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Author Topic: Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)  (Read 1514 times)

Kaiu Keiichi

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« on: September 24, 2013, 09:54:58 AM »
I collected this a while ago and played it once at a Con.  I was really impressed with how smoothly the game ran in play, and it seems to solve D&D's LFQW problem - wizard types are impressive, but warrior types have bunches of interesting things to do.  Are there any communities online that run MERP/RM games, good RM sites, and so on?
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Bill

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 10:11:06 AM »
I am only familiar with 'classic' rolemaster.

Love the game system but I find it a bit cumbersome in my old age.

I think the game has a ton of cool elements like potential stats, maneuver system, skill system, and the most glorious critical hit system ever.

You will have fun playing rolemaster, but you WILL die from a critical hit.




Mages and fighters: Hard to say, low level mages often start out a bit weak, and fighters tend to slow down at high level.

Never seemed a problem though in play.



I have had rolemaster characters die from among other things:

A trapped door fell on me and broke my hip; -80 on everything (-16 if it was d20)  Got killed shortly after by monsters.

Soooo hard to flee with a broken hip.....


Killed by an orc with a scimitar...got me in one perfectly placed slash


Died falling into a deep pit. fell on head.....and spikes.....


Flesh golem punched me so hard my lungs broke.


Arrow to the eye.....


Burned to death from a fireball....


List goes on
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 11:16:57 AM by Bill »

Lawbag

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 11:14:02 AM »
Quote from: Kaiu Keiichi;693517
I was really impressed with how smoothly the game ran in play,

You must have been playing some other version of RM, as although I adore the RM/MERP system, Ive found it anything but smooth.
 
Regular role-playing and dice-rolling is a constant table check, whereas combat takes this referencing to a whole new level.
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Ravenswing

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 12:10:31 PM »
I've played RM, and like it well enough.  Heck, my single greatest combat feat as a player was in RM, where I one-shotted -- with a broken sword -- a dragon who'd taken down every other member of my party.  (That was an open-ended roll that finished up in the 450s.)
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Bill

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 12:43:56 PM »
Quote from: Ravenswing;693577
I've played RM, and like it well enough.  Heck, my single greatest combat feat as a player was in RM, where I one-shotted -- with a broken sword -- a dragon who'd taken down every other member of my party.  (That was an open-ended roll that finished up in the 450s.)


That's quite cool!

One interesting fact about rolemaster, is that anyone, however weak, can one shot anyone, no matter how powerful. The odds may be low, but it happens.

David Johansen

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 02:03:15 PM »
Well  there's basically three versions plus HARP at this point.  HARP is an attempt to simplify the system that for some reason felt that getting rid of the double digit addition wouldn't help with that.

RM1/2/C is the original game.  RMClassic has a slightly different initiative system.

RMSS/RMfrp is the ultimate omnibus version of the game.  It's Rolemaster with all the options turned to eleven.  I love this game.  It's got such a rich, baroque texture to it but there's a lot of book keeping.  It's also pretty broken if you want levels to be a reliable guide to power levels.

The third version is the new revision.  It's got the deepest and most fundamental changes between editions but it looks like RM2 and cleans up many of the inherent bugs and issues.  For instance Rolemaster has never really handled big monsters well in the past.  The playtest files are free on ICE's website and this is where the game is going so that's what I'd suggest having a look at.
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vytzka

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 03:06:05 PM »
Real Roleplaying forums (I know I know) might be the best place to get PbP games http://www.rpgrm.com/rmsmf/ of Rolemaster or I guess MERP. I think there are people (aside from me) that like it on #rpgnet too.

As for LQFW I wouldn't say it solves it by default as it's very hard to pin down the exact system being played - every edition Rolemaster is very much built upon heaps of optional rules. But there are certainly a lot of tools to even the field to the extent you feel necessary.

Lynn

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 03:48:30 PM »
I ran a MERP game but with extended RM rules for about a year - basically an alternate to the Hobbit where Thorin hedges his bets by hiring a group while passing through Bree. At one time, I believe we had 14 players.

