Antero Ikonen

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Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber. ***** Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 139 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 20 Organized Play characters.


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Has anything been said about why a Chaotic Neutral cleric of Gozreh is hanging out in the Pale Tower taking care of the ravens and allowing Radosek to mack on her? Like, is she from Irrisen, is she just looking for work and trying not to get eaten, is she hungry for power, what? I'm just trying to figure out how to portray her in case the PCs decide to talk to her. Thanks.


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Here's a second draft after some tweaking. I didn't add evil damage because that damage readout already has enough going on with Knockdown and Sinister Bite. The hell hound does fire and evil damage because it's a damage monster, and the bunyip does bleed. The yeth hound's damage is about comparable plus it knocks people down and pumps them full of fear which reduces their ability to defend themselves. I think this is the version I'm going to go with, but let me know what you all think.

Yeth Hound Creature 3
—-
[NE][Medium][Beast][Fiend]
Perception +9; darkvision, scent (imprecise) 30 feet
Languages Abyssal or Infernal (cannot speak)
Skills Acrobatics +9, Perception +9, Stealth +9, Survival +9
Str +3, Dex +2, Con +2, Int -2, Wis +2, Cha +0
—-
AC 17; Fort +7, Ref +11, Wis +11
HP 40; Resistances physical 5 (except silver)
Attack of Opportunity
—-
Speed 40 feet, fly 60 feet
Melee • jaws +11, Damage 2d8+3 piercing plus Knockdown and Sinister Bite
Bay • (auditory, concentrate, emotion, enchantment, fear, mental, primal) The yeth hound lets out a loud and horrifying howl. All creatures except other fiends within 300 feet must succeed on a DC 20 Will save or become frightened 2 (frightened 3 on a critical failure, frightened 1 on a success, or unaffected on a critical success). In addition, a creature affected by bay does not decrease the value of its frightened condition for 1d4 rounds. Whether or not the safe is successful, an affected creature is immune to the same hound’s bay for 1 minute.
Sinister Bite (emotion, enchantment, fear, mental, primal) A non-fiend creature bitten by a yeth hound must make a DC 20 Will save or be frightened 1. If the creature previously failed a saving throw against bay, the value of their frightened condition increases by 1 (to a maximum of 4). On a critical failure, the creature is also fleeing for 1d4 rounds or until no longer frightened.


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Should by and sinister bite work basically identically, do you think?


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Taking a stab at the Yeth hound for an adventure. Rough version below. I used similar monsters like dire wolf, hell hound, barghest and warg to figure out HP and DCs. Also used the bunyip and wendigo fear effects for comparison. The text probably still has a lot of 1E terminology that is no longer relevant. I'm not sure how a creature with two fear abilities should work. Do multiple frightened conditions stack? If not, I suppose I should make them stack. Also not sure if a Yeth hound's fear affect should make PCs flee. On the one hand, it does seem like that's not a thing at lower levels (the bunyip doesn't cause fleeing but the wendigo does). On the other hand, the yeth hound seems like it's all about being a flying howling source of fear and making a PC flee while it's tripped and on the ground and the yeth hound gets to use its Attack of Opportunity would be really cool.

Yeth Hound Creature 3
—-
[NE][Medium][Fiend]
Perception +9; darkvision, scent (imprecise) 30 feet
Languages Abyssal or Infernal (cannot speak)
Skills Acrobatics +9, Perception +9, Stealth +9, Survival +9
Str +3, Dex +2, Con +2, Int -2, Wis +2, Cha +0
—-
AC 17; Fort +7, Ref +11, Wis +11
HP 40; Resistances physical 5 (except silver)
Attack of Opportunity
—-
Speed 40 feet, fly 60 feet
Melee • jaws +11, Damage 2d8+3 piercing (plus sinister bite and trip)
Bay • (auditory, concentrate, emotion, enchantment, fear, mental, primal) When a yeth hound howls or barks, all creatures except other fiends within a 300-foot spread must succeed on a DC 20 Will save or become frightened 2 (frightened 3 on a critical failure, frightened 1 on a success, or unaffected on a critical success) for 1d4 rounds. Whether or not the safe is successful, an affected creature is immune to the same hound’s bay for 24 hours.
Flight A yeth hound can cease or resume its flight as a free action.
Sinister Bite A yeth hound’s bite is treated as evil-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. In addition, a good-aligned creature bitten by a yeth hound must make a DC 20 Will save or be frightened 1 for 1 round. Any creature that critically fails is instead frightened 2.


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Empire of Bones, p. 33: "Five-foot-deep recesses are located to the port and starboard of the dais, and walls of holoprojectors that stretch down from the ceiling surround each."

I've been staring at this sentence in the final encounter room description and the accompanying map for a couple days now. Luckily last night's session was cancelled so I have time to ask this question. Do the walls of holoprojectors extend all the way to the floor? Are the PCs able to pass under the holoprojectors and enter the pits or are these areas supposed to be completely blocked off?


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As mentioned above, cold iron still exists within Starfinder, along with alchemical silver and adamantine. The Starfinder entry for cold iron even mentions it works well against demons and fey. I would hope in a demon-focused campaign, a GM would make cold iron available.

The resistances come free with the demon subtype graft and in fact the Pathfinder version of the dretch does have the same resistance. However, looking through Alien Archive, the only CR 2 creature with any kind of resistances is the Kalo Sharkhunter and it only has one. So I reduced the resistances.

My initial thinking behind the stinking cloud mimicking the smoke grenade was that a smoke grenade is an item a 1st-level character can get his hands on for only 40 credits. The dretch here has spells because of the secondary magic ability, and per the table on page 143, it's only supposed to get "1/day - two 1st level spells." Stinking cloud is a 3rd-level spell in Pathfinder, and in a game with only 6 levels of spells instead of 9, giving this creature a 3rd-level spell seemed really powerful. However, upon looking at it further, it seems like the purpose of stinking cloud is to get melee fighters away from the caster and it doesn't do anything beyond that. And the creature would have to move out of the stinking cloud to pursue its enemies anyway. So I rewrote the ability to be more like the Pathfinder spell and gave it a save DC as if it were a 1st-level ability. And seeing how it's just farting, not provoking an attack of opportunity seems fine. :)

Demon, Dretch (2nd attempt)

DRETCH -- CR 2
XP 600
CE Small outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7
DEFENSE -- HP 25
EAC 13, KAC 15
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +1
DR 5/cold iron or good; Immunities electricity, poison; Resistances acid 5, cold 5, fire 5
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Claw +11 (1d6+4)
Offensive Abilities stinking cloud (DC 11)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 2)
-- 1/day — fear (DC 11), summon allies (1 dretch 35%)
STATISTICS
Str +2; Dex +0; Con +4; Int -3; Wis +1; Cha +1
Skills Escape Artist +7, Stealth +12
Languages Abyssal (cannot speak); telepathy 100 ft. (limited to Abyssal-speaking targets)
ECOLOGY
Environment any (Abyss)
Organization solitary, pair, gang (3-5), crowd (6-12), or mob (13+)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Stinking Cloud (Su) Once per day a dretch can release stinking gas from various orifices in its body, creating a cloud of dense, yellow-green fog. The cloud has a 20-ft. radius and obscures all sight, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. A creature within 5 feet has concealment. Any living creature that inhales the gas must succeed at a DC 11 Fortitude save each round it remains within the cloud or become nauseated. This condition lasts while the creature remains within the cloud and for 1d4+1 rounds after it leaves. This is a poison effect.


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Decided to play around with the Alien Archive monster creation rules by converting all the Pathfinder Bestiary 1 demons and devils to Starfinder. Because they're my favorite monsters and Alien Archive is decidedly lacking in both. This is my first attempt, and I tried to stick to the original monster stats and follow the monster creation rules as closely as possible.

The only thing that really caused a problem was what to do about the original dretch's stinking cloud. The spell doesn't exist in Starfinder, and in Pathfinder it's a 3rd-level spell. I decided to give it an ability which mimicked the closest thing I could find, the smoke grenade in the Core Rulebook. Maybe I could have done better?

Also the Alien Archive doesn't mention how to assign monsters Damage Reduction. It seems like it should have been in the Universal Monster Rules but was skipped over for some reason. It didn't seem like a stretch to give this monster the same DR it had in Pathfinder as one of its two special abilities, so that's just what I did.

Demon, Dretch

DRETCH -- CR 2
XP 600
CE Small outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7
DEFENSE -- HP 25
EAC 13, KAC 15
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +1
DR 5/cold iron or good; Immunities electricity, poison; Resistances acid 10, cold 10, fire 10
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Claw +11 (1d6+4)
Offensive Abilities stinking cloud
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 2)
-- 1/day — fear (DC 11), summon allies (1 dretch 35%)
STATISTICS
Str +2; Dex +0; Con +4; Int -3; Wis +1; Cha +1
Skills Escape Artist +7, Perception +7, Stealth +12
Languages Abyssal (cannot speak); telepathy 100 ft. (limited to Abyssal-speaking targets)
ECOLOGY
Environment any (Abyss)
Organization solitary, pair, gange (3-5), crowd (6-12), or mob (13+)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Stinking Cloud (Su) Once per day a dretch can release stinking gas from various orifices in its body, creating a cloud of dense, yellow-green fog. The size and effects of the cloud are identical to a smoke grenade (Starfinder Core Rulebook 184).

4/5

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Dexcon in Morristown, NJ isn't on here and it's this weekend.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A little late in the game, I know, but I have a room with two beds. Thursday night to Sunday morning. Three nights. Please reply here and send me a private message if you want it.


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I am playing a tengu inquisitor of Magdh. Can anyone give me more insight into what this deity is all about? She sounds Celtic. Are there any Celtic sources I should look at for inspiration?


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RRL1-4 Approach to Thistletop E039-0000-00E0-82D5
RRL1-5 Thistletop Delve C13D-0000-00E4-D799


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I recently made a couple levels in Super Mario Maker inspired by a certain adventure path featuring goblins and rune lords and a glassworks. I'll just leave them here for any Mario Maker enthusiasts who care to give them a try. More to come, especially if I can unlock the ability to upload more than 10 levels at a time.

