[Runequest] One-page intro to RQ?

Peter Maranci pmaranci at gmail.com
Wed Jan 23 15:57:26 EST 2013

Last weekend I ran a couple of one-shot introductory scenarios for
RuneQuest at the Arisia convention in Boston. Rather than supply
pregenerated characters as I have in the past, I made up customizable
character sheets with very simplified rules; my goal was to convey the
basic concepts behind RQ, without overwhelming new players.

I'm going to make some tweaks based on what I learned over the weekend, but
all in all it seems a very promising approach. The sheets were designed to
print two-sided and be folded pamphlet-style, with a cover that blurbs the
adventure, the inner left "page" giving a simplified version of the system,
the inner-right page a simplified character sheet, and the back cover a
brief explanation of the history of the system and its innovations, as well
as (of course) a link to my RQ webpage. The sheets were generally met with
a lot of interest, and I handed out a bunch of them at some of the panels I
did, too. Altogether I distributed about 30 of them.

Once I've adjusted them a bit, I'll probably post them to my site. They're
not totally self-contained, of course; you have to consult the GM for
information about specific weapons, armor, and magic items (I allowed each
player the equivalent of a +2 magic item of some kind, or alternatively a
10-point magic point matrix).

As for the simplification, I eliminated hit locations, some skills
(retaining the most necessary ones), most spells (keeping only some spirit
magic), Fatigue (of course), and quite a bit more. I kept all
characteristics, but rather than have them be rolled, players were allowed
to allot the numbers 12 through 18 between the stats, using each value
once. I color-coded STR, INT, DEX, and APP, and color-coded applicable
skills to match; each point above ten in the color-matched characteristic
added one point to all the matching skills.

As for the skills, players were given the following scores to allocate to
their skills (including combat skills): 80x3, 70x3, 60x3, 50x3, and 40x3.
All other skills were at 20%+. So they could, for example, have three
skills with a value of 80% (plus the appropriate characteristic bonus, if
any). The character creation process was relatively quick, much quicker
than the standard RQ character creation.

Combat was simplified into two actions per round, consisting of a choice of
attack, defense, spell-casting, and/or movement. I eliminated special
successes (retaining crits and fumbles) but that was a mistake; combat took
too long that way. Still, players seemed really impressed with the logic of
the system, and the opposed resolution roll in particular was easier to
explain than I had originally expected. I may have made some converts!

So has anyone else tried something like that?

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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