Rolemaster - Learning Skills

Copyright Thomas A. Stobie, SFO © 2004

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

"Statue of Exceptional Learning of Philosophy ... is highly intelligent, non-mobile, and talks philosophy (and nothing else) with anyone who wants to discuss it."

Table of Contents

Introduction

As a gamemaster, I have found it useful to address a number of aspects of learning skills. This articles presents a number of new options applicable to a variety of campaign settings.

I discuss classifying various skills into groups and associate professions within these classifications. I provide expanded skill development point cost tables to handle these concepts. I discuss a number of talents, flaws, training options, and magic items that pertain to skill development.

I have tried to retain as closely as possible the DP costs given by profession in the various RMSS & RMFRP books.

Learning spell lists is addressed in a separate article.

In this article, I assume that characters spend part of their idle time working on, improving, and maintaining their skills. When a character advances a level, he can develop any skill except those designated by the gamemaster as unavailable.

Note about Priests: The gamemaster should examine each priest according to their deity and determine how to modify these classifications to be more appropriate to the specific priesthood.

Classification of Skill Learning Abilities

It is useful to aggregate skill categories into groups of related skills. Within each classification, there are a number of sub-classifications that dictate the costs for skill categories or particular skills within a category; professions are associated with these sub-classifications. Gamemasters should feel free to change the classification of professions to categories to better suit their world.

If only part of a category is listed, the category DP costs are not affected by it. (For example, in the Martial Arts classification, only the self control skills with "Adrenal" as part of them name are effected, so the overall category DP costs are not affected by it.)

Likewise, if the listed DP Cost for the profession directly is better than given in the table (unless a flaw reducing the classification is taken), use the listed DP cost for the profession.

Note: not all skills or categories are included. This is deliberate. Many of them are closely linked to their profession and are better addressed with talents that address them individually or by category in a more general fashion. (For example, the Crafting Creative Genius talent below better addressed improving crafting on a generic basis, than trying to associated professions into classifications. Armor categories are an example where the existing Talents and professions cover learning to use armor better than skill classifications would.)

Linguistics

For linguistics, a prefix of 'LI>' is to used. Linguistics covers the Communications Category (or Categories).

  1. LI1 - very linguistically astute [Astrologer, Bard, Enchanter, Magent, Mystic, Runemage, Sage, & Seer]
  2. LI2 - normal scholarly [Animist, Arcanist, Channeling Alchemist, Cleric, Dabbler, Essence Alchemist, Healer, Illusionist, Lay Healer, Layman, Magician, Mana Molder, Mentalism Alchemist, Mentalist, Outrider, Priest, Sorcerer, Summoner, Swashbuckler, Warlord, & Wizard]
  3. LI3 - normal non-scholarly [Armsmaster, Chaotic, Fighter, Magehunter, Monk, Mythic, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Taoist Monk, Thief, Warrior Mage, Warrior Monk, & Zen Monk]
  4. LI4 - impaired [Barbarian]
  5. LI5 - very impaired [none]

Martial Arts

For martial art classifications, a prefix of 'MA>' is used. Martial Arts includes the Martial Arts Group, plus the Self-Control & Special Defenses skills that have "Adrenal" in their name.

Martial arts has three distinct subgroups (MA, CC and NW) reflecting different levels of dedication to the martial arts. It is not possible to change subgroups (e.g., from NW to Cc).

  1. MAW - Martial Arts Warrior [Warrior Monk]
  2. MAS - Martial Artist with spells [Monk, Taoist Monk, & Zen Monk]
  3. CC1 - Close Combatant 1 [Swashbuckler]
  4. CC2 - Close Combatant 2 [Fighter & Barbarian]
  5. CC3 - Close Combatant 3 [Outrider, Thief, & Rogue]
  6. CC4 - Close Combatant 4 [Armsmaster]
  7. NW1 - Non-Martial Warrior 1 [none]
  8. NW2 - Non-Martial Warrior 2 [Bard, Lay Healer,Layman, Magehunter, Magent, Mentalism Alchemist, Mentalist, & Seer]
  9. NW3 - Non-Martial Warrior 3 [Chaotic, Dabbler, Mythic, Ranger, Sage, & Warrior Mage]
  10. NW4 - Non-Martial Warrior 4 [Animist, Astrologer, Channeling Alchemist, Cleric, Enchanter, Healer, Mystic, Paladin, & Warlord]
  11. NW5 - Non-Martial Warrior 5 [Arcanist, Essence Alchemist, Illusionist, Magician, Mana Molder, Priest, Rune Mage, Sorcerer, Summoner, & Wizard]

Outdoor - Animal

For outdoor - animal classifications, a prefix of 'OA>' is used. Outdoor - Animal includes the Outdoor - Animal Category.

