Rolemaster - Learning Skills

by Thomas A. Stobie, SFO

This document provides additional options for learning skills in the Rolemaster Standard System/Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplaying.


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.)

Classifications are listed below in two columns.

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 LI1LI2LI3LI4LI5
Communications 1/1/12/2/23/3/34/46
Martial Arts - Skill Development Point Cost Table [MA>]
GroupingSubgroup Martial ArtistClose CombatantNon-Martial Warrior
Warriorw/Spells CC1CC2CC3CC4 NW1NW2NW3NW4NW5
Martial Arts
Group
Strikes Cat. 1/32/5 2/63/53/73/9 3/63469
Sweeps Cat. 1/32/5 2/63/53/73/9 3/63469
Combat Maneuvers Cat. 3/84/9 4/125/1256 5/12681218
Self Control Cat."Adrenal" skills 1/32/4 2/52/72/72/7 2/62/7456
Special Defenses Cat."Adrenal" skills 4/96 8/15202530 1220253030
Outdoor - Animal - Skill Development Point Cost Table [OA>]
Category OA1OA2OA3OA4OA5 OA6OA7OA8OA9OA10
Outdoor - Animal 1/21/31/41/52/4 2/52/62/73/63
Outdoor - Environmental - Skill Development Point Cost Table [OE>]
Category OE1OE2OE3OE4OE5 OE6OE7OE8OE9OE10OE11
Outdoor - Environmental 1/21/31/41/52/4 2/52/62/73/63/73
Subterfuge - Attack - Skill Development Point Cost Table [SA>]
Category SA1SA2SA3SA4SA5 SA6SA7SA8SA9SA10 SA11SA12SA13
Subterfuge - Attack 2/63/94/85/105/12 6/126/146810 121516
Subterfuge - Mechanics - Skill Development Point Cost Table [SM>]
Category SM1SM2SM3SM4SM5 SM6SM7SM8SM9SM10 SM11SM12SM13
Subterfuge - Mechanics 1/32/52/62/73/6 3/73/83/945 678
Subterfuge - Stealth - Skill Development Point Cost Table [SS>]
Category SS1SS2SS3SS4SS5 SS6SS7SS8SS9SS10 SS11SS12SS13
Subterfuge - Stealth 1/31/41/52/42/5 2/62/73/634 568
Urban - Skill Development Point Cost Table [UR>]
Category UR1UR2UR3UR4UR5 UR6UR7UR8UR9UR10 UR11UR12UR13
Urban 1/21/31/41/52/4 2/52/63/53/63/7 346
Weapons (General) - Skill Development Point Cost Table [WG>]
GroupCategory WG1WG2WG3WG4 WG5WG6WG7WG8
Weapons GroupWeapons 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 WD1WD1WD1WD3 WD5WD7WD8WD9
-Combat Manuevers Cat. 3/94/104/124/12 5/126/141018
Weapons (Detailed) - Skill Development Point Cost Table [WD>]
Category WD1WD2WD3WD4WD5WD6WD7WD8 WD9WD10WD11WD12WD13WD14WD15WD16WD17WD18
specific weapon 1/52/52/73/63/73/83/94/10 45678910121520


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.


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.



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.

  1. 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 -

  2. 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.


Go to my gaming page.


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.



2003-2004 Thomas A. Stobie, SFO - Permission to use and copy for personal use is granted.

The majority of the contents were published in the March 2004 issue of the online magazine, the Guild Companion.

Last revised 4 Mar 2004.