C&C Middle Earth -- work in progress

Open Discussion on all things C&C from new product to general questions to the rules, the laws, and the chaos.
Joe Mac
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Post by Joe Mac »

Relaxo wrote:
Joe, good catch about traveling magicians! I never put that together.

That was Keolander's catch, spurring me to go back and re-read that passage.
As a general point of interest, a quote from JRRT's Letters:

"Nowhere is the place or nature of 'the Wizards' made fully explicit. Their name, as related to Wise, is an Englishing of their Elvish name, and is used throughout as utterly distinct from Sorcerer or Magician."

When he writes "used throughout" I think he refers to LotR; in The Hobbit, he appears to use 'wizard' more loosely, as noted in a prior post.

Joe Mac
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Post by Joe Mac »

Let's change topics for a moment: the visual capabilities of non-humans.

Tolkien described hobbits as "quick of hearing and sharp eyed", in the prologue to LotR. We can cover that adequately, for game purposes, with bonuses to hearing checks and missile weapons usage.

For elves we've got 'Enhanced Senses', vision and hearing, and that's all well established...but what of 'Twilight Vision'? It feels right, but at the moment I can't think of a specific example of this from the books.

And what about dwarves? In the first chapter of The Hobbit, the dwarves are looking at Bilbo with 'eyes shining in the dark', and they decline Bilbo's offer to get a lamp, saying "We like the dark." However, when they're running from Goblin-town, Gandalf lights the way for them with his staff. Did they need this light to see at all, or was it merely helpful, since they were trying to run at top speed..?

I'm not sure what to make of dwarven vision for game purposes; I don't think 'Deepvision' is quite right... Opinions?

Thanks!

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Relaxo
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Post by Relaxo »

Bring back infravision!!!!
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Keolander
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Post by Keolander »

Tenser's Floating Disk wrote:
The "secret fire" is a piece of occult jargon used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Could have something to do with the Stoic school of philosophy originally. Anor is the sun. I don't think the Balrog is immune to everything except Gandalf, it's just that anyone else who tried fighting it would be toast, but Gandalf is immune to fire based attacks.

In this context, though, the Secret Fire is a reference to The Flame Imperishable that Eru instilled in all beings: the spirit/soul for lack of a better term.
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Joe Mac
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Post by Joe Mac »

Relaxo wrote:
Bring back infravision!!!!

Is there some evidence in Tolkien for it?

Where the hell did infravision come from in D&D, anyway? Anyone know what Gary's inspiration was?

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Relaxo
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Post by Relaxo »

{deleted double post}
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Relaxo
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Post by Relaxo »

Evidence?

no idea, but I like it better than vague, oh, you can see.

Now that I think abuot it, before the two huge lamps that Melkor knocks over, was there light then? what about after he knocks the lamps over, back to darkness?

I think GG's inspiration was science. the fact that there are critters that can see IR. that, and it makes sense.

we on the surface see visible light. underground where there is no light, you have to see something else.
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Joe Mac
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Post by Joe Mac »

Relaxo wrote:
Evidence?

no idea, but I like it better than vague, oh, you can see.

Now that I think abuot it, before the two huge lamps that Melkor knocks over, was there light then? what about after he knocks the lamps over, back to darkness?

I think GG's inspiration was science. the fact that there are critters that can see IR. that, and it makes sense.

we on the surface see visible light. underground where there is no light, you have to see something else.

You have to see something else.....unless you light the place up!
That same chapter, in which the dwarves are fleeing Goblin-town with the goblins in hot pursuit, is interesting also with regard to the goblins' vision. At first, the goblins take the time to light torches, and pursue the dwarves by torchlight. After they are driven away by Gandalf and Thorin wielding Glamdring and Orcrist, they extinguish the torches and send their quickest & quietest to pursue under the cover of darkness -- now we have goblins running quickly in complete darkness.

Obviously the goblins (and perhaps the dwarves) can get by alright in complete darkness, but seem to prefer having a light source. What does this tell us about the mechanics of their vision, for game purposes? And how much game prep time do I want to spent dithering on this subject??

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Keolander
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Post by Keolander »

Relaxo wrote:
Now that I think abuot it, before the two huge lamps that Melkor knocks over, was there light then? what about after he knocks the lamps over, back to darkness?

No, Tolkien abandoned that mythic beginning. He wrote about how the myths surrounding the beginnings of Creation are essentially garbled in The Silmarillion (as enough of it had leaked through in The Lord of the Rings). He had abandoned a great deal of the ideas that had originally been presented in The Lost Tales and The Lays of Beleriand. This comes from The Peoples of Middle-Earth.

To wit:

- Ea is the Universe/Creation. The Sun, the Moon, the constellation of Earendil, they all existed from the start.

- There was no Flat Earth. It was always globed and it appearing as flat was the confusion of the Numenoreans (some of whom may have realised it was a globe much earlier).

- The Elves did awaken to starlight. They awoke at night and saw the dawn the next morning.

- The Two Trees had captured the early light of the Sun and Moon in them, but they were never the source of all light of Ea.

- Men awoke not very long after the Elves. The fact that the Vala Orome did not encounter Men is that they were nowhere near Cuivienen. They most certainly were awake by the time the Eldar had crossed into Beleriand.

- Men, not Elves, were the race corrupted and twisted into Orcs by Melkor.
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