  1. OA1 - [Animist]
  2. OA2 - [Barbarian]
  3. OA3 - [Fighter & Outrider]
  4. OA4 - [Ranger & Rogue]
  5. OA5 - [Swashbuckler]
  6. OA6 - [Layman, Summoner, & Thief]
  7. OA7 - [Armsmaster, Dabbler, Magehunter, Mythic, Paladin, Sage, & Warrior Monk]
  8. OA8 - [Bard, Choatic, Magent, Monk, Taoist Monk, Warrior Mage, & Zen Monk]
  9. OA9 - [Priest]
  10. OA10 - [Arcanist, Astrologer, Channelling Alchemist, Cleric, Enchanter, Essence Alchemist, Healer, Illusionist, Lay Healer, Magician, Mana Molder, Mentalism Alchemist, Mentalist, Mystic, Runemage, Seer, Sorcerer, Warlord, & Wizard]

Outdoor - Environmental

For outdoor - environmental classifications, a prefix of 'OE>' is used. Outdoor - Environmental includes the Outdoor - Environmental Category.

  1. OE1 - [Animist]
  2. OE2 - [Barbarian & Ranger]
  3. OE3 - [none]
  4. OE4 - [Magehunter]
  5. OE5 - [Outrider & Rogue]
  6. OE6 - [Astrologer, Fighter, Layman, & Taoist Monk]
  7. OE7 - [Armsmaster, Bard, Chaotic, Dabbler, Magent, Monk, Mythic, Paladin, Sage, Swashbuckler, Thief, & Warrior Monk]
  8. OE8 - [Channelling Alchemist, Cleric, Warrior Mage, & Zen Monk]
  9. OE9 - [Priest]
  10. OE10 - [Seer]
  11. OE11 - [Arcanist, Enchanter, Essence Alchemist, Healer, Illusionist, Lay Healer, Magician, Mana Molder, Mentalism Alchemist, Mentalist, Mystic, Runemage, Sorcerer, Summoner, Warlord, & Wizard]

Spell Lists

I have addressed spell lists in a separate article on spell learning.

Subterfuge - Attack

For subterfuge - attack classifications, a prefix of 'SA>' is used. Subterfuge - Attack includes the Subterfuge - Attack Category.

  1. SA1 - [Thief]
  2. SA2 - [Barbarian & Outrider]
  3. SA3 - [Rogue & Swashbuckler]
  4. SA4 - [Magent]
  5. SA5 - [Fighter]
  6. SA6 - [Dabbler, Layman, Mythic, Sage, & Warrior Monk]
  7. SA7 - [Magehunter]
  8. SA8 - [Ranger]
  9. SA9 - [Armmaster, Monk, Taoist Monk, Warrior Mage, & Zen Monk]
  10. SA10 - [Animist & Chaotic]
  11. SA11 - [Bard, Mana Molder, & Runemage]
  12. SA12 - [Astrologer, Channeling Alchemist, Cleric, Essence Alchemist, Healer, Illusionist, Lay Healer, Magician, Mentalism Alchemist, Mentalist, Mystic, Paladin, Priest, Seer, Sorcerer, Summoner, & Warlord]
  13. SA13 - [Arcanist, Enchanter, & Wizard]

Subterfuge - Mechanics

For subterfuge - mechanics classifications, a prefix of 'SM>' is used. Subterfuge - Mechanics includes the Subterfuge - Mechanics Category.

  1. SM1 - [Thief]
  2. SM2 - [Rogue]
  3. SM3 - [Dabbler]
  4. SM4 - [Magent & Sage]
  5. SM5 - [Layman]
  6. SM6 - [none]
  7. SM7 - [Fighter, Mythic, & Swashbuckler]
  8. SM8 - [Barbarian, Outrider, & Warrior Monk]
  9. SM9 - [Bard, Monk, Ranger, Taoist Monk, Warrior Mage, & Zen Monk]
  10. SM10 - [Mage Hunter]
  11. SM11 - [Armsmaster, Chaotic, Mana Molder, & Runemage]
  12. SM12 - [Arcanist, Astrologer, Channeling Alchemist, Cleric, Essence Alchemist, Illusionist, Magician, Mentalism Alchemist, Mentalist, Mystic, Paladin, Priest, Seer, Sorcerer, Summoner, Warlord, & Wizard]
  13. SM13 - [Animist, Enchanter, Healer, & Lay Healer]

Subterfuge - Stealth

For subterfuge - stealth classifications, a prefix of 'SS>' is used. Subterfuge - Stealth includes the Subterfuge - Stealth Category.

