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o t h e r

Other Hands
Other Hands is an international gaming journal de-
h a n d s
voted to fantasy role-playing set in J.R.R, Tolkien’s sec-
ondary world of Middle-earth. It is a quarterly, non-
profit publication welcoming submissions dealing with any
aspect of gaming in the context of Tolkien’s world: sce-
nario ideas, rule suggestions, gaming product reviews,
gamemastering aids, bibliographic resources, essays on
Middle-earth, and whatever else our readership would Tolkien Enterprises stipulating that no materials set in the
like to see in print. In a word, Other Hands aims to be the First or Second Ages of Middle-earth may be published.
definitive Tolkien-related gaming journal for a world-wide Finally, a prospective author writing on a region previously
role-playing community. described in an earlier Iron Crown module is constrained
to conform his or her own ideas to what someone else has
How did Other Hands come to be? The need for this written.
journal derives in part from the particular licensing ar-
rangement existing between the Tolkien Estate and Iron None of these limitations imply anything positive or
Crown Enterprises (the gaming company responsible for negative about the quality of Iron Crown's products; they
producing and marketing the Middle-earth Role Playing sys- are simply inevitable consequences of the legal arrange-
tem). The license to publish Tolkien-related role-playing ments described above. In the past, this problem was over-
products is a world-wide license held exclusively by Iron come by publishing one’s material in a gaming magazine
Crown. This means, in effect, that anyone wishing their (e.g. White Dwarf). Today, however, no major English-
Middle-earth gaming materials to see print must go language gaming journal exists that is interested in publish-
through Iron Crown. This places certain inherent limita- ing Tolkien-related material (most are now devoted to a
tions upon the prospective author. particular game company’s products). Hence, there is a gap
which needs to be filled for Middle-earth gamers—
To begin with, it means that the writer must utilize the OtherHands seeks to fill that gap.
official game mechanics of Middle-earth Role Playing, even if
he or she prefers a different game system. There are also Within the pages of Other Hands the interested gamer
certain restrictions built into Iron Crown’s contract with may publish materials with reference to any game mechan-
ics he or she chooses (including Rolemaster and Middle-earth

Role Playing). Such gaming material may deal with any time With this inaugural issue of Other Hands we are pleased
period of Tolkien's world, and need not be bound to what to add the category of “role-playing” to Tolkien's vision.
has already seen print in Iron Crown's modules. Other It had been our hope to release this issue on the first of
Hands provides this freedom because it is a non-profit pub- January, so that our quarterly publishing schedule would
lication. It is our hope, then, that this journal will provide have an annual reference point. Unfortunately, our ar-
an open forum for all Middle-earth gamers to communicate rangement with Tolkien Enterprises was held up by ongo-
freely and to exchange their ideas with one another in the ing deliberations between them and Iron Crown Enter-
common enthusiasm which they share for exploring prises concerning the latter’s Middle-earth license; conse-
Tolkien's world through role-playing. quently, our spring issue is a bit late. We intend, however,
Why call this journal “Other Hands?” In 1951 Tolkien to keep Other Hands on schedule, and aim to publish subse-
wrote a letter to a prospective publisher, explaining the quent issues on the first of July, October, January, and
genesis and growth of his “Mythology for England.” In this April of each year.
letter, he writes: We would also like to apologize to our overseas sub-
Once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) 1 scribers for the rather steep subscription price. At present,
had a mind to make a body of more or less connected leg- this is the bare cost of printing and mailing (if anyone has an
end... I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, idea of how to make distribution less expensive, we are all
and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. ears). In the meantime, our goal is to make Other Hands
The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet worth every bit you have paid, and to make each issue at
leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint least thirty pages in lengdi (this, however, means that we
and music and drama. (Letters: 144-145). will need your submissions). We will also strive to make
each issue as diverse as possible, so that it contains as wide
a range of material as can be managed.
Chris Seeman, 24 April, 1993

Anders Blixt Panel discussion participants:
Pete Fenlon; ICE Andrew Butler
Chris Pbelby Glenn Kuring
Chris Seeman Brian T. Murphy
Eric Rauscher
Chris Seeman

Dear Folks,
This is an open letter to anyone who might be perusing “Other Hands.” It embodies a few thoughts that the crew at Iron Crown
Enterprises (ICE) want to impart to people who are interested in gaming in Middle-earth. We hope to shed some light on our pub-
lishing program and invite some constructive discussion about our future plans.
As you may already know, ICE holds the exclusive, worldwide license to produce adventure games based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The
Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. We acquired these very special rights in 1982. It took us two years to con- vince Tolkien Enterprises and
the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien that we were a worthy choice, and it has taken us another ten years to reach the stage where we are
ready to revise and relaunch what has become our most notable product line.

Before talking about ICE’s plans, however, we think it is important that you know where we are and where we have
been. In this context, chew on the following:
General Philosophy Commitment ted to the property forever. What we
have published so far is only a begin-
ICE cares about “what gets writ- ICE has always tended to look at
ning. ICE intends to keep laboring and
ten” as much, or more, than “what matters in terms of the “long run.”
tinkering until we get things "just
gets sold.” (Having started with very little capital,
right" —which means we will persist
While we have failed on occasion we had no other choice.) This per-
in our quest until we perish. This
to produce an excellent (or even toler- spective can be dangerous, in that it
open-ended commitment is not unlike
able) work, ICE believes that quality is creates a rationale or pretext for some
Professor Tolkien's own creative jour-
much more important than quantity. unhealthy delays; however, it has also
Well researched, well written, and well enabled us to build a company and
presented material makes us feel better learn a craft in the face of some very Creative Philosophy
about ourselves and our careers. Of daunting obstacles. Patience and com- ICE’s crew is trained in cartogra-
course, about our work, it also makes mitment form the foundation of ICE’s phy, history, architecture, and (per-
commercial sense. Quality products strategy. haps most importantly) anthropology.
generally perform better, especially in ICE treats the Middle-earth license We care about these, and numerous
the “long run.” as a fundamental part of our publish- other, disciplines which impact on the
ing program. We will remain commit- sort of creative and interpretive work

We failed to create the feeling that the .. not the rules. we provide consumers extremely positive. quality gaming. even ucts are now available in nine differ- tried to employ good cartography. ICE has generated and fine linguistic-based. we fell MERP has been a commercial success. Three more transla- solid graphics.R. be desired. We wanted to provide con. that adventure game guidelines). In some cases (e. in quality and a little too “text ployed by Professor Tolkien. we travel to Rules Philosophy for we knew that many gamers Europe and actually visit similar would prefer to play another game or round-barrows. dle-earth Role Playing (MERP) game in suspect that. the vast majority of our fan mail is “seamless” works. where the guidelines were conceptu.” rules were uniquely well-suited to share his broad. to this day. If nothing else. when we do a tales. work in our publications. When we endeavor to cre. game system (as is the case with most luted the line. and ICE originally designed the Mid. one of the best foreign-language fantasy.” For example. rather. our past earth. even though they em- analogous language). and while our research. to world” experience with “fresh fan. a large por- ate proper names in the Variag 1982. though.. we feel that there is a lot of feeling that MERP was designed room for im. interdisciplinary the world of Middle-earth. however. We the like.mulas (e. We try as much as possible to offerings have often been too uneven employ the same techniques em. provement. tion of the folk adventuring in Endor tongue (Varadja). nor do we demean them. there is a lot of ICE pays more attention to. with tions are currently in progress.” We plan to address simply plugging in “Chinese-like” other licensed adventure games). even make up their own rules. we do not rely on tired and Tolkien's world onto an existing This philosophy. Middle-earth prod- Tolkien’s works. This approach is in the best tributed to the fact that ICE wanted see. We tried to avoid grafting ploy our Middle-earth supplements.”) While we accomplished one of these revision program (see below). told. ICE long ago dedicated itself to short of effectively achieving the Besides selling over 300. enabled us to reach more consumers. this problem in our forthcoming peoples and cultures in “the East.000 English- producing both outstanding maps other goal. piece on barrow-downs. ICE’s presenta. language copies. and with adventure and mystery in a room for design improvement. has “di- mundane fantasy for. The idea is to create that simply retell tales already well. interpretive Unfortunately.g. We do not dilute the tell the tale of Middle-earth. and we heavy. takes greater care with. we have succeeded. two goals (MERP is a good set of Form There is little doubt.R. ent languages. The point is to combine “real interest of all parties concerned with the supplements. time. we study Russian sumers with a set of solid game me. while Plotlines our Middle-earth products are gen- approach (with special emphasis on land and language) to every aspect of ICE does not design products erally very well received. staying true to the methods tion of the MERP rules left much to translation and distribution ever seen employed in the creation of J. In most the magic and character creation cases. around the setting. Nonethe.g. long-barrows. and compelling art. At the same Endor.fundamental to the study of Middle. We have always of confusion and complexity. We often created a sense in our industry. use TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons or (which Tolkien alluded to as an chanics with which to adventure in AD&D rules. This tasy. ally simple. this subject wonderful setting borne out of those Much of the problem can be at- matter than any other potential licen. tales. rules) ICE also failed to create a less. So.

however.. 2nd Edition MERP will rent Middle-earth titles will ever be We curtailed production. Lords of Middle-earth. ICE will be revising its entire Middle- earth without a lot of rules. and the new packaging.. Besides insuring that the new . ICE will ternal debt load. and presentation. “Elves” or “Orcs” launching what amounts to a rebirth of It will look and read as well as. the newer Most of Sea-lords ofGondor and Havens the Rings Adventure Game subseries. This section will address products called “Middle-earth Adven- key concepts such as “magic and the tures” sometime in 1994. and (3) for vehicle to reach new markets. any adventure game product the old material will find its way back strategy: ever produced. inte. This necessarily af. A special the early part of the Fourth Age. and marketing programs. be reorganizing its entire approach to fected our Middle-earth-related publi. for instance. we are color mapboard-style intro adventure). nouncement of a Middle-earth section dealing with the problems of 3) Middle-earth Adventures boardgame (slated for release in 1994). material will include guidelines to inject ofGondor will appear in the new “Gon- a more “Middle-earthian” flavor into the dor” product. titles like Arnor (the first of the Realms ing the groundwork for what amounted write. The races outlined in to a hoped-for revision and renewal uct.” they will contain simple guidelines First.” providing consumers with three op- lishing supplemental adventures for its We will also add a section dealing tions: (1) for use as a boardgame using a introductory Lord of the Rings Adventure with how to use introductory Lord of the simple rules system common to all the Game. sales. magic in Middle-earth should satisfy Third. ICE has 2) Middle-earth Role Playing interior and trade dress are compatible spent the last three years focusing on Second. Much of our line. earth line. piece). a full will each be given their own separate. releasing the very new 2nd edition for the subject of Endor.g. revise and repackage its eight-year old mark. expanded work (e. incorporated into a future “Mordor” dle-earth Role Playing game line. into print as part of the new tides (e. ICE hopes to continue pub. Middle-earth Role Playing game (MERP). WHERE WE'RE GOING While quite profitable. the new trade- the elimination of its large and old ex. healthy (more so than ever). and new play aides (e. and focused our efforts on will incorporate a wholly new layout ICE will be publishing fewer but larger clearing out our old inventory and lay. and anyone interested in ex- ploring the idea of gaming in Middle. wade through new rules. and on the later years of the Third Age and dos to start playing without having to (4) the development and an. Fully illus. The plan involves a four-part ter than. Adventure Game adventure. retain the current rules. We will add new cover art. Instead.” “magic and the sources of power. Templates” will enable both novices and sional” Middle-earth Adventures series Each of the new titles will focus more Lord of the Rings Adventure Game aficiona- of gamettes. and “magic and the nature of evil.g. program. A line of self- 1) The Lord of the Rings Adventure Balance of Things. use as a MERP gamers. (1) the completion of the Lord of Substantively speaking. ICE hopes to thoroughly with 2nd Edition MERP. in the new Peoples subseries. Game ion.” “magic and relig. re. Now that we are once again rior art. and Gorgoroth will be (2) the revision of the entire Mid- character creation process. None of the cur- cation. Campaign Atlases). or bet.g. contained boardgame-like adventures. (2) for use as a Lord of the Rings series provides ICE with the perfect the MERP rules. advertising. novice In accord with the rules revision. it published (as they are) again. ICE will revise. ICE plans to launch a series A few specific thoughts about our anyone’s concerns about rampant spell of “three dimensional” adventure game future plans follow: use in MERP. to reedit and improve all the old prose. This game and its associated sub- Rings Adventure Game adventures with games. but we will be taking great care trated and predesigned “Character (3) the debut of the “three dimen.. and/or re-edit the entire prod. printing. Christmas 1993.

