How-to: RMSS-style attack tables


WARNING: The following procedure may be illegal in your jurisdiction. Please check local copyright legislation before performing any of the following.

If you have purchased the RMFRP Arms Law, Spell Law and/or The Armory, you may be disappointed to have found that they no longer print relevant critical tables on the back page of every attack table. While understandable from a page count perspective, I still miss it. If you have purchased the PDF versions of the above-mentioned books, however, you can easily have your computer do a little cut-and-paste on your behalf and recreate the beauty of the RMSS format.


Overview

What we are trying to do is basically this: When printing weapon attack tables, you want the front of each sheet to show the attack table and the back of each sheet to show the most relevant critical table for that weapon. This makes it easier to look up criticals when making an attack as you only have to flip the page to find what you're looking for.

The way we accomplish this is by obtaining a utillity that can copy pages from a PDF document and create a new PDF document with the desired pages in the desired order. You can then print this new PDF document and get the result you're looking for. This is the electronic equivalent to taking the paper books to a copier and manually photo copying the desired pages from the original onto a new set of sheets.

This is the general process we will be going through:

  1. Obtain and install the "pdftk" software package.
  2. Run a "pdftk" command on the PDF files containing the attack tables, creating a new PDF containing the same tables in the new format.
  3. Optionally, print the new PDF to produce a hardcopy you can bring to your gaming sessions.

Detailed Recipe

Obtain and install "pdftk"

Go to the PDFTK homepage and download the binary distribution for your platform. Install it. In the following, we will assume that you have added the utility to your path and so we will just write "pdftk" in order to invoke it. If it is not on your path, you will need to write the full path to the utility in stead. For instance, if you installed it to C:\Program Files\pdftk\ then you will need to write C:\Program Files\pdftk\pdftk in stead of just pdftk. The following are all command lines and so need to be run from your operating system's shell. On Windows systems, this tends to be the "MS-DOS" or "DOS Shell" program.

Run pdftk with an appropriate command line

pdftk is remarkably easy to use. In a nutshell, you tell it which files it is to rip pages from, give each file a shorthand name (I use "A", "B", "C", etc.) and then just give it a long list of page numbers to rip. It will create a new PDF file with those pages in the order you specified them. Assuming that I have the Rolemaster PDFs in the current directory and that I have all of them, I can therefore write:

pdftk "D=5812_ElementalCompFire&IcelowrezPDF.pdf" "A=5810P.ArmsLawlowrezpdf.pdf" "C=5803P.SLofChannelinglowrezpdf.pdf" "B=5813P_TheArmory.pdf" "E=FantasyWeapons.pdf" cat B47 B61 B58 B60 B31 B59 B5 B59 B6 B59 A21 A72 E2 A67 B32 B60 B33 B60 B48 B62 A22 A66 B49 B61 A23 A72 E5 A72 B50 B62 E3 A72 E4 A72 A24 A67 B21 B61 A25 A71 B7 B59 E6 A72 A26 A71 B51 B62 A27 A72 B34 B59 A28 A67 B8 B60 E7 A67 B52 B63 B35 B59 B9 B59 B36 B59 B53 B60 A29 A72 B37 B60 A30 A71 B38 B60 E8 A71 E9 A72 A31 A71 B22 B61 E10 A66 B13 B59 B10 B60 E11 A71 B14 B59 A32 A71 B55 B63 A33 A71 A34 A71 E12 A72 E13 A72 B11 B59 B12 B59 B39 B60 A35 A67 A36 A71 B40 B63 B41 B60 A37 A67 B56 B65 B15 B59 B16 B59 B17 B59 B18 B59 B54 B64 B23 B61 B42 B60 B43 B60 B44 B59 A38 A71 A39 A67 B45 B60 A40 A71 B24 B62 B25 B61 E14 A72 A41 A72 E15 A67 A42 A71 A43 A72 B19 B62 A44 A67 A45 A71 B57 B61 B26 B61 B27 B61 B28 B59 B29 B59 B46 B60 A46 A72 E16 A67 B20 B59 B30 B61 A47 A67 A48 A67 A49 A67 E17 A72 A51 A72 A52 A71 A53 A65 A54 A71 A55 A67 A56 A66 A57 A71 A58 A69 A59 A70 A60 A76 A61 A75 A62 A75 A63 A67 D117 D126 D118 D126 D119 A76 D120 A67 C83 C90 D121 C90 C84 C92 C85 C92 D122 C93 C86 C93 C87 C91 D123 D127 D124 D127 C88 C91 D125 C92 C89 C93 output rmattacktables.pdf
(That is all one single very long command line)

