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Grimmshade

So many errors and contradictions

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I'm a bit disappointed in my reading of the Core book. I wish all the glowing review I read before purchase had mentioned all the errors and rule contradictions. It's a very difficult book for a Runequest newcomer to get through.

I'm currently reading the Combat chapter, and the limb damage is difficult to decipher, the Parry chart and the section on Critical Parry differ completely, the example of using Runes has a -10% penalty for failure instead of -20% mentioned earlier, combat with skills greater than 100% is different in the combat chapter than it is in the skills chapter.

That's just half of the combat chapter. 

Is the Bestiary and GM Kit this full of errata and contradictions? I'm having a little buyers remorse for a $55 book.

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12 minutes ago, Grimmshade said:

combat with skills greater than 100% is different in the combat chapter than it is in the skills chapter

Skills over 100% have always been problematic in RuneQuest.

Partly because there's been resistance in the official publications against so-called "SuperRuneQuest" since the 1990s or so. Partly because the game mechanics for such skills have always been a bit weird from being hard to balance properly.

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3 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

For a game that took so many years to finally come out with, the editing leaves something to be desired. 

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ...

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3 hours ago, Grimmshade said:

I'm a bit disappointed in my reading of the Core book. I wish all the glowing review I read before purchase had mentioned all the errors and rule contradictions. It's a very difficult book for a Runequest newcomer to get through.

I'm currently reading the Combat chapter, and the limb damage is difficult to decipher, the Parry chart and the section on Critical Parry differ completely, the example of using Runes has a -10% penalty for failure instead of -20% mentioned earlier, combat with skills greater than 100% is different in the combat chapter than it is in the skills chapter.

That's just half of the combat chapter. 

Is the Bestiary and GM Kit this full of errata and contradictions? I'm having a little buyers remorse for a $55 book.

Best I can tell, most of these challenges and weirdnesses come because a lot of the text of RQG is lifted from prior editions, and then altered. Tribal edit did a lot of work hammering away at this, but I'm sure there's inconsistencies left. You're right that this is a barrier to new players. I've some experience with prior editions (plus oodles of free time to spend tinkering with them and reverse-engineering systems, which should not be assumed standard) and that helps me a lot but yeah, it can be really odd. I'm not really sure there's a solution to this, but if you ever have the time skimming some RQ2 and RQ3 adventures or other materials can help give you an idea what language was used, and when RQG just nicked a paragraph.

Have fun muddling through the augmenting system. I recall that being rough the last time I read it through :P

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RQG is in the odd position where it's probably the most complex iteration of RuneQuest ever published, but most Gloranthaphiles are more into rules light systems. I like the form and shape of RQ and BRP for Glorantha, but the internal mechanics of RQG are way too intricate for my tastes. Even if it was all super consistent and complete, I could never hold it all in my head anyway, so there's no chance I'd be able to run it as written without checking the rulebook every combat round, and that's not happening.

So for me I use the rules as a toolkit but not proscriptively. I use it to assemble an experience in play, but it's what seems right in the moment that matters, not what it says on page 192 in the Strike Rank Modifiers section, or whatever.

If you want an example of how stripped down and straightforward this system can be, check out the free downloadable Basic Roleplaying Quickstart. One way to get a handle on the complexity might be to start with that as a minimal replacement 'combat chapter' and adopt in combat rules for RQG that you like bit by bit.

I think what RQG could really do with is an alternative minimal core combat system implementation. Like a drop-in replacement combat chapter that strips it down to a playable, balanced but consistent subset of the rules.

Edited by simonh

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16 minutes ago, simonh said:

RQG is in the odd position where it's probably the most complex iteration of RuneQuest ever published, but most Gloranthaphiles are more into rules light systems.

I don't think that statement is supported at all by sales and play information! I think it is safer to say that "many Gloranthaphiles that have been active on the various discussions forums and conventions over the past decade or so are more into rules light systems" - but I suspect there are currently more RQG games being run than every other Glorantha game system put together and the Gloranthan community as a whole has been far more active in the past three months than in the past decade.

Now there is nothing wrong with treating RQG as a toolkit. Let me repeat and emphasize: there is nothing at all wrong with treating RQG as a toolkit. But the rules complexity has certainly not been a barrier for new players or new customers (nor has any inevitable but slight discrepancies in rules descriptions). 

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36 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I don't think that statement is supported at all by sales and play information!

From looking at the reviews it's the cults, homelands, runes, passions, magic, etc that are selling it. It's the fusion of BRP and Glorantha that brings the magic,  there's a special alchemy there, but I don't think the specific iteration of the BRP combat mechanics is a differentiating factor.

