Plague, Famine & War II

I was unexpectedly busy this week, so this is a little late.

Plague, Famine & War II was released on Sunday. This is another low level adventure and rather than being set in the port, where the first episode was placed, this one takes the characters up a mountain.

I recently saw this tweet…

I’m increasingly convinced rpg settings should consist of 3 things:

  1. Core concepts
  2. Adventures
  3. Random tables of details for anything that might come up
    With the first 2 being as short as possible and the third being the majority of the presentation.

I like that philosophy and judging by the range of supporting comments that the original poster received many other people do as well.

I can see more of a balance between 2. and 3. but the principles hold true. This is basically what I have done with the Fanzine adventures. A few of the barest maps, lots of random tables and but a strong sense of style.

With these PF&W adventures we are getting the same sort of thing again. They were originally intended as drop in adventures, drop the first one on any port and you are ready to go.

Once you have two or three, the third episode is being written, one almost has enough to create a foothold in an entirely new setting, in the same way that Waterdeep was the default jumping off point for Forgotten Realms.

It begs the questions of what would make this setting unique? What is the rest of the world like?

Do those questions need answering? I think that PF&W will only be three or possibly four episodes long. A mini campaign of sorts. So far we have had a sea adventure, a mountain top battle against the elements and part three is going to be a low-ish level dungeon crawl. I think a fourth part with a city-wide threat, a bit like the end of one of the Avengers movies would be quite cool.

I don’t really want to map an entire city, although Dyson Logos has some good city maps. I am thinking of a hybrid approach where a nice map is provided for the GM and pre-, post- adventure but during the actual high intensity action sequences a random table is used to detail the rat runs of cross alleys and side streets, the shops and businesses on those streets.

I am thinking that I create a d10 grid, the first column gives a quick glance down the street to say whether it is a terrace of small cottages, a small public square, a cluster of shops, a junction with side roads and so on. Then another column to tell you what kind of shop or business, if the player asks, then further columns for the owner name, the quality of the place and so on.

An organised GM that loves prep could use the random tables to map out entire city blocks. A GM that doesn’t do prep could generate the city on the fly. I dislike obviously rolling dice in front of the players to determine world facts. I like to appear that everything was plotted well in advance. So I would use a table of random 1-10 numbers to achieve the same effect but without the dice rolling. A simple glance at a row of numbers would tell me that the next stand out building is a cheap bakery, run by Hamish Goodfellow. If the PCs run past then I don’t need to know any more, if they try and hide in the bakery or burst in, asking if there is a rear exit, I know enough that the chap behind the counter is probably chubby (being both a baker and anyone called Goodfellow must be chubby and happy looking).

So I was contemplating at what point do these adventures constitute a setting? I think the defining feature would be do I want to keep on writing for the same world? If the answer is yes, then I am building a setting one adventure at a time. Every little fact or reference adds to the fabric of the setting.

If the answer is no, I have written a series of adventures and now I want to move on so something different then no this was not a setting but a drop-in mini series.

I am tending towards the latter. The adventures in the fanzine are all set in impenetrable jungle with strong asian influences with a little dash of ninjas and shoguns. PF&W are set in a euro-centric medieval fantasy world. I don’t know where I want to go with the next series but I do have a particular monster in mind and that will probably limit my terrain types and suggest a setting.

Right now I have more ideas for adventure concepts than I have time to write.

Plague, Famine & War I

This is part one of the series of adventures I was talking about last week.

It is my hope to put out an adventure every few weeks. Unlike the installments of the RMu Adventure Path in the fanzine each month I want to hop about a bit more with these. Also I have specified that these adventures are for RMC/RM2 and RMFRP/RMSS.

As RMu Creature Law is being split into two parts I am not entirely sure what will make the cut and what won’t. So just to be safe I am only supporting the currently available games.

Plague Famine & War II should be out by Monday (14th Oct) and I expect there to be three chapters in the entire series. I can then move on to something different.

