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Strike rank conundrum.

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On 10/22/2018 at 4:43 AM, Psullie said:

Rosen is correct, SR is relative, its all about who goes first, second etc not when they go.

Unless you're outside of melee using rolling SR, casting spells/firing missiles, then it pretty much IS a sequence of events.

7 hours ago, Russ Massey said:

I'm surprised no one has yet queried in what order statements of intent are made, since it does make a huge difference.

When we used SoI, we'd go from character with lowest INT to highest (you have to be strict about not allowing inter-round 'discussion/panning time'), giving the highest ones a significant advantage in planning.  

But frankly, we abandoned SoI years ago.  The whole "here's what I'm going to do with the next 12 seconds of my life" ended up being so kludgy, so rife with conditional statements, so full of special rules to allow changing of intent due to different conditions, etc we ultimately decided that RQ combat was slow enough, and just allow characters to act on their SR, much like 5e, with the condition that they cannot move THROUGH a ZoC.

Our system has boiled down to pretty-simple: people act on an SR based on their initiative roll modified by DEX SR.  Moving into combat, longest weapon hits first, otherwise SR sequence.  Acts (usually spellcasting) that cannot be completed in the round roll past the end of the round end up with a calculated SR for next round, instead of rolling.  That's pretty much it.  No statement of intent.  Missiles/spellcasting do not get rolling SRs; if you attack/spellcast in a round, that's your action.  It's not perfect, no, but it's quick.

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5 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

There are games that make this part of the mechanics, but RuneQuest is not one of them. I would not enforce any kind of order among the players, and I'd let them co-ordinate their statements if they want. Or are you referring to PvP?

I was thinking more about the GM vs the PCs. In previous editions as GM I used to say, "Hang on a sec while I work out what the NPCs are going to do. Okay. Now give me your statements of intent."

I don't have any worries about the order the players go in, but the new rules state that the GM gives the NPC statements of intent aloud as well. Before the players? After the players? Some horrendous mixed mess based on SR or DEX? It's hard enough as GM to run RQ combats with a dozen NPC characters without havng to worry about that.

And if you tell the players what the NPCs are going to do and then allow the players to choose their actions it gives them a huge advantage. If you make the players speak first they'll accuse the NPCs of being game-beaking mind-readers even if you are simply using a prepared plan.

To my mind its much better to keep the GM intent hidden - as long as you trust the GM, at any rate.

Edited by Russ Massey
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1 hour ago, Russ Massey said:

the new rules state that the GM gives the NPC statements of intent aloud as well.

LOL what?  I didn't see that.  Why in heaven's name would the PCs know what the NPCs are doing before they do it?

The rule in question (bold mine)

1. Statement of Intent
The players and gamemaster declare the intentions of all participants in the melee round. These intentions do not need to be precise (“I’ll wait here for them to do something, and have my shield and sword at the ready if someone gets close” is enough detail). Enough should be said so that every participant has as much information about your intentions as could be expected from their adventurer’s involvement in the situation. The gamemaster, in particular, should provide as much information to the players as seems reasonable. Players may not know what exact spell a foe is going to cast, but they should know that the foe is readying a spell

 

As a rule, when we used SoI, yes, as GM I'd *declare* to myself what the enemies were going to do before I let the players tell me their plans.  But I certainly wouldn't say it aloud.

But I don't even see the point of this - wtf does "readying a spell" even mean in RQ?  There are no material components to grab out, and I'd presume any required gestures, concentration, chanting, doing a little dance...are already included in the SR for casting.  If they aren't continuing it over the round-end break, they wouldn't START doing it until the SR says so.  So what cues precisely would players be reading into "oh she's preparing to cast a spell"?

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3 minutes ago, styopa said:

But I don't even see the point of this - wtf does "readying a spell" even mean in RQ?  There are no material components to grab out, and I'd presume any required gestures, concentration, chanting, doing a little dance...are already included in the SR for casting.  If they aren't continuing it over the round-end break, they wouldn't START doing it until the SR says so.  So what cues precisely would players be reading into "oh she's preparing to cast a spell"?

