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MortonStromgal
12-08-2008, 10:29 AM
So I've had Middle Earth on the brain and been thinking about a campaign. Looked at GURPS, started making my own conversion for MRQ, started flipped through MERPS again, signed up for LOTRs Online and started watching the movies again. Then I'm down at one of the FLGS and I see they have a copy of the old Decipher game (which I used to own but I hated it and wrote it off as D&D 3.0 with 2d6 and then sold it) so I figured I would pick it up for a laugh and mabey glean an idea or two... Now maybe its because I'm older and perfer a simpler system these days but I find myself liking it. I would never run MERPS these days because its too complicated (Rolemaster light is still Rolemaster) but this I could run. It reminds me of a MERPS conversion to d20 with some original elements. Its less deadly than MERPS but thats easy to correct. In fact I think they understand some things about stages of success better than d20 ever did. All in all if your looking for a light Middle Earth game I recomend CODA, it may take some house rules to get the feel you want with magic or combat but over all its not a bad little game.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
12-08-2008, 01:02 PM
So I've had Middle Earth on the brain and been thinking about a campaign. Looked at GURPS, started making my own conversion for MRQ, started flipped through MERPS again, signed up for LOTRs Online and started watching the movies again. Then I'm down at one of the FLGS and I see they have a copy of the old Decipher game (which I used to own but I hated it and wrote it off as D&D 3.0 with 2d6 and then sold it) so I figured I would pick it up for a laugh and mabey glean an idea or two... Now maybe its because I'm older and perfer a simpler system these days but I find myself liking it. I would never run MERPS these days because its too complicated (Rolemaster light is still Rolemaster) but this I could run. It reminds me of a MERPS conversion to d20 with some original elements. Its less deadly than MERPS but thats easy to correct. In fact I think they understand some things about stages of success better than d20 ever did. All in all if your looking for a light Middle Earth game I recomend CODA, it may take some house rules to get the feel you want with magic or combat but over all its not a bad little game.
I've heard both extremes(good and bad)on the rule systems. Seeing as how i see great potential with a LOTR campaign, even to the point i am wishing i could join yours, please share with us your gaming experiences once your campaign gets underway. Thanks.

MortonStromgal
12-08-2008, 01:18 PM
Well I don't know that I'll be running it anytime soon but the CODA system seams to give me 90% of what I want so I think I'll design around it and come up with a few house rules to make it more lethal and magic a little rarer.

My idea centers around Mirkwood and the coming of the Necromancer to Dol Guldur (Third Age cira 1000 or about 2000 years before Bilbo). Agents of Men and Elves investigating a new evil in southern Mirkwood.

Etarnon
12-08-2008, 03:56 PM
I was much more a fan of Rolemaster, and MERP. I have a few coipies of those, to hand out as spares.

I bought the decipher game, and though it has nice writing, and art, and stills from the movies, it wasn't to my players' taste, and I could never get a game of it going, whereas we played MERP a few times.

kirksmithicus
12-08-2008, 04:13 PM
Well I like the game, and have stated so previously in the forums here. The game is not without it's problems, but it is certainly playable. The two biggest problems with the game IMO are the way it deals with HP's and XP's. Work out those two issues to your satisfaction and everything else should be fine.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
12-08-2008, 07:34 PM
Well I don't know that I'll be running it anytime soon but the CODA system seams to give me 90% of what I want so I think I'll design around it and come up with a few house rules to make it more lethal and magic a little rarer.

My idea centers around Mirkwood and the coming of the Necromancer to Dol Guldur (Third Age cira 1000 or about 2000 years before Bilbo). Agents of Men and Elves investigating a new evil in southern Mirkwood.
Now youre speaking my language, MortonStromgal. Coming "up with a few house rules to make it more lethal and magic a little rarer," is right up my alley. I love dark and gritty. Probaly explains why i like WFRP so much. Sounds like a great campaign to be in. Best of luck getting it going.

Edward
12-08-2008, 10:00 PM
and started watching the movies again.

