08 November 2022

Against the Witch-King (Darkmaster) character options

As I mentioned yesterday, I plan to test out Against the Darkmaster (VsD) with some of my old MERP books. Specifically, I hope to run a few adventures set in Eriador in 1964 of the Third Age. In this post I cover the kinds of character options available in this setting, translating VsD options into Middle-earth terms.

The Characters


Players may select among the options below.


Dúnedain of Arthedain

-       Kin: High Man.

-       Cultures: City (Fornost Erain), Noble, or Weald (border marches).

-       Professions: Warrior, Rogue, Animist (“Seer”), Champion, Dabbler, or Sage.



Dwarves of either the Blue Mountains (Thrár’s people) or Khazad-dûm (Durin’s folk)

-       Kin: Dwarf.

-       Cultures: Deep or [rarely] Weald.

-       Professions: Warrior, Rogue, or Sage.

Elves of either Lindon or Imladris (Rivendell)

-       Kin: Dusk Elf (Silvan Elf), Silver Elf (Sinda Elf), Star Elf (Noldo Elf).

-       Cultures: Fey, Seafaring (Lindon), Noble (Sindar and Noldor only), Weald (Silvan only).

-       Professions: Warrior, Rogue, Animist (“Healer”), Champion, Dabbler, or Sage.

Eriadorans (descended primarily from Dunlendings and Hillmen) of either Bree (Bree-landers) or (what was once) Cardolan (including the still-functioning city of Tharbad), or the remnants of Rhudaur.

-       Kin: Man.

-       Cultures: City (Bree or Tharbad), Hill (Rhudaur), Pastoral (Breeland), Weald.

-       Professions: Warrior, Rogue, or Sage (Tharbad only).


Eriadorans (descended from Northmen) of Northa Rhaglaw (Oilad) or the Angle (En Egladil).

-       Kin: Man.

-       Cultures: Weald.

-       Professions: Warrior, Rogue, or Sage.


Hobbits of either the Shire or Bree.

-       Kin: Halfling.

-       Cultures: Pastoral (Shire or Breeland) or City (Bree).

-       Professions: Warrior, Rogue, or Sage.



Lossoth of the Forochel.

-       Kin: Man.

-       Culture: Arctic.

-       Professions: Warrior, Rogue, Animist (“Shaman”).



I've decided to prohibit Wizards as a profession available for player characters as I don't think that profession's spells fit well with the way that "good" magic is portrayed in Tolkien's writings. (Not that the other professions are especially "Tolkien-esque" with respect to magic, but the differences with them are less dramatic.) Wizards will belong to the forces of Darkness and perhaps those strange visitors from across the Sea.

The above maps and pictures are all from long out-of-print ICE products. (If you want more information I can provide it in the comments.)

1 comment:

  1. I've always considered adding a Hobbit population to Tharbad in the mid Third Age. That they were ever there would be long forgotten in the Shire by the time of The Hobbit.

    Regarding Wizards, I'd also add extended Circles of mortal apprentices to the Istari at this time. The White Circle of Saruman, the Grey Circle of Gandalf, and the Brown Circle of Radagast. Only one wizard of any type per party. An experiment abandoned by the Istari when their mortal apprentices all fell into darkness..


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).