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Humakti sword fighting ability


Steve

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This was raised on the Glorantha G+ forum but not answered officially there, so I thought I'd try here.

On p165, last paragraph, it says: "All Humakti have the Specific ability of Sword Fighting at least at the same rating as their Death Rune. Although this ability is linked to their Death Rune rating, it is an independent ability, improved separately, and can be augmented by the Death Rune."


That second rulebook sentence appears to have two contradictory clauses. If Sword Fighting is linked to Death Rune (implying it automatically rises), how is it an "independent ability"? Does Sword Fighting rise automatically as Death rune is improved? Or does it just start at the same rating and thereafter must be improved separately?

 

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This almost sounds like "Sword Fighting is a limiting ability for the Humakti's Death Rune ability" - while the Humakti gains the special advantage to have a Sword Fighting ability equal or higher to his death rune ability, he alway has to raise his Sword Fighting ability before being able to raise the Death Rune ability to the same level.

Unless it is an "Orlanthi all", meaning "it is extremely frowned upon in Humakti circles to have a Death Rune ability greater than the Sword Fighting ability."

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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I read it this way:

As a Humakti, I get the Sword Fighting ability as an independent ability.

However, because it derives from my Death Rune, it starts at the same level as my Death Rune keyword.

Henceforth, it improves separately.  And because it is independent, it can be augmented by the Death Rune (i.e. magic).

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  • 2 months later...

One way of seeing all of this could be:

- Following Jajagappa, beginning Humakti heroes get the Sword Fighting ability at 1M, whereas heroes who initiate to Humakt in play get Sword Fighting at their Death Rune rating.

- As Joerg said, all heroes who want to increase their Death Rune rating need to first make sure that their Sword Fighting ability is already higher.

This would probably bring some amount of the game balance Steve is looking for to what else would appear as a powergamer's wet dream.

Edited by Christoph Kohring
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  • 2 years later...
On 1/19/2016 at 10:48 PM, Christoph Kohring said:

Funnily enough there is a sample Humakti starting hero in the rules -Karganvale the Vengeful Mercenary-  but sadly she doesn't have any specific Sword Fighting ability... 

... but of course, because "[all] Humakti have the Specific ability of Sword Fighting at least at the same rating as their Death Rune [...]" (S:KoH p. 170 & HQ:G p. 165) she's got Swordfighting 6W, now doesn't she? The only question is if she gets it for "free" !

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17 hours ago, JonL said:

It's the Orlanthi All, clearly.  She's the one in seven who doesn't have it. 🤣

"Orlanthi All" wazzat? Sure ain't canon (anymore)... Besides, we're talking Humakt here who isn't exclusively "Orlanthi" & for whom things are definite, precise & clear-cut (pun intended). 😎

Kidding aside, as we all (sic) know, what this shows is a bit sad. It's summer 2018 & there still isn't any errata for either S:KoH (2009) or HQ:G (2015) & the Humakti Swordfighting ability is just one example among others. Hell, HQ:CR (2009) -that oh so tight, crisp & lovely document- is going out-of-print just as we are talking & never got any errata or revised printing.

Erratas & typo fixing are part of quality control, customer care & plain good manners (!?) but have never been a forte of Moon Design Publications to say the least. Let's cross fingers (a Humakti gesture?!?) things might improve with nuChaosium...

(By the way, "one in seven" ? Isn't that a bloody Lunar thing?!!)

Edited by Christoph Kohring
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it is best to think of the sword fighting ability rating to derive from the death rune ...it does say the rating is "at least the same rating"

Think of it like this: It is an association between the two...the Sword fighting ability and the Death Rune...not a causal link....like many other issues association doesnt imply causation...that is the meaning IMO of the word "linked" in this case

Edited by Martin
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11 hours ago, Christoph Kohring said:

"Orlanthi All" wazzat? Sure ain't canon (anymore)...

Why the hell shouldn't it?

11 hours ago, Christoph Kohring said:

Kidding aside, as we all (sic) know, what this shows is a bit sad. It's summer 2018 & there still isn't any errata for either S:KoH (2009) or HQ:G (2015) & the Humakti Swordfighting ability is just one example among others. Hell, HQ:CR (2009) -that oh so tight, crisp & lovely document- is going out-of-print just as we are talking & never got any errata or revised printing.

