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RPG Runebound -- Develop Something Together?


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#1 Dr. Quest

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 09:44 AM

Interested? Some discussion online has inquired re. using Runebound as an RPG system. I would like to pursue this further. Might some of us try to develop this together?
First, I see some challenges to face. What do you think about these matters?
1) What is the goal? Runebound already is a role-playing game (RPG)! So, what actually would be the goal in seeking to use Runebound as a RPG system? What do people want here? What would need to be added or revise? Thoughts?
2) Game Master? Runebound is an RPG approach that requires no game master. This frees up everyone to play a character, and requires no prep work outside of game time. These are good things. So, if it’s a matter of adding a game master, what would be the gains in that?
3) More Detailed Adventuring? In connection with the RPG idea, someone indicated that many of us would like to explore the world of Runebound in more detail. Yes, good. That often comes with RPG approaches. Still, unlike most long-running RPG campaigns, Runebound plays an RPG campaign in one game session! How would more detailed adventuring add something, without sacrificing this advantage of Runebound?
4) Other Challenges? What needs to be faced to get a handle on this? What needs to be clarified, and demonstrated up front, to know from the start there is real potential here, before putting more time into this?
 



#2 Tony P.

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 01:20 PM

Dr. Quest said:

Interested? Some discussion online has inquired re. using Runebound as an RPG system. I would like to pursue this further. Might some of us try to develop this together?
First, I see some challenges to face. What do you think about these matters?
1) What is the goal? Runebound already is a role-playing game (RPG)! So, what actually would be the goal in seeking to use Runebound as a RPG system? What do people want here? What would need to be added or revise? Thoughts?
2) Game Master? Runebound is an RPG approach that requires no game master. This frees up everyone to play a character, and requires no prep work outside of game time. These are good things. So, if it’s a matter of adding a game master, what would be the gains in that?
3) More Detailed Adventuring? In connection with the RPG idea, someone indicated that many of us would like to explore the world of Runebound in more detail. Yes, good. That often comes with RPG approaches. Still, unlike most long-running RPG campaigns, Runebound plays an RPG campaign in one game session! How would more detailed adventuring add something, without sacrificing this advantage of Runebound?
4) Other Challenges? What needs to be faced to get a handle on this? What needs to be clarified, and demonstrated up front, to know from the start there is real potential here, before putting more time into this?
 

1. Personally, I would like to be able to create my own character and develop it beyond one session. So I'd like character creation rules and some form of character tracking.

2. I made up some homebrew rules for a storytelling system for Runebound to mixed success. Developing a story is easy; just grab a few adventure cards and weave together a plot out of them. Working in actual roleplaying is harder though.

3. I don't think you could still shoehorn in an entire campaign in one sesson. Too much roleplaying would be lost. I do think you could get more detailed with the setting so one session could theoretically happen in one space. Cities could be expanded so a player could really interact there instead of just buying things.

4. Well creating a Terrinoth setting for d20 or D&D 4.0 might be easier. Legally there's no reason why FFG couldn't already do this for d20.

 



#3 master yoda

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 05:48 PM

It has already been done.....Descent is the answer.



#4 Lars Gnomish

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 10:29 AM

master yoda said:

It has already been done.....Descent is the answer.

 

Wow. We must have different definitions of what constitutes an RPG. Role-playing games are not minature tactical battle games. RPGs are open-ended, improvisational storytelling games with infinite possibilities.

As I see it, a Runebound RPG would simply compile, adapt and expand upon all the flavour text and maps of Runebound into a world sourcebook. A rules system rules would also have to be agreed upon. It might be a new system inspired by the existing game rules, but that would require a lot of work. You're probably better off adapting the setting to D20 or GURPS or any other rules system conducive to a generic fantasy setting.   

One of the neat features could be the use of movement dice. So, the party is on a quest, and need to venture to X location. The GM rolls the movement dice behind the screen and consults the map. Each die represents a day of travel, and each hex on the game map is one day's travel distance. If the movement dice provide a combination that would allow the party to get from Point A to Point B, then they make it unmolested. But if they don't have the adequate arrangement of dice, then they either have a random encounter, are stuck, or get lost.

