M.E.R.P.

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Postby mithrandir761167 » Sun Jul 21, 2002 9:15 am

i have just discovered the D&D like game called M.E.R.P. or middle earth role playing, and i cannot find much info on how to play, but i love LOTR and would be grateful if anyone can give me a good site or more info on how to start/play. thanks.<BR><BR><BR>mithrandir761167<BR>
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Postby vincent » Sun Jul 21, 2002 12:23 pm

The first step would be to buy the book, and then some dice. Then read the book learn the rules, and last since you own the book your the "GM" or "DM" by default, unless you can get one of your friends to "ref" it.<BR><BR>I saw the book on E-bay going for 20.00$ beyond that your on your own.
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Postby Galador » Sun Jul 21, 2002 1:01 pm

M.E.R.P has been around for years. I used to play this back in my RP'ing days about 10 years ago. I'm pretty sure Iron Crown used to publish the books modules and rules. Its been so long sine I've played though. Its basically AD&D in M.E. Very good as I remember. The critical hits system was hilarious!<BR>Try these sites <BR><BR>http://www.merp.com/<BR>http://www.chapter-one.com/merp/<BR>http://www.dreamwithin.com/uamerp/<BR><BR>Hope this helps <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR>
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Postby vincent » Sun Jul 21, 2002 1:09 pm

the version i play is based on the "ICE" system basicly using a percentage, you roll 2 ten sides, one high one low and get a total of 100, of course if you had a 100 sided die you could use that.
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Postby mithrandir761167 » Sun Jul 21, 2002 1:15 pm

thanks guys, that helped alot, for now im off to buy me my merp book.
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Postby Galador » Sun Jul 21, 2002 1:22 pm

<i>the version i play is based on the "ICE" system </i><BR><BR>Iron Crown Enterprises but you knew that right? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby vincent » Sun Jul 21, 2002 2:41 pm

Yes i did as a matter of fact <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Galador » Tue Jul 23, 2002 5:49 am

Though you might
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Postby Durin VIII » Wed Jul 31, 2002 12:49 pm

Just found this thread. There are several older MERP threads on here as well if you want to do a search. ICE lost the rights for Middle Earth before the movie came out so it is tough to find in stores. There was a first and 2nd edition version of the game. Don't know the difference since I had quit playing before the 2nd edition came out. <BR><BR>Their supplements were great. Lots of new info without contradicting Tolkien very much. Ebay is the best place to find them. I recently sold most of my old 1st edition stuff there and there is a pretty collectors market for it. I made more then I paid for it all those years ago, plus I got hundred of hours of enjoyment from the books, creating adventures, and GMing. I think the last time I played was at a gaming convention 10 years ago.<BR>
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Postby Gormegil » Thu Aug 15, 2002 12:47 am

ICE's MERP was (is) a classic RPG. I loved it. MERP was great fun and really captured the mood and feel of LOTR. The only weakness (IMHO) was the magic system. I thought it was rather bulky and unwieldly.
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Tue Jan 07, 2003 11:33 pm

I have played MERP since it first came out, back in the early 80's, and I still play it, though nowadays my friends and I do it on-line via e mails. We use a mixture of our own rules and ICE rules, as their rulebook is needlessly complicated, in our opinion. For me, the best aspect about all of the many supplements that came out for that game was the fold-out color maps drawn by Peter Fenlon. I still have most of them and the modules. I wish ICE was still around <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>
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Postby Gormegil » Sun Jan 12, 2003 10:40 pm

ICE is chapter 11 (or is it chapter 7??), but they're still alive and kicking. Their website is still active and you can still order stuff from it. Unfortunately, ICE lost the liscense to LOTR years ago and all the great MERP had to be shredded........such a loss... <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Mon Jan 13, 2003 1:29 am

