• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[Let's Read] RuneQuest 6 by The Design Mechanism

Heimdallsgothi

Bifrost's Guardian
Validated User
My uncle introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons when I was 8 years old, and I was hooked. I started buying books with the Red Box set of basic dungeons and dragons, ending up owning Basic, Expert, Companion, Master and Immortal sets (BECMI is still my favorite edition). From D&D I moved into Palladium Fantasy, TMNT, Gamma world, Star Frontiers. I discovered Rolemaster (RMC2, RMSS, and RMFRP), Shadowrun, Vampire, Rifts and many others. I acquired Pendragon 4th and several supplements as well as Stormbringer and the Hawkmoon boxed set at a yard sale. My recent book purchases include Hero 5th and 6th Editions. I started a Savage Worlds campaign last year, but picked up BRP and RuneQuest 6 as well. I also helped kickstart Glorantha, Fate Core, and Interface Zero.

I find myself not entirely happy with Savage Words. It’s a great game, but after almost a year, I know it will never be *my* game. The fact is, there is just something about it that is not clicking for me. So I’ve started looking for another go to system.
While I picked up BRP and RuneQuest 6 last year, and glanced through the first few chapters, I never read the books. I was a few weeks into my newly started Savaged Kingmaker game at the time, and focused my attention in that direction. I’m about halfway through the game at this point, and pondering what system I want to move to next, since I already know I’ll not be using Savage Worlds. Since Fantasy is my primary genre, I chose RuneQuest 6.

RuneQuest 6
Published by: The Design Mechanism

The book is available in Electronic and Print Formats, and is 458 total pages. The book is $62, PDF is $25. The PDF itself is well bookmarked and hyperlinked and has been updated with first errata.
If you buy the book from The Design Mechanism the PDF is Free.

Additional resources since publication include
1. Character sheets: PDF, both fillable and non-fillable. The character sheet from The Laughing Orc is one of the best looking sheets I’ve seen.
2. The GM Pack (also in Spanish) Contains 2 short adventures. Meeros Falling is a short Greek style adventure, The Exodus Matrix has a post-apoc vibe to it. Then 35 pages of charts and GM aids useful for making your own GM Screens.
3. RQ Firearms: 15 Pages of new combat effects covering Black Powder, Modern and Futuristic energy weapons.
4. Book of Quests Caravan: 24 Page adventure, considerable detail, good maps, discussions of motivations and tactics, looks like a pretty solid adventure.
5. RuneQuest 6 – Combat effects, the app is on google play (not sure I’d use this)
6. There was a Star Wars conversion, this is no longer openly available and you’ll have to do some digging to acquire it.
Future goals seem to include a 1930’s pulp book called Monster Island, Greek/Mesopotamian setting books, as well as a Luther Arkwright setting book.

Overall it looks like that while RuneQuest 6 is a fantasy game, they are looking to support multiple genre/play styles.
 

Heimdallsgothi

Bifrost's Guardian
Validated User
RuneQuest 6
The book itself is a softcover. The covers are color; the interior is black and white text/art. The book is fairly thick, but seems reasonably well made. My first glance through the book as a whole leaves me with several impressions. The font chosen has ligatures, these little curly dangly bits that can be slightly distracting, and if you’re reading the PDF may have you swiping at your screen to clean it off.

The next impression is that the book uses European spelling conventions, so it’s armour not armor, practise not practice. My final impression is on the inking. The text seems more a dark gray than deep black, both in the PDF and actual book. This seems to be by design, rather than a printing flaw. It’s not bad or distracting, but it is noticeable. Pages are dual column layout, with wide margins; the outside margin is used occasionally as a sidebar for rules examples.

The book is divided into 16 chapters with appendices. I will try to cover a chapter every few days.

The Foreword: Steve Perrin describes the basic history of RuneQuest from 1976 to current state. Since Steve Perrin helped create the original version, it’s good to see he’s onboard.

The Introduction: Describes why they are making a 6th edition. It describes the various edition publication dates. It seems that for RuneQuest is feast or famine. There were 3 editions between 1978 and 1984, then 20 years of nothing, then 3 more editions between 2006 and 2012. A brief description of the chapter contents, a glossary, and section on the dice types needed to play.

