Innovation Incubator: New Rule Ideas for Rolemaster or d100 game systems.

Ok, I’m going to dip my toe back into rules! Rather than me present my ideas I thought I would call upon the readers and writers to offer up suggestions on new rules. Today I want to solicit ideas for four rules that have undergone several revisions, companions, house-ruled and now addressed in RMU. I’m looking for simple, elegant ideas that fit into the current engine and make sense. RMU introduces various combat expertises that allow that skill bonus to offset a combat style’s penalty. AT first I loved the idea but now I’m really not a fan. RMU does have some good solutions for other issues…. Anyway, looking for novel approaches–explain why it works but identify any failings as well. Let’s begin:

  1. Two Weapon Combo. The mere fact that 2WC allows a player 2 attacks makes it a compelling option. RM offered 2WC as a skill equal to the combined skill cost acquisition, provided for a “off-hand” penalty but there are still many complication. Can a Dual Wield attack 2 different opponents? If so, what is the penalty? How far apart can the targets be? How does parry get allocated? Does the wielder develop one weapon in the main hand, and the other in the off hand, but must use the 2 only in combination? Can the wielder use just a single weapon with the normal bonus? Should weapon and shield fall under the same rules as Dual Wield?
  2. Mounted Combat. So RM kept this simple: your riding skill bonus acted as a percentage applied to your weapon skill bonus. That’s not a bad solution really, but doesn’t take into account some weapons relative ineffectiveness when used mounted. Another option is to have the weapon skill specify that it’s specific to mounted combat–but that doesn’t take into account a player taking “mounted combat-weapon” and not taking any riding skill whatsoever.
  3. Weapon Kata. I won’t even get into the optional rules in RM1/2. The real question is weapon kata really a thing? Is a martial artist using a spear any different than a fighter using a spear? Should a MA with striking ranks be allowed to do additional damage when wielding a kata weapon that is 2 handed? RMU deals with this by allowing different attacks with different weapons…spear & fist in this example. Not bad but it’s not a martial art weapon kata–more a universal solution for multiple attacks.
  4. Shield. Now that Shield is a viable attack option should it be treated as a second weapon? Should it be a stand alone skill that can be combined with any weapon is the other hand or should it be trained specifically with another question. Should you still get the shield bonus if you attack with the shield? Personally, I think RMU mostly nailed this, but I’m still thinking it needs to be tightened up.

As continues to publish adventures we are going to develop a short-hand lingo for versatile stat blocks and character attributes. Even though game rules are not protected IP, I have my own S.W.A.R.M. ruleset, Peter has developed a great reductionist stat block and all of us are working on a “Universal” language that is easily adapted to d100. I’m interested how our work will connect with Zeihander and other competing works. A simple solution for these would be great when utilizing other d100 rule sets. These aren’t obscure or niche issues: dual wield, mounted combat, shield use and even martial arts weapons are really core abilities in fantasy lexicons.

There may already be a good solution in all the various rules iteration. RMU may already have solved it to your satisfaction. However, if you have a novel idea, or just a glimpse of one that you haven’t worked out yet, please comment.