Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:33 PM
*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.
Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:23 PM
Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:02 PM
Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:23 PM
Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:31 AM
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
Posted 06 January 2009 - 09:26 AM
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!
Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:16 AM
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.
Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:25 AM
(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?
Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:09 PM
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
Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:09 PM
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
Posted 19 January 2009 - 08:45 PM
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?
Posted 19 January 2009 - 10:08 PM
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
Posted 24 April 2009 - 05:38 PM
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.
Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:19 PM
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