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RuneQuest Rules Q&A


Scotty

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If want to report mistakes or ask questions about our RuneQuest Glorantha products, this is the thread. Question and Answers where appropriate will end up here as official corrections. Although centred around RuneQuest, corrections and questions about the Guide to Glorantha (GtG) and the Glorantha Sourcebook (GS) are welcome too. The current product line is:

First and foremost, it cannot be stressed enough that the rules are guidelines for the gamemaster and must occasionally need to be interpreted when a question arises. No set of rules can accommodate every permutation and interaction between the various sub-systems, nor should they.

When there’s an potential conflict or unclear area, it is the gamemaster’s job to adjudicate, revising later if necessary. When in doubt, make a decision and move on.

The play is the thing, not getting it “right”.

Please post your entries in the form of a single simple, direct question, with book and page references.

Please take any arguments, complaints or discussion to another thread. 

Before you post, please make sure that you have:

  • the most up-to-date version of the book and/or PDF.
  • checked the book and rules fully.
  • Checked the RuneQuest Glorantha Corrections and Q&A
  • Please be aware that, Sorcery is presented to allow Lhankor Mhy adventurers to be created. Future supplements will detail sorcerers from other cultures and provide more details of the sorcery system.

New answers in this thread are moved to the Q&A when a full page is reached.

When in doubt, make a decision and move on.

See Jason Durall talking about when it's important to lean into or away from TTRPG system rules (YouTube)  

Edited by Scotty
updated 8 June 2024
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16 hours ago, Dragon said:

Not positive if this is the correct place to note an error, as it is not the Red Book of Magic itself, but the Rune Spell Reference additional download.

Yes this is the place, I've added the Rune Spell Reference to the initial post.

16 hours ago, Dragon said:

In the Rune Spell Reference, the spell Arrow Trance is listed in Fire/Sky spells correctly. It is erroneously missing from Plant Spells, and is erroneously included in Truth Spells.

I mentioned it in another thread, and the author agreed. He stated that I would have to notify you as he had turned over the source materials to Chaosium control. I just wasn't sure where.

I find the Reference quite handy, and appreciate the work that went into it. Thank you.

Thanks for spotting this. We will correct it asap.

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On 3/26/2022 at 3:54 PM, Steve said:

Core Rulebook p.23

In the intro text, last paragraph, it refers to the GM Screen Pack having a quick adventurer generation system. I don't think that's the case, is it? Perhaps the GM book?

Yes, but the final name has not been announced.

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Starter Set, Blank Folio

Craft has a tick box, but the two lines underneath for filling in two different Craft skills do not. Remove tick box, and place two on the lines underneath it.

Same with Speak Other Language, a single check box doesn't work for two separate skills.

Also, Cult Lore should not have a tick box. Customs (Local) should.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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12 hours ago, The Lonely Khan said:

Is there cannon that The Spike and The Block is adamant or truestone? Adamant makes no sense, as the Storm Bull followers protect and gather the fallen pieces of The Block after it bounced over The Plains to strike and pin Wakboth. And those pieces are truestone. 

The words are used interchangeably (see Mythology (PDF), pages 23, 44, 47, 49). Only the Dwarfs or a sage can likely tell the difference. 

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On page 314 of the RQG core rulebook:

Quote

"Rune magic spells always take effect at strike rank 1"

But on page 194:

Quote

"If more than 1 magic point is used to boost a Rune magic spell, or otherwise increase its effects, 1 strike rank is added for each additional magical point after the first."

I believe page 194 is correct, so it may be worth adding a clarification to page 314 to the effect that:

"Rune magic spells always take effect at strike rank 1, unless more than 1 magic point is used to boost the spell; see page 194 for further details".

