[Runequest] High level RQ

David Cake dave at difference.com.au
Sun Nov 7 23:52:49 EST 2010

At 12:51 PM +1000 7/11/10, Andrew wrote:
>All the comments on high level play are pretty relevant. When all 
>the antagonists in a combat are over 100% it can often become a 
>stalemate of attack/parry. The best way our gaming group has found 
>to break the cycle is to have the parties use multiple attack 
>options: ie: fighters hacking away, but also casting high level 
>spells (pushed Multispell disruptions by multiple players can be 
>deadly if targetted at a single opponent), summoning of spirits, 
>elementals can also be an effective tactic if used in combination. 
>Even if a spirit is relatively weak, denying use of battlemagic 
>during Spirit combat can often make the difference.

	Yeah, high level combat could be quite interesting if they 
combined heavy use of Rune Magic, big spirits and elementals, clever 
tactical use of spirit magic, etc.
	But the big problem remained - hand to hand combat was the 
core of the game, still essential to it - and suddenly starts to 
become really dull. Magic, the better you are at it the more 
interesting it becomes, but oddly, in RQ after a certain point the 
better you are at combat the duller it becomes.

>Additionally, as PC's become more powerful, magic items and 
>powers/abilities start to creep into the game providing greater 
>flexibility still. Can be a tough balancing act as a DM, but 
>generally pretty worthwhile.

	Sure, and I enjoyed my high level RQ games, and a whole lot 
of cool interesting stuff happened. The issue is, I had to work to 
make it fun despite the system.

>As I've said bfore we use hybrid rules (AH RQ2 as a base, with parts 
>from the original Chaosium ruleset and all subsequent editions) and 
>house rules to address things such as breath weapons. The AH RQ had 
>a good system for Giants and large creature attacks as pointed out 
>>On Sat, 2010-11-06 at 03:29 +0800, David Cake wrote:
>>>         But the real problem with high level play for me was it often
>>>became about waiting for that 5% missed parry or that fumble. Round
>>>after round of hit parry hit parry hit parry was DULL.
>>Except it doesn't really last longer than several rounds (although that
>>can be a while in RQ)... A successful parry only protected to the extent
>>of the APs of the weapon and anything beyond was both applied to the
>>target plus it reduced the APs by an additional 1... and as you say, the
>>damage that was being thrown around by powerful PCs (Bladesharp IV,
>>+1d4-1d6 damage bonus, Truesword, Damage Boosting) tends to turn
>>parrying weapons - even those of iron one - into mush pretty quickly....

	Unless you play RQ3 rules not RQ2.
	I always thought sounds broke way to easily in RQ2, and 
apparently so did the the RQ3 writers - a parrying weapon takes 1 pt 
of damage if a blow gets through its APs in RQ3, so parrying weapons 
last a long time.
	While this does mean that high level combats might last a bit 
longer, I consider it a feature not a bug.
	Yes, blows would often overwhelm the hit points of the weapon 
(usually to then bounce harmlessly off the iron armour and Shield 4 
underneath), but weapons didn't shatter, certainly not quickly. It 
wasn't that uncommon to have a repair spell just in case as well.
	And, of course, as Stypoa says, there is Great Parry, which 
being available to Orlanthi was very commonly used. Humakti got 
access to Parry and/or Strongblade.
	Sure the amount of damage thrown around in high level play 
can be pretty bid (say, Truesworded 1H bastard sword, Bladesharp 4 
gets you 2d10 +2 +4 +1d6 gets you an average of 20-21 points), but it 
really isn't very high at all compared to the defenses available. A 
normal hoplite shield stops 18. A guy with iron armour and Shield 4 
is 20 points without even parrying, a Storm Bulls can Berserk quite 
survivably. Sure damage could get higher than that (especially if a 
Babeester Gor had Slash, or a Zorak Zorani had Crush and a 2d6 damage 
bonus) but it didn't very often. A lot of the time, you parried 
mostly to guard against specials/criticals or a lucky break, rather 
than because you were that worried about a normal strike.


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