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December 2023

Rolemaster Rulings

Rolemaster Rulings

Rolemaster Rulings



This page is bouncing around again, Brett Nash had done an excellent job of reformatting the Errata pages, but hasn’t done any updates in a couple of years, so I have decided to once again keep the pages here and perhaps commence getting some updates and official approval from Tim Dugger, the current ICE Rep and keeper of official info for Rolemaster.

Here’s the Intro that Brett had on his page:

This is my reassembling of the the rulings. I will be seperating these into a (hopefully) more friendly format shortly. This is the note from Brent Knorr’s web page:

This is a collection of official rulings for the Rolemaster RPG. These were originally posted on Craig O’Brien’s Website, back when he was the net rep for ICE. He has since removed these from his site, but gave me permission to post them here. For the most part, I have left the pages as close to their orignal format as possible, only removing/adjusting links that are no longer valid and added my own logo to the top as I update each page.

Note that I have attributed some of these rules to Tim Dugger (Rasyr). I have got permission to put them in, however due to the fact I am paraphrasing, and rewriting some of these, they cannot be considered official. I have put a [*] in the description or any item I have put in attrinuted to someone else, which they have not approved.

Also note that these are not official in any way shape or form. The ones which were in Brent’s basement may have been (you’d have to ask ICE however), but the original author is no longer part of ICE. I’m not an ICE employee, nor have I ever been. To be honest I use it more as my own list, although I find I rarely need it (I’ve just been playing RM too long I think ;-). Originally I was hoping this page was going to get some sort of officail blessing, but it is obvious this will not be the case. I hope this is however a useful list of rulings that have occured.

And for what it is worth: If you don’t like this page, don’t use it. If you have a suggestion to improve this page, plesae send it on. Having a go at me in other channels is really not appropriate.

Change Log

October 21st 2006, brent
Copied pages back to icewebring site, converted page to php page, which has caused some issues as multiple spaces in the source are actually treated as multiple spaces instead of being ignored like they are in html pages. Started cleaning up the source code.
September 3rd 2004, nash
Getting close to that magic year again…
Decided to be a bit more aggresive in how I deal with the ruling on this page. From now on I will be happy to rewrite confusing items. This will be my interpretation.
Expanded introduction. This page is not official.
More clarifications on parry.
Change one of the comments of breakage.
October 19th 2003, nash
Been a while again. 🙁
Constitution lose clarifications.
Resistance Questions.
CEATs advertisement
20’R is a sphere, not a cicrle
Haste is only parried once
Febuary 8th 2003, nash
Still unloved by ICE, so this is still totally unoficial, although the source of this (which is official) redirects to here…
New notes on preperation rounds [not done]
Frenzy notes
Training package costs
Stun and instantenous spells
January 17th 2003, nash
First change for the new year – Welcome to 2003
Fixed index section
RM2 fighter/ranger costs
TP cost have been seperated out
Added notes on snap casting spells
XHTML compliance
December 25th, nash
Added a ruling on open ended rolls
Shield Bash inclusion (needs to be fixed)
TP clarifications
December 17th, nash
(Been a while hasn’t it?). Added weapon breakage is automatic if the fumble says so statement
Novmeber 23rd, nash
Updated Familars with Essence companion references.
November 21st, nash
Tim Duggers changes… changed rasyr to Tim Dugger
Added golden rule reference
TP formula now on its own section
November 20th, nash
Moved subconscious spells to own section
Quarterstaff against 2 opponents question from forums
Added being blind from forums
November 19th, nash
Finished creation
Finished magic
Finished specific books
Added misc for everything else
November 2nd, nash
Started work on magic section
November 1st, nash
Finished combat section
Added ‘Golden Rule’ section
Added fix for deliberate actions
Started adding dates in international format with name of adder
October 31st, nash
Added basic sections.
Started to fill out Combat section
Added an index.
October 30th, nash
Removed Adobe Go-Live html markup
Turned this into one file
Added stylesheet and Changelog
XHTML compliant
Removed NEW tags.

Golden Rule

Golden Rule
The GM can change the rules. This is covered in ‘Customizing Rolemaster’ Page 6 of RMFRP, [R, 12/8/99]

Still need a reference for RMSS.
Demons and the Golden Rule
The GM may make Demons immune to any spells he wants. [2, R, 2/14/00]
Obviously this means the GM can make any creature
immune to any spell…


Actions and the Round Sequence

The initiative roll only gets the Qu bonus, not tripple the Qu bonus. [R, 10/6/99]
Rolling 2d10 + SD for mental initiative is an optional rule. [R, 11/16/99]
If you are using the optional rule for mental initiative, and want to perform both mental and physical actions in the same turn, make one die roll and add the different stats to determine the different initiatives. [11/17/99]
If you prefer second by second combat see CEATS, available from the Guild Companion at
Percentage Activity
You may not attack with less than the minimum activity percentage listed on T-3.2 [R, 10/12/99]
Even if you have more than 100% activity in a round (eg Haste), you are still limited to one action per phase. [2, R, 10/31/99]
Percentage activity not used for the allowed three actions may only be used for movement at the end of the deliberate action phase. It may not be used to attack or parry. [R, 10/29/99]
Deliberate Phase
Any action requiring a maneuver or attack roll gets +10 to that roll if done during the deliberate phase. This includes spells [R, 1/12/00] Page 74, Section 18.1 in RMSS [20021101 nash]
Cancelling Actions
You may not cancel an attack/action if you have already used that actions parry. [R, 10/29/99]
If cancelled actions are less then 60% activity you can move 10% as a deliberate action. [R, 10/29/99]
If cancelled actions are 60% or more then can (as a deliberate action) move 50%, melee at -40, or manuvever at -40. [R, 10/29/99]
Conflicting Actions
If two characters are making conflicting actions in the same phase (such as one trying to avoid melee attacks), they should make manuever rolls, with difficulties set by the GM. Whoever gets the higher result succeeds. Otherwise, whoever acts in the earlier phase succeeds. [R,5/2/00]
Missle fire into Melee
Shooting past someone and firing into melee should be handled using the partial cover modifications. [2/1/00]
Option: If you shoot past someone and miss, determine if the partial cover mod made the difference between a hit and a miss. If it did, reroll the attack on the target shot past, with a max result of 50 plus the partial cover mod expressed as a positive number. This ruling is only for those who wish to simulate such things. [2/1/00]
Being Blind
The penalty for being blind is -100 to all sight related activities. Skills like SLA offset this. [from forums, 20021120]

