4th In my opinion the best bit of RMU is…?

Brian: Hands down it’s the size rules (which may be changed or modified). Such a useful tool for scaling deadliness of a creature, spell, object or trap within the rule frame. I understand that many people didn’t like the math, but it really is fantastic.

Peter: This was a hard choice and I am wavering between two possibles. I love the experience rules. I first saw them in HARP and I am really pleased to see them being used as the default rules in RMU. I was using the HARP rules, house ruled into my RMC game but now I am using the RMU rules in their place. My other love is Spell Law, pretty much all of it from the completed spell lists to the use of the spell aquisition skill as spell mastery.

3rd Of all the companions and ‘laws’ which book could you not be without?

Brian: I don’t really use any of them now, but Companion I had a lot of material that could have been “core” or included in RM. Paladin being the most obvious. Arcane magic was ok, but I didn’t feel it was necessary to classify it as a realm. Battlerunes were very cool and we just rolled them into Open Essence at the time.

2nd Best layout/structure in a RM product?

Brian: One of my favorite is Uda Tyygk, in the Iron Wind. Hidden fortress, the Thyfuriak. Very cool. Reminds me of a toy I used to have: the mountain fortress from MAC (mobile action command)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1976-vintage-Matchbox-Mobile-Action-Command-RESCUE-CENTER-playset-Lesney-MAC-/381878473020

Peter: For me it has to be the MERP campaign book Northern Mirkwood. This book has everything, the floor plans vary from the great halls of Erebor to towers and orc holds, every one of them I have reused time and again. The master military charts with every NPC, and class or adverary clearly detailed make off the cuff encounters dead easy and the amount of unique content to make the region really stand out as being different from any other woods or forest. This was also the first MERP campaign book I bought and with my only other experience of ‘modules’ being D&D ones, this book completely changed my concept of what a rpg suppliment could and should be.

1st Is there any cunning plan you can share that you are hoping to spring on your players this year? If you don’t want to spoil it then what was the best cunning plan from the last 12 months?

Brian: My group has been playtesting “Priest-King of Shade” for 2 years now. There are 12 adventures that can be combined into a long adventure path that they are doing and are up to part VI. I went a bit off script and threw a Battle-Priest of Z’taar at them during a particularly tough fight they were having. The Priests are unpredictable—chaos agents really. The Priest attacked their enemies first but then saw one of the players as a “worthy opponent” and switched to attacking that player and the party. Ha! Perhaps not cunning but it was a bit of a shock to the players to deal with a Battle-Priest in full Beserker mode.

31st Best “cool bit” from a RM product?

Brian: I’ve always liked Terry’s magic items. As a Warrior Monk there were very few magic items that I could use, so I really appreciated those. Two of my favorites are in Cloudlords of Tanara:

Fist of Agonar. A spiked gauntlet that destroys doors.

Jarn’s Shurikens. 2 shurikens that hold small red disks that explode as Firbolts 4x damage. The disk is spent but the shurikens return via Long Door.

Peter: My favourite ‘cool bit’ isn’t a thing, it is a monent. It is when you get a new RM book and it has new critical tables and you get to read though the really dangerous fatal wounds for the first time, normally trying not to laugh or smirk and the gory deaths.

30th Your Rolemaster favourite spell (from any list)?

Brian: I’ve always liked the Mystic base list “Hiding” and on it are two cool spells: 14th lvl “Merging” which is a great escape/hide spell and 13th lvl “Flattening” which makes a player 2 dimensions. How cool is that?

Peter: Mass Vibrations I, 13th level Essence Hand. Everyone in your field of vision needs to make an RR every round of fumble their weapon. It is absolutely brilliant and far better than any kind of blade turning. The first time I discovered this spell I was playing an invisible illusionist who cast this followed by a summoning spell that gave me a pair of tigers against a dozen guards. It was carnage and I don’t think any of them survived! Even the lower level spells are cool. In RM you rarely meet massed enemy so Vibrations I as a first level spell is a great defence once your caster reaches 4th or 5th level.

29th The most useful piece of technology (hardware or software) for Rolemaster?

Brian: There are 3 things that are indispensable to my game: iPad which has everything in PDF for reference, tri-fold GM screen and my “noteboard”. www.noteboard.com. I’ve never tried any RM software—I guess I’m too old to learn new tricks.

Peter: I agree with the Tablet PC. I don’t have a GM’s screen but I have created a small PDF with just the few charts that I need for running a game that serves the same purpose. I tend to print the important specific rules that relate to bits of the adventures and insert them into my plot notes at that actual point so I don’t have to access any rulebooks during play.

28th Have you ever regretted allowing an optional rule or house rule into the game?

Brian: “Talents”. Can’t stand any rules that are “one-offs” are turn into crutches that underpin the entire character.

Peter: The extended character background options from RoCoI particularly the Skill at Arms and Skill at Magic. These are prime examples of where a single (un)lucky dice roll can complerely change a character. There is no balancing factor and no relationship between the result of the dice roll and the initial character concept.

27th Best NPC? created or in a module.

Brian: Feldaryn. My favorite NPC was “Feldaryn”, a crazy old man is tattered robes and a long beard. I’m pretty sure it was in a campaign I was running for Matt and his friends (matt, any recollections?). Feldaryn had “found” himself a flying boat (this was pre-SW) and picked up the group. Given his appearance and confident proclamations they all assumed he was a powerful mage or perhaps a god in disguise—the Dragonlance effect. In reality he was crazy, low level and being pursued for stealing the flying boat. The fun was seeing the players agree to almost anything Feldaryn suggested!

26th Your favourite Rolemaster profession (and why)?

Brian: I almost always played a Warrior Monk (Caylis, who is featured in some RMU examples) but occasionally I ran a Rogue. Strangely enough I have never played a spell-caster! I played Monks in D&D as well. I think I like the minimalist and self-reliant nature of the profession: I don’t worry about loot, magic-items, equipment etc. I don’t need weapons to attack or armor for protection. It’s very liberating!

Articles and discussion on Roleplaying in general and various settings including Shadow World, Forgotten Realms and Aioskoru. We talk about pen and paper roleplaying as well as play by post. We have a strong interest in Rolemaster but also play and love other games