SpiritOfMiddleEarth

Return to the main page 


Some notes about this draft

This file is an effort towards converting the rules of Spirit of the Century / FATEv3 rules to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. It proposes some hacking on the rules of Spirit of the Century (SotC) to better portray the heroic underpinnings of a role playing game set on Middle-Earth. A lot of the ideas on which this document is based are drawn from the movie adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (2001. 2002, 2003). Peter Jackson’s vision of the action in the movies is very pulpy at nature (The man went and directed a new King Kong version afterwards!) so gritty realism and bookkeeping are downplayed in this rules, in favor of more cinematic action. Along the way, I include some optional rules or link to those optional rules elsewhere, which could change the tone of play. Anyway, it’s all optional.

Thanks to all the people on the FATE Yahoo! Group for helping this idea come to life.

 

The Lord of the Rings from the FATE perspective

GM: So, last session, the Last alliance of Elves and Men finally manged to take out your character, Sauron the Maia…

Al: I still think those elf-lords and man-kings were pretty mean. They never accepted any of my concessions.

GM: We’ve talked about this before. Surrender to my will and adore me like a god are not very good terms… Still, you managed to use your Death Defiance stunt to survive the battle. Have you thought about how are you going to rejoin the game?

Al: Yep. I think I’ll turn into a malevolent spirit of some sort, and I’ll wait for a thousand years or so slumbering, planning my revenge, and then make my presence known to my Nazgul companions…

GM: That’s fine with me. Mary is doing something similar with his character. Her Balrog is slumbering somewhere under the Misty Mountains, and will awake when some nosy dwarves dig too greedily and too deep.

Al: Does that mean Mary won’t be playing tonight?

GM: Nope, she’s the bowling league game tonight.

Al: OK. So, when I wake up, the first thing I’ll do is to take my The One Ring to marshall…

GM: Wait. Your Power Ring was taken by Isildur, remember?

Al: Damn! That’s right. But, hey!, it’s still one of my aspects. Can I invoke it?

GM: OK. Give me one of your fate points.

Al: And I’ll send my Nazgul Companions to search for it, just in case…

 

And thus the saga of The Lord of the Rings began…

 

The Basics

 

This are some additional rules that help enhance the mood of the setting.

Heroic deeds

Characters are supposed to be the heroes. To fight against the Shadow and stop it from taking over the world should be a shared objective here. Pillaging for treasure and gaining new powers are activities better left for some other GM. Heroes hold some virtues in high regard, and are rewarded for following them.

The virtues: Compassion, Responsible Free Will, Generosity, Honesty and Fairness, Honour and Nobility, Restraint, Self-sacrifice, Valour, Wisdom.

Whenever a character perform an heroic deed, that is, one that follows on heroic virtues even in the face of  grave peril or in spite of personal gain, the GM should reward him with a fate point.

Heroic characters all possesses both the Last Leg ( p. 144) and Death Defiance stunts (p. 146), as if they were on the character sheet, as long as they remain heroic.

Villainous acts and Shadow

On the contrary, characters who perform villainous acts will gain shadow points, which are sort of anti-fate points. A GM may take one corruption point form the character to initiate a mandatory compel (which are described in their own section). Also, if at any point the character has more shadow points than fate points, he is no longer a heroic character: he may not gain fate points through the performance of heroic deeds, nor can he use the Last Leg and Death Defiance stunts as if they were in their character sheets. It bears noting here that, short of divine intervention, the only way to get rid of a corruption point is through mandatory compels. At the GM’s discretion, a character that gives his life willingly supporting the heroic virtues, might be cleaned of all corruption point he has left, thereby dying a hero.

If a character ever has a number of corruption points equal to his refresh rate, he is completely overtaken by the shadow. His will becomes enslaved by the Enemy. There is no going back. As such, it’s no longer a suitable player character, but may go on to become another tool in the GM arsenal. Servants of the Shadow gain shadow points all the same, by the way of compels and villainous acts and use it as a hero would fate points. They may never receive mandatory compels as such. Their whole life (and unlife) is a big mandatory compel, as they live only to serve the will of the Shadow. (This is mainly semantics, but it adds a lot to the flavor)

 

Aspects and corruption

 So, does this mean a character with the Cruel or Greedy aspects is doomed? No. A greedy character might take more than he deserves, and a cruel character might be mean to commoners, gaining fate points for his compels and still receive no corruption points in return. However, if the Greedy character were to take all the proceedings of a town, therefore leaving them in complete poverty or a Cruel character decides to not only mistreat the commoners, but also to fell a few sword blows on them, a corruption point would be well deserved. Rember, compels may restrict choices, but they do not dictate all your actions. The choice to be a hero or not is a decision completely left for the player to decide.

