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What was your favourite version of RQ to date and why?


Jon Hunter

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As for my favorite version, the only one I own physically and have actually spent time playing is RQ2. From what I've seen and heard, RQ3 is mostly an improvement, but I do appreciate the open-endedness and general overall feel of the second edition. I've spent considerable time looking over material for both MRQ and Mythras, and I will say that they both already to be fairly good games as well, though I would need actual play time to fully examine them.

I also am currently working on my own RQ/BRP system like so many other people here. It is mainly inspired by 2 and 3, but with many modifications and house rules of my own, such as a new combat system and rules for spirits.

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15 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Is this the program that printed things out in a hit location Mr. Man shape? Many such renderings per landscape page?

Not my program, it just printed out a table, like the one printed in the RQ3 rules -- only, you know, accurate.

The output fit on a single sheet of standard computer paper and could be folded neatly and stored inside the rulebook.  Where it still is, some 30-odd years later, IIRC.

The "modern" spreadsheet version has alternate coloured bars and rows and so forth, but that's just to make it look pretty.

 

"I want to decide who lives and who dies."

Bruce Probst

Melbourne, Australia

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The version I had was the Games Workshop hardcover, and I wasn't that happy with the organisation.

A baffling, baffling publication decision.  Granted, the TAHGC Deluxe set was astronomically expensive, but at least it was "complete" (within its own context) -- and the "Players' Box"/"GMs' Box" options were available, if not ideal.  The GW books were like being drip-fed the game in random order IMO.  I bought a set long after they were out of print, mostly just for curiousity's sake (I certainly didn't spend a lot to get them) and am glad I never needed them to actually play the game.  And you didn't even get a version of the Glorantha book!

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I tried to master Hero Wars for Glorantha instead.

I bought HW when it was released, and a couple of the initial supplemental works.  After I spent some time trying to work out whether it was actually a game, I decided that it wasn't, and that it was actually just a "brave" new way of marketing new Glorantha background material.  Unfortunately it seemed to me to be a lot of work to try and retrofit this new material back into RQ, and I wasn't even playing RQ at the time, so it became easier to just shelve the whole thing.

[I know I'm not being "fair" to HW by characterising it in this fashion, and for people who play it (and/or HQ) and get enjoyment from it, well, great!  More power to you!  For me and my regular gaming friends, though, it was (and is) "wrong" in pretty much every way possible for a game to be wrong.]

 

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"I want to decide who lives and who dies."

Bruce Probst

Melbourne, Australia

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1 minute ago, BWP said:

A baffling, baffling publication decision. 

GW would be the only firm that could give AH a run for their money in the "we make stupid decisions because we're rapaciously greedy and short sighted" sprint.

Did you hear about the one where they told some young computer game devs to take a hike because GW wanted to develop the IP all by themselves (eventually)?  So those devs went off and changed enough to avoid the copyright cops and went ahead and published Warcraft: Orcs v Humans.  How'd that decision turn out?

 

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GW would be the only firm that could give AH a run for their money in the "we make stupid decisions because we're rapaciously greedy and short sighted" sprint.

On the GW edition of RQIII, I disagree.

Here was a very popular game that had suddenly been priced out of the UK gamers' pocket. What GW attempted to do was release a Quickstart version, at a pocket money price (I think the softcover 'basic' book cost £4.99, if memory serves) in a bid to i) get RQ into the hands of UK gamers at an affordable price; ii) widen its appeal. They quickly followed-up the basic book with the Advanced book and Monsters and these were, again, affordable. I actually really like the GW edition of RQIII and I think it was a genuine attempt to promote the game in a way that countered the hideous costs of the AH editions. I was working for Virgin Games in Leeds at the time, and I remember that it sold pretty well when it came out.

If you view the GW RQIII basic book as a quickstart version, it was actually ahead of its time.

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The Design Mechanism: Publishers of Mythras

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I got RQ3 as part of a bundle with 'River of Cradles' and 'Dorastor: Land of Doom', long after I'd become a player of Elric! I was impressed enough with River of Cradles to run it as a campaign, which required quite a bit of back and forthing with RQ3 rules. It didn't make me want to stop playing Elric! The main thing I like about RQ3 is the extra stuff like how much it costs to hire a translator etc. etc. I might still refer to it for those (Fantasy Earth) tables, and some spells. A couple of NPCs from River of Cradles ended up as long term players in my campaign; so I am reminded in each session about the small frictions between RQ3 and its cousin games.

