Combat realism in Rolemaster & RMU. Good, bad, neither?

Interesting writing over on “Takeonrules

By this time, I had been playing Rolemaster and Dungeons & Dragons, games that placed a tremendous amount of rules explanation on combat and fighting.  And I maintain that by placing emphasis on combat, combat is more likely to occur.

Blog Post worth a read. Thoughts? I haven’t spent much time on 5th Ed., but I get the impression that the focus has deliberately changed to support role-playing and narrative rather than combat. Other new games like Monte Cooks Cypher System are paving the way for new role-playing narrative forms.

Is RM and RMU chasing down the rabbit hole for ever greater combat realism?

9 Replies to “Combat realism in Rolemaster & RMU. Good, bad, neither?”

  1. I would say that Pathfinder has still got a pretty heavy focus on combat, and that’s still pretty popular – I don’t know how it and 5E stand in popularity at the moment.

    One thing I thought of earlier today was that maybe ICE should take a leaf from its origins, and make an addon for Pathfinder, or 5E, making combat more realistic in them. That’s where it started, and it might bring people into the game.

      1. Oh heck, no. It’s basically D&D 3.75, as it was developed from 3.5. It’s an awful lot more complicated than AD&D – so much so I struggled to grasp it on the first read through, and I’d used D&D, AD&D and AD&D 2nd Edition. Only last stages 2nd Edition comes close to the complexity level, if you use everything from the Complete Guides. And that’s just out of the box with the Core Rulebook, let alone all the official and third party material around. If you can understand Pathfinder, you can cope with Rolemaster, I’d say it’s extremely difficult to run combat without miniatures, or a VTT, as well.

    1. Haven’t they missed the boat on that idea? I am sure you can buy packs of critical cards that replace the double damage on a natural 20 type rules. That gives Pathfinder and D&D the graphic effects of Rolemaster without needing a bolt on combat system.

      1. You can, and those are also available in app form too. From what I recall, the system is much less in depth – get a critical, roll d20 for the critical, use the result. A Rolemaster-type system would be more in depth.

          1. I agree that they are much simpler but as they are an add on they add flavour or colour without adding complexity.

            The point is that such a simple device cold destroy or cannibalise any market for such an combat add on.

            1. That’s probably true, but different people are interested in different levels of complexity. The Pathfinder marker is comparatively huge (although so is the number of people publishing for it) and I’d say there’s a decent chance that more of it would be interested in such a thing than would be in RMU. It may then push them towards RMU.

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