  1. SS1 - [Outrider, Rogue, & Thief]
  2. SS2 - [Barbarian & Magent]
  3. SS3 - [Dabbler & Ranger]
  4. SS4 - [Mythic & Warrior Monk]
  5. SS5 - [Fighter, Magehunter, Swashbuckler]
  6. SS6 - [Layman & Sage]
  7. SS7 - [Bard, Chaotic, Monk, Mystic, Taoist Monk, Warrior Mage, & Zen Monk]
  8. SS8 - [Enchanter]
  9. SS9 - [Animist]
  10. SS10 - [Armsmaster, Mana Molder & Runemage]
  11. SS11 - [Arcanist, Channelling Alchemist, Cleric, Essence Alchemist, Illusionist, Magician, Mentalism Alchemist, Mentalism, Paladin, Priest, Warlord, & Wizard]
  12. SS12 - [Astrologer, Healer, Lay Healer, Seer, Sorcerer & Summoner]
  13. SS13 - [none]

Urban

For Urban classifications, a prefix of 'UR>' is used. Urban includes the Urban Category.

  1. UR1 - [Thief]
  2. UR2 - [Rogue & Swashbuckler]
  3. UR3 - [Magent]
  4. UR4 - [Dabbler]
  5. UR5 - [Bard, Enchanter, Fighter, & Mythic]
  6. UR6 - [Layman & Mystic]
  7. UR7 - [Mage Hunter & Sage]
  8. UR8 - [Seer]
  9. UR9 - [Chaotic, Outrider, Ranger, & Warrior Monk]
  10. UR10 - [Monk, Warrior Mage, & Zen Monk]
  11. UR11 - [Astrology, Channelling Alchemist, Cleric, Essence Alchemist, Illusionist, Lay Healer, Magician, Mana Molder, Mentalism Alchemist, Mentalism, Priest, Runemage, Sorcerer, Summoner, & Warlord]
  12. UR12 - [Animist, Arcanist, Armsmaster, Barbarian, Paladin, & Wizard]
  13. UR13 - [Taoist Monk]

Weapons

For weapon classifications, I have a two-tiered classification system. First, there is a general weapon classification that determines the costs for the weapon categories. A detail weapon classifications allows a character to improve the cost of a single category. Unless the character purchases the Improved Focused Weapons Learning Ability, his costs are determined by the general weapons classification.

The general classification represents how easy is it for the character to learn weapons at all, from his best weapon to the most obscure weapon. A good generalist can learn many weapon easily, whereas a poor generalist, (e.g. most spell casters), has a difficult (high DP cost) time learning any weapon.

The detailed classification focuses on individual weapons categories and each weapon category has a classification for the character. The general classification determines the base detailed classifications and imposes limits on the maximum improvement of a particular category.

Weapons - General

For Weapons (General) classifications, a prefix of 'WG>' is used. Weapons includes the Weapons Group and the Combat Manuevers Category.

  1. WG1 - Widely Diverse Weaponist [Fighter & Swashbuckler]
  2. WG2 - Diverse Weaponist [Rogue]
  3. WG3 - Well-Rounded Weaponist [Armsmaster, Barbarian, Outrider, Paladin, & Thief]
  4. WG4 - Slightly Weaponist [Layman]
  5. WG5 - Limited Weaponist [Magehunter, Mythic, & Ranger]
  6. WG6 - Very Limited Weaponist [Bard, Chaotic, Dabbler, Monk, Sage, Taoist Monk, Warrior Mage, Warrior Monk, & Zen Monk]
  7. WG7 - General Non-weaponist [Animist, Channeling Alchemist, & Cleric]
  8. WG8 - Limited Non-weaponist [Arcanist, Astrologer, Enchanter, Essence Alchemist, Healer, Illusionist, Lay Healer, Magician, Mana Molder, Mentalism Alchemist, Mentalist, Mystic, Priest, Rune Mage, Seer, Sorcerer, Summoner, Warlord, & Wizard]

Note: In the Weapons (General) Skill Development Point Cost Table, the maximum improvement row indicates the absolute best detailed weapons classification a character can obtain using talents.

Weapons - Detailed

For Weapons (Detailed) classifications, a prefix of 'WD>' is used. One Detailed classification applies for each Weapons Category.

When a character's Weapons (General) Classification is improved, only those categories that have a lower DP cost than the profession's initial DP cost are improved from it.

To determine the character's initial classifications for each of his weapon groups, use the Weapons (Detailed) Skill Development Point Cost Table, looking up the class' DP cost for that weapon category to determine its current classification.

For example, a Cleric starts at WG>WG7 (General Non-weaponist) for his Weapon (General) Classification. He uses a talent to improve it to WG>WG6, giving him, based on the Weapons (General) classification, a DP cost of 8 (WD13) in his first four weapons categories, 10 (WD15) in his fifth, 15 (WD17) in any additional weapons categories, and 5/12 in Combat Manuevers Category. It would set the maximum improvement of any weapons category to 3/9 (WD7). Looking at the standard weapon DPs costs for a cleric, his listed DP costs are 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 15, & 15. Keeping the better ones, this results in 6 (WD11), 8 (WD13), 8 (WD13) , 8 (WD13), 10 (WD15), 15 (WD17), & 15 (WD17).

