RolemasterBlog Fanzine Issue #0005

So issue 5 is out on both RPGnow ( but more excitingly it is also on Kindle (

I also hope that by the time you read this it is also in print on Amazon (

I find the simple fact that anyone can write, publish and distribute a book now in virtually no time and at virtually no expense is very democratising.

This month I am trying to train myself to try and write 2,000-3,000 words a day on RPG related stuff. The fanzine is about 7,000 words but it also includes an adventure and a monster complete with stats. These take longer than just writing an essay or prose.

My guilty pleasure is the other game I have written, 3Deep, which is also available in print on both Amazon and RPGnow. I have both books on my bookshelf and I get a lot of pleasure just to pick them up and flick through them.

We have touched on something a few times recently and that is that you cannot truly divorce setting from rules. The rules exist to bring the setting to life. My game is billed as ‘generic’ and is sold without a setting. The fact that I am one of the ones who says that you need to have setting and rules in harmony how have I squared the circle?

My core rulebook is intended to be used with a setting companion. Each setting has its own companion that not only gives background and flavour for the GM wanting to play with that genre but any necessary rule tweaks. In this way the core magic system can be tweaked to create super powers for a Marvel style game or Mental abilities for Stranger Things.

So rather than being truly generic what I have built is something I conceive to be adaptive. The rules are only half the equation. Referring back to my challenge of writing 2k-3k words a day, my core rulebook is about 26,000 words in length but by the time you add in the obligatory tables and art that turns into an 80+ page rulebook.

3,000 words a day gives me about 20,000 words a week. I have nearly finalised my page layout style by begging, borrowing and stealing from the best looking books I have seen recently. So I theory I can write an entirely supplement in a week to ten days. Give me another week to edit it and another to do the page layout and I think I can publish a 60 to 80 page companion at a rate of one a month.

To make that even more impressive is the fact that I only really write this stuff while Mrs R is watching crap on TV. She rather likes period dramas such as Poldark, The Queen and Downton Abbey as well as Strictly Come Dancing. If you are not in the UK none of those may mean anything to you but the point is that I am just making use of time I would otherwise be wasting in front of the TV.

So far I have only hit the 3k target a couple of times but it is getting easier each day to get in the writing ‘zone’ and start getting productive. This week I wrote less but I did have to read a game for a review for a different blog.

I know that none of you care about my game or my insane desire to produce supplements but this does relate back to Rolemaster as well.

As long as we steer well clear of ICEs intellectual property we can, between us, produce non canon companions. ICE are not going to support RM2 any more but we could. Our 50 adventures are one such project. Brian has a  wealth of projects on the go from adventures to SWARM to BASiL and I even tried to tempt him with another cute acronym the other day, anyone fancy an alternative to Arms Law called BAAL?

So, in theory(!) if RMU turns out to still be one to two years away, and that is entirely possible. What bits of the companions did you find the most useful?

For me it was probably new open and closed base lists for the three realms and new base lists for the core professions.

What about you?

2 Replies to “RolemasterBlog Fanzine Issue #0005”

  1. I have a feeling that Downton Abbey is popular in the US. I have no idea how you can write with the television on though.

    I find the biggest block to writing is coming up with something to write about, or doing research for it (I’ve found that I can write a 1,500 words or so review of a film in an hour, but I first have to watch the film). Coming up with ‘100’ lists can be difficult as well. You don’t need just one idea, you need 100 small related ones. If I can boost my creativity I would be writing a heck of a lot more. Getting something flowing can result in a lot being written.

    Regarding companions, what I like in any system is new magical items and new spells. Especially innovative magic items or ones with a backstory (no swords +1 or similar in other words).

    Regarding companions

  2. “I find the simple fact that anyone can write, publish and distribute a book now in virtually no time and at virtually no expense is very democratising.”

    It is nothing short of revolutionary!

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