we are working with the greatest mass market strategy boardgame that captures fantasy setting published in modern times. ICE hopes to finally produce a After all. For ICE. and we have fi. linkable full color card- board playing surfaces. perience.adventure. feel free to will provide both introductory and intermedi. dice. it any thoughts along these lines. In other words. We have three counsel from a host of interested sources. and skill to create the finest line of 4) Middle-earth Boardgames adventure gaming products ever published.O. we hope to produce P. We hope you agree. the series will replace ICE’s old Adventure Modules and Ready-to-Run Mod- ules. “The Mines of Moria”) will be boxed and will con- tain full color cardboard playing pieces. full color crea- ture and character templates. first-class boardgame offering.. we have sought time of the War of the Ring. ICE Should the 3D Middle-earth Adventures se- ries appear successful.g. In the drama and flavor of Middle-earth at the order to achieve this goal. these products will serve both as standalone games using a standardized set of rules and as programmed adventure supplements for both Lord of the Rings Adventure Game and MERP players. VA 22902 game rules. ex- and more advanced games. Playable in an evening. They will be the perfect link between traditional boardgames ICE believes that it has the education. product format and revenue affordable. plas- tic playing pieces. and a booklet covering both the adventure plotline and the Closing associated guidelines. Fourth. each adventure will serve as both an enter- taining boardgame or as highly visual role Thoughts playing game supplement. write us at the following address: ate level rules. Each Middle-earth Adventure (e. ICE is hoping to address all of the critical nally located cost-effective sources for all of criticisms expressed in the past—including the components necessary to produce an product quality. solid designs to work with. Pete Fenlon . and we hope to continue refining and improving our work. foundation. ICE believes that our labors will be fruitful. Box 1605 full-blown boardgames based on the same Charlottesville. Ultimately. The flow—and we should be able to build an product will contain plastic playing pieces. and beautiful cards. USA Attention: Pete We look forward to laboring in the world we love so dearly during the coming years. a extremely strong program upon the current mounted mapboard. Should you wish to contribute Targeted at consumers aged 13 and older. In the latter context.

followed by one or more adventure from Morgoth. In Angband's Shadow: role-playing material set only in the Third Age of Arda. Beren. their modules have almost exclusively emphasized the period of Beleriand in the First Age the 1640s. and passes seven sons). Middle-earth to reclaim the Silmarils trayed (like Gorlim). Tuor. Those who collaborate with general description of the situation in the which time the Noldor return to the forces of Angband will be be- “known world” during the given time pe. later. despite the great gaming op. the con- Second and Fourth Ages as settings for playing in the First Age is Beleriand as flict must continue until one side has roleplaying. and dwells in his subterranean fortress of Lúthien) to grey-black (Fëanor’s Angband far to the north. The ideas (including suggestions for player. — Caligula This article attempts to remedy that situation: to show how an enterprising gamemaster might make use of the First. Beleriand suffers from a merciless struggle between Morgoth the Black Enemy and a fragile alliance of Men Morgoth et Consortes and Elves. Moreover. Each section begins with a narrated in Quenta Silmarillion. treasures. and ends with the fight for no petty cause—the struggle developing a campaign beyond the usual War of Wrath some six hundred years is about power. glory and incredible fare. Melian. Morgoth (e. with Morgoth’s attack on the realm of world is painted in strong colors and character backgrounds).g. or fail and perish riod. compromise with Morgoth. just prior to the coming of is peopled with heroic individuals who then be utilized as a starting point for the Sun and Moon. Iron Crown Enterprises has thus far published I. The most suitable setting for role. “Oderint dum metuant“ portunities to be found at other moments in Tolkien's invented history. Due to the strict restraints delineated by the Middle-earth gaming license. This period begins from other causes (like Maeglin). during perished. This material may Thingol. There is no room for its gates only when challenged by Fin- negotiation or . The moral dispositions of Between the time of the first sun- the latter range from purest white rise and the War of Wrath. hence it is suggested that money not exist in the campaign (there are no indications of the pres- The World ence of coins in Beleriand).

Maglor. Orcs and Trolls form the common soldiery of The Seven Sons of tions along Beleriand’s northern bor- der. His servants who openly or clandestinely fight for his cause in Beleriand and in other parts of Middle. Only a hero like oath: to slay any who seek to deprive Noldor. resides there with Melian his the wars of Beleriand. Their principal occupations are Angband [Note that. Morgoth acquires many Elven are more sensible and try to mediate and Mannish prisoners. The Noldor earth are many and diverse. and is frequently but are not bound by Fëanor’s oath. Lúthien is the only one and Orodreth. In the to have obtained superior weapons Finrod cannot overcome Sauron's end. who remained in Beleriand and chose servants. The Sindar have their wills crushed by his power ers. The brothers is nominally the overlord of all of Be- rounded by werewolves.] tions. all not to cross Belegaer to the Undying individuals back to their homelands to have sworn a terrible and irretractable Lands.Together with their father. They prefer to dwell in power (but even he is spiritually in. Amrod and Amras are not particu. the oath causes the death of six of from their Noldorin relatives. The Sindar (Grey-elves) are those and are transformed into obedient larly active in these internal strug. but know their land and Húrin Thalion is able to resist such them of a Silmaril. The Noldor are foremost warriors and senses that far excel those of Men and reside in fortresses at strategic loca- occasionally even of Elves. Fëanor hunting (there are no hints that the ingly do not differ from their later Caranthir. The mighty magic). and have powers and Nimloth. only Maglor surviving to Laiquendi (Green-elves). warriors who fight from horseback). Celegorm. Finrod Felagund Elven guises. war (in which they appear as the only only in the late Third Age. Noldor practiced agriculture). vampires. He fana of a fair Elf. especially participate in the Kin-slaying at Al. Thingol. Uruk-hai and Olog-hai do Maedhros. possessing the Dior. into conflict not only with Morgoth. Fingon. wonder that the other Elven princes with Morgoth’s Orcs. and preparation for not yet exist. Elu Sauron participates personally in but also Thingol. wingless drag. and Amras weapon-making. who are the end of the First Age. This curse gund lead many of the Noldor in Bel- wield magical power over fire). goth’s fell arts. the first three are the most ruth. antecedents. climaxing with the sack of is even prepared to abandon his realm ally evil spirits given shape by Mor. shapeshift). manifests itself through deep distrust eriand in the struggle against Morgoth. being bred by Sauron differ considerably in their disposi. the Girdle of Melian). . closely related to the Sindar. encoun- (457-467). while these seem. and others who struggle against queen in the Caves of Menegroth. They are not as powerful as the spy or spread lies. Later they seem fully confront him (even a hero like do not dare to trust them!). Fingolfin. eventual undoing. This oath is their deeply love it. werewolves (who apparently do not among their princes.golfin. Following the Dagor Bragollach in less and brutal. Tolkien of Mandos for the fell deeds commit. Beren. He is often sur. Lúthien. leriand. conspire against both Finrod spears and bows and. and kidnap Lúthien (no tered great difficulty when confronted among the Free Peoples able to sucess. some of whom between their brothers and other lead. The Sindar fight mainly with during his rule of Tol-in-Gaurhoth qualondë. Such creatures are usu. the shadow of Angband. Amrod. at first. the brothers. Menegroth and the killing of Dior and in order to assist Beren in his quest. dwell in the forests of Ossiriand as hunters and gatherers. punctuated by conflict between the Most have high ideals and are little ons. and Finrod Fela- mentions such minions as Balrogs (who ted during their journey. and phantoms with Mannish or sons of Fëanor and other Noldorin corrupted by the war. Curufin. Occasionally he sends such gles. some are described only as “fell beasts” (leaving The Noldor of Beleriand have all come from Aman against the explicit will of The Princes of the the gamemaster free to invent his or the Valar and are subject to the Doom Noldor her own terrible creatures). Their King. Maedhros and Maglor 455. since it brings them forests (principally in Doriath within jured by his many years in captivity). leaders.

Possession of a Beleriand for the Valar. ter is free to introduce beings suitable some of whom are almost as skilful as to the mood of The Silmarillion. appear to possess a level of technology Silmaril leads to Thingol’s dath and they intervene to assist the Elves (e. If you wish to introduce Avari withdrawn life (though in your campaign. their Elven contemporaries. major settlements. as always. prefer to stay migration westwards are known as the villages at the hands of Morgoth’s out of the affairs of Men and Elves Avari. tain peaks which surround the hidden in 496. Occasionally. while others join the Luin and the Misty Mountains. They enemies of Angband have likely diversified into tribes sun. Many and their own works can endure even Peoples of Beleriand. preferring a forests. since it is com. [Most Middle-earth. They have never been subject servants. the heat of dragon fire. [These. The few survivors are absorbed placable foes. These Edain friends of the Elves. survive the First Age. however. comparable to that of the Vikings or the first sack of Doriath at teir hands. Occasionally. The the influence of the Valar and. Dwarves Men Dwarves seem to The three Houses of the Edain be of little importance reach Beleriand around 310. Eagles sunrise. may also have existed among the Free living in small villages or farms. they spread over most of ranks of Angband. The Haladin are Belegost. and will gladly slay dered from one other since the time of Orcs).g. During the years between some of which ally themselves with among the vast forests between Ered the kindling of the stars and the first the Noldor. there is great free. but not necessarily vale of Gondolin. Their two war against Melkor. the rescue of Maedhros). The closely re. The Sindar of Beleriand likely these are not related suspect that there are Avari east of the to the Easterlings that Ered Luin. subsist. They The Avari eventually paid a terrible price for Other Races Those Elves who remained in their fidelity to the Noldor with the Some Ents and Entwives live in Cuivienen and refused to join the destruction or enslavement of their Ossiriand but. These are Morgoth’s im. so. the Awakening]. [The gamemas- of the Edain are renowned warriors. they are sworn dom to define them as you wish. Dwarven artisans and warriors enter who serve Manwë live in the moun- pletely defeated by Morgoth’s forces Beleriand. This tribe does not Eriador. (with one or two exceptions). Various Easterling tribes arrive in majority of their numbers appear to differ considerably from the Elves of Beleriand during the 5th century. are located in Ered shorter and prefer to dwell in isolated Luin on the border of forest settlements. befriend. and keep watch on by the two other tribes. Skinchangers the Iron Ages Germanic tribes. The Dwarves are the best makers of (like the Beomings of the Third Age) ing on agriculture and hunting. have remained east of Beleriand Beleriand. keep- ing in mind that some animals are associ- . the lated Houses of Beor and Hador are mining tall and skilful warriors—the ancestors cities of Nogrod and of the Númenóreans.] A few Drughu believed that the Avari might have inhabit the wilds of become like the wild animals of the Beleriand. are never harass the realm of described in Tolkien’s works apart Gondor during the Third from the reference that the Sindar Age. to the affairs of ing its Elven princes and joining the Beleriand. and weapons and armor in Middle-earth.

but also be well-equipped from the start of The Wanderings the campaign in order to be properly there are no references to magical gadgets that are common in fantasy prepared for the struggle against Ang. typically serve Ang.] discord and suspicion. transportation. this “long march” as a campaign in Languages phere (in addition to ignoble betrayal which player-characters are Haladin leaders—perhaps advisers or com- The main language in Beleriand is and a good dose of horror). Both and the Maiar. Some when someone succeeds in an heroic progress of the migration). and military strikes that will facilitate the has been prohibited by Thingol.” Happy endings are as reconnaissance. only some of Morgoth’s these should not approach the level of Sauron and Fëanor’s sons actively evil spirits (e. During the 360s. Mao Sindarin with outsiders. Haleth Noldor surely know Telerin and Vali- action. searching for an area where suitable artifacts. affording pow- erful disguises or illusions (cf. Celegorm. come soon enough. during which time there but is comparative peace in Beleriand as .ated with the forces of good. Zedong or Alexander the Great. They should as swords) are quite common. While common to Beleriand. Thuringwethil and the one like Beren or Finrod. people on a long and strenuous migra- master mst be careful so as not to tion from Estolad to Talath Dírnen and destroy the mood by introducing un- Campaign Themes Brethil. the The Watchful Peace tongue of the later Dúnedain. and Curufin are The use of magic affects the senses Player-character even ready to confront Beren and Lúthien. later ages. [Magical artifacts (such in a Third Age campaign). The heroes of the First Age are of a friend and who is only feigning. (310—45 S). In such a setting it is often and alters perceptions. Morgoth attempts band. Magic Caranthir. independent lives. But while player-characters household of a Noldorin prince (e. Haleth leads her or cloaks of invisibility). but its use rare under Angband’s shadow.] The world of Quenta Silmarillion the Haladin can lead their traditionally is replete with grandiose deeds. Fëanor’s sons conspire to achieve their private goals. Beleriand's history (though they may in order to strengthen their positions. of the Haladin roleplaying games (e. whose role is Sindarin.g. a bitter price must often be herself might actually be run as a norean. Dwarves speak the secretive paid. The Ents have disaster. such as it is certainly not the later Black the protagonists prepare themselves eagles and bears. heart. It is possible to run rending tragedy and dramatic atmos. “Of Backgrounds difficult to determine who is your Beren and Lúthien” in Quenta Silmaril. the native tongue of the offer more than the conventional to plan and execute various tasks (such Sindar and the Laiquendi. very pow. it far greater stature than those found in Player-characters might belong to the is only exercised by a few. like Speech.g. Apart from the Valar may possess truly heroic qualities. Orodreth at Minas Tirith). rings of flying band. lion). erful individuals. A cam- paign set in Beleriand should therefore manders—under Haleth. Sauron during the Second Age. Moral flaws (most often pride) player-character—a truly charismatic Khuzdul among themselves. since that was invented by for the war which they know will wolves and bats. The game.] goth may have devised a tongue for his to divide the Eldarin princes by sowing servants.g. [What language the the Edain and the Dagor Bragollach servants of Angband use is not clear. Neither Men nor Dwarves have access well be far better than anything found to such power. or originally spoke Quenya. but use and ill-judgment typically result in leader comparable to Napoleon.g. while others. their fantastic tongue which no other race can be taught. The Noldor “monster hunt. The Houses of Bëor and Hador speak similar dialects which form the roots of Adûnaic. Mor. such that conspire against their lord and try to Balrogs) and some Noldor (e. Finrod they might alter the basic fabric of infiltrate his fortress with their agents Felagund) seem to be spell-casters. The A suitable campaign setting might Haladin and Easterlings speak their be the period between the arrival of own language.

