Forgotten Realms conversion to Rolemaster

Copyright Charles Morris © 2012

Edited by Aaron Smalley for The Guild Companion

"So how is it I can get a group of players interested in playing Rolemaster? My method was simple use a gaming world that everyone has at least some experience with. Forgotten Realms is an extremely detailed world that presents a slew of possible choices for a GM to run a group through."

Overview and Cultures

So how is it I can get a group of players interested in playing Rolemaster? My method was simple use a gaming world that everyone has at least some experience with. Forgotten Realms is an extremely detailed world that presents a slew of possible choices for a GM to run a group through.

Converting these races into Rolemaster stats is not a simple task and information can come from many sources in an attempt to as closely as possible render a race in another game system. The races in the following articles are based on the 3e ruleset as there is quite a bit of variance between each edition. My primary source was Races of Faerūn through Shining South, Underdark, Unapproachable East and the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting book was also used to varying degrees. I would highly recommend picking up these volumes as what you will see below merely touches on what it is to play a character of any of these races.

Height, Weight, Lifespan and Languages known were taken directly from the above sourcebooks where possible. Occasionally missing data required me to search the web or in rare cases create the information on my own.

Though many Forgotten Realm races have multiple special abilities the most used races tend to be less powerful in comparison to characters coming from Middle Earth. I attempted where possible to use spells directly from Spell Law or already created talents from Character Law to simplify things. A number of the special abilities and inabilities had to be created from scratch to get the feel as close as possible.

The professions mentioned in each race's description are in order of likelihood an adventurer from that race would be a particular profession. Choosing which profession is most suited is based on each race's description in the source books. Pure Clerics are nearly non-existent in Forgotten Realms in my opinion. They are instead Priests with varying spell lists and profession bonuses based on each deity. Hopefully a future article will break down each Forgotten Realms deity into the structure created in the Channeling Companion.

I use alignment in my campaign, however, if you do not simply ignore it in the article.

Special Skills and Standard Hobby Ranks are selected according to the racial descriptions and there are likely skills that are appropriate that were missed (though hopefully not many).

How many Background Options a race receives is based on the rules on page 174 of Gamemaster Law. Below the Talent Points is a bit of math on how I determined the number. Feel free to adjust if you feel I estimated improperly (special ability cost can be subjective).

Conversion of ability score bonuses to Rolemaster stat bonuses can be a bit tricky as some of the bonuses could be considered overpowered if converted improperly. Since 3e has only 6 stats and Rolemaster (RM) has 10 some adjustments had to be made.

3e RM
Strength Strength
Constitution Constitution
Dexterity Agility, Quickness*
Intelligence Empathy, Reasoning, Memory*
Wisdom Intuition, Self Discipline*
Charisma Presence

*secondary stat

3e RM primary RM secondary
+2 +4 +2
+4 +6 +4
+6/+8 +8 +6
+10 +10 +8
+12 +12 +10
+16 +16 +12

As an example an avariel elf has 3e ability bonuses of +4 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom and +2 Intelligence. In RM terms this becomes +6 Agility, +4 Quickness, -4 Constitution, +4 Intuition, +2 Self Discipline, +4 Empathy, +4 Reasoning, and +2 Memory.

Resistance Roll conversions were much easier as a +1 in 3e becomes a +5 in RM. Full immunity in 3e is +100 in RM.

To convert the Body Development, Channeling PP, Essence PP and Mentalism PP was more of a judgment call based on the race's description.

Hope that you enjoy the articles and find something you can use in your campaign!

First to be covered here are the Human cultures. Next month we will cover the Human races and character development relative to the Forgotten Realms. Then in the following months, we will cover other races and cultures from the Forgotten Realms setting.

ROLEMASTER CULTURES

Human, Barbarian

Any number of peoples far from civilization typically the Uthgardt tribes but could also mean tribes that live in jungles or other areas separated from civilization.

Other Factors

Special Skills: Everyman: Frenzy, all Outdoor - Environmental skills; Restricted: all written Language skills.

