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Irregular Maneuvers

Copyright Tim Dugger ©2003

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

Rolemaster is one of my favorite games, but one of the things that I think needs work is the preponderance of charts. There are lots of charts. So many that I cut back on them whenever possible. In my efforts to reduce the overall number of charts, I originally removed the individual Static Maneuver charts, and used just the Movement & Maneuver chart by itself.

I soon found that even this was a little unwieldy, so I went to work once again and came up with the chart you see before you. It combines everything that I need into a single chart, making it the only chart that I need for any maneuver. Not only could I use this chart for all Static and Moving Maneuvers, but I found that it was also quite easy to use for unanticipated circumstances and situations, and even for Resistance Rolls.

Sorry, but I have not tried to make it work with combat yet, so it has not replaced that...

Maneuver Chart

Roll

Results

Percentage

Bonus

(-151) Down

F

-70

(-150) - (-101)

F

-65

(-100) - (-51)

F

-60

(-50) - (-26)

F

-55

(-25) - 0

5

-50

01 - 20

10

-45

21 - 40

20

-40

41 - 55

30

-35

56 - 65

40

-30

66 - 75

50

-25

76 - 85

60

-20

86 - 95

70

-15

96 - 105

80

-10

106 - 115

90

-5

116 - 125

100

+0

126 - 135

100

+5

136 - 145

110

+10

146 - 155

110

+15

156 - 165

120

+20

166 - 185

120

+25

186 - 225

130

+30

226 - 275

130

+35

276+

140

+40

Modifiers

Routine: +30
Easy: +20
Light: +10
Medium: +0
Hard: -10
Very Hard: -20
Extremely Hard: -30
Sheer Folly: -50
Absurd:-70

Using the Maneuver Chart

There are a number of different methods by which you can use this chart. Each of the main ways in which I use it is covered below, along with some optional methods that can be used in special situations.

As always, any roll you make on this chart is modified by the Difficulty of the maneuver, along with any special or situational modifiers.

An "F" result on this table represents a complete failure by the character to perform the maneuver etc.

Percentage Methods

All or Nothing

Using this method, the character makes his roll, adding in all modifiers. If the character's Percentage Result is 100 or greater, then the character succeeds, otherwise he fails and you apply the results of the failure. This type of roll is normally used when the price of failure is dangerous to the character, or when the maneuver cannot be partially accomplished.

Example: A character is trying to jump a pit. Unless he gets a result of 100 or greater on the Percentage column, he fails and falls into the pit he is trying to jump.

Partial Success

Using this method, a Percentage Result of less than 100 is not dangerous to the character like it can be for the All or Nothing method, or when the maneuver might take multiple rounds to complete. The character makes his roll as normal, adding in all modifiers, and then consults the chart. The result in the Percentage column indicates how much of the action was completed that round, and then the character may continue the action the following round, adding the Percentage result from the second round to that of the first. He would continue to do this each round until the total of the rolls equals or exceeds 100.

Example: John's character Fingers is trying to pick a lock. The first round, John gets a Percentage result of 30. On the second round, John gets a Percentage result of 60, giving him a total of 90. So long as John can get a result of 10 or higher on the third round, his character will have finally succeeded in picking the lock.

Supplementary Method

This method of resolution is used for skills that may have an effect upon the use of other skill. You make your roll, adding in all normal modifiers and consult the Bonus column of the chart. This number is then added as a modifier to your next roll. Please note that it is up to the GM to determine if the Supplementary Method may be used, and to which skill combinations this would apply. Please note that in most circumstances the secondary roll must be accomplished immediately after the first roll.

Example: Fingers is at it again. This time though, he has picked up some skill in Lock Lore. Fingers makes his roll, and gets a total 74 for his Lock Lore skill roll. This means that his skill roll for Pick Locks will receive a -25 modifier. A little learning is a dangerous thing - Fingers has wrongly identified the lock type. Now if Fingers had a total of 174 for his Lock Lore skill, his Pick Locks roll would receive a modifier of +25.

Resistance Method

This chart can also be used for Resistance Rolls of all sorts. The attacker rolls on the chart and the result in the Bonus column is added to a base of 75. This total (the bonus result plus 75) becomes the number that the defender must beat in order to resist the effects of the spell, poison, disease, or other effect.

Such things as poisons and diseases use a base number equal to their level times 5 as the bonus to the attack roll. For spells, use the caster's bonus with the list in question if the spell is coming from a character, or use the spell's level times 5 as the attack bonus for spells cast from items.

You can easily adjust the difficulty of resisting magic, poisons, and diseases by adjusting the base number up or down accordingly. Of course, all characters gain their normal bonuses to their Resistance Rolls.

Example: Fingers is picking the lock on a chest he and his buddies found while exploring a tower they located in the wilderness. Suddenly Fingers sets off a needle trap and is hit with a level 10 poison. The GM, rolling for the poison, rolls a 95. This, plus 50 (level 10 times 5) gives a total of 145. Looking on the chart, the bonus column gives a result of +10. This means that Fingers must make a Resistance Roll and beat an 85 (base 75 + 10) or be affected by the poison.

Summary

The use of this single table, along with the three primary methods of its use provide a simple and flexible method of resolving actions in Rolemaster.

I have listed the three main uses of the table. Rolemaster Companion VII listed a number of variations on how to read the standard Movement & Maneuver charts in Rolemaster, and I have found that while these can be adapted for this chart, that they are rarely used. An imaginative GM can easily come up with ways of using this table other than I have detailed.

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