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Re: More Spellcasting Ability - New Advanced Race (Istari or Valar Kin) OR New Calling OR Virtues

Tue 31 Aug 2021, 16:19

Tolkiens quote "...a bit of a magician..." doesn't imply, that there is the possibility to just learn magic spells for humans. In this thread the topic is to develop more Spellcasting Abilities, a new Race or a new calling. And that kind of contradicts Tolkiens spirit of Middle-earth.
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Actually, the quote is vague enough that it could imply that. Even so, it is pretty ambiguous.
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I'm not saying, there is no magic to be fond in Men. The Numenorians and later the Dunedain were able achieve great works, but it didn't had to do anything with Wizard-like spells. If you look at Aragorn's abilities to heal, the gift of foresight and his "Ways of the Wild", you could simply assume, that this is due to the fact, that his ancestry includes powerful Elves, Men and Maiar.

There were already two Middle-earth games before TOR: MERP and the Lord of the Rings RPG. Both handled Magic differently than TOR. The first mentioned had D&D-like Spell lists, the second was more on spot, but also gave the possibility to play Magicians, and now TOR goes the "puristic" way.

If you want to include Magic in the Form of Spells, do so, it is your game. You just need to take the Spells from the LotR RPG, and let them be learn via a Mastery (Virtue). The first Spell grants access to the generell "Class", like Nature, Fire etc. The next Spells could just cost 1 AP, similar to the Wood Elf Magic in 1e. You could make up new Callings like Magician, Witch or Sorcerer and grand them access to specific spells. A Spell could cost 1 Hope, grant a Magical Success (what else?) and would need a Skill Roll. If nothing fits, use Lore, Wisdom or Valour.

For me personally that would be too much, but if people have fun with it, why not?
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I'm actually not trying to add spells to TOR; I'm just acting as the Devil's advocate.
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Sebastian
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Re: More Spellcasting Ability - New Advanced Race (Istari or Valar Kin) OR New Calling OR Virtues

Wed 01 Sep 2021, 08:33

Of course you could interpret a lot of things into that quote, but does that help? A decision on Magic in Middle-earth needs to be based on more than that. And given what Tolkien wrote about Magic and Men I wouldn't read too much into it. Plus, the Hobbit has a different tone than the LotR.

There are different ways to go with Magic in Middle-earth. I just like the way TOR is handling it, so I wouldn't change it.
 
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Re: More Spellcasting Ability - New Advanced Race (Istari or Valar Kin) OR New Calling OR Virtues

Tue 07 Sep 2021, 04:58

I for one can attest to the excellence of "The Ways of Magic." The effects were thematically appropriate, backed by quotes and examples from the books, and carried a cost (as 1st ed Hope was much harder to come by, requiring a point of Hope was actually quite expensive, not to mention the fact that it played into the Eye mechanics from the Rivendell book). Me personally I would prefer Ways of Magic over the magical items nonsense we got. I feel like Cultural Rewards more than adequately dealt with special feeling gear without it getting anything close to out of hand, where as I see nothing about the magical gear rules to like.

I will be converting over "The Ways of Magic" for my own group. I don't know if Zeb is around here, but if he is and doesn't mind, I will post a copy for everyone (properly attributed, of course).

All of that said, however, I am warming up to the idea of the Elven Magic rules, thanks to one of the actual play threads that are going on.
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Sebastian
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Re: More Spellcasting Ability - New Advanced Race (Istari or Valar Kin) OR New Calling OR Virtues

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 08:55

I remember reading „Ways of Magic“ and if you want to include Spellcasting abilities, this is a really good…well… way.

But a quick question. What do you mean with „magical item nonsense“?
 
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eternalsage
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Re: More Spellcasting Ability - New Advanced Race (Istari or Valar Kin) OR New Calling OR Virtues

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 11:16

Sorry. I am REALLY not a fan of the magical items rules as written. Didn't use them in 1e for similar reasons and having read a few actual play recaps have cemented this for me. I'll be porting 1st ed Rewards for my group.

As for why, in brief, far too many and the randomness feels totally out of place. I have nothing against magic items, per se, but these are rare and wonderous in the 3rd age and the RAW makes them anything but.
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Re: More Spellcasting Ability - New Advanced Race (Istari or Valar Kin) OR New Calling OR Virtues

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 15:18

Sorry. I am REALLY not a fan of the magical items rules as written. Didn't use them in 1e for similar reasons and having read a few actual play recaps have cemented this for me. I'll be porting 1st ed Rewards for my group.

As for why, in brief, far too many and the randomness feels totally out of place. I have nothing against magic items, per se, but these are rare and wonderous in the 3rd age and the RAW makes them anything but.
Could minor magical items really be all that rare in Middle-earth when a random Stone-troll has a purse that magically shouts out when a stranger tries to steal it? Or when a hobbit owns a vest (or was it a coat?) with buttons that button themselves?
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Sebastian
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Re: More Spellcasting Ability - New Advanced Race (Istari or Valar Kin) OR New Calling OR Virtues

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 15:54

Sorry. I am REALLY not a fan of the magical items rules as written. Didn't use them in 1e for similar reasons and having read a few actual play recaps have cemented this for me. I'll be porting 1st ed Rewards for my group.

