|The maritime regions of, and between, Gondor and Umbar.|
This is a solid little book of adventures for the Middle-earth Roleplaying game. My guess is that the adventures that comprise it were once used for tournament games. I say that for a few reasons. One, the adventures themselves are straightforward: guard a merchant vessel owned by a merchant from Pelargir as it travels South; track down the lair of pirates and bandits plaguing the region between Pelargir and Umbar; and root out the pirates in their base. Two, the adventures are not intricately linked, but it's obvious how one could lead to another. Such adventures usually are designed so that players can have a full experience even if they only play one or two of the adventures in a tournament series. That is, each has a self-contained "story," such as it is, that does not leave a gamer hanging if he or she doesn't play the next one. And three, there are characters ready-made for the players for each adventure. Pre-generated characters, or pre-gens as gamers usually call them, are often a sure sign of a tournament module. Due to the limited amount of time a tournament, usually being run at a game convention, has to play out each round, the process of creating a character from scratch has to be dispensed with. In addition, tournaments usually don't allow homemade characters, as home games vary too widely, and a character from one may be too powerful or too weak for a given tournament adventure, or in comparison to other characters. So I'm pretty confident in my guess as to the origins of this book.
There is a lot of emphasis on the characters in this book, more so than for most such books. There is a substantial amount of background material given each character the players may use, as well as for several non-player characters. This is unusual, especially the assumption that the players will not be using characters of their own creation. I suppose this is part of the "ready-to-run" nature of these adventures, as touted by Iron Crown Enterprises on the cover.
|A few of the characters described in Pirates of Pelargir.|
|Part of the pirates' lair.|
Oh, and Pirates of Pelargir is a bit of misnomer. Pelargir is not the home port for the pirates, and it is never really threatened. The title is a nice bit of alliteration, though, so I won't give it too hard a time on this.