runequest returns in 4th edition (as well as paranoia)

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runequest returns in 4th edition (as well as paranoia)

Postby -the black prince » Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:15 pm

Really pleased to see that Runequest is back - RPG for the sophisticated gamer ;) ;) ;) released by Mongoose Publishing in the UK. WHat other game allows you to take a duck or a baboon as a character?!

Absolutely delighted about this: always seemed a more realistic Rpg than D&D (though that's 3rd edition d&d I'm thinking about) and was dumped by GW back in the days when they were demolishing independent gaming stores. And with all the crap GW have been doling out, this seems well-placed to take some of my hard earned cash.

whoot!!!! :D :D

Looks like they've also got the licence for some old gw games: paranoia being one of them
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Re: runequest returns in 4th edition (as well as paranoia)

Postby mauleed » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:22 pm

Paranoia was a great game. I still have the original release in a box in my attic.

Edit: but didn't west end games make it?
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Re: runequest returns in 4th edition (as well as paranoia)

Postby WickerNipple » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:29 pm

West End originally made it but went bankrupt. Mongoose put the new edition out a couple of years ago.
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Re: runequest returns in 4th edition (as well as paranoia)

Postby -the black prince » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:36 pm

paranoia - i have some of the badges somewhere.

But guys - forget paranoia - runequest has been relaunched!!!! :D :D :D :D ;)
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Re: runequest returns in 4th edition (as well as paranoia)

Postby savaughn » Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:17 am

Obsessing about Runequest? You're a traitor, aren't you...
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Re: runequest returns in 4th edition (as well as paranoia)

Postby -The Fabulous Orcboy » Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:26 am

On-line gamer reviews of the Mongoose Runequest seems mixed, to say the least.

I also remember the RQ combat system as being rather involved, to say the last. Not so bad as but still very time-consuming.

But I'm intrigued enough to take another look
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Re: runequest returns in 4th edition (as well as paranoia)

Postby -the black prince » Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:19 pm

you know - i may be out of touch here as i haven't opened a d&d rulebook for about 23 years. But runequest was special for a couple of reasons.

One was the world: Glorantha, here - a fairly unique fantasy role play setting - the closest to tolkien's world as far as scope and detail around then. A mix of native american style Prax, to classical greece (Yemalti the Sun god) to roman empire style spreading regional power broker (red moon empire with their chaos tainted red moon goddess)

The other were the scenarios: which were more like campaign packs - very little hack and slash - with a lot more freedom for the gamer and the gm to make up thier own quests and adventures. Random review here
and more info here

Big rubble was the ruins of a vast classical world style city (think ancient rome) - Pavis was the small trading town that had grown up outside it.

Griffin Mountain was the best gaming experience i ever had in my rpg days - here's a quote from someone more knowledgeable than me:

Griffin Mountain was the largest game adventure ever published when it was first printed and it established a new state-of-the-art in roleplaying. It is a complete depiction of Balazar, a section of Glorantha just north of Dragon Pass and north-west of Prax. Unlike many source-books which offer worlds, Griffin Mountain goes into detail about the inhabitants (not just how many people live in what village), giving in depth views of their leaders, their lives, and their land. This is not a dungeon adventure. The book is aimed at an holistic, above-ground campaign. Almost all of the material can be adapted to a GM's own campaign, including weather charts, personalized encounters, found encounters, a merchant caravan, barbaric citadels, and two new cults, Foundchild and Cacodemon.

link to the full article here

The only gaming supplement that ever came close was Thieves World (link at the bottom)

Another reason was the system of character creation: which allowed a lot more freedom for character design. The character sheet had a long long list of skills (rough count 38 - ranging from climbing, first air, sense assassin - character sheet here). Weapon skills were all divided into attack and parry. All these were done in percentiles rather than using d20. The percentile system was quite a break through - the first game to use it, i think - and was copied by GW for their warhammer roleplay.
There were no classes of character: ie ranger, half elf fighter etc. Instead you chose a backgrounds - city, barbarian (including rhino rider, horse rider etc) etc - which then gave you basic boosts to a number of skills. Each time you sucessfully used a skill (is passed your 'sense assassin' role) then you could make a roll at the end of the game to learn from that experience. A sucessful role gave you an added d3 or d6 percentiles to your ability.
You could also chose to go and find a master to teach you in a certain skill - spending some of your hard earned cash - again allowing you to improve your % skill by d6.

Weapon skills were transferable: forexample skill with the bastard sword would carry on to short swords and great weapons etc.

WHen hit by someone you could choose to parry. Each weapon had a certain amount of hit points that they could absorb. It was quite possible to parry, have your sword broken by the troll with a gt axe - and still get killed by the remaining damage points.

