Category Archives: Shadow World

Legends of Shadow World. Player Introduction.

Von l’edor, First Secretary to the High Scion hastily adjusted his robes and consulted his schedule book once again. This meeting was high unusual; unscheduled with no information provided to his office. He hoped his last-minute apologies to the Delgaran Trade Delegation would suffice; the Laan merchants were generally insufferable and easy to offend. He made a notation to provide them with a cask of Vermillion House Red—a rare vintage that should appease their egos.

Random Musings. Very High Level Adventures. Is “Balance” even possible?

This coming Tuesday (last night when this post is published) I’ll be running the final chapter to my 5 part series: Legends of Shadow World. The last chapter could be a stand alone adventure but is the denouement to the adventure path, typing up a lot of loose threads and presenting the group with an incredibly powerful adversary.

I’ve been parsing some data from the previous 4 sessions and feedback from the other 2 test groups (chapter 1) and will probably run my group through the series again. It won’t have the surprise/reveal elements from their first iteration, but we’ll be able to have a more open analysis during game play.

Legends of Shadow World Pt 4. The Plains of Despair.

Due to a vacation it’s been a few weeks since out last session playtesting our “Legends of Shadow World” tourney series for 50th lvl characters. Last night the group reconvened for Chapter 4: “The Plains of Despair” (or alternatively The Fortress of the Dread Lord).

Narrative wise, it felt a bit broken; the PC’s got killed or beaten badly in Chapter 3 and the few weeks off disrupted the story line. However this is playtesting, so the group was brought back to life, I doled out some moderate damage, adjusted hits, PPs and item charges etc and sent them on their way through a Portal.

A few thoughts on a sunday afternoon.

  1. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming 50 in 50 project that we’ve been working on. It’s easy to get caught up in optional rules, RMU reviews and game mechanics at the expense of writing or discussing actual gaming content!  Personally, coming up with 25 short adventures or encounters that had an interesting hook was a challenging creative exercise. Peter and I had all of the outlines done in 2 months and are now working on the final edits. I’ve blogged about it before, but RM would be better served if there were more ready to play adventures being published. In related news, I think our next challenge: 5 adventures for 50th level has turned out to be a great exercise!

RMU – to infinity and beyond!

There was a comment to my last post that read:

The challenge I see with RMU as opposed to RM2 is the apparent lack of willingness to look beyond fantasy (and even then it’s their definition of fantasy). RM has always suffered (IMO) from the lack of a solid, accessible setting, and RMU just seems to accelerate that trend. They also took steps (especially in the combat system) to render it almost useless for non-magic settings if you leave it RAW. The flexibility that came with RM2 (and even RMSS in its own way) seems to be disappearing.

Project BASiL: Mentalism Spells & Misc.

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?

Blogging Shall Resume!

Back from a great trip to Iceland! Not sure if Peter feels the same way, but it gave me a great “Iron Wind” vibe and the landscape was certainly surreal and fantastic.

Lots going on to finalize the upcoming 50 in 50 adventure hooks and the 50th level adventures so I’ll be posting once or twice a week for the rest of the summer so I can focus on these other projects.

Managing the narratives in your Shadow World or RPG Campaign.

Unless you are running single session, one-off adventures, you probably have three layers of narratives in your Shadow World campaign: your immediate adventure plot, the regional politics and power and then the world overview/timeline. If you enjoy world building, or are using a comprehensive setting like Shadow World, you want your group to discover the details of the setting. But much of the disclosure has a longer-term payoff when the PCs reach higher levels of power. Coordinating these narrative layers is like building a house—you lay the “foundation” and then erect the structure, brick by brick, floor by floor.

Legends of Shadow World pt3: The %#!@ hits the fan.

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Last night the group attempted Chapter 3 of “Legends of Shadow World”. It did not go well. The session only ended up being 2.5 hours with 3 out 5 players killed and the other two “tapping out” since they could see the writing on the wall. This section was just too hard, and there are still 2 more! However, there is a gap between C4 and C5 where the group can rest, heal and gear up for the final confrontation.

Elves, Elves, Everywhere! Elves in Shadow World and fiction.

RMU has established a tool kit that balances out race, class and creature creation by assigning DP values to skills, abilities and attributes. It’s very detailed and typical RM!  A currently running thread on the RM Forums is about Race balance, and more specifically Elves.

We discussed Elves here on the RolemasterBlog, and it’s also a common topic on RPG blogs as well. It seems like people either love or hate em! However, if you look through the various games or popular fiction, Elves can vary quite a bit, differentiated from the foundational trope established by Tolkien.