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For example, can I play an Elven character who specializes in crafting magic rings and apprenticed with Celebrimbor?

I haven't seen specific rules in the MERP rule books, perhaps there are supplements that discuss creating magic. Or is this an area that would have to be house-ruled?

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    \$\begingroup\$ LotR isn't known to being rich with magic artifacts and for any to be made in the age depicted in the main storyline. Is this a fact you are aware of? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Mar 13, 2023 at 1:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish Understood, but being a game it would be fun to craft even minor magic items. Or play scenarios during the 1st or 2nd Ages. \$\endgroup\$
    – RobertF
    Mar 13, 2023 at 3:29

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I found the answer in the Elves source book - the following passage is included under the stats for Elves with notable smithing skills, such as Feanor and Celebrimbor:

Note: MERP rules do not cover alchemy - the creation of enchanted articles - because, in Middle-earth, embedding magical properties into weapons, armor, and other articles is much more than a systematic process. Unique rituals, known only to certain individuals or groups (such as the Gwaith-i-Mirdain), must be used in special places on special materials. Mere cleverness or skill or book-learning does not suffice.

This dodges the question why the game designers didn't include rules for the "unique rituals" required to craft magic items. Game balance issues?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would hazard a guess that it's a lack of source material. Despite his reputation for (excessive?) detail, Tolkien never really showcases the gears behind the magic or "art"/"craft" of the elves or anyone else. It's always soft magic, which by definition is characterized by a lack of rules... \$\endgroup\$
    – Qami
    Mar 13, 2023 at 4:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Qami Could be. Lack of source material didn't stop the authors of MERP fleshing out the rest of the continent beyond Middle-earth -- however magic is very tricky, you risk blowing up the rpg system if players find a loophole. Plus you risk making magic less mysterious & wonderous if the mechanism behind it is exposed. \$\endgroup\$
    – RobertF
    Mar 13, 2023 at 12:41

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