I am building some real enthusiasm for this idea now. I think it is certainly achievable with a target age down towards the 10yrs old mark or even lower. Hero Kids goes down as far as 4yrs old and I just don’t think that is viable for any sort of Rolemaster-esque game. Just think of the sorts of sums we do adding open ended rolls, adding OBs, adding and subtracting positional modifiers, adding a negative DB and applying percentage based penalties from criticals or faster actions. That is beyond any reasonable expectation for someone below the age of 10 unless they were unusually gifted.
This is a topic I have touched on once or twice in the past but it must be a year or more since last time. It was also something that Intothatdarkness mentioned in a comment yesterday.
I do not use the Encumbrance rules as written. Initially I just junked them and left it at that. Then when I was reading the players character sheets in preparation for a gaming weekend I realised that a couple of the characters would barely be able to walk and the both the warrior mage and the sorcerer probably could not cast a single spell with the amount of metal they were hauling around.
This was prompted by an idea that edgcltd put out there this week. He mentioned Hero Kids and the success it has achieved in bringing RPGs to a very young audience. Its very existence is great for our hobby. I honestly do not think you can make a viable Rolemaster for the 4yr to 10yr old market…”Sweep lays foe out and heel strike
to foe’s sternum collapses the ribcage. Foe is helpless and dies in 4 rnds.”…is the sort of thing that makes Rolemaster great and I just cannot translate that into fluent 4yr old.
But how about 12yr old?
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Dyson’s Dodecahedron as a great source of maps. Today I thought I would mention Lloyd Neill’s occasional Death and Dismemberment blog (http://deathanddismemberment.blogspot.co.uk/).
Neill is an OSR/D&D and Rolemaster enthusiast and house rule fan which is kind of a prerequisite for Rolemaster GMs I guess.
This is relevant particularly given this weeks discussion on OSR. Last year there were some interesting discussions on House Rules. I am not a fan of OSR roleplay as it, in my opinion, just a thief tax but each to their own.
I know that many people love the minute detail that the full spectrum of RM2 professions provided. The professions were basically a package of individual skill and base lists.
Keeping the base lists within professionless and level-less RM is easy.
The individual skill costs are completely compatible with level-less but I am open to ideas about how to create that flexibility with professionless gaming.
BriH has pitched the idea of getting rid of skill costs all together so that every skill costs 5DP (I could be wrong about who came up with that idea but that is not the point). I was thinking of playing with the idea of going to the other way.
This blog is a bit of a lesson in humility for me. I set it up just because there was a perceived need for this kind of blog and to attract more people to Rolemaster.
It started off as “I am trying this”, “I am trying that” now I am pleased to say it is very much “We are trying this”, “We are trying that”. We have a nice team of writers now and this blog is as much theirs as it was ever mine.
I have been looking back at a few posts from this year. One of the recurring themes seems to be that none of us are in love with Channelling magic. I have stated that you could do away with it and roll the spell lists into mentalism and essaence very easily. The very core concept that Channelling magic is an act of god makes no sense at all when you take Shadow Worlds gods into account as they are not divine beings, just very powerful mundane ones.
Brian’s rewrite of the respective clerical base lists really shows what Channelling could have been but isn’t.
Imagine this set up.
It is a small walled town or more accurately a settlement. To the east of the market square is the manor house, to north at ground level are a few shops to cater for trade caravans and above them a hostel or flop house for itinerants. The west has the gate house and the south facing on to the market place is a taverna with seats spilling out into the square.
Our characters should ideally be sat at the taverna, outside. Maybe they are waiting to meet a patron or even waiting to get paid? We will come back to the characters later.
I have been gallivanting around Iceland for the past week or so and being surrounded by reminders of elves, known locally as the hidden people, trolls and giants is quite good for gaming inspiration.
Ironically possibly the best bit of inspiration that came to me was nothing to do with the fantasy rich local culture but from my mobile phone.
We all recognise that magic items are not just about +15 weapons, daily spell items and multipliers. It is the more colourful items that can give a campaign its flavour.
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.