[Runequest] MRQ II - Combat

Sean Foster ebaninth at iinet.net.au
Sun Aug 21 02:37:50 EST 2011

Just GM'd my 1st MRQ2 game on Thursday.  All had been RQ2 players 20-30
years ago.  The three players fought 4 scout dragonewts and then 3 sets of
three trollkin.  Sartar Companion & Jorthan's Rescue White Dwarf 14. 


They each had about 65-70% in their weapon skills and their opponents 50%. I
made plenty of mistakes, but this particular forum will help tremendously,
next session.


Preliminary comments I would make from this session are:


1)      I suggested they all should have 13 Cha and be able to get 3CA
(Character Action).  Seems too obvious.they agreed.  Can anybody remember 3e
D&D Haste Spell.

2)      I await the sorcerer realising about Enhance DEX and that 'enhance'
CA spell I have seen somewhere.

3)      Then maybe he will realise about the 3x spell casting a round, and
use Diminish Dex, Dull Blade etc etc

4)      The fights went quickly, monsters died if not in the first round the
second.  5 second rounds are too short. The Dragonewts had 2 CA's and
afterwards none of my monsters will have 2CA's again.

5)      The Trollkin 3CA's and low AP's. They would miss a parry and lose a
limb, but each group in turn were butchered. Both players and monsters had
1-3 AP in locations.

6)      I noted that non-tool/weapon using creatures do not have a dodge
skill so they can never 'parry'- does an animal Combat Style, say claw,
provide a Parry?  The issue is, say, I get a bear to rush the party of 9
CA's.  Its 2 CA's get counted with 2 Parry's and then it would get butcherd
with 7CA + bonus manoeuvres in the round.

7)      Sorcerers' just flick thru for the Grimoire with the most and
suitable spells, my PC choose Esvular and St Volanc.  Should it be that you
can only choose 1 'cult' Grimoire ever? Then ALL others are just a 4 spell

8)      Start skills seem to be quite high - it would seem than MRQ2 sweet
spot is 60-90%, where as RQ2 was 50-70%, for Combat Skills - OK maybe TOO
early to say this.

9)      Common Magic was suggested (and accepted) and chosen to always be
60+POW+Cha.  Trouble with this is that Persistence can only be 30+POWx2 at
setup.  Learn befuddle and cast it 3x a round requiring an Opposed test, the
caster 'holding' a 30% bonus.  The players are yet to realise this.

10)   Spending +30% Prior Experience on Cbt Style/Common
Magic/Resistance/Persistence/Evade/Grimoire seems to be no brainer.

11)   1 player crit'd a failed parry, and took off a trollkin head - Ignore
Armour, Choose Location, Max Damage - can you choose 2 crit manoeuvres with
a crit?  This is why we all like the realism of RQ, but at the end of the
day, the GM will make many more potential strikes against the players than
the players will make against the monsters - albeit you have hero points.


At the end of the first evening, all I can say is the combats went fast and
were brutal.  This was good for pacing the roleplaying and action.  Will
continue to Play As Written.


Next session opponents will have the slightly higher skilled opponents, more
AP and far better tactics.will see.  


My gut feeling is we will eventually return to RQ2 1 Attack 1 Parry
(skipping CA altogether).


After next session may consider giving free extra parries (once out of CA's)
at -20%, -30%, -40% etc etc & a Combat Style 'Dodge' (Different from Evade)
to non-tool/weapon using creatures.





From: runequest-bounces at rpgreview.net
[mailto:runequest-bounces at rpgreview.net] On Behalf Of grogthing
Sent: Saturday, 20 August 2011 10:33 PM
To: RuneQuest Rules
Subject: Re: [Runequest] MRQ II - Combat


I think your interpretation is wrong .. trying to justify the broken CA


The problem is basing actions directly off of the attribute, without
considering training.


Your treating agility/speed as a one separate skill ... and you fighting
skill percentage as just accuracy.


You may not have natural quickness but after years of training .. in a
particular skill ... develop very fast reflexes in that skill.


Before I started martial arts .... my hand eye coordination was poor ... my
reflexes slow.


After years of practice, I have very quick hands. At striking and blocking.
But I still suck at playing guitar. I am not faster in everything I do, so
it is not my general agility attribute going up, but my overall martial arts
strike skill including its speed that has gone up.


Attributes are natural ability .. training then adds to natural ability ...
you add together to get total skill % and overall effectiveness.


A person with skill 80% is a better total fighter than a 60%. Faster and
more skilled. 


They may have started both at a base level of ability based on natural
aptitude, one of them may have had 2 more points in agility at the beginning
of training, which gave him a distinct advantage in the beginning, but after
years of training .. the naturally slower guy puts in more effort training
to get to 80% ... then he is better than the naturally faster guy trained
only to 60% .. the skill percentage is total aptitude ... too much weight
has been given in MRQII to attribute, ignoring training.


they could have done something like ca = base of 1 + 1 for every 5 agility
over 10 + 1 for every full 25% of skill .. calculate for each combat skill.


That would take into effect greater training.


Just my take.




From: Bruce Mason <mason.bruce at gmail.com>
To: RuneQuest Rules <runequest at rpgreview.net>
Sent: Saturday, August 20, 2011 7:55 AM
Subject: Re: [Runequest] MRQ II - Combat

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

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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