Bloody Hell! RMU Bleeding

So assuming we stick with the 2 second house ruled round, which I would like to, we don’t want people to bleed out too fast.

I really like Hurin’s suggestion that bleeding 1-3hits/round will clot. If we can keep that I will be happy. The criteria would be that the character much be inactive for the clotting to start and the wound reopens if the move.

This will stop the a solo character from dying after the very first fight they have almost every time (assuming the GM doesn’t intervene to save them).

So…

  • 1 hit/rnd stops after 10rnds of inactivity. (10hits received)
  • 2 hits/rnd stop after 20rnds of inactivity (40hits received)
  • 3 hits/rnd stop after 30rnds of inactivity (90 hits received)

3 hits per round will most likely still be fatal in most cases so it is the 1 and 2 hits of bleeding that we are really talking about here.

Bleeding in a 2 second round environment is a lot more dangerous than a 10 second round environment, five times as dangerous at first glance.

That is not actually strictly true because that assumes endless combat. In my game I find that unless I intentionally set an encounter up to be longer then most combats are over in about 4 rounds.

With the RMU beta 2 as written then they took a lot longer but in RMC and RM2 four rounds was about the average. I will assume that once the final Arms Law is out then the weapons tables will be delivering more damage. I think it has been increased by 1.5?

So if fights are short, as in sub 10 rounds then the actual bleeding is not going to be the deciding factor most of the time. If it is heavy bleeding of 5 to 8hits per round then yes, that can finish a character or villain off but that is outside the scope of these changes anyway.

The point is that the duration of a round is moot if you are counting time in rounds.

So our upper bound is that if a character falls unconscious and is bleeding 3hits per round or more then they will probably die. So that is pretty much rules as written.

The lower bound is that a character bleeding 1 or 2 hits per round that falls unconscious may survive taking either 10 or 40 additional hits from bleeding.

It was suggested, JDale I beleive, that outside of combat bleeding be treated as hits per minute not hits per round. This allows for people to die up to an hour or more on the battle field if no help is forthcoming. I like this and would like to accommodate it.

What that does is mean that bleeding in combat is no different regardless of the round length. Bleeding when the character will get no help is not always 100% fatal. Bleeding out on a battle field may take minutes or hours.

The times provided by Aspire suggested 10 to 30 minutes for bleeding out. If you are unconscious and bleeding 4 per minute then that will kill most characters in that sort of time frame. It is much easier to die from loss of hits in RMU than previous versions of RM.

The only thing I would like to add is compression.

I personally would allow a character to half the blood flow on a round by round basis if they forego their action and apply compression to a suitable wound. Obviously you cannot apply pressure to internal bleeding. I would do this without the need for a first aid roll. If it were fire damage then a character can drop and roll without a skill roll. I would think that anyone who has trained in using a sword would most certainly have hurt themselves at some point so the most basic idea of stopping the blood coming out would be known.

So compression would work on the rounds when it was applied. It does not count as inactivity for clotting purposes unless the character is actually inactive while doing it. The minimum bleed remains at 1 hit/round.

The compression rule becomes a tactical decision. Which now makes me think of concentration and mental focus. If I am told to keep hold of something and not move and my mind wanders I am quite likely to let my hand drift. So can you keep compressing a wound if you are maintaining a spell?

Taking all of that into account does that seem fair? I feel that bleeding per 2 second round in combat and per minute out of combat is roughly equal to Aspires ‘per 10 seconds’ if you averaged it out. The clotting does only cover the lightest of possible bleeding and is touch and go at 3hits. Compression forces characters to make tactical decisions. Characters will still die from blood loss.

So over to you. Can we make this better?

RMU Combat and My House Rules

So this time I am really wide open to suggestions!

What I have done in the past and certainly want to keep is the 2 second combat round. I use this in RMC and it works perfectly.

I have eliminated all notion of flurry of blows. Every attack is discrete. Short combat rounds have a few knock on effects.