Chapter 1: Basic Character Creation
The sidebars throughout this chapter detail the creation of a female warrior from a Greek style culture named Anathaym. Humans are the default species, there is a section mentioning non-human races, but none are described here.
RuneQuest has 7 stats:
1. Strength : Determines how much you can lift and damage modifier
2. Constitution : Helps determine Hit Points and Healing Rate
3. Size : Helps determine your characters mass, with guidelines on height
4. Dexterity : Helps determine Action Points and Strike Rank
5. Intelligence : Helps determine Action Points and Strike Rank
6. Power : Determines Magic Points, Luck Points, Will power?
7. Charisma : Force of personality (not appearance), Affects Experience

There are 3 methods of calculating characteristics, Dice Roll in Order, Dice Roll Assign, and 80 Point Build. Size and Intelligence are treated differently 2d6+6, the rest are 3d6. Math says take the points unless you roll well.

RuneQuest has 10 attributes. These attributes are derived from the values of one or more stats.
1. Action Points : INT+DEX. Starting stat ranges show this should be 1-3
2. Damage Modifier : STR+DEX, determines the dice type you roll to add or subtract from overall damage.
3. Experience Modifier : CHA. Starting stat range shows this will be -1, 0, or +1
4. Healing Rate : CON Starting stat range show this value will be 1-3
5. Height and Weight : Size determines both how tall your character can be, as well as providing a weight range
6. Hit Points : SIZ+CON, determines how many hit points each hit location has, Humans have 7
7. Luck Points : Allows players to reroll, mitigate damage or gain an edge in combat
8. Magic Points : Magic Points are equal to your POW stat
9. Movement Rate : All humans have a base movement of 6 meters
10. Strike Rank : Average of DEX+INT

Standard Skills (22)
Every character has access to the standard skills. This list includes skills such as athletics, perception, ride, etc. The base value of each skill is the sum of 2 characteristics.

Combat Styles
Combat styles are how characters show combat skill in weapons and fighting overall. No examples are given. I imagine styles are a method of avoiding individual weapon skills, but instead group a wide variety of skills together into an overall whole. Roman centurion, Medieval Knight, Viking Warrior, Samurai, probably even Ninja.
Wonder how this would reflect unarmed vs. armed combat styles.

Chapter 1 Review
Things I learned or question.

It is difficult to make a fat merchant. Size as a stat bothers me at this point.

Charisma as a stat specifically excludes appearance as being covered. You can be terribly pretty with no charisma, or even ugly with high charm skills to “compensate”. There is no non-verbal component to measure initial reaction; maybe this is addressed later on.

It’s almost impossible to start out with 1 action point. The base minimum for Int+ Dex is 11, so you have to roll a 4 dex, or pick a 4 dex to have only 1 action.

Being small/weak is very bad in this game. The damage modifier can completely negate your weapon damage. You have to be average to have no penalty (Str+Siz = 21+)

Hit Points look like it’s going to be a problem. An average size/strength person has this many hit points.
Head : 5 Chest : 7 Abdomen : 6 Arm : 4 Leg : 5
I cheated (broadsword does a d8) this makes me nervous. I hope armor is very effective.

Luck Points seem like ways to keep your character from getting killed. Why are these necessary if combat/damage is balanced properly?
 

Hopeless

Retired User
I was thinking allowing a player to decrease height in return for increasing weight say a point or two at most so you could have a character with a Size of 12 (normally between 171-175cm in height and weigh between 56 to up to 108kg)whose height could either be equivalent of a size 14 (181-185cm) in return for a weight equivalent of 10 (46-90kg) making them lighter in return for taller or the other way round and have them be shorter (Size 10 or 161-165cm tall) in return for being heavier (Size 14 or between 66-126kg in weight).

Would that work?
 
Last edited:

Lawrence Whitaker

Registered User
Validated User
Luck Points seem like ways to keep your character from getting killed. Why are these necessary if combat/damage is balanced properly?
Luck Points have a variety of uses - not just for mitigating damage or staying alive. As to combat/damage balancing, well, when you get to the combat chapter your questions will hopefully be answered: however, for now, its enough to say that there are a variety of different mechanisms constituting combat that make it lethal, but necessarily so.

Armour IS effective, depending on what armour you have. It directly reduces damage, which will aid those characters with lower hit points. But there's a great deal more to it than that, as you'll see as you continue your reading.
 

Heimdallsgothi

Bifrost's Guardian
Validated User
Well luck points refresh every session, so the concern is that you need luck points to make RuneQuest playable, because otherwise combat is so lethal as to make combat in general unsurvivable.

What happens to character survival if you remove Luck points entirely?

No one in my group wants to play Meatgrinder: The RPG, or Futility: The Character Graveyard.

I am a veteran of ROlemaster, I know well the pain of a 5 hour character creation process, ended 20 minutes into a session. Dying for a reason can be fun, dying constantly "because its realistic, man" not fun.

