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Tinkgineer

Explaining Mastery...

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My observations when explaining the HQ system to new players. Three players were following just fine until we got to mastery. Some confused the notation : 3W2 and flipped the numbers. Some got confused by the W (which I then replaced with an M for mastery). Ultimately they understood the “bump” concept but the notation for whatever reason was a sticking point.

The solution I came up with is to just call it a “bump” instead of mastery. Example “3B2” would read “target 3 bump 2” but “B” sounds like “D” and I’m worried if someone said 3B2 someone would hear 3d2 and be more confused.

I thought about using an arrow or carat symbol ^ for “bump” as well since bump seems to be a term this group could immediately understand: 3^2.

For those of you that play outside of Glorantha do you keep the rune or W in the notation or use something else?

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My understanding is, that the Mastery Rune is in fact a symbol for a crown, which from my point of view a quite good symbol for Mastery. So I tend to use still the letter W, but for me it's a crown symbol, not a latin letter.

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42 minutes ago, Oracle said:

My understanding is, that the Mastery Rune is in fact a symbol for a crown, which from my point of view a quite good symbol for Mastery. So I tend to use still the letter W, but for me it's a crown symbol, not a latin letter.

Knowing that it's a symbol for a crown makes a lot more sense. I've always just seen W for mastery... and accepted it in the same way that phone starts with a p.

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53 minutes ago, Tinkgineer said:

Knowing that it's a symbol for a crown makes a lot more sense. I've always just seen W for mastery... and accepted it in the same way that phone starts with a p.

Yeah, even though some runes look like latin letters they really aren't. Magic isn't really the  letter "R" and the Death rune isn't a "t" or a cross (although in the case the similarity in symbolism was intentional). 

 

5 hours ago, Tinkgineer said:

The solution I came up with is to just call it a “bump” instead of mastery. Example “3B2” would read “target 3 bump 2” but “B” sounds like “D” and I’m worried if someone said 3B2 someone would hear 3d2 and be more confused.

I thought about using an arrow or carat symbol ^ for “bump” as well since bump seems to be a term this group could immediately understand: 3^2.

For those of you that play outside of Glorantha do you keep the rune or W in the notation or use something else?

It works. I could see using something like: 3+2M or 3+Mx2, or even a 43 (and let the players work out the bumps). As long as everybody can follow it.

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The use of "Iron Sword 17^2" did mean something completely different in Hero Wars, the first incarnation of Heroquest, however - a weird simulationist concept using "edges" in conflicts that had "action point transfer". Some of the older farts in the community will be prone to interprete this wrongly.

Using the modulo/20 notation (adding 20 for each mastery) probably works well enough with people who can add and substract without using their toes, but in real life that ability is not the criterion for pulling a gaming group together.

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I mean, why not just use the symbol for each mastery, e.g. 3WW / 3MM? Players can only begin with a single mastery on an ability, and most characters aren't going to get more than two masteries, maybe three, unless you run a really long time, so it's not going to get too impractical or silly-looking. I get not wanting this to be the official position, if the system theoretically allows you to keep gaining masteries forever, but practically I think it works. I personally found the notation confusing when I was first reading over HQ, too, so I just... wouldn't use it.

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We use M, as used in Mythic Russia.

For us, the idea of the Mastery at the end just makes sense. So, a skill of 5M2 means "Your skill is 5 but you have 2 Masteries" and could be written as 5MM.

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7 hours ago, soltakss said:

We use M, as used in Mythic Russia.

For us, the idea of the Mastery at the end just makes sense. So, a skill of 5M2 means "Your skill is 5 but you have 2 Masteries" and could be written as 5MM.

or S5M2

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Can I ask you how come new players already have two masteries? If your bade level would be low enough with new players, there is only one mastery to explain.

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8 minutes ago, jrutila said:

Can I ask you how come new players already have two masteries? If your bade level would be low enough with new players, there is only one mastery to explain.

Some people might prefer to play HQ1 and have more experienced PCs. When I have run SuperHeroQuest, for example, some Super Powers started with 2 Masteries.

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13 minutes ago, jrutila said:

Can I ask you how come new players already have two masteries? If your bade level would be low enough with new players, there is only one mastery to explain.

 

They dont, but I explained mastery and how they cancel out. So an example of M1 and an M2 was used.

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