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Corvantir

Extended Contests: introducing some tactic or shortening them

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We have just finished a campaign yesterday (OK, this is not completely true as we have agreed to plan a short epilogue session in order to play the aftermath) and this was the occasion to speak about the HQG game system.

The players have expressed a concern about the Extended Contest resolution system. They are used to more tactical game systems and they are a bit disappointed by the lack of tactical options in HQG. They would like to be able to look for and benefit from tactical advantages, like being under cover and this kind of things. Unless I am missing something, it is true that things are rather static and that you are mainly just throwing dice once you have framed the contest, once you have stated your goal and the tactics used to reach it I mean.

They have also told me that this would not be a problem if the big Extended Group Contests were resolved more quickly. They have agreed that a Simple Group Contest would not be good for the climactic contest though as it would be a bit too hasty.

I thus have three options:

1 - Introducing some "classical" tactical options in HQG.

2 - Shortening the resolution time.

3 - Changing the game system for another one.

Let me throw away option 3. I have opened a few RPG books from my collection this morning and the sheer number of things to track down behind the screen (NPC stats, initiative, hit points, armor, stunts, feats and this kind of things) gives me headaches. This is actually not an option.

About option 1, my initial reaction is that HQG is absolutely not made for that at all. I must also accept the possibility that I could be wrong though. I don't think so, but we know never.

About option 2, reducing the number of resolution points to score against an opponent before it is taken out of a contest would unbalance the whole extended resolution system, in my opinion. I think that changing the number of RP scored according to the success levels could work though.

Something like 2/3/4/5 RP scored instead of the current 1/2/3/5 RP could speed up the Extended Contests without unbalancing the game system. It shouldn't be necessary to add 1 to the total number of RP scored against the losers in climactic contests with this new distribution.

Have you introduced tactical modifiers in your HQ 2 or HQG games ? Do you think that changing the number of RP scored would work without unbalancing the game system ?

Edited by Corvantir
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I’m not personally familiar with them, but I hear good things about chained simple contests, from Mythic Russia, I think. 

@soltakss, I believe, is the one that can help here. 

Edited by KingofElfland
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14 minutes ago, KingofElfland said:

I’m not personally familiar with them, but I hear good things about chained simple contests, from Mythic Russia, I think. 

@soltakss, I believe, is the one that can help here. 

In a chained contest, you simply run a simple contest, apply the penalties to the losing side, and then play another round if neither side wishes to surrender the prize

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1 minute ago, Ian Cooper said:

In a chained contest, you simply run a simple contest, apply the penalties to the losing side, and then play another round if neither side wishes to surrender the prize

Thanks for this explanation, this could address something that the players complained about. There could be a "spiral of death" problem though, which is something I strongly dislike in many game systems.

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I would suggest that modifiers can always be used to reward creative tactical options within an extended contest, or simply altering the resistance.

I often reward players for smart tactics this way. Usually I hand out a bonus, when I see it as a one-exchange advantage for some clever idea or tactic, and lower the resistance if I believe that a new approach picks up on their opponents weakness in a way that disadvantages them. You may be able to treat the advantage modifier as the benefit of victory from another contest as well, for example if the PCs set an ambush then for one round they get a benefit for their ambush roll. I would use this over an augment in that case, because the augment really reflects using two abilities at once, over a chain of events

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31 minutes ago, Corvantir said:

About option 1, my initial reaction is that HQG is absolutely not made for that at all. I must also accept the possibility that I could be wrong though. I don't think so, but we know never.

It's not made for it in the way you described it.  It will pull you out of the narrative game and very much into a simulationist style.  When I first played HQ, my mindset was still along this line and I felt that if anything it lengthened the Extended Contest further while destroying the flow of the story.

33 minutes ago, Corvantir said:

About option 2, reducing the number of resolution points to score against an opponent before it is taken out of a contest would unbalance the whole extended resolution system, in my opinion. I think that changing the number of RP scored according to the success levels could work though.

I agree, reducing the number of points will just make it seem like a quick event one way or another.

35 minutes ago, Corvantir said:

Unless I am missing something, it is true that things are rather static and that you are mainly just throwing dice once you have framed the contest, once you have stated your goal and the tactics used to reach it I mean.

They do not need to be static. While some players will continue with the same actions/rolls, others switch to a different ability with different augment to potentially shift the focus and the difficulty against them. Sometimes a given hero will take a Defensive Action against a given foe or possibly a pair of foes so that other heroes can gang up on another one and remove them from action. The strategic use of a Hero Point can also help shift this.

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17 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

They do not need to be static. While some players will continue with the same actions/rolls, others switch to a different ability with different augment to potentially shift the focus and the difficulty against them. Sometimes a given hero will take a Defensive Action against a given foe or possibly a pair of foes so that other heroes can gang up on another one and remove them from action. The strategic use of a Hero Point can also help shift this.

There are a few options, you are right, but they are rather limited if you compare them to the more tactical game systems. As far as I am concerned, it is a feature of HQ2G, not a problem. Those players are not used to narrative game systems though. They are all engineers and are somehow bothered by the abstract nature of the HQG rules. They have some difficulties to make the game system their own.

Perhaps should I show them how to use the various options through the NPCs. But I am not sure that those options are meant for the NPCs.

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As @Ian Cooper says, Chained Contests are simply having a number of Simple Contests running together, with the results being used to solve a Contest.

In fact, in much the same way that Extended Contests now work in HQ2.

I took part in a HQ2 playtest game for Glorantha Games a few weeks ago and found Extended Contests to be playable as written. Much better than the HQ1 version and very similar to Chained Contests.

 

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1 hour ago, Corvantir said:

The players have expressed a concern about the Extended Contest resolution system. They are used to more tactical game systems and they are a bit disappointed by the lack of tactical options in HQG. They would like to be able to look for and benefit from tactical advantages, like being under cover and this kind of things. Unless I am missing something, it is true that things are rather static and that you are mainly just throwing dice once you have framed the contest, once you have stated your goal and the tactics used to reach it I mean.

What I would do in those situations is to apply Bonuses/Penalties for tactical choices. So, you get +5 for being Under Cover when in an arrow storm, +5 for having height advantage, -5 for being on unsteady ground and so on. 

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33 minutes ago, soltakss said:

As @Ian Cooper says, Chained Contests are simply having a number of Simple Contests running together, with the results being used to solve a Contest.

In fact, in much the same way that Extended Contests now work in HQ2.

I took part in a HQ2 playtest game for Glorantha Games a few weeks ago and found Extended Contests to be playable as written. Much better than the HQ1 version and very similar to Chained Contests.

 

Thanks @soltakss, as far as I am concerned, I like the HQ2/G Extended Contests the way they are.

Among the things that bothers the players is that :

- Beyond the Multiple Opponent Penalty which does not appear to be enough for them, there is no benefit, as they say, in ganging up against an opponent if everybody has to deal with a separate RP track or if you join an ongoing fight and have to start a pairing and counting RP from 0 ;

- When you lose an exchange, there is no loss you can feel, your character is not weakened, you don't feel the hit as if he were losing hit points and /or suffering from penalties. Comparatively, an opponent does not seem to suffer from his losses until someone accrues 5 RP against him ;

- There are no tactical options like, say, those you find in more simulationist games: being under cover, attacking from behind, etc. -5 modifiers for a clever tactic or advantageous situation could indeed be the way to go. I have given them a plot augment once because they surprised their ennemies, this kind of modifiers could help them make the system their own.

I am reluctant to inflict wound penalties during a fight though, I don't like the "Spiral of Death" effect and this adds things I don't like to manage while I am GMing.

The major problem I have is that I think it boils down to a matter of expectations. It seems HQ2/G simply don't meet and can't meet their expectations. HQ2/G is not meant to produce the kind of results they are expecting and enjoying from a game system. This is a serious problem. The players are at a loss with the free and abstract nature of the game and are used to game systems where the various options are already considered and where they don't have to make their own. May be should I show them the various possibilities with the actions of my NPCs. May be are they just doing the same thing because I am doing that myself. I should think about introducing more diversity in my NPCs actions.

