actions have consequences in later role play. 

However I do allow much more skill increase from baseline in many situations.  For example a player has rock bottom riding skill, but winds up with a horse and is asked to ride around all season doing some horse related thing.  By the rules this should not earn a check mark, so it does not.  However I typically just give the character up to 25% riding skill for generic familiarity, assuming that significant off screen time is spent doing some activity with the horse. 

Up to a certain point (25-30% or so) it just seems utterly illogical that a season of riding around with the Pol Joni tribe taught the PC nothing more than he knew when he didn't even have a mount.  I believe that connecting those logical dots, particularly for non-role played time, is an important part of the GM's job.  There is a real chance that the players don't grub so hard for checkmarks if they can take actions to gain skills in other ways.  If you only give your players a hammer, then every box on that sheet will look like a nail.

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