[Runequest] Fire starting questions

Sven Lugar vikingjarl at gmail.com
Mon Dec 5 07:00:23 EST 2011

I do Mountain man ere re-enacting (1800-1840) in the whole 
buckskins,blackpowder thing. At most Mountain-Man Rondezvous there's a 
fire-starting competition using Flint& Steel, charcloth, & a little punk 
(ignitable material, not a disreputable youngster). My home club handles 
it in  a very typical manner We provide the punk so there's no soaked or 
cheater style material, the contestant brings their own flint, 
steel-striker & bit of charcloth or shelf fungus. After you finish 
shooting for score on the rifle trail & spear target, you come back to 
the Shooters shed where you're checked for authenticity of garb & can 
get one last point for fire-starting. Using Flint & steel the contestant 
has 90 seconds to get the punk aflame from the time of you first strike. 
Most people get a score under 40 seconds. Really goods ones I've seen in 
about 3 to 10 seconds. My usual score is in the teens nowadays.


On 12/3/2011 3:17 PM, steven mckenzie wrote:
> In the magical dnd world everything is a feat, and automatic, LOL
> In RQ/BRP I usually use a fine manipulation roll. When I did living 
> history to use flint and steel was harder than bowing, lol. Takes 
> about 5 minutes for those of use that were good, that is with dry 
> fluff etc. If damp well, I could never do it, but had some friends 
> that were good enuff that it took a few more minutes, we used cloaks 
> to protect from winds etc ( I have a race of nomadic elves that uses 
> large rug/tapestries to hide their fires and themselves  from being 
> seen.)
> In RQ/BRP I usually have "classes" or degrees ( using a modiefied 
> superworld system) (there was also IIRC a kinda interesting weather 
> system in an old dragon I used for ideas) to my weather and the PCs 
> needing various levels of success to succeed in various outdoorsy skills.
> Torches are wrapped in oil cloth so they go up fast, but  the smell is 
> strong and it alerts dungeon creatures.
> We have had players in combat holding torches etc, break their oil 
> jugs etc and catch fire, loose scrolls, suffer worse damage from the 
> effects of the fails than was given to them by the encounters. And we 
> even had someone do the stunt from princess Bride, and It actually worked!
> I have pcs that moved from dnd over to BRP/RQ change tactics because 
> of the ease of the dnd reality as compared to RQ.
> When we simulated dungeon/night fighting with torches (in living 
> histiory waht is now called LARP), depending how they are made cause 
> all sorts of problems. From smoke blinding people ( of if using 
> various alternte visions would cause havoc there as well), to sparks 
> causing problems, and of course a dropped torch may go out, or if 
> damaged cause problems on the ground making even MORE smoke. Lanterns 
> more often than not go out if dropped, causing humans to be blind 
> immediately etc especially in a dungeon (we haunted an abandoned 
> factory for whileand the connected sewers and did live stuff and 
> learned some stuff). smoke doesnt  always flow well and show patterns  
> of air movement , etc
> Stick with fire stick (matches, waxed are good, lol) and lighter 
> fluid, lol. Making sparks is easy with flint and steel, but getting it 
> to catch, well, takes lots of practise
> *From:* "royce at efn.org" <royce at efn.org>
> *To:* runequest at rpgreview.net
> *Sent:* Saturday, December 3, 2011 3:45 PM
> *Subject:* [Runequest] Fire starting questions
> Hi, Guys,
>   I'm a really lousy camper, but my characters all seem to be competent
> at making a camp fire, preparing a torch, and maintaining an oil lamp.
> So I have what might be simply commonsense questions.
> 1.  Given good camping conditions and the typical fantasy RPG fire
> starting kit (described vaguely, if at all, as flint & steel) how long
> does it take to start a fire, and then to make a camp fire?
>   Also, how bad do weather conditions have to be before our outdoorsy
> characters would despair of making a camp fire?
> 2.  Given a dungeon crawl and the typical fantasy RPG fire starting kit,
> how long does it take to light a torch or oil lamp?
>   Also, what factors, if any, would likely complicate matters?
> 3.  What is a medieval fire starting kit?  How does it work?  Would it be
> cool to have one, or should I stick with lighter fluid and charcoal
> briquettes?  :-)
> 4.  Any good RPG adventure stories about using fire in dungeons, castles,
> etc?
>   Many thanks ahead of time.
>   Sincerely,
> Asher
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