Standard Hobby Ranks: Adrenal Toughness, Ambush, all Armor - Light skills, Athletic Games [Brawn], Body Development, Brawling, Climbing, Control Lycanthropy [Grey Wolf Uthgardt Tribe only], Cooking [Curing], Crafts [Barber, Fletching, Furrier, Sewing/Weaving, Skinning, Trapping], Direction Sense, Fauna Lore [Own Region], First Aid, Flora Lore [Own Region], Foraging, Hiding, Jumping, Leather-crafts [Cobbler, Tanner], Observation, Orienteering, Region Lore [Own], Riding, Rope Mastery, Signaling, Sprinting, Stalking, Stunned Maneuvering, Survival [Own Region], Swimming, Tactics [Small Unit/Hunting Party], Tale Telling, Tracking, Weather Watching, any Weapon skills, Wood-crafts [Wood Carving], Wrestling.

Background Options

Background Options: Add total below to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity.

Hits/Power -15, RR 0, Stats 15, Sleep/End/Size/Rec Mult 0, Every/Rest 5, Adol Ranks 14, Talents/Flaws 0 = 19. Add 19 to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity or other race's numbers to determine total Talent Points.

Stat Bonuses:
Ag: -2
Co: +4
Me: +0
Re: +0
SD: -2
Em: +0
In: +0
Pr: +4
Qu: -2
St: +4

RR Mods:
Ess: +0
Chan: +0
Ment: +0
Poison: +0
Disease: +0

Body Dev. Progression: 0-7-5-3-1

Channeling PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Essence PP Dev. Progression: 0-3-2-1-1

Mentalism PP Dev. Progression: 0-3-2-1-1

Human, Mariner

Mariners have lived their entire lives within a few miles of Faerūn's coasts.

Other Factors

Special Skills: Everyman: Rope Mastery, Rowing, Sailing, Star-gazing; Restricted: None.

Standard Hobby Ranks: Acrobatics, Acting, Ambush, Appraisal, any Armor skills, Basic Math, Boat Pilot, Body Development, Brawling, Bribery, Climbing, Cooking [any], Crafts [Dying, Embroidery, Net Making, Sail Making, Valet], Cultural Lore, Dancing, Diplomacy, Diving, Fauna Lore [Ocean or Lake], First Aid, Foraging, Gambling, Heraldry, Hiding, History, Jumping, Languages, Leadership, Leather-crafting [Tooler], Mapping, Metal-crafting [Blacksmithing, Tooler], Military Organization, Navigation, Observation, Operating Equipment, Orienteering, Painting, Public Speaking, Rappelling, Region Lore [Own], Riding, Rope Mastery, Rowing, Sailing, Sculpting, Signaling, Singing, Sprinting, Stalking, Star-gazing, Swimming, Tactics [Naval, Small Unit/Boarding Party], Tracking, Trading, Trading Lore, Trickery, any Weapon skills, Weather Watching, Wood-crafting [Carpentry, Building, Shipwright], Wrestling.

Background Options

Background Options: Add total below to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity.

Hits/Power 30, RR 0, Stats 25, Sleep/End/Size/Rec Mult 0, Every/Rest 4, Adol Ranks 6, Talents/Flaws 0 = 65. Add 65 to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity or other race's numbers to determine total Talent Points.

Stat Bonuses:
Ag: +0
Co: +2
Me: +0
Re: +0
SD: +2
Em: +2
In: +0
Pr: +2
Qu: +0
St: +2

RR Mods:
Ess: +0
Chan: +0
Ment: +0
Poison: +0
Disease: +0

Body Dev. Progression: 0-6-4-2-1

Channeling PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Essence PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Mentalism PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Human, Nomad

The term refers to the many nomadic peoples who live in the plains and steppes. These nomadic tribes and confederations are ever in search of territory and wealth and have been known to invade the lands of their neighbors.

