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Code Ronin

Argh! Decisions, Decisions, Decision!

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So I looked at RQ a while back, and then it (and Chaosium) fell off my radar for a long while.  Somewhere along the way, I got interested in 7th Sea 2e, ran that for a while and loved it.

And then JWP kinda fell apart.

But then here comes Chaosium to save the day, and I wander back over here. But then I find out that the new edition of RQ is out, and I start giving it a second look and find that it meets a few criteria that I'd been looking to fill. But before I buy in, I've got a few questions.

First, how's the learning curve? For the past decade, I've mostly been running & playing d20 systems (Pathfinder, Starfinder, 5e) and while I do love them, I need a break. I don't want character creation or running a game to feel like doing my taxes.

Second, is it relatively child-friendly? My daughter is ten now, and she games. She's played a little Pathfinder, made a character for the Starfinder game I keep trying to get off the ground, and joins me at the 5e drop-in game my FLGS runs. Getting into RuneQuest will be easier to sell to the wife if the kid can play too.

Lastly off the top of my head, what's the setting like? I've heard the phrase 'mythic bronze age' thrown around, but can someone explain that in more detail?

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At it's core, the mechanics are really simple.  No Class/Level, strictly Skills based, roll-under d100.

So if you have a 75% skill with your sword, a roll of 01-75 hits, and a roll of 76-00 misses.

It is one of the easiest, most intutitive mechanics out there.

It elaborates, rolling 1/5 of your skill (under 15% for the 75%-skill) nets you a "special" result, depending on type of weapon (spears Impale, hammers Crush, etc), and under 1/20 (01-04) is a Critical (with similarly scaling odds of a Fumble up at the top of the range of Misses).  I pre-calculate these %ages, rather than doing them at the table!

The summary is -- roll low, the lower the better & the higher the worse.  Fumble/Miss/Hit/Special/Critical are the tiers.

The defender gets to roll a Parry vs your attack -- your "hit" may do nothing if they parry, and their Critical Parry may damage your weapon, disarm you, etc...

Someone with lots of weapon skills looks a lot like a D&D "fighter" while someone with lots of stealth skills looks a lot like a "Rogue/Thief" type, and so on.  But there is no reason you need to stick with "class" suites of skills.  Everyone from a mountain culture will have lots of Climb skills, but not necessarily other thief-y stuff; hunters will Move Quietly, and Hide, but likely not Pick Pockets or anything with Locks, etc etc etc.

Armor absorbs damage.  Your 1d8+1 sword only actually inflicts those points that get through the foe's 3 points of armor.

Hit points (and armor) are per-location.  With the d100 attack-roll, roll a d20 for hit-location.  The character-sheet includes a little man-symbol diagram, with room for you to track damage per location.  Some find this too-complex, but I find it remarkably easy & fast in-play at the table.  I "rack up" the dice in-order in my hand, d100/d20/Damage, casting them with a slewing motion to preserve the order, and reading out the resulting sentence... "28!  That's a hit to the 6, left leg, doing 7 points of damage!"

Combat becomes an inherent narrative -- a sword-arm goes to zero HP's and the victim drops their sword & begins backing away, desperately blocking with their shield; a leg goes to zero and they need to make a DEX roll not to fall, and another not to fall NEXT round, etc.

Edited by g33k
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1 hour ago, Code Ronin said:

Lastly off the top of my head, what's the setting like? I've heard the phrase 'mythic bronze age' thrown around, but can someone explain that in more detail? 

 

Recycled from elsewhere

Firstly:

The world is myth personified.

