January 26th, 2002


More GURPS Feats of Strength

Last night's GURPS session started out slow. We arranged passage to the Island of Magical Excitement That May Kick Our Ass. Klantic, our druid, cast a bunch of rituals to keep us in good shape. We set sail, and through the weather control by our druid and navigation by our seafarer, we made it to the isle successfully.

We found a magically-constructed building with a bunch of skeletons (the inanimate kind) inside. Carynth and Logan went inside to explore; the mage Zorith stayed outside flying around; Meat and the rest stayed outside to try to lend a hand if the magic doors started closing in or somesuch.

Carynth called out to us from the second floor that there were monsters closing in on us. There were three of them, eight-feet-long critters that resembled cats but with scales. (They turned out not to be as strong as lions. This is probably good for us.)

Meat waited with club at the ready for the first to pounce. Unfortunately, he missed his shot and the critter managed to knock him to the ground. Fortunately, its claws failed to do lasting damage.

On the next turn, Meat reached up and grabbed the critter by the next with both hands so that it couldn't bite.
Merith (the warrior boy in our party) stabbed at the critter, but it dodged and he hit Meat instead. Ouch.

On the next turn, then, Meat activated the charm the druid had given him that increased his strength by 50%--from the strength of a small bear to the strength of a grizzly bear. Meat used his grip and snapped the critter's neck in one blow. (14 points of damage, multiplied by 1.5 against the neck, for 21 points. Whee!)

While Meat was throwing off the body, grabbing his club, and getting to his feat, Merith fended off a pounce by a second critter, but was pounced upon by a third.

Meat stepped up to swing at the critter on Merith. I worried about using his full grizzly strength--if he missed the critter and hit Merith, he could easily kill Merith outright. On the other hand, the more damage he could do to the critter, the less damage the critter would end up doing to Merith. I chose for Meat to swing at full strength.
I rolled a critical hit. The critter didn't get to dodge. The mighty swing knocked it back almost its full length, and rendered it hors de combat.

The third critter ran off, and Meat failed to catch it. Oh well.

Of course, then a sea serpent rammed our ship, which is going to give us big problems getting home. But oh well.

Still, I felt cool about being able to do that powerful neck snap. I'd wanted to do the neck snap since I first came up with the character. Whee!


I really want to play the RPG Rune.

Check out the Rune website here: http://www.atlas-games.com/rune_index.html . In particular, check out the Jump Start Rules and the Rune Preview Kit.

Rune is an enthusiastically hack-and-slash roleplaying game (based on what was apparently a mediocre computer game) with a clear attitude of axe-swinging mayhem and horn-helmetted Vikings.

It really looks like a big advance in hack-and-slash roleplaying. Here are some of the features I find different and/or kewl:

- GMing rotates among the group. Everyone gets to play as well as to GM. This seems like a nice feature, to let people play both sides of the table.

- It's a competitive game--there is a 'winner' at the end of play (which could be the GM). This would clearly be a different style of play than most RPGs, and I'm not sure I'm taken with it, but it could be interesting.

- Character differentiation happens largely during play, instead of at character generation. I like this, because I think it allows for players to start with the basics of the game, and add Kewl Powerz during play. (D&D does this to a large extent, too, and I like that, but there's still a lot of up-front differentiation.)

- In order to support the competitive aspect, there's a design system for encounters and adventures, just as many games have a design system for characters. I think that this is nifty because it allows the GM to be an adversarial GM, with limits to keep them from being arbitrarily mean. I wouldn't want to have an adversarial GM in my usual game, but I can see that as a fun way to play, if it wasn't a one-sided contest.

- Also in order to keep the GMing fair, there's a flow-chart for directing the behavior of opponents, so the GM can't unilaterally pick on one player. I think that this attention to fair play is a must for a competitive RPG, but I also really like the idea of being able to GM with strong guidelines as to monster tactics.

I think I'd like to play Rune as a one-shot over a Saturday. I'm not convinced that I want to make the time to play it as a campaign, but a one-shot like our recent Tribes game or the long boardgames I sometimes play with Dani sounds fun.

I wonder, though, how easy it will be to play it with only one copy of the book. I suppose I'll probably end up buying the book and finding out.
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