Other Factors

Special Skills: Everyman: Mounted Combat skill and all Outdoor - Animal skills usually involving horses though any riding animal is a possibility; Restricted: None. Standard Hobby Ranks: Acrobatics, Ambush, all Artistic - Active skills, all Armor - Light skills, Attunement, Body Development, Contortions, Cooking [Baking, Curing], Crafts [Bone-carving, Crewelwork, Fletching, Furrier, Guide, Sewing/Weaving, Skinning, Trapping], Distance Learning, Fauna Lore, Foraging, Hiding, Jumping, Leather-crafting [all], Metal-crafting [Tooler, Weaponsmithing], Military Organization, Mounted Combat, Observation, Orienteering, all Outdoor - Animal skills [Horses and Hunting Dog], Painting [Body Painting], Rope Mastery, Signaling, Stalking, Star-gazing, Tactics [Cavalry, Small Unit/Hunting Party], Tale Telling, Thrown and Missile Weapon skills, Tracking, any Weapon skills, Weather-watching, Wood-crafting [Cartwright, Wheelwright, Wood Carving].

Background Options

Background Options: Add total below to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity.

Hits/Power 30, RR 0, Stats 25, Sleep/End/Size/Rec Mult 0, Every/Rest 9, Adol Ranks 13, Talents/Flaws 0 = 77. Add 77 to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity or other race's numbers to determine total Talent Points.

Stat Bonuses:
Ag: +0
Co: +2
Me: +0
Re: +0
SD: +2
Em: +2
In: +0
Pr: +2
Qu: +0
St: +2

RR Mods:
Ess: +0
Chan: +0
Ment: +0
Poison: +0
Disease: +0

Body Dev. Progression: 0-6-4-2-1

Channeling PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Essence PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Mentalism PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Human, Rural

This group traditionally lives in the hills and highlands. Many have become farmers and herders and make up majority populations in many rural areas. Others remain pure and live in the foothills and mountain vales.

Other Factors

Special Skills: Everyman: Driving, Herding, Horticulture, Hunting, any one Play Instrument, Poetic Improvisation, Singing, and Tale Telling; Restricted: None.

Standard Hobby Ranks: Acrobatics, Acting, Ambush, any Armor - Light skills, Attunement, Boat Pilot, Body Development, Cooking [any], Brawling, Climbing, Crafts [Barber, Candle maker, Fletching, Furrier, Horticulture, Knitting, Miller, Potter, Quilting, Roofer, Scribe, Sewing/Weaving, Skinning, Spinner, Tailor, Tattooing, Wicker Worker], Dowsing, Fauna Lore [Own Region], First Aid, Flora Lore [Own Region], Foraging, Herb Lore, Hiding, History [Local Area], Horticulture, Hunting, Jumping, Leather-crafting [any], Metal-crafting [Blacksmithing, Foundry, Tooler], Observation, all Outdoor - Animal skills [almost any type of farm animal is possible], Painting [Body Painting], Play Instrument, Poetic Improvisation, Public Speaking, Region Lore [Own], Rope Mastery, Scaling, Sewing/Weaving, Skinning, Singing, Sprinting, Stalking, Star-gazing, Stone-crafting [Brick Maker, Masonry, Stone Cutter], Swimming, Tactics [Militia], Tale Telling, Tracking, Trading, any Weapon skills, Weather Watching, Wood-crafting [all but Shipwright], Wrestling.

Background Options

Background Options: Add total below to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity.

Hits/Power 30, RR 0, Stats 25, Sleep/End/Size/Rec Mult 0, Every/Rest 9, Adol Ranks 5, Talents/Flaws 0 = 69. Add 69 to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity or other race's numbers to determine total Talent Points.

Stat Bonuses:
Ag: +0
Co: +2
Me: +0
Re: +0
SD: +2
Em: +2
In: +0
Pr: +0
Qu: +0
St: +2

RR Mods:
Ess: +0
Chan: +0
Ment: +0
Poison: +0
Disease: +0

Body Dev. Progression: 0-6-4-2-1

Channeling PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Essence PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Mentalism PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Human, Urban

This is a generalized label for the town and city folk of Faerūn. Urban men contain varying degrees of many races so there is a wide variety. This category represents men born and raised in major towns and cities.

