One of the problems for D&D players coming to Rolemaster is that although ‘Profession’ appears to be pretty much the same as ‘Class’ they are definitely not the same thing!
There are significant flaws in Rolemaster professions.
Once you choose a Profession in RM just about everything is set for life and is unchangeable. If your chosen profession virtually excludes magic then whatever happens in the future you will be forever pretty much excluded from magic.
Cultural Background is another element of RMU that I really like. The mechanism is really simple. There are a number of predefined backgrounds such as urban, nomad, coastal and sylvan, plus 4 others in RMU, and there is a mix of skills that are typical for people growing up in that culture. So you choose your culture and you get free skill ranks to assign into skill categories defined by your culture.
I am not suggesting many changes to the Rolemaster races in my RMC variant but first a bit of background on the long running ‘issue’ of Elves and Self Discipline.
Elves and Self Discipline
Most elves in Rolemaster based games get a -20 on the Self Discipline (SD) stat. SD happens to be one of the stats used to determine your Stalk & Hide skill and Meditation skill.
When most people see that -20 they assume that elves have no self control or discipline which is not the way Tolkien’s elves are generally portrayed. Rolemaster elves are the direct decendants of Tolkien’s elves as the roots of Rolemaster are set in the world of the MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing) franchise.
When it comes to potential stats I was quite taken with the idea of giving the players an additional 100 points with which to buy their potential stats but the temptation to just dump that all on the prime stats for the character would be too great. That makes total sense to do that but in the end every ranger would end up looking pretty much the same as would every fighter and so on.
Brih has been posting some of his groups house rules or hacks. This has inspired me to put forward some of my proposed house rules for an up coming game. I have alluded to many of these in the past but I have never listed them explictily. So there is Part I of character creation namely generating some stats.
My favourist game ever for character creation was Champions (or Hero System as it is now). That gave you complete freedom of all of time and space to drw your inspiration from and all the characters were equally balanced. Hero System was a point buy system and so that is where I intend to go with character crreation.
The Bard is one of the nicest semi spell user professions in Rolemaster. It has a nice combination of magic, stealth, combat and social skills to make them really useful in all situations. Obviously there is no one profession that can do it all without any restrictions or everyone would choose it and no one would play anything else. The bard profession is not like that, it is nicely balanced whilst at the same time capable.
There seem to be three philosophies when it comes to level bonuses. I bring this up because I have always used the first method below, I have been seriously considering moving to the second option but following a discussion on the ICE forums and on the RM2 g+ community I think the third option may be the one for me. So let me explain the three options for level bonuses.
A couple of weeks ago Loraedor posted an article called The Virtue Continuum which suggested the possibility of dice rolling personalities for PCs and NPCs alike to either provide a starting point for a new character or to give a psychological profile for an NPC.
The criteria were Integrity, Discernment, Love, Respect, Humility, Diligence, Temperance and Courage and just like rolling for a stat everyone falls on a scale from minuses to plusses against each stat and their profile would then influence their choices and attitudes. I think rolling an additional eight stats is over the top for my needs but these could be grouped quite easily into three qualities (integrity+discernment), (love+respect+humility) and (diligence+temperance+courage). I wonder though whether these are actually new stats at all.
I was looking at some of my old posts this week and I discovered the Getter PBP Notifications post in which I promised to update people if I found the solution. A few weeks ago I did solve this problem!
I have one player who loves maps and mapping any and all dungeons and buildings the party enter. There is nothing inherently wrong with the party mapping. In fact the character has bought copper plates and a stylus exactly for mapping their route.
My issue is that mapping the parties progress kills the atmosphere in the game. It can become almost mechanical, the party enters an area, everything stops while the player updates the map, play continues, rinse and repeat.
Articles and discussion on Roleplaying in general and various settings including Shadow World, Forgotten Realms and Aioskoru. We talk about pen and paper roleplaying as well as play by post. We have a strong interest in Rolemaster but also play and love other games