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Men & Magic of Middle Earth

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:10 pm
by waysoftheearth
waysoftheearth wrote:
There is quite a lot of lore here, but Middle Earth was ever rich in history and detail...

Player Characters

Moria is a perilous place, and so we shall have dauntless heroes as befits a daunting task.


Be thou FELL, Selfish, or FAIR?

Ability Rolls

I will throw 3d6 eight times.
  • The first score x1,000 XP will be your starting XP.
  • The next score x100 silver pennies will be your starting purse.
  • The remaining six scores will be your six ability scores, in the order that they fell.
  • You may replace any one die with a 6 (except that doing so must not make an 18) before electing your race and class.

Players will be Men of Eregion unless their ability scores qualify them to opt for a Dwarf, Elf, Half-Elf or Hobbit (see below).

Note that Dwarves, Elves and Half-Elves require more XP than do Men.

Adjustments Due to Ability

I will, in general, use the following adjustments due to ability scores:

Abilityd20 AdjChance in 63-11/6 (12 on 2d6)4 to 5-11/2 (10+ on 2d6)6 to 7-118019 to 1202130314 to 15+1316 to 17+1418+25

The three main classes of PCs are Fighters, Rangers and Sneaks.

There are also (non-combative) Healers and Seers, and (for Elves and Half-Elves only) Bards.

Number of Hirelings & Loyalty

With regard to the employment of hirelings, the number available to you is limited by your charisma score and your experience level, as follows:

CharismaNumber ofLoyaltyScoreHirelings*Check3012(2d6)4 to 5010+(2d6)6 to 7168169 to 1225+1334+14 to 1544+16 to 1753+1862+
* Plus your experience level.

Rangers must adjust the number of allowable hirelings by -4.

Demi-human hirelings are only available to PCs of their own kind. These each count as two hirelings each and cost triple.

All hirelings must be paid at least week in advance, and you should expect to feed them, and also equip them with anything beyond the basic tools of their trade.

Make then your choice, and this shall be your character's doom...

Men & Magic of Middle Earth

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:27 pm
by waysoftheearth
waysoftheearth wrote:
Player Names
All player characters should be named appropriately for Middle Earth.

See for inspiration!

Player Races

There are many races of Men upon Middle Earth but the Men of Eregion in the Fourth Age are principally:
  • Swarthy Dunderlings (from Dunland),
  • Ruddy Breelanders (from Breeland),
  • So called "Hollanders", Men of mixed Dunderling and Breelander heritage -- descendants of Men of the South (mainly ruffians and thieves) who came to Breeland at end of the Third Age looking for new lands in which to make trouble. Most of these were eventually driven off by the Dunedain, but some settled permanently.
One might also occasionally see Men from further afield in Eregion;
  • Grim North-Men (from Fornost or the North-Downs),
  • Fair Rohirrim (from Rohan),
  • Southerners (from Tharbad or Enedwaith).
Note that there is a long history of suspicion and bad blood between the Rohirrim and the Dunderlings.

The Men of Eregion should speak the Westron tongue firstly. Then there are a multitude of other languages including; Rohirric, the Northern Tongue, Dunlending, Harad, Khand, Druedainic, Taliska, and many more.

The Dwarves still dwell upon Middle Earth, but in order to be one a player should have at least average scores (10+) in strength and constitution, and not exceed 16 in charisma.

Dwarves may opt for the fighter or sneak classes, but cannot have more than 6 HD in any case. A Dwarf requires 25% more XP than does a Man and must choose the secret Dwarfish tongue, Khuzdul, as his first language. Dwarves hail from the Blue Mountains (in distant north-west Middle Earth), The Lonely Mountain (also called Erebor by the Elves), and also from the Iron Hills.

Because of their small size and grit, large-sized monsters such as Trolls and Giants must subtract -2 from attack rolls against Dwarves. They are also highly resilient, adding +2 to saving throws versus poison, wands, staves, and spells.