Damage and Criticals

Concussion hits
Hit multipliers have no set maximum on hits dealt.However, add together multipliers, don’t multiply them (that is, x2 and x2 is x3, not x4). [2/18/00]
Strangley XP multipliers don’t work like this – I assume only one is correct
Critical Penalties
Penalties from ciritcal only affect physical actions, not mental ones. [* Tim Dugger (forums) 20030207]
The definition of mental actions is unknown
Adrenal Strength
Adrenal Strength doubles hits done by resulting criticals. [2/18/00]
Generally magic bow is not sufficient to cause a magic critical, a magic arrow is required. [10/18/99]
However bows of slaying impart their effect on the arrows they shoot, as an exception to the ruling on magical criticals from bows. [2, 10/20/99]
The bonuses for bows and arrows are averaged for determining offensive bonus. [R, X, 10/20/99]
Large and Super Large Criticals
The Mithril collumn represents weapons with a sharper edge, and is used even against large and super-large creatures with no special weakness to Mithril. [2/4/00]
Slaying Criticals
Slaying attacks against small and medium creatures have the roll for the normal crit also applied to the Large Creature Critical Table, Slaying collumn. This does not apply to the Magic and Mithril collumns. Arms Law p115. [R, 2/4/00]
If you get a slaying crit against a small or medium creature, and are applying the roll for the normal crit to the Slaying collumn, you may roll open-ended if the first roll was high enough. [2/4/00]
Simple: a round of stun means you are stunned until the end of the current round. Realistic: you are stunned for three action phases, counting only phases in which you have not acted. [10/29/99]
If you are stunned before making an attack, that attack is foiled. You may cancel it and try another action. [10/29/99]

Making Attacks and Offensize Bonus

Magical and non-magical bonuses
Magical bonuses are not cumulative with non-magical bonuses. [10/22/99] The Armsmaster personal weapon is an explicit exception to this ruling [R, 10/24/99]
A martial artist cannot use his bare hands to hurt a creature only affected by magic. [2/4/00]
Magic Bows
Generally magic bow is not sufficient to cause a magic critical, a magic arrow is required. [10/18/99]
However bows of slaying impart their effect on the arrows they shoot, as an exception to the ruling on magical criticals from bows. [2, 10/20/99]
The bonuses for bows and arrows are averaged for determining offensive bonus. [R, X, 10/20/99]
Multiple Attacks
A martial artist may only make two attacks in one phase if they are using a style that specifies that ability. [11/9/99]
Having a high number of ranks in your weapon skill does not give you multiple attacks each turn. [11/9/99]
Quarterstaff vs 2 opponents
You can use a quarterstaff vs 2 opponents. If you have no skill it is at -50 to both attacks (100% action). Otherwise you may he develops either two weapon combat (or a specially designed style from MAC) to gain the multi-attack ability…[Tim Dugger (forums)*, 20021120]
Lots of unanswered questions from this one. Is this all weapons? All pole-arms? What special MA style?
Shield Bash
Shield bashes are covered in the Character Law book on page 110 as an optional rule. It must be developed as a one hand concussion weapon. All two handed weapon fighting skill rules apply and the -20 modification for non-dominant hand apply also. It uses the small bash attack table a-10.9.8 in the RMFRP book or the AL attack table 3.10 if you use the optional rule you can still use it normally per the rules on pg 212 and 216 of the RMFRP. [From a post by Christopher Hopler 20021225]
This needs to be cleaned up.
Thrown Stones/Objects
I would recommend using the Bash attack table, perhaps with a maximum (medium) result for hand-size rocks and a max large result for large, heavy stones. The critical table will be indicated by the attack table. Alternatively use the sling table, at -20 to -30, with a maximum result of about 120. [Brian Olson *, 20020602]


Martial Arts
You may parry using Martial Arts when you do not have a weapon, shield, or suitable terrain. [3/26/00]
This should be checked with MA companion
Martial arts is considered a one-handed weapon for determining how much combatants may put into DB by parrying. [3/22/00]
With Multiple attacks
If you make multiple attacks in a turn, with different ammounts of parry, the parry you have declared for a particular phase applies to any incoming attacks during that phase. [3, 10/29/99]
Modifications to attacks are applied to the OB, and thus affect how much you can parry. [R, 11/2/99]
A character with a 0 or negative OB may not parry. [11/2/99]
When making a subdual or similar attack, your OB is limited to the subdual skill (or whichever skill is appropriate to the attack). You may not use the rest of your normal weapon OB to parry with.
This needs to be checked in martial arts companion, my recollection is the opposite of this
If you make multiple attacks in a turn, with different ammounts of parry, the parry you have declared for a particular phase applies to any incoming attacks during that phase. [3, 10/29/99]
Parry can apply in any phase, unless two attacks are made (see above). [3/24/00]
A character may not apply parries from two attacks against one attack. [3/24/00]
Animals may parry. [X, 4/28/00]
You may not parry directed spell attacks without the aid of specific spells. [R, 6/7/00]
Modifications to attacks are applied to the OB, and thus affect how much you can parry. [R, 11/2/99]
You can only parry the person you are attacking. [Brian Olson, 20020602].
Many GMs allow you to split your DB between multiple attackers. This is not an official rule, but it allows more cinematic combat.
You may only parry one attack per attack you make. [3/20/00] (see notes below)
A parry is declared against a specific opponent, no matter how many attacks they have. This applies against Two Weapon Combat and Haste. [Tim Dugger 20021027]
Confused? The catch is what the definition of attack is: An attack is defined as “a series of blows from a single facing”. So your hasted, two weapon weilding opponent makes ONE attack (even though it is multiple attack rolls).

