by Thomas A. Stobie, SFO
This document provides additional options for learning spells in the Rolemaster Standard System/Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplaying.
As a gamemaster, I have found it useful to address a number of aspects of learning spells. This article presents a number of new options applicable to a variety of campaign settings.
I introduce the concept of restricted spell lists, which a character can develop but at higher cost than closed lists. I discuss classifying the spell learning capabilities of non-spell users. I discuss dealing with worlds where magic is easier or harder to learn than normal. I provide expanded spell list development point cost tables to handle these concepts. I discuss a number of new spell learning talents, flaws, training options, and magic items.
In this article, I assume that spell-users spend their idle time studying their current lists, meditating on them, and experimenting with their application. When a character advances a level, any list they know or have access to, they can develop.
Furthermore, this article assumes that the DP cost of developing a list is constant and does not change by rank developed. The cost of the 1st rank in the list is the cost for any additional ranks. I have found this to be balanced and reasonable.
I have added a new category of spell lists, restricted spell lists, to represent lists that a character has access to on a more limited basis that closed lists within his own realm. In certain worlds, some lists may harder to find or learn and should be reclassified from closed (or even open) to restricted. Likewise, for certain classes, you may desire to make certain own realm other base lists more available to certain classes. For example, it is useful to say that all pure and hybrid spell-users of at least 10th level can learn alchemist base lists of their realm as restricted lists.
I leave it up to the gamemaster to determine for each class and player which spell lists, if any, to classify as restricted.
For the purpose of learning spells, it is useful to classify non-spell users based on the ease with which they can learn spells, relative to other non-spell users. I propose 4 groups and have listed which non-spell user profession I have associated with each of them. Gamemasters should feel free to change this classifications to better suit their world.
These four groups can also be associated with the other magical skills as well.
In different worlds magic may be more or less difficult to learn than normal. This article presents three categories, which can be interpreted as high-magic, standard (fantasy) and low-magic. The gamemaster should determine which applies, by realm, to his world(s).
Magic Learning Difficulty Adjustments
These adjustments are applied to how the Expanded Spell List Development Point Cost Tables are used.
For Spell Casters where X represents the type P=Pure, H=Hybrid, & S=Semi,
For Non-Spell Casters (classified as described above)
Expanded Spell List Development Point Cost Tables|
Note that Base represents "Own Base" and O-Base represents "Other Base".
Non-Arcane Spell-Caster Spell Development Point Cost Table
Arcane Spell-Caster Spell Development Point Cost Table
These talents make it easier for a character to develop spell lists. The costs are given in the Spell Learning Talent & Flaw Cost Table.
These flaws makes it harder for a character to develop spell lists. The costs are given in the Spell Learning Talent & Flaw Cost Table.
Spell Learning Talent & Flaw Cost Table|
N/A indicates that this particular talent/flaw is not available for this spell caster type.
This section describes a mechanism by which characters can gain additional talents or other benefits. These options require experience point (EP) expenditure and should be carefully considered before purchasing.
Rules Applicable to all Advanced Training Options:
In this section, I present a variety of magic items used to enhance spell learning. I have tried to list some applicable options for each item to permit (and encourage) gamemaster creativity with these types of magic items.
Standard DP Cost Table for Spells|
This represents that basic table from the rules with the exception of excluding the higher DP costs for higher level spells.
Go to my gaming page.
This builds upon learning spells 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.
The majority of the contents were published in the December 2003 issue of the online magazine, the Guild Companion.
Last revised 6 Dec 2003.