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Runeblogger

My review of the RuneQuest Quickstart

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Hi, 

I've published a review of the RuneQuest Quickstart. This time in English. ;)

https://elruneblog.blogspot.com.es/2017/06/a-review-of-runequest-quickstart.html

I have enjoyed reading it and I hope I can run the adventure soon, maybe I'll insert it in my Prax-Pavis campaign.
In the review I also present some ideas of what sort of FrankenQuest I would build now.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Runeblogger!

In your review you make the somewhat sobering point that The Broken Tower is the first official scenario published for RuneQuest set in Glorantha's Third Age (the "default" campaign setting) since 1994, when the scenario book Strangers in Prax was published for RQIII—23 years! 

pic516408.jpg

 

Edited by MOB
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Exactly, isn't it incredible? And I loved that supplement BTW, one of my all time favourites. :)

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1 hour ago, Runeblogger said:

Exactly, isn't it incredible? And I loved that supplement BTW, one of my all time favourites. :)

Personally, it's also a bit sobering for me to think I was involved in the first completely new Glorantha scenarios to appear for Chaosium/AH RuneQuest (Sun County, which came out eight years after the launch of RQIII) and the last (in Strangers in Prax), 23 years ago. 

We are going to ensure our new edition has plenty of Gloranthan scenarios to play from the go-get.

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12 hours ago, MOB said:

We are going to ensure our new edition has plenty of Gloranthan scenarios to play from the go-get.

Terrific, wise approach.  Even if go-get must be a weird Australian malapropization of get-go. :) 

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lol :D

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7 hours ago, styopa said:

...  Even if go-get must be a weird Australian malapropization of get-go. :) 

Perfectly normal, there.

Everything that's not upside down is backwards...  :D

 

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23 years since the Coders... and I still have to run that scenario in my Prax/Pavis campaign...! :(
Will you be writing any scenarios like that, MOB?

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I have updated my review with the info on spirit combat and shamanism included with the 6th PC, Vishi Dun, an assistant shaman (but not a shaman!).

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Posted (edited)

This morning was the first time I had the chance to read through the QS completely, though I'd read bits here and there previously.  Following is my review:

Putting the cart before the horse, I loved the scenario.  Not high marks, top marks.  It was clear and concise, had a good story, flavor, and background, was well-balanced, and provided numerous options for the PC's and GM.  A very solid example of a one-off, with hooks for possible campaign use.  Personally, I liked the sprul-pa; the atmospheric of their ability reminds me of the summoning of the supposed vodou spirit from Live and Let Die.  Some minor quibbles:  I question the Loyalty levels of a certain PC, who should be obvious to those who have read the QS.  I would think they'd become clear fairly quickly, with attendant consequences.  Also, a Priestess with <18 POW?  Extremely minor quibble:  How many times can Vasana 'fight with great glory?'

As for the rules as presented, not so much.  (Note that this is specifically with reference to the rules additions; RQ2 is and likely always will be my all-time favorite RPG.)  I'm certain that many of the things I will mention below have been brought up in other threads, including a couple I've already commented on elsewhere, nor do I expect them to change much, if at all.

Pros:

   1)  Rune Point reservoir and the ability of PC's to select castable Rune spells from among the cult's pool of available ones.  This has been needed for a long time.

   2)  The creation of Magic Points to differentiate spell reserve from characteristic POW.

   3)  A Reputation system, though at this point it's necessarily vague.  Ransom, too, which wasn't dealt with in RQ2 as far as I can recall.

   4)  The new skills add color and help suggest story lines.

   5)  The box of advice for players re: Combat.  I assume that this and lots of illustrative examples will find their way into the full rules.

Cons:

   1)  Systematizing the adjustment of success chances (i.e. Inspiration).  It basically encourages players to spend their time looking for ways to improve their success chance instead of strategic thinking or RP'ing.

   2)  I really don't like Passions.  I've registered this objection before; I think it's unnecessary for experienced RP'ers.  Nice guide for newbies, but merely excess crunch otherwise.

   3)  Speaking of added crunch, I'm not a big fan of the reworked Rune magic system, aside from what I mentioned in Pros.  I generally prefer auto casting success to a chance of failure, especially with spells that not only require sacrifice but are granted by a god.  Rune Affinity's issues tie in with 1 and 2 above.  (Yes, I know, if you're misbehaving you should be punished, but there are other avenues for that.  Be a real shame if you couldn't recover your Rune points, huh?)

   4)  I'm definitely of the 'Battle Magic' school vs. 'Spirit Magic,' and I don't like the rationale being completely spirit-based.  (This excepts Sorcery, of course; although if sorcerors are able to manipulate 'reality' according to fundamental laws or attributes of magic without spirits, indicating that such laws exist, why not everyone else?)