The movies? Say you don't mean it. You really mean, "reading the books again." Right? :)

I definitely recommend reading the appendices of The Return of the King. They're one of the best resources for a mid-Third Age campaign.

I would suggest bookmarking some fan websites and subscribing to a few mailing lists. There are some really good resources available; a lot of passionate people are running Middle-earth campaigns.


I would never run MERPS these days because its too complicated (Rolemaster light is still Rolemaster)

I can't blame you. You should take a hard look at using the MERP supplements with a different ruleset, though (whether Decipher or something else). All of the Iron Crown materials were specifically designed to be easy to run with other systems; they went to great lengths to separate the setting from the rules. The stats are even listed in the back of the book instead of within the text.


Well I don't know that I'll be running it anytime soon but the CODA system seams to give me 90% of what I want so I think I'll design around it and come up with a few house rules to make it more lethal and magic a little rarer.

You'll probably have to tinker with any magic system you use; I haven't seen one well-suited to Middle-earth. Rolemaster's magic system wasn't designed for Middle-earth and didn't work well with it; it was really designed for Shadow World.


My idea centers around Mirkwood and the coming of the Necromancer to Dol Guldur (Third Age cira 1000 or about 2000 years before Bilbo). Agents of Men and Elves investigating a new evil in southern Mirkwood.Interesting. Also very dangerous. I've only run one campaign set in Mirkwood (most of mine have been in Arnor), but it was a lot of fun.

You might want to consider setting it a bit later so that you can use the Iron Crown supplements more easily. ICE generally set their modules in either the early 1400's (just before Angmar's invasion of Arnor and the Kin-strife in Gondor) or the early 1600's (just after the Great Plague). I usually set my Arnor campaigns around 1407, to give the players a chance to get oriented before the war started. If you think your players might move to Arnor at any point, you may want to set it a bit earlier and plan to get them there around 1408.

Also, if you set it too early, the Necromancer might not be ready to receive them properly . . . .

Webhead
12-08-2008, 11:02 PM
...My idea centers around Mirkwood and the coming of the Necromancer to Dol Guldur (Third Age cira 1000 or about 2000 years before Bilbo). Agents of Men and Elves investigating a new evil in southern Mirkwood.

One word: cool!

GoddessGood
12-09-2008, 09:25 AM
While probably just a small derail ... I read the first two books of the trilogy, but the third movie came out before I got to Return of the King and, since my family insisted on seeing it in a group, the plot was kind of spoiled for me. Is the book much better than the movie? I was highly dissatisfied with the whole Arwyn being a major plot point ... seemed too artificial and intended to keep the male audience members awake.

Also, I've been dying to play/run a LOTR style campaign but never felt confident enough in my grasp of the setting to do so. As a kid, one of my ambitions was to learn to speak Tolkein elfish :)

Webhead
12-09-2008, 10:10 AM
...Also, I've been dying to play/run a LOTR style campaign but never felt confident enough in my grasp of the setting to do so. As a kid, one of my ambitions was to learn to speak Tolkein elfish :)

One of the friends I game with is a huge Tolkien fan. He could do worlds more justice running a Middle Earth campaign than I could ever hope to. When I recently came into possession of a few of the MERP books again, I passed them on to him as he said he had sold his MERP books years ago. He also owned the Decipher LotR RPG for a short time, but apparently sold it off as well. We never did get a chance to play it.

MortonStromgal
12-09-2008, 10:29 AM
The movies? Say you don't mean it. You really mean, "reading the books again." Right? :)


No the movies, followed by the cartoons and then the extra movie disks (With a healthy dose of LOTRO). I will get around to rereading the books probably starting with the Hobbit and then the Simarillion before doing the trilogy. Right now though I'm reading MERPS, Decipher, GURPS and MRQ.

Talmek
12-09-2008, 11:16 AM
So I've had Middle Earth on the brain <SNIP> ...signed up for LOTRs Online and started watching the movies again.

Hey Morton,

Not sure if you meant the MMO LotRO (Lord of the Rings Online), but if you did...may I make a suggestion?

