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Indarien
August 24th, 2009, 17:51
No, I do not have a Youtube video, or any desire to make one. But here is my review of the Rolemaster ruleset after making characters and running through a pair of adventures with my normal gaming group.

I picked up a copy of the Rolemaster ruleset at GenCon. My first RPG was Rolemaster, at the time I was coming from a historical wargaming background and the rules did not seem very complex - relatively speaking. Having said that, I still remember the pen-and-paper game sessions that were nothing but character creation, or the 5-rounds of combat that took several hours to complete. In college I was introduced to AD&D and the Rolemaster books were retired to gather dust for a long time. I first read about the Rolemaster ruleset about two days before GenCon, when I checked on these forums to see if Smiteworks/Digital Adventures was going to be there. Nostalgia swept in and I decided that the Rolemaster ruleset was on my "Gencon must buy" list.

So how does the Ruleset work:

Character Creation: When you first start a character, I recommend you open "Character Law" and follow the "Character Creation Walkthrough." This is a single point of reference for almost every chart and table you will need to create a character. This speeds up the process immensely. It had been probably 15 years since I had made a character using the Rolemaster ruleset and thanks to that one section I was able to crank one out in less than 30 minutes.
Follow the instructions on the character creation guide. The one thing I have to stress the most is * take advantage of the automation.* If you type in your profession name correctly when it comes time to fill in skills, you can drag and drop them from the skill charts and it will fill in the development costs and stats for you. Better yet, just drag and drop the profession and race from the chart over to your character sheet and watch everything fill in for you.
Once stats have been generated, development points are calculated for you. Assuming you have followed the "drag and drop" advice from above, you can bring up the skill sheet and just drag and drop the skills from the sheets onto your character sheet. The only skills you will need to change at all are your weapon skills, by picking out the appropriate skill and putting in the stats as appropriate for that type. For instance, if your cheapest weapon skill is going to be "One Handed Slashing" you need to change "Weapon 1" to "One Handed Slashing" and type in the stats that it uses. One important thing here is that all the skills you "drag and drop" are locked. You cannot edit them until you unlock them by clicking on the skill name and toggling the "lock" icon in the upper right hand corner between "lock" and "unlock."

So you have made it through the stat gain, adolescent skill development, apprenticeship development, picked up your power points, hit points, and so on. Now what?

Well, this is where the nice Character Creation guide fails you somewhat.
On the "Combat" tab you can insert your armor type and it will fill in the rest of it for you, which is nice.
In "Arms Law" you can find the weapon tables, so you can drag and drop the weapons from the Arms Law charts to your character sheet. Two really important things to note here:
(1) After getting used to all the automation in the ruleset, it does not fill in your offensive bonus, so you have to do that yourself.
(2) If you are planning on using your new shiny weapon in combat you must check the "Use" button on the far right hand side.
Spells can be dragged from "Spell Law" onto your character sheet and they will fill in as appropriate, there is a convenient column for spell gain and a double click will roll the die for you.
Inventory can be filled in and you are ready to go. There is no convenient drag and drop or automation for inventory as yet.

Non-combat situations:
The ruleset works just like any other Fantasy Grounds one in this regard. I did not see any fancy bells and whistles, but everything works.

Combat:
Combat works great. There are a few tricks to get it setup, but being able to one click resolve attacks with Rolemaster is a huge benefit. If I had a pen-and-paper Rolemaster group I would probably use Fantasy Grounds and the Rolemaster ruleset to resolve combat over manual chart lookups.

When a character targets a token (monster, etc.), in the combat tracker that token becomes their new target for all their attacks. (What attacks does a character have...well, remember that statement about "Use" on the combat tab during character creation? If your character has no attacks, you probably forgot that step.)

Tricky part #1, as of right now it seems that the only way for characters to make attacks is if the GM shares out the Combat Tracker sheet. Fear not! The default is that only friendly (Green-face) characters show up on the version of the combat tracker the players see. This usually means that the players can all see each others' combat data, but they cannot see any combat data for neutral or enemy creatures.

Tricky part #2, it seems that every time the GM changes something on the combat tracker and hits the "Update Shared sheet" button, it resets all the non-friendly tokens in the area to "invisible." So if you are the GM and hit the "Update Shared Sheet" and the players all claim the monsters went invisible...this is why. You only have to update the shared sheet if a new friendly creature is added, a token changes, or some oddity occurs. Most items on the combat tracker update automatically and do not cause this problem.

Awesome part #1: So the character clicks on the appropriate attack against their selected target and the program rolls the dice. The ruleset will automatically make any adjustments for fatigue, injury, combat penalties, and whatever else and then give you a result.

Awesome part #2: On the GM screen, the attack chart will pop up, cross-reference the attack result against the target's Armor Type, and give you a nicely highlighted result showing the damage and critical, if any.

Tricky part #3: The table lookup may take a long time. I was able to drop the table lookup time from 15 seconds per roll down to 3 seconds per roll by changing the GM preference to "Yes" for the option "Resolve Clears Stack" and then using the radial menu to do a forced-lookup of the result.

Tricky part #4: I will call this a "feature." Sometimes (so far less than 10%) combat rolls will not propagate correctly on the attack chart. In this situation you sometimes have to manually look up the results in the Arms Law tables because I have not figured out a way to transfer the missing attack roll to the attack table.

Awesome part #3: You scored a critical! Great! The GM uses the Radial menu to "Resolve X crit" This will pop up the appropriate critical chart. You can then roll against it and drag and drop the results onto the chat log. The GM can fill in any penalty, bleed, must parry, stun, etc. results right into the combat tracker. Why is this important? Because at the end of the round the ruleset will automatically apply any bleed damage, reduce any durations, and will also apply any attack or other penalties to a character's (or monster's) actions.

So you have made it past the tricky parts and are really enjoying the awesome parts? Great. You will be amazed at how fast combat flows in Rolemaster with the ruleset.
I ran a session with myself as the GM and 3 players. We did the good old RPG trope of "make characters, have them all meet in a tavern, bar brawl breaks out" for our first session. The fact that we made all of our characters, went through the process of setting up the bar scene, and fought a 10 round combat between the 3 PCs and a series of random NPCs in about 2 hours should tell you how helpful and easy this ruleset makes the Rolemaster system to use.

