CHA4028 RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – Chapter 07 Combat Q&A pages 191-206

Official Answers by Chaosium

This covers Chapter 7, pages 191-206

The Melee Round191-192
Strike Ranks192-195includes getting up from prone
Disengaging from Melee 195
Vasana’s Saga196
Weapon Use197-200includes Aimed Blows, Subduing & Disarm
Attack & Parry Results table199Please note this is updated in the Gamemaster Screen Pack
Combat Results202-203
Special Damage203-206
Next sections206-225

The Melee Round (page 191)

If two potential foes move into range of one another, with weapons readied, are they automatically “Engaged”?

Are they going to attack one another and defend if attacked? Then they’re engaged.

What if neither one of them “wants” to be Engaged?

Then I guess they’re just standing there staring at one another. You don’t need rules until someone does something. Why is this a question?

What if one or both of them are already “Engaged” with other foe(s)?

Are they paying attention to one another? Backing into each other? Are they even aware of one another? 

The rules can’t account for every permutation of potential interaction between individuals. This should be up to the gamemaster to decide.

“An Elf, a Dwarf, and a Troll walk into a bar” — are all three of them each Engaged with the other two?

If they like each other enough and are willing to make it work, who are we to say otherwise?

Four Phases in a Melee Round (p. 192)

I’m a little confused by the logic of putting the movement of non-engaged characters (phase 2) before the resolution of missile attacks and spells (phase 3).

In this I must defer to the prior designers of the game (Steve Perrin, Greg Stafford, and company). It’s been that way since RQ1 and making such a fundamental change to the mechanics of combat was both outside the design goal and something Jeff and I weren’t interested in doing.

If I’m reading this correctly, a non-engaged melee combatant can move half his/her movement, close in on a target that is armed with a missile weapon, and attack before that target gets a chance to fire. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have phase 2 include both the movement of non-engaged characters AND the resolution of missiles and spells?

It is, I believe, very specifically to keep things relatively clear and to disincentivize ranged combatants from getting within movement range of melee opponents.

Maybe abolish theses phases all together and just go with Strike Rank order?

If that makes things easier for you, Your RuneQuest May Vary.

The rule says “Who goes first and in what order during a melee round is determined by strike ranks”. But in phase 2. “Movement of Non-Engaged Characters” in which order the move of unengaged characters and monsters is made ?

Use common sense. If in doubt or to resolve a tie, use MOV rate or DEX as the determiner (higher goes first). 

Some character, C, makes a Statement of Intent (SoI) that they will move past a potential foe, F, to engage a BigBad (outside the scope of these questions).

C has a very-high DEX, acting early in the round.

F is already Engaged in an ongoing melee with another character, R (who may react to what happens below); F’s SoI is attack & defend vs R.

F has a very-high SR, acting late in the round.

DirectorGM:  Action!

C moves into melee range of F, intending to move past.

Q1:  Are C&F automatically “Engaged”?

No. They’re not paying attention to one another. They’re participating in the same combat, though. 

What’s the area the combat is taking place in? How close is C getting to F? You say “move past” but does that mean within weapon range of F or does it mean three meters away? 

Is there some reason that C can’t get to BB without interfering with F, who is otherwise occupied? Why can’t C make their move and keep F and R out of it?  

There’s too much unknown here, and unless you’re breaking out the battlemat or using minis, the gamemaster needs to make some decisions about what’s happening vs. relying on guidelines. 

Q2:  If Q1 is “Yes” does C need to Knockback/Disengage/Flee (vs F) to continue moving past?  Is that implicit in C’s SoI?

See the above. 

Q3:  If Q2 is “Yes” and C chooses to “Flee” does F get an unopposed attack, even though attacking C (or anyone attempting to move-by) was not part of their SoI?

Q4:  If Q3 is”Yes” — Does F’s attack on C occur on F’s SR (even though C’s movement “happened” on an earlier SR), or on one of the SR’s-worth of Movement that C declared?

Q5:  If F attacked C on Q3/Q4, what happens to F’s SoI & their SoI-declared attack on R?  Did they “use up” their action attacking C; or is that a “free” attack?

If you decide that for some reason C’s movement is the equivalent of disengaging from F (when they’re not actively paying attention to one another), then that attack is as described on page 195, a free attack which cannot be parried or dodged. This should be immediate and not affect the attacker’s normal SR action. 

Q6:  R (whose SoI was “Murderize F without being murderized back”) is feeling really left out, and wonders if he gets any chance to react to all the stuff F is doing with C, any advantage from C’s distraction, multiple-Engagement, etc…  and if so, what reactions/advantages?

If F has become engaged with C due to your interpretation of the situation, they could also take a free attack at C if they felt like it. 

This is one of those moments where there are no right or wrong answers and it’s really up to the GM to stage manage the situation. At your table, your rulings count most. There’s doubtless loats of other ways to run this.

Try to think of strike ranks as a system to work out who goes first. Try not to treat strike ranks as a second by second system. We use a strike rank tracker, once the maths is done, the player places their token on the tracker. Then we run through the ranks.

This happens every fight, and we, as a group, are still not 100% sure how it should work.

The fight begins: a player will inevitably declare “I cast <spell>, draw my <weapon>, charge <some distance>, and strike the opponent with my <weapon>!”

Let’s assume said player has DEX SR 3 + SIZ SR 2 = SR 5, Short Sword SR +3, wants to cast Bladesharp 2, and the opponent is 12m away.

This is what I think happens:

That was the most important statement.

The adventurer has an unprepared weapon and an unprepared spell that round. 

1. As the sword is in its scabbard, it must first be drawn. This begins at SR 3 and ends at SR 8 (5 SR to draw/change weapon).

Yes. Base SR 3 + 5 = 8 

2. Sword, drawn, the Bladesharp may be cast on it. This happens at SR 8 and uses up SR 8 ends on SR 10 (1 SR/MP).

 SR 3 + 1 for spell = 4, add up: 8 + 4 = 12 that’s it.

