Tuesday, September 13, 2011

[MRQ] Character creation seemed to simple, so let's try it out!

Mongoose Publishing's RuneQuest is one of my new games. It is a light book and easy to read so I thought I'll read it at work when ever I got time for reviewing it.

After I read character creation section, I wanted to try it out. It seemed to be really simple and fast. And I only have this one book, so basically only human characters are available. So, no duck for me.

Let's start.

First I roll characteristics. 4D6, drop lowest and add remaining together. Except Size and intelligence where you roll 3DD6, drop lowest, add remaining +6. That is because human are average in intelligence and size compared to for example animals. I also have a couple of options. Roll all characteristics in order, or I can place them where ever I please (except SIZ and INT I can only swap together because of different rolling). I roll them in order and keep them that way. Here are my results:


  • STR: 9
  • CON: 12
  • DEX: 12
  • SIZ: 15
  • INT: 18
  • POW: 16
  • CHA: 12
Weak in strength and both psychically and socially average, but he's intelligent and his willpower/life-force is high. I can see where this is going...

Next attributes, what are calculated and based on characteristics.

  • Combat Actions: 2 (how many times per turn my character can act, this is average).
  • Damage Modifier: +/-0
  • Hit Points: Legs: 6; Abdomen: 7; Chest: 8; Arms: 5; Head: 6
Fast this far! Now I have to determine Starting Skills what are based on characteristics. Characteristics give Starting Skill %-values. Obviously it would be faster to record these on character sheet. Writing takes more time.

Acrobatics: 12; Athletics: 21; Boating: 9; Dodge: 7; Driving: 26; Evaluate: 18; First Aid: 18; Influence: 22; Lore (Animal):18; Lore (Plant): 18; Lore (World): 18; Perception: 34; Persistence: 26; Resilience: 28; Riding: 28; Sing: 12; Sleight: 22; Stealth: 7; Throwing: 12; Unarmed: 9
Weapon Skills: All Close Combat: 31; All Ranged: 12

Previous experience tells character's cultural background from where he is and what is his profession. Both I can choose in Games Master's [sic] approval. I think my character is noble, because he is more brains than body. Cultural Background gives few modifications to my character. Basically in skills. Some of them are from a selection I can choose from to make my character a bit different from other noble.

My basic skills look like this after picking up Noble background:

Acrobatics: 12; Athletics: 21; Boating: 9; Dodge: 7; Driving: 26; Evaluate: 23; First Aid: 18; Influence: 32; Lore (Animal):18; Lore (Plant): 18; Lore (World): 28; Perception: 39; Persistence: 36; Resilience: 28; Riding: 28; Sing: 12; Sleight: 22; Stealth: 7; Throwing: 12; Unarmed: 9
Weapon Skills: All Close Combat: 31*; All Ranged: 12
*These at higher %: Dagger: 46; Rapier: 46

I also get the following Advanced Skills:
Language (Native) +50%, Lore (Regional), Language (Extra), Lore (Alchemy)

At this point I also have 240 silver pieces.

Next I'll choose profession. Not all professions are available for me to choose, because of my cultural background. Wizard it is. I'll get my hands on cool Rune Magic!

After choosing Wizard profession for my character's background, my skills look like this:

Acrobatics: 12; Athletics: 21; Boating: 9; Dodge: 7; Driving: 26; Evaluate: 28; First Aid: 18; Influence: 32; Lore (Animal):18; Lore (Plant): 18; Lore (World): 33; Perception: 39; Persistence: 46; Resilience: 28; Riding: 28; Sing: 12; Sleight: 22; Stealth: 7; Throwing: 12; Unarmed: 9
Weapon Skills: All Close Combat: 31*; All Ranged: 12
*These at higher %: Dagger: 46; Rapier: 46

And my Advanced skills:
Language (Native): 68; Lore (Regional): 18; Language (Extra): 18; Lore (Alchemy): 18; Runecasting (Fire): 28; Runecasting(Cold): 28; Lore (Geography): 28

One of the final touches is freebie points for skills. 100 skill points, 30 maximum usage for one skill, 10 points to start a new skill from characteristic value. Really simple. I used my 100 points to:

  • Dodge 10 = 17
  • Evaluate 7 = 35
  • First Aid 2 = 20
  • Influence 8 = 40
  • Lore Plant 12 = 30
  • Lore World 7 = 40
  • Language (Native) 12 = 80
  • Lore Alchemy 2 = 20
  • Runecasting Fire 30 = 58
  • Runecasting Cold 10 = 38
NOTE: Runes have been already Integrated to character. Both of them integrated looses one point of POW from character. Also all skills related to POW are decreased the number POW is decreased! From above skills I should decrease 2% what are related to POW and my character's new POW would be 14 instead of original 16.

General information is a bit boring. Movement for all human are 4m. All beginner characters start with 2 Hero Points and starting character's age is between 15 to 30. It also tells that "upcoming" RuneQuest Companion gives rules to play nonhuman characters.
Appearance is your own description. My character is 26 years old but looks at least 10 years older. His hair is grey like old man's and he looks like sickly and weak although he is in perfect condition. Just not that physical. He is taller than average.

Character personality is next step. He was bullied at school because he was weaker, taller and more intelligent than others. That has determined who he is now. He wants power via intelligence and runes and is willing to sacrifice even his physical health in his quest for "real" power.

And now equipments. 240 silver pieces to spend in weapons, armor, basic equipments etc. I won't purchase them now but I do expect that my character has a hidden knife and a rapier what gives more impression that he is noble than he would be a sword fighter. Armor gives skill penalties and they are too expensive for my character. General items would be like backpack, bedroll and other camping equipment. Parchments to record adventures and findings, lantern and oil, a couple of candles writing kit... All basic items you could think a noble wizard scholar would carry around. If he could afford after all that, a mule (125 SP) would be cool. And enough money for saving so he could afford bed & breakfast.

Conclusion

Mongoose's RuneQuest character creation is really fast. You have also some power to choose what direction your character will take. Different cultural background plus profession combinations produce different starting skill sets.
Unfortunately this book is only the basic book for MRQ and it is not that detailed.
You can basically create a character from different race as you can see how attributes are rolled for diferent races. That doesn't give much detail though and I can only guess what difference RQ Companion provides for character creation.

But for basic fantasy game, I think MRQ character creation is both fast and versatile enough. You can create a character from a commoner to a lord or (rune)wizard.

This works smoothly!
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