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Monsters Are People Too: the old links between Chivalry & Sorcery and RuneQuest

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Following the recent successful launch of their Chivalry & Sorcery 5th Edition Kickstarter, Andy Staples of Brittannia Games shares with us the resonant connections between C&S and Chaosium's RuneQuest, which go way, way back to the earliest days of Roleplaying Games, and begin with a mutual understanding of RPGs that was groundbreaking then and still powerful today...

https://www.chaosium.com/blogmonsters-are-people-too-the-old-links-between-chivalry-sorcery-and-runequest

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Edited by MOB
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'Monsters Are People Too' is quite a nice little essay and still very relevant. 

So many GMs I've seen still run monsters as though they are suicidal killing machines. Characterisation and player-immersion are surrendered in pursuit of routinely emptying monsters' hit point totals.

If character advancement (XP) is dependent upon killing monsters and acquiring treasure then those activities will be hard-baked into a game, which is why D&D and similar systems seem to struggle to move beyond murderhobo playing styles.

At the other end of the spectrum, I GMed Blades in the Dark last year, a game which rewards players with XP only for addressing challenges in character, expressing their beliefs, drives, heritage or background, and dealing with personal vices (which were mandatory) or trauma. What was immediately apparent was that players will role-play better when they are incentivised in this way. The character notes actually got referred to during play instead of being drawn up in chargen and never mentioned again.

This also meant that as a GM I had to raise my game in terms of the depictions of complex NPCs with which the PCs could interact. There's a lot of good ideas from that game that can be ported over into other systems.

With RQ2 & RQ3, on reflection, I feel the skills/experience check system sat somewhere between those two extremes, but the average RQ PC or NPC was still more well-rounded than the average D&D PC or NPC. Even so, characterisation was still overly dependent upon GM and player imagination and effort.

With the introduction of Runes and Passions in RQG, there are now in-game incentives to role-play adventurers and monsters according to their 'nature', and this can also develop over time. Rune and Passion % scores are a handy tool for the GM to figure out how an NPC might approach a particular situation. The 60% Cowardice passion for Ducks that was mentioned in another thread for example, or just the characteristics associated with the Runes.

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14 minutes ago, Sumath said:

With RQ2 & RQ3, on reflection, I feel the skills/experience check system sat somewhere between those two extremes, but the average RQ PC or NPC was still more well-rounded than the average D&D PC or NPC. Even so, characterisation was still overly dependent upon GM and player imagination and effort.

One of the intriguing things about checkmarks is that if you've had a combat encounter already, players are more likely to go "hey, I want to try talking this time".

Of course, it also goes the other way 'round, but even then, it's a mechanic that supports pacing and variation of approaches. This is a Good Thing.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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7 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

it's a mechanic that supports pacing and variation of approaches

Indeed. If you really want to advance your character quickly it's best to attempt as many different things as you can - something that's worth pointing out to new players. This in itself will spur them into thinking up ways to make use of the relevant skills.

My only criticism of RQG in this respect is that I do think there are a few too many skills.

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Quote

Chaosium fans who recognise the shared vision, the old alliance from the dawn of roleplaying, may wish to help us. We are all Uz.

—Andrew Staples, Brittannia Games

Always loved this kind of philosophy, loved it when Steve Jackson Games helped out Greg, Love it when my next door neighbour community  of St. Albert Alberta is home to my 2nd fave FRPG and its creators Ed Simbalist and Wilf Bachaus.

Cheers

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Actioned. I think I lost my copy, or lent it out unrecorded...

Or maybe its at the bottom of a wardrobe upstairs.

Hey, a fitted wardrobe, I'm not that ancient.

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Now isn’t that funny? I read about the C&S KS just yesterday, looked at it, read up on some of C&S‘s history (apparently, HarnWorld was originally a campaign setting), and decided to back it, because I dig RPGs with a pedigree. Now I learn that RQ and C&S share some history, too. Small world, but great as well. 🙃

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Gone I reckon, or it would be couched down with Space Opera, Privateers and Gentlemen and Twilight-2000

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2 minutes ago, styopa said:

If you think RQ combat is crunchy, C&S rulebooks will blow you away.  

But you can relax afterwards with a little trout tickling.

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10 minutes ago, styopa said:

If you think RQ combat is crunchy, C&S rulebooks will blow you away.  

Yep, crunchy and chewy... we had a good GM, thank the gods!

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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