[Runequest] hellion

Marko Perälä perala at student.uef.fi
Mon Sep 24 00:34:41 EST 2012

> Problem #1: Hellions. According to the rules, their natural energy drain
> attack takes place on SR1 and hits automatically. There's nothing in the
> description that says that an overcome roll or resistance roll is involved;
> they expend their MP, and the target loses 1d10 points of Fatigue per MP
> expended.

> I'm getting a lot of rules-lawyering, arguments that there should be a
> resistance roll because the sorcery Drain spell was mentioned in the
> Hellion write-up (something like "they can learn sorcery spells, but don't
> learn Drain for obvious reasons"). The effect is a natural one, does not
> take time to cast the way that the Drain spell does, and does 1d10 rather
> than 1d6 points of drain. If you've handled hellions in the past, how have
> you dealt with their attacks?

MP vs. MP-roll is default setting for spells. Hellions attack is not a spell, but it's natural attack. If resistance roll is not mentioned, then it's probably not supposed to happen.
It just shows the reason, why hellion's are feared so much.

Then there's the question of balance. Every time hellion spends MPs, it loses some of it's strength. If it had to also defeat target's MPs, <10 MPs hellion would be crippled - especially since it's MPs are also it's hit- and armor points. By using it's only attack, it would endanger itself for no gain. A creatures book Hellion as about 20 MP/AP/HP. That's about 19d10 fatigue points - average 104,5. That's good for making 3 armored guys to fall unconscious a respectable opponent. However if a hellion had to worry about MP vs. MP rolls, it could use only half of that (9d10, average 49,5 FP) while keeping rest of it's MPs to overcome. That's 2 armored guys at maybe 50% chance of overcoming. So, it could get maybe one guy to fall asleep - maybe. On my opinion that's not enough to justify a danger class III monster.

By the way, how does a standard hellion regain it's MPs? In Dorastor book there were a couple of hellions with sorcerous spell (Tapping spell and Immortality variant), but those were a non-standard examples.

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