Runequest Monsters

Mac V

Mongoose
I was wondering how Runequest deals with monsters. Are they similar to D&D, or completly different?
 

ned-kogar

Mongoose
One of the nice things about Runequest - or certainly Glorantha, the best setting for it - is that any creature with sentience is likely to have a culture, gods, individuality, etc. Many of them are suitable as player characters, and - as Glorantha has a brilliantly sophisticated mythos and varied social structures - they can interact with a lot of flexibility.
 

sexy_davey

Mongoose
Right on. Instead of dreaming up a new monster to fit in with the encounter requirements (which was my opinion of D&Ds m.o.), RQ monsters are much more adabtable creatures. You may meet a hundred different broo (goat headed humanoids), but each one would be different from the previous one. Plus, as previously stated, s/he is much more likely to be real non player character, rather than just a body to cut up
 

Halfbat

Mongoose
sexy_davey said:
Plus, as previously stated, s/he is much more likely to be real non player character, rather than just a body to cut up
Absolutely - and I hope the new version enables that. imho It's really worth bearing in mind that the gritty feel of RQ meant that unless your character was supremely skilled, every encounter was approached with a certain amount of trepidation and caution: details of the NPC against you became vitally important... what sort of armour was it wearing? Does it seem confidant? Wary? Suspicious?

The only encounters which were "safer" were those with non-intelligent animals - at least the PCs had some idea of their capabilities and that those capabilities were only likely to vary by a little.

One of the lovely things about RQ is that it really encouraged roleplaying encounters rather than "It's a xxxxx, which should be ok as it's only an EL3 and +6 attack" number-crunching approach.
 

Utgardloki

Mongoose
I think I have the players in my 3rd edition D&D game pretty well aware of the fact that monsters with any degree of sentience can and often will take class levels, and therefore, should not be treated as cannon fodder. A Sense Motive check may be employed to get an idea of a sentient creature's capabilities.
 

ned-kogar

Mongoose
That's good, but in a decent Runequest game you can't assume that bright critters you meet won't have some surprising individual motivation that makes them more valuable than the 'treasure' they're carrying - eg. that particular troll is a convert to your religion, or that puny newtling is in fact a hard-hearted fanatic, or that pixie has lost faith in his elven masters and is willing to sell them out for a guilder.

So caution is born not only of the potential range of ability of a critter, but also because they might better be befriended, traded with, recruited, flattered or hidden from.
 
ned-kogar said:
That's good, but in a decent Runequest game you can't assume that bright critters you meet won't have some surprising individual motivation that makes them more valuable than the 'treasure' they're carrying - eg. that particular troll is a convert to your religion, or that puny newtling is in fact a hard-hearted fanatic, or that pixie has lost faith in his elven masters and is willing to sell them out for a guilder.

So caution is born not only of the potential range of ability of a critter, but also because they might better be befriended, traded with, recruited, flattered or hidden from.

Yep, in Rune Quest I've seen all manner of things that people didn't see coming. Even a lucky (if lowly skilled) monster pushed someone off the cliff they were fighting near. That hurt a lot more than a simple attack would have done.
 

Halfbat

Mongoose
Balgin Stondraeg said:
Yep, in Rune Quest I've seen all manner of things that people didn't see coming. Even a lucky (if lowly skilled) monster pushed someone off the cliff they were fighting near. That hurt a lot more than a simple attack would have done.
:gulp!: :) To be fair, that could happen in a well-run D&D campaign, but is just more unlikely. I think the RQ gap between tough and the weaker characters is less emphasised than in level based systems so it becomes more of a risk in the creatures you face.

It seems that it's partially due to the encouragement the systems gives...
 
Halfbat said:
Balgin Stondraeg said:
Yep, in Rune Quest I've seen all manner of things that people didn't see coming. Even a lucky (if lowly skilled) monster pushed someone off the cliff they were fighting near. That hurt a lot more than a simple attack would have done.
:gulp!: :) To be fair, that could happen in a well-run D&D campaign, but is just more unlikely. I think the RQ gap between tough and the weaker characters is less emphasised than in level based systems so it becomes more of a risk in the creatures you face.

It seems that it's partially due to the encouragement the systems gives...

Well, it could now but this was back when AD&D was 2nd Edition and fighting was just bashing each other 'till one stopped moving :). Generaly the "power gaps" are smaller in skill based systems than level based systems where everything has to escalate. I generaly prefer skill based systems (and WFRP & RQ are my two favourites to date).
 

toddd240

Mongoose
Balgin Stondraeg said:
Halfbat said:
Balgin Stondraeg said:
Yep, in Rune Quest I've seen all manner of things that people didn't see coming. Even a lucky (if lowly skilled) monster pushed someone off the cliff they were fighting near. That hurt a lot more than a simple attack would have done.
:gulp!: :) To be fair, that could happen in a well-run D&D campaign, but is just more unlikely. I think the RQ gap between tough and the weaker characters is less emphasised than in level based systems so it becomes more of a risk in the creatures you face.

It seems that it's partially due to the encouragement the systems gives...

