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HeroQuesting


frogspawner

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I'm fairly familiar with the various pre-Hero Wars heroquesting rulessets out there, and there are some interesting ideas in them, although the "super-RuneQuest" approach can get a bit munchkiny. I think the "Mastery" system of the current HeroQuest is a very good mechanism, and could well be applicable to BRP quite easily.

Where you see munchkinism (powergaming?) in the super-RuneQuest idea, I see design elegance and scalability. Venturing into the "Otherworld" is a good excuse for simply dividing skills by a factor (5 or whatever), and avoiding scaling problems. We've got a good system already (BRP) - so let's use it.

I don't know how it would work outside Glorantha. It has never worked for me in non-Gloranthan games. Mythic Russia has a HQ stab at Fantasy Europe HeroQuests, but those are really interacting with Fairy Tales and Planes and don't really work for me.

Really? I would have thought the whole other-world idea of HeroQuesting would lend itself pretty well to all sorts of other worlds: Faerie-style, Arthurian, Olympian, Native American (of course - and hence even Western!), Australian, Cthuloid...

Agreed on the skill resolution method - the Mastery concept of bumps up and down is something I'm going to experiment with in BRP to see if it's a go-er.

It looks like the "bumping" idea has crept into new BRP as an option for the way to use Fate Points. (Which I tried a few years ago, but didn't like).

I think the "bolt-on" approach of MRQ's Legendary Abilities is very D&D clunky, but there may be a kernel of a good idea there. Overall I'd prefer something more integral to the rules - which is what HQ does well.

Some of the benefits you could get from HeroQuests could be like that. And that'd be a better excuse for getting them.

For me, that's part of the fun - seeing the characters grow, the continuity of a campaign. I did find that RQ sort of petered out into "more of the same" rules-wise after you got to reasonably high level (Rune Lord Priest).

Absolutely. It's crying out for a good HeroQuest system! Let's find one...

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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Really? I would have thought the whole other-world idea of HeroQuesting would lend itself pretty well to all sorts of other worlds: Faerie-style, Arthurian, Olympian, Native American (of course - and hence even Western!), Australian, Cthuloid...

I agree! Any type of mythology could possibly be explored if a good heroquesting system was at hand.

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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This could be an interesting thread :thumb:

Firstly, my take on this is that there's no need to reinvent the wheel. It's clear that HeroQuesting-as-we-know-it is fairly well understood, and doesn't require mega-high-powered characters to do it. It's more a ritual / worship / pathwalking thing than fighting The Big Ugly Monster, and there are a lot of good essays around on how to do it. Yes, it would be very profitable to discuss the concept of HeroQuesting in milieu other than Glorantha - Arthurian, Faerie, Greek, Egyptian, Sumerian, Japanese, Chinese, etc, etc, would all be interesting to look at.

Secondly, my own interest is in how we _used_ to approach HeroQuesting when we thought it was a kind of Super RuneQuest, or indeed a follow-on from RuneQuest and next logical stage in development of your character after Rune Lord Priest. This is high-power gaming with the BRP rules, and, yes, it does involve transcending conventional human limitations (and this is where crossover with HeroQuesting the activity comes in).

IMHO, BRP does an excellent job at mapping human beings and their capabilities into RPG terms. Again IMHO, it's the best system out for the gritty gaming of low-to-medium power gamers, and it also deals with the move into high-powered gaming admirably. The area it hasn't traditionally addressed is the next step - the heroic level play, where Gandalf takes on the Balrog, where Orpheus enters the Underworld, where Percival wins the Grail and Hercules completes his Seven Great Labours, Odysseus... well, you get the picture. ;-)

I think there are some excellent mechanisms already in the BRP system, largely born from Stormbringer gaming, which express higher power for characters. These include:

1.) Multiple Attacks for 100%+ skilled characters.

2.) High number of parries for skilled characters.

3.) Divine intervention and divine "favour".

Also, related to BRP but separate, the "Mastery" system from HQ by Greg could be very useful for 100%+ skilled characters, especially coupled with a good Augmentation system. I'll try and write something up if no one has already when I (eventually) get hold of the Zero Edition... :ohwell:

However, there are two areas in the BRP system I think are still potentially weak for high-level gaming:

1.) Hit Points. Even the most heroic character is going to have about, say, 20HP. As a result, combat with BEMs like the Balrog always must revolve around Not Getting Hit In The First Place - even with the best armour, any hit from a Balrog is likely to result in defeat, especially if it's a critical. Whilst this is fine in itself as a mechanism, it could lead to a rather lacklustre combat, where blow after blow fails to land, no one is wounded, until - SPLAT - something finally happens. This could be a matter of mindset, but it would be nice to think how high-level combat could be more spicy.

2.) Magic. High level spell casters just end up getting loads and loads and loads of spells. In RQ, you could have buckets of Shield and Truesword spells, so that every combat was enhanced in pretty much the same way. I've never really used RQ sorcery, and don't know what the new BRP magic systems offer, but there is no real equivalent of Very High Level Magic available for PC use.

I'm not talking Munchkin gaming here, remember - I'm trying to envisage what a character does after reaching Rune Lord Priest (or whatever) level, and wants to go further. That is, of course, assuming that Hercules is not just a bloke with 21 STR and 500% in Sword... :D

Apologies for the long post!

Cheers,

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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Blimey... I'm replying to myself, now... ;-)

Just had a thought. How about, if we had a kind of Mastery system, and a character criticalled, it might be possible to bump up that critical into something like a Heroic Critical, and achieve a superhuman effect?

Mechanically:

- character has 150% Jump

- equates to 50% Skill with 1 Mastery "bump"

- character rolls a critical on the 50% - say 01 for argument.

- critical is bumped up from Critical to Heroic success

- character is able to jump, say, double the height or distance he normally would.

If you wanted, you could also have levels above Heroic Success, just to get really mad (Superheroic Success, Godlike, etc).

Any thoughts?

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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Blimey... I'm replying to myself, now... ;-)

Just had a thought. How about, if we had a kind of Mastery system, and a character criticalled, it might be possible to bump up that critical into something like a Heroic Critical, and achieve a superhuman effect?

Mechanically:

- character has 150% Jump

- equates to 50% Skill with 1 Mastery "bump"

- character rolls a critical on the 50% - say 01 for argument.

- critical is bumped up from Critical to Heroic success

- character is able to jump, say, double the height or distance he normally would.

If you wanted, you could also have levels above Heroic Success, just to get really mad (Superheroic Success, Godlike, etc).

Any thoughts?

Sarah

Yeah, go look at Steve Perrins Quest Rules. Steve did up a system for scaling up the crticals above and beyond the RQ values. Pretty similar in concept to what you are doing.

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

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Yeah, go look at Steve Perrins Quest Rules. Steve did up a system for scaling up the crticals above and beyond the RQ values. Pretty similar in concept to what you are doing.