I'm a longtime player of LotRO, and I've played on Landroval server since March. Excellent RPers, and you couldn't ask for a nicer community. Try it out sometime, and look for my handle on the forums over there if you'd like more information.

/end thread derailment

MortonStromgal
12-09-2008, 11:29 AM
Hey Morton,

Not sure if you meant the MMO LotRO (Lord of the Rings Online), but if you did...may I make a suggestion?

I'm a longtime player of LotRO, and I've played on Landroval server since March. Excellent RPers, and you couldn't ask for a nicer community. Try it out sometime, and look for my handle on the forums over there if you'd like more information.

/end thread derailment

Yup thats the one, I have friends on Gladden who have tried to convinced me to play since it came out but I have a hate of Turbine. I finally caved, though so far I still prefer EQ2 overall I will say I have never had so much fun questing as LOTRO, good job guys the quests are well done and don't feel like grinding in anyway.



Also, I've been dying to play/run a LOTR style campaign but never felt confident enough in my grasp of the setting to do so. As a kid, one of my ambitions was to learn to speak Tolkein elfish :)

I suggest picking up any of the MERPS stuff you can find (good luck on that) its really well laid out so you can get a grasp on the world.

Edward
12-09-2008, 09:54 PM
Is the book much better than the movie?

Yes.

I intensely disliked the movies. Peter Jackson claims he shot the movies with the book in his pocket. Perhaps he had it in his pocket, but he certainly didn't pay much attention to it.


Also, I've been dying to play/run a LOTR style campaign but never felt confident enough in my grasp of the setting to do so. As a kid, one of my ambitions was to learn to speak Tolkein elfish My suggestion would be to read all four books again (including The Hobbit), paying close attention to the appendices of The Return of the King. Then try to read The Silmarillion as well. A lot of people don't make it through The Silmarillion; if you don't, that's okay, but you should have it as a reference. (Personally, I liked it even better than the trilogy.) Unfinished Tales is also very useful as a reference, even if you don't read it cover to cover.

My favorite third-party references are The Complete Guide to Middle-earth by Robert Foster (which was published before Unfinished Tales came out, but is still very useful) and Karen Wynn Fonstad's Atlas of Middle-earth. Be sure to get the latest edition of each (especially of the Atlas). I would consider The Atlas of Middle-earth essential; some of the maps are not in the game supplements. When I'm running a Middle-earth campaign, we usually have the Atlas open on the table.


I suggest picking up any of the MERPS stuff you can find (good luck on that) its really well laid out so you can get a grasp on the world.

I agree completely. My own opinion is that the ICE (Iron Crown Enterprises) MERP (Middle-earth Role-Playing) campaign material is much better quality than the Decipher campaign material. Another advantage of the ICE material is that it's much easier to run a campaign well before The War of the Ring.

The ICE supplements can be difficult to find, but some of them are still available on eBay (though they may be expensive). You may be able to find PDF's, which would be just as good.

Also, I would definitely check out some of the Middle-earth websites and subscribe to some of the mailing lists. And I'm always happy to answer questions and make suggestions, too, though some of the hard-core fans are a lot more expert than I am.

Webhead
12-09-2008, 11:02 PM
...I intensely disliked the movies. Peter Jackson claims he shot the movies with the book in his pocket. Perhaps he had it in his pocket, but he certainly didn't pay much attention to it...

I liked the films for what they were, even if that isn't a completely accurate rendition of the books. I surrendered myself to the knowledge that there would be no mention of Tom Bombadil nor Scouring of the Shire in the films before they ever released (at least they gave Treebeard some of Bombadil's lines and did an excellent job at that). Just not enough time even in a 3-and-a-half hour movie to include everything that needed to be, nor can a film support the same sort of pacing as a novel.

The films were just an "adaptation" of the books and that's how seriously I take them. They are a great deal of fun to watch and I even got my wife (who doesn't generally read fantasy or sci-fi) interested in watching them with me. She enjoyed them. The books are better, of course, but that's just having your cake and eating it too. Nothing wrong with that.

