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My Issues with Combat System

posted Jan 20, 2012 16:27:50 by barath
I ran a trial MRQII game a couple of months ago - never played or GM'ed the rules before - and noted the following.

Characters were created straight from the book, had 40-50% cbt skills and 0-1 pts of Armour due to not being able to afford any better. The first combat was against a couple of scout Dragonewts stealing sheep.

The issue I noted was that the player that had gone Great Axe, when he succeeded with his skill, kicked. Even when they parried, their Shortword and Buckler was too small to reduce the Greataxe Damage. So he either did full rolled damaged to the 2pt armoured Dragonewts, when they succeeded with a parry, OR full Rolled Damage + A Manoeuver (Choose Location).

Later, fighting better armed and armoured bandits I found the - fail parry > get extra Cbt Manoeuver an issue. It still grates. Has the idea been tested/floated of shifting out the whole Levels of Success Table? ie if you fail parry and your opponent succeeds in hitting you he does not get a Manoever, but only when he specials you. The same with "Oh I fumbled my Parry" I'll roll on the Fumble Table AND my opponent with probably get 2 cbt manoeuvers against me - keep in mind, no matter how powerful your character is there will always be a 1%+ chance this will happen to you whenever you try to parry...

I understand your reasoning that Combat IS brutal, but it leads to very short combats. RQ2 had the same problem. In those days cbt skill levels in the 65-85 was when the game really shone. It would be good to extend this sweetspot somehow.

Ideally you limited the weapons characters can access in the early stages but I was not going to do anything overt. My session was a trial of the system, and it didn't do very well.

Subsequently, I have been doing a lot of tinkering on a pad of paper. Firstly, for simplicity, I just converted the skills to d20, so a 80% swordsman has a 16 skill.
Initially, I try using the D&D design philosophy, where by a player would roll a d20+16 and match it against the opponents parry - say d20+16 - the higher roll wins the contest. This resulted in a 50/50 chance of success for evenly skilled contestants, but the contest was won on the armour you had. I also trialed a 30/70 chance of success for evenly skilled contestants which worked better, but when trying to tinker with crits got nowhere - even the D&D double damage did not work due to the relative fragility of RQ Characters.

I then went back to rolling under the skill and realised that the key part of RQ, in that _if_ you make a successful parry, _no_ other roll can take away the benefit from this success. In D&D someone rolls higher so you lose the contest. However, the D&D system (rolling against another or set effect number) still has it uses. I always found the contest of spot vs sneak funny when both participants succeeded. I think the effect number roll has a use within the RQ skill system, but due to consistency/simplicity concerns it has been ignored.

So coming full circle, I am still wrestling with the RQ system. The issue I am tinkering with is the sweetspot issue. The fact is low skills of say 30% mean you have a 70% chance of not doing anything against a similar skilled opponent - which seems wrong, your are evenly matched in your incompetence. In D&D this would be 50/50. What seems necessary is that skills need to start higher, say at 65% to 80%, a la Heroquest, then you have a good chance to 'interact' with your skills. From here you need to bring in the levels of success things to enable the better (effect number?) rolls being able to take advantage of maneouvers to bring the opponent down.

At the moment I am tinkering with the Dragon Warriors system, where after you succeed in a hit, you then roll your weapon damage to see if you penetrate armour, if this succeeds you then do a fixed level of damage. I like this system as it allows your characters to be a little more robust than currently occurs in MRQ2 - as you can take 3'ish hits before you go down.

Just some Musings

Cheers
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30 replies
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lawrence.whitaker said Jan 20, 2012 21:51:56
Hi Barath,

I ran a trial MRQII game a couple of months ago - never played or GM'ed the rules before - and noted the following.

Characters were created straight from the book, had 40-50% cbt skills and 0-1 pts of Armour due to not being able to afford any better. The first combat was against a couple of scout Dragonewts stealing sheep.


