low bids in combat; missile fire;feat descriptions

From: Ian Cooper <ian_hammond_cooper_at_...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 12:39:51 -0000

One way to defeat low bids it to encourage the players to describe what they do first then negotiate an AP cost.

"Players and narrators are encouraged to describe the action as an
onlooker would see it, rather than as a series of AP bids. Try to match the bid to the action described: if you describe an all-out offensive with your sword cutting vicious arcs through the air you should be bidding high, while if you say that your character is circling his opponent cautiously then a low bid is in order."

I would tend to charge 7AP (the same as that required to trade for a - 1 modifier) for any description of an attack against an opponent, 15 AP (the same as that for a grevious wound) for any attack that sounds agressive, rising with the drama of the event.

For 3 AP I would suggest you are shuffling you feat not sure what to do. Even circling fo an opening is probably worth 4 or 5.

If players persist in trying to play the mechanics don't award then any hero points for the session. No heroic actions, no hero points. Players who have no hero points will find advancement v.difficult and be outclassed in future combtas by narrator characters who do. Similalry players who are able to provide good descriptions of their actions, and act heroically should be rewarded with extra hero points, they are after all acting heroically.

On a fruther combat note - don't make every combat extended if they are beginning to drag. You always have the optin to use simple resoloution.

"Simple contests are also appropriate for actions that take only
moments to occur, or whose details are hard to visualize and describe when broken down into steps"

and for extended

"The back and forth of the struggle should be something you can
visualize and describe"

Combat does not have to be resolved by extended contests (if you need to factor in weapons and armour use ranks to affect target numbers, if you need to know who acts first use skill level, or always allow the hero the first shot).

Because I have trouble visualising the ebb and flow of a missile exchange I would tend to use simple resoloution mechanics here until the players close to close combat. Once characters are in close combat I might use a non-group extended (especially if missile fire is involved) until I felt that the individual contests were affecting each other. Always work up. Ability tests against non-dodging opponents and contests against those that are. Note that an extended contest can easily be turned into a group contest because the AP of those already in extended contests remain the same, those that join start afresh.

As for feat descriptions... People have somplained for so long that Glorantha has been closed to intepretation I would have thought people would have welcomed the chance to have local colour. I far prefer feats to represent specific areas of influence: Lightning Sword is the use of lightning I combat with a sword, shooting bolts, turning into a lightning-sabre, moving like lightning. Sure the devotee and initiates witnessed this feat by watching their myth on the Other Side, but I always assumed that what was learned was a mythic insight into the use of the an area of the god's power not a specific set of actions. Spells are of course as HW suggests more specific, but that can be covered by making their names much more exact. Personally I think descriptions of all those feats is the last thing I want to see by comparison to write ups of the Dragon Pass cultures and places.

As for necomers, well I expect they re less shackled by "RuneQuest Sight"

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