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  1. #1

    Newbie looking for some info

    I've long wanted to play Rolemaster. I've had books for it for a few decades now but could never convince a group to play, mainly because of all the chart lookups. Fantasy Grounds automation seems to be a great solution to that problem.

    I'm a little curious on how Rolemaster plays as a system though. My main gaming background is AD&D, and my players and I are fans of sandbox-style dungeon crawls, where most of the gaming revolves around the dungeon, but the party is pretty free to go where they want, how they want, and when they want to. I know Rolemaster can be pretty lethal... does that mean it's not compatible with a dungeon-crawl style of play, or does it just mean a party spends more time picking and choosing their battles and retreating to rest and heal up?

    I'm also curious if there is a good example that can really show off what a good Rolemaster dungeon adventure might look like that I might be able to purchase off DriveThruRPG, or even eBay or something. I've done some googling for "best Rolemaster adventures" and also just poking around DriveThruRPG for Rolemaster material, but I don't feel like I've really found something where a lot of people are like "Yeah, this adventure right here was a great one and shows you what Rolemaster is all about!" I saw a lot of references to Shadow World but that seems like a campaign setting rather than an actual adventure.

    I did see that there's a free adventure in the modules/extensions thread for Rolemaster that I'll check out, but I'm really curious about any officially published material, or any personal experiences people have had running a dungeon-based Rolemaster game.

  2. #2
    Hi and welcome,
    I think Rolemaster is extremely well suited for this kind of automation and the ruleset is well implemented. There are of course some quirks and the interface might look old-fashioned but we nevertheless decided to integrate FG even if we return to playing in person.
    Concerning your playstyle I believe that the players have a lot more interest as well as options to choose the risk they are taking, for example with parry and might be forced to make plans more than with other systems.
    As generating your own content is not too hard, once you are familiar with the system, I am not in a position to recommend any adventure module, I did everything myself so far.

  3. #3
    Sulimo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Pacific Time Zone
    Having run Rolemaster (and its close relative MERP) since the 1990s, the automation in FG is a huge time saver, and is actually why I purchased FG originally.

    The automation has significantly grown since I originally purchased it back in late 2014.

    I don't know if I would ever want to even try to go back to doing things manually.

    I cannot recommend FG and the RMC ruleset enough if you have ever used Rolemaster (or MERP). It saves so much time during a session, that I don't think I could do without it. I'd have to figure out a way to get it working around the table if we ever did in person sessions, the RMC ruleset is just that useful.
    Not all who wander are lost.

  4. #4
    I also started with MERP and continued with Rolemaster and as a GM I always tried to avoid larger group encounters with more than 10 enemies before FG ��

  5. #5
    Majyk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Canada (Insomniac)
    Welcome back with the interest, man!

    Recent advances have made the RM mechanics and application of them in a speedy manner - whether player or GM - you’ll quickly understand how much of the game is lost without making the switch to FG with the system.

    In terms of adventures, Shadow World books all have a few adventures or seeds within ‘em.
    The best part, of course, is the NPCs are all stat’d out for the game, so no converting D&D modules!

    Join the official I.C.E. Discord Server - not to take you away from here - but live chat and Q&A will hype you even more!

  6. #6
    QuirkyBirky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Peak District, England
    The ICE Discord server is probably the best place for asking about the game mechanics and whatnot, though I'm sure the folk on here will be more than willing to help. There are enough people on there with plenty of RM experience that I bet there's not a Rolemaster question that you can ask that they can't answer (even if they make it up on the spot!). There's a Fantasy Grounds channel on there too (and we now have a Rolemaster channel on the Fantasy Grounds Discord! Whoop!) but I think it's a good idea to post FG queries on here, as there's bound to be others with similar issues/questions.

    The FG RMC ruleset certainly makes life a lot easier, and will hopefully help serve as a gateway to Rolemaster for those who have been put off in the past by its complexity (or perceived complexity at least). The best way to learn is to play, so if you can join JohnD's game then you'll pick it up in no time. Don't get too bogged down in the rulebooks, though it doesn't hurt to familiarise yourself with them - I'm sure no RM GM sticks completely to the RAW, and there are a wealth of optional rules to simplify (or complicate!) the experience. I bet no two games are run exactly the same.

    There are also various video tutorials for the FG RMC ruleset which will give you a flavour for how the game is run (I think they assume that you've played RM before, but if you've got the books then you should be ok).

    I should also mention that there are some key differences between Rolemaster Classic (a reworking of Rolemaster 2nd Ed) and RMFRP/RMSS (for which there is an extension available), but the basic system is largely the same (from what I remember). Which version have you got the books for?

    For what it's worth, I'm another who started with MERP. I still own the front and rear cover of the rulebook (found in one of my roleplaying stashes). I'm not entirely sure what happened to the rest of it.

  7. #7
    QuirkyBirky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Peak District, England
    Regarding AD&D vs Rolemaster (especially dungeon crawls), I used to read White Dwarf magazine in my youth. Before they switched their focus to purely Games Workshop/Warhammer, they used to have generic adventures for use with multiple systems, usually AD&D 1e & MERP. IIRC the only differences they had were for the creature stats. Admittedly these were probably more roleplay adventures than straight up dungeon crawls, but that might help answer your question.

  8. #8
    Hi Sterno,

    I've run a dungeon crawl campaign in the past and wanted to let you know a few things to consider:
    * Look into Fate points (RMFRP Channeling Companion) if it will be combat heavy.
    * Number of opponents makes a big difference in RM.
    * One big enemy won't usually be as overwhelming as it will in other games so give them a few minions to balance things out.
    * Also don't outnumber the party too much at least until they are higher level or there is a way to keep them from being overwhelmed by them.
    * If you don't want them having to rest too much then consider using Spell Law Optional Rule #4 - Base Power Points. You can select it in the Options - Optional Rules (GM) section of the RMC ruleset. It will give them a few more PP to start.

    Definitely let us know if you have any questions.


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