One possible way of character advancement was by joining a cult. These cults have access to certain runes of power, and you start by becomming a lay member, then initiate (only when doing something for the cult - ie adventure - and when you have achieved a certain skilll in important skills - ie Storm Bull (barbarian berseker cult very anti chaos) - demanded a certain skill with weapons.) The most skilled and dedicated warriors can opt to try and become a rune lord or a rune priest. Rune priests gain more powers, but become pretty much tied to thier temple and cult. Rune lords remain more adverturing, but again with limited freedoms. This level was semi-retirement for characters. Although they could attempt to become a hero by going on a heroquest - which was performing some incredible feat (like herucles and his 12 tasks, or jason and the golden fleece; theseus killing the minotaur) which would then confer semi-divine status on a character.

I forget how the magic system worked exactly, but it was much less 'magical' than i remember d&d - and felt much more realistic. There were two types of magic - spirit magic that was similar to shamanism - and acted more like 'good luck'/. And then rune magic - which was much more powerful, but which came from joining a cult, and was very specific to the particular cult you had joined.

Combat: yeah the combat system was much more complicated, which i loved. As i said above, you had a % skill in attack and parry. When hit in combat, you then rolled to see where you hit. (this chart was different for hth and missile weapons - missile weapopns being more likely to hit the body than hth) . The body was broken down into l. arm, r. arm, head, chest, abdomen, l. leg, r. leg. You bought specific armour for each hit location. IE; chain mail on left leg and arm, nothing on head.

Each body part had a certain amount of hit points. When these were lost that part of the body was disabled. You also had a number of hit points for your entire body, and when you lost 5 points from your arm, you also lost them from your overall. There were all kind of effects that losing all your hit points on the arm or leg would do. You would then contiue to lose d3 points from blood loss.

Much more complicated, but much more realistic - and also tied in with the game being less hack-and-slash based.

Another thing was there was no simplified subscription to lawful evil etc. There was no specific good/bad - though chaos would be the closest thing to 'bad'. Loyalty was to your cult or tribe or just yourself. You could be as good or bad as you liked. Again - this always seemed more 'realistic'.

A few other things: elves were much less tolkien and more wild nature spirits. Dwarves were similarly much more strange and unhuman than tolkiens'. Broo were copied by gw and renamed 'beastmen'. They were the half goat disease corrupted agents of chaos. Trolls were more like ogres in other games - and played a game called troll ball - again imitated by gw and called 'bloodbowl'. They were not evil but might well eat you for dinner. Nothing at all personal.

And then there were the vast expanses of world that weren't featured in the gaming supplements - which greg stafford has spent the last 20 years filling in, i believe.

thieves world: here
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Re: runequest returns in 4th edition (as well as paranoia)

Postby -the black prince » Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:42 pm

runequest became one of the most popular games over in the UK, with oliver dickenson (who worked at daveygate model shop when i was a kid - where i bought my first (no 32, i think, white dwarf - which had an article on rings of power in d&d) having a regular column in white dwarf to cover all stuff runic.

Then chaosium either sold out to or went bust and Avalon Hill took over. They scrapped the glorantha setting and made up a highly generic 'medieval europe' setting; turned the practical rulebook into an expensive boxed set of flimsy books with all interesting fluff removed; remade all the old glorantha stuff in the same generic manner - shredding all the interesting fluff for two week hac jobs, and released material at the rate of one boxed set a year all badly made and designed and at the same ridulous price.

GW were in charge of releasing it in the UK, and they were already dumping other games, like d&d, from their stores. Long enough for all the independents to close. Then they dumped runequest as well. And then i never heard of it. Never heard of d&d either - in fact i didn't see a d&d rulebook until borders bookshop arrived in york in the mid-90s and they ran d&d there. So this is all quite different to the US experience, i think.

Funny - i always thought that runequest was more popular over in the states.

I've heard they've redone the combat system in new runequest, which if simplified, would be a shame imho.

Though i remember hearing about runequest as a lad, and all the different hit locations and all (they also had endurance points which could be exhausted by walking and fighting etc and would then, when exhausted act as negative modifiers to your % skills) - all sounded very convaluted and daft. But playing it it seemed much more realistic and fun: instead of a character taking a random 15 points of damage from an axe and a sword,and fighting on as normal with your level 10 fighter cum ranger - you got cut in your unprotected arm, making you drop your weapon, then a stab in the gut through your cuirboili armour - which reduced your abdomen to 0 hp, at which point you collapsed onto the ground (unless passing the equivalent of snake eyes) and fought on desperately with your other arm, at -25% to hit.


;) ;) ;)
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