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New game: Middle Earth - 2e Rolemaster w/ The One Ring elements

Quintegamer

Explorer
The new game my group and I are starting when we come back to the table in about 2 weeks is a Middle Earth game set five years after the events in The Hobbit.

Using ICE's Rolemaster system (2e) with elements of The One Ring thrown in - Shadow and Hope points (modified), cultural virtues and rewards (modified). Character creation is finished (all 1st level):

Dunedain Ranger
Harfoot Hobbit Thief
Man of Gondor Fighter
Blue Mountain Dwarf Fighter
Woodsmen (Mirkwood) Magician
Noldor Elf Animist

The starting premise is the group gathered/sent by mentors and employers to investigate tales and rumours of unusual goblin activity in a small mountain valley in the southern arm of the Blue Mountains, about 200 miles south of the White Towers.

The group (players) is about 50/50 experienced with Rolemaster/new to RM. I've worked with each player to create their characters to help mould them into what they were envisioning.

If there's interest, I'll post more detailed character info and possibly game summaries.
 

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Jaeger

That someone better.
The group (players) is about 50/50 experienced with Rolemaster/new to RM. ...

I'm interested in the system.

d100 roll high as opposed to the BRP derivatives right?

I'm assuming it would do some things cleaner than BRP due to its roll high system, like opposed tests etc..
 

Quintegamer

Explorer
I'm interested in the system.

d100 roll high as opposed to the BRP derivatives right?

I'm assuming it would do some things cleaner than BRP due to its roll high system, like opposed tests etc..
Jaeger - d100 roll high, open-ended both high and low (96+ and 4-).

Never played BRP or RMSS, had the 2e books since the 90's.
 

pemerton

Legend
I've got a lot of RM experience (1000s of hours, overwhelmingly as a GM) though very little in Middle Earth.

I think it's fairly high magic compared to the default LotR setting, though there are optional sub-systems that can tone this down (eg corruption-type systems).

It doesn't really have a default approach to opposed checks. I don't know how MERP suggests handling them, but the various versions of RM together with the RM Companions give a range of different approaches to Stalk/Hide vs Perception.

I think the system shows its age these days, but (like RQ) it can definitely shift the focus of play and of resolution away from combat and onto other sorts of activities.
 

John R Davis

Adventurer
Having played many RM and MERP campaigns I think the Mystic is a better fit than the Magician. The Magicians spell lists are just a bit too Blasty and powerful, where the mystic is more manipulation and fits Middle Earth setting much more.
Have Fun
 

Quintegamer

Explorer
Having played many RM and MERP campaigns I think the Mystic is a better fit than the Magician. The Magicians spell lists are just a bit too Blasty and powerful, where the mystic is more manipulation and fits Middle Earth setting much more.
Have Fun
John - the player running the magician and I talked and he actually went for less blasty spells. Spirit Mastery (sleep, charm, etc) and utility spells were his choices. Light law (shock bolt) is his only damage spell.
 

Jaeger - d100 roll high, open-ended both high and low (96+ and 4-).

Never played BRP or RMSS, had the 2e books since the 90's.
5-, not 4-.
01-05 down by 1d100 (which then recurses further on 96-00), 06-95 just the initial, 96-00 up by 1d100 (which recurses on 96-00)
Then add skill (which includes attribute modifiers).

It's worth noting that the standard RM races are VERY close to their Tolkien counterparts, so most of the moving parts are there already.

@pemerton IIRC, opposed tests work just like combat... one side's skill adds, the other side's skill subtracts... final result on the moving maneuver or static maneuver table. Unlike combat, it's not split your asset between OB/DB. Can't get to my books to check at the moment.
Tho' one could roll both and the higher wins
 
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pemerton

Legend
@pemerton IIRC, opposed tests work just like combat... one side's skill adds, the other side's skill subtracts... final result on the moving maneuver or static maneuver table. Unlike combat, it's not split your asset between OB/DB. Can't get to my books to check at the moment.
Tho' one could roll both and the higher wins
Different options were published over different books. A bit like initiative, it seems to have been fertile ground for mechanical exploration.
 

Different options were published over different books. A bit like initiative, it seems to have been fertile ground for mechanical exploration.
That's Rolemaster in a nutshell.
The core is super straightforward, almost rules light....
about half of Character Law is options.

It's very clear that the ICE guys absolutely loved Tolkien and experimentation... and high level play.
Sadly, I've never had players willing to commit to my approach to it for more than 2 sessions in a row...
... but when my downstairs neighbor was running it, his players came up to do char gen with me... on average, between 2 and 3 character fatalities per week.
 

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