Movement

Obviously in 2 seconds you can move 20% of what you could move in a 10 second round or now 40% of what you would move in an RMU round. I have never like the notion of the detailed 1AP count down in RMU but I think this is because my 2 second rounds provide almost exactly the same granularity but with out flurry of blows you don’t have to start an attack 5 seconds before you even see your target.

Shorter rounds make things naturally more tactical as it is entirely possible to get peppered by bullets/arrows/spears if you try and cross an open space without covering fire.

Spell Casting

RMC doesn’t have the fast and penalty free casting of RMU but 2 second rounds comes close to emulating that. If your mage is being charged down then because movement is 20% as fast they have more time to prep and cast. So I kept the requirement for 2 rnds prep, cast on the 3rd round despite the rounds being shorter, so 3 x 2 second rounds not 30 seconds.

This has produced some fun situations where one member of a charging party chose to accelerate faster to get to a spell caster that was prepping a spell hoping to get there before the spell was cast. The fact that the players’ plan was kind of dependent on the entire party arriving simultaneously went completely out the window. 

Spell Effects

I do not adjust the spell effects to take into account the shorter round. This does change things. Spells that last hours, minutes or seconds are potentially more powerful especially ones that have a combat usefulness.

Spells that last for rounds/level or rounds/ 5 or 10 RR failure are possibly weaker. If you wanted to blind an opposing magician while you all charge then the charge will take more rounds making Sudden Light less useful in that situation.

On the other hand shorter rounds make ranged spells more powerful as it is harder to get out of range or you need to spend more rounds in range if you are trying to close distance.

I have been playing these rules under RM2/RMC for something like 7 years and this has never been a problem, but it does have an impact of spell selection sometimes.

The impact under RMU should be half that as it was under RM2/RMC as the spells are all set up for 5 second round and not 10 seconds. I don’t think this is going to be an issue.

Bleeding

I do have a house rule that bleeding 1 hit per round will stop on its own after 50 rounds of inactivity. the reason I have this is because I spent a few years when I only had one player and multiple times they were knocked unconscious and bleeding 1hit/round. There was no chance of me being able to justify bringing in an unexpected NPC so they should have bled out. This happened just too often for my liking so once the character is unconscious, and therefore not moving, if there is no one around to save you or finish you off that 1 hit of bleeding will stop.

I mention all of that as bleeding is more dangerous with shorter rounds. I don’t want to halve the bleeding in all the criticals but there is another solution.

The first is the natural clotting I mentioned above and the second is staunching the flow.

Staunching the flow takes 1 hand to do and basically means the character is applying pressure to stem the flow of blood. No First Aid or medical skill roll is required. The character can choose on a round by round basis if they want to apply the pressure. The down side is that you cannot use that hand for anything else while staunching the flow of blood. So no shield or just shield by no attacks.

The effect of staunching the flow is to half the blood loss for that round. I tend to round down so staunching 5hits/round will result in bleeding 2/rnd.

This gives characters a way of mitigating the more dangerous effects bleeding in the 2 second rounds without having to make changes to every critical table. It also makes another tactical choice available for characters.

Action Points

I have never used an Action Point system. I am a big fan of the RMC percentage action system. I have just viewed AP as blocks of 25% activity.

If you eliminate the AP by AP tactical round then lots of the problems with the Action Point system disappear.

I know Hurin has suggested in the past adopting a D&D 5e approach to what can be done in a round but I don’t know much about what that entails now. The last time I played D&D it was in about 1993 and it was 2nd Ed. I think.

So what is the best solution to stay as compatible as possible to RMU but using a 2 second round?

RMU House Rule #2 Skills

Before we start I want to set out two core concepts.

  1. These rules are based around No Profession.
  2. Characters will only be buying skills once. (Thereafter training and experience will take over.)