From my side of the board, I am fed up with other game systems and the taxing management they require, I can't imagine (as a GM) going back to a more traditional game system.

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Some pointers about trying to convert your players to the HQ narrative way of playing Extended Contests.

Why would the players want the Extended Contest to go faster? It is the final climax and ends the session or story arc to the nail-biting finale. If your players are saying it goes too fast are you using it in "correct" places? Every fight does not deserve EC. Only the last big and important one.

This goes on to my next point of making EC longer. Yes, you should really spend some time on the EC. There are a couple of tricks to train your players to appreciate the EC. Set up the EC as normal. Define what would (about) the goal of the contest be. Then, for every round, don't ask what the player does (they don't get to tell you that they hide behind the table, for example). Instead, ask what ability do they now use. That choice will have the implication in it ("I will use my Weaponthane ability" vs "I will use my Earth Rune"). Later, when they grok the system, they can add more try-to into it. Now, you roll the dice. Resolution Points are not just some hitpoints you try to deal against the (abstract) opponents. They are fuel for the imagination. Be excited about the result and demand content from the player in exchange for the RP's. "Three RP's against you! What on earth happened? How did you fail?" Use physical RP's, hand them to the player and let the player tell, RP by RP, what happens in the situation. Savior every RP, if possible.

This way you are increasing the roleplaying during the EC. And that's, I assume, is what you have come to do around the table. So, even if the EC takes longer it is not away from the roleplaying and action. The beauty of HQ is that, with RPs, the players get to do all kinds of cool things (hide behind a table, swing with the chandelier, summon the great goddess) but those actions do not change the math. They are roleplaying.

Extended Contest has some tactical options. Assist is one big that I remind players always. There are a nice risk factor and the possibility to make great saves. But for Assist, you should demand the roleplay, RP by RP. Of course, HP's are the big thing. Again, the use of HP must be roleplayed (my best example is from the HQ2, an all of the sudden car drives in front of the PC and takes the bullet). Last, if you like so, you can use augmenting. Players augmenting each other may increase rolling the dice, but add a little of tactics. Again, demand roleplay for the augment ("I enchanted his sword before the combat began and felt Humakt's strong presence in the sword").

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No expert, we have not got past simple contests yet. But for longer exchanges if Corvantir your players want to wearing down feel, but you don’t want bookwork, could a morale or momentum modifier work. It’s only temporary and will be lost or gained as the exchange plays out.

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@jrutila: the Extended Contest we play are for the climax only, almost always. The player just don't think it is interesting no more once they have decided about their initial objective and strategy. They say the rest is just throwing dice. Your examples are very good hints and point towards something I am thinking about since this morning. My Extended Contests are bland because I am not doing what is needed for them to be livelier. I have to show them how this system can be used and how they can make it their own. This will be my approach for the epilogue before starting to house rule the game system.

As far as role playing is concerned, this group is not very demonstrative though. They are rather shy when it comes to role play their characters. Telling descriptions and daring moves is not what they are used to do, it somehow goes against their nature.

@Aprewett: thanks, another hint to explore. There is another idea I am exploring since yesterday night. It was inspired by the explanations Ian Cooper and Soltakss gave us about the Chained Contests.

Instead of Chained Contests, I would apply Consequence of Defeat Penalties as the RP increase.

In Rising Action Contests, each time a pairing is ended, the Consequence of Defeat penalty is applied. A character winning a pairing by a one point margin only would thus suffer a Hurt Consequence of Defeat penalty (-3) for the remainder of the contest.

For the Climactic Extended Contests, the Consequence Penalty would follow the increasing number of RP. 1 is a warning, 2 to 3 and the character receives a Hurt penalty (-3), 4 to 5 and the character is Impaired (-6), 6 to 7 and he is Injured (-9 penalty until the end of the contest and then as in the rules), 8 would end the Contest for the Character, 9 is rather explicit. Losers add 1 to the RP scored against them at the end of the Contest to determine the final Consequences of Defeat and the Victory Level.

Tracking all those Penalties adds some bookkeeping but I am sure it can be handled rather easily with a bit of training. I am more concerned by the dreaded Spiral of Death.