Armor and Defensize Bonus

Defensize Bonus
You can have a negative DB, even though your Qu bonus cannot be brought below 0 by armor penalties. [11/8/99]
A shield applies to only one opponent per round. [R, 1/11/00]
Someone attacked from behind, totally unawares, they only get the DB from special items and cover. If he is aware there might be an attack coming, he also gets his Qu bonus. [R, 2/15/00]
Against Directed Spells creatures get their full DB, while characters get everything except they only get half Adrenal Defense, and not all shields count for their full value. [R, 2/15/00]
What is the table reference for the shields DB
Against Ball spells, characters get full Qu, cover, and special item DB, no Adrenal Defense, and half armor quality (see T-3.6 for more
details). [R, 2/15/00]
Simple ruling: Creatures get their full DB against all attacks.
Realistic ruling: A GM may reduce a creature’s DB against ball spells by up to half if he feels that some or all of the DB is due to quickness rather than tough hide.
Adrenal Defense
You must be aware of the specifics of the attack to use AD, not just that you are probably going to be attacked. [2/14/00]
Alertness and Sense Ambush will not help you use AD against a rear attack in melee, although Blind Fighting will. [2/14/00]
You may use a weapon while using AD, as long as the weapon is not a large object (must be smaller than a normal shield at least). [4/27/00]
Shields do give a bonus agaist directed spell attacks, as indicated on T-3.6. [R, 6/7/00]
Helms and Greaves
Armor types do not include helms. [1/6/00]
Which armor types have arm and leg greaves is specified in the armor type description. [1/6/00]
Quickness Penalty
Armor quickness penalties may not be reduced by high St. [5/15/00]

Weapon Breakage

Weapon Breakage
Achieving a critical does not allow you to ignore a weapon breakage
roll. [12/8/99]
Rolls on the critical tables do not need to check for weapon
breakage, only the attack roll. [12/8/99] [rewritten by nash
If a critical says “your weapon breaks,” you can’t make a
weapon breakage roll to try and avoid it. The weapon just breaks.
[12/9/99] This also applies to fumble rolls that say the same.
[Tim Dugger* (silent tower ml) 20021217]

Adrenal Speed & Haste

If you make two attacks with 200% activity, you do not have to make
the same OB/DB split for them. [3/24/00]
If you only make one attack with 200% activity, the parry for that
attack can apply to any phase of that round. [3/24/00]
A hasted character does not get two rounds of action each round,
they get 200% activity each round. That means they still only get one
action per phase. [3/26/00]
Two weapon Combat
A hasted combatant with Two Weapon Combat does not have to make the
ame OB/DB split for all four attacks. [3/26/00]
Side Effect
Double speed characters bleed twice as fast, expend exhaustion
points twice as fast, and recover from stun twice as fast .
(this is in the rules – spell law RMSS)

Combat Related Skills

If you Ambush and fail during combat, you may not ambush that
character again during the combat. [2/15/00]
Why the hell not? If the victum loses track of the
character why should it be different to another attacker?
According to the rules Frenzy does not make you immune
to stun. [forums * 20030203]
A frenzied character does not get more hit points, they just
fall down unconscious later. [forums * 20030203]
Position bonus against multiple attackers
If one character is trying to defend against a creature while
another attacks, the attacker should take a flank position. If the
creature tries to turn and attack the flanker, both characters will
have to make MMs to maintain their positions. [3/6/00]
Mounted Combat
To attack mounted, you must first make a 10-100% riding maneuver.
Note that there are special riding maneuver percentage activity rules,
refer to the skill description. If that maneuver is successful, you
may attack with the appropriate weapon skill. However, if the modified
weapon skill is greater than your mounted combat skill, use the
mounted combat skill instead (do not reapply the modifiers). [R,
Two weapon Combat
Two Weapon Combat must be developed for each combination, including
(unless you are ambidextrous) the same two weapons in different hands.
[R, 3/29/00]
Your OB for both attacks is your Two Weapon Combat skill bonus
[R, 3/29/00]
I’m not sure this is true – I thought it was the lesser
of your skill in the weapons or TWC
Moving Strike
The attack is part of the movement action, but still requires 100%
activity or there will be penalties. [5/31/00]

Character creation and development


If more than one multiplier applies to an experience point gain,
multiply them all together. [3/12/00]
This differs from damage multipliers
Modifiers to critical EPs are also subtracted from the possible kill
EPs. [3/12/00]
Spell EPs do not lower or exclude gaining Kill EPs for the same
action. [5/2/00]


Adrenal Defense
If you are not using the Martial Arts Companion, there is no
percentage activity requirement for Adrenal Defense. [2, 10/7/99]
Bastard Sword
You have to develop skill in one-handed and two-haded uses of a
bastard sword, under the appropriate categories. [10/15/99]
Restricted, Everyman, and Occupational Skills
These classifications do not apply to skill ranks gained through
training packages or adolescent skill development. [R, 2,
Which section in the rules
Profession classifications take precedence over race and culture
classifications, race and culture classifications take precendence
over skill description classifications.
The restricted skills are listed in Appendix 1 of RMSS, at the
begining of each category description. They are also listed in table
T-2.5 in RMSS, the restricted skills are italicized. [R, 2/3/00]
Power Point Development
Semi-spell users use the normal PP progression for their race. [R,
Two-weapon Combat
When you attack with this skill, you roll two seperate attacks (one
for each weapon) with the bonus in Two-weapon Combat. Both attacks
together take 60-100% activity, like a normal attack. [R, 10/29/99]
[RM2] Cost of Tracking
Feel free to swap the cost of tracking for Rangers and Fighters.
This will result in a cost of 1/4 for Rangers, and 2/5 for Fighters.
[Tim Dugger * (forums) 20021218]

