Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha

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Spellslinging Sellsword

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Where is RQ1 available? I have a basically complete collection of originals, but strangely don't have a decent 'use' copy of RQ1 (though old habits die hard, so I suspect it will just sit on the shelf while I use RQ2!)
RQ1 can be bought as a PDF or softcover from Chaosium's website under the Runequest Classic line.
 

ffilz

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Oh, OK then! If they're offering print from elsewhere, it only makes sense to offer only the PDF.
Yea, the use Lulu for POD not DriveThruRPG.

If you purchase the POD you get the PDF free.

That was a very cool announcement at the end of last year that they were putting (pretty much) the entire classic line on POD.

Despite being annoying in some ways, and drawing out the classic Kick Starter fulfillment Chaosium really is doing some good stuff.

I just wish they had recognized that my fan effort to compare RQ1 and RQ2 was only good for them, it can only sell copies of RQ1. I specifically leave out enough that if you want RQ1 you need to buy it from Chaosium (unlike Classic Traveller 1977 where almost all the different bits from 1981 are available somewhere on peoples blogs etc.). I even long before they complained reduced from a full page of the map to just a small chunk of the map from each edition to highlight the style differences. They were willing to have me work to make it something they could publish, but in the end it was going to be too much work. And wouldn't be handy to reference.
 

Trippy

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House system for the authors who are apparently both long time glorantha fans
Which they are. However, I wouldn’t suggest that their game is anything like as popular as a 5E game would be.
 

Mankcam

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I certainly can't run RQG as written. I do steal some of the thematic/cultural bits I like, though, and shoehorn them into my Mythras CF game. I have all the current RQG and Mythras stuff so porting from the one to the other is pretty easy.
Yes I am thinking of doing this, using the Mythras mainframe and importing elements from RQ.
In addition to the Gloranthan setting itself, may I ask what you brought over to Mythras from RQG?
 
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Voros

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RQG's combat system is too crunchy for me but then so is RQ 2e and Mythras.

I'm not seeing how RQG is crunchier than those edition's combat systems. If anything Mythras is the heaviest in crunch in combat, adding several more mechanics to RQ.

The issue for me with RQG isn't the Pendragon additions but that the cumulative weight of all the rules is more than I like.

My ideal RQ would simplify the combat to Stormbringer/OpenQuest levels and retain the Pendragon additions.
 

ReluctantGM

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Yes I am thinking of doing this, using the Mythras mainframe and importing elements from RQ.
In addition to the Gloranthan setting itself, may I ask what you brought over to Mythras from RQG?

I've been on the Mythras train since 2016. Or rather, I was just about to board the RQ6 train when it changed tracks. When I heard that Chaosium was going to go back to the RQ2 chassis I was non-plussed. I'm an unrepentant game collector (mainly PDF these days) so I figured I'd get the pdfs and mine them for any good stuff.

The books were real purty and I loved the writing so I ended up getting them all in hard cover so I could read them at my leisure away from the computer. Basically they are coffee-table books in my house. I have always loved the madness that is Glorantha and the lore is well laid out in RQG. But as has been noted by others in the thread, the retrograde to RQ2 takes the game back to something I don't really want to play.
 

Baulderstone

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I've been on the Mythras train since 2016. Or rather, I was just about to board the RQ6 train when it changed tracks. When I heard that Chaosium was going to go back to the RQ2 chassis I was non-plussed.
Chaosium didn't help my reaction by stating that they made the decision because the success of the RQ2 Kickstarter showed that people preferred the RQ2 system to RQ6, ignoring all the people who pledged out of curiosity, nostalgia, to support the company, or simply to replace the tattered copy on the shelf. Making people feel foolish for backing your kickstarter is never a good PR tactic.
 

AsenRG

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RQG's combat system is too crunchy for me but then so is RQ 2e and Mythras.

I'm not seeing how RQG is crunchier than those edition's combat systems. If anything Mythras is the heaviest in crunch in combat, adding several more mechanics to RQ.

