Trait taste

From: Jose Ramos <>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 1997 11:36:03 +0200 (METDST)

        Davis Dunham and me are bound to disagree over traits:

>> if you use traits anybody worthy of heroquesting should
>> have heroic traits, at least in those traits he heroquests in.

>I don't see why. For one thing, a heroquest is not a sequence of trait
>tests. For another, there is a wide range of heroquests. Jeff Richard and I
>each have an article in, oh wait, I wasn't going to mention Enclosure
>again. Anyway, they both discuss fairly low-level heroquests. Since so few
>people have heroic traits (I believe the Taming of Dragon Pass campaign has
>only 1 person at the Religious level, 5 traits at 16; the East Ralios
>campaign has none), I don't think it would be a good idea to restrict those
>without from heroquesting.

        That is purely personal choice, and gaming style. If you want "normal" people performing heavy duty heroquests (and not clan level reenactments) you need less harsh strictures than if you want well defined heroic qualities. See some example in my other posts. And my HQs have Trait tests, usually Treshold limits (you need Indulgent at 16+ to eat all the racoon babies) but sometimes also rolls (usually for group actions, i.e.: all the questers roll Courageous -10, at least one has to succeed). And skill tests, and pure roleplaying tests. And failing does not dump you automatically out, but it may put you on experimental ground, or just be a small twist on the myth: "The Orlevings say that Orlanth escaped the Firebreathing Wolf by climbing the Bronze tree, but we know He nailed its tail to the tree. All cowards this Orlevings, all they can think of is running away".

        I don't propose people with five scores at 16 or more are usual. I propose that you will appoint a different initiate as Orlanth in the Sacred Time ceremonies if you are following "The wooing of Ernalda" that if you follow "The Taming of Storm Bull".

        And Deep quests will require, IMO, the right "automatic reaction" that a high trait gives. I propose you become specialized heroquesters (with some very powerful and very rare generalists). "Yes, I am a Hero, I follow Orlanth's path, but I follow the violent way. For the fertility quests I have my friend Annstad take over, as he does it much better than me."

        Harmast, I think, was just an orlanthi whose make up was perfectly tuned to the LBQ. So once he set up in the path of a hero, he tended to use the LBQ, or fragments of such to solve all his troubles (so he did it twice!).

>Since the whole message is about traits, let me close with a warning. I've
>seen an attempt made to graft traits on to RuneQuest, and I didn't think it
>worked very well. (I believe I also saw an attempt made to add them to
>heroquesting characters, which also worked poorly, but my memory might be
>deceiving me.) If you're going to use personality traits, you really ought
>to integrate them into the game system (as does Pendragon). Pendragon may
>not be the be-all and end-all of games, but it uses the same mechanics for
>traits as for other tests, and they can easily be tied to Gloranthan-style
>cults (e.g. PenDragon Pass).

        FWIW, I use percentile dice (with traits on a base 100), and I use the critical and special tresholds of RQ. And I don't see Traits so tightly enmeshed with Pendragon mechanics. Although it has never appeared yet, I decided to deal with Inspiration by Passion as providing a magic spell appropiate to the roll and the circumstance, chosen by the player (and approved by the GM). Much less powerful than in Pendragon, but I never liked it in Pendragon. (Normal Success 1 Pt Spirit, Special 2 Pt Spirit or 1 Pt Divine, Critical, at will, within reason). So you could be a bit stronger if your loved one is trapped under a rock, or become berserk if you critical your Hate Orleving roll.

Your rolling habits, play style, dress style, eating hours and HQ mechanics may vary,


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