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Richard S.

RQ vs D&D

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11 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

So does its author think.

Yeah, I read something where Jonathan Tweet mentioned that. D&D 3E with OGL Ancients even moreso. IMO it fells more like RQ than MRQ!

 

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6 hours ago, trystero said:

http://www.jonathantweet.com/jotgamerunequest.html is the link in case anyone wants to read Tweet's own words on the subject.

Thanks for this. Interesting that he suggests rolling dice for armour as a way to mitigate the problems he identified with armour as damage reduction. I'm familiar with it from Elric but not Chivalry & Sorcery.

Correctly identified, I might add. Those are fair criticisms from a game play point of view. I'm having similar issues balancing armour and harm for my Apocalypse World hack. The problem is armour as hit chance reduction just feels too fake IMHO*.

*EDIT: On reflection, I think this is because I value a continual feeling that my character might die at any second. It makes it feel more real. I know it's just a game and sometimes you just want to hack and slash with no consequences, but I like my games to have emotional stakes and I don't really get that so much when I'm playing buckets-of-HP games. I don't really want characters to die often, and there are plenty of ways to make that very unlikely in practice, but I want it to feel like they might.

Edited by simonh

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On 8/23/2018 at 6:06 AM, RosenMcStern said:

To be honest, I fail to understand why the option of putting this choice in the hands of players was not chosen when the new "RuneQuest married with Glorantha again" was designed.

IMO RQG essentially pushed into it's own territory, instead of trying to be consistent with other RQ-engine legacy products like BGB or Cthulhu.

Since those derived from design decisions made originally by RQ in the very first place, I guess we'll see if history follows form this time.

18 hours ago, The God Learner said:

Everyone knows you carry a Tarrasque by the scruff of its neck.

 

Only when it's been bad.

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7 hours ago, simonh said:

The problem is armour as hit chance reduction just feels too fake IMHO*.

My problem with D&D AC is that it works in a binary way : it either blocks all damage, or none. It's like armor is made of invulnerable "patches" scattered all over your body, no matter if you're wearing plate, mail or leather armor. It also works the same way whether you're hit with a fist or a 2 handed hammer.

I don't mind if armor is added to defense if the game uses some kind of success margin to determine damage (like in HARP) : it will just speed up the game.

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8 hours ago, simonh said:

The problem is armour as hit chance reduction just feels too fake IMHO

The way I view it (and the way I think some of the designers have explained it) is that you're pretty much guaranteed to hit, AC just tests if you actually penetrate the armor. The DEX bonus some lighter armors get could represent the opponent shifting so the blow doesn't hot as vital of a spot. The problem with this idea though is that it doesn't make as much sense when taken into account with damage being rolled separately.

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56 minutes ago, Mugen said:

My problem with D&D AC is that it works in a binary way : it either blocks all damage, or none. It's like armor is made of invulnerable "patches" scattered all over your body, no matter if you're wearing plate, mail or leather armor. It also works the same way whether you're hit with a fist or a 2 handed hammer.

I don't mind if armor is added to defense if the game uses some kind of success margin to determine damage (like in HARP) : it will just speed up the game.

I really don't see that it matters. People who wear more armour in the long term take less damage. Whether that's by reducing the number of damage dice rolled, or by reducing the amount of each roll, does it really matter? Reducing chance to hit is a simple mechanic, and I can see the attraction of that.

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1 hour ago, Richard S. said:

The way I view it (and the way I think some of the designers have explained it) is that you're pretty much guaranteed to hit, AC just tests if you actually penetrate the armor. The DEX bonus some lighter armors get could represent the opponent shifting so the blow doesn't hot as vital of a spot. The problem with this idea though is that it doesn't make as much sense when taken into account with damage being rolled separately.

Yep, I understand the principle. A lot of wargames used to work like that, but then their concerns were generally binary. Do you kill the tank or not? So a success/fail mechanic with modifiers works fine for that. So it's really just a relic of the past right? Well no, as Jonathan Tweet wrote in the linked article there are reasonable game design reasons for keeping it and even using it in new systems. I suppose it's just a matter of the atmosphere you're trying to create.

Edited by simonh

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Hits in D&D and derived games are not specific individuated wounds. Hit points and armor are an abstraction layer that are not directly representative of specific wounds like they are in Runequest.

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15 hours ago, tedopon said:

Hits in D&D and derived games are not specific individuated wounds. Hit points and armor are an abstraction layer that are not directly representative of specific wounds like they are in Runequest.