Really? Can you point me to where he did that? I must admit I haven't looked at any of the 3 Steve's HQ systems for a good 10-15 years, so my memory may be rusty, but I don't recall any system of upscaling or bumps done by Steve Perrin. It's certainly not in the SPRQ bits currently freely available. Do you mean perhaps the Hypercrit system done by Steve Maurer in the late 80s / early 90s? The one where you divide your skill level by 400 or 1000 to get your Supercrit or Hypercrit chances? That's a heckuva Munchkin system if there ever was one! ;-)

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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This could be an interesting thread :thumb:

Firstly, my take on this is that there's no need to reinvent the wheel. It's clear that HeroQuesting-as-we-know-it is fairly well understood, and doesn't require mega-high-powered characters to do it. It's more a ritual / worship / pathwalking thing than fighting The Big Ugly Monster, and there are a lot of good essays around on how to do it. ...

It certainly should be interesting - so far so good!

Agreed. I also agree that BRP does great for gritty-level adventuring. And now it's at least claiming to handle super-levels too... I'm sure we can help it acheive that aim, even if there are some gaps initially!

How do the Divine Intervention/Favour systems from SB work? Could they do the job, or be extended?

I see the problem with (lack of) Hit Points. Maybe something like the 'Defence' ability I described over on the Fate Points thread might help.

As for super-spells, that's what HeroQuesting could be for. One reason I like soltakss's HQ system (from reading, I've not done any such exalted adventuring) is it makes Heroic acts (like super-Jumping) possible if you have done the relevant Quest - effectively you gain a super-Rune spell for it. This fits seamlessly with the existing Rune magic system - if you assume the normal Rune spells are just ones with easy, well-known Quest-paths and just take an afternoon's role-play and incense-sniffing at the temple (and POW sacrifice) to get. ;)

How about, if we had a kind of Mastery system, and a character criticalled, it might be possible to bump up that critical into something like a Heroic Critical, and achieve a superhuman effect?

<snip>

Any thoughts?

I'm not convinced of a benefit, mathematically, to dividing into 'Mastery levels' and applying 'bumps'. In your example: 150% Jump gives 30% Special, 7% Critical; but 50% Jump +1bump would give 50% Success (bumped to Special), 10% Special (bumped to Critical), 2% Critical (bumped to super-Critical). It just seems to add inaccuracy in translation (and slightly upgrade the results). Why bother? I'd probably allow a critical Jump to cover double height/length anyway.

Is the idea for these Mastery/bump things to make a kind of 'plateau' of Heroic activity (then Superheroic, then Godlike...), so that Heroes can basically ignore non-heroes trying to oppose them, and rise above the common herd?

PS: Is "BEM" a bowdlerized acronym for "Big Ugly Monster"?

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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I'm not convinced of a benefit, mathematically, to dividing into 'Mastery levels' and applying 'bumps'. In your example: 150% Jump gives 30% Special, 7% Critical; but 50% Jump +1bump would give 50% Success (bumped to Special), 10% Special (bumped to Critical), 2% Critical (bumped to super-Critical). It just seems to add inaccuracy in translation (and slightly upgrade the results). Why bother? I'd probably allow a critical Jump to cover double height/length anyway.

Well, I certainly wouldn't - criticals happen more than 1% of the time, which means pretty normal people are going to be jumping all over the place with regularity! The point of a "Heroic" critical (or whatever) and higher results is to actually map superhuman activity into the game system neatly. Taking "Jump" as an example, you wouldn't expect Olympic-level results for 1 in 100 jumps by ordinarily skilled people; however, for superskilled people (say, 175%+), you could perhaps expect something approaching Olympic / world record results on rare occasions. The point is, for very highly skilled people, it's not sufficient to be achieving a critical result more often, when a relatively normally skilled person can achieve that same critical result less often; you want a very highly skilled person to be able to achieve a result which an ordinarily skilled person, no matter how lucky, is simply not going to be able to achieve. Imagine a 250% Jump heroic character leaping (for example) 5 metres from a standing jump: this is superhuman, and an ordinarily skilled person, regardless of luck, is never going to be able to jump that high. That's what I'm trying to achieve with a "very high level" skill system. (BTW - remember I haven't seen the new rules yet. I'm interested to see if it provides for some smooth progression into the Super Power rules - there may be an avenue there.)

Remember also that in the case of opposed rolls (I'm treating combat as opposed in this sense), the Mastery "bump" system in HQ first bumps your own result up to critical, then bumps the opponent's result down to fumble. I'd be tempted to use this as the default behaviour in opposed rolls, and only if you STILL have bumps left would you bump up into Heroic and Superheroic Criticals (ie if you have over 100% and you roll a Critical and your opponent Fumbles, then you have a Heroic Critical - but not otherwise). Hope that makes sense!

Incidentally, your breakdown of the results misses 2 results: 150% Jump as 50% plus 1 Mastery gives you:

99-00: Failure (Fumble bumped up to Failure)

51-98: Success (Failure bumped up to Success)

11-50: Special (Success bumped up to Special)

03-10: Critical (Special bumped up to Critical)

01-02: Heroic Critical (Critical bumped up to Critical)

Likewise 250% Jump as 50% plus 2 Masteries gives you:

99-00: Success (Fumble bumped up twice to Success)

51-98: Special (Failure bumped up twice to Special)

11-50: Critical (Success bumped up twice to Critical)

03-10: Heroic Critical (Special bumped up twice to Heroic Critical)

01-02: Superheroic Critical (Critical bumped up twice to Superheroic Critical)

My numbers may be off as I'm working from memory, but you get the idea. I'm aware there may be a quality leap between, say 99% and 101% - I haven't analysed that - but it's the principle I'm trying to establish. :) Also, it makes a less than 100% swordsman facing a 210% swordsman truly outclassed - far more than simply increasing Critical and Special chances would result in. That's a campaign power decision for individual GMs, I guess. For me, I want to have a path to superhuman levels of power available in the game system.

Is the idea for these Mastery/bump things to make a kind of 'plateau' of Heroic activity (then Superheroic, then Godlike...), so that Heroes can basically ignore non-heroes trying to oppose them, and rise above the common herd?

Well, not so much a "plateau" - but certainly a qualitative improvement in ability levels rather than "more of the same", but not specifically to "ignore" lesser mortals - that's not the intent. It's meant to be a way to allow superhuman results to be achieved by extremely highly-skilled individuals using (more or less) the current system. As I mentioned, think Hercules, Gandalf, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, etc.

PS: Is "BEM" a bowdlerized acronym for "Big Ugly Monster"?

Big Evil Monster. Absolutely. Gawd bless 'em! :D

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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Hmmm, this has turned out to be a long post and should probably be split into two, but I'm tired and my wife is annoyed with me for being on the computer for too long ......

There are problems with HeroQuesting that have nothing to do with game design.

First of all, what is HeroQuesting?

We all know, or some of us know, what HeroQuesting is in Glorantha, but can we use that in other worlds?

My first thought would have been "no". But then I watched the BBC/NBC Rome and in the last series, a woman who had been wronged performed a ritual where she camped outside her rival's house, dressed in sackcloth and covered in ashes, crying out for justice for several days with her slave pouting askes over her head, when her rival finally came out, she made a sacrifice to the gods of the underworld and cursed her rival. This is clearly a HeroQuest Ritual in the Gloranthan sense. She took a well-known ritual and directed it at her rival, made a sacrifice and caused a measurable effect.

Star Trek the Next Generation had a number of episodes concerning Worf performing various Klingon rituals that had several real effects. These were also HeroQuests in the Gloranthan sense.