The ruleset also comes with the complete text of Character Law, Spell Law, Arms Law, and Creature Law. Meaning that if you are interested in the ruleset but do not have the books, or you have since lost your Rolemaster books, you can still play because everything you need is a few mouse clicks away. The easy access to charts and sections of the books makes playing - in my experience - much faster than the old pen-and-paper days of Rolemaster.

I recommend it for all the Rolemaster fans or anyone interested in the system, it is nicely self-contained. The few quirks are more than offset by all the benefits. If nothing else, having the critical hit and fumble charts on hand for easy adoption into your normal system is fun. After all, scoring a "C" Crush crit with your mace tends to be much more satisfying than just rolling an extra damage die or two.

Elvedui
September 5th, 2009, 20:26
I am a huge RMC fan, but the ruleset is a dismal failure in my view. The fact that there isn't more automation makes this only a little improvement over pen and paper. One of the biggest challenges for new players is the fact that the detail of RMC is intimidating and it takes time to generate characters and engage in combat.

There are tools available in Excel and Open office that are incredibly helpful for generating characters. There is no reason the ruleset couldn't have picked up and automated character creation more to include adding a variety of options. The idea the RMC is so customizable that it would be to hard is a weak excuse because there are alot of core rules that could be automated.

Automating criticals is another area that shouldn't be so daunting. Why cant you drag a critical and have it automatically poplate stun, bleeding, damage.

I was really looking forward to this ruleset to help a new generation of players enjoy this game, but the designers seem to be stuck in the 80s. Other rulesets are far more innovative than this one. Even the ability to move portoins of characters sheets around on the screen is a function not available. Even being able to drag and drop equipment shouldn't be so daunting a task, but this isn't available either.

Simply typing the RMC rulebooks into an html file is not what I would call innovative.

I am sorry for the harsh criticism, but it wouldn't have been asking too much to automate character creation more and automate criticals more as too basic items.

incarn
September 6th, 2009, 07:51
Watters.

You can drag the critical result into the combat tracker and it will populate stuns etc on the target you dropped them on.

-but one of the problems I see is, as you move the rounds on and a stun/no parry etc result expires, it removes the whole effect. As some of these may include broken limbs and such semi-permanent results with associated penatlies, it is a little frustrating.
Rather than having to remember to copy this info to somewhere else, surely it could simply hold that in the combat tracker if there are penalties of this type.

I must say I am a little disappointed myself.
I had hoped for a lot more automation/cross-linking of info.

For example.
-auto-calc on temp and potential stats.
(this is especially cumbersome)
-totalling up the development points spent.
-drag and drop equipment to inventory.
-linking weapons to skills developed automatically.
-maybe auto-calc money as well? (ie drag and drop 1sp and it adds it automatically to the current total?)
There is more that I encountered while setting up characters with my group, but I cannot bring them to mind right now.


It also seems a bit unstable. I ran the DM(GM?) client on a PC and a notebook and it managed to Blue Screen every hour or so on both (V2.5.1) but I have no idea if this is FG or the ruleset as I have never run anything else on FG for extended periods prior to using RM.


BTW. does anyone know how I tell the combat tracker to do elemental attacks? It says 'no attack table', or is that not automated?


I am going to persevere for the time being, but so far it has been more negative than positive as I look at it and see so much that could have been done and was not.

Foen
September 6th, 2009, 09:16
I am a huge RMC fan, but the ruleset is a dismal failure in my view. The fact that there isn't more automation makes this only a little improvement over pen and paper.

I'm really sorry you feel this way, as I think there is a very significant element of automation in this ruleset, but perhaps it depends on your perspective: comparing this ruleset to 3.5E or other FG rulesets; or comparing Fantasy Grounds to some other software. At the end of the day, FG emulates pen and paper games, allowing you to play RPGs with remote users. Additional functionality such as the combat tracker and table look-ups, together with the bundled reference material, make FG a useful tool for face-to-face games too.


One of the biggest challenges for new players is the fact that the detail of RMC is intimidating and it takes time to generate characters and engage in combat.

There are tools available in Excel and Open office that are incredibly helpful for generating characters. There is no reason the ruleset couldn't have picked up and automated character creation more to include adding a variety of options. The idea the RMC is so customizable that it would be to hard is a weak excuse because there are alot of core rules that could be automated.

The ruleset includes a character creation walkthrough, with links to all the relevant tables from the reference books, speeding up the character generation process. That said, the ruleset is not supposed to be primarily a character generator (you can use other tools for that purpose, if you wish) but a medium for playing RMC games.


Automating criticals is another area that shouldn't be so daunting. Why cant you drag a critical and have it automatically poplate stun, bleeding, damage.

If you drag a critical from the results table onto the effects/wounds section of the combat tracker, it will populate stun, bleeding, damage, penalties and provide some narrative of the wound.


I was really looking forward to this ruleset to help a new generation of players enjoy this game, but the designers seem to be stuck in the 80s. Other rulesets are far more innovative than this one. Even the ability to move portoins of characters sheets around on the screen is a function not available.

Other than mini-sheets (which I guess you are referring to), the RMC ruleset includes significant additional functionality in comparison to many rulesets. Combat resolution is one obvious area, but in-game preferences, shareable combat tracker (with GM-selectable visibility options) and GM notes on the character sheet, are all examples of features not found in many rulesets.


Even being able to drag and drop equipment shouldn't be so daunting a task, but this isn't available either.

Very few rulesets implement this, because the variety of item types (weapons, armour, magic items, general equipment, power point adders/multipliers etc) and the potential link to other parts of the character sheet (weapon lists, spell lists, armour type/modifiers) is generally too complex to manage.


Simply typing the RMC rulebooks into an html file is not what I would call innovative.

I am sorry for the harsh criticism, but it wouldn't have been asking too much to automate character creation more and automate criticals more as too basic items.

As I said above, I am really sorry you feel that way.

