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Old 02-05-2019, 11:07 AM   #21
Rupert
 
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Default Re: PC Races of Middle Earth

I think any Man with enough Numenorean blood in their lineage for it to be more than a boast should have +1 ST and possibly +1 HT as well - they are supposed to be bigger and have greater endurance than lesser Men.

A problem with taking the characters in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as guides is that almost everyone we see in detail is nobility, royalty, or at the very least gentry related to nobility (or the local equivalent). 1-2 of the Hobbits weren't, and Gollum wasn't. I think everyone else was. Thus they have the best upbringing, and in Middle Earth, the best inheritance.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:08 AM   #22
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Default Re: PC Races of Middle Earth

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Not sure how to model it. Resistant... Rare? I'm not sure about the +3 or +8 level.
I'd actually make it full-on Immunity - remember, Dwarves were completely immune to being dominated, even by effects like the Rings of Power. That's why the Seven Rings never turned their bearers into wraiths or made them servants of Sauron. That's why he tried to reclaim them, since they weren't doing what he hoped. Anyway, Mind Control is typically a Common hazard, so "Domination", as a subset, seems fair as a Rare one.

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I think my first draft of the elf templates were all over 100 points. I feel like if we take everything that's truly Elven, we'll wind up with any starting Elf character as being nothing more than Elf.
It's definitely a problem I'm familiar with, yeah. I've run into it before when doing my own Tolkien GURPS conversion. That said, I think we're just going to have to accept that Noldor are just a higher point-value template than other characters. I'd aim for 50 points for High Elves, and 25-30 points for Sindar. Other elves are less impressive, but still positive-value templates.

I think those are good numbers to shoot for in terms of LoTR-style games, where I'd peg the main characters at 200-300 points (the hobbits are questionable, though I'd probably give them a fair amount of "plot-focused" advantages like Luck, Serendipity, Destiny, and so on, to make up for lack of obvious advantages and skills.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:09 AM   #23
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I figured this into the WILL +2. Do you think they deserve more than this?
I don't think they have generally high Will scores. Hobbit sense only works for dealing with the salt of the earth and defiance of domination. They probably have a certain amount of Fearlessness the Gaffer and Farmer Maggot both overcome the generated fear of Ringwraiths and talk smack to them, but hobbits are mostly afraid to ride in boats or climb up to second story floors.

A lot depends on how you model threats to hobbits. If the Black Breath is an Affliction, for instance, that allows a Will roll to avoid, hobbits would probably have a Mental Resistance to intimidation and domination by the Shadow (in the setting, probably Common). This wouldn't apply to, say, ordinary fright checks ("Aaah! It's a giant... THING... coming out of the water! And it's got Frodo!"), but it would apply to fright checks triggered by advantages possessed by agents of the Shadow.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:11 AM   #24
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1-2 of the Hobbits weren't, and Gollum wasn't. I think everyone else was.
I think, of the hobbits in the Fellowship, Samwise is the only one I wouldn't give Status +1 at least. Frodo was a wealthy landowner, of the "gentry" at least, while Merry and Pippin were the heirs of major families with significant landholdings and, in Pippin's case, the ceremonial leadership of the whole Shire!
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:27 AM   #25
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I'd actually make it full-on Immunity - remember, Dwarves were completely immune to being dominated, even by effects like the Rings of Power. That's why the Seven Rings never turned their bearers into wraiths or made them servants of Sauron. That's why he tried to reclaim them, since they weren't doing what he hoped. Anyway, Mind Control is typically a Common hazard, so "Domination", as a subset, seems fair as a Rare one.
Seems reasonable. I'll tack it on there.

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It's definitely a problem I'm familiar with, yeah. I've run into it before when doing my own Tolkien GURPS conversion. That said, I think we're just going to have to accept that Noldor are just a higher point-value template than other characters. I'd aim for 50 points for High Elves, and 25-30 points for Sindar. Other elves are less impressive, but still positive-value templates.

I think those are good numbers to shoot for in terms of LoTR-style games, where I'd peg the main characters at 200-300 points (the hobbits are questionable, though I'd probably give them a fair amount of "plot-focused" advantages like Luck, Serendipity, Destiny, and so on, to make up for lack of obvious advantages and skills.
That's what I was aiming for too. And... We're above that level. Any thoughts on what to trim? or disadvantages for Elves? Tolkien was not big on giving them any weaknesses. I don't think "tied to fate" is a fair thing to give a PC.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:35 AM   #26
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I think any Man with enough Numenorean blood in their lineage for it to be more than a boast should have +1 ST and possibly +1 HT as well - they are supposed to be bigger and have greater endurance than lesser Men.
While that's true, I think that's best left as a guideline rather than a rule.