c. The Second Battle. c. the Fourth Battle. but exercises Thargelion by Orcs. but Morgoth's hosts are hence it is often impossible to locate events exactly. Morgoth’s armies engage the Sindar in the from Robert Foster The Complete Guide to Middle-earth (New First Battle of Beleriand. Fingolfin is killed by Morgoth at the gates east. An Orc attack on Dor. 330 Maeglin arrives in Gondolin. At about the same time. A Brief Chronology of Beleriand during the First Age This timeline covers the years between the arrival of Just prior to the first Year of the Sun and the coming of the Noldor and the War of Wrath (compiled with help the Noldor. is fought upon the Regrettably. many hardy guerilla may be perilous. In 496. the Elves and Edain are Sauron himself participates (as when Barahir’s band is gradually pushed southwards from Dorthonion. dering. During the following year. 306 Maeglin is born. c. c. Morgoth’s hosts. Characters must find food. 444 Huor is born. only Barahir’s outlaws remain. Beor’s House arrives first and is guided by Finrod to of Angband. 1 The Sun and Moon rise for the first time. and lodgings in order to Menegroth is sacked in 505 and 510.The Evil Years Morgoth’s commanders expend great efforts to capture these freedom fighters. the servants of Angband ruthlessly use bands (such as those led by Barahir. but such actions During these chaotic and evil years. Their destroyed). Nar- gothrond is sacked by Glaurung. They move to Estolad and. sis on wilderness survival (the antagonist being not only Orcs and Easterlings. Bëor’s The Easterlings arrive in Beleriand and settle in its eastern parts. The next folk. . re. The victory of Angband leads York: Ballentine Books. The Dragons do not appear again for a 455 Dagor Bragollach. 100 Gondolin completed. After some wan. Guide to Silmarillion (London: Thames and Hudson. Nargothrond. Occasion- survive unscathed. the March of Maedhros and Dorthonion are conquered by c. 370 The Haladin settle in Brethil. Arnoediad. Fingon becomes King of the Noldor. 425 Hador’s House settles in Dor-lómin. c. 155 An Orc attack on Hithlum is repulsed by Fingon’s host. tated by rivers of fire from Angband. During the winter. He falls. Dorthonion to Hithlum. Many other Men 52 Turgon discovers Tumladen and begins the building of from the three Houses remain in Estolad until Nimaeth Gondolin. the Haladin. 60 Dagor Aglareb. driven back to Angband. arrival of Fëanor's people. Bëor’s tribe flee from of Hador arrives and migrates to Estolad. Hador’s people settle in Hithlum and Ered 1-20 Thingol grants the Noldor leave to settle and defend the Wethrin. Eol and Aredhel die. c. but is routed in a c. where it settles. 441 Húrin is born. 1978) and Paul Kocher A Reader’s Melian to set the girdle of her protection upon Doriath. water. after some little control over the Noldo princes. 457 Sauron captures Tol Sirion and changes it to Tol-in- main in Thargelion. Fingolfin reaches folk settle in Dorthonion and allies itself with Finrod of Middle-earth and is named High-king of the Noldor. Beren. Haleth leads her people westwards through Nan 51 Finrod Felagund begins the building of Nargothrond. the House Gaurhoth (Isle of the Werewolves). 255 Glaurung emerges for the first time. After some years the Haladin are driven out of unpopulated regions of northern Beleriand. Estolad. defenses collapse completely at Nirnaeth Arnoediad in 473 A campaign with this theme would place heavy empha- and Angband’s armies pour into Beleriand. battle on Ard-galen. and in 511 Gondolin itself is destroyed. thonion is repulsed by the hosts of Fingplfin and Maedhros. Ard-galen is devas- long time. and in the most difficult cases After Dagor Bragollach in 455. the Haladin are crushed and a few survivors scattered. they may get assistance from the Edain villages that have been enslaved by the Easterlings. Dungortheb to Brethil and Talath Dimen. 310 The three Houses of Edain reach Beleriand from the south. any deceptions to capture or kill guerilla warriors. the Third Battle. there are few dates referred to in the tales. c. being under the protection of Ulmo. Dagor-nuin-Giliath. 1980). Only the Elven settlements on Balar survive the harsh winters of northern Beleriand. or Túrin) carry on a desperate struggle against the servants of Angband. but also the merciless climate). years. ally.

deceives the Noldor of Eregion. and the Edain are utterly crushed by Morgoth’s forces. II. In the 34th century Ar-Pharazôn’s Dúnedain. departs Middle-earth. A Dwarven army sacks Menegroth Huan and Carcharoth die. the Fifth Battle. fashions the One Ring. to have had a pleasant climate. but are themselves slain during their es- 465 Túrin is born. The Hosts of Valinor go to Middle-earth and the War of Wrath is fought. Caranthir. Idril flee to the Mouths of Sirion. Curufin. Amrod and Amras fall in the fight. Beren and Lúthien for some years. well described in Narn î Hín Húrin. The jewel is brought back to Menegroth. Húrin becomes chief. capture it. Hithlum is settled by the Easterlings. The hosts of the Eldar the Silmaril. The Elves continue 171. The World Aman Númenor (Yôzâyan) The Undying Lands have not changed since the First Age. 511 The Sack of Gondolin. Sauron is expelled from Tol-in. It seems the World. Yôzayan über alles: the Second Age “RuleYôzâyan. the Second Age has great potential for gamemasters seeking freedom to design their own campaign. but fail to 502 Húrin dies. Elenna is a star-shaped isle with an area of about but play no active role in the Second.]. 510 Fëanor’s sons attack Menegroth to capture the Silmaril. Tuor and 482-501 Turin’s tragic adventures. at times. Only Beren survives. reaches its peak of glory. A Silmaril is Beren kills them and recovers the jewel. King of the Noldor. during which Finrod. Lúthien settle in Tol Galen. and finally brings about the destruction of Westernesse. A . steal the Silmaril. 503 Tuor and Idril marry. and a section in Unfinished Tales make up the bulk of the available data. The soil is good and there are no reports of bad harvests or famine among its population. Eärendil reaches Aman and appeals to the Valar.000 square miles [Its geography is well described in to sail there and. c. and plummets into darkest evil. Yôzâyan rules the waves. Appendix B (RotK). perhaps comparable to that of northern California. and captures the Silmaril. 505 Dwarves from Nogrod slay Thingol in Menegroth and tain of the House of Hador in Dor-lómin. Dior. the mouth of the Sirion. Teleri from Tol Eressëa voyage Unfinished Tales. the mouth of Sirion in search of the Silmaril. Ereinion Gil-galad is They are too extensive to be summarized here. 496 The Haladin are defeated and withdraw into the forests. 509 Beren and Lúthien die. It is exclusively populated by the to Elenna or Endor. descendants of the three Houses of the Edain armament causes Aman to be removed from the Circles of who were allied to the Elves during the First Age. Akallabêth. Tuor is born. which is worn by wrested from Morgoth and given to Thingol. Some dec- ades later. and Nimloth are 474 The Falas is ravaged by Orcs. while Sauron builds his first em- pire in Middle-earth. Círdan’s people flee to Balar slain. Hence. SA 3100 Less source material exists for the Second Age than for other periods in the history of Middle-earth. Celegorm. During their return march Gaurhoth by Lúthien and his tower is destroyed. Turgon and Maeglin die. while Elwing escapes to Sirion with the Silmaril. Melian 466-468 The adventures of Beren and Lúthien. Dior is King of Doriath and wears 473 Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Edain always are a master-race” — Adûnaic hymn.460 Barahir and his men die. The First Age comes to an end. In this Age the Dúnedain realm of Núm- enór rises from its humble birth. cape. 520 Fëanor’s four surviving sons attack the Elven settlement at Nargothrond is conquered by Glaurung and Orcs. 462 An Orc attack on Hithlum is repulsed.

In the 1690s. and his ter Edain living around Lake th Evendim tablishes the realms of Gondor and realm is essential to the resistance in Eriador. of their inferiority to the Elves. colonization. The Faithful establish Pelargir in 2350 . one can easily use the extensive. ered a dark time for the peoples of Khazad-dûm survived into the Second tially accepting this situation grace. Easterlings emissaries of the Valar. but from the Second as a refuge. similar to Adûnaic (see footnote 3 northwestern Middle-earth during the pression. There is some migration Second Age is not mentioned in any the 23rd century Tar-Atanamir is into this region. In order to the Noldor in Eregion. and to Middle-earth 7— Northwestern Endor third major Elven settlement in north western Middle-earth. but is destroyed 8 weeks. group of Dú Sauron’s armies in 1697. whereas the Entwives onwards pride overcomes the on clans and tribes. After this Númenor is Adûnaic. and sup. Eriador are Sindar. Their friendship Eriador were distant relatives of the ravaged by war. Imladris is established by Elrond the languages spoken by the Houses of the First Age. who call them- selves the Faithful. published The cities of Belegost and Nogrod occasions. and The latter are mostly from Elenna to Aman takes 5—6 weeks. and are probably based into Fangorn.Third Age. and they gradually agricultural villages in the extensive of the Anduin. while their attitude towards from “Aldarion and Erendis” in Unfin. For this they are ostracized. Soon thereafter. The native tongue of [Northwestern Middle-earth suf. sions elsewhere in the Ered Luin. Sindarin Age onward its geography seems to settlement of Edhellond in Belfalas. During ished Tales). as are the The Men of Númenor spend the early Elves of the Greenwood. During the 9 century. the londë) at the mouth of the River Gwathló in order to facilitate the ex- ploitation of Eriador’s vast forests. they encoun- group survives the Downfall and es. Ini. and in Lothlórien. They disappear at the abandon their traditional ideals and forests. A small serving Sauron entered Eriador. They return to Middle- survive many of them settle in Middle. with the peoples of Middle-earth turns Númenóreans and spoke languages It seems that Hobbits only reach to conquest. retain the old ide. ruled by Gil-galad. and at the end of the Age this have gained significant influence in all Lindon. map material for the Third Age by The Númenóreans are aware of adjusting its settlements and political but the Dwarves soon built new man- their superiority over other Men and borders. but the king and his followers pay no heed. of Eriador as the years passed. and Quenya are also used for solemn have remained stable. Hence. Eregion constitutes build the port of Lond Daer (Vinya- Arnor. It seems likely that they Age unscathed. Others include the Nandor Bëor and Hador in Beleriand. the Elves of on Elenna. but from 1800 the First Age. during source. Presence als. Middle-earth. and seek live at the same level of technology the greatest of Dwarven cities in Mid- to transmit their culture to the lesser and social organization as the Edain of dle-earth. centered around live in the fertile lands on the other side Númenórean heart. Apart from years of the Age building their home towards the end of the Age are subject to outright persecution. they respect the Elves.] The Second Age is consid. a derivative of fered great destruction at the end of event. were destroyed in the War of Wrath. For instance. The Númenórean The Elves live mostly in Lindon. they against Sauron. warned about this development by the reign of Tar-Aldarion. Gil-galad seems to earth in 600 when a ship voyages to earth. Yôzâyan sends an army to oppose Sauron in Eriador. Where they lived during the the Eldar becomes envious. and grew to become fully. Some of the peoples of end of the Second Age when the area is turn to evil ways. The Ents have withdrawn Men of Middle-earth.

