Subject: RQ Undigestables, Volume 1, Number 12 This issue: A new race for fantasy worlds (Elliot Wilen) Jack-of-all-trades characters (Andrew Bell) --- From: email@example.com (Elliot Wilen) Subject: A new race for fantasy worlds Here's a race from my campaign, a low-entropy world with emphasis on cultures and politics. Magic is relatively rare. Copyright (C) 1988 Elliot Wilen, all rights reserved. This material may be freely copied and distributed for non-commercial use, provided this notice is included in all copies. References, derivations, and fixes to this material must contain proper attribution. Any other use, without written permission from the author, is prohibited. Runequest is a trademark of Chaosium, Inc. GURPS is a trademark of Steve Jackson Games. [Sorry about that, folks, but this is near and dear to me.] [Ed's note: the above wasn't an Ed's note. This is, however. :-)] Ralgethae, also known as Fuzzies The Ralgethae are quite a bit shorter than men. Furry hair covers them from head to toe, even on their faces. If you want a really good idea of what a Fuzzy (as they're sometimes called by men) looks like, find a photo of someone with lycanthropy. (I'm not kidding. This is a real condition.) Ralgethae wear clothes like humans. The Ralgethae come from the marshes and and estuaries where the river Rusorlod empties into the sea. They also may be found in small settlements to the southwest, in the rolling meadows and woodlands of Owyr and the hills of Obergia. A few have taken up life in the city of Bednor, a major port of the Carian empire, which is even further to the south. Within their homeland, the Ralgethae live in floating houses, huts on stilts, and treehouses. (One advantage of a floating house, incidentally, is that it's easy to move if you can't stand your neighbors.) Elsewhere, they live more or less like humans. Each settlement typically has a headman, a non-hereditary leader chosen by popular acclamation. Above the clan-settlement, there is no overarching authority among the Ralgethae; however, they're usually too busy eking out an existence and protecting themselves against the nastier swamp horrors to engage in much fighting among themselves. The Ralgethae speak a language akin to Penkwari, the mannish tongue spoken in Owyr. (In fact, no one can say whether the Ralgethae learned speach from the Penkwari, or if it was the other way round.) Like Penkwari, Ralgethae is not generally written, except in runes on the occasional landmark or crafted item. The law of the Ralgethae is simple, customary, and informal; unlike the Penkwari, they do not need to rely on bards to memorize vast stores of esoteric legal and cultural knowledge. RUNEQUEST STATS Characteristics Average STR 2d6+1 8 Move 3 CON 2d6+6 13 Hit Points 10 SIZ 3d3 6 Fatigue 21 INT 2d6+6 13 POW 3d6 10-11 DEX 2d6+8 15 APP 3d6 10-11 _____________________________________________________________ Hit Location Melee(D20) Missile (D20) Points R Leg 01-04 01-03 0/4 L Leg 05-08 04-06 0/4 Abdomen 09-11 07-10 0/4 Chest 12 11-15 0/5 R Arm 13-15 16-17 0/3 L Arm 16-18 18-19 0/3 Head 19-20 20 0/4 ______________________________________________________________ Weapon SR Attack % Damage Parry % PTS Short sword 8 25+7 1d6+1 25+8 10 or Hatchet 8 25+7 1d6+1 25+8 6 Short spear 8 20+7 1d8+1 20+8 10 (1h) Buckler - - - 25+8 8 Sling 3 25+7 1d8 - - Skills: Agility +8: Boat 25, Dodge 15, Ride 00, Swim 25; Communication +5; Knowledge +3; Manipulation +7; Perception +6: Listen 30; Stealth +8: Hide 15, Sneak 20. Armor: May wear any. CREATING A FUZZY ADVENTURER Because I'm a nice guy, I give players 70+4d6 points to distribute to characteristics if they're playing human characters. If you use this system, a player gets 70+3d6 points to distribute among his Ralgethae character's characteristics. No characteristic may be outside the range possible given the above dice rolls. The Deliberate and Combined methods (Player's Book, p. 12) can also be used, of course, if you want PC's to be more average people. For the Deliberate method, you might want to allow just 78 points, but it's probably not worth the trouble. Occupations Roll d100 01-05 Crafter 06 Entertainer 07-11 Farmer 12-51 Fisher 52 Healer 53-62 Herder 63-82 Hunter 83-85 Merchant 86 Priest 87-89 Sailor 90-92 Scribe 93 Shaman 94 Soldier 95-99 Thief 00 Sorcerer All Ralgethae occupations give the same skills as the equivalent Civilized human, with the exceptions listed below. Ralgethae Crafter as per human Civilized Crafter except the experience for Spear goes to Short sword. Possesses Boat x2 and Swim x2. Ralgethae Fisher possesses Boat x5, Climb x2, Sing x1, Swim x3, Throw x2, Search x2, First Aid x1, Animal Lore x3, Plant Lore x1, World Lore x3, Devise x3, Scan x3, Sneak x1, Hide x1, 1H Spear x2, Parry or Dodge x2. Ralgethae Herder as per human Civilized Herder except also possesses Hide x1 and Sneak x1. Ralgethae Hunter as per human Barbarian Hunter except lacks Ride. Possesses Hide x2, Sneak x2, Listen x1, and Swim x1. Ralgethae Merchant as per human Civilized Merchant except also possesses Boat x1 and Swim x1. Ralgethae Priest as per human Civilized Priest except lacks Ride. Ralgethae Shaman as per human Barbarian Shaman except also possesses Boating x2 and Swim x2. Ralgethae Soldier as per human Civilized Soldier except possesses Hide x2 and Sneak x2. Must choose Missile Weapon x4. 