Turning Tropes Upside Down: Feral Elves and other thoughts.

When I was writing “Priest-King” a few years back, I ended up locating the module in SW Agyra and started fleshing out the geographic area. The land to the immediate south was Chaal-chu and in Terry’s description (Master Atlas p.34) was this fascinating tidbit:

In an (apparently) unique and frightening aberration, there
are Half-elven Eritari tribes in Chaal-chu who are cannibalistic.
They believe that feeding on their full-mortal cousins the Thesian
tribes will extend their lives.

Elves, Elves, Everywhere! Elves in Shadow World and fiction.

RMU has established a tool kit that balances out race, class and creature creation by assigning DP values to skills, abilities and attributes. It’s very detailed and typical RM!  A currently running thread on the RM Forums is about Race balance, and more specifically Elves.

We discussed Elves here on the RolemasterBlog, and it’s also a common topic on RPG blogs as well. It seems like people either love or hate em! However, if you look through the various games or popular fiction, Elves can vary quite a bit, differentiated from the foundational trope established by Tolkien.

Musings on High Elves in Shadow World


I’m not a fan of Elves, but I am a fan of Shadow World. Can those two feelings co-exist? Fiction has exposed us to many portrayals of Elves but one constant is that Elves are very long lived or immortal. In a past RMU discussion, the immortal “trait” was discussed: how do you subscribe a value to a trait like immortality when it has little impact on gameplay?

How Drow Elves compare to other elven races

In the Forgotten Realms there are five races of elf, High, Grey (or Moon), Green (or Wood), Sea and Drow Elves. For most people I guess the High, Grey and Green equate pretty much with Moldar, Sindar and Silvan. For the purposes of this discussion I am going to ignore the Sea Elves as they are not typically found in most MERP or Rolemaster campaigns.  The others most players or GMs, I would have thought, wil be familiar with.

I.C.E. Deep Dive. Loremaster Series pt.1: The Iron Wind.

In a recent blog I reviewed some of the earliest ICE ads that were featured in the Dragon Magazine. Iron Crown’s two very first products were Arms Law, a drop in combat module for use in other game systems, and The Iron Wind, an expansive “generic” fantasy setting.

Later, ICE would formalize their modules into the Loremaster Series which would then morph into Shadow World.  The Loremaster series consistested of 4 modules: The Iron Wind, The World of Vog Mur, The Cloudlords of Tanara and the Shade of the Sinking Plain. Two additional modules were advertised but never published: “Cynar: the Cursed Oasis” and “The Gates of Gehaenna”.


I read this yesterday and I know that my own group of players could certainly do well to learn this bit of advice…

Investigative scenarios often bog down into speculative debate between players about what could be happening. Many things can be happening, but only one thing is. If more than one possible explanation ties together the clues you have so far, you need more clues.

Whenever you get stuck, get out and gather more information.

Shadow World Overview: The Messengers of the Iron Wind.

One of the bedrocks of the Shadow World setting are the detailed organizations that Terry has created: Loremasters, Navigators, the 8 Emerian Orders,  and the Dragonlords, just to name a few. These groups drive the plot and can be aids or foils for the players and be used throughout a lengthy Shadow World campaign.

One of the very first of these groups is The Iron Wind detailed in I.C.E.’s first publication. An order of Dark Priests (of High Imla Arna – “The Evil High Priests”), they were the secret tentacles of the Unlife that insinuated themselves into local cultures.  There were Six Orders described in the Iron Wind, along with a order of assassins known as Messengers of Syrkakang. This became the kernel that Terry expanded upon in subsequent books.

The Sun Always Shines On TV

Last year there was a flurry of excitement around Stranger Things, the Netflix series, mostly in part as the opening and closing scenes were of ourselves back in the 80s playing Dungeons and Dragons.

On several of the blogs I read there was an almost yearning for a Stranger Things RPG and in fact Fria Ligan basically produced exactly that with http://bit.ly/LoopTalesTales from the Loop. Watch the trailer if you do not know this game!

There was a similar desire for a Sense8 RPG as well and the Game of Thrones RPG, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, taps into this same TV hook up phenomena.


Large giant, chaotic evil

Level 12

Armor Type 4/20 3/10 (natural armour)

Hits 130

Speed 6’/sec

Max Pace Sprint/Fast Run /+0

90 65 35 45 35
+20 +5 -10 -5 -10

Environment: Cold mountains (Scrag: Cold aquatic)

Organization: Solitary or gang (2-4) Trolls walk upright but hunched forward with sagging shoulders. Their gait is uneven, and when they run, their arms dangle and drag along the ground. For all this seeming awkwardness, trolls are very agile.


Medium humanoid (goblinoid)

Level 3

Armor Type 14/20 7/10 +20 shield DB (chain mail, shield)

Hits 44

Speed 6’/sec
Max Pace Fast Sprint /+10

65 60 50 50 45
+5 +5 +0 +0 -5

Environment: Warm hills

Organization: Gang (4-9), band (10-100 plus 50% non-combatants plus 1 5th level sergeant per 20 adults and 1 leader of 6th-9th level), warband (10-24), or tribe (30-300 plus 50% non-combatants plus 1 5th level sergeant per 20 adults, 1 or 2 lieutenants of 6th or 7th level, 1 leader of 9th-12th level, 2-4 dire wolves, and 1-4 ogres or 1-2 trolls)