The Rolemaster Blog

Comparing DnD and Rolemaster Professions

What I would like to achieve is attract some new players into the Rolemaster fold. Additionally Spectre771 has recently asked me what character professions were available. Below is a table with the DnD classes on the left and the possible best match professions to the right. I took this list from Wikipedia and it does not match my memory. I definitely remember the assassin as a profession and I am sure that wizards were called magic users but then there have been so many versions of DnD since I played that I am well out of touch.

D ‘n’ D Class Rolemaster Profession
Barbarian Barbarian
Bard Bard
Cleric Cleric (variations based upon deity)
Druid Animist
Fighter Fighter
Monk Monk
Warrior Monk
High Warrior Monk
Paladin Paladin
Ranger Ranger
Rogue Thief
Sorcerer Sorcerer
Arch Mage
Wizard Magician

There are some other professons that do not seem to have a direct equivelant. These are the Elemental Warrior (seven variants) which I suspect is on a par with the swordmage and six other spell casters; Healer, Alchemist, Astrologer, Mentalist, Lay Healer and Delver.

In my personal view Healers are terrible PCs. The way magic works in Rolemaster is that you learn lists of spells and they fall into three groups. Open lists are the easiest to learn but also the least powerful. Closed lists are restricted to just the pure and hybrid spell casters and are more powerful and Base lists that are unique to each profession. So the difference between an illusionist’s spells and a magician’s will be in the six base lists for each profession. Channelling spell caster’s closed lists are frequently about healing so all pure and hybrid channeling users can heal. A Healer then has access to the weaker open lists and then closed healing magic and then even more base healing magic. It is just a bit too much of the same thing with too few other options.

The Astrologer is often a hard character to GM as the profession can see into the future. How do you handle a character than knows what will happen before the party even open the door to the vault?

The alchemist is there to create magic items, that is what they do. Their spells and processes can take weeks to cast and complete but their range of spells is quite useful.

The Delver is a knowledge seeker. The best Delver I have ever seen in play was heavily influenced by Indiana Jones and was quite fun to play alongside.

The mentalism professions are the pure Mentalist and the Lay Healer. Think of these as your psionicists or as I like to think of them Jedi. The lay healer is one of my favourite professions for a PC.

So if you are one of the people who wants to play in my version of the Forgotten Realms then those are the professions you have to choose from and if you are moving from DnD to Rolemaster those are the equivelants to help you get oriented.

I am farily sure I will have offended someone with my assessment of the Healer but then every class probably has their own fans and detractors.