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Clarity for a non-initiate


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#1 ShootHere

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 09:25 PM

Dear RPG'ers,

Let me first off start by saying that the creativity that this game brings with it is examplary! Not only the game but also the players.

Thank you for an entertaining run.

Now on to a small request:

Although I am familiar with some RPG systems, this one still eludes me, mostly the chart thing. Would it perhaps be possible, through the use of some pictures, to maybe show (without causing copyright infringement, of course) how the charts work, how the type of hit is decided, how the character sheets look, etc?

The game sounds very complex and although I can get the most of the stuff that happens but something the whole wraparound thing or what is/isn't a crit remains a tad vague.

A second question would be that the battle system sounds awesome but one thing that tears my brain up is the experience system. I could never do that. Does the rulebook offer (easier) alternatives?

Well that's it from me for now!

Keep up the awesomeness!
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#2 Ieqo

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 10:13 PM

In no particular order:

Yes, the experience system is somewhat...baroque, and there are several published options that simplify it, and scores of unpublished house rules. It is what it is, but I will say that it isn't as terrible as it sounds.

Charts and tables. Everyone who has never played the game knows that there are eleventy gazillion charts and tables that must be referenced and cross-referenced to resolve the simplest action. Again, not true. Yes there are many attack tables and critical hit tables and tables of situational modifiers, but most players only ever reference five or maybe ten at the most during the life of their character. If you're a fighter who uses a battle axe, you'll need the battle axe attack table and the tables for slashing and crushing criticals. A magician who shoots firebolts and fireballs? There's an attack table for each of those spells, and the table for heat crits. The magician will likely never need the battle axe attack table, and the fighter (unless he's Fazlourin) will never roll on the firebolt table.

The combat resolution system can be distilled into the following procedure:
You make your attack roll, using your Offensive Bonus (or O.B., this is your skill with the weapon or spell in question), plus or minus whatever situational modifiers might be appropriate (range, lighting conditions, bad footing, whatever), subtracting the target's Defensive Bonus (D.B., this is based on that character's Quickness attribute, but shields, magic, and some skills also contribute), and a d100 roll. This total number is referenced against the attack table of the weapon (or spell) considering the armor of the defender. This gives a result that might look like this: "24EK". This is (in order) the hit point damage inflicted (24 hits), the severity of the critical (E) and the type of critical (In this case, Krush--spelled that way so as not to confuse it with a critical of severity level C). Then the critical hit table is consulted and another roll made. Results are adjudicated and the party continues.

"Wraparound" is technically an optional rule, but I've never been at a Rolemaster group that didn't use it. Basically, what you need to know is that the weapon attack tables only run up to 150 (this is when Hal says, "You've maxed him."). That is, the highest result you can get by adding your skill and various modifiers to a d100 roll is 150. Since it is hardly uncommon (particularly when open-ending) to get a result above that number, that is when wraparound comes into play. If your total roll is high enough (lets assume that I just rolled a 275), you would take that highest result of 150, then see of you still have enough "leftover" to do make another successful attack (in my example I'd get the 150 result, then check to see of the remaining 125 had any effect). See? Not too difficult.

Now what attacks do or do not inflict criticals are solely dependent on the weapon or spell used and the level of protection of the defender. The charts are different to reflect that fact that different weapons are more or less effective against different types of armor. Arrows, for example do fairly good damage against a lightly armored foe, and you'll see Piercing criticals even at relatively low attack results. Against the plate armor types, however they are much less so. They'll still do hit point damage, but the armor is protecting against the puncturing and bleeding that someone in leather would have to contend with (Fazlourin's always taking those hits that do four or six hit points, but no criticals).

Now I'm not comfortable with posting a copyrighted table, though if you give me a couple days I'll see what I can do about catching a photograph of my desk that might just happen to have a chart sitting on it to give you an idea. :-)

Hope that helps.
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#3 ShootHere

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 02:11 PM

Thank you ever so much!

Just a few quick jabs still:

So the first roll is just the "to hit roll" and after that the "crit rolls" are made (without modifiers)?

The crit just basically adding to the original hit?

Also: type of armor/size matters against the weapon used. So does each player have a collection of charts of how their weapon works against various types of size/armor?

I do love this battle system and the way Hal wings the whole fantasy thing is definitely something I could muster, but as I stated, the XP thing would really make my brain hurt.

