There was a comment to my last post that read:
This is a bit of a gloomy post but if you don’t like it skim down to the ‘…and finally’ which hopefully is a bit more fun!
Over the decades I have bought a great many role playing games. Many of them, or most of them, got played once and are now just on top of a wardrobe. The death blow for all of these games was either I didn’t enjoy running it or my players didn’t want to play it.
It doesn’t matter which side doesn’t want to play, if either withdraws their support the game is dead.
This actually took place a while ago now but what with Christmas and the #12daysofRolemaster this post got pushed back somewhat. My playtest player is back from university soon and it suddenly dawned on me that I never posted this write up. It was also useful to me to come back up to speed with where Gao is.
We left Gao out cold after losing a sword fight with a couple of assassins. Unbeknownst to Gao the assassins had left him for dead. The Emperor had used the body of the assassin that Gao had disabled to cover himself with fresh blood and had played dead. Eventually the assassins had been discovered by the palace guards, the alarm raised and a running battle ensued as the assassins attempted to flee though the Forbidden City.
There is an ongoing discussion on the RMU beta test forum over weapon sizes. How do you handle a halfling wielding a trolls dagger? Is the dagger a shortsword or a broadsword to the halfling. Does the fact that it was made for different hands make a difference to how you wield the weapon? There were complications where using an under or oversized weapon such as a undersized two handed weapon may be more effective than using a one handed weapon specifically made for you race. So all your human warriors are using halfling two handed swords rather than broadswords.
<I have a horrible feeling that is a miss-quote from Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady>
I have been thinking a lot about my Rolemaster feeder system rules and I think I can build two systems one for 4yrs to 8yrs and one for 9yrs to 12yrs. It took the example criticals that BriH suggested (“Bam!! Foe hit in face and forced to blink for 1 rnd”, “Kapow!! Foe is disarmed”) and some comments by Edgcltd to give me the inspiration.
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.
Brian and I both share the same philosophy when it comes to skills, less is more. Meta skills are a way of having less skills that enable your characters do more.
More is less
The more skills you have in your game the less capable the characters are. If there are only 40 skills and a character can afford to buy 10 plus some body development, weapons and perception then they have 25% of all the skill bases covered.
If you have 100 skills in your game and they can afford to buy 10 skills then the character has only 10% of all the bases covered.
I am spending the day travelling today. I was up at the crack of dawn to get the train to London and right now I am sat in Caffè Nero at Heathrow terminal 5 waiting for my flight to Switzerland. Initially I thought I may end up missing my Friday article this week. One the Iron Crown forum there is a discussion going on about allowing a character to change professions.
Professions are so ‘loaded’ in Rolemaster that I knew this would turn into one of those rambling threads.
I really like Brian’s take on skills where the number of ranks has an important role to play as well as the total bonus.
As I see it there are four types of skill roll in Rolemaster.
All or nothing.
This is the classic pass or fail test. You either heard the cocking of the crossbow or you didn’t. In RM2/RMC you need a total of 101+ to succeed in RMSS/RMFRP it is 111+ (which always struck me as a weird number if eleventy-one works for you then who am I to argue.)
Progress towards a goal
I have been doing a bit of homebrew rules writing this week and I have taken bits and bobs of other games and mashed them all together to get a set of rules that did a particular job. It isn’t rolemaster so doesn’t belong here but bits of rolemaster ended up in what I was doing.
Now if you take bits of different games you get different mechanics and different ways of doing the same thing. In rolemaster particularly RM2 if you look at how skills work you you get different ways of doing things in the same game!