Author Topic: Plague of the Raging King: Adventuring in Fantastic Mesopotamia (RMFRP)  (Read 1939 times)

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Offline Enheduanna

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Hello everyone.  I wanted to gauge interest in a Rolemaster game set in the world of ancient Mesopotamia.

I’ve been thinking about running an RM game for several months now, and if there’s a setting or a time period I know anything about (other than MERP), it’s the Ancient Near East.  Not to plug, but I’ve actually written an RPG about it, Babylon, On Which Fame and Jubilation Are Bestowed.  While that book uses a modified d20 system and nominally incorporates the standard fantasy races, this would be a RMFRP game, in a setting that basically equates to the historical 18th Century BCE plus Rolemaster’s magic system and fantasy monsters.  So while all characters would be humans of some description, all of the “normal” 19 or so RMSS/RMFRP professions would be open to players.

For anyone interested, the campaign would be set during the middle part of the reign of Hammu-rapi of Babylon, before he consolidated the Amorite kingdoms of Mesopotamia.  I’ve worked out the beginnings of an initial campaign, and I think I can provide enough cultural flavor and varied encounters to keep players interested.  The convenient thing about this epoch is that danger isn’t very far away, especially if we supplement the various groups of inimical humans with actual fantasy monsters.

With the exception of some broad guidelines, I try to give players a lot of latitude in character creation.  I do have a half-assed idea to set up ICE’s ERA software on a small server to use for character creation/management, but I may decide it’s not worth the trouble.  But whatever I decide to do about that, all gameplay would take place on the forum.

I’m looking for maybe 3-6 players.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 07:18:36 AM by Usdrothek »

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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You have my interest, not that I know enough about the era to be of any use, I am still interested :)

I suspect google will be my friend... though at the moment my character concept is of a horticultural executioner... oh yes, that level of knowledge.. ;)

Offline Dalewarrior

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Hi Geoffrey,
I'm interested! Would you be working with pre-gens and what would be the starting level?
Cheers,
António

Offline Enheduanna

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I suspect google will be my friend... though at the moment my character concept is of a horticultural executioner... oh yes, that level of knowledge.. ;)
:lol:  took me a second to get “horticultural executioner.”

I have a bunch of information which I can cut down into a few pages of cultural background.  Major ethnicities (e.g. Akkadian, Amorite, Hurrian, Hittite, Gutian, Elamite — and further flung ones like the Meluhhans and the Egyptians) and important city-states, along some basic social stuff.  From a game perspective I don’t think one human ethnicity versus another should make a mechanical difference, but it could be a huge influence on RP depending on the player.  Of course, a PC’s environment (city versus pastoral) would make a difference in hobby skills.


Offline Enheduanna

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I'm interested! Would you be working with pre-gens and what would be the starting level?
It depends on the players.  I know RM character creation is time consuming, and right now I don’t have a preference.  I could do it, or the players could do it.  But if I created the characters, I would definitely like the player’s input.

I was thinking about starting at level 5, because it gives me a larger group of adversaries I can use.

Offline Dalewarrior

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Great! I'm gonna read something about the Amorites!

Offline Enheduanna

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I don't want to overwhelm anyone with information (this isn't going to be a history lesson, I've tied to simplify as much as I can) but here's an idea of the fragmented nature of the kingdoms at the time.

-Important city-states/kingdoms in 1767 BCE-

Mesopotamia:

Babylon — Hammu-rapi reigns in Babylon.  His influence extends to several of those cities nearest him, in the region of the middle Euphrates River. The oldest of these cities is Kiš, followed by Sippar. Babylon and nearby Borsippa (OB. Barsip) are less than a half a millennia old.  The inhabitants of the Babylonian city-states are primarily ethnic Akkadians, though a powerful Amorite minority resides there as well.

