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Fergo113

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Kraken it is then

I have just posted the 5th creature of the week, the Kraken

Inspired and moulded off the good old giant squid from the BRP rulebook, but bigger, meaner and with a nasty streak a mile wide (placed into a Middle-earth context). Enjoy!

I have also added the Nazgul back into the Wrath's section of the Creatures Chapter for ME-BRP (well, I will when I get to transcribe the creatures beginning with 'W', currently still transcribing the 'S' critters).

Cheers,

Fergo113

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It can pack a punch alright, but if you extrapolate out the guidelines for the Giant Squid in the BRP rulebook, that's the kind of critter where talking about. :eek:

Bound to make those poor player character's think twice before setting off on a sailing adventure (hehehehe).

I have to say that the new BRP rulebook has made it SO much easier to build these creatures profiles. Quods to Jason and Sam and all those for making the new BRP rulebook and dream come true. :thumb::thumb::thumb:

Ah Chaosium, you've done it again ;)

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Bound to make those poor player character's think twice before setting off on a sailing adventure (hehehehe).

Yep, and now I am on the lookout for that Sea Serpent you mentioned, just

in case some characters survive the Kraken and still want to go to sea once

more ... >:->

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Yep, and now I am on the lookout for that Sea Serpent you mentioned, just

in case some characters survive the Kraken and still want to go to sea once

more ... >:->

Lol, that one is done too :eek: If you desperately need it, I might be persuaded to add it as a weekly extra, otherwise if your happy to wait for the full chapter it can lay dormant till then. :thumb:

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First, thank you for your good work, i will probably use some of your ideas in my own middle -earth campaign( to be soon translated in BRP since I'm tired of the '"tiers age" game system ).

Second, what I look for is a clue for scaling in power: what is the % of Aragorn in Combat, of Gandalf in Magic,of ....hem, Sauron?

In others words , what is the power scale ?

I originally intended to use MERP/Rolemaster in a quick and dirty way: take the OB and convert it as a skill %. For instance, Aragorn should have ( using this crude rule ): 185% in the short sword.

May be not so bad (as a comparison in MRQ Lankhmar, Fafhrd has 170% in sword ).

What is your advice about this?

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First, thank you for your good work, i will probably use some of your ideas in my own middle -earth campaign( to be soon translated in BRP since I'm tired of the '"tiers age" game system ).

Second, what I look for is a clue for scaling in power: what is the % of Aragorn in Combat, of Gandalf in Magic,of ....hem, Sauron?

In others words , what is the power scale ?

I originally intended to use MERP/Rolemaster in a quick and dirty way: take the OB and convert it as a skill %. For instance, Aragorn should have ( using this crude rule ): 185% in the short sword.

May be not so bad (as a comparison in MRQ Lankhmar, Fafhrd has 170% in sword ).

What is your advice about this?

I think you hit it head on with the MERP conversions. Give the OB as the %. Take their attributes, divide by 6, add 1 for characteristics. This gives characters with a 102 attribute in MERP a characteristic of 18. You can determine size based any height/weight listed in the books.

For critters take their AT and divide it by 2 or 3 for Armor Points (so AT 20 gives 7-10 AP) and use their DB as their Dodge skill (if any).

Modify per taste afterwards.

Use spell lists for ideas and basis for what magic or abilities a character may or may not have.

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Thanks. Your recommandations make sense.

The problem comes in damage. In MERP damage is based partly on OB and AT and how well you roll on one of the attack charts.

Most weapons can easily just be transfered over, we know how much damage a sword does in BRP is says so on page XX. But how much damaged does and ent stomp do? And so forth. Mainly you will have to compare creature to creature from other BRP or BRP related sources. That includes all versions of Runequest (even MRQ), CoC, heck, even superworld.

So while the direct method I gave earlier (based on your original call) will still need work to finalize.

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I think you hit it head on with the MERP conversions. Give the OB as the %. Take their attributes, divide by 6, add 1 for characteristics. This gives characters with a 102 attribute in MERP a characteristic of 18. You can determine size based any height/weight listed in the books.

For critters take their AT and divide it by 2 or 3 for Armor Points (so AT 20 gives 7-10 AP) and use their DB as their Dodge skill (if any).

Modify per taste afterwards.

Use spell lists for ideas and basis for what magic or abilities a character may or may not have.

I don't agree with the attribute conversions. A 102 in MERP/RM was quite sick, much closer to a 21 in BRP terms. I'd just divide the attributes by 5 and round up, then add 1/5th the racial bonus, +1 for every point their attribute went above 100. So someone with a a 102 would have a 22 plus racial mods (to allow for those pesky god-like elves).

