[Runequest] MRQ II - Combat

Bruce Mason mason.bruce at gmail.com
Sat Aug 20 22:55:30 EST 2011

I think what this shows is that you are slow and not too bright then you
really ought not to be on a battlefield. If you're constantly being  beaten
down in training by people who don't seem to be as skilful as you, then work
on your fitness because that's your weakness. It's saying that if you don't
have a certain minimum level of physical ability then you are at a
disadvantage and it takes a lot of skill to overcome that.

Another way to look at it is this:
If your skill is 60% then 3 of out of every 5 CAs are effective. If your
skill is 80% then 4 out of every 5 CAs are effective. In a situation where
you have 4 CAs per round and your skill is 60% then you can expect 2 or 3 of
them to work each round. If your skill is 80% and you have 3 CAs then 2 or 3
of them will be effective. On average the difference is not as extreme as
you might think.

Look also at 120% vs 100%. Due to the over 100% rule that equates to 80 vs
80% and 4 CAs is 3 or 4 successes. 100% with 3 CAs is close to guaranteed 3
CAs. In this case the skill effect is probably greater.

I'm not personally a fan of variable CAs but I don't think there's anything
wrong with the "math" or that somewhere out there there is "better math".

On 20 August 2011 12:51, Trevor Ellis <trevor.ellis at pobox.com> wrote:

> 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.
> 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.
> 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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