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RuneQuest: Classic Fantasy


threedeesix

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As many have already noticed, Classic Fantasy is no longer to be a part of the Legend system. As little as two weeks after I had posted the news that “Classic Fantasy is Coming to the Legend System”, Lawrence Whitaker contacted me about working with The Design Mechanism directly. After a few long discussions with Lawrence and Pete, I had a change of mind.

The Design Mechanism made the official announcement last month with this news bulletin:

RuneQuest: Classic Fantasy

Rod Leary's excellent guide to traditional dungeon crawling, evoking the halcyon days of fantasy roleplaying's origins, comes to RuneQuest. Rod is adapting his Classic Fantasy rules (first published as an acclaimed BRP monograph) exclusively for RuneQuest 6th edition. This isn't a supplement - it's a complete game specifically tailored to recreating that original dungeoneering experience. Rod's hard at work on the manuscript, and we are anticipating a late 2014/early 2015 release.

RQ:Classic Fantasy will be completely compatible with all our existing supplements and adventures, but communicates a unique feel and gaming style that is geared wholeheartedly towards dungeon crawls and subterranean campaigns, recreating many of the themes found in the very first fantasy roleplaying games.

Fantastic progress is being made as I convert my rules to RuneQuest. Especially considering I started this project mid January. Here is where it currently stands.

Introduction (100% done)

Chapter 1: Character Creation (100% done)

Chapter 2: Race, Culture, and Community (100% done)

Chapter 3: Character Classes and Development (100% done)

Chapter 4: Skills (100% done)

Chapter 5: Economics and Equipment (100% done)

Chapter 6: Game Mechanics (100% done)

Chapter 7: Combat (100% done)

Chapter 8: Magic (100% done)

Chapter 9: Alchemy (75% done)

Chapter 10: Arcane Magic (System 100% done, Spells 20% done)

Chapter 11: Divine Magic (System 25% done, Spells 10% done)

Chapter 12: Mysticism (System 100% done, Talents 100% done)

Chapter 13: Guilds and Brotherhoods (0% done)

Chapter 14: A Manual of Monsters (0% done)

Chapter 15: Treasure (0% done)

Chapter 16: Non-player Characters (0% done)

Chapter 17: Game Mastery (0% done)

Chapter 18: The Hinterlands Campaign Setting (0% done)

Appendices (0% done)

So there ya go. we're all on the same page. Take into account that even the stuff that says 0% done has lots of stuff that I had already written up for BRP and/or Legend and simply needs to be converted. Feel free to ask any questions and check back for updates. :)

Rod

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So it what ways does the Combat chapter differ from RQ6?

Hi Nathan

Very little actually. I'm of the "if it aint broke don't fix" it way of thinking, and I love both the RQ game system and the combat system. The only point where there may have been a need to change anything was if a character class had some ability that changed the way it currently worked. That, and I included (as an optional set of rules) my Miniatures Combat Rules from BRP Classic Fantasy. I know not everyone uses miniatures, so these are nicely set aside in text boxes where they best fit relative to the rest of the rules. But in no way are they required.

The biggest changes tend to be to the character creation system with all the classic classes like the paladin, ranger, cavalier, etc., and to the magic systems. Of course the monster chapter will be getting a huge surplus of new beasties as well when I get to it. And then theirs the magic items... you get the picture. ;)

Rod

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I figured there'd be more "spot rules" for underground environments. Thanks for the info on the combat system. RQ6 has an implementation of d100 combat that gives a bit more mechanical support for a variety of actions beyond just "I attack." Sounds promising for dungeon fantasy.

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Interesting to see that the more complex Animism appears to get the cut, but then Shamanism was never a part of the gaming genre Classic fantasy is targetting. But with summoning being a big part of both Arcane and divine magics, I wonder if the animism rules may well still turn up..?

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Interesting to see that the more complex Animism appears to get the cut, but then Shamanism was never a part of the gaming genre Classic fantasy is targetting. But with summoning being a big part of both Arcane and divine magics, I wonder if the animism rules may well still turn up..?

That's precisely why. While this kind of stuff did appear several times as articles in Dragon Magazines and such, it was never part of the "core". The good news however is that the new magic systems (Arcane and Divine), are fully compatible with the existing systems so parts of either game can be added or switched out with ease.

Rod

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Why would a RQ6 book owner get this? Perhaps making a thinner version (without the core rules)?

I'm toying with that as an option. However, it's not necessarily just a case of yanking-out the core rules to leave the additional material behind: it also requires separate layout which results in double the effort, then additional proof-reading, editing, etc.

But, it's something I'm considering. I won't make any decisions until the final manuscript is complete, reviewed and we're in a position to judge whether it's worthwhile.

However, the reason why we decided to have a complete book is because RQ:CF appeals to a particular kind of gamer and is heavily structured towards a particular style of play. There are many gamers out there who don't like BRP-based games because they're so far removed from a style of play and system that they're used to, and really RQ:CF is aimed at them - although there's a lot of fun to be had in old-style dungeon crawls whatever your core gaming preferences.

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Why would a RQ6 book owner get this?


There will obviously be overlap in the two books, however the goal from the beginning was to create a self-contained game. Its just easier than flipping between multiple books at the table. However, for those that don't mind the added "flipping", RQ:CF adds tons of new material that remains compatible with RQ6.

Just off the top of my head:
 
  • Character Classes: Think of them as the normal RQ careers but with special abilities; clerics with turn undead, paladins that can lay on hands, etc.
  • New playable races as well as changes to existing ones
  • Detailed tactical miniatures combat rules as an option if you want to use them
  • Hundreds of new spells
  • Tons of new monsters
  • An entire chapter on magic items
  • Lots of detailed rules on dungeoneering
  • An entire chapter on Alchemy covering dozens of potion and transmutation formulas that characters can learn themselves if they desire
  • A section on non-player characters that detail normal everyday people that the characters may encounter as they travel, plus NPC classes such as the anti-paladin, assassin, and the witch
  • An overview of the Hinterlands, a basic setting for players that want a ready-made starting point for their own game.

