Part 4 – Reprinted Supplements
This section deals with the books in RMFRP that are basically just reprints of the RMSS books.
Put fast and furious combat into your adventures with the critically acclaimed Arms Law. Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing has combat power, but Arms Law gives you more: more weapons, more critical hit tables, and more carnage for your game. With Arms Law, players and GMs will feel the battle rage around them and leave their foes bleeding in the gutter.
The first two items (5520, 5801) are virtually identical, even down to both of them missing a row for a result of 60 on the Dagger table. However, they did fix the typo for a result of 149 against Armor Type 10 on the Broadsword Table in the RMFRP version. It now has it properly listed as doing 22EK instead of 18EK. The RMFRP version eliminates one extra printing of the Krush Critical Strike table. The chart on page 92 in RMFRP is missing the listing for 4.14 Non-Weapon Fumble Table, but the chart itself is in the book. A couple of the appendices on how to use Arms Law with Rolemaster that were in the RMSS version are missing from the RMFRP version, these are “The Tactical Combat Sequence” and “Maneuvering and Movement” and “Optional Rules”. Several charts are also missing.
In April 2003, a new version of Arms Law was released for RMFRP, the first product to use the new Rolemaster logo.
This version of Arms Law is an 80 page saddle stitched book instead of a 120 page square bound book like the previous version. Most of this space is gained by not including the half size Critical Tables on the backs of the Attack Tables.
This is the first version to actually change the attack tables, replacing the single number progression used in previous versions with a smoothed progression, i.e. 67-69, 148-150. This is the same way the Attack Tables for Spells are done, as well as the Attack Tables for Spacemaster.
This style of table was also use in The Armory, an Arms Law supplement which was released in 2002. The Armory had also introduced the idea of a weapon having a primary critical such as Slash and for many of the weapons, one or two alternate criticals that the attacker has the option of choosing. The choice must be made before the attack roll is made, and there is set penalty ranging from 5 to 30 points that is subtracted from the attack roll if the alternate critical is selected. This is also used for many of the weapons in this new version of Arms Law.
Another change is that the weights and lengths of some of the weapons have been adjusted after comparison to historical weapon weight and lengths.
NOTE: Since originally writing this article, it has come to my attention that there are more differences between the 2003 (5810) version of Arms Law than previous version than I first realized. Unfortunately the discussions about the differences on the ICE Forums have long since disappeared. I may revisit the books at some point and see if I can spot them
Creatures & Monsters
Encounter dragons, sprites, gorgons, saber tooth tigers and foes of all stripes, spots and scales. Even a herd of elephants or a leviathan dragon is not too big for ICE’s comprehensive bestiary for Rolemaster. This is a compendium of information and statistics for two key elements of fantasy role playing: creatures and encounters.
The RMSS version has 320 pages whereas the RMFRP version only has 208 pages. Most of this space was gained by eliminating the basic statistics that were listed under each individual monster. This was information that was duplicated from the tables at the beginning of each section anyway. If nothing else, it solved the problem for some creatures like the Winged Panther where the information on the chart wasn’t the same as the information listed with the creature. After a quick look, it appears that most of the creatures are the same in both books, but I haven’t gone through them in a lot of detail. Overall, if you have a choice of buying either version, I would recommend the RMSS version.
Spell Law now consists of three distinct volumes, one for each of the three realms of power: Channeling, Essence, and Mentalism. This highly acclaimed core Rolemaster component provides magic fabulous enough to improve any game. This mighty collection of tomes can add realism and depth to your campaign without sacrificing playability.
These three concise books contain all the spell lists available in Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing as well as the spell lists for the additional professions in Character Law: all up to 50th level. Included are over 2,000 spells on 183 different spell lists based upon three realms of power and 18 professions! As a Gamemaster, you will probably want to purchase all three volumes, but as a player you need only purchase the book necessary for your character!
…Of Channeling explores the miraculous gifts of the divine. From the forgotten rites of lost religions to the dutiful chants of young acolytes, open the realm of Channeling fully to your prayers!
Inside …Of Channeling you will find over 50 spell lists-with hundreds of spells. Plus all of the character information needed to expand the core Channeling professions of your Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing game, including the Animist, the Healer, the Sorcerer, the Paladin, and other spirited adepts! Attack tables and critical strike tables give results for all kinds of magical attacks.
And summary tables make all of the details easy to manage!
Now when the evil priest begins chanting, you know that your soul itself is at stake….
…Of Essence probes the realms of the living force that binds and surrounds all living things-the magic of the universe is all around us. Tap into the natural Essence and shape your destiny!
Inside …Of Essence you will find over 50 spell lists: with hundreds of spells. Plus all of the character information needed to expand the core Essence professions of your Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing game, including the Illusionist, the Sorcerer, the Mystic, the Monk, and other mind-over-matter adepts! Attack tables and critical strike tables give results for all kinds of channeling attacks. And summary tables make all of the details easy to manage!
Now when the sorcerer raises his hand, you know that the world is about to crumble at your feet…..
…Of Mentalism presents the enchantments deriving from the mental powers of strong-minded individuals. The power of the mind lies just beyond the reach of most. Now you can tap into the ultimate personal power! Open the doors of your mind and the realm of Mentalism will be yours!
Inside …Of Mentalism you will find over 50 spell lists: with hundreds of spells. Plus all of the character information needed to expand the core Mentalism professions of your Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing game, including the Lay Healer, the Mystic, the Seer, the Magent, and other mind-over-matter adepts!