The adventurer is focussing on drawing their weapon and casting a spell.

3. Although movement occurs before actions in RAW,

Unengaged movement happens in RAW.

it is seems conceptually easier in this case to allow the movement to occur in the remaining SR (though I envision, the character was slowly moving forward the entire time). The character has 3 SR of movement “left” (10, 11, and 12), and moves 9m.

No remaining SR.

ROUND OVER – the stationary opponent throws rocks at the oncoming player somewhere in there.

This defines the engagement, the opponent gets to strike. Your adventurer is already engaged. You can parry or dodge the thrown rock. The opposition has likely thrown 2 (S/MR). 

The player still has distance to close and wants to attack.

12 metres left, prepared weapon 12m / 3 = 4SR + weapon SR total of 8. 4+8 = 12, so goes on 12.

Does this scan as a correct interpretation?

Yes, mine is different and that’s fine. You group may quibble about whether they are engaged or not, etc, but that’s fine.

As a side note, my players would never in an unprepared situation hang around to cast bladesharp, they would have rushed in and still not reached the target (Shortsword 8 + 5 = 13!). You choice is oddly the better one 🙂

I found it interesting that you double-jeopardy’d the character with the DEX SR:  3 (first possible action) + 5 (draw) + 3 (winding up for another action tax?) + 1 (2 MP cast). We have never interpreted or thought of it that way. SR 3 is the earliest moment the player could act in the round. So, that’s how we get 3 (first possible action) + 5 (draw) + 1 (2 MP cast).

Two different types of action, physically drawing the weapon, then mentally casting a spell. Think of it as physical and mental reflex.

Have we been doing it wrong all these years?

No. How you play it at your table is the right way. As long as you are consistent your ruling is fine. Quote

We felt that the 5 SR “switching action tax” covered this.

Not “switching action tax” it’s drawing your weapon out and preparing it to attack cost. 

Is there a good reason why they can’t be moving and drawing their sword at the same time? And, even casting Bladesharp at the same time as well?? Or are Gloranthans unable to multitask?

The rules are different if you are engaged or unengaged. The example I was using was engaged.

See Multiple Activities Outside of Melee & Multiple Activities Within Melee, RQG page 195

If unengaged, your adventurer could move and draw as the example shows.

When engaged, you are much more limited.

Try to think of strike ranks as a system to work out who goes first. Try not to treat strike ranks as a second by second system.

I don’t know if my group gets this part of the discussion. To us, the rules seem to say that actions occur on SRs and multiple actions can occur at different SRs and SRs are used to sort everything into line, not just “who goes first”.

Yes, but I’ve played with people who treat SRs as second by second moments in time. It’s more a warning against that. 

A person could, for example, cast a divine magic spell on SR 1 and attack on SR 9 in the same round while another person draws a bow and attacks on SR 3 and 8 could they not

Yes, but there is no strike rank 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 

on SR 3 and 8 could they not


(or is that 3 + 5 + 3 = 11)??

Yes, page RQG 195: 

Note that an adventurer with an average DEX could loose two arrows in one melee round (strike rank 3 for the first arrow, then 5 to ready a new arrow and then 3 for shooting the new arrow, for a total of 11).

RQG, page 195

GM: What is your declaration for this round?

Player: I cast Befuddle on the cave troll. If the Befuddle doesn’t work, I will cast it again. If it works, I will charge and attack.

How would you break the following statement of intent down into strike ranks? Is the IF-THEN-ELSE double-Befuddle or attack cast is correct?

Firstly, you can’t attack magically (Befuddle is an offensive spell) and physically in the same round:

While an adventurer might throw a spell at an oncoming foe and then engage that foe in combat within the same round, an adventurer cannot, while engaged in combat, attack both physically and magically.

RQG, Multiple Activities Within Melee, page 195

So it’s one or the other.

As for attempting to recast a failed spell:

If the caster is unsuccessful, no magic points are expended, and they may try again in the next melee round.

RQG, Spellcasting Ability, page 254

Although it says “next melee round”, at your table, you could rule that is possible to recast immediately following the failed attempt as casting is a Characteristic Roll and is treated the same way as Reattempting Ability Rolls, page 142, and with MGF, this would be a desperate attempt

The gamemaster may permit a follow-up attempt if it is justified, but at a –25% penalty.

If this second attempt fails, the adventurer cannot make any further reattempts without the passage of time or change in circumstances.

RQG, Reattempting Ability Rolls, page 142

As recasting immediately is a desperate action, if they failed, they will not be able to cast spirit magic again in that combat situation. So waiting until the next round is always preferable.

Player: I try to cast Befuddle on the cave troll and charge.


Player: I will charge and attack.

What if the adventurer is specifically NOT engaged in melee combat:

This where it gets down to what is happening at your table.

He is at range, over 20 meters away from the target. Until he actually attacks the target within melee range, he is not engaged, correct?

If his intention is to close and attack, he’s engaged as before:

Player: I cast Befuddle on the cave troll. If the Befuddle doesn’t work, I will cast it again. If it works, I will charge and attack.

Otherwise we get into an adventurer is not engaged until the SR that they or their target either attacks or parries. The charge and attack says engaged in melee, page 192:

Any adventurer or monster actively taking part in melee combat, whether attacking or defending, is engaged in melee combat.

page 192

That’s covered by an engaged adventurer being able to move up to half of their usual movement and still act. 4 hours ago, claycle said:

Thus, not engaged, is he not able to perform multiple actions each round?

Yes, if there is no declaration to charge and attack.

If the declaration was: I cast Befuddle on the cave troll. If the Befuddle doesn’t work, I will cast it again. If it works, I will close with the troll, drawing my sword.

The adventurer remains unengaged.

The Troll remains unengaged with adventurer until the next round of statements.

Overall, this something to be aware of. Player often load multiple actions into a statement with a final attack. 

What if you cast it but fail in the POW vs POW. What if you fail but have SRs, can you cast a different spell on the same or different target?

if they have declared it in their statement of intent and it doesn’t conflict with any other rules, or the current situation in play, yes. Personally I’d still apply the -25% for a second try as it’s still second roll after a failure, within the same round.

