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Tywyll

Is Sword Trance broken?

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That thread should be culled of everything but the questions and Jason's answers - there are too many posts with other people chiming in attempt to answer questions and be helpful. 

Regardless: his answer to the skills over 100% query is troubling on sooooo many levels:

1) "always reduce the highest skill over 100 to 100" is just bad game design. If that is the RAI, then no attack will EVER have more than a 20% chance to special or more than a 5% chance to critical, which defeats the benefit of achieving a skill over 100 in the first place. Since Specials and Criticals are often the only deciding factor in high level encounters against spelled up opponents, the RAI does the opposite of its apparent intent, which is to shorten combats. Jason's stated RAI actually makes high level combats more of a slog, since an engaged character must choose between casting or attacking. (Reasoning: within the scope of this ruling, you should always parry or dodge, even with a 5% chance to succeed, even you've already done so 13 times this round, because it guarantees that your opponent will have no better than an effective 100% skill, whereas, if you do not defend, they get their full skill).

2) The suggestion about what he would allow players to do with the wasted points has absolutely no place in that thread. No "official answer" should include a suggested work around, especially one that throws so much of the rules system under the bus in the process. The only appropriate inclusion to the "official answer' would be an insight into the design purpose and intent of the rule in question. In this specific case, we got just the opposite.

3) It implies either: a lack of familiarity with the written rules, or; a lack of intentional design and play-testing. 

as someone who is currently running an RQG campaign and has been running campaigns since RQ2 (including BRP, Legend, Stormbringer, and RQ3 - my former go to incarnation), I can say that I really enjoy RQG. Unfortunately, with the exception of the Runes and Passions, the "system" did not seem to have much of a cohesive design philosophy invested in it. The Glorantha content is phenomenal, as is the art. But the "system" is largely a collection of discreet mechanics, with no unifying drive or direction. In my experience, it is effectively a very pretty RQ3.5

The way I run combat skills in my game (should you care):

1) each attack is a discreet contest, and is only considered an opposed roll if the defender declares a Parry or Doge, and is eligible to do so. There are only ever, at most, two sides - attacker and possible defender;

2) If at least one side of the opposed roll is over 100, then do math: either reduce the lower skill to 5% (and the other skill by a like amount), or reduce the highest skill to 100% (and the other by a like amount; whichever leaves the most skilled participant with the highest effective value. This only affects this particular, discreet contest.

3) Specials, Crits, & Fumbles are based on the modified skill levels.

[for opposed rolls outside of combat, replace "reduce the lower skill" in step 2 with "reduce the next highest skill"]

This is, by my reading, is consistent with the RAW, and - in my experience - effectively speeds up combat.

PS - I am also making [Melee Weapon] Trance spells 2 point spells, instead of 1. And, thank you for reading this far.

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22 minutes ago, Thyrwyn said:

2) If at least one side of the opposed roll is over 100, then do math: either reduce the lower skill to 5% (and the other skill by a like amount), or reduce the highest skill to 100% (and the other by a like amount; whichever leaves the most skilled participant with the highest effective value. This only affects this particular, discreet contest.

I like that. /makes a note somewhere

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1 hour ago, Thyrwyn said:

as someone who is currently running an RQG campaign and has been running campaigns since RQ2 (including BRP, Legend, Stormbringer, and RQ3 - my former go to incarnation), I can say that I really enjoy RQG. Unfortunately, with the exception of the Runes and Passions, the "system" did not seem to have much of a cohesive design philosophy invested in it. The Glorantha content is phenomenal, as is the art. But the "system" is largely a collection of discreet mechanics, with no unifying drive or direction. In my experience, it is effectively a very pretty RQ3.5

May I ask what system you are using for the parts that are not Runes and Passions? Are you, for example, adding the Runes and Passions on top of RQ2, or some other system?

I'll state again that I'm new to RQ. I ran some H sessions in Glorantha a while back hat went well, but for Players unfamiliar with Glorantha, the looseness of HQ offers no handholds or boundaries to get a good understanding of Glorantha. Thus, the appeal of a version of RQ.

