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Middle-Earth RolePlaying System

This page last modified by Jens-Arthur Leirbakk

I  might catch a lot of flak on this one, but I've always considered MERP to be a poor man's RoleMaster. No, really. Considering that I sort of cut my teeth on RoleMaster, I never really saw the need for a 'simplified' system, which I consider MERP to be. Can't believe that Iron Crown went belly-up either. Soon, there'll only be WotC running the show, with White Wolf guys angsting about how good it could have been, and Atlas Games publishing Ars Magica for hard-core fans. (sigh)

M ERP. Right. Elveses, trolls, and ... oh my, to lend the words of Lewis Carroll. (That's the Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass guy to you, you ignorant sod.) Really, you can't go very far wrong when you've secured the right to make a roleplaying game based on the world that good ol' J. R. R. (Tolkien) came up with - never mind that the system itself is a downscaled version of RoleMaster, using the d100 +modifier -modifier check-the-chart roll-the-critical-result type of game.

Y ou might as well go for the entirety of RoleMaster Standard System. At least you'll have more skills to develop , that's for sure. That being said, it's not really a bad system by itself, more of a mediocre one. But I'll not pretendend I'm all that familiar with it, because I ain't. I'll probably be able to wing it in a session because of my familiarity with RoleMaster, but don't ask me about character generation

O h yeah, what does downscaled mean I can hear you yell. Well, basically, the skills system is somewhat simpler (and more straight forward) than RoleMaster - no development points here, but skill ranks. Furthermore, spellcasting is easier - less lists to learn and ESF rolls to make. The system plays the same as RoleMaster, mind you, what with to-hit rolls indexed to a table to see how hard you hit and so forth, so my opinion is that you might as well play RoleMaster. Sure, it's an extra effort in character generation, but personally I believe that extra investment of effort is worth it because of the flexibility that RMSS allows, as opposed to MERP. On the other hand, the skills system in RMSS is perhaps one of the most confused ever (even though it looks complete), so I guess that might go both ways. In short, if you have a RoleMaster and a MERP character in the same party, odds are noone's going to notice in normal play - but level advancement and character generation is somewhat dissimilar because of the simplified approach of MERP.