[Runequest] MRQ II - Combat

Pete Nash the.iqari at gmail.com
Sat Aug 20 16:04:36 EST 2011


> The problem isn't about it being on stats like HP and MP, the problem is
> that the granularity is so different. PCs are divided into the group that
> aren't so good, or the group that is half again as good - there is no in
> between.
>

I could argue the same thing about a big damage bonus which can turn some
PCs into near guaranteed one-hit limb choppers. Built into the system is a
fine balance between comparative weapon skill levels, whether you can
inflict a serious or major wound with a single blow, comparative weapon
sizes, hit points per location, and number of actions per round.

Huge important break points are a game design flaw. They don't work from
> either a gamist or simulalionist perspective - they aren't good for the
> gameplay, and they don't reflect reality particularly well, they are a game
> construct.
>

There are other similar break points throughout RQ. I hardly ever saw
warriors in RQ3 which didn't have at least a +1d4 damage bonus for example.
As for the simulationist perspective that is subjective. For me personally
they model a few r/w fighters I've sparred with who don't act very quickly
and can be swamped, but when they do launch a blow they are deadly accurate.

For whether they are good for gameplay, well I've had no problems in any of
the MRQ2 campaigns I've run or played in. Indeed I have been playing a
character since the pre-publication playtest period who has one CA less than
the rest of the party and is the main (and most effective) combat
specialist. Sometimes I don't manage to disable my opponent before he
overlaps me, but then armour, hero points and tactical support come into
play. If nothing else is adds an edge to combat. ;)

The flaw is that every character will want it. It is such a significant
> disadvantage not to have it. Even to non-combat characters,
>

That depends on your campaign and play style. I am currently running a game
set in Julian May's Pliocene Exile. Every character bar one has a negative
damage bonus, half have only 2 CA and all are pretty weedy HP wise. Do they
still face the occasional carnivorous pig or dire wolves? Yes, but the
majority of the game is socio-political or using their wits to overcome
problems.

It is worth noting that in RQ3, having a 3rd combat action was considered
> such an advantage that it was a 3 Point Divine Spell.
>

Yes, but there's a different balance in MRQ2. As Phill pointed out you can
potentially achieve 5 or 6 CAs with magic augmentation. How you handle that
challenge comes down to the GM - whether he limit access to certain spells,
tailor combat encounters so most opponents only have 2 CA, never gang up on
PCs, give warrior wannabes char gen advice, or even just ignore the rule and
impose a static number of CAs on everyone.

Personally I like it that a warrior in MRQ2 needs to now consider his
coordination, rather than just being big and strong - and gives a different
kind of advantage to those who wish to assign characteristics for a quick,
lithe physique instead. The system works fine for most people, but as always
YGMV. :)

Pete
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