CHA4027 RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha Quickstart – Q&A

Official Answers from Chaosium

Please note that the corrections here refer to the Quickstart only, the pre-generated adventurers in newer publications are corrected in their relevant sections.

Vasana, Daughter of Farnan (page 5)


Truth Rune not the Moon Rune

Movement (page 8)


Each point of MOV is usually considered to be 3 meters in combat, much more when not in combat.

Gloranthan Cults and Gods box, (page 10)

Vostor is an Initiate of the Seven Mothers, and Seven Mothers have Rune Spells listed, but there’s no entry in this box.

It does say a few of many, see here: The Seven Mothers

Mounted Combat (page 16)

The QS does not talk about dismounting. How many SR would dismounting add to a characters actions?  5?  DEX SR?  What about a quick dismount?  

Anything not covered in the rules explicitly is generally recommended as 5 SRs. That would be a “as quick as I can” dismount, versus a leisurely dismount out of combat. 

I wouldn’t require a skilled cavalry soldier to make a Ride check to dismount, any more than I’d have a soldier have to roll to switch weapons. 

Rune spell table, (page 22-24)

Note that Waha is listed in three spells as the Optional Downloadable Adventurer, Vishi Dunn is an initiate.

Earthpower (Ernalda) – Draw 1 point of POW and 1D8 magic points from the earth. 3, Self, D
Leap (Orlanth) – Allows the target to jump up to 6 meters high or 6 meters away for the spell’s duration. Each additional point adds +6 meters to the distance. V, R, D
Mist Cloud (Orlanth) – Creates a bubble of natural-looking mist 2 meters in diameter for every Rune point expended with the spell. Visibility within or through the mist is limited to 1 meter. V, R, D
AnyMultispell (All) – Allows the user to combine two spirit magic spells and cast them at once. This spell
affects all spells cast by the recipient over the duration: thus every melee round, the recipient can cast two
spirit magic spells. 1, Self, D
Teleportation (Orlanth) – The caster can teleport to any spot that can be seen, either on their own, or through the eyes of an allied spirit. Each additional Rune point enables one extra living thing to be
teleported at the same time, provided they are touching the caster. 3+, T, I

Page 29, Carthalo

Left Leg05-080/5

Greydog Ghost (page 29)

Summoning Ritual, (page 30)

Carthalo the shaman is supposed to help the adventurers by calling the murdered Greydog’s ghost, but he doesn’t seem to have any summoning spells like Summon Ghost or similar. I could of course handwave the thing, but to understand the shamanistic process, can he do that without any spells, and are those summon spells more for common adventurers, and shamans can manage without them?

The chance for Carthalo to summon the ghost is 90%.

If you want details there are two choices:

  • He has the spirit magic spell Summon (ghost). It takes an hour and to work, he has to roll his POWx5. His POW is 18 so it would be 90% or less to succeed.
  • He’s a Daka Fal shaman, so has access to Summon Ancestor, a 1-point rune spell too, the Greydog could be an ancestor of someone in the group. To use that spell also takes an hour and uses his Man rune, which is 90%.

If the players successfully augment, his ability roll will increase, his chance to reduce the time of the ritual.

A Bellow For Help, (page 31)

In the Rock Lizard encounter. It states make an INT check to determine if the characters know they are Rock Lizards. Fair enough, but why does not one of these farmers/herders have Animal Lore?  

Because none of them have spent much time learning about animals other than their own livestock. Herding or Farming more than covers the care of cattle, sheep, pigs, and the like. It doesn’t really tell you much about strange wild fauna like Rock Lizards!

Rock Lizard, (page 32)

Right Hind Leg04–053/4

Varanik, (page 35)

Left Leg05-083/5

Danakos, (page 37)

Right Leg01-043/5
Left Leg05-083/5
Right Arm13-153/4
Left Arm16-183/4
Medium Shield451D4+1D4712


Idrima (page 39)

Idrima‘s hit location chart is not the same as all the other humans. Is this intentional?

