call me a cab
- Jan 9, 2019
- Reaction score
I was pretty pissed when this current version of ICE took over and killed Rolemaster Express. 2007 that came out. My mind boggles at how much time has passed since they junked everything the previous owners were doing with the line and began their Neverending Playtest. We could have had a streamlined and faster Not-MERP version with an OGL 15 years ago. I mean, it wouldn't have made a dent to the sales of the last 2 editions of DnD, but it could have found a fanbase had it been allowed to grow.I would have much prefer something along the lines of RoleMaster Express personally.
Honestly... the way that the change in management was conducted told me everything I needed to know about what kind of people they were and what kind of business they were running. I hate to say it, but, "everything" GCP has "accomplished" in the intervening years has only-- in my own mind, at least-- vindicated my low opinions.The lead developer had pretty much written his game before the process began and really only used the process to clean up any glaring problems and tighten up his arguments. [...] I tried to withdraw at least three times during the process due to the behaviour of the main developer and his lackey.
That said, I don't think I'll ever work on anything I don't own outright ever again.
I still have MERP, it’s what we used last time we played and I expect what we’ll keep using when we return to the system. Still I’ll pick up a copy of RMU out of curiosity’s sake.
I hate to say it, but, "everything" GCP has "accomplished" in the intervening years has only-- in my own mind, at least-- vindicated my low opinions.
We played VsD when it came out and went right back to MERP, I don’t remember exactly what turned us off but it did.Against the Darkmaster (VsD) is essentially a de-Tolkien-ized, updated, and modified version of MERP. I was a huge MERP fan (still have my collection) and I think VsD greatly improves the system.
We played VsD when it came out and went right back to MERP, I don’t remember exactly what turned us off but it did.
They were definitely a turn off for me when I looked at the system. For some reason I'm okay with Hero/GURPS style mental disadvantages to model such things, but don't like most other forms of this stuff - and my main complaint, that they require me to know more about my character at chargen than I like applies equally to Hero/GURPS' system.Those are the main changes. IME they all improve the system. Though I can see how some people might not like the "passion" and "drive" mechanics.
My understanding is that it was Tolkien Enterprises because the rights to MERP went to them. I could be wrong but I know their lawyers watched ICE's site fairly closely to ensure compliance. Moving RM away from Tolkien would be another benefit of an entirely new edition.Interesting, who sent a C&D order? Did another company own the rights to the MERPs system divorced from the Tolkien license?
I've got very mixed feelings about it. I write my own games, I have no delusions about their marketability. The reality is that there is an insane glut of different games out there and in many ways most new games are redundant. The Cephus Engine and WoTCOGL are great boons to creators. I've spent a couple decades working on games that could have been spent on settings, fiction, comics, adventures and so forth if I could have just hitched my wagon to GURPS or Rolemaster. No, I've got no interest in working with any D&D or Traveller based license so don't bother to suggest it. The simple reality is that reinventing the wheel is only worthwhile if they won't let you use a suitable pre-existing one.Honestly... the way that the change in management was conducted told me everything I needed to know about what kind of people they were and what kind of business they were running. I hate to say it, but, "everything" GCP has "accomplished" in the intervening years has only-- in my own mind, at least-- vindicated my low opinions.
Honestly, if that's the only lesson anyone ever learns from this saga-- but everyone directly involved actually learns it, and then some-- I will have considered my (small) role in it to be a small life and a small fortune well-spent.
If you're the kind of small fish to whom a big license seems like a good deal... licenses. are. the. devil.
All I know is that they spent months talking shit about Mjolnir and trying to push me and my partner around because Mjolnir "wasn't doing anything" and... well, they got handed the reins ten years ago and this thread is the first indication I've seen that they've done sweet fuck all for the franchises they lobbied so hard to steal.
I loved RM2/MERP, but there’s a ton of stuff I liked about RMSS - the skill categories, the lifestyle and vocational Training Packages, etc.Yeah, ten years after I walked away, it's done. I haven't followed the development very closely since the first year of discussions when I flamed out and burned my bridges pretty thoroughly. Anyhow it's an attempt to really clean up and redesign Rolemaster as a modern game. The lead developer had pretty much written his game before the process began and really only used the process to clean up any glaring problems and tighten up his arguments. He basically hated Rolemaster Standard System and had been its biggest opponent on at least three Rolemaster forums for as long as I was into it. I was promised that it was a process to unify the fanbase and it never was. I tried to withdraw at least three times during the process due to the behaviour of the main developer and his lackey. Eventually I grumbled to ex-RM lead developer Rasyr about it and he went public with private conversations. Don't get me wrong, I think the change of management screwed him harder than anyone and he's got a right to be angry but I started burning my bridges at that point.
So where was it last time I looked, the professions were reworked using a points system rather than the process used in RM2 and RMSS where a list of skill costs was integrated with a list of professions in order from best to worst. I think a points system just asks for players and gms to make broken messes but really it's as good as any other method. The skill list has been substantially rationalized and skill categories are gone. I really like that mechanic but there was no way it was getting kept, no not even as a sidebar option.
A real effort has been made to fill in and balance the professions and the spell lists. Hopefully Dabblers won't be worse than Magents at virtually everything and Rangers won't suck. There's a system behind the building of spells and lists now.
Combat was using an action point system last I looked. It was still using percentage activity with snap, normal, and deliberate actions when I left. There's a shield skill that works with weapon skills now. There were going to be six hundred odd attack tables integrating size, damage type, and shape but there would be a core set and an ap. The problem was that the lead dev wanted to remove size from hit points so a halfling and a dragon would have the same hit point scores but the dragon would take and deal more damage. It's counter intuitive and I doubt it survived the fan review process. We had a long argument about that but it's philosophical so there's really no winning.
So, my hope is that it will be good. I really want it to be good. Differences with the lead developer aside I've said from the beginning that a good game needs vision and leadership. Just trying to please everyone just produces crappy, bland games. Personally, fan review processes produce crappy, bland games. It took about eight years longer than planned and I suspect it's just going to produce a third division in the fan base. Again, I really hope I'm wrong. Most of what I liked about Rolemaster came from RMSS not RM2 and all of that's gone but I'll be buying a copy anyhow.
I just wish the company's CEO had been honest about what was being done and that I hadn't wasted a year of my life banging my head against a wall for a game I'd pretty much given up on a couple years earlier. That said, I don't think I'll ever work on anything I don't own outright ever again.
So far, I've not really cared for AsD, I miss MERP. I don't like the updates and the way it layout and reads. I need to attempt to read through it again and see if I'll change my mind.Against the Darkmaster (VsD) is essentially a de-Tolkien-ized, updated, and modified version of MERP. I was a huge MERP fan (still have my collection) and I think VsD greatly improves the system.
That's interesting - I searched for Iron Crown and this is the site that is the first in the search: http://ironcrown.com/The site still works for me. Here's a link to the director's briefing on the forum: https://ironcrown.co.uk/ICEforums/index.php?topic=20783.0