 

Character creation

Phases of character creation

As in SotC, character creation is made through five phases. The description of the phases is a little different here:

1.     Come up with a cool concept.

2.     Go through the phases.

3.     Assign your skills.

4.     Select your stunts.

Phase 1: Cultural Background

There is a plethora of cultures and races in Middle-Earth. The Free People are comprised by four main races: Dwarves, Elves, Men and Hobbits. Your hero may come from any of the races of the Free People. Also, the place you were born weighs heavily in the rest of your life, as such, you must not only choose your race but also your place of origin. A Dwarf from Southern Harad is quite different from one raised in the Iron Hills. This phase also covers the characters formation years:

·        To whom of the Free People do you belong? Where are you from?

·        Is your family big or small? Are they rich or poor? How do you get along with them? Are they nobles or commoners?

·        Do you have any famous or infamous ancestors?

·        How was your education? Were you trained in a craft? In combat?

·        Did you have any friends?

Rules

1.     Write a description of the events of this phase.

2.     Choose your Racial Aspect. Racial aspects are discussed in the next section.

3.     Choose one aspect that is tied to the events of this phase.

 

Example: George wants to play with a Dúnadan Ranger from the North. After talking with the GM, both decide it would be cool if the character were actually the heir of long dynasty of heroes, but is somewhat reluctant to accept his destiny. He already has a name for his character: Aragorn son of Arathorn. Aragorn’s racial aspect is Ranger of the North (Dúnadan). For his second aspect, he chooses Islidur’s heir, after one of his ancestor who did some terrible thing in the past.

Phase 2: Defining Moment

Describe the character’s breaking point, whether planned or serendipitous, that made him decide to go on a life of adventure. This may include a run in with the orcs, discovery of an Object of Power or anything that indicates how the character chose the path he now walks. Optionally, the GM may decide to set his chronicle after some important historical period. For example, in a Fourth Age game, you’ll need to describe what your character was doing during the War of the Ring.

Rules

1.     Write a description of the event of this phase.

2.     Choose two aspects tied to the events of this phase.

 

Example: After Aragorn’s father is killed by orcs, his mother sends him to the Rivendell. There, he meets Arwen Evenstar, princess of the elves, and falls in love with her. Later, he lefts Rivendell and under the name Thorongil serves under king Thengel of Rohan and Steward Ecthelion II of Gondor. For his two aspects, George picks Arwen Evenstar, to reflect the deep feelings Aragorn will develop. For his second aspect, he chooses, Friend of Gandalf, a mysterious Wizard the GM wants to use as a recurring character in the chronicle.

 

Phase 3: First Adventure

Describe your character’s first adventure, whether big or small and how it affected her. Example: The Mines of Lorigan (and a brief tale of what happened there).

Rules

1.     Write a description of the events of this phase. Choose a title that will describe the events of your first adventure, but don’t fill all the details of the adventure yet.

2.     Choose two aspects tied to the events of this phase. (You might wait for the next phases and fill this aspects later)

 

Example: George comes up with a cool name for his adventure, The City-ports of Umbar, and decides that during this adventure he manages to engineer the destruction of a large part of fleet of the Corsairs. Then he return to Rivendell, to pledge his love to Arwen, but her father refuses to give her hand to anyone who is not both king of Gondor and Arnor. So he leaves Rivendell again. For this phase, George picks The sword that was broken as his first aspect. This refers to the legendary sword his ancestor once possessed and was destroyed in batle, which will only be reforged for the true king of Arnor and Gondor. For his second aspect, he chooses Veteran, which reflects his prior melee experiences.

 

Phase 4: Unexpected meetings

Describe how you met one of the other characters, and how you fit into their adventure or background. This is like Phase 4 (p. 23) of SotC.

