Character Creation.   Posted by Eru Illuvatar.Group: 0
Eru Illuvatar
 GM, 4 posts
 The One Alone
 Creator of Arda
Mon 26 Oct 2015
at 03:52
Character Creation
In my opinion player characters are the rare Hero/Adventurer, destined to do great things, which is why you have the chance to increase your attributes (see House Rules).

Attributes
   Attributes start out at ten, the average for the common person.  Players have 22 points to place on the Attribute of your choice.  You must also make any necessary racial adjustments needed.

Strength
Intelligence
Wisdom
Dexterity
Constitution
Charisma

Choose your Race;
   Choose one of the Free People's: elves (including half-elves), dwarves (including Umli), halflings, or humans from the list of MERP RACES. Ents, while certainly one of the free peoples, are not a playable race:  Check the entry on races for their special abilities.

   Note this campaign starts with, and centers on, the dwarves and their quest to reclaim Durin's sacred ancestral home.  Most characters are expected to be dwarves.  If you choose to play another race you must provide a background that would make sense in the overall story.  A halfling might travel with a group of dwarves, for example, as occurred in The Hobbit, but you should have a valid reason for doing so.  In the Fourth Age the overwhelming majority of people are Men, Elves are quite rare indeed, outside of Mirkwood, Lorien, and Rivendell.  Note: Do not forget to adjust your Attributes according to your chosen race.

Choose your Class;
   You may choose any class you would like to play from the Complete Players Handbook, with the exception of monks, who only exist in the eastern realms of Endor (if at all).  Paladins are EXTREMELY rare in Middle earth, mostly in some provinces of Gondor, such as Dol Amroth. I will not be using Kits for this campaign as I genuinely don't like them.  Those races who are permitted may multi-class if desired.  Remember not all classes are available to all races but this IS MIDDLE EARTH so if you would like to play a class that typically is not allowed to your chosen race, talk with me and I if the request is reasonable I'll consider it.  Because dwarves may NOT be mages or specialist mages, two additional classes are available for Dwarf characters: the Rune caster and the Artificer.  Details may be found in the House Rules thread.

Alignment;
   Characters can be any non-evil alignment.  Note that per my House Rules, druids may be of any alignment, although as mentioned evil druids are not available as player characters.

Experience;
   Everyone starts off at FIRST level, with zero experience points.

Hit Points;
   Everyone starts with maximum hit points, this is only for first level characters and thereafter hit points are rolled as normal.

Choose your Weapon Proficiencies;
    As per the Players Hand Book.  I will add a few weapons that I believe should be among those used in Middle earth at this time, such as war mattocks for dwarves.  Note that, by House Rule weapon specialization can be bought by a fighter, runecaster or ranger.  Only true single classed fighters may double specialize and not until fifth level.

Choose your Non-Weapon Proficiencies;
   As per the Players Hand Book, Wilderness Survival Guide, or Dungeoneer's Survival Guide.  Note that I allow additional NW Proficiency slots for high intelligence INSTEAD of languages.  In other words you may choose to use those slots for languages or any NW Proficiency you wish instead.  Also there may be additional Non Weapon Profs allowed from other sources.  Ask your kindly DM if you have any questions concerning these.  I am flexible and will do my best to work with you to make sure your character has the skills you want.

Language;
   Remember you get your native language for free.  WESTRON is the common tongue of Middle earth by the Fourth Age and is the most widespread of the languages.  Note: all Dwarves know KHUZDUL and IGLISHMEK as native languages and they do not teach them to other races.

Saving Throws;
   Add any bonuses you may have to your saving throws, including any racial bonuses as well.

Characteristics
   Fill in your characters unique characteristics and description.  Characters can be any age and may have almost any sort of unique characteristic: a perpetual smirk or frown, scars, birthmarks, tattoos, burns, over sized ears, or one blind eye.  Be imaginative.

Background;
   Fill in your background and family history. It can be a short paragraph or a short story if you like. If you’re not familiar with Middle earth make a generic background and I can give you a helping hand with it.

Name:
   Please give your character an appropriate name.  Again I can help with names.  For example Dwarves typically use names with a patronymic attached. For example  Dwaldin son of Dwildin, Nar son of Thoin, or Zror son of Zrarin.  Only individuals who are known for something special will have an epithet like "Oakenshield" or "Ironfoot" for example.

Starting Gold;
Fighter:  200 gp Plus your primary weapon.
Mage:     100 gp Plus a Spell book and enough spell components for a dozen casting of each known spell.
Rogue:   120 gp Plus a full set of lock picks or musical instrument if a bard
Priest:  180 gp Plus a Holy symbol of his/her faith

Note: In the Dale/Erebor area 1gp = 20sp, 100cp, and 200ip (Gold pieces, silver pieces, copper pieces, and iron pieces).