Sorry to be such a bother and you have enlightened me quite a lot, but I am so curious as to if I should buy the books. This game seems so much more....how shall we say...freeform than D&D.

Although working without a map will hurt in the starts, because of the mechanics it does allow for such freeforming and the powers the players got are most entertaining.
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#4 Ieqo

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 02:26 PM

Thank you ever so much!

Just a few quick jabs still:

So the first roll is just the "to hit roll" and after that the "crit rolls" are made (without modifiers)?


Correct

The crit just basically adding to the original hit?

More or less. As a general rule, the damage that really matters comes from the criticals; hit point damage generally just slowly pummels you into unconsciousness,

Also: type of armor/size matters against the weapon used. So does each player have a collection of charts of how their weapon works against various types of size/armor?

Each weapon's attack chart is a block of numbers with the hit roll indexed down as rows, and the defending armor type across the top as colums.

Sorry to be such a bother and you have enlightened me quite a lot, but I am so curious as to if I should buy the books. This game seems so much more....how shall we say...freeform than D&D.

No bother at all. I love to talk about Rolemaster (ask anyone!). But if you're considering buying the books a cautionary note needs to be made. The Rolemaster you hear on this site and I am qualified to speak about is old. Specifically, you're listening to Rolemaster, 2nd Edition (or RM2 for short). Updated editions, called Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplay and Rolemaster Standard System are different, supposedly easier to understand, and to my opinion unsatisfying. Secondhand copies of the old RM2 books on eBay and the like are extremely rare and expensive. But the good news is that the publisher noticed that a lot of us old-timers didn't care for the new stuff, so they re-released the RM2 rulesset under the name Rolemaster Classic, and even provide an "express" version of the rules as a .pdf for the low cost of $5. You can find that HERE
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#5 ShootHere

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 02:33 PM

WHOA!

This is just the "PHB1" so to speak?

Well for such a price, nobody could argue.
This is the most recent edition you speak of or the old school one?

And thank you once again for taking the time to answer my nubish questions.

I am so sure my players would enjoy this system (especially battle).
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#6 Guest__*

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 03:36 PM

Ooooh, having followed a link above I chanced upon Fantasy Grounds Rolemaster. Nice. I knew they did Cthulhu but hadn't realised they did Rolemaster as well! :D
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#7 Ieqo

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:13 PM

WHOA!

This is just the "PHB1" so to speak?

Well for such a price, nobody could argue.
This is the most recent edition you speak of or the old school one?

And thank you once again for taking the time to answer my nubish questions.

I am so sure my players would enjoy this system (especially battle).


It is an introductory version (kind of the GURPS Lite for RM) of Rolemaster Classic which I suppose could be described as BOTH the latest version AND the old school one.
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#8 Telemergion

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 08:54 PM

I really like the rolemaster system. I just don't want to have to run it, and I have players who would explode if I tried to make them play it. I have, however, been trying to work in some of the crit tables into other games.

The whole point of the community as I see it, ShootHere, is for us gamers to get together to chat and share about this crazy hobby. Never feel like it's a bother to ask a question because chances are there's at least one nerd hanging around just waiting to go "Oo! I know that!" Or at least I am...

Cheers!
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#9 Scorched_Earth

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 02:32 PM

Hello!

I didn't want to start a new thread since my question kinda fits this one, so sorry for the hijack! :P

I'm trying to learn rolemaster (Rolemaster Classic, based on RM2) and there seems to be a LOT of skills used in Hal's game that i can't find in RMC. Are they using the RMSS/RMFRP skills list or some kind of house rules? (For example, Scrounge or Dousing in Session 13 at 2h42 in, or even Goggle's Gliding skill.)

Also, sometimes, Hal will ask to roll over a hundred, and than to roll under a specific number. I'm not sure i recall seeing such a the rules anywhere. When are you supposed to do that?

Thanks for the help!
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#10 Dungnmaster001

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 02:40 PM

Hello!

I didn't want to start a new thread since my question kinda fits this one, so sorry for the hijack! :P

I'm trying to learn rolemaster (Rolemaster Classic, based on RM2) and there seems to be a LOT of skills used in Hal's game that i can't find in RMC. Are they using the RMSS/RMFRP skills list or some kind of house rules? (For example, Scrounge or Dousing in Session 13 at 2h42 in, or even Goggle's Gliding skill.)

