RMU has established a tool kit that balances out race, class and creature creation by assigning DP values to skills, abilities and attributes. It’s very detailed and typical RM! A currently running thread on the RM Forums is about Race balance, and more specifically Elves.
We discussed Elves here on the RolemasterBlog, and it’s also a common topic on RPG blogs as well. It seems like people either love or hate em! However, if you look through the various games or popular fiction, Elves can vary quite a bit, differentiated from the foundational trope established by Tolkien.
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Elves, Elves, Everywhere! Elves in Shadow World and fiction.
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I’m not a fan of Elves, but I am a fan of Shadow World. Can those two feelings co-exist? Fiction has exposed us to many portrayals of Elves but one constant is that Elves are very long lived or immortal. In a past RMU discussion, the immortal “trait” was discussed: how do you subscribe a value to a trait like immortality when it has little impact on gameplay?
In the Forgotten Realms there are five races of elf, High, Grey (or Moon), Green (or Wood), Sea and Drow Elves. For most people I guess the High, Grey and Green equate pretty much with Moldar, Sindar and Silvan. For the purposes of this discussion I am going to ignore the Sea Elves as they are not typically found in most MERP or Rolemaster campaigns. The others most players or GMs, I would have thought, wil be familiar with.
Von l’edor, First Secretary to the High Scion hastily adjusted his robes and consulted his schedule book once again. This meeting was highly unusual; unscheduled with no information provided to his office. He hoped his last-minute apologies to the Delgaran Trade Delegation would suffice; the Laan merchants were generally insufferable and easy to offend. He made a notation to provide them with a cask of Vermillion House Red—a rare vintage that should appease their egos.
I was tempted to try and post every day for August but that would have crashed a lot of other people’s posts so instead I am going to do a few days at a time in my normal, regular slots.
So here goes.
1st What published RPG do you wish you were playing right now?
I have had a hankering for a while now to play Car Wars, the Steve Jackson Games game from the 80s. I know it wasn’t released as a RPG we we always played it as one. The original rules are available for free. All I am lacking is another player or 5. It is one of those games where you could while away a lot of down time just designing and building cars. Fast and simple mechanics, what not to love?
Due to a vacation it’s been a few weeks since out last session playtesting our “Legends of Shadow World” tourney series for 50th lvl characters. Last night the group reconvened for Chapter 4: “The Plains of Despair” (or alternatively The Fortress of the Dread Lord).
Narrative wise, it felt a bit broken; the PC’s got killed or beaten badly in Chapter 3 and the few weeks off disrupted the story line. However this is playtesting, so the group was brought back to life, I doled out some moderate damage, adjusted hits, PPs and item charges etc and sent them on their way through a Portal.
This is a preview of
Legends of Shadow World Pt 4. The Plains of Despair.
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So far we have sent the characters up the creek without a paddle, half drowned them and made them fight under water against a new and unknown monsterous race. Today, it is apt to make their day go from bad to worse!
The river they have been careering down so far has been randomly generated and designed to make it virtually impossible to swim out of or row out of. anyone reaching the shallows would be facing swimming rolls at something like -90 and taking krush criticals should they fail.
I am in a peculiar situation of putting together a ‘Shadow World special’ for the Rolemaster Fanzine and yet I know almost nothing about Shadow World. I know what I have read in the Players Guide and I know what I learned in the last campaign we played set in SW but I cannot trust what I learned in the game for two reasons. Firstly, the GM could have changed anything. Secondly we were playing The Curse of Kabis and it is my understanding that that particular adventure is non-cannon.
I have spent the weekend thinking about monsters. I have said many times before that I am a monster snob. I think Gelatinous Cubes and Black Puddings are better suited to nouveau cuisine than for battling player characters. I just cannot buy into them.
I think I put my finger on what it is that a monster needs to have for me to want to use them and it comes down to two factors.
Although I wanted to slow my blogging pace down for the summer to focus on other projects it’s a hard habit to break! I want to spend less time on house rules; the RM Forums provides plenty of opportunity for rule minutia, and I think most of the active readers here already have their own set positions. So I’m introducing “Short Takes”, a minimized discussion for rule theory where I can offer conceptually ideas without getting into the weeds with my own solutions. If you look over some recent posts, I’ve already started with this approach. By offering a rule theory in more vague terms, I’ve found that people respond more with their own ideas that I can adopt to fine tune my solution. That’s been the case for “Stats as Skills”, “Resistance Rolls”, “Fixed HPs” and a few others.
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Short takes: Imbedding Magic in Rolemaster & Shadow World
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