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Disclaimer: We use RM2 in the German version which came out in the 90ies through Laurin and then Queen Games. From what I read on wiki this seems to be almost the same as RMC, but my nomenclature might be off as I'm freely translating this from German.


Rules on combat, magical and other actions often times refer to "a character can do [something], but will then only have X% of his actions for the rest of this round." However, I never really understood what this properly means for the actions of the character in this round...

For example (if I remember the numbers correctly):

When a character casts an instant-time spell (one that doesn't need any preparation) the character is left with 50% of his actions for this combat round.

What does "having X% of ones actions" actually mean in terms of:

  • attacking (using offensive bonus),
  • active defence, i.e. parry using part of ones offensive bonus (and the passive defence bonus) to block/weaken an incoming attack,
  • other maneuvers like jumping/running/riding a horse/... ?

Could the above character for example still attack, but with only 50% of their total offensive bonus?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rob Ah, I changed the tag based on the various RM tags' descriptions, not on personal knowledge. The tag wikis for Rolemaster tags might need some work then. Possibly we might need some new tags, if RMSS doesn't cover RM2. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 28 '17 at 6:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Updated answer added in replacement to deleted one. \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Sep 3 '17 at 9:49
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Summary:

Lost percentages limit the type of actions a character can perform in a round.

Longer

AL&CL ICE-1100 (Second U.S. Edition September 1989), page 7. (The basis of RM2 combat)

The basic principle to keep in mind is that each action takes a percentage of a round to complete. For example, one can view a physical attack as at least a 50% activity, casting a spell as a 75% activity, preparing a spell as a 90% activity, and movement as a 0-100% activity. Thus someone that casts a spell may not make another attack.*1

This means that specific activities cost a percentage to be used each round, out of 100% of course.

Action               Percentage Activity Required
Attack               At least 50% activity.
Cast a spell         a 75% activity. *2
Prepare spell        90% acivity
Movement             0-100%

This means that a character who is at a 50% penalty can perform only movement or a single attack (of up to 50% of their OB), losing the option of attacking once again with 50% if they use the minimum amount.

A Percentage loss limits the amount of OB that can be committed to an attack; reducing the maximum (say 25% lost) would allow a 75% attack or a 50% and 25% attack.

Straight Penalties and percentages

Straight penalties (Eg -20 to all actions) are applied on top of this.

So a fighter with a -50 penalty to all actions can make 2 attacks of 50% in a round, both at 50% OB and at -50 penalty.

A fighter with a 50% penalty to all actions can make a single attack at 50% OB a round. If they had -20 penalty then they would apply that to the 50% OB.

Notes

*1 Bow and missile attacks take 75% action in Arms Law 1st edition

*2 Instantaneous spells take no preparation. ICE-1200 (Same edition) p 35

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It should be interpreted as:

  1. You can do other actions only if they can be done in (or they take up to) 50% of the round
  2. You'll get a -50 to the manouver.

So if your character wants to fight in that round, it'll get a -50 to its OB. It can spend the rest of its OB as it wishes, divided in attacking and parrying, as always.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that's my problem, I don't really know which actions take up how many % of a round... The rule descriptions are more along the line of "You can either attack and parry, or prepare a spell, or cast a spell or attack with ranged weapon". \$\endgroup\$ – fgysin reinstate Monica Aug 22 '17 at 10:18

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