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Thyrwyn

Passions & Rune Affinities

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I think that the addition of Passions and Rune Affinities are one of the more interesting aspects of the RQG rules. There are some ways in which I feel they could be more fully integrated into the system. While Rune Affinities are integral to casting Rune Magic, there are no spells or skills which interact with them in any way; Passions can strongly influence or even mandate behavior for PCs and NPCs alike, but there are only two spells that interact with them mechanically, and no skills that do so.

How do you feel about this? Why doesn’t Soul Sight let you see the target’s strongest Rune Affinity? Why doesn’t Insight let you realize that someone is driven by a strong Loyalty or Love? 

I’m using them that way. What interesting ways are you using Passions and Affinities? 

Edited by Thyrwyn
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You can use Rune affinity to augment Skill categories, Water = Agility and DEX 

As for spells, it's probably an oversight, but I'd be include to agree that Soul Sight would also suggest 75%+ Runic affinities. As for Passions, they should be evident when in use, as for being able to magically detect someone's Loyalty, Honour, Hatred; seems too easy for me. 

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Insight (relevant species) may well be a skill that permits, in the right circumstances, the (at least partial) determination of a being's Passions.

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5 hours ago, Thyrwyn said:

How do you feel about this? Why doesn’t Soul Sight let you see the target’s strongest Rune Affinity?

There's opportunity to do more.  I think this is particularly true for Sorcery (and Mostali magic) and that's where I plan to use such (e.g. spells to Tap runic essence and then use in powering some other spell or dwarven device.

5 hours ago, Thyrwyn said:

Why doesn’t Insight let you realize that someone is driven by a strong Loyalty or Love?

It should, and I would allow that.  Success - you know that the person feels strongly about the matter, but can't discern the full motivation.  Special - you can discern the person is driven by Loyalty, Love, Hate, Fear, etc. but not the specifics (unless the context is obvious).  Critical - you can discern the specific passion driving them.  Fumble - you think the motivation is due to something else altogether or completely miss it.  (e.g. Fear (Kallyr) when its really Love (Kallyr)).

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I like the idea of Insight letting adventurers understand when another character is influenced/inspired by a Passion.

Myself, I've currently been experimenting with removing skill augmenting and only allowing augmenting via a Rune or Passion, so that they feel more special. To my mind, this makes the Runes and Passions more special because they can do something that no other skills can--increase other skills.

I'm also not planning to follow the "roll or else be forced to follow your Passion/Rune" rule, because I really dislike mandating player choices. Of course, if they aren't following a Passion it's percentage is still going to drop. My goal is that if the players want to keep access to their Passions & Runes for augmenting in combat scenes, they'll need to play in character.

I'd also like to second OP's opinion about Runes & Passions in general. I really like them. They're an interesting way of providing a mechanical way to describe and encourage player behavior, which is something I've found most RPGs either don't design for or when they do design for it, do so poorly. (Looking at a lot of CRPGs here.)

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1 hour ago, Crel said:

Myself, I've currently been experimenting with removing skill augmenting and only allowing augmenting via a Rune or Passion, so that they feel more special. 

Are you also thinking about removing Reputation to augmenting?  I would suggest letting Reputation continue to be able to augment.

I really like the concept of augmentation in RQG but the writing of it does need to be made a bit cleaner.

For example, it is surprising how many people miss that there are four types of Abilities that can be used to perform Augmentation:

  1. Skills
  2. Runes
  3. Passions
  4. Reputation (which is not a Skill, Passion or Rune)

 

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1 hour ago, Mechashef said:

For example, it is surprising how many people miss that there are four types of Abilities that can be used to perform Augmentation:

  1. Skills
  2. Runes
  3. Passions
  4. Reputation (which is not a Skill, Passion or Rune)

Reputation starts extremely low, though, so is much more likely to do harm than good until the characters are very highly experienced. There will always be better things to call on.

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2 hours ago, Mechashef said:

Are you also thinking about removing Reputation to augmenting?  I would suggest letting Reputation continue to be able to augment.

I really like the concept of augmentation in RQG but the writing of it does need to be made a bit cleaner.

For example, it is surprising how many people miss that there are four types of Abilities that can be used to perform Augmentation:

  1. Skills
  2. Runes
  3. Passions
  4. Reputation (which is not a Skill, Passion or Rune)

 

I'd completely missed Reputation, you're correct. I'd allow it.

One of the challenges I have with this experiment is that there are some skills which become substantially less useful to adventurers, such as Sing, Dance, and Play Instrument. Especially in a combat-heavy game like mine (or at least I assume mine will be), the major mechanical value of these skills is to augment magic skills. I don't want to just say "skill augmenting's a nope, except for X/Y/Z" because that's adding layers of complication the game really doesn't need. And again, I personally find the idea of Rune & Passion augmenting more exciting than skill augmenting (even if singing a holy song does make total sense when casting spells).

