# Rules for Play

RuneQuest, like most roleplaying games, is essentially collaborative, improvised storytelling created by the players together, with rules to guide situations where success or failure makes a difference. Using dialogue and description, the participants describe and explore a world and the beings living in it. They create stories together, guided by game rules to ensure fairness and some degree of order and consistency.

In RuneQuest, you and your friends are adventurers and one of you is the gamemaster. Adventurers are heroic individuals who seek fame, wealth, and of course, adventure! They are described in terms of their abilities: numbers and terms indicate how strong, smart, charismatic, or fast they are, what magic they know, which god they worship, and how skilled they are at what they do.

The gamemaster is a combination of referee and director, interpreting the setting and the creatures and people in it, and representing everything to the players. The players act in the world through their adventurers, and the gamemaster adapts the story to their actions—successes and failures—as the collaborative story being told in the game unfolds.

When there is a chance that an action the adventurers or the gamemaster attempts might fail, you roll dice to determine whether luck smiles on you or whether you’ll have to keep trying!

# Players and Gamemasters

This wiki is intended for everyone. Though you can play with only basic knowledge of how the rules work, the more you know about the game rules, the more smoothly it goes for everyone.

If you’re the gamemaster, you should become familiar enough with these rules to answer any questions arising during play. Each adventure provides page references to this book where appropriate, to minimize situations where rules questions slow down gameplay.

If you’re already familiar with RuneQuest or even Call of Cthulhu, these rules should be more than familiar, though this represents a streamlined and beginner-friendly version of the game mechanics. The rules presented in the RuneQuest core rulebook are more complex and address a wider range of situations likely to arise in extended play.

# Dice

Dice are used to determine random results during gameplay. Dice are described by the highest value on any side, so a 6-sided die is a D6, a 20-sider is a D20, etc. Included with the RuneQuest Starter Set (opens new window) are a 20-sided die (D20), a twelvesider (D12), two 10-sided dice representing the tens and ones places (00–90 and 0–9) an 8-sided die (D8), one 6-sided dice (D6), and a 4-sided die (D4). If you already have more D6s or other gaming dice like these, they will be useful.

When you’re called to use these in play, read the first number for the number of times you need to roll. For example, rolling 1D6 requires you to roll the 6-sided die and read the result.

Whenever a result of more than one die is called for, add the results together to form a single total. Occasionally you need to roll different dice at the same time. For example, if a weapon does 1D6+1D4 damage, roll 1D6 and 1D4 and add them.

  • The most important roll is the percentile roll, or D100. Some D10 dice are numbered as tens (10, 20, 30, etc.), such as the one in the Starter set. Use this one for the tens (10s) roll, and the other, normal D10 for the ones. To generate a D100 result, roll them and read them in order. For example, if you roll a 50 on the tens die and an 8 on the ones die, you’ve rolled 58. A roll of ‘00’ (tens) and ‘0’ (ones) is 100. If you only have normal D10s, then find some means of determining which die is first and which is second, like reading them left to right, picking one color to stand for the 10s and another for the 1s, or rolling them one at a time, 10s first. Be consistent with how you read them from roll to roll.

  • Sometimes you need to add or subtract something from a die roll. Add the number following the plus sign to the result of the roll, so 1D6+1 means rolling a D6 and adding 1. For a 1D4–2 roll the D4 and subtract 2 from the total. In most cases, if a modified result is less than 0, consider the result as 0, usually to no effect.

  • Sometimes you need to roll a number and multiply it. For example, 2D6×10 means roll 2D6 and multiply the result times 10.

  • Less common are the D3 or D2, created by rolling a D6 and dividing by two for D3, and rolling a D4 and dividing by two for a D2. Players should round these rolls up.

Generally, the gamemaster should round fractions up when a roll benefits the players and round down when it is detrimental to them.

Ultimately, dice are tools to determine a result when it matters what happens and an outcome is uncertain. One quick rule of thumb is to ask whether it is important if an adventurer succeeds or fails. If the result is of no real significance either way, don’t bother to roll. Just assume success and keep playing.