Learning Spells

DP Costs
Changes in DP costs based on spell level take effect immediately.
You cannot learn a spell at a lower DP costs just because you are
learning multiple spells in one level. Also, if you have already
developed a spell using an X/X cost this level, you cannot develop a
spell on the same list with a Y cost. [12/13/99]
If a spell list is a everyman or occupational skill, the cost is
that of the first rank that will be gained. [12/14/99]
You must develop ranks for the blank slots on a spell list. [3/19/00]
Extra Base Lists
Pure spell users pay 3/3/3 to develop the Open and Closed lists they
choose as extra base lists. [10/12/99]
Extra Base lists may be developed as Open lists in adolescence for
races that allow such. [11/3/99]
Does this apply to Base lists as well?
Hybrid Lists
A single realm spell user learning a hybrid list leans the list as
Own Realm Other Base, as long as the hybrid shares a realm with the
single realm user. [2, 12/13/99]
I thought this was the other way around


The elf meditation ability does not apply to healing rates. [4/23/00]
The +30 vs. heat and cold applies to the whole body, not just the
feet and hands. It does not apply to critical rolls. s[2/16/00]


If a talent gives a bonus to “all foo maneuvers,” apply
that as a special bonus to the foo skill. [1/24/00]
You must compare each language in the two cultures, not the language
lists as a whole, to determine if the languages are different.
Extra Culture Lore ranks are divided equally between the two
cultures. [1/24/00]

Training Packages


The costs on the ICE website in spreadsheet form superceed any
published material. [Tim Dugger * (forums) 20030208]
Skill Ranks
Ranks received from training packages are NOT multiplied from
training packages if they are Occupational or Everyman. Similarly
restricted ranks are not halved. [Tim Dugger * (mailing list)
Ranks reeived from a training package do not count towards level
limits, and do not affct your ability to buy ranks in received
skills. [Tim Dugger * (mailing list) 20021225, Again forums
Stat Gains
Stat gains from TP’s are made when the TP is bought, but any DP’s
gained are not recieved until the next level. [4/27/00]

Specific Training Packages

City Guard
The promotion in rank has no effect on skill ranks. [3/6/00]
The ranks in the Technical/Trade Professional Category are obviously
wrong. Either treat them as 2 ranks in any two skills in that
category, or drop the cost of the training package to 18.
The “W” spell list is Dark Contacts. [10/6/99]
The promotion in rank has no effect on skill ranks. [3/6/00]