I laughingly said to someone that I wanted to write 200 adventures in 2020, based upon 1 a day. That was based upon the premise that I could write some viable adventure design tools that would take most of the burden off of me. Adding in a healthy dose of reality check I would hope to write 20 adventures in 2020. That is a bit of a climb down but I also want to support 10 to 12 systems. From my perspective that is still 200 product releases and each one is unique in its own way.

I expect each adventure to be an evolution on a journey towards a mix of automation and hand crafted adventures. Automation is not a bad thing whether it is using random weather tables or encounter tables, these are all forms of automation.

Of course it is easy to sit here at my desk and think, oh, I will just write 20 adventures, no problem. The reality could be rather different. From where I am sitting right now, it feels easier to write 20 fully developed adventures to be released when each is good and ready than it is to produce on a month on a fixed deadline as I do with the fanzine or to write 25 brief ones as we did for the 50in50 adventures.

How this all pans out we shall see.

Site Breakdown!

Hopefully some of you noticed the Rolemasterblog blog has a bit of a technical wobble this week.

Our host moved the site to bigger and better servers and in the process managed to break the site.

I was offered the option of them fixing it or as I have a power user account I could fix it myself and in return get 5 years free hosting and domain renewals.

I took the free hosting option and then learned that I am not as good as I would like to think I am.

It has taken me 2 days to fix everything that was broken, half of it just finding out which files were corrupted and which I could safely just overwrite.

All that remains to restore the backups of all the file downloads. and images etc.

This will be rather incremental as my net connection is about the speed of dialup at times and the backup I need to upload is 291MB. I have tried twice already and my connection has dropped out killing the upload.

In November I am moving to a new place and there I will have a fixed line and proper 21st century broadband. If the worst comes to the worst I will wait until the beginning of Nov to do the big restore.

Navigator RPG Playtest Live

Today is a big day in the life of Navigator RPG, although it will barely cause a ripple in anyone elses lives.

There is a live playtest version of Navigator RPG up on DriveThruRPG.com.

It went live shortly after midnight, this morning.

There are two points to this post. The first is of course to tell you all that the game has reached this point. I have been teasing about the game for a while but have intentionally not posted any details.

The second point is that I am going to keep something of a development diary for the game on here. I am not being intentionally bitchy but I am going to couch it in terms of comparing Navigator RPG to RMu.

The posts could help anyone else thinking of publishing their own game.

I know I have told this joke before but I think of it every time I am tempted to criticise anyone else’s work.

There is a guy driving, lost, along some back roads. Up ahead he sees a farmer on a tractor parked in a gateway eating a sandwich. The driver stops and asks “What is the best way to get to Birmingham?”, after a moment’s consideration the farmer replies “The best way, you say? Well, I wouldn’t start from here.”

That is the point, we don’t know where anyone else started from, we don’t know what their needs are, how much they have invested into a project or their goals.

I see this as a four stage project, behind closed doors, this is the part I have finished and the time spent on RMu before Beta 1.

The second stage is the public playtest. This is where RMu and Navigator are right now, both in stage 2.

Stage 3 is putting the full game on sale. At that point I expect RMu to massively out perform my little Navigator RPG. Fantasy is a bigger genre, in fact the biggest, RMu and Rolemaster has an existing fan base, ICE is a recognised brand and ICE has a massive marketing budget.

ICE’s marketing budget is not in cash, although it may have a cash war chest as well, but in PPP. The total value of RM books and software sold each year is roughly $10,000. I know this because every company in the UK has to post their accounts online. The company doesn’t have massive expenses as no one is drawing a living wage and that sort of thing. Publishers receive 70% of the ticket price from a book sale on DTRPG. So from the declared earnings, you can multiply up to find the total revenue and then multiply up to take into account the £:$ exchange rate.

