[Runequest] Fire starting questions

Sven Lugar vikingjarl at gmail.com
Mon Dec 5 08:01:22 EST 2011

When I do Viking Age re-enacting I use a type of shelf fungus that grows 
off the side of trees. We have a type up here in the Pacific Northwest 
Rain-Forest that is pretty darn close to the kinds in Scandinavia. It 
actually works better than char-cloth. Also the usual punk we supply is 
made from linen & you can make char-cloth from linen though cotton works 
better. Also Usnea, a lichen which grows world wide, works very well as 
a fire-starter when dried as well as its more commonly known medicinal 
properties. In discussions about what made up the "healing pack" during 
the original RQ development Usnea was included as a part by anyone with 
even a modicum of wilderness/survival/herbal knowledge. Even a city boy 
like Steve knew about it.


On 12/4/2011 12:18 PM, steven mckenzie wrote:
> cool, another re enacter, and great input, now we need to put this 
> into RQ/medieval style? terms,  punk could be "fluff", char cloth IIRC 
> is cotton?, can other material be used to create char cloth?
> there are quite a few videos and sites online that could help GMs get 
> ideas,  agreat site was a field and stream article "7 Ways to Light a 
> fire without a match" ( how primitive ARE Brillo pads?
> The indian pump is fascinating to me and also leads into thinking what 
> other primitive technology could be utilized in a gaming setting, such 
> as indoor plumbing LOL, which thne leads to
> issues of cultures and concepts in RQ
> *From:* Sven Lugar <vikingjarl at gmail.com>
> *To:* steven mckenzie <goldgrif at yahoo.com>; RuneQuest Rules 
> <runequest at rpgreview.net>
> *Sent:* Sunday, December 4, 2011 3:00 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [Runequest] Fire starting questions
> 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.
> Sköl,
> Sven
> 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" <mailto:royce at efn.org> <royce at efn.org> 
>> <mailto:royce at efn.org>
>> *To:* runequest at rpgreview.net <mailto: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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