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Glorantha Second Age

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Just now, ReignDragonSMH said:

So not to derail the thread, with all opinions about the MRQ (pro and con) aside, would there ever be a time when the Second Age would get another chance? With new/revamped books and a zeitgeist more in line with what folks want from Glorantha. I am talking an official second chance, not just fan material.  OR is that just a bad taste in folks mouths that it would never be revisited in our lifetimes.

The Mongoose books will not get another chance.

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I found a lot of Hero Wars material interested me, but didn't inspire me. Ideas where jelling, but not quite there yet. Some ideas I hated, like the adherence to three worlds theory, I much prefer the 'three different ways of perceiving the other world' idea. Some published material was too vague and low key - a lot of the cows and tula stuff came across as trying to do realist fiction in a system excels at epics and freewheeling fantasy. I take Jeff's point that KOPD shows that cow farming can work as a game element, but you can just as easily take the much greater success of KoDP as showing that farming and cows work better in a resource tracking simulation game than in a loose narrativist game. 

Other HW stuff had the opposite problem - huge epic scenarios, resolutely on tight rails. Scenarios for a narrativist game where you didn't have much role in the narrative. 

But S:KoH was when it all came together well. It took the best of the HW ideas, refocused, had scenarios that mostly worked with the system better. And actually made it feel like we could play in Sartar! Not some little corner of it, Sartar! 

There were some definite flaws still. The 'road encounters' section, so not really appropriate for a narrativist game to have a random wandering monsters table (but hey, it's a cool source of ideas), and particularly the radical idea that HQ2 creature descriptions are far too long and detail filled and anything that vaguely resembles a stat, even an abstract one (e.g. Weight) for any arbitrarily odd Glorantha creature that the reader be assumed to have no familiarity with at all, should be banished. 

But still, idiosyncrasies aside, big solid books of quality material. They got me back to regularly playing Glorantha again. 

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14 minutes ago, ReignDragonSMH said:

would there ever be a time when the Second Age would get another chance?

Putting aside the taint of Mongoose on the Second Age, it's possible that someone could submit a cool a manuscript to Chaosium that hit the canon spot and wowed them. The problem is that there are few writers and most are tied up at the end of the Third Age. With the Guide's publication it's easier to run historical games where you want. I suspect that a new version of the Second Age is ripe for fanzines. Or a setup like the Whitewall Wiki, where like minded people can get together and do their own version. As @Jeff said, there's not going to be a reprint of the Mongoose stuff, but that shouldn't stop you doing your own thing or sending him an outline of your marvellous 10 volume epic set there.

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I did not like MRQ1 much at all. I hated the rune crystals stuff (and find it oddly ironic that Steve Perrin seems to have introduced that idea). And the two big central empires both done quite badly and confusingly, IMO. But I loved Dara Happa Stirs a lot. 

MRQ2 was an obvious significant in most ways. Some parts very well done, like animism. RQ6 more of the same.

RQ6 and the Chaosium RQG project seem to have very different goals. RQ6 was an attempt to make a quite modern RQ, as much as that venerable game can be, and quite a few very good ideas, and some very modern features (like clear directions on how to tweak core game mechanics to adapt to different genres or play styles). RQG design goals seem to be almost disdaining the idea of modern - it's an attempt to return to 1984 and this time do it right. All the influences discussed in the Design Notes, except maybe a bit of HQG, are from the 1980s or earlier, even RQ3 a little suspiciously new.

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45 minutes ago, davecake said:

RQ6 and the Chaosium RQG project seem to have very different goals. RQ6 was an attempt to make a quite modern RQ, as much as that venerable game can be, and quite a few very good ideas, and some very modern features (like clear directions on how to tweak core game mechanics to adapt to different genres or play styles). RQG design goals seem to be almost disdaining the idea of modern - it's an attempt to return to 1984 and this time do it right. All the influences discussed in the Design Notes, except maybe a bit of HQG, are from the 1980s or earlier, even RQ3 a little suspiciously new.

