Author Topic: Rolemaster Fiction  (Read 4096 times)

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Offline damage

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2022, 08:01:14 PM »
Big red flags right there.

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Offline MisterK

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2022, 12:46:22 AM »
This is one of the topics that is part of the explicit social contract prior to the start of the game, because, you know, fun for everyone - what is fun for someone (PvP) is not necessarily fun for others. Same as traitor PC, explicit sexual content, graphic descriptions of abuse, violence on children... the list is potentially as long as the list of potential triggers.

Which means that, if one of the players wants to include PKP, this is not asked between the player and the GM, but at the table with everyone having a say in it, and if *anyone* taps the X card, then it's a big no-go. Conversely, if no one disagrees, then it means everyone is aware that this is an option and plans accordingly.

Offline Vladimir

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2022, 10:07:42 AM »
  We just finished a session and I had a long talk with the player bringing in a vampire. I gave him my views of PKP and how I would protect all party members within reason and any player that proves to be a liability isn't particularly welcome. We came to an agreement: He would use his current character to learn the RM mechanics and then ask the GM to convert a character from another game to the campaign. We actually agreed on the issue of PKP and he was more worried about how the group would accept him. PKP is in effect in the campaign and everybody knows my stance and how my character won't tolerate it.

  The above being said, the only person the party has concern about is a player (who models his character after Sub Zero from Mortal Combat) who, tries to convince people to do things when he has no communication skills at all, and insists on being a "ninja" when has has no perception skills... He's a tank wannabe who thinks he's powerful (4th Lvl Fighter) but hasn't figured out OB allocation for defense as we haven't met anything strong yet. The GM is giving us two sessions to learn and will cull the herd after the fourth session. I've already explained the combat mechanics to him and we'll see if he's learned anything. We were attacked by a small band of Lizardmen; the Nightblade and my Rogue killed most of them before "Sub Zero" managed to kill one. He even accused me of hiding during the fight...then saw me recovering arrows from the Lizardman bodies he never even saw. I said nothing. The Nightblade stifled a laugh.
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Offline EltonJ

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2022, 03:07:49 PM »
  The above being said, the only person the party has concern about is a player (who models his character after Sub Zero from Mortal Combat) who, tries to convince people to do things when he has no communication skills at all, and insists on being a "ninja" when has has no perception skills... He's a tank wannabe who thinks he's powerful (4th Lvl Fighter) but hasn't figured out OB allocation for defense as we haven't met anything strong yet. The GM is giving us two sessions to learn and will cull the herd after the fourth session. I've already explained the combat mechanics to him and we'll see if he's learned anything. We were attacked by a small band of Lizardmen; the Nightblade and my Rogue killed most of them before "Sub Zero" managed to kill one. He even accused me of hiding during the fight...then saw me recovering arrows from the Lizardman bodies he never even saw. I said nothing. The Nightblade stifled a laugh.

I see.  You were using your character as a watch, killing lizardmen with arrows.  As for the PKP guy as a vampire, I suggest letting him run for a while, to see how he likes the game.  You're playing Classic, correct?

Offline Vladimir

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2022, 09:01:07 PM »
The GM prefers RM 2nd Edition. I did have to point out the typos in the FRP manual and that so many of the Companions were written for the 1st Edition.

  The vampire player is refreshingly reasonable (as we've had so many D&D/Pathfinder players unable to transition to RM) and he has a better grip of the rules and mechanics in one session than some of the players who've been with the party for months.
When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
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Offline Vladimir

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2022, 03:33:20 AM »
I see.  You were using your character as a watch, killing lizardmen with arrows.  As for the PKP guy as a vampire, I suggest letting him run for a while, to see how he likes the game.  You're playing Classic, correct?
  In military terms I was applying sniper overwatch. That is, posted at an observation point overseeing the battle and targeting enemy forces as the appear. In RPG settings I prefer stationing 1-2 snipers in locations where one or both snipers are presented with flank shots. Since there was no apparent missile or magic users among the attackers, the sniper didn't have to apply "fire and move" doctrine to confuse the enemy.
  One advantage of being a veteran US Army squad leader is a lot of my tactical skills can be applied to RPGs, from command and control to post combat zone security.

