Where are the writers?

It seems almost ironic that a blog covering RPG’s has difficulty in finding new contributors. Right? Roleplaying games are a purely creative endeavor, a collaboration story-telling among it’s player and referee participants. By nature an improv process.

We have been lucky here at the Rolemasterblog in having a number of great contributors over the last 8 years (is that right Peter?). We want more bloggers! D&D and other systems have dozens and dozens of blogs–Rolemaster has a couple at best. Competitive disadvantages compel the few survivors to circle the wagons and join talents. Rolemaster was a powerhouse in the industry–even if that might not happen again, it still deserves a strong forum for ideas and advocacy. I see great ideas, thoughts and even discussion topics over at the Rolemaster Forums–many of those ideas can be expanded upon in a blog.

I have reached out to few people about writing for the Rolemasterblog. These are creative, talented and experienced GM’s–masters of the RPG craft after decades of gaming. Why won’t they write a blog post or two? Everyone has a difference answer: no time, don’t want to be criticized, aren’t confident writers, don’t want their players to read the blog for insight etc.

I would only point out that outside perspective is important. Potential new players, curious about “old school games” will google “Rolemaster”, “Shadow World”, “MERP” among others. If they see new, fresh content, they will click on it. They will believe that Rolemaster is still relevant. Let’s show them why.

If you have an idea, want to discuss your thoughts in a more public forum, or share the creative parts of your campaign or game, write for us! Contact Peter, he can set you up with access and the Rolemasterblog will grow as a blog and Rolemaster may be helped in the process. Isn’t that what we all want?

13 Replies to “Where are the writers?”

  1. I’ve seen an increase in activity in the Discord, maybe even directly related to the reduced activity here and in the forum.
    There are many channels divided by interest, and people have written messages that are longer than a post.
    Questions are asked and (detailed) answers are provided really fast, with the added possibility of threading discussions, easily referencing users or previous messages.
    Now, I understand you want more “content” than might be found in a Discord conversation, but from what I’ve read, a question like “How do you handle X in your campaign” will get you a lot of very interesting answers. Since the blog format is different and has others sets of pros and cons, maybe you could ask sets of questions on Discord, then compile the answers in a more readable, permanent format as blog posts (you’d need to ask for permission to those involved, of course).
    In my case, I’m never sure what about previous adventures or mechanics might be of interest to others, so instead of writing I’ll go on writing very long answers in the blog when the right question appears 🙂
    I’ve only written detailed adventure summaries once a campaign ends, but you can already see that as posts on the forum and my almost never updated blog: http://torrerolemaster.blogspot.com/

  2. I wish I had more to add to this particular post, but I’m as guilty as the next GM… My free time that I devote to all things “role-playing” is basically divided among the following lines:
    🔸Trying to adjust/streamline the RMU rules to fit my gaming style
    🔸World-building a setting that fits my unique vision of a game setting
    🔸Trying to be a contributor to the community (here, Discord, the forum, etc)
    🔸(Recently) Trying to contribute to a play-by-post game so I get reacclimatized to actually playing

    I do think that creativity begets creativity, and the more we post, the more it creates inspiration for others. Voriig does have a point in the role that this blog serves… for me, it gets me thinking different perspectives, and is a nice, more carefully considered format of idea exchange than Discord (which has equal value, albeit for different reasons).

  3. As Voriig said, we do see some other commentary on Rolemaster in other areas. That ICE finally got on Discord some time ago was a great sign, and that Unified is coming out this year (according to Mr. Caldwell) is even better. That said, they need to get on Reddit in a major way, which would certainly drive commentary. Of course I could see them being worried that their forums would then be neglected, but I think it’s overblown.
    Personally I would like to be more involved. I certainly was a few years ago years ago wrt Discord, Reddit and the forums, but Covid (as for many of us) disrupted things. Only now am in a place to start looking at gaming again.
    On my plate is a review of some Nuyam Khom stuff I’d spent some time on. I’m deep in the weeds currently on the differences between Hun, Scythian, Parthian and Mongolian horse archery technology (saddles, stirrups, bow composition, horses, grazing practices, etc…). Also getting a handle on the supposed effectiveness of crossbows vs horse archers plus researching non-equine mounts. Finally it’s to see how that jives with the official SW timeline. If that’s of any use to the blog (from a non-practitioners perspective), you’re welcome to it.

