Words from the Wise (Guys)

An Editorial Rant


to the seventh issue of The Guild Companion.

ICE and Chapter 11

The word is that ICE is low on hits, bleeding 5 per round. It's said that chapter 11 is the +25 bandage that ICE needs. Most readers of The Guild Companion are pulling for the successful skill roll though I've noticed a few people publicly stating that the fans have been ignored too long and good riddance, good bye.

My personal hope is that we will see a leaner, meaner and more attentive ICE than in the past. Communication with fans and freelance writers will improve because they have to. Products will be professionally produced and marketed. More of us will see what we have been looking for and not something that belongs on an individual's agenda.

What does the threat of a possible ICE collapse mean to The Guild Companion? Not too much. The products will need even more support if the company fails. We will write. We will publish. If it survives, the company should be better for the cleansing by fire and we will be happy to help them recover. We will write. We will publish. Either way, no matter what happens to ICE you will continue to find the ezine continuing in the spirit of support of the gaming community.

You may have also noticed in the last few issues we have made an effort to move to a more generalized format. This will also continue, but we will not abandon our roots and the games we all love to play.

Don't forget about our message boards! State your opinion on this!


Rolemaster and Speed in Combat

This is an editorial. So here's my opinion on a subject that has been making the rounds again. Rolemaster combat and the lengthy time it takes to resolve a combat.

First, the combat is lengthy. In my last session I had a valiant paladin throw her trident into the chest of one of my villains, killing him instantly and hurling his body back 10 feet. The dead flying villain smashed into the bedposts of a bunk, snapping them in half and causing the bunk to collapse in a mess of broken wood and dusty old bedding. The other two villains (who had been standing on the top of the bunk throwing javelins) fell onto the stone floor, one sustaining light injuries, the other ending up with a broken arm. Now, this caused much laughter and clapping when it was all resolved - and it would not have been possible in a simpler system.

Would I trade the detail and heroic moves so that the combat can go quicker? No way! Been there, done that. Each and every combat is important. Just ask anyone who has been in a real one. To those that take a simpler system, then add in a home made critical system, a modified maneuver system, and a host of house rules to handle all the things the system doesn't clearly handle I have one thing to say: Play Rolemaster!

If you really want 12+ combats per session, piles of dead at the feet of your characters on a regular basis, and everyone to make 25th level because experience points is why you kill everything - don't modify Rolemaster; play the other guy's RPG. Your half-elven 13th level fighter/12th level magic-user/11th level cleric will even fit on a single page of paper!

Second, experience will speed up the combat. Not only experience from the players, but on the GM's side as well. Until that experience comes, here's some helpful hints:

  1. Half the opponents dead? Group runs away! (Exceptions include most undead, some demons, etc.)
  2. Opponents that are badly injured will seek to run away. (Exceptions as #1)
  3. Choose opponents with lower hits so that they don't last so long and/or parry less.
  4. Encourage adrenal strength amongst the PCs.
  5. High OB, low DB opponents are better than High DB, low OB opponents.
  6. Roll one initiative for all similar opponents. (One for bandits, one for bandit leader.)
  7. A PC who can't decide what to do, does nothing (given reasonable time).
  8. Give every player a job. One records all the initiatives on the player's side, one records experience points, one tracks friendly NPCs. GMs should have all the weapons to look up results (and include unknown modifications).

That's about it. I think that Rolemaster is fine if you don't put other systems' expectations onto it. Rolemaster combat takes longer because it's more detailed. Detail means anything can happen, any roll has possibilities, and everyone has a chance. You are not a hero when you need 3 or higher to hit on a d20... and you can't be a hero when the bad guy has more hit points than your weapon can do this round.

If you have an opinion on what's written here or in any Editorial Rant, please use our message boards.



We'd like some more articles from you! This is a gamer's magazine, written by gamers for gamers, and your voices need to be heard. If you think an article is missing, write it! We are still looking for new talent.

Farewell (for now ...)

Time for me to quit ranting and return you to this month's articles. Next issue will be published in October 1999 and will see a return of Nicholas to the Editorial, so until then,

Keep gaming and have fun!

Randy Campbell

Business Manager
The Guild Companion