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


Paid a bod yn dwp

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1 minute ago, TrippyHippy said:

Anybody who is a potential customer is also a potential playtester, and I'd hate to think that the game wouldn't be the best potential game it could be. 

Agreed. I was dividing people into groups without any preconceived prejudice and those with more extensive game experience (and inherent viewpoints / prejudice). Both views are valid, of course.

If the two groups differ then it leaves an ambiguous answer / solution. In which case then it's the designers' judgement call, who also have to take into account other factors (e.g. big back catalogue, streamlining the game etc.).

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As I said before, I got very familiar anew with RQ6 in the early stages of this process. We early on concluded that we wanted to go into a different direction - one already laid down in part by Greg's unpublished Dragon Pass Campaign notes and rules and his Epic rules (not to mention all the material David Dunham and I developed for the Taming of Dragon Pass campaign). 

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4 minutes ago, jongjom said:

Agreed. I was dividing people into groups without any preconceived prejudice and those with more extensive game experience (and inherent viewpoints / prejudice). Both views are valid, of course.

If the two groups differ then it leaves an ambiguous answer / solution. In which case then it's the designers' judgement call, who also have to take into account other factors (e.g. big back catalogue, streamlining the game etc.).

For what it is worth, I think we have a pretty good collection of both on the core team. Between MOB, Sven, Ken, Chris, Jason, and myself, we have a LOT of game experience with RuneQuest and its progeny. Now add Steve, Sandy, and Greg. All have different viewpoints, accents, etc. We range from very rules light, to enjoying lots of crunch. 

But the house testers by and large don't. They know Glorantha. They know Cthulhu. None are grognards. They are fifty-percent female, fifty-percent male. And they are very willing to tell me what they like and don't like. 

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For what its worth, regarding the new Runequest, as long as the fun factor is dialled up to 11, I think the new RQ is going to be great.  The more I look at RQ classic compared to RQ3 the more I think that the new game based off the soul of RQ2 is going in the right direction. I like simulation but not so much that it becomes cumbersome, and a maths lesson. likewise the downside for me with RQ3 was that the game became overly dry and generic, compared to the flavoursome RQ 2 with Glorantha, with rules complicating the game a bit too much in areas. I agree with Jeff on his sentiments about magic, it should be setting specific, exciting, colourful, and fun bringing life to the game world ( & hopefully not too complicated to run)

So - Pour in the flavour & atmosphere, get the imagination stirred, have characters with plenty of character, Magic thats fun & colourful, an easy streamlined system that still retains the great options of Runequest 2 -  knock 'em dead with the presentation, and stunning new art, to get the kids (& adults) salivating. That should just about do it.

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7 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

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

Mythras is a good choice, yes. I still have issues with certain things about it though that seem to prevent me from using it as my go-to. Specifically the Action Point economy and Special Effects. I don't consider these systems bad, but there is something about them that turns me away.

SDLeary

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4 hours 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 ?

This is one of the reasons I think I liked RQ3 a bit more. % felt a bit more like %. Everything being a multiple of 5... just use a d20 for goodness sake!

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary
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1 hour ago, SDLeary said:

This is one of the reasons I think I liked RQ3 a bit more. % felt a bit more like %. Everything being a multiple of 5... just use a d20 for goodness sake!

SDLeary

I suspect that, originally, the 5%-increments were chosen for the d20-alike factor... BUT with the added intention of being able to slice things finer with Crits/Fumbles, impales, etc.

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I started with RQ2 but in general do find RQ3 a better system.

For a lot of my most active gaming time I was in rural Australia where RQ supplements were impossible to get.  I do really enjoy reading Gloranthan material, but it never really grabbed me as a campaign setting though it is a wonderful source of inspiration

The RQ2 book was very evocative to read.  The maps had such wonderful place names and the creatures chapter had some really fascinating entries.  Perhaps the problem I have with Glorantha is not the setting but the fans.  I have certainly come across some who are extremely fanatical and probably spend far more time arguing over incredibly obscure Gloranthan details than actually playing.

