[Runequest] Character Improvement (was Re: Divine Intervention in RuneQuest)

strobus at sympatico.ca strobus at sympatico.ca
Wed Oct 21 00:25:37 EST 2009

Hi Lev,


I've often thought of doing this myself, but I have one reservation (mainly when it comes to combat skills):


With the system as presented in the book, there is less likelihood of a skill increasing the higher it gets. This is built into the system.


When you override the system and give the checks out on GM fiat, you take that automatic balance out and have to compensate for it yourself by reducing the number of skill increases you give to more highly skilled characters. You appear to acheive this by not awarding skill checks to easy combats. That makes sense.


But as a GM I find that I ramp up the combat difficulty as the players get better. When they first started on their quest, they might have fought off six conventional bandits and they thought that was pretty tough. Last week they fought off the Monkey God with his maddening gaze and 50 monkey minions. If I don't ramp up the combats, they will surely feel under-challenged. If I do ramp up the combats, they WILL feel challened, and because of this they also feel justified in asking for a skill check. So if I increase the combat difficulty as the players get better, wouldn't the rate of skill improvement remain constant as the PCs get better because they are always facing increasingly difficult challenges, instead of decreasing?


What has your experience been with this - how have you dealt with it?


All the best,

> From: lev at rpgreview.net
> To: runequest at rpgreview.net
> Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 19:46:08 +1100
> Subject: Re: [Runequest] Character Improvement (was Re: Divine Intervention in RuneQuest)
> On Mon, 2009-10-19 at 23:01 +0100, Roger Benham wrote:
> > I like the idea of this, given how players can rapidly become a bunch
> > of tick hunters anyway. What are the actual mechanics of it. Lev? If
> > the 123% Runelord faces off against the 27% trollkin, how does it go
> > from there?
> Hi Roger, 
> Well, the short answer it's handwaved according to GM fiat.
> The long answer, it is determined by the degree of danger and
> desperation, the importance to the plot, and the degree of involvement
> of the players.
> Assuming that the trollkin in the example above doesn't just turn and
> run away (a very trollkin thing to do under the circumstances), it is
> almost certain they would get a tick, as their life is great peril. The
> Runelord on the other hand would not - unless the trollkin, by good
> fortune, critted the Runelord three times in quick succession without
> the RL landing a hit - then the situation would be very different
> indeed. Hopefully the player would be rapt with concern as well.
> Overwhelming odds can make a difference as well; usually the single RL
> facing a single trollkin would not be a problem. If he is facing ten
> such trollkin may be a different matter.
> Out of combat or even danger situations I give players ticks for Search,
> World Lore (yes, I know this isn't technically allowed), Fast Talk etc
> if their success in said action was important in advancing the plot. For
> example the character's search a room, one of them finds a rusty old key
> and said key opens the chest in the crypt that contains the McGuffin.
> The character (and probably the player!) will have a significant memory
> of searching the room, and thus will be rewarded with a tick.
> Does all that make sense?
> All the best,
> Lev
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