[Runequest] Drastically simplifying RuneQuest

Alban de ROSTOLAN aluban at yahoo.fr
Mon Oct 15 19:19:39 EST 2012

Do players know their initial characteristics and skills ?
In my view, numbers are not only statistics, but also a mean through which players can have a better understanding of their character.
Even if I understand the desire to hide numbers and percentiles, I think it would be good for players to have a brief (character) sheet, summarizing their best skills and characteristics.

Of course, no-one is able to do its own character sheet, but everyone is able to summarize its strengths and weaknesses.

 De : Peter Maranci <pmaranci at gmail.com>
À : RuneQuest Rules <runequest at rpgreview.net> 
Envoyé le : Lundi 15 octobre 2012 4h58
Objet : [Runequest] Drastically simplifying RuneQuest

I recently posted an article on my website about sheetless roleplaying - that is, running a roleplaying campaign in which the players don't interact with the game system directly, but instead play their characters as people rather than statistics while the gamemaster handles all the numbers. It's a pretty advanced and hardcore approach; it does seem to carry a greater risk of psychological breakdown for some players, but the games are incredibly intense.

Any system can theoretically be used for a sheetless game, but RuneQuest is particularly well-suited to it because it maps so well to the real world. You don't want to have to justify limitations on action which are based solely on issues of system design or game balance during such a campaign - it ruins the suspension of disbelief! And with RuneQuest, such limitations are rare or nonexistent.

That said, since the gamemaster handles ALL the paperwork in a sheetless campaign (including the paperwork which would be handled by players in a normal game), it helps a lot to reduce that paperwork as much as possible. I've tried to do this by using a greatly simplified version of the RuneQuest system for such games. Since the players aren't aware of mechanics, and in fact are encouraged NOT to think about the game in terms of numbers and rules, the GM has much more latitude for handling issues by fiat and off-the-cuff decisions - as long as they can do so in a reasonable-seeming manner, so as not to strike a false note for the players.

Skills are collapsed into the seven skill categories, with the possibility of breakouts for skills which are defined during character creation or play as being exceptionally bad or good. A single combat skill replaces the usual attack/parry skills (for all weapons); players get a compensatory degree of control over their actions in combat by intelligent use (or not) of terrain and other tactics, along with a set of five differing approaches to combat which can be changed every "round": all-out attack (attack skill doubled, no defensive actions possible), aggressive stance (50% bonus to attack chance, defensive chance halved), neutral stance (obvious), defensive stance (attack skill halved, defensive skill +50%), and all-out defense (defense skill doubled, no attack possible).

Just curious, has anyone else experimented with anything like this? Here's a link to the full article. I'm pretty sure that I'll continue to revise and expand it now and then. If anyone has feedback on it, I'd quite interested to hear it!



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/

Runequest mailing list
Runequest at rpgreview.net
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://rpgreview.net/pipermail/runequest_rpgreview.net/attachments/20121015/482eef7b/attachment.html>

More information about the Runequest mailing list