Now he wants to improve his best two categories (from 6 & 8) to 3/9, so using talents he improves the classification of the 1st by 4 and the second by 6. He can not improve these two weapon categories any further.

Expanded Skill List Development Point Cost Tables

Linguistics - Skill Development Point Cost Table [LI>]
Category LI1 LI2 LI3 LI4 LI5
Communications 1/1/1 2/2/2 3/3/3 4/4 6
Martial Arts - Skill Development Point Cost Table [MA>]
Grouping Subgroup Martial Artist Close Combatant Non-Martial Warrior
Warrior w/Spells CC1 CC2 CC3 CC4 NW1 NW2 NW3 NW4 NW5
Martial Arts
Group
Strikes Cat. 1/3 2/5 2/6 3/5 3/7 3/9 3/6 3 4 6 9
Sweeps Cat. 1/3 2/5 2/6 3/5 3/7 3/9 3/6 3 4 6 9
Combat Maneuvers Cat. 3/8 4/9 4/12 5/12 5 6 5/12 6 8 12 18
Self Control Cat. "Adrenal" skills 1/3 2/4 2/5 2/7 2/7 2/7 2/6 2/7 4 5 6
Special Defenses Cat. "Adrenal" skills 4/9 6 8/15 20 25 30 12 20 25 30 30
Outdoor - Animal - Skill Development Point Cost Table [OA>]
Category OA1 OA2 OA3 OA4 OA5 OA6 OA7 OA8 OA9 OA10
Outdoor - Animal 1/2 1/3 1/4 1/5 2/4 2/5 2/6 2/7 3/6 3
Outdoor - Environmental - Skill Development Point Cost Table [OE>]
Category OE1 OE2 OE3 OE4 OE5 OE6 OE7 OE8 OE9 OE10 OE11
Outdoor - Environmental 1/2 1/3 1/4 1/5 2/4 2/5 2/6 2/7 3/6 3/7 3
Subterfuge - Attack - Skill Development Point Cost Table [SA>]
Category SA1 SA2 SA3 SA4 SA5 SA6 SA7 SA8 SA9 SA10 SA11 SA12 SA13
Subterfuge - Attack 2/6 3/9 4/8 5/10 5/12 6/12 6/14 6 8 10 12 15 16
Subterfuge - Mechanics - Skill Development Point Cost Table [SM>]
Category SM1 SM2 SM3 SM4 SM5 SM6 SM7 SM8 SM9 SM10 SM11 SM12 SM13
Subterfuge - Mechanics 1/3 2/5 2/6 2/7 3/6 3/7 3/8 3/9 4 5 6 7 8
Subterfuge - Stealth - Skill Development Point Cost Table [SS>]
Category SS1 SS2 SS3 SS4 SS5 SS6 SS7 SS8 SS9 SS10 SS11 SS12 SS13
Subterfuge - Stealth 1/3 1/4 1/5 2/4 2/5 2/6 2/7 3/6 3 4 5 6 8
Urban - Skill Development Point Cost Table [UR>]
Category UR1 UR2 UR3 UR4 UR5 UR6 UR7 UR8 UR9 UR10 UR11 UR12 UR13
Urban 1/2 1/3 1/4 1/5 2/4 2/5 2/6 3/5 3/6 3/7 3 4 6
Weapons (General) - Skill Development Point Cost Table [WG>]
Group Category WG1 WG2 WG3 WG4 WG5 WG6 WG7 WG8
Weapons Group Weapons Cat. 1-4 3/8
WD6
3/9
WD7
4
WD9
5
WD10
6
WD11
8
WD13
9
WD14
20
WD18
Weapons Cat. 5 3/8
WD6
3/9
WD7
4
WD9
6
WD11
8
WD13
10
WD15
15
WD17
20
WD18
Weapons Cat. 6+ 5
WD10
6
WD11
6
WD11
7
WD12
9
WD14
15
WD17
20
WD18
20
WD18
Maximum Improvement WD1 WD1 WD1 WD3 WD5 WD7 WD8 WD9
- Combat Manuevers Cat. 3/9 4/10 4/12 4/12 5/12 6/14 10 18
Weapons (Detailed) - Skill Development Point Cost Table [WD>]
Category WD1 WD2 WD3 WD4 WD5 WD6 WD7 WD8 WD9 WD10 WD11 WD12 WD13 WD14 WD15 WD16 WD17 WD18
specific weapon 1/5 2/5 2/7 3/6 3/7 3/8 3/9 4/10 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 15 20

New Skill Learning Talents

These talents make it easier for a character to develop specific skills.

New Skill Learning Flaws

These flaws makes it harder for a character to develop particular skills.

  • Reduced Linguistics Learning Ability: This talent indicates that the character learns languages worse than typical members of his profession. His linguistics classification is raised worsening his DP costs.
  • Reduced Subterfuge Stealth Learning Ability: This talent indicates that the character learns to be stealth worse than typical members of his profession. His subterfuge stealth classification is raised worsening his DP costs.