I had no idea that ICE was still around. However, if they are not putting out anymore MERP modules and/or maps than I wouldn't be that interested. <BR><BR>Do any of you still have any of their modules? I have a pretty good collection of them still. I saw on Ebay that my Gorgoroth module (which is still in great condition) is worth quite a lot now. I won't sell it, though. Some of those modules and maps were so well done that they alone make interesting reading material!
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Postby Gormegil » Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:44 am

I have about 10 moduals ( I usually made up my own adventures...) and nearly ALL of the "lands of Middle Earth" guides (...or whatever they were called...My memory fails...) including "Moria" and "Ardor."
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:54 am

Pretty cool. Gormegil. I also have that Ardor module. That was one of the very first ones they came out with back in 1980, I believe. Do you happen to have Mt. Gundabad or Dagorlad and the Dead Marshes? I used to have them but they are lost. Don't you agree that the best thing about those modules were the wonderful fold out maps by P. Fenlon? I loved those!
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Postby Barad-dur » Sat Jan 18, 2003 6:32 pm

Hey guys, <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>(No Gormegil, I'm not stalking you... we just seem to share the same love for RPGs <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> )<BR><BR>I own nearly all of the MERP ICE products, including the rulebooks, modules, adventures, and supplements, for both 1st and 2nd edition MERP. I must agree that the maps were definitely a big selling feature for me, although the material and extensive background itself in each publication were pretty awesome themselves.<BR><BR>Of the whole collection, I think I am missing only four books:<BR><BR>Nazgul's Citadel<BR>The Grey Mountains<BR>Forest of Tears<BR>Arnor: The Land (this was after they split them into two, so I only found Arnor: The People) <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><BR><BR>My favourites are:<BR><BR>Gorgoroth<BR>The Shire<BR>Dol Guldur<BR>Empire of the Witch-King<BR>Lords of Middle-Earth: Vol.I The Immortals - Elves, Maiar, and Valar.
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Postby Gormegil » Sun Jan 19, 2003 12:24 am

The fold-out maps were THE HIGHLIGHT of all of ICE's MERP moduals (The interesting and ORIGONAL architecture wasn't half bad either)! You could see the depth and effort that went into each one. I don't know how often I used them. They were especially useful as in few other games you could get EXP for just "wandering" around new territory that you hadn't explored before! My EXP-hungry PC's loved doing that!<BR><BR>"...we're short 1,000 exps for the next level. Let's go exploring the Dead Marches!"<BR><BR>"YEAH!!"<BR><BR>Needless to say, I made then EARN every EXP they got! More then once their EXP greed and wonderlust cost them dearly! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> In fact, one time they decided to "check out" Dol Guldur...just for the EXP's. Little did they know that the Dol Guldur modual (or was it part of a Mirkwood guide?) ACTUALLY CONTAINED STATS FOR MR. BIG HIMSELF: SAURON!!!!!!!!! So, I prepared a little surprise for them.....<BR><BR>Heheheeheheheeheheheh<BR><BR>I've seen the NEW maps by Decipher and they just DON'T compare, not by a longshot.
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sun Jan 19, 2003 1:02 am

Interesting, Gormegil! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> Peter Fenlon was the guy who did the maps. I wonder what he is doing these days? <BR><BR>Well personally, when I GMed an adventure, I always refrained from telling my PC's about their XP's and their 'levels', etc. It just makes it all seem too 'game-like' when we did that. I wanted to shoot for more realism with our RP's so we all agreed to keep that knowledge secret to the GM only <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> When they would ask me, "Am I getting close to gaining another leve?" I would just say, "Oh, your getting there...maybe" Eventually, we also stopped referring to powerful weapons as '+ 25 sword', or '+35 long bow'. The 'pluses' existed on paper, of course, but I didn't see any reason for the PC's to know that info. It's more exciting when you don't really know for sure. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> We still do it that way, actually, though I am the PC nowadays. Plus we do it all on line through e mails.<BR><BR>Dol Guldur was fun, no doubt, but why on earth would anyone in their right mind (except Gandalf) <i>want</i> to go in there?? Depending on what time period you play in, of course. Same thing with Gorgoroth. I had to really think to come up with a decent scenario for the PC's to have an excuse to go in that wasteland (we had to play it during the early Third Age, at that!). <BR><BR>
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Postby Barad-dur » Sun Jan 19, 2003 3:30 pm