Attack tables and critical strike tables give results for all kinds of mental attacks. And summary tables make all of the details easy to manage!
Now when a seer gazes into the future, there are no secrets that can remain hidden….
Spell Law has been broken into three separate books, one for each realm. The spell lists from Spell Law can be found in the various RMFRP Spell Law books. Each of the RMFRP Spell Law books also have several professions that were previously in the RMSS Standard Rules. The Attack Tables, Spell Critical and Failure Tables from RMSS Spell Law are duplicated in each of the RMFRP Spell Law books. Many of the Spell List Notes from the RMSS Spell Law are duplicated in each of the RMFRP Spell Law books as well. The section on Healing, Death, and Injury is now in the main RMFRP book. The section on Item Creation in the RMSS Spell Law is now in the RMFRP version of the Treasure Companion. The section on “How to use Spell Law Without Rolemaster” has shrunk considerably, mostly due to the removal of the entire section on “The Tactical Combat Sequence”. The section on Other Spell Lists has also been removed. This contained the spell lists for Astrologers, Alchemists, and Seers.
There are a couple of slight differences in some of the spell lists, mostly clarifications, the one’s that I noticed minor changes in are Anticipate Missile, Anticipate Blow, Turn Missile, Turn Blade.
Turn Missile has changed in RMFRP
Anticipate Missile is different too:
I believe they were changed because in RMSS the two spells were virtually identical, now they are at least a little different. However, I think they do have the ranges screwed up now, Turn Missile should be 100′ and Anticipate Missile should be Self.
Another example of a significant clarification, Sly Ears:
The RMSS version states:
Other than the word "The" being a typo for the word "This",
The RMFRP version states:
A significant improvement upon the RMSS version. It tells you exactly which skill categories and skills are modified. You know precisely which game mechanics to use and how it affects them.
This is similar to the RMSS version, but RMSS does not have Perception,
If you are a Gamemaster and the RMSS version is available, it is probably the better buy. If you are a player who only likes to play one particular style of magic, you might be better off with just purchasing the individual spell book that interests you.
Treasure Companion is designed to allow Gamemasters to quickly generate normal and magical treasures to be discovered and won by the characters in their games. Inside this book are full discussions on the nature of wealth and magic in a FRPG, as well as complete item descriptions for over a hundred unique magic items, as well as tables for generating all types of treasure (including a detailed system for creating gemstones and jewelry). Three new Alchemist professions and 22 Alchemist spell lists bring these creators of magic items to life
The RMFRP version of this is almost an identical reprint of the RMSS Treasure Companion, with section 7.4.4. of the RMSS Spell Law being added into Section 9.0, Item Construction. The added subsections are Creating the Base Item, Enchanting an Item, Embedding Spells, and Making Artifacts. If you have a choice between these two, pick up the RMFRP version.
Gamemasters , learn how to use Rolemaster to its fullest potential! Gamemaster Law provides a wealth of guidelines and details that a Gamemaster needs to run a Rolemaster game or any other FRP game. This book also provides tips and guidelines on group dynamics, player motivations, and story presentation that will prove invaluable to GMs of all systems.
Some of the questions that Gamemaster Law covers are:
• How many players should I try to handle at a time?
• Will my game be more successful if I focus on political intrigue or simple adventuring?
• How can I pull the characters from the jaws of death without it seeming contrived?
• How can I keep the “power” in my game from getting out of hand?
If you have ever asked yourself any of these questions, then this reference book is for you!
The RMFRP version is a complete reprint of the RMSS version, with an additional section at the end for Race Generation and Options for Talents and Flaws that was taken from the RMSS Talent Law book. There is also a short section on generating height and weight for your characters, along with a Master Height and Weight chart. These charts come from RMSS Rolemaster Annual 1997. Given a choice, pick up the RMFRP version, particularly if you do not have RMSS Talent Law.
At last, the ancient priests of forgotten gods have brought forth new information for the realm of Channeling! The Channeling Companion explores magic of the gods in detail. Within this book you will find new professions, variant rules, new options, and (of course) a wealth of spells:
Three new professions: the Summoner (a pure spell user that uses channeling magic to summon creatures and forces), the Warlock ( a hybrid spell user that focuses on scrying, fate, etc.), and the Mythic (the religious infiltrator).
• More than a dozen new training packages for characters to develop. Many of the packages focus on some very specific aspects of the realm of Channeling.
• Guidelines on divine status showing how much favor a character has with his deity.
• Optional rules for handling divine intervention.
• Rules for creating specialty priests so that the priests of the god of war would have different abilities than those of the god of the harvest.
• Dozens of new spell lists for the realm of Channeling.
• New critical tables for holy weapons!
A quick run through these books didn’t show any noticeable differences between them. Either one will work fine.
The Mentalism Companion explores the magic that uses the power of your character’s mind. Inside you’ll find four new professions; the Seer, the Astrologer, the Armsmaster, and the Enchanter. Dozens of new spell lists, new training packages, and rules for handling mental combat…
Open your mind and let the Essence of the Universe flow through the channel into your soul! The Mentalism Companion explores the magic that is mastered by the sheer power of your mind.
The RMFRP version of the Mentalism Companion is almost identical to the RMSS version, in fact, the references to other Rolemaster products in the RMFRP version haven’t even been updated to reference RMFRP versions instead of RMSS versions. There are a few minor differences, a three page section on Mental Spells has been removed from the RMFRP version. This was a set of optional rules for dealing with Mentalism Spell Attacks.