Stuart

Sigurd
September 6th, 2009, 10:01
This ruleset has been highly anticipated. I feel like it deserves a more even handed review.

Watters, What did you like about the ruleset and do you have a link for the excel\Open office files?

The D20 license specifically discouraged automation, other games will have more latitude. I have always found Rolemaster a little cumbersome and any improvement would be welcome. Work arounds or concrete ways to make it better would be appreciated by all.

Perhaps you could send a more detailed response to Digital Adventures or Foen?


I'm digging up my RM books to see if I'll referee a session or two :).

Foen
September 6th, 2009, 10:33
one of the problems I see is, as you move the rounds on and a stun/no parry etc result expires, it removes the whole effect. As some of these may include broken limbs and such semi-permanent results with associated penatlies, it is a little frustrating. Rather than having to remember to copy this info to somewhere else, surely it could simply hold that in the combat tracker if there are penalties of this type.

This sounds like a good idea, perhaps as a GM-option (the same way that you can enable/disable auto-clearing of resolved table look-ups). I'll see what I can do.

Does anyone know how I tell the combat tracker to do elemental attacks? It says 'no attack table', or is that not automated?

You can create an entry in the Attacks section of the combat tracker, and then drag the elemental table to it. Alternatively, you can create a new weapon on the character sheet (for a player character), open the details sheet and drag the spell law attack table to it. So a Rod of Fire Bolts could be handled that way, for example.

Stuart

incarn
September 6th, 2009, 11:00
Thanks for that Foen.

I can now see how to force a table on the combat tracker.

I missed the 'table' entry on the weapon creation.

Thore_Ironrock
September 6th, 2009, 18:53
I am a huge RMC fan, but the ruleset is a dismal failure in my view.

Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and we welcome all so we can better understand what the FG community is looking for in a product conversion. I would like to make a few points though regarding watters' post:

1. As creators of FG material, you must remember we are limited in what we can do by the lua and xml functionality of the compiled code. There are simply some thing FG cannot do at this time. Also, if there is something we want to try to incorporate into products Smiteworks have been very helpful in this respect. Writing code in Excel is not a fair comparison to what coding elements are available in FG, considering we do not have access to the compiled code.

2. Considering the above, character creation automation is a very difficult task first, and impossible second. Anyone that has created a ruleset can tell you this, and until you walk a mile in these shoes you likely won't comprehend that some things are just not possible with FG. Calling the RMC ruleset a "dismal failure" based only on character creation is not a fair assessment of this product conversion. Also, having new players cut their teeth on character generation is one strongly traditional way for them to learn the rules of the game.

3. As for the RMC ruleset as a whole, I'm still in shock at what our dev team was able to do with this project. I think that Stuart's programming for this ruleset, and the card-drawing mechanic in the Savage Worlds ruleset (created by Joshua, kudos) are two of the most astounding accomplishments to date with FG. If someone can't appreciate that, then they clearly do not know what it takes to do something like this. The fact that you have all the text from four different products compiled into one source is something I would have never dreamed of even 10 years ago, let alone automated crit lookup. The reason I got out of RM 17 years ago was the futility with the combat.

4.

I was really looking forward to this ruleset to help a new generation of players enjoy this game, but the designers seem to be stuck in the 80s.
As someone who has been game mastering and playing RPG games for over 30 years, I can't disagree with this more. A tool like FG is what it is, and one thing it clearly is not is a program to help a new generation of players enjoy how an RPG is played. If a game master wants to get a new generation of players interested in any role playing game, then they do so by knowing the rules, properly preparing their adventures, and being able to clearly present things in a fun and exciting manner during the course of play. Granted, playing an RPG over the internet has it challenges, but I really don't see how any FG ruleset by itself is responsible for teaching gamers how to play any RPG system. If anything makes playing an RPG over the internet difficult it is a game master who does not know the rules properly, or is unfamiliar with what FG can do.

Consider this example: During my time with the RPGA Network at TSR in the early 90's one of the best judges we had, who we often assigned to young or inexperienced players, was actually blind. He used a braille Commodore 64 system, but for the most part ran games for all four days of Gen Con with little assistance. I also happen to know he loved Rolemaster, and had no problems teaching people how to play. Something to think about ...


This was our first cut at this project, which in itself too nearly two years to complete. We felt that releasing this project now was the best popular solution for getting RMC online. Like own work with Savage Worlds, we're going to be improving this product in years to come to better help the flow of the game online -- and enhance it based on user feedback. While experienced in FG and RMC, our development team can't think of everything, which is why we gladly take (positive) feedback from the FG community for improvements in the future. If it can be done within the FG code, then we'll do our best to put it there.

Digital Adventure has, and always will, respond to constructive comments from the community in how we can better create/update our products. Thanks to all that have put their comments forward to-date, and thanks to Stuart for his responses above.

Veldehar
September 7th, 2009, 04:15
My two cents is that thus far, just in play testing, that the ruleset is very well done. I am a meddler, so having the ruleset open to manipulation is flat out wonderful. RM has never been for everybody, and never will be. My personal opinion over 15 years or so of RM pen and paper, was that it was in part the effort put into character creation that made each character worth more. Too many systems are quickie simplistic and lose the oomph, so, in many ways I fully appreciate the fact that character creation still requires some effort.

Are there things I would like to see? You bet! I would love to be able to have draggable "stock" items from the rulebook, all those little things like robes and lanterns. If I had the know how and time, I would probably go ahead and do that. Inventory items with pop-up customizable descriptions would simply be a boon, and well worth my time to develop if someone ever points me in the right direction... maybe this winter I will have time to fiddle with that... if its feasible, that is. If not, I can muddle through, no doubt about that.

Personally my hat is off to the programmers. A very nice recreation of the PnP environment.

Veldehar

incarn
September 7th, 2009, 04:32
BTW, to the other users who have the RM ruleset.

Can your character sheets sort by skill name?
I can get it to sort by everything else, but not the name.
Nothing at all hapens when I click the skill header.