Larsa - Rim-Sin, the king of Larsa, controls the city-states of southern Mesopotamia. These include ancient Sumerian cultural centers that have existed since the dawn of written history.  In addition to Larsa, these cities include Bad-tibira, Eridu, Isin, Lagaš, Larsa, Nippur (OB. Nipuru), Umma, Ur (OB. Urim), and Uruk.  The population of Larsa is thoroughly Akkadian, those Amorites and Elamites are significant minorities.

Mari - Ten years ago, the city-state of Mari was part of Assyria, governed by no less than Yašmah-Adad, the second son of the great king Šamši-Adad. But soon after the death of Šamši-Adad in 1776 BCE, an Amorite chieftain named Zimri-Lim deposed the Assyrian prince and set up Mari as an independent entity. As a result of its position on the trade route along the middle Euphrates, Mari was already a large and important commercial center. By 1767 BCE, Zimri-Lim’s control extends to several cities in the region along the Euphrates and Habur rivers, including Hit, the capital Mari, Qattunān, Saggaratum, Terqa and Tuttul.  While many ethnic Akkadians remain in the Mariote cities, the populace is now majority Amorite.

Assyria - Assyria (or the Kingdom of Upper Mesopotamia) is a flagging power, still recovering from the loss of its great king Šamši-Adad several years before. At that time, Assyrian puppets controlled the cities in an area from the Zagros Mountains to the western bounds of Mari on the Middle Euphrates.  The power and influence of Išme-Dagan (I), the current Assyrian king, extends from Aššur to the city-states of Nineveh (OB. Ninuwa) and Razama. The people of these cities remain Akkadian for the most part, but as in Babylon and the Larsan territories, an Amorite minority is growing.

Ešnunna - Centered on the banks of the middle Tigris, Ešnunna is surrounded by powerful kingdoms, with Assyria to its north, Babylonia and the Larsan cities to its south, and the aggressive nation of Elam to its east. In addition to the capital Ešnunna, King Ibal-pi-El (II)’s influence extends to Tutub. Ešnunna’s people are ethnically Akkadian, although Elamites and Amorites are appreciable minorities.


Border Kingdoms:

Andariq - In the vacuum left by the decline of Assyria after the death of Šamši-Adad, the northern city-state of Andariq (or Andarik) has carved out a small sphere of influence along the northern reaches of the Habur River. Its current king, Qarni-Lim, maintains close ties to the king of Mari; many see him as a virtual puppet ruler. From Andariq, Qarni-Lim’s fragile rule extends to the cities of Kurda and Šubat-Enlil. While a bare majority of the citizens of Andariq are Akkadian, given its northerly position, many other prominent minorities exist, including the ubiquitous Amorites, but also new arrivals from Asia Minor, including the Hurrians.

Yamhad - Along with Qaṭna, the kingdom of Yamhad is one of two great western powers.  Centered on Ḥalab, the King of Yamhad, Yarim-Lim (I) controls the northern trade routes to the Mediterranean. As a result, Yamhad is a powerful nation, one that often meddles in the affairs of the smaller kingdoms of Mesopotamia. This loose confederation of city-states includes Halab, as well as Alalah, Ebla and Ugarit (OB. Ugaritum). The people of Yamhad are heavily Amorite during this time period, although a sizable minority among the northern city-states are Hurrian.

Qaṭna - Like its rival Yamhad, Qaṭna (OB. Qaṭanum) is a region to the west of Mesopotamia, reaching as far as the shores of the Mediterranean. In 1767 BCE it is powerful enough to influence Mesopotamian matters of state. In addition to the city of Qaṭna, this kingdom includes the ancient site of Tadmir (modern Palmyra). Like the people of Yamhad, Amorites are the overwhelming majority in Qaṭna.

Elam - Situated in the mountainous regions on the eastern edge of Mesopotamia, Elam is an ancient., powerful kingdom that often mettles in Mesopotamian affairs. Currently ruled by the sukkalmahhum Siwe-palar-huppak from Susa, Elam also includes the city of Anšan. The people of Anšan are Elamite, with few exceptions. Susa has a substantial Akkadian population.  Elam, with its distinctive language and culture, is less likely to assimilate other peoples.

