1982.I was just introduced to Rolemaster by my best friend. He had moved to the next town over and found a new gaming group; one that had found Rolemaster through a Dragon Magazine ad. His stories of their gaming experiences were VERY different than my experiences with AD&D.
I headed down to the local game store and picked up a copy of Character Law. (Blue cover with Jorgenson artwork). I distinctly remember pouring through that book to background music of “Safety Dance”! I remember the artwork was different—more gritty?—but the rule were a massive shift from AD&D where “skills/abilities” were bestowed upon certain levels. Looking back, skill based abilities seem commonplace now but back then it was something else.