The issue for me with RQG isn't the Pendragon additions but that the cumulative weight of all the rules is more than I like.

My ideal RQ would simplify the combat to Stormbringer/OpenQuest levels and retain the Pendragon additions.
...what, in your opinion, makes Stormbringer/Open Quest less crunchy than RQ2? I don't remember them being significantly different, so I can't answer it myself, but obviously the difference makes, well, a lot of difference to you:thumbsup:.
 

AsenRG

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Chaosium didn't help my reaction by stating that they made the decision because the success of the RQ2 Kickstarter showed that people preferred the RQ2 system to RQ6, ignoring all the people who pledged out of curiosity, nostalgia, to support the company, or simply to replace the tattered copy on the shelf. Making people feel foolish for backing your kickstarter is never a good PR tactic.

Yeah, I backed the Kickstarter and in no way was that a vote to get rid of Runequest 6. That announcement annoyed me at the time.

I almost backed the KS, decided against it because money was kinda tight that month, and then the announcement made me glad I didn't. Even though I've enjoyed RQ2, and I'd have joined the KS for the extra adventures and supplements:thumbsup:.

But then Chaosium and PR gaffes...well, the less is said about those two together, the better:shade:.
 

ffilz

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...what, in your opinion, makes Stormbringer/Open Quest less crunchy than RQ2? I don't remember them being significantly different, so I can't answer it myself, but obviously the difference makes, well, a lot of difference to you:thumbsup:.
Yea, I'm curious too... No hit locations and strike ranks, but I can't imagine running RQ without those...
 

ffilz

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I almost backed the KS, decided against it because money was kinda tight that month, and then the announcement made me glad I didn't. Even though I've enjoyed RQ2, and I'd have joined the KS for the extra adventures and supplements:thumbsup:.

But then Chaosium and PR gaffes...well, the less is said about those two together, the better:shade:.
I can understand folks frustration with the Kickstarter but I have not regretted it in the least, but it got me access to a couple things I didn't have in print, gave me a legit digital backup of the rest, and heck, as I've started to mention all over the place, RQ is the only game I've played in EVERY decade since I got it in 1978...
 

Baragei

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Stormbringer is (was) significantly less fiddly than RQ. The actual crunch is not all that different, apart from being overall simpler.
Possibly because the character attrition is on a whole different level.
 

Baulderstone

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Stormbringer and Call of Cthulhu were my first BRP games, and didn't play Runequest until years later. I'd always thought of BRP as a light system, so Runequest was a surprise.
 

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Stormbringer didn’t use calculated Strike Ranks (it went in order of DEX) and didn’t use Hit Locations (just a HP total). Critical hits were based on 10% of the skill total (which unofficially meant you could get them on rolling doubles 11, 22, etc). There wasn’t any table referencing in combat, except for fumbles or major wounds and by 3rd edition there wasn’t any Resistance table. Parries and Dodges just effectively cancelled the attack, if you rolled them (but you couldn’t dodge crits). The skill lists were kept low in number and the magic system was largely based on summoning demons.

The later Elric/Stormbringer 5 system was a bit different, but it was still a simper system to use than Runequest.
 
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Acmegamer

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Stormbringer didn’t use calculated Strike Ranks (it went in order of DEX) and didn’t use Hit Locations (just a HP total). Critical hits were based on 10% of the skill total (which unofficially meant you could get them on rolling doubles 11, 22, etc). There wasn’t any table referencing in combat, except for fumbles or major wounds and by 3rd edition there wasn’t any Resistance table. Parries and Dodges just effectively cancelled the attack, if you rolled them (but you couldn’t dodge crits). The skill lists were kept low in number and the magic system was largely based on summoning demons.

The later Elric/Stormbringer 5 system was a bit different, but it was still a simper system to use than Runequest.
Which makes for faster play. I've never been a fan of the strike rank mechanics in RQ. Though I do like Hit Locations, I'm also fine with the generic hit points and major wounds concept as well. Our version of RQ that we played back in 78-83-ish got rid of the strike ranks and just used the D10 with bonus/penalty for Dex and Siz adding do the initiative roll. In case of ties that's when we checked the SR of a weapon to break ties, if we were still tied then it was a simultaneous action. Made for much much faster combat.