RRL1-1 1BA1-0000-00A4-2B3F
RRL1-2 FE76-0000-00B0-98C5
RRL1-3 971F-0000-00C1-F0D1


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Sorry for starting a new thread if one already exists. I'm not a regular forum user and I just wanted to get my thoughts out where they would be seen.

Jason Bulmahn mentioned on Know Direction that bloodrager and warpriest might get renamed because they're just two words mashed together and that's not how other classes are named. I was happy to hear this. I'm more of a flavor guy than a mechanics guy, and I'd hate for there to be a cool, popular class with strong mechanics and weak flavor.

For the warpriest I would like to suggest either the chaplain or the templar. Anything is better than "warpriest."

For the bloodrager, however, I had a hard time because I couldn't really think of a character from fiction that embodies this concept. And then I suddenly thought of Captain Marvel. He's a magic superhero who uses a magic word to transform and become more powerful. It's not exactly like rage, but what if the bloodrage was re-themed to be a magic transformation? Then I thought of heroes like He-Man and Power Rangers and I started to really like the idea. The class could be based entirely around a magic word or magic trinket that unlocks latent blood powers temporarily. I thought the class could be named "the scion" because like the sorcerer you get your powers from an ancestral bloodline.

Does anybody like the idea of the bloodrager as the He-Man style magic transforming hero instead of just a spellcasting barbarian?

Again, sorry for just spilling my thoughts and running, I just got real excited as I was thinking about this and had to share. Good luck with the playtest!


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Has anybody made level-appropriate stats for Sandpoint NPCs for this encounter and posted them here for people to swipe? I'm talking folks like Ameiko, Hemlock, etc like it suggests in the book. I was going to make my own but thought I'd check here first.


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A few things:

1) I'm running a public, casual campaign at my FLGS. I've kept it very open with players coming in and out of the group at various times. As a result as I started the last chapter, I have some very experienced players and some fresh-faced noobs. I've done my best to warn the new players that joining a campaign at this level might be difficult and frustrating and they seem to be mostly okay with the challenges, and the experienced players are good about helping the new ones. I'm just wondering if there's anything I can do to give the experienced players a challenge without totally killing the newbies. The PCs are actually two levels lower than the module assumes and I still have to add monsters and put the advanced template on them to make them more than a speed bump to the experienced players.

2) All through the Hungry Mountains, the party was taking full rests after every encounter and the wizard was using private sanctum to hide from random encounters (which I just looked up and found out it's not as good as he made it sound -- I thought he was using magnificent mansion!) Now that they're at Renchurch I'm worried that they'll keep doing this and the adventure will lose all sense of urgency and trivialize the fact that they're in the lair of the enemy they've been fighting this whole time. How do I add a sense of urgency and danger without taxing the party so much they feel like they need to rest all the time? I'd rather NOT add a bunch of random encounters to prevent them from resting. Random encounters make the game take longer and we go pretty slow as it is (we get 2-3 hours a session and each part of an adventure path can take up to 3 months).

3) The party has no cleric or really good divine caster. I allowed them to take along one of the Knights of Ozem from an earlier encounter in the Hungry Mountains, but I'm worried it's not going to be enough to deal with all the persistent haunts, which can only be "killed" by positive. I'm honestly more worried about the haunts being too difficult and/or too tedious to deal with than I am about the lack of healing. This party is pretty tough even without a cleric. But the lack of positive energy is going to make these obstacles difficult to deal with. Any thoughts?


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This encounter seems particularly difficult to run since it's underwater. For the most part, I'm really not sure how targeting and visibility works into and out of the submersible.

First, the text says there's a continual flame lamp inside the Isinglass that must be shuttered if the characters want to see outside, but then there's no light inside. I don't understand why the lamp has to be shuttered to see outside? And if it is shuttered and there's no light, how do they see at all? Are they just relying on Darkvision and spells or what?

Second, how well can Dhauggota see to target characters inside the Isinglass? I'm thinking if it's dark inside the submersible and the devilfish has to attack through a 3-foot wide hole, then he's got a 20% miss chance for concealment and the PCs have a +2 cover bonus to AC. I'm worried the PCs will just hide inside the Isinglass and pelt him with ranged attacks and it'll turn into a very boring encounter. But the same goes for the PCs. How well can they see him, and can they even see 100 feet underwater with no light to begin with? Or am I missing something?


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The PCs opened the coin door that leads to the part of Thistletop where Malfeshnikor is... and then they turned around and left the dungeon, going all the way back to town. Does that mean Malfeshnikor is free to leave the dungeon? Does he get out and terrorize the countryside or just stay in his little room?


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Please see my previous articles on Elves and Men.

Notes: The dwarves that J.R.R. Tolkien describes in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are by and large Longbeard dwarves. The Stiffbeards are only mentioned in The Peoples of Middle-earth, and I included them here simply to give dwarf players more options. Except for the name, we know nothing about the Stiffbeards from Tolkien, so I used the Umli race from MERP for inspiration. The Umli were "half-dwarves" that lived in the Far North and as far as I know they were invented by the creators of MERP. The Stiffbeards are true dwarves.

Disclaimer: Much of the flavor text is lifted from MERP with alterations. The races were constructed using the rules in the Advanced Race Guide.

Dwarf, Longbeard
The Longbeards are the descendants of Durin the Deathless, one of the Seven Fathers created by Aulë the Smith, giver of mountains and master of crafts. Durin was the greatest of the Seven Fathers, and the Longbeards are the greatest of the dwarven clan. Their mansions are the largest and richest, and their works of craftsmanship are looked upon with awe and jealousy by other dwarven clans. In times of trouble, the other clans look to the Longbeards for leadership, though the rest of time they are content to keep to themselves.
Physical Description: Short, stocky, strong, with exceptionally strong limbs. Black, red, or dark brown hair. Fair to ruddy complexion. All dwarves have beards, without exception, sometimes braided, and long hair. They wear heavy garb with colorful hooded cloaks. Crenellated trimwork is popular.
Society: The Longbeards are superb miners and craftsmen and unsurpassed in stoneworks. They live in tightly-knit groups and favor underground cities which are usually cut into rugged hills or mountains.
Relations: In the Third Age, the Longbeards have been close friends with groups of Men who live along the Great East Road, both east and west of the Misty Mountains, most famously the Men of Dale. In harder times, they have depended on trade with these groups for their livelihood. Other dwarven clans hold the Longbeards in awe, however the stubborn and jealous nature of dwarves means that the Longbeards cannot always look to the other clans for help. The Longbeards have had rocky relationships with the Elves of Mirkwood and Lothlórien, at times almost coming to open war. However, the dwarves truly hate orcs, wargs, and dragons, and they will never forget that Sauron at one time tried to enslave them all.
Religion: Dwarves have mysterious beliefs understood only by them and prophesies regarding the end of the world. They revere their ancestors above all other things but Aulë their maker. Longbeards believe their kings to be all the same dwarf—Durin the Deathless.

Longbeard Dwarf Racial Traits
+2 Con, +2 Wis, –2 Cha: Longbeards are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff.
Medium: Longbeards are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Slow and Steady: Longbeards have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Darkvision: Longbeards can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Ancient Foe: Longbeards have a +2 dodge bonus to AC against dragons and a +2 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks made to grapple dragons.
Greed: Longbeards gain a +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks made to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
Hatred: Longbeards gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against Elves and orcs.
Stability: Longbeards gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
Stonecunning: Longbeards gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking.
Stubborn: Longbeards gain a +2 racial bonus on Will saves to resist spells and spell-like abilities of the enchantment (charm) and enchantment (compulsion) subschools. If they fail the save, they receive another save 1 round later to prematurely end the effect (assuming the spell or spell-like ability has a duration greater than 1 round). This second save is made at the same DC as the first. If the Longbeard has a similar ability from another source (such as a rogue’s slippery mind class feature), it can only use one of these abilities per round, but can try the other on the second round if the first reroll ability fails.
Weapon Familiarity: Longbeards are proficient with battleaxes, longswords, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Longbeards begin play speaking Westron and Khuzdul. Longbeards with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Avian, Black Speech, Northman, and Sindarin.

Dwarf, Stiffbeard
The Stiffbeards are one of the lesser clans of dwarves. Their lands are in the far north, beyond the Grey Mountains, though dwarves are always on the move in search of new treasures to claim and therefore some groups may have migrated south. More than other dwarves, they are jealous and secretive, constantly muttering against anyone who has more than them, which includes most peoples in Middle-earth. To strangers they seem as cold and harsh as the lands in which they live, but they are not inherently wicked.
Physical Description: Strong and compact, with large facial features and considerable beards. They have ruddy skin and red hair, with penetrating pale blue eyes. They tend to wear fur-lined skin coats, shirts, pants, boots and hoods.
Society: The Stiffbeards are hunters, gatherers and fishermen. They move from site to site depending on the season. Most reside in caves of underground settlements. Many mine, and the Stiffbeards are accomplished smiths and artisans, though their works will never rival the Longbeards.
Relations: Except for the few small groups and individuals who have wandered south of the Grey Mountains, the Stiffbeards are largely unknown to the peoples of Middle-earth. Of all the races, the have the most dealings with the Lossoth. The Stiffbeards are extremely jealous of the Longbeards and desire all that they have, but this jealousy rarely turns into violence. Like all dwarves, they hate Sauron and will never trust him, and more than other races, they despise the ancient creatures of Morgoth that occasionally rise up from the ruins of Utumno.
Religion: As with the Longbeards, the Stiffbeards revere Aulë above all others.

Stiffbeard Dwarf Racial Traits
+2 Con, +2 Int, –2 Cha: Stiffbeards are both tough and cunning, but also a bit dour.
Medium: Stiffbeards are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Slow and Steady: Stiffbeards have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Darkvision: Stiffbeards can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Greed: Stiffbeards gain a +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks made to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
Hatred: Stiffbeards gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against wargs and dwarves of other clans.
Stability: Stiffbeards gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
Stonecunning: Stiffbeards gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking.
Stubborn: Stiffbeards gain a +2 racial bonus on Will saves to resist spells and spell-like abilities of the enchantment (charm) and enchantment (compulsion) subschools. If they fail the save, they receive another save 1 round later to prematurely end the effect (assuming the spell or spell-like ability has a duration greater than 1 round). This second save is made at the same DC as the first. If the Longbeard has a similar ability from another source (such as a rogue’s slippery mind class feature), it can only use one of these abilities per round, but can try the other on the second round if the first reroll ability fails.
Tundra Runner: Stiffbeards receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue and exhaustion, as well as any other ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, and hot or cold environments.
Tundra Stride: Stiffbeards can move through natural difficult terrain at their normal speed while within a cold tundra environment. Magically altered terrain affects them normally.
Weapon Familiarity: Stiffbeard are proficient with longswords, mattocks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Stiffbeards begin play speaking Westron and Khuzdul. Longbeards with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Black Speech, Lossadan, and Sindarin, and Wolf.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The Dúnedain are intentionally more powerful than the other races. They don't need to be balanced. Just like the Elves.