Publishers receive Publisher Promotion Points from OneBookShelf at a rate of 20+(revenue/10) each month. So $10,000 gives 1,000 PPP plus 12 months gives 1,240/year. I have not seen any evidence of these being spent so it looks like ICE have a stockpile of nearly 20,000 PPP.

To give you an idea of what they can be spent on, to be Deal of the Day costs about 400-500PPP, home page featured product costs about 70-80PPP and that will put an advert for your product on the home page of DTRPG which will be shown 2,500 times. To put a featured product advert at the top of a game section costs 30-40PPP for the same 2,500 impressions. The traffic to specific sections is lower so your impressions last longer and can be more specifically targeted.

The most cost effective spend is the Deal of the Day. ICE have the resources to be DotD once a week for 40 weeks and then of course that will generate sales which will earn more PPP and keep the wheels on the promotional wagon. If a full set of RMu books costs $100 they would only need to sell 50 a month to earn sufficient PPP to afford another DotD.

One can achieve a virtuous circle where your DotD spend puts you at the top of the Best Sellers list and then there are the metal best sellers lists. The more times you cover is shown on the best selling lists the more sales you are going to generate.

The nub is that RMu can buy its success and its way to the top. Its success is guaranteed.

I don’t have that luxury.

Starting Today

Starting today we are both in Stage 2, playtest. I am at the beginning and RMu is at the end.

RMu has to go through editing, layout and art commissioning. Nav doesn’t. Because I am doing everything in the open the editing, can be done by the community. Layout, well that isn’t going to fundamentally change from the public playtest. Every time a change is suggested and implemented the playtest document is going to be updated. So the layout and text will change many times over the playtest but everyone will always have access to the current state of the game. This is a difference between RMu and NavRPG.

At the end of the playtest everyone who downloaded the playtest will get the full game as a PDF. Even if they didn’t contribute. Even when the game goes on sale the PDF version will be free. It is the printed books I will charge for. I think GMs actually like to have physical books at the table.

I also don’t write games to then act as gatekeeper. The more people who play the game the better, even if they are using the free PDF.

The playtest game is listed on DTRPG as a PWYW title. This is what Kevin was complaining about this week. His adventure had 100 downloads and almost no one paid anything for it. He also got some middling star ratings.

That is the nature of the beast for PWYW. I am under no illusion that people are going to rush out and throw money at the game. The reason I have made it PWYW and not free is so that even £0.05 purchases will accumulate. When it comes to creating the print on demand books, these are going to cost me somewhere up to $200. I am perfectly happy to swallow that as I it is my business plan to make money on the physical books. On the other hand every single cent donated to the playtest will soften that upfront hit.

In Theory

All of this is all ‘in theory’ only.

So far in the few hours since the game went live it has had 7 downloads. RMu had 145 downloads of the playtest documents. America has not woken up yet, at least not enough of it to think of downloading free games.

This is the first marketing objective. Get the playtest version downloaded and into the hands of gamers.

Stage 4

I have talked about stage 1, writing; stage 2 playtest and stage three release and marketing.

Stage 4 is the long term success of the game. I don’t think that RMu has much of a future, although I hope I am wrong. Most games get bought, played and then languish on shelves never to be played again.

One way of measuring the popularity of a game is in its community support. Only some of a games fans will ever write and publish something either under a fan license, a Community Content Programme, a Compatibility License or just create compatible products that don’t need any form of license.

ICE has shown itself to be resistant to open standards and community content. NavRPG on the other hand is at the other far extreme. It is a simple core designed to be extended by the players and GMs. It is released under the OGL, Open Gaming License, which gives anyone the right to modify, remix and republish the work. No barriers.

My negative forecast is based upon the idea that RMu has not addressed the most pressing negative opinions of the gaming community. The whole chartmaster, rulesmaster thing. They are already talking about dumping most of the stuff actively being discussed on the forum into the first companion.

This is, in my opinion, repeating the sins of the past.

