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Rolemaster Unified (Beta) — Arms Law Review

I have reviewed both Character Law and Spell Law, and both have left me disappointed in numerous ways. So much so, that I shudder to think about what I may find in the new Arms Law.

So, if you be brave of heart and stout of soul, read on, and let us see what I think of Arms Law as I delve through its pages…

1. Introduction

The first sentence start off with “The original Arms Law was oringally published…” My initial thought was “well, we can see that the author has no idea how to write”, and with an opening sentence like that, it is easy to see why that thought popped into my mind.

And then we get to the rest of introduction, most of which seems to be some sort of “pat on the back”, self-congratulatory proclamation about how clever they think that they are. I shouldn’t be surprised by that as many of ICE’s public comments and announcements since the current crew took over have had that exact same tone and egotistically patronizing style.

The rest of the introduction is straight copy from the other two books.

2. The Tactical Round

The first thing I notice here is that the author is attempting to make an absolute correlation of 1 second equals 10% of the round. Yeah, I know the fingerprints behind that assumption as I had my own run-ins with him over that exact thing myself.

The round is supposed to be an abstraction of the overall period of time, not a detailed action by action, or second by second system which is what his view of it implies. This is likely to cause problems down the road…

Oh look, in the very next paragraph, the author says that melee is an exception to the rules that were laid out in the previous paragraph, and we are only into the 3rd actual paragraph of the rules. Well, that didn’t take long, now did it.

Now they describe the structure of a round, and it is broken into 4 sections; Declaration, Initiative, Resolution (or Action Phases), and Upkeep. That seems very familiar. Oh yeah, it comes from Rolemaster Classic and was what we (Mjolnir, back when I worked for them) had come up with to replace the old phase system from RM2 that very few people actually used, let alone understood.

And look, here is an option for doing “Simple Rounds”, however, since we don’t, as of yet, know what the normal “Action Phases” are supposed to be like, this doesn’t tell us much. You would think that an option would be near the normal rules that it is supposed to replace, or at the vary least, AFTER the normal rules, so that you know what it is actually supposed to be replacing.

Declaration: Half of this one paragraph section is completely bolded, the other half in normal (and italicized for things in parenthesis) text. Would have been nice if they had given you some idea of how to actually declare actions, or what percentages were used in various basic actions.

By the way, in what order should actions be declared? Any idea?? Or does everybody just holler out their actions at the same time?

Initiative: Okay, so here we learn that init is rolled every round and it is 2d10+Qu Bonus+Mods. There is even a table with mods, 3 of them….

Surprise, Penalties, and Conditional Action

Surprise – Okay, this is going to happen from time to time. However, these rules now state that it is impossible for anybody to be surprised while they are already in combat. Huh? Even giving the example that an invisible character cannot surprise a foe.

Really? Now, I would have no problem if the surprise modifier only applied to the character being attacked in the initial round that he is attacked (since, once the invisible character starts his attack is is supposed to become visible). Seems to me that that could be quite surprising, so have somebody suddenly attacking you out of nowhere.

Penalty to All Actions — This is penalties from any source apparently as it doesn’t actually talk about it, only giving a short example, and it has penalties from various sources. Now, something that needs to be mentioned is that this is a modifier that WILL change from round to round as conditions change, wounds are taken, etc. And that means that the player will be required to refigure it each and every round as well. That is sure to slow things down a good bit.

Conditional Action — No talk of these either, so no idea what these are, except that they give a huge boost to init, a +20 (which is the best possible result for a 2d10 dice roll), which can make it so that the character goes first. In this case, I would working my ass off to come up with reasons to use this modifier!

Action Phases — Now we get to them They seem to be essentially the same thing as is found in RMC, but split into 3 phases instead of 2 as they are in RMC.

Cancelling an Action — if you cancel an action, regardless of how much activity percentage it was supposed to have taken, and regardless of how much you may have used, you automatically lose all activity that would have been required for an action that would have completed in the phase in which you canceled the action.

Then there is another option about Action Phases.

Oh look! Now they talk about Conditional Actions, and it has its own header, of course it isn’t one of the numbered headers so you only know that it is an unnumbered header since all of the individual section headers seem to be the same size.

Apparently, a conditional action has to be prepared using all of the activity required to perform the action in the first place. And in here it starts talking something about how if you have prepared enough for the minimum required activity, but not the max you can perform at a penalty. Considering that actual actions haven’t been covered yet, this is likely to be confusing to players.

