CHA4028 RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – Chapter 07 Combat Q&A pages 206-225

Answers by Jason Durall, RuneQuest Line editor

This section covers pages 206-225:

  • Weapons
  • Armor
  • Mounted Combat
  • Chariots
  • Fighting in Phalanx Formation
  • Other Combat Rules

Weapons (page 206)

Explanation of Headings (page 207)

Minimum Weapon STR & DEX (page 207)

STR/DEX: The minimum necessary STR and DEX required to handle the weapon. An excess of STR makes up for a lack of DEX, on a 2 for 1 basis. Thus, an adventurer with a 10 STR and a 12 DEX can use a rapier (which requires a 7 STR and a 13 DEX). If both STR and DEX are below the requirements, all attacks and parries with the weapon are performed at half skill.

STR/DEX, page 207

What happens when a character has perfectly adequate DEX but not enough STR? Both being lacking halves the skill so it would be illogical for only one being lacking to make it entirely impossible to use the weapon. 

Half-skill. It should read “If either/or STR or DEX are…” 


Weapon Types (page 207)

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

Axes (page 210)

Axe, small (page 210)

It refers to its use in both melee and as a hurled weapon, no mention of a separate skill.Axe, Throwing even refers back to Axe, Small.

Separate skills. 


Swords and Daggers (page 210)

Parrying Dagger (page 210)

Is the Dagger, Parrying, a different skill than the dagger (melee)?

Yes.


Spears (page 211)

Javelin (page 211)

There is no mention, in the Javelin description on p.211, of the Throwing Javelin skill, I would have expected the same comment as the above quote in that context. Does someone with a javelin use the same skill for both melee and throwing then?

Separate skills.

Spear, Long or Short (page 211)

It refers to its use in both melee and as a thrown weapon, no mention of a separate skill

Separate skills.

Missile Weapons

Thrown & Melee skills for same Weapon

So, in general, are there separate skills for throwing and for melee with the same weapon?

Yes. It’s not explicit, but when get a cultural or professional skill bonus to a starting weapon (such as a javelin) that can be thrown or used in hand-to-hand, you start with both at the same skill. If you add points to them while customizing your character, you should assign those points to one or the other.

If it is the case, do you get half-skill with the other method (say if you have 80% with the melee skill, do you get 40% with the throwing skill)?

See above. 


Rates of Fire (page 211)

I am bit unsure how to count the missile strike ranks.

If PC’s DEX SR is 2, do I count it like:

  • 2 (shoot) + 5 (loading a new missile) + 2 (shoot), which would give strike ranks 2 / 9 (third shot not allowed)

If they are ready to shoot on SR2 with an arrow in hand, then yes.

  • or 2 (shoot) + 5 (loading a new missile + shoot) +  5 (loading a new missile + shoot), which would give strike ranks 2 / 7 / 12

or a PC DEX SR of 0 (DEX 19+), so you could potentially go on

  • 1 (shoot) 6 (shoot) 11(shoot)  depending on how you interpret DEX SR 0.

Nope. 


Slings (page 213)

Slings are Damage Type C = Crushing but as a projectile they don’t get a damage modifier so Slings don’t benefit from a Special Hit?

Sling damage is already pretty high compared to other missile weapons. Also, generally speaking, your SIZ has nothing to do with your ability to hurl a sling stone harder, which makes the damage bonus feel a bit dubious as a modifier.

However, if if you feel like adding 1/2 damage bonus for normal hits, and doubling the maximum rollable for the special, that would be totally reasonable. 


Armor Table (page 215)

  • Cuirass Leather armor for the Chest has its ENC changed from 0 to 1.
  • Hauberk Leather for Abdomen & Chest has its ENC changed from 0 to (2).
  • Skirts Leather for Abdomen has its ENC changed from 0 to (2).
  • Pants/Trews Leather for Abdomen & Legs has its ENC changed from 0 to (2).
  • Greaves Leather for Legs has its ENC changed from 0 to (2).
  • (Part of Second printing corrections)

Leather Vambraces (page 215)

Are Leather Vambraces ENC 0, or should they be ENC (2), as per Leather Greaves? All the other Leather armor increased from ENC 0 after the 2018-07-01 version of the PDF. I have the 2018-10-10 version of the PDF.

They should be (2).


Shields (page 217)

Can you bear a shield with, let’s say, a Great Axe or a Bow, although you can not parry, in order to get some kind of “passive defense” against missiles, or, otherwise,  what is the meaning of the expression “A shield may not be ready for use when the adventurer is using a two-handed weapon” in p. 219

Here’s where we get into some crunch, based on how realistic you want to go. In the real world, shields usually require a hand to hold onto an interior strap or handle so they don’t get in the way or slip around. Part of a shield’s virtue is being mobile enough that it doesn’t take hits directly, angling them away from the defender when possible. 

These straps not like Captain America’s magical shield that has grips tight enough for him to wield it like a weapon AND then slip over his shoulder with backpack like straps. (Comics version Cap… the movie one has some sort of magnetic harness thing.) That’s not super-fun, though, and fantasy art and fiction is full of characters with a shield slung over one arm loosely while using a two-handed weapon like a bow or great axe. 