Whilst RQ is closer to being a blow-by-blow simulation, I've never insisted on it being interpreted strictly so.

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16 hours ago, tedopon said:

Hits in D&D and derived games are not specific individuated wounds. Hit points and armor are an abstraction layer that are not directly representative of specific wounds like they are in Runequest.

Until you're talking about poison or falling?

There's no sense that an experienced duellist should be able to survive drinking a glass of poison that would kill a first level toon.  

And, the day a player jumps off a cliff because falling damage is capped at 20d6 and she has 121 hp, you'll know it.

Note: I'm not implying that RQ doesn't have its own idiosyncrasies.

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20 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I really don't see that it matters. People who wear more armour in the long term take less damage. Whether that's by reducing the number of damage dice rolled, or by reducing the amount of each roll, does it really matter? Reducing chance to hit is a simple mechanic, and I can see the attraction of that.

That probably depends on just what "damage" is and how it is handled in the game. In a game like RQ, where taking any damage has a hight chance of impairing, disabling, or killing someone, then yes, it does really matter. In a game like D&D, where damage is abstracted with little or no effect or consequences from damage (it's just the total amount of damage that matters) then no. The game mechanic needs to be vieved in the context of the whole game. 

 

21 hours ago, Mugen said:

My problem with D&D AC is that it works in a binary way : it either blocks all damage, or none. It's like armor is made of invulnerable "patches" scattered all over your body, no matter if you're wearing plate, mail or leather armor. It also works the same way whether you're hit with a fist or a 2 handed hammer.

Yeah, but point reduction isn't great either. One of the problems with it is that most damage scales aren't linear. That is an attack that does 2 points of damage isn't necessarily hitting twice as hard as a 1 point hit. Otherwise we'd be rolling lots more dice for some weapons, and would need a way to justify why and how a human can be killed by and/or surving beig hit by a butter knife and a .50 caliber round. 

So we get a compressed damage scale. This causes a problem that is really noticeable with firearms. In real life, chances are, if a bullet penetrates the armor, it will have enough force/energy/whatever left over to penetrate the target and inflict just a serious wound as if the target were unarmored. Each +1 point really isn't the same. In such cases, a pass/fail success method probably is better than a damage reduction model.

I think it really comes down to what amount of abstraction people arehappy with, and where. Bringing another RPG into the mix, HQ  abstracts emerying into one number, and even gets away from concepts such as hit points. 

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12 minutes ago, styopa said:

Until you're talking about poison or falling?

There's no sense that an experienced duellist should be able to survive drinking a glass of poison that would kill a first level toon.  

And, the day a player jumps off a cliff because falling damage is capped at 20d6 and she has 121 hp, you'll know it.

Of the fact that if damage is considered minor nicks and scrpaes until the final blow that brings a character below 1 hit point, then why does it take sos long to heal up those nicks? 

12 minutes ago, styopa said:

Note: I'm not implying that RQ doesn't have its own idiosyncrasies.

Such as the fact that a low CON character has a better chance of surviving having two limbs cut off during the same battle than one with a high CON, and that he will probably (it used to be certianly) heal up from it faster, too. 

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54 minutes ago, styopa said:

Until you're talking about poison or falling?

There's no sense that an experienced duellist should be able to survive drinking a glass of poison that would kill a first level toon.  

And, the day a player jumps off a cliff because falling damage is capped at 20d6 and she has 121 hp, you'll know it.

Note: I'm not implying that RQ doesn't have its own idiosyncrasies.

The falling example (while silly both because it's true that is a thing and that a player would conceivably "do the math" and jump) is accurate.

The poison one is trickier. It is an accurate statement that a level 8 Klongdorker will have a better chance to survive drinking Witches' Brew than a 0L Farmer. The tricky part is that this is tied to Saving Throws. IMO there isn't a good analogous example for Saves from RQ, because they're another abstraction. Also, poison in post 3.0 almost all does attribute damage, only damages hit points indirectly. In pre 3.x, most poisons were "save or die," "save or confused," "save or unconscious," etc. 

So while it's true, it's more down to the higher level character having more luck than being healthier like the cliff jumper.

Edited by tedopon

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As I see it, the question is a bit like asking: “Which is better, a shovel or a spade?”  I can dig a hole with either, but each is better suited for a particular type of work.

 

D&D is typically great at very heroic scenarios where the brave heroes cut their way through more minions than they can count.  Many people like that type of game and there is nothing wrong with that.

RQ as we all know, encourages a very different style of play because a multitude of minions can still take down a powerful character.