Though using traits as an incentive for players to play other races seems like a good idea. I could also give other races more hero points.

Giving them +2 Con instead of +2 Str seems like a good idea.


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No comments? None? Not interesting to anyone?


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Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Is this for a campaign you are running?

Not yet. Maybe someday.


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For Elves of Middle-earth, please see my previous post here.

Disclaimer: The fluff text was taken from MERP. The Gauredain mentioned in the Lossadan entry were invented for LOTRO. These races were built mechanically using the Advanced Race Guide.

Man, Common
Men arose in the Utter East during the First Age. There, in a land called Hildórien, they awoke to find a wild continent, and it was some time before they first encountered the Elves. Men differ from the Elves in many ways, the least subtle of which is their mortality. Men live their brief lives with a fire and passion unlike any other race. They are also more varied in nature and often flawed and vulnerable. Unlike the Elves, they are quite susceptible to disease and temperate extremes.

Common Men are stocky and relatively short compared to the Elves and Dúnedain. Their hair and skin colors vary from the deepest browns and blacks to the lightest shades of blonde and cream. Many wear beards and moustaches.

Men are a varied race. The Common Man presented here may be used to represent a Man or Woman of any subrace except for the Dúnedain, who stand apart from other Men. The stats use here are simply for the purposes of expressing the variability and adaptability of Men and should not be considered its own race. In other words, an Easterling using the Common Man racial traits is still an Easterling in the eyes of the rest of Middle-earth, and both of his parents may have possessed the Easterling racial traits presented further down.

Examples of Common Men include Barliman Butterbur and Bard of Dale.

Note on usage: Tolkien does not use the term “human” in most of his writings, preferring the term “Man” presumably because the word has Germanic roots and is therefore closer to Old English. He uses the term “Mannish” as an adjective to describe anything related to this race.

Man Racial Traits
+2 to One Ability Score: Mannish characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.
Medium: Men are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Men have a base speed of 30 feet.
Bonus Feat: Men select one extra feat at 1st level.
Skilled: Men gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.
Languages: Men begin play speaking Westron. Men with high Intelligence scores can choose any language except for Khuzdul.

Dúnadan (Man of the West, pl. Dúnedain)
The Dúnedain are descendants of Men who settled on the island kingdom of Númenor during the Second Age. It was their Númenórean forbearers who colonized and conquered much of Middle-earth. When Númenor sank into the sea at its Downfall, two groups survived: the Black Númenóreans and the Faithful Dúnedain. The latter settled in Arnor and Gondor, the Realms in Exile.
Physical Description: Dúnedain are tall and strong, with fair skin and black or dark brown hair. They have grey, hazel, blue or green eyes. Their clothing tends to be rich and well made, with elaborate collars. The Dúnedain of lowland Gondor wear light tunics and often go without leggings. Those of colder areas wear more. They favor feathers and white symbols on dark fields.
Society: In good times, the Dúnedain prefer to live comfortable lives centered around cosmopolitan cities and towns. The Dúnedain of Arnor became a wandering and secretive folk after their kingdom fell, and other Men called them “Rangers.” Dúnedain are noble, confident, impatient, proud, and often haughty.
Relations: In earlier times, all Dúnedain were close friends of the Elves, but only the Rangers have kept up that friendship. Gondor’s closest allies are the Rohirrim, descendants of he Northmen of the Upper Anduin. The Dúnedain of Gondor hate the Corsairs, for they blame them for the Kin-strife. They also despise the Black Númenóreans. In fact, all servants of Sauron are their enemies.
Religion: The Dúnedain revere Eru and all the Valar, especially Manwë, Oromë and Varda. The Dúnedain fear death. They have elaborate burials involving preservation of the body.

Dúnadan Racial Traits
+2 Str, +2 to One Other Ability Score: Dúnedain are bigger and hardier than lesser Man. In addition, Dúnadan characters get a +2 bonus to one other ability score of their choice.
Medium: Dúnedain are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Dúnedain have a base speed of 30 feet.
Bonus Feat: Dúnedain select one extra feat at 1st level.
Multitalented: Dúnedain choose two favored classes at first level and gain +1 hit point or +1 skill point whenever they take a level in either one of those classes.
Skilled: Dúnedain gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.
Languages: Dúnedain begin play speaking Westron. Dúnedain with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Adûnaic, Black Speech, Dunlending, Lossadan, Northman, Sindarin, and Southron.

Easterling
This term refers to a collection of peoples who live east of the western shore of the Sea of Rhûn. These nomadic confederations are ever in search of territory and wealth, and they periodically invade the lands of their neighbors. The Balchoth and Wain-riders are two such peoples.
Physical Description: Easterlings tend to be compact and agile. Their coloring is swarthy, with a tan or yellowish-tan quality. Clothing consists of colorful linen cloaks, woolen tunics, leather pants, and lower leg protectors. They also wear fur hats with ear flaps or fur-covered pot helms. Some groups paint their upper bodies and faces.
Society: Easterlings are nomads who live in mobile camps and move using great wagons called “wains.” Warriors all, they also herd horses and cattle. Their leaders travel in rugged war chariots. Easterings are cold, determined, and brave to the point of foolishness.
Relations: Easterlings have little regard for anyone except their own people. The servants of Sauron have been moving among them, creating alliances and promises rich rewards for service. At times, Easterlings may trade peacefully with the Men of Dale and the Dwarves of Erebor and the Iron Hills. They hate the Dúnedain.
Religion: The Easterlings have many superstitious rituals concerning nature spirits and heroic ancestral deities. Many worship Sauron, and some even have heard the name of Morgoth. A few have been drawn into mysterious “magic cults” of the Blue Wizards.

Easterling Racial Traits
+2 to One Ability Score: Easterling characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.
Medium: Easterlings are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Easterlings have a base speed of 30 feet.
Bonus Feat: Easterlings select one extra feat at 1st level.
Horseman: Easterlings receive a +2 racial bonus to Ride checks.
Wain-rider: Easterlings receive a +2 racial bonus to drive checks made to control a vehicle during combat.
Weapon Familiarity: Easterings are proficient with scimitars and bolas.
Languages: Easterlings begin play speaking Easterling. Easterings with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Avian, Black Speech, Northman, Southron, Variag, and Westron.

Hillman
The racial traits presented here can be used to represent any group of relatively primitive Men living on the fringes of more civilized society. The most well-known of these groups is the Dunlendings, however Hillmen may also be found in Angmar, Rhudaur, and the White Mountains. Game Masters may create their own groups of Hilmen where desired to fill in the empty spaces in Middle-earth. The descriptions below apply mainly to the Dunlendings.
Physical Description: Dunlendings have a tanned or ruddy complexion and brown hair. They are of medium to stocky build and rugged, with little body hair. Clothing consists of crude wool and hide tunics with leggings. They also wear overcoats, short cloaks, and fur hats. The woolens are woven in tight plaids, the colors indicating the wearer’s family lines and clan. Ritual tattooing is widespread.
Society: Dunlendings are herders, hunters, and gatherers who live in extended families and reside in villages and fortified clan-holds. Oral traditions are crucial to keeping the histories and law.
Relations: Dunlendings generally hate the Northmen and especially their descendants, the Rohirrim, for taking their land. They have little love for the Woses either. At various times, they may either war with or trade peacefully with the folk of Cardolan and Rhudaur. During the War of the Ring, they were allies of Isengard. It is unknown what they thought of Sauron of even if they knew of his existence.
Religion: The Dunlendngs have many superstitious rituals devoted to a complex grouping of vengeful petty deities. Sacrifices are widespread and the clergy are both revered and feared.

Hillman Racial Traits
+2 Str, -2 Int, +2 Wis: Hillmen are strong and deeply in touch with their surroundings, but they are less advanced than other races.
Medium: Hillmen are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Hillmen have a base speed of 30 feet.
Bonus Feat: Hillmen select one extra feat at 1st level.
Hill-climber: Hillmen are accustomed to challenging terrain and receive a +2 racial bonus to Acrobatics and Climb.
Languages: Hillmen begin play speaking their own tribal language (such as Dunlending). Hill Men with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Avian, Black Speech, Northman, Southron, Westron, and Wolf.

Lossadan (Snowman, pl. Lossoth)
The Lossoth live in the Far North of Middle-earth and are often called “Snowmen” or “Forodwaith” (also a name for their homeland). They are sparsely settled, nomadic folk who move with the seasonal migrations of big game and rarely interact with other Men.
Physical Description: Stocky and hard, with pronounced muscles. They have wide features and large, pudgy hands and feet. Their coloring is fair, with reddish highlights. They have pale blue eyes and fair hair. Most wear fur, leather and sea-mammal hides. Some possess a colorful, patterned coat made of spun fabric and lined with fur. All wear colorful, lined, conical hoods.
Society: The Lossoth are poor, nomadic hunters and gatherers. They use stonework, bone, and limited amounts of wood and metal (mostly copper). Most are primarily fisher-folk, employing light but steady ocean-ready boats called “meriki.” Some herd reindeer and all make se of hunting dogs. Furry horses or reindeer draw their sleights, although the dogsled is used in areas of extreme cold. Extended families and bands are normally the largest groups.
Relations: The Lossoth are a fairly isolated people. Monsters and servants of the Great Enemy occasionally creep up from the ruins of Utumno, and these they have learned to hate and fear. Their chief enemies are a savage race of werewolf-men called “Gauredain.” Lossoth are friendly towards strangers who mean them no harm, and they have had peaceful dealings with Elves and Dúnedain.
Religion: They worship nature-spirits who they believe to be akin to enchanted or godlike beasts. Dance and storytelling rituals make up the bulk of ceremonial life.