I think your bang on and that concerns me.

A product fit for 1984 - 5 is going to seem a little clunky and dated when its released.

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13 minutes ago, Jon Hunter said:

I think your bang on and that concerns me.

A product fit for 1984 - 5 is going to seem a little clunky and dated when its released.

I disagree with both points - first that MRQ2/Mythras is a "modern game" (whatever that means) and second that RQG is somehow going to be an anachronism. 

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I will buy the game. Cannot judge it before  I have seen it and played it.... cannot really compare it to anything before that.  More than the rules (much more)  I am waiting the scenarios and campaigns. There is perhaps too much concentration on the rules sometimes - I have always been more interested in quality campaigns, sourcebooks and scenarios - I buy many more of those than rulebooks but this rulebook I will buy...

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I think there is a big difference between "Recapture Old Glory" vs. "Do it right this time".  The latter seems to be what Chaosium is striving for. I suspect they could save time money and a few white hairs if RQG were a glorified vanity project. I suspect they would not have bothered at all. Is everyone going to like it OR agree with the design? Nope. But that is every game ever.  Yes, the modern RPG audience is a challenge; game play has changed over the years and the real challenge will be getting new and younger converts to RQ. They won't do that by creating a game they don't believe in or only half believe in.  

As a note: RQ is one of the games that influenced a great deal of Indie Game theory and thought, which touches in some way many of the more 'modern' game designs. So I think it will fit in just fine with the newer gamers. 

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44 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I disagree with both points - first that MRQ2/Mythras is a "modern game" (whatever that means) and second that RQG is somehow going to be an anachronism. 

Jeff, just from your perceptions you would.

You went through MRQ in real time and it sounds like it was a mare. Thus you have some perceptions which are very negative re MRQ.

I pick it up a few years after without any emotional involvement or backstory, looking for a system to get back into Glorantha. I pick up MRQ2 and see something which is recognisable, is thin, has a few bits of polish i like which I like and can see some improvements system wise.

Trying to define what was more modern that I liked and would have personally kept or worked in,

  • Experience System
  • Skills
  • Character Creation
  • Hero Points

Now I opted to ditch and do my own thing instead, which may say something.

MR6/Mythras I never went for and it sounded detailed, heavy and too simulationist for my liking, but that would not have meant there were not ideas worth weaving in.

Jeff I really hope all of any of my fears are not founded, and i'm hoping to be proved wrong.

There are some brilliant changes in RQG, and when you get it right I will shout it from the room tops, but the decision to ditch everything post RQ2 is not one i would have made.

Edited by Jon Hunter
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1 minute ago, Jon Hunter said:

Jeff, just from your perceptions you would.

You went through MRQ in real time and it sounds like it was a mare. Thus you have on perception which very negative re MRQ.

I pick it up a few years after without any emotional involvement or backstory, looking for a system to get back into Glorantha. I pick up MRQ2 and see something which is recognisable, is thin, has a few bits of polish i like which I like and can see some improvements system wise.

Trying to define what was more modern that I liked and would have personally kept or worked in,

  • Experience System
  • Skills
  • Character Creation
  • Hero Points

Now I opted to ditch and do my own thing instead, which may say something.

MR6/Mythras I never went for and it sounded detailed, heavy and too simulationist for my liking, but that would not have meant there were not ideas worth weaving in.

Jeff I really hope all of any of my fears are not founded, and i'm hoping to be proved wrong.

There are some brilliant changes in RQG, and when you get it right I will shout it from the room tops, but the decision to ditch everything post RQ2 is not one i would have made.

Let's not use words like "modern" about any of these changes, as there are surprisingly few features in any game system that haven't appeared in one form or another in the first ten years or so of RPG game design. I'm not interested in critiquing MRQ2, but as a general rule, I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school. I don't consider the experience or skills system of RQ2/3 to be broke, so we didn't make many changes beyond presentation and explanation (except to clarify when experience rolls are to be made and to tie things into a seasonal model of campaign play).

