Runequest Is Befuddling Me

I think I'm a pretty experienced gamer. I've played a lot of systems over the past 30 years or so: every version of D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Warhammer Fantasy, Savage Worlds, Shadowun (gulp!), GURPS, Year Zero, PbtA.
And wow is Runequest on the complex side.
The rulebook is laid out very bizarrely.
You start off with centuries of history, then learning about cults (which you swear loyalty to and are thereafter referred as symbols for the rest of the book). Then you choose what your character's ancestors were doing during various historical events. Then you roll stats and figure out derived stats by averaging different combinations of stats, which are modified by the ancestral events and your cult runes. Which you then need to figure out which of a few dozen skills are modified by which ability scores. And then you get modifications to those skills based on your culture, so on to this next chapter to see what those are.
I don't know how many chapters I'm in, and there hasn't really been a discussion of how die rolling works or the overall system.
It's a beautiful book, but I feel like the designers are trolling me with what might be the most convoluted presentation of any core rulebook I've seen in the modern era. I can't imagine anyone being able to use this as a reference book.
Call of Cthulhu has a simple, elegant, and (dare I say it) beautiful game design. What happened to Chaosium here? I can't read more than 10 minutes without completely losing track of what I'm looking at.
Know that you are far from alone in this experience.

I love what I've read of the Runequest setting. The system? It took an effort of will to even temporarily comprehend it and it has since faded lol.
 

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Retreater

Legend
Know that you are far from alone in this experience.

I love what I've read of the Runequest setting. The system? It took an effort of will to even temporarily comprehend it and it has since faded lol.
That's disappointing. It's still inspirational from a visual standpoint and the setting seems great. But since I'm usually the one training new players to learn a system, it typically falls to me to have a great understanding (my players tend to not be "system nerds" as my wife puts it.)

Another odd thing is that it seems to have no official VTT presence. Nothing on Roll20, Foundry VTT. I guess every player should buy their own massive, hardcover rulebook and we play with actual paper and dice on Zoom?
That seems not very forward-thinking.
 

Another odd thing is that it seems to have no official VTT presence. Nothing on Roll20, Foundry VTT. I guess every player should buy their own massive, hardcover rulebook and we play with actual paper and dice on Zoom?
Huh. I assumed they'd have an unofficial presence on Foundry at least, but it looks like they don't.
 


eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
The Gloranthan Sourcebook is a good companion for the new version (what are we calling the new one, RQ7, since what was RQ6 is now Mythras?).

Beyond that, maybe try reading RQ2. It's a much slimmer volume and tells you everything you need to know about Dragon Pass and its area there.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Old School Essentials is a great argument for the idea that legacy systems occasionally need new eyes to organize and lay things out much, much better than they were originally. RuneQuest's world is fascinating and colorful, but new readers shouldn't be drowned by it before they understand the basics of gameplay.
 

Bluenose

Adventurer
The Starter Set is a good way to get to understand the mechanics, and the character creation is imo by some way the most complex part of the game. Some of the fan material on the Jonstown Compendium greatly reduces the amount of work involved there in terms of family background and proceeding into a more "RPG standard" character generation. They also have the advantage of covering less Lore-Dense parts of the world. And not ending up having to pay attention to Super-Argrath who sometimes seems to have the whole world revolving around his activities.

Might I suggest two computer games, King of Dragon Pass and Six Ages: Ride like the Wind? Both good games and a very nice introduction to clans, myths and the nature of the world. While I like the Glorantha Sourcebook it also has weaknesses. Of course if you do go for something in another part of the world, well, those games aren't so much help - probably.
 

Rogerd1

Adventurer
Honestly, the trouble with all the D100 Runequest stuff is spell spam, or simply put too many spells that do the same thing; some DnD has too. Savage Worlds strips that out, and makes it a lot easier, on that front.

If you are to use the newest edition, I would group spells be type, each has an effect / trapping, and then every extra 1d6 damage is +1 MP.

My main issue is that I have never liked the percentage system, as it seems too easy to fail, and would prefer a tier system, based on how proficient you were. My other problem is that Legendary / Heroic abilities have been removed, which made the concept of creating interesting martially based characters kind of fun.

But yeah, there is a lot to take in.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I love King of Dragon Pass (really got into character as an Orlanthi chieftain, my long-term goal was always to create a coalition of Sun God and earth Goddess clans along with the Ducks). Bounced hard off any atte.pt to read actual Runequest books.
 

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