   5)  Quibble:  Are crits on the Ability Results Table subsumed under Special Successes?  If someone has less than an 08% ability and rolls 01, do they get to choose between special and crit successes?

 

Overall, I don't see much that motivates me to get the rule set itself.  I'm perfectly fine with running my modified RQ2 game, and its similarity to RQG makes conversion nearly trivial.  However, you've still got me for the background books and scenarios.  I've almost always been impressed with the level of quality and information of Chaosium products.

I realize this may not make me too popular, but it is what it is and I'm an ornery cuss. :D  MGWV.

 

Edited by Yelm's Light
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7 hours ago, Yelm's Light said:

Overall, I don't see much that motivates me to get the rule set itself.  I'm perfectly fine with running my modified RQ2 game, and its similarity to RQG makes conversion nearly trivial.  However, you've still got me for the background books and scenarios.  I've almost always been impressed with the level of quality and information of Chaosium products.

I tend to agree with your views and am reserving my final opinions for the actual release of the rule books BUT, like you, am happy to spend money on new resource books from the Chaosium. With Rick and MOB around, they have my group's interest. As outlined, Passions and the way that the new Rune(rube) Magic works? Not so much.

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10 hours ago, Yelm's Light said:

Cons:

   1)  Systematizing the adjustment of success chances (i.e. Inspiration).  It basically encourages players to spend their time looking for ways to improve their success chance instead of strategic thinking or RP'ing.

   2)  I really don't like Passions.  I've registered this objection before; I think it's unnecessary for experienced RP'ers.  Nice guide for newbies, but merely excess crunch otherwise.

   3)  Speaking of added crunch, I'm not a big fan of the reworked Rune magic system, aside from what I mentioned in Pros.  I generally prefer auto casting success to a chance of failure, especially with spells that not only require sacrifice but are granted by a god.  Rune Affinity's issues tie in with 1 and 2 above.  (Yes, I know, if you're misbehaving you should be punished, but there are other avenues for that.  Be a real shame if you couldn't recover your Rune points, huh?)

   4)  I'm definitely of the 'Battle Magic' school vs. 'Spirit Magic,' and I don't like the rationale being completely spirit-based.  (This excepts Sorcery, of course; although if sorcerors are able to manipulate 'reality' according to fundamental laws or attributes of magic without spirits, indicating that such laws exist, why not everyone else?)

   5)  Quibble:  Are crits on the Ability Results Table subsumed under Special Successes?  If someone has less than an 08% ability and rolls 01, do they get to choose between special and crit successes?

2 (& 3 ?) - I will vote rather in favor of these, although I'm meh over them having virtually the same mechanic:  I'd rather a Passion and a Rune both grant advantages, but each grant different sorts of advantages.

But here's the thing:  it makes really good sense to me that when you're Passionate about something, you go the extra mile; you bring a bit more to the table; etc.  You're just a bit better at it because you're just a bit more invested into the outcome...  I don't see it as a crutch for bad RP'ers, or as a straightjacket for good ones, but as a mechanic bringing out the heroic reality of the world.  Inigo Montoya was a great swordsman; but his going-beyond achievement wasn't the virtuoso battle against DPR/Wesley but gutstabbed and STILL out-fencing the Six Fingered Man.

So too with Runes:  they are metaphysical / cosmological building-blocks of Gloranthan reality.  And when you act in ways that align with the runes you have affinity to... why, everything just goes better for you.  You are In The Zone, you're Going With The Flow, the Force Is With You, etc etc etc...

As for Rune Level spells and the new mechanic... honestly, I want to get a feel for it in play.  I can envision disliking how it plays, or liking it.  I'm not sure, and the QS (and my RL) just hasn't afforded me enough play-time to have a good sense of these.

4 - I have no problem with Sorcery being "That school of magic based upon the understanding of 'magical forces' as being magico-logical rules and principles, to be directly manipulated in a semi / pseudo - scientific manner," while other kinds are "magic driven by a spirit-based understanding of magical forces."

It's not that "everyone else" cannot follow the same principles that Sorcery does, it's that once you're following those principles... why, you're doing Sorcery, kinda by definition...

5 - 100% agree.  This is a chronic issue in the RQ community, with misunderstandings / HRs / forum-flamewars / etc ...  Exactly how "Critical" vs "Special" results interplay, overlap, etc... needs to be VERY clear in the new rules!

 

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, Yelm's Light said:

Overall, I don't see much that motivates me to get the rule set itself.  I'm perfectly fine with running my modified RQ2 game, and its similarity to RQG makes conversion nearly trivial.  However, you've still got me for the background books and scenarios.  I've almost always been impressed with the level of quality and information of Chaosium products.

