As anyone who has read this blog more than once probably knows, I have an unhealthy relationship with one of the used bookstores here in town; namely that I cannot seem to keep from going there every couple of days. Two summers ago, I found a boxed set of Rolemaster, 2nd edition and bought it out of curiosity. I tried to learn it a month or two later whilst imbibing beer. It didn't work out very well. I blamed the the beer.
About two weeks ago, I acquired a copy of the Middle-Earth Role-playing System, 2nd edition from the same store. It appears to be a version of Rolemaster. Last night I tried to start learning it, mainly out of that blasted curiosity I cannot seem to hold in check.
This time, there is no beer to blame. I straight up cannot wrap my mind around Rolemaster. I have also found that the very little bit of it I managed to learn has completely dissipated since last night. I'm talking zero retention, folks.
Well, that's not entirely true. I remember that one of the critical miss entries is that the player trips over an imaginary deceased turtle.
Granted, I haven't read much Tolkien in quite some time (just finished teaching it to my seniors, though we didn't get time to finish it unfortunately), so I'm not sure if that's some kind of obscure Tolkien reference or just a failed attempt at making their critical hit tables funny. (ICE seems preoccupied with doing that)
I'm also not sure what this "animist" business is. Again, my readings on Tolkien could use some serious brushing up, but I don't remember anything remotely like a cleric in Middle-Earth.
I'm not a Tolkien expert, so I could very well be talking out of my ass on this one. For all I know, the imaginary, deceased turtle played a very important part in one of the books that I don't remember very well. Maybe there were animists all over Return of the King. Perhaps that book has an entire chapter of animists tripping over imaginary dead turtles.
...anyway, my gripe is not with how accurate/faithful MERPS is to Tokien's work, but rather with the fact that Rolemaster seems intentionally arcane and obtuse to my sensibilities. It seems robust, and I want to like it, but the mental energy I am investing in learning is producing very little return. I should be pouring any spare creativity/brainpower left over after planning lesson units to get Deadlands or Mutant Future running.
Speaking of Deadlands, the original GM-to-be is no longer moving away, or so I was informed via text message today. I have few details at the time, and it is unclear whether or not I will still be expected to run Deadlands, or if he will run it as per our original plan.
I have to confess that a recent post complimenting my customized mutant races for MuFu has bolstered my enthusiasm.
Not enough hours in a day, not enough days in a week.
...but seriously, Rolemaster: What. The. Fuck.