Action Movie Gamemaster

Inject some pizazz into your roleplaying adventure by using a format derived from antiquity and modern cinema.

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Hey pssst, want a great tip for running EXCITING role playing game adventures? This easy-to-use formula can be applied to jazz up almost any game type be it fantasy, sci-fi, horror etc, just so long as your players are ready for a fair wallop of action.

So, what is this magic formula for instant GMing success?

Well, sorry to go all click-baity on ya but you’re gonna hafta check out The Action Movie School of GMing to see what the dealio is. Or just go to the drop-down menu at the top under Roleplaying.

Epic Level Frodo!

Frodo reached Epic Level when he got the Ring to Mount Doom. What stats and abilities did he boost, and how does the book explain it?

The One Ring hits the lava and Frodo’s XP bar lights up like a pinball machine. The Halfling scores like 25 zillion experience points and levels up from maybe a basic level 3 to a legendary level 89-ish (give or take an RPG system).

angel wise frodoFrodo spends all that XP on a massive wisdom bonus, some themey deleterious character attributes, and the ability to see the future. It does him about as much good as Paul Atriedes, but in-story where does this epic-ness come from?

Check out EPIC LEVEL FRODO for insights into the player’s handbook stored in Tolkien’s head.

Gandalf’s Plan to get into Mordor

Tolkien’s contour map reveals some clues.

Ash Mountains Passes

One does not simply walk into Mordor –       One looks at a map first!

What-the-Uruk was Gandalf planning on doing if he survived Moria and guided the Fellowship beyond Lorien? Specifically, how was he going to get into Mordor?!!

Upper Arnen Passes

Tolkien may not have written Mithrandir’s plan down, but he seems to have left some subtle cartographic clues. Check out the analysis ( Gandalf’s Plan to Enter Mordor ) of the contour map of Gondor & Mordor in the front of The Return of the King.

Concluding the Awakening of the Wyrms!

Awakening of the Wyrms: an alternate history of early Fourth Age Middle Earth.

Aelindur eyes

Extrapolating the Queen of Shadows Campaign

To misquote Peter Jackson and the infamous Boromir meme…

“One does not simply awaken the Dragons of the Withered Heath.”

Some people just crave a resolution: so please find herein the epic conclusion to the Awakening of the Wyrms, an alt history of the 4th Age of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

Thrills, spills, and canon busting bitter pills are guaranteed, not to mention some brain melting coordination of armies, wizards and assorted entities into a coherent timeline of  4th age possibilities.

Southrons Attack 1The ideas of J.R.R Tolkien, Iron Crown Enterprises’ Middle Earth Role Playing game, and Anders Blixt (https://gondica.wordpress.com/) have been smashed together to re-invent the early history of the Fourth Age. Aligning famous names versus each other, whilst riffing-off Greek mythology and recent world events, and developing (or destroying) various corners of Middle Earth proved challenging and a little inhuman. Hence the incorporation of a Spy Game sub-plot, using the ubiquitous fantasy trope of the ‘adventuring party’, enabling a more on-the -ground view and a role-players perspective on the action.

Feedback welcome – this story is not set in stone. I am happy to adjust to correct major errors herein.

Click here to see how it all pans out… Awakening of the Wyrms – Conclusion

Uthrael Beoac and the Wind Thrones

Wilderness RPG adventure in the Grey Mountains of Tolkien’s Middle Earth

Filling in one of the blanks of Middle Earth Role Playing.

Way back in the nineties Iron Crown Enterprises wrote the awesome ‘Northern Mirkwood’ campaign supplement for Middle Earth Role Playing. The book detailed all sorts of locations, not just in Mirkwood, but across northern Rhovanion. There was lots of info on cool locations from the Hobbit, as well as the Grey Mountains, the Withered Heath et al. As usual the MERP maps were very detailed…

My eye was caught by a specific locale. High up in the Grey Mountains there was a large hidden valley called Uthrael Beoac. There were a couple of intriguing paragraphs about this valley in the text but nothing more. My interest was piqued.

Years passed and no details, let alone adventure books, about it emerged. Finally ICE released their Grey Mountains campaign book but alas- no further detail on Uthrael Beoac! And then ICE lost the rights to Middle Earth –arghh!!!

Add a few years and long comes teh interwebz, and the groovy Middle Earth Role Playing wiki / the Notion Club archive (http://merp.wikia.com) with some intriguing little hints about fan modules. The Uthrael Beoac page (http://merp.wikia.com/wiki/Uthrael_Beoac) has a map that seems to indicate that at one point someone had written an adventure that TheWindThroneclosely matched the Wind Thrones illustration from Middle Earth: The Card Game. However I could find nothing else online other than a cool French website (http://crepusculesuranduin.over-blog.com/) ‘Twilight on the Anduin’ with another illustration and some more ideas about what the valley could contain.

At that point I decided to stop searching for what someone else had created and instead, detail the mysterious mountain valley the way I imagined it. Using the background hints provided by MERP, plus ideas from the Middle Earth Role Playing Wiki et al, I have outlined the history (and prehistory) of the valley, general adventuring locations, and some adventure plot-lines all in a rough imitation of the MERP format.

Check out my version of this wilderness adventure at…

Page 1:  Uthrael Beoac: Introduction, Overview & Getting There

or cut to the chase and find out where the treasure is…

Page 2: Uthrael Beoac: Valley Locations, About the Wind Thrones

and what you can kill/torment the players with…

Page 3: Uthrael Beoac: Inhabitants, Adventures, Timeline, & GM’s Notes

 

Uthrael Beoac overview
Uthrael Beoac:  topographic overview

Awakening of the Wyrms – a 4th age Middle Earth RPG Campaign

The Awakening of the Wyrms is a role playing campaign set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth in the early years of the 4th Age. Using locations and creatures from Middle Earth Role Playing (MERP) this alternative history involves the awakening of the Dragons of the Withered Heath and the subsequent havoc they wreak on the north.

Obviously I have broken the Tolkien canon a wee bit in that the description of the early 4th age by Tolkien does not go happily for the free folk. This work specifically combines the expansions of I.C.E.’s MERP and Anders Blixt’s awesome idea for the Queen of Shadows campaign (https://gondica.wordpress.com/).

I read Blixt’s idea quite a few years ago and only came back to it recently in an urge to get some 4th age action happening. His vision of Sauron’s Daughter pulling the strings in the background (a la the Mule from the Foundation series) was quite inspired but I felt that the overall nature of the campaign was a bit too human- o-centric. The 4th age might be the Age of Men however there are still many classic elements left in Middle Earth that could give this campaign an epic fantasy feel.

Awakening of the Wyrms can be used as an expansion of the Queen of Shadows or as a stand alone campaign. Regardless, I have had fun cobbling together a semi-plausible alt history of Middle Earth’s 4th age.

The campaign narrative along with FAQs and RPG resources is contained in the Middle Earth Menu – see Menu bar at top of page…

or click here 1- Intro & The Legacy of the Enemy