Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Savage Middle Earth

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • ValhallaGH
    commented on 's reply
    Hobbits and dwarfs would be eligible if they had a storied career in their backgrounds. Aragorn was about 100 when he joined the Fellowship; dwarfs can live a few centuries and even hobbits can reliably get over 100 without being unnaturally preserved by magic.
    Being a Veteran of middle earth is "not the years, it's the mileage".

  • steelbrok
    replied
    I think Ageless is a zero point feature. I would consider a Veteran of Middle Earth option for older characters (maybe an option for Dunedain as well as elves0

    Leave a comment:


  • Deskepticon
    commented on 's reply
    At the risk of arguing symantics, I wouldn't classify those as "traps" per se, but I see your point. The takeaway here is defining a mechanic to go with the ability. Nothing about walking silently through leaves precludes triggering a beartrap; nothing about walking atop snow (e.g. ignoring Difficult Ground) prevents the snow from slipping. The base mechanics are essentially Trappings on skills, but as I alluded to above, ignoring conventional traps and hazards can easily be an Edge.

    The entire point here (or at least I thought) was to bring Tolkien elves down to a manageable point value so they don't over-shadow the other races.

  • paladin2019
    commented on 's reply
    Agreed, and that's the point. "Traps" are appropriate to LotR, just not the usual definition; more things like deadfalls or snow collapsing over the side of a mountain from too much weight, etc. But this all depends on what the OP is going to do in their game; if their is going to be a mechanical consequence for stepping somewhere, it probably needs a rule. Otherwise, not so much.

  • Deskepticon
    commented on 's reply
    Well this is where the conceits of the setting come into question. What "traps" are going to be hidden under leaves or snow in a LOTR setting? Are you just playing DnD by a different name? I always imagined a LOTR setting to be more stoic and weighty, as opposed to the "campiness" of a generic swords & sorcery.

    I understand you point, but at the same time the races should reflect the themes of the setting. If there isn't much concern for hidden traps, it's not worth anything to give a character the means to avoid them.

  • paladin2019
    replied
    Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
    Their "magic" can often be represented as extreme skill. Moving through dry leaves without sound or crushing them is just a very high Stealth roll; walking on top of snow (i.e., not being hampered by it) is a high Athletics roll. These don't necessarily need to formulated in racial abilities, they just need to be described as "elf tricks" when the roll is made.
    Unfortunately, this can have have mechanical effects. Being unhampered by loose snow or really good at stealth does not equal walking atop loose snow or leaves without disturbing them. Traps or other hidden hazards beneath them would be avoided, for example. If this won't be a factor in the games played, Trappings are fine. Otherwise, there are additional effects in play that might be worth mechanics.

    All said, AB (Gifted) is probably the primary route for all feats of elfiness (including the skills of Elrond, Galadriel, et al), whether frontloaded as a racial ability or freely available with advancement.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deskepticon
    replied
    Tolkien Elves can balance easily at +4 (or +2 if you really scrimp and "off-load" their numerous abilities to Edges). There's no need to give them the kitchen sink right from the start; just concentrate on what "makes" an elf an elf and blissfully wave away the rest.

    Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
    For example, Tolkien states that an Elf is faster and stronger than Men, implying that a normal "Joe Schmoe" elf is on the level of an elite human athlete; but we never see that in the stories.
    Fingolfin would like a word with you.

    But generally, Valhalla's point stands. Although Fingolfin was able to go toe-to-toe with a literal god (Morgoth), it's been well established that the power of elves had waned considerably since the First Age. With very few exceptions, only Elrond and Galadriel demonstrated what we'd call "magic", and that was mainly because their Rings preserved their strength. All other elves were basically on par with fit humans.

    So what "makes" an elf during the time of LOTR?
    • Well, they are essentially relics. A race who's lived their prime and are now waiting out the inevitable. I don't think there should be any "young" elves, so their agelessness should come with a Common Knowledge bonus... probably starting at d6 (d12+1 max) or with a flat +2 bonus, depending on whether you want it to be a +1 or +2 ability, respectfully.
    • They have superb vision and hearing, meaning Low Light and bonus to Notice is appropriate.
    • They are aloof and often mistrusted, even by men that should know better (Boromir, Denethor, Théoden).
    • Their "magic" can often be represented as extreme skill. Moving through dry leaves without sound or crushing them is just a very high Stealth roll; walking on top of snow (i.e., not being hampered by it) is a high Athletics roll. These don't necessarily need to formulated in racial abilities, they just need to be described as "elf tricks" when the roll is made.
    • It's also remarked that elves who hear the ocean are beset by a deep longing for the shores of Valinor. This can become a negative ability of some sort, such as a perpetual Distraction within earshot of the ocean, or something similar.
    That should be enough to form a playable version of Tolkien elves. For anything else, just give the race access to AB (Gifted).

