Rolemaster uses a relatively simple game mechanic for
resolving most actions: the static maneuver. Roll the dice, apply modifiers,
and compare the result to a familiar table, one straightforward enough that
many of us memorize the key numbers. In addition to this mechanic, Rolemaster
uses the moving maneuver, the combat table, the base spell attack table, and
the resistance roll table. This assortment of mechanics requires more page
flipping and table-lookups, and more learning for new players and gamemasters.
For those who want to streamline play or simplify the learning process,
eliminating some of these mechanics can be desirable.
RMFRP and 10 Million Ways To Die offer
combined combat tables for those who prefer them. Moving maneuvers can be
glossed over in favor of static maneuvers; we have played this way for years.
But the base spell attack table (the BAR) and the resistance roll table (RR)
have remained requirements. In this article, I present an alternative method of
resolving resistance rolls based on the static maneuver table. This method
completely replaces both the BAR and the RR tables, so it eliminates one roll
and two mechanics with their associated tables. New tables are provided with
this article as a PDF file, at the end of the article.
Casting The Spell
Use the Spell Casting Static Maneuver table T-4.5 (pg. 46 in
RMFRP) to resolve the spell-casting attempt, as normal. Since the BAR
provides an additional chance of spell failure, I suggest requiring a SCSM roll
for all basic attack spells (i.e., all spells of type F), even if the
requirements for automatic spell casting are met. Normal modifiers apply to
The result on the SCSM table modifies the resistance roll as
Partial Success: the RR is an Easy
Near Success: the RR is a Light
Unusual Success: the RR is an
Extremely Hard maneuver (-30).
Success: the RR is a Medium
Absolute Success: the RR is a Very
Hard maneuver (-20).
This results in very successful spell casting being more
difficult to resist, replacing the same effect from the BAR table without the
need for a second roll, mechanic, and table. These modifiers are also listed on
the RRSM table.
Resisting The Spell
Use the Resistance Roll Static Maneuver (RRSM) table
provided with this article to resolve the resistance roll. All normal RR
modifiers are listed on the table; special modifiers to resistance rolls (from
spells, or from spells or items which are unusually difficult to resist) should
also be applied to the RRSM roll. The different columns of the BAR table have
been replaced with modifiers for armor type and spell realm. Any special BAR
modifiers should also be applied to this roll, but as penalties. For example,
the Mental Assault (Attack) skill from the Mentalism Companion adds its number
of skill ranks to the BAR roll. Instead, subtract these from the RRSM roll.
A new modifier is also added for target and caster level.
This exactly mirrors the structure of the normal RR table.
Many of these modifiers will be constant, and can be
computed in advance for each realm, reducing the number of calculations needed
during battle. These include:
character's stat bonus vs. each realm (e.g. +3 x Em against Essence
+15 modifier for resisting spells of your own realm.
target's level modifier.
When resolving spells whose duration depends on the amount
the RR is failed by (durations such as "1 rnd/10 fail"), the duration
should be computed based on the amount the roll fell short of success. For
example, if the total roll is 91, it is 20 less than 111 (the roll needed for
success). If the duration were listed as "1 rnd/10 fail," the actual
spell duration would then be two rounds. For these types of spells, you may
prefer not to modify the duration according to the RRSM table (which would
exaggerate differences in durations by halving them for near successes and
multiplying them for absolute and spectacular failures).
Resisting Other Effects
A second RRSM table is provided for resistance rolls against
poisons and diseases. Apply normal RR modifiers (three times the character's
constitution bonus, the racial bonus, etc.) and use the poison or disease's
level in place of the caster level. Gamemaster Law provides much more
information about the meaning of mild, moderate, severe, and extreme effects of
poison and disease; the table simply provides a quick summary in most cases and
is not meant to replace the GM Law results when these are referenced.