Rolemaster Rule Hack: Inherent stat abilities.

Well I got sidetracked yesterday and missed my attempt to post “A blogpost a day”.

In one of Peter’s blog posts, he sparked an idea for establishing character abilities that are dependent on Stat scores rather than a developed skill, stat bonus or level. For those that follow my blog posts, I’ve been in the process of reducing the # of total skills and trying to decouple level from intrinsic ability so this had an immediate appeal. Tying into RMU and past RM optional rules, I’m calling them “Feats”. Each stat has a corresponding function that uses the full stat value for resolution. Some benefits:

Shadow World Weapon: the Urumi

I was doing some research and looking for ideas for a interesting cultural weapon and came across the Urumi. Functionally it’s a steel whip–deadly to opponents and deadly to use for the wielder!

Using RM weapon tables, the whip table makes the most sense with only slash criticals. To differentiate even more, I can devise weapon specific performance using our “Weapon Modifier Chart“.

Of note:

urumi-wielders learn to follow and control the momentum of the blade with each swing, thus techniques include spins and agile maneuvres.[2] These long-reaching spins make the weapon particularly well-suited to fighting against multiple opponents

Shadow World Speculation: What is the Mazatlak Pillar City?

For those that have perused the extensive Shadow World timeline in the Master Atlas or Part IV: Lands will have seen a few references to the Mazatlak Pillar City. Call me intrigued! There are four references in the Master Atlas (I’m using 3rd Edition):

p.31

  1. Mazzara Delta: [Cool Temperate/Seasonal] Y’nar (Mixed economies/Monarchy/TL: ) A vast delta/archipelago; this fragmented land and the shores to north and south are controlled by a Y’nari kingdom. At the head of this delta is the capital: Mazatlak Pillar City.

Drinking and RPG Blogging.

Welcome to my new blog topic! This is where I had a hellacious work day and needed to vent my energy on table top RPG bloggers! Yeah! ‘Murica! And because I’m drinking bourbon, I have no idea if this makes any sense! If not, you lose. I only post amazing blogs, they are the best, and they WIN! You read my blogs, you will only WIN, in fact, you’ll be tired of WINNING. If you don’t feel that way. SAD!

Rolemaster: Outside Looking In.

I’ve been reading quite a few RPG blogs lately, and as you might imagine most of them discuss DnD or one of it’s near variants. Some of it is nostalgia (OSR), part curiosity, and general interest in other viewpoints and experiences. One thing I notice over and over–most of these other blogs and forums don’t spend too much time on rule litigation/arbitration. Most blog posts are:

  1. Product reviews or retrospectives
  2. In game experiences
  3. General advice on creating content or running games.

Weekend Roundup: March 25, 2017

Welcome back to the “Weekend Roundup”! It’s been several weeks since I’ve done one; it’s been hard to scan the news here in the U.S.A. without getting bogged down in political crazy. In the interim, I got a message on the RM Forums:

BHanson: Do you think you could post more roleplaying news rather than obscure or fringe stories?

Evil Healers?

All this talk about channelling got me thinking. There was also a thread on the forum of someone wanting plug and play adventures.

The problem with plug and play rolemaster adventures is that no published adventure can ever know what options are in play and which aren’t. As a rule of thumb you could optional rules relating to character creation in the companions made PCs more powerful, not less. If you accept that premise then any adventure written against the core rule books would be varyingly under powered when used with characters created with optional rules, spells and skills from the companions. As an example the core RMC core rules has no option for two weapon fighting styles which in many games are extremely common. Stunned manoeuvre is another skill that can have a huge impact on the outcome of a fight.

Channeling, it’s not just for Gods anymore?

Why do I keep coming back to Channeling? Tackling Spell Law deconstruction and rewrite forced me to look at all the underlying assumptions around the magic system—not just RM but other games as well. I think Essence (generic magic) is easy: as long as you allow for the phenomena, then simple rules allow for casting spells. Mentalism is not much different than Essence and often conflated as Psionics. Channeling is a whole other can of worms: God given magic REALLY needs to work in a completely different way. We’ve discussed Channeling in depth in several blogs HEREHERE and HERE.

Get Off My Lawn!!!!! RPG Rant of the Day.

“Fair and Balanced” is not just a Fox News blurb, but a constantly cited principle for RPG game design. But what is balance? An arbitrary viewpoint? Neutral game mechanics? “Fairness”? Often it comes down to personal opinions and long accepted norms established long ago in D&D.

RMU development is a perfect case study in the tension between rethinking a ruleset and an unquestioning loyalty to RPG tropes. The most basic assumptions are often the most discussed: Magic Users can’t wear armor; magic is broken down into 2 or 3 realms; the balanced party (Fighter, Thief, MU, Cleric); Class tropes and the definition of a particular class, etc.