In this post I give some thoughts on Runequest (namely the 2nd edition) and some thoughts on my ideal RPG. Here on Knight-n-Knaves I expand on those thoughts during a discussion about the OSR. At one point I make the comment that there is no reason why Runequest can't work with a d20 roll high system.
For example if Rurik (our favorite RQ sample character) has a Shortsword skill of 55 then on a d20 roll high system he would have a +11 bonus to a d20 roll. If he rolls 20 or higher he succeeds. If you look at much of Runequest much of the bonuses and calculation are divisible by 5. This just makes it easier to convert over to a d20.
The reason for this exercise is to try to roll back Runequest more to it's D&D roots. Runequest originally started out as the Perrin Conventions a set of house rules for D&D popular on the west coast of the US. The transformation to Runequest came about because the players were SCA players (medieval reenactors) and found the abstract combats system unsatisfying for visualizing their fights. The work was combined with Greg Stafford's Glorantha setting and the result was Runequest.
By taking Runequest back to it's D&D roots it is my hope that a system can be built that can easily use the wealth of material published for older editions of D&D. Such a RPG would not feel the same as playing a game of D&D. It purpose is appeal to those that wants more realistic combat, and being able to customize their characters through the mechanics of the game. Yet still take advantage of perfectly good D&D material.
By converting a Runequest character over and use a d20 roll high system it become obvious how a D&D monster COULD be used directly. To take Rurik +11 with a shortword we see that we can simply say that to hit a S&W Red Dragon with a 17 ascending AC he will need to roll a 6 or better with on a d20.
Now the numbers are little out of whack here. A D&D fighter that is as experienced as Rurik probably would have a reduced chance here. If we say that 5th level is equal to a starting Runequest (this is a number off of the top of my head) then the D&D fighter has only a +2 to hit and needs a 15 or better to hit that S&W Dragon. We could fix this and say that in combat involving Runequest characters add 10 to the AAC giving the Red Dragon a 27 AAC. Now Rurik needs a 16 or better to hit the dragon. Runequest damage is roughly compared to D&D damage so we can just apply the result to the Dragon's hit point.
I have to put in some thought on how the Dragon would hit Rurik which I will do in a later post.
The end result is that I think it is possible to design a RPG that has more realistic combat, more character customization options yet be able to use the bulk of older edition material. I will keep you posted on my thoughts on this. I got a few more projects, (yes I know Tim shut up) to get out of the way before I start worrying about designing my own RPG.