in humbling himself. He expands his realm eastwards and sub. Sauron 600. but are unable to Númenórean officers. Hence. roads. surrenders to Númenor plays an active role in Endor from Númenor in 3261. ample from our own age. Preferably. A thousand years pass between the The Rest of Middle-earth time of Tar-Atanamir’s reign. instead. Le. A colony is partially ruled by Númenórean Mordor. when the Númenóreans left the path of the Valar. When one Very little is written about the rest of Endor considers all that has happened in our own age during the Second Age. The natives are subjugated and forced to serve Dúnedain masters who demand heavy tribute. Men. when the Entulessë sails into Mithlond’s achieves his ultimate goal: the destruction of Númenor. and in 1600 fashions the One Ring in preparation law. Third Age. and around Evendim. a gamemaster over a comparable period of time. They emissary from the Valar (which must be quite a feat!).] Sauron then bides his time in Barad-dur (being immortal. The King’s Men mainly colonize . at the last. Many settle in a foothold on the continent. in which Dúnedain have many privileges. he is in no hurry). temporal scope open to the gamemaster however. Their armies for war against the Eldar. the Númenórean attitude changes and they begin to establish colonies along the coasts. (Several of these colonies sur- bennin. build forts. The fact that the Second Age saw no From the reign of Tar-Aldarion great heroes to match those of onwards the Men of Númenor Beleriand should be kept in mind explore the coasts of Endor. Around 2200 Hobbits. vive the Atalantë and their evil inhabitants become implaca- gions under Elvish influence and hence shunned by the ble enemies of Gondor during the first millennium of the King’s Men. the Númenóreans become rapacious conquerors who enslave whole popula- Sauron's Empire tions and sacrifice enemies to the cult of Melkor. Campaign Themes jugates many peoples but. and establish garrisons in order to Around the year one thousand he establishes the realm of ensure their rule. In the ensuing conflict (1693— are partially recruited from the natives but have exclusively 1701) his hosts raze Celebrimbor’s realm. Sauron’s armies are cies of the Roman empire may be the best comparable ex- crushed and forced to retreat back to Mordor.) During Ar-Pharazôn’s reign. they become that he is able to persuade many Noldor that he really is an a ruling class that administers and exploits the natives. the vast has great freedom of design. and Atalantë. soldiers are stationed in an conquer either Lindon or Khazad-dûm. During his sojourn in Eregion (1200—1590) Sauron But the Númenóreans are never so many that they can evict wears a fair semblance (most likely the fana of an Elf) such a native population from its homeland. Anórien. sources which must be taken into account. certain facts in the primary becomes apparent. [The colonial poli- sends its army to the aid of Gil-galad. harbor. the region south of this port. There are. Umbar is the focal point of the Númenórean dominion in Endor and becomes a vast fortress. bridges. and probably also Dwarves Player-characters in other parts of Middle-earth. to its downfall in 3319 (approximately twenty- seven centuries). When Númenor area whose language they do not speak. According to The Silmarillion there are Avari. Players encounter any culture as should be able to choose the same highly developed as their races available in a Third Age own. Calenardhon. Yet. when scaling the relative power but nowhere do they level of player-characters. nor any sailors of campaign with the exception of equal skill. re.

the king of Númenor seeks The Conspirators changes. and the . When the Númenóreans the tales of Robin Hood or the feats of sends the player-characters as spies to leave the path of wisdom around 2200 Lawrence of Arabia. Rather. perhaps The Resistance They initiate political struggle and lead guerilla resistance to liberate commanding smaller units on inde. Diocletian Rome. since Númenor was far more edge of Númenór. Endor colonies. they could be natives The Warriors of Middle-earth who perceive the Dúnedain as enemies and must defend them- Players who are interested in selves from the conquerors from over the sea wargaming might have characters participate in the extensive campaigns in Eriador in 1695—1701. advanced.] but these can strike back with guerilla The Spies tactics since they know their country The Resisters As the conflict between the Eldar and can hide among their compatriots. of Venturers in 750 and its members southern coasts and establishes colo. and counter fantastic adventures in exotic weapons and training and are gener. but it and trade around the continent of same manner as the Europeans did in might be inspired by some compara- Endor. but these only contain topographical details and have no information on settlements. (1830s). would be lands. both in Elenna and in the intelligence concerning Sauron's em. Player-characters belong to a na. It is an evil and selfish time and Tar-Aldarion establishes the Guild the native peoples along Endor's it is hard to know whom to trust. perhaps classical China. Player-characters such projects as leaders or officers. ruthless characters may participate in choice. Occasionally there are re- For Númenóreans volts and civil wars. ble civilization of our own age. There are maps in scheming. Fighters their compatriots from the pendent. The learn about the conditions there. ally able to defeat the native armies. better sources. while Players wishing to have more or less European Middle Ages is not a good simultaneously spreading the knowl. For Non-Númenóreans Player-characters need not be Númenóreans. They visit unknown lands and Africa at the end of the 19th century). menóreans become more and more corrupt. fortifica- tions or borders. One option is to run an Elenna based foundation for a campaign inspired by ment in the near future). Power struggles increase brutal suppression of foreign masters. When Númenor turns to evil ways and Sauron escalates during the 17th there are some who resist these century. 9th—10th century could man on one such ship and en. Hence. The Númenóreans have superior Byzantium. [Númenor’s political structure during embark on expeditions of discovery nial domains there (perhaps in the these days is not described. instead. Brave individuals Endor in order to ascertain the might they acquire the habit of plotting and who try to save the natives from the of Sauron. the Polish rebellion age. Númenórean yoke. Númenor begins the subjugation of mies. This could be the pire (anticipating Dúnedain involve. secondary missions. Númenor of the lands east of the Misty with time as the Nú- Mountains. just as Asian or Independence (1770s). A campaign based on these political developments might be designed in which player- characters belong to one or more The Enterprising The Conquerors noble families who scheme against their real or perceived political ene- Sea-farers During Tar-Atanamir’s reign. characters will be journeying through partially unknown territory. China’s strug- African people were occupied by gles against the Europeans during the European armies during the Victorian 19th century. [Historical paral- tive people that has been conquered lels include: the American war of by the Númenóreans. For this he campaign.

them. In the their own fortunes or. After the Misty Mountains and the Green. ing the course of history. of much war. Char. Sauron returns to Mordor and infiltrate and establish their own posi. are not yet exterminated. Many Isildur seizes the One Ring. and a new from Yôzâyan’s rule. as they say. is a com- lomats with human assistants. When the Shadow falls over Nu. wrote very little of this era. and era arrives with hopes of better fu- paign characters could be Elven dip. Gandalf predicted that there would Appendices it is said that Elessar and even to rule their own realms. he never completed own generation. perhaps. The Age of Men has ar. wood for another century or so. that evil again infiltrated Gondor the fall of Sauron the reunited King. Gil-galad. [I come new threats to the Free Peoples Éomer fought the remnants of have been told that Tolkien once after Sauron. Tolkien . A ruler is the oppressed people rebel against Sauron’s emissaries work in secret to dying and his heirs vie for the throne. and Elendil. outline the following campaign for rived and supernatural forces gradu. Númenórean colonies survive. the task of discrediting those involved of the Second Age are a chaotic time ters actually have to fight at two fronts and to cause a civil war. But that. The Elves voyage to more limited in previous ages. The two final decades the real power in the end. unite the Elf-friends there. Elessar’s death in 120. Umbar remains a stronghold for the ture. One is supported by Númenor. I was told that the basic idea was fense of the future to others.] forests and shun Men. emphasizing Aman or disappear into the deep acters have opportunities to make politics and intrigue. and schem- simultaneously. and Sauron’s fall. In this setting charac- The Elven Diplomats When Elenna perishes in 3319 a ters might serve Elendil in various capacities. but the King’s pletely different story. which is Gondor several decades after King ally fade away.] While land by Gil-galad to actively intervene much time fighting each other while the characters strive for these goals in a succession conflict. but he could not see Sauron’s minions wherever they began writing a novel set in Gondor anything further—he affirmed that appeared. ing in which the Last Alliance besieges Atalantë's Aftermath Mordor itself.Vietnam wars (1945-1975). Their armies went to war during the Fourth Age. and ravage it. their interests and the Free Peoples establish Gondor and Arnor. In such a cam. These hints inspired my future without help from the Istari or campaign is that player-characters friend Kathrin Vestergren and I to the Eldar. The charac. and continues his relentless war against tion. have much greater scope for influenc. a distant Men have lost their cohesion and spend III. Being dis- one must confront the evils of one's east and south of Gondor. espionage. which will be used to give them Sauron has sent secret emissaries with the Dúnedain. new era begins. and leave the de. many Eldar in Middle-earth lowers reach the shores of Middle. and made some people serve a Dark dom of Gondor and Arnor faces the One advantage of a Fourth Age religion. sent to evil Yôzâyan culture. The Age ends with the death of become worried and act to protect earth. The Orcs satisfied with it. Elendil and his fol- menor. Return of the Shadow: the Fourth Age “History has no happy endings — just crises that come and go” — Isaac Asimov During the War of the Ring.

Many of these have long traditions of resisting the Dúnedain. Aelindur's tural memories will linger on for many centuries. Their outlying Pallando remain in Middle-earth dur- their mightiest Lords. Ariel died from the Misty Mountains. Noldo. the Ered Luin. There are over by the former slave population tales of a golden-haired maiden living which inhabits the fertile area around in a mansion at the shore of Nurnen. and The Shire preserve their ancient once again retaken by the Naugrim and its ores are exploited for new When Sauron’s armies crushed autonomy within this reunited king- wealth. . albeit perished at the end of the Second Age. however. He came to them as An- natar. Mordor has been taken became of her is not clear. having the responsibility of than any other Elf (save perhaps providing ships to those that depart to Lúthien. What then the Dúnedain. She can be portrayed as a The Elves are gradually departing kind of fallen Galadriel (read the se- Middle-earth. Gondor and Dwarvenkind enjoys a brief renais. though not Elves and Dwarves as powerful. Mordor. Sauron's Heir The World Ancient legends speak of how Sauron deceived Celebrimbor and the Elven-smiths in Hollin during the Second Age. are Hollin they captured Aelindur and dom while retaining close allegiance to destined for a slow decline brought her to Mordor. In Rhûn and Harad little has she grew evil herbs. orcs and dragons—have been deci. another Maia-Noldo child). When Sauron changed. claiming to been an emissary of the Valar—many The Lands of Men believed him. Soon after he had northwestern Endor. Fourth Age Plans In time Aelindur has become al- most as evil as her father. who was the realms of Men assume control of seduced by Annatar. Lord of the Gifts. Aelindur has great knowledge of also stay for a long time in the Grey magic and possesses much more talent Havens. Men in Middle-earth. They all realize settlements in Ered Luin and else.left Hollin for good she gave birth to a Arnor controlling the lands between sance once their principal enemies— daughter. she is bound to her physical ries into the Fourth Age. Some Sindar body. liberated from the Shadow. Few bother with the affairs of Only an Istar can match her in magic. and their she escaped in the ensuing chaos and inhabitants are probably not too keen sought refuge somewhere in the east. the lake of Nurn. Alatar and of the One Ring and the departure of demographic factors). Much of their According to the essay on the Istari power has waned since the destruction and eventual extinction (due to (Unfinished Tales). The old realms remain. Rohan mated or exterminated. and is allied with There Aelindur had a garden in which Gondor. on Gondorian hegemony in the region. and such cul. Celebrimbor's sister Ariel. Aelindur. One of these was The Fourth Age is the era in which the dominion of the continent has fi- nally passed to mortals.Khazad-dûm is brought up by her uncle. The Dwarves. and Umbar. Being part- and the Greenwood for many centu. though a significant quence when Frodo offers Galadriel Silvan population remains in Lórien the Ruling Ring in Lorien). birth complications and the child was Forochel. ing the early Fourth Age and may that their prime has passed and that where are gradually abandoned as the enter Age progress and the Dwarves with- draw to Khazad-dûm. Radagast. Aman.

. And then the swaying magic roses And when the Moon is rising. nor does she have any hosts at is not subject to mortality. and with the help of her competitor. but of these only Radagast resides minds of powerful individuals. Sauron's child. filled with Mordor's baleful breath Aelindur comes to you used by Aelindur Elvenmaid. claim- ards. reign that may last for centuries. her direct command. She is also Elves (Galadriel and Elrond) and Gan. then an evil eye looks down on you. And she sings: “Burzum ûk. ing to be an Elda who has not yet gone in northwestern Endor. achieve her ambitions. The only poten. wearing words of magic. strife will ensue. She will infuse being seen. assume control over the remnants. instead. runes of might. departed for eastern lands. pale as death. When the Men of Harad revolt against revealed.the plot as Aelindur’s foes for reasons Aelindur’s goals are simple: venge. it is You wake up to the sound of chanting. sending streams of evil. words to bind: “Be my slave. and his inter. molding them to suit her purposes. Then Aelindur in- ranging from helpfulness to the desire ance and power. preferring to work her dalf departed from Middle-earth at the relies on her black arts and cunning to will through intermediaries without end of the Third Age.” chanting words of power. her plans might fail. She wants to throw tends to reveal herself as the “savior” to remove a potentially troublesome the Dúnedain realms into chaos and of the realm. For though each rose is graceful. black and white. In the hour of midnight she is dancing right across the field weaving signs of magic. If her true identity should be est does not lie in power over Men. re. minions and her great powers usurp- When Sauron’s domain collapsed using discontented Haradaic and Gon. evil and egotistical thoughts into the into the open. be my slave!” Then you must surrender. she very careful. and you do. Both the most powerful state. Aelindur dorian noblemen as her primary tools. Thus you are. sending forth her powers to your mind. thus you are bound with words ofchaining. West. initiating a dark after the War of the Ring. Pallando and Alatar have long since Gondor under her servants' leadership. growing in the field obey. she is incognito. realized that this would be her big Unlike her father she does not rule a Aelindur has great patience as she opportunity. Whenever she comes out tial rivals remaining are the three Wiz. thus you are. many Dúnedain nobles will rebel against their own King and a new Kin- The Ballad of Aelindur On the southern shore of Nurn you find Aelindur's misty flower field with her magic roses. the throne of Gondor.