Yes, she’s three meters tall (SIZ 25) so her hit locations are adjusted for combat vs. a human-sized opponent.

Vasana, (page 42)

Left Leg05-085/4

Truth Rune not the Moon Rune .

Yanioth, (page 43)

Left Leg05-080/5

Vostor, (page 44)

Left Leg05-086/5

Sorala, (page 45)

Left Leg05-083/4

Harmast, (page 46)

Left Leg05-086/4


Perception: Search 35%


HARMAST’S ZEBRAS: Harmast rides a Praxian zebra (and has a second), and must dismount to fight, as neither has not been trained to be steady in combat.


Optional Downloadable Adventurer, Vishi Dunn

Left Leg05-080/5

Magic Points: 19


Languages:  Speak Spiritspeech 50%

Delving back into the QS, I found on P7 under “Strike Ranks” that “a parry does not take any strike ranks“.

1. If parry is outside of the Strike rank mechanism does this indicate that you can indeed parry and attack on the same strike rank if necessary? If so that is a new departure from RuneQuest classic. 

2. I’m still unclear on whether parries can be used against attacks from multiple sources? My guess is that they can, as the text doesn’t mention specifically “from one source”, as it does clearly in the case of the Dodge description.

3 . Does Dodge also sit outside the strike rank mechanism? Is it possible to dodge and attack on the same strike rank? or do you loose the attack if you dodge on the same SR? (edit: likewise is it possible to dodge and parry on the same strike rank?)

4. What are the limits to using dodge & parry in a Melee round? When attacks come from multiple sources, is it possible to chose parry against one opponent, and then chose dodge against a second opponent in the same round melee round? This also ties into question 2 in this post – Can parries be used against attacks from different sources in a melee round.

5. If a single attacker has more then 1 attack, is it possible for the defender to chose to alternate between parry and dodge for each different attack from the same attacker?

is it possible to answer these questions, or is it now a matter of waiting till the launch of the core rules?

Also could you confirm whether the QS is correct in stating that a simple success with a parry against a simple attack success results in the parrying weapon/shield takeing 1hp of damage whether or not the damage exceeds the parrying weapons/shield AP?

That is indeed what the Quickstart said. 

I have qualified that prior with the statement that the QS represents a compressed version of the rules that both tried to hit the “normal” level of crunchiness for the system, but also was playable in a short session with new players. It also represents the state of the rules in (IIRC) early February when it was written. At that time, we were tweaking some existing rules. The feedback then was very pro- weapon/shield damage. People liked the inevitable wear and tear on weapons and their gear, and the playtests were very enthusiastic about things like shields being cloven, etc. 

Here’s the text from the current iteration of the rules dealing with just these issues: 

Summary of Combat Actions


  • A regular success does normal rolled damage plus damage modifier.
  • A special success does special damage (impaling, slashing, crushing) plus damage modifier.
  • A critical success ignores armor and does special damage plus damage modifier.


  • A successful Dodge roll avoids any damage.
  • A special success with a Dodge roll is required to avoid a special success attack, and a critical success Dodge roll is required to avoid a critical success attack.         


A successful parry always blocks an attack, whether the attack is a regular, special, or critical success. In each case, the attacker rolls damage. If the damage is below the parrying weapon/shield’s hit points, no damage is done.

  • If damage exceeds parrying weapon/shield’s hit points, excess damage always goes to an adjacent hit location on the defender (see page @@) and the parrying weapon/shield loses 1 hit point.
  • When parrying an attack that rolled a special success, the excess damage above the parrying weapon/shield goes to an adjacent hit location on the defender (see page @@) and the parrying weapon/shield loses the same amount of hit points. A parry vs. an impaling attack might mean the attacker’s weapon is stuck into the shield (see page @@).
  • When parrying a critical success, rolled damage is applied directly to the parrying weapon/shield’s hit points. If it exceeds the hit points, the parrying weapon/shield is destroyed. Any excess damage goes to an adjacent location on the defender, and armor is not subtracted.
  • A special parry vs. a normal attack allows the defender to roll the parrying weapon/shield’s damage and compare it to the attacking weapon’s hit points. If the damage done from the parry exceeds the attacking weapon’s hit points, it takes 1 hit point of damage.
  • A critical parry versus a normal or special attack will apply the parrying weapon/shield’s damage directly to the attacker’s weapon.
  • A critical parry vs. a critical attack avoids all damage altogether.
  • Each subsequent parry after the first is reduced by –20%, cumulatively.
  • A weapon or shield cannot be used to attack and/or parry in the same strike rank, nor can one be used to attack and/or parry more than once in the same strike rank.