So I am quite happy with the RMU cultures rules and free skills ranks. I do think that GMs should tinker with the ranks both number and distribution to fit their game and play style but apart from that I am cool with cultures.

The biggest bone of contention is the category cost vs individual skills costs.

The individual skills cost for professions is rather moot if you don’t have professions. The hang over is that I can see why people would want to differentiate their characters.

I don’t want to go down the Training Packages route which of course would put a ‘skin’ or ‘build’ over the top of the No Profession.

The No Profession has the nice feature of being able to choose where to place your professional skill bonuses. That guarantees that each player can customise their character.

The best solution so far is Intothatdarknesses variable skill costs.

So there is a standard skill cost progression which I assume will not change again. So I am think that in each category each player may reduce one skill cost by two steps and one skill by one step.

I was concerned that assigning skill costs up front may mean that should a future skill be introduced that characters are then unfairly penalised. I am thinking about RM2 and when Two Weapon Combo was introduced in RoCoII.

On the other hand if the players are only adjusting two skill costs in each category they are not actually locking themselves out of any skill.

This solution also solves another potential problem. The default number of DPs had has been increased from 50 to 60 but the No Profession profession is less efficient than most others so I have been upping the number of DPs 70. Now if each player can reduce the cost of their preferred skills that will redress that balance between the inefficiency of the No Profession and the off the peg professions.

RMU Skills

I like the RMU skills and I like the way combat expertise works. On the other hand I don’t like passive skills and passive bonuses. In all versions of RM each and all skill has been optional and I cannot see any real reason why I cannot simply drop the skills I don’t like, or more the case of redefining the skills. Just dropping the passive skill bonuses solves a lot of my issues.

So I think with just those two house rules I am good with the RMU skill system.

RMU House Rule #0

OK, so I thought I would take a break from my HARP series today and write about RMU for a change.

This is inspired by the comment made by Aspire2Hope on the post RMU to Infinity and Beyond.

So as you all know my RMC house rules do not use levels or professions. I also use point buy for stats and fixed concussion hits. Basically my entire character creation is dice free so I am perfectly happy to allow players to create their characters away from the gaming table. As long as we have discussed character background and motivations and that is all acceptable then the GM is no longer needed.

What I would like to start is another occasional series of posts where I/we:

  1. take what we know of the state of RMU
  2. for each aspect I state my intended goal
  3. We marry the two together to get a coherent house rule

So for example stat bonuses are neither linear nor exactly bell curve. I would like stat bonuses that don’t need a table to work out so I would throw out there (Stat-50)/3 gives a range of 0 to +/-17. That is slightly more generous than RMU as written with the rate of bonuses increasing and at the top end bonus, +15 vs +17 but it also does away with a table.

I don’t really want my house rules to break the compatibility with RMU too much. I would still like to be able to use off the shelf ICE products but at the same time I would like to promote my ideas of simplicity and speed of play at the gaming table.

Things that I think will cause the most debate will be what to keep in and what to throw out. So we could have a set of simplified house rules and a set of optional house rules that plug in things that I don’t feel the need to use but others do. Allegedly, I am not always right and if that is the case then having alternatives would be good.

This is also an opportunity to build things that are missing like dedicated two handed weapons tables and fix their lack of stopping power.

The big one will be magic. I have never been really happy with Spell Law but it was always too big a challenge to fix but committing myself to doing publically may force me to get the job done.

So that is my intentions. The first and foremost task will be to completely rebuild character creation.

Anyone up for a challenge?

Inherent ability or skill: another look at Perception.

 

Back in December I wrote a post about Perception and whether is was even a trainable skill. I think a lot goes into “perception” ( alertness, visual acuity, intuition, reasoning) and the way it’s used by Rolemaster makes it an incredible skill that covers a huge expanse of ability.

But even if you could make an argument (and many did) that perception is a trainable skill, it’s vast multi-disciplinary scope is harder to argue. For instance, while a fighter may be able to perceive an opponents sword skill, the apparent movement of troops or even a carefully laid ambush it’s harder to accept they might be able to detect a trap or secret door if they have no relevant experience in such.

