Rolemaster, Rolemasterblog and the Future!

I was reading James recent blog over at Grognardia, and it made me think about the current state of this blog and what topics to write about in the future. While James has written more posts (orders of magnitude more), I’m currently sitting at 426 posts over the last 10 years. That’s not bad considering I’ve had lots of downtime and gaps in my output.

Also like James, it’s harder for me to find new material to discuss and/or I realize I’ve already written on the topic years ago. I always thought it was odd when someone would tell me they couldn’t remember how old they were (it tracks now that I’m in my 50’s), and it can also be difficult to remember what I blogged about five, eight or even ten years ago! I think I’ve mined some interesting angles with Rolemaster and Shadow World, but I’m not sure where else I can go with this. Inspiration will occur, but I suspect at a much slower rate.

So where does that leave us? RMU is finally out (mostly), Terry has passed leaving Shadow World indeterminate, TTRPG’s are as popular as they have ever been, and there are numerous channels to explore gaming topics. What conclusions can we draw from these basic observations:

  1. The environment is right to promote Rolemaster/RMU. The system is still one of the few “complex” systems for gamers looking for more verisimilitude. Just like in the early 80’s, players converted to Rolemaster for greater realism or grittiness. Those conditions still exist today–most games embrace simplicity and “rule lite’ structures; there will always be a need for complexity for maturing gamers. It’s a cycle. We need a blogger to cover RMU rules and issues.
  2. Shadow World is still a viable setting for Rolemaster and with a bit of tweeking, RMU. I’ll continue to focus on SW as my main blogging topic, and continue to produce material for that setting. I’m currently focusing on using AI tools to leverage that effort.
  3. In general we need more writers with other viewpoints, ideas and material to contribute to this blog. If you prefer long form over short tweets or discord give blogging a try. There isn’t much RM blogging out there, so it might be better to consolidate output into the Rolemasterblog?
  4. Overall we need to keep the Rolemaster flame lit. RMU has drawn new users and brought old users back. When they search the web they need to find a home, content or a community to engage. Basically there are 3 choices: Rolemaster Forums, Rolemasterblog and RM discord servers.

Sometimes it’s hard to gauge engagement when there is a lack of comments–so let me ask directly. What do you like to read about? Is there material or topics that we haven’t touched upon? Is there something we should focus on more? What material would you find more engaging or comfortable commenting or participating in?

Rolemasterbloggery: Happy Anniversary–to ME!

It completely escaped my notice until today, but April 26th was 1 year since my first post on Since that first blog I was able to put up 114 posts in 12 months–almost 1 blog post every 3 days! I’m not sure how long I can continue that pace; part of the reason Peter and I would like to see other contributors on the blog (plus it’s nice to have new voices, thoughts and viewpoints).

I’ve started reviewing some of these older posts; even in one years time some of my ideas and positions have changed.  Plus I couldn’t even recall half of what I wrote so it’s fun to reread some of them to remind myself what I was thinking at the time. In no particular order, here are a few that I thought are worth revisiting:

5/15/16. Skill Atrophy. Judging by the response, there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm for this rule proposal, but, we’ve been using it for quite some time and I still like it. For anyone that took the winter off from exercise, you know that loss of physical fitness is a real phenomena. Skill atrophy models that,  it incentives players to continue spending DPs on core competencies,  and it tackles skill bloat at higher levels.

5/28 Missile Parry.  We’ve been using missile parry for so long I think of it as core RAW. Our missile parry encompasses the missile DB of Adrenal Defense, the secondary skill for blocking missiles and adds cinematic elements of master swordsmen knocking arrows out of the air. Like other combat modifiers, parrying a missile is subject to a modifier based on the missile type and the effectiveness of the weapon iteself. So blocking an arrow with a war mattock is not going to be that effective. ( Martial Arts generally have the lowest penalties).

6/4/16. Cool Shadow World Mounts. Terry’s use of cool animals for mounts is a great ADD for SW!

7/12/16. Quantitative Labeling.  I moved almost completely away from qualitative labeling in my RM game. Difficulties are just assigned penalties, creature sizes are numbered etc.

11/9/16. Interview with Terry Amthor. Always worth a re-read. I keep thinking of new questions to ask Terry but he is just too busy!!

12/12/16. Chartless Rolemaster.  This wasn’t the best written post, but it’s an important argument. Barring attack charts, crits and fumble charts we’ve eliminated virtually all charts in our RM game. My recent blog about character creation in 15 minutes and there is a path and counter narrative to the “RM Complexity/Chartmaster” complaints.

For this coming year, we are focusing on more game content rather than just rule hacks. Our 50in50 will introduce 50 adventure hooks: 1 per day for 50 days. For my own goals, I’ll be putting out a 50 page magic item supplement, a adventure guide for the Shadow World “Pales”, 5 high level adventures (hopefully with some help), SWARM ruleset…plus Mentalism realm for my BASiL project!!! In that time, I’m really hoping to have ICE/Terry move ahead with publishing “Priest King” and starting the review of “Empire of the Black Dragon”.