Starting Gear and Equipment;
   Now that you have your gold and starting Item, you may purchase your gear at cost. You may use the Players Handbook to equip, ask me if there's anything special you want, including items of quality (see House rules).  Once the game has started, you may not have access to certain items. As not all cities, towns or even trading Posts will have certain equipment and the prices will most certainly vary with availability.

Note, I will be using encumbrance rules (though I don't intend to be too harsh, there's a reason beasts of burden are utilized, even by dwarves).

Spells;
   Mages, you will start with Five first spells of your characters choice plus read magic. Bards will start with three first level spells of choice.  Note house rules concerning mages/clerics and spell casting.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:30, Mon 31 July.

Eru Illuvatar
 GM, 5 posts
 The One Alone
 Creator of Arda
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 21:12
Character Creation
Character Sheet

Name:
Race:
Alignment:
Class:
Level:
Experience Points:
Hit Points:
Magic Resistance:

Str:         Hit Prob              Dam Adj              Weight Allow               Max Press               Open Doors                   Bend bars/Lift Gates

Int:         No of Lang            Spell Level        Learn Spell        Spells/Level                  Spell Immunity

Wis:       Magic Def Adjust                Bonus Spells                            Spell Immunity

Dex:       Reaction Adj                    Missile Attack Adj                        Defensive Adj

Con:       HP Adj          Poison Save

Chr:       Max No henchmen       Reaction Adj


Age:
Sex:
Height:
Weight:
Eye Color:
Hair Color:
Traits/Markings:
Description:


Parents:
Siblings:
Homeland:
Patron:
Deity:
Background:

Armor Class:
Armor Worn:
Weapon In Hand:
Weapons Carried         Att/Dmg Adj     Damage (SM/L)       # of AT        THAC-0         Range           ROF            Weight    Speed     Ammo







Saving Throws:
Modifiers                                                                          Saves
               Paralyzation/poison/Death

               Rod/Staff/Wand

               Petrification/Polymorph

               Breath Weapon

               Spell



Weapon Proficiencies:

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

Languages:





Spells Known:
1st:             2nd:              3rd:            4th:            5th:           6th:          7th:              8th:               9th:

Class Abilities:





Racial Abilities:





Money Carried

Platinum Pieces:
Gold Pieces:
Silver Pieces:
Copper Pieces:
Iron Pieces:


Gems Carried                            Value


Equipment Carried                      Location                       Weight




Money Not Carried
  money not carried on your character needs to be located somewhere.

Platinum Pieces:
Gold Pieces:
Silver Pieces:
Copper Pieces:
Iron Pieces:

Gems Not Carried                            Value



Equipment Not Carried Location                                         Weight
Items not carried on your character need to be located somewhere.



Spellbooks:

Spell Book
Pages:
Notes:

Miscellaneous Information/Notes:

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:03, Mon 22 May.

Eru Illuvatar
 GM, 24 posts
 The One Alone
 Creator of Arda
Sun 18 Jun 2017
at 17:42
Character Creation
House Rules: SPELL CASTERS

ON THE PERIL OF CASTING SPELLS

The rule forcing spell casters to decide which spells they are going to study or pray for that day makes no sense to me, so I disregard it.  Why on Middle-earth would a follower of the Valar and Eru, doing their patron's will, not be given the aid they ask for when they need it?  Likewise why should a mage, who has cast a spell numerous times before, suddenly not be able to do so when they need it most?  As far as I am concerned, if you commune/pray to your chosen deity for at least one hour each day or study your arcane spell books for an hour, you may cast whatever you know or are able.

I do understand that this makes spell casters much more powerful, and that brings me to the concept of magic in Middle-earth.  Mages are VERY few but they do exist, many continuing a tradition passed down from the Istari who taught worthy mortals a small amount of their lore in return for their assistance.  Clerics and druids are, likewise keepers of an ancient and revered tradition, not common especially in the fading times of the Fourth Age.

Casting magic can often alert the Forces of Darkness to your presence and, even though they are scattered after the Fall of Sauron they do still exist and are VERY dangerous!  Any use of spells higher than first level has a chance of attracting unwanted attention.  This is a percentile roll made by the DM and modified by where the spell was cast and how powerful it was.  There can be a number of possible results should the Shadow become aware of the spell caster.  From least to most dangerous:

Nothing- The spell went completely unnoticed.  This is the most common result of course.

Sighting- Any Shadow forces in the area are aware that a spell has been cast and know the general direction to the spell caster.

Spotting- Includes the effects of Sighting plus at least one Shadow force is aware of the exact direction and approximate distance to the caster.

Creature- A Shadow creature in the area senses and begins to stalk, pursue, ambush or attack the spell caster.

