Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tolkien Bestiary (Part 1)

I am in Book 2 / Chapter 1 (Many Meetings) of the Lord of the Rings, and today we will be starting our bestiary for my take on D&D in Middle Earth. In this chapter, Gandalf is reviewing the events at the Ford of Bruinen with Frodo (where he was nearly overtaken by the Black Riders and faded into a wraith himself).

Frodo asks:  But why could we all see their horses?'
     'Because they are real horses; just as the black robes are real robes that they wear to give shape to their nothingness when they have dealings with the living.'
     `Then why do these black horses endure such riders? All other animals are terrified when they draw near, even the elf-horse of Glorfindel. The dogs howl and the geese scream at them.'
     `Because these horses are born and bred to the service of the Dark Lord in Mordor. Not all his servants and chattels are wraiths! There are orcs and trolls, there are wargs and werewolves; and there have been and still are many Men, warriors and kings, that walk alive under the Sun, and yet are under his sway. And their number is growing daily.'
So, our running tally of monsters for the bestiary so far (outside of the normal races of "law" - Dwarves, Elves, Hobbits, and some Men) are:

  • Old Man Willow (evil Ent?)
  • Barrow Wights
  • Orcs
  • Trolls
  • Wargs
  • Werewolves
  • Ring Wraiths
  • Men (of course)

I am only listing what has been mentioned so far - or has been encountered. Needless to say there may be some missed but I don't want to go from what I already KNOW of Middle Earth. Just what I am reading.

I have decided to use the Holmes blue book version of basic D&D for this. I want a low power base - and I can expand classes as needed if I actually run the game. That and Holmes mentions Tolkien in his bestiary which I love. Also these rules seem like they just want to be tinkered with.

Most of the above are already defined in Holmes D&D (or any version really) - so no need for monster creation. Though I would create some Orc tribes and place them around my starting area.

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