high fantasy, low magic

So here's my idea for a game using the latest playtest materials: it's got the usual high fantasy races (dwarves, elves, goblins and so forth) but basically no magic except evil NPC Warlocks. High Elves would basically be creatures of myth, legendary ancestors of modern wood elves. So good magic used to exist in the world, but now it's all been driven out by dark warlockery. And while lots of people belive in gods, pray to them for healing, protection in battle, etc. there's no mechanical benefit to this in the game.

Has anyone used the playtest material to do this kind of low magic game, or have any advice for doing so?

Thanks in advance.
Children believe what we tell them, they have complete faith in us. I ask of you a little of this childlike simplicity, and to bring us luck, let me speak four truly magic words: "A long time ago...." (Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast) Winner of You Build the Character #12, YbtC #22, YbtC #24, YbtC #28 and YbtC #35 Winner of You Make the... Contest #8
Interesting idea for a campaign setting. One suggestion might be to try to kitbash from a low-magic setting released for 3.5 - the Conan and Song of Ice and Fire RPGs originally written for 3.X have some useful non-magical scholar and godsworn classes that you can build on to replace Clerics and Wizards and the like.

You probably want to buff non-magical healing unless you're going for a WFRP-style grim and gritty fantasy game. Maybe allow Healer's Kit to be used during combat as long as neither the healer and the patient are either attacking or being attacked?
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
This sounds like some good ol' sword & sorcery stuff... I like it...

Anyway, as to healing, you may want to give my Alternate Healing idea a try?  It will help keep your players alive without healing magic.
Well, in the absence of a Cleric, you're down 1d8+4 for want of CD, and another 2d8+8 for want of two CLW spells.  At 5th, and a total of 14d8 +32 at 5th for want of a full-on-heal-bot cleric.  You might want to bring in some alternative in-combat healing.  Healer's kit would help.  You might consider letting PCs use an action to spend HD in combat, like a 4e 'second wind.'

Of course, if there was a shouty-healing warlord it wouldn't be an issue... ;) 

 

 

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Thanks for all the input. I noticed earlier this week that there's a Song of Ice and Fire rulebook at ye olde FLGS. I might have to have a closer look at that.

Re: healing, I have an idea. You can use a second wind action in combat (no kit required) but you have disadvantage on the hit dice rolls. So a fighter who spent one hit die on a second wind would roll 2d10 and take the lower result (repeat if spending more than one hit die).

On the other hand, using a healing kit (requires a short rest) grants you advantage on the hit dice rolls.

Hit dice spent on second winds count against your total, so you can't double up by spending the same hit die as a second wind and at the next pit stop. But at least it gives an option to save your bacon in the absence of magical healing, and a little more oomph to healing kits.

Does this sound workable?
Children believe what we tell them, they have complete faith in us. I ask of you a little of this childlike simplicity, and to bring us luck, let me speak four truly magic words: "A long time ago...." (Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast) Winner of You Build the Character #12, YbtC #22, YbtC #24, YbtC #28 and YbtC #35 Winner of You Make the... Contest #8
Thanks for all the input. I noticed earlier this week that there's a Song of Ice and Fire rulebook at ye olde FLGS. I might have to have a closer look at that. Re: healing, I have an idea. You can use a second wind action in combat (no kit required) but you have disadvantage on the hit dice rolls. So a fighter who spent one hit die on a second wind would roll 2d10 and take the lower result (repeat if spending more than one hit die). On the other hand, using a healing kit (requires a short rest) grants you advantage on the hit dice rolls. Hit dice spent on second winds count against your total, so you can't double up by spending the same hit die as a second wind and at the next pit stop. But at least it gives an option to save your bacon in the absence of magical healing, and a little more oomph to healing kits. Does this sound workable?