Characters would be reading the cues, not players, and the melee round structure is an arbitrary imposition that the characters are not aware of. The people in the world are not all deciding simultaneously what they are going to do in the next 12 seconds and then doing it mindlessly. I see no problem with everybody knowing who is starting off the round casting magic, and acting accordingly.

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20 minutes ago, styopa said:

But I don't even see the point of this - wtf does "readying a spell" even mean in RQ?

Readying a spell involves clearing the mind,, preparing the focus if using spirit magic, preparing the expenditure of a new bunch of magic points (and/or rune points).

I blame the magic (point) flow which requires a significant pause between two spells. Without sufficient pause the magic might simply bleed after the previous spell. And, Glorantha being a magical setting, mundane actions may involve the containment of magic (points), much like some of the real world eastern martial arts involve control of chi. A cesura might be required between actions.

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This would not be a terrible use of the Battle skill.  Each group gets a battle skill roll at the beginning of the conflict.  The side that succeeds declares their statement of intent first and will continue to do so, the best lead side always seems to be a step ahead...

I might allow further rolls to change the dynamic at a significant penalty from the losing side or until someone does something to significantly change the dynamic.

Stephen

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26 minutes ago, styopa said:

...wtf does "readying a spell" even mean in RQ?...

Mechanically, it's a 5 SR overhead for doing something 'else'.

Thematically? It's getting the Focus ready to use again, after you've [done something] with it during the last time you used it or getting the Focus ready to use if it was stowed somewhere.

RAW, you don't have to 'ready' a spell to cast on something you're holding. Nor do you apparently have to 'ready' a spell if casting it is the first thing you intend to do in the round, having had a read of p194.

Frankly, it's a kludge for simplicity's sake, or just poorly stated.

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1 hour ago, StephenMcG said:

This would not be a terrible use of the Battle skill.  Each group gets a battle skill roll at the beginning of the conflict.  The side that succeeds declares their statement of intent first and will continue to do so, the best lead side always seems to be a step ahead...

I might allow further rolls to change the dynamic at a significant penalty from the losing side or until someone does something to significantly change the dynamic.

Stephen

I like that idea a lot. That's certainly how I'm going to play it, as it makes sense to the players and removes any ambiguity. Most encounters are going to be in the players favour, as they will usually have someone with reasonable battle skill, but it will be a huge shock the first time they get to have to declare everythnig first because there's a lunar polemarch in the opposinjg  group.

What about fights with animals? I guess you could use the beast rune as the equivalent of battle in man vs savage nature encounters.

Edited by Russ Massey
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14 hours ago, Russ Massey said:

I'm surprised no one has yet queried in what order statements of intent are made, since it does make a huge difference.

I usually do reverse DEX order. Lower DEX states first.

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Something I saw (in a web comic about a DnD game, of all places) which I'm going to steal is the concept of giving the players "strategising time" before a fight (potentially even if they're surprised) to represent the fact that the characters are a team who are used to combat and working together and are, presumably, more familiar with their capabilities than their players are. I'm planning on basing it on a Battle roll, with more time given for better level of success, and situational modifiers reflecting surprise and the like... I reckon it'll reduce the amount of havering during the action rounds.

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34 minutes ago, womble said:

I reckon it'll reduce the amount of havering during the action rounds.

In an international board, is there a wide understanding of the meaning of havering??

🙂

Stephen (Glaswegian by birth and upbringing)

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9 minutes ago, StephenMcG said:

In an international board, is there a wide understanding of the meaning of havering??

🙂

Stephen (Glaswegian by birth and upbringing)

With Google just a tab away, there's no (good) excuse not to understand... :)

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3 hours ago, StephenMcG said:

In an international board, is there a wide understanding of the meaning of havering??

🙂

Stephen (Glaswegian by birth and upbringing)

Of course! I foolishly babble all the time! 😉

SDLeary

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9 hours ago, 10baseT said:

I usually do reverse DEX order. Lower DEX states first.

