Ferretz
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Bicycles in The Shire??

Wed 29 Jun 2022, 09:56

So I've been taking a break from The One Ring 2nd edition lately, as to be honest, I was a bit miffed by some of the things in the otherwise excellent Ruins of the Lost Realm.
But my upcoming three-week trip to New Zealand (in November) is gradually stoking my interest again, so I thought I'd ask something I'd been meaning to ask for a while:

Do the Hobbits in The Shire have bicycles? The Starter Kit seems to hint at just that. Or "velocipedes" as they are called.

How is this lore accurate? I mean, I remember long discussions back in the first edition of the game about why plate mails and crossbows should not exist in the game because they are "never mentioned specifically" by Tolkien. Where are velocipedes mentioned?
And I realize that the Hobbits of The Shire seem to live in a different "time period" than the rest of Middle-earth. But bicycles?

What am I missing or misunderstanding here? :shock:
 
Dunheved
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Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Thu 30 Jun 2022, 08:51

Velocipedes. Page 18 of The Shire booklet in the Starter Set. Where it is mentioned that these contraptions are stored/dumped in the Mathom house. And that they are the product of one odd inventor/craftsman.

To me this is no more than the authors of this supplement echoing the whimsy of some of Tolkien's own anachronisms when describing the Nature and Mood of the Shire, compared to the Outside World. It is a device to add to the narrative atmosphere that the harsher rules of the Outside World need not apply inside the Shire.
To that end, a good narrative from an interested player might be able to employ some of these whimsical anachronisms - as long as they stayed within the bounds of the Shire.

E.g. As an LM, if a player who visited the Mathom house needed/wanted to try out these transport devices - say to escape pursuit from a drunken mob - I'd roll with the idea; almost certainly ending with a crash and the destruction of the wheeled, leg-propelled device! And that might be as far as I would be prepared to go with these sorts of things.

As an aside, I might consider that Tom Sandyman's contraptions need not be early bicycles. Any wheeled vehicle propelled by the muscles of the occupants would do. They would be of little benefit on any uphill gradient, or any rough surface, and hence rejected by the community generally. (A hobbit pulled cart? A bigger version of a scooter?)

Imho the bigger questions of non-canon technology (And particularly weapon technology) are best thrown into House rules worked out within your own group. I would not have crossbows for instance. But that debate has been cooked too many times for me to stir that pot!

And: best of luck with the upcoming trip! I am insanely jealous, though I have been to beautiful New Zealand in 2007. One day, after the world has settled down a little, I hope to make a second visit.
 
Ferretz
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Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Thu 30 Jun 2022, 09:10

Thanks for the input. I see the idea. I thought including velocipedes is a stretch. I really hope Free League won't include too many ideas of this type in the future. I thought the idea was "if it's not in JRR Tolkien's writing, it is not in the game".
Anyway, I agree, really don't want to start some discussion about crossbows and plate mail either. :lol:

As for New Zealand, I've never been there. But I work as a film journalist, and during interviews and articles (on my site filmlore.no) I've gotten to know the guys who made Peter Jackson's trilogy (producer Mark Ordesky and Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop). So I've been invited. Was supposed to go last year to celebrate the 20th anniversary, but the whole pandemic put a stop to that.
So now it's three weeks in NZ following in the "footsteps" of the production, so to speak, writing and interviewing as I go! From Hobbiton to Edoras to the Dimholt Road and more. Can't wait!
 
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Vader
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Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Thu 30 Jun 2022, 11:14

Could be something like the "celerifere" — an all-wooden job with no pedals or indeed steering; assumed to have been made already in the 1790's:

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Célérifèr ... Sivrac.jpg
Before you use the word "XENOMORPH" again, you should read this article through:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/aliens-throwaway-line-confusion
 
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ottarrus
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Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Sun 03 Jul 2022, 02:44

No.
Just... no. If you're gonna do that, just give Hobbits flintlocks and be done with it.
There is not such thing as the Tour de' Comte' [a 'tour of the Shire' bicycle race, according to Google Translate]
 
Ferretz
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Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Sun 03 Jul 2022, 09:24

No.
Just... no. If you're gonna do that, just give Hobbits flintlocks and be done with it.
There is not such thing as the Tour de' Comte' [a 'tour of the Shire' bicycle race, according to Google Translate]

I agree. It was one of those things that had me go "Wait a minute. Where is Free League going with my favorite fantasy world??" :roll:
 
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Harlath
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Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Sun 03 Jul 2022, 11:10

I'm with Dunheved - this is a fun nod at the anachronisms present in the shire in Tolkien's source material, relative to the rest of the setting. It is clear from The Shire book that these are weird curiosities in the Mathom House, not something that's in use. It's easily ignored if people don't like it as these are explicitly weird items in a museum. The text certainly doesn't have hobbits riding around in them.

Cross-bows: show up in The Nature of Middle Earth as used in Numenor, for those looking to bring them in to the game and wanted a source direct from the author. But understand some of you are veterans of the topic and don't need to go over it, but thought's I'd offer it here as there are some it will be news to.

The Shire has umbrellas, golf, waistcoats, clocks and matches. It even has a reference to a pop-gun when Gandalf speak to Bilbo. The Dwarves have clarinets!

"The Shire "is in fact more or less a Warwickshire village of about the period of the Diamond Jubilee" [1897] - http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Letter_178

I thought the idea was "if it's not in JRR Tolkien's writing, it is not in the game".
This seems quite restrictive: the Woodmen are a great example of building out a culture where we've got very little in the original text, but The One Ring makes them fit naturally in to the source material by building on what little we have and using the work of William Morris, who inspired Tolkien. The One Ring does a great job of this kind of thing, in contrast to MERP (for example).
 
Ferretz
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Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Sun 03 Jul 2022, 12:38

I'm all for giving the game's setting a bit more freedom when it comes to fantasy tropes and such, but I've heard many times how restrictive the game should be with the "if it's not in the Tolkien's books, it's not in the game." And then suddenly, velocipedes...

Pop guns were mentioned here. It is true it is mentioned in The Hobbit. So are freight trains, if I remember correctly. But I always thought this came from the "narrator's voice", which in this case was Tolkien telling a story to his young son. There should be no pop guns or freight trains in Middle-earth.
 
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Harlath
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Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Sun 03 Jul 2022, 14:56

"if it's not in the Tolkien's books, it's not in the game" clearly isn't the attitude of the authors in 1e or 2e, whether it's the chapter on canon in the core rulebook, or the fleshing out of the Woodmen in 1e and 2e. You can colour in the gaps and do it in a manner sympathetic to the source material, as TOR does.

"Pop-gun" is spoken by Bilbo, although some may well interpret it as a translation. But it fits with the Shire as Warwickshire 1897, as do matches (in the source material) or velocipedes (a fun nod at the Shire's anachronisms relative to the rest of the setting from the TOR team in the Shire).
 
Ferretz
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Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Sun 03 Jul 2022, 15:11

"if it's not in the Tolkien's books, it's not in the game" clearly isn't the attitude of the authors in 1e or 2e, whether it's the chapter on canon in the core rulebook, or the fleshing out of the Woodmen in 1e and 2e. You can colour in the gaps and do it in a manner sympathetic to the source material, as TOR does.

"Pop-gun" is spoken by Bilbo, although some may well interpret it as a translation. But it fits with the Shire as Warwickshire 1897, as do matches (in the source material) or velocipedes (a fun nod at the Shire's anachronisms relative to the rest of the setting from the TOR team in the Shire).
I thought I read that "not in the books, not in the game" thing several times over the years. I might be mistaken, of course. I mean, I hope I am. I thought it was a bit too strict.

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