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--

An Unofficial Buyer's Guide to RuneQuest and Glorantha lists everything currently available for the game and setting, across 60 pages. "Lavishly illustrated throughout, festooned with hyperlinks" - Nick Brooke. The Voralans presents Glorantha's magical mushroom humanoids, the black elves. "A wonderful blend of researched detail and Glorantha crazy" - Austin Conrad. The Children of Hykim documents Glorantha's shape-changing totemic animal people, the Hsunchen. "Stunning depictions of shamanistic totem-animal people, really evocative" - Philip H.

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1 hour ago, Zalain said:

when casting spells against a not voluntary target, is needed a POW vs POW. But, what happens with the magic points of the caster, if the target resist?

The magic points are spent. If you fire a gun and miss, the bullet is still gone. 

1 hour ago, Zalain said:

until now, i have played the caster can keep concentrated in the spell and try again in the following assault.

Note that GMs may choose to adopt what they want for their games - in mine, I apply a -25% penalty per Reattempting Ability Rolls (RQG 142)

1 hour ago, Zalain said:

To increase chance of success casting a spell or resistance roll (POWvsPOW) can be augmented with runes or passions? or only Meditation, Ritual practices, singing, dancing or an "apropiate skill"?

Yes, per Augments to the Resistance Table (RQG 146): An adventurer may try to augment the characteristic used in the resistance table with an appropriate skill, Rune, Passion, or even with the Meditate skill or ritual.

1 hour ago, Zalain said:

the same roll of increasing success casting, can be use in the resistance roll? or would be it needed a new increase chance roll?

No, an augment only applies to a single ability. In this case an augment to casting would be different to the POW resistance roll. Again, GMs may choose to adopt what they want for their games - in mine, I treat specials and critical rolls of casting as automatic skill augments in POW resistance rolls.

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On 6/29/2024 at 4:41 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

In The Lightbringers, Mastakos section. p.120 says Mastakos holy days correspond to the holy days of the dominant cult.  I take it that where the shrine is in an Orlanth temple,

Shrines are found in great temples of Orlanth and Magasta. 

On 6/29/2024 at 4:41 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

Orlanth is dominant and  where in a Magasta temple, Magasta is dominant.

If there is a great temple yes. It's possible that there are great temples to both in a region and that they both have a Mastakos shrine. There will likely be some kind of cultural divide as to which temple a Mastakos worshipper attends.

On 6/29/2024 at 4:41 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

All right ---

1) Does this mean that in Orlanth areas, Mastakos gets a minor holy day every Windsday?

No, in these great temples, associate cults can't receive any Rune points on minor holy days (per RQG 315). 

On 6/29/2024 at 4:41 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

2) What about a transition to an area in which neither Orlanth nor Magasta is a dominant cult, like Caladraland? 

Caladraland has no major Magasta worship see Mythology 152.

On 6/29/2024 at 4:41 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

Does Mastakos take the holy days of Caladra & Orelion or Lodril instead?  

No in this case it would be Orlanth. 

The only area with any crossover would be the humans in the Right Arm Islands where Magasta has 2% of worshippers and Orlanth 10%. IIRC Magasta only has minor temples here, so again Mastakos would be worshiped in an Orlanth great temple.

An underwater offshore Merfolk great temple to Magasta would have a Mastakos shrine in it. It's worth noting that Magasta is too terrible to be worshiped by many land-dwellers, although a few sea-going peoples maintain minor temples to him.

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On 6/29/2024 at 6:27 AM, Shiningbrow said:

Q: What's the intent with Allied Spirits and sorcery,

Allied spirits may not use or learn sorcery.

Allied spirits are divine sent. When they arrive and are allied by a Rune level, their only is aspect is that they are an initiate of the god's cult. They have no abilities, or any form of magic. As initiates, they may sacrifice for Rune points, but do not begin with any.

However, GMs are free to ignore these limitations in their own games, and have sorcery using allied spirits, by whatever method they wish.

On 6/29/2024 at 6:27 AM, Shiningbrow said:

And, related, if somehow a spirit that knows sorcery gets into Spirit Combat and loses, can the winner take the knowledge of a sorcery spell? Rune/Technique?

