We are currently working on a brand new Rolemaster system which will unify previous versions and which we will be supporting moving forwards. This new edition will include the best of all versions of Rolemaster as well as new enhancements and improvements to the system that we believe will make it a real world-beater.
The vanguard of the new Rolemaster edition will be five books – Arms & Character Law, Spell Law, Creature Law (in two volumes), and Treasure Law In due course, these will be followed by other products such as a multi-adventure set, a Character Companion, a new Campaign Law, a Rolemaster System Handbook for Shadow World, and many more.
Once we had announced our plans, we were faced with a number of questions which we have done our best to answer below:
Qu 1: Is this a new edition of Rolemaster or an update of a previous edition?
In some ways, it is a new edition. In some ways, it is very much a “best of” drawing upon the best ideas of the past three decades along with various other enhancements and improvements. It is not a cut-and-paste job but remains definitively and definitely Rolemaster.
The RPG industry and the hobby have been around a long time now with a myriad of mechanics explored in games mainstream and indie. For a game to survive and to flourish, it needs quality and stability in order to attract and maintain the interest of players and GMs, and it needs to be supported by its publisher.
Of course you as fans have to give unified Rolemaster a chance and support it in turn as that support enables us to produce more products for it, encourages software creators to develop high-quality virtual tabletops and support tools, and so on. Living, growing rpg systems attract more players and GMs, which means more opportunities for existing gamers to find new folk to game with. A win for everyone.
Qu 2: What is the status of the new unified Rolemaster products?
We have now finished playtesting and are in the final editing stages of production. Layout and artwork are next on the “to do” list.
Qu 3: When will the new edition be released?
There are still a lot of moving pieces so we cannot put an exact date on the release yet. It will more than likely be released in 2021.
Qu 4: Why has it taken so long?
ICE is a small, independent publisher with no full-time staff. Unified Rolemaster is brought to you through the dedication and hard work of freelancers and volunteers. In addition to that, we don’t want to rush it. We believe that Unified Rolemaster is the future of Iron Crown Enterprises so we want to make sure that it is as good as it can be before we release it.
Qu 5: Will it be available in print?
Yes, all five of the initial releases will be available in pdf AND as hardcover and softcover books. The print versions will be released after the pdf version however as this allows us to catch any errata before it goes to print.
Qu 6: Where will I be able to get a copy?
Unified Rolemaster will be exclusively available via DrivethuRPG. You can check out the entire catalogue of available ICE product by visiting our publisher page on DrivethruRPG.
Qu 7: Why five books? Why not one?
Our assessment is that while many fans would like an introductory, lightweight or streamlined version of Rolemaster in one book, many more will want a full-blooded, full-featured version of Rolemaster. From the publishing perspective that we want to support Rolemaster through new Shadow World and Cyradon material and adventure/campaign modules, we need the complete Unified Rolemaster now.
There will be a “Lite” one book edition of Rolemaster in due course, but it will be fully compatible with the full version. It will not be a conflicting or variant edition – the voice of the community is very clear that multiple competing editions are a major problem.
Qu 8: Will you continue to support previous versions of Rolemaster?
Moving forward Unified Rolemaster will be Iron Crown Enterprises core focus. We will not be putting out additional rules or supplements for previous versions. However, as long as we can find writers willing to convert stats to previous versions, we’re hoping that most adventures and setting material released for Unified Rolemaster will also have stats for Rolemaster Classic and Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing.
If you have more questions about Unified Rolemaster, check out the Q&A we held at UK Games Expo 2020. If you still have questions you can ask us on out Discord server, Facebook page or on Twitter and we’ll do our best to answer your query.
Catch up on all the latest news regarding RMU by following the RMU tag on the Iron Crown blog.