Your idea of errata has repeatedly been shown to be way over the top. Maintaining such a standard would mean two or three full-time editors, layouters etc. kept with the sole task to redo older publications for diminishing returns. Chaosium already works with contractors and freelancers.

If the sales figures were an order of maginitude higher or two, your concern might be based in something like reality. But this is a niche section of a fringe market, It is a good thing that Chaosium can pay survivable rates to its full time employees at all. I don't see any mansions or luxury cars for the VPs.

The product is going out of physical print - print on demand still is an option, and the SRD with genre packs are going to cover an even crisper set of rules.

11 hours ago, Christoph Kohring said:

Erratas & typo fixing are part of quality control, customer care & plain good manners (!?) but have never been a forte of Moon Design Publications to say the least.

Dealing with trolling was handled fairly well, though.

It is logical that the effort of the team goes into making the upcoming, money-making products as flawless as humanly possible. What you perceive as "bugs" in the rules is what Microsoft declares as features in their alpha-release products called Windows.

You're welcome to submit a flawless version of the books to prove that it could be made, but be ready to be taken apart mercilessly. The HQ2 core rules aren't that thick a book, could be done in a few months.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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While a revised/corrected edition of a book is one thing, preparing a simple errata PDF of a couple of pages or so really wouldn't take much effort at all. It wouldn't be a "perfect" solution, but no-one is expecting the books to be perfect. I also accept that it's not going to happen now, and I've moved on - but just trying to address some of your points, @Joerg.

 

Edited by Steve
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7 minutes ago, Steve said:

While a revised/corrected edition of a book is one thing, preparing a simple errata PDF of a couple of pages or so really wouldn't take much effort at all. It wouldn't be a "perfect" solution, but no-one is expecting the books to be perfect. I also accept that it's not going to happen now, and I've moved on - but just trying to address some of your points, @Joerg.

Sure. But this "problem" of a statement in a fringe (if strangely popular) cult description in a rules-light and "forget the rules for narrative flow" type of a system, applying to a specific portion of the setting (I doubt Kingdom of War Humakti will bother thinking about something like this) comes across as bordering on OCD. Paint it up as one reason why BBT's Sheldon Cooper never would play HeroQuest second edition.

This doesn't break the game in any way. It doesn't render anything unplayable.

For me, the rules are a great idea, but an uncomfortable fit, so I am liable to house-rule a lot in the spirit of getting my idea of narrative imperative and player enjoyment out of it. Any rpg rules set is a suggestion, and outside of rules-playing competition situations not a binding one. If my Glorantha is going to vary, boy will my rules systems.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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16 hours ago, Christoph Kohring said:

"Orlanthi All" wazzat? Sure ain't canon (anymore)... Besides, we're talking Humakt here who isn't exclusively "Orlanthi" & for whom things are definite, precise & clear-cut (pun intended). 😎...(By the way, "one in seven" ? Isn't that a bloody Lunar thing?!!)

One of the things I dig about the Orlanthi is that "All" is understood to mean "Six out of Seven" when making general statements, like "All the men in our clan initiate to Orlanth." I of course jest here because the pregens in HQG only loosely follow the creation rules as described.

 

16 hours ago, Christoph Kohring said:

It's summer 2018 & there still isn't any errata for either S:KoH (2009) or HQ:G (2015) & the Humakti Swordfighting ability is just one example among others.

Yeah, I can understand tabling typos & minor grammatical errors until a new print run might be called for. I am less sanguine about declining to address contradictions, examples not following stated rules, and similar. (See the relevant thread for thorough axe grinding on this subject).

Hopefully with the Arduous Success of the CoC7 fulfillment behind them and RQG shipping there will be some staff resources available to at the very least get a proper errata document together.

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On 7/17/2018 at 10:12 AM, Martin said:

it is best to think of the sword fighting ability rating to derive from the death rune ...it does say the rating is "at least the same rating"

Think of it like this: It is an association between the two...the Sword fighting ability and the Death Rune...not a causal link....like many other issues association doesnt imply causation...that is the meaning IMO of the word "linked" in this case

Rules, @Martin, mechanics, specifically for HQ... This is not the Glorantha part of the forum here! What's your take on this wee lil' paragraph on p. 170 of S:KoH & p. 165 of HQ:G, mmmh?

