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finarvyn
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Spellcasters in TLotRRPG

Mon 24 Apr 2023, 12:01

My wife loves 5E but only wants to play a spellcaster. She says that casting magic is the big thing that she can do in a RPG that she cannot do in real life. The problem is that The Lord of the Rings RPG doesn't have a spellcasting class. I know that the lack of spellcasting really fits the mood of the Middle-earth setting, but I'm pretty sure that she won't play without this. Any ideas?
Marv / Finarvyn
I bought into The Loop, Forbidden Lands, Vaesen, Alien and Twilight 2000 (in that order).
Now backing TOR 2E KS.
OD&D since 1975, Amber Diceless since 1993.
 
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Michele
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Re: Spellcasters in TLotRRPG

Mon 24 Apr 2023, 14:11

Let her play an Elf, or even a High Elf, with the Scholar calling (Lore tradition). Tell her to describe each of her uses of Elven-skill (and later, of Words of Command) as genuine "spells", at least in the eyes of others. She can even take Gleam of Wrath to add a bit of dramatic effect in combat!

Still not 'magical' enough? Then same as above, but let her learn any spell you deem appropriate from the 5e PHB instead of Crafts, treating her Craft slots as if they were spell slots, and her Scholar levels as if they were Warlock levels to determine the level of those spell slots, and the number of spells known. (For example, a 5th-level Scholar would have 3 spell slots, each of 3rd level, and know 6 spells.)
Spell slots are recovered at the end of short rests, just like Crafts. Let her also learn a number of cantrips equal to her proficiency bonus, if you wish. That should do the trick, and kind of preserve balance as well ;)
It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till.
 
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finarvyn
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Re: Spellcasters in TLotRRPG

Mon 24 Apr 2023, 22:22

Nice ideas! Thank you! :)
Marv / Finarvyn
I bought into The Loop, Forbidden Lands, Vaesen, Alien and Twilight 2000 (in that order).
Now backing TOR 2E KS.
OD&D since 1975, Amber Diceless since 1993.
 
Elenath
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Re: Spellcasters in TLotRRPG

Tue 25 Apr 2023, 08:54

Let her play an Elf, or even a High Elf, with the Scholar calling (Lore tradition). Tell her to describe each of her uses of Elven-skill (and later, of Words of Command) as genuine "spells", at least in the eyes of others. She can even take Gleam of Wrath to add a bit of dramatic effect in combat!

Still not 'magical' enough? Then same as above, but let her learn any spell you deem appropriate from the 5e PHB instead of Crafts, treating her Craft slots as if they were spell slots, and her Scholar levels as if they were Warlock levels to determine the level of those spell slots, and the number of spells known. (For example, a 5th-level Scholar would have 3 spell slots, each of 3rd level, and know 6 spells.)
Spell slots are recovered at the end of short rests, just like Crafts. Let her also learn a number of cantrips equal to her proficiency bonus, if you wish. That should do the trick, and kind of preserve balance as well ;)

Wow!!! That is an utterly amazing idea.

This could also work wonderfully well the idea from the " There and Back Again" rpg from Ray Otus.
Last edited by Elenath on Sun 23 Jul 2023, 06:21, edited 1 time in total.
 
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JLandan
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Re: Spellcasters in TLotRRPG

Thu 20 Jul 2023, 01:49

I've been working on spell casting for this game and setting. I have tried to keep the spells to what is apparent in the books, but I have included some more inspired by the films. My main goal was to keep it from getting overpowered, as is easily done in core 5e. Also I had the goal of making high level spellcasting costly and dangerous. I chose the Craft mechanism, rather than create some new system to keep in step with the flavor of the ruleset.

SPELLCRAFT
The following is Homebrew Design and is not play tested.

You are knowledgeable and skilled with one of the Magical Arts. These Arts can be dangerous to use. In and of themselves, they may cause you to gain Shadow points. Also frequent and obvious use may attract the attention of the Enemy or cause a local populace to become fearful.

There are nine Arts. Each is associated with a casting ability, Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma. All saves and attacks are made with that ability, including the save to avoid gaining Shadow points. You may choose this Craft multiple times, each time choosing a different Art. You must keep track of which spells use which ability and with which Advantages or Disadvantages.

Three are less dangerous and you may make Shadow saves with Advantage. Three are neutral and make Shadow saves evenly. And three are more dangerous to use, and make Shadow saves with Disadvantage.

