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Aprewett

Making Characters

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You old hands are probably sick of these questions.

Getting my head around the rules.

I have a note in my book that a Distinguishing Char. gets plus 4 as a breakout ability, correct?

Choosing an ability on pg 45, has new starting at 13. Some of the Relationships are very powerful, looking at companion for example. Looking at the example character on pg 53, it would require a roll on 13 to use the companion correct? Its just that I don't see that listed on the example.

probably have more questions, but really liking where the rules are taking me. If anyone has further help or suggestions on Character Building, to help speed up the learning curve, I would be interested.

Thanks

Allan

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Sorry sorry it's late here and I meant to post in the HQ forum and not contaminate this fine verbose offering. If a moderator wants to remove my offending scribble...

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Hi Aprewett, I am so sick I will take some time to answer as best as I can...   ;)

So we are talking about HeroQuest: Glorantha. That sounds like an evidence but my first reaction was to check my HeroQuest 2 book.

About a Distinguishing Characteristic as a Breakout Ability, I would rather say that you get the same +1 as any other Breakout Ability. This is consistent with Vargast The Thunderer sample character page 53 (Proud +1 as a Breakout Ability of the Mastery Rune).

About Companions, this is not the way they work as far as I know (and I may be wrong). You don't use the "Companion ability" itself but the Companion as a secondary character who has his own stats (see HQ: G page 50). The other Supporting Characters on the other hand are like an Ability and your score is used when appropriate. You want to use a Follower, use your Ability score. You want something of a Contact or a Patron, use your Ability score...

I hope it helps.   :)

Edited by Corvantir

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14 hours ago, Aprewett said:

I have a note in my book that a Distinguishing Char. gets plus 4 as a breakout ability, correct?

For most of my players, their characters start with a distinguishing characteristic at 17.  Generally, these are specific abilities, not breakouts from keywords or runes.  There is nothing to say they couldn't be the latter, but having it as its own ability means that it can be readily used as a specific ability (and gain the specific ability bonus), and also be used as an augment without issue/penalty/stretch considerations.

 

14 hours ago, Aprewett said:

Some of the Relationships are very powerful, looking at companion for example.

Generally, a sidekick starts as a single ability with a rating of 13.  To use the sidekick for that single ability requires a roll on that ability (like everything else) vs. some difficulty level.

A companion is more powerful.  A companion is effectively a keyword with 3 associated abilities to which you can distribute additional points.  E.g. Bruvala, one of the characters in my Nochet campaign has the Companion: Shimmer.  Shimmer has three breakout abilities:  its species, a rune, and a personality as follows:
- Species: Water Daimon bound in Water Snake form 13 (+10) = 4W
- Ability: Light (rune) 17 (+4) = 1W
- Personality: Mercurial 13

You can see that this adds considerably more capability vs. a sidekick with one rating as you now have three abilities to choose from and their ratings are higher and may be more specific.

7 hours ago, Corvantir said:

About a Distinguishing Characteristic as a Breakout Ability, I would rather say that you get the same +1 as any other Breakout Ability.

They are generally intended to start at 17 if distinct from any keyword.  

 

7 hours ago, Corvantir said:

You don't use the "Companion ability" itself but the Companion as a secondary character who has his own stats (see HQ: G page 50). The other Supporting Characters on the other hand are like an Ability and your score is used when appropriate.

Whichever you use, it works just like any other ability.  Based on the above example, if Bruvala wants to use Shimmer to reflect light back into her foe's eyes to keep the foe from attacking, she will use Shimmer's light rune keyword at 1W.  

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Thanks

I got the maths for making distinguishing char a plus 4 for a breakout as normally it has 17 and a normal breakout is plus 1, with new abilities starting at 13 hence the 4 difference.

Some of those supporting characters are powerful and the text seems to mention a limit to Keywords on pg 36. Only 2, a occupation and a cultural, although it does use ambiguous text like 'will have at least' but does not mention what the other could be. Surely there must be cap for a starting level char and you can't just make relationships a keyword.

So what is to stop every power gamer from having a Follower, so long as they write the pc background to cover it.