Lossadan Racial Traits
+2 Con, -2 Int, +2 Wis: Lossoth are hardy and must have shaper senses to survive in the cold north, but they are less advanced than other races.
Medium: Lossoth are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Lossoth have a base speed of 30 feet.
Bonus Feat: Lossoth select one extra feat at 1st level.
Tundra Runner: Lossoth receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue and exhaustion, as well as any other ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, and hot or cold environments.
Tundra Stride: Lossoth can move through natural difficult terrain at their normal speed while within a cold tundra environment. Magically altered terrain affects them normally.
Weapon Familiarity: Lossoth are proficient with javelins and nets.
Languages: Lossoth begin play speaking Lossadan. Lossoth with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Black Speech, Sindarin, Westron, and Wolf.

Rohir (pl. Rohirrim)
The Rohirrim settled in Rohan relatively late in the Third Age at the request of Cirion, Steward of Gondor. The grant was a reward for their part in the defeat of the Easterlings. Prior to settling in this land, the ancestors of the Rohirrim lived in the Upper Anduin Valley. They are part of a larger racial group called the “Northmen,” which includes the Woodmen of Mirkwood and the Men of Dale and Lake-town.
Physical Description: Their build ranges from average to stocky and strong. They tend to have blonde hair with fair skin and blue eyes. They dress in linen and/or woolen shirts, medium length pants, and leggings. Warriors commonly wear chain mail and carry shields bearing the symbols of their folk, a white horse on a green field.
Society: Herders and horse-masters, they spend much of their year living in various semi-permanent camps set out on a circuit of pastures. They return to their permanent homes for the winter. Some garden or farm. Most Rohirrim are also accomplished hunters and fishermen.
Relations: The Rohirrim are strong allies of Gondor, to the extent that they have vowed to always come to Gondor’s aid in times of great need. They are superstitious and fearful of Elves. They hate the Dunlendings and consider Woses to be lesser beings.
Religion: The Rohirrim have rituals that celebrate life, fertility, and the cycles of the seasons. Most are held atop hills in mountain vales or at the base of the peaks. They revere Eru and the Valar, especially Oromë.

Rohir Racial Traits
+2 to One Ability Score: Rohir characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.
Medium: Rohirrim are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Rohirrim have a base speed of 30 feet.
Bonus Feat: Rohirrim select one extra feat at 1st level.
Hatred: Rohirrim gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against Easterlings and Hillmen.
Horse Lord: Rohirrim receive a +2 racial bonus to Handle Animal checks and a +2 racial bonus to Ride checks involving horses. In addition, Rohirrim receive Mounted Combat as a bonus feat.
Languages: Rohirrim begin play speaking Northman. Rohirrim with high Intelligence scores can choose the following: Black Speech, Dunlending, Easterling, and Westron.

Southron (Haradan, pl. Haradrim)
This is a collective name for the peoples who occupy the great and semi-arid lands south of Gondor and Mordor, the land called Harad. Since this is a rough and unblessed territory, their greatest populations lie beside the seacoast, rivers, bays, and myriad oases. However, Harad contains little true desert, and sparse groups settle or roam the whole region. Haradrim are also called “Haradwaith,” a term also referring to the land.
Physical Description: Most groups are small and wiry. In the coastal areas and farther south, they are taller but still wiry. Northern groups have light or medium grey or brown skin, straight black hair, and dark brown eyes. Southern groups have dark grey, brown, or black skin, straight or curly black hair, and dark brown or black eyes. Red, purple, and gold are favored colors for clothing, although white and black are used in practical cases. Both men and women wear their wealth mostly in the form of gold.
Society: Although some groups are nomads, most are used to urban life, particularly around Umbar. Generally well-traveled, they are used to interaction with foreign Men. Many are or were involved with the caravan trade, and most ride well: horses and camels in Near Harad, horses and oliphaunts in Far Harad. There is a distinct separation between males and females and very strong bonds between members of families and clans.
Relations: Southrons are suspicious of most peoples. They have long been courted by the servants of Sauron, particularly the Black Númenóreans who took refuge in Umbar. Most Southrons hate the Dúnedain with whom they have fought many wars.
Religion: Elaborate rituals in service to idols which represent various “high gods.” Altars for household gods are carried everywhere. Many worship Sauron, and some even have heard the name of Morgoth. A few have been drawn into mysterious “magic cults” of the Blue Wizards.

Southron Racial Traits
+2 to One Ability Score: Southron characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.
Medium: Southrons are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Southrons have a base speed of 30 feet.
Bonus Feat: Southrons select one extra feat at 1st level.
Desert Runner: Southrons receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue and exhaustion, as well as any other ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, and hot or cold environments.
Desert Stride: Southrons can move through natural difficult terrain at their normal speed while within a warm desert environment. Magically altered terrain affects them normally.
Weapon Familiarity: Southrons are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), scimitars, and shortbows (including composite shortbows).
Languages: Southrons begin play speaking Southron. Southrons with high Intelligence scores can choose the following: Adûnaic, Black Speech, Easterling, Variag, and Westron.

Wose (Drúadan, pl. Drúedain)
This very ancient diminutive race has long been tied to wood and stone. Of all Man, none surpass the Woses in the arts of wood-lore and wood-craft. Their skills have in fact guarded their narrow survival, for they are considered ugly by Men and Elves alike and have been hunted and persecuted since the days of the First Age. The Woses have many names. They call themselves Drughu. Drúedain is the label given to them by the Elves. Men use various terms: Púkel-men, Wild Men, Drûgs, or Woses.
Physical Description: Woses generally have a broad, stumpy profile marked by wide faces, flat features, and deep-set eyes. Short, thick legs, heavy lower bodies, and pronounced brows help give them an eerie character. Few of the men have any hair below their eye level. Nearly all men are bald from the forehead to the back center of their squat skulls. They have ruddy skin, black hair, and black eyes. They often braid their hair, pulling it back to join behind in multiple tails. Woses wear little to no clothing or adornments, instead preferring to rely on their rugged bodies, using pigments to create imagery.
Society: Wose society revolves around the forests and plants they hold so dear. They are frugal and eat little, even in the best of times, and they partake of no drink but water. It is for their stone sculpture that the Woses are best known. They carve a variety of motifs and beasts and employ a particular form in the making of life-like “watch-stones.”
Relations: Woses generally seclude themselves from other folk and do not take on friends easily, but when they do, they are unwaveringly loyal. They have poor relations with the Rohirrim, who occasionally made a sport of hunting them, and they have no love for the servants of Sauron.
Religion: Many of the watch-stones stand over the Wose holy sites. The Woses hold Eru and the Valar in proper awe, though they have their own interpretations of the nature of the masters of the world. Of all the Valar, they worship none more than Yavanna, whom they call “Mam-ugu-Mam.”

Wose Racial Traits
+2 Dex, -2 Int, +2 Wis: Woses are nimble and keenly aware of their surroundings, but they are less advanced than other races.
Medium: Woses are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Woses have a base speed of 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Woses can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Forest Stride: Woses can move through natural difficult terrain at their normal speed while within a temperate forest environment. Magically altered terrain affects them normally.
Stoneseer: Woses add +1 to the caster level of any spells with the earth descriptor. They also gain the following spell-like abilities: constant—nondetection; 1/day—magic stone, stone shape, stone tell. The caster level for these spell-like abilities is equal to the Wose’s character level.
Swift as Shadows: Woses reduce the penalty for using Stealth while moving at full speed by 5, and reduce the Stealth check penalty for sniping by 10.
Keen Senses: Woses gain a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Languages: Woses begin play speaking Wose. Woses with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Black Speech, Entish, Northman, Sindarin, and Westron.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I was at the 2012 and Beyond seminar at Gen Con last week, and as the Paizo staff was listing out all the wonderful toys we will be getting over the next year and a half, my mind started going to a strange place. See if you can follow along with me.

Right now, Pathfinder is probably at its zenith. Maybe not yet, but almost. Everything we're getting right now is solid gold. The game is going in fantastic new directions that we would have scarcely thought possible 5 years ago. And the game is only going to get better and better.

Five years from now, Pathfinder will be almost 10 years old. There will be more than twice the number of Pathfinder books than there are now. The game that once seemed so vibrant and elegant will be bloated with too many options. It'll be harder to get people into the game because there will be so much to catch up on.

In addition, D&D Next will most surely be out by then. It'll be about 3 years old. I think Wizards of the Coast has something special there. Even if everyone reading this board remains a diehard Paizo fan, I think some of you will be looking at D&D Next and saying "That game has some really neat ideas. I wish those things were in Pathfinder."

In short, it's the type of environment when most companies would start thinking about a second edition of their game.

Five years may seem like a long time to most of you, and it is, but time has a way of catching up with you when you least expect it. I don't think it's unrealistic to start thinking about it now. I think with some planning and foresight, we can avoid the pain of another edition war.

That's all I have to say. I'm sure I sound like drunken doomsday prophet yelling on a street corner, especially when everyone else is all excited about Mythic Adventures right now. But I'm not predicting doomsday, just reminding everyone how it usually goes and suggesting, hey, maybe we can break the cycle here. What do you guys think?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Jeff Erwin, thank you so much for your coments. It is so cool that someone who worked on MERP is looking at my work.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Elrond was the son of Eärendil the Mariner and Elwing the White. Eärendil was the son of Tuor, a Man, and Idril, an Elf. Elwing was the daughter of Dior, who was the son of Beren, a Man, and Lúthien, an Elf. Lúthien's mother was a Maia, a powerful angelic spirit, sort of the equivalent of a Pathfinder celestial. So Elrond and all of his kindred have human, Elven and divine blood.

Elrond's brother was Elros. The story goes that Elrond and Elros were given a choice at the end of the First Age, of which kindred they wanted to belong to, Men or Elves. Elrond chose the Elves, but Elros chose Men. Not because he wanted to be mortal and die, but because he saw them has "his people." It didn't go all bad for Elros, however, because he got to be king of the great empire of Númenor.