Here is something you can do just for kicks and makes for a very cool afternoon:<BR><BR>Pull up the stats for Gandalf, Galadriel, Saruman, Radagast, and Elrond, then assign or let your party pick one each to play...<BR><BR>Then open up the Dol Guldur adventure and re-enact the White Council's attack on the fortress to drive out the Necromancer. With Sauron and Khamul in the house, this a good way to pull out all the stops and experience MERP with a ton of power at your fingertips... as Celebrimbor32 points out, no one else in their right mind would go to Dol Guldur, so why not have fun with an actual historical event? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Mon Jan 20, 2003 1:33 am

Interesting suggestion, Barad-dur <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> Except that I would hate to be the one responsible for getting any of those famous celebrity characters killed! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0> At any rate, I am always wary of playing any of Tolkien's characters from the books in my RPs, either in MERP or here in the Pony. It would be cool if they have some sort of MERP event at the Gathering next December! <BR><BR>btw - have any of you ever tried to piece PF's maps together from the ICE modules? You know, I am beginning to think that he must have made one gigantic map of western Endor at some point that filled up his wall, as many of them can be pieced together almost perfectly.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif"border=0> I experimented with them one day and layed several of them together on the floor. Very interesting!
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Postby Barad-dur » Mon Jan 20, 2003 2:43 am

Oh, I think we all tried to match those maps up at some point! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I still remember my frustration at finding small gaps here and there, and for people just like you and I, ICE finally released a map book that contained all of the published maps to date of north-western ME, and it had all those small bits not seen before, including Lindon. Only problem was, you had to cut and paste them all together, which was kinda silly... I don't know why they couldn't have just published the thing over four or five uniform pages that you could just pull out and match up. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>
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Postby SpickxThexDwarf » Mon Jan 20, 2003 8:15 am

This game seems pretty cool, does it cost a monthly fee or anything?<BR><BR>[grunt]<BR><BR>Farewell<BR>-Spick The Dwarf
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Postby Barad-dur » Mon Jan 20, 2003 7:00 pm

SpickxThexDwarf,<BR><BR>Your question can only lead me to assume that you are thinking that MERP is an online multiplayer game. It is not. It is an old-fashioned pen-and-paper RPG played with dice and character sheets in the best tradition of Dungeons & Dragons, so there is no monthly fee to pay as you mentioned.<BR><BR>There were plans to make a massive online multiplayer game set in Middle-Earth by Sierra, but the whole project was canned a couple of years back. If you dig deep enough in this Forum you will find a thread about it. I suspect there is another such project in the works again, but I'm not sure who is working on it.
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Postby Greysorcerer » Wed Jan 22, 2003 5:14 pm

Being an AD&D player, I found trying to play MERP very difficult. The Rolemaster system to me was too complex and I have a very bad attention span.<BR><BR>However, I enjoyed several things from that system. As noted above, the critical system was excellent; the herb charts and healing magnificent; the module adventures unbelievable; and the Angus McBride artwork above and beyond.<BR><BR>What a fantastic annal in RPGs.
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Postby Gormegil » Thu Jan 23, 2003 9:09 pm

Barad,<BR><BR><BR>ICE were great in many ways. But.......<BR><BR><BR><BR>........they were also VERY CHEAP at times. Even bone-headed. Some of their Spacemaster stuff was just plain DUMB. They were more artists (both good and bad...) then business types. At least that was the impression I got from them when I met many of the ICE persons behind MERP at Origions 86 (or was it 89).
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Postby Gormegil » Thu Jan 23, 2003 9:27 pm

