Rolemaster Unified - the Public Beta

I'm trying to recall for sure when I first encountered Rolemaster. I think it must have been pretty late, as the version I wound up picking up was the boxed set of what is now called RM2. It was a behemoth of a game back then, and I never did convince anyone to play using those rules, though I read and re-read them again and again until I stopped caring about anything but GURPS and Champions for a while.

Fast forward to the end of last year when I got wind that Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE to their friends) was still kicking, and in the process of putting out a new version of the game. And that there had been at least a couple iterations of it during my absence! So here I am, much older and more mature, and better able to understand complex rules, and I figure I'm going to dive in again and see what's become of the game I so desperately wanted to comprehend well enough to play.

I downloaded the public Beta, but didn't do a thing with it until last week when I stumbled onto the PDFs on my Dropbox. I pulled them up again and finally gave it a read, and I must say I came away pretty impressed. The game, while complex and still in desperate need of a layout editor, was nothing compared to the overblown system I recalled from my youth. So I talked my way into an online game using the old RM2 rules, which allowed me to see someone else's copy of the character gen rules online. You know what? It's still just as dense, unorganized and almost unplayable as I recalled. Every bit as in need of a strong editorial hand as I remember.

I have high hopes for the Unified edition (that's what they're calling the new public beta - it's a stretch, as there's little in the way of edition wars quite so heated as those between close kin, like the RM versions are) and equally high hopes that an experienced GM can actually lead me through my first ever game of Rolemaster - I only had to wait thirty years to play!


  1. Hello,

    I stumbled into your post by chance while I was looking if anybody was still writing anything on what you call RM2.
    Rolemaster, in fact, was one of the games of my youth, together with AD&D 2nd edition.
    Although I played a lot AD&D and I had only one interesting campaign at Rolemaster, I am still fascinated by this rpg. Actually, I think we could define it the D100 system as, compared to D&D, the basic rule was pretty straightforward: throw a D100 and try to get a 96-100.

    I have recently re-started playing the 2nd Ed. of AD&D, also with some people they’ve never played rpg before, and I see they have difficulties to understand when they need to get high or low result with a D20 (i.e. ST and ThAC0 are high, skill check is low!).
    Rolemaster was, despite all the tables, in my mind, more consistent.

    I think I played that much D&D because of all the support modules (I am Italian and was not that easy in the early ‘90s retrieving the books) and the popularity if the game. It is not definitively the complexity that stopped me from spending more time with Rolemaster.

    So all the best for your next game with this beautiful rpg.


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