Well, it could now but this was back when AD&D was 2nd Edition and fighting was just bashing each other 'till one stopped moving :). Generaly the "power gaps" are smaller in skill based systems than level based systems where everything has to escalate. I generaly prefer skill based systems (and WFRP & RQ are my two favourites to date).

Runequest2 certainly was a welcome break from from Ad&d. A good GM could make a DandD game good but it was the norm of Runequest to expect every encounter to be interesting. Lets face it DandD was based off of a table top miniature war game, Chainmail. It was meant for combat. Runequest was a true roleplaying game. You really felt attached to your characters, because of cults etc. Again, dont get me wrong it could be the same for Dand D except that Runequest had a natural roleplaying bent.

And in combat each creature was unique, the system was made for that. DandD was made to fight a horde of orcs. When you attack an orc you don't expect it to spew acid, explode upon death, or regenerate hp; all of which are possible from a lowly broo.
 

Halfbat

Mongoose
all of which are possible from a lowly broo.
::shudder:: Don't talk about broo! They are probably the main type of monster that my players all _really_ loathed and feared facing. They'd have preferred almost anything else.

A wonderful invention. Simple, yet unpredictable and very flexible.
 

sexy_davey

Mongoose
Yes, I remember the fear! My players hated gorp most of all, especially if they had any iron : "Cut my arm off if you like, but don't dissolve my iron!!"
 

ned-kogar

Mongoose
My little Sartarite noble sage-to-be spent several minutes poking a defeated giant rock lizard with his spear before he was sure it wasn't going to spring back to life and lame his pony. Sigh. That first combat...
 

Halfbat

Mongoose
sexy_davey said:
My players hated gorp most of all, especially if they had any iron : "Cut my arm off if you like, but don't dissolve my iron!!"
:D :D :twisted: Absolutely! Some players would almost wonder whether or not to wear their iron or leave it on the pack-horses...

Such memories seem to be RQ2 biased... (or even RQ1) but is that a valid perception? Sure, such things _were_ in RQIII but the bronze-age feel was de-emphasised.
 

ned-kogar

Mongoose
Halfbat said:
Such memories seem to be RQ2 biased... (or even RQ1) but is that a valid perception? Sure, such things _were_ in RQIII but the bronze-age feel was de-emphasised.

Yep - even though I liked some of the changes to the system, the de-emphasis of Glorantha made RQIII feel less characterful. We played with a combo of RQII and III - primarily to keep 'spirit magic' more everyday and practical..
 
Don't forget the RQ elves being a plant based life form that would stay awake for 9 months then hibernate for 3 :).

The only bad thing about RQ was that everyone had too much magic (that and the metric measurements that just killed the fantasy feel).
 

sexy_davey

Mongoose
Ditto - we used the RQIII rules, but a lot of the RQII source material. However, once the quality RQIII supplements were out (Glorantha, GoG, and the later Sun County etc.), we integrated those. We wrote most of our own campaigns (including an all-Yelmalian campaign which went down a storm), but I can't help but agree that the atmosphere, for want of a better word, was better in RQII. Maybe it's because I was still at school, and RPGs were still quite new to me... *sigh*...
 

Halfbat

Mongoose
sexy_davey said:
We wrote most of our own campaigns (including an all-Yelmalian campaign which went down a storm), but I can't help but agree that the atmosphere, for want of a better word, was better in RQII.
Similar tale - I normally used a home-brew world/campaign which took a fair few things from Glorantha, but a small Yelm campaign went down surprisingly well (with a character who really got into the role of a Yelmalian Rune-Lord).

It may be that in the effort to become too D&D-like the feel disappeared. I still like the Aldryami/Elves, too, who were wonderfully different and could be made _strange_ beyond belief :):scenes of paranoid players wondering if they should extinguish that campfire or was it too late... "We only used dead wood" "Dead wood! That was by brother!..." :: ) :wink:

Hopefully the new, "generic" rules, will enable the feel to be bolted on more strongly.
 

sexy_davey

Mongoose
Agreed - one (of the many) things I liked about RQ was that the elves weren't Tolkienesque. They were different, they were alien - they were walking talking plants for flips sake! In purely descriptive terms, I always tried to make this obvious - the "muscles" of their face were actually plant fibres, and were constructed in a different enough pattern to make their facial expressions almost unreadable to a human - which makes talking to them pretty tough :
"Is he smiling? Is that a joke? Or are we in big trouble?"
 

Halfbat

Mongoose
sexy_davey said:
In purely descriptive terms, I always tried to make this obvious - the "muscles" of their face were actually plant fibres, and were constructed in a different enough pattern to make their facial expressions almost unreadable to a human.
Nice one. Wish I'd thought of that.

My players still ended up keeping clear of woods which were even suspected of having any Aldryami in them. Hopefully the Mongoose Glorantha will have that, too. Mind you, as has been mentioned under the Monsters thread, it seems that in any setting the RQ variations were such that every intelligent opponent had to be judged and assessed individually rather than as a "generic" type.
 
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