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smjn

On Hero Wars, HeroQuest 1&2, RuneQuest and Glorantha

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While impatiently waiting for the Guide to Glorantha to be finished, I need to go through all my accumulated material to satiate my hunger for more knowledge about the setting. I have decided to start reading HeroQuest – Roleplaying in Glorantha, that is HQ 1st edition (or Hero Wars 2nd ed. depending how you want to frame the issue.) HQ1 rather than HQ2 because the older edition is closely tied to the world of Glorantha and contains a lot of information about it. But I am also interested to learn more details about the system.

The rather freeform narrativism does not really appeal to me overmuch; I'm much more into more crunchy, simulationist roleplaying games such as RuneQuest and HârnMaster, (Well, you can argue that HQ is simulationist, it just attempts to simulate literary and visual fiction rather that the cold cruel facts of Real Life™) although it is always good to keep an open mind and try to expand one's horizons. Still, I am mostly interested in questions such as what games like HeroQuest can teach and have taught to GMs and designers of different games like RuneQuest, etc. I posted this in the Glorantha forum because I'm mostly interested applying said teachings for roleplaying in that particular fantasy world, but more general discussion is also appreciated.

I should point out that I have not played HeroQuest or any other game in the "Narrativist" school of roleplaying. It is not that I am against it, just haven't had an opportunity (don't go to conventions etc.) I have read quite extensively about the differences between the editions but am also interested in hearing what people think is good and what is not.

I prefer the idea that a fantasy roleplaying setting is a living world that goes on whether or not the player characters make anything significant of themselves. That is why I'm not a big fan of the central theme of HQ that the player heroes are the focus of everything, which is, I believe, shown very well e.g. in the pass-fail-cycle mechanism of HQ2. Sure, the PCs are always the focus of an adventures and campaigns, but changing the level of challenges to fit them seems a bit like D&D with levels and such, which leads to all kinds of questions about setting ecology and so on. But I do understand why many people might like something like that. To each his own.

One more thing: A question that intrigues me is why would a "freeform" (if that is the right expression) game be better for Glorantha than a more old school approach like RuneQuest. I mean, most of the societies in Glorantha are quite restrictive about how their members must behave and what they can do, so the "You can be anything you want!" -philosophy of HQ doesn't seem a perfect fit.

I'm guessing it has something to do with the concept of Heroism: the Heroes of Glorantha are considered to be kind of like cosmic level comic book superheroes who can rise above the limitations of the mortal worlds. I on the other hand prefer the kind of view that heroes are people and as such have their weaknesses and limitations that they must, willingly or not, overcome to become and achieve all they can. So I think I will always find a system geared more towards a human level than a cosmic level preferable.

Hope that wasn't too rambling and people will find some points to comment upon and share their ideas and experiences.

Edited by smjn
missing 'to' in 1st sentence

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Personally, I much prefer HQ1 to HQ2, but that's because I don't really understand HQ2, well I do but I don;t agree with it.

Why is HQ better at emulating Glorantha than RQ? It isn't.

Why is HQ better at emulating Glorantha HeroQuesting than RQ? It isn't.

Why is RQ better at emulating Glorantha than HQ? It isn't.

Having got that out of the way, we come down to the nitty gritty.

What does HQ do differently to RQ?

  • The resolution system is far more elegant in that it works at any level and is really scalable.
  • The same conflict resolution is used for combat, for task resolution, for social conflicts and whatever else you want to do
  • The opposed levels of success are excellent (Succeed a bit, fail a bit, succeed really well, fail really badly and so on - I can fail and end up with a succeeds really well, depending on my skill and the opponent's roll)
  • You can use emotions, spells, relationships, skills, abilities and whatever you want to resolve conflicts in exactly the same way
  • Results are narrated, so work well with a story-based game
  • Abilities/Spells do not have a fixed effect but can vary according to their usage or what the story requires
  • Abilities/Spells can have simple or overblown verbose names

So, what does this mean?

