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Chaosium's Runequest 2 Vs Runequest 3 (Avalon Hill)


Paid a bod yn dwp

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19 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Yes, magic suffered by being generic. Spirit magic and divine magic were largely unchanged from battle and rune magic (although rune lords were gone, rune priests were made far more difficult to become, etc), but magic should be, in my very strong opinion, setting-specific. Generic magic is like like generic religion or culture. The magic of Glorantha should be different from the magic of the Eternal Champion which should be different from the magic of the Norse sagas which should be different from the magic of the Greek epics which should be different from the magic of Call of Cthulhu. 

And RQ3 sorcery had some interesting ideas, but ultimately fell flat. It was disconnected from any setting, its spells were bland and power-gamy, and from a scenario writer's perspective, it was a nightmare. The new sorcery rules are significantly streamlined, set securely in Glorantha, and far more flexible.

Agreed about magics being culturally or setting relevant. With a generic system though you have to provide a basic system which people can use on their own until those culturally relevant systems emerge. 

RQ3 wasn't disconnected from a setting, it had Fantasy Earth. The spells and systems were bland because they had to function as a baseline for such a wide and diverse set of cultures. It certainly would have been nice if the setting had expanded beyond two supplements. Should have the magic of Glorantha been different in RQ3, sure, but for some reason it was never developed that way, perhaps because the Renaissance occurred so late in the timeline.

SDLeary

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5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

I hold out hope for RQ4, but at least as of now I'm still not convinced. You see, I like being able to use a rules system where I like. I lament that apparent lack of genericness in the rules, as presented so far. While I love what we've so far seen of the magic system and its  integration of Gloranthan runes, this also means that RQ will not be my go to game if I want to run a quick series of games in Hyboria, or pull out my copy of the Thieves World supplement to use with it, or others. Now I can use my excellent new copy of RQ2 (thank you!), but there was a time I was hoping to be able to do this with a new rules set. 

SDLeary

Good thing we have Mythras! I believe it can beautifully cover the ancient feel and the S&S feel.

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22 hours ago, Jeff said:

Now it may come as a surprise, but RQ2 is generally preferred by the rules writers themselves.

 

RQ3 was a hybrid of rules fixes for RQ2 (that had been kicking around since 1979 or so), plus brand new rules and mechanics that in many cases didn't add much to the result (new ways of calculating hit points and hit point per location, new means of calculating strike ranks, new means of calculating skills category bonuses, etc) or were flat-out broken (like fatigue points or the ceremony/enchant/summons system). Plus the magic system suffered badly by making it generic (the sorcery system was, among its other flaws, utterly souless).

That being said, RQ3 was not a bad rules system - just with perfect hindsight, it tried to fix things that weren't broken and introduced new things that were broken. The goal of the new RQ4 is to be the RQ3 that should have been.

Jeff 

No surprise at all. To be fully honest, I am a bit concerned that the decisions of the design team might be a bit too much driven by nostalgia.  In my opinion, the unbroken things RQ3 fixed, were nonetheless improved compared to RQ2. However I do agree some new rules were less than good (fatigue, which I ignored). I have high hopes for new RQ if only because some new features (passions, runes, character creation) look very promising. However some decisions taken (like skill category bonuses) are just... concerning. I don't know, maybe I am just a minority here....

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I'm personally not a particularly nostalgic person. I'm interested in rules that support the stuff I want to write and publish. Ken, Chris, MOB, Jason, and myself all agree (for a variety of reasons) that RQ2 was generally superior to RQ3 and is a better foundation for the new rules. Our first line of testing is with players who have no background with RQ2, and much more background with CoC or HQ than with RQ3.

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21 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

No surprise at all. To be fully honest, I am a bit concerned that the decisions of the design team might be a bit too much driven by nostalgia.  In my opinion, the unbroken things RQ3 fixed, were nonetheless improved compared to RQ2. However I do agree some new rules were less than good (fatigue, which I ignored). I have high hopes for new RQ if only because some new features (passions, runes, character creation) look very promising. However some decisions taken (like skill category bonuses) are just... concerning. I don't know, maybe I am just a minority here....

My feelings are exactly the same.

Yet, I'm still very interested in the new Sorcery rules.

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4 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I'm personally not a particularly nostalgic person. I'm interested in rules that support the stuff I want to write and publish. Ken, Chris, MOB, Jason, and myself all agree (for a variety of reasons) that RQ2 was generally superior to RQ3 and is a better foundation for the new rules. Our first line of testing is with players who have no background with RQ2, and much more background with CoC or HQ than with RQ3.

Fair enough, we simply have different preferences. If I would have to rate RQ edition for its rules (that is ignoring physical quality of the publication, arts or flavour) from worst to best, it would look like this:

RQ4 aka MRQ1

RQ1/RQ2

RQ3

RQ5 aka MRQ2

RQ6

So RQ2 would definitely be in my lower half. Again, make no mistake, I do not believe it is bad, not by a long shot but IMHO, in several areas, RQ3 did improve on RQ2.