Rules

1.     Add a brief description of how your character fits into the adventure or background of another character.

2.     Choose two aspects that are somewhat tied to the events you described earlier. (Again, you may want to wait to write this down)

 

Example: George’s character, Aragorn, has already met on some occasions with Avril’s character, Legolas of the Woodland Realm. Legolas is son of the elven-king of Mirkwood. After some discussion between the GM and both player, they decide that Aragorn met Legolas in the court of the king of Mirkwood, when Aragon occasionally served as an envoy from Rivendell. They quickly become friends and are very respectful of each other. George picks Elf-friend and Legolas! as his aspects for this scene. The Legolas! aspect reflects the kind of relationship they both have. The elf-prince usually saves the day and the life of Aragorn in many occasions.

 

Phase 5: Finishing touches

This is a catch all category where a character may be further rounded out. Feel free to repeat any of the prior phases if appropriate for your character concept and story. Alternatively, you may ask the GM to have an Unexpected Meeting with other member of the party, and redo Phase 4 again.

Rules

1.     Write a brief description of the additional background you’re adding to the character.

2.     Choose two aspects that tied to your description of this phase.

 

Example: George wants to add some more depth to the character. Having liked using a different name earlier in his story, he decides that while on the North, he is only known as Strider, because of his long steps and mysterious demeanor, and that becomes his first aspect. For his last aspect, George chooses Mysterious, because he wants to remain apart from the rest of the population.

Option: Starting low

 

·        Phases 3 to 5: Assign only one aspect each.

·        Pyramid changes to: One Great, two Good, three Fair and four Average.

·        Pick only 3 stunts.

 

Aspects

Mandatory Compels

In addition to the mechanics of compels in SotC, there is another kind of compel. Any time the GM wishes to initiate a compel, he may remove one shadow point from the character, instead of offering a fate point. If this is the case, the compel in mandatory. If the character accepts the compel, the corruption point is removed. If he wishes to resist, he may roll his Resolve against a Good difficulty. If he succeeds, he may refuse the compel, but the shadow point remains. If he fails, he must act out the compel as if he have accepted it in the first place, and the corruption point is removed. The next time he tries to resists a mandatory compel, the difficulty is raised by one step, cumulatively, until the Resolve roll fails or a compel is accepted.

This is the will of the Shadow exerting over the character. The Shadow seeks to enslave him and ultimately destroy the character. So, compels that may end up giving the character more corruption points are saved for appropriate times. Once a character becomes tainted by the Shadow, it’s very difficult to return. Shadow points have other effects, which are discussed on their own section.

 

Racial aspects

The first aspect anyone picks is the racial aspect. Racial aspects might be compelled or invoked as any other aspect. All racial aspects are composed by two parts. The second describe the region where you were raised, the first the race of the Free People you belong. Alongside these aspects there are some requirements you’ll need in order to actually have them. These requirements might limit your choices of skills or stunts. This is intentional. All dwarfs are craftsmen, for example, they were designed that way. Some guidelines for when to compel or invoke these aspects follow.

 

You may invoke any racial aspect to: Have a better reaction from people of your own race or culture. Have grasp of the lay of your lands.

The GM may compel any racial aspects to: Have some unfavorable reaction from people of a different race or culture. Cause a social slip when following the customs of a strange land.

Dwarven Aspects

(Dwarf of Balin’s Colony, Dwarf of the Blue Mountains, Dwarf of Erebor, Dwarf of the Iron Hills, Wandering Dwarf)

Requirements: Your Crafts skill must at least be average. Most Dwarves have at least average Endurance and Might, though these are not required.

You may invoke to:

·        The Dwarves practice their crafts obsessively and posses many secrets of making that are unknown to other people.

·        Dwarves have great skills at starting fires, even in rainy weather.

·        Dwarves are very strong-willed, and they steadfastly resist any attempt to control them.

·        Dwarves rarely fall ill. You may invoke this aspect to resists the effects of toxins or disease.

The GM may compel when:

·        Dwarves get poorly along with animals. A GM may compel you to impose a penalty on animal interaction.

Elven Aspects

(Elf of the Grey Havens [Sinda], Elf of Lorien [Noldo], Elf of Lorien [Silvan],  Elf of Mirkwood [Sinda], Elf of Mirkwood [Silvan], Elf of Rivendell [Noldo], Elf of Rivendell [Sinda], Elf of the Wandering Companies [Noldo]

Requirements: All Elves must have at least average Bearing and Wisdom skills, to reflect their unique Fair semblances and acute sixth-sense. Also, all Elves are required to purchase the Farsight and Lightfoot stunts.

