I played Monte Cook's new system Numenara this weekend, and it was . . . okay? The need to roll high to hit in combat requires a lot of spending of your stats, and while it was a decent session I wasn't overwhelmed enough to want to run out and buy the system. Cook is probably best known for the 3.5 version of D&D, but my love for his work goes to Rolemaster.
Yes, that Rolemaster, the one one with all the charts.
It did have a lot of charts - each weapon had its own, which actually made sense as an arrow should have a better chance of punching through chainmail than a sword does. Once you had the specific charts for your character it wasn't so bad. You could vary how intensely you wanted to attack or defend yourself, and as you took more damage you became less adept at doing things. So unlike D&D, a foe with a single hit left didn't have the same chance to hit you as he did when he was healthy.
And ye gods, combat. BRUTAL. With open-ended rolls you could do more damage and access better critical columns, which would often stop a fight right then and there. The results were often humorous, too. DAMMIT I LOVED ROLEMASTER
writing: 561 words, although it felt like more. Thinking this might be done by the end of next week. Maybe.