Regarding sorcery, some of the people in my gaming group loved it, though perhaps being IT nerds there was something about sorcery that appealed to us.  I totally agree that sorcery has flaws.  It is great for the player who wanted to play the dedicated scholarly wizard, but is not suitable as a cultural magic type (though rather ironically sorcerers could be the best at combining heavy armour and magic and could be able to dish out awesome damage with a sword or other weapon) and doesn’t really fit in with Glorantha.

I love it that the new RQ is doing a far better job of actually making Runes important, which (especially in RQ3) has been a rather embarrassing failure in the system.

I do think a major improvement in RQ3 was allowing different values for CON (other than the 3D6 for all creatures in RQ2).

I am undecided about RQ2 Defence.  We never had a real problem with it but I am aware of the apparent issues.

The big challenge will be attracting new (probably younger) players to the game.  This will be aided by frequent, good quality supplements, which of course raises the whole issue again of whether the focus should be on updated classics, or completely new material.

Another important issue may be if it should be totally tied to Glorantha.  I love RQ2 & 3.  They are far better than D&D, and I found them better than BRP.  For those of us that aren’t great fans of Glorantha, will the new RQ be a viable option?

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5 hours ago, g33k said:

I suspect that, originally, the 5%-increments were chosen for the d20-alike factor... BUT with the added intention of being able to slice things finer with Crits/Fumbles, impales, etc.

Yes, but if skills are on 5% increments, there isn't really an issue implementing crits and fumbles anyway. Crits would occur on a 1, and impales/specials somewhere between 2 and 4. Certainly not as granular, but doable. In fact in Pendragon (BRP d20 essentially) crits occur on a 1; not great granularity, but doable. 

SDLeary

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15 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.

LOL! It explains my concerns then! ?

Even then, you don't consider any of the changes in RQ3 to be an improvement? Skill categories is an easy example. RQ3 avoids point break in characteristics and make characteristics more relevant to skills which are IMHO good things. I have no issue at all with using RQ2 as a foundation but sticking with RQ2 rules and not considering improvements from other editions just to stick to the 90%/10% mantra just seems wrong to me.

I will reiterate. I will buy new RQ if only to show support. I can only hope I will be blown away by the new edition as opposed to "oh, this is a good game from the early 80's with 10% good stuff bolted to it".

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(For some reasons I was unable to edit my previous post)

EDIT: Just to clarify my Skill Category Modifiers example, I have no preconceived preference toward the way RQ3 does it. My point is however it is done, I would like to:

1) avoid break points as much as possible (or at the very least, make the span between breakpoints a small as possible)

2) make the characteristics more influencial on skill value

 

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30 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

(For some reasons I was unable to edit my previous post)

EDIT: Just to clarify my Skill Category Modifiers example, I have no preconceived preference toward the way RQ3 does it. My point is however it is done, I would like to:

1) avoid break points as much as possible (or at the very least, make the span between breakpoints a small as possible)

2) make the characteristics more influencial on skill value

 

I agree completely. In fact, I would consider something along these lines optimal:

Primary Characteristic + 1/2 Secondary Characteristic (- optional 1/2 Tertiary Characteristic)

Gives a large enough bonus to make characteristics matter, and when combined with base skill values provides decent starting skills without being too too high.

SDLeary

P.S. I appear to be at my Like limit, but would give your post one if I could.

Edited by SDLeary
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That was actually an approach taken early on. However, it got panned by playtesters (who have little or no background with any version of RQ, but are Cthulhu or HQG players) who found it:

1. Took too long for what it was worth (quite a few playtesters complained about needing to add values like "+12%" to skills, and greatly preferred doing these bonuses in 5% increments)..

2. Restricted relevant characteristics to three (instead of four).

3. Meant skills needed regular recalculation with POW going up and down. This turned out to be the most decisive complaint.