If I were going the stat route for order (and personally I don't like having to slow the game by having to write out a list that would involve switching back and forth between GM characters and player characters), I think I'd choose INT. IMO the Statement of Intent is about judging the situation and making good choices, a better fit for cognition than speed of reaction.

You could even average INT and DEX I guess, but I doubt the extra calaculation is worth the effort.

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12 hours ago, styopa said:

LOL what?  I didn't see that.  Why in heaven's name would the PCs know what the NPCs are doing before they do it?

The rule in question (bold mine)

1. Statement of Intent
The players and gamemaster declare the intentions of all participants in the melee round. These intentions do not need to be precise (“I’ll wait here for them to do something, and have my shield and sword at the ready if someone gets close” is enough detail). Enough should be said so that every participant has as much information about your intentions as could be expected from their adventurer’s involvement in the situation. The gamemaster, in particular, should provide as much information to the players as seems reasonable. Players may not know what exact spell a foe is going to cast, but they should know that the foe is readying a spell

That's pretty much the same as in RQ3, if not verbatim. The idea is not that everybody can read minds, but that if a guy comes running up to you with a spear you should probably be aware of it before you get impaled.

It also makes the whole stopping "just out of range" thing a bit risky because someone can decide to do something like attack someone who gets within 5m, and catch a clever PC. 

In RQ3 there was a section a few paragraphs down for altering intent. Is that in RQG too?

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

That's pretty much the same as in RQ3, if not verbatim. The idea is not that everybody can read minds, but that if a guy comes running up to you with a spear you should probably be aware of it before you get impaled.

It also makes the whole stopping "just out of range" thing a bit risky because someone can decide to do something like attack someone who gets within 5m, and catch a clever PC. 

In RQ3 there was a section a few paragraphs down for altering intent. Is that in RQG too?

It is the same rule as was in RQ3. I must have decided to ignore it in 1984, and probably never reread it since.

The paragraph about changing intent in RQ3 is:

It is possible for either a player or gamemaster to alter his Statement of Intent (SoI). However, any action performed in addition to that in the SoI, or instead of the SoI, will cost an extra 3 strike ranks. Thus if an adventurer, sword and shield, ready, was waiting for something to happen, and the player then decided at SR4 that the adventurer needed to run out the nearest door, then the adventurer would take 3SR plus his DEX modifier to get moving and on melee ST10 would move 3m.

It's workable from a player point of view, but it starts getting each melee round into GURPS-like tactical mini-maxing, and puts an additional burden on the GM who is having to decide for each NPC if they need to alter their pre-chosen actions as the round unfolds. I don't think this option is in the RQ:G rules.

Edited by Russ Massey
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2 hours ago, Russ Massey said:

It is the same rule as was in RQ3. I must have decided to ignore it in 1984, and probably never reread it since.

Ah, thanks.

Quote

It's workable from a player point of view, but it starts getting each melee round into GURPS-like tactical mini-maxing, and puts an additional burden on the GM who is having to decide for each NPC if they need to alter their pre-chosen actions as the round unfolds. I don't think this option is in the RQ:G rules.

I don't think it's really as bad as that. For the most part players only change their actions when something unexpected happens that makes the previous SOI pointless. In most cases the 3 SR delay imposes something of a limitation. 

 

One of the other perks with   imprecise statements is that it avoids an ever sneaker trick that the stopping short. In RQ2, if a character is facing two or more opponents, the one he declares his attack on could hang back, and the other opponent could move up freely without fear of being attacked. With imprecise statements, a RQ3 or RQG character is free to switch targets-and without a SR penalty.

Edited by Atgxtg

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How does phase 2 (movement of non-engaged characters phase) come into all this? Does SR 1 starts only in phase 3?

Totally new to RQ, trying to wrap my mind around this.

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50 minutes ago, drablak said:

How does phase 2 (movement of non-engaged characters phase) come into all this? Does SR 1 starts only in phase 3?

Totally new to RQ, trying to wrap my mind around this.

