[Runequest] Charms

Peter Maranci pmaranci at gmail.com
Sat Aug 1 01:44:46 EST 2009


I haven't done any work on my RQ site for a long time,  and I think it's
time to do something about that. So I'm going back to an idea I raised here
a LONG time ago: charms.

Charms generally add a small percentage to the chance of success with a
particular skill. There might also be charms which would add to Luck rolls,
or POW vs. POW rolls, or to multiple skills or entire skill categories (but
these would be very rare). What I'm wondering about right now is the method
by which charms are created. I'm basing the concept on real-world lucky
charms...except that in RQ, of course, charms really work.

Or maybe they DON'T always work. Perhaps charms should always be secretly
recorded by the GM, with their precise effect (or even if they work at all)
unknown to the player.

While it's possible that charms could be intentionally created through a
spell, I think this should be very rare; it takes all the fun and mystery
out of charms. Instead, charms should usually be created through successful
use of a skill (or, perhaps, ability) in a crisis situation. In other words,
if you have a critical success with a skill in a meaningful situation, there
should be a small chance that the object you use (if applicable) or some
other object on or near your person will become just a little bit more
lucky.

But the chance of charm creation can't be simply based on criticals. If it
is, then highly-skilled people would be loaded with charms; they'd be charm
*factories*. Charms would be as common as dirt, and about as interesting.
I'd like to work out a mechanism that increases the chance of LOW-skill
people to create charms.

How about this? When you attain a critical success, the GM secretly records
it. At the end of the week (as with POW gain rolls) he rolls to see if an
applicable object has become lucky. But the chance of a charm being created
is equal to (((100% minus the user's skill (unmodified by magic, but
including any category bonus)) divided by 5).

Example: a farmer is ploughing his fields when he unexpectedly encounters a
hungry wolf. Grabbing a rock, he throws it at the wolf. His Throw skill is
34%. He makes a successful critical hit to the head, crushing the wolf's
skull. There is now a (100-34=66) / 5 = 13% chance that at the end of the
week, the rock or some appropriate object that he is carrying on his person
will become lucky. The lucky object will add to his Throw skill when he uses
it, or invokes it (by rubbing it before throwing something) or has it on his
person.

How much should it add? I see two options.

1. It can be a variable amount, with the die determined when the object is
created (i.e. roll 1d4 or 1d6 each time the object is used, and add that to
the chance of success)

2. A standard amount, determined when the object is created. For versions of
RQ/BRP that use skill difficulties, the roll would be 1D6 for easy skills,
1d4 for average skills, and 1d3 or 1d2 for hard skills.

Questions:

Should fumbles have a chance to make an object unlucky, or to permanently
nullify a lucky charm?

Should charms work only for the person who "created" them? I think not...but
perhaps there should be a one-time chance to "attune" a lucky charm when you
aquire it, if you are not the creator. Would the standard attuning process
work for that? It should be based on luck, after all.

Should it be possible for an charm to become more lucky?

What do you think, sirs?

->Peter

-- 
Peter Maranci - pmaranci at gmail.com
Pete's RuneQuest & Roleplaying! http://www.runequest.org/rq.htm
The Diary of A Simple Man: http://bobquasit.livejournal.com/
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