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creativehum

How Many Attacks in a Round?

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Played my first game of RQG yesterday (all of us never having played RQ before). We had a great time, but had a few questions that left us flipping through the book searching for answers on the fly. One of them stuck with me and I want to ask the group here if we got this right.

MELEE ATTACKS WITH ONE WEAPON

If an adventurer is NOT splitting an attack, it seems as if the adventurer only gets one melee attack per round. The rules (as far as I can tell) never state this, but looking at several passages in the book (specifically the way Splitting Attacks works on p. 202, which suggests that splitting attacks is how one makes multiple attacks with a single weapon in one round) and interpolating the texts, it seems as if even if a character had the SR for several Melee attacks, he or she could not make more than one attack. (The exception to this is Duel Wielding or Split Attacks.) We came to this conclusion yesterday, but I want to check.

MISSLIE WEAPON ATTACKS

As opposed to Melee Attacks, the user of a missile weapon gets to fire as many times last he weapon's Rate allows. This seems clear, but I'm bringing it up in contrast to Melee Attacks to make sure I'm getting it right. 

SPELL ATTACKS

Up until yesterday, I would have assumed that an adventurer could cast as many spells as his SRs allowed with in the firm limit of 12 SRs. Now I'm not so sure. Do spells work as Melee Attacks, with only on spell per round? Or is a character able to cast as many spells as he or she can squeeze into the round?

Further, is there any distinction between the kinds of spells that impose limits. That is: maybe an adventurer can cast only one combat spell of some kind per round, but multiple spells per round the are not combat? Honestly don't know but trying to sort this out.

 

Thanks for any help on this!

 

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I think you've got it basically right with the physical attacks. I think two weapon use is a special case that lets you have 2 attacks (at the expense of your parry).

As far as magic goes, yes, I think you're just limited by the SR, MP and 'getting another spell ready', if you're not currently engaged. p195 limits you to either attacking magically or physically in a given round if you're engaged in melee. But it seems to me you could cast multiple Disruptions per round, if you don't have hostiles waving pointy sticks in your face. Note that on p194 it says you have to allow a 5SR gap between casting and starting the next spell, even if it's the same spell. So to get 2 full Disruptions off in a round (and be ready to start casting another at the start of the next round), you'd need DSR 2 or less. Still, that's twice as many as you'd've been allowed without Multispell, under v2 or v3, IIRC.

The distinction is based on your situation rather than the type of spell, seems to me.

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2 hours ago, creativehum said:

If an adventurer is NOT splitting an attack, it seems as if the adventurer only gets one melee attack per round.

Correct, except in the case of p.224-5 with Two Weapon Use.  And you have to have enough SR's available to do so.

2 hours ago, creativehum said:

As opposed to Melee Attacks, the user of a missile weapon gets to fire as many times last he weapon's Rate allows.

Correct, and based on a combo of weapon rate and available SR's.  

2 hours ago, creativehum said:

do spells work as Melee Attacks, with only on spell per round? Or is a character able to cast as many spells as he or she can squeeze into the round?

Runes magic, definitely yes (with the exception of using Multispell).

Spirit magic and sorcery, I believe, work like Missile Attacks, and is where the table on p.193 comes into play (and further notes on p.194).  If you have enough SR's, including the +5 to prepare another spell (and have the focus for it if spirit magic and have the necessary hand free), you could do so.

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1 hour ago, womble said:

if you don't have hostiles waving pointy sticks in your face.

I think this is the nub of the issue... and definitely one of the stitches I dropped a couple of times as I've read and re-read the rules.

My guess is, at this time, if you you are engage in melee combat you can only get one spell off.

If you are at ranged (that is, not engage in melee combat, as if you were firing arrows), you can get off as many spells as you can within the 12 SRs.

The issue is one you are engaged in melee combat your focus and actions are much more limited as you do the do-see-do of bobbing, weaving and striking. Staying out of melee allows you more flexibility with actions.

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10 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Runes magic, definitely yes (with the exception of using Multispell).

Thank you for the answer.... but the portion of the post you quoted contained two questions. 

Is your answer about Rune Magic referring to:

1) Do spells work as Melee Attacks, with only on spell per round?

Or:

2) Is a character able to cast as many spells as he or she can squeeze into the round?

 

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1 hour ago, creativehum said:

Thank you for the answer.... but the portion of the post you quoted contained two questions. 

Is your answer about Rune Magic referring to:

1) Do spells work as Melee Attacks, with only on spell per round?