Skill Learning Talent & Flaw Cost Table

Talent or Flaw Specific Improvement Applicability
(Classifications)
Cost

Talents
Crafting Creative Genius DP cost reduced to 3/9 anyone 5
DP cost reduced to 2/7 anyone 10
Improved
Animal Handling
Learning Ability
classification lowered by 1 OA>OA2-10 2
classification lowered by 2 OA>OA3-10 4
classification lowered by 3 OA>OA4-10 7
classification lowered by 4 OA>OA5-10 10
classification lowered by 5 OA>OA6-10 12
classification lowered by 6 OA>OA7-10 15
classification lowered by 7 OA>OA8-10 17
classification lowered by 8 OA>OA9-10 20
Improved
Directed Spells
Learning Ability
DP Cost reduced to 3 Semi- & Non- spellcasters 10
DP Cost reduced to 2/6 Pure & Hybrid spellcasters 7
Semi-spellcasters 15
Directed Spells (generalized) is a normal skill. Pure spellcasters 15
Hybrid spellcasters 20
Improved
Focused Weapons
Learning Ability
one classification lowered by 1 WD>WD2-18* 3
one classification lowered by 2 WD>WD3-18* 5
one classification lowered by 3 WD>WD4-18* 8
one classification lowered by 4 WD>WD5-18* 10
one classification lowered by 5 WD>WD6-18* 13
one classification lowered by 6 WD>WD7-18* 15
one classification lowered by 7 WD>WD8-18* 18
one classification lowered by 8 WD>WD9-18* 20
one classification lowered by 9 WD>WD10-18* 23
one classification lowered by 10 WD>WD11-18* 25
Improved
General Weapons
Learning Ability
classification lowered by 1 WG>WG2-7 5
WG>WG8 10
classification lowered by 2 WG>WG3-7 10
WG>WG8 15
classification lowered by 3 WG>WG4-7 18
WG>WG8 23
classification lowered by 4 WG>WG5-7 25
Improved
Linguistics
Learning Ability
classification lowered by 1 LI>LI2-5 3
classification lowered by 2 LI>LI3-5 7
Improved
Martial Arts
Learning Ability
classification lowered by 1 MA>CC2-4 or MA>NW2-5 5
classification lowered by 2 MA>CC3-4 10
MA>NW3-5 12
classification lowered by 3 MA>CC4 15
MA>NW4-5 20
Improved
Outdoor Environmental
Learning Ability
classification lowered by 1 OE>OE2 3
OE>OE3-11 2
classification lowered by 2 OE>OE3 7
OE>OE4-11 4
classification lowered by 3 OE>OE4-5 10
OE>OE6-11 7
classification lowered by 4 OE>OE5-7 12
OE>OE8-11 10
classification lowered by 5 OE>OE7-8 15
OE>OE9-11 12
Improved
Subterfuge Attack
Learning Ability
classification lowered by 1 SA>SA2 13
SA>SA3-4 10
SA>SA5-13 3
classification lowered by 2 SA>SA3 20
SA>SA4 18
SA>SA5 15
SA>SA6-13 5
classification lowered by 3 SA>SA4 28
SA>SA5 20
SA>SA6 15
SA>SA7-13 8
classification lowered by 4 SA>SA6 25
SA>SA7 18
SA>SA8-13 10
classification lowered by 5 SA>SA8 23
SA>SA9-13 13
Improved
Subterfuge Mechanics
Learning Ability
classification lowered by 1 SM>SM2 13
SM>SM3-13 3
classification lowered by 2 SM>SM3 17
SM>SM4-13 5
classification lowered by 3 SM>SM4 23
SM>SM5-13 8
classification lowered by 4 SM>SM6-13 10
classification lowered by 5 SM>SM8-13 13
classification lowered by 6 SM>SM10-13 17
Improved
Subterfuge Stealth
Learning Ability
classification lowered by 1 SS>SS2 5
SS>SS3-13 3
classification lowered by 2 SS>SS3 8
SS>SS4-13 5
classification lowered by 3 SS>SS4 13
SS>SS5-13 8
classification lowered by 4 SS>SS6-13 12
classification lowered by 5 SS>SS8-13 15
Improved
Urban Interacting
Learning Ability
classification lowered by 1 UR>UR2-13 2
classification lowered by 2 UR>UR3-13 4
classification lowered by 3 UR>UR4-13 7
classification lowered by 4 UR>UR5-13 10
classification lowered by 5 UR>UR7-13 12
classification lowered by 6 UR>UR9-13 15
Magic Crafting
Ability
access as Restricted Lists Pure spellcaster 8
Hybrid spellcaster 10
access as Closed Lists Pure spellcaster 12
Hybrid spellcaster 15
access as Base Lists Pure spellcaster 25
Hybrid spellcaster 30
Potion Brewing
Ability
access as Restricted Lists Pure & Hybrid spellcasters 3
access as Closed Lists Pure & Hybrid spellcasters 7
access as Base Lists Pure & Hybrid spellcasters 12