This is something I will try in the future if there is still something to address after the next session or two.

Edited by Corvantir
House rule refinement

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I have very VERY little experience with HeroQuest.  Im an old Grognard simulationist, who has only recently returned to playing RPGS I'm running an RQ:G campaign right now. With that disclaimer, I love the Idea of HQ, but like your engineer players, just cant *quite* wrap my head around the level of abstraction of the rules as written.  My only experience is a few test runs, and I ported over ShadowRun to the HQ2 system and ran it as chained events. It worked pretty well, and was fast. Maybe too fast as giving penalties added up quickly.  Sadly, that was a one off, but I have been mulling the idea of running HQ since then.  But, I still like hit point, hit locations and armor points. Then while reading a copy of HeroQuest 1, I read about armor and weapons augments:
 

Armor, Weapons, and Tools
High-quality equipment aids any task, from climbing a wall to the grisly job of killing. Your hero is assumed to have appropriate gear from his homeland and know how to use it. A complete suit of armor or a particular weapon or tool can give modifiers.
Light Armor: +1 (hardened leather, tough skin or fur).
Medium Armor: +3 (chainmail, lamellar, scale armor).
Heavy Armor: +5 (plate armor, chainmail made by a true master armorer).
Shield: +1 (note that use of two-handed weapons precludes use of shield at the same time).

Light Weapon or Tool: +1 (cudgel, dagger, dart, rock, self bow, throwing axe, whip; hammer and pins, short or flimsy rope).
Average Weapon or Tool: +3 (1-handed spear, battleaxe, crossbow, javelin, long bow, mace, sling, sword; crowbar, excellent rope).
Heavy Weapon or Tool: +5 (2-handed spear, great axe, greatsword, lance, maul, siege crossbow; lockpicks, metal cable).

You could also use augments in non combat situations. For example, evidence in a trial (or a strong alibi as defense) or a crowd of supporters. Whatever. The idea is the augments dont add to the roll, but afterwards to affect the contest results.

So now I am toying with the idea of using a variation of the old HW/HQ1 Action Points, but limiting it to say 20 points. (instead of 2x the skill) Use the Chained contest idea from HQ1, where levels of success incurs higher penalties, as points against the condition. (I used 1/3/6/10 in the ShadowQuest game I ran) Weapons add to the points, armor subtracts, (See above) with a minimum of 1 point regardless of the adjusted number.  However instead of using the penalties as lingering effects, I created a damage chart. The first 5 points are no penalty.the next is a "hurt" with a -3 penalty, then a -6 Impaired and -10 injured. This is to limit the "death spiral" that so many mentioned on here with chained contests. It also (hopefully as its still untested) does a good job of restoring some of the simulationist feel that I and my players like while keeping the bookkeeping and rules light. Also, all the 1 point results will dissipate after the contest, being described as general fatigue, or other scrapes bruises, or non lingering conditions. 

Hope that makes sense, and you find it useful. I also welcome input on the idea.

Thanks


 

injury chart.jpg

Edited by godsmonkey
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Thanks @godsmonkey, your post gives other hints that are food for thought. As far as I am concerned I like the abstract nature of HQ2/G and the freedom it gives me behind the screen. The main problem seems to be that I forgot to provide my Extended Contests with interesting actions and reactions from the opposition, the lack of dynamics come from a lack of impetus from my part. I have to greatly improve my narration during the extended contests. I also don't let the players enough time to decide a sound strategy. I will try to correct these mistakes the next session.

My A plan for the next session or two is thus to train myself at improving the way I run the Extended Contests without changing the rules (except the Difficulty Levels and their value, as discussed in another thread).

I am not sure I want to give more importance to things like weapons and equipment though. It is worth thinking about it of course, but, once again, I really like the astract nature of HQ2/G.

Since yesterday, I am designing a home rule that I think goes in the same direction as  yours, in my opinion, and that has finally met @Aprewett idea of impetus along the design process.

If A plan fails, the following B plan is to test the following House Rules :

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

EXTENDED CONTEST CONDITION MODIFIERS

 

The basic rule applies, a contestant is removed from the conflict as soon as 5 Resolution Points (RP) or more are scored against him in a pair.

