[Runequest] Time and Skill Increases in RuneQuest III

Peter Maranci pmaranci at gmail.com
Sat May 1 03:34:39 EST 2010

The thing is, so far we've been looking at it purely from the player's
perspective. But that makes for lousy roleplaying.

How would the *characters* perceive the issue?

I'm by no means a fan of Glorantha (quite the reverse), but this
conversation smacks of Godlearnerism. Perhaps we should try putting in the
characters terms. Do they represent their abilities by numbers? Do they say
"I want to increase my DEX from 16 to 19, so I need to work out an increase
of three points at a training time of 150 hours"? (my numbers may be off, I
haven't been able to play RQ for years). I'd say no. There can be a desire
to improve, but in most worlds characters should not be thinking of
themselves as a collection of numbers - particularly when it comes to POW,
which represents the soul.

The one problem is that there IS an easy way for a character to measure
their own POW: cast 1-point spells until they fall unconscious, maintaining
a running count until they pass out. Dangerous, but do-able.

I don't know...it seems to me that the enormous cynicism behind "training"
POW should itself invalidate the approach. It's like trying to tickle
yourself; it can't be done, because a fundamental part of the process is the
genuine belief that your life is in danger.

That gives me an idea for an interesting scenario, in which a group trains
POW by targeting unsuspecting individuals with near-fatal attacks. The
problem is, what's in it for them? How could they make money from it? They
can't arrange a deal with the trainee beforehand, because that would
invalidate the training. And if they make the attack without
pre-arrangement, and THEN try to collect from the trainee, what are the odds
that they'd get paid?

Perhaps such a group could act for other reasons than money. Or...perhaps a
parent might purchase such training for their children. I'd suspect that
there would be dangers involved, however. Not only might the trainee die, or
seriously hurt or kill a trainer, but they might also develop a long-term
cynicism that could impair or reduce their ability to ever make POW gains
again. In their most pitched battles, they might find themselves wondering
if the experience was real, or just another POW-training trick.


On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 11:13 AM, Mark Ahnen <ahnen at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  'Logically', it's more barbaric than dog-fighting and poses no threat to
> the participants...except the captured victim.
> It's not worthy of an 'experience' check.
> Your powergaming may vary.
> ------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 09:14:47 -0500
> From: styopa1 at gmail.com
> To: runequest at rpgreview.net
> Subject: Re: [Runequest] Time and Skill Increases in RuneQuest III
> On Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 7:24 PM, Wayne Shaw <shaw at caprica.com> wrote:
> At 07:59 AM 4/27/2010, you wrote:
> On Tue, 2010-04-27 at 13:02 +0800, Gary Sturgess wrote:
> > On 27 April 2010 02:16, Phil Hibbs <snarks at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > If you want to apply the training mechanic to POW, then there's
> > > already a system for training stats. The rules state you can't train
> > > POW, but you can ignore that if you want. I wouldn't want to replace
> > > "you can't train POW" with "POW is ridiculously easy to train if you
> > > have a Disrupt spell".
> >
> The training stats suggestion is the right yardstick for difficulty, but
> I must wonder whether it is plausible that one's
> spiritual/divine/essence connection is something that is trained or
> rather experienced through epiphany.
> Maybe POW training could consist of going out into the desert and
> fasting for forty days and forty nights :)
> When I allowed it, I considered it a guided medatation process.
> I'm a rules-lawyer player myself, so I tend to want to close every
> loophole.
> As a player, personally I'd capture a trollkin or somesuch, perhaps
> something unintelligent but aggressive.
> Then I'd set up a "fight club", with my well-armored and skilled friends
> spectating - "I want you to hit me, as hard as you can"...as needed, I'd
> cast disrupt until I succeeded.  Fight over, I step out if I'm still
> conscious.  I wouldn't kill the target (on purpose).
> Sure, you can just deny it as a DM, but logically that it's not a stressful
> situation, nor that as a character I wouldn't feel 'at risk'.
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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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