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Old 12-12-2006, 08:13 PM   #31
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: The One Ring...

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Originally Posted by Akahige
I guess a question that really needs to be asked (at least for me) is: How many of these explanations were spelled-out by Tolkien in his works and/or interviews, and how many are based on his posthumously-edited material, and assumptions made by people over the years?
The stuff I was mentioning, anyway, is all from Tolkien's work, although not all of it being published predates his death. The History of Middle Earth is where you want to go for most of this, but it's a slog of a read in places - I'd say you have to be a pretty dedicated Tolkien fan to be willing to go through some of it.
The business of the Ring focusing the "Morgoth Element", incidently, comes from volume 10 of the History, "Morgoth's Ring".

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Originally Posted by Akahige
Another thing that I question is why, if Tolkien's world is so clear-cut and easily understood (and I don't mean to be facetious), there isn't already an extensive and authoratative fan-written adaptation for GURPS that the community can turn to as being perfect for the job.
<shrug> Probably a few things:
1) There's already a Lord of the Rings RPG, so at least some of the people who'd be doing it in GURPS otherwise are probably just playing that (well, either - there's the current one and the old MERPS game).
2) There probably is a lot of fan-made stuff (I know I've seen several discussions here on the boards, for example), but no-one has gone through and compiled it all into one source.
3) Going through the Histories is, like I said, a slog. Finding the gems of concise essays requires reading through a lot of half-finished jot-notes. Not everyone is willing to put in the work.
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:40 PM   #32
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Default Re: The One Ring...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akahige
I guess a question that really needs to be asked (at least for me) is: How many of these explanations were spelled-out by Tolkien in his works and/or interviews, and how many are based on his posthumously-edited material, and assumptions made by people over the years?

There's nothing wrong with things like the "Morgoth power" concept, but it'd be nice no know for certain that's what Tolkien intended -- without having to earn a doctorate in his works.

Another thing that I question is why, if Tolkien's world is so clear-cut and easily understood (and I don't mean to be facetious), there isn't already an extensive and authoratative fan-written adaptation for GURPS that the community can turn to as being perfect for the job.
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Old 12-14-2006, 08:09 AM   #33
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Default Re: The One Ring...

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Originally Posted by Akahige
Ok, so it's an Unwilling Ally, possibly with Uncontrollable powers. But what does it do exactly? Does it grant Magery? Or is it perhaps Modular Abilities (Cosmic Power) with a focus on the personality and/or Talents of the user?

As far as what it does is concerned... I'd say it gave the user access to a couple of innate powers (invisibility, unaging, etc) and Power (x) in various fields.

The wearer would have to have the skill associated with the power to use the power- no default use allowed.

Last edited by rosignol; 12-14-2006 at 08:15 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:57 AM   #34
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And of course we ought to bear in mind that if the One Ring isn't the point of the campaign and is just some ... ahem ... k3wl lwt ... then things have gone very non-Tolkein.
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:33 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Akahige
I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it gives Invisibility to anybody. That's why I asked if it would grant powers limited to one's Talents. In the case of Hobbits, which tend to be overlooked by others, I think the Ring might just amplify that 'theme' by making them truly invisible.

Likewise, I supect that Gandalf would receive a boost in his innate magical abilities, Galadriel would become unbearably beautiful and charismatic, et cetera, all according to their own personal, racial, or social themes.
Oh - that makes lot of sense actually. And what Galadriel said about what would happen if she took the ring supports that.

On the other hand it does seem to hawe sort of effect on mowing the wearer to some sort of other realm, where the ringwraiths can actually see and be seen more clearly - and that realm seems harder to see into with corporeal eyes - the ringwraiths are pretty featureles when seen corporeally only but detailed in the "ringrealm"...

MAybe it's a bit of both.. But Akahiges theory is sort of aesthetical and since we're talking about literary thing that counts a lot... The tought of Boromir putting it on and becoming invisible doesn't seem nearly as cool as him putting it on and becoming a superwarlord unbeateable in combat and able to raise armies with few shouts, etc. But how to expres that in GURPS terms???

(On the other hand bilbo did not hawe ability to be ignored by other halflings - on the contrary he was a celebrity on bags end - yet he became invisible to other halflings too...)
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:04 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by JAW
But Akahiges theory is sort of aesthetical ...
What'd you just call me?! :P


Ok, so if I read the previous posts right, the Ring enhances the "spirit" side of the wearer, which is the "true" source of magic, charisma (for lack of a better term), and overall reality-shaping power (also for lack of a better term). And going invisible (or at least uncontrollably so) would simply be a side-effect of being enhanced to a more "spiritual" state.

