What are the differences between Rolemaster Classic and Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing? The following table gives a brief description of each games outlining the major differences between them.
|System item||Rolemaster Classic (RMC)||Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing (RMFRP)|
|Stats||RMC has the same 10 stats that RMFRP has. However, the stats bonuses are approximately two to three times as large as those in RMFRP.||RMFRP uses the same 10 stats that are found in RMC. However, RMFRP has smaller stat bonuses. This is due to how the stat bonuses are applied to the skills (see below).|
|Races||RMC contains 11 races for players to choose from in the book, Character Law.||RMFRP only has 5 races in its core book. However, the expansion RMFRP book, Character Law, adds 7 more races to the mix.|
6 of these 7 are the same races as are found in RMC, but RMC’s Fair Elves have been renamed to Grey Elves and RMFRP’s Character Law adds Mixed Men to the list of available races.
|Cultures||Culture has no effect except to determine what languages might be available. A Game Master (GM) is also advised that Cultures can be used to restrict what skills and/or equipment are available to a starting character.||Cultures in RMFRP are fuller and provide more detail in creating characters by describing things like Clothing & Decoration, Fears & Inabilities, Lifestyle, Hobbies, Religion, Marriage Patterns, and much, much more.|
The RMFRP Character Law also expands the concept of Cultures so that Common and Mixed Men are able to select what Culture they are from by providing more generic cultures for those 2 races.
|Professions||The core RMC book, Character Law contains 20 professions, 15 of them being spell using professions. Of those 15 spell using professions, 3 are Semi-spell Users, 3 are Hybrid Spell Users and the rest are Pure spell users.||The core RMFRP book contains 9 professions, of which 6 are spell users. The RMFRP Character Law adds another 11 professions to bring this total up to 20, with 15 of those 20 being spell users.|
Of those 15 spell users,6 are Semi-spell Users, 3 are Hybrid Spell Users, and the remainder are Pure Spell Users.
|Skills||RMC has a core list of 28 primary skills. It also has a list of 43 optional Secondary skills. The Secondary skills may be added in any combination by the GM. Each skill is associated with 1 or 2 stats, and uses the average of those stats as a bonus to the skill itself.|
Learning spells is also considered a skill, so any character may learn spells, although a character’s profession and realm (the source of their magic) determines what spells they learn and to what level they can be learned.
The GM is the one who determines what skills will be used in the game.
|RMFRP has 300+ skills divided among 56 different skill categories.|
A player is able to purchase skill ranks in both categories and individual skills. Each skill is associated with 3 stats and the stat bonuses from each are all added to the bonus from the skill ranks. Different categories and skills use different progression rates for determining their bonuses
In addition to the standard costs for the profession, RMFRP also include Restricted, Everyman, and Occupational skill classifications. These classifications can change the number of ranks actually received from the purchase of a single rank, from requiring 2 purchased ranks to gain a single actual rank to receiving 3 ranks for each one purchased.
|Profession bonuses||In RMC, all but the Pure and Hybrid spell users receive a bonus to their weapon skills. This bonus ranges from a +1 to a +3 and is received at each level and applied equally to all weapon skills. Pure and Hyrbrid spell users receive a bonus of +1 per level to all of their spell casting.||In RMFRP, professional bonuses are a single static bonus that is applied when the character is first created. These bonuses are given in multiples of +5 (i.e. +5, +10, +15, +20, etc.), and they apply equally to all skills in a given category.|
|Training packages||RMC does not contain any rules for Training Packages.||In RMFRP, Training Packages (TPs) are special packages that when purchased, grant the character a number of ranks spread across several skills, as well as the chance to gain some special items.|
Each TP has a specific cost for each profession
|Spells||RMC’s Spell Law contains all of the spells you need for the professions given in RMC’s Character Law. You also get evil spell lists for each realm.|
In RMC, the core method of learning spells is relatively simple, but of a random nature. The player purchases as many ranks in the spell list as he wants and then makes a percentile roll, adding +5 to the roll for each rank purchased. If the total is 100 or higher, then the character learns a portion of the spell list (determined by both profession and the type of list – Open, Closed, or Base). There are also other optional methods of Spell List aquisition available.
RMC’s Spell Law also contain a very complete and thorough discussion of the various types of spells and how they are resolved. The spell type known as Passive in RM2, now has those spells identified as either Informational or Utility.
|In RMFRP, Spell Law has actually been divided into 3 seperate books, Of Channeling, Of Essence and Of Mentalism. Each book contains all of the spells needed for that realm, including the evil spell lists for that realm.|
Each rank purchased in a spell list indicates that the character knows that particular spell list to a level equal to the number of ranks known. Characters have different costs for the different spell lists based on the type of list that they are purchasing (i.e. Open, Closed, Base, Other Base, Other Realm, etc.).
|Combat||RMC’s Arms Law contains 30 individual weapon tables, 13 special attack tables, and hundreds of critical and fumble results.|
Arms Law also contains a special tactical/initiative system designed specifically for RMC. It is an activity percentage system that allows for a simple, yet flexible method of handling actions in combat.
|RMFRP contains a condensed set of combat tables in its core book with one attack table for each basic type of attack. The critical table format differs from RMC. In RMFRP the flavor text is completely separate from the additional damage dealt by the blow.|
The tactical/initiative system is similar to the one used in RMC, but it is split into 3 different phases (Snap, Normal, & Deliberate), with a character being able to perform a full action in any of the phases so long as their total activity percentage does not exceed 100%.
RMFRP has its own version of Arms Law which is essentially the same as in RMC (except for the critical descriptions as noted above) and some of the additional text that it contains.
|Background options (and talents/flaws)||RMC contains five types of Background Options; Set Options, Special Abilities, Special Items, Special Wealth, and Special Status.|
These 5 categories of Background Options provide the character with free skill ranks, special backgrounds that affect the game in play (i.e. impoverished or royal blood), magic items, extra starting money, and even abilities that combine both a talent and a flaw into a single package.
|In the RMFRP book, you will find the same Background Options as are found in RMC.|
In RMFRP’s Character Law, there is an alternative to this Background Options system. This alternative involves a very well defined system of Talents and Flaws as separate entities that can be acquired to help make characters even more unique. This system allows for both choice and for random rolling on several tables to assign the talents/flaws.
|Options||Across RMC’s three core books (Character Law, Arms Law, & Spell Law), there are literally dozens of options that a GM can use to customize Rolemaster to make it better fit their setting.||RMFRP contains very few options that a GM can use to customize their game.|
|Books required to play||In order to play RMC, a group will require all three of RMC’s core books. This means the RMC Character Law, the RMC Spell Law, and the RMC Arms Law.|
Rolemaster Classic has few expansion books available, though most of the RM2 products are fully compatible.
|In order to play RMFRP, a group will only require the RMFRP core book, Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplaying. However, that is not the only core book. That is a single book introduction to the system, and as noted in several places above, only contains a subset of the full RMFRP system. To have everything described above in full, you would need the RMFRP core book, the RMFRP Character Law, the RMFRP Arms Law, and the three spell books; Of Channeling, Of Essence, & Of Mentalism.|
There are a number of other products that can be used to expand the RMFRP system.