In some respects it does seem strange to have phase 2. Why does non-engaged character movement need to be seperated out from the rest of the resolution of the round?

I can only think that it is to stop you having to count down the SR and move each character a fraction of their total movement each time. It does speed things up to take all movement in a single action, but I think it could lead to some confusion about timings within the round, especially if non-engaged characters are also casting spells or throwing weapons while moving.

My advice is to ignore phase 2 until you have run a few combats, and the GM and players are familiar with the basics. Start by counting up from SR1 to SR12 with each character making their attacks on the appropriate SR, and moving 3m on each SR if they are unengaged (this assumes you are using figures and a scale respresentation of combat - if you are leaving things abstract then a lot more comes down to GM fiat). It will be slower at first, but once you become used to what is and is not possible in a round you will be able to quickly move figures into their final positions in a single step, and just say 'I run to attack broo7, taking 4SR to get in and rolling to hit on SR8'.

Don't worry about making mistakes. RQ is a very robust system, and you can't easily break it. Just play, make sure its fun, and re-read the rules after a few sessions when your experience will let you see if you have missed anything significant or made any errors in your initial application of the rules.

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1 hour ago, Russ Massey said:

My advice is to ignore phase 2 until you have run a few combats, and the GM and players are familiar with the basics. Start by counting up from SR1 to SR12 with each character making their attacks on the appropriate SR, and moving 3m on each SR if they are unengaged (this assumes you are using figures and a scale respresentation of combat - if you are leaving things abstract then a lot more comes down to GM fiat). It will be slower at first, but once you become used to what is and is not possible in a round you will be able to quickly move figures into their final positions in a single step, and just say 'I run to attack broo7, taking 4SR to get in and rolling to hit on SR8'.

This...it's been 30+ years, but I do recall that after everyone got fully used to the "move 1 yard per SR" (sorry, I'm unashamedly anti-metric) for unengaged characters, our battles flowed rather smoothly. Even when 4 PCs and 2 henchies were fighting 8 scorpion men and 4 broos with 2 shamans in the mix (now that was a fight)!

I suggest you run several practice fights, slowly and steadily counting out SR 1 to 12, and letting PCs attempt all the various things they can do in 1 round, when engaged and unengaged, casting spells and moving in to attack, etc. Gradually it will become easier and you'll look forward to what we had when our GM spoke "SR 1": the cry of "Spell!" echoed through the party!

 

 

 

 

Edited by thom
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3 hours ago, drablak said:

How does phase 2 (movement of non-engaged characters phase) come into all this? Does SR 1 starts only in phase 3?

Yes, SR1 doesn't start until Phase 3, but... if someone moves into melee or casts and then engages in melee he has to factor movement into his SR.

The idea is that SR isn't really a measure on time, but just the order that things happen. That way you can tell if someone gets their spell off before they get attacked or not. 

 

3 hours ago, drablak said:

Totally new to RQ, trying to wrap my mind around this.

Welcome. RQ isn't too complex, you should get the hang of it.  

Edited by Atgxtg
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28 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes, SR1 doesn't start until Phase 3, but... if someone moves into melee or casts and then engages in melee he has to factor movement into his SR.

The idea is that SR isn't really a measure on time, but just the order that things happen. That way you can tell if someone gets their spell off before they get attacked or not. 

 

The problem has always seemed to me that the PC moving then adding SRs onto what happens is not the problem, it's all the other PCs/NPCs around who could have done something in that time. It practically forces you into SR by SR counting which is OK for players but a nightmare for the GM, I've always found.

 

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I think the trick is when someone is moving in phase 2 and another character decides to interact, the actions can all then be delayed until SR combat counting.  If there is no interaction, the movement is out of the way, their spells and missile stuff can wait until the SR counting is being done.   It is all abstraction rather than simulation...(in my head it is anyway)

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Ok, so PC1 starts to move towards target X which will take (say) 4 SR. NPCs Y and Z shoot a bow on SR 2 and a spell on SR 3. But PC1 still gets next to X before these are resolved?

 

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