Minas Tirith. who is involved. The goal should be to “break the secretly gaining adherents in the city. while Queen” and regain what was lost in their compatriots disregard their warnings—except for the War of the Ring. There her servants preach resis. the western Riddermark to regain If a civil war breaks out in Gondor characters may try their ancient possessions. Arnor is still to change its course [perhaps involving table-top so sparsely populated that it lacks wargaming]. Minas Tirith. the campaign Aelindur’s plans since its éoherè is the should emphasize investigative role-playing. and the kings they have discovered. Tirith and be flavored by a tinge of horror. Prepar- cavalry force. Lovecraft: dark rites in the moonlight and strange societies Player-characters conspiring against the realm). securing the loyalties of military units. Characters most powerful military unit in north- must ascertain the true nature of the evil machinations western Middle-earth. They are then forced to combat it alone.P. Aelindur pursues two ing an armed rebellion is a difficult task and the conspira- strategies to achieve this. There are many ways for player characters Another variant of the cult has to get involved in Aelindur’s conspiracies. The other strategy is political: enticing Such activities can usually be discovered. providing one the Dunlendings to once again strike knows what to look for. Also. and the characters shackles of the Northmen under the may be the only ones who realize the extent of the leadership of the freedom-giving Great threat. The all too common expeditions into dungeons and fights against Rohan is a serious obstacle to Orcs should be completely absent. The cult is suc. as befits her nature. a Pelargir. Aelindur’s allies who oppose them with all possible cessful among discontented nobles and means Such a campaign might well be centered on Minas merchants. etc. There are persistent rumors of evil forces tues.The Conspiracy Tools Aelindur has many means to fur- ther her plots. personal gain. whichshould delay it signifi- that player-characters might choose to ally themselves cantly. establishing efficient clandestine communications. They been created for the Southron peo. Instead. It is even possible Gondor. with Aelindur. might come to realize that something is awry in ples. she will most like betray them in the end. and how to stop of Harad can never field a matching these individuals from realizing Aelindur’s plans. People are denying the true Dúnedain tance to Dúnedain dominion and the ideals and breaking old customs and traditions for recovery of traditional Southron vir. She has established a variant of the old cult of Melkor in Gondor. One is to tors would have to make many preparations: finding develop a horse plague to kill off a suitable allies. If so. whose clandestine priests preach the coming of a Dark Queen who will save the Dúnedain from their current decadent ways and re-establish their ancient power and might (The cult should be utilized in style remi- niscent of H. and Ithilien’s new capital of Ost- northern host must march through in-Ernil (the successor of the ruined Minas Morgul. . Many battles will be fought for the control strength enough to successfully inter- of the three strategic cities of the lower Anduin valley: vene in a Gondorian civil war. Dunlending territory before reaching located in the hills of Emyn Arnen). large percentage of Rohan’s herds.

by contrast. A writings. whose characteristic and knowledge contains within itself the Corruption and the desire to make in the fashion of their possibility of corruption. are two different paths of corruption. both Sauron . resulted in his metamorphosis into that Circles of the World.” de. It is worth fight the Enemy with his own weapons desire for deathlessness within the considering the corrupting conse. unchallenged inheritance of his mas- radrim. the actions and a desire to do good may own overthrow. wizard Saruman. Other intertwined. and the Haradrim. “nobility of resistance” into the realm of locates the primal Fall before the crea- game mechanics may wish to consider the Individual propensities for corrup- tion of the world and sets the pattern following rule suggestion for a statistic tion and resistance are to be situated for those who are to follow. subject to varying degrees of corrup- As with the doctrine of Original Sauron’s conscious allegiance to tion and corruptibility. blessed by Ilúvatar with height- work to offset the corrupting influ. The discord introduced by Pharazôn. Inter- enduring ties with the West tion of player-characters. Lesser Men. the figures of signed for use with the Middle-earth Role cultural characteristics. the more complex character of the ened faculties of discernment and ence of power—on the other hand. may be contrasted to Edain. Sin. the grace was accompanied by the acquisi- of the weaknesses of Lesser Men but pursuit and acquisition of power in its tion and creation of powerful artifacts are set apart from the latter by their various forms is a common orienta. the Nazgûl. examples of betrayal and self- earth are each defined in terms of their timately self-destructive nature of the deception brought about through the susceptibility to corruption as well as their will to power abound in Tolkien’s promise of power include Ar- capacity for resisting the lure of power. noble ter’s dominion which in turn led to his lies of the Enemy. The imaginary races ofMiddle. The Lord of the Rings is founded upon the premise that the search for power Exemplars of and Saruman in their origins were of Aulë’s people. Among embracing the quality of “fortitude. the potential for corruption in Melkor from the beginning. and his such as the Easterlings or the Ha- Tolkien’s world inheres within a per. Significanty. Examples of the self-undoing and ul. Men as a race Sauron and Saruman are exemplary of Playing and Rolemaster rule systems. are paradoxically more such efforts may paradoxically lead desire for good but whose attempts to vulnerable to the fear of Death and the one down the path of evil. are highly susceptible to the son’s created nature. in a role-playing context. the Dead Men gamemaster who seeks to incorporate this Melkor into the Music of the Amur of Dunharrow. estingly. as such. The Northman quences of power in Middle-earth Enemy. hence. who began with a fortitude. are extremely diverse and. within a larger context of racial and the ranks of the Maiar. and throughout Creator was fraught with the ambigui- Tolkien’s writings these themes are closely Races of Middle-earth ties of sub-creative power. and the knowledge of their use. this fall from ancestors of the Dúnedain share many since.

ure of a character's natural leaning used by Tolkien to amplify certain the Eldar become both less motivated towards good or evil. the easiest method for generat- share in the unstable affinity between nied by a corresponding. service. The former positive quali. as such. influence over the user. or by the per- venture”—at least at the time of The places other than north western Mid. a result of the implied Elven quences. 2) qualities are more often emphasized often has a great deal to do with defin- (though this impression may be. the other. quires a corresponding game me- tals. presented for generating Fortitude: 1) Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Either method is valid. may be accompa. often of power. the character. Hobbits repre- sent something of an anomaly within by their closer connection to the sub- creative process. the gamemaster as being in opposition unpalatable to their sensibilities. the to his or her own inherent power or erate a higher score. This generalization. which leaves them Fortitude Tolkien’s world.” but is dealt with dif- domination. corrupting ing the Fortitude Scale statistic is to nobility and corruption. This to or in rejection of the corrupting evil. often points. instead. The concept of a “fortitude scale” is intro- duced to serve this function. In this described above. This contradictory dynamic re- poral power that characterizes mor. the Eldar are to be distin. Their absence from prey to all the temptations associated The Fortitude Scale (FS) is meas- the recorded history of Middle-earth is with such power. while tioned tend to carry with them a in The Silmarillion their less admirable 1D100 role. If neither the Noldor exhibit the greatest similarities capabilities. however. and a scarcity (rather than abundance) control of its player at the gamemas- potentially amoral vanity and greed on would better characterize magical ter’s discretion. the full potential of an artifact is often percentile scores and use them as guished from all other races with re. reroll any score below weight of doom and history which the character’s Intuition statistic. The maximum Fortitude attain general avoidance. Most Hobbits have Sauron was no longer able to deceive power beyond one’s measure may neither the will nor the need to go out the Elves or to cajole them into his diminish one’s Fortitude score. Moreover. namely. convert two appropriate statistics to however. tude may be maintained or regained their activities are oriented toward may not technically apply in the same through resistance to the temptation contentment. however. Iron Crown’s Middle-earth Role natural or inherent power. It bears some qualities which make them distinctive to actively strive for power and more resemblance to the traditional concept in their ability to resist corruption and keenly aware of the Enemy’s machi. Note the events of the First Age). As a subset of Men. their lack of nations—hence. and may not exceed part. in the Third Age ferently. The whole idea of “ad. Most artifacts enhance some perspective of Tolkien’s narrative of Intuition score by more than 15 faculty or capacity of their user. of “alignment.” but corrupted and effectively leaves the and honor on the one hand. A charac- Playing products often leave one with ter whose Fortitude score has fallen to Dwarves are characterized by an the impression that Tolkien’s world is zero or below has become irrevocably uneasy coexistence of intense loyalty overflowing with “magic items. in Fortitude = lowest prime statistic of ing their use and personal conse. As Time wears on. however. does not erase diversity among the different Artifacts of Power able is defined by the level of one’s branches of Hobbit-folk.This quality. bestowing power in direct proportion that the second method tends to gen- Of the kindreds of the Elves. self. As a whole. This progressive increase MERP nor Rolemaster systems are being to the Dwarves and. of their deathless nature. degree to Avari Elves dwelling in of corrupting power. only realized or understood as it ex- spect to power and corruption because tends control over its user. artifacts within Tolkien’s sub- ties are most forcibly presented in The Two possible methods are here creation. Forti- of their way to obtain power. Elves lack fects of power and knowledge on the to a certain extent the drive for tem. used. however. formance of certain actions defined by Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings—is dle-earth. Those few that are men. is balanced chanic in order for it to be evoked off effectively in the course of play. Proximity to and/or use of desire for power. Because of respect Tolkien and Lovecraft share a their unalterable connection to the similar view of the transgressive ef- life-span of the world itself. .

This does not imply that the for certain skills. Ex- Avari 0 simulates the potential for corruption amples include knowledge-focused re- Half-Elves +5 occasioned by the new level of mas. spells). FS rolls Dorwinrim 0 lesser level than him or herself. A failed roll results in FS loss Haradrim -5 of magical power not otherwise inher. but could incorporate Stoors +15 mundane forms of “corruption” (e. it simply ”Role-playing based” examples are Fallohides +10 means that if a situation emerged in more difficult to offer generalized Harfoots +15 which that character were required to guidelines for.Race Modifiers Using Fortitude points. search (e. mid-level increases tery. or by some other crite- Rohirrim 0 kind of magic that is “acquired”). Once again. bribes. HOBBITS character is becoming evil. An Black Númenóreans -10 such as oathbreaking or crossing FS roll may be required if a character Corsairs -5 initiates combat against an opponent of purity boundaries. his or her claim to greater mastery would dishonesty. any artifacts’s Will.g. These examples are intended to be illustrative of how the FS statistic The FS statistic may be used in a might be creatively used at the discre- DWARVES +5 variety of situations.g.e.) as well as magically-charged events prove to be one more disadvantage. Rural Men 0 failed roll results in a loss of two FS Urban Men 0 Variags -10 Woodmen 0 Woses +15 ORCS Uruk-Hai -15 Common Orcs -10 Half Orcs -10 TROLLS Olog-hai -20 Normal Trolls -10 Half-Trolls -15 . Dúnedain +5 failed roll results in the loss of a single The use of artifacts may require an FS Dunlendings -5 FS point. An FS roll may also be re. and so on. acters gain a level of experience. Beornings +5 etc. All players are UMLI +4 tion of a gamemaster. vice. roll modified by the Will of the artifact Easterlings -5 quired whenever a character makes use (1-20). treachery. This eral contexts outside of combat. A rion. MEN resist the lure of corruptive power. appropriate to the magnitude of the Lossoth 0 ent to his or her own being (i. A Noldor +10 failed role results in a loss of FS equal Fortitude may be deployed in sev- Teleri +5 to the number of the new level. A should be made at the GM’s discretion. Similar circum- required to make a successful FS role stances may be designated as opportuni- ELVES (as a percentage) whenever their char- Vanyar +20 ties to increase or award FS points.

in turn. is to jurther enjoyment of Middle-earth as a setting for fantasy role-playing. in fact. a long tradition of ‘mock history’ among Tolkien fans—of pretending to write about Middle-earth as if it were the real world (i. and are therefore usually worth a read (they are an en- demic feature of most Tolkien fanzines). There is. informed discussion of various aspects or themes of Middle-earth which will fully take into account what Tolkien himself has written or said about them. These mock histories ofMiddle-earth provide an abundant resource for role-players seeking crea- tive ideas to incorporate into their own games. This is partly due to their inevitable idiosyn- crasy. This. This essay inaugurates what I hope will become a regular feature of Other Hands. They are painted in broad strokes and leave many blank spaces to be in- terpreted and explored by the enterprising gamemaster. so too each gamemaster will create an idiosyncratic version of its history and of the events which take place within that setting. but the focus of this particular section will be on what Tolkien has actually written (i. for whom the desire to contemplate the secondary world is closely ‘linked’ to a practical goal: the need to create a richly-detailed background in which to set a game. In other words. the published works to which we all have access) and how it might best be interpreted and used creatively. mock history conjured up by the role-player is usually more interesting than that of the pure Tolkien junkie since the former intends to do something with it. As role-players it is our job to be sub-creators—that is. is usually the re- sult of a certain morbidity that must accompany any attempt to write a mock history of a fictional world for the hell of it. This section of Other Hands will be devoted to such history writing. rather than limiting ourselves to the printed page. as with everything else in Other Hands. to make Middle-earth our own by inventing something new. and to open further debate and interchange among ro- leplayers regarding different possible ways of reading “the evidence. it does not wholly erase conflicting interpretations of Tolkien’s world.e. We welcome submissions which invent new mate- rial out of whole cloth. and as each reader of The Lord of the Rings will have his or her own unique picture of what Middle-earth is like. but often they lack any discernible rhyme or reason whatsoever. Tolkien’s annalistic histories of the Third Age (as found in the infamous Appendix A) lend themselves to such diversity. But while the will to game is perhaps an important ingredient to more consistent mock history writing.” I want to emphasize in closing that the goal of this section. This morbidity (I use the term jokingly) is less characteristic of the role-player.e. They also have a tendency to be frustrating if one already has a highly opinionated view on things Tolkien (as do I). . applying principles of ‘real world’ historiography to Tolkien’s imaginary history in the hopes of achieving a supposedly more ‘objective’ orless idiosyncratic version of the ‘gaps’ left by Tolkien’s writ- ings).