I expect the same thing to happen with the Hobbit film(s?) when they arrive. The Hobbit was always my favorite of the four books and I want very much to see it done proper justice, but I know that it too will have its deviations from the book. I just have to expect that and judge it based upon whether or not it lives up to the "spirit" of the book instead of whether or not all the details are kept accurate. I find myself wondering if they will even bother mentioning Beorn or the Arkenstone.

The Watchmen film is in the exact same category. I'm hoping that it will be enjoyable even though I know it will not be 100% faithful to the graphic novel. So long as the "spirit" remains true, it may still be considered a success. It won't be as good as the original. It can't really. But I don't expect to get that from it.

Edward
12-10-2008, 12:38 AM
I liked the films for what they were, even if that isn't a completely accurate rendition of the books. I surrendered myself to the knowledge that there would be no mention of Tom Bombadil nor Scouring of the Shire in the films before they ever released (at least they gave Treebeard some of Bombadil's lines and did an excellent job at that). Just not enough time even in a 3-and-a-half hour movie to include everything that needed to be, nor can a film support the same sort of pacing as a novel.

That didn't bother me; I knew they would have to cut some scenes.


The films were just an "adaptation" of the books and that's how seriously I take them. They are a great deal of fun to watch and I even got my wife (who doesn't generally read fantasy or sci-fi) interested in watching them with me. She enjoyed them. The books are better, of course, but that's just having your cake and eating it too. Nothing wrong with that.A very loose adaptation. I'm sure I would have enjoyed them if I had never read the books. I also would have forgotten them pretty quickly; there was nothing compelling about them. If someone had produced a game based on them, I wouldn't have been especially interested. (In fact, that's exactly what Decipher did, which is part of the reason I didn't find it very interesting.) The movies were a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, but no more than that.

The whole point of Middle-earth is the sense of depth and history. It's a world with a richly detailed past, its own myths and legends, even its own languages. Jackson threw all that away in order to make a fairly average swords-and-sorcery flick. I don't object to a swords-and-sorcery flick inspired by Middle-earth; there have been plenty of others. But he should have called it something else. It wasn't The Lord of the Rings.


I expect the same thing to happen with the Hobbit film(s?) when they arrive. The Hobbit was always my favorite of the four books and I want very much to see it done proper justice, but I know that it too will have its deviations from the book. I just have to expect that and judge it based upon whether or not it lives up to the "spirit" of the book instead of whether or not all the details are kept accurate. I find myself wondering if they will even bother mentioning Beorn or the Arkenstone.That's exactly it: The movies should live up to the spirit of the book. They didn't.

I would have been a lot happier with Chris Columbus as director. He made the correct decision with Harry Potter; he kept the movie true to the book even when it would have been more dramatic to change it.


The Watchmen film is in the exact same category. I'm hoping that it will be enjoyable even though I know it will not be 100% faithful to the graphic novel. So long as the "spirit" remains true, it may still be considered a success. It won't be as good as the original. It can't really. But I don't expect to get that from it.I'm not all that familiar with The Watchmen. In general, though, reinterpretations of comic books don't bother me, because they're being continuously reinterpreted anyway. There have been many interpretations of Superman, so reinterpreting him in a movie is in keeping with the tradition. Similarly, reinterpreting Conan or Tarzan is perfectly acceptable; they're high fantasy, and they weren't always internally consistent anyway. The authors intended you to relax and enjoy it, not worry about the details. Star Trek is the same way.

Middle-earth, on the other hand, is low fantasy, and it's the detail that creates the sense of realism that makes it so compelling. Suspension of disbelief is very easy with Middle-earth. Tolkien sometimes spent weeks or even months of painstaking research to make sure every aspect was realistic. His artificial languages were carefully constructed based on his study of linguistics, and his military strategies were consistent with the technology and cultural sophistication of the nations involved. He rewrote one section of the book because the moon was in the wrong phase. He would have rolled over in his grave to see a Lord of the Rings movie in which realism was thrown out to increase the cool factor.