Doesn’t that make sense? No matter how alert or perceptive you are, you can’t perceive small details or glean information on a subject with which you have no skill, training or education. I consider myself a perceptive person, but I can’t look at a horse and draw any conclusions the way Peter could. In other words, perception should be tied to subject matter fluency.

Of course one solution is to add a ton of perceptual sub-skills: perception: reality distortion, perception: traps, perception ambush etc. Of course the list is virtually limitless and would add dozens of new skills to an already bloated system.

With that in mind, I’ve been trying something new and it’s working quite well: I’m using the SKILL RANKS of the appropriate skill/lore as a bonus or modifier to the perception check. If there are no ranks then it’s -25 (along with any difficulty modifiers). So the Thief with 18 ranks in locks/traps gets a +18 bonus to their perception roll related to locks/traps. It’s simple, makes sense and once again creates a use for skill ranks as a measure of proficiency.

Thrown Weapons in Arms Law. A critical component of combat.

A recent thread over at the RMU Arms Law Beta Forums discussed the viability of thrown weapons. The general impression is that thrown weapons aren’t used regularly by most players; according to the poll over 60% of player use thrown weapons 0-20% of the time. There are a number of reasons stated or implied for the low use of thrown weapons:

  1. Limited damage.
  2. Limited range.
  3. Limited “ammo”; once you throw it, it’s gone for the remainder of combat usually.

But there might be a systemic problem within Rolemaster combat that minimizes the use of thrown weapons–I’ll get to that in a bit.

First, let’s distinguish between larger thrown weapons like spears and war hammers and smaller less potent weapons like daggers, darts, shurikens, needles or even ball bearings. All of these smaller weapons are cool, add personality to players and NPC’s and are portrayed as being quite deadly in popular fiction. But in many RPG’s, small thrown weapons aren’t that potent; or as seen in the forum thread, rarely used.

Terry includes a lot of thrown weapons in his NPC’s. Wrist dart guns, axes and  shurikens are frequently used, but they are often magical (return via long door) or have other bonus properties (exploding flame cartridges or sleep powder). These “add-ons” overcome some of the real or perceived  limitations of thrown weapons, but also reinforce the idea that mundane small thrown weapons aren’t that usable.

So solution 1 is to enhance thrown weapons with Weapon Runes, poisons, or powders/pastes. I like this solution as it adds even more utility to the Herb/Poison skill and can be a accessible solution for lower level players.

Where and when does one throw a weapon? The base 50′ movement rate/rnd allows players to shift from long distance ranged weapon use to melee in a single round. 50′ is usually too far for effective thrown weapon use, and within 10′ it’s basically melee engagement. Throwing while moving incurs fairly high penalties and basically removes the ability of the player to use a more effective melee attack at the end of the movement phase. It feels like a small window of opportunity and combined with low damage, makes thrown skill less important when allocating scarce development points. Certainly everyone modifies or house rules their combat rounds, so ask yourself how your methodology encourages or discourages thrown weapons.

Therefore, Solution 2 addresses issues that might be arising from the RM combat rules itself by allowing for thrown weapon use in melee. If we consider normal melee engagement distance to be between 5′ to 10′ then allowing small thrown weapons at the outer limits of that range, as an extra attack, to be advantageous. We’ve worked this into our system with the “combat sphere” in our initiative rules and our individual weapon modifiers. With this system, if the “thrower” wins the initiative they’ve created a small space/distance to effectively throw (similar to the combat sphere of a polearm wielder). That means an opponent with a shorter weapon will be at a disadvantage against the thrower.

However, you don’t need to add those extra rules –just permit  thrown small size weapon use in melee with the understanding that the small give and take positioning of combat allows for gaps needed to throw. Allowing more flexibility with thrown weapons and adding some enhancements can make these small, even innocuous, weapons quite deadly!