I also think that it is interesting that an example, which is essentially 4 paragraphs long has only the first paragraph italicized and sectioned off with lines above and below it, with the rest of the example looking like normal text. That is most definitely an editing failure.

Phases when Hasted or Slowed — look a nice table to show you how much percentage belongs in each phase based upon total percentage of activity.

And again another example with only the first paragraph in between the lines and italicized, with the rest as normal text.

Then we have yet a third option for how to handle Action Phases. Sounds like a lot of little pet ideas that nobody could agree on ended up as options in this one little section….

And finally, Upkeep. Pretty much the same thing as Upkeep was in Rolemaster Classic.

And then some more examples, with the last one again being multiple paragraphs.

At least the editor and pagemaker are being consistent with this screw-up….

3. Actions

Hey! Look, it is the actions and stuff needed for doing your Declarations! It would have been nice if the previous chapter had, at least, pointed you at this section for more information regarding how to make Declarations.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a section that details each of the items on the list telling exactly what they are. Most items seem to be self-explanatory, but there are some that are not that intuitive, such as the “Point & Shoot Ranged”.

Now, this is a 10 second round with each second being equal to 10% of the round, AND all of the items on the Action table are broken down into 10% increments. So why the hell are they using activity percentages? Why not do something like 10 action points or activity points, and just have actions cost xx number of points. The math would be simpler and make things go quicker. But I guess somebody felt that that would be too easy for players. Why make things easier for them when you can include extra math just for the fun of it….

Movement – I actually like the Movement rules regarding Pace and how much activity must be spent, at a minimum to move at that pace, as that is something that has been missing or unclearly defined in prior versions.

Charging – Charging increases the size of the attack, but also gives a negative modifier to both OB and DB of the attacker. That is good. If your Base Movement Rate is high enough, you can Charge while walking? WTF?!?!? That is just plain stupid. Having it is so that a charger must be able to move a minimum of 100′ in a given round is good, but they should have a minimum Pace as well, and the actual Pace should be what determines the benefits of the charge. As the rules as they are currently written definitely work against any character or monster that might be smaller but tougher/stronger than an average human.

Chase – well, they are at least able to state the obvious. But no rules on how to actually handle the chase itself? No measurement of how, when two people have the same movement rate, one might close upon the other in some fashion? Big help there….

Press & Withdrawl – Another case of stating the obvious without giving any real guidelines or rules to handle things. Apparently this is the only possible way to disengage from melee (i.e. turn and run, hoping that you can outrun foe).

Running Fight – and yet another case for Captain Obvious!

Concentration – Considering how many spells involve Concentration, you would think that this would at least be covered in Spell Law as well. Nope, all Spell Law does is, when describing the potential types of Duration for spells, is to refer you to BOTH Arms Law and Character Law. You would think that in certain cases, it is not only okay, but preferable to repeat material in multiple books.

Oh, and Concentration, makes all other actions cost double the normal amount of activity percentage. And I don’t know but that explanation that Concentration always doubles activity percentages since it always takes half your round doesn’t make much sense the way that they try to explain it.

And look, you can concentrate on 2 things at once (that would be 100% activity, or would it be 125%, since concentrating (on the first thing) makes everything else you might want to do cost double the activity percentage (so the second concentrate would be 75% instead of 50%), but even when concentrating on multiple things, you can move, but the percentage is quadrupled (i.e. 25% movement equals 100% movement for the round). So, does that mean concentrating on multiple things actually gives you 150% or 225% (depending upon how you add the percentages) in total but also limiting what you can actually do).

Ouch! This is getting confusing….

Melee — lots of double talk all to say that no matter how much activity percentage you have available, you can basically only ever declare one melee action per round (even if you are making multiple attacks), it is STILL only a single melee action. Yup, painted into a corner and now trying to find all sorts of ways to prevent folks from abusing the rules, instead of simply trying to write them in a non-confusing and correct manner in the first place.

Spell Preparation – So, according to what this says, Spell Prep is essentially nothing more than concentrating and gathering magical energy. But you don’t have to determine how much energy (i.e. power points) you are going to gather ahead of time when casting a spell? Huh?

Multiple Spells in a Round — You are only allowed to declare a single melee attack action (even if it contains multiple attacks) per round, but you are allowed to cast multiple spells per round if you have the activity and will take the penalties. And 4 instantaneous spells only require 40% activity, leaving you 60% to do other things as well, even make a melee attack.

Yeah, who said spell users were over-powered?