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 I don’t find the rules any more complicated then RQ2 was, and I learnt that as youngster. The additional flavousome runes and augmentations don’t feel particularly complex as it’s all percentile based.

Having said that it would be helpful for newcomers to have clarifications in a single source for RQG. Jason Durall did a good job of helping clarify of few points on the forum, be good to collate that information into one updatable document soon, particularly  now that we have  hard copies in our hands.

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Just now, simonh said:

From looking at the reviews it's the cults, homelands, runes, passions, magic, etc that are selling it. It's the fusion of BRP and Glorantha that brings the magic,  there's a special alchemy there, but I don't think the specific iteration of the BRP combat mechanics is a differentiating factor.

Reviews are interesting, but like movie review, RPG reviews reflect the interests of a subset. The most valuable feedback I get is from our various convention game organisers, particularly from Todd Gardiner, but also from some very active newbies. Needless to say, the combat mechanics are a perhaps surprisingly big draw.

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Reviews are interesting, but like movie review, RPG reviews reflect the interests of a subset. The most valuable feedback I get is from our various convention game organisers, particularly from Todd Gardiner, but also from some very active newbies. Needless to say, the combat mechanics are a perhaps surprisingly big draw.

Honestly, it's just muddling through the errors and inconsistencies that is making me think twice about the system. I've been roleplaying since the late 70's, and owned the 2nd edition Runequest box (and still own the 1st edition Call of Cthulhu box.)

I don't find the rules all that overly complex, I'm just disgruntled at having to decide between two different versions of a rule in the same book, or rules that clearly contradict themselves. It makes reading and learning the material a chore.

Luckily there are many helpful fans here on the forums.

Edited by Grimmshade
Typos
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1 hour ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Having said that it would be helpful for newcomers to have clarifications in a single source for RQG. Jason Durall did a good job of helping clarify of few points on the forum, be good to collate that information into one updatable document soon, particularly  now that we have  hard copies in our hands.

I would like to second this.  I am not a newcomer and gone through most iterations of Runequest and Hero Wars/Quest along the way but I would find a rules catch-up very useful.  There are quite a few questions floating about and, even if there is not an official opinion on what is right or wrong, knowing that the ambiguity exists and what the options might be would be amazingly valuable.

I guess, even if you could organise a wiki-style page for forum folk to post issues and edit and amend them with the potential for official statements to be added, it would give us something to focus on and to enhance the use of the ruleset rather than just gripe about stuff.  🙂

Stephen

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I had a though a couple of days ago about setting up some pages on the unofficial wiki based around the runes.

The Law Rune: House rules

The Magic Rune: New spells

The Spirit Rune: New shamanic abilities and taboos

The Disorder Rune: Contradictions, ambiguities, and common misunderstandings

Edited by PhilHibbs
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A place to go for fixes and known problems with options would be a huge help at this point.

A really good example of combat would also be a huge help, but the examples in the book have errors in them too, which makes me dubious a combat example wouldn't also be error filled. 

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11 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

Skills over 100% have always been problematic in RuneQuest.

Partly because there's been resistance in the official publications against so-called "SuperRuneQuest" since the 1990s or so. Partly because the game mechanics for such skills have always been a bit weird from being hard to balance properly.

The mechanics of the system causing a certain situation to be difficult to resolve, and the text of the rules being self-contradictory are two very different things.

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7 hours ago, simonh said:

RQG is in the odd position where it's probably the most complex iteration of RuneQuest ever published, but most Gloranthaphiles are more into rules light systems.

Are there?  Lacking any references for it, I'd argue against that bald assertion that pretty strenuously. 

I think there are two *very* distinct camps of player: there are the role-playing faction that want a more rules-light system, and there are a, let's call them a "gamer" faction that specifically like a crunchy, simulationist, rules-heavy system.  I'd further argue that in previous iterations, the former loved Glorantha more than the rules for the game, while the latter were reversed.

 

Edited by styopa

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4 minutes ago, styopa said:

I think there are two *very* distinct camps of player: there are the role-playing faction that want a more rules-light system, and there are a, let's call them a "gamer" faction that specifically like a crunchy, simulationist, rules-heavy system.  I'd further argue that in previous iterations, the former loved Glorantha more than the rules for the game, while the latter were reversed.

 

I'm all about the crunch. I don't think the RQ system is sufficiently simulationist, for an ideal game (and I know that makes me a member of a very small minority). But I love Glorantha the setting as much. Never played BRP fantasy outside the Lozenge apart from one short-lived excursion into Elric. For me RQ in Glorantha has always been a perfect balance of setting and mechanic.