 

 

Chargen Part 2 Questions

I used to have a GM that would start the first game session with dishing out about 5 pages of questions about your  character. The format was sort of question followed by about 10 lines of space then next question and so on. I cannot remember the actual questions except the very last one which was “What would your character sell his soul for?

I used to detest these questions. For a start I rarely know my characters personality when I sit down to play. I tend to have an idea of what I want to play but I am heavily influenced by the other players characters and the first adventure.

It is not the actual questioning I objected to but the timing of it. During that first session there is so much to take in, you could be getting to grasp with an entirely new setting, your new character, new party members, a new mission and possibly new rules or variations on the rules you thought you knew.

What brings this all to mind are twofold.

  1. Spectre771 mentioned in a comment to my last post about the differentiation between experienced players and newer less experienced players.
  2. My reading of the 7th Sea rules.

One of the things that my Rolemaster house rules always share is that character generation is always diceless. In RMC I use fixed #hits and point buy stats. In RMU hits are skill based, not rolled, and there is a core rule for point buying stats. Spell acquisition is skill based in both games although using different methods but the net effect is the same. If you know my house rules then you can create your character well in advance. For me it means that I can then devote my time and effort to any new players who cannot be left to create a character without some support.

7th Sea is also a diceless character generation system, you just pick options at each stage to create your hero. It is exceptionally quick and easy but lacks much of the detail and granularity of RM.

The stand out difference is that 7th Sea starts with 20 questions. These start with objective things like What Nation is your Hero from? and progress through things like What are your Hero’s highest ambitions? and What is your Hero’s opinion of his country? to eventually end up with What does your Hero think of Sorcery?

The fundamental difference between these questions and my old GM’s questions is that of timing. I can give out the 7th Sea questions along with a primer on my setting, nations and game world long before the game starts. That way you get to think about the sort of character you want to play in your own time. You can answer the questions then go back and change your mind. The answers you come up with then turn into a blue print to use in creating your character.

Adopting the same technique for Rolemaster, particularly with new players, has massive advantages. For really new players coming to RPGs for the first time the difference between Roll play and Role play are not always clear in their minds, particularly if they are coming from a wargaming background where the use of dice for combat resolution is an idea they are comfortable with.

I don’t see this just as a structure for new players either. It doesn’t hurt to give it to experienced players. My group have a tendency to slip into the same old personalities again and again. I get my players to create a post-it sized personality description which is stuck on the front of their character sheets. At the start of every session I ask them to read it to themselves as a reminder. If they tell me they do something that I think would be seriously out of character then I will ask them to read their post-it and then reconsider. Sometimes they read it and then insist that they are happy with their original choice, others they retract the action and do things differently because the character simply would not rip the innocent bartenders fingernails out just to get the address of an informant.

The 20 7th Sea questions do not take up any game time as they happen before the first game session but they make creating that personality prompt post-it much easier. It also makes creating a character with a new player easier too. As a guiding GM with a new player if you know what the player wants to play it is easier to help them achieve that. This is doubly true with a fully expanded RM2 I would say.

If you want I will list the 20 questions but I would also suggest that you create your own and make them setting specific. For modern espionage settings (I’m looking at you Intothatdarkness) you could style it like a psych evaluation. For shadow world if you have already decided on your characters starting location then you can add in cultural influences or drop in questions to hint at the Unlife or if everyone is going to be Gryphon College trained then twist things to reflect their world view.

Any thoughts? Do you want to see the questions?

Current Affairs: Thoughts on Magical Languages in Rolemaster and Shadow World.

Warning: this might be a whisky rant as well.

A recent THREAD at the Rolemaster Forums is discussing Magical Languages. Since I have some opinions on this subject I thought I would write a quick post. For those following my discussion on BASiL or have downloaded the spells probably know that I use a “no profession” system for my own Shadow World campaign.