Dwarves will not loose their sense of direction underground, and will note slanting passages, shifting walls, rigged stonework and any out of place construction on any d6 roll of 3+. Dwarves and Goblins are bitter enemies, and will attack one another in preference to any other foe.

The Elves are almost entirely gone into the west, and are vanishingly rare. In order to play one a player must have above average (12+) scores in intelligence, wisdom, dexterity and charisma, and not more than 16 in strength or constitution.

An Elf may opt for the fighter, healer, ranger or seer class, or a combination fighter-healer class (the bard). They cannot have more than 5 HD in any case, and require 50% more XP than do Men (except bards, who require 50% more XP again).

The Elves move silently and invisibly as do sneaks (3+ on a d6) so long as they wear only leather armour beneath their gray-green cloaks, and have a like chance of locating hidden doors or secret passages. They add +4 to all saving throws against disease, and may fire a bow without penalty while on the move (on foot). Additionally, while equipped with any magical weapon of Elvish make, an Elf will add an extra +1 to damage rolls.

Elves acting in the combination class enjoy the benefits of the fighting and healing classes simultaneously. They have available the full armoury of the fighter and also the crafts of the healer. HD progression is as per a sneak of one level higher (up to the Elvish maximum of 5 HD), but the additional experience requirement makes progression that much slower.

The last Elves of Middle Earth hail from Rivendell, Mirkwood or Lorien, and must of course choose Sindarin as their first language. Other Elvish tongues include Telerin, Nandorin, Old Sindarin, Doriathrin, Adunaic and Quenya.

Half-Elves are scarcely more commonplace than are Elves. To play one a player must score at least 11 in intelligence, wisdom, dexterity and charisma, and at most 17 in strength and constitution.

A Half-Elf hails from Rivendell and must speak Sindarin and Westron as his first two tonuges. He can achieve up to 7 HD but requires 50% more XP than does a Man.

He may opt for the sneak class in addition to the usual Elvish options, however he has not the Elvish resistance to disease, or agility with the bow, and does not add +1 pip to damage with enchanted Elvish weapons. Otherwise, as Elves.

Should any player wish to play a Hobbit he must not rate more than 14 in strength, nor less than 8 in dexterity or constitution. He will be further limited to the fighter or the sneak class, and cannot have more than 4 HD.

For all this, Hobbits are resilient as are Dwarves (adding +2 to saving throws versus poison, wands and spells, and deducting -2 from large sized monster attack rolls), and can move as silently as do Elves. Additionally they have deadly accuracy with slings, adding +2 to attack rolls.

Hobbits hail from The Shire or Breeland, and firstly speak the Westron tongue of Men.

Men & Magic of Middle Earth

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:49 pm
by waysoftheearth
waysoftheearth wrote:
Player Classes

Upon Middle Earth the player classes are: Fighter, Healer, Ranger, Seer and Sneak. For Elves and Half-Elves there are also Bards (see above).

The Fighter
A Fighter is a warrior, errant or champion of arms such as Borimir, Gimli, Eomer, Glorfindel, Turin son of Hurin, Prince Imrahil, Azog the Goblin, and many more. He should be fit and strong and adds +2 to saving throws versus poison, paralysation or petrification. He has the use of all arms and armour including all magical weaponry, and has the advantage of more Hit Dice which is decisive in combat.

A fighter begins with more hit points than the other classes and has 4 chances in 6 of performing any feat of physical prowess, including breaking stubborn doors, lifting portcullis, and so on. What is more, he adds 1 point of damage when striking a foe in melee combat for each 2 whole experience levels attained.

The Healer
A Healer is a mender and care-giver with much leech craft and herb lore. One such as Elrond Half-Elven, Aerin of Dor-lomin, Goldberry, Ioreth the Old Wife, or the Herb-Master of Gondor. Even among the Orc-kind there is healing lore of a wicked sort. A healer should be wise and have empathy and he adds +2 to saving throws versus poison, disease or sickness.

