CHA4028 RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – Chapter 18 Between Adventures Q&A

Official Answers by Chaosium

This covers Chapter 18, pages 414-427.

SectionPagesNotes
Experience415-416includes experience rolls for animals and spirits.
Training416-417
Research417
Increasing Characteristics417-420includes POW Increase, Other Characteristic Increase, CHA Increase and Decrease
Vasana’s Saga, 1627, Sacred Time.419
Sacred Time420-427
Worship420
Heroquest (optional)420
Harvest420-422
Adventurer Income422-425including Manage Household
Aging425
Family Rolls425-427
Omens for Next Year427

Experience (page 415)

Can animals gain an experience check from an adventure or training i.e. herd Alynx, war dogs, cavalry horses, riding horses etc?

Most of this is subsumed into the relevant adventurer skill, but yes if you train them. Your GM may wish to rule that they get experience rolls too. Quote

Can bound spirits or allied spirits?

Bound spirits, skills, and only a 5% POW gain roll if they receive a POW check through normal means per:

Disembodied spirits can increase their POW by successful use of it, but their POW gain roll is only 5%.

RQB, page 154.

Embodied spirits like Allied spirits in animals, can improve skills by experience where appropriate and have a normal POW gain chance if they receive a POW check through normal means.

This is also an MGF question too. If a player has an investment in an animal of some kind that is part of their everyday world then yes of course, play them as a full adventurer. It’s Bert the entertainer and his swearing parrot vs I have a pet mouse in my pocket.


Making an Experience Roll (Page 415)

Change

Third paragraph, second sentence modified to “A modified roll of 100 or more is always a success…”

Part of Second printing corrections

Does a modified experience roll of exactly 100 result in an increase?

p415 “Making an Experience Roll” says “A modified roll over 100 is always a success”.

p416 “Exceeding 100% in an Ability” says “A result of 100 or higher is always successful”.

Yes. 100 or over is a success.


Experience Between Adventures (page 416)

At the end of each season, an adventurer can select up to four occupational skills and cult skills to get an experience check. These experience checks are resolved at the same time as regular experience checks—if a skill had already had an experience check that season, it cannot receive an additional check through this method.

Example: Harmast is ready to improve more than the skills he’s used successfully while adventuring. At the end of the season, the gamemaster tells the players that they can pick four skills for experience checks.

Harmast’s player looks at his occupational and cult skills and picks the following: Bargain, Cult Lore (Issaries), Manage Household, and Orate. He can make experience rolls for each of these as if he had used the skills successfully during an adventure. Now, Lore skills are not tickable, that is to say not increasable by experience.  So is this an error in the example or is it intended to say that non-tickable skills get training or what? 

The example is in error.

“At the end of each season, an adventurer can select up to four occupational skills and cult skills to get an experience check.”

I assume that’s a total of 4 skills from both occupational skills and cult skills, and not 4 of each?

yes.


Training (page 416)

To have a chance at improving a skill though training, an adventurer must train with an instructor for an entire season, and can do little else.

Training (page 416)

To clarify:

  • An adventurer may train a single skill with an instructor per season OR research a single skill
  • This still allows three weeks adventuring.
  • This still allows your your normal occupation and community roles. The adventurer still receives Experience Between Adventures (page 416).
  • The adventurer is now “Fully Booked” and can do no more, or Sacred Time roles will be penalised in Additional Penalties to the Occupation Income Roll (page 422).

How would you handle a character training full time instead of working? 5 skill increases per season and allow skill increases in lores too?

I will defer to individual GMs how to handle that in their campaigns. In my campaigns, the idea of “training full time” just isn’t plausible. All characters have cult responsibilities, occupational roles, community obligations, etc. Even if you were living in a Humakt temple as some kind of devoted initiate, you need to eat, sleep, worship the god, pray and meditate more than persuade a Sword Lord to train you. In a Knowledge Temple, you are going to be copying scrolls, writing down records, and working as a scribe. And so on.

Once upon a time, Greg and I played around with breaking down the percentage of time a character can devote to any type of activity – working, cult responsibilities, family obligations, praying and meditation, dreaming, sex, whatever. It was an interesting exercise but waaaaaaay too much book-keeping for a game system. What is in RQG gets you to more or less the same result without the bookkeeping.

Jeff Richard

Increasing Characteristics (page 417)

POW Increase (page 417)

Increasing POW with Worship Rituals (page 418)

The Worship skill allows a cult member to participate in a Worship ritual to the deity specified. If the Worship ritual is held in a temple, holy place, or sanctified ground on a holy day of the god, the presiding officials (High Priest, Rune Priest, God-talker, etc.) receive a POW gain roll if they succeed with their Worship skill.