All the kings of Númenor, all the kings of Gondor and Arnor, and the Chieftains of the Rangers were descended from Elros, all the way down to Aragorn. People often joke about Aragorn and Arwen being cousins, but they are cousins many, many generations removed. To give you an idea, it's about 6000 years from Elros' time to Aragorn's time. But what this means is that Aragorn and all of his people (the Dúnedain) share a little bit of Elven blood and divine blood.

So to answer your question, there are no half-elves like the half-elves in Pathfinder. I would make Elrond and his children Elves for game purposes. I'll be writing up the Dúnedain soon and post them here.

There is the sticky issue of Prince Imrahil and the Men of Dol Amroth. Imrahil is a minor character that shows up in The Return of the King. Supposedly, he and his people have Elven blood, but this is passed off as sort of a folktale and not really explored. However, in some of his unpublished writings, Tolkien fleshes out their story and reveals that they actually do have some Elven ancestry.

It's important to remember that Tolkien was constantly changing and adding things to Middle-earth right up to his death. So it's not necessarily "wrong" if you want to play a half-elf or some other creature that wasn't explicitly mentioned in the books. You're just adding to the world that Tolkien began. :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Elrostar wrote:
I'm curious why you decided to give Sindar +2 STR. It seems like an odd choice. I would think that CHA would make more sense?

It may have been a rash decision, but I mostly relied on the fluff text in the MERP core rulebook. From my reading of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, the difference between the three Elven races didn't really jump out at me. But I knew I wanted them to be different mechanically for a game. So I cheated. MERP says they're more muscular than Silvan elves and more quiet and contemplative than other Elves, which implies a high Wis. All Elves have high Dex, so that gives me three stat boosts. Noldor on the other hand are definitely all about powerful personalities and bad decisions (like starting a war and betraying your friends because you want your pretty baubles back).

MERP is Middle-earth Roleplaying by the way. It was a game that was out in the 90's. Very good resource for Middle-earth fans but it also has a lot of annoying flaws that I'm trying to fix.

Elrostar wrote:
I haven't really looked in PF Middle Earth, so there may be considerations involved that I'm unfamiliar with.

I'm not familiar with PF Middle-earth. Is that a group?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Disclaimer: The fluff text was taken from MERP. These races were built mechanically using the Advanced Race Guide. Silvan and Sindar Elves are Advanced Races, while Noldor are a Monstrous Race according to that book.

Elf, Grey (Sinda, pl. Sindar)
The Sindar or “Grey Elves” were originally part of the great kindred called the Teleri. Unlike the Noldor, Vanyar, and the bulk of the Teleri, the Sindar chose not to cross over the sea to Aman; instead they stayed in Middle-earth. They, like the Silvan Elves, are part of the Moriquendi, the “Dark Elves” who never saw the Light of Valinor.
Of the three Elven races of Middle-earth, the Sindar are the quietest and calmest, and they appear to be the most content. They are less frivolous and playful than the Silvan Elves and are less fiery and passionate than the Noldor. Sindar feelings are deep and not easily aroused, but when they are they cannot be stayed. This is the root of their Sea-longing.
Physical Description: Thin when compared to Men, the Sindar are nearly as tall as the Noldor but are generally slighter of build. They are more muscular than the Silvan Elves. Most have fair hair and pale blue or grey eyes. Like the Noldor, they have light skin. Sinda clothing is exceedingly well made, yet subtle and utilitarian. They do not favor the rich garb of their Noldor cousins. Greys and silvers are their chosen colors.
Society: The Sindar are the most open and cooperative of Middle-earth's Elves. They are great teachers and borrowers and have an interest in the works of all races. This is in contrast to the more inquisitive Noldor, who are quick to scoff at things which are subtle or modest in appearance or utility. Grey Elves are a settled people and enjoy the company of others. Unlike the Silvan Elves, they build towns and havens and gather in close-knit communities. Many of the Sindar feel a kinship to the sea. They build superb ships and are renowned sailors.
Relations: The Sindar are great friends of most races and have remained particularly close to Dwarves. Their chief enemies are orcs, wargs, and dragons.
Alignment and Religion: Given their love for sailing and the sea, Grey Elves have a special respect for Ulmo, the Lord of Waters. They revere Eru and see Varda as their patron.

Grey Elf Racial Traits
+2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Con, +2 Wis: Grey Elves are strong, silent, and stoic. Like other Elves, their physical forms are frail compared to their strong spirits.
Medium: Grey Elves are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Grey Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Grey Elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Fearless: Grey Elves gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear effects.
Fleet-Footed: Grey Elves receive Run as a bonus feet and a +2 racial bonus on initiative checks.
Deathless Spirit: Grey Elves have resistance 5 against negative energy damage. They do not lose hit points when they gain a negative level, and they gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against death effects, energy drain, negative energy, and spells or spell-like abilities of the necromancy school.
Eldar Immunities: Grey Elves are immune to non-magical diseases and gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against poison.
Hatred: Grey Elves gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against orcs, wolves and wargs.
Keen Senses: Grey Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Weapon Familiarity: Grey Elves are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the world “Elven” or “Sindar” in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Grey Elves begin play speaking Westron and Sindarin. Grey Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Avian, Black Speech, Entish, Quenya, Spider, and Wolf.

Elf, High (Noldo, pl. Noldor)
The Noldor are often called “High Elves” ostensibly because they are considered to be the most noble of the Elves in Middle-earth. In reality, they are so named for having once resided in the Blessed Realm of Aman across the sea. This exalted status is accentuated by their close ties with the Valar, a relationship which accounts for their unique cultural and linguistic roots.
All Noldor are noble of bearing and carry themselves with assurance. They are haughty and often appear to be arrogant. Of all the Elves, they are the most inquisitive and passionate, being full of a desire for experience and expertise in the arts and ways of the world. Because of this thirst for knowledge, the Noldor have often fallen prey to lust, corruption, and strife.
Finwë was the first King of the Noldor, which is counted among the Elves as the Second Kindred. Finwë’s sons—Fëanor, Fingolfin, and Finarfin—produced the three traditional lines of High Elven nobility.
Physical Description: Of all the Elves, the Noldor are the strongest and sturdiest of build, although they are still slimmer than Men. Most are dark-haired and have grayish eyes which betray a proud demeanor. Descendants of Fingolfin and Finarfin are often fair-haired and blue-eyed. High Elves favor rich clothing and find craftsmanship; they often have the appearance of great wealth.
Society: Of all the Elves of Middle-earth, the Noldor are the most ordered. While their brethren are content to wander or mark time in quiet diffusion, the Noldor seek to build communities and states in beautiful, guarded places.
Relations: The Noldor hate orcs, trolls, and dragons above all creatures. Due to their pride, they tend to look down upon Mortal Men, other than the Dúnedain.
Alignment and Religion: The Noldor love making beautiful things and so revere Aulë the Smith more than any other Vala, save Varda herself. Like all Elves, they worship Varda as giver of Light and maker of stars.

High Elf Racial Traits
+2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Wis, +2 Cha: High Elves are nimble, deeply curious, and possessed of powerful personalities. Their strong emotions, however, often lead to unwise decisions.
Medium: High Elves are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: High Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: High Elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Craftsman: High Elves gain a +2 racial bonus on all Craft and Profession checks to create objects from metal or stone.
Fearless: High Elves gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear effects.
Fleet-Footed: High Elves receive Run as a bonus feet and a +2 racial bonus on initiative checks.
Deathless Spirit: High Elves have resistance 5 against negative energy damage. They do not lose hit points when they gain a negative level, and they gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against death effects, energy drain, negative energy, and spells or spell-like abilities of the necromancy school.
Eldar Immunities: High Elves are immune to non-magical diseases and gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against poison.
Elven Magic: High Elves gain a +2 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, they also receive a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft checks made to indentify the properties of magic items.
Hatred: High Elves gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against dragons, orcs, spiders, wolves and wargs.
Keen Senses: High Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Weapon Familiarity: High Elves are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the world “Elven” or “Noldor” in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: High Elves begin play speaking Westron and Quenya. High Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose any language except for Khuzdul.

Elf, Wood (Silvan)
When the Elves departed from their original birthplace during the Elder Days, a number of their brethren remained behind. They decided not to seek the Light of Aman and were labeled as the Avari. These kindreds were left to fend for themselves during the days when Morgoth’s Shadow swept over the East. In these dark times they were forced into the secluded safety of the forests of Middle-earth, where they wandered and hid from the wild Men who dominated most of the lands. They became known as the Silvan or Wood Elves.
They are fun-loving but guarded folk. Outward mirth often hides their grim intentions.
Physical Description: Most are slight of build, and all are thin by Mannish standards. They are ruddy of complexion, with sandy hair and blue or green eyes. Generalizations are difficult, however since they are of many kindreds and there is wide variation among them. Their preferred clothes are usually forest green, grey, or brown, and range from functional designs to fanciful expressions of individual creativity. Their garments lack the formality and pomp of typical Noldo garb.
Society: The culture of the Silvan Elves is best characterized as unstructured and rustic by Elven standards but rich and relatively advanced when compared to the ways of Men. They have always been independent, but as of late many have settled in kingdoms ruled by the Noldor or Sindar. Still, all the Silvan folk enjoy a good journey or adventure, and most look at life much as a game to be played. Music and trickery are their favorite pastimes. The Silvan Elves are also masters of wood and know much of wood-craft and wood-lore.
Relations: The Silvan Elves seclude themselves more readily than their brethren, for they have a less friendly history of relations with Men. They despise orcs, dislike dwarves, and are suspicious of Men.
Alignment and Religion: Silvan Elves have a strong attachment to Oromë the Huntsman. Like all Elves, they worship Varda as giver of Light and maker of the stars.

Wood Elf Racial Traits
+2 Dex, -2 Con, +2 Cha: Wood Elves are nimble and playful. Like other Elves, their physical forms are frail compared to their strong spirits.
Medium: Wood Elves are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Wood Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Wood Elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Fearless: Wood Elves gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear effects.
Fleet-Footed: Wood Elves receive Run as a bonus feet and a +2 racial bonus on initiative checks.
Deathless Spirit: Wood Elves have resistance 5 against negative energy damage. They do not lose hit points when they gain a negative level, and they gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against death effects, energy drain, negative energy, and spells or spell-like abilities of the necromancy school.
Eldar Immunities: Wood Elves are immune to non-magical diseases and gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against poison.
Hatred: Wood Elves gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against dwarves and orcs.
Keen Senses: Wood Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Silent: Wood Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Stealth checks.
Weapon Familiarity: Wood Elves are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the world “Elven” or “Silvan” in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Wood Elves begin play speaking Westron and Sindarin. Wood Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Avian, Black Speech, Entish, Quenya, Spider, and Wolf.

