Chapter 14: Imtarumbar


Hello Folks,

I've had what I think to be a great suggestion that deviates from the standard Rolemaster/Spacemaster way of doing things. Ian, who plays Taurvantar in the Middle Earth game, points out that under my justification system, there is the chance of loosing skills due to being unable to justify them.

"I agree with you that the RM system is silly with respect to saying in essence, "regardless of what you actually spend your time doing you can improve in skills you designate," but on the other hand it's awkward to say, "if you spend your time doing something but didn't 'pre-learn' it with development points, you don't learn anything about it."
(text omitted)
"This would be better simulated in RM by allowing the expenditure of dev.points _after_ the experience level is gained, rather than before. This would keep characters from improving gratuitously in skills they never practice, but keep some development points from being lost due to misprediction of the characters' activities by the players. The consequence of these lost development points is that characters become weaker than stock NPC's of similar class and level who are assumed to use full development, and that players are encouraged, I think, to focus on primary skills which are "safe" investments to the detriment of character roundedness."

Like many great ideas, simple and immanently practical. So, this subject is open for debate of course (or rather, I will accept arguments to the contrary), but henceforward, you will spend development points AFTER gaining a level (or mid-point) taking care to pick boxes only in skills which you have utilized.
Also, I will still disallow skill picks which I do not think are justified, roughly keeping to my 1 successful or 3 unsuccessful rolls to determine whether or not a box is justified, but if not, then the player can respend the points.
In this way, players won't have to face the spectre of not gaining boxes due to being unable to justify skill increases. I think this is a necessary compromise due to the limitations of e-mail play vs. live play.

And on to adventure, (as always, some portions of this move are adapted from player submissions.)

After receiving the healing potion, Tirion slowly got to his feet, a look of amazement on his face. Slowly stretching his arms and legs, he checked for signs of wounds or even lingering pain and found nothing wrong.
"I haven't felt this good since before we arrived." he said aloud.
Taurvantar also got up, beaming with exhilaration, though somewhat numb from so much potion.
Daern went from body to body, checking to see what, if anything could be done. Lastly, he and Tirion went and checked on the babe, who appeared to be sleeping soundly, unaware of anything around him.
Fred busied himself gathering the jeweled plate and goblets and also apportioned the silver Eoras had carried into equal piles.

When no one was looking, Fred stuffed the bag containing Eoras' gold into his own shirt.

Taurvantar noted him carefully stuffing a bag into his shirt.

After checking to make sure the baby was unhurt, Tirion moved to the north-west door. After listening to make sure no one was nearby, he checked the hallway.

Looking about, though he could see trails of drops of black oily blood heading back down the corridor to where it joined the hallway leading from the courtyard, Tirion could make out no other sound or clue as what the house offered or where the surviving orcs had gone. Frozen statues dripped icicles, their mutilated faces and broken bodies testament to the decay which lay at the heart of this place.

Tirion remained there on guard, looking only to see when the party should depart.
Daern looked to the rest of the group and said, " Not a good day for us. Tirion and Taurvantar, I am glad to see that you are well. As far as the dead are concerned, I, like Fred, think we should burn them all even though that is not an honorable end for Eoras, but I fear that we might face him again on unfriendly terms."
Listening to Fred and Daern, Tirion agreed, "Burning the bodies of the orc and our fallen comrade should surely be of high priority. Eoras should be free to rest; he should not be forced to walk with these.... creatures. We would not be able to dig a grave in the frozen ground, and if we were to not burn it, the evil magic of this place might affect him wherever he was."
Tirion went on to add, only pausing to check back again in the hallway, "It seems clear that we must question our senses while we are here. This place is rife with things that do not exist. Ordain, what do you know of illusion? Is there some way we could detect them?"
Ordain, shrugged. "Really, the strength of illusion is based on the power of its creation and the will of those who view it to disbelieve. However, I must add that it could be dangerous to assume that any foe is insubstantial, for, if real, our own disbelief could put us in jeopardy from a very real foe."
Daern went to guard the door that the party had just come through, while keeping an eye on one of the stairways that led up. Tirion did the same for the other stairway. While they did this, Ranciryon and Taurvantar set out to pile the bodies, intending to burn them. It was then that they discovered with horrour that they could not move them, no matter what amount of strength or effort they put into the task. Even the wounded and dying orcs proved immobile.
"They're stuck to the floor," Fred exclaimed.
Indeed, they were stuck to the floor. In fact, it appeared they were slowly, but at a rate almost undetectable, sinking in the glazed tile floor. Even the blood from the battle was being sopped up.
"By Eru!" Taurvantar swore. "What do we do now?"

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