So, Gloranthan-style HeroQuests do have their place where religion is strong and magic has an effect. These aren't the myth-changing HeroQuesting but are the Myth-Emulating HeroQuests.

Quests that cross into the Otherworld, however, are very different indeed. Some settings have Fairie as a place where people can cross into. Medieval Britain, and presumably Ancient Britain, has stories of people crossing to Elfland where they lived for many years without aging. There are fairytales of people crossing over into Giantland or going to the Underworld and bringing things back. Ancient Greece has Heroes going to the Underworld or magical world and bringing items back as do many Mythologies around the world. Mythic Russia (the game) has interaction with Fairytales and their inhabitants.

Quests that change the nature of the world are another matter again. If you have Ares as the God of War and your PC goes to Olympus and defeats him in battle then kills him, then the PC becomes a God of War. This is a Quest that is quite possible. What happens to the worship of Ares? Well, dead deities are worshipped, so his cult would continue, but he would perhaps lose some spells. Certainly many worshippers would defect to the cult of the new Hero and the balance of power would change.

How can we use HeroQuesting in games?

The first type of HeroQuesting can be modelled fairly easily by having different Rituals for different HeroQuests, with each ritual giving certain powers or abilities to the user of the ritual. Frogspawner kindly alluded to this when he mentioned the way my HeroQuesting rules work for Gloranthan RQ (they also work for the HeroQuest game). There may well be other ways of doing this. I've played with many different systems for HeroQuesting and some of them have had some good ideas but none has really worked for me.

The second type of HeroQuest raises problems of its own. How do you cross over into the Otherworld? What forms does the Otherworld take in your setting? What creatures live there, what can you do there and what can you get out of it? How does magic work on the Otherworld? Is each Otherworld different or do they share the same rules? How powerful are people from the Otherworld? Are they deities with god-like powers or are they just spirits and sprites with some magical ability but nothing vastly superior to normal people? How do you get back to the normal world and what can you bring back?

The third type of HeroQuest raises its own problems. How do you interact with the deities of your setting? Do they live in a certain place (Olympus, Asgard) or are they out of time? Can you just go there physically or do you need a ritual of come sort? How does magic work in the realm of the gods? How powerful are the gods? If I am a HeroQuestor of Athena and I go to Olympus to fight Ares, how can I compete? I might have Truespear 10 and Shield 30, but how does that compare with Ares? Surely the God of War should be more powerful than that? What are his skill levels? I may have 500%, is this enough? What is a WarGod's skill in his best weapon? 500%, 1000%, 2000%? When do I become powerful enough to chellenge a God? What happens when a HeroQuestor succeeds in a challenge or HeroQuest? What can he bring back? Perseus brought back Pegasus and Medusa's head, Jason brought back the Golden Fleece and Medea. What are the effects of a HeroQuest?

All these things must be considered before developing a HeroQuesting system for BRP.

One thing is for sure. HeroQuesting is not just High Level (Powerful) Gaming.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts about HeroQuesting. As always, these are My Opinion Only and only really apply to my games. But, they are My Opinion after thinking about HeroQuesting for over 20 years

Your Game Should Vary .....

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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OK, I split it in two. Somthing about the message being too long.

I dunno, Triff, sort it out will ya? :)

One thing is for sure. HeroQuesting is not just High Level (Powerful) Gaming.

Sure, if you plan to fight and kill the Wargod then you have to be pretty hard. But, if you plan to copy what Perseus did to get Pegasus, is that as difficult? What if you want to marry the daughter of a nearby chief but have no money or status, can you perform an Abduction Quest and carry her off to be your wife and if so how powerful do you have to be? What about the fairytale stories of fools and normal men who cross over to the Otherworld and bring back treasure? How powerful are they?

So, I don't think that a discussion of High Level Gaming is that important for HeroQuesting. What is more important is to understand what HeroQuesting is and how it relates to the setting you are using. Once you do that then you can work out what extra rules you need.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for High Level (Powerful) Gaming and with a few tweaks RQ/BRP can be extended into those realms where some people are afraid to go.

Talking from a RQ background, the barriers to Powerful Gaming using the RQ Rules are:

1. Levels of Success for skills

2. Availability and scaling of magic

3. Coping with demonlike/godlike beings

Without going on a Super RuneQuest rant, these are the things that I have tended to use to make RQ scalable.

1. Levels of Success for skills:

Failing on rolls over 96 / Fumbling on 100

Only having normals, specials and criticals as success levels.

Someone with 500% skill should not fail 4% of the time, the same as someone with 100% skill. Similarly, they should not funble 1% of the time, the same as a 100%er. The way I have got around this is to introduce a sliding scale where the higher the skill the less often people fail. This is in 90% (Mastery) increments, so someone with 180% succeeds on a 96, 270% succeeds on 1 97, 360% succeeds on 98 and 450% succeeds on 99. If they rolled 100, then I'd say they only Fumble if they don't achieve a Special success on another roll. So someone with 300% who rolls 100 will only fumble if he fails a 60% chance (61-100). This means that someone with 500% only fumbles on 96-100 on the second roll, which isn't too bad.

Someone with 500% skill auto-specials, which is fair enough, and has a 25% critical chance, but there is no further chance of getting a good score. This means that opposed rolls get a bit boring. I give a Special Critical (1/100th of skill, round down), a Super Critical (1/500th of skill, round down) and a Hyper Critical (1/1000th of skill, round down) that only come into play when a character gets skills of 100%, 500% and 1000%

BRP has different ideas about Specials and Criticals, so the calculations may differ but the ideas remain the same. RQM has no specials, but I like specials and would continue to use them.

2. Availability and scaling of magic

A priest with Shield 40 takes 40 days to pray it back at a Temple. I play that powerful priests may pray spells back faster depending on various gifts.

A priest with Shield 40 can cast it once then doesn't have access to it until he prays it back. A nymph-daughter of Voria has Flowers but once cast has to pray it back before casting it again. I have the idea of Heroic Casting that is one level up from normal Divine Magic use. Someone with Heroic Casting of a Divine Spell can cast the spell using his own Magic Points (Power Points in BRP - or is that PP? What's the problem with PP anyway, is it something like Nut ), so a Priest with Heroic casting of Shield, 15 POW and Shield 5 can cast Shield 8 using 8 MPS, then cast Shield 6, using 4 MPs, leaving himself with 1 MP. Such castings cannot be used with One-Use spells, otherwise they cost POW rather than MPs, and they can't draw on spirits, MPs in crystals or enchantments and so on.

I don't have any Heroic rules for Sorcery or shamanism, except that my Shaman rules and Spirit Combat rules are different from RQ2/3.

3. Coping with demonlike/godlike beings

Godlike beings are big and strong and have a lot of Armour Points and Hit Points, otherwise how could they have survived against other Godlike beings? In RQ/Glorantha, we have stats for Cacodemon, Crimson Bat, Mother of Monsters and Cwim, all of which make these beings hard to kill. HeroQuest (the game) has stats for many other powerful beings.

HeroQuesters need to be able to fight these beings on an equal footing.

