Thanks to everyone who commented in response to my post yesterday about the fear BRP combat elicits in me. As many of you noted (and as I should have remembered), it's really only RuneQuest that's fiddly enough to care about hit points for each body part. At the same time, that fiddliness is, for me anyway, part of what makes RuneQuest RuneQuest. Remove it and it starts to feel different somehow.
I realize this probably puts me in the minority but I'm generally disinterested in ripping out rules systems in a RPG because I don't like them or because they intimidate me. Nowadays, there are so many different games available that, if I dislike large enough sections of a given game's rules, then I can simply discard it and find another game that better suits me. In the ancient days, this wasn't quite as viable and so there was a greater perceived need to "kit bash." Consequently, this talk of "get rid of X" or "ignore Y" doesn't appeal to me as much as it once did.
This is a big part of the reason why I favor OD&D over AD&D at the moment. To me -- and, again, I realize this is likely a minority opinion -- playing AD&D with large segments (no pun intended) of its rules removed, ignored, and/or replaced seems to defeat the point of AD&D. If I'm not using the published initiative rules or weapon vs. AC adjustments or material components or whatever, I might as well be playing OD&D plus whatever bits I like from the Supplements.
And, as I said, I feel similarly about RuneQuest. Ditching strike ranks or hit points by body part or whatever would likely speed up play and make it less intimidating to me, but to do so would be, in my opinion, to change the complexion of RuneQuest enough that I'd wonder why I was bothering to use the rules at all. If I'm going to play RuneQuest, I'd like to play it as close to what the designers intended as I can, house ruling only when absolutely necessary, but then that's my feeling about every RPG I play.
I'll have more to say on this topic in days to come. I've been planning to do reviews of both Mongoose's unfortunately named RuneQuest II and D101 Games's OpenQuest, each of which has points in its favor (and disfavor) and highlight different aspects of what I like (and dislike) about Basic Roleplaying. I'll try to get those up soon so that the discussion we've been having can continue.