Am I close?
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:29 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Akahige
Ok, so if I read the previous posts right, the Ring enhances the "spirit" side of the wearer, which is the "true" source of magic, charisma (for lack of a better term), and overall reality-shaping power (also for lack of a better term). And going invisible (or at least uncontrollably so) would simply be a side-effect of being enhanced to a more "spiritual" state.
Not quite, I'm afraid. In Tolkien's cosmology, the entire created world is permeated with the "Morgoth Element", essentially the power of evil. Someone who puts on the Ring, provided they have the inherrent strength to force the Ring to their will, will have a great deal of this "Morgoth Element" at their disposal. This power can be used just like any other form of personal power could be - in other words, the Ring acts as a force multiplier.
There are various ways personal power can be spent in Tolkien's world - from creating powerful objects, to dominating or convincing others to do what you want, to world-changing effects that would probably be labeled "magic". Of course, what a Ring-wearer uses the power for depends on their personality and abilities. As an example, let's consider three characters from Lord of The Rings who had the chance to take the Ring (but didn't, obviously):
Gandalf, had he took the Ring, would probably have used it to convince people to do what he wanted them to do. He would have started out using the power to convince people to fight Sauron, for good, but eventually he would have been corrupted, and started simply convincing people to do what he wanted because that's he wanted to happen. Also, Gandalf's extensive skill with fire magic would probably mean that he would have used the Ring's power to throw a lot of fireballs.
Aragorn, with the Ring, would probably have focused on direct domination of others. Where Gandalf would be supernaturally convincing and persuasive, Aragorn would be supernaturally dominant - when he says jump, everyone is a foot in the air before they ask "how high?" Also, Aragorn's natural skill in arms would likely have been enhanced, leaving him a truly terrible force on the battlefield.
Galadriel, bearing the One, would proably have led through sheer supernatural charisma and beauty. Galdalf might convince you to do what he wanted, Aragorn might order you, but with Galadriel, you'd do everything in your power to do what she wanted before she even asked, just to make her happy. Galdriel would probably have used the Ring to preserve what was beautiful and pleasant, unchanging and imperishable - creating a world of stasis, where everything was frozen at its most "beautiful" moment (at least, in Galadriel's opinion).
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:48 PM   #38
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I don't think what you said is mutually exclusive with my attempted explanation. It sounds to me like the Morgoth element is simply one aspect of the generic power in the world. The little I know about the Silmarillion is in regard to how the physical world was created, and I presume what you refer to as the 'Morgoth element' is simply the result of his self-centered behavior while participating in the big "song" that created the world.

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Originally Posted by kelly_pedersen
There are various ways personal power can be spent in Tolkien's world - from creating powerful objects, to dominating or convincing others to do what you want, to world-changing effects that would probably be labeled "magic". Of course, what a Ring-wearer uses the power for depends on their personality and abilities.
And that's what I meant by "spiritual" abilities. The magical powers are due to their weilders being, for lack of a better term, semi-astral beings. The Ring would enhance their innate abilities, but the pressure from the 'Morgoth element' would draw them closer to the domineering nature he infected the world with.

Or something. 8|

Last edited by Akahige; 12-14-2006 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:04 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Akahige
The little I know about the Silmarillion is in regard to how the physical world was created, and I presume what you refer to as the 'Morgoth element' is simply the result of his self-centered behavior while participating in the big "song" that created the world.
In a sense, yes. However, in Tolkien's mind, there was some very real there, even if it was intangible. To Tolkien, any act of creation, or changing the nature of something, required the being doing it to put in some of their personal power. If the act you were doing was "good" - that is, unselfish, and in attempt to conform to the desires of the rightful powers of the world, then the energy would be replenished immediately. If, however, your acts were evil, then the power you spent was gone, diminishing you in the process. So Morgoth, in the process of corrupting the Song of The Ainur, and trying to warp the World to his desires, spent a great deal of his personal power. That's way, even though he was, initially, the greatest of the Ainur, he was later able to be defeated by the Valar - his power had been largely spent corrupting the world, and later the various monsters and such in it.

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Originally Posted by Akahige
And that's what I meant by "spiritual" abilities. The magical powers are due to their weilders being, for lack of a better term, semi-astral beings. The Ring would enhance their innate abilities, but the pressure from the 'Morgoth element' would draw them closer to the domineering nature he infected the world with.
Actually, you wouldn't have to be "semi-astral". Aragorn was mentioned, for example, as someone who would have been capable of mastering the One, and doing terrible things with it, and he was quite human, and didn't have much power over the "Unseen", as Tolkein put it. I think that having power over the Unseen world was more a good indication that you had the strength of will to bend the Ring to your will, rather than a prerequisite for doing so.
Also, note that the Ring would enhance any ability the wearer possessed - as I mentioned, it would have enhanced Aragorn's combat ability, and that was pretty clearly non-magical. Likewise, Gandalf mentioned that Smeagol/Gollum's ability to hide and sneak about was enhanced when he got the Ring (in the chapter The Shadow of The Past).
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:11 PM   #40
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So we're back where we started, with the One Ring being confusingly undescribable in game terms?
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