Inspired by ICE’s first five modules—Iron Wind, Angmar, Umbar, Ardor, and Mirkwood—I’ve split the cultures of Middle-earth into five regions with the idea of having five different campaigns (the players would each create at least five PCs at start).
Far North & East Stiffbeard Dwarf Man of Dorwinion Easterling Man of the Lossoth Variag Snow-elf
Nice work! I recommend the Northwestern Middle-earth Gazetteer to help flesh out Eriador and Rhovanion. I've been rereading this book lately, and rediscovered its usefulness. I'll definitely make good use of it if I ever run a Middle-earth campaign again.
Grognard Day: If an old-school D&D player sees his shadow, it means his group will spend six more weeks playing 5E.
The primary lightsaber colors are red, green, and blue. The primary pigment saber colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow.
Well, it’s really fun digging into these products. At their heart they seem to be simple dungeoneering and wargaming scenarios, yet they are overlaid with such a dense veneer of historical, linguistic, and cultural info, and info on geography and local plants and so on. I suppose both ICE and its audience felt a Tolkien RPG demands to be taken very seriously. It’s funny to me, because I and my group are pretty deep lovers of Tolkien, yet I don’t think we’ve ever approached RPGs as a very serious exercise.
After digging into Mirkwood and Arnor, it seems to me that ICE seems to lump Khazad-dûm with the latter. Furthermore, the scenarios from Moria imply PCs from Eriador. Therefore I have moved the Longbeards from Rhovanion to Eriador. This is counter-intuitive to me on several levels—the whole of the Misties are past “The Edge of the Wild” (as The Hobbit makes plain), and Khazad-dûm is on the eastern end of them, and Rhovanion in general seems to be Longbeard Territory considering their (eventual?) spread through the Grey Mountains, Erebor, and the Iron Hills. However, Mirkwood wants you to use Stonefoot PCs, so, just as a starting setup, I’ll go with it.
I also noticed there are no PCs from Lórien in Mirkwood, and that the Lórien scenarios in Lórien and the Halls of the Elven Smiths imply PCs from Gondor — and still no PCs from Lórien! So maybe this is just a character type that gets “unlocked” later.
Yeah, the …and the Halls of the Elven Smiths part is definitely set in Eriador. That’s why I specified “the Lórien scenarios in Lórien…”
I meant to mention that Lórien probably does not get much attention in MERP because in 1640 it does not yet have its most striking characteristics: it is not yet ruled by Galadriel and Celeborn but rather by Amroth; there is no Nenya and no Mallorn trees.