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New Rq Design Notes - Part 7

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2 hours ago, Mankcam said:

I am certainly happy you can start as expert skilled characters, but I would prefer having the choice of different experience levels in the char gen process.

Starting at a heroic level can be alot of fun, but starting much less profficient also has its charms. 

One of the things I enjoyed back in the RQ2/RQ3 days was having characters surviving by the skin of their teeth, patchwork armour, scrambling around for every coin or salvage good. Threats were not always fantastical, they were often just human level, and a party of Uz was a greatly feared encounter. 

It sometimes felt more like Mad Max meets The Grey Mouser, and I really liked that. 

'Zero to Hero' does have a niche, so it would be good if different starting experience ranges are an option I think, even if the focus in more on experts (I guess it is the start of The Hero Wars). 

Both Mad Max and the Grey Mouser are weapon masters in their own rights. And as a one-time rabid player of Nethack I can tell you that bits of magical armor (not necessarily providing better protection) will lead to a very patchwork appearance.

The pennyless adventurer who gets "monetary" rewards in the shape of training time granted by the adventure's patron is a fairly standard occurrance unless you want to break local markets regularly. A party of just about anything can be a terrible encounter if played intelligently.

Zero to Hero sounds good, but all too often I have experienced Zero to Zero instead.

1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Always keep in mind a person with a 90% or even 120% skill is not a Hero. A Hero is someone who has bridged the mortal world and the Gods World through their deeds (pretty much always through heroquesting). And given the reality of magic in RuneQuest a character with a 75% combat skill but with 6+ Rune points with a war god (Babeester Gor, Humakt, Maran Gor, Orlanth, Storm Bull etc) is likely going to beat the character with 125% combat but only 3 Rune points (a starting character has 3 Rune points). 

When magic comes into combat, the character with the highest MP rating (how is this going to be called, btw? "Current POW" vs.  "permanent POW" asn in RQ2?) is likely to make the day, as most heavy hitter 3 point spells require to overcome the victim's MP to take full effect. I have seen reports of combats where consecutive Sever Spirits were used as attrition damage. Receiving protective magic from friends not fighting in the frontline is a bonus, too. (Shield is really nifty in this regard.)

One feature of RQ Rune Level combats is the support by allied spirits negating a debilitating partial success of the opponent. The spirits are usually in physical contact with their character and don't suffer the same penalties as supporting player characters. They act autonomously, use their own source of magical power and may even ask for Divine Intervention (see Biturian) to avoid the worst. Friendly bound spirits may be commanded verbally or via (enchantment-maintained) mindlink to do their things, too. Coordinating other players' contributions... nuff said.

Sniping into a combat is a no-go in duels but accepted practice in boss fights with limited access to the opponent. Sniping in with spells means that you don't have to risk hitting your friend unless you use area-effecting magic (like e.g. a huge shade). Peeling off active magic of your friend's opponent is a good way to tip the balance.

 

 

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" consecutive Sever Spirits were used as attrition damage "

How?  Maybe I'm misremembering, but isn't Sever Spirit more or less a save-or-die thing?  If they pass, they live.  If they don't, they die (but they don't get otherwise weaker for surviving the attack).  How is that attrition?  Or am I misremembering the spell?

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44 minutes ago, styopa said:

" consecutive Sever Spirits were used as attrition damage "

How?  Maybe I'm misremembering, but isn't Sever Spirit more or less a save-or-die thing?  If they pass, they live.  If they don't, they die (but they don't get otherwise weaker for surviving the attack).  How is that attrition?  Or am I misremembering the spell?

As I remember the spell, a successful save still had the victim lose a hefty number of general hit points in RQ3.  In RQ2, he loses 1D6 CON (see p.77 in RQ2, Heal Constitution)

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4 hours ago, Mankcam said:

It sometimes felt more like Mad Max more than The Iliad, and I really liked that. 

Max definitely has 90%+ in Drive even in the first film.

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8 hours ago, Jeff said:

Once you are over 100% (and yes, you can improve beyond 100% although it is slower), you can split attacks (useful against multiple unskilled opponents) and you get a steadily improved chance of special and critical attacks.

And this is Glorantha - when two characters with combat skills of 95% meet each other in battle, the one with better magic usually wins.

You're saying that the combat mechanic in a fight between two moderately+ skilled opponents still consists of "roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, critical roll, done!", as in core BRP? I hope some effort is spent on expanding one's non-magical options in that regard.

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4 hours ago, Zit said:

May be all this is only old school nostalgia of old grognards (as many of us are). But how many of us have now enough game time to raise a beginner to the hero status ?

Thats why he referenced lower starting levels as an option I think.

