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"MERP. How the BEEP does armour penalties work?" Topic

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727 hits since 24 Nov 2016
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Comments or corrections?

Weasel24 Nov 2016 2:20 p.m. PST

Any old schoolers up to date on the MERP (Middle Earth ROle Play) rules from ICE?

So you have your Moving in armour skills.

In Rolemaster (which I am an old hand at), your bonus in those offsets the skill penalty from wearing armour and there's a fancy-dancy table for each type of armour listing the penalty it carries.

But I am reading MERP and I cannot for the life of me find how it works there.

The skill description itself (in the 2nd edition rules) just says it adds to your moving maneuver rolls, but I can't find an armour table anywhere.

tkdguy24 Nov 2016 4:58 p.m. PST

MERP's armor is divided into five categories: No Armor (RM: AT 1-4), Soft Leather (RM: AT 5-8), Rigid Leather (RM: AT 9-12), Chain (RM: AT 13-16), and Plate (RM: AT 17-20). Just like in RM, each skill rank in Movement & Maneuver adds a +5 bonus to your skill. However, MERP has a maximum number of skill ranks you can assign to each armor type:

No Armor: 2 ranks
Soft Leather: 3 ranks
Rigid Leather: 5 ranks
Chain: 7 ranks
Plate: 9 ranks

You can add your Strength bonus to your maneuver in Chain and Plate, and your Agility bonus to the rest.

Each armor type has an inherent penalty to the Movement & Maneuver skill:

No Armor: +0
Soft Leather: -15
Rigid Leather: -30
Chain: -45
Plate: -60

Those can't be changed unless your character has a special type of magic armor that lessens the penalties (GM's choice on availability).

Furthermore, other pieces of armor give penalties. Helms add a -5 penalty to Perception. Arm Greaves add a -5 penalty to all Offensive Bonuses. Leg Greaves add an additional -5 penalty to Movement & Maneuver. Keep in mind these items may protect your character from some of the nastiest effects of the critical hit system.

Shields add +25 bonus to your Defensive Bonus. Armor will not count toward your encumbrance if worn.

Weasel25 Nov 2016 8:45 p.m. PST


Where did you find the penalties, that's the piece I was missing from Rolemaster.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2016 8:34 a.m. PST

Where did you find the penalties, that's the piece I was missing from Rolemaster.

On the character sheet, in the "Spec" column.

Weasel26 Nov 2016 3:27 p.m. PST

Oh my ****, the one place where I never looked.

Thanks :-)

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2016 1:52 a.m. PST

You are welcome. Are you giving these a go, or just looking to see how they work?

Weasel27 Nov 2016 12:17 p.m. PST

Running a MERP game in the spring.

Long time Rolemaster player, so it's the tiny differences that are tripping me up :)

tkdguy27 Nov 2016 5:33 p.m. PST

I used to play MERP religiously back in the day. I still do once in a while, with the current cast being the kids of the original group.

Keep in mind that MERP is a simplified version of Rolemaster, and is meant to cover only levels 1-10. You can expand it, however; I have. You can use Arms Law/Claw Law with MERP, although you'll have to make adjustments for armor type. Spell Law doesn't need conversion, except Mentalism isn't listed as a realm in MERP.

Weasel28 Nov 2016 6:28 a.m. PST

The people I'll play with will be complete newbies to RM though they are familiar with old school gaming in general (runequest and D&D mostly).

so I'll probably keep things fairly by the book, though I will likely bring the Arms Law critical tables.

I notice that MERP doesn't have "must parry" nad "Stun no parry" but the latter can just be treated as a regular stun.

tkdguy28 Nov 2016 11:43 a.m. PST

The MERP/RM critical hit and fumble tables work great for AD&D; my old group used them regularly in our games. But be sure to lessen the hits taken and penalties to any actions performed.

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