40-50% is pretty low for starting characters. A character with STR 11 and DEX 11, from, say a Barbarian culture, and a Warrior profession will have a starting skill of 42%. This is before allocating any of the free skill points. Even with a 30% cap on free skill allocation, starting characters should therefore be able to get into the 60% - 70% range without too much difficulty.

The issue I noted was that the player that had gone Great Axe, when he succeeded with his skill, kicked. Even when they parried, their Shortword and Buckler was too small to reduce the Greataxe Damage. So he either did full rolled damaged to the 2pt armoured Dragonewts, when they succeeded with a parry, OR full Rolled Damage + A Manoeuver (Choose Location).


The issue I take it, being with the manoeuvre rather than the fact that a dinner-plate size piece of metal won't withstand a massive, two-handed weapon swung with considerable force?

Later, fighting better armed and armoured bandits I found the - fail parry > get extra Cbt Manoeuver an issue. It still grates. Has the idea been tested/floated of shifting out the whole Levels of Success Table? ie if you fail parry and your opponent succeeds in hitting you he does not get a Manoever, but only when he specials you. The same with "Oh I fumbled my Parry" I'll roll on the Fumble Table AND my opponent with probably get 2 cbt manoeuvers against me - keep in mind, no matter how powerful your character is there will always be a 1%+ chance this will happen to you whenever you try to parry...


Two separate things here.

First, the CM gained when one side succeeds normally but other fails. We don't see this as being a problem. It models the fact that in failing you've left yourself exposed and vulnerable in some way, or made a mistake that the opposition can take advantage of. It might seem unfair, but in combat its life or death and trained combatants stand or fall on their ability to exploit their opponent's slightest weaknesses and failures far more than how hard they can hit.

Second is the fumble, which can introduce both fumble effects AND CMs. We've addressed this in RQ6 by getting rid of the fumble table altogether. It was disproportionate and we've addressed this.

I understand your reasoning that Combat IS brutal, but it leads to very short combats. RQ2 had the same problem. In those days cbt skill levels in the 65-85 was when the game really shone. It would be good to extend this sweetspot somehow.


Well, combat tends to be short because it IS brutal! One of the problems with previous iterations was that combat actually dragged on for interminable rounds when characters reached quite high skill levels. Also, as I've said, the 65% start for the 'sweet-spot' should be well within most starting characters' capabilities. But, combat also has to cater for very high skilled characters - those of >100%, and the RQ6 combat system does. Even highly skilled combatants should not find combats dragging on for hours. One of the reasons for this is the way the CMs and their availability is structured.

Ideally you limited the weapons characters can access in the early stages but I was not going to do anything overt.


I don't understand what you're saying here about limiting weapons...

My session was a trial of the system, and it didn't do very well.


Which is a shame, but perhaps if you review those character skills and look at encouraging them to use different CMs (and, as GM, get creative with them yourself) you might have a better experience. It can take a couple of sessions to get your head around some of the intricacies. If both sides limit themselves to the obvious CMs of Choose Location and Max Damage yep, it'll get stale quite quickly. But introduce some trips, some over-extends, some blinds, pins, grips and so on, and you should find a different dynamic emerging.

I then went back to rolling under the skill and realised that the key part of RQ, in that _if_ you make a successful parry, _no_ other roll can take away the benefit from this success.


This isn't strictly true though. If you successfully parry and the opponent critically succeeds, he'll generate a CM which can be used to negate or hinder the parrying character.

In D&D someone rolls higher so you lose the contest. However, the D&D system (rolling against another or set effect number) still has it uses. I always found the contest of spot vs sneak funny when both participants succeeded.


But combats, really, are not so black and white. Its about advantage, exploiting it, and out-thinking and out-manoeuvering the opponent: not just about bludgeoning him senseless (though this helps).

I think the effect number roll has a use within the RQ skill system, but due to consistency/simplicity concerns it has been ignored.


