Home Forums Gaming in Glorantha HeroQuest Unskilled penalties

This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of David Scott David Scott 3 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #5290
    Profile photo of Michael
    Michael
    Spectator

    What would be the penalty if you try something and you don’t have a skill? Would it be -6 and considered a stretch?

    #6425
    Profile photo of Robin Mitra
    Robin Mitra
    Spectator

    If really nothing else fits, you always have a default rating of 6. Usually a stretch of -6 will result in a higher rating than the default value. Also remember that you are allowed to spend a heropoint to buy new abilities any time, i.e. even when the obstacle is already right before you.

    #6426
    Profile photo of Robin Mitra
    Robin Mitra
    Spectator

    Also remember that abilities in HeroQuest are unlike skills in other RPGs. In Heroquest you can use an ability for an unlimited range of obstacles. Examples:
    1. ‘Sword’ or ‘Strong’ abilities for selling/buying a weapon on the market.
    2. ‘Cooking’ or ‘Golden Robe’ for impressing guests or superiors.
    3. ‘Has three older brothers’ or ‘Gets always into trouble’ for brawls or fist fighting.

    Keywords are even wider than abilities. A cultural keyword like ‘Greydog Clan’ or ‘New Yorker’ allows you to roll for history, geography, spoken dialects, know the neighbourhood, know Ginlo the Innkeeper etc.

    In my opinion the default 6 should only be chosen when really nothing else would do. Using the default 6 is like a person from the 19th century trying to start a stick shift car. He has absolutely no idea what to do, but he might be lucky, because he understands what a key and a steering wheel is.

    Also feel free to deny the player any roll at all, if you think that the character has no matching ability at all. If a peasant from ancient Persia would try to start the aforementioned car, I would not allow the default 6.

    #6427
    Profile photo of Michael
    Michael
    Spectator

    I’m going to run a Call of Cthulhu adventure and I was thinking of skills like run away fast or things like climbing or hiding.

    Does anyone know the p. # of the default to 6 rule?

    #6428
    Profile photo of Robin Mitra
    Robin Mitra
    Spectator

    Anybody can hide or run. I would not use abilities for that, unless you have a professional athlete or sniper in the group. Do the characters have jobs like handyman or waitress? Or do they have backgrounds like ‘Was always bullied at school’ or ‘plays cricket’? All that would do just fine. You characters probably have something in their background, if not on their character sheets, that will fit.

    I don’t have a copy of my rulebook at hand, but it should be somwhere in the beginning in the chapter ‘Framing a contest’ or something similar (just before ‘Modifiers’). It is in a box or sidebar and called Base value or Default value.

    Please keep in mind that HeroQuest is a completely different rulesystem from the BasicRoleplaying used in CoC. With HeroQuest most of the time I would NOT use contests for things like ‘run away’, ‘climbing’ or ‘hiding’. Is it more fun for the group if the character can hide or if he gets spotted? Deny your character a die roll or give him an automatic success. In HQ a contest represents an entire encounter overcoming an obstacle, not just a single move or action.

    #6430
    Profile photo of Robin Mitra
    Robin Mitra
    Spectator

    It is p. 22 in my Tentacles Omega Edition

    #6432
    Profile photo of David Scott
    David Scott
    Keymaster

    In the box on page 22, Standard edition:

    Quote:
    Default Ratings
    If you enter a contest for which you have no relevant ability whatsoever, your base target number is a 6. Like ability ratings, it may be subject to modifiers.
    #6447
    Profile photo of Michael
    Michael
    Spectator

    Ok. What if you are fleeing from a madman with an axe and you pull a 38. revolver from the dead cop he has already brained and try to blast him? What if you don’t have the skill revolver?

    #6448
    Profile photo of Roko Joko
    Roko Joko
    Spectator

    X if you have a level X ability (the rules call them abilities rather than skills) that would give you the knowledge of how to use a gun in general and the ability to use one in this situation; 6 if you don’t.

    Basically you do have to have a gun skill, but it might not be written down like that. It could be written down as a job, or a hobby, or even something like “Action Movie Fan” or “Horror Movie Fan” if you rule that that would work in your game. Or even something like “Thirst for Vengeance Against Axe Murderers” if you don’t necessarily want to worry about the niceties of whether the character would know how to release the safety on the gun.

    #6449
    Profile photo of Roko Joko
    Roko Joko
    Spectator
    Quote:
    In HQ a contest represents an entire encounter overcoming an obstacle, not just a single move or action.

    I disagree with this as a generality. HQ is flexible. A HQ contest can represent something narrowly scoped if you want it to.

    #6454
    Profile photo of Robin Mitra
    Robin Mitra
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Roko Joko on December 17, 2013, 04:36
    I disagree with this as a generality. HQ is flexible. A HQ contest can represent something narrowly scoped if you want it to.

    Alright, you got me there. Yes, you can do that. 🙂 However, I believe HQ is designed for being played differently. But of course HQ is very flexible and there is no right or wrong.

    Quote:
    Quote from Michael Lewis on December 17, 2013, 00:24
    Ok. What if you are fleeing from a madman with an axe and you pull a 38. revolver from the dead cop he has already brained and try to blast him? What if you don’t have the skill revolver?

    Can you give us his character sheet? I am quiet certain that we can find something useful for this scene. Especially when it is only about a loaded revolver. That kind of tool should be pretty easy to use for anybody who knows which end to point to the bad guy. Did the character do military service? Was his father a hunter? Do you play in an age that witnessed a major war? Does he/she come from a bad neighbourhood? And again if the character really doesn’t have anything remotely like that, the player can still spend a heropoint to declare that he served as enlisted soldier in WW1, worked a year for the mafia during his college time or whatever.

    But I believe even before looking on character sheets and determining which ability to use, you might want to consider two things:

    1. “Where traditional roleplaying games simulate an imaginary reality, HeroQuest emulates the techniques of fictional storytelling.” (HQ rulebook p. 7) Among other things that means even if the player chooses a totally unrelated ability like ‘Hates his father’, this could be valid if everybody has a laugh and agrees that the axe wielding maniac really looks a bit like the character’s deceased father.

    2. Chapters “Playing Stories” (HQ pp. 67) and “Narrating” (HQ pp. 77) explain that the resistance should not necessarily be determined by any “objective” reality, but by a Pass-Fail-Cycle and the fun a success or failure would lead to. This can also be applied to the range of applicable abilities. Do you want this scene to be a real challenge? Then don’t except anything but professional weapon experience. Is it only an intermezzo to the real trouble in the old warehouse? Then allow any more or less related ability as long as it is fun.

    #6455
    Profile photo of David Scott
    David Scott
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    Quote from Michael Lewis on December 17, 2013, 00:24
    Ok. What if you are fleeing from a madman with an axe and you pull a 38. revolver from the dead cop he has already brained and try to blast him? What if you don’t have the skill revolver?

    First remember that the Narrator needs to look at what outcome is best for the plot:

      Shots him dead to end the seen, no contest just happens.
      Good chance of killing him – set resistance low, skill of 6, maybe a credible augment as well.
      poor chance of killing him – set resistance high, skill of 6, maybe a credible augment as well.
      no chance, you fire wildly and miss. Better come up with a new plan.

    Now frame the contest.

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