I thought I would share a little bit of background as to why I am so interested in Rolemaster and Faerun. The game I am running is not your usual Friday night gaming session. My players and I get together just twice a year for a gaming only weekend where we manage about 30hrs of pure roleplaying once you take out the time needed for sleeping and eating. The next of these mammoth weekends is just eight days away and I have been working up to this session since November last year.
The game is set in Faerun as you know and after the time of troubles. I have never played a game in the forgotten releams before but I do own a lot of the materials, picked up cheaply second-hand, and none of my players have adventured in there either. Due to the infrequency of the gaming sessions I wanted something that would keep the game alive between meetings. There are so many forgotten realms books now on kindle for free or so cheap as to be almost free
that both my players and I could read about the world gaining in our understanding of the setting and its lore.
My players are familiar with Shadow World, a native Rolemaster game setting, and one of the features of Shadow World are Eassence Storms. Faerun after the time of troubles had areas of wild magic and for me I can make the two almost synonymous and give my players a point of reference they can identify with.
I hope you can see that as a setting the realms is an incredibly easy option even if like me and all my players you have busy lives and obligations and cannot devote the hours and days required to create a believable and rich bespoke gaming world of your own. I honestly believe that if you have never visited the realms and you are planning on starting a new campaign then it is definitely worth your consideration.
If you are coming from the D&D world then as a transition to Rolemaster it is easier to have as many familiar points of reference for your players and again the realms can serve you well. Not every monster or race has a direct one to one equivalent but that is one of the things I am addressing here. I am creating the Rolemaster statistics for anything I find in the forgotten realms that I cannot find in the Rolemaster rules and more importantly I am going to create them for the forth coming new edition of Rolemaster, Rolemaster Unified (RMU).
I have up until now been holding some things back. These are creatures and such that my players have not yet met and I do not want to reveal before the game session coming up just in case they stumble upon this blog. They do not know I am writing this and I am not going to tell them. Once they have met/defeated and have the measure of the next new monster on the menu then I will happily share the stats with you all.
I will of course share with you the parties progress as they get on with their adventures.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you but this is going to smack some one up really badly when it unwinds!
In the Monster Manual we had Treants, in MERP they were Ents and Active Trees. If you are just coming to Rolemaster then Creatures & Treasures (Page 51) gives you three varieties to play with, the Awakened Tree, Slowroots and Treeherds being 5th, 10th and 20th level respectively.
Your Awakened Tree is the the classic horror moving dark forest that the innocent fool wanders into before disappearing never to be seen again while everyone in the audience is thinking “Why do they always go into the forest in the middle of the night all alone when people are disappearing?” (If you know what I mean.)
Your Slowroots and Treeherds are the more ‘goodly’ variants and the Rolemaster equivalents of Tolkien Ents as seen in the Lord of the Rings.
I am pretty sure the tree in the photo above is completely natural and the twisting just a turn of fate (groan!) and that I didn’t catch it about the beat the hell out of me. If that is true then how would a party of adventurers ever be able to tell when they walk into an ambush of this kind?
I did say a while ago that I was going to give the gameable stats for both RM2/RMC and RMU for everything I write about. In Nicholas Caldwell’s directors briefing this month he says how well the second beta of Rolemaster Unified is coming along and there is the promise of the RMU Creature Law to come too.
I cannot see the benefit of statting things out for RMU Beta 1 when Beta 2 is just around the corner so for the time being I will skip the RMU stats and just stick to RM2/RMC.
What I am really looking forward to is getting some RMU stats for the Undead. There are a few adventures I would like to create using the undead as the main existential threat with an evil cleric or necromancer pulling the strings in the background. I like playing an NPC to the absolute max of their ability to see just what they could achieve.
This is one area where Rolemaster spell casters massively out-gun their D&D counterparts. In the AD&D that I used to play Animate Dead was a 3rd level Cleric and a 5th level Magic User spell meaning that the characters needed to be 5th or 9th level respectively to case it. In Rolemaster your evil cleric can go around raising his Zombies or Skeletons from 1st level although they will only last for a minute a level at that point. From 5th level onwards he or she can create permenant undead followers.
One of the beauties of Rolemaster spell users and spell lists is the way you can combine things. With Channeling users such as Clerics they can use Symbols to create your classic standing stone type shrine that will happily create an undead ‘guardian’ once a day if an infidel were to wander by. Again this is a 5th level spell. So even if the evil cleric isn’t at home when the players come knocking they still get to fight any permenant undead they ay have created and have others effectively respawn should the players return the following night.
Fearûn definitely has enough evil gods to give any GM ample opportunity to play with the undead, evil clerics and necromancers in abundance.