Rolemaster was, I beleive, the 4th most popular game in the industry in the early 80s. Now it is a vestigial hangover played by maybe less than 1,000 people worldwide? The forums certainly have a very small population. Looking at all the places where communities gather the RM based ones are tiny and largely inactive.

I think there will be a flurry of activity, a mass of sales, and commercial success followed by a trailing off of interest and in two, three years we will be back to the same hard core of forum users that we have now but with a few few names in the mix.

The difference will be that we will now be discussing RM2, RMC, RMSS, RMFRP and RM. RM2 did not go away when RMC came along and RMFRP and RMSS is no different. I can see a lot of RM fans not moving to the new game simply because they love their old game. They have all the books they want, all the house rules to make it play the way they want and they know what they are doing.

The the die hards the new version will be missing 90% of what they want and need because all those companions just won’t work quite right.

That is a bit gloomy I know. I will definitely buy into RMu but my group of friends are definitely RM2 despite the fact that we are playing the core of RMC. They have imported all the RM2 stuff they miss into the game.

Navigator’s Future

I think the total sales figures will take a long time to get in the same realm as RMu. No marketing budget doesn’t help. On the other hand I think the open attitude will help build an active community. That is where I am putting my efforts. Right from today onwards, actually I started about 8 weeks ago, everything is about building a community around NavRPG. Making people feel included, and welcome.

Well that is today’s update.

Update Time

Yesterday City of Spiders, one of the first 50in50 adventures became a Silver best selling title on Drivethrurpg.com. That is no mean feat. We still get sales of those adventure hooks most weeks. It won’t be long until we get a raft of them going silver.

I am going all out to complete outstanding projects before the end of the year. Ladt week I was working on my Wild West game. That is now ready to go to kickstarter. That is new territory for me. I gave had to pause that for a few days as jump through the legal hoops.

As I cannot go any further with DS:WW right now my attention has turned to Navigator RPG.

Navigator RPG

Since Friday I have completed the Star Knight meditations and Mystic Gifts. These replace the Telempath’s psions in Spacemaster. I have also converted all the equipment over from White Star to Nav and started building the Nav version of Arms Law. Ladt night I finished the last of the melee weapons tables. Tomorrow I start the ranged weapons which include bows, guns and energy weapons.

When I am working on projects like this they often seem really simple before I start. They then go through a phase where for everything one part I complete I notice two more sections that I need to do.

I am in that phase now but I don’t think it will be long until I am crossing things off faster than I am adding them.

As of today you can create a character using any race, culture, profession learn and use psionics and beat each other up using hand to hand combat and ranged attacks, even grenades and make maneuvers.

No one will die because there are no critical tables.

There are no spaceship rules, no monster/aliens/robots. The only healing is through gifts and meditations. There is no natural healing yet.

There is no universe either.

I am sure there is a lot more that I haven’t thought of but the current list is not overwhelming.

I am mentioning all this as I think I am only a week or so away from sharing what I have so far.

I do need some help though. See right at the bottom of this post if you are feeling creative.

City of Forgotten Heroes

I started to detail the city last month in the fanzine. The first month I did the marshes around the city, the city walls and the gate house on the causeway. This month was the library, complete with ghost book, the orchard and a new location called the architect’s tower.

In the October issue will be the palace, the cistern and Octomancer.

I think I will have completed the entire RMu adventure path before the end of the year. I estimate the entire thing will take characters from creation to 12th/14th level.

I mention this because I am aware that sometimes I can seem really enthusiastic about something and then it disappears from view. I don’t just drop things, it is just that actually doing the hard bit of writing it all up isn’t very exciting and having a monthly publishing schedule means that nothing moves quickly.

Amusingly, I don’t know what the end of the adventure path is. I am not entirely sure how to get from the past bit I have written and the point where the characters save their world and defeat the BBEG.

I am sure it will come to me. I have 7 weeks to think of it and get the characters from where they are to where they need to be in time from the final climax in December.

I wonder if I will complete the adventure path before RMu is released? It is supposed to be in Nicholas’s editing queue now. How long will that take and the same goes for art commissioning and layout.

