Monday, March 31, 2008

invisible, figmentary, and dead: that damn turtle

Without a doubt, the greatest fumble result in gaming is tripping over the unseen imaginary deceased turtle. Below, under the last result for 2-handed fumbles, is the oldest version of it I have in my game collection, from the earliest combined edition of Arms Law & Claw Law, which I'm pretty sure is the second ed of both books.

(Click image for a bigger version.)

I love those handwritten charts! They make the later RM charts seem cold and clinical by comparison. Note that under these rules fully five percent of all 2-handed weapon fumbles involve tripping over the non-existent turtle. With a morningstar's 8% fumble range that means you'd hit this result every 250 attacks or so. That's more often than you'd hit any sort of fumble under the Arduin Grimoire, at least if I'm interpreting Hargrave's rules correctly.

Personally, I love the MERP version of this fumble even more. Check out the last result on this list.
(Click image for a bigger version.)

That "You are very confused." cracks me up every time.

8 comments:

  1. More than anything, this makes me want to make a font inspired by the funky jaggedy lettering-style used in the column-and-row labels on the older chart :)

    But yes, much respect always to the turtle ...

    ReplyDelete
  2. That MERP chart brings me back. I still remember how wide-eyed I got when I discovered its crit charts, and how I tried to use them in EVERY other game I played in.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3:48 AM

    I love Rolemaster with a passion, so it's gret to see that turtle getting some love. The crit and fumble tables are a work of art, and terrific fun in play too. Despite all appearances, it's a fast, fun game to run too.

    Given a choice, I'd choose Rolemaster over D&D every time; it's convincing my players that's the tricky part :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I remember 2nd edition pretty clearly. For most of the charts, there was always that unlikely open-ended roll that landed you on "66" exactly. Regardless of Armor Type and Weapon, it was like a critical within a critical.

    ReplyDelete
  5. More than anything, this makes me want to make a font inspired by the funky jaggedy lettering-style used in the column-and-row labels on the older chart :)

    I'd totally dig that!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Once Upon A Time, a buddy of mine gave me all his old RM stuff and, upon learning its ins and outs, I dropped AD&D 2nd Ed. like a greasy, fingernail taco.

    I like AD&D 2nd Ed. again (actually I like using bits of it in C&C), but RM will always have a spot in my heart -- a nice, cozy chair, under a reading lamp, with a table nearby and some cookies and a cup of tea.

    And Swink is keeping the chair warm.

    ReplyDelete
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