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Saved by Bruce Mason
on June 2, 2011 at 12:34:56 pm

House rules for RQII. Presented in the same order and with the same headings as the RQII core book.



In a skill contest no amount of Brawn skill can compensate for physical mismatches. As a good rule of thumb, compare damage modifiers. For each point of difference in one person's damage modifier to the other, the person with the greatest modifier gets +10% to the contest while the one with the lower modifier gets -10%. If the difference is 3 steps or greater, it is probably fair to say that stronger person automatically wins.

Example. 0 damage modifier vs +1D2. This is a 1 point difference therefore the character with 0 modifier gets -10% while the one with +1D2 gets +10%.   


Opposed Skill Tests

I refer to these as Skill Contests. You can either win or lose a Skill Contest. A Narrow Loss refers to succeeding at your skill test but losing the Skill Contest. Therefore there are two possible winning results (critical and normal) and three losing results (narrow, fail and fumble).


Opposed Skills Over 100% - house rule

For each whole 10% of your skill over 100%, your opponent suffers a -10% modifier. E.g. If your skill is 116% then your opponent suffers a -10% modifier. Note that this not a mutual modifier. Your skill is unaffected. However, if both parties in an opposed skill contest are over 100% then both may affect each other.


Andra is 117% vs Berthold 82%. This is modified to Andra 117% vs Berthold 72%.

Andra is 117% vs Berthold 112%. This is modified to Andra 107% vs Berthold 102%.


What happens if there are 3 or more people involved and at least two of them have skills over 100?. In that case all except the person with the highest skill suffer the highest skill modifier. The person with the highest skill suffers a modifier based on the second highest skill.

E.g. 123 vs 117 vs 83 ends up as: 113 (123-10) vs 97 (117-20) vs 63 (83-20).


Game System


Adventurer Advancement

Improving characteristics - replacement house rule

If the characteristic is less than the species average it costs 5 IRs to improve it. If the characteristic is equal to or above the species average, it costs 10 points to increase it. E.g. Human average STR is 11 therefore the cost to increase STR if it is 10 or less is 5 IRs while the cost to improve STR if it is 11 or more is 10 IRs.


Falls - replacement house rule

Providing you don't fumble an Athletics roll, then falling 1m or less causes no damage. A fumbled Athletics or Acrobatics roll treats the fall as if it were 3m greater.

If falling more than 1m then for each 3m fallen, (rounded up), you take 1D6 damage. The damage is done to 1 location for each 3m fallen.E.g. falling 5m would be 2d6 damage to 2 random locations. You can take damage to the same location more than once. Armour does not protect against falling damage. 

A successful Athletics roll lets you treat the fall as 2m less or lets you choose one location to take damage. If taking damage to more than 1 location then the rest are still chosen randomly but you can select the chosen location after seeing the random results.

A successful Acrobatics roll lets you treat the fall as 2m less AND lets you choose one location to take damage. If taking damage to more than 1 location then the rest are still chosen randomly but you can select the chosen location after seeing the random results.

Falling distance  damage 
0-1m  no damage unless fumbled Athletics.
>1m - 3m  1d6 damage to 1 location 
>3m - 6m  2d6 damage to 2 locations 
>7m - 9m  3d6 damage to 3 locations 
+3m  +1d6 damage and +1 location 

Example: Falling 5m and failing Athletics test. Fahir rolls 2d6 and d20 to discover he's taken 5 damage to his right leg then rolls 2D6 and d20 again to discover he has also taken 8 damage to the head.



Natural Healing - replacement house rule

  • Minor injuries. At the end of each day make a Resilience test for each location on positive Hit Points. If successful, gain 1/2 the location's normal HPs back. On a fail gain 1. Fumble, lose 1d3. Critical - fully heal.
  • Serious injuries: at the end of each week after the initial injury make a Resilience Test for each location on 0 or fewer Hit Points with the same results as above. However any location on negative Hit Points cannot heal to above 0 HPs. Any location currently on 0 HPs can only gain 1 Hit Point. Therefore there's a minimum of 2 weeks to recover if the location is on negative HPs: 1 week to return to zero and then one week to increase from zero to 1 Hit Point. 
  • Major injuries. Unless a character is receiving medical treatment, major wounds do not naturally heal. Successful sustained medical treatment allows a location with a major wound to recover as if it were a serious injury.