Are characters attacked by thrown weapons engaged if they want to parry or dodge?

Any adventurer or monster actively taking part in melee combat, whether attacking or defending, is engaged in melee combat.

page 192

If they are standing 20m apart, with one throwing rocks at the other. One is focussing on attacking, the other focussing on dodging or parrying, they are engaged. 15 hours ago, Joerg said:

Does attacking spirits only with a magical weapon count as engaged for purposes of spell casting etc? (You can walk off using your spirit combat ability to deal with the spirit attacks any time, so you wouldn’t have to go through the rules for disengagement, or do you?)

Spirit combat is treated differently unless part of a melee, page 366:

Once a corporeal being is engaged in spirit combat, they may not attempt any skill or engage in physical melee combat with a separate physical melee target without first succeeding at an intelligence check (normally INT×5, but the gamemaster may adjust that up or down, as desired).

page 366

If you are engaged already you are in trouble – See this section.

Strike Ranks (page 192)

Please clarify  strike rank DEX + SIZ and strike rank concept.


Vasana’s Saga

Vasana’s DEX is 11, giving her a DEX strike rank of 3, and her SIZ is 10, working slightly against her and giving her a SIZ strike rank of 2.

If she uses a broadsword with a weapon strike rank of 2, she attacks on strike rank 7. If she uses a dagger (weapon strike rank 3), she attacks on strike rank 8.

Vasana’s Saga, page 57

3+2+2=7 and 3+2+3=8


Vasana’s Saga

Vasana’s DEX is 11, giving her a DEX strike rank of 3,

If she uses a Composite Bow with a rate of S/MR:

Rates of Missile Fire

S/MR: As many missiles as can be fired as strike rank permits, assuming 5 strike ranks to reload.

Page 211
DEX SRReloadFirst AttackReloadSecond AttackReloadNext Round
DEX SR3PreparedDEX SR3 so
SR3+5SR =
No 2nd reload possibleUnprepared
(DEX 9–12)Unprepared +5SRSR5+DEX SR3 =
No reload possibleUnprepared

The complete table for all DEX SRs can be found under Rates of Fire (page 211)


Spell Strike Rank

To determine the strike rank at which a spell can be cast, total the adventurer’s DEX strike rank plus the magic points of the spell (minus the first), plus any boosting magic points. The sum equals the strike rank of the spell.

DEX strike rank + additional magic points of spell + boosting magic points = spell’s strike rank.

page 254

Vasana’s Saga

Vasana’s DEX is 11, giving her a DEX strike rank of 3

If she casts prepared Disruption (1), she attacks on strike rank 3. 3+(1-1) = 3.

If she casts prepared Disruption (1) boosted with 15 magic points, she attacks on strike rank 6 of the next round. 3+(1-1) +15 = 18-12 strike ranks = 6 (see below).

If she casts Bladesharp 4, she casts on strike rank 6. 3+(4-1) = 6.


Limit to Strike Ranks per Melee Round

No action or combination of actions may be performed in one melee round if the total strike rank necessary adds up to more than 12.

If a spell requires more than 12 strike ranks (including strike ranks for magic points spent, DEX strike rank, unprepared spell, and any boosting magic points), more than one melee round is needed to cast the spell. A spell requiring 37 strike ranks will take 3 full melee rounds to cast and takes effect on strike rank 1 of the fourth melee round.

Page 194

SIZ and DEX Strike Rank Modifiers table and the Strike Rank Modifiers table are both found on page 193 and on the GMs screen.

Strike Rank Modifiers (page 193)

Getting up from prone?

There isn’t a rule already, but it should be +5 strike ranks, the same as for switching weapons.

We ruled that you can get up from prone with a similar delay BUT during the ‘getting up’ period, you were essentially defenceless.  If you dodged or parried or anything like that, you were prone again and had to start over (IRL: when knocked down in a fight, people tend to scramble away FIRST, THEN try to stand.)

That works too, but we’re also trying to keep from getting way too crunchy.

Are there rules for standing up from Prone? For example a person got knocked prone by losing all hit points to her abdomen. She then healed herself and was able to stand back up. We couldn’t find a rule on it and I ruled it would be 1 strike rank to stand. A few of the players thought that was too easy to just stand up like that with 1 strike rank. Is there an actual rule for standing from prone?

There isn’t a rule already, but it should be +5 strike ranks, the same as for switching weapons. 

Altering Intent was +3SR in RQ3, +5SR in RQ2, can we suppose it is also +5SR in RQG?

These intentions do not need to be precise (“I’ll wait here for them to do something, and have my shield and sword at the ready if someone gets close” is enough detail).

RQG, Statement of Intent, page 192

Players should cover their plans in as much detail as they feel is required for the situation described by their GM. At your table, It’s for the GM, to decide what penalties, if any, there are for a change in either the GM or player’s intent. There is no specific rule for this.

Magical Attacks and Strike Ranks (page 194)

from movement: Rurik still needs to run through 12 meters of tunnel before he can cast his Sunspear. Can he cast it the same melee round he arrives (on SR 6, assuming a DEX SR of 2)?

I would say yes, unless Rurik is engaged in combat at the time. 

That Zorak Zorani clearly has Berserk running, so Vasana adds two MP to her Lightning spell to overcome the countermagic effect. When does the Lightning strike?

See page 194. The Rune spell is at strike rank 1, plus 1 for each magic point after the first. So in this case, strike rank 2.

Support: Seeing Vasana receiving a blow that renders her sword arm unusable on SR 6, Yanioth (who has been hanging back this melee round) applies a Heal Wound for 6MP. When does this take effect? Would a Heal Body without any need to boost with MP be faster?

Let’s use common sense.

Strike ranks determine when an action happens in a round, after the declaration of actions.  