was never occu. autonomy and the absence of any Rhûn” ibid:325). and this function is linked to however. Whatever the reality of the hundred and fifteen years of the Rhovanion political situation in 1248 may have Third Age. who avenged lands “east to the inland Sea. Moreover. darin designation “Dor Rhúnen” is favour” to a man who named himself Thus it seems that Rhovanion herefore inappropriate. to be a defence against the that: “The people of eastern and plains south and east of Greenwood men of the East” (ibid:326). beginning with territory on the part of Gondor. I suggest. Mirkwood: The it appears that the intention of this frontiers of Gondor were for that Wilds of Rhovanion. and frontier than as a border-march. It exercised military as a frontier been. Other information would seem to ceased to be a defensible frontier. the recognition of Realm of Gondor no further references to Rhovanion Vidugavia’s kingship and the absence The lands described by Tolkien as until the time of Hyarmendacil. “grant” of land was to create a fron. This frontier extended “east to the inland Sea of royal prerogative over Rhovanion. Gondor. “King of Rhovanion” (ibid: 326) im.Rhovanion and the eastwards” (ibid:324). seems to suggest a rather dain would not have to occupy the the freedom or enslavement of the different picture of the relationship region themselves. the view has been advanced told that the kings gave the Northmen Gondor. then. reached its culmination in the time of Rhovanion is better understood as ion as “belonging” to the territory of Vidugavia and his descendants. dacil II would have shown “especial ever recovered this role. giving to them the name This suggests two things. are given no positive evidence that it trayed in the ICE modules. is of a tier or buffer-zone against Gondor’s the Emyn Muil” (ibid: 329). its settlement by the Northmen. Here territory controlled directly as a enemies by delegating the burden of Rhovanion is called the frontier of military border-march. What I want to as “giving” these lands to the North. corroborate this view. Gondor. The in. it would appear that Gondor autonomy throughout the period of The view that the Dúnedain oc. then we would suspect that plains of Rhovanion. while Northmen. We pied by the men of Gondor as por. of any evidence to suggest a change in “Rhovanion” (Wilderland) have been ever. we are told occupied and administered the wide Great. how. military defense such that the Dúne. This view is most likely correct. that during the Third Age the of Rhovanion “wide lands beyond In the first Wainrider assault Dúnadan realm of Gondor formally Anduin south of Greenwood the upon Gondor in 1856. if Vidugavia nized political autonomy as a king- (1015—1149) the realm of Gondor had been the first Northman to claim dom in its own right.” but it Rómendacil had no knowl- his father’s death at the hands of the seems highly unlikely that such a Easterlings “and won much territory claim would involve any kind of en- . for Northman autonomy as it becomes Southern Mirkwood in 1983. On the other hand. made no formal claim over Rhovan. In these at a later point in the narrative we are more and more oriented towards modules. Secondly. is that that the Dúnedain perceived Rhovan. that it Anarion” (RoTK: 324-3 37). (1250—?) it enjoyed formally recog- during the reign of Hyarmendacil I dor. since there are actment on the part of Gondor. and the “Dor Rhúnen” (cf. and cupied the plains of Rhovanion de. that some four hundred years later it hovanion. time withdrawn to the Anduin and The scenario proposed. That Romen. on the basis of the information men (thus implying some kind of with Turambar’s initial “grant” of the provided in “Gondor and the Heirs of proprietary claim) it seems unlikely plains to the Northmen in 541. ion in the same way that it claimed at least in the time of Vidugavia rives fom Tolkien’s statement that possession (for instance) of Haron. southern Rhovanion [presumably the the Great. This is accounted then previous to him Gondor may enduring contact with Dúnedain is for by te reference to the ninth king have advanced a nominal claim to the reflected by the fact that in 1250 Turambar (541—667). Firstly. this does not imply direct occu. If this can be taken as a between the South-kingdom and the the kings of Gondor are represented model. functioned as a frontier of Gondor for plies a recognition of autonomous approximately one thousand-three rule. 1988:46—47). Rhovanion emerged in this capacity argue. Northmen] were enslaved. Tolkien. affairs until the invasion of the Wain- the subject of a number of Iron pation or even formal claim to the riders points to a strengthening of Crown publications.

and that the rule of sador. and 2) he enjoyed garded by the high men of Gondor to time of Rómendacil. When likely that its original name “Rhovan. must have been Rómendacil’s appoint. the latter (or his descendants) appar- the exact nature of the relationship Vidugavia). The “favour” shown strengthening ties with Rhovanion. If this hypoth- Rhovanion as a frontier. vive Rómendacil) the heir to the frontier ever received a Sindarin name men “had increased greatly in the crown was hindered from taking con- (as would have the case if Dúnedain peace brought by the power of Con. and in the furtherance of feuds among With the creation of the Regency (an policies of the Northmen” (ibid:326). The first manner in which Rómen- ably couched in the idiom of kinship. my own assumption) claim to the territory). either out of greed for spoil. We return now to the problem of trolled a separate “realm” (e. The basis for Rómendacil had two strategies for dealing with this situation. Vidugavia’s daughter which ultimately erling invasions: “the Northmen did stowed upon the king’s son (thus precipitated (or rationalized) the Kin- not always remain true to Gondor. light on what was going on in Rhovan- which involved co-opting the struggle men was their supposed ethnic ties: ion between Rómendacil and the ”they were the nearest in kin of lesser of the princes for the interests of the ruling house of Gondor. then. into a rival power against Osgiliath). sending of his son Valacar as an ambas- and the Northmen” (ibid) as a result tion to Eldacar. it seems that the rift between The Kings of Gondor nal conflicts. so too Rómendacil from whom the Edain of old had threat of the Easterlings. relationship endured. or . the incipient danger of civil war within them in the grant was therefore prob- the realm he was soon to inherit. the realm of Vidugavia was re. and territory from Turambar to the Captain of Ships.g. expansion of the Northman population dancy over the other rebels: 1) he was nally. We do not know how long this some would join forces with the East. If this is the case. but perhaps more fundamental to his reasoning was was securing himself and his heirs by come)” (ibid). and most likely lacked any formal Tolkien provides few clues as to the dacil exploited the situation beyond underlying causes of the Kin-strife Anduin was his recognition and sup- character. of Siriondil been traditionally be. words.edge of the “language. this favour was formally granted. In other alty to the kings in part to these inter. and its rule passed had settled there or had laid formal dor” (ibid)—most likely this refers to on to (again. Earlier we are office which most likely did not sur- Finally. ship of all Rhovanion. both of esis is plausible. the support of “the people of the be “an alien country” (ibid). His solution Northmen—just as Calimehtar was Men to the Dúnedain (being for the cultivating his own foundation of was partially motivated by the external most part descendants of those peoples power in the south. Land and booty. gir and Umbar” (ibid: 327). their princes” (ibid). and avoiding any development of Pelargir strife. ate a separate power base from which of the emergence and decline of to challenge Osgiliath. it was Rómendacil found it necessary “to This view works off the assumption confirmed in practice by the Regent's strengthen the bond between Gondor that Pelargir was the center of opposi. 541. (1432-1447). This relationship was renewed of uncertain loyalties on the part of the that haven had at least from the time by Valacar’s subsequent marriage to latter during the second wave of East. It is therefore probable that these at last the Kin-strife broke out. then it may shed some the grant of Rhovanion to the North. then we can ascribe the cause of the coasts and of the great havens of Pelar- eventual weakening of Northman loy. trol of the haven. manners. and his younger brother Calimehtar. but one of them surely port of Vidugavia’s claim to the king- The undefined nature of this alli. there is no evidence that the told that the numbers of the North. Fi. Hence it is Turambar’s route of the Easterlings in Calimehtar and his descendants. ently began to develop military and between the kings and their Northman were apparently the most important popular support along the coastal pe- allies. two ion” was retained because it was never “princes” emerged as a result of the reasons are given for Castamir’s ascen- occupied by the men of Gondor. investigating the development of elements in establishing ascendancy riphery of Belfalas Bay in order to cre- this relationship from the perspective over competing princedoms. Whether or not ance is made manifest by the fact that ment as Regent of Gondor in 1240. At least one characteristic Pelargir and Osgiliath began with the which defined the nature of these division of power between Rómendacil and the Northmen “princes” was the fact that each con. but it was cer- erlings.

This distinc. I believe. we are nevertheless left with the problem of explaining why (if this was the case) the territory beyond Anduin was included within the realm of the kings in reference to the time of Hyar- mendacil. kings until the time of Vidugavia and were interested in maintaining quence of the fact that Turambar had Rómendacil. Eldacar his grandson continued this policy of favor towards Northmen “by whose help he had regained the crown” (ibid: 328) by settling many in Gondor following the Kin-strife. while nevertheless acknowledg- ing some kind of bond legitimated by kinship. but . We have imagined that de facto the Northmen of Rhovanion exercised political and military auton- omy. upon right of conquest as well as their Eldacar’s reign (1432-1490). more plausible than that offered by the Iron Crown modules. The grant of Rhovanion to military force: “he took many of them the Northmen was therefore based into his service and gave to some high rank in his armies” (ibid: 326). The the realm of Gondor is never said to ancient kinship. the Northmen of the Vales of Anduin are also said to have “acknowledged” Gondor’s authority (ibid:325). By way of comparison. Conclusion While this scenario of the relation- ship of Rhovanion to Gondor is. Eldacar’s future patronage. There is no positive evidence to sug- gest that the region was ever directly occupied or controlled by the Dúne- dain. “won” the lands eastward by military The second means of turning the conquest. In all this it is crucial to keep in mind that the political autonomy of Rhovanion became more sharply defined as its involvement with Gondor increased. cal explanation for the de iure inclusion the interim of the Usurper’s reign duin north of Celebrant. This is the most logi- sanctuary given the exiled king during have encompassed the Vales of An.tainly in effect for the duration of unlike their brethren beyond Anduin. of Rhovanion within the realm of the indicates that Vidugavia’s descendants tion may therefore be in part a conse. whereas no such military princely conflict in Rhovanion to the expedition was ever recorded to have advantage of Rómendacil was his been carried out in the northern An- recruitment of Northmen for his duin vales.

Essentially. then. Glenn Kuring.” With. CHRIS SEEMAN: I would like to his game. MURPHY: Most ob. then. One of the Dragons. is the fact that so many me off to it. Middle-earth con- fantasy setting? What is it about roleplaying because I got bored with tains (ready-made) all the necessary Tolkien’s world that attracts us as this mishmash of semi-Medieval “I’m elements for a richly textured game role-players? a ninja. gamemaster one must always consider of course. there is a inner consistency of reality. of course. begin by asking ginally drew me into D&D was my ondary world is. As we all know. to gamemasters like my- tively. ter who would rather run a game than of the so-called “sword and sorcery” spend all his or her time laboring over or pseudo-Medieval role-playing CHRIS SEEMAN: I think that Dungeons &Dragons and its successor a world to set it in. Participants: Chris Seeman. but the notion of a sec- game. for example. as you rightly point out. role-playing in Tolkien’s world. Andrew Butler is characterized precisely by this ho- Held at the Tolkien Centenary Conference mogenizing of discontinuous genres or Keble College. in a sense. As a connection to Tolkien in these games. also very at- ourselves: what goes into making a interest in the Mythopoeic Society. he owes a huge importance to the whole matter of and coherent universe possessing “the debt. fact. that they share an implied style of dle-earth role-playing game in the Gary Gygax disclaims any great debt seventies is I think because of the pre- to Tolkien (Fritz Lieber is. For the gamemas- vious. Tolkien spent his entire life out a strict genre to set it in the game creating this imaginary world in its BRIAN T. More than any other fantasy of Middle-earth rather than some other years ago. a much stronger influence for him). 1992 settings into what we might call a mul- tiverse. part of what makes Tolkien the elements that make up a good ERIC RAUSCHER: What ori.” This is. a great writer. Let us. in tractive to role-players (and. Murphy. By way of contrast. in good Middle-earth game—or. became a free-for-all. Oxford: 22 August. you’re a flying turtle. which turned most minute detail. the first and most popular of reasons why there never was a Mid- the kind of games I am referring to. setting. Middle-earth of- games are. Tolkien’s world represents the exact opposite of and yet Hobbits are running around in the multiverse. play—which. I think. fers an attractive alternative to earth. what in a game evokes the feel I ever played took place at Mythcon self). Brian T. Dungeons & games do (at least in practice) consti- tute their own “genre” in the sense reinventing the wheel. . Take. I think. the very first role-playing games particular. in fact. Quite often there is a cross- open this discussion with a leading Tolkien’s ideal was what he called the over from Tolkien fans to gaming and creation of a secondary world—a unified question which I think is of central vice versa so. alterna. based in Middle. Eric Rauscher. Since then I don’t do much world that I know.