Increasing POW with Worship Rituals, page 418

Do Initiates that have no priest etc available have the right to lead a worship service and gain a power roll? On a Seasonal Holy Day. Like at Apple Lane at the Temple of all Deities.

As initiates, they do not receive a POW gain roll, High Priests, Rune
Priests, and God-talkers only.

Does an initiate gets one or two POW rolls yearly. Is it one for (HHD + Sacred Time), or one each for HHD and Sacred Time?

An initiate can have one POW gain roll per season, counting sacred time as a season thats 6 maximum. Each season they qualify for a check if:

successful spell or spirit combat use

attending High Holy Day Worship rituals and/or sacred time rituals

leading Holy Day Worship rituals.

training

Once you receive a check, check your POW box. If it’s already checked you can’t check it again. If you have a HHD in sacred time and attend it, you check the box. You can’t check it again as it’s already checked in that season.

I think POW gain rolls need clarification. There is a place on the character sheet for POW Checks but there does not seem to be any POW Checks in the rulebook. The only mention I could find for POW experience checks is in the Battle Results Table (Page 176). The example for it, though, says that Vostor gets a ‘POW Gain Roll’ for his special success in Battle. Are there POW checks in RQ:G or just POW Gain Rolls? I think there are supposed to be

See below.

When do you get a POW Gain Roll for worship? The description of worship on page 184 says “A successful use of the Worship roll allows…and even attempt a POW gain roll.”, which I understand to mean the you make a POW gain roll each time you worship. On page 275, it says “Initiates…get an annual POW gain roll by participating in holy day and Sacred Time ceremonies as described…on page 315.” (Page 315 does not include anything about when worship gives you a POW gain roll).  This says that you get “an annual POW gain roll” (so once a year) but says you get them when participating in holy day or sacred time ceremonies. For most Cults there’s at least one holy day a season. Does that mean you are you limited to one a POW gain roll a year through worship? page 418 under ‘Increasing POW with Worship Rituals’ says that you get a POW gain roll from High holy days and Sacred Time, so I am not sure if the rule on page 275 is also supposed to read “high holy day” or if this one should read “holy day”.

See below.

Can you get multiple POW gain rolls in one combat? page 418 under ‘Increasing POW Through Spell Use or Spirit Combat’ I understand to mean that every successful spirit combat roll and POW vs. POW, gives you a POW gain roll. I assume those are both supposed to be cases where you get POW checks, but if you do get POW gain rolls, could you get multiple in one combat?

No. As with all experience checks, any after the first are lost. You cannot save them up.

Page 418 under ‘Making a POW gain roll’ it says that “POW gain rolls are made at the end of a season, as with other experience checks.” This is unclear as I am not sure which of the above rules are supposed to be when you get a POW check and when you are actually supposed to make a POW gain roll. If there are no POW checks, do you also get a POW gain roll at the end of every season?

Mark (tick, cross) the POW box on your Adventurer sheet when:

In Spell Use or Spirit Combat  you succeed on POW vs POW roll where the chance was less than 95%.

In a Worship Ritual on a High Holy day or in sacred time when you succeed in a worship roll.

In a Worship Ritual on a Holy day when you are one of the presiding officials (Rune level) and you succeed in a worship roll.

You have paid for Training.

At the end of every season [including Sacred time] if you have managed to check your POW (same as all skills that can be increased by experience), you may attempt a POW gain roll along with your other experience checks.

POW Increase, page 417

So there are six opportunities to increase your POW per year.

The only automatic POW gain is for assistant shaman who get 1 point per year (page 352).

Remember that when you succeed in your POW gain roll, you have the usual option for a fixed increase of 1 point or D3-1 (possibly 0, 1 or 2 points). I’ve seen many players get the 2 points!

Your GM may of course modify these rules to suit their game. I have played in many games where the GM has given a free point of POW / an extra POW gain check /extra skill check for extraordinary acts or excellent roleplaying (and will occasionally do it myself).


Other Characteristic Increase (page 418)

When rolling for a characteristics increase, are you supposed to compare the current value to the (species’ max roll + min roll) or (max roll + the number of dice rolled + 1 if the characteristic has any addition to it) or to something else? 

Follow the instructions on page 418.

This only applies to research as with training the increase needs no roll (see page 418):

If done by research, the player must first roll to determine if the research is successful by adding together the adventurer’s maximum rollable characteristic value (not including any Rune characteristic modifier) plus the minimum rollable characteristic value. For humans, this is always 21.

Next, subtract the adventurer’s current value for the characteristic being trained from that sum. Multiply the remainder by 5. Attempt to roll that number or less on a D100.