Yanioth has no way to know that she will need to cast Heal Wound with 6 magic points right after strike rank 7. Vasana is also in the middle of a melee, and Yanioth is hanging back. She would need to see that Vasana is wounded, move into the melee, and lay a hand on Vasana’s incapacitated limb to have the spell work. 

As a gamemaster, if and only if Yanioth said that she was specifically hanging out waiting to cast a Heal Wound spell on Vasana, I would ask her to make an INTx3 roll to see how quickly she can assess the situation and react, and maybe a DEXx3 roll to see if she could step into the fight and successfully grab someone who’s only second beforehand reeling back in pain from being struck. 

And as noted above, Heal Wound is a Rune spell and takes 1 strike rank to cast +1 per magic point after the first. So a Heal Wound spell boosted with 6 magic points would take 6 strike ranks. In the miracle that Yanioth was able to near-instantaneously assess and react, her spell would take effect on strike rank 12.

If Yanioth didn’t announce that her intent was to specifically be ready to cast Heal Wound on Vasana, I would say the spell happens next round on strike rank 6.

SR cost for casting an attack spell while holding a weapon.

Most spirit magic or sorcery spells need at least one hand free. Because of this, 5 additional strike ranks must be added to an adventurer’s normal strike rank for a spell if they are switching from a weapon to the use of a spell in that melee round, so long as one hand remains free. This requirement does not apply to Rune spells.

Magical Attacks and Strike Ranks, page 194

Does this assume the weapon is being put away? Or just dropped. The wording implies that you have to have your hand free so it’s not just mentally changing your mindset from weapon to magic. Would there be an additional 5SR penalty to go back to melee afterwards? Readying the weapon again?

I’m not sure what is meant by “so long as one hand remains free”. The way it reads the 5SR penalty DOES NOT apply if the hand is not free.

This is intentionally vague. Basically it means that if you don’t have any means of focusing the spell, such as touching a focus inscribed somewhere on your person, you are at a penalty when switching gears mentally to move your hand to wherever the focus is at. If you want to say that a focus for Bladesharp is on the hilt of your sword and doesn’t incur this penalty, then so be it. 

The rule assumes the weapon is removed from your hand in some fashion. Sheathing it is one way to handle that, but dropping it also works, though simply dropping a weapon at your feet is a terrible idea (potentially damaging blade or legs/feet). 

Feel free to just assume that your adventurers are always equipped with their foci in exactly the most advantageous place for combat and ignore this rule entirely.

I’m a little confused by spell preparation in the middle of combat. Preparing a spell adds +5 strike ranks. Every time a player casts a spell, do they need to prepare it? Or do they only need to prepare if they are casting more than one spell within a melee round?

Yes +5 strike ranks, with one exception:

Any subsequent spells require 5 strike ranks to prepare, even if the same spell is being used.

Most spirit magic or sorcery spells need at least one hand free. Because of this, 5 additional strike ranks must be added to an adventurer’s normal strike rank for a spell if they are switching from a weapon to the use of a spell in that melee round, so long as one hand remains free.

However, casting a spell such as Bladesharp or Fireblade on a weapon held in the hand and striking with it in the same round only involves adding the normal strike rank to cast the spell to the normal strike rank for that weapon for that melee round.

Magical Attacks and Strike Ranks, page 194

The only exception is that you don’t add 5 is with spells cast on the item you are holding.

Can one cast multiple spells per MR 

  1. in a melee?

Yes, but only one offensive (if you are quick enough)

2. if unengaged?

Yes, if you have time.

3. If they are Rune Spells

One rune spell only, unless it is stackable, extendable, an illusion. or is specifically allowed to bend the rules (multispell 3 with four disruptions for example)

4. Sorcery?

Sorcery spells are a minimum of one round of casting… 

I had thought it was an attack and parry/dodge or a spell and parry/dodge only in melee as per an answer to RuneQuest questions and answers. 

It is, but more specifically:

Attack and defend normally; or Defend normally and cast spells.

Multiple Activities Within Melee, page 195

You could cast befuddle and Bladesharp (if you are quick enough)

Vasana example (page 195)

Example: Vasana, with her DEX 11 (and DEX strike rank of 3) could cast a Demoralize spell, taking 5 strike ranks. She decides she will then move 9 meters (3 more strike ranks, taking it up to SR 8). As she is moving, she decides to ready her composite bow and an arrow (5 strike ranks for readying a weapon). As this can be combined with the movement, the gamemaster says that her movement and drawing a new weapon can happen simultaneously, for 5 strike ranks total. The strike rank total is then 10: 5 for the spell + 5 for the movement and weapon readying. Now, Vasana is stuck and cannot attack, because loosing the arrow would take another 3 strike ranks, and there are only 2 strike ranks left in the melee round.

Vasana example, page 195

change to

Example: Vasana, with her DEX 11 (and DEX strike rank of 3) could cast a Demoralize spell, taking 4 strike ranks. She decides she will then move 9 meters (3 more strike ranks, taking it up to SR 7). As she is moving, she decides to ready her composite bow and an arrow (5 strike ranks for readying a weapon). As this can be combined with the movement, the gamemaster says that her movement and drawing a new weapon can happen simultaneously, for 5 strike ranks total. The strike rank total is then 9: 4 for the spell + 5 for the movement and weapon readying. Vasana with a DEX strike rank of 3, uses the 3 remaining strike ranks to loose the arrow on strike rank 12.

Vasana example, page 195

Multiple Activities Outside of Melee (page 195)

This question concerns the SR on which a hit is made after moving and  drawing weapon at the same time.

It takes 5 SR to draw a weapon and this can be done while running towards an enemy (p195 “actions such as readying a weapon and movement may be combined, so long as they do not seem improbable”).

Correct. The gamemaster should be the judge of what seems possible here.

The situation is this: a troll runs towards the adventurer whilst drawing his maul. The distance to the adventurer is 15m, therefore takes 5 SR to move, the same 5 SR is used to draw the weapon. Going by the rules, it seems that the troll then stands there for the weapon’s total SR, waiting to be hit, before hitting the adventurer, any advantage from the charge being lost.