No it hasn't been ignored. Opposed rolls take into account different levels of success. It is perfectly possible for someone to move silently but still be spotted by an eagle-eyed guard. Both sides can succeed, but one side succeed more than the other. This is what the opposed rolls system is for.

So coming full circle, I am still wrestling with the RQ system. The issue I am tinkering with is the sweetspot issue. The fact is low skills of say 30% mean you have a 70% chance of not doing anything against a similar skilled opponent - which seems wrong, your are evenly matched in your incompetence. In D&D this would be 50/50. What seems necessary is that skills need to start higher, say at 65% to 80%, a la Heroquest,


And skills CAN start in this range. If you have the average character from earlier with 42% and put 30 points into their combat style, you'll emerge with a starting character of 72%. Its not difficult to get into the sweet spot range.

From here you need to bring in the levels of success things to enable the better (effect number?) rolls being able to take advantage of maneouvers to bring the opponent down.


I'm unsure what you're trying to articulate here. Can you be a little more specific?

At the moment I am tinkering with the Dragon Warriors system, where after you succeed in a hit, you then roll your weapon damage to see if you penetrate armour, if this succeeds you then do a fixed level of damage. I like this system as it allows your characters to be a little more robust than currently occurs in MRQ2 - as you can take 3'ish hits before you go down.


RQ has always aimed to simulate real-world combat. Some people don't like the brutality of it, and that's fine. What you could do is double the Hit Points per location if you prefer a more cinematic style. That will certainly make the characters more resistant to damage but won't harm the underlying combat mechanics. Saves a lot of time in engineering something when what you're looking to do is enhance characters' survivability.

Just some Musings.


And thank you for them! I do hope that I've been able to address some of your issues constructively. I'd encourage you to look at the rules again - especially character creation - and try out a few different combat scenarios, using different CMs and tactics. Hopefully things will be more satisfying for you.
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barath said Jan 21, 2012 15:18:01
> I'd encourage you to look at the rules again - especially character creation - and try out a few different combat scenarios, using different CMs and tactics. Hopefully things will be more satisfying for you.

You did, I must however apologise for the whinging way the email can out - email does lack media richness, and I could construct the message a bit better...

> 40-50% is pretty low for starting characters. A character with STR 11 and DEX 11, from, say a Barbarian culture, and a Warrior profession will have a starting skill of 42%. This is before allocating any of the free skill points. Even with a 30% cap on free skill allocation, starting characters should therefore be able to get into the 60% - 70% range without too much difficulty.

I suppose I was just commenting that the d100 system (of rolling under a skill %) is not that suited to utilise skills in the low range 1 - 50%.

> The issue I take it, being with the manoeuvre rather than the fact that a dinner-plate size piece of metal won't withstand a massive, two-handed weapon swung with considerable force?

No, just that large weapons 'seem' to be overly effective (albeit they ARE but) and it will result players leaning to there use, drawing DM's to outfit there opponents more often with similar, and consequently the players will suffer from a higher death rate. I have not tested, but how would giving lower sized weapons an increase in the number of Combat Manoeuvers (CM) they get when facing larger, more cumbersome, weapons. ie A dagger (S) always gets a free choose location or Bleed, a Broadsword (M) is as is, a Greatsword (L) only gets 1 CM when its user gets 2 levels of success above the defender. I suppose I am keen to reduce the effectiveness of large weapons in some way.

Have ever tried to run Munch Rooms in MRQ2, Troll/Gt Troll Hvy Mace and Maul vs Trollkin Buckler/Short Spear...not good! But realistic I will grant you. Will the new rules have something equivalent to dodge, a la RQ3, as I did not note it was possible to dodge and strike in MRQ2.

> First, the CM gained when one side succeeds normally but other fails. We don't see this as being a problem. It models the fact that in failing you've left yourself exposed and vulnerable in some way, or made a mistake that the opposition can take advantage of. It might seem unfair, but in combat its life or death and trained combatants stand or fall on their ability to exploit their opponent's slightest weaknesses and failures far more than how hard they can hit.