On September 22nd there are 100 days of 2019 left and we were promised RMu in 2019.

Help

What I could do with is a bit of help coming up with witty and graphic critical descriptions.

At the moment I have need of the following critical tables. Puncture, Slash, Krush, Fire, Unbalance and Impact. I would really appreciate some suggestions for the criticals. There are 120 entries on a critical table and I have six to do giving 720 lines to come up with.

All help will be greatly appreciated. Just comment below.

2 Page Random Adventures?

What is that quote?….
There are only 7 plot devices for every metastory. Perhaps you only need a D7 

Aspire2HopeGM

I always think of adventures as all being variations of “Put the characters in a hole, throw stones as them as they try to get out.”

Your plot is the hole, the stones are the encounters and the characters attempts to climb out is the story we tell over the campaign sessions. So I make that a D1.

Of course we are all talking about slightly different things here. There is a wonderful random adventure generator I have used in the past. It was written for D&D based upon tables from the Dungeon Master’s Design Kit by TSR, Inc. You can find it over at Donjon.

I use the generator, copy it all into word and then rip out everything I don’t like. I then create the NPCs I want to play, reprising any that I think deserve another outing and from there I can start the stage dressing. That is the thing about RPGs, they are all about the people. No people then no role playing. If the NPCs are barbarians then you get an instant impression of the locations. If they are ninjas then that suggest something else, wood elves are another thing all together.

For my random toys idea, I could:

  1. Run the Donjon random generator enough times and borrow the ideas to build some d10 tables. Eliminate the bits I don’t like. Then mash up Brian’s encounter tables to make it more Rolemaster.

    or
  2. Buy the design kit myself and build a random generator myself with Rolemaster as a design criteria right from the start. It only costs $4.99 for nearly 100 pages of stuff that I could adapt.

Both options have problems. The first is that I would be using second hand random tables. There are only 7 possible ‘cruel tricks’ in the Donjon tool. Does that mean that there were only 7 in the original book? Did the original table say 1-3 no trick, then the 7 tricks were listed from 4 to 10? I personally don’t think 70% of adventures should have a cruel trick in the tale.

I also don’t really want to build a web tool. I feel I want to keep my cake and eat it. I was detail and sophistication but I also want the simplicity of a few tables and only a few rolls.

There is a part of me that would quite like to try and get the entire adventure generator on to a double page spread. That gives quite a lot of paper real estate to work on. Pages 1-2 could be Alpine adventures, 53-54 would be Waste/Barren adventures and so on. Creatures and Treasures defines 27 different environments.

Preselecting an environment would mean that I would know what monsters are viable, the weather conditions could be tailored as well.

Without having actually tried this I am guessing I would be able to fit four d100 tables, one per column over a double page spread or eight to twelve d10 tables. The Design Kit uses 22 criteria which I would have to condense into 12 or less tables. I could then combine things like Omen/Prophesy, Moral Quandary, Red Herring and Cruel Tricks into a single table. There is also the option of on an 99-00 roll twice and use both results. so they do not become mutually exclusive but also not every adventure will be driven by a prophesy and have the players face a moral dilemma.

The more I look at the Donjon tool the more I think it can be compressed into my double page spread format. If I don’t buy the Design Kit I cannot be accused of copying their work either. At most it is a derived work from a derived work with a healthy dose of Rolemaster thrown in as well.

Four d100 rolls or 12 d10 rolls are more dice than I originally intended but everything on just two pages also seems to be pretty light weight. It also does away, to some extent, with RM’s obsession with obscure codes for climate and terrain.

The last key factor is what monster to include in each environment. I could just go with my Creatures & Treasures but there are a few monsters that are in RMFRP/RMSS and RMu that are not in RM2/RMC. There aren’t many but there are some. If I put this project on a back burner until January we will have the actual Creature Law book to work from or at the very least I can work from the RMC Creature Law, which is the most restricted monster book out of all the RM versions.