The sun is a god who died in a great conflagration and was brought back to life and thus can only exist for half of time and travels the cestestial sphere by day and enters and travels hell by night, We worship the gods of air, storm  and middle sky and thus we are willful and free— these gods took life from the sun and realizing their error they set forth on the Lightbringers' Quest to retrieve him from hell and place him back in the sky. All over a flat earth that reaches down to the roots of mountains into hell an floats on all the world's waters. All is god, spirit, and rune,

The conflagration known as the God's War unmade reality it was so great—all who survived created the great compromise woven into a mystical web called time by the spider. The gods and the dead would leave the mortal realms to those who hold the elemental and form runes especially the beast and man runes. Thus the creek that sustains us, our crops and animals—is a great spirit with the power of the rune of elemental water We make treaty with her once a year at a sacred time.Via communication and worship of gods we gain control of Runes and thus magics, simple and complex that alter the world a little; to fix a wheel or make an arrow fly true to great magics which will help the fertility of your crops, families ands animals.  Once a year we hold great rituals that remake the Great Compromise and reset time for the next year. Our magics are both great and small but all come from the runes.

1 hour ago, Code Ronin said:

Second, is it relatively child-friendly? My daughter is ten now, and she games. She's played a little Pathfinder, made a character for the Starfinder game I keep trying to get off the ground, and joins me at the 5e drop-in game my FLGS runs. Getting into RuneQuest will be easier to sell to the wife if the kid can play too.

As to kid friendly. Depends on the kid. The combat is unapologetically brutal and the themes are mythology in the raw, not Disnified. So, have a look at the free rules take a wander through the forums, do your due diligence and Bob's your bison's uncle.

1 hour ago, Code Ronin said:

First, how's the learning curve? For the past decade, I've mostly been running & playing d20 systems (Pathfinder, Starfinder, 5e) and while I do love them, I need a break. I don't want character creation or running a game to feel like doing my taxes.

A little easier than taxes, harder than D&D, I'm a war gamer (WW III micro armour is my first love) so, I am not one to ask...

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
de messifying
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Setting & Character-creation ...

Bill the Barbarian covered it nicely.

I will add the caveat that every culture has it's own myth-cycles, it's own accounts of how and why the world is the way it is.  He wrote, "We worship the gods of air, storm  and middle sky and thus we are willful and free," which is the perspective of Orlanth Storm-King and his worshippers.  You will learn something different from the Beast-Riders of Prax, who hold to the Survival Covenant lest they die in the Wastes, and worship Waha and his mother Eiritha; and yet a different thing from the Lunar Empire, whose Red Moon Goddess strives even now against Orlanth for mastery of the Middle Air, and whose Imperial Legions are trying to crush the rebellious Orlanthi... But the Lunar Way is very appealing:  cosmopolitan, accepting, sophisticated.

Your character comes from a specific culture.  They worship a specific God or Goddess.  The Runes are a part of all people, all deities; and your character will have affinities to specific Runes, mostly aligning with your deity but also with room to personalize.

 

Character creation, by default, is relatively elaborate.  You create a character via their family history, picking a grandparent who was most-influential (I allow a Great-Something-Else of the right generation) and their influence on you; then your most-influential parent (again, I allow an Aunt/Uncle, or a cousin who was adult as you grew up).  Maybe you inherit the sword your grandmother wielded alongside the king, in a great battle against the foe!  Maybe your Uncle or was a great strategist, and you learned at his knee...

As each generation honorably retires (or dies) the next picks up the thread; and you follow upon the heels of your parent, with a few years of backstory within the world, skills gained etc.

It teaches the world and it embeds your character within the world.  It is a sort of minigame, the way a complicated build in 3.x/PF can be, but it's more about the story than about the "build" (although there can be and often are game-mechanical impacts).  There are some shortcuts available online, and maybe an official one coming.

 

Edited by g33k
typo
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Child Friendly depends more upon how you run a game than anything. You can run it super dark and make the cults(chuches of each god) super not child friendly (from most western views anyways) or you can treat them fairly normal just as you would a D&D Temple only unlike D&D they play a larger part in every character's life. Imagine Greek Mythos; you can tell a version inappropriate for children or you can tell a child appropriate version that all depends on you. I will warn you that there are exposed women's breasts in the art if that bothers you but they are tastefully done and not overtly sexual.

Edited by DerKrieger
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Seeing as we posted at almost the same time (just finishing my reply off when I heard your reply chiming in) G33 I did not get a chance to read your reply to OP until now.