I give you that, and RQ6 probably comes into its own when skill levels are above 95%, far better than RQ2/3 could ever handle it.

> But, combat also has to cater for very high skilled characters - those of >100%, and the RQ6 combat system does. Even highly skilled combatants should not find combats dragging on for hours. One of the reasons for this is the way the CMs and their availability is structured.

Yes I hope so. I do worry that CA's are SO beneficial, every man and his rubble runner will be seeking those spells to enhance Dex AND that one that adds CA's. I fear the Arms Race to enhance CA's.

> Ideally you limited the weapons characters can access in the early stages but I was not going to do anything overt. I don't understand what you're saying here about limiting weapons...

Just limiting choice of players away from high damage weapons, so as to allow them to face trollkin, ducks et al in there early careers allowing them to build up skills. As it is now there is no point putting in low size creatures as they cannot parry the larger weapons, making them just walking fillet steak.

> This isn't strictly true though. If you successfully parry and the opponent critically succeeds, he'll generate a CM which can be used to negate or hinder the parrying character.

Yes, but it would seem to me (the good mini-maxer I am) that characters should always have or develop skills in a 'Large' weapon/shield to be able to fight the best. I would suggest this is something that would be better if if was not encouraged by the system. Large weapons and CA's seem, to me, to be _too_ beneficial. But the Combat IS dangerous.

> But combats, really, are not so black and white. Its about advantage, exploiting it, and out-thinking and out-manoeuvering the opponent: not just about bludgeoning him senseless (though this helps).

If a character starts his career with a Greatsword (L & 2d8) & Staff sling (2d6) will he ever need anything else? I suggest this, as a possible issue, but I do not have the GM experience to back it up. It would be better, I feel, to provide some sort of hinderence to these large & higher damage weapons. Mini-maxers should always go for these it would seem.

>> I think the effect number roll has a use within the RQ skill system, but due to consistency/simplicity concerns it has been ignored.
> No it hasn't been ignored. Opposed rolls take into account different levels of success. It is perfectly possible for someone to move silently but still be spotted by an eagle-eyed guard. Both sides can succeed, but one side succeed more than the other. This is what the opposed rolls system is for.

Philosophically, rolling under a skill provides a success (using a skill) or a fail (using a skill) resolution, with the opposed rolls providing a grading to success when you succeed in your skill roll. The D&D system, the higher roll + bonus wins, provides two successes but one winner - with a roll of 1 being consider the fail/fumble. I mention it as this form of resolution may be of use in the system. It does not work for combat but it might work (better) for other skill resolutions.

>> From here you need to bring in the levels of success things to enable the better (effect number?) rolls being able to take advantage of maneouvers to bring the opponent down.
>I'm unsure what you're trying to articulate here. Can you be a little more specific?

It was 'meant' to suggest more breakdowns in the Levels of Success Table. ie have
Fail
Low success (Skill to Skill/2
High Success (Skill/2 to Skill/5
Special (Skill/5)
Critical (Skill/20)
rather than just fail/succeed/critical
But this will simply add too much complexity...

In any case your idea of the simply doubling of location hit points will probably suit the combat style I am chasing for my group, thanks for that and your other comments.

Cheers

Sean

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SergioMascarenhas said Jan 21, 2012 15:37:11
> I suppose I was just commenting that the d100 system (of rolling under a skill %) is not that suited to utilise skills in the low range 1 - 50%.

I guess this is more a perception issue than anything else. Who is in the 1 - 50% range? Farmboys, scholars, people living in peaceful societies with no combat experience. This is not the range for combat-oriented player characters.