Well... that's off the top of my head, I'm sure there much more but I haven't had my coffee yet. :)

I do want to point out that the chapters noted in my first post are subject to change due to space limitations and such, but at the present time they are my goal.

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Ok, I was hoping for a good dungeon crawling adventure for RQ. Perhaps a supplement for CF when it is out ...

I can't speak for Loz and Pete, but I'm sure if RQ:CF does well enough to warrant it, there will be no shortage of dungeon crawls for it, and therefor for RQ6 by extension.

I know I'll be playing it. ;D

Rod

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I wonder about adapting some of the CF rules to other styles of play as well. Or about providing variation in tone as PCs get more powerful. In the original AD&D it was expected that when your character reached a certain level you would start carving out your own domain/fief/etc. as opposed to simply continuing to adventure. The exact nature of this domain depended on your class -- it could be high ecclesiastic office, a dominant position in a Council of Wizards, becoming a crime boss in your own right (if you were a thief), or -- if you were a fighter -- literally carving out a kingdom with your sword. I wonder if the game can accommodate what is required to do that, including learning the new skills required (to seize control of a kingdom by force of arms is one thing -- to keep control and rule competently is another thing entirely!).

Or is it simply assumed that when you get to that point the proper form is to retire your character and start over again with another?

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I purposefully left that aspect of AD&D out of the conversion as it was pretty much just "a fighter of 9th level will attract a number of men-at-arms" bla, bla, bla.

To really do it justice would require at least a full chapter dedicated to running a domain, or even preferably a separate supplement. While I have always loved the idea myself, it would have taken up far to much space in a book that I already struggle to fit everything in.

However, with that said, I do really like the domain rules in AD&D Birthright, and if I was to add something on those lines down the road, I would be looking at those first. Especially as they allowed for occasional adventuring AND ruling the realm. Therefore making it unnecessary to retire your character unless you choose to.

Rod

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I purposefully left that aspect of AD&D out of the conversion as it was pretty much just "a fighter of 9th level will attract a number of men-at-arms" bla, bla, bla.

To really do it justice would require at least a full chapter dedicated to running a domain, or even preferably a separate supplement. While I have always loved the idea myself, it would have taken up far to much space in a book that I already struggle to fit everything in.

However, with that said, I do really like the domain rules in AD&D Birthright, and if I was to add something on those lines down the road, I would be looking at those first. Especially as they allowed for occasional adventuring AND ruling the realm. Therefore making it unnecessary to retire your character unless you choose to.

Rod

Which might be a good idea for your next book, or for a D100 book by someone else devoted to a political campaign.

Which might well be a pretty good book. Some BRP settings would work well for that (any of the Roman campaign settings will by their very nature have heavy doses of political infighting). It's a chance for non-combat skills to really shine and characterization and roleplaying to take center stage. Just surviving an assassination attempt (as victim or, even more challenging, as perpetrator) can be quite a challenge. Dare you risk open implication in a plot that might fail? Dare you trust an NPC to do your dirty work for you?

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I can't speak for Loz and Pete, but I'm sure if RQ:CF does well enough to warrant it, there will be no shortage of dungeon crawls for it, and therefor for RQ6 by extension.

I know I'll be playing it. ;D

Rod

The old but excellent adventure supplement "Shadows on the Borderland" contains quite a lot of opportunity for dungeon crawling. But it is set in Glorantha, and I think RQ 6th ed. is settingless, or am I wrong?

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The old but excellent adventure supplement "Shadows on the Borderland" contains quite a lot of opportunity for dungeon crawling. But it is set in Glorantha, and I think RQ 6th ed. is settingless, or am I wrong?

RQ6 will be supporting Glorantha and Moon Design/Design Mechanism have been talking about adapting some of the old AH and Chaosium material to RQ6. 'Shadows on the Borderlands' and 'Borderlands' would be two ideal areas for an RQ6 overhaul. Indeed, it's on our radar.

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RQ6 will be supporting Glorantha and Moon Design/Design Mechanism have been talking about adapting some of the old AH and Chaosium material to RQ6. 'Shadows on the Borderlands' and 'Borderlands' would be two ideal areas for an RQ6 overhaul. Indeed, it's on our radar.

Any chance of Dorastor being adapted?

Just to stay on topic I can't wait for RQ Classic Fantasy.

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Thanks,

For Loz and Pete,

I know there was some talk about a single book or splitting up Classic Fantasy. I own a softcover and hardcover of RQ6 as well as the Classic Fantasy monograph and will not hesitate to buy the RQ6 version of Classic Fantasy with the full rules included. I'd prefer it that way than a separate book as I dislike having to go to the monograph and then the BRP hardcover.

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Thanks,

For Loz and Pete,

I know there was some talk about a single book or splitting up Classic Fantasy. I own a softcover and hardcover of RQ6 as well as the Classic Fantasy monograph and will not hesitate to buy the RQ6 version of Classic Fantasy with the full rules included. I'd prefer it that way than a separate book as I dislike having to go to the monograph and then the BRP hardcover.

I also prefer my games as one book. However if both RQ6 and Classic Fantasy are slimmish volumes it would be fine. My main problem with the BGB is its SIZ.

I've got the Classic Fantasy monograph and I'm a player in a campaign with it right now (a sort of mashup with Dragon Warriors). I'm excited about its new incarnation in RQ6.

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