Character generation has changed of course from RQ2/3 to RQG. Between Runes, family background, and the method used for tailoring character skills, this process has changed pretty dramatically from RQ2/3 (RQ2/3 both had very cumbersome previous experience systems).

Luck points to me seem quite inapposite to the ethos of RuneQuest - and to me felt like an effort to "fix" what IMO is a feature not a bug. But if you like luck points, by all means house rule them back in. 

None of that is to say MRQ2 was not well-made - it certainly was and Loz and Pete did an excellent job. However, its changes often "fixed" things we wanted to preserve (and there is an awful lot worth preserving in RQ2) or took the rules in a different direction from what we want. 

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Something I would love to see would be an adventure where the Mostali from the Dwarf Mine find out that a cadre of elite Lunars are preparing to heroquest to the Siege of Zistorwal, which thanks to Orlanth's intervention within Time is accessible through the Other Side. The Lunars plan to take on the role of Zistorites and allied God Learners in an effort to to tip the scales such that Orlanth was defeated, and thus gain a powerful anti-Orlanth(i) blessing for their faction in the here & now.  The Mostali want no part of Zistor's power to re-erupt in the current era, and so recruit Orlanthi allies to counter-quest to the Siege as EWF Orlanthi to stop the Lunars. 

It would be an opportunity to have some meaty playable Second Age lore put together without having together an entire world-book, and an opportunity to play with some of those toys in the Third Age if characters bring back a touch of forbidden mojo. The setup could also support PCs as the Lunars or Mostali, with all the forbidden and dangerous powers flying around being an excellent opportunity for intra-faction conflict as well. I mean really, how can that Illuminated (Occluded?) Irippi Ontor (N?)PC not try to bring home the Secret of the God Learners from such an expedition?

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59 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Let's not use words like "modern" about any of these changes, as there are surprisingly few features in any game system that haven't appeared in one form or another in the first ten years or so of RPG game design. I'm not interested in critiquing MRQ2, but as a general rule, I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school. I don't consider the experience or skills system of RQ2/3 to be broke, so we didn't make many changes beyond presentation and explanation (except to clarify when experience rolls are to be made and to tie things into a seasonal model of campaign play).

Character generation has changed of course from RQ2/3 to RQG. Between Runes, family background, and the method used for tailoring character skills, this process has changed pretty dramatically from RQ2/3 (RQ2/3 both had very cumbersome previous experience systems).

Luck points to me seem quite inapposite to the ethos of RuneQuest - and to me felt like an effort to "fix" what IMO is a feature not a bug. But if you like luck points, by all means house rule them back in. 

None of that is to say MRQ2 was not well-made - it certainly was and Loz and Pete did an excellent job. However, its changes often "fixed" things we wanted to preserve (and there is an awful lot worth preserving in RQ2) or took the rules in a different direction from what we want. 

'Modern' was Not my word, but someone elses, but it did resonate with me.

Trying to dig onto why... and whats meant by it. 

Looking at my experiences now ...

Massive RQ fan and player in the 1984 to 1990 timescale, loved Glorantha by the end found RQ a little limited as system.

Then a Whitewolf ( and a little bit of cyberpunk) player 1992 - 2003, so I would suggest I find anything closer to White Wolf systems as more modern.

That's what I think resonated with me. So very broadly speaking I think the changes to character gen and experience that were more focused towards player choice than random roles seemed more modern to me. Also rules changes that simplified and combined systems, so simple game mechanics seems more modern.

ergo imho modern is more player choice, and elegant and simple systems.

One of the reasons I love the rune point system is that its elegant and simple. 

Not that there's a right or wrong. Its just how I see things.
 

Edited by Jon Hunter
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3 hours ago, davecake said:

Joerg, there was a Plundering of Aron convention game? I'd love to know more.