Of course I realize some people disagree. For that matter, some people run Middle-earth campaigns which are radically different from the spirit of the books: High fantasy or even sci-fi variants. I have no problem with that, because they're strictly unofficial; they're fan fiction. Peter Jackson wanted to rewrite The Lord of the Rings the way he thought it should have been written, and that's fine, as long as everyone knows it's an unofficial "Peter Jackson take", and no one sees it as a reflection on the books.

It's too bad our legal system doesn't allow for that.

Etarnon
12-10-2008, 12:39 AM
My, how times have changed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQtyJZhV2lQ

Webhead
12-10-2008, 08:30 AM
...A very loose adaptation. I'm sure I would have enjoyed them if I had never read the books. I also would have forgotten them pretty quickly; there was nothing compelling about them...The movies were a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, but no more than that...

I'm a long-time Tolkien reader (first read The Hobbit in elementary school) and I enjoyed them for what they were. Enough so, that I bought the extended edition DVDs because I knew that I would want to rewatch them in the future on more than one occasion. I also have a friend who is the biggest Tolkien fan I know. While he had his issues with the films, he also agreed that they were entertaining and worth watching despite some of the overhanded changes that were brought to it.


...The whole point of Middle-earth is the sense of depth and history. It's a world with a richly detailed past, its own myths and legends, even its own languages. Jackson threw all that away in order to make a fairly average swords-and-sorcery flick. I don't object to a swords-and-sorcery flick inspired by Middle-earth; there have been plenty of others. But he should have called it something else. It wasn't The Lord of the Rings...

Though the details weren't all present and accurate of course, I was happy that there were some significant undercurrents of Middle Earth's history that I detected in the films. Perhaps one of my favorites of which was Treebeard (I thought they did an excellent job with Treebeard in the films). I felt the sense of the "history" shine through, but some may not have.


...That's exactly it: The movies should live up to the spirit of the book. They didn't...

In a very general sense, I disagree, but that's just my prerogative.


...I'm not all that familiar with The Watchmen. In general, though, reinterpretations of comic books don't bother me, because they're being continuously reinterpreted anyway. There have been many interpretations of Superman, so reinterpreting him in a movie is in keeping with the tradition. Similarly, reinterpreting Conan or Tarzan is perfectly acceptable; they're high fantasy, and they weren't always internally consistent anyway. The authors intended you to relax and enjoy it, not worry about the details. Star Trek is the same way...

Watchmen is very atypical of comic book fare in that it is a very singular entity and not something which has been reinterpreted (or even rewritten/expanded upon) from the original work. It is a self-contained work and the new film would be the first time any kind of adaptation or reworking has ever been done. There's really only one interpretation that's been given for Rorschach to this point, and that would be as he appears in the graphic novel. Watchmen has been kind of the "sacred cow" of the comic book industry as it has become such a highly regarded piece of work that any tampering with it would seemingly only sully it. That would perhaps explain why a Watchmen film has been in the works for almost 20 years and through a dozen or more scripts (most of them terrible).

In the end, I don't think it is really possible to do complete justice to the story in film form. It just isn't the medium that it was crafted for. But...as long as the film makers keep the basic spirit and characterizations true, it may end up being worthwhile and maybe even entertaining.

In the end though, the best thing that could come out of the Watchmen film is that it gets new people to read the original work which they might otherwise never have been exposed to. I tend to look at the LotR movies in the same way. If those films convinced just one person new to Tolkien to pick up the books and read them, I think it was worthwhile.


...Of course I realize some people disagree. For that matter, some people run Middle-earth campaigns which are radically different from the spirit of the books: High fantasy or even sci-fi variants. I have no problem with that, because they're strictly unofficial; they're fan fiction. Peter Jackson wanted to rewrite The Lord of the Rings the way he thought it should have been written, and that's fine, as long as everyone knows it's an unofficial "Peter Jackson take", and no one sees it as a reflection on the books...

And that's the rub of interpretation/adaptation. It gets filtered through another person's imagination. Try as they might, everyone's imagination is slightly colored by their personalities and life experiences.