 

As far as game systems go, the new D&D is very  good and does some things better than RQ.

The system is much more unified and internally consistent. A high roll is always good. It is good for: Character Attributes, To Hit Rolls, Damage Rolls, Skill Use and Saving Throws

In RQ, Stat rolls can be better high or low (that is actually a good thing), to hit rolls, skill use and resistance rolls are better low, but damage rolls are better high.

 

D&D also appears to be better at resolving the ever present RQ issue of two skills working against each other such as sneak vs listen.

 

RQ in concept is far more intuitive. We instinctively think that the chance of success is 60%, not 12 out of 20.

And the concept of attack then parry/dodge is also more intuitive than the D&D armour class system.

I’m a die hard RQ fan, and will vote for it as it just feels more right, but as a unified system, D&D does have its strengths.

 

Edited by Mechashef
Because when using my phone I type like a drunken trollkin
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I was an AD&D player for years and really liked the Dragonlance world but I could never quite get the story to work for me.  I spent years making houserules and using things like the vitality rules to weaken characters because D&D makes superheros.  Having overpowered characters makes NPCs inconsequential plus the rules allow characters to exist with no social obligations nor consequences.  I couldn't work out why any NPC in D&D would choose to be a farmer when seeing as you get xp for anything so basically you could go fishing get enough xp from killing fish level up and then take on some low level monster that was easy to kill and for some reason carried loads of treasure.  I couldn't have tension in a story as there was very little possibility of any real problem, it's just hack hack hack until you 99% of the time win.  Personally I think D&D is geared toward creating sociopathic superheros and it's hardwired into the rules not just that it's how a person chooses to play it.

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On 8/26/2018 at 12:28 AM, Mechashef said:

The (D&D) system is much more unified and internally consistent. A high roll is always good. It is good for: Character Attributes, To Hit Rolls, Damage Rolls, Skill Use and Saving Throws

D&D also appears to be better at resolving the ever present RQ issue of two skills working against each other such as sneak vs listen.

Absolutely I'm a RQ fanboi, but to speak frankly this is where RQG sadly failed to accomplish what D&D5 really did: take a fundamentally older game system mechanics and make it much smoother, more coherent, and faster while still managing to hold onto the 'feel' of the original game.  I believe D&D5e is the closest version in feel to AD&D yet manages to still take advantage of much more sophisticated modern approaches to mechanics where needed.  The advantage mechanic, for example.  I think a lot of the D&D renaissance credit should go to that work.

Sadly, RQG's over-reverence for RQ2 systems and well-intentioned but IMO misguided need to make it backward compatible with products from 40 years ago leaves RQG in places feeling like an inconsistent CnP job with some stuff bolted on, not a soup-to-nuts refreshing of RQ that it could have been.  I still hope it's successful, and hope (particularly) new players can overlook/rationalize the gaps to enjoy the game - they seem to be, so far?  

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1 hour ago, styopa said:

... make it much smoother, more coherent, and faster while still managing to hold onto the 'feel' of the original game.  I believe D&D5e is the closest version in feel to AD&D...

See, now here we part ways.

I agree there are lots of improvements and so forth (not all of which are purely 5e-isms); it may in many ways be the "best" version of the "D&D" brand...

But to me, 5e doesn't "feel like" D&D/AD&D; it feels like a different game using some of the same tropes.  I wish there was  better language than "feelz" but offhand I don't see it.

I'll pick out a few specifics; these aren't the only issues, but they are examples...

The slow progression of Proficiencies is a key bit of how the warp&weft differ from "D&D-esque;" HP-bloat is one of the features I most disliked, but the steady level-by-level march upwards in competence is something I miss (so 5e kept the worse, there).

Having Dragonborn & Tiefling as core PHB races for PC's are more like embroidered details than warp&weft (easy to HR them as non-core), but also contribute to it feeling like a different game.

The amount of recovery/buff available via Short-rest (vs Long-rest) is another area where it just feels different.

Wiz/Src/Brd/War ...  4 core Arcane casters feels different; and the extreme combat-ability of the Warlock, even at 1st level, feels VERY different.

To reiterate:  I find 5e to be prob'ly the BEST of the D&D's.  Most of the differences -- that I cite above -- I actually prefer.

I just don't think it really "feels like" the game I (used to) call D&D.

Edit:  But I do agree that more effort should have been made to "streamline" the RQ2/RQ3 chassis for RQG; a high degree of back-compatibility could have been maintained, while still updating/modernizing the core rules.