4. Combat

Basics on making attack rolls. Essentially the same from previous versions,until we get to this one bit where it says that the attack table to be used should be based on how the weapon is used. It give an inline example ofa Giant picking up a Short Sword and using it like a dagger.

The problem is, the attack tables and criticals used to be based upon a medium sized attacker attacking a medium sized defender. Now a Short Sword is a short sword against a medium sized defender. Why should it use the dagger table?

I am sure that we will come back to this….

Fumbles — Nothing unusual here until your discover that every 20 points of OB reduces fumbles by 1. So if a weapon is magically enchanted to +20, then it automatically has a reduced fumble range since that bonus applies to the user’s OB? And why is it based on bonus? Why not on skill ranks (like -1 to fumble range for every 5 ranks), to show that it is actual training and skill that reduces the fumble range.

In fact, with such a rule in place, it would be prudent to actually increase the fumble ranges slightly to compensate and if sticking with amounts of bonus, then you need to adjust it even further.

And on the next page, we get a table of OB modifiers, but some of those modifier, while being generic, make no mention that they should be adjusted or given based upon the situation and the weapon in use — after all, what is tight or confined for a broadsword, would likely not be for a dagger.

In fact, how much space IS REQUIRED to properly swing each weapon?

DB – pretty simple, though a lot more limited than in prior versions of RM. Used to be a nice big table with DB modifiers. Now all you get is a tiny table with 3 modifiers. Nice and boring.

Attack Rolls Over 150 — I like this. I should, after all, it was first suggested it back on the ICE forums way back when I ran the forums (and I remember suggesting it as an alternative to a fan at one point, but I don’t remember whether I came up with it originally, or if some other fan did (this is the more likely origin for it), I know it didn’t originally come from any of the forum staff, or any of the folks currently running ICE). Not to mention, this is the exact same rule for breaking 150 that I put into my own Rolemaster revision.

Dodge — wow! This is super powerful! Though they limit you to using it only against a single foe, it is still very powerful, too powerful for how it is described. And why doesn’t some portion of the bonus apply to other foes who might be attacking? as long as the character isn’t rolling directly into some other character’s attack, which they likely would be watching out for, even other foes will be surprised by the character suddenly doing a dive roll.

Size — I am not sure I can agree with the rules listed here. I can see making adjustments to damage and crits based upon the size of the attack if it is larger than normal, but just because a Large creature/being picks up a short swort, that doesn’t mean it is suddenly a dagger and able to be used as one.

Also, these 2 Size tables? They are not clearly labeled which is attacker and which is the defender and that can also cause confusion down the line.

Not to mention, the idea of having to sit there and multiply or divide the number of hits, IN THE MIDDLE OF COMBAT to figure out the damage you are dealing, and before you say that won’t happen often, let me remind you that the Shock Bolt uses the Lightning Bolt Table with a -2 Size modification, which means that you have to divide all hits by 3, and that criticals are reduced by 2 (-50 for an A critical roll). So that means that the Shock Bolt, one of the most common elemental bolt spells has to have its damage manually figured every single time!

Combat Zones — Umm. height plus weapon length? This is your “melee range” also And you can attack a foe as long as your combat zone touches/overlaps his combat zone. Yeah, way to simplify things, he said sarcastically.

People already complain about Rolemaster being too math intensive, so what do they do, make MORE math intensive during play, but less math intensive during character generation.

Firing a ranged weapon into melee — if you miss, make a second attack roll to see if you hit somebody else.

Protect — While the idea of being able to protect somebody else is good, these rules make it way over-complicated, and apparently there is also a “protect” skill that can be used to overcome penalties that apply when attempting to protect somebody. Seems to me that this could have been written in a way that didn’t give penalties, and didn’t create a “DP sink” skill for those who might want to aid another.

Oh look! A section on Restricted Quarters, only 6 pages or so from the table that gives modifiers for Restricted Quarters with no explanation or referral to the proper section.

And of course, if it gives you a penalty, you can sink DPs into a skill to reduce those penalties.

Apparently, when you learn how to use a weapon, you only learn how to use it at its most basic. Seems to me that a number of these “special skills” (whose only purpose seems to be to suck up the DPs of non-spell users) could be better handled by adjusting the modifier based upon the number of skill ranks in the weapon. But no, they want you to burn DPs in skills that the system doesn’t really need.

Or better yet, they could have done combat maneuvers, similar to how the Hero System and other games do. Non-spell users could easy purchase these maneuvers (with a one time DP cost) and they could go from there, and even build up whole styles that are based upon a collection of maneuvers. This would have been the perfect way to individualize non-spell users..