Greg ran one, at a Tentacles convention. I don't quite remember all of the details, or who else sat in, but I was playing the Helamakt initiate, and I had read up on the various hints of that quest before (mostly hidden in the Finovan, Desemborth and Helamakt subsubcults in Thunder Rebels). So when the elves came and ambushed the party, my initiate stepped forth and called out for the lightning to strike at them. Greg went "Well, that's what Helamakt does." I don't quite remember whether I had to roll at all or whether against a resistance of 6. The encounter with the face guards was Finovan's chance to shine, and getting away with all the beasts (not just the ones we were going to get back) was Desemborth's feat. I remember that the face guards were quite unexpected in their appearance, and without the Finovan feat would have been a show-stopper.

I am not quite sure, but we might have been off to get the four-legged component of our extorted taxes back. (Cannot have been a quest to survive the Fimbulwinter, although at least the Helamakt initiate could have gone after switching to Heler.)

It definitely was Hero Wars, which might help date the con.

Perhaps some other survivor might chime in? I do remember that these games always had ag few of the more vociferous folk in them.

Anyway, that was my first cattle raid Hero Wars game. Highest stakes, deep into the myth when the clan didn't have the warband to do the job, but enough crazy magic people.

In a way, the Sivin Event was as anti-climactic as having my Storm Bull not quite yet King of Dragon Pass participate in the Issaries quest and step forth to slay that chaos monster.

The Plundering of Aron is one of the very few myths that encourages a party of adventurers to go forth and do a quest as a party. Given the Thunder Brothers as a collective, there should be lots of such mythical events that lend themselves to group quests rather than individual quests. The only other one getting detailed coverage is the Lightbringers' Quest, although there are a number of Vingkotling headlines (not really outlines) of myths about the four brothers or the seven husbands going on joint adventures.

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46 minutes ago, JonL said:

Something I would love to see would be an adventure where the Mostali from the Dwarf Mine find out that a cadre of elite Lunars are preparing to heroquest to the Siege of Zistorwal, which thanks to Orlanth's intervention within Time is accessible through the Other Side. The Lunars plan to take on the role of Zistorites and allied God Learners in an effort to to tip the scales such that Orlanth was defeated, and thus gain a powerful anti-Orlanth(i) blessing for their faction in the here & now.  The Mostali want no part of Zistor's power to re-erupt in the current era, and so recruit Orlanthi allies to counter-quest to the Siege as EWF Orlanthi to stop the Lunars. 

It would be an opportunity to have some meaty playable Second Age lore put together without having together an entire world-book, and an opportunity to play with some of those toys in the Third Age if characters bring back a touch of forbidden mojo. The setup could also support PCs as the Lunars or Mostali, with all the forbidden and dangerous powers flying around being an excellent opportunity for intra-faction conflict as well. I mean really, how can that Illuminated (Occluded?) Irippi Ontor (N?)PC not try to bring home the Secret of the God Learners from such an expedition?

This sounds like a recipe for a convention freeform game for between a dozen and two dozen players. Or a multi-party pen and paper game - I wrote and ran a few of those early in my career as a convention organizer (prior to my RQ phase), and they used to be quite the avantgarde thing to do in the late 1980ies in Germany. With a quite crunchy rules set, so doable in RQ, two. (Spelling intended.)

 

Speaking of which, there was a huge (IIRC 40-60 characters) convention freeform featuring the struggle between traditionalists, God Learners, and the EWF - Between the Dragon and the Deep Blue Sea. While it had its usual Freeform game silliness (like the appearance of the Machine God bearing an unmistakeable similarity to a certain space delivery service robot), it delivered more canon than the Mongoose books dealing with that region.

 

3 hours ago, David Scott said:

Putting aside the taint of Mongoose on the Second Age, it's possible that someone could submit a cool a manuscript to Chaosium that hit the canon spot and wowed them. The problem is that there are few writers and most are tied up at the end of the Third Age. With the Guide's publication it's easier to run historical games where you want. I suspect that a new version of the Second Age is ripe for fanzines. Or a setup like the Whitewall Wiki, where like minded people can get together and do their own version. As @Jeff said, there's not going to be a reprint of the Mongoose stuff, but that shouldn't stop you doing your own thing or sending him an outline of your marvellous 10 volume epic set there.