Edit: Which I mentioned on page 1 of this thread. lol. No one cared for it though.heh.
 

AsenRG

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I can understand folks frustration with the Kickstarter but I have not regretted it in the least, but it got me access to a couple things I didn't have in print, gave me a legit digital backup of the rest, and heck, as I've started to mention all over the place, RQ is the only game I've played in EVERY decade since I got it in 1978...
I didn't say I was going to be sorry if I had backed it...the reason, as stated above, was mostly financial.
All I'm saying is, their PR really helped me to get over regretting not being able to join:grin:!
 

ffilz

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I didn't say I was going to be sorry if I had backed it...the reason, as stated above, was mostly financial.
All I'm saying is, their PR really helped me to get over regretting not being able to join:grin:!
Gotcha... Yea, their PR is bad...
 

ffilz

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Which makes for faster play. I've never been a fan of the strike rank mechanics in RQ. Though I do like Hit Locations, I'm also fine with the generic hit points and major wounds concept as well. Our version of RQ that we played back in 78-83-ish got rid of the strike ranks and just used the D10 with bonus/penalty for Dex and Siz adding do the initiative roll. In case of ties that's when we checked the SR of a weapon to break ties, if we were still tied then it was a simultaneous action. Made for much much faster combat.

Edit: Which I mentioned on page 1 of this thread. lol. No one cared for it though.heh.
For me, strike ranks is one of the reasons I like RQ. I don't need them in every game, but it's part of what I like about RQ. There are other games I like for other features and I don't want all the features I like in the same game. Because of why I like what I like about RQ, the other BRP games have less appeal to me. I do have a bunch of other BRP games including Stormbringer 4th and 5th, but they just haven't grabbed me. Setting is also part of it. I've never read any of the Elric books.
 

Acmegamer

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For me, strike ranks is one of the reasons I like RQ. I don't need them in every game, but it's part of what I like about RQ. There are other games I like for other features and I don't want all the features I like in the same game. Because of why I like what I like about RQ, the other BRP games have less appeal to me. I do have a bunch of other BRP games including Stormbringer 4th and 5th, but they just haven't grabbed me. Setting is also part of it. I've never read any of the Elric books.
For my type of play and the groups I played in, we preferred it to be more action orientated, with player characters and monsters/npcs reacting as it happened instead of the whole "statement of intent" chess style of game play. Which is why I glommed onto GURPS so hard when it came out in 1986 as an aside.
 

Voros

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...what, in your opinion, makes Stormbringer/Open Quest less crunchy than RQ2? I don't remember them being significantly different, so I can't answer it myself, but obviously the difference makes, well, a lot of difference to you:thumbsup:.

I'd have to go back and look to say exactly but as I recall RQ 2 gets into piercing, hit locations, etc. which was just more detail than I personally need in combat. I'd be fine playing it but not something I like to GM.
 

Voros

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For me, strike ranks is one of the reasons I like RQ. I don't need them in every game, but it's part of what I like about RQ. There are other games I like for other features and I don't want all the features I like in the same game. Because of why I like what I like about RQ, the other BRP games have less appeal to me. I do have a bunch of other BRP games including Stormbringer 4th and 5th, but they just haven't grabbed me. Setting is also part of it. I've never read any of the Elric books.

I'm also a fan of strike ranks as a good way to speed up combat, 5e D&D has an optional rule that is essentially a simified version of it (a static initiative rating of 10+DEX) that I like to use for 5e as d20 individual intiative is mind-numbing.
 

ffilz

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For my type of play and the groups I played in, we preferred it to be more action orientated, with player characters and monsters/npcs reacting as it happened instead of the whole "statement of intent" chess style of game play. Which is why I glommed onto GURPS so hard when it came out in 1986 as an aside.
I really don't remember details of how I ran D&D back then, but I don't remember doing initiative, so I was already used to declaration of actions rather than initiative turns. RQ strike ranks add a sequencing to resolution and some ability to react. I have also always used delaying SR to adjust hit location roll which I really like.