Throughout the Extended Conflict

The contestants receive increasing Condition Penalties as RP are scored against them. This is meant to simulate the rising pressure, the doubts and hesitations, morale losses, weariness, blunders and other bad situations afflicting the contestant while RP are added againts him.

The RP scored against a contestant are added together to determine a current Condition and a corresponding modifier from the Extended Contest Condition Modifiers & Consequences table.


 

EXTENDED CONTEST CONDITION MODIFIERS & CONSEQUENCES

Total Resolution Points Scored *

Condition

Modifier

Consequence **

0

Safe

-

Unharmed

1

Just a flesh wound

-

Dazed

2 - 3

Hurt

-3

Hurt

4 - 5

Impaired

-6

Impaired

6 - 7

In danger

-9

Injured

8

At a loss

-12

Dying

9+

Out

Out of the Conflict

Dead

* Losers add 1 to their totals

** Rising Action Consequences for the winners: one Hurt consequence for each pair won by a difference of 1 RP. Contestant at least Hurt if 8+ RP scored against him.

 

EXTENDED CONFLICT

VICTORY LEVEL

Consequence

Victory Level

Hurt

Marginal

Impaired

Minor

Injured

Major

Dead or dying

Complete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the Extended Conflict is over

Rising Action Scenes

For the winners: the Conditions and their corresponding modifier are quickly recovered. Each winning contestant suffer a Hurt Consequence for each pair he won by a difference of 1 RP only. A protagonist who received a total of 8 RP or more ends the Conflict with a Hurt Consequence if he has not yet received a Hurt Consequence because of the pairs he won by 1 RP.

For the losers: the conditions are replaced by final Consequences. Add 1 to the totals of RP scored against the losing contestants to determine the final Consequence with the Consequence column of the Extended Contest Condition modifiers & Consequences table.

Climactic Scenes

For the winners: the Conditions and their corresponding modifier are quickly recovered and replaced by final Consequences according to the number of RP scored against each winning contestant. The total number of RP scored is used to determine the final Consequence with the Consequence column of the Extended Contest Condition modifiers & Consequences table.

For the losers: the conditions are replaced by final Consequences. Add 1 to the totals of RP scored against the losing contestants to determine the final Consequence with the Consequence column of the Extended Contest Condition modifiers & Consequences table.

 

END OF HOUSE RULES

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There is a clear Death Spiral risk, but it could be what they are looking for.

If this do not work the C plan is to forget Condition modifiers and to start twicking the RP distribution by success level in order to shorten the Extended Contests... and to keep training at being better at fostering entertaining Extended Contests.

I am of course open to criticisms and suggestions. Suggestions about the Conditions' names are especially welcomed. These ones are rough translations of explicit french terms and other designations could be far more appropriate and more expressive.

A cleaner version of the tables can be found in the following PDF:

HQG_SCREEN_01_CONTEST_TABLES_V02_CONDITION_MODIFIERS.pdf

Edited by Corvantir

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If I'm following right, this is a half way point between chained contests with penalties after each contest (0 -3,-6,-9, -12) and the contest ends when a contestant reaches 5 RP against a foe? That would certainly make combat feel more deadly, and would introduce something of a death spiral, but not add too much bulk to record keeping.

I'm not sure if that fixes your players original concern:

On 4/7/2019 at 8:21 AM, Corvantir said:

The players have expressed a concern about the Extended Contest resolution system. They are used to more tactical game systems and they are a bit disappointed by the lack of tactical options in HQG. They would like to be able to look for and benefit from tactical advantages, like being under cover and this kind of things. Unless I am missing something, it is true that things are rather static and that you are mainly just throwing dice once you have framed the contest, once you have stated your goal and the tactics used to reach it I mean.