Ebonfyre
September 7th, 2009, 04:58
watters, during one of the early rounds of playtesting I walked a new group through the ruleset and the biggest complaint they had was the difficulty of the character generation, so I can understand your frustration to some degree. They were new to FG and hadn't played RM in years and automation or not making a RM character is daunting - the tables you need are all over the place, leveling and stat gain is repetitive, and there are a ton of options. Generally they got overwhelmed and that tainted their first experience.

To address this, Foen and I created the character generation walkthrough mentioned above. If you have not read it through I highly recommend you do so. Upon its completion I took the same group through another round of character creation and you know what - every one of them said it was exactly what they were hoping for, step by step guidance through a complicated process with immediate links to exactly the table they needed at the time.

To further automate character generation would be another monumental coding process. I have no idea what the plans are toward such an improvement in the future but realize it would have delayed the project considerably further had it been attempted already, if it's possible at all considering the restrictions of the code. While the walkthrough is not perfect automation, it's not far off either - everything you need is right there, and you are writing far fewer things down than you would in a real pen and paper game. Calling it a "dismal failure"... that's a pretty harsh critique, but if you can be more specific you are welcome to try and justify your case further.

incarn
September 7th, 2009, 05:53
The character generation summary is extremely helpful, definitely.

Could I suggest at the very top a summary of the tables used?
For the second character and on you know what you are doing and just need to reference the charts.

And the totalling of rank costs would be at the top of my list

Foen
September 7th, 2009, 07:11
BTW, to the other users who have the RM ruleset.

Can your character sheets sort by skill name?
I can get it to sort by everything else, but not the name.
Nothing at all hapens when I click the skill header.

Good spot!

Stuart

incarn
September 7th, 2009, 07:14
Heh thanks.. I think. :)

Can you direct me as to how to fix?
More than happy to go digging into ruleset if I have an idea of what I should be looking for.

Foen
September 7th, 2009, 07:30
Well, you asked...

The charsheet_skills.xml file defines the skills page of the character sheet and contains both the label for the header ("Skills") and a sortable list definition. In the former there is a piece of code which sorts by "shortname" when the label is clicked (it is in the onClickRelease event handler) and in the latter there are a <sortfield> tag and a <defaultsort> tag, both of which reference "shortname". These three references to shortname should be replaced by name instead - but save a copy of the file first, as recovering user-edited rulesets isn't how vendors want to spend their time ;)

Stuart

Foen
September 7th, 2009, 08:19
One of the problems I see is, as you move the rounds on and a stun/no parry etc result expires, it removes the whole effect. As some of these may include broken limbs and such semi-permanent results with associated penatlies, it is a little frustrating.

As I mentioned above, I'll include a preference for this in a future release, but for now you might want to use the Notes facility in the combat tracker to keep a tab on longer-term injuries. For PCs, this also links to the GM Notes section on the character sheet (which the GM can see, but not the player).

This is actually a better method than using the tracker for longer-term injuries, as the GM Notes persist between sessions/combats, whereas tracker data is lost as soon as you remove the PC from the tracker.

Stuart

incarn
September 7th, 2009, 08:28
Yay! My skills can now be sorted by name. :)
Only three instances of shortname in that file, so a global search and replace did the trick.
Thanks for that.

The combat tracker link to character notes... was that in the manual.. ;)

But keeping the penalties that aren't associated with stuns etc is still important for that combat, or indeed any other combats until the character gets his broken arm healed.
Rather than having to re-type the penalties.
So that would be a nice addition.

Getting happier with the ruleset as the day goes on. :)

(Hmm, I suspect I have a smilie problem. Maybe I should join smilies anon?)

Foen
September 7th, 2009, 08:31
Take care: shortname is a valid and necessary field, so global-find-and-replace can make other stuff stop working.

Stuart

Thore_Ironrock
September 7th, 2009, 14:54
Please note that we do update our products on a regular basis to fix bugs, support changes by SmiteWorks, and to add features. If you customize your RMC ruleset make note, as these would be wiped out with our update.

If you have something you would like added to the ruleset, please send it to Stuart (Foen) and myself so we can make note to add it during the next round of updates.

:)

Mask_of_winter
September 8th, 2009, 02:09
I have a question about the ruleset. And also a comment.

Hear me out for a minute.

I've just gone through all the modules (C.law, A.Law and S.Law) to hotkey the major tables I would need to run a game on FGII. I can't seem to find the Base Spell Attack Table found on page 268 of the Spell Law book. Anybody know where I can find it in the librairy?

Also, I think it would be very convenient if all the various tables could be indexed just like the Optional Rules are indexed in the librairy.

Thanks

Sorontar
September 8th, 2009, 02:29
Hmm you would expect to find it in 4.2 Base Attack Spells wouldn't you but I'm not seeing a link.

You have the Range Mods and Cover etc but when it describes the Base Attack Table there's nothing.

One that got away perhaps?

Foen
September 8th, 2009, 07:09
It looks like the table got missed - sack those play-testers!

We'll see what we can do to fix this one.

Thore_Ironrock
September 8th, 2009, 09:47
I was just about to push out an updated RMC ruleset to support the FG changes for 2.5.1. I'll wait until Stuart has this in before doing so.

Thanks for catching this one!

Mask_of_winter
September 8th, 2009, 16:13
No problem. I'm looking forward to the update.

GMBazUK
September 8th, 2009, 21:11
I haven't posted in... a while, but would like to add, that this new ruleset saw me running my first session (off line) in over twenty years, for my two nephews (aged 10 and 13) who were die hard role playing cynics (even though they had never played), but following the session they are complete converts, and contrary to my efforts to disuade them, have insisted we carry on this weekend.

We followed the Character Creation write-up, and before their curiosity could wane (which isn't very long), we had our first encounter up and running, having grabbed a couple of bad guys from the monsters section. Their favourite "bits" were the crit' descriptions, especially once they understood that high roles "ramped up the fun".

Two things accomplished:
1. An old time Rolemaster GM got to acknowledge that those fond memories of the critical system were actually based on some truth.
2. I finally introduced Huwy and Duwy (not their real names) to roleplaying so they can at last agree with me that roleplaying is at least as much fun as their good friend Mr Xbox and Mr PS3. RESULT!