  As far as the vampire is concerned, the GM is allowing him to use the temporary character to learn the rules and gameplay, and he has adapted very quickly to the flow of combat. His PKP reference concerns a player that has not adapted to the game at all and we all came up with a contest to eliminate the player without getting caught, sort of "Clue" but with all the players being murder suspects and not just one...  BTW, the vampire player has gamed with the other player and says that he always plays the same character with the same personality, no matter the class. Red flags there...
As I said, I'm usually against PKP but this guy intends on being a liability to the party in SW, where saying something stupid or offensive isn't taken lightly. He carries a cask of whiskey about and leads off by handing out drinks to anybody present and he contends that downing 20 shots "is nothing"... (4 shots would impair an average human) and he insists on dominating negotiations while having no communication skills. Me, I step back and let him talk and he hasn't learned yet.
When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
-Lao Tzu

Offline MisterK

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2022, 06:08:38 AM »
One advantage of being a veteran US Army squad leader is a lot of my tactical skills can be applied to RPGs, from command and control to post combat zone security.
I wanted to ask - do you always play characters that are experts at small unit tactics ?

Because, at least in my opinion, one of the core tenets of role-playing is to isolate player knowledge from character knowledge as much as possible (both ways, as a matter of fact, which is why most Lore skills exist).

And there is a delicious irony in intentionally doing less-than-optimal things in game, *knowing* that they are less than optimal. Just like it is delicious to *know* something is fishy because *you* (as the player) have world knowledge from past campaigns, but your character does not and remains blissfully ignorant of what doom is about to happen. Anticipation is much sweeter than surprise :)

Offline Vladimir

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2022, 10:58:16 PM »

I wanted to ask - do you always play characters that are experts at small unit tactics ?

Because, at least in my opinion, one of the core tenets of role-playing is to isolate player knowledge from character knowledge as much as possible (both ways, as a matter of fact, which is why most Lore skills exist).

And there is a delicious irony in intentionally doing less-than-optimal things in game, *knowing* that they are less than optimal. Just like it is delicious to *know* something is fishy because *you* (as the player) have world knowledge from past campaigns, but your character does not and remains blissfully ignorant of what doom is about to happen. Anticipation is much sweeter than surprise :)
  If I played a Healer or Dirt Farmer, I wouldn't bother with tactical combat at all. Fighters in RPGs engage in tactical combat 99% of the time and I usually play a professional, who should at least have an idea what they should be doing. I know players who have been gaming for decades and still don't apply basic principles of tactical combat -I call them "hordes" and "meat shields".

  From personal experience, very few players even learn rudimentary tactical combat. When I played Battletech some players criticized me for employing WW2 tactics in winning battles and my reply was "I don't Roleplay at war." The BT universe is a thousand years into the future so soldiers would be as familiar with WW2 as I am with the Norman Conquest.
   
  Considering that Tactics is a purchasable skill, what prevents me from simply wasting the points on a skill based on personal knowledge and then applying those skills? Any child could learn squad level tactics by picking up a common Field Manual or simply listening to war stories from veterans around a campfire.

  Players should play the kind of character they desire, with skills and equipment to be the character they want to play. Organized warriors will beat a similar number of warriors with like skills and equipment that are not organized. That is simple common sense and how much common sense should I abandon from one character to the next? Face it, most RPG players eventually improve with experience, most. How many players choose to be a helpless, green noob with each adventure?  Now, I have played a Farmer levee into a lord's warband, with minimal skills, so he just followed orders and did grunt work around camp. If I "just followed orders and did grunt work around camp" in EVERY campaign, my party wouldn't do anything.                                 
When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
-Lao Tzu

Offline MisterK

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2022, 12:00:05 AM »
Players should play the kind of character they desire, with skills and equipment to be the character they want to play. Organized warriors will beat a similar number of warriors with like skills and equipment that are not organized. That is simple common sense and how much common sense should I abandon from one character to the next? Face it, most RPG players eventually improve with experience, most. How many players choose to be a helpless, green noob with each adventure?  Now, I have played a Farmer levee into a lord's warband, with minimal skills, so he just followed orders and did grunt work around camp. If I "just followed orders and did grunt work around camp" in EVERY campaign, my party wouldn't do anything.                               
That's my answer - you *do* play according to your character's knowledge - it's just that you tend to prefer playing characters that do have those kinds of skills.
No offense meant - it's just that, from everything you said, I got the feeling that your gaming experiences were focused on tactical combat and I was wondering how much of it was context and how much of it was from player's background.