But as others have mentioned, adding modifiers for tactics, terrain and such, might do the trick. Using the equipment modifiers to the roll, and not the result as I suggested might also give them more of a feeling of tactics ("Oh, my dagger gives a +1, but my broadsword a +2? I draw my sword!" "I duck behind that rock for cover from the archers, how much of a penalty that give them?" and so on ... ) 

 

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On 4/7/2019 at 11:22 AM, Corvantir said:

Among the things that bothers the players is that :

- Beyond the Multiple Opponent Penalty which does not appear to be enough for them, there is no benefit, as they say, in ganging up against an opponent if everybody has to deal with a separate RP track or if you join an ongoing fight and have to start a pairing and counting RP from 0 ;

That was my logic with the condition monitor. One thing that bugs me, Rules as Written is if I defeat one opponent, then engage another, it FEELS like I have suddenly healed up the RP scored against me in the prior contest. ( I know that you determine results at the end, and I could be a walking corpse.) With a condition tracker, all RPs scored are kept track of so while I took out opponent A & B pretty easy, when a fresh opponent C comes along, I am worse for wear, not starting with a fresh monitor. 

Another option is to keep all penalties from chained contests when engaging the new foe. So even though your RP track against the foe starts fresh, you enter the contest with penalties.

I know it adds a bit of crunch, just sharing my thoughts. 

Edited by godsmonkey

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4 hours ago, godsmonkey said:

If I'm following right, this is a half way point between chained contests with penalties after each contest (0 -3,-6,-9, -12) and the contest ends when a contestant reaches 5 RP against a foe? That would certainly make combat feel more deadly, and would introduce something of a death spiral, but not add too much bulk to record keeping.

I'm not sure if that fixes your players original concern:

But as others have mentioned, adding modifiers for tactics, terrain and such, might do the trick. Using the equipment modifiers to the roll, and not the result as I suggested might also give them more of a feeling of tactics ("Oh, my dagger gives a +1, but my broadsword a +2? I draw my sword!" "I duck behind that rock for cover from the archers, how much of a penalty that give them?" and so on ... ) 

 

Yes, it is a bit like Chained Contests but tied to the original HQ2/G Extended Contest rules. The less the original rules are changed the better, in my opinion.

It is addressing one issue only as they are also "complaining" that they don't feel like they are being hit when RP are scored against them. It is as if they were so used to hit points that they are missing them.

Strategies will be addressed in another way. Modifiers can do the trick from time to time, so do Plot Augments. They will adopt strategies because I will show them how to do it through the actions and reactions of the NPC. I would prefer strategies to be a matter of decisions rather than a matter of rule options used to get a mechanical advantage over the opponents.

Edited by Corvantir

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4 hours ago, godsmonkey said:

That was my logic with the condition monitor. One thing that bugs me, Rules as Written is if I defeat one opponent, then engage another, it FEELS like I have suddenly healed up the RP scored against me in the prior contest. ( I know that you determine results at the end, and I could be a walking corpse.) With a condition tracker, all RPs scored are kept track of so while I took out opponent A & B pretty easy, when a fresh opponent C comes along, I am worse for wear, not starting with a fresh monitor. 

Another option is to keep all penalties from chained contests when engaging the new foe. So even though your RP track against the foe starts fresh, you enter the contest with penalties.

I know it adds a bit of crunch, just sharing my thoughts. 

As far as I am concerned, I wouldn't change anything in the HQ2/G rules. I know another group I am planning a Glorantha campaign for that I am pretty sure will not be bothered by the original rules. These players are more familiar with narrative games and improvisation and will catch the opportunity to describe their actions in a colorful manner. I still have to practice how to foster interesting Extended Contests though.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, if neither plans work for this group, I will come back here to pick some ideas. I will avoid things adding too much crunch though.

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On 4/8/2019 at 4:05 PM, Corvantir said:

My Extended Contests are bland because I am not doing what is needed for them to be livelier. I have to show them how this system can be used and how they can make it their own.

One thing I've done is to have their foes change tactics. Can happen in several ways: two foes gang up on a hero; the primary foe casts "magic" and ups their difficulty; more foes arrive on the scene; something changes in the environment around them (e.g. a fire erupts, a thunderstorm occurs, etc.).

6 hours ago, godsmonkey said:

With a condition tracker, all RPs scored are kept track of so while I took out opponent A & B pretty easy, when a fresh opponent C comes along, I am worse for wear, not starting with a fresh monitor. 

Interesting thought. 