For design purposes, the most important element of the skills modifier is its impact on the rate of skill improvement. The RQ2 approach does this as well as RQ3 and the others, and was seen as being much less work. A character with a +5 or more skills modifier should eventually be able to skills above 100% in that category (if the character lives long enough), a character with a 0 skills modifier won't. If your cult requires 90%+ in a skill you have a +0 modifier to you, becoming a Rune Lord is going to be a challenge.

 

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

That was actually an approach taken early on. However, it got panned by playtesters (who have little or no background with any version of RQ, but are Cthulhu or HQG players) who found it:

1. Took too long for what it was worth (quite a few playtesters complained about needing to add values like "+12%" to skills, and greatly preferred doing these bonuses in 5% increments)..

2. Restricted relevant characteristics to three (instead of four).

3. Meant skills needed regular recalculation with POW going up and down. This turned out to be the most decisive complaint.

For design purposes, the most important element of the skills modifier is its impact on the rate of skill improvement. The RQ2 approach does this as well as RQ3 and the others, and was seen as being much less work. A character with a +5 or more skills modifier should eventually be able to skills above 100% in that category (if the character lives long enough), a character with a 0 skills modifier won't. If your cult requires 90%+ in a skill you have a +0 modifier to you, becoming a Rune Lord is going to be a challenge.

Actually, not quite.
Consider the Manipulation bonus of a character with STR 16, DEX 12, INT 12 and POW 16.
In RQ2 his bonus would be 0%. In RQ3 it would be 6%. Pretty insignificant in both account but RQ2 is just worse.
Consider this same character grows to (or another character) STR 17, DEX 13, INT 13 and POW 17.
In RQ2 his bonus would then be +20% while in RQ3 it would be 9%. Now the RQ2 is relevant but totally out of whack compared to the previous situation.
RQ3 bonuses are probably too small but at least consistent with one another. RQ2 bonuses are just broken because of the very significant breakpoints it introduces.

I appreciate the feedback from the playtesters but on these forums you also have at your disposal the opinion (because in the end they are just opinions) of dozens of players who have playtested some of these rules for decades.

As for number 3 above, I thought POW was not so swingy anymore (no clue where I got that from). In any case, if it is still swingy and does mean the skill modifiers need to be constantly recalculated, that's an issue that needs to be fixed either by fixing the swinginess or by changing specifically how POW influences skills.

 

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Just now, DreadDomain said:

Actually, not quite.
Consider the Manipulation bonus of a character with STR 16, DEX 12, INT 12 and POW 16.
In RQ2 his bonus would be 0%. In RQ3 it would be 6%. Pretty insignificant in both account but RQ2 is just worse.
Consider this same character grows to (or another character) STR 17, DEX 13, INT 13 and POW 17.
In RQ2 his bonus would then be +20% while in RQ3 it would be 9%. Now the RQ2 is relevant but totally out of whack compared to the previous situation.
RQ3 bonuses are probably too small but at least consistent with one another. RQ2 bonuses are just broken because of the very significant breakpoints it introduces.

I appreciate the feedback from the playtesters but on these forums you also have at your disposal the opinion (because in the end they are just opinions) of dozens of players who have playtested some of these rules for decades.

As for number 3 above, I thought POW was not so swingy anymore (no clue where I got that from). In any case, if it is still swingy and does mean the skill modifiers need to be constantly recalculated, that's an issue that needs to be fixed either by fixing the swinginess or by changing specifically how POW influences skills.

 

You and I clearly differ on this. The difference is that I am ultimately responsible for writing the book. And hence I've made the choice that I have made. Personally, I agree with the playtesters. Of the three approaches, your suggestion was unanimously rejected (and got strongly negative feedback), and RQ3's approach was ultimately rejected as taking too long. You are welcome to have a differing opinion, but that's not the direction we are going to go.

