One of the things I like less from Rolemaster is that all you know from one thing can't be applied to another, and, at the same time, you can not specialize in something.

You either know One-handed Weapons or not. But you can not use that knowledge to help you with a Two-handed Weapon, even if they are the same big sword you just want to use two-haded to make more damage. And you can not specialize in curved swords so that you practise and learn on them, since all your practice (XP) with a short curved sword applies exactly the same to a big straight sword.

I think there should be a tree-like system in which e.g. you learn "wield" for three degrees, then "wield swords" or "wield hammers" for another three degrees, then "wield straight sword" and "wield curved sword" for three degrees more, and so on.

It is not about arms modifiers, it's about specialization. Two equally trained players, trained with the same sword, in a duel in which they are given different swords, should have different characteristics based on how much similar that sword is to the one they were accustomed to.

Is there some such a system for Rolemaster?


1 Answer 1


Rolemaster Second Edition has an option for this, "Similar Weapon Skills" (14.1.15 page 87)

Optional rule 13.1.1 allows a character to use his skill rank bonus with a weapon or half of his skill rank bonus with a "similar" weapon (See section 13.1.1 and table 15.2.3)

For example; the "Long double-edged blades" Category includes:

Long sword
Bastard Sword (1H)
Katana (1H)

Ranks in any one of these weapons gives a bonus, either

  • Half skill rank bonus (20 ranks = +70 = +35)
  • Half skill ranks (20 ranks = 10 ranks = +50)

(GM choice, it's an optional rule)

Rolemaster Companion 2 had a host more options for this in "Similar Skills" although this was for secondary skills; the basis of this being that certain skills gave skill to other skills as a fraction of the other.

The article is a bit too big for here, but the principal is (example):

  • Climbing ↔ Grappling Hook (1/4)

    i.e., 4 ranks in either skill gives 1 rank in the other

  • Acrobatics → Diving (1/4)

    4 ranks in Acrobatics gives 1 rank in diving

And so on.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As a sidenote what you discover from the similar weapon tables in RM is that most weapons are similar to a shortsword somehow. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rob
    Jan 23, 2015 at 15:34

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