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Starting Rune Affinities


Storm Khan

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So, assuming this Omicron thing fades, my campaign will start in 1623 with a bunch of veterans from the Battle of Auroch Hills and/or the Esrolian civil war. I want to start with less experience so players with no RQ experience will have fewer spells to understand, smoothing the way a little. 
 

I was wondering if the starting Rune Affinities reflect the experience of a character that has progressed through 1625, or is the intention to make the PC’s significant, regardless of experience? I could leave the 50 elective points in place or reduce them. 
 

Thoughts would be appreciated. 

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2 hours ago, Storm Khan said:

So, assuming this Omicron thing fades, my campaign will start in 1623 with a bunch of veterans from the Battle of Auroch Hills and/or the Esrolian civil war. I want to start with less experience so players with no RQ experience will have fewer spells to understand, smoothing the way a little. 
 

I was wondering if the starting Rune Affinities reflect the experience of a character that has progressed through 1625, or is the intention to make the PC’s significant, regardless of experience? I could leave the 50 elective points in place or reduce them. 
 

Thoughts would be appreciated. 

My assumption is that the starting affinities are reflective of personalities as well as giving the means to make any character competent at using Rune magic, and that there's no real need to reduce their value if you're going to give less Rune Magic to starting characters.

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

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27 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

From a game balance perspective, I'd keep their Rune Affinities reasonably high.  Lower level characters will need more help augmenting their skills.

True, but I was hoping to manage play balance by also cutting down the magnitude of the opposition. Defending Apple Lane from the Tusk Riders will have to wait. 

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Remember -- the way Augments work, 50% is the breakpoint.  Lower, and they likely do more harm than good!

You can limit PCs' power if you want (and similarly limit the opposition) just by making them younger (fewer skills, fewer spells, fewer RP).  RQ1/RQ2 did it that way, after all, and it's perfectly fine!  Just make sure -- if you want them to pick up the "official" timeline & adventures in 1625 -- that you get them their skill-checks &c by that time!

You may wish to look at "Early Family Histories" on the Jonstown Compendium.

Edited by g33k
1625 re-entry
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4 hours ago, Storm Khan said:

So, assuming this Omicron thing fades, my campaign will start in 1623 with a bunch of veterans from the Battle of Auroch Hills and/or the Esrolian civil war. I want to start with less experience so players with no RQ experience will have fewer spells to understand, smoothing the way a little

Is the intent to have the characters about two years younger than straight character generation to 1625 would entail?

Unfortunately the rules don't really provide for that fine a gradation. Page 81 has a side-bar for older characters, but the time-span is per 10 years! Page 25 gives guidance for 15-16 year old beginners which mostly says skip personal family history events and personal skill bonus step (7). Family history mostly affects Passions

4 hours ago, Storm Khan said:

I was wondering if the starting Rune Affinities reflect the experience of a character that has progressed through 1625, or is the intention to make the PC’s significant, regardless of experience? I could leave the 50 elective points in place or reduce them.

Neither guidance does anything for Rune affinities. Off-hand it could be interpreted that those need to be set at cult initiation (and since character generation tends to assume one IS an initiate, this probably takes place by age 16).

OTOH: for SKILLS, one could possibly interpolate. Cultural skill modifiers of 0% for 15 year old, table % for 21 year old, proportional between the two. Same for Occupation and Cult skill modifiers. Maybe use table values as-is for cultural skills (even as a kid you likely are being exposed to those skills).

Cult RUNE POINTS and spirit magic could be interpolated... So for 2 years under normal age 21, one less RP and cult specific rune spell, and roughly 1pt less per year Sprit Magic.

Not viable for passions though... at least not for gaining a new favored passion... 10% a year? It wouldn't break 50% until the 6th year -- and tracking increases to existing passions at less than 2% a year seems futile.

4 hours ago, Storm Khan said:

Thoughts would be appreciated. 

This was easier to approach in RQ3 -- where "prior experience" (in /parent's/ occupation) was per year of age past 15.

Edited by Baron Wulfraed
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12 hours ago, Storm Khan said:

I was wondering if the starting Rune Affinities reflect the experience of a character that has progressed through 1625, or is the intention to make the PC’s significant, regardless of experience?