Although I bought into GURPS heavily, I never really got into playing it.
 

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I always felt like strike ranks in Runequest look complicated on the page but are actually faster than die-roll-based initiative in other games, and they take into account all kinds of factors one often wishes would get included in initiative systems but usually aren't. So, I'm 'pro-SR'
 

Raleel

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I am actually a fan of strike rank style mechanics, though I don’t always like the way they’ve been implemented. I do think they are a little faster.
 

Acmegamer

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Ah well, what can I say. It all comes off slow and premeditated when you run it as written in classic RuneQuest 1st/2nd editions in my opinion. Versus the more action reactive orientated combat where the quicker went first. We did one action per combat round back then. Though if I were to run it now I'd do the 2 actions combat that Mythras Lite does with some of how GURPS Lite does the combat actions. (shrugs)

Edit: We did use SR (Agility/Size) to add to the initiative roll though as well as weapon SR to resolve those ties in melee combat. So we didn't totally get rid of SR.
 

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RuneQuest Glorantha? I've come to the conclusion I like it.

When it came out, I plunged right in and ran it several times as a convention game. The epic Lunars on the run from angry animal riders, looking for the last moon boat home that is Dry Run in Prax (coming to Jonstown Compendium soonish). I even ran it online as a mini-campaign with a mix of newbies and old hands. All the new subsystems and new lore overwhelmed me, to the point of overload. And I'm a Gloranthan GM of 30+ years experience! So when the OpenQuest Kickstarter blew up in my face with its success, I switched to running that. Partially because I craved simplicity system-wise, I also had to take care of business and get some last-minute play-testing done. Since then, it's firmly established itself as a long-running home campaign :smile:

On reflection, though, it was very clear that the players had a great time because those new subsystems gave them options and power at the table. I'm thinking Runes and Passions especially. They can read all that new lore in the rulebook or when I shove the Gloranthan Sourcebook in their direction. We were playing Lunar Tarsh characters, so we had whole sessions discussing Lunar Theology and mythology since the players were curious and it was relevant to their characters, who are questioning their faith after the downfall of Pavis.

I'm making a small return to RuneQuest via conventions, and when I do, I shall be keeping things simple on my side of the fence and letting players focus on all the bits I find fiddly. If you want to use Passions in my game, great, but you work out when you want to use them and how.

Finally, I love the fact that Gloranthan Fandom has got a shot in the arm due to its release. People are picking up RQG and are staying and running campaigns. Lots of fan-made stuff on the Jonstown Compendium, and while the official releases are slow, in a sense, there's no regular release schedule, there's still a large chunk of playable stuff out there already.
 

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RuneQuest Glorantha? I've come to the conclusion I like it.

When it came out, I plunged right in and ran it several times as a convention game. The epic Lunars on the run from angry animal riders, looking for the last moon boat home that is Dry Run in Prax (coming to Jonstown Compendium soonish). I even ran it online as a mini-campaign with a mix of newbies and old hands. All the new subsystems and new lore overwhelmed me, to the point of overload. And I'm a Gloranthan GM of 30+ years experience! So when the OpenQuest Kickstarter blew up in my face with its success, I switched to running that. Partially because I craved simplicity system-wise, I also had to take care of business and get some last-minute play-testing done. Since then, it's firmly established itself as a long-running home campaign :smile:

On reflection, though, it was very clear that the players had a great time because those new subsystems gave them options and power at the table. I'm thinking Runes and Passions especially. They can read all that new lore in the rulebook or when I shove the Gloranthan Sourcebook in their direction. We were playing Lunar Tarsh characters, so we had whole sessions discussing Lunar Theology and mythology since the players were curious and it was relevant to their characters, who are questioning their faith after the downfall of Pavis.

