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GURPS Rules for Middle-earth Campaigns


New Advantages
New Disadvantages
Animals and Other Creatures
Calendars of Middle-earth
Weapons of Middle-earth
Magical Items
Various Items
Economics

New Advantages

Elf-friend (10 points/level)

This advantage gives the character a +1 bonus to all Reactions Roll made by the Elves per level of advantage.

Star-sight (5 points)

Exactly the same as the Night Vision advantage (p. B22), but works only when the available source of light are stars or Moon, or some light made out of it (like the phial of Galadriel). In all other cases the character gets the normal darkness modifiers. This advantage is innate to the Elves, and besides them only the characters with Elf-blood can have it.

New Disadvantages

Alignment (-1/-5/-10/-20/-50)

In contrast to some other RPG worlds, this disadvantage is of utter importance in Middle-earth. It determines which of the sides in the struggle between the Light and the Darkness the character prefers, asa well as how is he influenced by the events that result out of that struggle.

A character can be aligned towards either of the two sides, or neutral, and there are five levels of alignment. Note that the magical items can have their own alignment.

Neutral (0 points): Most of the common people of Middle-earth is not oriented to neither of the sides, caring only about themselves, their families and other things that concern them directly.

Preference (-1 point; quirk): Basic interest towards one of the sides, although the character still prefers to keep out of the way of the great events. He will react with -1 towards anyone who is obviously aligned to the opposite Power, while his reaction to someone who openly shares his preference will be +1.

Aligned to Good/Evil (-5 points): The character is obviously determined for one of the sides and will openly state his views and preferences. He will rarely turn down a request for aid from someone who is on the same side, reacting to him at +2, while his reaction for people of the opposite alignment will be -2. He also gets a +1 bonus when using the magical items that are aligned to the same side.

Devoted to Good/Evil (-10 points): The character's alignment is extreme and very hard to hide. The reaction modifiers of a devoted character is +/-4, and he will also react at -1 towards those characters who state neutrality. He can also use the similarly aligned magic items with a +2 modifier. Devoted to Good is the default alignment level for many Elves.

Obsessed with Good/Evil (-15 points): This level of alignment is similar to the Fanaticism disadvantage (p. B33), although it also includes the +/-6 reaction towards other aligned people, and a -2 reaction towards the neutral ones. He can use magical items of same alignment at +3. A character Obsessed with Evil/Good will be very active for the cause of his side, and will often (depending on his abilities) become some sort of a leader.

Completely Good/Evil (-30 points): As its name implies, this is the alignment of a person who has become one with the side he is aligned to. Since he puts his side before anything else, including his life, this alignment is extremely rare except in immortal beings such as Gandalf, Treebeard or Sauron. He reacts towards other aligned people with +/-10, and with -4 towards the neutral, while he can also use the magical items with a +4 modifier.

