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Rolemaster is a fantasy Role Playing Game created in 1980. As Dungeons and Dragons, it is a game system with classes, races, levels and experience points (no Character Alignments, however). Unlike D&D, it provided lots of optional rules with many detailed tables (one for each of the several dozen weapons) from the beginning. There are dozens of magic-using classes who have hundreds of spell lists available with more than 2,000 spells altogether. Some fans and non-fans call RM "Rulemaster" or even "Roll-Master" for this reason.
The game Middle Earth Role Playing by the same publisher is a streamlined version of Rolemaster.
This game provides examples of:
- Armor Is Useless
- Attack Pattern Alpha: Combat Languages Type 1 in the Arms Companion supplement.
- Beat Still My Heart
- Character Level
- Class and Level System
- Critical Failure: You are capable of failing in many specific ways. The fumble chart is as large as any of the Critical Hit charts.
- Nearly anything you can do can kill you if you roll bad enough. A Killer GM will make players roll to tie their shoes.
- Critical Hit: Combats are often ended by critical hits rather than mere hit point loss.
- Critical hits, in fact, are the rule rather than the exception. Whereas in most games a critical hit happens once every 10-20 attacks or so, and results in a simple increase in inflicted damage, each attack type in Rolemaster has an entire table for determining the effect of a critical hit, at 5 or more different levels of crit severity. A hit that doesn't result in a crit is little more effective than a miss.
- Diminishing Returns for Balance: The skill system
- Gold-Silver-Copper Standard: Or in this case, mithril-gold-silver-bronze-copper-tin-iron standard.
- Hit Points: Called "concussion hits". When your hit points reach 0, you're unconscious -- it takes a lot more damage to die. The main form of character injury comes in the effects of various critical hits, such as loss of limbs, stunning, instant killing, a whole variety of bleed effects, and other "crunchy bits".
- Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards
- Loads and Loads of Rules: A great deal of these are optional, though also add to realism.
- Pit Trap (with Spikes of Doom at the bottom): In the Arms Companion.
- Surprise Slide Staircase. In the Arms Companion.
The Shadow World campaign setting has the following tropes:
- Apocalyptic Log: The miner's diary in Norek: Intrigue in a City-State of Jaiman.
- Fictional Colour: Void creature spellcasting creates a rainbow of them.
- Fungus Humongous: In Sky Giants of the Brass Stair.
- Ley Line: Essence Flows on the world of Kulthea.
- Lightning Gun: Krylites have these.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Several monsters.
- Scary Scorpions
- Speak Friend and Enter
- Wolf Man: Werewolves can become this.
- Your Soul Is Mine: The Soulslayers of Murlis.