 

 

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1 hour ago, styopa said:

... I think there are two *very* distinct camps of player: there are the role-playing faction that want a more rules-light system, and there are a, let's call them a "gamer" faction that specifically like a crunchy, simulationist, rules-heavy system...

<flips aside cloak, eases hand to hilt of rapier>

"Careful there, pardner!  Yer a-wanderin over inta GNS theory a bit...  this here is BRP country, 'taint the Forge.  Our crits take the limbs offa them Indie folk..."

🤠

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17 minutes ago, g33k said:

<flips aside cloak, eases hand to hilt of rapier>

"Careful there, pardner!  Yer a-wanderin over inta GNS theory a bit...  this here is BRP country, 'taint the Forge.  Our crits take the limbs offa them Indie folk..."

🤠

<SIGH> Come on now! We discussed this! When you go for the rapier, you use the French accent, not the Western US one! That one is when you draw the sixgun! 😉

SDLeary

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My group spent two sessions making characters and chatting about RuneQuest and Glorantha, and now we have had two sessions of play, and are having a great time with it. I can't say we have found anything  that has really given us any trouble as far as contradictions or errors go. Previously I played and ran games at Gen Con and no issues came up.

I did make my own summary of the rules around augments using skills, Passions, and Runes so I could clearly convey those to my players. The GM screen is excellent. It has nearly every single thing you need to run the game on it, as both player and GM.

Like I said, no rules problems so far (and I even have an adventurer using Sorcery!) and RQG has really hit the sweet spot for me as far as BRP rules complexity goes. I like hit locations, multiple magic systems, interesting choices for weapons and armor, and other details, but it doesn't bog down with some of the other things that have been added to BRP over various iterations. Augmenting is a great addition, especially coupled with the Passions and Runes.

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1 minute ago, Narl said:

My group spent two sessions making characters and chatting about RuneQuest and Glorantha, and now we have had two sessions of play, and are having a great time with it. I can't say we have found anything  that has really given us any trouble as far as contradictions or errors go. Previously I played and ran games at Gen Con and no issues came up.

I did make my own summary of the rules around augments using skills, Passions, and Runes so I could clearly convey those to my players. The GM screen is excellent. It has nearly every single thing you need to run the game on it, as both player and GM.

Like I said, no rules problems so far (and I even have an adventurer using Sorcery!) and RQG has really hit the sweet spot for me as far as BRP rules complexity goes. I like hit locations, multiple magic systems, interesting choices for weapons and armor, and other details, but it doesn't bog down with some of the other things that have been added to BRP over various iterations. Augmenting is a great addition, especially coupled with the Passions and Runes.

This is pretty much the feedback we get. The handful of grognards grumbling about a few slight discrepancies seem to be looking for something to grumble about. Then again, it could just be a case of "not really my kind of game" - which is just fine. No game is going to work for everyone. I got a long laundry list of popular games that don't work for me.

Jeff

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8 minutes ago, SDLeary said:

<SIGH> Come on now! We discussed this! When you go for the rapier, you use the French accent, not the Western US one! That one is when you draw the sixgun! 😉

SDLeary

<squints>

Cannon cultist, eh?

Bit tall for one o' them Moss-Tall-Eee, aincher?

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I'm not a Glorantha grognard.

I really am excited about sharing Glorantha with my players.

I ran the Quickstart for some friends at a convention. 

Everyone loved all the setting material and the integration of the game mechanics with the setting.

One of the players runs a twitch site for RPGs. She asked me if I'd run more RQG. She loved it that much.

But there are a lot of contradictions within the text. There is a lot of lack of clarity within the rules.

This is not a matter of complexity. I can switch gears on complexity or simplicity in RPGs easily. It is a matter of clarity. There are passages within the text that are not clear. There are passages with the text that do not mesh with passages of text found elsewhere. 

I'm on the fence about getting the hardcover at this point. It means going through the pages, marking them up, sorting through the rules, and sometimes making my own rulings on the rules in order to have a consistent rules set. I also need to make clear: This has nothing to do with the rules being a toolkit. Sorting through clear rules to build what I want is one thing. Finding text that doesn't quite make sense or is contradicted elsewhere is something else entirely; this is doing the work that should have been done before the book went to print.

The source material is fantastic, and the rules integration with setting is fantastic. I might well cave. But right now the thought of paying more money to flip through those pages to do extra work to sort the game out before I get to play gives me a headache.

Edited by creativehum
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