The above command would take a while to run and would create the file "rmattacktables.pdf" with RMSS-style attack tables.

You may not have all of the above PDFs. If so, my immediate advise is: buy them! :-) ... But failing that, here are a few useful command lines for those with fewer PDFs.

If you have only "arms law":

pdftk "A=5810P.ArmsLawlowrezpdf.pdf" cat A21 A72 A22 A66 A23 A72 A24 A67 A25 A71 A26 A71 A27 A72 A28 A67 A29 A72 A30 A71 A31 A71 A32 A71 A33 A71 A34 A71 A35 A67 A36 A71 A37 A67 A38 A71 A39 A67 A40 A71 A41 A72 A42 A71 A43 A72 A44 A67 A45 A71 A46 A72 A47 A67 A48 A67 A49 A67 A51 A72 A52 A71 A53 A65 A54 A71 A55 A67 A56 A66 A57 A71 A58 A69 A59 A70 A60 A76 A61 A75 A62 A75 A63 A67 output rmattacktables.pdf
    

If you have "arms law" and "the armory":

pdftk "A=5810P.ArmsLawlowrezpdf.pdf" "B=5813P_TheArmory.pdf" cat B47 B61 B58 B60 B31 B59 B5 B59 B6 B59 A21 A72 B32 B60 B33 B60 B48 B62 A22 A66 B49 B61 A23 A72 B50 B62 A24 A67 B21 B61 A25 A71 B7 B59 A26 A71 B51 B62 A27 A72 B34 B59 A28 A67 B8 B60 B52 B63 B35 B59 B9 B59 B36 B59 B53 B60 A29 A72 B37 B60 A30 A71 B38 B60 A31 A71 B22 B61 B13 B59 B10 B60 B14 B59 A32 A71 B55 B63 A33 A71 A34 A71 B11 B59 B12 B59 B39 B60 A35 A67 A36 A71 B40 B63 B41 B60 A37 A67 B56 B65 B15 B59 B16 B59 B17 B59 B18 B59 B54 B64 B23 B61 B42 B60 B43 B60 B44 B59 A38 A71 A39 A67 B45 B60 A40 A71 B24 B62 B25 B61 A41 A72 A42 A71 A43 A72 B19 B62 A44 A67 A45 A71 B57 B61 B26 B61 B27 B61 B28 B59 B29 B59 B46 B60 A46 A72 B20 B59 B30 B61 A47 A67 A48 A67 A49 A67 A51 A72 A52 A71 A53 A65 A54 A71 A55 A67 A56 A66 A57 A71 A58 A69 A59 A70 A60 A76 A61 A75 A62 A75 A63 A67 output rmattacktables.pdf
    