Definitely true. We could use a renewal of those communal efforts, whether as narrators coordinating a progressive timeline between interdependent campaigns (reusing major villains and patrons between them, much like the old Thieves World anthologies did), or as a communal creation of background material, NPCs and scenario seeds like the Whitewall Wiki produced. This could be done face to face on conventions, or via hangouts, in addition to old-fashioned text based exchanges like Wikis or forums/mailing lists.

There are always creative narrators yearning to share their subcreations, and to profit from cross-pollination of ideas, and there will be other campaigns profiting from such endeavors. Even when they end up superseded by new data made available - something that is bound to happen less and less as some of the privileged Highest Level Kickstarter stuff will be available to a broader public than earlier, and possibly shared in a cherry-picking way.

Setting out to produce new canon is doomed to fail, though. Setting out to collect the available canon and latch on playable scenario hooks or cameos is extremely fruitful, though. Especially where it invites "tribal" participation on all levels.

 

WRT "modernism": aren't we experiencing a huge wave of "old school" nostalgia carried over to a generation that wasn't even alive when the original versions of those rules were published? Not just DnD20.

The old Chaosium RQ2 has many admirers among people who don't think much of Glorantha as a setting. Getting a crunchy, simulationist rpg delivered in 120 pages, with the cults books as optional extensions, is a highly regarded achievement. If one wants to publish a game system both old and new, this seems to be the perfect time. And with evocative scenarios and well grounded expansions, players sceptical of the setting can be won over. It may take them a few years (about 3 or 4 years in my case, back in the earliest nineties), but it's possible.

 

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I don't get this talk of "modern".  I've played quite a few rpgs since the 70's.  All D&D did was try to copy RQ2 and become more like it.  And why wouldn't they?  Had not the whole AH debacle happened, D&D would have went the way of the betamax and RQ would be the standard.  What cracks me up is "modern" turned out to be more like classic RQ.  Everything else literally comes down to twiddling with dice roll mechanisms.

But other than the joy of rolling up a traveller character, nobody else has actually done anything that standard-setting since.  So I hardly think RQG will not be "modern".

OH, and I find it a bit disingenuous for the people who are telling me to be accepting of other people's tastes - I'm always accepting that other people like other game systems - to be the ones who started this thread by thrashing MRQ.  ie, while being highly critical of another game system is NOT the time to tell people they should be accepting of other people's preferred game system.

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1 hour ago, Pentallion said:

OH, and I find it a bit disingenuous for the people who are telling me to be accepting of other people's tastes - I'm always accepting that other people like other game systems - to be the ones who started this thread by thrashing MRQ.  ie, while being highly critical of another game system is NOT the time to tell people they should be accepting of other people's preferred game system.

With the exception of MRQ 1rst edition, most criticism in this thread had concentrated on Moongoose's treatment of background material rather than rules mechanics.

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6 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

'Modern' was Not my word, but someone elses, but it did resonate with me.

Trying to dig onto why... and whats meant by it. 

Looking at my experiences now ...

Massive RQ fan and player in the 1984 to 1990 timescale, loved Glorantha by the end found RQ a little limited as system.

Then a Whitewolf ( and a little bit of cyberpunk) player 1992 - 2003, so I would suggest I find anything closer to White Wolf systems as more modern.

That's what I think resonated with me. So very broadly speaking I think the changes to character gen and experience that were more focused towards player choice than random roles seemed more modern to me. Also rules changes that simplified and combined systems, so simple game mechanics seems more modern.

ergo imho modern is more player choice, and elegant and simple systems.

One of the reasons I love the rune point system is that its elegant and simple. 

Not that there's a right or wrong. Its just how I see things.
 

Warning... a bit ranty:

Honestly, WW didn't do "modern" in a game-mechanical way.  They just brought in some new fans, and broke open the modern-urban-fantasy & vamp genres.