If the spirit of a dead sorcerer is beaten in spirit combat, even if they know sorcery spells, only known spirit magics may be taken. Spirits rarely if ever have skills (eg Pegasus Plateau 50), and don't have sorcery spell powers (see Spirit Powers (RQB 165).

As usual GMs may create spirits with sorcery skills and abilities for their own games.

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11 hours ago, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

Is there a list for combat modifiers somewhere, please?

Such as attacking from behind

That's part of Attacking From Advantage or Disadvantage (RQG 223) +40%

11 hours ago, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

or higher ground [not mounted]

No modifier, but changes the hit locations per mounted combat (RQG 220)

11 hours ago, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

or in [semi] darkness?

If you want granularity, have a look at Create Shadow for some guidance on Darkness. The spell gives 4 levels with Dark Walk working at level 1 and total darkness at level 4. If you match this to the Darkness rules you get roughly:

  • 0 Daylight (No penalty)
  • 1 Hazy shadows (Dalk Walk works)
  • 2 Dark (-5 to 25% darkness penalty)
  • 3 Moonlit night (-25 to 75% darkness penalty)
  • 4 Pitch black (-75% darkness penalty)
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15 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

From the Earth Goddesses book, page 53:

"Axe Maidens receive a complete suit of enchanted copper armor and a copper axe from their temple. Their enchanting ritual adds 1 extra armor point to their armor and an extra 5 hit points to a weapon."

Yes.

15 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

How dies this interact with the normal enchanted armor from Gamemaster Adventures, page 121? 

It's effectively the Babeester Gor version of Enchant (metal), so Enchant Copper (Babeester Gor version). There's no interaction between the standard version and this cult specific version.

15 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Is this some kind of "double secret enchantment" that adds additional HP? 

No, it's just a cult special Rune magic enchantment. Many cults have unique magic.

15 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

If so, why the heck can't others, such as elves do this?

Babeester Gor has secrets.

15 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Does it cost an additional POW?

No.

15 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Specifically, if a PC wants to save weight by the "hammered very thin" copper armor, would the BG enchanted copper plate have 5 AP or 6 AP?

Quote

Enchanted copper armor can be hammered very thin and still retain some solidity. This reduces the armor’s defensive value by 1 point, but halves its ENC. Thus, a full suit of plate armor has 5 armor points and weighs 6 ENC.

Weapons & Equipment, 12.

Full suit of plate armor 6 AP - 1 AP from being thin = 5 AP (as above) then +1 from the enchantment = 6 AP

15 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Aside: the copper armor rules are, in general, rife with potential minimaxing abuse by PCs.

You can only enchant copper if you have access to the spell, and the solid properties are only available to weapons. Babeester Gor's special Enchant Copper is only available to her Axe Maidens (Rune Lords), and the normal Enchant Copper is available to the Rune levels of only a dozen others. See the availability of Common Enchantments here.

Note that uniquely, Gustbran initiates have access to all Enchant (metal) spells.

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, 7Tigers said:

Prosopaedia, page 51

image.png.2187a332925ce3a71dd0d4d04a0eeb44.png

Shouldn't Gorgorma also be indicated belonging to Lunar pantheon, as noted on
https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/gloranthan-documents/prosopaedia/deities/g/gorgorma/
and
https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/lunar-deities/?

No, as she has a close association with her sister Dendara, she's firmly part of the Solar pantheon (and an enemy of Yelm). Her write up will be in the upcoming Solar book.

Edited by Scotty
page 68
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14 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

I just found this typo on the Q&A page:

Not a typo.

14 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

However, Open Seas is one of the sorcery spells included in the rulebook, p. 397. It costs 2 pts. and requires the rune of Water and the Command technique.

Per the Q&A 9.3 Spells with no Mastery: Yes. There are some spells, such as Open Seas (9 mps), that are self-sufficient, but they are not common. In this case, for non-sorcerers, the runes and techniques are baked in.

