BHanson’s 2020 Year in Review.

It’s that time of year where we look ahead to a new year and review what, if anything was accomplished this past year! For me, this was truly a lost year and when I look back at early 2020 blog posts I can barely remember writing them. Strangely, the pandemic and the resulting shut down of my businesses actually freed up a lot of my time; but psychologically it was very hard to write or be creative. So how did the year look?

  1. Blogging. I wrote a total of 27 blog posts; or 1 every other week. Not bad compared to other RGP blogs but not what I would consider amazing output.
  2. Topics. One theme this year was a harder look at various RM Professions. My take on Rangers, Bards, Druids, Warrior Mage, and Mystic. Peter and Hurin added their own posts and I thought it was a fun to have everyone’s perspectives.
  3. Spin Cycle. I’m also a fan of re-purposing MERP modules for Shadow World. The SW “DNA” is imbedded in these early ICE products given that Peter and Terry had their hands in both lines. This year I tackled Umbar (one of my favorite all-purpose supplements), Assassins of Dol Amroth.
  4. Most Engagement. My blog post on the aging RM gamer demographic, “Thoughts on Mortality” garnered 22 responses.
  5. RMU. Another year has come and gone with RMU just around the corner. Will 2021 be the year?
  6. ICE. The ICE website and forums are down again (3 times this year?). This time, the site has been down to the point that google in no longer indexing it for searches! Is that bad? Right now the Blog and the Discord Server seem to be carrying the water for Rolemaster gamers. Personally, I don’t get a lot of utility from Discord, but it seems like a solid resource for gamers seeking games online and the group adventure project appears to be moving along which is encouraging.
  7. Master File List. I had the time to post up a list of most of my uploaded files here on the Blog. I didn’t include the BASiL material, and it needs updates. Unfortunately, most of the links go to the RM Forums, so right now it isn’t that useful.
  8. Other 2020 Completed Projects. From a writing standpoint, 2020 was a below average year for output. I put some finishing touches to Priest-King in May and handed it off to Nicholas for further editing. Will it ever get published? Who knows, but it’s out of my hands. I also posted up a shrapnel/swarm critical chart, a handful more Mentalist spell lists, an Essence list, The Book of Pales, completed the user versions of all 5 chapters of “Legends of Shadow World” and have put out 2 or 3 new adventures for 50 in 50 Pt II. I think the total uploaded output was around 100 pages.

Looking ahead. 2021. I’m already well underway on several new projects and finishing up long gestating ones.

  1. Legends of Shadow World Omnibus. I’d really like to format this for RMU once it’s finalized. I think the new system needs support material and no one has really tackled a 50th lvl adventure for Rolemaster. I’m going to consolidate all 5 chapters, polish things up, add a scoring system for each chapter so it can be used for tournaments and will look into 3rd party artwork and floorplans. I’m happy to pay for the work but I’m always hesitant when it comes to Shadow World material…
  2. Empire of the Black Dragon. This was originally part of Priest-King, but to keep the size reasonable and avoid any serious canonical disputes I split it off. It had been siting at 50 pages for years but I’ve been plugging away at it. Ultimately, it will be Part III following the last adventure of Priest-King and combined with Part I: The City of Nontataku. This module is basically 5 fortresses so it’s layout intensive.
  3. Mentalism. 2021 will be the year for me to put out the rest of BASiL: Mentalism.
  4. 50 in 50 Pt 2. I got off to a slow start but have 10 out of the 25 complete or drafted. I just need to focus on them for a week to catch up.
  5. SW Channeler Players Guide. I’m excited about this–I consolidated all of the SW religious spells, religion material and added more player specific information to help flesh out Priests in Shadow World. It’s averaging 5 pages/diety so it should finish up around 60-80 pages!

So, a look back, a peak ahead. Hopefully we start climbing out of this pandemic over the next few months, ICE gets back up online, RMU is published and Terry finishes up Emer IV. That would be a year.

6 thoughts on “BHanson’s 2020 Year in Review.”

  1. I am most looking forward to your SW Channeler’s guide and the completion of BASiL Mentalism. I also look forward to your high level adventure getting some love — that really is a niche you have all to yourself.

    I think we all faced unexpected challenges this year, and the blog has suffered because of that. If your output was smaller, I fell completely off the map in the second half of the year, as work consumed my life. I am looking forward to getting back to a more normal level of contributions. I won’t ever be a blog-a-week guy, but I hope to do crunchier dumps on a more sporadic basis, like when I dropped my RMU Warrior Mage (with six new lists).

    I really liked out in-depth looks at the various classes. They’ve given me a new perspective on the classes — I can now see the Mystic as a magical assassin (even if the playstyle still seems a little suicidal to me). Let’s do more of those!

      1. I am about ready to post my first two spell lists for my updated version of the Armsmaster (itself a kind of updated Noble Warrior), so that might be a good one to start with. It’s not the most well known class, of course, but the archetype of a heavily armored fighter with preternatural mental focus/discipline is actually reasonably well attested in historical and fantasy literature. I imagine him as a kind of Kensai, or even just an alternative, semi-spell using version of the Samurai/Knight (just as RM has both Warrior Monks and the semi-spell using Monks), so perhaps we could make it more a discussion of the role of the heavy-armor Mentalism semi. There is no heavy-armor Mentalism semi as a default class in any edition of Rolemaster, which I think is a bit of a shame, since there is a lot of synergy there!

  2. I’m currently not doing any RM (the closest I am getting is an imminent run of Against The Darkmaster, plus a possible kick-off of my HARP campaign after that) so the blog has really allowed me to scratch the RM itch vicariously – so my thanks to you and the other contributors!

    As for RMU…. I’m suffering anticipation fatigue due to the false dawns. I’m going to try and put it out my mind until it turns up on drivethrurpg. I really want to see the final product as I am hoping AtD/HARP will prime my group to try out RM – and I will be able to choose between RMU, RMC or RMSS (which is my personal favourite, but may be a bit steep for first time RM).

    To close, I am looking forward to what the blog will bring this year. 🙂

    1. It really sounds like RMU is getting close. I know we’ve all heard people say this in prior years, but we’ve reached some significant milestones (all the core books except Creature Law I getting through the editing queue; art being commissioned; etc.) that we had never reached before.

  3. I am afraid my writing for the blog dropped off towards the end on 2020. Not being able to play starved me of inspiration, wherevI would frequently pick up on topics from the forums, they were more down than up.
    I have been creative, my little games company is doing well, which is just as well, my day job was in the Travel Money industry. That died on the first day of shutting down international travel and there is little hope of recovery until 2022. Vaccinations are going to take most countries well over a year to achieve anywhere near enough protection to consider relaxing safeguards.
    I have been slow with my 50in50 submissions, but I have tried to create standalone adventures more than just hooks, ideas and outlines.
    In December my group did finally get into VTT play, so I am getting my RM fix again.

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