RQ Homebrew, Game Design, and Articles

Much as I enjoy RuneQuest, no rule system is perfect; and over the years, I've created a number of alternate rules for RuneQuest. Many of these are simply a matter of common sense, and have been independantly re-created by numerous gamers. The Dodge skill is a good example of this: many RQers have a successful Dodge reduce the effect of an opposing blow by one category (i.e. a Critical hit becomes a Special; a Special hit becomes a regular success; and a regular hit becomes a miss). A Special Dodge reduces the opposing blow by two categories, etc.

Okay, I've finally posted an article which probably goes into way too much detail about Dodge. Other rules adaptations and alternate systems are included here as well. I've also posted other articles which don't fit elsewhere on the site.

Why I Love RuneQuest
I wrote this on request. It's not the whole story of my experiences with RuneQuest; for the rest, see the latest
Chatter. Note: This opens as a new page on my blog, which is external to this site.

Diablo I HD Mod: Belzebub
Activision Blizzard may have decided that Diablo exists to be exploited, but fortunately gamers know better. The Belzebub mod is Diablo I improved, expanded, and enhanced with many of the best elements of Diablo II. Plus it's free, and installation couldn't be easier! Review, how-to, and links. Note: This opens as a new page on my blog, which is external to this site.

Arcanum Tips
Tips and tricks for one of my favorite computer RPGs: Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura.

Adversary Reactions To Death
Why is death so impersonal and undifferentiated in so many campaigns? Here's a list of eighty possible reactions to a mortal wound for your party's opponents.

Skill Allotment: The Skill Pyramid
A relatively quick and easy way to assign skills for PCs.

The Most Common Mistakes of New Gamemasters
Another piece I originally worked up for the Gamemaster's Tips community on Google Plus. Railroading, sandboxing, sock-puppetting...the ways in which a starting GM can blunder are legion. Here are some of the most common.

Getting the Most From Your NPCs
Something I originally worked up for the Gamemaster's Tips community on Google Plus. Flat, lifeless NPCs are far too common. But there are some easy tricks to bringing them to life.

The RuneQuest III Dodge Flaw & Fix
Brilliant as it was, Avalon Hill's RuneQuest II (the definitive edition of RuneQuest as far as I'm concerned) incorporated one serious yet subtle flaw. Here's my solution.

Sheetless Roleplaying
Sheetless roleplaying is an extremely advanced method of roleplaying in which the players don't have character sheets. The gamemaster handles all aspect of the game system. The result is often a campaign of mind-blowing intensity.

Two New RuneQuest III Sorcery Skills: Speedcast and Multitarget
Put some pep in your sorcerer's step!

Con Survival 101: How To Survive A Science Fiction Convention
A convention is a great way to meet new gamers and have a lot of fun. Here's how to get the most out of them!

A Brief Introduction to Live Roleplaying
The basics of Live Roleplaying, also known as LARP.

Martial Arts Skill - Runequest House Rule
Martial arts house rules - including martial arts for weapons - from
Sven Lugar.

The History of RuneQuest
The chaotic, tumultuous publishing history of RuneQuest, from its auspicious birth in 1978 to its sundering and unexpected death in 1994 to its strange triple resurrection in 2005 - 2007.

Rogue Made Easy
An introduction to the timeless ancestor of computer RPGs, Rogue. Includes the DOS version of the program itself, as well as cheat tips, a saved character, lists of identified items for that character, and a batch file to restore that character (or you can easily modify it to restore a different one). Includes a link to the actual game itself! Updated to fix broken links on April 9, 2012.

Introductory Fan Web Design
This is a handout I made up for a panel I did on Introductory Fan Web Design at Arisia on January 2004. A ready-to-print PDF of the handout is included.

Bar Wars
I thought it had been lost for years, but here it is! The original, humorous version of the Party Origins article below. This is more crude than the final version, of course, but it's a very rare example of my humorous writing. And it's also an interesting chance to see the part of the article that was rejected by the editor of White Wolf magazine.

The Gamemaster's Hall of Shame
Monty Haul isn't the only awful GM archetype out there; here are ten more. I wrote this article long ago for the Interregnum RPG APA, and somehow it took on a life of its own. I ended up filming a short video, even. And after twenty-three years, it's finally available

RuneQuest 3 Creatures Tables

Strictly speaking this isn't an "alternate" rule; in fact, it's not really even a rule. It's simply three numbered and alphabetized lists of the creatures from the RQ 3 Creatures book. One contains all creatures, one contains sapient corporeals only, and the last is spirits and incorporeals only. I hope they're useful to someone! Includes Gloranthan and non-Gloranthan entries.

Imbued Magic Item Creation

A system which allows PCs to create non-standard magic items such as a weapon with a permanent Bladesharp 1, using a simple adaptation of RQ3 rules. This system has been used to create a number of magic items listed on the Chaos Project, but you don't have to use this system to be able to use the items. This system is compatible with Runic Sorcery, but the two systems were created completely independently and are not directly related nor mutually dependent—you could use either, both, or (of course) neither.

Party Origin Stories.

How to put together a group of adventurers without resorting to the old "you all meet in a bar and decide to spend the rest of your lives together for no reason" cliche. The best general game design article I've written, I think; White Wolf magazine wanted to publish it, but, well, you can read the rest in the introduction. The Interregnum web site still has this article, but I noticed recently that there are still several web sites that link to it here; it's the most common "Not Found" here. So I'm restoring a copy here, but urge you to go check out the IR web site too.

HeroQuest Skills.

The way into a larger world.

Runic Sorcery.

Many have complained about the sorcery system of RQ3. That may not be entirely fair; RQ sorcery isn't perfect, but there are other rule elements that are much more broken (shamans, for example). Nonetheless, this Runic Sorcery system is designed to provide a challenging and flexible alternative to standard RQ sorcery. It's based in large part on the ideas of a gamer named Bill Moodey.

The system is not in a final form; design notes and alternatives are suggested in italics. It's playable as is, but requires a great deal of imagination and thought from both players and gamemaster. It's based on a fundamental idea of magical "physics", which gives it a more real and tangible feeling than other systems I've tried.

Download Runic Sorcery (ZIPped ASCII)

Dragonewt Effects.

The official Gloranthan position is that Dragonewts should not be used as player characters; at the most, only those that have fallen off the Dragon Path may be considered suitable for play.

I disagree. I myself have run dragonewt characters more than once, and had a great time; I've seen several other gamers do so, too. All that's required is imagination and a quirky sense of humor. The player mustn't take unfair advantage of the considerable advantages that dragonewts possess, but there are many fine gamers with sufficient self-restraint—I hope. ;-)

This list of Warrior Dragonewt Effects expands on the list of magical Effects in the RQ3 Glorantha book. I've had a good deal of fun with them, and they work well. Purists who refuse to allow PC dragonewts may still find them useful for NPC dragonewts.

Download Dragonewt Effects ZIPped ASCII

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Copyright 1996 by Peter Maranci. Revised: March 28, 2020. v.3.21