[Runequest] Acid and Dagger Damage

Bjørn Are Stølen stolenbjorn at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 16 05:32:20 EST 2010

After doing test-cutting I would not say that damage in rune quest is ridicuously lethal, it's just got some glitches. Here are my tips on how to fix things:
A: Tip from a fellow subscriber: Drop damage bonuses unless you've learned Martial Arts as a skill
B: (Inspired by A) Reduce Damage bounus dices.
C: (Inspired by A) Drop the martial arts-skill alltogether(all weapon-skills are martial, it's only in old times people believed that eastern MA was any better than weastern), but grant "damage-bonus" to skills exceeding 90%
D: Tip from a fellow subscriber: Make weapons designed for armor piercing split damage; one bit that can only be used to penentrate armor, so a dagger like the stiletto could do 1d3 damage but have AP-value of -say 5.
E: Introduce armor for clothing, let everybody that wear ordinary clothes have 1ap, let anybody wearing padded clothes, european medieval style have 2-4 ap.

From: mason.bruce at gmail.com
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 09:05:31 +0000
To: runequest at rpgreview.net
Subject: Re: [Runequest] Acid and Dagger Damage

On 14 December 2010 08:38, Nikk Effingham <nikk.effingham at gmail.com> wrote:


>How best can I match this information with the
>many reports I've heard of people being stabbed repeatedly, yet walking
>out of the hospital the next day with superficial wounds?

Break away from the RQ ethos where a single attack roll represents a
single blow. So rolling 5 damage might represent three smaller cuts to
the same location. And a roll of no damage that penetrates armour, or
a miss, might still represent a foe being cut a tiny bit that doesn’t
really debilitate them.

This runs the risk of black being portrayed as white. Given that at heart RQ is a game not an accurate simulation of reality then stating in the game that missed attacks may still do damage but not enough damage to actually matter will lead to players saying "huh?" It was to break away from this type of sophistry ("hit points aren't really hit points they're actually a measure of luck and skill so a 10th level barbarian being hit by an axe for 7 damage was actually just made a bit more tired by getting out of the way while the 1st level woodsman standing next to him was cut in two by 7 damage from an axe.) Generally speaking, once a game starts giving ludicrous results (you can't hit a normal person with a dagger without breaking their arm) then you either accept it as a wrinkle and get on with it or you revise the game. Trying to explain it away through sophistry is a slippery slope. 

In my opinion RQ3 is ludicrously lethal and that lethality makes for a poor game. I know I fixed it in all my years of running it through the application of large amounts of GM fudge. 

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