The Black Companion

Thanks to Marc and his discord server I have had an opportunity to look into someone else’s RMu game.

Everything I run will of course be coloured by my own preference for play style. Marc was half joking when he said about me “You don’t don’t use any rules.” when we were discussing our GMing styles.

One of the things that came out of talking to Marc and seeing his campaign discussions is how RMu is always going to struggle with other people’s expectations. That gave me an idea, the so called Black Companion.

Part of the inspiration comes from Shadow of the Demon Lord supplements. In the descriptions on DriveThruRPG they explicitly list which core and companion books they use.

One of the difficulties with writing for Rolemaster, in the past, has been knowing what optional rules are in play as nearly all the optional rules end up increasing the power level*.

There will be some alternative methods or missing elements in the core books when they are released that have been discussed on the forums but rejected by the dev team. I am thinking of dedicated two handed weapon tables, charging rules, movement costing AP and alternative Called Shot rules. Those are the few that spring to mind. What I am thinking of is collecting these together and getting the authors to formalise their ideas based upon all the feedback that happened on the forum and then publish them as a ‘Black Companion‘ or alternative rejected options. Once we have a freestanding reference source of them then people an choose to adopt the included rules or not. At least they will all be using the same house rule to solve the same problem rather than having 50 variations to solve one problem.

So over the next few months I am going to trawl through the RMu Beta forums and try and identify these rejected, good ideas. Get the authors’ permission and then collate them all. It may even be easier for me to collect the ideas, summarise them and then just ask the originator’s permission to publish.

*Power Level in RMu could prove to be a real issue. How are we going to deal with adventures written for one power level but played at another? I would seem to be a case of having to adjust every single NPC in the book which is going to be a pain in the arse!

6 Replies to “The Black Companion”

  1. Cool idea and reminds me of the original RM Companion was created. IIRC, there was the “Red Book” that ICE staff had with optional rules.

  2. I have been collecting most if not all of the alternate rules I’ve been suggesting on the ICE forums, and was intending eventually to put them up here (on the blog) as House Rules and Combat Hacks. (The big thing preventing me from posting them up to now was that I was waiting for RMU to be finished before I finalized my own rules, since some of my suggestions have already been accepted and incorporated into RMU, while others still might before publication). I’ve also had several posters from the RMU forums PM me and ask for versions of my own houserules, which has prompted me to start putting them together in a file listing all of them.

    What do you think is the best thing for me to do with them all? I would be happy to post them here as Hacks/Houserules, or add them to the Black Companion.

    1. The only flaw in putting them on the blog is that they would soon slip away into the archives. Unless someone was actively searching for them they would disappear.

      The Black Companion would show up on DTRPG whenever anyone searched for Rolemaster which hopefully will be a lot more frequent once RMu is published.

      1. Even if we put them up in the Downloads or Combat Hacks section? I wouldn’t presume to ask for a place there if you didn’t want that, but Brian’s BASIL stuff is readily accessible there, so that’s where I was thinking might be a good place for everyone’s houserules.

        If you’d prefer to put them in a Black Companion though, I’m fine with that. It will take me a while to clean everything up.

        1. I think everything should be everywhere. I just don’t like the idea of great things being lost. I will happily put it in the Downloads section and the Combat Hacks. My concern is that people will not think to look for it.

          1. Sounds good!

            I will keep recording and working on my list of houserules — I need to not just finalize the wording but I would also like to give it an index and an order that follows that of the RMU rules in ArmsandCharacterLaw too.

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