Yeah, figured I would leave the mechanics alone and that you would nail them. The only thing I cannot see in your missive is the thing that really sold me on RQ; the experience system and it's elegance. If you should succeed at using a skill, you put a check beside it and at the end of an adventure you try to roll over the skill used. Success indicates that you have learned from the experience and you may take a dice roll increase in percentiles to add to the skill or a guaranteed (lower) number in place of chance. That is the harder the skill is to succeed at, the easier it is to learn from and visa versa.

And there are many instances of such elegance buried in the rules.

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This is a very helpful thread. I didn't even know RQ was a thing until recently, despite being an active role-player since AD&D 2nd. When I stumbled upon the  hype train for RQ 4 recently it caught me. I am very interested in the concept of more Conan/Clash of the Titans/Elric myth-focused fantasy right now.  But I'm also not into 2d20 and I'm not crazy about Modiphius' Conan. I'm deep into CoC and I love the idea of a world that is more foreign than DND's settings. So, here I am. I took the plunge.  Bought the slipcase and looking forward to getting the books in hand. I REALLY like what I'm seeing in the PDFs.  I like the Battletech-esque hit location/specific consequence aspect of the combat. I also really like how what would be "secondary" races in DND are really given strong prominence as playable options in RQ. Plus, the whole "everyone has access to and uses magic."

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3 hours ago, Code Ronin said:

First, how's the learning curve? For the past decade, I've mostly been running & playing d20 systems (Pathfinder, Starfinder, 5e) and while I do love them, I need a break. I don't want character creation or running a game to feel like doing my taxes.

Speaking only for myself here (obviously) but I found the learning curve quite steep. It really depends if you've played another version of RQ before or not. In my case I had no prior experience in any version. I was very enthusiastic about this edition. It looks great and is a joy to read. The problem is that there are a lot of moving parts and many details don't quite fit. This is were prior experience helps. Those who played other editions gloss over the copy-paste errors (one part not exactly saying the same thing as another part) or the unclear bits and fill the gaps with their own past experience, including with house rules (that they sometimes forget are house rules).

Another issue for me is that there are 3 magic systems, compounded by the fact everyone has magic in Glorantha. Magic is prevalent and makes a huge difference in battle. Browsing this forum you'll encounter people mentioning how you never go into battle without casting magic. Not only the players, but the opposition also cast magic before going into battle (I mean the troll too). All that means that you have to know the magic systems very well as there are "killer" combinations. This adds to the learning curve.

Finally, another issue that I had is that the "power level" of this new edition is different than previous editions. While it's not too hard to convert adventures modules from previous edition mechanically, it's not as easy to tweak them for the power level of a RQG group of players as opposed to previous editions' groups. Prior experience with running RQ also helps here, but for a new-to-RQ GM it's touchy.

Bottom line in my case is that I decided to put it aside until more updated material and play examples (or the GM handbook) are available.

A few threads illustrating these issues:

 

 

 

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I think it's fair to say some gears don't perfectly mesh.  RQG is a major rework of a ages-old game system, trying to gather the best bits of subsequent editions, and then adding on a couple of neat bits like runes and passions.  It's in the early stages - the current edition already has some significant improvements in clarity and explanation, for example over the first version.

BUT...if you're ok with putting in a little effort to sand smooth the parts to your own satisfaction, it's an immensely rewarding system and NOT a carbon-copy of anything else out there.  The "issues" such as they are are pretty peripheral, and can usually be figured out common-sensically by gm and players, even if they're utterly new. 

I agree that RQG starts characters at too high of a power level for people new to the game (in D&D terms, think of handing someone new to RPGs a 7th or 8th lvl character) and would highly recommend a lower-power starting level for new players and GMs to minimize those moving parts as much as possible early on.  There are various suggestions how to do that in these boards as well as tips in the RQG rules already.

A great, comprehensive (I'm not kidding) system analysis of RQG is https://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/wrestlepig/runequest-roleplaying-in-glorantha/ if you want to get a feel for how the pieces work.