You may invoke to:

·        All elves posses ‘magical’ qualities, tough they don’t think of them in those terms. Instead, these qualities are simple, natural abilities used for creation and joy. You may invoke your aspect on any magic related test.

·        Elves have great rapport with good animals, such as horses and eagles. You may invoke this aspect on any roll interacting with good animals.

·        Elves feel no discomfort in hot or cold weather. You may spend a FATE point for effect to completely ignore the effects of weather.

·        Elves eyes see better than the eyes of any other people.

·        Elves move swiftly and silently. They step lightly and can step over such fragile substances as snow, unbent grass and narrow branches without difficulty.

Additionally, according to your race, you may invoke to:

·        Noldor, Noldor have lived with the Valar across the Sea, ‘against both the seen and the unseen have great power’. You may invoke your aspect to resist the influence of the Shadow.

·        Sindar, Musical gifts.  Sindar are musically gifted. You may invoke your aspect to action pertaining musical performances.

·        Silvan, Woodsy. Silvan elves are woodland creatures. You may invoke your aspect any survival actions while in woods.

The GM may compel to:

The ghosts of Men hold no terror for Elves, who are immortal anyway. This effect is automatic Still, this may lead them to act recklessly, if the GM compels them.

 

Hobbit Aspects

(Baggins, Bolger, Brandybuk, Cotton, Proudfoot, Tuk, among others)

You may invoke to:

·        Hobbits eat six meals a day All Hobbits may invoke this aspect on any cooking related issues.

·        Hobbits are small. You may invoke this aspect on dodge attempts versus larger opponents, for example. Soft footed: Hobbits move swiftly and silently, often disappearing so quickly it seems like magic to the Big Folk. You may invoke this aspect any Stealth roll related to moving.

·        Hobbits accuracy with thrown objects and shot weapons is legendary. You may invoke this aspect on Melee rolls that involve throwing or shooting.

·        Though unused to hard labor and dangers, Hobbits posses a curious toughness and resistance to domination. You may invoke this aspect on Composure rolls to resist mental coercion.

The GM may compel to:

·        The GM may compel you for size, for example, if you’re trying to cross a deep river or reaching into a very tall place.

·        Because hobbits eat six meals a day, the GM may compel you to stop and have snack before moving on.

 

Men Aspect

(Beorning, Dunlending, Easterling tribesman, Southron tribesman, Man of Bree, Man of Dale, Man of Gondor, Man of Minas Tirith, Rider of Rohan, Ranger of the North)

You may invoke to:

·        During character creation, choose between Endurance and Composure. You may invoke this aspect to add to any rolls relating to your chosen skill.

·        Whenever you take an action that directly deals with defending your home or homeland, you may invoke this aspect to receive +2 on a skill roll.

·        Choose on particular craft or area of knowledge. You may invoke this aspect to add to any rolls relating to the craft or area of your choice.

The GM may compel to:

·        Force you take an action to defend your home or homeland

 

Getting things done

Stress tracks and consequences

In Middle-Earth, combat is a little bit deadlier than on SotC. To reflect this, the stress goes on to include the consequences in them. So for a character with Mediocre Endurance and Resolve, the Health and Composure tracks would look like this:

[] [] [] [] [] [mild] [moderate][severe]

What does this mean? In SotC, a seven point shift would simply inflict a mild consequence. In Middle-Earth, the same result would create a moderate consequence, and a ten point shift (that has to be quite a blow!) is an automatic Taken Out! result, without giving the opportunity to concede. Before initiating conflict, think about that.

Optionally, if you want quicker, bloodier fights, more frightening ghosts and meaner court dealings, consider reducing the number of boxes on the stress track from five to three. This means even a four point shift creates a consequence. Player might become more fearful in this approach, however.

Recovery and removing consequences

Getting consequence hurts a lot more in Middle-Earth than in SotC. Contrary to SotC, stress doesn’t heal right after conflict. Each stress box needs one hour of no strenuous activity to heal, as does any Mild consequences the character has, beginning with the higher checked box. Moderate consequences need at least a night of rest or similar relaxation to remove. Severe consequence might take days or even weeks. At the GM discretion, some severe consequences may not be removed if proper treatment is not administered.

