I’m curious and interested about exploring niches of Rolemaster and fantasy RPG’s in a novel way–subverting tropes, high level adventures, monsters as PC’s, eliminating the Profession system etc. In my last blog I discussed some one-off adventures I’m working on that consists of a party of “monsters” and both Peter and I have written blogs about certain creatures being classified as a Race or Monster. All of this touches upon whether various creatures or traditional monsters would make good PC’s–a subject I’m looking forward to exploring much like I’m doing with 50th lvl characters.
I sometimes worry that with all the deconstructions and house ruling that we can end up not supporting Rolemaster but character assassinating it.
I also worry a bit about the fact that we all agreed to a non disclosure agreement to not discuss RMU publicly and now that is very much what we do.
I have also been up since 4am and I am not feeling particularly mentally scintillating right now so I want to point out something that may or may not have happened, not with a bang but with a bit of an under the radar whimper.
Imagine you are reading an adventure module for Rolemaster. The adventure describes an ambush by goblins at a river ford. In the details it says ‘There will be two goblins for every character’. In the next encounter, in an outer chamber of the goblin lair the numbers are ‘There will be three more goblins than characters.’
Every encounter describes the strength of the encounter relative to the strength of the adventuring party.
I have spent the weekend thinking about monsters. I have said many times before that I am a monster snob. I think Gelatinous Cubes and Black Puddings are better suited to nouveau cuisine than for battling player characters. I just cannot buy into them.
I think I put my finger on what it is that a monster needs to have for me to want to use them and it comes down to two factors.
Tucked away at the back of different versions of Creatures & Treasures are some interesting little add on chapters. In the first C&T that I owned it has the comversion stats for D&D and Runequest. In the RMC Creatures and Treasures it has guidelines for creating your own monsters.
I am a dab hand at D&D monster conversions as I convert from old FR modules to RM all the time but creating new monsters is not something I have ever done.
There are three immediate uses I can think of for new monsters but I only want to discuss one of them here and now.
Every GM must have a favourite monster. I have played under GMs that loved Orcs and another that loved dragons. In the later’s case in any ‘benefit of the doubt’ call chances are the GM would side with the dragon. With dragons I think that is fine, they are meant to be the top of every food chain and you should take fighting one very seriously and relying on Luck is not a good plan.
These are the two races/creatures I discussed last week as being both tied deeply into Drow culture. These two are in my opinion near perfect low level monsters to throw at beginer parties.
Why? Well if you look at their stats below they have a low OB, low-ish DB and not many hits. So they should in theory be easy to kill. When you are very low level with a poor OB yourself it is in many ways easier to kill a large creature than it is a man-sized one. If you are only doing A & B criticals then the chance of getting a killing blow is probably just 1% but Large criticals are open ended so you have a 5% chance of getting a takedown as any open-ended critical is enough to take out one of these guys.