Edited by g33k
"vs RQ"
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I have noticed that the two games have become more similar over the year, with D&D mainly picking up features that RQ (and many other games have.  I'm not claiming they were taken solely from RQ, as many other games also have these features).

 

Some of the features that D&D has gained over the years that brings it closer to RQ:

  • Critical and Fumbles
  • Skills
  • Creatures now have attributes such as STR, CON, etc
  • Every character can do magic (Sure feats aren't called magic but they are in effect a type of magic)

 

On the other hand, the RQG concept of inspiration and its limits of use per "session" is very similar to the classic D&D concept of only being able to do special things a set number of times per day.

 

I also find it interesting the current versions of both games have made a big effort to make Charisma a more useful stat, making it no-longer the dump stat it once was.

 

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There aren't really any fumbles in 5E, are there? Nat 1s are an automatic failure, but that's it, unless the GM makes something up

I have time for 5E and play in a regular game, but I agree with g33k that 5E was a missed opportunity. There are still so many things that they seem to have been preserved to make it look like D&D rather than provide any benefit to the game. Why are prime stats still being generated when they're not even used in-game, only their modifiers are? Why not just generate modifiers? Then there's Initiative, which is still almost totally random.

Apart from a few subclasses, the classes provide very little customisation - one wizard will be pretty much like another in terms of spells. They've tried with the background system, but it's far too shallow to generate unique, interesting characters.

The hit point system still means that PCs are amorphous blobs in terms of combat mechanics, and can carry on fighting unaffected until they run out of them entirely. Consequently, I rarely find 5E combat satisfying beyond the short-term buzz. It just doesn't have enough weight to it to make me feel like I've achieved something, and I think that's a problem for a game that is so combat-centred. 

On the other hand, it's magic system makes characters feel very powerful, and there is fun to be had in working out tactics that coordinate spellcasters and fighters. As someone who last played D&D in the BECMI days it's also good to see that levelling is more even across the classes, with every class able to contribute something, even at first level, using cantrips or class abilities.

There is a feeling of invulnerability you seem to achieve once you get to 3rd or 4th level (which doesn't take long). Our GM has thrown some fairly meaty wizards, dinosaurs and dragons at us, and we've been able to bat them aside pretty easily. Maybe we've just been fortunate on dice rolls.

My only other gripe is the DMG, which has got to be the biggest waste of time and money I've ever encountered in a role-playing system. Endless uninspired random tables, and lots of fluff. The description of the various planes of existence is yawn-inducing, and only goes to emphasise how vanilla the default D&D universe is.

If I was going to run a D&D game I think I'd go with an indie game world (Necrotic Gnome's Dolmenwood setting looks pretty cool, although it's intended for OSR systems).

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53 minutes ago, Sumath said:

Apart from a few subclasses, the classes provide very little customisation - one wizard will be pretty much like another in terms of spells.

There has been some regression from AD&D version 1 in that case. At that time, magic-users needed to keep an actual spellbook with their available spells inscribed. These spells had to be collected from scrolls and whatnot, so there was no guarantee that everyone and their totally legit hellhound familiar had fireball. I do believe there was a substantial GP cost to inscribe a new spell too. And speaking of fireball, woe betide you if your spellbook was destroyed. 

All in all, I seem to recall that we mostly skipped past those sections in favor of, ahem, more unrestrained activities. But they were there. 

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19 hours ago, styopa said:

I [...] hope (particularly) new players can overlook/rationalize the gaps to enjoy the game - they seem to be, so far? 

Not me. I've put it aside until I can make more sense of it. Looks like a great game though.

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40 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

There has been some regression from AD&D version 1 in that case. At that time, magic-users needed to keep an actual spellbook with their available spells inscribed. These spells had to be collected from scrolls and whatnot, so there was no guarantee that everyone and their totally legit hellhound familiar had fireball.

And don't forget you had to roll a "Know Spell" to see if you understood a spell you were trying to learn.

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2 hours ago, The God Learner said:

There has been some regression from AD&D version 1 in that case. At that time, magic-users needed to keep an actual spellbook with their available spells inscribed. These spells had to be collected from scrolls and whatnot, so there was no guarantee that everyone and their totally legit hellhound familiar had fireball. I do believe there was a substantial GP cost to inscribe a new spell too. And speaking of fireball, woe betide you if your spellbook was destroyed.

You still have to use a spellbook in 5e, at least if you're a wizard. It's 100 GP per level of the spell to inscribe it I believe.

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