CHA4032 RuneQuest Glorantha Bestiary – Q&A

Official Answers from Chaosium


SectionPagesNotes
Introduction4-11
Distribution Maps12-15
The Elder Races16-87
Chaos Monsters88-107
Monsters108-129
Giant Arthropods130-139
Animals140-163
Spirit runeSpirits164-187
Terrors188-196
plant runeFlora197-201


Introduction (pages 4-11)

How do you handle resistance rolls against undead, or an entity without POW?

If a creature has no POW use their magic points.


Weapons (page 8)

But as a general rule/guidance is it fair to say that the two-weapon rule is applicable to all creatures (two attacks per melee round) if they have several attack forms listed, and no specific rules/guidance on using them?

Maybe. I suggest looking at the creature and deciding what works best for your table.  Quote

Like in the example of the baboon, which has a 1 handed spear plus bite, and claw attacks? – Otherwise a Gm might extrapolate that you could make two claw attacks, and a bite in one round

It does say bite or claw, and the baboon is holding a spear, but it could drop it. It’s up to the GM how they run the encounter.

(not taking into account circumstantial rulings at the table) 

What’s the general limit to number of attacks, if not specified? 

Given the number of creatures, there is no general rule. For example Cwim (page 191) has 10 attacks.


Creature Hit Points (page 9)

A dog is a four legged animal; both hunting dogs and fighting dogs in the Bestiary have an average of 11 hit points. According to the chart on page 10 of the Bestiary they should therefore have 4 hit points in every location except the hind/fore quarters (which should have 5). However, the chart for dogs on page 144 has 3 points in their limbs instead of 4. Which is correct, and if the dog page is correct, then what is the right formula to calculate unusually sized four legged animals?

Use the specific writeup for dogs, and when looking at other four-legged animals, start with the base creature and adjust hit points per location as indicated on p9.

The charts on page 10-11 are very general, and may not reflect the physiognomy of each individual animal conforming to that broad class.  


The Elder Races (pages 16-87)

Baboons (page 28)

The Base SR4 is incorrect and should be 3 (Ave SIZ (10–11) = SIZ SR2 + Ave DEX (16–17) = DEX SR1 = Base SR 3)

  • Claw SR7 not 8
  • Bite SR7 not 8
  • 1H Short Spear SR5 not 6 (1H Short spear SR2 + Base SR3 = SR5)
  • Sling SR1 not 2

Is it possible for a Baboon to attack with a spear and bite in the same round? Does this fall under the rule of Attacking with both weapons OR Attack with one and Parry with the other in the same round?  Or would the Baboon be able to Attack with a spear, Attack with a bite, then also Parry or Dodge?

Many creatures can attack more than once in a round: if so, unless specified otherwise, the creature uses both attacks at once, instead of working under the guidelines for two-weapon combat shown in the Combat chapter of the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha rulebook.

RQ Bestiary, Weapons, page 8

Two-weapon combat was further clarified in Rune Fixes 2 – 18th March 2020

Note: Common tactic is to stab with a spear and close to use Claw or Bite. 

Baboons, page 29

Looking at the ranges involved a baboon would use it’s spear and it has a longer reach than claw, then bite, then rush its target to grapple and bite or claw. One attack and as many parry / dodge as available.

Note that a baboon has a singular claw attack as the other hand has a spear in it.

Note that a baboon with a shield and spear can’t claw.

The baboon tactics I use are spear, then knockback, hoping for a knockdown then bite.

Baboon Dex is listed as 3d6+6! It should be 2d6+6

3d6+6 is correct, it is based on the Gloranthan Bestiary (AH 1987), Giant Baboon.

Also what’s the reason for super dextrous baboons?

You would need to ask the remaining writer of the 1987 Gloranthan Bestiary.


Giants (page 45)

Change

anyone successfully struck by the sweep takes 2/4 the attack’s normally rolled damage (rounded down)

Giants, page 46

to

anyone successfully struck by the sweep takes 1/4 the attack’s normally rolled damage (rounded down)


Maidstone Archers (page 47)

  1. What does the Maidstone Archer do with their 3rd arm in melee combat?

Holds the shield.

2. Does the Maidstone archer use the shield as well as two swords? 

Yes.


Tusk Riders (page 68)

Using the charisma rule as your max number of spell point breaks down with tusk riders and their 1D6 CHA.  Is the rulebook trying to tell me they are “less”? I’m thinking of house ruling INT with CHA as your suppressed spells Ala RQ2?

Tusk Riders were not statted up for, and are not generally suitable as, player characters. 

In RQ1 and 2 they had CHA 1-6, and generally had two spells. Their writeup in RQG reflects this. 

If you think they should have more spirit magic than up to 6 or 7 points, then you can easily assign more CHA to them on a one-off basis, or as a race.  

If you want to have them use a different rules paradigm for their spirit magic than every other race, then by all means do so.