In answer to your questions: 

1. Yes, the penalty for multiple parries is cumulative vs. all opponents. You don’t start the modifier fresh with each new attacker. 

2. Yes, you dodge separately per attack. 

3. You can dodge and parry in the same round, but (I should clarify that) the penalty applies to either/both… so if you Dodge once and parry once, your second action is at -20%, your third at -40%, etc. 

i. You can parry or dodge vs. the same opponent, with the caveats above. 

ii. Yes. 

1. Is it possible to use parry at a cumulative -20% penalty against attacks from multiple opponents, or is it limited to defending against attacks from a single opponent?

2. Does dodge still follow the rule of rolling separately for each attack from a single source?

3. Can a character use both dodge and parry in a single melee round, as well as a standard attack providing they don’t occur on the same SR?If you can use both parry and dodge I have these further questions:

i) If you are faced with a single opponent with multiple attacks, can you use parry and dodge in the same melee round, alternating with each of the attacks?

ii) If you are faced with multiple attacking opponents, can you use both parry and dodge in the same melee round, alternating with each different attacker?

I don’t know much about weapon fighting, but…

It seems wrong that shields can break weapons as easily as weapons can, although it does take a critical success; and I really don’t see how impaling weapons will break anything, poke holes in things, yes, but not outright break something.

Ultimately, combat in any RPG is an abstraction, and we’re aiming for a sort of mid-crunch that gives a bit of flavor, but doesn’t attempt to mimic each footstep, feint, and angle of every blow.

Breaking down individual weapons into ratings of “more/less likely to damage attacker’s weapon when parrying” is, I feel, an unmanageable amount of detail. 

I’ve personally broken a wood-axe while chopping wood… but not many would claim that a piece of stationary firewood is a danger to an axe. 

In combat, a well-utilized shield incorporates the edge as well as the point. Parrying a blow could mean hitting that edge hard against the blade of a sword, bending it and making it more brittle when it’s bent back. Or it ruins the edge. Ancient world and iron age combat is full of examples of weapons bending. A reputed Viking tactic was to use a shield to trap a sword used against it by letting it sink into the edge by a few inches, and then maneuvering the shield forcefully to either disarm the attacker or even bend/break their weapon. 

A weapon is more than the striking head, as well. A shield might guide the weapon to striking the wall/ground/etc. to damage it. A well-parried blow might cause a sword-blade to become loose in the hilt, or knock part of the crosspiece off. It might cause damage to a hafted weapon by making the socket loose.

Similarly, a hafted weapon doesn’t need to be parrying directly with the haft directly, like a quarterstaff. That’s a great way to damage the haft. You parry with a hafted weapon by guiding a blow away from yourself, such as into the ground or air. A parry can also be a defensive attack, using a spear-head as a chopping weapon to hack at the haft of another weapon (but this is less common) while it’s in the midst of an attempted strike. 

Statistically, also, shields are much less likely to damage weapons than weapons will damage shields. Damage for small/medium/large shields is relatively low (1d3/1d4/1d6) which puts a small or medium shield’s damage range at lower than a dagger, and a large shield at roughly the same as a light club. 

1) Different damage types do different specials. For the quickstart we streamlined it to one type. For impales and slashes, damage modifier is not doubled. For a crush, damage is rolled normally and the maximum damage modifier is applied plus rolled damage modifier. 

