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Tolkien Moot is an annual international convention dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien enthusiasts, scholars, and gamers, at all levels of interest.

What is Tolkien Moot?

Tolkien Moot is an annually held international convention dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien enthusiasts, scholars, tabletop role-playing, and other types of Tolkien-inspired gamers, sponsored by the Eä Tolkien Society ( ) an official Smial of theU.K. Tolkien Society.

Many of the events are broadcast live over the Internet via audio and video streams, with live real-time interactive chat rooms for Internet viewers to participate in the Q&A segments for guest speakers.

The event consists of guest speakers knowledgeable about the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, role-playing gaming, and related interests, Tolkien inspired music, performance artists, Tolkien inspired fan films, live talk show broadcasts from Middle-earth Talk Radio, Raw Hobbit, Tolkien adult and youth panels, as well as many other fun and educational Tolkien related games and activities. This is a family friendly event, so all ages are welcome.

The event is free but you must RSVP for any gaming events.

So far the event has remained absolutely free and open to the public thanks to the hard work, dedication, and personal financial contributions of the volunteers who make Tolkien Moot possible. Tolkien Moot was previously titled MerpCon, but began the name transition in 2009 as the venue expanded to a broader range of audience interests. The first event was held in 2005 and is still being offered free of charge, as an unofficial non-profit event.

One of the main focal points of Tolkienmoot is role-playing gaming in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, Endor, Arda, Eä, basically his whole universe in which Middle-earth is just a small piece. We have since expanded events and activities to include Tolkien-based:

  • Guest Speakers
  • Tolkien Scholars
  • Tolkien panels
  • Live performance artists
  • Fan Films
  • Tabletop Role-playing games (paper and dice)
  • Board games
  • Card games
  • War games
  • Video games (offline and online)
  • Live-action Role-playing (LARP)
  • Costumes
  • Music
  • Food
  • Live talk show Internet broadcasts with both local and online audience participation


    Upcoming Events

    Tolkienmoot is now held consistently on the third weekend of July each year.

    See the Location page for details on where TolkienMoot will be located.

    See the Schedule page for details on when events are taking place.

    You may view and listen to previous TolkienMoot audio, video, and text files since 2005, in the Archives section of the website.

    We will once again be offering live broadcasts from TolkienMoot including real time audio, video, and chat room. Internet audience members are encouraged to participate with the on-location audience and speakers during the Q&A sessions by posting questions in the TolkienMoot Chat Room.



    History Timeline of TolkienMoot / MerpCon

    TolkienMoot originally began with the name MerpCon (Middle-earth Role Playing Convention). Over the years the convention has expanded the venue and the term MERP became less relevant, so in 2009 we began transitioning the name to TolkienMoot, and expanding the scope of the event.


    What is Role Playing Gaming?

    Role-playing gaming (RPGing) is a cooperative, non-competitive, recreational activity summed up as “interactive storytelling”. Role playing games (RPGs) are cooperative, improvisational, somewhat structured but free form “interactive stories” that take place in the participants' imagination, usually seated around a table and using paper and pencil to track events, locations, and persons of note. Typically one of the participants is chosen to act as the referee, known variously as the Game Master (GM), Dungeon Master (DM), Narrator, Storyteller, or other titles. The GM creates or modifies the settings in which the other participants, the Player Characters (PCs) will interact with each other and various Non-Player Characters (NPCs) under the control of the GM. The group of participants then dynamically unfold a series of social interactions and events for an improvisational-verbal-theater-like experience, without physically acting out any the activities of their characters.

    For more information about role-playing games, see the RPG Research website: .

    The participants create on paper imaginary characters in a story run by the GM who acts as writer, director and referee of this imaginary, verbal-only play. The activity is similar to childhood “let's pretend” games, but with some key differences. The players are sitting around a table using their imagination and verbally describing their character's actions to each other, and there are clearly defined rules with the GM acting as moderator and facilitator to keep the game play flowing. At Tolkien Moot all of the adventures take place in Tolkien's mythical Middle-earth and beyond.




    Activities / Events Summary?

