A mixed bag of thoughts

Rolemaster Unified Character Law Cover

I am still trying to come to a happy solution about the Aioskoru wiki. The problem is not the content but the navigation and guaranteeing the continuity with the other sources.

For the time being as and when I have time over the next few weeks I will transpose everythng from the google site to the wiki.

I am still working on Melos for that game world as well.

I also need to write up 5 taverns in graphic detail for a group of friends. This weekend i think I contributed about 12 words in total so I am not really pulling my weight there!

Over on the ICE Forums Beta 2 still rumbles on but it strikes me that very little play testing is actually happening. It is mostly the same old voices grumling about their personal gripes. This does not help pick up flaws in the system.

I have not managed to actually play test the rules myself so I cannot criticise anyone else for not doing what I didn’t do. I have introduced as much of the RMU rules into my RMC game as I could fit and what I have noticed is that they have improved the game. These include RMU experience, the vocational skill, rapid skill development and Skills as Lore.

the promblem facing me at the moment is that I am already stretched for time and I want to run a HARP game and a RMU Beta game and I cannot see where I am going to fit it in.

I think that Beta 3 is needed or at least an update to Beta 2 to reflect the changes that have been announced so far. If we had that update then the motivation to start a test group would be strong. If we had that it would pay me to go back over the rules and see how much more could I inject into the current game to test. My PBP group are all still first level and it would be worth suggesting converting the characters over to the new rules. That would kill two birds with one stone of getting a play test group going and not increasing the demands on my time.

All of my Aioskoru content is made available under the Open Gaming License.


I have spent part of today trying to figure out the best way to help with the Aioskoru project. The main driver behind Aioskoru is Kwickam from the ICE forums. He has set up a Google site as he was finding using a forum thread too cumbersome but I feel that any static website will suffer the same limitations.

My first thought was for a wiki. I can of course host a wiki here simply by installing a wiki plugin and it would be up and running in minutes. I did this today but I was not very satisfied with the results. I am thinking that maybe using wordpress pages is the answer and allow the public to comment below them. We could then have any number of editors to take the comments and build them in to the pages. I am not sure if that will offer any advantage over what the Google site can offer. It will also men that there is one version of the world on Google and a second on the blog and the two will diverge. You really want to keep all your development happening in one place not split over two or more sites.

I have been working on a region of Aioskoru to be added into the world. This is a human village community called Melos that lives in partnership with the Morimanus (merfolk). The whole thing is based upon the village of Zennor, not far from me, which is famous for the legend “The Mermaid of Zennor“.

I will continue to build up this little corner of Aioskoru over the next couple of weeks.

All of my Aioskoru content is made available under the Open Gaming License.

How do you like them odds?

The party in my table top game, you probably know, are a cleric, sorceress, warrior mage, elemental warrior and a mystic. In game terms the best fighters are actually semi spell users plus we have two hybrids and a pure spell user. The cleric and mystic are at present fulfilling the role of healer because they have no dedicated healer as such. The cleric can do magical healing and the mystic is the best herbalist.

In the last weekend the party had the option of taking the safe way around the woods or the dangerous way though the woods. No the party would not be real adventurers if they took the safe route would they?

Only a day in to the forest they came across the burnt remains of a wagon caravan and a little way off their slaughtered horses. They also managed to alert a couple of scouts looking for fresh victims. The party killed one but another escaped.

The banditry this time was being done by kobolds. I rather wanted to see how the party would fair against superior numbers. As characters they have not had much time to gell together and work out decent tactics and they had not really done much fighting yet either.

So half a dozen kobolds started to match pace with the party to the left of the road and another six to the right of the road. Seconds later two kobolds mounted on wolves broke cover ahead of the party and faced them down the road. The kobolds at this point had every intention to negotiate. Pitched battles were not their thing and being paid off to not fight suited them down to the ground.

Negotiation was not on the parties agenda. The lead kobold did not even get a chance to give his ultimatum. The warrior mage fired a sleep spell up the road. The cleric summoned a large crocodile and dropped it in amongst the kobold file on the left and the sorceress case vacuum amongst the kobolds to the right.

So at the start of the battle the five characters are facing 14 kobolds plus two wolves. Three to one odds in Rolemaster are not good odds to have against you.

