Jump to content
StanTheMan

I'm about to run HQG for the first time - tips, tricks, pats on the back?

Recommended Posts

By a series of interesting chances, I'm going to end up running HQG for three people new to Glorantha this coming Sunday. I've given them some background to read and such not, and everyone seems pretty excited. They want to do a clan based political game, so, looks like they want to be the Clan Ring itself. I'm basing them in Sartar, right as the Lunars invade from the north. So there'll be ominous signs and such not, and then blame, invaders stepping all over your tula.

Anything I should worry about or do special? It'll be the first time for me running it, though I'm not to worried, just a shift a bit in my mind towards these rules, but I've been reading them for a while now, and like what I've been seeing. Anything to be wary of? How much fun are we gonna have?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should have a lot of fun, HeroQuest is a fast moving, fun game that is easy to pick up and learn.

My main piece of advice is "Ignore what is in the rules". Just stick to the very basics and you should be fine. Anything else can be added if you feel like it, or ignored.

Stick to simple skills and breakouts, so Clan Ring 20 (Chalana Arroy +1, Preserve Harmony +1), Clan Rung 2M (Eurmal +2, Defend the Clan +1, Cause Trouble +1) and so on.

Make rolls count, so use automatic augments, rather than rolling them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, excellent choice.

As the players are not too familiar with Glorantha start local and expand from there. You can build your Glorantha with the players.

Couple of things about HeroQuest as the system. Try to spot if you find yourself doing task resolution instead of goal resolution. If someone wants to try to hit with a sword ask what they want to achieve with it, the goal of the contest.

Also, contest if there is something interesting in the failure. Story branch or some kind of penalty or, as they say, fail forward. Because the failure might happen and there is no second takes!

Have fun!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jrutila has just replied with the best advice I could give: always ask the player(s), what is his (their) goal before solving a contest.

The only thing I have found a bit stressfull the first time I ran a HQ2 game was tracking the Resolution Points during an Extended Group Contest. This is actually very easy but I was not prepared. No sheet of paper at hand, time lost looking for a damn sheet, gaming notes down under for a brief moment... It took me by surprise.

It could be a good idea to have in mind what you will have to do in order to solve a contest and to think beforehand about how you will handle Group Contests.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To add to the chorus, "What is it you're trying to achieve, which of your abilities are you using to do so, and how is using that ability going to achieve that goal?"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/7/2018 at 9:08 PM, StanTheMan said:

By a series of interesting chances, I'm going to end up running HQG for three people new to Glorantha this coming Sunday.

How did it go?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

How did it go?

The quick answer: pretty well! Glorantha was VERY well received by the group, and everyone delved into the lore a touch (even one guy who is strongly inclined against reading such). So, that part was a success.

A touch of a mixed bag on mechanics, though everyone agreed to play again next session and keep the same rules; I'm running a short story arc anyway, so, it'll be 3-5 more sessions and then we'll evaluate. One person doesn't like non-die pool systems or ones that depends on one die (she says it's too "swingy"; for the record, she has the same complaint about D&D). One guy liked being able to make his own abilities, but is still iffy on the masteries thing. One guy seemed okay with everything, but wants, sometimes, a touch more detail (since the rules are loose, then the details about rolls can be a touch loose too). Everyone liked that combat was fast, even when controlling a small army in a battle (yes, that was the session ender!). 

On my side, I mostly liked it. Again, Glorantha is awesome after having played Runequest 2nd a trillion years ago, and the slightly more recent KoDP and the very recent SA. What a great setting! And the stuff in HQG for it are great; the info was well laid out and easy to point folks to for reading before the game.

As a GM, I found myself getting a headache after running it. I THINK this is because, since the system is full of player-defined abilities, and how those abilities intersect or effect each other is somewhat vague (as is what constitutes. Stretch or someone having a more specific skill that someone else). I'm not used to making those sorts of decisions, so, in a weird way, I felt a touch stressed because of it (and I think that's the source of the headache). As said, we'll be running it again next month, and I'll see how I feel GMing it. I'm still a little iffy on the shaman rules (one person is a shaman), and I'm having a little tug of war on a shaman's role in the clan's society, but overall, I'm happy. I will also say folks took a while to get used to, in general, a roll covering a scene, rather than something blow by blow. That took a bit of getting used to. And no explicit wealth mechanic too (there is, but only if you bother to make such an ability, which no one did). 