You could also just say the troll charges slightly later in the round, arriving on their normal strike rank + 5 strike ranks for the movement.

This feels wrong, though the logic of getting the weapon out and getting it in a usable position makes sense. We played it by just adding the troll’s DEX SR onto the total with movement.

So the question is, if a weapon is drawn, is the SR for a hit equal to

5 to ready + weapon SR + DEX SR + SIZ SR

Generally, yes. 

regardless of situation?

I would almost never say “regardless of situation” because that’s a surefire way to create more unnecessary complexity or confusion with the rules. 

The fundamental conceptual problem here (and it’s not just you) is that the RQ rules have never been clear about whether strike ranks are an action point allowance or a simple determiner of who acts first. Most of the time these issues come up is when they start becoming action points vs. speed of attack. 

It may help to emphasize your interpretation of strike ranks solely as the latter (determining who goes first, etc.), and all additional actions or modifiers to strike ranks are simply changing that speed in which everyone can attack. 

Multiple Activities Within Melee (page 195)

Magical Attacks and Strike Ranks, page 194, says that you can cast Bladesharp or Fireblade and attack in the same round, merely delaying the attack by SR equal to the MP needed for the spell. (This would seem to mean, since the first magic point does not cost an SR, that you can cast Bladesharp 1 and attack without any delay, which is fair enough).

However, on the next page it says if you’re in melee you cannot cast a spell and also attack in the same round; as the example spells used on page 194 are both for melee weapons, this would seem to be a contradiction; which is correct?

While an adventurer might throw a spell at an oncoming foe and then engage that foe in combat within the same round, an adventurer cannot, while engaged in combat, attack both physically and magically.

Multiple Activities Within Melee, page 195

Casting Bladesharp on Fireblade on your weapon is not a magical attack on your foe. It’s a magical effect cast on your weapon that then is used to physically attack your foe.

You cannot cast disruption and attack with your weapon in the same round, that’s a magical and physical attack.

Weapon Use (page 197)

Aimed Blows (Part of Rune Fixes 2)

This rule is in the core rules, and is restated here for clarity.

Adventurers (or foes) can inflict aimed blows on an enemy, using more care and deliberate action to deliver a well-placed blow upon a specific hit location versus determining it randomly. This can have the obvious effect of shortening a combat dramatically, if the blow is to an incapacitating or less-armored hit location.

Anyone who wishes to strike a particular location in melee or ranged combat—not with spells—must state that exact location before rolling.

The attacker then waits until strike rank 12, attacking with ½ their normal skill, after all modifiers are applied.

If the roll is successful, the blow strikes the desired hit location and does damage normally, with special success, critical, etc. determined based on the lowered chance.

Subduing (Part of Rune Fixes 1)

At times, adventurers will want to subdue, rather than slay, their opponents. There are two principle ways to do this.

A target can be immobilized using the grapple rules in the core rules.

An adventurer may use a weapon to stun an opponent if the player states that the adventurer is using the flat of blade or the haft/hilt of the weapon to make an aimed blow to the head at the end of the melee round. Subtract the value of any protective armor (including magical protection) from the rolled damage and use a resistance roll to attack the number of hit points in the head with the remaining damage. If the resistance roll succeeds, the target is stunned and unconscious. During the Bookkeeping Phase of each subsequent melee round, that character’s player must make a successful CON×1 roll to recover consciousness.

Successful or not, the target takes 1 point of damage to the head location.

Example: Vasana wants to subdue a Lunar nobleman. She has 45% to succeed with an aimed blow to the head and rolls a 37, a success. She does 9 points of damage and the Lunar has 6 hit points in the head (but is unarmored). She has a 65% chance on the Resistance Table and rolls a 22, a success. The nobleman is stunned, unconscious, and has lost 1 hit point to his head. Each round he will be able to make a CON×1 roll to wake up.

Disarm (Part of Rune Fixes – 3rd July 2018)

In a combat, an adventurer may at any time declare that they are striking at their opponent’s weapon instead of the opponent. If the opponent is parrying with the designated weapon, they will automatically parry if the attacker succeeds in the attack.

The attacker has the normal chance of success if the target weapon is a Strike Rank 0 weapon. The chance is reduced by –10% if it is a SR 1 weapon, –20 percentiles if it is a SR 2 weapon, and by –30% if it is a SR 3 weapon.

If the attacker hits the target weapon, they may attempt one of the following actions:

Strike to damage the weapon. In this case, the weapon loses hit points equal to the amount by which the damage exceeds the hit points of the weapon. Such damage cannot be done with a weapon meant only for thrusting, such as a spear or dagger. For example, Vasana tries to damage the spear of a Unicorn Maiden. She does 12 hit points of damage; the spear has only 10 hit points, and so it is reduced to 8 hit points. The next round, she tries again and gets a special success doing 16 points of damage—breaking the spear!

Hit with the flat of the weapon and match the rolled damage against the STR of the target weapon’s user (or STR×1.5 if the weapon is held with both hands) on the Resistance Table. If the attack succeeds, the target weapon is knocked from the user’s hand and flies away a distance in meter equal to the difference between the damage done and the STR of the user. If the STR is greater than the damage done, the weapon lands at the target’s feet. If the attack is unsuccessful, there is no effect on the struck weapon. This attack cannot be attempted with a short weapon meant only for thrusting (such as a dagger), but it can be used with spears, clubs, or quarterstaves to slap away an opponent’s weapon.

Attempt to entangle the target weapon with a flexible weapon. On a special success some weapons (whips, lassos, etc.) can wind around a defending weapon to disarm an opponent. In such an event, the attacker pits their STR against the STR of the opponent on the Resistance Table; if successful, the attacker wrenches the target weapon out of the defender’s hand.

If the resistance roll is unsuccessful, the target may then attempt a STR vs. STR roll against the attacker. On a success, the defender takes the entangling weapon out of the attacker’s hand!

As a general rule, an adventurer actually can attack AND parry with the same weapon in the same melee round.

