[Runequest] MRQ II - Combat

Trevor Ellis trevor.ellis at pobox.com
Sat Aug 20 21:51:37 EST 2011


I love the concept of the MRQ II Combat rules - I just think that they got
the math a little wrong.  So, as Lawrence suggested, I tried it a few times.

Fast Fred (3 CA + all skills at 60%) vs Slow Sam (2 CA + all skills at 80%)
- each gets a +1 CA for the Shield, each has Longsword & Heater Shield, 1d4
db, and 3pt armour.  Fred won the Initiative.

ROUND 1

1.1 Fred attacks Sam Parries.  Fred rolls 03 critical Sam rolls 54 Success.
Fred's damage is blocked but his obvious choice for manoeuvre is Disarm
[this is 92% certain to succeed because Sam needs a critical from 80% to
beat the original attack roll].  Sam rolls 23 - he has dropped his sword.
Sam now has a problem - pick it up and receive two free hits whilst doing so
or continue to parry and receive 1 free hit. F=3CA S=2CA left.
1.2: Sam picks up and readies his sword  - Sam has no CA left. Fred is now
hoping for a critical in his next attacks (3 * 6%).  F=3CA S=0CA left.  
1.3: Fred attacks - 34% success.  5 damage (2 through) to Sam's left leg -
manoeuvre is Bleed Sam resist roll of 79% succeeds F=2CA S=0CA left.
1.4: Fred attacks - 56% success.  Manoeuvre Choose Location (left Leg) 7
damage (4 through) Sam is on the ground. Sam rolls 65% Resilience and stays
standing, but for stunned rolls 2 rounds in which he cannot attack CA. F=1CA
S=0CA left.
1.5: Fred attacks (0 CA left) - 87% fail.  F=0CA S=0CA left.

Note Sam has dropped his weapon, picked it up, has a leg on -1, and is
stunned (no attack) for 2 CA.  BTW  this is a heck of a lot to happen in 5
seconds. 

ROUND 2
2.1: Fred attacks & Sam parries - both fail so no effect.  F=3CA S=2CA left.
2.2:  Sam tries to heal his leg - 49% for 2 points.  F=3CA S=1CA left.
2.3:  Fred attacks & Sam parries - both succeed.  F=2CA S=0CA left.
2.4:  Fred attacks 37% Manoeuvre = Bleed - 7 pt damage to Sam's Chest (4
through). Sam 58% Resists. F=1CA S=0CA left.
2.5:  Fred attacks 57% Manoeuvre = Choose Location. 8 pt damage to Sam's
Chest (5 through).  F=0CA S=0CA left. Chest is negative Sam fails his
opposed Resilience 42% and so is unconscious.

I have run this combat 6 times Fred won 4 and Sam won 2.  Had it been a
group of 3 Freds vs a group of 3 Sams then, I believe, the Freds would win
EVERY time.  So, if offered a choice between "CA=3 + 60% in every skill" or
"CA=2 + 80% in every skill" I know which I'd choose.  Strangely, when I
tried a couple of combats with 2h Spear Fred seemed to do better when he
lost the Initiative roll.

IMO the problem is the all-or-nothing/sudden death nature. If both succeed
then absolutely nothing happens, if attack succeeds by one step or more then
it gets damage plus a manoeuvre.  With critical at 10% of skill this happens
more than RQ2.  Until Resilience etc is built up to a high-level the
manoeuvre outcome can be really dangerous. The first person to get a
one-step attack success will probably go on to win the fight - unless the
skill levels are really very, very different. 

It is the scale of the affect that I have problems with - try a RQ2 battle
with 60%/80% skills and only the 60% with a 1d4 damage bonus and you'll see
what I mean.

Unless anyone has MRQ II house rules with a better math.








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