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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 51 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: tLotR RPG  (Read 3479 times)
Scratchware
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2003, 05:43:09 PM »

Hello again.

I agree with Eric and Anthony. Cody has no ability at all to do this correctly. I will probably however play it just to see how it works.

I have read the Fellowship, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, and the Hobbit. Currently I am reading the Silmarillion. Considering I have read more than Eric, I would say that my opinions would be more so justified. Guess what? I have the EXACT same opinion. Lord of the Rings cannot be done very easily at all and as far as I am concerned, after reading the rule book partially, has not been done correctly as of yet.

An essential note about our group:

Cody and Avery are the lesser skilled roleplayers in our group. Avery's lack of roleplaying, however, is justified. Avery has been playing RPGs only recently (IE: less than 1 year) while Cody has been playing longer and, in my opinion, is a worse roleplayer than Avery. Jesse is comes in the middle. He is a pretty good roleplayer in most aspects. There isn't much I have to say about him other that he is one of my better friends. Eric, Anthony and I are at about the same level. We have been playing since about a year after we first met (7th grade?). I do believe, however, that Eric is a better GM than Anthony and I put together.

Another note: I have limited access to the internet. I am at my Dad's work currently. I have no internet at home at all. Therefore I cannot get on very often at all making it hard to get my ideas in.
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"I refuse to date a girl who would rather play Baldur's Gate than be with me... wait, that didn't come out right".
simon_hibbs
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Posts: 678


« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2003, 06:53:02 AM »

Quote from: Scratchware
I agree with Eric and Anthony. Cody has no ability at all to do this correctly. I will probably however play it just to see how it works.


I'm not picking on you, you just were the last pwerson to post here although several others seem to broadly agree.

Firstly, my attitude to sacred cows varies from time to time. Soimetimes I'm very hidbound (No, how dare you consider running Amber with a randomising mechanic - argh!), other times I'm pretty laid back - slaughter the whole herd, what do I care? I think the latter attitude is probably the more desirable, especialy in this case. Obviously the guy hasn't got much experience of roleplaying, so why not cut him a little slack? Forget it's Tolkien and go with the flow, after all The Hobbit was basicaly just a case of 'trash the monsters, grab the treasure' anyway, albeit with some nice narative colour along the way.

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I have read the Fellowship, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, and the Hobbit. Currently I am reading the Silmarillion. Considering I have read more than Eric, I would say that my opinions would be more so justified. Guess what? I have the EXACT same opinion. Lord of the Rings cannot be done very easily at all and as far as I am concerned, after reading the rule book partially, has not been done correctly as of yet.


I'd have said the same of Dune, untill one of the guys in my gaming group cracked it - the key is to find a suitable gap in the plot, such as the war which deposed the Witch king of Angmar, or the period in the Silmarilion immediately after the destruction of Beleriand. What was it like during the mass exodus eastwards, how did the natives of Eriador get along with the refugees? It must have been chaos. Who says Smaug and the Balrog deep under Moria were the only ones to get away from the destruction of Angband? Perhaps they were the last of a host of such monstrosities that plagued Middle Earth. Who opposed them, and how were the defeated?

Lots of scope, IMHO.


Simon Hibbs
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Simon Hibbs
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2003, 07:18:39 AM »

Hi there,

I'm with Simon on this one. Check out these two threads: Open/closed setting and Metaplots, railroading, and setting, with attention to my term "underbelly."

Best,
Ron
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Eric J.
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Posts: 396


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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2003, 02:50:38 PM »

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I'd have said the same of Dune, untill one of the guys in my gaming group cracked it - the key is to find a suitable gap in the plot, such as the war which deposed the Witch king of Angmar,


We've actually tried Dune with Jesse as the GM.  It was the worst campaign that I've ever been in.

I'm just stating that your allussion only reinforces the fact in my mind that we can't do it right.  Sorry.
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Tony Irwin
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2003, 02:23:31 AM »

Quote from: simon_hibbs

Forget it's Tolkien and go with the flow, after all The Hobbit was basicaly just a case of 'trash the monsters, grab the treasure' anyway, albeit with some nice narative colour along the way.
Simon Hibbs


Gasp! Its one of the best examples of a "fish out of water" character development story that I've read! Its also a stunning model of how to grow the maturity of a text - starts as fairy tale about a hobbit that lives in a hole, ends in the classical style with an epic world-ending battle that is recounted but not seen and the death of one of the heroes.

From a role playing point of view, whats interesting to me is how it deals with questions of scale (I was really impressed with how Troll Babe does this). Bilbo starts with having to make decisions about finding seed cakes and beer for his unexpected guests and whether or not to give up his bedroom. By the end of the book he's negotiating with generals of armies and his decisions affect hundreds of thousands of people. What's lovely about it is how smoothly this progression happens. Cool eh?