Elf Character Traits
Regional Traits
Flet-runner (Lothlórien): You spent much of your life among the flets of Lothlórien, far above the forest floor. You gain a +2 trait bonus on Acrobatics checks to move across narrow surfaces.
Hidden Archer (Lothlórien): The Elves of Lothlórien are skilled as discouraging trespassers without ever being seen. When making a Stealth check to remain obscured after making a ranged attack from hiding, you take a -10 penalty instead of the usual -20 penalty.
Lore-master (Rivendell): You have spent many hours listening to tales and songs in the Hall of Fire, and you have studied in the library of Elrond himself. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (history) and Knowledge (local) checks. One of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you.
Raft-elf (Mirkwood): The time you spent living along the Forest River that flows past the Elvenking’s Hall has taught you how to handle a small vessel. You gain a +2 trait bonus on Profession (sailor) checks to pilot a small boat or raft. In addition, you can make Profession (sailor) checks untrained on rivers and freshwater lakes.
Shipbuilder (Edhellond or Grey Havens): You spent time working on one of the great ships that would bear Elvenkind into the West, never to return to Middle-earth. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Craft (woodworker) and Profession (sailor) checks. One of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you.
Spider-foe (Mirkwood): You survived an encounter with the giant spiders of Mirkwood and know how to escape their traps. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Escape Artist checks to escape entanglement. This trait bonus increases to +2 against spider webs.
Trollshaws Scout (Rivendell): You are at home among the jagged rocks and dense forests of the Trollshaws, and you know how to evade the worst creatures that live there. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Stealth checks, and Stealth is always a class skill for you. This trait bonus increases to +2 in hills or mountains.
Wandering Elf (Eriador): You have not had a permanent home for a long time, preferring to travel far and wide to see the beauty of Middle-earth before you must leave it forever. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Survival checks and it is always a class skill for you.

Race Traits
Exiled (High Elf): Your people were banished from the land of the Valar long ago, and you long to prove yourself worthy that you might one day return. Your resolve gives you a +1 bonus on Will saving throws.
Forrester (Silvan Elf): You gain a +1 trait bonus on Craft and Profession checks to create items made of wood.
Light of Aman (High Elf): The light of the Two Trees of Valinor is reflected in your eyes. You gain a +1 bonus on Intimidate checks against evil creatures.
Melian’s Gift (Grey Elf): The grace and beauty of the Queen of Doriath lives on in your people. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Perform (dance) and Perform (sing) checks.
Rivalry (Any): If a dwarven ally drops an enemy to 0 hit points, gain +1 circumstance bonus on your next attack roll.
Servant of a Great Lord (Wood Elf): You have spent time in the house of a great Elf-lord, serving his daily needs. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (nobility) checks and Diplomacy checks when speaking to someone above your station. One of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you.
Suspicious (Grey Elf): Your people have been betrayed time and again by outsiders in friendly guise. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Sense Motive checks.
Tree-friend (Any): You gain a +2 trait bonus to Diplomacy checks when conversing with intelligent plants.
Wine Connoisseur (Any): Elves love a good wine, and even the most stoic Elf is known to be quite merry after a few drinks. You gain a +2 trait bonus to Appraise checks to determine the value of alcoholic beverages. Sadly, you are still vulnerable to the effects of said beverages.


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I wanted to make a group of kobold cultists who worship Jubilex, Demon Lord of Ooze, and their leader. I wanted to make the leader an oracle but nothing seemed to fit. Best I could come up with for the leader is a cleric with the demon and ocean subdomains, describing water spells as slime. Can anyone come up with a better class or archetype?


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So, the movies make it seem like pirates just appear out of nowhere in the middle of an ocean, far from any landmarks, attack a ship, and then just sail off in a random direction. And they just circle around endlessly in the water, never going ashore except to raid a town or look for buried treasure. But they gotta have hideouts and stuff, right? I mean, there's always pirate hideouts and stuff in D&D, and in Pirates of the Caribbean there was that one grubby 'pirate town' they always went to. I guess my question is, where's the best place to hide these lairs? Would they be near the shipping lanes, or far away as possible? Could they even be on the same coast as the towns they're raiding, just further down, in a secret cove?


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Drejk wrote:
Note that DR is mostly redundant - as incorporeal creature your ringwraith cannot be harmed by non-magical sources of damage. I would grant it something like DR 10/elven steel* or good. Or maybe DR 10/silver and good for non middle-earth games.

Ah, can't believe I missed that. Change it to DR 10/good. Éowyn's sword wasn't silver or Elven-steel, and Merry's sword was forged by Men of Cardolan, enemies of the Witch-King of Angmar.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Finally got to work writing my Ringwraith template, which was discussed in a previous thread. I tried to make it as setting neutral as possible, so you could conceivably having these things running around in Golarion or your own setting. There's no reference to Sauron, The One Ring, athelas, Éowyn, or anything like that. The ringsense ability could be modified to include any magic item you choose, if you wanted to create a Staffwraith, for example. I looked at other templates (mostly the vampire and graveknight) to make sure the raw numbers were roughly balanced. Please look it over and let me know if the CR should be higher. I'm also worried that the "black breath" description is a little too wordy, but it had to be to get it to do exactly what I wanted to do. I didn't want to make it just a curse or a disease (as had been suggested), and I wanted to avoid duplicating the effects of any one spell (although crushing despair and nightmare were inspirations).

As always, I appreciate feedback, though I'm unlikely to make major changes at this point.

Creating a Ringwraith
“Ringwraith” is an acquired template that can be added to any living humanoid creature with 5 or more Hit Dice (referred to hereafter as the base creature). Most ringwraiths were once humans. A ringwraith uses the base creature’s statistics and abilities except as noted here.
CR: Same as base creature +2.
Alignment: Any evil.
Type: The creature’s type changes to undead (augmented). Do not recalculate class Hit Dice, BAB, or saves.
Senses: A ringwraith gains blindsight 60 ft. and ringsense (see below). Ringwraiths cannot see normally.
Aura: A ringwraith eminates the following aura.
Dreadful Presence (Su): A ringwraith radiates a chilling aura that casues all enemies within 30 feet to take a -4 penalty on saving throws against fear effects. Creatures that are normally immune to fear lose that immunity while within the aura.
Armor Class: Natural armor improves by +4.
Hit Dice: Change all racial Hit Dice to d8s. Class Hit Dice are unaffected. As an undead, a ringwraith uses its Charisma modifier to determine bonus hit points.
Defensive Abilities: A ringwraith gains channel resistance +2; DR 10/magic; and immunity to cold. A ringwraith also gains spell resistance equal to its augmented CR +11.
The ringwraith also gains the following ability.
Rejuvenation (Su): If a ringwraith is reduced to 0 hit points, it loses its corporeal form and returns to its master as quickly as possible. It gains a fly speed of 60 ft. (good). Once it reaches its master, a ringwraith is restored to corporeal form with full hit points in 1d10 days. If a ringwraith’s master is dead or on a different plane, the ringwraith instead returns to its master’s last known location or stronghold. Once there, it is restored to full power in 2d100 years. A ringwraith cannot be permanently slain unless the artifact that created it is destroyed, whereupon the ringwraith is also immediately destroyed.
Weapon Resistance (Su): Treat ringwraiths as incorporeal for all weapon attacks. Any non-magical weapon that hits a ringwraith (even if it does no damage) must make a Fortitude save or gain the broken condition.
Weaknesses: A ringwraith gains vulnerability to fire and spells with the good descriptor. A ringwraith also gains light sensitivity. Finally, ringwraiths have trouble crossing running water. A ringwraith must make a Will save (DC 20) to cross, and they or their mounts must move at half speed. For forded streams, the DC is 18, and for bridges, the DC is 15.
Attacks: A ringwraith gains a slam attack if the base creature didn’t have one. Damage for the slam depends on the ringwraith’s size (Bestiary 302).
Special Attacks: A ringrwaith gains the following special attacks. Save DCs are equal to 10 + ½ the ringwraith’s HD + the ringwraith’s Charisma modifier unless otherwise noted.
Black Breath (Su): As a standard action, a ringwraith can exhale the black breath in a 30-foot cone. Alternatively, the ringwraith can create a 10-foot burst with a range of 100 feet. All creatures within the black breath must make a Will save or become shaken. If a creature is already shaken, it becomes frightened. This effect typically lasts a number of rounds equal to the ringwraith’s HD. However, a creature thus effected must then make a new Will save once every minute (10 rounds). If the creature fails this Will save, it takes 1d10 damage and falls unconscious. The creature retains any fear effects, regardless of their source or duration, until it regains consciousness, and natural healing does not occur. Every 24 hours thereafter, the creature takes another 1d10 damage and attempts another Will save to regain consciousness. The save DC is equal to 10 + ½ the ringwraith’s HD + the damage taken. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. It can be ended by a remove curse spell. A ringwraith can use this ability a number of times per day equal to its Charisma modifier.
Mournful Wail (Su): A ringwraith is forever cursed to be an unwilling thrall of its terrible master. It can emit a mournful wail as a standard action. All living creatures within a 30-foot spread must succeed on a Will save or become shaken for 2d4 rounds. This is a sonic mind-affecting fear effect. A creature that successfully saves against the wail cannot be affected by the same ringwraith’s wail for 24 hours.
Special Qualities: A ringwraith gains the following.
Ringsense (Su): The ringwraith can detect magic rings by sense of smell within 10 feet per the item’s caster level. If the magic ring is also an artifact, this range becomes 10 miles per the item’s caster level. When the ringwraith detects a magic ring, the exact location of the source is not revealed, only its presence somewhere within the range. A ringwraith can take a standard action to locate the direction of the source. When the ringwraith is within 5 feet of the source, it pinpoints the source’s location.
Servant of the One (Su): All ringwraiths have a master, usually a powerful spellcaster or demigod, who uses an artifact in the ringwraith’s creation. A ringwraith’s master knows exactly where the ringwraith is at all times and can control its actions as if using a dominate monster spell. If a ringwraith’s master is killed or trapped on another plane, the ringwraith must work to resurrect or free its master, even if this requires years of planning, gathering resources, and manipulating other creatures.
Shadowy Form (Su): Ringwraiths exist partially on the Plane of Shadow. They must be given corporeal form and clothing by their master in order to interact with the material plane. Its corporeal body is invisible, and it cannot remove the clothing bestowed by its master while it is in corporeal form. A ringwraith can voluntarily shed its form to become incorporeal. It loses all powers and abilities and cannot interact with the material plane in any way, save through its blindsense and dreadful presense. A ringwraith in incorporeal form gains a fly speed of 60 ft. (good).
Ability Scores: Str +6, Int +4, Wis -2, Cha +6. As an undead creature, a ringwraith has no Constitution score.
Skills: A ringwraith gains a +8 racial bonus on Intimidate, Ride and Stealth checks.
Feats: Ringwraiths gain Improved Initiative, Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack, and Toughess as bonus feats.