Dark Trolls (Uzko) (page 73)

Is the characteristic bonus for their Darkness rune (always their highest elemental Rune) already included in the statistic for trolls? 

So is a Dark Trolls Siz actually 3d6+6 for males, 3d6+10 for females, or is it 3d6+8 for males and 3d6+12 for females?

It is not considered.

Rune modifiers for characteristics are explicitly intended for human player character adventurers as generated using the rules in the core book. It is reasonable to assume that they also apply to human NPCs from similar cultures, but this is solely at the gamemaster’s discretion. 


Chaos Monsters (pages 88-107)

Broo (pages 90-96)

Cause (Disease) (page 93)

A 2-point stacking of the spell automatically begins the target at the acute state of severity, 3 points at the serious, and 4 points at the terminal.

Cause (Disease), page 93

Change to

A 2-point stacking of the spell automatically begins the target at the chronic state of severity, 3 points at the serious, and 4 points at the terminal.


Crack (page 94)

There are two different versions of the Rune Spell ‘Crack’, one as described in the RQG rulebook, pg 324 and one as described in the RQG Bestiary, pg 94.

Use the updated version that replaces the two previous versions:

Crack

2 Points Ranged, Instant, Stackable This spell must be cast at a non-living, non-magical object, likely a piece of armor, or a weapon or shield. If successful, it breaks the item into pieces. Each point stacked allows another item on the prospective victim to be shattered at once.

If a spirit lives in the item, the caster’s POW must overcome the spirit’s POW. The spell has no effect on spell matrices, crystals, or on elf bows of magical nature. Temporal spirit magic, Rune magic, or sorcery does not make the item immune to the spell. The caster may boost with magic points to overcome the magic at 2 points per Rune point, 1 point per point of spirit magic, or 1 point per sorcery strength. The caster may also boost with magic points to help penetrate Shield (page 78), Countermagic (page 111), or similar defensive spells.

A Repair spell (page 118) will fix a broken object.

Red Book of Magic, Crack, page 34

Krarshtkids (page 102)

Do you have any advice for the multiple attacks of Krashtkids?

After reading Weapons on page 8, look at the creature and decide what works best for your table.

Krarshtkids have a paralytic bite, can spit an immobilizing weblike substance called pratzim, strike out at a distance with their whip-like acid tongue, and even tear flesh and bone with their digging claws.

Krarshtkids, page 102

Spit, glue, tongue.  Can’t spit and tongue in the same round. I wouldn’t have them close unless adventurers do. With six legs, I’d let them attack with two at a time, and spit or tongue. Some GMs might like to have them attack with three legs if backed into a corner or desperate situation.


Lesser Hydras (page 103)

Do you have any advice for the multiple attacks of the Lesser Hydra?

After reading Weapons on page 8, look at the creature and decide what works best for your table.

As a chaos horror, I’d have all heads attack. Clearly if it has 12 heads, not all can attack one target (unless all heads can breath fire / acic /poison). Look at how the targets are arranged and take into account any chaos features.


Vampires (page 105)

 Spells are resisted with POW vs POW . A vampire has no POW. Do they then have no chance of resisting spells? No chance of overcoming other people’s POW? 

When in doubt, use current magic points instead of POW for creatures without POW.


Monsters (pages 108-129)

Dream Dragon (page 118)

Ignoring breath, how many attacks can a Dream Dragon make in a melee round? Can it attack with bite, two claws, and tail in the same melee round? Four attacks? In the same melee round? Or does it have to pick one of those?

Many creatures can attack more than once in a round: if so, unless specified otherwise, the creature uses both attacks at once, instead of working under the guidelines for two-weapon combat shown in the Combat chapter of the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha rulebook.

RQ Bestiary, Weapons, page 8

Two-weapon combat was further clarified in Rune Fixes 2 – 18th March 2020

Dream Dragon have no special notes regarding combat, so normally two attacks per round. The GM is free to alter this given circumstances. Looking at the picture of a Dream Dragon (RQB page 118) should answer a lot of questions regarding tactics. For example, I would allow:

If flying, a tail sweep of the ground and a breath attack would be reasonable on SR3 then SR7. Clearly it couldn’t bite or claw. 

A landing hind claw attack on SR7, wouldn’t allow a breath, bite or tail attack.

On the ground, outside it would use breath attacks and tail sweeps on anything behind it.

On the ground, inside it would likely be unable to use it’s breath attack. So could bite and tail sweep. If it has room to rear, it can use its claws and bite, but no tail sweep.

Don’t forget Dragon Magic, if it has Soul Blast or Terrify will be game changers.

Overall, with creatures with multiple weapons, look at the way they work when fighting, rather than focussing on the weapons and numbers.


Spirits (pages 164-187)

Disease (page 166)

The first time this spirit succeeds in spirit combat that is not successfully defended against, it infects the victim with the acute version of any disease it carries.

