One of the more dense and information rich sections of the Shadow World Master Atlas is the timeline. By the 3rd Edition of the Master Atlas, the timeline has reached 25 pages and would be much longer if it incorporated all the local and regional timeline material found in other SW books. Plus, the timeline is growing: since the original release of the SW Master Atlas Boxed set I believe the timeline has increased by at least 9-10 years (6045 to 6054 TE).
There has been endless speculation about adapting Shadow World to the RMU ruleset, but every year that goes by only makes the task of converting all the Shadow World books into the new format less and less likely. On top of that Terry is methodically going through older source books and updating them and adding new content still using the RM2 ruleset. A third iteration of that process seems hard to imagine.
So where does that leave a new, revised Master Atlas? Last spring I wrote a blog post on this subject, but now with the Rolemasterblog having new readers and another year gone by in the RMU development process I thought I would revisit this topic.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! (here in the USA). We are winding down another year at Rolemasterblog so maybe Peter will do a “Year in Review”? We have lot’s of ongoing projects and some cool stuff planned for 2018. Personally, I have so many irons in the fire it’s feeling a bit overwhelming! I thought I would do a quick overview from my persective:
The original Rolemaster probably ignored a few key class tropes in their original work. Paladins comes to mind of course, but in my mind one of the most important is the Shaman!
If Clerics/Priests are defined as members of an organized religion, than perhaps we can define a Shaman as a leader of a decentralized or non-organized religion. Maybe the society or group worships a local god, or a real god under an avatistic identity, but the belief system lacks the more coherent structure and trappings of an organized religious institution. If you are gaming in a “classic” fantasy setting, you’ll probably have, or encounter a variety of primitive societies: Orcs, Goblins, barbaric tribes etc. These groups will most definitely have a version of a “Cleric”, but different than the type found in Rolemaster that casts Absolutions and Channels.
Brian got in there first with his Happy Halloween From BriH post. He signs off by saying that “I know all of us at Rolemasterblog have a lot of work in store for the coming year.” This was timely as on Saturday we released our first mini supplement. I say mini as it is a single page adventure hook. This one was written by BriH and edited by Edgcltd, published by Azukail Games and sold on RPGnow. Now it only costs 50¢ but that is not the point.
Earlier this year, I blogged about the concept of players channeling power and or spells to “followers”. To me, this was a natural progression of the original Channeling Skill & Spells found in the earliest versions of Rolemaster. I was always intrigued by the channeling concept in RM, but we never, ever used it in any of our games. It’s a powerful concept, especially for game system in the early days of RPG’s, but the game mechanics were clunky and the upside benefit during gameplay was never really clear.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Weekend Roundup” of interesting articles and news that might be RPG related, a good Shadow World hook or inspire a GM or player. Lots of good stuff since my last one…Shall we begin?
Banished to the Void? Does anyone know what’s going on?
How do the peoples of Kulthea see the Flows of Essaence?
Here in my home state of Maine! 50 skill ranks in boatbuilding?
Is feeding an army even an issue with “Create Food”?
A mixed bag of stuff this weekend; a combination of Random Musings, Weekend Roundup and Commentary on Rolemaster, Shadow World, news, and my projects in the queue.
- One is the loneliest number. Excluding Rolemasterblog.com and RMForums, are there any consistent blogs out there on Rolemaster or Shadow World? A quick search only shows 1 or 2 posts in 2017 (see THIS ONE, an interesting take even if I don’t agree with much of it). Part of this can probably be explained by the lack of RM players and partly by the effort needed to maintain new content and postings to stay relevant. Even Grognardia burned out after an impressive output of posts. User habits are changing and I wonder if the “Forum” template used by ICE is as relevant or appealing to younger consumers.
Vignettes. These small story bits were originally used in the Iron Wind and have been a mainstay in subsequent Shadow World books. I think the use of vignettes as journal entries, 1st person narratives, or book excerpts really breathes life into Shadow World. Glancing though the books you can see the start of Kalen and Jad that Terry spun into a full length book, The Loremaster Legacy. Take this short narrative found in the Master Atlas p. 152:
I’m fine tuning my “Legends of Shadow World” adventures and debating the mechanics of firearms used by some particular nasty Demon Warriors: basically a large caliber gatling gun! Here is what I used:
Gϋthϋraxx Auto Gun
Weighing 22lbs and 42” long, this ornate hand held rotary gun is the preferred weapon of Gϋthϋraxx Shock Troops. The guns are ornate constructions with a bulbous receiver, curved metal stock and a cylindrical clip of grey/black metal.