Interesting conversation... :)

GoddessGood
12-10-2008, 10:15 AM
I looked for ICE and Decipher LOTR stuff on my usual .pdf source, drivethrurpg (http://www.drivethrurpg.com), but though I found Iron Crown material I didn't find any LOTR materal (or Decipher stuff at all for that matter). This makes me a very sad panda, but the search will continue!

MortonStromgal
12-10-2008, 10:20 AM
I'll go on record as saying I enjoyed the Two-Towers movie better than I enjoyed the book. I almost didn't read the Simarillion (My Favorite) or Return of the King thanks to the Two-Towers. I love the Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring and was so utterly let down by the Two-Towers. I think the end result of the films was decent and I thank all the Tolkien fans on the boards from keeping PJ at bay and not letting it be even more sword and sorcery. Watching the documentries on the extended edtions show me just how lucky we are PJ didn't go with even more action and turn Arwen into Xena. I don't really remember the theatrical versions now that I have seen the extended so many times but I feel the extended do give a depth of history and how long the journey was but I can't remember what scenes they cut. I also enjoyed Faramir being more than someone for Frodo to have a cup of tea with. Tom being left out I can understand why but I think it was a tragety as it shows that the ring is not all powerful

I also started reading the MERPS rules last night and WOW it hurt my brain but after some time the old 80s wheels started turning and it you know other than the lack of character class options and magic system that doesn't seam Middle Earth like... Its not too bad.


I looked for ICE and Decipher LOTR stuff on my usual .pdf source, drivethrurpg (http://www.drivethrurpg.com/), but though I found Iron Crown material I didn't find any LOTR materal (or Decipher stuff at all for that matter). This makes me a very sad panda, but the search will continue!

On a rare occasion of my supporting pdf downloads that are questionably legal... merp.com has at times had all of ICE pdfs for member download (and at other times had none). My understanding is that ICE is cool with it but Toliken Enterprises is not and the legal battle is somewhere in the middle. I believe now they are allowed to have some of the ICE books and not others. This came out of a ruling where ICE was no longer allowed to sell MERPS (Thus why no Drivethru) there by making them free but some things Toliken Enterprises still holds the copyright on depending on how much was Toliken and how much was ICE in the book. Still buy as many of them as you can used... but good luck finding them and try not to break your bank account either.

GoddessGood
12-10-2008, 12:45 PM
Thanks for the lowdown. As far as I know, dtrpg only sells legal pdfs.

Edward
12-10-2008, 04:13 PM
Watchmen is very atypical of comic book fare in that it is a very singular entity and not something which has been reinterpreted (or even rewritten/expanded upon) from the original work. It is a self-contained work and the new film would be the first time any kind of adaptation or reworking has ever been done. There's really only one interpretation that's been given for Rorschach to this point, and that would be as he appears in the graphic novel. Watchmen has been kind of the "sacred cow" of the comic book industry as it has become such a highly regarded piece of work that any tampering with it would seemingly only sully it. That would perhaps explain why a Watchmen film has been in the works for almost 20 years and through a dozen or more scripts (most of them terrible).

Interesting. Sounds like I need to pick up a copy.

There's just one version, then? So this link (http://www.amazon.com/Watchmen-Alan-Moore/dp/0930289234/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228944417&sr=8-1) is the correct one to buy?


And that's the rub of interpretation/adaptation. It gets filtered through another person's imagination. Try as they might, everyone's imagination is slightly colored by their personalities and life experiences.Yes, and often the artist has a particular take that he wants to try out. I really wish mashups and fan fiction were legal. I could see a setup where artists automatically received a fixed percentage of revenue.


I looked for ICE and Decipher LOTR stuff on my usual .pdf source, drivethrurpg, but though I found Iron Crown material I didn't find any LOTR materal (or Decipher stuff at all for that matter). This makes me a very sad panda, but the search will continue!

You won't find legal PDF's of any of the ICE Middle-earth material.

This is a difficult issue. What do you do when a work has gone out of print and is in serious danger of disappearing, and yet the rights holders refuse to allow it to be reproduced? If someone held the rights to Shakespeare's works and refused to allow copies to be made, would it be moral to allow them to vanish? I don't have any answers.