As for why, in brief, far too many and the randomness feels totally out of place. I have nothing against magic items, per se, but these are rare and wonderous in the 3rd age and the RAW makes them anything but.
I understand. I have some trouble with it too, but keep in mind: You, the LM, decides how often a hoard is found. The players still have to roll a G or an Eye to actually find something. A magical weapon or a piece of armour only with a 5-6 on a success die.

I for instance go the "middle way". I plan ahead, what my group could find, that fits to one Player Hero. After one magical item for one player, the others come to turn. I thing after one magical item/armour plus one wondrous artefact per player I will probably finish. For powerful items they need Valour, which is naturally limited. For an item with three qualities they need to get to at least Valour 3, if they keep their starting reward.

But it's totally okay to stick to the cultural rewards. But keep in mind that in the end, it is the LM and thus fate, who decides who finds what and how frequently.
 
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eternalsage
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Re: More Spellcasting Ability - New Advanced Race (Istari or Valar Kin) OR New Calling OR Virtues

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 17:55

Huh. I never noticed that it was the Trolls wallet that spoke. For nearly 30 years I had interpreted those as the trolls words.... fascinating.

So, not sure if you are familiar with 1e, but those types of things are what the Cultural Rewards are like. Minor thematic things. In the 3rd age books we have Sting, Glamdring, and Orchist (all with the same minor enchantment), the Phial of Galadriel, and of course the Rings that are obviously magical. Boromir's horn and the elven ropes and cloaks are debatable as to being magic or not. And I personally can not see my players, who are of vastly lesser importance than Thorin and the Fellowship and whose legacies are small enough (or quite enough) not to be talked about like those folks are having gear on that level.

As for the buttons, those are certainly magical but not the sort of treasure we're talking about here (and being sort of an extension of Bilbo's peculiarity). I mean, play how you want by all means, but I'm not interested in my players outclassing the big names in magic bling.
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eternalsage
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Re: More Spellcasting Ability - New Advanced Race (Istari or Valar Kin) OR New Calling OR Virtues

Wed 08 Sep 2021, 18:00

Sorry. I am REALLY not a fan of the magical items rules as written. Didn't use them in 1e for similar reasons and having read a few actual play recaps have cemented this for me. I'll be porting 1st ed Rewards for my group.

As for why, in brief, far too many and the randomness feels totally out of place. I have nothing against magic items, per se, but these are rare and wonderous in the 3rd age and the RAW makes them anything but.
I understand. I have some trouble with it too, but keep in mind: You, the LM, decides how often a hoard is found. The players still have to roll a G or an Eye to actually find something. A magical weapon or a piece of armour only with a 5-6 on a success die.

I for instance go the "middle way". I plan ahead, what my group could find, that fits to one Player Hero. After one magical item for one player, the others come to turn. I thing after one magical item/armour plus one wondrous artefact per player I will probably finish. For powerful items they need Valour, which is naturally limited. For an item with three qualities they need to get to at least Valour 3, if they keep their starting reward.

But it's totally okay to stick to the cultural rewards. But keep in mind that in the end, it is the LM and thus fate, who decides who finds what and how frequently.
Good points. And with the Valour requirement they are mechanically similar in some ways. I can see why they replaced rewards with them, and in any other game I would prefer the open nature of the magical gear. It's just that I don't feel that style feels right for this world. I would definitely be making and placing any magical loot to be found if I were using that system. The rewards are already so flavorful it's hard to give them up lol.
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Re: More Spellcasting Ability - New Advanced Race (Istari or Valar Kin) OR New Calling OR Virtues

Thu 09 Sep 2021, 03:26

Huh. I never noticed that it was the Trolls wallet that spoke. For nearly 30 years I had interpreted those as the trolls words.... fascinating.

So, not sure if you are familiar with 1e, but those types of things are what the Cultural Rewards are like. Minor thematic things. In the 3rd age books we have Sting, Glamdring, and Orchist (all with the same minor enchantment), the Phial of Galadriel, and of course the Rings that are obviously magical. Boromir's horn and the elven ropes and cloaks are debatable as to being magic or not. And I personally can not see my players, who are of vastly lesser importance than Thorin and the Fellowship and whose legacies are small enough (or quite enough) not to be talked about like those folks are having gear on that level.

As for the buttons, those are certainly magical but not the sort of treasure we're talking about here (and being sort of an extension of Bilbo's peculiarity). I mean, play how you want by all means, but I'm not interested in my players outclassing the big names in magic bling.
Oh, the elven cloaks given to the Fellowship are undoubtedly what we would call magical in nature. I'd say the same with the elven rope that Galadriel gifted to Samwise. And, yes, I'm familiar with TOR 1e.
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