[Let’s Study: RuneQuest 6th] Character Creation 1, Base Character

Posted: October 23, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games, RuneQuest 6th
Tags: ,

Today we’re checking out the first thing that players experience whenever they try a new game: Character Creation. Thankfully, rather than being sandwiched somewhere in the middle of the book, this chapter takes place right after the introduction. Players who are familiar with the Basic Role Playing System from Chaosium will feel right at home here, as they are largely similar.

Right, before we go to the whole process, let’s see if we can come up with a concept first. I’m thinking I’d like to try playing a horse-riding nomad hunter / scout. Someone who relishes his freedom and is fascinated and puzzled by those who would much rather live their lives in the claustrophobic living accommodations of the city, forever rooted to some spot like plants. I think I’ll call him Altan.

RuneQuest has seven different characteristics:

  • Strength (STR)
  • Constitution (CON)
  • Size (SIZ)
  • Dexterity (DEX)
  • Intelligence (INT)
  • Power (POW)
  • Charisma (CHA)

The book offers three different means of assigning scores to these characteristics: Roll In Sequence, Roll And Assign and Point Buy. For the purposes of this example, I’ll go for Roll and Assign, where I roll 3d6 five times, and 2d6+6 twice for (SIZ and INT).

Altan’s resulting characteristics aren’t the type that would make a player cry out in delight, but I’ll make do:

STR 10
CON 14
SIZ 10
DEX 14
INT 11
POW 09
CHA 14

Considering that the maximum stat is a score of 18, this shows that Altan’s pretty much an Average Joe, but hey, sometimes playing those can be lots of fun. Moving on to Derived attributes I dive into a bunch of easy to use tables and minor calculations to get the rest of Altan’s statistics.

Action Points determine how many times Altan can act in a combat round. His Damage Modifier affects his ability to deal damage with his raw strength. Experience Modifier shows if he’s particularly good at learning from his experiences. His Healing Rate determines how fast he can get back to his feet after an injury and Hit Points determine just how much punishment each of his body parts can take.

I’d like to add that I have a soft spot in my heart for Hit Locations. They’re more fiddly, yes, but it’s cool.

Action Points: 3
Damage Modifier: -1d2
Experience Modifier: 0
Healing Rate: 3

Hit Points:
Head 5
Chest 7
Abdomen 6
R Arm 4
L Arm 4
R Leg 5
L Leg 5

That’s not all! Also on the roster of derived attributes are Luck Points, which can be spent to reroll a bad roll, or mitigate damage. Magic Points, which might not mater much to Altan, but are vital for spellcasters. Movement Rate (which defaults to a 6 for humans) and Strike Rank (which is used to determine initiative in combat) are also displayed.

Luck Points: 2
Magic Points: 9
Movement Rate: 6
Strike Rank: 12

That is probably one of the bigger blocks of derived stats I’ve calculated in a while. Thankfully, most of these are simple chart lookups and simple math. I’m enjoying this so far, everything is well written and clear, and I’m not getting impatient at all in terms of getting my character done. Next up, we move on to Altan’s skills starting with what RuneQuest calls Standard Skills. Similar to HERO’s Everyman Skills, these are skills that every adventurer is expected to be proficient with. The base rating for these are either the sum of two characteristics or a multiple of one.

These skills, and their base percentages are:

Athletics STR+DEX 24
Boating STR+CON 24
Brawn STR+SIZ 20
Conceal DEX+POW 23
Customs INTx2 22
Dance DEX+CHA 28
Deceit INT+CHA 25
Drive DEX+POW 23
Endurance CONx2 28
First Aid INT+DEX 25
Influence CHAx2 28
Insight INT+POW 20
Locale INT x2 22
Native Tongue INT+CHA 25
Perception INT+POW 20
Ride DEX+POW 23
Sing CHA+POW 23
Stealth DEX+INT 25
Swim STR+CON 24
Unarmed STR+DEX 28
Willpower POWx2 18

The values are also the ones based off Altan’s characteristics. Needless to say he’s got an average of about 25% on most skills, not too bad, but he could certainly spend his skill points to beef these up.

This completes a “Base” character for the game. Overall it’s a painless and interesting process, and any fantasy game that has “Sing” as a skill gets extra points in my book. As is I can imagine a no-magic version of RuneQuest being ideal for a game set in say, Guy Gavriel Kay’s books, such as the Lions of Al-Rassan. Needless to say I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far, and I’m eager to dive into the next part of character creation.

Tomorrow we tackle the concepts of Culture, Background Events, Money and Passions, as we continue to shape Altan into a full character for RuneQuest.




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