I would love to see a table with the main character types (fighters, magic users, etc.), the main NPC types (people you find around but that don't turn into an adventurer) and skill ranges, indicating how the different PC/NPC types perform on average in combat / magic / social skills / professional skills. Such a table would work as a guideline, giving an idea of how the characters compare to the people they can find around them.
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BruceMason said Jan 21, 2012 16:10:59
I would love to see a table with the main character types (fighters, magic users, etc.), the main NPC types (people you find around but that don't turn into an adventurer) and skill ranges, indicating how the different PC/NPC types perform on average in combat / magic / social skills / professional skills. Such a table would work as a guideline, giving an idea of how the characters compare to the people they can find around them.


I seem to recall that RQII has a table of skill breakdowns. I forget the exact terms but it was something like:

1-25%: novice/incompetent
26-50%: apprentice, basic competence
51-75%: adept: expert, professional
76-100%: master, leading professional

From that you could probably extrapolate that a baker is around 70% in craft baking while a master baker is around 90%. An apprentice baker is likely to be around 40% while a novice would probably still be at there base score (probably around 20-25%). You probably don't need to know much more than that about most NPC bakers.

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lawrence.whitaker said Jan 21, 2012 17:01:29
You did, I must however apologise for the whinging way the email can out - email does lack media richness, and I could construct the message a bit better...


We really do value people’s opinions. It helps us explain and illustrate certain nuances that might have escaped you, and it also helps us, as designers, understand where there might be clarity or ambiguity issues. So you email is very helpful, and there’s no need for you to apologise!

I suppose I was just commenting that the d100 system (of rolling under a skill %) is not that suited to utilise skills in the low range 1 - 50%.


This depends entirely on the task at hand. The % of the skill reflects its use in a ‘standard’ situation: one where time is constrained, outcome of major importance and so on. In some cases it isn’t necessary to even roll the skill; in others the skill value is modified to account for additional pressures. The RQ6 rules will have a lot of guidance around this.

No, just that large weapons 'seem' to be overly effective (albeit they ARE but) and it will result players leaning to there use, drawing DM's to outfit there opponents more often with similar, and consequently the players will suffer from a higher death rate. I have not tested, but how would giving lower sized weapons an increase in the number of Combat Manoeuvers (CM) they get when facing larger, more cumbersome, weapons. ie A dagger (S) always gets a free choose location or Bleed, a Broadsword (M) is as is, a Greatsword (L) only gets 1 CM when its user gets 2 levels of success above the defender. I suppose I am keen to reduce the effectiveness of large weapons in some way.


No, this isn’t a realistic way of representing CMs. A weapon, regardless of size, is a tool, nothing more. A CM is generated through the way the tool is used: in other words, the CM is based on the user, not the tool. Granting additional CMs based on weapons will lead to CM inflation - and a little later on you express fear of Combat Action inflation – well, the same thing would happen here. Plus, RQ isn’t just about humans. What about a giant that wields a greatsword that, in its hands, is about the size of a dagger? Would that now qualify for an additional CM? I’m sure that wouldn’t go down too well with players…!

Large weapons certainly give an edge in their ability to inflict large amounts of damage and parry smaller weapons, but they do have their disadvantages. First of all, there is no substitute for a decent shield, like a target or heater, for absorbing damage (and its an extra, off-hand weapon in its own right). Second, 2H weapons cannot parry missile weapons – and a bunch of archers lobbing arrows at 2H weapon users have a HUGE advantage: the 2H weapon users have to either evade, which will limit what they can do next, or risk outrageous fortune. OTOH, a character with a broadsword and shield can parry and block very effectively, close, and fillet the archers.

I think your problem with 2H weapons is primarily down to their damage rating and relative size. Look beyond those two elements and read the combat rules carefully. You’ll see that we’ve made shields and single-handed weapon combinations very good, very effective choices. 2H weapons are by no means uber-weapons. In fact, none of the characters in any of my games use them. They quickly worked out that a shield is a life-saver.

