Category Archives: House Rules


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.

Short takes: Imbedding Magic in Rolemaster & Shadow World


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.

Unifying and Simplification: Rolemaster Herbs

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.

First Level – My Take

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.

Invocation & Sanctification. Expanded Channeling in your Shadow World campaign.

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.

Rolemaster Character Creation in 15 Minutes.

Search around the internet for Rolemaster discussions and you’ll see that a lot of people gripe about how much time it takes to make a 1st lvl character. Much of this complaining is grounded in the deadliness of the system: it sucks spending an hour or two on creating a character only having them die with a bad fumble or high critical roll in their first outing. I get it.

BASiL Deep Dive: Automaton Spell List

Part of my deconstruction of Spell Law was to come up with simpler rules for various alchemical processes that could be more easily used “in game”. One of the appeals of original RM was the framework for creating magic items, but the time and effort involved in making items needed to occur outside gameplay. The alchemist was better as an NPC or the spells should have been shifted to Closed lists (like the detailed healing spells lists in the Channeling Realm).

What sort of alchemical processes could be simplified to be usable in actual game play?


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.

Blog Intro Death and Dismemberment

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 (

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.

Can Professionless provide all the detail of RM2?

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.