[Runequest] Converting D&D adventures to Runequest

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Tim Baker
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[Runequest] Converting D&D adventures to Runequest

Post by Tim Baker » Sat May 18, 2019 8:55 am

I was recently asked to provide the level of a D&D adventure in terms of Runequest: Glorantha, which I understand to be largely compatible with previous editions of Chaosium RQ. Having never played Runequest, and barely remembering my brief Call of Cthulhu game, I'm not even sure how to express something like "adventure level" in RQ terms, much less how to roughly align an adventure level with the equivalent in RQ.

I essentially have two questions:
  1. How do you categorize different "adventure levels" in Runequest? Is there a numeric system? Labels such as "novice" or "veteran?"
  2. What's the rough approximation of how to align D&D 5e adventure levels with Runequest's equivalent?
Thanks in advance for your help!

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Re: [Runequest] Converting D&D adventures to Runequest

Post by Khedrac » Sat May 18, 2019 9:13 am

There are usually only 2 ways RQ adventure difficulty gets expressed, but even they are not used that frequently.

The first is to do with how many characters are "rune level" characters.
E.g. and adventure can be labelled as "suitable for rune-level parties", or "parties with one or two rune-level characters".
Note: I have never seen an adventure labelled as not suitable for rune-levels, the closest is "suitable for beginner characters".
I have the RQ:G rules but I have not yet played them, and I think from reading them that the difference is power between initiates and rune-level characters is blurred compared with previous editions (as in initiates are now a bit stronger being able to use rune spells a bit more). This may make this method of labelling less useful?

The second is do do with skill levels, usually referring to combat skills.
E.g. this adveture is suitable for characters with 50-60% combat skills.
This method won't change in usefulness, but is rarer in my experience.

To be honest, I think the person asking the question probably has no idea how one of the two systems works as the concepts between them are not really compatible. You can take nearly any D&D-style adventure and re-write it for nearly any BFRP %-skill range simply by choosing appropriate skils for the opponents. Admittedly, it doesn't make sense for high priests and champion warriors to have low skills, but one can still write an
adventure that way.

I hae not played 5th Ed D&D but I really don't think the question has that much meaning. Labels such as "novice" or "verteran" are as good a way of classifying an adventure as any.
"If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it might just be a crow".

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Re: [Runequest] Converting D&D adventures to Runequest

Post by Tim Baker » Sat May 18, 2019 9:47 am

Khedrac wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 9:13 am
There are usually only 2 ways RQ adventure difficulty gets expressed, but even they are not used that frequently.
Thanks for the quick reply. I'm glad to know that there's a reason my Google-Fu didn't result in any helpful explanations...perhaps there simply isn't one.

Out of curiosity, is it common for a party to have a mix of initiate and rune-level characters?

Is there an approximate combat skills value that you would expect from rune-level characters?

What combat skills value do initiates start with?

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Re: [Runequest] Converting D&D adventures to Runequest

Post by Khedrac » Sat May 18, 2019 1:51 pm

Tim Baker wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 9:47 am
Thanks for the quick reply. I'm glad to know that there's a reason my Google-Fu didn't result in any helpful explanations...perhaps there simply isn't one.

Out of curiosity, is it common for a party to have a mix of initiate and rune-level characters?

Is there an approximate combat skills value that you would expect from rune-level characters?

What combat skills value do initiates start with?
More complex questions, let's see how well I can do. My answers are mainly from the perspective of playing RQ3 at university and for a few years thereafter - so 1998-1996ish

It depends. If a campaign goes on for any length of time then yes, some cults are much easier to get to priest/runelord (i.e. rune-level) in than others. Shamans are middling, sorcerors are very slow. This means that some characters will reach rune-status much faster than others.
Indeed, some cults (like Maran Gor) have simple enough requirements that once can start play as a rune-priest, however their magics are usually weaker than those of the cults which are harder to reach rune-status in.
Also, due to the costs (usually Power for spells) of becoming rune-status, a skilled initiate can be more powerful than a new priest.

The requirements for runelord status usually start with 90% in two or more weapon skills. Priest status for combat cults are similar, non combat cults are where it varies a lot. I think assuming 90%+ combat skills for a all-rune-level party is reasonable, 75%+ for a mixed party.

Starting character skills vary a lot with chosen/rolled background, but most parties should be start with 50%+ combat skills, 60%+ for the combat cultists. Non-combat skills are often lower, in that one individual may have a skill at 50% or more, but most of the party may be below 20%.
"If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it might just be a crow".

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Re: [Runequest] Converting D&D adventures to Runequest

Post by Tim Baker » Sat May 18, 2019 6:35 pm

Thanks for the fantastic answer. That's very informative, and will help me speak a bit more intelligently with the RQ community.

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