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Middle-earth Quest


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Language:English
Alternate Title:Tolkien Quest
Publishers:Berkley -- United States
Iron Crown Enterprises -- United States
Categories:Complexity Level : Advanced (Full Game System)
Complexity Level : Solitaire RPG (External Rules Required)
Format : Paperback
Game System : Character Advancement
Game System : Combat
Game System : Inventory Management
Game System : Magic
Game System : Randomization Method : Dice
Game System : Scores
Genre : Fantasy
Licensed Property : Novel Tie-In
Target Age Group : Adults
Target Age Group : Teenagers
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
Translated Into:Aventuras en la Tierra Media (Spanish)
Aventuras na terra-media (Portuguese)
Äventyr i Midgård (Swedish)
Mittelerde-Questbücher (German)
La terra di mezzo (Italian)

These interactive adventures based on J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings are among the most complex gamebooks ever published, many using hex maps to allow great freedom of movement and all featuring about thirty pages of rules in each volume. Fortunately for those who don't like complexity, the rules are divided into levels. The basic rules use a pre-created character and offer simple rules for fighting, moving and gathering items. The advanced rules add the need to keep track of the passage of time and flesh out other elements of the system. Additional optional rules are provided for creating characters (which have three basic attributes, a variety of skills and, in some adventures, the option to cast spells), gaining experience, and calculating combat results by formula rather than by table. Finally, guidelines are provided for using the books as solitaire adventures for the full-fledged Middle-earth Role Playing system.

The publication of the series was plagued by legal problems. Iron Crown Enterprises, the publisher of Middle-earth Role Playing, had a license with Tolkien Enterprises to produce games based on Tolkien's work. They then forged a partnership with Berkley to publish these gamebooks. Two volumes came out in 1985 under the Tolkien Quest label, and an additional two were planned for 1986 under the new series title of Middle-earth Quest. Unfortunately, around the time that the fourth book was to be released, Tolkien Enterprises deemed the books in violation of the game license, which didn't include permission to print books. The first four books were recalled and destroyed, with the fourth book never even making it to market (though it was pictured in an advertisement published in Dragon #103). Some copies of the first three books do still exist, but they are quite rare. Several years after this incident, legal issues were resolved and publication began anew. Books five through eight were actually numbered one through four in denial of the existence of the earlier volumes. The series came to an end, however, before all of the volumes announced in the original 1985 and 1986 releases could see the light of day.

Because of all of the publication confusion, the numbers on this site do not necessarily reflect the numbers printed on the books themselves -- they instead reflect the original intended order of the series.

Some books in the series were printed in two different versions: a Berkley-oriented version with the Berkley logo on the spine and a sequential series number on the front cover, and an Iron Crown Enterprises version with the ICE logo on the spine and the ICE product code on the front cover.


Gamebooks

     1. Night of the Nazgûl
     2. The Legend of Weathertop
     3. Rescue in Mirkwood
     4. Murder at Minas Tirith
     5. A Spy in Isengard
     6. Treason at Helm's Deep
     7. Mines of Moria
     8. Search for the Palantír
     9. Race from Rivendell
     10. Pirates of Pelargir
     11. Lost in the Lonely Mountain
     12. Quest for the Palantír: The Ruins of Annuminas
     13. Mission to Mordor


Related Documents

Play Aids

Middle-earth Quest: A Spy in Isengard Character Sheet

Middle-earth Quest: A Spy in Isengard Map Card (side 1)

Middle-earth Quest: A Spy in Isengard Map Card (side 2)

Middle-earth Quest: Night of the Nazgûl Map Card (side 1)

Middle-earth Quest: Night of the Nazgûl Map Card (side 2)

Middle-earth Quest: Rescue in Mirkwood Map Card (side 1)

Middle-earth Quest: Rescue in Mirkwood Map Card (side 2)

Middle-earth Quest: The Legend of Weathertop Map Card (side 1)

Middle-earth Quest: The Legend of Weathertop Map Card (side 2)

Middle-earth Quest: Treason at Helm's Deep Character Sheet
Thanks to Philip Bach for sharing this file.

Middle-earth Quest: Treason at Helm's Deep Combat Table
Thanks to Philip Bach for sharing this file.

Middle-earth Quest: Treason at Helm's Deep Map Card (side 1)

Middle-earth Quest: Treason at Helm's Deep Map Card (side 2)

Middle-earth Quest: Treason at Helm's Deep MERP Stats Table
Thanks to Philip Bach for sharing this file.

Middle-earth Quest: Treason at Helm's Deep Notes Page
Thanks to Philip Bach for sharing this file.

Middle-earth Quest: Treason at Helm's Deep Random Number Table
Thanks to Philip Bach for sharing this file.


User Comments

With a strong literary antecedent and innovative gameplay mechanics, this series is one of the strongest produced during the Golden Age of gamebooks. The earlier entries are better than the latter, and feature more replay value.

-- AlHazred


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