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Thread: LotR D20
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
Credit goes to LOTRfan for some of the statistics inspiration.
The campaign world of Arda is a world of low magic. There are only a few dozen obtainable magic items and only some mortals are capable of learning magic - hence, classes like 'Wizard' (even lowered to Tier 2 or 3) may become extended 20 level PrCs. Note that, by all respects, wizard is also a race of Maia (the latter of which could be a subtype, but is detailed further below under the 'Old Ones' spoiler).
Magic items in general mostly exist in permanent form and cannot usually be purchased. The simplest of magic items include the palantiri (of various sizes) and the Mirror of Galadriel - which allows the glimpsing of a highly malleable, vague future, past or clairvoyant scrying of the present for the given character (or simply illusions that please or frighten).
It isn't recommended for GMs to allow magic items or weapons that simply provide enhancement bonuses or actual combat effects (such as, ie. '+3' or '+2 fiery burst') - unless the effects could relate to technology and can be explained away with pseudo-science.
Ie. Mithril is a very strong, valuable, and light material and can provide an advantage to weapons and armor produced from it, but it is not magical.
Whereas 'fiery burst' can't be explained away with science and it does not actually activate or mimic any spells.
Hence, magic items should directly mimic spells through 'use activation' or 'command words' and be much more valuable - a single palantir, ie., actually plays the important role of connecting a city in Gondor to the rest of the kingdom. While rare, they are also not necessarily weak or limited - no single use scrolls or potions. A magic item should effectively provide a very immense advantage that spells fate or victory, but not ascend the user to deific proportions all on its own or turn the world around - such a role belongs solely to magical items that are artifacts (such as the One Ring and the much greater Flame Imperishable).
Magic alone can be learned, but no core class grants magic. Some races are naturally capable of magic and NPCs such as monsters have no limit to the magic or magical derived abilities they can use (although most such magic is trap derived - ie. The oak tree that trapped and swallowed victims in 'Fellowship of the Ring').
Magic that monsters use is typically hard to mimic without a high level PC with more than a few wizard levels studying it. The magic monsters have access to also does not necessarily need to be spell derived, as it does for magical items.
The Orc Humanoid Subtype
All of Melkor's mutated creations are orcs.
- Light Sensitivity (unless listed as 'Light is Bane' in the creature entry or listed otherwise)
- Dark Vision 60ft. (unless listed as having low-light vision in the creature entry or listed otherwise)
Uruk-hai of the Eye
The Uruk-hai of the Eye are strong man-high orcs that have conquered Ithilien and the city of Osgiliath in 2475 of the Third Age.
- DR 1/-
- Die Hard and Endurance as Racial Bonus feats
- +4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom
Uruk-hai of the Hand
The Uruk-hai of the hand, created by the wizard Saruman, are more upright and immune to the affects sunlight holds on most orcs.
As 'Uruk-hai of the Eye' but with the below exceptions:
- Have no light sensitivity
- +2 Charisma
The Old Ones
Eru Il'uvatar (his name in Quenya), is the creator of Ea, which is essentially everything perceivable by mortals and beyond - as he also created the Ainu, whom proceeded to forge everything beneath them.
Eru is considered good by those that stand before him and stand in his favor, but he may more likely be Lawful Neutral - as he values organization and is generally not driven by altruism (although, this is arguable when he resurrected Gandalf - but easily counteracted by him destroying and remaking Arda, thus slaying many innocents). He is more or less 'God' as the term applies in reference to Christianity, Gnosticism and perhaps the 'Big Three' in general.
Eru is a Lesser Deity - his home realm (heaven) is small and he likely used an epic spell to create the frame work of Ea. He also delegated the Ainu to take care of many of the details of Ea.
NOTE: The multi-verse isn't at all detailed by Tolkien (although he does make passing mention of it, I believe) and by all rights, Eru fits the folder - he may have used an epic spell to create the Ainu and give them Divine Ranks; it may have been a slow process to bestow them deific rights, whereas cloning, shaping and awakening each of them could have been accomplished very swiftly.
The lack of outer planes known to the denizens of Arda means that plane shifting won't occur much without diverting from canon.
The first of Eru Il'uvatar's creations. They can be of any form, or species, and are imperceptible to mortals on the material plane.
Ainur typically have a divine rank of 0 or 1, or none at all. Some may be of higher Divine Rank but all are essentially given the status of 'demi-gods' (DR 1 - 5) by D&D order.
Some Ainu may or may not have created sub-planes of their own to reside in. Many choose to live in the plane that Eru has created for himself.
Ainur that choose to live on the material plane are Valar - to become a Vala, they must have permission from those of greater Divine Rank, or possibly Eru himself.