Animals and Other Creatures

Tolkien's Beasts

All of the creatures mentioned in the Tolkien's works and detailed in the MERP are listed in the table below. Some of them can be easily converted to the beings from GURPS Bestiaries, sometimes with a few modifications:
Creature GURPS Equivalent Source & Page Notes & Changes
Craban (great evil crow) -- -- --
Dragon: firedrake Firedrake Fantasy Bestiary 83 no hatchling
Dragon: ice-drake Firedrake Fantasy Bestiary 83 no hatchling; breath weapon inflicts cold/ice damage
Dragon: wingless Firedrake Fantasy Bestiary 83 cannot fly: land Move only; no hatchling; either fire or cold breathing
Dragon: wyrm Firedrake Fantasy Bestiary 83 no wings or legs: crawling Move/Dodge 4/7; no hatchling; usually fire breathing
Dumbeldor Wasp, Giant Fantasy Bestiary 80
Fastitocalon Aspidochelone Fantasy Bestiary 10 --
Fell Beast Quetzalcoatlus Bestiary 43 ST 16-20; wt. 500-1000 lbs
Flies of Mordor -- -- --
Great Eagle Eagle, Giant Fantasy Bestiary 22 IQ 12; speaks Westron
Great Spider Spider, Giant Bestiary 34, Fantasy Bestiary 71 --
Hummerhorn Dragonfly, Giant Fantasy Bestiary 13 aggressive
Huorn -- -- --
Keeper in the Water Kraken Fantasy Bestiary 38 northern seas
Keeper in the Water Lucsa Fantasy Bestiary 43 lakes & coasts (classic Keeper)
Keeper in the Water Octopus, Giant Bestiary 25 coastal waters
Keeper in the Water Rogo-tumo Fantasy Bestiary 60 southern seas
Meara -- -- --
Mewlip -- -- --
Oliphant Elephant Bestiary 15 only IQ and appearance
Oliphant Titanotherium Bestiary 37 other stats and behavior
Vampire of Middle-earth -- -- --
Warg Wolf Bestiary 38 ST 20-22; DX 14; IQ 7; HT 15/18-20; dmg 1d cut
Werewolf of Middle-earth Shadow Wolf Fantasy Bestiary 65 somewhat changed behavior and description
Wight -- -- --

Other Possible Creatures

Here is list of creatures from GURPS Bestiaries which could easily fit into Tolkien's world:
Creature Source & Page Middle-earth Locality
Agropelter Bestiary 6 Taur Moredain
Arctic Mole Fantasy Bestiary 10 Forochel, Forodwaith
Athol Fantasy Bestiary 11 Shadowlands (Mordor, Dol Guldur...)
Cactur Cat Fantasy Bestiary 14 Greater Harad
Ccoa Fantasy Bestiary 16 hidden hold in Orocarni or similar high mountains, somewhere in the East or South (possibly a renegade Maya, similar to Tom Bombadil)
Charadrius Fantasy Bestiary 17 Far Harad, Taur Moredain (it can sometimes be found in the Cities of Sîrayn or the Ivory Coast for $10.000+)
Crab, Giant Fantasy Bestiary 20 warm coastal waters
Crocotta Fantasy Bestiary 20 savannah of Far Harad
Didi Bestiary 13 Taur Moredain
Hamadryas Fantasy Bestiary 29 foothills of Far Harad
Hide Fantasy Bestiary 30 tropical coastal waters
Iemisch Fantasy Bestiary 35 rivers of Taur Moredain
Irish Elk Bestiary 18 northerh Eriador, Forochel, Taur Luin
Kekeko Fantasy Bestiary 37 Taur Moredain
Mngwa Bestiary 22 Taur Moredain
Qata Fantasy Bestiary 56 Harad, Khand
Rat, Giant Bestiary 29 Harad, Sîrayn, Mordor
Scorpion, Giant Bestiary 30 deep Harad desert
Taniwha Fantasy Bestiary 74 rivers, coasts and forests of Taur Moredain
Tazelwurm Bestiary 36 high mountains
Tunguru Fantasy Bestiary 77 Taur Moredain

Calendars of Middle-earth

This section sums up the calendars of Elves, Men and Hobbits as described in the Appendix D to the "Lord of the Rings."

Years of the Dúnedain and Hobbits

Astar # King's Reckoning Stewards' Reckoning Shire Reckoning
yestare
yestare
yule
I
Narwai
Narvinye
Aftertyule
II
Ninui
Nénime
Solmath
III
Gwaeron
Súlime
Rethe
tuliére
IV
Gwirith
Víresse
Astron
V
Lothron
Lótesse
Thrimidge
VI
Nórui (31 days)
Nárie
Forelithe
lithe
loende*
Midyear's Day
lithe
VII
Cerveth (31 days)
Cermie
Afterlithe
VIII
Úrui
Urime
Wedmath
IX
Ivanneth
Yavannie
Halimath
yáviére
X
Narbeleth
Narquelie
Winterfilth
XI
Hithui
Hisime
Blothmath
XII
Girithron
Ringare
Foreyule
mettare
yule
* In the King's Reckoning each four years loende was replaced with 2 enderi days.

