I’ve been reading quite a few RPG blogs lately, and as you might imagine most of them discuss DnD or one of it’s near variants. Some of it is nostalgia (OSR), part curiosity, and general interest in other viewpoints and experiences. One thing I notice over and over–most of these other blogs and forums don’t spend too much time on rule litigation/arbitration. Most blog posts are:
- Product reviews or retrospectives
- In game experiences
- General advice on creating content or running games.
That made me wonder what non-RM rpg players see when they encounter online RM content. First, if you google “rolemaster, blog” you won’t get that many results. Some of it is older forum discussion on “chartmaster”, “rulesmaster” or the complexity of playing. That’s probably not best foot foward. So how about the people that check out the RM Forums? What do they see or what impression do they get? If they aren’t a member they won’t see the RMU development forums (that may not be a bad thing–those discussions really get in the weeds). If you are active on the RM Forums, take a step back and look at it through the lense of a new user.
One of the most active thread topics of course is “Rolemaster”. What are the current topics? “Withdrawing from Melee”, “How to teleport into a moving target”, “how to handle Perception/Stalking”, “monster orientation roles”. These threads and many, many more are adjudication topics–“How do I handle this or interpret the ruleset”?
I’ve made the analogy before comparing Rolemaster to DOS and other game systems to MAC OS. DOS users love to tinker and program while MAC users just want a packaged user experience. While I consider the “rule programming” of RM a plus, I often wonder if it has been at the cost of user experiences (game content). Obviously Terry can only write so much, so fast. MERP is in permanent stasis, Cyradon and Echoes of Heaven are…(I have no idea really)? When people do wax nostalgic about RM it’s usually about the old MERP modules: artwork, maps etc and of course the cool critical tables. How do you create more content? Does opening up to third parties help? Is there even a large enough user base?
When I read about cool new content and modules in other RPG blogs, I sometimes feel like an outsider. What do other players see when they look at RM now?