Skills

Skill list

 

Skill

Area

Notes

Alertness

Perception

 

Art

Crafts/Knowledge

 

Athletics

Physical

Includes the trapping Swimming

Bearing

Social

As Rapport skill

Burglary

Subterfuge

 

Contacting

Social

 

Deceit

Social

 

Empathy

Social/Perception

 

Endurance

Physical

 

Crafts

Craft

As Engineering

Melee

Combat

Covers both Fists and Weaponry.

Archery

Combat

As Guns skill

Leadership

Social

Includes the trapping Sailing. See below

Lore

Knowledge

As Academics skill

Might

Physical

 

Healing

Knowledge

As the Medicine trapping of Science.

Ride

Mundane

Ride is no longer a trapping of Survival

Resolve

Social

 

Search

Perception/Social

As Investigation skill

Resources

Mundane

 

Sleight of Hand

Subterfuge

 

Stealth

Subterfuge

 

Survival

Mundane

No longer has Ride as a trapping

Wisdom

Perception/Knowledge

As Mysteries skill, and most of Science except for Medicine.

 

 

 

 

Stunts

 

Most of the stunts are used exactly as described in the main rulebook. New stunts are included here.

 

Players and GMs are encouraged to invent more flavorful names for stunts to give a more appropriate sense of individual style. For example, a Dwarf with Herculean strength could have Durin’s strength and Pildriver becomes The Fist of Mahal. Some common sense may need to be applied here. Some stunts may be swapped from one skill to another, providing for some changes

 

Alertness

 Enhanced Vision

 Farsight --  (Elves only)

Characters with this stunt can see up to 10 leagues away with no penalties. To use this stunt, you must spend 1 FATE point.

 

Crafts

Master Craftsman

Works like the Scientific Genius stunt (p. 193), but on craft rolls.

 

Artificer (Requires Master Craftsman)

Unlike regular FATE 3.0 rules, you need this stunt to create Objects of Power.

 

Melee

Both Fists and Weaponry stunts roll in here, and may be used in armed or unarmed combat without distinction. All the Kung Fu stunts will need renaming and redescribing to fit into the setting. For example, Martial Arts could become Precise Strike; Flying Kick becomes Flying Attack; and Flows like Water turns into Evasion.

 

For some very good ideas about Melee stunts, see the FATE Wiki.

 

Toughness

 Impervious to Injury

Requires One Hit to the Body

Provides one extra box on the health stress track.

 

Stealth

 

Lightfoot *This rewrite supersedes the Lightfoot stunt ( p. 199)

Elves move swiftly and silently. They step lightly and can step over such fragile substances as snow, unbent grass and narrow branches without difficulty. All Elves have the Lightfoot stunt. By invoking this aspect in the wilds, you receive +3 instead of the usual +2 on Stealth rolls. You may also invoke this stunt for effect, walking without a trace over snow or grass.

 

Wisdom

Artificer (p. 172 -173)

Is now under the purview of Crafts.

 

Rare Artifacts (p. 173)

Are now tainted. A character using one gains one Shadow point.

 

Magic

 

Insight

This stunt covers the ground of both the Psychic (p. 177) and Words on the Wind (p. 179) stunts to convey the basic understanding of the world that is the first step to work magic.

 

Minor Words of Power (requires Insight)

The character may make a Declaration (p. 83 - 84), placing a tag on a character, group or scene. Instead of the usual way of setting difficulties, they use the Assessment rules (p. 226). Thus, the invoker may place an [Enfeebled] tag on a subject, a [Dazed] tag on a group, or a [Foggy] aspect to a scene, or a [Searing hot] aspect on a sword.

 

Magic in Middle Earth is subtle. So consider the following aspect groups probable uses for this stunt:

Scene: Aspects that add or modify to the weather of a scene: eg. Foggy, Darkened, Brightened, Windy.
Objects: Aspects that alter the physical integrity of an item: Searing hot, cold as ice, hardened, weakened.
People and Groups: Aspects that add or modify a mood to the character: Angry, Friendly, etc. Aspects that make harder or easier to inflict stress: Magical Armor, Enfeebled, Sleepy, Awe Inspiring, Fearful gaze. Aspects that create or modify a vinculum to another group or character:Hatred, In love, etc... This last kind is playing with the free will of a person, so it will certainly give the character a corruption point.
Counterspell: Removing an aspect created by another use of Minor Words of Power.

