Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spoiled by MERP

I've mentioned way back when this blog began that I tend to be a gamer who likes to have a little roleplaying sprinkled in with his hack-and-slash. Most of my WoW characters had their origins in D&D characters I played back in college or grad school.

As we make the switch to LOTRO, my stable of classic characters goes back even farther, all the way back to junior high when I bought my very first table-top roleplaying game: Middle Earth Role Play (i.e. MERP).

MERP was a watered down version of Iron Crown Enterprise's other flagship game title, Rolemaster. RM is less-than-affectionately known as "Chartmaster." It is among the most complex table top systems out there. However, with that complexity also comes flexibility. You could literally play just about anything in RM or in MERP.

As such, I'm finding a lot of my old toons just don't work in LOTRO.

For instance, Mechnar and Maeoden were two Rohirrim brothers. Half-brothers really. One (Maeoden) was your stereotypical blonde blue eyed horseman, what you'd expect from MERP. The other was a half-orc, the result of Maeoden's mother spending some time as prisoner of Saruman's orcs. I can do Maeoden easily enough (he's my captain in LOTRO), but not Mechnar.

That might be a bad example, seeing as you'd probably never have orcish toons in LOTRO of any kind. But there are others. I've got a Black Numenorean sea captain in my stable of toons, an Easterling, and probably a Haradrim if I look hard enough. None of these nations or homelands are as yet represented in LOTRO. They might be, once the map expands to include territory east of the River Anduin or south of Lorien. But given these "peoples" were typically allied with Sauron, I'm not holding my breath.

All MMOs (and most computer roleplayers in general) lack the flexibility for folks to make toons with this level of originality. But I miss it.


Andrew said...

Rolemaster! As much as the game involved an incredible amount of charts and dice rolls, it actually played extremely well once the group got its head around the mechanics.

I could spend hours reading the various charts.... and usually end up laughing at some point through each one. One of my favorites was the chart for rip weapon damage - it was downright silly at times. =)

Amaeva said...

E criticals FTW!

Your weapon pierces foe's skull through the ear. Any excess earwax removed. Foe dies.

Foe's skeleton is crushed into thousands of pieces. Try a spatula. Foe dies.