The theme of 2017

I have been looking back at a few posts from this year. One of the recurring themes seems to be that none of us are in love with Channelling magic. I have stated that you could do away with it and roll the spell lists into mentalism and essaence very easily. The very core concept that Channelling magic is an act of god makes no sense at all when you take Shadow Worlds gods into account as they are not divine beings, just very powerful mundane ones.

Brian’s rewrite of the respective clerical base lists really shows what Channelling could have been but isn’t.

Does channelling magic need more love?

I think the problem with the Channelling realm is twofold. The first is Life Giving. If it is in your campaigns and generally available then it takes a major element of threat out of your games. If you don’t allow it then you have taken the one thing that Channelling can do that no one else can out of the game.

The other problem is the Paladin. This the ultimate icon of the Channelling realm. The pin up boy of heroines everywhere. To make the Paladin work in off the shelf Rolemaster required all sorts of patches and fixes. The RoCo1 profession is generally considered overpowered and without the ‘transcend armour’ skill potentially non functioning. If you play with fully featured encumbrance rules then the Paladin is in trouble again.

On the other hand a Mentalism Paladin works just fine and there is already a profession. I mean of course the Noble Warrior, that is a Paladin without gods.

The Forgotten Realms is the setting for my campaign. In this setting the idea of clerics Raising Dead is not a problem. It cuts both ways in that dead characters can be brought back but so can evil villains and an arch Nemesis. (Do you reckon the plural of Nemesis is Nemesi? Spell Check doesn’t like it!)

I have a game running right now that is RMC pretty much Rules As Written (RAW). That game has professions and all three realms. I am hoping to start a game later this year with my profession-less, level-less, Realm-less and with emphasised Stats. If that test game works as well as I had hoped and the players have fun then that could be the death of the Channelling Realm for me!

8 Replies to “The theme of 2017”

  1. I think the tweaks Brian has made to Channeling make it now a very exciting and useful realm. Clerics in particular are a lot more fun to play now that they have the equivalent of DnD’s domain lists. And the Paladin lists for RMU are fantastic: they supplement the Semi-Spell User’s combat focus with lots of useful instantaneous spells.

    That said, I think your general point about the Channeling realm is true: without the lifegiving spells, it isn’t quite as distinct from the other realms as it could be. This is a general problem with RM, though the developers of RMU have made attempts to make the realms more distinct that might not be immediately noticeable at first glance. I’d like to see them made a bit more distinct, starting with the Druid, who had some really flavorful lists in RM2 (Druidstaff which gave him awesome staves, and Stone Master which allowed him to go full Yoda and hurl rocks at enemies) that haven’t been duplicated in RMU.

    One other change that might be useful is to make Resurrection a higher level spell. It is only level 6, which would mean that every two-bit village priest would be capable of it. With Rolemaster spells going up to level 50, I think Resurrection should be higher than 6, which would limit the culture-breaking implications of having resurrection available to pretty much every journeyman cleric in the game.

    RM2 used to have rules for body decomposition that limited the effectiveness of resurrection spells (i.e. you came back with reduced stats), and even DnD had some rules for this IIRC. So some permanent penalty might be necessary to prevent endless resurrections. Good point though about enemies coming back too!

    And since you asked: the plural for ‘nemesis’ is ‘nemeses’. Some Greek nouns (and Latin loan words descended from them) decline that way (ending in ‘-is’ singular, ‘-es’ plural, even though both can sound plural to an English speaker due to the final ‘s’).

    1. Nemesi didn’t sound quite right, a bit too much like Octopi which despite being scarily intelligent don’t make into enough RPG adventures.

      I agree, I really like the BASiL channelling lists. The Noble Warrior could also supercharge their dedicated weapon which saved the GM from having to dish out powerful magic items. I like the Druidstaff spells.

      1. I think the lack of a heavy, armor-using Mentalism semi is a missed opportunity in RMU. The #1 benefit to me of the Mentalism realm is the ability to wear armor without having to worry about casting penalties. But none of the core RMU Mentalism semis are particularly armor-focused: Magents are more like spies, and monks tend not to wear armor. Neither has particularly good costs for armor.

        So that does leave me pining for a return of the Noble Warrior or some of the other heavily armored Mentalism semis of Rolemaster’s past to fill the gap. The Armsmaster and Battlemaster I think would be good. I’ve actually thought about making them with RMU skill costs:

        –An Armsmaster who is a Mentalism semi and focuses on individual combat skills. He is kind of like a Champion. Another possible name for the class would be Kensai or Samurai.

        –A Battlemaster who is a Mentalism semi focused on battlefield command. He would essentially be like a Warlord or Marshal.

        –A Witcher. If you’ve ever read the Witcher novels or played the videogames, you will recognize this as a really fun class. He uses arms and armor but also concocts his own potions and bombs/grenades. He might fit better as an Essence user, but then the armor would be a problem; so making him Mentalism might be better.

        1. I like the mix of a mentalism alchemist.

          The Noble Warrior was one of the best RM2 semis I think. Mentalism open lists are very handy and the base lists plus heavy armour made for a complete all rounder.

          1. I loved the Noble Warrior! That would have been my first choice for a character in RMU if it had been available. The Paladin is still pretty great though.

  2. When I redid the Paladin for my world, I actually took some Noble Warrior lists and incorporated them into the Paladin stuff. The catch was a character had to be promoted to full Paladin in order to access them. I did retain the Noble Warrior, but it was a Profession restricted to a specific culture (I have a number of those in my setting…it provides a solid game-driven mechanic for controlling some of the more potent Professions).

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