Moria

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Glorelendil
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Moria

Post by Glorelendil » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:17 pm

I've started working on an ambitious project: Moria. I have some ideas for how an adventure in Moria would work with TOR (e.g., survivable without selling Moria short, party has a good reason to go there, fits in the timeline without altering any history, ties in with Balin's expedition, etc.). My goal is to make a Moria that's utterly terrifying, but without simply being a Fellowship killer. I'll share more when it's further along.

I want to make sure I know everything Tolkien wrote about Moria. Other than LotR, what other sources are there? I'll look through Silmarillion (which I haven't actually re-read for a number of years), but if anybody recalls any specific sections I'm all ears. What about unfinished tales, JRRT's letters, etc....anybody have any references or trivia?
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Glorelendil
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Re: Moria

Post by Glorelendil » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:18 pm

And on a related note: is there an exhaustive concordance/index to Tolkien that I should be using. E.g., so I can look up "Durin" "Moria" "Khazad Dum" etc. and find every a reference to everything he ever wrote?
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bfl
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Re: Moria

Post by bfl » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:32 pm

Recommendations:
The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth by Robert Foster (Revised Edition, as the first came out before the publication of the Silmarillion 978-0-345-44976-4). Doesn't cover Tolkien's letters as you desire, but still pretty handy.

Decipher's Moria boxed set for their Lord of the Rings RPG (ISBN 1-58236-958-5). Pretty comprehensive, if you can find it.

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Tolwen
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Re: Moria

Post by Tolwen » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:02 pm

bfl wrote:Recommendations:
Decipher's Moria boxed set for their Lord of the Rings RPG (ISBN 1-58236-958-5). Pretty comprehensive, if you can find it.
And don't forget the Moria supplement from MERP. They both had different approaches and thus varying strengths and weaknesses. Overall, the fluff (especially about the Dwarves in general) in the DEC product is better, while the MERP version had far better maps and "fleshing out" Moria's layout (the LotRRPG layout was more or less a random room generator). Ideally, combine them both to get the best of the two :)
In the thread about the old forum you can download an archive with all the old threads. Have a look at the ones titled "MERP". There you can find a short description of what was better in the Moria of LotRRPG and MERP - respectively.
There is no clear answer which was better, as it depends on your expectations and focus (I know that, since I have them all on my shelf) ;)

Cheers
Tolwen
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Shieldmaiden
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Re: Moria

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:06 pm

I'm not sure how good they are, I'm no Tolkien scholar, but there are a couple of Tolkien wikis out there. They tend to have quotes and references to back up any information.
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Glorelendil
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Re: Moria

Post by Glorelendil » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:31 pm

Thanks for the feedback so far.

The only problem with MERP and Decipher is that they don't distinguish between "official" Tolkien and what they've invented. I'm not looking for inspiration from other authors...and I definitely don't want to inadvertently copy their inventions. But I'd like to know that I've read and digested every relevant sentence that Tolkien himself wrote.
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Tolwen
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Re: Moria

Post by Tolwen » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:43 pm

Elfcrusher wrote:Thanks for the feedback so far.
The only problem with MERP and Decipher is that they don't distinguish between "official" Tolkien and what they've invented.
That's a "problem" that any game based on a piece fiction shares. Essentially, in TOR it's the same, where original stuff is interwoven with information from the source. IMO that's no issue - and both necessary and welcome - as long as it well done.
In a way, IMHO it's one of the core jobs for RPG authors that make stuff for a game based on a book, to expand on this information, put flesh on the bones and fill the gaps left by the author of the book. Thus necessarily they add things. And marking anything with "original" or "from Tolkien" is detrimental for reading and destroys a good part of the magic that such a book should convey.
Marking the source of information is necessary for academic discussions (e.g. why this was done so and not otherwise - or as support for your interpretation) but not suited to RPG supplements that shall sell ;)
Elfcrusher wrote:I'm not looking for inspiration from other authors...and I definitely don't want to inadvertently copy their inventions. But I'd like to know that I've read and digested every relevant sentence that Tolkien himself wrote.
Beside the ones already mentioned, the HoMe12 holds some interesting information as well. Obviously most of it is in the section "Of Men and Dwarves".

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Tolwen
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Glorelendil
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Re: Moria

Post by Glorelendil » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:56 pm

Definitely didn't mean to suggest that MERP etc. erred by adding their own information. It's not a "problem" in terms of gaming, it's only a problem for me, for the purpose of using them as sources for creating my own Moria adventure, in that I can't distinguish between what's Tolkien and what's added by the game authors.
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Tolwen
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Re: Moria

Post by Tolwen » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:02 pm

Elfcrusher wrote:Definitely didn't mean to suggest that MERP etc. erred by adding their own information. It's not a "problem" in terms of gaming, it's only a problem for me, for the purpose of using them as sources for creating my own Moria adventure, in that I can't distinguish between what's Tolkien and what's added by the game authors.
Ah, OK I see. No harm meant - I only understood it differently than intended by you :)

Oh - when one can't easily differentiate what's original and what by Tolkien - then the author(s) did his/their job well ;)

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Falenthal
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Re: Moria

Post by Falenthal » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:02 am

For Tolkien writings of Moria, If I remember correctly, the most useful sources should be The Lord of the Rings itself, of course (chapters about the crossing of the Misty Mountains by the Grey Compay), and the Durin's Folk chapter in the Appendix.
In the Silmarillion, read the Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age part. I recall having read something there about the relationship of Celebrimbor and the Eregion smiths with the Dwarves from Moria.

Also I would say that in the Unfinished Tales, in The History of Galadriel and Celeborn chapter, there is some information about the dwarves of Moria in the time that Galadriel ruled in Eregion and Lorien afterwards.

My memory might be playing tricks on me, but that's what comes to mind regarding Moria right now.

Be careful not to delve too deep in your search for knowledge, though, else you might wake something up that should not be... :twisted:

By the way, I read somewhere in this or the old forum an idea about the Marsh-Bell adventure where the reason why Balin was lost in the mashes related to him trying to reopen the Old Forest Road a.k.a. The Dwarven Way (Men-i-Naugrim) through Mirkwood to connect Erebor with the future kingdom of Moria.

Image

I think it's a brilliant idea, in case you decide to use it.

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