Disarming — You get a special table to roll on. And you can get skill to offset the penalties (the skill is ALWAYS to offset penalties). My question here is why this table does not follow the same break down as the Absolute Resolution table like so many other things. That would have made it at least a little more interesting..

Called Shots — you get a -25, unless the GM decides otherwise, then you get whatever penalty he decides to give you?? But it give the GM no guidelines other than an example of attacking a giant’s head with a dagger…

Multiple Attacks — you know, they need to stop putting the tables BEFORE the text that mentions them. It throws the reader off..

Okay, so you may make a maximum number of attacks each round equal to the number of arms you have +1 unarmed. So much for combat being abstract. Essentially this is saying that you are ONLY allowed to make one swing/attack per arm (plus 1 unarmed)

Except, you can use a weapon in hand to make all three attacks, so that “+1 unarmed” really isn’t unarmed at all. Oh, and in addition to the -25 per attack being made (i.e. 2 attacks = -50, 3 attacks = -75, etc) – don’t worry, you get a nice table to show you the penalties, you also get a -20 for each foe beyond the first (these are not on the table, nor is there a table for them.

And of course, there is the ever-present “DP sink” skill to offset the penalties.

Yet, the character’s weapon skill plays no part in determining the number of attacks you may make, seems counter-intuitive to me.

Apparently weapon skill is ONLY for how hard you hit, since you need skills to get rid of penalties for everything else….

Slaying — Apparently, there are no more Slaying critical tables. Instead you simply get a bonus to your critical roll.

Subdual — Yup, you guessed it, yet another skill for removing penalties….

Touch Attacks — touch attacks are only effective if they do a critical? So, your Magent has poison on his glove at a party and shakes hands with the person he wants to point (who is not wearing gloves), the other guy isn’t poisoned? The Magent has to physically attack him to deliver the contact poison? Yeah, that is what it seems to be saying. But who can be sure with these authors…

5. Weapons

First up is a breakdown of weapon types. Melee is a type, but this doesn’t break melee down into the skills/types given in Character Law.

However, Firearms and Energy weapons are given as a type, and you are then told that RMU is fantasy and doesn’t include rules for them, but that some campaigns may have them. If you are not including them in THIS ruleset, why the hell do you mention them in the first place? That is like some sort of major tease to players. It will only serve to piss folks off….

Unarmed — Strikes, Sweeps, and Grappling. What? No nerve strikes? Those were a cool part of the MA rules from the RMSS Martial Arts Companion. These would have been very cool here, even if they were extremely difficult to perform.

Then it goes on to describe natural attacks.

Then we get to a section on Melee weapons, with a section on Pole Arms right after it, both have the same size header, but according to the text under Melee Weapons, Pole Arms are simply a type of Melee Weapon. But there are no other types of Melee weapons described either, so why single Pole Arms out?

Oh wait! They are singled out because they can attack from the “second rank” (this term is never explained, or hasn’t been so far at least), and pole arms only use HALF their length to determine the wielder’s Combat Zone/Melee Range (would have been nice if this had been mentioned back in the Combat Zone section).

It is odd that BOTH of these section are completely bold text. makes the eyes hurt (more than they already hurt from simply trying to review these so-called books).

There is also a big table on this page (and yes, it is still those ugly excel tables) with information about weapons. Length, weight, ranges for each range caetgory, Strength (though this is never explained either, as far as I can tell).

Correction — in checking back in Character Law for something else, I did discover that it DOES mention item strength, in relation to determining whether or not something breaks. You roll for breakage whenever you roll a 33 or a 77 (essentially a 2% chance of item breaking every time it is used). Why those numbers? In RMSS, I think they had you roll breakage every time you rolled doubles (I could be wrong about this though). Just more stuff to deal with, extra complication where none is needed….

Shields — Hey, look, a section on Shields. Maybe now it will tell us about the Shield Skill. It says, when used as a weapon, you lose the shield’s innate bonus to DB. (they couldn’t say this in Character Law?), and when used as a weapon, it can be used to parry (note: it doesn’t say this, but I am also fairly certain that if used “as a weapon”, that multiple weapon rules would also apply to it, but then again, as mentioned before, some things get skimmed over, others go into too much detail. And look, it also tells you to go to another section of the book for MORE information on how to use a shield.

Then Ranged Weapons… the basics….