Dicepool mechanics came (sans any particular innovation) from prior games like Champions and Shadowrun; I played both before R*H & Co joined WW.

PC's built from points, player-designed / no-rolling came at least as early as Champions, many years pre-WW.

Champions also allowed players to spend their XP's (which were identical to chargen build-points) however they wanted (honestly, I see RQ's "get XP from doing the stuff you actually DO" as the superior and more-elegant system than free-spend; but I prefer a hybrid of both, despite a bit of extra complexity).

The "Storyteller" GM and the "story-centric" conceit they inherited linearly from Ars Magica's "Storyguide".

So, I *REALLY* don't see the "modernity" in WW/WoD.  YMMV.  Which is not to say I have a problem with those games; they are perfectly fine games.

Well actually, I have a couple of gripes...

My two biggest complaints against the Storyteller-system are two:

  • mechanically, varying the TN (yes, they eventually revised to mostly-fixed TN's of 6 or 7, a HUGE improvement) and number of dice... completely destroyed my ability to understand how the probabilities of success were altering as the skills & difficulties were altering; also the swingy-ness with low numbers of dice & oddities of risk with odd-vs-even numbers of dice, in smaller dice-pools
  • socially, I kept running into the icky side of their fanbase, with pretentious goth-y types and camarilla-LARP asshats who freely bled their personal lives into their games and vice versa in very middle-school-politics and horny-teen ways (yes, this was just a problem with my local "scene" -- eventually I found some 'Con events that proved the fanbase wasn't 100% vile)

But it kept me from EVER getting into these games or their world.  </RANT>

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9 hours ago, g33k said:

Warning... a bit ranty:

Honestly, WW didn't do "modern" in a game-mechanical way.  They just brought in some new fans, and broke open the modern-urban-fantasy & vamp genres.

Dicepool mechanics came (sans any particular innovation) from prior games like Champions and Shadowrun; I played both before R*H & Co joined WW.

PC's built from points, player-designed / no-rolling came at least as early as Champions, many years pre-WW.

Champions also allowed players to spend their XP's (which were identical to chargen build-points) however they wanted (honestly, I see RQ's "get XP from doing the stuff you actually DO" as the superior and more-elegant system than free-spend; but I prefer a hybrid of both, despite a bit of extra complexity).

The "Storyteller" GM and the "story-centric" conceit they inherited linearly from Ars Magica's "Storyguide".

So, I *REALLY* don't see the "modernity" in WW/WoD.  YMMV.  Which is not to say I have a problem with those games; they are perfectly fine games.

Well actually, I have a couple of gripes...

My two biggest complaints against the Storyteller-system are two:

  • mechanically, varying the TN (yes, they eventually revised to mostly-fixed TN's of 6 or 7, a HUGE improvement) and number of dice... completely destroyed my ability to understand how the probabilities of success were altering as the skills & difficulties were altering; also the swingy-ness with low numbers of dice & oddities of risk with odd-vs-even numbers of dice, in smaller dice-pools
  • socially, I kept running into the icky side of their fanbase, with pretentious goth-y types and camarilla-LARP asshats who freely bled their personal lives into their games and vice versa in very middle-school-politics and horny-teen ways (yes, this was just a problem with my local "scene" -- eventually I found some 'Con events that proved the fanbase wasn't 100% vile)

But it kept me from EVER getting into these games or their world.  </RANT>

lol rants allowed, but maybe taken with a pinch of salt

Of course WW wasn't 100% new, but it did flagship a development of gaming from the 70's and early 80's, D&D and BRP systems.

I would also throw ars magica, shadowrun, cyperpunk, earthdawn, etc, etc into a period of gaming that  probably isn't best described as modern any more(25 years ago **** me), but does reflect the -player design led characters and more elegant(simple) mechanic systems.

I am good with numbers and probability, so the d10 dicepool and variable difficulty level things works well for me.

As regards the fanbase im probably guilty of being both a victim and perpetrator of what you hated back in the day, but hey ho we were young(er) then.

