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Johan Marek Phoenix Knight

Lord of the Rings?

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I’m kind of surprised no one has done this already, but how would you do Lord of the Rings in Genesys? There are some obvious things of course, since most fantasy tropes originate from Lord of the Rings, but there are some questions I have.

How would you stat elves? LotR elves are different from most fantasy. First, they are immortal, not just long lived. The only thing that can kill elves is, well, actually killing them, like with a sword. They don’t grow old and they don’t get sick. Also, what characteristics do they start with? There are some very different types of elves (Noldor, Vanyar, Teleri, and Avari, to name the big ones) that I think would have different characteristics from the ones in the core book.

And how would you handle magic? For such a magical world, there is little in the way of actual spellcasters. You’ve got the gods (Valar and Maiar), some elves, and a few dark sorcerers. Even the five “wizards” are actually just Maiar given mortal forms. Even the magic users we do are rarely use overt magic. 

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You might be better off deriving your careers and such from the LOTR Online game. They address the issue of "no casters" in a fairly low-key way that doesn't drastically conflict with the true canon.

For elves, I would just say that any PC elf is a young representative of their race, 100-200 years or so. Just because they're immortal doesn't mean they learn everything, or are masters of everything they know; if anything, it seems like elves tend to spend a lot of time doing nothing. Temporal immortality (you don't die until killed) is mostly a meaningless ability in a tabletop RPG, because it's true for every character (practically speaking), and campaigns rarely go beyond the lifetime of the characters; I wouldn't add or subtract anything for that. Immunity to disease is worth 5 pts. A young elf probably has a 3 in an ability most suited to their realm, like Agility for Mirkwood, Presence for Lorien, etc. Brawn is probably their low attribute, but arguably, elves have no low stat, and you'd just chop 30 points off their spendable XP.

Edited by Direach

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I'd look to Rolemaster/MERP for inspiration on gaming the races of Middle Earth.

For magic, and I know this is not overly popular, you could easily say no magic users.  Sure, there are enchanted items in play, herbs, etc., but no outright spellcasters.  Or, allow a new Magic Skill, Hedge, and they only get Utility spells.  They can have Knowledge (Herbalism) as a career skill, etc.

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The only true magic that is seen in the series is either from a Maiar (Wizards, Sauron, etc.) or are directly through a ring of power or other similar magical item. So you could have the Phial of Galadriel, which would provide light and give bonuses when dealing with the forces of darkness. The various rings of power have vague yet more powerful effects - the Seven Dwarven rings brought them wealth, the Nine rings gave their bearers eternal life and sorcerous powers, but enslaved them to Sauron. The One Ring most likely has a different effect depending on who wears it - at the very least, it can turn bearers invisible, but in the wrong hands it can do much more.

Besides that, there are many magical weapons (Sting and Glamdring glow in the presence of orcs, mithril in general is a vaguely magical metal) but I wouldn't want a spellcaster among the party - that sort of sorcery is the tool of the enemy, and using the tools of the enemy is folly at best. That being said, the temptation is a good plot device...

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The variety of elves, darves, humans, etc. could be easily done creating as many species as you want, or create one as base and add a list of ajust to each variant. I have the LotR RPG (CODA system) and there is like this. These days I helped a guy that is working in Warcraft RPG. I helped him with the races of Azeroth. I did 2 varieties of dwarves, you can check if you want just to see what i'm talking about.

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There are so many different places you could take this, deciding on the time in which it’s set is extremely important, what sort of Adventuring should it be prepared for? 

Also who should the pc’s be? The greatest heroes of the age? Or just some lowly wanderers? Something in between?

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On 1/2/2018 at 4:56 PM, Johan Marek Phoenix Knight said:

I’m kind of surprised no one has done this already, but how would you do Lord of the Rings in Genesys?

Steal liberally from Cubicle 7. Including the Fellowship phase, which should be easy enough, but the hard part will be the Journey system -- that was actually perfected in AiME for D20 (TOR just didn't have enough design space to make journey events interesting, at least mechanically).

Using the elements in Genesys CRB as written produces satisfactory enough PC's, at least for pre-gen. The work there will be expanding the talent choices and tailoring them to each race, er, culture.

However, I'm not working on ME per se, but a Tolkienesque homebrew, but maybe along the way I can share at least some mechanical excerpts.

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1 hour ago, Lorne said:

Steal liberally from Cubicle 7. Including the Fellowship phase, which should be easy enough, but the hard part will be the Journey system -- that was actually perfected in AiME for D20 (TOR just didn't have enough design space to make journey events interesting, at least mechanically).

Using the elements in Genesys CRB as written produces satisfactory enough PC's, at least for pre-gen. The work there will be expanding the talent choices and tailoring them to each race, er, culture.

However, I'm not working on ME per se, but a Tolkienesque homebrew, but maybe along the way I can share at least some mechanical excerpts.

After reading AiME by Cubicle 7 I was as thinking I would probably prefer Genesys over 5e.

The Corruption mechanic was one I was considering working with. Using  Star Wars’ Morality might work, but I wasn’t sure if I’d modify it a little since in my experience it’s weighted towards light side growth.

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9 hours ago, Tikanni said:

After reading AiME by Cubicle 7 I was as thinking I would probably prefer Genesys over 5e.

The Corruption mechanic was one I was considering working with. Using  Star Wars’ Morality might work, but I wasn’t sure if I’d modify it a little since in my experience it’s weighted towards light side growth.

I've been looking at the SWRPG Morality mechanic as well. I feel like if I could nail the feel of corruption/pull of the shadow it would go a long ways toward capturing the Tolkien feel and differentiating a Middle Earth setting from generic fantasy. 

Races are easy. Not sure how detailed to make careers. Do you keep it pretty loose and let player builds inform things like being a Rider of Rohan or a Ranger of the North etc? 

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On 1/5/2018 at 8:25 AM, GM Kyle said:

Races are easy. Not sure how detailed to make careers. Do you keep it pretty loose and let player builds inform things like being a Rider of Rohan or a Ranger of the North etc? 

In my Tolkienesque setting, each Culture (i.e. race/archetype) has 4 career skills: 2 weapon skills and 2 other skills (i.e. the return of the specialization) in addition to the 8 career skills.  I abandoned trying to convert the callings from TOR and just altered and renamed about 9-10 classes from the CRB, and it looks fine.

So if you want to make Riders of Rohan or Ranges of the North be explicit things, I recommend making them cultures (race + specialization) and keeping the careers as generic as possible.

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2 hours ago, Lorne said:

In my Tolkienesque setting, each Culture (i.e. race/archetype) has 4 career skills: 2 weapon skills and 2 other skills (i.e. the return of the specialization) in addition to the 8 career skills.  I abandoned trying to convert the callings from TOR and just altered and renamed about 9-10 classes from the CRB, and it looks fine.

So if you want to make Riders of Rohan or Ranges of the North be explicit things, I recommend making them cultures (race + specialization) and keeping the careers as generic as possible.

So have you built out talent trees and everything?

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