Good medical treatment gives a bonus in the range of +10 to +40 to the Resilience test. Lack of proper rest & care or exposure to adverse conditions gives a penalty or may prevent any healing taking place at all.


Movement - replacement system

Movement in Combat Rounds is rated in Combat Actions. As a Combat Action a character can move at one of three different speeds.

  1. Walk ("half move"). While walking a character can move up to half of its MOV in metres and can combine it with any action except making or preparing a close combat attack. It can be combined with preparing a parry.
  2. Hustle ("Full move"). The character can move up to its MOV in metres. This cannot be combined with other actions though the character can react defensively by parrying or evading.
  3. Run. The character may immediately spend two more Combat Actions to run a distance equal to its MOV multiplied by the number of CAs spent plus 1. The distance moved is reduced by the character's Armour penalty. E.g.a human with a MOV of 8m and an Armour Penalty of -5 could spend 2 CAs to move 19m (24-5), 3 CAs to move 27m (32-5) and so on. A character can only spend CAs available to it this Combat Round. A running character cannot take any actions including defensive reactions without aborting the run. Furthermore a character is considered to be running until its next Turn.

If a character is hustling or running it is considered to be moving at that speed until its next turn. This is important for the purposes of missile fire and so on.



The Combat Round

Each round is broken into two steps: the Action Step and the Wrap-Up Step.


Action Step

Each action step consists of 1 or more Strike Rank Cycles. During a Cycle, each character with at least one combat action remaining may perform one Combat Action action on their SR: this is known as the character's TURN.


If two characters with the same SR wish to act at the same time then the character with the highest Strike Rank modifier acts first. If their Strike Rank Modifiers are identical then the actions are resolved simultaneously with the characters taking their turns at the same time. This can mean, for example, that each character could end up seriously injuring the other at the same time. Note that a character can take two actions with the same weapon on the same SR but can only use a weapon for one action on its turn. This means that if two characters are acting simultaneously then neither character can both attack and parry with a single weapon. 


Strike Rank Cycle(s)

Each characters takes a turn: Each character involved in the combat performs one combat Action on their turn in Strike Rank order. If an adventurer has not taken their turn by the end of the cycle then the character defaults to the "do nothing" Combat Action. Note that preparing a parry or attack is taking an action on your turn. Remember also that you cannot delay an action to beyond the end of the current cycle.


If any characters have Combat Actions remaining then a new Cycle begins, otherwise the Action Step is over.


Wrap-up Step

Fatigue is determined now as are all rolls that are made at the “end of the round”. If there are characters still engaged in combat with enemies, or one or more characters is involved in some activity that requires the game to continue on "Action Time", a new Combat Round begins.


Combat Actions


New Combat Actions


Ready an Attack

This action is used when a character wishes to postpone an attack until there is an appropriate target. This attack can be taken at any time before the character's next turn this Combat Round; it does not expire at the end of a cycle. However, if the character makes any out of turn actions such as Evading then the Ready an Attack action is immediately aborted and the Combat Action is lost to no effect. This action allows a character to, for instance, guard a door or to knock an arrow in order to shoot the first goblin that runs out of the undergrowth. 


House rules for Combat Actions



You cannot delay until an opponent's SR in order to attempt to take your turns simultaneously. Delaying does not allow you to interrupt a turn in progress: to do that you must try to interrupt the Combat Action.


Aborting Combat Actions

Sometimes plans go horribly wrong and you wish to abort an action. If the GM allows it, the action can be aborted but the combat action is still used and it still counts as the character's turn for that cycle. The GM may require a skill check in order to abort an action or impose a penalty that will be suffered as a result of the aborted action. Example: Fahir swings at an enemy with an axe only to realise at the last second that it is actually his friend Mikolos. His player asks the GM if he can abort. The GM says that if Fahir can successfully make an axe skill test that he can abort. If he fails, he must carry on with the attack as normal.