Each month has 30 days unless noted otherwise. Westron-speaking folk (except Hobbits) use the Quenya names for months, often corrupting the pronunciation in various dialects, especially in border areas (e.g. Kermy for Cermie or Yawny for Yavannie, as spoken in Tharbad).

Elvish Year

Basic division:
Quenya
Sindarin
length
yestare
1 day
tuile
ethuil
54 days
laire
laer
72 days
yávie
iavas
54 days
enderi
3 days
quelle/lasselanta
firith/narbeleth
54 days
hríve
rhîw
72 days
coire
echuir
54 days
mettare
1 day
Each twelfth year there were six enderi, except for the last year of each third yén.

Yestare (new year), according to the calendar of Imladris, corresponds to 6th April (Gwirith or Viresse in Dúnedain's reckoning, Astron for Hobbits).

Weapons of Middle-earth

Númenorean Eket

Eket is a short sword of Númenorean design primarily used for stabbing, although it can be used as a cutting weapon. It was originally created as a large variant of the Elven long dagger, and in turn has strongly influenced the short swords of Middle-earth.

Reach: 1; Min ST: 8; Cost: $800; Weight: 2 lbs; Skill: Shortsword.

Attack
Damage Type
Damage Amount
Stab
imp
thr+2
Slash
cut
sw-1

Númenorean Steel Bow

The great bow made of hollow steel, somewhat shorter than the average longbow, was spreading awe among the tribes of Middle-earth when the Númenoreans came to their lands. It is extremely rare now, and except in Amazôn and in some barukans of Pharazâin (where it is jealously guarded as a family hairloom) it is nowhere in use. Although special arrows are made for this bow it can also shoot standard longbow arrows. However, in that case its range is 1/3 less, and the damage is lowered by -2, while the maximum possible damage is 2d.

Skill: Bow.

Type
Dmg
SS
Acc
1/2D
Max
Cost
Weight
ST
Notes
imp
thr+5
16
4
--
STx30
--
8 lbs
12
max 3d

Asdriag Usriev

A long weapon similar to lance, except that instead of the point it has a wide, long double blade, similar in size and appearance to the greatsword. The Asdriags use it from the horseback, ruding along the flanks of the enemy troops and cutting them, but it can efficiently be used on foot. When using from horseback, the damage is calculated according to the mount's strength, as for lance.

Min ST: 12; Cost: $1.000; Weight: 10 lbs; Skill: Usriev (phys/hard, def. 2-hand Sword-3, Lance-5, DX-6)

Attack
Type
Amount
Reach
Slash
cut
sw+3
1,2
Stab
imp
thr+3
3,4

Magical Items

Rope of Elvenkind

The Elven ropes are made of hithlain, specially enchanted material which gives them the following properties:

An average Elven rope is about 30 yards long, weighing 1/4 lbs for each 10 yards.

Various Items

Dwarven Brandy (Khazad-zûl; Sindarin: Nárnen-i-Naugrim)

The recipe to this drink, of which is told that it can cure injuries and recover strength, is guarded by the Dwarves even more strongly than their own language. The only known detail is that one of its main ingredients is mistletoe, known for its healing (and magical) properties. The Dwarves rarely drink it while in their homes, but small flasks of this liquor are part of their standard equipment for long journeys and war campaigns.

This brandy is taken in small quantities, even by the Dwarves. The character who drinks one sip (one pint contains about ten sips) must make a HT roll to recover 1d-2 (minimum 1) fatigue, or 1d+1 in case of critical sucess. If he fails, he loses 1d-3 fatigue points; in case of critical failure he loses both 1d fatigue and 1 point of damage.

If the character drinks more than one sip there is no beneficial effects, but the drinker must roll vs. HT to avoid losing 1d fatigue and 1 HT of damage per sip; this roll is at -1 per sip after the first.

Economics

Coin-making Cultures

Corsairs: Umbar.