Have ever tried to run Munch Rooms in MRQ2, Troll/Gt Troll Hvy Mace and Maul vs Trollkin Buckler/Short Spear...not good! But realistic I will grant you. Will the new rules have something equivalent to dodge, a la RQ3, as I did not note it was possible to dodge and strike in MRQ2.


No, there’s nothing similar to dodge, but there are some new CMs and techniques that are far more effective.

Yes I hope so. I do worry that CA's are SO beneficial, every man and his rubble runner will be seeking those spells to enhance Dex AND that one that adds CA's. I fear the Arms Race to enhance CA's.


The best CMs to use in combat are those that reduce/remove an opponent’s CAs. Choose Location and Max Damage might seem the obvious choices, but those that put CAs beyond use are arguably far more effective. Both you and your players should experiment with these and then you’ll find that there are mechanisms for handling potential CA inflation.

Just limiting choice of players away from high damage weapons, so as to allow them to face trollkin, ducks et al in there early careers allowing them to build up skills. As it is now there is no point putting in low size creatures as they cannot parry the larger weapons, making them just walking fillet steak.


Its completely unrealistic to limit what weapons a character can choose just because they do more damage. Creating artificial limits in this way breaks the RQ spirit. Weapons are simply tools. Its up to both GM and players to learn how to use the available tools to their best effect – and RQ provides you with lots of options. Why not try it out and not tell your players… Go back to the Munchrooms, let the characters arm themselves with greatswords and great axes, and arm the trollkin with slings and bows. Ensure there’s lots of fungi around to break-up charges. Then start the fight. You, as the GM, use the rules and CM combinations and see how the characters fare. Have the trollkin fire and move. Have them surround the characters. Have them use their numbers. If there’s a REAL killer in RQ, its being overwhelmed by an enemy. Any character who is outnumbered by foes, irrespective of skill %, weapons or number of CAs, is going to be in a great deal of trouble.

it would seem to me (the good mini-maxer I am) that characters should always have or develop skills in a 'Large' weapon/shield to be able to fight the best. I would suggest this is something that would be better if if was not encouraged by the system. Large weapons and CA's seem, to me, to be _too_ beneficial. But the Combat IS dangerous.


Hopefully I’ve illustrated that this isn’t the case. Smaller weapons have their own advantages and judicious use of tactics more than compensate for any advantages larger weapons might have.

If a character starts his career with a Greatsword (L & 2d8) & Staff sling (2d6) will he ever need anything else? I suggest this, as a possible issue, but I do not have the GM experience to back it up. It would be better, I feel, to provide some sort of hinderence to these large & higher damage weapons. Mini-maxers should always go for these it would seem.


Once he’s faced an ambush with a handful of archers, found he can’t parry, been pinned-down, and possibly pin-cushioned, he might feel differently about only carrying a greatsword. When his greatsword fails to inflict its full damage potential because its been parried by a heater and the opponent then Pins his weapon preventing him from using it, he may wish he’d had an off-hand weapon to retaliate with quickly…

It was 'meant' to suggest more breakdowns in the Levels of Success Table. ie have
Fail
Low success (Skill to Skill/2
High Success (Skill/2 to Skill/5
Special (Skill/5)
Critical (Skill/20)
rather than just fail/succeed/critical
But this will simply add too much complexity...


Not only complexity, it would require a fundamental overhaul of the entire combat and skill systems and, really, they don’t need it. I think that with a little more experience of using the combat system, testing out different options, and really putting the characters through the wringer, you’ll find its not necessary.

In any case your idea of the simply doubling of location hit points will probably suit the combat style I am chasing for my group, thanks for that and your other comments.


And you should do, for your game, whatever you need to create a particular atmosphere. There are all sorts of little tricks you can use to create a particular flavour of combat and I’m sure you’ll find the right set to suit what you need to do.
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PeteNash said Jan 21, 2012 22:35:52
I think Loz and co have covered all relevant points, the combat system is actually fairly well balanced. More experimentation with many of the things Loz mentions (with the possible addition of weapon reach) will reveal that every weapon has its own inherent disadvantages in the right tactical circumstance.

