Blog Intro Death and Dismemberment

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Dyson’s Dodecahedron as a great source of maps. Today I thought I would mention Lloyd Neill’s occasional Death and Dismemberment blog (

Neill is an OSR/D&D and Rolemaster enthusiast and house rule fan which is kind of a prerequisite for Rolemaster GMs I guess.

This is relevant particularly given this weeks discussion on OSR. Last year there were some interesting discussions on House Rules. I am not a fan of OSR roleplay as it, in my opinion, just a thief tax but each to their own.

Random Musings: OSR, Retro-Clones, Open Source Rolemaster?

I want to start by quoting two sources that really struck home:

“I still love RM but the customer base is just too small to make a living from unless you are Terry.”

“Going hand and hand with that is the fact that for better or for worse the OSR is a thing. For the past decade and a half there been a group of hobbyists actively publishing, promoting, and playing classic editions of Dungeons and Dragon and similar RPGs. This is result of everybody taking advantage of the freedom granted by the open content found in the d20 SRD to expand the quantity and variety of material that supports classic D&D.” SOURCE.

Can Professionless provide all the detail of RM2?

I know that many people love the minute detail that the full spectrum of RM2 professions provided. The professions were basically a package of individual skill and base lists.

Keeping the base lists within professionless and level-less RM is easy.

The individual skill costs are completely compatible with level-less but I am open to ideas about how to create that flexibility with professionless gaming.

BriH has pitched the idea of getting rid of skill costs all together so that every skill costs 5DP (I could be wrong about who came up with that idea but that is not the point). I was thinking of playing with the idea of going to the other way.

First Level Shouldn’t Suck!

If we’re soapboxing, I’ll jump  on one of mine: First Level shouldn’t suck! The whole premise behind first level should be giving a player a character who’s gone through her formative years and experiences and is ready to set out on her own, not some abstraction of early adolescence who can’t survive being stung by a bee, let alone a minor encounter with a wild dog. The old joke about D&D magic users having to hide behind fighters until they were about fifth level has a sad basis in fact, and Rolemaster (in my opinion) seems intent on turning first level into a collection of those magic users.

Random Musings: Dealing with Undead in Rolemaster.

Like a lot Rolemaster’s content, much of the mechanics around Undead are design artifacts from D&D; more specifically the issues of “Turning” and “Draining”.

Turning. It’s generally accepted in RPG’s that Clerics have the holy ability to “Turn” undead: basically, repel or even destroy them based on the level of the cleric. In D&D this is a class ability and in Rolemaster was converted to a Base spell list which is essentially the same thing, an implied core ability of the Cleric/Priest class.

Rolemaster Combat Hack: Expanded weapon modifiers for Rolemaster.

Even in the earliest editions Rolemaster Arms Law contained a detailed chart of weapons with a variety of data: mods to hit ATs, length, weight, speed, notes etc. Beyond any additional to hit bonuses we never really referred to that chart at all–but it did give hints to useful information that could be incorporated into combat.

Random Musings. Resistance Rolls in Rolemaster.

One of my recent posts discussed the basic concept of “Stats as Skills”. This ties into my whole experimentation with modifying the RM ruleset and creating a level-less game. Part of my research has led me to re-examining the whole concept of the “Saving Throw”. There has been a few other blog posts HERE and HERE.

Another Step Forward Downloads!

This blog is a bit of a lesson in humility for me. I set it up just because  there was a perceived need for this kind of blog and to attract more people to Rolemaster.

It started off as “I am trying this”, “I am trying that” now I am pleased to say it is very much “We are trying this”, “We are trying that”. We have a nice team of writers now and this blog is as much theirs as it was ever mine.

The theme of 2017

I have been looking back at a few posts from this year. One of the recurring themes seems to be that none of us are in love with Channelling magic. I have stated that you could do away with it and roll the spell lists into mentalism and essaence very easily. The very core concept that Channelling magic is an act of god makes no sense at all when you take Shadow Worlds gods into account as they are not divine beings, just very powerful mundane ones.

Brian’s rewrite of the respective clerical base lists really shows what Channelling could have been but isn’t.

Articles and discussion on Roleplaying in general and various settings including Shadow World, Forgotten Realms and Aioskoru. We talk about pen and paper roleplaying as well as play by post. We have a strong interest in Rolemaster but also play and love other games