My idea is to start with everyone based in Babylon.  The PCs will probably need a fairly solid connection to that city, even if they're from somewhere else.

Edit:  Here's a map.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 03:09:28 AM by Enheduanna »

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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For character gen, I'll happily accept a pre-gen or make my own. (though different people like to run char gen in different ways..)

Thanks for the information, it'll help. My own knowledge isn't that detailed (on anything ... ;) ) limited to a few things I've picked up from playing Civilisation!

Basic concept, since it's a pseudo-fantasy-historical setting, would be some sort of animist/healer/herbalist/scientist sort of thing... on the "cutting edge" of horticulture, altruistic but driven towards his interests. 


Offline Enheduanna

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Mesopotamia boasted several prominent grain/fertility gods, including Dagan (Christians have often misidentified him as a fish god, he shows up in the story of Samson) and Ningišzida (who incorporates aspects of both growth and decay).  Healing is usually a goddess sort of thing, like Gula.

This page is probably overly academic, but has pretty good discussions of various gods and goddesses.  Wikipedia is generally pretty good in this area too.  All of these gods had multiple conflicting aspects, and Mesopotamian religion was far from systematized, so don't feel too committed to any descriptions you find.

For character gen, I'll happily accept a pre-gen or make my own. (though different people like to run char gen in different ways..)
We'll see what other potential players want.  But if no one has a preference, I guess I could come up with something based on your suggestions.

Offline Enheduanna

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Update:  I might have one of my IRL players interested in joining.  I'm going to leave this open through the weekend at least to see if we have any more interest.  I think I'm also going to post over on the ICE forums.

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Sounds like a good idea.  With regard to my character I'll assume he's a follower rather than a priest (probably having paid attention to both Gula and Dagan). To get things started I'll put some effort into character creation assume 4th level (adding a level later if need be). Everybody seems to have differing ideas as to character creation (and this is usually where these games stall), so how about I just go ahead and make one?

Offline Enheduanna

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:wizi: That works.  I've written some basic character creation guidelines which I should have ready to post before this weekend.

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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I do tend to do things a little differently... anyhow here's I do it.

Temp Stats: Point Buy 660 pts... but initial stats are random.

I roll one then assign it to any stat I choose, then roll another assign it to another stat... and so on until all 10 stats have been randomly rolled and allocated. Then I work out the total cost and increase/decrease stats until points spend = 660. I tend to find this is a "happy medium" which avoids Min/Maxing but also allows an element of decision making.

Pot Stat: Fixed Method based on final Stats.

Stat Gain for pre-game level advancement: as normal RMSS.   

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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What I'd forgotten to mention is I'd replace the stats with the profession stats if they were lower, prior to "point adjustment"
In my case prior to adjustment: AG 90 CO 30 EM 15 IN 75 ME 92 PR 35 QU 18 RE 98 SD 80 ST 43

One VERY good roll, two high and two low. Hmm. That high roll will restrict me somewhat...

(Points spend= 90+30+15+75+94+35+18+154+80+43 = 634, 26 remaining)

I'm sort of assuming Rural Common Man will be the norm....

Profession, hmmm. Looking at the stats...

Animist is still a possibility (need to spend 15 points to raise Prime stat= IN to 90). And that's what I'll do. Leaves me 11 points.. 5 on EM (to 20) and 6 on QU (to 24)

SO.... at 1st: AG 90 CO 30 EM 20 IN 90 ME 92 PR 35 QU 24 RE 98 SD 80 ST 43. (DP: 78)

So far, he's not the most charismatic chap is he?

Offline Enheduanna

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Interesting, I like this method.  In the past, I’ve just used the 660 point buy system, but you’re right, it does lead to players min/maxing.