Edited by creativehum
To expand and clarify some points
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1 hour ago, Thyrwyn said:

That thread should be culled of everything but the questions and Jason's answers - there are too many posts with other people chiming in attempt to answer questions and be helpful. 

Yes, that is the stated intent of that thread - rules questions put to Jason and his replies. Posts extraneous to that will be removed.

But you are most welcome to take debate and discussion to another thread (like this one).

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33 minutes ago, creativehum said:

May I ask what system/mechanics you are using for the parts that are not Runes and Passions?

Still using RQG - which, as I said, isn't that different from RQ3. The non-combat skills have been renamed or shuffled a bit since RQ3 - I've crossed a few out; Spirit Magic is pretty much the same (and I like the few spells like Strength and Vigor that went from variable spells to fixed point spells with consistent effects); I'm using RQG Rune Magic and ranks so far (I like the way RP work in RQG as opposed to RQ3, though I may change the standard requirements for Priests and God-talkers - we'll see); there has never been a sorcery system that was playable/un-abusable, but I have no PC sorcerers, so I'm winging it for now). Since my campaign is not in Glorantha, and is set closer to middle/late medieval, I'm using weapon and armor stats from RQ3

As I said, I like the way combat skills work as i'm running them, and am using the RQG rules regarding multiple parries & dodges - RQ3 treated them like attacs, which meant that unless your skill was over 100, you only got one/round. RQG allows defenders some chance against multiple attackers where RQ3 just didn't. As a GM and as a player, I like the possibility of having the PCs outnumbered by grunts and able to use their skills to shine, not just rely on their defensive spells. I feel, that in a skill based system, the PCs should feel involved in their defense, rather than having to stand there and take it because they've used their one parry for the round. RQG combat (as I run it) keeps players more engaged on both sides of the shield, so to speak.

9 minutes ago, MOB said:

Yes, that is the stated intent of that thread - rules questions put to Jason and his replies. Posts extraneous to that will be removed.

But you are most welcome to take debate and discussion to another thread (like this one).

The first part would be much appreciated and, hopefully, we'll see more discussion threads like this one!

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On 1/31/2019 at 3:13 PM, PhilHibbs said:

He's suggesting that if you have 200% attack against a 55% parry, then because you lost 100% and they only lost 50%, you could apply the other 50% as a penalty to their attack.

I would say that in your example that reducing an attack to a minimum 5% chance Attack/parry is punishment enough. Unless theres another target to attack (split attacks) then any unused % is superfluous.

So effectively the rules make a 5% cap on any such reduction. Ok it doesn't scale completely, but you gotta give em a chance, however small. You're effectively already making your opponent look like an ambitious 10 year old :) 

On 1/31/2019 at 3:13 PM, PhilHibbs said:

Presumably you will be doing that separately with your superior parry skill.

Attack & parry are part of the same skill in RQG and therefore any reduction applies to both, and the section in RQG does indicates that as well.

 

On 1/31/2019 at 3:13 PM, PhilHibbs said:

What if they already attacked before you did?

Attack & parry are the same skill. If they attack your superior (over 100%) skill then its going to still be reduced by your parry. Think thats the point of having a unified attack/parry skill, it should take out unnecessary complexity from game play.

 

On 1/31/2019 at 3:13 PM, PhilHibbs said:

If you are parrying with 200% and 180% against two attackers, do you apply the extra antiparry to their attacks as well, not only reducing their attacks from 55% to 5%, but also both their parries as well?

Ok I see... so parry in RQG doesn't need to follow *split attack* rules. It now follows the -20% rule for each additional attack after the first parried. 

I would say yes definitely reduce their two parry chances simultaneously with attacks (though that penalty is divided between the two opponents)  keep it as streamlined  (as possible). Attack & parry are the same skill so both should be affected in this case( regardless of splitting attacks rule, which I think is a red herring here). Your superior skill should still count.