Firstly, I have the Rule of Equivalence which says that a HeroQuestor meets similarly powered beings while on a HeroQuest. Technically, that should be similarly-powered beings to the HeroQuest being performed. So, a HeroQuestor who is an initiate should meet initiate-level creatures. Semi-Divine HeroQuestors should meet semi-divine opponents. Why/ Because it makes the game easier. Also, why should Mighty Mark the Lunar HeroQuestor bother opposing an Orlanthi initiate on a Quest when he has servants such as Mini Mike to do it for him?

Secondly, anyone on a Godtime Quest (in Glorantha) has all skills divided by 5. Why? To make the game easier. It allows us to use creatures from the Monsters Book without having to make silly looking skills for them. It also means that not every blow is a special and makes combat more interesting.

Thirdly, anyone on a supported quest has the backing of numbers of people. This backing can take several forms. One form is a number of Hero Points to use on the Quest. Another form is a boost to a skill or spell. Another form is to make a spell Heroic for the duration of the quest. The people supporting the quest can be damaged or even killed by a quest failure, so this is not a trivial thing to happen.

So, RQ can be made more scalable so that HeroQuesting can succeed and so High Level or Powerful Gaming can be done. No PC should be made to retire just because he becomes a Rune Lord or reaches 100% or becomes a Hero or kills a God or for any other reason that the Player or GM has grown so tired of the character that he is retired.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts about HeroQuesting. As always, these are My Opinion Only and only really apply to my games. But, they are My Opinion after thinking about HeroQuesting for over 20 years

Your Game Should Vary .....

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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This could be an interesting thread :thumb:

HeroQuesting is ALWAYS interesting.

Firstly, my take on this is that there's no need to reinvent the wheel. It's clear that HeroQuesting-as-we-know-it is fairly well understood, and doesn't require mega-high-powered characters to do it. It's more a ritual / worship / pathwalking thing than fighting The Big Ugly Monster, and there are a lot of good essays around on how to do it. Yes, it would be very profitable to discuss the concept of HeroQuesting in milieu other than Glorantha - Arthurian, Faerie, Greek, Egyptian, Sumerian, Japanese, Chinese, etc, etc, would all be interesting to look at.

HeroQuesting is often about fighting the Big Ugly Monster, especially when you fight it in the same way that your deity fought it.

Secondly, my own interest is in how we _used_ to approach HeroQuesting when we thought it was a kind of Super RuneQuest, or indeed a follow-on from RuneQuest and next logical stage in development of your character after Rune Lord Priest. This is high-power gaming with the BRP rules, and, yes, it does involve transcending conventional human limitations (and this is where crossover with HeroQuesting the activity comes in).

The traditional progression was Normal Person-Initiate-Rune Level-HeroQuestor-Hero-Demigod-God.

Now we know that Initiates can be HeroQuestors and even non-cultists can be HeroQuestors. HeroQuesting is a Path that is taken at whatever level and for whatever purpose.

IMHO, BRP does an excellent job at mapping human beings and their capabilities into RPG terms. Again IMHO, it's the best system out for the gritty gaming of low-to-medium power gamers, and it also deals with the move into high-powered gaming admirably. The area it hasn't traditionally addressed is the next step - the heroic level play, where Gandalf takes on the Balrog, where Orpheus enters the Underworld, where Percival wins the Grail and Hercules completes his Seven Great Labours, Odysseus... well, you get the picture. ;-)

Opinions may vary, but I've never really found that BRP struggles, with some Houseruling.

I think there are some excellent mechanisms already in the BRP system, largely born from Stormbringer gaming, which express higher power for characters. These include:

1.) Multiple Attacks for 100%+ skilled characters.

2.) High number of parries for skilled characters.

3.) Divine intervention and divine "favour".

All of which exist in RQ, the Father of HeroQuesting.

However, there are two areas in the BRP system I think are still potentially weak for high-level gaming:

1.) Hit Points. Even the most heroic character is going to have about, say, 20HP. As a result, combat with BEMs like the Balrog always must revolve around Not Getting Hit In The First Place - even with the best armour, any hit from a Balrog is likely to result in defeat, especially if it's a critical. Whilst this is fine in itself as a mechanism, it could lead to a rather lacklustre combat, where blow after blow fails to land, no one is wounded, until - SPLAT - something finally happens. This could be a matter of mindset, but it would be nice to think how high-level combat could be more spicy.

In RQ, you could get beyond that with no trouble at all. You could use Strengthening Enchantments to double your General Hit Points, then use Strengthening Enchantments on infividual Hit Locations to double those as well. It was expensive but doable.

Also, we played that you could use Hero Points (different to Fate Points, gained through HeroQuesting) to permanently increase a characteristic above species maximum. So, 3 Hero Points could increase CON past 21 or past the STR/CON/SIZ limit. It took a while, but we got high CONs for some PCs.

Some magic increased CON past normal maximaum. If you have a spell or effect that doubles CON past Species Max then someone with CON 21 SIZ 15 normally has 18 HP, but has 29HP for the duration of the CON-Doubling spell or effect. Stack that with Strengthening Enchantment with a lot of spare capacity and that gives you 58 HP.

I'm not saying that every character would do this, just that it is possible.

And, to counter claims of Munchkinism, this is merely using rules extensions that were brought in to reflect divine gifts. There's nothing really Munchkiny about a PC with 58 HP over one with 18 HP.

2.) Magic. High level spell casters just end up getting loads and loads and loads of spells. In RQ, you could have buckets of Shield and Truesword spells, so that every combat was enhanced in pretty much the same way. I've never really used RQ sorcery, and don't know what the new BRP magic systems offer, but there is no real equivalent of Very High Level Magic available for PC use.

We used Heroic Magic as I've covered elsewhere. In my current campaign I'm using Divine Presence, which counts as generic Divine Magic that can be used to cast a Divine Spell that the PC knows, working in the same way as Heroic Magic, expcet that Initiates get Divine Presence on a One-Use basis and Rune Levels (including Acolytes) can repray it in the same way that they repray reusable Divine Magic.

I'm not talking Munchkin gaming here, remember - I'm trying to envisage what a character does after reaching Rune Lord Priest (or whatever) level, and wants to go further. That is, of course, assuming that Hercules is not just a bloke with 21 STR and 500% in Sword... :D

OK, can you tell me what you mean by Munchkin Gaming?

In any case, Hercules would have 500% Club and a lionskin that made him immune to edged/bladed weapons and .....

Apologies for the long post!

No problems, HeroQuesting cannot be covered by a short post. Nor can Powerful Gaming.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Do you mean perhaps the Hypercrit system done by Steve Maurer in the late 80s / early 90s? The one where you divide your skill level by 400 or 1000 to get your Supercrit or Hypercrit chances? That's a heckuva Munchkin system if there ever was one! ;-)

Is it?

Specials are Skill / 5, Criticals are Skill / 20. Those aren't Munchkin. Why should extensions of Skill / 100, Skill / 400 or Skill / 1000 be Munchkin?

They are merely extensions to provide graded Levels of Success for high skills.

If you have skill success judged by Level of Success (so a Critical beats a Special no matter what the actual skills/rolls) then you really need extra Levels of Success past 100% otherwise things get really boring.

Two characters with 2000+% skill auto-critical, ignoring rolls of above 95, which makes their skill resolution very silly indeed. If you have extra Levels of Successthen someone who rolls a 04 would do better than someone rolling a 20, making the resolution more granular and interesting.