I have a PC who is a healer of Chalana Arroy. She has no combat skills at all. She is attacked by a bandit, but uses her Loved by Everybody, Unbelievably Cute and Cant Attack Me I'm a Healer abilities to ward off the attack. The bandit attacks with 10M, her adjusted ability is 10M2, the bandit rolls 8, she rolls 1, as she has a 1 mastery advantage, she bumps her opponent's roll from a success to a failure, so would get a Major Victory, but spends a Hero Point to bump his failure down to a fumble, scoring a Complete Victory over him. He offers to help her and stays with her as a bodyguard.

Now, how would you do this in RQ? It is very difficult to achieve the same result. She would probably use Orate or Fast Talk to stop him attacking her, with the implied "I'm a Healer" to help. But there is no way of quantifying that, except perhaps as a +20% bonus or whatever.

We have found that we use a lot of ideas from HQ in our RQ games. These are not mechanical ideas, but soft ideas of what results can mean, how to apply odd skills and how to be far more flexible than we ever would have before.

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I have a PC who is a healer of Chalana Arroy. She has no combat skills at all. She is attacked by a bandit, but uses her Loved by Everybody, Unbelievably Cute and Cant Attack Me I'm a Healer abilities to ward off the attack. The bandit attacks with 10M, her adjusted ability is 10M2, the bandit rolls 8, she rolls 1, as she has a 1 mastery advantage, she bumps her opponent's roll from a success to a failure, so would get a Major Victory, but spends a Hero Point to bump his failure down to a fumble, scoring a Complete Victory over him. He offers to help her and stays with her as a bodyguard.

Now, how would you do this in RQ? It is very difficult to achieve the same result.

Doesn't that mean that RQ gives you a much better opportunity to actually roleplay that situation instead of just reducing it to a mechanical business of choosing the right augments and rolling the d20? Ok, I know it doesn't because in HQ you are supposed to roleplay the situation to, among others, justify your augments. Also in HQ2 your augments are more limited.

RQ6 has passions which may help here, but may not be a complete solution but of course there is no point in trying to make RQ resemble HQ: There's are reason why those two completely different systems exist! And that's the way we like it.

Anyway, I think your example highlights the fact that we need to think how and why we roleplay: what we want from it and therefore what games we choose to play. Just because this kind of situation can not be solved in any similar fashion in two different systems is not a show of weakness in either one, just a case in point that they focus on different things.

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I have a PC who is a healer of Chalana Arroy. She has no combat skills at all. She is attacked by a bandit, but uses her Loved by Everybody, Unbelievably Cute and Cant Attack Me I'm a Healer abilities to ward off the attack. The bandit attacks with 10M, her adjusted ability is 10M2, the bandit rolls 8, she rolls 1, as she has a 1 mastery advantage, she bumps her opponent's roll from a success to a failure, so would get a Major Victory, but spends a Hero Point to bump his failure down to a fumble, scoring a Complete Victory over him. He offers to help her and stays with her as a bodyguard.

Now, how would you do this in RQ? It is very difficult to achieve the same result. She would probably use Orate or Fast Talk to stop him attacking her, with the implied "I'm a Healer" to help. But there is no way of quantifying that, except perhaps as a +20% bonus or whatever.

I'm with smjh here.. Your example does not endear me to HQ.

Even with RQ's trademarked Blood&Gore-style, every bandit-encounter does not need to be resolved with fighting. It's called roleplaying.

Playing this situation out in RQ(or any other "simulationist" system) would involve the GM asking himself a simple question: is this bandit a blood-crazed psycopath? If yes; our adorable healeress needs to roll some really good dice.

If not, the situation can be roleplayed, perhaps with a couple of Influence and passion-checks.

She can easily play her Healer-status. She doesn't need to have an actual rating in it. By your example's logic, she'll need mastery in Unaided Walking as well, as she's out on the road all by her self.

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I'm with smjh here.. Your example does not endear me to HQ.

It wasn't meant to.

By your example's logic, she'll need mastery in Unaided Walking as well, as she's out on the road all by her self.

Nope.

The example I gave showed how HQ can use different ways to resolve a conflict.

If she had Unaided Walking 10M4 then she would be able to walk through earthquakes or through hurricanes or when paralytic.