Seeing your character advance and become someone that is recognized and has the potential to become a hero can be as fun as playing the hero, if you have the time. Playing Batman in a supers campaign can be fun, but so can playing Young Bruce Wayne. Having the option to do so is great and opens up the game.

Perhaps Jeff, you should make sure that the new RQ has an Appendix. I mean, after all, isn't that where a lot of good options ended up in RQ2? :D

SDLeary

 

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35 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Max definitely has 90%+ in Drive even in the first film.

In a Street Level game, I can see a single skill in that range, and perhaps one at 75%. This gives the nascent hero something of note to start off their careers. Everyone is good at something. All other skills though should be notably lower, with a couple of skills coming in at the 50-60% range. Or perhaps even lower if someone wants to start off as the orphan who has just had their village wiped out. 

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary

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14 minutes ago, SDLeary said:

In a Street Level game, I can see a single skill in that range, and perhaps one at 75%. This gives the nascent hero something of note to start off their careers. Everyone is good at something. All other skills though should be notably lower, with a couple of skills coming in at the 50-60% range. Or perhaps even lower if someone wants to start off as the orphan who has just had their village wiped out. 

SDLeary

Yes. That is more or less the range that I have seen people make with the new rules. One skill in the 80+% range (depending on whether they put the maximum personal interest points into their best occupational skill), one or two around 75%. Then three to five skills around 50-60%. As I wrote above:

[M]ore often what I see is characters picking one skill they want to be really good at, and then a cluster of 2 or 3 skills in the 65-79%range. Then a bigger cluster in the 55-65% range, with the rest being in the under 50%. So frex, a Lunar dart warrior character started with one skill at 92% (2H Spear), two skills at 77 (Dagger and Composite Bow), and a cluster of skills between 51 and 60 (Climb, Hide, Sneak, Scan) [note: previously I wrote 76, but actually none of these skills were above 60]. Her passions were quite strong with her loyalty to the Red Emperor being 85% and her Fear of Dragons being 80.

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On 5/24/2016 at 9:32 AM, Jeff said:

You are correct. There was NO 75% cap in the Experience By Occupation rules. The cap was in the Quick Experience System.

Yes, but to get 48% in previous experience by the occupation tables required that a player roll one of the warrior/soldier/noble/hunter backgrounds (less than 10% for most cultures, about 15% for barbarians) and get the maximum number of years in the profession (a 1/36 chance). Not exactly "always". Nor was a +12% manipulation bonus "common", let alone a 17 STR. Not in RQ3. In D&D it was, but not RQ3.  

 

All in all the example character given was the exception. Something like a 1/20000 chance. 

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40 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes, but to get 48% in previous experience by the occupation tables required that a player roll one of the warrior/soldier/noble/hunter backgrounds (less than 10% for most cultures, about 15% for barbarians) and get the maximum number of years in the profession (a 1/36 chance). Not exactly "always". Nor was a +12% manipulation bonus "common", let alone a 17 STR. Not in RQ3. In D&D it was, but not RQ3.  

 

All in all the example character given was the exception. Something like a 1/20000 chance. 

If you required rolling for everything yes - but  most players *picked* the occupation they wanted to play (which is allowed), and their age (if permitted by the gamemaster, which nearly everyone associated with the various house campaigns did). So in truth, if you wanted to have a combat character, most players could just choose a warrior occupation and probably their age as well.

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I like this many lots

If one wishes to start a campaign where the characters are all a bit crap on the grounds that starting competent is munchkinism and not real roleplaying one can

If one wishes to start a campaign where the characters are competent one can

 

Best o' both

But I REALLY like the way that Runes have been integrated and rules have been used as a quick guide to what the character is like as well as what they can do

 

 

Have a merit sticker

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I admit to having lost track a bit here. Will the rules have 1) options for generating both low- and high-powered characters, or 2) only the latter? And I'm not asking whether the referee can change the rules however he or she likes. ;)

Edited by Vile

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I certainly don't mind the new RQ game being pitched at competent characters as a default. I probably prefer it in some ways.

My troupe usually has characters who are a bit seasoned from the start. It makes survivability a bit better and we may never play enough to truly do the hours needed for the  'zero to hero' character journey

However I still think the BGB did reasonably well by allowing GMs to choose what competence range the PCs start in.

I think it would be wise to keep something similar as an option for the next RQ. SD Leary's notion of putting it in an Appendix is a good idea. That way the option still exists, but it sends a message that it is not the default level for putting characters through any published campaigns. 

Authors happy. Nostalgic gronards also happy :-)

 

Edited by Mankcam
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3 hours ago, Vile said:

I admit to having lost track a bit here. Will the rules have 1) options for generating both low- and high-powered characters, or 2) only the latter? And I'm not asking whether the referee can change the rules however he or she likes. ;)

The character gen system is nimble enough to permit creation of characters that are low and high, and everything in between.