That sounds legitimately terrible. It's like "yay I get to spend an action to heal an average of 3 hit points while having the biggest hit die in the game, when enemies deal 6 points of damage on an average hit!"
Why would anybody want to?
Hmm, scratch that then. I'll have to look at other options.
Children believe what we tell them, they have complete faith in us. I ask of you a little of this childlike simplicity, and to bring us luck, let me speak four truly magic words: "A long time ago...." (Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast) Winner of You Build the Character #12, YbtC #22, YbtC #24, YbtC #28 and YbtC #35 Winner of You Make the... Contest #8
high fantasy races (dwarves, elves, goblins and so forth)

What? Dwarves, elves, and goblins are not high-fantasy races. They are low- to moderate-fantasy races. High-fantasy races would be those like Deva, Genasi, and Warforged.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
From what I've seen, the game is pretty low magic as presented.
When I think High Magic, I think Eberron, and so far, this has seemed to be running in the opposite direction. 
Even in so much that non-magical also means mundane and somewhat pedestrian.
Stripping out the 2 (now 4) casters will only leave a party crippled. There are better systems to run a game where magic is in the hands of not the pcs. This system completely falls apart in absence the magical healer (Healing Potions are expensive and sorta weak, and HD are of variable utility at best), even with a Cleric, you need the Healer Specialty to have reliable progression through plural encounters.

If you are heart set on running with less than half a ship, I would suggest adding a second wind feature that is significantly stronger than current hit dice, cheapening healing potions, herbs, whatever, and bumping starting hp back up to 1st playtest levels. Basically, you will need to strengthen mundane hp recovery to offset a lack of utility and healign options... unless you desire a high body count and single encounter adventure days.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
high fantasy races (dwarves, elves, goblins and so forth)

What? Dwarves, elves, and goblins are not high-fantasy races. They are low- to moderate-fantasy races. High-fantasy races would be those like Deva, Genasi, and Warforged.



What? If High Fantasy has any viability as a term, it refers to fantasy that revolves around epic struggles of good vs. evil between larger-than-life heroes and villains. Tolkein is the great-granddaddy of High Fantasy, and he's got Dwarves, Elves, and Goblins aplenty.

 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
high fantasy races (dwarves, elves, goblins and so forth)

What? Dwarves, elves, and goblins are not high-fantasy races. They are low- to moderate-fantasy races. High-fantasy races would be those like Deva, Genasi, and Warforged.



What? If High Fantasy has any viability as a term, it refers to fantasy that revolves around epic struggles of good vs. evil between larger-than-life heroes and villains. Tolkein is the great-granddaddy of High Fantasy, and he's got Dwarves, Elves, and Goblins aplenty.

 


Actually, high fantasy simply means the world is completley removed from our own (Tolkiens blatant absorbtion and fusion of our own myths sorta leaves him out of that, even tho, at his time, he was a pioneer) with it's own internally consistent physics, ect.... Elf, Dwarf, and Orc are just Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mezomorph human with a dash of cosmetic alteration and with a culture baked in. They all work mostly under the rules that our world, rather than a completely seperate reality, would.

I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
If High Fantasy has any viability as a term, it refers to fantasy that revolves around epic struggles of good vs. evil between larger-than-life heroes and villains.

That's not high-fantasy. Any level of fantasy can fit that bill. Heck, plenty of stories completely outside of the fantasy genre can fit that bill. Different levels of fantasy, as Verdegris described above, are determined by level of removal from the rules of the real world. Dwarves and Elves, for example, have nothing really fantastic about them other than the fact that they're made up; they follow all of the same rules of biology as we have in the real world and could very easily and believably be real creatures, so they are low-fantasy. High-fantasy races would be like those that I described above, the Deva, Genasi, and Warforged, all of which do not work at all assuming real-world rules and require exotic and outlandish setting elements in order to even basically function.

Tolkein is the great-granddaddy of High Fantasy...

Only because, at the time, he did the most fantastic things. That's not true anymore. What Tolkein did is pretty bland compared to what we have nowadays. LotR is on the lower end of the fantasy scale.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
LoTR fits right in with the low fantasy, loosely historically based work of Guy Gavriel Kay, but not very well with the more fantastical stuff. Heck, even Shannara is more high fantasy, really. Not by much, but it's there.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome

Actually, high fantasy simply means the world is completley removed from our own (Tolkiens blatant absorbtion and fusion of our own myths sorta leaves him out of that, even tho, at his time, he was a pioneer) with it's own internally consistent physics, ect.... Elf, Dwarf, and Orc are just Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mezomorph human with a dash of cosmetic alteration and with a culture baked in. They all work mostly under the rules that our world, rather than a completely seperate reality, would.



No, removal from the real world is only one aspect of high fantasy. (As opposed from low fantasy, which tended to be set in our world with the addition of magical elements). 

