The first edition of Rolemaster was released in the early 1980′s and quickly established itself as one of the major roleplaying games available. It is frequently ridiculed for being insanely complicated to play, with books and books of rules, combat tables, profession tables, etc. Our experiences of playing Rolemaster however was quite different. The character generation was quite complicated, but after that, the game was incredibly enjoyable and fun to play. The descriptive combat system was quite a change from the usual run-of-the-mill games and a real highlight (despite the tables…).
The system employs an open ended d100 roll for almost all checks. This was quite rare when it was first released as most games at that time tried to include everyone of the standard polyhedral set at least once. The tables used in the combat resolution are frequently humorous and add a lot to the game.
There may be some confusion about which edition to try (there are multiple editions). The review at Dice of Doom goes through them in some detail.