14 hours ago, metcalph said:

If you don't know the runes or techniques then the costs are doubled and doubled again.  That gets me to 8 mp.

Yes and an extra point for the missing runes and techniques. For sorcerer adventurers who know the rune and technique, the cost will be lower.

12 hours ago, Jens said:

That's actually something I'd like officially clarified- from my reading of the rules you need to have either mastered the required runes and techniques, or you can use an associated rune or technique at twice the MP cost, but you cannot cast the spell if you have neither mastered nor have an appropriate associated rune or technique. That would then preclude anyone that has not mastered Water or its associated runes Fire or Air from casting Open Seas.

See above, Open Seas is a cult specific self-sufficient sorcery spell, that may be cast by non-sorcerers. It is a Dormal cult special and may be learned by Dormal initiates. It costs 9 magic points when cast by initiates or priests who lack any other sorcerous training.

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15 hours ago, Jens said:

One other clarification about the Magic Rune would be appreciated. The core rules state "The presence of the Magic Rune (R) indicates that this spell can be used with any Rune". Many of us took this to mean that you could use any rune you had mastered with a spell that had the Magic Rune in the description.

Later on, however, there was a Well clarification that stated https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/catalogue/publishers/chaosium/runequest-roleplaying-in-glorantha/cha4028-runequest-roleplaying-in-glorantha-qa-by-chapter/cha4028-runequest-roleplaying-in-glorantha-chapter-17-sorcery/#ib-toc-anchor-4

After which it seemed like you needed to master the Magic rune to cast any of the spells that included it.

Yes.

15 hours ago, Jens said:

Then The Lunar Way came out, and it included several spells that in the Core book had the Magic rune, but the Irrippi Ontor version uses the Moon rune in its place.  Does this mean that-

1. All spells with the Magic rune can have that rune substituted with a different rune; or

No, this has not changed.

15 hours ago, Jens said:

2. There are multiple versions of the same spell, some with the Magic rune, and some with a different rune in its place

In the case of the following three Irripi Ontor spells:

  • Identify Spell, the Magic Rune is replaced by the Moon Rune.
  • Logical Clarity, the Truth and Summon technique is replaced by the Illusion Rune and Dispel technique.
  • Neutralize Magic, the Magic Rune is replaced by the Moon Rune.

Different sorcery schools may have different Runes and/or techniques for spells of the same name, but this is not always the case.

Note that the Moon Rune has a strong connection to magic per RQG 49, and in the case of Identify Spell and Neutralize Magic are now connected to the Lunar Cycle.

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In the core rules page 17 it says:

Quote

Unalloyed, or “pure” metals, such as iron, lead, tin, and copper, prevent a person from using magic unless the item it is made into is “sealed” to the Rune connected with that metal.

This is a significant change from the RQ2 rules, where the PERSON needed to be sealed to the Rune, not the item (page 6):

Quote

Unalloyed, or pure, metals, such as iron, lead, tin, and copper, prevent a person from using magic unless he is “sealed” to the Rune connected with that metal.

It looks like this change was first introduced in HeroQuest - Glorantha (page 12).

This rule is never repeated anywhere else I can find; the section on metals in Weapons & Equipment only refers to unenchanted Iron-

Quote

Unenchanted iron reduces the chance of both casting and being affected by a spell by 5% per point of ENC.

Was this an intentional change, and does it truly mean that a troll in lead armour can't cast magic unless they enchant it first, etc.? Note that as written, it wouldn't stop someone casting a spell on the troll and just hamper the wearer, as opposed to the unenchanted iron rules in W&E which would impact both.

Edited by Jens
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Clarification requested regarding Find Enemies.

Firstly, in the description is the word 'anyONE' - which usually refers to sentient creatures, and in particular those with a higher than animal intelligence. What is the intent behind this word (rather than using the word 'anyTHING', or 'any creature', etc)?