So right now, are luck points there to make the game interesting, like bennies in savage worlds? OR, are luck points there because the game is so lethal that you need them for any hope of long term character survival. We shall see..
 

Bloodwolf

Dark Puppy of Doom
Keep reading.

I have been very on the fence with this game (As I have Basic Role Playing already) and your words may decide my fate.

Or not, but you get the point.
 

Chris J

Registered User
Validated User
Well luck points refresh every session, so the concern is that you need luck points to make RuneQuest playable,
So, because Luck Points refresh every session, that tells you combat is too lethal? How did you come to that conclusion? Luck Points are there to give a player more control over his character in the game - not just combat.

because otherwise combat is so lethal as to make combat in general unsurvivable.
Again, you seem to have read Luck Points and jumped to the conclusion that combat is too lethal, but why?

What happens to character survival if you remove Luck points entirely?
Like any other rpg, that all depends on how you roleplay your character

No one in my group wants to play Meatgrinder: The RPG, or Futility: The Character Graveyard.
Don't blame you. Try RuneQuest 6 instead, you may like it

I am a veteran of ROlemaster, I know well the pain of a 5 hour character creation process, ended 20 minutes into a session. Dying for a reason can be fun, dying constantly "because its realistic, man" not fun.
All your questions are answered in the book. Combat in RuneQuest 6 is dangerous to your character, just like in real life. RQ6 simulates the lethality of a fight, and does it really well. This however is not the same as saying it's too lethal

So right now, are luck points there to make the game interesting, like bennies in savage worlds? OR, are luck points there because the game is so lethal that you need them for any hope of long term character survival. We shall see..
They are there to give the character more options, more control over the story. Be that re-rolling the dice in a social scene, or combat. In short, yes, they are similar to Bennies
 

Asen_G

#3 Anti-Illusionism Squad
Validated User
Well luck points refresh every session, so the concern is that you need luck points to make RuneQuest playable, because otherwise combat is so lethal as to make combat in general unsurvivable.

What happens to character survival if you remove Luck points entirely?

No one in my group wants to play Meatgrinder: The RPG, or Futility: The Character Graveyard.

I am a veteran of ROlemaster, I know well the pain of a 5 hour character creation process, ended 20 minutes into a session. Dying for a reason can be fun, dying constantly "because its realistic, man" not fun.

So right now, are luck points there to make the game interesting, like bennies in savage worlds? OR, are luck points there because the game is so lethal that you need them for any hope of long term character survival. We shall see..
As a veteran of MRQ2/Legend, which has similar rules and similar Hero points, they're definitely there to make it more interesting:).
To back that up, our Vikings campaign had no supernatural healing, and only as much healing as you can find in 11th century. I think we used less than 1 Hero point per player to survive wounds. And that was to avoid unconsciousness, capture and ransom. The characters were unlikely to die anyway, and even unconscious, they wouldn't have been slain;). After all, people would rather have your relatives paying ransom, especially if you're fighting in mailles;).
OTOH, we also seldom had any Hero Points:p! The characters tended to use them in skill tests when we really, really didn't want to lose, most of them in social situations, and only used them in battle when we wanted to prevail against the odds. The point is, hoarding them for survival was largely unnecessary once you've got decent combat skill and at least average armour:D!
And yes, I'm also not sure why you'd want balanced combats, but you could have that with RQ6 as well;)!
 
Last edited:

Heimdallsgothi

Bifrost's Guardian
Validated User
So, because Luck Points refresh every session, that tells you combat is too lethal? How did you come to that conclusion? Luck Points are there to give a player more control over his character in the game - not just combat.

Again, you seem to have read Luck Points and jumped to the conclusion that combat is too lethal, but why?

All your questions are answered in the book. Combat in RuneQuest 6 is dangerous to your character, just like in real life. RQ6 simulates the lethality of a fight, and does it really well. This however is not the same as saying it's too lethal
They are there to give the character more options, more control over the story. Be that re-rolling the dice in a social scene, or combat. In short, yes, they are similar to Bennies
This is easy to explain, since one of the primary purposes is to mitigate damage. Since my post specifically mentions my concerns about Hit Locations and the low seeming values (comparatively speaking) the fact that the very next section after hit points per hit location is, how you can use luck points to mitigate damage. This is often known as foreshadowing...

Naturally when I look at the hit points vs weapon damage, a good sword swing will exceed an arm/legs hit points in a single blow, this isn't the quest for the holy grail.. if you are short an arm or leg.. the fight is pretty much over
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom