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I LOVE OpenQuest

I love the whole ethos of it, I think many of the design decisions are brilliant

But I really dislike the (inspired by MRQ) skill names

I did a bit of a bodge swapping in skills from Elric! and it kind of worked. However I'm now thinking of swapping skills out and using careers (as per RuneQuest Slayers or Barbarians of Lemuria). I have what I think is a workable method of gluing to two sets of rules together. Has anyone tried this? How did you get on? Any cautions or warnings to share?

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I kept the MRQ skill names for backwards compatibility with MRQ/Other D100% games and familiarity to existing D100 players.

These days I wouldn't be so precious. In fact for a draft D100# system I've got on my hard drive I completely recast skills, to be very much like you've just said.

Meet Humperk, who's spent some time in the Thieves Guild, which gives him advanced training in all the things you'd expect from a Theif, before mending his ways and becoming a member of the Pope's Guard, which gives him his soldering skills. He's also learnt a bit of Darklander because he's spent some time on the Empire's border.  At character Gen each player character gets a Primary  Career, Secondary Career and a sort of interest/hobby skill. 

In this draft, the Characteristic Skills (in brackets) are the basic skills as well as being the base for the Trained Skills. So if you ask Humperk to break an iron bar, you'll be using his Str Base at 30%. But ask him to break down a door you'll be using his Pope's Guard skill because all Pope's guards are trained in this sort of thing, or if he gets the chance to pick the lock you can use the Thieve's Skill of 74%. 

I've playtested it once during a Con Game of River of Heaven, and once the players got used to working out that they had a higher Trained Skill than Base skill, they were cooking with gas :) But with all things I would give it some more playtesting before unleashing it on the wild.

Humperk , Sergeant in the Pope’s Guard

STR 10 (30%) CON 15 (45%) DEX 16 (48%) INT 20 (60%) POW 15 (45%) CHA 18 (54%)

HP 15 MP 15 Armour Ringmail (1d6)

Weapons: Pole Axe (1d10), Dagger (1d4)

Trained Skills

Thieves Skills Base (DEX) 48% + 27% Training= 75%

Pope’s Guard Fighting Base (STR) 30+Training 30% = 60%

Language (Darklander) Base (INT) 60%+ Training 14% = 74%

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Thanks for that reply, many ideas to ponder and possibly purloin.

 

A couple of questions out of curiosity:

No mention of Siz; is that because you streamlined the characteristic list and folded the game effects into Str? Or just because there is no skill associated with it and so it wasn't worth mentioning in this context?

I get that the untrained base scores are at (characteristic) x3 but I cannot work out how the magnitude of the training bonus is calculated. Clearly it is nothing as simple as +40/+20/+10, so there must be a reason for the granularity, but I find myself unable to reverse engineer it from that post!

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I like the idea of using 3 times a single characteristic as a base for skills. :)

Edited by Mugen

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SIZ has been dropped in this version. Apart from working out, Hit Points it's almost redundant in OQ. Remember the early days where I got people hassling me to quantify how big Siz was and to produce a table which gave heights and weight ranges by Siz?  That's when I realised I wasn't interested in having OQ tied to any definite physical limits, that it was way more abstract than even say RQ3. And I'm ok with that because I get to keep the fun bits, without the nonsense navel gazing maths :)

Humperk is a quick proof of concept. Base skills are obviously Characteristic x 3, and I'm not even sure I'd go with that now (because as soon as you hit the upper end you start getting ridiculous bases, eg 18 gives you 90%) 

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Delta Green made this wise decision in its new version too. Doesn't hurt playability a bit.

Being abstract and keeping the fun bits while ditching the nonsense is the right way in my opinion. Case in point: "Lethality Rating" for automatic and heavy weapons. Fast, intuitive _and_ realistic - work of beauty.

kind regards,

Stephan

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On 22/10/2017 at 4:03 AM, Newt said:

I kept the MRQ skill names for backwards compatibility with MRQ/Other D100% games and familiarity to existing D100 players.

These days I wouldn't be so precious. In fact for a draft D100# system I've got on my hard drive I completely recast skills, to be very much like you've just said.

Meet Humperk, who's spent some time in the Thieves Guild, which gives him advanced training in all the things you'd expect from a Theif, before mending his ways and becoming a member of the Pope's Guard, which gives him his soldering skills. He's also learnt a bit of Darklander because he's spent some time on the Empire's border.  At character Gen each player character gets a Primary  Career, Secondary Career and a sort of interest/hobby skill. 

In this draft, the Characteristic Skills (in brackets) are the basic skills as well as being the base for the Trained Skills. So if you ask Humperk to break an iron bar, you'll be using his Str Base at 30%. But ask him to break down a door you'll be using his Pope's Guard skill because all Pope's guards are trained in this sort of thing, or if he gets the chance to pick the lock you can use the Thieve's Skill of 74%. 

I've playtested it once during a Con Game of River of Heaven, and once the players got used to working out that they had a higher Trained Skill than Base skill, they were cooking with gas :) But with all things I would give it some more playtesting before unleashing it on the wild.