Interrupting a Combat Action

If a character has delayed to a later SR to take their turn and still has an action left then it may choose to try to interrupt an opponent's turn once it knows what the action is. Example: Fahir has an arrow ready and can normally act on SR14 but has chosen to delay his turn to see what happens. On SR4 a Broo leaps out of a bush to attack a friend. Fahir wishes to shoot the broo before it can attack. To interrupt successfully, both characters make their skill rolls simultaneously but the person who does best gets to resolve the effects of their action first. To determine who "does best" compare the two rolls as if they were an opposed contest.  If anyone involved was not planning to use a skill as such (e.g. shouting a warning or turning around) then choose an appropriate skill; usually Athletics or Evade for physical actions, sometimes Influence, Persistence or Perception for other types of activities. As with any opposed test, it is possible for all parties to fail in which case the normal action goes ahead first followed by the delayed action.


Example: Fahir bow 78%, SR14. Broo Unarmed attack 45%. On SR4 the broo declares an attack. Fahir has an arrow knocked and still has a Turn available during this Cycle so he declares that he wishes interrupt the broo's attack to fire the arrow at the broo in order to disable it before it can attack his friend. Fahir makes his bow attack roll and gets 32. The broo is unaware of the threat and rolls 21 for its unarmed attack. Both make their rolls but Fahir rolled higher so he resolves the effect of his attack first. The broo doesn't have a CA left or else it might have been able to abort its current action and try an Evade. As it is, Fahir hits and, because the broo offered no defense, he gets a Combat Manoeuvre as well. Aiming at the head is never wise with broos so he chooses impale, hoping the damage is enough to prevent the broo from being able to make the attack. Sure enough he rolls 7 damage in total and hits the broo in the right leg. That's enough to cause it to fall over. Even though the broo would have made its attack roll normally, falling over causes the attack to be aborted.


The difference between taking a delayed turn normally and interrupting. Taking a delayed turn normally means to act before another character starts its turn. In the case above, if the Broo had been in the open Fahir could have assumed that it would attack as soon as it could therefore it would have been wise to fire his bow at the first opportunity. Sometimes however, you need to wait for an opponent to declare its action in order to know the best response. In that case you need to interrupt a turn in progress. 


Combat Manoeuvres


A CM can be chosen instead of or as well as causing damage. The former may be more useful if you are trying to take an enemy alive.


Disarm opponent: If the target is using a 2h weapon then the target gets +20% to their chance to resist the CM. If the acting character has a 2h weapon or entangling weapon, the target gets -20% to resist. These bonuses will cancel each other out if both acting character and target are using 2H weapons.

Entangle: An 'automatic trip attempt' means that the character may pit their Attack skill vs the defender's Evade skill as a subsequent Combat Action in order to try to Trip the opponent. If the defender wins, the defender does not automatically slip free but, if the defender gets 1 or more CMs, then they may choose slip free as one of them.

Pin Weapon: To summarise, you can free your weapon by:

  1. Gaining a CM and choosing the slip free CM. Remember that you cannot use the pinned weapon to attack or parry.
  2. Using a CA to make an opposed roll of your skill with the pinned weapon versus the opponent's skill with the weapon doing the pinning. If you win, you unpin the weapon.


House Rules


Bash: The way this works is identical to knockback with the exception that the knockback distance ignore's the target's SIZ.

  • The target must succeed at an Athletics test to avoid falling prone.
  • If the target hits an obstacle, the Athletics test gets a -20% penalty. 
  • The target may choose to substitute Acrobatics for Athletics to avoid falling prone in which case it gets a +20% bonus. (This bonus will cancel out the -20% penalty for hitting an obstacle should that occur.) 


Blind Opponent:  If the attacker fails [to resist the blinding attempt] it cannot attack on its next 1D3 Turns.


Grip: Being gripped also counts as being closed by a Touch reach weapon. It is perfectly possible for both parties to be gripping each other. While gripping an opponent you gain the ability to select the throw Combat Manoeuvre. You can break a grip in one of three ways:

  1. Gaining a CM and choosing the slip free CM.
  2. Making an opposed roll of your Brawn, Unarmed or Evade skill vs the gripper's choice of their Unarmed or Brawn skill. If the gripping character has natural weapons such as a bite, claws etc then this option is not available.
  3. If your Damage modifier is at least three steps greater than that of the gripping character then you can break free automatically unless the gripping character is holding on with natural weapons such as a bite or claws.