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I'd like to say I was one of the cool kids and RQ2 was my favourite, but it is RuneQuest 3. Oh the fun me and my mates had with that game. It was like being allowed to breathe after all the Gygaxian directives in AD&D and the training wheels of Moldvay's Red Box (we had yet to learn to say "sod it, this is my game I'll run it the way I want"). Also I jumped in with Games Workshop version, dutifully buying the basic slim volume first which I loved, because it was quick up and at 'em although I knew enough about RQ to know that I wanted the Advanced book as soon as I had saved up my paper round money for Divine Magic and Sorcery if nothing else. The Monster Book was next, because that made sense in a world of AD&D's PHB/DMG/MM :)  Land of Ninja and Griffin Island were picked up in the great Games Workshop sale where pretty much all their RPGs (except their own lines which if memories serves me well lasted another 3-5 years,) were dumped in the sale bin, as part of their move to focus solely on miniatures.  I always regret that Vikings never got the GW hardcover colour plates treatment.  Not having Glorantha available, I spent my formative years GMing in worlds of my own devising. So despite knowing better, my RQ is a Generic Fantasy system. I didn't get round to using Glorantha until a good five years later when I used a good chunk of my student loan to buy all the Avalon Hill boxsets. That led to another ten years of my home game.  Which by the end of it had lead to the stripped down system that would be the prototype of OpenQuest years later. I wouldn't go back to playing RQ3, Mythras is a fine inheritor in my opinion of that branch of RQ (the realisation of which makes me love it even more) but when I was originally designing OQ it was RQ3 I used as a reference, nicking a bit of RQ2's coolness an simplicity here and there.

If you want to read more of me waxing on nostalgic about RuneQuest, I wrote this post on my blog Sorcerer Under the Mountain, a couple of years ago: RuneQuest and Me .

 

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1 hour ago, Newt said:

. So despite knowing better, my RQ is a Generic Fantasy system. I didn't get round to using Glorantha until a good five years later when I used a good chunk of my student loan to buy all the Avalon Hill boxsets.

That was very similar for me. My first year with RQ2 was literally just the RQ2 book playing on a Saturday night with my family. I would draw up some sort of dungeon or maze and they would explore it to find money to pay off the loans to Gringle and end up in more debt than when they started due to having to pay for healing. Towards the end of it, an uncle in the navy got hold of a copy of Cults of Prax so we added new gods in. 

I didn't find out anything about Glorantha until the summer before uni when I bumped into a group who had all the RQ2 stuff and had played them all. When I went to uni, I got RQ3 and really didn't have a clue about how to run Glorantha so I ran a Thieves World campaign which eventually ended up on Griffin Island. It wasn't until about 8 years later that I eventually plucked up the courage to run a Glorantha campaign but that was really a generational Ars Magica/Pendragon style campaign set in Jonatela during the ban so I didn't have to worry about the world outside.

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15 hours ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

On the GW edition of RQIII, I disagree.

Here was a very popular game that had suddenly been priced out of the UK gamers' pocket. What GW attempted to do was release a Quickstart version, at a pocket money price (I think the softcover 'basic' book cost £4.99, if memory serves) in a bid to i) get RQ into the hands of UK gamers at an affordable price; ii) widen its appeal. They quickly followed-up the basic book with the Advanced book and Monsters and these were, again, affordable. I actually really like the GW edition of RQIII and I think it was a genuine attempt to promote the game in a way that countered the hideous costs of the AH editions. I was working for Virgin Games in Leeds at the time, and I remember that it sold pretty well when it came out.

If you view the GW RQIII basic book as a quickstart version, it was actually ahead of its time.

Still a relative newcomer here , still finding my way round RQ and I can say the GW/Avalon Hill hardcovers have help in converting me out of a TSR/AD&D (1st and 2nd) 'splat book' never ending quest to get them all to play - when these books are self contained and a good 'journey starter' collection of rules - to build from and adapt. 

RQ3 is pretty much my intro to Runequest specifically, with The Design Mechanisms own RQ6 getting me interested initially in D100 mechanics when it was originally released.

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21 hours ago, deleriad said:

That was very similar for me. My first year with RQ2 was literally just the RQ2 book playing on a Saturday night with my family. I would draw up some sort of dungeon or maze and they would explore it to find money to pay off the loans to Gringle and end up in more debt than when they started due to having to pay for healing. Towards the end of it, an uncle in the navy got hold of a copy of Cults of Prax so we added new gods in. 

1

That's up there with Neil Gow's (author of Duty and Honour, Beat to the Quarters) tales of playing Basic D&D sat on coal sacks in a shed in the North East, for gritty rpg origin stories :)

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12 hours ago, deleriad said:

That was very similar for me. My first year with RQ2 was literally just the RQ2 book playing on a Saturday night with my family. I would draw up some sort of dungeon or maze and they would explore it to find money to pay off the loans to Gringle and end up in more debt than when they started due to having to pay for healing. Towards the end of it, an uncle in the navy got hold of a copy of Cults of Prax so we added new gods in. 

