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mPicart
July 6th, 2011, 00:00
In the Fantasy Grounds "Rolemaster Classic" ruleset, what do the advertised "Optional Rules" add/change?

Are they to make it more RMSS-like?

RKBrumbelow
July 6th, 2011, 00:33
Optional rules are things like smoothed stat bonuses.

As I mentioned in your other post, you are HIGHLY unlikely to see RMSS development. The reason being rights limbo & it was effectively replaced by RMFRP which is primarily a reorganization + fixing of addendum.

What is it about RMC casting that you do not like?

mPicart
July 6th, 2011, 02:33
Honestly, it's been a VERY long time since I've messed with the older Rolemaster rules, so I've been checking some forums; but from what I've been reading about the RMC it seems that the mages are weak and hard to develop -- that the RMSS magic system and the way it develops spell lists are better. It also mentions that there are some optional rules in RMC Character Law for using a RMSS-style spell acquisition system for spellcasters in RMC.

That's why I was asking. This product seems what I'm looking for, though. That is why I am very interested in seeing if this will be smooth transition for me, since I have the core RMSS rules, and will need to "re-learn" the older rules.

RKBrumbelow
July 6th, 2011, 03:37
In my experience, skills were the primary difference, especially the introduction of training packages and the skill bonuses. Casters are inherently weak at lower levels and over powered at higher ones. I would always rather fight a spell user at level 1 and a non spell user at level 20.

I am a grognard though. Someone years ago said "RM2 was the highpoint of the game of Rolemaster. RMSS and RMFRP were harbingers of the end of the world... from a calamitous impact with a huge asteroid from outer space" - I agree :) with 2 exceptions nothing good ever happened to an RPG after 2nd ed.

Come young jedi, come to the dark side. We have cookies. Tasty tasty 2nd edition cookies.

mPicart
July 6th, 2011, 18:27
Oh, ok. I'll take a chance and buy it later today :) .

I know that I will need to purchase the RMC ruleset, but will my players need to do so as well; or will their Lite clients play off of my ruleset when they are connected to me?

joshuha
July 6th, 2011, 18:35
Oh, ok. I'll take a chance and buy it later today :) .

I know that I will need to purchase the RMC ruleset, but will my players need to do so as well; or will their Lite clients play off of my ruleset when they are connected to me?

Only the GM has to purchase the ruleset.

mPicart
July 7th, 2011, 13:57
....but then they would not be able to make their own characters -- just the ones I make for them, correct?

I can see that if the program comes with D&D 3.5 that they can make their own characters, but how can they make Rolemaster characters without purchasing the Rolemaster Ruleset?

RKBrumbelow
July 7th, 2011, 14:00
Depends on if you trust your players to input what they actually roll or not. If you do then just leave your server up and they can go through character creation and you need not be there (they enter the character's data into the sheet). If you do not trust them, or think they do not know how to do it, then you should be online to walk them through it or provide them with pregen'ed characters.

TheHappyJ
July 8th, 2011, 01:54
Background caveat and biases: I liked the idea of RPG, but disliked D&D, wrote my own system. I was introduced to RM in 1992 when I was told my system was similar in tone... when I went to buy books myself, all that was avail. was a few in the used bin and the new RMSS. I *may have missed some subtleties in RM2



I am a grognard though. Someone years ago said "RM2 was the highpoint of the game of Rolemaster. RMSS and RMFRP were harbingers of the end of the world... from a calamitous impact with a huge asteroid from outer space" - I agree :)

1) A lot of the material I read out of a RoleCo was imbalancing taken individually, and some was downright broken. The best material in the RoleCos was folded into RMSS.

2) Skill development made more sense and better reflected reality in the RMSS. Using Skill categories reflected that a person who had spent a lot of time, say, playing athletic games, was likely to do better the first time out at a specific game they had never played before than a guy off the street, even with a passing familiarity with the game (say, one rank). Complementary skill ranks were broken, particularly in regard to Body D.

3) Spell list development just didn't make sense. I Kinda get where they were coming from, but...

4) Flexible talents and flaws beat Background Tables hands-down. Plus, Talent Law helped show the interaction and balance of designing new races and cultures.

Are the rules flexible enough to allow for some of these to be edited? What about custom spell Lists?

RKBrumbelow
July 8th, 2011, 02:28
1) Role Co? Do you mean the Rolemaster Companions? If so they came from widely differing backgrounds. Some were suitable for low fantasy some for high. It was always for the GM to determine what was available in his world setting. You might even have most everything available in your world setting, but that never meant your players would have access to it all.

2)I have to strongly disagree here. I think skill development in RM2nd was better. There were rules for similar skills (1/2 ranks). Body development I do not recall as having any similar skills associated. Some skills would grant bonuses to stats which then would reflect an improvement in all associated skills. Example distance running I seem to remember added 1/2 a point of Con bonus for every rank it was developed, same thing with athletic games. This both would affect Body Dev, but not substantially.