However, the black and white/good and evil thing has also been an important part of high fantasy since the beginning - it was key to the first interpretations of what high fantasy was from L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter - and a major difference between high fantasy and low fantasy. Low fantasy heroes like Conan or the Grey Mouser are certainly not moral beacons who spend most of their time fighting pure evil (nor are they the Campbellian heroic journey/unlikely hero types), mostly they're very skilled protagonists who quite often are fighting other humans with different motives, and that's the way that R.E Howard, Fritz Lieber, etc. saw them. Lieber especially distinguished his heroes from Tolkien as having an "earthier" style, where heroes were more morally ambiguous and who fought more personal than cosmic enemies. 

And I think we underestimate how distinctive Tolkien's kind of world in light of more recent affairs; Bram Stoker's Dracula is still a work of horror despite being surpassed in shock value by more recent works. Elves and dwarves and orcs don't exist in our world, they are fictional and in Tolkien's eyes, metaphysical. Elves represent man before the fall (they stop aging and will not die of old age, they can't commit adultery, premarital sex, or have any act committed against them outside of marriage, etc.), Dwarves have all kinds of masonic/Jewish folklore influence and aren't any more real-worldy than elves (they were shaped from rock by Aule, only a third of them are female, etc.), and Orcs are based off of Grendel and are either made from slime and rock, or represent fallen men/elves. That they are less fantastical than Warforged (who are essentially Robots WITH MAGIC!) doesn't make them not high fantasy. 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.


....and Orcs are based off of Grendel and are either made from slime and rock, or represent fallen men/elves. That they are less fantastical than Warforged (who are essentially Robots WITH MAGIC!) doesn't make them not high fantasy. 



  Just a minor point.

  Warforged are actually made pretty much the same way as Orcs are (at least Sarumon's Uruk-hai as depicted in the movies).  You take a bunch of rocks, some wood, and metal, toss it into a vat, perform a magical ritual, they "coalesce" over time, and after a while,  these genderless creatures start crawling out fully formed and ready to be equipped and fight.  They are living and breathing things, with thoughts, emotions, and free will but they are created through mortal magic rather than by the hand of some god.
So this campaign consists of two class choices, Fighter and Rogue, right? I want to do a Low Magic Campaign myself, but I can't see not having the other classes available to the players. How do you plan to reconcile that? It would be a turn off for me.
Hmm, scratch that then. I'll have to look at other options.

A simple one that's been mentioned elsewhere, IIRC:

For an in-combat 'Second Wind,' roll the HD used.  So, 2 10-sided HD is 2-20, average 11.

Out of Combat, with proper care, use the maximum of the HD used.   So, 2 10-sided HD is 20.


So this campaign consists of two class choices, Fighter and Rogue, right? I want to do a Low Magic Campaign myself, but I can't see not having the other classes available to the players. How do you plan to reconcile that? It would be a turn off for me.

Well, in a no-magic world that would obviously be nuts. ;)  Even in a low-magic world, a PC caster has a tremendous advantage in that enemies don't expect and can't deal with his abilities.  So no-casterts is a good policy.

The game could certainly accomodate a few more martial classes, though.  The Warlord for a start.   Rangers and Assassisn and even the Monk could be made purely-martial without too much trouble.

 

 

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However, the black and white/good and evil thing has also been an important part of high fantasy since the beginning...

What? No, it's really, really easy to create a low-fantasy story with black-and-white morality and a high-fantasy story with more complex morality.

Dwarves... were shaped from rock by Aule...
Orcs... are either made from slime and rock...

Eh, those are just the creations myths of those worlds. There are weirder creation myths here in the real world.

That they are less fantastical than Warforged (who are essentially Robots WITH MAGIC!) doesn't make them not high fantasy.

I think that it most certainly does, but if your standards for fantasy are so low that you consider "humans but with pointy ears" to be so fantastical, then we're just going to have to agree to disagree.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
So this campaign consists of two class choices, Fighter and Rogue, right? I want to do a Low Magic Campaign myself, but I can't see not having the other classes available to the players. How do you plan to reconcile that? It would be a turn off for me.



To give an example, the 3.X-based Conan RPG had Barbarians, Borderers, Nobles, Nomads, Pirates, Scholars, Soldiers, Temptresses, and Thieves.
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
  Unfortunately, D&D (and many players) have been reluctant to divide non-magical classes in such a way.  They much prefer their Fighter, Rogue, and one or two additional martial classes, and then a dozen different flavors of "guy in no/light armor casts spells from a distance".

