A few thoughts on a sunday afternoon.

  1. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming 50 in 50 project that we’ve been working on. It’s easy to get caught up in optional rules, RMU reviews and game mechanics at the expense of writing or discussing actual gaming content!  Personally, coming up with 25 short adventures or encounters that had an interesting hook was a challenging creative exercise. Peter and I had all of the outlines done in 2 months and are now working on the final edits. I’ve blogged about it before, but RM would be better served if there were more ready to play adventures being published. In related news, I think our next challenge: 5 adventures for 50th level has turned out to be a great exercise!
  2. Speaking of alternate rules…I think fumble ranges need to be INCREASED–dramatically. It’s one thing to pick up a weapon, spin it about and perform some flourishes; it’s another to use any object in combat or fast moving, dynamic situations. We already use # of skill ranks to offset combat maneuvers and RM rules has an optional rule that fumble range can be reduced. For instance, I’m thinking a fumble range of 25 for a flail, with a minimum of 5, reduced by # of skill ranks.
  3. RM Deconstruction. I’ve been wondering if I need to take another look at the actual stats. Do we need 10? I think Self Discipline, Presence, Intuition, Empathy need further thought. On one hand, I can see what they model. Can Self Discipline and Presence be combined into a “Will” stat? Can Intuition and Empathy be merged?

Anyone have any thoughts?


17 Replies to “A few thoughts on a sunday afternoon.”

  1. I’m frankly fine with ten stats. I’ve found uses for almost all of them, and see no reason to lose that part of RM. There’s other things that need to be fixed or revisited, and if the stats are made more integral to the game you’ll likely find you need ten to round things out properly.

    I’d rather see combat fixed, to include getting rid of that bloody “flurry of blows” model for melee. Taking the round to two seconds comes close to accomplishing that. And what about making sure core RM plays well with other genres than fantasy?

  2. I also like the 11 stats we have now. I think it is an odd number but then most of RM it totally illogical so that is fine.

    I think the fact that stats of virtually no importance in RM beyond giving DPs is a bigger issue. The stat bonus to skills is of so little importance after just a couple of levels that they are of no consequence unless house ruled.

  3. Regarding the 50 in 50 adventures I have 2 more extremely hectic weeks and then I will be back on editing full steam ahead to get mine done.

  4. I’m ok with the 10 stats, though I think Empathy could definitely have had a better name. When you think, ‘What made Saruman so great a wizard?’, you don’t naturally think, ‘His empathy!’ If anything, empathy might be a better name for the stat that deals with Mentalism spells (Presence right now) than with Essence ones. I’ve never been able to come up with the perfect name though.

    I agree with Peter’s point about the stat bonuses being relatively insignificant. I think if RMU went with a stat bonus equation of (stat – 50)/3, you would see stats matter a bit more. You wouldn’t have to get the stat into the 90s to really start mattering; an 80 Strength would give you a +20 bonus to melee skills (+10 bonus and then x2 since melee is Str/Str/Ag). So stats would matter a little more.

  5. One way to help with the stat bonus thing could be to remove the -25 penalty for not having a skill for certain skills or skill categories. Hurin’s method is also valid, but I’m not crazy about adding another formula to the mix. RM has enough of those as it is. Now if said formula were to hide behind a table used during character creation that’s another story.

    1. Yes, to clarify: I wasn’t suggesting removing the table. I was just suggesting to smooth the stat bonuses with a regular equation, so that you could figure out the bonus without the table if you are good with math. The table should of course still be in the book.

      We had a similar issue in RM2, where the stat bonuses were originally not smoothed at all, such that a 89 gave only a +5 while a 90 gave +10. We didn’t like that so much (maybe that was just our personal preference), and it led to some munchkinism as players tried to game the system to get to 90, so we were happy when Companion I introduced more smoothed stat bonuses. We just felt that the smoother system should go all the way to an entirely smooth system, and I think the (stat -50/3) equation allows you to finally get all the way there.

        1. We never actually implemented a fully smoothed system in RM2; we just used the somewhat more smoothed system from RM2.

          With RMU, we use the (stat – 50)/3 equation to derive a percentile stat from a stat bonus on those rare occasions when we need to have a percentile stat. This is of course because we’ve done away with percentile stats and just roll for the bonuses directly. So for example, a +10 stat bonus for Con can be translated into an 80 stat if we just reverse the equation to be (bonus x3) + 50.

          Interestingly, our stats do have a bell curve in a way, even though we are using a smoothed system for deriving the percentile stat. The bell curve comes in the form of the dice we roll for stat bonuses: 3d10 – 15. That produces a nice bell (with all stats in the range from +15 to -12), much like the DnD bell curve.

  6. I have been thinking today that RM could do with an underground monster manual.

    Right now we cannot stat out adventures because all the monsters stats are ICE intellectual property. An alternative monster book would be our own or better still open source or OGL.

    Anyone could then use it to create playable adventures to give away or if they are good enough to sell.

    1. I’m at the point where my own “Character Law” is different enough that there is no IP conflict (and you can’t protect game rules anyway). My spell law uses different casting mechanisms, tons of new spells and some of the names could be changed easily. Could be used as a “bolt on” for RM Arms Law–like RM did originally for DnD!!! A monster manual would be great, C&T was very generic anyway; the only original creatures are used in SW.

      1. I wonder about this, too. About all that’s left of the core RM/RMU mechanics in my modern stuff are the stats and some of the skill frameworks. Almost everything else has been changed, drastically in some cases. I like to think it’s a solid, workable system with great flexibility for non-magic settings, but I don’t know how well it will ‘play’ with RMU.

        1. The logical thing to do, I think, is to go back to an ‘original source’ and use the D&D 3.5 or even the 5e SRD monsters and do a fresh conversion to RM from that source.

          The source material is then open and the derived work may contain an ‘Orc’, ‘Kobold’ or ‘Goblin’ but they are not owned in any way by ICE.

          We all have our own Character Laws that all produce roughly comparable characters. If they didn’t then none of us could use any of the official content like Green Gryphon or the Shadow World stats.

          BriH has the most sophisticated bolt on Magic System. Mine is still very much in sketchy outline mode and completely untested.

          To stat out complete adventures we do not need an alternative Arms Law. Having said that I think if we locked Hurin and JessicaEwers in a room together for a week we would get one. They have already embraced armour by the piece and they could explode the generic charts into individual weapons charts. I think the alternative weapons charts being bandied around are vastly superior the to RAW charts.

          Once Creature Law is published I will buy it and use the D&D monster manuals to create an Open monster book. After all, what is one more thing on my To Do list?

          1. Quote: ‘Having said that I think if we locked Hurin and JessicaEwers in a room together for a week we would get one. ‘

            Ha! Jessica could do it in a week… I’d probably take a few months. But we would both take that as a compliment 🙂

      2. I have considered going back to RM’s roots as a bolt on for D&D (and, these days, Pathfinder). Adding alternate systems onto D&D may very well work. After all, it did originally. Not everyone will want a more complex critical/fumble system for example, but I reckon there would be interest in it.

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