Flaws
Reduced Linguistics
Learning Ability
classification raised by 1 LI>LI1-4 -3
classification raised by 2 LI>LI1-3 -5
Reduced
Subterfuge Steath
Learning Ability
classification raised by 1 SS>SS1-12 -2
classification raised by 2 SS>SS1-11 -4
classification raised by 3 SS>SS1-10 -7
classification raised by 4 SS>SS1-9 -10

* indicates that this particular talent has additional restrictions on who may take it described in its full description.

Advanced Training Options

Rules Applicable to all Advanced Training Options:

  1. Advanced Training requires that a given amount of time (days or weeks) be spent on it. Eight hours must be spent on the training each day.
  2. Advanced Training requires a permanent EP expediture by the spell learner. This experience assessed assumes that experience earned by the training itself by the student is applied to the training itself (and should not be awarded by the gamemaster to the character). If the remaining EPs of the character are less than that required for the current level of the character, the current level does not drop nor does the experience point total for the next level change. (Expended experience points do not count towards level advancement.)
  3. Instructors should be highly skilled in the subject and usually require some form of payment for their time.
  4. If a new talent is gained, no new flaw is required to be added to offset it as the experience point expenditure covers the cost.
  5. It is possible for two individuals to each train each other simultaneously provided they devote all their time to it and have no other students.

Extensive Conditioning

General Notes: This training results in a new talent being added. Instructors can teach 1 student for every five ranks in the skill (round down) simultaneously.

Time: 2xN weeks - Discount%. Discount% calculation varies by talent. Absolute Minimum Time: N/2 weeks.

Experience Point Expenditure: 1000xN EPs. Where: N is the talent point cost of the gained talent.

Special Note: Gamemasters may choose to make the Special Training Talents from Character Law (Talent Law in RMSS) available through special conditioning as well. For the discount%, the gamemaster may use a standard discount% of [3 x Student's SD stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]% or may select other stat bonuses that should be used (student's 3, teacher's 2) based on the talent in question. In addition, gamemasters should feel free to increase the time required if appropriate to the ability gained.

Animal Handling Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved Animal Handling Learning Ability. The instructor must be good at animal handling (OA>OA1-4), at least equal to the classification being attained by the student, have at least 10 ranks in the Outdoor Animal category and at least 3 skills within the category with 8 ranks or more.
Discount%: [2 x Student's SD stat bonus + 1x Student's Em stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

Directed Spells Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved Directed Spells Learning Ability [(lesser) or (minor) versions only]. The instructor must be a pure or hybrid spellcaster who is good with the Directed Spells having at least 10 ranks in one Directed Spell skill.
Discount%: [3 x Student's SD stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

Focused Weapons Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved Focused Weapons Learning Ability. The instructor must be a good with the Weapon Category (WD>WD1-7), at least equal to the classification being attained by the student, and have at least 2 weapon skill ranks in different weapons within that categories that exceed 5.
Discount%: [3 x Student's SD stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

General Weapons Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved General Weapons Learning Ability. The instructor must be a good with Weapons (WG>WG1, WG>WG2 or WG>WG3), at least equal to the classification being attained by the student, and have at least 5 weapon skill ranks in different weapon categories that exceed 5.
Discount%: [3 x Student's SD stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

Linguistics Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved Linguistics Learning Ability. The instructor must be a good with languages (LI>LI1 or LI>LI2), at least equal to the classification being attained by the student, and have at least 5 languages spoken and written to at least 8 ranks.
Discount%: [1 x Student's Re stat bonus + 2 x Student's Me stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

Martial Arts Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved Martial Arts Learning Ability. The instructor must be a martial artist (MA>MAW or MA>MAS) and be at least 10th level and know at least one skill within each category within the Martial Arts Group to at least 10 ranks.
Discount%: [3 x Student's SD stat bonus + 2x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

Outdoor Environmental Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved Outdoor Environmental Learning Ability. The instructor must be good in the outdoors (OE>OE1-4), at least equal to the classification being attained by the student, have at least 10 ranks in the Outdoor Environmental category and at least 3 skills in the category to at least 8 ranks.
Discount%: [2 x Student's SD stat bonus + 1x Student's Em stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

Subterfuge Attack Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved Subterfuge Attack Learning Ability. The instructor must be good in at subterfuge attack (SA>SA1-4), at least equal to the classification being attained by the student, have at least 10 ranks in the Subterfuge Attack category and at least 2 skills in the category to at least 10 ranks.
Discount%: [3 x Student's SD stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