Especially since I've never played a military-oriented RPG campaign - it's just not my style nor my idea of fun. Situational one-shots, yes, but not more. So I have a very different outlook on roleplaying experience from yours.

Offline Vladimir

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2022, 11:40:43 AM »
That's my answer - you *do* play according to your character's knowledge - it's just that you tend to prefer playing characters that do have those kinds of skills.
No offense meant - it's just that, from everything you said, I got the feeling that your gaming experiences were focused on tactical combat and I was wondering how much of it was context and how much of it was from player's background.

Especially since I've never played a military-oriented RPG campaign - it's just not my style nor my idea of fun. Situational one-shots, yes, but not more. So I have a very different outlook on roleplaying experience from yours.
   I would love to play a campaign with no combat at all but throughout my decades of playing, at least 90% of the other players ache for regular battles. Few could sit through a basic Call of Cthulhu scenario and actually do simple detective work, interview people and find crucial clues without arming up and wanting to fight something. Even the GM realizes that we have to toss them a combat bone on a regular basis to keep them interested.

  One of the reasons I've started the current Legacy campaign was to wean some of the players out of the hack and slash mindset and into the intrigues of empire building, with diplomacy and negotiation taking the forefront of gameplay. I've got two of the four regular players onboard and the GM has allowed them to redesign their characters away from their usual pure combat orientation. There are some players who will never make the transition and will be left behind in rank and responsibilities. The early portion of the Legacy campaign is to identify leaders and potential nobles capable of administering property and negotiating contracts with other organizations. All of my characters are designed for kingship, but the parties rarely want to get past the disposable, hack and slash stage.

  For over two decades, I gamed with a group that was intensively aimed at empire building. We'd pick a leader to set the theme and the players would work to promote that leader to his goal. I have yet to find a party with anything resembling the kind of synergy the Xai team possessed. Xai was a world where the party could start as primitive cave dwellers or space fairing immortals and everything in between. In one campaign, the entire party started out as chattel slaves.  Xai is described here: https://ironcrown.co.uk/ICEforums/index.php?topic=20485.0

  Combat tactics is just a means, it is never an end. Winning in combat just means more loot and levels. If I could teach one player to adopt basic squad leadership then I could help them advance to the next level of logistics management and command. Some players never learn. For five years I GMed a group where none of the players wanted any role in leadership. None wanted positions of responsibility or deal with bureaucracy. Fine. They all became grunts who worked with a NPC commander who exploited them and got very wealthy off their willingness to take risks. They didn't care and none of them had any concept of empire building. Their idea of a fun game was annihilating an enemy and taking slaves. Not one of them could RP their way out of a paper bag but skill wise, they were gods on the battlefield, which is all that mattered. ...and these guys sucked at Call of Cthulhu...
When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
-Lao Tzu

Offline Spectre771

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2022, 05:53:04 AM »

   I would love to play a campaign with no combat at all but throughout my decades of playing, at least 90% of the other players ache for regular battles. Few could sit through a basic Call of Cthulhu scenario and actually do simple detective work, interview people and find crucial clues without arming up and wanting to fight something. Even the GM realizes that we have to toss them a combat bone on a regular basis to keep them interested.


I've never run an entire campaign without hack n' slash, but I've had several sessions that were non-combat.  There is certainly plenty of fun to still be had.  For one group, I set up a scenario for two level 1 PCs.  One was lowest rank in the thieves guild (which may or may not exist) and one was hoping to get into the guild (that absolutely, totally, does not exist).

The initiate is contacted via a note from a higher ranking member because he's been observed picking pockets or petty thieving and is told that he may be a good fit.  There's going to be a challenge for initiates and the winner gets taken aboard as a member.  The initiate has no idea how many are competing nor who is also in the challenge.  All initiates will have to take a specific item from a tavern at one end of town and bring it to a tavern at the other end of town without being caught and there can be no killing.  One mustn't draw attention to the guild.  The initiate to succeed is let in.

The existing probationary-level guild member is assigned an initiate and his job is to aid his initiate in succeeding.  If the initiate finds out he is being helped, both are disqualified.  If either is caught, both are disqualified.  If the member's initiate succeeds, the member is moved from probationary member to lowest level member.

What the PCs don't realize is the the actual challenge is for the existing low-level member.  The initiate is just a fall guy should something go wrong.  If the initiate is caught, he has no ties at all to the Guild and nothing can be betrayed.