At the risk of escalating stories of just how bad we had it way back when... I started playing RuneQuest before we even owned the rules. This was in 1979 and I was 13. All we had was the original Apple Lane booklet. We had to take our nascent but avid experience with DnD and try to work out how to play from the stat blocks, but it was enough to get us hooked!

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Coal sacks? D100 Ox-bones? Apple Lane? That's grim.

Of course we really had it tough. I only had a tatty photocopy of my cousin's BRP booklet from the RQ2 box, and a dice that he cast aside. D100? You should be so lucky, it was just an old D20 that I had to multiply by five...but it was a D100 to us!

...and tell that to the kids today and they won't believe you :D

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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12 hours ago, MOB said:

At the risk of escalating stories of just how bad we had it way back when... I started playing RuneQuest before we even owned the rules. 

Well I say "rulebook." What I actually meant was that someone had found the torn off cover of a copy of Apple Lane and we had to play it with tiny lumps of coal because were too poor for coal sacks. 

At the risk of going even further off topic. The first session was boxing day after getting the GW set of RQ2 on Christmas day. It was Gringle's pawnshop with family including grandparents. Somehow we thought the Listen skill meant you had to roll it to hear each other speak. After slightly too much sherry it was about 3 hours of people rolling dice and shouting "I can't hear you!" "who's that screaming?" "there's a dragon in the kitchen!?" and "does that mean I'm dead?"

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On 11/29/2017 at 7:14 AM, Mechashef said:

RQ3.

I started with RQ2 and it was good.  Then I got RQ3 and it was so much better.

RQ2 is good.  RQ3 is better. I hope RQG is the best.

Agreed on all points. My preferred version is RQ3.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I’ve played every version of RQ to date.

RQ1 (Brown cover) - weaned of D&D and Chivelry and sorcery. I bought it because it was based on the same world as my favorite strategy game: Nomad Gods.

Chaosium RQ 2: Loved it and ran it for years. I still admire the game that, in 141 pages, gave you everything you needed to play, and nothing you did not need. To be fair, the game really took off with Cults of Prax. That finally gave us the context to play the game. I still love Prax and Pavis. My biggest beefs were the unbalanced skill bonuses, and the total eradication of any believable economy because of the high costs of training. I changed that by house rule. While I love the old game, I would not go back to playing it again as a regular campaign. It’s clunky and limited in many ways.

RQ3: This version fixed a lot of issues with RQ2. Starting with the training costs! I liked the smoother skill bonuses (although they were still very unbalanced). My experience with the sorcery system was interesting: I started out disliking it, as so many people did. But then I took the time to really study it, and study magicians of myth and legend, and pulp. I slowly learned that the sorcery system was in fact an excellent system, that if played intelligently and by the rules, produced wonderful magic effects. Sadly, the NPC wizards in all of the scenario packs appeared to be built by people who used the “throw numbers at it and call it awesome” approach. I also appreciated how well the magic systems balanced against each other: Each had it’s strengths and weaknesses, and most important, they were self-regulating. One major problem they had was RQ3 removed the limits from spells and enchantments. While that sounds fine in theory, in practice it created an arms race: How powerful are the enchantments protecting the Emperor of Byzantium? He could have hundreds of years of wizards enchanting stuff for the empire as their taxes. 

Mongoose RQ 1: My experience with this is summed up by describing a chat I had with one of the designers at Kublacon: He said that they were aware of the flaws in the game. The various playtesting groups all had house rules, which did not make it into print. In other words: They playtested a different game than the one they sold. Enough said.

Nash-Whittaker RQ: Mongoose RQ2, Legend, RQ6, and Mythras.  These four games were each an evolution of the previous. This is my go-to version of the game. The combat system take some getting used to; but players quickly start to use maneuvers, and once they combine maneuvers and teamwork, combat becomes fun, dynamic, and exiting. It’s also better than most RPG’s with their “whittle-down-the-hit-points” systems. Mythras dramatically improved the spirit combat system; among other things it added combat maneuvers. Shamans in N-W RQ are actually fun to play - I never liked them in the older versions of the game. The Mystic Magic system introduced in RQ6 (and repeated in Mythras) creates great “I don’t use magic” characters. Because the game system uses improvement points instead of check marks, it also uses a simplified skill list. I appreciate this: I remember too many times when players couldn’t figure out if they should use Spot, Search, etc. Skills are based on two attributes, giving a simple base, and no need to struggle with bonuses. The one drag on the skill systems is the combination of Language/Literacy/Customs. Where most skills in N-W RQ are consolidations of 3 or 4 skills from BRP (for example, Athletics covers running, jumping, and climbing), languages are made unnecessarily difficult. Classic adventurer characters always seem to speak half a dozen languages or more, and pick up languages easily, so this rule, to me, violates the conventions of the genre. I house-rule it. Several of my friends dislike how slow advancement is in N-W RQ. One said “the game system is designed to bring you to the sweet spot (for optimal adventuring) and then keep you there.” My response is “So?”. Mythras is my go-to game system at this time. I am planning to use it for a Pavis-based game that I’m setting up now.