Other Characteristic Increase, Page 418

A human with a CON (3D6) of 12 (Earth affinity bonus not included). It would be 21-12 = 9 x 5 = roll 45% or less. 

A duck with CON (2D6+6) of 12 (Earth affinity bonus not included). It would be (Maximum = 18+ minimum = 8 = 26)-12 = 14 x 5 = roll 70% or less.

A minotaur with STR (3D6+12) of 22 (Air affinity bonus not included). It would be (Maximum = 30+ minimum = 15 = 45)-22 = 23 x 5 = 115, so roll 95% or less.

Then roll D3-1 per page 418 and hopefully don’t get a 1!

Please note that generating the roll for characteristic increase does not mention species maximum.

Example: A minotaur with STR (3D6+12) of 22 (Air affinity bonus not included). It would be (Maximum = 30+ minimum = 15 = 45)-22 = 23 x 5 = 115, so roll 95% or less.

As a GM you are free to change it to species maximum.


CHA Increase and Decrease (page 420)

Change

Second bullet point changed to “Becoming a Rune Master, or shaman in the course of play or…” (reference to God-talker deleted)

Part of Second printing corrections.


Sacred Time (page 420)

How is Sacred Time viewed in terms of being a season, in the context of experience rolls?

Sacred Time is the sixth season. All accrued experience checks taking place (including POW) at the end of the season as normal. Quote

Not the usual  adventuring- and profession-derived checks. I mean checks based on the fact that a character makes skill rolls during Sacred Time, such as Worship and their occupation skill to determine yearly income. Would a successful roll in these prompt a box-ticking experience roll?

Yes.

If so, would that take place at during Sacred Time,

Yes.

or would they carry over to Sea Season.

No.

Is the Sacred Time POW gain roll separate from regular seasonal POW gain rolls (assuming you managed to earn one)? Or is your Sacred Time POW gain roll merely resolved at the next end of season in the usual way (i.e. end of Sea Season)? That is, can you get a maximum of 5, or a maximum of 6, POW gain rolls in a year?

Sacred Time is effectively the sixth season, so six POW gain rolls, that includes one at the end of Sacred Time. 

Also, does an Initiate get one POW gain roll for each of HHD and Sacred time, or only one (in Sacred Time) for doing both that year? The rules point in different directions.

You only get to roll for a POW gain roll at the end of a season, so one. You cannot tick your POW more than once per season.


4. Adventurer Income (page 422)

Adventurers make, in a normal year, just enough to maintain their standard of living. The Warriors make 60L, the noble makes 200L. Then they pay tithes. Then they pay cost of living.  Which means they are ten percent short each average year on what they need to pay Cost of Living and have to dip into reserves. Is that what’s intended?

Yes. Adventurers should always be looking for means of bettering their financial situation, through adventuring, plundering, gaining or increasing their holdings, doing (paid) service for their clan/tribal leaders, and improving their professional skills to increase their chances of getting critical or special successes when performing their year-end income rolls as described in Determining Adventurer Income (page 422). 

The rules don’t call it out (or rule it out), but allow players to augment those year-end rolls where and if appropriate.

Is it possible to augment the occupation income roll (RQG p 422) with a skill (ex: augment Craft with Art for a crafter), with a rune (ex: water rune for a fisher), or with a relevant passion ?

Yes. However, remember the occupation income roll covers the whole year. As a GM I’d want to hear how this augment works over this time span. For a crafter, using Art as an augment is a shift in what they are producing. Who is this new market they are supplying? are they making fewer pieces for more income? Are they needing to source new materials to do this?

If the skill to be augmented is Manage household, can it be augmented with another skill (ex: augment the Manage household for the tenants of a hide of land with Farm) ?

The same with Manage household, however the point of manage household is that you don’t need to do the farming. You are managing others to do it. I’d want to hear how an adventurer is their using farming skill over the year to help manage their household. They may also have more than one tenant they are managing. How does the augment work?

Players need to think about how they are going to present this augment otherwise the GM should say no. If they are away for longer than three weeks per season, I would not allow an augment.

Can single people without families pay less than the rate of Cost of Living which is supposed to maintain a household?

The rules aren’t that granular, but assume that the standard of living cost applies to the household, even when it’s just one person. 

A question came up about income in our game session last night.  One player firmly believes that the requirement to give 10% of your income to your cult only applies to your occupational income, not anything you get from plunder.  My feeling( I’m the GM ), is that anything that adds coin to your pocket is income. 

As support for his argument, the player pointed to page 422, where it states “The adventurer should now pay cult tithes from their occupation income.”  Another player pointed out that is in the section that is specifically talking about Occupation Income, so it might not be a general rule. 

So, what’s the official interpretation?  Is the tithe based on all “income”, or just “occupation income”?

