19 August 2017

New Mirkwood Campaign

Last year I noted that I was pleasantly surprised by Adventures in Middle-earth—Cubicle 7’s adaptation of the 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons rules to the world of Middle-earth. Simplifying greatly, C7 sliced-out a lot of inappropriate ‘D&D-isms’ (e.g., the magic system, the standard classes) and inserted a number of ideas from their The One Ring game (e.g., rules for journeys, corruption [Shadow], fellowship phases, etc.). The result is a version of 5e that seems reasonably well adapted to Middle-earth (at least in my view).

I recently started a campaign set in Middle-earth with three players. In addition to the setting material provided in C7’s Loremaster’s Guide, I’ve drawn on some of my old ICE Middle-earth Role-playing (‘MERP’) material—a couple of modules and the Mirkwood campaign book—as well as some old White Dwarf MERP adventures by Graham Staplehurst (in particular, “Dawn of the Unlight”), and my own ideas and knowledge of Middle-earth. I have a campaign arc loosely sketched, but I hope to run adventures that also are responsive to the characters’ decisions and goals.

For the most part, I’ll be using my old MERP regional maps in the campaign. While the Cubicle 7 maps are attractive, nothing beats the ones by Peter Fenlon:

We’ve had three sessions so far, with a fourth planned for this week. Overall I’m pretty happy with how things are going. I’ll post more about it here (soon-ish).


  1. I highly recommend getting either the One Ring sourcebook or the equivalent for AiME. Outside of Pete Fenlon's maps Cublicle's stuff is heads and shoulders above MERPS.

    1. I have the Loremaster's Guide and the Rhovanion Region Guide. Both 'translate' TOR material into AiM.

      I think that I have a somewhat more positive view of the MERP material than you do, especially the adventures by Staplehurst. But it does require some work to make it fit with AiM's low magic system. (The MERP system was a poor fit for Middle-earth.)


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who divides his time between Milwaukee and Toronto.