[Runequest] RQIII Sorcery

Leon Kirshtein leonbk at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 12 05:19:02 EST 2011

You are trying to optimize a very broken Sorcery system. I would say drop it as a whole and either use Sandy's Sorcery or something else altogether.


--- On Mon, 7/11/11, Peter Maranci <pmaranci at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Peter Maranci <pmaranci at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Runequest] RQIII Sorcery
To: "RuneQuest Rules" <runequest at rpgreview.net>
Date: Monday, July 11, 2011, 3:15 PM

Okay, a few corrections and updates.

If the INTx5 relearning roll is greater than INTx5, the spell isn't relearned and the sorcerer must try again. They still lose all accumulated spell skill if they fumbled that roll, and must try again as well. On the plus side, they have nothing more to fear when trying to relearn that spell, since they have nothing more to lose.

I'm thinking that the relearning period should be one full day of reading. But the INTx5 roll is required, with -1 to effective INT for each full season which has passed since the spell was forgotten. This means that after 18-20 seasons, most mages would have effectively forgotten the spell permanently, and would have to learn it from their book as if it were a new spell. This would also provide an incentive for sorcerers to study and re-learn their "off" spells every year or two.

Due to the very high likelihood of substantial skill loss, I think that this mechanism doesn't discourage spell matrix creation. Hmm...perhaps there should be some sort of rule for relearning a spell directly from a matrix, i.e. copying the knowledge from a previously-known spell matrix back into your head. This could negate the elapsed-time penalty, possibly. And what about trying to transcribe the knowledge of a previously-unknown sorcery spell from a matrix into a book? That's an interesting possibility! It should be harder than relearning a spell that you already knew from a matrix, of course, with a substantial chance of screwing up.

Obviously any spell which is relearned cannot start below base percentage, no matter how bad the roll.


On Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 2:43 PM, Peter Maranci <pmaranci at gmail.com> wrote:

First, a quick thanks to everyone who suggested starting scenarios for my new RQ group! I ended up using the Garhound contests from Sun County. So far they've worked very well, although I discovered that there was something missing from the "Wall of Death" contest: the chance for falling off the wall. I made it DEX x 5, with any damage taken that strike rank being temporarily subtracted from DEX.

The session went really well, and the players definitely enjoyed the system and the contests - so much so that we're playing next Saturday, instead of having a two-week interval.

But now I have a new question. One of the PCs is a sorcerer, using standard RQIII rules, and I've come up with some issues that aren't covered in the rules.

Unlike spirit magicians, sorcerers can learn their spells from books. I presume that they can also record the knowledge of the spells that they know IN a book. But if a sorcerer forgets a spell, and later decides to relearn it from their grimoire, how long does it take them to relearn it? It doesn't seem right to have them go through the same process as learning it from a book for the first time. Since I like to have a bit of unpredictability on these issues, I was thinking of requiring a successful INT x 5 roll for each interval spent studying. Does a day seem reasonable? If it was any less, I'd worry that they'd do a lot of spell-switching. Perhaps it should be a week. What do you think? Obviously if they read and fail the relearning roll the first time, they can always try again after another reading interval.

And if a sorcerer relearns a spell, do they learn it at the same skill percentage it was at when forgotten? I don't like that idea - it seems to be asking for min-maxing - but I also don't want to have them start at their base percentage, either! That just doesn't feel right. Perhaps the mechanism should depend on the time elapsed. For example, they could lose 1% from the spell skill for each full week that passed since they forgot it, plus an additional 1d6 just to discourage abuse. 

Or perhaps it should be a function of INT. When they re-learn the spell, they must make a percentile roll based on their INTx5. For each INT-increment they roll, they lose 1d6 skill points in the spell skill. For example, if Cirur the Sage has an INT of 17, and re-learns a spell, he would roll against his INTx5 chance of 85%. A fumble (100) would mean that all learned skill with the spell was lost, and it would start again at the base percentage. A failure (86-99) would mean that he loses 6d6 skill points in the spell skill. Simple success at the x5 level (69-85) means a loss of 5d6 points of skill, at the x4 level (52-68) means -4d6, etc. If they crit the roll, they relearn the spell with no loss of skill. Ceremony skill would certainly NOT apply to this roll!

Perhaps it would be better to mix the two up, using the INT system but adding a penalty to the INTx5 roll for each interval since they forgot the spell. The only drawback to that method is that it requires more bookkeeping, depending on the interval. What would be reasonable? A month? A year? What do you think?


Peter Maranci - pmaranci at gmail.com
Pete's RuneQuest & Roleplaying! http://www.runequest.org/rq.htm

The Diary of A Simple Man: http://bobquasit.livejournal.com/

Peter Maranci - pmaranci at gmail.com
Pete's RuneQuest & Roleplaying! http://www.runequest.org/rq.htm

The Diary of A Simple Man: http://bobquasit.livejournal.com/

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