 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp

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On 1/21/2019 at 8:24 AM, Tywyll said:

So, it seems to me that Sword Trance is a broken spell. Nothing prevents a character from dropping 2 POW at creation and then spending all their MP on a Season Long Sword Trance for like +120% (on average). With the cancelling rules, that character is unstoppable in melee. They can't be parried by the majority of the world, their crits and specials are silly high, etc.

Now, you might say, but then they won't have other runespells to fall back on!!! Sure, but that's the problem with any extended spells. Also, as the rules aren't clear (as far as I can tell) on regaining rune points from an extension, arguably they can wait till a minor holy day and get some/all of their RP back. Even if they can't, RQ characters have lived for years without divine spells so it's not a huge deal. They still have their battle magic to fall back on, as well as their allies Divine Magic in a pinch. 

This seems super game-breaking. Is there something in RAW to help mitigate this?

Hi! I haven't been around much as I've been slammed catching up from a month where I was much less on-the-grid than I'd have liked. 

Technically, Sword Trance could be extended to a season through Extension, so long as the adventurer doesn't: 

  1. Get knocked unconscious 
  2. Sleep 
  3. Have it Dispelled (a common Rune spell) 

It is a powerful spell, to be certain. In return, Humakti must: 

  1. Use swords primarily
  2. Take on annoying and potentially debilitating geasa 
  3. Give up resurrection, divine or otherwise 

These all (in our opinion) are significant issues, and reasonable tradeoffs for such a powerful spell. 

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58 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

And Babeester Gor?

Same drawbacks, with a different set of limitations: 

  • Restricted to axes 
  • Gender-restricted membership 
  • No God-talkers or Rune Priests

 

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These are not exactly "limitations" if the character you wish to play is a woman who solves all problems by chopping heads off. Which is perhaps a mono-dimensional character concept, but a perfectly valid, and fun, one.

But YBGWV :)

Edited by RosenMcStern
Added quote

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1 hour ago, Jason Durall said:

Technically, Sword Trance could be extended to a season through Extension, so long as the adventurer doesn't: 

  1. Get knocked unconscious 
  2. Sleep ...

That's interesting, but what have we missed in reading the rules that would cause loss of consciousness to end the spell? The spell description doesn't specify that, or do those same limitations apply to all temporal spells?

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1 hour ago, Thyrwyn said:

That's interesting, but what have we missed in reading the rules that would cause loss of consciousness to end the spell? The spell description doesn't specify that, or do those same limitations apply to all temporal spells?

Is the spell active ?

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57 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Is the spell active ?

Quote

p 317: "Unless the spell description says otherwise, all Rune magic
spells are passive with a duration of 15 minutes and a
range of 160 meters." [
the text in the book is bolded]

p 343

"Sword Trance
1 Point
Self, Temporal, Nonstackable"

nope - making it active would help with the extension issue (not a major concern for me) but not the inherent efficacy of the spell and its low RP cost. Even at 2 points it's better than Berserk. 

Access limitations as a balancing factor? Means nothing to GM who's planning a session - there's either a PC Humakti in your party or there isn't. If there is, combat encounters become significantly harder to prep for because of this spell. 

I won't even go into the implied "you have to be willing to play as a girl" to get Axe Trance part. I know that's not really Jason's intent, but that is the implied message of design philosophy. D&D and the rest of the industry figured out that role-playing "restrictions" are poor balancing mechanics decades ago.

Edited by Thyrwyn

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2 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

... solves all problems by chopping heads off. Which is perhaps a mono-dimensional character concept, but a perfectly valid, and fun, one.

But YBGWV :)

IMG, most BG's prefer a "punishment fits the crime" approach, and don't always decapitate.  They find other axe-work can be even more of a deterrent for certain crimes, if you get my drift... I add "Seal Wound" as a commonly used BG spell in those cases; indeed, the Goddess /insists/ !

 

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5 minutes ago, Thyrwyn said:

nope

Okay, and thanks.

Then why does the spell drop if you go to sleep?

 

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6 hours ago, Jason Durall said:

Hi! I haven't been around much as I've been slammed catching up from a month where I was much less on-the-grid than I'd have liked. 