Just trying to get under the hood and understand how it's designed because I know my players are going to, and even with a narrative system they are going to look for rules with no loop holes. To be consistent.

 

Edited by Aprewett

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Followers are a prerequisite to real power. They offer a small array of specialisations outside of the character's personal skills.

Followers are both a boon and a liability. As the narrator, you can use the follower as a flaw to the player character - the follower could misbehave, be kidnapped, threatened, have enemies you only learn about now...

As the narrator, you don't have to spent a hero point to cement a follower's problems (you might award the follower a point for development of a different relationship to balance this flaw - after the effect). The player has to spend a hero point in order to cement a follower's newly discovered relationship to someone or somewhere else, if I interprete the rules correctly.

To paraphrase Murharzarm's verdict on polygamy - the punishment for having many wives is to have many wives, and the punishment for having many followers is to offer the narrator plenty vulnerabilities if he is minded to do so. At the very least, each follower is a walking plot hook.

 

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16 hours ago, Aprewett said:

So what is to stop every power gamer from having a Follower, so long as they write the pc background to cover it.

I've not had a problem with characters have Followers, and many of those in my campaigns do.  Sometimes a humanoid companion (relative, great troll bodyguard), sometimes a sentient animal (alynx, mountain ram), sometimes a spirit companion (water daimon, star daimon).

But, what I don't like is the sense the you are punished as a player for not choosing a Follower.  As a House Rule, I usually offer some added bonus for those who don't.

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A very common companion would be an allied spirit, either embodied in an animal, or contained in an item such as a sword. This is of course, very explicit in Runequest, where it has its own rules, but less explicit in Heroquest where we avoid systemitizing every aspect of Glorantha.

But if PCs in your game start powergaming with followers, and others want to balance out without having a character conception that includes multiple 'people' I would recommend using an allied spirit of some kind to balance out.

Heroquest is generally a higher power level than say RQ2 was, so its not inappropriate for them to have a companion animal or item from their cult.

Make one of the companions runes at least 1W sot hat the companion can be an initiate to make sense of this.

 

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11 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

having a character conception that includes multiple 'people' I would recommend using an allied spirit of some kind to balance out.

But, that still adds a 'companion' of a sort (and there's nothing wrong with that).  And I've also had players create 'intelligent' weapons or artifacts (e.g. an intelligent hammer).  But... not everyone wants a companion of any of these sort.  They want the sole, single character.  And that's also ok - while others have been busy acquiring a follower, etc., these folk have focused on some other abilities - and that's why I've gone to allowing some compensation for not going the companion route.

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Some help on the Magic - Sorcery would be awesome.

Side question; you could make a character a member of a rune cult and a sorcerer in the Lhankor Mhy cult yes/no.?

Does any body have some further examples of Sorcerer spells?

The two runes listed with a spell are;

Showing the governing rune and the associated rune that is involved in that spells four logical principles. But a character does not need that other rune?

Or something else.

I know my player who loves playing mages in high fantasy settings is going to ask my lots of questions tomorrow night and I am really vague on how it's all supposed to work and feel.

I could back off with starting this game, but when I showed some of my old RQ books he was sold, and that is a rare thing, plus I am the only Gm and coming into a huge work load, as self employed wedding decorators in our tropical dry season so I look for the next 4 months for some published campaign to run with minimal prep. Probably jumping into this setting and rules is a mistake, but willing to give it a try.

Sorry for the long explanation but I  run solo as a ref in a small isolated city with no other gamers to brainstorm with.

allan

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4 hours ago, Aprewett said:

Some help on the Magic - Sorcery would be awesome.

As I noted in the "Fictional Parameters for Sorcery" thread, the examples for Sorcery in the current materials are very thin. I did find the feedback in there very helpful though, it's worth reviewing that tread. This thread has some grimoire examples and links to threads on the old glorantha.com forums with still more. This one has a good breakdown on Lunar sorcerers, who may have some magic tied to their Moon rune and some not.

 

4 hours ago, Aprewett said:

Side question; you could make a character a member of a rune cult and a sorcerer in the Lhankor Mhy cult yes/no.?