My understanding of fair use is that you have the right to download electronic copies of works that you purchased legally. So, if you own the hardcopy, you have the right to download the PDF, unless the license requires you to pay an additional fee for the right to make an electronic version (and that's legally questionable). This is essentially the same as ripping a CD to your MP3 player. However, I am not a lawyer, and Tolkien Enterprises is known to take very harsh interpretations of pretty much everything. They sued Iron Crown out of existence (because the movies were about to come out and the publicity allowed them to get more for the license from Decipher), and they've also forced a number of fan sites to shut down. (The original Iron Crown went bankrupt and disappeared; the current Iron Crown is a legally unrelated company founded by former employees.)

Note that Tolkien Enterprises is unrelated to the Tolkien family, which has never received any compensation for Middle-earth games. Tolkien sold the rights to make entertainment products based on The Lord of the Rings for about $10,000 before it became popular, because he was about to lose land that had been in the family for generations due to a heavy tax bill.


I also started reading the MERPS rules last night and WOW it hurt my brain but after some time the old 80s wheels started turning and it you know other than the lack of character class options and magic system that doesn't seam Middle Earth like... Its not too bad.

I gave up on the Rolemaster/MERP rules a while back. I would say they require heavy modification at the least. I love the ICE campaign material (and I also bought the Decipher material to adapt), but I use a homebrew rules system. I customize the magic system to each individual world, because magic really is completely different from world to world (Middle-earth more than most).

Webhead
12-10-2008, 09:10 PM
Interesting. Sounds like I need to pick up a copy.

There's just one version, then? So this link (http://www.amazon.com/Watchmen-Alan-Moore/dp/0930289234/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228944417&sr=8-1) is the correct one to buy?

Yep. That's it. It is an excellent piece of literary work. As I said, entirely self-contained. I highly recommend it to anyone with a penchant for good fiction. Not just good "comic book" fiction...good fiction period. It just happens to be in graphic form, which actually serves it excellently. Both Alan Moore (writer) and Dave Gibbons (artist) do a superb job.

Check it out.

MortonStromgal
12-12-2008, 09:41 AM
This is a difficult issue. What do you do when a work has gone out of print and is in serious danger of disappearing, and yet the rights holders refuse to allow it to be reproduced? If someone held the rights to Shakespeare's works and refused to allow copies to be made, would it be moral to allow them to vanish? I don't have any answers.

I agree, in this case I won't hold anyone over a fire for not being able to afford used copies or pay for the material. However the courts may have another opinion. Its not like anyone but the retailer is making money on the used stuff anyway but I still feel you need to at leased make an effort on ebay and amazon. $50 for some obscure book may be a bit much but then you can always choose not to use that book. Its not like you have to own them all. Until they are available legally I wont have pdf copies of something that is not on my shelf, however if I may temporarily download a copy to check to see how much its worth to me if I find it on ebay but less than 24 hrs later I delete it. I'm not saying this is the right thing to do but its what I have justified in my own mind to work for me.

Edward
12-12-2008, 11:48 AM
Some of them are still available on eBay and similar sources. Some, unfortunately, are not. I had a link to a site that dynamically tracked prices that the ICE Middle-earth books had sold for on eBay over a period of time (I think it showed the last month and the last year), but the link seems to have gone dead. There are probably other sites out there that help determine how much it's reasonable to pay for each book.

There are proposals to establish something similar to SoundExchange for books. In addition to collecting royalties on sales of new books, it would also collect a fee on each sale of a used book. Fortunately, as of right now, it's still legal to buy and sell used books without fees or permission.

Edward
12-12-2008, 11:53 AM
Yep. That's it. It is an excellent piece of literary work. As I said, entirely self-contained. I highly recommend it to anyone with a penchant for good fiction. Not just good "comic book" fiction...good fiction period. It just happens to be in graphic form, which actually serves it excellently. Both Alan Moore (writer) and Dave Gibbons (artist) do a superb job.

Check it out.