Or:

2) Is a character able to cast as many spells as he or she can squeeze into the round?

That's why I split between my response between Rune magic and spirit magic/sorcery as they are different.  Rune Magic works like Melee Attacks - only one spell per round (unless you Multispell).  Spirit Magic/Sorcery works like the latter - as much as you can squeeze in given the need to prepare the 2nd spell, unless engaged in melee.

2 hours ago, creativehum said:

if you you are engage in melee combat you can only get one spell off.

And further limited by any need for concentration.  If your concentration is broken (i.e. an attack before spell completion), then the spell fails.  

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Concerning dual wielding, Jason Durall already answered on this forum.

Basically, it depends on the SR of both weapons.

You can attack once with either weapon, at this weapon's SR, then a second time with your second weapon, at a SR equal to the sum of both SRs.

If the sum is >12, you can only attack once.

So, if you have a weapon in right hand with SR 5 and one in you left hand with SR 6, you'll be able to attack once with either weapon at its SR, then a second time at SR 11.

This has no effect on your parry chance whatsoever. You can parry with either one weapon on the other whether you used it for attack, and vice versa.

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2 hours ago, Mugen said:

So, if you have a weapon in right hand with SR 5 and one in you left hand with SR 6, you'll be able to attack once with either weapon at its SR, then a second time at SR 11.

This has no effect on your parry chance whatsoever. You can parry with either one weapon on the other whether you used it for attack, and vice versa.

I once let a character with two identical swords delay the first attack to be simultaneous with the second, so he could cut both arms off at the same time. This was MRQII where you could pick "Choose location" as a combat move. I suppose you could combine this with the end-of-the-round delay for an aimed blow, which I think is still a thing.

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

I once let a character with two identical swords delay the first attack to be simultaneous with the second, so he could cut both arms off at the same time. This was MRQII where you could pick "Choose location" as a combat move. I suppose you could combine this with the end-of-the-round delay for an aimed blow, which I think is still a thing.

I have no idea if the rules allow this, but I see no reason to not say yes to this. :D

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4 hours ago, Mugen said:

This has no effect on your parry chance whatsoever. You can parry with either one weapon on the other whether you used it for attack, and vice versa.

Yes Jason durall confirmed that parry with two weapons is the same as with one weapon. I suppose for possible weapon damage you have to decide which of the weapons is leading the parry.

The section on two weapon use is lifted straight from RQ2, and needs to be corrected to reflect the changes in RQG

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp

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On 9/2/2018 at 7:59 PM, creativehum said:

I think this is the nub of the issue... and definitely one of the stitches I dropped a couple of times as I've read and re-read the rules.

My guess is, at this time, if you you are engage in melee combat you can only get one spell off.

If you are at ranged (that is, not engage in melee combat, as if you were firing arrows), you can get off as many spells as you can within the 12 SRs.

The issue is one you are engaged in melee combat your focus and actions are much more limited as you do the do-see-do of bobbing, weaving and striking. Staying out of melee allows you more flexibility with actions.

Actually, I think I miswrote myself last time up; I think I disagree with you. If  you eschew attacking with your melee weapon, you can cast as many offensive spells as you're SRs will permit. The engaged/disengaged status only limits you to either magic or physical. If you're disengaged you could shoot your bow, then cast a Disruption. If you're in melee you pick one mode or the other.

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16 hours ago, womble said:

Actually, I think I miswrote myself last time up; I think I disagree with you. If  you eschew attacking with your melee weapon, you can cast as many offensive spells as you're SRs will permit. The engaged/disengaged status only limits you to either magic or physical. If you're disengaged you could shoot your bow, then cast a Disruption. If you're in melee you pick one mode or the other.

Except that traditionally, that's not how  combat was run. It was (and still is) a common tactic for someone in melee to use battle battle to augment their weapon (i.e. bladesharp) or defenses (i.e. protection) and still attack and parry. Traditionally, the cast just added the MP cost of the spell to the SR of their attack. So someone who casts Bladesharp 4,who would normally attack at SR7, attacked at SR 11.

Now you can make a claim that this is RQG, not RQ2 and that the authors want to do thing differently, except that the tricky wording between melee and magic was in RQ2, and  the game simply wasn't run the way the rules seem to imply. 

I suspect the limitation was something from very early in RQ that got discarded in actual play once the SR system was implemented and worked. Generally, it's been run (in Chaosium stuff) that if the SR of the spell is low engough, it can be cast in melee by just adding the SR to the normal attack. If a spell takes too many SR a character mightnot have enough SRs left to get a melee attack, and/or they could get hit while casting. 

