Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account
DriveThruRPG.com
Photo

Rolemaster Rules


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#21 Ieqo

Ieqo

    Lantern Archon

  • Members
  • 1,090 posts
  • LocationIts pronounced CHATT-uh-NOO-gah.

Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:33 PM

I might roll in on this discussion. The "core books" (the ones which came in the red box) are Character Law/Campaign Law, Arms Law/Claw Law, and Spell Law, as Wryce said. Also, over the years, they released a raft of "Companions". In the games I played/ran some companions proved more useful than others, and I can point them out using Hal's game as a reference.

*DISCLAIMER: I'm doing this from memory, as my RM materials were destroyed by a flood. Get Hal's confirmation on the specifics before setting out to find any of these sources on your own. That being said, my memory rarely fumbles so here goes:

The Rolemaster Companion (also known to grognards as Companion One) introduced us to the concept of arcane magic. Also has a bunch of wangey herbs, poisons, and beasties. The best background options for character creation are found here. If memory serves it was light on the items.

Companion II is the one that falls apart first, At the time of their demise, mine was in almost as poor a condition as my Spell Law. This is because it is the most useful. Goggles' "Nightblade" character class appeared in this one along with the Warrior-Mage that I favored. This one is almost entirely devoted to the character-classes, along with their intendant spells, spell lists, etc. I can't remember if the optional 150-point initiative track was in here or it was Companion III, but I'd bet it was here, since I practically never opened my Companion III...

Companion III was unimpressive to my recollection. Some character classes that no one ever played (notably the "Sleuth").

Companion IV had the dragon on the cover, and in my use that was appropriate. I remember some very interesting creatures in here. Even a bit of fiction.

There were more numbered companions, but I'm failing.

The Alchemy Companion. This esentially a whole treatise on magic items. Has about eleventy bajillion new metals, woods, gems, etcetera, each with its own quirks and proclivities.

The Elemental Companion. Had it. Probably read it over. Don't remember anything. Draw your own conclusions.

Arms Companion. More weapons, more charts, more combat maneuvers, more criticals. 'Nuff said.

Creatures and Treasures and C&TII. The first one I used a lot. The second one I liked a lot, but I distinctly recall the one time I reached for it during an encounter, the more experienced player at the table.declared that his character would rather commit suicide than face any beastie from that book.

If I were to replace just what I'd need to run the rollicking good times I remember from my misspent youth, it'd be the three core books, plus Companions I and II, plus Creatures and Treasures. I'd also check to make sure that the Plasma and Nether tables were in these companions since I can't remember for the life of me where they were. If not I'd ask Hal where they are and aqcuire that source as well. Because every arcane caster needs Plasma Mastery.

Hope that helps, and I hope I didn't get anything too wrong.

Also keep in mind that the version described here is (I believe) called "Rolemaster Second Edition". Rolemaster Standard is an update that attempted to simplify the system to appeal to younger gamers. I looked at it to replace my lost stuff. It...is...crap. In my opinion. Rolemaster Classic is supposedly a return to the roots, but I have not looked too deeply into it yet, since I have zero confidence I could convince a group to try it.
  • 0

#22 Wryce

Wryce

    Goblin

  • Members
  • 137 posts

Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:23 PM

Plasma mastery is, amusingly enough, in the third companion Ieqo, among other new crit tables like acid, physical alteration, depression, shock, etc. IV has some okay stuff, but nothing that really stood out to me. VI doesn't stand out either. It has some science fiction rules, if I recall correctly. VII, however, has some interesting professions.
  • 0

#23 Ieqo

Ieqo

    Lantern Archon

  • Members
  • 1,090 posts
  • LocationIts pronounced CHATT-uh-NOO-gah.

Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:41 PM

That explains it then: the reason I couldn't remember was I had photocopies of the tables. Thanks, Wryce. Did I get the other references right?
  • 0

#24 Wryce

Wryce

    Goblin

  • Members
  • 137 posts

Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:02 PM

I think so. Sounds about right for most of it. Monsters and Treasures II has some pretty ridiculous stuff in it. For example, It has things like the "Sligguth" a giant amorphous blob monster, and the "Funggi" flying fungus creatures with little antenna things instead of a head and sharp claws, and they come from outer space. Oh yes, and the Cthugan, who are humanoids with octopus heads.


:roll:
  • 0

#25 Ieqo

Ieqo

    Lantern Archon

  • Members
  • 1,090 posts
  • LocationIts pronounced CHATT-uh-NOO-gah.

Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:23 PM

Well, C&TII was Monte Cook, after all. But back on topic: yeah if you can somehow find the red box books, plus the first couple-three companions you're esentially good to hook. After a quick perusal of Drive-Thru, the core books and the first companion seem to be available on pdf as a last resort. But they are relatively spendy, especially considering the Kinko's bill to print and bind them in a usable format ain't cheap, either.
  • 0

#26 Mordion

Mordion

    Dice Enough and Time

  • Patrons
  • 246 posts
  • LocationGrapevine, TX

Posted 08 November 2008 - 12:43 AM

Thanks very much for the assistance Ieqo, Wryce. Is there a consensus that I'd be better off finding used Rolemaster 2nd edition stuff than taking a chance with new Rolemaster classic?
  • 0

#27 Mordion

Mordion

    Dice Enough and Time

  • Patrons
  • 246 posts
  • LocationGrapevine, TX

Posted 08 November 2008 - 12:55 AM

...and speaking of used 2nd edition stuff, is this the red box you mentioned previously?
  • 0

#28 Hal

Hal

    Site Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,095 posts
  • Amazon Wishlist
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:31 AM

Technically thats the blue box but I believe the contents are pretty much the same. That is an earlier printing of the game I use I think! :)

The one you have there is the 1984 printing of the 2nd Edition of Rolemaster. The one I use is the 1989 printing but it is the same version of the same system :)

Mine is this one

http://www.icewebrin... ... ox1989.php

Hope that helps :)

Hal :hal:
  • 0

#29 Mordion

Mordion

    Dice Enough and Time

  • Patrons
  • 246 posts
  • LocationGrapevine, TX

Posted 08 November 2008 - 03:47 AM

It does indeed help. I'm quite relieved to hear that it's the same version, as I got antsy and bought the one I linked to about 45 seconds after I asked if it was the right one. :lol:
  • 0

#30 Mordion

Mordion

    Dice Enough and Time

  • Patrons
  • 246 posts
  • LocationGrapevine, TX

Posted 08 November 2008 - 03:59 AM

Hmm, my poor little blue box seems to be quite a few pages short of the illustrious red boxes wielded by others, but doubtless it's all just useless fluff. :)
  • 0

#31 Thorbrin

Thorbrin

    Toad

  • Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 06 January 2009 - 09:26 AM

Hello Mordion, and every one at RPGMP3. I just wanted to come out of lurking and reply about your interest in Rolemaster.
I would definitely recomend investing in the Rolemaster Classic line that is available at the ICE web site.
One thing that hasnt been mentioned is that the "older" Rolemaster books are horribly organized and some times hard to read. These books are 20+ years old in some cases and gaming was very...very different back in those days..lol
The new Rolemaster Classic line is organized better and "edited" as well. Not to mention that the Rolemaster Classic line is essentialy the same thing as RM2, just made more clear and easier to understand.
The old Rolemaster Companions are handy to have but absolutely not "necessary". Rolemaster Companion 1 is avaialable as an updated PDF for Rolemaster Classic that is available on the ICE web site. The only companion that I would possibly classify as necessary would be Rolemaster companion 2, because of the extra proffessions and skill explenations.
And advice for a "new" Rolemaster GM...I would recomend starting small. Perhaps with a small, village a group of good friends and a selection of low level critters for them to bash. Personaly I believe in preperation, make some notes, have the stats for your monsters at hand and make sure you read over the rules as much as possible. The most importent rule though is to have fun, and dont sweat it if you are not doing a rule correctly. Just try and get it right the next time :)
Good luck and happy gaming!
  • 0

#32 david

david

    Toad

  • Members
  • 0 posts

Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:16 AM

I like Rolemaster, but the experience system is absurd. The new Rolemaster Express book (a condensed version of rolemaster classic, 88 pages) has a much simpler and more modern experience system. It rates all "goals" a character achieves on the familiar scale of routine to absurd, and also classifies goals as either major or minor. XP for a minor goal ranges from 0 to 1500. XP for a major goal ranges from 0 to 5000. Bonus XP for roleplaying is suggested to fall in the 500-1000 range.

I can't really recommend Rolemaster Express as a system. It somehow manages to be complex and reductionist simultaneously, but the book is worth looking at for the XP rules.