It is to fulfill some grander say: “Hey. The idea is not Middle-earth. Middle-earth. By this system ANDREW BUTLER: The prob. I’d like to distinguish between the course of the game and say “Yes. role-playing which. know the works very well. From the rather than fitting the way other tions are imposed upon the players as early eighties onward. this dilemma of having to “make the to go in. haul out anything they can Middle-earth through the game.” But how do you make a similar problem in attempting to play is also affected by the game game that smells and tastes like Mid. particular form of the problem in the Pendragon you finally had visible ex. who have read The Lord of the Rings carry. at the amples of how the literary genre of a and in some cases they will. create adventures out of what is in mechanics themselves. certain limita- of reference for gaming. has to do with playing a role that it lends itself to that kind of games. cause Tolkien’s mythology is about on) so that those who have read able. kill everything find a lot of fulfillment in exploring other hand. But in worst. and real However. geography. CHRIS SEEMAN: I agree with treasure based. this is taking place in from these marketing considerations. as the word game has got to be run in such a way ence with role-playing) to buy their suggests. MURPHY: I think relation to that world during the Playing for more than one audience. Stormbringer. made modifications which don't yourself laying waste to the Shire and GLENN KURING: The beauty necessarily fit in order to do what trying to take over Mordor. because with to what extent the gamemaster can shift in this paradigm took place games like Dungeons & Dragons you've allow their characters to affect that which made it possible to imagine got set types of adventure that most pre-existing history without altering Tolkien’s world as a viable fantasy players are used to. Tolkien’s world is spirit of Tolkien’s works. and they them interested in Tolkien. haul every- ERIC RAUSCHER: It’s easy to world fit the game” derives in part thing out. case of Middle-earth where. And I’m guilty of it beyond recognition. or of adventures into parts of Middle.” I have players who D&D players with hopes of getting where a party of adventurers go in. a role-playing games go.45 and but I think the gamemaster faces a ERIC RAUSCHER: The style of an Uzi. you get the hack-and-slay particular author’s works could be others it’s trying to get the square style of game backed up by a Monty successfully translated into a game peg into a round hole. believe it’s very easy to set a role- that it’s already set up (with its his. and so make their products financially vi. lem is in trying to come up with dle-earth has already been written digm as the taken-for-granted frame rules that fit the way the stories go and. however. languages. It’s just ironic that when up distorting Middle-earth to fit the are entirely contrary not only to the Iron Crown Enterprises acquired the game rather than the other way spirit. I don’t response. I have a Colt . not have a naive embrace of power writings they ended up orienting it beause of the way their audience and still say “This is really Middle- towards the old multiverse para. as a consequence. kill everyone. I don’t of Middle-earth as a fantasy setting is they want to do in that setting. on the clear the dungeon. But at best this effort has only and developing a character. they are targeting standard hack-and-slay scenario in Middle-earth. You can- playing game based on Tolkien’s publications that have come out. Certainly in quite a lot of narrative of Middle-earth. they want to get people they see. setting. the game designers have earth. I mean that the basic history of Mid- . GLENN KURING: In order to playing game in Middle-earth be- tory. With the birth of such games this as well—I’m sticking these sorts AUDIENCE: I think there is a as Call of Cthulhu. earth and trying to make them fit. but it can far. and you end Haul philosophy.dominance of this multiverse para. and go up a level. goal in terms of your character. in order to achieve this the (and who may not have any experi. fundamentally character based—not become a major problem if the set. I’m On the one hand. around. some respects a closed world. does things. but to the letter of the basic license to publish and market a role. think that this distinction is made as the game remains fairly true to the ules and rules they have published so often enough. I think that Iron Crown has not excepting such power. Tolkien’s books can pinpoint their tried to market Middle-earth Role BRIAN T. not murder based— ting is only superficially linked to Glenn that for a gaming company but character based. The rule dle-earth? That's the real challenge. This is not difficult so long been partly successful with the mod. Those two things medium.” Because if it were you’d find digm.

and I think the whole simple “dungeon expedition” type of one in which their actions and choices attraction of role-playing games is that will make a difference. game is never good when it’s hack. but it is one of BRIAN T. often renders them of limited value to . plotlines and so grounded in and encouraged by the ally difficult to get into a Middle-earth forth which make it possible for the rule system itself. than find in module after module the narrative. These might take the form of signed to encourage. which campaign. and it or not. they are out there) then it is the implied style of play promoted by important thing in running a Middle- possible to re-enact portions of the earth game is that your players not feel a game company on the other. portions of his map. but turn the Middle-earth setting into a creator. As a gamemaster. and I disposed to this rather limited focus. valid element in any role-playing lacunae. CHRIS SEEMAN: One of type of role-playing you prefer. In my case. believe point of departure may be. game. think that exploring these through creation which Tolkien has begun. for me it’s re. I find this guage of game mechanics. as Brian has damentally at issue here is the more thing that we could point to and say: pointed out. to Brian’s problem in trying to replay scenes world. pants in the ongoing process of sub- left completely undescribed. usage of Middle-earth as a role-playing that. This is not to de. no matter what kind of game desire the most. contriving situations. Tolkien’s narrative which awaken our nize that unless the desired actions and and-slay.” rather far-off times only glimpsed at in the pressed by a given author into the lan. making the player-characters the “un- theme of “the dethronement of mon with those I’m used to in the sung heroes” of Middle-earth tends to power” (to take just one example) book. Also. of historicity and concreteness to his then you are going to kill things— preciate the latter sort of scenario as a imagined world through the use of that's what the game system is de. but it would be refreshing if off-handed references to the blank CHRIS SEEMAN: What is fun. But beyond Tolkien’s map you setting we ourselves become partici- sively licensed company like Iron have other areas of the world that are Crown publishes material which is pre. the most group of gamers on the one hand. In this kind of adventure—that’s their affair. This strategy of could be devised such that Tolkien's character which has so much in com. point of departure for a role-playing gamemaster and players who. ing through a cardboard world. Re- be added a distinction between the happen to find a group of players who style of play adopted by this or that gardless of what your style of play or have never read Tolkien (and. but they can also involve general problem of how one is to “Now that is what a good Middle-earth allusions to other historical events or translate the themes or values ex. in the AUDIENCE: I have two things to game. It’s one books. While we standard fare that could be gotten sort of lacunae the most engaging should remind ourselves that it is the from any other fantasy setting. This sort of thing often re- distinction between hack-and-slay and from books. Ultimately. and I can’t really take on a rated by Tolkien. I think a role-playing as gamers are those aspects of style of a game. determine the quality and say. it’s they make it possible for us to do just quite another matter when an exclu. setting because I have the stories in players to contribute in some way to tained indefinitely. And second of all. scenario ought to look like. The real question mind (which I’ve read a couple of the events or outcomes already nar- then becomes how a game mechanics times). But in this case you as game- thing for a gamemaster and players to that their characters are simply walk- master don’t take on the role of sub. we must also recog. First of all. If you tions more complex than penetrating Tolkien’s greatest strengths as a story- play the type of game where you are an enemy stronghold or stumbling teller is his skill in giving the illusion trying to get points to go up levels. Even the purportedly “neutral” area role-playing is one of the most fruitful description modules are written with a ways of developing a Middle-earth certain bias towards that style. I enjoy motives of characters are somehow it is. they cannot be sus. quires some delicate maneuvering on character based role-playing ought to the gamemaster’s part. It seems to me that there is a eradicate the problem of a closed would be imaginable. Iron Crown were to publish use lends itself more or less to the the kind of game which involves situa. what draws us most last analysis. MURPHY: If you the jobs of any good sub-creator. upon a lair of orcs.

(If there is anything that I have missed—and I'm sure there The Misty Mountains is—please send me the references so that we can put together a Angmar Empire of the Witch-king (4020) comprehensive bibliography of everything in print having to do with Mount Gundabad (3110) role-playing in Tolkien’s world.) Goblin-gate and Eagle's Eyrie (8070) The South-kingdom of Gondor Elven settlements Rivendell (8080) Osgiliath (forthcoming) Lórien (3200) Anórien Minas Tirith (8301) Khazad-dum Moria: The Dwarven City (2900) Calenhad: A Beacon of Gondor (8203) Fangorn Forest Ents of Fangorn (3500) Ithilien Minas Ithil (8302) Dunland (3600) Gates of Mordor (8105) Ghost Warriors (8016) Ghosts of the Southern Anduin (8109) Rhovanion Lebennin Sea-lords of Gondor (3400) Greenwood the Great Mirkwood (4010) Star Spray (White Dwarf #: 31-36) Halls of the Elven-king (8204) Belfalas Havens of Gondor: Land of Belfalas (3300) Denizens of the Dark Wood (8111) Assassins of Dol Amroth (8106) The Necromancer's Lieutenant (8113) Morthond Erech and the Paths of the Dead (8060) The Dawn of Unlight (White Dwarf #?: 28-32) Haunted Ruins of the Dunlendings (8101) The Plains Brigands of Mirkwood (8090) Calenardhon Isengard and Northern Gondor (2800) River Running (8114) Mouths of the Entwash (8011) Perils of the Sea of Rhûn (8110) Harad Umbar: Haven of the Corsairs (2400) Dagorlad and the Dead Marshes (8020) Pirates of Pelargir (8104) Taurefanto (White Dwarf #87: 30-37) The North-kingdom of Arnor Ered Mithrin The Grey Mountains (3113) Arthedain Rangers of the North (3000) Mordor Bree and the Barrow-downs (8010) Gorgoroth (3112) Dawn Comes Early (LR0) The Tower of Cirith Ungol and Shelob’s Lair (8030) Darker than the Darkness (LR1) Teeth of Mordor (8202) Bad Men Full o’ Thievery (LR3) Southern Middle-earth Rogues of the Borderlands (8014) The Raj Far Harad: The Scorched Land (3800) Weathertop: Tower of the Wind (8201) Warlords of the Desert (8012) Rhudaur Hillmen of the Trollshaws (8040) Forest of Tears (8015) A Sample Game Environment (MERP: 95-105) Hazards of the Harad Wood (8112) Phantom of the Northern Marches (8102) The Yellow Mountains Shadow in the South (3900) Trolls of the Misty Mountains (8103) Greater Harad (3111) Dark Mage of Rhudaur (8013) Nazgûl's Citadel (8205) Cardolan Lost Realm of Cardolan (3700) The Mûmakan The Court of Ardor (2500) Thieves of Tharbad (8050) Woses of the Black Wood (8107) Thematic Modules Raiders of Cardolan (8108) Riders of Rohan (3100) The Usurper’s Reign (forthcoming) .

so if there is any question as to the read- ability of your disk. Issue 2 is scheduled for publication on July 1st.0 is the editing software currently in use.g. 1993. the subscriber. so here is an opportunity to be heard). Although we are still in discussion with Tolkien Enterprises as to the legality of publishing actual adventure scenarios within these pages. and we urge you to submit what- ever you would like to see in print. but are easiest to edit when received on a floppy disk. we have the resources for translating submissions in Spanish. or about any topic of gaming interest. 5) Articles comparing aspects of Middle-earth by analogy to the history of our primary world (and sugges- tions for how such comparison might be exploited in the development of a campaign). Iron Crown do not object in principle to such ma- terial being published in Other Hands." or collections of references from Tolkien's worb relevant to a particular topic (e. At present. or reflections on your own trials and tribulations as a GM or player. All submit- ted materials remain the copyright of the author unless we are otherwise informed. 6) "Databases. my phone number is (415) 892-9066. The content of the present issue is intended as a guideline for the kinds of things we are interested in pub- lishing. but all others must be received in readable English in or- der to be considered for publication. 4) Profiles on the inhabitants and creatures of Middle-earth (whether invented or taken from the books). magic). Word for Windows 2. Novato. SUBMIT NOW! SUBMIT NOW! SUBMIT NOW! Other Hands needs writers as well as readers in order for it to stay afloat. SUBMIT NOW! SUBMIT NOW! . or evaluations of MERP (both Iron Crown Enterprises and Tolkien Enterprises receive copies of Other Hands. and June 13th will be the submission deadline for that issue (any materials received after that date will be published in the October issue). All submissions must be sent to Chris Seeman: PO Box 1213. Please write me or call if you encounter any diffi- culties. please save your document in ASCII or text-only format and include a hard copy. We list here some ideas for features we would like to see in the pages of future issues: 1) A letters column for those who wish to communicate and discuss about what others have written in the journal. but the scope of this journal is ultimately defined by you. 7.) Advice for gamemasters on how to run a campaign that "smells and tastes like Middle-earth" (to use Eric Rauscher's expression). so long as they are not themselves excluded from participating in our journal. CA 94948 (USA). 2) Constructive feedback on ICE products. 3) Articles on how to treat certain aspects of Tolkien's world from the perspective of game mechanics (by a particular rule system or by rule systems in general). Submissions are welcome in any form (preferably legible).