1H Weapon Attack is x3 and Shield Parry is x3. GURPS STATS Ralgethae 5 points A Fuzzy gets +1 on HT, +1 on DX, and -2 to ST. He is 1 foot shorter than a human of his ST. Advantages: Acute Hearing Level 2. Also, treat Stealth as a Physical/Easy skill for Ralgethae. Friends and Enemies: none. However, humans unfamiliar with the Ralgethae will sometimes react at a -1 due to their appearance. This will generally apply only outside of the regions which adjoin the Ralgethae homeland. Likes and Dislikes: Due to their environment, Ralgethae are naturally wary. They prefer to err on the side of caution--thus, Miserliness is a more common Disadvantage among the Ralgethae than Overconfidence. (Common Sense is often found among the Ralgethae.) Ralgethae are industrious folk; they apply themselves seriously to their livelihood, whatever it may be. Miscellaneous: As a people, the Ralgethae are not accustomed to horses. Except for those Ralgethae who have taken up residence in Bednor and entered Carian society, few if any learn Riding. By contrast, any Ralgethae from the marshes will certainly have at least fair ability in Boating and Swimming. -Elliot Wilen --- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Andrew Bell) Subject: Jack-of-all-trades characters When the longest running RuneQuest campaign around here degenerated, it seemed that the main problem was that the major (most powerful) characters had little or no reason to run together. Lower power characters had little to offer the higher power ones, and would get killed participating in adventures that were (combat-wise) a challenge to the higher power ones. The main reason for this was that the major characters were jacks-of-all-trades. Despite the supposed specific nature of their cults, all were adept at healing, at weapons, and making themselves magic resistant. Each had enough spirit block that spirits generally weren't a problem. (The Big Three were all Runelord-Priests.) Granted, these three were all of widely different backgrounds, and had widely varying goals. But even if they had been more closely aligned, they really had few unique talents to offer each other. Have any of you folks noticed this "problem"? For us, the causes were: 1) By far the most useful class to be is a fighter of some sort. Sorcerors are not exactly encouraged to mingle with divine and spirit magic users, and the game really encourages people to join cults. And the magic of a novice sorceror's apprentice is not much more powerful than the spells obtainable by cult members. In RQ II, the sorcery option doesn't even exist. 2) In RQ II, and to a slightly lesser extent RQ III, Power is such an important characteristic that not having offensive magic would put a character at a major disadvantage. Thus characters were/are oriented towards offensive magic in RQ II, as opposed to any thoughts of merely specializing in weapons. In RQ III the cult you join determines what offensive magic you can get, so characters gravitate towards those cults with offensive spells. 3) In RQ III, they merged many of the thiefly skills, so it takes even less training to become good at thieving-type activities. Sneaking up behind someone and backstabbing them isn't that much better than their failing to parry, so asassin-style attacks aren't particularly important either. A form of this latter seems to be a problem in many game systems, not just RQ. For example, translate this situation into any RPG: In the feeble light of the waxing moon, Harquin examined the lock in front of him. "Foolish, foolish," he muttered. "The darn fool's got about the easiest lock to pick on this door. One would think he wanted me to steal his precious medallion. I'm certainly willing to oblige him, at any rate." His hands worked quickly, manipulating slivers of metal inside the keyhole. Within a few seconds, his efforts were rewarded with an audible click. "Ah, now to see what's behind here..." "I wouldn't move, if I were you," came a voice from behind him. "Otherwise, I might have to put a bolt through your chest. Now turn around, slowly. No, don't stand up; on your knees will do nicely." Harquin turned as instructed. In front of him stood Colman, the Captain of the Guards. His heavy crossbow was aimed quite clearly at the little thief's chest. Colman spoke: "My dear Harquin, just as I expected. I had a feeling you couldn't resist the temptation to try again. I'm afraid, however, that task will be much more difficult from his Lordship's dungeons." "I think my friend behind you would rather you didn't put me there." replied Harquin, his eyes apparently moving to something behind and to the left of his foe's shoulder. "Really, you don't expect me to fall for that old trick, do you? I..." Colman never got to finish his thought, as there was an audible thump at which point he fell to the ground. The figure behind him moved out of the shadows, still holding his heavy mace. "Ah, Irvin," stated the thief."You always did have impeccable timing." He then gave an expression of injured innocence. "I did tell him you were there, why didn't he believe me? You know, I don't think the captain likes me very much." In RQ, the crossbow would have been intimidating to a leather-armored thief with little magic because of its high damage range. A bow, on the other hand, would be less fearsome; it's very unlikely that the thief would have been disabled by a single shot. Had Colman had a chance to shoot, he also probably would have hit Harquin in a limb. Likewise, it is very unlikely that Irvin could have felled the captain in a single blow like he did. It seems rules like the following would help: Movement rates: (Man-sized) humanoid on all fours: 1/2 meter per strike rank Humanoid prone or on knees : 1/4 meter per strike rank Time to do things: Humanoid: prone to standing : 3 strike ranks Humanoid: prone to on knees : 2 strike ranks Humanoid: on knees to standing : 2 strike ranks Combat: You can choose your hit location if the foe you are attacking is kneeling or prone, or defenseless with a movement rate of 1 meter/sr or less, and if you are fully mobile and undistracted. Anyway, back to the problems: 4) Allied spirits are so powerful that they significantly alter the game balance. Characters without Allied Spirits are substantially less powerful than their rune-level friends. Have the rest of you had problems like these in your campaigns? Have you or your GMs done anything about problems of this sort? -Andrew email@example.com --- The RuneQuest(tm) mailing list is a courtesy of Andrew Bell. 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