General Magic Rulings

Pure Arcane spell users get the usual four extra base lists.
Non-spell users with Arcane as their realm use the
“Own Realm” costs for purchasing spells. Only use the
“Arcane” costs for non-arcane characters. [4/17/00]
Area of Effect
Area of Effects of the form 20’R is a sphere. [Tim Dugger 20021026]
Bonus Spell Items
PP multipliers increase the number of power points you can gain from
resting or other such activities.[2, 12/10/99]
PP multipliers affect when penalties for PP use come into play. A
character who normally has 50 PP, with a x2 multiplier, will not feel
ill effects until he has 75 PP left. [12/7/99]
Losing the multiplier does not make you lose any extra points you
gained. [2, 12/10/99]
Picking up a PP multiplier does nothing for you until you gain back
PPs. [12/10/99]
PPs channeled to you while you have a PP multiplier do not get
multiplied. [2, 12/11/99]
Losing a PP multiplier will change when your penalities for PP usage
occur. [2, 12/14/99]
If you lose a PP multiplier and end up with more PPs than your
current limit, you will suffer no ill effects unless you are using the
burn out rules from the Arcane Companion. [X, 12/16/99]
You can gain the effects of a multiplier and an adder by gaining the
multiplied points one day, sleeping, and then using the adder the next
day. [12/16/99]
Only one bonus spell item may be used between periods of rest. [R,
Cancelling Spells
Elemental attack spells can be cancelled by Cancel <Realm>
spells. [3/29/00]
This doesn’t make any sense
Cancelling spells is done by the level of the caster, not the level
of the spell. [R, 5/4/00]
Where in the rules?
Hybrid Casters
A hybrid’s base spells can be dispelled by spells affecting either
realm. [R, 12/10/99]
Where in the rules?
A hybrid’s PP progression is the lower of the two for his realms.
[R, 1/8/00]
A hybrid’s realm stat is the average of the two realm stats for his
two realms [R, 1/8/00]
Hybrid’s get the own realm bonus to RRs against both of their
realms. [1/13/00]
Hybrids get the own realm bonus against hybrid base spells that
share one of their realms. [1/15/00]
Casting Spells
Spells cast from items always take one round to cast, regardless of
the level of the item’s user. [2, R, 10/18/99]
Where in the rules? And what is the activity %?
Spells cast from items count against the one spell per turn limit.
You must use your own directed spell bonus when using an item to
cast a spell. [11/17/99]
You don’t need powerpoints for each realm. If a chanelling
spell-user casts a mentalism spell, he still uses his chanelling power
points. [11/9/99]
If you are casting a spell of a realm different from yours, the
spell retains it’s realm (for RRs and such), but you have to meet
the casting requirements for your realm (armor, equipment, and
such). [3, 11/10/99] Non-spell casters cast based on the realm they
chose when they started learning spells. [1/8/00]
A hybrid spell user treats both of the realms as “own
realm” for development point costs. [11/10/99]
Instantaneous spells go off in whatever phase you declared them in,
not necessarily the snap action phase. [11/17/99]
Arcanists only get the own realm bonus to RRs against Arcane.
When rolling on the spell failure chart, only apply the negative
mods from the SCSM, not the positive ones. [3, 1/3/00] This means
check each individual mod for positive/negative, not the total
modification. [1/4/00]
You do get the +10 for casting a spell in the deliberate action
phase. This really only affects SCSMs. [1/11/00]
The ranges on the SCSM chart in RMSS are correct. [3/9/00]
Actually I think they are incorrect in the original
Injuries, hits taken, and exhaustion do not interfere with automatic
spell casting, as long as the caster is concious. [2/22/00]
SCSMs are modified by the general static maneuver modifications in
T-4.4, and by penalties from injuries. [2/22/00]
Penalties from criticals do apply to SCSM’s, but not ESF rolls.
We need a RM2 secion I think…
Preparation has no effect on the chance of casting an instantaneous
spell. [3/12/00]
SCSM penalties are taken from the worst of all preperation rounds,
and hte round the spell is cast. Thus logic would assume the caster
is doing the same sort of things in preparing a spell as they in the
round they are cast [nash (non-official ruling) 20030208]
Snap Casting
If you snap cast a (non-instantaneous) spell the -20 is applied to
the (required) SCSM, not the BAR. [Mocking Bird and Tim Dugger *
(forums) 20020117]
Instananeous spells do not suffer any penalty for being snap cast
[Mocking Bird and Tim Dugger * (forums) 20020117]
Subconscious Spells
Subconcious spells will be prepared enough rounds to cast the spell
automatically. [12/18/99]
Obviously subconscious spells will never be overcast
Penalties for armor, equipment, and such apply to subconcious
spells. Penalties for not speaking, waving hands, and such do not
apply. [X, 12/17/99]
What about PP penalties?
Subconscious spells may be cast without penalty from stun.
[Tim Dugger * (forums) 20030204]
Personally I think Johnathan Dale is more correct –
normal stun penalty for all spells except Stun Relief.
Actions done outside of the combat round (when second by second
reckoning does not matter) do not need to adhere to the percentage
activity system, and do not get the -50 for concentration.
Concentration takes 50% activity. [R, 3/30/00]
You may cast a spell while concentrating on another spell.
Continuous Items
For spells that affect targets, assume that each round the spell is
cast once each round, and targets each new target in the area of
effect. This means each target makes only one RR, unless it leaves
the area of effect and returns. [11/23/99]
Casting a spell from an “at will” item can be done while
stunned, and does not require an action, just speaking the command
word. [4/25/00]
Directed Spells
Does not apply to “ball” spells. [2/12/00]
This is in the rules I’m sure…
Armor has the following affect on ball attacks: half of the quality
bonus is applied against the EAR, a bonus for the helmet is applied
against the EAR, and the armor type determines which collumn to roll
on. [12/3/99]
This is covered in the offensive and defensive
capabilities table
You do not get a RR against EARs [2, R, 12/3/99]
Where in the rules?
The DB of a creature applies in full against Ball and Directed
spells. [3/14/00]
If you are awarding familiars experience, they advance at the same
level intervals as characters. [4/17/00] True familiars gain
‘levels’ as per Essence Companion.
Familiars will stay near the caster and be loyal to him, but
otherwise retain free will. [4/17/00]
Familiars do not gain increased intelligence by becoming familiars.
True familiars are different from normal familiars, and do gain
intelligence when they become familiars. [R, 4/18/00] See
Section 10.2 of Essence Companion for details.
Invested familiars only get the benefits listed in the Investiture
spell, not those normally given to true familiars. [4/19/00]
Force Spells
You get a RR vs. force spells. [R, 12/3/99]
You get a RR vs. area affect force spells, including Vacuum.
[X, 3/6/00]
This is weird – you get an RR and then if you fail a
crit – most spells you get one or the other
Casting an attack spell will make you visible again. [4/23/00]
Is this in the rules? And what constitutes an
Magical Items
An attunement roll can be made to tell if an item is magical or not.
Mental Attack Spells
Mental attack spells do not affect created undead (excluding self
motivating undead like vampires and liches), plants, slimes,
constructs without a given mission, elementals (excluding elemental
savants) and servants. [2/14/00]
Targets of Fm spells who fail their RR do not necessarily realize
they have been the target of a spell. [3/10/00]
Power Perception
Illusions and Invisibility are active spells, and can be dected by
Power Perception. [5/22/00]
Power Points
You do not have to have a rank in Power Point Development to use
PPs, just a positive bonus. [2/3/00]
Penalties for having used more than 25% of your power points only
affect SCSMs. [2/22/00]
You may not prepare two different skills in the same round. [X,
Is this means to be spells, not skills
Preparation is only interrupted by down, stun, or kill results. [R,
Resistance Rolls
RRs against items are done against the level of the item, not the
level of the item’s user. [R, 10/18/99]
The DB of a creature does not apply to its RRs. [2, 3/14/00]
RRs may be done against passive spells (type P), but they will only
determine if the target is aware he’s had a spell cast on him. They
will not stop the spell from working. [R, 2, 3/29/00]
Resistance rolls are not used against informational or elemental
spells, except to avoid being at the center point of a ball spell.
RRs are generally not used for utility spells, except at GM’s
discretion. RRs are used against force spells, if there is a target
capable of resisting. [R, 4/8/00]
Sudden Light spell does get an RR, no matter what type it is.
[Brian Olson, date unknown]
School of Hard Knocks has optional rules on a Resistance skill, if
you are interested [Brian Olson, RMList][.
Rune Paper
Having deciphered the rune on a piece of rune paper gives you the
ability to cast a spell, but it does not cast the spell. You still
have to make a spell casting roll, which may require a SCSM.
Under what modifiers?
Non-spell users may use runes. [1/29/00]
You do not need to know the spell normally in order to cast the
rune. [1/29/00]
Spell Mastery
The bonuses from the Power Manipulation static maneuver do apply to
any SCSM resulting from the Spell Mastery skill roll. [R, X,
The penalties to the Spell Mastery roll do not apply
to any SCSM. [2/10/00]
You may not use Spell Mastery to “double” a fireball,
gaining double hits and crits. [2/11/00]
Doubling the area of effect will depend on how the area is defined.
If a radius is given, the radius is doubled; if a volume is given,
the volume is doubled. [3/5/00]
The spell goes off normally if the Spell Mastery roll is failed
(assuming any SCSM’s are made also) [4/23/00]
If you extend a range from self to touch, the target becomes the
caster for spell effects. He has to concentrate if necessary, but
does not have to stay at touch range. [4/27/00]
Spell Mastery must be used when the spell is cast, not while it is
in effect. [5/9/00]
Making the area affect smaller has the same penalties as making it
bigger, just replace multiplication with division. [5/12/00]
Suggestions and Quests
“Reveal everything you know about this or that” is a valid
suggestion or quest. [3/10/00]
Utility Spells
Utility spells may only be cast on the caster, a willing target, or
a target incappable of resistance. [R, 4/22/00]
Willing Target
A willing target is one that has acknowledged that they are willing
for the caster to cast a spell on them. [4/23/00]