So if you want to allow it, I’d rule the following: 

  • The adventurer will receive no benefit from the shield unless against melee or missile fire that happens to strike that or an adjacent hit location (see p219) AND comes from a direction that would reasonably have a chance of hitting (gamemaster discretion). In this case, the shield will protect for half its usual armor points (as per the rules for a slung shield on the back, p219). 

For example, an adventurer is using a bow, holding it with their left hand and drawing the string with the right hand. The shield is affixed to the back of the left arm. An attack comes from the adventurer’s left and rolls the left arm hit location. The shield, being between the attacker and the arm in question, protects for half its normal value. Later in the same combat, an attack comes from the right/front or back and rolls the left arm hit location. The gamemaster decides that the arm is exposed and that the shield isn’t between the attack and the arm, so the shield is useless.

Shield Attacks (page 219)

If you make an attack with a shield, do you only loose the parry of  the shield, or do you also loose the ability to parry with a weapon held in the other hand?

You only lose your shield parry, having shifted it into an offensive position vs. a defensive one.

Shield & Weapon Attack

Can you make an attack with a shield and a weapon held in the other hand in the same round? RAW – weapon and shield use appear to be excluded from Two Weapon Use rulings page 225.

If you decide to give up any parries with the shield that round, you can use it as if in two-weapon fighting. Basically your shield is now an ungainly disk-shaped club.

Dodge & Shield Attack

Is dodge restricted (like parry) if you make an attack with a shield? 

No. And again, only shield parrying is eliminated. 

Shield & Weapon Attack

Can you make an attack with a shield and a weapon held in the other hand in the same round? RAW – weapon and shield use appear to be excluded from Two Weapon Use rulings page 225.

If you decide to give up any parries with the shield that round, you can use it as if in two-weapon fighting. Basically your shield is now an ungainly disk-shaped club.


Two Weapon Use (page 224)

First bullet changed to “…may use them for two attacks or attacking with one and parrying with the other, as desired.” (Part of Second printing corrections)

With two weapons, one in each hand you can attack with both (subject to strike ranks), and parry with both (though only 1 parry allowed per attack) and subsequent parries (in a combat round) are subject to the -20% cumulative penalty, regardless of which weapon is used to parry.

Worth repeating. 

When learning a weapon offhand, the base is 05%, but is it possible to use the half normal chance, as it is another skill with a weapon in the same category?

It’s up to your gamemaster but I would say absolutely not.

Learning to do something in your “off” hand isn’t simply making similar movements with something slightly different in your hand, it’s writing all new motions and habits, which is a lot more difficult. 

Think of it as the difference between switching from cursive to printing to calligraphy (same group) vs trying to write with your left hand.

What is the disadvantage of using 2 weapons? I feel like it’s way more advantageous to dual wield 2 weapons and have the option to attack twice (plus defend normally) than carrying a shield, where all you get is maybe some passive defense for missiles? 

Hand weapons can’t parry missile/thrown weapons, and they have lower HP than shields.

I’m becoming increasingly aware that what seems pretty clear to Jeff and I is not so clear to players, and the rules text on two-weapon fighting should be corrected and revised for clarity. Here are the guidelines put as clearly as I can make them, in the form of a Q&A: 

Can I wield two weapons? 

Yes. 

Can I attack twice in a round? 

Yes, if the combination of SRs for both weapons allows it (12 or lower). You can attack once per weapon, not twice with the same weapon. 

What if I have 100%+ with one or both weapons? 

You can split those attacks, as normal, within the limits of SRs. 

Can I parry with either weapon? More than once per round? 

Yes, with a cumulative -20% per subsequent parry after the first. Doesn’t matter which weapon or hand you do it with. 

Can I use Dodge along with my parries vs. melee weapons? 

Yes. Dodge attempts vs. melee should be counted along with parries, with the same cumulative modifiers.

What about Dodge vs. missile weapons?

If you are using Dodge against missile fire, it takes your entire action and you can do nothing but Dodge. You take the same penalties to subsequent Dodges as per parries. 

Why would anyone use a shield? 

You can’t parry missile weapons with a hand weapon, though your GM may decide to let you try at some astronomically low chance of success. (Maybe a Martial Arts roll?) Shields are also more durable than most weapons, and offer passive defense, even when slung. You can also do mass combat formations with shields. 

If you choose to attempt a knockback attack with your shield, you attack on SR 12 and can’t parry with it that round. 

Why would anyone use a two-handed weapon vs two weapons? 

Two-handed weapons  do more damage on average, have low SRs, have more HP, and are much more likely to penetrate armor. 

I hope that clarifies everything. For those who want more grit in the system, you can blame me. The subdivision of weapon skills into attack/parry and RH/LH is, to me, a overly crunchy level of detail that adds nothing to the facilitation of gameplay. 

By all means, if those are desired details, add them right back in. Your RuneQuest will vary. 


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