It's an experiment. I'm still figuring lots of things out. *Shrug.*

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There's also "augmenting someone else's skill" (AKA 'helping')...

For me, skill augmentation makes so much eminent logical sense that I couldn't see leaving it out. Want to improve your singing performance effect? Play an instrument along with (or get someone else to do so - see above re: 'helping'...) I wonder why no one thought of that before. Better get in touch with EMI!!! 

;)

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I haven't played RQG enough yet, but in the games I have played I have noticed that I didn't feel the need to risk a rune or passion augmentation roll, unless these are over 90%.

So I'm thinking perhaps there will be very few augmentation rolls if PCs have runes and passions below that %. Have you had a different experience?

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3 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

So I'm thinking perhaps there will be very few augmentation rolls if PCs have runes and passions below that %. Have you had a different experience?

Yes.  My players love them and take good advantage of them.  Most of those they use are in the 70-80% range.  They periodically apply skill augments as well.

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It is possible to use an Ability to augment an Ability of another adventurer.  

 

The rules seem to be saying that this is only possible if the other adventurer is using a skill or reputation.

 

 i.e. you cannot use any ability to augment the other adventurer if their ability that you are tying to augment is a Rune or Passion. 

 

Is that correct?

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18 hours ago, Crel said:

I'm also not planning to follow the "roll or else be forced to follow your Passion/Rune" rule, because I really dislike mandating player choices.

That was my own initial impulse.  But now I think I like it the rule...

Runes are supposed to be this fundamental nature-of-reality thing in Glorantha, and acting against a very-strong Runic nature would be a bit like a real-world human deciding to save money by not eating for a couple of weeks...  Technically possible, but very tough, very unlikely.  Runes aren't simply like guns, magical tools that you pick up to be more dangerous, then put down when you're done.  Runes are part of the character, every bit as much as their STR or INT.

Similarly with a Passion:  I'm gonna assign my Real-World self a Real-World "Passion:Wife".  I will suggest that this passion doesn't "mandate" all my choices, but where she is concerned... my concern for her is my #1 priority.  Acting AGAINST her interests -- even in ways I might otherwise wish to act -- is VERY unlikely for me.

Once they cross that 80% threshold, they become dominant fixtures of who the PC is.

But there ARE escape clauses (if the PLAYER really wants to act out of character):

1.  You can roll against whatever's mandating the action.

2.  You can come up with an opposing Rune or Passion, do opposed rolls to see which wins.

3.  You can, ultimately, assert your player agency, and fiat  that your character acts in another way, despite the relevance of a dominant Rune or Passion (and accept it will drop down below the "mandate action" threshold... because you just exerted self-control to reduce your Passion, or disengaged a bit from the Runic affiliation).

So... yeah:   the player can ABSOLUTELY act against the Rune/Passion; it isn't "mandated" at all.  But the in-game choice comes with in-game consequences:  you haven't set down a tool when acting against the Rune, you have suppressed it's existence within you.

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Aye. If you don't want to be constrained, don't put your Runes/Passions up past the threshold.

Taking experience from Pendragon, attempts for Inspiriation don't often get made at less than 80%, because of the cost of failure. That cost is lower in RQ, so I'd expect more rolls on lower abilities.

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15 hours ago, Mechashef said:

It is possible to use an Ability to augment an Ability of another adventurer.  

The rules seem to be saying that this is only possible if the other adventurer is using a skill or reputation.

 i.e. you cannot use any ability to augment the other adventurer if their ability that you are tying to augment is a Rune or Passion. 

Where does it seem to say that? It would also preclude augmenting another character's magic. The Sartar Magical Union no doubt has methods for augmenting other magicians, but they may be an innovation unavailable to most people.

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On 11/25/2018 at 1:43 AM, PhilHibbs said:

Reputation starts extremely low, though, so is much more likely to do harm than good until the characters are very highly experienced...

This strikes me as perfectly correct.  People without much reputation, who try to USE their reputation for advantage...?  Then tend to come off as absurd & pretentious.

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3 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Where does it seem to say that? It would also preclude augmenting another character's magic. The Sartar Magical Union no doubt has methods for augmenting other magicians, but they may be an innovation unavailable to most people.

I was wrong in that I didn't consider the other non-Rune/Passion things that can be augmented such as Spell Casting, Resistance Rolls, Honour etc.

However, the relevant section is on P145 in to sentences.

