We had a debate in our RP group last night (22/12/2014) regarding the application of hobby ranks and how/why they are used. The argument was based on the fact that a thief can be a better weapons master than a fighter simply by applying hobby ranks.
One of the players (also an experienced GM) stated that hobby ranks should only be applied to skills that earn 0 level bonus for the profession.
On thinking about this I decided to take this a step further and allow any skills to any profession (with the usual maximum 6 of 8 split), based on the fact that, as I am a developer, I love to learn about different methods for, and languages to write code in as a hobby.
I've never used any of the later versions of RM: do any of them use alternative methods for managing hobby ranks?
Just to clarify: Several of us have thought up different ways of implementing hobby ranks. One method was to only allow hobby ranks for skills that have a level bonus of zero. My idea was to implement across the board, negating the need for skill type restrictions (e.g. allowing a fighter to invest hobby ranks in their primary skills).
What I'm asking is - how are hobby ranks implemented in the later versions of RoleMaster, and are there any useful changes to the way it has been implemented?