Secondly, the intent part is going to be contentious at tables... is it supposed to include guards that don't know someone is there? Is it supposed to include undead that don't have their own thoughts (or any thoughts), and thus can't have an intention? Or elementals that just do what elementals do... commanding a fire elemental to burn someone isn't actually 'intending' to harm them - it's simply what happens when they get to close, a shade doesn't actually intend to fearshock, it's just what happens when they touch someone.

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On 7/21/2024 at 7:32 PM, Runeblogger said:

The spirit spell "Meteor Swarm" is described as "Temporal". 

Yes, spirit magic spells are either Instant, or Temporal. The swarm does not hit the target on the casting SR, so it's temporal. However this doesn't mean that the spell lasts two minutes, only that it's not immediate. There's any intermediate timing (not in the rules), that I would call - you get to see the effect before it hits you, but don't have time to react. 

To explain, if the spell were instant, the swarm would appear immediately and hit the target. The target would see nothing and then just be hit. If at the other extreme it took two minutes, then the effect would be lost.

The spell produces a swarm of meteors, that rains down on the target. Amplify adds another swarm per three points.

On 7/21/2024 at 7:32 PM, Runeblogger said:

Does it mean that meteors keep raining for 2 minutes (if the Prolong skill is not used),

No. Prolong will not affect this spell. 

On 7/21/2024 at 7:32 PM, Runeblogger said:

or that the meteor takes 2 minutes to arrive?

No.

On 7/21/2024 at 7:32 PM, Runeblogger said:

If it is the latter, does that mean it can be dispelled before it hits?

No, these are actual rocks. But passive shield use and armour would.

Eg.

A Crater Maker casts Meteor Swarm on a Full Moon with 15 points of Amplify (Free INT 15). The cost is 6+15=21 MPs and the casting takes DEX SR 2 + 21 mps -1 = 1 Round, then on the second round it goes off on SR9. With Amplify 15, there can be are six targets each receiving 12D6 damage of Moon Rocks, the rocks fall until the end of the round. 7.2 ENC of Moon Rocks fall.

Targets get to see the swarm coming but are unable to act, except to maybe parry (and that isn't going to go well)..

image.pngThe Crater Maker unit comes from the Dragon Pass board game. 

13.21 THE CRATER MAKERS
The Crater Makers were a special school of the Lunar Priestess hierarchy. Their training allowed them to call upon their goddess to hurl stones from the sky.
In the Lunar exotic magic phase of anyone game·turn, other than a Black or Dying day, the Crater Makers can call down a Meteor Storm. The Lunar player can have the Meteor Storm hit any
one hex within the Crater Makers' RF. Every unit in the hex, other than herds, treasures and disembodied spirits, are eliminated. Herds in the hex stampede. Treasures and disembodied spirits are unaffected. Dragons and superheroes save themselves and up to three units stacked with them. The Crater Makers' physical agent cannot make an attack in a turn in which the Meteor Storm is used. The Crater Makers agent is not eliminated when the Meteor Storm is used.

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12 hours ago, Gamesmeister said:

Fireblade can be cast on any edged weapon or spear, but the only thing on the weapon lists that might indicate that a weapon is edged is it's damage type. Is it therefore safe to assume that any melee weapon with a damage type of "S" (slashing) or "CT" (cut and thrust), along with any weapon listed in the Spear category, is a valid target for Fireblade?

Rather than rely on the damage type, use the edged weapon or spear definition from the spell description. If it has a blade it can have Fireblade cast on it. So from the Core Rules: all axes, swords and spears. Note that a cestus is a bladed weapon too, but having your hands on fire will limit its use.

In Weapons and Equipment, there are a few borderline cases. Some flexible weapons, such as throwing hooks have blades or spear points, they wouldn't normally have Fireblade cast on them due to the way they are used and their entangling nature. It's much easier to handle a burning object that is ridged.

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