I really think there could be a book in all of this somewhere. What do you think?

Simple Fantasy Adventures

Take a look at the post below from Stargazer’s World. SFA is a retro clone of Lord of the Rings, which was a simplified MERP which was a simplified RM.

I don’t see SFA as a direct threat to RMu. It is an 18 page free pdf game. The biggest threat is that these games, like vsDarkmaster as well, take away every unique selling point that RMu has. Criticals are commonplace now, detailed d100 systems are not uncommon thanks to ‘powered by Zweihander.

The last thing that RMu has is in targeting experienced GMs by being too complex for beginners. Not the best selling point possibly.

Itchy Adventuring Finger

When we [BriH, Edgcltd and I] wrote and released our 50in50 adventures we studiously avoided including any explicitly Rolemaster Stats (I was naughty and created a new monster or two along the way) to make them system neutral.

Since we released them we have sold over 2,200 copies.

Writing adventures is a bit of a fool’s errand as a great number of experienced GMs will always prefer to write their own adventures and almost ever adventure will need tweaking to make it work with your setting and campaign.

Since the end of the 50in50 we have had more ideas bubbling away in the background but we have not had the time to implement them. Isn’t that always the case? Ideas are easy, finishing them is more difficult.

I have been experimenting with a few different formats this year. The first is the regular adventures in the fanzine. I did two different styles. The first was a complete standalone adventure. Do you remember all those cliched starting adventures I was talking about at the beginning of the year? I wrote them up and published them in the fanzine. I didn’t include any monster stats or detailed NPCs. I just pointed the reader to the right Creatures & Treasures or Creatures & Monsters page. For the RMu I only used monsters that appeared in all editions of RM from RM2 to RMu. For NPCs I used the stock NPCs featured in Character Law for the existing versions of RM and JDales random NPC maker for RMu. In effect I did not have to publish any copyrighted material to create a fully RM compatible adventure.

The fanzine has sold a little over 750 copies so far so it is a ticking over nicely.

The second thing I have been doing with the fanzine is to create an adventure path. I start work on the 7th instalment this week and it has all been building up to The City of Forgotten Heroes. Last month included getting to the island where the city lies and past the gate house into the city. There were sea encounters, swamp encounters and the gatehouse. This month will be the library, if you can remember that far back.

Those were experiments 1 & 2.

Experiment 3 was to produce a RM compatible module. It was called The Corrupted Jungle Collection and it was a set of adventures on the coast of a jungle covered strange land. The adventure was basically a sandbox with locations the characters could visit and different factions that they may or may not encounter and at least one obvious bad girl who had nefarious plans. It has volcanoes, cataracts, jungle chases and lost ruins, what is not to enjoy?

No one is going to get rich from writing adventures but they are good fun.

It doesn’t matter what format we have used from stat-less system neutral plot hooks to standalone modules to the adventure path every single one has sold. There is an appetite for this stuff.

I see Rolemaster at its lowest point right now. There is almost nothing going on to draw in new players to the existing system, ICEs social media is woeful simply because they lack resources. The very existence of a pending new edition is a put off to some potential new players, why buy into something obsolete? And to put it bluntly we are getting older and the average RM player must be getting into peak heart attack territory.

I said at the top that many experienced GMs like to exclusively create their own adventures. All these factors, no new blood, a thinning of the ranks, the pending new edition and a lack of interest from GMs makes writing adventures for RM a labour of love and not a way to make money.

But I still enjoy doing it.

Following on from the Jungle Collection I can easily see a Mountain Collection, a Desert Collection and so on to offer mini sandbox campaign in a wide number of settings and a chance to showcase a wide range of monsters and threats from natural hazards alongside them.

Random Toys

I was playing a game (rpg) this weekend and it had some rather nice random adventure tables. The way the rules were written had it so you needed to roll one of every polygon dice. The first roll you give you a fact and direct you to a sub-table, the next roll gave you the next fact and moved you on to the next table and so on.

