Weekend Roundup: January 29, 2017

Unlocking the Elvish in all of us.

Closer to a Universal Translator?

Can we achieve Althan mastery of the ‘Verse?

Cross Cultural Symbolism or a “Bag of Holding”?

“I’m just getting my Mask

Cool place for adventures!

Cool ideas for burial garb!

In Search of the Unknown…face eater.

The early genesis of an “Orc

hmmm…Rolemaster stat deterioration revisited?

Blog post. Good thoughts on OSR, 5e etc.


Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue

Imagine for a minute a player asks the perfectly reasonable question of “Can I remember what colour her eyes were?”

What I have always done in the past was ask for a skill check using the characters Memory stat bonus as the skill bonus.

When I moved from RM2 to RMC and the threshold for success went from 101+ to 111+ for most casual stat based tests success required an open ended roll. If that was reasonable 19 out of 20 trips to the shops for me would probably end in chaos and that could not be right. For me 1 in 10 trips to the shop ends up with me bringing home the right thing.

Nature vs. Nurture. The emphasis between Stats or Professions.

I really can’t get off my soap box regarding adopting a “No Profession” system. One of the arguments I often hear for professions and profession assigned skill costs is that early character development locks in affinities that define the characters learning patterns for life.

More thoughts on “Level-less” Rolemaster.

Rolemaster is inherently a skill-based system but it has clung to some of the established level mechanisms of D&D by reverting them into skills. Peter had a great blog on making hit points independent of skill. I’m really embracing this idea now–and it gets rid of Body Development skill which is a plus in my endless efforts to reduce skill bloat. (We’ve shifted the other aspects of Body Development  into our meta-skill “Athletics”).

Weekend Library

Greetings all and welcome to my new column: Weekend Library.  I read quite a bit so I thought I would offer up a list of books that might be a little obscure but worth checking out for great game or campaign ideas for your Rolemaster, Shadow World or fantasy setting.

The Mechanical (3 book series). Interesting take on Clockwork men and alchemy. I got some ideas to update my adventure “The Lair of Ozymandias”.

Six of Crows. A grittier version of “Lies of Locke Lamora”. Good characters and ideas for a urban “Sting/Heist” campaign.

Solo Roleplay Part III

So this time I am going to show you how you actually do ‘solo roleplay’. I am going to use the Mythic GM Emulator although it is not my favourite. There is an online version here.

So here is an opening scene for you. Take you favourite character, in your favourite setting and right now they are in a copse of trees over looking a ruined and abandoned manor house. It is dark, the moon has risen but is hidden by a thick layer of cloud. An owl hoots near by. Somewhere in that house is rumoured to be the blood stone. An artefact in the form of a worn and rounded granite rock the size of your fist that bears the thumbprint of one of the gods. If the legends are true placing the blood stone on the chest of a deceased person will return them to life for seven days.

Solo Roleplay part II

Solo engines are frequently designed to work with scenes and threads. Scenes are like the scenes of a film. If your characters are in the tavern and then decide to go and seek an audience with the local priest then typically that would be two scenes and you could skip the travel in between. I say typically as you will see later things can happen.

Threads are individual story arcs or plot hooks that can could take the story in a different direction or change the way the character sees things. Typically in a solo game there will be several open threads. You can include the main plot you are on but also any unfinished business in your characters backstory and those from your NPCs backstories just to get you started.

Shadow World Religions as Rolemaster Professions?

If you read this blog consistently you are probably aware that both Peter and I are proponents of a “No Profession” game. But the truth is that a having “No Professions” generally means that most players end up designing a character that conforms to a common fantasy trope anyway. Whether that’s because players are guided by long held biases and profession models or that a balanced design forces players into basis archetypes (at least non, pure or semi) a no profession system almost always results in customized but identifiable classes without the need for “one-off” rules, talents, quirks or similar work-arounds. (For more thoughts on this check out my blog “No Professions Equals All Profession”.)

An introduction to Solo Roleplay

I thought I would write a short mini series on Solo Roleplaying, what it is, what it is good for and how to do it. At first glance the very idea of Solo roleplaying is almost oxymoronic, how can a hobby so dependent on conversation and social interaction be done on your own. Isn’t that just day dreaming?

Firstly I would say that solo roleplaying is slightly miss named. It should really be GM-less roleplaying. You can solo with a whole group of players or just a single player, namely yourself. The only thing you don’t need is the GM.

Life Giving

Funnily enough both Brian and I spent some time over Christmas planning a few blog posts in advance to take a bit of pressure off. Brian published his on Wednesday and has a proper Shadow World bent to it. Inspired by the same forum post I wanted to take a look at what Life Giving actually means in terms of practicalities for the PC.

If I remember correctly D&D’s Raise Dead spell left the newly returned to the living person on 1hp for a week while they recover. I think you had to be a 9th level Cleric to cast it as well.