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20 – Categories and Skills

Part 20 – Categories and Skills

5500 Rolemaster Standard Rules

5800 Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing

5806 RMFRP Character Law

5808 RMFRP School of Hard Knocks

This article examines the differences in Categories and Skills between Rolemaster Standard Rules and Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing, RMFRP Character Law and RMFRP School of Hard Knocks, the Skills Companion.

I haven’t gone through all the skills in as much detail as I spent on some of the previous articles, there are just too many, but I have noted some of the differences I have found. For the most part, the Categories and Skills have not changed.

You really need all three of the RMFRP books to get what you had in the RMSS book, plus some extras. With the RMFRP Hard cover plus RMFRP Character Law, you get all the Categories and Skills that were in RMSS, but you don’t get the individual Static Maneuver Tables and the optional third stats that were in the RMSS book. These get added in RMFRP School of Hard Knocks, the Skill Companion, which also adds more detailed descriptions of the Categories and Skills that didn’t exist in RMSS. In particular, the section on using the Healing skills is very useful, and the Example Difficulties provided for each skill is also very useful.

There is a new rule added to skills in RMFRP which I refer to as the specialization rule. Some skills are marked with a “*”

” * – A character with at least one skill rank in this skill must choose one of the listed ‘specialized’ crafts as his ‘area of specialization’. When using this skill in his area of specialization, the character’s skill ranks are considered to be doubled.”

The changes to categories and skills that I have noticed are listed in the following table, there could easily be more that I have missed:

Categories and Skills

Awareness Searching Surveillance no longer includes “Also includes the ability to determine the best approach and technique in solving a crime.” as part of it’s description.
Communication Beeborukamuk has had his name shortened to Beebo and has also undergone a sex change in the first example
Crafts All the skills that were previously described are still described, with some of the skills with shorter descriptions moved into the “partial list of suggested crafts” section. This category makes use of one of the few new rules. The skills Cooking, Leather-crafts, Metal-crafts, Stone-crafts, and Wood-crafts now follow the specialization rule.
Lore General All skills are described, Culture Lore has been renamed to Race Lore.
Self Control Stunned Maneuvering is listed as an additional skill, but there is a Stun Removal skill that has exactly the same description that Stunned Maneuvering in RMSS had. See the note at the bottom of this table.
Subterfuge Attack Both skills are described. Silent Kill has been renamed Silent Attack.
Subterfuge Stealth All skills are described. There is also a paragraph at the beginning that describes the effects of a successful maneuver that was not in RMSS: “A successful maneuver by a character using any of these skills will result in a modification for any related ‘awareness’ static maneuvers that are made by anyone else. Such a modification is -25% of the character’s Hiding skill bonus for a ‘partial success,’ -50% for a ‘near success,’ -100% for a ‘success,’ and -150% for an ‘absolute success.'”
Technical/Trade General Sailing has been added.
Technical/Trade Professional Mechanition and Mining incorporate the new specialization rule.
Technical/Trade Vocational Boat Pilot incorporates the new specialization rule.

John W. Curtis III had the following explanation for the changes re Stun Removal/Stunned Maneuvering:

“Somewhere along the way, the definition of Stunned Maneuvering got lost. Originally, you used Stunned Maneuvering to “maneuver while stunned”… that means that the skill allowed you to get out of the battle, retreat, or otherwise crawl around while stunned.
Thanks to great editing, this definition was changed in RM Companion II (what a thing to slip through the cracks). Suddenly, you got to use Stunned Maneuvering to “remove” rounds of stun!
When I pointed this out to the managing editor, he was appalled! Well, long story becomes short…
In the RMFRP there are now two skills: Stun Removal (see the RMFRP, page 125) and Stunned Maneuvering (see the upcoming Character Law). Now we can all be happy… “

I’ve included an index of all the Skills from RMSS and RMFRP to make it easier to locate matching skills in both rule

They can be found at:

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