    Leave a comment:


  • Sarigar
    replied
    I agree that "Ageless" without any other benefit (like instant healing, or impervious to injury) is a fluff ability, and shouldn't be factored into build cost. They have exceptional hearing and vision, which can be represented by Low-Light Vision and Alertness. Their lightfootedness can be either a bonus to Stealth, or a limited form of wall walker. AB: Gifted can work; personally, for ease of use and convenience, I would present it as an innate power with limitations (can't run up walls or along ceilings, etc).

    You may also wish to refer to existing Middle-Earth RPG sources, like MERP or The One Ring, for guidance on developing the various ancestries for your campaign.

    Leave a comment:


  • paladin2019
    commented on 's reply
    Ah, I see what you were saying, now.

  • ValhallaGH
    commented on 's reply
    paladin2019 Yep, so half of an Edge should be about +1.

  • paladin2019
    commented on 's reply
    (Pssst. Edges are a +2 ability.)

  • ValhallaGH
    commented on 's reply
    The "light-footed" thing is really just half the benefit of the Free Runner edge (ignore difficult terrain while on foot). So, should be a +1 racial ability.

  • ValhallaGH
    replied
    Ocule I think Middle Earth Elves can be player characters but you have to be willing to ignore some of their stated, but not demonstrated, abilities. For example, Tolkien states that an Elf is faster and stronger than Men, implying that a normal "Joe Schmoe" elf is on the level of an elite human athlete; but we never see that in the stories. The elves, no matter how graceful and elegant, are no more physically powerful than the humans. Heck, Gimli defeats Legolas in all of their "most kills" contests (only by one kill, but it is consistent).

    It should be possible to make playable ME Elves. Just don't get sucked up by the hype - J.R.R. loved his elves; I mean he loved them - they were the first language and cultures he created (in that order), and they were the backbone of the lore he created his world around. As such, they got a lot of description devoted to how amazing they were - descriptions that their actions didn't measure up to.
    Look at the elves with a skeptical eye, and limit their benefits to things they actually do. That will get you a realistic list of benefits, especially if you limit each benefit to one game mechanic. They'll still be pretty impressive but they'll be tame enough that you can actually balance them.
    Also, unless your campaign is actually going to span centuries or have time-based attack magic, being ageless is a cool narrative ability with no game mechanic benefit.
    Personally, I treat lifespan as a +0 ability.
    If a race has an extremely short life span then I may give them a thematically linked drawback (like removing the Common Knowledge core skill, because no time for traditional education). Similarly, if a race has an extremely long childhood then I may give them some additional core skills that fit the culture and education of that long period.
    Either way, the life span itself is a foot note, only applicable if the campaign has large time jumps or time-based attacks.

    Leave a comment:


  • paladin2019
    commented on 's reply
    Dwarves and Hobbits probably work fine as presented in SWADE.

  • paladin2019
    replied
    As a practical matter, Tolkien elves are probably something like the following
    • Ageless: no aging, immune to aging effects (variable, depending on whether this is an issue)
    • Agile: d6 Agility (+2)
    • Comfort: Environmental Resistance to heat and cold (+2)
    • Farsightedness: +2 to Notice for sight (+2, reduced to +1 for limited applicability)
    • Heroic (-2)
    • Lightfootedness: AB (Gifted) and wall walker with the appropriate restrictions (+2) Alternately, this could be treated as Pace 6 Flight (+2) or priced as the Wall Walker racial ability (+1)
    • Low Light Vision (+1)
    • Racial Enemy: orcs (-1)
    • Swift Healing: Regeneration and Immunity to Disease (+3)
    That's +8, definitely worth something along the lines of no advances until Seasoned or something.

    I'm not sure All Thumbs is actually a Hindrance in this setting. They may be worthy of another appropriate Hindrance, too. As for other abilities, special skill with animals and sensing great evil and the like could be additional Powers later selected via Gifted or they could be additional skills or skill bonuses to Occult and Riding or the like. You could also add other racial enemies for other minions of the enemy.
    Last edited by paladin2019; 08-27-2021, 12:10 AM.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X