  Most non-magical professions are forced into class builds or backgrounds. 
No, removal from the real world is only one aspect of high fantasy. (As opposed from low fantasy, which tended to be set in our world with the addition of magical elements). 

However, the black and white/good and evil thing has also been an important part of high fantasy since the beginning - it was key to the first interpretations of what high fantasy was from L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter - and a major difference between high fantasy and low fantasy. Low fantasy heroes like Conan or the Grey Mouser are certainly not moral beacons who spend most of their time fighting pure evil (nor are they the Campbellian heroic journey/unlikely hero types), mostly they're very skilled protagonists who quite often are fighting other humans with different motives, and that's the way that R.E Howard, Fritz Lieber, etc. saw them. Lieber especially distinguished his heroes from Tolkien as having an "earthier" style, where heroes were more morally ambiguous and who fought more personal than cosmic enemies.


You are getting your morality play in High Fantasy.
Some high Fantasy features distinct good and evil, not all.

And I think we underestimate how distinctive Tolkien's kind of world in light of more recent affairs; Bram Stoker's Dracula is still a work of horror despite being surpassed in shock value by more recent works. Elves and dwarves and orcs don't exist in our world, they are fictional and in Tolkien's eyes, metaphysical. Elves represent man before the fall (they stop aging and will not die of old age, they can't commit adultery, premarital sex, or have any act committed against them outside of marriage, etc.), Dwarves have all kinds of masonic/Jewish folklore influence and aren't any more real-worldy than elves (they were shaped from rock by Aule, only a third of them are female, etc.), and Orcs are based off of Grendel and are either made from slime and rock, or represent fallen men/elves. That they are less fantastical than Warforged (who are essentially Robots WITH MAGIC!) doesn't make them not high fantasy. 


Actually, Dwarves do exist in our world, or rather, the term is used derogatorily for certain humans. I can introduce you to some if you wish.

Yes, I know Tolkein used metaphore of Elves are Nobles, Dwarves are Jews, Eisengard is Germany and the Easterlings are Mohameadans. That painfully transparent metaphor is why it isn't High Fantasy. It's tale isn't timeless, it is a commentary on Brit-centric views of the Crimean war, Pre-WW1 and Victorian slapdash eclectic robbery of Nordic, Celtic and Egyptian mytho-history. 
Also, Orcs are mutated Elves.  Just as he was fair for his time when it comes to racism and white man's burden, he was also fantasitc for his time.

Unlike Dracula, which was actually a horrifying tale of near human monstrosity, that taps into fundamental fears of predation and  deception, LoTR was a metaphor, and a chimerical salad bar one at that. Don't get me wrong, it's a good read at times, and it got a much greater ball rolling by making the genre more socially acceptable, but it's about as High Fantasy as Star Wars is Sci Fi.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
So this campaign consists of two class choices, Fighter and Rogue, right? I want to do a Low Magic Campaign myself, but I can't see not having the other classes available to the players. How do you plan to reconcile that? It would be a turn off for me.



To give an example, the 3.X-based Conan RPG had Barbarians, Borderers, Nobles, Nomads, Pirates, Scholars, Soldiers, Temptresses, and Thieves.



Right, but I got the impression that the OP wanted to do it with the Playtest Rules. Don't think you can do that with the lack of Specialties and Backgrounds that are there.

Yes, I was planning on using just fighter and rogue classes. It wouldn't be a big group (probably no more than 3 players max) so I think two classes plus the backgrounds/specialties we have would do the trick. Plus we're used to playing Basic, so limited options are more okay for this group than might otherwise be the case.
Children believe what we tell them, they have complete faith in us. I ask of you a little of this childlike simplicity, and to bring us luck, let me speak four truly magic words: "A long time ago...." (Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast) Winner of You Build the Character #12, YbtC #22, YbtC #24, YbtC #28 and YbtC #35 Winner of You Make the... Contest #8
LoTR was a metaphor, and a chimerical salad bar one at that. Don't get me wrong, it's a good read at times, and it got a much greater ball rolling by making the genre more socially acceptable, but it's about as High Fantasy as Star Wars is Sci Fi.



I'd say that "metaphor" requires some amount of intentional analogue, which JRRT not only avoided, but despised.