I'll definitely pick it up the next time I'm buying enough to get free shipping. Thanks.

Webhead
12-12-2008, 12:40 PM
I'll definitely pick it up the next time I'm buying enough to get free shipping. Thanks.

No problem. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and still do. I'm currently on my third reading of it in preparation for the release of the film (to keep my mind fresh on all of it as my last read-thru was about 4 and a half years ago).

One of the most thought-provoking and impactful pieces of fiction I've yet read.

tesral
12-13-2008, 04:45 PM
There are proposals to establish something similar to SoundExchange for books. In addition to collecting royalties on sales of new books, it would also collect a fee on each sale of a used book. Fortunately, as of right now, it's still legal to buy and sell used books without fees or permission.

That is called "Right of first sale" I applies to recordings as well. Once in your hands, you may do as you please, Play it, sell it, use it as a coaster. the "IAA would like to take the right away from you.

Edward
12-13-2008, 11:21 PM
That is called "Right of first sale" I applies to recordings as well. Once in your hands, you may do as you please, Play it, sell it, use it as a coaster.

The problem is that no one really knows how the courts will interpret copyright and patent law. Do we have the right to make backup copies? Do we have the right to use on more than one device (computer, MP3 player, etc.)? Do we have the right to play music in public? (A company was successfully sued for failing to prevent employees from playing copyrighted music in the workplace.) Do we have the right to lend a product we've purchased? (Industry executives have suggested that libraries are engaging in piracy because they haven't purchased a license to lend copyrighted material.) Do we have the right to resell a product we've purchased? For that matter, do we really own the product, or are we just leasing it? There's no reason a book should differ from a song, or a hardcopy should differ from an e-book. If you lease a car, you agree to terms of use; why not the same with a book, or a can of paint?

If it's legal today, will it be legal tomorrow?

All of this is decided by the courts, and they change their minds from time to time. Personally, I agree with you, but I'm not at all certain the courts would.

Moreover, an EULA now has the force of law, and violating the terms of service can get you prison time. If Farcaster's terms of service say that we can't lie on the boards, and we say something that isn't really true, he can have us thrown in prison. (Hmm. Maybe I'd better read the terms of service . . . .)

I am not a lawyer, but I've read a good bit about IP law. I have absolutely no confidence that I know what's legal and what isn't. Perhaps I'm pirating your post by quoting it in whole rather than paraphrasing it or quoting excerpts. (Yes, this fails the common sense test, but courts -- and juries -- don't have common sense.)


the "IAA would like to take the right away from you.Yes, they're working on all three branches of government, and on the federal, state, and local level. They like to cover all their bets. I suspect they'll eventually get what they want.

Edward
12-14-2008, 04:31 AM
I looked for ICE and Decipher LOTR stuff on my usual .pdf source, drivethrurpg (http://www.drivethrurpg.com), but though I found Iron Crown material I didn't find any LOTR materal (or Decipher stuff at all for that matter). This makes me a very sad panda, but the search will continue!

I forgot to mention that there's a great deal of very high quality fan fiction available. I would consider some of it even better than the ICE material. You could run a good campaign on fan fiction alone.

MortonStromgal
12-19-2008, 06:13 PM
Well I made my own "crit chart" for CODA I figured I would share. The idea being how much you beat the opponents defense by. I'll post the rest of it later because cut and paste is messy. It may need some playtesting as the number ranges may be to high.


Beat By 1-5
Crushing none
Cutting none
Piercing none

Beat By 6-9
Crushing +5 dmg
Cutting +1 dmg/rd
Piercing +3 dmg

Beat By 10-12
Crushing +5 dmg, Stun 1 rd
Cutting +3 dmg; +1 dmg/rd
Piercing +3 dmg, Stun 1 rd

Beat By 13-14
Crushing +8 dmg, Stun 2 rd
Cutting +4 dmg; 2 dmg/rd
Piercing +3 dmg, 1 dmg/rd; Stun 1 rd

Beat By 15

Beat By 16

Beat By 17

Beat By 18

Beat By 19

Beat By 20


Beat By 21+
all cases = death