If you have "arms law", "the armory" and one of the "spell law" books:

pdftk "A=5810P.ArmsLawlowrezpdf.pdf" "C=5803P.SLofChannelinglowrezpdf.pdf" "B=5813P_TheArmory.pdf" cat B47 B61 B58 B60 B31 B59 B5 B59 B6 B59 A21 A72 B32 B60 B33 B60 B48 B62 A22 A66 B49 B61 A23 A72 B50 B62 A24 A67 B21 B61 A25 A71 B7 B59 A26 A71 B51 B62 A27 A72 B34 B59 A28 A67 B8 B60 B52 B63 B35 B59 B9 B59 B36 B59 B53 B60 A29 A72 B37 B60 A30 A71 B38 B60 A31 A71 B22 B61 B13 B59 B10 B60 B14 B59 A32 A71 B55 B63 A33 A71 A34 A71 B11 B59 B12 B59 B39 B60 A35 A67 A36 A71 B40 B63 B41 B60 A37 A67 B56 B65 B15 B59 B16 B59 B17 B59 B18 B59 B54 B64 B23 B61 B42 B60 B43 B60 B44 B59 A38 A71 A39 A67 B45 B60 A40 A71 B24 B62 B25 B61 A41 A72 A42 A71 A43 A72 B19 B62 A44 A67 A45 A71 B57 B61 B26 B61 B27 B61 B28 B59 B29 B59 B46 B60 A46 A72 B20 B59 B30 B61 A47 A67 A48 A67 A49 A67 A51 A72 A52 A71 A53 A65 A54 A71 A55 A67 A56 A66 A57 A71 A58 A69 A59 A70 A60 A76 A61 A75 A62 A75 A63 A67 C83 C90 C84 C92 C85 C92 C86 C93 C87 C91 C88 C91 C89 C93 output rmattacktables.pdf
    
Note that the above uses "of Channeling". You can replace this with either of "of Essence" or "of Mentalism" if you like - all three have their spell attack tables on the same page numbers so it will work whichever of the three PDFs you refer to.

If you have "arms law", "the armory", "fire and ice" and one of the "spell law" books:

pdftk "D=5812_ElementalCompFire&IcelowrezPDF.pdf" "A=5810P.ArmsLawlowrezpdf.pdf" "C=5803P.SLofChannelinglowrezpdf.pdf" "B=5813P_TheArmory.pdf" cat B47 B61 B58 B60 B31 B59 B5 B59 B6 B59 A21 A72 B32 B60 B33 B60 B48 B62 A22 A66 B49 B61 A23 A72 B50 B62 A24 A67 B21 B61 A25 A71 B7 B59 A26 A71 B51 B62 A27 A72 B34 B59 A28 A67 B8 B60 B52 B63 B35 B59 B9 B59 B36 B59 B53 B60 A29 A72 B37 B60 A30 A71 B38 B60 A31 A71 B22 B61 B13 B59 B10 B60 B14 B59 A32 A71 B55 B63 A33 A71 A34 A71 B11 B59 B12 B59 B39 B60 A35 A67 A36 A71 B40 B63 B41 B60 A37 A67 B56 B65 B15 B59 B16 B59 B17 B59 B18 B59 B54 B64 B23 B61 B42 B60 B43 B60 B44 B59 A38 A71 A39 A67 B45 B60 A40 A71 B24 B62 B25 B61 A41 A72 A42 A71 A43 A72 B19 B62 A44 A67 A45 A71 B57 B61 B26 B61 B27 B61 B28 B59 B29 B59 B46 B60 A46 A72 B20 B59 B30 B61 A47 A67 A48 A67 A49 A67 A51 A72 A52 A71 A53 A65 A54 A71 A55 A67 A56 A66 A57 A71 A58 A69 A59 A70 A60 A76 A61 A75 A62 A75 A63 A67 D117 D126 D118 D126 D119 A76 D120 A67 C83 C90 D121 C90 C84 C92 C85 C92 D122 C93 C86 C93 C87 C91 D123 D127 D124 D127 C88 C91 D125 C92 C89 C93 output rmattacktables.pdf
    
The same note applies here wrt "of Channeling" (see above).

Print

Now print the glorious result on a printer that can print on both sides of the sheet and you're home free. If, for some reason, you couldn't get this to work, drop me a line and explain your problem and I'll try to fix the description. I also welcome further ideas of course.

Please keep in mind that the finished product is just as much ICE's intellectual property as the original PDFs are.



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