After reading lots of comments I realize that most people only understand my reference to “no profession” as a direct reference to the RM system “no profession”. That’s not it at all! My players have profession names–but those are descriptors driven by the sum of skills and abilities of the character. With BASiL I allow access to all the realms (but  I have no hybrid realms which break logical mechanics). Professions and classes do reinforce group roles, but again, Rolemaster mostly broke that a long time ago…AND…that’s why players liked it! So having broad access to all realms has the appearance of unbalance but it’s really just the case of applying “free market” principles to control player skill selection. Early on, I decided to use pre-requisite lore skills to gain access or use certain spell lists. This would be similar to requiring advanced math to do astronomical calculations or basic anatomy for healing skills (spells or otherwise). So BASE lists might require more lore ranks to learn while OPEN lists only need a few ranks. To me that made sense. But BASiL is a work in progress and participation in the Rolemasterblog and RMForums has introduced me to new ideas.

So lately I have backed off on the Lore skill pre-req approach. It added too much to my skill offering and was not tight enough. Instead I have changed my approach to the use of Magical Languages. It’s such a simple, elegant mechanic and solves a lot of problems.

In the past, Magical Languages have been a “bolt-on” mechanic; introduced in Companions and referenced in SW for added casting bonuses etc. Spell casting requires certain mechanics: verbal, gestures, focus, components whatever. But what is that verbal and gesture component? Should it have an underlying science behind it? Is the verbal component linguistically diverse? Can a French person speaking french or a German speaking German recite the same words in their own particular language to cast? That makes NO sense! Immediately, it would be argued that they aren’t speaking French or German but reciting “arcane sounds”. Exactly!!–casting requires a power language of some time that is divested of speaking languages. Once that is accepted the conclusion follows the logic: spells need be cast using a magic vernacular, a magical language. This doesn’t have to be just verbal recitation but gestures, body motions, chants or katas.

If you accept that, than building a number of magical “languages” becomes a powerful tool to limiting spell list access rather than arbitrary “professions”. An Elemental Language might allow casting element spells, while another may allow for Illusions, Arcane or other.

From a mechanics standpoint, I use the Magical Language skill bonus for the SCR. How can anyone cast a high level spell if they have a kindergarten mastery of a language needed to cast the spell? Mastery of magical language is mastery of casting. Creating numbers of “Power Languages”  that are needed for certain types of magic limits a casters ability to learn a wide range of spells and therefore reinforces “class tropes”. (on a side note, to me, the very people that argue for professions LOVE the Arch-mage, Warrior-Mage, and other unbalanced classes).

Reconsidering the Magician

I’ve never really warmed to Rolemaster’s archetypal blaster, the Magician. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should add that I’ve never liked any character that concentrates primarily on ‘blasting’, in any system, unless the blasting is interesting, like firing a swarm of wasps or an ethereal bolt that causes the target to blink in and out of their current dimension.  My problem with the Magician, however, is more specific: at the risk of sounding pompous, I feel that the Magician does violence to the richness and potential of the elements. One of the things I really liked about the Elemental Companion was the wide and fascinating range of elemental effects available to players (although the generic nature of the lists represented, I felt, an opportunity lost).

The thing with the elements is that they provide a window to a whole system of symbolism, psychology and metaphysics. I find myself thinking here of crossovers between the classical elements and astrology, elements and humoral theory, elements and cosmology (as per Thales, for example). If one accepts the idea of elements as metaphysical building blocks of varying complexity, and adds to that the notion that a certain level of mastery of a particular element in its raw form grants access to more ‘metaphysical’ expressions of that elements sphere of influence, then you can move beyond bolts, balls and walls to…anywhere, really.