Anyway, we had fun, and everyone, as said, wants to do it again, so, looks like a success.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's good to hear it went well.

HeroQuest 2G can be a bit daunting at first. I had to read HQ2 twice to grok it. These rules ask you to think differently and forget what you have learnt so far. For some of us, including me, this was not so easy as it seemed.

As far as I am concerned, I don't bother about the Specific Ability bonuses, this is too much I like (or am able) to care about and I don't find this rule intuitive enough. Ian Cooper suggested in another thread to use the Stretch rules instead and I think this is a good idea.

As far as Stretches are concerned, I think they should only be applied when it is obvious, when you feel there is something at odd between what a character is trying to do and the Ability he is using. You should feel when it is appropriate rather than actively looking for situations where a Stretch can be applied.

When I play I don't look for Specific Abilities and Stretches and I have actually never faced a situation deserving to use these rules. There was a case when I was tempted to use the Stretch rule though, but I think it would have ripped the fun out of the contest for the player and thus forgot the idea. Sometimes, penalties are not fun at all.

@Soltakss told you to forget everything in the rules. Though I don't agree with him on this ground, there is nonetheless a lot of wisdom in his advice. If something bothers you (Specific Abilites or Stretches, for example), drop it. The HeroQuest 2 rules are solid and flexible enough so that you can get rid of a lot of things without breaking the game. If you drop a rule, your practice of the game will tell you if it is better to get it back or not.

For the player asking for more details, more detailed descriptions about what is happening after a roll could be enough. I think that realism comes more from the description than from the rules themselves. As far as Masteries are concerned, it helps some player to remind them that a Mastery equals 20 and that 5M actually means 25, or 5M2 equals 45. Some players also have a visual memory and writing an example of Mastery use on a sheet of paper can help them to better understand the way Masteries work.

For the player loving pools of die and disliking single dice mechanics, there is not much you can do about that. Is it a player having some trouble with random factors in a game and is thus prefering game mechanics tendind towards middle results ? May be highlighting that HQ2 often achieves this kind of results through opposed rolls and that higher rolls break ties and thus give an advantage to higher rated Abilities could help.

Have fun, HeroQuest 2 is a great game and your journey is just beginning.   ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, StanTheMan said:

One person doesn't like non-die pool systems or ones that depends on one die (she says it's too "swingy"; for the record, she has the same complaint about D&D)

Her assessment here is actually incorrect. Because all rolls in HQ are opposed, the distribution of the net Victory/Defeat results are a ramp-like curve rather than a flat distribution like you see rolling a single die vs a  static TN. Perhaps let her roll her own resistance die next time so that she can see the effect in action.

Edited by JonL
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, StanTheMan said:

And no explicit wealth mechanic too (there is, but only if you bother to make such an ability, which no one did).

A quick pointer to this to help you explain this. Think this from a movie's point of view. Do you often see the main characters in a movie keeping track of their money if it is not an interesting aspect of the story? If the main hero has to call with a payphone then it is interesting if he has money to do that, especially when someone's life is hanging on that call. In HQ terms he fails on the use of "Wealthy Parents" ability. If he just buys a snack to have something to eat during another scene it happens automatically and he has the money and we don't care if he now has little less money or not. HQ does not try to simulate the world, but the story.

Glad to hear you are continuing with the system and had fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/12/2018 at 9:21 PM, JonL said:

Her assessment here is actually incorrect. Because all rolls in HQ are opposed, the distribution of the net Victory/Defeat results are a ramp-like curve rather than a flat distribution like you see rolling a single die vs a  static TN. Perhaps let her roll her own resistance die next time so that she can see the effect in action.

Not everyone makes all rolls opposed. I use Simple Rolls for a lot of things and only use Opposed Rolls when the situation demands an opponent, for example Climbing a dangerous mountain or a magical mountain, whereas I wouldn't use an Opposed roll for a normal climb. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, soltakss said:

Not everyone makes all rolls opposed. I use Simple Rolls for a lot of things and only use Opposed Rolls when the situation demands an opponent, for example Climbing a dangerous mountain or a magical mountain, whereas I wouldn't use an Opposed roll for a normal climb. 