But there's one issue I'd just like to expand upon:

it would seem to me (the good mini-maxer I am) that characters should always have or develop skills in a 'Large' weapon/shield to be able to fight the best. I would suggest this is something that would be better if if was not encouraged by the system. Large weapons and CA's seem, to me, to be _too_ beneficial. But the Combat IS dangerous.

and

If a character starts his career with a Greatsword (L & 2d8) & Staff sling (2d6) will he ever need anything else? I suggest this, as a possible issue, but I do not have the GM experience to back it up. It would be better, I feel, to provide some sort of hinderence to these large & higher damage weapons. Mini-maxers should always go for these it would seem.

If we take a step away from traditional fantasy and apply your thoughts to the modern world, we would end up observing that an M16A4 or an L115A3 are top of the line firearms. These are also weapons which are (potentially) lethal with a single shot. So why doesn't everybody from village policemen to farmers with a rat problem carry them around 24/7?

Well they're heavy and cumbersome. They are hard to use in confining situations. They cannot be carried about subtly. They difficult to get hold of unless you live in the right country or work as a professional merc or soldier. They cost a lot. They require licenses to permit ownership, and no matter what, legal or no, they will cause fear, distrust and intimidation when carried in public.

Whilst we have social rules about weapon ownership and use in the modern world, these simply follow on from similar cultural rules from our earliest history. For example, carrying a weapon (any weapon) within the city of Rome was forbidden during the Republic. Officially only when the legions mustered or when the city itself was threatened were privately owned arms removed from their storage chests.

But I am digressing. If you ran an RPG set in Washington DC 2012, would you as a GM allow the PCs to be toting M16's? How about anti-personnel grenades? Realistically such weapons are available to someone with the right contacts. If thus far your answer is yes, where is your limit? Browning M2s, 40mm Grenade Machine Guns, Javelin Missiles? If I recall in Aftermath there are even rules for tac-nukes - the ultimate mini-maxer weapon.

The point I'm trying to make is not just that some weapons have social availability and consequence issues, but ultimately it is the Game Master's responsibility to tailor combat for his campaign. Just because the rules have damage dice for a nuke it doesn't mean you should let your players have one.

So try to look at MRQ2 as a tool set which provides a flexible base to permit different play styles, and feel free to tinker with it to your heart's content.
[Last edited Jan 21, 2012 22:50:11]
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Kevin said Jan 22, 2012 12:33:14
Something that might be interesting to try with opposed rolls where both opponents have low % scores is something similar to what is done with skills over 100% but in reverse. So you could raise the higher opponents score to 100% and raise the score of the lower opponent by a like amount. That would certainly reduce the whiff factor of two opponents with low scores facing off against each other.

I've never done it myself but it could be worth playtesting.
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SergioMascarenhas said Jan 22, 2012 13:23:20
Well, I suppose the best way to handle this in RQ6 would be to trade CAs for higher skill rolls, maybe with some diminishing returns rule associated with the trade-off.
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BruceMason said Jan 22, 2012 14:00:32
@Kevin.

That's essentially the route taken by Nephilim, one of the outliers of the BRP family. That game used the resistance table for pretty much everything so if you had an opposed skill roll you would divide each party's skill by 5 and compare it on the resistance table. It has some advantages but never really took off. It is more abstract than the default system in BRP where, for example, two failures are a sign of two people flailing around relatively.

The whiff factor in RQII (e.g. two novices with skills of 30%) is actually rather short-lived. Assuming 2 or 3 CAs each then with, say 5 CAs in a round, you're pretty much guaranteed that one of them will either hit and get a CM or parry and get a CM in the first round. Once you get a CM such as trip or disarm it's basically fight over. It should take take less than 5 minutes of real time to resolve such a fight.