3) Obviously we have a different view of spellcraft in RM. Learning spell lists in blocks (whatever size) was based on you were becoming familiar with the underlying nature of the real spell. As you came closer to it you could manifest more of it. The spells you learned on the way there were just fragments of the larger.

4) This is where the generation gap really shows. The thing older RM players hated more than anything was the changes in talents and skills.

You can manually add whatever skills and spells you want, but you are going to have to dig into the XML code itself to do so. It is not that bad once you get into it, but if you are not familiar with XML be prepared for a learning curve and make certain you use an editor that checks your syntax.

TheHappyJ
July 8th, 2011, 15:59
1) Yes, I meant the Rolemaster Companions. Several of the professions (Archmage, Deulist, Druid as examples) were pretty broken, and perhaps the GM was overly permissive in allowing the players to ransack the professions freely (and when two guys do, the rest have to just to keep up). When I began GMing RM, there were a few things I loved in RoleCos and some I didn't. I happened to notice that almost everything in the companions eventually made it into RMSS, probably barring problems with original contributors.

2) I never had the original core books, but rather was taught by rote from two fans of the game. Some of your commentary suggests I was taught house rules as canon. as an example, our swimming ranks were 2/1 complementary to body D, which meant for some professions it was cheaper to buy two ranks of swimming and get the free rank in Body D(not a + bonus) [I had a fighter who picked up two BD, two swimming two power-lifting, two running, and something else got four ranks/lvl plus one every four levels for the 8/1 comp on, I think, distance running]. Clearly the boys got this one wrong, and what you described makes more sense.
Spell lists were given gratis when the bonus total reached 100, and if you got to 105(102) you were "given" the first spell pick and allowed to roll for the next one, often leading to a ten-level jump in a list or two
Do you think having a Category skill level, reflecting a broader base of knowledge in a meta-subject unrealistic? For one anecdotal example, I know of a guy I'd qualify as a "lord-level" dog trainer, likely with specialized ranks in companions, retrievers, pointers, etc. with *no* horse experience at all... in fact, was a little afraid of them. His horse got spooked before mounting up the day I took him for his first ride, and the guy had more success calming the horse than the "journeyman" guide. I saw it as an example of PR/EM stat bonuses and huge Outdoor-Animal overwhelming a -15 unskilled penalty. He also sat the horse remarkably well for a rookie.

3) I cede and understand your view of RM spellcasting, though question if the lists are organized appropriately. My primary concern was with the above development issue. Devil's advocate: what about lists in blocks of one? And if the static roll is to see if you developed an understanding of the magic, wouldn't it be appropriate to have to roll and see if you "got" new ranks in science/analytical skills and perhaps some lores?

4) It is worth mentioning that background options were the default in RMSS, and that Talent Law was, like the RoleCo, supplemental and "take-or-leave"... to the extent that future companions were dual statted for with or without TL. The RMSS background options were, according to the friends who taught me RM, not signifigantly changed. (though now I must question their fidelity of memory) I like Talent Law because it better reflects the concept of play balance. Why should my druid, rolling twice on RoleCo 1's skill at magic table, get +30 and +25 IN bonuses, while my fellow party member (Warrior Mage) gets Necromantic Urge and +5 PR?

RKBrumbelow
July 8th, 2011, 16:42
I hope you do not mind I am going to split up your post into its sections and try to respond to each.


1) Yes, I meant the Rolemaster Companions. Several of the professions (Archmage, Deulist, Druid as examples) were pretty broken, and perhaps the GM was overly permissive in allowing the players to ransack the professions freely (and when two guys do, the rest have to just to keep up). When I began GMing RM, there were a few things I loved in RoleCos and some I didn't. I happened to notice that almost everything in the companions eventually made it into RMSS, probably barring problems with original contributors.

Several of the classed are very over powered yes, Broken? I am not certain I would call it that. Example an archmage is going to have to spend a LOT of dev points in list acquisition and he is going to have to spend a LOT of money and a lot of time traveling to learn anything. Archmages are a thing of Kulthea's long past from before the magics were separated. Becoming an archmage means you can only learn from an archmage and only learn 'arcane' spells lists effectively. Otherwise assuming your EM, IN, PR bonuses are all the same it will take you 3x as many powerpoints to cast an elemental spell as an elementalist. Why? Because elemental spells are essence based not arcane based and the archmage uses all 3 kinds of power points. So the power he adds from Intuition and Presence are lost. Now if you happen to have the Background option that makes you an archmage/ arcane caster then that penalty is removed from you. Also An archmage is only going to be able to learn a little bit from a single class user a bit more from a hybrid and only achieve full potential by seeking out another archmage to teach them. See how things start to balance out that way?

