Re: Epic NPCs and their stats

From: David Dunham <david_at_CPtGTNgWGL0jZGZUsfuvcRXVGrEF8PhbrHMWYAbHWdJ38K-Uzt_FZArNQOELPqniN0_WzC>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 07:06:55 -0700


>I find the inflation some people
>seem to need very confusing, but parhaps it's because of the
>experience system? I like the slow saga-system myself, so this is not
>a problem for me.

Not sure what you mean by that, but the number of game years between sessions isn't the issue. It's the number of sessions. The Orlmarth campaign had 79 sessions over about 3 years. I think Jeff was pretty consistent about awarding 2 HP at the start of each session, and we got about 3 at the end (the guidelines on p. 58 suggest 1-5 at each end, so this would be slightly below average). Many of the points got spent during the game, but that's still 395 HP. If you saved half, and spent half of that on your favorite skill that's 100 HP, or 5W. Which is not far from what happened with the character I was talking about (OK, I found his summary, his best ability was 2W4 and his second best 16W3 -- both related to combat.)

And this is utterly normal by the rules. This is not "our take on the HQ system."

>Personally I treat w2 as the end of normal skill range.
>w3 is heroic and w4 is superheroic, and the end of the range in the
>mortal world.

I'd concur, except that the rules don't support this.

>If, though great heroquests and epic deeds a character gets to be a
>force of nature like Harrek then he really should be like Harrek! It
>shouldn't mean that Harrek is scaled up to be even tougher.

And I concur with this. But I don't think anyone really knows how to write Harrek stats that will work. A raw resistance of 10W4 would have cleaned us up at the start of the game. By the end, we would have been regularly defeating Harrek. Which I think cheapens Harrek rather than glorifying us.

Sure, we'd been doing great deeds, and a few heroquests, but we weren't trying to build ourselves up, Harrek-fashion.

I think any game system that has both fixed stats and character advancement is going be subject to breaking. We saw this with RuneQuest. We see it with HeroQuest. I'd much rather play the story than the rules [HQ p.10]. If Harrek had ever showed up, we should have been totally petrified with fear. I don't think our characters were in his class at all. But at the end of the game, the numbers showed that we were.

Again, I'm not saying we shouldn't have lots more detail about how Harrek might act in a game context. I'm just saying that if that detail focuses on numbers, it will be wrong. If (like a broken clock being right twice a day) it's not wrong now, it will be wrong in a year of play.

>Making all the numbers subjective is a poor solution, and really takes
>a lot out of the gamesystem in my opinion.

Remember that the numbers aren't subjective. You're still rolling against Harrek's number. Harrek just doesn't need a bunch of numbers written down.

>I have no need of D&D like character advancement for the sake of
>advancement. If one wants to be the new Harrek, one should work at it
>like Harrek. Betray a powerful entity and steal it's power. Not just
>come to the game every week for two years.

Then it's you who have an alternate take on the HQ system. It's very clearly designed for character advancement. (I'm not saying this is a bad way to run your game. But HQ is designed around characters improving themselves by spending HP.)


David Dunham
Glorantha/HQ/RQ page:


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