Subject: Back from the Grave and Ready to RQ, Volume 2, Number 9 This issue: Alternate characteristic generation system (Charles C. Allen) Combat Results Modification (Charles C. Allen) Ed's note: My apologies to Charlie for being so long in getting this out. (There's enough from him for another issue) Hopefully, my penance of getting out of bed in the middle of the night to send it out will absolve me. The other issue will have to wait until tomorrow. --- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Charles C. Allen) Subject: Alternate characteristic generation system Here's a short writeup of an alternate characteristic generation method. Hope it gives some people ideas.... ====================================== Characteristic Generation in RuneQuest Charlie Allen ====================================== SIMPLE VERSION In RQ2 and RQ3, the limit a characteristic may be trained to is determined by the starting value of the characteristic (or a related characteristic) or some racial maximum. Why not choose what a "maxed out" character will look like, just like you choose what it starts out like? The procedure is: * Start out with 14's in STR, CON, SIZ, INT, POW, and DEX (I prefer to ignore APP). Swap one for one until you're happy with what these ultimate characteristic values are. Keep all characteristics between 6 and 20. Write these "ultimate" characteristics down on your character sheet. * Now start out with 11's in the 6 characteristics, and swap until you're happy with the character's starting characteristics. The starting SIZ must be the same as the ultimate SIZ. You'll want to write these down on your character sheet as well. That's it! When you want to increase a characteristic, you are limited by the "ultimate" value. It works best if POW is increased like other characteristics, and not via the normal RQ "power gain" roll. Personally, I always thought that was a little too gross. Even the best roleplayers used to throw Disruption at trollkin so they get their chance at a POW gain. This has the added benefit (in my opinion) of differentiating more between "fighters" and "magic-users". If a character has high ultimate STR and CON, he probably won't have high ultimate POW. COMPLEX VERSION In the following discussion, only STR, CON, SIZ, INT, POW, and DEX (6 characteristics) are considered. APP is ignored (author's personal preference). The racial minima and maxima referred to can simply be the corresponding minimum and maximum values obtainable from the dice given in the monster description, or may be twiddled for playability. Let L = racial minimum for a specific characteristic M = " maximum " " " " S = starting value for the characteristic C = current " " " " U = ultimate " " " " Basically, when a character is created, the ultimate values determine the best that character will be (characteristic-wise). The current values start at the starting values (gosh, imagine that), and can increase up to the ultimate values through training. The current values are what get used in play for calculating bonuses, etc. Define s = (S - L)/(M - L) c = (C - L)/(M - L) u = (U - L)/(M - L) These numbers are all fractions between 0 and 1. The s's vary in [0,u], the c's in [s,u], and the u's in in [s,1]. The only exception is that the SIZ must always be the same. When determining starting characteristics, 6*0.4 = 2.4 points may be distributed among the s's. Similarly, 6*0.6 = 3.6 points may be distributed among the u's. Obviously, the 0.4 or 0.6 can be twiddled to what you think is reasonable. The numbers used in play are the S's and C's and U's, which are obtained by inverting the above equations: S = L + s*(M - L) C = L + c*(M - L) U = L + u*(M - L) In "paper" games, S, C and U are integers for playability. The incremental cost for one point of a particular characteristic is ds = du = dc = 1 / (M - L) For humans, judicious choice of the limits, such as: STR, CON, DEX [6,18] SIZ, INT, POW [8,20] M - L = 12 for all results in the same cost for all characteristics, so they can just be swapped one for one. If the costs aren't all