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Tacticslion wrote:
How do you get the carrot atop the "u"? I just copied/pasted yours.

On a Mac, press option-i, release, and then type u. On a PC, hold down ALT and type '0251.'

Tacticslion wrote:
For each of the rings, I'd suggest a specific relatively low-key (i.e. "not flashy") but highly useful magical effect because, honestly, Middle Earth doesn't have the flashiest of mages.

For what it's worth, I think the Pathfinder magic system works just fine in Middle-earth, especially when the alternative is to make your own magic system from the ground up. Gandalf DID create a fireball (against the wolves in Hollin) and he did call down lighting (against the Nazgûl on Weathertop), he threatened to turn people into animals, could communicate telepathically long-distance, and as Gandalf the White shot rays of holy light. He just didn't do these things as often as a Pathfinder wizard would because of the peculiar strictures of his Order. To make my campaign feel low-magic without rewriting the entire magic system, I'm simply limiting PCs' access to magic items and requiring them to be level 3 before they can go into a spellcasting class. You still get things that weren't in the books, but I'd rather do it this way than learn or make a whole new game.

Tacticslion wrote:
Finally, depending on what you're thinking now, I might reconfigure your perceptions of power: look at about 9th-to-14th as your power window. Most of the great mortals in Middle Earth, in Pathfinder terms, seem to hover around 5th, while immortals are around 10th. Only a few, such as Sauron, really get in the range of "near epic", and the Valar seem to be the only things that actually get to epic levels.

I'm using MERP as a rough guide here, dividing everyone's character level by 3. For example, Aragorn is level 36 in their system, so he ends up being 12 in Pathfinder. The Nazgûl fall into the 10 to 20 range, with the Witch-King being the only 20th level (60th level in MERP). I don't always go with MERP, though, because they made Legolas and Gimli level 8 to Aragorn's 36, and I feel the Three Hunters should be closer together in level.

Although now that I think about it, dividing by 5 might work better. Hm.


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Gilfalas wrote:
I would not make them a template. There is only 9 of them after all (assuming your going for a canon game). Make them Unique special Monsters/NPC's.

I want to make each Nazgûl an individual, so I felt a template was the best way to go. Specifically, I want to make ICE's Nazgûl, since I like their backstories, for the most part. A template could also be used to make "lesser" wraiths. The Nazgûl each had their own kingdoms and servants, and some of them might have forged lesser rings to enslave their own thralls. This idea is used in LOTRO for monsters that are called Cargûl. I've got an adventure in mind where the PCs explore an old, abandoned castle that used to belong to Adûnaphel (ICE's name for the 7th Nazgûl), and the PCs end up fighting what is basically the memory of a Nazgûl, so not at full strength.

Gilfalas wrote:
I always found that Iron Crown got the flavor and feel of Middle Earth dead on. They are a great go to source for their region guides and insights into the power of the major NPC's of Middle Earth.

MERP is an excellent resource but woefully incomplete in places.


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Interzone wrote:
I think I would decrease the range of the black breath ability, seems more like it would be a thing they would do only when they were closer up.

You're forgetting when they basically dive-bombed Minas Tirith with the Black Breath during the Battle of Pelennor Fields.


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Ninjaiguana wrote:
Also bear in mind with the Strength score thing that incorporeal undead do not have a Strength score. Obviously you could make them an exception, but as written, incorporeal undead lack Strength as well as Constitution.

Incorporeal creatures also can't interact with physical objects, yet the Nazgûl wield weapons and wear clothes. So maybe they're not the Pathfinder definition of incorporeal.


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I am working on a Nazgûl template for my Middle-earth Pathfinder campaign. I've never created a template before, so I'm looking for suggestions. It's my intention to use this template not just for the Nine Nazgûl but also "lesser" spirits under their control (such as the Cargûl from LOTRO). First, I'm going to list the general powers and features of the Nazgûl, found in ICE's Lords of Middle-earth Vol. II for the MERP system, and talk about various ways to turn them into Pathfinder rules.

1) Resistant to critical strikes — Ok, this is fairly easy to do. Nazgûl are incorporeal undead, and they probably have some DR on top of that. Done.

2) Shadowy form — Nazgûl are only partially present in the material plane, and the rest of their being exists "in the Shadows outside of the world." Ringwraiths cannot die as long as the One Ring exists. If Sauron is killed (or temporarily defeated), Nazgûl lose their form and retreat to the Shadow-world. They cannot return to the world until Sauron regains his power and summons them. It can take up to 200 years for a Nazgûl to regain its form and full power after that.

The first part sounds like pretty much the definition of incorporeal. The second is a bit like a lich's relationship to its phylactery. If a Nazgûl is defeated in combat and The One Ring is not found and destroyed immediately after (not likely to happen unless you're playing Frodo), then the Nazgûl returns in a matter of days.

3) Appearance - Ringwraiths are invisible. They can only be seen by Sauron, evil Shadow creatures, or someone wearing a Ring of Power. While wearing their own Rings, Nazgûl look like they did in life. Without their Rings, they look like haggard old corpses.

Invisibility is also pretty well-defined in the Pathfinder rules. It's worth noting that Ringwraiths seem to have a strong connection to what would be Middle-earth's Plane of Shadow, and I don't know that there's any specific way to express that in Pathfinder. The Nazgûl didn't have their Rings when they were encountered in The Lord of the Rings—Sauron had taken them, presumably to keep them on a tight leash. If another party of adventurers encountered the Nazgûl at an earlier time, they might actually have their Rings and be more powerful. Not sure how the Rings, each a unique magic artifact, could be hard-coded into the template. Definitely a Nazgûl with a Ring would have a higher CR than one without it.

4) Strength of form — They have the strength and vigor of hardy young Men. They do not suffer the penalties of age, and they do not get tired easily. They do not sleep. They are weak during the day. Non-magical weapons break upon contact with their flesh.

MERP included a lot of stuff under one bullet point. From this I read that Nazgûl should have high Strength and Fortitude saves. They have the Light Sensitivity of orcs. Non-magic weapons that hit them must make a Fortitude save or gain the broken condition.

5) Vulnerability to Nature — Again, they're weak in natural sunlight. They have trouble crossing fresh running water. They are weak against fire.

All stuff that's actually pretty easy to do in Pathfinder. I'll just use the language in the vampire template for the whole running water thing.

6) Effect of Varda — Ringwraiths are weak against the power of the goddess Varda. Just saying her name "Elbereth Gilthoniel" can force a Nazgûl to flee.

Ok, so saying "Elbereth Gilthoniel" forces the Nazgûl to make a Will save or flee. This one seems most problematic to me for a roleplaying game. Any PC who happens to know this fact has a chance to defeat a Nazgûl with a free action. Even though it happens in the books, I'm of a mind to just flat-out ignore this. Any suggestions?

7) Enhanced senses — Nazgûl are blind in the material plane and use senses other than sight to see. Sounds like blindsight to me.

8) Presence — Anyone who sees a Nazgûl must make a Will save versus fear or flee in terror. MERP also says a Nazgûl can deliver a True Charm spell with a gaze. I don't know what that is in MERP, but it sounds like the Nazgûl has a very high-level charm spell-like ability, or perhaps an array of them. Not sure what part of the books this is based on.

9) Black Breath — This is the Nazgûl's most famous attack, described in numerous places in the books. MERP says it can be used 9/day, has a range of 300 feet and a 5 foot radius. Those numbers are obviously not set in stone, but they seem good to me. MERP gives the attack 3 levels of severity, depending on how badly the target fails its save—the target falls into "despair" for 1-100 rounds and the "unwakable sleep" for 1-100 hours; the target "despairs" for 1-100 hours and then "unbreakable slumber" for 1-100 days; the target immediately falls into a cursed sleep and dies from mental torment (unless healed) within 1-100 hours.

Obviously the above includes a lot of MERP terms that I don't know the definition. I don't really know if Pathfinder does tiered saves. It'd be easy to write up, but if no other monsters have it, I don't want to do it. I think this is probably best done as a poison or a disease that gets worse after so many failed saves. Any thoughts on poison versus disease? Also, should it be a Fortitude save or a Will save?

The Nine Rings of Power — Since Tolkien didn't really say what the Nine Rings did, I'm basically free to make up anything. MERP has a short description that uses MERP terminology that I'm not familiar with. Here's what it basically boils down to...
—A whole bunch of spell-like abilities. Here's where I can make all the Rings different if I want and tailor them to each wraith's specific personality.
—Can't be detected by magic/scrying.
—Wearer retains Dex bonus when flat-floted.
—Bonuses to caster level, AC, saving throws, and hit points.

I'd like the template to add +2 to a creature's CR without a Ring (the same as ghost, lich, and vampire), and +3 or more with a Ring.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

That's not true, Enevhar. If you read Lords of Middle-earth Vol. II there is information on all the Nazgûl. Tolkien did not give the Nazgûl names or say where there original kingdoms were, but MERP provided all that information and gave each Nazgûl a backstory. A lot of them returned to their old kingdoms when Sauron returned in the Third Age and ruled there briefly. Most of them were south of Mordor, in Khand, Harad, and Umbar. Hoarmûrath was the only one that had a kingdom in the north. I'm guessing his backstory was written after the maps were already drawn and they never had any reason to add it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Thanks. I thought it was further north, above the Grey Mountains. Still can't find it on any stinkin' map, though. MERP's maps are pretty useless for the most part.


