[Runequest] Runequest II

Styopa styopa1 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 6 01:11:55 EST 2010


On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 6:17 PM, Simon Phipp <soltakss at yahoo.com> wrote:

>
> > But I'm definitely interested to hear your relatively high
> > opinion of MRQ2. Particlarly interesting to me because MRQ always
> > seemed to make quite an effort to extend to high level play, a
> > traditional weakness of RQ2 especially - do you think MRQ2 would make
> > for a good high level game?
>
> No version of RQ has been very good for high level play.
>

Partly it's the essential nature of the beast, and the 'flip side' of the
reason some of us like RQ generally.
1) RQ is famous for its realistic combat systems - rather than rationalizing
"hittability" and "damageability" into tables or single rolls, RQ breaks
this into discrete pieces.  This means that it's VERY easy to modify or
insert mechanics to simulate what you want/expect, whether it's the behavior
of a certain weapon/armor, or the results of a type of attack.  In fact, I
find it almost too easy/interesting to tweak this and that, and regularly
have to step back and ask - OK, this is more accurate, but is it FUN?  Does
it slow down an already-slow combat process for some minutia of realism that
nobody but me cares about?
2) the flip side of this is that "high level" play is inherently less
realistic, meaning the system strains because what we're doing is basically
more fanciful.  A swings a sword at B, B parries, and part or all of the
damage is deflected.  Simple, realistic.  But if A is a 12m-tall giant, ANY
non-glancing contact with B (parried or not) would in reality simply
kill/cripple B instantly.  Realistic, but not very fun.  Even if we
postulate that B has some sort of 'magic' defenses preventing injury, a
solid hit (not a "special", just a normal good strike) would send B caroming
away into the distance like a Titelist off a tee.  Realistic, but again, not
terribly fun when the PC's are typically B.

For another example: ever try to figure out the effects of a breath weapon
in RQ?  *Incredibly* lethal in real terms - when you consider that the area
damage should rightly be applied to multiple hit locations (or, if large
enough, ALL) simultaneously?  It's the sort of issue that only comes up in
high level play.

My experience at higher levels of play is that everyone gets quite a bit
more brittle - the amounts of damage being thrown around (in proportion to
the tiny, squishy, vulnerable bit of hit points) mean that if a parry is
missed or a defense overcome - even though this is exceedingly rare - the
result is catastrophic for the target.  Luck, ironically, seemingly becomes
dominant in the results.

-Steve
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