2. Yes, a crit does whatever the special damage type is AND ignores the armor. 

3. A critical hit ignores worn armor and any other protection. It’s the most powerful result. 

3 (you have two 3s… sneaky!) and 4. Yes, a fumbled Dodge means that the attacker automatically hits (a normal success) unless the attacker also rolls a fumble, at which point everyone should just call it quits and go home before they embarrass themselves further.  No Dodge fumble table. It’s bad enough that the defender has stepped clumsily into the path of an attack that would have missed. 

5. Yes, we’re trying to keep things simple, and RQG does not use the “shifting success” of BGB BRP. 

6. Normal damage, not special/crit damage. 

7. Yes, we wanted to make critical vs. critical be a dramatic exception. Rolling a critical parry vs. a critical attack shouldn’t yield in a disappointment when your weapon shatters. 

8. As noted prior, the quickstart uses an earlier iteration of the rules at the time the quickstart was developed. The above excerpt is the current state of the rules. 

9. Even when. 

Truly, thanks for taking the time to make that clarification.  That really helps.

A few questions for me still:

1) so special damage (ie 2x) is the WEAPON damage rolled 2x, and then add the STR mod?  The STR mod isn’t doubled?  That seems to be what you wrote, I just want to make sure I’m reading it right

2) a crit does the special damage AND ignores armor?  That seems to be a change from previously?  Am I understanding that right?

3) a crit ignores worn armor (it’s somewhat blocked by a successful parry), does it ignore magical protection (Protection or Shield) as well or no?

3) I know things were simplified for the QS: Currently in the QS, a dodge fumble only gives the attacker a hit if they missed (ie a att special vs a fumble is still just a special).  , Will there be a Dodge Fumble table?  Or some other consequence/value to the attacker ie max weapon damage or something?

4) in line with #3, a dodge fumble currently lets the attacker hit if they missed; does this include if the attacker fumbles?

5) one thing that stands out on the dodge results is that a dodge really only succeeds or fails.  For example, a critical attack vs special dodge still results in a critical attack – the attack is completely unaffected by the very-good-but-ultimately-not-good-enough?  Is that as intended?

6) does a crit/special parry do double rolled parrying weapon damage to attacker’s, or just normal rolled (+STR if applicable)?

7) “A critical parry vs. a critical attack avoids all damage altogether.” – just to be clear, this seems to be inconsistent with (normal att vs normal parry).  As intended?

8) QS rule: “Successful Parry: If the attack is a failure, the parrying weapon or shield does its full damage against the attacking weapon, breaking it if damage exceeds its weapon’s current hit points” – am I right to infer that this has been changed to “Defender rolls damage vs att weapon AP, if exceeded attacker weapon -1 AP”?

9) From above: “When parrying an attack that rolled a special success, the excess damage above the parrying weapon/shield goes to an adjacent hit location on the defender (see page @@) and the parrying weapon/shield loses the same amount of hit points.” – even if the parry is a special?  Or does it then become like a normal hit vs normal parry?

@Jason Durall half makes me wonder whether extra/cumulative attacks could be handled in the same way? But im sure there would be implications to that which i haven’t thought of.

i also infer from your answer that dodge is now opened up to attacks from any source not just one source.

We’d rather limit combat actions using the splitting attacks rule we’ve got in place. Combat is already deadly and crunchy enough without giving high % characters the chance to do multiple attacks per round even when they’ve got little chance of success, “just because”. Use of Mobility would make that even more of an abuse. 

This seems odd for shields, and for parrying weapons other than swords, shod-shafted, or metal weapons (though it might be difficult to define these in-game, I will admit). Might I suggest a simple bonus on the next action for situations like these; i.e.. the Special or Critical parry over a Normal Attack puts the “defender” in a better “attack” position during their next action.

I would suggest this for a “better than attack level success” for dodge as well.

To keep things simple, we’ve avoided a lot of carryover effects from one round to another. Long, bitter experience at the gaming table has indicated that players inevitably end up with one of two situations: 

  • Player: “I forgot I had a bonus from last round! Crap!” 
  • GM: “Are you still adding that bonus? That expired last round.” Player: “Crap. Sorry!” 

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