Duck Golf

Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 09 October 1999
Last Updated On 09 October 1999
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1999

In our campaign, this game was invented by Derak the Dark Troll and is occasionally played by trolls from Dagori Inkarth. In a general Gloranthan setting, Duck Golf would be played in Dagori Inkarth, The Shadowlands and the Big Rubble, those areas with a sizeable Troll and Duck population. It has become popular amongst Giants who play each other as Giant-Troll contests are usually foregone conclusions.

Duck Golf is a very simple game, take a Duck, make it curl up into a ball or just bend over, hit it with a big club and see how far it goes. The winner is the person who hits the Duck farthest. There are variations on this theme, sometimes the trolls have a number of shots and the total distance struck is the winner; sometimes the Ducks can stand up, move around, dodge or even resist the knockback effect; some are even given shields, but this is rare. Where Ducks are not common or have been difficult to find, the game is played with other small creatures - Newtlings, trollkin, runners or even pixies, although hitting something that is naturally invisible is considered a challenge. In any case, most trolls agree that the "Thud-Quack" sound is difficult to beat.

It might appear that the stronger trolls would always win at Duck Golf, but the game is randomised by having different sized Ducks for each competitor, sometimes the Ducks may resist or dodge which makes the shot harder, sometimes the trolls have to hit a target or keep within certain boundaries. Quite often the Ducks have the Strength or Glue spells cast on them to make them harder to move. A typical game is "Best of Three" where the troll hits the Duck three times and the greatest total distance wins.

Obviously this is not a popular game amongst Ducks and it is well known that Duck Swords of Humakt (Sword-Drakes) sometimes hunt down trolls who are known to play the game. Unfortunately, some of those Sword Drakes hear "Fore" in their last moments. Duck Golf is illegal in the Duck Point and Upland marsh areas but the trolls just laugh at that law.

Mechanics of Duck Golf

There are two ways to simulate Duck Golf in RuneQuest:

1. The boring method (which I do not use)
Strike to hit (often with a bonus for a stationary target)
Calculate the damage using a troll maul as base
Calculate the knockback as if the hit was a special hit - the Duck travels that distance

2. The better method (usually needs a calculator but that's RuneQuest for you)
Strike to hit (often with a bonus for a stationary target)
Depending on the degree of success, calculate the STR Rating to use for the shot:

Normal STR
50% Chance STR x 1.25
Special (20% Chance) STR x 1.5
10% Chance STR x 1.75
Critical (5% Chance) STR x 2
2% Chance STR x 2.25
Special Critical (1% Chance) STR x 2.5

Divide the STR Rating by the Duck's SIZ (or SIZ + STR if resisting, or SIZ + Glue STR if stuck))
The resulting number is the distance the Duck travels.

If direction is important, roll against DEXx5%:
Success = Required Direction
Failure = 1 Compass Point away
Fumble = Roll 1D8 for Direction

When playing for accuracy, for instance hitting a target, it is possible to pull the shot by only using a certain proportion of STR in the blow. This is especially important when aiming for a target.

For instance a STR 24 troll with 60% Maul Attack strikes a stationary SIZ 3 duck which does not resist.
He rolls a 90 which succeeds (60% + 50% = 110%)
The Duck travels 24/3 = 8m.
Next round he rolls a 19 - a special and the Duck travels 24x1.5 / 3 = 12m.
The final round he rolls a 50 and the Duck travels 24x1.25/3 = 10m.
The total distance travelled is 8 + 12 + 10 = 30m.

Another troll has STR 30, 90% Maul Attack hits a SIZ 4,STR 6 Duck who resists.
First Round: He rolls an 18 - a special and the Duck travels 30x1.5 / (6 + 4) = 4.5m..
The second round he rolls a 60 but the Duck is no longer resisting :-) and travels 30x1.25/4 = 9.375m..
The third round is a 90and the Duck travels 7.5m..
The total distance travelled is 21.375m so the first troll wins even though he is not as strong.