 

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OK, RuneQuest /Basic Roleplay 101

1. No classes. Do what you want to do, expect to fail at tasks, get better at it. There is no magic *ding!* moment of leveling up and suddenly getting powers. If you want to sneak like a ninja, your skill starts at somewhere in the 25-35% range and you practice and train it up to 85+ 1d6 at a time.

2. Magic is EVERYWHERE. Everyone has access to magical training. But magic in RQ is fundamentally different than d20. Magic augments the person's abilities, magic interacts with the Spirit World, magic does not change everything. There are no uber-mages throwing fireballs about, but I wouldn't want to be in the blast zone of a Sunspear with enough Rune Points behind it. There are no Gandalfs, Elminsters, or Mordenkainens in Glorantha. But I wouldn't tug the beard of an Orlanthi Storm Lord if I was you. There IS a Strahd-like character. His name is Delecti and you want absolutely nothing to do with him under any circumstances.

3. Your character is part of several communities; your family, your clan, your nation, your cult. There is no room in Glorantha for murder hobos and lone wolves are usually outlawed from their clans and probably excommunicated from their cults. In Glorantha, actions have consequences and characters are held accountable for their actions.

4. There is no Good, or Evil, or Lawful, or Chaotic. There is Us and Them. 'Good' is defined as 'that which is beneficial to my people' and 'Evil' is 'that which is oppressive to my people'.

5. Combat is without a doubt a deadly affair in RQ. Almost every character that retires does so with no more total hit points than they were generated with [but usually LOTS more scar tissue]. There no such thing as a 'warm up fight' because every trollkin [RQ's equivalent to a DnD goblin] with a spear has no less than a 5% chance of ending your character's life [for the RQ rule wonks out there, that's an Impale to the head with a 1d8 spear that does more than double HP, resulting in a severed 'limb', i.e. decapitation].

RuneQuest is as different from DnD as Starfinder is different from Star Trek. It might be to your taste, it might not. But you'll be a better, more thoughtful gamer if you give it a try... which is something that can be said for all of us. Everybody should give those 'other games' a shot. Your thinking on magic, combat, world building, and everything else will be way different after a session of Ars Magica or Legend of the Five Rings, etc.

Edited by svensson
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<heh>

Poor @Code Ronin -- asks a nice little question or two, get SWAMPED by the grognardia piling-on "helpfully."  🤡

 

For the flipside, consider @drablak -- he hit RQG, and bounced off it.

In defense of RQ, it still hews to that old-school ethos of "Rulings not Rules."  He's looking to pin down some edge-cases and clarify some ambiguities, which is fair enough!  I'm inclined to go with, "huh, I'm not sure what the rule is here, I'm gonna go with ViableOptionA and look it up in the book later, and/or nag folks online if I find no good answer.  Is everyone good with that?  I can also see a case for ViableOptionB, and I'm also OK going with that instead, if y'all prefer."  I may just pick an option, and never verbalize it or offer the table a choice.

Mind you, I am ALSO one of the ones on the forum, nagging for Chaosium to go ahead and issue "official" rulings on these edge cases, to clarify the ambiguities.  I can always HouseRule anything I disagree with, after all:  either an Official Ruling or a printed-in-the-book Formal Rule!

But I have more than a little sympathy for his position that All This Shit should have been handled already (OK, maybe not ALL of it... but most!).

 

Edited by g33k
typo
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3 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

... The only thing I cannot see in your missive is the thing that really sold me on RQ; the experience system and it's elegance. If you should succeed at using a skill, you put a check beside it and at the end of an adventure you try to roll over the skill used. Success indicates that you have learned from the experience and you may take a dice roll increase in percentiles to add to the skill or a guaranteed (lower) number in place of chance. That is the harder the skill is to succeed at, the easier it is to learn from and visa versa...

You are right, of course.  In my own defense, I was concentrating on at-the-table play.  Raising skills via the skill-check mechanism is really a downtime-activity (just like leveling-up is, in 3.x/PF & D&D).

But I also agree VERY strongly with you:  this "get better at what you do" mechanism is one of the genius innovations RuneQuest made, back in the day, and still one of the very best around, and it's one of the things I love about the game.