Humperk , Sergeant in the Pope’s Guard

STR 10 (30%) CON 15 (45%) DEX 16 (48%) INT 20 (60%) POW 15 (45%) CHA 18 (54%)

HP 15 MP 15 Armour Ringmail (1d6)

Weapons: Pole Axe (1d10), Dagger (1d4)

Trained Skills

Thieves Skills Base (DEX) 48% + 27% Training= 75%

Pope’s Guard Fighting Base (STR) 30+Training 30% = 60%

Language (Darklander) Base (INT) 60%+ Training 14% = 74%

Yes Yes Yes !!!

I know I would actually prefer OQ to be more like this in regards to skills and such, I don't think it needs to be too closely linked with RQ or Mythras anymore. Times have definately moved on now.

A very simple and hand-wavey version of the BRP rules would have it's own niche alongside the major systems, rather than going for close cross-compatibility anymore.

 (these changes are not too incompatible anyway)

I like the idea you has been tinkering with, it looks like a character has a base chane with every core characteristic (x3%) which can be used across a wide variety of situations. Then more specific talents are covered by 'ability packages' rather than specific skills, which add a bonus to the core characteristic roll.

If OQ went more down this path I would likely make it my default system out of simplicity, and only play RQ when playing in Glorantha, or Mythras when wanting more crunch. Given the rise in simplistic systems in recent years, these mechanics have alot of merit, especially if some narrative features are also bolted on.

I was actually tinkering with something similar, although I was just using Skill Categories instead of Skills. I liked the simplicity, but it was clunky. Your ideas here have much more promise, and I can easily see this working well. Please consider developing this further, it sounds great.

I think this is the only way forward for OQ actually, as it's likely to be engulfed and overshadowed too much by RQ and Mythras. However a more cleaned up version of OQ could really shine. At present OQ feels like it is a tweaked version of the original OQ rules you did, but these rules make it feel like you are working on a true new version. It really feels much more in keeping with the OQ ethos of simplicity, and I think it has much more possibilities.

Newt count me in if you go down this path mate. 

Edited by Mankcam
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Looking at the stat block posted above, about the only thing I would possibly consider would be adding a 'reactive' % for the core characteristics as well as an 'active' %. To cover things like resistances/'saving rolls' ie rolling CON vs fatigue or poision, stuff like that. 

I would have the 'reactive' chance equal to x5%, and keep the 'active' chance equal to x3%.

It just broadens the scope of things and is a bit more consistent with BRP BGB. However I am also unsure whether it would be necessary and would not want to add to character sheet bloat, given that the ethos of the system is to keep things simple...

In any case I think the stat block would be a great step forward for OQ.

Edited by Mankcam

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On 07/11/2017 at 9:35 PM, Newt said:

SIZ has been dropped in this version. Apart from working out, Hit Points it's almost redundant in OQ. Remember the early days where I got people hassling me to quantify how big Siz was and to produce a table which gave heights and weight ranges by Siz?  That's when I realised I wasn't interested in having OQ tied to any definite physical limits, that it was way more abstract than even say RQ3. And I'm ok with that because I get to keep the fun bits, without the nonsense navel gazing maths :)

Humperk is a quick proof of concept. Base skills are obviously Characteristic x 3, and I'm not even sure I'd go with that now (because as soon as you hit the upper end you start getting ridiculous bases, eg 18 gives you 90%) 

I agree you can do without SIZ as a stat

Also perhaps base ability levels could be x2%, as x3% may be a bit high. 

Even no multiplier could work (ie: x1%), although there would need to be much more emphasis on situational modifiers (+/- 25%, +/- 50%)

But most people would prob prefer x2%

In any case this gets rid of long skill lists, and the only 'skills' listed are very prominent features of the character concept (ie: Outdoorsman Skills 45%, Militia Training 55%, etc). You could also include Motivations & Relationships in that list.

Nice and clean character sheet, yet with lots of flexibility. Sometimes the more simple the sheet will allow for a more clearer picture of the character concept.

One issue I have with BRP is that it is easy to form a mental picture of an NPC due to the stat block, yet when looking at a PC sheet you can often not see the forest for the trees due to the big skill lists - games like D&D 5E, FATE, PbtA,  and such tend to do this much better

I'm onboard for OQ having a very simple BRP character sheet, and skill trimming is one way to do this.

I hope these posts inspire you Newt 😎

Edited by Mankcam
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They do indeed! Thanks, Mankcam and  Rhialto the Marvellous for the positive feedback.

My current aim with these OQ tinkerings is to do a short spinoff game, a dark fantasy RPG called Chronicles of Erun   (sketchy details on linked webpage, along with the cover). Then if that's well received then I'll widen the scope and tackle the 200 + beast that is OQ (whose tenth birthday is next year - in its SimpleQuest form).