The occupational income phase is an abstraction of the whole year’s income. While there is room for interpretation, income is income.

Page 422 – The adventurer’s income represents the amount of income they make before their expenses from Standard of Living are deducted. 

If the adventurer’s occupation includes any plundering, then it is certainly occupation income.

If you plunder items relevant to your occupation, that’s also occupational income.

A herder acting as a bodyguard on an adventure getting plunder from bandits they fought off, counts as income.

It will also depend on who you are working for and if they give you plunder rights as part payment.

Items that are gifts, are not included as adventurer income.

Cults look poorly on those who don’t pay their correct dues. Certainly a roleplaying opportunity for players who’s adventurers don’t pay up. 


Occupation Income Table (page 423)

Add

Add Scribes missing Occupational skills (from page 70)

OccupationOccupational SkillsBase IncomeNotes
ScribeAlchemy, Bureaucracy, Customs, Read/WriteDepends on which skill the scribe uses in their profession: Alchemy 160 L, Bureaucracy 200 L, Customs 160 L, or Read/ Write 120 L. A scribe’s income is not subject to any Harvest result modifiers.

Manage Household (page 424)

Roleplaying in Glorantha p. 423 has the table for Occupational Income skills, and priest’s skill is listed as Manage Household, and their income comes from managing their tenants:

The Occupation Income roll assumes the adventurer is engaged in their occupation each season, gone no more than three weeks or so (“adventuring time”). If an adventurer is absent for more than that in a season, the penalty is a cumulative –20% per three-week period. No Occupation Income roll is possible if the adventurer is gone for the full year. At that point, they need a tenant or agent to work for them.

Additional Penalties to the Occupation Income Roll, page 422

Does this mean that priests and other tenant havers don’t get penalties to their Manage Household skill if they’re gone for more than three weeks per season, since their income comes from tenants?

No. See page 424 for the description and example of manage household: 

An adventurer with a tenant or tenants rolls their Manage Household skill to determine how much surplus the property generates.

Manage Household, page 424

See the example following the description.

Can Manage household be augmented with another skill (ex: augment the Manage household for the tenants of a hide of land with Farm) ?

The point of manage household is that you don’t need to do the farming. You are managing others to do it. I’d want to hear how an adventurer is their using farming skill over the year to help manage their household. They may also have more than one tenant they are managing. How does the augment work?

Players need to think about how they are going to present this augment otherwise the GM should say no. If they are away for longer than three weeks per season, I would not allow an augment.

If a warrior’s thane is responsible for maintaining the warrior’s SoL, how does a warrior spend his income?

Note that income can support a family of two adults and two children. If the supported warrior is single and not supporting their aged parents, assume that they have a disposable income for training, goods, and drinking. A sensible warrior will be buying livestock and saving… A soon as they have a family this all changes. They will be hoping to maintain their family to a good standard. Given a cow costs 20L, it will take a few years to get a herd equivalent to a hide.

A farmer with a hide would have about 4 L of discretionally income at the end of a year. He or she would be paying taxes and tithes shelling out for expenses such as food, clothing, repairs etc. 

How much discretionary income does a warrior have remaining after paying out his expenses? 

Single Warrior with no family to support – all of it. You eat at the thanes table, they clothe you, shelter you. You buy the occasional shiny weapon, and bits of fancy armour. You donate money to the temple for rune spells and spirit magic. You gift cows to temple to pay for a votive image.

Warrior with to support – none of it. You eat at the thanes table at important events, they clothe you (but not your family). You likely have your own dwelling. Your remaining money goes to better your family. You likely carry some lunars in cash to pay for stuff when you need too.

My players are supported by the Thane of Apple Lane. They use their Loyalty Thane to have him pay for beer / other expenses outside of their direct work role.

Overall this is a GM / player interaction. Once the equipment book comes out you’ll see what else you can spend your money on.


5. Aging

Effects of Ageing (Pages 81 vs. 425)

On Page 81 the costs of additional experience for an adventurer “for each two-year interval or fraction above age 40 subtract –1 point from STR, CON, or DEX”

On Page 425 an adventurer upon reaching 40 rolls on two tables. As a consequence they might lose STR, CON, DEX or SIZ

Should page 81 be consistent with page 425 in this respect? Also should not the rate of loss be the same, for an adventurer (they differ in the rate of loss)?

The rules for adventurer creation are intentionally more forgiving (and more deliberate) than those for aging naturally over the course of a longterm campaign.

The first method is to allow players to create older characters who are not incapacitated out the door by aging rolls.

The second method takes place after the adventurer may have had ample opportunities to increase characteristics, and emphasizes the encroaching mortality that all humans must contend with.

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