Change to

The first time this spirit succeeds in spirit combat that is not successfully defended against, it infects the victim with the chronic version of any disease it carries. 


Disease Spirits (page 169)

Their initial spirit combat attack is normal. But if the disease spirit succeeds in an attack when the victim fails, the spirit can try to infect the target with any of the diseases it is carrying. This infection requires another roll overcoming the target’s Spirit Combat skill, as if the disease spirit was trying to possess the victim. If successful, this does not force the victim’s spirit from the body but infects the victim with the acute form of any disease carried. A second success infects the victim with the next degree of the disease (see Disease, pages 154–156 of the RuneQuest core rulebook).

Disease Spirits, page 169

Replace the paragraph with

Their initial spirit combat attack is normal. But if the disease spirit succeeds in an attack when the victim fails, the spirit infects the victim with the chronic form of any disease carried. A second success infects the victim with the next degree of the disease (see Disease, pages 154–156 of the RuneQuest core rulebook).


Is the chance to steal POW from a disease spirit limited to someone who has been successfully attacked by the spirit who then throws them out? The use of the word ‘victim’ in the rule seems to indicate that and that’s how I ruled but it isn’t really clear. 

Yes.

The victim has the disease and if they successfully drive it out themselves, they gain immunity and a POW reward. Casting Fight disease on a victim really helps. A shaman does not gain the benefits when driving the spirit out of a victim.


Elementals (page 176)

Do all attacks by the various elementals take place on SR 12?

Yes. They have no DEX characteristics so they’ll go last in any round.


Fire Elementals (Page 181)

Replace shanassae with Shanassee


Moon Elementals (Lunes) (Page 181)

Can the Madness effects of being engulfed by Lunes be resisted with Countermagic effects?

Only with spells specifically protecting against Madness such as Fearless, Inviolable, and Logical Clarity. (Likewise a Darkness elemental’s Fearshock).

or is it just a resistance roll?

Yes. Resistance rolls can be augmented with an appropriate rune, passion or skill.

In other words, is it simply an automatic Madness spell?

The difference is that you need to be in contact with the Lune, where the spell is ranged and must pass through any magical barriers. It’s not automatic, you still have to roll POW vs POW to produce an effect.


Wraith (page 187)

Change

Spirit Shield adds +2 points to the character’s characteristic

Wraith, page 187

to

Spirit Screen adds +2 points to the character’s characteristic

Spirit rune

Change

A victim failing to resist loses points from STR, INT, or CON (depending on the type of wraith) equal in number to half the current magic points of the wraith.

Wraith, page 187

to

A victim failing to resist loses points from STR, INT, or CON (depending on the type of wraith) equal in number to half the POW of the wraith.

Spirit rune

“All a wraith’s attacks take place on SR 1”.  Is that an exception to all spirit combat happening at SR 12, or does it only refer to the wraiths “one time per opponent POW vs CON” attack?

It’s all attacks and yes, it’s an exception to spirit combat. There are other exceptions to that rule too, such as using a weapon in Spirit Combat.


Terrors (pages 188-196)

Please note that these are major encounters, so preparation for the GM is important:

The statistics for these incredible things are not here in order to tempt players to create characters strong enough to kill them. They are given to show in detail the types of things which exist in Glorantha which are, and ought to be, far beyond the capacities of even the most powerful human beings. Some parts of Nature cannot be conquered.

Terrors, page 188

The Crimson Bat (page 188)

Do you have any advice for the multiple attacks of the Crimson Bat?

After reading Weapons on page 8, look at the creature and decide what works best for your table.

Bite & swallow, breath cloud and tongues all seem mutually exclusive to me. So one per round. The three tongues can be used in the same round. Eye spit every round too (alternating), it’s up to the GM to decide if they can fire backwards. I’d look at the situation to determine how the other attacks work. For example, if the bat’s statement of intent is to fly at the town wall (Chaos screaming), hover and attack the rune priests standing on it, I wouldn’t allow a breath cloud and a wing storm (eye spit get blown away too), but I’d allow Three tongues, a wind storm (hovering). Before using the Crimson Bat, I’d make notes on how I would run it’s encounter.

For further details, there is a chapter on the operation of the Crimson Bat in Sartar (1619-1620) in the Sartar Companion.


Cwim (page 191)

Do you have any advice for the multiple attacks of the Cwim?

After reading Weapons on page 8, look at the creature and decide what works best for your table.

It says on page 192 that Cwim gets 10 attacks per round. Cwim is large and effectively circular with six roughly evenly spaced arms. Based on the position of adventurers relative to which arms, decide who is hit by which arm. I’d allow one arm from each body to attack each round, but not the same target and drop a spit monster every round. So I’d give it four if surrounded, and use one other to cast the recommended 18 point variable spirit magic each round.

By the time the adventurers get past the gorp rain, the spit monsters will overrun them.


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