Friday, August 14, 2020


So at some point waaaay back in the early 90's, I got into Iron Crown Enterprises line of games.  I started with Middle-Earth Roleplaying (the 'red' box), but I learned that that was only part of the larger line of Rolemaster games by the time I was done reading it.

It was one of the first systems I owned, and by golly we enjoyed it.  Tales of fights against orcs, meetings with ents and such.  Elves and magic.  

One night while we were playing, something like 26 or 27 years ago, my buddies' dad happened to overhear our game.  He was listening to the conundrum, and then broke in with something I'll never forget:

"If it's just one orc, why don't you just kill it?"  

I had no idea he was a Tolkien fan until that moment, but I've lived by that maxim ever since.

Rolemaster has always had a spot in my heart, and a friend of mine started hunting down I.C.E.'s M.E.R.P. for his collection.  He found some great gems, but there was no big push from anyone to actually play the game (except for maybe me).  Anyway, it would be nearly 30 years until I actually got to play again.

We join our second session of Rolemaster, already in progress.  A playtest featuring playtest characters by my new friend GM Bobby.  GameDoc introduced us a few weeks back, and we've gotten to play a few sessions on Fantasy Grounds in the last months.

It all started with a vicious string of mysterious murders in the capital city of Thelum.  Strange events have been occurring all around the Kingdom, and it's time to put a stop to it.  It seems that chaos is breaking out all over, and more horrible events are sure to follow.

Troll tribes have been going berserk and killing everything they come in contact with.  In an isolated town, mania seized everyone and they lit everything on fire.  Following this horrible chain of events,  emissaries of the various portions of the Kingdom thus afflicted have arrived at the Regent's court.  

Our party consists of these Emissaries.  We are outsiders whom the old regent decided to trust instead of his own court, since he suspects rampant corruption therein.  He was not wrong, and very soon the Regent of the Kingdom had been assassinated.

Rolemaster on Fantasy Grounds
I get to be Demin, the Mentalist.

The assassin was brought to justice, but the murder of the Regent matched the modus operandi of the original string of murders.  

The new Regent, son of the recently assassinated, entreats the Emissaries to undertake a dangerous mission to stop a dangerous cult he believes is behind this.  The party must retrieve an ancient artifact buried with a long dead king and return it to the Regent.

Rolemaster on Fantasy Grounds
I can cast the level 2 spells if I strain my mind-muscles...but it hurts.

Rolemaster on Fantasy Grounds
Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!

Our party is now en route to a town called Nerit.  The artifact is called the Last Flask of Tosem, and it lies in the tomb of the ancient king Elam.  The Regent believes the cult behind the murders needs the flask to awaken some ancient entity named Azimir.  Everyone believes this is something that should be stopped, so we set out to do so by getting there first.

Yet nothing is ever easy, and upon the road to nethir we were accosted by a group of peasants with farm tools standing in the crossroads.  They ask us to leave, but when we produce our papers and ask for theirs they suddenly don't want to talk and start using their shovels and hoes on us.  My companions don't take this well and start killing them.

Rolemaster on Fantasy Grounds:  Combat
Well, they wouldn't get out of the way when we asked nicely.

Rolemaster on Fantasy Grounds
Careful what you wish for, Demin.
Rolemaster on Fantasy Grounds:  Combat Critical

I used some magic to stun one, but attempted to flank them to help out.  I had a cool halberd.  Anyway, it didn't go so well since the place where I decided to flank was the place on the field enemy reinforcements arrived.  I decided there was no where to run, so tried to stand my ground.

Rolemaster on Fantasy Grounds
Sucks to be flanked.

Rolemaster on Fantasy Grounds
Probably should have ran.

Rolemaster on Fantasy Grounds
Not sure if dead, but still here anyway.

I (Demin the Mentalist) ended up watching most of that combat from my place in the mud, but it was still loads of fun.  I relearned Rolemaster stats pretty quickly, and it only took one dead mentalist.  Well, I'm not sure if he's actually dead but he's so cut up I'll be switching to a new character anyway in order to continue this adventure.

Once again, I am impressed with the versatility of Fantasy Grounds, but more so the near-seamless modular adaptability.  It makes a lot of the fiddly calculations Rolemaster asks for very, very easy.  After this second game in Fantasy Grounds, I'm actually quite interested in it for myself.  I've seen there's a fan-made Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition module, and probably quite a few others.  Skillsets being what they are, I might go far enough into it to design my own.  Hmm.

We'll see...

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