[Runequest] Highlevel combat

Bruce Mason mason.bruce at gmail.com
Mon Nov 8 22:21:16 EST 2010

On 8 November 2010 10:25, Phil Hibbs <snarks at gmail.com> wrote:

> Bruce:
> > It was about a year after I started running
> > RQ3 that I banned strengthening and armoring enchantments and adopted
> > hero points instead. I felt much happier with that.
> Hm, I'm not sure I like Hero Points. It opens the question, "How did
> you pull that off?", to which the in-character answer is either, "er,
> lucky I guess", or "er, a God did it".

Well if a player can't narrate a last ditch attempt to block an attack or a
drawing on reserves of energy to press an attack or grabbing a shrub when
otherwise they would have been knocked over a cliff then that's up to them.
Strengthening enchantments have precisely one use: making it harder to kill
someone by physically damaging them and are right out of the D&D playbook of
rpg mechanics. They are a straightforward swap of POW for Hit Point and POW
is increased by going on adventures and casting spells at bad guys. It's the
equivalent of taking the most literal interpretation of Hit Points
increasing with level that you can physically imagine. It's as if someone
has come up with a really, really bad rationalisation for D&D.

These days I pretty much use Hero Points as suggested in MRQII. As dice
re-rolls, escaping death, desperate actions and to allow plot bending by
players. They thus become a generic mechanism which in part helps keep PCs
alive in extreme circumstances.

Personally I wouldn't let strengthening enchantments within a mile of
anything I ran. If for example someone to recreate the "filling your chest
with darkness to make you harder to kill" idea above (which is really neat
by the way) then in Gloranthan terms I reckon that's a pretty major
heroquest. Not a 1 POW enchantment.

> I'd rather characters could
> take the credit for their achievements, rather than having to be
> helped out by a deus-ex-machina. If you want to play a game where the
> characters are heroes overcoming outrageous odds, then in my opinion,
> magic is the way to go, not fudge. And if the player doesn't like
> fiddling around with spell durations and magic points, then getting
> some static or simple-to-use enchantments is ideal.
> Phil.
> --
> Don't you just hate self-referential sigs?
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