I can't see a problem with having extra Levels of Success.

Why are they Munchkin? I really don't understand what you mean by that term.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I just picked up a used copy of Hero Wars: Roleplaying in Glorantha with some X-Mas cash. :thumb:

It is like a regular paperback book by Issaries Inc.

I am not familiar with HeroQuest or Hero Wars.

Which game came first: Hero Wars or HeroQuest?

Also, what's the name of the webpage that gives a very detailed history of RQ and it's spin-offs?

I've seen it before, but I can't remember it for the life of me right now :lol:

BRP Ze 32/420

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I just picked up a used copy of Hero Wars: Roleplaying in Glorantha with some X-Mas cash. :thumb:

Sorry - just had to step in with a health warning as soon as I saw this!

Be careful with Hero Wars! It's actually a bit "confusing", not to put too fine a point on it. It's basically the first edition of what's now called HeroQuest, and was a bit rushed to press to say the least. I think it came out around 1999/2000 (can't remember off the top of my head...) and many of us spent a year or two trying to work out how to play it. It's a VERY different beast to RQ / BRP, as I'm sure you've realised by now, and although you _can_ play the rules as written, you'll probably find questions bubbling up in your head whilst reading it.

To be honest, the HeroQuest rules (basically HW 2nd edition) are MUCH better, much more clearly written with heaps of examples, and actually a very sophisticated and elegant ruleset. Even then they aren't everyone's cup of tea, though - they are a very narrative-oriented ruleset - you won't find anything like hit points or weapon damages, or even skill or spell descriptions. It does require a massive readjustment of mindset to work out what the rules are trying to do.

I think the effort is worth it. My RPG gaming has improved because of my experience of HQ - I've become a little less obsessed with nuts and bolts, and more open to having everyone, GM and players, collaborate in determining, for example, what effect a spell might have in a given situation, or allowing one skill to enhance another. I still like more chrome and crunch in my gaming than HQ can provide, however.

Good luck - I'm sure there'll be a few of us here happy to answer any questions, and there's a whole bunch of eGroups where people do nothing but!

BTW - the RQ history is somewhere on Pete Maranci's site, I think. I'm sure you can Google it.

Cheers!

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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Hi Simon!

I thought this was going to be an interesting thread! :D

Specials are Skill / 5, Criticals are Skill / 20. Those aren't Munchkin. Why should extensions of Skill / 100, Skill / 400 or Skill / 1000 be Munchkin?

They are merely extensions to provide graded Levels of Success for high skills.

If you have skill success judged by Level of Success (so a Critical beats a Special no matter what the actual skills/rolls) then you really need extra Levels of Success past 100% otherwise things get really boring.

Two characters with 2000+% skill auto-critical, ignoring rolls of above 95, which makes their skill resolution very silly indeed. If you have extra Levels of Successthen someone who rolls a 04 would do better than someone rolling a 20, making the resolution more granular and interesting.

I can't see a problem with having extra Levels of Success.

Why are they Munchkin? I really don't understand what you mean by that term.

I agree absolutely with your point about needing more granular results above the critical for very highly-skilled individuals - hopefully you saw my other posts above on that point, so I won't reiterate here.

As for "Munchkinism", I think what I mean by that is characters with stupendously high skills as a result of bending the rules, sort of GM fiat demigods with 2500% broadsword and Oratory 15% :)

The longest running player character I had in one of my campaigns was a certain Tryfan Ironsword, who started in or around 1981 and whose last game was around 1992. By that time he was a Rune Lord Priest of Humakt, and witness to countless other PCs who'd risen and fallen while he'd (remarkably) remained alive. I suppose on average he got something between 15-20 sessions a year over an 11 year period, sessions being all day jobs, sometimes multiple days in a row. We used the rules as written, and he ended up with his best skill as Broadsword 185%. That's after a decade of reasonably active play, without cheating the experience rolls. If we'd been playing HQ, with more or less 1 point increase per session, he'd probably have ended up with Sword & Shield 20W11 by that time - but the pace of improvement in RQ was always hugely lower.

Hopefully you see my point. As far as I can see - and I've been BRPing since about 1980 - you'd have to fudge massively to get a character with 500% in a skill, let alone 2000%. That's fine if that's the game you want to run, but if memory serves even the Crimson Bat and Ralzakark only got skills in the 300-400% range (correct me if I'm wrong there - I've a sneaking suspicion that the Crimson Bat may have had something excruciating like Swallow Everything 1500%, haven't got the books to hand just now). Maybe "Munchkinism" is the wrong word, but having PCs with skills approaching 1000% seems to me to involve disregarding the BRP rules-as-written to some extent. I'm happy to be proved wrong though!

But I DO definitely agree with the need for Supercriticals (or whatever) - it's just that from my experience I envisage them becoming necessary far earlier than 400% skill, if I'm not to wait another ten years before I get to use them! :D

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

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The traditional progression was Normal Person-Initiate-Rune Level-HeroQuestor-Hero-Demigod-God.

Absolutely - and from board games like Dragon Pass, we always knew there were Heros and Demigods charging around the land. Dang, some of them individually were more powerful than whole _regiments_ in DP - our question was always "how do you get to be as powerful as those guys?"

Opinions may vary, but I've never really found that BRP struggles, with some Houseruling.

:D "Houseruling" is the magic word there. I'd agree in principle though - the BRP engine is capable of pretty much everything.

In RQ, you could get beyond that with no trouble at all. You could use Strengthening Enchantments to double your General Hit Points, then use Strengthening Enchantments on infividual Hit Locations to double those as well. It was expensive but doable.

For some reason, we never cottoned on to this technique. I guess the PCs were always gung-ho maniacs on quests to harrow hell, etc, rather than focussed on enchantments. Did you actually use this in play? Was it a common approach?

Also, we played that you could use Hero Points (different to Fate Points, gained through HeroQuesting) to permanently increase a characteristic above species maximum. So, 3 Hero Points could increase CON past 21 or past the STR/CON/SIZ limit. It took a while, but we got high CONs for some PCs.

Some magic increased CON past normal maximaum. If you have a spell or effect that doubles CON past Species Max then someone with CON 21 SIZ 15 normally has 18 HP, but has 29HP for the duration of the CON-Doubling spell or effect. Stack that with Strengthening Enchantment with a lot of spare capacity and that gives you 58 HP.

I like both these ideas, and will probably steal them immediately :happy:. The first definitely does feel like something you'd come back from a HeroQuest with; the second like the "powering up" preparation a true quester would do before entering on a major adventure. Excellent - I shall add these to my arsenal of "how to do very high level play".

Cheers,

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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So, I don't think that a discussion of High Level Gaming is that important for HeroQuesting. What is more important is to understand what HeroQuesting is and how it relates to the setting you are using. Once you do that then you can work out what extra rules you need.

Agreed. As I mentioned in my post to Frogspawner above, I don't have a problem with HeroQuesting the concept at all - there are some cool essays written, we know much more than we did in the old "Coming Soon" days, and - for me at least - I have what I need to run HeroQuests. My interest is primarily in very high level character advancement - in RQ terms, what happens after you're a Rune Lord Priest; in BRP terms, what happens after 100% skills.