Oh, and if there are any MERP fans out there, Rolemaster Express looks a lot like the old merp rules with the serial numbers filed off.
  • 0

#33 david

david

    Toad

  • Members
  • 0 posts

Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:25 AM

Oh, while I'm posting about RM, I suppose I'd like to pose 2 questions to Hal.

(1) You use an optional rule allowing spell adders to cancel the dangers of overcasting. Is this a house rule, or is it found in a RM supplement?

(2) I know I've always found it frustrating that monsters are given no ratings for stealth, perception, etc. How do you resolve the absence of these traits?
  • 0

#34 Hal

Hal

    Site Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,095 posts
  • Amazon Wishlist
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:09 PM

1) My Spell Adder rules are house rules. After playing and running RM for ages it became obvious that casters at low levels really really sucked badly. Generally they either ended up overcasting and blowing their brains out or running into combat and trying to fight and getting them smashed out. Therefore it seemed only fair to let them do what they were supposed to do and cast a few spells.

The casting times are still in effect - I just waive the level restriction. Of course in the case of characters like Lindsay's, who rolled the "Power" background option it means she can start the game with access to a level 50 spell (hence her Druid Staff True) but I have to say I don't think it really breaks the game too much :)

2) I mostly use common sense for this sort of stuff. If the party and loud the monsters will hear. If the monster wants to hide I will generally give the party a shot at General Perception or Sense Ambush / Assassin and if they get a reasonable score they can spot it as it attacks.

I find I run Rolemaster is a much more organic fashion than most games I play. I am so familar with the rules that they are really just a framework for whatever pops into my head :D

Hal :hal:
  • 0

#35 Keener

Keener

    Is Wonderful!

  • Patrons
  • 4,977 posts
  • LocationCalgary, AB, Canada

Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:53 PM

I though maybe the adders were an house rule. :D
  • 0

#36 Hal

Hal

    Site Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,095 posts
  • Amazon Wishlist
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:09 PM

Yes - otherwise both casters would still be struggling in level 1 at the moment :)

Poor things :)

It is particularly bad on the party healer in most cases. They really can't afford to get any spells that can be used in combat for a good few levels and even then they are limited to Channeling magic which does not really have great attack spells :)

I think Ned does pretty well with his bow and gets in there when needed :D

Hal :hal:
  • 0

#37 Dungnmaster001

Dungnmaster001

    Goblin

  • Members
  • 215 posts

Posted 19 January 2009 - 08:45 PM

So how many house rules are being used in these recordings? Just curious since I just got ahold of the pdfs (bought them from ICE's website) and am gradually absorbing things. Was just wondering how much tweaking had to be done to the system.

I know Hal uses a different system for initiative and the spell adders thing since they've been covered in the audio a couple times, but are there others?
  • 0

#38 Hal

Hal

    Site Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,095 posts
  • Amazon Wishlist
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted 19 January 2009 - 10:08 PM

Yes there are others :)

From the top of my head - I allow 50 points for skills every level for each character so that no one is penalized for rubbish stats early on.

I am generally pretty lenient with movement maneuvers :)

I allow wrap around attacks on the tables (I believe this is an optional rule) so that when a player (or monster) rolls well to hit there is the potential to do 2 or 3 crits instead of one by "wrapping" off the top of the table back to the bottom.

I am sure there are lots more in there that I just do without thinking about them :)

Hal :hal:
  • 0

#39 Ieqo

Ieqo

    Lantern Archon

  • Members
  • 1,090 posts
  • LocationIts pronounced CHATT-uh-NOO-gah.

Posted 24 April 2009 - 05:38 PM

Persuant to an earlier discussion regarding the various editions of RM:

While bored and confined to my basement, I went ahead and bought pdfs of the "Rolemaster Classic" line from Drive-Thru. My evaluation is that this ruleset is at least "damn close" to the RM2 that I played and Hal's group is currently playing. It may, in fact, be the very same.
  • 0

#40 coaxingturtle

coaxingturtle

    Toad

  • Members
  • 1 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:19 PM

Hello all at RPGMP3, I've been listening for quite a while now, though this is my first post. First, thanks for doing what your doing! Second, sorry to dig up this old topic, but I have been trying to follow the recordings along with looking at the rulebooks; Are you using a house rule for learning spell lists? It seems in the books, you may only attempt to learn maybe one or two lists per level. I think I heard one session where after leveling (Lindsay, I think?) gain 3 or four. Thanks again!
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Gravityscan Badge