I gave an example of how HQ can be used. I neither defend nor encourage it. I happen to like both HQ and RQ, and Legend and BRP. If I had to make a choice between which system I would play forever and to never play the other systems ever again, I would choose Legend. My house campaign, however, uses RQ3+, RQ3 with a healthy dose of stuff adapted from HQ, Legend, BRP and house rules.

HQ when working really well encourages a different mindset than standard RQ. I find that this mindset can be carried back to RQ and that this is a liberating experience.

Other people's experiences may vary.

Other people's opinions may vary.

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Doesn't that mean that RQ gives you a much better opportunity to actually roleplay that situation instead of just reducing it to a mechanical business of choosing the right augments and rolling the d20? Ok, I know it doesn't because in HQ you are supposed to roleplay the situation to, among others, justify your augments.

You can roleplay the event the same way in both systems. That wasn't the point.

In HQ, when you attempt to resolve the situation then you can use abilities and skills in a very flexible way.

In RQ, you are pretty much restricted to a skill roll with some modifiers that are very often a Gm saying "That's worth a +20% bonus".

Also in HQ2 your augments are more limited.

Another reason why I prefer HQ1.

RQ6 has passions which may help here, but may not be a complete solution but of course there is no point in trying to make RQ resemble HQ: There's are reason why those two completely different systems exist! And that's the way we like it.

Sure, RQ6 has passions, and RQ has had something similar since RQ2, but they are far more limited than in HQ. They can be used to augment a roll, in the same way as HQ abilities are used.

Anyway, I think your example highlights the fact that we need to think how and why we roleplay: what we want from it and therefore what games we choose to play. Just because this kind of situation can not be solved in any similar fashion in two different systems is not a show of weakness in either one, just a case in point that they focus on different things.

Exactly.

As I said, HQ is not better than RQ and RQ is not better than HQ. They are different games which focus on different areas and get different responses.

When I play RQ, the combat makes me feel as though I am there, dishing out blows and parries. HQ doesn't even come close to that level of visceral fun.

When I play HQ, I can use abilities and skills creatively to achieve things that I just couldn't do in RQ.

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I have played several narrative rpg systems, including HQ, and have returned to my first love of BRP. For Glorantha I tend to play using RQ3 rules as a base, but if I had a new troupe I'ld happily go with RQ6. After playing HQ I do like the way non-combat skills are quite important, and RQ6's Passions are handy for some of this (I have ported them to my RQ3 game).

Glorantha has been my favourite world to GM, it can get tedious at times but overall it has so many opportunities and a weight of knowledge that puts it up there with a setting like Middle Earth. I really prefer the grittiness of RQ, the visceral combat, the down-and-dusty feel. My Prax was a place of roving Mad Max style warriors with swords and magic, my Orlanthi are grimy blood soaked pagans, my Seshnegi are based from the knights from the Excalibur movie etc etc (Needless to say I don't have Ducks but that's another debate...).

Glorantha certainly has living heroes with mythical abilities, although I prefer to have them as background, rather than central characters. My player-characters, even the experienced ones, will probably never attain similar abilities to such an extent. I prefer the RQ pathway of beginning characters who are essentially commoners who progress through a roguish existence, perhaps becoming local heroes if they survive that long. In HQ you begin as a notable character, quickly becoming local heroes, and progress to characters with mythical-level abilities; its just a bit too powerful for the kind of stories I like to run.

Despite this I do tend to buy HQ Gloranthan products and port them over to RQ. One of the campaigns I GM is a RQ port of "Blood Over Gold: Trader Princes of Maniria" and it runs quite well. I guess it allows characters to start as commoners and progress to important locals, so in a sense it suits classic RQ style very well actually.

Each to their own, but BRP suits down and dirty play, quite a different flavour to HQ. I guess its a question of whether one likes Gritty Glorantha versus Mythic Glorantha as a default setting for play.

I can't wait for The Guide To Glorantha', that tome will have pride of place in my bookcase!