Overextend opponent: Opponent cannot attack on his next turn.


Swallow (Critical Bite attack only): If a creature has the Swallow trait then it can automatically swallow whole any creature which is no more than 1/3rd of the creature's SIZ. Thus a SIZ 20 creature could swallow another creature of SIZ 6 or less. See the entry for Swallowing  under Close Combat Situations for more details.


Throw (Attack versus Gripped opponent only):The recipient is thrown a number of metres equal to the thrower's Damage Modifier or 1m, (whichever is most) and ends up prone. This counts as a fall equal to half the distance thrown. You cannot throw someone who currently has a grip on you. This cannot be used on a recipient who has a damage Modifier of three steps of more than the thrower's Damage Modifier.


Close Combat Situations

Terminology - Grounded, mounted & flying

A character is:

  • grounded if it is fighting on foot.
  • mounted if it is riding a mount.
  • flying if it is airborne.

A character riding a flying mount is considered to be both flying and mounted.

  • A flying character can move away freely from non-flying foes without needing to use a Change Range Combat Action or CM.
  • A mounted character can always move away freely from grounded foes without needing to use a Change Range Combat Action or CM.

Charging - house rule

A charge is an attack on the run against an opponent. The figure must be able to run (costing at least 2 CAs) and be able to move in a straight line towards the target. The figure must also be far enough away to get up to speed. Therefore the target must be at least the charging character's MOV away in metres. Because a charge happens on the run, the charger cannot take Defensive Combat Actions while charging, including during the attack. The actual charge attack is part of the move action. The charge happens on the attacker's SR as usual.

  • Benefits of charging. The charger's damage modifier is increased by one step and any weapon used to parry the attack is treated as one size smaller than usual (as if the bypass parry Combat Manoeuvre had been used).
  • Defending against a charge. Providing the target has a Combat Action left, the target of a charge may Parry or Evade as normal. Alternatively the target may attack instead of defending. In this case the person with the weapon with the longest Reach goes first. If both weapons are the same reach, then the attacks are resolved simultaneously. If the target has previously prepared an attack and has used it to set an impaling weapon against the charge, then the defender may choose to use the attacker's damage modifier instead of its own. 
  • Movement after a charge. Depending on the results of the charge, the charger may end up several metres beyond the target.
  • Charging into Figures. The charging figure does not necessarily have to have a weapon, it may simply charge into an opponent in an attempt to bash it out of the way using its Brawn skill. If the Brawn skill is a success and not evaded, roll normal unarmed damage plus damage modifier (including bonus from the charge) and see if this is enough to cause knockback as per normal. 
  • Mounted charge. If the attacker is mounted and is using a braced weapon like a lance, then the attacker's damage modifier is increased by two steps and any weapon used to parry the charge is treated as two sizes smaller than usual (as if two levels of the bypass parry Combat Manoeuvre had been used). If the attacker has declared that the intent is to charge into the target and the attack has been a success and not Evaded and the defender has not been knocked out of the way then the mount also charges into the target using its Brawn skill as above. A big enough mount may simply trample a defender.
  • These rules also apply to flying creatures attacking on the move. Such creatures moving very fast may increase their damage modifier by three steps and gain 3 levels of bypass parry.  

Note that if a defender has a longer weapon and chooses to attack rather than defend then any hit will generate a Combat Manoeuvre, possibly allowing the defender to trip the attacker. The moral of the story is do not charge into combat against a brave, prepared opponent who has a longer weapon than you.


Entangling Attacks

If a weapon is capable of entangling then it is possible to make an Entangling attack instead of making a regular attack and hoping for the Entangling CM. If you wish to do this, then the attack becomes an Opposed Roll of the attacker's weapon skill versus the defender's choice of an Evade or a Parry. If the attacker wins the opposed roll then a random location is entangled. If the defender wins with an Evade then the attack misses entirely. If the defender wins with a Parry then the parrying weapon has been Entangled instead of a location. If this occurs, treat the parrying weapon as if it were Pinned. Note if the defender wins they may gain one or more CMs as normal.