If you consider the value proposition to be mainly about the combat system, then you're probably right and the new RQ doesn't change that enough to move the needle for you. That's pretty much by design. The RQ2 combat system isn't broken so other than some tweaks and updates here and there it doesn't try to resolve-engineer it all that much.

i think the real value in the new RQ will be more about expanding out the system to cover so many things RQ2 didn't even try to handle, or did so in a very perfunctory and unsatisfactory way. The sorts of things I'm looking forward to seeing given solid systemic support are: Shamanism, spirits and the spirit world. Ritual magic and enchantments. Sorcery. Lunar magic. Proper Earth magic and women's cults.

The value IMHO will be in all the things RQ2 didn't really come close to providing, or provided only in vestigial form, not in just refreshing the stuff you already have. But the QuickStart isn't really going to showcase any of that.

Simon Hibbs

Edited by simonh
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8 hours ago, g33k said:

2 (& 3 ?) - I will vote rather in favor of these, although I'm meh over them having virtually the same mechanic:  I'd rather a Passion and a Rune both grant advantages, but each grant different sorts of advantages.

But here's the thing:  it makes really good sense to me that when you're Passionate about something, you go the extra mile; you bring a bit more to the table; etc.  You're just a bit better at it because you're just a bit more invested into the outcome...  I don't see it as a crutch for bad RP'ers, or as a straightjacket for good ones, but as a mechanic bringing out the heroic reality of the world.  Inigo Montoya was a great swordsman; but his going-beyond achievement wasn't the virtuoso battle against DPR/Wesley but gutstabbed and STILL out-fencing the Six Fingered Man.

So too with Runes:  they are metaphysical / cosmological building-blocks of Gloranthan reality.  And when you act in ways that align with the runes you have affinity to... why, everything just goes better for you.  You are In The Zone, you're Going With The Flow, the Force Is With You, etc etc etc...

I don't see how 'going the extra mile' immediately and temporarily improves your knowledge, or your ability to pick a lock, or to improve your jumping ability.  The current system is at the least overbroad as far as skills are concerned.  I'd also argue that gaining up to half again your skill chance is more than just a bit better.  As for the Princess Bride analogy, how about that Inigo Montoya was just that much better than the Six-Fingered Man in the long run?

But that doesn't get at the other of my primary objections, which is that it in effect promotes rules lawyering over play.  I can see it happening occasionally at GM discretion and introduction, not PC's, based on situations that fit logically.  But there's no way I'd adjust skill that much or install it as part of the game, nor have time-wasting discussions with PC's over what is and isn't an appropriate rationale for it.

9 hours ago, g33k said:

So too with Runes:  they are metaphysical / cosmological building-blocks of Gloranthan reality.  And when you act in ways that align with the runes you have affinity to... why, everything just goes better for you.  You are In The Zone, you're Going With The Flow, the Force Is With You, etc etc etc...

As for Rune Level spells and the new mechanic... honestly, I want to get a feel for it in play.  I can envision disliking how it plays, or liking it.  I'm not sure, and the QS (and my RL) just hasn't afforded me enough play-time to have a good sense of these.

The god(s) you follow should fit in there too.  I also think it implies far more sentience for Runes than they have (which is to say none).  You may see it differently, and run the world accordingly.

9 hours ago, g33k said:

4 - I have no problem with Sorcery being "That school of magic based upon the understanding of 'magical forces' as being magico-logical rules and principles, to be directly manipulated in a semi / pseudo - scientific manner," while other kinds are "magic driven by a spirit-based understanding of magical forces."

It's not that "everyone else" cannot follow the same principles that Sorcery does, it's that once you're following those principles... why, you're doing Sorcery, kinda by definition...

My view of it is that Battle Magic is rote learning of formulae, whereas Sorcery, while it can include such, also focuses on creating spells/effects that didn't exist before.  You're still dealing with the same forces, it's just that sorcerors learn to creatively manipulate the nature of magic.

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At least the new version goes a long way towards addressing perhaps the greatest failing of RQ 1/2/3.  Despite its name the game had almost nothing to do with Runes.  Sure the campaign world did, but the game itself didn't.

 

In my opinion, the biggest disappointment with the new version is that like RQ 1/2 it is still just a pseudo-D100 game, not a true D100 game (like RQ3) as it appears skills can only have (at least normal) values that are multiples of 5.

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38 minutes ago, Mechashef said:

In my opinion, the biggest disappointment with the new version is that like RQ 1/2 it is still just a pseudo-D100 game, not a true D100 game (like RQ3) as it appears skills can only have (at least normal) values that are multiples of 5.

I presume that's a quickstart thing, or perhaps NPCs are easier to envision with skill chances rounded off to the nearest 5.