I'm making a small return to RuneQuest via conventions, and when I do, I shall be keeping things simple on my side of the fence and letting players focus on all the bits I find fiddly. If you want to use Passions in my game, great, but you work out when you want to use them and how.

Finally, I love the fact that Gloranthan Fandom has got a shot in the arm due to its release. People are picking up RQG and are staying and running campaigns. Lots of fan-made stuff on the Jonstown Compendium, and while the official releases are slow, in a sense, there's no regular release schedule, there's still a large chunk of playable stuff out there already.
OpenQuest is my poison of choice, but that is a useful and eirenic way of looking at the matter. Personally, I find RQ:G off putting for all the reasons you mention and more, whilst admiring the energy of Moon Design/Chaosium. I think this quote from Greg Stafford and Sandy Petersen sums up why variants such as OQ have made better design decisions: “Encourage players to retire established characters when they become Rune masters. After all, the name of the game is Runequest, and once having acquired that Rune, the character has won the game through mastery.”
 

Mankcam

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Yeah, I backed the Kickstarter and in no way was that a vote to get rid of Runequest 6. That announcement annoyed me at the time.
This was exactly how I felt.
I loved RQ2 and it is great to have it back in print with the supplements.
I never once thought that the kickstarter was going to influence how Chaosium moved forward with the new RQ line.

I had collected some old MRQ2 books, and grabbed all of the LEGEND books.
I jumped firmly onboard when Design Mechanism did RQ6, and I really thought that Chaosium was just going to let Pet & Loz expand on the rules, while the Chaosium authors did all the lore and setting. Seemed like it was initially heading that way as well.
I really like RQ2, but never once thought going back to it was in any way an improvement on DM RQ6 (now Mythras). It felt like a slap in the face to Pete & Loz, and I genuinely feel that it was a step backwards, as RQ6/Mythras just seems to make a bit more sense to me.
 

AsenRG

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I'd have to go back and look to say exactly but as I recall RQ 2 gets into piercing, hit locations, etc. which was just more detail than I personally need in combat. I'd be fine playing it but not something I like to GM.
Well... never had an issue with this, personally. But then I find such detail quite helpful in combat, so obviously I wouldn't, wouldn't I:shade:?
Which is why I asked, of course.

I'm also a fan of strike ranks as a good way to speed up combat, 5e D&D has an optional rule that is essentially a simified version of it (a static initiative rating of 10+DEX) that I like to use for 5e as d20 individual intiative is mind-numbing.

I always felt like strike ranks in Runequest look complicated on the page but are actually faster than die-roll-based initiative in other games, and they take into account all kinds of factors one often wishes would get included in initiative systems but usually aren't. So, I'm 'pro-SR'

I am actually a fan of strike rank style mechanics, though I don’t always like the way they’ve been implemented. I do think they are a little faster.

And unsurprisingly, you can count me as another one who likes Strike Ranks. I've also defended their use in Exalted 2, and Feng Shui, when people told me it "makes the system too heavy"... and I usually tended to reply with a tamer version of "have you even played it":thumbsup:.

But then I've always liked other options for initiative, and tie different options to it. ORE, TRoS, LotW, GDW Traveller, Mythic RPG, Feng Shui, Pendragon/Zenobia, Outlaws, even Usagi Yojimbo and Zaibatsu...pretty much all the games I like do something more interesting with initiative than "I hit, you hit, now I hit, then it shall be your turn again..." (and some even eliminate it altogether, as seen above). Mythras and Cepheus are among the few exceptions, really - and even then, Mythras has additional options, due to the number of actions.
 

Raleel

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And unsurprisingly, you can count me as another one who likes Strike Ranks. I've also defended their use in Exalted 2, and Feng Shui, when people told me it "makes the system too heavy"... and I usually tended to reply with a tamer version of "have you even played it":thumbsup:.
it was in Scion 1e as well. We didn't do Exalted, but we did FS2 and Scion 1e. It provides a fluidity that you don't get a lot of other ways.
 