 

The other thing I omitted -- intentionally-so, since it's an at-the-table experience -- is the magic systems:  as @drablak alluded, there are 3 of them.  😲   I understand the why's and the wherefore's, but it does make for an up-front barrier!

In brief:

  • Spirit Magic -- this is the everybody-knows-at-least-a-little-bit common magic.  It includes some moderately-dangerous combat spells, some utility spells, etc.  It's very much a typical fantasy-RPG-grab-bag.
  • Rune Magic -- You get this from sacrificing to your deity.  While there are a fair number of ubiquitous "most/all deities grant this Rune Spell" magics, others are rare, or unique to one or another; this is where WHICH deity really begins to differentiate the characters.
  • Sorcery -- In the prior Age of the world, mighty wizard-philosophers turned from the Gods and began deep study of the universe & its foundational principles.  Logic and even science(ish) were preeminent.  They fell, but some of their knowledge and traditions remain.

Each system is mechanically different, and is, in general, better or worse at doing different things.

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6 hours ago, Code Ronin said:

... I start giving it a second look and find that it meets a few criteria that I'd been looking to fill ...

I guess it's worth asking what those criteria ARE...  Someone here can probably tell you how RQG does (or doesn't) fit into your wants & needs in this way...

 

6 hours ago, Code Ronin said:

... Second, is it relatively child-friendly? My daughter is ten now, and she games. She's played a little Pathfinder, made a character for the Starfinder game I keep trying to get off the ground, and joins me at the 5e drop-in game my FLGS runs. Getting into RuneQuest will be easier to sell to the wife if the kid can play too ...

As noted by others, it depends a lot more on how your group plays, and on the child in question.  One can certainly play in a child-friendly way; or not.

Combat is gritty and deadly.  A 1-shot-kill is possible, even against a relatively-powerful combatant (including a PC!), so having a powerful healer is a Good Idea(tm)!  I like to narrate my combat relatively vividly, but would certainly mitigate that with a child at the table!

For a more mythic example:  take Ernalda, one of the main Earth Goddess.  Hearth, home, healing, fertility, all that good stuff!  Focus on that part, and it's about as wholesome as one could want.

But... y'know... "fertility" (shhh... but... that means sex).  Ernaldan priestesses are ritually obligated to have sex on Holy Days (whether or not they are married (and even IF married, may have sex with someone other than her husband)).  You don't have to dwell on this, can even ignore it (and arguably it's mostly a problem in the screwed-up USAian puritanically-descended culture); but it's there.  In the mythology, she's married to Orlanth.  But Orlanth keeps going off to have adventures or just to be Storm, wild & free and DAMMITALL, CHAOS IS AT THE WALLS OF THE STEAD, AGAIN!  So in the mythology, Ernalda takes "Husband/Protectors" on a regular basis (and it's not like Orlanth is exactly celibate on his adventures, either (fwiw)).  There is even a goddess -- Uleria -- who is explicity about eros; prostitution as a holy act.

But sometimes there's just no guy THERE when you need protecting; so Ernalda once gave birth to a daughter to do the job -- Babeester Gor, sort of an Athena-the-warrior-meets-Kali-the-fearsome-killer, and her mortal worshipers are known as Axe Maidens, some of the most feared/respected fighters in the world.  They take an especially dim view of rapists... expressing their displeasure with axes.  I'm sure you can fill it in.

It's a very primal sort of world & mythology.  Those pagan gods from Greece & India & Scandinavia & Mesopotamia were violent, passionate beings, and RQG doesn't flinch in taking inspiration from that.  But you don't have to play it up, at your table; YGMV, "Your Glorantha May Vary," has been a watchword of the setting since the early days.

Edited by g33k
th' divvils in th' details, innit?

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2 hours ago, drablak said:

I was very enthusiastic about this edition. It looks great and is a joy to read. The problem is that there are a lot of moving parts and many details don't quite fit. This is were prior experience helps. Those who played other editions gloss over the copy-paste errors (one part not exactly saying the same thing as another part) or the unclear bits and fill the gaps with their own past experience, including with house rules (that they sometimes forget are house rules).