 

Major Words of Power (requires Minor Words of Power)

This works like the Universal Gadget stunt (p. 148), except that there is no actual gadget, and you have three advancements available. The resulting effect is the actual working of deep magic. It may be purchased more than once.

 

Sorcery (requires Minor Words of Power)

This works like the Rare Artifact stunt (p. 173), except that there is no actual artifact, but the results are the actual working of deep, black magic. You can use up two four advancements. If for some weird reason a hero uses Sorcery, he gains a Corruption point (usually used to hit the character with a mandatory compel of any temporary aspect this stunt creates).

 

Enchanting (requires Minor Words of Power) and Grand Enchantments (Require Major Words of Power or Sorcery)

These stunts cover the roles traditionally covered by Weird Science and Mad Science (p. 194).

 

Objects of Power (Gadgets)

 

Gadgets are renamed Objects of Power. The role of Engineering is now covered through Crafts. Note, however, that a character needs to have the Artificer stunt to attempt to create an object of power. Both Weird Science and Mad Science are rolled into Enchanting, which is now under the purview of Wisdom. Thus, a Dwarven Armorer may create a Mithril shirt, but may need the aid of a magician to create a Sword that glows when orcs are near. Dwarven craftsmanship mixed with elvish magic created some of the most fearsome Objects of Power in Middle-earth. Grand Enchantments fueled by Sorcery are always tainted items. However, these are the working of magic and not of Weird Science. Some Objects of Power might bestow a benefit equal or a little more powerful than a stunt, to offset the fact that they may be taken away or lost.

 

Sample Objects of Power

 

Mithril shirt

Once per scene, the user may ignore a consequence of any degree, and instead cross any uncrossed health box. Also, a mithril shirt is easily concelable (+2 againts attempts to detect it).

 

Dragonmask

The wearer of a Dragon Mask is completely immune to any consequences caused by dragonfire, and instead cross any uncrossed health box. He gains +1 when intimidating servants of the Shadow.

 

Middle-earth Bestiary for FATE 3.0

 

 

ORCS

* Most orcs will be faceless minions, and as such, you should consider them to be Average minions (p. 74 – 75 of SoTC). The following rules are meant to be applied to named orcs only.

Racial aspect

May be invoked to:

  • Attacks made with their claw-like nails.
  • To defend against physical attacks.

May be compelled to:

  • Orcs perform very poorly in daylight and are frightened by it.

Racial stunts

  • All orcs have the Focused sense (smell) (p. 166)
  • All orcs have the Night eyed stunt, which reduces the difficulties of Search rolls in darkness by two shifts, thereby becoming immune to [darkness] aspects tags.

Guidelines for creating orc named caracters

Usual aspects

Hatred (Dwarves, Elves)

Craven

Skills

Orcs usually have at least Average Endurance and Melee skills.

 

Sample characters

 

Warg rider

Aspects: Hatred (Elves), Craven, Swift on the Saddle, Mocking, Fealty to Saruman, Cruel

Skills: Good Ride, Good Archery, Fair Endurance, Fair Melee, Fair Survival, Average Deceit, Average Alertness, Average Might, Average Search

Stunts: Focused sense (smell), Night Eyed, Animal companion x 2, Hands Free

Animal companion (sidekick / warg): Good Quality ([][][]), Skilled (Good Melee, Good Athletics, Fair Intimidation, Fair Search), Independent

Health: [][][][][] [] [Mild] [Moderate] [Severe]

Composure: [][][][][] [Mild] [Moderate] [Severe]

Corruption points: 2+

Note: Remember that when riding his warg companion, the Warg Rider is at +1 on his Ride skill checks.

 

 

 

Uruk-hai

* Most uruk-hai will be faceless minions, and as such, you should consider them to be Fair minions (p. 74 – 75 of SoTC). The following rules are meant to be applied to named uruk-hai only.

Racial aspect benefits

May be invoked to:

  • Attacks made with their claw-like nails.
  • Uruk-hai have very thick hides. They may invoke to defend against physical attacks.