 

Quote

It is similarly impossible to augment another adventurer using a Passion or Rune affinity

Does this mean:

  • That you can't use a Passion or Rune affinity to augment another adventurer or
  • That you can't use an Ability to augment another adventurer who is attempting to use a Passion or Rune affinity?

 

The sentence before it may shed some light (or further confuse things).

Quote

it is impossible to cause another to feel a Passion without being able to communicate that intense emotion to them, or to confer an affinity with a Rune the other does not possess.

It is still unclear whether the Passion is being used by you to augment the other (i.e. you are using your Passion to improve their ability) whether you are attempting to augment their Passion "skill".  However it does seem that:

You need to be able to effectively communicate with the recipient in order to augment that involves Passions.

You cannot use an augment to raise someone's Rune  from 0.  i.e. they need to already have a "skill": in that Rune before you can increase it via an augment. This implies you can augment the Ability of someone who is using an Ability that is a Rune.  Does that then mean (based on the quote at the top of this post) you can't use a Rune or Passion to augment another adventurer?

 

So that has probably made the whole thing murkier instead of clearer.

 

 

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To me the paragraph on page 145 suggest that while using a Rune or Passion to augment another is impossible without some mutual connection, and augmenting someone's actual Rune or Passion check is impossible. As an example of the former is the common love interest trope, where the passionately expressed devotion of one character inspires the subject of that devotion to act. However no amount of support will enhance another's own Passion or Runic affinity.

I wonder can you augment a negative result? Many cultures use expressive posturing to cause the enemy to back down rather than actually engage in combat. I could see in Gloranthan personal challenges each side's supporters chanting, singing, drumming etc, to not only augment their hero's skills but undermine their opponent's. Sort of like opposed augmenting? 

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I think you could use Orate, for example, to augment a Passion roll. You'd have to be in a fairly specific narrative (the Orate might well precipitate the attempt at Inspiration, as well as 'assist' in its efficacy), but it's not too hard to think of other uses of Communication rolls: Dance leading to, and augmenting a Fertililty vs Death check, say to see whether a seducer's attempt to break down their target's resistance; Sing is pretty general purpose at provoking emotion, as is Play Instrument; Act would have to have some preparation to a 'performance', to get a script right that evokes and supports the desired emotion - in its more day-to-day pretence, 'faking' a Passion to evoke it in another (or even yourself) might be a valid use.

Edited by womble

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Quote

It is similarly impossible to augment another adventurer using a Passion or Rune affinity

2 hours ago, Mechashef said:

Does this mean:

  • That you can't use a Passion or Rune affinity to augment another adventurer or
  • That you can't use an Ability to augment another adventurer who is attempting to use a Passion or Rune affinity?

The former, I think. You can't use your passions or runes to augment another adventurer, they are personal.

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5 hours ago, Mechashef said:

Does this mean:

  • That you can't use a Passion or Rune affinity to augment another adventurer or

This.  I cannot make my Loyalty(Colymar) do anything to make you feel or invoke your Loyalty(Colymar).  I might be able to use Orate or Fast Talk to trigger your Passion, but my Passion won't do it.

Similarly, my clarity of mind due to my strength in the Fire Rune cannot do anything to help you overcome your low Fire Rune level (or help you perceive anything better).  I can only use it to improve my skills, etc.

 

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Does anyone have advice for using the Power & Form Runes to augment/become inspired? The skills which the Elemental Runes apply to feels fairly clear to me (based on p.48-49), but I feel less confident about how the Power & Form Runes should be used.

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I find it helpful to think of them as personality traits; active/lazy, or honest/deceitful. So a character could use their Movement rune to help win a race, use their Illusion rune to fool the town guard. Likewise I find them very useful as GM tests, a Fertility test to avoid being seduced by the siren, Disorder test to keep from over indulgence. This is heavily inspired from the old Pendragon scenarios where this was common practice.

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10 hours ago, Crel said:

Does anyone have advice for using the Power & Form Runes to augment/become inspired? The skills which the Elemental Runes apply to feels fairly clear to me (based on p.48-49), but I feel less confident about how the Power & Form Runes should be used.

Say for instance the PC is trying to persuade their allies on matters of strategy: they could use their Movement Rune to inspire their arguments to attack or flee; they could use their Stasis Rune to inspire their arguments to hold their ground or delay the attack til later. 

They might use their Truth Rune to inspire their efforts to defend the accused from a lynching, or their Harmony Rune to inspire their efforts to diffuse the mob’s anger. Maybe they use their Disorder Rune to encourage the mob to act. 

A chef might use the Fertility Rune to inspire their culinary skills, a soldier might use their Death Rune to heartily consume a meal of unpalatable gruel. 

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