Each Art consists of a list of spells. Two 0 level, and one each of levels 1 through 5. Spells of 0 level are relatively safe to use and cost no Craft Slots and have no Shadow saves. Leveled spells cost their level in Craft Slots and may be upcast with more Craft Slots to increase the power of the spell, if that spell description allows for casting with a higher spell slot. If you do not have enough Craft Slots to cover the spell level, you cannot cast that spell.

When casting a spell (other than 0 level spells), You must make a saving throw of the associated ability with a DC equal to your saving throw DC (8 + proficiency bonus + ability modifier). Failure by 4 or less indicates that you gain Shadow points equal to one-half of the number of Craft Slots used to cast the spell (rounded down, minimum 0). Failure by 5 or more indicates that you gain Shadow point equal to the number of Craft Slots used to cast the spell.

Wizardry
Lvl Intelligence, ADV
0 Light
0 Message
1 Shield
2 Hold Person
3 Dispell Magic
4 Control Water
5 Wall of Force

Thaumaturgy
Lvl Wisdom, ADV
0 Spare the Dying
0 Thaumaturgy
1 Cure Wounds
2 Arcane Lock
3 Beacon of Hope
4 Death Ward
5 Hallow

Naturalism
Lvl Charisma, ADV
0 Druidcraft
0 Minor Illusion
1 Entangle
2 Pass Without Trace
3 Plant Growth
4 Grasping Vine
5 Awaken

Conjuration
Lvl Intelligence
0 Create Bonfire
0 Mage Hand
1 Fog Cloud
2 Continual Flame
3 Daylight
4 Secret Chest
5 Seeming

Monomachy
Lvl Wisdom
0 Booming Blade
0 True Strike
1 Wrathful Smite
2 Branding Smite
3 Blinding Smite
4 Staggering Smite
5 Holy Weapon

Enchantment
Lvl Charisma
0 Friends
0 Vicious Mockery
1 Heroism
2 Suggestion
3 Catnap
4 Charm Monster
5 Geas

Necromancy
Lvl Intelligence, DIS
0 Chill Touch
0 Toll the Dead
1 Cause Fear
2 Ray of Enfeeblement
3 Spirit Shroud
4 Blight
5 Enervation

Witchcraft
LvL Wisdom, DIS
0 Infestation
0 Shillelaugh
1 Dissonent Whispers
2 Enthrall
3 Call Lightning
4 Dominate Beast
5 Contagion

Sorcery
Lvl Charisma, DIS
0 Green-Flame Blade
0 Prestidigitation
1 Chromatic Orb
2 Shatter
3 Fireball
4 Sickening Radiance
5 Immolation

Thoughts?
Last edited by JLandan on Fri 11 Aug 2023, 20:31, edited 1 time in total.
 
Otaku-sempai
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Re: Spellcasters in TLotRRPG

Thu 20 Jul 2023, 03:01

That's an interesting homebrew, JLandan, though I'm not sure whether or not I would use it.
#FideltyToTolkien
 
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JLandan
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Re: Spellcasters in TLotRRPG

Thu 20 Jul 2023, 20:47

I'm glad you find it interesting. As I said, it is not play tested. I have not even used it myself. I'm looking for feedback. What hesitations do you have with it? What ideas within it do you like?
 
Otaku-sempai
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Re: Spellcasters in TLotRRPG

Thu 20 Jul 2023, 20:51

Perhaps one of the high-level Naturalism spells should account for something like Beorn's skin-changing ability. Tolkien (in a letter) did refer to him as something of a magician. Maybe skin-changers should be covered under a different homebrew?
#FideltyToTolkien
 
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JLandan
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Re: Spellcasters in TLotRRPG

Thu 20 Jul 2023, 21:21

I would say that Beorn's skin changing was a cultural feature, as only his people did it, rather than a spell. Though there was a werewolf in the saga of Beren and Luthien. Beorn I would say is highly adept in Beast-Craft though.
 
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Re: Spellcasters in TLotRRPG

Thu 20 Jul 2023, 22:30

Tolkien tells us very little about Beorn and far less about shape-changers in general. We know from what Gandalf says that Beorn couldn't have been the only one, but it is never said that the ability is either directly linked or exclusive to his culture. Of course, TOR has it's own take on the Beorning culture; however, we still know next to nothing about Beorn's original people. Tolkein's Werewolves are very different from the traditional monster and don't seem to change shape (in general).

I myself introduced a version of the Selkie (one or more Shape-changers that can take the form of human or seal) into my homebrew for the Lossoth. I think it fits well.
#FideltyToTolkien

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