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17 hours ago, womble said:

I think I disagree with you

Keep in mind I began this post with a series of questions. It is more than possible you are not disagreeing with me, but rather clarifying something for me.

Further...

17 hours ago, womble said:

If  you eschew attacking with your melee weapon, you can cast as many offensive spells as you're SRs will permit.

Thi s is what I said. So could you clarify the point where you think we're disagreeing?

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Except that traditionally, that's not how  combat was run. It was (and still is) a common tactic for someone in melee to use battle battle to augment their weapon (i.e. bladesharp) or defenses (i.e. protection) and still attack and parry. Traditionally, the cast just added the MP cost of the spell to the SR of their attack. So someone who casts Bladesharp 4,who would normally attack at SR7, attacked at SR 11.

Now you can make a claim that this is RQG, not RQ2 and that the authors want to do thing differently, except that the tricky wording between melee and magic was in RQ2, and  the game simply wasn't run the way the rules seem to imply. 

I suspect the limitation was something from very early in RQ that got discarded in actual play once the SR system was implemented and worked. Generally, it's been run (in Chaosium stuff) that if the SR of the spell is low engough, it can be cast in melee by just adding the SR to the normal attack. If a spell takes too many SR a character mightnot have enough SRs left to get a melee attack, and/or they could get hit while casting. 

To clarify this point (which I think is fairly clear), here is the passage on this matter from page 195 of the RQC

Quote

Multiple Activities Within Melee

An adventurer has fewer options when engaged in a melee. When engaged in melee, the adventurer must spend it attacking and defending. While an adventurer might throw a spell at an oncoming foe and then engage that foe in combat within the same round, an adventurer cannot, while engaged in combat, attack both physically and magically.

This means that an adventurer who starts a round physically engaged in melee may either:

  • Attack and defend normally; or
  • Defend normally and cast spells.

The text is referring to spells an adventurer might "throw... at an oncoming foe" and limits, while engaged in combat, the "attack" one might make to either a physical attack or a magical attack.

Bladesharp is not an attack on an opponent. It is not thrown against an opponent; it is placed on a weapon. So casting it does not prevent an adventurer from also making a physical attack the same round.

 

The question that still matters to me is: Is there a limit to the number of attack spells a character can make in a round?

This question is for both when the character is not engaged, and also when the character is engaged.

Edited by creativehum

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The two paragraphs in the passage apparently contradict each other. The text you boldfaced seems (and I stress "seems") to imply that the restriction only applies to magical "attacks". However, it is a "descriptive" passage that constitutes a sort of preamble and explanation to the "prescriptive" part of the rule which refers to "casting spells", without making any difference between offensive spells and spells cast on oneself or weapons. It says only "cast spells".

I think that, as a general principle about how one should read rules, any "prescriptive" text overrides any "descriptive" one. Which means that the way I read the above passage is that when engaged in melee, you can cast spells only if you forfeit your attack.  The nature of the spell is irrelevant.

Consider also that this rule is already quite generous. In other variants of D100, for instance RQ3, casting spells in melee is way more dangerous, as it prevents defending, too, or uses up your action allowance to the point that you cannot defend effectively.

Perhaps, while we are not (yet) engaged in melee about the Rightful interpretation of the Holy Rules, someone should cast Summon Jason to resolve the issue.

Edited by RosenMcStern

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For the record, I didn't bold that text. It's bolded that way in the text of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

As for your points about the text contradicting itself, sure. Again, for the record, my frustration about the lack of clarity in the RQG rules mounts each time I try to sort through the book. With that said, while your distinctions about descriptive and prescriptive text and how to read them might make sense in almost any other rule book, in the case of RQG I am a sailer at sea after a storm, grabbing onto any flotsam I can to stay afloat. 

In the specific case of RQG (and not focusing on RQ2, RQ3, or any other editions of RQ, because for crying out loud I should be able to buy a book and understand what the rules are supposed to mean without having to do an exegesis of 40 years worth of published material), my own reading is that the bolded part is the part that matters and the bullet points are merely a continuation of the sloppy and vague (sorry guys, it's true) writing that plagues RQG.

Should the bullet point have been clearer with the point? Yes. But RQ Spirit Magic is an extraordinary thing and magic is Glorantha is common, and I can see making a case for being able to cast Bladesharp while engaged in melee as the rules, read one way, suggest.

And can the rules be read to mean exactly what you say? That the bullet points state that no spells (of any kind) may be cast once engaged in melee? 