P.S. <BR><BR><i>Why would anyone want to go "in there" (Dol Guldur)?</i><BR><BR><BR>......because it's there! No. Actually, I think My plasyers would occassionally laps into "AD&D mode" and think themselves invincible (they even dared to enter the Mines of Moria!) from time to time. In fact, I used the Gandalf angle to rescue the PC's from certain death at the hands of "the necromancer". I had Gandalf come in during his spying mission to Dol Guldur to discover the idenity of the "necromancer" and save them (along with being present for the giving of the Key and Map of the Lonely Mountain by Thrain.<BR> <BR>One highlight was that the PC's where able to slay Saron's little Shelob "clone" he had in the pits of Dol Guldur. It was like taking a page right out of ROTC! Unfortunately, I had mistakenly given on of the PC's a magical sword that had "spider slaying" ability, thinking he would never use it. Wrong. OF course, then he wanted to go find the REAL Shelob and have a go at her-just for the EXP! Luckely for them, the other PC's convinced him of his folly!<BR><BR>In fact, one of the basics of the campaign was that the PC's were "attached" to White Council and often did quests and other adventures on behest of Gandalf or one of the Nolder. It was a great excuse to send the PC's all over the map! It was cool to set them up by having Saruman work behind their backs and try and have them killed. They never figured out why so many of their missions met with near or total failure, even though they had all read the books. I played Saruman's duplicity to the hilt!<BR>
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Postby Barad-dur » Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:20 am

LOL, nicely done! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Good thing for your group then that ICE never got around to releasing the layout and specs for the Dark Tower itself! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Gormegil » Fri Jan 24, 2003 10:07 pm

(sigh)...yes....that is too bad. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0> It would have been glorious...<BR><BR>I can see the set up now:<BR><BR>(Gandalf): "Alas, Gollum has been captured by the Black Hand and taken to Barad-Dur. Now, we shall never know....."<BR><BR>(Party): "Don't worry, Gandalf! We'll sneak into Mordor, break into Barad-Dur and rescue him! Trust us!"<BR><BR>(Party-to themselves): "Yeah, think of the experience points we'd gain....."<BR><BR>A stunned Gandalf the Grey becomes Gandalf The White...prematurely.<BR><BR>However, ICE did publish a modual or supplement that had Minas Ithil/Minas Morgul....<BR><BR>In fact, I had concidered having the party try and infiltrate Minas Morgul for one reason or another. It was either going to be to see if the Nazgul had indeed returned to Minas Morgul, or as a "fourth age" adventure, I was going to have the PC's hired to "clean out" the Tower of The Moon on the behest of Elessar..... <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Durin VIII » Mon Jan 27, 2003 8:27 am

My favorite moment was when I was able to use the following line on a party: "Okay it is a 20 by 30 foot room and you see a Nazgul guarding a chest." For those of us that had done lots of dungeon diving over the years that was fun to say.<BR><BR>I was always able to keep my party on the outskirts of major events and people. That was one of the nice thing with all the work they did with areas outside of the land that Tolkien showed. The party always liked to see references to events from the books, and I made sure they felt like they had control over their actions without changing history.<BR><BR>For the game system to work in the tradition of Tolkien you had to do a lot of modification to the rules and really work with the spell-casting players to make sure the character developed to make everyone happy.<BR><BR>It was easiest running it at conventions because then I could make the characters exactly to fit the adventure. I quickly learned that I would be lucky if one or two people at the table had ever played it before so I would plan to spend 15 minutes describing the rules. The easy part was that everyone always knew the world and you could make references that everyone got.-
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Postby Gormegil » Thu Jan 30, 2003 10:53 pm

Durin,<BR><BR><BR>I agree. The spell system of MERP needed lots of work. Lots. In fact, I eventually got sick of it and just "banned" magic (save for healing) to NPC-only statis. That way I could keep complete control over just how magic effected the campaign. I didn't want AD&D-style fireballs and lighting bolts going off at all times.... <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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