Making Runequest Characters

Below are guidelines for (relatively) quick creation of Young Barbarians from Sartar, Non-Humans, and Non-Sartarite humans. Also, at the end, is a section about pursuing cult affiliations that is applicable to ALL character types.

Young Barbarians from Sartar

— the default character type.

See below for non-humans and humans from other cultures.

You’re a human being from the kingdom of Sartar. Some may call you a barbarian, and since your “king” now rules as a puppet of the invaders from the Lunar Empire, some may say you are beaten. But you know better on both counts. Your people are strong and swift and their souls fly with the Wind, who is called Orlanth, the king of your gods. He has not abandoned you and he can never be defeated. It was he who slew the sun, Yelm, and brought the Great Darkness on the world, and it was he who Quested down into Hell to bring Yelm back again. So nothing is impossible for an Orlanthi. You are your people’s hope for the future. Another war right now is no good; the Lunars have garrisoned your land. Your greatest warriors, your fathers and uncles and aunts, are dead, or crippled, or must work the farms and herds. In the normal course of things, they could bring you along slowly and build you into a mighty warrior of the Heortlings, but the rituals are broken, the Lunars bring their strange goddess and lure away the weak-minded, and so you must wander and seek out challenges, yet keep to the honorable ways of your people, and be your own father. But anyway, this Lunar business may not be settled on the sword’s edge, your spear may not point the way: The Hero Wars are coming, all the spirits say so, and matters beyond the fate of your little kingdom will be decided. You must go Runequesting to learn the powers and substances of the world if you are to have a voice in the coming age. The cults can guide you. Your friends will help you, and on the Runequest, even your greatest enemy may become a friend. Many will die on the Runequest, some will suffer worse than death in the maw of Chaos, but some few will fight alongside the gods themselves. What Orlanthi could resist this challenge?

Step 1. Roll your characteristics

Roll 4d6 and total the highest 3 for these characteristics: Strength, Constitution, Power, Dexterity, and Charisma. Roll 3d6, total the highest 2 and add 6 for these characteristics: Size and Intelligence.

Step 2. Find your Bonuses

Bonuses Characteristic 1-4 5-8 9-12 13-16 17-20 Each +4
Attacking Strength -5% - - - +5% +5%
Intelligence -10% -5% - +5% +10% +5%
Power -5% - - - +5% +5%
Dexterity -10% -5% - +5% +10% +5%
Parrying Strength -5% - - - +5% +5%

aaarrggh I'll finish this table later, or get an intern to do it …

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Step 3. Find your Damage Bonus:

Average your Size and Strength
1-6: -1d4, 7-12: normal, 13-16: +1d4, 17-20: +1d6, each+8: +1d6

Step 4. Note your Strike Rank for Size and Dexterity:

Size 22+=0, 15-21=1, 07-14=2, 01-06=3
Dexterity 19+=0, 16-18=1, 13-15=2, 09-12=3, 06-08=4, 01-05=5

Step 5. Find your Total Hit Points:

Total Hit Points = Constitution + modifiers from Size and Power
Size 01-04=-2, 05-08= -1, 09-12= 0, 13-16=+1, 17-20=+2, each+4=+1
Power 01-04=-1, 05-16=0, 17-20=+1, each +4=+1

Step 6. Find the Hit Points you have in each location.

Find your total hit points along the top and record your hit points for each location.

Location 1-6 7-9 10-12 13-15 16-18 19-21 Each + 3
Each Leg 2 3 4 5 6 7 +1
Abdomen 2 3 4 5 6 7 +1
Chest 3 4 5 6 7 8 +1
Each Arm 1 2 3 4 5 6 +1
Head 2 3 4 5 6 7 +1

Step 7. Pick Weapons

You have been exposed to a wide but not exhaustive variety of weapons in your tribe. Pick any three weapons. Add 25% to your skill (both attack and parry where appropriate) with one of these weapons, and add 15% to the other two. Parrying with your weapon is good way to break it. Note the base chance for the weapon type and STR/DEX requirements, damage, encumbrance, hit points, and strike rank for specific weapons. i indicates the weapon can impale. You are equipped with each weapon you are skilled with.

Two-handed spear - 20%
Lng Spear 9/7 1d10+1 ENC 3 HP 15 SR 0 i
Shrt Spear 7/7 1d8+1 ENC 2 HP 15 SR 1 i
One-handed spear - 10%
Lng Spear 11/9 1d8+1 ENC 3 HP 15 SR 1 i
Shrt Spear 9/7 1d6+1 ENC 2 HP 15 SR 2 i
Two-handed axe - 15%
Battle Axe 9/9 1d8+2 ENC 2 HP 15 SR 3
Great Axe 11/9 2d6+2 ENC 2 HP 15 SR 2
One-handed axe - 20%
Battle Axe 13/9 1d8+2 ENC 2 HP 15 SR3
Hatchet 7/9 1d6+1 ENC 1 HP 15 SR 4
One-handed sword - 10%
Bstd Swrd 13/9 1d10+1 ENC 1 HP 20 SR 2
Broadsword 9/7 1d8+1 ENC 1 HP 20 SR 2
Shortsword – 15%
-/- 1d6+1 ENC 1 HP 20 SR 3 i
One-handed mace – 25%
Hvy Mace 13/7 1d8+2 ENC 2 HP 20 SR3
Light Mace 7/7 1d6+2 ENC 1 HP 20 SR3
Thrown axe - 10%
9/11 1d6 ENC 1
Javelin - 15%
Dart -/9 1d6 ENC 1 i
Javelin 9/9 1d10 ENC 2 i
Bow - 10%
Composite Bow 13/11 1d8+1 ENC 2 i
Self Bow 9/9 1d6+1 ENC 2 i
Large shield - 20%
12/- ENC 3 absorbs 16 SPECIAL IO RULE: covers locations 16, 17, 18. Any hit there must go through the shield to cause damage.
Medium shield - 10%
9/- ENC 2 absorbs 12 SPECIAL IO RULE: covers locations 16, 17. Any hit there must go through the shield to cause damage.
Dagger - 25 %
-/- 1d4+2 ENC 0 HP 12 i
Fist – 25%
-/- 1d3 SR 4
Grapple – 25%
-/- special SR 4

