15 December 2015

Hit Location Tables and Their Evolution

Note: I will restrict my post below to humanoid hit locations, which are anyway the ones I use most when I'm refereeing RuneQuest, as my favourite “monsters” are human opponents. I also believe humanoid hit locations are the ones that have been modified most in the various incarnations of RuneQuest and of the Basic Role-Playing System.

RuneQuest 2 had a simple universal hit locations table, which was applied to a humanoid target irrespective of whether the attack was via a mêlée weapon, a missile, or a spell. The table is the one in the first column (Mêlée) in the illustration at the bottom of this blog post. There were a few modifiers to be taken into account if the attacker was on horseback or riding a high llama (one of the bizarre riding animals used by the Praxian animal nomads).

RuneQuest 3 kept the same table as RuneQuest 2 whilst restricting its use to mêlée combat and adding a second, slightly different, table for the results of missile combat — which made perfect sense. Please refer to the tables in the first two columns (Mêlée and Missile) in the illustration at the bottom of this blog post.

The Basic Role-Playing System “Big Gold Book” (BGB) used the same exact tables as RuneQuest 3.

RuneQuest 6 has introduced a slightly different table, which is supposed to replace both the Mêlée and the Missile tables from RQ3 and the BGB; please refer to the table in the third column (Unified) in the illustration at the bottom of this blog post.

Personally, and in contrast to the latest outcries about Chaosium splitting the RQ fanbase again with yet another version of the RQ rules, I find the various incarnations of the rules sufficiently similar that I can use them interchangeably; e.g., I have recently run my RQ6 Swenstown scenario twice, and I've used the RQ2 hit locations both times... only realising whilst re-reading the various rules sets to write this blog post that they were actually different!

Anyway, my suggestion is to use a mix of the RQ2/3 and RQ6 hit location tables as follows: the first column for mêlée combat, the second column for missile combat, and the third column in all other cases (e.g., falls, spells) or if you only want to use a single hit location table.

Also please remember that a combatant in a superior position adds +1 to the D20 roll for hit locations.

10 December 2015

Gloranthan News from Dragonmeet 2015

Dragonmeet is an annual British tabletop gaming convention that takes place in early December in London. It is one of the largest UK conventions and it is attended by many professionals and famous guests.

Unfortunately, I have never been able to attend, as London has become ridiculously expensive. Anyway, after the two German conventions (Eternal Con and The Kraken) and the Chimériades in France, it's certainly the most important convention for European fans of the world of Glorantha, so I'm sure I'll make the extra effort one day.

Moon Design/Chaosium have made quite a number of announcements at Dragonmeet regarding the future of the world of Glorantha and of the Chaosium role-playing games, which have put in turmoil the various forums and G+ communities of the Gloranthan aficionados so, even though I was not present, I have decided to copy a post by Steve from BRP Central for the benefit of the readers of this bog. Aren't I nice.

  • The RuneQuest 2 re-issue (via the Kickstarter) is progressing well, and the rulebook itself is ready. Jeff held up a softback "test" copy printed via Lulu.com.
  • A European fulfilment centre is being set up and will start from February 2016, including the HeroQuest: Glorantha rulebook.
  • Prince of Sartar - a colourist has already been brought on board, despite this being a later Patreon goal. The next chapter is New Pavis, then the following chapter will be the classic Cradle scenario. The Patreon campaign means that Prince of Sartar can continue; before this there were problems given that this isn't a product being sold, it's a free web comic. There will be a monthly Google hangout with Jeff and Kalin for backers.
  • The Glorantha sourcebook (for 13th Age, but rules-free) is waiting on the final 13th Age in Glorantha manuscript so that Jeff can finish it off. Art is being commissioned now.
  • The Coming Storm - this advances the timeline from 1618 to 1625. Apparently Greg has joked that "it only took 40 years" to advance these seven years! The first book is the setting, the second is the campaign. It is planned that all the major NPCs will be depicted in art in the books, and many examples of this (great!) artwork were handed round, plus several maps.
  • The Gods War boardgame, by Sandy Petersen, is on course for a Kickstarter in 2016.
  • The “new” RuneQuest will be later in 2016.
  • Trollpak (the new three-volume version, not to be confused with the reprint stretch goal in the RQ2 Kickstarter) is at the stage of commissioning art.
  • The Guide to Glorantha will be reprinted in 2016, in the same format as before. It won't be in general distribution though.
  • The RQ2 reprint might be in stores, or it might not. This is being looked into.
  • Sandy Petersen is very involved in the “new” RuneQuest.
  • Jeff's very brief comments on what the “new” RuneQuest will be have been reported (and mis-reported) elsewhere [e.g., here], and are better explained in Jeff's forum posts on the RQ forum and in the Chaosium press release.
  • The Reiner Knizia Gloranthan board game that was previously announced by Chaosium was referred to by Jeff as "Khan of Khans". It's set in Prax, and a key theme seems to be stealing stuff from other players.
  • Jeff announced that in late 2016 there will be a Kickstarter for a "re-modelled" Dragon Pass board game. This is being totally revamped by Chris Klug, it's not just a reprint. Basic KS goals will include cardboard figures for Harrek, Jar-Eel etc, with stretch goals for plastic figures. It is aimed for between 2 and 5 players and around 90-100 minutes of play.

07 December 2015

Entropic News

the beloved BGB
A few weeks ago, I asked, somewhat rhetorically and jokingly: Is D100 Dead?, because of the news from early this autumn that Chaosium would be scrapping the 2008 incarnation of the Basic Role-Playing system, fondly known amongst aficionados of the BRP system as the “Big Gold Book” (BGB), and the only one currently available.

[Yes I know about OpenQuest and Legend.]

Well, it now seems we're soon going to experience quite the opposite of the death of the D100, i.e., a plethora of D100-based systems! For those of you who do not follow G+, the gaming forums, etc., here are the latest news:

  • The BGB will indeed be scrapped, and replaced with a new generic product called BRP Essentials, itself based on the classic RQ2 rules and “incorporating 30 years of progress”.
  • The Design Mechanism isn't working on the new Gloranthan version of RuneQuest any longer (see announcement here); as a result, RuneQuest 6 will continue under a new name.
  • Alephtar Games' Revolution D100 has successfully funded.

It hence appears that we will soon have three simultaneously in-print D100-based engines: BRP Essentials, the as-yet-unnamed generic D100 system by The Design Mechanism, and Revolution D100 by Alephtar Games.

These are the generic D100-based role-playing games; I'm not even mentioning that there are going to be two in-print Gloranthan D100-based FRPs in 2016: RuneQuest Classic and the “new” RuneQuest! An embarrassment of riches...