Edited by Jon Hunter

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On 14/04/2017 at 0:30 AM, smiorgan said:

Strange as it may seem, I remember the idea of "physical runes as drops of the blood of the gods" was floated by Steve Perrin during the ill-fated online playtest of RQ1. Many strange things happened during that playtest. I still have a few docs on my hard drive...

I remember Steve Perrin created a draft (well, it was a draft, but was published barely unchanged) for Runic Magic during the infamous playtest, but I don't remember if the idea was originally from him, or from previous playtest documents from Mongoose.

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CoC is based on BRP, and we know that BRP grew out of RQ2. I don't recall people criticising CoC for being dated or clunky, so I really can't imagine anyone levelling the same accusations with any justification at the new RQG, particularly since clearly  a *lot* of work has gone into it to update it (but not to "fix" what wasn't broken in the first place, as Jeff said).

 

 

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On 14/04/2017 at 5:36 PM, soltakss said:

Honestly? It is not as bad as people say it is.

The background material is generally OK, but has flaws, mainly that it is not 100% compatible with earlier or later material, which is mildly annoying.

The various books are generally usable and playable. The magic is OK, but has the general Mongoose flaw of "I need a spell to do this, so I'll write one without thinking of how it balances with other spells".

I liked the Jrusteli books, for example, especially the HeroQuesting ideas.

There are no real scenario packs, except for Blood of Orlanth or Dara Happa Stirs, which are both recommended.

If you want a lot of ideas about the Second Age and can get them cheaply then they are not a bad buy.

I quite liked MRQ character creation, honestly

Combat system was poorly explained, to say the least, with an example that was not in line with the published rules. Notably, the example required two attack rolls, the second being compared

Runic Magic's major flaw was that not all runes had the same number of spells. Metal, for instance, had a dozen, I think, whereas Heat or Plant had only one each.

Divine Magic introduced the idea of Dedicated Magic Points, which had the drawback to drastically lower priests MP maximum.

Sorcery was almost unchanged, except it only cost 1 MP to add a Manipulation effect to a spell, equal to (Skill/10).

Also, most magic professions were created when runic Magic was the only one available, which meant there was no official ways to create a character with either Divine or Sorcery.

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On 4/17/2017 at 8:55 AM, JonL said:

Looping to the SA material, has anyone played a game where you were God Learners exploring/exploiting the Other Side? Did the MRQ materials give you any helpful tools for that sort of game? If so, are the ideas helpful for other sorts of experimental Heroquesting?

This kind of got lost in all the edition warring earlier. I'd like to not only reiterate but broaden it further. For those of you who played it, are some things about the Second Age as a setting made for particularly good game experiences for you? Somebody mentioned enjoying Blood of Orlanth, that's a very Second Agey concept from what I read about it. What are some things that the Second Age brought to your table that you wouldn't have experienced otherwise?

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13 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

I would also throw ars magica, shadowrun, cyperpunk, earthdawn, etc, etc into a period of gaming that  probably isn't best described as modern any more(25 years ago **** me), but does reflect the -player design led characters and more elegant(simple) mechanic systems.

Well, WW/WoD came directly out of LR/ArsMagica by way of Anne Rice.  ;-)     "Mage" was to be "Ars Modernica..."    Kind of.

But I really don't see any of those games as having notably more "elegant" or "simple" systems than RQ2:  d100 roll-under vs %skill; at need, treat a stat (or stat*3 or stat*5) as a %skill; special on 1/5 and crit on 1/20 of that basic to-hit, and fumble on 1/20 of basic to-miss.  That's the core mechanic in a line and a half... simple & elegant, thy name is RuneQuest!

I *DO* have to yield the point on "player design" (of their own character, via point-build) which RQ didn't do much -- Champions was a real eye-opener for me when I met it in the early '80s, and Storyteller's "dots" is admittedly MUCH simpler and more-elegant (and player driven) than RQ's character-build.

 

13 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

I am good with numbers and probability, so the d10 dicepool and variable difficulty level things works well for me.

