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Old 02-09-2018, 12:01 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Mod idea: a bit more Tolkien-y

Middle-earth spells aren't usually fireballs, but they're not as absent as all that.

Glorfindel casts a spell over the handle of the knife that stabbed Frodo. Finrod and Sauron had a song-battle. Luthien sang Sauron's tower to the ground. Every time someone sings to make something happen, that's a spell: Frodo tries to sing over the trees of the Old Forest (and fails; they have a stronger song). Tom Bombadil sings and what he commands happens. Gandalf does cast lightning bolts and lights fires and knows opening spells and words of command. The dwarves of Thorin's company cast spells over the gold they took from the trolls' lair. The feasting elves of Mirkwood cast spells of sleep over Bilbo and Thorin when they intrude. Finrod sings so well that he can actually conjure visions. Frodo is affected by the spell of the barrow-wight, and Bombadil breaks that spell by scattering its hoard in the sunlight. Saruman is casting a spell whenever he controls people with this voice. There's more.

Middle-earth is also very psychic. Don't use that word of course, but there's plenty of telepathy going on among the powerful people. Gandalf explicitly talks about his clairvoyance and that of Sauron, and Galadriel makes hints in that direction too. Gandalf can also influence people with his will, such as when Bilbo is unable to give Frodo the ring, and when he strives against the will of Denethor (at which point his telepathic perception filter goes down and Pippin starts to wonder exactly who and what Gandalf is). Ordinary people are constantly having visions in dreams, often of contemporary events elsewhere, sometimes of the future.

And then there are all the magic items.

Middle-earth is a very magical place that includes plenty of spells. They're not of the "abracadabra... zap!" kind for the most part, but there are those too. That means to make Dungeon Fantasy more like Middle-earth, you have to mostly gut the existing magic system and add in multiple totally new magic systems. Focus on psychic powers, but give them a different name.
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