I recently started re-reading The Lord of the Rings (as I do every couple of years it seems), and I am contemplating what it would take to run D&D in Middle Earth. I know others have done this before, but I want to do it my way. I have some ideas floating around the ol’ noggin’ that I will be posting on the blog over the next couple of days.
I have just gotten past Chapter 9 (At the Sign of the Pancing Pony), and it just screams D&D to me. First, we get a description of a Point of Light setting (Bree), and a brief description of a Ranger class. Bree is a perfect starting town for characters, and if you need a mega-dungeon nearby, look no further than Weather Top! A former border bastion – surely there are hidden levels beneath that hill! (Don’t forget that south lie the Barrow Downs – if you are strong enough to fight the major undead that haunt those hills). Away east lie the Trollshaws and the goblin infested Misty Mountains. (Damn, I want to run this just writing about it).
Points of Light & Rangers
Bree was the chief village of the Bree-land, a small inhabited region, like an island in the empty lands round about…
In those days no other Men had settled dwellings so far west, or within a hundred leagues of the Shire. But in the wild lands beyond Bree there were mysterious wanderers. The Bree-folk called them Rangers, and knew nothing of their origin. They were taller and darker than the Men of Bree and were believed to have strange powers of sight and hearing, and to understand the languages of beasts and birds. They roamed at will southwards, and eastwards even as far as the Misty Mountains; but they were now few and rarely seen. When they appeared they brought news from afar, and told strange forgotten tales which were eagerly listened to; but the Bree-folk did not make friends of them.
In the same chapter we get hints that magic-users are about (and not to be trusted).
Frodo has vanished after accidently slipping the ring onto his finger…
The local hobbits stared in amazement, and then sprang to their feet and shouted for Barliman. All the company drew away from Pippin and Sam, who found themselves left alone in a comer, and eyed darkly and doubtfully from a distance. It was plain that many people regarded them now as the companions of a travelling magician of unknown powers and purpose
I will be posting more on this as I read the books.