Grading the Rolemaster/Spacemaster System

How do you feel about the Rolemaster/Spacemaster System?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 11 13.1%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 21 25.0%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 18 21.4%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 13 15.5%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 2 2.4%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 19 22.6%
  • I've never even heard of it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

I've loved each system save Cyberspace (not well organized, poor fit, especially given CP2020 and Shadowrun)...
Cyberspace felt a bit rushed and undertested to me too, as well as being a somewhat belated attempt to jump on the cyberpunk bandwagon in the face of established competition. Striking cover though, I'll give it that.

Thinking about things that used the RM/SM engine proper, my favorite ICE products were the Dark Space and Time Riders books, which I guess would be best described as setting books.

Dark Space was freaky science-fantasy with some Mythos-like elements, creepy biotech gear and weapons, and arcanotech interstellar travel. It stood out from the market pretty well at the time, although it never got any support and the last I looked it's one of the few ICE products you can't get in pdf.

Time Riders was a toolkit for doing time travel stories and campaigns in both RM and SM, had both magical/psionic and technological options for moving around in time, and had a lot of fairly system-agnostic advice on how to run the genre. Remains one of my favorite "how to do time travel RP" reference books of all time even with the GURPS and M&M books out there.
 

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Kannik

Hero
I've loved each system save Cyberspace (not well organized, poor fit, especially given CP2020 and Shadowrun)...
Cyberspace felt a bit rushed and undertested to me too, as well as being a somewhat belated attempt to jump on the cyberpunk bandwagon in the face of established competition. Striking cover though, I'll give it that.
If there's one thing going for it, the high 'random' lethality factor of RM/SM kinda works in a cyberpunk genre game. Not that I played the rules however, so perhaps it didn't gel or was undertested as you note. I'd bought it to use as additional source material for the cyberpunk campaigns we were already playing, and as with SM the industrial design within was killer.

Quite intriguing was Chicago Archology. A tome that's got a higher page count than the base game, all for a single location. It's like TSR's City System for Waterdeep, only for a future Chicago megastructure. Not sure it, also like city system, was much of an economically good choice, but I think it shows they had some commitment to the line.

My fav, as noted upthread, is Death Valley free prison. An interesting and quite cyberpunkesque idea, allowing for sandbox style Mad Max-ian brutal play.
 

Kilimanjaro

Explorer
Cyberspace felt a bit rushed and undertested to me too, as well as being a somewhat belated attempt to jump on the cyberpunk bandwagon in the face of established competition. Striking cover though, I'll give it that.

Thinking about things that used the RM/SM engine proper, my favorite ICE products were the Dark Space and Time Riders books, which I guess would be best described as setting books.

Dark Space was freaky science-fantasy with some Mythos-like elements, creepy biotech gear and weapons, and arcanotech interstellar travel. It stood out from the market pretty well at the time, although it never got any support and the last I looked it's one of the few ICE products you can't get in pdf.

Time Riders was a toolkit for doing time travel stories and campaigns in both RM and SM, had both magical/psionic and technological options for moving around in time, and had a lot of fairly system-agnostic advice on how to run the genre. Remains one of my favorite "how to do time travel RP" reference books of all time even with the GURPS and M&M books out there.
Dark Space was a Monte Cooke design, I believe. It was great. I think when ICE collapsed the rights reverted to Monte. That’s why it’s not available in pdf.
 

Kannik

Hero
Dark Space was a Monte Cooke design, I believe. It was great. I think when ICE collapsed the rights reverted to Monte. That’s why it’s not available in pdf.
(Pulls book of shelf) You're right, it is by Monte Cook. I hadn't realized/remembered that. :)

(The setting really wasn't my cup of tea though, so I haven't looked at it in years.)
 

Dark Space was a Monte Cooke design, I believe. It was great. I think when ICE collapsed the rights reverted to Monte. That’s why it’s not available in pdf.
That explains a lot. Pfui. I'm not a great fan of RM/SM mechanically, but I don't really want it in Cypher either. :)
 
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Not sure it, also like city system, was much of an economically good choice, but I think it shows they had some commitment to the line.
Cyberspace wound up with nine supplement plus the core game, which certainly isn't nothing. Don't recall it moving very well in the FLGS and I confess I never bought anything beyond the core book, though.

Looking at the product listing I could have sworn there was at least one other thing from a 3PP, maybe dual-statted for Cyberpunk 2020 as well, but if so it's eluding me.
 

aramis erak

Legend
Cyberspace wound up with nine supplement plus the core game, which certainly isn't nothing. Don't recall it moving very well in the FLGS and I confess I never bought anything beyond the core book, though.

Looking at the product listing I could have sworn there was at least one other thing from a 3PP, maybe dual-statted for Cyberpunk 2020 as well, but if so it's eluding me.
There was a line of Hero/RM supps - Robin Hood, Mythic Greece... I forget the others. Mythic Greece still available from Hero Games in PDF. (multi-thousand point characters...)
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
Updated grades, thanks to multiple new votes:

To date (2/15/2024), Rolemaster/Spacemaster has a grade of B- (GPA 2.52). 100% of voters have heard of it, and 82% have played it.
Of those who have played it, 20% love it, 32% like it, 30% are lukewarm, 16% dislike it, and only 2% hate it.
 

Voadam

Legend
I think I played one game of Rolemaster in high school that lasted just one encounter. It is pretty fuzzy now, it might have just been creating characters for a planned game. I eventually bought a version of MERP and some supplements:, MERP adventures, the three later Spell Law essence books, Treasure law, and the Vikings book. I eventually bought HARP and Against the Darkmaster PDFs and picked up a friend's copy of the RM corebook and the monster book when they were ditching books for a move and somewhere I picked up the bestiary for Bladestorm.

A lot more fiddly and swingy than I want for a regular game's combat every round, but great stuff to plunder as add ons in D&D games. I used the cold magic critical hit charts out of MERP to add to a Ravenloft cold island necromancer dark lord's spells to great effect in a 2e game and in 3e I used a bunch of Spell Law themed spell lists as domain spell options. I found Treasure Law great inspiration for item creation and recharge spells in 2e.
 

Kannik

Hero
After a second "Hate..." vote, we're back down to a solid C+. :) What has been cool to me that it hasn't (yet!) received any "Never Heard Of" votes. While Rolemaster is for sure one of the classics, I wondered if it had faded into the past or faded into the background enough that it was no longer part of the collective RPG headspace. So far it seems not, at least not to those who frequent this forum.
 

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