:)

ACtually, anything with attributes above 102 should probably get 3 or 4 or even 5 points added per point over 102, as those stats were supposed to represent godlike ability, something that a single BRP point doesn't quite reflect.

Edited by Tywyll
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I don't agree with the attribute conversions. A 102 in MERP/RM was quite sick, much closer to a 21 in BRP terms. I'd just divide the attributes by 5 and round up, then add 1/5th the racial bonus, +1 for every point their attribute went above 100. So someone with a a 102 would have a 22 plus racial mods (to allow for those pesky god-like elves).

:)

ACtually, anything with attributes above 102 should probably get 3 or 4 or even 5 points added per point over 102, as those stats were supposed to represent godlike ability, something that a single BRP point doesn't quite reflect.

Was just a suggestion. I think it might be best to combine our theories thought. The (stat/6+1)+(Race Mod/10)=Characteristic. This gives Aragorn a 19 CON, quite respectable. or (stat/6+1)+(Race Mod/5)=Characteristic. This gives Aragorn a 20 CON, even more respectable.

As for those over 102, yeah some sort of conversion chart would be needed for that high of a stat. But I did forget the racial modifiers in my conversion thoughts.

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You could use the Warriors of Wood from RQ2/3 for the physical stats of Ents, although they would have high INT (3D6+6) and high POW (perhaps as Dryads).

I've never played MERP, but most of the creatures of Middle Earth seem to be similar to standard RQ3 ones. Certainly elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins, halflings and so on are covered in RQ3, which is quite compatible with BRP.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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  • 3 weeks later...

Out of interest, Fergo, what approach are you taking to the magic system?

One of my personal beefs with applying FRP magic systems to Tolkien roleplaying is that they simply don't fit. Tolkien, in his fiction and also in his essays and letters, was quite specific about the nature of "magic" in Middle-earth.

A few years back I was briefly involved in discussions about a game called "Song of Arda", which was an attempt to use Pendragon as a basis for Middle-earth roleplaying. I was working on cultural archetypes and magic system; whilst real life got in the way (!) I've kept at it on and off since then, gradually concluding that - for me - the rules system at the mo which comes closest to offering mechanics which reflect Middle-earth *magic* is HeroQuest. However, I'm not hugely enamored of HQ for roleplaying in general - for me, it's a bit too arbitrary and abstract, although I do think it's a very thought-provoking system.

For Middle-earth magic, however, IMHO it works well. For discussion, here's a couple of snippets of what I've been toying with:

1. TYPES OF MAGIC FOUND IN MIDDLE-EARTH

  • LORE - including Enchantments and Runes of Power. Can be used by Men, although they require the sacrifice or "Investment" of part of your soul to create (such as Sauron did with the One Ring).
  • NATURAL MAGIC - including Affinity / Feat Magic and Innate Talents. These are natural abilities provided by the Valar to the Elves; Men can use Affinities as though they were HQ Initiates (Elves are Devotees).
  • THE BLACK ARTS - this stuff twists your soul, but Men can learn it relatively easily, though at great personal cost. Includes Domination and Necromancy.
  • THE WHITE ARTS - Words of Command (Countering Magic) and Words of Guard (Protection Magic). These are scholarly arts which can be learned by Men at great expense of time and effort.

2. GENERATING "ARTHEDAIN" CHARACTERS

Arthedain Homeland Keyword

  • Occupations Available: Requain, Soldiers, Healers, Crafters, Nobles, Merchants, Scholars, Farmers
  • Native Abilities: Speak Sindarin, Read/Write Sindarin, Revere [Vala]
  • Typical Personality Traits: Melancholy, Distant, Proud
  • Typical Relationships: Family, Kingdom
  • Magic: Arthedain with Elven blood may have 1-3 Affinities or Talents (see Magic). Those without Elven blood may not use Magic, although they may attempt to acquire knowledge of Lore or of the Black or White Arts.
  • Religion: Reverence of the Valar, particularly Manwe
  • Common Names:

Men – Aragorn

Women – Arwen

Religion

The Arthedain revere the Valar. Like all Dunedain, their religious practises are strongly influenced by the Elves. Those few Dunedain with Elven blood and who possess one or more Affinities will tend to revere the Valar who share those Affinities (if any); other Dunedain will profess a general reverence or will gravitate to reverence of a Valar in keeping with their profession (thus a Roquen may call on Tulkas in battle, for example).

Note that individuals revering Valar such as Aule may be skilled in Enchantments, as the Schools of Enchanters in the Dunedain lands primarily revere Aule.