Technically, Sword Trance could be extended to a season through Extension, so long as the adventurer doesn't: 

  1. Get knocked unconscious 
  2. Sleep 
  3. Have it Dispelled (a common Rune spell) 

It is a powerful spell, to be certain. In return, Humakti must: 

  1. Use swords primarily
  2. Take on annoying and potentially debilitating geasa 
  3. Give up resurrection, divine or otherwise 

These all (in our opinion) are significant issues, and reasonable tradeoffs for such a powerful spell. 

Do all all Rune Spells cast on oneself end when you go to sleep? If not, which ones do?

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8 minutes ago, Brootse said:

Do all all Rune Spells cast on oneself end when you go to sleep? If not, which ones do?

And if so, what is the point of long term extension?

Maybe what Jason means is that the character under Sword Trance is in a trace for the duration of the spell, and has to  break the spell and come out of the trance to be able to sleep, or do anything else that doesn't revolve around his sword? That would make sense, especially if Sword Trace is like Arrow Trance, but it wouldn't be a a limit on extension, but the burdern of being under Sword Trance all the time. Much like how it wouldn't be much fun to go around all the time in an extended Bersek state. You could do it, but would you really want to?

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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On 1/30/2019 at 6:15 PM, creativehum said:

The text of Runequest Glorantha is sloppy. The issue is clarity.

Unfortunately, I would have to agree with this.

There are a lot of places in the rules where some parts use a rule from RQ2 and some use a rule from RQ3, but for the same thing. For example, Species Maximum rules use both versions. This should have been picked up in editing, either by proofreaders or by detailed read throughs.

For long-time RuneQuestors it isn't that much of a problem, as we can remember the rules from various versions and choose the ones that we think fit best, but it is a big problem for newcomers, who are the kind of people that chaosium want to attract. Most of us old-timers will buy whatever Chaosium produce, regardless of errors.

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On 1/31/2019 at 4:32 PM, RosenMcStern said:

I am more in favour of putting a link to this thread. Sometimes brainstorming is more useful than resuming.

Personally, I think that this thread has exploded out of all usefulness for Jason to look at. Sure, it's an interesting thread with many rules discussions, but I doubt whether Jason can wade through all 12 pages and be able to give a constructive and useful answer. It would be better posting a series of focused questions in the Jason Q&A Thread.

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20 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Unfortunately, I would have to agree with this.

I think that might be the one thing about RQG that we all agree on. 

As RQG is a mix of RQ2, RQ3, and new rules figuring out just how somethings should work out is problematic for anybody who didn't write RQG. That's why the "use common sense" approach doesn't help. "Common Sense" just points out that Rule A wasn't designed to be used in conjunction with Rule B , and New Rule C alters how both A and B interact with each other cause Rule D not to work the way it was originally intended to, making Rule E pointless.  Even things that used to be clearcut have meandered into the realm of ambiguity. 

In the past I could usually just try and figure out what the author had intended and that worked for RQ2 and RQ3. When that failed I could usually find a related Chaosium game which gave context to the problem and an example of how it was to be resolved. The various people I gamed with all played RQ with, from all over the country, all played it about the same way, as we could agree on the RAW. Yeah, ever so often a grey area would pop up. But it was ususally an odd, one off case. Now? It seems like the only thing about RQG that is clear to the fans is that RQG isn't clear to the fans. 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Thyrwyn said:

I won't even go into the implied "you have to be willing to play as a girl" to get Axe Trance part. I know that's not really Jason's intent, but that is the implied message of design philosophy. D&D and the rest of the industry figured out that role-playing "restrictions" are poor balancing mechanics decades ago.

Babeester Gor is way more restricting than "play as a girl" - it is play as a virgin girl in gore. Think Carrie without the telekinesis. You're feared and shunned just for your cult membership, with a "respected" standing little better than that of a Trickster. That means severe reaction malus on human interaction (and by that I mean malus on dice rolls). People will address the character through its keeper, much like with bonded tricksters, for fear of "catching" whatever troubles made the individual take the Babs route. Most of the bad things about the Trickster, and few of the fun things (other than beer and ripping off other peoples' genitals).

