Category Archives: House Rules

Random Musings: Dealing with Undead in Rolemaster.

Like a lot Rolemaster’s content, much of the mechanics around Undead are design artifacts from D&D; more specifically the issues of “Turning” and “Draining”.

Turning. It’s generally accepted in RPG’s that Clerics have the holy ability to “Turn” undead: basically, repel or even destroy them based on the level of the cleric. In D&D this is a class ability and in Rolemaster was converted to a Base spell list which is essentially the same thing, an implied core ability of the Cleric/Priest class.

Rolemaster Combat Hack: Expanded weapon modifiers for Rolemaster.

Even in the earliest editions Rolemaster Arms Law contained a detailed chart of weapons with a variety of data: mods to hit ATs, length, weight, speed, notes etc. Beyond any additional to hit bonuses we never really referred to that chart at all–but it did give hints to useful information that could be incorporated into combat.

Random Musings. Resistance Rolls in Rolemaster.

One of my recent posts discussed the basic concept of “Stats as Skills”. This ties into my whole experimentation with modifying the RM ruleset and creating a level-less game. Part of my research has led me to re-examining the whole concept of the “Saving Throw”. There has been a few other blog posts HERE and HERE.

Project BASiL: Channeling & Essence

I’m starting the process of consolidating all of my uploaded files on the RM Forums over here to the I’ve uploaded over 200 docs scattered throughout the Rolemaster and Shadow World threads, but to see them or download them requires a user account.

These are just the lists and not the associated notes that accompany each. For info on our Channeling mechanics, I blogged about it HERE and for Essence mechanics HERE.

Channeling pt 1

Channeling pt 2

and an extra Channeling List “Channeling”


Essence pt1

Essence pt2

Essence pt3

Shadow World Weapon: the Urumi

I was doing some research and looking for ideas for a interesting cultural weapon and came across the Urumi. Functionally it’s a steel whip–deadly to opponents and deadly to use for the wielder!

Using RM weapon tables, the whip table makes the most sense with only slash criticals. To differentiate even more, I can devise weapon specific performance using our “Weapon Modifier Chart“.

Of note:

urumi-wielders learn to follow and control the momentum of the blade with each swing, thus techniques include spins and agile maneuvres.[2] These long-reaching spins make the weapon particularly well-suited to fighting against multiple opponents

Channeling, it’s not just for Gods anymore?

Why do I keep coming back to Channeling? Tackling Spell Law deconstruction and rewrite forced me to look at all the underlying assumptions around the magic system—not just RM but other games as well. I think Essence (generic magic) is easy: as long as you allow for the phenomena, then simple rules allow for casting spells. Mentalism is not much different than Essence and often conflated as Psionics. Channeling is a whole other can of worms: God given magic REALLY needs to work in a completely different way. We’ve discussed Channeling in depth in several blogs HEREHERE and HERE.

Firearms in Rolemaster – The Mechanics

In my last entry I talked a bit about how I revised the attack tables for firearms in Rolemaster. That’s not the only change you need to make if you plan on adding realistic firearms to a game using any flavor of the Rolemaster rules. I’m a firm believer in using a two second, phased round for firearms, but you also need to make some core mechanics adjustments. That’s what I’m talking about today.

Rolemaster, Combat, and Firearms

Hurin’s recent post got me thinking about combat and general and Rolemaster’s combat in particular and how various Rolemaster products handle firearms. That (of course) led me to thinking about how I’ve revised those rules for settings outside of standard fantasy. It also got me thinking about the proposition that lots of combat mechanics equals an emphasis on combat.

Rolemaster and Professions – Another Take

One of my least-favorite elements of Rolemaster is the whole idea of “Profession = lifeway.” While this concept may have some merit when it comes to settings with magic (and I’m not convinced that it really does), it breaks down when you leave the realm of fantasy and start dealing with more modern, magic-free settings.

Time Travel in Rolemaster & Shadow World

In a recent BLOG POST, I touched upon Time Travel as a technology or mechanism that could be introduced into a Shadow World campaign. Tricky, right?

A lot has been written on time travel in RPG’s and if you have ever allowed it in your game you know it can generate great adventures but create a lot of hassles as well. Some suggested solutions are only allow travel into the past, time travel only occurs in alternate timelines that don’t affect the current one or there are side effects to encountering yourself in the past etc.