    Generally, under MerpCon, Tolkien Moot mostly focused on only a few venues for expression of interest in J.R.R. Tolkien and his works. Primarily focused on role playing gaming (RPGing) in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. Secondly having anywhere from one to five guest speakers and /or guest performers who are knowledgeable in some area of "Tolkienology" and/or role playing gaming related to Tolkien. Also an issue of Other Minds Magazine is often released in conjunction with that year's convention theme and sometimes special limited print editions are made available exclusively through the convention.

    Since 2009, TolkienMoot has expanded the venue to include many other areas of expression for fans of Tolkien. The options are nearly limitless, but a brief list of some include:

    • Scholarly Tolkien discussions
    • Tolkien-based computer games
    • RPGing - "classic" paper, pencil, and dice role playing gaming,
    • Board games
    • War games (table top)
    • Books
    • Costumes
    • Movies
    • Poetry
    • Music
    • Theater
    • Food
    • Crafts


    Summaries of Previous Tolkien Moots / MerpCons


    The event has grown and changed based on direct participant feedback, and based on those who actually help by volunteering and participating in the event. This is a VERY community-centric event. Below is a listing of each year with a summary of information.

    MerpCon I (2005)


    Guest Speaker: Professor Chris Seeman

    Theme: The Fall of Númenor

    Campaign: Uswë Númenorello ("Escape From Númenor") Other Minds Magazine Version (shorter) PDF - Uswë Númenorello ("Escape From Númenor") MerpCon I Version (longer but incomplete) PDF.

    Video: MerpCon I Highlights | Guest Speaker Professor Chris Seeman Speech Part 1 | Campaign Introduction

    Photos: MerpCon I Photos

    Location: Spokane, WA. Merlyn's Games & Hobbies and North Spokane County Library.


    Media/Review/Report: Article by


    Featured guest speaker was Professor Chris Seeman, author of many Decipher and ICE (Iron Crown Enterprises) books and modules, as well as creator of the 9 years long publication (1992-2001) Other Hands magazine, co-editor of The Guild Companion, and many other contributions. He was a co-Game Master at MerpCon I as well! The convention campaign was "Escape from Numenor!". You can read Professor Seeman's review here.

    MerpCon II (2006)


    Guest Speaker: Michael Martinez

    Theme: After the Fall of Númenor

    Campaign: Umbar-dalad - "Under Umbar"

    Video: Guest Speaker Michael Martinez Speech Part 1 | Speech Part 2

    Audio: Speech Part 1 - Speech Part 2

    Photos: MerpCon II Photos

    Location: Spokane, WA. 127 East Mission Avenue (Kung fu For Life school building).

    Media/Review/Report: Article by


    The 2006 MerpCon II Guest Speaker was Michael Martinez. Reknowned in the Tolkien Communities, author of Parma Endorian, Visualizing Middle-earth Earth, Understanding Middle-earth, and much more! was the official authorized host of his many great number of Essays. The convention campaign was "Under Umbar". You can read Mr. Martinez's review here: ____________

    The following "prizes" were made available to those who participated all three days:

    • Full size black and white printed map of Thomas Morwinsky's Numenor (with his permission). Some received full color as well.
    • DVD of useful Middle-earth gaming related content.
    • Prize drawings of special authorized and autographed books by Michael Martinez
    • Parma Endorian the only authorized (and autographed) printed and bound full color 8" x 11" copies
    • Understanding Middle-earth
    • Visualizing Middle-earth
    • And many other "goodies".



    MerpCon III (2007)

    merpcon 3 banner verticalGuest Speakers: Dr. Thomas Morwinsky, Professor Chris Seeman, Michael Martinez, Joe Mandala, and Cason Snow.

    Theme: Númenor's Early Contact with Middle-earth

    Campaign: Gift-bearers of Númenor

    Videos: Guest Speaker Professor Chris Seeman | Guest Speaker Dr. Thomas Morwinsky | Guest Speaker Michael Martinez | Guest Speaker Joe Mandala | Guest Speaker Cason Snow | Behind the Scenes & Miscllaneous

    Photos: MerpCon III Photos

    Location: 127 East Mission Avenue (Kung fu for Life)


    Media/Review/Report: Report on MerpCon III in The Guild Companion by Joe Mandala


    Featured a plethora of special guests including (click the names to see their short biography on this site):

    The featured campaign was a complex mix of a six part series loosely linked together, with a "big finale" joining the groups together at the end, called "First Contacts". You can read the review from The Guild Companion, by Joe Mandala, here.





