Runequest 6 vs. Legend

Design Mechanics has started crowd funding for Runequest 6 collector hardcover, just days after I bought by softcover book…

Runequest 6 is one of the strongest candidates for my next campaign. That or Legend which are very similar rules systems, probably are written by same people (more or less). Legend is based on Mongoose Runequest 2 and RQ6 is further development of the same rules. The campaign is either space fantasy or straight fantasy, not exactly sure yet. The world is either my Dyson world for the space fantasy or fantasy world derived from the same ideas I have had for it.I haven’t gone through both systems with comb but the general feeling I got from them is that RQ6 has the same basis as Legend but it has added some clarification and further rules. RQ6 seems to do this to be more realistic but at the cost of becoming more complex system. I don’t like this since trying to make rpg more realistic is a fool’s errand. The results are not likely to be that much better but are likely to be slower in play leaving less time to the actual game. Creeping complexity is clearly visible in D&D 3.x and Pathfinder at higher levels (5+). At those higher levels D&D campaign become tedious to GM, have to see what happens to my Planescape campaign when we reach those levels in couple of months.

Major differences in the rule systems are that RQ6 has new mysticism magic rules for creating wuxia monks and such and Legend is available under OGL license and has numerous supplements (also fully OGL). RQ6 has some kind of licensing scheme available but I haven’t found it anywhere on the public web. OGL sounds rather promising since I’m not completely satisfied with either system straight out of the book.

Biggest WTF in both rules is the modifier to experience. The idea is that character’s Charisma score determines -1 to +1 modifier to experience rolls GM gives for every session. If you roll bad score for your character you have experience penalty for all experience you earn. I think these two are the only systems where I have seen this kind of experience penalty. No matter how crappy the character stats the game system let’s him keep all the xp the player manages to get and not taking part away because of a bad roll in character creation. No taking xp away because you are too ugly. This is one of the rules I’m throwing out of the window.

The combat system in both has quite many moving parts, the most complex being the opposed attack and defense rolls. Depending on the difference in the rolls one participant gets 0-3 special effects (disarm,stuns, maximized damage, position advantages etc.). I’m on the edge whether or not this gets too complex and codified. One obvious effect is that before everyone knows the 20+ effects by heart there is need for the book during a fight which will cause things to slow down. This might be bad thing with combats being much slower than in LotFP for example.

The magic systems are one thing that doesn’t need any changes. Maybe remove the limit of POW and INT to 21 allowing them to be raised without limit like in Magic World. It would create a nice sink to magic users’ experience. Besides I like my mages with huge amounts of power when they really put their backs into it (old archmages in tower types).

One thing that I need to write up is completely random character generation. The game I run will be old schooly, character’s can and will die if they do stupid things, meaning that the game needs fast character creation options. It is not too much work, just create tables to roll character cultures, professions and all other choices that give points to skills. Other important thing is to create ready made starter equipment packs. There is one generic in Arms of Legend but I’m thinking of creating more packs for specific character types.

Overall, I’m leaning slightly towards Legend for the rules for the campaign. It being OGL and having much more material available would make it possible to collect, edit and write the complete rules into one document and make it available in open web without fearing that someone gets offended and comes with army of legal representatives.


One thought on “Runequest 6 vs. Legend

  1. As you are going old-school with character gen I imagine you are doing roll-in-order for stats. In that case fair enough with dropping the charisma experience modifier rule. I suspect it is their for the roll-and-allocate, or even the point-build character gen to discourage dumping charisma totally.

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