14 minutes ago, Mankcam said:

I think it would be wise to keep something similar as an option for the next RQ. SD Leary's notion of putting it in an Appendix is a good idea.

As Jeff says in his designer notes, if you want to play a newbie kid just out of initiation/"beginning" character, that's fine. It won't be necessary to flip to the back of the book.

14 minutes ago, Mankcam said:

That way the option still exists, but it sends a message that it is not the default level for putting characters through any published campaigns. 

Apart from Gringle's Pawnshop, very few scenarios published by Chaosium back in the glory days of RQ2 were pitched at rank beginners anyway.

Edited by MOB
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Sorry, I somehow got the notion that there wasnt a way to do char gen for novice level characters - I obviously didnt read Jeff's post properly. This is what happens when reading forums via a smart phone. This is also how forum threads go off on hysteric tangents - my apologies if this one is due to me :)

Well that all sounds reasonable to me. Setting the game for competent characters is a good idea, and having the option for beginners as well works for me.

Yeah I remember having newbies doing the Apple Lane scenarios and a few street level Pavis games. I certainly wouldn't have thrown them too deeply into all the juicy stuff like The Rubble or Dorasor at that stage.

Edited by Mankcam
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20 hours ago, Baragei said:

You're saying that the combat mechanic in a fight between two moderately+ skilled opponents still consists of "roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, critical roll, done!", as in core BRP? I hope some effort is spent on expanding one's non-magical options in that regard.

As much as I like what read so far, this is my real worry. Despite the drop of combat special effects and the focus on magic, I hope there will be interesting tactical options in combat (you know, disarm, bypas armor, compel surrender, feint, etc...)

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54 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

As much as I like what read so far, this is my real worry. Despite the drop of combat special effects and the focus on magic, I hope there will be interesting tactical options in combat (you know, disarm, bypas armor, compel surrender, feint, etc...)

I think it may be good if the new RQ has some consistency with the CoC 7E combat rules, which are presented as being reasonably simple.

The Attacker chooses to Fight, Maneuver, or Move; whilst the Defender chooses to Fight Back, Dodge, or Move. That's it. Despite its simplicity, it can actually cover quite a lot of ground. 

Fight is the same as Attack. Dodge and Move are self explanatory.

However, the choice of choosing to Maneuver is a catch-all that allows the attacker to describe what they want to occur, which can cover broad things like cinematic stunts, feints, startling, etc. For the defender, Fighting Back is essentially Parry, except if the defender achieves a better success than the attacker then they can describe additional effects like riposte, disarm etc.

Everything else is covered by applying a simple bonus or penalty modifier to an action if it is more complicated than usual, so alot of ground can also be covered by this rule if it is applied to the Fight, Fight Back, and Dodge options. Actions like disarming, defensive fighting, aimed blows etc spring to mind here, but it really only limited by the imagination of the combatants.

That's the general gist of it from what I have read so far, if I understand them correctly. It looks quite loose yet open enough to cover most of the combat effects that you see in RQ6. Hit Locations are only optional, and it has a Major Wound system. The increased focus of melee in RQ is better served by default Hit Locations with limb HP, but this could still work with the combat resolution described in CoC 7E.

I haven't seen it in gameplay yet, but from the outset it looks like something I would like to run.

Edited by Mankcam
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I played Runequest Chaosiuim 2nd edition in the 1980's. Our characters were usually very fragile and weak! I was always the one who survived , cause i played my character well. I actually like the idea of starting a character that has a bit more ability. I don't think i want to play a weapons master per say, i want some challenge.

I assume that characters will be older in age, to explain the increased abilities. 

 

I have a question about Runes? 

Will players learn runes and have basic rune powers, or abilities?  when i played runequest, the quest for runes was left out. There was no attachment of runes to the game. we had a few spells each and no rune magic. I always thought it was weird to play a game called runequest, but never actual have any rune ability what so ever.

For example the plant rune inscribed on a small earth stone for focus. attuned( sacrifice pow to attune).Then lets say one could roll pow as a % to attempt to cause a plant to entangle a enemy.  What i mean is like a limited spell ability  pow cost =  1 point per pow x1%  Example pow 13 use 3 pow to have a 39% chance to entangle opponent for 1 round. perhaps sacrifice a permanent point of pow to the rune to use more than pow as percentage  so maybe you have a plant rune pow1 so you roll pow% only to attempt to effect plants  plant rune pow2 roll powx2%

fire rune could be used to resist fire or create a fire  = pow% roll

air rune could be used to aid in jumping, gliding etc.

i did a write up of something like this long time ago, as i wanted myself and players to be more involved with runes, but not have to be a rune priest or rune lord.

I figured runes had to be learned and discovered, and attuned to be used!

I would like to see runes play a much bigger role in the game!