1. Levels of Success for skills:

[...]

Someone with 500% skill auto-specials, which is fair enough, and has a 25% critical chance, but there is no further chance of getting a good score. This means that opposed rolls get a bit boring. I give a Special Critical (1/100th of skill, round down), a Super Critical (1/500th of skill, round down) and a Hyper Critical (1/1000th of skill, round down) that only come into play when a character gets skills of 100%, 500% and 1000%

I addressed this in my first reply above, but I'll quickly mention it again: I agree absolutely with the need for higher granularity than just "Critical" for skills above 100%. However, I'm surprised at the very high threshold - 1/500th of a skill and 1/1000th of a skill. Did you actually have PCs with 500% and 1000% skills in your campaign? How did they achieve that with the rules as written? I get the feeling we're playing experience checks very differently!

2. Availability and scaling of magic

A priest with Shield 40 takes 40 days to pray it back at a Temple. I play that powerful priests may pray spells back faster depending on various gifts.

A priest with Shield 40 can cast it once then doesn't have access to it until he prays it back. A nymph-daughter of Voria has Flowers but once cast has to pray it back before casting it again. I have the idea of Heroic Casting that is one level up from normal Divine Magic use. Someone with Heroic Casting of a Divine Spell can cast the spell using his own Magic Points (Power Points in BRP - or is that PP? What's the problem with PP anyway, is it something like Nut ), so a Priest with Heroic casting of Shield, 15 POW and Shield 5 can cast Shield 8 using 8 MPS, then cast Shield 6, using 4 MPs, leaving himself with 1 MP. Such castings cannot be used with One-Use spells, otherwise they cost POW rather than MPs, and they can't draw on spirits, MPs in crystals or enchantments and so on.

I like this a lot. How did they gain Heroic Casting? Was it a HeroQuest reward? Was there a specific HeroQuest to get it?

That's it for now - I haven't responded to your HeroQuest comments, cos basically I think I pretty much agree with them all :D

Cheers,

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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Sorry - just had to step in with a health warning as soon as I saw this!

I was going to do the same.

Be careful with Hero Wars! It's actually a bit "confusing", not to put too fine a point on it. It's basically the first edition of what's now called HeroQuest, and was a bit rushed to press to say the least. I think it came out around 1999/2000 (can't remember off the top of my head...) and many of us spent a year or two trying to work out how to play it. It's a VERY different beast to RQ / BRP, as I'm sure you've realised by now, and although you _can_ play the rules as written, you'll probably find questions bubbling up in your head whilst reading it.

Apparently, Issaries had to rush Hero Wars out because they had run out of cash and needed something to sell.

The books are cramped, the layout is abysmal and the rules are confusing. Apart from that, it's OK, I suppose. I never actually played Hero Wars, I only ever played HeroQuest.

To be honest, the HeroQuest rules (basically HW 2nd edition) are MUCH better, much more clearly written with heaps of examples, and actually a very sophisticated and elegant ruleset. Even then they aren't everyone's cup of tea, though - they are a very narrative-oriented ruleset - you won't find anything like hit points or weapon damages, or even skill or spell descriptions. It does require a massive readjustment of mindset to work out what the rules are trying to do.

Yep, I'd agree with all those comments. The rules are very clear, although Greg Stafford has tried to make an elegant and simple system confusing and complicated by adding layer and layer of extra rules that don't really help the game at all. Mythic Russia did a good job of simplifying the rules.

I think the effort is worth it. My RPG gaming has improved because of my experience of HQ - I've become a little less obsessed with nuts and bolts, and more open to having everyone, GM and players, collaborate in determining, for example, what effect a spell might have in a given situation, or allowing one skill to enhance another. I still like more chrome and crunch in my gaming than HQ can provide, however.

I'd agree with those comments as well.

Since playing HeroQuest, I tend to not bother too much with NPC stats and only focus on important NPC attributes. My game style was always a bit story-based, but not to the extent that HeroQuest is, so that didn't really change my gaming style. I do, however, allow players to control the background a lot more than I used to, although they don't really want to at the moment.

HQ is not at all gritty and I prefer BRP to it in many respects. We play a RQ campaign alomngside a HQ campaign and we enjoy both in different ways.

The "problem" with HeroQuest is that anything can be used to counter anything, with penalties imposed if the Narrator thinks the skill is not very relevant. This is sometimes difficult to get your head around. It also makes HeroQuest really good for Super Hero games where the Super-Quick character can dodge a Death ray by running away from it, or the Super-Strong character can simply take it on his chest.

The main example of this that I use is the situation where a warrior attacks a young woman with a sword, using his Sword Combat. The young women flutters her eyes and counters with her "Don't Hurt Me, I'm Beautiful" skill (Or just her Beautiful skill if you want). The woman's player argues that she is using her beauty to make the swordsman not want to attack her. In HeroQuest this would be allowed and is a reasonable defence.

I've discussed this example with my gaming group and other people who play HeroQuest and they all agree that they would use this tactic in that situation. In fact, my gaming group didn't even argue with it, they said straight away that it was fine. In my experience, if people can see that this is a valid tactic then they would enjoy HeroQuest, if they think "Oh, no, how can a woman defend a sword attack with her beauty?" then they probably wouldn't enjoy HeroQuest, or perhaps wouldn't get a lot out of it.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I just picked up a used copy of Hero Wars: Roleplaying in Glorantha with some X-Mas cash. :thumb:

Uh, oh...

Sorry - just had to step in with a health warning as soon as I saw this! ...

I was going to do the same. ...

...and they're absolutely right.

I got the 'deluxe' boxed set of Hero Wars a few years ago (that same book, plus three others: Glorantha - Introduction to the Hero Wars (background), Narrators's Book - Game Mastering in the Hero Wars, and one of related short stories (quite good). Interesting, but I still haven't figured out how to play it. And it's put me off HeroQuest (the 2nd ed.) big time, too. But not HeroQuesting...

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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As for "Munchkinism", I think what I mean by that is characters with stupendously high skills as a result of bending the rules, sort of GM fiat demigods with 2500% broadsword and Oratory 15% :)

You get that if you start off with high skill characters or roll them up as Experienced. If you start off with low skills and develop in play then you end up with almost every skill at Mastery, which is unsatisfactory for a whole different set of reasons.

The longest running player character I had in one of my campaigns was a certain Tryfan Ironsword, who started in or around 1981 and whose last game was around 1992. By that time he was a Rune Lord Priest of Humakt, and witness to countless other PCs who'd risen and fallen while he'd (remarkably) remained alive. I suppose on average he got something between 15-20 sessions a year over an 11 year period, sessions being all day jobs, sometimes multiple days in a row. We used the rules as written, and he ended up with his best skill as Broadsword 185%. That's after a decade of reasonably active play, without cheating the experience rolls. If we'd been playing HQ, with more or less 1 point increase per session, he'd probably have ended up with Sword & Shield 20W11 by that time - but the pace of improvement in RQ was always hugely lower.