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32 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

Fair enough, we simply have different preferences. If I would have to rate RQ edition for its rules (that is ignoring physical quality of the publication, arts or flavour) from worst to best, it would look like this:

RQ4 aka MRQ1

RQ1/RQ2

RQ3

RQ5 aka MRQ2

RQ6

So RQ2 would definitely be in my lower half. Again, make no mistake, I do not believe it is bad, not by a long shot but IMHO, in several areas, RQ3 did improve on RQ2.

Ours would be radically different. Mine goes (from best to worst):

RQ2

RQ3

RQ6

The MRQ books I don't even consider worth reading.

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1 hour ago, DreadDomain said:

I have high hopes for new RQ if only because some new features (passions, runes, character creation) look very promising. However some decisions taken (like skill category bonuses) are just... concerning. I don't know, maybe I am just a minority here....

Well I share some of these concerns, paricularly with Skill Category Modifiers.

Skill Categories are a handy way of organising skills on a character sheet, but if the bonuses are kept in the new edition then they ought to at least be much more meaniful than they were in RQ2 and RQ3, otherwise they may not be worth all the effort.

I also don't think we need to calulate Hit Points like in RQ2; I have grown used to calculating (SIZ+CON)/2, like it has been in all BRP games for the past 30 years.

It also seems a little unusual that, at a core rules level, CRQ4 may play very different to CoC. I would of thought that, like previously, the BRP core rules remained more or less the same, and the various games had different rules plugged into the base BRP mainframe. 

Considering CRQ4 is not finished yet then I am unable to really comment beyond speculation. 

I am happy to say that most of the new features that have been discussed in the design notes seem pretty cool to me, and I am  really looking to this next edition.

Edited by Mankcam

" 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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We're going with the RQ2 skills category calculation approach because after copious testing with people who are not from either a RQ2 or RQ3 or RQ6 background, it was the consensus for being more meaningful than RQ6's approach (having only one or two stats modify a skills category was strongly criticized), and quicker and easier than RQ3.  I can still do the RQ3 calculations in my head ("primary, secondary, negative...") but it got strongly negative reactions.

Given that we just put SPH, Troll Pack, Pavis, Big Rubble, et al back in print, forcing GMs to recalculate hit points to use those scenarios with the new rules seemed a lot of work for little gain and much downside.

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2 minutes ago, TrippyHippy said:

You are physically ill when you try to read a book?! 

Now that really is a shame! 

You have no idea how awful that license ended up being. Avalon Hill was a festival of pleasantness in comparison. For Greg and I, just seeing the Mongoose logo is like offering walktapus soup to a Storm Bull.

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10 hours ago, Jeff said:

Ours would be radically different. Mine goes (from best to worst):

RQ2

RQ3

RQ6

The MRQ books I don't even consider worth reading.

I started with RQ2 in my early teens, and updated to RQ3 solely due to it being contemporary at that time, but I preferred the RQ2 supplements for flavour.

RQ3 remained my mainstay fantasy RPG, long after it went out of print.

Years later when I saw MRQ I strongly disliked it for some reason, and kept playing RQ3 instead.

Which is weird, because I do like OQ now, so it must of been all the MRQ trappings that put me off.

MRQ2 was a big improvement in game mechanics and I did like the non-Gloranthan suplements. The portrayal of 2nd Age Glorantha didnt work for me.

I still played RQ3 or used the BGB for fantasy, although I bought a few MRQ2 products all the same. Vikings was one of my favourites.

RQ6 was great however, and managed to capture alot of the flavour of RQ2 and RQ3. I do really like it, although I have a love/hate thing with the combat options. They are great, but sometimes overwhelming, so my troupe may prefer a simplier rule set in some ways. Also I did not dig the 'roll high but under' opposed skill resolution, it seemed counter-intuitive to us.

I am glad that RQ2 and RQ3 are the main influences on the next RQ, but RQ6 also has many good points to consider.

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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12 minutes ago, Jeff said:

You have no idea how awful that license ended up being. Avalon Hill was a festival of pleasantness in comparison. For Greg and I, just seeing the Mongoose logo is like offering walktapus soup to a Storm Bull.

That may be the case, but when you are designing a new edition I don't think it wise to cut yourself off from any inspiration. I do get that RQ2 is the main source, which having got the book I can see why and support. However, game design developments did not stop in the mid 1980s. 

For a comparison, I thought that the 4th Edition of D&D was awful, and it was a commercial and critical disaster for many. However, even when the creators of D&D 5th went out of their way to try to take the game back to earlier editions, they still managed to glean a lot of ideas from 4th edition and bring them in. I'm not saying you shouldn't prioritise your decisions, but the more books you research - even bad books - the more ideas you can potentially bring in. It's why debating about previous editions misses the point for me - they all have something to offer. 