I had told the players the wolf riders were about 100′ up the road and Surion the warrior mage announced he was going to cast sleep. (range 100′). I decided the range would be 90+2d10 feet and luckily for him they fell just inside the range. Not so luckily they made their resistance rolls.

The vacuum spell was more effective. It stunned three of the kobolds on one flank. It didn’t take any of them out but the kobolds were armed with light crossbows and it comletely disrupted their volley of bolts turning it into some sporadic fire.

On the other side of the track the crocodile landed amongst the kobolds and that drew most of their fire and certainly upset them.

Now we had the gods turn against the party. The warrior mage and the elemental warrior are actually doing OK. Another sleep spell goes off and takes out a the wolf riders. The elemental warroir is crashing through the undergrowth to engage the kobolds axe in one hand and sword in the other. The sorceress fumbles her spell casting roll but fortuneately only fails to cast the spell but keeps her power points. The cleric doesn’t bother trying to control the crocodile, just lets it do its thing now the kobolds are fighting it and decided to try and summon a second one to fight along side them. Bolts fly into the camp and one buries itself deeply into the clerics chest ad he is gushing blood.

The warriors try and chase down kobolds who are not really up for a fight against heavily armed and armoured warriors. Some of the previously stunned kobolds start to recover and loose off their crossbow bolts. The mystic decides to do her Florence Nightingale act and needs to get that bold out of the cleric so they can stop the bleeding. The cleric had just summoned a second large crocodile directly in front of himself which is now uncontrolled maybe it was the scent of blood or maybe it was a random dice roll but whatever the reason the croc turns on its summoner and starts snapping at the poor old cleric. the sorceress fails to cast another vacuum spell. Fast casting while low level is proving to be a challenge. The next crossbow bolt flying into camp and takes out the mystic transfixing her arm and pinning it to her chest.

The cleric is now losing blood in gushes, he is desperately trying to get control of his crocodile. The sorceress fails to case a third vacuum spell! The croc in the woods is doing terribly as well but it is at least keeping the enemy on that side pinned down. Another sleep spell does off and more kobolds fall and the warriors are fully in melee now. This is where the kobolds lack of armour and physical hardiness tell against them. Finally the sorceress gets a vacuum spell to fire and she stuns and wounds a couple of kobolds.

So the fight went on. The mystic shook off the stun from the hit on her and she managed to get some healing sove on to the clerics wound just before he colapsed. The sorceress gave up trying to kill kobolds, I think due to a lack of power points, and joined the cleric and the mystic. The mystic was bleeding heavily and so everyone was trying to first aid everyone else and the few herbs that were easily appliable were used up. It took four rounds I think for the cleric to finally get full control of the crocodile and at that point the kobolds were pretty much broken. Their tactic of striking from three sides with wave after wave of bolts obviously was not working and fighting what appeared to be heavily armed wizards (from the kobolds point of view) was not in the plan.

At the end of the fight I think only four kobolds got away alive. It cost the party dear in herbs and they were largely drained of magic to boot. It doesn’t hurt to hit the party hard, even in a casual encounter eespecially this early in their careers. It will I hope make them gell better as a team and it helps them figure out their limits. For me as GM the kobolds were on a par OB and DB-wise with the weakest members of the party and well below the ability of the warriors. The kobolds were two levels lower than the party members which should have given the party the edge in terms of resistance rolls. It also set the precident of fighting many foes from many directions which is something I like to do.

All in all I think it was a good fight and a good test of their abilities. The encounter was also converted over from a Forgotten Realms encounter and for once I did not tone down the numbers of creatures.

That was just a causual encounter next time we meet they should be gettng stuck in to their first real adventure!

I cannot help but be impressed by the RMU Dev Team

Rolemaster Unified Character Law Cover

Firstly I do not envy the dev team on bit. If you have a hard core player community that have ben playing the same game pretty much for 30 years or more and then you wan tto come along and ‘improve’ it then you are on a hiding to nothing in my opinion.

Now I think I am a pretty reasonable guy, I know and love RM2 (which is obviously and clearly the best version of Rolemaster every written and I am not in the slightest bit biased at all) but I have bought and embraced RMC and I can see it is an improvement. I have bought HARP and I can see good things in that as well. Rolemaster Unified on the other handis a pretty big departure from what has gone before.

