Category Archives: Shadow World

Where to Start in Shadow World. How about Gryphon College in Jaiman?

Shadow World is well stocked with interesting groups and organizations: Navigators, Loremasters, the Iron Wind, Cult of Stars, the list goes on and on. But what organization might be accessible to, and make for a good starting foundation for starting players?

Tucked into the module Jaiman, the Land of Twilight is a good candidate: Gryphon College. Gryphon College is a small monastic school that hides a secret: the institution is a façade for an intel gathering and strike team force working against the Unlife. The college hosts around 100 students, but a smaller elite group of 14 make up the Gryphons. It’s assumed that the college draws from the student body to staff this force.

Legends of Shadow World: Building a 50th level adventure group.

Tuesday night my gaming group ran the first chapter of the 50th level adventure I’ve been working on. Overall, it’s a 3-part adventure: chapter 1 is the introduction, in chapter 2 the plot is revealed (mostly) and chapter 3 is the grand finale. Each chapter takes different skills and strategies, but based on Tuesday’s game I’m not sure the current group can survive and make it to the end!

Weekend Roundup: May 5th 2017

I’m straight out with projects, but I wanted to get something posted today to maintain our 1 post/day goal for this month! After this month, for the summer, I expect we’ll slow the posting frequency for the next few months so we can finalize the 50in50 adventure challenge and get some other files finished. This would be a good time for guest bloggers, so if you have any interest reach out to Peter.

Every news article is an RPG idea!

If this is true, how much power in a Dragon bite?

Gun Powder in Shadow World.

So, I’ve introduced gun powder to Shadow World. Part of this is based on hints that Terry has made in various SW products and the other is my integration of “Alchemy” into my rule set. I’ve already established that the Essaence affects covalent and ionic bonds (which explains magical materials) and Kulthea is not rich with reactive minerals.

Gun Powder is interesting, unpredictable, and not necessarily a game changer in a world with Elemental Magic, but technology is still progressing. I like the steampunk opportunities in Shadow World, and I like the “Musketeers” angle that can be created by combining simple guns with sword play.

50th level adventures in Rolemaster. Does it work?

50th lvl…the mythical pinnacle of roleplaying achievement. I vaguely recall 1sted. D&D and I don’t recall 50th lvl (maybe it was 20th in that game system?). I do remember looking through Rolemaster for the very first time and thought the 50th lvl spells were so crazy—and cool! It opened up a world of possibilities. After that, MERP modules continued to introduce VHL (very high level) NPCs that continued pushing this perception of Rolemaster: deadly, complex and high level. After that…Shadow World. Again, the inference was that this was a high fantasy world, only populated by incredibly powerful NPCs and organizations.

Rolemasterbloggery: Happy Anniversary–to ME!

It completely escaped my notice until today, but April 26th was 1 year since my first post on Rolemasterblog.com. Since that first blog I was able to put up 114 posts in 12 months–almost 1 blog post every 3 days! I’m not sure how long I can continue that pace; part of the reason Peter and I would like to see other contributors on the blog (plus it’s nice to have new voices, thoughts and viewpoints).

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.

Monks kick butt. Meta-physical or not.

It’s no secret that Monks are my favorite profession. From the early days of AD&D to the later days of Rolemaster, when I have been a player it’s always been Caylis the Monk. As I have mentioned before, I like the independence of the Monk—a class that uniquely breaks the whole trope of the balanced party. Monks don’t need equipment (10’ pole, oil flasks or iron spikes), don’t need armor or weapons, have stealth, resistance to disease and poison and can hit as a magic weapon…WAIT…just had an AD&D flashback….

RPG Maps. A new tech solution?

In my opinion, maps and layouts are the linchpin of RPG’s and adventures. While you could argue that form follows narrative, it is possible, and perhaps easier to build a story around a map than it is to come up with a story first. Peter touched upon this with his decahedron blog post: how many of you thought to use this great 3d layout?

I am a poor artist, mapmaker and layout illustrator–that’s fine when my group never sees the source doc, but a horrible handicap when creating products for print!  My perfect solution would be to find an artist that can create awesome maps and layouts and I can fill in the content. What I call the “Elton/Bernie” solution. Unfortunately, I have yet to find my art muse…

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.