The results built up the mission the characters thought they were doing with a reward they believed they would earn, the actual destination and the actual rewards available, the boss threat at the end, the minions and a significant threat/creature between the start and destination.

The way things were set up gave 4x6x8x10x12x20=460,800 possible combinations of adventure. On top of the random adventure outline once the game started, it was a bit of a hex crawl, there was randomised terrain and weather.

There was not one discernible difference between the adventure I had at the weekend and many ‘paid for’ modules. There is no point in sharing the actual tables as the game was very much like Gamma World and the ‘monsters’ were mutant fungi and a mutated National Guard dude. Beside which they are the publisher’s IP.

The principle on the other hand on random adventures is not new. The cutest part was the built in possible misinformation which had the party planning for one mission and discovering something completely different on the ground.

Thinking in d10 terms I would not be too difficult to come up with 10 quest givers from village elders to town councils to enigmatic sages and mysterious gypsies. That is four right there. Building Quest giver x destination x reward using d100 gives 1000 possible. Here is the clever bit. We swap in the threats and real destinations to fit the game setting, a bit like biome based random encounters. So look at your map of your game world and pick 10 actual places, tombs, castles, ruins and so on. Then ten threats between the party and destination and the threats at the location and your boss figure. All of the threats would be local to add in more local flavour and to top it off you roll the weather for each day for the next ten days. The final component would be the actual reward/treasure.

This is the one change I would have made to the original rules. I would have related the real reward to the promised reward. In that way the differences can be explained as the effects of rumour or lost knowledge if you were supposed to be finding and returning an item. If the reward was purely financial from the quest giver then the characters should get what was promised.

Admittedly I haven’t created these random adventure tables but they do not seem to onerous. Much of it could come from creatures and treasures encounter tables, you just strip out the encounters that are not suitable. Weather tables are often found in setting books so we don’t really need to create that.

What really brings these adventures to life is the roleplaying. Why does the quest giver need the characters or the object, how does the quest giver relate to the rest of the local culture. That can go just as easily for a village or an NPC, villages are often in or on someone’s land so the adventure would ripple through the local news and rumour mills.

I have done this sort of thing in the fanzine when I wanted to give the characters encounters to keep them interested and busy between major plot points. I didn’t want the major events to be bang/bang/bang after each other but I also didn’t want to write dozens of side quests. I hadn’t considered start to finish random adventures complete with misinformation.

For anyone thinking of world building these could be interesting to try.

RMU Update: No Maneuver Chart Required!

Perhaps the most common criticism of Rolemaster over the years is that it is ‘Chartmaster’: overly reliant on charts for basic actions. I think everyone should rejoice to hear that RMu has now dispensed with the need for a chart to handle basic movement.

JDale just noted that the default method for movement in RMu is now what I call the ‘pay AP to move’ method (if you have a more succinct name for that by the way, please let me know!). Characters simply pay action points for movement, just as they would pay for any other action. You get to move up to your BMR for each point spent. Want to move 1x your BMR? Pay 1 point. 4x? Pay 4 points. There is a minor wrinkle in that to get to 5x (the maximum pace normally allowed), you have to spend your instantaneous action for the turn. But otherwise, the system is very simple. (In fact, it is similar to the system in Pathfinder2, though we started doing this in RMu first, before we’d even heard of Pathfinder2).

RMu does have an optional method if you want to try to combine movement with other actions. You can move at up to a run (x3 BMR) and combine your movement with another action, but those actions suffer the pace penalty (-25 x pace) if you moved during any phase while performing them. If you don’t like the complexity this adds, you can just not choose to use this optional rule.

You can read JDale’s description of how this works on the ICE forums, here: http://www.ironcrown.com/ICEforums/index.php?topic=19163.20

All of this makes for a much easier system that allows RMu players to dispense with the maneuver/pace chart altogether.

And there was much rejoicing!