I've spent a lot of navel gazing here. Mythras for me is the logical best-practice of the Mongoose RQ branch and RQ G (which I've been privileged to be granted a copy, preview coming up on the Hearts in Glorantha blog sometime soon) is the BRP/RQ2 branch tidied up.  I'd play either in a heartbeat, given a willing group, and would merely simplify/house rule to taste. OQ historically is a mishmash of both branches, plus a few my own house rules. I really really want to make its own beast according to its philosophy (D100 made Easy). I've compromised in the past, to pander to loud voices in the audience. Ditching having a single approach to magic for OQ 1's release (which I now have in draft form) was a big one. OQ2 actually added bits of complexity in (Spirit combat rules for example) and bloated the system overall. OQ Refreshed was a small mini-step in the direction I ultimately want OQ to be (do you miss STR/DEX requirements for weapons for example) but I didn't have the time or to take that step further. Besides when I asked this forum people wanted to keep it as it was, in light of all the change that was going on with RQ and Mythras.  Now the winds are blowing in the other direction - make OQ more of its own thing. This means taking a risk and breaking some of the compatibility/familiarity with BRP. I want it to be a game that I can happily run/design for my own time-limited circumstances (look I work for a living and take care of my family ;) ), and suits my players (both home and convention) who can now pick and choose from various flavours of Fate, Powered by the Apocolypse, rules-lite D20 (thinking Black Hack specifically here) and other games that cut the fat and get down to business. Whose excitement wilts when presented with full-fat Mythras/BRP.  

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Yes I think OQ's future is definately further realising its ethos as a simplistic BRP game.  Both RQG and Mythras are medium crunch, so it definately makes more sense to move OQ further along the rules-lite sprectrum in order for it to have it's niche in the BRP Family.

From the stat block above I think you are close to nailing it, especially if that is more of a PC sheet and not an NPC stat block.  

For what it is worth, I dont think mirroring the RQ magic systems is the way to go anymore, as there will be too much of an overlap with RQG and Mythras.

I think having one set of Powers is probably more versatile, as various approaches and trappings can always be slapped onto that. 

I really hope to see some of these changes in stat block and mechanics in future editions of OQ, I will definately support Chronicles of Erun if that is going to help formalise these changes.

I am a gamer who is more or less in a similar situation to yourself in regards to time constraints impacting upon hobby time, so this is why simplier rpg systems are attractive, just as long as these systems have a solid mechanical base as well as some narrative aspects. I can see OQ ticking alot of these boxes if you keep developing it along the lines you are suggesting. It is definately time to spread the wings a bit more with OQ now, unfettered by the RQ past.

You're onto a good thing here Newt

Edited by Mankcam

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This is the current form of Rurik the Reckless (OQ example character) in the latest draft:

 

Rurik the Reckless

Gender: Male     Culture: Empire of Gatan

STR 15   CON 14 DEX 13  INT 12   POW 10 CHA 10

Hit Points 14

Magic Points 10

Confidence Points 10

Skills

·        Agility (DEX) 65%

·        Awareness (POW+CON/2) 55%

·        Force (STR) 65%

·        Culture (INT+CHA/2) 30%

·        Presence (POW+CHA/2)  40%

·        Linguist (INT) 35 %

·        Health (CON)  65%

·        Wealth (INT+CHA/2) 45%

Fighting Skills

Gatanese Sword and Shield 65% (STR+DEX/2, +3, 1d4, Long Sword (1d8), Shield (1d6), Dagger (1d4) )

Gatanese Crossbow 35% (Dex+Int/2, 0, 0, Light Crossbow (1d6, rate of fire 1 per 5 rounds))

Magic Skills

Healing 45%, Weapon Enhance 65%

[Rurik is not a member of any cult but knows a couple of techniques from his past history as a peasant warrior rising through the ranks).

Gear

Sword of my Grandmother (+25% to hit, superior crafted weapon, family heirloom gained through Life Events).

Chainmail armour (1d8 Armour Points)

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I like the direction that you are heading in here!

As an aside, I agree that there is room in the market for a simplified D100 game. I also suspect that there may be room for an intermediate game somewhere in between OQ and Mythras in complexity. Maybe the forthcoming RQ G will fill that role since RQ2 was positioned around that area of the crunchiness scale. But it's hard to say until we see the final product. 

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I think I would prefer OQ to be even more simplified. Perhaps rather than have skills, it would be good to see various skill groups, with no definitive list of such. ie Militia Training 56%. 

However I also like the most recent version of Rurik, it looks like a nice clean stat block for a PC

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Instead of individual spells it may also be possible to break magic down into broad effect types such Necromancy, Demonology, Enchantment, Elementalism, or Divination. Learning one of these allows the caster to evoke a range of related spells unified by a common theme. 

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That's very similar to what I'm doing, except I break it down into Techniques and Approches.

Techniques are the groupings of individual spells, organised by Skill % So take Light for example. At lower than 25% you can only create a hovering globe of light that illuminates the immeadiate space around you, but cost zero magic points to cast. As the casters Light skill increases the can fill whole rooms with light, create light walls and at higher levels throw light balls that damage darkness creatures. Each of these effects cost mp which increases with level. 

Approaches are groupings of Techniques that a particular cult or school of magic knows. So for example you could have Necromancy 65% (Raise Dead, Hand of Death, Darkness). This is how I intend to model Cults, Shamans, Wizardry And any other grouping of Powers that the players want to take off the peg, and advance simply as a group. 

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Yes this sounds excellent Newt, just the kind of thing I think will work great in OQ!

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