Subterfuge Mechanics Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved Subterfuge Mechanics Learning Ability. The instructor must be good in at subterfuge mechanics (SM>SM1-4), at least equal to the classification being attained by the student, have at least 10 ranks in the Subterfuge Mechanics category and at least 4 skills in the category to at least 8 ranks.
Discount%: [3 x Student's SD stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

Subterfuge Stealth Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved Subterfuge Stealth Learning Ability. The instructor must be good in at subterfuge stealth (SS>SS1-4), at least equal to the classification being attained by the student, have at least 10 ranks in the Subterfuge Stealth category and at least 2 skills in the category to at least 10 ranks.
Discount%: [3 x Student's SD stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

Urban Interaction Conditioning

This training gives the talent, Improved Urban Interacting Learning Ability. The instructor must be good in the urban environment (OE>OE1-4), at least equal to the classification being attained by the student, have at least 10 ranks in the Urban category and at least 3 skills in the category to at least 8 ranks.
Discount%: [3 x Student's SD stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%

Example of Extensive Conditioning

Morphius the Mentalist (Martial Arts classification MA>NW2, +7 SD stat bonus) has convinced Chi Chung the Warrior Monk (12th level with the necessary ranks in martial arts skills, +4 Re Stat Bonus) to help condition him to use and learn martial arts in the future (i.e. gaining the talent Improved Martial Arts Ability (lesser)). N=5, the cost of the talent. This will take 7.1 weeks (2x5 - (3x7+2x4)%, i.e. 10 - 29%)) and the permanent expenditure of 5000 EPs (1000x5) by Morphius. At the end of the training, Morphius has the Martial Arts classification of MA>NW1 and has an easier time improving his martial arts skills.

In-Depth Alchemist Training

General Notes: This training results in the talent Magic Crafting Ability or the talent Potion Brewing Ability being added. Instructors, who must be Alchemists or already have the talent being taught and must be at least 10th level, can teach 1 student for every five Levels (round down) simultaneously.

Time: 2.5xN weeks - [3 x Student's Re stat bonus + 2 x Teacher's Re stat bonus]%. Absolute Minimum Time: N weeks.

Experience Point Expenditure: 1000xN EPs. Where: N is the talent point cost of the gained talent.

Dedicated Skill Training

General Notes: This training results in gaining a rank in a skill. The teacher must know more ranks in the skill than the learner with a minimum of 5 ranks known. Instructors can teach 1 student for every three levels (round down) simultaneously.

Time: 5xN days - [3x student's Re Stat bonus + 2x teacher's Re stat bonus + teacher's skill ranks - student's current skill ranks]%. Absolute Minimum Time: 2xN days.

Experience Point Expenditure: 100xN EPs. Where: N is the student's DP cost for the skill. and N is doubled if the student has already learned the normal maximum ranks gained per level since he gained his last level.

Example of Dedicated Skill Training

Brutus the Fighter (7th level, Re Status bonus +1, 4 ranks in Picking Locks) has convinced Nimble the Thief (13th level, Re Stat bonus +4, 21 ranks in Picking Locks) to help him improve the skill, Picking Locks. Brutus' DP cost for picking locks is 3/8 so the N=3. The training will take 10.8 days (5x3 - [3x1 + 2X4 + 21 - 4]%, i.e. 15 - 28%) and require the permanent expenditure of 300 EPs. Once it is completed, Brutus will have 5 ranks in Picking Locks.

Rapid Similiar Skill Training

General Notes: This training results in gaining one or more ranks in a skill very similar to another skill that the individual knows well. The student must have at least 10 ranks in the skill which is very similiar (it is up to the gamemaster to decide if, for example, light crossbow is similiar to heavy crossbow, but not to a short bow) and 5 ranks in the Category. The teacher must know more ranks in the skill to be learned than the learner, have at least 10 ranks in the both skills. Instructors can teach 1 student for every three levels (round down) simultaneously. The student may only raise the skill to half (round down) the ranks of the similiar skill. It also can not be raised above the student's ranks in the category through this training.

Time: NxR days - [3x student's Re Stat bonus + 2x teacher's Re stat bonus]%. Absolute Minimum Time: 0.4xNxR days.

Experience Point Expenditure: 20xNxR EPs. Where: N is the student's DP cost for the skill and R is the number of ranks to be gained.

Example of Rapid Similar Skill Training

Ragnar the Ranger (+3 Re stat bonus, 20 ranks in long bow, 10 ranks in missle weapons category, & 0 ranks in short bow) has convinced Wilhelm the Master Archer (+6 Re stat bonus, 25 ranks in long bow & 15 ranks in short bow) to help him learn the short bow using his knowledge of the long bow. Ragnar has decided to rapidly learn 10 ranks in short bow (so R=10). Ragnar's DP cost for missile weapons is 3/7 so N=3. This will take 23.7 days (3x10 - [3x3 + 2x6]%, i.e, 30 - 21%) and require the expenditure of 600 EPs (20x3x10). At the end of the training Ragnar has 10 ranks in Short Bow.