I'm pretty good with numbers, too.  But...  [5d10 at TN=7]  vs  [7d10 at TN=8] ???   Chance of botch with [3d10 at TN=5] vs [4d10 at TN=6] ???

Yes, I *can* figure these out.  But they slowed down game-play.  Maybe I'd have become more adept with more practice, or spotted some patterns and other tricks to make it easier, but didn't get a chance because I bounced so hard off the local WoD-culture.  But I (and others I gamed with) found some of the glitchy breakpoints in the odds made us feel the system was Just Broken.

 

14 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

As regards the fanbase im probably guilty of being both a victim and perpetrator of what you hated back in the day, but hey ho we were young(er) then.

Hopefully you weren't among the most-egregious.  In retrospect, I'm virtually certain that some of the self-styled "Princes" were literally committing RL-crimes under cover of their LARPing "authority".

 

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But I really don't see any of those games as having notably more "elegant" or "simple" systems than RQ2:  d100 roll-under vs %skill; at need, treat a stat (or stat*3 or stat*5) as a %skill; special on 1/5 and crit on 1/20 of that basic to-hit, and fumble on 1/20 of basic to-miss.  That's the core mechanic in a line and a half... simple & elegant, thy name is RuneQuest!

I'm putting my head in the lions mouth here but Runequest wasn't one system  it was an game using a number of different systems for a number of different things.

the d100 skills and combat system is the core system as is elegant (thus it beign so successful for so long ), but has issues which need to be overcome;

  • Difficulty modifiers
  • Resisted actions
  • High competency characters ( above 100%)

But we then have a stats system that was a modified import from D&D, a good magic system which isn't d100 based, a HP and armour system which is good but is again a different mechanic.

I don't think that is change able, and actually it can be treated as a strength rather than a weakness.

Adding elegance to RQ imho is making those differing systems interact well and remove some of the steep steps which appear in RQ2.  ( ie if you are using d100 use d100 and dont simulate d20 by doing everything in 5% steps )

Quote

 

I'm pretty good with numbers, too.  But...  [5d10 at TN=7]  vs  [7d10 at TN=8] ???   Chance of botch with [3d10 at TN=5] vs [4d10 at TN=6] ???

Yes, I *can* figure these out.  But they slowed down game-play.  Maybe I'd have become more adept with more practice, or spotted some patterns and other tricks to make it easier, but didn't get a chance because I bounced so hard off the local WoD-culture.  But I (and others I gamed with) found some of the glitchy breakpoints in the odds made us feel the system was Just Broken.

 

There are sheets out there https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OK1pf7N3tIoPYYhX0kL37s-awQ0owwKNZlopwZ4EjHI/edit#gid=0

However i'm unsure how knowing stats as precise percentages helps speed up gameplay, just make your calls and use the system you are using.

But in short when things get very difficult its not linear percentages and chances of botching become much higher even if you are very skilled, i'm happy with that sweet spot for difficult levels /TNs is 5 - 7.  TN's 8 -9 get risky and weird and i'm happy with that mechanic.

Quote

Hopefully you weren't among the most-egregious.  In retrospect, I'm virtually certain that some of the self-styled "Princes" were literally committing RL-crimes under cover of their LARPing "authority".

Arses are arses where ever you will find them. Game life balance with the cam thing did get a little fuzzy and the worst it got with my group was RL friendships lost over in game actions, With 20/20 hindsight v silly.

Edited by Jon Hunter

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7 hours ago, g33k said:

I *DO* have to yield the point on "player design" (of their own character, via point-build) which RQ didn't do much -- Champions was a real eye-opener for me when I met it in the early '80s, and Storyteller's "dots" is admittedly MUCH simpler and more-elegant (and player driven) than RQ's character-build.

Yeah, Champions was (and probably still is) the gold standard for character creation, granting a bit of a learning curve and a susceptibility to attempted min-maxing.  (This from someone who played with the Cal Tech crew that playtested the game, but it had already been published by the time I fell in with them.)

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