Friday Catch Up

Today we talk about some of the things going on around The Iron Tavern.

Social Media

First up, The Iron Tavern and social media. Many readers have found us on Twitter and Google+, but I finally started a Facebook page for those that use that as their primary social media outlet.

The Iron Tavern on Facebook: Our newest social media outlet, swing by the Facebook page and give The Iron Tavern a Like if you would.

The Iron Tavern on Google+: The Google+ page is not new, but perhaps under advertised. Pointers to the updates here at The Iron Tavern are regularly posted to the Google+ page.

The Iron Tavern on Twitter: I post updates to The Iron Tavern under my Twitter account, so another excellent way to keep up with what is happening over here. Stop by and say Hi.

Guest Blogging

Recently The Iron Tavern opened up the doors to some guest bloggers. This has worked out really well and has brought a different perspective and more importantly, posts on some different fantasy RPG systems! In case you have missed the guest blog posts, I wanted to take a moment to highlight them here again today.

UbiquitousRat has been covering the new Rolemaster Playtest for us and been doing an excellent job. His series will continue as he provides insights on the playtest and how he adapts the rules to his home setting of Heroic Mykenaea.

Shortymonster wrote an excellent post on OSR as a State of Mind. His premise that any RPG game can be played as an OSR game, it is just a matter of how you approach it.

Kelly Davis posted a great review on Dungeonslayers earlier this week. Dungeonslayers is a free fantasy RPG with a focus on lean, mean mechanics for an old fashioned RPG feel. Kelly covered the game in-depth and is well worth the read if you are considering your options for a free RPG or just need a change of pace.

The Iron Tavern still has room for a couple of more guest bloggers. If you have a series of posts you would like to do or even just a single topic you would like to cover, let me know. I posted information on how to contact me in a recent Guest Bloggers Wanted post.


The Rolemaster Files

The post below is written by UbiquitousRat, a guest blogger for The Iron Tavern.

The Rolemaster Files

Some time around 1985 my friends and I discovered a new fantasy RPG which would very quickly replace D&D in our regular gaming slot. Then a school boy gaming most nights at a friend’s house, I was a player of a character named Goriel Swiftfoot, a Halfling Thief. We immediately fell in love with this new set of rules because of two major innovations it presented to our gaming: flavourful critical hits and totally open character choices.  This game was Rolemaster.

Now in 2012, after many years of confusion about which edition of Rolemaster might be the best to own (and consequently having collected all of them), I have been delighted by the news from Iron Crown Enterprises that there is to be a new edition of the game.

One Rolemaster To Rule Them All

Rolemaster is about to be reborn for the 21st Century. A new edition is imminent for release into a Beta Playtest, open to anyone willing to pick up the eBooks from OneBookShelf. To save you the time and money, and given that I will be getting involved in the playtest myself, this post is the first in a series aimed at opening up the system for a closer look.

Our home RPG group is planning to launch a whole new campaign in our own home-grown setting of Heroic Mykenaea using these new rules. This series will also reflect on our struggles and joys in adapting the new Rolemaster to fit with our setting.

What are we expecting?

Rolemaster is promised in the form of five core books, each of them providing the tools for a different aspect of fantasy roleplaying. Initially the game will go into playtest using the first three tomes: Character Law, Arms Law, and Spell Law.

Character Law will present the core rules of the system along with extensive details allowing the players to create their heroes. In the grand tradition of Rolemaster we are expecting a large selection of Professions, representing the early training of a character, allowing us to customise and build heroes which will fit our setting in just the way we envision them. Tired of the restriction of “classes” or the woolliness of a skills-based system? Welcome to the best of both worlds.

Arms Law will provide the detailed but easy-to-play combat system for the game. Those gorgeously entertaining short epitaphs for the creatures unlucky enough to receive a critical hit (or “Crit”) will be back. Whether with combat or spell-slinging, there was always a certain joy to be had in sharing such classic moments as delivering an E Critical, the most severe form of damage, and reading the pithy description of events, for example: “All that remains of foe are charred bits of teeth and bone. Add +20 to your next roll.”

Spell Law will give us the classic and original Rolemaster magic system. We are expecting the Spell Lists, in which mages and other spell-casters learn related spells ordered into lists, allowing them to cast increasingly potent effects. Want to sling a Firebolt? Well, Mister, you need to learn Fire Law and master lighting candles first. As you gain levels you will eventually develop the skill with fire magic that you need. Focused on providing spellcasters with roleplaying options as much as raw power, Spell Law is a much-anticipated return to meaningful choices in spell play.

All-in-all this version is promised as both a new edition and a blending of the best from the past. The idea is to unify the disparate past editions into a version for modern gaming. Our challenge to Rolemaster will be to adapt it to fit our own fantasy setting.

Want to know more? Rolemaster is imminent and as soon as the books hit my iPad I’ll be bringing you an overview of what is actually in the game… and what it means for our campaign in Heroic Mykenaea.


UbiquitousRat is a long-time roleplayer and gamesmaster who has a history with gaming going back to 1979. In 1994 he joined Games Workshop, spending 12 years in the gaming industry at the coal-face of tabletop wargaming. In 1998 he founded the Friday Night Roleplay group at his home in suburban Nottinghamshire, UK, and ever since has been the primary GM. The group was involved in the playtest of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition and Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay, as well as giving air to the development of 6d6 RPG. The core five players are all looking forward to the new Rolemaster and everyone is excited to be sharing the story in The Iron Tavern. Oh, and he’s also a high school teacher during the daytime.