While real life experiences inform all artists, especially writers, LoTR is neither metaphorical nor allegorical.


/nitpick



Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
So this campaign consists of two class choices, Fighter and Rogue, right? I want to do a Low Magic Campaign myself, but I can't see not having the other classes available to the players. How do you plan to reconcile that? It would be a turn off for me.



To give an example, the 3.X-based Conan RPG had Barbarians, Borderers, Nobles, Nomads, Pirates, Scholars, Soldiers, Temptresses, and Thieves.



Right, but I got the impression that the OP wanted to do it with the Playtest Rules. Don't think you can do that with the lack of Specialties and Backgrounds that are there.




Gotcha. I was suggesting thatif more classes were required, some kitbashing would be required. 

Now, you could probably make a fairly good Godsworn/Scholar/Noble type just by houseruling that the Rogue can pick ANY two backgrounds, as opposed to Thief/Thug and one other.  
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
I'd say that "metaphor" requires some amount of intentional analogue, which JRRT not only avoided, but despised.

While real life experiences inform all artists, especially writers, LoTR is neither metaphorical nor allegorical.


/nitpick





He claimed he despised it... I consider him fair for his time, which is a polite way of saying his particular brand of entitled bigotry is best left in the past, where it was common and socially normal. It also, given the time he was fair for, indicates I have difficulty trusting much that his, after the fact, pen, or apologist/witnesses say in his defense or excuse. 
Do you honestly consider his parables to be accidental?
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
Correction on Warforged:They arne't robots. They're more relatable to golems.
Correction on Warforged:They arne't robots. They're more relatable to golems.

Heh.  I guess, since their humanoid and sentient, 'android' would have the closest-matching definition.  But, yeah, they're constructs in game terms, like golems.  But a golem or construct in D&D is prettymuch just a  robot made by magic instead of science.  

 

 

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high fantasy races (dwarves, elves, goblins and so forth)

What? Dwarves, elves, and goblins are not high-fantasy races. They are low- to moderate-fantasy races. High-fantasy races would be those like Deva, Genasi, and Warforged.



Well depends on what kind of dwarves, elves, and goblins.  Although with typical D&D ones you are 100% correct.
I'd say that "metaphor" requires some amount of intentional analogue, which JRRT not only avoided, but despised.

While real life experiences inform all artists, especially writers, LoTR is neither metaphorical nor allegorical.


/nitpick





He claimed he despised it... I consider him fair for his time, which is a polite way of saying his particular brand of entitled bigotry is best left in the past, where it was common and socially normal. It also, given the time he was fair for, indicates I have difficulty trusting much that his, after the fact, pen, or apologist/witnesses say in his defense or excuse. 
Do you honestly consider his parables to be accidental?




They are not parables, by definition. Comparisons can be drawn, but the good professor simply set out to write a story, as an outgrowth of creating a world, which was further an outgrowth of inventing a language and some mytho-historical elements to inform that language, as a linguistic exercise.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
 
They are not parables, by definition. Comparisons can be drawn, but the good professor simply set out to write a story, as an outgrowth of creating a world, which was further an outgrowth of inventing a language and some mytho-historical elements to inform that language, as a linguistic exercise.



Which inspired me to design a Dragon Language... which ...  but I never got down to properly doing anything literary.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

 
They are not parables, by definition. Comparisons can be drawn, but the good professor simply set out to write a story, as an outgrowth of creating a world, which was further an outgrowth of inventing a language and some mytho-historical elements to inform that language, as a linguistic exercise.



Which inspired me to design a Dragon Language... which ...  but I never got down to properly doing anything literary.



JRRT was certainly a driven and tenacious man. What an incredible amount of work for what was really no more than a hobby. (language creation. Linguistics was more than a hobby for him, of course.)
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
They are not parables, by definition. Comparisons can be drawn, but the good professor simply set out to write a story, as an outgrowth of creating a world, which was further an outgrowth of inventing a language and some mytho-historical elements to inform that language, as a linguistic exercise.


Comparisons can be drawn, and with such alarming frequency that I find it hard to dismiss them.
I contend that his design points were deliberate rather than coincidental.
Even C.S. Lewis called him on it. 
However, he recanted mightily and loudly late in life. 
Regardless, we are arguing a dead man's intent, and I am content to allow others to research for themselves on the matter. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
They are not parables, by definition. Comparisons can be drawn, but the good professor simply set out to write a story, as an outgrowth of creating a world, which was further an outgrowth of inventing a language and some mytho-historical elements to inform that language, as a linguistic exercise.