Pharazâin: The local barons make their own coins following the traditions of Númenor, so that their coins can be used in all the baronies without conversion. However, the largest coin they make is bar (see below). The Guild of Goldsmiths in Nimir is the only authority that makes coins of all sizes.

Rhovanion: The people of Dale and Esgaroth use mostly the Dwarvish money -- coined in Erebor, Grey Mountains or Moria -- but they also mint their own coins, following the Dwarvish system, to which they have added a large gold coin, equal in size and value to the ernil of Arnor.

Dorwinion: The central carvershop makes peculiar coins of ivory imported from Far Harad, but the metal coins of other peoples, especially Gondor and the Dwarves, are also widely used.

Dúnedain: At the time of the Two Kingdoms, the royal mints were located in Osgiliath and Annúminas; in late Third Age Minas Tirith has the only remaining mint, although the coins made in Annúminas, Fornost, Cameth Brin and Tharbad are still in use throughout the North.

Dwarves: The remaining mints are in Erebor and Ered Luin. Coins from Moria are still commonly used, with an occasional coin from Nogrod or Belegost.

Harad: Tûl Isra, Tûl Harar

Hobbits: The mint in Michel Delving produces only nickels and copper pieces; numerous coins from the times of the Kings are still in widespread use.

Rohan: Edoras produces a certain amount of its own coins, primarily golden pieces, while the Gondorian money is in regular use.

Sauron: Barad-dûr; the remaining coins from Angmar are normally used throughout Eriador.

Types of Coins and Their Values

Northern Dúnedain: The lost realms, from Arnor to Rhudaur -- even Angmar -- continued the Númenorean tradition of currencies, so all the coins that can be found in Eriador follow the same standard, differing primarily in pictures, languages and letters used. On the back side all of this coins have the picture which gave them their names in Westron: the three smallest coins were minted primarily by the local lords, who customarily put their own picture on the largest one (the name penny itself is a corruption of the word brannon), while the dog and the star were traditional symbols of Beren and Earendil. Two largest coins were made only under the King's orders, and they usually had the pictures of the King and his heir.
Common Name Sindarin Name Adûnaic Name
Value ($)
Material
Mass (oz.)
Coins/lb
nickel (dog) raba
1
copper
0,2
80
farthing (star) gîl gimli
5
copper
1
16
penny (lord) brannon bar
20
silver
1
16
prince ernil phazan
80
gold
0,2
80
king (royal) aran are
400
gold
1
16

Southern Dúnedain: For practical reasons, Gondor has adopted a variation of the Númenorean tradition. Corsairs of Umbar also use this altered system, translating names and inscriptions into the Adûnaic tongue.

Name (Sindarin)
Value ($)
Material
Mass (oz.)
Coins/lb
tambin
1
copper
0,2
80
celebin
4
silver
0,2
80
ithil
20
silver
1
16
nimaran
40
white gold (50%)
0,2
80
melaran
80
gold
0,2
80
anor
400
gold
1
16

Dwarves: Many coins from Moria were preserved both in Erebor and Ered Luin, and the Dwarves mint new coins as needed:

Name
Value ($)
Material
Mass (oz.)
Coins/lb
copper piece (farthing)
1
copper
0,2
80
small silver piece (penny)
4
silver
0,2
80
large silver piece
20
silver
1
16

Harad: see Greater Harad, p. 33. The table sums up the coins of the two greatest cities in Greater Harad, Tûl Isra and Tûl Harar; this coins are in wide use in most of the Harad, including the Ormal Kharg and even Khand to the North.

Name
Value ($)
Material
Mass (oz.)
Coins/lb
Coins of Tûl Isra: garn
1
copper
0,2
80
sort
4
bronze
0,4
40
saris
20
silver
1
16
royal
160
gold
0,4
40
tal
400
gold
1
16
Coins of Tûl Harar: garn
1
copper
0,2
80
sort
4
bronze
0,4
40
kos
20
silver
1
16
ged
100
jade
0,25
64
kesh
400
gold
1
16