The Duelist is much like the High Warrior monk, except the HWM is even more of a Bad *** Dude. They spend so much on weapon and fighting skill development that they cannot branch into other fields. Now if all you are doing is dungeon crawling they will shine, but when one of them starts to have to interact outside of combat they are VERY limited. SO if you use out of combat rolls, even riding across terrain or streetwise for bartering and things like this they are going to show their weakness almost immediately. I do not remember much about druids except I think there was an argument between Bards and Druids where if one was a Hybrid of one set, then the other was a different Hybrid. I would have to open my books to check, and if I do I will get stuck looking through things for hours and I have things I want to do today :)


2) I never had the original core books, but rather was taught by rote from two fans of the game. Some of your commentary suggests I was taught house rules as canon. as an example, our swimming ranks were 2/1 complementary to body D, which meant for some professions it was cheaper to buy two ranks of swimming and get the free rank in Body D(not a + bonus) [I had a fighter who picked up two BD, two swimming two power-lifting, two running, and something else got four ranks/lvl plus one every four levels for the 8/1 comp on, I think, distance running]. Clearly the boys got this one wrong, and what you described makes more sense.
Spell lists were given gratis when the bonus total reached 100, and if you got to 105(102) you were "given" the first spell pick and allowed to roll for the next one, often leading to a ten-level jump in a list or two
Do you think having a Category skill level, reflecting a broader base of knowledge in a meta-subject unrealistic? For one anecdotal example, I know of a guy I'd qualify as a "lord-level" dog trainer, likely with specialized ranks in companions, retrievers, pointers, etc. with *no* horse experience at all... in fact, was a little afraid of them. His horse got spooked before mounting up the day I took him for his first ride, and the guy had more success calming the horse than the "journeyman" guide. I saw it as an example of PR/EM stat bonuses and huge Outdoor-Animal overwhelming a -15 unskilled penalty. He also sat the horse remarkably well for a rookie.

Yeah your Body Dev was WAY out of balance. There is a reason for max HP for given races. At that point getting more BD ranks is pointless. The only way to exceed those max points IIRC was to have a con score of over 100.

I would have granted 1/2 skill ranks in animal husbandry, but someone with high enough bonuses can achieve things even a trained person cannot. Example I had a martial mage with a +80 (yes +80) empathy mod even if he had been untrained he would have still been at +55 meaning he would succeed at normal roles pretty regularly. My the time he was Lord level .. oh my. But he also had the curse of friendslayer on him and a port elemental cold ball got away from him and destroyed a city he was supposed to protect. It works both ways.


3) I cede and understand your view of RM spellcasting, though question if the lists are organized appropriately. My primary concern was with the above development issue. Devil's advocate: what about lists in blocks of one? And if the static roll is to see if you developed an understanding of the magic, wouldn't it be appropriate to have to roll and see if you "got" new ranks in science/analytical skills and perhaps some lores?
You could do lists in blocks of 1 but remember you would have to train each spell in order still, Getting your first 10 spells off the bat is not a problem really since most spell casters do not have high enough mods to actually cast a level 10 spell anyway. Remember there are HUGE negatives for overcasting, plus do they have enough PPs? Unless you have been VERY generous with spell adders and PP multipliers they should run out of PP pretty quickly and once a mage is at 50% of his PP he is now at -25 to all actions, 75% drained he is now at -50% to all actions Completely drained he is at -75 to all actions, a very dangerous place to be, especially in combat. I believe the rules state you can roll one time per spell list per level to see if you gain it. so if they invest 20 DP then they are going to 95% of the time learn it (they can always fumble bwahahaha) We did have a house rule that if you rolled open-ended you could get the next set of ranks as well but again how is the caster going to be able to cast them. Again I would have to look but I think it was -5 for every level over yours the spell was.so a level 3 casting a level 10 is going to have a -35 to his skill roll and +35 is a darned good modifier so it is likely not going to happen.



4) It is worth mentioning that background options were the default in RMSS, and that Talent Law was, like the RoleCo, supplemental and "take-or-leave"... to the extent that future companions were dual statted for with or without TL. The RMSS background options were, according to the friends who taught me RM, not signifigantly changed. (though now I must question their fidelity of memory) I like Talent Law because it better reflects the concept of play balance. Why should my druid, rolling twice on RoleCo 1's skill at magic table, get +30 and +25 IN bonuses, while my fellow party member (Warrior Mage) gets Necromantic Urge and +5 PR?

Well because thats the way they rolled? Not all RM characters are going to be equal, sometimes you get really strong characters, sometimes you get weak ones. I often find it more fun to play with weaker ones. My martial mage was ridiculously overpowered, and he had a nasty habit of dying and possessing the next living things body. My other character was a simple dwarf fighter nothing really special about him, except he was the only character to never even come close to dying in any of Joel Blair's campaigns.

As a GM you can also assign fate points and re roll character BG options if you feel they do not suit the character.