Arcane Spell Rulings

Arcane Signs, Open Arcane
All of the “Sign of” spells include the -20 RR mod from
Sign of Hesitation. [1/9/00]
Sign of Fear’s RR is based on Arcane, not Fear or Essence.
Spell Triggers, Open Arcane
Enhanced Sense Trigger should have the same area of effect and range
as Sense Trigger. [1/15/00]
Arcane Healing, Closed Arcane
Greater Healing can heal shattered bones as well as muscles and
tendons. [4/20/00]
Arcane Visions, Closed Arcane
The table data for Dream I is area of effect: caster, duration: 1
sleep, range: self, type: I. [3/31/00]
Location has the same description as the one on Open Channeling’s
Detection Mastery. [3/31/00]
Dream III is 12th level. [3/31/00]
Retrocognition is the 25th level spell. [3/31/00]
Bladerunes, Closed Arcane
Bladerunes may only be put on items, not on your skin. [R, 5/8/00]
Power Focus, Arcane Base
Increase Limit does not require tapping a source. [5/3/00]
Arcane Senses, Chaotic Base
The table data for Torment is 1 Target, 1 Min/Lvl, 100′, F

Channeling Spell Rulings

Light’s Way, Open Channeling
Aura is not cumulative with Blur. [2, R, X, 11/8/99]
Blood Law, Closed Channeling
Minor vessel repair includes repairing minor vessels and minor
arteries, not just capillaries. Such a minor vessel is anything that
bleeds at less than five hits per round. [1/11/00]
Nerve Law, Closed Channeling
Unparalysis takes effect when cast, and lasts for the listed
duration. This is the correct duration, even though in conflicts with
the same spell on the Holy Healing list. Use the duration for the list
you learned the spell off of. [1/19/00]
Animal Summons, Animist Base
If you use two options are used to increase the duration of a
Summons spell, the duration is quadrupled. [1/16/00]
If you summon two animals with a Summons spell, one duration option
will double the duration for both animals. The same holds for raising
the level of the animals summond. [1/16/00]
Herb Mastery, Animist Base
You cannot increase the potency of stat gain and similar herbs.
The spell lists tell you which effects can be improved.
[rasy(forums)*, 20021120]
Channels, Cleric Base
The Sanctuary spell should read “meditating for 16 hours each
day.” [1/18/00]
Repulsions, Cleric Base
The restriction of going up a level before trying again applies only
to Remove Curse, not to Neutralize Curse. [5/9/00]
Summons, Cleric Base
When a creature is summoned, the closest one of the appropriate type
will come to you at a reasonable pace. [10/6/99]
The definition of immediate area depends on local geograph (that is,
a valley may be smaller than a plain). [10/6/99]
Cleansing, Healer Base
The Transfer spell does not heal the wound, you must cast the
appropriate healing spell to do that. You do not have to heal the
wound after transfering, but you can’t do it without another spell.
Is this covered in the examples?
Summoning Bond, Summoner Base
The Bond spell provides for no control of the creature, that must be
obtained through other means. [1/16/00]
The target of a Bond spell remains bonded to you even if it leaves
your service. [1/16/00]
For Status I, the area of effect is 1 creature/lvl, the duration is
-, the range is 100’/lvl, and the type is U. [2/5/00]

Essence Spell Rulings

Rune Mastery, Open Essence
The caster of Rune X and the caster of the spell to be imbeded on
the rune paper must be the same person. [11/14/99]
This would seem to be inconsistent with Treasure
companion. Additionally due to the dearth of Rune spells in other
realms, mean they are nearly 99+% essence runes
If a mentalism spell is put onto rune paper, it’s a mentalism rune.
That is the relevant realm for determining bonuses to any read runes
maneuver. [11/14/99]
When using Spell Store, each spell must be checked for automatic
casting and the necessity of a SCSM. [2, 2/8/00]
Spell Store retains its level, regardless of the PPs used to cast
it. [2/8/00]
When casting the stored spell as an instantaneous spell, use the
instantaneous collumn for any SCSM. [2/8/00]
Spell store requires using the PPs when you first cast the spell,
and when you cast Spell Store, but not when you later cast the spell as
an instant spell. [5/2/00]
Gate Mastery, Closed Essence
Each spell user can only have one familiar at any one time. [2, R,
The 10% of caster’s mass for a familiar only applies at the time of
casting. However, there is a 20 lb. limit that always applies. [R,
Is this consistent with Essence companion
Lofty Bridge, Closed Essence
To use the Leaping spell, you must have a firm base to leap off of
(at least firm enough to normally jump off of). Semi-firm bases may
limit the distance of the jump or disallow it completely, at the
GM’s discretion. [11/17/99]
Leaping provides no control for the jump beyond going the specified
distance and landing safely. [11/17/99]
Flying is like walking or running, and takes up percentage activity
just like other movement. Complicated maneuvers may require a Flying
moving maneuver. [1/4/00]
Rapid Ways, Closed Essence
If Haste or Speed is cast in the deliberate phase, it can affect
either the current turn’s activity or the next turn’s activity.
Various, Magician Base
Only one bolt of a triad bolt gets the directed spell bonus, even if
they are fired at the same target. [10/7/99]
This should be moved to general as there are multiple
bolt spells
Shield Mastery, Closed Essence
Shield, Blur, and Enchanted Robes can all be combined.
Spell Reins, Closed Essence
Spell Bending works against all elemental attacks, not just directed
ones. [R, 11/10/99]
Spirit Mastery, Closed Essence
For Word of Death you must specify a table that has an ‘E’
critical on it, you cannot specify a collumn on the Large Creature
Critical Table. [12/26/99]
Crystalist Casting, Essence Training Package
The tapping spells need only be cast once per crystal, not once per
crystal use. [2/27/00]
Gas Destruction, Sorceror Base
Armor does not protect against the criticals done by Vacuum, unless
the critical result specifies such. [12/3/99]