In order to parry with a shield, it must be prepared. This means a) not be using simultaneously 2H weapons and b) not declare an attack with the shield.

When bearing two weapons different from weapon & shield, an adventurer can attack with both of them OR attack with one of them and parry with the other.

Is this interpretation right?


The Attack (page 197)

Aimed Blows (page 197)

If you are using an aimed blow, is your chance to parry also halved?


How Many Attacks / Spells Per Round?

Melee Attacks With One Weapon

If an adventurer is NOT splitting an attack or fighting with two weapons, it seems as if the adventurer only gets one melee attack per round. The rules (as far as I can tell) never state this, but looking at several passages in the book (specifically the way Splitting Attacks works on p. 202, which suggests that splitting attacks is how one makes multiple attacks with a single weapon in one round) and interpolating the texts, it seems as if even if a character had the SR for several Melee attacks, he or she could not make more than one attack. (The exception to this is Duel Wielding or Split Attacks.) Is this correct?

Yes. You get only one physical melee attack per round unless splitting attacks (or dual wielding). You may cast magic and then attack, if you’ve got enough strike ranks.

Missile Weapon Attacks

As opposed to Melee Attacks, the user of a missile weapon gets to fire as many times last he weapon’s Rate allows combined with any other SRs involving PC movement/actions. This seems clear, but I’m bringing it up in contrast to Melee Attacks to make sure I’m getting it right?

Yes. Outside of the crunch of melee, you can fire quicker, every X strike ranks (X = yours + weapon’s) up to the missile fire weapon’s rate of fire.

Spell Attacks

I believe Rune Magic always goes off on SR 0, and thus only one Rune Spell per round. Correct?

Rune spells are one per round, happening at SR 1.

Do Spirit Spells work as Melee Attacks, with only on spell per round? Or is a character able to cast as many spells as he or she can squeeze into the round?

Spirit magic can  be cast multiple times per round. See Magical Attacks and Strike Ranks, page 194. 

This is one of the great “problems” with how people perceive strike ranks. They’re in a weird place between being a determination of what happens in what order and an action point allowance.

Jason Durall, (RuneQuest Line Editor)

Is there a difference between if one is in melee casting a spell vs. casting at range. So, if only one spell can be can when engaged, does this mean only one spell at range per round? Or are spells like some ranged weapons which allow multiple attacks per round?

Same either way.

Is there any distinction between the kinds of spells that impose limits per round? That is: maybe an adventurer can cast only one combat spell of some kind per round, but multiple spells per round the are not combat? And if this is the case, is there a classification system for what counts as a combat spell as opposed to a combat spell? Or is the notion of an “attack” with a spell fluid and “you know it when you see it?”

No codified limits, other than the above. The rule that a subsequent spell costs an additional 5 SRs limits this functionally to three spells per round being cast… the first on SR 1, the second on SR 6, and the third on SR 11.

The Parry (page 197)

Is it allowed to parry a strike, that is hitting an adventurer next to you?

In a melee, if the situation, placement of individuals, speed of the individual and available parries feels right and GM thinks it’s cool – Yes. (MGF page 6).

Excess damage after successful parry with a shield

“A Successful Parry” on page 198: “In most cases, a hit to a shield damages the arm wielding it.”

An example on page 204:”Since he parried successfully, the attack goes through to his arm, which is clad in a 6-point plate vambrace.”

“Notes on Shield Use” on page 218:”Any damage taken by the shield above what the shield can absorb in one blow is inflicted on the hit location originally rolled in the attack.”

The last rule is different from the former descriptions. Which is right?

Go with the shield arm, which is the common-sense solution. If you intercept an attack with a shield and the shield is pierced, it will hurt your arm. 

Special Parries (page 198)

first bullet added “, with no armor protection.” at the end & Second bullet removed “, with no armor protection.” from the end. (Part of Second printing corrections)

Attack & Parry Result Table (page 199)

When there is any excess damage, there are two descriptions:

“Any excess damage goes to adjacent hit location.”

“Any excess damage goes to the affected hit location.”

Please clarify the difference between “adjacent” and “affected,” if any.

It’s just a wording discrepancy. It goes to the adjacent hit location. For a shield, that’s the arm. 

Critical Attack vs Normal Parry Result (page 199)

If a critical sword attack doing 18 damage is met by a normal parry, and the parrying weapon has 12hp, is the parrying weapon broken (as the attack & parry results chart seems to suggest), or is the parrying weapon just reduced to 10hp (as page 200 suggests, under “parrying a critical hit”).  

As per the chart, the defender’s weapon takes the damage rolled and the excess goes to the defender. In this case, “twice the damage it would normally” is a clumsy way of saying it takes critical damage. 

Critical Attack vs Critical Parry Result (page 199)

What is the result of a Critical Attack vs Critical Parry. The rulebook chart says “Attacker rolls normal damage”, while the Games Master Screen and Games Master References (page 10) say “Attacker rolls special damage.” Which is correct?

The rule book is correct.

We’ll update the GM Screen and Reference sheets accordingly.

The Parry / Parrying a Critical Hit (page 200)

However, a weapon that parries a critical hit takes twice the damage it would take normally

A shield that parries a critical hit receives twice as much damage as normal…

Attack & Parry Results table, page 199

does not match

critical attack vs normal parry: defender’s parrying weapon HP reduced by the damage rolled.

Parrying a Critical Hit, page 200

Which one is correct?

See the updated Attack & Parry Chance table in the Gamemaster Screen pack

The Parry / Damage to Weapons (page 200)

Once a weapon goes to 0 or negative hps the rules state that it is “unusable”, the rules then go on to contradict this by stating that the weapon can be used at 1/2 skill. 

Does this mean the weapon can still be used to attack and parry at 1/2 skill with no further penalties?

How does parry work when the weapon is at 0 or negative hit points? Normally a weapon doesn’t block any damage beyond its positive Hp’s.

At 0 HP, a weapon can theoretically be used to attack/parry at half skill, at the gamemaster’s discretion.