'Ainu' may be a simple class or title given weight by Eru rather then an actual template, subtype, or specific race (etc.) - although, typically those of greater title are more powerful than those of less title - granted, each of these Divine Rank related powers are bestowed by Eru's will.
The Valar are a group of various Ainur of Divine Rank 0 - 1 and have all the abilities of such. Most have powerful knowledge of magic, allowing them to almost seem like they are of a higher divine rank, but they own no planes of their own (hence DR 0) while others, namely the high Vala, simply choose not to.
The king of the Valar, Manwe, is Divine Rank 1 and held a godly realm within his fortress that existed in the material plane during the first age.
- The maiar are outsiders native to the material plane.
- Most have DR 10/Epic.
- They can be considered a race, but each one is generally distinctive in some way. It may be that they are better perhaps reflected as a template, or simply classified by Divine Rank 0 with the word 'Maiar' denoting the group of individuals belonging to this Divine Rank.
Wizard Native Outsider Subtype
- Wizards, contrary to most Maiar, have no divine rank and only some of the characteristics that a Divine Rank of 0 would offer. Their race is essentially human, however they are also immortal. Their greatest magic is derived from their staffs (wondrous items) - in the world of Arda, wizard is still a class but it generally offers much less power than it does in most other D&D campaign worlds (possibly being a Tier 2 or 3 class).
- Wizards have only the following for being a Maia
Receive Maximum hit points for each Hit Die.Speed
Maiar can move much more quickly than mortals. A maia’s base land speed depends on its form (biped or quadruped) and its size, as shown on the following table. Some maiar are exceptions, with speeds faster or slower than the norm.Resolve
The maia’s allies receive a +4 morale bonus on attack rolls, saves, and checks, while the maia’s foes receive a -4 morale penalty on attack rolls, saves, and checks.Bypassing Damage Reduction
As outsiders with alignment subtypes, the natural attacks of a maiar, as well as any weapons they wield, are considered aligned the same as the maia for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction.
Old One Artifacts
The Flame Imperishable [Artifact]
- The Flame Imperishable appears like a beautiful eternal flame that can be held and touched - it can allow the user to create life as an Epic Spell that combines clone, alter self (to any extent and size), racial customize (ability scores and abilities of any), wild shape (to any creature type except undead, construct or outsider), greater teleport (of clones) to anywhere within the plane the wielder currently resides on and awaken (on any creature type, includes objects). It requires no XP cost from the user and is at will. Users of the flame imperishable must have a Divine Rank.
The One Ring [Artifact]
- Appearing as a small pure gold band forged in the manner of a ring, it lights up violently with red words in black speech but with quenya alphabet, when subjected to heat.
- It grants the user ethereality as if under the affects of the spell 'Ethereal Jaunt' - but because Naz'gul can sniff out the ring with scent, they can also see and touch, as well as effectively attack, the wearer while said wearer is ethereal. The wearer can in turn see, touch and effectively attack the Naz'gul. Even though the wearer is ethereal, they can still interact with the real world as well (as if they had greater invisibility), meaning they don't gain the usual movement benefits of ethereality. They cannot be touched, but they cannot move through walls either (etc.). Because they still interact with the material plane, they still leave traces of movement and can be tracked with the track feat.
- The ring is capable of seducing the person into being driven to desire and obsession over it. Anyone near the ring must make a will save against evil influence (DC 20; this counts as mind affecting and a fear type effect) or take 1d6 sanity damage each week. The same occurs if they even so much as touch the ring or wear it. IF sanity score reaches 0, then the person loses all will over themselves - they must pursue the ring endlessly or be afflicted with terrible pain until the end of their days.
- Anyone within range of the ring will not age. A person is thus effectively immortal when wearing or otherwise keeping the ring on their person.
Last edited by imp_fireball; 2010-09-24 at 10:42 PM.
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
Re: LotR D20
This sounds very interesting, but it's probably a good idea to begin with some larger design goals. How will magic be handled? WIll an E6/E8-esque system be used? Is the goal to create a balanced system, or one that recreates the feel of Middle-Earth? (Not to say the two are mutually exclusive.)
So, generally, what are you thinking for the system?
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
Re: LotR D20
This looks very interesting. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this (would you mind if I borrowed stuff from here, too?).
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
Re: LotR D20
Also, it isn't meant to be balanced. No new systems are to be created - all the material is pretty much RAW.
So far the only changes are a few variants - like the one I plan to eventually detail for wizard.
EL 6 or 8 is entirely player voted/GM choice. I'm mainly providing the dirt to work with.
Last edited by imp_fireball; 2010-09-24 at 10:43 PM.