Mentalism Spell Rulings

Anticipations, Open Mentalism
Anticipate Spell only works against actual spells, not innate
creature abilities that immitate or are similar to spells. [1/4/00]
The normal DB in Anticipate Spell is whatever your DB would normally
be in that situation. Note that this is for area effects, and you get a
+20 vs. area effects in the RMFRP version of the spell. [1/4/00]
The range and duration for Anticipate Hostility are correct.
Attack Avoidance, Open Mentalism
You may not combine a Shield spell with a normal shield. [R,
Bladeturn should give -50 to one attack. [3/30/00]
Bladeturn has to be cast on the same turn as the attack, not the
same phase. [4/27/00]
Bladeturn has to be cast before the attack it is affecting [X,
Bladeturn must be resolved in the turn it is cast. [4/27/00]
Movement, Closed Mentalism
Underwater Movement does not allow you to breathe underwater.
Simple ruling: Underwater Movement treats water as air for
all purposes relating to the caster. Literal ruling: Underwater Movement treats water as air for all actions the
caster instigates. [4/4/00]
The effects of Underwater Movement only extend to objects that the
caster is touching. [4/5/00]
Solid Manipulation, Closed Mentalism
Chill/Heat solid can be used on weapons to cause criticals, but it
will also cause criticals to the person using the weapon. [1/10/00]
Dream Travel, Mentalism Training Package
Enter Dream World should read “The target enters the dream
world with only his mental capabilities and the dream-self’s
pseudo-body, and needs Dream Spells and Dream Empowerment spells to
manipulate the dream world.” [2/5/00, thanks to Nicholas
Fortress Law, Armsmaster Base
Many of the spells on this list require the permission of the
rightful owner. If the Armsmaster is decieved about this, the spell
will fail. [2, 3/6/00]
The spells on this list that must rest on a solid surface must rest
on one that could support the weight of a normal barrier of the same
size. [4/27/00]
A camp can be used for the spells on this list requiring a
“fortress,” if a temporary or permanent structure has been
built in the camp. [4/27/00]
Mantlet can be cast multiple times. [5/9/00]
7 People can fit within a Mantlet, but only 6 can melee out, and
only two of them can attack any particular target. [5/9/00]
Seeming Memories, Enchanter Base
The limits on experience points for Copy Experience do not apply to
Remove Experience. [2/5/00]
Misdirections, Magent Base
For Unseen, 1 garmet is one piece of clothing, not one set of
clothing. [5/4/00]
Mind Visions, Seer Base
The target of Questioning must tell the truth, but is not required
to tell the whole truth. [2/27/00]
Vision Guard, Seer Base
The rules for piercing one of these spells are given in the
Mentalism Companion, section 11.5. [R, 1/24/00]
False Scrying would mess up a Containment Lore spell (Magehunter
base). [1/25/00]
Detect Destiny will not notice a person with a Mark spell cast on
them. [1/25/00]

Rulings on Specific Books

Arms Law

Broadsword Attack Table
Against AT 8, with a roll of 149, a broadsword should do 20 ES.
Weapon Statistics
For the weapons that have statistics, but no attack table, the
maximum damage is the same as the maximum damage on the appropriate
weapon chart. [11/5/99]
The bastard sword’s maximum result of 140 only applies to the
two-handed sword attack table. [4/1/00]
You can fund the rules for a Garotte in Pulp Adventures, page 46.

Channeling Companion

The Priest of Peace refers to the Summonings spell list. As this
doesn’t exist, use the Cleric base Summons list. [10/6/99]
Summoning Bond, Summoner Base
The Bond spell provides for no control of the creature, that must be
obtained through other means. [1/16/00]
The target of a Bond spell remains bonded to you even if it leaves
your service. [1/16/00]

Character Law

Profession Bonuses
The profession bonuses to skills are the same as those in RMSR. If
you are only using the skills listed in RMFRP, use the bonuses listed
there. If you are using the full list of skills, use the ones listed in
Character Law. [12/7/99]
Should this go in chracter creation

Creatures & Monsters

Creature Statistics
The notations like (f)-(–,–,–),CD-5 are the habitat codes, which
are described at the begining of the book. [R, 2/4/00]
Creature sizes and crits are listed together, such as L/LA. The
first letter is the physical size of the creature, and does not
affect criticals. The second is the creature’s critical type, which
does affect criticals dealt to the creature. [3/2/00]
Unless specified in the description, there is no RR to proximity
criticals. [2/17/00]
Unlike ‘F’ spells such as vacuum
Treasure Codes
The code given for a creature is the ammount a group of those
creatures would have. The size of the group is specified by the
#Enc. entry. [R, 10/22/99]
Constitution loss from undead is taken off of the temporary stat.
Constitution loss is resisted using the standard RR procedure using
Co stat bonus. [Brian Olson, 20020416]
Constitution loss from undead may be regained by a stat gain roll,
spells, or rest (1 point per day). [R, 2/4/00]
These are covered in the Undead section of the various monster

Gamemaster Law

When using cold turkey withdrawl, roll on the Disease/Poison chart
to determine the number of days required. Then roll on the Withdrawl
chart for each day in that period. [11/20/99]

Martial Arts Companion

Martial Arts Styles
Chi powers that a style gives you access to must be developed
seperately. [1/26/00]
Weapon Styles
Weapon Styles are developed as skills, and give the listed special
abilities if you have any ranks in the style. However, the special
abilities can only be used while attacking with the style bonus.