Patrol- Includes the effects of Spotting plus at least one organized Sauronic patrol begins to stalk, pursue or attack the spell caster.

Ambush- Includes the effects of Spotting plus at least one force is in position to attempt an ambush.

Army Unit- Includes the effects of Patrol, plus at least one large organized Sauronic force is in a position to directly attack the spell caster.

Kidnapping- Includes the effects of Spotting, plus at least one of the Shadow forces sensing the spell will attempt to kidnap the spell caster.

Assassin- Includes the effects of Spotting, plus one of the Shadow forces sensing the spell is a Sauronic assassin and will attempt to slay the spell caster.

Special- Includes the effects of Spotting, plus one of the Shadow forces sensing the spell is a powerful Sauronic agent or lieutenant, possibly even another powerful spell caster and his retinue.

It is largely for this reason that spell casters prefer to use their magic carefully and in places they know are protected from the forces of evil.  Even so spies and traitors may be present.  Such is the nature of Middle-earth.  Once an event has been triggered no more rolls occur until the event has been resolved.  Note these are guidelines only, and the DM must adjudicate the final results based on the circumstances of each situation.  Implementation of any negative result may be delayed for several days.  The DM is very imaginative, and may come up with an entirely different encounter as well, involving other factions who would be interested in spell casters for reasons of their own.

ON CLERICS AND DRUIDS

Obviously Clerics and Druids have a full list of basic prayers available to them, including Cleical/Druidic Orisons.  There are rarer prayers which Clerical classes may cast that may not be known to them until they are encountered.  Some may be unique to certain races or cultures as well.

In the PHB, clerics have major access to all, astral, charm, combat, creation, divination, guardian, healing, necromantic, protection, summoning, sun, and minor access to elemental.

Revision: Clerics lose access to sun, elemental air, and elemental fire. They retain minor access to elemental water and elemental earth.

Previously, druids had major access to all, animal, elemental, healing, plant, weather, and minor access to divination.

Revision: Druids gain major access to the sphere of sun.

Specialty Priests do exist in Middle earth and their access to various spheres will vary.  For example a specialist priest of Aule might have greater access to the sphere of Elemental Fire, in return for losing access to the Plant or Animal Sphere.  The DM will happily work with any player interested in making a specialty priest character.

Special Note on Druids

It is important to note that druids in my campaign may be any alignment, including evil.  This creates at least one additional multi-class option: Druid/Ranger, available to Half-elves.

ON MAGES

Most Magic users in Middle earth have learned their lore from knowledge passed down by the Angelic Istari or Wizards.  True Mages practice a bit of all kinds of magic and are certainly the most versatile of spell casters.  Because of this many Mages may refer to themselves as Wizards, but the only true Wizards were those of the Order of the Istari, sent by the Valar themselves.  Of course the Shadow Forces of the world have their own Mages, having learned from the vile Sauron, or perhaps even from Melkor himself.

Specialist Wizards certainly exist in Middle earth; Wizards who concentrate their efforts in one school of magic are known as specialist wizards.  Generally, a specialist wizard must give up some degree of versatility in spell selection—he cannot learn or cast spells belonging to schools that oppose his own chosen school. The specialist also has several other benefits and restrictions; unless otherwise stated, all specialists must abide by the benefits and hindrances described below:

• Specialists gain a bonus of +1 when making saving throws against spells of their own school.  Specialists also inflict a -1 penalty to their victims' saving throw attempts when casting a spell of their specialty school.
• Specialist wizards gain a bonus of +15% when learning spells from their school, but suffer a penalty of -15% when learning spells from any other school. Specialists cannot learn spells belonging to an opposition school.
• When a specialist reaches a new level, he automatically gains one spell of his school to add to his spell book. No roll for learning the spell need be made.
• When a specialist wizard attempts to create a new spell through research, the spell is treated as if it were one level lower if it falls within the wizard's specialty school.

Any race that can be a Mage, may be a specialist mage.  One specialist mage, the Artificer, is only available to Dwarves and Noldorin Elves.  The DM has more information on Specialist Mages and will assist anyone interested in creating one.

ALLOWABLE SPELLS

This campaign will utilize an eclectic list of spells, including spells from the Players Option Spells and Magic, Wizards/Cleric's/Bard's Handbook, TOM and various other sources.  I will also use cantrips from the Unearthed Arcana, and a shorter list of priestly cantrips called orisons.  I allow a spellcaster to take four cantrips for one first level spell slot.  I will also allow clerics/druids to use orisons in the same manner. If you do not see or know if a spell is allowed, please ask, I'll be more than happy to let you know.

Starting mages can roll their beginning spells, according to several lists the friendly DM has ready.  The beginning spell list differs based on what sort of spell caster is being created.

I will provide a list of spells in a separate thread.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:57, Fri 23 June.