    MerpCon IV (2008)

    merpcon IV 2009 logo smlGuest Speakers: John D. Rateliff and Michael Martinez

    Theme: Dwarves

    Campaign: Various Campaigns from each Game Master.

    Video: John D. Rateliff Solo Speech | Michael Martinez Solo Speech | John D. Ratelifee & Michael Martinez Co-Speech Together

    Audio: John D. Rateliff Solo Speech | Michael Martinez Solo Speech | John D. Ratelifee & Michael Martinez Co-Speech Together

    Photos: MerpCon IV Photos

    Location: Spokane, WA. 2714 N. Division (Kung fu for life School building).


    Media/Review/Report: Report on MerpCon IV by Hawke Robinson


    MerpCon IV had a heavily Dwarven themed, but also had some non-dwarven themed adventures. It was also the first year we had a youth table for players under 18 years old.

    The guest speakers were:


    MerpCon IV provided several different adventures from different campaign authors and Game/Dungeon Masters. This was also the first year a youth table was provided (players ranging from 8 to 17 years of age). Whereas previous MerpCon events were mostly centered around the Númenóreans and the descendants, MerpCon IV's theme was heavily focused on J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarves both for adventuring and for the guest speaker topics.

    One campaign was provided by published author, John D. Rateliff, set in the Long Lake area. The Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 and Eä d20 3.5 rules were used.

    Another campaign was provided by Chris Wade, his infamous Tol Fuin campaign. TheRolemaster Fantasy Role Playing rules were used.

    The youth campaign was set in the Iron Hills. The Eä d20 3.5 rules were used.

    John D. Rateliff, and Michael Martinez both spoke. First each had a separate solo session on each day, then to wrap up the final day, both spoke together. Mr Rateliff's session was focused primarily on "A Brief History of Tolkien Role-playing Games". You can read his followup from this speech here. The audio and video is available on the MerpCon website.

    Role-playing Game Systems Used
    MerpCon I and II only used one RPG system, ICE's MERP (Iron Crown Enterprises Middle-earth Role Playing). Since MerpCon III (2007) however, we now run with offerings for multiple role playing gaming systems. Systems have/may include (but are not limited to):

    • Ea d20 (adaptation of D&D 3.5 to Middle-earth)
    • ICE MERPS 2nd Edition
    • ICE Rolemaster/RMSS/RMFRP
    • ICE HARP
    • Decipher LotR (Lord of the Rings)
    • GURPS (Generic Universal Role Playing System)
    • Ea RPGS
    • Harnmaster
    • Runequest
    • Hither-lands
    • Ambarquenta
    • Games Workshop (wargaming system)

    A detailed report is provided by Hawke here.





    MerpCon V / Tolkien Moot 2009

    merpcon v 2009 logoGuest Speaker: Michael Martinez

    Theme: Dragons

    Campaign: Let Sleeping Dragons Lie

    Video: Raw Hobbit by Michael Martinez | Youth Tolkien Panel | Middle-earth Talk Radio Show

    Audio: Raw Hobbit by Michael Martinez | Youth Tolkien Panel | Middle-earth Talk Radio Show

    Photos:MerpCon V Photos

    Dates: July 24, 25, 26, & 27, 2009.

    Media/Review/Report: Michael Martinez Regarding Raw Hobbit at MerpCon V |

    Location: The Apple Tree Inn, 9508 N. Division, Spokane, WA, 99218, USA. 1-800-323-5796


    Themes included Elves, Orcs, and Dragons.

    This year we were able to provide 4 private gaming rooms, with overflow capacity for up to 8 tables. Thanks to the help of 6 Game Masters we were able to keep the table sizes to a more reasonable level to keep the game play action at a reasonable speed. Some adventures were provided by the game masters, while others used a convention-wide series of connected games.

    We had one youth table with ages from 10 to 17, and 3 adult tables.

    For take home "loot" this year we offered customized dice with the MerpCon logo (in Ringerbearer font), and some custom t-shirts.