Sure. 

And that's the problem. The text lacks clarity on clear on countless points, contradicts itself or drops points made one page when mentioned again on another, uses different sentence structure or phrasing (I assume to avoid being "repetitive") when using specific phrasing or word choices repeated regularly to mean the same thing would be of great help, and doesn't bother to clearly delineate and defined key terms. (I think we can all agree "Engaged" is a key concept in the game. I can't be the only one to notice the game never define "Engaged." It isn't even listed in the Index.)

It isn't @RosenMcStern that I disagree with you. It's that I can see your point. And I can see my point. And the book does nothing (and I mean nothing) to clarify the point. We are left trying to piece together whatever clues we can find sprinkled with our own intuition and the way we think magic "works."

There are great ideas for both setting and mechanics in the RQG book... but I'm having to weigh right now how much effort I think is worth teasing it out and trying to create a rules set for several sections so my players and I could have a solid, consistent set of rules to work from rather than having to go around in circles as one of us quotes one sentence from the rules to support his point, while another player pulls out a second sentence that supports her point.

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38 minutes ago, creativehum said:

To clarify this point (which I think is fairly clear), here is the passage on this matter from page 192 of the RQC

Sorry, but that doesn't clarify the point nor is it fairly clear.

 

The text in question is copied verbatim from RQ2 (page 19 in the Classic Edtion PDF). So it's not that this is a change or something new. 

Now, despite what is in the text states, that simply wasn't how the game was played, not even by Chasoium, since all adventures and supplements used the "tack in on to the SR of the melee attack" approach. Throwing a disrupt and attacking in the same round was done. As was throwing multiple disrupts in someone had the SR and POW (read magic points) to do it. 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, creativehum said:

There are great ideas for both setting and mechanics in the RQG book... but I'm having to weigh right now how much effort I think is worth teasing it out and trying to create a rules set for several sections so my players and I could have a solid, consistent set of rules to work from rather than having to go around in circles as one of us quotes one sentence from the rules to support his point, while another player pulls out a second sentence that supports her point.

What we do in my group is we have a quick exchange of opinions, the GM makes the deciding call, and that's it. We might have another discussion after the session is over, as we spend a lot of time together as friends outside of the game, watching TV and films and playing computer games. I think we are lucky that none of us are abusive as GMs and we don't worry too much about not getting our way.

2 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

The text in question is copied verbatim from RQ2 (page 19 in the Classic Edtion PDF). So it's not that this is a change or something new... Throwing a disrupt and attacking in the same round was done. As was throwing multiple disrupts in someone had the SR and POW (read magic points) to do it. 

We certainly did that in RQ3, but I think that was one of the things that was loosened up in that edition. It's been well over 30 years since I last played RQ2 so I have no idea how we ran it back then!

Edited by PhilHibbs
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1 minute ago, Atgxtg said:

Sorry, but that doesn't clarify the point nor is it fairly clear.

The text in question is copied verbatim from RQ2 (page 19 in the Classic Edtion PDF). So it's not that this is a change or something new. 

Now, despite what is in the text states, that simply wasn't how the game was played, not even by Chasoium, since all adventures and supplements used the "tack in on to the SR of the melee attack" approach. Throwing a disrupt and attacking in the same round was done. As was throwing multiple disrupts in someone had the SR and POW (read magic points) to do it. 

And yet the text I quoted explicitly states you can't do what you say people did above.

Whether people did things that contradicts the text, the text is clear: You can't cast Disruption and make a melee attack in the same around. 

I mean, that at least is clear in the text. I'm not talking about what people did in the past. I'm talking about what is right there in the text. The text states clearly you can't do that.

You say, "Despite what the text states..." and I'm going be like, "Dude. Right. I'm looking at the text."

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11 minutes ago, creativehum said:

 

In the specific case of RQG (and not focusing on RQ2, RQ3, or any other editions of RQ, because for crying out loud I should be able to buy a book and understand what the rules are supposed to mean without having to do an exegesis of 40 years worth of published material)

Yes, you should be able to. Unfortunately, a lot of the text in Chaosium products is cut & pasted from earlier products, often without other bits of rules that provide the proper context. And I don't believe the powers that be want to reinterpret the rules differently now. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, creativehum said:

And yet the text I quoted explicitly states you can't do what you say people did above.

Yes it does. But I'm saying that the game wasn't played that way-not even by Chasoium. 

