Rolemaster Blogging

Copyright Peter Rudin-Burgess © 2014

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

"GMs are naturally creative people, we are world builders and story tellers beyond all else but Rolemaster allows for just that bit more creativity"

There was a discussion over on the Iron Crown forums about where all the fan blogs for Rolemaster are. My first response was to point the person here to the Guild Companion as this brings together content from many sources. Simply Googling for Rolemaster blogs brings up tens of thousands of results most of which are individual posts about Rolemaster but there are some fan sites out there.

The person who first asked the question made the comparison between the plethora of D&D sites and the communities that have sprung up around them and the relatively small Rolemaster community and this got me thinking.

Firstly, I should point out that I have not played any form of D&D for more than 20 years so my perceptions and assumptions about the game could be way off. I recently started a new game and gave my players the choice of system of D&D or Rolemaster just for the nostalgia of it and they unanimously rejected D&D in favour of Rolemaster citing the same objections that I have against D&D.

Going back to the online communities and blogging, D&D is undeniably the granddaddy of all the fantasy role playing games and should have the biggest following both on and off line but looking at just the top line of search results for every 1,000 results on a search for Rolemaster there are nearly 100,000 for the same search for D&D. The age of the games should not really a factor as both predate the Internet age and the age of players is not really a factor as the demographics I have seen is pretty much the same for all roleplaying games. I think this is down to the value of the content being produced.

What I mean by that is that all GMs are naturally creative people, we are world builders and story tellers beyond all else but Rolemaster allows for just that bit more creativity than the D&D rules as I remember them. Every NPC and villain is hand crafted and moulded to fit the story in a way that I could never do in D&D. I am playing a PBP Spacemaster game and it has taken two months to build and craft my character, I am building an NPC to join my players party and it has taken a week of turning over ideas to get her just how I want her and I am still not finished with her.

In the same vein every Rolemaster game I have played in has had house rules that have had a significant impact on character creation making the characters in one game significantly weaker or more powerful in another person’s game. Rolemaster GMs not only create the game world but they craft and mould the magical fabric of the world more often than not as well. All of this must make Rolemaster content less transferable. I also suspect that the sheer amount of creative energy that goes into a game world makes GMs less inclined to share their content while their games are running; no one wants to give away key information the players would not know. Once a game or campaign ends then the GM is busy beavering away at hand crafting the next world and not looking back at what has gone before.

A final factor that seems to stifle Rolemaster blogs is the compatibility of the rules system. As a GM who would consider blogging do you quote the stats for every flavour of Rolemaster or just the one you play? I know I certainly wouldn’t do the conversions. If you want to lift my content then it is up to you to make it fit your world.

In the original forum discussion I argued that I thought active Rolemaster themed blogs would potentially bring more new blood into not only Rolemaster but all AA or ICE products. I even suggested that in my opinion there was a lot of merit of turning this site into a blog and inviting comment directly within the content pages themselves, sharing the content immediately to the guild companion social media channels and generally showing the world how alive and vibrant the Rolemaster community is. At present everything interactive is either on Facebook or on the forums but nowhere in between, nothing connects them and says we are here!

I am never one to leave things ‘in theory’ so I have set up a Rolemaster blog and I intend to keep on blogging about Rolemaster (RM2) and my experience with play by post and sharing my observations about Spacemaster where that doesn’t harm my GMs game in any way. I am also running a game and I am more than willing to share material from that as well.

This is in no way intended to be an extended advert for my new blog but what I am particularly interested in is what sort of content would you be interested in? I have only created a single post so far at the time of writing and the site is still very much in an ongoing process of development. Obviously the opinions and ideas expressed on the blog will be entirely my own and I am in no way connected with AA, ICE or the Guild Companion and I am effectively a nobody and have no more experience than anyone else. That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t share my ideas but it does mean that all of your ideas and comments are just as valid as mine and I am perfectly happy to publicly share them in the format that blogging does so well. If I post one thing and it prompts a desire to know more or you want to see the idea expanded then let me know and I will try and provide the content that you all want to read or can use.

About the author:

I have been playing Rolemaster since shortly after I discovered MERP in the mid 80s. I have been a member of the Iron Crown forums since 2012 and now I am the proud parent of www.rolemasterblog.com.