Yes, Lhankor Mhy followers can hang Grimoires from their Law rune. That's the only cult-approved way for them to do it as the cult is found in Dragon Pass, but followers from different traditions (Warlocks or Henotheists for example) might also have a profession keyword with grimoires under it or grimoires as stand-alone abilities. Having your grimoires all hanging off your Law (or Moon) rune is nice from an advancement standpoint, but having them in more than one ability opens the possibility of doing things like using your Law rune to augment a grimoire you have as either a stand-alone ability or as a breakout under a profession.

 

4 hours ago, Aprewett said:

Showing the governing rune and the associated rune that is involved in that spells four logical principles. But a character does not need that other rune?

Or something else.

You don't need to have either rune yourself. See the Debaldan Grimoire example on HQG p174. It's hung from the character's Law rune, but the grimoire itself combines Water with various other runes for its spells. The character doesn't need to have any of the runes from the spells themselves (though having them could make for handy augments). There are also grimoires that have a less rune-focused theme, such as the ones in Pavis Gateway to Adventure. They still have a solid thematic thread running through their spell list though. That's the key. I used that as my compass when making HQ grimoires from AD&D spells.

 

4 hours ago, Aprewett said:

I know my player who loves playing mages in high fantasy settings is going to ask my lots of questions tomorrow night and I am really vague on how it's all supposed to work and feel.

Things that I needed to work through in my head (with lots of help from the older hands here in the other thread) was deciding how to set resistance for magical effects. You can always fall back on Pass/Fail or whatever, but for the sake of a coherent story you need to have a handle on what sorts of things a journeyman Sorcerer should be able to reliably accomplish more-or-less at will, what things are more challenging, what can only be attempted with assistance/augments from fellow cultists-sacrifices-holy dates-sacred locales-etc., and what things are basically a heroquest in and of itself just to cast. (With the AD&D grimoires, I loosely mapped spell levels to HQ difficulty bands.)

4 hours ago, Aprewett said:

...so I look for the next 4 months for some published campaign to run with minimal prep.

 The Colymar Campaign in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes is probably a good fit for that length of time, and has the adventures fairly structured for you.

Edited by JonL
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Thanks

I was leaning to the Coming Storm setting but without volume 2 coming out in the next few weeks, I will probably go to the other. I was just looking for a more low key entry to the setting, so thought CS.

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4 hours ago, Aprewett said:

Thanks

I was leaning to the Coming Storm setting but without volume 2 coming out in the next few weeks, I will probably go to the other. I was just looking for a more low key entry to the setting, so thought CS.

The Coming Storm is more geared towards down to lozenge struggles, but is itself more of a setting book than a campaign book. The forthcoming The Eleven Lights book is going to be the structured campaign to place within that setting. The Colymar Campaign goes into the deep end of the pool much more quickly than you want if you're wanting to focus on day-to-day struggles rather than epic quests. It's better for a four-month time frame than I expect T11L to be, given that Ian has compared it to The Great Pendragon Campaign in terms of having several in-game years worth of adventures. As I look back over what you wrote now though, perhaps I read wrong and you're looking to be ready to start playing in four months once busy season at work passes rather than looking for a four-month campaign. :lol:

In the Tales of Mythic Adventure podcast on the subject of  TCS, a suggestion that Ian made for those wanting to get started with the Red Cow before T11L comes out was to start playing with TCS a couple of years prior to the presumed start date. Perhaps play through some basic adventures around the TCS sandbox with young freshly initiated clan members. Taking their first steps into adulthood, the characters will be learning about the world and people around them just as the players are meeting the new game world piece by piece. I've started more than one game off with some still-wet-behind-the-ears new adults being called before the Clan Ring and tasked with solving some problem that popped up the same week they were initiated since clearly must be their destiny to prove themselves by facing it. This sort of approach can work well combined with leaving some abilities undefined and improvement points unspent at the beginning of the game, as these young adults can then use them to discover new strengths within themselves as they face adversity, initiate into new cults, form relationships, etc. (It kind of gives the old "Zero-to-Hero" feel to your first few adventures.)