Also, sometimes, Hal will ask to roll over a hundred, and than to roll under a specific number. I'm not sure i recall seeing such a the rules anywhere. When are you supposed to do that?

Thanks for the help!

Not sure about those skills specifically but I know Hal uses books other than core 3 books so it's possible they came from one of those.

As for the other part it sounds like you're talking about maneuvers (such as jumping across a pit). I'll check my copy of RMC but I'm pretty sure those rules are in there. Basically you make a skill check to get over 100, then based on the rusult a chart tells you what you have to get under to succeed based on the difficulty. Edit: I found the relevent section in RMClassic it's in chapter 10 page 135-136 on my copy.
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#11 Telemergion

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 03:19 PM

The other possibility for the unlisted skills is that they simply don't exist in a book at all. Similar to my current character's Lycanthropy skill, you use the same mechanics as anything else to figure out your bonuses (stats, magic, misc, etc), discuss with the GM the dev cost for improving it based on similar skills or how good he thinks it might be (mine was actually listed), and then when you roll try to beat 100 - which is the usual difficulty for a complete success on most things.

Now, Rolemaster being what it is, I'm pretty sure stuff like gliding was covered somewhere; maybe not in this edition but, as has been said, it's based pretty heavily on 2nd. I'm also pretty sure Hal's got some extra books kicking around with, at the very least, the campaign and setting.
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#12 Dungnmaster001

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 04:32 PM

Well I remembered there was a "Complete Skill List" in the Rolemaster Companion 2, so I checked there and sure enough Dowsing, Scrounge and the Fly/Glide skill are all listed there. Not sure where they originally came from though unless they were in the non- Classic Character Law (i.e. 2nd edition). Perhaps they weren't considered useful enough as skills and got removed when they updated for the Classic series.
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#13 Ieqo

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 07:01 PM

A number of them were in the RM2 Character Law...and a number more were added both in the Companions and in periodicals. The Composite Skill Listing in Companion 2 also includes a number of the skills from Spacemaster.

Myself, I find that I do miss a number of skills that didn't make the cut for RMC. In fact I took a couple of them for my character I use in the RMC game even though they don't exist...hey if you want me to stop making those Power Perception checks I'll happily take the points back. ;)
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#14 Scorched_Earth

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 03:24 PM

Wow, you guys are of great help! Thanks a lot!

I'll check the companion 2, but i'm wondering how they handle that many more skills with the DP system.

@Dungnmaster001 :

Thanks! I'll read it thoroughly tonight, but a quick glance at the tables didn't suggest rolling "under" a target number, if i'm not mistaken (which i probably am ). :wink:
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#15 Ieqo

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 04:32 PM

Success in RM comes from rolling over the target number, which is usually 100. Lust like d20, you add your bonuses to the die roll. When Hal asks for a roll, followed by a "roll under" he's using the Moving Maneuvers Table.
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#16 undecided44

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:25 AM

Success in RM comes from rolling over the target number, which is usually 100. Lust like d20, you add your bonuses to the die roll. When Hal asks for a roll, followed by a "roll under" he's using the Moving Maneuvers Table.


@ Scorched_Earth

The other complication to the "succeed by rolling over" mechanic is the application of the overcasting rules.

I'm no expert on the system, but from the audio, it seems to work as follows: there are penalties for various shortcuts you can take when casting spells (quiet voice, level too high, in fewer rounds than needed, etc) and the higher you roll minus the penalties the more likely you are to succeed in casting the spell. If you fail, you roll again, and you want to roll low to reduce the damage the failure does to you (or "the caster" in the case when Tans and Ailish (sorry for poor spelling) transfer spells though their rings).
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#17 Telemergion

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:29 PM

quiet voice, level too high, in fewer rounds than needed

Also known as the reasons Chris has never had a problem overcasting :P
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#18 Ieqo

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:46 PM

Overcasting uses the very same mechanic; you want your roll to remain above your fumble range. Casting quickly, overcasting, and various other fool stunts modify not the die roll but the fumble range. For example, a normally-cast spell has a fumble range of 01-02. Should you do something reckless that adds a 25 modifier, you're still making a straight d100 roll, but your fumble range has just changed to 01-27. If you do fumble, that second roll determines the result on the much-loved Extraordinary Spell Failure Table, which works more or less like a critical hit table.
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