Comparisons can be drawn, and with such alarming frequency that I find it hard to dismiss them.
I contend that his design points were deliberate rather than coincidental. 


It is hard to consider accidental isnt it. (extreme enough to end up being the subject of college philosophy courses)
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

The point of the matter is, Tolkien envisioned a world close to our own.  He HAD to, because he was trying to make the reader feel like it could really exist, despite all the fantastical elements.  Hobbits are about the lowest fantasy race in that setting, despite having some "animal-like" abilities like walking silently and hiding and such.  Hobbits were common people, the readers. 

He was trying to make a world that was as close as it could be to ours – one that could develop, even, into our world – without making too many assumptions that people didn't already make (and many of the "higher" fantasy elements in the setting – Balrogs, Ringwraiths, Barrow-wights, fire-breathing Dragons – appeared in some form or another in mythology or folklore).  These were assumptions people were okay with making at the time, and his style of writing through the Hobbits' perspectives (alwas at a near 3rd Person hovering above the 5 Hobbits) allowed this to be LOW fantasy, even while making huge fantastical assumptions at the time.

Since the publication of Lord of the Rings, the fantasy genre essentially burst into being, and since we're now accustomed to reading fantasy, authors will take us to wilder and zanier places.  Thus, the goal-posts have changed and Lord of the Rings is no longer "High" Fantasy when it comes to the definition of strange and out there.


HOWEVER, we might look at another core assumption about the meaning of High Fantasy that seems to proliferate these days, and that is that "High Fantasy" refers to settings such as Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Nerath, Dragonlance… and it is contrasted with "Low Fantasy Sword and Sorcery" of settings like Dark Sun, and with Fantasy/SciFi DungeonPunk/MagiTech of Eberron, Planescape, and Spelljammer, and with genre settings like Ravenloft.  I believe some of the contentions in this thread have to do with these two different assumptions of what "High Fantasy" refers to.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

They are not parables, by definition. Comparisons can be drawn, but the good professor simply set out to write a story, as an outgrowth of creating a world, which was further an outgrowth of inventing a language and some mytho-historical elements to inform that language, as a linguistic exercise.


Comparisons can be drawn, and with such alarming frequency that I find it hard to dismiss them.
I contend that his design points were deliberate rather than coincidental.
Even C.S. Lewis called him on it. 
However, he recanted mightily and loudly late in life. 
Regardless, we are arguing a dead man's intent, and I am content to allow others to research for themselves on the matter. 

Well, I'll just say that the races and real world equivilants you gave , seemed wrong and off to me.  
They are most definitely off.  Verdegris, if you want to criticise Tolkien as a bigot, criticise that he left in the line, "and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues" (857). 

Isengard (which you spelled wrong, btw) is just as much based off of Dunsinane Hill as it is off of any Crimean/WWI nation.  If you actually READ The History of Middle-Earth, you'll see how the tale grows in the telling, and how he starts working in his experiences from WWI, but it starts out far more simple and yet is entirely far more complex than you are giving the book credit.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

"Regardless, we are arguing a dead man's intent, and I am content to allow others to research for themselves on the matter. "

I am sorry that my categorization of his racism was inaccurate.
Thank you for correcting me and showing where his racism was actually directed. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
Though on the other hand, he had that whole scene about how Sam questioned whether this dead Harad-man was really evil at heart at all, or what lies or threats drove him from the land he loved. 

So Tolkien was pretty back and forth on this.  I'm very upset with the guy about leaving in that one line I mentioned above, but from his letters and other writings, he didn't seem to be purposefully racist, but rather a product of his times when such people were stock characters from gentleman-adventure stories about Africa.  It's not okay, but the guy at least never purposely wrote racism. 

But agreed.  Let dead-men's intents lie fallow.  The point of the thread was about High Fantasy, not about racism in Tolkien's works.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Though on the other hand, he had that whole scene about how Sam questioned whether this dead Harad-man was really evil at heart at all, or what lies or threats drove him from the land he loved.   



There was also a scene where an Orc calls for vengeance over the death of his Father... ok sounds like an attempt to put more human motivations in to what is often seen as just monsters. 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

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