Do that sort of thing at the start, and by the time T11L drops, you'll have both players & their characters seasoned enough to start digging into the meat of the campaign.

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Yep, that sounds good. I have about 1 month before the dry kicks in, so this year I am looking to go prep light. The HQ system is looking good. 

Quick question; I notice a slight difference between the HQ/G char generation and Sartar Kingdom book. Assuming the Sartar was for HQ2 not G, or is it a setting specific refinement from the main rules G rules?

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9 hours ago, Aprewett said:

I notice a slight difference between the HQ/G char generation and Sartar Kingdom book. Assuming the Sartar was for HQ2 not G, or is it a setting specific refinement from the main rules G rules?

HQ2 offered 3 methods for character creation: Prose, List, and As-You-Go.  SKoH used the List method.  HQG used the As-You-Go method. 

HQG set certain keywords and abilities at specific levels to ensure that characters would meet the requirements for initiation into the cults. Compare:

  • Cultural keyword:  SKoH (no rating); HQG (at 13)
  • Community relationship: SKoH (not specifically broken out); HQG (at 13)
  • Occupational keyword: SKoH (no rating); HQG (at 17)
  • Distinguishing characteristic: SKoH (no rating); HQG (at 17)
  • 3 Runes: SKoH (1 at 17, 2 at 13); HQG (1 at 1W, 1 at 17, and last at 13)
  • Additional abilities:  SKoH (9 noted: start at 13 for base or +1 for breakout); HQG (5 noted)
  • +3 Charms, Spells, and/or Natural Magic Talents: SKoH (noted, but no ratings); HQG (not specified)
  • Flaws: SKoH (up to 3 noted); HQG (up to 3 noted with specific values)
  • Assignments:  SKoH (put 1 keyword, rune, or ability at 17); HQG (already factored into above)
  • Additional points:  SKoH (+20 on any of the above); HQG (+9 on any of the above - the difference is factored into occupation, distinguishing characteristic, and runes).

Also some slight variations in occupations (SKoH is more specific to Sartar/Heortland).  I allow players to generally draw from either (usually restricting use of spirit-talker and philospher/sorcerer).

 

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On 4/12/2017 at 3:46 AM, Aprewett said:

I was leaning to the Coming Storm setting but without volume 2 coming out in the next few weeks, I will probably go to the other. I was just looking for a more low key entry to the setting, so thought CS.

It's also easy to pair it with the Sartar Companion.  Have the heroes venture to Jonstown, or deal with the dwarf tribute (which I think works better for the Cinsina than the Colymar).

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On 14/04/2017 at 0:26 AM, jajagappa said:

It's also easy to pair it with the Sartar Companion.  Have the heroes venture to Jonstown, or deal with the dwarf tribute (which I think works better for the Cinsina than the Colymar).

I originally wrote Jonstown for the Red Cow books. We moved it because space was becoming an issue in those books and so I gave it to Jeff, who then worked on it some more and put it into the Companion for me. Gifts of Stone certainly works well for the Cinsina as a scenario as well. In fact most of the SC scenarios can have their 'numbers filed off'. In addition we tied the Red Cow to the Orlmarth (historical debt and friendship) so that you had an excuse to have PCs from one campaign visit the other.

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On 4/13/2017 at 8:49 PM, jajagappa said:

HQ2 offered 3 methods for character creation: Prose, List, and As-You-Go.  SKoH used the List method.  HQG used the As-You-Go method. 

HQG set certain keywords and abilities at specific levels to ensure that characters would meet the requirements for initiation into the cults. Compare:

Thank you for this, this really helped me after I got very confused with the different methods represented in these books. I did not realize that SKoH is kind of based on HQ2 instead of HQG.

On 4/13/2017 at 8:49 PM, jajagappa said:
  • Additional points:  SKoH (+20 on any of the above); HQG (+9 on any of the above - the difference is factored into occupation, distinguishing characteristic, and runes).

Shouldn't that be 12 instead of 9? And if I understood correctly, according to the as-you-go method as presented in HQG during the sessions you still have 5 abilities and another 12 points to assign. Is that correct? Or are you only getting 12 points once and you can spend some of them during character creation and some while playing?

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