Edited by Mankcam

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We have found that we use a lot of ideas from HQ in our RQ games. These are not mechanical ideas, but soft ideas of what results can mean, how to apply odd skills and how to be far more flexible than we ever would have before.

This is just the kind of stuff I am interested in learning more about, so if you can give us any specific examples that would be wonderful.

Another reason why I prefer HQ1.

From what I have read some people seem to think that the possibility for infinite augments in HQ1 can lead to long periods of hunting stuff on your character sheet and attempts at far fetched reasons that may or may not fit the situation at hand. Those people will then prefer the simplified but also more limited approach of HQ2 because for them it makes the game run much smoother.

Obviously your experience differs, so I would love to learn more and also hear of other things you (and others) thinki HQ1 does better than HQ2, and vice versa. For example the extended contests rules have been changed (simplified?) significantly; good or bad?

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I really prefer the grittiness of RQ, the visceral combat, the down-and-dusty feel. My Prax was a place of roving Mad Max style warriors with swords and magic, my Orlanthi are grimy blood soaked pagans, my Seshnegi are based from the knights from the Excalibur movie etc etc (Needless to say I don't have Ducks but that's another debate...).

Glorantha certainly has living heroes with mythical abilities, although I prefer to have them as background, rather than central characters. My player-characters, even the experienced ones, will probably never attain similar abilities to such an extent. I prefer the RQ pathway of beginning characters who are essentially commoners who progress through a roguish existence, perhaps becoming local heroes if they survive that long. In HQ you begin as a notable character, quickly becoming local heroes, and progress to characters with mythical-level abilities; its just a bit too powerful for the kind of stories I like to run.

Despite this I do tend to buy HQ Gloranthan products and port them over to RQ. One of the campaigns I GM is a RQ port of "Blood Over Gold: Trader Princes of Maniria" and it runs quite well. I guess it allows characters to start as commoners and progress to important locals, so in a sense it suits classic RQ style very well actually.

My own thoughts are quite similar, except for the bit about not having ducks. You know, I just realized that I have only played or GMd the very low level stuff in Glorantha: The Money Tree, Apple Lane, Munchrooms. I guess that is related to the issue of how I have historically viewed RuneQuest's applicability to high level adventures such as heroquests. Been a bit scared, I guess, also of the overwhelming amount of material and myths. Yeah, YGWV, I know, but I think I'm having trouble putting a coherent world together in my head without being intimately familiar with all that backgound. So yes, the "Start Small" imperative has always been and still is a very good rule of thumb.

Each to their own, but BRP suits down and dirty play, quite a different flavour to HQ. I guess its a question of whether one likes Gritty Glorantha versus Mythic Glorantha as a default setting for play.

I'm not so sure. People like soltakss have been playing Mythic Glorantha for decades when HQ was the Duke Nukem Forever of its time and seem to have had great success with RuneQuest. So RuneQuest can fit the mythic level games too, although the style of play will naturally be very different from HQ.

I can't wait for The Guide To Glorantha', that tome will have pride of place in my bookcase!

Same here!

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What Simon wrote here should be collected and added as a preface to any book about Glorantha, whether it is RuneQuest, HeroQuest or system-less. All you can read here is true, and also expressed in a few, concise words.

Both systems have their own strengths and weaknesses, and shine in different areas of the vast universe of roleplaying. Most games could benefit from using one of the two rather than the other, and it takes a little bit of knowledge to choose the right system. But not more than what Simon explained here in brief. And power level has little to do with it.

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I have a PC who is a healer of Chalana Arroy. She has no combat skills at all. She is attacked by a bandit, but uses her Loved by Everybody, Unbelievably Cute and Cant Attack Me I'm a Healer abilities to ward off the attack. The bandit attacks with 10M, her adjusted ability is 10M2, the bandit rolls 8, she rolls 1, as she has a 1 mastery advantage, she bumps her opponent's roll from a success to a failure, so would get a Major Victory, but spends a Hero Point to bump his failure down to a fumble, scoring a Complete Victory over him. He offers to help her and stays with her as a bodyguard.

