All Those Rules….

I’m corresponding with a number of long time Rolemaster users. One of the most surprising things I encounter is the rigid adherence to any published material. To distill: “If it’s published, it’s Canon “.

Look, there is solid material in many of the Companion books, but they are only proffered as alternate material. So many RM users take these fringe rules as absolute. Why is that?

It’s clearly stated in RM Companion 1 that these are “alternate” rules…In my opinion they get a bit crazy after RM3. It’s not that they are bad rules, but they aren’t official rules. That bleeds thru in comments throughout the web. Is it just me?

4 Replies to “All Those Rules….”

  1. I’ve commented on this many times, both here and the RM forum. I tend to think it’s because the majority of games from the RM era only published what might be considered “official” additions to the rules (at least in book form). Collecting a bunch of house rules and shoving them out as a single package was bound to confuse people…especially since TSR used Dragon Magazine and other outlets to do the same thing. ICE didn’t exactly have a magazine, so they did Companions…which feel more “official” and thus canon as opposed to a magazine article. Also, the “optional rules” disclaimer was usually buried in the introduction, and not many really read the introduction. It might have gotten the point across better if each Companion would have had a “how to use these OPTIONAL rules” section (you know…like you used to see in many of the Dragon articles), but they didn’t.

    The most solid companion to me was RMC I, followed by RMC III. After that they pretty much went off the rails, at least for my group’s gaming style. I don’t think many grasp that RMC I was essentially a collection of house rules someone did for their campaign. It did benefit from a unified author “voice,” which many of the later Companions lack.

  2. Fully agree with the optionality of the RMC I thru infinite rules. The structure of those books made it so that GMs and their party could pick and choose. And of course, they are optional – how many turn-based initiative systems are you going to use? There are about 4 or 5 different ways you can do it.

    Some spell lists were way OP, others just fine. Some classes were pretty OP too (RMCI HWM for example)… but others became staples at our table. RMCI – III we pretty much used most of those rules. IV – Elemental, we picked what we liked (classes, spell lists) and got our GM to buy off on it.

  3. Hi, I tried to reach you guys under older post. Years ago, around 2016, you create something like conversion of DnD to D100. You called it DnD 5ed x5. Link in the old post is invalid. Is this possible to get anything from that conversion? I would be happy even for some old notes if there are any 🙂

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