Baz

Stuart
September 9th, 2009, 12:35
Good to get a thumbs-up Baz for this ruleset. Thore is well aware that shortly after joining DA I started badgering him to do an RMC ruleset and obviously, there was a personal agenda in doing so.

I started my son on 2nd Ed D&D a month back but I'm not sure he is quite ready for Rolemaster just yet... 10 years is a bit young to handle all of the rules and I balked at trying to explain Feats etc with 3.5. I'm pleased to hear your two neophytes found the ruleset helpful; the hope was that the ruleset would be of use to FG users on and off-line.

incarn
September 9th, 2009, 13:45
There seems to be a few issues with the tracker.

It removes No Parry and must parry results together.

It also separates up Stun and No parry (or must parry) results when inflicted from the one crit.
They should effect and expire together.

As the round ends it removes the No Parry and/or Must parry result before the stun result.

Even if they are separated (which they shouldn't be) the worst effect (out, down, stunned, no parry, must parry) applies and expires first irrespective of what order they were applied in.

The only thing I would suggest is an additional 2 fields in the combat tracker which combine the stun effect with both No Parry/must parry additonal when applied from the same crit. and the order of removal of effects to be corrected.

This is all ref page 50 of RMC Arms Law.

Vroomfogle
September 9th, 2009, 19:15
Hi everyone - I've had a hand in the creation of this RM ruleset - being the resident RM expert I am very familiar with all the different incarnations of RM, the various supplements, as well as the RM community and typical house rules. I have also created 2 different programs of my own to handle combat management and tracking and so had some experience with some pitfalls.

Rolemaster has never been your typical RPG in the sense that when you sit down and play D&D3.5, or Savage Worlds with a new GM you can pretty confident you know the rules. Sure there might be some house rules here and there, which are easily covered, but Rolemaster has always been more like an RPG toolkit and if you take 5 Rolemaster GM's you will see 5 different versions of Rolemaster. For example my own 'house rules' document is more then 30 pages, though granted that is a bit heavy.

Since joining DA for this project I was continually pushing this point, (perhaps sometimes to Foen's consternation!) as I saw this as the major obstacle with a Rolemaster ruleset. I felt it was very important to note pigeonhole users into a narrowly defined Rolemaster. It was a careful balance between automation and flexibility and I think in the end we (mostly Foen!) struck a great balance between the two.

watters - on the issue of character creation you state:
"The idea the RMC is so customizable that it would be to hard is a weak excuse because there are alot of core rules that could be automated."

I disagree that this is a weak excuse. In fact as I have laid out, this is the main reason for not doing more automation. You may think there are a lot of core rules that could be automated but what you consider core rules may not be considered as such by other GMs.

As an example, take the issue of Development Points which are probably the most often house ruled part of the game. Some GM's may use fixed DPs, some may want to use all stats to compute them, some may adjust the DP by stat table, some may use a fixed amount plus some variable. If the RM ruleset assumed any one of these things and could not be easily overridden then the ruleset would have been useless for a very large number of users. There are countless other examples. Character creation is too variable and would have required substantial more effort to add a flexible creation functions to the ruleset.

Now this is not to say that over time, we will not be able to add more functionality and features to the ruleset, but I think most everyone would agree that they would rather have the existing product in hand then wait another year for us to add more features before release.

incarn - I will take respond to your issue with stuns in my next message.

Vroomfogle
September 9th, 2009, 19:53
incarn - thanks for the attention to detail here. Foen and I did go back and forth quite a bit on this and it's certainly possible something was missed, or is a bug in the code. I've pulled up my archive of emails on the topic...let's take a look!


There seems to be a few issues with the tracker.

It removes No Parry and must parry results together.

It also separates up Stun and No parry (or must parry) results when inflicted from the one crit.
They should effect and expire together.

As the round ends it removes the No Parry and/or Must parry result before the stun result.

Even if they are separated (which they shouldn't be) the worst effect (out, down, stunned, no parry, must parry) applies and expires first irrespective of what order they were applied in.

The only thing I would suggest is an additional 2 fields in the combat tracker which combine the stun effect with both No Parry/must parry additonal when applied from the same crit. and the order of removal of effects to be corrected.

This is all ref page 50 of RMC Arms Law.

You are correct here, but the additional fields aren't necessary. I think when the tables were entered the "Stunned and Unable to parry" result was entered as both a Stun result and an Unable to Parry result. Foen do you remember what might have happened here?

Actually the "Unable to Parry" result actually INCLUDES a stun result, but "Stunned and Unable to Parry" was too long and so "Unable to parry is the shortcut" There are no cases where you would actually get an Unable to Parry without also being stunned. Similarly with the Must Parry result, you will never get that result from the same crit that delivers a stun...since a stun implies that you must parry, or flee, since you can't attack.

So what we have, excluding down and out are 3 individual possibilities from a crit:

- Must Parry
- Stunned
- Stunned and Unable to Parry

which appear on the Tracker as
- Must P. (sometimes combined with Par. At which means the penalty the parry is at)
- Stun
- Can't P.

Now if a critical shows up as having a result from two of those possible results, then that is incorrect and we will have to fix the underlying data.

Concerning the Must Parry result. In the core rules this does not actually decrement at the end. It decrements at the same time unless you are using Option 15, which makes "Must Parry" a stun result and then the durations do stack. Also note that while the durations don't stack in the core rules, the penalties actually do stack....clear as mud?

So, with normal penalties: If you have a penalty of -20 for 2 rounds, then -5 for 1 round you are at -25 for 1 round then -20 for 1 round.

Must Parry does not work this way. The durations of Must Parry add together (it stacks with itself). So if you Must Parry for 2 rounds @-20 then Must Parry for 1 round @-5 then you Must Parry for 3 rounds, the first @-20 and the last one @-5.


Now, if you do want to use Option 15, I'm sorry but the current combat tracker cannot allow for that unless you want to fiddle with the guts of the ruleset. Ideally we'd have these various options set up as preferences (or extensions in some cases) that can be turned on and off.