We had a 'falling out of our seats, tears in our eyes laughing session' that lasted a good 2 hours.  At level 1, the necessary thieving skills are all low, if they even have the skills they need.  I wanted the Thieve and Rogue PCs to get an idea of the skills they should be investing in if they wanted to play those professions.  I ran through all of the non-combat skills RMC-II had.  Stalk/Hide, Sense Ambush Assassin, Hide Item, Duping, Acting, Lie Perception, Sprinting, Disguise, Acrobatics, Tightrope Walking, Grappling Hook, Rope Mastery, Pick Pockets, Surveillance, Improvised Weapon, etc.  Obviously they couldn't have all of those skills, so there were plenty of -25's and failed attempts and much hilarity ensued. 

The initiate wanted to distract an NPC by throwing a mug.  He fumbled the throwing skill spectacularly and creamed the tavern owner's wife in the face and knocked her out.  He turned to run, fumbled his Sprinting skill and fell flat on his face.  A couple of thugs were on him and he rolled very well for Acting and was able to convince the thugs it was another patron "It was him!  Look!  He's the only one here without a mug of ale!  It was obviously him!!!"

Then the fight started...
If discretion is the better valor and
cowardice the better part of judgment,
let's all be heroes and run away!

Offline Cory Magel

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2022, 11:15:14 AM »
Long, long ago there was a Dragon Magazine article called 'Death of an Arch-mage' which is essentially a murder mystery.   You actually setup a timer and certain things happen certain times in certain places within a mansion.  Was one of the more fun gaming sessions our groups have had and there was virtually no combat.  At the end the group had to make their judgement on what happens (who is charged with what, etc).  The GM also used the one false accusation that was made to create a running enemy of the group that lasted years (the one thing we got wrong and charged an innocent, but evil, mage with one of the crimes).
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Offline Vladimir

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2022, 03:24:48 PM »
  I've pretty much played every form of RPG, some good, some an incredible waste of time.
Call of Cthulhu was great. As a long-time Lovecraft reader, I was looking for a great adventure along the lines of the Randolph Carter stories but they were mostly short, detective story vignettes and most GMs never even heard of Randolph Carter. The gameplay of CoC pretty much minimalizes combat, which was fine for me, unlike John Carter, Randolph Carter never turned into a muscular warrior when he traveled to an alien world, he remained the same, genteel, intellectual he had always been.

  As I've said elsewhere, over 90% of RPGs are geared to be combat centric, and I've played many of them, from Empire of the Petal Throne to The Morrow Project to Metamorphosis Alpha. One GM ran a "come as you are" campaign for Twilight 2000 (a "come as you are" game in my club would be a scenario that allowed players to bring figures or vehicles they had on hand and play them) where one player had a M-1 Abrams tank, which he always had trouble refueling, I had both mounted and standing figures of a Cossack with modern weapons, a horse, a loaded packmule and a German Shepherd. This is all in 1/35th scale. One player was a foot soldier who carried a RPG launcher and a backpack brimming with reloads. He lost a fight with a light armored car when a 23mm round went through him and hit his ammo:
Mark: "Where's Gary?"
Me: "You're breathin' him." 

Me: "The answer is, 'four days.'"
Mark: "What was the question?"
Me: "What is the half-life of one of Gary's characters?"

Good times.
When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
-Lao Tzu

Offline Vladimir

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Re: Rolemaster Fiction
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2022, 01:54:04 PM »
Last night we closed a chapter in our Shadow World campaign -The Vampire left the party as scheduled, he was only playing the character to learn the rules.
  One player died when the party Lycanthrope (werebear) lost control and pulped him. A month ago, I had pointed out the the SW world has several moons and the player didn't have adequate time to determine which moon was tied to his condition. So...when the party was attacked by werewolves, our Lycanthrope was unable to maintain control, crushed one of the werewolves, killed an (annoying) NPC and crushed our Necromancer. I pointed out that Lycanthrope characters are rarely worth the hassle and that particular player assured me he had his condition under control.
  I messed up -I trusted him. The party has no defined leader as I almost always wind up being the leader and this is what happens when the players are allowed to think for themselves in tactical combat situations.
  I will do what I always do: Assume command and assign each player a number, because I won't remember character names.
Me: "Three zero four, move up."
304: "I'm not a number."
Me: "Yes, you are. Three zero four, you are fined five gold, move up."
304: "Yes, sir."

 
When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
-Lao Tzu