Then Balls & Bolts and Breath Attacks. And the first thing it does? Refers you to Creature Law… Nice that… And then it goes on to say that Ball Attacks get no OB, but you can target a single target and that target gets a +1 size on the attack it receives. So essentially, a mage can target a single person with the ball, do a larger attack than the spell he is using allows for against that one person, and still clip everybody else within the area with what the spell does allow for…

Nope, not biased towards spell users at all, he said sarcastically….

6. Armors & Shields

In prior versions of RM, armor was divided into 20 Armor Types. each type being the equivalent of a single, specific set combination of armor pieces. Some of the Armor Types were for natural armors that players normally could not acquire.

In RMU, there are 10 Armor Types, and it tells you up front that each armor type is for a FULL SUIT of the given armor from head to toe. However, if we go back to Character Law, to the equipment lists, they are saying that your Armor Type is based upon the chest/abdomen armor worn, as the sleeves and leggings are sold and treated separately.

And then the Armor Types table in this chapter has columns for Torso and Full Suit, and a Missile penalty, but the accompanying text says that that if for vambraces only. So what are vambraces? It doesn’t explain.

It doesn’t explain how this works with sleeves/leggings of different material than the torso armor on this table.

Piecemeal Armor — Ok, so now we get a whole section on mixing and matching. And oh for the flipping love of little green apples, there is a table that gives crit adjustments based upon the armor worn on a given location. The surrounding text talks about helms, sleeves and leggings but does not mention torso armor, which leave it leave it in doubt about whether or not this table applies to torso armor as well.

But still, even if torso armor is not included, that still means making crit severity/size adjustments on the fly, and is yet another thing to track and remember during a combat. (at this rate, it will take half an hour just to go through a single round of combat — sheesh!).

And another table for piecemeal maneuver penalties, but (and I am presuming that the undefined vambraces are the equivalent of sleeves), shouldn’t this table also reflect missile penalties…. Oopsey… Those seem to be missing here…

Shields — Against missiles, the shield’s bonus is fixed, versus melee, you get the static bonus plus 1 for every rank you have in the shield skill. They couldn’t mention this in Character Law? And of course, that also means 2 separate DBs, and figuring your DB on the fly each and every round, because the shield bonus only applies to attacks from your front (what about attacks from the flank on the side that they shield is held — and where are the rules for how often one can change which way they are facing in a given round, so as to best provide coverage for the shield).

Shields apply against all foes to the front, but the size of the shield determines the maximum number of people it can be used against?

My bad, shields can be allied to ANY person to your front, not all to your front. I misread that. But still, that seems kinda of stupid to me.

If a person knows how to use a shield, then since an attack action includes a lot of back and forth and give and take and swings and parries, shouldn’t the shield also be considered to be in constant motion during that time as well and be applied to all attacks from the front and side that the shield is on. That would be the easiest thing to me, no need to make it more complicated by requiring the player to specifically designate who the shield is being used against.

And if a player concentrates (oh look! a reason for non-spell users to concentrate), the player gets his FULL Shield Skill AND shield’s DB modifier added to his DB. WTF?!?!?

This is basically saying that you can parry missiles with your shield skill, but only if you do a full parry, but unlike a full parry with weapons, it only costs you half the activity of what doing a full parry with a regular weapon would.

This means that you can parry missiles with your shield and still make a melee attack at a -50.

And you can parry arrows but not elemental bolts, cause they are faster, too fast for even the fastest reaction times. Umm.. even without prep, it still takes longer to cast/throw an elemental bolt than it does to fire an arrow, and yet the bolt is faster. So fast that you cannot parry it with a shield, but not so fast that you cannot dodge it (Dodge works against bolts). Uh-huh, that makes soooo much sense…

This sounds like somebody trying to maintain the supremacy of their elemental bolt casting spell user. Yup….

7. Criticals & Injuries

Ok, I skimmed through this chapter before going through it for review purposes simply because it just occured to me that I had not see something yet, and in skimming through this chapter, I haven’t seen it either. Now this is something that should NOT be missing. It is almost as bad as the BAR table being missing (though not quite).

What is missing, you ask? The explanation on how to read the attack tables. Apparently the authors are so confident that nobody but Rolemaster fans will buy their revision (and with 5 core books, and considering how bad the three that have so far been released are, this would not be a surprising turn of events).

