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Some things that bug me out in Runequest 6th

posted Apr 01, 2013 14:36:55 by vitorrossi
Hi guys, probably someone has already asked those questions before, but, since I've been unable to find the answers, here they come:
1st - Strength is almost useless: Size gives the same bonus to damage and also gives bonus to hit points. Using the current table, there is no way to raise the damage bonus higher than +1d2, and so everyone that wishes to make a combat-effective warrior will put points on size until they get +1d2 to damage and then forget it altogether. This don't bug out anyone? Have someone came with a solution? Maybe bring back the strength and dexterity requisites to wield certain weapons, transform the damage bonus in a static bonus, like D&D (+1 for each 2 or 3 points of strength past 10), maybe we can use a formula like (Strength x2 + Size)/3 to base the bonus on, I don't know. Maybe it is realistic the way the rules are right now, but it looks weird in game, with Strength 8 warriors wielding Greatswords like they were sticks. Also, Strength should influence in the Strike Rank penalty to initiative.

2nd - Slings and staff-slings: the damage is too high! I know that they were great weapons at their time, but they should not have the same damage as a long bow! (Worst yet, higher than a heavy crossbow, in the case of the staff-sling!). Also, slings have higher range than longbows. Maybe they need some limitation, like armour having double its value against sling bullets? And what about the range of the staff-sling? It hits like a siege weapon, yet, with less range than a thrown rock?

3rd and last - Well... I forgot my question... But I will come back with it later.

Thanks, and sorry for my broken english
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10 replies
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PeteNash said Apr 01, 2013 15:27:18
I hope I can help answer or explain some of your bugbears.

1st Question about Strength - I'm not sure what you are talking about here. As written the rules allow humans to reach a Damage Bonus of +1d6 (STR 18+SIZ18 = 36 on the Damage Modifier table). Yes, SIZ has a dual value when it comes to Attributes, but STR grants you better base skill values. As for STR and DEX requirements for weapons, I do a lot of historical combat re-enactment, and I have to say that there has been no man or woman I've met who couldn't wield a historically accurate sword, spear, mace and so on. Weapons are inherently designed so that everyone can use them with ease. If only you could take a look at my wife's sword collection, and she loves fighting longsword!

2nd Question about Slings. You are welcome to your opinion about how slings should scale to bows, but I'm afraid the research - both historical and physics - does not support your views. Sling stones and bullets almost universally carry more kinetic energy than arrows, and preserve that energy for a greater distance due to less drag. If you ever wish to refer to ancient records, there are plenty of examples of sling stones killing warriors, even through helmets, and the Romans even created new medical instruments to extract bullets since they could penetrate flesh.

As for the staff sling having less range than a thrown rock, that was a transcription error I believe, which should have been fixed in the errata - which is free to download from this site.

Much of RQ6 is based on in-depth research and not popular myth. However, if it doesn't work for you then feel free to change it. Take a look at the second paragraph on page 6 of the book, and you'll see we even encourage you to do so. :)
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DanTrue said Apr 01, 2013 15:36:21
1) Strength affects the ability to carry equipment, as you can carry 2xSTR ENC before suffering consequences. Since a greatsword or a broadsword + heater shield has ENC 4, it would eat 25% of the availible ENC of a STR 8 warrior. That does not leave out much room for armour (even leather armour would end up on 7 ENC when worn, 14 when carried), sleeping gear, spare food etc.
But, by all means if it really does annoy you that much, bringing back the STR/DEX requirements might be the best solution.. they were allright, but I recall finding them too restrictive to really like them.

2) I have no experience myself with slings, but we've had this discussion on the MRQII board multiple times. As I recall there was posted both some historical sources on the use of slings and some sources on modern reenactments of them. If I recall correctly the range of slings are comparable to longbow, and so is the damage done. They were widely used in the Antique era, specifically because their range was better than contemporary bows, so they could kill off lightly armoured archers from safety. Their waning star was more from the fact that bows can more easily be used en-masse.

The staff sling makes perfect sense to be that powerful - they are large (up to 2 meters long) and heavy. They were used well into the age of gunpowder to lop grenades over walls, so their projectiles are in the ½-1 kg range. With projectiles like that, the damage done to the target is immense.

But, one thing you forget: Longbows add the damage modifier to the shot. Longbows have a Force of H, so they will less easily be parried and they have 5 metres more short range, which means you can use Choose Location (very important!) 5 metres further than a sling. - and, for most RPGs range from 5-30 metres are mostly all that really matter. Although very circumstantial, Impale is often counted as a better SE than Stun Location because it will have a higher chance of penetrating armour.

And why should armour have a better value against slings? Except for very late plate armour (1460+) most armour were more susceptible to bludgeoning attack - which is why you often see plaques of armoured knights using their longswords as hammers, as their points have a negligible chance of penetrating each other's armour. A 100g stone or lead pellet that comes at full force won't penetrate any armour - but it will break bones behind it, cause internal bleeding or knock the target out.

One thing that puzzles me, is why the sling has an ENC of 3? Is this because it includes ammunition, where Longbows have separate arrow ENC - Pete, Loz?

3) Post when you recall.

Welcome to the forums, to RQ6 and your English is in no way broken. Feel free to post any further questions.

- Dan
[Last edited Apr 01, 2013 15:37:59]
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WoeRie said Apr 01, 2013 17:32:21
DanTrue said:
One thing that puzzles me, is why the sling has an ENC of 3? Is this because it includes ammunition, where Longbows have separate arrow ENC - Pete, Loz?


I think you mixed load time with ENC. The sling has 0 ENC (even in the Version without errata). A load time of 3 is fine for the sling.
[Last edited Apr 01, 2013 17:32:43]
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DanTrue said Apr 01, 2013 17:35:30
I think you mixed load time with ENC. The sling has 0 ENC (even in the Version without errata). A load time of 3 is fine for the sling.


Wauw, silly me.
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PeteNash said Apr 01, 2013 17:59:21
...and thus has a slower firing rate than bows too. Thus there is differential (and balance) between the two weapons.

By the way Dan, was it you who was asking about my take on Bartimaeus djinni?
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DanTrue said Apr 01, 2013 18:13:03
By the way Dan, was it you who was asking about my take on Bartimaeus djinni?


It was :) I'd love to see anything you've written up. I love those books.

- Dan
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lawrence.whitaker said Apr 01, 2013 19:21:08
Strength is almost useless...


STR is also a key component in five standard skills (SIZ is only a component in one) and in every combat style.

Like every other characteristic, STR has its part to play. From a mini-max perspective, this might not be so obvious, but it is integral to a variety of different character elements.
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PeteNash said Apr 01, 2013 20:14:37
"It was :) I'd love to see anything you've written up. I love those books."

Take a look at this month's Fenix (if you get it in Denmark), they just published the article.
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Chris said Apr 01, 2013 21:10:43
STR is not useless

Strength helps you punch a guard in the face and smash his nose-guard up into his skull - thus rendering him brain dead or comatose...or just dead! You then leap over his stinking carcass and plough knee caps first into his fellow yellow piss streaked guardy girly friends, all the time screaming like a demon from the cold north sea! Your spittle flying this way and that, and...

..and...

Sorry...too much Cornwell
"This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!"
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DanTrue said Apr 02, 2013 06:36:13
Take a look at this month's Fenix (if you get it in Denmark), they just published the article.


Hm, I don't think we do. Can't seem to find an online version. I'll take a look at my local friendly-rpg store the next time I'm there, they might have it or know where to get it.

... Although, that be d&d land... *shivers*

- Dan
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