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"Cinematic" Combat?


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I am on the cusp of committing to launching (what I believe will be) a multi-year campaign and I am looking for a system that can 1) handle any genre and 2) be scalable from gritty realism up to cinematic (though not necessarily SUPER hero levels) of combat and action. You might think it odd for me to be doing so but I have narrowed down my choices to either RuneQuest 6 or HERO System.

Blurbs about RuneQuest 6 claim that it can handle even cinematic styles of play but how true is that? What mechanism allows it to scale that way? At first glance, at least, it appears to be rather realistic and deadly without much else.

What am I missing?

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1. With that goal in mind, classic BRP would be a better choice. RuneQuest is flexible and adaptable, but it is not intended to be natively multi-genre like HERO. It is a fantasy system, and you will have to adapt to other genres on your own. Something that comes out of the box with BRP.

2. That said, RuneQuest can still fit the bill for you. Allow extra Combat Actions to PCs, remove all caps from Endurance, be generous with advancement rolls and Luck Points, and use the mook rules for adversaries. If you do this, your characters will be able to take out hordes of foes and will only sweat if confronted with high level opponents.

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Yep RQ6 works no problem for gritty thru to cinematic gameplay, with pretty much the changes suggested above. Additionally, if you want a 'Feats/Pulp Abilities' system to be used, then consider using the 'Gifts' rules, or re-trap Folk Magic as Pulp Abilities. Or you can buy the LEGEND pdf from Drivethru for $1 USD, and use the Heroic Abilities system in those rules, it is 95% compatible with RQ6. Replace the Hero Point cost with banked Improvement Rolls, and there would be no other changes to make the Heroic Abilities fit.

By the sounds of it , you may like to start off gritty, then move to more heroic rules as the characters advance. I kind of like having no Heroic Abilities in RQ6, it feels cleaner that way, although re-introducing them from the LEGEND pdf would pose no issues.

But if you just want to use the RQ6 book and keep it simple, then liberal use of Mooks and Luck Rolls can be used to adjust the pulpiness of the setting as you see fit. Its a very versatile system, and I see no issues playing the game with a cinematic flavour, that will primarily come down to what narrative approach you use, and support it with the mechanics suggested above.

Go for it

Edited by Mankcam
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" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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As has been said, RQ6 would be fine for this.


For multi-genre games, you would need to have different Backgrounds/Professions/Skills, but they are easy enough to put together.


I'd allow the spending of a Luck Point to reduce the effect of a wound, "It's just a Flesh Wound".



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


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