Assorted Musings! Rolemasterblog, Rolemaster and random topics!

So I’m heading to Spain for some vaca time but wanted to get a few blogs scheduled to post while I’m gone or getting prepped. I still have some work to do on 50 in 50 adventures so I thought I would post misc. points for thought and/or discussion. In no particular order:

  1. Noble Games has a “cloth bound” edition of Spell Law for $195 and a “leather bound” edition for $95. I have the a copy of the leather bound Rolemaster book which has SL, CL, AL. Anybody remember these Spell Law products? Did ICE do leather or cloth bound versions of other products?
  2. Why/how is the BASiL Essence Pt 1 being downloaded at a ridiculous rate? As of Thursday its averaging 50 downloads/day. It’s hard to imagine RMBlog has tapped into a secret reservoir of RM players. Some sort of ‘bot’ doing this?
  3. In reference to a recent blog post on Summoning. Peter, the idea that summoning a creature means drawing a concept or consciousness from a alternate plain that then manifests in a physical form is a powerful concept. For me it raises some setting issues: in reverse, how can players visit these alternate plains? Do they DeManifest there physical form while visiting these plains and then reconstitute upon returning? (btw: read the Punch Escrow for some thoughts on this via a technological solution).
  4. Following up on #3, we are confronted with the setting driving the spell mechanics. Yes, once RM was a bolt-on for DnD, but those days are long gone. RM needs to pick a setting (Shadow World by default given the amount of existing material) and build the rules around the physical and meta-physical world described.
  5. New games are as much about the setting that they create, or imply, than the actual game mechanics. NO ONE is really choosing RM first and then selecting a non-conforming game environment, barring an experienced minority. The new reality is that rules and setting are synonymous. Based on some ‘googling’ many RM users initially adopted RM to play MERP. Since MERP is no longer an option, my advice is to put resources into a setting and then adjust a default rule set to support it. That’s what I have done with BASiL(Brian’s Alternate Spell Law) and SWARM (Shadow World Alternate Role Master). Much of what I did with those projects was to adjust RM to integrate with Terry’s SW. Shadow World sets meta-physics for magic and death, diverges from standard RM profession standards, incoporates hi-tech, connects with Space Master etc. My theory is that creating a great adventure setting drives rule adoption. I’m not sure continually rewriting rule sets (planned obsolescence) drives new customer growth.
  6. 50 in 50 is starting soon. Many of these are simple ideas than full fledged adventures, but I’m excited that RM Blog will be publishing real content.
  7. I’m even more excited for the RM Blog 50th level adventures.
  8. One profession that really struck me when I first started with RM was the Astrologer. It was quite different than the D&D tropes we left behind, and IIRC, city maps in the early MERP products had color keyed buildings for Astrologers. I’m not sure if Astrologers fit into the Tolkien world, but by integrating them into the world build, it inferred the profession with social context. Interesting.
  9. I’ve read a lot of good blog posts about waiving the need to roll dice for simple actions as well as simplifying rules to reduce dice rolls. I agree with the former but not the latter. Players like to roll dice! They are chomping at the bit to make rolls during combat! Is that just my group?
  10. After “50 in 50” and “5 of 50” I had a few other themed adventure challenges: “5 Adventures for Evil Groups”; “5 Grand Heist Adventures”, “5 at 50′, (underwater adventures)”.

9 thoughts on “Assorted Musings! Rolemasterblog, Rolemaster and random topics!”

  1. I agree that RMU should be 100% behind Shadow World. We know that people can easily adapt RM to any setting, as we have all done it.

    The setting is so important in defining how everything works from gods interact to where magic comes from and how it works.

    1. I fancy creating a setting. I even have some ideas as to how to do so. The idea was to create a system-neutral setting as a base, with probably books for specific game systems. HarnWorld and Arcana (from the Avalon Game Company) are inspirations.

      1. The stumbling block with such a project will always come down to art. You either have the talent or not and if you don’t then it is expensive.

        I think every GM that started playing in the 1980s has at some point created their own setting. Pretty much any of us could do it. Kwickham with his Aioskoru is a prime example https://sites.google.com/site/aioskoru/

        1. I basically fancy doing it for a bit of fun.

          Art might not be such a huge problem. Neither Harn nor Arcana have huge amounts of art, and another published homebrew campaign (Adventures in Filbar; they have a lot of free stuff) uses stock photos, RPG Citymap Generator and, in later supplements, Cityographer and Hexographer.

          If you are doing large setting books with monsters, I think art is more significant. For smaller supplements, including such as villages, ‘dungeons’ and organisations, maps tend to be the most important factor (not that they are necessarily easy of course).

  2. Regarding the dice rolls, rolls that increase the tension in the game, attack rolls, critical rolls, skill rolls etc. Are all good. In my opinion no action should require more than two rolls though. When you started to get into additional rolls and then the additional book keeping associated with the roll such as fatigue or mental focus then they can be a drag on the game.

  3. 3. In reference to a recent blog post on Summoning. Peter, the idea that summoning a creature means drawing a concept or consciousness from a alternate plain that then manifests in a physical form is a powerful concept. For me it raises some setting issues: in reverse, how can players visit these alternate plains? Do they DeManifest there physical form while visiting these plains and then reconstitute upon returning? (btw: read the Punch Escrow for some thoughts on this via a technological solution).

    I actually meant drawing it from this world when referring to summoning normal creatures like lions and tigers and whales. And no, their sleeping form stays where it is. The body we see here is magical and only holds together for the duration of the spell.

  4. 1. I know that prior to GCP taking over, quite a lot of special editions, such as clothbound books, were being released, rather than new editions. Although people didn’t always get them after paying for them.

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