This works the same way as the Bash CM: Successful Athletics test to stay upright with a -20% penalty if you hit an obstacle. Acrobatics can be substituted for Athletics with a +20% bonus.


Leaping Attacks

This can also be used if you want to jump on a target from above.


  • A leaping attack requires an Opposed Test of the attacker’s Athletics or Unarmed skill against the defender’s Evade skill. If the attacker wins the test then the defender is knocked prone, and cannot stand for its next 1D3 Turns. Most creatures attempt to use the Grip CM if they gain a CM in which case it grips with the appropriate claws, tentacles and so on. 
  • A character with a shield, may use their shield skill to attempt to Parry the leaping attack in which case if the attacking character succeeds at their attack roll they can automatically choose the bash or trip CM in addition to any other CMs that may have been generated.
  • If a target is aware of the leap and has a weapon ready, it may choose to attack the leaping character rather than trying to Evade. If so, resolve this in a manner similar to a charge: the longest weapon is resolved first. If the leaping creature survives the attack and succeeds at the Athletics roll, the target is knocked prone as above.




While surprised, a character cannot take any actions including defensive actions, so, if a character is surprised it cannot Evade or Parry. A character will become "unsurprised" on its turn as a free action. Normally Initiative is re-rolled after a round in which someone was surprised.



If a creature has the Swallow trait then as a Combat Action it can attempt to swallow whole any creature that it has Gripped with a Bite attack and which is no more than 1/3rd of the creature's SIZ. Thus a SIZ 20 creature could swallow another creature of SIZ 6 or less. A Swallow attack uses the creature's Bite skill at +40% and can be opposed with an Evade (or possibly Brawn in certain circumstances). The effects of being swallowed are generally asphyxiation, immersion in weak acid and, unless the creature is absolutely massive (something like 10 times the SIZ of the creature it swallowed) the equivalent of being completely entangled. Note that a creature can also automatically swallow as a Critical Combat Manoeuvre in which case it will happen as part of the same action as the Bite Attack. 


Unarmed Combat

A character making an unarmed attack can choose one of two options:

  1. Make a regular attack. If the attack gains a CM, then the attacker may choose the Grip CM.
  2. Attempt to Grip an opponent instead of doing damage. In this case the attack becomes an Opposed Test and the defender can choose either to try to Evade the attempt, use their Unarmed skill to attempt to prevent the attacker from getting a Grip or they can choose to attack the person attempting the Grip, hoping to disable the attacker before they can get a Grip.
    1. If the defender chooses to Evade or Parry with an Unarmed skill and wins the contest then the attack fails. If the attacker wins the contest, then the opponent is Gripped instead of taking damage. The attacker may also gain CMs as normal; it might be able to choose the location to be gripped for example.
    2. If the defender chooses to attack with a weapon, then the weapon with the longest Reach is resolved first. If both Reaches are the same, then the attacks are resolved simultaneously. In both cases the character attempting the Grip attack cannot take a Defensive Action against the attack unless it aborts the Grip attempt. If the Grip attack is successful, it will generate a CM because the defender has spent their action attacking instead. 

Results of being Gripped

  • If a character is Gripped, they suffer the problems mentioned under the Grip CM.
  • If an attacker has a Grip then whenever they attack using their Unarmed skill, the damage is automatically done to the Gripped Location. 
  • While Gripped, you can defend against Unarmed attacks with Unarmed, Brawn or Evade. 
  • Unarmed attacks can generate CMs while gripped just like any other attack. While one character has gripped another and has not been gripped back, that character may use the Bash combat manoeuvre to throw its opponent in which case the opponent automatically ends prone or may use the Trip manoeuvre to force the opponent to floor while maintaining the grip.This will give the person doing the trip a situational bonus of +20% against the target while he maintains the grip.
  • While Gripped, combat is considered to be at Touch range, therefore any weapons of Medium or greater length can't be used to parry. Attacks can still be made with such weapons by striking with the haft and so on. In that case, they do 1d4 damage and don't have any weapon-specific CMs such as bleed or impale.
  • It is possible for both characters to have gripped each other. Example. A attacks B and grips a leg. On their next turn B attacks A and grips the abdomen. Now both have a hold on each other.


