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July 2024

1 – Introduction

Rolemaster Standard System (RMSS) vs Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplaying (RMFRP)

Part 1 – Introduction

In 1995, ICE came out with Rolemaster Standard System Rules, RMSS (or RMSR) for short. Close to 30 titles were published under the RMSS title. Most of these had a brownish border on the cover with an inset picture, with the title usually in red, but occasionally in blue.

In 1999, the RMSS line was halted and Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing, or RMFRP for short, was started. This was to be basically a reprint of Rolemaster Standard System, being advertised as 95% compatible. There were 11 titles printed in the RMFRP system before ICE was forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy in October 2000. These titles have a reddish border, with the word Rolemaster in gold and the title usually in red.

This left players with an incomplete set of books for the RMFRP system, particularly since some of the titles proved to be difficult to get hold of. Most gaming groups will have players that have some sort of mix of books between the RMSS and RMFRP systems.

In December of 2001, ICE was purchased by Aurigas Aldebaron LLC, an intellectual property ownership company backed by several wealthy individuals. Aurigas immediately replaced the former ICE management with part of the management team from ICE and its own senior representative. In addition, some of the former employees were recruited, and ICE has since recruited new employees. Two additional titles were released with the reddish cover, then additional titles have been released with a deep red border, a new “Rolemaster” logo, and the title in white. These are still part of the RMFRP line.

The purpose of this series of articles will be to give a detailed comparison between Rolemaster Standard System and Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplaying.

There are several reasons for doing this. One is to help people decide which books, if any, they may want to replace/purchase.

Another is to assist GM’s in knowing what to expect when they are dealing with a group of players that will have assorted versions of these books..

I hope to present enough information that if you have the book from either system, and this series of articles, you will have all you need to come up with a consistent set of rules for your gaming group.

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