[Runequest] RQ6 questions... again

Lawrence Whitaker lawrence.whitaker at gmail.com
Sun Jan 27 14:34:01 EST 2013

As the co-author of the rules, its perhaps better to put *me* on the spot,

My understanding is that RQ6 moves away from specific weapon skills and
> instead has "fighting styles".  Is that correct?

Yes it is.

>    If so, how does that work out?  This is an unclear question, I know.
>  But I mean how it works out in several senses:
> 1.  When making characters, did players right away clearly see what they
> were getting when they chose fighting styles?  Or does it take a little
> practice for players to see how the various styles will work out "in the
> field"?

A 'Combat Style' is a collection of weapons someone is likely to have
trained in as a combination. The simplest is 'Sword and Shield', but this
could also encompass 'Shield and Sling', or 'Shield and Spear'. You may
even have all four combined in the same style. What this does is save on
skill allocation for one thing. Instead of having to dedicate skill points
to several different weapons, one skill allocation covers several. It also
means when the Combat Style advances, all the weapons it encompasses
advance too.

Some Combat Styles also have a 'trait'. These traits lend a certain
advantage depending on the weapons and style the trait supports. This makes
a Combat Style more than just a weapon collective.

> 2.  When making a character, do players feel that they have to make a
> choice between character types they want and fighting styles their party
> wants?  (You know, like when joining a D&D game and the party asks you to
> take a cleric.)  Or does this never come up?

This is really up to you as the GM to define. One of the GM's
responsibilities is to decided what styles are likely for characters and to
guide the players in making the right choices. You might have a barbarian
warrior with a Spear and Shield style. For another character from, say, a
civilised background, you might therefore want to give 'Sword and Bow', so
there's a ranged style in the group. GMs have to do a certain amount of
leg-work here, but it results in consistent weapon choices amongst the
players plus diversity if that's wished. Styles are meant to be flexible.

> 3.  When in melee, do different players feel equally happy with their
> chosen fighting styles?

I'm not sure I understand this question. Can you expand a little on the

> 4.  I read that, depending on fighting style, a character might have
> either two or three Action Points.

No, this isn't correct. Action Points are based on the INT and DEX
characteristics, not the combat style chosen.

>  If that is so, then how does that work out in melee combat?  Do your
> players find the difference between 2 and 3 action points to be
> significant?

Yes, the difference between 2 and 3 AP is significant because 1 AP grants
an extra offensive or defensive action. However, its not difficult to
attain 3 AP and you can, quite easily, house-rule that all characters start
with 3 AP (or 2, if you want to make choices simpler for younger players).

> And, when judging what sorts of antagonists to throw at the party, does
> the GM need to think carefully about how many action points the bad guys
> will have, or is it not such a big deal in your planning?

Its is important to consider the APs of opponents, but its only one factor.
Numbers of opponents are crucial too, as are weapon skills, special
abilities and so forth. RQ6 offers several pages of guidance on structuring
encounters to attain balance.

>    And David, I will certainly understand if you don't feel inclined to
> answer any or all parts of this email.  Really.
>    Sincerely,

I'm sure David and others will contribute answers, but I hope mine go some
way towards answering your questions.

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