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14 hours ago, jajagappa said:

One thing I've done is to have their foes change tactics. Can happen in several ways: two foes gang up on a hero; the primary foe casts "magic" and ups their difficulty; more foes arrive on the scene; something changes in the environment around them (e.g. a fire erupts, a thunderstorm occurs, etc.).

This is what I am thinking about and something that I have not done enough thus far. A better vision of the overall scene, like a rough map with the relative positions of the characters and their opponents, along with some terrain features, could also encite the opposition and the players to try things in order to change the situation to their advantage.

As far as a condition tracker is concerned, this is what I think I am trying to achieve with my Condition Modifiers "House Rules". I don't know the HQ1 game system enough though, so there might be differences I can't catch.

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47 minutes ago, Corvantir said:

As far as a condition tracker is concerned, this is what I think I am trying to achieve with my Condition Modifiers "House Rules". I don't know the HQ1 game system enough though, so there might be differences I can't catch.

Neither HeroQuest 1 nor Hero Wars had a condition monitor. that's me adding it to the game because I think I'm more like your players in that the idea of having some means of telling how close to defeated I am and engages me more that just a number of resolution points that reset every time I engage a new foe.

Thinking about what your players are looking for, maybe the HQ1 extended contest would be to the groups liking:

1. State what your hero is trying to do and which ability he uses for his first action.
2. Figure your starting AP total using the target number plus any source of additional AP you may have.
Advantage points (AP) measure how well a hero is doing against his opponent in an extended contest. Each contestant’s starting advantage point total equals the target number of the ability he uses in his first round of the contest, including all modifiers and augments. The AP include +20 for each level of mastery, and can also be increased by followers.
3. The narrator selects the resistance and figures its starting AP total.



780700944_ExtendedContest.jpg.d08fb1de02406ef48846ef5730c93f3e.jpg

Advantage Points and Combat
HeroQuest combat is modeled on popular fictional sources. You
rarely see or read about fighters delivering a succession of permanent
wounds to each other until one of them finally keels over.
Instead, they jockey for a favorable position, ducking, dodging,
knocking each other over, tossing each other around, and smashing
up the furniture. Up until the final blow, they generally deal
out only minor bruises and cuts. Advantage points thus reflect
much more than the contestants’ physical condition:
o Advantage points measure a fighter’s position: Is he
upright, or has he been thrown to the ground? Does he
have his balance? Does he have the advantage of high
ground, or is he fighting from below? Is he on even, uncluttered
ground and therefore able to move easily, or is
he encumbered by hazards such as clinging vegetation,
broken flooring, sucking mud, or cliff edges? Does he
have his weapon in hand? If not, is he close to objects
that make for impressive and entertaining impromptu
weapons or shields?
o Advantage points also measure a character’s emotional
state. Is he ready and willing to fight, or has the instinctive
fear response that impels us to run from danger
taken over? Is he clear-headed enough to make splitsecond
decisions, or is he dominated by anger, a thirst
for violence, or concern for his reputation?
o Advantage points eventually determine if the hero is
wounded, but they are not “hit points.” Until a character
drops to 0 or fewer advantage points, any wounds will
be superficial. They may well cause considerable pain,
ruining his concentration and slowing him down, and
even heroes that are never hit will begin to tire as they
fight through their third or fourth round. But in the end,
if a hero finishes the fight with a positive AP total, he is
not wounded.


The last sentence gives me pause from using the old HQ1 rules. If you have positive action points at the end of a contest, you are NOT wounded. Using the idea of a condition monitor, and chained contests, there is a possibility of lingering effects/wounds. 

I have my RQ:G group playing on Sunday, maybe I can convince them to give my house ruled HQ2 extended contests a go, and report back.

Edited by godsmonkey
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We just did our fist EC and it seemed to be a total balls up.

3 players v's a ghoul.

In the end only one player left standing and if I did it correct with the point score difference between him and the monster the monster only came out with a Hurt condition. The Frame was to defeat the thing, so now I am really confused as to how/when/why to use a EC. Probably operator error, but much confusion. What is the point of the 'Frame the outcome' if the system then gives a different result.

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