1 minute ago, creativehum said:

Whether people did things that contradicts the text, the text is clear: You can't cast Disruption and make a melee attack in the same around. 

Clear of not, if the authors of the game do differently in play, the validity of that text becomes questionable. 

1 minute ago, creativehum said:

I mean, that at least is clear in the text. I'm not talking about what people did in the past. I'm talking about what is right there in the text. The text states clearly you can't do that.

Yes, and the authors of the game printed examples where characters did exactly what the text stated they couldn't. 

 

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3 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

What we do in my group is we have a quick exchange of opinions, the GM makes the deciding call, and that's it. We might have another discussion after the session is over, as we spend a lot of time together as friends outside of the game, watching TV and films and playing computer games. I think we are lucky that none of us are abusive as GMs and we don't worry too much about not getting our way.

I want to be clear about something: 
The question at hand is, "How do you hit something?"

We now have a half dozen posts circling at that question in a rules set for an RPG. That's ridiculous

Further, you made a weird and nonsensical jump about some sort of abuse or anger about not getting our way. That's not the issue at all. I ran the QuickStart for friends this weekend. It went great... except for a few question about how combat works. We checked the book. Found some confusion, made a call, moved on. No problem. Like, what the hell? I'm saying we'd like to have a consistent set of rules about how combat works so there is no confusion. What does this have to do with whether we hang out together outside of RPGs? (Which we do.)

Yesterday I went to book to resolve the confusion. Found out the book doesn't resolved it. Posted here for some clarity. And now at least one person is telling me I should ignore the rules I bought and be playing the way people played decades ago.

I'm not faulting Atgxtg for suggesting this. To be told "Well, they cut pasted the rules and really didn't think about what they were doing," is both horrific and calming... because now at least I have context for why the rules read the way they do. 

But I'm not taking any comfort from the fact that there's a real problem with how this book was made.

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6 minutes ago, creativehum said:

Further, you made a weird and nonsensical jump about some sort of abuse or anger about not getting our way. That's not the issue at all.

No, I was just talking about my current group, as compared to other groups that I have played in in the past where that did happen. All the time. I meant no implication about anyone here on the forum and I apologise for any appearance thereof.

And it's pretty common in RPGs for issues like this to arise, in my experience.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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6 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

No, I was just talking about my current group, as compared to other groups that I have played in in the past where that did happen. All the time. I meant no implication about anyone here on the forum and I apologise for any appearance thereof.

And it's pretty common in RPGs for issues like this to arise, in my experience.

Fair enough. All good.

I simply don't want this to be about my players. 

The latest advice I'm getting on this is: Ignore the rules you bought; buy a scrying bowl; play the way we did 40 years ago when we blew off the rules too.

This is the problem at hand, as far as I'm concerned. 

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2 minutes ago, creativehum said:

Yesterday I went to book to resolve the confusion. Found out the book doesn't resolved it. Posted here for some clarity. And now at least one person is telling me I should ignore the rules I bought and be playing the way people played decades ago.

That's an exaggeration. I'm just pointing out how the game has always been run and played, and that contradicts  one section of the text as written. 

2 minutes ago, creativehum said:

I'm not faulting Atgxtg for suggesting this. To be told "Well, they cut pasted the rules and really didn't think about what they were doing," is both horrific and calming... because now at least I have context for why the rules read the way they do. 

To be fair, that's just my opinion, not necessarily factual. But to give you more context, I think part of the problem lies in the fact that so many of us have played this game for decades, , and have gotten into the habit of not really looking stuff up anymore. We've all sorta "know" how the rules work. Unfortunately, with so many variations and alternative versions of the rules, we don't all "know" the same rules. Worse still they don't all prefer the same rules either.

 

2 minutes ago, creativehum said:

But I'm not taking any comfort from the fact that there's a real problem with how this book was made.

LOL! I think that's the point that people were jumping all over me about back in June. Some of the old sections of the RQ2 text are either outdated or superseded by newer rules, and that had led to contradictions, and confusion. Things like rounding numbers, SR, number of attacks, casting spells in melee, and two weapon combat were all things that were pretty clear and easy to understand and run. Even with something was unclear or omitted from a game, someone could usually find the answer by looking at another, similar,  Chasoium game.

 

But now, with RQG we don't have that safety net  of precedence anymore. We can't find the answer to something by looking at older versions of the rules anymore, because the new rules either mix things that weren't mixed previously (SR's and cumulative  parries), or deliberately reverse previous traditions (such as rounding to the nearest). We're in uncharted territory now. Or, the RQG players are. 

 

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