I'll keep an eye on these forums now that the ruleset is out to be available to answer any rules questions anyone may have, but you can also come by the ironcrown forums which is also a very friendly place.

- V

Stuart
September 9th, 2009, 22:21
Vroom was a great source of "Aha but Option X allows ..." and "Yes but if you read that rule carefully, what it usually means is ..." After 10 years of playing Rolemaster I thought I knew the system ... :(

All those involved tried hard to create a ruleset that supported all the options presented in the RMC and create as detailed a Combat Tracker as possible. However, creating a totally flexable ruleset and a Tracker that would not crash the average PC was always going to be a problem; if there are things that people consider to be lacking, apologies ... but it *is* a useable ruleset and certainly one that I fully intend to use to run a campaign in December.

incarn
September 10th, 2009, 12:55
I have/had no expectation for the support of optional rules.

That would make for an almost infinite combination of them. :)


The No Parry = stun no parry, that makes sense.

But dropping a stun no parry result on the tracker definitely increments the stun rounds as well as the No Parry.

What I thought I saw occurring was the lesser 'no parry' effect wearing off first, when in actality, it was the more severe stun/no parry wearing off first as it should.

Thanks for the clarification. While it never occurred to even think about it, I am now aware there is no such beast as a No Parry result without stun.
I love rolemaster, I have been playing it.. well sitting next to me I have a first edition shadow world set that I bought new.
The depth and complexity is great, but damn I would imagine learning the rules from scratch would make a lawyer twitch nervously.

Btw, in my initial comment of it being unstable, both the computers I was using it on were Vista (a desktop and a notebook), now having loaded win XP onto my desktop I am seeing no crashing at all.
Again no idea if it is an FG thing or a RMC ruleset, but I was able to repeatedly replicate (is that redundant?) the crash by opening and closeing combat and fumble tables. Generally it would crash on the 3rd to 10th time. rarely on the same table.

Stuart
September 10th, 2009, 14:32
I suspect the RMC ruleset pushes older machines on XP to the limit, certainly my old desktop had a number of stability issues but at 9 years old it was a veritable OAP. The ruleset is stable on my Vista laptop but I have not tried connecting or rather, I have been unable to connect ... Vista is a pain to work with.

Vroomfogle
September 10th, 2009, 14:33
I'll talk with Foen and we'll figure out the best way to handle the problem with the Stunned/Unable to Parry. Glad to hear you've resolved the crashing issue.

If you're playing in Shadow World you might find some of the new books useful, as well as a more recent Atlas (I'd suggest 3rd edition). Check out The Guild Companion for the latest SW publication. I'm also working on SW Player Guides. The first one will be a more general world guide, followed by continent guides (Jaiman first, then Emer) with cultures and regional info suitable for players as reference. It will also have new set of maps I've been creating in CC3.

Also, if you've got the 1st edition Atlas you can register at my Nomikos website:
http://nomikos.vroomfogle.com
Which has an updated timeline from all the books - substantially larger now then what was in the 1st edition.

GMBazUK
September 10th, 2009, 14:56
(Not wishing to hijack this thread)...
Hi Stuart. I dont lurk here as much as I used to, but its good see some of the hardcore FG "voices of moderation and reason" aren't far away.

Your correct, ten may seem a little young for Rolemaster, or perhaps even roleplaying, but to hell with that, the deal was, there has to be something in it for me to!!:D

Something I learnt from a previous failed introduction attempt is knowing/understanding the rules is not that important, with two children who have been brought up on a diet of instantly gratifying console games.
I found the best strategy was to "cut to the chase" i.e. get their characters into a perilous situation where they might feel they have a mental or physical advantage.

For them, it was enough to understand that a high role was best, and (more specifically with Rolemaster) a crit roll would result in a graphic description, sometimes leading to a surprising outcome.

If they remain hooked (and I see no reason why they shouldnt, with me at the tiller, ha ha he he! ) I hope to introduce something of the missing 99% but for now Im afraid its Rolemaster with juicy bits, but from concentrate.

Baz.

Veldehar
September 10th, 2009, 22:10
A mild change of topic, as I just wanted to step in and say I am loving the customizable Rm ruleset! I haven't GM'd Rm in errrrr, gads... the early 90's I'd say. One thing I'd hoped for was to be able to jump into the code and wrangle it around, which is high hopes for someone who's only real programming experience was in high school, in BASIC, on Apple II's... But it has been fun! I've already eliminated the Illusionist, replaced that with the Shadow Mage, and totally messed with those spell lists, and have it functional in game with no hiccups! So much tinkering left to do, but so far, so good! OK, sure, no real coding there, but I'm impressed I could figure out what the heck to do so easily.

My helm is off to those who coded RM and FG2 in general! Looking forward to cold winter with RM and friends scattered around the country.

Veldehar Snow-Elven

chrisinfinger
September 24th, 2009, 08:35
Truely enjoying the RMC ruleset for FG2.
I have discovered a chart with missing data though and can't find any "bug" posting threads here on FG2 for it so I will put it here. :)

The Activity % chart in Arms Law seems to be missing most of its activities, looks like the % were pasted in but the associated action were not.

The player's notepad could also use a scroll up/down method for entries that go past page 1 as well. :D

Thank you for bringing my favorite p&p ruleset to Fg2!

chrisinfinger
September 24th, 2009, 21:28
The table mentioned above is 03-03 (Activity Percentages) in Arms Law.

Foen
September 25th, 2009, 00:03
I've tracked this down and we'll fix it in the next release - good spot, Chrisinfinger.

chrisinfinger
September 26th, 2009, 05:39
I have finished putting RMC4FG2 through its paces and finally feel ready to comment on something besides missing table data. :)

The gaming group I GMed for years ago loved all things RM (me included). I have all the books for the various rules (including the War Law and MERP boxed sets). We dabbled in Warhammer Fantasy, D&D, Twilight 2000, and Star Wars 2E but always found ourselves back in RM campaigns. No other system can snatch victory from sure defeat or defeat from sure victory like RM can.