They aren't reflecting experience. In creating your adventurer, page 45 says: These Rune affinities represent the strength and nature of your adventurer’s presence in both the Middle World and the Gods World of Glorantha. 

12 hours ago, Storm Khan said:

I could leave the 50 elective points in place or reduce them. 

Leave them in. That gives scope for raising a rune to over 80%, or 90% for those who want to become rune priests or lords quicker.

As has already been mentioned. The part to skip for younger adventurers is Step 7: Personal Skill Bonuses. See the Playing Inexperienced Adventurers box on page 25.

 

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15 hours ago, Storm Khan said:

So, assuming this Omicron thing fades, my campaign will start in 1623 with a bunch of veterans from the Battle of Auroch Hills and/or the Esrolian civil war. I want to start with less experience so players with no RQ experience will have fewer spells to understand, smoothing the way a little. 
 

I was wondering if the starting Rune Affinities reflect the experience of a character that has progressed through 1625, or is the intention to make the PC’s significant, regardless of experience? I could leave the 50 elective points in place or reduce them. 
 

Thoughts would be appreciated. 

Runes isn't the biggest deal when it comes to experience levels, but you could easily cut the bonus amount down. One thing that might be a bit boring is that unless you also cap the Rune percentage, players are likely to pick up 90% or so in their most important rune anyway, so fewer Rune Points just mean that they're worse at the rest.

Skills (combat in particular) and Rune Points are the big drivers of PC power. Runes and Passions do more for characterization, and are worth keeping in place for that reason. 

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18 hours ago, Storm Khan said:

I was wondering if the starting Rune Affinities reflect the experience of a character that has progressed through 1625, or is the intention to make the PC’s significant, regardless of experience? I could leave the 50 elective points in place or reduce them. 

I'd leave the starting Rune affinities (and the +50 elective points) in place for any character that is an adult.  My working assumption is that the "solidifying" of Runes occurs in their initiation rites into adulthood, not through extended experience.

What I would reduce or remove is:

1) the additional personal skill gains (grant 1/5 of the bonus per year over 16).

2) reduce the # of Rune points to 1 or 2 (1 if they are just initiated at ~17, 2 if they are 18-19)

3) reduce the # of spirit magic points (1 point per year past 16).

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On 1/22/2022 at 10:38 PM, Storm Khan said:

I was wondering if the starting Rune Affinities reflect the experience of a character that has progressed through 1625, or is the intention to make the PC’s significant, regardless of experience? I could leave the 50 elective points in place or reduce them. 

In play, it'll often work a lot like experience, because players -- being players! -- will often be keen to max-out their character's favoured runes.  Nothing exceeds like excess, after all!  So if you were looking to exactly roll back that experience, so that when they get to 1625 they look as close to by-the-book characters as possible, that's certainly a way to look at it.

Conversely, it's also a personality thing.  Young hotheads, or otherwise tending to the unchecked extremes of a particular attitude, which in the population at large might actually mellow or regress to the mean with age.

I'd say do whatever works best for you and your group, which could be either of the above.  But using it as written has the additional advantage of straightforwardness and not looking like you're short-changing the players if they see those and complain.  Also, bear in mind the way Inspiration works, where you get a bene for a success, but also a pretty significant malus if you miss.  So if you start those values too low, they don't just get less good, they quickly edge into zero craic territory, at least for that application.

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I start with 15 year olds in 1623. I skipped their personal history and only kept that of their forefathers.

I had an 80 cap on Runes and passions. You need to be older to be more aligned with a Rune or to have a very strong passion.

The usual rules gives the players four +25 skills and five +10 skills with a maximum of 100%. 

I changed that to four +15 skills and five +5 skills with a maximum of 90%.

I kept the skill points that are based on culture, occupation and cult.

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11 hours ago, Soccercalle said:

I start with 15 year olds in 1623. I skipped their personal history and only kept that of their forefathers.

I had an 80 cap on Runes and passions. You need to be older to be more aligned with a Rune or to have a very strong passion.

The usual rules gives the players four +25 skills and five +10 skills with a maximum of 100%. 

I changed that to four +15 skills and five +5 skills with a maximum of 90%.

I kept the skill points that are based on culture, occupation and cult.

Mine sounds similar.  Here's my write-up:

Player-Character Generation.