The thing is that in RQII, starting PCs are usually around 70% in the core skills so if you have a skill of 30% it's because you really are meant to be poor at it. So a baker being ambushed by a troll is probably going to have 25% in hitting the troll with his cudgel. If anything that's probably a bit generous. You really don't expect the baker to be able to land a meaningful blow apart from a stroke of luck.
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SergioMascarenhas said Jan 22, 2012 14:39:40
> The whiff factor in RQII (e.g. two novices with skills of 30%) is actually rather short-lived. Assuming 2 or 3 CAs each then with, say 5 CAs in a round, you're pretty much guaranteed that one of them will either hit and get a CM or parry and get a CM in the first round. Once you get a CM such as trip or disarm it's basically fight over. It should take take less than 5 minutes of real time to resolve such a fight. <

That's exactly what I had in mind. If you have two characters with skill 30% and 2 CAs, why not handle the situation with a single roll made of 30% * 2 = 60%? This cuts on meaningless and boring dice rolls.

I would say that the limit is that the trade-off between skill % and CAs should not take things above the 100% threshold. In other words,If the skill of one of the oponents is 50% or above, the CAs for higher skills ruling doesn't apply.

> The thing is that in RQII, starting PCs are usually around 70% in the core skills so if you have a skill of 30% it's because you really are meant to be poor at it. So a baker being ambushed by a troll is probably going to have 25% in hitting the troll with his cudgel. If anything that's probably a bit generous. You really don't expect the baker to be able to land a meaningful blow apart from a stroke of luck. <

Veru true.
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PaoloGuccione said Jan 23, 2012 14:59:51
To add to what Pete already said, the consequences of using two-handed wapons are not just social. Barring the greatsword (and I mean the claymore, as the Landsknecht greatsword cannot be put in a scabbard), no two-handed weapon can be stored in a scabbard or hung to your belt. Spearmen carried their weapons on their shoulders most of the time. And you know what? This is clumsy, and fatiguing. Try and enter a dungeon with a long spear or a poleaxe (6-7 feet) in your hands, and see if you can move and fight freely like you do on a battlefield.

If you, as the GM, enforce the correct physical penalties for wandering around with these powerful tools of war, you will see that they will become less popular in a very short time.
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RudyBoe said Jan 23, 2012 18:18:23
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WilliamWerts said Oct 04, 2012 23:01:02
I have never restricted players to buying their initial basic equipment. They have gotten this far and for some reason they don't have any equipment, just money. Especially the Comnbat Stye, I give them the weapons they know in the style. All rpg games seem to set it up as either the character had everything stolen but his money or he's been in an occupation but barely has any equipment or money. Destitude. I also have players commit to their first special effect. I disagree that after the player states he's swinging his sword as he rides past his enemy and then can choose to impale and disarm.
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bluefenix42 said Oct 04, 2012 23:26:55
All rpg games seem to set it up as either the character had everything stolen but his money or he's been in an occupation but barely has any equipment or money.


I disagree with this. I treat the starting money in Runequest as the total value of what the character has managed to save up, buy, steal, inherit, or otherwise acquire in their life so far. At character creation, I encourage players to spend most or all of that money, and to include things like the house they live in, tools for their craft, fine clothing, jewelry, and other non-adventuring items, especially if they started off rich or as non-adventurers. I do not treat those objects as being purchased on the day the plot starts. I assume that the player character slowly accumulated those objects over the last several years.
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AlbanDeRostolan said Oct 05, 2012 12:17:51
Maybe one or both of the following houserules may sound good to you ?

First, you might consider that a failed melee attack roll does not necessarily means the attack is a miss (only fumble will), but that it is poorly executed. In other words, it will only do minimum damage if it lands. That will make combat more interesting for characters with low skills.

Note that a failed parry will block such an attack...

Second, you might consider giving a CM to a character that got the higher roll when success levels are equal, and an extra CM when success levels are different.
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