33, 66, 77

One of the things I really like about RMU is the new 33/77 rule for breakage. The sheer simplicity of the mechanic really appeals to me. The actual check dice roll, d100 OE, fits in with the natural Rolemaster way of doing things, when to trigger the roll is obvious and can add some excitement to combats. The resolution is simple enough, an absolute failure breaks the item, a failure gives a -10, partial success a -5, 101+ no damage. I don’t even need a table for that.

I think having the strength values for weapons on the Arms Law pages for each weapon would be a bonus but that is easily fixed with a pencil notation so no worries there.

I am a massive fan of simplicity and ‘stillness’.

Stillness is achieved when the GM is coping with an unexpected situation without flicking though pages and swapping books trying to find the right rule, chart or loose piece of paper.

If that means having an extra column of numbers or small subsidiary table on the combat chart then I am all in favour.

There is not really much more to say about breakage really, I just thought I would praise where praise was due. It is very easy to criticise things that we don’t like.

Here is a thought for the weekend.

Take your RMU beta Creature Law and read the description of the Doppelganger (PDF page 200). Now isn’t that an entire campaign in its own right!

4 Replies to “33, 66, 77”

  1. The breakage numbers will be on the final attack charts; I’m pretty sure JDale or another of the developers made that clear. They just weren’t on the draft versions of the attack charts (and the attack charts have changed a bit).

    I very much like the new breakage rules. The old rules were so cumbersome that we never used them (and I suspect many other groups did the same).

    I’m not entirely sold on the 33/77 numbers myself though. I think it is easy to forget in the heat of battle and I don’t like to police my players rolls to keep reminding them. I suggested a modification of the rule: instead of rolling breakage on a 33 or 77, you roll breakage on a fumble. I might forget a 33 or 77 in the heat of battle, but I never forget a fumble. It would also make some of the more complicated weapons like a flail easier to break– which I think is relatively realistic.

    One downside would be that fumbles are a bit more catastrophic: not only do you trip over an unseen imaginary turtle, you also break your flail. But overall I’d prefer just to roll breakage on a fumble.

    1. That would make weapons a lot more fragile as well, except daggers, as the 33/77 rules give a 2% chance of a check but fumble ranges tend to be greater.

    2. It’s probably more likely – in real life anyway – that if you fumble you are going to break your weapon. Tripping over that imaginary dead tortoise is much more likely to result in your sword being snapped, but you’d probably go through too many weapons linking it to fumble.

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