Step 8. Find your Maximum Encumbrance

Each point of ENCumbrance is roughly one ”thing”. Average your Strength and Constitution, but reduce to your Strength if it is lower than the average. That’s your max. Exceed it not! Besides your weapons and armor, you have an ENC 2 pack.

Step 9. Choose Armor

You are wearing a complete suit of armor of the same type on all your locations. Choose the armor that suits you best. Watch out for being encumbered.

Armor Type ENC Minimum Strength Armor Points Move Silently
Cuirboilli 4 - 3 -5%
Ring Mail 6 9 4 -15%
Chain Mail 8 11 5 -20%

Step 10. Learn Other Skills

Add 20% to three and 10% to the rest.
Camouflage
Climbing
Hide in Cover
Spot Hidden
Jumping
Spot Traps
Move Quietly
Tracking
Oratory
Set/Disarm Traps

Step 11. Pick Battle Magic

Learn 1d6 points of battle magic selected from the following list

Bladesharp 2
Detect Silver
Detect Spirit
Detect Detection
Detect Enemies
Detect Gems
Detect Gold
Detect Life
Detect Magic
Extinguish
Fanaticism 2
Farsee
Glue 2
Healing 2
Dispel Magic 2
Disruption
Dullblade 2
Bludgeon 2
Countermagic 2
Detect Traps
Detect Undead
Detection Blank
Ignite
Ironhand 2
Light
Mindspeech 2
Multimissile 2
Protection 2
Shimmer 2
Silence
Speedart
Spirit Shield

Step 12. Useful Experience

Roll on this crazy table to see what other knowledge you’ve picked up:
1 You speak the troll language, Darktongue, at 25% and know something of their customs.
2 You grew up near the water. Add +25% to your Swimming skill.
3 You are from uphill. Add 10% to your Climbing skill and your Jumping skill.
4 You have helped with some trading. Add +20% to your Evaluate Treasure skill.
5 You know an extra 2 points of battle magic.
6 You were a scamp. Add +10% to your Pick Pockets skill and your Hide in Cover Skill.
7 You’ve seen more fighting than most. Add +10% to your skill in a NEW weapon.
8 You speak a little of the Lunar language (New Pelorian) and know something of their customs.

That’s it! Oh, hey, your pack has some torch makings, a little food, and some rope. You’ve got like 1d20 Lunars in your pocket. Don’t spend it all in one place.
Good Luck!

Making Non-Human Characters

Find the monster entry for the race you’re interested in. These are the races available:
Baboons, Dragonewts (crested), Ducks, Dwarves, Elves, Newtlings, Trolls (Dark)*, and Trollkin.

Roll characteristics as listed. Figure out your skill bonuses and penalties AND figure out the skill bonuses and penalties of the average creature given. You have the skills listed, modified by the difference between you and the average creature. Add 10% to any non-weapon skill, or 5% to two non-weapon skills. You have the equipment and magic listed. Good luck!

  • Dark Trolls have skill in two weapons at 30% (as modified by individual statistics) chosen from this list: Large Shield, Medium Shield, Heavy Mace 1-H, Heavy Mace 2-H, Javelin, 2-H Spear. Add an extra 15% total to any non-weapon skills. 5 Points of battle magic with no more than 2 points in any spell. Curiboilli armor (3 points) on all locations, +1 point skin.

Making Non-Sartarite Humans

Use the procedure for making Sartarites, except

• In Step 7, learn any weapons in the book, but add 25% to one, only 10% to the other two. Sadly, Arbalests explode in Dragon Pass, slaying their owners instantly.
• In Step 10, add 20% to ANY FIVE non-weapon skills, and 10% to FIVE more. If you are from a mounted tribe of Prax, you have Riding 70% and add 20% to only two non-weapon skills, 10% to five more.
• Skip Step 12.
• Review with GM and justify choices. Exceptions to these guidelines are possible.

Cult or Guild Affiliations for All Character Types

You can assume that your character has spent 3 years or so pursuing affiliations. You can assume that small fees or tasks required to join as lay members were paid or performed. Where it matters, as in application rolls that involve monetary donations, you can assume you spent 1,000 L, but you do not have an extra 1,000 L cash if you do not. If you fail an application roll, you can repeat it once if that is allowed, but only get the benefits from a monetary donation one time. If you have no interest yet in pursuing affiliations, you can add 5% to any one skill instead.

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