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Does anyone know the exact location of the Land of Urd and the Forest of Dír? These were the lands of Hoarmûrath the Ringwraith when he was mortal. They're somewhere in "the North." Also, if anyone can point me to a site that has ICE's interpretation of Middle-earth as one big map image, I would be grateful.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Thanks, Lightbulb, I'll have to take a good look at these articles later. I'm not sure that there's anything in them that pertains to Pathfinder movement rules, though. :)


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New question-- what about army movement? How do I determine how fast an army moves, using the overland movement rules in the Core Rulebook? Can I assume that a trained army can hustle and do a forced march without too much trouble? What about horses? If it's a small force (say a detachment of knights or a company of rangers), can I assume that every unit has a horse, and would they be light horses or heavy horses? I don't really understand the difference.


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Sean Mahoney wrote:


For the OP let me see if I can give my take (I am not a military guy, so this is just a guy who enjoys history but has no particular specialty there).

Thanks Sean, that really gives me a lot of ideas to work with. You rock! And the war is mostly background for the PCs. The PCs are not soldiers, they are adventurers involved in a quest to find artifacts and stop Sauron from destroying the world. The war is background. They will be involved in some battles (like I said, their first mission is to save the Captain of Gondor's armies) but mostly they'll be trying to figure out how to stay away from the marauding armies so they can get their jobs done.


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EWHM wrote:
Wasn't Aragorn involved in this war in disguise, or was that a later war?

This campaign is taking place 250 years before The Lord of the Rings. Aragorn has not even been born yet.

To address what everyone else is talking about, yes, Middle-earth is a terribly unrealistic place when you take a good look at it. It's very sparsely populated, there's really no trade routes or economy to speak of (there's some in the North with the dwarves traveling from Erebor to the Blue Mountains and back again), and Tolkien doesn't really go into details about governments, day-to-day lives, levels of technology, etc.

MERP tries to fill in some of these gaps by saying that Gondor trades with the Grey Havens (the Elves) and Umbar (when they're not at war). The first doesn't fit with Tolkien's writing because in the Third Age, Men were supposed to be "estranged" from the Elves, but at least it's an attempt.

Tolkien DOES say that Gondor (and Númenor before it) were mighty seafaring powers. Gondor's power waned throughout the Third Age, but at one time they were basically able to send ships anywhere and do what they liked with them. About 800 years prior to my campaign, Gondor DID send a fleet of ships led by their Crown Prince to land at the Grey Havens and assist the Elves in destroying the Witch-King of Angmar, who had completely decimated the Kingdom of Armor by that point. By the time of MY campaign, Gondor's naval strength is much less. My guess is they are able to patrol the waters along the coast and the island of Tolfalas but little else.

Pelgargir and Dol Amroth are both port cities, and they wouldn't have port cities if they didn't have a navy and/or some kind of sea trade.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

So gnomersy I get that you're saying the war as Tolkien describes it is unrealistic? Because all Tolkien talks about is the invasion by sea. Of course, it's possible that Umbar didn't send any land forces because their goal was simply to harass Gondor and keep them from sending aid to Rohan.

Gondor is supposed to be pretty weak militarily at this point in history, so I don't know if they would be able to send an army as far south as Umbar. They had sacked Umbar a couple times in the past, when they were stronger, but this is far into Gondor's decline. They'd have to be in pretty dire straits to even consider it.

Would Gondor try to reclaim their ports first? How long would that take? How long would it take to muster all those 40 thousand men? I'm trying to find a plausible way to stretch this conflict out for 8 months. (u_u);;


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Well, they're 3rd level but really more 2 1/2 level because I'm making them all take an NPC class. The reason being that Middle-earth is a bit more mundane than your average fantasy realm. They also don't have a lot of access to a lot of magic and healing. That's the kind of campaign it is. The campaign will go to about 10th level, but they'll be far from Gondor by that point.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm looking for advice from people who know a thing or two about warfare. I have compiled a lot of data for this particular campaign but don't exactly know what to do with it. My campaign is set in Middle-earth in the year 2758 T.A., but you don't necessarily need to be a Middle-earth expert to help me out.

The campaign starts in this area, and most of the war takes place on this map
http://users.abo.fi/jumppa/Atlas_of_Middle-earth_-_maps/the_white_mountains .gif

Tolkien says in this year "three great fleets, long prepared, came up from Umbar and Harad, and assailed the coasts of Gondor in great force; the enemy made many landings, even as far north as the mouth of the Isen." Of the outcome, Tolkien only says that Gondor had "overcome" their enemies by Spring of the following year. This particular war is important because it kept Gondor from sending aid to Rohan, who was having troubles of its own. The devastation caused by both wars and a harsh winter in Rohan is what led the Steward of Gondor to give Saruman the Keys to Orthanc.

I'm trying to figure out some sort of timeline for how the war would play out, so that I can put the PCs in the middle of it. Gondor is a pretty big area to invade, even if you do have three great fleets. I don't actually know anything about war, and I suck at war strategy games. I have no idea how big a fleet might be, where they would attack first, how Gondor would react, how fast Gondor's armies could communicate with each other, etc. This is a low-magic setting, so no flying carpets or sending spells.

Some raw data. Gondor has a population of about 400 thousand, with roughly 30-35 thousand living in Minas Tirith (the capitol). After Minas Tirith, the second largest population centers are Pelargir and Dol Amorth, which are both port cities able to deploy sizable naval forces. Most people live in Lossarnach, Lebennin, along the coasts, or along the River Morthond. West of the River Morthond, the land is mostly uninhabited (only about 5000 people for that large area). Another important strategic location is Tolfalas, where Gondor maintains a watchtower and token naval force. We know that at least part of Umbar's forces traveled to the Mouths of the Isen, far outside of Gondor's territory. It's likely they were not part of the war but went to help the Dunlendings that were invading Rohan at that time. It's possible to travel from Gondor to Umbar by land, crossing the River Poros, and while Umbar has invaded Gondor by that way at other times, Tolkien doesn't mention any land battles occurring in this year.

There's a road that goes from Minas Tirith through the heartland of Gondor and ends at Erech. In LOTR, it took Aragorn (with an army of Rangers and undead) about 7 days to travel from Erech to Minas Tirith by horse and then by ship. He was in a Big Hurry and was partially aided by divine powers. There are several important bridges along this road that could hinder an army's movement if destroyed.

The campaign has already started and it is summer of 2758 T.A. Umbar has been harassing Gondor's coasts for years now, so news of ships sacking coastal towns is nothing new. However, the PCs are just starting to get the sense that a major invasion has begun. In addition, the Steward's son Beregond is currently captured by orcs in the wilds of Anfalas, and one of the PCs' first missions will be to rescue him. I intend for the war to be happening around the PCs without them getting too involved, as they will have missions of their own.

I do have access to a lot of the old MERP books, which I absolutely love. They are good at filling in details that Tolkien left out. However they're very dense and don't always have the information that I want, especially if the book is set hundreds of years before or after my campaign.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I built this guy for a one-shot module. I'm playtesting on Friday. He will attack with four shadow rats (Tome of Horrors Complete page 504), making the whole encounter EL 5. The PCs are 3rd level. At this point, I'm checking to see if there's anything I should tweak (ability scores, feats, tricks, weapon choices).

Dimos --- CR 3
XP 800
Male fetchling ninja 4
LE Medium outsider (native)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +4
-- Defense --
AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 27 (4d8+4)
Fort +2, Ref +8, Will –1
Defensive Abilities shadow blending, uncanny dodge; Resist cold 5, electricity 5
-- Offense --
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk wakizashi +8 (1d8+2/18–20) or
Mwk dagger +8 (1d4+2/19–20)
Ranged mwk shortbow +8 (1d6/x3)
Special Attacks sneak attack +2d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th)
1/day—disguise self (humanoid only)
-- Statistics --
Str 14, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 6, Cha 12
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 19
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +11, Appraise +5, Bluff +7, Climb +9, Diplomacy +5, Disable Device +10, Disguise +9, Escape Artist +10, Intimidate +5, Knowledge (local) +5, Knowledge (nobility) +5, Linguistics +5, Perception +4, Sense Motive +2, Sleight of Hand +11, Stealth +13, Swim +6, Use Magic Device +5
SQ ki pool (3 points), ninja tricks (shadow clone, vanishing trick), no trace +1, poison use
Combat Gear leather, masterwork dagger, masterwork katana, masterwork shortbow; Other Gear disguise kit, black smear poision (2 doses), thieves’ tools, 200 pp, 250 gp
-- Special Abilites --
Poison Use (Ex) A ninja is trained in the use of poison and cannot accidentally poison himself when applying poison to a weapon.
Black smear—injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Str; cure 1 save.
Shadow Clone (Su): The ninja can create 1d4 shadowy duplicates of himself that conceal his true location. This ability functions as mirror image, using the ninja’s level as his caster level. Using this ability is a standard action that uses up 1 ki point.
Vanishing Trick (Su): As a swift action, the ninja can disappear for 1 round per level. This ability functions as invisibility. Using this ability uses up 1 ki point.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Okay. Should the damage be lower if it's also bull rushing or grabbing the PC? I figure I can roll a d100 to randomly determine bull rush vs. grab. And maybe a Strength check to alter the path of the chain?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Not sure if this is the right board for this, but here goes. I'm writing an adventure that takes place in an abandoned factory and features a fight that takes place on a catwalk over a large room filled with industrial-sized vats and other discarded equipment. (Think when Batman met the Joker the first time)

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to have this big, heavy hook on a chain dangling from the ceiling that could be swinging around and knock people off the catwalk or even catch on their clothing and swing *them* around. If one of the PCs was clever, they could grab it and throw it at the bad guys, or grab on and ride it to the other side of the room. Just a fun prop to make a rather bland encounter more exciting.

I was just wondering what the best way might be to represent this thing in game terms, without making it too complicated and slowing down the game. What would be appropriate attack and damage values?

This is meant to be a CR 4 encounter.

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