This is a general rule and does not address every eventuality.

A 0 HP broadsword might now be a shortsword, might simply have a blade loose enough to throw off one’s balance, might be bent, etc. Pick a sensible result based on the weapon type. 

At 0 or lower HP it’s pretty fragile. Any parrying that inflicts damage to the weapon reduces its HP further until it hits its negative HP and then it’s broken forever and cannot be remade, or at least must be remade from scratch (a bow, for example, is pretty much destroyed, but you might theoretically get a new haft for your 1H mace, or melt down and reforge a sword blade).

Combat with Skills Above 100% (page 201)

In opposed combat rolls, where one combatant has a combat skill over 100%, is it parry% or attack% over 100 that is used to figure out any penalty?  I ask because Parry% can vary from attack%, either through splitting attacks, or through the cumulative parry penalty rule.

What are you trying to do when you’re figuring a penalty? If you’re attacking and the ability to attack is modified due to a penalty, use that. If you’re trying to parry and your ability to parry is modified, use that.

If a highly skilled combatant (150%) spilts their attack, does parry remain unaltered initially? For example an attack of 150% is split for two attacks of 75%. Does the parry remain at 150% before any cumulative penalty? 

Split. You’re diverting your focus into two 75% usages. Penalties should be applied to the 75%.

So let’s say with a ton of magic up my berserk Storm Bull Lord has a 250% attack.  The broo he is trying to kill has a dodge of 55% that he is opposing him with.  Which of the following happens:

1) I have to use all of my extra 150% on my attack to lower his dodge and we end up with a 100% attack and a 5% dodge.   Thus lowering my critical and special chances to the 5/20% levels because my attack is 100%.  The dodge would just have a 1% critical also I assume being lowered to 5%.

Everything over 100%. You can distribute the excess skill points as modifiers to multiple attacks/attackers, if desired. As a GM, I’d let you apply those excess skill points as a negative modifier when you’re parrying, if desired. 

As a GM I’d also be inclined to let you use those points to affect other actions the broo attempts, such as its own attacks, or even actions it performs unrelated to attacking/dodging you. You’ve basically woven a net of bronze (or iron!) around it and it is at a huge disadvantage.

2) I only have to use 50% of my extra attack because that is enough to take his dodge down to 5% and end up with a 200% attack and a 5% dodge.  Thus having critical and special chances at the 10/40% levels because my attack is 200%.  Again the dodge just having a 1% critical again being lowered.

See above.

3) I don’t KNOW what my opponents dodge percent is and I have to guess / pick an amount to lower my attack by?  And in doing so end up with some new attack and dodge % with appropriate criticals / specials.

Why would you know what an NPC’s exact Dodge skill % is, other than in very general terms by watching them perform dodges in combat? This is information for the GM. Your attack becomes 100%.

This can apply to any opposed roll of course, just using combat as the example here.

If I say 1 is the answer, it seems like it is penalizing the higher skill person more as they are giving up perhaps a lot of critical and special success chance.

You have reduced a fairly competent opponent (Dodge 55%, better than 1 in 2) to having a 05% (1 in 20) chance of success (the absolute minimum). Your chance of a special is 10 times theirs, and a critical 20 times theirs.

You are also mentioning that you’ve magicked up your skill to 250%, you’re likely inflicting a lot more damage than normal as well. I’m not sure what the huge problem here is.

Please imagine the roles reversed, where you have a broo with 250% attacking you and you’ve got Dodge 55%. Which condition out of the three you suggest above would you rather have be the case? 

The first bullet makes no mention of reducing the attackers skill to 100% with a concurrent reduction by the defender by the difference between 100%+ and 100%. the example they use is a troll with a 75% shield skill vs an adventurer’s 120% sword skill. The troll’s skill is reduced by 20%, to 55% per the rule on pg 144, but the example makes no mention of reducing the adventurer’s sword skill to 120%-20% = 100%. Was this an oversight?


or is it assumed that the rule on pg 144 was a given?

Yes. Otherwise we end up repeating continually.


Thus, a Wind Lord with a 150% sword skill has a 30% of a special success, and an 8% chance of a critical hit.

Combat with Skills Above 100%, page 202, second bullet, last sentence


Thus, a Wind Lord with a 150% sword skill, reduces their opponent by 50%, making their modified skill 100% and so has a 20% of a special success, and an 5% chance of a critical hit.

Using “final modified value” would cap critical/specials at 5/20 ALL THE TIME for any combat/opposed roll for the higher skilled participant, as their skill is always reduced to 100 (as explained in the example).

Yes, except in rare cases where after the reduction the value is still over 100%

e.g 25% vs 150% becomes 0% (5%) vs 125%. Unless this is a dramatic moment, I would suggest using the automatic success rule on page 141, as it’s hardly a fair fight.

Or, the rule should be clarified to something like “special/critical chance is based on the skill value before the skill above 100% reduction.”

see above.

so, the only time one would get the “full” critical/special percentages would be when surprising someone or being involved in melee with someone not actively parrying/dodging …?

Yes. When the roll is unopposed or the final is still over 100%

According to the Q&A, you always deduct all % in excess of your 100% to reduce your opponent’s defense skill, even if it is more than enough to reduce him to 5%.

Yes, but there’s a point reached at the table where you just want to get on with the game. You should indeed subtract everything and redistribute. But a huge final blow can move things on quickly, and indicate the fight is over by moving to an automatic success (unless your group likes to play to the last hit point).

Dodge (page 201)

Use of Dodge and Parry against Missile Weapons

How does dodging against projectile weapons work?  Under skills it states that Dodge takes a full melee round.  Does that mean it has be declared in statement of intent and the character does nothing else can be done. Can multiple dodges (or parries) be done then in the same melee round?

If you’re using Declaration of Intents, then yes, you announce you’re dodging for that round. You can make multiple dodges in a round, at -20% to each successive Dodge roll.

I allow people to mix dodges and parries (going all-out defensively), but not Dodge and attacks.