    1. We encourage any and all participation! The more Rolemaster the better. You should connect with Peter (who runs this blog) re: horse archery. He actually participates in the sport.

      1. I should talk with him. We’ve conversed in the past on a discord channel, and I seemed to remember a few posts here on horse archery. Besides I’ve always found that an ounce of experience almost always beats a pound of learning. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. I’ve contributed a thing or two in the past, but my two biggest challenges now are: RMU doesn’t really work for modern setting gaming so I’m developing my own system (which doesn’t steer anyone toward RM in any form), and for my fantasy gaming I don’t use Shadow World at all (and since SW seems to be the default official setting, people aren’t steered either).

  5. I’m not sure how much our lovely Silver Dragonlord still needs writers so I’m going to ask…
    I have this idea for ages but never posted in the forums because I don’t think it would work _there_: I always write some background stories for my important NPCs, which ranges from half a page to a few dozens, depending on inspired I am. Hence, I got an idea that would allow me to kill two birds with one stone, to have someone review my text and to see which image of the character said text inspires to someone else.
    In essence, my idea for a thread, for lack of a better word, would be for me to post one story (usually, but it could be several) centring around a character. For I’d like for people would then:
    1) to review my story (and by “review”, I mean fixing spelling, grammar, typographical errors and the like, not giving an opinion about whether they like the story or the character, though they may, of course),
    2) to create a RM character sheet, in whatever system, RM2, RMSS, RMFRP, RMU, as the point is to compare how the image the story conveys about the character inspires people to actually write him down in game terms.

    Now, there are several blockers:
    1) I’m not sure how much anyone would be interested in this exercise, as it requires either way some work,
    2) Whilst I do write some stories in English from the start, most of the times I write in French,
    3) My stories take place in my own world, where the time, length and weight systems differ from Earth’s ones (not to mention sky colours and other stuff, but…). People would probably need some time to adjust, especially to the time system (since one gwaydan year roughly equals 1.6291 Earth year).

    So, Voriig, would that work?

    1. Brian is the one making the call for writers, not me :-O

      Regardless of who said what, if the characters can be created using the official races/cultures/professions/spell lists, I’m game for creating them in ERA, using the RMC/RMFRP/RMU versions and generating their character sheets so that they can be compared.

      I’d also sign up for reading English texts with character backgrounds and fixing grammar, typos, etc. If the characters are from Shadow World, my feedback will also include opinions on the story itself, I wouldn’t be able to help myself.

      We might need more proof-readers and a place to post them afterwards, these days I couldn’t compromise on a set amount of time to dedicate to something like this.

      1. The characters may be created using whatever rules one wants: I write stories, not characters’ description. What originally motivated me was a pure intellectual consideration: how differently people would put into character sheet form the feelings and imagery, conveyed by the same stories, they have about said stories’ characters. In other words, when reading “official” stats for novels’ characters (in whatever system), I had always fond myself disagreeing with some parts or others, or thought about how different the character would have been if created by me. From this, I’ve wondered how the imagery people would have of my NPCs and the actual character sheet would differ from mine, even through being based on the same stories starring said NPCs (obviously, my own vision may be more than just said stories but…)
        To give an example, let’s consider Lysbeth about whom I posted here (https://ironcrown.co.uk/ICEforums/index.php?topic=18352.msg220769#msg220769), shamelessly reusing a text I posted because I don’t want to look for another right now. :p


        Lysbeth, born Lysbeth Mercie Burggravinne of Waldstein, was the third daughter of the Baron of Waldstein, a kind, well-behaved, polite and obedient child, prepared to a life of her rank and position, meaning to be married to some husband for some political reason, defined by most as the ideal daughter-in-law, as without much personality but with the essential qualities of a girl to be married: the sense of obedience and the acknowledgement of her position. In truth, if Lysbeth did dream about passionate loves, they were but dream, and if she was well-behaved and obedient, it was only due to resignation about her already fully written path in life.

