Re: Campaign advice

From: Alison Place <alison_place_at_FqpxC9BW6O4SlStWgtdJNEtdYbcTknga37m_XHSeNZYq8f1pVdlY-4bOZcrG8rb>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2012 07:10:19 -0700 (PDT)

If thud-and-blunder, hack-and-slash is what your group likes, then Runequest is probably a fine system for them.  They can carve up their opponents piece by piece, or have fun with the search and POW vs POW rolls.    

It also depends on what scale you want to play.  You can have interesting successes and failures in both systems.  The grand epic style (and here I'm relying on what others say) bends well to HQ, where your heroes always live to fight another day.  RQ, unless you temper random chance with mercy, may well kill off a PC just because a nasty critical success with a crossbow bolt to the head is damn hard to heal without major magic.  A lot of players will feel that this is unfair, even though they gloat like hell if they're the lucky ones.  Vis-ā-vis that, your lovingly crafted baddie may go down just as quickly - it's certainly happened to me.  (Bloody crits to the head, rowf, mumble, grr.)   Generally, wee see this as a positive, because we like the realism (within the fantasy construct) that it encourages.  Madly charging into a fight just doesn't happen in our group, because they know the likely penalties.  Strategy and tactics, not to mention diplomacy, became far more valued.  In fact, we always try some non-violent resolution, unless our opponents are Chaotic.  I do agree with Bryan that more prep may be needed with RQ.  If there's a set-piece battle coming up, then you want to have opponents ready and waiting.  

I suggest that you have a talk about the pros and cons of each system, and ask your players what they think would work best for them.  Forward some of the discussion about this to them, if you like.  It's not a new topic, by any means, and other treatments of it are undoubtedly available, if you search.  As you can tell, our bunch are strong aficionadoes of the RQ, but we haven't tried HQII.  HQII is supposed to have been much better written and edited than HQI, which we just couldn't make work for us.  

Another valuable tool may be getting your players to rate themselves on what kind of players they think they are.  This may influence not only your choice of system, but type of scenario and GM style, too.  Check out:

Hope this helps, 

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