What's missing from this example is the concept of framing the contest and narrating how the healer comes to prevail over the bandit. What we see above is the mechanical resolution, not the context or the imagination used to arrive at the outcome. If this crucial element is lacking in an HQ encounter, then it does come down a quite mundane and gamist resolution. The idea of using any ability in a contest is to provoke a narration of how that ability is being used. In Simon's example, the healer might start to run coyly around the convenient oasis on tippy-toes until the armour-burdened barbarian falls over from exhaustion. Or she might sit flickering her eyelashes until the bandit falls madly in love/lust with her. Or something else entirely.

RQ can simulate the same outcome - the players and GM just have to embrace that it is possible to do so. In RQ, the GM might give the Chalan Arroy healer the chance to pitch her Influence (or Insight, or Seduction, or 'Love Everyone' passion) against the bandit's Willpower before he strikes with his sword. She succeeds - perhaps critically - leaving the bandit helpless with adoration. If you want to enter into some more specific game mechanics, the healer might successfully defend herself with her Love Everyone passion and generate a Special Effect; she chooses 'Compel Surrender', and so the bandit is forced to drop his weapon and declare eternal devotion.

Both systems can be used to achieve the effects Simon describes. Its simply a matter of being creative with the way the rules are applied. As a GM, I'd do a Happy Dance if a player told me he wanted his character to enter a combat using a social skill, a Passion, or something else that would negate the need for a combat and create a really satisfying and interesting outcome.

I fully agree with Simon that overall, HQ isn't better than RQ and vice versa. It is a matter of taste and scale. There are some genres where HQ is a better fit; some where you need the grittiness of RQ.

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  • The resolution system is far more elegant in that it works at any level and is really scalable.

Reading more HQ I have to agree that the resolution mechanism is very elegant, but I would not go so far as to say its far more elegant than RQ.

In RQ, the GM might give the Chalan Arroy healer the chance to pitch her Influence (or Insight, or Seduction, or 'Love Everyone' passion) against the bandit's Willpower before he strikes with his sword.

This reminded me of something that I forgot in my RQ6 review: the resistance mechanism and Brawn, Endurance and Willpower as skills is a beautiful idea and Loz and Pete had a stroke of genius—just one of many—when they decided to do it this way. It really gives out a similar sense of elegance as the HQ core mechanism. It may even be that HQ has been an influence behind this design decision, which, if it indeed is the case, does not diminish the shining brilliance of The Design Mechanism guys. After all, human progress is created by people standing on the shoulders of giants, and the giants go all the way down. :-)

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Oh yes and HQ1 sure has a lot of sufficiently detailed examples, which is a good thing. I think the only significant deficiency in RQ6 was the small number of examples. I'm not saying that the HQ1 examples are perfect, e.g. I'm not sure I care for the way the players struggle with the rules, but even mediocre examples are often better than no examples at all. And in general the examples in both games are good, there just aren't enough in RQ.

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Lots of quotes here and a long post, I'm afraid.

What's missing from this example is the concept of framing the contest and narrating how the healer comes to prevail over the bandit.

Yes, I meant to highlight how HQ1 is ideally suited to using different ways to achieve a result. I just assumed that I didn't need to present the roleplaying part.

To be honest, I haven't gone into RQ6 in great detail, so am not familiar with all its mechanics. I am sure that results can be emulated, but I think this is something that HQ1 does really well.

OK, just off the top of my head, so I am probably forgetting a lot of things:

  1. Letting people use abilities/skills in unusual ways to achieve results
  2. Players defining guardians, cults, abilities etc
  3. More flexible character generation - changing skills, getting new abilities
  4. Having a very fluid and flexible game
  5. Merging Hero Points and Experience Points together, so that Experience uses Hero Points

Thinking about it, this is really difficult as I have used these concepts ever since I started using HeroWars, so I cannot separate them from how I normally play.