The player will have the disruptive element in the party, some ability to go scot free with behavior nobody else would be allowed without serious repercussions, and bringing a groan to the rest of the party for the Leroy Jenkins element of that. Depending on the patience or pain threshold of the rest of the party, be prepared to be the target of Sleep or Befuddle quite often in friendly fire. There will be times when you get released from the attic, but prepare to spend some quality time there counting your trophies.

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17 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Babeester Gor is way more restricting than "play as a girl" - it is play as a virgin girl in gore. . .

You do know you're not making it better, right? 

🙂

Here's the thing: that's all true in your Glorantha. It may even be GAGI (Glorantha as Greg Imagined). But that is never going to be true for everybody's Glorantha. And, for a rules system which offers less than scant advise to new GMs about how to structure and scale encounters and opposition, pretending that a spell is balanced because only lunatic outcast characters will ever have access to it is...... naive at best. RP restrictions are not effective means of achieving game balance - they either get ignored or abused. 

I've been playing in Glorantha for 35 years, and I can guarantee that I have never been in a party that didn't have at least one follower of Humakt, Storm Bull, Zorak Zoran, Eurmal or the like - there's always someone eager to play the lunatic outcast - and there should be. That's why those cults exist. 

Don't even get me started about the Chalana Arroy ogre that attained illumination and wanted to be a sorcerer and a shaman, as well. She would have succeeded to, if she hadn't started using her trollkin wards as mine detectors... that sort of gave her away.

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I think the overarching problem here is that Jeff and Jason intended the rules to be used with a large degree of personal interpretation and flexibility, so a lack of explicit prescriptive mechanics is, in their minds, not a problem. Some gamers and game groups don't want that, they want mechanics that are clear and direct. I can understand both desires, I know what I want out of RQ, and I'm happy to run the game my way and make calls to resolve the problems.

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4 hours ago, Thyrwyn said:

I won't even go into the implied "you have to be willing to play as a girl" to get Axe Trance part. I know that's not really Jason's intent, but that is the implied message of design philosophy. D&D and the rest of the industry figured out that role-playing "restrictions" are poor balancing mechanics decades ago.

What???What edition what that???? D&D has been, and still is a very "restrictive" RPG when it comes to character choices. Just try to place a wizard who is decent with a sword without multi-classing. Sandy Peterson's statement about RQ giving you a lot more freedom with you character in RQ comes to mind.

Despite the multitude of things about RQG that I don't understand, I think that one thing that I do understand is that game balance was not the driving reason for the various restrictions of the cults. It was the very nature of those cults that created the need for the restrictions. 

The Baberster Gor thing isn't (or at least) wasn't about game design philosophy but about the setting and cultures of Glorantha. It would be like playing in Ancient Greece, and being upset that in order to play an Amazon "you had to be willing to play as a girl." It's not a game balance issue is a setting issue.

Yes, some RPGs toss all that stuff out and let people play whatever they want without any sort of cultural context, and that is why those RPGs always feel and play the same regardless of what setting they are trying to emulate. It's the various  restrictions and idiosyncrasies that give the settling "flavor" and make the game. 

As far as game balance goes, you could let Humakti use any weapons, allow anybody to take gifts and geas (or just toss them out), remove the restrictions on coming back from the dead, etc. If you do so, though, you will wind up with a generic "war god" similar to what D&D cleric get, but it wouldn't really be Humakt anymore, and Humakt  wouldn't be different from all the other war gods anymore. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Atgxtg
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6 minutes ago, Thyrwyn said:

Here's the thing: that's all true in your Glorantha. It may even be GAGI (Glorantha as Greg Imagined). But that is never going to be true for everybody's Glorantha. And, for a rules system which offers less than scant advise to new GMs about how to structure and scale encounters and opposition, pretending that a spell is balanced because only lunatic outcast characters will ever have access to it is...... naive at best. RP restrictions are not effective means of achieving game balance - they either get ignored or abused.

Who ever said that it was supposed to be balanced?

 

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