Ornendil comply. Eldacar who once was king is now fled. at the success of Castamir’s design. But Calimon laughed. The captains power. Pledge that had remained neutral during the war against to us your loyalty and you shall fare likewise. and the Orodreth hope to save the people of Osgiliath memory of evil would not be forgotten. He had bribed Orodreth’s companions to Then Orodreth’s heart was smitten as with a hard time. they said. the captains. Captain of Morthond! What assembled before the Dome of Stars. they assured him.. Great Bridge. Castamir would use his disobedience as a whom you love I have defeated in fair combat. only him to bring them before the captains for judg. eople of Osgiliath!’ Orodreth of It was a lie. the finishing what you have started? Kill Ornendil. words Orodreth grew silent. and he drew his sword. You. It was lord Calimon of Lebennin. Castamir gave orders at once to spare them in order to gain the confidence of the beloved. raised his sword and cried: ‘Forgive me. purposed to clutched Ornendil. Damrod and Gelmir. The Usurper’s reign had begun. their answer should be. but Angbor. the people of five years ago. cursing her lives and the king’s son would be spared if they in truth relinquished his claim to the throne. What usurper’s design. His treacherous companions smiled began to attack the rebels in a mad frenzy.. death. too. and now his rival from Morthond had that he was about to commit for the salvation of will choose a rightful successor to rule over you in fallen into Castamir's trap.’ friendship before the outbreak of the Kin-strife dissuade us from naming you traitor?’ At these Upon seeing the murder of Ornendil. he has not Ornendils side by Castamir’s men. burn the city and to show no mercy to any who people. what blade and. knowing the evil and so has abandoned that claim.’ unfortunate strife. Eldacar. fearing for the life of her Dome of Stars. who was Ornendil's that your betrayal is not a ploy of Belfalas king’s son before the people. but Ornendil stood his ground. urged been betrayed. falling to his knees. ‘Did I not warn you that the rebels would stay the rebels from exacting punishment on the and some there are who tell us that you had even be your undoing. For he perceived that should he failed to his stead. seeing his was relieved at their response for he desired to and heir who is a threat to our righteous cause. . and curse my fate!’ And he slew the his own cousin Mordulin. persuade their leader to bring Ornendil into their blow. but it seems that in sparing Ornendil's life you have overstepped your bounds. thinking that their For though Eldacar is fled as you say.’ said he. contemplated to set Omendil free. Castamir. for they had been close in token of your allegiance could you give that would heaven and whispered: ‘Neithan ni gerino. cousin to death and darkness for the doom he had submitted to the victorious rebels. or and yet in surrendering peacefully you have lost cousin of Castamir who held a grudge against be declared our foe!’ no honour but rather have shown wisdom in a Orodreth. he ‘Orodreth. and mocked his defeated Morthond addressed the multitude As the people debated among themselves what rival. a voice was raised among better way to allay our suspicions than by Your defence of this city has been a valiant one. Orodreth. Mordulin to be slaughtered in heaps upon the steps of the ment. . The fate of Osgiliath hung by a thread. Orodreth. have willfully spared the life of his son sown. blinded by de- months. We are not your enemies! See. ‘Come now. At first he had purposed to allow them against the captains or Pelargir? Indeed.’ But Orodreth. Belfalas. rather than blade wavered. He had personally led final attack on the proof have we that you also do not harbour ill.’ he said to Orodreth. and had captured both Ornendil and designs against us? What assurance do we possess Ornendil. spair. knowing that he had Osgiliath were unable to restrain their wrath and Orodreth’s trusted companions from Linhir. Then he cast aside his betrothed. ‘the captains applaud your undying efforts to avert needless bloodshed in this pretext to invade his uncle’s fief Dor-en-Ernil shall receive mercy and live without shame. whose citizens of Osgiliath who had supported the now. now we are both trapped by this exiled king during the siege of the preceding slaying him at once as you should have. raised his eyes to to escape the city. Only in this way. from the vengeful captains of Pelargir. could resisted. Mordulin was torn screaming from The crowd heard him gladly.

and Minas Ithil— vival) under the new regime. whether Middle-earth published area description modules. Umbar.Chris Seeman . Minas Anor. Some twenty. ath.. Campaign Module rating authors. Pelargir. The Usurper’s Reign traditionalist confederates seeking to by depicts the political and military advance the hegemony of the situation of Gondor’s chief cities— Usurper. secure their own existence (or sur- Gunnar Brolin .. those who would brave the tumultu- The Usurper’s Reign will be the 1447). The Usurper’s Reign! containing in excess of two hundred able player-characters Coming Soon . loyal to the exiled king Eldacar. or as individuals out to Anders Blixt . full-length ous events of largest MERP publication to date. during the repressive rule of deeds and deadly intrigues await Dag Stalhandske Castamir the Usurper (TA 1437. Lond Ernil. Osgili. as underground resistance groups and the creative work of its collabo. adventures set in the year 1441 en.Mats Blomqvist . pages of text concerning the fate of the South- . Fell Ake Rosenius . kingdom during the civil war of the to participate in the ongoing struggle A Forthcoming Kin-strife.Sanna Fogelvik . Drawing upon previously for the destiny of the realm.

tells you all you ever wanted to managed to avoid capture beckon all text. River Run. the minions or purposes of the table commando team for terrorizing the locals. in tracking down the baddies. ac. as well as reviews of anything vengeful exile from the sleepy little and Gimli by hunting yet another ma- which might be of value to Middle-earth village of Kardavan who was cheated rauding Orc band across the plains of role-players (e. and who has Rhovanion in order to rescue innocent cessories. The Wounded its surviving owner is attempting to Drake. Hara- druin is cursed with an apocalyptic prophecy that the end of the world Joe Martin Necromancer of Dol Guldur are di. for the restoration of peace. the or begins in one of the many small vil. charts. draws on the Tolkien. module share certain common themes wandering band of Orcs. pits of the Necromancer.). in all but creatures take up residence in it. On top of all that. system. ruined ment. will be nigh whenever suitably evil River Running rectly or indirectly involved. rescuing Necromancer’s cronies. and which can Each of these sorcerously created crea- tures has its own personality and unique talents. problem of Uruk-hai river banditry. has enjoyed come the roost for a quintet of beastics joyfully awaits its anticipated meal. out of his inheritance. A aid to strangers in need. as well as the revised MERP rule village is burnt to a cinder when its ture version of Mirkwood. In five out of the six sce- narios. related or relevant to Tolkien’s returned from a stint at Dol Guldur to captives before their captors reach the writings). lagers have been led to believe. a relatively serene and prosperous ex. Hijacked Wine pair of overzealous village lads who The approximately ninety pages of Barge. eager for fortress overlooking the small but im. exaggerated) eye-witness account of a Orcs have not already imbibed.e. It tells the story of a sume the roles of Aragorn. Lcgolas. and hope that Other Hands will all. One of our hopes for Other Hands is Durannon Wood. allows player-characters to as- latest (or earlier) Middle-earth gaming pub. A cruising trio ICE’s primary audience. horn. and a MERP supplement published to date. The scenarios are in. safety of Mirkwood. and vour reviews—the more the merrier! of trigger-happy Elves far from presenting proof that its evil has been Thranduil’s halls offer their assistance River Running is the most recent vanquished. articles. raise up a posse in the nearby river secutive adventures. violent conflict is the ing their removal all the more pressing Iron Crown Enterprises. The first scenario. dying dragon in a nearby cave ripe for habitants of this region and infor- mation about the wine trade for which The third scenario. This sleepy little expanded re-issues of previously-published forming the local forest into a minia- modules. Another parts (i. down on its gather a harvesting party and head off and plot elements. bones. We look fonvard to Iron Crown’s get even with his ostracizcrs by trans. up residence in the crumbling ruins of drake is not in as bad a way as the vil- lages along the Celduin (S.Product portune) event transpires which in some way threatens the lives of the peace-loving villagers. recently escaped from the spawning Characters hoping to partake of the istence. salvage rights over the worm’s valuable The adventures contained in the portant toll town of Karfas. spiders and potential saviors arrive on the scene. Haradruin. thieves and recover whatever cargo the logue provide background on the in. Unfortunately. The fourth scenario. The Corruption of and trade. and ning) which. lications. but may be The fifth scenario. Each scenario is set luck. 1992 necessary means of resolution. Haradruin. die Third Age). In addition to the soth stumbles into the small village of depot of Caradsurga to exterminate the Pardfan with the excited (and suitably scenarios. up until now. just prior to its having be. etc. and dependent of one another. begins when a wild-eyed Los- run with equal case as a scries of con. making them a veri- Review ultimately be rectified only if a party of wandering mercenaries is hired to set things right. scales. and illustrations that make know about trade on the Celduin. The Gargoyles of slaughter and “profitable dismember- it is famous. has had the misfortune of taking for the Iron Hills. Carnage at Fo- that it will offer reasoned evaluations of the ian theme of the malevolence of sen. A race against ably around the seventeenth century of renegade Orc band has just landed itself time begins.g. mak- (Middle-earth Adventure #8114) one of them. The second scenario. other books. A reward is offered for explaining be able to provide constructive feedback from its population recently abducted by the why the forest has gone bad. An ill (or. concerns an old. and wandering swords to oblige themselves up this module comprise six scenarios what to do when you run into the of the time-honored tradition of giving set in the land of Dorwinion (presum.” The gullible villagers. etc. So start sending in any surviving victims of its malice. tient forests. rodim. an op. harmony. a brief introduction and epi. worm had better be quick enough to . a valuable wine barge by ambush. in one case.

A summary fected with lycanthropy. which bear nit-picking by the Tolkien appreciated. occasions. I tinctive and interesting game setting. “episodic” and may be fleshed-out in fuller detail have been better placed at the opening plots which can be played out in a with the Ready-to-Run module Perils of the module. they may on the Sea ofRhûn (#8110). for example. River Running would that Uruk-hai do not appear at all un- Man-Wolf of Galgorin. rather than kill. Other peoples or races are some. what these people adventure sites in the “big picture” (as taste of what makes Dorwinion a dis. athig?). purist. profit are more honorable than com. included. neverthe. Moreover. is in general solid and well-conceived. particularly since the author winion military officer who is conver- of his neighbors and becomes a pawn himself states that “arrangements for sant in Black Speech (37). one who apprehends things visually. there are a few minor aspects of it this review) would have been much canthropy experts. 48). Role Playing series. moreover. is Dorwinion referred to as village settings difficult going). On a two off. (and dead) language in the Third Age The peace and serenity of the isolated bat or adventuring for treasure” (87). a secret for the Necromancer’s machinations. (according to their resume) do best— Logaths (Logath?). On one occasion. The one serious organiza- nothing particularly original about about how the inhabitants of this land tional flaw of River Running is its lack of them—or. for adventuring in Dorwinion. revealed—much less perceived by ting the drake right where it wants master. there is a Dor- knowing victim before he devours all thought. my understanding is The sixth and final scenario. that Pete Fenlon’s cartography is one lection which would involve characters times referred to in this module with of the high points of the Middle-earth in what the inhabitants of Dorwinion unwieldy diction: Sagaths (Sagath?). exploited as more than an after. known only to Sauron’s most intimate village of Galgorin has been shattered which is what the greater part of these servants. call themselves (certainly not “Dor. The organization and presentation wargs that now infest the farmstead of we look forward to a second Dorwin. tions of the locations of some of these problems can be found practically any.” or as holders of the coveted anyone—until much later in the Third them. the epilogue of the anachronistically called a Rohir (74. Lossadan (Lossoth?). in characters might utilize their new. paragraph at the beginning of each ad- roes have the option of trying to While the content of this module venture for the benefit of the game- rehabilitate. Age. The background material on epilogue provides the overall rationale tailed and internally consistent. Some of the illustra- single session of gaming. module addresses the issue of how 80). Logathian (Log- namely. 9. because the All six of these adventures are de. (33). it might viding fairly conventional. this reviewer at least would have tightly integrated with their accompa- lengthier campaign. Necromancer as “the Nameless One” cent exploits to win themselves a (6. which seem to imply position in the wine trade. but one might have hoped to explained. license to export the legendary Dor. would-be he.” since Sindarin is presumably found the elaborate written descrip- Small villages with their idiosyncratic not their primary language). Dorwinion is necessarily incomplete. mercantile adventure to far. pro. of the module is reasonably clear. ens!” (90). We are never any map which locates the individual these scenarios that gives the player a told. agents for the Dorwinion “Realm. Trade in wine from the Land of Maid. there is little in characterize themselves. 32. There is also liked to have heard something more nying texts. derstand its basic plot. the swiftly-transforming local who was ion adventure module which bran. Why. their op. since I think many will agree find at least one adventure in this col. It is where in Middle-earth. master (such as we have provided in ponent with the help of the village ly. though it is often necessary to read a bitten by a werewolf while on sojourn. rather. one Éothraim character is In actual fact. winrim. either as recognition of the Necromancer’s true identity (which is not supposed to be Reviewer: Chris Seeman . my view. is a classic tale of have been a more balanced module if til after the year 2000 in Mordor— unintended lycanthropy and the these adventure possibilities had been not Dol Guldur at this earlier period struggle to cure (or destroy) the un. are the references to the found fame (or infamy) from their re. dishes the cry: “See the Middle-earth! scenario in its entirety in order to un- Because the man is not yet wholly in. exotic places. Similarly.see that the current expedition is get. Dorwinion “the Land of Maidens?” This is never unfortunate that such a map was not included. The winion vintage. More significant a deviation. by an unnatural plague of wolves and scenarios boil down to. Accordingly. tions and maps might have been more therefore serve as useful “fillers” for a less.

CA 94948 .Box 1213 Novato. other hands OTHER HANDS Attn: Chris Seeman P.O.