Can a character move on same melee round when dodging missile fire?


All characters and monsters not directly engaged in melee combat may move up to their total movement rate (MOV).

Unengaged, page 192

It takes one entire melee round when used against missile attacks,

Dodge, page 164

Those moving no more than half of their usual movement allowance may also participate in melee or perform other feats such as throwing a spell. Every 3 meters of movement adds 1 to the mover’s strike rank.

Engaged, page 192

Dodge can be used against any weapon attack the defender is aware of (including projectile weapons)

Use of Dodge and Parry against Missile Weapons, page 201

Can a character do spells when dodging missile fire?

Rune & Spirit magic – Yes:

This means that an adventurer who starts a round physically engaged in melee may either:

Attack and defend normally;

or Defend normally and cast spells.

Multiple Activities Within Melee, page 195


If the spell caster’s concentration is broken in any sudden and unexpected way before they have finished with casting a spell (for example, taking damage), they cannot cast the spell and must try again.

Spirit Magic, page 255

Sorcery – No:

A sorcerer cannot attack, parry, or Dodge while casting a spell.

Concentration, page 387.

Can a character ride horse when dodging missile fire?

Yes (It’s a staple of Westerns). At a great distance, consider having adventurers use their Ride skill instead of Dodge, it’s their ability to make the horse weave out of fire.

Special Damage (page 203)

On page 203 Weapon types listed are Thrusting, Cutting, Cut and Thrust and Blunt.

On page 207 the Weapon types are listed as Crushing, Cut-and-Thrust, Hand-to-Hand, Impaling and Slashing. Which is correct?

Blunt= Crushing
Thrust= Impaling
Cut= Slashing
Hand-to-hand= Fist / Kick / Grapple / Headbutt

Impaling Damage / Double Damage (page 203)


An impale does twice the weapon’s normal rolled damage.

Impaling Damage / Double Damage, page 203


The impaling weapon’s damage should be rolled normally twice and both results added together.

if the impale is also a critical hit, then the maximum possible impaling damage (14 points in the case of the short spear) is done to the victim, to which is added any damage bonus and any extra damage from spells.

Impaling Damage, Page 203


The damage is normally 1D6+1+1D4.  The damage is maximum damage plus rolled damage for an impaling attack, with the rolled damage modifier added.  In this case, the roll is an exceptionally good one, with a result of 7 (max of 1D6+1), 4 (1D6+1), and 4 (1D4).

Example of a fumble, page 206

By my read of the earlier passage (page 203), the damage should have been 18 (14 (max of 2D6+2), and 4 (a lucky roll on 1D4))?  Which passage is right?

The rules are correct. The example is in error.

Critical Hit (page 206)

Last sentence of first paragraph changed to “A critical hit ignores the effects of armor or any other protection, and usually does maximum impaling, slashing, or crushing damage (depending on weapon type), as described above.” (Part of Second printing corrections)

Which parts of a Crit attack are maximized? Only the weapon damage part, or also the damage bonus?

After going over this topic with Jason Durall, he pointed out that the Attack & Parry Results table on page 199, should be included with this answer:

Critical attack vs Normal Parry, Failed Parry, Fumbled Parry, Attacker inflicts max special damage. 

Attack & Parry Results table, page 199

Maximum includes weapon damage.

Page 206: Quote

A critical hit ignores the effects of armor or any other protection, and does impaling, slashing, or crushing damage (depending on weapon type)

Critical Hit, page 206

Please note that Second printing corrections changed this (see above).

Twice the maximum damage plus roll damage bonus (plus magic damage bonus if any). Weapon is stuck in body.

Critical impale, page 203

Twice maximum damage plus roll damage bonus (plus magic damage bonus if any)

Critical slash, page 204

Maximum weapon damage plus maximum damage bonus twice (plus magic damage bonus if any)

Critical crush, page 206

Fumble (page 206)

Effects of a Fumble on the Fumbler (page 206)

What does it mean if you fumble and lose your next parry? Does it mean you lose your next opportunity to parry (meaning you want to parry, but you can’t) or does it mean your next parry fails (meaning you parry, but it is an automatic failure)? And also, just to be absolutely sure, that effect does get cancelled at the end of the battle, meaning if I fumble today, my adventurer can parry as normal tomorrow, right?

You don’t get the chance to parry at all. Your weapon or shield are so far out of line that they’re not close enough to try.

Example, second paragraph, replaced last three sentences with “The damage is maximum damage plus rolled damage for an impaling attack, with the rolled damage modifier added. In this case, the roll is an exceptionally good one, with the result of 7 (max of 1D6+1), 4 (1D6+1) and 4 (1D4). The broo’s attack does 15 points of total damage.” In the next paragraph both instances of “17” are replaced with “15”. (Part of Second printing corrections). PLEASE NOTE THIS HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY THE ANSWER BELOW.

According to the 2nd printing corrections on the fumble example on page 206, the right damage of a critical impaling attack should be maximum weapon damage (1D6+1=7), plus rolled damage for the impale (1D6+1), plus rolled damage bonus (1D4). According to the 2nd printing corrections, this would be 15 for that particular example.

However, the answer to the questions in the Q&A page about Combat is maximum double damage (1D6+1)x2 = 14, plus rolled damage bonus (1D4), which would mean 18 for that example.

Which one is right, 15 or 18?

You are correct, 18. The example is incorrect.

Effects of a Fumble on the Fumbler / Example (page 206)

 If the broo gets an automatic critical hit against poor Joshfar, shouldn’t he inflict maximum and double damage (plus his damage bonus rolled normally) as per the rules on page 203, which incidentally mentions the exact same weapon the broo is using in the example? (If the impale is also a critical hit, then the maximum possible impaling damage [14 points in the case of the short spear] is done to the victim, to which is added any damage bonus…) However, the example just rolls damage twice.

Yes, you’re correct. The printed example is incorrect, see the Second printing correction above. The broo does 14+4 points of damage, so 18.

Chapter 07 Combat Q&A pages 206-225

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