Racial stunts

  • All uruk-hai have the Night eyed stunt, which reduces the difficulties of Perception rolls in darkness by two shifts, thereby becoming immune to [darkness] aspects tags.
  • All uruk-hai have the Focused sense (smell) (p. 166)

 

Guidelines for creating named uruk-hai characters

Usual aspects

Hatred (Dwarves, elves)

Fealty (to Sauron, Saruman, or other master)

Skills

Uruk-hai are very fearsome fighters. They have at least Fair Melee and Endurance skills. Must uruk-hai have at least average Archery, Athletics, and Survival skills, also.

 

Trolls

Trolls are rarely minions. Even when unnamed, a single troll is such an event he may act alone in combat.

Racial aspect

You may invoke to:

  • Trolls are very thick skinned. Invoke defense against physical damage.

Racial stunts

  • All trolls have the Night eyed stunt, which reduces the difficulties of Perception rolls in darkness by two shifts, thereby becoming immune to [darkness] aspects tags.
  • Additionally, all trolls posses the One Hit to the Body, Thick Skinned and Man of Iron (p. 147) stunts
  • Special: Mighty Blows. After a successful hit, a troll adds +3 shifts to determine physical damage.
  • Special: Turn to Stone. Daylight permanently turn trolls into stone.

 

Guidelines for creating troll characters

Usual aspects

Huge

Imposing

Dim-witted

Skills

All trolls have, at least, Great Might. Those trained for melee are at least Fair in this endeavor. Also, most trolls have at least Good Endurance and Intimidation skills.

Sample Characters

Cave Troll

Aspects: Huge, Imposing, Dim-witted

Skills: Great Might, Good Endurance, Good Intimidation, Fair Melee, Fair Survival, Fair Leadership, Average Resolve, Average Healing, Average Alertness, Average Search

Stunts: One Hit to the body, Thick Skinned, Man of Iron, Mighty Blows, Turns to Stone

Health: [][][][][]  [][] [Mild] [Moderate] [Severe]

Composure: [][][][][]  [] [Mild] [Moderate] [Severe]

Grit: 3 (Cave trolls are fighting machines, they fight to the dead)

Notes: Remember, when the Cave Troll is using some suitable mighty weapon, his attack is at +1 due to his Great Might skill. A cave troll is usually accompanied by orc minions. The GM might feel free to add the Minions and Reinforcements stunts as many times as needed for a scene. The Cave Troll might use his Leadership skill to upgrade any of his minions to Fair quality in his action for the round.

Corruption points: 3+

 

Tobin the Bridge Troll

Aspects: Huge, Glutton, Smart-ass

Skills: Great Might, Good Endurance, Good Deceit, Fair Crafts, Fair Survival, Fair Lore, Average Resolve, Average Melee, Average Alertness, Average Search

Stunts: One Hit to the body, Thick Skinned, Man of Iron, Mighty Blows, Turns to Stone

Health: [][][][][]  [][] [Mild] [Moderate] [Severe]

Composure: [][][][][]  [] [Mild] [Moderate] [Severe]

Grit: 0 (Tobin is quite the coward, he’ll offer to concede even before the first consequence)

Note: Remember, when the Tobin the Troll is using some suitable mighty weapon, his attack is at +1 due to his Great Might skill.

Tobin the Bridge Troll is an example of how the basic Cave Troll idea might be modified to create a more interesting character. He is the typical troll who waits under the bridge and preys on hapless passersby. The Craft skill, obviously, is for cooking his victims. Tobin, however, is a very cruel Troll, and enjoys putting riddles to his victims, using his Lore Skill. If they answer erroneously, he eats them. If they answer correctly, he will also eat them (though he doesn’t reveal that right away).

Corruption points: 4+

Olog-hai

The fearsome olog-hai are similar to their lesser brethren, with two main differences. They have at least Good Melee skills, and not turn to stone when confronted by daylight. Also, they tend to be smarter than their cousins. The [Cruel] aspect usually substitutes [Dim-witted]

 

Sample character

Krun-tak, Olog warlord

Aspects: Huge, Terrifying, Cruel, Hatred (Gondor), Warlord, The will of the Dark Lord, Unholy Strength, Quick to anger

Skills: Great Might, Great Intimidation, Good Endurance, Good Melee, Good Leadership, Fair Resolve, Fair Alertness, Fair Bearing, Fair Deceit, Fair Healing, Average Crafts, Average Wisdom, Average  Empathy, Average Resources, Average Search

Stunts: Brawler, Dirty Fighter, One Hit to the body, Thick Skinned, Man of Iron, Mighty Blows.