Other Factors

Special Skills: Everyman: all skills in the Urban category; Restricted: None.

Standard Hobby Ranks: Acrobatics, Acting, Ambush, Animal Handling, Appraisal, any Armor skills, any Artistic skill, Begging, Boat Piloting, Body Development, Brawling, Climbing, Contortions, Cooking [any], Crafts [all but Furrier, Net Maker, Sail Maker, Skinning, Trapping], Dancing, Directed Spells, First Aid, Gambling, History [Own], all Influence skills, Juggling, Jumping, Languages, Leather-crafting [any], Lie Perception, Metal-crafting [any], Observation, Painting, Play Instrument, Power Point Development, Read Runes, Region Lore [Own], Riding, Sculpting, Singing, Spell Lists, Stilt-walking, Stone-crafting [all but Brick Maker and Stone Cutter], all Subterfuge - Mechanics and Stealth skills, Tightrope-walking, any Urban skills, any Weapon skills, Wood-crafting [any but Shipwright], Wrestling.

Background Options

Background Options: Add total below to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity.

Hits/Power 30, RR 0, Stats 20, Sleep/End/Size/Rec Mult 0, Every/Rest 4, Adol Ranks 6, Talents/Flaws 0 = 60. Add 60 to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity or other race's numbers to determine total Talent Points.

Stat Bonuses:
Ag: +0
Co: +2
Me: +0
Re: +0
SD: +2
Em: +2
In: +0
Pr: +0
Qu: +0
St: +2

RR Mods:
Ess: +0
Chan: +0
Ment: +0
Poison: +0
Disease: +0

Body Dev. Progression: 0-6-4-2-1

Channeling PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Essence PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Mentalism PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Human, Woodsman

The Woodsmen have long dwelt in the great forests. They are a loose tribe of hunter/gatherers who live in or below the trees as extended families, bands or clans.

Other Factors

Special Skills: Everyman: Climbing, Foraging, Hiding, Hunting, Tracking; Restricted: None.

Standard Hobby Ranks: Acrobatics, Ambush, Animal Handling [Hunting Dog], Animal Training [Hunting Dog], any Armor - Light skills, Body Development, Climbing, Cooking [all but Winery], Crafts [Barber, Candle Maker, Crewelwork, Fletching, Furrier, Guide, Horticulture, Knitting, Potter, Quilting, Sewing/Weaving, Skinning, Tailoring, Taxidermist, Trapping], Dancing, Distance Running, Fauna Lore [Own Region], First Aid, Flora Lore [Own Region], Foraging, Hiding, Jumping, Leather-crafting [any], Mimicry, Observation, any Play Instrument skill, Rappelling, Read Runes, Region Lore [Own], Rope Mastery, Signaling, Singing, Sprinting, Stalking, Swimming, Tale Telling, Tightrope-walking, Tracking, Trap Building, any Weapon skills, Wood-crafting [any but Shipwright].

Background Options

Background Options: Add total below to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity.

Hits/Power 30, RR 0, Stats 25, Sleep/End/Size/Rec Mult 0, Every/Rest 5, Adol Ranks 8, Talents/Flaws 0 = 68. Add 68 to the appropriate Forgotten Realms Ethnicity or other race's numbers to determine total Talent Points.

Stat Bonuses:
Ag: +0
Co: +2
Me: +0
Re: +0
SD: +2
Em: +2
In: +0
Pr: +2
Qu: +0
St: +2

RR Mods:
Ess: +0
Chan: +0
Ment: +0
Poison: +0
Disease: +0

Body Dev. Progression: 0-6-4-2-1

Channeling PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Essence PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3

Mentalism PP Dev. Progression: 0-6-5-4-3