the same (ducks, for instance), then a spreadsheet can be used, or approximations for the costs calculated. Personally, the author has used the following for some of his RQ3 characters. STR, CON [6,18] POW, DEX [6,21] SIZ, INT [8,18] All characteristics except SIZ can be increased only by training. This includes INT and POW! Training time should be based on the relative current value c and the incremental cost: training time = c * dc * T (to go from C to C + 1) where T is something like 10000 hours (that's a guess, this has not been playtested extensively). Charlie Allen email@example.com --- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Charles C. Allen) Subject: Combat Results Modification =================== Combat Roll Results Charlie Allen =================== Ignoring the effects of magic and fatigue, two characters with high weapons skills can fight each other a long time with no result. If you think this should be changed, two possibilites are: * Require a special parry roll to parry a special attack, and a critical parry roll to parry a critical attack (Dodge is treated this way normally). This results in no more "simple" attack successes, but many more specials and criticals. * As above, but a normal parry versus a special attack results in a normal hit, and likewise for other combos (normal parry versus critical attack results in special hit, etc.). The second method can be summarised in an attack vs. parry matrix: parry results: C S N M F c critical hit a +-----------+ s special hit t c | * n s c c | n normal hit t s | N * n s c | * "clash" a n | S N * n s | - miss c m | C S N - n | N normal parry k f | C C S N - | S special parry +-----------+ C critical parry How does this affect the combat? I'm glad you asked :-) I just happen to have some numbers for you to peruse: A90 P90 CRIT SPEC SIMP MISS HITS CRIT/ SPEC/ SIMP/ old 0.01 0.01 0.08 0.90 0.10 0.07 0.14 0.80 new 0.01 0.05 0.18 0.76 0.24 0.03 0.21 0.76 new/old 1.00 3.85 2.36 0.84 2.47 0.40 1.56 0.95 where CRIT means critical hit SPEC means special hit SIMP means simple (normal) hit MISS means any "non-hit" (clash, miss, normal parry, etc.) HITS is 1 - MISS CRIT/ is CRIT / HITS SPEC/ is SPEC / HITS SIMP/ is SIMP / HITS A90 means the attack % is 90% P90 means the parry % is 90% The first 5 columns of numbers are the probabilities of the named result for the standard RQ3 system, the system described above, and their ratio. The last 3 columns shows the the relative numbers of the various types of hits. The bottom line is that the overall number of hits goes up by a factor of almost 2.5 for this attack-parry combination. The effect is less significant at lower parry percentages, but still quite noticeable with low attack vs. high parry. At the end of this article are some further tables for 75%, 50%, and 25% attacks versus 90% parry. These are obtained by a simple program which I'll be happy to send to anybody who asks. The result matrix really isn't that hard to get used to. If you use standard RQ3 rules, you have to worry about this sort of thing anyway for dodges, special parries with axes, etc. This solution simply regularizes (is that a word?) things. Charlie Allen email@example.com More charts for those who like to play with numbers: A75 P90 CRIT SPEC SIMP MISS HITS CRIT/ SPEC/ SIMP/ old 0.01 0.01 0.06 0.92 0.08 0.07 0.14 0.79 new 0.01 0.04 0.15 0.80 0.20 0.03 0.21 0.77 new/old 1.00 3.57 2.40 0.87 2.47 0.40 1.44 0.97 A50 P90 CRIT SPEC SIMP MISS HITS CRIT/ SPEC/ SIMP/ old 0.00 0.01 0.04 0.95 0.05 0.06 0.15 0.79 new 0.00 0.03 0.10 0.87 0.13 0.03 0.23 0.75 new/old 1.00 3.75 2.32 0.92 2.45 0.41 1.53 0.95 A25 P90 CRIT SPEC SIMP MISS HITS CRIT/ SPEC/ SIMP/ old 0.00 0.01 0.02 0.97 0.03 0.04 0.20 0.75 new 0.00 0.01 0.05 0.94 0.06 0.02 0.19 0.79 new/old 1.00 2.32 2.58 0.96 2.46 0.41 0.94 1.05 --- The RuneQuest(tm) mailing list is a courtesy of Andrew Bell. All opinions and material above are the responsibility of the originator, and copyrights are held by them. RuneQuest is a trademark of Chaosium, Inc. 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