Edited by Christoph Kohring
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On 10/25/2015 at 9:03 PM, Steve said:

This was raised on the Glorantha G+ forum but not answered officially there, so I thought I'd try here.

On p165, last paragraph, it says: "All Humakti have the Specific ability of Sword Fighting at least at the same rating as their Death Rune. Although this ability is linked to their Death Rune rating, it is an independent ability, improved separately, and can be augmented by the Death Rune."

I'm not sure of the original intent, but I would suggest (1) Treat Sword Fighting as a breakout ability from the Death Rune (2) Allow the Death Rune to augment Sword Fighting even though it is a breakout.

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23 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

I'm not sure of the original intent, but I would suggest (1) Treat Sword Fighting as a breakout ability from the Death Rune (2) Allow the Death Rune to augment Sword Fighting even though it is a breakout.

Neat. That's also how I saw it at first, but not anymore. Breakout abilities are never "at the same rating as their" keyword because they are always higher, they are not "independent" & they cannot be "augmented" by their keywords.

For me "[a]ll Humakti have the specific ability of Sword Fighting at least at the same rating as their Death Rune" means that you can not improve your Death Rune before you have improved your Sword Fighting ability.

My take on it is this:

• Initiates of Humakt get the Sword Fighting ability at a rating of 1W during initiation.
• Their Death Rune rating cannot be raised higher than their Sword Fighting rating. (Thus initiation during play with, say, Death Rune at 3W means it can not be improved until Sword Fighting has reached at least 4W.)
• The Sword Fighting ability can be used for all kind of fighting with swords (duh!): sword & shield, two-handed sword, two swords, knife, dagger, etc...
 

Getting an ability at 1W for free just because you initiate to Humakt is already a tremendous "gift" but getting the same ability at the same rating as the Death Rune would simply be overkill (!) now wouldn't it?!?

Let's consider Joe Min-max* the Sword of Humakt beginning character:

Death Rune 11W (1W + 10)
Devotee of Humakt
Sword God Feat +1
Sword Fighting +3 (+2)

or

Sword Fighting 13W (11W +2)

Unspent Additional Abilities: 5 Ability Points: 0 Hero Points: 3

A bit hard to swallow for anyone -players or GM- isn't it?!!

* Of the famous Max-imin family (see what I did here?!! 😜 )

Edited by Christoph Kohring
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21 hours ago, Christoph Kohring said:

😜Neat. That's also how I saw it at first, but not anymore. Breakout abilities are never "at the same rating as their" keyword because they are always higher, they are not "independent" & they cannot be "augmented" by their keywords.

But of course, if you don't declare it as a breakout i.e. you assume it is part of the Umbrella keyword it will be at the same rating i.e. the Death rune includes Sword Fighting.  Hence the at least. In addition, the rule here seems to be that for a Humakti there is a specific option to augment this breakout from the keyword with the keyword.

But, you can interpret any way that makes sense to you.

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17 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

But of course, if you don't declare it as a breakout i.e. you assume it is part of the Umbrella keyword it will be at the same rating i.e. the Death rune includes Sword Fighting.  Hence the at least. In addition, the rule here seems to be that for a Humakti there is a specific option to augment this breakout from the keyword with the keyword.

But, you can interpret any way that makes sense to you.

It strikes me that the "specific ability" phrase is significant understanding what was meant to happen with this.  While the Death Rune could certainly encompass swordfighting, using it for such would often run afoul of being penalized as a broad ability used alongside more narrow ones possessed by other members of the party. Having either a separate ability or a breakout under Death avoids that scenario.

Some sort of exceptional rule privileging Humakti sword fighters is not out of line. Exempting them from broad vs specific ability penalties when using Death for sword fighting would be one way to do that. Allowing them exempt a sword fighting breakout under Death from the prohibition on using a keyword to augment its own breakouts is another. The text seems to describe a different approach than either of those, but without quite enough guidance to implement without a GM filling in some missing details.

This is a strong candidate for inclusion in a proper  FAQ/errata document and any future update to HQG.

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