Jeff has stated a few times that PCs are likely to develop skills more like RQ3 or BGB, rather than rounding skills off like in RQ2.

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5 hours ago, simonh said:

(The new game will hopefully address) ...Proper Earth magic and women's cults.

Huh?

Ernalda and Babeester Gor weren't "proper women's cults"...in what True Scotsman sense were you referring?

I think going down that road would be very foolish, opening cans of worms thus far avoided.

Personally, I think much of the ethos of Glorantha has been that there's LESS of the gender specificity (ie women and men don't have as rigid role exclusivity) than historical earth.

In point of fact, the only gender-exclusive cults we've seen in Glorantha are ...women-only.

Unless, of course, you believe that some animals are more equal than others...

 

 

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Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, Mechashef said:

In my opinion, the biggest disappointment with the new version is that like RQ 1/2 it is still just a pseudo-D100 game, not a true D100 game (like RQ3) as it appears skills can only have (at least normal) values that are multiples of 5.

Going back to the Ability Results Table (p. 3), you'll see it's not broken down into multiples of 5, so I expect skill increases will differ at least. (Maybe PC's begin with skills in multiples of 5, but that's complete theory on my part.) Also, the only 'experience' that shows up in the QS is the gaining of Reputation as a reward, and that's between 3% and 6%.

Edited by Yelm's Light

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18 hours ago, Mechashef said:

In my opinion, the biggest disappointment with the new version is that like RQ 1/2 it is still just a pseudo-D100 game, not a true D100 game (like RQ3) as it appears skills can only have (at least normal) values that are multiples of 5.

Well, there are 2 skills that will rarely have values that are multiples of 5 : Dodge and Jump, whose base value are respectiveley 2x DEX and 3x DEX (+Skill bonus).

You'll need a multiple of 5 in DEX to have a multiple of 5 in either of those skills.

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18 hours ago, styopa said:

Huh?

Ernalda and Babeester Gor weren't "proper women's cults"...in what True Scotsman sense were you referring?

 

Babeester Gor was ok, but Ernalda and many of the other women's cults just weren't interesting. The cult itself is fine, but the Magic was pretty rubbish to be honest and didn't really support the social role of the cult. I think this is just what happens when you build out an RPG game system from the combat system outwards. But BRP and game mechanics 'technology' has advanced a lot in last few decades. Also hopefully new game mechanics like Rune and Passion bonuses, community rules, etc will provide the means to make these cults rock.

Simon Hibbs

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What I'd like to see with the cults is something similar to Pendragon's Religious Virtues, gaining game bonuses if the certain traits are kept at high values. Establishing which Runes are Primary, Secondary and Adverse for example with required minimums (or maximums for Adverse Runes) and granting suitable boons; access to Rune Magic, extra HP, natural armour, faster healing etc.

Of course this would only work if the GM made use of Runic traits during play to 'encourage' players to follow their faith.

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On 16/07/2017 at 4:20 PM, simonh said:

If you consider the value proposition to be mainly about the combat system, then you're probably right and the new RQ doesn't change that enough to move the needle for you. That's pretty much by design. The RQ2 combat system isn't broken so other than some tweaks and updates here and there it doesn't try to resolve-engineer it all that much.

It might not be broken (even if I still have an issue with multiple attacks for ranged and hand to hand attacks), but it certainly shows its age and is fairly "heavy". I reserve my judgement until I see the final result, but I think it will be a missed opportunity to come with something really modern and driving the d100 system. 

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, DSC1978 said:

It might not be broken (even if I still have an issue with multiple attacks for ranged and hand to hand attacks), but it certainly shows its age and is fairly "heavy". I reserve my judgement until I see the final result, but I think it will be a missed opportunity to come with something really modern and driving the d100 system. 

Coming up with a system that scores high on both the simulationist and playability scales is a really tall order.  At its base, RQ2 does well enough at both. (To me, anyway.)

Besides, Glorantha is an ancient world. :)

Edited by Yelm's Light

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Posted (edited)

I would of liked to see CoC 7E's skill levels, but thats easy to hand wave in.

Possibly changing the Skill Category calculations would be my preference, to make characteristics more prominent. Maybe along the lines of how RQ2 Hit Points are calculated by having the base chance equal to the value of a primary characteristic, with bonuses /negatives thrown in for secondary and tertiary characteristics. That would be one way to do it, and also easy to hand wave in if desired.

Other than that, I'm pretty happy with RQG so far. The stat block is pretty similar to RQ2/RQ3 so all of the old resources are not obsolete (which is kinda what occured with MRQ).

I'm happy with the new bolt-on Runes and Passions.

So far so good

Edited by Mankcam
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