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Adding in fixed stat Pot method:

AG 90 (96) CO 30 (69) EM 20 (64 ) IN 90 (96) ME 92 (97) PR 35 (68) QU 24 (68) RE 98 (100) SD 80 (91) ST 43 (76 )

Next part: Stat Gains... I'll be rolling them for the stats in order I've put them in above. (Most of the time this will tend to max after 5th Level anyway)
(Assuming advance to 4th level so 3 pairs required per stat

2nd level
Rolled 2d10 : 3, 10, total 13
Rolled 2d10 : 2, 1, total 3
Rolled 2d10 : 5, 8, total 13
Rolled 2d10 : 1, 7, total 8
Rolled 2d10 : 3, 9, total 12
Rolled 2d10 : 9, 5, total 14
Rolled 2d10 : 2, 7, total 9
Rolled 2d10 : 1, 1, total 2
Rolled 2d10 : 10, 4, total 14
Rolled 2d10 : 9, 1, total 10




Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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AG 90 (96) CO 30 (69) EM 20 (64 ) IN 90 (96) ME 92 (97) PR 35 (68) QU 24 (68) RE 98 (100) SD 80 (91) ST 43 (76 )

AG= low die = +3
CO =sum = +3 (sigh)
EM = sum = +13
IN = low die = +1
ME = low die = +3
PR = sum = +14
QU = sum = +9
RE = +doubles+ = -1 (sigh)
SD = high die = +10 (woot!)
ST = sum = +10

AG 93 (96) CO 33 (69) EM 33 (64 ) IN 91 (96) ME 95 (97) PR 49 (68) QU 33 (68) RE 97 (100) SD 90 (91) ST 53 (76 )

82 DP at 2nd
 

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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At 2nd. AG 93 (96) CO 33 (69) EM 33 (64 ) IN 91 (96) ME 95 (97) PR 49 (68) QU 33 (68) RE 97 (100) SD 90 (91) ST 53 (76 )

Stat Gains for 3rd

Rolled 2d10 : 4, 6, total 10
Rolled 2d10 : 3, 8, total 11
Rolled 2d10 : 7, 4, total 11
Rolled 2d10 : 4, 2, total 6
Rolled 2d10 : 2, 9, total 11
Rolled 2d10 : 10, 4, total 14
Rolled 2d10 : 5, 8, total 13
Rolled 2d10 : 1, 1, total 2
Rolled 2d10 : 9, 5, total 14
Rolled 2d10 : 6, 3, total 9


Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Hmmm. The die roller definitely hates me...

At 2nd. AG 93 (96) CO 33 (69) EM 33 (64 ) IN 91 (96) ME 95 (97) PR 49 (68) QU 33 (68) RE 97 (100) SD 90 (91) ST 53 (76 )

AG= low (+4 Maxed)
CO= sum = +11
EM= sum = +11
IN= low = +2
ME = low (+2 Maxed)
PR = sum = +14
QU = sum = +13
RE = +double+ = -1 (Again?)
SD = low (+5 Maxed)
ST = sum = +9

AG 96 (96) CO 44 (69) EM 44 (64 ) IN 93 (96) ME 97 (97) PR 63 (68) QU 46 (68) RE 96 (100) SD 91 (91) ST 62 (76 )

85 DP at 3rd

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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AG 96 (96) CO 44 (69) EM 44 (64 ) IN 93 (96) ME 97 (97) PR 63 (68) QU 46 (68) RE 96 (100) SD 91 (91) ST 62 (76 )

Stat Gains for 4th... (fingers crossed)

Rolled 2d10 : 6, 1, total 7
Rolled 2d10 : 7, 8, total 15
Rolled 2d10 : 5, 7, total 12
Rolled 2d10 : 2, 3, total 5
Rolled 2d10 : 8, 5, total 13
Rolled 2d10 : 8, 9, total 17
Rolled 2d10 : 3, 1, total 4
Rolled 2d10 : 10, 9, total 19
Rolled 2d10 : 10, 5, total 15
Rolled 2d10 : 2, 4, total 6

 

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