In my time as GM running RM I have seen a level 12 fighter fall dead with a goblin's short sword in his brain (one of 2 left after he waded through 14 like a knife through butter). I have also seen a level 1 dwarf crit and kill a troll that I had created to scare him into returning to the rest of the group that he left sleeping while he went hunting. I honestly tried to kill him after he insanely charged my "tree sized club wielding" troll. The gods of RM caused my troll to fumble its attack and then blessed the player with an opened ended miracle roll followed by a 90s crit roll. He still gloats over that kill over a decade later!

There are very few systems that will allow a level 12 player to fall to goblins, or a troll to a single dwarf, but this keeps the entire experience exciting. It also helps to avoid the normal progression seen in other systems where a character no longer even rolls (except fumble checks) against lower level enemies because his insta-kills them based on the system mechanics.

Praise of RM covered, I will move on to RMC4FG2. I will admit that I had initial difficulty relearning the character creation process. I started at the top and began reading down the list, forgetting that in RM books the explanations, charts, and step-by-steps are never in an exactly logical order. Once I discovered the walk through though it changed all that. That step-by-step gem is a definite time saver. I have to agree with a previous poster though about the tables being indexed at the start of the guide to speed up return character creation. I love the fact that automation in character creation is left to a minimum. I am a heavy house rule user and mainly due to my exposure to MERP (and the later RM revisions) like to streamline many things in RMC. For example; I do not use potential stats because I like the MERP way of allowing characters to "buy" stat gain during skill leveling (it gives them something to do with all those left over points once they run out of skills to make up).

The combat (and skill tests) automation is superb, and ability to share most of the information with the players to keep them involved in the process is phenomenal! The worst part of RM from a GM perspective has always been keeping the players occupied while you dig through charts. By allowing them to see some of what is going on behind the scene and (in my case) letting them roll all the rolls for table results (even crits directed at them, I am so cruel) even the most attention deficient players can be kept on task.

As a test of our proficiency, me and one of my old gamers (the troll slayer) rolled up two lvl 1 characters and pitted them one at a time against a regular ork. The ork killed him in 6 rounds by shattered his chest with its flail. On my turn I killed the ork in round 1 by, severing its leg, with a 97 damage roll following a c-slash crit (after he fumbled his go). ALL of this took under an hour using RM! If you don't think that is HUGE, you haven't played much p&p RM. :D

caveat: I will warn you old RMers who always disregarded the negatives to OB and skill tests, due to loss of hit points, because they were just that much more to track in basic RM.. Now that it is automated you will miss those "free" 10-30 points you always enjoyed, monsters everywhere are rejoicing. :D

I will end by saying WELL DONE and THANK YOU!!! I can't wait to see what cool stuff you guys do with this now that its out and in use!

[ok bug report time]

If you drag and drop fumble results that indicate loss of action or damage to self it doesn't seem to do anything. If you drop this result in the "affects" area text line (in glowy guy area) it will put in a description of effect only and then gives a code violation pop up.

Edit: Fixed grammar and spellings mostly

Stuart
September 26th, 2009, 20:53
As a test of our proficiency, me and one of my old gamers (the troll slayer) rolled up two lvl 1 characters and pitted them one at a time against a regular ork. The ork killed him in 6 rounds by shattered his chest with its flail. On my turn I killed the ork in round 1 by, severing its leg, with a 97 damage roll following a c-slash crit (after he fumbled his go). ALL of this took under an hour using RM! If you don't think that is HUGE, you haven't played much p&p RM. :D

Good to hear :-)

In play tests (I have not had time to start a campaign yet) I was impressed even in the early versions with the sheer speed of resolution compared to my old RM games; I hope this takes some of the pregnant pauses out of RM games and gets more people chortling over a "97" and a "66" ;-)

chrisinfinger
September 28th, 2009, 20:41
Here is a tip for GMs who want a better walk thru that has the charts organized where you need them for your house rules.

Use the "Story" log to make a Character Creation guide. Put () around it so it defaults to the top of the stack ie.(Character Guide).

Now you can type in instructions for your players and make them chat items that can be dragged to the chat box and instantly displayed to remote players w/o typing. You can also make headers and links and all the other cool stuff provided there.

To make a link just right click in your new story entry and select text type - link. Now type in the name for this link and go off and find the table you want it to open. Now just drag the darkened square from the table and drop it in the white box beside this entry.

Once you finish and set the new entry page to unedittable you can share it with other clients that have connected if you want to allow them to roll up their own characters. If not you can use it as a step by step guide to walk them through the process quickly.


[bug report]
The chart 06-05 link goes to chart 06-06 in the CC walk thru provided by RMC4FG2.

geewaagh
October 16th, 2009, 03:05
Okay, been playing rolemaster for 20 years, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out ruleset. Was there a published "how too" manual that I missed? Have not figured out combat, targeting, MM rolls, um, u know, the ruleset. Would love any help.

Thanks

Foen
October 16th, 2009, 07:29
Hi Geewaagh

There isn't a How-To manual with the ruleset, but there are some descriptions on combat etc on the ICE blogs:

http://www.ironcrown.com/index.php?page=blog&c=14

In particular the post called 'Combat Tracker'.

To target an opponent with a weapon, the player or GM can drag the opponent's name from the tracker and drop it on the weapon 'Attack vs' field. If a map and token are being used, the player can also just click the opponent's token to make all the player's attacks and defenses apply to that one opponent.

For MM rolls, the player double-clicks the MM skill chance (shown with shadowed dice), or drags the the skill and drops the dice in the chat window.

Please post if any of this doesn't work for you.

Stuart

geewaagh
October 20th, 2009, 02:10
Stuart,

Your link and playing around has got me pretty comfortable with the rule set. Have not play tested yet, so there might be a few things left to be discovered. Still kinda perplexed that such a huge undertaking for a FG ruleset did not have any manual to understand the product.

It is a great product by the way. Even if I had to bump around in the dark to discover its capabilities.

Going to dig up all my old Shadow World stuff now.... thanks for the help!
Geewaagh

ionofrao
October 25th, 2009, 07:03
Well I finally got the money to buy this and

My friend and I installed it, and we set up everything in what appears to be the correct way.