Edited by TrippyHippy
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When I am designing anything, I try to get as much good inspiration as possible. I got myself VERY familiar with RQ6 during the early stages of this project, and we fairly quickly determined that it went it directions *we* did not want to go. That's not a criticism of it as a rules system, just a different artistic vision.
My main sources have been RQ2, Troll Pack, Cults of Prax, Cults of Terror, RQ3, Arcane Lords, Greg's Dragon Pass Campaign material, the Chaosium House Campaign folder, Greg's unpublished cult writeups for RQ, Epic, Pendragon, Pendragon Pass (the Enclosure edition and the Tentacles edition). To a lesser extent, King of Dragon Pass, Nephilim, Stormbringer, Elric!, Call of Cthulhu 1-7, Ringworld, HeroQuest Glorantha, BGB, Advanced Sorcery, and even Ars Magica have all influenced the design. I'm sure Jason, Chris, Sven, Ken, and MOB all have drawn on additional sources as well.

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26 minutes ago, Jeff said:

We're going with the RQ2 skills category calculation approach because after copious testing with people who are not from either a RQ2 or RQ3 or RQ6 background, it was the consensus for being more meaningful than RQ6's approach (having only one or two stats modify a skills category was strongly criticized), and quicker and easier than RQ3.  I can still do the RQ3 calculations in my head ("primary, secondary, negative...") but it got strongly negative reactions.

Given that we just put SPH, Troll Pack, Pavis, Big Rubble, et al back in print, forcing GMs to recalculate hit points to use those scenarios with the new rules seemed a lot of work for little gain and much downside.

I do slightly prefer the simplier way of calculating the skill category modifiers from RQ2 to the way RQ3 does it, although RQ3 was the game I played much more. However I just feel that it would work better if the bonuses were much bigger. Rather than have 5%, 10%, etc it may be more versatile if they were 10% - 30% so you could try to roll under a Skill Category for purposes of untrained abilities. 

I do see the point of making the RQ back catalog supplements compatible with both RQ Classic and CRQ4, that does make a lot of sense.

" 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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Well, we'll see how it comes out - and note that regardless of any criticism I make, I am still an interested potential customer - but I still think that all editions ought to be at least looked at with an unprejudiced eye. Overall vision may differ, but individual ideas may still have worth. 

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5 minutes ago, Mankcam said:

I do slightly prefer the simplier way of calculating the skill category modifiers from RQ2 to the way RQ3 does it, although RQ3 was the game I played much more. However I just feel that it would work better if the bonuses were much bigger. Rather than have 5%, 10%, etc it may be more versatile if they were 10% - 30% so you could try to roll under a Skill Category for purposes of untrained abilities. 

I do see the point of making the RQ back catalog supplements compatible with both RQ Classic and CRQ4, that does make a lot of sense.

Yes i think a more streamlined approach to working out the bonus's is better as in RQ2. As long as the characterises are clearly having an influence on skills, the working out should be as straight forward as possible. Good point about the size of the bonus, however isn't part of the D100 RQ system about having a greater scale with which to get more variety in characters individual abilities? Would the bigger bonus (+10 +30 )negate that to an extent, making the d100 scale a bit more equivalent to D20 even ?

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I just want to make Characteristics more meaniful, and the Skill Category Modifiers are the place to do it, but  you are probably right about that scale.

" 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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A few thoughts:

We need to puts into perspective our pet Rulz peeves against the chance for CRQ4 being closer to the RQ2 back catalogue (and with the chance to easily adapt the RQ3 Glorantha back catalogue - future Kickstarter willing). Get all that out, and some promised new CRQ4 stuff, then you have the best ever supported Gloranthan game.

As to the 'unprejudiced eye': so we should not then be deferring to the play testers?

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7 minutes ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Yes i think a more streamlined approach to working out the bonus's is better as in RQ2. As long as the characterises are clearly having an influence on skills, the working out should be as straight forward as possible. Good point about the size of the bonus, however isn't part of the D100 RQ system about having a greater scale with which to get more variety in characters individual abilities? Would the bigger bonus (+10 +30 )negate that to an extent, making the d100 scale a bit more equivalent to D20 even ?

Experience rolls are still d6-1, so increases are incremental

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34 minutes ago, TrippyHippy said:

That may be the case, but when you are designing a new edition I don't think it wise to cut yourself off from any inspiration. I do get that RQ2 is the main source, which having got the book I can see why and support. However, game design developments did not stop in the mid 1980s. 

For a comparison, I thought that the 4th Edition of D&D was awful, and it was a commercial and critical disaster for many. However, even when the creators of D&D 5th went out of their way to try to take the game back to earlier editions, they still managed to glean a lot of ideas from 4th edition and bring them in. I'm not saying you shouldn't prioritise your decisions, but the more books you research - even bad books - the more ideas you can potentially bring in. It's why debating about previous editions misses the point for me - they all have something to offer. 

On the subject of other games, and influences.  I like the colour & varirty that D&D5 has introduced to D&D creatures. Particularly low powered creatures. Like the Goblins ability to hide. Gives them something characteristically goblinish, and a tricky challenge to overcome. I'd like to see plenty of colour in the RQ creatures too, though admittedly thats not going to be difficult with the rich backgrounds of Glorantha. Having a look at RQ classic and the skeleton, its a pretty straight forward low powered creature, surely a moving skeleton would be scaring the bejesus out of the you?. An opportunity for a bit of gamism with a fear factor for player characters perhaps?

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