At/after University, we played in an RQ2 campaign for several years. My character Soltak Stormspear (sounds familiar :) ) had INT 11 and got 220% Bastard Sword as his highest skill, mainly because his INT was 19 for Swords and INT 6 for other skills (damned HeroQuesting). In RQ2 you had to roll beneath your INT to increase skills over 100%. But, we had PCs who were higher, Raven our Yeloranan Elf had INT 25 and 280% Elf Bow, I think, and Derak had Troll Maul of about the same, but Stuart who played him was very, very, very lucky on experience rolls and POW Gain Rolls. We played every week during term time and sometimes at the weekend on all-nighters, so you are looking at 30-40 sessions a year for 5 or 6 years with one scenario every 2 or 3 sessions, so 10-15 scenarios per year, but fairly often having ex[ereience rolls in logical breaks in the scenario. After Uni, we played every week, so it went up to 45-50 sessions per year.

Some of the players converted their characters to RQ3 and we played the campaign for a number of years after that. In RQ3, you added your Characteristic Bonus to your expereinec roll and if you rolled over your skill or 100 you gained 1D6, as I recall, and these were now maxed-out characters in some ways, they had trained their DEX to 21 and STR/CON to the STR/CON/SIZ limit, so everyone had fairly high combat bonuses, especially the trolls, so skills advanced further. Derak kept on being lucky with experience rolls and his highest skill was Sense Chaos at nearly 400%.

One thing we did play was that if the PCs had been on a Godtime HeroQuest where their skills were reduced to 1/5th normal, then they got 5D6 increase if the gained expereience on skills used on the Quest - this balanced reward with difficulty. It didn't happen very often but gave them some fairly large increases when it happened.

I addressed this in my first reply above, but I'll quickly mention it again: I agree absolutely with the need for higher granularity than just "Critical" for skills above 100%. However, I'm surprised at the very high threshold - 1/500th of a skill and 1/1000th of a skill. Did you actually have PCs with 500% and 1000% skills in your campaign? How did they achieve that with the rules as written? I get the feeling we're playing experience checks very differently!

Also, the PCs had magical items and abilities that they could use.

Derak, who has Sense Chaos nearly 400%, was attuned to a Crystal that doubled his Sense Chaos skill in play, so he operated with a Sense Chaos at nearly 800%. Raven (RQ2) had Arrow Trance so could double her Self Bow skill and had a Speedart 4 matrix that gave her +60%, taking her over 500%. Brankist had a special ability that doubled his attack chance against Broos for 5 minutes once per week, he had 300% Bastard Sword, so this took him to 600%, if he went Beserk as well, he got 1200% Bastard Sword. Derak had sacrificed for Crush 40 over the years, which gave him +400% if he cast it all at once, something he very rarely did. I could go on.

Hopefully you see my point. As far as I can see - and I've been BRPing since about 1980 - you'd have to fudge massively to get a character with 500% in a skill, let alone 2000%. That's fine if that's the game you want to run, but if memory serves even the Crimson Bat and Ralzakark only got skills in the 300-400% range (correct me if I'm wrong there - I've a sneaking suspicion that the Crimson Bat may have had something excruciating like Swallow Everything 1500%, haven't got the books to hand just now). Maybe "Munchkinism" is the wrong word, but having PCs with skills approaching 1000% seems to me to involve disregarding the BRP rules-as-written to some extent. I'm happy to be proved wrong though!

No, it is possible. Having a long-running and frequent game with rolled experience, magic items and spells it is possible to get very high skills. In fact, a Babeester Gor initiate with Axe Trance and 400 MPs to cast it with has a skill in excess of 2000%, that's with no Munchkimism at all, except the 400 MPs.

But I DO definitely agree with the need for Supercriticals (or whatever) - it's just that from my experience I envisage them becoming necessary far earlier than 400% skill, if I'm not to wait another ten years before I get to use them! :D

Well, I use Special Criticals at 100% but they only work if you roll very low. We also had some Power Weapons, Raven had Power Arrows, Brankist had a Power Sword, that improved the level of success of a roll by 1.

It all depends on the style and power level of the campaign. Some of our old players hated the new campaign because the PCs had skills in the 300-400 range rather than the 150-250 range. BUt, skill is skill is skill, there's no difference between having a skill of 150% or 550%, one is just better than the other.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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Absolutely - and from board games like Dragon Pass, we always knew there were Heros and Demigods charging around the land. Dang, some of them individually were more powerful than whole _regiments_ in DP - our question was always "how do you get to be as powerful as those guys?"

That's what we thought as well. In the end, the PCs were competing with these people. The Orlanthi killed Harrek and Argrath, the Troll was trying to cure the Curse of Kin, they had fought the Red Emperor on several occasions before allying with him, they had fought an earlier version of Jar Eel, Cacodemon and Cwim held no fears for them and rarely lasted more than 2 or 3 rounds. In the end, we had more of a Freeform-style campaign with a lot of politicking and HeroQuesting to gain allies to achieve long-term goals and skills weren't that important.

:D "Houseruling" is the magic word there. I'd agree in principle though - the BRP engine is capable of pretty much everything.

You have to houserule because the rules are writen to stop at 100% with absolutely no thought as to what happens after that. Look at CoC for goodness sake, it has no concept of skills past 100%, or it didn't.

For some reason, we never cottoned on to this technique. I guess the PCs were always gung-ho maniacs on quests to harrow hell, etc, rather than focussed on enchantments. Did you actually use this in play? Was it a common approach?

Did we use it in play? Hell, yes. In fact, we even reached the point where we were fully enchanted and asked "What happens if we increase the level of enchantment and then boosted our CON, do we get another boost to HPs?" to which the answer was Yes, so everyone added another 3 or 4 D6 to the enchantment in case they doubled their CON (not hard - several of us had Rage of the Bull that doubled STR and CON for 1D6 melee rounds once per week). Was it a common approach? Yes, everyone in the RQ3 camapign did it, but they were all Rune Priests with 90% Enchant, so it wasn't really a problem.

Gun-ho maniacs? Ours were so gung-ho it was unbelievable. When they went on an adventure or a quest, they were up for it 200%. None of your wimpy stuff, it was climbing over a mountain of corpses to get to the Broo Hero. They went through Chaos Temples like a dose of salts.

Their rationale to the Enchantment was something like this. They could spend 1 POW to get Heal Wound that would heal a location, or they could spend 1 POW to get +1D6 General Hit Points that could make the difference between living and dying. If they doubled their General Hits then that doubled locational hits which meant they could take bigger hits without dying. If they doubled Vital Location Hits then they could absorb more damage in vital locations without going into shock. To them it was a no-brainer.

I like both these ideas, and will probably steal them immediately :happy:. The first definitely does feel like something you'd come back from a HeroQuest with; the second like the "powering up" preparation a true quester would do before entering on a major adventure. Excellent - I shall add these to my arsenal of "how to do very high level play".

You have to toughen up for HeroQuests if you are going against the Big Boys. That's an easy way to do it.

I like this a lot. How did they gain Heroic Casting? Was it a HeroQuest reward? Was there a specific HeroQuest to get it?

Heroic Casting was always a HeroQuest reward or a Gift.

There wasn't a single Quest to do to get Heroic Casting, rather it was a logical run-on for a HeroQuest.