A healer knows all the common cure-alls and herbs of weal, and as his experience broadens he will learn the rarer secrets of the craft. A healer also has 4 chances in 6 of recognising any encountered disease, poison or other ailment, and then has a like chance of then knowing of its cure.

But foremost, a healer has the power to lay on hands once per day for each odd numbered level he has attained (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.). To do so he must have healing-herbs, hot water and at least one turn (10 minutes) in which to work. Doing so will heal 1d6 hit-points +1 hit points per experience level, plus his wisdom and charisma adjustments. For all his talents, a healer is vulnerable -- he does not wear armour, nor have particular mastery of any weapon.

The Ranger
A Ranger is warder, pathfinder or tracker such as Aragorn, Halbarad and the Dunedain, Elladan and Elrohir (sons of Elrond), or Faramir and the Knights of Ithilien. He should be quick, fit and wise and adds +2 to saving throws versus poison, wands and rays. He has the use of all arms and armour as does a fighter, and adds damage in missile combat as well as melee -- but only against Man-like (and -sized) enemy. Further, a ranger cannot own any more than what he can carry, and is treated as 4 levels lower than his true level for the purpose of employing hirelings.

While operating in any wilderness environment a ranger surprises enemy 4 times in 6, is surprised himself only 1 time in 6. A ranger has 4 chances in 6 of performing any feat of tracking, wilderness prowess or wilderness lore. If he has access to healing-herbs, hot water and at least one turn (10 minutes) to work, a ranger can lay on hands once per day. Doing so will heal 1d6 hit points plus +1 hit-point per experience level, plus his wisdom and charisma adjustments.

The Seer
A Seer is a counselor, diviner, and lore master such Denethor, Galadriel, Beruthiel, the Mouth of Sauron or the Black Numenoreans (who learned much sorcery from Sauron). He should be both clever and wise and adds +2 to saving throws versus wands, staves and spells. A seer does not wear armour, nor have particular mastery of any weapon. Instead he is literate and knows twice the usual number of languages. What is more, he has 4 chances in 6 chance of knowing any tongue or rune, and of identifying any significant object or craft by make and purpose. He has a like chance of performing any other feat of history or lore. For all his formidable knowledge, a seer is no Istari and cannot cast magic spells as might a Wizard. He can, however, operate magical runes, scrolls, and devices of divination.

The Sneak
A Sneak is a burglar, thief, finder or "expert treasure hunter" such as Gollum, Bill Ferney, Grima Wormtongue or Bilbo Baggins himself. He should be quick and clever, and adds +2 to saving throws versus wands, rays, and breath weapons. In an urban or dungeon environment a sneak surprises enemy 4 times in 6, and is himself surprised only 1 time in 6.

If he attacks Man-like (and -sized) enemy with surprise, he rolls an additional damage die for each odd numbered level he has attained (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.), but is restricted mainly to small, light arms (club, dagger, hand axe, hand crossbow, short sword, sling, staff and whip) and light armour.

A sneak has 4 chances in 6 of performing any feat of subterfuge or trickery, or of locating secret doors and hidden objects.

Hit Dice Progression
All HD are six-sided. Men have at most 9 HD, Half-Elves 7 HD, Dwarves 6 HD, Elves 5 HD and Hobbits 4 HD. Experience levels beyond maximum HD yield +1 hit point.


* A Bard has as many HD as a Sneak of one level higher than his actual level.

Men & Magic of Middle Earth

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:40 pm
by waysoftheearth
waysoftheearth wrote:

Experience is awarded for exploration only.

Treasure is its own reward. Slaying of monsters may (or may not) facilitate survival and further exploration.

Overland Exploration

2 XP is awarded per mile of overland exploration. Exploration entails travelling THROUGH a previously unexplored (by that PC) hex on the overland map. E.g., travel through a 24 mile wide hex yields 48 XP (per PC).

