Looking forward, the multiple variations of Rolemaster will be unified into a single Rolemaster system. This new edition of Rolemaster will include the best of all versions of Rolemaster as well as new enhancements and improvements to the Rolemaster system for the 21st-century.
The vanguard of the new Rolemaster edition will be five books – Arms Law, Spell Law, Character Law, Creatures, and Treasures. In due course, these will be followed by other products such as a multi-adventure set, a new Campaign Law, a Rolemaster System Handbook for Shadow World, and many more.
Once we had announced our plans, we were faced with a number of questions which we have done our best to answer below:
Qu 1: What is the status of the new unified Rolemaster products?
Currently Character Law, Arms Law and Spell Law are available to the public for Playtesting. For more information on how to become a playtester, please see Qu 3. We plan on releasing “creatures” and “Treasures” for public playtest in the future.
Qu 2: Is this a new edition of Rolemaster?
In some ways, it is a new edition. In some ways, it is very much a “best of” drawing upon the best ideas of the past three decades along with various other enhancements and improvements. It is not a cut-and-paste job but remains definitively and definitely Rolemaster.
The RPG industry and the hobby have been around a long time now with a myriad of mechanics explored in games mainstream and indie. For a game to survive and to flourish, it needs quality and stability in order to attract and maintain the interest of players and GMs, and it needs to be supported by its publisher.
Of course you as fans have to give unified Rolemaster a chance and support it in turn as that support enables us to produce more products for it, encourages software creators to develop high-quality virtual tabletops and support tools, and so on. Living, growing rpg systems attract more players and GMs, which means more opportunities for existing gamers to find new folk to game with. A win for everyone.
Qu 3: What happens next? How can I become a playtester?
The Rolemaster Public Playtest files are now exclusively available for you to playtest FOR FREE on the ICE Forum.
How To Play Your Part
1. Go to the Forum on the ICE website
2. Are you already a member of the ICE forums? If your answer is Yes, then go to Step 4. If your answer is No, then go to Step 3.
3. Register on the ICE forums as a new member
4. As a registered forum member, you will be able to see the Playtest Forums
5. Go to the various Playtesting Agreement and Playtest File threads, read and agree to the terms, then download the Public Playtest files
If you are a GM, tell your players that they need to get their own copies of the Playtest Files. If you are a player, tell your fellow players and your GM that they need to get their own Playtest File copies. No sharing, please. Just Steps 1 to 5 and its FREE to playtest.
Now come the fun parts. Read the Playtest files and try the new rules. Build characters and fight duels of steel and sorcery. Run the new rules in sandbox scenarios. Convert your existing game to the new Rolemaster and roll those open-ended dice.
Then post your thoughts, your comments, your opinions on what works and what does not, your solutions to any problems, and your playtest reports on the Playtest Forum.
Playtesters who make contributions will find their names in the Playtester credits in the final products.
Currently only Character Law, Spell Law and Arms Law are available. In the future we will be releasing Creatures and Treasures for playtesting through the same method as outlined above.
We are determined that unified Rolemaster will be the best it can possibly be. With the feedback from the community, we are certain that together we can create a new edition of Rolemaster that will stand the test of time and be a new classic.
Qu 4: Why five books? Why not one?
Our assessment is that while many fans would like an introductory, lightweight or streamlined version of Rolemaster in one book, many more will want a full-blooded, full-featured version of Rolemaster. From the publishing perspective that we want to support Rolemaster through new Shadow World and Cyradon material and adventure/campaign modules, we need the complete unified Rolemaster now.
There will be a “Lite” one book edition of Rolemaster in due course, but it will be fully compatible with the full version. It will not be a conflicting or variant edition – the voice of the community is very clear that multiple competing editions are a major problem.