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A problem with taking the characters in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as guides is that almost everyone we see in detail is nobility, royalty, or at the very least gentry related to nobility (or the local equivalent). 1-2 of the Hobbits weren't, and Gollum wasn't. I think everyone else was. Thus they have the best upbringing, and in Middle Earth, the best inheritance.
True, but there's more to it than that, even. There's a bit where Gandalf is rambling to Frodo about how in opposition to the nine riders, some force has assembled the nine walkers. There's an implication that each was chosen for extraordinary abilities. It's not clear If he's talking about a force, or some sentient power, but clearly they were chosen for real reasons.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:36 AM   #27
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Some powers and abilities mentioned in the books.

Legolas is able to walk on snow (Terrain Adaptation). It's not clear if that is an ability specific to him, to his race (Sindar, IIRC), or the Eldar in general. Or if it works on other surfaces.

Denethor is mentioned by one of the characters as being a throwback to the Numenorians of old, and has some degree of foresight (Precognition). This appears to have simply been a subtle reference to his use of the Palantir, but Boromir, his son, has prophetic dreams, which is what brings him to the Council of Elrond. Faramir may have had some prophetic abilities himself, having heard the Horn of Gondor when Boromir fell, and later having a vision of Boromir's body floating down the Anduin. If Denethor had them, Faramir would as well, being described as 'more like his father than Denethor's favored son'. I wouldn't worry about this unless the game is set in the 2nd Age though.

Noldor may have a racial talent towards Artificing. The best known smiths were Feanor and Celebrimbor, who were Nolodrin (of the same line). At the very least, descendants of Feanor likely would have the talent, possibly at the highest level.

For games set in the First Age, Noldorin involved in the Kin Slaying should all have the Doom of the Noldor. A GM should work with the PC to determine how that impacts a particular Noldor (i.e. what mental disadvantages that suggests), I would note none of those under the Curse survive long. This strongly suggests they all have a pretty nasty Destiny [-15 being appropriate), and potentially up to Cursed. But they tend to live long enough after the Doom that Cursed is fairly rare.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:50 AM   #28
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Noldar (high) Elf [66]
If you don't want to put in even Attractive as a Racial Trait positive Appearance levels should go in Common Traits. It's frequently mentioned and Galdriel and Arwen may even have been Transcendant (though probably the "Impresive" variant).
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:52 AM   #29
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Legolas is able to walk on snow (Terrain Adaptation). It's not clear if that is an ability specific to him, to his race (Sindar, IIRC), or the Eldar in general. Or if it works on other surfaces.
I think I was tacking this on as you were posting. I left it as a shtick as it's not clear he suffers no penalty, just that he isn't slowed. I would love to give terrain adaptation and perfect balance to all the elves, but... the points...

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Denethor is mentioned by one of the characters as being a throwback to the Numenorians of old, and has some degree of foresight (Precognition). This appears to have simply been a subtle reference to his use of the Palantir, but Boromir, his son, has prophetic dreams, which is what brings him to the Council of Elrond. Faramir may have had some prophetic abilities himself, having heard the Horn of Gondor when Boromir fell, and later having a vision of Boromir's body floating down the Anduin. If Denethor had them, Faramir would as well, being described as 'more like his father than Denethor's favored son'. I wouldn't worry about this unless the game is set in the 2nd Age though.
I figure this is something specific to their line of Numenorian. If a PC wants that for their Numenorian, sure. If they want their family to have different subtle, wacky powers like intuition (which Aragorn might have displayed by taking the Paths of the Dead) or something else... It's a GM call.

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Noldor may have a racial talent towards Artificing. The best known smiths were Feanor and Celebrimbor, who were Nolodrin (of the same line). At the very least, descendants of Feanor likely would have the talent, possibly at the highest level.
Maybe. Or again, it might be just that line. Or maybe it's just that when you practice something for a few centuries you get REALLY good at it. I don't think it's important enough to the essence of Elf-ness to include in the template.

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For games set in the First Age, Noldorin involved in the Kin Slaying should all have the Doom of the Noldor. A GM should work with the PC to determine how that impacts a particular Noldor (i.e. what mental disadvantages that suggests), I would note none of those under the Curse survive long. This strongly suggests they all have a pretty nasty Destiny [-15 being appropriate), and potentially up to Cursed. But they tend to live long enough after the Doom that Cursed is fairly rare.
I think that would be Terminally Ill. It even explicitly covers curses. But I'm focusing on late 3rd to 4th age, so it's not an issue.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:56 AM   #30
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I
I think that would be Terminally Ill. It even explicitly covers curses. But I'm focusing on late 3rd to 4th age, so it's not an issue.
Terminally Ill must kill witin 2 years or it's a 0 pt Feature. Destiny (Die badly) or something like that would be an option.
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