[Runequest] Highlevel combat

Dale Long dtl at internode.on.net
Mon Nov 8 23:58:52 EST 2010

On 8/11/2010 10:51 PM, Bruce Mason wrote:
> On 8 November 2010 12:09, Phil Hibbs <snarks at gmail.com 
> <mailto:snarks at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     For my player, it was a way to
>     use up that POW without going down the "magic user" route.
> Straw man? Perhaps. But so's saying that Hero Points mean "er god did it."

I use Hero points (Action Points, Luck Points, Fate Points, etc...) as a 
meta-rule that sits outside the mechanics of the world being simulated, 
and at a story-telling level.

This helps our heroes, our Indiana's, and so forth, survive a story that 
should statistically have killed them (even with good roleplaying, good 
tactics (do they need to roll their Tactics skill or INT role or do the 
tactics belong to the story telling players?) and smart decisions). Good 
role playing can describe a "Hero save" result in a reasonable way to 
fit the circumstances.

Heroes in historical, or recounted stories of past events always 
survive, because noone would tell a saga of the 99% who failed. 
Admittedly, the intelligent actions of a smart hero, budding companions 
obtained via charismatic influence and smattering of luck helps against 
the odds. Survivable heroism is hindsight in this respect (compared to 
an RPG starting at the beginning of a story).

On the story telling side, Eragon could not fight so well to begin with 
but survived due to graceful saves, Luke Skywalker made it through. They 
would be boring stories if we had to re-read/watch every ten minutes due 
to a statistically bad dice roll. (Even if the help from the Force 
treated as POW is "the will of the force", it is still a percentile luck 

The trick is a balance; having Hero points to save the day (in a story 
telling kind of way), but not take the edge of danger away from play. 
Naturally, the choice for this type of play depends on the game style 
preferences of players and the GM.

If we take purely simulationist roleplaying, we would also need to 
consider removing the smart input from players, the good results derived 
from role-playing and other similar factors. These elements also operate 
at the same "story telling" level as Hero points, but Hero points do it 
in a measured mechanical way, that can also be used to complement those 

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