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Middle Earth Role Playing, Second Edition…
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Middle Earth Role Playing, Second Edition (MERP #2001) (1993)

by S. Coleman Charlton

Other authors: Terry K. Amthor (Contributor), Richard H. Britton (Contributor), Liz Danforth (Illustrator), Peter C. Fenlon (Contributor), Angus McBride (Cover artist)5 more, Bruce R. Neidlinger (Contributor), Jessica Ney-Grimm (Contributor), John David Ruemmler (Contributor), Kamran Sedaghatkish (Illustrator), Jason Waltrip (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Middle-Earth Role Playing, 2nd edition (2001)

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When using Tolkien's universe as a game setting, there are two major constraints; the geography, and the history. Obviously, Tolkien never intended for his work to be used for role playing games; he wrote simply because he wanted a context for his languages (and to tell stories, of course). Consequently, he only "discovered" as much of Arda as he needed for these purposes - which makes for a realtively meager geographical gaming context; with only a handful of documented settlements and hotspots to play with, environments are bound to get old fast. On the other hand, the vast portions of empty space on the maps leave plenty of room for players to come up with interesting places of their own - which is also what Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE) does in Middle-Earth Role Playing (MERP). But in the end, there is only so much you can add to the setting and still keep it intact. Which leads to the second hurdle; the history.

In Tolkien's Middle-Earth, all global events of epic proportions have either already taken place, or - as in the case of the time setting for MERP (which is ca year 1600 Third Age of the Sun and onwards) - are still to come. Important and fantastic things will happen - regardless of what the players do with their characters. Role playing in the Star Wars universe is a good example of the opposite: there is enough space for players to act out and have an impact on the setting without contesting the original. MERP still does its best not to turn players into bystanders, and the overall result is satisfactory. ( )
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
S. Coleman Charltonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Amthor, Terry K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Britton, Richard H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Danforth, LizIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fenlon, Peter C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McBride, AngusCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Neidlinger, Bruce R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ney-Grimm, JessicaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ruemmler, John DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sedaghatkish, KamranIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waltrip, JasonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blixt, AndersContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cargille, Donald R.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Häggström, OlaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, EllisaMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zindermann, UlfContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,

One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
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I.C.E. completed revised their rules for the MERP game system, beginning with the new basic rule set in 1986. This "second edition" is roughly three times the size of the previous versions, with a different team of contributors, and should not be combined with the previous version.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0915795310, Paperback)

MERP contains all the components required to play a fantasy role playing game: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM - covering Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Trolls, etc. MAGIC SYSTEM - simple yet comprehensive rules for spells. COMBAT SYSTEM - realistic and flavorful, fast and playable. GAMEMASTER GUIDELINES - material covering travel, encounters, weather, random events, healing, poisons, and magic items. CREATURES AND RACES - a detailed appendix covering the major beasts, monsters, and peoples. SAMPLE ADVENTURE - a starting adventure set in the Trollshaws, complete with layouts.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 29 Nov 2016 16:07:42 -0500)

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