AsenRG

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it was in Scion 1e as well. We didn't do Exalted, but we did FS2 and Scion 1e. It provides a fluidity that you don't get a lot of other ways.
Yeah, I just...didn't find Scion 1e playable, so I haven't thought of it in a long, long time:grin:!
Like, I could have made the same setting with a different game, and gotten better results. Or I could have probably made it with White Wolf's system, if the need overcame me...though I'd have to have myself checked afterwards:shade:!
So it didn't belong in the list of games I've played, nor in the list of my favourite games. I wasn't just enumerating games that use interesting initiative mechanics, after all:tongue:!
 

Raleel

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Yeah, I just...didn't find Scion 1e playable, so I haven't thought of it in a long, long time:grin:!
Like, I could have made the same setting with a different game, and gotten better results. Or I could have probably made it with White Wolf's system, if the need overcame me...though I'd have to have myself checked afterwards:shade:!
So it didn't belong in the list of games I've played, nor in the list of my favourite games. I wasn't just enumerating games that use interesting initiative mechanics, after all:tongue:!
no doubt, and I agree. but the relevant point is the strike rank. I think it works
 

AsenRG

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no doubt, and I agree. but the relevant point is the strike rank. I think it works
Sure, it works!
D10 dicepools also work, as does rolling for attack, rolling for defense, rolling for damage without double success. The devil that the characters had to fight was in the details*...like how the way to take someone out with a gun was to throw the gun at him:grin:!

Anyway, I was just saying why I didn't include it in my post:thumbsup:.

*OTOH, that's a cool item for urban fantasy: "Devil-in-the-details magnifying glass: if you read a contract with it, a small devilish figure appears when you read a potentially injurious to your success detail. Known to work on technical manuals as well, for some reason."
 

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I find the initiative system used in Scion 2e (and all the Storypath games) to be problematic.

Each player rolls a dice pool to determine a order, as does the ST for each of the NPCs (they can group them under a roll in some cases), and then slots are allocated to the groups to fill in by nomination. That is, the one that rolled the highest chooses who takes the next slot. Firstly, the dice pool rolls are not discreet enough to differentiate - lots of 1, 2 and 3 successes - so you then need to start comparing other things. Secondly, it is a fair amount of book-keeping, especially if the ST has to work out the slots for NPCs too. Thirdly, if players are going to start nominating, then why bother adding the complication of rolling anything? Why not just do it like they did with the Cortex version of Marvel Heroics and simply have players nominate somebody else when they have had their turn, till everybody in the group has had their turn?

Anyway, just thought I'd say that as people started talking about alternative Initiative systems.

For me, I actually prefer Strike Ranks to rolled initiative, as I prefer to have a set order of operations around the table to speed up combat (or any form of conflict). It allows me to focus on the dramatic descriptions of what is happening, and less on bookkeeping whose turn it is. Using a straight DEX score rather than calculating it with various factors is less simulationist, but just a lot simpler. I guess it depends on how abstract you want to take it.

When you have opposed rolls for combat, I think that part of the outcome of the contest is simply that one combatant got their shot in before the loser. Like in Pendragon - I don't think you actually need an initiative system, if it assumed into a combined attack vs defense roll.

Of course, this assumes a simple 1:1 conflict and maybe in other games there might be other things a character might want to do (like run away), which makes having a contested/rolled initiative score more important, although depending on the genre you could just do what Doctor Who does and prioritise those actions ahead of combat as a rule.
 
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The main advantage of classic RQ's strike rank system is that you can pre-calculate it before play, considering all the factors that seem fiddly (size, reach, DX), meaning you can just skip initiative determination at the start of each turn, yet it remains flexible enough that you know how to adjust the base scores if something unusual happens. RQ is slowed by the separate attack/parry roll, as for all games that have that sort of dynamic, and its hit location system slows the pace as well. But the initiative system hits a suite spot of granular, quasi-realistic detail combined with speed of play.
 
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