Skill Learning Magic Items

In this section, I present a variety of magic items used to enhance skill learning. I have tried to list some applicable options for each item to permit (and encourage) gamemaster creativity with these types of magic items.

Item of Conditioning (specific conditioning)

This intelligent magic item helps the user to adapt his conditioning, mental and physical, to better learn particular skills. While the character uses (wears) the item, it provides the benefits of one of the Improved Learning Ability talents (above).

Options

  • Maximum Benefit - With this option, the item can only help learn up to a given number of ranks in the skill at the reduced cost. This can be per person or an strict skill rank level or both.
  • Additional Enchantments - With this option, the item can have additional enchantments not associated with skill learning, such as adding a bonus to the skill.
  • Additional Limitations - With this option, the item can only help certain skills associated with the talent and not all of them.

Sample Items

  • Belt of Judo Martial Arts Style Conditioning (limit: 10 ranks & only martial arts skills associated with the Judo Martial Arts Style) +5. This red cloth belt provides a +5 to all skills associated with the Judo Martial Art Style (see Martial Arts Companion) and for those skills, provides the benefit of Improved Martial Arts Learning Ability (one classification of improvement) for those eligible for that talent.
  • Headband of Linguistics Conditioning (limit: 8 ranks spoken, 6 ranks written). This 2" wide cloth headband grants the wearer the talent Improved Linguistics Learning Ability (one classification of improvement) for wearers eligible for the talent while they wear the headband.

Item of Skill Learning (specific skill)

This intelligent magic item appropriate to the skill assists the user in learning this skill. It communicates to the user on how to improve the skill, provides commentaries on how well or poorly the user is doing in using the skill, etc. The user can learn this skill as an Everyman skill.

Options

  • Maximum Benefit - with this option, the item can only help learn up to a given number of ranks in the skill. This can be per person or an strict skill rank level or both.
  • Exceptional Teacher - with this option, the skill is treated as Occupational. It may have a threshold (specified number of ranks) where the benefit reverts to Everyman.
  • Multiple Skills - with this option, the item addresses multiple skills. Different options may apply to each skill.
  • Associated Price to be Paid - with this option, the character must pay the associated price (set by the gamemaster; examples include sacrifice, ritual, quest, PPs given to the item (over time), etc.) to benefit from the item.
  • Restricted Use - with this option, only characters of certain professions, realm(s), races, and/or knowledge(s) (such as passwords) may benefit from the item.
  • Additional Enchantments - with this option, the item can have additional enchantments not associated with skill learning, such as adding a bonus to the skill.
  • Large Stationary Teaching Item - with this option, the item is a large non-movable item/spirit/being associated with a specific place that has the writings/depictions/understandings/knowledge imbedded in/on itself, and the character must spend extensive time there examining or listening to it to benefit from it. The item may be non-intelligent.

Sample Items

  • Broadsword of Learning +10 (limit: 10 ranks). This normal looking broadsword provides a +10 bonus to the broadsword skill, has low intelligence, communicates with the wielder telepathically on his technique in using the sword allowing the wielder to learn broadsword as an Everyman skill up to 10 ranks in the skill.
  • Statue of Exceptional Learning of Philosophy (limit: 2 ranks developed as Occupational, and 2 more developed as Everyman). This 6 foot tall stone statue of a human male wearing a toga and sandals. There is a 3 foot stone base extending 5 feet in front of the statue with stone benches built in it facing the statue (weighs 5 tons). It is highly intelligent, non-mobile, and talks philosophy (and nothing else) with anyone who wants to discuss it. An individual who spends 40 hours talking to it can spend DPs to learn one rank as an Occupational (Everyman) skill (and thus gain three (two) ranks) up to the specified limits. It can help with philosophical questions (it has a +124 in the philosophy skill).
  • Wand of Learning Directed Spells +15 (limit: 12 ranks, attunement required). This copper wand provides a +15 bonus to directed spells skills, has low intelligence, communicates (in a high-pitched squeeky voice) with the attuned user, commenting on his technique and aim with directed spells allowing the attuned user to learn directed spells skills as Everyman skills up to 12 ranks in the skill.

This builds upon learning skills as defined in the Rolemaster Standard System [RMSS] and Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing [RMFRP]. Copyright 1995-2000 © Iron Crown Enterprises, Inc., Charlottesville, Virginia USA. Rolemaster is a trademark properties of Iron Crown Enterprises, Inc. (ICE). All rights reserved.

A special thanks goes to Peter Mork, author of the Rolemaster supplement School of Hard Knocks, for his comments and suggestions.

© 2003 Thomas A. Stobie, SFO - Permission to use and copy for personal use is granted.

Last revised 22 Dec 2003.