Many creatures have the Formidable Natural Weapons trait to represent claws, fangs, tentacles and so on. These may be able to grip or entangle as an additional Combat Manoeuvre and may give a bonus to maintaining a grip. Despite their Size, such formidable natural weapons can be used while grappling unless the situation seems to dictate otherwise.


Ranged Combat

Firing into a Crowd (random cover)

When firing into a crowd or where other people are close by, if you roll doubles then you have hit someone other than the target even if the attack would normally have missed. If the double is a fumble then the result of the fumble overrides the double if the fumble is a result which would cause you to hit someone else or for the weapon to break. If the accidental target is aware of the risk, it may try to Evade or parry with a shield. If the original attack was a miss then the Evade is not an opposed roll so any successful Evade will prevent the missile from hitting. An accidental hit never generates Combat Manoeuvres even if it is a critical result (e.g from rolling 11 when your skill is 110%).


Damage and Wound Levels



When a character takes a serious wound, the character becomes dazed (stunned). A dazed character cannot make any kind of attack while dazed and its Movement Rate is halved. The character can still take defensive actions such as Evade and Parry, cast spells on itself and so on. A dazed character recovers from being dazed at the end of the combat round after the one in which it became dazed.


Certain combat situations leave a character "overextended" or "unbalanced." Such a character is off-balance. While a character is overextended, other characters get +20% in skills to attack it. A character automatically recovers from being unbalanced at the end of the round after the one in which it became unbalanced.


Certain combat situations can make a character "vulnerable". Such a character is badly off balance. While a character is vulnerable other characters get +20% in skills to attack it and inflict 2 additional damage whenever they hit. A character automatically recovers from being vulnerable at the end of the round after the one in which it became vulnerable.


Damage outside of combat

Adventurers may receive serious or major wounds outside of combat such as falling or drowning. In that case the Resilience test is routine for a serious wound (+/-0%) and Hard for a major wound (-40%). Circumstances may increase or decrease this modifier. 


Common Magic

Casting Common Magic Results

Note that this section is omitted from RQII.

Critical Success - the spell takes effect normally but costs 1 less MP than normal to cast - minimum 1 MP.

Normal Success - the spell takes effect normally and costs the specified number of MPs to cast.

Failure - the spell does not take effect and the caster loses 1 MP from the source that was being used to cast the spell.

Fumble - the spell does not take effect and the caster loses MPs equal to the cost of the spell from the source being used to cast the spell.

Draconic Mysticism

The skill of Draconic Illumination was omitted. The description is as follows.


Draconic Illumination (INT+POW)

Draconic Illumination is the ability of a draconic mystic to tap into the essential forces of the Cosmic Dragon which permeates all creation. When using the skill the mystic is temporarily perceiving the universe through the Cosmic Dragon’s eyes and gains a small amount of the Cosmic Dragon’s infinite power when doing so. 


Casting any Draconic Mysticism spell requires a successful Draconic Illumination skill roll. The caster may suffer from Losing the Path, as described in Glorantha: The Second Age. 

Draconic Illumination can also be used in a variety of different situations:

  • In place of Perception, when attempting the perceive the nature of magical effects, supernatural entities, and so forth. 
  • Against hostile spirits: Draconic Illumination allows the mystic to enter into spirit combat as though he has the Spirit Binding skill as described in the RuneQuest Core Rules. The damage the mystic inflicts during Spirit Combat is determined as per the Spirit Damage Table on page 139 of RuneQuest II. 
  • In place of Persistence when resisting magic that requires Persistence as the Resistance roll. 


Draconic Illumination cannot exceed the highest of Dance, Insight or Meditation. 

Note the capability for draconic mystics to battle spirits. This is not Spirit Walking, but it is spirit binding. There is nothing to prevent adraconic mystic from subduing and binding spirits just as a shaman does, although few draconic mystics would ever establish a fetch.

Extensions and Alternatives



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