An amusing and informative post ranking the most metal deaths in Middle Earth has been doing the rounds on G+. It's given me somewhat more sympathy for the writers of MERP, to add to my appreciation for the critical hits tables - although they still have a fair way to go to make up for the mundanity of the magic system.
It is a good reminder though that Middle Earth as a setting seems almost impossible to systemise. Even setting aside the (perhaps legendary?) exploits of various Noldor in the First Age, it's clear that the Dúnedain, not to mention various elves of different heritages still around in the Third Age, are capable of extraordinary feats.
Personally I'm comfortable with playing in Middle Earth as a fairly low-powered game, but in doing so I'm quietly ignoring arguably a major aspect of the setting. So am I being fair on game designers where that option may not be available, else they would risk short-changing some portion of their audience?