But when I roll my attack from the combat tracker or from my skill on my character sheet as a player, he as a GM does not get a proper table look up, he gets a error that says no table selected.

I have tried with weapons dragged and dropped frm the arms law and created myself, they clearly have a attack table like 1 handed concussion or 2 handed slashing etc listed on the weapon.

when he has a npc attack me he also does not get any kind of automated attack resolution.

I have read all of the postings on the ICE blog and on the fantasy grounds forums and I do not see anything that I am doing wrong or that would explain the problem.

Please help

Foen
October 25th, 2009, 08:19
Hi ionofrao

There are three things that could cause this problem:

The attack table should be the name of a weapon/spell, such as Broadsword, not a weapon type, such as 1HC.
The GM needs to have the Arms Law, Spell Law and Character Law modules loaded (see screen shot below), because the table data is stored in those modules.
Once the attack resolver pops up on the GM's screen, he needs to double-click the attack in the lower left part of the screen (the roll stack) or right-click on it and select 'Resolve'. The right hand side of the resolver doesn't automatically populate with the roll outcome, otherwise if two players roll in quick succession the GM wouldn't be able to control the process.

To load the modules (sorry if this is teaching you something you already know), click on the modules icon in the top right of the RMC screen (circled in red in the screenshot) and the list of available modules apperas (framed in a red box in the screenshot). The AL, SL and CL modules should all show as an open book, if not then they should be dragged open.

The second attachment shows the resolver: you need to right-click or double-click the attack in the lower left of the screen.

Hope that helps

Stuart

ionofrao
October 26th, 2009, 01:25
Thanks Foen,

That worked great, we are up and attackifying each other :-)

I think it was the part of double clicking on the box to tell it to resolve the attack that my friend was missing.

While I have your attention, I hope you wouldn't mind a few more questions.

1. there is a fumble range on weapons but if you roll a fumble result it still seems to want to compute the result normally, not as a fumble. Is this normal?

2. If there is not a way to automatically index the fumble table, is there some way to drag and drop the result from it if the gm manually rolls and looks up a result on it. As of now it wont let you drag and drop the results from the fumble chart to the individual affected in the combat tracker.

3. If you drag a troll or a dragon from the monster section into the combat tracker they mostly copy over correctly, the only problem is that attacks against them are still made as normal attacks they are not made against the large or super large creature charts as they should be. If this cant be automated could it at least be made so results from those charts can be dragged and dropped onto the combat tracker?

4. Are we allowed to modify our own copy of the game files for our own use?

5. If so can you tell me where the weapons charts are stored (like broadsword chart etc..)

6. Once We are more comfortable with the base use of the program I would really like to modify it for use of the MERP combat charts. (something in me likes that higher results are always better, unlike RM classic where a 88 is better then a 100 on many charts)...

Thank you all for a wonderful program, other then these few miner bumps it seems to be running extremely well and we are really happy with it.

Foen
October 26th, 2009, 09:26
1. there is a fumble range on weapons but if you roll a fumble result it still seems to want to compute the result normally, not as a fumble. Is this normal?

When a natural fumble roll occurs, the ruleset should highlight the fumble roll in the attack resolver, and it can be resolved like any other result (right-click the 'F' to open the fumble table).


2. If there is not a way to automatically index the fumble table, is there some way to drag and drop the result from it if the gm manually rolls and looks up a result on it. As of now it wont let you drag and drop the results from the fumble chart to the individual affected in the combat tracker.

Once the fumble table is open, just as with the critical tables, either the GM or the player must roll a d100. The GM then drags the d100 result from the chat window and drops it on the fumble table. The correct row is then highlighted.

Unfortunately the results from the fumble table cannot be dragged direct to the combat tracker (you can drag them to the chat window to give everyone a laugh).


3. If you drag a troll or a dragon from the monster section into the combat tracker they mostly copy over correctly, the only problem is that attacks against them are still made as normal attacks they are not made against the large or super large creature charts as they should be. If this cant be automated could it at least be made so results from those charts can be dragged and dropped onto the combat tracker?

You are right that the ruleset doesn't automate those kinds of critical rolls, nor does it automate the slaying/holy etc. I hadn't thought about allowing the results to be dragged and dropped - perhaps it should be added in the next release.


4. Are we allowed to modify our own copy of the game files for our own use?

Yes, you are, but you cannot redistribute the ruleset or anything derived from it.


5. If so can you tell me where the weapons charts are stored (like broadsword chart etc..)

The weapon data is in the Arms Law module file (which is a renamed ZIP file). You can find it in the db.xml part of the module.


6. Once We are more comfortable with the base use of the program I would really like to modify it for use of the MERP combat charts. (something in me likes that higher results are always better, unlike RM classic where a 88 is better then a 100 on many charts)...

We may well release an extension to allow the ruleset to be used with Rolemaster Express, which is quite like MERP. The change is more complex than you might imagine.

Glad you like the ruleset,

Stuart

JC the Roleslayer
January 13th, 2017, 17:04
Guys i am looking to learn to play and GM a game of Rolemaster Classic. It is very intiguing to me. If someone could explain how to resolve actions and attacks and cobat and such, i would apreciate it. Please PM me

Mac77
September 2nd, 2018, 09:11
After reading your review, I bought fantasy grounds and the rolemaster rule set and absolutely love it. Thank you. I don't know which is more fun for me, making maps for adventures with pro fantasy or playing them with fantasygrounds.

Majyk
September 11th, 2018, 11:09
Hey man, saw your comments here and @Arion ’s in a MoreCore topic and thought to share a Youtube channel for a ROLEMASTER game we play with FG if you wanted to see the toolset in action, if you’re(Arion) not sure on buying it for your needs.

Edited version:
YT (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrEy3kvjMfUP3sSypPumIBAENdyO3epbq)

Or live:
Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/majykfngrz/)

As with all games, lots of mistakes and missed entries are sometimes made, but hopefully these vids help show how the ruleset within FG can be manipulated for your own game(and its inevitable house rulings you implement with your group).

Mac77
September 12th, 2018, 08:06
Nice one, thanks I will have to check it out.