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Old 01-08-2013, 12:12 AM   #21
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
I don't recall that every being established. Smaug was probably the greatest of the remaining dragons, but IDR that JRRT every said he was the last fire-breather.
I think that someone at the Council of Elrond in FotR said that while dragons had melted and consumed some lesser rings, no dragon left alive could melt the One Ring, because no dragon had ever been that powerful.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:16 AM   #22
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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I think that someone at the Council of Elrond in FotR said that while dragons had melted and consumed some lesser rings, no dragon left alive could melt the One Ring, because no dragon had ever been that powerful.
I think the reference is in Gandalf's conversation to Frodo, in the Shire:

"It has been said that dragon-fire could melt and consume the Rings of Power, but there is not now any dragon left on earth in which the old fire is hot enough; nor was there ever any dragon, not even Ancalagon the Black, who could have harmed the One Ring, the Ruling Ring, for that was made by Sauron himself."
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:54 AM   #23
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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It's boring because everything cool is going or gone. No elves. No wizards. No magic. Hobbits and dwarves retreat from contact. Orcs disappear.
I'm not aware of anything that indicates that magic is gone, orcs disappear, or the Hobbits and Dwarves 'retreat from contact.'

The Shire retains its autonomy and the Hobbits have a decree from the King of Gondor and Arnor to the effect that Men can't enter without permission. But that doesn’tt mean that Hobbits cannot leave. And the Shire is not the only place where Hobbits dwell.

There are magicians and magic sources besides Sauron and the Istari. Or did Sauron make the talking purse for a certain troll? ;)


As for war and conflict-- I looked in Appendix A of LotR. It explains that "though Sauron had passed, the hatreds and evils he had bred had not died, and the King of the West had many enemies to subdue before the White Tree could grow in peace."

I imagine that by the late 4th Age the fading of magic and the removal or retreat of non-humans had advanced much further, but I don't see any reason why an early or middle 4th Age game couldn't feature magic and non-humans. It would probably have less of both than in the 3rd Age, I suppose.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:09 PM   #24
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I played an early 4th age solo game in high school. The premise was that the Orcs had been more or less bottled up in Mordor and left to rot by the Gondorians.

This worked until the warlords on the losing side of the various internal power struggles started fleeing over the mountains....

I've sure I've posted this before - Ah, in Brett's link:
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:35 PM   #25
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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I think the reference is in Gandalf's conversation to Frodo, in the Shire:

"It has been said that dragon-fire could melt and consume the Rings of Power, but there is not now any dragon left on earth in which the old fire is hot enough; nor was there ever any dragon, not even Ancalagon the Black, who could have harmed the One Ring, the Ruling Ring, for that was made by Sauron himself."
Yeah, but that's not the same thing as 'no firebreathers left', it just means that no Dragon remains that has enough power to still melt a Great Ring of Power.

It's implied that some of the Seven Rings were destroyed that way (since the Nine and the Three are accounted for), though.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:59 PM   #26
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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Yeah, but that's not the same thing as 'no firebreathers left', it just means that no Dragon remains that has enough power to still melt a Great Ring of Power.

It's implied that some of the Seven Rings were destroyed that way (since the Nine and the Three are accounted for), though.
Agreed; I was just tracing the source of the quote.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:06 PM   #27
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

Seems like theres everything you need to create a full blown fantasy campaign is in place.

Dragons, dwarves, elfs, hobbits, magical itens and weapons, ruins with said stuff, monsters, evil humans who want those same things for mischeavous purpose, people offering money for killing and looting in the name of good.

What else do you need ?
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:27 PM   #28
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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So, the Fourth Age…

Is it boring because Sauron is gone?I’m not asking about novels, mind you, but games. Not the same thing.

My guess is ‘no, it’s not boring for not for gaming.’ Not every Middle Earth game needs to involve saving the whole world from the power of Evil, but games should have a moral dimension.

Evil remains, of course, even if its physical power is reduced. The world doesn’t just become a utopia. All the human failings that create conflict and drama still remain, and many monsters doubtless roam the darker parts of Middle Earth.

Tolkien started work on a thriller involving ‘the new Shadow’, an evil cult or secret society, and gangs of young men or boys acting in ‘orcish’ ways. He ditched it. While it might not have been up his alley, a thriller like that sounds like it could make for a great Fourth Age game set in Gondor.

Something else to consider is whether any of the orcs have changed after Sauron’s fall/banishment. If he’s not able to dominate them as he used to do, maybe some few orcs have turned from evil?
Who are the slaves in Rhun that were set free by Aragorn and given their own lands? Are they humans? Orcs? Half-orcs? A mix of all three kinds?

Magic presumably remains part of the world, although maybe magic related to Sauron is weakened. Or maybe not. Was he the source of black magic or simply a teacher of it? And what of the other sorts of magic in the world?
The elves diminish and retreat, but not all at once. I think a little diminishment of them is probably good from a game balance perspective anyway, judging by stat write-ups I have see :0

Men are the dominant race in this age, but the Dwarves and especially the Hobbits don’t seem to be badly off.
We have a fair idea of the large scale political situation of the early part of the Fourth Age.

Although Tolkien seemed pessimistic about the possibilities of success, a quest to find the missing Entwives might make a fun RPG campaign, if you wanted something grand.

All of this is just IMHO, and YMMV.

But what do you guys think?
That reminds me of the question of why Lady Elizabeth Butler did Napoleonic paintings. What do you do when the Corsican Ogre is safely dead, the Sun Never Sets on The British Empire, and there is no one left to fight but Pathans?

There is plenty of room for gaming. You could have some of Ellesar's punitive expeditions into Rhun and Harad. Trouble is, those would be just war stories. You can have Farimirs viceroyalty over Ithilen; there is plenty of work to do. Trouble is, the good guys are the heavy there. No last stands unless someone ends up in an exposed position. And so on.

The Fourth age has room for gaming. But the earlier ages are better.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:45 AM   #29
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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The Fourth age has room for gaming. But the earlier ages are better.
What? There's all of Arnor to deal with. Orcs, trolls, ruins, scattered villages that need protection, plenty of adventures.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:32 AM   #30
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

And the rest of Arda! The lands to the East and South were essentially vassals to the Dark Lord (and IIRC, ruled by the Nazgûl). Now there's a great power vacuum. Agents of Gondor can have an important role in guiding these countries to the One True Faith.

And what happened to the Istari Luinen anyway?
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