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8 minutes ago, Jeff said:

You and I clearly differ on this. The difference is that I am ultimately responsible for writing the book. And hence I've made the choice that I have made. Personally, I agree with the playtesters. Of the three approaches, your suggestion was unanimously rejected (and got strongly negative feedback), and RQ3's approach was ultimately rejected as taking too long. You are welcome to have a differing opinion, but that's not the direction we are going to go.

Like I said, I have no attachment to the RQ3 method and I was not advocating for it to be adopted. I was merely disputing your claim that RQ2 "worked as well". I was however advocating for a different method than RQ2. I would have hoped top notch designers would have come up with something better than these two methods.

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I personally don't mind either RQ2 or RQ3 Skill Category calculation methods, although RQ2 feels simplier.  It's the values of the bonuses that I am concerned about, as they feel too small to be of much influence. I personally would like to see values two or three times the values from RQ2 or RQ3.

That way you could also have a chance at unskilled actions by rolling under the Skill Category scores, and it makes the core Characteristics more relevant.

This is pretty much the only concern I have. Everything else in the design notes works for me.

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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8 minutes ago, Mankcam said:

I personally don't mind either RQ2 or RQ3 Skill Category calculation methods, although RQ2 feels simplier.  It's the values of the bonuses that I am concerned about, as they feel too small to be of much influence. I personally would like to see values two or three times the values from RQ2 or RQ3.

That way you could also have a chance at unskilled actions by rolling under the Skill Category scores, and it makes the core Characteristics more relevant.

This is pretty much the only concern I have. Everything else in the design notes works for me.

Keeping in mind the +5% steps have been choosen, I would suggest simply lowering the span of the break points. Forgive my lack of skills in creating table but something like:

Primary

12-13 gives + 5%

14-15 gives +10%

16-17 gives +15%

Etc..

Secondary

14-17 gives +5%

18-21 gives +10%

Unfortunately, as Jeff said that boat has already sailed...

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Darn Edit that doesn't work on my tablet.

Actually you could minimize the number of breakpoints by shifting the values for the secondaty characteristics by one:

Secondary

13-16 gives +5%

17-20 gives +10%

That way bonus would be significant and char 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20 and 21 would all have a significant effect (giving +5% either as a primary or secondary modifier).

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Really appreciate the game designers sharing these insights. It good to hear other perspectives of gamers too. Regarding break points, and sudden large increases in value of bonus's, that seems acceptable if you embrace the gamism aspect. Perhaps it's a more exciting dramatic step forward for characters, as opposed to a steady even progression. Maybe the game needs a bit of drama? 

One thing I've learnt from looking back at RQ3 is it could tend to go into an overly dry and mathematical direction. Although some of that impression was also due to the  presentation removed from Glorantha - too generic, too much about rules without flavourful context 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
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6 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

As for number 3 above, I thought POW was not so swingy anymore (no clue where I got that from). In any case, if it is still swingy and does mean the skill modifiers need to be constantly recalculated, that's an issue that needs to be fixed either by fixing the swinginess or by changing specifically how POW influences skills.

An option would be to pull POW out of most skills. Honestly, it should probably only be in a magic bonus (if one exists), or Oratory.

SDLeary

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6 hours ago, Jeff said:

You and I clearly differ on this. The difference is that I am ultimately responsible for writing the book. And hence I've made the choice that I have made. Personally, I agree with the playtesters. Of the three approaches, your suggestion was unanimously rejected (and got strongly negative feedback), and RQ3's approach was ultimately rejected as taking too long. You are welcome to have a differing opinion, but that's not the direction we are going to go.

How big is your playtest group? How big a sample are you dealing with? Just for arguments sake, using RQ Classic as the baseline, what % of the total sold does the playtest group represent?

If this is a small Alpha group, I would hope that you have't set in stone yet. If its a Beta group, then I hope its at least of a size that can actually register a sample of the opinions of the community, and thus of your fan/user/customer base.

SDLeary

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