But really, the beauty of RPGs is that you don't need anything but pencils, paper, dice and imagination. And you could probably get away with only 2 of those.

 

 



#5 Steve-O

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 03:58 AM

Dr. Quest said:

1) What is the goal? Runebound already is a role-playing game (RPG)! So, what actually would be the goal in seeking to use Runebound as a RPG system? What do people want here? What would need to be added or revise? Thoughts?

Runebound is NOT an RPG.  Not by my definition anyway.  Runebound is a board game of fantasy adventure.  RPGs, in my mind, are about telling a story where the players are the main characters and the GM controls everything else.  Runebound is a great game, but it is firstly restricted to a finite playing field (players are not allowed to go explore what's off the edge of the map, they must obey certain limitations for movement and combat - ie: if a hero didn't roll a mountain on his movement dice, he's not allowed to go into the mountains, etc.)  Secondly there is relatively little story or character building.  I admit there's more story than your average board game, but it's still nothing compared to even a mediocre RPG.

Likewise, Descent is not an RPG either.  Not by a long shot.  Descent has even less story and flexibility than Runebound.

Pretty much all of the components in both of these games could be used to make an RPG (and I'd be curious to see anything people have done to that end), but these games in and of themselves are not role-playing games.  They are board games.  In terms of what needs to be added, the ability to create your own character is a good one.  Not necessarily required (you could play the existing heroes as pre-gen, but you'd have to sit down and think about their personalities first) but it would certainly be a welcome addition.  An understanding of the world at large would also need to be present, and this point would likely vary widely from one group to the next since there isn't really much in the way of official information about the world at large.  If you intend to combine elements of RB and Descent, you'd also need to standardize the stats used to describe heroes and monsters (maybe even make your own system or steal something like d20.)

Dr. Quest said:

2) Game Master? Runebound is an RPG approach that requires no game master. This frees up everyone to play a character, and requires no prep work outside of game time. These are good things. So, if it’s a matter of adding a game master, what would be the gains in that?
3) More Detailed Adventuring? In connection with the RPG idea, someone indicated that many of us would like to explore the world of Runebound in more detail. Yes, good. That often comes with RPG approaches. Still, unlike most long-running RPG campaigns, Runebound plays an RPG campaign in one game session! How would more detailed adventuring add something, without sacrificing this advantage of Runebound?

A GM of some description is more or less a prerequisite of RPGs in my opinion.  Theoretically you could use some random story generation system without one, but you'd need a really good group who can take what that system spits out and run with it.  As I said above, the defining characteristic of a role-playing game is the role-playing.  The characters speaking and acting in concert with their personal beliefs, creating drama and facing villains.  This is more than just drawing a random card from a deck and then rolling dice to see if you "beat it."  This means the heroes facing the villain in a dramatic scene, sweat dripping from their brows, blood drying on their fingers as they clench their weapons and prepare to do what must be done for the sake of freedom.  That sort of thing.

To have a proper RPG we need to go down to "street level" as it were and follow the heroes wherever they may go.  Descent does this to an extent, but the scope of Descent doesn't really extend beyond the dungeon.  If all you want is a hack and slash dungeon crawl then Descent might be good enough for some, but in my mind RPGs mean more than that.  A well-run RPG could spend an entire session in the tavern - without even any combat!  Just the characters having fun, getting drunk and planning their next moves.  A proper RPG needs a GM to take control of everything the heroes can't control themselves.  By the same token, a single session is generally not long enough for a proper story to be told.  It has been done, but it's not my preferred method of story-telling.

Making a Terrinoth RPG would involve a good deal more than just pulling out RB or Descent, making a few notes and slapping the letter R-P-G on the side of the box.  It's something I might even be encouraged to try myself some day, but right now I don't have the time.



#6 Tony P.

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 06:28 PM

After thinking about it, a Runebound RPG with a new original system would be refreshing. Personally I'm tired of d20 based games and the various other popular systems out there.



#7 Lindsey

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:03 AM

I'd be more interested in history, culture, and other world background stuff than in a new RPG.  That way you could use whichever RPG rules you chose, and the work on world background would be usable for Runebound/Descent/Runewars scenarios (or new games), too.