I passed out the critical hit tables to different players, who would then look up the results when needed. That sped things up considerably. Everyone also had to have their own print outs of their spell lists.

It is a complex game but, I don't think it really ate up much more of my time using the above methods than my current Pathfinder game.

It isn't the perfect simulation of Middle Earth, but there are so many campaign books, adventure packs, etc - and some are really, really good.

This might be of interest to you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merpcon - and it still lives as Tolkeinmoot!
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Philotomy Jurament

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 04:18:03 PM »
I ran a lot of RM back in the 80s, and I still have all my RM books, but I haven't played it in a long time.  I still would, though; I liked the system.  I ran RM2, and I played in a game of RMSS.  Of those two, I much prefer RM2.  Also, I think the GM needs to have some restraint, because RM can suffer from the "splat book/optional rules" problem that seems to be a common RPG affliction.
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FaerieGodfather

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2013, 01:41:50 AM »
It's a glorious game-- one of my favorites-- but the amount of prep time necessary to run it is a little too cumbrous for me in my old age. I am working, however, on how to introduce the critical hit mechanics from RM into Fate, because I figure if I find the one other person in the target audience for that, my life will be complete.
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JeremyR

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2013, 01:47:31 AM »
There are two big problems

1) It's a nightmare to figure out how to play/make characters. I remember trying it as a kid in the '80s and it was a struggle.

2) It's very critical heavy, which always affects characters in the long run.

Sooner or later, you're going to be killed by a critical, not always on an opponents attack role, either.

All the charts are fun and cute to read, but very infuriating when they happen to your character.
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vytzka

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2013, 01:50:47 AM »
Well there are a lot of herbs and spells for fixing your shit, although they're respectively expensive and higher level. So it's more of a question of surviving until you can get some :D

As for making characters and playing, oh yeah. Every edition aside from possibly RMC is organized as a randomly sorted pile of information for an experienced player. It pretty much blows for newbies even though I was able to figure it out with some effort (starting with MERP helped).

flyerfan1991

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2013, 01:51:36 AM »
I've still got my RM/MERP collection, and that's one of those I'm not getting rid of.  

The open ended one-shots are great fun, unless it happens to you, but it makes for great theater.

I remember really enjoying my first read through of MERP back in the 80s, enjoying the exploration XP as well as the incredibly detailed sourcebooks.

Bill

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2013, 02:49:24 AM »
Quote from: JeremyR;693772
There are two big problems

1) It's a nightmare to figure out how to play/make characters. I remember trying it as a kid in the '80s and it was a struggle.

2) It's very critical heavy, which always affects characters in the long run.

Sooner or later, you're going to be killed by a critical, not always on an opponents attack role, either.

All the charts are fun and cute to read, but very infuriating when they happen to your character.


It does help to have a healer in the party  :)

I think rolemaster is great for a 'Dark Sun' or 'Conanish' brutal setting.

David Johansen

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Tell me about Rolemaster (various editions)
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2013, 04:44:11 AM »
There are a number of things that can reduce the mortality rate.  Above all don't get out numbered.  If you're out numbered you need to find a bottleneck situation where they can't get around behind you.  Spells like Wall of Fire can create a bottleneck if the terrain or GM isn't helpful.

-Get a defensive bonus item, usually armor, but possibly a ring or cloak of some kind during character creation.  DB applies to all attackers and parrying only applies to one.

-Rotate out your fighters.  There's no free hit against withdrawing foes.  Don't wait to your last hit point.  Get out of there and let someone else take it for a while.

-Clerics are just a bit better than healers.  A healer has to absorb wounds and regenerate them and clerics are better at keeping souls in bodies and retrieving fled souls.

-Don't play an elf.  The stats are fantastic but the soul departure time means that when you go down there's no chance of saving you at low levels.

-Don't fall.  The Crush / Fall table is brutal and none of your precious armor or defensive bonus will save you.
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