RQ Glorantha (Preview Release only): I saw some good ideas here, but I really need to see the full rules, and play them, before I can say anything. I didn’t see anything as innovative as the combat maneuvers in NW-RQ. We’ll see what happens.

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I think RQG will be great in the fact that the setting of Glorantha will be imbedded in the mechanics. Runes, family histories etc. I also like how the consistent stat block will make the RQ2/RQ Classic reprints current as well. I like the richness of Glorantha, it feels almost like a real place to me. I loved the RQ2 resources which really made Glorantha come alive, and I really like the return of emphasising it's ancient flavour that Moon Design has focused on in the more recent depictions of the setting.

However what I dislike sbout RQG will be the lengthy skill lists, and the fact that core characteristics are not a big factor in skill calculation. I think the stat+stat idea in the MRQ D100 SRD games (also in Chaosium's ElfQuest) is the best way to approach skills. For non-Gloranthan fantasy games I'll probably stick with Mythras or OpenQuest, depending upon how complex I want things to be.

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" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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5 hours ago, Mankcam said:

However what I dislike sbout RQG will be the lengthy skill lists, and the fact that core characteristics are not a big factor in skill calculation. I think the stat+stat idea in the MRQ D100 SRD games (also in Chaosium's ElfQuest) is the best way to approach skills. For non-Gloranthan fantasy games I'll probably stick with Mythras or OpenQuest, depending upon how complex I want things to be.

For RQ6 I counted 22 standard skills and 38 Professional skills (total of 60), and then combat skills on top of that. 

For RGQ I counted 59 in total (ignoring multiple versions of "Lore" and other such skills, the same as was ignored for RQ6), and then combat skills on top of that.

The core calculation for very young starting adventurers is important, but loses some bearing on the 21+ year old starting adventurers in RGQ as Professional, Cultural, Homeland, and Cult skill bonuses get factored in. I'm not sure, but I would imagine importing the stat+stat idea would not adversely distort how RQG works, if you feel the game needs it. 

The main difference is that RQG is the D100 game that fits most closely with Glorantha, whilst Mythras / RQ6 / OpenQuest are for non-Gloranthan fantasy games. I'm relieved we have these variants at our disposal which allows for essentially the same game but different styles. 

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1 hour ago, jongjom said:

For RQ6 I counted 22 standard skills and 38 Professional skills (total of 60), and then combat skills on top of that. 

For RGQ I counted 59 in total (ignoring multiple versions of "Lore" and other such skills, the same as was ignored for RQ6), and then combat skills on top of that.

Revolution d100 has 15 core skills and uses Traits to expand on them.

That is the way to go, in my opinion. 

When I play RQG or Mythras, I would convert the skills intoRD100-style Skills and Traits, as they are just so easy to use.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

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While I'm not advocating lengthy skills lists, the one draw back from the stat+stat approach or over reliance on core attributes is that everyone has some some skill, even in areas they should have no experience. For me characters only get the attribute bonus if they drop a few improvement points into the skill - you may have an aptitude but without some exposure you're skill would be zero. 

Also what is not evident form the quick start are the Skill Category modifiers, but we can assume that they are similar if not the same as RQ2

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Ignoring setting, my favorire RQ so far is Mythras/RQ6. 

1) Characterisrics influence skills in a non clunky way (char+char) and because they are divided between Common and Professional, only basic skills can be used without experience.

2) Better magic systems (different feels yet streamlined)

3) Combat with tactically meaningful choices where, depending on special effect chosen, other skills beside the combat skill influence the outcome.

4) The addition of traits if it floats your boat

5) Rules to support more than fantasy (Firearms, Luther Arkwright, M-Space, Spaceships). The scope of Mythras is simply larger than the other RQs

Again ignoring setting I suspect RQG will be better on the Personality/Passion side and maybe magic but that's it.

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14 hours ago, soltakss said:

Revolution d100 has 15 core skills and uses Traits to expand on them.

That is the way to go, in my opinion. 

Hmm, sounds like a heretical approach to the "excellent" Root/Branch skill system from Ringworld. ;)

SDLeary

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On 12/2/2017 at 11:28 PM, jongjom said:

For RQ6 I counted 22 standard skills and 38 Professional skills (total of 60), and then combat skills on top of that. 

Yeah but that's not on the actual character sheet, as you only choose a few Professional Skills. 

Whereas with BRP/RQ/CoC there is a huge list of skills on the page, sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. Having Skill Categories greatly helps however (although their actual bonus modifiers are almost too finicky to even worry about calculation). But with all those skills on the sheet, sometimes it's hard to get a feel for the actual character. NPCs are so much easier in this respect.

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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