Yes, this is a problem. We managed it by doing the following:

Packaging standard augments into blocks which count as single augments

Limiting augments to 3 (Counting the augment packages as 1 each)

Stopping someone from adding augments when they start scrabbling around

Limiting augments to 1 or 2 minutes

So, to take a simple example. Saltan Stormrunner (http://www.soltakss.com/hql02.xls) is fighting some Lunar soldiers from the Scarlet Scimitars cult. Looking through his character sheet, he has the following applicable abilities:

  • Club Fighting
  • Cloak of Many Skins
  • Flint Club
  • Large
  • Strong
  • Dodge Attack
  • Hates Lunars
  • Bloodthirsty
  • Determined
  • Grim
  • Wild Ways
  • Scarlet Scimitars (Kidnapped By)

Since these are all over his character sheet, it takes a while to gather them.

However, simply by packaging them up, the task becomes easier:

  • Physical Combat: Flint Club, Cloak of Many Skins, Large, Strong, Dodge Attack

  • No Mercy: Bloodthirsty, Determined, Grim, Wild Ways
  • Scarlet Scimitars: Hates Lunars, Scarlet Scimitars (Kidnapped By)

Now, he uses his Club Fighting as the base skill and adds 3 augments: Physical Combat, No Mercy and Scarlet Scimitars. It might take a bit of work updating the lists once skills increase, but that's a minor task.

Have a look at http://www.soltakss.com/hql00.html for more information on why I think HeroQuest doesn't work.

I never use Extended Contests. They don't work, in my opinion. They slow down combat to the extent that it becomes slower than RQ3 combat. Where I need something similar then I use the Chained Contests from Mythic Russia.

What I don't like/understand about HQ2:

  • Relative not absolute skills
  • Pass/Fail
  • Lingering Benefits
  • Extended Contests
  • Targets dependent on the dramatic value of the scene

However, these are reasons why many people prefer HQ2 to HQ1, so it's all a matter of taste.

I've been playing high level RQ for many, many years and have never really had a problem. Sure, you have to have a few house rules, but it doesn't really fall down too much.

There are problems with extremes, which have been addressed to a certain extent in RQ6 and Legend.

Should a STR 50 vs STR 10 contest be the same as a STR 500 vs STR 460 contest?

Should a 100% vs 50% contest be the same as a 500% vs 450% or 500% vs 250% contest?

Mythic is a mindset. I had to bend the RQ rules to play it before HW/HQ came out, but their mechanics made it so much easier and natural.

I would.

However, it is a different game. You could use the same mechanic for RQ6 or Legend, as they have Fumble/Failure/Success/Critical, with each 100% counting as a Mastery Level. That makes massively different skills manageable.

Yes, it makes things a lot easier as you just use the skill mechanism to work out the result.

Persistence/Resilience in Legend doesn't work that well.

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I never use Extended Contests. They don't work, in my opinion. They slow down combat to the extent that it becomes slower than RQ3 combat. Where I need something similar then I use the Chained Contests from Mythic Russia.

Having now read through the core rules of HQ1 I can understand your view. The whole Advantage Point bidding process seems needlessly convoluted, although the well written example helps to clear it quite a bit and even make it seem usable and quite interesting.

Mythic Russia seems to be out of print, at least a quick web search didn't reveal where one might be able to obtain it.

The weird bit is that reading HQ1 has caused me to—gasp—like it to the point where I might actually almost be tempted to consider contemplating running Glorantha with it. Heresy! Must be some sort of evil Chaos/Arkati/Nysalorian/God Learner sorcery at work! We all know what happens if we stray from the age old true wisdom of the Old Ways... Still, I might even have to read HQ2 to compare the two.

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Mythic Russia's website is here Mythic Russia | Heroic roleplaying in a mythical medieval Russia

and theres a whole page about how to get the game, either via Amazon or POD from Lulu.com

Buying the Firebird’s Wares | Mythic Russia

Mythic Russia is often called HQ 1.5 , and is a very neat tidy up of the system without being the complete rewrite that HQ 2 is.

Regarding the AP Contest system, I mainly used Chained Contests myself in the numerous years I ran it at home and at conventions. Out the five or so times I actually dared to have a go with the AP bidding system it only worked for me once.

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Regarding the AP Contest system, I mainly used Chained Contests myself in the numerous years I ran it at home and at conventions. Out the five or so times I actually dared to have a go with the AP bidding system it only worked for me once.

