MERP: The Goblin – Gate and Eagle’s Eyrie, a setting for full Tolkien goodness
Iron Crown Enterprises product #8070, The Goblin – Gate and Eagle’s Eyrie was one of those that I waited a great deal of time to lay my hands on. You see, as I.C.E. rolled out the various supplements for Middle-Earth Role-Playing the players and GM’s alike got to pick up statistics for the various items and heroes from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. So, it was with bated breath that I finally got a copy of this little module way back in 1985 because it was the first place you could get stats on The One Ring.
You see, The Goblin – Gate was the location of Golum, and therefore not only his stats, but also those of his precious appear in this supplement, which makes this an intriguing find for any gamer.
The supplement itself is a nice little piece detailing, you guessed it, the famed Goblin – Gate in which the Thorin and Company got trapped, as well as the Eyrie of the Eagles where the Lord of the Eagles and his court were so influential in the stories of both the Hobbit and LotR.
Written by Carl Willner, this 34 page book is absolutely chock full maps and NPC statistics that populate the area with a plethora of intrigue, and certainly enough to base a full campaign on.
But let’s get down to the art!
With a cover by Chris White, who I’m only aware of a single cover contribution by him in this series, and the book starts off with a bang. White captures a nice combat scene between goblins and a hobbit prisoner, certainly an interesting take on what life might be like in the goblin gate [and way more civilized and less grotesque than Peter Jackson’s odd view].
Inside, artist Steven Peregrine does an absolutely sublime job of rendering four images that speak to his talents with ink. The only comparison I have to his work would be Tim Truman [with a softer edge], Stephen Fabian [with a more realistic take on anatomy] or Jeff Easley circa Red Box. Peregrine is one of my all-time favorite ink artists, and he doesn’t disappoint here.
The rest of the visual effects from the module are done by mapper Pete Fenlon who contributes near a dozen black and white maps and even two color pieces that frame the module on the inside cover.
In all, I’d have liked to see more of Peregrine, but I’ll take what I can get.
Artistic Rating: 3 [out of 5]