The homelands of Sartar, Prax, Esrolia, or Old Tarsh are acceptable. The players may choose to have their characters related, grandparents in common and, perhaps, parents in common.

o       Family histories are as-written until the player-characters begin their histories.

o       Players may select either Civil War in Esrolia or the Battle of Auroch Hills. All will go on to fight at the Siege of Nochet.

Rune affinities and cults: as written.

Characteristics are rolled as written, but:

o       If the sum of the characteristics is less than 90, the player will receive three extra points to allot.

o       If the sum of the characteristics is less than 84, the player may re-roll entirely.

Occupations:

o       Assistant Shaman, Bandit, Hunter, Thief, Merchant, Entertainer, and Fisher will be recruited by the resistance. Players may choose any of these.

o       Alternately, they can roll on the random occupation chart.

All characters start with 2 rune points and 3 spirit magic points plus any bonus spells due to profession.

Extra skill percentages: +14%, any four skills, +6%, any five skills.

Allowed races are humans and ducks.

 

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23 hours ago, Alex said:

In play, it'll often work a lot like experience, because players -- being players! -- will often be keen to max-out their character's favoured runes.  Nothing exceeds like excess, after all!  So if you were looking to exactly roll back that experience, so that when they get to 1625 they look as close to by-the-book characters as possible, that's certainly a way to look at it.

Conversely, it's also a personality thing.  Young hotheads, or otherwise tending to the unchecked extremes of a particular attitude, which in the population at large might actually mellow or regress to the mean with age.

I'd say do whatever works best for you and your group, which could be either of the above.  But using it as written has the additional advantage of straightforwardness and not looking like you're short-changing the players if they see those and complain.  Also, bear in mind the way Inspiration works, where you get a bene for a success, but also a pretty significant malus if you miss.  So if you start those values too low, they don't just get less good, they quickly edge into zero craic territory, at least for that application.

My objectives are various, but mostly, I am looking for an excuse to cut down on available magic. I expect quite a few people new to RQ, and I don't want them overwhelmed. Me, too, btw. This will be my first effort at running RQ, so, wish me luck! At the same time, 16 year-olds are a pretty limited group.

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58 minutes ago, Storm Khan said:

My objectives are various, but mostly, I am looking for an excuse to cut down on available magic.

You've come to the right place.  We have a whole team of "dog ate my homework" experts here! 🙂 

I don't think drastically limiting Rune percentages is a huge win here, as you still have the same descriptive complexity (what's this, what's it mean, what can I do with it?), they're just less effective.  Having fewer Passions than you by default get out of chargen might in that respect be good.  (Why am I Loyal to all these different groups and people?  There's story in this, which is good, but it's another thing to explain and sort out.)  But unless you're hand-crafting them yourself that'd be too annoying and fiddly to do with player-rolled characters.

One off-book thing you might consider is reducing the range of initially available Common Rune magic.  It's not RQG RAW (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!) but it's partly inspired by the pre-RPP versions, and is partly just an obvious "simplify choices" move.  You could readily come up with an in-world explanation for it ("actually new initiates gain knowledge of those progressively, and when you sacrifice and/or worship more the rest unlock quick").  Or just flat-out say it's a presentational thing, per the traditional "series of contradictory oversimplications" beloved of educational systems everywhere.  If you're limiting Rune Points anyway, and hence Special Rune magic, then it's not a huge loss as they'll mainly want to be casting their sexy, distinctive, cult-specific magic anyway.

Or not if it'd annoy you, or annoy your players, if it seems like undue bait-and-switch between that and the full rules.  Which I can see it might.

58 minutes ago, Storm Khan said:

I expect quite a few people new to RQ, and I don't want them overwhelmed. Me, too, btw. This will be my first effort at running RQ, so, wish me luck! At the same time, 16 year-olds are a pretty limited group.

Good luck, Mr Khan!  Or Storm if I may presume to be so familiar. 🙂

Another thing I might unsolicitedly suggest is using a one of the official scenarios first out, even if it's not something you you plan on doing otherwise.  That -- hopefully -- reduces the variables of things you have to worry about, and that done, you can ponder what did and what didn't work from there.  Don't baulk at starting with some relatively low-stakes interactions to showcase particular game mechanics, even if it involves over-simplifying a little from the full rules.  (But don't over-over-simplify, or make them no-stakes, as that risks getting a little dull.)

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