The public beta testing is mostly been carried out by that hardcore community which I am not sure is a good thing. We are all too opinionated if you aks me. If you follow the discussions they are 1% reported issue and 99% suggested fixes with two or more arm chair designers expounding on their own vision of how the game should be played.

What has impressed me though is the number of, and the speed with which it seems to happen, changes the dev team are prepared to make.  One would have thought that even prior to play test the devs would have had a fairly well developed concept of what the game should lok and play like. To accept the level of change they have speaks very highly of them I think. I know damn well they will not please all of the members of the community ut that was never going to be possible and I am pretty sure they knew that. There were two bits of RMU I didn’t like and one has been changed and the other is pretty minor and I will either learn to live with it or ignore it.

The best thing from my personal point of view is that without RMU I would never have discovered HARP. I knew it existed of course but I would never have bought into the rules. I want to buy myself HARP SF next but that is another story.

Well that was quite a game session!

If it takes you over a week to get over a gaming weekend then I guess that is a a good sign? Last Saturday we had what was most likely the best roleplaying session in 10 years and it all happened by accident.

I have a character in my game that is a sorcerer. The impression I got when the character was created was that the character had started out on wrong track with a bit of a viscious streak. that had led to the being encouraged to get out of town. I was expecting the character to then go on a voyage of self discovery and learning before emerging as one of the good guys.

So far there is no sign of any self discovery going on. This may be  a problem in the long run as the player knows that I do not allow evil player characters in my game. I have nothing against evil characters if they are played well but normally it just degenerates into petty point scoring against the other players. We will see where this goes. I have to give the player as long as they need to develop their characters.

Now as it happens the evil sorcerer was the root cause of another players brilliant roleplaying. The Warrior Mage (Surion) in the group managed to upset the Sorcerer (Silena). Silena retaliated by surrepticiously casting Neurosis on Surion giving him a neurosis about drinking beer. Spell casting rolls were made and resistance rolls failed and as the party were in a forest heading north to Daggerdale, days from the nearest town (Serpend Bridge)  and had no beer there was no immediate effect.

Two days later the party arrive at the first inn they have encountered not far from the forests edge. The party order food and drinks and I pass Surion’s player a note saying simply “You feel very uncomfortable about drinking the beer.”. I get an immediate note back saying “What?” and I reply with “It is just a feeling but you really do not want to drink the beer.”

The player then took it and ran with it. Entirely in character, he was asking around the other characters if they were happy with their drinks, getting people to sniff his beer to see if they could detect anything untoward and so on. As it happens the party had been hearing rumours of a sleeping sickness in the lands further up the road. Two and two were put together and a general assumption was assumed that the illness was probably being caused by the beer. At every inn nd tavern enquiries were made as to who made the beer, the recipies being used. Was it the water that was the common linking factor? The party changed their drinking habits to mead and wine and avoiding beer.

At no point did I have to direct the player or invoke the rules around the neurosis spell itself as the player did it all naturally and all on their own.

It is almost a pity that the beer wasn’t contaminated and the cause of the illness as that would have been quite a good plot line in it’s own right but as it is the party definitely have the wrong end of the stick and are running with it.

I can’t wait until the next game session.

New World – Aioskoru

I wanted to raise a bit of awareness of Aioskoru. This is an Open Game Content project currently being developed on the ICE Forums. As you may or may not know RMU is a worldless system that you can adapt to fit most game worlds. What you get is a highly flexible system of races, character creation, creatures & monsters, treasure, combat and magic but all of it adaptable to any setting. What you don’t get is a default setting. That is where Aioskoru comes in.

The project has been started on the ICE forums and anyone can join in. Right now the solar system and planet is being detailed out and so are the natural resources. If you are in any way interested in RMU or Rolemaster then now is a chance to contribute something to a new game setting that could become the planet of choice for RMU.

The first Aioskoru world map
The first Aioskoru world map

Personally I have not contributed much. I am not good with planet sized projects. Give me a town or a vollage and I can design away to my hearts content but planets are just a bit too big to swallow. That is why I think massively collaborative projects work so well.

If you do only one thing Rolemasterish this week why not make a small contribution Aioskoru project?

There will be no blog post on Friday I suspect. I am travelling most of the morning and gaming most of the afternoon and evening and the entire weekend. There is a fair chance there will be nothing on Monday either if I am sleeping!

All of my Aioskoru content is made available under the Open Gaming License.