So, what elements to use? Rolemaster has traditionally concentrated on the classical four elements with Ice and Light thrown in (more bolts and balls!). My own campaign’s take on this is that the classical four plus four others are the starting point and the basis of all further elaboration. The four other key elements form two dichotomies: one represents that between Law and Chaos, Order and Entropy, whilst the others could be represented by Death and Life, Good and Evil, Void and Being or Negative and Positive. There are also several anomalous ‘elements’ or forces that stand somewhat outside of these eight fundamentals. Here are contained such conceptual forces as Time, Mind, Dream and the binding/linking force of the Ether.

All of these elements are sourced from their own plane, a dimensional zone where they reign supreme, and each of these dimensions, whirling in the intricate and infinite geometries of the multiverse ‘rub’ against one another, producing small hybrid dimensions I call ‘niches’. Fire and Water, for example, create the Niche of Steam. The list of potential combinations is fairly large, especially given that each Niche can then contact each other, spawning ever more complex creations. The Niche of Wood is created by the intersection of Life, Earth, Water and Light (itself a product of Fire and Ether). When this Niche is then contacted by that of Decay (Time and Chaos), the Niche of Rot comes into being.

This is the general structure, but it has comparatively little bearing on the standard RM organisation of spell lists, which may be considered to operate at a level that does not require much knowledge or application of the underlying metaphysics. It is only when planar travel and specific summoning (“By all that is holy! This situation calls for a Rot Elemental!”) are required does this lore become a necessity, and only a few sages (and my updated version of RoCo IV’s Astral Traveller) are privy to it.

Back to the Magician: if the elements are as complex and fundamental as the above model assumes, then Magicians, as the primary manipulators of basic elemental matter, ought conceivably to have a command of both the aggressive/defensive manifestations of the elements but also the more metaphysical aspects of the elements. This degree and style of learning requires that Magicians have ‘primary’ access to one – and one only – element, in which they can potentially master all the power an element provides.  Thus a magician might specialise in Fire: they gain lists that manipulate the transcendent aspects of Fire (the chosen list here is Fire Law) and the immanent aspects. I used the list Fire Forms from RoCo VII and the list Fire’s Influence from the January 2009 Guild Companion. So that’s three of six Base Lists. I also gave them Elemental Summons (RoCo II), with the proviso that only Fire Elementals could be summoned using the list. Fire Magicians also gain a ‘metaphysical’ list linked to the element: I selected the Paladin list Inspirations (RoCo II) to represent the courage and inspiration that Fire grants. Finally, I gave the list Mage Sign (RoCo VII) to all Magician’s regardless of elemental selection, to reflect a basic training that all Magicians receive.

I did retain the six elements of the original Magician and added ‘Dark’ as a seventh – more because I wanted to draw on the existing material in the Core and Companions rather than spending the rest of my life concocting spell lists for all of the basic elements and the Niches. One of these days, I’d like to give the system my full attention and create a set of lists that appropriately reflects the juiciness of the underlying concept (without following the rather generic path of the Elemental Companion).

Rolemaster Deconstruction: Daily X Magic Items.

Back from vacation and thought I would dip my toe back into blogging with a short deconstruction article! Today I wanted to address “Daily X” items and the mechanics around it.

When I first started with RM, the Daily X magic items were great: they softened the power of traditional permanent items found in D&D and they worked well with the Imbedding spell lists. These items were also a great way to augment player shortcomings or add spell capability to non-magic users.

My only real issue is the “Daily X” part itself–that the spell abilities “recover” at the start of the next day. Sort of an instant charge that occurs at 12:01. I’ve had players abuse this before; they scheduled attacks right before midnight hoping to use their Daily X items right before, and then again, right after midnight. Certainly that’s an annoying exploit and a sensible GM may arbitrarily stop that…but that’s not how the rule reads.

To avoid this type of rule abuse, I changed “Daily X” definition to a per/hour calculation. So a Daily V item could be used up to once per 5 hours or a Daily I every 24 hours. This certainly nerfs the Daily X items, but I also have Battle Runes, permanent imbeds and other options in the BASiL lists to fill in those gaps.