[Runequest] RQ6 Combat Styles

David Cake dave at difference.com.au
Thu May 16 07:47:32 EST 2013

On 13/05/2013, at 9:41 PM, lev at rpgreview.net wrote:

> ...
>> Which seem to be integral to RQ6 (and do look like a good idea).  The
>> problem is that, though there's a lot of waffle about Combat Styles,
>> there's almost no hard data - just two examples in sidebars.

	There is a page or so of discussion on page 421, as well as the material in Combat chapter. I don't know what you want that isn't in there - the GM notes make it pretty clear that combat styles are intended to be setting and culture specific, and the description of styles on pg 132 makes it clear that it also differs a great deal depending on how important combat is in your game. 
Ss sure, a few more examples might be useful, but all they'd do is demonstrate that you can take a wide variety of approaches depending on your game. 
>>  Has anyone
>> been down this sort of road and produced any combat styles I could
>> beg/borrow/steal - preferably for a European Early Medieval world (think
>> Western Europe, AD800 - 1100) - please??
> The quick and easy method would be to use weapon categories (e.g., swords,
> axe/mace, pole arms, etc), which is similar to RQ3.

	This would more or less be ignoring the intent of Combat Styles, IMO. A single Combat style should cover all the weapon skill roles necessary for a particular style of fighting at a minimum - so you shouldn't need to have 'Sword style' and 'Shield Style' to fight with a sword and shield. It also fits very poorly with the Combat Styles Trait rules - the traits reflect a typical tactical use, so are seldom a good fit for a single weapon type. 
	The only reason I can think of for doing things this way is RQ3 grognarsism/back compatibility. 

> A more complex method would be to add these with combinations (e.g., /w
> Shield).

	This gives you a very combat focussed game, I'd probably make it a bit broader myself. But it is clearly a method that you can use (it is basically what the rules call 'very exclusive' combat styles), and fits well for some styles of game (the rules suggest gladiator based games as an example). 
> And even more complex would be in military formations (e.g., bow as
> skirmisher, pole arm in formation, etc).

I'd not here you don't add a tactical context as a way of restricting use of weapons further, you add a tactical context to indicate a context that your combat style is optimised for (and a bonus trait to reflect that in the rules)

I think specific weapon combination styles work ok for a very combat focussed game, but mostly you want a bundle of things that potentially provides all the combat needs for a character, as long as that character is acting in a specific career/cultural role. For example, it is specifically encouraged for combat styles to include both melee and ranged weapons in the one style. 

You have a few options along these lines, usually each getting of getting a bundle of stuff that covers 
- cult based combat styles (works well, for example, for a Glorantha game) 
eg Humakti warrior - all swords, dagger, shield - trait: formation fighting or the more exotic Krarshti Assassin - dagger, crossbow, shortsword, net, thrown net, pratzim, teeth of Krarsht - trait: Assassination. 
- career based 
Warrior - swords, axes, maces, shields trait: formation fighting   Hunter - bow, spear, dagger, sling trait: skirmishing  
- culture + career based
Civilised Warrior - sword, 2h sword, crossbow, dagger trait: Mounted
- a specific military load out, often based on a historical one (eg hoplite, or legionary). Should be pretty straight forward to get from a given Osprey style historical reference. 
Eg Musketeer - rapier and dagger, pistol, musket, trait:swashbuckling
hoplite - spear and shield, shortsword, thrown spear trait:formation fighting or Shield wall. 

If you really want a 'quick and dirty' method, I'd go for making some standard combat style construction rules so everyone is 'balanced'. 
Eg - let each character define a combat style that has one Trait from the list on pg 35, and includes either - a two handed weapon, one handed plus shield, or two weapons. Allow them to add one ranged weapon, and one other weapon of any kind they like.
Your characters ban be effectively defining something about your world as they do this, because they presumably come from some community that uses weapons that way. Or they could be just deciding how they fight as individuals (Heroic Archeologist - pistol and bullwhip trait:swashbuckling - defines a character, but isn't intended to say anything about archeologists, or even heroic archeologists, in general). 

But if you don't go quick and dirty, you can use combat styles as a great way to define something about your game world, because you are saying quite specific things about the culture, especially its military. There is a big difference between a culture where the warriors have the trait formation fighting, and one where they have intimidating shout. 

> If you're really pressed for time go for the quick and easy method.

	I think what was originally being asked for was a 
> In the longer run (and something that RQ6 really needs to work on) is what
> sort of modifiers are applied to acting out of style.

	I think this is already covered. 
> For example, if you use broad weapon categories, the simplest method, pole
> arms can be put in their own category. Long pointy or hacking things.
> If you add "in formation" to the style however, that restricts the skill.
> So either one receives a bonus for when their in the narrower frame, or a
> negative if they are in the broader frame.

	The rules DO address this. I don't see a problem here at all. 
	The rules for broad weapon categories already have fairly comprehensive rules for how you deal with them ('use of weapons not covered by a combat style' rules on pg 134), and 'in formation' is a trait that grants bonuses -  so if you use a weapon out of formation, you don't get the trait bonus, and that is the only negative for not using it in that 'frame'. Same with Mounted, etc. 
	The rules nowhere suggest that typical uses of a weapon should restrict a style to being used in that way, and makes it explicit that they can grant bonuses when used in that way.  
> This is a significant core issue in the game to me which seems just a
> little hand-wavy as writ.

	I think you are creating a problem that doesn't exist, by positing an interpretation of combat styles nowhere suggested within the rules. 


More information about the Runequest mailing list