3. MAGIC GAINED FROM REVERING THE VALAR (sample "Cult")

Yavanna Kementári (Palùrien)

Giver of Fruits, spouse of Aulë

Yavanna Kementári’s first name means "Giver of fruits" and her surname Kementári means "Queen of the Earth". She is also known as Palúrien. She is the wife of Aulë and is responsible for the Olvar (flora) and Kelvar (fauna) of the world. When she has taken visible form it has been as a tall woman in green or a great tree spilling golden dew on the earth. In many ways she resembles the Earth Mothers of many mythologies.

After Eru allowed Aulë's creations, the Dwarves, to survive, Yavanna feared that they would cut down all the trees in Middle-earth. Eru answered her plea by creating Ents to protect the trees. The Eagles also came from the song of Yavanna and Manwë. Both the Ents and the Eagles are the result of the inhabitation of kelvar and olvar by "spirits from afar" summoned by the thought of Yavanna. The Two Lamps were created by Aulë at Yavanna's request, and their light germinated the seeds that she had planted in Middle-earth. Following the destruction of the Lamps by Melkor and the withdrawal of the Valar to the far West and the guarded realm of Valinor, it was Yavanna who sang into being the Two Trees that gave light to the land of the Valar.

Affinities:

Earth Queen (Golden Dew, Two Trees Song)

Kelvar (Speak to Beasts, Song of Eagles, Fill with Spirits from Afar)

Olvar (Bless Plant, Fruitfulness, Protect Trees, Plead for Ents, Fill with Spirits from Afar)

*****

Obviously the above is written for HeroQuest, but most of it is pretty trivial to convert to use with BRP. I've been thinking recently of how the magic in particular could be translated into BRP - basically a version of the HQ Affinities & Feats system but a bit more "concrete" (and obviously using percentages ;)).

IMHO, Tolkien's magic really does capture a sense of wonder and enchantment which isn't really reflected in mainstream pseudo-Vancian magic systems, but which the HQ rules can allow you to approach.

What do people think?

Cheers,

Sarah :D

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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As for the magic system, I think it would be criminal to neglect the Decipher LOTR game (a game which otherwise won't be remembered for its rules quality).

The following is all IMHO, of course, but whilst Decipher wrote a nice magic system per se, I don't really think it fits the Middle-earth milieu as Tolkien imagined it. You don't see wizards racking up and shooting lightning bolts around the place or bringing castle walls crashing down, for example; you also don't get the Art vs Lore dichotomy, all the "sub-creation" stuff, which Tolkien talks about. IMHO it also doesn't adequately distinguish between the very different "magical" abilities of, say, Elves, black sorcerors, and the Istari, nor the "spirit investment" required to create Enchantments.

The issue I guess is that the FRP trope presupposes wizards firing fireballs and flying around the place - sort of "magic-as-artillery"; this never actually happens in LOTR, despite Tolkien often being cited as the inspiration for FRP. In a certain sense, Middle-earth isn't actually a good example of a "typical" FRP setting - not really any clerics, relatively few monsters, no fireballs, and so on.

It really depends whether you're looking for a set of rules to roleplay *in the spirit* of Middle-earth, or whether you just want to use Middle-earth as a setting for playing "standard" FRP. If the latter, then pretty much any decent magic system can be bolted on to BRP and you can make do; if the former, then I don't think there's anything out there at the mo.

Don't get me wrong - I thought the Decipher rules were a good effort, far better than MERP at getting under Middle-earth's skin, and there are some cool essays in the magic chapter. They clearly had to make compromises on the fidelity of the rules to give it mass-market appeal, though, and it doesn't IMHO match what Tolkien describes as "magic" - that's all.

Cheers,

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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Out of interest, Fergo, what approach are you taking to the magic system?

At this time, the work I have done on the magic chapter has been very much influence by Deciphers LoTR rpg, modified to the new BRP Magic and Sorcery magical systems with Runequest II thrown in as well. I like the magic background given in Decipher's LoTR chapter and the Magic suppliment that came out a few years back and have been using that as the background to how magic exists in Middle-earth. I feel that Tolkien pictured the way magic work in Middle-earth after the fall of Beleriand to be very subtle and also imbibed in the very landscape. Gandalf for eg was very reluctant to use magic overtly and there are a number of possible reasons for all that (drawing unwanted attention to himself being one of those reasons). The LoTR movies showed the overt use of magic a bit more than I believe the books did, no doubt for dramatic effect on the big screen (eg Gandalf and Saruman's dustup in Orthanc during the first movie).