Health: [][][][][]  [][] [Mild] [Moderate] [Severe]

Composure: [][][][][]  [] [Mild] [Moderate] [Severe]

Grit: 2 (If about to die, Krun-tak might risk conceding)

Notes: Remember, when Krun-tak is using some suitable mighty weapon, his attack is at +1 due to his Great Might skill. As a leader of the army of the Dark Lord, Krun-tak is usually accompanied by orc minions. The GM might feel free to add more Minions and Reinforcements stunts as many times as needed for a scene. Krun-tak might use his Leadership skill to upgrade any of his minions to raise the quality of a group of minions in his action for the round.

Corruption points: 5+

 

Barrow-wights

Racial stunts

Special. Burned by sunlight. Every turn a barrow-wight is exposed to sunlight, he must cross the lower uncrossed box of his physical health track.

Special. Icy touch. After a successful hit, a Barrow-wight may spend a fate point to automatically inflict a physical consequence. This consequence must be related to the lose of vitality and strength.

Special, Ghostly powers. All barrow-wights have the equivalent of the Minor Words of Power stunt. They commonly use it to set aspects like [fear striken], [foggy] or [feebleminded].

Guides for creating barrow-wight characters

Skills: Most barrow-wights have at least Good Melee, Intimidate, and Perception, and posses Great Stealth. Other skills tend to relate to the mortal background of the barrow-wight.

 

Giant spiders

Giant spiders usually come in two flavors, lesser and greater giant spiders. The later are more massive and cruel than their lesser counterparts. Lesser Giant Spiders could be considered Fair or Good minions.

Racial aspect

May invoke to:

  • to his fang attacks.
  • to add his Craft (web-weaving) rolls and to Search and Alertness rolls to detect movement in their webs.

May be compeled to:

  • Be frightened of fire and very bright lights.

Racial stunts

  • Quite obviously, all Giant Spiders have the Human spider stunt (p. 127-128). They don’t need to spend any fate points to use it.
  • Additionally, all giant spiders posses the Crippling blow stunt, to represent their venom. Contrary to the description, they may use the stunt as many times as their fate points allow during any particular scene.

Note: Giant Spider webs are treated like block maneuvers (p. 60)

 

 

Guides for creating Giant Spider characters

Common stunts

Some varieties of Giant spiders also posses the Might leap (p. 128) stunt

Usual aspects

Cunning

Cruel

Hungry

Skills

All giant spiders have at least Good Craft (web-weaving), Stealth and Athletic skills. They have at least Fair Melee skills. Greater giant spiders have the [Huge] aspect, and usually have better Melee skills than their lesser counterparts.

WOLVES

* Usually, most wolves will be faceless minions, and as such, you should consider them to be Average minions (p. 74 – 75 of SoTC). The following rules are meant to be applied to named wolves only.

Racial aspect:

May be invoked to:

  • To attack with their fangs.

May be compelled:

  • To be repelled by fire

Racial stunts

All wolves have the Focused sense (smell) (p. 166)

 

Guidelines for creating wolf named characters

Skills

Wolves have at least Average Melee skill. They have Good Perception and Stealth. Survival, Alertness and Athletics are Fair at least.

Common stunts

Pack leaders tend to have the Tracker stunt (p. 202)

WARGS

* Usually, most wargs will be faceless minions, and as such, you should consider them to be Fair to Good minions (p. 74 – 75 of SoTC). They may also work as Sidekicks to their riders. As such, they follow the Companion rules (p. 77 -79) and are bought using the Animal companion stunt (p. 200 – 201). The following rules are meant to be applied to named wargs only.

Racial aspect benefits:

Fangs. Wargs may spend a FATE point to attack with their fangs. Additionally, they posses the Precise strike stunt, only used with their fangs.

Keen nosed: All wargs have the Focused sense (smell) (p. 166)

 

Guidelines for creating wolf named characters

Skills

Wargs have at least Fair Melee skill. They have Fair Perception, Survival, Athletics, Alertness and Stealth.