Some hexes may contain encounter areas (caves, ruins, forts, towns and villages, etc.) which, if explored, are handled separately as dungeon exploration areas.

Dungeon Exploration

100 XP is awarded per dungeon level for each encounter area explored.

An encounter area is a major keyed area (by capital letter) on the dungeon map. Lesser areas (unkeyed, randomly generated, point features, etc.) might yield lesser experience at the referee's discretion.

Exploring and encounter area means picking over it in detail, not just passing through it. An area is considered explored when the PCs are free to return un-threatened at their whim.

Experience Points Required

Men,Elves &LevelHobbitsDwarvesHalf-Elves*100022,0002,5003,00034,0005,0006,00048,00010,00012,000516,00020,00024,000632,00040,00048,000764,00080,00096,0008125,000155,000187,0009250,000310,000375,000

* Bards require 50% more experience.

Experience Adjustment Due to Wisdom

An XP bonus/penalty is given for wisdom only, as follows:

WisdomExperience Bonus3-20%4-5-15%6-7-10%8-5%9-12013+5%14-15+10%16-17+15%18+20%

Men & Magic of Middle Earth

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:19 am
by waysoftheearth
waysoftheearth wrote:
Summary of Combat Mechanics

This information is FYI only. Players don't need to know any of what follows as I will be on hand to sort out all the game mechanics.

Armour Class

AC is descending, base 9. Light (leather), medium (mail), and heavy (plate) armour improves AC by 2, 3 and 4 pips respectively.

Helmets are not included with armour but can be purchased separately. Wearing a helmet improves AC by 1 pip, but also reduces the odds of finding secret doors by half, and doubles the odds of being surprised.

A shield improves AC by 1 in frontal combat (but is ignored if attacked from behind). Missiles and light weapons all attack at -2 versus shields. Flails and whips attack at +1 versus shields, however (i.e., they effectively ignore them).

A shield can be sacrificed to ablate a wounding blow. A small shield will absorb up to 6 hit points. A large shields will absorb up to 10 hit points on a first hit, then up to 6 hit points on a second hit.

Combat Experience
AC improves by 1 pip for every 2 HD a PC has unless he is surprised, restrained or attacked from behind.

A dexterity of 18 improves AC by 2 pips while wearing only light (leather) or no armour. A dexterity of 14 to 17 improves AC by 1 pip while not wearing heavy (plate) armour. This benefit is forfeit if surprised, restrained, or attacked from behind.

A dexterity of 7 or less degrades AC by 1 pip while wearing heavy (plate) armour.


When required, initiative is rolled with 1d6 per attack, adjusted for dexterity. Equal initiative indicates simultaneous attacks.

Variable Weapon Damage

Damage Dice are always six sided but are called as "dd" rather than "d6" to distinguish "3dd" from a regular "3d6".

Man-like creatures (including PCs) cause damage according to the type of weapon employed, while other monsters throw damage dice equal to their hit dice;
  • Light weapons (such as daggers, hand axes, slings, short bows, etc.) and staffs typically cause 1dd.
  • Normal one-handed weapons (such as axes, swords, maces, longbows, etc.) typically cause 2dd.
  • Heavy, two-handed weapons (such as pole axes, war hammers, crossbows, etc.) typically cause 3dd.
  • A 4 HD Ettin will throw 4dd.
  • A 10 HD Troll will throw 10dd!!

Roll all the damage dice and sum like faces €“ the highest sum is the overall result. Thus a 2dd roll of 3, 5 is a result of 5 (because 5 was the highest result). A 3dd roll of 3, 3, 5 is a result of 6 (because 3 + 3 = 6, which is higher than 5).

Additionally monsters add half their number of HD (rounded down) to the result.

Attack Rolls

Roll 1d20 + HD + target's AC. Any result of 20+ is a hit. On a natural 20 roll double damage dice.