School of Hard Knocks

Use the rules given for burns to heal frostbite. [6/1/00]

Treasure Companion

Continuous Items
For spells that affect targets, assume that each round the spell is
cast once each round, and targets each new target in the area of
effect. This means each target makes only one RR, unless it leaves
the area of effect and returns. [11/23/99]
Treasure Codes
The “special” result for code Z means the treasure is GM’s
choice. It should be something special to the players, ideally
something that has particular meaning to the story or campaign. It
doesn’t necessarily have any particular monetary or tactical value.

Misc Stuff

Anything down here has not yet been classified into a category by
me. (nash)

Adrenal Maneuvers
There is no official limit on the number of consecutive rounds an
adrenal manuever may be performed. [11/16/99]
Conflicting Actions
If two characters are making conflicting actions in the same phase
(such as one trying to avoid melee attacks), they should make
manuever rolls, with difficulties set by the GM. Whoever gets the
higher result succeeds. Otherwise, whoever acts in the earlier phase
succeeds. [R, 5/2/00]
Deliberate Actions
Any action requiring a maneuver or attack roll gets +10 to that roll
if done during the deliberate phase. [1/12/00]
Certain maneuvers can be deemed impossible by the GM. [R, 12/8/99]
Encumbrance penalties are added to armor penalties for moving
maneuvers, but do not affect attacks. [3/22/00]
This is in the rules – weapon skills are ‘OB’ skills
not moving maneuvers
People getting tired is dealt with by multipliers to exhaustion
points. [R, 3/31/00]
Falling from heights is represented by a Fall/Crush attack with a
bonus equal to the height in feet. [R, 2, 3/2/00]
Acrobatics will reduce the critical level by one, while Adrenal
Landing will reduce the OB by reducing the effective feet fallen.
[R, 4/12/00]
All hits heal at the same rate. [2/22/00]
A poison is any foreign substance that is having a detrimental
effect on the target. [2/25/00]
An antidote will stop a poison from doing further damage if it wins a RR contest with the poison, but will not heal damage already done.
Meditation can be used to reduce the negative modifications to a
SCSM for a spell with a level higher than the caster, and even
provide a positive modification. [R, 2/5/00]
Penalties for injuries from critical hits apply to all actions until
the injury is healed. [2/22/00]
Percentage Activity
You may not attack with less than the minimum activity percentage
listed on T-3.2 [R, 10/12/99]
Even if you have more than 100% activity in a round, you are still
limited to one action per phase. [2, R, 10/31/99]
Percentage activity not used for the allowed three actions may only
be used for movement at the end of the deliberate action phase. It
may not be used to attack or parry. [R, 10/29/99]
To use poison on a weapon, it must come in a paste form, you must
prepare it correctly, and you must score a critical with the weapon
before any other hit. [R, 3/12/00]
You may not prepare two different skills in the same round. [X,
Preparation for adrenal moves should be done as a deliberate action
in the round before the use of the skill. [2, 10/15/99]
Preparation is only interrupted by down, stun, or kill results. [R,
Where in the rules is this?
The Survival skill would be the most appropriate one for finding a
safe campsite. [2/3/00]
Dice Rolling

On an open ended roll, if you roll open ended and need to add an
extra roll you add (or subtract) an open ended HIGH roll, not
another open ended roll. Eg. 97 first roll, 2 second roll, total
is 99, don’t roll again. Ref: Page 14 RMSS, Character Law page 25
for RM2. [nash 20021225]
Rule location from RMFRP and SM?

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4 comments to Rolemaster Rulings

  • scottm

    Thanks for posting this. This was insanely useful as a new GM to the system.

  • Questons like this are best posted on the ICE Forums (;referredby=49 ) where there are a lot of good resources available to answer questions.

  • Marco

    the 14th level spell ‘Shield Protection’ of the ‘Faith’s Shield’ list from the Channeling Companion says “Caster’s shield gains a special bonus of +100 to all breakage checks.”
    The question is: how breakage check works for shield?
    I have not found shields breakage numbers and shield strength.
    How does it works?

    Also, the Treasure Companion splits Shields by material in Leather, Wooden and Metal: how the material influences the game mechanics?


  • Philippe Richard

    HI, whent to a couple of my (your) books and still don’t know :
    I have a player who whant to play a ‘Dragoon’ type of player, so we thought that a warrior with rigid light armor only and some Talents like Amazing leaping and High jumper, with to corect skills (jump, acrobatcis, adrenal leaping, adrenal landing, etc.) could make it possible… BUT HOW to handle this in representing is combat habilitys ? What’s the bonus, consequences, etc. of the player charging an enemy frop the air with his pole arms ?

    Shall we just gave the normal ‘speed bonus’ ? (1/10 of feet per round speed in OB) so the jumping is worthless…
    Then maybe by adding the position bonus with that (I,ve read that as optional rule somewhere, that maybe mounted caracters should get a + 20 OB because of their dominating position…)
    But should’nt we gave an impact critical, because of the impact from the drop (gravity weight additionnaly to the speed…) – AND HOW ? Like a fall ?
    (Based on a normal fall, but the vicitim is the victim of the attack, not the controly falling attacker —
    Falling from heights is represented by a Fall/Crush attack with a
    bonus equal to the height in feet.)
    Or by adding an impact critical of ‘X’ degry of severity less than the one that the attack itself will do ?

    Well, you see I’m confused. Would love advise about it !!

    ex : base jump normal = 50” (horizontal)
    with extra inch, extra strenght, let’s say 60
    with talent law, (spec. x3) = 180

    in vertical, that would be 90”
    if can make a hard manoeuver, that’s x3 = 270” = 24′ !!

    The attack is clearly coming from above !!

    Or should me make an awerness manoeuver from the enemy and see if it’s a surprise attack ?

    Please HELP !!
    This have being said, I have some warriors alredy in my troop and I don’t whant to have them over powered by my new player, yet the idea of that ‘Dragoon’ please me…

    Phil Rich,
    GM île Dragon

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