 

All too true, but I imagine that will change in time. Boldhome was not built in a da... never mind.

 

1 hour ago, svensson said:

But I wouldn't tug the beard of an Orlanthi Storm Lord if I was you. 

You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with Jim

 

1 hour ago, g33k said:

Poor @Code Ronin -- asks a nice little question or two, get SWAMPED by the grognardia piling-on "helpfully."  🤡

 

What nobody warned him, he did not do a little research, no sympathy here. ;)

1 hour ago, g33k said:

But I have more than a little sympathy for his position that All This Shit should have been handled already (OK, maybe not ALL of it... but most!).

 

okay a bit more sympathy here. I have been treating it like a new game and in someways it is (the eighties were a long f'ing time ago)... but yeah, I to wish it was closer to done than it is. Having waited since the nineties for this I might be too forgiving.

 

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5 minutes ago, g33k said:

For a more mythic example:  take Ernalda, one of the main Earth Goddess.  Hearth, home, healing, fertility, all that good stuff!  Focus on that part, and it's about as wholesome as one could want.

 

nice call.

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I started with the older edition when I was 9 :)

We didn't understand all of the rules, but damn we had fun. This is the only rule you have to know:

Maximum Game Fun
When writing, thinking, and gaming in Glorantha,
always ask yourself, “Now, in this situation what is the
most fun?” and then go with it. That’s Maximum Game
Fun (MGF). Keep this principle in mind whenever you
apply the rules of RuneQuest to any situation.

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2 hours ago, svensson said:

...

2. Magic is EVERYWHERE. Everyone has access to magical training. But magic in RQ is fundamentally different than d20. Magic augments the person's abilities, magic interacts with the Spirit World, magic does not change everything. There are no uber-mages throwing fireballs about, but I wouldn't want to be in the blast zone of a Sunspear with enough Rune Points behind it. There are no Gandalfs, Elminsters, or Mordenkainens in Glorantha. But I wouldn't tug the beard of an Orlanthi Storm Lord if I was you. There IS a Strahd-like character. His name is Delecti and you want absolutely nothing to do with him under any circumstances.

...

Magic IS everywhere, yes!  But... no uber-mages?

The Hero Wars are coming.  We don't know how powerful the mages are gonna get, but my bet is VERY powerful indeed.

Harrek the Berzerk just recently killed his god, and now wears the god's pelt as clothing and arguably wields his gods magic in combat!

And he's somebody's sidekick... because Argrath is here.

You remember Argrath?  Last known as "Arkat" 600 years ago?  The guy who killed Gbaji the Chaos God, and damn near unmade the world, doing it?

Yeah... my bet is on uber-mages to show up.

 

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18 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

All too true, but I imagine that will change in time.

That's my hope as well. I said I would come back to it when things have settled a bit.

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

 But... no uber-mages?

 

There are plenty of ubermages.

cf. the Brithini

Delecti, sort of.

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

Magic IS everywhere, yes!  But... no uber-mages?

The Hero Wars are coming.  We don't know how powerful the mages are gonna get, but my bet is VERY powerful indeed.

Harrek the Berzerk just recently killed his god, and now wears the god's pelt as clothing and arguably wields his gods magic in combat!

And he's somebody's sidekick... because Argrath is here.

You remember Argrath?  Last known as "Arkat" 600 years ago?  The guy who killed Gbaji the Chaos God, and damn near unmade the world, doing it?

Yeah... my bet is on uber-mages to show up.

 

I mean mages in the d20 Forgotten Realms sense of Khelben Blackstaff and Elminster... mages who babysit the world and control entire continents with their plots. Argrath, Harrek, Hon-Eel are all significant magicians, certainly the most significant magical practitioners since Jrustela, but they are not The Harpers or The Circle of Eight [from Greyhawk]. Because we're discussing different rules systems, the discussion of magical power and control are naturally going to be different, if not 'apples and oranges' then certainly apples and pears.