        Then… During a walk in the forest where she moved a bit away from her chaperone, Lysbeth met a young man who, for a reason escaping her, though it may have been because of how much he didn’t feel in agreement with the surroundings, caught her attention in an almost enthralling way. She crossed paths with the young man some other times, at the bend in the road, by the riverside, in the close forest… and even in her own dreams. In fact, it seemed to her that she was thinking more and more about this young man, with whom she had started to talk about many things and more, and who told her of stories more fantasist the ones than the others, adventures he would have lived, fantastic adventures, filled with knights, chimerical monsters and treasures, filled with passions, tragedies and fierce emotions, adventures from another world, a world Lysbeth had a hard time imagining it was the same in which she was living.

        Little by little, Lysbeth caught herself daydreaming during her dancing, her good manners or her literature lessons whilst thinking about her young man, yearning for their next encounter, pining away from his absence by her side. Little by little, she felt in love with the young man. A little year passed; Lysbeth got fourteen. In spite of her character, or mayhap because of it, she decided to confess to the young man her feelings, preparing herself to be rejected but wishing with all her heart and soul to be accepted. Rejected, she was, but not for the reasons she had prepared herself, not for her position nor personality. Rejected, she was, but because the young man didn’t think their love would ever become fruitful: because he told her that he wasn’t a human being, but a draconic lizard under a human form, looking along with his companions for one of their ancient and lost treasures, that a relationship between a draconic lizard and a human being could never work and that, anyway, even though he would admit caring for her, he wasn’t even certain a member of his race could hold romantic love feelings toward anyone, less toward a human girl.
        Comforted (?), Lysbeth insured the young man that she didn’t care about such details and that she knew their love would prevail. Although sceptical, the young man agreed to start with her a love relationship, albeit platonic. After close to nine months, Lysbeth wanted to make official her relationship with the young man, wishing to show to her close family the subject of her love and present happiness. Although said person was little inclined to this idea, fearing the highly negative reaction of her parents, Lysbeth ensured him of the goodness of their heart and the broadness of their mind, day after day. After a few more months, persuaded by the young girl and certainly eager to believe in her and please her, the young man agreed to meet her parents. Delighted, Lysbeth promised him she would take care of everything. At the young man’s utter surprise, but not Lysbeth’s, the Baron of Waldstein and his wife accepted to meet him with little reluctance, “having noticed for months that Lysbeth had been surprisingly more cheerful and prettier, though absent-minded, and had indeed suspected such a sequence of events, though not the nature of her beloved.”

        When the day came, the young man and Lysbeth presented themselves at the Waldstein castle, where the former got received with great pomp. As the young man knelt before her beloved’s parents, Lysbeth’s fate took a turn that changed her whole life. At her surprise and horror, many magical circles appeared at the young man’s feet, men-at-arms at his sides, and mages and archers on the walls and ramparts, whilst several of her servants took hold of her and started to drag her away. As she shouted the name of her beloved, as she protested with her whole strength, as small it was, as she besought explanations from her parents, Lysbeth heard from their distant words that she had been bewitched by the demon the young man was, and that she would be married at once to their neighbour the Count of Wartenburg, after confession and purification by the church of the only and true god. As she was taken into a carriage parked in the distance in front of the castle, in spite of the Count’s servants holding her, in spite of her tears almost blinding her, Lysbeth was able to look back for an instant and to see an ultimate and last time the one she loved: with horror, she saw the sparkles of a gigantic magic, perceived at times what was certainly a huge scaly body fighting and struggling against its opponents, and caught sight of the volleys of arrows. As the carriage took her far away, her head was filled with the screams of rage, sorrow and agony of
        the draconic lizard, and the sounds of the battle bringing it down. Similar to the tears obscuring her sight, a veil of darkness covered Lysbeth’s who in these instants cursed her weakness and swore revenge against her parents, against her servants, against the Count of Wartenburg, and against all of mankind.