And that is once more than worked for me.

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I think the bid part was what broke the entire method, whereas APs are not intrinsically broken. Now that I have both played and GMed HQ2 several times, I can say that the new conflict mechanics work very well rules-wise, but it does not yield the excitement and tension an extended contest should provide.

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I gave an example of how HQ can be used. I neither defend nor encourage it. I happen to like both HQ and RQ, and Legend and BRP. If I had to make a choice between which system I would play forever and to never play the other systems ever again, I would choose Legend. My house campaign, however, uses RQ3+, RQ3 with a healthy dose of stuff adapted from HQ, Legend, BRP and house rules.

Your homebrew rules sound intriguing. Would you care to share?

I have Heroquest 2 and was thinking about running using it but came upon this thread. What is RQ3+? Was that the Game Designers Workshop edition?

I was was wondering if it would be possible to bolt on HQ task resolution onto Runequest. I like the ease of HQ but still enjoy old-school gaming combat.

Mikuel

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What is RQ3+? Was that the Game Designers Workshop edition?

Like it says right there:

RQ3+, RQ3 with a healthy dose of stuff adapted from HQ, Legend, BRP and house rules.

So it is soltakss's homebrew system based on RuneQuest 3rd Edition (Avalon Hill/Games Workshop) with additional stuff on the top.

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Hi Mikuel

Your homebrew rules sound intriguing. Would you care to share?

Have a look at Simon Phipp - RuneQuest/D100/Glorantha - Home Page for all the houserules that I have used in my RQ games, and much more.

Mechanics-wise, I use the following:

SuperCrits at 1 for every 100 in your skill

HyperCrits at 1 for every 500 in your skill

Reduced fumble chance at higher skills

Use of Hero Points for rerolls etc (As Legend and HQ)

Use of Hero Points as Experience Points (As HQ)

Use of hero Points for plot changes, special features, interesting effects

Not dead at 0 HP, instead dead less than HPs negative (So, if you have 13 HPs then you only die once you pass -13 HPs)

I have Heroquest 2 and was thinking about running using it but came upon this thread. What is RQ3+? Was that the Game Designers Workshop edition?

No, as pointed out it is my houseruled version of RQ3.

I was was wondering if it would be possible to bolt on HQ task resolution onto Runequest. I like the ease of HQ but still enjoy old-school gaming combat.

It would probably work, but is better with Legend/RQ6 as they just have Fumble/Failure/Success/Critical which mirrors HQ skill results. Using Hero Points to bump would work OK, as would bumping an opponent's result down. Using mastereys to bump might not work as well, as you would have to work out how many 90%s to use as a mastery and then work out criticals based on the leftover skill.

Success Levels are probably a better way of doing it with RQ3. That way, you work out the relative number of levels between results and use that to show the effect. So, if I critical and you fail a roll, then I have 3 levels of success better than you. Use a Hero Point to bump the success level one either way and it becomes easy to use.

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Like it says right there:

So it is soltakss's homebrew system based on RuneQuest 3rd Edition (Avalon Hill/Games Workshop) with additional stuff on the top.

I was wondering if it was Avalon Hill or Games Workshop. Is there a difference between those two?

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I never use Extended Contests. They don't work, in my opinion. They slow down combat to the extent that it becomes slower than RQ3 combat. Where I need something similar then I use the Chained Contests from Mythic Russia.

What I don't like/understand about HQ2:

  • Relative not absolute skills
  • Pass/Fail
  • Lingering Benefits
  • Extended Contests
  • Targets dependent on the dramatic value of the scene

However, these are reasons why many people prefer HQ2 to HQ1, so it's all a matter of taste.

I'm interested in why you like HQ1 vs. HQ2. I've just finished reading HQ2 and am thinking of giving it a try. I've read some on HQ1 but couldn't get past the magic section.

Relative not absolute skills? What do you mean by this?

I like the Pass/Fail cycle. What about it do you not like?

The same with lingering benefits.

If you don't use extended contests, how do you keep dramatic events being dramatic?

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