Eru Illuvatar
 GM, 25 posts
 The One Alone
 Creator of Arda
Fri 23 Jun 2017
at 00:59
Character Creation
ATTRIBUTE CHECKS/INCREASING ATTRIBUTE SCORES

You may notice that, using the point system to create attributes does sometimes result in some rather low scores, and this should not be cause for concern for two reasons: for one, I consider nine to eleven to be human average, so anything beyond it is exceptional.  If you have a thirteen strength you're probably the strongest man in your town/village/tribe etc.  Second, there IS a method by which your attributes can be improved, and it happens as you play!

This is what I call the PIP METHOD, but you can call it checks or whatever.  Its relatively simple.  I tend to use a lot of ATTRIBUTE CHECKS, and trust me I mean ALL the Attributes.  So, whenever you make a successful check, whether Strength or Wisdom or whatever, you get a pip by that statistic.  Once you get as many pips as your Attribute score you roll a d20.  If you roll that Attribute's score or HIGHER you increase it by one point.  If you fail you lose as many pips as you missed the check by and have to gain them back again before you can make another attempt to increase it.

For Example:  Falin the Dwarf has an 11 DEXTERITY, so he's average for a dwarf.  Over the course of an adventure he manages to make eleven successful DEX checks.  Informing the kindly DM of this, he is asked to roll a d20 to see if his Dexterity increases.  If Falin rolls an 11 or higher his Dex increases to 12 and he starts again at zero pips.  If he rolls a 10 he loses two pips and has to make two more successful DEX checks before he can try again.  If he had rolled a 5 he'd need six more pips before he could retry.  Thus the higher the Attribute the harder it is to increase it, but the lower it is, the easier.  Simple right?

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:59, Fri 23 June.

Eru Illuvatar
 GM, 26 posts
 The One Alone
 Creator of Arda
Fri 23 Jun 2017
at 03:46
Character Creation
COMBAT

Initiative, when necessary, will usually be one group roll, modified by each character's various modifiers, weapon speed, casting time, natural weapon attack, etc.  The order of events in a combat round is as follows:

Both parties check for surprise d10.

If neither group is surprised then initiatve is rolled using 1d10 and applying modifiers.

Declare actions: it is important to make your intentions known before taking them.

Movement if any, is taken.  Characters may move up to half their listed movement and still make at least a single attack.

Resolve attacks in order of lowest to highest initiative.  In some instances missile attacks will occur before melee attacks, per the rules.  Players should describe their action.

Players Roll any Criticals and damage as needed.

DM will do recap of the round, post results of all actions and determine if any further rounds of combat are necessary or possible.  Everyone applies any damage if needed.

CRITICAL HITS AND SHIELDS, HELMS, AND GAUNTLETS

Combat is dangerous, often brutal, and serious injuries usually result.  If a character rolls a natural 20 they have scored a critical  hit.  The DM rolls to determine the location and result of any criticals using the Players Option Critical Results Charts.

It is important to note that wearing a helm or other armoured head gear has a fifty percent chance of negating the negative effects of head criticals, though regular damage still applies.

Wearing a shield of any kind has a fifty percent chance of negating the negative effects of arm criticals, if they are applied to the arm on which the shield is worn.  Also, using a shield may save the character from one blow.  After an opponent scores a hit on a character using any shield, but BEFORE damage is rolled, that character can choose for their shield to absorb the damage!  This destroys the shield completely, but allows the character to avoid the damage of that blow.  Magical shields may make an appropriate save to avoid being completely destroyed, but will still be damaged enough to need repair.

Armoured gauntlets likewise have a fifty percent chance to negate effects of hand criticals (it could save your fingers).


Remember that, if you can cut the arm off of your opponent with a critical hit, your opponents can do it too!  Combat is a dangerous hobby after all.

A natural roll of one is a critical failure, and will likewise be rolled or adjudicated by the DM, based on tables from the Players Option book.  Players may drop a weapon, trip, break their weapon, have an armoured wardrobe malfunction or some other mishap which will disadvantage them.  Of course this means your opponents can experience them too ;-)

WEAPON SPEED FACTOR


I use speed factor a bit differently for my campaigns.  Once a player has rolled initiative they DO NOT have to add their weapon speed factor to their first attack.  Assuming their weapons were out and ready they are already in position to attack. However if they are not prepared, or if they have a second attack in the same round, they would add their weapon speed factor to determine their second attack time, for example:

Player with long sword (speed factor 5)rolls a 7 for initiative.  If he was prepared for the combat, has his sword out and ready his attack would go on intiative seven and then his second attack would go on initiative 12 (7+5).

Magic weapons usually lower the weapon speed factor by the amount of their bonus to hit, thus a +2 long sword has a SF of 3 or 5-2.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:33, Sun 06 Aug.