Tony
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simon_hibbs
Member

Posts: 678


« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2003, 04:34:30 AM »

Quote from: Tony Irwin
Quote from: simon_hibbs

Forget it's Tolkien and go with the flow, after all The Hobbit was basicaly just a case of 'trash the monsters, grab the treasure' anyway, albeit with some nice narative colour along the way.
Simon Hibbs


Gasp! Its one of the best examples of a "fish out of water" character development story that I've read!


Perhaps I should have put a smiley at the end there, or something. I meant that to be tongue in cheek, but I realise it read as being literal.


Simon Hibbs
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Simon Hibbs
Jaif
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Posts: 327


« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2003, 02:09:09 PM »

"This is Lord of The Rings. In my opinion, to be a good GM, you had better have read all of the books you can find, from The Hobbit to The Silmarillion to Unfinished Tales to the entire History of Middle Earth, etc."

I don't agree here.  I think the key is to tell the players what's canon, and what isn't.

I personally don't like going back in time, because the game world feels 'bounded' somehow.  I'm running a 4th age campaign 250 years after the war of the ring - the time of men.

If I were to run a campaign, I would probably set it in the first age.  Tolkien glosses over men, so I'd carve a bit of land and toss a few kingdoms in there.  Morgoth, Melian, etc would all be figures in stories, with the men dealing with personal rivalries, invasions from other kingdoms, random orc & elf encounters, etc.

For fun, I'd set it right before Morgoth overwhelms most of the land, but not tell the players the precise time.  After all, their characters don't know about such things.  Then, when their kingdoms get hit by orcs, and more orcs, and fleeing elves, it'll be a lot more exciting.  They don't know that the end of the world is nigh. :-)

-Jeff

P.S. Just remembered the other idea I had.  Amberesque system, players are the sons of Feanor, alternate history allowed.
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clehrich
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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2003, 02:53:53 PM »

There's a lot of concern here with "getting it right," which I find worrying.

First of all, let's set aside for a moment the alternate history kind of approach.  I happen to like it, but let's say Cody, Eric and the gang want to do "straight" LotR. Cool.

Now I'd say start by comparing the movies to the books.  They're not the same.  It's not just a question of a few tweaks and cuts here and there; there are significant differences in focus and narration.  So which one is the "right" version?  I doubt you want to chuck either; frankly I don't see why you would.  So clearly Tolkien leaves us some scope for interpretation.

Next, there's the question of "epic heroes," as opposed to "grunts."  My own sense of LotR is that the hobbits are precisely the counter to this division: they are epic heroes who are less skilled, knowledgeable, powerful, and everything else than the "epic heroes" --- in fact, than most of the grunts, too.  All they've got going for them is strength of character, which they have in nearly unlimited quantity.  So I don't think you need to worry about power level as such when you do "straight" LotR.

Third, there's the issue of language and narration style.
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It tries to capture an element of fiction that has long past. Its language use is comperable to Shakesphere.

Shakespeare is a decent example of what Tolkien's language is like, but Shakespeare made it purposely old in its feel, while Tolkien just used dramatic Old English. How many people who play D&D always use Old English all the time? Not that many. Yes, this is a very different setting, but if some general Old English was used, roleplaying could be done correctly.

Setting aside Shakespeare's reasons for writing in his contemporary English, Tolkien wrote in an English deliberately different from anything that had ever been used.  It derives from his professional knowledge of various old Anglo-Saxon languages, including Old English (the language in which Beowulf was written), and is intentionally evocative of a not-quite-historical epic time.

That said, the films very largely set aside this language, probably because they felt that the audience would not react well to people declaiming speeches rather than speaking lines.

So you have at least two options here: Tolkien's language and the LotR films' language.  There isn't a "right answer": it's a question of what your goals are.

1. Will it help your group to experience the world, to be immersed in it creatively, if you speak in Tolkien-esque prose?

2. Will you spend so much time trying to get the words right that it impedes your doing anything else?

I think you should ditch the question of "Tolkien done right."  Only Tolkien ever did Tolkien right, by definition.  Unless your game intends to follow the War of the Ring slavishly, with the players taking on the Fellowship as PCs and simply walking through the whole thing as a "let's read aloud" exercise, you're never going to "do it right."  Don't bother.  Try to figure out what it is about Middle Earth that you like, why you want to play in it, and set about capturing that.  The rest is gravy.
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Chris Lehrich
Eric J.
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« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2003, 06:23:29 PM »

The only thing I would need happen if I played in Middle Earth, is to be an epic hero.  Not this D&D progression from grunt to hero, but to play a hero.  If this wansn't the intention of the GM, than I would have no interest in playing.  The language, I could stand, unless all of the NPCs were idiots or something.

-JMHO
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