My last post mused on the impossible goal of designing balance into a high level adventure. Among one of the issues I touched upon was the lack of effective buffs in RM Spell Law. But the problem is much broader than that–there is a breakdown of spell design at higher levels. Perhaps the original designers didn’t see much game play use for high level spells?
I am intrigued by ITDs critical tables. I have never seen them but it came up recently in a discussion on on armour by the piece that there are different critical tables by location and only three locations; limbs, head and body.
For me the only piece of RM that has to be retained is the critical; everything else has to earn its place at the table. If it is more effort that it adds to the game I am inclined to cut or replace it.
Peter’s recent blog, RMU – to infinity and beyond, created a firestorm of comment activity. 64 comments to date! Much of the back and forth touched up on professions, attributes, knacks and character creation. Certainly, the thrust of the debate was centered around the Professions vs No Professions commentary that Peter and I have continued on the RolemasterBlog and previously on the Rm Forums.
Most of my emails and forum messages have been asking about when I’m going to post the Mentalism spells for my Spell Law re-write. While Essence and Channeling were fairly straight forward, I’ve ended up re-working Mentalism several times–and now I’m doing it again! Part of this was a desire to really differentiate the realms: Essence is manipulation of the physical world and elements, Channeling is driven by the God’s aspect, “life forces”, and miraculous effects, and Mentalism are spells of mind and will. But what does that mean? What should Mentalism spells encompass for powers?
So yesterday I blogged about a simple, unified system for imbedding magic into objects: what we term “Enchanting”. I also noted at the end, and linked to a RM Forum blog about a separate, but related system of Alchemy.
Curiously, most of the original RM Alchemist material had little to do with our common definition of “Alchemy”. Sure, Alchemists could make potions, but most of the spells related to the creation of runes, magic weapons and armor and Daily “X” items.
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.
One of the early appeals of Rolemaster was it’s “realism”, and while most people thought of the combat system there was also exhaustive material around magical herbs. In many ways, RM herbs supplanted traditional fantasy RPGs reliance on healing magic and healing potions. Some even argue that RM healing spells are relatively weak, or that the detailed injury system required too many spells to heal even minor wounds.
I think many players/groups use herbs in different ways: some to augment natural healing processes while others allow for instant, miraculous healing effects. “Chew and screw” so to speak. Instant effects allow groups without skilled healers to adventure, or groups in intensive dungeon environments to maintain their tempo.
What does a first level character look like?
I’ve talked a fair amount about both modern gaming and first level characters, so I figured I’d write up an example of what a first level character looks like in my developing rules. Creating one of these characters takes a few steps, and I’ll try to provide some “time hacks” so you can get an idea of how long it takes. It’s a bit long, but this isn’t something you distill into 150 characters.
It’s been a while since I blogged about Channeling, so I thought I would revisit one topic and discuss another: Invocation and Sanctification. As I’ve discussed, the Channeling Realm raises a lot of issues about setting, spell access and the role of Dieties that aren’t present in the more agnostic realms of Essence and Mentalism. That’s one of the reasons that Peter and others have just eliminated the Channeling Realm and rolled it into Essence. Again, this is really driven by the metaphysical underpinnings of the setting.