This week I have been mainly studying Forgotten Realms realmslore. I must admit I am quite impressed.
I have one face to face group that meet three times a year for a long weekend of gaming and this summer I am going to start a pbp game set in and around Waterdeep and the North. The idea is to move the face to face group up into the north so that they are adventuring in the same region.
I have covered a lot about the different spell casters and fighters so here is something about rolemaster thieves.
We have a sliding scale with the more violent at one end and then less violent the other. On that scale then the thieving classes pretty much fall into the order that I listed them in the title. The rogue is almost a cross over between fighter and thief, they get the best (cheapest) weapon skill costs at the expense of some of the subterfuge skills. They can still learn them but they are a little more expensive.
This is a preview of
Rolemaster Rogues, Thieves, Burglars and the Nightblade
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Question:What are the differences between a european-esque knight, a centurion, a samurai and a viking berserker?
Answer:What the player wanted to get out of the game.
In Rolemaster there are two approaches to getting exactly the PC you had in mind. The first is the hard earned cash version where you go out and buy all the Rolemaster companions and build the character to the profession as defined in those books. There will be as many companions for the new RMU as there is demand for and there are more companions for RM2/RMC/RMSS/FRP than any sane person requires (but we are roleplayers so we have them all).
It is easy to build almost any kind of fighter in Rolemaster but you should not be blinkered, there can be a lot of cross over between the different types of non-spell caster. Is a pirate a fighter with some maritime skills who steals things or a thief that likes to fight first and ask questions later? In Rolemaster the answer is which ever you want to play it.
Armour skills are increasingly expensive as the armour gets heavier which means that if you want to play a light, nimble warrior then what you save in armour costs you can spend on other skills. A platemailed knight will spend more on armour but probably would not be spending points on acrobatics and tumbling.
I have spent most of this month telling you how Rolemaster spell casters are streets ahead of their D&D couterparts… wait until you see a Rolemaster figher in action.
My memories of playing D&D fighters was something like:
Round 1, Kobold hits you, take damage, roll to hit, roll damage, kobold is dead.
Round 2, Kobold misses you, roll to hit, roll damage, kobold is dead.
The spell casters from two out of the three realms of magic, essence and channeling, have relatively simple to learn ways of storing power in inanimate objects. There is a fourth ‘realm’ known as Arcane that can be utilsed by any realm that also has this ability if and only if as a GM you choose to use this option from Rolemaster Companion One. As a rule and for the purposes of this post I am going to assume you are only using the four core books (Character Law, Spell Law, Arms Law and Creatures & Treasures) and therefore mentalists do not have this ability.
I think that the variety of spell casters that Rolemaster provides makes the system very flexible. The profession you choose defines not only the spell lists available but the skills that profession is inclined to buy, illusionists are observant, mystics subtle, mentalists are a bit gungho. The spell lists open to each profession also help define that profession, obviously. If Rolemaster stopped there then it is possible that all magicians would end up the same, all clerics the same and so on.
I remember when I first saw Spell Law, the rolemaster magic rule book, I was not overly impressed. When dealing with magic my background was largely D&D with the hundreds of PHB spells and probably an equal number of add on spells from Dragon magazine and from the backs of modules and such. Spell Law and the Rolemaster magic system takes a bit of getting used to but if you leave your preconceptions at the door it is an amazing system.
Interestingly I have noticed that my fellow GM and I have been discussing magic users of all varieties and how they get their spell lists and on the Rolemaster forums there has been a rather heated debate on the new RMU and about how the spells that spell casters can cast define the archetype of that magic using profession and whether they should be able to learn lists normally reserved for other types of spell caster.
Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun is a major player in the culture of Waterdeep. He is described in the source material as interfering in events often years into the future. To this end ‘my’ Blackstaff is going to be a Seer.
The sourcebooks describe him as just a ‘magic user’ but Rolemaster gives you plenty of different types of magic user to choose from. There are three realms of magic. The Eassence is Mystra’s Weave, Channeling is power derived from your god or deity and mentalism is that inner magic controlled by the mind of the caster. We are in Jedi territory with the mentalists!