But people new to Rolemaster will not automatically, magically know how to read those tables. This lapse is just another indicator that the authors simply don’t have the experience or the skill to handle a revision of this large a system. Things have been botched up by the numbers across all of the books so far, and the failure to include something THIS basic (and watch the excuse of this being only a “*free* *beta*” get tossed out).

Okay, so the first thing ACTUALLY covered in this chapter are the critical effects, the results that pop up whant a critical is actually rolled.

Most of it is straight forward, though that bit about no matter how many “staggers” you receive in a round on the worst one applies and it only lasts for a single round seems a bit off for some reason. I don’t know why yet, but it just doesn’t sit right.

Also, if you take concussion hit damage, you also get penalties to all actions, in addition to any other penalties from the criticals. Basically, the first penalty puts you into a death spiral that it is unlikely for a character to be able to crawl out of.

Injuries & Healing — Now here, I think that they had a good idea. Prior versions of Rolemaster never did anything like this, so having something where it gives several options on procedures to heal various types of damage is a good idea. I am not so sure that I agree with the difficulty/modifiers for the healing methods, but that is something that should/would be tested in proper playtesting (which is what the beta appears to be for, since from comments that others have made, there seems to have been no playtesting on these books other than what playtesting the authors did with their own groups.

Cardiac Arrest? Respiratory Arrest? And defibrillation? WTF?!?!?!?

This is a flipping fantasy game. Why the hell do you include this modern stuff in a flipping fantasy game?

They already point out that this is a fantasy game so guns and lasers won’t be covered (and I am still puzzled why the hell they were mentioned in the first place). And now this idiocy. Whoever thought to include this needs to have their dice taken away, and smashed with a hammer and kept far away from role-playing games in the future. I cannot stress how moronic I think it is to have included such here.

Decomposition? That is almost as bad as the defibrillation crap. Who cares! Can magic raise the guy or not? That is what players want to know. And whatever happened to the stat adjustments after death that was in prior versions.

The recovery table looks similar to the one from RMC. Hopefully it hasn’t been changed too much.

Attack Tables

The Martial Arts Sweeps tables has attacks that do zero hits but which do an “A” Unbalancing critical? Very odd….

Same with the Grappling attacks…

Wow! A Thrown Dagger is slightly more deadly (against platemail, no less) than a handheld dagger… Yeah, I don’t buy it either….

Overall — The attack tables for the weapons and natural attacks either have about the same amount of deadliness or slightly less than their prior equivalents. Except for the magical attack tables — those are MORE deadly across the board than in prior versions. As I have stated before, somebody loves their bolt-throwing spell users!!! And it shows…

I am intrigued by the extra tables for thrown weapons, but why exactly are they needed? After all of that stuff at the beginning of the book about how a giant using a shortsword should treat it as and use the dagger tables (yeah, that won’t get confusing, not), to go an include separate tables for specific thrown weapons, or at least for some, and not for others that might be thrown.

I am confused why the crit severity letter in EVERY SINGLE ENTRY is bolded, that only makes what is already an ugly table even more ugly. It is almost enough to make the eyes bleed…

It is obvious that these tables were designed in excel and use formulas to create the results. It should good skill in manipulating excel. However, the actual results on the table also show a lack of understanding of how the original tables were created in the first place or how they developed over the years. Unfortunately, this is somebody’s pet project, so it is unlikely that they would take any sort of criticism well (after all, I have already had one of the author get snippy with me for calling the tables “ugly” and my being offended that a supposedly “professional” company would release such shoddy workmanship, if for a beta. Most companies treat betas as regular products that must adhere to the company’s design standards, regardless of whether or not it was to be a free product.

Critical Tables

Prior versions of Rolemaster only had 19 rows on each critical table. This version of RM puts 20 rows per table, which requires that the fonts be even smaller than normal, which makes them much much harder to actually read. Why had an extra row? Critical tables are one the hardest things to write, period. Why make it even harder for yourself, and make it nearly impossible to use material from prior versions, new tables had to be written across the board!

The critical tables are filled with little codes about the damage dealt. Remember my complaint up above about the missing section regarding how to actually read the attack tables? Well, there wasn’t a section on how to read the critical tables either. Nor was there anything that describes the actual codes used on the critical tables mean.

I can only presume that the body parts listed on the left side of the tables is for that section on Called shots. Since there is no explanation of the table itself, one can only make an educated guess.

Review Recap

Well, while there are a few good nuggets buried in this pile of words and tables, they are most definitely buried and it might be better to just junkpile the majority of this book and start over.

If the final version looks anything like this beta, then I will grieve for Rolemaster…..

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