I have cleared the decks a little and last night I started to look at Navigator RPG again.

The first thing that would strike you is the limited scope of the game. So far we have three races and five professions, that is it.

My justification for this is twofold. Firstly, I am trying to follow the source material, White Star as closely as possible and that is the full set of player character classes in the book, plus one. I have added in an extra profession, the Mystic. Mystics are what Spacemaster fans would recognise as true and semi-telepaths. I thought they were an important part of Spacemaster and needed to be included.

We have stats. These are d100 rolls, re-roll anything under 21 and if you have no stats over 90 then your two lowest can be elevated to 90.

Potentials are all 101 and stat gain rolls will cost DPs.

DPs are fixed at 50 per level.

Stat bonuses are (Stat-50)/3 so no table needed for stat bonuses.

Character races or Species are built using talents. I have included six talents and one flaw. These serve as a model for 3rd party writers to create a whole spectrum of optional talents and Species.

Mixed Species are easily possible by mixing and matching the talents that define the parents.

We now have seven cultures. Each culture gives 50DPs worth of skills.

We have simple guidelines for creating new cultures.

As I said above we have five professions but we also have the rules for creating new professions. Each profession comes with 50DPs of ‘basic training’ in the professions core skills. We also get Professional skill bonuses. Every profession has individual skill costs.

Things I have borrowed is the idea of Expertise skills that reduce penalties but do not give bonuses. This has allowed me to remove the four individual moving in armour skills.

I have borrowed the fixed 50DPs and I have borrowed the method of creating ‘half races’. In effect the three races I have created could be turned into six different species.

The calculated stat bonuses comes from Hurin.

All skills are going to have three governing stats and the stat bonuses are going to be additive rather than averaged. I just find that easier.

After being given 50DPs of skills from your culture, 50DPs of skills from your basic training you will then have an additional 50DPs to spend as you wish to customise your character. This means that a starting character will be level 1 and have 150DPs of skills in place.

Limited Scope

I said there were two reasons for the limited scope. This whole project is dependent on building a community who will add to the game. The tools for creating new Species, Talents, Flaws, Cultures, Professions and Skills are right there in the core rules and just enough examples are provided to give people what they need to build what they want. A spin off benefit of limited scope is time to completion.

In project management you can decide what you want a project to achieve or when you want to complete a project but you cannot define both. You either ship what you have on completion day your you ship the completed project when it is finished. By limiting the scope of the project the time to completion is going to be much shorter. As it is I am hoping to have the game up to the point where you can create a character by the end of this week.

The most time consuming things I have to deal with this week will be calculating all the skills costs for my five professions and all the skills and then writing all the skill descriptions.


After that the next set of rules in White Star than need converting are Movement, Skill Resolution and Resistance Rolls. I am hoping that they will be able to be completed in a week although I have a busy couple of weeks coming up.

Comments (10)

  1. Terefang


    heroic stat roll method: roll d000 — drop lowest, highest is tens, middle is ones.

  2. intothatdarkness


    Glad to hear this is coming along well! If you don’t mind my asking, how are you going to handle combat? I’ve decided to take my modern stuff independent from RMU, and the one bit that still makes me hesitate is melee/HTH combat. I’ve already got guns and modern armor sorted, but RM’s martial arts were never going to work for a fluid, modern system.

    • Peter R


      Remember that I am building this with the intention that every single part of it will be replaced by 3rd parties….

      I am going to build RM style combat tables using 10 armour classes. That will satisfy the OSR/ old style D&D requirement. For the melee weapons I will construct the tables using the White Star damage times 5 (basically a conversion from d20 to d100) to get the maximum damage for each weapon. I have the old AD&D weapon vs armour modifiers so I can customise every melee, bow and throw weapon table. The weakness will be guns. My intention is to research some of the modern equipment OSR supplements and see how they have handled it and basically copy them across.

      I am scrapping the 4 tiers of martial arts. It will be a combat skill with a standard OB the same as any other. One each for strikes, throws and grapples.

      All this is purely in theory as I haven’t got there yet.

      • intothatdarkness


        Guns are tricky because in my opinion only a handful of games actually got them right. And by right I mean making them dangerous enough that players don’t run around blasting willy-nilly with no real consequences. But that’s one of my gaming biases.

        I’d avoid the ICE stuff when it comes to firearms. They never had any consistency and got too many things (in my opinion) wrong. The original Recon was perhaps the easiest to use, but also one of the most deadly. Recon goes back to the early/mid 1980s so it’s VERY OSR. I can’t think of any that used RM-style attack tables, though. Mostly it was dice based (accurately or loosely) on caliber (or some approximation thereof), and very few I saw considered armor at all. GDW’s Twilight 2000 had its moments, but it might not convert well.

        Things like Grey Ghost might work, but I’ve only skimmed those rules (whereas I think you’ve actually run it).

        Since I’ve been watching the John Wick movies I’m using those as something of a level 50 fight model…and that’s shaping how I look at combat rounds and integrating HTH and weapons combat. If the system can handle some of those fights, I think it’s flexible enough to deal with anything below it.

  3. Hurin


    Sounds like a lot of fun! Mind if I ask what the five professions are (beyond Mystic)?

  4. Pingback: Spacemaster and the OSR - The Rolemaster Blog

  5. Pingback: Stats (and Skills) in the Navigator RPG - The Rolemaster Blog

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