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33 minutes ago, svensson said:

I mean mages in the d20 Forgotten Realms sense of Khelben Blackstaff and Elminster... mages who babysit the world and control entire continents with their plots. Argrath, Harrek, Hon-Eel are all significant magicians, certainly the most significant magical practitioners since Jrustela, but they are not The Harpers or The Circle of Eight [from Greyhawk]. Because we're discussing different rules systems, the discussion of magical power and control are naturally going to be different, if not 'apples and oranges' then certainly apples and pears.

Hrm.

I think Glorantha DOES get uber-mages of that caliber.

I'd argue that Arkat could bitchslap Elminster, then make him say "thank you sir, may I have another?"

But the difference is, unlike the FR setting, it's not a stable situation... they need to apotheosize, become gods, and join the Great Compromise (aka "Time").

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35 minutes ago, svensson said:

I mean mages in the d20 Forgotten Realms sense of Khelben Blackstaff and Elminster... mages who babysit the world and control entire continents with their plots. Argrath, Harrek, Hon-Eel are all significant magicians, certainly the most significant magical practitioners since Jrustela, but they are not The Harpers or The Circle of Eight [from Greyhawk]. Because we're discussing different rules systems, the discussion of magical power and control are naturally going to be different, if not 'apples and oranges' then certainly apples and pears.

Mages who control the world:  Zzabur.  

Mages who babysit the world:  Theoblanc, Gaiseron, Cragspider

Mages who plot the destruction or conquest of the world:  Delecti, Can Shu

Important Magical Organizations:  Hrestoli School of Loskalm, Rokari School of Seshnela.  Arkati Schools of Ralios.

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10 hours ago, drablak said:

 

Another issue for me is that there are 3 magic systems, compounded by the fact everyone has magic in Glorantha. Magic is prevalent and makes a huge difference in battle. Browsing this forum you'll encounter people mentioning how you never go into battle without casting magic. Not only the players, but the opposition also cast magic before going into battle (I mean the troll too). All that means that you have to know the magic systems very well as there are "killer" combinations. This adds to the learning curve.

 

In play, there are far fewer "killer" combinations than some forum cognoscenti seem to think. Since your starting character usually knows only 3 special Rune Spells and has 5 points of spirit magic, it gets very easy to learn what works for your character and to build up from that.

 

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14 hours ago, Code Ronin said:

First, how's the learning curve? For the past decade, I've mostly been running & playing d20 systems (Pathfinder, Starfinder, 5e) and while I do love them, I need a break. I don't want character creation or running a game to feel like doing my taxes.

The basic system is really easy - Roll 1d00 under your skill, better if you roll low, really good if you roll really low. 

There is some complexity in combat, but after a few tries it becomes second nature.

There are a lot of extra rules around various things, but they only come up when you are doing those things.

Chargen can be complex, as there is a lot of background stuff that comes in, but I think there's a simpler option that should be straightforward.

14 hours ago, Code Ronin said:

Second, is it relatively child-friendly? My daughter is ten now, and she games. She's played a little Pathfinder, made a character for the Starfinder game I keep trying to get off the ground, and joins me at the 5e drop-in game my FLGS runs. Getting into RuneQuest will be easier to sell to the wife if the kid can play too.

I don't have kids, but it should be OK. The mechanics are very simple and you can draw up a table for Special/Critical rolls, if there isn't one in the book.

 

14 hours ago, Code Ronin said:

Lastly off the top of my head, what's the setting like? I've heard the phrase 'mythic bronze age' thrown around, but can someone explain that in more detail?

Glorantha is a very rich, very detailed and very atmospheric setting. 

Although people say it is Bronze Age, it really isn't, although a fair amount harks back to Bronze/Iron Age ideas. People talk about Orlanth being Thracians/Dacians or whatever, but if you think of them as being like Heroic Celts/Anglo Saxons/Vikings then that is good enough.

Myth is far more important than history and magic is all-pervasive, although magic tends to be personal rather than army-destroying spells.

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