I have gotten around the problem of most FRP games having an abundance of Wizards who can throw fireballs all over the place by very much limiting the players to how much magic they can get access to.

Currently I have three players running around in the campaign I have been running for the last year or so. Two of them are of the Loremaster profession (kind of a proto-mage that has skills more in Lore than in magic, modelled on Deciphers LoTR and the LoTR Shadows of Angmar MMO game), one is an elf and the other a human. The elf knows only three spells and the human only one. Both of them know the standard BRP Heal(ing) spell to Level 2. Where the players have been most able to access magic has been through runes matrix's on items (in the way that it was used in RQII rather than the current Mongoose RQ system).

The whole magic system is currently in a flux right now but basically you will have a set of magical specialities that are a characters magic skills, like in the new BRP magic system. Spells belong to a speciality and must be learnt or taught but because they belong to a speciality (and thus have similarities in how they are cast) only the relevant magical speciality skill is used to cast them. Some spells also require a resistance roll on the Resistance Table (usually for POW vs POW). I am still working on whether POW sacrifice is required to learn some spells, as in the old RQII Rune Spells process.

As for the spells themselves, I really like Deciphers LoTR spell lists and have been toying with manipulating them over to BRP. I don't want the spells to be too powerful however, but more along the lines of the power of the spells in the old RQII system.

There is still a lot of work to be done on it all and right now I am about twelve creatures off finishing the Creatures Chapter for ME-BRP. That has been taking most of my spare rpg time (that and running my ME campaign).

What you were working on for Song of Arda sounds interesting. Anyway, hope that gives you a better idea with what I have been using so far. As I said, it’s still very much in a state of flux and I haven't really settled on anything as yet. I just keep the players guessing and limit just how much magic that can get their hands on. Enough to heal them and keep them alive long enough so I can try my nasty critters and rule variations out on them :D bawahahahahahahahaha

Anyway, it’s all up for refinement as far as I am concerned right now, so let me know what you think.

Cheers,

Fergo113

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Where's our next creature preview? :D

SGL.

Ah, yes I have been a little remiss about keeping that up to date. :o

I guess its been three weeks since I added the last creature sooooooo how about three new ones:

Animated Watch-stones

Olog-hai Trolls (I know you wanted to see them!), and

Lesser Spiders (I hate spiders....:shocked:, creepy little buggers!)

Hope that makes up for my slackness over the last few weeks. ;)

Cheers,

Fergo113 :thumb:

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  • 2 weeks later...

The materials you've posted look really nice. Do you have any idea of how long you'll need to finish a post-able first draft of the whole thing?

One thing I was wondering is whether you have any intention of making a middle-earth specific version of the old 'Foes' book (or something like it). BRP is one of those systems that is easy to run when you have full stat blocks prepared but really hard to whip together on the fly. I find that if I try to run adventures without preparation all my monsters and NPC's end up being the same because I don't have time to differentiate them from each other. The Foes book was always a huge help to me running RQII because a reasonably fresh take on the next darktroll or llama rider was there for the reading. If you are not interested in doing this, I might take it on myself.

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The materials you've posted look really nice. Do you have any idea of how long you'll need to finish a post-able first draft of the whole thing?

One thing I was wondering is whether you have any intention of making a middle-earth specific version of the old 'Foes' book (or something like it).

I only have a couple of creatures left to transcribe and I am also proof reading the text right now as well. Some of the creatures I have already posted will have some minor variations made to them (mostly their powers or armour and cleaning up typo's), but shouldn't change too much.

So I hope to have the final version ready to be posted within the next week or two.

As for a Foe's like set of pre rolled creatures, I have been using an excellent little tool called:

Chaosium BRP Character Generator 4.10 :thumb:

Just do a Google search for it. It is freeware and there are a bunch of sites that carry it. Its easy to use and can have creature stats, weapons, powers etc added easily enough (usually through adding stuff into the text files it uses). It will only produce humanoid creatures however.

I want to go back through my MERP stuff and to an adventure setting for the Bree-land area after I have the Creatures and Free Peoples chapters finished. I was planning to put a bunch of pre-generated creatures into that, so that GM's had an adventure setting that would accommodate elves, dwarves, hobbits and men (orcs and goblins even) with lots of pre-rolled critters and beasties. Eriador is also where I am running my poor hapless saps... oop’s I mean player’s, through right now and they will be heading towards Bree in their adventures soon, so it will be timely.

But I would definitely be happy if you wanted to do a Foes-like equivalent as I don't have that much time to do that right now. :thumb:

Cheers,

Fergo113

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