Imagine a Humakti performing the "Quest for Death" HeroQuest. He goes to Hell, comes back with the Sword Death. He does this as an Initiate and gets a magical Sword that does +2 damage + 10% attack (a +2 sword). He does the Quest again and this time gains a special ability to get Truesword reusably as an initiate (like the Yelmalian gift). He does the Quest again as a Sword of Humakt and gets his sword boosted. He does the Quest again and gets Heroic Casting of Truesword.

What? You can't do the same quest over and over again! I hear people cry. Yes you can, people do Sacred Time ceremonies every year. Part of doing a quest is that you practice it first to iron out the problems. But, doing a quest over and over again causes problems. You may well get the same opponents over and over again or attract more powerful opponents than you would normally expect. You may have cokced something up on an earlier quest and have to overcome the problem over and over again. The benefits may become less and less.

We also played that you could ask for Heroic Casting as a reward on a HeroQuest if you were a Priest or had the spell Reusably.

Of course, Avatars and Heroes of a cult automatically got Heroic Casting of cult Divine Magic, so it wans't just for PCs.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

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Hi Simon!

I thought this was going to be an interesting thread! :D

I agree absolutely with your point about needing more granular results above the critical for very highly-skilled individuals - hopefully you saw my other posts above on that point, so I won't reiterate here.

As for "Munchkinism", I think what I mean by that is characters with stupendously high skills as a result of bending the rules, sort of GM fiat demigods with 2500% broadsword and Oratory 15% :)

The longest running player character I had in one of my campaigns was a certain Tryfan Ironsword, who started in or around 1981 and whose last game was around 1992. By that time he was a Rune Lord Priest of Humakt, and witness to countless other PCs who'd risen and fallen while he'd (remarkably) remained alive. I suppose on average he got something between 15-20 sessions a year over an 11 year period, sessions being all day jobs, sometimes multiple days in a row. We used the rules as written, and he ended up with his best skill as Broadsword 185%. That's after a decade of reasonably active play, without cheating the experience rolls. If we'd been playing HQ, with more or less 1 point increase per session, he'd probably have ended up with Sword & Shield 20W11 by that time - but the pace of improvement in RQ was always hugely lower.

Hopefully you see my point. As far as I can see - and I've been BRPing since about 1980 - you'd have to fudge massively to get a character with 500% in a skill, let alone 2000%. That's fine if that's the game you want to run, but if memory serves even the Crimson Bat and Ralzakark only got skills in the 300-400% range (correct me if I'm wrong there - I've a sneaking suspicion that the Crimson Bat may have had something excruciating like Swallow Everything 1500%, haven't got the books to hand just now). Maybe "Munchkinism" is the wrong word, but having PCs with skills approaching 1000% seems to me to involve disregarding the BRP rules-as-written to some extent. I'm happy to be proved wrong though!

But I DO definitely agree with the need for Supercriticals (or whatever) - it's just that from my experience I envisage them becoming necessary far earlier than 400% skill, if I'm not to wait another ten years before I get to use them! :D

Thanks Shaira! I knew there was some convoluted history involved with these two games.

BRP Ze 32/420

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Hi Simon,

Thanks for your replies! It's really interesting to see how we both played long-term campaigns of the same game and came out with completely different results! It's also extremely interesting to me the way you really pushed some of the rules to get the results you wanted - fair play to you, absolutely. It's also made me realise that what I thought was a pretty high power RQ campaign (185% Broadsword!) was in fact nothing of the sort! :lol:

so you are looking at 30-40 sessions a year for 5 or 6 years with one scenario every 2 or 3 sessions, so 10-15 scenarios per year, but fairly often having ex[ereience rolls in logical breaks in the scenario. After Uni, we played every week, so it went up to 45-50 sessions per year.

A key difference for us was the amount of experience checks given, I think. The rules said one check "per adventure", to be taken in the downtime post-adventure, which we pretty much stuck to, and of course with RQ3 the average increase went down from 5% to about 3%, which made a significant difference. During campaigns, when there was lots of travelling (often for weeks), I allowed one check per skill per week, kind of playing travelling as a sort of semi-downtime.

One thing we did play was that if the PCs had been on a Godtime HeroQuest where their skills were reduced to 1/5th normal, then they got 5D6 increase if the gained expereience on skills used on the Quest - this balanced reward with difficulty. It didn't happen very often but gave them some fairly large increases when it happened.

That would certainly make a major difference.

Derak, who has Sense Chaos nearly 400%, was attuned to a Crystal that doubled his Sense Chaos skill in play, so he operated with a Sense Chaos at nearly 800%. Raven (RQ2) had Arrow Trance so could double her Self Bow skill and had a Speedart 4 matrix that gave her +60%, taking her over 500%. Brankist had a special ability that doubled his attack chance against Broos for 5 minutes once per week, he had 300% Bastard Sword, so this took him to 600%, if he went Beserk as well, he got 1200% Bastard Sword. Derak had sacrificed for Crush 40 over the years, which gave him +400% if he cast it all at once, something he very rarely did. I could go on.

Definitely a different style of play to our own! You guys could have eaten Ralzakark several times over for breakfast! Plus some of those exponential doubles really kick in at high level, don't they! I tended to give magical items which emulated spells and added to abilities rather than provided multiples. IIRC, I think even with enhancements no one ever got beyond 250-300 with a skill, although with Truesword applied the weapon damage sometimes got a bit minimaxy. Several of our high-levellers were Humakti also, so that rules out Berserking.

No, it is possible. Having a long-running and frequent game with rolled experience, magic items and spells it is possible to get very high skills. In fact, a Babeester Gor initiate with Axe Trance and 400 MPs to cast it with has a skill in excess of 2000%, that's with no Munchkimism at all, except the 400 MPs.

Again, clearly a question of style, how frequently you give experience checks, what kind of bonuses magical items give, and so on. I think somewhere around 50-75MP was the maximum power battery any of our guys had, and that was exceptional (Ralzakark was our benchmark - he had 180MP and was a Hero). Incidentally, your Babeester Gor initiate could get +4000% skill with those 400MP, although she'd be limited to more or less defending her temple and doing nothing else for the 15 minutes the spell was effective. Yowza. I do take your point though that with the right combination of spells (specially the "double-your-skill" ones like Berserk and Arrow Trance) you can achieve some very nasty (albeit temporary) effects indeed - even in our case 400% skill would not have been out of reach if Storm Bull and Babeester had been our cults of choice.

It all depends on the style and power level of the campaign. Some of our old players hated the new campaign because the PCs had skills in the 300-400 range rather than the 150-250 range. BUt, skill is skill is skill, there's no difference between having a skill of 150% or 550%, one is just better than the other.

Agree absolutely. It does make it a bit of a challenge to construct a decent set of rules for high-level play, however, if you're playing at a magnitude something like 5 times mine, and we both think we're doing high-level play! (Although, interesting, the "Masteries cancel out" approach may be worth thinking about more on that score - although the "Heroic Criticals" clearly wouldn't hold water if you had 12 Mastery bumps for a non-opposed skill!) Onward! :D

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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Gotta add a me too! here.

Yippi! I thought when I picked up the Hero Wars book! Finally more stuff for Glorantha, the next edition of RuneQuest!

After reading I burned it while ritually cursing Greg to the seven Lunar hells (well, not really, but I wanted to!).

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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