Weapon Type Versus Armour Type

ShieldLeatherMailPlateWeapon TypeLight Weapon-2------Missile Weapon-2------Wrapping Weapon+1------Damage Type(/td)

(td)Slashing Damage(/td)(td)--(/td)(td)+1(/td)(td)0(/td)(td)0(/td)

(td)Piercing Damage(/td)(td)--(/td)(td)+1(/td)(td)+1(/td)(td)-1(/td)

(td)Bludgeoning Damage(/td)(td)--(/td)(td)0(/td)(td)0(/td)(td)+1(/td)

(td)Untyped Damage(/td)(td)--(/td)(td)0(/td)(td)0(/td)(td)-1(/td)


Fails and whips are wrapping weapons because they "wrap around" shields.

Clubs, staffs, whips and slings are considered "untyped damage" because these cheap weapons are poor against plate armour.

The attack modifiers given under Weapon Type are cumulative with those given under Damage Type. Thus, a PC firing a crossbow at an enemy wearing chainmail and carrying a shield would be -2 (for missiles versus shields) and +1 (for piercing attacks versus mail). So our PC would attack with a -1 modifier overall.

Fighting with Two Weapons

Typically, a second weapon must be a light weapon.

Using a second weapon offensively improves the odds of landing a hit, adding +1 to attack rolls. An even throw will strike with the primary weapon, while an odd throw will strike with the secondary weapon. A natural 20 hits with both.

Using a second weapon defensively (as a main gauche) causes opponents with light or normal-sized slashing or piercing weapons to suffer -1 to hit. A main gauche is ineffective against other attacks, however, including large weapons, bludgeoning attacks, missile attacks and other "monster" attacks (bites, tail-swipes, etc.).

Note also that a straight fighting staff can be wielded in the two weapons fighting style.

Defensive Fighting

A round of attacks may be forgone so that enemy attack in melee at -2 (or -4 against fighters and rangers).

Multiple Attacks

A PC (or monster) with more than twice as many HD as his opponent attacks twice per round. A PC (or monster) with more than thrice as many HD as his opponent attacks thrice per round. And so on.

If the lesser party has any number of extra hit points in additional to his whole HD, these count as one additional HD.

Initiative is rolled separately for each attack, and multiple attacks do not apply to missile fire.

Firing Into Melee

If the original (1d20) attack roll is an odd number, the missile will be targeted randomly (among plausible targets). The original attack roll will still apply.

Saving Throws
There is a single saving throw statistic.

A level 1 PC needs to roll a 15+ on a d20 to save. Each level thereafter reduces the required number by 1.

Men & Magic of Middle Earth

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:10 pm
by waysoftheearth
waysoftheearth wrote:
Hit Points
All Hit Dice will be re-rolled after a full night's uninterrupted bed-rest (at an Inn, for example).

Injury and Death
At 0 hit-points a character is incapacitated. He will not "bleed out", but can automatically be captured or slain.

If ever hit-points go negative the player must roll a saving throw versus death to survive, adjusted by -1 for each negative hit point. Fighters and rangers add +2. Even a successful save results in a permanent loss of 1 point of constitution.

A character vanquished during play (except if drowned or slain in his sleep etc.) is permitted a noble dying utterance.

The mending of the injured is the high art of the healers, and is best administered by members of that class, but rangers also have some knowledge of that craft.

In the absence of these, rest is a slow but steady alm. Any PC will recover 1 hp per full turn of rest (during which time must have refreshment and is twice as likely to be surprised). As many hit points as his chance in 6 due to constitution plus his number of HD can be recovered this way each day, and no more. For example, a Eorl is a 3rd level fighter with 13 constitution. He can recover as many as 6 hit points per day (1 per turn) by rest alone.

Additionally, 1d6 hit points are recovered for each full night of uninterrupted, unarmoured rest.