This is sort of an alternative answer to one of the issues that Brian highlights in his post Skill Atrophy. The part that really struck a chord with me was the comment about higher level characters becoming more generic as they learn a broader range of skills once they have maxed out their core skills.
I really hate ‘generic’.
Having said that the character design criteria I ask my players to aim for is a well rounded character who could have survived to reach level one. I like characters that have some kind of answer to the problems of healing, being cornered in a fight or lost in a hostile environment. I don’t want everyone to be the same but also don’t like characters that are pretty one dimensional.
My players have been working their way through the Doom of Daggerdale module. This was one of the things I have converted over to Rolemaster. Not only did I have to convert Hook Horrors and the Nightshade/Wood Wose creatures but there are three significant NPCs in Daggerdale. These are Randle Morn, Caldoran The Razor and Tren Hoemfor.
I am back from my weekend of gaming and these long weekends take their toll on this poor old GM. I feel this is game recovery week when I try and get over the effects of too little sleep and the diet of a 18 year old student. Gone are the days when I could game until 3am night after night!
The game went well, the evil magician escaped but following the antics of the players he is going to have to do some serious remodeling at home! The party are all spell casters and when faced by their third locked door resorted to using a pair of lump hammers and entering rooms like some kind of police raid. What was interesting was how often some of the situations turned on a single lucky dice roll.
I have packed up all my game notes and rules and I will soon be on the train to Faerün (so to speak).
The biggest difference in the game this time will be that I have adopted some advice I was given last week. For each major NPC I have given them a post-it note with a mini-flowchart of their tactics and or favoured spells. The idea is that as soon as I pick up a character sheet I can see at a glance what they are most likely to do in the first combat round without having to delve any deeper into the paperwork to look at skills or spell lists.
Next weekend I will be running my next face to face game session. I have read over the game notes and the adventure module. I have just decided that the main trap/puzzle that the players have to solve I don’t like.
Lots of these old D&D modules have magical traps and puzzles in them which seemed fine when I was 14years old but now when I look at them I just don’t like them. Dare I say they are a bit silly? So I need to come up with my own replacement puzzle (in this case it performs as a lock to get deeper into a magicians tomb) that I feel comfortable with and gives a more serious tone to the adventure.
This is a preview of
Five Days until next Game Session plus traps and puzzles
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In Brian’s post [Shadow World Deux ex machina: Gods or Loremasters?] he mentions ‘time-strapped GMs have to rely even more on prepared materials and modules’. It is not only us poor GMs that don’t have the time that we used to. As you all probably know I am one of those GMs that only gets to game a few times a year when the gang all gets back together. It is hard for my players to get into character at the drop of a hat if they haven’t played the character for four months or more.
I like my game rules light. The less rules the better in my view and the less time spent trawling back and forth through the rules trying to find the exact paragraph you need should mean more time spent adventuring. I accept that it doesn’t always work out that way and without ‘enough’ rules you can end up with not knowing what should happen or what is ‘right’. And so on to encumbrance!
I have been away for quite a while but I am back in the land of the gaming now and I have a face to face gaming session coming up in just two weeks and I have a lot of monster nonversions to do!
I started looking at the game notes again this week and noticed I had quite a few D&D creatures to convert over to Rolemaster for the coming sessions. The main problem being that the party could go in one of two different directions and so I had to be prepared for both.
I have an idea for a game I want to run. Rather than strict ‘rules as written’ this time I want to house rule to fit the game world. I intend ripping out as much of the rulebook as possible and stripping things back to as close to ‘no rules’ as possible whilst still being recognisably Rolemaster.
Most people seem to say that the thng that drew them in to Rolemaster in the first place was the critical tables. I think the two most striking features are both the critical table and the open ended roll. I will keep both of those.
Just giving someone a ship ful of orcs may not make the best adventure, an interesting fight maybe but not an adventure. So what can you do with them to make it an interesting challenge for the players.
I would suggest just making the characters aware of their existance at first. If the characters are already on one adventure and in a tavern just have some locals arguing about whether there really was an orcish armada that invaded the southern lands. If they are pressed then they say that is what they had heard from a merchant that passed though. Others in the tavern will confirm that is what they have all heard. Now just leave that at that. The locals don’t know any more and cannot confirm or deny anything else.
This is a preview of
How much fun can one person have with a ship full of orcs?
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