        Weaving her vengeance, Lysbeth affected to repent and become again the young girl kind, well-behaved, polite and obedient she used to be. Fomenting her revenge, Lysbeth pretended to be fully in love and dedicated to her husband, making herself as desirable and seductive as possible to please him. but in truth, her heart was filled with hatred toward the whole human race, said hatred growing more each passing day, as she remembered the sweet times she spent with her late beloved. In a way, she filled the emptiness caused by the nonfulfillment of her love with a deep hatred. From innocent, she became manipulative. From well-behaved, she became shrewd. From obedient, she became sneaky. By pretending to be attached to her husband, she made sure he was attached to her, to the point he could not refuse her anything. By pretending to take interest in his activities to spread them, she informed herself about his enemies and looked for the companions of the one she had loved. By pretending to act and socialise for his interests, she plotted against him. One year and a half passed. Lysbeth got in contact with the comrades of the late young man, clay draconic lizards and dragons, told them her story and explained her will. Doubting her, them asked her a proof of her faith in them and of her hatred toward mankind, as they wanted to build a new world, dominated not by human beings but by dragons, in which draconic spirits wouldn’t be hunted but could live in peace. Imagining what her life would have been in such a world, and how her love would have been fulfilled, Lysbeth devoted herself to this dream. And brought her proof: the head of her husband, so that a clay dragon may replace him and benefit from his temporal and social powers to pursue their schemes. In this day when she strangled her husband after she had worn him out in love games, when she beheaded him without batting an eyelid, when she packaged his freshly cut head to bring it to the clay dragons, Lysbeth’s fate took its definitive form as she left behind her the path of mankind to walk on the road reserved to the Draconic Spirits.

        During the following years, as she recalled her passed weakness, Lysbeth followed the teachings of the Great Worms, as magical than physical, with the will to always exceed her limits and the desire from now on to be able to protect those dear to her and to follow the path dictated by her own heart. During the following years, Lysbeth followed on her “husband”‘s heels, helping him to inspire, leand then win a revolt against the king and the major party of the nobility of back then. By irony, during this period, her parents approved and supported her, thinking that the interests of the Count of Wartenburg could but serve theirs as well, and exulted when the Count’s party overthrew then replaced the legitimate king. With pleasure, pride and arrogance, they went to the summons to the royal palace her prodigy daughter sent them. With pleasure, pride and arrogance, in front of the whole court gathered in the royal palace courtyard, they knelt before the new king, the former Count of Wartenburg and henceforth Seneschal, and the new Lord of Wartenburg, her daughter Lysbeth. With pleasure, pride and arrogance, they saw her slightly raise her lucerne hammer, her weapon of predilection during the revolution, apparently in order to knight them, whilst announcing to all around how much she owed them, how much they made her what she was now and her childhood memories at their sides. Then her tone changed. At their surprise and horror , they saw the lucerne hammer being raised suddenly before falling on them, as Lysbeth announced the name of her weapon, “Forget-me-not”, and how she never forgot nor forgave how they deprived her long ago pf the young man she had loved. Then, in front of their corpses, she brandished her weapon to the heavens and proclaimed the birth of the new kingdom, The Kingdom of the Wyrms, as around her, the royal assembly transformed, all taking an appearance half-draconic, whilst exulting.


        Lysbeth, now Knight of Waldstein-Wartenburg, renounced to her middle name that she thought was now inappropriate, and spent the rest of her life to spread and defend the Kingdom of the Wyrms, earning a reputation of fanaticism and heartlessness toward any human being who wouldn’t join the dragons’ banner, but of compassion and devotion toward those coming in friendship and affection to them.


        So, if you were to write her character sheet, what would it be? Create it, whilst explaining your choices as possible, since the interest of the exercise lies in discussing how one feels differently from a same description and how one puts said feelings into an actual character sheet.

    2. Ah, sorry, the blog is Hurin’s, not Voriig’s. Sorry, Hurin, so let me rephrase: “So, Hurin, would that work?” ^^;;;;

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