Runequest Thursday #16: Resources for Your Game!

Clint Staples

For the least few months I have been trying to give you a taste of my River Cradles based RQ game, posting creatures, adversaries, and other things of the sort. Last week I gave you a list of random market finds, for those times when your players want to go shopping. I like to have stuff like that ready to spice up a trip to the market. Invariably, while the HUmakti might be mission oriented and head straight to the sword-makers, others will prowl the stalls, asking things like, "What sorts of stuff is for sale?"

Today, I thought I would hand you some other resources that make the game easier to play, and run. I have attached them as pdfs.

The first two are related:

  1. Runequest Combat Quickplay, is a summary of the turn order and options for Actions in RQ. It also has a level of Success/ combat maneuvers chart to tell you how many you get for different degrees of success. The detailed descriptions of the combat maneuvers are found on #2. Note: We use a Weapon Reach system that is different from Legend or Runequest 6. But you can use this or not, subbing in the Size for the Weapon in question.
  2. Combat Maneuvers gives descriptions of the different maneuvers you can pick for specials and criticals, even magical ones, and also contains summaries of some of the more common special circumstances that might come up in a combat[ fighting form horseback, leaping into the fray, etc].

I make sure that all my players [and myself] have a copy of these sheets when combat occurs.

I am also including a price list of mounts fairly commonly available in the River of Cradles region, which includes the animals ENCumbrance level. Animals count the Rider's SIZ as ENC, plus any ENC the rider carries. So 50 ENC for a riding horse can be taken up fast with a large rider in heavy armor, possibly armour for the mount, tack, saddle, and baggage. In play I don't sweat every ENCumbrance point. I try to keep it in mind for realism though. So if a normal riding horse is already carrying a SIZ 16 man in full plate, and is armored over half its body, it will likely struggle when the rider hauls an injured friend up behind him. That sort of thing.

ENCumbrance also came up when the heroes went hunting for wild aurochs - two days away from their Settlement of Brightwater. How much meat can a horse and a herd-aurochs carry overland. I decided that 1 ENC of well packed meat could be in the neighborhood of 10 lbs.They did not want to leave any behind, and walked their laden animals back with about 1300 lbs of meat, hide and bone between the two mounts and what the heroes themselves could manage. There was a BIG BBQ when they got back.

Finally, One of the players worked out a very nice character sheet for our game. So With his permission, I am sharing that with you. I also took his sheet and modified it for a more magical, less weapon-y type of character. This one is set up for a Sorcerer, but these are Word docs, so you can modifiy them easily to suit your needs. They are both one page sheets, and focus on the stats, skills, weapons and hit locations, etc. My players usually have other pages of notes, but do you really need a page with a blocked out area with headings like Background or Gear.

NOw I have a confession to make - We don't actually play Runequest! Well not straight out of the tin, anyway. So the character sheets have some foibles, which may or may not suit your game. Below is a summary of the way we play, so you can see how much you need to change. The good news? because the sheets are in Word, all the boxes can be dragged, dropped, resized or deleted, as can the text and cells within them. I am no Word wizard, If I can do it, you can.

Caveats on the Character Sheets:

1 - the version of Runequest we play is partly old school Chaosium/ Avalon Hill era and partly the recent Legend RPG/ Runequest 6. None of these make the character sheet unusable by other versions, but you may need to tweak things a bit in Word.

2 - The Mage sheet has more space for spells and is set up for Sorcery - specifically my iteration of Sorcery. It also has fewer weapons skill boxes. But you can move boxes around in Word to suit your needs, edit text, etc. 

See #1 above] The version of Runequest we use is a hodge-podge precisely because we have a few RQ grognards [myself included] in the game:

  • We [OK, I] like the Defense stat. So we use it. Each Action, you can devote your Defense to one or more targets in increments of at least 5%, reducing their chance to hit accordingly. If you don't choose who to defend against, it is assumed that you put it against the first to attack you. Starting Defense is +1 per point of DEX or INT over 10, +1 per 2 POW over 10, and -1 per 1 SIZ over 10. If you don't use Defense, you have a little slot to write in something you do use.
  • We use the Skills and Skill Categories from older versions [Avalon Hill] of the game, with starting percentages that are listed grayscale beside the skill. You can remove the starting chances when you gain the skill, or refigure them to suit you. You can also edit the skill list as you please.
  • Some of us were big on the Old School Resistance table, for POW vs POW rolls and other head to head contests in the game. So that is how we roll those things, which means we don't use the Skills Evade, Persistence or Resilience.
  • Because we are largely follsized gamers who don't kow any better, we also like the Characteristic roll that older RQ versions took from Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu where a Characteristic x5% was an easy roll, and lower multiples progressively harder This is another reason why we don't have Persistance, Resistance and Evade. The Sorcerer sheet is set up with space to write in the various multiples, because our sorcerer player is not a Number Jock.

I hope you find these resources useful. We are playing tomorrow night, so I know I will. Next thursday, I will likely have some creature or adversary stats, possibly with the core of the scenario they Heroes are embarking on. See, this Aurochs Nomad Khan of Orlanth came into the Brightwater Market, drinking as if he was hoping to die ...