 

 

Edited by skull

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22 hours ago, Jeff said:

If you required rolling for everything yes - but  most players *picked* the occupation they wanted to play (which is allowed), and their age (if permitted by the gamemaster, which nearly everyone associated with the various house campaigns did). So in truth, if you wanted to have a combat character, most players could just choose a warrior occupation and probably their age as well.

Different experiences. None of the groups I gamed with allowed player to pick occupations (we did allow players to pick up a new occupation at the cost of 1 years exp. per the rules), age, or the point build method for attributes.

 

We did play Elric! which allowed (actually recommended) starting combat skills at 100%+. It wasn't much fun. 

Edited by Atgxtg
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4 hours ago, Mankcam said:

I think it may be good if the new RQ has some consistency with the CoC 7E combat rules, which are presented as being reasonably simple.

Has there been any indication from Chaosium that the new RQ will model any changes at all that were developed in CoC 7e? Maybe I missed a design note post somewhere, but I have yet to see where the systems cross over on any similar ground. If anything, New-RQ seems to be moving on a path further away from CoC 7e.

Last year, I expected that Chaosium would integrate their game lines so that New-RQ would be based upon the CoC 7e baseline. Consolidate the systems so that players of CoC 7e could transition easily to New-RQ, and present a new iteration of BRP. (And I expected that strategy would kill my interest in New-RQ, as it already has done for CoC 7e products). But, the game lines have kept their distance, mechanically-speaking. I haven't seen any comments about New-RQ using Luck pools, advantage/disadvantage dice, build, and degrees of success like CoC 7e.

The separation in design has been a little baffling to me, but I imagine that Chaosium has a good reason for it.

Edited by K Peterson

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It seems to me like it would be a logical goal to try to "revamp" the system for 2016, and then harmonize them across various games.  Sort of a BRP 2016 which then has "COC" flavors, "RQ" flavors, etc.

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

We did play Elric! which allowed (actually recommended) starting combat skills at 100%+. It wasn't much fun. 

I love combat in Elric!, I used it as my core system for Gloranthan role playing for over a decade. So fluid and flexible compared to the straight-up slog of RQ2 combat. But perhaps a bit cinematic for some tastes.

I don't think it matters as much with RQ4 though. Asking how well it works without any magic is like asking what a chicken sandwich is like without the chicken.

I still might swap out the combat mechanics for Elric! though. That's the lovely thing about the BRP family of games, they're super-modular and very easy to tune to your own liking.

Simon Hibbs

Edited by simonh
Typo
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LOL! I used to use the RQ3 rules as my core system for a Young Kingdoms campaign. The RQ3 rules closer to Stormbringer than Elric! was. Found combat in Elric! to be boring, and at times, confusing (just when does a parrying weapon take damage? The rules contradict themselves). And I hated attributes in Elric! Mostly useless. But then I loath the stripped down rulesets used for Elric! and CoC

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21 hours ago, K Peterson said:

Has there been any indication from Chaosium that the new RQ will model any changes at all that were developed in CoC 7e? Maybe I missed a design note post somewhere, but I have yet to see where the systems cross over on any similar ground. If anything, New-RQ seems to be moving on a path further away from CoC 7e.

Last year, I expected that Chaosium would integrate their game lines so that New-RQ would be based upon the CoC 7e baseline. Consolidate the systems so that players of CoC 7e could transition easily to New-RQ, and present a new iteration of BRP. (And I expected that strategy would kill my interest in New-RQ, as it already has done for CoC 7e products). But, the game lines have kept their distance, mechanically-speaking. I haven't seen any comments about New-RQ using Luck pools, advantage/disadvantage dice, build, and degrees of success like CoC 7e.

The separation in design has been a little baffling to me, but I imagine that Chaosium has a good reason for it.

If they did try to model the rules of CoC7E, which are not universally liked as they stand, to RQ then it would fly in the face of the statements made by the design team as to what they intended. RQ2 is supposed to be the model, with developments made to enhance the rules from that edition rather than change what is not regarded as broken. The stated point about design was that different games would have their own rules, to suit specific needs, rather than attempting any sort of universal system. 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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55 minutes ago, TrippyHippy said:

If they did try to model the rules of CoC7E, which are not universally liked as they stand...

Well, no edition change of a beloved game will ever be "universally liked" by every member of a fan-base - especially when significant changes are made to core mechanics. A publisher will always face the situation where some fans choose not to adopt the edition; some fans accept the new edition unquestioningly - to have the latest, supported edition; and some fans who think that the rules changes are a natural evolution of the mechanics. Division is inevitable.

My main point is that I've seen a number of posts on the design note threads where people have suggested CoC 7e mechanics that should be adopted by CRQ4. And it seems like just wishful thinking, because the mechanical separation is intentional.

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