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Whatever happened to Rolemaster Cyradon?

I have been recently reminded about a project I worked on way back in early 2008 through most of 2009 called Rolemaster Cyradon. And I am sure folks have wondered what ever happened to it. Why ICE (which was being run by Mjolnir, LLC at the time) never published it.

Just sit right back, and I will tell you!

Note: The following is my recollections from my point of view. Therefore while the basics are accurate, there may be some minor discrepancies in the details that I am attempting to recall.

There is a thread over on the ICE forums where I first mention RM Cyradon on March 20th of 2008. And then over the course of the following year, I discussed it and put out little dribs of information and screenshots of bits and bobs to keep interest alive.

And there were quite a few who were very excited about it.

One thing that I was very clear about during this whole process was that I would be adapting the rules to fit the setting, not the other way around. The actual adaption took a lot longer than I had thought it would. I was originally envisioning it only taking a couple of months, but in reality it took nearly a year and a half to complete.

That is when the problems started…….

Now for the little projects like the short PDFs that we did, Express Additions or the Spacemaster Datanets, we just published them as we completed them. However, on bigger projects, my bosses would always show the project to the guy who owned the ICE properties, John Seal. The license agreement that gave Mjolnir control over the properties didn’t require that Mjolnir do this, but it was still done anyways, and essentially, he had to approve every major product we released.

Well, when it came to Rolemaster Cyradon, he would not allow us to publish it. He cited “2 friends that he showed it to telling him that it created yet another version of Rolemaster, and that that would lead to confusion”. I later learned that these two friends were Nicholas Caldwell and Thom Jones (who is John Seal’s brother-in-law), and who are the ones NOW currently running ICE. Yes, that means that THEY were the reason the John Seal refused to allow Mjolnir to publish RM Cyradon.

I then spent several months going back and forth in email directly with John Seal. And since it boiled down to him not wanting a new version of Rolemaster out there, I convinced him to allow me to Revise Rolemaster, using the RM Cyradon manuscript as my starting point (so that I did not lose about 2 years worth of work).

The end result was a single book revision of Rolemaster that was specifically designed to be modular and expandable to better accommodate fans of both RMC and RMFRP without having to choose between either (since the biggest divide was the skill system, the solution was to create a basic skill list that could be swapped out directly for a more RMSS-like one and which had SPECIFIC guidelines for that swapping).

You can read all about what my revision looked like in the following articles:

And as we all know, John Seal refused to allow us to release that revision as well because “it is too much like HARP” (the only think like HARP in the revision was the NAMES of the Resistance Rolls, how they worked was still pure RM). This was a month or so before Seal officially remove the license from Mjolnir (October of 2010).

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