#8 Steve-O

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:58 AM

Lindsey said:

I'd be more interested in history, culture, and other world background stuff than in a new RPG.  That way you could use whichever RPG rules you chose, and the work on world background would be usable for Runebound/Descent/Runewars scenarios (or new games), too.

I'd be interested in that too, but I don't see an entire book of generic fluff selling very well, I must admit.  However, dare I suggest....  Terrinoth novels?  Could be interesting.  I like the cut of your jib.



#9 Tony P.

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:20 PM

Lindsey said:

I'd be more interested in history, culture, and other world background stuff than in a new RPG.  That way you could use whichever RPG rules you chose, and the work on world background would be usable for Runebound/Descent/Runewars scenarios (or new games), too.

Personally I'm more interested in a fresh system. Just taking Terinoth and converting it to a generic 4.0 setting wouldn't take much work at all if you are an experienced DM. I'm burnt out on d20 and the other popular systems and would like to see something new altogether. This probably won't happen anyway.

I agree that some novels would be good. I'd pick one up if available. Or maybe not, I'll be saving all my money for Runewars :)



#10 Lindsey

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 12:27 PM

Yeah, I doubt background information alone would be very profitable for Fantasy Flight, though it might help sell their related games. Books might do okay, or they could be better off putting articles up on the web, rather than coming up with a product for sale.

The main reason why I'm not so interested in a new RPG is... that I'm not that interested in new RPGs. ;)  But it does sound like there are at least a few people who would like a full roleplaying system with the background.



#11 Dr. Quest

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:52 AM

IMHO, the best ideas of this discussion so far include (some are quotes from above, some are adapted):
RPG would simply compile, adapt and expand upon all the flavor text and maps of Runebound into a world sourcebook. E.g., get more detailed with the setting so one session could theoretically happen in one space. Yes, this would be the “more details” approach – with expansive potential!
Cities could be expanded so a player could really interact there instead of just buying things. The “Cities of Adventures” variants available online are a great start.
Consider using Descent for dungeon crawling encounters. Wider settings and encounters need more…
Movement dice and random encounters: The party is on a quest, and need to venture to X location. The GM rolls the movement dice behind the screen and consults the map. Each die represents a day of travel, and each hex on the game map is one day's travel distance. If the movement dice provide a combination that would allow the party to get from Point A to Point B, then they make it unmolested. But if they don't have the adequate arrangement of dice, then they either have a random encounter, are stuck, or get lost. Still, though, a D20 random encounter chart might be even easier and faster…
Try adapting the setting to any other RPG rules system conducive to a generic fantasy setting. Like… best recommendations? Anyone try using the very usable Savage Worlds RPG system with Runebound? At the same time, I think the Runebound system itself would be still simpler, faster, more playable – assuming it can be adapted and expanded somewhat for role-playing, and someone puts the time into developing this…
 



#12 Steve-O

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 01:51 AM

If you want to adapt the existing Runebound rules for an RPG, I think the only big thing you'd need is a set of rules for creating your own heroes (some people will want to).  And also a means of buying new Skills with XP.  The game rules already allow for advancing your base stats, health and fatigue, so that's good.  You might also want to get something for designing new monsters, since sooner or later the cards aren't going to cut it.  Beyond that everything is flavour text, which you can add without rules.

I generally dislike the idea of random encounters, or any mechanic that declares an encounter must now occur.  Instead of rolling dice when the party is moving, I'd say just let them go where they want.  The GM can determine when it is appropriate for an encounter to occur without rolling dice to see if it's "allowed."  If you want to tell a compelling and consistent story, all encounters should be prepared or improvised, not randomly generated.  That's just my opinion.



#13 Lindsey

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 06:23 PM

Maybe the idea of a Runebound/Descent/etc novel isn't so far-fetched.  It looks like Fantasy Flight is dipping its (um, metaphorical) toe into the fantasy book business:

www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite.asp

I suppose they started out by importing comics, so this isn't very far from their original business.



#14 Mad Carthos

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 04:43 AM

I am working on something, and will post a link when I have enough of something down to share... :)






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