    The facilities were much nicer, they were air conditioned, had comfortable seating, a kitchen area, and with each room being separate, able to keep the noise level variable so GM's didn't have to lose their voices over the din. ;-)

    In addition to the previous offerings, online participation will not only include chatroom, audio streaming, and video streaming, but also the event was accessible via Second Life interaction.

    Other Minds Magazine issue 7 was released, and the latest versions of Ea d20 RPG Races & Cultures, and Magic in Middle-earth books.

    Clips from the upcoming fan films "Born of Hope" and "The Hunt for Gollum" (among others) were also shown.

    This was planned to be the last year that MerpCon will be a free event, and the last year the name MerpCon will be used, starting in 2010, it will be called TolkienMoot and participation fees will be charged in order to cover some of the costs (up to this point all expenses have been out of Hawke's pocket, ranging from $1,000 to over $6,000 USD each year!). A separate company entity will be formed as a non-profit organization, so that donations can also be accepted. Additionally the 2010 TolkienMoot will have a broader venue, Tabletop RPGing in Middle-earth will still the core attraction, as well as learned Tolkien scholars, but other Tolkien-related venues will be allowed, including computer-based, wargaming, artists, and much more.




    Tolkien Moot VI (2010)

    tolkien moot logo facebook 20100630a 640x465x300Guest Speaker: Michael Martinez

    Guest Performer: Rehtaeh (Heather Downing)

    Theme: Elves

    Campaign: ?


    Photos:Tolkien Moot VI Photos

    Location: East West Fitness World

    Dates: (August 13,14, & 15)

    Media/Review/Report: Article by


    Still a free event.

    We had 2 youth tables, one for ages 8 to 12, and another for ages 13 to 17. We had one adult table. We had a large main events area for guest performers and speakers.

    All events were simulcast live over the Internet, and involved live audience participation both on location and via the Internet using the chatroom to post questions and requests from remote participants.






    Tolkien Moot VII (2011)

    Tolkien Moot 2011 Logo clearbg 600w290h300d 20110603cGuest Speaker(s): Brian Huseland & Hawke Robinson

    Theme: Trees

    Campaign: Against All Their Enemies


    Photos: Tolkien Moot VII Photos

    Location: Ramada Suites LImited Newport Highway Spokane


    Media/Review/Report: Article by

    Details: Coming Soon.




    TolkienMoot VIII (2012)

    Tolkien Moot 2012 Logo clearbg 20120511g 311w150h300dGuest Speaker(s): To be announced

    Theme: Hobbits

    Campaign: The Wandering Days - Hobbits Before the Shire


    Photos: Tolkien Moot VIII Photos

    Location: Ramada Suites LImited Newport Highway Spokane


    Media/Review/Report: Article by

    Details: Coming Soon.







    TolkienMoot IX (2013)

    Tolkien Moot 2013 Logo clearbg 20120821b 373w180hGuest Speaker(s): The Eä Tolkien Society

    Theme: Arnor & the Palantir

    Campaign: The Palantir of Weathertop


    Photos: Tolkien Moot IX Photos

    Location: Ramada Suites LImited Newport Highway Spokane

    Details: Coming Soon.






    TolkienMoot X (2014)

    Tolkien Moot No Date Logo clearbg 20120912d 521x251Guest Speaker(s): The Eä Tolkien Society

    Theme: Gondor

    Campaign: Each Game Master used their own.



    Photos: Tolkien Moot X Photos

    Location: North Five Mile, Spokane, WA, USA

    Details: Coming Soon.







    TolkienMoot XI (2015)

    Tolkien Moot No Date Logo clearbg 20120912dGuest Speaker(s): Michael Martinez, Brian Huseland (Eä Tolkien Society), Martin K. (Wagnerian Society), Pending: Andy Dopieralski & Scott C. Brown (Two Bard Podcast & The Gamers)

    Theme: Giants

    Campaign: Giants of The Ettenmoors & Beyond

    Audio: Live Streaming information here: (coming soon)

    Video: Live Streaming information here: (coming soon)

    Photos: Tolkien Moot XI Photos

    Location: North Five Mile, Spokane, WA, USA.

    Details: Coming Soon.








    TolkienMoot XII (2016)

    Guest Speaker(s): Michael Martinez

    Theme: Tolkien's Undead.












    TolkienMoot XIII (2017)

    Guest Speaker(s):