You're in a vary different mechanical space at that point, more like how Pendragon plays.

Here's a Google spreadsheet that charts the result space for HQ rolls. It doesn't support masteries, but you can enter a PC ability rating and resistance value and see the distribution of results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, JonL said:

Here's a Google spreadsheet that charts the result space for HQ rolls. It doesn't support masteries, but you can enter a PC ability rating and resistance value and see the distribution of results.

Any chance you can open up the sharing for your spreadsheet, please? I'd like to take a look but it's telling me that I need to request access. Unless, of course, you'd like to do it on a case by case basis.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Steve said:

Any chance you can open up the sharing for your spreadsheet, please? I'd like to take a look but it's telling me that I need to request access. Unless, of course, you'd like to do it on a case by case basis.

 

This link should work

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YHrlqbe9XvrDYXrDmPN886B2GetxG4AwM2Mr1soxw3Q/edit?usp=drivesdk

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/16/2018 at 8:50 PM, soltakss said:

Not everyone makes all rolls opposed. I use Simple Rolls for a lot of things and only use Opposed Rolls when the situation demands an opponent, for example Climbing a dangerous mountain or a magical mountain, whereas I wouldn't use an Opposed roll for a normal climb. 

I would treat unopposed roles as an auto-success 😄

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/12/2018 at 7:38 PM, StanTheMan said:

As a GM, I found myself getting a headache after running it. I THINK this is because, since the system is full of player-defined abilities, and how those abilities intersect or effect each other is somewhat vague (as is what constitutes. Stretch or someone having a more specific skill that someone else). I'm not used to making those sorts of decisions, so, in a weird way, I felt a touch stressed because of it (and I think that's the source of the headache).

One thing to note is that HQG works best if you recognize that as players define their own abilities, be open as to how obstacles can be overcome in prep. 'Skill challenges' from other systems don't really work, because you can't know what skills players have, and forcing them to split improvement across them is not really a thing. One good rule is: can I think of three different ways to solve this obstacle: physical, social, and magical. if so, you are probably on the right track.

As others have said, ignore specific ability (we are dropping in the next version) and only use a stretch if you feel that the player is just using 'one ability to do everything' or you really can't see how that ability helps. Most of the time, let the players make plausible arguments for how an ability solves the problem. A stretch penalty is like a penalty in a sports game, almost.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/21/2018 at 5:53 PM, Ian Cooper said:

One thing to note is that HQG works best if you recognize that as players define their own abilities, be open as to how obstacles can be overcome in prep. 'Skill challenges' from other systems don't really work, because you can't know what skills players have, and forcing them to split improvement across them is not really a thing. One good rule is: can I think of three different ways to solve this obstacle: physical, social, and magical. if so, you are probably on the right track.

As others have said, ignore specific ability (we are dropping in the next version) and only use a stretch if you feel that the player is just using 'one ability to do everything' or you really can't see how that ability helps. Most of the time, let the players make plausible arguments for how an ability solves the problem. A stretch penalty is like a penalty in a sports game, almost.

 

Ah, I see! That's good to know, ex cathedra. So, I'll run it that way, and let my group know of the change (there's one guy that likes having "rules mastery", so to speak, though he never min-maxes). Anyway, yeah, that'll make things easier I think. Will be running in two weeks, so, we'll see!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2018 at 2:11 AM, StanTheMan said:

Ah, I see! That's good to know, ex cathedra. So, I'll run it that way, and let my group know of the change (there's one guy that likes having "rules mastery", so to speak, though he never min-maxes). Anyway, yeah, that'll make things easier I think. Will be running in two weeks, so, we'll see!

There's a bit of rules-mastery possible in deciding which things to group as breakouts under umbrella keywords and which ones to keep stand-alone. They player who loads everything under a couple keywords will find augment opportunities sparse, as breakouts can't augment one another (or their parent). Knowing when and why to invoke things like Phyrric Victory or Risky Gambit can also be rewarding. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×